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Pokémon In the echo of the ocean/In the hunting of the wind [a GracefulShipping Two Shot]

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
A Facadeverse fic

Wallace and Winona have been dating for a few months, but now they have to face the inevitable 'meet the family' night, and the thing about those nights is that there have to be two of them. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, actually.


A sequel of sorts to Who Am I And Who Are You And Who Are We, though 1. that fic is over on AO3, 2. it's rated Explicit, and 3. you don't need to have read that fic to understand this one; it just provides more context.

I debated posting this fic here for several reasons: the MATURE rating, the fact that I don't know it people over here care about Gracefulshipping as much or even half as much as I do, etc. etc. etc. Ultimately, however, I decided to post it here. For validation and stuff.

Takes place in the Facadeverse before the events of ORAS.

This story is rated MATURE for the following:

CW// Bigotry (including racism and transphobia), use of dehumanizing "it", eating disorders (including descriptions of starving and purging behavior), references to sex (including implied sexual content and slut shaming), alcohol and drug abuse, anxiety, and misgendering

Preferred type of review: Honestly I'm open to any type of review, but I would really appreciate comments on:
- Your impressions of the relationships (romantic relationships, character's relationship with their family, character's relationship with their partner's family, etc.)
- Spelling/grammar/typos
- Portrayal of mental illness
 
Last edited:
In the echo of the ocean

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
In the echo of the ocean

For the seventy-seventh time in an hour, Wallace checked himself in the mirror to make sure he looked perfect for Winona’s family—or presentable, at the very least. His purple turtleneck was carefully tucked into white dress pants, his white blazer was straight without a single wrinkle, and his white boots and beret had not a scratch or smudge.

He felt like he was going to throw up.

Joan, his Swanna, was giving him a look that said Wallace, we have to go. Even he had to admit that he was being more meticulous than usual, causing him to spend two hours fussing over his appearance when it was usually just one. But he had to make a perfect first impression in front of Winona's family. From what he had heard of them, they weren't the most... accepting people. They certainly wouldn't be accepting of his and Winona's unconventional intimate life. It was why they weren't meeting Steven as well. But they were the ones demanding to meet Wallace, and Wallace wasn't one to break promises. Or not accept them in the first place.

Maybe he could change their ways. Maybe he could impress them. Maybe they would think he was a great partner for Winona... Maybe he would make a fool of himself.

Wallace considered not going over to the house and just playing sick instead. He was starting to think that maybe he was. His Swanna, Joan, cocked her head as his pacing and breathing became quicker.

“Joan, I’m not feeling too well. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea—“

Before Wallace could go into the bathroom, his sister opened the door to his bedroom.

“How are you doing?” Nicole asked.

“Fine.” The way Wallace responded said otherwise; even he had to admit. Nicole walked over and hugged him.

“Kamari mou, it’s going to be okay. You’re just nervous.”

“If I throw up in front of Winona’s family, I’ll never be allowed to marry her.”

“You won’t throw up. You’ll be just fine. Look at me.”

Wallace looked up at his sister. Her smile was warm and welcoming, like a glowing sunrise over the sea. Nicole was perfect. Everyone in his family was perfect. Why couldn't he be perfect?

“Smile,” she coaxed. “Come on.”

Wallace forced a smile. It was small, but it was something.

-

Winona’s parents answered the door. Her mother had pale blue hair that was starting to gray, and her wrinkly face had a stern frown. Her father had lavender hair, and he was much taller and looked much more welcoming.

Wallace bowed to them. He had always been one to show respect, even more so to older people, and respect was especially important tonight. Just for good measure, he smiled.

“I’m guessing you’re Winona’s parents. Rina and Haruki Kimura, if I remember correctly.”

Rina nodded. What kind of nod was it? Approval? Disappointment?

“And I’m guessing you’re her partner.” Her icy voice said enough: she was disappointed.

“That would also be correct. Is she here yet?”

“She’s on the balcony.” Haruki’s voice was more like a quiet brook: calm and pleasant. “She’s excited to see you tonight.”

”We’ll see if that excitement is warranted,” Rina muttered. "She's never brought anyone home.”

Wallace nodded (doing his best to hide his anxiety) and stepped into the house. The living room was a mix of woods of different shades of warm brown. Stepping inside was like eating a plate of freshly baked baklava… before having to walk a mile to purge it in a dark alley.

Winona stood on the balcony with her Altaria. She was wearing a long sleeved, sky blue dress, and her hair was tied back in a bun. Wallace could feel his face burning from blushing. She was always pretty, but tonight she was absolutely gorgeous. Gosh, he wanted to take her and kiss her and—

“Hello, Wallace,” Winona said.

Damn it. Wallace had gotten caught up in fawning over Winona.

“Uh… hello, Winona darling.”

He had started taking up the habit of calling Winona terms of endearment. “Darling” was the simplest one he used.

He caught a glimpse of Rina, who was watching them like a lurking Jellicent.

“Don’t worry about my mom,” Winona whispered, kissing Wallace’s cheek. “She’ll trust you eventually. Maybe.” She looked over at her mother. “Okaasan, please don’t look at Wallace like that.”

“You two better not… get carried away.”

Winona rolled her eyes. “We don’t, and we won’t.”

“Is anyone else here?” Wallace whispered to Winona.

“Bugsy and Anabel. They're playing with dolls in their room."

The doorbell rang, and Winona sighed. “And here comes Theresa. She just happens to be visiting, and she insisted that she come to dinner tonight.” Sarcasm was palpable in her voice.

“Any suggestions on how to deal with her?”

“Just smile and nod. For what it's worth, she hates me too. And Bugsy. And Anabel. And my dad."

I’m good at that, Wallace thought.

Winona walked over to the front door and opened it. A young girl with light blue hair stood at the door. She was wearing a white A-line dress straightened to perfection. Her expression went from stoicism to shock when she saw Wallace.

“Wallace?” she said. “Gym Leader Wallace? You and Winona are a thing?”

“Who might you be?”

“Kahili. I’m Winona’s niece.”

Wallace smiled. “Well, that’s wonderful to hear"—he bowed to her—"and it's wonderful to meet—"

A woman stopped behind Kahili, making the girl’s smile fall. The woman had short hair that was the same color as Kahili’s, and she also seemed shocked by Wallace, though it didn’t seem to be a positive kind of shock.

“Oh,” she chuckled, her smile obviously fake and her voice loud and abrasive. Wallace didn't know what to compare it to—probably a hangover headache or a migraine. “So she is dating you.”

“Are you Theresa?” Wallace asked. “I don’t think we’ve met.” He bowed before extending his arm toward her. “But you seem to know of me already.”

“Who the hell is this?” A man yelled in a deep, fiery voice as he stopped next to Theresa and saw Wallace. He had dark purple hair that was halfway grayed, and he was sharply dressed, like one of Steven’s dad’s business partners. He was staring at Wallace with a much more obviously disdainful look.

“Wallace.” He smiled and did a pose with his hands as if to say ta da. “Sootopolis City Gym Leader, and Winona’s boyfriend. Or partner. Or significant other. Call me whatever you wish. I have no preference.”

“Richard, Theresa’s husband,” the man said as he reluctantly shook Wallace’s hand, forcing a smile when he realized that he was talking to his sister-in-law’s boyfriend. “I own the Hano Grand Resort.”

“Ah, I’ve heard of that place. Very elegant, from the stories I’ve been told.”

Richard rolled his eyes. Wallace could tell this was going to be a long night.

Someone grabbed his arm. It was Rina.

“One more thing, young man: we have a rite of passage here in Fortree City.”

"A... rite of passage?"

"I can't have my daughter marrying someone who can't even protect her."

"I'm sure Winona is very capable of protecting herself."

Rina didn't seem to be amused by that playful quip. "All right then. I can't have my daughter marrying someone who can't even defend himself."

-

Joan missed Kecleon—for the third time.

The two were battling on the community center’s battlefield. With Theresa as referee and the rest of the family watching the battle, Wallace and Haruki called out attacks. Wallace had an advantage with Greek commands, but he still couldn’t land a hit on the nimble, camouflaging Kecleon, who made hit after hit with his invisible tongue.

“I hope you’re a better husband than you are a Gym Leader!” Rina called.

I’m working on that, Wallace wanted to shout back, but that would be rude. Also, she had a point; he was a new Gym Leader, but that didn’t give him any excuse to be this… bad of a Gym Leader.

The others were sitting far away from Wallace, but he could still feel their judgement stabbing into him like a thousand little knives. Especially Rina's. Sure, she called out the occasional mean-spirited taunt at Haruki, but her stares towards Wallace felt worse somehow. Maybe it was the fact that Wallace wasn't Haruki, or maybe he was anticipating her to say something.

You can’t lose. You can’t lose. You can’t lose.

In the frenzy of his spinning thoughts, Wallace scanned the battlefield and the sky above it for some sort of way to attack Kecleon… or the red stripe it couldn’t change.

Wait…

“Joan, stóchefse to kókkino!”

With a dramatic loop in the air, the Swanna spun towards the red stripe and struck. The impact shocked Kecleon out of his camouflage. While he was still recovering, Joan shot a blast of scorching hot water. She shot attack after attack, and Kecleon never got a chance to bounce back.

Eventually, he fell. Swanna swooped into the air again before landing in front of her opponent.

