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Chasing Clouds

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Umbreon Ruler, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. Aura Master

    Aura Master Smell of Success

    Hey, look it's a new wr-....

    Nah, it's Umbreon Ruler....Again....

    Good to see Danny and Chloe (plus Samantha) again.

    Last time I saw them, I believe they were in Cerealeun <--- (fail)

    Anyway glad to see it again and put me on that PM list if you don't mind.

    Really? I happen to have one of those....

  2. Lost Dream

    Lost Dream New Member

    I've been waiting for this mister! Haha, anyways great chapter. Oh gosh.... Danny's mom. o_O She scares me. Oh and I really like Samantha's personality; seems a bit like me. Can't wait till the next chapter.

    Stay Gold.
  3. Umbreon Ruler

    Umbreon Ruler Swim for your life.

    Aura Master: w00t! If you got to Cerulean, that means you read about 20 chapters, which is a pretty big fail on my part for stretching it out that long. XD

    I shall.

    Ha, who doesn't?

    Lost Dream: She's a beast lol. I'd be a bit worried if you were like Samantha. Not that she can't have her nice moments.

    You too, Ponyboy. ;D
  4. Umbreon Ruler

    Umbreon Ruler Swim for your life.

    A new chapter in less than a month? :O wut? If I had to complain about this chapter, I'd say that nothing happens, but looking it over, a lot of journey landmarks happen.

    I'll just see what you guys think.

    Chapter Four​

    Liars and Believers

    The Pokémon Center floors were hard. The thin, admittedly well-kempt carpet could only do so much to soften whatever solid foundation the rooms had. Even the pillow and sheet Samantha had spared only let Danny’s hopes down when he discovered they were essentially useless in the area of his comfort. His night had been a miserable effort of switching between covering up against the cold air filling the room every minute and adding all the extra cushioning underneath him as was possible. Nevertheless, he had managed to fall asleep around the beginning of the new day and had subconsciously rewarded himself with ten generous hours of back-breaking rest.

    Chloe had enjoyed a much better night, as Samantha had actually allowed the Pokémon to sleep at her feet on the bed. She was still there, swaddled in the immaculate ivory cloth.

    There’s not much in here,’ Samantha thought, digging through the contents of Danny’s backpack. ‘I wonder how much these golden Pokéballs are worth…’ Suddenly, she heard a slight movement behind her.

    The lights were off, but the sunlight peeking through the space between the curtains lit the room enough to stir the late risers into a state of grogginess. Danny lifted himself to a sitting position, hair askew and vision blurry. Some noise seemed to be coming from his left so after a moment’s delay, he squinted in that direction and saw a dark form moving quickly out the door.

    “Huh?” he asked as the door clicked shut. He rubbed his right eye, giving himself a much better view and looked at the corner, where he had left his things. Nothing was there. He stared for many seconds, puzzling all of this out in his head. ‘My stuff is gone. Someone just snuck out. And my stuff is gone.’ Suddenly his eyes widened and he realized a thief had just been in his room.

    He jumped up, wearing the same clothes he had worn the previous day, and picked up Chloe, causing her to scream for a brief period until she realized who was holding her. “Somebody stole our stuff!” he told her, running out the door. He jogged down the hall, skipped steps on the escalator, ignored Joy as she sternly warned him about running in her lobby, and exited the building, looking around the street and sidewalk. The first thing that caught his attention was Samantha’s back, blonde and thin, shaking under the grip of a man in all-black sweats and a ski mask. He sprinted to the scene and saw that they were fighting over his bag.

    “Hey!” he shouted, punching the man in the cheek. It didn’t appear to do much harm, but it allowed the girl to break free with the goods.

    The man’s dark brown eyes were glaring at Danny now, which sent a slight chill down his spine. The adrenaline was pumping too aggressively for him to be truly scared though. Chloe, on the other hand, was fidgeting wildly under one of Danny’s arms.

    A crowd was beginning to stare and the man took notice. He stepped back and pulled a shrunken Pokéball out of the stomach pocket on his sweatshirt. “It’s alright, folks,” he shouted gruffly, causing everyone to back up a few steps when he extended his arms around him. “We’re just having a Pokémon battle.”

    Danny was a taken aback for a second. He looked at Chloe and remembered the only Pokémon battle she’d ever been in was when she hatched and put the Aipom that had been chasing him to sleep. Aside from that, he didn’t even know what attacks she possessed. “We.. I… he was just stealing!” he yelled to the crowd. “We’re not battling!”

    “What’s the matter, kid?” the thief asked, building his growl appropriately. “Afraid?” He pressed the small white button on the front of his Pokéball, causing it to enlarge to the size of a tennis ball.

    Yes,’ Danny thought, setting Chloe on the ground in front of him. “Hell no,” he replied haughtily, causing a few of the older women in the crowd to gasp. He kneeled and put his face next to his Pokémon. “Alright…” He racked his brain for a jumping off point into a pep talk. “Just… win this one for me, okay?” He tenderly pinched her wide, flat tail and stood back up.

    “Back up, back up!” the crook yelled, walking backwards as the watchers cleared a bigger space for the two to duel. “Get ready to lose, kid.” Wasting no more time on words, he tossed the ball higher into the air than needed and grinned as it hit the ground with a cracking sound, releasing a Pokémon within a flash of light.

    It looked at Danny through holes in the long-nosed skull covering its face, unnerving the boy a bit as he stared back at the stubby, unfamiliar creature with a stained white bone in its claws.

    “That’s a Cubone,” Samantha whispered, suddenly behind him. “You’ve got the type advantage. A couple water attacks should do it.” She slapped his arm and joined her fellow spectators.

    He stuck a thumb in his mouth and chewed on its nail as he thought of a low-level water attack. “Water…” he began, looking into the sky. “… Gun!” he remembered, spreading his legs into a battle position and pointing at the enemy. No one – including Chloe – moved, aside from a few snickers after a several action-less moments. “Water Gun!” The Poliwag turned a round to face him and squeaked innocently.

    “Rocket!” the man barked, referring to his Cubone. “Bonemerang!” The Pokémon drew back its arm and weapon, and chucked it skillfully, achieving a perfect spin as it sliced through the air about a foot off the ground and slammed into Chloe’s back, sending her tumbling forward before it returned to the thrower.

    Danny looked at his fallen comrade, lying at his feet, face-down. There was a couple of tense, silent seconds before her wailing began, reaching notes that dug into Danny’s skull.

