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Old 03-20-2014, 08:11 PM   #102
Missingno. Master
Poison-type Trainer
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Virbank City
Posts: 4,618
Melittin was furious, for Vermillion outright refused to apologize, adamantly sticking to his blatant lie of a story, and calling him and Lalu thieves. The Beedrill had had enough at this point, and was just about ready to shut this Torkoal up with a Drill Run, when the Blitzle intervened, stating that he'd fix it so that everybody would be happy. Secretly, Melittin somewhat doubted this, for the only outcome to this that would satisfy him would be Vermillion being seen as the liar he was, and he, Melittin, getting to finish his chocolate, and he had a sneaking suspicion that Hayai was absolutely clueless about Vermillion being a liar. Sure enough, the Blitzle's solution was to get rid of the sculpture altogether so that neither of them could have it.

For a moment, Melittin was at a loss for words, looking at Hayai as though he thought the Blitzle to be crazy. This solution didn't make him happy at all! I mean, granted, there would at least be the comfort of knowing that Vermillion didn't get the chocolate, but still... Lalu had made it for him, after all, and that alone made him extremely reluctant to part with it. Then again, he reminded himself, Hayai was only trying to resolve the situation the best that he could, given that he didn't know the truth of the situation, so it really wouldn't be fair of him to try to start a problem with him...

As the two sides of the situation waged war in Melittin's mind, he looked down at the chocolate sculpture of himself. Sure, the likeness was iffy at best, but that didn't even matter to him- what mattered was that Lalu had worked hard to make it for him. Fine way to show his gratitude, just forking it over like that.

"I'm not handing my chocolate over," Melittin stated, keeping his voice as even as he could. "I get that you're trying to resolve this peacefully, I get it, and that's great, and if there really was a way to resolve this that would make everybody happy, I'd jump on it in an instant, but there is no way in hell I'm giving up anything Lalu made for me." As he said this, he resisted the urge to attack Vermillion, though only just barely- that Torkoal was really getting on his nerves!

Back in the living room, Botch stammered that it was OK, that Strychnine didn't know about his fear of Muk. To the Muk's dismay, however, her use of Minimize wasn't helping to comfort Botch in the slightest, and he stated that he had no idea why he was afraid of Muk. Before Strychnine could respond to this, the Grimer stammered that he didn't feel so good, and promptly collapsed on the floor.

"Botch!" Strychnine gasped. Quickly, she resumed her usual size, then scooped her boyfriend up in her arms, and oozed over to Jake, placing Botch at his feet. "I... He just... he just collapsed," Strychnine told him, sounding just as worried as she looked. "I... Jake, why is he afraid of Muk?" she asked. "Do you know?"

This, of course, did not escape Keith's notice. He approached the distraught Muk. "Strych, what's wrong?" he asked. With sludgy tears in her eyes, the Muk explained to Meowth about how Botch seemed to have a fear of Muk, at which point Meowth pulled a skeptical look.

"He's scared o' Muk?" repeated the Scratch Cat Pokémon. "But... ain't Muk just like Grimer, 'cept bigger and stronger? Dat just don't make no sense ta me."

"Oh, man, that's gotta suck," Keith sighed, as he knelt down to give Strychnine a comforting hug. Once he was done, he stood back up and started digging into his backpack. After a few seconds, he pulled out a small selection of berries- an Oran Berry, a couple of Sitrus Berries, and a Lum Berry. "Alright, whatever happened to Botch just now, these berries should help," Keith stated, handing them to Jake.

Meanwhile, Willbert led the way outside. Cyanide and Rubeus were right behind him, and bringing up the rear were Gemini and Nagini.

"OK," Cyanide stated, once they were outside. "Willbert, you lead the way to where they were stolen and we'll look for clues from there. Rubeus, Gemini, if we need to search from the sky, then you two-"

"Ahem," butted in Gemini's smaller head.

"-then you three will handle that," amended Cyanide through gritted teeth.

"Much better," nodded Gemini's smaller head.

