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.---
Miscommunication and Paranoia
"...believe there's nothing on. Midday TV sucks." Magnus sighed, the sound of the television in the background disappearing. "No visitors since Lana came two days ago, and all she did was go on about Jay going off on his own. Even Daniel and Sam have gone off to some tournament. Damn it. Next time I end up in here, I gotta make it's when everyone else is around."
Jay shook his head, reaching for the handle when Magnus started up again, and said something that made him stop.
"Man, my parents haven't even visited since the first day. When I get outta here, I gotta figure out a way to get outta there, too." The sound of something hitting the bed, probably Magnus' fist, came from the room. "Those three are lucky. Daniel and Sam split the rent on their place and Jay's freakin' loaded enough not to even worry about it."
Jay flinched. As much as he tried to ignore the fact, his friend was right in a way. His Mother had earned more than he thought possible when she was a Pokemon trainer, and his Dad worked in some big company in Sinnoh. At least, he did before the divorce three years ago. Where he was now was a mystery. Not that Jay cared, he never really liked his Father and the feeling seemed to be mutual.
"That's what I've gotta do." Magnus said. "Start planning on how to get out of that house. Hell, maybe even out of Pallet if I can manage it. If it wasn't for those two and that damn Professor Oak I'd try my hand at the whole trainer thing. If a ten year old can manage it, I sure as hell can."
It took him a moment, but Jay remembered what he was talking about. Magnus had told him a few times that he'd always thought being a trainer would be neat, but his parents were so against it they had somehow talked Oak into not offering him a starter. Jay wondered why his friend hadn't brought up the topic for a while, then remembered it usually ended with him giving Magnus his standard trainer-bashing talk.
Jay sighed, wishing he'd just gone in before hearing it all. Why couldn't Magnus have reminisced about the time he stupidly went Tauros-tipping? Or when he somehow blew up all the toilets in middle-school? Or at least something that offered a laugh instead of bad memories?
Glancing at the bottle in his hand, Jay raised it and tapped it against the door. Magnus, who had been continuing his external monologue, suddenly went quiet. Jay pushed open the door, walking up to the bedside and offering him the bottle. "You know, keeping a journal might be a quieter way to go over your thoughts."
Magnus stared at him a moment before taking the bottle. "Anyone can find and read a journal, at least my way only nosy people can overhear it. Speaking of which, how much did you hear?"
"Just something about trying to be a trainer." Jay lied, closing the door and taking a seat by the bed. "You're still on about that, huh?"
"Yeah. Childhood dreams don't die easy, you know?"
"Not really." Jay shrugged, leaning back and looking at the ceiling. "I never found anything that sparked my interest."
"Don't give me that, you must have had some kinda dream when you were younger." Magnus said, awkwardly popping the cap off the bottle with one hand and taking a drink.
Thinking back, a few came to Jay's mind, but he'd soon lost interest in each one. "None were realistic for me, so I gave up on them."
"That's... kinda sad, man. You gotta have something to dream of, even if it's unrealistic. Like me wanting to be a..." He stopped himself, glancing sideways at Jay. "...ah, nevermind. What're you doing back so soon, anyway? Zed acting a little too crazy for you?"
Feeling both relieved and irritated by the sudden change of subject, Jay figured he may as well go along with it. Since Lana was unhappy with him, he didn't want to risk Magnus getting mad too. "No more than usual. The main reason I'm back is because I forgot a lot of stuff, like food. I'm too used to going with everyone else."
"Oh, yeah. With the Campfire King gone I bet your food selection was limited." Magnus grinned.
"That's an understatement, all I had on hand was candy and berries." Jay sighed, shifting in the chair and placing his arm on the back. "Actually, the lack of nutrition and Zed's madness isn't what I came to talk to you about. I met a couple new faces during my day and a half up there."
"Seriously? We never run into anyone on our camping trips." He took a swig of soda and smirked at Jay. "You meet a hot girl in the woods?"
Jay rolled his eyes. "I suppose she fits that description in a sense... but it's become a bit of a problem. See, she was in a bit of trouble when I met her, so I gave her a place to hide. Then when I woke up and she wasn't in the tent, I-"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Magnus interrupted, sitting upright and gaping at him. "You had a girl... in my tent... overnight? You lucky bastard!"
Jay glared at him. "There is so much wrong with what you're trying to suggest, I don't know where to start. Look, I only came here to see if you'd help me with her once you're better."
"Help you?" Magnus blinked. "What do you mean?"
"Well, I doubt she'll want to stay at my place forever."
Magnus' jaw fell open and Jay planted his face in his palm. "She's at your house right now? You're letting her stay there? But you've only got one bedroom! Damn, Jay, I mean-"
"Magnus! Please. Stop. Now." He said, groaning. "I suppose I should have pointed this out earlier, but she is not, I repeat, not human."
