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Thread Description
This is the story of a girl who's tired of pretending // Updates every Thursday

Rhema

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
112
Location
Hearthome City
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
She tries her best, but doesn't succeed. She gets what she wants but not what she needs.

"As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.” – Hermes Trismegistus

This is a story about a girl who is tired of pretending. She's spent most of her life putting on a show for the cameras, and she's finally broken free. Follow Lilian Meridian- the master of Contest ceremonies that you've probably never heard of- as she embarks on a very delayed journey as a Trainer, alongside her freshly hatched Pokemon partner and a certain green-haired enigma. There will be action, there will be romance, and there will be plenty of introspection- all while saving the world from a disastrous fate. On second thought, maybe Lilian should've just stayed in show business...

Welcome to As Above, So Below! This is an Alpha Sapphire Wonderlocke that takes place 16-ish years after the events of ORAS. As such, the overall plot of this story will vary greatly from ORAS; as characters that were kids are now adults, adults are even older adults, predicaments have come and gone, etc... This run is from the perspective of Lilian, my MC, and will be written in first person. If you're curious about the detailed rules of my run, click the spoiler below!

1.) If a Pokemon faints, it's considered dead and will be boxed for the remainder of the run. No exceptions.
2.) I can only "catch" one Pokemon per new area. Since this is a Wonderlocke, I will be trading one Pokemon per new area rather than keeping what I originally caught.
3.) The Pokemon that I get traded to me is only viable to use if its level begins with the same digit as ALL of my other Pokemon or below. For example, if one or more of my Pokemon aren't above level 20 yet, I can only keep a traded Pokemon that's level 01-19. Essentially, ALL of my Pokemon need to have the same first digit in their level for me to be able to keep a traded mon of that same first digit.
4.) Conversely, rule #3 means that if all my Pokemon are at level 60, a level 1 traded Pokemon still counts as a catch, and I will have to level it up if I want to use it.
5.) If a Pokemon is traded to me and does not fall within the level requirement, I am allowed to trade it back for another Pokemon. I can keep doing this until I get a Pokemon that falls within the level requirement. This is the only circumstance in which I'm allowed to try for another trade.
6.) I consider the following Pokemon exceptions to the above rule: Wurmple, Zigzagoon, Magikarp, and Bidoof. Wondertrade is littered with these, especially in ORAS, and my entire run would just be these four Pokemon if I didn't ban them from use.
7.) I do not HAVE to use each encounter, aka trade. If I decide not to use a Pokemon that technically meets the level requirement, it still counts as my encounter for the area. I must box it and I cannot use it for the remainder of the run.
8.) Dupes clause is on.
9.) All Pokemon are given nicknames (not literally, because I can't nickname Pokemon traded to me, but they will be nicknamed in the run)
10.) Exp. Share is off, and I do not use O-Powers.
11.) TMs are allowed, but can only be taught to one Pokemon.
12.) I am only allowed one Mega on my team. I'm not even sure if I'll be implementing megas, but this seems like a good rule in case I get a team with a lot of potential megas.
13.) I will be using HM slaves to navigate the obstacles in this game. They cannot and will not be used as canon-fodder, only to get past obstacles.
14.) Healing items are permitted
15.) My battles are set to switch; I know that's the easy way out, but that's just how I do things haha.

This "Mature" tag is for cursing, suggestive themes, and mild/moderate violence. I promise it's nothing too sexy/vulgar/gory!

In retrospect, I probably took it a smidge too far slapping that guy.

Did he deserve it? Absolutely. Guys like him deserve to be called out. But that slap wasn’t meant for him. I mean it was, but it was bigger than just one cocky pervert. No, that slap was for all of them. All of those assholes that think it’s okay.

“I want you to know that you embarrassed me today, Lilian.”

“How’s that?” I retort, sarcasm dripping like thick honey from my voice. I refuse to look at my mother standing across from me. Instead I keep my arms tightly folded and my eyes fixated up, sinking further into the black leather couch.

My mother lets out a tense, bitter chuckle. She swipes the remote from the coffee table, diamond tennis bracelets rustling against her wrist. The television clicks on, and in my peripheral I see her make a wide, sweeping gesture towards the screen. “Have you already forgotten this disgraceful display?” she asks through tight lips.

Sighing, I humor her and tear my gaze away from the ceiling. A newscaster is gearing up to roll a clip that I’ve already watched about a million times in the past few hours. For most people, it would be strange for them to see their face plastered all over the news. Then again, most people aren’t major media personalities.

I watch myself on the screen, and at the same time, I don’t. I watch the caricature of a girl my mother spent years curating. Fake hair. Fake clothes. Fake personality. None of it is real.

The girl’s mouth curls into a saccharine, disingenuous smile as she addresses the audience. She sends a flirty wink in the direction of the camera, gloved hands resting on her bare waist. She dons an electric blue sports bra that accentuates her cleavage and a pair of the shortest shorts imaginable to match. With sweatband-clad arms, she gestures towards the gaggle of coordinators making their entrance. The crowd erupts in thunderous applause. She raises her hands high in the air, encouraging the spectators to cheer even louder.

My heart skips a beat as a familiar man strides past her- a coordinator that tries his luck grabbing at the girl’s ass with a cupped hand.

That girl is me. I watch myself seize his wrist, throwing it away from my body and giving him a hard shove. The audience gasps as he tumbles a few steps backwards. The arena settles into utter silence as I begin to shriek and scream at the guy, barely forming coherent sentences. He looks bewildered, backing away from me little by little as I carry on in hysterics.

My mother clicks the television off right as I deliver a swift slap to his face.

I feel the same odd combination of self-hatred and cognitive dissonance that I always do when I see myself on TV. It’s a strange sensation that starts as a hazy feeling in the front of my head and ends as a suffocating hitch in the back of my throat.

I shake my head in an attempt to refocus and my wig becomes slightly askew. I rip it off in frustration, throwing it at my mother’s feet. When I decided to grow my hair out last year, she insisted I wear one to maintain my “sporty girl” image. The logic behind that still escapes me.

My mother glances at the wig disdainfully, and then at me with a mixture of disappointment and contempt reflected in her sapphire eyes. I hate that I get them from her.

“Are you pleased with yourself?” she asks in a measured tone, leaning down to pinch the wig with her slender fingers and sets it on the coffee table. To anyone else she would appear calm as can be, but I can already see the cracks in her composed facade beginning to form.

“Thoroughly,” I mutter, running a hand through my long, loose waves. To be honest, I’m much more pleased with the fact that I never have to wear that damn wig ever again.

Before my mother can reply, the front door swings open. I know who it is even before I hear the familiar clicking of low heels and the swishing of a long skirt.

“You made quite the little scene today, didn’t you Lilian?” my sister simpers, plopping down in the armchair adjacent to me. She folds her hands in her lap, cocking her head in the expectant, judgmental way only Vivian Meridian manages so well.

“I’m sorry, did I taint your flawless reputation?” I ask, eyeing her with abhorrence. Even without the wig, I look just like her. Same dark eyes, sloped nose, auburn tone to the hair. Same bone structure and full lips. Same beauty mark above the mouth, just different sides. We’re five years apart, but we look like we could be twins. That was always the gimmick, after all.

Vivian purses her ruby red lips, smoothing her skirt with both hands. “Hardly. I mean don’t get me wrong, it was mortifying. But the Meridians can bounce back from this.”

My mother nods vigorously in agreement, eyes glued to her phone as her thumbs fly across the screen. “Your sister is right. I’ll arrange a press conference for first thing tomorrow morning and Nancy has already agreed to have you on Hoenn by the Hour sometime this-“

“Mom,” I snap, pinching the bridge of my nose. “You seriously don’t get it? I’m not interested in coming back from this. I’m finished.”