“Kecleon is unable to battle," Theresa announced, sounding almost disappointed. "Wallace is the victor.”

Wallace and Joan gave a dramatic bow. He could hear clapping.

"Wow, Wallace!" Bugsy shouted. "That was so cool!"

Wallace looked up at Theresa to thank her for her hard—

She was rolling her eyes. “I thought you were going to put on a… performance during your battle, but you pleasantly surprised me with your clothes and skills. Though I should tell you that your Sootopolis speak or whatever feels like cheating."

"Don't psychics give commands with telepathy?—"

"Shut up, Anabel," Theresa shot back.

Anabel looked back down at her feet. "Okay."

"According to the official rules and guidelines of Pokémon battling," Wallace said, "'All forms of communication—including but not limited to telepathy, foreign languages, and hand and body gestures—are permitted between trainer and Pokémon.'" He shot a playful smile at Anabel, who gave him a small smile back. "Are you interested in battles, Anabel?"

"Uh... yes."

Theresa rolled her eyes. "They all want to do battles. I don't have to. Anabel and Winona already completed battle tests, but Bugsy still has to complete hers—"

"His," Bugsy corrected. "Or theirs."

"Whatever."

"Battle tests?" Wallace asked.

"The kids have to battle their father before they can go on a journey," Theresa explained. "Thought Haruki is a pretty weak trainer."

"Theresa," Winona said, "can you not be a jerk to dad?"

"Can you shut your mouth?"

"No. No I can't shut my mouth. And I won't. Now would you please stop—"

"That's enough, Nagi," Rina said. "It's dinner time."

-

Wallace sat in between Winona and Theresa at the dinner table. He hated sitting in between two people at a table. Most of all, he hated eating in front of others. But he was a performer. He could put up a smile for however long dinner lasted. He could put off the panic attack for later.

It helped that Haruki was a nice enough person. He talked about how proud he was of his daughter for being such a strong Trainer, for gaining recognition beyond Fortree City and Hoenn, for getting into Rustboro University.

“She’s going to do something great someday,” he said. “Maybe she’ll become a professor. Or the Champion. Or both."

Winona hid her face in her hands, though Wallace could still see her face turning reddish-pink.

”Dad, stop it,” Winona mumbled. “You’re embarrassing me.”

”Come on, Winona. Can’t a father be proud of his daughter?”

"But do you have to brag in front of my boyfriend?"

"Well, he should know just how wonderful his future wife is."

Winona smiled. It was a beautiful smile. Wallace wanted to kiss her—

"Yeah, and he better know that she won't take a half-assed husband," Rina muttered. “He better know that he can’t ditch her when he gets her pregnant, and if he gets her pregnant before—“

"Mom please," Winona sighed. "Can we not get into that right now?"

"Young lady, we are going to get into that."

Rina then went on a tirade about how premarital sex was terrible and awful and all that. Wallace had heard the lecture many times from his grandmother, though Rina didn't use religious justification. From what Wallace knew of Winona's family, they were spiritual but didn't practice any kind of organized religion like his family did. Winona was accepting of their religious differences... he just had to hope that her parents were.

There was a bottle of wine on the table—some fancy port wine that Theresa and Richard had brought to flaunt to the others. Unsurprisingly, they were the only ones drinking it. Wallace wanted to have some of it, but that would most likely lead to him drinking the whole bottle and passing out from alcohol poisoning. He desperately needed to numb his anxiety and the growing nausea that came with it, but he also knew that getting drunk in front of his girlfriend's parents wouldn't look good, and he needed to be perfect. Besides, Winona didn't like alcohol, and she probably didn't like drunkard significant others.

Why did he have to lie to her?

Wallace felt a slithering hand on his leg, completely unlike the graceful hands of Winona. He looked up at Theresa, who frowned when he expressed discomfort.

“Stop it, Theresa,” Winona hissed.

“I thought Wallace was good at giving people a good time. I thought a man was always eager… Oh right, I just remembered that Wallace’s gender is a fish.”

Bugsy and Anabel looked at each other. Neither one spoke. Haruki and Rina had gone off to get the food for dinner, leaving Wallace to deal with Theresa alone.

“The term is ‘genderqueer male’,” Wallace half joked, half explained, “and I don’t mind being called a man… but I’m not really eager right now, especially not for you.”

“I thought you were eager for everyone.”

“That’s not how pansexuality works.” Or polyamory, but let’s not reveal our sex lives in front of Winona’s family. That’s her business and my business alone. “Now would you please remove your hand from my leg before Winona’s parents find out? Do you want to get convicted of adultery?”

Theresa squeezed Wallace’s leg. He wanted to be scared and disgusted, but he had heard worse from people older than Theresa... How old was Theresa, anyway?

“Theresa. Cut it out.”

Winona was pulling Theresa's arm away from Wallace.

"If you hit on him one more time, I'm telling your husband."

Theresa shook her arm out of Winona's grip. "Fine. Oh Richard? How's the hotel doing?"

Winona groaned. "Theresa, please."

"It's doing well," Richard drawled. "Business is booming this season."

Theresa shot a teasing smirk at Winona. "And how much have you made—"

"Kahili are you interested in Water types?"

Everyone stared at Wallace. He prayed to the Mediator of the Sky for good communication skills.

"I am, but I prefer Flying types."

"Do you want to learn some pointers?"

"Oh joy," Theresa mumbled, "poor man's sport."

"I do!" Kahili said. "I have this friend..."

-

Food came. It wasn’t bad food; it smelled really, really good: rice, kimchi, soup, edamame, soba in a broth that smelled wonderful… such wonderful, savory smells...

It was only then that Wallace realized how hungry he was; he hadn’t eaten lunch, and breakfast had been a meager half slice of toast. For the past week, Wallace had allowed himself to only eat toast for breakfast, rice for lunch, and kale and bread for dinner, plus more vitamin supplements than he wanted to admit. He needed to put something else in his stomach.

But eating around other people wasn’t just something Wallace hated. It terrified him. It made his heart race. It made his legs weak. It made him feel like he was going to pass out.

"Are you okay?" Winona whispered.

"Of course I am," Wallace whispered back.

"Do you want to trade seats or anything?"

"I want to leave.” He paused for a second. “I'm kidding. I'm fine."

"What are you whispering about?" Rina demanded.

"I was just asking Wallace if he needed any..."

"He better not need contraception yet."

"MOM! I was asking about aspirin."

Theresa and Richard snickered. Winona looked ready to slap Theresa, but Haruki's stare stopped them before she could.

"Rina," Haruki said, "even you have to admit that this is too much. Why don't you trust our little Nagi bird?"

"Nagi's a wonderful young lady,” Rina said, “but just because she’s a strong Trainer, doesn’t mean I trust the kind of people she brings home. She could be bringing home drug addicts or playboys or something worse."

"What's worse than drug addicts and playboys?" Wallace joked.

It was a bad joke. Nobody laughed.

"I suppose if you were a drug addict and a playboy," Rina said bluntly.

No, Wallace wasn't a drug addict. Sure, he did drugs, but it wasn't for an addiction; it was so he could function and so he could suppress bad emotions like sadness . Maybe he was a playboy; he had a lot of sex, even with multiple people—with Winona's consent and with transparency, of course.

Okaaaaaaaasan, I’ve never brought anyone home,” Winona sighed. “I’ve never had a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. Or anyone like that. you've never let me."

”All the more reason to be suspicious. And all the more reason I should have chosen a partner for you.” Rina turned to Wallace. “You’re Nagi's coworker. Is that right?”

“Yes.” Wallace had to hide his racing anxiety. He had to be perfect in front of Winona’s family. “Winona is the most devoted, hardworking, good natured, calm…”

Winona gently elbowed Wallace’s arm. He glanced over at her playfully, and he couldn’t help but smile, even in the tense atmosphere.

“…caring Gym Leader I know.”

Rina stared at him.

”I can’t have my daughter marry someone who’s skin and bones. She needs someone who can support her, protect her, and care for her, and skinny boys like you aren’t good at that.”

Wallace was very close to screaming. If he took a shot for every time someone said "you need a good meal" or "you're going to blow away in the wind" or "you look like an anorexic middle school girl" or some other variation of that, he would get... very drunk, maybe blackout drunk.

”You remind me of my grandmother," Wallace said with a fake smile.

That didn’t get any kind of smile from Rina. ”In that case, tell your grandmother that she’s a smart woman. And eat.”

Wallace knew that he would look like a weirdo if he didn’t eat dinner. Besides, he figured, he could always purge later.

Against the wishes of his thoughts, he forced himself to take a small bite of the soba noodles. It smelled good and it tasted good.

Restrain yourself, you bitch. Don't eat too much.

“And you two go to the same college?” Rina still hadn’t smiled yet.

“Yes," Wallace said. "Rustboro Univeristy. We share a few classes."

“Nagi's studying the sciences—"

"Isn't that wonderful?" Haruki interrupted. "She's just like her father. I'm so proud of my little Nagi bird. All of my kids really—"

"What do you study?” Rina grumbled.

“Many things: Sootopolitan, Hoennese, and world literature; art and music; ancient history; poetry…”

From the look on Rina’s face, those subjects didn’t seem like the things she wanted to see on the resume of her daughter’s future spouse.

