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On the Lam
Master Houndoom
post May 10 2009, 11:53 PM
Post #1


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"Ya won't like it, though. It's a dead zone... can't get your calls. Your precious E-mails..."

Jay looked at the man through hooded lids. "I have the Poketch network." The man blinked, then looked behind Jay as if to see if he were being followed by a large group of technicians. He wasn't, of course, and if he had been, he would have ditched them as early as possible.

"Oh. Well.. towels are kind of scratchy!" He passed the key and walked away, muttering.

Jay moved to the chair in the lobby and knelt in front of the figure there, a despondent, hand wringing Sagira Smythe. "Got the room." He said it quietly, and she looked up, looking first from side to side.

"Room? You came here for a room? Lange, they'll find us in a room!" She glared at him, only half effective because she was so tired.

"Yeah, well, they'd find Jay Lange and Sagira Smythe in a room, sure. They won't find Monty and Alyssa Devereaux though, not until we've found other arrangements." Jay grinned at her, but it fell as she narrowed her eyes.

"You told him we were married..?" She bared her lips, showing filed down eye teeth, and Jay raised his hands in front of him, placating.

"Yeah, but don't worry about it, he's not going to suspect." When she didn't ease up on her glare, he rolled his eyes. "Look, they're looking for two separate people. The names will throw them for a while, and I only had enough poké for a couple nights. It's long enough to decide what to do next!" Finally, more likely because she was tired than because she agreed, she relented.

"Fine, but don't get any ideas." She stood, stretching her still sore back.

"Yeah, right, not going to-- Damn, stop stretching like that." He made an admiring face, pretending to wipe drool from his mouth, and she turned, letting her hair fall over her face.

"That's it, you're sleeping in the tub," she growled. She snatched the key from him and looked at the tag, squinting. Finally she huffed, pushing it out at arm's length. "Room 12. Let's go."

Jay let the incident go, but he watched her carefully. She was weaving by the time they got to their room, and he had to lead her to the bed, something she protested, but did not pull away from.

She fell asleep as soon as she it the pillow, and Jaima pulled Hinata's ball off of his belt and released her.

Headpaint?

"Can't," Jay whispered, closing the curtains and making sure there was no one following them. "You're the most distinctive of my pokémon." He released Videl as well. "They'd spot us from a mile away."

Headpaint?

"No, Hinata, no headpaint. I need you and Videl to keep an eye on Catseye while I go get us some clothes."

Heeeeaaaadpaaaaiiiint...

"Cut it out!" Jay turned to Hinata, glancing at Sagira to make sure he didn't wake her. "You're eyes are white and your head is usually black. Even if I picked a different color, they'd put it together. No headpaint."

This sucks. YOU suck.

"Yeah, I suck." He sighed, running his fingers through his dirty, sweaty, bloody hair. "Can I count on you to watch her?"

Hinata glared at Sagira, but her shoulders sagged. Yes, Trainer Jay. Whatever you say, Trainer Jay.

Videl looked up at her, huffed, and licked Jay's hand with a wet, hot tongue. Jay smiled sadly. "I'm going out to grab some food and a change of clothes. I think I can use my credit card a couple times before it's reported stolen. I think Sagira might need medical help, she's having trouble reading. Be SAFE, and call me if anything happens!"

Jay didn't wait for an answer, but slid out the door and into the shadows. He'd have to shower later, but for now, food and clothing were essential.

As he walked into the store, fifteen minutes away by foot, Hinata's voice lilted softly through his head. You don't really suck, Trainer Jay.

He smiled, bought two baggy t-shirts, two pair of sweat pants, a wig and some hair coloring. It would have to do for now.

-----

When he returned, he stepped into the shower and turned it on as hot as he could get it. He was surprised when it came on full blast, and heated quickly. Despite the comfort in the shower, he took a short one. When he came back out, dressed in the dark grey sweat pants and dark purple shirt, Sagira was sitting up.

"Hey. Go back to sleep." Jay sat on the one large chair in the room. "I'll take first watch."

"Mmph," she said, stumbling into the bathroom. When Jay tried to follow her, she turned and scowled. "Where're you going," she slurred, eyes narrow.

"To, ah, hold your hair up..?"

She growled. "I have to use the rest room, idiot!" She slammed the door in his face, and he rolled his eyes.

"Kill a guy for tryin'." He set the bag with clothes for her on the dilapidated dresser and switched on the television. Before long, he heard the shower running.

His attention was drawn to the television by the news. "In Jublife, tragedy has struck the home of Robert and Samantha Lange, former television stars turned Jublife moguls."

Jay's grip on the remote tightened, and he sat forward, swallowing thickly. The anchor continued over shots of the family. "The eldest son of the Langes was reported missing today. He has not been seen in three weeks."

His mother came on the screen, and Jay relaxed. He was affected by his mother's voice, but relieved that the "tragedy" was not anything that had happened to him. The camera pulled back to show his father and sister, sitting next to his mother, holding each others hands. His sister was looking down, her lips pressed in a line.

"All we want," Samantha Lange said, "is to have our son come home. Jay, if you're listening to this, please, please come ho-"

The door opened, and Jay changed the channel, swallowing thickly. Sagira came out clad in a towel, and glanced at Jay. When he didn't look her way, she raised her brows. "What's with you?"

"Nothing," he said, still not looking. "There are clothes in the bag. Clean." He turned to look out the curtains, being as stealthy as he could about it. "Wig, too, but we won't need it in here."

Sagira scowled at Jay, but pulled the bag in with her to change. He hadn't quipped about her being in a towel, and he hadn't ogled her, which was both a relief and a slight, slight disappointment.

When she came out, she scowled at him again, leaning back and watching television. "The towels are scratchy."

"Yeah, the guy mentioned that. How's your head?"

She looked at him sideways. "Fine. How's yours?"

"Tender, but I'll be all right. You had a little trouble seeing." When she didn't talk, he raised a brow. "Look, if you're hurt, we'll find someone to help us. I can't have you getting sick on me before we've cleared our names."

"I'm fine. I..." She shook her head, but when he tutted, she turned on him. "I can't see things close up, all right? That's why I wore contacts!"

Jay looked at her, stunned, and she glowered at him. Finally, he smirked. "You're hot when you're angry."

She threw the towel at him and crawled back into bed. "I'm going to sleep now. Keep your hands to yourself."

"Well, with your sunny disposition and looking hot in those baggy clothes, I almost can't resist." He stuck his tongue out at her, and she almost... almost smiled.

This post has been edited by Hungry Hungry Houndoom: May 18 2009, 03:44 PM


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Umbrae Calamitas
post May 11 2009, 02:23 AM
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Sagira was pissed off. At Jay. But, what else was new.

She had given him a couple good thwacks on the head, but she still thought that he deserved more. Therefore, she was ignoring him and whenever she was forced to look at him, she glared viciously.

"Come on, Catseye!" he moaned for the fiftieth time.

"You were supposed to wake me up!" she snapped. Oh well, so much for ignoring him. "You watch for half the night, then wake me up so I can take over. There was a clock in the room and you didn't fall asleep, so you could have easily woken me up."

"You needed your sleep."

"So do you!" she snapped. "And don't get off on telling me what to do. When we're done shopping, we're going back to the hotel and getting in bed." She shook her head. "You are," she corrected quickly. "You're getting into bed. I'll be watching."

"There's nothing on TV," he said, grinning.

"Shut up."

At the moment, Hinata was back in the hotel room with Serenity and Umbrae. The Houndour had grown fond of the Ralts and Serenity enjoyed being with Umbrae. Sagira felt they were safer together, and the two of them could easily guard the room, with Hinata keeping them informed of each others progress and any possible danger. Videl, who had gotten sleep the night before, unlike her trainer, was with Jay, and Sagira had Calypso's pokeball within easy reach. They wouldn't be caught off guard without a fight.

Not that anyone would be able to recognize them. Sagira shuddered as they walked past a window, clean and reflecting beautifully. She tried not to gag at the light blue shirt and brown sweatpants that Jay had picked out for her to wear. And the wig... blonde... ugh...

She almost killed him when she saw it. In fact, I still might, she mused.

But the mall was crowded with people and, despite their hideous clothing, they blended in well enough. They were also here to get some fresh clothes, and Sagira was not wearing the damn wig. To hell with Jay and his style.

Stopping in between two stores and ignoring the protesting people who had to move their fat asses around her, Sagira pointed at the clothing store behind Jay. "Go find yourself something decent to wear." She pointed at the store behind her. "I'm going in here. And no," she said, interrupting his upcoming question, "I'll pay for my own clothes, thank you." He had already tried to insist that he would buy her a new wardrobe, but she would hear nothing of it. She wasn't broke, by any means, not that he needed to know that.

Sparing him another glare, she turned and walked into the store, seeking something dark and foreboding to wear.

She planned to burn her current dress.

~*~


An hour and a half later, Sagira walked out of the store in much better attire than when she walked in. She was wearing a pair of tight black jeans that hugged her form nicely, a thin white spaghetti-strap shirt, though it was hardly visible beneath the black leather jacket. Contrary to her previous pair of boots, these were dark brown leather cowboy boots, and she had seriously considered finding a place that sold spurs, so she could have another weapon, but she still had her clawed gloves, which she flexed experimentally.

Shaking her head, she looked around for Jay. She wondered idly if he would recognize her, considering that she had slipped out of the back entrance of the store and into a nearby hair salon. She pulled on a strand of hair, studying the color and seriously wondering if it suited her. It was bad enough that she'd had to cut it, but she was well-known for the long braid she tended to flick into people's eyes during a fight. Still, it was wildly short, not even reaching her shoulders, and cut into something of a layered bob, though it was choppy and her bangs still shadowed her face. She'd had them dye it reddish-brown, with crimson streaks. She supposed it might have made her stand out, except it actually just made her look her age - fitting in with the rest of the teenage crowd. Damn conformity. But she had to admit, she kind of liked it. The sunglasses made it all the better. She couldn't half see without her glasses, and it worked nicely to have a pair of prescription sunglasses. She looked like a biker chick. It was a good look for her.

I think I even have enough money to buy a bike, she mused, mentally going over how much cash she had left. Okay, so that was an exaggeration, but it was a nice thought. She'd always wanted a motorcycle.

Letting her thoughts chase themselves out of her head, Sagira continued to scan the growing crowd for Jay. Surely he's done shopping by now? Come on, pretty bo- Her thoughts abruptly came to a halt when she saw him - or at least, she was pretty damn sure it was him.

Truth be told, he looked exactly like Monty.

And here, she thought she was over that silly crush.

This post has been edited by Umbrae Calamitas: May 11 2009, 02:36 AM


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Master Houndoom
post May 11 2009, 03:28 PM
Post #3


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The day had started out... badly.

Actually, that was an understatement in some ways, and completely untrue in others. He had managed to stay up, more from scouring the television for more about his supposed run away situation. It rankled him, a bit, that his parents would think he'd just run away, but in retrospect, what were they supposed to think? He hadn't left a note, and had made his sister swear not to tell. If anyone was to blame, it was himself. He was handling himself in Noverus like the amateur he was.

Halfway through the night, he'd considered waking Sagira up so he could sleep as well. Approaching her in the light of the television, she was relaxed, calm, and her face had neither the haughty look he'd first seen on her, nor the pain and distress of their situation on it. He decided, foolishly, it turned out, to let her sleep.

She had taken it out on him, first with a couple of slaps to the head, then yelling, and finally with the cold shoulder that would rival a snorunt's. Hinata had been especially angry about the hitting.

She did NOT just hit you! Hinata floated, behind Sagira, her eyes already glowing. Jay had to stop her with a mental command, which gave her the opening for the second strike. Hinata's voice in his head garbled, and he seriously couldn't tell if it was because she was so angry, or if Sagira had knocked something loose.

Why are you letting her do that! Tell her you wanted her to know some guys were safe to be around, even when she's vulnerable! Jay reacted with surprise, which Sagira hadn't noticed beyond her yelling.

You're not supposed to go snooping there, Hinata, he growled mentally.

Hinata's mental voice was laced with defiance. It's the truth!

Jay didn't press the issue, but neither volunteered Hinata to go with them to the mall, and, like most of their disagreements, there was an iciness in their farewell. He spent the entire trip to the mall trying to get Sagira to at least talk to him, and hopefully see where he was coming from.

"Look," he said as he came out of the bathroom from applying the brown dye to his hair (Hinata had grown even angrier over that, mentally accusing him of getting headpaint while she couldn't), "the wig is just until we can find something more permanent. I'd have gotten one myself, but they didn't have any guy wigs, and I'd look stupid with curly hair!"