    “This is how you defend me!?” Samantha screamed, demanding to be heard over the bawling. “Have you ever been in a battle before!?”

    He ignored her and crouched down next to Chloe, lifting her onto her feet. “Girl?” he started, bouncing her gently. “I know it hurts, but you’ve gotta play through the pain. I always heard Coach Thomas tell that to the athletes and-”


    Before he could process what was happening, the bone smacked him horizontally across the forehead, leaving a long red mark stretching above his eyes and knocking him onto his back. He was now the one screaming, while Chloe’s cries instantly changed into uncontrolled, bubbly laughter. Even the crowd giggled guiltily at his pain, covering their mouths or looking away to subdue themselves.

    “What was that!?” he snarled through gritted teeth, clutching his head and glaring at his enemy.

    The man shrugged with a smile across his unshaven chin. “Rocket’s aim ain’t perfect.”

    Danny was about to take matters into his own white-knuckled hands when a Pokéball came flying over him from behind, landing in the center of the battlefield. It bounced and, in mid-air, opened and poured out bright energy which quickly took the shape of a pink, grumpy looking, doggish Pokémon standing on its hind legs.

    “I can’t watch this anymore.” Samantha stepped in front of Danny and Chloe, catching the Pokéball reflexively as it snapped back to her. “Why don’t you step away and let me handle this?” He scooted backwards, taking his Poliwag with him, and sat at the feet of the crowd.

    “You can’t do that!” the man shouted. “This was between me and him.”

    “Daisy, Bite!” Samantha ordered, her Pokémon charging toward the Cubone with its jaws wide apart, revealing rows of tiny, sharp teeth. The criminal commanded his Pokémon to block and Rocket managed to lift his weapon up just in time to stop the bite from reaching him, instead clamping onto the bone. However, Samantha’s Pokémon, pillowy brown-tipped ears flinging, wrenched it from Cubone’s grasp with a twist and spat it to the side.

    “Bull…” she snarled. Danny was already impressed. If it wasn’t for the blue-spotted dress-like body it had, he might have considered catching one himself.

    “Scratch!” the villain boomed, merely a second before Samantha had yelled “lick” to her own Pokémon. In the same order, Rocket had landed a swipe on Daisy’s stomach and Daisy had licked Rocket’s belly with her thick tongue, creating goosebumps all over his mud-brown skin. She then stepped back to gently lick her own wound while her opponent was temporarily frozen in place.

    “Daisy, use Headbutt! Quick!” Obediently, she dropped to all fours, lowered her head, and dived at the miniature dinosaur’s chest, who was just recovering from the paralyzing lick. “Now get on top of him,” Samantha finished coolly, folding her arms as she watched her Pokémon pin Rocket to the ground by holding down his short arms.

    “Rocket! Get up!” the man screamed angrily, looking up at Samantha’s smiling face.

    “You can return your Pokémon to his ball,” she began, waving Daisy’s Pokéball sarcastically as an example, “or Daisy can rip him apart with her bite.”

    He stared a moment longer, took a glance at the crowd surrounding him, and finally lifted his Pokéball, muttering “return” as a red light shot from its front button, making contact with Rocket and transforming him and the bone he had been using into identical red energy, disappearing into the orb. After barking a few general obscenities to everyone who was listening, he turned and ran, turning the first corner.

    As he disappeared, the people slowly began clapping and cheering while Samantha picked up Daisy and smiled for the numerous photos being taken. Danny stood and prepared to join her but his arm was grabbed by a furious, tightly gripped hand. He spun and saw his mother glaring at him, the corner of her lip quivering violently within a small area and her hair tangled from apparent feverish searching.

    “Come. Now.” Her voice was blurred by the loudness of the citizens but Danny got the message loud and clear. She dragged him away, soon marching down the sidewalk without a word.

    “Mom, wait, I’m sorry. J-just listen, I-” He was cut short by a jerk and an unintelligible snarl. “Please, Mom! If you’ll just listen to me-”

    Listen!?” she shrieked, turning towards him. “Did you listen to me when I told you not to leave home!? No! You didn’t listen!” She resumed moving with a yank and Danny’s pleading became more desperate.

    “Mom, you don’t get it! This was my only chance to do this!”

    “Oh, I understand,” she returned, speeding her pace. “I understand how you put yourself and that Poliwag in danger. I understand how neither of you were prepared in the least to be out here and how you left despite me telling you not to. I understand how-”

    “Chloe!” Danny yelled, ripping his arm out of his mother’s firm grasp. Without any explanation, he sprinted back in the direction they came from, followed by the woman’s raging screams.

    His ragged tennis shoes beat down the pavement and he could see that the crowd was dispersing, leaving Samantha standing in the same spot she had been, Daisy at her feet and Chloe in her arms, being rocked in an attempt to stop her crying. When he got close enough, the girl shoved his Pokémon into him, arrogantly telling him that he couldn’t leave a baby alone.

    “It wasn’t my fault,” he said, patting Chloe’s back. She buried her face in his shirt, ignoring the day-old body odor. “My mom didn’t give me any time to get her.” He cast a dirty look toward the fuming woman and picked his backpack off of the ground, slinging it over one shoulder.

    “I’m Suzanne,” she said, bumping her son as she walked past him. “Danny’s mother. Who’re you?”

    “Samantha,” she said, smiling. “I’ve been helping Danny get adjusted to life on the road. He’s quite the little advent-”

    “You won’t be needed any longer,” she answered coldly. “Let’s go, Danny.” He knew it would do no good to argue, but he was mentally preparing himself for one anyway. After a quick goodbye to Samantha, who didn’t understand exactly what was happening, he sulkily followed his mother.

    They arrived at the truck, where Suzanne had slept that night in favor of the Motel Twin.

    “Mom,” Danny started carefully, sliding onto the seat. “I know you don’t want me going on a journey or any-”

    “Don’t put words in my mouth,” she interjected, hopping in. “I didn’t want you out here with her.” She looked at Chloe. “You don’t understand that it’s dangerous out here and one baby Poliwag isn’t-”

    “Her name’s Chloe.”

    She continued. “Chloe isn’t going to protect you. I would love for you to travel with a capable Pokémon, but-”

    “She’s protected me before, though, Mom. The second she hatched she saved me from those wild Aipom. She can do it. She just needs a little training.”

