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

boomdidiyadah

Looking into middle distance
Pokédex No.
1609
Caught
Mar 6, 2020
Messages
101
Location
Inside, outside, U.S.A.
Nature
Lonely
Pokédex Entry
Quietly sings to itself quite constantly, and is said to always have a song inside its head. Despite this, it has a terrible singing voice.
New chapter of my favourite rom-com! Yay!

smh Lavender snitches get stitches

Also I've always wondered how the builders pulled off the mural-hiding-statue trick. Did they somehow maneuver a rock into the hole to perfectly conceal the entrance? Or was the statue built second, from space carved out behind the mural? But why would they do that?
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
695
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.
Damn, Jerry is such a--such a Jerry! Asshole! But that moment with Allister... oh my gosh, so good, please protect this pure boy ;;

And damn, actually having what happens to Bede be the protagonist's fault? Such a little addition changes the dynamic so, so much... Rose is such! A scumbag!

Keep on with the good shit, glance 👀
 

pinkshellos

Black Lives Matter !!
Artist
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1220
Caught
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
262
Location
Hoenn Route 120
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Bug, Flying
Pokédex Entry
A timid Pokémon typically found in groups. The only thing that motivates her more than companionship is food.
Aw man, Allister is such a precious bean... Protect at all costs!
Also "justice for Hop", huh? I mean, karma (or, rather, Lavender) certainly took Bede down a few pegs.
+ Fern the Vibrava!! I love her already.
 

glancesherlock

Consulting Detective
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
32
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
181
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
  • #44
@boomdidiyadah - "New chapter of my favourite rom-com!" Oh ;;;;;;;; idk why, but this hit me, thank you! Yeah, the whole mural thing is so weird (but I mean... the whole SWSH plot is just ???). I really hope someone comes along with a clever explanation for it in their story, since the game doesn't give us much.

@Dee - Jerry and Unnamed Announcer are a joy to write, even if Jerry sucks. Like, it doesn't even make sense for them to be the same commentators at every stadium, but that's the fun part. hehe And yeah! What started as me being too lazy to write more characters into the scene became a little change I'm pretty proud of. :3

@pinkshellos - I LOVE Allister!!! And yeah, that whole thing with Bede is something. It became a fun lil side plot to play with.

I’m embarrassed to say my room at home has remained the same since I was six.

Ponyta. Ponyta everywhere. Plushies, wallpaper, crayon drawings—you name it.​

A fair amount has been added here and there, including a bulletin board composed only of pictures of Zephyr, but blimey, I have been pony-crazy for as long as I can remember. A cartoon used to air about Ponyta, and I ate it up like candy floss. All I wanted was to ride around on my magical psychic pony and go on adventures. Cookie, my trusted plushie, was the closest I had to the real deal.​

I figured I could never have one, not without a special license or becoming a trainer. Not saying it’s the soul reason I started training, but it was certainly a major factor in pursuing my fairy-type certificate. Rapidash are so sought after, but with the line’s rarity, you can only train one with certification. Among others.​

So yes, I am still six, and I want my pony, and I am not leaving this bloody forest without one.​

Not that I want to leave anytime soon; this place is incredible! The canopy’s so thick, it’s nearly pitch dark with only luminous mushrooms to light the path. Now and then I spy something sitting idly in the natural nightlight, watching me. It’s somehow both whimsical and creepy. I love it.​

If the Wild Area doesn’t work out, maybe I’ll take residence here. Become the old spinster who lives in a secluded cottage in the fairy forest. Develop lore and evolve into a local folktale. Am I even real? Who knows? Teenagers who dare to knock on my door are never heard from again. Soon everyone will be too scared to even bother me, and I’ll never have to see another human being, ever.​

Zephyr would even love the dark. It’s perfect for us.​

“Spot anything yet?” Marnie takes me out of my fantasy.​

“Er, not yet.”​

“No worries. We’ve only just started.” She’s holding Punky in her arms, too nervous about fairies to let her wander free, but too attached to keep her in a ball. I feel that. Despite his typing, Zephyr’s out and clinging to my shoulder as we speak.​

“Right.” I lower myself to the dirt and shine a flashlight on the path. “More than likely they won’t jump out at us, not with Gretta on hand. We’ll have to do some tracking.”​

I keep my bodyguard out simply because she’s the strongest, and forest-dwelling fairies are assholes. We’re looking to catch the little buggers, not be ambushed by them. Too often in my studies have I read stories of people led off the path by Morelull or made a rotten deal with a Morgrem, only to emerge from the Glimwood Tangle not quite themselves anymore.​

This may be my future fantasy home, but I want to feel safe in it.​

I keep low, searching for signs of Ponyta or Morgrem tracks. It’s not just footprints I’m after. A tuft of fur or droppings will do, or maybe even—​

Yes! This, exactly. Two light scratch marks on a low mushroom. Morgrem claws are so sharp, they leave a mark on just about anything they brush against.​

“Marnie, look here,” I motion her over. “Morgrem, I’m certain of it.”​

“You think it’s fresh?”​

“Likely, yeah.”​

“It’s nearby then…” She stands and surveys the clearing.​

I join her, facing my back to hers. “Probably, but we need to stay sharp. One or two, we can handle, but anything more than five is a problem. Keep your Toxicroak handy.”​

“Oh, I’m not worried.” She says that, but I spy the PokeBall in her hand. I’m with her. Doc’s ball is at the ready.​

We creep down the path, keeping a wary eye out for the little gremlin. I find a small trail of claw marks and follow. It takes us into the thick of the woods, and Gretta struggles to follow us. I’m forced to return her for now.​

The trail leads to a patch of mushrooms. They carpet the ground in a rainbow of misty light. It’s beautiful, really, though it becomes less appealing when I notice each one has a claw mark. It’s not just one Morgrem we’ve followed. It’s many, walking single-file, being careful not to give away the game, because they’ve watched us from the beginning.​

I can’t believe my stupidity, I deserve to be kicked!​

Before I can warn Marnie, they rain down from the trees, claws out. A dozen, at least. I release Doc and Gretta without hesitation, and a Toxicroak appears beside me.​

Morgrem are smart, wicked smart, but they probably didn’t count on more than a couple easy victims to terrorize. Two girls, a dragon-bat, and a Morpeko? Peanuts. The sudden newcomers add too much to the equation, but they’re committed now. A brawl it is.​

I hardly need to give commands as my Pokemon’s survival instincts kick in, and they fight on their own. I merely keep an eye on their backs and order Zephyr to perform a leech life on any Morgrem that gets too close.​

Still, I’m panicking. There’s so much going on, and I should’ve seen this coming. Dammit!​

Why the hell did I think I could navigate this forest like some kind of expert? Just… just kill me.​

A flurry of attacks later, we chase them off. I turn to beg Marnie for her forgiveness, but she’s got the most euphoric look on her face.​

“They set up an ambush! That was wicked, Lav, right wicked!” She holds up a fresh PokeBall. “Got what I came for and everything.”​