Vivian scoffs and my mother waves a dismissive hand. “Don’t be absurd, Lilian. This is your career. You and your sister were born to be in the public eye.”

“Says who?” I counter, feeling a massive lump forming in the back of my throat as I fight back tears. “Is it that surprising I’m fed up with constantly having to put on such a ridiculous facade?”

“Frankly it is,” Vivian interjects, giving her hair a prissy toss over one shoulder. “You have a very cushy life. If I were you, I wouldn’t be so eager to give up such a golden opportunity.”

I roll my eyes so far back into my head that I’m surprised they don’t fall into my skull. She doesn’t even get it. She’s always been branded as the elegant, classy one. Nobody thinks it’s okay to smack her ass. “You’re right Viv, getting fondled and catcalled on national television every week is such a blessing,” I reply, glancing upward and lifting my hands in mock prayer.

My mother slams her fist down on the coffee table, sending an ornate glass vase crashing to the ground. “Cut it out,” she spits. “This thankless attitude is very unbecoming, Lilian.”

The outburst startles me but I refuse to cry in front of her. My mother sees weakness in pain and I don’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing how lost I feel right now. Instead, I rise from the couch and walk swiftly to the guest room. As soon as I’m not facing them, I allow myself to break down, angry tears spilling down my cheeks as I slam the door behind me. I feel a liberating sense of relief peeling the tight spandex from my body and swiping my heavy makeup off. Never again.

Throwing my suitcase on the bed, I pull out the baggiest cardigan and most shapeless dress that I can find. It feels relieving to be able to cover up, but I feel a twinge of shame watching myself in the mirror as I slip the clothing over my head. My body has felt foreign to me lately, like it belongs to all the men who’ve made a sport out of leering at it.

I shove the rest of my belongings into my luggage and fling the door open, storming past the living room towards the foyer. “I’m staying at a hotel for the night,” I mutter as I fumble with my keys. “I need to clear my head.”

“Don’t bother coming back.”

Caught off guard, I stop in my tracks and swivel around. My mother swirls a glass of her favorite chardonnay in her hand, sipping from it casually as she regards me. The broken vase still lays at her feet. “That’s right. If you’re going to abandon everything I worked so hard to build for you and your sister, then you’re not welcome in my house,” she simpers.

I try to speak but I’m dumbfounded. My eyes flicker briefly to Vivian, who turns her nose up at me. I glance at my mother and she makes a shooing motion with her free hand. “Either go back to your apartment in Kanto or make use of all the money I earned you and find somewhere else to stay.”

The lump in my throat from earlier is now decidedly suffocating me. I consider trying to say something to remedy the situation, but I’m not even sure if I want to. I take a deep breath and hang my spare key on the wall hook, respecting the last wish of my mother’s that I ever plan to honor by walking right out the door.


***

The coffee shop reeks of burnt beans and synthetic vanilla, but at least it’s quiet. Petalburg is a small city with not much in the way of good cafes. I take a tentative sip of my latte, wincing as the heat singes my tongue. My ears perk up as I hear my name coming from the old radio perched on top of a warped wooden bookcase. Paranoia washes over me and I glance around the room, panicking at the thought of someone recognizing me. If I could have it my way, I would make myself invisible. That would solve just about all of my problems.

Luckily, most patrons seem too engrossed in their own business to pay me any mind. I sigh and sink further into my seat at the bar, tugging at the sleeves of my sweater. My eyes still burn from mascara bleeding into them when I was crying. I rub them with balled fists and bite my lip.

This is the first moment I’ve had alone since my outburst at the Saffron City Contest Hall. Security held me until that prick decided he wasn’t going to press charges, then they passed me onto my assistant. She watched me like a Pidgeot on the plane ride home, never taking her eyes off me. I don’t blame her. With the way I was acting, it probably seemed like I was on the verge of a mental breakdown.

My breath hitches as I begin to consider what my next move should be. I wasn’t exactly planning on assaulting someone on live television and tanking my career today. Vivian and my mother were right; I know enough about show business to recognize that I could bounce back from this. My PR team would spin some female empowerment narrative and I’d be hosting Contests again in no time, probably with an even bigger fan base than before.

But that’s not what I want. That’s not what I’ve wanted for a long time.

On the other hand, I don’t know what I want. When I was three, I wanted to be a firetruck, and now that seems a tad unrealistic. When I was seven, I wanted to be a teacher. I suppose I could go to college; I certainly have enough money and free time. When I was ten, I wanted to be a Pokemon Trainer like every other ten year old kid in Hoenn. Scratch that- every other kid on the planet. But by that age, my mother was already grooming me to become a star.

My thoughts are interrupted by the noisy chime of the cafe door as it swings open. A lean, grassy-haired man strides up to the bar, dropping a thick stack of flyers on the counter as he settles onto a stool.

“You want your usual, Wally?” the barista asks, wiping the inside of a mug down with the bottom of his shirt.

The man- Wally, I suppose- flashes a thumbs up as he rustles through a sleek messenger bag. He pulls out a crumpled bill and leans down to set the bag gingerly on the floor. His eyes meet mine as he rises back up. “Damn, I have no idea how you’re wearing a sweater in this heat,” he chuckles, fanning himself as though just the thought is making him sweat. “If I were you I’d be sweltering.”

I shoot him a withering look. “Mind your own business.”

Wally blinks at me and shrugs, turning away to swipe the to-go cup the barista places in front of him. Feeling annoyed and self-conscious, I hug my cardigan closer to my body and lift my own cup to take a drink. I’m about to get up and move to a different area of the cafe before the writing on the stack of flyers catches my attention.

“You’re looking for a travel companion?” I blurt out, a twinge of red rushing to my cheeks as I realize I actually verbalized the thought.

“What happened to minding your own business?” Wally replies with a sarcastic edge evident in his tone, swiveling to face me again. A peculiar shiver runs down my spine as our eyes meet. His are an honest, icy blue, and I am struck with a fleeting suspicion that they could see through all of my bullshit if they wanted to.

“I’m thinking of becoming a Trainer,” I say casually, averting his gaze and running a finger along the edge of my mug. What I don’t tell him is that the idea entered my mind only a few minutes ago. It’s a tempting idea if I’ve ever had one; doing something with my life that requires more than a stage presence and a nice rack.

Wally raises an eyebrow as he smirks into his cup. “I appreciate the interest, but I haven’t been a newbie Trainer for over a decade. I’m not exactly dying to travel gym to gym with some teenybopper.”

I grit my teeth. “I’m not a teenybopper, I’m twenty two.”

He offers me another shrug, which by now I’ve ascertained is his default response when he doesn’t know what to say. Feeling irritated by this whole conversation, I turn my back to him and finish the last few sips of my latte. Wally pushes off the bar and peels several flyers from the stack, leaving his bag and half-drunk coffee behind. I presume he’s popped out to post his ad on the bulletin boards outside, and I can’t say I don’t appreciate the reprieve.

Other than me and the barista, who’s taking his break in the back, the coffee shop is empty for the time being. I pull my laptop out of my suitcase and begin searching for a hotel room. I don’t feel comfortable here anymore, and it’s only a matter of time before someone comes in that’ll recognizes me. The baggy clothing and lack of my usual wig helps, but my face is still my face and it’s plastered on every television in Hoenn, Kanto, and probably all the other regions right now.

Suddenly, I hear something moving underneath me and I freeze. Maybe a Pokemon got into the cafe somehow? I shudder at the thought of a stray Wurmple finding its way inside. Those things give me the creeps. I glance down but see nothing.

I hear it, though. My eyes dart to the bag that Wally left behind. Upon closer inspection, it’s definitely rustling. As I reach down and pull the main pocket open, I’m abruptly blinded by a brilliant light.

