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Thread Description
"According to Hop, I am Princess Peach." (Chapter 17 - 6/29)

Magicforbeginners

Conqueror of the Vermillion Gym
Pokédex No.
2001
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
22
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Draws, writes, lives. Not well, but decently.
I feel like the entire problem with Sw/sh is (like you said) that the pieces are there, but half-baked. It was so close and didn't quite make it. At least we have some good fics to fix it up! Speaking of fics....
Leon is so cheesy holy shit. Sonia's working hard considering the situation, I hope this doesn't make things too weird for their friendship. Hop did good, and he brought Best Sheep! Lav's a great friend to focus on Hop, although I feel like he'd want her to tell him about it (then he could sic Leon on some paparazzi for her) and I like the exploration of these famous dating expectations. Hmm, maybe it was there before as Lav and Leon were known friends before the whole thing (see: Rose), but now with the kiss the gossip vine got set on fire and so Lav noticed it/paid attention to it for the first time. I'm thinking out loud here, ignore if I'm way off base.

Aw, Zephyr! I have such a soft spot for Noibat, and I love this cute boy. Never let him die. Beach episode? beach episode. I can only see this going well. Hey, what if Lav rides Cookie through the surf and scoops up a (wet) Leon and heads off into the sunset? Fulfill your dreams, Lav!
 

Thirteenth

Number XIV
Writer
Pokédex No.
14
Caught
May 20, 2019
Messages
171
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ice
Pokédex Entry
The reason she guides people all the way down to the mountain's base is that she wants them to hurry up and leave.
Oh Lav ;;; Here's where reality starts coming down on her... Her backing off from telling Hop is kind of heartbreaking but completely understandable.

Actually getting to explore the relationship is so much more fun than just ending where it starts. Really glad that's the route you took.
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
610
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
God damn that ending, I knew that I should have expected British tabloids but mannnnnn this sucks, Lav really doesn't get a moment's break, does she? I'm super proud of Hop, though, little boy is just moving on up in the world and using WILMA (yes yes yes!!) to bring down Melony was a treat
 

Whozawhatcha

i have too many projects
Pokédex No.
486
Caught
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
59
Nature
Lonely
Pokémon Type
Fire, Flying
Ah! What a short chapter! What a cock tease! And yes, figured the tabloids would catch them but tbh didnt expect it so soon. Good to see Hop boy moving up in the ranks and it's going to be WILD to see how lav will overthink this date, hahah
 

Rhema

Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
209
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.
"Blimey, I'm fit to leap into a hot spring after this." She rubs her gloved hands. "Clothes and all."

"Might have to join you. It's bloody brisk." I'm actually not that cold, but you know, conversation. Something I'm working on.
Can I just say how HARD I relate to this? Saying shit/agreeing with shit you don't even mean just to keep up conversation is like, my signature move.

Honestly, kind of looking forward to seeing how Lav and Leon handle the issue of press/publicity. I'm not a fan of characters getting their happy ever after until the end of the fic lol, so I love seeing them tortured (lmao I sound like a sadist) and challenged in their relationship. Also, I hope the press drama doesn't get in the way of Hop's newfound confidence!
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
303
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
I am so at peace knowing Hop is cool with Lav and Leon and that he made amends with Wilma and SHE EVOLVED OUT OF LOVE I CAN’T TAKE IT. Honestly Dubwool is an absolute TANK and mine was the sole reason I beat Raihan. The floof cannot be contained.

WTF BOWSER INDEED!!! Except instead of having Peach kidnapped, he essentially has Mario! Holy cannoli my jaw was dropped reading that- how he has his dirty hands in everything- even the Kabu match!!! Oooooh lord he needs to be STOPPED!

I was reading how happy Lav was about how Hop was doing in the match and then for some reason my eyes drifted down to “I’m fucking terrified” and I was like OH GOD NOT WILMA NOT NOW so thanks a lot for the heart attack that was entirely my fault.

AND GEE I WONDER WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT TABLOID- FUCKING BOWSER.

Wait.

Is Bede Bowser Jr.?

THAT IS PERFECT
 

Aurea

Moderator
Moderator
🎇Contributor
Writer
Pokédex No.
25
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
79
Location
Sinnoh Region
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Grass, Steel
Binging this for the second time, knowing where things end up, was every bit as sweet as the first go-around. 🥰

I had to laugh in solidarity with Lav -- mounting a horse bareback is hard. I've fallen on my ass more time than I can count. It was such a cute detail though, when she just laughed it off. Because it'll take more than that to bring her down right now!!

Not that you let that feeling last for long. ;;;;;; Seeing her excitement and pride for Hop doing so well is just the sweetest thing. Their friendship is the type I think everyone deserves to have in their life, y'know? ;w; But oof... right into the tabloids. I honestly love that you didn't shy away from this at all? You didn't hold off the romance, which I ofc love, but you also didn't shy away from the implications and consequences, and it adds so much to this story. Her begging Zeph to evolve and fly her away from her problems, though ;;;; my heart...

So glad you're sharing this here. 💜
 

glancesherlock

Consulting Detective
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
32
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
173
Location
221B Baker Street
Nature
Lonely
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Just wants to stay home and solve crimes.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #88
@Tookie - :3 Yeah, the press is a monster. Figured it wouldn't take them long.

@Magicforbeginners - Leon is an absolute sap, tbh. Lav's sorta empathetic and selfless to her own detriment; stems from all that self-loathing. Would Hop have been okay with her telling him? Oh yeah. But she'd never assume that. And beach episode? Hehe, not quite.