"Oh..." Magnus muttered, sipping at his soda. A moment later he chuckled. "...I had no idea you were into that sort of thing."
Jay reached over and smacked his friend in the back of the head. "Can you please drag your mind out of the gutter for a few minutes?"
"Alright, alright." He said with a laugh. "What's got you all serious? You've helped out wild Pokemon before."
"This one's different. The ones you're talking about just needed rest or recovery. Simoon needs help getting home." Jay explained.
"You need my help with that? Ohh... do I sense a road trip in the works?"
"I doubt there's a road to it, she's from an island. I thought you might be able to help me figure out which one since the internet travel guide was no help. You know about that sort of thing, after all."
Magnus looked away. "I don't know what you mean..."
"My ass you don't." Jay said, rubbing the back of his neck. "You're always mentioning where certain Pokemon can be found, their traits or other bits of trivia most people have to look up... Sam says you're like a human pokedex. I'm willing to bet it's because you're as hell-bent about becoming a trainer today as you were when I met you."
"You know what? You're right." Magnus clunked the bottle onto the table. "Those three might have stopped me from becoming one, but I never stopped reading up on everything I could. Once I get the hell outta that house, I'm becoming a trainer and I don't give a damn what anyone thinks about it."
"Right..." Jay muttered, not wanting to get into the discussion again. "...so you'll help me out then?"
"You bet I will, but I'm gonna need more to go on."
"Well..." Jay glanced at the clock on the wall and swore. "...that'll have to wait until tomorrow. The shop's going to close soon and I have to pick up stuff for Simoon."
"You should pick up some proper Pokemon food, then. Roufas grew up on human food, but there's no telling how one from the wild will take to it." Magnus suggested.
"Can't argue with that, but how am I going to buy it?"
Magnus glared at him. "You're not exactly strapped for cash, so how do you think?"
"That's not what I meant." Jay sighed, having come across another topic he wanted to avoid. "I've looked at Pokemon food before, the species-specific ones would be a dead giveaway and the type-specific ones aren't any better. That's the problem with a small town like Pallet, everybody knows each other. Everyone knows the only Pokemon I live with is a Persian, so if I bought food for a fire-type..."
"Try lying. Say you're picking it up for your Mom. She has a Ninetales, right?"
"I suppose it's worth a shot. I'm not much of a liar, though." Jay muttered, standing up and heading for the door.
"No kidding." Magnus laughed. "By the way, thanks for the Pecha Soda."
"Being stuck in here, I figured you could use it. See you tomorrow, Mag."
"You know where to find me."
"That concludes our tour of Chateau Jay. If there are any questions, please direct them to him when he gets home." Roufas said, walking out of Jay's bedroom where he had finished showing Simoon around the house.
"W-wait a second..." Simoon stuttered, hurrying after him. "...what about-"
"Sorry, but I gave you the rundown of the basics, that should be enough for now." Roufas interrupted, making his way through the house until he was in the kitchen. "If you get bored, try that thing I showed you. I'd normally stay and chat with someone new, but I really have something that needs to be dealt with."
Simoon blinked as Roufas placed his head against part of the wall and pushed it up and outwards. He'd showed it to her first, but she was still surprised by it. There certainly wasn't anything like it where she was from. "What do you have to deal with?"
Roufas grinned back at her, his fangs glinting in the sunlight. "Gail." He said, before letting the door swing shut.
Simoon gulped, not liking the the look on his face or his tone of voice when he said it. Maybe the Pidgey was right in telling her to find a way out quickly. She couldn't flee the same way the Persian had gone, though. The area was fenced in and burning through it would attract too much attention.
Trying to think of another way out, she remembered the window in Jay's room had been open earlier. Climbing out there might work. Sprinting through the living room and down the hall, Simoon almost fell flat on her face after seeing the window and coming to a sudden stop. The window was open, but a familiar face was looking in.
"You're still here?" Gail asked from her perch, glaring at the Charmander. "I thought I told you to run for it."
"Yes... I think I can get out through there." Simoon said. There was nothing under the window and it was too high to reach on her own. Looking around for something she could use to climb up with, she remembered what Roufas had said. "I think you should leave, too... that Persian's out to get you."
"Roufas? Please." Gail said with a laugh. "I could see him coming a mile away."
The Persian's voice drifted from outside. "Oh, really?"
Simoon turned just in time to see a tan blur pull Gail out of the window.
"What the hell, Roufas?! Let me go!" Gail squawked.
"Actually, I don't think I will." Roufas replied. "You've been causing too many problems lately. You know what I have to do, right?"
"No... don't you dare..."