Loud crackling and crunching sounds burst forth from the bag and I don’t know whether to cover my eyes or ears. For some reason I find myself holding my breath, not wanting to make any sudden movements. The next thing I know, a baby Pokemon is staring up at me with pieces of its shell stuck to its head. Specifically, a baby Ralts. It smiles at me before letting out a bleary yawn.

Before I can comprehend what’s just happened, I hear a distinctive “Fuck,” emanate from the doorway.

I turn and see Wally looking between me and the Ralts, arms crossed and jaw clenched. The Ralts promptly starts crying and hops up and down in place, reaching for me with desperate, flailing arms. I’m no expert on Pokemon, but something tells me this one thinks I’m its mother.



Cleo the Roserade!
Female / Poison Point / Calm / Thoroughly cunning



Nikolai the Gallade!
Male / Steadfast / Adamant / Proud of its power



Renzo the Treecko!
Male / Overgrow / Impish / Somewhat of a clown



Gloriana the Tropius!
Female / Chlorophyll / Mild / Study body
 
Last edited:

Frostmourne

Warriors of the Frozen Wastes, Rise!
Writer
Pokédex No.
46
Caught
Jun 14, 2019
Messages
51
Location
in her hoard
Nature
Sassy
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Fairy, Cool
Pokédex Entry
A Dragon Lich Queen | Fabulous and Stabulous
I am loving this so far! Great premise and idea altogether, and I really love the toxic atmosphere of this family dynamic that is going to create for the future of Lilian, and I love just about everything about how you’re setting her up! Someone who’s never had her own life suddenly getting a taste of motherhood, too? It’s a great idea. I like your descriptors in here, too! Super can’t wait for more!
 

Second

Demon from the World Chalice
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
206
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
250
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
They / Them
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ice
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon is known to wander off mid-conversation, annoying everyone involved.
Oh I'm really intrigued by everything so far. The idea of Hoenn, years after the original plot of ORAS is great. I want to know what Wally's deal is? What happened to my precious small child. It sounds like Lilian and Wally are stuck with each other, now, so perhaps I'll get to find out. Bitter girl and her cute baby Ralts this is gonna be a trip. I came in because that "As Above, So Below" quote got me but this run in general looks great I'm excited to follow
 

Bug

My mind is racing but my feet just move too slow
Moderator
Tech Team
🌱Featurer
🎇Contributor
Artist
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1
Caught
May 13, 2019
Messages
560
Location
in a pile of bugs
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Bug, Cute
Pokédex Entry
oh fuck oh shit my dots...............................................................................................................................
This is one hell of a set-up. Lilian is a badass who deserves better then the shit she's been putting up with. And what terrible timing on Wally's part! I can't imagine how long he may have been waiting on that egg to hatch. But this is the fanfic I'm here for: suddenly, co-parents!
 

Huntress Wizard

zigzagoon is S-tier and you can't change my mind
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
82
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
50
Location
the land of Ooo
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, Dark
Pokédex Entry
randomizers are the only way this pokemon can feel alive again
what a fantastic and strong start to a run! i love how you just drop us right in the middle of the story, and let us pick up on what is happening and who our main character is as we read. and your writing is really amazing as well, there are so many good narrative details and everything flows super well!!!

i'm really excited to learn more about Lilian and the motley crew she's sure to collect!
 

Aurea

Moderator
Moderator
🎇Contributor
Writer
Pokédex No.
25
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
38
Location
Sinnoh Region
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Dragon
Pokédex Entry
This creature is often inadvertently summoned by cute dog pics, Sinnoh content, and fried chicken.
Aaaah Rhema, I'm so excited you posted! And what a strong start. Lilian's voice is loud and clear, even through her dissonance.

I watch myself on the screen, and at the same time, I don’t. I watch the caricature of a girl my mother spent years curating. Fake hair. Fake clothes. Fake personality. None of it is real.

[...]

My heart skips a beat as a familiar man strides past her- a coordinator that tries his luck grabbing at the girl’s ass with a cupped hand.

That girl is me. I watch myself seize his wrist, throwing it away from my body and giving him a hard shove.
I especially love this part. That moment when she recognizes herself again was really well done.

Another thing I thought was interesting was you sort of turning the "I'm moving out and making my own life!!" start to a Pokemon adventure on its head. Sure, Lilian was pissed, but she wasn't counting on getting tossed on her ass permanently. It wasn't planned, it wasn't necessarily what she wanted, but now she's forced to deal with it. I'm really excited to see how someone who has always lived the cushy life (even if it wasn't always sunshine and rainbows) copes with being thrust out into the Hoenn wilds. Especially since she doesn't seem overly familiar (or fond of) Pokemon.

And I mean, come on, who doesn't love seeing Wally in a run? Can't wait to see where it goes from here, keep it up! ^^
 

kittenrobotarmy

FIYA EMBUREM
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
341
Caught
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
405
Location
Fódlan
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Ground
Pokédex Entry
Has dedicated her life to the Blue Lions + Marianne and considers them her children.
This is fantastically written and I'm really excited to see where you go from here. Having to deal with not only the (probable) stigma of being a new trainer as an adult, but also trying to escape fame when it's everywhere you go? This is a great premise you have here.
 

JavierE64

There´s even something under the mask?
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
169
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Grass, Water
Just one chapter in, and I´m already fully engaged; not only is Lilian is someone you can relate to very easily, but the backstory really makes her stand out.
Can´t wait to see how she deals with being a trainer and with her unwanted celebrity status.
 

Rhema

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
112
Location
Hearthome City
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
She tries her best, but doesn't succeed. She gets what she wants but not what she needs.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Hi everyone! I'm back with another chapter; I'll be updating every other Thursday for the time being since work is absolutely kicking my ass. So.....for now, biweekly updates!

Anyways, just wanted to give a huge overall thank you to everyone who tuned into Chapter 1. It can be difficult to break into the Nuzlocke scene, especially with all the new forum stuff going on right now, so all the support means a lot to me. I appreciate every single one of you and hope I can entice y'all to be regular readers!

@Frostmourne thanks so much! I'm excited to explore Lilian's toxic family dynamic and how that's affected her as a person. It will certainly be a big plot point! And it will definitely affect her "mothering" of her new Pokemon!

@Second I promise you that if you keep reading, I will definitely delve into Wally's deal and what's been going on with him since the events of ORAS. I feel like it's going to be so interesting writing him as an older, hardened version of himself. It's one of the biggest reasons I wanted to write this story in the first place! Thanks for tuning in; you have very good taste in quotes!

@Bug Co-parents, indeed! Such a fun, juicy dynamic that I'm pumped to write about. Ralts will bring them together for better or worse!

@Huntress Wizard I really don't know any other way to start a story, other than to drop right in the middle of the action! That's where it's at, babyyyy. Love writing me some problematic characters. Thank you so much for the generous compliments!

@Aurea You're the best and I always love hearing what you've got to say. I'm pumped that Lilian's voice is coming through so clearly already. I can't wait to write former celebrity Lilian roughing it in the wild!

@kittenrobotarmy So glad you like everything so far! I hope I'm able to write a famous person well lol. I think I've got a few tricks up my sleeve!

@JavierE64 Thanks so much! I'm happy that I've been able to engage you and I hope you stick around for Lilian and Wally's shenanigans!

Wally looks like he’s going to be sick. He storms over to me and the sobbing Ralts, scooping it up along with his belongings and beckoning me to follow him. Ralts is now shrieking at a frequency that puts my outburst at the Contest Hall to shame, wriggling in Wally’s arms as it strains to break free. I stuff my laptop in my suitcase and awkwardly shuffle out of the cafe.

Once we’re outside, Wally settles onto a bench and sets the Ralts down. It immediately makes a beeline towards me, clinging to my leg like its life depends on it.

“That’s what I figured,” Wally grunts, rubbing his temples. “She’s imprinted on you.”