When the hell did she have time to catch something in all that? “You want to train something that attacked us? Are you mad?”​

“Course not.” She’s practically cradling the thing. “Anything that smart’s got a permanent place on my team. Now let’s find you a critter, yeah?”​

We return to the path as I grapple with Marnie’s lack of anger towards me. I fucked up, why isn’t she upset? At the very least, I expect a squint or a side-eye, but no. Nothing. What gives? Grace used to tell me off all the time. And Mum. And most people.​

I pretend to track a Ponyta, but my head’s not in it. Gretta stays close, and I want nothing more than to burrow into her fur and sleep for an eternity.​

The forest’s not making me feel comfortable anymore. My empty feeling’s back, and it won’t go away. Not going to snag a Ponyta in this mood. They like to scan people, emotionally. They only want a person who’s pure, and I’m a selfish disaster who just ruined someone’s entire training career.​

I’m rubbish.​

So what’s the point?​

“Hey, Marnie,” I mutter. “Maybe we call it a day, huh? Head straight to Bellonlea.”​

She blinks. “Why’s that? We haven’t found your horse.”​

I shrug. “I dunno, it’s not feeling… good today.” The fuck does that mean? “I dunno.”​

She studies me. “Well, only if you insist. But you really ought to try and catch that one first.”​

How the hell does she keep spotting stuff like this?​

There it stands, just a few meters from the path, the purest, prettiest creature on the whole damn planet. And it’s just there, watching, waiting. It doesn’t look scared, only curious.​

My feet are frozen. Attacking it seems cruel. I don’t want to force it. I want it to want me. To like me. Choose me, even.​

“Go on, Lav,” Marnie urges quietly.​

It’s like a switch in me gets flipped. I crouch low, trying to look as unthreatening as possible, holding out my hand. Step by gradual step, I creep forward. Still, it watches me with those big, adorable eyes framed messily by that glowing, cotton candy mane. It’s little horn is so cute and perfect.​

“Hullo,” I whisper. “What’s your name?”​

Like it’s going to answer.​

“I’m Lavender.” I make sure to keep quiet, because hell no, Marnie can’t hear me say this. “I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you. I’d like to… Well, if you want, you can come with me. I would… take care of you.”​

I’m so, so close. If it took just half a step forward, its muzzle would touch my palm. It’s mane glows brighter, and a wave of goosebumps washes over me. It’s trying to get a read on me. I force in as many happy thoughts as I can: talking with Hop, training my team, the day Zephyr hatched, Leon’s smile, the satisfaction I felt when I saw Condom’s face...​

Its ears twitch. With a soft whiny, it turns tail and disappears into the forest.​

I’m stuck there with my outstretched hand, looking like a damn fool.​

Bloody knew it.​

*****

It’s 4 a.m. I lay awake staring at the Center ceiling. Haven’t set up my match with Opal yet. Need to do that.​

Sometime.​

Whenever.​

Who cares?​

My tear reserves were depleted for the night, so now I’m just trying to make my sobs as quiet as possible. I wish I was home so I could grab for Cookie and smother myself in his plush mane. The irony of it all.​

My heart aches so much.​

I can't bother anyone, not at this hour. No one's going to care, anyway. Silly Lav and her silly little girl problems. A Ponyta didn't like you? Get over yourself.​

Not sure what possesses me, but I get out of bed and walk. Just walk. Out the door, down the hall, into the lobby. I catch my reflection in a window on my way out, and it just adds insult to injury.​

I keep going, making my way through the town until I enter the forest—no Pokemon, no Marnie, no shoes even. I wander off the path and settle myself next to a tree. The ground is cold and damp but soft.​

Chest ache is still there. It's empty. No one to fill it.​

It'll hurt more if I let someone try.​

Sometimes I feel like I live in a circular room lined with doors. Behind each one is someone I know. I could open them at any time, but there’s a raging storm in the room with me. It’s been going on for god-only-knows how long, and there’s no sign of it stopping. I don’t know how to calm it. If I open a door to ask someone for help, the storm will find its way into that person’s room, and then they will have to deal with it too.​

Grace saw it. She fought it with me for five months before she grew tired.​

I’m tiring, she said. Selfish. Toxic.​

We were toxic together, and it was because of me.​

Anyone else I let in will get tired too.​

I’m a challenge, some sort of mountain to conquer. That’s what Kai saw in me. A good laugh for him and his mates.​

Then of course I-just-don’t-want-to-date-anyone Thomas, who turned right around and put his arm around someone pretty and blonde.​

He didn’t finish his sentence: “I just don’t want to date anyone like you.”​

I’m not a person someone could love.​

It took a bloody pony to finally hammer that in.​

I need to stop. I need to get over Leon and move on.​

How? Dunno.​

The forest isn't quiet. There are chirps, footfalls, flapping, and munching from the nightly wildlife. Fairies. Dangerous. I know. And I'm here without any defenses. I make no move to remedy this.​

The Morgrem can just have me, I don't care.​

There's a squeak above me. A Morelull—either curious or here to lead me to my demise. I just stare at it.​

"Hey," I rasp. "I’m Lav. I cry too much, and I’ve probably thrown up half of everything I’ve eaten.” Yes, we are here. We are at this point. “Not by choice, I just can’t handle most situations. I suck, Mr. Morelull. I want people to like me, but I’m not much to like. I’ve wasted the majority of my childhood crushing on the same guy I’ll never date. I let two of my Pokemon die, I endangered someone I just met, and I dragged a Condom’s entire career through the mud.”​

It squeaks in reply.​

“Thanks. You’re a good listener.” My head rests against the tree. “I hate that I feel so guilty. I didn’t want it to be that bad, he just hurt my friend. My best friend. That’s Hop, you’d like him. Everyone likes him… maybe. Dunno why he likes me.”​

I’m so fucking tired.​

“He’s having a hard time, and I don’t know what to do. I can’t help him. I can’t help me. I can’t help anybody, I just suck!” Shit. Found more tears in the reserves. “I’m just an ugly little piece of nothing, and I’m just gonna wander around for the rest of my life lonely and alone! So fuck! Yeah! Might as well just start building the spinster cottage now!”​

I bury my face. “I just want… I just want to be happy. I don’t want to hurt anymore… I want to have a day where I feel like things will just be okay…”​

I wail into my hands. Face is red, everything else is cold. I’m sitting here by myself in a forest, and I’m still wishing someone would just come by and take my hand and make everything okay.​

Bloody bitch, I really am Princess Peach.​

Something’s suddenly next to me, and I flinch a little. Morgrem, probably. Or Shiinotic. That Morelull probably sounded an alarm.​

I lift my head and come nose-to-nose with a Ponyta. The same one? Doubt it. But it’s here.​

I’ve had no sleep. “Cookie?”​

Another wave of goosebumps, but this one makes me sleepy. Uncontrollably sleepy. My eyes droop, and I go under.​

When I awake, the forest is a misty dawn, and there’s a candy floss head resting in my lap.​

I've been itching to get this chapter up. If it's not my favorite, it's definitely up there. I mean, Glimwood Tangle, Marnie, Lav hitting emotional rock bottom (for now), and G-Ponyta? The works, mate.