@Thirteenth - Yeah, it's more fun exploring a relationship than hmming and ahhing my way through a "will they or won't they" narrative. More options for the story's direction. (You're killing me with that avvie.)

@Dee - Dude, I spent half a summer studying abroad in London; the tabloids might be more ruthless over there than in the states. I would get stressed out just reading the headlines in the grocery store. Latter half of this chapter's not too kind, but yes! I loved writing Hop's comeback, showing the world how much he's improved since his breakdown. So proud of my son. ;;;;

@Whozawhatcha - Is it shorter? I didn't check word count, but it feels about the same as most of the others. "What a cock tease!" Always, darling~

@Rhema - God, I feel. Just saying the correct words to keep a conversation normal. Yep. Every day. "I sound like a sadist." No, you're just a writer. XD

@Spectacles - I'm such a sucker for emotional evolutions! Didn't use a Dubwool in any of my playthroughs, but maybe I should. For Wilma. ;;; AND YES BOWSER. Rose is the worst. Bowser isn't the worst, but for our purposes, he's the best character to assign to Rose. sjafl;aflak;s GG, you played yourself.

@Aurea - Oh, thank you!! 😭 Admittedly, I barely know anything about horses or riding bareback, but I figure just climbing on top of one is really hard. Horse tall. (And Lav is legit 5'2", so horse really tall for her.) And ye, as much as I'm enjoying the fluff, it wouldn't feel like a proper fic if I didn't sprinkle a little hell on top.

Hi, my name is Glance, and this is my beautiful wife--

The address Leon gives me is north of the main city, so I catch a cab. Haven’t been in a car for a while; it’s odd. The cabbie doesn’t speak much, thankfully, so I’m free to lean my head against the window and watch the city lights fade away to snowy pines.

We drive for a while, to a point where I’m worried I’ve given him the wrong location. I pay close attention to the roads we take and try to remember names. Paranoia seeps in, and I nearly dial my phone, but I wait. Just in case it’s nothing.

He pulls into a long driveway that cuts through the woods. I hold my breath. We come up on a cabin. Snow-covered and cozy—it’s adorable, really. Lights are on. Someone’s here. A single car is parked in the driveway. It can’t be Leon’s. He doesn’t drive much.

"Right, miss." The man sounds bored. Business as usual. "Here we are."

I’m such a jumpy fool.

I pay him and drag myself and my pack out into the snow. The cabbie’s quick to drive away.

My boots crunch across the lawn. Making sure to knock them clean, I step onto the front porch and listen.

There’s movement inside.

I linger for a bit, wondering. If I stay out here, I’ll just freeze, so I knock.

"Coming!" The voice makes me stand straighter in surprise. It’s a woman.

The light breeze nearly kicks me over when Melony swings the door open. She’s out of her uniform and in a pair of jeans and a vest overtop a turtleneck, but yeah. The gym leader I’m scheduled to face tomorrow is just standing in front of me, and I don’t know what my life is anymore.

"Oh, you must be Lavender!" She ushers me in. "Glad you found your way up here. It’s a bit of a trek, I know. Boots on the rug, please. Coat on the rack."

I do as she says, still speechless. There are questions. So many questions.

She flutters about, taking a rag here and there and shifting things to look neater. "Sorry, I wanted to get the place cleaned and be out of your hair before you kids arrived, but mid-season, you know. I'm flushed with matches!"

The cabin looks spotless to me. Cozy really is the best word for it. A large corner couch wraps around a sitting room with a fireplace as the centerpiece. It's already lit, giving off a warm glow. There's a small kitchen and three doors leading to other rooms. A giant window provides a stunning view of Circhester. The walls and furniture are made of varnished wood. It smells like fresh pine in here.

Leon did good. Shit.

There should be words coming out of my mouth right now.

"This is… So this is your place?" Dumb, obvious question.

"Just a little getaway cabin," Melony explains simply.

"Well, it's… beautiful." I set my pack next to the couch and join her in the kitchen.

"Thank you, dear." Her smile is warm. Something seeps into it, though: sympathy. "I know full well the struggle of finding a place to relax and enjoy yourself, especially when one lives in the limelight. That's why I had this place built, you see. Somewhere I can strip away the gym leader role and just be me."

I nod. "Yeah."

"Don't mind sharing it with coworkers, though, and Leon's such a nice lad. The moment he called me about his new girlfriend, I knew precisely where it was going!"

She giggles, but only one word stays with me.

Girlfriend.

"I own the surrounding acreage, so it's rather quiet." She wrings out a rag and wipes the sink. "No fans, no spectators, no cameras."

A pit grows in my stomach. I hang my head and try to push the image of that tabloid away.

Melony must read my face. She leans her hands against the counter and gives me what I can only describe as the "mum look." It’s the same expression Hop’s mum made when things were rough at home and I'd come crying and begging to stay the night.

"Listen, I know." Maybe it's the soothe in her voice, but I look up. "It's hard. It's a ruthless machine we're up against. Feeds on our struggles. I've been hit more times than I can count, for my size, for my personal life." She rolls her eyes. "Every time I popped out a new kid, there'd be a flood of reports proclaiming I was closing my gym. You wouldn’t believe what wolves they cried when Gordie and I started switching off. I can't handle it anymore, motherhood is too much, blah blah blah…" Her hand waves it off in disgust. "Just shove 'em off and strut it. Don't need good press to let your mettle do the talking."

...I like her.