“Like….she thinks I’m her mom?” I ask, mildly horrified. I lean down to give Ralts a clumsy pat, which seems to calm her down to a quivering sniffle.

“Exactly,” Wally grimaces, shaking his head. “I can’t believe this. She wasn’t due for another few days.”

“I mean you c-can have her back,” I stutter, throwing my hands in the air. I have no interest in taking some random dude's baby Pokemon.

Wally huffs and leans back into the bench, pushing the sleeves of his white button-up to his elbows. “There’s no getting around it, she’s already too attached to you.” he replies. “Unfortunately, that means I’m going to have to stick around for awhile.”

The color drains from my face. “What do you mean? I don’t want that.”

He shoots me an irritated look. “I’m not exactly looking forward to it myself, but I can’t leave her. She’s my Gallade’s daughter. He gave me her egg and I promised I would raise her.”

“Your Gallade’s daughter?” I echo, feeling dazed. This whole situation feels surreal, like I’m trapped in a bad nightmare in which I’m doomed to repeat the same parenting mistakes my mother made, only with a Pokemon.

Wally nods. “I traveled with Nikolai for years before he settled down in Sinnoh with a Gardevoir. This Ralts is one of their children.”

“Well, you can seriously just take her,” I say, gently swinging my leg in an attempt to get Ralts to let go. The effort is in complete vain; she grips to me like, well.....like a baby would to their mother.

“I’m telling you, it’s not going to work.” Wally replies. All of a sudden, his eyes narrow as he scans me up and down. “Wait a second, are you that girl on the news that assaulted that guy?” he asks, a look of horror spreading fast across his face.

I freeze, my heart dropping right into my stomach. As if on cue, a group of girls with Skitty on leashes walk by us, pointing at me and whispering in hushed tones. Wally groans, burying his head in his hands. “That’s just great, she’s going to be raised by a violent whackjob.”

“Excuse me,” I snap, leaning slightly forward to grab his attention. “That was self-defense, I’m not some sort of psycho.”

“Sure,” Wally mutters, peeking through his fingers at me. I look away, rolling the sleeves of my sweater up as I feel myself begin to perspire. The summer heat plus my increasing anxiety is not a winning combination, that’s for sure.

Wally sighs and rises from the bench, cracking his knuckles as he does so. “So it’s Lilian, right? I remember from the news.”

I confirm his suspicious with a terse smile, tracing circles around a dandelion with my foot as I try to maintain my composure. I’m beginning to realize that this probably won’t be the last time people recognize me, and it’s making me panic. Ralts hugs my leg tighter, and it occurs to me that she might be able to sense my anxiety. I guess Pokemon can be kind of cool like that.

“And you said earlier that you’re planning on becoming a Trainer?” Wally presses.

“Well up until this morning, I was planning on silently suffering as a master of Contest ceremonies like always.” I grumble, biting the inside of my cheek. “But slapping a guy on live television kind of made becoming a Trainer the next best thing.”

He nods like he understands, but I know he doesn’t. Nobody does. As an afterthought, I add “If I had known that this predicament was going to be the alternative to staying in showbusiness, I might’ve just let myself be groped.”

Wally exhales sharply and shoves his hands in his pockets, kicking the dirt underneath him. “Look, I don’t like this anymore than you do.” he gripes. I expect him to say more but he remains silent. We stand there like that for a while at what I would consider a stalemate. Clearly neither of us want to travel with the other. But he won’t leave this Ralts, and this Ralts won’t leave me.

“Going somewhere?” Wally asks suddenly, gesturing at my suitcase.

“Yeah,” I reply, glancing in the direction of my mother’s house. “My circumstances necessitate me finding a hotel room for the night.”

Wally jerks his head in disagreement, reaching behind him to gather his belongings. “That won’t be necessary,” he says. “My folks are out of town this week so the guest room is still available. You and the baby should stay with me tonight.”

“No,” I snap, furrowing my brow and taking an instinctive step back. “I don’t even know you, dude.”

Ralts beckons for me to pick her up, but Wally leans forward to scoop her into his arms as he shoots me an annoyed look. “Trust me, I would just take her if I could,” he laments. “But like I said before, she’s already imprinted on you and won’t take too kindly to being separated from you.” Ralts’ bottom lip begins to tremble at the thought, fat tears springing from her eyes.

I pause and take a hard look at both of them. Wally’s right; Ralts looks distraught even from just being in someone else’s arms. And Wally, bothersome as he is, doesn’t seem to be an entirely terrible guy. Even so, I feel like I’m taking a massive risk. Men haven’t been too kind to me as of late.

Wally sighs, beginning to walk in an unknown direction. “Please just come with me. I’d really rather not split you two up, even though you’re a bit of a nutcase.”

I scoff, trailing him as I begin to protest his opinion of me. Ralts looks positively delighted that I’m following them. She grins at me over Wally’s shoulder, giggling like she knows the best kept secret in the whole world.


******

“Are you going to name her, or should I?” Wally asks from the kitchen, just barely audible over the intense sizzling of the stove . The smell of fresh vegetables wafts throughout the house, urging my stomach to rumble with pleasure.

“Hm?” I call back to him absentmindedly, not quite sure what he even asked me in the first place. I stroll along the length of his living room, scanning the myriad of framed pictures that hang on the maroon walls. My mother would never display family photos in her soulless mansion of a home. They would ruin the decor.

One picture in particular catches my attention. A man and a woman, all gussied up in their Sunday best, stand with their arms wrapped around a young boy. I stare at him for a few moments before I realize it’s Wally. Other than the mop of green hair, he looks completely different. Younger, sure. But it’s more than that. His looks sickly, like his bones could crack under the weight of a few feathers. His eyes are sunken in, dark circles rimming them. He’s slouched and looks rather small, even for a little kid.

“I asked if you’re going to name Ralts,” Wally voices again, breaking my train of thought.

“Uh yeah, I guess,” I respond, sneaking a sideways glance at him. He looks like a regular man to me, healthy and broad-shouldered, with at least half a foot on me height-wise. Annoyingly good posture, too. Nothing like the boy in the photo.

“Well, what’s it gonna be? Please don’t choose something stupid.” Wally pleads in a low voice, leaving the kitchen with two steaming plates in his hand.

I scowl at him, even though his back is facing me. “It won’t be stupid.”

“I’ll believe it when I hear it,” Wally says as he sets the plates down on the dining room table. “You wouldn’t believe what some people name their Pokemon.”

“Actually I would,” I remark, walking over to join him. “The Contest world is full of Fluffies and Sparkles.”

Wally groans. “Arceus, that borders on abuse.”

I offer him a tight-lipped smile, sitting down and scooting my chair closer to my plate. “I think I’ll name her Mira, if that’s okay. I’ve always liked that name.”

He leans forward with his elbows on the table, eyeing Ralts who is snoozing on the couch in the living room. I suppose all the crying and screaming tired her out. She is only a few hours old, after all.

“You don’t have to ask me for permission,” Wally mutters. “She’s your Pokemon now.”

The sentiment makes me sweat, especially since he doesn’t sound too thrilled. I’m not really sure if I am, either. Becoming a trainer had crossed my mind, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen so fast. And I certainly wasn’t expecting to be forced to travel with some random guy.

“So, uh, where are your Pokemon?” I ask, not wanting to dwell on my unfortunate predicament. Wally clears his throat and rises from the table, striding over to his bag on the floor. He takes out a single Pokeball and tosses it into the air.

A Roserade materializes in front of us, heavy lashes blinking as she adjusts to her surroundings. She extends her slender arms above her head, the two beautiful blooms that spring out of her hands reaching for the ceiling. When she finishes stretching, her gaze settle on me. She can’t be more than three feet tall, and yet she’s the most powerful presence in the room. This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest; if I’ve learned anything from my stint in the Contest world, it’s that beauty demands attention.

