Yep, it's back, in all its (not-so) glory. The name itself came from the fact that, well, it's a side story to the actual animé. You never see these characters or these plots in the animé do you? ---------------------------------------------------- Alex heaved a sigh. It’d been a while since the Pokémon League Championship was over. He’d just lost in the finals to his own sister, but he wasn’t bitter about it. In fact, he was ironically happy that he’d at least lost to someone he knew. The only thing he vaguely dreaded was actually going back home. His mom hadn’t been too keen on him going off to become a Pokémon Trainer, and Alex wasn’t sure how she’d take him coming back. Marril broke the silence of walking down Cerulean City’s streets. “Marril-mar, Marril.” “I guess,” said Alex, “we just need to get it over with. I mean, waiting can’t really help, can it?” “Marril…” Marril sighed, and hopped a little, signifying to Alex that Marril at least wanted to be carried for this. “You know, Marril,” Alex said as he picked up Marril, “You’re lucky that you can at least get away with asking for that.” “Marril!” Marril said, agreeing. Alex sighed and carried on. Alex tiptoed quietly into his house, cautious so as not to draw too much attention to himself. It was childish, yes, but at that moment he wasn’t questioning it. His mom wasn’t home then, as things would have it, so he relaxed a little. Still, Alex thought, smiling inwardly, he couldn’t imagine what would be going through his mom’s head when she got home. He checked his room, which was still in the exact same condition it was left in six years ago when he left to be a Pokémon trainer, except for the fact that a healthy layer of dust had accumulated in it. His mom must’ve just avoided it entirely. He brushed the dust off some of his old things and looked at them, remembering his childhood. His mom had hated Pokémon entirely, often trying to impress that upon her son, often with no luck whatsoever. He couldn’t help but remember the time when he was eight, he’d found an injured Caterpie outside his window and had taken it in so a Pidgeotto wouldn’t eat it. His mom had blown her stack at that, and he couldn’t understand why. It all seemed so silly now. “Marril-mar… mar…” Alex could hear Marril downstairs talking to itself, obviously going through the refrigerator, although Alex didn’t know how Marril managed to open it. “MARRIL!” Uh-oh. Alex rushed downstairs to see what had caused Marril to shout like that. A rather heavy pot that was in the fridge had fallen on Marril’s head. Marril was on the ground, KO’ed. “Ouch,” Alex said to himself as he quickly put the pot aside and picked up Marril, holding it to his chest in comfort. Marril came to in a few moments, still muttering in pain. “Hey, it’s okay,” Alex said, giving Marril a scratch behind its ear. “Could’ve happened to anyone.” “Mar…” Marril said quietly, then went silent, still conscious but not bothering to say anything. Alex walked over to the phone, Marril in one arm, and dialled the number for his sister’s cell phone. It rang once. Twice. It rang more times than any phone has a right to ring. Sam picked up, sounding irritable. “What?” “Nice to see you too,” Alex said sarcastically. “Just calling to let you know I got home. Where are you?” “Mossdeep City,” Sam said bitterly. “It’s three in the morning for the love of Magikarp.” “Oh, right,” Alex said. “Sorry, forgot about the time difference.” “Yeah, well you know me, once something wakes me up it’ll be heck to get back to sleep again,” Sam continued groggily. Alex was sure he heard her say “idiot brother” under her breath. Alex opened his mouth to say something, but Sam cut him off. “Well you said you got home all right. So what did Mom say?” “Er,” Alex hesitated. “Nothing yet. She’s out right now. Dunno what she’s doing or when she’ll be back.” “Well, be sure to let me know what she says when she sees you,” Sam said before hanging up. Setting down the receiver, Alex walked over to the couch. Marril continued to stay silent, so Alex looked around the living room. The pictures of him were still of his nine-year old self. Sardonically, Alex thought to himself that he had no idea how people ever thought he looked like a girl. Well, at least to himself he couldn’t see how. Other people might think differently. He must have gotten lost in thought (unfamiliar territory, Marril might claim), because he was snapped out of his train of thought by the sound of the door unlocking. Well, this was either his mom or Sam had taken a supersonic flight there. It was his mom, he saw. Alex stood up, setting Marril—who had long since fallen asleep—down on the couch. “What the… oh, you’re back,” Alex’s mom said. Great, Alex thought, his mom was still bitter. “Hello to you too, mom.” “Oh, don’t think I hate you, Alex,” his mom said. “I am your mother, and I do love you, but don’t go thinking I approve of you running off to go spend more time with those… things… than you do with your own family.” “My choice,” Alex said under his breath. “Yes, dear, I know that,” Alex’s mom said as she walked over to the couch. “It’s just that—“ As she sat down, there was a sharp, high-pitched shriek. She’d managed to sit right on top of Marril, who was minding its own business sleeping. “You even brought one into this house,” Alex’s mom noted. “Marril-mar,” Marril said rudely. “Marril!” Marril wandered off, climbing the stairs awkwardly. “Honestly, I don’t know why you even bother with those things. You should’ve continued on with school.” “It’s not what I wanted to do,” Alex said. “I know, I know,” his mom replied. “I’m just saying what I think, that’s all.” Alex silently wished his father were there. His mom and dad had split over issues regarding Pokémon, and his mom had won custody. His dad liked Pokémon quite a lot, and even had a Ninetails, which Alex vaguely remembered liking quite a lot back when he was three or four. “You can stay the night,” Alex’s mom said after a few moments of silence. It was good she was offering. Alex wasn’t quite sure how to ask. “Actually, stay as long as you like. I really don’t mind you being here.” “Uh, yeah, that’d be nice,” Alex said, excusing himself from the room. He still couldn’t figure out his mom. One minute she was nagging at him, the next she was being completely nice to him. “MAR!” Marril shouted as Alex accidentally kicked it. “Oh, Marril, I’m really sorry,” Alex said, picking up Marril. “Today’s just been a really bad day for you, hasn’t it? You should just get some rest, you’ll feel better in the morning.” “Mar…” Marril said quietly, snuggling up to Alex’s chest. “Actually,” Alex thought to himself. “I should get some sleep too. It’s nine o’clock right now and I just came from Violet City, so it’s essentially midnight for me.” Time zones, Alex mused. Who needs ‘em? Only make you more tired when you don’t need to be or less tired when you need to be. Alex set Marril down where he knew Marril wouldn’t get hit over the head by falling objects, sat on, or trodden upon, and went to go to bed himself. Alex sighed as he realised his sheets hadn’t been changed for the entire time he was out and as a result were incredibly musty. I don’t have time for this, he thought to himself as he shook them out a little bit. However, he decided he was too tired to sufficiently get the staleness out of them, so he just shrugged and went to sleep. Somewhere out in the Pacific Ocean, a Tentacool was eaten by a Pelliper, but this really has no relevance whatsoever to this story. ---------------------------------------------------- Anyways, as you can tell, this story doesn't take itself too seriously except that it tries very hard to have a plot. Don't worry, you'll get action scenes, Pokémon battles, the works a few chapters from now.