It felt important for Lav to have this intense, self-reflective moment, even if these aren't the healthiest thoughts. I was talking to a friend the other day about comparisons between Lav and your typical YA protagonist (I call this a rom-com but let's be honest, we out here in YA hell). She's inadvertently evolved into a response to a specific characterization I see over and over and over in published fiction. Lav's unhappy and lonely, but she doesn't hate the world for her misgivings, nor does the world necessarily hate her. Her conflict is primarily internal, and her solitude—while influenced by her past relationship experiences—is self-inflicted. So getting her alone for this breakdown felt like the best route to go.

The Morelull is there because it's cute.

Shout-out to my three-year-old cousin for "helping" me catch Ponyta (I let her press the button; she was very excited). She's the one who named him Cookie, and instead of changing it, I decided to incorporate it into the story to lean into Lav's girly-girl side. It fits, I think.
 

pinkshellos

Black Lives Matter !!
Artist
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1220
Caught
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
262
Location
Hoenn Route 120
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Bug, Flying
Pokédex Entry
A timid Pokémon typically found in groups. The only thing that motivates her more than companionship is food.

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
695
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.
See, I signed up for an adorable Galarian romcom. I didn't know I'd be getting this endless deluge of feels! How dare you!

I like the general aura of Glimwood in this chapter, it's very oppressive and creepy... feels right at home for a region inspired by the original home of the Fair Folk. But then, as sweet Cookie indicates, there's more than just malevolent fairies out there :)
 

glancesherlock

Consulting Detective
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
32
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
181
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
  • #47
@pinkshellos - Yes. For now. 🙃

@Dee - Dee, you sweet summer child. Yeah, I just can't help myself. If it's not sad, it's not me, I guess. Don't worry, there's more silliness to come. Glimwood Tangle might be my favorite location in the game, so it was really fun to dedicate a whole chapter to it. I love fairy folklore--the really old stuff where fae folk are assholes, heheh. But yeah, Cookie is a soft bean because unicorns are generally symbols of purity. I love him. ;;;

Opal meets me in the locker room. Unusual. At least I’ve already changed into my uniform.​

She strikes me as the type of woman who once graced the cabaret stage and could never quite let it go. Her whole attire is bold and ridiculous, but not giving a fuck helps her pull it off.​

I’m really not in the mood to talk to anyone, but she did sign my fairy certificate, so…​

Actually, it sounds like that’s why she’s here.​

“I only approved four of those little tickets this year,” she relays. “I’m in the market for a successor, you see, so you lot are my first prospects.”​

Wait. Successor? As in… the next gym leader?​

As in being a celebrity, and running a facility and staff, and ordering people around, and being on the telly constantly, and suffering the press?​

Oh. Oh no. No thank you.​

Not my cup of tea.​

Never touch the stuff, really!​

“The first was a disappointment,” Opal continues. “My would-be second dropped out. So I’ve come to see if number three disappoints me.”​

I gulp. I don’t want the job, but I don’t want to disappoint her either.​

“W-well, I really love fairies.” My palms sweat. “A lot.”​

“So it seems, or you would not favor them so.” She rubs a ring against her chin. The stone is huge. “I keep a close eye on those who specialize in them. I watched all your matches, girl. You’ve got a handle on the type, and you don’t put on a bad show.” She gives me an old lady chuckle, and it makes me feel uneasy. “But you lean on that Clefable too much, so I’m taking your crutch away. I forbid you to use it in my gym.”​

My heart drops like a stone. Gretta? My powerful, wonderful, unstoppable Gretta not in a gym match?​

Can she fucking do that??​

“I look forward to our match, dearie.” She takes her leave without waiting for me to speak. “Good luck thinking on your feet!”​

*****

I’m going to die.​

Gretta wasn’t planned as my ace for this one, but the thought of not having her to fall back on at all is shaking my nerves to the core.​

I already left Fern in the box, since she’s a full-blooded dragon with no moves to help me. With Gretta out, I only had five team members.​

Actually, Zephyr and Honey are a risk… Cookie (yes, he is Cookie because I’m still six) hasn’t been with me long enough...​

Two then.​

Ingrid and Doc.​

...Pretty much just Doc.​

Fuck.​

Opal stands across the pitch wearing the most devious grin. I think she actually enjoys watching me struggle. It’s no wonder she can’t find a successor.​

The match starts. Weezing on Weezing.​

Double fuck.

Thankfully, Doc is faster, so we get in two sludge bombs before Opal’s Weezing goes in for a tackle. One heat wave, and it’s down.​

My stomach is on fire.​

Mawile. Heat wave can handle it fine, but it gets a large bite in Doc’s side before it’s beat. He’s hurt.​

My throat tightens.​

Togekiss. Sludge bomb. Sludge bomb, sludge bomb, sludge bomb—it’s so fucking fast! It keeps avoiding. Sludge bomb again! A hit. Finally. It’s critical.​

Opal’s ace is last. Doc looks terrible. I’m fit to burst.​

Alcremie.​

Something I should have had by now.​

Buttercream was like Doc. Strong, eager to please, a fairy I could only train with my certificate. She suffered on Kabu’s pitch, looking at me the way Doc is now. I failed her. I’m going to fail him. My arms go numb, and I can’t breathe, and I want to vomit, and I’m going to scream, and I can’t choose, not this time, I need Gretta, I need her so bad! Fuck this old bat!

My Clefable erupts from her ball, already dynamaxed. She lands like a fucking superhero coming to my rescue.​

Meteor mash becomes max steelspike. With each hit, I find my breath, but my shoulders don’t rest until that giant cake monster is back down to a cream puff.​

The audience roars. They loved that: my intensity. Glad my pain is enjoyable.​

Walking to the middle circle seems to take longer than normal. Opal reaches it first. She’s stone-faced, and I’m terrified.​

We shake hands, as is the appropriate gesture, but I can’t look at her.​

“I-I’m sorry,” I stammer. “I couldn’t…”​

“Yes, it’s a shame.” A wicked smile spreads. “You passed my test, of course.”​

It’s hard to find my voice. “You mean the battle…?”​

“I need a successor, young lady, not a yes-man.” We’re still shaking hands, and it’s uncomfortable. “I gave you an order, and you defied me when your ‘mon was in trouble. That is gumption, my dear.”​

She finally lets go and rests her hand on her umbrella. I’m confused. Is she upset with me or not?​

“I have a few pointers, but perhaps we can discuss in more peaceful quarters. With my badge in hand, you’ll want to head to Circhester, hm? Can’t make it without going through Hammerlocke, and that’s precisely my destination this afternoon. I insist you accompany me.”​

My mind’s reeling too much for me to say no.​

“Excellent.” She puts a bony hand on my shoulder and leads me off the pitch. “But first let’s get some attention paid to your poor Weezing.”​