    Just before she put the key in the ignition, she paused. Nearly an entire minute passed in silence. Finally, it was broken by Suzanne. “Alright.” She looked her son directly in the eye. “I’ll take you to the field just north of Cherrygrove City and train you and Chloe. If you can prove that you can handle it out here, I might not take you home.”

    Danny’s enormous grin must have been palpable, since Chloe erupted into a fit of giggles as she kicked quickly on Danny’s lap. “Really!?” She nodded. As the boy and his Pokémon celebrated, she started the truck and pulled out of the parking lot and down the street.

    Minutes later, he saw Samantha walking slowly along the sidewalk alone. Her back was facing them. “Samantha!?” he called out the open window, causing his mother to pull over to the side of the road and stop next to the girl. Samantha turned toward them in surprise. “I don’t have to go home,” he continued excitedly, followed by his mother reminding him that it was only a possibility he could stay on the road.

    “Oh… cool,” she said, nodding slowly. “Well, talk to ya-”

    “Actually,” he said, getting a little quieter. “I know we don’t know each other that well or anything, but I was wondering if you wanted to, like… travel together?”

    She was caught slightly off guard. “Um… I don’t think so. It’s just that I’m not really “adventuring” like you are, so…” She began to walk off.

    “Oh… well, okay, that’s fine. But wait!” She stopped and turned slowly around with a hint of annoyance. “We’re going to train Chloe outside of town and, uh… you were really good in the battle back there. Would you want to help?”

    Samantha could tell he was hopeful and that it would be very easy to say “no” and crush that hope. And she was about to when Chloe peeked out the window and her eyes lit up upon seeing the girl.

    “Poli!” she peeped at the familiar friend.

    Samantha waved at her and caved in. “Fine.” She climbed into the back of the truck and sat on the small toolbox, crossing her legs. “Let’s make this fast, though.”

    So the three of them took off and as they were leaving the town, the paved road turned into a dirt road and eventually nothing more than two sandy trails in the grass where the occasional car had come through. Suzanne pulled to the side, into the center of a large field. In the distance one could see the patches of woods far off, a tiny tower poking above the treeline, and even a foggy mountain, farther away than any other visible object.

    “First,” Suzanne started, after her and Danny had gotten out of the truck. “I’m going to see about where you and Chloe are as far as skill goes.” She pulled a shrunken Pokéball out of her jeans pocket, enlarged it, and tossed it into the grass.

    Out of the white light, a blue Pokémon appeared with long, rounded ears, an egg-shaped body, and stubby arms. Danny recognized her as Amelia, his mother’s Azumarill. In answer, he placed Chloe on the ground and stepped back.

    “Just react to whatever I throw at you, okay?” she said, eliciting a nod from her son. “Amelia. Use a gentle Bubble Beam.”

    “Rill!” she replied, opening her mouth to its small limit and spraying out several bubbles, wiggling through the air and to Chloe.

    “D-dodge it!” he stammered, trying to think quickly. His Pokémon stumbled backwards as the attack swarmed over her, crying not in pain, since it wasn’t intended to do any harm, but instead in fear of the random creatures leaving light bubbly imprints all over her body.

    “Idiot,” Samantha, who was still sitting in the back of the truck, said loudly, forgetting that his mother was standing nearby. “Like she knows what ‘dodge’ means. She might not even know English! You have to tell her exactly what to do.”

    “Alright…” he said, picking Chloe up off the ground and dusting her off. “One more time.”

    “Amelia, use Bubble Beam again, just like that last one.” She squeaked in agreement and repeated her attack.

    “Okay, Chloe, now step to your left to d-… get out of the way of-”

    “Poli!” she yelled yet again in fear, being covered with a thin layer of foam once more.

    “Oh, Danny…” Suzanne murmured, putting her head in her hands. “You’re a lot further behind than I thought…”

    For the next several hours, Suzanne and Samantha helped Danny teach Chloe some basic commands, such as “dodge” and “duck.” They coaxed her into attacking so they could learn her moveset, consisting of only Bubble and Hypnosis, which they also taught her – with difficulty and only moderate success – to use on command.

    “Bubble!” Danny yelled experimentally, watching in joy as his Pokémon gurgled out several bubbles with a small amount of force. Then, under the orders of Suzanne, Amelia attacked with her own water-based attack, aimed at Chloe. “Dodge it!” Squeaking, she dived to her right, landing on her side as the bubbles flew by her. Danny’s mother clapped as her son picked up the Poliwag, congratulating her.

    “Good work, Chloe,” the woman said, walking up and petting her. “You’ve really gotten better since we started.”

    Danny looked at his mother with a curious look, waiting silently as she stared back and thought. Just when he was ready to break the moment and ask the question in words rather than implications, she spoke.

    “Listen. I’m gonna to let you go on this thing, but-”

    Her son cheered and tossed Chloe about a foot in the air, catching her as she laughed.

    But you’re still not completely ready. Because of that, you have to call me at every Pokémon Center you visit, alright? If more than two weeks go by and I still haven’t gotten a call, I’m coming after you.”

    He nodded, still grinning, and hugged the woman. She kissed his forehead, said a quick goodbye, and got into her truck. Amelia hopped into the passenger seat and waved at the boy she had watched grow up. He waved back, shouting a farewell as the vehicle started and rumbled away, his mother’s hand sticking out the window and waving as well.

    Danny watched it until it disappeared into the distant crowd of lights that were Cherrygrove, having recently been turned on. He realized that the sun was barely hovering above the horizon to the west, casting an orange glow over the three creatures left standing in the field. They had been training all day.

    “Welp.” Samantha was standing to his side, hands behind her back and face in shadow, as the sun was behind her. “I guess I’ll be heading back… see ya, Chloe.” She smiled weakly and began strolling off, taking time to kick the occasional rock and run her fingers through the long grass.

    “Samantha!?” She froze. “Me and Chloe think it’d be really cool if you came with us. I know you said you’re not traveling, but it could be really fun and I’d learn a lot from you and you might even learn something from me and-”

    “Ugh!” She faked annoyance by rolling her eyes and swatting her hair over her shoulder. “Does it really mean that much to you two?” Danny nodded, afraid to hope. “… alright! I’ll do it!”

    All three of them smiled broadly, Danny and Chloe’s visibly and Samantha’s hidden behind an irritated exterior.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  5. Shadow Lucario

    Shadow Lucario Lone Vanguard

    Chucked maybe? If not then threw will also work.