"Thank you."

Melony takes my hand and gives it a pat. "Of course, dear. Think nothing of it." She rinses out the rag and changes the subject. "Leon tells me you specialize in fairies and dragons."

"Y-yeah." I can feel my face brighten up. He talked about me. "They're fun, you know. To train."

A playful smile greets me over her shoulder. "You'll be walking out on my pitch soon, ah?"

"Yeah, I actually have a match scheduled tomorrow."

"Ooh, well good luck!" Her laugh is somehow both jovial and threatening. "A team like yours. Not sure if you're aware, but I've never failed to show young Raihan what for."

No, but I file it away for later.

"And they put him after me in the lineup." She rolls her eyes again. "Please."

Honestly, I have been concerned about Melony's battle. All my dragons are out, and none of my fairies have an advantage.

Though there's something an old master told me recently to consider.

"I don't want to use typings as an excuse," I repeat, adopting the phrase. "If I'm going to specialize, I need to adapt."

"Good!" Her grin is almost proud. "Give me a solid run for my money, then." She checks her watch. "Oh! Sorry dear, wish I could stay and greet Leon with you, but I've got to get Kylie and the twins to bed." She rushes to the coak rack and starts to gear up. "You'll be alright on your own?"

I shrug. "Yeah, I'm sure Leon will be here soon."

"Well, get cozy. Fire's warm. Stocked up the kitchen a bit, so help yourself. Just tidy up before you leave."

"We will, thanks." I take another look around. She’s so kind. Almost too kind for me to comprehend. "Really, thank you. This is… so nice."

The mum look again. "Your welcome, dear. Enjoy yourself, be careful, and all that."

I try not to dwell on what she means, even though I know precisely what it is.

Headlights then taillights shine through the window. I let out Zephyr, Gretta, and Honey for company and explore the cabin more.

There’s a master bedroom, a room with three sets of bunk beds, and a loo. I find fruit and things for sandwiches in the fridge, and I eye up the hot chocolate mix in the pantry. When I flip on the light for the backyard, I freeze.

There’s an in-ground hot tub out there. The centerpiece of an outdoor sitting area. When it could ever be warm enough around here to sit outside, I can only guess. But now I know why Leon wanted me to bring a swimsuit.

Had to brave the public eye to buy one. It’s a two-piece, but still covers everything, because I can’t handle a bikini. Just black shorts and a pink top with a frill. Thought it was nice.

I slowly look around and swallow. Leon really went all out, and I feel I should do something. God, what am I even wearing? Purple knitted jumper with a grey skirt and leggings. Was that good first-date material? It’s been a while…

Maybe I can make my hair look cute.

After laboring in front of the mirror and swearing up a storm, I settle on two braids. Takes a while to get them even, but they seem… okay?

It’ll do.

I’ve been here for thirty minutes, and still no Leon. It’ll be dark soon.

I give him a call.

"Hey, Lav!" He has to yell into the phone above all the wind on his end.

"Hey, where are you?"

He chuckles. "Ah, well. You see, funny story! I thought I’d make an entrance, but er… Seems I’ve delayed myself a bit."

I bite my lip. "Leon, are you lost?"

Only the raging winds respond.

"Leon."

"I don’t wanna talk about it."

Oh my god.

"Are you flying on Ignatius right now?"

"Well, how did you get there?"

"I took a cab!" I exclaim. "Like a normal person!"

The wind whips for a bit before he talks again.

"Well, don’t fret! I’m sure I can figure it out."

I’m already slipping on my boots. "Wait, maybe I can flag you down."

I dash outside, sans coat or tied laces. Running to the clearing, I search the sky until I spot the distant light of a Charizard’s tail.

"I see you!" I wave as hard as I can. "Can you see me?"

"Not yet. Where am I looking?"

"Left—no! Right now."

It takes us too damn long to figure it out. Not only is he bad at directions, he’s rubbish at following them. After a stupid amount of struggling, he spots my waving form and makes a descent.

The landing truly is impressive. Ignatious plants his feet on the snowy ground with ease, and Leon slips off his back and removes a pair of aviator goggles in one fluid motion. They’ve done this hundreds of times, it’s clear. My frustrations melt away as I run to him and into his arms.

He gives me one of those extra long, tight hugs that screams, "I missed you," and I feel secure. Nothing’s bad anymore. There’s just this.

When I kiss him, he cups my face with his hands.

"You’re freezing," he observes. "Where’s your coat?" He’s already removing his.

"I’m fine," I say, shivering.

He wraps me up and leads me to the cabin. Over his shoulder, he orders his Charizard. "Stay here, Ig."

"Will he be okay?" I blink. "Shouldn’t he go in his ball?"

Leon shrugs. "Big guy loves the snow."

I glance back. Sure enough, Ignatius is already burrowing his head in a bank. He plops to the ground, and everything around him starts to melt. He rolls around, practically purring.

A dork. Just like his trainer.

Inside, Leon sets me by the hearth and drapes a blanket over my shoulders.

"I told you," I protest, smiling. "I’m fine."

"Nope, you’re an icicle." He tosses another blanket over my head to emphasize his words. When I pull it off, he’s sitting next to me, and I finally get a solid look at him.

We must have been of one mind because he’s also gone with a knitted jumper. Grey with a zipper that goes down just far enough to give him some V-neck. If his eyes weren’t so distracting, I’d probably end up staring at that all night.

Zephyr flaps over to investigate us, landing on the mantle. Finding his footing in the brick, he hangs from it, wrapping his wings tightly. The fire must be rejuvenating for him.

