I'm still pretty new at the whole writing thing, so if you're one of those people with high standards either wander off now or please provide some feedback on how to make it better. I've dealt with enough jerks elsewhere... and considering I couldn't figure out a way to write the summary without it sounding cliched is enough of a kick in the head, thanks.Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.---
Maybe Chaos Works Better
It was a warm, summer morning in Pallet Town. A soft breeze was blowing and the pidgeys singing in the trees was a welcome sound for most people to awaken to. For others, however, it was the furthest thing from pleasant.
"Why is it always outside my damn window?" Jay growled, slamming the window closed as an extremely tone-deaf pidgey warbled in the tree outside. He stumbled back over to his bed, landing face-first into his pillow and trying to go back to sleep. He was just starting to drift off when something heavy landed on his bed, the jostle waking him back up.
"Not now, Roufas... it's too early." He said, his words muffled by the pillow.
"Feed me, then go back to sleep." Roufas said simply, pushing on Jay's leg.
"How about you nap for a couple hours and try again?" Jay suggested, not wanting to move. "Or better yet, go eat the pidgey outside my window... I hate her so... freaking... much..." He gritted his teeth with the last few words, biting into his pillow.
"It's only her singing that needs work, she's nice enough otherwise." Roufas commented, looking out the window. "Besides, I make it a point not to eat my friends."
Jay glanced down at the large, tan mass of fur perched on the foot of his bed. "You are the strangest Persian I've ever met, you know that?"
Roufas chuckled, turning his golden eyes to Jay's dark brown ones. "As humans go, you're far from normal yourself. I think that's why we get along so well. Now are you going to feed me, or do I have to start gnawing on your toes to get you moving?"
"Fine..." Jay muttered, crawling out of bed.
He stumbled into the kitchen, quickly pulled a container from the fridge, dumped the contents into Roufas' bowl without even looking at was it was, and wandered back to the cozy comfort of his blankets. He didn't have a chance to fully relax before Roufas landed on his bed again.
"What now?" He groaned.
"Nothing that important..." Roufas began in a rather sarcastic tone. "...but you know that box of white stuff you put in the fridge to keep the smell under control?"
Jay opened his eyes slightly, knowing where the conversation was headed. "I poured it in your bowl, didn't I?"
"That you did."
"Damn it..." Jay complained, getting back up.
After fixing the minor food situation, Jay decided he might as well stay up, even though it was only just after six. Today was going to be rather hectic anyway, it usually was. Every second week in June for the past five years, he and four of his closest friends got together and went on a camping trip to the Viridian Forest. The first day was usually the worst, all of them running around packing at the last second and not even getting to the campsite until dusk. This time was going to be different, according to Sam at least. They had all agreed to be packed by noon at the latest. Jay quickly went to packing, not wanting to hear Sam complain about him holding them up.
It didn't take long to find everything. Getting it all stuffed into his backpack however, was another story entirely. After trying to arrange everything to fit for almost two hours with no luck, and a handful of sarcastic comments from Roufas, he decided to go find a second bag to hold the excess supplies in. When Jay walked back into the room, he found Roufas sticking his head into the open backpack.
"What the hell are you doing in there?" Jay asked with a sigh.
Roufas removed his face from the bag, along with a rather thick book that landed next to him. "Wondering why you're taking a library with you." He said, placing his front paw on the book he just removed and looking at the three others next to it. "You're going camping, Jay. I'm sure you won't need all this to read. I'm sure Magnus will find a way to keep everyone entertained."
"By causing trouble, like he usually does? No thanks. It's bad enough the cops in Viridian City know me on sight because of him after what happened last year. I felt like such a fool for letting him talk me into that. I'm just glad the charges were dropped."
"It was nice to have the place to myself for the three days you were locked up, though."
"Nice to know you care about me, Roufas." Jay mumbled sarcastically, kneeling down to shuffle things around in his backpack again. Without the books, there was enough room for everything to fit neatly.