    That's the only mistake I saw. It's a good chapter for a somewhat filler. I'm surprised Danny's mother let him go so easily. I would have thought she would've dragged him back home first. Nice chapter. I'll be waiting for the next one.
  6. xmikeyxlikesitx

    xmikeyxlikesitx Pokémon Coordinator

    I love this fic!!!

    Lots of detail and display of body language - definitely key winning points.

    I love how similar it is to my style, yet still remaining different.

    DON'T worry about making things a bit slow - it's MUCH BETTER than making events happen too fast!

    I give this a 9.75 out of 10, my highest rating yet!
  7. Lost Dream

    Lost Dream New Member

    YES. Another chapter, amazing as always. And yeah... I think Samantha is a female version of me. >:] Just saying...

    Stay Gold.
  8. Umbreon Ruler

    Umbreon Ruler Swim for your life.

    @Shadow Lucario: Is "chunked" wrong? Maybe it's just a local thing, but I've heard chunked used in that way many times. Well she was a trainer back in the day, so she can see where he's coming from.

    @xmikeyxlikesitx: Well thank you. :) I hope you stick around.

    @Lost Dream: Haha, that's interesting.

    Thank you for the reviews. :D The next chapter should be out semi-soon. There's kind of a lot to cover in it, so I think it'll be on the longer side.
  9. Shadow Lucario

    Shadow Lucario Lone Vanguard

    Maybe the hot Arizona sun here messes with our minds so we only say chucked @_@ Anyways, I get what you mean. Sometimes parents are understanding, but most of the time they are tyrants :p No offense parents.
  10. xmikeyxlikesitx

    xmikeyxlikesitx Pokémon Coordinator

    "Chunk" is an improper colloquialism if you've heard it. I can't seem to find that usage anywhere.

    I searched "chunk throw" and "chunk toss" on several sites (Google, Bing, etc.)

    No results...sorry, but I've never heard anyone use it that way, either.
  11. Umbreon Ruler

    Umbreon Ruler Swim for your life.

    "Chunked into the garbage."? "Chunk it out the window."? That's wrong? My mind = blown.

    Safari says "chunked" is spelled correctly, so it must be a word by some definition (I don't know how else you'd use "chunked") but I'll change it to "chucked' to be safe (which, by the way, is a word I would never hear around here. Us Texans and our backwards hillbilly ways. XP).
  12. Manchee

    Manchee extra toasty

    I wish I would've read this sooner, because it's really, really, good. I'm really amazed at how much this inspired me to write right now (too bad I'm going to bed though ><). But still, your description and setting and everything was perfectly written. I envy at how easily this probably flowed out of your mind, because it seems like one of those things that's effortlessly written in a matter of seconds. I'm very happy that I have no problems with this whatsoever (makes less to have to type ;P).

    I do want to quote something though, only because it made me laugh;

    I really thought when Aipom was saying "Pom?" that it was Danny saying "Porn?" at the eggs xD I have no idea why that would've made me laugh so much in such an awesome-ly described scene that was so clear in my head ><;;

    I've only read chapter one, but since I'm going to bed I'll restrain myself from reading further until tomorrow. I really can't wait to keep reading, so please keep at this until it's finished :3

  13. Umbreon Ruler

    Umbreon Ruler Swim for your life.

    I wish my writing just poured out of me. XP It takes weeks (sometimes months) of labor to get one of these out (not because they're such grand beings that deserve the time, but because I write sentence-by-sentence, slowly but surely).

    XD It's too bad it wasn't written that way originally for a chance at random humor.

    Thank you so much for the incredibly kind review. I will do my best not to give up on this thing (I've actually developed a real fondness for it and would hate to see it go unfinished). :)
  14. Paddypower

    Paddypower That clueless guy

    No psycopaths, no crazy connections which mean that the main character has to abandon the badges and use a giant flaming sword to kill some guy hell-bent on destruction (Which was great, but still)? Sounds like a good fic so far. I like Chloe aand the origins of her name. Imagine what would happen if Danny mum asked where Chloe's name came from... Samantha is fun as well. Great fic so far, however long it takes, I'll probably stay here to read.
  15. Umbreon Ruler

    Umbreon Ruler Swim for your life.

    Ha, she'd probably burn the deck of cards. I hope you can stay. :) Glad you're liking it so far.
  16. Umbreon Ruler

    Umbreon Ruler Swim for your life.

    I had a dream I finished this chapter. So I went ahead and finished it. XD It hasn't been... too long, I guess. I won't waste any more time with chatting. Read on:

    Chapter Five​

    Into the Sky​

    Danny, under the light of the morning sun, was packing up camp, which consisted of only his sleeping bag, which he had generously allowed the insistent Samantha to use, who assured him that she would pick one up in Violet City.

    They had walked about a mile the previous evening before deciding to settle in under a standalone tree in the middle of the field. Cherrygrove could still be seen, even in sunlight, but just barely over the tips of the rolling valleys, framed above by what appeared to be storm clouds in the distance. The cool breezes combing through the grass had Samantha worried, who was staring at the far off piles of gray.

    “Let’s go,” Danny said, throwing his backpack over his shoulder and picking up Chloe, who lay groggily in his arms. They set off, moving as tiny specks across the enormous landscape, encountering no one for several miles as the clouds approached. They didn’t speak to each other much. The boy and his Pokémon had chatted quietly, mostly one-sided with the occasional peep added in between sentences, while Samantha played on her new Pokégear, exploring the various features it provided. She would pipe in every once in a while, detailing what she had discovered about the workings of the useful device.

    Around the time the sun peaked, nearly covered by the forlorn billows of vapor, sagging under the weight of the rain threatening to plunge onto the earth, they stopped for a lunch of candy bars and canned beans.

    “Hey,” Samantha muttered, double tapping the touch screen of her watch. “Gregory Carmichael’s house is near here.” She looked at Danny for the appropriate response, but he stared blankly back. “Mr. Carmichael. The famous Pokémon researcher.” She waited a few moments but still got nothing. “‘Mr. Pokémon.’” The boy’s face lit up.

    “Oh, Mr. Pokémon!” He smiled and scraped out the last scoop of beans from his can. “I used to watch his show all the time when I was a little kid. I remember one episode he dressed up as a Dig-”

    “I don’t care,” she said, further examining the map. “When I was a kid, that guy visited my school and promised me he would show me what his Pocketdex said about my Snubbull. He never-”

    “You mean ‘Pokédex?’” he asked, plopping the final spoonful into his mouth.