"You look extra pretty in this light," Leon rasps. A very rare collection of words for me to hear. One of a kind, honestly.

"Well, congratulations. Think I’m a melted icicle now." That sounded so fucking stupid.

He snorts and pulls me down with him to the floor. We’re forehead to forehead. His exhale seems to let all the stress out of him.

"The last three days sucked," he breathes. He’s exhausted, and I kinda want to punch Rose in the face.

I take hold of his hand. "I know, same here."

My heart pounds. Do I bring up the tabloid now or later?

A kiss from him decides on later.

Gretta makes a warbling noise as if to clear her throat. She’s standing by the couch, probably wondering what’s happening.

"Oh, how rude of me." I sit up and motion to her. "Leon, this is Gretta."

"Ah, your famous protector!" He kneels in front of her like a knight meeting the queen (not far off, actually) and speaks directly to her. "I understand you’ve escorted m’lady through the wilderness, and for that I thank you."

She stares at him like he’s on drugs, and I have to laugh. What a fucking idiot.

"I humbly ask for your blessing, pink one." He takes her paw in his hand. She’s so confused, poor girl. "I’ve developed feelings for your trainer and would be honored to call her mine. If you’ll let me, I promise I’ll make her happy."

How dare he make my heart flutter when he’s being this moronic.

Gretta warbles. Leon looks back at me.

"What do you think?"

It’s so sincere, and I’m internally screaming. "I think you’ve won her over, yeah."

"Crushed it."

Honey appears at his side, probably asking for chin-scratches. He offers her a hand to sniff.

"Hello, there. I didn’t know you had an Appletun."

"That’s Honey," I say. "She’s my little sweetheart. Hasn’t seen action in the gyms yet." I’m too protective of her to risk it.

He’s so soft with her, the way he coos and gently pats her head. It’s surreal watching him interact with my team like this. Two of the most important things to me meeting for the first time. It’s like a small, broken world coming together.

I have a sudden urge to get him out of that jumper.

"So, uh…" I clear my throat. "How do we turn on the hot tub?"

*****

We give it some time to heat up, then make a mad dash to the water. The concrete under our feet is fucking cold, but it’s worth it to settle in the hot jets. They’re heaven on my back.

I can’t remember the last time I saw Leon without a shirt, but it takes a lot of willpower not to just stare.

He, um… He certainly hasn’t stopped working out.

Which is good, you know? Healthy.

Yeah.

Healthy.

He slides up to me and kisses my cheek. We try to hold a conversation, but it just devolves into further snogging. Somehow I end up on his lap. I rest my head against his chest and listen to his heartbeat. It’s the best sound in the world.

Ignatius stomps over to join us. I give him a few pats on the snout before he settles on the ground for a nap. He keeps his tail far from the tub.

I might have fallen asleep myself if Leon didn’t go, "Hey, Lav?"

"Hm?"

"How’re you feeling? About us?"

I sit up. "What do you mean?"

He fiddles with one of my braids. "I just want to make sure we’re not, you know, jumping too far into the deep end for you."

God, he’s just…

I take his hand. "Leon, I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this happy."

Except… No, not yet. Let me stay in bliss for a little while longer.

"Like, my anxiety?" I toss my hand back. "Barely felt it since that night at Raihan’s."

Except—

"Even though I gotta fuck off most of the time?" he teases.

That earns him a light elbow jab. "It’s your job. Not your fault."

"Yeah… Just wish there wasn’t so much of my job. ‘Cause then I could do this more." His grip finds my waste, and our lips find each other, and I’m lost in it. Between the hot water and the cold air, my head feels dizzy and clear all at once.

His job. Kissing. It’s nice.

But someone spied on us. Because of his job.

And now it’s out there.

It’ll always be out there.

Something hits me, and I break things off in a panicked gasp. I look around, paranoid.

"Lav?" He’s concerned. I ruined it. "What’s wrong?"

I inhale, trying to control my breath. He was in that picture too. He has a right to know.

Dammit. Son of a bitch.

"Yesterday, after Hop’s match I…" It takes a bit for me to shove it all out, but I tell him, staring at the bubbling water, because I’ll cry if I look at him.

When I finish, his jaw is squared. Eyebrows are nearly touching the brim of his nose.

He’s silent, so I continue. "I-I’m sorry I didn’t call. It scared me so much, but I can’t... You’re so busy—"

"No, Lav! You’re fine. I just—" He cuts off and looks away, arms spread against the tub’s edge, fists opening and clenching in frustration. "I need to talk to Rose. He said he’d handle this."

I blink. "Handle what?"

Something about me must look like a scared, wide-eyed idiot, because he seems to make the extra effort to look consoling.

"He told me he could probably slip some money to encourage the news outlets to leave you alone. Leave us alone." He shrugs. "Just wants a little help with a side project in return."

That doesn't sit well with me. My head shakes with increasing speed. "Leon, no. You already do so much for him."

"It’s fine." His hand holds the back of my neck. A wave runs down my back. "Won't even be League stuff, just something for his energy company. I just have to show up to a couple test runs of some machine and give my input. Public appearance 101. Should be chill."

Still. "He can’t just do it? He needs to give you more work for it?"

Leon sighs. "Look, he runs me ragged, but Rose has given me a lot, you know? We don’t just have a business relationship, Lav. When I’ve needed him, he’s been there. And he’s offering me a lot and only asking a little." I’m a wreck as he glides his thumb over my cheek. "It’s more than worth it."

