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BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
Chapter 19: I'm Fortunate

Valen and Rosa have started the process of moving the rest of the latter's belongings into the former's house. Rosa's currently sitting on one of Valen's sofas, surrounded by unopened boxes that contain the rest of her belongings. Valen's currently on the phone in the dining room, leaving Rosa to ponder to herself.

Valen saunters into the living room, sporting a pleased smile. "The furniture you wanted to bring along should be here by tomorrow at the latest."

"Thanks...Hilda's on her way to help as well." Rosa sports a sad smile.

Valen's smile evaporates when he notices Rosa's somber demeanor, asking, "Everything okay?"

"...Yeah, but it hurts that you've suffered so much."

Valen's mouth curves into an adoring smile. "Come here, Valen wants his first hug of the day."

Valen closes his eyes as wraps his right arm around Rosa's waist, pulling her as close to himself as possible. "You've done a lot for me. You made me feel like an actual person again. Don't you ever forget that you're a hero."

Valen's words and gestures cause warmth to surge within Rosa's body. Rosa sports a sweet smile as the tension within her mind starts to dissipate. Rosa wraps her arms around Valen's neck.

"Thanks, my sweetie."

Valen's about to let go of Rosa, but when he sees that Rosa has become somber again, he changes his mind and continues to embrace her. Valen senses that there's something else that he needs to comfort Rosa about. Rosa seems to be lamenting over something, but what?

Rosa hasn't let go of Valen either. After several more seconds of silence, Rosa breaks the ice.

"While I was thinking about your struggles, it made me...remembered that relationship," Rosa frets. "It's one of the main reasons why...why I'm so afraid of losing you."

Valen uses his left hand to caress Rosa on the top of her head, which further dissipates the tension within her mind. "

"C'mon, you can tell me, can't you?" Valen softly asks.

Then, it hits Valen what Rosa is referring to, He bows his head. "It's about Wes and Rui, isn't it?"

Rosa nods, sporting a gloomy frown. "One reason why I'm so worried about you is because of what happened to Wes," her eyes moisten up. "The amount of bad blood between them...I don't understand how this could've happened."

"Wes chose a lifestyle that even in my darkest hour, I'd never consider for a second."

"I'm glad that Rui's doing better now, but it's still an awful situation."

"She's not stupid," Valen says. "She understands that his only path to redemption involves risking his own life and becomes an informant."

"Do you know anything about Wes's gang?" Rosa asks. "All I know is that he's now a gangster."

"Wes leads a crew of over in Angel City's Lakeview Heights neighborhood," Valen replies. "He's feared for his viciousness."

"...How vicious is he?"

"Ice picks are allegedly one of his favorite weapons," Valen says. "Allegedly stabs his enemies dozens of times."

Rosa trembles, causing Valen to bow his head. Should he have answered that question?

After about a minute. Rosa's able to stop trembling. She caresses Valen's left cheek to put his mind at ease.

Valen nods. "Rui told me that the last straw for her was when she spotted Wes mingling with the mafia," he explains. "Specifically, Orre's Maione crime family."

"How‘d she know that they were mafia?"

"It's a long story."

“....Thanks for letting me help you, Valey.” Rosa’s thankful that her beloved Valen's not only still alive, but also standing right next to her.

“No, thank you for being there for me,” Valen replies. “I love you, Rosa.”

“I love you too, Valey.” Rosa sports an affectionate smile of her own as Valen and her exchange a kiss.

Then, Rosa feels the need to give Valen some crucial advice for his well being. In order to make Valen feel more relaxed, Rosa leaves her right arm wrapped around his neck. She begins to caress his right cheek as well.

“Hey sweetie, can I tell you something?” Rosa softly requests. “Please?”

“Go ahead,” Valen replies as re-opens his eyes, now sporting a faint smile.

“Listen, we both know that we can’t control everything, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to being serious and miserable most of the time,” Rosa softly replies. “Wes wasn’t lucky enough to escape the darkness, but you were. Please don’t fall back into the darkness, kay?"

“Rosa....I dunno if I can.“ Valen's at a loss for words, but he knows that Rosa’s right.

“Also, you’ve been sidelined due to PTSD. You need to leave the task of bringing down Lars and his hired thugs in the hands of your colleagues,” Rosa softly states. “No human being can have that level of control that you wish you'd had. Can you please keep that in mind, my sweetie?”

Rosa knows that Valen's got a strong sense of duty, so strong that it hurts him emotionally and mentally. However, he’s yet to fully acknowledge that.

“I can try...I suppose.” Valen bows his head, anguishing over the black hole that has conquered his mind and his heart. Can Valen really promise Rosa such a request when there’s so much violence, destruction, betrayal, and despair in this world?

However, Valen’s willing to concede one thing—his mother was one hundred percent right about his old friends, and Melanie was right about Rosa. Valen didn’t think anybody missed him, but he keeps being proven wrong. Melanie missed him, Rosa missed him, and Skyla missed him. Calem, Silver, and Gladion probably won’t admit it, but surely they missed their friend as well. After all, they did reach out to his mom, along with Lillie and Serena. With that, he wishes he knew what happened with Hilda.

Rosa can sense that Valen’s still skeptical. However, she’s in no rush, because she’s going to stay with Valen forever. “One step at a time, my sweetie,” Rosa softly says, gently grabbing hold of his left hand.

Valen goes silent, thinking about how much he truly adores this girl. Rosa's literally a walking repellant of anything wicked, and anything immoral would be vanquished the instant it tried to corrupt her. It’s impossible not to feel happier when she’s around, as she’s extremely vivacious, high spirited, and lively.

As for Rosa, she’s gone silent for the same reason. It doesn't matter how aloof and rude Valen acts. To her, Valen's still the kind and sweet person that she remembers him to be, even if that side of him went dormant.

The duo’s train of thought gets interrupted when Rosa’s phone dings, notifying her of a text. “That must be Hilda!”

“Heh, she really didn’t need to do this,” Valen replies, sporting a faint smile as Rosa and him let go of each other.



"Hey sweetie, can I tell you something?" Rosa softly requests. "Please?"

"Go ahead," Valen replies as re-opens his eyes, now sporting a faint smile.

"Listen, we both know that we can't control everything, but that doesn't mean you have to stick to being serious and miserable most of the time."

"Rosa...I dunno if I can." Valen's at a loss for words, but he knows that Rosa's right.

"Also, you've been sidelined due to PTSD. You need to leave the task of bringing down Lars and his hired thugs in the hands of your colleagues," Rosa softly states. "No human being can have that level of control that you wish you'd had. Can you please keep that in mind, my sweetie?"

Rosa knows that Valen's got a strong sense of duty, so strong that it hurts him emotionally and mentally. However, he's yet to fully acknowledge that.

"I can try...I suppose." Valen bows his head. Can he really promise Rosa such a request?

However, Valen's willing to concede one thing—his mother was one hundred percent right about his old friends, and Melanie was right about Rosa. Valen didn't think anybody missed him, but he keeps being proven wrong. Melanie missed him, Rosa missed him, and Skyla missed him. Calem, Silver, and Gladion probably won't admit it, but surely they missed their friend as well. After all, they did reach out to his mom, along with Lillie and Serena. With that, he wishes he knew what happened with Hilda.

Rosa can sense that Valen's still skeptical. However, she's in no rush, because she's going to stay with Valen forever. "One step at a time, my sweetie," Rosa softly says, gently grabbing hold of his left hand.

Valen goes silent, thinking about how much he truly adores this girl. Rosa's literally a walking repellant of anything wicked, and anything immoral would be vanquished the instant it tried to corrupt her. It's impossible not to feel happier when she's around, as she's extremely vivacious, high spirited, and lively.

As for Rosa, she's gone silent for the same reason. It doesn't matter how aloof and rude Valen acts. To her, Valen's still the kind and sweet person that she remembers him to be, even if that side of him went dormant. He's invaluable and irreplaceable to everyone who knows him.

The duo's train of thought gets interrupted when Rosa's phone dings, notifying her of a text. "That must be Hilda!"

"Heh, she really didn't need to do this," Valen replies, sporting a faint smile as Rosa and him let go of each other.

Hilda enters the living room, with Valen walking behind her.

Hiii, Hilda!" Rosa happily greets Hilda.

"Heeeeeey, let's do this!" Hilda shouts, radiating a vibrant aura around her. "Tell me how to help and I'll do it!"

"You really didn't have to go this far," Valen points out, closing his eyes as he places his hands in his pockets.

Hilda glances back at Valen with her mouth slightly gaping open, slightly taken aback by Valen's polite tone. Her surprise lasts for only a few seconds—her close friend was very polite.

Hilda closes her eyes and clasps her hands behind her back. "I know, but helping each other out is what friends do, isn't it?" She asks, sporting a warm smile on her face. "Also, Melanie wanted you to get accustomed to having me around."

"Friends, huh?" Valen sports a friendly smile as he re-opens his eyes, giving both girls an appreciative gaze. "Heh, that word's starting to have meaning to me again...I'm glad."

Rosa vivaciously jumps up and down, sporting a broad grin on her face. "Tee-hee, I knew that my sweetie hadn't changed! It just took the amazing appearance of Super Rosa to bring out the real Valen!"

Much to Rosa's dismay, as evident by her worried frown, Valen's smile has vanished.

"...I still regret treating you like shit," Valen laments. "You didn't deserve such treatment. I guess playing defense finally came back to haunt me."

"Heeey, I've already forgiven you! Forget the past and lets work towards a brighter future!"

Hilda's invigorating, jubliant demeanor does make Valen feel better. Hilda and Valen happily exchange a fist bump as the latter glances behind him towards Rosa, who's reverted back to her usual self.

"Melanie and you two are behind all of this, right?" Valen asks, sporting a faint smile.

"Yeeeeep, it's called Saving Private Valen!" Rosa exclaims. "I'm the leader, Melanie's my second-in-command, and Hilda's my third-in-command!"

"Heh, thanks." Valen affectionately pats Rosa on the head again, much to the grinning girl's delight.

Suddenly, Rosa gets an idea, feeling like a lightbulb just turned on within her mind. "Ooooh, let's stick to old and cool!"

"Heeeey, that's a good idea!" Hilda enthusiastically smiles. "We've got to follow Valen's super cool tastes!"

"That's not necessary." Valen shrugs. "You don't need my input."

Valen doesn't understand why the girls are so concerned with his taste. It's not like his preferences matter, and he's not going to complain about whatever they wish to do.

Rosa fixates a demanding glare towards Valen, causing him to imagine Melanie glaring at him instead.

"No, I will not ignore your tastes!"

"C'mon, you really don't need my input. I'm okay with whatever you two want to do," Valen groans, clenching his teeth with his eyes closed. "Why's my input so important?"

"We want you to have a say in this as well, so please?" Hilda asks, sporting an encouraging smile.

"Pretty please, my Valey sweetie?" Rosa requests, giving Valen a heart melting grin.

Valen re-opens his eyes. "Fine, You can follow my tastes if you want to."

"Thanks!" Hilda and Rosa exclaim at the same time. "We're gonna follow your lead!"

Valen sports an amused smile, murmuring, "I literally just gave them free reign and they said no."

Valen's mother comes to his mind again. Rosa's just as spirited and lively as his mom, probably even more. Hilda bears similar traits to his mom as well. Furthermore, his mom has made no attempts to hide the fact that when she was in her teens and early twenties, she was a giant fangirl of The Orbeetles, Galar's most famous contribution to music history.

Ironically, one of the trainers that his mother went gaga over was Connor White. Valen's met him before through his daughter, Hilda.

Within another part of Angel City, Melanie and Calem have decided to get to know each other a little bit more, as both of them are old friends of Valen. Amongst the chatter going on around the duo, a few people silently take note of Melanie and Calem, as both of them are known trainers.

Melanie's brought Calem to another of the city's battle arenas. Melanie folds her arms and smirks in amusement, noticing that Calem is currently mesmerized by the Neoclassical style of the arena, towering proudly right before his eyes as its cream color is vividly illuminated by the beaming sunlight from the cloudless sky.

Calem glances upwards, using his red cap to shield his eyes from the sunlight as he studies the center of the circular, enclosed arena's roof. The center prominently displays a massive formation of bronze statues, depicting a king in a chariot being pulled by four Galarian Rapidash. Calem notes that the king depicted by the statue is wearing armor all over his body, making him look much more like an 18th century Kalos soldier. The cracks that dot the statues indicate their age, but despite the wear and tear due to time, they have been well preserved.

Then, Calem's gaze shifts downwards, noting the massive columns that surround the entire arena's exterior. To Calem, not only does this place looks more like a 18th century palace or some sort of ancient temple than a public stadium for Pokémon Trainers. However, were it not for the statues, he may have wondered if this was a modern reproduction of an older style of architecture. The arena looks that well maintained. Calem notices that the buildings left and right of the arena, as well as the buildings across the street, look equally well maintained. All of the buildings in this area share the styling of the battle arena. The buildings are finished in either a similar shade of cream, or varying shades of white.

"Impressed, Calem?" Melanie asks, her amused smirk turning to a beaming smile.

Calem nods as his gaze returns to the arena, admitting, "This is one of the largest arenas I've ever seen, and it may be the fanciest looking one I've seen since I've got here."

"This is one of the oldest areas in the city," Melanie explains. "Valen's childhood home is about fifteen minutes from here. This was the second most visited spot by the two of us, with the first being that park we walked through."

"Speaking of which, I heard Rosa's moving in with him, and Hilda's helping out," Calem remarks.

"Yep, and I figured that I'd leave that trio be so Valen can get accustomed to having Hilda around again," Melanie admits. "Rosa makes him feel the most comfortable, so she needs to be there as well."

"You're a really good friend," Calem compliments with an approving smile. "I wish we could've gotten to know other a lot better back then."

"Me too," Melanie replies, reminiscing about her longtime friendship with Valen. "I decided that I'd be the sister that Valen never had, whether he liked it or not."

"Valen, Serena, and I made a lot of fun memories together," Calem says.

"I remember Serena," Melanie says, faintly laughing. "Serena adores Valen so much."

"That's why I should be the next one to approach Valen," Calem jokes. "Serena adores him so much that if I don't, she'll kick my ass so hard that I'll end up in Galar."

"It's hard not to adore Valen's real personality." Melanie smiles. "He's such a sweetheart."

"He showed a lot of interest whenever I talked about astronomy. What flies over many heads also flew over his head, but I appreciate it whenever somebody listens to me."

"That checks out."

"Valen may need to get more comfortable around Hilda again." Calem sighs. "Guess what fan club Serena was the president of?"

"He wanted to be a movie star, so he decided to combine that with being a Pokémon Trainer."

Melanie blushes as her inner fangirl leaks out, remembering Valen as his past persona years ago. Her eyes sparkle as she places her hands on her cheeks. "I've never seen somebody rock a tuxedo, a bowler hat, and a pair of sunglasses as well as he did! He brought the fangirls upon himself! Kyaaaaaaa!"

"You need to be the calm one."

Melanie's face reddens, her mouth curving into embarrassed smile. "Sorry, I get carried away sometimes."

"It's fine." Calem smirks, grabbing one of the six Poke Balls attached to his waist. "Now, how about you face me in a battle?"

"You're on!" Melanie takes out a Poké Ball from inside of her brown leather jacket.

Calem and Melanie stand on opposite sides of one of the seven battlefields within this arena, with field finished with a stunning presentation of marble, despite the obvious wear and tear within this 18th century relic. Melanie's status has caused a large crowd to gather, but Calem's no stranger to a good portion of the crowd either. He's won the Kalosian Conference twice.

"You ready?" Melanie asks, sporting a confident smile.

"Yeah, I'm ready," Calem replies, glancing downwards at the field's wear and tear.

Due to how well maintained this arena is, Calem can't help but wonder all of this wear, such as cracks, dings, and scratches, are relatively recent or are from centuries ago. Assuming that wear and tear would last that long in the first place, let alone after refurbishment and maintenance.

"I'll use Alakazam." Melanie presses the button on the Poké Ball to let her Pokémon out. Alakazam doesn't make a sound, keenly studying the other human that'll be facing off against his trainer.

I'll use my Charizard." Calem presses the button on his Poké Ball to let his Pokémon out.

"Let's do this."

In response to his trainer's words, Charizard lets out a ferocious roar, sending shockwaves through the ground and air.

Melanie nods, commanding, "Calm Mind."

Alakazam closes his eyes and his body becomes enveloped with a translucent white aura. The aura glows brightly as Alakazam briefly mediates. Then, the aura vanishes as quickly as it appeared, and Alakazam slowly opens his eyes, ready for his command.

"Fly in closer and use Flamethrower," Calem commands.

Before Alakazam can even react, his eyes widen at how fast his opponent is. Charizard is already within close proximity of him, firing off a red-orange stream of fire at Alakazam. The Flamethrower attack strikes Alakazam just under his jaw, striking the upper portion of his brownish, armored chest. Then, flames envelop Alakazam's body, indicating that he's been inflicted by a status condition.

Melanie notes that this Charizard is quite the speedy Pokémon, but she's more concerned about Alakazam. She sports a tight-lipped smile, stating, "Uh oh, Alakazam's got a burn."

Then, Melanie's eyebrows angle downwards as her tight-lipped smile becomes a smirk. After all, two can play at this game. "Use Toxic!"

Alakazam fires off a stream of black liquid from his mouth, inflicting Charizard with the Badly Poisoned status condition. Charizard's entire body glows purple as he takes damage from the poison.

"I see what you're trying to do," Calem remarks, sporting a amused smile. "Will it be enough, though?"

"Shadow Ball!" Alakazam places his hands in front of his body. Using his spoons, Alakazam forms a purple sphere of energy, and fires it towards Charizard.

"Counter with Dragon Pulse." Charizard opens his mouth and a fiery red ball begins to form within his mouth. Charizard launches his Dragon Pulse attack, and the red ball of energy turns into a flaming dragon-shaped beam. The beam crashes into Shadow Ball. The collision of both attacks results in a detonation that covers the battle arena in smoke.

"Use Shadow Claw."

As the smoke clears itself out, Charizard's right claw glows jet black. Charizard lets out a blaring roar as he charges from a close distance, striking Alakazam with his right claw. Alakazam gets slashed in the middle of his brownish, armored chest, stumbling backwards as he tries to regain his composure.

Melanie smirks, brimming with confidence as she realizes that Alakazam is now in close proximity of Calem's Charizard.

"Use Psychic!" Alakazam crosses its spoon, just as his eyes glow light blue. Then, Alakazam unleashes an enormous tidal wave of light blue energy from his cross spoons.

Calem's mouth slightly falls open as Charizard's body is enveloped by the surge of light blue energy, causing the draconic-like Pokémon to stagger backwards.

Charizard kneels over with its eyes closed, the Fire-type surprised by the strength of this attack. This opponent's a powerful one.

"Follow up with Psycho Cut," Melanie commands, feeling an increased surge of adrenaline within her body.

Alakazam motions his left arm like he's swinging a blade horizontally from his left to his right, sending a crescent of light blue energy that slices through the air that crashes into a still reeling Charizard. Charizard's struck on the top of his head, the Fire-type falling to the ground.

"Shock Wave!"

As Charizard tries to stand upright, Alakazam fires off a light blue lightning bolt from the top of his head. The lightning bolt strikes Charizard in his cream colored chest, quickly enveloping his entire body. Charizard pants in exhaustion as he kneels over from the trio of attacks, plus the increasing damage from his status condition.

"You're as strong as Valen," Calem compliments.

"Well, I did win the Calvanian Conference twice," Melanie replies, sporting a prideful smirk as she folds her arms. "However, Valen's much stronger than he appears to be."

"Use Dragon Claw."

Charizard's able to pull himself together, letting out a ferocious roar that sends ripples through the ground and air.

Both of Charizard's claws glow light red, lunging towards Alakazam at a high rate of speed. Alakazam's slashed twice just below his jaw.

"Fire Blast." Charizard lets out another roar, spitting out a powerful cluster of red-orange flames that take the shape of the kanji for fire.

As Alakazam staggers from the previous attack, he takes a direct hit from Fire Blast, causing him to kneel over as he attempts to bear the damage he's taken.

"Use Recover!" As Alakazam struggles to stand up straight, his entire body glows yellow. This yellow energy heals a portion of the damage Alakazam's taken so far, enabling the yellow humanoid Pokémon to stand back up.

"Use Flamethrower." Charizard unleashes a red-orange stream of fire from his mouth.

"Counter with Psycho Cut!"

This time, Alakazam motions his right arm horizontally, firing off another crescent of light blue energy that collides with Charizard's Flamethrower. The collision causes another detonation, resulting in smoke.

"Use Psychic!"

As the smoke clears out, Alakazam crosses its spoons. Alakazam's eyes glow light blue and he unleashes another tidal wave of light blue energy.

Both Calem and Charizard are taken by surprise, their mouths falling open. Charizard's sent stumbling backwards the wave of energy.

Once all of the smoke clears out, both Pokémon pant in exhaustion. Despite using Recover, Alakazam's taken a considerable amount of damage from being burned. However, Charizard's taken more damage from being badly poisoned. As a result of that, Charizard falls to the ground, having been defeated.

"Good battle, Charizard."

As he recalls his Charizard, Calem sports a embarrassed smile, murmuring, "I forgot that the status condition inflicted by Toxic does more and more damage as the battle goes on." He re-attaches the ball on his waist.

"You did great, Alakazam!"

Alakazam looks back, giving his smiling trainer a gleeful grin. As Melanie recalls Alakazam, she notices that Calem's walking towards her, sporting a content smile. Melanie places the ball back inside her brown leather jacket. Melanie and Calem exchange a hi-five over their great battle.

Then, Calem's phone rings. Seeing that it's Serena, Calem decides to pick up. "Hey, Serena," he greets. "Look, I know-"

"Calem, you're in big trouble!" Serena howls on the other end of the line, startling Calem to the point where he almost loses his balance.

"Why haven't you gotten me in touch with Valen yet?! Forget Galar, because I'm going to kick your ass so hard you'll fly into space and mutate into a Deoxys!"

"S-Serena, Valen's been struggling!" Calem howls back. "Nobody can't force him to reach out to you!"

"Oh...s-sorry...I just really miss him, that's all." A somber Serena goes silent. causing Calem's mouth to fall open.

Calem wants to cheer Serena up, and he already knows the best piece of information to use for this task. "The good news is that Rosa's leading the charge to help him," Calem explains. "Can you figure out why?"

Serena perks up, immediately realizing what Calem's subtly implying. "Wait, did Rosa and Valen actually get back together?!"

"Yep, I saw it with my own two eyes," Calem replies, sporting a content smile.

"That's sooooooo awesomeeeeeeeeee!"

"Why don't you come over to Calvana and join us?"

"I'd love to come to Calvana again! It's such a fun region!"

"Then-"

"Just kidding, I'm already here!" Serena cuts Calem off, letting out a mischievous laugh.

"W-What?!"

"The plane landed in Angel City an hour ago!" Serena happily explains. "Calvana's largest city is still impressive and pretty!"

"So, should I tell everyone or-"

"No waaaay, I want to find and surprise everyone!" Serena cheerfully exclaims. "However, Kris recommended me some shops to check out, so I'll be busy for now!"

"Serena, it's called a megacity for a reason," Calem groans, rolling his eyes. "I bet you didn't even ask Kris where to find the others, did you?"

"O-Oops, I f-forgot to a-ask!" Serena shrieks in embarrassment. "P-Please tell me where I can f-find e-everyone!"

"Fine, but make sure you don't into fangirl mode when you see Valen."

"Valen brought that upon himself!" Serena boisterous laughs. "Besides, if Rosa's leading the charge, then he'll come around eventually!"

"Why did I pick up the phone?" Calem lets out a loud sigh, smacking his face with his left hand.

Meanwhile, Melanie faintly chuckles over Calem's amusing situation. It seems that Serena hasn't changed much, if at all.

"I need to take pictures of my OTP!" Hilda proclaims as she opens the camera app on her phone.

"W-Wha-" Valen begins to sweat nervously.

"Yaaaaay, pictures with Valey!" Rosa sports a winsome grin.

Valen's now sweating profusely, his eyes having widened to the point where the whites are showing. "Y-You w-wanna take p-p-pictures?!"

"Yeeeep, I'm gonna savor the moment!"

"Awwww, my sweetie's become camera shy!" Rosa giggles. "He's sooooo cuteeee!"

By this point, Valen's face has already fully reddened. "Errr, um...I h-h-have important m-matters to a-attend to! B-B-Bye!" He begins to nervously walk away, keeping his hands in his pockets in an attempt to act cool.

Hilda fixates a disapproving glare at Valen, folding her arms and demanding, "Hey, don't you dare walk out on me!"

Rosa shuts her eyes, sporting a frown. "Noooooo, don't gooooooo!"

"Lalalalalalalala, I can't hear you! Lalalalalalalala! I still can't hear you!" Valen screams as he covers his ears with his hands. "Lalalalalalalala, I don't know what the word pictures mean! Lalalalalalalala!"

"Rosa, use Take Down!" Hilda mischievously laughs.

"Attack the Valey sweetie!" Rosa sports a playful smile as she blocks Valen from exiting the room.

"Grrrrr, feel my power!" Rosa wraps her arms around Valen's neck and uses the full force of her body to gently bring Valen down, pinning him to ornate carpeting that decorates the floor.

"Nooooo, I've been defeated by cuteness!" Valen shrieks, knowing full well that this is one battle that he's likely never going to win.

"Finish this, Rosa!" Hilda exclaims with another mischievous laugh.

"Mommy, help me! I'm being held against my will by cuteness!" Valen shrieks even louder, causing Rosa to giggle.

"Roar, Rosa used Draining Kiss!" Rosa silences Valen's shrieking with a kiss on the lips.

A pouting Valen rolls his eyes, grumbling over the fact that a kiss from Rosa always seems to shut him up. "She's literally my biggest weakness!"

"We won the battle!" Rosa and Hilda triumphantly announces.

"Roar, Rosa used Nuzzle!" Rosa playfully nuzzles her head against Valen's chest. "Tee-hee, you'll never defeat Rosa in this type of battle!"

Since Valen's only wearing a gunmetal gray sleeveless shirt, Rosa doesn't have to worry about scratching her face on his leather jacket's zipper.

Grumbling turns into laughter as Valen can never stay annoyed or mad at Rosa for long, if at all. "Wait, I forgot that I don't mind any of these antics."

Valen embraces Rosa, causing her to sport an ear-to-ear affectionate grin as the two of them feel a surge of warmth flowing through them.

"It's too adorable to get worked up about."

"Tee-hee, you need lots and lots of hugs and kisses from meeeeee, so get used to it!" Rosa gives Valen a playful, flirtatious wink. "I expect the same amount of hugs and kisses from my boooy, kaaaay?"

"I like that." Valen replies, sporting a content smile.

"It's picture time!" Hilda announces.

"I don't like that!"

"You can't run!" Hilda laughs. "Say OTP!"

"OTP!" Rosa and Hilda cheer.

"Nooooooo!" Valen shrieks again, closing his eyes as bright flashes repeatedly illuminate the room.

"Yeeeeeees!" Rosa giggles.

Before Valen can respond, Rosa silences him with another kiss on the lips.

Valen sports an amused smirk, teasing, "Hmph, you used my weaknesses against me."

"I knooooow, I'm sooooo baaad. Come and get meeee, big boooy." Rosa flirts, giving Valen a playful smile and wink.

"So, can I get-"

"Roar, Headbutt!" Rosa bops Valen's head with her head to prevent him from lifting up his upper body.

"Please-"

"Roar, Double Kick!" Rosa bops both of Valen's legs with her feet so Valen can't lift up his lower body.

"Why-"

"I have full control of yoooou, and I'm not giving it up!" Rosa becomes flirtatious again, saying, "However, you can win this round if you lift me up with those exposed muscles, big booooy."

"Nah, Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Valey!"

"Goodnight?" Hilda asks, checking the time via her phone. "It just turned noon."

"Yep, goodnight."

Valen's in a relaxed state, smirking as Rosa playfully nuzzles her head against Valen's chest again.

Hilda looks on in bewilderment, unsure of what to do. She doesn't remember Val-Val randomly saying goodnight.

"Sike!" Valen's booming laughter startles both girls, causing Hilda to jump back a few feet.

Valen sports a devious grin, leaving his right hand on Rosa's back while slightly lifting up Rosa's white top with his left hand, as it's time for another round of tickling, causing Rosa to cry with laughter. "Valen used Tickle!"

"Hahahahahahaha, n-not again! Valen, stop!"

"You thought I wouldn't get payback?" Valen laughs. "You're gonna feel my tickling powers!"

"S-Stop it, you lovable idiot! Hahahahahahahaha!"

"Hilda, make sure you get this on video!"

"H-Hilda, please don't record this! Hahahahahahaha!"

Hilda reverts back to being jovial, now using her phone to record the merciless tickle session.

"Sorry Rosa, but it's only fair that I record this! Besides, it's sooooo adorable to begin with!"

The arena's description came to be thanks to an architecture book The arena's description came to be thanks to an architecture book, and other descriptions came to be thanks to books too. I don't buy such books solely for fic research, but it's a factor. I like art styles/architecture in general.
My writer's library has helped/helps me out too. It started with the second edition of The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. Next one was the The Urban Setting Thesaurus, and so on. The library's helped/helps with adding detail, among other additions and improvements.
 
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DeliriousAbsol

*Crazy Absol Noises*
Staff
Location
Behind a laptop, most likely with tea
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. mawile
After hearing you talk about this, it was nice to get it for Catnip.

The opening chapter is a good length, giving the reader a chance to get a feel for the various characters. The pokemon interactions are as cute as they'd be in the anime, and it's nice they have a real sense of their trainers' feelings. The world is very busy and you describe it well. Now onto some of my thoughts:

As the early afternoon sun beams its rays over Angel City, the largest metropolis within the Calvana region.
This starts off as a really nice opening line, then I'm not sure where it's going. Is the second part missing some words? (After some musing over this, I'm wondering if you don't need the 'as' at the beginning? It reads better without it.)

his glare so icy that it can make someone feel like they just got hit with Sheer Cold.
This was very nicely written!

“You do not know?” Dimitri asks, his eyebrows jumping upwards. “Your old friend has been attempting to figure out what is going on with you. Maybe it is time for-”
Does Dimitri have an accent? I found his dialogue very jarring and difficult to get into. It just doesn't flow well. You might need to revise this.

She watches as a pair of teenagers battling it out with a Druddigon and an Altaria
I think you want to drop the 'as' - 'She watches a pair of teenagers...'

As he sits next to her on the bench, Valen watches his Salamence and Melanie’s Dragonite playfully arguing over who’s the cooler dragon. Dragonite lets out a soft cry, telling Valen’s Salamence that he's cooler. Salamence laughs it off, softly roaring that he's the cooler dragon.
The first sentence is great. You should probably lose the second two. We know they're duking it out over who is cooler, so we don't need to be told three times.

However, Salamence is cooler. Sorry, Dragonite. It's a fact.

“First, I think a memory refresher may be needed. Initially, my tasks included search and rescue, disaster relief, fighting Pokémon poachers, and so on." Valen explains. "Eventually, they didn’t even need me, as Calvana had no major conflicts that needed all hands on deck.”
Thank you! Ahhh, I really like it when something is given to us in dialogue and not narrative! This doesn't disrupt the flow at all! (And I was wondering what the war was.)

Then, Melanie smiles and forms a fist with her right hand. “I guess it’s up to us to bring back the old Valen, isn’t it?”
Not giving up on her friend =) Nice character building here!

All in all, this was pretty good. I will admit I'm not remotely a fan of present-tense narrative. It grates on me a fair bit, so I did find it hard to read but that's nothing against your writing. Other than a few typos, there's not too much I feel I need to point out.

The only major thing I want to address is the mind-hopping. You seem to be everywhere at once. We get insights into what Valen is thinking, Melanie, and even Salamence and Dragonite. It gets a bit confusing. Omnipresent POV is marmite at the best of times, and I'd suggest sticking to a single-person POV. You can always change this with scene breaks (you've got a few of them anyway, and you do seem to stick in one head during those. It was the final scene with Melanie and Valen that got a bit messy.)

The relationships with Valen and his friends are pretty solid. He's clearly affected by the war he's been in, and it's pushed him apart from his friends. This is what I can gather so far after one chapter, anyway, and that sets up the theme for the story nicely. Can he get over this? Can he fix his friendships? What on earth happened for him to end up like this during the war? (If I were to guess, he lost a friend in the battle and it's scarred him for life.)

There's a fair bit to muse on after one chapter and that's great. Keep up the good work! =D
 

BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
Thanks for the review!

I'll address what you've pointed out as best as possible. Maybe making Dimitri's dialogue a little less wordy would help.
 

BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
Chapter 20: I'm Trying to Change

It’s now mid-afternoon, and Hilda and Rosa are still downstairs within Valen’s house. Valen's gone up to his room to retrieve something that he considers very important. As a little bit of sunlight seeps through the closed curtains of his window, Valen's digging inside his walnut bookshelf in order to retrieve what he needs in order to make this a proper house for Rosa. If Rosa's going to be moving in, Valen feels that it's only fair to accommodate for her tastes as well.

"It's about time that I looked at this list again," Valen remarks, taking out a rolled up paper from the bottom left compartment of his walnut bookshelf. Valen's crush on Rosa was big enough for him to write down every detail that he could about her, albeit he was nervous that'd he come off as a creep. Fortunately, his sincerity came to his assistance. "I remember everything on it, but it's been years since I wrote all of that information down."

Valen places the list on the round, carved walnut table that sits to his bed. Then, Valen comes to a sudden halt. Valen stares at his Handel lamp, pondering about how his miserable life finally has some joy in it. He sniffles, unable to prevent himself from shedding tears. Emotional healing is a slow process, but he's come to realize that there are people who really do care about him. Valen's already decided that maybe he can try to be a litter nicer, even with his overall regression in sociability.

As he wipes away his tears, Valen can't help but wonder if his companions had assistance themselves. “....When you’re a soldier, loyalty between you, your brothers, and your sisters last forever,” Valen murmurs, glancing upwards. “You guys and girls still got my six.” A somber Valen gives a salute in honor of his fallen comrades. He truly feels that they prevented him from meeting the grim fate that they met. “Don’t worry about me....Rosa and others aren't military, but they’ve got my six, as do my Pokémon.” Valen performs another salute, this time for his great-grandpa.

Suddenly, Valen jerks his head from side to side to shake off any sadness. Then, he takes several deep breaths to regain his composure.

Valen comes to sudden halt for a second time, now lamenting about the errors in judgement he’s made due to his personal demons. Valen bows his head, his eyes becoming moist. “I get it....I get it now. Happiness, enjoyment, friendship, love....that’s what I lost.”

Once more, Valen jerks his head from side to side, trying to shake off sadness. “Pull yourself together,” he chastises himself, walking out of his room.

Rosa and Hilda are standing in Valen’s large dining room. Hilda's directed her attention towards to the contrast of black and pearly white on the house's interior walls, which is her favorite aspect of Valen's house.

Then, Hilda keenly studies Valen's large walnut table and the twelve walnut armchairs surrounding it. “Looks like he mixes and matches furniture,” she observes. “I’ve definitely been here before, but he’s made a lot of changes.”

“Valen really does works in mysterious ways, doesn't he” Rosa glances downwards at her necklace, sporting an affectionate smile. “I think of him whenever I look at this necklace.” Rosa closes her eyes, placing her right hand over her heart. “What did I do to deserve somebody as sweet as him?”

“He’s a really nice person deep down,” Hilda admits, sporting a soft smile. “I hope he continues to open up to other people.”

“Thank you, Hilda.” Rosa sweeps Hilda into a hug, wrapping her arms around Hilda’s upper back. “I’ve said it many times, but thank you so much. You brought us together.”

Hilda wraps her arms around Rosa’s neck, “All I intended was to introduce you to a bestie of mine, and look at you two now.”

Rosa and Hilda let go of each other, both sporting soft smiles.

“I believe in him, Hilda,” Rosa affirms. “I believe that he’ll to continue to change his ways overtime.”

“If he continues to change, we might get The Black Reaper back too.” Hilda would love to be his manager again. She's had many friendly and pleasant experiences with being a talent agent and an event planner overall. However, only one client charmed her by calling her talented and beautiful in their first meeting. Only one became the cutest and cuddliest guy friend in the circle. Only one gave her the most relaxing hugs and cuddles.