    “Whatever.” She broke off a piece of her chocolate bar and prepared to eat it. “The point is that when I went to take him up on his offer in the dorm room he was staying in, he had already left. He lied. To me.” She crushed the bit of food between her teeth, continuing to look at the map with venomous curiosity.

    “We could… visit him,” Danny suggested, still unsure as to whether or not it was a good idea. “… if you want…”

    “That’s exactly what I was thinking,” she mumbled, grinning slightly. “Let’s go.” She stood and began walking.

    “Wait, what should I do with this?” He held up the empty tin can, sucking the juices off of his spoon. She took the object and tossed it into the grass, insisting they leave immediately and picking up Chloe, who had just finished her own meal of baby food. Packing up as quickly as possible, he jumped to his feet and ran to catch up with the girl and his Pokémon.

    Gradually, the fields became more populated by trees and bushes, never quite reaching the point of pure forestation but managing to block the trainers’ long-distance view, leaving them with only the digital map on their Pokégears’ screens to guide them. Finally, a small cottage presented itself to them with stained white walls, a thatch roof, and tiny, un-open-able windows, so covered with filth that one couldn’t see through them. Samantha was beginning to wonder if this was merely a winter getaway for the researcher when one of the dirty glass panes began to clear, allowing her to see the rag from behind, wiping it in circular motions.

    “He’s home,” she snickered, prancing to the entrance and leaning against the wall. “Now listen, Danny, I want you stay outside, okay? I know he’s your ‘childhood hero’ or whatever, but this is about me.” She jerked her head to the side, indicating that Danny should stay out of view. He crossed his arms. “Please?” she asked soothingly, handing Chloe to him.

    “… alright…” he murmured, smiling weakly. “I’ll be waiting out here.” He walked to a grouping of bushes, stepped in the middle of it, and sat down.

    “Cool.” She cleared her throat, bobbed her hair a bit with her hand, and knocked on the thick wooden door, hearing a quick scuffling inside.

    “Yes?” a man answered, cracking the door open and peeking out.

    “Hey, Greg,” she snarled, shoving the entrance to the one room building wide open. Before her stood a familiar man. In fact, it was as if his greased-back hair, exuberant white tuxedo, and square, thick-rimmed glasses hadn’t moved an inch she last saw him that evening in the dormitory hallway after his presentation. With difficulty, she recalled that she had once thought his style was the ultimate level of cool and had vowed to get her own white suit one day. During her temporary pause, the man that time had forgotten began yelling at her.

    “Excuse me, young lady, but you must leave immediately! I’m awaiting a trio of very important guests and I don’t have time for some brainless child’s-”

    “It’s disgusting in here,” Samantha said, regaining her composure and strolling inside. She saw a suitcase lying on the dusty card table next to a black metal box and a cylindrical case containing an egg. “You just got here, huh? Well then that makes me one very lucky girl, doesn’t it?”

    “I don’t know who you are, aside from your evident delinquent tendencies, but I suggest leaving my house before I call the authorities. As I said, I have to prepare my home for three of Professor Elm’s finest trainers, not to mention the world renowned Professor Oak, and I have very little time to do so. Now if you would please be so kind as to remove your presence from the premises I could-”

    “So you really don’t remember me,” she stated, unsurprised. “Well let me remind you. Goldenrod Prep School, four years ago, Chansey Coed Dormitory. Ring any bells?” She was in his face now with her hands on her hips while the man slowly backed until he was against a wall.

    “I… I don’t rec-”

    “We met in the hallway the night after your presentation on the fundamentals of Pokémon. I showed you my Snubbull, Daisy, and you told me you’d-”

    “Please!” he yelled, now crouched in the corner. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

    She crossed her arms and stared at him, exploring the corners of her mind for a suitable approach to the situation.

    Meanwhile, Danny was outside, laughing as a gentle stream of bubbles blew past his cheeks and over head. It was cut short by Chloe herself doubling over with giggles and the boy picking her up. ‘Those gyms are gonna be no problem for us,’ he thought, envisioning the leaders’ surprised faces when faced with such a gifted and powerful trainer.

    “Dunneh, werr levven!”

    He looked up and saw Samantha’s backside, sprinting into the woods. Screaming for her to wait, he began the chase. As he passed the cottage door it opened and he looked back to see Mr. Carmichael looking out slowly, yelling threats of calling the police just quietly enough so that Samantha couldn’t hear.

    Her running appeared stilted from behind, the way Danny’s was carrying Chloe. He finally caught up though and saw a glass case in her hands and a red, rectangular device in her mouth. Within the glass was an egg, covered with red and blue triangles.

    “What did… did you steal these?” he stammered through labored breaths.

    “Heh ohd meh!” she grunted.

    “Take ‘em back!” he ordered, checking over his shoulder for the inevitable police squad that would surely be on their tails in a matter of time. “Do you want to get arrested!?”

    “Det guh’s uh wehneh! Heh’s nuh gunnuh do anehthan!”

    They argued back and forth for several more minutes, finally stopping when Samantha decided they had put sufficient distance between them and the house. She sat down, out of breath.

    “This is a Pokédex, right?” She lifted the top half, containing a screen, on its hinges, which uncovered a small keypad underneath.

    “I think so,” Danny said, still uneasy about the crime they’d committed. “I’ve never actually seen one, though.” He bitterly remembered the trio of victors that had won the starter Pokémon, and three Pokédexes along with them, instead of him.

    Samantha pressed a green button and “WELCOME,” over a Poké Ball symbol appeared on the screen. She held it up, the back facing Chloe, and pressed a few buttons experimentally, getting results ranging from a list of Pokémon, which was empty, to designer credits. Finally, after hitting a red button in the top right corner, a generic picture of a Poliwag appeared on the screen.

    “Poliwag, the Tadpole Pokémon,” an electronic voice droned from the side speakers. “The direction of its belly spiral differs by area. The equator is thought to have an effect on this.”

    Danny’s mouth was agape. “That’s awesome!” he shouted, scooting over to get a view.

    “Is that it?” Samantha asked, shaking the Pokédex. “No battle strategies, no movesets, no type advantages? This thing is useless!” She tossed it aside, turning her attention to the egg.

    Danny picked up the red box and slipped it into his backpack. “What about Snubbull? Wasn’t that the whole reason you-”

    “It’s not worth it,” she absently interrupted, face pressed against the egg’s glass case. “I know everything I need to about Daisy. I guess I can forgive Mr. Carmichael now.”