*****

I haven’t taken the train since Hop and I left Wedgehurst. I’ve never been in one so fancy, and I’ve certainly never traveled in a private car with velvet seats and a waitstaff before.​

Gym leaders, man.​

Opal orders herself tea and pays for my hot chocolate. I don’t want anything, really, but she insists. She’s quite pushy, and I’m nervous as to why she wanted me to travel with her.​

Her spoon clinks against the teacup as she stirs in sugar. “You can stop acting like I’ve cornered you in an ambush already. You’ll boggle your brain shaking like that.”​

I try to stop. Try. “S-sorry, ma’am.”​

“You have talent, child,” she states. “But you rely too much on one Pokemon to get you out of trouble. That’s why I gave you the test.”​

The whipped cream on my hot chocolate is melting. “But you said I passed?”​

“Yes, because you were willing to adapt.” She sips the tea. It’s still steaming. “But you should have walked onto my pitch with your whole team ready to combat me. I told you I watched your previous matches, so I knew full well how to counter your beloved tank. What would you have done if I’d taken out your Clefable from the beginning, hm?”​

I shift in my seat. If she’s watched all my matches, then she’s seen every embarrassing thing I’ve done on the pitch. “W-well, I also train dragons, so I don’t think—”​

“Don’t use typings as an excuse, girl.” Her voice grows bitter, like I’ve hit a nerve. “Raihan’s found plenty of strategies to best me. He plays to the strengths of his team in all scenarios, not just when it’s easy. Our champion as well. That’s how they made it to the top.”​

The train bumps, and I nearly spill my hot chocolate. I drink it down to a manageable level.​

I murmur an apology. What else do I say?​

“Yes, ‘tis a shame.” Opal taps a long fingernail against the saucer. “You might have made a good successor in another life.”​

My throat loosens. “You’re not offering it to me then?”​

“Of course not, you clearly don’t want the job. Why bother with someone who won’t put their whole soul into it?” Another sip. She suddenly looks sly. “Besides, you utterly lack a sense of pink.”​

What? “P-pardon?”​

“Why do you think we’re going to Hammerlocke, hm? To dye your hair.”​

“What!” I cling to my hair as though she’s clamoring for it.​

Opal throws her head back in a cackle. “You’re too easy! Oh, it truly is a shame. I could’ve had such fun with you.”​

Yes. Tormenting me.​

“I had high hopes, I won’t deny. A challenger with a fairy certificate and the champion’s endorsement? Only one other trainer had such high credentials.”​

Damn. That’s like… impressive, right? Pride wells in my chest.​

“Who was it?”​

I wait for her to finish her next sip. “Young man Chairman Rose endorsed. His adopted son, no less.”​

That high feeling plummeted straight back down to the floor.​

Oh.​

“Nasty past, that one. Heard he’d been abandoned in some orphanage until Rose took him under.”​

Oh god.

“Alas, he was the drop-out. So I’ll be setting my sights on number four.”​

She needs to stop.

“M-ma’am?” I stand up with some difficulty. “I-if you excuse me, I’m going to er… freshen up.”​

“Don’t get lost, dearie,” she teases.​

I find the loo easily, because I’ve spent 30% of my life rushing to the loo.​

It’s disappointing when the guilt doesn’t flush down the toilet with my sick.​

*****

My hands don’t know what to do with themselves. It’s dark, and I’m standing under the streetlight near the southern Center. Waiting. If I wasn’t some chick in a ponytail and a soft Shiinotic-patterned jumper, I’d probably look shady.​

No joke, I really do think he’s an old lady until he gets close. He dons his trademark sneer when he recognizes me.​

“What the fuck is this, then?”​

Honestly, I’m not sure where to start. I asked Rose—well actually, Oleana, since she answered the phone—to have him meet me here without dropping my name. He wouldn’t come otherwise.​

I swallow. “U-um, I wanted to er… apologize. I didn’t know you would get kicked out of the Gym Challenge.”​

Condom rolls his eyes. “I don’t need pity from some pathetic Applin.”​

Wow, even he sees it. “Look... Bede.” His name sounds funny. Like, that can't be his real name. Couldn’t possibly. “You did a real number on my best friend, and I was upset. So yes, when I saw you doing something that was, let’s be frank, illegal, I jumped on it as a way to get back at you.”​

He crosses his arms and scoffs. That stupid, oversized watch gleams in the streetlight. I swear, he’s holding it up with his fingers so it doesn’t droop. “That it? Feel better then? You can pat yourself on the back now and go on vomiting all over the region.”​

Someone please remind me why I’m doing this for him. “I’m not done. Just…” I think of what Opal told me. “Look, I’ve heard some things… I know what it’s like to be alone—”​

“Oh, do shut up!” He glares daggers at me. “Look at you, with all your friends and everyone who loves you! What the fuck could you possibly know?”​

I flinch, his words slapping me in the face. “Excuse me, you don’t know dick—”​

“Well, I know when I cornered you in the Wild Area, your bloody, broken friend jumped to your side. I know I could have pummeled you back in Stow-on-Side, but you had help. And I know you’re cozy with the champion, a gym leader, and the bloody chairman!” He spits that last word out in a near-scream. “So don’t you even start, Lavatory.”​

We stand there, daring each other to say the next word. I’m fuming, because seriously how dare he? He has no idea what I go through every goddamn day. How much I’m hurting all the time!​

I do have Hop though…​

And Sonia and Marnie...​

Leon too.​

Rose barely acknowledged him at the restaurant. He was so quick to toss his own son out of the League.​

“Here.” I hold out an envelope. It’s blue and pink, lemon-scented. “This is from Opal. If you hadn’t been kicked out, she would have considered you for her successor. I know how hard it is to earn that fairy certificate. You deserve this chance, at least.”​

Condom—no. Bede eyes it warily, like it’s some sort of trick.​

“She’s kind of a bitch,” I say bluntly. “So you two would probably get along swimmingly. Maybe she can be the Sofia to your Dorothy.”​

He mouths, “what the fuck,” but still reaches for the envelope. I snatch it away.​

“First apologize for crushing Hop.”​

He narrows his eyes. “Look, I was just doing… Whatever. I’m sorry.”​

I’ll take it.​

A moment passes with the two of us staring at one another in silence. There’s something in that silence. Not the viciousness we harbored a moment ago, but perhaps a promise we’ll cross paths again. When he leaves, envelope in hand, I relax.​

I walk down the street, arms crossed, thinking.​

All your friends and everyone who loves you.

