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A Grim Deal

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TikTok13, May 28, 2017.

  1. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Oh, I have a title?

    [​IMG]

    A Grim Deal

    Well, hello everyone! It's TikTok13 again. Well, after the success of my first Fic, "Out of the Blue", I decided that I should do some more. Grimsley was the number that came from an RNG, and I have to say, I was looking forward to writing this. This FanFic will follow Grimsley's history; from his childhood, to his gambling addiction, all the way to his appearance in Alola. I went for a slower pacing with this one, with the primary chapter being written like a Journal entry. I hope you don't find it too slow, as I've got a lot of ideas planned for this one! Enjoy! - Yours Humbly, TikTok13

    Chapter 1 - The Past
    I'm Grimsley, of the Unovan Elite Four. Not to toot my own trumpet, but I'm good. Man oh man, I'm good. One of the best. I wasn't always, but I'm glad that I've got to where I am.

    Where do I begin? How about the start? Yeah, seems fair enough. Okay… When a Mummy and a Daddy love each other very much… Okay. None of that crap - I need to be serious. Breathe. Just… Breathe. Alright. Here goes.

    Now for the actual beginning. I grew up in a rich family. My home was a luxurious mansion, with laminated flooring and sterile white walls. Butlers waited in every room to serve our desires, and light could be found anywhere. The garden was even better, filled with Pokémon of all types, from Bug to Water. Serene pools of water and lush, leafy trees. I was a pampered, insufferable, snobbish little posh boy, with little to no regard for others. I had everything I could wish for; I even had a Pokémon, Pawniard, who remains by my side to this day. Even then, I had a fascination with Pokémon of the Dark Type. They were mysterious, masters of speedy attacks that could cripple opponents easily. And there was such variety! Small ones, shiny ones, rough ones, round ones, the opportunities were endless. I was happy.

    But that happiness I had grown accustomed to was short lived. As I got older, we spent more money, wasting it all on trivial crap, to be honest. Plush dolls, bigger bathtubs, more servants, more - everything. Eventually, the family tree fell into ruin. Quarrels broke out over who deserved what, where we should go and so on. Man, that was a dark moment I'm my life. To top it off, my father died, leaving me as the "man of the house". I had an extortionate amount of money, a single Pokémon by my side, and no family to care for me.

    It was a shock to the system, no doubt. No longer could I be the little posh boy who got everything he wanted. I had to change. I took on the new, quieter persona that I use now. Mysterious, sly, cold and charming. A walking contradiction. I hear the ladies love it. I don't care for them. Oh. I'm rambling. Back to the story…

    How did I deal with it? The only way I knew how - gambling. Father had taught me a few good card tricks, and a few card games. I was unnaturally talented - a master of an underground world. I possessed a knack for knowing how much to bet, and what moves to make. Foresight. As the champion of the gambling trade, I started to do it professionally. Heading to Region after Region to compete in numerous competitions. I lost a lot. It's impossible to have a clean streak. But I won even more. It took a while for me to realise I had an addiction. I couldn't, I wouldn't stop. But did I really need to stop?

    I was rich. I was good-looking. I was powerful. I owned a villa, and a mansion, and a wide range of Pokémon that belonged to the Dark Type. I was happy. But I wasn't complete. What pulled me away from gambling, though? What made me tick? The lure of battling. That could fill the gaping hole within. I had power, oh yes, I had power. Lots of it. But I wanted more. I'm not greedy, not at all, but I wanted a different kind of power. Winning day after day, gambling Poké after Poké, it became dull. I, like many other trainers before me, challenged the league. I swept through the Gyms in a breeze. Turns out the strategy in gambling isn't so different from the strategy in a battle. Figures.

    Eventually, I made my way to the pinnacle of the Unova League. The ancient ruins in which the League was built astounded me. Pale pillars towered above me, and two staircases led into dark, ominous passages. Lovely. And a statue, oh, that statue. That always grabbed my attention - it still does. A sense of utmost importance clung to it. I could feel an aura of something clinging room it. A mysterious aura, that made my hairs stand on end and my eyes water. I was ready to become a true Champion.

    I defeated the Elite Four, (The Elite Two, at that point) my Dark Types exploiting the weaknesses of the Ghost user, Shauntal, and the Psychic user, Caitlin. Typical. They should have had a contingency plan for a Dark user. I would have liked to have some fun; have a real challenge. Then I was faced with the Champion, Alder, a bubbling sense of pride and unquestionable confidence writhing inside of me.

    The battle was tough, and afterwards, Alder told me something. He told me that power was a relative term; that it depends on your perspective. He asked me what I was seeking, and apparently, I couldn't answer. I was stumped - with no idea what to do next. I had reached the pinnacle of success, and now the only way was down. But then Alder gave me a job position. The Dark-Type specialist of the Unovan Elite Four. Confused, shocked, I couldn't believe it. Hastily, I agreed. This was what I had wanted all my life. Finally, I could be someone.

    That's in the past now. Marshal is now the final E4 member, and we've had plenty of challengers. Natural, White, Black, Bianca, Cheren, Nate, Rosa, Hugh. The list goes on. And on. And on. I've got plans to travel around the world, become an even bigger name. I still want to be noticed. Vanity is a curse, but I can't help it if I'm fabulous! Kidding, kidding! I hardly care for myself. I care for gold. I care for others. I can see things. Yes I'm cold. Yes I'm quiet. But that doesn't mean I'm a bad person. Does it?

    Nah.

    Arceus, I'm boring myself. Ugh… Anyway, I'm heading for my next destination. The Gambling World Championships.
     
  2. Oh my, this was cool.

    Firstly, I love your portrayal of Grimsley. He gives me serious vibes of another anime character I really like (although it's pissing me off since I can't place my finger on who it is :p), and his personality seems really in-character. So kudos on that one!

    I also love your writing style. The questions the character lays out, only to answer the questions themselves, the vivid yet short descriptions of the area around the character at the time they're describing... it's all so good 0.0

    However, I did spot something, and this is something I've been criticised for myself, but in some points it felt like you were summarising a little too much. To me it felt like I knew what was going on, but sometimes didn't know how Grimsley himself felt on the matter. For example, when you mentioned his lack of a father, I knew what he did next (gamble), and I know he realised that he couldn't have whatever he wanted anymore, but I didn't know the emotions he had to go through before he decided on gambling, and I don't know how shocked he felt upon realising that he would have to save his money. That's just a small nitpick of mine.