    “Good.” He sighed in relief. “So we’re taking this stuff back, right? I think if we return it soon he won’t call th-”

    “Seriously, Danny?” She was staring at him in disbelief. “I got a free Pokémon and you can have that free Pokédex. Free.” She then began digging through her purse and retrieved two short bungee cords with hooks on each end, rolled into small pocket-sized circles. As she began fastening them to the metal caps on the top and bottom of the egg’s case, she explained to Danny that bungee cords had a variety of uses, as she was demonstrating, and that any trainer would be wise to carry them. When she was finished, the cords resembled the straps on a backpack, backed up by the fact that she now wore it as one.

    She modeled it for a moment, showing Danny what a little ingenuity could do. They then began walking once more.

    It was getting windy and the trees did little to block the moving air, which merely bent around anything in its way. Both trainers had walked miles in this condition, through fields, hills, and forested areas. By the time they reached the large, great valley a few minutes outside of Violet, their hair had been whipped to the point of complete disarray and clouds had completely swamped every bit of blue in the sky. The rugged weather didn’t stop a group of ten blindfolded monks from standing in the tall grass, arms outstretched like a cross.

    Every gust nearly toppled them but they managed to stay on their feet, faces showing clear strain each time they were forced to do so. They were so focused on the task at hand that they didn’t hear Danny and Samantha as they approached, bewildered.

    The girl got next to one’s face, studying the wrinkles and spots across his skin. She didn’t stay long, though, as the terrible smell of body odor was blown into her face. She accredited it to the dirty orange robes they all wore, appearing to be made in a similar way to burlap sacks.

    To her left was a much younger-looking boy and behind him an older man than she would have thought able to withstand the wind’s force. ‘What is this?’ she thought, wondering if she should disturb the silence.

    “What are you guys doing out here!?” Danny yelled over the wind, directly into the ear of a middle-aged man who promptly launched a hand blindly into his possible attacker’s stomach, directly below Chloe’s hanging legs.

    “Aaaaaaagh!!” His Pokémon fell to the ground and moved just as he crumpled into the grass next to her. “What was that!?” he moaned, grasping his belly.

    “You disturbed our peaceful training, stranger,” he answered in a voice much too high to be acquired naturally. “I must ask you to leave as this requires our utmost concen-” An extra strong gust swept the valley and the monk bent back, nearly touching the ground with his head but never allowing the bottom of his feet to move. With a groan, he lifted himself with what could only be his ankle strength while both travelers stared in disbelief.

    “How the hell did you do that!?” Samantha shouted, brushing some hair that was blowing in her face behind her neck.

    “Please don’t swear, young one” he requested peacefully, raising his arms to his sides once again. “I have practiced many years to sway as the Bellsprout does.”

    “But you’re like eighty!” She held her nose and crouched down to his feet, making sure there was nothing holding him down.

    “Perhaps someday you will learn that age is but a foolish perception of the mind,” he said, “meaning nothing to those who choose to free themselves from it.”

    “Exactly what cult has you believing that crap?” she asked, closing her eyes as her hair snapped in front of her face.

    The man merely giggled in a friendly manner. “I come from the Sprout Tower, young one. There we teach souls to separate themselves the body’s limitations. I would suggest visiting. You may find yourself surprised at what your body – or rather, your spirit – can do…” He heard nothing but the whistling winds blowing around him. “Hello?”

    Samantha had dragged Danny and Chloe away, walking across the rest of the field, through a small gatehouse and past a sleeping guard, and into Violet City, a place much bigger than either Cherrygrove or Newbark. There were no modern skyscrapers in sight, which disappointed the small-town boy, but one building, black against the grey clouds and to the north, was stacked, story by story, officially becoming the tallest building Danny had ever seen in person.

    The three-story Pokémon Center greeted them as they entered the town, light pouring out the glass doors and into the darkening world. When they were in the building, they found it to be very crowded by trainers of varying ages, presumably to find shelter from the oncoming storm.

    “I’m going to try to get my license today,” Danny explained to Samantha as they waited in the line to get to the counter, “but I’m gonna need you to get a room for both of us just in case.” She agreed and they stood for over ten minutes, shuffling forward occasionally when the person at the front would finish their business and leave. Eventually, they reached Nurse Joy, who smiled weakly at them as she exhaustedly typed something into her computer.

    “Can I help you?” she asked, giving her best attempt at cheer.

    “We need our Pokémon healed,” Samantha said, handing Daisy’s Poké Ball over and motioning for Danny to give Chloe to the nurse, “and a room for two.” She flashed her trainer’s license and accepted the room key.

    After unpacking their things, Samantha announced that she would be visiting the Sprout Tower and they planned to meet back in the room by nightfall, roughly five hours away. After they left the Center, Pokémon in tow, Danny spent about an hour familiarizing him with much of the town, using his Pokégear as a guide to the more interesting stops, before arriving at an old-fashioned-looking school house, painted red and pointed at the top. A large bell even hung within the tip, swaying gently as the wind struggled to move its enormous weight. It was in a more residential area of Violet and had a large meadow behind it, partially filled by playground equipment.

    Despite the cold air, he felt warm inside at the sight of the classic school, reminding him of a simpler time. He grabbed the metal handle on one of the heavy wooden double doors and swung it open.

    Rows and rows of wooden desks filled the single room, split in the middle by a walkway. Children were hunched over the majority of the tables and the sound of pencils scratching against paper could be heard even with the wind. At the front of the class, finishing a long list on the chalkboard labeled “Semester Review,” a plump man pranced in place, ending the “t” in “Type Chart” with a gratuitous series of waves and curls.

    “There will be two hundred questions, one hundred multiple choice, seventy-five true false, and tw-” He stopped short when he noticed Danny, standing in the open doorway. “Young man!” he called, suddenly standing rigid. “May we help you?” He gracefully glided around his desk and across the room, twirling his thick brown mustache until he and the boy were face to face.

    “I… I want… I can get my trainer’s license here, right?” Danny looked up and turned his face slightly to the left to avoid the gaze of the unrelenting teacher.

    “Of course you can!” He grabbed him by the hand and led him to an empty desk, leaving him to quickly retrieve a test packet and two sharpened pencils, which he placed in front of the boy. “You have one hour to complete one hundred questions. You must correctly answer seventy to earn one trainer’s license.” He winked and strolled to his chair, landing in it and spinning around.