Bloody hell, I’m a git.​

My phone rings. It’s Raihan?​

“Hullo?”​

“Hey, girl!” He sounds just as energetic as I remember. “Heard you were back in my neck of the woods.”​

Word spreads fast. “Hah, yeah. Just rolled in a few hours ago.”​

“Brilliant! Say, you got any plans for the night? I’m having a little do at my flat, just something quaint. Little food, little drink. It’ll be crackin’.”​

The very thought of a party makes me want to implode. “U-hh, um…”​

“Hey listen, if you’re worried, don’t be. I know Leon’s coming. So hey, that’s one person you know, innit?”​

Oh, well. Um…​

I told myself in the forest I’d get over him. Maybe this is a way to put it to the test.​

“Y-yeah. That sounds fun.”​

“Cheers! I’ll drop you the location on the double. Be here in thirty?”​

“B-brilliant. I will. Thanks, Raihan.”​

I hang up and stare into the city lights with a look of abject horror.​

Bloody hell, what have I done?​

God. Thank you, Pokemon, for gifting me such a character. Just gonna set her aside Agatha as my favorite spiteful, old woman, heheh. Words cannot express my disappointment that she would give me her gym in-game. I just. I love her. I love her insane design, I love her attitude, I love her whole thing with Bede (LORD, more on that later), and I love her gym challenge. She's just. She's the best. The Galarian cast is fantastic, and I loved Professor Magnolia from the moment I saw her, but Opal skyrocketed as my favorite character in SWSH. She's everything I want to be when I'm eighty, lmao.

Shame I had to cut her out of this Hammerlocke scene, but it just felt right to only have Lav and Bede here. Idk how apparent it is, but I approached Bede as Lav's Bad Ending--how she'd turn out if she didn't have her support group. There are more similarities between the two than either would care to admit. I kinda like how this moment turned out.

Next chapter, we gettin' dowwwwwn. 😎
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
695
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.
That was a great moment between Lav and... Bede. she's right, it is hard to say

Opal is great how you write her! And dang, she was ruthless on the pitch too. Would she have killed Lav's pokemon as part of her test? (and something I've been meaning to ask--did Kabu kill Buttercream on purpose?)

Also if Lav is even half as much of an introvert as me, I'm sympathetically looking forward to seeing her DIE in the party, omg.

Keep up the great stuff!
 

pinkshellos

Black Lives Matter !!
Artist
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1220
Caught
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
262
Location
Hoenn Route 120
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Bug, Flying
Pokédex Entry
A timid Pokémon typically found in groups. The only thing that motivates her more than companionship is food.
Things I've learned while reading this chapter:
1. Clefable is an S-teir pokemon
2. Opal is badass
3. Bede is still a prick, but he's a lonely prick. Someone give him a hug.
 

Rhema

Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
213
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.
I am FINALLY caught up, oh my goodness. Can't believe I let myself get behind on this gem, but I must say, having 6 chapters in a row to read was pretty fun.

A few things:

"Oh." Hop swirls his spoon in Condom's direction. "Is this that love child between Bea Arthur and Draco Malfoy?"​
This has me ROLLING because that is 100% the vibe Bede gives off.

Also
Allister meets me in the middle circle, and I don’t know what to say.​

“Crumbs,” he murmurs. “That was ace.”​

He’s so precious, and he saved my ass. “Th-thank you.”​

“Attention’s hard.” He taps his mask. “Makes it easier.”​

I gulp. He’s a little kid, and he took off his armor for me.​

“I, er… I’ll find a way to make it up to you, promise.”​

Through the eye holes, I see him blink. “Just keep going.”​

The tears well. “O-okay.”​
This was like......a weirdly poignant, touching moment for a fic like this? I think of BBBB (wow, what an abbreviation lol) as kind of a cheeky, indulgent rom com with feels of course, but this moment with Allister was so like, deep and unexpected? Well done.

A few more things:
  1. LOVE Leon and Raihan's unabashed bromance.
  2. I thoroughly enjoyed that magical romp through Glimwood, the ambush, Ponyta rejecting Lav, Lav having her emo moment, and then her finally catching a Ponyta. What an emotional rollercoaster.
  3. Opal is a batty old queen and I love it.
  4. Poor Bede/Condom. Even though he's an ass, of course.
 

Magicforbeginners

Generally Incompetent
Pokédex No.
2001
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
37
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Draws, writes, lives. Poorly, but always improving.
Sw/Sh already have Gym Leaders with character, but you grabbed that and gave them even more and it's brilliant. Allister is wonderful and I hope he shows up again. Opal is just as fantastic with even more sass, and Lav comparing Bede to Dorthy is.... well, it's true. I want Bede and Opal to go on sassy old lady adventures.
Next chapter: Kiss. I'm betting on it. Lav and Leon, Leon and Raihan, Bede and himself-one of those. Or all of them. I'm not picky.
 

localhoney

grook
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
2002
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
196
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.
Wow, I've FINALLY caught up on this fic. I read the first chapter and have been breezing through it all day today. I feel like I've had so many thoughts and now that I'm caught up I don't know where to start! Let me try at least:

1. Love love love Sonia and Hop and the way you write them and I look forward to every chapter and interaction that includes them
2. Also love the way you really lean into the rom-com genre unabashedly. It is written perfectly and a wonderful reprieve from many darker fics and comics I spend some time reading.
3. If anything happens to Zephyr, I will cry. My boy needs to carry Princess Peach to the end!
4. I cannot wait to see what happens in the LavLeon saga. The hopeless romantic in me wants them to come together but the cynical writer wants an equally satisfying twist so I am very excited.
 

glancesherlock

Consulting Detective
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
32
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
181
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
  • #53
@Dee - So, for deaths that occur during League battles, I like to approach them as a thing that's uncommon but still happens. None of the gym leaders set out to do kill a challenger's 'mon (outside of the morality of the issue, it's not good for your image--bad for business and all that). Opal was referring to knocking out Gretta. As for Kabu, that's a special case, but more on that later. :3

@pinkshellos - Yes! Clefable and Opal are GOAT. Bede def needs a hug. Whether or not he deserves one is a different story, but he needs one.

@Rhema - Yay! Glad you caught up. (I'm kinda surprised you've been reading this before playing the game tbh, but thank you. ;;;) Thanks for pointing out that bit with Allister! I love my ghost son. Wish he got a bigger role, but them's the brakes. And psssh yeah, BbBB is such an acronym. Alliteratively, you can use B^4 hehe.

@Magicforbeginners - Hello! Welcome to the jungle. Just wanted to let you know this comment made me die (in a good way) for more than one reason.

@localhoney - Aw, you read it in a day?? ;;;;; Thank you. I'm so happy you're enjoying the characters and the rom-com angle. It's a little hard to gauge how well a story like this will go over. (And Zephyr's my baby. If anything happened to him, I'd cry.)

I tell myself I’m checking the address three times to make sure I have the right place, but it’s really to procrastinate going in. Had some panic time earlier, so I showed up an hour later than Raihan asked me to come. At least in my time of crisis I was able to track down a pink skirt that matched my Shiinotic sweater (made me think of Opal) so now I look halfway presentable.

Also grabbed a bag of barbeque crisps. It felt polite to bring something.

Raihan swings the door open before I can knock. “There she is! Get on in here, girl.”

He ushers me in with a red plastic cup and takes my pack to the closet. My crisps are passed to another guest on their way to the kitchen. The sight before me renders me speechless.

After experiencing Opal’s mode of transportation, I had a feeling a gym leader’s flat would be large. I did not expect a three-story mansion with two indoor balconies, a fireplace, four couches, three tellies, what I can only describe as a banquet hall table, and a sound system with six-foot tall speakers.