“I didn’t even recognize Valen as The Black Reaper when I personally met him for the first time,” Rosa admits as excitement begins to overcome her. “He's soooo good at being mysterious, and I looove it!”

“His mysterious demeanor's soooo alluring!”

“I still remember what he said whenever reporters tried to interview him!” Rosa makes her tone deeper, attempting to do her best impression of a male voice. “I don’t give interviews.”

“That was soooo cooool!” Hilda squeals, placing her hands on her cheeks.

“We’ve got to bring back that past persona of his!” Rosa declares, pointing upwards.

“We totally do!” Hilda exclaims, clasping her hands next to her left cheek. Hilda's eyes sparkle like gemstones as she lets out a sequel. “I loved having that total sweetheart as a client!

“Tee-hee, that's my Valey!” Rosa sticks up her left index and ring fingers.

“Okay, we’ve had enough fun! Let’s get back to work!” Hilda's eyes gleam with excitement.

“Silly Hilda, we can work and have fun at the same time!” Rosa takes out her phone, excited to do some research into old furniture and interior styling.

“You’re right!” Hilda laughs, taking out her phone as well. Rosa can't have all of the fun, so Hilda's doing some research of her own.

“Heeey, check this out!” Hilda eagerly shows Rosa a photograph of a gold colored chair. “It says here that this chair is made of a material called polychrome, and it's styled like ancient furniture from the Caironar region!”

“Oooh, it's historical inception, because it says that the chair was made in the 19th century!" Rosa exclaims. “Tee-hee, that’s a perfect throne for my pharaoh! This one time, I had this really crazy dream where my hunky Valey sweetie was this shirtless pharaoh! Then, the dream switched to Valen wearing this purple wizard outfit, and he called himself the Dark Magician! It’s the most bizarre dream that I’ve ever had, but it was also soooo cool!”

“Girl, your imagination’s even more wilder than mine!” Hilda laughs.

Rosa continues to browse furniture on her own phone, becoming enamored with a large brownish bookshelf. “Hilda, look at this this old and cool bookshelf! It says here that it's made of walnut, and it originated from the Apuliano region!”

“That’d be a great bookshelf for you to use!” Hilda exclaims. “I’m sure Valen’s got an old bookshelf himself!”

“Yeeeep, he does!” Rosa exclaim, glancing down at her phone upon noticing something in the related item suggestions. “Oooooh, do you think Valey would buy me this cool old bowl?! It says that it’s Art Deco style, and it originated from the Venteux region! That’s like right between Unova and Calvana!”

Hilda takes a peek at Rosa’s phone, eagerly studying the near-spherical, crystal bowl. Hilda's eyes glitter when she notices that the center has engravings of multiple galloping Sawsbuck on all sides. “Heeey, this is perfect for an Unova girl like you or me!”

“That doesn't mean we're conceding the pizza battle.” Rosa sports a smug smile. “Unovan pizza will always win.”

“One hundred percent!” Hilda and Rosa exchange a hi-five.

”Ooooh, I just remembered that his mom's family originated from both the Kalos region and its neighbor, the Zieglerberg region-“

"It’s your boy, Valen," Valen interrupts Rosa, his hands in his pockets as he saunters into the dining room. "Pretty, cute, and clever girl," Valen compliments Rosa, causing her to sport a sweet smile. Valen took his time coming downstairs and to this room, albeit Rosa and Hilda were too distracted to notice in the first place.

“Hiiii, Valey!” Rosa happily closes her eyes, now sporting an ear-to-ear, adoring grin.

“Heeeeey, Valen!” Hilda's eyes gleam with joy, her mouth having curved into a broad grin.

Valen's mouth curves into a cocky grin as he puts on a pair of black sunglasses, asking, "Does your boy still rock the sunglasses well?”

The eyes of both girls sparkle again. “Yes, he definitely does! Kyaaaaaaaaaaa!” Rosa and Hilda squeal.

Valen lets out a faint laugh as he takes off the sunglasses. Then, nervousness sets in as he walks closer to Rosa. Upon seeing Rosa giving him a heart melting smile, he gulps. “Is there such a thing as being too cute?”

Valen blushes over what he’s about to do, thinking, “Okay, I can do this. I can do this.” Valen takes a deep breath. As he feels his pulse raising, Valen wraps his arms around the middle of Rosa’s body. Valen slowly hoists Rosa up, his hands trembling during the process. Valen glances to his left, his face heating up as he feels fluttery in his stomach.

“I actually got with my crush, so why am I still acting like this around her?! I can’t do this! I can’t do this, but I can’t resist the urge to lift up this adorable girl anymore!”

Rosa lets out a loud squeal, wrapping her arms around Valen’s neck. “Ooooh, big boy lifted me up with those muscles of his!” Rosa kisses Valen on the lips, giggling over how red Valen’s face has become. “Uh oh, somebody’s shy! Are you having a Rosa overload right now, my hunky cutieeee?”

”Rosa’s level of cuteness isn’t a safe amount!” While holding Rosa, Valen pokes two fingers together over and over again. Valen’s face still burns bright red, clenching his teeth as he turns his head leftwards. “L-Look at yourself in the m-mir-mirror and tell me how I’m s-sup-supposed to avoid this.”

Rosa gets a whiff of what appears to be cologne. Rosa sniffs Valen, teasing, “Is that cologne I smell on yoooou, big boooy?” Rosa gives Valen a sultry smile. “Did you tidy yourself up a little bit just for meeee?”

A wide-eyed Valen lets out the faintest of panicked yelps; he went upstairs to check the list and to put on cologne, but he didn't think Rosa would sniff him. “I f-fig-figured that I’d try to p-pre-present at least a little bit of a t-tid-tidy a-appearance,” Valen nervously explains, feeling weakness in his knees and legs. “O-Obv-Obviously, I did it for y-you.” Valen’s still having a hard time looking at Rosa, despite hoisting her up.

“Awww, you‘re too sweet!” Rosa squeals.

“You two are soooo precious together!” Hilda gushes.

Before Valen can reply, he realizes that he forgot that Gardevoir's out of her Poke Ball. She’s been watching his nervous attempt to lift Rosa up. Gardevoir’s standing right behind Valen, leaning up against the wall with her arms folded. She fixates a gleeful gaze at her trainer, sporting a lopsided grin as she cackles.

“I should've known that you'd show up,” Valen groans, letting out a sigh. Then, Valen’s mouth curves into a warm smile. Valen puts Rosa down and pats his Gardevoir on the head, causing her lopsided grin to turn into an affectionate smile.

Before Valen can reply, he realizes that he forgot that Gardevoir's out of her Poké Ball. She’s been watching his nervous attempt to lift Rosa up. Gardevoir’s standing right behind Valen, leaning up against the wall with her arms folded. She fixates a gleeful gaze at her trainer, sporting a lopsided grin as she cackles.

“I should've known that you'd show up,” Valen groans, letting out a sigh. Then, Valen’s mouth curves into a warm smile. Valen puts Rosa down and pats his Gardevoir on the head, causing her lopsided grin to turn into an affectionate smile.

"She hasn't changed at all." Hilda laughs.

“Rosa, I gotta ask you something,” Valen says, glancing in her direction.

“Go ahead, sweetie!”

“All your favorite things, like food, drinks, and movies, are still the same right?” Valen asks as his Gardevoir moves forward, standing next to her trainer's left side.

“Yeeep!” Rosa sports a wide grin, forming a peace sign with her right hand. “Rosa’s still Rosa, my sweetie!”

“Good, that means I don’t have to revise that list from four years ago.” Valen sports a relieved smile. “I still have it fully memorized, but I had to make sure it was still accurate.” A proud Gardevoir closes her eyes, smiling over how much her trainer cares for Rosa.

A wide-eyed Rosa lets out a gasp, backing up a few feet. “You....you still remember everything about me?” Rosa asks, her eyes becoming moist as euphoria begins to flow within her. “I should’ve known....that's how you remembered that I wanted the necklace.”

“Obviously, you silly girl.” Valen laughs, patting a teary eyed Rosa on the head. “How can Valen be the best boyfriend ever if he didn't keep track of every detail?”

“You're too....you’re too much, Valen,” Rosa replies in a trembling voice, overwhelmed with warmth. Rosa sniffles as tears begin to stream down her cheeks. “Everything about me is important to you.”

Rosa closes her eyes, sporting an affectionate smile. Then, Rosa sweeps Valen into a big hug, kissing him on the top right side of his head.

“Thank you," Rosa lovingly whispers as Valen hugs her back. “Thanks for taking the time to memorize even the smallest details about me.”

“It's the least I could do," Valen softly replies, sporting an affectionate smile of his own. “Thanks for reminding me what it feels like to be happy.”

“Anytime, sweetie,” Rosa replies, kissing Valen on the lips.

“You two are really sweet towards each other,” Hilda compliments, sporting a broad smile. “Valen, do you mind if I help get what’s on that list?”

“Sure, but I think Melanie should join you,” Valen replies as Rosa and him let go of each other. “It doesn’t feel right to leave her out of this.”

“Sounds good to me!” Hilda exclaims. “Also, do you still have The Reaper Cycle?!” Hilda's eyes gleam with joy as she clasps her hands in front of her chin.

“Yep,” Valen replies, grinning proudly.

“He still has The Reaper Cycle! Kyaaaaaaaaa!” Rosa and Hilda squeal.

As Rosa and Hilda chat among themselves, Valen glances rightwards, noting that his Gardevoir's now giving him a wider affectionate smile. "Being a bit more social wouldn't hurt, right?"

Gardevoir nods, wrapping her arms around his mid-section, overjoyed that the Valen who raised her is showing his real personality more often. Gardevoir cackles over her trainer's mouth falling open, but Valen's mouth curves into a smile seconds later. He begins to rub the top of Gardevoir's head, causing her to close her eyes in delight.


Arthur and Brendan have decided to hang out in order to get to know each other a bit better. The two guys were taking a stroll down a reinforced concrete walkway that leads to a plaza, surrounded by the chatters and the footsteps of others. Arthur's had to pull Brendan away a couple of times, as he wanted to buy a bunch of cool looking hats just to impresses the ladies.

However, the duo have since ceased their stroll. Arthur's learned that Pokémon battles aren't the only type of battles Brendan’s into—a crowd that has gathered to watch a rap battle between Brendan and a male trainer who's got a Kadabra. One of the onlooker's got a boom box that's playing a rhythmic beat.

"This is the not the type of battle I was referring to." Arthur taps his right foot, glancing at the monochrome, concrete buildings that surround the walkway.

Suddenly, Arthur's startled by the loud crowd, and he nearly falls on his back. "You bloody muppets! Learn to regulate yourselves!"

The crowd's erupting with shocked gasps and laughter. Brendan's embarrassed opponent beats a hasty retreat via his Kadabra's Teleport.

"Damn Brendan, why'd you do him dirty like that?!" A male trainer laughs with his Haunter.

"I told you that The Notorious Brendan's got bars!" A female trainer with a Delcatty exclaims.

Eventually, Arthur decides that enough is enough, and he rushes over to grab Brendan's left arm.

“Sup dawg, weren't my bars hot like a Flamethrower-”

Brendan cuts himself off when Arthur begins to drag him away him away.

“You can have your rap battles after I defeat you in a Pokémon battle,” Arthur chastises a wide-eyed Brendan.

“Hmph, fine,” Brendan grumbles, pulling his arm out of Arthur's grasp. “Haters gonna hate, but just wait until Junior Hustlers runs the rap game beyond Hoenn.”

“I beg your pardon?” Arthur blinks.

“Man....nobody understands my swag.” Brendan smacks his face with his left palm. “.....Alright, I'll battle you.”

“Much appreciated.”

While there isn't a public arena nearby, the walkways and plazas of the city are wide enough to where trainers can have a Pokémon battle. In this case, Arthur and Brendan stand on opposite ends within the the center of a large, rectangular plaza. As both trainers clench a Poké Ball with their right hand, Arthur can't help but admire that a walkway and a plaza littered with the markings of filled up cracks, dings and holes have been well maintained enough to remain in use.

“I’ll throwdown using my Flygon!” Brendan throws his Poké Ball into the to let his Pokémon out, catching the Poké Ball as it falls back down. Rep for Junior Hustlers, homegirl!” Brendan shouts, with Flygon letting out a screeching cry in response as stares at Arthur from up in the air.

“I shall use Inteleon.” Brendan presses the button on his Poké Ball to let his Pokémon out. Inteleon doesn't make a sound, folding his arms and closing his eyes.

“That must be your starter,” Brendan observes, sporting an enthusiastic smile. “I like how cool he acts! He's like some sort of spy!”

“Save the compliments for after you lose the battle,” Arthur jokes, sporting a confident smile. “With that said, my starter was indeed Sobble.”

“We’re gonna make you lose your cool!” Brendan exclaims. “Up in here, up in here!” Brendan’s Flygon lets out a booming screech. “Get your game on, homie!” Their behavior causes Arthur to smirk in amusement, but his Inteleon‘s uninterested and unfazed. Inteleon closes his eyes, sporting a confident smirk. The humans would say that he’s got this in the bag.

Not wanting to waste anymore time, Arthur gives the first command. “Inteleon, use Sucker Punch.” Like a stealthy spy, the bipedal reptilian lunges at Flygon in the blink of an eye, striking her with his head within milliseconds.

“Use Scald.” Inteleon points two of his right fingers at Flygon. Boiling water begins to envelop Inteleon's right hand. Then, Inteleon motions his right hand upwards, launching a stream of boiling water towards Flygon at close proximity. Flygon's struck directly in her face.

Boiling water envelops Flygon, and Brendan nervously watches as she takes additional damage from the boiling water. "Uh oh, Flygon's burned," he murmurs, feeling tightness around his eyes as they rapidly blink.

"Use Scald once more." This time, Inteleon points two of his left fingers at Flygon. Boling water begins to envelop Inteleon's left hand, and Inteleon launches a stream of boiling water.

"Flygon, spit out a Dragon Pulse!" A multicolored ball of energy forms in front of Flygon's mouth. Flygon launches the ball, which instantly transforms into a dragon-shaped beam. The beam morphs into a large, phoenix-like dragon with wings and a tail. The dragon formation crashes into the boiling water, causing a detonation. Clouds of smoke slightly darkens the center of the plaza, only to vanish within a few minutes.

"Use Swift." Inteleon swings his right arm like he's a human ninja throwing a shuriken, flinging a flurry of light blue stars at Flygon. Flygon shuts her eyes, enduring the barrage of stars.

"Hit em with Dragon Claw!" Flygon re-opens her eyes, her claws glowing turquoise. Flygon lunges at Inteleon at a high rate of speed, slashing the Water-type Pokémon just under his lower jaw.

"Use Dragon Claw again!" Flygon lunges at Inteleon for a second time, her claws glowing turquoise again.

"Use Double Team.” Inteleon creates numerous copies of himself, and Flygon slashes several of the copies. As those copies vanish, Flygon rapidly looks around in confusion, attempting to pinpoint the location of the real Inteleon.

Flygon remains flustered over which Inteleon is the real one, and Arthur uses the opportunity to strike back. "Hydro Pump." As the remaining copies vanish, Inteleon points at Flygon with two fingers on both hand, like he's dual wielding. A powerful torrent of water envelops both of Inteleon's hands, and Inteleon launches them by motioning both hands upwards. Both torrents combine into a larger stream of water, which crashes into Flygon at a high velocity. The in-flight Pokémon crashes into the plaza, causing Brendan's eyes to widen as he lets out a gasp.

"Ice Beam." As Flygon attempts to regain flight, Inteleon fires off an frost white beam from his mouth. The Ice Beam strikes Flygon on her left side. Flygon lets out a cry, reeling from the quadruple effective attacks.

"Ice Beam...I should've expected this," Brendan murmurs, sporting a tight-lipped smile.

"Use Ice Beam again," Arthur commands.

"Shake up the booth with Earthquake!" Before Inteleon has a chance to launch another Ice Beam, Flygon slams her tail into the ground as hard as she can, sending a flurry of white shockwaves careening towards the Water-type Pokémon. Inteleon wobbles, attempting to maintain his cool. Inteleon faintly smirks; this wouldn't be very fun if his opponent was too weak.

"Swoop in and use Giga Drain!" Flygon's entire body glows a bright yellow, with each wing protruding a pair of bright yellow energy streams. The energy streams latch onto Inteleon like hooks, and sucks away health to heal Flygon. Inteleon shuts his eyes, his mouth having fallen opened as he attempts to endure the super effective attack.

Arthur's mouth fell open too, but he quickly shook off the shock. "Well, I cannot say that I was expected this," he murmurs, smirking in amusement as the bright yellow energy streams evaporate.

"Rock these boys with a Stone Edge attack!" Flygon lets out a loud battle cry as rocks that glow light began to form and surround her. Then, Flygon hurls all of these glowing rocks at Inteleon, who's still pulling himself together from Giga Drain. Inteleon shuts his eyes and crosses his arms in front of his chest, enduring the barrage of rocks.

"Stay strong and use Blizzard," Arthur tells his Inteleon. Inteleon opens his mouth and fires off hundreds of oval snowballs towards Flygon at close proximity. Flygon attempts to endure the relentless barrage, but she's sent crashing into the ground.

"Ice Beam." Once more, Inteleon fires off a frost white beam from his mouth. As she attempts to regain flight, Flygon's hit in the face by Ice Beam The combination of what was mostly Water- type attacks, Ice-type attacks and burn damage proves too much for Flygon. The Ground and Dragon-type lets out a cry to tell Inteleon that this was a good fight. Inteleon gives a subtle thumbs up as Flygon falls to the ground in defeat.

"Aw man, you beat me," Brendan bemoans, recalling his Flygon.

"Thank you the battle, mate." Arthur sports a content smile, recalling his Inteleon. "Forgive me for my mannerism earlier."

"Don't worry about it, dawg." Brendan re-attaches Flygon's ball to his waist.

"Much appreciated." Arthur places Inteleon's ball back inside his trench coat.


"By the way, you look like you're royalty or nobility," Brendan comments. "I mean no disrespect, but why do you hang out like everybody else does?"


"Being nobility can a lot more hectic than you think, Brendan," Arthur replies. "Besides, I have a more serious reason, but I shall disclose more details at another point in time."

"....Can I at least get a hint?"

"...Very well," Arthur concedes. "Let's just say that Galar's required invitation and endorsement system's attracted more than a few.....darker elements."

"Define darker elements."

"Galarian Mafia."

"Damn....so I'm guessing you loathe that system?"

"Precisely."

"....In any case, you’re a cool guy."

"Well, I am glad that-"

Arthur cuts himself off when he realizes that Brendan isn’t standing near him anymore. Arthur rapidly looks around, quickly realizing that Brendan’s already gotten himself into another rap battle with a different male trainer.

Arthur lets out a sigh, stating, "I guess I shall be watching this battle...this bloke is a peculiar one."

It's now early nighttime, and Hilda's already left for the day. Valen's leaning up against the wall within the dining room while speaking to Melanie via phone. Meanwhile, Rosa's pouting in the living room, because the phone call interrupted her plan to bombard Valen with Sweet Kisses.

Valen’s already explained everything, and Melanie’s more than happy to accommodate Valen’s request. “Of course I’ll help you out,” Melanie tells Valen, her voice emitting a warm tone.

“Thanks,” Valen replies, sporting a placid smile.

“Hey, since you’re on the phone with me, I think it’s time that I gave you a serious answer about why I’m single,” Melanie says. "I get the feeling that you've been wondering that for sometime."

“I was, Ms. Slowpoke.”

Melanie chuckles at Valen's response. “Believe it or not, I’m actually content with being single,” She admits. “It’s so weird because I love a good romance story and I ship Rosa and you, but I’m not interested in a serious relationship myself.”

"This was unexpected."

“Besides, our friendship means more to me," Melanie says. "Platonic over romantic."

"So, what's my score, sister?”

"Ten out of ten, because you're a huge pain in the ass, brother.”

“Hold up, how can you be the sister that I never had and a fangirl at the same time?” Valen sports an amused smirk. “Kinda creepy, don't you think?”

“You brought the fangirls upon yourself, big guy.”

“In any case, I guess it’s my turn to tell you something personal.”

“No, you don’t have to tell me anything."

“Melanie, it wouldn’t feel right,” Valen counters, his mouth having fallen opened. He doesn't understand why Melanie's saying no to this.

“No means no, doofus,” Melanie asserts. "Tell me when you feel ready, not when you feel obliged too."

Before Valen can respond, Rosa decides that Melanie has hogged her Valey for long enough. “Valeeeey, Rosa's fallen and she can’t get up!”

“I think I should go before Rosa tackles me,” Valen says, faintly laughing. “I know what she wants.”

“Alright, see you tomorrow,” Melanie replies, letting out a chuckle.

With the call now finished, Valen places his hands in his pockets and saunters into the living room. Valen smirks, having noticed that Rosa's sitting on the carpet, most likely waiting for him to pick her up.

“Valeeeey, my cuteness has immobilized meeee!” Rosa giggles, sporting a coy smile. “Come here and help meee, big booooy!”

“Yeah yeah, you just want my attention,” Valen counters, sporting an affectionate smile. “Pain in my ass.”

“Tee-hee, I need my hunky booooy to lift meeee!” Rosa giggles again, giving Valen a playful wink.

“Alright, you adorable pain in my ass.” Valen kisses Rosa on the lips, wrapping his arms around the middle of Rosa’s body. “Up you go.”

“Yaaaaay!” Rosa sports an ear-to-ear sweet smile as Valen hoists her up. Rosa notices that Valen's face has already fully reddened, teasing, “Oooh, somebody’s still shy!”

“I can’t help it!” Valen yelps, feeling weak in his knees and legs.

“If you’re soooo shy, why don’t you let gooooo?” Rosa teases, her eyelashes fluttering. “Can't resist me, can you?”

“I can't resist lifting you up!” Valen shrieks, his eyes bulging out as he clenches his teeth. “I told you to look at yourself in the mirror for a reason! You're too damn cute, on top of being too damn pretty!”

“Ooooh, now I know what your true intention is, Valen. You want to-” Rosa whispers the rest into Valen’s right ear.

“T-This isn't right!” Valen shrieks. “My innocent cinnamon bun shouldn't be saying things like this! Won’t somebody please think of the cinnamon bun!”

“Whatcha gonna do about it, hmmmm?”

Valen calms down, replying, “You’re lucky that Gardevoir's come to find this funny.”

“I still can't believe that you remember every small detail about me!”

“I had to gather intel on the cutest and prettiest girl ever.” Valen sports a cocky smile, laughing with pride.

“Kyaaaaaaaaa!" Rosa squeals, her eyes sparkling like her necklace. “I don’t care what anybody says! You're the absolute best!”

“Nooooo, really?” Valen sarcastically asks. “That's such a stunning revelation.” Valen decides to sit down on the sofa, continuing to hold Rosa.

“You’re sooo funny!” Rosa giggles as she kneels on Valen’s lap. “Speaking of intel, I’m guessing Interpol is the reason why that persona of yours vanished, right?”

“Sort of,” Valen replies. “That persona had to vanish for at least a little while due to the military, but then Interpol approached me with a job offer.”

“I've suspected that you had some kind of top secret work, but I never asked,” Rosa admits. “I didn't need to know specifics, because I've always trusted you.” She's aware that Valen likely had to keep such information to himself.

“I took part in a number of counter-terrorism operations against Team Phantom, who were like our Team Plasma, while in the military.”

“....Team Phantom?” Rosa blinks. “How bad were they?”

“They were priority number one for the military.”

“....I’m proud of you.” Rosa kisses Valen on the lips. “You took on really bad people. You’re a hero. You’re my hero.”

“Thanks, that means a lot.” Valen kisses Rosa back.

“Thank you for opening up to me more,” Rosa says, sporting an affectionate smile. “Soon, I'll disclose more of my own past to him, including my worries regarding goals.”

“It actually feels good to let it all out,” Valen admits with a faint glimmer of regret, snapping himself out of it before he becomes gloomy again.

“Maybe you should consider retiring from Interpol,” Rosa softly suggests. “You’ve been sidelined, after all.”

“....That’s a good point,” Valen concedes. “By the way, how come you never joined that fan club Hilda mentioned?”

“Tee-hee, I did.” Rosa bops Valen on the forehead. "Eventually!"

"By the way, we forgot to move the bigger bed to my room.”

“Whooooo cares, cuz I'll just cuddle up with you every single night! I know that my big hunky boooy wants meeee as his blanket!” Rosa flirts, giggling upon seeing Valen's blushing yet again. "There's only room for Valey, unless Rosa holds Valey as close to her as possible!"

Valen's not about to give up the flirtation battle without a fight. “Your cuteness and your beauty is the most powerful type combination that I've ever seen.” He gives Rosa a wink, clicking a tooth once.

“Rosa’s got another barrage of Sweet Kiss attacks ready for yoooou!” Rosa squeals, her face having reddened as she gently pins Valen to the sofa's headrest.

“Roar, mineeeee!” Rosa wraps her arms around Valen's neck. Valen places his right hand on the back of Rosa's head and his left hand on Rosa's back. They passionately kiss, the surge of warmth returning for both of them.

Valen feels completely calm as Rosa and him press their lips together at a relaxed pace. As for Rosa, she firmly believes that he kept his word. He's the best boyfriend ever.

Sucker Punch is called Surprise Attack in Japanese. Flygon's wings have both red and green on them. Thus, I chose to use yellow for her Giga Drain attack.

For the OC regions I came up with on the fly:
Caironar=Egypt
Apuliano=Italy, San Marino, and Vatican City
Venteux=Chicago
Zieglerberg=Germany and Luxembourg
 
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BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
Past mental abuse, past manipulation, and past violence are mentioned/implied in this chapter.
Chapter 21: Friendship Never Ends

It's late morning, and Valen's decided to check the statuses of current investigations via his laptop. He may have been sidelined due to PTSD, but his rank of lieutenant allows him access to the database. Valen may have realized that he'd lost positive emotions, but his sense of duty's compelling him to check up on these investigations.

First, Valen checks up on the current status regarding the gangsters who followed Rosa. It turns out that during the first two incidents of Rosa being followed, the suspects were caught on tape. He may not be able to go after them himself, but he trusts his colleagues to nab them.

With that said, Valen realizes that his hunch was wrong. It wasn't the Galarian Mafia—It was Team Rocket. The second incident briefly shows a red R plastered on a man's uniform. Maybe the threat of stiff jail time can convince one of them to talk, but he knows that's not a likely scenario. The chances of encountering a Shiny Pokémon's higher than the chances of getting these bastards to roll over.

As he examines the photos on file, Valen spots numerous pictures unrelated to the surveillance photos. He instantly recognizes a man who's related to a friend.

"Kai 'The Golfer' Romano, capo within the Alolan Mafia...and Guzma's father." Valen recalls a rumor that Guzma's granduncle has became the original Cosa Nostra's boss of bosses.

These pictures show made men of the Galarian Mafia, the Alolan Mafia, the Kalosian Mafia, and the Orre Mafia having an extravagant dinner in Lumiose City. Looks are deceiving when it comes to organized crime—this meeting's believed to be related money laundering.

Valen's about to check the status of the hunt for Orre's war criminals when he suddenly pauses. A few seconds later, he exits the database. "If I retire, I'd lose access to this...I'm sidelined, though." He lets a out a deep, weighed sigh as he stands up.

Valen glances at a small box on his round walnut table. Instead of carrying them around like he's been doing, He already decided to store his two military medals in there and hide it somewhere He doesn't even know why he carried them around—he doesn't need to be reminded about the horrors of war.

Nevertheless, Valen feels conflicted. Shouldn't he be somewhat proud over receiving the Fang of Valor? He recalls how his unit and him got numerous innocent civilians and Pokémon to safety. His fellow soldiers, both people and Pokémon, covered for them by pinning down enemy forces via a hail of gunfire, grenades, and moves such as Flamethrower and Thunderbolt. He returned the favor numerous times—one of his roles was being a special forces sniper.

The Purple Shield's not one to be ashamed of either, as it's not his fault that he was wounded by machine gun fire. A wounded leg wasn't enough to stop Valen from temporarily patching his wounds up and returning fire. Salamence eventually blew up the entire machine gun nest. Valen and his Pokémon never enjoyed taking a life, but they did what they needed to do in order to liberate neighboring Orre from Cipher's tyrannical rule.

Valen recalls his time in the Alkmaardam region. He couldn't explore that lovely region, as he was there to give statements over what he saw in Orre. He was one of many called in to assist the International Criminal Court's prosecution of two hundred fifty five Cipher members. He still recalls the court finding all of the Cipher members guilty within the fortified courthouse in Haag City.

Among those convicted were Ardos, Gorigan, Snattle, Exol, Ferma, and Reath. Since then, Interpol's captured at least forty more Cipher members wanted for war crimes, plus Cipher was hit with a multitude of regional charges such as extortion and money laundering. Cipher got what they deserved. Just like Ariana, Archer, Proton, and Petrel all deserve to remain behind bars for the terrorist attack at the Goldenrod Radio Tower years ago. Just like that deranged Lusamine woman deserves to remain behind bars for all the Pokémon that died because of her.

As Valen remains quiet, Dimitri comes to his mind. He understands it—he fully understand why Dimitri did what he did that day. However, while his outlook's less bleak, he remains a confused soul.

"...I don't want this life anymore. However, I don't know if I can-"

Valen's eyes slightly widen as arms are wrapped around his mid-section. Valen feels a surge of calmness and warmth flowing through him, causing his mouth curving into an affectionate smile.

"Hi, best girl."

"Is this a bad time to come in?" Rosa softly asks, holding Valen as tightly as she can. "I needed to make you feel better."

"In your case, there's never a bad time to come in."

"...You know, since you confided me, I think it's time that I confided in you," Rosa informs, letting go of Valen.

Valen turns around, raising her eyebrows. "You mean L-"

"Yes, I want to start to tell you more about my bad luck, starting with Lars." Rosa replies, furrowing her brow and tightening her lips. "I'm going to be a fighter, just like the guy that I love."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm very sure," Rosa affirms. "If Lars shows his face around me again, I'll make him the victim! I'm gonna fight, and I'm gonna win!"

Feeling how determined Rosa's become, Valen's mouth curves into a proud smile.

"That's my girl." Valen pats Rosa on the head, causing her to sport a soft smile.

"I think a refresher would help you too," Rosa admits. "You can't forget how good of a person you are."

Rosa sits next to Valen on his bed. Valen gives Rosa a full embrace, kissing her on the lips.

"You're gonna need the affection this time."

"Thanks, sweetie," Rosa replies, sporting a tender smile. Rosa wraps her arms around Valen's mid-section, resting her head against Valen's right shoulder.

"How did Lars find out about you?" Valen asks, placing his right hand on the back of Rosa's head.

"Well, I'm not exactly an unknown person, so he probably found me out through me being a popular girl," Rosa explains, biting her lower lip. "I first met Lars at age sixteen. Lars acted in a similar manner as you did, but-

"He tricked you."

"Y-Yeah," Rosa admits. "However, I was also really stupid-" Rosa cuts herself off. She feels a thickness in her throat.

"It's alright, I won't get angry."

Rosa gives Valen a sad smile. "I made a really stupid remark about fighting Team Plasma as a member of Team Rocket," she admits. "I'm sorry, Valen. I-"

"I could care less, because I love you," Valen interrupts, sporting a tender smile.

Rosa's mouth slightly falls open, but she quickly realizes that there's no need to be shocked. She kisses Valen on the lips, replying, "Thanks, my sweetie," She sports a tender smile as she caresses Valen's upper left arm. "I love you too."

"Please, keep going."

"I spoke without thinking, but Lars already took advantage of it...I still don't remember if he dragged me into Team Rocket or not...hopefully not."

"Rosa, you're not a bad person."

"...You're too good to me," Rosa replies, shedding tears. "I'm so glad that it's you whom I fell in love with."

"Right back at you."

"...Lars also kept calling me weak," Rosa says. "He said that I needed to toughen up. He'd find some thugs who'd battle me. I beat them all, but when I found out, I snapped at him. "

"He's a vile dumbass." Valen scowls. "You're anything but weak."

"Thanks, Valen."

"Anything else?"

"Yeah...he took off after I snapped. I guess he's smart enough to back off at a certain point...like during his encounter with both of us," Rosa says. "I'm sorry for lying and hiding."

"It's not your fault," Valen interjects "You're a victim."

"...Thanks for being so considerate, my sweetie." Rosa moves her arms upward to sweep Valen into a hug. "It's thanks to you that I know what genuine love is like."

As the duo goes silent, Rosa recalls how she personally befriended Valen shortly after Lars took off. Valen didn't know about all of this until way later, but she did come to trust him as a friend. Eventually, she trusted him enough to try another romantic relationship.

"...How'd you avoid ending up like me?" Valen asks, letting go of Rosa and vice versa. "I know our experiences were different, but that was and is a traumatic experience for you."

"Well, I decided that the best way to heal was to be my usual self," Rosa replies, her voice emitting a gentle tone. "Sure, seeing Lars again brought back bad memories, but I'm not afraid anymore."

"I wish I did that," Valen laments. "We had some contact with each other after the war. You remember, right?"

"Yeah, I remember." Rosa frowns. "I really should've asked about your well being."

Valen pats Rosa on the head again, causing her to sport a sad smile.

"If I had done what you did during that timeframe, I might have never have ended up like this."

"Your sense of duty really does hurts you."

"...I'm sorry."

"Please don't cry...I hate that sight." Rosa stares at the interior black walls, eyeing the pearly white ornate patterns.

"I could have avoided deployment completely by quitting when it looked like war was inventible."

Rosa presses her lips together as she furrows her brow. Rosa musters up the strength to look directly into Valen's watery eyes with a loving gaze.

"I could care less, because I love you." Rosa tenderly smiles, caressing Valen's left cheek. "Your words go both ways, my sweetie." Valen goes silent as she sweeps into a hug, wrapping her arms around his neck.

Valen begins to cry, hugging Rosa back. "I'm sorry for everything wrong I've done! I'm sorry, Rosa! I'm so sorry!"

"It's okay, my sweetie," Rosa consoles, kissing Valen on the lips. "Everything's going to be okay."

"I don't want this!" Valen's cries become even louder. "It felt so good to be happy again! Change is hard, but I'll keep trying! I promise, Rosa!"

"You're making good progress," Rosa comforts. "I'm always going to be here for you, so there's no need to cry, kaaay?"

Valen's able to calm down, replying. "I'm always going to be here for you too, Rosa."

"I know you will." Rosa kisses Valen on the lips again.

Valen and Rosa let go of each other, but Valen's got a lot on his mind. "...You know, everybody but Silver and you will be going back to their regions one day," Valen comments, his eyes still moist. "I don't wanna be selfish, but how will I cope with that?"

"Valen, true friendships will never end because of distance," Rosa lovingly reassures. "We chat all the time, whether through phone, text, video chat, Glaliebook, Smeraglegram, and so on."

"You...you promise that they won't...forget about me?" Valen asks, his eyebrows curving downwards. "I don't wanna be forgotten anymore...you promise that it won't happen?"

"I promise, my sweetie."

"...Okay...thank you."

"...I can sense that you have something else that's bothering you," Rosa says, bowing her head.

"...Promise me that you'll focus on becoming a famous trainer here," Valen requests, letting out a heavy sigh. "Don't lose sight of that goal because of a mess like me."

Tears start to stream down Rosa's cheeks. "Please...don't degrade yourself like that." Rosa sniffles. "I don't like...I don't like it when you do that."

"That dream of yours is unrelated to me."

"It's true that it's unrelated to you...but is it wrong that I want you to see me succeed?" Rosa's tone sounds dull as she slumps on Valen's bed. "Is it wrong that I want you...to be proud of me?"

"Rosa, you shouldn't consider me as a factor for something that you want for yourself," Valen replies. "That's all I'm trying to say."

"I know, but you keep acting like you're a nuisance for me." Rosa whimpers. "You...you value yourself so little...it's painful to watch."

"It's because of me that what you wanna do's on hold." Valen lets out a heavy sigh.

"...Answer a question for me." Rosa's body tenses up as anger builds up inside of her. "Is being a famous trainer abroad more important than someone's personal well being? How about a singing gig, a movie role, or a play role?"

"...Well...no...but you're spending so much time to make sure that I'm okay," Valen laments. "You haven't even battled in a little bit, have you?"

"...No...no I haven't." Rosa tightens her fists. "However, you need to stop this...right now." Rosa feels like she's about to explode any second now.