"Of course I care. Without you around, I'd have to go back to Tracy." The Persian closed his eyes as he thought about it, then shuddered. "I don't think I could handle that."
"How many times do I have to remind you? She's your... trainer." Jay strained to say it. He never cared for the term, or how they went about doing things. It just didn't seem right to him for some reason.
"So? By the time I was born, she'd given up on that wandering life and was too focused on other things, like you, to pay me much mind. She was always more attentive to her human family than her Pokemon one after she settled down. At least according to my Mother."
"Don't be. I'm glad you were there with your..." He paused, thinking of the best way to put it."...linguistic talents. I mean, Tracy had originally planned to call me Fluffy. Talk about horrific."
Jay laughed, taking one of the books off the floor and putting it into the backpack. There was just enough room for it. "No kidding. Fluffy's a cute name, it wouldn't suit you at all."
Roufas narrowed his eyes as Jay stood up, hoisting the pack onto his shoulder. "What exactly do you mean by that?"
"That you're too serious, scary and soft. Especially soft around the gut. You need to get out more." He said as he left the room to go set the pack by his front door.
Roufas glared at Jay's back as he went. "Again with the weight jabs. Looks like he's going to be missing a pair of shoes when he gets back." He muttered.
After a quick breakfast, Jay double-checked that everything was in order and headed out the door to see how everyone else was coming along with their packing. He glanced at his watch as he hurried through town, it was almost ten, plenty of time to help out anyone that was behind schedule. He skidded to a stop at the front door of a rather small house and reached for the pokeball-shaped doorbell when the lock clicked open.
A teenager in a blue t-shirt and jeans stepped into the doorway. His long, unkempt black hair obscuring half his face. He regarded Jay for a moment, looked as if he was going to say something, and then turned away.
Jay watched him, wondering what was wrong. "You okay, Daniel? It's not like you to be this quiet."
Daniel shook his head. "It's about the trip. I..." He trailed off, scratching his head and trying to think of the best way to put it.
"If you haven't started packing yet, I can give you a hand. It looks like you just got out of bed."
"No... I packed last night, but not for the camping trip."
"If not for that, then what?" Jay blinked, an unpleasant thought coming into his mind. "Wait, you're not moving, are you?!"
"What? No!" Daniel said quickly. "Nothing like that, but... do you remember that tournament Sam brought up a while back?"
"Tournament?" Jay tried to remember, but Sam was always going on about one event or another. The most recent one was supposed to have been held a couple weeks ago. "Yeah, that couples tournament in Saffron. I thought you two were going to that, wasn't it last month?"
Daniel nodded. "It was supposed to be. Now it's starting in ten days, and I promised Sam we would enter together. Sam insisted we take the long way and train on the road, which means we're not going to make the camping trip. Sorry."
"Wha? But... what made them push the tournament date back?"
"Part of the arena being blasted to bits. They needed time to repair it."
"Blasted to..." Jay began, but was able to guess what had happened. The same thing that always happened to cause chaos. "Team Rocket again?" He asked with a sigh.
"Who else?" Daniel shrugged. "I guess you might want to just wait on the trip until we get back. It probably wouldn't be the same with just two of you going."
"Three." Jay corrected him. "Me, Magnus and Lana."
Daniel looked at him, clearly surprised even with half his face covered. "You haven't heard?"
"Magnus was in an accident yesterday. He's in the hospital, probably will be for a while."
"What?!" Jay exclaimed. "What happened?!"
"You know Mag, he was being a showoff. Tried to make a jump on his bike to impress someone and it didn't end well. He got bashed up pretty bad, and fractured his right kneecap. He's lucky he didn't land on concrete."
"That idiot... is he going to be okay?
"Yeah, he just won't be able to walk for a while."
Jay sighed. "I'll have to pay him a visit before I leave then."
Daniel raised his only visible eyebrow. "You're seriously going even if it might just be you and Lana?"
"If it comes to it, I'll go alone." He said, turning to leave. "Good luck in the tournament, Danny."