Silence.

"Are you hungry? I'm starving."

Cold glare, more silence.

He actually stayed quiet for a block or two before trying again. "They're previewing the new Weavile movie. Hugh Jackman's supposed to be awesome in it."

Narrowed eye glare, silence. He was making progress.

"I can't wait to see it," he said, talking to himself since she was obviously not willing to join in. "I've loved the comic movies they've come out with. The Amazing Ariados, the Quintessential Quartet, Crobatman... they're finally doing it right."

Glare. Eyeroll. Huff. Silence.

"Come on, Catseye!"

That was when she finally yelled at him (there had been a "Come on, Catseye," after every attempt, mind), and he grinned. She'd finally forgiven him. He even briefly allowed his hopes to rise when she said they were getting into bed, too happy that she was talking to him to be disappointed when she clarified that it would only be him.

In the store after they separated, he tried on a lot of clothes, but nothing fit. Finally, he sighed. It seemed he couldn't get away from it, but, then, he'd brought it on himself, picking his parent's characters names (with Alyssa's last name, just in case). He picked out his clothing and went to put it on, pulling off the tags to buy it when he decided they fit.

Black combat boots under comfort-cut jeans. A brown vest and white, button shirt. Aviator sunglasses and his hair slicked back. He was the spitting image of his dad back in the Catch as Catch Can days. He was Monty Leppenhouser.

Oh, right, THAT was why he picked Alyssa's name as a surname for the "couple"...

As he stepped out, he saw a vision in front of him, a girl with a stylish haircut and clothing that, if not directly from the show, were very much like what Alyssa would have worn. He blinked, convinced the near concussion from the night before was finally taking it's toll. It wasn't until he noticed the claws on her fingers that he realized it was Sagira.

He looked at her, stunned, and then let his jaw drop, putting on an exaggerated stunned face.

"Shut. Up."

"I didn't say anything," he grinned, ignoring the look on her face. "I just looked like this." He repeated the exaggeration, and was rewarded when her lips twitched.

"That's it. You're delirious. Come on, we're going to bed." She stopped and pointed at him, the claw half an inch from the tip of his nose. "Don't. Just... don't."

When they arrived back at the room, it was Jay who was swaying. The lack of sleep had caught up to him, and he barely got his vest off before he collapsed into the bed. Hinata looked at him, worried briefly, but turned a cold shoulder to both of them. Sagira noticed, but was growing too concerned to let it bother her.

"You know," Jay said softly, drifting off, "If you get tired, you could just sleep on the bed, too." Before she could counter it with a snide remark, he mumbled, "I'm just going to be a lump..."

"Are you all right..?"

"Nothing a couple sharp blows to the head wouldn't fix." He fell asleep then, and so didn't see the look on Sagira's face.

This post has been edited by Hungry Hungry Houndoom: May 18 2009, 03:46 PM


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||
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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Umbrae Calamitas
post May 11 2009, 04:44 PM
Post #4


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She should have been sitting in the center of the room so that she could watch the door and the window through her peripheral vision. She should be trying to kill some more of her brain cells with the shit on TV. She shouldn't be sitting in a chair next to the bed, watching Jay sleep.

Watching him sleep.

He had rolled onto his back after the first few minutes trapped in slumber. He faced the ceiling, his eyes closed and his face relatively peaceful. Sagira imagined, however, that she could see a flicker of pain pass over his features whenever she looked away for a moment. She drew a deep breath, her eyes softening. "You should have woken me up, BlueJay," she whispered. She reached out to touch his hair, but her hand paused just inches from his face. Sighing, she pulled it back and rested her hand in her lap. "But then, I shouldn't have hit you." She stared at his face for a while, just watching him sleep, listening to him breathe. "I don't trust people, Jaybird. I haven't... for a long time. Not for a long time."

This time, when she reached out, she did touch his face, her fingers brushing against his slicked-back hair. Her lips twitched up into a small smile. He really did look like Monty...

Her fingers trailed over his face, barely touching the skin, until she placed her index finger in the center of his forehead and began to draw a gentle circle, letting it spiral outward. To most, it would be nothing more than a meaningless shape on the skin, but some would recognize it as the Reiki Power Symbol. It was a symbol to aid with healing, one that had once been used on her. She hoped it would do something for him now; help him sleep and allow him to wake up without feeling any lingering pain from any injuries that she might have caused him. She didn't even know how hard she struck him.

Goddess, I hope I didn't give you a concussion, BlueJay, you jackass, she thought sadly. He'd been swaying horribly when they returned to the hotel room. She hoped it was just from exhaustion, but he seemed a lot like her when hiding his pain. "You jackass," she muttered, "why'd you have to get us into all of this trouble?" But of course... he saved her.

Sitting back, Sagira sighed sadly, when she'd finished tracing the symbol. He seemed more relaxed now, or maybe that was all in her head.

She didn't move from the chair, ignoring that fact that she should have. But should haves were never on her list of priorities. She crossed her arms over her chest and remained in the chair, watching him and listening. She heard a gentle rustle behind her and closed her eyes softly, a sad smile crossing her face. "Hinata," she whispered, and heard the rustling cease, "I'm sorry."


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Master Houndoom
post May 12 2009, 07:11 AM
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Hinata spent most of the night mind-glaring at the girl sitting next to her Trainer Jay (Her Trainer Jay!), thinking nasty-mean thoughts as Videl slept at her feet. When Trainer Jay had collapsed onto the bed, slurring his words and falling unconscious, Trainer Iris had had the audacity to feel guilty. She wasn't allowed to feel guilty, she was supposed to be happy that Trainer Jay was hurt so that Hinata could go on wishing her Deep Hurting.

The problem was her inner voice. It sounded like her mother, and like Trainer Amber, and like Trainer Jay, and it was so stupidly reasonable! It told her that Trainer Iris was angry, but not at Trainer Jay, at herself, for being too weak not to get up and take guard duty. It told her that Trainer Iris was upset that Trainer Jay was hurt at all, and guilty that she had been part of it.

She hadn't even hit him that hard.

In short, Hinata thought, my inner voice sucks.

Surprisingly, the biggest argument for forgiving Trainer Iris came from Trainer Iris herself. Not directly, but by her actions: sitting next to Trainer Jay and touching him, as if trying to take his pain away. And it was working! As she drew the spiral on Trainer Jay's forehead, Trainer Iris managed to lessen his pain. Then, hearing Hinata move closer, she apologized to the pokémon.

Dammit! Hinata let go of her anger and hugged Trainer Iris' head. It's okay, Hinata said, sure that Trainer Iris couldn't hear her. He needs to be smacked sometimes, anyway...

Trainer Iris giggled, a surprised, happy sound, and Hinata blinked. Did she... Was it possible?

"Hey..." Sagira and Hinata both started, turning to Jay, who smiled so warmly that both faces softened. "I feel awesome..."

"That, BlueJay, is the benefit of sleep," crooned Sagira,leaning down a bit. She absently pushed his brown hair from his eyes, and Jay caught her hand. Her eyes widened, but she didn't pull away. He leaned up... She leaned closer...

And that was when the door was kicked in. Four Aqua grunts pushed their way in and stood between the bed and the door

Sagira wheeled, reaching for Calypso's pokéball, and Umbrae stood near Sagira, snarling. Jay rolled off the bed and stood, but neither of his pokémon were in pokéballs. Hinata floated between Jay and Sagira, and Videl....

Well, Videl had been by the door, and her tail was wagging. Jay winced when she reached up and licked the nearest Aqua's hand. The girl blinked down at her and struggled to hide a smile.

"Well, isn't this a cozy scene. Did you think we wouldn't ask around for people matching your description?" The leader of the group, a cocky sounding blonde boy around Jay and Sagira's age, strutted between his teammates and his potential prisoners. He held a gun, which made Jay's jaw clench, and even though it was loose, Jay still watched him carefully. Guns weren't common for anyone, since Pokémon were so much more effective in the long run, but they did exist, and Jay, personally, hated them.

"Nice look, by the way. What do you two have to say for yourselves?"

Sagira glared at him in stony silence, but Jay let a lazy, sheepish grin spread on his face. "I have something to say..."

Sagira's head whipped around, and she commanded him with her eyes to tell them nothing, to not give them the satisfaction. Jay shrugged and winked at her, softly, then opened his mouth and said, his words sharper than the expression on his face gave away, "Videl, Sic 'em!"

As if a switch had been thrown, Videl went from a friendly, tail wagging puppy to a slathering demon, leaping at the leader and Biting down on his gun hand. The weapon dropped harmlessly, and Jay leapt for it, scooping it with his hand and sending it under the bed. Sagira, tipped off just in time, leapt over the corner of the bed toward the curly red haired girl who had nearly smiled at Videl, and Jay tackled (literally) the larger of the two men in the group, a fat kid who hit the wall, winded, and slid down it trying to catch his breath. The last girl squealed and turned to run, slamming face first into the edge of the door and falling on her back, unconscious.

"I'm almost insulted," Sagira drawled, and turned to see Hinata, still floating in place. The ralts' eyes were glowing, and the veins around them were bulged. "Is... that natural?"

"She thinks it looks cool. Hinata, let's go!"

Wait, I'm doing something important! Both trainers heard her, but it didn't take long, and she floated to Jay. OK, let's go!

Jay motioned Sagira out the door and followed her, and then dashed down the road. Jay was beginning to draw even with Sagira when she turned, and he stayed with her, pushing with his outside foot to keep the turn quick. Unfortunately, they were running down a small alley of houses that were little sturdier than shacks, and one house was in the middle of them, dividing the alley's length in two, and effectively blocking progress. Sagira slowed, but Jay dashed past her, running two steps off the wall before kicking off of it to catch the hanging eave. He pulled himself up using his momentum to help, and rolled to face Sagira. "Come on," he called, holding out a hand.

Sagira blinked, looking back down the alley. There were calls, but they were far away and coming closer. Jay could tell she had the idea to split up.

"Catseye, you have to trust me, even if it's just a little!"

She looked at him, hesitating only a brief second before grabbing his hand and, with a little help from him, hauling herself up on the roof. Together they recalled the canids, Hinata floating next to Jay and Serenity on Sagira's forearm, and they jumped down on the other side and sprinted the rest of the way down the alley. The team that had followed them, or at least the two left standing, paused at the mouth of the alley, but didn't stop.

-----

"OK, Hina," Jay said, when they finally were able to stop and breathe a little. "What did you do?"

Hinata seemed oddly sheepish.I... I just Confused them and put a suggestion in their head that you still looked like they expect..?

She "looked" back and forth between the two trainers, using Videl's eyes, and winced when Jay stepped forward, kissing her roughly on the crest. "Brilliant work. I mean, officially I'm 'disappointed' that you went so far, but desperate times and all that." He smiled, gently knocking on Hinata's green crest. "Don't make a habit of it."

He turned to Sagira and smirked. "Your turn to find us lodging."

This post has been edited by Hungry Hungry Houndoom: May 18 2009, 03:48 PM


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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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Umbrae Calamitas
post May 12 2009, 11:59 AM
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Sagira was a little disappointed that she didn't really get to fight, other than kicking that one kid in the head. She was glad that they'd been dealt with in relative ease, but... well, they'd interrupted something important.

Erm... wait... no, they didn't. Nothing important.

She was silent for about two whole seconds, which she considered a personal record, before she allowed an exasperated sigh to sigh. Shut up, Catseye. Yes... they did. They interrupted something very important. She looked at Jay out of the corner of her eye. He was keeping pace with her jogging easily, and she really wanted to know how the hell he got on top of that house. If she didn't know any better, she'd say he teleported. And it has nothing to do with the fact that he looks like Monty. She closed her eyes briefly. What are you getting yourself into, Catseye?

It completely escaped her mind that she had taken to calling herself by the nickname that Jay used for her.

"Hey," she said, startling Jay out of hisown contemplations, "there's a bus. Let's get a bit further away from here, yeah?"

He nodded in agreement and they sped up into a run, just making it to the bus before its doors closed. They climbed in and Sagira paid the two dollars it cost for them to ride, before finding a seat near the back, right under the emergency exit in the roof. So she was a little paranoid. If it saved their asses, she'd deal with the jokes.

"They're better than I thought," she admitted, referring to Aqua.

"Yeah," Jay replied.

"I hadn't expected them to catch us."

"I did." Sagira looked at him in surprise. "It was only a matter of time, Catseye. We're on the run, which means we've got to run. It'll be easier now, with our change of styles, but..."

"Yeah," Sagira continued. "They're looking for us, so they're going to follow any trail that they can find."