"See what I mean? I'm a-"

"Enough!" Rosa screams at the top of her lungs as tears start to stream down her cheeks. "Don't you ever consider yourself a nuisance for me ever again! Do I make myself clear, Valen?!"

"R-Rosa-"

"Shut the fuck up!" Rosa sniffles. "I'm not some uncaring jerk who only cares about herself! My heart still hurts over the full extent of your suffering!" Rosa takes several deep breaths, placing her hands over her tightening ribs. She doesn't want to show anger towards Valen, but she can't help it. She loathes how self-degrading he's become, and she can't contain it anymore.

Remembering his own outbursts, Valen decides that getting angry himself isn't the way to handle this situation. Valen takes a deep breath, stating, "I appreciate all that you do for me, but you can't lose sight of your own wants and needs."

"That's not the point! Why're you so negative?!" Rosa chastises. "Don't you get it?! I need you, Valen! I need you in my life!" Rosa moves her right hand upwards, placing it over her aching heart.

"You're really generous, but you can't sacrifice your goals just for me," Valen says, eyeing his ceiling. He knows that Rosa's right. He knows that he needs to have more faith in himself. Can he actually pull it off, though?

"I'll never recover if I lose you, and you know that!"

"...I really do appreciate everything you've done for me, but I know you." Valen lets out a heavy sigh. "You can be generous to a fault, and that can hurt you. It's just like how my strong sense of duty hurts me."

Rosa takes several deep breaths to calm herself down. "...I know...I know...and you're right. I can't hurt myself like that."

Rosa gives Valen a tender smile. "Don't worry, I'll achieve what I desire because I want to," she reassures, caressing Valen's left cheek.

Valen sweeps Rosa into a hug, stating, "Listen, I'm much better than I used to be. You're rightfully worried, but I won't fall into that level of despair ever again."

"...Promise?" Rosa whimpers, hugging Valen back. "I don't...I don't want to lose you."

"I promise," Valen reassures, his voice emitting a soft tone. "Please continue to go out and enjoy yourself."

"...Okay, I'll try." Rosa lets go of Valen and vice versa. "I'm sorry for getting mad at you."

"I'm sorry for not respecting your feelings." Valen pats Rosa on the head. "Say, what about your past? Are you afraid that it'll come back to haunt you?"

"...Probably...even if I was coerced, there's likely something in there that could be used to hurt me."

"...I'm not just a tool, am I?" Valen asks, his eyebrows curved downwards.

"Of course not," Rosa reassures, kissing Valen on the lips. "You know I really do love you with all my heart. I just...I'm scared...and I feel the safest around you. I don't want to use you as a tool...but if I ever did...I'm sorry."

"...I trust you, so you're forgiven," Valen replies, causing Rosa to kiss him on the lips again. "There must be something that I can do about this."

Rosa perks up at this, her mouth falling open. "You can...prevent that?"

"Even if I retire, other members of law enforcement will investigate."

"...What if somebody-"

"I specialize in covering up tracks. I can help you too."

"...Thanks, but what about Lars?"

"If he was going to smear you, he'd have done so by now."

"O...Okay...I'll try to...keep all of that in mind," Rosa replies, biting her lower lip. "T-Thanks."

"I remember you being approached by guys who only saw you as a pretty and popular girl and nothing else," Valen laments. "When you're popular, you don't always attract...genuine people."

"...Y-Yeah, that's another reason I'm also afraid," Rosa somberly admits. "I'll still be a people person, but what if I'm approached by people solely because I'm popular? What if guys only want to be my friend because they see me as some sort of trophy...instead of an actual person?"

"I never let that kind of thing bother me. I had friends, family, and a bunch of loyal fans. I've come to learn that I still have loyal fans."

"...Will you...will you always see me as Rosa? Even if I become famous?" Rosa asks, her eyes becoming watery.

"Of course."

"...Thanks, sweetie."

"I'm also proud of you for telling me all of this. That takes a lotta courage, Rosa."

"As somebody who's had subpar luck with boyfriends in the past, I don't know if I can ever express how much you mean to me."

"You've already expressed it." Valen closes his eyes, affectionately smiling. "When my future looked bleak...when my light of hope was nearly extinguished...an angel came down from the heavens. That angel helped my Pokémon to vanquish the dark forces that enshrouded my mind, my heart, and my life. That angel's name is Rosa Whitley."

"You're too sweet."

"Melanie knew you'd have the biggest impact on me, as did my mom."

"Please try to remember that you're invaluable and irreplaceable, kaaaay?"

"It won't be easy, but I'll try."

Rosa nods, believing that Valen's strong enough to regain his self-esteem. Now, it's time for her to lighten up the mood. Rosa's mouth curves into a flirtatious smile.

"Moving on, we do need to talk about our origin story." Rosa rests her forehead against Valen's forehead, giggling as the latter's eyes widen. "We both know that the real reason you gave me a rose was because you thought I was super cuteeee."

"Your cuteness level's still over nine thousand!" Valen exclaims, his face having already reddened. "This is an unsafe amount of cuteness!"

"You need to tell the truth," Rosa teases, her eyelids fluttering as she sports a flirtatious smile. "We both know that I'm your biggest weakness."

"This is why I've told you to look at yourself in the mirror!" Valens shrieks. "You're also really pretty!"

Several seconds later, both Valen and Rosa burst out laughing, with Valen asking, "You riled me up so I stopped being sad, didn't you?"

"It worked!" Rosa sports a sweet smile as Valen pats her on the head in response.

"Who needs a person when your wingman is a Salamence?"

"...Heh, and to think I was still hesitant about dating you," Rosa faintly laughs.

"You still looked for me, didn't you?"

"Obviously, you silly boy."

"A gentleman like myself couldn't ignore such a marvelous blend of perfection for much longer." Valen winks. "We were already acquainted by then, so I make to swoop in."

"You're going to make me blush all over again!" Rosa gushes, placing her hands on her cheeks. "Hahahaha, when they heard your smooth talking, Nate and Hugh leaned back and shouted 'DAAAAAAAAAAAAMN!' That caused Hilbert, Hilda, Cheren, Bianca, Skyla, Roxie, and Iris to roll on the ground in hysterics! Even N couldn't help but chuckle!"

"Of course they'd react that way." Valen grins. "I'm Team Skull's Valen. I'm the king of classy when I wanna be."

"You looked soooo cool in that suit!" Rosa gushes. "The bowler hat and sunglasses made you look even cooler!"

"I wore a Team Skull tux while I was in Alola. I also rocked a bowler hat." Valen folds his arms, closing his eyes as he triumphantly grins. "As a result, Guzma gave me the nickname Mr. Steal Yo' Girl."

"They said that because you're the only one who can handle this cute and pretty queen, big boooy," Rosa places a finger on her lower lip as she maintains strong eye contact with Valen.

"Gimme more kisses," Valen teases. "I'm a greedy knight who wants all of the queen's affection."

"Kaaaay!" Rosa embraces Valen and vice-versa. Valen and Rosa passionately kiss, both feeling a surge of warmth flowing within them

Unbeknownst to either of them, Valen's Gardevoir has been standing outside of the room the entire time. Gardevoir's leaning against the wall next to Valen's open door. She's got her arms folded, sporting a content smile.

Gardevoir's proud of her trainer for wanting to change his ways. All six of them are. They've been waiting for his return.

It's now early afternoon, and as the sun beams down upon the neighborhood, Valen and Rosa walk out of the house and onto the front steps, which creak as they walk down. Valen and Rosa plan to wait outside of the house, as Melanie and Hilda are on the way. As they wait, the duo discusses the current status of Rosa's move into the house. "For some reason, the furniture you wanted to bring hasn't arrived yet." Valen scratches the top of his head.

"Oh no, I forgot to tell you!" Rosa gasps. "I talked to Dimitri about it, and he said it was a drop in the bucket!"

"Heh, figures."

"I've decided to only bring the belongings I brought and bought and start over for my new life with my amazing sweetie!" Rosa exclaims, beaming with joy. "This house will become our palace, Valey!"

"Yes, yes it will."

"Tee-hee, my Valey pharaoh's getting a golden throne!" Rosa broadly. She wants to surprise Valen with the chair that Hilda showed her.

"You're so adorable that it's unsafe." Valen pats a grinning Rosa on the head. "Did you talk to your friends and family back in Unova about staying in this region?"

"I have, and they're supportive of my decision," Rosa replies. "Don't worry, kay?"

"I won't worry, but I do think that it's fair we try to visit Unova on a somewhat regular basis," Valen admits, sporting a soft smile.

"Awwww, you're spoiling me!" Then, Rosa notices that Valen's wearing a different black jacket than the usual one he wears. Her eyes sparkle like her necklace, as she hasn't seen this jacket in sometime. "Oooooh, that Team Skull leather jacket looks really good on you!"

Valen smirks, replying, "Obviously, something this badass is gonna look good on me." He turns around, showing the jacket's giant Team Skull logo to Rosa. "I'm Team Skull's Valen, and I'm ready to cause mayhem."

Rosa giggles, but becomes a bit more serious seconds later. "Hey, can you tell me you dream?" Rosa softly asks, causing Valen's eyes to slightly widen. "I'm sure you have one too, right?"

Valen takes a deep breath, sporting a placid smile. "Yeah, I've been missing my glory days a Pokémon Trainer for sometime now," Valen admits. "Your enthusiasm really makes me want to return as The Black Reaper."

"I want to make a name for myself here, while you want to regain your past fame," Rosa states, sporting a soft smile. "We'll probably be battling on our own in many cases. If we have to face each other in battle, let's give it our all."

Valen sports an affectionate smile. "We both know that the outcome won't matter." He offers Rosa a fist bump. "Together forever, no matter how long."

Rosa accepts Valen's fist bump, her smile transforming into an adoring grin. "From now until the end of time."

"What about your friendships?" Valen asks. "If you have to battle your friends, I mean."

"Of course, silly!" Rosa giggles. "Rosa brings happiness and makes friends wherever she goes! Nothing can break Rosa's friendships!"

"...Hey, you still wanna form a tag team?" Valen asks. "The Black Reaper and The Battle Queen. How does that sound?"

"That's Battle Queen Rosa to you, silly." Rosa playfully smacks Valen on his left cheek. "Let's kick everyone's butt, whether it's by ourselves or together."

Valen nods, proudly stating, "As if your boy Valen's capable of anything less."

"Heeeeeey!" Hilda calls out to the duo, happily closing her eyes.

"Hey, big guy," Melanie calls out to Valen, sporting a friendly smile. "I hope you don't mind the fact that I brought more people along."

"Nah, it's fine," Valen reassures.

"Hiiii, Mr. Meanie!" Leaf waves.

"Sup, it's your boy Valen."

"You've got a surprise visitor," Calem informs, sporting the faintest smile.

"Sup, Calem," Valen greets. "Who's my surprise visitor?" Valen notes that everybody's got either an amused smile or a playful smirk.

Then, Valen joins the smirking crowd when he realizes what's going on. "How dumb do you think your boy is, Serena?" He glances over to his left, saying, "Get your butt over here." He recognized Serena by the dark pink hat and black tank top that she loves to wear.

"H-How did you know?!" Serena cries out, remaining behind the fence in embarrassment.

"Who else would it be?" Valen laughs.

"Serena, the fence isn't enclosed in the middle." Melanie smirks.

"H-How'd I miss that?!" Serena pouts.

"By the way, the fencing isn't original," Valen tells everybody. "The original fencing was long gone by the time I moved in."

"Regardless, I wish I had known about the fence prior." Serena smacks her face with her left hand.

"Come here, give your boy a hug," Valen tells Serena, sporting a beaming smile.

Serena's mouth curves into a sunny smile. "As if I wasn't gonna do that already!" Serena shouts as she rushes towards Valen, sweeping him into a warm hug. "Privyet!"

"Can't just say hello, can you?" Valen teases, placing his left hand on Serena's back and his right hand on the back of her head. ""It's good to see you again."

"...I missed you...I missed you a lot." Serena sheds a few tears.

"It's kinda complicated, to say the least." Valen sighs. "Sorry, I...I had it really rough...so I grew distant from everyone."

"I'm here for you too, Valen."

"...Alright, thanks." Valen smiles, letting go of Serena and vice-versa.

Serena notices Valen's leather jacket, and becomes enamored with it. "Valen, you look sooooo coool in that Guzmani Team Skull jacket!" Serena exclaims, sporting a sunny grin.

"Duh, I'm Team Skull's Valen."

She spots Melanie's navy blue leather jacket, azure tank top, and blue jeans. "You still rock blue well, Melanie! I've always loved how frequently you wear Valerie Versace!"

"Thank you, Lady Obvious," Melanie teases.

Serena sees that Rosa's wearing the necklace that the latter kept talking about, and goes gaga. "Oh my gooooooooooooooooosh!" Serena squeals, her sparkling eyes fixated on the diamonds that line the necklace. "Rosa, that necklace's even more gorgeous than it looked in the photos you sent! It looks sooooo good on you!" Serena grins as she sways her head from side to side, holding up her fists just under her chin.

"Tee-hee, thank you!" Rosa happily closes her eyes, showing her elated friend the emerald with Serperior engravings. "I wear it everyday and everywhere!"

"Woooow, that emerald's so pretty!" Serena gushes. "I can see why you talk about Valen so much!"

"Yeeep, my Valey's the best!" Rosa grins as she clasps her hands next to her right cheek. "I can't wait for the day that I become Mrs. Rosa Barsotti! Kyaaaaaaaaa!"

"It's too soon, cinnamon bun." Valen pats Rosa on the top of her head, causing her to sport a winsome smile.

"Valen, you have no idea how many times your name has come up in group chats!" Serena happily exclaims, glancing behind her towards her old friend. "Calem never gets me anything nice, so good job for not being a dumb-dumb like Calem! More importantly, job for not having the worst fashion sense in the history of the universe like Silver!"

"She really hasn't changed all, has she?" Melanie asks Valen and Calem, sporting an amused smile.

"Nope, not at all." Valen smirks. "Can I get an f in the chat for Silver?"

"Unfortunately, she's never going to." Calem sighs.

"Here we go again." Hilda smirks, folding her arms.

"Hee hee, it's time to get revenge on Emperor Palpameanie!" Leaf deviously grins, making punching motions with both of her fists.

"Hey, dumb-dumb!" Serena yells at Calem. "Get me something nice!"

"S-Serena, we're just friends! Valen and Rosa are-"

"Does it look like I care, Calem?" Serena chastises, folding her arms. "Get me something nice, or I'm gonna make you perform in a Pokémon Musical again."

"Oh come on!" Calem howls.

Calem flashes back to four and a half years ago, where he was forced to emulate Valen's past persona. He had lost a battle to Serena, and had to keep his end of the bet. However, he failed to realize that even though The Black Reaper vanished, his most loyal fans were and are still around. Thus, the Unova fan club started throwing tomatoes at him. The club's president, Hilda, put a stop to it. On the other hand, his Dragapult liked the top hat, the monocle, and the black cape that Serena wanted him to try on. Dragapult wouldn't leave without them, so he had to buy them. They weren't expensive, but they weren't cheap.

Serena folds her arms as she bears down on an Calem with a stern glare. "Look at his horrible sense of style!" Serena narrows her eyes at Calem's blue jacket. "Calem and Silver need some suits from Guzmani and Fantina Vuitton! Rosa and Hilda, call up Grimsley Lauren. I'll call up Valerie Versace!"

"Don't tell the queens what to do," Rosa and Hilda retort.

"Hey, ease up on that crap," Calem remarks.

"You're coming with me to the mall, mister!" Serena scolds. She points to herself, announcing, "Never forget that I'm Serena Yvette Verochka Nikolaev, the Kalosian Empress of Fashion! Everybody must look at least somewhat stylish when I'm around!"

"You remember that your dad's ancestry lies within the Chelyagrad and Yakutgrad regions, don't you?" Leaf blinks.

"Of course, but I'm Kalosian born and raised, just like my mom."

"...Why'd you say your full name?" Calem piques up.

"I felt like it, zho-pa."

"...Can you call me something that I know the meaning of?"

"Nope," Serena runs her right hand through her honey-colored hair. "The Kalosian Empress of Fashion can say whatever she wants."

"...Nobody present is wearing anything but casual." Valen blinks. "The jackets Melanie's wearing is casual Valerie Versace, and my jacket's casual Guzmani."

"We both know this is typical Serena." Rosa sighs. "Hilda and I are decked out in casual Grimsley Lauren."

"Moving on, I'm glad you're all here." Valen walks closer to Calem and Serena, and they exchange a three-way fist bump. "We've got catching up to do."

Serena gives Valen a sunny, enthusiastic grin. She still remembers the charming words that Valen said to her when they first met: "I thought this old building was the prettiest thing in town, but I just got proven wrong."

"Nice to see some change," Calem remarks, sporting an approving smile.

Valen walks over to Hilda, Melanie, and Leaf. The four of them exchange a fist bump at the same time.

"I don't mind that nickname." Valen laughs.

"Hee hee, I knew it!"

Valen turns his head rightwards towards Hilda, stating, "By the way, you're now second best girl."

"I knew I'd be right behind Rosa." Hilda smugly grins, running her left hand through her dark brown hair. "Unovan girls win again."

"H-Hey, that was my spot!" Melanie yelps. "What's the big idea?! I'm his bestie!"

"I'm the rightful owner of that title!" Serena cries out. "I'm Valen's bestie!"

"You two don't even come close to me," Hilda counters.

Melanie, Hilda and Serena fold their arms and exchange disapproving glares.

Valen walks closer to Hilda. "It's hard to top my former manager," he whispers into her right ear.

"Duh," Hilda whispers back, sporting a mischievous smirk.

"Typical sweetie." Rosa affectionately smiles.

Valen takes out a Poké Ball from inside his leather jacket, and points it towards Serena. "Hey, you think you've got what it takes to defeat your boy Valen?" He sports a confident, lopsided grin.

"Is that a challenge?" Serena questions, sporting a confident smirk.

Unbeknownst to everybody else, Rosa's trying to contain her laughter upon hearing Serena utter these words.

"Yep," Valen declares as he calls out his Golisopod.

"Ah, I forgot that you had a Golisopod!" Serena yelps.

"You forgot that he had a Golisopod?" Calem groans.

"Relax," Valen counters. "Maybe it slipped her mind by mistake."

"I told you that I'm his favorite girl, didn't I?" Serena teases, causing Calem, Melanie, and Hilda to groan.

Rosa bursts out with boisterous laughter, catching everyone by surprise. "Serena, why accept a battle that you can't win?!" She teases with a jaunty grin. "How can you win against the boyfriend of Battle Queen Rosa?! Hahahahahahaha!"

"I'm gonna prove you wrong!" Serena proclaims, sporting a scowl.

"Sure you will!" Rosa tears up in hysterics. "Next, you'll be telling me that Hilda's Umbreon and Leaf's Espeon will develop a very specific food obsession!"

"Hey, I'm not Calem!" Serena chastises.

"That was one time!" Calem retorts. "I didn't know they'd vomit!"

"You still owe us!" Hilda and Leaf shout

"How was I supposed to know that it was raw?!"

Valen, Serena, and the others have gone to the battle arena near Valen's house. Valen and Serena stand on opposite sides. Rosa, Melanie, Hilda, Leaf, and Calem stand outside of the arena in the center.

Serena takes out a Poké Ball from her pinkish-red handbag. "I'll use my Jolteon!" She presses the button to let her Pokémon out.

Jolteon lets out a howl as electricity sparks all around his body. Then, Golisopod and Jolteon greet each other with pleasant cries.

"Prepare yourself." Valen briefly turns away, pointing to the Team Skull logo on the back of his leather jacket. "Team Skull's Valen is ready to cause mayhem."

"I have to prepare myself, eh?"

"You wanna see what Armageddon looks like? I'm gonna show you! It's Team Skull's Valen!" Valen sports a confident grin.

"Kyaaaaaaaaaaaa! He said a different intro line!" Rosa, Hilda, Leaf, and Serena squeal, their eyes sparkling like gemstones. "He's sooooooo cooooool!"

"Yes, I stayed calm this time!" Melanie sports a proud smile.

"W-Wait, I can't gush over my opponent, no matter how cool he is!" Serena yelps, her face reddening in embarrassment.

"Get ready for this!" Valen announces, his Golisopod letting out a robotic screech as he bangs his arms on his chest. Valen points to himself, boasting, "I'm the big bad trainer who beats you down without ever letting up!"

"Oh, I'm ready!" Serena counters, her Jolteon letting out another howl as electricity sparks all over his body. "Bring it on!"

Valen places his hands in his pockets, sporting a confident smirk. "Use First Impression," Valen commands in a lowered tone.

Golisopod moves so fast that it seems to disappear, suddenly reappearing right in front of Jolteon. Golisopod strikes the Electric-type quadruped on the left side of his face.

"Use Brick Break." Golisopod's right claw glows white and it charges towards Jolteon.

Serena smirks, commanding, "Counter with Agility!" Jolteon dashes out of the way, running around in circles so fast that he appears to disappear and reaper.

"Thunder Fang!" Jolteon bears his fangs, which glow lightning yellow. Then, Jolteon lunges towards Golisopod at a high rate of speed. Jolteon bites down on Golisopod's left arm. Golisopod closes it eyes and staggers, but quickly regains his composure.

"Uh oh, looks like somebody got too close," Valen laughs, his eyebrows angling downwards. "Use Poison Jab." As Jolteon attempts to back away, Golisopod's right claw glows purple, and it strikes Jolteon in the middle of his underside. Jolteon yelps as he crashes to the ground. As he gets back up, Jolteon glows purple, yelping again as he takes additional damage."

"Seriously?!" Serena pouts, placing her hands on her hips. "Why'd the secondary effect have to occur when I'm battling this guy of all people?!"

"Use Brick Break." Once again, Golisopod's right claw glows white and it charges towards Jolteon. This time, Golisopod strikes Jolteon on the top of his head, sending him staggering.

Jolteon's able to pull himself back together, howling at a cackling Golisopod.

"Ah, I need to focus!" Serena exclaims. "Use Thunderbolt!" Jolteon fires off a powerful bolt of electricity towards Golisopod.

The arthropod crosses his arms, attempting to endure the attack as electricity envelops his entire body. Nevertheless, Golisopod staggers from the attack.

"Yes, now we're getting somewhere!" Serena shouts, sporting an enthusiastic grin. "Use Shock Wave!"

Jolteon's body glows blue, and he fires off a blue lightning bolt. Golisopod's struck in the front center of the body, causing him to bend downwards as he reels from both Electric-type attacks.

"Shadow Ball!"

A purplish black sphere of energy forms in front of Jolteon's mouth. As Golisopod reels from the two previous attacks, Jolteon fires off the sphere of energy. Golisopod's hit in the top of his head, causing him to nearly lose balance.

However, Golisopod's able to stand upright. He's not going down without a fight.

"Not bad," Valen compliments, sporting a friendly smile. "You're still strong, Serena."

"You too, Valen!" Serena gives Valen a thumbs up.

"Use Swords Dance." Golisopod crosses his arms and glows light blue. Then, light blue swords form and around Golisopod. The swords begin to rotate rapidly like a dreidel, eventually vanishing as the light blue glow becomes more vibrant. Golisopod lets out a booming, robotic cry, flexing its arms as a show of strength.

"Good choice," Calem notes.

"Uh oh, that means Golisopod's physical attacks are going to be more powerful," Serena furrows her brow. "Electro Ball!"

"Sucker Punch."

Before Jolteon can even prepare to launch his Electro Ball attack, Golisopod vanishes, the reappears inches away from Jolteon, striking the spiky quadruped in the right cheek with its right claw.

"That was a smart counter," Melanie observes with a bright smile.

"Use Swords Dance again." Once again, Golisopod crosses his arms and glows light blue. Then, light blue swords form and around Golisopod. The swords begin to rotate rapidly like a dreidel, eventually vanishing as the light blue glow becomes more vibrant. Golisopod cackles over the fact his attacks will do even more damage.

"Another Swords Dance." Hilda smiles. "He must be planning to launch some big attacks soon."

"I have to win this as soon as possible, otherwise poison damage or the next batch of attacks will end the battle," Serena muses.

"Use Swords Dance one more time." For the third time, Golisopod crosses his arms and glows light blue. Then, light blue swords form and around Golisopod. The swords begin to rotate rapidly like a dreidel, eventually vanishing as the light blue glow becomes more vibrant. Golisopod closes his eyes with pride, feeling confident that he'll definitely win now.

"Triple Swords Dance, eh?" Calem sports a faint smirk.

"Triple Swords Dance means something massive is coming her way." Hilda folds her arms.

"Hee hee, he's planning something huuuuge!" Leaf extends her arms above her and moving her hands in opposite directions.

"You've got this in the bag, Valey," Rosa mutters. "She should've heeded my warning. The queen's rarely wrong."

"Use Thunder!"

Jolteon howls as his body becomes enveloped by electricity. Jolteon fires off a gigantic lightning yellow beam of electricity at Golisopod.

The arthropod's unconcerned about this powerful, super-effective attack, as evident by his robotic cackle.

"Playtime's over." Valen confidently smirks. "Charge in with X-Scissor." Golisopod crosses his armored arms to form a x shape. Golisopod's arms glow light blue, and he lunges straight into Jolteon's Thunder attack.

At first, the arthropod struggles to break through, but he's eventually successful. The Thunder attack is pushed backwards as Golisopod lunges directly at Jolteon, striking the quadruped in the face.

"S-Seriously?!" Serena yelps, her eyes widening. "Why do you have to be so strong?!"

"Liquidation." Golisopod cackles as a sword made of water forms within his right hand. Like a knight charging into battle, Golisopod lunges at Jolteon.

"J-Jolteon, Agility!"

"Not this time, Serena."

Golisopod rapidly swings his sword in a sideways motion, striking Jolteon just under his head. As Jolteon lets out a loud yelp, the water sword goes through the quadruped's entire body. Golisopod lands in a bent position cackling as a defeated Jolteon crashes into the ground.

"Oh come on!"

"That's my boy." Valen and his Golisopod exchange a fist bump.

"Aw, I lost." Serena murmurs as she recalls her Jolteon. She places the ball back inside her handbag.

Serena looks at Valen, sporting a broad grin. "I'm happy that you're still a strong trainer!"

"Thanks, Serena." Valen recalls his Golisopod. He places the ball back inside his leather jacket.

Valen and Serena walk towards each other, exchanging a fist bump as they both smile.

"I knew he'd win!" Rosa's eyes glisten as she sports a broad grin.

"I'd like a victory hug and kiss."

"Roar, here I come!" Rosa darts towards Valen, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him on the lips.

"This always feels good." Valen hugs Rosa back.

"Do you get it now, Valen?" Rosa asks, kissing Valen on the lips again. "They've already re-accepted you into the circle."

"R-Really?"

Valen and Rosa let go of each other. Valen closes his eyes, feeling unable to make eye contact with anybody. "You won't...abandon me? Calem, Serena...I'm sorry for not reaching out to you. Will you...always be my friends?"

"Don't be silly," Hilda reassures, sporting a friendly smile. "When did I stop being one of your besties?"

"There's no escape," Leaf teases, sporting a gentle smile. "I said that I was going to become your friend, didn't I?"

Calem and Serena glance at each other, both sporting warm smiles.

"I'm not going to turn my back on a close friend," Calem states.

"Don't forget that Rosa's got a big circle of friends!" Serena exclaims. "As for you and me, you already know that we'll always be friends!"

Valen re-opens his eyes and looks directly at Hilda, Leaf, Calem, and Serena. "You...you promise?" Valen asks, his eyebrows curving downwards as his eyes become watery. "No matter what...you'll...always be my friends?"

"All four of us promise!"

Valen attempts to speak, but he's almost at a complete loss for words. "You...me...you all meant it this entire time. This is surreal...I was wrong...I'm sorry." Valen clenches his teeth as tears began to stream down his face. "I'm sorry for everything I've said and done! I promise that I'll change! I want to change!" He cries, placing his right arm over his eyes.

All the tension within his body's evaporated. Valen wonders if this is what true friendships feel like. He's forgotten what friendship's like. Now, he feels like it's all coming back to him at once.

"Will he be alright?" Calem raises his eyebrows.

"These tears don't look like they're caused by sadness." Melanie softly smiles. "Slowly but surely, he's starting to understand that not everybody's the same."

"I was right." Rosa affectionately smiles. "The real Valen's been buried deep inside this entire time."

"it looks like he's finally gotten the message." Hilda softly smile, closing her eyes.

"I know he doesn't mind the name Mr. Meanie, but maybe I should use that nickname less." Leaf warmly smile.

"He's a confused person, but he's on the right path." Serena sports a placid smile. "I'm happy that I got to see him again."

"I'll try to trust everybody else as well...no matter how much I struggle with it." Valen wipes away his tears, sporting a pleased smile.

"Take your time. We'll be waiting," Rosa reassures.

"Thanks Rosa...thank you, everyone."

"Next up's his self-esteem issues," Melanie muses. "We all know that he can improve."

"Now that this is taken care of, it's time for me to ask Hilda a question," Leaf giggles.

"What question?" Hilda asks, blinking in confusion.

"Why are you such an absent-minded klutz?" Leaf teases, glancing at Hilda with a playful smile.

"Aieeee, don't try to get Val-Val to roast meeee!"

"You can tame a Garchomp, yet you almost ran into a tree in Viridian Forest."

"H-Hey, I love battling so much that I forget things!" Hilda retorts, her face reddening in embarrassment. "I had a good battle right before that, and my Gabite evolved into Garchomp!"

"What about the time you took a wrong turn and ended up on the other side of Lumiose City?" Calem teases, faintly laughing. "I don't recall you having any battles."

"Unova Noire had just come out, and I found a deal on it within Lumiose City! The main plot's a Pokémon journey set in late 1940s Unova! How could I not be thinking about that?!" Hilda blurts out.

"You weren't battling before you ran into my room's door," Rosa giggles.

"I had just gotten Mortal Battle 9!" Hilda yells. "Pokémon fighting games count too! You three are still salty over the fact that I kicked your butts in PvP!"

"You better hope that Valen doesn't join in on the next roasting session," Melanie chuckles. "When we were hanging out in Old Downtown, you were so distracted by the smell of pizza that you almost ran into the door."

"It was authentic Unovan pizza!" Hilda retorts. "I was minding my own business and now I'm being roasted by the squad!"

"Y'all are stupid," Valen chimes in, folding his arms. He snickers as he eyes the surprised faces looking in his direction.

"Thank you, Val-Val."

"E-Even me?!" Rosa yelps. "Rosa's stupid too?!"

"Except you." Valen pats Rosa on the head. "You're too cute."

"Yaaaaay, now that's more like it!"

Valen looks at Melanie, Leaf, Serena, and Calem with a smug grin. "Hilda's got a Garchomp, and she's a great agent and manager. Checkmate."

"H-Hey, what about my Dragonite?!" Melanie's jaw drops.

"I have a Tyranitar!" Leaf pouts.

"Don't think you're off the hook, Calem," Serena scolds, folding her arms. "I'm going to make you star in a play when I drag you to the city's Little Kalos district! You will dress up, one way or another!"

"Why does Valen get a pass while I can't?" Calem asks.

"He's not a party pooper like you, plus he's a waaaay cuter friend!" Serena's eyes sparkle. "He's a giant Growlithe puppy!"

"W-Wha-" Valen stammers, his face burning up as his eyes widen.

"This giant Lillipup's definitely the cutest and cuddliest guy friend in the circle!" Hilda grins, clasping her hands next to her left cheek.

"H-Hey, w-what's the big idea?!" Valen clenches his teeth, his eyes bulging out. "D-Do-Don't b-blindside me!"

"You just proved us right!" Hilda and Serena exchange a hi-five.

"Tee-hee, my Valey sweetie can't handle the truth!" Rosa's eyes sparkle.

"Hee hee, he can't accept it!" Leaf giggles.

"Nope, not doing it." Melanie rolls her eyes.

"...Wait, if Serena chills with Valen more, it'll mean less drama for me," Calem murmurs, sporting a faint smirk.

As the sun vanishes from sight within the darkening sky, the loud rumble of a sports car echoes throughout an almost vacant parking lot. Silver's come to this area of Angel City to meet up with Dimitri, with Kris accompanying the former. Silver parks his car in the southern portion of the parking lot, and the loud rumble of the car's engine ceases as Silver turns the car off. Silver notes that despite being so close to downtown, this area's not that packed. The traffic's very light, and only a handful of people are on the sidewalks, or entering and exiting buildings, bus stops, and so on.

"Thanks for brining me along!" Kris exclaims as she steps out of the car, closing the door.

"So, this is Dimitri's private battle arena," Silver remarks as he steps out of the car, closing the driver's side door. "It's nice that there's free public parking next to it."

"Modernist architecture, with a number of Art Deco buildings mixed in there," Kris observes as she glances around at the mid-rise buildings that surrounds Silver and her.

Kris notes the combination of glass-brick walls and the sun-breakers, recalling that the latter help to keep buildings from heating up during the warmest months. Then, she keenly studies the geometric shapes of the Art Deco buildings. With these buildings, she notes that the architects and builders finished them all in variants of blue.

Kris notices the private arena's gate, eyeing the ornate patterns in the middle and the spires at the top. "However, it looks Dimitri's decided to have the gate this finished in an older style. Looks Gothic Revival to me."

"Since when do you know this stuff, and why can't you talk about it instead of fashion and shopping?" Silver annoyingly asks, biting the inside of his cheek.

"You forgot that my dad's an architect, and I like fashion and shopping," Kris retorts, furrowing her eyebrows as she folds her arms. "You got a problem, tough guy?"

"I have a very big problem with the second one."

"Too bad," Kris counters, sporting a prideful smirk. "You're stuck with me."

Silver smacks his face with his left palm. "Let's go to the arena's gate before I run away like an Entei."

"Hey, is this Dimitri guy really stronger than this region's champion?" Kris asks. "That's a pretty big statement to make."

"Valen's neutral on it, but we won't know until the two actually battle publicly," Silver remarks.

Then, Silver notices that Dimitri's been standing near the gate. "Heh, he's waiting for us."

"Huh, how did I miss that?!"

"You're not as smart as you think you are." Silver snickers as he walks towards the gate.

"Hey, at least I know my architecture and art history!" Kris shouts as she walks behind Silver. "I bet you don't even know anything about the 18th and 19th centuries!"

"I bet you don't even know anything about the 18th and 19th centuries," Silver mimics.

Dimitri faintly laughs, having heard this squabble. He looks directly at the duo. "Silver, I presume?"

"Yep."

"Hi there, I'm Kris!"

"Hello Kris, my name is Dimitri Liniya," Dimitri introduces himself. "I am the President and CEO of the Liniya Corporation."

"Thanks for helping trainers who want to come here!"

Kris' eyes sparkle upon taking a closer look at Dimitri's black Guzmani suit and red tie. "Ooooh, Silver should wear a fancy outfit like you!"

"Absolutely. Fucking. Not."

"Serena's got a different idea for you!" Kris giggles. "She said that your shirt and pants are soooo lame!"

Silver rolls his eyes again, turning his focus towards Dimitri. "Before we battle, I'd like to talk to you about something."

"What do you have on your mind?"

"It's about Valen." Silver lets out a deep sigh. "I need to know more about his issues."

"...Very well, I shall discuss this matter with you," Dimitri replies. "Come, let us go into the arena first."

Dimitri unlocks the gate, and walks into the arena. Silver and Kris follow him, both feeling a sense of uncertainty.

Thoughts on Serena seeing Valen again? Thoughts on Serena's interaction with everybody else? What about how Rosa and Valen felt in this chapter?
Privyet means hi in Russian. Zho-pa is a swear word that means ass or butt.

Alkmaardam=Netherlands. Alkmaar’s a city in The Netherlands.
Looked up Art Deco characteristics online. I don’t remember if I’ve seen it in a book, but the # of books that I’ve got on the arts/architecture have grown since this chapter was initially posted on A03.
 
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BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
Chapter 22: Rising to the Challenge

As the moon starts to arise within the black sky, Silver and Dimitri walk towards opposite sides of the arena, with Kris walking next to Silver. Silver and Kris stare at Dimitri and vice versa, a silence enveloping the area for about a minute.

Dimitri decides to break the silence, asking, “So, what about Valen's issues did you want to discuss with me?” Dimitri grabs one of the six Poké Ball attached around his waist.

Dimitri lets out a faint sigh, he remembering how he downplayed his successes towards Rosa, and how he believed that meeting Melanie was pointless. Nevertheless, Dimitri's secretly pleased with Valen's progress, as Valen hasn't asked him about work at all. In addition to that, Dimitri feels that Valen finally understands the lesson he needed to learn.

