Lucky 13 time folks. Yep, like the title said, the shounen-ai does indeed start here. It doesn't start off heavy or anything (actually there's little to nothing in here), but it's gonna work itself up over the next while. If you don't like that, then you don't have to read it. In other news, Team Rocket owns yet again. But that's because there's no Jessie and James to suck. --------------------------------------------------- The sun was bright, it wasn’t too hot, and the wild Pokémon weren’t being obnoxious. A random Weedle tried to sting Alex, but Marril took care of that. It was, in short, perfect conditions for a date. Alex noted sourly, however, that it was a pretty one-sided date. All right, he’d told himself, it wasn’t a date at all. He’d since given up all pretence in his head about liking Tschel, although he still wasn’t certain how he’d ever say it to him. He glanced at Tschel. No, Tschel probably only saw them being in the deep forest together as running from the Jennies. Heck, that’s what they were actually doing, but Alex figured he’d allow himself his fantasies. Tschel seemed a bit agitated towards Alex, but Alex figured that it was justified. It was his Feebas after all that caused the scene at the pokéblock store and put them in that mess in the first place. Tschel was a bit agitated towards Alex. He knew he felt something for Alex, and this feeling was intensified a bit by the conditions they were in. He thought Alex kept glancing at him, heck, he even imagined a few looks on Alex’s face that he was sure weren’t actually there. Oh man, what s situation, he thought. On the run from the law and with someone who had that sort of effect on him. Marril wasn’t helping, either. The mouse kept on looking at him with a funny expression on its face, making it impossible for Tschel to really say anything. Worse, it had kept this up for the previous few hours. Marril kept its stare going at Tschel. Jeez, it thought, Tschel was terrible at hiding his feelings so why didn’t he just up and say it already? Marril mused that it would probably never understand humans. Elite Simon had to collect test subjects, and he detested simple Pokémon theft. It was beneath a man of his stature, and worse, he was paired with the new guy for this operation. Ryan was inept, Simon mused. Simon knew that Ryan somehow outranked him in the hierarchy of Elites, although he also knew that he was the leader of this operation, and exercised this at any given chance. The pokéball converter in his hand, Simon dropped another Ultra Ball into it, turned it into a Snag Ball, and threw it at the trainer’s Pokémon. Ryan was off getting wild Pokémon for test subjects, and Simon was getting trained Pokémon. “You… you can’t do that!” The trainer exclaimed, seeing his Beedrill vanish into Simon’s ball. Simon smirked. “Of course I can, kid. See this R on my chest? It means I’m from Team Rocket, and I can do anything I want.” The trainer, a boy in his early teens, ran off crying, and Simon vomited internally. What had prompted that display of sheer villainy? Clichés were beneath him, he knew, yet he persisted. It wasn’t even fun to say, and in fact it displeased him greatly to steal another person’s Pokémon. However, duty was duty and he would do it. “I’ve got another one,” Ryan’s voice came into Simon’s earpiece. “Roger that,” Simon said into his mouthpiece. “Just a few more and we’re done.” Simon strolled into the forest proper of the Terri National Park. He’d find some trainers who were camping for the night. An hour or so later, Simon found that the shielding device from the Tech Division was a remarkable piece of machinery indeed. He’d found none other than the infamous Tschel, and the girlish-looking boy he was travelling with, along with a Marril outside of its ball. The capture was easy, and the shield was holding off counterattack. “I need backup,” Simon said into his mouthpiece, “ASAP. You can find me on the GPS.” The shield was powerful, emitting a high-frequency field of energy in a one-meter radius around its suitcase-sized projector. The thing weighed about half a ton, figured Simon as he held it, but it worked. The gout of fire from Tschel’s Flareon and the barrage of pin missiles from his Jolteon were easily deflected. The other boy sending out a Gyarados was not, however, something the shield was designed to handle. “Any time now,” Simon muttered as the shield’s visible energy discharge was diminished by stopping a Hyper Beam. Tschel muttered a few words that were quite impolite for mixed company or any dinner table, and sent out his Espeon. The roar the shield made as it kept itself going was impressive, so Simon heard nothing. He was abruptly lifted off his feet and sent hurtling backwards as if a large hand picked him up as if a toy and threw his away. Then, Ryan’s Hitmonchan leapt in and delivered a bone-jarring Haymaker to Espeon, knocking it out instantly. Hitmonchan leapt up and delivered a similar blow to Gyarados. Ryan swore as he helped Simon to his feet. “You should’ve known better.” “I didn’t think he’d use Espeon,” Simon said. Ryan threw a smoke bomb. “Well, come on, we’re leaving.” Alex was devastated. He was more than devastated. Marril had just gotten taken from him despite his and Tschel’s greatest efforts. “I won’t cry… I won’t cry…” he told himself, even as tears started rolling down his cheeks. Tschel didn’t know what to do. Alex was crying, and it was like something had come down and hit him, too. Not because Marril was taken, although Tschel didn’t like