    Overall, this is a strong start and I'm looking forward to seeing where this fic goes next!
     
  3. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Oh, I have a title?

    Thanks for all that! I did realise the second I'd told you to look it over that I'd forgot his emotions, but it kinda goes with his cold, non-caring attitude. But you're definitely gonna see some emotion in the next chapter, especially some that Grimsley hasn't felt before. This will also have an appearance of a character I know you like (Shauntal), and another overly-optimistic protagonist.
     
  4. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine ██████████

    omg

    On a serious note, aaaaaaayyyyy, good to see another entry from you so soon! 8D Also good to see your skill with characters in action once more—Grimsley's voice is loud and clear throughout this prologue, as short as it is. His casual nature is irresistible, and that slightly sarcastic, dry wit is most certainly befitting of someone who's basically a bored pretty rich boy. I also love how pokémon training was his second choice in what to do with himself after his father died. While, sure, that doesn't necessarily prove anything about his priorities, it almost implies quite a bit about his passion. I mean, he took up training because he was bored with gambling, yet he's so fantastically good that he laid waste to the Elite Two and the champion. (Or I presume he laid waste to them. I can't quite tell with Alder, but that's a good thing because it leaves a lot to the imagination, so don't take this as crit. :V)

    Speaking of implications, I like how Marshall came into the picture after Grimsley was appointed a member of the elites. Especially given Grimsley's comment about how the league should have had a plan for dark-types, and there Marshall is, with one of the types dark is weak against. It definitely makes the Elite Four out to be something of a team.

    In short, you're off to a great start. :D I'd love to see where it goes from here. Judging by the way Grimsley's boredom and casual nature are laid out, though, I get the feeling some poignant revelation is about to befall him—perhaps not unlike the one Blue faced in your other fic?
     
  5. ZeroGravity

    ZeroGravity Neophyte

    Howdy! I's like to start off by saying that this fic has a very clear voice- I can clearly depict who's talking, and if given a whole pile of other fics to read I'd easily be able to pick out it's writing style. You nailed the character, Grimsley, and you have me eager to read more!

    If there's any criticism to be had, its that the fic doesn't feel very emotional. But seeing other reviews, it looks like someone else already told you that. Good luck writing, bud~
     
  6. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    Ohhhh, I can already tell this gon' be good.

    Grimsley was always my favorite of the Unovan E4, and you've captured his voice perfectly. I love how even when talking about the despair his family fell into, he's still constantly self-complimentary. "I'm not greedy" he says after a lengthy paragraph detailing his greed in detail. xD His narration is perfectly suave and, as he says "fabulous". He's just strolling his way through life, letting his problems roll off his back... that said, ohh I can't wait to see what it's like when something DOES get to him. xD

    ~Chibi~;249;;448;
     
  7. Cutlerine

    Cutlerine Gone. Not coming back.

    Just as with your last story, you do a really great job of sketching character here. This is Grimsley, all over. There's the ennui, sure, but there's also the sense of his own importance that isn't quite unjustified, given his skill and his very pertinent criticisms of the League's weaknesses, but which nevertheless goes slightly further than seems entirely reasonable. That's about the extent of his character in-game, but as you did with Blue, you take that foundation and fill it out wonderfully, with undercurrents of insecurity that he of course denies in a very offhand way but which you sense still bother him somehow. And of course I absolutely love his apparent inability to see the irony in any of his fake modesty.

    Much of what I had to critique about Out of the Blue was the formatting – typos and line breaks and occasional grammatical errors. You've done a much better job this time round ironing all of those out. Also, it's an interesting view you take of the canonical fact that Grimsley's family fell into ruin; I and I think most people I know always took that to mean they lost their money and so he went into gambling not from wealth but from relative poverty. Not that I think you ought to change how you present this in the story, particularly, it's just an interpretation of the canon that I hadn't seen before and that's always interesting.

    I think my only concern is how compressed some of this is. Okay, so this is kind of a diary, really, and diaries are very often compressed like that, but the tone Grimsley takes sorta suggests he's going for a bit more of a memoir feel, and so when he goes from the loss of his family to a world-class gambler in the space of like ten words it comes across as kinda abrupt – especially since you accord so much more page space to the transition from gambler to trainer, which accordingly feels a lot more real than gambling career itself.

    But yeah, really, the main thing is that this story confirms that you're really great at canon characters. They're hard to write, you know? You have to capture a very specific voice that in-game is compressed into sparse lines of often fairly melodramatic, even hacky, dialogue, and you have to make that voice work in a much more longform kinda medium. So this is off to a great start, and I look forward to seeing what you plan to do with Grimsley next.
     
  8. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Oh, I have a title?

    Chapter 2 - The Gambling World Championships

    Well, thanks for the reviews on this one! Now, I wasn't sure how this one was gonna pan out, but it turns out that this is going to be a whole lot bigger than I expected. There's a slower pace on this Fic, so I hope you don't get bored, but I want to show a lot more character interactions and progressions, something that comes with A) More scenes. B) More characters. And C) More intricately woven plots. I hope you enjoy it, and there will be something to really look towards in the next chapter!

    The Gambling World Championships. A large building, secluded from the rest of the world, deep in the heart of Unova. Nobody comes here unless they already know where it is. About 70 miles south of the Nature Preserve. I've been here before. An old mansion, kitted out with the latest gambling machines, the finest interior ever known, and remarkable food. I love it; it feels like home.

    I push my way through the oak doors, twice my size, and take in the instant change in atmosphere. While outside, there is light to spare, coupled with a cool breeze and the tranquil chorus of nature. In here, there is a sense of ordered chaos that I have come to accept in establishments such as this.

    People rush backwards and forwards, their murmurs and yells punctuated by the bang of a die rolling on a table or the clatter of coins on a hard surface. The ring and chime of slot machines echoes. False hope. Nobody's winning. We just want to think someone's winning, as if it boosts our chances. I've learnt not to believe in fairy tales. Because of this hope the sense of excitement in the air is palpable. If I whipped out a knife - not that I carry knives everywhere - I could probably make myself an excitement sandwich with a hint of despair. Delicious.