“....You know, don't you?” Silver grimaces. “You know how strong he is, despite his disgusting habit of degrading himself?”

Silver remembers what Red and Blue told Valen. During and after their first battle, Red told Valen that he's a formidable opponent. As for Blue, he told Valen that he's one of the strongest trainers he's ever faced.

Silver lets out a somber sigh—Valen's now degrading his skills as a trainer, despite receiving praise from the best of the best. In addition, Valen himself is one of the best.

“....Yes," Dimitri answers. "I wish he would accept that he is still strong.”

“...I battled Valen recently, and his behavior bothered me.”

“Did he forfeit the battle?” Dimitri asks.

“No, he knew that I wasn’t gonna let him pull crap like that,” Silver replies, sporting a scowl. “He thought he had no chance of winning, but he fought well.”

“That is what he did when we had a battle,” Dimitri informs. “His Typhlosion was visibly disappointed, but not angry.”

“....Could he have defeated you if he didn’t forfeit?” Silver piques up.

“....It is possible,” Dimitri humbly admits. “The battle was not unwinnable.”

“....No matter how small the chances are, he shouldn't pull such crap like that.” Silver scowls, bearing his teeth. “I'm not gonna belittle him because he's already been through a lot, but forfeiting's a bullshit move.”

“ I wonder....if I had sent out my Haxorus first, would Valen have won if he had sent out his Salamence?” Dimitri taps his chin with his right thumb.

“The fact that he could tame a Salamence means he’s already a skilled trainer,” Kris adds, folding her arms as her voice emits a firm tone.

“That is correct,” Dimitri affirms.

“When battling, Valen's Salamence is an absolute monster of a Pokémon,” Silver acknowledges in a stern tone of voice. “He lost to both Hilbert and Cynthia, but Salamence fought well against Zekrom and Garchomp.”

Silver recalls how Valen reacted when his Salamence defeated Red's Charizard in their second battle. Valen blinked in confusion, but became extremely elated seconds later. In the end, Red won that six versus six battle, but it was a close one.

Silver will never forget the impressive sight he witnessed that day—Valen's Salamence and Red's Charizard duking it out on both the mountainous terrain and within the sunny sky above, both refusing to give an inch.

“The rest of his Pokémon are not to be taken lightly either.” Dimitri closes his eyes. “That is why I believe Typhlosion still had a chance.”

“Valen knew the odds weren't in his favor, but he refused to make it easy for either of them. I liked that part of him,” Silver explains, briefly sporting a smirk. “He said he wasn't going to win in our battle, but his mentality became similar as the battle progressed.”

“This bothers you a lot,” Dimitri notes. “Am I accurate?”

“....Yeah, I don’t like it at all.” Silver stares blankly at the arena's pavement. “As a strong Pokémon Trainer, should be proud of his skills. Instead, he's wishy washy about his skills."

“What do you plan to do?” Dimitri asks, re-opening his eyes and lifting up his eyebrows.

“I owe him one for helping me out a long while back,” Silver admits, tightening his fists. “I’ll repay Valen by helping him to accept himself, just like how I eventually accepted myself.”

Kris taps Silver on his right shoulder. “I want to help him too, Silver,” Kris affirms. “You didn’t forget, did you?”

“No, I didn’t.” Silver glances behind him, sporting a faint smile. “Your fashion and shopping talk annoys me, but you’re a good friend to have. He’ll learn that in due time.”

“In any case, shall we battle?” Dimitri asks Silver.

Silver nods, grabbing one of the six Poké Balls attached around his waist. “Heh, two of the four trainers confirmed to have defeated the legendary trainer Red are about to have a battle with each other,” he comments, smirking as he maintains strong eye contact with Dimitri. “We’re just missing Hilbert and Cynthia.” He recalls that these two praised Valen's strength as well.

“I get the feeling that you wish to defeat all three of us in a Pokémon battle.”

“How else will I prove to be the strongest?”

“I like your confidence, but let us see if your actions match your words.”

“I’ll use my Kommo-o.” Silver presses the button on his Poké Ball to let his Fighting/Dragon-type out.

Kommo-o lets out a booming roar, sending a flurry of shockwaves through the groans and and air.

“I shall use this Pokémon.” Dimitri presses the button on his Poké Ball to let his Pokémon out. Dimitri's Pokémon remains eerily quiet, its eyes closed as if it's sleeping while standing upright.

“So, the rumors are true,” Silver remarks, sporting a confident grin. “You do have a Spectrier. This is a perfect test for me.”

Kris keenly studies this stallion, noting its black fur and purple mane. “I've heard of this Pokémon, but it's my first time seeing one,” Kris remarks. “I think it's a Ghost-type, which means Silver's at a disadvantage.”

“You are correct,” Dimitri affirms as his Spectrier slowly opens his eyes. “This Pokémon's a Ghost-type.”

“Kris, a disadvantage means that I can further prove how strong I am.” Silver smirks, noting the eerie but confident gaze emitting from the ghostly stallion.

“You talk big, so show me what you are capable of.” Dimitri confidently smiles, noting that Silver's Kommo-o's fiddling around, impatiently waiting for the battle to start.

“With pleasure, Dimitri.” Silver cackles.

“This battle’s gonna rock!” Kris gushes. Kris jumps up in the air, extending her right fist above her. “Go get em, Silver!”

Silver glances behind him towards Kris, sporting a confident smirk. “I won’t be able to use Boomburst or Brick Break, but I’ll still win this.” Silver glares with determination, feeling his pulse racing. “Use Dragon Dance.”

Kommo-o's enveloped by an orange aura, and the dragon spins around four times. Afterwards, the dragon lets out a booming roar, feeling the increase in his physical power and speed.

“Use Nasty Plot.” Spectrier lets out a eerie scream that pierces the tranquil evening, causing Kris to sweat nervously. A black aura envelopes the ghostly stallion, causing it to let out another eerie cry as its special offensive power increases.

“T-That was...really....something.” Kris sweats, taking a deep breath. “Moving on, they're both setting up to do more damage.”

“Dragon Claw.” Both of Kommo-o's claws glow dark gray. Kommo-o roars as he lunges towards Spectrier.

“Evade with Agility, then use Shadow Ball.”

As Kommo-o's inches away from striking, Spectrier suddenly vanishes, re-appearing a short distance way as a black and purple sphere of energy forms in front of his mouth. Spectrier fires off the sphere of energy, striking Kommo-o in the gray and yellow scales that start just below his jaw.

As Kommo-o pulls itself together, Silver keenly notes the current location of Spectrier. “You're within reach,” he points out, sporting a confident, grin.

“Kommo-o, use Shadow Claw.”

Kommo-o's left claw glows dark purple, lunging towards Spectrier. Before the ghostly stallion can evade, its struck just below the jaw.

"Use Shadow Claw again."

Kommo-o's left claw glows dark purple, striking the ghostly stallion in the same location.

As Spectrier reels, Dimitri smirks. "A physical attack with type advantage, eh?" He assesses. "Spectrier, use Will-o-Wisp."

Spectrier opens its mouth and launches a spectral blue fireball. When the fireball hits Kommo-o. it explodes into a small conflagration of spectral blue flames. Kommo-o lets out a distressed yelp as he's engulfed.

As the spectral blue flames vanish, Kris narrows her eyes as she observes the battle. "I hope he didn't think battle would be a walk in the park," Kris murmurs, her voice emitting an uneasy tone.

"I know that the burn will make this attack less powerful, but I'll take my chances," Silver muses. "Poison Jab."

Kommo-o's right hand glows purple, and he strikes Spectrier in the middle of its body. A purple aura envelops the ghostly stallion, causing it to faintly yelp as it takes poison damage.

"Heh, now your Pokémon's got one too." Silver taunts. "Let's see which Pokémon can last longer with damaging status conditions."

An undeterred Dimitri folds his arms, fixating a stern glare on the battle. "Psycho Cut."

Spectrier's wavy, purple mane briefly straightens out. Spectrier swings it head rightwards, and a spectral purple crescent emerges from its mane. The crescents crashes into Kommo-o, causing it to nearly fall down on his back.

Silver looks on with a wide-eyed expression. "Huh....that was unexpected."

"Uh oh, it knows a Psychic-type attack!" Kris' mouth falls open.

Silver quickly regains his cool, his eyebrows angling downwards as he fixates a competitive gaze on Dimitri and Spectrier. "Use Dragon Pulse." Kommo-o opens his mouth and a yellow sphere of energy forms in front of it.

"Evade with Agility, then use Psycho Cut again." Spectrier vanishes, re-appearing a short distance away as a second spectral purple crescent hurls towards Kommo-o.

Kommo-o's struck just under the jaw, causing the sphere to vanish before it can be launched.

"Use Hex."

Spectrier's eyes glow blood red, letting out an ominous cry. A giant, blood red eye appears above the ghostly stallion. The eye begins to glow, causing a blood red aura to form and envelop Kommo-o. The scaly dragon lets out a distressed yelp as the aura becomes thicker, even slightly obscuring everybody's view of the dragon.

"Oh no, this isn't looking good!" Kris worries, wrinkling her brow. "Hex does a lot more damage when the target's afflicted with a status condition! That's on top of burn damage and a weakened physical moves!"

"Argh, this guy's one hell of a tactician." Silver grunts.

"Shadow Ball." Spectrier open its mouth and a black and purple sphere of energy forms in front of it.

"Counter with Dragon Pulse." Once again, a yellow ball of energy forms in front of Kommo-o's mouth.

Both Pokémon launch there attacks at the same time, with Dragon Pulse turning into a dragon-shaped beam. The beam quickly morphs into a large, golden yellow dragon formation that's got wings, talons, and a tail. A gust of wind starts to blow as the attacks collide into each other, causing a detonation that results in smoke appearing within the arena.

Despite smoke having filled up the field, Silver's not waiting around. "Use Shadow Claw.” This time, Kommo-o's right claw glows dark purple.

Before the smoke can fully dissipate, Kommo-o strikes Spectrier on the top of its head, sending it staggering backwards. However, Spectrier's able regain its composure.

"Use Hex."

Once more, the ghostly stallion's eyes glow blood red, and a giant, blood eye hovers above it. The eye glows and a blood red aura forms and engulfs Kommo-o, who lets out a distressed howl. After the aura's dissipated, a panting Kommo-o, bends over, nearly falling onto the ground.

"....He's even stronger than I'd expected." Silver sports a placid smile. "Oh well."

"Finish this with Phantom Force."

A purple portal appears behind Spectrier, and Spectrier's pulled into it, vanishing from everybody's sight. As Kommo-o staggers with his eyes closes, the portal appears again inches in front of him. Spectrier's enveloped by a purple aura, and it rams into the dragon's mid-chest. As Spectrier jumps backwards, Kommo-o crashes into the ground in defeat.

"Woah, Silver actually lost?!" Kris shrills.

"Eh, it happens." Silver shrugs as he recalls Kommo-o.

"Good battle, Silver." Dimitri smiles as he recalls Spectrier.

"You too, Dimitri," Silver compliments, sporting a next smile. "I'll win next time, though."

"I look forward to our next battle," Dimitri replies. "As for Valen's issues, I wish you two the best of luck."

"Thanks, Dimitri."

"We'll definitely help him out!"


A full moon illuminates the night sky as Silver drives down an empty road in a quieter part of the city. Both Silver and Kris are silent, with Silver pondering about his next move. Kris looks out the window, noting the small to medium sized commercial buildings that dot the road. These buildings look fairly mundane with no obvious architectural style, but Kris likes the simplicity of their basic square and rectangular designs.

After a few minutes, Kris turns her head towards Silver. "So, what's the plan?" Kris asks. "How will we help Valen?"

"I'm gonna tag along with Valen," Silver replies. "If and when he actually gets out of the house. I'm sure Rosa will get to that eventually."

"I'm going to come with you," Kris affirms, sporting a tender smile. "Valen's in our circle of friends, and we always look out for each other."

Silver nods, explaining, "Valen really loves battling, even if he doesn’t show it that much. If he gets out of the house, he's going to battle."

"Do you think that'll help with his self-esteem?" Kris asks. "I'm kind of confused here."

"....Look, I'm not sure how we'll go about this, but I'm not letting him degrade himself anymore," Silver replies.

"It's sad that he puts himself down, but I'm sure he'll accept himself eventually!" Kris exclaims, sporting a warm smile.

"If I recall, Rosa wants to make a name for herself in this region," Silver says.

"Yeah, and she wants to become well known in this region!" Kris cheerfully replies. "She's told me that Valen really wants her to focus on her personal goals!"

"Humph, typical Valen," Silver remarks, sporting an amused smirk. "Still, he's got a point. Does Rosa understand what he's telling her?"

".....Yeah, but Valen doesn't want to show up in person." Kris sighs.

"Huh?! Seriously?!" Silver's mouth falls open as his eyes widen.

"He thinks he'd be a distraction or something." Kris bows her head. "I feel bad for Rosa, but I also feel bad for Valen."

"....In hindsight, that's not surprising," Silver laments. "That's how little he values himself."

Suddenly, Kris' mouth curves into a enthusiastic smile, asking, "Heeeey, do you think if Valen sees Rosa succeed, he'll become motivated too?!"

"Seeing Rosa succeed would probably boost his own confidence," Silver admits. "However, Rosa's gonna have to prove Valen wrong. She needs to shatter his inaccurate mentality."

"I'll have a Pokémon battle with Rosa in front of Valen!" Kris proclaim, sporting a enthusiastic, broad grin. "I'll help Rosa prove to him that he’s not a distraction!"

"That's not a bad idea." Silver smiles.

"Also, I want to know more about Valen!" Kris happily exclaims. "Can I talk to him too? Pleaseeeeeee?"

"You don’t need my permission for that," Silver counters. "He's not the most open person anymore, but he seemed to have taken a liking to you."

"Hmph, I bet he'll like me more than you," Kris challenges, sporting a confident grin. She points to herself, proclaiming, "This future design historian will prove it by showing what a dunce you are."

"Don't test your luck, Queen Blabbermouth."

Valen's sitting on his bed with an opened book laying next to him. Since Rosa's not in the room, Valen's decided to call his colleagues at Interpol regarding an important matter.

"I'm requesting an investigation into Rosa's past to see if she's Team Rocket member, but not because I think she's guilty," Valen says. "I don't want her to become a victim again due to blackmail, bribery, or anything else."

"Understood," Anabel replies.

"Keep me updated."

"Of course, Specter."

"Thanks." Valen hangs up the phone. Then, Valen reaches for the book he placed on the round, carved walnut table near his bed. "Don't worry, I'll make sure nobody can harm you ever again," he murmurs.

As for Rosa, she's gone into the hallway bathroom. She wouldn't tell Valen why, but whatever it is has made the naturally cheery girl even more happy.

“I need to go out looking like this more often!” Rosa gushes from the hallway. “I still love this look! I look soooo good!”

”Why didn’t you use the master bedroom’s bathroom?” Valen questions, faintly laughing as he turns a page of his book.

”I wanted to surprise you!” Rosa happily exclaims, her footsteps becoming more and more apparent as she darts closer to the room.

"Oh?" Valen sports a lopsided smile.

“Alsooooo, I want to know what you think!” Rosa giggles, standing just out of Valen's sight.

“You like it, and that should be the end of it.”

“I knooow, but I want you to see it as well! You’re gonna love this!” Rosa appears within Valen's sight, standing next to his open door.

Valen glances towards Rosa, saying, “Fine, lemme take a l-” Valen cuts himself off when he sees that Rosa's dark brown hair isn't tied this time. Valen fixates a wide-eyed gaze on her very long hair. Rosa's dazzling hair flows down past her back, close to her frilly, mustard yellow shorts.

“Oh come on! She was already super pretty!”

Valen clenches his teeth, tugging at the collar of his gunmetal, long sleeve shirt as he sweats. “U-Uh....uh....err-”

“So, what do you think?” Rosa lets out a faint giggle as she spins around in a full circle, her hair swaying from side to side. "You think the queen should rock this look more often?"

A red-faced Valen breaks eye contact, lowering his gaze to the lower half of Rosa's black leggings. “Y-You're so g-go-gorgeous with y-yo-your hair down,” Valen bashfully compliments while poking two fingers together. “I mean, you're g-go-gorgeous to begin with, but you s-sho-should leave your h-hair d-do-down m-mo-more o-of-often.”

“Tee-hee, aren't I the cutest and prettiest girl you've ever seen”? Rosa gives Valen a cocky wink. “Oh wait, you call me the perfect combination! I'm soooooo silly!”

“Um...R-Ro-Rosa...you w-wan-wanna sit with me?” Valen gulps, feeling his pulse racing. “I...I'm read-reading a b-bo-book, but-”

“Ooooh, whatcha reading about” Rosa giggles over Valen’s reddened face.

“Um....F-Feudal J-Jo-Johto.” Valen hides his face behind his open book. “Um....y-yo-you don’t have to sit with me if y-y-you d-do-don’t want to....eh heh heh heh.”

“Hello, Valen!” Rosa kneels on Valen's lap, her eyes glistening as she attempts to peek above Valen's book to look at him.

“Why does this keeping happening to me?!” As his hands tremble, Valen slightly peeks above his book.

Valen quickly hides behind it upon seeing Rosa giving him a heart melting grin. “Oh no, now she's making that adorable face!”

Valen lets out a panicked yelp when he realizes that Rosa's elegant, flowing hair's now rubbing against the upper portion of his legs. He glances to his left, realizing that his Gardevoir's been watching the scene this entire time.

Gardevoir's got her arms folded as she leans against Valen's open door, glancing back at her trainer while sporting a lopsided grin. “Hi, G-Gar-Gardevoir.....um-”

“Hellooooo, ground control to Valey sweetie!” Rosa waves her right in between the glances being exchanged. “Wake up, sleepyhead!”

"Um....err-" Valen slowly attempts to direct his daze towards Rosa, but quickly glances to his right. “Errr....H-Hello, R-Ro-Rosa.” Valen yelps, clenching his teeth. “L-Lo-Lovely evening, is-isn’t it?”

“You idiot, you don't need to be so shy when I'm your girlfriend.” Rosa playfully smacks Valen on his left cheek. “I had my hair down on the day you approached me four years ago.”

“I was n-ner-nervous that day too!” Valen shrieks. “T-That's why I w-wo-wore classy attire and asked Salamence to be my wingman! It wasn't just to look c-co-cool!”

“I didn't see a nervous booooy.” Rosa giggles. “I saw a cool and handsome booooy.”

“I w-was n-ner-nervous earlier, okay?!” Valen shouts, placing his book on the round table next to his bed.

Valen lets out a grunt when he nearly drops his book due to his trembling hands. "W-Why you g-go-gotta be so damn b-beau-beautiful and c-cu-cute, huh?!"

“Stop it, you idiot!” Rosa giggles, playfully smacking Valen on the top of his head. "You're going to make me blush!"

“I’m y-your f-fav-favorite idiot for a r-re-reason.” Valen pokes two fingers together. “Eh heh heh....r-right?”

“That’s right!” Rosa wraps her arms around Valen's neck and kisses him on the lips. "You'll always be my favorite idiot!"

Valen takes a deep breath to regain his composure. "Hey Rosa, can I request something?" Valen asks, embracing Rosa back.

"Sure, sweetie," Rosa answers. "Ask me anything you want."

“....You love battling, so you should battle more, alright?” Valen pleads, sporting a gentle smile. “Be yourself, Rosa. Follow your goal....your dream.”

“.Okay, I’ll go out and battle more.” Rosa gently smiles back. “I'd really like it if you came to watch me, though.”

“...I don't wanna come....I don't wanna be a part of your reasons,” Valen admits, letting out a heavy sigh. “I dunno....I guess I feel like I'd take over as the main reason, or you might feel pressured if I was there.”

“I understand.” Rosa softly smiles, now caressing the top of Valen’s head as she runs her right hand through his hair. “You're really worried that I might focus you rather than me. However, there's nothing wrong with supporting or helping a person with their goals.”

By this point, Gardevoir's moved closer to Valen. Sporting an affectionate smile, Gardevoir gently runs her left hand through his hair, while embracing him with her right arm.

“Thanks, Gardevoir.” Valen faintly smiles, patting Gardevoir’s head in response.

“Thanks for trying to comfort him.” Rosa gives Valen's Gardevoir a grateful smile.

“I think I'll come around soon enough,” Valen assures. “Gimme some time.”

“Okay, I trust you.”

Gardevoir nods, smiling at both Valen and Rosa as she lets go of the former.

Valen’s mouth curves into a confident grin. “I bet you're afraid that you're gonna lose,” Valen sasses, earning him a playful smack on the top of his head.

“It's understandable that you don't want people seeing you get your butt kicked over and over again.”

Rosa's mouth curves into a playful, confident smile. “Oh, you want to play that game with me?” She sasses back, placing her right thumb on Valen’s chin.

“You think that Battle Queen Rosa’s gotten rusty as a Pokémon Trainer, big booooy?”

“Prove it,” Valen teases, giving Rosa a wink. “Prove you're still Battle Queen Rosa. Unless you're too scared to do so.”

Gardevoir's lopsided grin returns, folding her arms as she fixates a mischievous gaze towards Rosa.

”You’re being a very bad booooy towards the queen,” Rosa flirts, her eyelashes fluttering. “The queen loves a good knight who can also be a bad boooy.”

”Yep, you’re scared to battle,” Valen teases, earning him another playful smack on the top of his head.

"The instant I prove you wrong, you better come watch me.” Rosa sports a coy smile. “Otherwise, we’re gonna have a problem.”

“What if I don’t?” Valen winks.

“The queen demands your presence.” Rosa bops Valen on his forehead. “The queen demands that you follow your own dream as well.”

"Just go and have fun out there, will ya?" Valen bops Rosa back. "You don't need a reason to go. Besides, I still gotta take care of things in the house."

"It's time for Rosa's cuddling attack!"

Rosa moves her arms down to Valen's mid-section, then pins him down to his bed. "Grrrr, feel Rosa's power!"

"Oh noooo, whatever will I dooooo?" Valen laughs. "Ahhhhhh, not Rosa’s love. Help meeeeee."

"Tee-hee, you’re sooo funny!" Rosa kisses Valen on the lips.

Valen’s Gengar enters the room via passing through the wall, catching his trainer’s attention.

"Oh, it looks like Gengar wants to hear his favorite story again." Valen uses a finger to tell Gengar to come closer.

Gengar happily closes his eyes as approaches the bed, standing next to a smirking Gardevoir.

"No more waiting, please!" Rosa exclaims as Valen's Gengar lets out a cry to say the same thing, while Valen’s Gardevoir snickers.

"Alright," Valen replies. "So, while he's indifferent to it nowadays, Silver once did something that embarrassed both a girl and himself. Turns out that girl was Kris."

"What’d he dooooo? C’mon, tell Rosa! Rosa wants to know!" Rosa repeatedly bops Valen's legs with her feet. "Rosa's kicks mean speak now! Obey the queen!"

Valen laughs, replying, “So, Silver worked at one of Guzma’s clubs as a bouncer for a bit,” Valen explains, sporting a mischievous grin. “Kris wanted to see what Silver was up to over there. She disguised herself as a Team Skull member by putting on the uniform over her normal clothes, and snuck into the club. In an absolutely amazing display of logic, Silver-” Valen cuts himself off, whispering the rest into Rosa’s left ear as she tries to hold in her laughter until he’s finished.

“Hahahahaha, no way!” Rosa tears up in hysterics. “He did not do that! You must be pulling my leg!”

“Nope, this is a true story,” Valen states.

Valen's Gardevoir and Gengar fall to the ground in hysterics, causing their trainer to give them an amused smirk.

“I know he’s not a people person, but I never imagined he do that!” Rosa cries with laughter. “He even did it in front of other people!”

“He got roasted by Guzma, Plumeria, Gladion, Lillie, Red, Blue, Calem, Serena, and yours truly.”

“Hahahahahaha, even Lillie roasted him! I love that! I love that so much! Hahahahahaha!”

“You’re welcome, best girl.”

“I’m going to ask others about this!” Rosa faceplants on the bed, still in hysterics. “I need to know more!”

“Your boy requires payment,” Valen teases, giving Rosa a flirtatious wink. “Pay up right now.”

Rosa lifts her head up, her eyelashes fluttering as she wraps her arms around Valen's neck. “Good timing,” she teases back. “The queen demands more affection from her favorite knight.”

Valen and Rosa begin to passionately kiss. Gengar and Gardevoir exit their trainer’s room to give Rosa and him privacy. As they're about to walk out of sight, the two Pokémon happily look at each other, exchanging a hi-five. Gardevoir and Gengar look back at Valen and Rosa, feeling content with Valen’s progress as the former shuts the door.

Valen places his left hand on the back of Rosa's head, running his hand through her long hair. He places his right hand on Rosa's back, thinking, “Why does Rosa with her hair down make me shy, but making out with Rosa when she’s got her down doesn’t? I make no sense.”

Valen feels at ease as Rosa and him press their lips together, with Valen gently stroking Rosa's hair with his fingers.

 
Last edited:

BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
Chapter 23: Give it Up, Cuz Now I'm Back

Within Angel City International Airport, Gladion slouches as he gazes around the ocean of seats. He hears a woman's voice over the intercom, causing him to roll his eyes.

"How many times is she going to call that guy's name?"

Gladion rubs the top of his blond hair with his right hand, scowling over the fact that his internal thoughts are being constantly interrupted. Various noises, such as the sounds of loud children behind him, the booming flight announcements over the intercom, and luggage wheels rolling as people walk around the airport, keep interrupting his brooding session.

"I'm baaaaack, Gladion!" May announces, two large drinks being gripped within each hand.

Gladion snaps himself back into focus. He stands up, lifting up his backpack and strapping it onto his back.

May smiles as she hands Gladion one of the drinks. "Here you goooo!"

"Thanks." Gladion smiles back, taking a few sips. Then, the two of them began walking away from the seating area.

"I thought I'd come to Calvana with my sister, but here I am with you." Gladion cackles. "Lillie wanted to come, but she's busy with running the Aether Foundation."

"We both want to see the same people, plus I want to meet this Valen guy!" May's eyes light up. "He's such a mystery! Most of us only know his name! That means we get to go on mystery solving adventure! I also heard that he's a history buff! Maybe he knows where to find cool treasures!"

"He's an old friend of mine," Gladion states, sporting a faint smirk. "I look forward to the two of us roasting Silver again."

"I can't wait to see what kind of Pokémon he's got!"

"I'm pretty sure we've already told you what Pokémon's he got."

"It's not the same as seeing his Pokémon in person!" May's eyes sparkle. "Oh, I remember being told that he managed to tame a Salamence!"

"Can confirm."

"Salamence, Garchomp, Hydreigon, Tyranitar, and Gyarados are just five of the Pokémon who are infamously difficult to train!"

"May, I have a Gyarados."

"If he tamed a Salamence, then that means Valen's got to be one of the best in this entire city!"

"May-"

"That means we've got all five in the circle, plus Aggron, Aerodactyl, Houndoom-"

"May, we're all been trainers for years." Gladion rolls his eyes, coming to a halt.

At first, the massive conglomerate of locals and tourists within the walkway causes May to overlook that Gladion's stopped walking.

A quick glance behind causes May to comes to a halt herself, twirling to face Gladion. She dashes towards him. "Sorry, I'm just sooo excited that I went on and on!" She giggles. "First, we're going to explore! Then, we'll meet the squad!"

"Lead the way."

As the late morning beams over Valen's house, Rosa's marching towards the master bedroom with her arms folded.

Rosa's not in a happy mood, as evident by her pouting face. She's been hanging out with the squad of girls, but Valen's not off the hook like he seems to think. Now that she's living in this house, she's going to make sure that Valen follows a healthy routine. Her first task is to get his butt out of bed.

Rosa sees that Valen's door is open, and she doesn't bother knocking. She grits her teeth as she flings open the door, being careful not to damage the door or the walls. As she expected, Valen's butt is firmly planted on his bed as he reads a book. She loves the fact that he's an avid reader, but she'll no longer allow behaviors that she's deemed bad for his well-being.

"Valentinus Sebastian Francois Barsotti, get your lazy ass out of bed!" Rosa narrows her eyes at her unfazed boyfriend as she approaches him.

Valen glances to his left, sporting a devious smirk. "But Rooooosa, I have a boo-boo!"

"This is for your own good!"

"Help, I forgot to pack clean underwear!" Valen snickers, returning his attention to his book on the Kalosian Enlightenment.

"Why're you such a troll?!"

"Why're you so hot?!"

Rosa's eyes widen as she jumps back a few feet. "H-Hey, that's not fair!" She yelps. "Y-You can't use my weakness to get out of trouble!"

"It's the truth." Valen smirks. "You're a walking Sunny Day."

"Hmph, f-fine! Y-you win!" Rosa blushes, folding her arms as she looks away from Valen. She rolls her eyes when she hears Gengar's laughter coming from another room.

"I'm not sleeping, so what's the problem?"

Rosa walks closer to Valen, sporting an adoring smile as she begins to caress Valen's left cheek with her right hand. Rosa uses her left hand to tenderly grasp Valen's left hand. "I'd like it if you'd read while sitting at your desk, or sitting downstairs. I'm saying this for you own good, sweetie."

Valen briefly glances at his room's mahogany desk and chair, located left of his bookshelf. "You're a real sweetheart, cinnamon bun." Valen smiles as he pats Rosa on her head. "However, you don't have to worry like this."

"I'm trying." Rosa kisses Valen on the lips. "You know how nurturing I am, and you've been through a lot."

"There must be something that I can do to help," Valen comments. "It's not good to be so worried either."

"Well, I'd really like to hang out with you today."

"...Sure, I'll tag along."

Rosa's eyes light up as she lets out a happy gasp. "Yaaaaaaay!"

Then, Rosa's mouth curves into a coy smile. "The queen commands her handsome knight to lift her up with those big muscles of his."

"As you wish." Valen gets off his bed, wrapping his arms around Rosa's waist.

Valen hoists Rosa upwards, noting, "Huh, I didn't get nervous this time."

Tee-hee, you're right!" Rosa broadly grins. Yaaaaay, Valey did it!"

Rosa and Valen share a laugh. Rosa gives Valen an adoring smile, stating, "The other reason I want you to come with me is so that you can get used to it."

"Sure." Valen nods. "I know you mean well for me."

"I'm the queen, so I'm picking the place, you got that?" Rosa smirks. "Everyone's got to listen to me, including you."

"What if I don't listen to you?" Valen teases. "What you gonna do, huh? Gonna bombard me with kisses? Gonna relentlessly cuddle up with me? Gonna mercilessly hug me?"

"Shut up, you idiot." Rosa bops Valen on the forehead. "I'm the queen."

"You gotta tell me what you'll do if I disobey." Valen bops Rosa back.

"Hey, don't copy me!" Rosa bops Valen again.

"Hey, don't copy me!" Valen bops Rosa twice. He continues to lift Rosa as he sits down on his bed.

"Stop it!" Rosa bops Valen twice.

"Stop it!" Valen bops Rosa three times.

"Grrr, feel my power!" Rosa bops Valen three times.

"I'll never surrender!" Valen bops Rosa four times.

"Tee-hee, this rivalry isn't over!"

"I'll fight you anytime and anywhere."

"Oooh, I need to ask you a question!"

"Alright, ask."

"What if a magic trick turned my hair buns into doughnuts?!" Rosa's eyes sparkle like the emerald attached to her diamond-line necklace.

"What." Valen's voice emits a deadpan tone.

"Imagine if I could use magic to turn my hair buns into doughnuts!" Rosa places her palms just under her chin. "We would have endless doughnuts!"

"Uh-"

"Magic magic, turn hair buns into doughnuts!" Rosa chants, closing her eyes as she sports a winsome smile. "Magic magic, turn my hair buns into doughnuts! "Magic magic, turn Rosa's hair buns into doughnuts! Come on, magic!"

Valen shrugs his shoulders. "Crazy, but adorable."

"Nooooooo, it didn't work!" Rosa cries out. "Valeeeeeey, the magic's being a meanie to Rosa!"

"What do you expect me to do about it?"

"I don't knooooow!" Rosa shuts her eyes. "Just dooooo something!"

"Errr-" Valen wraps his arms around Rosa's waist again. "Um...better?"

"Tee-hee, much better!"

"Cool."

Rosa's eyes glitter when she spots a blue pen on Valen's desk.

"Oooh, what if magic can make this pen red!" Rosa darts to the desk, swiping the pen and holding it out in front of her. "Rosa must focus!"

Rosa eagerly stares at the pen. "The color of the pen is-"

"Blue."

"Tee-hee, you're funny!" Rosa exclaims, sporting a playful grin. "The color of this pen is-"

"Blue."

Rosa lets out an angry groan, narrowing her eyebrows downwards as she holds the the pen up above her head. "The color of the pen that I'm holding in my hand is-"

"Royal Blue."

"Noooooooooo, one magic trick and I can't do it!" Rosa pouts.

Seconds later, Rosa's mouth curves into an enthusiastic grin. "Ooooh, I'll write it! Tee-hee, this will work for sure!" She rapidly looks around the room, trying to see if Valen's got any paper lying around. She quickly realizes that Valen's got a stack of paper on his desk. "Valeeeey, can I use a piece of papeeeeer?"

"You don't need to ask, but-"

"Yay! Thanks!" Rosa dashes to Valen's desk, grabbing a sheet a paper. She can't sit still as she sits in the mahogany chair, proceeding to write 'turn red' over and over again.

"I don't think-"

"Turn red!" Rosa barks at the pen as she scribbles all over the paper. "Turn red or Rosa will squish you! I said turn red! Rosa mad! Rosa smash!"

"This is why I don't keep beer in the fridge anymore." Valen fixates a perplexed gaze at Rosa.

"I'm too cuteeeee!"

Valen smiles, informing, "By the way, I'm gonna follow your advice about my job."

Rosa gasps, rapidly turning her head as her mouth falls open. "You mean...you're-"

"Within the next few days, I'll be retiring from Interpol," Valen informs.

Rosa slightly trembles, having gone completely silent. Valen finally understands that he's got to move on and leave these tasks to those who're better suited for them. Not only that, Valen's trying his best to change. Rosa can't help but whimper—The real Valen's finally taken back control from the hardened shell. Nevertheless, Rosa wondered if the real Valen ever left when it came to her. If he'd fully changed, would he still engage in the teasing matches they had over the phone? Would he still be showing joy around her? Would he still take the time to look for her in Old Downtown?

Valen decides to break the silence, admitting, "It's time that I accepted that I'm not suited for this job."

"...You finally understand it now, Valey."

"I wanna go down another road with my girlfriend and ask of my friends." Valen closes his eyes, his mouth curving into a soft smile. "I was wrong."

"I'm so proud of you, sweetie."

Valen gets up, sauntering towards the door while still holding his book. "While I was trying to have some fun, I'll try to get out of bed more often." Valen grins as he walks out of the room.

"More importantly, Team Skull's Valen is ready to cause more mayhem! Step right up to get a beat down! I better-"

Valen's eyes widen when Rosa runs up behind him, wrapping her arms around his mid-section. This powerful sensation of soothing flows within him like an ocean current.

"Welcome back, Valey." Rosa smiles, tears streaming down her cheeks.

"If I were you, I'd be concerned."

"Ooooh, you've been a baaaad booooy again."

"There's no way you're gonna win!" Valen smirks. "Betcha didn't count on my return!"

"Actually, I did." Rosa bops Valen on the back of his head. "You better join our group chats again, or I'm gonna be maaaad."

"You think you can control Team Skull's Valen?" Valen laughs. "Give it up, cuz now I'm back."

Within the living room, Valen's Luxray slowly moves his from side to side, making sure the pathway to the kitchen's clear. Luxray smirks when he realizes that Valen, Rosa, his teammates, and Rosa's Pokémon are nowhere in sight. Luxray creeps along the floor, taking a few steps before rapidly turning his head. Luxray chuckles over the fact that the coast's still clear.

Luxray imagines what the humans call dramatic music playing in the background as he makes a dash for the kitchen. Luxray uses his paws to open several drawers. Luxray grins when he finds what he's looking for. The sound of crinkling plastic interrupts the quiet atmosphere as Luxray grabs his favorite snack.

Feeling triumphant, Luxray closes the cabinet, clenching a bag of cheese puffs with his teeth. Luxray scurries off, only to come to a sudden halt when Gardevoir appears within sight. Luxray shrieks, rapidly turning his head from side to side in a panic. The feline darts into the dining room, desperately looking for a place to hide the cheese puffs before Gardevoir sees them.