"Exactly." He smirked then, causing Sagira to cock her head to the side in mild confusion. "So why don't we leave them a false trail?"

Sagira smiled gently. "A good idea, true, but how do you propose to do that? Neither of us had wash-out dye put in out hair, and I can't exactly grow mine at a fast rate."

In response, Jay looked down at Hinata, who was smiling faintly. "Oh," Sagira said. "So... what's the plan, Hina?"

"Just changing some memories. Some people are going to think they've seen Jay Lange and Iris Sagira Smythe, running in the opposite direction."

Sagira crinkled her nose at the use of her first name, but nodded. "That's a good plan. How about our bus driver? You could have him think he'd taken us to another town, south of here."

Hinata's grin widened. "I already did that."

"You're going to make me obsolete, Hina."

The Ralts only giggled in response.

~*~


Ten minutes later, they crawled out of the bus and onto a much nicer part of town. It wasn't the richest area, but it was far better than the previous part that they had been in. "Less ratatta," she mumbled, lightly shuddering at the thought of the rats.

Walking down the sidewalk and knowing that people on a stroll at two o'clock in the morning wasn't a potential give away in the least, Sagira quickly spotted a hotel. Like the area, it was much nicer than their previous hotel, and Sagira was fairly sure that someone would think to look for them again. True, no one in Aqua knew exactly how well off Sagira was, thanks to her father's research, but they wouldn't pass any place up, she was sure.

She grimaced lightly. That meant that they had to play this up. Good.

"If you so say anything after this," she muttered to Jay as they entered the building, "I will kill you."

Jay looked at her funny, no idea what she was talking about. She didn't elaborate, nor did she give him a chance to respond, as she walked up to the lobby desk, where a sweetly-smiling woman was waiting. Sagira took a moment to note that her attire, while slightly stereotypical, looked good on her. The dark-haired woman had a lightly tan complexion, and she looked quite stunning in dark blue, even if it did make her look a little bit like a mix between a flight attendant and a bellhop. Still, stereotypical, but fitting.

And now... time to play this up, she thought, as she placed a gloved hand on the counter. She had switched gloves on the bus, so now she merely wore stylish black leather gloves, devoid of claws.

"Hello," the lobbyist greeted kindly, "how may I help you this morning?"

Sagira returned a gentle smile, but when she spoke, her voice came out with a lilting English accent. "Good morning. My husband and I were hoping that you would have a vacant room. Our plane finally landed and I couldn't sleep at all, the turbulence was so horrible." She shook her head sadly.

The woman gave an understanding smile. "I know how that is," she replied, as she began to type away her computer. "I took a trip down to the Johto region once and was sick the whole flight. I think our pilot was drunk."

"Amazing who they'll give a license to these days, isn't it?"

The woman nodded, smiling. Her eyes lit up and she let out a soft, "Aha!" Turning, she pulled a keyring from the wall and handed it to Sagira. "Who should I put the room under?" she asked, turning back to her computer. "It's Devereaux," she supplied, still waving that English accent happily. "Montague and Allysa Devereaux." She heard Jay make a choking sound behind her, but she stepped back, planting her heel down on his foot. "We'll be staying for two nights, love, and I would like to pay in advance. Saves us time, you know."

"Of course," the woman replied. Sagira noted lightly that her demeanor had changed slightly. Sagira psychology professor would be proud for her noticing. It was funny how one person's manner of speaking could make another raise or lower their own manner, to fit in. Once again, damn conformity.

Sagira paid the woman cash and took her key. "Thank you," she offered, and then grabbed Jay by the arm and led him to the elevator. "Come, Montague, you need your sleep."

"Monty," he snarled at her once they were in the elevator. "Monty, not Montague."

"Monty is short for Montague."

"No it's not!"

"And how would you know?" she asked.

"I... I just do," he huffed moodily.

Sagira smirked. "Fine," she replied, as she opened the door to their room and stepped inside, "you just do. For the sake of the hotel and the fact that we just came from France, however, your name is Montague." She pecked him lightly on the cheek. "Now go to sleep, Monty."

Sitting in a comfortable chair by the window, her back to the large queen-sized bed, Sagira idly wondered why in the hell she had kissed him on the cheek.

And she wondered, more fervently, why she didn't regret it.


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Master Houndoom
post May 12 2009, 04:35 PM
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Montague! How... how... how... Jay's face screwed up in disgust. Montague is a sissy name. It was bad enough his last name was Leppenhouser, but Montague Leppenhouser? That would just be patently ridiculous!

Everyone knew it was Montgomery Leppenhouser.

... OK, Lange, you have officially gone off the deep end. Maybe she did hit you harder than you thought... He knew, though, that the adrenaline from the short fight was starting to wear off, or had worn off on the bus, and he was simply riding the waves of still being exhausted. He hadn't slept well. He had slept, but up until the end, he was still feeling pain from his head. Something had finally healed, or knit, or whatever, because just before he opened his eyes he felt a kind of release of pressure.

Now the only thing keeping him awake was his... what was she? Partner? They weren't part of any organization any more. Friend, then. But, in the other hotel, they had been on the verge of something. Something he was afraid to think about, lest he find a reason why it couldn't possibly be true.

His forehead tingled. His lips felt hot, and his eyes, and his cheek had a nice pleasant warmth where her lips had touched it.

She was smart. Oh, she wasn't all knowing, she wasn't so clever that she couldn't be out thought, but she was smart, unlike any of the girls in Jublife. And quick on her feet. She had taken a split second to realize he was trying to outsmart them (and Videl had been brilliant, as well) and was ready to attack at a moment's notice.

She wasn't perfect, but that made her interesting. It made him think, and it made him want to make her smile, because when she smiled at him, even a little bit, it was like a reward, like a hard fought piece of sunshine. She may not be the most cheerful of the bunch, but she had a lovely smile, and seeing her eyes without the contacts simply enforced that.

She was kind, not just to her pokémon, but his as well. If Hinata had actually been hugging her head, then she had crossed a bridge with the ralts that no one else could, except for Amber.

Aw, man, I'm falling for her... Jay thought, drifting to sleep finally. This is going to bite me in the ass...

-----

No, no no no, bad, no, this is bad, he can't, he's mine, why why why why? She wasn't broadcasting, at least, not far. She HAD to push down her voice, because if Trainer Jay, or worse, The Girl, heard... well, it'd just make it more true, wouldn't it?

Thick, viscous tears slid down Hinata's face and onto the bed as she sat vigil against the wall near Jay's head. He was falling for the girl. He wanted her to be with him as long as he could. She could feel it, and the girl, (Trainer IRIS she forced herself to think,) wasn't pushing him away!

She'd never told Trainer Jay, never once. She'd known it was a crush, a minor thing, a baby's reaction to being loved when no one else would love her, but now, he was falling for someone else, someone who was normal, someone like him, and...

and he'd forget her.

She forced herself to face it. She loved Trainer Jay, and she'd gotten over her crush, but not the fear it had brought, and she made herself look at the fear.

If Trainer Jay liked Trainer Iris... he wouldn't want Hinata any more.



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Umbrae Calamitas
post May 12 2009, 11:16 PM
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Damnit.

It is an odd thing, to open your eyes and know that you're dreaming. It happened to Sagira more often than to other people, she was certain. She didn't quite know why, but she often had these strange, strange dreams. Some of them, like the one she'd had back in the Aqua infirmary, were a mixture of fear and memory, brought on by fear and memory. Usually, they involved her father. So much did. So much of her life was based on him and his disappearance. She wondered, idly, what she would do if - when - she found him. Would she find another purpose, or would she simply cease to exist?

Sagira knew she was dreaming when she opened her eyes. It wasn't an entirely lucid dream. In a lucid dream, one could usually control everything around them. Essentially, they were welcomed into the world of dreams, where they had free access to all its wondrous powers.

Here, Sagira had control of herself, but the rest of this strange world continued to move on without consulting her. It happened so often that she had grown used to it, but it still never ceased to scare the crap out of her. She learned things this way, saw things that others didn't, and she was frightened by it.

"Sagiiiiiira..."

Do people not know how creepy the echoing name-calling is? she mused lightly, in an attempt to make this world appear less sinister. It wasn't working very well. The atmosphere of her dreams differed depending on the circumstances. Now, she stood in the middle of a void of blackness, the only light coming from a mist that swirled around her, glowing eerily. She felt like she should be standing in a bog; like she was somehow trapped in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

And am I about to be eaten by a giant dog? she mused. What a fitting end for ShadowCat. To fall prey to the demon wolf from Hell.

"Sagiiiiiira..."


Creeeeeepy... she mentally sang in the same slow, eerie tone that the mysterious voice was using to call her name. I refuse to be a cliche horror movie whore and ask "who's there." I refuse. Bite me.

"Sagiiiiiira..."


"Who's there?!"

DAMNIT!

No voice arose to answer her question. No eerie wind howled. No one called her name. Silence reigned.

Sagira was pretty sure that the silence was worse.

Alice would like to wake up now, she thought sadly. Please.

She took a few steps forward, but didn't feel comfortable walking where she couldn't see. The darkness was a blindfold, and the light from the mist did nothing to help her, since the mist itself was camouflage.

"Sagira."

With a gasp, Sagira spun around, the whisper having been spoken directly into her ear. She could still feel the tingling sensation of breath on her neck. She shivered convulsively, growing even more frightened, which was, in turn, pissing her off. She didn't know what was going on, which she hated. She was scared, which she hated. She was pissed off, which she was also beginning to hate, because she didn't know what to be pissed off at. So all in all, her rage was growing and she was like an angry cat without a scratching post. Someone's face was going to get shredded.

"Who. Is. There?" she demanded through gritted teeth. The glowing fog continued to swirl, but no answer came. Sighing, rubbing her face, she thought of a different tactic. "Why am I here?"

"Life's a mystery, isn't it, Little One?"

Sagira turned again swiftly, but there was no fear in her heart this time. Disbelief, surprise, but not terror. She could never fear him. "Dad?"

Heya, kiddo," he replied, grinning at her softly, his voice echoing slightly in the mist. "Looks like you're in a bit of trouble.

"How do you... know?"

He chuckled, a deep rumbling laugh that Sagira had missed dearly. "Let's just say it's a family secret, eh, kiddo?" he said, smiling, but his eyes seemed to hold a deep sadness. "There's trouble ahead for you, Little One. Happiness, friendship, adventure, but trouble. You're in some of it now, but it will get deeper."

"Sink or swim, huh?" she asked, trying to smile, but his words were sobering.

He shook his head. "Not this time, Little One. You won't be able to swim on your own this time. You're going to have to rely on someone else."

Sagira looked off to the side, not really seeing the mist, but his face. "Jay...?"

"He does care," her father supplied, calling Sagira's attention back. "He's proven that, to both of us. As much as you try to pretend you don't like him." He smirked. "Well, you're not fooling anyone."

"Dad!"

That laugh again, deep, rumbling, like rocks rolling down a mountain.

Sagira thought for a moment, but the question kept nagging at her, and she couldn't help but ask. "How am I talking to you?"

He smiled. "You haven't figured it out, yet?" he asked, looking mildly surprised, but mostly amused. "You're no match for a Kadabra, kiddo, but you're hardly a rock when it comes to psychic energy."

"I- I'm not... come on!" she finally managed. "That's crazy."

He raised an eyebrow in a fashion that Jay would find familiar. "Any other explanation as to how you're talking to me?"

"I'm crazy?"

"Nope. Close, though."

She stuck out her tongue. "You've been abducted by aliens and they're transmitting you into my brain?"

[i]"Lay off the science fiction movies, and no."


"I'm dreaming all of this?"

"Try again."

"I'm... mildly telepathic?" she finally relented.

"Give the girl a cigar!" he declared, clearly finding this all very amusing. "A bit more than mildly. Probably about average, if a little less, since you lack proper training." He shrugged, unconcerned. "That'll just have to be remedied."

She scowled. "Know any psychic trainers for hire?" she asked sarcastically.

"Better," he replied, grinning. Reaching forward, he placed a finger in the center of her forehead, and images began to flash though her mind. She recognized a few - the store they had walked in front of to get to the hotel, an alleyway they had passed while riding the bus, a fire hydrant that a Poochyena had been regarding with some curiosity, before deciding to pee on its trainer's shoe instead. The images finally halted in front of a small restaurant, hardly bigger than their hotel room. The lights were off and it was obviously closed - she assumed that it was still dark out in the vision, though she couldn't tell for sure. As she watched, a pokemon appeared in the vision. It was a familiar-looking pokemon, but with some differences.