The dragon decor, I did expect.

The music’s loud. There are people here. So many people. A quick head count gives me twenty-five? Thirty? At least what I can see. They’re drinking, laughing, being loud. One group plays beer pong while another plays darts. There’s a couple snogging on the spiral staircase.

I don’t see Leon.

“Quaint,” I tease.

He shrugs. “Hey look, this ain’t nothin’. You should see the Finals afterparty. Bodies wall-to-wall.”

No thank you. Not how I want to die.

We share a few words. He introduces me to people whose names I promptly forget, and suddenly I have a drink in my hand. Lemonade. Not ready for alcohol.

Raihan gets distracted by a few guests, so I’m free to roam. The more people I see the more I realize I'm not dressed for this. All the girls are in short dresses (some in a two-piece) and most have kept their heels on. Hair and makeup probably took three hours. Not that I could pull off that look in a thousand years, but still, I find myself shrinking as I pass them. Everyone's really pretty.

I avoid eye contact until I weave my way to the sitting room (second sitting room?) where I plan to park it in a corner and listen to the music until I’m forced to interact again.

There’s a Flygon asleep on a cushion that probably costs more than Mum’s car. The name embroidered in the fabric reads “Jabber.” The dragon stretches out, eyeing me curiously. I let him sniff my hand, and once I’ve shown I’m no threat he grants me permission to sit down with him.

“Oh, thank god,” I say, scratching his head. “You’re my best friend for the night.”

Jabber likes belly rubs. I love him. He’s gorgeous and so well taken care of, and being around him makes me giddy for Fern’s evolution. Maybe, if nothing else, Raihan and I can talk dragons later.

This is fine for now.

Something nudges my side, and I flinch.

“Of course you go straight for the Pokemon.”

My eyes trail up a pair of legs and a nice (fucking nice) torso to see Leon. No one ever held a plastic cup of beer so well. He looks brilliant in tan pants and a maroon henley, and I don’t understand why he would wear anything else, honestly.

Plus.

Glasses. Loose ponytail.

I throw away any and all resolve. He can take me on the coffee table.

Instead of professing my pathetic, undying love right then and there, I put my arm around Jabber.

“We’ve already bonded. Raihan’s gonna be short a dragon come midnight.”

He chuckles and motions towards the room with his head. “C’mon. Couch is comfier than the floor.”

Yeah, good point, comfier than the coffee table too—what the fuck am I saying??

I settle myself next to him, taking the end seat to avoid anyone else sitting by me. My heart’s pounding like a double-kick.

What the hell do I do now?

“Oh, uh…” A thought occurs to me, and it’s something to say, so. “Is Hop coming?” It seems bizarre for us to be here without him. Also, he'd be a shield for my stupidity.

Leon shrugs. “No-go on Hop. He’s been aloof.” He takes a drink. “Actually, that’s putting it lightly.”

Bloody hell, Hop. “Did you guys ever talk?”

“Tried,” he admits. “He just gives me one-word replies. Won’t answer my calls.”

“God, he’s really bad.”

“Yeah…”

We need to stop talking about Hop, but Leon’s face is handsome and rendering me dumb, so I really need us to keep talking about Hop.

Our legs are so close. Part of my arm is touching his, and doing anything about it is a risk. If I move away it could send the wrong message, but staying put could send the right one, and somehow that's worse.

Raihan leaps over the couch opposite and saves me from my inner monologue like the saint he is.

"Oh good, you found her." He lets himself fall onto the seat without spilling a drop of beer. "Now we're really having a champion time!"

Leon sighs and rubs the bridge of his nose.

I have to giggle. "What now?"

"New catch phrase," he says with some exasperation. "Not my idea."

"You know," Raihan dramatically sweeps one leg over the other. "Just when I thought Rose had peaked with how stupid he makes you look on main, he shocks me yet again. What a legend." He laughs heartily. "It's not even champion of a time. Just 'champion time.' Who the fuck would even say—just a minute."

Like a Boltund, he bounds over our couch (still no spills). Tearing open the patio door, he screams into the night. "We out here having a champion time!"

I try hard to hold it in, but I'm giggling uncontrollably into my hand. My face reddens when I see Leon watching me.

"S-sorry!"

Raihan's head comes between us. "I get paid twenty quid for that, right?"

"Yeah, Rai," Leon replies, deadpan. "That's precisely how it works."

"You know, mate, one day when I'm champion, I'm not gonna let Rose yank my chain around the way you do." He shakes his head as he messes with his phone. "Nah, bitch, I come prepackaged with my own branding. Look here, you two!"

Oh fuck, a picture. It's not a bad angle; the guy really does have selfies down to a science, but I still cover the bottom half of my face with my sleeve.

"Aww, look at us." I spy Raihan adding a filter. "Old Gran would put this in her scrapbook."

"Hey, Rai," Leon raps him on the forehead. "Some of your guests look thirsty, luv."

"Ah shit, babe, you're right." He straightens up, letting the Rotom phone float freely around him, snapping more pictures. "Just need to document the night. Party at Rai’s, you know—come for the shots, stay for the shots!"

We're alone again, but not for long. A party game gets going, and after three people try to pressure me into joining, they finally let me sit and watch. Drinking games. Not a good idea right now.

Things get louder as the games go on. People drink more, they shout more. Leon shoots me a grin now and then, nudging me and asking how I’m doing. The concern is enough for me to swallow my discomfort and pretend I’m alright. I lose him when Riahan drags him off to sing karaoke as off-key as possible.

They proudly butcher “Simple and Clean.”

Someone takes Leon's place on the couch, and I bring my knees to my chest. There's no one else I want to interact with, but if I just follow him around like a lost Yamper I'd look just as desperate as I feel.

He's talking with so many people. So many pretty girls.

I'm suddenly starving.

Finding the kitchen is easier said than done. I swear, I saw it on my way in, but the mass of people distorts everything. I keep my arms tucked in as I slowly push through. One guy gets too rowdy with his goofing and bumps into me, making me domino into another girl who spills a drink down her front.

"Um, excuse me?!"

Instant panic. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I'll go get something!"

I flee before she can yell at me more and burst into the kitchen. It's a messy buffet of junk food and an untouched veggie tray. My barbeque crisps are nowhere in sight. Probably long gone by now.

I take too long zoning out. The more time I waste, the angrier that girl will be. I make a silent pact to just stand by the pantry and nervously drink water for the rest of the night, avoiding her altogether.

Yeah. That'll work.

I snag a carrot and absentmindedly nibble on it until a group of boys enter. The alcohol stench is strong.

I keep my head low and try to just breathe. Try to zone. They're not going away.

One comes right beside me. "Hey, lovely.”

I just incline my head to acknowledge.

“Whachu doin’ over here by yourself?”

Please go away. “Uh. T-taking a-a break.”

“Ah, when you off?”

Never. Go away.

I shrug.