"OK, enough of that nonsense," frowned Cyanide. "We need to get going, and as soon as possible! The longer we hang around here, the longer Pom and his teammates are in trouble. Let's go-"

"Excuse me," came a voice. Cyanide wheeled around, and spotted a small Weedle approaching them- the commotion the Umbreon had been making was sufficient to distract Hermione away from Pomona and Leviathan's battle, and now Hermione was approaching the group. "I couldn't help but overhear you just now, Cyanide. If it's alright, I'd like to come with you, to help in any way I can," offered Hermione.

Under normal circumstances, Cyanide would have scoffed, would have brushed her off, would have called into question her capability to help, wondering exactly what a Weedle could accomplish that nobody else present could. However, her beloved Pom was in trouble, and time was of the essence. In no mood to argue, Cyanide's only reply was a curt nod before she turned to Willbert, looking expectantly at the Snorunt, waiting for him to lead the way. Rubeus, meanwhile, kindly offered Hermione a ride, which she gladly accepted, crawling on top of the Stunfisk.

Back inside, Jake admitted that Keith was probably right, but went on to say that he couldn't help but worry in any case. Keith nodded understandingly. "Believe me, I know what you mean," he said. "In fact, if Gemini and Nagini hadn't been with me for as long as they have, I'd be much more worried myself. Gemini was my very first Pokémon, you know," Keith stated. "I was fourteen years old, I was still living in Lavaridge Town in Hoenn at the time. My parents were cool with me becoming a Trainer whenever I was ready, I just didn't know what I wanted my first Pokémon to be, y'know? I mean, I could've made the trip to Littleroot Town where I'd have gotten a choice between Treecko, Torchic, and Mudkip, but I wasn't even sure if I wanted any of them. Then, one day, I'm exploring the Fiery Path, this cave right near Lavaridge Town, when I hear this commotion. I go and look, and I see these two Machop, one of them's cheering on the other one, and the other one's beating up a baby Koffing. And then, just as I saw this happening, the Machop slammed the Koffing with Mega Kick, sent it flying, and it landed at my feet. The little guy was looking up at me, desperate for help. Well, see, for my birthday, I had received a Poké Ball, just in case I came across a Pokémon I wanted to start my journey with, so I tapped the Koffing with the ball, catching it, and then I ran like hell to the Lavaridge Town Pokémon Center." In the background, Peeves sweatdropped sheepishly at the mention of this story, having been the very Machop behind that attack when he was alive. Keith, not seeing this, continued. "I remember when I got to the Pokémon Center...

Originally Posted by flashback
The doors of the Lavaridge Town Pokémon Center flew open as a fourteen-year-old boy came dashing in- even in his youth, Keith Masters dressed largely the way he does today, same blue jeans, same black t-shirt, same red and white sleeveless jacket, and as I'm sure you guessed, same brown cowboy hat. The Nurse Joy on duty recognized Keith, having seen him around town once or twice, but this was the first time Keith had entered the Pokémon Center in order to seek medical treatment for a Pokémon. Indeed, there was a badly battered Koffing lying in his arms, and at the sight of this, Nurse Joy came running over.

"Oh, my!" she exclaimed. "How could you let your Koffing get in such terrible condition?" she demanded of Keith, sounding more worried than angry.

"It's not like that, I found him like this!" Keith replied hastily. "There were these Machop beating up on him in the Fiery Path, I got him out of there as quick as I could, please, save him!"

Understanding the urgency of the situation, Nurse Joy said no more on the matter, nor on her initial misunderstanding, and took the Koffing from Keith. The center's Chansey rushed alongside Nurse Joy to assist her.

For what felt like forever, Keith sat in the Pokémon Center's waiting area. So worried was he that barely noticed anything else going on around him. Even when Ralph McPhione, possibly the cruelest, most arrogant, and smelliest person Keith had ever known, entered the Center, Keith made no effort to acknowledge him. This was just as well, as Ralph didn't even notice Keith, he was much more focused on getting a checkup for a Trapinch he had just caught in the nearby desert.

Finally, after hours passed, Nurse Joy approached Keith, and the look on her face was reassuring. "Koffing's going to be just fine," she smiled.

Keith exhaled, a weak smile stretching across his face. "That's a relief," he replied.

"Now, Koffing's healthy enough to return to the wild," continued Nurse Joy, "but to be on the safe side, I would recommend that you keep Koffing with you for a week."