You should have lied and said you were thinking of going to law school or medical school, Wallace thought. Scratch that. You wouldn't survive a day in medical school. You can't even treat paper cuts without fainting.

“My friend is a history professor at Rustboro University,” Haruki said. “If you see Professor Fujikawa, tell them I said hi.”

“I’ll be sure to do so.” Wallace smiled—genuinely this time.

“What’s your major?” Rina asked. “Something related to science like Nagi?"

“I’m not sure at the moment.”

Wallace stared at Rina’s frown, hoping that she would smile or crack a joke or something. Instead, she asked, “What do you do for a living?”

Scratch law school, too. Ask Steven if you can get a job at Devon. I bet that looks really impressive to mothers. And really sexy to significant others.

“He’s one of those Contest pretty boys.”

Wallace’s head snapped towards Theresa. She was staring at him, as if she was expecting him to be insulted. From the way she was barely holding her glass, she was obviously drunk.

“Theresa’s… Theresa is correct. I’m a Coordinator.”

“Has Winona ever been to one of your Contests?” Theresa leaned closer to Wallace. The strong smell of alcohol almost made him gag.

“We… We just met."

“Are you embarrassed by your work?” A malicious smirk formed on Theresa’s face. “Do you think Winona won’t approve of you flaunting around with that dumb snake of yours?”

"Theresa, please," Winona demanded.

“Or maybe you think you’re better than her. Maybe you are. I could see how you could think you’re better than Winona, though that’s not a very high bar.”

Wallace was getting more nervous and more angry by the minute, but he figured that those emotions were what Theresa wanted out of him, so he tried to remain calm.

“Theresa, Winona has been nothing but supportive of my career, both on the battlefield and on the stage. I like the way I dress and identify, and Winona, for what it’s worth, has set the bar up in the heavens. Your attempts to insult either me or her will offend the plates on this table before they offend either of us. And before you go beyond foul implication and speculation hurled at me and Winona, our intimate lives are none of your business.”

The whole room went dead silent. Wallace stole a glance of Winona—eyes wild with fear—and then Rina—eyes cold with judgement. In trying to gallantly avoid Theresa’s trap, he had unknowingly stepped right into it.

“‘Intimate lives’?” Rina’s voice was like a stormy ocean threatening to bring up a tidal wave.

Wallace's gaze fell to his lap.

“Ms. Kimura, where’s the restroom?”

“You can leave when you’ve answered my question! What ‘intimate lives’ do you and Winona—“

Wallace gagged into his hand, feeling a rush of acid burning the back of his throat. He wished he had listened to the intrusive thoughts.

“Please.”

At this point, Wallace had given up on trying to smile and look perfect. All he wanted to do was not throw up in front of Winona’s family. That would be more than imperfect. That would be disastrous. The house was no longer safe; it was hell.

Haruki seemed to sense Wallace’s distress, as he pointed towards a door in the hallway. Wallace practically ran out of his chair.

-

Wallace hated vomiting. He hated almost everything about it: the burning, bitter taste; the foul, rotten smell; the wretched sight of it; the loss of dignity. The only thing he didn’t hate about it was the emotional catharsis. It was addicting.

Addicting when he was the one controlling it.

He couldn’t let himself vomit. He couldn't let himself vomit here. What would he even throw up? The few soba noodles he had barely managed to get down his throat? The toast from breakfast?

His knuckles were white from gripping the edge of the counter. His gaze was cast down on the basin of the sink. He heard the door open and close. Shit, why didn’t he lock the door?

Whoever had walked in was holding back his hair and resting their head against his back, which they were gently rubbing with their other hand.

“I don’t want to throw up,” Wallace gasped. “I don’t want to throw up. I don’t want to throw up.”

“It’s okay, Wallace,” Winona whispered. “If you’re not feeling well, then just let yourself get it up.”

“I want to go home, Winona.”

"Wallace, I can't let you go home by yourself, especially like this."

"Can you take me home then?" Wallace smiled. "Can you be my knight in shining armor?"

"I'll sleep at your place if I have to."

Haruki and Theresa were arguing in the kitchen, with the former speaking in a calm, quiet voice and the latter shouting.

"Don't worry about them," Winona reassured Wallace. “My dad will deal with her. Why don’t we go outside?”

With some reluctance, Wallace let Winona guide him out of the bathroom. He didn’t let himself look up from the floor. He could feel the stares of everyone just fine.

”Aurora,” Winona whispered to her Altaria, who was sitting peacefully in the corner, “come on.”

The three couldn’t make it to the front door before Rina stopped them.

“KIMURA NAGI!! Where are you going?!” Her eyes were cold, and her frown was bitter.

“We’re going for a walk around town,” Winona replied.

Rina raised a suspicious eyebrow. Wallace realized that she probably thought they were running off to have a quickie or something.

“I thought you were a good girl, Nagi,” Rina snarled. “I thought you were a good girl who did as you were told and only hung out with the right kinds of people. But then you became a trainer. Then you thought you could go around and do whatever you wanted.”

“Mom, Wallace is—”

“Do you want to end up like me, young lady?! Do you want to end up poor and destitute, carrying a child who will never know their father?! Do you want to end up worse than me?! Doing drugs or joining a gang?! Do you want—”

“Rina, please.”

Wallace looked up at who had just said that. Haruki was staring at Rina with a desperate look.

“Fine," Rina finally relented. “You can go. But if I find out you did anything—”

“And now you're letting her take that freak with her so it can fuck her?!” Theresa shrieked.

That "it" stung Wallace like a blade stabbing his chest. He had been called much worse before in the press and in person, and he had been called “it” several times in more conservative gossip magazines, but the hatred in Theresa's slurred voice was a much more corrosive poison, especially when Wallace realized that Bugsy was also in the room.

"Mom!" Kahili yelled. "What is your—"

"Stay out of this, young lady!" Richard ordered.

"Wallace is not an 'it'." Winona was glowing with rage. Wallace didn't have to see her to feel her. "Wallace is a 'he' or a 'they', and he has made that very clear in public appearances. If you’re going to be using language like that towards him, if you're going to harass him like this, you will never be welcome in our Gyms, our home, or our lives!"

"Fine!" Theresa yelled. "Go let that whore knock you up! When it leaves you on the streets of the Cardinal whorehouses, don't expect pity from me! I never pitied you—"

Wallace ran out of the house before he could hear the rest of Theresa’s rant.

-

After confirming no one was on the ground below, Wallace forced two fingers down his throat to force up whatever was in his system. He wasn’t proud of it, and he prayed that Winona wouldn’t see him inducing it, but everything was just too much. The emotions were too much. The shouting was too much. The humiliation was too much. Everything was too much.

He stumbled back, but Winona caught him before he could fall off the bridge. She was breathing heavily.

"Winona..."

Wallace wrapped his arms around her as she started sobbing. The two stood in silence for a while. What were they supposed to even say?

Oh well. At least Winona didn’t seem to know that Wallace had induced the vomiting himself.

"I'm sorry, Winona—"

"No. No. Don't blame yourself. It's my fault."

“I’m the one who mentioned our ‘intimate lives’.”

“I know, but I shouldn’t have—”

“Winona, Winona, don’t blame yourself for Theresa's cruelness and hypocrisy." Wallace stared into Winona's eyes with a gentle gaze. "Who cares about that wretched, foul, vile..."

Winona laughed a little through her tears. "You're really cute when you use that fancy language."

"I am? Even after making a fool of myself in front of your family and throwing up over the side of the bridge in front of all of your tree and bird friends?"

"You're adorable."

Wallace smirked. "Well, in that case, tell Theresa that I much prefer the term 'escort'."

Some of the newly found levity in Winona's eyes faded. “But don't blame yourself either. You didn't do anything wrong. And when... when she was touching you—“

“I’ve had similar experiences with my city and the region’s socialites. I’m… I’m not called ‘Sootopolis’s Boy Toy’ for nothing.”

He laughed, but Winona didn’t. More than anything, she seemed disturbed. Was it… Was it not normal for rich, old socialites to bother younger people with sexual remarks?

"Well, she's a step sister, right?" Wallace added. "You can just tell her to stay out of your family's—"

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"I can't, Wallace. Even if my mom wanted to disown Theresa, if she were to do that... well, news spreads in Fortree City."

"Would news about Theresa being an asshole spread?"

"You have a point..."

"There's that smile." Wallace would have kissed Winona then, but... well...

“Are you… Are you okay now?” Winona asked.

“I think I still need some fresh air.” He staggered back to his feet and took Winona’s hand. “I hear Fortree City is known for its fresh air.”

Winona hugged Wallace again.

"Winona... can I call you 'Nagi', or is that reserved for your parents?"

"Of course you can call me that, Wallace. It's my Hinodego name."

"It is? Well, it's a beautiful name."

"Nageia nagi is a very important plant in Fortree City. It's a very important plant to us, and it... it symbolizes our resilience."

"It's a fitting name for you."

Wallace kissed Winona's cheek.

"What about you?" Winona asked.

"Mikouri. In old Sootopolitan, it was pronounced 'Mikrodi', but over time, as Hinodego began to influence the Sootopolitan Greek dialect, it became 'Mikouri'. It's similar to the Hinodego word for the Sparganium erectum... heh."

"What does 'Mikrodi' mean?"