“This is Cleo,” Wally says, rummaging in his bag for a Razz Berry. She happily swipes it from him, taking dainty bites until it’s all gone.

I blink between the two of them. “That’s it? Is she the only one who’s willing to put up with you?”

Cleo lets out a laugh muffled by one of her roses. Wally rolls his eyes. “No, she’s just the only one I’m travelling with at the moment,” he replies. “Since I’m not really training Pokemon anymore, I find it easier to just have one with me as I travel. She’s one of my oldest companions.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you Cleo,” I say, giving her a small wave. “My name is Lilian.”

Cleo waves back at me before turning her attention to Mira. Her red eyes light up as she glides over to the couch. She leans over to give Mira a soft peck on the cheek, leaving a pink lip print from her juicy snack. Wally smiles at the sight, rubbing the back of his neck. It’s the first smile I’ve seen from him since I met him.

“Cleo’s been so excited to meet the baby, I swear she was even more impatient than I was for her to get here.” Wally says. He lowers himself cross-legged to the floor, all but beaming at his two Pokemon.

But they aren’t his two Pokemon, are they? Mira is mine, no matter how much Wally and I wish it wasn’t that way. I suddenly feel as though I’m interrupting an intimate family moment and it makes me ill. The most intimate moment I’ve had with my mother and sister as of late was attending a red carpet event together. And they barely even spoke to me unless it was to borrow lipstick.

I push myself up from the table and take my empty plate to the kitchen. “I’m going to turn in for the night, okay?” I mumble, giving the plate a quick rinse before I place it in the sink. The summer sky hasn’t even turned dark yet, but my lids are growing heavy- not from fatigue, but rather a familiar loneliness.

Not looking away from Mira and Cleo, Wally gives me a thumbs up. “Sleep well. We’re going to get you your Trainer’s license first thing in the morning.”

“Mhm,” I faintly respond, meandering down the hallway to my room. Maybe all of this won’t seem so bad tomorrow. For my sanity’s sake, I sure hope so.


Mira the Ralts!
Female / Synchronize / Quirky / Likes to relax
 
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Bug

My mind is racing but my feet just move too slow
Moderator
Tech Team
🌱Featurer
🎇Contributor
Artist
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1
Caught
May 13, 2019
Messages
560
Location
in a pile of bugs
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Bug, Cute
Pokédex Entry
oh fuck oh shit my dots...............................................................................................................................
Wally is easily my favorite rival, and seeing him all grown up in this makes me happy. It's a lot different Wally than I'm used to, and that makes me excited to see what you do with him. Shifting his timeline forward by a lot is cool as hell.
 

Dustox

Professional Schemer
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
10
Caught
May 15, 2019
Messages
142
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Bug, Poison
Pokédex Entry
"No matter how hard you look, you won't see what I'm scheming."
So I'm here as I said and honestly, I love that I continue to find fun runs to read while discussing stuff in the writechat server. I don't always get the time to really look at all the runs out there, but I just had to check this one out. And it was a really great and fun read!

I love the concept of having these two opposite people coming together because they have to. That's always a source of frustration on their end but makes for great reading for us. And aging Wally up was a good decision, I feel! When I read that Lilian was travelling with Wally, it would have felt a bit awkward if it was child Wally? Like woah, the dynamics might have made my head spin. But older, more experienced Wally might be the ticket and I'm excited to see how the two get along!

I am curious to see if Wally is just travelling or will he be catching other Pokemon as well? He did say that he was just travelling but I mean, the more Pokemon the better for me.

Lilian was also a relatable protagonist. Escaping from toxic family dynamics? Wanting to do something else in their lives? Are you reading my diary or something? But no, seriously, I think she makes a great POV for people to come in as someone who's older so not necessarily naive but new to Pokemon training. We do know that she is a Contest MC so time will tell if she picked up stuff from there, watching the other trainers.

Anyway, that's all I have to say for now. Curious to see how this goes!
 

SeaMaid

Songwriter. Swede. Smartass.
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
332
Caught
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
37
Nature
Impish
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, Bug
I kind of love the tags on this one haha

No but seriously, this is a really solid start to the run! Timeline shenanigans are always a fun thing to consider, especially when you have a Wally that appears to have been cured of his sickness (or just made it less noticable?) Obviously that's gonna lead to an attitude change as well as just growing up.

Congrats on the featurette: I'll keep my eyes on this one!
 

Rhema

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
112
Location
Hearthome City
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
She tries her best, but doesn't succeed. She gets what she wants but not what she needs.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
Hi everybody! I know I said updates every other Thursday for now, but I've had a surprising amount of time to write this week and feel as though I have enough of a buffer to post a chapter right now! Thanks so much again for the read, especially if you've commented or reached out to me directly. I always love getting feedback- it motivates me to write an even better story!

@Bug I absolutely LOVE Wally and think he's criminally underrated/underexplored. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to flesh him out as I see fit and give him more of a personality and backstory!

@Dustox I definitely agree that aging Wally up was the way to go, especially since I tend to like writing romance into my stories and never feel comfortable writing relationships between freaking 10 year olds lol. I always tend to write my characters older than the teens, but Wally is supposed to be 27 in this, so for sure the oldest main character I've ever written. I'm only 22 myself so I haven't experienced late-twenties myself yet, but I think I'm up to the challenge of depicting it!

@SeaMaid I'm so glad you like it so far! Wally is definitely different than the sickly, naive boy that is canon. Looking forward to writing him and exploring his attitude change!

Littleroot Laboratory isn’t quite what I imagined. For some reason I was expecting sleek metals and glass, but what looms in front of us is a very large, cozy-looking cottage. The roof is a sunny yellow with a door to match, and the walls are made of smooth cobblestone. I run my fingers across a few of the stones as Wally swings the worn brass knocker against the door. Mira is dozing off in his arms, not awake enough to object to not being in mine.

The door swings open and we are greeted by a jolly man flashing us the widest smile I’ve ever seen. He is clad in bright red athletic gear, donning a floor-sweeping white lab coat over it all.

“Wally Wakefield, as I live and breathe!” the man exclaims, the corners of his mouth reaching his ears as he claps Wally on the back. “How long has it been, man?”

A broad smirk spreads across Wally’s face as he passes Mira off to me so he can go in for a proper hug. I tense up as I feel her stirring in my arms and I silently beg for her not to wake up. When she’s awake, she’s clingy, and I don’t know how to deal with clingy quite yet. The best I can manage is unconscious, and even that gives me anxiety.

“Can’t have been that long ago. My 27th, maybe?” Wally replies, tapping two fingers against his temple as if to concentrate on remembering. To my immense relief, he takes Mira back as quickly as he gave her to me.

“Must’ve been, must’ve been,” the man agrees. He turns to me and his eyes flash with a mischievous glint. “Do you want to introduce me to someone, Wally?”

Wally shrugs. “Want to? That’s debatable.”

I roll my eyes and extend my hand out for a shake. “Hi, I’m Lil-”

“Wait a second,” the man interrupts, his gray eyes widening as he snaps his fingers. “You’re Lilian Meridian, aren’t you?” Then his face scrunches up in confusion. “Wait, it can’t be. Her hair is a lot shorter, I think.”

I groan inwardly, retracting my hand. “Yeah, that was a wig.”

The man lets out a quick, deep laugh and slaps his hands together. “I knew I recognized you!” he declares, sounding oddly excited about the whole thing. “You were a total badass yesterday, giving that guy the verbal beatdown you did.”

Wally vocalizes a disapproving tut and I feel heat rush to my cheeks. The man grabs my hand with both of his and gives it a vigorous shake. “I’m Professor Brendan Birch, but just call me Brendan,” he says, grinning at me with the boyishness of a small child. “It’s seriously a pleasure. You rock.”