    Danny looked to the students on each side of him, both typing frantically into calculators and writing the results into one of the empty boxes marked “Show your work” next to each question on their tests. His exam was in a different format, merely question stacked on top of question, separated only by the four possible answers under all of them.

    1. At most, every Pokémon is classified under two elemental types. For example, the Pokémon Magnemite would be considered a ______ Pokémon.

    He examined the choices, tapping his pencil over each letter. Finally, he circled “B. Electric” and gulped, moving on.

    Meanwhile, just arriving an enormous pagoda, Samantha, egg on her back, observed the area. There were a couple people who braved the wind to take touristy photographs of the monks hammering or hoeing on the grounds. A trilling filled her ears and she noticed gold-colored bells hanging from the corners of every level. Even she had to admit that the amount of physical labor it must have taken to build the tower – especially considering how long it had stood and the fact that machines likely weren’t available to assist the workers – was impressive.

    “Welcome, young one.” A chubby man with pasty white skin approached her, smiling. “What brings you to the Spr-”

    “Some old guy outside of town told me to come here.” She crossed her arms and looked to the peak of the building. “He said you taught the soul to sway like a Bellsprout or something…”

    “I’m sorry, child, but we only teach men here. You may look around, if you like.” He grinned and placed his hands into a praying position against his chest.

    “So you’re saying you won’t teach me? Because I’m a girl?” Her mouth was open slightly. He nodded apologetically.

    “We have found that only men are capable of the tough physical and spiritual tests we put our monks through. Females be-”

    She cut in icily, “I don’t know if you could really be considered ‘men’ after they chop y-”

    “Please, child, it is not personal, I assure you. We only want to protect-”

    “What,” she snapped, “do you have these guys doing that’s so difficult? I want in.”

    “Ohoho,” he chuckled, holding his round belly. “You do not have the will to climb the tower or fast for six months or-” He stopped short when he saw Samantha removing the egg from her back and telling him to hold on to it for her. “Wh-… what are you doing, young one?”

    She didn’t answer right away. First, she pulled a pair of padded, fingerless gloves from her purse and slipped them on. She then tossed the bag onto the egg case and walked off. “I’ll be at the top if you need me,” she said coolly, arriving at the wooden base and looking straight up. Finally, she found her footing in some of the ornamental carvings traveling upward and began her ascent, quickly reaching the first level of roofing sticking outward and using its more horizontal surface to sit for a moment and look at the monk.

    “You cannot do this, young one,” he said, calming himself and walking closer. “I understand that you feel slighted by what I have told you but the years have taught us tha-”

    His voice was slowly drowned by the people gathering and talking amongst each other, taking pictures of the radical women’s rights protester. Naturally, she played the part with a smile, even going so far as making a muscle to display her woman power, which earned claps and cheers from the onlookers.

    “This one’s for the girls!” she howled, hopping to her feet to continue climbing, watched by dozens of admirers and a few distraught monks.

    Danny wasn’t having quite as grand of a time.

    100. Poisoning will most likely affect every trainer’s Pokémon at some point in their careers. ______ is a useful, on-the-road cure for this ailment.

    I know this one,’ he thought, looking through the answer choices for the one he knew to be correct. Just before he circled “C. Antidote” he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, A’s answer choice: PRZCURE Berry. ‘[/i]PRZ,[/i]’ he mused, leaning back to think. ‘Is that… poison…? I think it’s paralysis, though…’ He picked his first instinct, trying to ignore any doubts, and brought the paper to the front of the class and into the teacher’s hands.

    “I’ll grade this now!” he announced, placing a pair of small reading glasses onto his face and plucking a red pen from a glass jar on his desk. Danny watched for the first few seconds, but turned away when he saw the man making several markings on the first page.

    Everyone in the room besides him was still writing nonstop, eyes barely inches from the recently-written answers. It was nothing like Newbark High, where students and teachers had a mutual understanding that less work for one meant less for the other as well. He hugged Chloe tighter, remembering the awkwardness of school. Memories of lunches with people he was embarrassed to be seen with flashed in his mind despite his efforts to keep them out.

    He heard the rustling of paper behind him and spun around, too nervous to ask.

    “Well, my boy,” the teacher began, scribbling something at the top of the first page. “That was quite a close call.” He showed it to Danny, who was too shocked to grin at the “72” written next to his name. “Now you’ll need to fill out this form,” He retrieved another paper from his drawer and handed it to Danny, “and get your picture taken.” The man grabbed Danny’s arm, pulled him through a door, and placed him in front of a blue cloth, where a camera a few feet in front of him flashed without warning. He was sure he had blinked. After that, he was shoved into the same desk he had tested in to fill out copious amounts of personal information, which he gave back to the teacher, who told him to return in one hour to pick up his official trainer’s license.

    So he left, returning to the clouded, windy town. He began to head southward, toward the Pokémon Center, but glanced to the north, at the tower, causing him to stop and stare. ‘Is somebody… climbing that thing?’ A lithe silhouetted figure was nearing the halfway point, currently swinging herself onto the next level. Danny couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see it so he decided to work his way to Sprout Tower, through the ill-designed streets and buildings.

    A few minutes before he arrived, the rain began. It started slow, tapping him occasionally, but soon reached storm level, complete with lightning, thunder, and howling winds. He was sprinting when he entered the tower’s grounds and was shocked to see a horde of women and a few men standing in the pounding showers with fierce looks of determination on their upward-turned faces. He ran inside, nearly crashing into a group of monks standing in a circle, praying silently.

    “Please, child,” one whispered harshly after their prayer was abruptly cut short. “Have some respect.” They all bent in once more and all appeared to start mumbling completely different things. Danny backed off and walked around them, observing the place.

    In the very center of the room was a giant wooden pillar stretching from the floor to the ceiling. Surrounding it were statues of Bellsprout, sculpted in scenes of battles, rest, and standing tall. Aside from the two windows on each of the four walls, it was a very bare arrangement. Looking around as he did so, the boy walked to a ladder opposite the door, climbing up and through a small hole in the boards. He saw that the second floor was identical in layout to the first, aside from the group of huddles monks. This one instead only had two, each watching as a pair of Bellsprout, vines flailing, sparred, never moving their root-like feet as each slapped the other’s yellow head.