The only other Ralts that she had ever seen was Hinata. While Jay's pokemon had pale white eyes due to her blindness, this one had blue-green eyes, the color of the ocean. It's white coat was filthy, covered in mud and scratches, and she thought she could see a bruise on its green headcrest, to the left of its horn. As Sagira watched, the pokemon prodded the window at a fake display of food, obviously wondering how to get in to find something to eat.

"Go to him." Sagira looked up at her father in mild confusion. "He is young, but he can help you. Your psychic abilities do not extend far, but you have used them mildly all of your life." She opened her mouth to argue, but he smiled and said, "You tell Umbrae and Serenity what you're planning without even speaking."

"They know me!" she retorted.

"They hear you." He pointed at the Ralts, and only then did Sagira realize that he was standing in her vision. "Go to him. Now."

"I... all right," Sagira muttered, her shoulders sagging. As the world around her began to fade, however, and she realized that she was waking up, she turned to her father and spoke with rapid fear. "Whee are you?" she asked. "Dad! Please!" She couldn't believe she hadn't thought to ask when she'd first seen him, but she'd been so happy just to know he was there. "Tell me where you find you!"

He smiled a sad smile. "That's not how the game is played, Little One," he said softly.

"Dad!"

"You'll find me," he said, and there was such confidence in his eyes that tears rolled down her cheeks. "I have no doubt of that. But the road will the long, kiddo, the waters rough, and you cannot swim alone. Not this time." He smiled at her, even as his form began to fade. "Go to him. He will help you find your way. He will be your paladin."

Like the Cheshire Cat, his smile was the last thing to fade away, but then he was gone, and Sagira opened her eyes.

She was awake this time, not dreaming. She knew she wasn't dreaming, because the pain in her heart was too real, the tear tracks on her face too hot. She shuddered in fear, in anger, in confusion... she didn't know. Too many revelations in a dream that wasn't a dream.

Go to him.

Sagira raised her head, still facing the window, and looked out of it. She knew the way. Her father had shown it to her, but she also remembered the landmarks. They had passed the restaurant. It wasn't far.

She looked at Jay, sleeping peacefully with his back to her, and Hinata, curled up against the wall, sightless eyes closed. Videl was kicking in her sleep, obviously chasing a Buneary or some other fast-moving pokemon. Serenity was curled around the lamppost. Umbrae was sleeping deeply near Videl, just out of reach of her kicking paws, and Calypso was sitting calmly on the bed, watching her.

Sagira blinked. "I suppose you're coming with me."

"Pix," Calypso replied, hopping down from the bed and trotting to the door. Sagira stopped at the door and looked back at everyone. They were sleeping deeply enough. She would be back before anyone awoke.

She slipped silently from the room like the cat she had been called, and locked the door behind her. Hanging a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door just in case, she and Calypso quietly made their way out of the hotel, even avoiding the detection of the hotel lobbyist. Not that the girl would care where her customer was wandering off to at four o'clock in the morning, but Sagira didn't want to get caught up in a conversation.

It didn't take them long to reach the street on which the restaurant sat. Actually, it took them less time than Sagira had thought it would, but she wasn't going to complain. She saw the restaurant and they made their way quickly, hoping to return to the hotel soon. It was a chilly morning.

Just as in her vision, the Ralts was standing there, peering into the window, looking hungrily at the food displays. He started upon Sagira's arrival, spinning to face her and tensing.

"Hello," Sagira greeted, dropping to one knew to be nearer the pokemon's height. "I'm Sagira."

The Ralts gave no response other than to take a small step back. Understanding the mistrust, Sagira relaxed her posture and leaned back slightly, her eyes soft. "Would you believe me if I said I had a dream about you?" she asked. The Ralts still said nothing, but Sagira continued on. "My dad spoke to me and told me that I should come to you. He's been missing for a long time now and I miss him terribly, but I dream about him sometimes. Not like this, though." She paused, thoughtful. "He said I should come to you, because you could help me. I guess I'm a little psychic - go figure. I never knew, but he says you could help me with that, and it looks like maybe I could help you, too."

The Ralts tensed up at that, looking offended.

"I'm sorry," she apologized swiftly, raising her hands in an attempt to placate the pokemon. "You just look hungry, and we have some food back at the hotel. I can't promise it's anything wonderful but... well, it's food. I guess I can't ask you to see that as a fair trade - you get fed and I capture you. Sounds more like a barbaric animal trap, doesn't it?" she sighed. "I guess I don't normally do this. Serenity was given to me and Umbrae pretty much just decided to become my shadow. I caught Calypso here, but that was only to save her from some big ugly dude with a fettish for strangling pokemon. I suppose I've never really caught a pokemon before. Considering the way I do things, perhaps I'll remain unconventional for the rest of my life. Can't say it wouldn't be fitting. I don't exactly like conformity."

I must be tired, she mused. I never talk this much.

In her silence, Calypso stepped forward, barking softly. The Ralts blinked thoughtfully at the Vulpix, before muttering something back. Sagira merely watched as the conversation continued on for some time, before Calypso wandered back to Sagira's side, and the Ralts walked up to Sagira. She regarded it thoughtfully, and it did the same to her.

"Not master?" a voice whispered into her mind, causing her head to tingle. It was a gentle voice, more masculine than Hinata's, but still young. "Friend?"

Sagira smiled. "I would never call myself a master of pokemon," she admitted sincerely. "Companions, friends." She smiled. "Brothers, even."

"Brother," the Ralts mused. He sounded decidedly thoughtful and Sagira let him ponder over it. Finally, he met her eyes and held out a paw. "Friend."

"Friend," Sagira replied, taking the paw gently. She held out a pokeball and the Ralts studied it curiously for a moment, more intrigued than wary. Finally, he touched the central button and was sucked into the mechanism in a flash of red light. The pokeball jiggled a few times, but there was no true fight. She suspected that the Ralts wasn't fond of being contained. She wasn't quite sure how she knew this, but then, she wasn't fond of being contained, herself.

The pokeball ceased shaking, revealing that it and the Ralts had accepted each other. Smiling, Sagira hooked the pokeball onto her belt, figuring that the mechanism could contain the Ralts until they got back to the hotel, where she intended to order a large breakfast for the lot of them.

"Paladin," she murmured, remembering her father's words. He will be your paladin. "Paladin is a good name."

Sagira turned to head back to the hotel, but found herself facing two large brutes, dressed in familiar Aqua uniforms. She was about to whip out her claws, when logic grabbed a firm hold on her mind. They don't know who you are. They don't know who you are. Relax, Alyssa.

"Hello," she greeted politely, though she really didn't want to deal with this right now.

"Well, g'morning, darlin'," the large man on the left replied, stepping closer to her. "Wha's a fine young girl like you doin' way out on your lonesome?"

Sagira clenched her teeth (her hideously filed-down teeth - DAMNIT), as she found that she had backed into the wall of the restaurant. "Just taking a walk. Morning air is good for the lungs, you know," she replied, trying not to let her temper show. Unfortunately, she wasn't always so polite when she was pissed off. "Walking keeps the body in shape, too. You should try it."

"You callin' me fat, darlin'?"

"Eh... I'd go with 'pleasantly plump,'" she replied, then narrowed her eyes, "now back off." She shoved him lightly to prove her point, but he retorted by shoving her hard, up against the wall.

Calypso leapt at the man, snarling, but the second brute grabbed the fox in midair by the scruff of her neck, pinching the fur hard and causing Calypso to yelp loudly. The first man, confident in his partner's ability to keep the pokemon occupied, turned back to Sagira, pinning her against the wall.

"Now, if you're a nice little bitch, I'll take you back to my place and we can have some champagne and watch some movies."

His grin was feral and made Sagira want to vomit. Instead, she sneered. "And if you're a nice little bitch," she retorted, "I won't castrate you."

He laughed, a roaring laugh, like a Harley Davidson's revving engine. "This girl's got some fire," he snapped at his friend. "I like 'em like tha'."

"Go to Hell!" she snapped. "Lots of fire there for you to play in."

She was getting scared. Her comebacks were becoming less effective, not that they were wholly effective to begin with. Actually, not at all. Without her cat-ears, fangs, and claws, no one had reason to fear her. It had always been the appearance that started someone's uncertainty. They were already wary of her when she started talking. Her attitude merely added to it. Without the initial reason to fear, she was nothing more than another little girl, walking the streets.

This is so bad, she thought. The man had her hands pinned so that she couldn't reached Paladin's pokeball, not that she was sure the Ralts could do anything to help. She didn't know how powerful he was or even if he'd be willing to help her. What if he didn't like the idea of attacking a human? What if he wouldn't protect her? What if he wasn't like Hinata?

Hinata.

Sagira bit her lip. Oh, Dad, I hope you're right, she thought. Else, I'm going to feel like a gullible idiot, and this is going to suck. That in mind, she shut her eyes, trying to ignore the man in front of her, pinning her to the wall. She had a pretty good idea what he was planning and she didn't like it. She'd scratch his eyes out, but her clawed gloves were back in the hotel room and he was too strong for her to escape his hold.

She never should have left the hotel room.

But Paladin...

She'd worry about that later.

She thought about Hinata. She thought of the sightless white eyes, the bulging irises during her attacks, the intelligence and kindness. She thought about having her head hugged the night before and about how it made her feel so good. She thought about the pokemon she had come to care for as much as she cared for her own, and she screamed out in her head, begging that her dad was right - that he was right and she was psychic, even if before she didn't want to be, and she screamed. Hinata! Hinata! HELP!

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This post has been edited by Umbrae Calamitas: May 13 2009, 12:25 PM


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Living Arrow
post May 13 2009, 12:42 PM
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Meanwhile...


Kyogre's Maw bustled with activity as new Recruits, old Officers and many inbetweeners rushed from location to location, receiving orders and perparing for missions. Amid the throng walked a short girl with amazingly frizzy hair with the widest smile plastering her face that anyone at the base was ever going to see... Well, that was if anyone was looking... which they weren't... If they were, they would have seen the proud glee that Ivy Kylarian was radiating from every pore but the sight of her wasn't the only thing giving away her obvious happiness...

"Gruntitty Gruuuunt! I'm gonna Gruuuuunt all over yoooou!" She sang merrily, staring down at her polished badge that had been handed to her that monring by her CO: Elite II Dawson. He had seemed somewhat reluctant to give her the badge and said something about 'maturity' and 'responsibility' but Ivy didn't care - she wanted The Pretty Shiny!!!! She had taken it before the man had stopped talking and dashed out of the office before he could think about admonsihing her for rudeness. She couldn't stand around chitty-chatty all day! She was a Grunt and had Grunt Missions to complete!

Judging eyes began to flicker in Ivy's direct as she sauntered into the allocated mission briefing room, still wailing her song at the top of her lungs. She noticed that people were waiting for her to become silent at the end of verse three - the best part in her opinion - but Victor's pinch was enough to distract her away from frivolous singing and towards serious mission-getting.

"Sssh..." Victor urged her, trying to make himself look smaller in the process. "You're embarrassing me."

"Don't be so silly, Silly." Ivy waggled a finger at him. "Grunty Kylarian doesn't 'barras no-one!"

"Silence!" Officer Crichton's booming voice practically shook the entire chamber, his commanding presence taking complete attention away from the ludicrous girl and over to the giant of a man hidden behind an enormous moustache. "When you're finished, we'll go over the mission briefing!" An awkward silence followed as people shuffled into comfortable positions and passed around the hand-out which Crichton had brought with him.

"In front of you you will find images of two renegade agents who defected this week. They are considered to be a threat to our cause and may divulge confidential information to our enemies. The details of their backgrounds and how to deal with them are also included in the paperwork but I'll summarise. These two must be stopped at all costs. We have no idea of their intentions but they must be brought in alive or, if absolutely necessary, terminated in the field."

"Oooo sounds dangerous!" Ivy whistled low and rocked on her chair. "Where's they hidin'?" Officer Crichton's greying face turned down on her, his brows heavy and firm.

"If we knew that then we wouldn't be organising this RECONNAISSANCE mission, would we?" He said slowly for her, mocking her in front of everyone else but Ivy didn't notice.

"Well how's we supposed to go lookin' with nowhere to start?" She carried on, an incredulous frown smothering her face. She folded her arms over her flat chest, trying to make herself look more important. After all, she was a Grunt. Officer Crichton ran a particularly large hand over his balding head and sighed.

"You will spread across the city in teams of two and patrol the designated zones that are detailed in the paperwork." Ivy's mouth began to open but Crichton carried on to prevent her words escaping. "Notice how most of you are paired. We have organised you all to be set up in a Recon/Combat team to give you the best chances of locating and engaging these two for the even better chances of mission successful completion." Ivy turned to look at Victor, eyeing him up and down.