Wallace didn't know if he wanted to laugh or blush from embarrassment. "Well, that's a story for another time."



Glossary

Non English words and praises

"Kamari mou" - Greek for "my pride"; the equivalent of “my pride and joy”

“Okaasan” (お母さん) - Japanese for mother
 
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In the hunting of the wind

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
In the hunting of the wind

Wow, you look pretty.

No you’re not. You’ll never pull off this look.

Stop it, Winona.

Why are you wearing something so revealing?

It’s not revealing.


Winona had put on a dark blue empire waist dress that went all the way to the floor. She had gotten it herself at Mall-ville’s Couture Kalos. The most “revealing” part of it was the fact that it was sleeveless and the fact that it was a V-neck. Her makeup was simple—foundation, blush, and lipstick approved of by her mother.

She turned to the bed, where Aurora was patiently waiting.

“Ready to go?”

Altaria nodded, chirping happily.

Dinner would be at Wallace’s grandparents house. She already knew a little bit about his family: he was an orphan, and he lived with his sister and her family on weekends. He used to stay with his mentor, Juan, who was the closest thing he had to a parental figure. He had several other extended family members: some fine, some not, but what they all had in common was valuing beauty and perfection.

“See you, mom!” Winona called as she opened the door. “See you, dad!”

“Now just a minute, young lady.”

Winona had to stop herself from groaning.

“Yes, mom?”

Rina half walked, half stomped over to Winona. She scowled at Winona’s dress but said nothing.

“Now you be home by nine o’clock, you hear?”

“Yes, mother.”

“And you better not do anything with Wallace: no hugging, no kissing, no funny business.”

“Yes, mother.”

“And if he offers you drugs—“

“Mom! You’re acting like I’m dating the leader of Team Rocket!”

“You never know. He could be the leader of Team Rocket. Or the leader of some other gang. Or a womanizer. Or—”

“—Or he could be a really sweet person. You never know.”

Rina huffed.

“I don’t know why your father agreed to letting you go on a Pokémon journey...”

“Come on, Rina,” Haruki sighed from the kitchen. “Winona isn’t a little girl anymore. As hard as it is to accept that, we… have to accept it eventually.”

Rina looked back over at Winona.

“You may be a woman now, but that doesn’t mean I want you to be a bad woman.”

-

Gray, stone tiles led to a big, white, rectangular house. The roof had a big dome that was the same shade of blue as the windows and door. The sound of talking, laughing, and glasses clinking together floated from the back of the house.

A small, brass doorbell stood proudly on the wall next to the door. After debating in her head on whether to knock or ring, Winona pressed her finger against the doorbell. A low ding could be heard from inside. After a few seconds, Wallace opened the door.

He was wearing a white, long sleeved tunic with a turquoise belt, turquoise pants, and white boots. Notably, he was holding two pink, folded pieces of fabric in his hand.

He was really, really pretty. Shoot, the more Winona thought about it, the prettier he looked.

“Hello, my beautiful Lovecas.” In one hand, he took one of the pieces of fabric—it was a big, silk shawl, decorated with patterns of Water type Pokémon. On the edge, it read:

Παπαδακης Μικουρι

Papadakis Mikouri.

Wallace gave her the other shawl, which had patterns of bird Pokémon and a different name on the edge:

Κιμουρα Ναγι

Kimoura Nagi.

“Traditionally,” Wallace explained, “if you were from Sootopolis City, your family would have made this for you when you turned sixteen, the age one becomes eligible for marriage. My sister made this for you. It’s tradition for two lovers to exchange them while they’re dating. And when we get married… Well, I’ll wait to tell you when we get married.”

“We have a similar tradition in Fortree City… well, not really, but sort of. Lovers will exchange Wingulls, who will help send messages between the two.”

“How poetic: A Water/Flying type Pokémon connecting a Water and Flying type trainer. I’ll find a Wingull, the most beautiful Wingull for the most beautiful woman.”

Wallace put the shawl with his name over Winona’s shoulders.

“Have there been parties like this for many women?” Winona asked as she held up the shawl (or, as Wallace called it, the Sáli tou Lovecas) with her name.

“If Megalos really wants me to be with a woman, then he makes my grandparents hold one.” Wallace laughed. “Not like they mind. They… They’re always looking for an excuse to make food. But you’re the first to hear ‘whens’ and not ‘ifs’.”

Winona held up Wallace’s Sáli tou Lovecas.

“Should I wrap this around you?”

Wallace nodded. As Winona wrapped it around him, she kissed him on the lips.

“And now we are Loveces.” Wallace whispered, pressing his forehead

-

Behind the house was a small courtyard, where countless people were already partying. The smell of wine was powerful, almost overwhelming, and the air was filled with music.

Everyone turned to Wallace and Winona. Many of them were already giving them judgemental glares, though an old lady and an old man, both short and with gray hair, seemed elated.

“Melissa!” the woman cheered.

Wallace froze.

Yiayia, I, uh, I’m no longer with Melissa.”

The woman’s smile fell. She stared at her husband, who stared back with confusion and concern.

“Then who is this?” the old man asked.

“Winona Kimura, Fortree City Gym Leader.”

“Pleased to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Papadakis.” Winona bowed.

The courtyard was tense with strings of silence that were shaken by whispers. Winona didn't like it. Two people staring was already enough, but everyone in the courtyard?

“Fortree City?” Ms. Papadakis said. “What does her family do?”

“My father is a professor at the city’s university.”

“A scholar... I see… That’s always good.”

“Scholars raised very smart children,” Mr. Papadakis added.

Mrs. Papadakis began walking around Winona, eyeing up every inch of her body. Winona covered her shoulders with the Sáli.

“Are you a healthy woman?” Mrs. Papadakis asked.

“According to my last doctor’s visit, yes,” Winona replied, trying to sound calm.

“How long ago was it?”

“Two months, I think.”

“Do you party at college? Do you drink or do drugs?”

“N-No?”

“Is Wallace good to you?”

Winona smiled.

“Of course. He’s wonderful to me.”

“Are you good to him?”

“I hope I am.”

When Mrs. Papadakis looked up at Wallace, he nodded in agreement.

“That’s good.” She turned back to Winona. “You two haven’t been having sex, have you?”

“Yiayia,” Wallace groaned, blushing. “Please. We haven’t, and please don’t ask such invasive questions.”

“Mikró Mikouri,” Mr. Papadakis sighed, “we don’t want you marrying the wrong one.”

“Winona’s not the wrong one!”

“Winona?” Ms. Papadakis continued. “Have you been having sex with Wallace?”

Winona shook her head, swallowing. “No, I haven’t.”

These questions were invasive, Winona agreed, but at the very least, they were asked with more neutral connotations than when Theresa asked them.

"Why does that matter?" Wallace muttered.

“I’m just trying to see if Winona would make a good wife for you. And a good wife for you in Megalos’s eyes. And mine.” Mrs. Papadakis smiled. “Now, Winona, if you and Wallace were to get married, would you conceive with him and carry his child?”

Winona could feel her face burn up.

"I-I..."

“YIAYIA!!!!!!!!”

In the blink of an eye, Wallace grabbed Winona’s hand and dragged her back into the house. The music stopped, and the talking did too until it returned as gossipy whispers.

-

Wallace slammed the door to one of the bedrooms—the guest bedroom, it seemed—and collapsed on the bed, cursing under his breath. He took one of the pillows and covered his face with it.

Winona sat on the edge of the bed. The two sat in tense silence for a minute or two. Winona wanted to say something, but... well, she hadn't thought much about what she wanted to do after college, besides the vague idea of become a stronger trainer.

“Wallace—”

“I’m so sorry about my grandmother,” Wallace mumbled. “I’m so, so, so sorry. She’s done this with every woman I’ve brought home, and I should have talked to her about it beforehand.”

“Wallace, it’s fine. Don’t blame yourself.”

“But those questions must have been humiliating.”

Winona smirked. “I’m a good liar.” After a second, she said, “I didn’t lie about the doctor. Or the partying part. I hate drugs. And I… wasn’t going to lie about the child part, if I had worked up the courage to respond. I mean the ‘sex before marriage’ part. I don't know what your grandmother thinks of premarital sex."

“What would you have said about the child part?”

“I would have a kid with you. Maybe not now; we’re still in college. Maybe it would be hard to carry and raise a child as a Gym Leader, but… well, lots of Gym Leaders have done it before. I think we could make it work. That is, of course, only if you want to have a child with me.”

“I’ve thought about being a parent before, but Lisia has recently made me think that I might have some innate desire to have a child of my own. Or a few. I’ve been envisioning three as of late.”

Winona took the pillow off of his face. He was smiling now.

“Darn it, Winona,” he laughed softly.

“Come on, you don’t want to suffocate.”

“Can you at least put your pretty lips on my face?”

Winona lowered her head and kissed Wallace’s lips. He wrapped his arms around her as she lay down on the bed next to him.

Goodness Mikouri, I want great grandchildren, but I don’t want them out of wedlock.”

Ms. Papadakis was standing in the doorway. After staring at the two for a few second, she said, “Now come down for dinner.”

-

Dinner was big. Really big.