Just as he enters the dining room, Valen's Gardevoir uses Teleport to appear directly in front of Luxray. She folds her arms, bearing down an unamused glare at him. Gardevoir lets out an eerie, low-pitched cry, reminding Luxray that he needs to control his cheese puffs cravings. Otherwise, she's going to show the other humans his baby pictures.

Gardevoir's mouth curves into a witch-like grin, cackling that the first photos she shows the humans will be Valen feeding his baby Shinx through a milk bottle, followed by phots of the numerous times that Shinx wanted belly rubs from Valen. Luxray sweats as he envisions Rosa and the other humans trying to pet him and give him belly rubs.

The mental image of being treated like he's still a Shinx kitten causes Luxray to shriek so loudly that Valen, Rosa, his four teammates, and Rosa's Pokémon hear it. Salamence, Typhlosion, Golisopod, and all six of Rosa's Pokémon are relaxing in the backyard. All of them move towards their left, knowing that there's a large area on that side which the humans call a porch, or piazza in the case of Valen. The Pokemon peer into the living room via the large, rectangular windows, or through the wooden door's window.

As a laughing Gengar materializes from the ceiling to see this situation for himself, Valen saunters down the stairs.

"Luxray, I-"

Valen cuts himself off when he sees Rosa exiting the downstairs bathroom, grinning as her dazzling hair flows downwards. As Rosa approaches him, Valen's face reddens as he pokes two fingers together.

"H-Hello, R-R-Rosa...um...I see that y-your hair's d-do-down again."

"Yep, I'm going out with my hair down!" Rosa lets out a faint giggle as she twirls around, her hair swaying from side to side. "I told you that I love this look!"

Luxray sees that his trainer's distracted, causing him to feel relief for a brief movement. A smirking Gardevoir reminds Luxray that she's still present, closing her eyes as she wags a finger at him. Luxray hisses that he's not a cute kitten anymore—he's a proud, powerful, and magnificent feline. In response, Gardevoir reveals that she's concealing the baby pictures under her flowing gown. Luxray glances at Gardevoir, then glances at the cheese puffs, and repeats this several times.

However, Luxray still refuses to let go of the cheese puffs. Luxray dashes away, and Gardevoir gives chase. Gengar decides to tag along to see the outcome.

Just when Valen thought this couldn't get any more awkward for him, Rosa's eyes are drawn to his hair. "W-Woah, you actually groomed your hair?!" She exclaims, causing him to faintly yelp. She keenly eyes his black hair. Not only does his hair looks less disheveled and messy, but it's been slicked backwards.

Rosa darts closer to Valen, wondering what else he's done to present himself better. She takes a whiff, stating, "Valey put on cologne too!" She gives him a flirtatious smile and wink.

Valen attempts to look in Rosa's direction, but rapidly turns his head away from her. "Um...well...I've g-go-got to p-pre-present myself better for y-yo-you...since y-yo-you're r-really g-go-gorgeous t-to begin with."

"Awww, you're such a gentleman!" Rosa gushes, her eyes sparking as she places her hands on her checks.

Then, Rosa realizes that Valen's wearing a black casual shirt. Rosa eyes glisten with excitement as she scans the giant Team Skull logo plastered on the Guzmani shirt. She loves it when Valen rocks Team Skull attire, even if it's not the tux she knows he's got. Rosa also notes that he's wearing a different Team Skull leather jacket—This one still also a giant logo on the back, but it's also got a pair of smaller logos plastered on the shoulder areas. Rosa loves how good he looks in Guzmani, plus despite her brief lapse in memory on the day Valen met Kris, she finds Team Skull's Valen to be even cooler.

"Fully embracing it again, are weeeeeee?"

"Hell to the yes." Valen grins. "There's no real Valen without Team Skull's Valen, and I've gotta prepare myself for the big arrival."

"Oooh, what's the big arrival?"

"Team Skull's gonna be moving their main headquarters to Angel City," Valen informs. "Guzma and Plumeria are currently looking for residences up in Malibu Town. No word from Gladion, but he'll turn up eventually."

"Yaaaay, the gang's getting back together!"

As Rosa gushes, Valen thinks about how Guzma did have a good father figure come into his life. His mom's second husband was and is Carlos Armani, a renowned Pokémon Trainer who was once the champ of the Apuliano region. He helped his stepson get Team Skull Entertainment and Guzmani up and running.

"Wake up, Valeeeey!" Rosa bops Valen on his forehead.

Sporting a broad smile, Valen wraps his arms around Rosa's waist and spins her around. Valen slightly lifts up Rosa's top and begins tickling her.

"Valen used Tickle!"

"Nooooooooo, n-not this a-again!" Rosa tears up with laughter. Rosa repeatedly bops Valen's hands, only for Valen to spin her around again. Valen places his left hand on Rosa's back and kisses her.

"Oooooh, the queen's pleased with your actions." Rosa giggles, wrapping her arms around Valen's neck.

Rosa and Valen begin to passionately kiss, with Valen running his right hand through Rosa's long hair. Rosa's always enjoyed it whenever Valen stroked or played around with her hair while hugging or kissing. As they gently press their lips together at a relaxed place, Valen takes a seat at the bottom of the staircase, and Rosa kneels on his lap.

Valen still doesn't know why Rosa with her hair down makes him so shy, but this doesn't. Perhaps even shyness goes away whenever Rosa shows him affection, or vice-versa.

As Valen and Rosa walk through the automatic doors, Rosa's eyes glitter as she eyes all of the stores, the merchandise stands, and the large amount of people present. As a mishmash of talking and laughter from seniors, children, teenagers, and so on surrounds both Valen and herself, Rosa takes a whiff of the aromas coming from the nearby food court. Rosa smells food items such as pizza, spicy pasta, curry, garlic bread, and garlic knots. She decides that she'll check out the food court later, or perhaps another time.

Rosa rapidly looks looks around at the stores within her sight, twirling around in the process. She's most intrigued by the comic book and collectibles store that's got a poster on the left window, indicating that action figures of Venusaur, Gyarados, Garchomp, Espeon, and Umbreon are back in stock. The poster also says that building toy sets of Charizard and Tyranitar are back in stock.

"Are you just going to keep gawking at everything or do you remember how to say words?" Valen teases, patting Rosa's head. He earns himself a triple bop to the forehead.

"It's soooo huge!" She begins waving towards as many people as she can, broadly grinning when she gets a wave in return.

"Nah, I won't drop the joke this time." Valen notices that a crowd's already starting to gather around Rosa. He smirks, deciding to use this opportunity to chill on the bench he spotted.

Rosa sports a broad grin when she notices that a crowd's approached her. "Hiiii, everybody!" She twirls around, waving at everyone.

"Hey, it's Rosa Whitley!" A male trainer asks.

"Yeeeep!" Rosa clasps her hands in front of her mouth. "The one and only!"

"She's becoming popular around town!" A female trainer exclaims.

Rosa notices that more people are looking in her direction. Rosa does another twirl, exclaiming, "Tee-hee, everybody gather around! Rosa's here with free smiles for all of you!" Much to Rosa's delight, these people approach her too, among others.

"I can turn this whole mall into one giant party! Right, Valey?"

When Valen doesn't reply, she turns to her left, only to see that Valen's lying down on a bench in the middle of the mall. Rosa's jaw drops as her eyes widen, but the crowd around here quickly distracts her. Rosa's grin returns, noting that Valen picked a spot close to her.

Noting how everyone around her is smiling and having a good time, Valen gives Rosa a proud smile before staring at the mall's ceiling. "Heh, she's so adorable." Valen smirks, about to close his eyes.

Then, Valen's eyes slightly widen when negative thoughts attempt to corrupt his mind yet again. However, things are different this time. "Hmph, go fuck yourself," Valen tells his negative thoughts. Valen closes his eyes, his smirk returning. "Enough is enough—gonna take back what you stole. Give it up, cuz now I'm back."

"That means I can befriend you much quicker!" Kris cheers, standing behind the bench as she gazes down at Valen.

"...Fine, no nap time." Valen focus his gaze on Kris' short, white jacket and the crimson sweater she's wearing underneath. However, he quickly realizes if he's truly back, he can't be doing this anymore.

Valen makes direct eye contact with Kris, sporting a friendly smile. "Sup, guessing Silver ran off?"

"Finding Silver's such a pain that there should be an award for those who accomplish it," Kris jokes, giggling when she hears Valen laugh.

"We still barely know each other." Valen smiles as he sits up. "Have a seat." Valen realizes that even though she's chatting with a crowd, Rosa heard what he said. Rosa and Valen glance at each other, both sporting adoring smiles.

Kris' mouth curves into a broad grin. "Thank you!" Kris accepts Valen's offer, taking a seat to his left. Kris crosses her legs, asking, "I'm guessing Rosa's here too?"

"Obviously." Valen points in Rosa's direction.

Kris looks in Rosa's direction, immediately going gaga. "Woooow, she's soooo pretty with her hair down!" Kris squeals, her eyes sparkling as she keenly studies her brunette friend's long, flowing hair.

Valen tries his hardest to avoid blushing. "Rosa's already really pretty to begin with...um...she's really cute too."

"Ooooh, is big bad Valen blushing?" Kris giggles, nudging Valen in his mid-section with her right elbow. "Don't worry, I understand! She looks sooooo good with her hair down!"

"Shit, I've been e-ex-exposed!" Valen shrieks. Valen pokes two fingers together. "Um...uh...w-well...I a-agree...she's so g-gor-gorgeous with her h-ha-hair down...eh heh heh heh heh."

"You're really sweet towards her," Kris compliments, patting Valen on his left shoulder. "She told me that rarely dresses up for dates."

Valen takes a deep breath, admitting, "I told her that the goddess of beauty doesn't need to wear formal attire when she's with me." Valen smirks, oozing with pride. "I dressed up more than her just to make her happier—she loves it when I rock a suit or tux. Sunglasses and bowler hat were and are optional."

Kris happily closes her eyes as she clasps her hands in front of her chin. "You're such a gentleman towards her!" She gushes, sporting a warm smile. "Silver could learn from a charming gentleman like you!"

"Mysterious charming gentleman." Valen faintly laughs. "Silver's Team Skull, so he should've seen this coming."

"What did The Scrooge of Johto miss this time?"

"He forgot that Guzma bestowed upon me the title of Mr. Steal Yo' Girl," Valen sports a cocky, lopsided smirk. "Then again, he's probably too busy brooding over some asinine shit to care." Valen snickers when he sees that Kris is trying to contain her laughter.

"You're totally right about him!" Kris bursts out laughing, placing her hands over her face.

"I really should get one of the bowler hats from my closet."

"You also have a discreet sense of men's fashion! I love that!" Kris cheers. "You rock a Team Skull leather jacket well, and that shirt's nice too!"

"I don't wanna be a player no more." Valen shrugs. "Wait, I'm not a player—I just charm a lot."

"I think Rosa forgot to tell me that you're this funny!"

Kris glances towards Rosa, then glances towards Valen. "I can see why she calls you the best she's ever had."

"Rosa had a lotta crooks trying to steal her heart," Valen comments.

"Many guys wanted her, but you were the sweetest one." Kris says, emitting an aura of gratitude. "That's what she told me."

"Not only she's cute and pretty, but she's an amazing person with a fun personality." Valen faintly blushes. "She's always positive and cheery."

"You're also an amazing person." Kris' eyes gleam with appreciation. "Never forget that."

"What about the rest of you?"

"We don't want to date within the circle."

"...Romance's kinda like Flare Blitz." Valen gazes up at the the mall's gray ceiling. "It's powerful and fiery, but it can do a damage to the user and those around him or her."

"That's a smart way of putting it." Kris smiles. "A lover's quarrel or two people fighting over one person could tear the our friendships apart, and that's the last thing we want."

"Speaking of which, I must return the favor." Valen offers Kris a fist bump. "From this moment onward, all of Rosa's friends are automatically my friends."

"Let's become besties!" Kris accepts Valen's fist bump.

"Silver said that you're a fashion and shopping loving girl," Valen says. "There's more to you, isn't there?"

"Of courseeeee!" Kris giggles. "I'm a total geek for architecture!"

"Have you checked out the Little Johto neighborhood?" Valen asks. "The people behind it wanted a district that resembled Feudal Johto. There's also Little Kalos, and that resembles 16th to 18th century Lumiose City."

"Checking out Little Johto and Little Kalos is already a must for me!" Kris gushes.

"You've got good taste."

"I hope to meet Veronica Barsotti, the Pokémon researcher who's also a renowned historian on architecture, art and design!"

Valen sighs while smiling, placing his left hand over his forehead. "Seriously, nobody told you?"

"Ooooh, a surprise!" Kris nudges Valen with her elbow.

Valen fixates a confident gaze on Kris, sporting a lopsided grin as he points to himself. "I call her mom."

"Wooooooooooooow!" Kris' eyes glitter. "What kind of old house did you live in while growing up?! Do you live in a old house now?! How's the interior in both houses?! Tell me, tell me, tell me, tell meeeeee!"

"Well, my childhood home's a-" Valen's eyes widen when he feels arms being wrapped around his mid-section from behind. As a sense of warmth surges within him, Valen feels lips being gently pressed against the top of his head.

"Doctor Rosa's here with your required doses of love and affection. You deserve triple the dosage due to the words you spoke." Rosa rests her head on top of Valen's head, glancing downwards to give him a loving gaze. "How're you feeling, sweetie?"

"Better that I thought," Valen remarks, sporting an affectionate smile. "Also, your hugs are still addictive."

Rosa giggles, stating, "I'm beyond proud of you."

Valen glances behind him, sporting a loving smile. "Sorry Kris, a gorgeous angelic being distracted me by grabbing me from behind," he says, causing Kris to giggle and Rosa to bop him on the top of his head.

"My childhood home's a Neoclassical style building."

"Cooooooooool!" Kris' eyes light up, her grin growing wider.

Valen points behind him towards Rosa, "I live with this marvelous blend of perfection in a Gothic Revival style home." Valen smirks when he hears Rosa's giggling, having earned himself two bops to the top of his head.

"That's soooo awesome!"

"You've got excellent taste in friends, Rosa." Valen smiles. "Kris is ten out of ten all around."

"Rosa, you're soooo right!" Kris gushes. "He's a total sweetheart!"

"Yeeeep, that's my Valeeey!"

"Also, you need to learn to handle the truth."

"You're going to make me blush, you lovable idiot." Rosa kisses Valen on the top of his head.

Rosa gives Valen one more bop then lets go of him. She's noticed that Kris has moved closer to Valen, and she's got a good guess why. She can never thanks her friends enough for the care they've shown him.

"I want to help you too." Kris gently smiles, sweeping Valen into a warm hug. "I'm sorry that you've had to suffer so much."

As he feels the gentle touch of Kris' arms around his neck, a wide-eyed Valen's left speechless. This is the first conversation he's had with Kris, and she's already showing him care and comfort. Valen sports a placid smile, placing his left hand on Kris' back and his right hand on the back of Kris' head. "Thank you...I really was wrong."

"We always look out for each other." Kris tenderly smiles. "The two of us will always be friends."

"I believe you." Valen smiles, letting go of Kris and vice versa. "You guys aren't ex-military like I am, but your loyalty to each other's just as strong."

Out of the corner of his eye, Valen notices a very elderly man, likely in his late eighties or early nineties. The elderly man's stopped to give him a military salute. Valen smiles at the elderly man, performing a military salute of his own.

As the elderly man continues on his way, Valen remembers his great-grandfather. He recalls that the elderly ex-general showed up in person when he entered the Calvana Conference at the age of seventeen. He was one hundred four years old. This man was also there for his great-grandson eighteenth birthday, but passed away fifteen days later. Valen vividly remembers one of the last things his great-grandfather said to him: "Don't surrender when a situation becomes rough."

"Rosa once mentioned you two have traveled to other regions," Kris comments, snapping Valen back into focus. "Which ones?"

Rosa doesn't interject, deciding to let Valen answer. Rosa glances at Valen, sporting a proud smile.

"Aside from this region and Unova, we went to Kalos, Alola, North Unova, East Unova, Venteux, Five Lakes, Concorda, and Utqiaska together," Valen answers. "There may've been more."

Kris' jaw drops at the mention of the Utqiaska region. "You went to the Arctic?!"

"Not all of that region above the Arctic Circle," Rosa counters.

Kris recalls the time Silver and her went to the Chelyagrad region. Silver tagged along to witness a ongoing clash between an Articuno and a Galarian Articuno. In typical Silver fashion, he made no mention to her that he was going to venture past the Arctic Circle. Kris ended up having to say back within Moskvaburg because she sure as heck wasn't venturing into the Arctic in below zero weather.

Valen and Rosa exchange a quick glance, nodding as they sport faint smirks. "We did venture past the Arctic Circle in the winter."

"We went all the way to the North Pole, and we saw nothing but frozen ocean!"

Kris grabs her upper arms with the opposite hands, envisioning the brutal blizzards of the Arctic regions. Kris imagines herself shivering while trekking through the barren, frozen tundras of Utqiaska, plus the neighboring regions of Yakutgrad and Inuvikon. Then, Kris envisions the same scene, except in the Antarctic regions this time. What if Silver dragged her to South Laurieta Island or Charles II Island? Both have a combined population of three hundred people. What if she gets dragged to the Antark region, home of the South Pole?

Kris' mental imagery's cut short when Valen and Rosa howl with laughter.

"We never went that far north!"

"Tee-hee. she actually believed that we went to the North Pole!"

Kris pouts, puffing her cheeks out. "I bet Silver told you that."

Then, Kris' mouth curves into triumphant smile. She was told that the Galarian Articuno knocked out five of Silver's Pokémon with a single Freezing Glare, while the "normal" Articuno made quick work of Silver's Zoroark via Ice Beam. Silver wanted to catch one or both of these birds, but he failed miserably.

"Rosa wore the most adorable Christmas outfit while we were in the first four regions I mentioned." Valen blushes, poking two fingers together. "Of course, she later wore it in her home region as well."

Rosa wraps her arms around Valen's mid-section, causing to wrap his arms around his waist. Rosa and Valen exchange a kiss.

Kris' eyes sparkle at the sight of Valen and Rosa sharing a moment together.

Then, Kris remembers something she said to Silver the other day. "Rosa, why don't we have a battle?"

"Go easy, cuz her skills have gotten rusty," Valen jokes.

"Will do, Valen!" Kris giggles.

"Rosa was too focused on reading me bedtime stories." Valen earns himself two bops on the top of his head. "My favorite was The Torkoal and the Lopunny."

"Shut up, you lovable idiot." Rosa bops Valen on his upper chest.

"Um, sorry to change the subject, but I just found Silver." Kris points to her northeast, having spotted Silver, Serena, and Hilda causing a peculiar commotion outside. Due to the way this portion of the mall's set up, it's enabled Serena and Hilda to prevent Silver from walking past the high-end men's clothing store store they're standing in front of.

"Outta my way, Blabbermouth Two and Blabbermouth Four." Silver scowls.

"You're going to try on clothes in this store and you'll like it." Serena places her hands on her hips, bearing down on Silver with a bossy glare. "Your fashion sense's always been horrendous, King Dumb-Dumb."

"Serena promised to buy me Injustice: Destiny Deoxys on the day of release." Hilda folds her arms, tapping her right foot. "A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do."

Valen and Rosa blink in confusion, then turn to look at each other. "Let's see if we can get anything on the list," Valen suggests. "After the battle, of course."

"I'll check with Melanie and Hilda to see what they got!"

"Speaking of which-" Valen cuts himself off as he stares directly at Hilda. "Hilda, it's your boy! Come chill with me and watch a battle!"

Hilda perks up upon hearing Valen's voice. "Heeeeey, it's my bestie!" She rapidly turns her whole body around to face Valen, her eyes glistening as she sports a broad grin. "Forget this nonsense!" She dashes towards Valen, Rosa, and Kris.

"Valen called out to Hilda instead of me." Serena pouts, folding her arms. "Hmph, the nerve of you people."

Then, Serena lets out a jealous gasp, placing her right hand over her gaping mouth. She can't believe the absolutely horrendous sight unfolding right in front of her wide eyes—Hilda's swept Valen into a warm hug. Serena lets out another gasp as she watches Valen hugging Hilda back.

"This is sooooo unfair!" Serena closes her eyes. "Hilda took my hug!"

Hilda lets go of Valen and vice versa, and Hilda spins around to face Serena. "You snooze, you lose." She laughs. "Also, you still owe me that video game."

"Blah blah blah blah, the native language of hug stealing Hilda." Serena turns her head away from everyone. Hmph, the Unovan fan club's soooo lame."

"You're delusional, but's that to be expected from the Kalosian fan club." Hilda gives Serena a dismissive hand gesture.

Serena rapidly spins around, baring her teeth as she narrows her eyes at Hilda. "Come at me! Come at me, girl!" She slams her left fist into her right palm. "You're a Patrat! I'm a Pangoro!"

Hilda strides closer to Serena, sporting a devious grin as she clasps her hands behind her back. "That hug was amazing. Sucks that you're too slow." She tauntingly whispers into Serena's right ear.

"Maybe Rosa will give her blessing for The Black Reaper to give his former manager-" Hilda's devious grin becomes wider when Serena gasps.

"A. long. kiss." Hilda hysterically laughs as Serena lets out a high-pitched scream.

"I thought all of you were trying to avoid this," Valen tells Kris.

Kris folds her arms, joking, "We'll always be friends, but all bets are off here."

"You brought this upon yourself." Rosa bops Valen on his nose, causing Valen to wrap arm around her waist and pull her as close to him as possible.

"Hold up, you don't wanna fight. I can still troll while I'm being polite."

Valen earns himself another nose bop from Rosa. He responds by bopping Rosa on her nose, causing both Rosa and Kris to giggle.

"Yep, the real Valen's definitely taken back control." Rosa wraps her arms around Valen's mid-section as she basks in his warm embrace.

Silver uses this moment as his chance to escape. "Sorry, but I need to ditch this loony," he tells Valen as he begins to stroll off.

"Yebat'!" Serena frantically spins around. "Get your tasteless ass back here!" Her eyes bulge out as she chases after Silver.

"Leave me alone, Blabbermouth Four."

Serena runs ahead of Silver, blocking his path. "Serena Yvette Verochka Nikolaev isn't a blabbermouth," she scolds, folding her arms.

"Annoying halfwit."

"Cyka mu'dak."

"...Serena still uses swear words from the Chelyagrad and Yakutgrad regions?" Kris blinks.

"Yep," Rosa and Valen reply.

Silver comes to a sudden halt, looking back at Valen with a wide-eyed expression. "Wait a minute, you've already befriended Kris?!"

"Betcha didn't count on my return."

"That's soooooo awesome, Valen!" Serena gushes. "Forget Silver and his horrendous sense of style, cuz I wanna hang out with yoooou!"

"Valen, you befriended Kris quicker than you befriended me," Silver points out. Did you two know each other already or something?"

"I told you that he'd like me more!" Kris giggles.

"Humph, he actually did me a favor," Silver murmurs, sporting a faint smirk.

Silver continues walking off, cackling over the fact that he's escaped Serena yet again. However, he's a bit curious about this battle that Valen mentioned.

Serena's attention quickly turns to the fact that Rosa's got her hair down. Her eyes glisten with excitement as she keenly eyes the brunettes' long, flowing hair. "Woooooow Rosa, you need to let your hair down more often!" Serena gushes.

"I agree with Serena!" Kris exclaims.

"I agree with Serena and Kris!" Hilda clasps her hands next to her left check.

All four girls look directly at Valen, causing him to become bashful yet again.

Valen rapidly turns his head away as his face reddens. "W-What they s-said...eh heh heh heh." Valen pokes two fingers together.

Valen's led the girls towards the outskirts of the mall, as there's a medium-sized, reinforced concrete battle arena west of the large structure.

Hilda, Serena, and Valen stand on the outskirts, while Rosa and Kris have already taken their positions on opposite sides of the arena.

Kris gazes downwards, noting the cracks, dings, and other signs of damage from years of use. Kris wonders how long this arena's been here—one of the first things she noticed about the area's that the structures were finished in the peculiar and monochrome style of Brutalist architecture.

Rosa glances at Valen, her eyes gleaming with euphoria. She'll prove that he's not a distraction to her. She'll prove to him that he can't get in the way of her goal, not that he wants to. She knows that Valen would never hurt her intentionally, and consistently being absent would hurt her.

"Hey Rosa, don't go crying to Valen when you lose!" Kris grins, causing Rosa to erupt in laughter.

Rosa narrows her eyes at Kris. "You're crazy if you think you can top Battle Queen Rosa."

"I'm gonna beat you in battle!" Kris points towards Rosa with her left index finger.

"Wake up, it's morning," Valen teases Kris, causing all the girls to laugh.

"You need to wake up, silly." Kris sports a playful smirk. "Rosa can't win everything."

"Hmph, girls want to be me and guys want to be with me." Rosa sports a cocky smirk, running her right hand through her long hair. "Battle Queen Rosa's ready to fight."

"That's my girl." Valen sports a proud smile.

Then, everybody sees that Silver's sauntering towards the arena.

"I changed my mind," Silver admits. He stands to Valen's left, folding his arms. "Let's see which one of them wins."

"It's not the same, Silver the Grinch," Valen jokes, causing the girls to laugh and Silver to groan.

"Rosa's my girlfriend, while you blew all your chances with Kris." Valen's mouth curves into a mischievous grin. "In fact, I have a better chance at finding a wild shiny Metagross than you have at a love life."

Silver rolls his eyes as the girls tear up with laughter, trying their hardest to contain themselves.

"You're on Queen Blabbermouth's side now?"

"Focus on the battle, you ding dong," Valen retorts. "They're both holding Poke Balls now."

"He's still got it." Silver's mouth curves into a devious smirk. "So long, fashion freaks and blabbermouths."

"Let's go, Eelektross!" Rosa throws her Poke Ball in the air to let her Pokémon out, catching the ball as it falls back down. Eelektross lets out a reverberating, static-like screech.

"I'll use Mismagius!" Kris presses the button to call out her Pokémon. Mismagius lets out a blood-curling, witch-like cackle.

As he eyes the Ghost-type. Silver to ponder why she got a bit spooked by Dimitri's Spectrier when she's had this Pokémon for a while.

"Come at me Kris," Rosa taunts, sporting a playful, confident smile.

"With pleasure," Kris replies. "Use Calm Mind!" Mismagius closes her eyes, her body enveloped by a light purplish glow. The glow lasts for a few seconds, then it vanishes.

Mismagius opens her eyes and lets out a banshee-like scream.

"Use Thunderbolt!" Eelektross fires off a powerful bolt of electricity towards Mismagius.

"Counter with Shadow Ball!" A black sphere forms in front of Mismagius' mouth. Mismagius fires off the sphere of energy, which crashes into Thunderbolt. The collision causes a detonation, a medium amount of smoke filling up the arena.

"Ominous Wind!" As the smoke clears, Mismagius launches a purple gust of wind from her mouth. Eelektross is struck in her face, the attack blowing away the remaining smoke at the same time.

"Flamethrower!" Eelektross regains her composure and unleashes a stream of white flames. Before Kris has a chance to order a counter, Mismagius is in her mid-section.

"Let's see if you can stop a second Flamethrower!" Eelektross unleashes another stream of white flames.

"Counter with Double Team!" Mismagius creates numerous copies of herself, causing Flamethrower to miss its mark. As Eelektross ponders which one's the real Mismagius, she hears her trainer laughing.

"Use Discharge!" Eelektross faintly laughs as her body glows blue, firing off a cyclone of electric bolts. The bolts go careening in all directions, vanquishing the copies and dealing damage to Mismagius in one go.

"Shadow Ball again!" A black sphere begins to form in front of Mismagius' mouth, while Kris notes that Rosa's got a cocky smirk plastered over her face. Kris wonders what Rosa's up to, only to sport a wide-eyed expression when she realizes that Rosa can stop Shadow Ball from even being launched.

"Somebody's gotten too close!" Rosa smirks. "Eelektross, use Throat Chop, then follow it up with Crunch!"

Before Shadow Ball can be launched, Eelektross' paw-like hands glow dark yellow, and she slams them into Mismagius' neck. Then, Eelektross sinks her teeth into Mismagius' midsection. Mismagius yelps, closing her eyes.

After several seconds, Eelektross lets Mismagius go and backs away.

"Now, Toxic!"

Eelektross fires off a stream of dark purple liquid. The liquid morphs into an aura that envelops Mismagius, causing the purple ghost to wail as she takes poison damage.

"Aieeeeeeee! I forgot about these moves!" Kris yelps. "Mismagius will be defeated through poison damage if I don't win this soon!"

"Valen says to never let your guard down, and you just did!" Rosa laughs.

"Go! Go! Go! Go, best girl!" Valen cheers.

"Eelektross, use Thunderbolt!" Rosa commands, confidently winking at Valen.

Once more, Eelektross fires off a powerful bolt of electricity. Mismagius is struck in the center of her witch-like hat, and electricity quickly envelops her entire body.

Mismagius lets out another yelp as she reels from these attacks, plus additional damage from her infliction.

"Shadow Ball!"

A black sphere forms in front of Mismagius' mouth, and she fires it off.

"Have a taste of your own medicine!" Rosa boisterously laughs. "Eelektross, counter with Double Team!"

Eelektross creates numerous copies of herself, resulting in Shadow Ball hitting one of the copies instead.

"Right back at you!" Kris confidently grins. "Blow em away with Psychic, then follow it up with Hyper Voice!"

Mismagius' body glows bright red, and she launches a powerful wave of bright red energy towards Eelektross, sending her flying backwards as all the copies of her vanish.

As Eelektross staggers, Mismagius lets out a eerie cry, sending a flurry of blue circles careening towards Eelektross. Eelektross is struck in her face, causing her to stagger even more.

"Now, hit em with Dark Pulse!"

The trio of red. elliptical, spheres under Mismagius' jaw eerily glow, a red circle forming in front of them. Mismagius launches a stream of glowing, red circles towards Eelektross. Eelektross is struck in the face again.

"You can do it! Use Crunch!" Eelektross is able to pull herself together, lunging towards Mismagius. Once again, Eelektross sinks her teeth into Mismagius' midsection, backing away as quickly as she can as Mismagius staggers from the attack.

"Come on, Mismagius!" Kris encourages. "Come on!"

"The queen's issued her decree upon her opponent." Rosa folds her arms, closing her eyes as she sports a triumphant grin. "Eelektross, use Wild Charge."

Eelektross' long, slender body becomes encircled by yellow electrically. The circles explode into a massive jumble of electric bolts. Eelektross lets out a booming, static-like cry as she lunges towards Mismagius, slamming into her and sending her flying behind Kris.

As Eelektross' staggers due to recoil damage, Mismagius falls to the ground defeated.

"I won! I won!" Rosa grins. "Good work, Eelektross!" Eelektross happily closes her eyes as her trainer recalls her.

"Good job," Kris compliments her Mismagius as she recalls her. Kris glances towards Valen, musing. "Of course, the real goal's to get him to see his error in judgement."

"Not bad," Silver admits.

"You still think that the Unovan girls can't whoop your ass?" Hilda folds her arms, glancing towards Serena with a mischievous smirk.

Serena runs her left hand through her honey-colored hair. "Hmph, as if you can't top us stylish Kalosian girls."

Serena's eyes slightly widen when she feels Valen's right arm being wrapped around her waist. Serena grins, wrapping her arms around Valen's neck.

"I got my friend hug!"

"Act like a classy Kalosian woman instead of a banshee."

"Fine, I'll play nice for now." Serena sports a sunny smile as Valen lets go of her and vice-versa.

Valen turns his attention towards Rosa, whose giving him a winsome grin. "That's my girl." He rewards Rosa for a job well done by kissing her on the lips.

"If I can become a famous trainer here, then you can reclaim your fame!" Rosa closes her eyes, gently nudging her right fist against Valen's upper chest. "Reclaim your past glory as a trainer, my sweetie!"

"You're my lively and adorable inspiration."

"Tee-hee, Rosa's the life of the party!"

"Even when there isn't a party."

"Silly Valey, Rosa can turn this whole area into a party!"

Later that evening, Valen's gotten a call from Looker regarding his attempt to help Rosa with her past. For Valen, this is an odd feeling. This is the very last investigation he'll ever have anything to do with, because it's time that he moved on from a job that he's mentally unfit for. Interpol kept him on because he's good at what he does, but enough is enough. He wants to move on.

"Specter, there's nothing," Looker tells Valen. "There's not a single shred of evidence in her past that points to her being in Team Rocket. Either she ran away as soon as she could, or it's false."

Rosa's standing next to Valen's open door, remaining just out of his sight. She affectionally smiles with her arms folded. "He's really too much."

"...Maybe it's false because she ran away as soon as she could, thus never actually joining," Valen ponders.

"What's your suggestion?"

"If Interpol's vast resources can't uncover any information, then she'll be fine," Valen replies. "Nevertheless, please keep an eye out for any information."

"Understood."

"However, I'll be turning in my badge soon due to my current situation," Valen informs. "Once I retire, you'll have to present any findings to Anabel."

"Specter, it's been a honor serving alongside you," Looker compliments. "Good luck with what you plan to do after retiring."

"Likewise, and thanks." Afterwards, the call ends.

Valen's mouth curves into a smirk as he glances towards the hallway, having noticed the faintly visible shadow of Rosa's hair buns and ponytails remaining still on his open door. "Hi."

"I should've known that you'd spot me eventually," Rosa admits, walking into the room. "Thanks, Valen." She sniffles, shedding a few tears. "Thanks for everything you've done for me."

"Likewise," Valen replies. "You helped to save my life."

Rosa's eyes widen, her tears rapidly increasing. It hadn't hit her until now, but those words are true. She helped to save a war veteran's life. She helped to save her beloved's life.

Rosa wipes away her tears, determined to battle to her heart's content. She'll go out and have lots of fun again.

Valen gestures Rosa to come closer with his left hand. Rosa darts towards Valen, letting out a faint giggle as she jumps onto his lap. For both Rosa and Valen, there's nothing more that needs to be said. The bright light emitting from Valen's Handel lamp illuminates the adoring smiles the two of them give each other as they stare deeply into each other's eyes.

Rosa wraps her arms around Valen's neck. Valen embraces her back as the two begin passionately kissing. Both feel completely at ease.

Yep, Serena swore in Russian again. She’s got quite a foul mouth. Yebat’ is the F bomb, cyka’s the five letter b word, and mu’dak can either mean asshole(or similar word), or its more vulgar literal meaning.

More OC regions on the fly.

North Unova=Upstate NY
East Unova=Long Island
Concorda=New England
Utqiaska=Alaska (Utqiaġvik=Barrow)
Chelyagrad=Western Russia (Name Combination)
Yakutgrad=Eastern Russia(Name Combination)
Inuvikon=Northwest Canada(Inuvik’s a town in Yukon)
South Laurieta Island=South Orkney Islands. Laurie Island’s a name of one island in this group.
Charles II Island=Peter I Island
Antark=Antarctica
Added a Looker cameo. I don't know if I posted this chapter here after I added the cameo on A03.
 
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BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
Chapter 24: I'm Not Gonna Panic

As the late morning sun shines brightly over the city, Rosa's strolling through a familiar area. This Art Deco commercial district is the same one where she ran into Lars, and was first stalked by unknown men. This time, nothing will scare her. Let that psycho spot her again so she can make him the victim.

It’s been two days since her battle with Kris. She's started to go out on her own more again, feeling confident that both her beloved and her will be okay. It's time for her to focus on her own desires again. She agrees with Valen—he shouldn't be the one to define her. Nobody should define her but herself. She's more than capable of defining and handling herself.

Rosa still wants to become a well known trainer in this region, and it's time to fully get back on track. That’s why she would’ve come to Calvana regardless if he reached out to her or not.

Rosa presses her lips together, tightening her fists. “Brave the darkness, make myself known here. No matter what comes at me, I'll show no fear.”

Rosa’s mouth curves into a confident smile, her eyes gleaming with determination. “I won’t give up! I won’t break down! I’m not gonna panic, panic, panic!” Rosa asserts in a heroic tone. “I refuse to run! I'm here to fight! I'll vanquish meanies with my might! They won't dim this angel's light!”