"Combat?" She seemed cheated, her face becoming one of utter confusion as it scrunched up into a quizzical little ball.

"Once you have your documents, please move out immediately and report in hourly with the Comm. Sets located in the bin by the door."

Ivy's mouth began to open again.

"No more questions! Move out!" Crichton announced, signalling the end of the very brief briefing.

"Come on, Vict- oops... VITALIS." Ivy stressed the alias. "Let's get a move on... and pass me them pictures!" She puffed out her chest as they walked, taking pride in showing off her new badge that denoted her rank. "On the double!"

This post has been edited by Living Arrow: May 13 2009, 12:42 PM


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Master Houndoom
post May 13 2009, 02:52 PM
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Hinata! Hinata! HELP!

Hinata stirred in her sleep, waking slowly and blinking away dried tears. She rubbed her eyes with her forepaws and sat up, looking down at Trainer Jay. She could not see him, but she could feel the timbre of his dreams, and they were both disturbed and disturbing. When he was asleep, the calm he always tried to have at the forefront of his thoughts dropped away, and she could feel his thoughts and fears much more sharply.

The voice, however, hadn't been his. She had heard it once, but she'd recognize it's flavor anywhere... it was Trainer Iris', and she was in trouble. Bad trouble.

Hinata swallowed. Trainer Iris could be out of her life forever. She wouldn't take Trainer Jay away. He would need her more after Trainer Iris was gone...

Hinata, please, oh please, I need help...

She could be with Trainer Jay...

NO! She reached out with her mind, touching Trainer Jay's. Get up! Trainer Jay, get up! Trainer Iris is in trouble!! HURRY!.

Jay sat up as if he had been electrocuted, blinking blearily. He looked around, his eyes falling on the empty chair where Sagira had been, then on Hinata. "What is it," he said, slurred but clipped, standing.

Trainer Iris is calling for help. She's at a restaurant nearby, and there are two men with her... their thoughts... they have bad thoughts! Hinata seemed panicked, wringing her forepaws together, floating to the door. Come on, we have to head left out the door, and we can sti--

"No!" Jay caught Hinata gently. "Stay here. If they're Aquas, they'll recognize you." He looked down. "Videl, come with me."

He couldn't have known that Hinata was afraid he's leave her behind eventually. He didn't feel her pull away from him mentally. He rubbed the top of her head and walked out the door, pulling his vest on, his combat boots untied, and Hinata flung herself into the bathroom, weeping thick, salty tears.

Jay jogged out the door and headed left at a quick walk, his eyes roving from side to side as he did so. Hinata, in the hotel room, caught a hold of herself and showed him the restaurant mentally, but her thoughts were drifting. He thought she must be tired, but something wasn't right.

He had to find Sagira, but he promised himself he'd make sure Hinata was taken care of, too.

When he spotted the restaurant, finally, his mouth went dry. Sagira was backed against the wall, and two large Aquas were pressing close, practically smothering her. She wasn't screaming, but Jay saw red.

He was nearly on top of them when her eyes found his, and she closed them, a gentle, relieved closing. Jay wanted so badly to hurt them. They were large, and they might hurt Sagira, though. Videl was growling low in her throat.

"I should like to know," Jay said, surprising himself with the deep, upper British accent, "what it is you mean to do with my wife..."

The two men pushed away, leaving Sagira mussed, but otherwise unharmed. One of them, with a deep, throaty growl in his voice, was red faced and panting. The other had the grace to look sheepish.

"Don't see no ring on her finger," snarled the rumbler, and Jay cocked a brow at him, looking him up and down with an expression of utter disdain.

"Ah, you Hoennites. Always with your baubles and trinkets, forgetting practicality. Of course she's not wearing a ring, it might get stolen. Besides, in civilized society, no means no. And go to hell, knowing my darling wife, also means no." He turned to the second brute, still holding Calypso. "You'd best let her go, or I will have to take issue with your treatment of her."

Calypso struggled, and finally twisted enough to send an ember from her mouth to the man's shirt. He yelped and dropped her, and Sagira knelt to pick her up.

"We were only tryin' to help the little lady, an' she was bein' rude." Rumbler cracked his knuckles. Jay crossed his arms.

"I'm afraid, I've been quite rude myself. To my wife. Alyssa, darling, are you all right?" He reached his hand out, and she took it, much to his well concealed surprise.

"I'm fine, Monty," she said, her voice shaking. She stilled herself with a swallow. "Shaken, of course. These men are beasts here."

"Yes, well, we may have been better off in France after all. Still, it is late." He turned and nodded to the men. "Gentlemen... and I use the term in it's loosest possible sense."

They turned their backs on the Aquas then, walking calmly to the hotel, Jay fussing over Sagira with a semi-chiding note in his voice. "Honestly, Alyssa, I didn't mean to fall asleep, you could have just woke me..."

The pair watched balefully as the couple turned down the street, and then the Rumbling voiced man looked down. "The he-- That dick's houndour pissed on my flippin' shoe!"

-----

Once they were out of earshot, Jay fell silent. Sagira, it seemed, had nothing to say, and, while he wanted to make sure she was all right, and throttle her within an inch of her life, he couldn't be sure they weren't followed.

In the lobby, the matronly woman stepped out of her office. "Is everything all right," she asked, casting a concerned and wary look on Sagira.

"Fine, madam, just fine. A little spot of trouble outside. The ruffians are out late, and it's concerned the missus." Jay smiled at her. "We've had to cut our constitutional short is all."

"Mmm... yes, well... I hope you feel better, Mrs. Devereaux."

They managed to get into their room without another incident, and Jay instantly dropped character, taking Sagira by the shoulders and looking her up and down.

"I'm fine, I'm fine," she protested weakly, cut off by his pulling her into a deep, hard hug. She'd had no time to react, and less to enjoy it, before he'd pushed her away again.

"What in the HELL is wrong with you," he hissed, his face a mask of anger. She looked both surprised and angry, but his tirade flooded from him anyway. "What, it's fine for ME to sleep and YOU take the chances, but if I do it I'm an idiot? You're being an idiot! What did you go out alone for?!" He held up a hand, shaking his head. "Forget it! I don't want to know! That was stupid, Catseye, REALLY stupid, and so help me-"

A pop from her waist stopped Jay momentarily, and before him floated a ralts, dirty, scratched, even bruised, but imposing itself firmly between Jay and Sagira.

You will stop yelling at my friend!

Jay blinked, squinting at the pokémon, then looked at Sagira. With an impatient huff, he walked into the bathroom and rummaged through the bag he'd had his clothing in. He'd taken the precaution of buying a few potions, just in case. He forced himself calm, using the tricks he'd been taught by his sister's teacher, and walked back. "Hello," he said, barely keeping the quiver from his voice. "You're hurt. If you'd like, I can give you a potion to help you feel better."

No. Stop yelling at my friend.

Jay bit his lip. "She's my friend, too. And I'm sorry I yelled, but I was scared for her. She's special to me." Sagira's eyes feel to the ground briefly, and he sighed. "You're all I've got in this town, Catseye, whether you like it or not."

He didn't stay to hear her snarky remark, but went back into the bathroom, looking in the mirror balefully. A sniffle behind him made him turn, and there was Hinata, holding her knees to her chest, tears drying on her face.

"Hina? Are you all right?"

I'm sorry, Trainer Jay. I'm so sorry... Jay knelt next to the tub, blinking.

"Why are you sorry?" Jay's voice was a soft whisper. "You didn't do anything wrong..."

I didn't tell you right away! I... I...

"Hina!" Jay's voice raised an octave. "Why not?" He didn't have the strength to be angry, but it was building.

I... I thought... you like her, Trainer Jay, and if she's around... Tears started to flow again from her eyes, thick tears, and Jay wiped them along her cheek. I don't blame you if you abandon me...

"Abandon you?!" Jay didn't think, he only reacted, picking Hinata up and cradling her in his arms. "Hinata, that's... why would I ever do that?"

I'm blind. And you keep leaving me behind, and not using me in fights, and I must be weak, because you...

Jay sighed, hugging her close. "You are the strongest little thing I know. You're smart, and funny, and most importantly, you're my Hinata." He gently tugged her horn. "Put thoughts of me abandoning you out of your head, sweetheart, OK?"

Hinata gazed up at him, and that was when he realized he had forgotten, in all the turmoil, to keep projecting his calm. She hugged his neck, and Jay stood, turning to the door.

There was Sagira, looking at the scene owlishly. Jay smiled weakly, sighed, and slumped. "You scared me, Catseye."

Before she could answer, Jay nudged Hinata. "There's someone here we think you should meet."

This post has been edited by Hungry Hungry Houndoom: May 18 2009, 03:51 PM


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Pumpkin King
post May 13 2009, 05:15 PM
Post #11


Nevermore!
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BLARG



Initially, Victor Bays was jealous of Ivy's gleaming new badge, but he reminded himself that he had an opulent life waiting for him whenever he decided to leave Aqua. Why don't I leave?, Victor said in his mind. Victoria said every Magma Grunt in Noverus is out looking for me. I can ditch this Aqua dump anytime and as long as I don't get caught, I'll be livin' large again! He smoothed out his voluminous golden mane and tied his bandana around his cranium. Victor had finally gained access to some decent hair care products and had stylishly sculpted his locks. With a bit of work, he styled it to look good with and without his bandana. He had also personally tailored his uniform pants to fit properly. Victor was really looking at his horrible situation very positively, and there was only one reason why.

"On the double!"

Victor turned to look at his partner, Ivy Kylarian. Her hair was messy as always, but Victor overlooked it because she was one of the very few people he could call a friend. She had her quirks and she was incredibly childish, but after going through their last mission together, Victor stuck to her like glue. Ivy visited the well-groomed teen while he was nursed back to health. He relived the events in his head, trying to make his life seem dramatic. Going through a series of traumatic flashbacks would give him more depth as a character. Victor always liked to think his life was on camera.

"Hey! Silly!" Ivy interrupted Victor's dramatic scene. "Hurry up! I wanna see that thing too!" She impatiently fidgeted in her seat. The gleam from her Grunt badge caught her eye again. She polished it once again with her shirt and proudly displayed it.

"What? Oh! Right!" Victor opened the file and pulled out the first photograph. "Meh... He's ok... That's some interesting hair he's got there... but mine's better." The text below the photo indicated his name was Jay Lange. " I like his first name. Last name? Not so much." Victor skimmed through the paperwork and searched for the other picture. "Hey! There's no other picture here! There's just this red-head guy and a bunch of boring words." I'll probably have to read it because I know Ivy won't.

"It's right here, Silly!" Ivy pulled the other photo out from Victor's hand. He was holding the picture of the other renegade underneath Jay Lange's picture. When the teenage duo saw the photo, they both gasped.

"That's-"

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Umbrae Calamitas
post May 14 2009, 01:05 AM
Post #12


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Tuesday's Pack



Sagira didn't feel all that wonderful about having caught a Ralts anymore.

Sure, she was glad that he'd decided to become part of her team, but... to be truthful, she felt like a lectured child. Jay had pulled the guilt trip on her. Deep down, she knew that's what he done, and down there where she knew that, she was pissed off. Consciously, however, she knew he had a right to be angry, and that he was right in what he said. If he'd gone off while she was sleeping and gotten himself stuck in some horrid situation, she likely would have smacked him a couple times across the head. Jay wasn't the type of person to strike a woman, Sagira knew. It didn't fit his personality. He had made an exception for Ezira, but she was sort of an exception of the species.

The fact of the matter was, she would have done a lot more than simply lecture him for doing something so... so... silly.

Sagira blinked, caught off guard by the thought. She was fairly certain that she had been planning to say "foolish" or "asinine." But why had she said "silly?" That sounded like something Ivy... would... say...

"You must be very close to her, if you can channel her from such a distance."

Sagira looked at Paladin, who was floating absently in the air, watching her with those observant blue-green eyes. It was like the ocean itself was staring out at her, regarding her with the same curiosity and wonder that she showed it, in turn. And him. Paladin.

"What?" she asked.

Paladin cocked his head to the side slightly, and then Sagira felt a gentle tingling sensation in the forefront of her mind. She blinked and it disappeared.

"You must be close to this Dog Girl," Paladin elaborated after a moment's silence. "You connected with her for a moment. That's difficult to accomplish, if you aren't emotionally attached to someone. Is she your sister?"

"I... no..." Sagira paused for a moment, thinking. "No," she finally replied confidently. "We're not related. She's just a friend." She smiled fondly at the memory of Ivy. She'd wanted so badly to hate the girl. She'd tried so hard to keep that dark, stone outlook toward her, but it had faltered. Ivy was simply too... innocent. Too sweet. Too good a friend. "A very good friend," she admitted softly.