My embarrassment persists as I try to pull my hand away as politely as possible. “I think you’re the first person that’s held that opinion of me.”

“Well, more people should.” Brendan replies. He glances between me and Wally with a mixture of amusement and intrigue evident on his face, which has been bronzed by the summer sun. “So what can I do for you two today?”

“She needs a Trainer’s license.” Wally responds gruffly, stroking Mira’s head as she snuggles closer to his chest, still off in dreamland.

Brendan raises an eyebrow, turning to swipe a clipboard from a nearby lab assistant and strolling over to a table with three perfectly spaced out Pokeballs. “You’re gonna be a Trainer, huh? That’s quite the second act.” he says to me over his shoulder.

“Tell me about it,” I mutter, crossing my arms and fixing my gaze on the weathered hardwood. I’m not exactly living the dream at the moment.

“Well, I’m sure you’re well aware you’ll need a Pokemon to travel with,” Brendan says. “We’ve got a Torchic, Mudkip, blah blah blah…” he trails off, rolling his eyes at the tired spiel.

My eyes flash to Wally, who is looking more and more grumpy by the second. “Long story, but Mira here is Nikolai’s daughter and she’s going to be Lilian’s starter,” Wally remarks with a grimace that could scare off muggers and make babies cry.

Brendan stands silent for a moment, scratching his head as he looks between the two of us. He startles me as he begins laughing hysterically, crossing his arms in front of him. “Mister Trust Issues is going to let you travel with Niko’s kid? Good one.”

Wally inhales sharply, looking irritated. “Well I’m going with them.”

Uncomfortable and now feeling a bit faint, I shift back and forth on my feet as Brendan stares blankly at me. For a second I think he’s going to start laughing again, but instead he simply smiles. It’s a smile that annoys me for some odd reason. But then again, most men have been annoying me lately.

“So I guess I’ll just be needing that license,” I pipe up, tugging at the neck of my sweater. This laboratory is beginning to feel claustrophobic.

“Of course, of course,” Brendan replies smoothly, striding over to a rather large machine with a stack of blank plastic cards balancing on the top of it. “Any friend of Wally’s is a friend of mine, and I’m always happy to help my friends.” Brendan winks at me and then at Wally, who groans and hands Mira to me.

“I’m going to the restroom,” Wally mutters, stalking off towards the rear end of the lab.

Mira’s eyes shoot open and I feel my whole body grow rigid. She peers around the room curiously, giggling as Brendan sticks his tongue out at her. Her demeanor abruptly changes when he attempts to grab her from me. She shrieks and flails about in my arms as I struggle to hold her still. The last thing I need is to drop her on the floor and have her head crack open. Wally would murder me.

Brendan takes a step back, hands up in surrender. “She’s pretty attached to you, isn’t she? Wally must hate that.”

I sigh, biting my lip as I glance down at Mira. “Yeah, I don’t think he’s my biggest fan.”

“Don’t take it too personally,” Brendan remarks, craning his neck to look behind me before lowering his voice to a whisper. “Wally’s got a tough exterior but he’s a total softie at heart.”

I snort, completely unable to believe that. Before I can respond, Wally walks up. “Did I hear my name?” he asks, narrowing his eyes at Brendan.

“You must’ve been imagining things!” Brendan exclaims, patting Wally on the shoulder. He motions for me to sit down in the chair opposite the now roaring machine, which is vibrating and feels hot to the touch. Mira pouts as I hand her to Wally, but thankfully doesn’t start to cry. I think she can sense he’s got a connection to her, even if he isn’t the one she imprinted on. Nope, that lucky gal would be me.

Brendan rattles off a list of questions to me, punching my answers into the machine. Before long, he’s taking my picture for the front of the license. A lump forms in my throat when the flash goes off. It occurs to me that this is the first photo taken of me in a long time in which I’m not Lilian Meridian, Master of Contest Ceremonies. Now, I’m just Lilian.

Soon enough, the machine spits out a glossy Trainer’s license. I squint at my photo, barely even recognizing myself. Brendan gives me a leather case for the license and I stuff it in the pocket of my sweater.

“Are we about done here?” Wally asks, checking his sleek black watch. “I’d love to catch up, but we’ve got quite a bit of errands to run today to prepare for travelling.”

Brendan shakes his head, wagging his finger at the two of us. “We are absolutely not finished here. I have a very important question for Lilian.”

“Me?” I ask, finding myself worried that he’s going to ask me on a date. I was hoping that dressing a little less flashy would also help deter men, but maybe not. I am utterly flabbergasted as Brendan lowers himself onto one knee, digging around in the pocket of his lab coat.

“Lilian Meridian, will you be my rival?” he asks in a somber tone, pulling out a Pokeball and releasing a rambunctious Treecko. Mira squeals and jumps out of my arms, taking to chasing the Treecko around the lab.

“Arceus, Brendan.” Wally groans, slapping his palm against his forehead. “What are we, ten?”

I breathe a gigantic sigh of relief as Brendan gets up off the ground. “Come on Wally, every new Trainer needs a rival!” he cries out, hands flying to his hips. “Or did you forget that we used to be rivals?”

To my amusement, Wally blushes and looks away. “That’s not the point,” he remarks, scuffing the heel of his white sneakers against the floor. “You being her rival doesn’t even make sense. You’re a Professor now. You beat the league, for Arceus sake!”

Brendan shakes his head, pointing to the Treecko that Mira is chasing. Mira is laughing like an absolute lunatic, having the time of her life running around. To my surprise, I find myself cracking a smile at the whole display.

“I’m doing field research for the next year or so and I’ll be travelling with Renzo here.” Brendan says, grinning at the two scampering all over the place. “Thought starting with a new team instead of bringing the gang along would give me a fresh perspective.”

Wally nods, bringing a hand to his chin. “Oh right, I forgot you were doing that. I guess we’ll all be travelling at the same time, then.”

“Why don’t you travel with us?” I say, perhaps a little too quickly. I may or may not be desperate to not be alone with Wally and my surrogate daughter.

Brendan smiles warmly at me, shoving his hands inside his coat pockets. “That would be a blast, but I’ll be travelling back here pretty frequently. I’ll definitely meet up with you two when I can, though.”

“You really want to suffer through being a newbie Trainer’s rival?” Wally interjects, scrunching his nose up at the thought. I flip him off, but to be fair, I’m not really sure why Brendan wants to do it either.

“You’re such a cynic, Wakefield.” Brendan admonishes, nudging me gently with his elbow. “It’ll be fun, won’t it Lilian?”

“I guess so,” I reply weakly.

“Well it’s settled then,” Brendan declares, catching Renzo by the tail and lifting him onto his shoulder. “Now, I think it’s time for our first battle!”

My blood runs cold. “What did you say?”

“If you’re really gonna be rivals, you have to battle.” Wally says, looking at bit nervous at the prospect of me battling with his precious darling. I don’t blame him in the slightest.

“I can’t do that, not yet.” I stammer, looking down at Mira. She beams up at me, her pink eyes glimmering with adoration for me. Soon enough she’ll realize that I don’t deserve any of it.

“Come on, I’ll make sure to match your skill level!” Brendan exclaims, offering a reassuring smile. “Renzo here won’t be much stronger than Mira at this stage.”

“It would be good practice, battling someone we know won’t hurt Mira too much.” Wally admits, scratching the back of his head.

I want to object, but something in the pit of my stomach tells me that it would be in vain. Whether I want to be or not, I’m a Trainer now. Trainers have rivals. And Trainers battle with Pokemon. I close my eyes, taking a deep breath before nodding slowly. “Fine, let’s do it.”