"Sorry, but it must be done. Hold still and it'll be over quickly."
"Oh no..." Simoon mumbled as Gail let out a screech. She tore out of the bedroom and back to the door Roufas had used. It flew open when she collided with it, rolling across the grass and coming to a stop a couple feet away from the house.
Not far away from her was Roufas, his front legs wrapped around Gail. The Pidgey was flailing her legs and shouting curses at the Persian as he licked the top of her head, ruffling her feathers enough to make them stick upright. "Damn you, Roufas! I'm sorry, alright?! Now stop doing that!"
"But you look so cute doing your Pidgeot impression." He said, grinning. "Besides, I'm not the one you owe an apology to."
"Alright, alright! I'll tell the stupid Charmander I made it up and say I'm sorry!"
"There we go." He released Gail and she quickly put a couple feet between them before landing on the ground. "A little honesty is all I'm asking for."
"Can I forget the apology then? I'm not sorry in the least." She said, shaking her head and trying to straighten her feathers.
Roufas got up, walked over and used one large paw to push her feathers back down. "Okay, now I have to know. Your issues with Jay are one thing, but Simoon never did anything to you. Why are you taking your frustrations on her too?"
"Why not ask her yourself?" Gail replied, glaring at Simoon. "You heard that I made up what I said before, right? We're done then." She said, flying off before Roufas could stop her.
"That girl frustrates me to no end." He said with a sigh, watching her depart. "Anyway, Simoon. I doubt it helped much, but hopefully you're a little less nervous. Jay's not bad for a human once you get to know him. Magnus either, despite what he might want other humans to think."
Simoon just watched him in silence, trying to piece everything together in her head. Roufas had forced the words out of the Pidgey, but his efforts were more playful than malicious. Surprising considering he had seemed so serious since she arrived. In any case, Gail did appear to be honest at the time. Of course, she also did when offering that windowsill warning. Simoon thumped her tail on the ground out of irritation, thinking that maybe she just couldn't tell since she had so little contact with other species before now.
"Are you here, or should I leave a message?" Roufas asked.
Simoon glanced up and toppled backwards after seeing the Persian's face within inches of hers. She'd been so wrapped up in her thoughts she hadn't noticed him move.
He grinned. "Sorry, I have that effect on small creatures. Come back inside, I'll show you that thing again."
She blinked, wondering what he was talking about for a moment. "Oh, the glowing thing?"
"Yep." He passed by, going to the swinging door and pushing it up. "Your hands are a better size for pressing the buttons, so I'll let you handle that."
"Oh... um... okay." She mumbled, following after him and continuing to wonder if staying here was really the best thing to do.
Jay pulled into his driveway, grinning. After going back to ask Magnus if it was okay to continue using his motorcycle while he was in the hospital, getting around town had become a lot faster. Sure, Pallet was small, but his house was still a ten minute walk from the nearest shop, on the bike he made it in two. Not to mention he finally had a reason to use his garage. Up until now it was just empty space apart from dust and cobwebs.
Of course, all that was just an afterthought to the real reason he wanted to hang on to the motorcycle. When he was leaving the hospital, he noticed a few problems with it. Six of them, to be exact. Half a dozen vertical slashes on the sidecar. It wasn't hard to guess that Simoon had accidentally done it when climbing in and if Magnus saw it he'd be annoyed, to say the least. Which means Jay had to have it repaired before his friend got better. One problem after another.
Once he figured out how to open his garage again and got the bike inside, he grabbed the bags out of the sidecar and headed for the front door. Unlocking the door, he was met with a loud roar and a shriek as he stepped inside.
He caught sight of Simoon just as she fell off the coffee table and landed on her back, the television remote landing next to her. Roufas was on the couch she'd barely missed hitting her head against, clearly doing his best not to burst out laughing at the Charmander. Simoon rolled onto her side, grabbing the remote and hitting the power button. The screams from what must have been a monster movie cut off.
"Are you trying to give her a heart attack?" Jay inquired, closing the door behind him.
"Of course not, I'm just trying to show her the benefits of living with a human." He replied. "She probably won't be here long, but I'm hoping she can find something enjoyable about it. A story for when she's back home."
"Are you sure you can even find my home?" Simoon asked, sitting up.
Jay shrugged. "I'm not sure, to be honest. I've enlisted some help, though."
Roufas smirked. "As I expected, you told Magnus."
"Who else would I trust with something like this?" Jay wondered, heading into the kitchen.
"I can think of three people." Roufas said, jumping off the couch and following after him.
"Funny." Jay muttered, beginning to put things away. "Not a chance."
"Because of Daniel, Sam and Lana, the only one that probably wouldn't think I needed to see a shrink was Sam. However, that idiot can't keep a secret, and the whole town would find out within twenty-four hours."