Daniel started to ask why Jay was so insistent on going, but he had already run off. Daniel just shook his head and went back inside, knowing that if Jay had the idea of going planted in his head, there was no talking him out of it. He was almost as stubborn as Magnus was reckless.
Jay headed to what passed as downtown Pallet, a small collection of shops, the post office, the only bar in town and a pair of five-story apartment buildings. He went into one of the apartments, climbed to the third floor and knocked on the door to room 302. Someone called out from inside, and the dull thumping of quick footsteps approached. The door opened with a creak, the face of a girl with short black hair appearing around the corner.
"Oh, hi Jay. Roufas with you?" She asked as she pushed her head through the barely-open doorway and looked around for any sign of the persian.
"Hey, Lana. Nah, he's back at home, probably attempting to add on a couple more pounds." He answered, smirking at her nervous expression. It was always the same with her. After a... misunderstanding, she thought Roufas was out to get her "little buddy" as she called him. He supposed it must have looked that way at the time, though.
She opened the door, took a step back and looked off to the left. "See? It's just Jay, no reason to be paranoid. Now come on, we need to get going!"
A blur of purple streaked across her living room floor, vanishing with a thud into an open, red backpack laying on its side by her couch. Lana rolled her eyes, walking over to the backpack and hoisting it over her shoulder. "Have it your way, then. I told Magnus we'd visit and I'm in no mood to argue with you about getting into your pokeball."
"Normal problems?" Jay asked.
"Oh yeah..." She replied dryly. "I was just going to the hospital, you heard about-"
"Magnus landing gracefully on his head?" He interrupted. "Yeah. I was planning to see him after I stopped here, we can go together."
"Great." Lana stepped into the hallway, turning to close and lock the door.
There was a shuffle of movement from the backpack and something pink poked out of the top. A high-pitched, panicked voice quickly followed. "AHHHH!!! I can't see! Get it off get it off get it offfffff!"
Jay sighed. "Calm as ever, aren't you?" He commented, lifting the pink cloth off the creature's head.
The small, purple and white head that had been hidden beneath it whipped around frantically, a pair of reddish eyes soon coming to rest on Jay. "Oh. Thanks." The rattata said in a shaky voice, sinking far enough into the pack so only his eyes and ears were visible. "Roufas really isn't here?" He asked.
Jay shook his head.
"That's too bad... I was hoping to have someone to talk to that both understood me and could answer. You're going to be as quiet as always, aren't you?"
"Would it be that bad if you talked to me once in a while?"
"They'd throw me in the nut house." Jay sighed.
"What?" Lana got the door locked and turned to face him. "Sorry, I couldn't hear you over Hickory's squeaking." She looked over her shoulder at the rattata. "I hope you're not going to be this vocal in the hospital."
"He'll be fine. I was just saying that-" Lana cut him off with a shout.
"What are you holding?!"
"Huh?" Jay glanced down at the pink cloth still in his hand. "This? It was on his head so... oh..." He trailed off, just realizing what it was.
Lana swiftly snatched it and stuffed it into her backpack, nearly clobbering Hickory as she did. He let out a surprised squeak, falling out of sight and scambling around inside her backpack. He let out a muffled cry of "Panties!" and there was a little more scuffling before he quieted down.
Jay scratched his head, looking away nervously. "Er... sorry. I didn't know it was... that."
"Just forget it." Lana said quickly, her face turning a light shade of red as she started toward the stairs.
They followed the sidewalk without a word, each still embarrassed. Jay turned his attention across the street, noticing a rather large man with a backpack to match talking to a younger kid in a green outfit. They looked like father and son, the man's tan pants were covered in dirt and grass stains, as if he had just some out of a forest. Maybe he had just gotten back from a trip. That's when Jay remembered why he had gone to see Lana in the first place.
"I suppose it'd be pointless to ask if you're still planning to go on the camping trip, since it'd just be the two of us." He said, not looking away from the people across the street.