"No," I insist. "You don’t need to do anything for me."

"Uh-huh. Whoever took that picture has earned a fire blast to the face." He looks up, reconsidering. "Or a verbal beating from Melony. They’re at about the same intensity."

A laugh escapes me, but I’m still shaking. Still scared. He notices.

"Hey." He balances my chin on his finger and gives it a tilt. "I’m gonna protect you, Lav."

Those aren’t even real words.

*****

"Alright." Leon shakes the can of whip cream and holds it above my hot chocolate mug. "Say when." He starts.

I watch, taking a towel to my wet braids. "That’s good."

He’s still going, grinning like an Impidimp.

"Stop," I giggle. "Oh my god, stop!"

"Sorry, I can’t hear you."

It’s a four-inch tower by this point.

"Oh, for the love of—when!"

He loudly sets the can on the counter. "Wow, you really like a lot of whip cream."

I laugh. "You’re fucking ridiculous. Get me a spoon for this, I can’t."

*****

We lie by the fire, having built a nest on the floor consisting of every pillow and blanket we could find. I try to remember I’m safe here. I’m calm.

"So what gym leader’s place are we crashing at next?" I joke. "Nessa? Milo?"

Leon laughs. "No, definitely Opal. Won’t be nearly as romantic, I’m afraid. Her place smells like soap, and she has about a dozen wild Morelull that just live with her."

"I can see that." My hand clutches his. Opal’s battle seems so long ago, but Melony’s is tomorrow. Then it’ll be Piers, then Raihan, and then... "Hey, Leon?"

"Hm?"

"What would you do if you weren’t the champion anymore?"

"Hibernate."

Cheeky bastard.

"Okay, but after that?"

He shifts, concentrating on the ceiling. "Haven’t put much thought into it, to be honest. I guess, yeah, I’d like to take a break. After that, dunno. I’d probably stay involved with the League somehow. Maybe run pre-tournaments." He rolls over. "Why, you after my title?"

"I mean…" My shoulders meet my ears. "You were the one who said Hop or I could probably beat you."

"I did say that, huh." He moves more, positioning himself so his chest is practically on top of mine. He pushes my bangs back, and I suddenly can’t breathe for different reasons than normal. "I still think you could."

"You wouldn’t be upset?"

"For a bit," he admits. "But I’ve had a good run. Wouldn’t break my heart to hand the crown over."

I reach up to touch his face. My finger traces his chin. "Well, 'cause… I don’t think I want it."

"Yeah?" He genuinely takes him off guard.

"Leon." I give him the most serious look I can muster. "The champion’s job would be my own personal hell."

He laughs. "Yeah, I guess. Not really your style. Why’re you on the circuit, then?"

"You endorsed me, idiot."

"Okay, c’mon. For real."

I shrug. "Hop and I always said we’d do it. I love my Pokemon. I love battling with them. Just… don’t like the crowds. But where else do I go, you know? Local tournaments got too easy. I outgrew them."

There are gears turning in his head. What I’m saying isn’t trivial to him. He’s really listening, taking it to heart.

"So, I dunno,” I continue. “What happens if I get to the top, but I don’t want to be there?"

"Hm. Not a bad point, Lav. Might have to sit on that one."

I want to kiss him so bad. So fuck it, I do. And it’s not short. He holds my head off the floor, and my hands are lost in his hair. My legs get a mind of their own, as does something else.

"Hey," I whisper. My mind’s racing. My body’s on fire. "There’s something I want to do tonight."

Leon grins. "You sure?"

"Yeah." I motion to the window, to the snowy landscape leading down to the city below. "I mean, how often do you get a view like that?"

Those eyes will fucking kill me. "View doesn’t matter, I’m only going to look at one thing anyway."

I take him by the collar. "Bloody hell, come here."

I love. Melony. So much. She's a queen and deserves the world. Thank you, Game Freak. Figured her civvies would be "suburban mom winter wear." I almost gave her UGGs. Almost.

Anyway, uh. Circhester was ripe for a hot tub date scene, so here we are. Lav's not allowed to have a nice day, though. So paparazzi bs and Rose's shadiness are still here. Cue me trying to solve some in-game plot pacing by establishing certain things early.

Also, Leon is a fucking dork.
 

localhoney

~either i'm careless or i wanna get caught~
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
2002
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
66
Location
Miami, FL
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Electric, Poison
Pokédex Entry
Localhoney, the Sweet Toxin Pokemon. It's said that the sounds it emits can paralyze even a Gigantamax Grimmsnarl.
oooooooooooooo hell yes this is EXACTLY what I love about this fic, the promise of some super fluffy chapters. Especially after Lav having to deal with the realization that the paparazzi are gonna be on her ass, it was so nice for her to have essentially a whole chapter of just being with Leon.

i'm very 👀 at the mention of this new job Leon's gotta take on, and I hope that Melony battle doesn't take too big of a toll on Lav. Love love love it.
 

Magicforbeginners

Conqueror of the Vermillion Gym
Pokédex No.
2001
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
22
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Draws, writes, lives. Not well, but decently.
There may not be a real beach, but it's a fanservicey beach episode to my heart!

Lav and Leon continue to be cute (and dorks). Good luck with Melony, she's a bit terrifying even in a normal 'locke. G-Max Lapras is a tad broken. I've gushed plenty about how much I love your Gym Leader characterization, but I'll do it more. Melony being Max Mom is such a good portrayal, and she's got the sass, kindness, and general intimidation to pull it off. Can't wait to see more of her.
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
610
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
Melony is my queen, I love her in this chapter! So nice and maternal, but with a bite to her!