"Fair enough." Roufas hopped onto one of the chairs around the kitchen table, looking at one of the boxes. "Fire-type Pokemon food? How'd you manage to get that without getting a funny look from the cashier?"
"I followed Mag's advice and lied."
"How'd that work out?"
"Better than usual, thankfully."
There was a clatter as Simoon climbed onto one of the other three chairs around the table, peering over the edge at the shopping. "What kind of odd things are you going to try and make me eat now?"
"They're hardly odd." Roufas said, glancing at her. "Although, considering your situation, I understand why you'd think that."
"This whole place isn't normal." She mumbled.
"Well, I can't argue with that." Jay said, pulling a bowl from one of the cupboards and setting it on the table. Opening the box, he poured a few pieces in and slid it over to Simoon. "Here, give it a taste and tell me if I need to find a way to get something better tomorrow."
Simoon looked from him to the bowl, cautiously picking up one of the pieces and examining the food. It was doubtful she'd seen them before, but did she have to handle it like it was poisoned or something? Jay rolled his eyes and turned to finish putting things away.
"Any good?" Roufas asked a short time later.
"I've never tasted anything like this before." She said, eating another. "It's a lot better than it looks."
Jay closed the fridge and checked the clock on the wall. It was a little past seven. "Glad to hear that, since you're probably gonna be stuck eating a lot of it for a couple weeks. I got some for you too, Roufas."
"Too lazy to cook anything tonight?" He wondered.
"I haven't eaten much the past couple days and I didn't sleep well last night, so anything big is out." Jay said, flicking on the stove and getting a pan. "Not to mention I noticed a few traces of mutilated white sneaker on the living room floor while Mom and Lana were giving me hell."
Roufas chuckled. "Of course."
"Honestly, Roufas... why my shoes? I always thought that was more of a canine thing." Jay said, filling the pan with water and setting it on the burner. "Then again... if you were a Growlithe or something, you'd probably try to climb the living room curtains."
"I can't help it I like to destroy human footwear." He replied, flicking his tail in annoyance. "Maybe I get it from my Dad, he's a Ninetales, after all."
"Good point." Jay muttered, digging through a cupboard. "On the other hand, Blaze never ate Mom's shoes."
"How about we drop the topic and you serve dinner already?" Roufas suggested. "I can hear growling coming from the stomach of our guest."
"Oh, sorry Simoon. One second."
As unusual as it might have been, that meal was probably the best one Simoon had eaten since leaving home. Though still wary of the two of them, she couldn't help feeling a little more relaxed afterwards. Although most of the talking was between Jay and Roufas, it reminded her of dinner back home. She'd never gotten into the conversation much there, either.
After they finished, Jay went to the living room and focused on his strange computer thing, occasionally asking her something about her home. Roufas had sat with them for a few minutes before wandering down the hallway for some reason.
"Hey, Simoon. You said you left the island on a ship, right?" Jay asked, glancing at her from the other end of the couch.
She nodded. "Yes, I think that's what it was called."
"Did you see anything written on the side of it? If you knew the name of the ship, it'd make things a lot easier."
"I never got a good look at the outside of it. Even if I did, I wouldn't have been able to read anything written on it." She explained.
"Oh, right. I forgot you wouldn't be able to read." Jay sighed. "Well, if you're interested, I'm sure Roufas can teach you a little."
"Jay, come here for a second!" Roufas yelled before she could respond.
Setting his laptop on the table, Jay grumbled. "Wonder what he broke this time."
Simoon watched him disappear down the hallway, thought about it for a moment, then hopped off the couch and followed after him. He headed into his bedroom, closing the door behind him and Simoon hurried over as quietly as she could to listen, wondering what was going on. Roufas' voice was the first she heard.
"...know what I'm getting at, right?"
"I have a pretty good idea. What do you expect me to do about it, though?" Jay asked.
"You take this, and deal with the problem." There was a thump from inside the room.
"There are a few issues with that idea, Rou. First of all, this wouldn't work very well on her. Second, she scares me. Third, and most important of the lot, I'd probably be roasted alive in the process. She already scorched the back of my neck bad enough I had to buy ointment for it when she wasn't even aiming at me."
"What are you planning to do about it then? Nothing?" Roufas asked.
"Well..." A few moments passed in silence, then Jay sighed. "...I'll get what's needed and take care of Simoon tomorrow. Alright? Right now I just want to relax. I'm sure she does too."
Simoon gulped, quickly moving back down the hall before Jay decided to open the door and found her listening. The two of them may not have said exactly what they were talking about, but she had a good idea. Good enough to know she had to find a way out of that place tonight, before they could go through with whatever they were planning.