Rosa continues her stroll, trying to focus on the buildings to keep a certain someone from being the focus of her mind. She regrets that she latched onto him, because they both know she's not that type of person. It wasn’t healthy, but she only did it because she felt the safest around him. She was deeply worried about him as well. Then, Rosa spots a jewelry shop, causing her gaze to wander towards her sparkling necklace. Rosa’s worn this beautiful, diamond-lace necklace every day since it was gifted to her. As her eyes scan the Serperior engravings on both sides of the green emerald attached at the bottom, Rosa realizes that he doesn’t need to occupy her mind. He'll always be with her in her heart. Isn’t that enough space for the lovable idiot? She knows that no matter what time she re-enters the house, he’ll be there to greet her with a hug and kiss. He’ll ask about her day went. He’ll be there, he’ll always be there. That's more than enough for her, so constant thoughts aren't necessary. Furthermore, she gets why he doesn't want to tag along with her for the time being. It's so that she can get used to going out alone again. Rosa prefers company, but she can handle going out by herself.

Rosa eyes all the buildings on her right, recalling their vibrant colors such as bright yellow, blue, red, and orange. Rosa sees the flower shop and bakery that she recalls from last time, plus she also notes the presence of a pizza place. Rosa passes by an ice cream parlor, a coffeehouse, a deli, a bookstore, a farmer's market, an antique shop, and a toy store.

As she resumes walking, Rosa's eyes light up when she spots a large, concrete plaza with walkways attached to it. Rosa lets out a happy gasp and dallies towards the plaza, knowing that she can have lots and lots of Pokémon battles there. Battling's the thing she loves to do more than anything else. She’s Rosa Whitley, a successful and popular trainer. Battle Queen Rosa's a shining star within Unova's pro circuit, and she'll shine just as bright in Calvana. She can't fall behind—she's got to defend her throne from challengers. Calvana's now her new home, so the people here better prepare for her accent to the top.

She's won the Unova Conference twice, and she's won the Pokémon World Tournament twice. She's also conquered Trainer Tower, located in the rather remote Sevii Islands. Battle Subway? Battle Maison? Sinnoh’s Battle Frontier? Pokémon Masters League? Yep, and she’s got the trophies and medals to prove it. She's already achieved a certain level of fame abroad, but this region offers huge potential. The pro circuit's here is closely tied to the multi-trillion dollar entertainment and tourism industry. She can be awesome and bring lots of smiles to many faces.

Rosa notices that a small crowd’s gathered around her. Rosa assumes that they must’ve recognized her, they were drawn towards her awesome personality, or both. Regardless, her mouth curves into a broad grin. “Tee-hee, everybody gather around for your free smiles!” Rosa's eyes narrow when she notices that multiple people are holding Poké Balls.

Rosa smirks, stating, “Don't stop smiling when I defeat all of you, kaaaay? You can't dethrone meeeeee, tee-hee!” Rosa takes out a Poké Balls from her purse. She calls out her Volcarona, who lets out a battle screech.

“Come at me!”

Rosa's standing within the plaza, having attracted a larger crowd of trainers. Rosa's fired up, having been on a win streak since the first battle she took part in within this area. Rosa and her Volcarona are currently battling a female trainer and her Golbat.

“Golbat, Shadow Ball!”

A purple and black sphere forms inside of Golbat's mouth. Golbat launches the sphere towards Volcarona, but neither nor his trainer appear to care.

Since the skies are cloudless, Rosa decides to counter in a big way. “Solar Beam!”

Volcarona uses all six wings to absorb sunlight, and his wings glow translucent red. The light converges into a massive beam that's the size of Volcarona's body. The red beam disintegrates the sphere and slams into Golbat, Golbat crashes to the ground in defeat.

“Woo-hoo, five wins in a rooooow!” Rosa screams, sporting a broad grin.

Then, Rosa notices that a male trainer's stepped up to the plate, having called out a Magmar. She narrows her eyes, eager to get this next battle underway.

It's now early afternoon, and Valen's in his dining room. While they didn't need a reason to be by themselves, Valen wanted to handle things at home so she can go out and have as much fun as she wants. Valen's checking bags filled with the items that Hilda, Melanie, Rosa, and himself have gathered within the last few days, all of which are resting on Valen's large walnut table. These bags are filled with various items that Rosa likes. Among what's been gathered are her favorite movies, her favorite mystery novels, her favorite plays, her favorite drinks, and more.

Hilda's come over to his house, both to help him out and to hang out. She stands next to Valen, smiling as she checks her text messages. May's texted her that Gladion and her arrived two days ago, and will meet up with everyone after they do their own exploration.

Hilda decides that it's time to reconcile with Valen. She taps Valen on the back of the head, causing him to snap back into focus. Valen smiles, having wanted the two of them to be alone for reconciliation.

“Alright, most of the items on the list have been obtained,” Valen observes, giving Hilda a grateful smile. “Thanks for the help.”

“It’s not a problem, Val-Val!” Hilda grins.

Then, Hilda's grin turns into a soft smile. “Come here, you giant Lillipup.” She wraps her arms around Valen's neck, shedding a few tears.

“I've missed you, Val-Val.”

“Deep down, I missed you too.” Valen places his right hand on Hilda's back, running his left hand through her hair.

"Your hugs....so relaxing....just like the old days," Hilda remembers, her voice quavering.

"Glad to hear that." Valen faintly smiles.

"I tried to ignore some memories....that was a mistake....sorry."

“Sorry....sorry, Hilda,” Valen consoles. “I'm sorry for everything.”

“I've long since forgiven you.”

“....I miss those days, Hilda.” Valen sighs. “I miss my glory days as a trainer....I want to make a comeback.”

“Live each day to the fullest extent.” Hilda gently smiles, holding Valen even tighter.

"....I feel like I should've quit the military....none of this would've happened if I did."

"....I cried a few times while you were deployed....I was worried that you wouldn't come home."

"I'm sorry that-"

"My goal's to move the agency here, and my dream's to become well known here, both as an agent and trainer," Hilda explains. "However, my wish finally came true."

“Thank you, Hilda...thanks for everything." Valen sheds a few tears.

"Right back at you," Hilda says. "By the way, I've heard that you've had some issues about Rosa lately.”

While he feels the most at ease when Rosa hugs him, the hugs Valen's gotten from Hilda, Melanie, Serena, and Kris have made him feel calmer as well. He feels comfortable opening up to others now.

“Rosa was afraid, so she latched herself onto me,” Valen explains. “She's gotta define herself again.”

“I agree, but don’t you think that you’re too focused on her?” Hilda piques up, stroking his back. “You’re so worried about her that you might be neglecting yourself.”

“Rosa’s more than capable of handing herself, and I feel like a dead weight.” Valen sighs. “I’ll just hold her back.”

“Does Rosa think you’re holding her back?” Hilda questions. “Does Rosa think you’re dead weight?” She notes that he doesn't seem to understand that while Rosa doesn't need him to go out, it doesn't mean that Rosa won't need him at all. They both know that Rosa loves to spend time with him as possible. They both know that she doesn't want to be with anybody else, so what's up with his demeanor?

“The less I'm present and the less she thinks about me, the more she can separate her identity from me,” Valen asserts.

“I think you're going a bit overboard, Val-Val,” Hilda counters. “It's not realistic to expect her to act like that towards her boyfriend.”

“This is for her own good.”

“You know that Rosa's not a loner,” Hilda points out. “She's a people person.”

“She can hang out with Kris or Leaf or anybody else,” Valen retorts. “They aren't as risky as me.”

“There’s no reason for you to do this if she gets it,” Hilda states. “You're going in the opposite direction, which isn't healthy either.”

“....Dammit, I thought the real Valen's back....guess not,” Valen laments, feeling an unrelenting heaviness overcoming him.

Hilda's on point, but he's still worried. What if he does go out with Rosa and she latches herself onto him again? For Valen, it feels like a lose-lose situation. He knows that eventually, Rosa will be hurt by his behavior. It's mostly his fault that she got sidetracked, so why should he tag along? He'll just spoil everything for her again. He ruined her goal by being a mess, and now he risks hurting her. Some boyfriend he is, hence why he's still amazed that Rosa harbors no resentment towards him over what he's done.

“The real Valen's back, and he'll become even better overtime,” Hilda counters. “You need to stop putting yourself down. You're more than just her boyfriend, and you've got far more value than you realize.”

Both Rosa and Hilda have noted that he's starting to acknowledge his strength again, but it's been agonizingly slow. The real Valen's the one who took on Champion Hilbert, knowing that the odds were stacked against him. That didn't stop Valen's Salamence from making Zekrom tired before going down in defeat. The real Valen's the one who took on Champion Cynthia, his Salamence making Cynthia's Garchomp tired before the former was defeated. The Valen that they know is on the Red's level. Rosa and Hilda want that Valen back, not the fake Valen who puts himself down. How can Valen tell Rosa to be herself when he's not following his own advice?

Hilda decides to take action herself, hoping Valen will follow suit. Hilda lets go of Valen and vice-versa. She tilts her head towards the front door. “She texted me where she's located,” she suggests. “I have a score to settle with her.” She sports a confident smirk.

“....Fine, I'll tag along.”

It's not Rosa, it's himself. Rosa trusts him, but he doesn't trust himself. Rosa's never blamed him, but he's the one beating himself up. Rosa definitely wants to hang out with him more, but won't he just be a burden to her again? There's no point in sugarcoating it—Rosa's got far more confidence overall.

Rosa handled your absence better than both Serena and I,” Hilda says. “Never forgot what an amazing woman you're with.”

“I'm honored to be her man.” Valen faintly smiles.

Regardless of how he feels, Valen wants to do something nice for her, and he thinks he knows just what to do.

Rosa's stumbled upon a massive public arena within Angel City, and this district happens to be two hours away from Valen's childhood home. Sunset Studios is also close by, as noted by a large road sign.

As the sounds of footsteps, chatter, and laughter surround her, Rosa's most focused on the massive structure proudly towering before her. Rosa sports a jubliant smile as she rapidly sways from side to side, noting how old and cool this entire area is. Rosa overhears an older man and an older woman discussing that the buildings in this district is finished in the Palladian style of architecture. Rosa doesn't know much about the various styles, but she knows two people that do. In any case, Rosa loves how this arena looks more like an old palace or government building than a public building for trainers to have fun and awesome battles in.

The sight of a Pidgeot and a Staraptor duking it out above the arena's right wing shows that the multiple fields are roofless, while the rest of the arena is enclosed. Rosa notes that the pillars that decorate the towering structure's front side look like the pillars that Valen's childhood home's got on its front side. She wonders if it's also got pillars on the back. Then, she notes that the left and right buildings attached are much shorter, but that's partly due towards the short pyramid and dome in the center of the main building's room. Rosa's gaze wanders upwards to the dome, eyeing its coned top.

Rosa's train of thought's interrupted when her phone dings. Rosa takes her phone out of her pink purse and sees that Valen's sent her a text message. Upon reading his message, Rosa lets out a happy gasp as her eyes gleam with joy. “He's proud of me! He’s proud of me! He’s proud of me! He’s proud of me!” Rosa screams in elation, jumping up and down in excitement. “Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!”

Rosa becomes quieter, sporting a smug smile. She thinks that it'd be audacious if he wasn't proud to be the knight of an awesome queen like her.

Then, Rosa receives a text message from May. May's letting her know that Gladion and her will see everyone soon, as they're here in the region. Rosa grins, replying with smile emojis. May replies by texting Rosa to kick butt. Rosa replies by telling May that of course she's going to kick butt.

Rosa dallies through the automatic doors, eagerly looking around at the crowd. Rosa's eyes sparkle when she sees how many trainers have Pokémon out. Furthermore, she likes how the arena has its own food court, having noticed it by the smell of various foods such as pizza and garlic bread. This arena's also got a bunch of shops , meaning that she's got to bring Kris and Serena here at some point.

However, Rosa's here to battle, so she dallies straight ahead to the center field. “Hiiii, everybody!” She sports an ear-to-ear grin, waving to everybody. “Battle Queen Rosa's in the house!” She smirks upon seeing the numerous trainers that've taken note of her presence. “I’m going to become super duper well known in this region!”

Right before she's about to enter the field via another set of automatic doors, Rosa twirls around to face the growing crowd of trainers that've taken note of her. “I dare all of you to come at me! I'll defeat all of you!”

Rosa gestures everyone to come get her with her left index finger. “The queen's born to be a winner, she's born to be a champion, and she's born to be the very best!”

“I’m not that familiar with her, but I like her confidence,” a female trainer with a Incineroar comments.

“Wow, she’s both cocky and cute!” A male trainer with a Wigglytuff exclaims.

“Wake up bud—there's no way a girl like this isn't already taken,” a male trainer with a Clefable chastises.

“Forget about my boyfriend—you're dealing with Battle Queen Rosa!” Rosa asserts. She folds her arms, her mouth curving into a cocky, lopsided grin. “I won’t ease up! I won’t back down! I’m not gonna panic, panic, panic!”

Rosa takes out a Poké Balls from her purse, musing, “I’m not gonna panic!” She presses the button on the ball to let her Serperior out.

Serperior glares at her competition, letting out a prideful battle cry.

A large crowd of local trainers have gathered to watch Rosa's battling, and she's on a win streak. Currently, her Serperior's battling the Primeape she saw in the lobby.

“Serperior, use Energy Ball!” A green orb of energy forms in front of Serperior's mouth. Serperior launches the orb towards the opponent's Primeape. Primeape attempts to lunge towards Serperior in a fit of rage, but is struck in the face and falls to the ground in defeat.

“I'm on fire today That's my my fifteenth win!” Rosa's eyes sparkle as she clasps her hands next to her left cheek. “Go, go, go Rosa! It's your birthday! We're gonna party like it's your birthday, even though it's not your birthday!”

As she recalls her Serperior, she notices that the other trainers have become hesitant to battle her. They better get used to it, as she’s the rising queen of this region.

“Um, maybe I'll sit this one out!” A male trainer exclaims.

“Uh...me too!” A female trainer adds.

“Me three!” A second male trainer yelps.

"Look, it's Hilda White!" A second female trainer shouts. "BW Agency's president!"

"Hilda's here?" Rosa blinks.

Hilda maneuvers her way through the chattering crowd, faintly laughing as Valen's not even in sight. However, it's all part of the plan.

“Heeey, Rosa!” Hilda calls out, sporting a broad smile.

A grinning Rosa twirls around to greet her friend. “Hiiii, Hilda!”

“You've got a surprise visitor.” Hilda smirks, folding her arms. “He's going to see me take the title of queen.”

“Oh, you wanna play that game, Expert Noob Hilda?” Rosa asks, sporting a cocky smile. “I've won twenty five battles within the last two days.”

“Hahahaha, I've won thirty two battles within the last three days, you dolt!” Hilda boisterously laughs, waving her hand dismissively.

“I challenge you to a single three versus three.” Rosa uses her left index figure to gesture towards Hilda. “C'mon, Expert Noob Hilda.”

“Hahahaha, I'm sooooo totally gonna mop the floor with you!” Hilda boisterously laughs.

“Hilda, you won't win,” Valen retorts, catching Rosa's attention. “Or maybe you will, because a certain somebody’s been focusing too much on me.”

”No way-“ Rosa cuts herself off, turning around to see her surprise guest. He's leaning on the wall with his arms folded, acting all cool and mysterious. Rosa’s eyes glisten as she lets out a happy gasp, sporting an ear-to-ear grin.

“Valeeeeeey!”

As an intense feeling of euphoria begins to flow within her, Rosa dashes towards her beloved, wrapping her arms around her neck.

“Sup, cinnamon bun.” Valen wraps his arms around Rosa's mid-section, exchanging a few kisses with her. “It’s your boy, Valen.”

Rosa sheds tears, resting her head on Valen's upper chest. “Thank you for helping me realize that I've got to be more than just your girlfriend. I was scared and worried, but I promise that I won't latch onto you again.”

“Yeah yeah yeah, I only came to see you get your butt kicked by Hilda,” Valen teases, sporting a lopsided grin. His comment earns him a bop on the forehead. “I bet you lost every battle you’ve had within the past few days.”

“Be quiet, you idiot,” Rosa retorts, giving Valen an adoring gaze as she bops him again. “I've won more battles today than the number of times you've actually battled recently.”

“Negative fifty wins isn't a win total, cinnamon bun.” Valen laughs.

“I’ll deal with you after I win.” Rosa bops Valen on both cheeks.

“You’ll win when Tepig fly.” Valen bops Rosa twice on the forehead.

“Don't project your lack of skills onto me, you silly boy.” Rosa playfully winks.

“Maybe you're the one projecting your lack of skills onto me, you crazy girl.” Valen pats Rosa on the head.

Then, Valen leans closer to Rosa's left ear, whispering, “Kick her ass, best girl.”

“Of course I'm gonna kick her ass.” Rosa faintly giggles, turning around to face a smirking Hilda.

She dallies towards the other end of the field. Both Rosa and Hilda take out Poké Ball from their purses.

“Let's go, Braviary!” Hilda throws her Poké Ball into the air to let her Pokémon out. As Hilda catches the Poké Ball, Braviary lets out a booming, prideful screech.

“It's time for the play's first act, Aerodactyl!” Rosa does a twirl, also throwing her Poké Ball in the air to her Pokémon out. As his trainer catches his Poke Ball, Aerodactyl lets out a high-pitched, menacing scream. Aerodactyl and Braviary stare each other down, with Rosa noting how it feels like a showdown in an Old West movie.

“Braviary, let’s start this off with Work Up!” Braviary lets out another screech as his body's enveloped by a translucent light red aura, the prideful bird feeling an increase in his power.

Aerodactyl, use Hone Claws!” Aerodactyl's claws glow orange, and an orange aura envelops his body. Aerodactyl screeches as the aura vanishes, indicating an increase in offensive power and the decreased chances of Braviary's ability to evade.

“Iron Head!”

Braviary's head glows metallic gray, and he charges at Aerodactyl.

“Counter with your Iron Head!”

Aerodactyl's entire head emits a metallic gray light. Aerodactyl rams into Braviary mid-way, and both Pokemon refuse to give the other an inch. Aerodactyl and Braviary glare at each other as each tries to push the other backwards.

“Hahahaha, I got you! Fire Fang!” Aerodactyl's fangs glow red-orange, and flames engulf the inside of his mouth.

Aerodactyl chomps down just above Braviary's left talon, causing the large bird to yelp.

“Shadow Claw!”

Both of Braviary's talons glow purple, and he slashes Aerodactyl as the latter attempts to evade.

Aerodactyl's struck on the top of the head, but he's able to maintains flight.

“Swift!”

As Aerodactyl falls back, he fires off a flurry of glowing white stars from his mouth. The white stars bombard Braviary, but he maintains flight.

“Steel Wing!” Braviary's wings glow metallic gray, and he rapidly charges towards Aerodactyl.

Before Rosa can command a counter, Braviary slams both wings into Aerodactyl, sending him flying backwards. Aerodactyl's got his eyes closes, but re-opens them within seconds. Aerodactyl lets out a booming screech, refusing to let his rival best him.

“Steel Wing again!” Once more, Braviary's wings glow metallic gray, and he charges towards Aerodactyl.

“Counter with Stone Edge!” Glowing gray rocks began to form and encircle Aerodactyl. He launches all of the rocks at Braviary.

At first, Braviary easily maneuvers his way around the rocks. but he eventually gets hit. Braviary yelps as the barrage of rocks relentlessly pelt him. Braviary nearly loses his mid-air balance, but he's able to regain in within several seconds.

“Aerial Ace!” Braviary lets out a shriek, a white outline surrounding his entire body. The bird launches himself at Aerodactyl like he's a missile, striking the fossil Pokemon within milliseconds.

“Swift!” Once more, Aerodactyl fires off a flurry of glowing white stars from his mouth. Braviary's pelted by the stars, but remains in-flight.

“Brave Bird!” Braviary lunges towards Aerodactyl at a high velocity, bursting into flames like a rocket burning up upon reentry.

“Counter with Giga Impact!” Aerodactyl's enveloped by a orange oval. Aerodactyl lunges towards Braviary at an equally high rate of speed. Both Pokémon slam into each other, causing a massive explosion that sends them careening behind their respective trainers. Both Rosa and Hilda look behind them as their Pokemon crash into the ground, feeling unease as they wait to see who gets up first.

Both Pokémon struggle and pant as they slowly try to get up. Eventually, Aerodactyl's able to take flight, but Braviary's not so lucky. The bird Pokémon gets up halfway, then falls to the ground in defeat. '

Aerodactyl lets out a booming screech to celebrate his victory, but both trainer and Pokemon know that it's far from over.

“You battled well, Braviary,” Hilda compliments as she recalls him.

A smiling Valen bends his elbows while holding up his fists in front of him. “There's nothing more exciting that watching two powerful trainers clash!” He turns his head towards the large crowd of locals. “These Unovan girls know that we don't mess around in Calvana!” The locals roar with cheers in response, further firing up the grinning girls.

Hilda puts Braviary's Poké Ball away and takes out another ball. “Starmie, let's rock!” Hilda tosses the Poké Ball in the air to let her Pokémon out, catching it as it falls back down. Starmie spins its body, letting out an electromagnetic screech.

Rosa's aware that Aerodactyl's got a type disadvantage, but she knows that he won't let that inconvenience him. However, Rosa can tell that Aerodactyl's gotten tired from fighting Braviary, so she hopes he can launch at least one more attack. “Use Crunch!” Aerodactyl lunges at Starmie, comping down on the top of its body.

“Scald!” Starmie unleashes a stream of boiling water from its red jewel. As Aerodactyl tries to back up to evade the attack, the boiling water slams into his face. Aerodactyl falls to the ground, struggling to regain flight. “Thunderbolt!” Starmie's entire body glows with red electricity, launching a powerful bolt of red electricity. The bolt strikes Aerodactyl in his neck, and electricity quickly envelops his entire body.

After the electricity vanishes, Aerodactyl falls to the ground in defeat.

“I hope that's not all you've got, Rosa,” Hilda playfully taunts, laughing when Rosa subtly sticks up her right middle finger in response.

“Good work,” Rosa compliments her Aerodactyl as she recalls him. Rosa puts Aerodactyl's Poké Ball away and takes out another ball.

“Well, Rosa?” Hilda grins. “Want to run back home to avoid a crushing defeat?”

“Hahahaha, as if that's going to happen!” Rosa howls. “Milotic, you're the second act!”

Rosa spins the Poké Ball with her right index and middle finger, tossing it into the air to let Milotic out.

As her trainer catches the ball, Milotic glares at Starmie. She's not letting her rival best her.

“Oh, you want your Water-type to be defeated by mine?! You're soooo bad, Rosa!” Hilda laughs. “Starmie, fortify the real queen's defenses with Cosmic Power!”

Starmie's red jewel emits a glowing aura, and the aura envelops its entire body. Bright yellow stars begin to decorate the aura en masse. The aura and its stars vanish, and Starmie feeling ready to take its rival's attacks.

“Milotic, show this fake queen who's boss with Scald!” Starmie screeches as its body its singed by a flurry of boiling water, indicating that its been burned.

“She got lucky,” Hilda murmurs. “Thunderbolt!”

Once more, Starmie's entire body glows with red electricity, and it launches a powerful bolt from its red jewel. Milotic's struck just under her jaw, and the bolt quickly envelops her entire body. Milotic closes her eyes as she attempts to endure Thunderbolt. “Use Thunderbolt again!” Starmie repeats the process. firing off another bolt.

As she reels from the first one, the second Thunderbolt surrounds Milotic's entire body, causing her to yelp.

“Psychic!” Starmie's red jewel glows, and it attempts to launch a powerful wave of red energy. However, Rosa's not letting that happen.

“Milotic, stop that attack with Water Pulse!” Milotic pulls herself together, and a sphere of water forms in front of her mouth. The aquatic serpent turns her head downwards and launches the sphere, which morphs into a torrent of water that careens towards all sides. The attack prevented Starmie from fully launching Psychic via the torrent crashing into its entire body. Water Pulse didn't do a ton of damage, but Rosa's pleased that its purpose was successful.

“Hydro Pump!” Rosa and Hilda command.

Both Milotic and Starmie launch powerful jet streams of water that collide with each other, causing a detonation that results in a moderate amount of smoke.

“Ice Beam!”

Milotic launches a frost white beam of energy from her mouth. Right after the rest of the smoke clears out, Starmie's struck in its red jewel. Starmie staggers, but quickly regains its composure.

“Starmie won't go down so easily!” Hilda proclaims. “Zap Cannon!” Starmie's red jewel begins to crackle with electrical sparks. A red orb of electricity begins to form in front of Starmie's jewel. Starmie launches the orb, which becomes enveloped by large electrical jolt on all sides. Milotic's struck just under her jaw, the aquatic serpent falling to the ground.

Sparks crackle around Milotic's body, but Rosa's not concerned about the paralyzes status condition. However, while Milotic's got the ability Marvel Scale, Rosa's not taking any chances in this battle.

“Use Refresh!”

Milotic's entire body sparkles blue for a brief moment, removing the infliction caused by Zap Cannon.

Rosa laughs at a wide-eyed Hilda's unfortunate luck, commanding, “Hydro Pump!” Milotic fires off another powerful jet stream of war that slams into Starmie, sending it flying backwards. However, Starmie refuses to lose to its rival.

“Use Recover!” Starmie emits a red aura from its jewel. The aura envelops it, healing a good amount of damage.

“Dragon Pulse!”

Milotic stands upright, letting out a battle cry. A light blue sphere of energy forms in front of her mouth. As she launches the sphere, it morphs into a aquatic, serpentine-like dragon with a line of fins running down the back. The dragon formation collides into Starmie at a high velocity. Starmie's sent flying behind its trainer, the scene looking like the dragon formation used it as a frisbee. Hilda looks behind her, her mouth falling open as Starmie crashes into the ground, having been defeated.

“Hmph, I've got this in the bag,” Rosa mutters as Hilda recalls Starmie.

“You fought well, Starmie.” Hilda puts away Starmie's Poké Ball and takes out another ball.

“Let's take home the win, Garchomp!” Hilda twirls on the tips of her feet, throwing the Poke Ball into the air to unleash her most powerful Pokémon on her rival.

The bipedal dragon announces his presence with a menacing roar, sending shockwaves through the ground and air. He's the king of the field, and Milotic's a foolish challenger. His trainer's confident that she's got this battle won, wondering if Valen's broad smile can withstand seeing his girlfriend being defeated.

“Ice Beam!” For a second time, Milotic launches a frost white beam from her mouth. While Garchomp gets hit directly in the face and staggers backwards, neither Hilda nor her Garchomp are concerned. “Use Ice Beam again!” Milotic launches another frost white beam, but Hilda's ready to command a counter.

“Not good enough, Rosa!” Hilda laughs. “Use Dragon Claw, then follow it up with Earthquake!”

Garchomp lunges towards Milotic, leaping over her Ice Beam attack. Garchomp, jumps, bobs and weaves around Milotic's subsequent attempts to land another blow with Ice Beam. As the fins on his arms glow green, Garchomp does a full rotation mid-air, slamming his fins into the serpent's backside as he lands on his feet. Milotic lets out a wail as Garchomp jumps backwards. Garchomp slams his tail into the ground as hard as he can, sending a flurry of white shockwaves careening towards Milotic. Milotic yelps, closing her eyes as she attempts to endure the attack.

“Use Dragon Pulse!” A dark blue sphere forms in front of Garchomp's mouth. Garchomp launches the sphere, which morphs into a dragon-shaped beam.

Then, it morphs further into a massive dark blue dragon with wings, talons, a tail, a spike on each knee, and a pair of extra fangs protruding sideways from both ends of the mouth. A screeching gust of wind blows as the dragon formation slams into Milotic, sending her flying behind Rosa. Milotic crashes into the ground, her wide-eyed trainer rapidly spinning around in shock.

Valen can't take his eyes off of Milotic, wondering if his foggy memory made him forget Hilda's true power level.

“Milotic, use Recover!” Milotic slowly lifts herself up, scowling at Garchomp. Milotic lets out an angelic cry as her body emits a blue aura, healing a good amount of damage. However, she's still taken a lot of damage, as evident by her panting.

“Earthquake!” Garchomp slams his tail into the ground as hard as he can, sending a flurry of white shockwaves careening towards Milotic. Milotic falls down as she attempts to endure the attack.

“I'll guess it'll come down to dragon versus dragon,” Rosa muses. She wanted to try and get at least one more attack in, but she knows that Milotic's about to go down.

“Your second act's about to end!” Hilda declares, sporting a confident smirk. “Use Poison Jab!” Garchomp's fin glow lavender blue, and he lunges for Milotic.

Garchomp slams Milotic to the ground by slashing her in the back with both fins, causing her to yelp. Then, Milotic's enveloped in a purple aura, causing the aquatic serpent to yelp again as she takes additional damage.

The damage from her poison infliction's just enough to cause Milotic to crash into the ground in defeat, causing Rosa's mouth to fall open. However, shock turns into determination as Rosa narrows her eyes at her rival. Both Hilda and her are now down to one Pokémon each, but both feel undeterred.

A smirking Rosa recalls her Milotic. “Don't worry, your dragon teammate will help me crush this noob.”

“I guess I’ll have to call off our rivalry!” Hilda laughs, waving her hand dismissively. “You had a spark when it started, but now you're just garbage!”

Rosa closes her eyes, placing her right hand on her hip. “Tsk tsk tsk, how can Rosa be garbage?” She smirks, wagging her left index finger. “Name one Unovan girl that I haven’t influenced.”

“Watch out, cuz Queen Hilda’s running this arena!” Hilda sassily snaps her fingers like she's trying to make Rosa's chances of winning go poof.

“You’ve been copying me, cuz you love my style!” Rosa boisterously laughs as she puts Milotic's Poké Ball away and takes out another ball.

Rosa was hoping that Hilda would call out Garchomp. Now, it’s time to unleash her most powerful Pokémon. “People and Pokémon, the play's reached its final act!”

Rosa stares down Hilda and her Garchomp. “Hydreigon's act number three!”

She jumps up and throws the Poké Ball in the air to let her own dragon out, catching Hydreigon's Poké Ball as she lands on her feet in a bowing position. She stands upright, her mouth having curved into a cocky, lopsided grin.

Hydreigon lets out a thunderous roar that sends shockwaves through the ground and air. Garchomp responds by causing shockwaves via another deafening roar.

“I was hoping this would occur!” Valen cheers.

Then, Valen's Salamence decides to let himself out of his Poke Ball, eager to see this battle of the dragons. Valen and Salamence glance at each other, both sporting elated grins.

“Who do you think's gonna win?” Salamence laughs, pointing his front left claw towards himself. “I meant between those two, you silly dragon.”

Valen's beyond proud that Rosa's returned to defining herself as more than just his girlfriend. She's battling for herself. She's batting to best her rival. He can feel his lingering doubts going away, plus he feels fired up. There's no denying it—Rosa's become his absolute biggest inspiration. He'll gladly be her knight for all eternity, because he's honored to be the boyfriend of such an amazing and badass woman.

“It's time to prove that I'm more worthy of the throne!” Rosa points to herself, oozing with pride.

“It's time for you to accept that I’m the real queen!” Hilda boasts, narrowing her eyes at Rosa.

Both Hilda and Rosa stare each other down, feeling like cowgirls about to duel with their dragons. Rosa's Hydreigon and Hilda's Garchomp snarl at each other.

 
Last edited:

BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
Chapter 25: No Matter What

The atmosphere's eerily tense, with everybody remaining quiet. Valen and the other spectators are well aware of what's about to go down. Two powerful dragons that are notoriously different to tame are about to duke it out, and everybody's looking forward to that epic clash. Salamence's keenly focused on the battle, waiting to see which dragon comes out on top.

Hydreigon and Garchomp glare at each other, maintaining strong eye contact. As for their trainers, their mouths curve into content smiles. Rosa and Hilda are still good friends who respect each other, regardless of the sass and taunts they throw at each other.

For Valen, he couldn't be more excited even if he tried his hardest to. These two skilled trainers and their dragons aren't giving an inch to the other. “No matter who wins, you're both amazing Pokémon Trainers!” Valen shouts, sporting an grin. “You better not forget that, or we're gonna have some major problems!”

Rosa winks at him and Hilda gives him a thumbs up. As Valen's Salamence smirks over his trainer's demeanor, the two girls return their focus to each other. Valen and Salamence return to focusing on the battle.

“No matter what the outcome is, I’m happy that I fought well,” Rosa affirms.

“Same here,” Hilda says. Then, her smile turns into a smirk. “Of course, you're going to lose.”

“Hurry up, Expert Noob Hilda. I've got a battle to win,” Rosa scoffs, smirking as she waves her hand dismissively. “If I can't do it, then it can't be done!”

“Girl, you're out of your mind if you think you can beat me!”

“Heh, I'm surrounded by crazy girls.” Valen's mouth curves into a soft smile. “I'm cool with it.”

Salamence glances towards his trainer, sporting a proud smile.

Hilda extends her left arm outwards, behind her elbow and clenching her fist. “Let's see which dragon comes out on top!” She shouts. “Garchomp, use Swift!”

Garchomp fires off a flurry of dark blue stars from his mouth. Hydreigon's relentlessly pelted by the stars, but lets out a thunderous roar to let Garchomp know that he's not backing down. Garchomp lets out a menacing roar in response.

“Hydreigon, use Flash Cannon!” Small orbs of silver energy begins to form and merge inside of Hydreigon’s main mouth.

Hydreigon fires off a large silver beam that slams into Garchomp in the latter's red chest, just below his jaw.

“Hydro Pump!” Hydreigon launches a large and powerful jet stream of water from his main mouth.

“Hahahahahahaha, I'm about to deny your ass!” Hilda gloats, sticking her tongue out. “Poison Jab!” As both of his fins glow lavender blue. Garchomp lunges forward.

Garchomp jumps, bobs and weaves around Hydreigon's attempts to land a blow with Hydro Pump. Garchomp strikes Hydreigon with both fins, slashing the three-headed dragon in the middle of his body.

“Hydreigon, use Ice Fang!”

Before Garchomp can back away, the fangs within Hydreigon's main mouth glow icy blue and extend outward. Hydreigon chomps down on Garchomp's right arm, causing the bipedal dragon to shut his eyes in distress.

“Knock Hydreigon away with Brick Break!”

Garchomp's left fin glows red. Garchomp musters up enough energy to smack Hydreigon off of his left arm, slamming his fin on the top of Hydreigon's main head.

“Dark Pulse!”

Hydreigon launches a stream of black circles, striking Garchomp in the face before the bipedal dragon's able to respond. Garchomp staggers backwards, but remains standing.

“Ice Fang!”

Once again, Hydreigon's fangs extent and glow icy blue. Hydreigon lunges for Garchomp, sinking his fangs into Garchomp's left leg before the bipedal dragon can respond. Garchomp shuts his eyes again as he attempts to endure the attack.

Eventually, Hydreigon lets go and falls back as fast as he can.

“Throat Chop!”

Both of Hydreigon's smaller mouths glow purple. Hydreigon darts towards Garchomp, but the latter and his trainer are ready this time.

“It's time to duel!” Hilda announces. “Garchomp, fend Hydreigon off with Dragon Claw!”

Each time Hydreigon attempts to sink its fangs into Garchomp with one of its smaller mouths, Garchomp blocks it via his glowing green fins. or dodges it by moving from left to right and vice versa. This process is repeated over and over again. The duel between Hydreigon's Throat Chop and Garchomp's Dragon Claw bears a vague resemblance to two knights fighting with their swords. The dragons fall back, then charge at each other again with the same attacks. They repeat this process multiple times.

Valen and Salamence are keenly observing this clash, watching as Garchomp methodically blocks and evades all of Hydreigon's attempts to sink his fangs into him. The constant collisions between the attacks result in an moderate amount of smoke overall. As the smoke clears out, Hydreigon finally sinks his fangs to deal damage, but Garchomp quickly counters, slamming both of his glowing green fins into Hydreigon's pair of smaller mouths. Both dragons fall back while fiercely glare at each other, feeling an intense determination to come out on top.

Garchomp's feels a bit tired, but refuses to back down. Hilda takes a deep breath to keep herself focused, commanding, “Dragon Breath!” Garchomp fires off a dark blue beam that resembles fog from his mouth, striking Hydreigon in the center of his body. Hydreigon shuts his left eye, having taken a notable amount of damage. Hilda believes that this is her best chance to take home the win.

“Brick Break!”

This time, Garchomp's right fin glows red. Garchomp lunges towards Hydreigon, striking him in the neck of his right mouth.

“Dark Pulse!”