Winona had never seen so many people sit at one table at once. The conversations spanned across the table. Wallace introduced every member: Cousins Amaya and Manami Rubis, famous models for everything from designer clothes to lingerie (the latter was much to the disapproval of their parents, fashion designers and artists Phrygia and Nektarios); Uncle Kaito, Aunt Marceline, and Cousin Pontus Izumi, all famous painters commissioned by Kalosian high society (they even lived in a mansion there); Aunt Lydia and Cousin Kris Suitou, the former of whom was once an opera singer (the two lived a humble life in Johto); Aunt Locria, Uncle Marinos, and cousin Halcyone, all renowned musicians and composers; and Sister Nicole, Brother-in-Law Raphael, and Niece Lisia. Nicole was a famous Coordinator and trainer, Raphael was an art curator at the Lilycove Museum, and Lisia was a small girl with happiness glowing in her eyes and smile.

They all seemed to be judging her with their stares and whispers. Well, almost all of them: Raphael and Nicole were talking about the Lilycove Museum, and Lisia and Kris would occasionally smile and wave at Winona.

And then there was the food, a lot of food. Wallace explained every dish to Winona so she could know what was poultry and what wasn’t; she didn’t want to eat poultry. Under no circumstances would she eat poultry.

“Come on, Wallace,” Ms. Papadakis whispered loudly. “Girls don’t like skinny boys. They like big men with big muscles.”

Winona didn’t really know how to respond, though Wallace’s leg was shaking. She didn’t like big and/or muscular men, but now that she thought about it, Wallace did seem to be getting thinner and thinner by the day…

Eventually, he caved and ate some of the vegetarian food. He cut one of the honey cakes in half and shared it with Winona. They also shared long gazes, very much to the disapproval of Wallace’s family.

After eating, he left the table for a few minutes (to use the bathroom? To get something from the guest room?), so Winona was left at the mercy of his family members.

It was suffocating to be in such a crowded room. She could hear them, see them judging her. She felt like she didn’t belong. She felt like she didn’t—

“You look like a star.”

Lisia stared up at Winona with awe. Winona smiled, blushing.

“Why thank you.”

“You're Uncle Wall's girlfriend? That makes you… what was your name again?”

“Winona.”

“Auntie Win!” Lisia’s smile beamed like the rays of the sun. "'Romance in the Air: Uncle Wallace Finds His Lovely Luvdisc!'"

“She’s my Cousin Win!” Kris grinned. "And just like her, I'm going to be a powerful and smart trainer!"

Nicole smiled.

“Lisia, Wallace isn’t married yet.”

“So?”

“Come on, Winona,” Ms. Papadakis said as she grabbed Winona’s arm and dragged her out of her chair. “We’ve got to get ready for dancing.”

“Dancing?!”

-

Wallace and Winona reunited outside, where everyone was gathering for dancing.

“Are you okay?’ Winona whispered. “You look a little pale.”

“I’m feeling a little nervous, that’s all.”

“Don’t worry; I’m a little nervous, too.”

Wallace smiled.

“Mari told me that you’re a dancer. What’s there to be nervous about?”

“Isn’t it a group dance? What if I mess up?”

“Just watch me. You’ll be fine.”

Everyone began joining hands, save the musicians: Aunt Locria on bowed lyra, Aunt Phrygia on toubeleki, Cousin Nanami on bouzouki, Uncle Nektarios on shamisen, Cousin Amaya on shakuhachi, and Aunt Lydia singing.

The song started at a moderate tempo. It was easy for Winona to follow Wallace’s steps. Her feet were lighter than air, and her steps were so graceful that a few people cheered.

But then Cousin Pontus shoved Wallace into the center of the circle, causing him to drag Winona along with him.

"Hey!" Wallace shouted. Pontus replied with a mischievous grin.

"Come one, Mikró Mikouri,” Cousin Halcyone teased. “Too weak to dance anymore?"

"I'm not weak. And stop calling me Mikró Mikouri."

The music paused, replaced by cheering and shouts of encouragement. When the noise died down, the music started up again, slower this time.

Winona looked up at Wallace.

“Do we…”

He took her hands.

“We do.”

Winona’s gaze fell to Wallace’s feet. She tried to mirror his steps. Eventually, she figured out the pattern of steps in relation to the music. She gained confidence at this revelation, enough to look up at Wallace, who was smiling.

It was then that Winona realized that the music was speeding up with every second. The people surrounding them were clapping in time with the music. She had to keep her steps in time with the music, which got harder and harder with each second.

But Winona wasn’t scared or even overwhelmed. Rather, she felt free. And when Wallace started spinning her, she felt like she was flying in a sky of lights, music, and happiness.

“I think we’re reaching the end,” Wallace whispered. “Thank goodness.”

And they were: the music seemed to be reaching the end. With a cocky smirk, Winona wrapped her arm around Wallace’s waist and dipped him back just as the final note ended.

The whole courtyard erupted into cheers. Wallace wrapped his arms around Winona and pulled himself up. Smiling, he kissed her on the lips. Some people gasped and whispered, but Winona was too dizzy with euphoria to care.

Wallace just seemed dizzy.

The doorbell rang, echoing across the courtyard.

“I’ll get it,” Pontus said.

"I'll get it," Wallace protested.

“Always a showoff, aren’t you? Just like Aunt Lucille.”

“I’m not a showoff. And neither was my mother."

"You're too exhausted to even dance!" Amaya teased.

"Just like when you were a kid!" Nanami added.

“Mikró Mikouri still needs to catch up with us before he can show off.”

Wallace rolled his eyes.

"Ha ha. Fine. I was going to be with Winona anyway."

As Pontus ran off, Wallace collapsed onto one of the chairs.

“Did I really tire you out?” Winona asked.

“No, I was already tired.”

He motioned his hand to one of the chairs next to his. Winona sat down.

“I would ask you to sit on my lap,” Wallace whispered, placing a hand on Winona’s leg, “but I have family here.”

Winona leaned closer to Wallace.

“Can I sit on your lap later?”

Wallace smirked.

“If we can find a room at the Cove Lily Motel.”

Pontus ran back over to the two.

“Poios einai?” Wallace asked.

“Matthias.”

Wallace’s smile turned into a hissing scowl.

“Gamó ton Drákou.” He looked at Winona, his expression softening to one that was more worried than annoyed. “Ah, my apologies. This night is about to become terrible.”

Wallace stood up and walked back towards the house.

"Matthias?" Winona looked up at Pontus.

"He's the mayor of this city. For some reason, he's obsessed with Wallace."

I don't see what he sees in that kid," Amaya added. "There are plenty of other, much better people he could of chosen." She looked at Winona. "Though... I could see why Wallace would pick up a chick like you. You're just as pathetic as he is."

"Maybe you two will run off together and leave one of us to be Megalos's special someone," Nanami teased.

"Like me." Amaya smirked and pointed a dramatic hand to herself.

"What about me?!"

"Oh please!" Halcyone rolled her eyes. "At least I'm not flaunting my body around like you two or Wallace!"

The three started arguing, and Pontus joined in, as well. Winona quietly stood up and walked away from them.

Don't listen to them, Winona... Please...

"Hi, Auntie Win!" Lisia seemed to pop in front of Winona.

"Oh! Hi, Lisia."

"You're the one with the Altaria, right?"

"Aurora? Yes, she's a very wonderful Pokémon."

"I want a Pokémon like that one day! But I don't want to do Pokémon battles; I want to do Contests! And I'll be just as pretty as you and Aurora!" She did a little pose. "'The Start of New Beginnings: My New Journey as an Idol!'"

Winona laughed softly, but before she could say anything, she heard two voices:

“I thought I set you up with Melissa, Wallace!”

“Melissa and I didn’t click. In addition, she’s eight years older than me.”

“How long have you been seeing this new woman?”

Mayor Matthias Megalos was a stout man in his late thirties with grayish-brown hair combed to the side and a tacky, orange three piece suit. When he saw Winona, he froze.

“Winona? Fortree City’s Gym Leader? So this is the woman you dumped Melissa for?”

“Um… hello there.” Winona couldn’t read Megalos’s expression. The gaping mouth and wide eyes suggested surprise, but what kind of surprise?

She found out. She found out when Megalos slapped Wallace across the face. Everyone else gasped.

“You’re going to marry this woman?!" Megalos shrieked. "You’re going to produce fruit from your loins with this woman?!”

Wallace gently caressed his face, where a red mark was starting to form. Panting, he stared up at Megalos.

“So what if I’m going to marry her? I love her! I’m not going to let you manipulate my intimate relationships!”

“I'm doing what’s best for you! I’m doing what’s best for Sootopolis City!”

Megalos stomped over to Winona. He pointed to her and looked back at Wallace.

“You are going to break up with this woman,” Megalos demanded, “and you are going to go back to Melissa.”

Winona felt like a small bird, a small bird being mocked by a snake in front of his cruel friends. Why did this man care so much about her being with Wallace? Why was he being so harsh?

Wallace stared at Megalos, his expression unreadable. Finally, he responded:

“I’m not.”

Megalos snapped his head back towards Winona.

“Ms. Kimura, I want you to stay away from Wallace. Is that understood?”

“It is, but I’m not going to listen," Winona replied without a second of hesitation. She felt a surge of power and confidence, like she was the heroine in a romance movie. "You have no right to control Wallace’s romantic or sexual relationships, and you have no right to control mine!”

She ended her speech with a smile. She watched Megalos's face slowly fall apart as the implications of her words slowly creeped in.