"You miss her."

"Yes. I suppose I do."

That tingling sensation in her mind again. Sagira narrowed her eyes, trying to grasp at the feeling. Mental hands reached out to try and grab the force, and Sagira's vision suddenly shifted.

It wasn't her eyesight, but rather... mindsight. In her mind, she saw lines of color, swirling around her. Some of them were very faint, while others were bright and bold. A few moved aimlessly in the distance, clearly of their own volition, but there were a few that reached out and touched Sagira. She saw one line in particular - a dark green line - that stretched from her forehead to Paladin's horn.

She had a feeling she knew what the tingling sensation was from.

"Why do you keep doing that?!" she snapped loudly. At the same instant, the world of colored lines snapped shut, and there was a force from somewhere in her head that abruptly shoved out the tingling sensation intruding upon her. Paladin was literally forced back a few inches, but quickly righted himself. He lowered his head, clearly embarrassed.

"I am sorry," he admitted, sounding deeply sincere. His head lowered further, almost as though he were bowing apologetically. "I... I cannot hear you... when you speak."

Sagira was caught off guard by that admittance. "You're... you're deaf?"

He raised his head to look at her, shook it slightly, and returned to gazing at the floor. "I apologize, but... unless I view your foremost thoughts, I am unable to know what it is you are speaking."

And of course, he wasn't going to take assertive action now. Sagira chewed her bottom lip thoughtfully, a rather annoying habit on her part. Tilting her own head slightly, she decided it couldn't hurt, and tried to reach out to Paladin, as she had with Hinata, this time without the yelling.

"Why didn't you tell me earlier?"

He glanced up at her, his eyes catching hers. He'd obviously heard her, which relieved Sagira. She really didn't fancy a game of Charades. "I... was frightened," he admitted. "People who know of this... believe I am weak." His shoulders sagged in defeat. "Perhaps they are right."

"Hey... you're not weak." Sagira knelt in front of the still-floating Ralts. She picked up the potion that Jay had left in the room with her and decided to use it, since it had been offered, and the Ralts obviously needed it. "You stood up to Jay, and he can be pretty scary sometimes. And I don't just mean his looks."

She saw Paladin crack a tiny smile, which in turn made Sagira soften. "I don't think you're weak. So, you can't hear. You'll have to compensate, but you've been doing that all of your life, haven't you?"

"But I should not invade another's thoughts. It is not right."

"Call it a necessary evil," Sagira replied. "I didn't know why you were reading my thoughts. That's why it was angering me. I suppose... I have control issues." She grinned. "I like to know everything about what's going on, or I can be a real pain in the ass. Just ask Jay. He can tell you."

"You speak of him a lot," Paladin admitted. "And you seem very fond of him."

"He... he's a good friend," Sagira admitted.

Paladin met her eyes with curious ocean orbs. "Is that all he is?"

"I..." But Sagira was saved from answering that question when Jay came out of the bathroom, Hinata floating by his side. Sagira caught sight of tear stains on the Ralts' face and looked to Jay, concerned. He merely smiled softly and shook his head, so Sagira didn't mention it.

"Hello, Hinata," Sagira said, calling the Ralts' attention to her. "I wanted to say thanks, for calling Jay for me."

Hinata seemed to shrink into herself at this, but merely nodded meekly in response. Sagira frowned, still concerned despite Jay's silent communication that all was well, but didn't say anything. Now... wasn't the time.

"Well... I suppose I should introduce you two," she admitted, rising to her feet now that she had finished administering the potion to Paladin's scratched and bruised body. She felt a tingling sensation in her mind again, and this time, she was able to identify it as Paladin's gentle probing touch. Smiling slightly, she continued, "Paladin, this is Hinata, Jay's companion. Hinata, I would like you to meet Paladin, my friend."

Paladin seemed to relax completely upon Sagira's introduction of him as her friend and, after a mere moment of studying the beautiful Ralts before him, he floated forward and took her paw. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Hinata," he greeted softly, holding her paw lightly for a moment, before letting go and taking a step back.

Sagira pursed her lips lightly, having to admit that she was slightly disappointed. To be truthful, she had expected Paladin to kiss Hinata's paw, the way that he was acting. What a let-down.

She smirked slightly. Ah well... she'd get over it. It was clear, though, that Paladin was a perfect name for the Ralts, who was quite polite and very well-spoken. He kept reminding Sagira of knights and Lancelot, and she had to shake her head before she starting curtsying and expecting people to open doors for her. Like that would happen.

Sagira looked at Jay, who was studying the interaction between Paladin and Hinata with a small smile on his face, though it seemed a bit sad. She stepped next to him, causing him to look at her. Sighing, she met his gaze.

"Look, BlueJay," she started, then dropped her head, feeling out of place. "I... I'm sorry." She met his eyes again. "I didn't mean to worry you, I just... well..."

But the road will the long, kiddo, the waters rough, and you cannot swim alone. Not this time.

Her father's words came back to her, whether she was remembering them or he was somehow speaking to her despite her consciousness. He was right, of course. He so often was. Sighing in a soft defeat, but knowing it was unavoidable, she met Jay's curious gaze.

"My dad told me about Paladin," she admitted. At his frown, she added, "in a dream." She looked down at the carpet, deep blue but dotted with little white fuzzies - from one of the towels, no doubt. They weren't scratchy in this hotel, just too damn big for one person. "I... he's been missing for a long time. That's why I joined Aqua - to find him. I dream about him sometimes," she added quietly.

"Like back at the base?" he asked. "In the infirmary?"

"Yeah," she whispered, "like there." She met his gaze again. He was holding it, without contempt in his eyes, without judgment. She felt compelled to continue, so long as she held that gaze. "This time was different, though. We were... talking. Talking. And I heard him laugh." She felt tears well in her eyes at the memory and couldn't keep one or two from slipping down her cheeks. "I've missed his laugh so much."

She drew a shaky breath and quickly wiped at the tears, embarrassed by her emotional state. "I'm sorry. I... I think I need sleep or something. I must be tired. I'm being ridiculous." She turned to leave, but he grabbed her arm and pulled her back, staring down at her. She felt her breath catch when their eyes met.

"If you want me to help you find him, Catseye," he said, offering a soft smile, "all you have to do is ask."

"But-"

"No buts," he said, placing a finger over her lips. She silenced immediately, and he wiped away her tears with a gentle thumb. "I promised you once before, Catseye - I got your back. That hasn't changed." He stared deep into her eyes. "It never will."

Sagira gazed up into his face, only then noticing that he was a little taller than her. How odd, that it had escaped her before. She felt like falling into those beautiful electric eyes of his, but could you fall upward? She supposed she could be the first to try...

She moved her face closer to his, as he moved downward, and she really, really thought that this had to be the mostperfect moment of her entire life.

And then the door exploded inward, and they turned to see two grunts standing in the entrance to their room.

Sagira narrowed her eyes. I am going to kill that CO.


OOC (click to show)


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Living Arrow
post May 14 2009, 06:55 AM
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"That's CATLADY!" Ivy announced, jumping up and down on the spot. "She's not a baddie! We done a mission on a warehouse an' everything!"

"Yes, bu-" Victor began, but Ivy was already storming off in the direction of Officer Crichton. "No, Ivy!" He hissed, but those words fell on deaf ears as the newly appointed Grunt strutted right up to Crichton and, quite seriously, stuck him in the leg. Victor's eyes nearly bled from the sight and his face flared bright pink with horrorified embarrassment, but Ivy's tirade was just beginning.

"WHAT. IS. THIS?" She demanded, holding up Sagira's photo towards the Officer's face which towered high over her. He barely flinched when she had punched his thigh and the loud yet tiny voice screaming at him appeared to bother him as much as a gnat.

"Oh, Kylarian? What is it?" His deep voice rumbled softly but with a little impatience. Those glittering blue eyes seemed softer than they were in the meeting...

"Catlady is not a baddie." Ivy pouted, flinging the sheet of paper in his face and folding her arms defensively. "I would know since we've done a mission together!" Crichton's eyes softened even more for the slightest of moments before they hardened into a glare that Ivy would understand. He didn't raise his voice - he didn't have to - but he put some ugencu behind it anyway to make sure his point got across to the small girl.

"Sagira Iris Smythe has been declared dangerous by someone of high authority." He told her quite driectedly and grasped her shoulders in his very large, very meaty hands. "Sometimes people do bad things just because they feel like it or maybe because someone told them to but they still do them. I'm afraid Ms. Smythe had done a very bad thing indeed and we don't have any other option than to bring her in for questioning... Does that make sense to you, Kylarian?"

"Uh, NO?" Ivy's neck wiggled a little but the doublesnap was held in... just barely... "If Catlady is doin' bad stuff it's cos she's being forced to, Silly! I know she'd not go bad on me, I mean 'us', without saying something first. I just KNOW it." Officer Crichton frowned and let loose a tiny sigh.

"If you know it then I'd like you to prove it." He said softly, reaching into his pocket. "Bring her back her and if she hasn't beee bad and tells us the truth then we won't be mad at her. That sound alright?"

"Sounds silly that I even need to prove anything, but whatever." Ivy haughtily pursed her lips and snatched back Sagira's photo. Crichton took her other grubby hand in his enormous palm and pressed something into it which he had taken from his pocket.

"So we're agreed? You go and bring those two back and we'll make sure Ms. Smythe hasn't been doing bad things?" He repeated for good measure.

"Yes sir..." Ivy grumbled, looking down at what the Officer had handed to her. Staring up at her was a Red and white orb with a sticker of blue bubbles stuck on the top. Ivy frowned at it and looked up at the moustached old man. "Huh?" She grunted rudely.

"It's your Buizel." The Officer said, giving her a full set of multicoloured stickers. "I had him returned since he was taken off you so rudely and thought you might want to mark your Pokeballs so you know which are your in future."

"Oh WOWEE!" Ivy delighted, spinning on the spot and thrusting her hand in the air. "I gots me a Buizel!" Crichton almost smiled but kept it professional all the way.

"Yes, now you should thank your friend there for mentioning it to his CO when he got out of the Infirmary." Officer Crichton nodded toward Victor who was looking somewhat sheepish. "It was made known to me so I found this little one in the PokeStores and had him removed. Now, I've named him - I hope you don't mind - to fit in with your other friends."

"Name?!" Ivy gasped. "But I was gonna name him!"

"Yes, but I thought this was most appropriate." Crichton pointed to one of the stickers in her hand that resembled the letter K. "He's called Kappa. Kappa because its one of the greek letter, like Alpha and Beta, and because Kappa are old legendary creatures that lived in water - just like Buizel do."

"Oooooo." Ivy's wide eyes took this in as she nodded slowly. "That's clever..."

"Yes, well..." Officer Crichton cleared his throat. "Now, if there isn't anything else then I must insist you depart for your mission?"

"SIR, YES SIR!" Ivy saluted hard, hitting herself in the forehead and hissing instantly. Crichton rolled his eyes and walked out of the room, nodding an acknowledgement to Victor as he went.

"Lookit, Vicky! I gots Bui- Oops! Kappa back!" She ran to him and punched him in the arm... hard. "FANX!"


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Pumpkin King
post May 14 2009, 01:14 PM
Post #14


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Victor cringed at the sound of "Vicky" and cringed once more with the punch. "... If that's how you thank people, I don't think I'll be doing you many favors," he half-joked, clutching his arm. "That hurt! I was expecting a hug, not a brutal assualt!"

"Don't be silly!" Ivy told him. "We have a mission!" The hyperactive girl was bouncing off the walls, estatic about her promotion, her Pokemon and her new mission.

"Fabulous," Victor muttered sarcastically to himself. I've got to find a new word. I think I've used 'fabulous' as the basis of sarcasm way to many times. Splendid? Wonderful? Marvel-

"Hey! Come on, Silly!" Ivy jerked Victor out his thought process and pulled him by the arm down the hallway.

"Ivy! Ivy! The paperwork!" The file was sitting on the ground, but Ivy continued to forcefully lead Victor out of the room. Her grip was strong... or Victor was just pretty wimpy, but either way, Victor resolved the problem by clicking the Premier Ball on his belt. Meowth emerged from the ball. The Scratch Cat observed the scene and, being very perceptive, understood the situation. Meowth rolled his eyes, fell onto his four paws, as he preferred to walk, and grabbed the file.

"Hey! No Pokemon in the briefing room!" An Aqua Grunt said angrily. Unfortunately, Victor and Ivy recognized the voice as Fredward, the higher ranking Grunt that had supervised their last mission. Meowth quickened his pace and made it out of the room. "Hey! No Pokemon in the hallway!"