Hydreigon fires off another stream of black circles, striking Garchomp in his red chest as the bipedal dragon falls back. Rosa tightens her fists, believing that she needs to win this battle soon. Hydreigon's also feeling tired, so it'll come down to who can muster up the most strength and willpower to achieve victory.

“Hydro Pump!” Hydreigon fires off another large and powerful jet stream of water from his main mouth.

“Brick Break!” Garchomp's right fin glows red again. At first, Garchomp's able to bob and weave around Hydro Pump. Then, Hydreigon's Hydro Pump slams right into Garchomp's face, sending him stumbling backwards.

“Expert Trainer Hilda refuses to lose! Use Dragon Claw!” Both of Garchomp's fins glow green and he charges at Hydreigon.

“Dark Pulse again!”

Once more, Hydreigon launches a stream of black circles. However, Garchomp leaps as high as he can, jumping back down and slamming his fins into the top of Hydreigon's main head. Hydreigon's barely able to stay afloat.

“Dragon Breath!” Garchomp fires off another dark blue beam that resembles fog from his mouth, striking Hydreigon in the face.

Hydreigon falls to the ground, causing Rosa to sweat. However, she breathes a sigh of relief when Hydreigon gets back up, letting out a booming roar.

Garchomp falls back, letting out a booming roar of his own. “Use Swift!”

Garchomp fires off a flurry of dark blue stars from his mouth. The stars relentlessly pelt Hydreigon, but the three-headed dragon maintains his balance.

However, Hilda and her Garchomp won't let their opponents off the hook so easily. “Hit em with another Brick Break!” Garchomp's left fins glows red, and he lunges towards Hydreigon.

Rosa and her Hydreigon won't let those two off the hook so easily either. “Use Flash Cannon!” Once more, small orbs of silver energy begins to form and merge inside of Hydreigon’s main mouth. Hydreigon fires off a large silver beam.

As Garchomp nears within striking distance, Flash Cannon lands a direct hit to the face. Garchomp shuts his eyes as he stumbles backwards, but is able to remain standing.

“It's now or never!” Hilda announces, her Garchomp letting out a booming roar.

“Bring it on, you noob!” Rosa taunts, her Hydreigon unleashing a thunderous roar.

“Use Dragon Pulse!” Hilda and Rosa command at the same time, both girls exchanging fierce glares.

A dark blue sphere forms in front of Garchomp's mouth. Garchomp launches the sphere, which morphs into a dragon-shaped beam. Then, it morphs further into a massive dark blue dragon with wings, talons, a tail, a spike on each knee, and a pair of extra fangs protruding sideways from both ends of the mouth. Meanwhile, black spheres forms in front of all three of Hydreigon’s mouths. Hydreigon launches all three spheres, which immediately morph and merge into a gigantic black dragon with red eyes, wings, talons, and a line of spikes running down its head, back and tail. A howling gust of wind blows as the massive dragon formations slam into each other, resulting in a explosion that causes enough smoke to conceal the battlefield from the spectators.

As the smoke clears out, Hydreigon and Garchomp stand directly in front of their respective trainers, awaiting the next clash. Both dragons let out subtle roars to indicate respect for the other. As with their respective teammates and trainers, the rivalry doesn’t affect the friendship they’ve had for a long time.

Rosa and Hilda fiercely stare each other in the eyes, eager to take this dragon duel to the next level. “Use Dragon Rush!”

Hydreigon and Garchomp are enveloped by black energy and dark blue energy respectively. Both dragons charge at each other at a high velocity, the energy surrounding transforming into the respective dragon formations that appear via Dragon Pulse. This time, the dragon formations act like draconic armor or giant dragon mechs. An enormous gust of wind shrieks across the field as Hydreigon and Garchomp collide into each other, causing a echoing, booming thud. Both dragons refuse to give an inch to the other. This results in them backing away, both going behind their respective trainers. Hydreigon and Garchomp lunge and collide with each other again, fall back, and repeat the process.

Each time the dragons crash into each other, they do so at a different angle. The ensuing string of echoing booms look and sound like dynamite going off via a domino effect. The smoke envelops the entire field, with the energy emitting around the dragons allowing them to remain visible. Both dragons keep crashing into each other again and again before the smoke can even fully clear out.

As the dragons continue their intense fight, Valen closes his eyes, sporting a proud smile. The flames of passions within him continue to burn brightly Valen flashes back to his battles with Brandon, Blue, Red, Cynthia, and Hilbert. He didn't beat Red, Hilbert, or Cynthia, but he's got no regrets about his performance in those battles. He vividly recalls Salamence’s triumph over Brandon’s Regirock within the Battle Pyramid, as well as the dragon's triumph over Red's Charizard and Blue's Blastoise in Kanto. Salamence also tired out Cynthia's Garchomp and Hilbert's Zekrom before he was defeated.

After several minutes of non-stop collisions, the dragon cease their clash. Hydreigon and Garchomp pant as they stand in front of their respective trainers. Both dragons nearly fall to the ground, but both manage to hold on for now. A suspenseful silence envelops the field as everybody present awaits the outcome. Rosa feels her heart thumping and Hilda takes a deep breath to calm her nerves.

“It's all up to willpower now.” Valen keenly studies the scene, feeling that his pulse's using Agility.

After what feels like a lengthy period of time, Rosa decides to take a chance. “Hydro Pump!”

Both Hilda and Valen stare with wide-eyed expressions as Hydreigon musters just enough energy to launch one more jet stream of water. Garchomp's too tired to counter or evade, resulting in a direct hit to the face. Garchomp kneels over and slams into the ground, causing Hilda to gasp. Hydreigon's barely manages to stay afloat, faintly smirking over his victory.

Rosa blinks, her mouth curving into an enthusiastic smile seconds later. “I did it! I did it! I won! I won!” She jumps up and down, raising her right fist towards the sky.

“You fought well, Garchomp.” Hilda sports a content smile, recalling her dragon. She closes her eyes, stating, “We gave it our all.” She places the ball back inside her bag.

"Good job, Hydreigon!" Rosa cheers.

Hydreigon turns towards his trainer, giving her a grin. Rosa recalls him, then places his ball back inside her purse.

“That's my girl.” Valen sports an adoring smile, noting that the locals are roaring with cheers.

Salamence closes his eyes, feeling content with the passion his trainer's feeling. He's back, he's finally back. The trainer who found him as a Bagon that dreamed of being the most powerful dragon that he could be. The trainer who helped to make his dream a reality. The dragon feels thankful to Rosa, Hilda, and their Pokemon. His teammates and him have been waiting for their trainer's eventual return.

Hilda dashes towards the other end of the field. Both Rosa and Hilda grin as they exchange a hi-five with each other.

“That was an awesome battle!” Hilda clasps her hands next to her left cheek.

“It’s cuz we both rock!” Rosa holds her left hand sideways over her forehead, sticking out her index and ring fingers.

Hilda spots Valen taking his sweet time to approach Rosa and her. She clasps her hands behind her back, stating, “Let's here what Val-Val's got to say.”

Rosa turns her head behind her, giving Valen a playful smile as he saunters towards Hilda and her. “Don't try to hide your excitement, kaaaay?” She gives him a cocky wink, bopping him on both of his cheeks.

“Heh, I'm not hiding anything, your highness.”

Valen sports a broad grin. “You're my biggest inspiration, Rosa!” Valen gushes, causing Rosa to gasp. “That battle got me fired up!”

“After several seconds of silence, Rosa closes her eyes. “You better be fired up.” She tips her visor downwards. “This amazing, adorable and gorgeous queen can't be seen with some lame ass party pooper.”

Valen wraps his arms around Rosa’s mid-section. “Here’s your victory hug.”

Rosa wraps her arms around Valen’s neck. “Thank you, sweetie.”

Valen and Rosa let go of each other. Then, Valen wraps his left arm around Hilda's waist, pulling her closer to him.

Rosa giggles at Hilda's wide-eyed expression, but the warmth Hilda feels causes her to sport a soft smile seconds later.

“You get one too, because you fought your hardest.” Valen’s proud to have Rosa as his girlfriend, and he's proud to Hilda as one of his closest friends.

Hilda wraps her arms around Valen's neck, teasing, “You’re spoiling me, you giant Lillipup.” She bops him on the forehead. Valen and Hilda let go of each other, exchanging a three way fist bump with Rosa.

“You said to go after what I want, right?” Rosa sports an adoring grin. “Well, one of my wants is for you to have awesome battles too!” Her eyes sparkle as she clasps her hands next to her left cheek! “Don’t forget to have lots of fun!”

“....Well, Salamence? You wanna have a few battles before we go back home?” Valen glances towards the dragon, who scoffs in response. As if he needed to be asked if he wanted to battle.

Rosa and Hilda step back, allowing Valen to stride forward. Salamence flies over his trainer, landing directly in front of him. Salamence lets out a thunderous roar that sends shockwaves towards the ground and air.

Valen nods, sporting a confident smirk. “Team Skull’s Valen is ready to cause mayhem.”

Both Valen and Salamence spot a male trainer walking towards the other end of the arena, his Druddigon position himself across from Salamence.

Valen's mouth curves into a lopsided grin, and he points towards himself. “I'm the big bad trainer who beats you down without ever letting up!”

Rosa's decided to stay out for longer, while Valen and Hilda have returned to the former's house. Rosa wanted to battle more, but she also wanted these two old friends to have some alone time together. Valen and Hilda are in the living room, sitting on one of Valen’s white sofas. The duo have been binge watching footage of various battles via fullscreen. Hilda's achieved tons of battle footage over the years, but both Rosa and himself have let her a hand in the past.

Both Hilda and Valen are glued to the latter's laptop, watching an exhibition match between Steven Stone and Leon Alden from several months ago. The battle was an intense one, with Steven’s Metagross and Duraludon duking it out with Leon’s Dragapult and Charizard.

As he watches the battle, Valen notes that he's behind on current events, but he’s been catching up. Red's returned to being the champion of the Kanto Conference, Norman joined Hoenn’s Elite Four after Drake retired, and Steven stepped down to study geology. Hoenn's current champion's got a Salamence herself, which he finds awesome.

“No spoilers from me, Val-Val,” Hilda teases, snapping Valen back into focus. She observes as Leon commands his Charizard and Dragapult to use Flamethrower and Shadow Ball respectively.

“Did you say something?” Valen teases back, watching as Steven commands Metagross and Duraludon to counter with Sludge Bomb and Dragon Pulse respectively.

Valen offers Hilda a fist bump. “No matter what, we’re in this together.”

“No matter what, we’ll be friends forever.” Hilda warmly grins, accepting Valen’s first bump.

Then, Hilda wraps her arms around Valen’s neck, causing Valen to place his left hand on her back.

“Welcome back, Val-Val.” Hilda sheds a few tears

“Thanks, Hilda.” Valen softly smiles

“You’re still the cuddliest guy friend.” Hilda playfully winks.

Valen and Hilda hears the front door closing, followed by a giggle. Hilda pauses the battle, and places Valen's laptop on the round walnut table on her right. Both faintly laugh over not realizing that Rosa's home in the first place.

Rosa heard a glimpse of the conversation, and she's sporting a winsome smile. “No matter what, our love's forever, Valey!” She sticks up her left index and ring ringers. “Alsooooo, we'll all be besties forever and ever and ever and ever!”

“Come here so I can lift you up.” Valen stands up, gesturing towards her.

“Roar, here I comeeeee!” Rosa dashes into the living room, heading for one of the snowy white sofas.

Rosa gets closer to Valen, and he wraps his arms around her mid-section. “Up you go.”

“Tee-hee, big boy loves to lift me me up!” Rosa cheers, wrapping her arms around Valen's neck. “Alsooooo, that was a nice win streak you pulled off! Wam! Bam! Pow!”

Valen laughs, asking, “So, how was your day overall?”

“It was awesomeeeeeee!” Rosa gushes. “Soooooooooo, aside from battling, I had some ice cream! I got a ticket for a play tomorrow, and lots and lots of other cool and fun things!”

As Rosa continues to talk, Valen stays silent, smiling and nodding to show that he’s listening. In addition to returning to battling more often, Valen’s also happy to hear Rosa talking about plays. He recalls that Rosa got her love of plays and film from her dad, scriptwriter Keith Whitley.

“I’ll be back to take that title from you, Rosa!” Hilda asserts.

“That won’t be easy when we’re far apart from each other!” Rosa giggles.

“Actually, I’m planning to move here,” Hilda admits.

“Oh noooooo, I forgot!” Rosa yelps.

“Really?” Valen asks, his mouth slowly curving into a broad grin.

“Merging the main division with the one I've got here is too good of an opportunity.”

“Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" Valen shouts in excitement. “Please become my manager again! You were awesome at it!”

Rosa and Hilda blink, then burst out laughing.

“I'll become your manager again right here, right now!” Hilda grins. “I presume that he's coming back eventually!”

“Tee-hee, you're soooo cute when you're excited, Valey!” Rosa's eyes glitter.

“I want to reclaim my past glory as The Black Reaper!” Valen exclaims.

“I want to make myself known in this region!” Rosa sticks up her right index and ring finger, sporting a broad grin.

“I'll become well known here in my own way, but I'm still Expert Trainer Hilda!” Hilda grins. “I'm not going to let myself go unknown as a trainer here!”

“Let's do this!” Valen, Hilda, and Rosa exchange a three way fist bump.

“Hilda, try not to be a hard-ass about my name this time, alright?” Valen's request earns him a bop on the forehead from both Hilda and Rosa.

“I'm also pretty awesome at managing, organized and planning events!” Hilda clasps her hands next to her right cheek as she grins. “I've even organized a couple of archeological digs on behalf of the Nacrene City Museum!”

Then, Hilda's mouth curves into an embarrassed smile. She scratches the back of her head with her right hand. “Sorry....you probably remember that....I guess my memory's still a bit foggy.”

“Looks like we both messed up big time.”

“I’ve also achieved success, but I felt empty inside,” Hilda says. “You’re irreplaceable as a friend....and I feared the worst.”

For Hilda, there's only one Val-Val. Not even the end of their brief romance could put a dent in their friendship. She finds it ironic that this repeated itself with Valen and Skyla’s romance. They also decided to remain close friends. In any case, Valen's smart for being drawn towards awesome Unovan girls.

“Hilda, I think you've already become besties with him again,” Rosa reassures. “Valen, you don’t need to come out with me if you don't want to.”

“Really?” Valen piques up. “You're a people person, not a loner.”

“Even so, I'll let you decide if you want to tag along.” Rosa says, caressing Valen's left cheek. “However, I'd still appreciate it if we could hang out more often in the near future.” She kisses him on the lips. “We have lots of fun together, and I promise that I won't latch onto you again.”

“....Alright, I guess I can agree to that.” Valen kisses Rosa back. “Besides, I wouldn't be a very good boyfriend if I never tagged along.”

“....Out of curiosity, how come you two never talk about the online pseudonyms?” Hilda piques up.

“Hmph, as if I'm going to disclose that the queen's gotten to chat with The Black Reaper online.”

“You mean the way that I frequently chatted with many fans?”

“I was the cutest and prettiest among all of them!”

"Well-"

“Nooooow, battle time! Rosa wants to watch battles with Valey and Noob!” Rosa grins when she hears Valen snickering.

Valen glances towards as Hilda she picks up the laptop off of the walnut table. Hilda rolls her eyes, but smiles seconds later upon she seeing Valen and Rosa sharing a laugh.

After a couple of minutes, the footage of Steven and Leon's battle's on fullscreen again. Rosa's eyes sparkle as she seems Steven and Leon's Pokemon duking out, neither duo giving an inch. Valen and Hilda focus on the battle as well, all three of them feeling content with the current situation. All three of the love battling, as do all of their friends. All three of them know that even if his self-esteem still needs improving, the real Valen's back. He's not going anywhere ever again.

 
Last edited:

BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
Chapter 26: Rosa's Still Rosa

It's a sunny early morning for the residents of Angel City and the surrounding areas. Melanie's resting in her bedroom within her brick bungalow. Her blue, Valerie Versace jean jacket rests besides her, fully revealing her azure T-shirt from the same brand.

Melanie’s been busy again with her writing and with being a known trainer, so she's been relaxing at home for the last few days. However, she's also had some doubts about herself lately. Her childhood friend needed a lot of comfort and affection, and she feels that she didn’t give him enough of either. Was two hugs really enough for someone so hurt, lost and confused? She tried to get him to realize that Rosa still loved him, but she never truly consoled or comforted him with her words until days after Hilda left a big crack in his shell. At least, that's what she believes.

She glances over to the old photo album that she had with her that day, which lies next to her on the bed. She didn’t bring it with her when she went to meet Valen, but she wishes that she did.

Melanie's phone dings, and she sees that Rosa's texted her. Rosa's still texting her, stating what she's up to. Of course, it's not a happy Rosa text without a bunch of smile and grin emojis. “Rosa’s got a fun day planned for herself,” she comments.

Then, she gets a text from Valen about what he's up to, complete with a string of grin emojis. She chuckles over how similar Rosa and him are. “Meanwhile, this doofus is adorably excited to go out and battle.”

Melanie tries to be the calm one, but seeing as how Hilda, Rosa, Serena and others are so much fun to be around, maybe she should follow in their footsteps. Regardless, Valen and her still had lots of fun together. They love each other like a brother and sister would, and that’s never going to change.

Melanie loves having Rosa, Hilda, Serena, Leaf, and Kris as friends. They’ve hung out together, and they’d had a lot of fun. She recalls how she showed the girls local restaurants, such as the pizza place Valen and her frequented as teenagers. She learned that she shouldn’t bring up the Unovan pizza vs Venteuxian pizza debate around Hilda, Rosa, and Leaf.

Of course, a bunch of Pokémon battling occurred on various days as well, as they went to numerous battle arenas. Among the ones visited was the Neoclassical arena that she brought Calem to. She became really happy when Hilda, Rosa, and Serena remembered the arena. Then, Serena called Calem to scold him for not telling her that Melanie brought him here. That caused everybody else to laugh.

It wasn’t as funny as Kris scolding Serena over getting the architectural style’s time period wrong, though. Kris screamed that Neoclassical architecture was very prominent in Kalos. Serena nervously backed away as Kris stormed towards her, asking if Serena seriously doesn’t about 18th century Kalosian Neoclassical architecture.

Melanie recalls some of the battles that they had. Her Dragonite was defeated by Hilda's Garchomp, but her Absol defeated her Umbreon. She recalls Kris's Togekiss losing to Leaf's Pidgeot. However, Kris’ Steelix defeated Pidgeot, then Hilda's Garchomp defeated Serena's Goodra, followed by Rosa’s Serperior defeating Serena’s Delphox. While Serena grumbled, Hilda and Rosa shouted that the Unovan girls have won yet again.

Kris and Leaf teased Serena. In response, Serena battled them both at the same time. Melanie remembers Serena’s smug face when her Blastoise defeated both Leaf’s Espeon and Kris’ Ursaring.

Then, there was yesterday. Melanie brought Kris and Serena to her bungalow. She laughs, recalling that Kris scolded Serena again when she got the era of construction wrong.

Melanie returns her attention to the photo album. She flips the front cover back, revealing photographs of Valen, Rosa, Hilda, and herself within Vega City. She chuckles, recalling that he dubbed them “The Majestic Angels.” As per usual, Serena was jealous that Valen didn't include her in this group.

Initially, he wanted to dub them “The Sin City Ladies.” She knew that it was because Vega City’s unofficial nickname is Sin City, but she reminded him that none of them come from Vega City. It also made them sound bad.

Melanie gets more texts from Rosa. This time, Rosa's texted pictures of herself within a familiar part of the city. “Rosa really loves that district. Actually, all of them seem to love that district.”

It’s mid-morning, and Rosa's starting off her afternoon of exploration within Old Downtown. As people and Pokemon stroll on by, she stands the middle of the plaza walkway. Sporting a broad grin, she keeps twirling around to look at of the old and cool buildings. No matter how many times she sees them, they always seem to mesmerize her. She's come to understand why this area's always recommended to people who've come from abroad.

It’s time for Rosa’s Extreme Energy Power-Up Attack!” Rosa cheers, raising her right fist towards the sky. “Unovan pizza time, then battling time, then play time, then store time, then more battling time, then sweetie time! That’s today’s schedule!”

Rosa already knows where the pizza place is—she's standing right in front of it. She loves the fact that she can eat her favorite food inside of an old and cool building. She's come to learn that this building's color is royal maroon. She notes that lots of buildings are finished in this color.

Rosa snaps herself back into focus—it's time to eat some delicious food. However, the door's locked, causing her to blink. Then, she notices the large poster on the left window, which's got the hours listed for all seven days. When she sees the timings, her face reddens in embarrassment. “Oh noooooo, I forgot that the Unovan pizza place isn’t open at this time!” Rosa cries out. “Nooooooo, my schedule's been defeated!”

After calming down, Rosa takes a closer look at the times listed on the door. She giggles over her initial reaction. “Oops, it opens in thirty minutes! Tee-hee, I’m soooo silly!”

Rosa hears two dings, and quickly takes her phone out. She sees that Leaf and Mallow have replied to her message about having pizza. Rosa rolls her eyes upon reading Mallow’s message about putting pineapple on pizza. Then, Rosa reads Leaf’s message and goes ballistic. “How many times do I have to tell her to accept reality?!” She clenches her right first as her eyes bulge out. “Unovan pizza’s a million billion trillion gazillion times superior to Venteux deep dish pizza! You want a fight, Leaf?! You’ll get a fight! I’ll defend Unovan pizza until I’m too worn out to continue!”

Rosa calms down, murmuring, “I should've gotten used to this by now.” She pouts. “Leaf’s half Venteuxian.”

Rosa looks up, realizing that a crowd of about a dozen trainers has gathered around her. However, she notes that these trainers don't seem to be challenging her. She grins, asking “Ooooh, are you fans?”

“Of course we are!” A male trainer with a Fraxure exclaims. “You’re strong, cute and pretty!”

“Yeeeep, that's Rosa!” Rosa sticks up her left index and ring fingers.

“Can I get your autograph?” A female trainer with a Liepard asks, handing Rosa a rolled up poster and pen. “I’m also from Unova! Hilda and you are my idols!”

“Yeeeep!” Rosa unrolls the poster, which has a picture of her plastered on it.

Rosa smirks as she looks at her pose—her back's turned towards the camera and she's looking back with a winking face. She signs the poster, draws a smiley face, and hands it back to the female trainer.

“Thanks so much!”

“Tee-hee, you're welcome!”

Then, Rosa sees a more serious looking group of trainers approaching her. One of them walks in front of the others, and Rosa sees that he's got Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee with him.

Rosa realizes that she's only few buildings away from Old Downtown's public arena. Her happy grin turns into a confident, lopsided one. She takes out two Poke Balls, stating, “Come and get me.”

She’s happy that she’s gaining a bigger following within Calvana itself, plus her existing fame’s followed her here.

It’s now early afternoon, and Rosa’s dallying towards a performing arts theatre to see the play that she’d bought a ticket for yesterday. She's on a hot streak today, having won ten battles in a row. She also counts her mouth-watering lunch of Unovan pizza as part of her string of awesomeness.

Upon arriving at the theatre, Rosa's instantly mesmerized by the magnificent structure that's standing before her. The brochure she's holding states that it's called The Palazzo Theatre, and an aerial view of the fancy looking structure reveals its pentagonal design. She attempts to read the brochure and marvel at the building itself. She doesn't know if she should stare at the old and cool theatre, or read up on the history of the theatre that's within the brochure. As she remains indecisive over what to do, she recalls Valen telling her that modern day Angel City goes back to the 18th century, but there was a smaller city present here. Rosa's eyes light up as she rapidly looks around at all of the buildings that are within her sight. She's realized that she might be in an area older than modern day Angel City itself.

Rosa takes her phone out, and goes into her text messages. She goes into the newest chat she’s started. This one’s for specifically asking Kris and Valen about architecture, art, and design history. Rosa texts a few questions, grinning what she sees that both are already responding. Kris texts that Rosa's super lucky. Kris explains that Rosa's in an area packed with Renaissance architecture, and that she's very jealous. Rosa giggles when Valen sends a message with nothing but laughing emojis. Valen texts that the smaller city was assimilated into Angel City when they needed to expand due to an influx of settlers between the years 1720-1760.

Rosa blinks, texting why the league's not as old. She also wants to know why Old Downtown's called that when this area's even older. Valen texts back by saying that the modern day league dates back to 1755. Kris sends popcorn and smile emojis, while Valen explains that it's hard to pinpoint the first ever league. There are many defunct competitions that could count as a league. Valen responds to Kris with laughing emojis, before explaining that what predated the Calvana Conference was the Bonheur Battles. Rosa's eyes sparkle like the emerald attached to her diamond-lace necklace, realizing that this theatre was likely a stadium hundreds of years ago. Rosa wants to know more about this old city, texting Valen to answer or face relentless cuddles when she comes home.

Kris sends an all caps message, demanding that Valen answer Rosa's question right now. All three of them send laughing emojis, followed by Valen's answer. He texts that Bonheur was the old city's name, and it comes from Nicolas Bonheur. His great-grandson, Charles Bonheur, was the first mayor of modern day Angel City.

Rosa realizes that she's still got a little bit of time before the play starts. “Oooooh, I should take pictures of me in front of this old and cool building!” Rosa playfully winks, placing her left hand on her hip. A bright light flashes multiple times as she takes a few photos. Then, she makes a sideways peace sign over her forehead, sporting a confident smile as she takes more photos. Lastly, she turns her back to the camera. She looks back, giving a cocky wink. She takes a few more photos, then goes into her text messages.

However, it seems Valen's in a trolling mood. He gets VIP access to these lovely images, but she receives an automated message seconds after she sends the photos to him. “Nooooooooooooo, he’s one step ahead of me! He put his phone on Do Not Disturb!” Rosa cries out. She rolls his eyes when she sees Valen sending her a string of laughing emojis, one message at a time. “Hmph, he’s got the nerve to send the queen laughing faces! I’m going to mercilessly cuddle up with him in retaliation!”

Then, several red icons appear, causing Rosa to lose it. “What do you mean the messages weren't delivered to the others?! You dare disobey your queen?!”

Rosa's annoyance turns into gushing when Valen responds with a text filled with heart eye emojis, followed by a text saying that those photos made his phone heat up. He asks how come he hasn't melted from how hot she is, stating that he's ice cream and she's summer.

“Awwww, he's too sweet!” She blushes, swaying her head from side to side.

Valen texts Rosa about his battling, and she squeals in elation when she reads that he's on a winning streak. All six of his Pokémon have won two battles each.

“Twelve wins isn’t enough, sweetie!” She texts him to make it forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, telling him to get on her level.

Rosa texts Valen bye and that she loves him. She sports a winsome smile when he texts her the same three words. She puts her phone away, dallying towards the theatre's right staircase.

Rosa can’t wait to see this play, titled Two Brothers. This is her all time favorite play, originally written in 1788 by Thomas H. Castelia. She pridefully smirks, because she all about various plays and playwrights.

With that said, Thomas H. Castelia's the most famous Unovan playwright, plus he was an architect, painter and a sculptor. Two Brothers is his most famous work, and there is truth behind both the play and the mythological tale that spawned it. Both brothers did exist during the height of Ancient Unovan power. Rosa recalls that Hilda's organized a pair of archeological digs in the past. The first one uncovered more solid evidence that the two brothers had some sort of connection with Reshiram and Zekrom.

Rosa dallies into the large body. At first she rapidly sways from left to right, and vice-versa. She's in awe of this lavish-looking lobby. The walls and tiling are finished in cool patterns, and the bronze seats look fitting for a queen like her. She waves hi to a number of people, feeling giddy whenever someone waves back at her.

She thinks about how she couldn't decide between Two Brothers, Of Desert and Darkness. and The Misguided King. However, she’s an Unovan girl, so Two Brothers would've won regardless.

With that said, she’s a big fan of the famous western. Of Desert and Darkness was originally written in 1917 by Henry J. Phenac, it tells the story of Deputy Leo Greene, who walked a thin line between the law and the lawless. She always found it cool he was still writing in old age—he was born in 1857.

As for The Misguided King, Rosa's not in the mood for a tragedy play. Originally written in 1628 by Roland Courtier, it's about AZ and his quest to revive his beloved Floette. She likes this play, but Roland Courtier's plays tend to be what people read or watch when they want to bawl like a Sobble. Nevertheless, he's one of the best writers in history. Rosa’s favorite fact is that he was only nineteen when he wrote The Misguided King.

The pentagonal design of the theatre results in five, elevated seating areas that surround the center. The lights have already dimmed, but the audience can still clearly observe the performance occurring down below.

Rosa's seated in the front row, her mind and gaze completely focused on the scenery, actors, and props. With that said, she loves the fact there are lots and lots of Pokémon in the seating areas as well, including a Snivy, a Bagon, an Axew, a Piplup, and a Pikachu. All of the Pokémon are well-behaved, as not a single one of them is making a sound. Not even the Loudred that's hanging out in the same row as her.

As she keenly watches the play, Rosa occasionally forgets that the people on-stage are actors. The performance's that convincing to her, and she’s not alone. She likes how the stage's been set up like an old and cool interior from the era of the Ancient Unovan Empire. Fabric with cool patterns have been carefully aligned on the stage's floor. The main actors are seated on bronze stools with double, reversed curved legs. The medium-sized, bronze table that rests between the men has a circular design to it. Rosa notes that it's a tri-pod. One stand is shorter and more mundane, while the other stands have peculiar, paw-like ends.

The actors are engaging in a thought-provoking debate on whether truth or ideals is more important for a person to pursue. The actor playing the younger brother states that humans must pursue their ideals, as not everybody will accept what's considered truth. What if the truth's nothing more than a folly of the human mind? In response, the actor playing the older brother smacks the table with his right hand, stating that ideals can't be more important than truth when humans can have grand delusions. Truth will win in every outcome.

“Hmmmm, who should I side with?” Rosa points her right hand sideways, sticking her thumb out next to her chin.

The older brother suggests a Pokémon battle to see who’s right, since the truth states that he’s stronger. If he wins this battle, then truth's more powerful than the folly of ideals. The dragon needn’t worry once he’s triumphant.

“Yay, battle!”

His brother accepts, stating that his ideal outcome’s to defeat him. If he wins, then it must be accepted that ideals can overcome the myth of truth. The dragon needn’t worry once he proves that his path's the right once.

“Battle! Rosa gets to watch play and battle!” Rosa cheers as the scene transitions to a battlefield. She likes how it looks worn out, noting how the dings and cracks look rather believable. The, she notices that a Druddigon and a Haxorus are about to duke it out. “Go, go, gooooo!”

Rosa's eyes sparkle like her necklace when both dragons lock claws together, attempting to slash the other with Dragon Claw. Druddigon's claws glow light blue while Haxorus' claws glow green. Rosa loves that even though this is a play, the battle's no different than two trainers duking it out at an arena.


Rosa's among the large crowd that's exiting the theatre. Rosa's grinning over how everybody seemed to enjoy the play, as she can hear a lot of chatter that's filled with praise. Now that the play's over, Rosa ponders what store she should visit. Should she visit an antique store and hope that she finds something old and cool that both her and a certain guy would like? Does she go to a clothing store and find clothes fit for a queen?

Then, Rosa gets a text message from Kris. She's messaged Rosa about an awesome boutique in the area, and that they've got attire with Team Skull's logo on them. Kris sends another message, telling Rosa that both Serena and herself thinks she'd rock a white leather jacket well, regardless of whether Team Skull's logo decorating it or not. Kris sends Rosa a picture of the boutique, and Rosa messages thanks in response. Rosa and Kris send each other grin emojis, with Kris telling her to stop chatting and go look good in a leather jacket.

Then, Serena texts Rosa, saying that an awesome woman like her needs to rock Team Skull attire. Serena tells her that Kris and her are in Nimbasa Fashions, and seeing Team Skull accessories caused them to remember to inform her about the boutique.

Rosa giggles, amused that these two set themselves up to be defeated by the queen. “I don’t think anyone among us loves fashion as much as they do, but I can’t fall behind.” She smirks, tilting her head backwards. “I'm way too beautiful to let them overtake me.”

Rosa dallies to her left, halting so she can twirl around. She marvels at all these buildings, liking the various colors that they're finished in, such as cream, azure, and yellow. She's also intrigued that the other buildings were assembled with some kind of rugged stonework, while the theatre doesn't have such a bare look to it. Maybe Kris can fill her on this. She doesn't want to disturb a certain someone's win streak.

Then, Rosa notices that said boutique's three buildings left of the performing arts theater. She lets out a happy gasp, running towards it as fast as she can. She loves the fact that she can awe at herself in a leather jacket within an old and cool building.

Within the boutique, Rosa stands in front of an oval mirror. Rosa grins as she does a twirl, admiring how good she looks in this awesome leather jacket. Several of the other shoppers enjoy her jovial nature, as evident by their smiles, smirks, and grins.

Rosa turns her back to the mirror, glancing behind her to awe at her reflection. This white leather jacket's stylish with a gold Team Skull logo plastered on the back. Grimsley Lauren may be what she’s usually decked out in, but she can’t pass up a this jacket. Guzmani's her second favorite brand, after all.

“Tee-hee, Kris and Serena were right!” Rosa gushes. “I look soooooo good in this Guzmani jacket! This is awesomeeee!”

Rosa unties her hair. As her hair flows downwards, she runs her right hand through it. “This further proves that I'm the perfect combination of cuteness and beauty,” she declares. “I'm gonna buy this right now.”

Rosa takes off the jacket, then she reties her hair. She twirls, then dashes towards the nearest cash register. Luckily, there's no line standing between her and buying this jacket.

“Everything's awesomeeee! Everything's cool when you're part of a team!” Rosa cheers, causing the female cashier to smile while scanning the jacket.

“Everything's awesomeeeeeee, especially when I'm here!” Rosa places money on the counter, unable to stay still. She can't wait to wear this jacket as much as she wears her favorite necklace.

“You’re a fun person!” The cashier exclaims, placing Rosa's jacket into a bag.

“Wherever Rosa goes, smiles follow!”

"Have a good day!"

"Tee-hee, you too!"

Rosa grabs ahold of the bag, then darts away.

It's now late afternoon, and Rosa's now standing within a sparsely crowded plaza. She plans to battle numerous times here to end off her day of exploration. After this, it's Valey time again.

However, the smiles that she brought to this area's evaporated by a cheater. The trainer she's just defeated is recalling a Glalie and Magmar, but this was supposed to be one versus one battle. He had the nerve to send out two Pokemon against her Serperior.

Serperior dispatched both of her opponents with ease, but Rosa can't stand dishonest people like this. She notes that a group of other trainers are watching this scene. She can feel an aura of hostility from them, like they're ready to pounce on the guy. One of them even's called out a Gallade.

Sporting a scowl, Rosa turns her attention towards Serperior, who's also displeased. Rosa doesn't want to waste more of her Pokémon's time with this sore loser, so she recalls the green serpentine. She places the ball back inside her pink purse.

“That battle was too one-sided to be fair!” The male trainer barks.

“I didn't do anything wrong, dumbass!” Rosa folds her arms, staring the male trainer down with a enraged glare. “You’re the one who cheated!”

“There isn't anything official that says I couldn't use two Pokémon against your Serperior!”

Rosa calms down, taunting, “It's not my fault that you're so weak.” She sports a mocking grin, sticking up both of her middle fingers. “You thought you could intimidate me because I'm a cute looking girl?”

“You bi-”

“Unfortunately for you, this is out of my hands now,” Rosa interrupts. “You're nothing compared to me, so why waste my time?”

A certain someone happened to be passing by, and he's not happy. He's currently leaning up against the side of a local restaurant.

“Back off,” Rosa warns. “Or else.”

“Or else what?!”

“Or you'll have to deal with me.” Valen saunters towards the scene, his hands resting in his pockets.

“Who're you?!”

“I'm your worst nightmare.” Valen glares downwards at the male trainer, his eyes emitting a menacing vibe. “I challenge you to a battle.”

Rosa clasps her hands behind her back, striding behind Valen as she sticks her nose up at the male trainer. “Call out multiple Pokémon at once if you want!” She slightly tears up with laughter.

“I'm the big bad trainer who beats you down without ever letting up.” Valen smirks, exchanging a fist bump with Rosa.

“Shut up already!” The male trainer barks, calling out an Electabuzz, a Skarmory, a Mightyena, and a Lunatone. “I'll win this easily!”