Uh oh.

“You… YOU TWO COPULATED BEFORE MARRIAGE?!?!?!”

In a flash, Megalos sent out a mighty Gyarados. The courtyard was dead quiet. As soon as the Gyarados looked down at Wallace, all hell broke loose.

People were screaming, running away, and/or taking out Pokéballs of their own. Aunt Locria tripped over the table, sending wine flying towards Nanami.

"MY DRESS!" she cried. "DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THIS THING COSTS?!?!"

Wallace ran over to Winona, with Victoria close behind him.

“Run!" he gasped. "I’ll catch up with you.”

"But what about—"

"This is my fault. I need to suffer the consequences. But you, Winona, you shouldn't suffer because of my—"

"WALLACE!" Mr. Papadakis yelled. "I THOUGHT YOU WERE A GYM LEADER! I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY BOY'S SON! FIGHT THIS BEAST WITH THAT MILOTIC OF YOURS!”

Wallace groaned.

"Just go to where we lost our virginities."

"Wallace..." Winona gasped.

Wallace realized too late that Megalos was right behind him.

"Get out of here.”

Winona ran around the corner of the house, away from the chaos, away from Megalos grabbing Wallace's arm, away from everything. She didn’t even know where she was supposed to run. She just ran like she was flying across the sky. Maybe she was; she was too scared to see.

"Just go where we lost our virginities."

Of course. Megalos may have been pissed about the revelation that Wallace wasn't a virgin, but at least he didn't know where he stopped being a virgin and where Winona was supposed to run to.

She jumped over the fence with relative ease and immediately fell back into a sprint.

-

“Winona?" Juan, who was standing in the doorway of his estate, almost dropped his teapot when he saw the young woman. "What are you doing here? Wallace told me that you were at his grandparents’ house.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

Panting, Winona stormed inside.

“You didn’t have a falling out, did you?”

“Of course not, but that mayor of yours sure wants us to.”

Juan shut the door.

“What happened? I thought it was a family gathering. I thought I told Megalos not to interfere."

The doorbell rang again. This time, Megalos was at the door, dragging Wallace by the Salí wrapped around him.

“Señor Aguado. We need to talk.”

"I believe that is indeed true. You have some explaining to do."

Megalos let go of Wallace, who immediately fell to the floor. Winona ran over to him, but Megalos grabbed her.

"Don't go near him." he hissed.

"Don't touch Winona," Juan demanded, pulling Megalos’s hand off of Winona.

"You don't have any power anymore! You're not the Gym Leader anymore!"

"Yes, but Wallace is, and that hasn't stopped you from dragging him around like a rag doll."

Winona helped Wallace stand up. Juan looked at them with a gentle expression.

"Wallace, I'm so sorry about this. I'll talk to your grandparents about this later.

“Come on, Winona,” Wallace whispered. “We’ll go to my room.”

As the two left Juan and Megalos to argue, Wallace winked at Winona.

-

They snuck out the window and had sex in one of Cardinal Plaza’s love hotels for the first time that night. Luvdisc Lounge, to be more specific.

Wallace was right: it was incredible. Pink neon lights shaped like hearts, silk curtains and bedding, plush bathrobes, rose petals, LED candles. It was romantic, perhaps excessively so for what was essentially a spur of the moment hook up after pissing off the mayor of the town.

The two lay on the bed in silence for a while after having sex, staring up at the wall, trying to figure out what they were supposed to do or say or even think. Wallace was wearing a bathrobe, though both him and Winona had their Sália wrapped around them.

Finally, Winona spoke: “‘fruit from your loins’.”

“I know. I almost gagged, too.”

“At least you speak poetically in a sexy way.”

“Really? Thanks.”

“I’m sorry for revealing to your whole family that we’re fucking.”

“Hey, assuming this night went off without a hitch and we got married and had kids, they would connect the dots sooner or later.”

“Does this mean creepy old people will stop hitting on you?”

“Probably not, but at least I can tell them I have a date. That ought to do something. And Megalos will probably stop trying to set me up with women I don’t love; he’ll turn to trying to break us up first.” He sighed. “Oh well. At least he didn’t find out about all of the details of the more intimate side of our relationship. If he found out that we were in an open relationship…”

Winona sat up.

"I'm sorry for not... I'm sorry for not being wife material."

"When did I ever say that? I think, if anything, you would make a wonderful spouse."

"My sister and your family sure don't think so..."

“Listen, Winona. No one can tell us to stop loving each other. Not your parents, not Theresa, not my cousins, not Megalos, not anyone." He smiled. "And for what it’s worth, I think my grandparents like you. They may ask invasive questions, but I think they like the idea of me being with you compared to some of Megalos's set ups. And Lisia and Kris? They love you already. I think I can easily say you’re a part of the family.” He laughed softly. “Let’s just hope your parents eventually get around to thinking the same about me.”

He sat up and kissed Winona on the lips. It turned into making out very quickly, and the two fell back on the bed.

“What about Megalos?” Winona asked. “We’re going to have to face him eventually. And that note you left in your bedroom probably isn't a good enough way to tell Juan how long we'll be gone."

“I’ll call Juan and tell him that you and I are staying somewhere for the night. We’ll deal with Megalos eventually, but for tonight, forget about Megalos. He isn't even family. Why should we give a damn about him? For tonight, it’s just going to be the two of us.”

Γιαπιά (yiayiá) - “grandmother”

Σάλι του Λοβεκασ (Sáli you Lovecas) - Luvdisc’s Shawl

Ποιος είναι? (Poios einai?) - "Who is it?"

Γαμώ τον Δράκου (Gamó ton Drákou) - literally “fuck the Dragon”, referring to Rayquaza. Γαμώ τον Ραικουαζα (Gamó ton Raikouaza) is a much stronger form, since it replaces the more generic “Drákou” with the specific “Raikouaza”, sort of like the difference between “oh my goodness” and “oh my God”. In the case of “Gamó ton Drákou” and “Gamó ton Raikouaza”, the latter is very strong and offensive, but the former is fairly common among young Sootopolitans (as common as “damn” in English, or “fuck” in a high school).
 
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Vray

Pull up a chair.
First things first, some things I noticed along the read.

(“presentable enough” was probably more akin to “an idealistic attempt at perfection”)
I wouldn't really advise using parenthesees for such information additions since it tends to break the immersion of the sentence. A good rule of thumb I stick with is the level of relevancy. Like this quote here,

"When I’m writing or editing and want to decide whether to use parentheses, I may ask myself how important an explanation or aside is to the sentence. If it is key to the main point of the sentence, I typically opt for a different punctuation mark."
, causing him to spend two hours fussing over his appearance when it was usually just one.
Information like in this sentence here has already been conveyed in the earlier parts. Something I encourage is looking for areas where information is repeated without giving anything new or expanding upon what's already there. That way, it can help minimize word count and make the most bang for your buck, heh.

Nicole walked over and hugged him.
Something to also note is that paragraphs generally go with whoever's POV we're currently experiencing in the scene. So like, if I were to say something in one line and then the other person were to come up and hug me with that person being the main subject, those two sentences would be on different lines.

Is this inner dialogue? I'm not entirely sure since the things for inner dialogue you use are ( ) and italics. I would say sticking to a consistent one would be ideal, even if I'm wrong about this being in Wallace's thoughts.

He had started taking up the habit of calling Winona terms of endearment. “Darling” was the simplest one he used.”
Quotation mark at the end that should be removed. Those things aren't cheap yah know, aheh.

“And here comes Theresa,” she mumbled. "She just happens to be visiting, and she insisted that she come to dinner tonight." Her whisper grew a little quieter:
Not sure what the colon here is used for in all honesty.

With that out of the way, I do have some things to mention about the plot. Now, my personal thoughts on things aside, looking at the chapter, you do a good job characterizing Wallace. The inner thoughts to the mannerisms and things are well showcased in thought, dialogue, and mannerisms. The desire to be perfect like his family is also highlighted and the limits he has are done well. He's the star of the story and certainly plays that part. I normally have my own "reservations" on canon characters being written on since I find it hard to really grasp the original writers intent, but your Wallace does make for an entertaining protagonist, if not a dynamic one.

The rest of the characters I was less interested in. This is the first chapter to be fair, so perhaps we'll get some more on Winona, her family, and maybe even Wallace's sister, but I will not deny I a bit perturbed at how much they did things with how little it felt justified. Perhaps that was the level of information conveyed, but that can be fixed later on. All in all, it made the events that transpired strange if not confusing, with the main point of my personal investment being in Wallace and his own reaction to the things around him.

That being said, the Swanna already screams "boss assistant" and that helps give me a good idea.

I will admit this story didn't particularly gain my interest, but I do think Wallace was explored in a way that stayed true to the familiar while expanding on aspects. Not all of those aspects I felt were explored to what they needed to be, but not every character is fully characterized in the first chapter after all, aheh.

All in all, as an intro, a bit direct if not could have been spaced out more and given time to sizzle, but there's plenty of time to take it into a suitable if not more interesting direction. If I had to shortly summarize the biggest weakness and strength to this chapter, I would say it tries to do too much without giving the time nor exploration to justify the level or really delve into what it provides, while doing a good job with what it did flesh out and explore that being Wallace as well as the subtleties I enjoyed from some of the side characters and worldbuilding.