Ivy continued to pull Victor against his will. "Ivy! Hey! Umm... I have to... go to the bathroom!"

"Eww!" Ivy immediately let go off Victor's sleeve.

"Yes!" Victor quickly ran past the bathroom and headed straight to his sleeping quarters where all his supplies were. Meowth pranced with a manila folder in his mouth alongside Victor. "Thanks, Meowth!" Victor grabbed the file and quickened his pace when he heard Ivy's voice.

"We have to help Catlady!"

He didn't even turn around to see where Ivy was. Hearing her voice was enough. Victor skid on the floor, quickly opened the door to his room, entered and shut the door. Meowth had slipped through as well. "I think I need a break from that girl sometimes." He walked over to the mirror, and examined to himself head to toe. "Hmph. I think I can actually pull this look off," Victor complimented himself. "But I will need to build a bit of muscle if I want this shirt to fit like I planned it to." He remembered how he couldn't escape from Ivy's deathgrip on his arm. Brushing his shoulder, Victor turned on his heel and grabbed his bag off the floor. There was a pounding on the door.

"Hey! Hey! HEY!"

Victor and Meowth rolled their eyes together. With his pack on his back, Victor opened the door. "Ok, I'm read-"

"It's about time! We have a super-duper-importante mission! We have to be the ones to find Catlady! Plus, Kappy wants out!" Ivy was telling the truth. The Buizel's Pokeball was fidgeting in Ivy's palm.

"We should probably change into some real clothes if we're going out into Noverus, don't you think?"

"Right! We don't want to be caught by the bad guys!" Ivy's eyes shifted and she loudly whispered, "Team... MAGMA!"

Victor heard the dramatic notes being played on a piano in his head. "Speak for yourself."

"Hm?"

"Nothing! Go get changed," Victor instructed his partner. "I wanna get out of the Maw just as much as you do."

"OK!" Ivy replied enthusiastically. She darted to her room to change out of her uniform.

Victor thought for a moment. "How would you like a nickname, Meowth? All of Ivy's Pokemon have names and I just realized that you guys don't."

"Meow!"

Victor's picturesque smile stretched across his face. "All right. I'll come up with some for all three- I mean, all four of you," he said, remembering his new Poliwag. "But give me a bit of time to think." The Scratch Cat meowed happily and Victor pulled out his normal clothes. Noticing that his designer clothes didn't help him blend in with the majority of Noverus, he dug through his roommate's trunk for clothes.

"Hurry up!" Ivy said, banging on the door again.

"She's relentless!"


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Living Arrow
post May 14 2009, 01:40 PM
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When Victor stepped out of his room, Ivy's eyes bulged far enough out of her head to make her look like a close relation of a Corphish. She clapped a hand to her mouth to hold in the laugh but it came out anyway with a snort and a snigger. At the same time Victor looked her up and down like trash and smirked when he saw what she was wearing. In unison, they both cried "Hey!" in mock horror and set about laughing as they made their exit from Kyogre's Maw.

Ivy didn't feel bad that Victor had laughed at her ripped shirt, three quarter jeans and no shoes exactly but something kept ticking in her mind that made her a little uneasy. What was wrong with what she was wearing? They were clothes, weren't they... Ivy had to think for a moment... Yes, they were clothes. She hadn't tried wearing that pillow case since the first attempt but making sure did her no harm.

"So, Vickles, where are we supposed to scout from? Old brush-face said we've got desigfat... desiglat... assigned areas to look through first but where's that?" Ivy asked, scratching her frizzy head in wonder. Victor sighed and pawed through the paperwork.

"It says we start somewhere near the south eastern bridge out of Noverus... That's pretty far so we should probably request a transport vehicle." He said, glacing at his posh shoes. Ivy caught the motion and slapped a hand to her forehead.

"Uncomfy shoes make bad walkin'! Why don't you just take 'em off like me? Then we can run down there in no time flat!" She suggested, pumping her arms in preparation. Victor raised an unimpressed eyebrow and she immediately stopped, colour blossoming in her cheeks. "Um... boaty it is!"

It turned out that 'boaty' was one of the inflatable craft that the pair had used to reach Montague Peak - a vehicle that neither of them had any experience in operating. Ivy threw herself at the controls but somehow Victor got into the seat before her, much to her displeasure. She moaned at him until he convinced her that a good battler would be needed off of the controls just in case to which she immediately volunteered with a salute and a grin.
They took off south from the Maw, Victor's skills in politing the boat somewhat haphazard at first became much better as they zoomed along the river towards their mooring destination.

"Out comes Kappy and make it snappy!" Ivy announced as she threw her new Pokeball into the air, eleasing her Buizel into the boat. The orange Pokemon looked around in confusion, seemingly tense and afraid but soon recovered with some reassuring words from his new trainer and friend. He watched her with thoughtful black eyes as she described how wonderful it was that he had joined them and how excellent it would be to do missions before he got too restless and jumped overboard.

"Oooo! Kappy's gone swimmin'!" Ivy leaned over the side of the boat, cheering her Pokemon on as it powered through the water, using its tails like a propeller. Victor begged her stop hanging so precariously over the edge of the craft but she paid him no heed, splashing water at her new Pokemon and giggling merrily. Another song began to form in the girl's narrow mind and it went something like this:

"Kappa's so dapper - just look at him swim!
Kappa's not crapper than anythin'!"


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Master Houndoom
post May 14 2009, 07:39 PM
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Jay and Sagira's head turned as one, and they tensed. The two ralts, nearly a mirror of their trainers, also close to each other, also turning toward the door, and the two houndour, both bristling at once, mad an odd tableau. Jay began flexing his knees to crouch, the better to spring at their attackers, and Sagira was reaching back for Serenity, who was making ready to spring from the bed.

The two grunts stood up, blinking and ashamed. "I told you," said the one in the back, a blonde girl with straight hair and her bandanna over one eye, "kicking in the door is stupid! Look at what you did to these nice people!"

The large guy next to her, completely bald, pokéballs in each hand, lowered his foot and scratched the back of his neck. "Look, if they hear us coming, they'll run off before we can get 'em, or they'll have their pokémon! You can't deny the surprise factor!" Without preamble he held up two pictures, Jay almost swallowed his tongue, looking at himself and Sagira staring back at them. "You seen these two miscreants?"

Jay could feel Sagira bristle, and put a hand on the small of her back.

The blonde rolled her eyes. "Sir, ma'am, we are very sorry to have interrupted you." She bowed at the waist, muscling her partner out of the way. As they moved, she hissed at him, still audible, "Do you expect us to pay for every door you knock down? Geez, Hank, get a clue!"

"You don't have to be rude, Billie..."

"From now on we do it MY way... That poor couple..." Billie's voice faded, and Jay slumped backwards onto the bed. "That's going to get really old, really fast."

"We have to get out of here," Sagira hissed, forcing a whisper, and began to gather the sparse belongings they had accumulated. Jay reached out and grabbed her wrist, accidentally forcing her to face him when she kept walking. "Lange, get your shi-"

"Allyssa," Jay said, raising a brow and putting on what he had come to think of as his Monty act, "Please calm down." She blinked at him, her lip just beginning to curl and her mouth to open to blast him, when he stood, wrapping his arms around her and pressing his lips to her ear. "They didn't recognize us... if we run... we look guilty, and then they take a second look, right?"

He could feel her slowly, much too slowly for his taste, relax, and he let go of her. She relaxed more visibly, and put her hand to her forehead.

"Look, get some sleep. I've had my fair share, and... just get some sleep and we'll start planning in the morning." He pulled on his boots for the umpteenth time, causing a flash of alarm to across her features.

"Where are you going?!"

Jay turned, smiled half a smile, and tsked. "To do," he said, affecting the British accent again, "what Monty would do... complain to the manager about the disturbance." He bowed a bit, smirking, and walked down the hall, back straight, nose up. She couldn't help it. She smiled.

-----


... at all hours of the night! My wife has already had a terrible scare, and now this! The lock on our door is quite broken, you know!"

He hadn't realized it, but when he was upset, he sounded like John Cleese.

"Mr. Devereaux, I assure you, I had no clue that those... those... people would be causing so much chaos at this hour! I am truly sorry..."

Jay's lips pressed together, nearly pursing, and the woman swallowed. "Of course, your stay is complimentary for the night," she said, quavering, and Jay slapped the counter, not hard, but enough to make a popping noise.

"I should hope so," he said, feeling guilty for blaming her in the first place. "And what, if I might be so bold as to inquire, shall I do to lock my door?"

The woman looked stricken, glancing at the board behind her. There was no key on any of the pegs, and Jay, finally unable to continue being upset, sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose.

"I suppose I have been dreadful to you just now. Nevermind. I will put a chair under the knob and we shall call it suitable for now." The woman's shoulders sagged in relief, and she refunded their money without another word.

Back in the room, he managed to put the chair under the door without waking Sagira. He turned and saw her sleeping, her brow furrowed, but slowly that changed, the lines on her forehead easing. He sighed, sitting next to her on the bed. It was a testament to her exhaustion that she didn't wake.

Once again, they had been on the verge of something, and once again they had been stopped. He wondered if it was fate telling them to get over themselves, or if they were simply that unlucky.

It didn't matter. He wasn't the kind to bow to fate. If he were, he'd be in some kind of high school musical right now, singing and dancing with some Jublife bimbo on his arm, in the lap, or at least on the knee, of luxury, instead of hiding in a hotel for a crime he didn't commit. He couldn't even be bitter about being in trouble... he'd chosen this particular life, and he'd even suspected that chasing off Sagira's CO would have some consequences. But Sagira, who'd been accosted twice now simply for her stunningly attractiv-- er. good looks, was facing the brunt of worse treatment. He'd better not get his hands on the idiot that did this to them.

He pitied the fool...

He sighed, stood up, and was stopped. Sagira's hand had grabbed the trailing hem of his shirt and was holding on tightly. He tried to gently pry it off, but she would not let go.

Finally, he gave up, leaned against the headboard, and put his hand on top of hers.

He didn't mean to fall asleep there, but, luckily, they were not disturbed again that night.

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This post has been edited by Hungry Hungry Houndoom: May 18 2009, 03:53 PM


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Umbrae Calamitas
post May 14 2009, 11:04 PM
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Sagira had been planning to stay awake until Jay got back, so that they could discuss where to go from here. They needed a plan. They couldn't keep running. Sagira knew this.

Unfortunately, her body and her mind didn't so often agree, and the next time that Sagira fell into consciousness, it was morning. She could see the sun behind her eyelids, turning the world a pale pink and, yawning, she opened her eyes.

To find Jay sitting in the chair next to the bed, their fingers entwined.

Sagira pulled away from the embrace as quickly, but discretely, as possible, rubbing her hands together nervously. That could have been embarrassing.

Getting out of bed, she made her way to the bathroom and showered quickly. After getting dressed in a similar pair of clothes to her first, she quickly packed her bags and then went to wake Jay.

"Up, Monty," she said, poking him in the side. "Get a shower. You stink."

"Do not," he mumbled, but verily rolled off of the chair and staggered to the bathroom. Moments later, water began running, and Sagira quickly threw all of Jay's meager belongings together. When he came out of the shower, she chucked his bag at him. "Where are we going?" he demanded.

"Away," she answered curtly, recalling a still-sleeping Umbrae to his ball. Paladin floated over to hover by her shoulder, and Serenity was wrapped tightly about her right wrist, which seemed to have become her knew favorite spot.

"Hey!" Jay said, running after her. "But I just got us this night for free."

"Good. Then give me back my money."

"I put it in your bag."

"Okay, then. Problem solved. We don't even have to pay."

"But why are we leaving?" he whined.

Sagira rolled her eyes and turned to look at him. "Because we're not being hunted down by an entire horde of Aquas," she snapped at him. "Sure, Hank and Billie from last night were fooled, but what happens when someone comes along who isn't fooled by makeup and hair dye? We can't stay here. We have to move on." She sighed. "And we have to find some way to get them off our backs."

"That would require proving that your CO is a dick," he offered.

"Precisely," she growled. She waved a farewell to the lobbyist as they swiftly left the building, and then hailed a taxi.

"Can I 'elp you, miss?" the man asked around a thick cigar. Cuban by the smell, if Sagira's memory served.

"Yes, I do believe you can," Sagira said, applying the accent that was swiftly becoming a norm. "My husband and I were hoping to take in a bit of a scenery about. Tell me, is there an aquarium nearby? I've always been quite fond of water pokemon."