“It’s a party, innit? Let’s have a lil’ fun.”

Where’s Gretta? In my pack.

Where’s my pack? In the closet.

Where’s the closet? Too bloody far away!

I’m frozen, nearly glued to the pantry. But like. What do I do, run? Call for help? Nothing’s happened, but I want to die.

I want my Pokemon.

Or… you know.

“Hey, you dim or some shit? I’m talkin’ to you.”

He grabs my arm, and all my pent-up anxiety comes out of me and a single, short scream.

His grip is gone. “The fuck?”

“Oi!” I just catch Raihan’s hand connect with the guy’s head. “I see you chattin’ up again, that’s a dragon claw from Jabber!”

My feet can move again. I sprint, ignoring Raihan calling after me. My face grows hot, embarrassed I had to be saved, even more embarrassed I wish it had been by someone else.

Too many people. Too many sounds. Too many changing lights. I have to leave. I don’t have my pack. Can’t see the exit. It’s too far. Patio’s closer.

The night air hits me like a truck. All the chaos of the party instantly feels a mile away.

It’s not really a patio so much as a large, impressive balcony. I find a corner out of sight from any window and duck down. Backing against the concrete wall, I bring my knees close and hide my face. Then I let myself cry.

Tomorrow they’ll fish my body from the Lake of Outrage.

What the hell was I even expecting to happen tonight? It’s the same shit as always. Stupid Lav can’t handle a fucking social gathering and finds a place to hide and break down.

At least the cold is calming.

The door opens. God, no, leave me the fuck alone.

“Lav?” Leon’s footfalls draw near. “You alright? Raihan told me what happened.”

I don’t look up. Maybe if I pretend he isn’t there, he’ll go away and not see me like this. He’s got a party full of better people to get back to.

“Hey, I’m sorry.” He’s not going away. I feel him sit next to me. “I know how you get, I should’ve stuck by you, but I… It’s been a weird night.”

My chest hurts. Why did I even bother coming? I’m just a burden to babysit.

My neck hairs prick up. He’s looking at me.

“Peach?”

“Stop,” I breathe, lifting my head. “Princess Peach sucks, okay? Just…” My hands flail. “Useless and needs to be saved all the time and cries constantly. She probably vomits when she can’t handle shit. She’s just a fucking inconvenience to everybody, and they’ve all got to look out for her, ‘cause she clearly can’t take care of herself. But nothing changes! Doesn’t matter how many games they make, she’s stuck being the worst forever!”

Door’s wide open. Here it is, Leon, here’s the fucking storm. Might as well get it over with.

His weight shifts, and I can feel him press up against me. “Well, I don’t think that’s fair to Peach,” he counters. “Yeah, Bowser kidnaps her a lot, and that sucks, but she could just say, ‘Fuck it. I’m tired of this, I don’t want to rule Mushroom Kingdom anymore,’ and just bugger off.” His shoulders lift in a cartoonish shrug. “But she doesn’t, yeah? She stays on the throne. She keeps going, despite the bullshit. Cause she’s… Well, she’s stronger than people give her credit for.”

Something cracks. A wall? Not a real one, just something. Maybe it’s in the way he said it.

I finally look at Leon. I don’t see any pity on his face.

His eyes are soft.

“Besides,” he adds with a titter. “I don’t know if you’ve played Smash Bros lately, but Peach positively wrecks in Smash.”

I snort, and my shoulders loosen as I laugh.

There’s something here, very close. I don’t know what it is, but it’s making me lighter.

I reach for it. “Yeah, but Mario probably gets tired of chasing after her all the time. You know, he’s got a life.”

Leon clears his throat. “Ah, er. Well. ...You know, I don’t think Mario would save Peach as much as he does unless… he really cared about her.”

It’s right there. I have to grab it before my heart bursts. “Are we still talking about a video game?”

He’s silent. He wants something. I can’t hear the music anymore.

“Leon?”

We're so close.

“Hey, Lav.”

Neither move first, we’re together on it. My lips meet his, and I forget everything. Every nervous moment, every panic attack, every horrible thought. It’s just this, and it’s calm and warm and wonderful.

We let out disbelieving laughs as we part. Suddenly, we’re different people who can say different things.

I’m beaming. I have to know. “How long?”

He shrugs, hesitant. “A while. You?”

Too fucking long. “You know, a while.”

He’s holding my hand. No, both of them. I kiss him again.

“Shit,” I giggle. “This is…”

“Yeah, same here.”

“Yeah.”

Fuck. What the fuck.

“Should we…” My head is spinning. I can’t collect any thoughts, they’re just spread everywhere. “Should we go talk somewhere? Else?”

“Yeah,” he nods, as giddy as me. “We probably should.”
This is the sixth bloody time Leon has brought up Lavender since the Vaults.

“Did you catch her match against Opal?” He’s got it bad. A fucking fever. “You would think she’d save the Weezing for her ace, but no. Shoulda known. She taught her Clefable a steel-type move. Kept the tank in her back pocket for when it really mattered. Brilliant.”

Raihan doesn’t look up. This veggie tray needs his sweet attention. “Bloody hell, mate. Marry her already.”

He waves it off for the upteenth time. “It’s not happening.” Head shaking. Total denial. He’s hopeless. “I mean… Yeah, I suppose it’d fit with the whole Mario, Peach thing. Full circle, all that.”

A carrot falls from his grasp. “Beg your fucking pardon?”

There’s embarrassment all over Leon’s face, and it’s simply precious. “This game Hop had us play as kids. We’d pretend to be Nintendo characters. Hop was Luigi, I was Mario, and Lav was… well, Peach.”

“That’s disgusting.” Raihan bites off a huge bit of celery. “You two are absolutely disgusting. Take her out for dinner.”

“I can’t, mate.”

“Fuck’s sake, you’re the Unbeatable Champion, and you have a cologne line. You can ask a girl out.”

“No, Lav’s different. She’s Hop’s best mate. I can’t just stab him like that.”

Raihan whistles his Rotom phone over. “He’s your bro, he’ll understand. Meanwhile, let your other bro handle things.” He finds her in his contacts.

Leon’s wary. “What’re you doing?”

“Inviting her over.”

“She doesn’t like parties.”

“She’s not been to one of mine.”

“Crowds freak her out, Rai.”

“No harm in asking.” He shrugs, about to dial. “Hey, if I can get her to come tonight, you gotta make a move.”

“Whatever, fine. I know she won’t.”

The first guests are arriving. Leon moves to help them bring in food.

The other line rings. Lavender sounds confused. “Hullo?”

“Hey, girl! Heard you were back in my neck of the woods.”

Talking to her is one-sided. She’s shy. Cute too, in a little sister kind of way. Her voice perks up when she learns Leon will be present. She’s so obvious.

Tonight is going to be legendary.

“Cheers, mate! I’ll drop you the location on the double. Be here in thirty?”

“B-brilliant. I will. Thanks, Raihan.”

He dons a long face as Leon returns with a beer.