seeing the little mouse go any more than Alex did, but because he just didn’t want to see Alex crying. The motion was almost completely automatic, as Tschel slowly edged closer to Alex and then put his arms around him. Alex stopped trying to not cry and just cried into Tschel’s shoulder. “That was the first Pokémon you caught, wasn’t it?” Tschel asked after a while. ”S-second,” Alex said, “after Ma-Magikarp.” “Look, we’ll find it, we’ll get it back. I promise.” They didn’t say anything after that. Tschel just wanted to be there for Alex, it was something that didn’t need to be said. After a while, Alex stopped crying, although he still stayed in Tschel’s arms. Even Tschel missed hearing Marril chatter at exactly the wrong moments, only to be told off by Alex. He wanted to hear the high-pitched “Marril, mar-mar, Marril” of Marril being itself. Tschel couldn’t allow his mind to rest, though. He needed to figure out how he’d ever find Marril. Sam felt her cell phone vibrate—she’d set it off of ring—and idly wondered who was calling. Her number wasn’t any secret although not many people had any reason to call her. David’s new Dusclops beating his opponent’s Fearow with a well-timed Shadow Punch drew Sam’s attention long enough for her phone to stop clamouring for her to answer it. She swore mildly and thumbed her voicemail password, much to the annoyance of the people around her, gathering around the giant video monitors showing the Battle Tower rooms. Sam’s eyebrow rose in surprise of its own accord, it seemed. The message was short but interesting. She’d entered the yearly draw in the Pokémon Lottery for winning a rare Pokémon, and her number was apparently drawn. She’d have to leave for Lilycove as soon as she could. The match over, indeed all the day’s matches finished, David stepped out of the elevator and looked around. Sam didn’t know whether to find it cute or pathetic that someone several years older than her was so clingy. “Uh, yeah, something I gotta tell you,” Sam said right after getting to David. David blinked. “Oh. What?” “I’ve gotta head for Lilycove for a while,” Sam said. “Oh,” David sighed. “Well, have a fun time and all.” The awkward moment out of the way, Sam stepped out of the crowded room and into the open air. Gilgamesh wasn’t the world’s fastest Dragonite, flying-speed wise, but she’d be able to make it to Lilycove riding on its back in a few hours. In the summer night, it wouldn’t even be very dark when she got there. Sam’s phone vibrated again in mid-flight. She scowled and answered. “Hi, Sam?” She didn’t recognise the voice at first. “Oh, Tschel,” she said after a second or two, her voice flat. “Alex is a bit distressed right now so I figured I oughta let you know. His Marril’s just been taken by Team Rocket.” Sam’s heart tugged a little. She didn’t like her brother going off and taking a League challenge with someone as creepy as Tschel, but she definitely didn’t want something like that to happen to him. She knew how much Marril meant to him. “Oh my Goddish,” Sam said. She somehow involuntarily turned her shock into anger. “Get it back or you’ll have me to answer to.” Tschel said nothing, shocked by hearing such a tone from a fourteen-year old girl. “I’m trying to,” he said desperately. “And you need my help or something?” “No, just letting you know. Alex would probably have told you anyways.” The phone dropped dead. Sam looked at the monitor and saw the battery had just died. Figured. Well, she thought, this just ruined her night. She was, to say the least, surprised by the sudden anger she felt towards Tschel. It wasn’t rational, since she knew he’d have tried his best to keep Marril from being stolen. Did Tschel really deserve the enmity he’d unwittingly earned? The following morning, all feelings of angst gone from Sam, she headed to the Pokémon Lottery building to see what it was that she’d won. It wasn’t the grand prize, a Master Ball, she’d learned. It was just as well—she didn’t have any use for a Master Ball. What she did win was something that she didn’t quite expect. “It’s simple,” the woman in charge had said. “You choose one of these four pokéballs and the Pokémon inside is yours. They’re all very rare and worth training.” Sam looked at the case containing four standard, red-topped pokéballs. She had no idea which one to pick. “Um, that one,” Sam said, uncertainty in her voice. “Excellent choice, the rarest of the four,” the woman said, taking the second from the right out of the case and handed it to Sam. Sam opened the ball and an odd blue Pokémon materialised. She pointed her pokédex at it. “Beldum, the Iron Ball Pokémon,” said her pokédex. “Beldum keeps itself floating by generating a magnetic force that repels earth’s natural magnetism. When it sleeps, it anchors itself to a cliff using the hooks on its rear.” Sam wasn’t quite able to hide the surprised expression on her face. She already knew what a Beldum was, she just wanted to hear its data being read. Beldum looked up at her quizzically. “I think,” Sam said, “I’ll name you Mercury.” Beldum bobbed up and down in the air with that, seemingly pleased with its new name. “Say,” Sam asked, looking quizzical, “what were the other three, anyway?” The woman smiled. “Dratini, Bagon, and Larvitar.” --------------------------------------------------- Yeah, I stretched that last bit a bit, but I was having a hey-yo time thinking of a way to get Sam her Beldum. She's also playing Sapphire apparantly, if you noticed the Dex data. Next chapter goes up whenever I unlazify myself.