Mira the Ralts!
Female / Synchronize / Quirky / Likes to relax
 
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SeaMaid

Songwriter. Swede. Smartass.
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
332
Caught
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
37
Nature
Impish
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, Bug
Ayy Brendan! I'm glad this is how you implemented his upcoming rival battles. Besides, seeing him actually being respectful is a good change of pace when a lot of people take issue with his "didn't expect you to be a girl" spiel, heh

Surely Mira's gonna be fine...? (On a completely different note, this is the first time I've seen anyone in a Nuz called Renzo, interesting!)
 

Minty Electronica

heeeeeeeyyyyyy, adora~ <3
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
146
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
251
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It's an azumarill. You caught an azumarril.
Brendan. Brendan, you're trying to fight an actual baby. Why are you like this.

On a serious note, I'm sure I'm not the first to admit that I never thought I'd ever see a Lilian Meridian fic or realize I ever needed one, but here we are. The premise is just great, really. Leaving a toxic environment (not to borrow words upthread) to strike out on your own is just. My jam. There's that whole lonely feeling of being adrift and trying to figure out what part of your life you can even salvage in the first place and all. And that feeling is captured so well when Lillian's basically feeling sorry for herself (not that she isn't justified in doing so) in the first chapter.

And then this cute-ass bundle of joy named Mira shows up, and things get interesting. Because, like, lbr. Lilian doesn't actually have her heart set on the trainer life. She said so herself: this is basically her only other choice. Which meeeeeans she's still got a lot of figuring out to do if she wants to get anywhere because like hell is she going to be a decent trainer/mom to Mira if she's going to stubbornly continue to be apathetic/passive towards her journey. (Passive mostly, come to think of it. She's not really apathetic so much as she is seemingly content to let things happen to her. Which kinda makes sense because that's been her entire life so far anyway, which means it's going to be interesting when she learns that, no, actually, she does have choices.)

And Wally. Wally is a good match for her, actually. Sure, Brendan's statement that he has trust issues might be a little bit of an understatement (although to his credit, he did invite Lilian to his home ... albeit it's not like he had a choice, yeah), but when you get right down to it, he's grounded, practical, and stubborn in a way that would challenge Lilian. And of course, they're bickering partners, and that is absolutely my jam especially if it's bickering partners-to-friends. Which is to say, no doubt Wally will help Lilian actually grow as an independent person and get her shiz together, while Lilian will, quite obviously, teach Wally not to be such a prickly jackass. Which in short means this will be fun to watch. 8)
 

Frostmourne

Warriors of the Frozen Wastes, Rise!
Writer
Pokédex No.
46
Caught
Jun 14, 2019
Messages
51
Location
in her hoard
Nature
Sassy
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Fairy, Cool
Pokédex Entry
A Dragon Lich Queen | Fabulous and Stabulous
Okay, finally, I'm able to leave you a comment! Sorry I missed the second chapter while I was out and about, but things are shaping up nicely here! Lilian and Wally's dynamic has been a blast, and while I can't stand Brendan as a rival, yours is certainly instantly more likable! Great work on what you're doing here, and I'm looking forward to more.
 

Rhema

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
112
Location
Hearthome City
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
She tries her best, but doesn't succeed. She gets what she wants but not what she needs.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
Hi everyone! I'm back with another update! I really wanted to get this one out sooner rather than later, even though it's a little on the smaller side. I felt as though it was a good stopping point though, so hopefully y'all agree! As always, thank you so much for your support!

@SeaMaid I really wanted to depart from Brendan's typical portrayal, so I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it! My run already has two grumps in it, I didn't need a third one!

@Minty Electronica wowza, thank you for the long ass comment! Those always make my day :) I know I know, most people don't even know who Lilian Meridian is, let alone want a fic with her as the protagonist haha. I was hoping to sweeten the pot by also including Wally, who I know is a fan favorite, but also just because I genuinely thought their arcs fit well together. I love me some bickering partners and I think it really allows for them to challenge one another and inspire growth. I'm so happy that you're liking things so far- I hope to keep things just as fun for ya!

@Frostmourne thank you thank you! My goal is basically to make Brendan super likable, just because I feel like that's what this story needs. He will be an important fixture in this story in his own right. Glad I'm delivering!

Not once during my four years as Master of Contest Ceremonies have I ever been on this side of a battlefield.

I’m accustomed to standing on the sidelines, introducing the coordinators and remarking on various battle conditions. Never have I been this involved, this invested in the action. We all know that if battles are taken too far, they can seriously injure or even kill a Pokemon. But I’ve never actually had to take that chance, to make that bet. I doubt Brendan lacks restraint, but perhaps I lack the judgement to know when to call it quits.

“Have you ever used a Pokemon for anything before?” Wally asks me, standing where I’d normally be on the sidelines and wringing his hands. He’s sweating profusely, and something tells me it’s not just because it’s blazing hot outside. I know he’s got the same exact fear as I do.

“My old assistant had an Espeon that would help me test the lighting equipment at Contest Halls,” I call back to him, eyeing Mira as she tests her psychic power out on some pebbles. She squeals in delight as she manages to float them several inches off the ground.

“Ah, so you’re used to handling Psychic types then?” Brendan asks from the other side of the battlefield. He sheds his lab coat and passes it off to one of the lab techs wandering around the premises. She and I lock eyes before she scurries away. She definitely recognized me, but at least she didn’t say anything.

“I wouldn’t say I’m used to it,” I mutter. Wally buries his head in his hands, letting out a muffled groan. I turn to glare at him. “Relax, I’m not a total idiot. Mira’s going to be fine.”

“I only believe you because Brendan’s the one battling you,” Wally replies, turning towards Brendan. “Go easy on her, okay?”

Brendan winks and salutes Wally. “Don’t you worry about a thing, Wakefield. Have I ever failed you before?”

Wally rolls his eyes. “I suppose not.”

I raise a tentative hand in the air. “Can we get this show on the road before my I lose my nerve?”

Wally and Brendan nod in unison, and Brendan reaches for the Pokeball he recalled Renzo into. It glints as a beam of light hits it mid-air, and Renzo materializes a few yards away from me. His beady eyes dart back and forth, eventually landing on Mira.

“Uh, get ready to fight Mira,” I say, feeling awkward and out of place. Who the hell am I to be commanding a Pokemon? Mira cocks her head at me, seemingly confused. Once she spots Renzo, though, her whole face contorts and she assumes a battle stance. If she wasn’t a whopping 24 hours old, perhaps she would look more like a threat and less like a baby trying to prove she’s a big girl.

“You’re sure she’s not too young to be battling?” I ask, my stomach doing backflips. Maybe I can still get out of this.

Brendan waves off the concern. “She’s fine. Unless they’re born with some sort of deficiency, most Pokémon hatch totally battle-ready.”

“That being said, be careful,” Wally warns. I almost start trying to reassure him more, but that plan goes out the window when our eyes meet. His gaze makes me feel naked, exposed. I don’t like it one bit.

“Mira, r-ready?” I stutter, pointing at Renzo. Mira nods enthusiastically, tiny hands on her tiny hips. Renzo lets out a low growl and I nearly stop breathing as he charges towards Mira with reckless abandon.

“Renzo, use Absorb!” Brendan exclaims, punching the air with a strangely contagious sort of enthusiasm. Renzo’s slender frame begins to glow a faint green, as does Mira’s. She shudders, plopping down on the ground as Renzo drains her energy.

“Confusion!” I shout, scared shitless that if I don’t get the upper hand soon, something will happen to Mira and Wally will be pissed. Something tells me I don’t want to get on his bad side. At least, not more so than I already am.

Mira slowly stands back up and begins doing a little dance. Brendan chuckles and I raise an eyebrow at the display. I can see Wally shaking his head in my peripheral. After a few seconds of random twirls and steps, Mira’s hands move to her head and a deep purple aura starts to radiate from her pink horn in every direction.