    And the smell, oh, the smell. A dusky scent, laced with a thick odour of alcohol and a fine layer of copper clings to it. Some people hate it, but to me, it's paradise. There are no windows, no clocks. We're shut off from the real world; time becomes meaningless. And this place, it's like a goddamn maze. Twists and turns and passages and walls and… I need to stop. But there's a remarkable rhythm to the chaos. Everything has a turn. Dealing cards, rolling dice, pulling slots, everything has an order. I love it. There's such an immersive experience that I find it surprising that I managed to get out of my addiction. People waste away in front of me, slotting more coins into machines, desperation on their faces as they search the floor for another Poké. It's pathetic. As I continue through the labyrinth of casino machines, my shoes sink into the velvet carpet, the shiny black surface of my footwear complimenting the crimson. Even potted plants line the edges of every wall, and it gives a flash of unneeded colour. Guess it's there to please the tree-huggers. Figures.

    One thing I adore, though, is that this place isn't just for gambling. Yeah, the Championships are held here, but that's only a small part of it. People come from all over to play on the machines, talk with other masters, have a drink, it's just like your everyday pub, to be honest. That's what I love about it. We're not all hardcore gamblers who care for nothing but money. We're people, just looking for a fun night out, or a bit of adrenaline. I see people who are obviously here for the Championships, like Sidney, and Will, but there are some who are just here to socialise, like Bugsy, of all people. I find it funny that everyone wears refined suits, as if we're respectable business men. We're anything but. We'll cheat, lie, manipulate and weasel our way through the games with one intention and one intention only: winning more money.

    I make my way through the building, towards the bar, but I can't help notice the things around me. Games of Voltorb Flip - I hate that game - being played to my left, people crying with frustration, and the classic Clefairy Slots to my right. Nothing new though. I've mastered them all. Again, not to toot my own trumpet, but I am really good. I reach the corridor on which the bar is situated and I am faced with a thick crowd. I forget how popular drinking is. Pulling my blazer tighter to my body, I start to charge through the crowd. I get pushed, and knocked, and yelled at. But that's fine. I'm not being treated like the rich kid I am, or like a member of the E4. I'm being treated like a normal guy. Kudos to the world.

    With an exasperated sigh, I thump down on one of the leather seats at the bar. The bartender grins at me, and I see his Pokémon, a Mr.Mime and a Sneasel, grabbing bottles and scooping ice from the back shelves, filling the eager orders. Other people are sat, drinking away their sorrows, and I pity them. That used to be me. Every night, that was me. Drinking despair. All around me, people are either angry, drunk, depressed, or all three at once. I see one man trying to get off with a potted plant. How proud I am with the human race.

    The bartender turns to me then, oblivious to the shouts and swear words that fly through the air like Pidove.
    "What'll it be, mate?" He smiles at me, a crooked, toothless smile. Disgusting.
    "One Pika-Colada, please," I ask, raising a hand and hiding my repulsion. Then I hear another thump as someone sits beside me. I turn to face a round, overly-cheerful face, with wide eyes and long brown hair. Nate.
    "Can I have a Ludicola?" He asks the bartender with a grin. Then he turns and beams at me, the corners of his eyes wrinkling. "Heya Grimmie!"

    "Don't call me that," Rolling my eyes, I sigh. The kid's annoying. Nate frowns.
    "How about the Grim Reaper?" Wiggling his eyebrows, he jabs my arm.
    "No."
    "Grim Jim?"
    "No."
    "What about G-Dog?"
    "What the-? No!" Nate sighs, resting his head on his hands.

    "What about Uncle Grimsley?"
    Uncle Grimsley? That sounds pretty good. Yeah, Uncle Grimsley.
    "Yeah, okay. Can you leave me alone now?" Smiling, I shake my head at him. He's a nice guy, but he's a bit much at times. But maybe a bit much is what I need right now. I'm keeping my cool with him.
    "Nope!" Grins Nate. "Uncle Grimmie."

    The bartender passes our drinks over, and asks for our payment. Nate scrambles in his pocket for some spare Poké, but is struggling. With a sigh, I pull out 7 Poké and pass it over the counter, paying for the two of us. The bartender walks off, but casts a dirty look at Nate, who seems embarrassed.
    "Thanks Grim," He groans, taking a sip from his Ludicola.
    "Don't mention it," I smile, a genuine smile, and look down at my drink. The yellow liquid of the alcoholic beverage swirls before me, a Pikachu-shaped ice cube floating in it. Raising it to my lips, I take a hearty drink, feeling the ice cold washing down my neck. It's really soothing.

    "Uh, Uncle Grimsley?" Nate says, his brow furrowed when I lower my glass. "You-You got a… a little something. On your…" He wipes his upper lip with his sleeve, and I feel my face turn crimson. Muk. I frantically wipe my face - careful to avoid my hair, of course - and look at Nate with a questioning look in my eyes. "It's gone!" He cheers, before laughing. It's a high pitched laugh, a child's laugh, and it reminds me of the tolling of bells. Soon after, I'm following his example, my deeper laugh merging with his. Mine's more of a chuckle, really.

    Wiping tears from his eyes, Nate lets out a breath.
    "Whew… So what brings you here?" I realise that I've never had an actual conversation with Nate. He's very cheerful, and kind, and helpful, and I can tell that I like him. But we've never talked before. This is what gambling does - it brings people together. Until they win your money and you smash their face in.
    "The Gambling World Championships are happening here, and I might enter 'em. Got nothing better to do," I say, gesturing with my hands all the while. "What about you?"
    "I'm just hanging out. Felt like it'd be a good idea to come here. Guess I was right! I met you, and Shauntal!" I choke on my drink. Shauntal… She's here!? Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man. "Grim, you okay?" I take a lungful of air and compose myself.
    "Yeah, I'm fine. Just choked."