And Ignatius just rolling around in the snow is amazing. Just amazing. Best dragon cat.
 

Thirteenth

Number XIV
Writer
Pokédex No.
14
Caught
May 20, 2019
Messages
171
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ice
Pokédex Entry
The reason she guides people all the way down to the mountain's base is that she wants them to hurry up and leave.


girl, get it


fr though, they're so good, I'm glad Lav has someone like him ;; also I wish I could react to the post with a clap emoji
 

glancesherlock

Consulting Detective
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
32
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
173
Location
221B Baker Street
Nature
Lonely
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Just wants to stay home and solve crimes.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #93
@localhoney - Yeah, this fic is sorta the anti-LB in that it's packed with fluff instead of being a constant downer lol. Really loved writing this chapter, both the cute and sad moments.

@Magicforbeginners - I love Melony, she deserves the world. It timed out nicely that this mom character cropped up when Lav needed some outside encouragement, and it was hard not to make that scene too long, haha.

@Dee - Yes! I was happy for the chance to give Ignatius some cute moments. He's a good lizard/puppy.

@Thirteenth - 😏 Somewhere, Raihan's bro sense are tingling, and he just goes, "Nice."

When your depression makes you forget to update on time.

It’s snowing. Big, fluffy flakes float gently down, coating the trees, carpeting our footprints from last night. There’s still some sunshine poking through, making the whole world like a snow globe. I watch it for a while, curled up next to Leon in our blanket nest. He fell asleep before me last night, and he still looks pretty dead.

I don’t move to wake him. He needs it. Me, I’ve got energy to spare. My legs feel the need to run around the house ten times and then take me to the city and back. Maybe I’m antsy for my gym match today. Maybe I’m still hyped up on afterglow.

Whatever. I feel pretty damn good.

Slowly, very slowly, I inch away from Leon and stand up. After quietly gearing up and taking Fern’s PokeBall, I motion for Zephyr to follow me outside.

It’s cool but bearable. I blow hot air to see my breath, and Zephyr copies me with a little dragon fire.

Running to the clearing behind the cabin, I let Fern loose. She’s a full-fledged Flygon now, but there hasn’t been much time for her to stretch her new wings since evolution. She lands in the snow and flinches from it. Her claws poke at it curiously, and she stomps around, wondering why her paws sink into the ground. The result is her lumbering around in a circle, and I about fall over with laughter.

I can practically feel the air warm up as Ignatius joins us. His tail leaves a grassy trail in its wake.

"Might want to lift that up, Ig," I tease as I reach for the ground. "We won't have enough snow for target practice at that rate."

I chuck a snowball in the air, and he's quick to turn it to steam with an ember. It takes a couple thrown in Fern's direction for her to grasp the idea, but she perks up at the first one she hits.

I throw one straight up, high as I can, and the two take flight. Ignatius is faster, but only by a little. He's victorious, but Fern gets the next one.

It's a game now. They blow them out faster than I can make them, and I have to start scrambling around for good packing snow.

Zephyr tries, he tries so hard to join in, but he's too small. Too slow. Fern and Ignatius nearly bowl him over as they zoom past. He chatters, frustrated.

"I'm sorry, baby!" I call, my heart going out to him. "Come over here, I'll toss you a little one."

He doesn't move. He stays with the larger Pokemon because he wants to play, wants to prove he’s still my tough guy. They're all watching me, waiting for the next target.

I pack together a large one. "Alright, Zeph! Show them what's up."

Turning, I lob it as hard as I can towards the woods. It goes farther than I thought I could throw. The wind howls, and the snow kicks up in a flurry as they fly past. I brush myself off in time to see their backsides dashing away. Zephyr’s behind already, poor baby.

I think it’s the sun at first, poking through the clouds, but it’s better. The most beautiful thing in the world, even. That shine, that white glow—it’s my baby boy. My hands curl up under my chin as I watch him grow. In an instant, that crazy little bat is replaced with a majestic, crazier bat. With giant wings and white neck floof and a wicked tail. He lets out a low, loud chatter, and my squeal could wake the dead.

With a newfound burst of speed, Zephyr flaps his way past Fern and Ignatius and lets out a jet of fire at the snowball. His victory is short-lived as he struggles to put on the breaks in his new form. He somersaults into the snowy brush, head in the ground, tail drooping over his face.

He hatched upside down too…

I’m running at him as fast as I can. The moment he scrambles to his feet I’m there with my arms around his neck.

"Look at you!" I’m not crying. I’m not crying. I am crying. "Look at you, you’re so big! You just grew up. How can you just do that without warning your mama!" As I wipe my face he offers me little squeaks and nuzzles. God, he’s about as tall as I am now. Giant wings, long claws. He’s a monster, and I’m so proud.

The other two approach to investigate, especially Ignatius. He sniffs Zephyr, probably trying to gauge if it’s the same bat he’s known for the last three years. Zephyr twitches his ears at him, and the two have some silent exchange. They crouch, and I leap away before they take to the air. Fern is right behind them.

They fly this way and that, rolling through the air, as if ushering Zephyr into his new form. I swell with pride. My baby. Changed. Different.

I could be different too, I think.

I let Cookie out. Time for another go.

"Okay." I pet his muzzle, glancing up at Zephyr. "We're gonna try again, okay?"

He splutters, shaking his mane.

"Stay still for me."