“Ha, told you,” he says with sad satisfaction. It’s clear he wants her to come. “This isn’t her scene, mate.”

Raihan waits for him to take a drink before dropping the game.

“Nah mate, she’s coming.”

Leon chokes.

*****

“She’s not here yet.”

“Relax, night’s still young.”

“Has she texted you, or…?”

“Mate, just go mingle. Have a champion time.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

*****

Raihan’s trying his best to play host, but Leon’s a fucking lost Yamper pup as always.

At least he can’t say no to everyone wanting his attention. Bloody pushover.

*****

“Hey, in this little play pretend of yours, can I be Yoshi?”

“Why?”

“So you can ride me all over town.”

“Shove off, mate.”

*****

She doesn’t want to be here—it’s all over her face. Her wandering eyes are searching for Leon, no doubt. She’s so earnest but out of place; Raihan’s ready to adopt her then and there.

Of course, when she finally gets settled, Leon’s nowhere in sight.

Where’s Nessa to share beleaguered glances with when he needs her?

*****

“Sorry, mate. Looks like Jabber stole your girl.”

Leon’s buzzed for certain. His eyes turn to dough at the sight of her, and it is adorably pathetic. “Yeah, hard to compete with her first love.”

*****

It’s unacceptable for him to spend the whole night helping Leon and not fuck with him, so he hops the couch, makes as many jokes at his mate’s expense as possible, and sticks his head between them.

A selfie is imminent.

The look in Leon’s eyes tells Raihan he won’t survive the night.

*****

He can’t believe they’re both this dense. He’ll smoosh their faces together if he has to.

*****

Things are going nowhere, so fuck it. Kingdom Hearts karaoke.

He drags Leon away. Their lady Utada is calling.

*****

Leon mingles with the others for too long. Rookie mistake.

“Have you seen Lav?” he asks.

“She’s on the couch where you left her, ya git.”

Leon’s silent. Stupid. How on earth did a ten-year rivalry ensue with someone so clueless?

“If you tell me you’re lost in my flat—”

“I’m not! I’m… I’m nervous.”

“On god, mate, have you seen the way she looks at you?”

*****

She’s not on the couch.

“Congratulations. You are the champion of mucking this up.”

*****

Raihan finally spots her in the kitchen with some mouth-breather looming over her. She’s scared, not biting back. A regular Dreepy, this one.

He rolls up a sleeve. “Oh no, mate. Not in my den.”

*****

He hits Leon upside the head. “You blow chunks at this game.”

“What?” He rubs the sore spot.

“Just saved your princess for ya. Found her right cornered.”

The change from Yamper to Charizard is instant. “Who was it? Where is she?”

“I already pummeled; you go comfort. Balcony, mate.”

Leon watches the door, uncertainty flooding his poor, dumb face.

Raihan slaps his arse.

“Jump, Mario!”

*****

They’re gone a while. Raihan assumes that’s good.

He’s refilling at the keg when Leon reappears. No Lav.

“So?”

That face gives it away. “I’m making her a vodka lemonade.”

“Aaaaaaand?”

A smirk. “Make sure no one goes upstairs.”

“WHOO!” Raihan raises his cup like a trophy and eggs on his mate as he heads off, drinks in hand.

He chugs the beer.

Yoshi’s work here is done.

Really tried not to overthink this chapter and just felt it out. I could go on about how I'm worried that it's too soon or too abrupt ('cause I am) but eh. I like the end result here. They're both too hopeless to just tell each other their feelings outright, so sending the message via Mario metaphor it is. Lav/Leon getting together was never meant to be endgame so much as midgame, and from here on out we're gonna explore said relationship and what that entails. But she kissed the boy! wheeeeee!!

Kept imaging Leon and Raihan having their own brand of antics during the party that Lav obviously wouldn't see, and thus the extra. I love this dragon shitlord. And this is just the start of adding more characters into the dumb metaphor. (The way it works out is scary, I s2g.)
 

Thirteenth

Number XIV
Writer
Pokédex No.
14
Caught
May 20, 2019
Messages
267
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.
THERE IT IS

THERE IT IS

AND RAIHAN LMFAO I'm not over that extra either, and how far this fucking metaphor goes, I can't believe how much mileage you got out of it

Catch me still like
 

Magicforbeginners

Generally Incompetent
Pokédex No.
2001
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
37
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Draws, writes, lives. Poorly, but always improving.
KISS KISS KISS

And now gooey romance fluff with these two nerds. I am here for all of it. They need to carry Raihan around at all times so he can smoosh their faces together when necessary then Leon kicks him into a pit Yoshi style

The Mario metaphor is out of control and I love it.
 

pinkshellos

Black Lives Matter !!
Artist
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1220
Caught
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
262
Location
Hoenn Route 120
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Bug, Flying
Pokédex Entry
A timid Pokémon typically found in groups. The only thing that motivates her more than companionship is food.
Let's freaking GO Lav! Girl finally got her champion :D
 

localhoney

grook
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
2002
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
196
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.
fuck YES!

need more Raihan extras i only pick Yoshi in Mario Kart
 

Rhema

Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
213
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.
He looks brilliant in tan pants and a maroon henley, and I don’t understand why he would wear anything else, honestly.

Plus.

Glasses. Loose ponytail.
Welp, now I have a crush on Leon *blush*

They proudly butcher “Simple and Clean.”
This is everything I didn't know I needed.

“Oi!” I just catch Raihan’s hand connect with the guy’s head. “I see you chattin’ up again, that’s a dragon claw from Jabber!”
I would DIE for Raihan.

I’m beaming. I have to know. “How long?”

He shrugs, hesitant. “A while. You?”

Too fucking long. “You know, a while.”

He’s holding my hand. No, both of them. I kiss him again.
GET IT LAV. LET'S GOOOOOOOOO. Wow I was not expecting a kiss this soon. Probably because I drag my own romances out forever and ever.

I love this fic and I can't wait for more. Seriously.......please post more soon. I need to see Lav & Leon as a couple!
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
695
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.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa so soon?? I wasn't expecting it! But it's amazing, holy cow, and that endiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing 👀

Okay but can we also talk about Jabber, cause like. He's a buggy dragon and he acts like a cat and I'll take seven.
 

Whozawhatcha

i have too many projects
Pokédex No.
486
Caught
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
85
Nature
Lonely
Pokémon Type
Fire, Flying
AHHHH I HAVE RE CAUGHT UP WITH THINGS AGAIN!! Are the next chapters new stuff? Things I haven't read? I cant remember how deep into this I read before you chose to post, hahah.

Leon and lav are regular idiots that cant tell each other they like each other so of COURSE they have to hem haw through it with that thicc as fuc metaphor. Also, this:

He looks brilliant in tan pants and a maroon henley, and I don’t understand why he would wear anything else, honestly.
Lav?? The other thing he could wear is uh, NOTHING AT ALL.

Anyways lav is a dear, bede is a dick, GET YOUR GEAR TOGETHER HOP, and also marnie and raihan are my favorite of the supporting cast. Raihan especially. what a feral fun man
 

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