    Nate seems unconvinced, but he doesn't press the matter. Pushing Nate out of my mind, my thoughts drift to Shauntal. Why is she here? Is she a gambler? It wouldn't surprise me. But this is supposed to be my refuge, the place that helped me through my rough patches, and now it's being invaded. I'm fine with Nate being here; he's good company, but Shauntal can't be here. It wouldn't make any sense. Not after… Oh, never mind.

    I have a secret regarding her. And I'm not gonna let go of it willingly.

    I get the sneaking impression that I'm being stalked. Finishing off my drink, I elbow Nate. He looks up at me with wide eyes.
    "Hey kid, wanna go do some slots and the like?" I can see the curiosity and excitement growing behind his eyes. It's a strange thing, watching someone's mind work. It's like watching a machine, where gears whirr and click before a process is finished. Fascinating.
    "Why not?" He grins. It's time for Uncle Grimsley to have his fun. We run down the corridors and hallways, looking for somewhere to start. We end up at the Ralts Roulette. I push all worries about Shauntal from my mind.

    I have to enjoy this. For Nate. And for me.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  9. I'm just gonna go straight into this review.

    So the description of the gambling place is just OH MY GOD I LOVE IT. It's so vivid, and works so well with Grimsley's character (like it's the kind of thing that he'd say about the area should he write a book on it, and I can just paint a huge picture in my head of what it looks like. Seriously, kudos on that one.

    As per usual, your main focus is perfectly in-character. I could fully expect Grimsley to be like that if this were canon. That's... all I really need to say on that part.

    And then there's Nate. Good god, for a boy who is old enough to be allowed to drink he sure is childish. And there's something really sweet about that - I haven't seen an incarnation of Nate quite like it, but it's nice!

    Also, HRRRRMM? Shauntal, whuuuuut? I've become extremely intrigued by this now. Why is Grimsley so paranoid of her? Oooh, there is hype.

    So, I'm definitely gonna keep following this!
     
  10. DreamSayer

    DreamSayer Dreamzone Trainer

    Oh, the poke puns, poke puns everywhere!

    I quite enjoyed the way you write your stories and this one met my expectations, just like Out of the Blue. The way you characterize the characters always seems to match up with the personalities of the game counterparts. And just like Blue, you've managed to get Grimsley quite well. I sometimes have to remind myself that I'm reading a fanfic and not a story made by the game creators.

    This story has a lot of potential in my eyes and I look forward to seeing much more. Keep writing.
     
  11. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    First of all, can I just say that I love your descriptions? They’re not just a laundry list of traits, they flow from one sense to the next, painting the spirit of the location more than the visual appearance, while also saying just as much about the narrator. Also, as someone who grew up in Vegas, this is a 100% accurate casino portrayal, right down to the maze-like structure designed to keep patrons wandering, the lack of clocks or windows to eliminate the sense of time, the strategically-placed plants, the smells, the sounds, the emotions—all sorts of subtle details that most people wouldn’t normally think about.

    (And of course Grimsley hates Voltorb Flip. It barely even qualifies as gambling. xD)

    I love the way Grimsley’s assessments of other people say just as much about himself as it does them. From the way he judges all the other patrons for being in the exact same position he used to be in, to his delight in watching Nate’s mind at work. Speaking of Nate, this portrayal of him just feels right, y’know? I don’t really know if he has much of a canon personality (most of the player characters don’t, aside from what the fandom has sort of cobbled together.) But his lighthearted childishness here is a fun play off Grimsley’s more worldly perspective.

    Very curious to see what this secret regarding Shauntal is, as her mere presence sure has got him worked up, hasn’t it?

    ~Chibi~;249;;448;
     
  12. Cutlerine

    Cutlerine Gone. Not coming back.

    This all continues to impress. The descriptions here seem much improved from Out of the Blue – not only rich and detailed, but revelations of character, too, particularly in the way Grimsley assumes everyone he sees is in the same situation he used to be in. In fact, if they have a weakness, it's that sometimes they go too far in that direction and end up sounding strained: the line about potted plants being there 'to please the tree-huggers' sounds like it's included to make a point about Grimsley, but your Grimsley seems far too aware of the design choices involved in constructing a casino to think such a weird and unintuitive thing.

    That strange formatting thing where you put blank lines only between some of your paragraphs has come back, though – you've got whole stretches of dialogue with Nate in particular where they're grouped unevenly into clumps broken up apparently at random. Each new speaker requires a new paragraph, and given the standard formatting for ease of reading on these forums, a blank line to separate it from the last one.

    Regarding your concerns about length and pacing – I don't think you need to worry. The pacing is actually very good; you don't rush through your descriptions, and in general you give Grimsley space for his thoughts to develop naturally. Slowness isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it definitely isn't in this fic. Overall, I have to say, this is shaping up to be a more complex story with a few more layers to it than your last -- and that's always a good thing in my book, because branching out and experimenting like this can only really serve to strengthen and broaden your skills. I'll be keeping an eye on this to see where it goes!
     
  13. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Oh, I have a title?

    Chapter 3 - The Championships

    After reading through all your comments and laughing out loud, my family now thinks I'm mad. I've taken on all your criticism and the positives, and I've tried my best to improve my writing. I was actually very surprised by what some of you had written. I think every writer wants their work to be so good that it could be seen as canon, and I'm very happy that some of you think that it is at the standard of an official work. Thanks, and enjoy!

    Our pockets weighed down with coins, Nate and I make our way back to the bar. Our throats are parched; our eyelids heavy. We don't know how long we've been gambling - we don't care how long we've been gambling. I can see the excitement that still bubbles in Nate. The kid's got energy to spare. I could use some energy round about now. Even after all the time we spent gambling, playing Solitaire, Poker, and thousands of other games, I still can't get her out of my head. Shauntal stalks my mind like a prowling Liepard, haunting me. Maybe some drink'll do me good. But the bartenders are busy, so Nate and I just sit on the worn seats.

    Coins of gold and silver and bronze pass through Nate's palms as he examines each one individually. They fascinate him. I had to physically drag him away from some machines, and even then he tried sneaking away from me. That's my boy. One thing that amuses me is how oblivious he is to what's going on around him. When something spikes his interest, he just stays on that until he gets bored. An admirable quality. But he's also really stubborn.