I try the prop myself up twice. Don’t fall in the snow this time, but I don’t make it either. A running start doesn’t help on the third attempt, and by this point Cookie just looks offended. So I switch methods, trying to make him understand how to bend down. Even when I demonstrate, he doesn’t get it. Only blinks at me dumbly like I’m a nitwit. He’s not budging.

"Alright," I pant. "Push-ups for me it is."

I brace to give it one more go, just because. When I push, my mind only registers I’m going higher than normal. Then I notice the grip on me and jump when I realize Leon’s lifting me onto Cookie’s back.

"Oh! Hi," I say, blushing over how smooth that was.

"Good morning." He gently kisses my fingers, and even over gloves it sends a ripple across my skin. Not a minute goes by when he doesn’t look wonderful to me, but the morning light and the snow add a glow to him. He’s still got that just-woke-up look to him, and god, I wish he’d wear his glasses more often.

"Th-thanks. I’ll get it by myself one day, but…"

"I know," he assures. "Just had to do it once."

Cookie’s a little taken aback by this new development and paws the ground nervously. I cling to his mane, and Leon’s quick to pet his nose and whisper comforts to him. When he stops, I swing my leg around so I’m sitting properly.

"Might want to ease him into it," Leon advises. "Took me a while to get Ignatius on board."

I curl my fingers, holding tight to that green and pink mane. Oh, this is higher than I expected. I’m unsteady. If he moves, I can only picture myself losing balance and falling off. Suddenly I’m nervous about this whole thing.

"Y-yeah," I stammer. "Maybe just this for now."

"That’s fine." He’s giving me the softest smile. "You look regal up there."

Literally nothing he says is fair, but I’m addicted to it.

The roar above shakes me awake. I gasp.

"Oh yeah! Leon! Look, look, look!" I flail as I lift my leg around, and in my excitement I forget to be careful, so yes. I fall. I fall off my fucking horse. And he catches me, because of course he does, and yes, he holds me bridal style. Shut up. Shut up, all of you.

"Oh hey." His grin eats shit. "This is how I carried you out of Slumbering Weald."

"That’s nice…" I’m too busy hiding my face in my hands to give a proper retort.

He plants a kiss on my forehead before setting me down, and it takes a bit for me to find my footing. But soon I’m running to Zephyr, who’s landed with the others, and wrapping my arm around him and proudly (excitedly) recalling how it happened and just freaking out in general.

He watches me with a look I didn’t believe existed, and I think I might… actually love him.

*****

This match feels different. Not just because I know Hop and Leon are in the audience, or because I already have a wealth of respect for my opponent, and it’s certainly not just because of last night.

Though, bloody hell.

Last night.

Champion time, indeed. That’s all I have to say.

No, I have a team. A solid team, fully evolved, and my baby boy’s about to make his grand debut as a Noivern.

Plus I just feel good. This is fun. Battling’s fucking fun!

There’s a roar of confusion as I let out a dragon as my first pick, but it doesn’t matter. The audience is noisy wallpaper, and I’m breathing, and Zephyr is fucking amazing!

"What an interesting choice from our challenger! Miss Fog must be cooking up one heck of a shocking battle for us today!"

"Eh. It’s not much of a risk. Noivern’s fast, and it can learn flamethrower. This is still pretty typical."

"...Hey Jerry, eat a Snickers."

"I’m allergic to peanuts."

"I know."

Zephyr zooms past Melony’s Frosmoth in a show of his speed. Whipping around, he lets two flamethrowers fly, and down goes the first ‘mon. Darmanitan is quick to take its place, and Zephyr fries it before it can even enter zen mode.

Eiscue proves more difficult. It gets one icy wind in, but even with frost covering his wings, Zephyr melts that ice cube penguin away.

He’s not beat, but he’s tired. I kiss his PokeBall upon the return.

Last fight: Cookie vs Lapras.

I almost zone out gazing at the glory that is a dynamaxed Rapidash, but Lapras’ cry puts me back in the game. There’s no advantage here, just strength and pure strategy. The battlefield is flooded with ice and psychic energy and bright, magic stars. I risk a quick look at Melony. She’s watching the fight with such intensity, but there’s no grit or animosity. Catching my gaze, she gives me a wink and a thumbs-up.

The competition fades away. We’re just two trainers enjoying ourselves.

Lapras shrinks.

Gretta never left her ball once.

*****

Leon and I have to say goodbye in the locker room, and it feels like he’s taking something out of my chest to carry away with him.

"When am I gonna see you again?" I ask between kisses.

"Hammerlocke, promise." He presses his forehead against mine. "You’re gonna take Raihan for a ride; I’m not missing that for anything."

I smile through the ache. "That’s so long, though."

"We can do it." One hand’s on my back, the other’s on my cheek. I want to stay like this forever. "Just hold your chin up, keep moving."

*****

Ironically, it’s a quicker trip to Spikemuth if one takes the train to Hammerlocke and goes east, as opposed to walking there directly from Circhester. Sonia’s off in the Hammerlocke direction anyway, so she hitches a ride with me and Hop.

Hop wavers between chuffed and cheesed. Chuffed for Spikemuth, but cheesed about, well...

He’s seen the tabloid.

They both have.

"Tell you what," he says, drumming his fingers on the table. "That bloke better have taken up residence in a mine, ‘cause the moment I dig him up, Bongo will have to pound ‘em back in the ground."

My first instinct is to say it’s fine because I’m just quick to deny the help. Too much trouble for little troublesome me. But seriously fuck that photographer.