"Oh... that. Yeah, my parents would freak if we were alone in the woods together for a week." She mumbled.
"That never stopped you before." He said with a shrug. "Hell, you'd think going out there with four guys would be worse."
She laughed. "True. They never liked our little outings. Really though, I think it wouldn't be as interesting without Magnus to cause some chaos. Not to mention Daniel's the only one with any real survival training, and Sam... has... um..." She slowed down, trying to think.
"Has Crest to douse any fires Magnus starts." Jay pointed out, referring to his friend's squirtle.
"Right." She smiled, noticing the hospital as they turned a corner.
Hospital might have been too grand a term for it. It was only two stories tall, had seven patient rooms and only two doctors on call at any given time, since only two lived in the town. Luckily it never had much to deal with apart from standard illnesses, checkups and tumbles. Magnus' accident was probably the most exciting thing to happen there in a few months. If anything, it was a glorified clinic.
They went inside and up to the patients rooms. The sound of a television led them right to Magnus, who was in the only occupied room and flipping channels boredly with left hand, since his right was in a splint. His right leg was in a cast, hung up at the foot of the bed. He didn't even notice them until Lana coughed.
"Lana, Jay! About time you guys came to visit." He said as he looked up at them and switched off the television. "I don't think I'm going to make the camping trip this year, sorry." He said with a grin.
"Nobody is. Dan and Sam are off to some tournament, and it wouldn't be as much fun without you around." Lana said. "I think we're just going to put it off until you get better and they get back."
"Is that right?" Magnus asked, brushing a few stands of his red hair out of his face. "I'm flattered."
"I wouldn't be." Jay smirked.
The phone on the table by the bed rang. Magnus glared at it, since it was on the right side of the bed. "Someone in this place has a sick sense of humor or something."
"I'll get it." Lana walked around the bed and grabbed the phone on the third ring. "Hello? ...yes, but. Okay. Fine, I'll get right on it." She sighed, hanging up the phone. "It's like she has radar."
"That was your Mother?" Magnus asked, knowing that was the usual expression Lana used to describe her.
"Yeah, I have to go get a few things." She grumbled. "I'll be back in a couple hours, okay Magnus?"
"Don't worry about it, I'm not going anywhere." He grinned.
"I wouldn't be surprised if you tried, though." She gave him a smile and headed out the door. "See you guys later."
A few moments of silence passed after she left before Magnus spoke. "You're still going, aren't you?"
Jay sat down on a chair against the wall that faced the bed. "Yep."
"Nobody to watch your back on the road?"
"And if you run into any wild pokemon?"
Jay shrugged. "I reason with them, run or fight if it comes to that. I'd like to get some use out of those self-defense classes."
"Reason with them." Magnus chuckled. "I doubt many people have that option."
"Hopefully at least one other person does, I'd rather not be a total freak of nature." Jay said, leaning back in his chair and looking at the ceiling. "You haven't told anyone, right?"
"Come on, Jay. You know I'm good at keeping secrets." Magnus said, looking a little hurt at the suggestion he'd betray his best friend's confidence. "Besides, if I did tell anyone they wouldn't believe me... and if they did, you have enough of my secrets to pay me back in spades."
"True." Jay grinned. "But that's your own fault for having to gloat about all the crap you got away with."
"What good is doing it if there's nobody to be impressed by it?"
"Isn't trying to impress someone what landed you in here?"
"Aw, shut up." Magnus said, trying not to laugh. "It was worth it though, I got her phone number."
"Watch it not be hers." Jay smirked. "I would've given you the number to the Viridian City shrink."
"Ha ha." He replied dryly. "So there a reason you're not leaving for the forest already? I know you just love being punctual."
"Other than to annoy you a little before I go? I wanted to know if I could borrow your bike, unless it was totaled in the accident."
"Oh right, you don't have any wheels. The bike's fine, I just fell off, the bike kept going and was stopped by a bush. You remember how to use the thing, right?"