    As we wait for the bartender to escape the crowd of drunk lunatics, I can't help but ask Nate something.

    "Hey kid," I start, staring at my hands. "Whereabouts did you see Shauntal, anyways?" My eyes drift towards Nate, and while his eyes are fixated on his coins, his brow is furrowed.

    "She was on her way to the VIP section. She said something about signups before running off," He says, very matter-of-factly. Oh man… Why is she entering the Gambling World Championships? I've never even seen her gamble! I need to stop complaining. Life is a serious battle, and you have to use the tools you're given. It's more important to master the cards you're holding than to complain about the ones your opponents were dealt. This secret is my burden. It shouldn't change how I deal with people. It shouldn't change how I deal with Shauntal. Besides, she knows nothing about this secret. Nothing at all…

    After grabbing a quick drink of Whiskeywashi, I pull Nate from his seat and towards signups. I have to enter the Championships, and I'm not going to lose to Shauntal.

    "But - my drink!" Nate cries as his Cherrim Juice spills over the bar counter.

    "Never mind that!" I shout back. A sudden eagerness has come over me, and I can't explain it. Maybe I'm drunk, but who cares? It's me, after all. No one cares for Uncle Grimsley.

    The VIP section of the manor is blocked off by a velvet ruby rope, that is guarded by a machine of a woman. Her massive hands caress the rope like it's a newborn child. She towers above me, terrifying. She's got a large square jaw, and her face resembles the rear end of a Snorlax. She'd be great for Marshal. I flick my scarf over my shoulder and wiggle my eyebrows at Nate, who cowers before this beast.

    "Time for Uncle Grimsley to whip out his charm," I grin at Nate, smoothing my hair, and a thin flash of white appears in his face. A nervous attempt at a reassuring smile. I hope.

    "Hey girl," I start, winking at her. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Nate facepalming. "Has anyone ever told you that you would make a Gardevoir jealous?" A grunt. That's my only reply. "Cause you're like the sunrise; I don't think I can start the day without you." An audible groan escapes Nate. I kick him in the shins.

    "So, y'think you can let us through?" Pausing, I bite my lip. "Hot stuff," I add, feeling more and more repulsed by the second. The Regigigas-sized woman finally shifts.

    "Do you have a pass?" Her voice is gravely and monotonous, like a robot gurgling nails. Maybe I should try that. Decent dental plan.

    "What?" A pass? I feel my face contort. There must be a mistake. I didn't know that I need a pass; I've never needed one before.

    "You need a VIP pass to access this area."

    "But I'm Grimsley…" Wiggling my eyebrows, I wink at her again, trying harder.

    "Do you have a pass?" She repeats. I'm a tad bit annoyed now. I can feel a pink flush crawling into my cheeks. Nonetheless, I run my hands over my jacket and put on my best seductive voice, returning to my calm and collected mask.

    "Heh…I'm sorry, I don't think you understand. I'm Grimsley," I sigh, waiting a beat. "Of the Elite Four." Still nothing. Not even a flicker of recognition. How the Helix does she not know who I am?

    "I'm sorry sir, but without a pass I cannot grant you passage." This woman's devoted, I'll give her that. Where'd they dig her up from? The Muking Distortion World!?

    "I'm wanting to sign up for the Championships," I groan, trying again. "And I'm Grimsley." Might as well give my name another shot.

    "Sir, you need a pass to enter this area."

    "I swear to bloody Arceus, if you say the word ‘pass‘ once more-"

    "Uh, Uncle Grimsley?" Nate cuts me off, tapping my shoulder. "Can I try?" I look at the kid with absolute
    bewilderment.

    "By all means, be my guest," I say, throwing as much sarcasm and scepticism into it as possible. Bowing, I let him take my place. Nate clears his throat.

    "Hello ma'am," He begins, looking the woman right in the eye. She grunts. You'd get a better conversation out of a Feebas. At least that's more visually appealing. "I was wondering if you'd let me through." The woman opens her mouth, probably to ask for a pass, but Nate stops her. "I have ID," Smiling, he turns to me and sticks out his tongue, pulling his Trainer Card out of his pocket. Man oh man, this kid's good. Like, me standard good. "I'm Nate, Champion of the Unova League."

    The fact that she knows who he is, and not who I am, really annoys me. I'm a regular here, and I need a Shucklin' pass!? What the Helix! The woman lets him through, removing the rope with a flourish of her meaty hands. As Nate makes his way into the VIP area, the Wailord of a woman raises her eyebrows and nods in my direction. "He's with me," Nate grins, before continuing into the next room. I follow timidly, my eyes on my shoes. When I catch up with Nate, he puts a hand on my shoulder. "Smooth," He says, slowly. "Real smooth."

    "Like you could do any better," Frowning, I push him away playfully.

    "I just did!" He grins, and sticks his tongue out again. "She looked like she was about to squash you." At this I smile, and let out a little laugh.

    "That Wailord wouldn't be able to catch me," I state, raising a finger. "You, on the other hand, would be flattened like a Stunfisk."

    "Please," Nate sneers. "She wouldn't crush me. I provide much-needed eye-candy. Didn't seem all that fond of you, did she?" The look that I give Nate must not be as cruel as I thought, as he bursts into childish laughter.

    "Honestly kid," I start, waving my arms about. "If you put me in front of a woman, any woman, I'd be able to seduce her without even trying." Nate looks at me so seriously, with his mouth pressed into a thin line, that I can't help but adding: "I mean, who could resist all…" I stretch my arms out as far as possible, and then brush them down my body. "…This?" That sets him off again. He doubles over, his face creased. I realise now that I've never actually had a friend before. But Nate feels like more than a friend; he's like family.

    "Any girl, huh?" He asks through his laughter.

    "That's what I said."

    "I don't believe you." Smiling over-sweetly, I grab him by the shoulders and pull him into an embrace. Then I drill my fist into his head.