"Call me when you do," I mutter. "I want to watch."

"Of course." He nudges me playfully.

Sonia catches my eye. It’s not just sympathy she gives me. There’s a pain there, an old one, and my stomach churns.

She understands.

I'm huddled at the window, but that doesn't stop the occasional passerby from glancing in my direction and whispering. My stomach churns as they recognize me. There's been nothing else in the news cycle about me, Rose has seen to that, but the one photograph was enough. Someone even hovers near our seats before Sonia tells them off. Hop glares at anyone else who comes near.

I feel the need to reassure them (mostly her) so I say, "Well, I guess Rose is doing something about it for us. Leon said he’d pay off some newspapers if he does him a little side favor."

"Glad the tosser’s doing it out of the goodness of his heart," Hop quips. "But if it keeps you two out of the light."

Sonia’s silent. She goes for her phone. I fiddle with my hands to distract myself from the awkward air between us.

"Hey, I’m famished," Hop announces as he jumps up. "Gonna check what the food car has to offer. Back in a tick."

It’s sudden how quickly he leaves. I’ve barely time to get a word out.

"Sorry." Sonia breathes. "I asked him to give us a few. Told him it was girl talk, but really this is something he shouldn’t hear."

I blink, my shoulders tensing. "Okay, er… What’s up?"

She lays her hands on the table, rubbing them like they’re sweating. "I really should’ve had this chat with you sooner, but you were just so happy, I didn’t want to scare you."

Well, she’s scaring me now. "Um, go on."

A long sigh proceeds her speech. "Dating Leon is not easy. Not always. Most times, in fact. At least it was that way for me." Her eyes go from the table to the window—anywhere but me. "I felt like I was under a microscope. Cameras on us in public, lies in the tabloids, the whole bit. I couldn’t walk to class without looking over my shoulder. Don’t get me wrong, Leon was brilliant. A bit daft, occasionally insufferable, but I cared about him. We felt right together. That’s why I stayed. But Rose… He runs Leon’s entire life."

"Yeah, he keeps him really busy."

"No, Lav." She leans forward, looking me in the eye. "I mean his entire life. Personal included. Whether Leon will admit it or not."

I bite my lip, speechless, afraid of where this is going.

"Rose didn’t like us dating," she continues. "Never said it outright, but I could feel it, you know? I knew why. I became too bloody good at convincing Leon not to listen to him so much. I was clipping the puppet strings, as it were." She brings a hand to her mouth. There’s something she’s revving up to, and she doesn’t want to say it. I don’t want to hear it, either.

"Sonia," I whisper as I watch her eyes go red. "Are you okay?"

She shakes her head and grasps my hand. "Lav, listen. You can’t tell a soul what I’m about to share with you, alright? I’m sorry, it’s too important to get out."

I’m shaking. "Y-yeah, I promise."

"Sorry, I’m so sorry…" She sniffs. A tear slides down her face. "I didn’t break up with Leon because I was through with him. Rose got me alone. Did his whole act where he just appears out of nowhere and gets you cornered."

I squeeze her hand, because I know.

"He said if I didn’t end things, he’d cut Gran’s funding." Her eyes blink rapidly through the tears. "And I remember being little and hearing stories of her laughed out of conferences and such. Rose was the only one to ever give her a chance, so I couldn’t…"

She trails off and rummages through her bag for a tissue. I watch, stunned, as she wipes her face.

"Sonia…"

"And don’t worry," she tries her hardest at a smile. "I don’t have feelings for him anymore. Really. I love where I am now in life, I love what I’m doing. It’s just…" She reaches at the air for the words. "I can still feel Rose holding it over my head. Like if I say one word, then that’s it. Gran’s out of luck."

I quickly nod. "I won’t tell anyone, I promise. But what the fuck…"

"I know."

"You never told Leon?"

She rolls her eyes. "Leon regards Rose as a second father, not to mention their business relationship and all the good it’s done for the region. It just seemed… I don’t know, unfair."

I’m still reeling. I try to imagine Leon taking Rose’s word over mine for anything. I can’t, but... I don’t know.

Sonia steels herself. Because she’s stronger than me. Because she’s fucking Zelda.

"So I don’t like this little deal here," she hisses. "I don’t like that Rose is suddenly concerned about the welfare of whoever Leon’s with. He wouldn’t if there wasn’t something in it for him." She takes my hand again. "I’m happy for you, Lav. Truly, I am. Fuck whoever gives you grief for your life. I just want you to be careful." The look on her face is pleading. "Because in the end, it might not be Leon who hurts you."

At this point I'm pretty much ticking off romcom cliches and then turning around to check off all the ways I can make Rose the Worst.

Zephyr's big baby now, and I'm so proud.

And yeah, Sonia transcends the metaphor as Zelda because she's amazing and a queen. 👑
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
610
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
Okay, that beginning was so perfect, and hurrah for Zephyr! I love my little batty boy 😍

The Melony battle was good too (did you actually use a dragon for three of the Ice leader's pokemon in-game? Damn gurl) but that ending... oof. I love it, and I hate Rose, and it's all so perfect.
 

Tookie

The Immoral Bard
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
80
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
426
Location
Southern England
Nature
Lax
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Poison, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
This user does not exist. All impressions to the contrary are propaganda pieces and not to be trusted.
god sonia and melony really do deserve the world aaaaa ;-;

and i kinda love how much of an utter scumbag you've made rose on every level, he's amazingly dickish here
 

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