"'fraid not, miss," the man admitted, "but there is a zoo 'bout ten miles down da road. Can I drive you and your 'usband there, miss?"

"That would be wonderful," Sagira said. To her surprise, the large man actually climbed out of the car to open to the door for her. She got over her surprise quickly enough that he didn't seen the shock on her face, and she smiled, nodding politely. "Thank you," she said, and climbed in. Jay followed after and the man returned to his seat.

Talk during the ride was sparse, which suited Sagira just fine. There were a few common questions out of politeness, and Sagira explained that she and Monty had just dropped in from France. Their next intended destination was South Africa, as Monty wanted to take a Safari. After a few discussions on which pokemon he preferred, to which Jay did a stunning display of improvisation, the questions ceased and the ride continued in silence until they reached the zoo.

The man opened their door, as well, and Sagira tipped him happily. Then, they were off.

"Now," Jay said, when they'd finally entered the zoo and stood near the Girafirag stall, "do you mind telling me what we're going here?"

"Hunting for information," she said softly.

"On what?" he demanded impatiently.

She gave him a stunning are you stupid look. "On Iris Sagira Smythe and Jay Lange, of course," she said. "We are, after all, hunting them down." She smirked softly. "I'm sure someone around here has heard something about them and if their information is incorrect, we'll simply have to catch them up on the truth." She patted his cheek. "Meet me by the Rhydon stall in an hour, love. And bring me a soda."

That said, she turned and disappeared into the crowd, blending in with a horde of teenagers and easily vanishing from sight.

She had another purpose for being here. Jay didn't know it, but Elite II Dawson, her asshole former- commanding officer, was particularly fond of the zoo. He liked scouting out possible pokemon captures. Sagira didn't intend to reveal herself even in disguise, but she did hope to find something about the man. She needed some hard evidence to prove he was a liar and corrupt.

And if she could catch him stealing a zoo pokemon, what better way to initiate her plan?


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Pumpkin King
post May 15 2009, 01:53 PM
Post #18


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Ivy sang the entire boat ride about her precious new Buizel. The Sea Weasel, or "Lake Weasel" as Ivy had determined, swam at high speeds around the boat, down the river, up the river and anywhere else it could manage to go. "I guess you and Kappa are a perfect match," Victor commented. He tried not to divert his attention from piloting their inflatable vehicle, but it seemed that Ivy's lack of attention was rubbing off on Victor.

"Yup yup!" Ivy confirmed as she stuck her arm in the water. Kappa glided underneath the girl's fingers in the water. Ivy quickly removed her hand, not wanting to get hurt by the Buizel's rapidly spinning tails.

"Ivy, I was thinking," Victor started. "I want to give my Pokemon nicknames, but I can't think of any. I think it's really cool how your Pokemon all have names that are letters of the Greek alphabet. Do you think you can help me out?" Hmm... I think I used the word 'think' too much, Victor thought.

"OK! This'll be fun! We can name your kitty Meowy! And your piggy Oinky! And your-"

"Um, I don't think my Pokemon would like those names," Victor interrupted.

"Well what kind of names do you want?" Ivy asked angrily, pretending to be offended by Victor's statement. She couldn't hold the mock anger though. Her chest deflated and she let out a laugh.

"Never mind," Victor said. "I'll come up with some by myself."

"No! I wanna help!"

"Ivy, I'm steering!" Forgeting that Victor was piloting, Ivy was shaking her partner.

"Oops! Sorry!"

But that shake had jogged Victor's memory. Back when he was home schooled, Victor was an amazing chemist, though the subject hadn't really interested him. However, his tutor had him memorize the periodic table of elements. "I'll name Meowth Aurum. It means 'gold' in Latin and it's where the symbol comes from. Spoink can have Mercury for his color. Hydrargyrum doesn't have the same ring to it. Trapinch can be Oxys, for Oxygen. I hear from my friend Vitalis that this little guy will grow wings one day. And Poliwag will be named Hydro since she's a water type. Thanks Ivy!"

"I live to serve," Ivy said with a bow. There was a pause. "Vitalis is your friend? You used his name?"

"Oh. Yeah. I was afraid to use my real name and Vitalis' was the first one I thought of," Victor admitted. "He's a great guy! I wish he was here, but he lives somewhere underwater in Kanto. He loves water Pokemon."

"He lives underwater?!" Ivy said in shock. "Is he a fishyfish?!" She mimicked a fish and made gills out of her hands. Victor and Ivy laughed together and settled down. "Looky! There's the bridge!" She pointed at the bridge and fidgeted in her spot. She nearly tipped the boat over before they reached a place to get off.

"Would you relax?"

This post has been edited by Pumpkin King: May 16 2009, 01:14 PM


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Master Houndoom
post May 15 2009, 02:38 PM
Post #19


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So... they were at the zoo.

Jay certainly didn't understand why they were at the zoo, except that it was a good cover for a while. He could get lost in the crowd while he waited, but that wouldn't be productive, and if Sagira wanted to screw around for an hour, that was fine, but he wanted to get something done.

Prowling around the zoo, however, wasn't working. In fact, it was bringing up memories he'd rather not deal with just then, of family outings, and Amber's first trip to the petting zoo (a baby psyduck squirted her, and rather than cry like other children had, she'd laughed and giggled at the thing). He forced his mind down another path.

Unfortunately, the only other path that was more distracting than his family was his... partner. Friend. Whatever. Sagira. It had happened again, and he was getting less and less able to ignore it. They had nearly...

It had to be just him, though, that felt this way. Too many movies, too much Jublife Romaticism, not enough reality. She was scared, and angry, and he was there. Convenient.

It wasn't working. He still thought about her. A lot.

He checked his watch, surprised when the hour flew by so quickly. He made his way to the Rhyhorn paddock and that was, when he'd stopped looking for it, where he got his first real break.

There were two Aquas near the paddock, and unlike the others they'd spotted, they didn't seem to be looking for two fugitives. Instead they seemed to be talking. The girl (it was always a male-female team, wasn't it, he thought idly) had long brown hair that rippled in the breeze, like waves, and the boy was a blonde with a ponytail. He shook his head, unaware they were being listened in on.

"I can't change my orders, Melissa, he wants it done tomorrow. This girl and guy everyone's looking for... they've got him spooked."

"Jimmy, it's wrong what he's doing, anyway, but if I burn the records, then they're going to throw the book at me!" She turned to the rhyhorns and sighed. "I thought we were supposed to be helping these people!"

"You know what they say, Mel. Arceus helps those who help themselves."

"I don't think they meant 'help themselves to other people's pokémon.'"

Well... wasn’t this interesting?

"Look, you were one of Dawson's proteges, along with me and Derrick. We've all pulled off zoo-heists for him a dozen times. If you don't destroy those records, you'll be implicated, too..." Jimmy nudged her shoulder in a friendly way. "Fire pokémon get loose all the time, Mel."

"OK, OK, but not tonight. I have a shift alone tomorrow."

"Great," the blonde boy smiled. "I'll tell him then. Don't worry," he said, seeing the fretful look on her face. "It'll be just fine."

The boy walked off, and the girl stared out at the paddock, watching the rhyhorn grazing like so much miltanks. She put her hand to her eyes and sighed heavily.

Jay stepped forward. He hated doing this, absolutely hated it, but... desperate times, just like with Hinata and her memory blurrings.

"Excuse me," he said, softening his voice. "I... well, I was passing by, and I noticed that you seemed upset."

The girl straightened and whirled, crossing her arms. "What's it to you?"

Jay smiled, an easy smile, and shrugged. "Maybe I'm just a sucker for a pretty girl." Though the girl tried to scowl, her cheeks reddened. "Look, I know it's not any of my business, but the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the rhyhorns are... rhying..." The girl giggled, smiling shyly at Jay. "I can't fix whatever it is that's upsetting you, but maybe I can help you forget."

The girl shook her head. "No, I mean... it's nice of you, but..."

"But?" Jay smiled, ducking his head to look a little closer into her eyes. They were a nice brown, a deep, tigers eye kind of brown, and Jay found it easy to smile looking at them. "Come on. Sit with me on the bench. We'll make fun of the wingulls or you can tell me what's wrong or we'll have some food. What do you say?"

"I say..." She had been about to retort when she looked up and saw his grin, holding out a hand. She bit her lower lip and then took it. "I say I'm crazy, but OK."

-----

"So he's got me doing this thing I don't want to do, and it's wrong, and he's kind of creepy anyway..." The girl sighed, looking at her watch. "Look, I need to go to work..."

"How about dinner," Jay said, allowing just enough urgency into his voice to make it seem he'd just thought of it. The girl blushed and laughed.

"OK! It's such a relief talking to you! I get off work at seven."

"Awesome. ... And where's that?"

She blinked, then laughed. "Oh, no, I don't wa-"

"Come on, seven o'clock? You're going to be starving! I'll take you out, we'll eat pizza, and maybe..." He hesitated, biting his lip, then pretended to reject an idea for something safer. "Well, maybe we'll catch a movie."

"What were you going to say, Don?" Her eyes sparkled. Jay, now Don, ducked his head, embarrassed.

"I give awesome foot rubs."

The girl gasped, then laughed. "We'll see, Don Juan, we'll see." She dug out a card from her wallet, flipped it over, found a pen in her purse and scribbled an address on the back of the card. "Here. Seven o'clock." She winked. "I give pretty mean back rubs myself..."

Jay winked at her and slipped the card into his vest pocket. "See you at seven, Melissa," he said, crooning softly. The girl took in a deep breath, smiled happily, and moved toward the entrance.

Jay felt like a real heel. He'd flirted with this girl, but he wasn't even going to show up. Still, he'd gotten the information, and this Dawson guy, from what Melissa had said, was not only Sagira's CO, but also was involved in more than just molesting his junior agents.

It was perfect.

"So." The voice behind him was cold, but recognizable, and Jay turned with a smirk. Sagira stood next to him, arms crossed, and glared at him. "This doesn't look like the rhyhorn stall to me, Lange."

Jay stood, grinning, and handed her a card. "This doesn't look like it to me, either, but it does look like a place we need to go tonight." He waggled his brows. "I got an address to an office with records we might find interesting.

"I saw," she said, acidly. "I'll make sure I find what I need."

"We will."

"I will." She sneered at him in contempt, then spun on her heel, stalking toward the zoo gate, but not before shooting over her shoulder, "you have a foot rub to give!"

Jay's face screwed up in confusion. She was mad at him, but he had no idea what in the world he could have done.

This post has been edited by Hungry Hungry Houndoom: May 18 2009, 03:55 PM


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Living Arrow
post May 15 2009, 02:42 PM
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"Relax, schmelax!" Ivy declared, leaping off the boat and onto sweet, precious dry land. "No time to be snoozin' and losin'! We've gotta find Catlady!"

Kappa jumped free of the water and landed next to Ivy, proudly punching at the air with enthusiasm and beating on his chest with a firm "Bui!" Ivy mimickedhim, beating her chest like a Primape and howling loudly. Victor gave them both looks of disproval as he tied up the boat on his own, grumbling about hard labour and how his hands weren't meant for such things.

"And to help us go look, Alpha and Beta!" Ivy called, throwing the Pokeballs high into the air to release her friends. They emerged in a fit of excitement, tails wagging and tongues slavering as they jumped and ran, licking their trainer on the face happily. "Mkay, guys! Let's get to work and use Odor Sleuth!" Alpha and Beta immediately took on serious posture and began sniffing intently at the air and the ground, their tails wagging furiously behind them. Ivy fished something from her pocket for the two canines to smell and set them to searching the landing area again, pacing back and forth like the baubles of a newton's cradle.

"Hey, what's that?" Victor came over, looking into Ivy's hands. Between her soiled fingers was a black headband with two triangular piece of felt attached to them. They looked almost like...

"It's Catlady's ears!" Ivy reported, fumbling the headpiece into her backpack. "I broke into her room and took them for the mission - thought it would help my Alpha and Beta with the smellin'... OH! Kappa! Can you do the smellin', too?"

The Buizel looked confused for a moment before shaking his head slowly.

"Come on! Let's try!" Ivy urged him, dropping to all fours and sniffing hard. "See? Like this? Sniff sniff sniff!" Kappa watched her with some curiousity before slowly bending his nose to the ground to smell the paving below his feet. He moved his head this way and that before looking back up at Ivy again and shaking his head sadly. "Oh, poo.... well, keep trying Kappa! We wants to help Alpha and Beta out, don't we?" Kappa nodded vigorously and sniffed around again.

"What about your friends, Victor? Can they help us find Catlady?" Ivy asked, hopping on the spot with urgency.


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