    "Ah! Stop it! Ah!" Nate cries. "I believe you I believe you!" I let him go, a grin on my face. Then he glares at me, a look of malice that's so out of place in his cheery face that I can't help but smile. I resume my walking. We're in the VIP area now. There's little difference here, but what is different is obvious. This section is much quieter. People are gathered around tables in massive groups, playing numerous card games, and waitresses in skimpy outfits tiptoe around, handing out free drinks. Lights and sounds still blare, and there are still no clocks. I don't even know if it's night or day, raining or sunny, but I don't really care. This is where the professionals hang out; the best of the best that don't deal with the riff-raff from the outside world. These people were built for gambling. I pull Nate to the side, a sudden protective urge surging through me. He's like a Magikarp in a pond of Sharpedo. We keep walking. At the other end of the room is a booth, surrounded by trainers and their Pokémon. That must be the signups for the Gambling World Championships.

    There are four stages to the GWC: Cards, Strategy, Cards 2, and Gambling Skills. There are also side tournaments, such as Slot-Machine Master or Voltorb Flip Knockout. I don't pay any heed to those. I'm just here for the main event. In order to sign up, you need to have at least 100 Poké to bet, as well as 2 Pokémon, which usually come into play during the Strategy. Last year, it was Monotype tournament, so the Gym Leaders and Elites that had entered had a natural advantage. I hope there's more of a challenge this time.

    "Any girl huh?" Repeats Nate, knocking my arm. Rolling my eyes, I reply with a tinge of annoyance in my voice.

    "Yes, any girl."

    "Hello you two!" A pit forms in my stomach. Oh no. What are the odds? Seriously? I recognise the voice; a soft, high voice with a dreamy feel to it that makes me think of the outside world. Shauntal.

    "Sh-Shauntal," I say, as I incline my head. My eyes are fixated on hers, magnified as they are by her jam-jar glasses. Nate nudges me and winks, and I contemplate kicking him in an unpleasant area.

    "Hey Shauntal!" Nate chirps, smiling brightly. He really is just a little kid. I guess that's what we all love about him.

    "Nate, Grimsley, how great it is to see you two here!" She smiles, doing an odd little bob. Despite my best attempts, I can't focus on only her face. I take in her appearance, from her black tights to her purple top, before noticing the absence of her Purrloin scarf. Oh well, didn't suit her anyway. She pulls Nate into a quick hug, before holding her arms out to me. "Aww, come on Grimsley," She pleads in a playful voice.

    "Fine." I walk into her embrace and wrap my arms around her. She smells of something I can't pinpoint, but it's lovely. Woah. WOAH! Slow down. I'm losing myself. I look around, quickly. This doesn't feel right; I don't feel right. Hurriedly, I pull away from Shauntal. I can feel blood rushing to my cheeks, but I don't really care. What I care about now is the fear that grips my stomach, like some beast of pure paranoia. "Sorry, but, uh, we really need to… um… Sign up! Yeah, so, uh, catch you later!" Before I make a bigger fool of myself, I grab Nate by the cuff of his neck and make my way towards the sign-up booth.

    "What just happened?" Nate asks from behind me. "And can I have my neck back?" It takes me a moment* to realise what he's on about. Then I let go of his shirt, and he rubs his neck. "Thanks…" He mutters under his breath, but I ignore him. The crowd around the booth is dispersing, and I push my way past the stragglers, Nate trailing behind me.

    "Two signups please," I ask the attendant. She smiles at me sweetly.

    "Do you have a pa-"

    "ARCEUS!" I cry, cutting her off. "We've already needed a pass to get in, so unless we've changed who we are completely, I see no need for a pass to sign up." The woman seems terrified.

    "Names?" She asks in a squeaky little voice. It occurs to me that I might have been a little mean. I'm not that bothered. It isn't my fault I'm on edge.

    "Grimsley and Nate," I say quietly, trying to make up for my outburst. The woman nods timidly and hands us a card each, with or names on them. There are many empty spaces on the card which we fill out before handing them back. That's it. We're registered. A sense of fulfillment blooms in me. Now I have a chance of becoming the Gambling World Champion. I don't believe it. But then I realise that I'm going to have to beat my friends in this tournament; I can see that Chili, Clay and even Marlon have signed up. Their names are on one of the screens around the room, displaying all the participants. They'll show no mercy. Neither will I.

    "That's three women we've talked to in a row and you haven't wooed a single one," Speaking up, Nate points out, making a little tally on his fingers.

    "Shut up," I snap. We sit down on an empty table, and I hold my head in my hands, letting out a long sigh. It feels good to sigh sometimes. It's like releasing all of your worries all at once. Basically the manly version of crying. Maybe that's why Marshal sighs so much. When I look up, I see Nate, concern in his eyes.

    "Are you okay? Is it something to do with Shauntal?" He's perceptive. No doubt about that.

    "I'm fine," I grin. "Just tired. And as for Shauntal, it's nothing for you to worry about. It's a secret." Smiling at him, Nate seems to accept this. I watch as he gets up, claiming that he's going for a wander, but I can see that's not what he really wants. He just wants to give me some time alone. What a nice kid. Without warning, a waitress appears by my side.

    "Excuse me," She says, her voice nasally. "I was told to give you this." She hands me a slip of paper and walks off, leaving me absolutely bewildered. Nevertheless, I unfurl the paper I've been given and read the spindly writing. To anyone but me, this note would mean nothing. But this is me. And I know what it means. Written on the paper are the words:
    "I have no idea what day it is today, but I will never forget it for the rest of my life."

    Someone knows my secret.
     
  14. Ooooh yeah.

    Firstly, I love your depiction of Shauntal. That's... just about all I have to say on that.

    This is unrelated to the fic, but I think I finally pinned down who Grimsley reminds me of here, and it's Ikki from Amnesia, which is great since I love his character. But about Grimsley's character, he still feels like he'd fit in the actual canon here, which is great! I'd say more on his character, but I'd just be repeating myself at this point.

    Next, I laughed so much at this chapter. I feel like it was just comedy galore and I loved it. The puns, Grimsley trying to flirt, all of it was just brilliant!

    Then, then, oooh this secret with Shauntal is bugging me! Although, at this point, I'm thinking it might be a crush. And if it is then I might have just found the ship I never expected to sail.

    Also, this doesn't affect the fic quality, but when you mentioned that Chili entered, I also imagined Cress entering, and then Grimsley and Cress having a smooth flirty playboy war, which made me laugh :p

    This may be a shorter review, but I'd be repeating myself if I said anymore. Overall, going strong!
     