Keith nodded. "Not a problem," he responded.

At that moment, the Koffing floated up alongside Nurse Joy, now smiling and looking much happier than when Keith had first encountered him. "Koffing, Koffing!" he exclaimed happily, floating in circles around Keith.

Keith gave a small, relieved laugh. "Hey, Koffing," he smiled. "Glad to see you're all right. Come on, you're going to be staying with me for a while, OK?"

Koffing nodded. "Koffing!" he responded enthusiastically.

And so, for the next seven days, Koffing stayed with Keith. His parents had no objections to this, understanding that it was to ensure the Koffing's health and safety. It was one of the most fun weeks of Keith's life- he spent as much time as he possibly could with Koffing, whether he was playing games, or feeding him from the garbage (another reason his parents raised no objections to Koffing- he literally cost nothing to feed!), or even just talking to him about whatever was on his mind.

At last, the time came for Keith to let Koffing go back into the wild. Together, they approached the Lavaridge city limits, the entrance to the Fiery Path coming into view. "Well, this is it," sighed Keith. "Be careful out there, Koffing, OK? Try not to get on the bad side of any more Machop, hmm?"

"Koffing..." sighed Koffing, looking decidedly less happy than usual. He stared off at the entrance to the cave for a few minutes, though didn't actually move towards it. Keith patiently stood there, waiting, intent on watching Koffing leave until he was out of sight. And yet, even with the knowledge that this moment would come, it was not easy for Keith at all. He was not popular in school, ever since that incident when he was seven... He enjoyed spending time with Koffing more than most things, really. And now the time had come to let him go back into the wild... But then, he realized, Koffing didn't seem so keen on the idea, either. Sure, he had bonded with Keith over the past week, so of course the parting would be sad for both, but when Koffing looked off in the direction of the Fiery Path, it was not with anticipation or happiness at the thought of returning home. And then, slowly, almost reluctantly, Koffing started to move forward, and this movement spurred Keith into action.

"...Wait, Koffing," he said. "Come with me."

"Koff?" Koffing said, stopping abruptly and turning around to face Keith.

"Come with me," Keith repeated. He was holding out his hand, which contained the Poké Ball he had used to save Koffing from the Machop. "Koffing, I'm going to become a Pokémon Trainer, and I... I'd like it if you came with me as my very first Pokémon." He looked hopefully at Koffing, who was looking back at Keith, considering this offer.

For a few minutes, there was silence. Keith and Koffing were just looking at each other, maintaining eye contact the whole time... and then, slowly, Koffing's usual grin returned to him. "Koffing Koffing!" he exclaimed happily, floating in circles around Keith once again. Keith responded to this by pulling the Poison Gas Pokémon in close to him, hugging his very first Pokémon tightly.

"Let's go home, Koffing," smiled Keith. "And we gotta get plenty of sleep, because tomorrow, we're gonna head on down to Slateport and catch the first ferry to the Fizzytopia region! We'll meet all sorts of awesome Pokémon, make all kinds of new friends... I may even finally find my sister," he sighed. He knew better, of course, than to repeat that particular goal to his parents- the mere mention of his older sister was enough to drive his parents to tears- they had been forced to give her up for adoption, as their financial situation at the time wasn't anywhere near ideal. Keith couldn't even ask what her name was and get an answer, which was unfortunate for him, for all he could remember was that it started with an "H".

Shaking these thoughts out of his minds and allowing them to be replaced with thoughts of receiving his Pokédex and arriving in Fizzytopia, Keith walked back to his house, with Koffing happily floating by his side.
...Hard to believe that was almost ten years ago," Keith finished. "And thus far, I'd call my journey a success," he added. "Gemini and I met all sorts of awesome Pokémon, we made all kinds of new friends, and I even found my sister," he added, glancing over at Helena, who was still marveling at Fae's newly evolved form. "Oh, sorry, Jake," Keith added, chuckling sheepishly. "Kinda rambled on for a bit there."

My Shiny Pokémon (not up for trade, I don't do requests for Shiny banners or recolored Pokken artwork). FB team banners like the one above, however, those I do requests for.
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