Good luck!
 

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
Hello there :)
Something to also note is that paragraphs generally go with whoever's POV we're currently experiencing in the scene. So like, if I were to say something in one line and then the other person were to come up and hug me with that person being the main subject, those two sentences would be on different lines.
I've had the opposite of this criticism before: paragraphing when I shouldn't paragraph.
Is this inner dialogue? I'm not entirely sure since the things for inner dialogue you use are ( ) and italics. I would say sticking to a consistent one would be ideal, even if I'm wrong about this being in Wallace's thoughts.
It's kind of a... I'm not sure how to best describe it. It's not inner dialogue. It's inner narrative, if that's a thing. It probably doesn't work, though.
Quotation mark at the end that should be removed. Those things aren't cheap yah know, aheh.
Ooh thanks
Not sure what the colon here is used for in all honesty.
For the dialogue.
With that out of the way, I do have some things to mention about the plot. Now, my personal thoughts on things aside, looking at the chapter, you do a good job characterizing Wallace. The inner thoughts to the mannerisms and things are well showcased in thought, dialogue, and mannerisms. The desire to be perfect like his family is also highlighted and the limits he has are done well. He's the star of the story and certainly plays that part. I normally have my own "reservations" on canon characters being written on since I find it hard to really grasp the original writers intent, but your Wallace does make for an entertaining protagonist, if not a dynamic one.
Reservations? Who are they? (Tbh, I don't care much for authorial intent, but I can see why some people care about it!)
In all seriousness, it's nice to know that I did his characterizations well.
The rest of the characters I was less interested in. This is the first chapter to be fair, so perhaps we'll get some more on Winona, her family, and maybe even Wallace's sister, but I will not deny I a bit perturbed at how much they did things with how little it felt justified. Perhaps that was the level of information conveyed, but that can be fixed later on. All in all, it made the events that transpired strange if not confusing, with the main point of my personal investment being in Wallace and his own reaction to the things around him.
Oh no my worst fears have come true
That being said, the Swanna already screams "boss assistant" and that helps give me a good idea.
Joan is a no nonsense sort of 'mon.
I will admit this story didn't particularly gain my interest, but I do think Wallace was explored in a way that stayed true to the familiar while expanding on aspects. Not all of those aspects I felt were explored to what they needed to be, but not every character is fully characterized in the first chapter after all, aheh.
That's perfectly reasonable. Everyone's got their stuff.
All in all, as an intro, a bit direct if not could have been spaced out more and given time to sizzle, but there's plenty of time to take it into a suitable if not more interesting direction. If I had to shortly summarize the biggest weakness and strength to this chapter, I would say it tries to do too much without giving the time nor exploration to justify the level or really delve into what it provides, while doing a good job with what it did flesh out and explore that being Wallace as well as the subtleties I enjoyed from some of the side characters and worldbuilding.
I tried to make this a two shot, but alas, in trying to make this a fic one could read without reading the rest of my stuff, I bit off more than I could chew. Glad I got Wallace's characterization good, though!
 

bluesidra

Mood
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she/her
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  1. custom/hoppip-bluesidra-reup
  2. custom/hoppip-bluesidra-pink
  3. custom/hoppip-bluesidra3

In the echo of the ocean​

Oh. My. God. So, I’m writing an AU where the Darkest Day could not be resolved, and let me tell you, that is less of a catastrophe than that dinner.

Spelling and grammar are okay, I’ll just skip that.

Holy shit, what is wrong with that family? Was there a secret prize out for who's assholery could not be topped? Holy fuck!

Sad thing is, as awful as all those people are, I think the most horrible person in all of this was Winona. It pains me to say, because I’m 100% sure you did not intend for this, so let me explain. Warning, rant incoming.

Like, even before it started, she did everything wrong? Why even set up a meeting when she knew what death-trap that would be for Wallace? Why the entire family, and in their home? Wouldn’t it be safer to have Wallace meet only her parents on neutral grounds in a restaurant or something? Then he arrives – alone, mind you – and has to introduce himself to the family members. Without being briefed on them? I can overlook her being occupied by her mom in the kitchen, that is understandable. But the entire dinner, she was just calmly taking everything, not once standing up for him. She should have known that Wallace can only lose in this situation. The only statement that could be made was if she would leave. But no. It was on him. And then the Audacity to ask him if he can go home alone! Bitch, you walk him home, and then you stay the night, and if you sleep on the carpet with his blazer as a blanket. God damn! And then he has to apologize to her? I don’t see anything he has to apologize for and he also is Not in a position to make her feel better about herself. And then, when everything is over, Winona twists the knife just a little bit deeper by implying he has to go back and try again? No! These are really toxic people, and if Wallace’s sacrifice this night means anything to her, then she better cut them off now. I do not understand why she returns home or why she even wanted him to introduce himself.

But yes, oh god, what awful people. Wallace has every right to freak out. He is surprisingly calm and light-hearted after he is out of the house and with Winona again, which struck me as a little odd. But then again, I don’t know your Wallace well enough and it could very well be a facade.

As a side note, I’m continuously smiling at your worldbuilding with Winona’s family, and how you manage to make everyone with slightly light blue/violet hair related to each other. I don’t mind at all, I love it! But the ages you assigned them are the absolute opposite to my intuition on them. I always pictured Kahili as the drunken aunt, while Winona would be a tad older than Bugsy and Anabel, who, by RSE canon, would be around 16 imo. It’s just funny to imagine them so young.

Also, again kudos on depicting Wallace’s ED. Can’t relate to the purging, but the restrictive eating and especially the reasons for it sound very familiar, and if those are lessons you’ve gotten from firsthand experience, have a biiiiig hug from me.

I’m reading both back to back, so I’m excited about what drama awaits me on Wallace’s side of the equation.



In the howling of the winds​

Wow. Things got Wild! And I love it!

Minus the implication of statuatory rape and the non-friendly insults hurled at Winona, this is exactly how I picture a traditional greek family gathering. I should know, I’ve never been to one.

But jokes aside, this time, it was a lot healthier, in a strange way. Wallace at least breaks up uncomfortable situations himself and doesn’t leave Winona alone for too long. And the mayor releasing a freaking Gyarados? I love it! Better than all the tables he could have flipped. And then he arrives at Juan’s only moments after Winona got there, but he’s dragging Wallace by the collar? God, that is one angry goblin.

Winona’s and Wallace’s pillow-talk feels very natural, and I love how they are around each other. Winona is a lot more blunt, and Wallace very direct, and it makes them very attractive. Now if only they had a spine in front of other people… Just kidding, Wallace and Winona did well here.

Also, Winona and Wallace hiding in the bedroom from nosey granny? Absolute sugar! Straight into my veins, please.

But, some questions that came up along the way. How old are Wallace and Winona? The fic places them in college, so I’d gather in their early twenties. But then why doesn’t Winona have a place of her own? The way her mother acts would make sense if she’s 16 and he’s 30. Also, why doesn’t she know about his exes by the time she meets his family?

Oh, speaking of underage: I hope Wallace has taped all the reasons people call him boytoy and now blackmails the hell out of them. Serves them right. Because what even is child-protection in pokemon?

And what is it with sex? Why is everyone so obsessed about it? On the one hand, even thinking about the act seems to be a sin, but on the other hand, people freely bring it up to complete strangers. For one second, I thought granny insistently asking if they had already slept together was because she was worried that they would not be sexually compatible and she wanted them to try sex before marriage, so there wouldn’t be any bad surprises.

In this case, I actually understand why Wallace says that the mayor will be a problem down the line – he is part of his work environment after all. But oh boy, there needs to be some cuts made to their social circle if they want to get any better, jesus…
 

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
Oh. My. God. So, I’m writing an AU where the Darkest Day could not be resolved, and let me tell you, that is less of a catastrophe than that dinner.
hehehe
Spelling and grammar are okay, I’ll just skip that.
Oh good I did a right.
Sad thing is, as awful as all those people are, I think the most horrible person in all of this was Winona. It pains me to say, because I’m 100% sure you did not intend for this, so let me explain. Warning, rant incoming.
Oh no I didn't intend this oh noooooo
Like, even before it started, she did everything wrong? Why even set up a meeting when she knew what death-trap that would be for Wallace? Why the entire family, and in their home? Wouldn’t it be safer to have Wallace meet only her parents on neutral grounds in a restaurant or something? Then he arrives – alone, mind you – and has to introduce himself to the family members. Without being briefed on them? I can overlook her being occupied by her mom in the kitchen, that is understandable. But the entire dinner, she was just calmly taking everything, not once standing up for him. She should have known that Wallace can only lose in this situation. The only statement that could be made was if she would leave. But no. It was on him. And then the Audacity to ask him if he can go home alone! Bitch, you walk him home, and then you stay the night, and if you sleep on the carpet with his blazer as a blanket. God damn! And then he has to apologize to her? I don’t see anything he has to apologize for and he also is Not in a position to make her feel better about herself. And then, when everything is over, Winona twists the knife just a little bit deeper by implying he has to go back and try again? No! These are really toxic people, and if Wallace’s sacrifice this night means anything to her, then she better cut them off now. I do not understand why she returns home or why she even wanted him to introduce himself.
So this probably doesn't make Winona's actions 100% right, but she was sort of backed into the corner and forced to invite Wallace in Who Am I:
Winona’s older sister, Theresa, was staying over for the night while her husband was on some business trip in Mauville City. Naturally, this meant that dinner was nothing but a bragfest for Theresa.