  15. Cutlerine

    Cutlerine Gone. Not coming back.

    … whiskeywashi. That's amazing.

    Okay, let's be serious now. This chapter is way easier to read than the last ones – that formatting change you made was slight, but it makes all the difference. I have to say, I am put off a little by Grimsley's obvious and grating misogyny, particularly the uncomfortable focus on the bouncer's perceived masculinity in order to cast her in an undesirable light; more so by the way the story seems to justify it. I suppose it's fairly in-character for the particular Grimsley you're creating here, and he is after all in control of the narrative, which would explain both of those things. And you do undercut his self-image as seducer extraordinaire quite nicely, but Nate seems to be in agreement with him, and overall it's still kinda bleagh. (That's a, uh, super technical literary critical term.)

    His similes, on the other hand, are excellent: 'like a robot gurgling nails' is a particularly lovely image, although I think you might have confused 'gurgling' and 'gargling' there. 'Gurgling' is the noise; 'gargling' is the thing you do with stuff in your throat. You've also got a rogue asterisk after 'It takes me a moment' in the paragraph after Grimsley walks away from Shauntal – that seems like a typo to me.

    I have to say, you're also doing a pretty good job building up this plot – it's much more complex than your last one, but it's solidly paced and the interest just keeps rising as we get more and more clues about Grimsley's secret.
     
  16. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Oh, I have a title?

    Yeah... sorry about that woman. I kind of wanted to paint a picture of her in an negative light, but never wanted Grimsley to come across as misogynistic. In fact, I wanted him to come across as a romantic, and while he may not like the woman, he's still trying to be nice to her, so again, I apologise for that. In fact, in the next chapter, I actually have Grimsley feeling about that, followed by a promise to apologise, so I hope that pleases you ^_^. And yes, that asterisk was a typo (I write too fast for my keyboard sometimes)
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  17. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    I’m with Cutlerine in that I did cringe a bit at the constant focus on the bouncer’s manliness as an insult. But on the other hand, Grimsley is just douchey enough that this is kind of what I would expect from him, argh. And him constantly reiterating his name while trying to get her to let him in was friggin’ hilarious. “I don’t think you understand. I’m Grimsley.” ahgfsagfhjhfgsgh. I’m torn, in other words. But I am glad to hear you plan to address it in an upcoming chapter.

    That said, Nate teasing his about him not being nearly the seductive wonder he claimed to be was pretty great. Nate and Grimsley just in general play off each other really well here, and I love Grimsley’s protective side coming into play. And then seeing him so immediately thrown off his game by Shauntal was the best ahahaha. Can’t wait to see what that secret is…

    One last note—I love all the profanity. Helix, Mucking, Shucklin—classic. Just another example of all the constant flavor you inject into every inch of the narration. I’ve read few other works that capture their narrator’s voice so perfectly.

    ~Chibi~;249;;448;
     
  18. Bay

    Bay YEAHHHHHHH

    So I've noticed that you're doiing a Grimsley fic and I decided to check this out!

    Like everyone else, I think you got Grimsley's voice well. I've been working on a Grimsley fic myself and I'm afraid my version of him won't be good as yours, heh. I too like the interactions between Grimsley and Nate, they balance each other out nicely. I especially find it amusing Nate is able to get into the VIP and not Grimsley, haha. The description of the casino in the second chapter is also a nice touch.

    I agree how on the beginning the stuff about his family he sorta brushes off , but then again it seems you want to get to his stuff with gambling and training right away (unless that topic will come later). As for the bouncer scene, I can see where the others get in terms of the way Grimsley described her was unsettling. Looking forward to see how he patches that up, though, along with this secret Grimsley is offput about. I think I'll still keep an eye on this!
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  19. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Oh, I have a title?

    Chapter 4 - The Secret

    Okay, Chapter 4 time! Originally, I wanted this to be a fast-paced poker scene. Then I realised that I know f-all about poker, and therefore it would be a very dull scene that would be rather slow and make no sense. So, we're still going to get details about the card game, but not an actual in depth description. Sorry if that means I'm summarising too much, but that's the way I have to do it.

    I crumple up the note and jam it in my pocket. There's no point in worrying about it now. It suddenly occurs to me that I may have been a tad bit mean to that bouncer, and I make a resolve to apologise to her later, after the competition. I'm Grimsley; I'm supposed to be nice to women. And she wasn't actually bad-looking. And she really would be good for Marshal. I'm also surprised that Nate whole-heartedly believed in my romantic prowess. I shouldn't be worrying about all that now; I have a Championship to win. But I have no idea what I need to prepare for. In the gambling world, even the most improbable situation is possible. We just need to wait for the announcement, I guess.

    While waiting, I look around at my competitors. Clothes of all hues of the rainbow litter the room, people's differences showing through something as trivial as that. Black seems to be the predominant colour. Most of the newer gamblers keep in tight packs, sharing tactics. That in itself is a stupid tactic. Idiots. The experienced players, though, keep to themselves, practicing their poker-faces or getting drunk. Of course, not all of the people in this area are participants in the tournament. One man in a blue tuxedo is getting yelled at by a rather angry-looking man with red hair held in a bun.

    "OH COME ON!" He screams. "How the Helix am I supposed to beat ya? You're cheating with that aura of yours!" The blue man just shakes his head, before the angry man fires a stream of insults. I find their argument pretty hilarious. But I know that the calmer man is not participating, because when I hear the call of "May all those who are not participating in the GWC exit the VIP area? We apologise for any inconvenience.", he gets up and leaves without a flicker of disappointment. Unfortunately, the angry man does not leave.

    People start to move, and I have no choice but to go with the crowd. I end up surrounded by strangers, with no inclination as to what's going on. Stood on pedestal before me is a man with long, dark blonde hair and a dull leather jacket. Even from here, I can smell the smoke on him.