    The young trainer put his finger on Chloe’s lips to indicate the need for silence and quickly climbed the next ladder one-handed before they noticed him. He repeated this process several times, passing many rooms differing only in the number of monks that stood inside. Some slept, others held buckets out the window to gather rainwater, and the rest performed chores and repairs to the inside of the tower.

    He estimated that the girl was probably on floor seven or so by now, so once he finished climbing his sixth ladder he stopped and chose an eastern-facing window. He grinned when he saw a young teenage girl’s lower half in front of him, dangling from the above story’s roofing. He studied the legs as they stretched their knees upward, trying desperately to find leverage to lift the rest of the body up higher. He leaned on the sill, setting Chloe at his feet as he watched the girl’s plight.

    “Poli!” she cried, jumping to see outside. At the sound of the Pokémon, the legs froze for a moment and then dropped down to eye level with Danny.

    “Samantha!?” Danny stood up straight, looking away. “What are you… why are you climbing the-”

    “Because…” she interrupted, breathing extremely heavily and sitting down on the window sill. “Those monks… said that I… I couldn’t…” She wiped the wet hair clinging to her forehead away and coughed. “They said it’s… it’s because I’m a girl…”

    “You’re barely halfway, though,” he said, crossing his arms. “And you’re dying here. Just come inside before you get sick.” He reached out a hand but it was refused by Samantha, who put her own arms between her legs to stop them from trembling.

    “I can do this,” she growled hoarsely, plopping her butt down onto the shingles and scooting out of view of the window. “I just need to rest a little bit…” She wiped her face, sighing.

    Danny, meanwhile, looked at Chloe, who gave him a wide-eyed, expectant look. “Alright,” he groaned, kneeling down to pat her. “I’ll go talk to her…” He grunted as he climbed out, making sure he had complete footing before he performed a crabwalk variant to get to Samantha. They sat next to each other through at least a minute of silence. The rain was much louder outside than it was within the tower. Danny finally began talking when he heard a barely-audible “Poli!” from inside.

    “Listen,” he began, thinking of where to go next. “I know you really want… well, I guess you have to prove these guys wrong. But it’s impossible to win at everything, y’know?” He looked at her but she merely stared into the distance. “You’re tough, Samantha, but you can’t do it all… and think of it this way: if I hadn’t lost that starter Pokémon giveaway, I never would’ve gotten Chloe. So sometimes los-” He stopped when he felt the girl’s eyes on him. He glanced over.

    “Oh… God.” Her mouth stayed open slightly. “We’re not having a moment here, Danny. So please, unless you have some actual advice on getting to the top of this thing, I’d appreciate you waiting inside with the rest of the boys.” Her eyes remained fixed on him until he finally crawled back, then she leaned against the wall, thinking.

    “Well that didn’t work,” Danny muttered, picking up Chloe, who buried her face in his moist shirt. He spotted a monk sweeping in the corner and approached him. “Excuse me,” he started, surprising the elderly man. “My friend is out there climbing the tower. Is there anything protecting her if she falls?”

    He thought for a moment, furrowing his incredibly wrinkly brow. “Are you speaking of a contract, young one? We don’t bother with such earthly nuisances. The Lord will protect us from the laws of people.” He smiled wisely and returned to sweeping.

    “No… a contract would be to protect… you… I was wondering what would protect her if she fell down seven stories.”

    “Your friend…” the monk started weakly, leaning on his broom for support. “You said she was female?” Danny nodded. “Then I am afraid the Lord will not be there to catch her. We will have to hope that she has lived a good and pure enough life to make it into Heaven, where she will get to pleasure one of the monks who have lived in Sprout Tower.”

    A wildly awkward period of complete silence followed. Even Chloe had stopped sucking the cool water bound within Danny’s shirt. “What… what if she doesn’t go to Heaven?” he asked, almost afraid of the possibilities.

    “She will be sent to Hell, where she will be forced to pleasure all of the nonbelievers,” he answered simply, returning to his cleaning.

    Outside, Samantha was lost in her thoughts. “I can’t do this…’ She pictured the many, many floors she still had to climb. She wasn’t sure if she could even make it one more. ‘Am I supposed to just wait out here? I can’t walk past all of those smug assholes and know they were right…’ She looked at the window sadly. ‘But I guess I have no choice.’ She tiredly crawled along the roofing, through the entrance, and sat on the wooden floor, closing her eyes.

    When she awoke, she was under white sheets in a room with simple, tasteful Pokémon posters, an expensive-looking computer, a few cabinets, and one more bed. Her hair – and the pillow below it – was slightly damp, as were the rest of her clothes and the bed. Her egg, still in its case, sat on a small table to her right.

    Outside the door in front of her, she heard the buzzing of a card key being used. Then, the door swung open and Danny walked in with Chloe. They were both soaking wet.

    “Danny?” She sat up. “Did you carry me here?”

    “Huh? Oh, no, one of those feminist guys did.” Samantha sunk back into bed with an “oh.” “Hey, check this out.” He pulled a laminated piece of paper from his wallet and handed it to her. “I got my trainer’s license.”

    She grimaced at the picture: a crooked smile, one eye closed, and nostrils flared. She began to speak but her voice cracked slightly and gave it up.

    He took it back went into the bathroom, still talking. “Now I can get my own Pokémon Center rooms and Nurse Joy told me that there was a gym leader in this town. I’m gonna get a badge! Isn’t that awe-” He looked out the door and saw the girl sleeping peacefully, stomach rising and lowering rhythmically. He sighed and turned the bath water on, letting Chloe play in the warm liquid as the tub filled.

    “Tomorrow,” he said, splashing his Pokémon. “We start our path to the Pokémon League.”
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  17. Adrexus

    Adrexus Do it the bird way!

    Wow! My expectations of a journey fic had been a little low from what i've heard. But the really unconventional way of the trainer obtaining his Pokemon. The in depth description of the the towns really drew me in. Plus I absolutely love Chloe. Especially the scene where they are playing around in the mud just captures really well the joy of the moment. I hope Chloe doesn't evolve, but that's just me. I failed to notice any grammatical errors in your last chapter so great job! Please add me to your PM list and i'll be waiting for chapter 6.
  18. Paddypower

    Paddypower That clueless guy

    Hey, look at me all reading this again. I see Samantha's getting weirder by the hour and Danny's an official trainer. Always good to be legal. Very useful in not being arrested and all that. So yeah, if you want to write, a new chapter would be smashing, but if you don't, sure, what the hell, it's all good.

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