Renzo falls to one knee, wincing from the attack. Brendan is grinning like a lunatic, rubbing his hands together as though he can’t wait to see what happens next. “Knock the wind outta her with Pound!” he exclaims.

“Dodge that!” I counter quickly, but Mira’s response time is too delayed. She manages to get mostly out of Renzo’s way, but his tail hits her square in the back, sending her tumbling towards me. My breath hitches and my eyes flash to Wally. To my surprise, he doesn’t seem upset. He’s making some sort of odd gesture at me, twirling his finger around and around next to his head. It takes me a moment before I realize what he’s getting at.

“Mira, use Confuse Ray!” I exclaim, and Wally gives me a nod of approval. Mira huffs dramatically as she picks herself up off the ground, but manifests a flashing white ball of light nonetheless. The orb floats towards Renzo at a leisurely pace before rapidly whirling around him at whiplash-inducing speed.

Brendan’s eyes grow wide and his smile grows wider, despite Renzo now being thoroughly discombobulated. “She’s got an egg move? That’s so damn cool.”

“Nikolai’s partner passed it down,” Wally states, an uptick of pride evident in his voice.

I don’t have the faintest idea why, but I feel a little proud myself. Egg moves are common in Pokemon bred to compete in Contests specifically because they’re unique and useful. It’s kind of cool that my Pokemon has one.

My Pokemon. The notion terrifies me.

Before I can descend further into terror, however, I hear something in the near distance that gives me pause. Wally, Brendan and I turn towards the source of the noise. It takes a moment, but a gigantic van becomes visible as it screeches into Littleroot Town. My heart drops as I see the logo plastered on the side of the van.

Brendan recalls Renzo into his Pokeball, a worried look spreading fast across his face. “Mira, come here,” I say with as much composure as I can muster, kneeling on the ground with outstretched arms. She happily accepts and embraces me, cuddling into the folds of my sweater. I consider trying to run back into the lab and avoid any confrontation, but I know that would just add more fuel to the fire.

“Who the hell tipped off the media?” I ask in a low voice. It doesn’t take more than 5 seconds to spot the lab tech from before, holding a phone in her hands and looking like she’s about to shit herself.

“You’re fired,” Brendan says simply, striding up to the girl and snatching her badge. She lets out a meek squeal and scurries off, but not before snapping my photo.

“Go to hell,” I spit at her, my jaw clenched so tight it could crack.

Meanwhile, Wally seems totally oblivious to what’s going on. “So like, a reporter is here?”

On cue, the van stops just short of the lab and door slides open, allowing a man with a gigantic black camera to jump out. Behind him is a peppy young reporter, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as she bounds up to me. I want to strangle her with that stupid little scarf tied around her neck.

I can’t even take a step towards the lab before the reporter begins bombarding me with questions. “Lilian Meridian, what brings such a big celebrity like you to a small town like Littleroot?” she asks in a way that makes me want to knock her out cold. “Is this Ralts your Pokemon? Were you just battling? Is Professor Birch your boyfriend? What about this other gentleman?”

All I can do is keep my head down and my mouth shut. That’s how this works. “No comment,” I reply smoothly, reaching into my pocket and pulling out my sunglasses. I welcome the dark barrier between me and the rest of the world.

With the self-awareness of a weird uncle wasted out of his mind on Delibird Day, Wally marches up to the reporter and sticks his mouth right in front of the microphone. “Uh, I'm not her boyfriend," he says with disdain. "It’s a long story but we just met yesterday and we’re going to travel-”

“I think what you meant to say is no comment,” I hiss, grabbing his arm and jerking him away from the reporter and the camera. Brendan, thank Arceus, seems to be more in tune with what’s happening. He shields me and Wally with his body and guides us back into the lab, expertly deflecting questions with a smile that doesn’t falter, not even once. That’s how I used to attempt to interact with the media, but I have zero patience for it all anymore.

Eventually we manage to get the door closed behind us, although that doesn’t stop the cameraman from trying to film us through the windows. Mira is now on the verge of tears because of the whole situation, her lip quivering and body trembling. Brendan hands me a Pokeball to recall her into and instructs the lab techs to close all the blinds. Once that’s accomplished, he leads us towards the back of the building. “I don’t think they’re going to let up anytime soon,” he says, unclipping a Pokeball from his belt. “You should take Gloriana back to Petalburg. It’s a quick flight.”

“Who?” I ask, feeling weak and a little dizzy. It’s just now hitting me that I haven’t even eaten anything today. Brendan opens a door that leads to a grassy, unkempt back area of the laboratory grounds and tosses the Pokeball into the air. A Tropius materializes in front of us, flapping her leafy wings and stomping her large feet. I’m almost tempted to grab a banana from her neck, but now doesn’t really feel like an appropriate time.

Brendan helps me and Wally onto Gloriana’s back, and sends us off with a salute. “Sorry about all of this,” he laments. “I’ll check up on you guys later.”

“Not your fault,” I mumble, my voice lost in the stream of Gloriana’s high-pitched cries and the wind she kicks up with her wings. Without having much of a choice otherwise, I wrap my arms around Wally’s waist as we prepare to take off. We lurch forward in a violent manner as Gloriana lifts off the ground, but it only takes a moment for any turbulence to settle down.

Wally doesn’t even wait until we’re at cruising altitude to start arguing with me. “I didn’t appreciate the way you cut me off back there,” he yells over the sound of whipping wind, sounding irritated. “It was a little rude.”

I glare at the back of his head. “Well I didn’t appreciate you giving them material.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Wally asks, turning his head as much as he can to look at me. “They were trying to imply we were dating and I denied it.”

Arceus, is this dude serious? “You aren’t supposed to say anything to reporters,” I grunt, tightening my grip around his waist. “They twist your words and edit the crap out of clips and audio to fit their narrative.”

Wally blinks at me in confusion. “They do that?”

I groan, looking away from him. “Yes, Wally. It’s how being in the public eye works.”

“That…..that sucks.” he says. To my surprise, he sounds slightly outraged.

Gloriana touches down right in front of Wally’s house, settling on the ground so we can dismount. I let go of Wally and slide down Gloriana’s leg, swiping a rather big banana on the way. “You think it sucks now?” I ask Wally, unpeeling the banana with steady fingers as I walk towards the front door. “Just wait until tonight’s news.”


Mira the Ralts!
Female / Synchronize / Quirky / Likes to relax
 
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JavierE64

There´s even something under the mask?
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
169
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Grass, Water
Arceus, is this dude serious? “You aren’t supposed to say anything to reporters,” I grunt, tightening my grip around his waist. “They twist your words and edit the crap out of clips and audio to fit their narrative.”
She´s so right about them, so right.
Another interesting chapter, I wonder if those paparazzi will continue to be a thorn in Lilian´s journey.
 

SeaMaid

Songwriter. Swede. Smartass.
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
332
Caught
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
37
Nature
Impish
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, Bug
Ooo Wally you sweet summer... Man. That gullibleness certainly would explain his initial hostility toward Lilian. And I could imagine Professors also would know first hand about how the news take you out of context...

It's rare to see people flying on a Tropious this early in the run but I love that.
 

Rhema

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
112
Location
Hearthome City
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
She tries her best, but doesn't succeed. She gets what she wants but not what she needs.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
Hello everyone! Coming atcha with two quick updates:

1.) First and the main reason I'm even posting right now, I HAD A BANNER MADE!! I commissioned it from my lovely IRL friend Filip, who not only came up with this incredible piece of art, but did it super duper fast! So, big shout out to him. I absolutely love this banner, especially how it perfectly captures Wally and Lilian (and little Mira, too!) I'm so excited to have this visual to go along with As Above, So Below! You can see the banner in all it's glory above!

2.) Secondly, I have decided to change my biweekly updates to weekly updates! This means that I will have a fresh update for y'all every single Thursday. Just wanted to let everyone know!
 

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