    "Gamblers!" He cries, his voice deep and booming. The crowd breaks out in uproar, clapping and cheering and screaming. I don't join in. "Welcome to the Gambling World Championships." Another round of cheering from the crowd. The man stops them with all wave of his hand. "My name is Volkner, of the Sinnoh Elite Four, and as the victor of last year's Championships, I will be your host this evening." He smirks, and examines the crowd with a cold, cruel glare. I forgot that the victors of each Championship hosted the next one. All the more reason to win. But this guy, Volkner. I know him, but not well. He's arrogant, and cocky, and I don't like him. We met at last year's Championship, and he beat me by two places. That was the year where he had the nerve to chat up Cheren's friend, Jasmine. Cheren has avoided Sinnoh since.

    "As you all know, you don't win this tournament through luck," Grinning, he gets a few laughs. How does he do it? "So all of you newbies in here don't stand a Shuckling chance." I see that he's eyeing some of the younger members in the room, including Nate and the angry man from earlier. "So, time for round one: Cards. And today's first card game will be poker." I release a groan. Poker is boring. But I'm still an ace at it. Looking around at the crowd quickly, I see that most people have a similar reaction. To stop the murmurs of dissent, Volkner raises his arms.

    "Now now, I know that poker isn't the people's favourite, but it is the most well known game out there." As he speaks, I find myself nodding along. Stereotypical Championships - pick something common in the first round, and then blend the other rounds into obscurity. "To make this more exiting, only half of you will make it to the second round, then half of that to the third, and half of that in the finals." People seem confused. Very confused. We lose half of our competitors every round.

    Volkner waits while people digest this information before pointing to a digital screen behind him, that flickers on to show a diagram.

    "What's that?" Someone yells, angrily. I don't see, but I bet that it's the angry man himself.

    "I'm happy you asked that," Volkner says in his droning voice. I'm sick of him already. "As you can see, there are ten boxes displayed on the screen behind me." Suddenly, names appear in the boxes. "There are six names per box, and sixty of you. For those of you that don't have brains, these correspond to the tables on which you will be sitting for round one. On each table, three people will be eliminated, and three people will go on to round two. In other words, those who make the most money will move on." Everyone is trying to locate their names, yells and shouts permeating Volkner's speech. "Let the Gambling World Championships begin!"

    The next few hours become a blur. Everyone is rushing back and forth to their tables; I see Nate getting swept away by the crowd. Eventually, I'm sat in the dealing position of a table, surrounded by five other gamblers. I recognise a few of them, namely Clay and angry man. We all have name plates before us, for convenience purposes. The six competitors for this table are myself, Clay, Will, Sidney, Nanu, and angry man, whose name is Buck. There are barely ever any female gamblers in the Championships, but I see a few on adjacent tables, including Cynthia, Elesa, Skyla, and Bertha.

    The game begins, and as it progresses, I learn a few things. Buck cannot play poker. He's far too excitable and makes little noises every now and then, so we can predict his movements. Sidney's play style is aggressive, and he put all his Poké down in the first round of betting. As I raise the bets repeatedly, I discover that Nanu is playing it safe, only placing 10 Poké per round, while Clay is following my own tactics. Will, however, is being… Will. Trying to psyche people out with his endless chattering.

    "So the other day I was in this cafe and this woman came up to me and she said she recognised me and I tried to pretend I was Lucian, you know, the psychic guy? Anyway…" And he goes on and on and on, never pausing for a single breath. Driving each and every one of us insane. But I ignore him. I have to concentrate. This game is about making money, and I don't want to lose. But the stakes are high. I've bet all my Poké now and we're on the final round. It's time to see if my hard work paid off.

    "Three of a kind," Groans Sidney, placing a 3 in spades, clubs and hearts.

    "Pair," Mutters Buck, swearing under his breath.

    "Full house," Nanu smiles, pleased with himself.

    "Hey, me too!" Cries Will, clapping. Clay swears.

    "Flush." My face contorts in a malicious grin.

    "Straight flush!" I slam my cards on the table and drag the coins across the table. I won - I made the most money and came first on through table. Will didn't even bet, apparently, so he came second, retaining the most money. Nanu's patient strategy paid off too, as he made third. We move on. But Sidney, angry man, and the underground boss are out of the competition.

    We all return to the middle of the room, where Volkner sits, looking very bored. Telling him our results, he splits us up, winners on one side, losers on the other. The losers get to bet on who they think will win now, the odds decided by money made and positions achieved in past competitions. My odds are high. But I don't care about my own odds. I'm just looking out for Nate. If he lost, then he'll be stuck in here until the competition ends, and I have no idea how long it's been already.

    But then I see him, bounding across the room with a bright twinkle in his eyes and a wide, cheesy smile. A bag of something swings from his arms.

    "Uncle Grimsley!" He cries, spotting me. "I won!" I have to admit, I'm really surprised. I never expected Nate to win. I thought he might have scraped third, at most. But to come first… I'm proud of him. When he arrives by Volkner, even he looks surprised. Nonetheless, he shows Nate to the now-crowded winner's circle. "I can't believe I did it!" He gasps when he gets beside me. I only taught him the basics; how to bet, what the good hands are, etcetera. He's smart.

    "Well done kid," Smiling, I ruffle his hair. Pleased with himself, he merges into the now-accepting crowd of gamblers. I wonder now what the next section has in store, but all thoughts of the competition are forced out of my mind when I see another victor approaching the winner's circle. Shauntal. She gets congratulated by a few competitors, and then walks off, presumably to the toilet. I find my legs following her. This secret is my burden. It's about time I gave it up. I'm not sure I want to.
     
  20. Ok firstly, I'm just gonna say that just like you I'm utterly clueless about Poker. So yeah, I'm not really gonna judge on that.

    Hoo boy this secret still isn't out! I'm looking forward to seeing what it is after 3000 years, and hopefully it'll actually happen next chapter!

    I also loved your save about the woman who didn't allow Grimsley in at first. That was pretty neat. But then let's get to the character cameos... god these character cameos were great. Riley, Buck, Will, Sidney, Clay, the list goes on. All of the ones which you had to characterise this chapter were done extremely well (I laughed so much at Buck and Will), and as per usual, Grimsley himself was great. Although I wasn't expecting Volkner of all people to have won the last championships. Just goes to show that sometimes you have to expect the unexpected I guess! also RIP Flint's Elite Four spot

    So yeah, I don't really have much else to say except this was a cool chapter!
     

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