“And I got this diamond necklace for a million Pokédollars! Isn’t it just lovely!” Theresa gave Winona a snide glance. “And what are you wearing? Where did you get that ugly dress?”

“I went shopping with some friends of mine,” Winona replied.

"You have friends? I don’t believe it!” A smirk formed on Theresa’s face. “Are you sure they aren’t sugar daddies?”

“They’re friends.” Winona’s patience was usually strong, but Theresa always knew how to wear it very thin very quickly.

“Do you have a boyfriend yet, or are you a loner who spends her days watching and reading porn?”

“Theresa, there are children here,” Haruki said calmly but sternly. And there were; Bugsy was a young teen, and while Anabel was almost an adult, she didn't want to be hearing such crude remarks directed towards her sister.

“Winona hasn’t answered my question.”

Winona was caught in a trap with no easy way out. She could either raise her mother’s suspicion or look like a loser to her sister. Either way, she would lose.

“Well, there’s this one person who asked me out. I told them that I would consider their offer.”
Then again, I probably should have made that clearer in this fic, and I probably should have made things a little more clear in general.
As for cutting out the family? Well, it's complicated, speaking from experience, especially since there's Bugsy and Anabel and especially since they also live in Fortree at this point in the timeline.
But yes, oh god, what awful people. Wallace has every right to freak out. He is surprisingly calm and light-hearted after he is out of the house and with Winona again, which struck me as a little odd. But then again, I don’t know your Wallace well enough and it could very well be a facade.
It ain't called the Facadeverse for nothing.
As a side note, I’m continuously smiling at your worldbuilding with Winona’s family, and how you manage to make everyone with slightly light blue/violet hair related to each other. I don’t mind at all, I love it! But the ages you assigned them are the absolute opposite to my intuition on them. I always pictured Kahili as the drunken aunt, while Winona would be a tad older than Bugsy and Anabel, who, by RSE canon, would be around 16 imo. It’s just funny to imagine them so young.
Wine aunt Kahili is something I never thought I'd hear.
Also, again kudos on depicting Wallace’s ED. Can’t relate to the purging, but the restrictive eating and especially the reasons for it sound very familiar, and if those are lessons you’ve gotten from firsthand experience, have a biiiiig hug from me.
I've dealt with some restrictive eatings thoughts and habits, but not purging.
Big HugTM back to you.
Minus the implication of statuatory rape and the non-friendly insults hurled at Winona, this is exactly how I picture a traditional greek family gathering. I should know, I’ve never been to one.
Oh good. I did a thing right.
Winona’s and Wallace’s pillow-talk feels very natural, and I love how they are around each other. Winona is a lot more blunt, and Wallace very direct, and it makes them very attractive. Now if only they had a spine in front of other people… Just kidding, Wallace and Winona did well here.
Their families may be dysfunctional but at least they can make a functional family together.
But, some questions that came up along the way. How old are Wallace and Winona? The fic places them in college, so I’d gather in their early twenties. But then why doesn’t Winona have a place of her own? The way her mother acts would make sense if she’s 16 and he’s 30. Also, why doesn’t she know about his exes by the time she meets his family?
This is a pre-canon fic. They're both around 18-19 in this one. Winona sort of has a place of her own, but she has to live with her parents on the weekends.
Oh, speaking of underage: I hope Wallace has taped all the reasons people call him boytoy and now blackmails the hell out of them. Serves them right. Because what even is child-protection in pokemon?
Sadly, Wallace didn't. And it gets worse in I'm a Marionette.
And what is it with sex? Why is everyone so obsessed about it? On the one hand, even thinking about the act seems to be a sin, but on the other hand, people freely bring it up to complete strangers. For one second, I thought granny insistently asking if they had already slept together was because she was worried that they would not be sexually compatible and she wanted them to try sex before marriage, so there wouldn’t be any bad surprises.
As like a real life thing? Boy I have some thoughts about how society is so obsessed with sex while it shames people for it at the same time.
Granny (and Megalos) don't want Wallace making premarital eye contact 👀 for a lot of reasons: because he needs to be a pure, Sootopolitan boy, because he's being groomed to be a religious guardian, because society...
In this case, I actually understand why Wallace says that the mayor will be a problem down the line – he is part of his work environment after all. But oh boy, there needs to be some cuts made to their social circle if they want to get any better, jesus…
Eventually these two will cut out the toxic people in their lives. Eventually.
 

bluesidra

Mood
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she/her
Partners
  1. custom/hoppip-bluesidra-reup
  2. custom/hoppip-bluesidra-pink
  3. custom/hoppip-bluesidra3
So this probably doesn't make Winona's actions 100% right, but she was sort of backed into the corner and forced to invite Wallace in Who Am I:
Well, now I know what to read next
As for cutting out the family? Well, it's complicated, speaking from experience, especially since there's Bugsy and Anabel and especially since they also live in Fortree at this point in the timeline.
Oh no! We have a lot of people in these circumstances on the server, if you go into #real-life, you'll find a lot of camaraderie there. It's such a hard thing, especially when siblings are involved. But in the end, the only way out is to leave, most of the time. Winona has to protect herself first and foremost, she can't do much for her siblings if she is crumbling herself. And her leaving and actually starting a life of her own will show the little ones that there is the possibility of leaving and getting better. Also, they now have a safe place to turn to, should they decide to leave the house, too.
Wine aunt Kahili is something I never thought I'd hear.
:D
Sadly, Wallace didn't. And it gets worse in I'm a Marionette.
Oh no!
Granny (and Megalos) don't want Wallace making premarital eye contact 👀 for a lot of reasons: because he needs to be a pure, Sootopolitan boy, because he's being groomed to be a religious guardian, because society...
(Spoilered because not childfriendly. CW Sex)
Wait, doesn't Megalos also fuck him? Like half of Sootopolis? Or is this this weird early catholic or greek thing that it isn't sex if you take it in the ass, and therefore not sin?
 

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
Well, now I know what to read next
A quick note: It's on AO3 because there's, uh...
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rXBwO3xa0o

Oh no! We have a lot of people in these circumstances on the server, if you go into #real-life, you'll find a lot of camaraderie there. It's such a hard thing, especially when siblings are involved. But in the end, the only way out is to leave, most of the time. Winona has to protect herself first and foremost, she can't do much for her siblings if she is crumbling herself. And her leaving and actually starting a life of her own will show the little ones that there is the possibility of leaving and getting better. Also, they now have a safe place to turn to, should they decide to leave the house, too.
Watch Alternate Title turn into Winona and Wallace going to therapy.
(Spoilered because not childfriendly. CW Sex)
Wait, doesn't Megalos also fuck him? Like half of Sootopolis? Or is this this weird early catholic or greek thing that it isn't sex if you take it in the ass, and therefore not sin?
OH SHOOT
What lines suggested that? Unless it's the boytoy thing? Megalos doesn't directly do anything with Wallace, but he is pretty complicit in Wallace being sexually harassed bordering on assaulted by older people in Sootopolis City.
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
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Hi torchic, Here for catnip! I only read part one as an FYI, and I'm gonna do some quick overall thoughts then finish up with line edits.

On the positive side, Wallace feels like a pretty well fleshed out and believable character. We get flashes of his likes, dislikes, his struggles, etc. We don't get as much about Winona, but she seems like she'd be pretty well fleshed out as well if I read more.

This reads a little bit like a vent fic and I don't want to get too deep into the negatives as a result. One thing I do want to mention, though, is that I did struggle a bit with the Believability of Theresas's behavior. Like, she's old enough to have a kid, and is a guest in this household, and she's behaving like this? Like, yeah, I know there's people who act like that, but to do so in someone else's household? And for no one but Winona to try and call her out and ask her to behave? I know that Winona's family wasn't too jazzed about Wallace being there, but to say nothing, and to barely put their foot down even when their daughter is insulted by proxy? Maybe it's a cultural thing, IDK, but it ended up beginning to feel cartoonishly evil by the end.

That said, I don't think this is a bad story. I think it's just not something I would normally go out of my way to read for leisure, and that may be coloring my view, so please take my critiques with a grain of salt.

Now for the couple of line-by-line notes.

and his white boots and beret were also perfect, or at least close enough to perfection.
The ending of this sentence didn't really work for me. It's not wrong, but I think the use of "also perfect" is what does it. After all the other description of how "perfect" his appearance is, just saying that the boots and beret were "also perfect" feels kind of weak.
Even he had to admit that was being more meticulous than usual,
Missing a "he" between "that" and "was" (although, as an aside, you could just replace the "that" with "he" and it would read just as well).
The living room was a very comforting mix of woods of different shades
I noticed a few instances of this throughout the story, but I'm only going to pick out this one example. I've seen a few times where you'll use weak adverbs like much or very that don't really add much to the description. "Comforting" versus "Very comforting" doesn't really make that much of a difference to me. Personally, I would either cut them or find a way to show how the room was more comforting than normal.

Overall, this fic really wasn't something I'd normally go out of my way to read. But standing on it's own merits, it's perfectly fine. I'm sorry I didn't have more positive to say about it, and I wish you good luck with your writing regardless.
 
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