"After hearing you explain it to me a thousand times every time I ask? Of course I don't have a clue." Jay said sarcastically, getting up. "Keys in the usual spot?"
Magnus shrugged with his good arm. "No idea, considering my parents had to take the thing home. If they're not hanging up, just grab the spare one."
"Right. Thanks, Mag." Jay said, starting to leave.
"No problem. Not like I can ride the thing for a while, anyway." Magnus flipped the switch for the TV on the bed. "Oh yeah, and say hi to Zed for me."
Jay gave him a backwards wave before making his way to the exit. He just had to grab his gear and he'd be off to the Viridian Forest.
Nothing's ever easy for me, is it? Jay thought, rubbing his forehead as the unwelcome visitor waiting at his house persisted.
"You can't go alone, it's too dangerous!" The intruder continued.
"I'm going, I don't know how you found out, but I'm going. You're overreacting to nothing anyway." Jay said, hoisting the pack onto his back.
"Nothing?! What if you're hurt out there? Who'll help you?"
"I have a first aid kit and know how to treat the basics. For god's sake, you were expecting me to become a trainer and go on some idiotic journey when I was ten. Now I'm seventeen and you're freaking out over a camping trip." He turned to face her, crossing his arms. "Do you realize how little sense that makes, right Mom?"
She gave him a stern look. "Trainers have a lot to back them up."
"Don't start on the trainer lecture again. I have to go." He said, rolling his eyes and turning to leave.
"At least take Roufas with you! Here, I brought his pokeball along." She said, grabbing his arm and forcing the ball into his hand. "I wish you'd let me put him under your name, I never see him as it is so it wouldn't make a difference."
"I told you how I feel about the idea, let's leave it at that for now. I don't have time. I don't know where Roufas is anyway, so what good is this?"
"He's already in there. I tossed a few empty balls into your pack as well, you really need to catch one of your own if you won't take Roufas. All of your friends have a pokemon, you know."
"Magnus doesn't." Jay pointed out.
Tracy scowled. "That troublemaker doesn't count."
"Right, right. Fine, I'll take Roufas. Good-bye, Mom." He said quickly, doing his best not to sprint in the opposite direction but not keeping a casual pace either.
He didn't even look back until arriving at Magnus' house. He avoided the front and garage doors, going around to a large, wooden shed with a concrete path leading to the driveway from the double doors. He pulled the doors open, grinning as light fell on the motorcycle and sidecar stored inside. Considering they were hooked up, Jay assumed Magnus must have tried making the jump that landed him in the clinic with them in the same condition.
No wonder he hurt himself, the idiot. Jay thought, dropping his backpack in the sidecar and walking around it to the small countertop in the back of the shed. He noticed a duffel bag, box and a pair of sleeping bags resting on it and blinked. Camping equipment... Magnus had actually prepared ahead of time. Once the initial surprise wore off, Jay took the box and dropped it into sidecar as well, slapping himself mentally for not thinking of a tent before now. Then again, that was how they organized. Magnus brought the tent and sleeping bags, Jay brought ample medical supplies and some campfire stories from his book collection.
He stuffed in one of the sleeping bags in next to the boxed tent and reached under the counter, feeling around until he found the key taped to the underside of it. Peeling it off he went back to the motorcycle, dropping onto the seat and sliding the key into the ignition. He grabbed the red helmet that was hanging on left the handlebar and put it on. It was a little big, but probably better than going without one.
It took him a minute or two to remember how to drive the thing, since Magnus only let him try a few times and for all but one of those he was receiving constant reminders in one ear about what to do. It wasn't too hard to get it moving though, and he was off shortly after starting the engine. He tightened his grip on the handlebars and leaned forward, slightly over-sized helmet beginning to slip down.
Let's see, around an hour to get to Viridian City on this thing... good. Jay mumbled to himself, turning onto the main road without slowing down. Hopefully that'll be long enough for me to remember how to stop the damn thing.