“I just need to use a single Pokemon.” Valen's smirk turns into a scowl. “I’ll teach you a lesson that you won’t soon forget!”

Valen takes out a Poké Ball and tosses it into the air to let out his Salamence. The red-winged dragon lets out a thunderous roar, sending shockwaves through the ground and air.

“Dragon Pulse, attack now!”

A white sphere of energy forms within Salamence's mouth. The sphere transforms into a dragon-shaped beam as Salamence launches it at his opponents.

The beam morphs into an enormous white dragon with blue eyes, wings, talons, a lengthy tail, and talon-shaped spikes running parallel on both sides of the head. A howling gust of wind blows like a cyclone, the dragon formation leaving zero chances for any of the four Pokémon to respond. Electabuzz, Skarmory, Mightyena, and Lunatone begin to back away, gazing upon the dragon formation with awe and terror.

Seconds later, all four Pokémon are blasted by the dragon formation at a high velocity, sounding like a massive explosion's just occurred. All four Pokémon are instantly knocked out, causing echoing thuds as they slam into the ground.

“I've never faced a Pokemon this powerful!” The male trainer shivers, recalling all his four of his Pokémon.

“Bye bye bye!” Rosa howls, mockingly waving at the trainer.

The male trainer takes off running, but the locals aren't letting him off so easily. As Rosa predicted, they pounce on the guy, chasing him far away from the plaza. The trainer with the Gallade leads the pack in their pursuit.

Valen turns his attention towards Rosa. He notes that she's wearing a white leather jacket. He smirks when she turns around to show him the Team Skull logo, looking back and giving him a flirtatious wink.

“Here’s my apology for butting it.” Valen sweeps her into a hug, wrapping his arms around her mid-section. “I know that you didn't need me for this, but it wouldn’t have felt right if I kept on walking.”

“I’d have done the same thing for you.” Rosa wraps her arms around Valen’s neck. “Just because we can handle ourselves doesn’t mean we can’t back each other up.”

“Heh, point taken.”

Valen and Rosa passionately kiss for a few minutes. Then, Valen lets go of Rosa and vice-versa.

“By the way. is it just me or do we always run into each other when we go out separately?” Rosa points while holding her left hand sideways, sticking her thumb out next to her chin.

“It’s definitely not just you,” Valen answers. “The amount of times this has happened is well into the dozens, if not hundreds.”

“That one time where we ended up in the same airport at the same time's the weirdest one.”

“Agreed.”

“We've definitely met before we were together, since I was one of the reaper's biggest fans.” Rosa's mouth falls open. “It can't be a coincidence that my celebrity crush's also my boyfriend, can it?”

“I've seen you at my battles in the past, but I had an aura of mystery to maintain.” Valen shrugs. “Hilda would’ve given me an earful if I said my real name, so we didn't become acquainted until later on.”

“It’s like Arceus is a shipper and we’re the OTP,” Rosa comments. “Or maybe Dialga’s the shipper and alters time to ensure this happens.”

Valen pats Rosa on the head again, both giving each other an adoring smile.

Valen turns around and begins to saunters away, placing his hands in his pockets. “I'll make two of your favorites for dinner: garlic parmesan pasta and spring rolls. Dessert’s fudge brownies.”

“You're spoiling me, sweetie!”

“I regret nothing. See you at home.”

Valen and Rosa wave goodbye each other. Rosa sports an affectionate smile as she watches him walk onto the concrete sidewalk and out of sight.

“Let's see what Melanie, Hilda, Serena, Skyla, Rui, and Lillie think about who the shipper is! Group chat time!”

As Rosa enters her messages, her phone shuts off by itself. “Nooooooo, my battery died! Why’d I leave both my portable charger at home?!” Rosa pouts, folding her arms.

“The last time I asked Eelektross to charge my phone, I almost needed a new one! It’s not her fault, but that’s the last time I search for advice on Glaliebook! Use an Electric-type to charge my phone, they said! It’s guaranteed to work, they said!”

 
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BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
Chapter 27: Unovan Girls

It's early morning, and Rosa’s just waking up. She lays on her back, letting out a loud yawn as she stretches her arms upwards. She rubs her eyes, letting out another yawn.

"Good morning-"

Rosa’s eyes widen, her mouth falling open. She rapidly turns her head to her left, realizing that Valen's not here. Somehow, Valen’s escaped her cuddling without waking her up.

"H-How did he escape?!" Rosa yelps. "You mean to tell me that he's learned to escape my grasp?!"

Then, Rosa notices a note that Valen’s left. She moves in for a closer look, mentally reading the words written on it:

Sup,

I got my Slaking ass up at seven thirty in the morning so I could go to the nearest Interpol office to turn in my badge. I've already eaten breakfast, so don't worry about me.

No, I was not grumpy. Okay, maybe I almost ran into the door since I was still half asleep.

Anyway, today marks the slow beginning of The Black Reaper’s return. You wanna see what Armageddon looks like? I’m gonna show you. It’s Team Skull’s Valen.

P.S. The AC's at a cooler temperature, because you’re emitting too much heat.

P.S.S. I made you blueberry doughnuts.


"....He snuck in a compliment, and he made me breakfast." Rosa lovingly smiles. "He’s the absolute sweetest thing."

Rosa can’t help but sniffle. Valen's left the house to turn in his Interpol badge, just like he said he would. He’s always attempted to keep his word as best as he can.

Rosa decides to bring the note with her downstairs. She cups it in her right hand, and she slowly gets off of the bed. Sporting a placid smile, Rosa walks towards the open door.

After exiting the room, she glances at the white, marble ceiling. Both Hilda and herself always liked the contrast of black & white on the house’s walls and roof. It reminds them of Unova.

Both Hilda and herself know that Valen’s too much of a sweetheart to let them feel homesick. Rosa believes that he will keep his word about visiting Unova. Perhaps he’ll also learn to make Unovan pizza? How about an attempt at copycat phaal curry from Castelia City?

Rosa recalls the time that Silver tricked Hilda into visiting a restaurant in Castelia City that serves phaal curry. Hilda didn’t know how spicy phaal curry was—it’s the spiciest curry in the world. She needed a lot of water afterwards, and she didn't finish it. Silver finished his, though. Then, Hilda challenged him to eat the rest of hers, and he did just that. The squad still doesn't know how he's got such high tolerance for the spiciest dishes.

Hilda got the last laugh—After using Umbreon's Toxic and Starmie's Zap Cannon, Garchomp managed to sweep Silver’s Kommo-o, Feraligatr, and Zoroark in a three versus three. That was the first time Hilda's defeated Silver, and she was jumping up and down in elation.


Rosa stands in the living room, her arms folded and a proud smile plastered over her face. She glances at the note, giggling over the fact that she's read it like twenty times.

Two and half hours have passed since she woke up, but Rosa’s not worried. She took a shower and ate the yummy breakfast that Valen made for her. Then, she watched an iconic film called The World of Horrors. Rosa recalls that upon seeing this film for the first time, Leaf and May were smitten with the main protagonist, a vampire named Sorin.

Then, Rosa hears the front door being unlocked. Valen strolls into the house, shutting the door behind him. As she places the note on the snowy white sofa that's behind her, Rosa glances in his direction, noting that he's in a content mood. He feels calm and relaxed.

Rosa waits to speak, but she decides to wait when see observes that Valen's on the phone. She guesses that he's talking to his superior.

"I need to let you and my colleagues handle police work," Valen admits. "Therefore, I'm officially retired."

"It's been an honor serving with you, Specter," Anabel commends.

"Likewise, Anabel." Valen softly smiles.

"I'll still update you on any info regarding Rosa's past," Anabel informs. "Good luck with whatever you plan to do."

"Thanks," Valen replies.

Afterwards, the phone call ends, and Valen puts his phone in the left pocket of his pants. Valen looks at Rosa, and they walk towards each other at the same time. They embrace each other, with Rosa wrapping her arms around Valen’s neck. Valen wraps his arms around Rosa’s mid-section. Valen hoists Rosa up, causing her to sport a warm smile.

"I'm very proud of you, sweetie." Rosa kisses Valen several times on the lips.

"Thanks, that means a lot," Valen replies.

"I'm also proud to be your girlfriend, sweetie," Rosa states.

"Gimme a break." Valen smirks. "I'm more proud to be your boyfriend."

"In your dreams, you silly boy." Rosa flritatously winks. "I've always been more proud of my favorite boooy."

"No, I've always been more proud of my cinnamon bun." Valen bops Rosa on her forehead.

"No, I'm more proud." Rosa bops Valen on both cheeks.

"Wake up, it's morning." Valen bops Rosa twice.

"Grrrr, feel Rosa's kicks!" Rosa repeatedly bops Valen's legs with her feet.

Valen and Rosa laugh as they let go of each other. Valen puts Rosa down, and decides to check his text messages. His jaw drops when he sees that he’s got thirty three unread text messages.

"Ooooh, do you have lots of messages?" Rosa giggles, bopping him on the forehead once more.

"Kris, Skyla, and Brendan have been texting me a lot lately, but I'm cool with it." Valen shrugs, reading all of the messages.

Valen catches a glimpse of the mustang yellow shoelaces that're on Rosa's ice blue and white shoes. "Going somewhere?"

Rosa nods, grabbing her white, Guzmani leather jacket from the same sofa's armrest.

"I'm going to go hang out with Hilda!" Rosa exclaims as she wears her jacket.

"My odd habit of getting nervous aside, letting your hair down with that jacket will make you look even more gorgeous.

"Awwwww, thanks! I'll do that next time!" Rosa kisses Valen on the lips. She winks, then turns and darts towards the front door.

"See you later, sweetie! Make sure you eat a healthy lunch!"

Rosa opens the door, stopping in the middle to wave at Valen. Valen waves back, and Rosa continues to dart out, closing the door behind her.

Valen's smile becomes more somber. "....Hilda...I've gotta make it up to her...somehow."

He still regrets how he initially treated her on the day they had that double battle. Even worse, he still doesn't know why he struggled to remember her. He obviously didn't forget her completely, so what happened? Did his negative mentality cause happier memories to be repressed? Hilda was so much fun to be around, just like Rosa. Did his negative mentality make him repress the memories that would've proved how improbable it is for Rosa to be mad at him, much less hate him?

Who knows, but Valen's thankful that he was able to escape the pit of despair. Of course, he couldn't have done it alone. His Pokémon and a number of people came to his aid. He'll always be grateful for that.


It's now early afternoon, and Rosa's brought Hilda to the large plaza within the Art Deco district she re-visited on the same day of their battle.

"You were right!" Hilda cheers, keenly eyeing the rear of the vibrantly colored buildings on both sides of the plaza. "Those buildings are really cool! They've got lots of awesome colors!"

"Tee-hee. Rosa wins again!" Rosa sticks up her left index and ring fingers.

Rosa notes that this time, the plaza and the walkways are packed with people. As per usual, a number of Pokémon are present, such as a Charmeleon, a Wartortle, an Ivysaur, a Medicham, and a Pupitar.

Are they mostly locals, or did more than a few tourists venture over here? Either way, the duo sport warm grins as they wave to the people that've noticed them. The crowd of people approach the duo, with more people joining them.

"Center of the plaza, center of attention!" Hilda exclaims.

"Tee-hee, free smiles for everybody!" Rosa proclaims.

"I can't believe the BW Agency's president is strolling around here!" A male trainer with a Dewott exclaims. "That girl’s awesome!"

"Rosa Whitley here's too!" A male trainer with a Eelektrik shouts.

"These two are soooo cool!" A female trainer gushes.

"They rock Grimsley Lauren clothes so well!" A female trainer with a Dustox shouts. "I looove Hilda's black waistcoat, and Rosa's got a white Guzmani jacket to match her top!"

While the crowd encircles them, Rosa and Hilda slightly press their backs together. "Don't be fooled by our good looks, cuz we pack a punch!"

Rosa places her right hand on her hip. She positions her left hand sideways and sticks up her left index and ring fingers. Hilda follows suit, but she does it in the reverse order.

"We're ten out of ten in all categories, cuz we rock!" Rosa and Hilda confidently wink again. "We're unavoidable! We're unstoppable! We're undeniable!"

"Everybody wanna be us masters! Everybody wanna have our skills!" Rosa cheers.

"Everybody wanna be this awesome! They wanna make it to the top of our hill!" Hilda cheers.

Rosa and Hilda notice that not only the crowd's gotten bigger, but nearly everyone's got a smile, smirk, or grin on their face. They look at each other, sporting broad grins. Hilda slightly jumps up, clasping her hands above her left shoulder. Rosa clasps her hands next to her right check.

Then, both Rosa and Hilda notice a second group of trainers. They're all clutching Poké Balls in one of their hands, with several pointing the balls at the duo. Rosa and Hilda note that several Pokemon are already out, such as a Rhyhorn, a Cacturne, a Butterfree, a Dusclops, and a Solrock.

"Playtime's over! Unovan Queens, it's time to roll out!" Rosa and Hilda wink again. "Lights, camera, victory!"


Both Hilda and Rosa are engaging in separate, one versus one battles. The crowd's gotten ever bigger, as word spread that Hilda and Rosa were battling.

Hilda's battling a male trainer with a Rhyhorn, while Rosa's battling a female trainer with a Cacturne. They've won nine battles each so far.

"Umbreon, use Dark Pulse!" Hilda commands. "Show him the power of Expert Trainer Hilda!"

Umbreon fires off a stream of yellow circles from her mouth, the circles resembling the ones on the black quadruped's body. The stream of circles strike the opposing Rhyhorn in the face. The rocky quadruped's sent staggering backwards, slamming into the ground in defeat.

"Argh, I should've known! Rhyhorn trainer yelps as he recalls his Pokémon.

"It's time for the play's climax!" Rosa proclaims. "Milotic, use Hydro Pump!"

Milotic fires off a powerful jet stream of water from her mouth, which crashes into the opposing Cacturne. Cacturne's struck in its upper chest. The Grass-type's sent flying backwards, falling to the ground in defeat.

"These two live up to the hype!" Cacturne's trainer gush as she recalls her Pokémon.

Rosa and Hilda press their backs together. As a smirking Umbreon and a grinning Milotic join their respective trainers, Hilda takes out a phone. The bright light of the phone's camera flashes several times, with Hilda and Rosa feeling like they're striding down a red carpet. "I’m on an awesome quest, and I want the whole world to see that I believeeeee!" They wink, with Hilda recording this scene on video. “I’m gonna beeeee the very best, and all I’ve got to dooooo is believe in meeeee!"

Rosa and Hilda hi-five each other. Milotic and Umbreon attempt to emulate this via the former's tail fin and the latter's front left paw.

"We'll rise up to the challenge every time!" Rosa and Hilda cheer.

"On top of being strong, these two are super lively!” A female trainer with a Tropius exclaims.

"They're making it so much fun to hang out here!” A male trainer with a Loudred gushes.

"Yeeep, that’s Battle Queen Rosa!" Rosa raises her left fist towards the sky.

"Rosa can carry whole show by herself, but Expert Trainer Hilda’s double the trouble!” Hilda jumps.

A male and a female trainer step up to the plate. The male trainer calls out an Electivire to battle Rosa's Milotic, while the female trainer calls out a Hariyama to battle Hilda's Umbreon.

"Nuh uh, type advantages can't save you from us gals!" Rosa and Hilda wink again. Rosa wags a finger, while Hilda folds her arms. Umbreon and Milotic jump in front of their respective trainers, ready for another battle.


Valen's relaxing in his backyard's large patio area. He's received a lot of pictures, so he's browsing through them. Salamence, Gardevoir, Typhlosion, Gengar, Luxray, and Golisopod are standing next to him, surrounding the walnut chair he's sitting in. All six Pokémon are sporting smiles over how much he's improved.

Valen checks all of the pictures that Rosa's taken of herself. "We've spotted a walking Sunny Day who's also an adorable cinnamon bun." he states as if he's narrating a nature documentary.

Then, Valen goes to check the pictures that Hilda's taken of herself. Valen smirks, remarking, "I don't wanna be a player no more, but Hilda's still the prettiest agent and manager."

Valen looks at the photos that include both of them. He laughs, saying, "These two ladies have always been a blast to be around. Melanie loves to hang out with them too."

Valen places his phone in the left pocket of his pants. He looks up, eyeing all six of his Pokémon.

Valen folds his arms, sporting a confident smirk. "Your trainer's back, and he's ready to kick ass." All six of Valen's Pokémon let out triumphant roars or cries in response.

Then, Valen remembers what he wanted to spend the day doing. He smacks his face with his left palm, as it involves his cell phone, causing all his Pokémon to smirk in amusement.

Valen and his Pokemon laugh over his reaction, with Valen taking out his cell phone.

"I've gotta call up more own friends," Valen says as he dials a number. After a few rings, the call's answered from the other end.

"Wow, you actually picked up the phone this time." Valen smirks.

"Hiii, Valen!" Rui exclaims. "Sorry, I just got back from Sinnoh a couple of days ago! How've you been?!"

"Better than before, Valen answers.

"...I'm glad to hear that," Rui replies. "Rosa told me what happened to you...I was really worried."

"...Are you doing okay?" Valen's tone quavers.

"Yeah, I'm getting better," Rui affirms. "We can't do anything about it. We've got no control."

"I guess so....but that's a reason why both of us became-"

"It still hurts, but I'll be okay," Rui reassures in a soft tone. "I have lots of friends that care for me, including you."

"They kept proving me wrong over and over again." Valen softly smiles.

"I'm going to give you a big hug the next time I see you," Rui informs.

"I seem to be getting all the hugs lately," Valen jokes.

"You need lots of-"

The sound of her Leafeon & Glaceon whining causes Rui to groan. "I just fed you two! You want to be the first of your kind to evolve into Snorlax?! Nidoqueen, stop laughing!"

"Some things never change." Valen snickers.

"Hey, don't laugh! at me!" Rui scolds. "Wait, what's that n-Leafeon, get out of the food closest this instant!"

Valen puts his cell phone on speaker, wanting his Pokémon to hear Rui shouting at her Pokémon. Salamence, Typhlosion, and Luxray exchange grins with each other. Golisopod cackles, while Gardevoir and Gengar snicker.


Rosa and Hilda have ended up in a much quieter, park-like area of the city. Rosa and Hilda sport gentle smiles as they scan the flowing current of the creek. They note the rocks that're scattered in the creek, looking like the world's smallest islands. A trail of rocks run parallel on both sides of the creek

"It feels like we just left the city and wandered into the countryside." Hilda takes a whiff, smiling upon smelling a pleasant aroma.

Rosa takes a whiff herself, exclaiming, "That's an awesome aroma!"

Rosa glances towards the lush green grass, noting that it looks like it's mandated on a regular basis. She eyes the various types of flowers among the grass. She likes the various colors, such as red and yellow.

Hilda glances up, eyeing the lush leaves of the many trees that tower in front of her. She notes that while many of these trees are tall, there seems to be some smaller trees scattered in-between them.

Hilda glances back down at the creek, smiling as she spots a Sentret and a Furret taking a drink. There aren't many people around, but there are a number of Pokémon present. Most look wild, but others seem to be owned by trainers, such as the Weavile that's walking next to a male trainer on the other side of the creek.

Hilda faintly laughs when she spots a laughing duo of Gastly and Shuppet pop in and out of the water just for fun. She taps Rosa on the left shoulder, tilting her head towards the Ghost-type Pokémon. Rosa takes a look, giggling at the sight of the playful Ghost-type Pokémon. She can see Valen's Gengar and May's Banette doing the same thing.

Hilda notices a pair of Victreebel using their leaves to hold a hyperactive Weepinbell back from eating too many apples that've fallen from a large tree. Hilda notes that there's another Weepinbell that's lying down, its eyes closed as it groans. Maybe that one ate too many apples?

Either way, it reminds Hilda of the time that her Umbreon, Valen's Luxray, and Melanie's Absol had a Tamato and Moruga berry eating contest. All three of them had massive stomachaches afterwards, with Luxray and Umbreon also needing a lot of water. Melanie's Absol knowing Flamethrower is the only reason she could think of for Absol not needing a lot of water.

Rosa notices a flock of Pidgey landing near Hilda and herself to take a drink. Several Pidgeotto and a Pidgeot land to take a drink too. A flock of Starly and Staravia that's led by a Staraptor follow suit, landing on the other side of the creek for their drink.

Hilda and Rosa look at each other, giving each other a warm smile.

"This is such a fun day!" Hilda clasps her hands over her left shoulder.

"I knooooow, right?!" Rosa clasps her hand next to her left cheek.

"So, what should we do now?" Hilda asks, folding her arms.

"Tee-hee, Rosa will find something!" Rosa twirls.

Rosa rapidly looks around the area. After about a minute, her eyes fixate on a large, wooden picnic table.

"Ooooh, that's a nice spot to sit and relax!" Rosa twirls again, pointing to the table.

Hilda nods. "First, let's get something to eat and drink," she suggests. "I saw vending machines somewhere back there."

"Kaaaay!" Rosa grins.

"After that, we've got to call out our Pokémon too!" Hilda jumps, clasping her hands in front of her mouth,

"Good thinking!" Rosa cheers. "Tee-hee, it's like our own little picnic!"

"Yeeeep!" Hilda exchanges a hi-five with Rosa.


Rosa and Hilda are seated at the picnic table. Both have gotten themselves cans of orange juice and a bag of potato chips. Both have their eyes closes as they munch on the tasty chips and take sips of the refreshing juice.

As they eat and drink, Rosa and Hilda glance to their left. All of their Pokémon are close by, and they note that all of them are sporting smiles.

All except for Hilda's Umbreon, who's brooding over the fact that she's got nobody to brood with. However, this isn't uncommon, so Hilda and Rosa aren't concerned. Besides, the other Pokémon won't let her brood the entire time, as Hilda's Beartic is about to prove.

Umbreon smiles when her Beartic teammate approaches her, holding two berries. He gives one of the berries to Umbreon. Umbreon glances around, noting that her other teammates, plus Rosa's Pokémon, seem to want her to join them. She nods and takes a nibble of the berry, closing her eyes in delight over how delicious it is. Umbreon lets out a faint cry, telling the Pokémon to make room for her.

Then, Rosa's Milotic's approached by her Hydreigon teammate and Hilda's Garchomp. Hydreigon and Garchomp wants to know the current status of her relationship with Salamence. Milotic slightly blushes, causing both dragons to to laugh.

Hilda's Braviary and Rosa’s Aerodactyl soars through the air, letting out proud cries. Rosa's Eelektross is taking a pleasant nap on the grass. Hilda's Emboar takes a nap while sitting up. Rosa's Serperior keenly studies all of the flowers that she sees. Hilda's Starmie is resting in the middle of the creek, enjoying the feeling of the flowing current on the bottom tips of its star-like body. Rosa's Volcarona is hanging out underneath one of the numerous tall trees, unsure about what he should do.

Rosa and Hilda turn their heads, looking directly at each other. The Pokémon are having a good time, and they’ve finished their snack and drink. Thus, it's time for their own chat to resume.

"This region's really awesome, isn't it?" Hilda asks. "Actually, I should say that it's still awesome."

"This time, I can explore more of it," Rosa replies. Exploring this region's made her remember that long before Valen, she accompanied her scriptwriter father to Calvana a couple of times. She was very young, so didn't get to explore at all.

"Hey, remember, when your Zweilous evolved into Hydreigon?" Hilda faintly laughs. "He was something, wasn't he?"

"Hydreigon's been called the most difficult Pokémon to tame, and that's the day I found out the hard way." Rosa recalls that upon evolving, Hydreigon wanted to fight every single potential opponent it came across.

"He still listened to you," Hilda points out. "He was just way too hungry to test out his newfound power."

"His belligerence didn’t last long to begin with." Rosa folds her arms, tilting her head backwards. "I'm Battle Queen Rosa, so of course I succeeded in taming a Hydreigon."

"Hmph, I was the one that they called a prodigy." Hilda smirks, tipping her white and pink hat downwards. "My name's Hilda White and BW Agency's my business."

"Remember when your Gabite evolved into Garchomp?” Rosa giggles.

Hilda sighs, "He was laughing at me for running into a tree, but he acted like Hydreigon. It was to a lesser extent, but I can see why Garchomp’s notoriously difficult to tame."

Then, Hilda folds her arms. "However, I’m Expert Trainer Hilda. Of course I’d succeed in taming a Garchomp."

Rosa giggles. "Soooo, what’ll happen after the move's been completed?" She piques up. "Will you still have a Unovan division?"

"Of course, silly." Hilda smiles. "Nate's going to run it."

"Tee-hee, you actually remembered to pick somebody!" Rosa giggles.

Hilda faintly laughs, asking, "How about you, Rosa? What's your plan overall?"

"I already said that I’m Battle Queen Rosa." Rosa's mouth curves into a lopsided smirk. "I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was."

"Don't forget who you're talking to," Hilda counters. "I'm Expert Trainer Hilda."

"I'll admit that one of the very best sounds more appropriate, but it doesn't sound as awesome." Rosa shrugs.

"We're already two of the best!" Hilda's eyes gleam with joy.

"Tee-hee, you're right!" Rosa's eyes glitter. "We're the Two Unovan Queens!"

"I'll defeat you in our next battle, though."

"Oh please, I'll just kick your butt again."

"We'll see about that, Rosa."

"You weren't even a trainer at first!" Rosa giggles. “That’s what I’ve been told!”

Hilda's face slightly reddens. "H-Hey, yes I was! I got my Eevee and Tepig around the same time I started planning the BW Agency!"

"Tee-hee, I still had a head start, cuz you're a silly noob!"

"I w-was b-busy with my job!"

"Sure you were, Expert Noob Hilda!"

Rosa and Hilda share a laugh, turning their heads to see how their Pokemon are doing. They sport warm smiles upon seeing that the Pokémon are still enjoying themselves.

"Heeey, I had an idea!" Hilda rapidly turns her head towards Rosa. 'Since the BW Agency works with trainers too, you can become a client of mine!"

Rosa lets out a happy gasp, exclaiming, "That's an awesome idea, Hilda!"

"I'm now your agent!" Hilda exchanges a hi-five with Rosa. "We're gonna be a great team!"

"Yeeeeep!" Rosa sticks her right index and ring fingers up. "Don't forget that it's a triple team!"

Hilda smirks, replying, "I wasn't letting him get away from me eight years ago. I won't let him get away in the present either."

"Tee-hee, there's no escaping us Unovan girls!"

"I should ask Melanie if she wants to be my client too!"

"Tee-hee, that’d means we’d all get to hang out together again!"

"That’s the plan!" Hilda cheers. "I'll ask Leaf too!"

"Yay, more besties!" Rosa winsomely grins.


The sun's setting in the horizon as Rosa and Hilda walk down the cobblestone sidewalk within Valen's neighborhood.

Once they arrive at the maroon and black house, both Rosa and Hilda grin. They dash towards the front steps. They had a lot of fun together, and now it's time to have some fun with Valen.

The front steps creak and Rosa and Hilda walk up them. Rosa uses her key to unlock the front door, and both of them stroll inside the house.

"Everybody wanna be like Rosa!" Rosa cheers. "Everybody wanna have my skills!"

"Everybody wanna be like Hilda!" Hilda cheers. "They wanna hang out with me on the hill!"

Then, Rosa notices two opened parcels within the living room. The brown boxes have two familiar items resting to the right.

"Ooooh, the old and cool chair arrived!" Rosa's eyes sparkle, darting towards the gold, polychrome chair. Rosa keenly studies at the hieroglyphics engraved on it.

Rosa jumps back when she spots a familiar looking item resting in the middle of the golden chair: the crystal bowl engraved with galloping Sawsbuck. "W-Woah, it's that old and cool bowl!" She exclaims. "Did I even mention it to him?!"

"I told him on the day before we had our battle," Hilda admits.

Then, both Rosa and Hilda hear Valen's voice coming from the dining room.

"It looks like Valen's on the phone," Hilda notes.

"Let's wait in his room," Rosa suggests, taking off her Guzmani jacket. "Need to put this back in the closest too."

"Good idea!" Hilda broadly grins. "I've yet to see his room again. Let's goooo!"

"Kaaaay!" Rosa winsomely smiles.

Hilda and Rosa share a laugh, and the two of them head towards the staircase. As they begin to walk up the steps, both feel content about their current situation.

"Upon evolution, Valen’s Salamence became belligerent too. That’s what he told me." Rosa says to Hilda as they walk up the stairs. "Valen said that he doubted himself, but Salamence refused to let his trainer’s doubt longer. Kinda like how our own dragons calmed down shortly after."

"He told us, silly." Hilda faintly laughs. "Having a strong bond really does help with difficult Pokémon like Salamence, Hydreigon, and Garchomp."

"Yeeeeep!"


Valen leans against his walnut dining table, holding his phone sideways. He's currently video chatting with another old friend: Unovan champion Hilbert Black.

"Salamence and I will defeat Zekrom and you one day," Valen proclaims. "He wants a rematch."

"You sure about this?" Hilbert smirks, tipping his red and black cap over his eyes. "You know I don't play around."

"You may be top dog tonight, but-" Valen's eyebrows angle downwards, his mouth curving into a cocky, lopsided grin. "The bigger the come, they harder they fall."

"Hmph, you've still got guts," Hilbert compliments. "I've always liked that about you. You never back down from even the toughest challenges."

"Betcha didn't count on my return."

"I've gotta jet," Hilbert informs. "I'm glad I got to speak to you again, and that you're doing better now."

"Thanks, Hilbert."

"Say hi to the girls for me."

"Will do." Valen nods. "Say hi to Nate, Skyla and the others for me."

"I can do that," Hilbert replies. "See you later, Valen."

Right after the video call ends, Valen's phone rings, but it's a regular call this time.

"Heh, look who's finally turned up." Valen smirks, answering the call. "Hey there, Melanie."

"Sorry big guy...I've been a little busy, I also feel really bad." Melanie sighs.

"You okay?" Valen's smirk vanishes, his voice emitting a mellow tone.

"Don't worry, I'm fine."

".....How dumb do you think I am?" Valen smiles. "You planted the seed for Rosa and the others."

"...Thanks, I'll try to remember that."

"Take your time, I'll be waiting."

"I want to hang out with you three tomorrow, and I’m up for almost anything."

"I've been calling old friends, so I'll let you go for now." Valen smiles. "Besides, those two have returned."

"Wait until I'm there, then you'll have triple the trouble."

"Oh please, I'm the squad's top charmer," Valen boasts. "I can take on all of you at once."

"Challenge accepted, big guy."


Within Valen's room, Hilda rapidly looks around, noting that Valen's doubled down on the old furniture theme. First, there's the bed that's got ornate imagery and patterns carved into its black wood. She notes that the wood's shaped like a curved arch on both ends. Then, Hilda notices the lamp on the round, carved walnut table. Her eyes light up as she darts towards. She loves the lush imagery lush imagery of pine trees, mountains, and a pagoda plastered on the large shade. It even has Ho-oh and Lugia soaring above like their besties. Upon seeing the mahogany display cabinet next to the table, Hilda's eyes gleam at the awesome Pokemon sculptures within them.

“This must be where Valen plans to place the bowl, plus this is so coooooool!” Hilda gushes.

As she turns her attention to the mahogany bookshelf that's got a bronze clock and an old photo of Valen and four Pokemon in it, she realizes that Rosa's been focusing on one thing this entire time.

“Sorry, but I can't stop staring at this!” Rosa's eyes glitter.

Hilda realizes that Rosa's become mesmerized by what Valen's got resting on his walnut desk—he's retrieved his three Calvanian Conference trophies, his two Pokemon World Tournament trophies, both sets of symbols from Hoenn's Battle Frontier, and both sets of prints from Sinnoh's Battle Frontier. Dozens of other trophies and medals from smaller, mostly local events rest on the desk as well. The sparkling gold and silver reminders of his past successes causes Rosa and Hilda to sport broad grins.

“Now I'm mesmerized!” Hilda's eyes glitter.

Rosa begins to shed a few tears. "Trying to fix his self-esteem...calling up old friends...making new friends...Valen's been trying so hard to change his ways...he wants the real him as his exterior."

"Yeah...the person I call Val-Val's back." Hilda sheds a few tears herself. "He rarely backed down from a challenge."

"Hilda, I'm...I'm so proud of him."

"You two are perfect for each other."

Rosa's mouth curves into a cocky smirk, folding her arms. "Just remember that I'm the girlfriend of someone who was many girls' celebrity crush. Don't get mad when they come to see me as the pinnacle of perfection."

"You forgot that I'm the reason why The Black Reaper came to be." Hilda playfully winks.

"I was such a big fan that I never missed a single battle!" Rosa raises her right fist upwards.

"You owe me." Hilda nudges Rosa with her left elbow. "Pay up, Rosa."

"I'll repay you by joining the Unovan fan club!"

"That would be sooooo awesome!"

"However, I'm going to unite all of his fans under The Valey Girl Association!" Rosa raises her left fist upwards.

Hilda nods, stating, "He's going to be my poster boy again, whether he likes it or not." She folds her arms and closes her eyes. "I don't play games when it comes to my job."

"Didn't he used to call you Hard-Ass Hilda?" Rosa giggles.

"Being a hard-ass is why the BW Agency's become notable within the entertainment industry!" Hilda raises her left fist upwards.

"By the way, who's going to be running the Unovan fan club?" Rosa piques up folding her arms.

Hilda shuts her eyes. "Aieeeeeeeeeeee, I forgot to call Skylaaaaaaa!"

"Hahahahaha, you're so good at your job, but you're still such an absent-minded klutz!" Rosa tears up in hysterics.

As Hilda pouts and as Rosa laughs, Gengar's red eyes and grin materializes in the floor. Then, Gengar jumps out of the floor and lets out a high-pitched scream, startling the duo.

"Aieeeeeeeeeeee! Why's it always us?!" Hilda and Rosa yelp, their eyes widening.

Both girls nearly lose balance fall on their backs, wrapping their arms around each other to bring themselves back into an upright position.

"Bad Gengar!" Hilda and Rosa scold. "You can prank others, but not us!"

As Gengar roars with laughter, his trainer appears behind him. Gengar and Valen exchange a fist-bump. Gengar vanishes back into the floor, deciding to give his trainer some privacy.

"How was your day?" Valen asks.

"It was awesomeeee!" Hilda and Rosa gush.

"Rosa and Melanie are going to be my clients too!"

"Uh....you do remember that Rosa's still your client....right?" Valen blinks. "Rosa and I met because of that."

"How did we forget that?!" Hilda and Rosa yelp. "We're sooooo stupid! Valen, please make it all go away with a hug!"

"Crazy girls." Valen laughs. "I'm looking forward to it."

"Tee-hee, we'll get to hang out together at the agency!"

"Hilda's a skilled agent and manager, but she's also the prettiest agent and manager." Valen smirks.

"Your Charm attack's still too powerful!" Hilda gushes, clasping her hands over her right shoulder.

"My romantic soulmate turned out to be perfect blend of cuteness and beauty." Valen winks.

"Stop it, you're gonna make me blush!" Rosa gushes, placing her hands on her cheeks. "Hilda, use Wrap before he swoons me for the millionth time!"

Valen's eyes widen as Hilda tackles him. Hilda forces Valen to sit on his bed. Then, Hilda wraps her arms around Valen's neck, resting her head against his upper chest.

"Rosa's given me permission to receive first cuddles." Hilda playfully winks.

"Afterwards, I plan to cuddle Valey for as long as reasonably possible!" Rosa grins, darting towards Hilda and Valen.

"Fine by me." Valen wraps his left arm around Hilda's mid-section, running his right hand through her hair.

"You're still as cuddly as ever, Val-Val." Hilda softly smiles. "This will always be relaxing."

"You know, you’ve never told us where the agency’s headquarters is." Valen smiles. "It can’t be the same one that I helped you set up in, right?"

"You’re right," Hilda replies. "I found a larger building in downtown for the agency to set up its new main headquarters."

"....I've gotta make it up to you somehow," Valen tells Hilda. "I'll be your poster boy, I'll help you set up, I'll do-"

"You don't need to make up anything to me."

"I wanna help regardless." Valen smiles. "That's what friends are for, right?"

"Yeah...you're right." Hilda sniffles. "You're too good to me."

"Also, are you still staying a hotel?" Valen asks, snapping Hilda back into focus.

"Yep," Hilda replies. "I planned on moving here from the start, but I wanted to wait before buying a house."

"Well, going from a hotel to a permanent house seems a bit drastic of a change," Valen says. "There's a unused bedroom you can use for the time being."

"That's a great idea, Valey!" Rosa's eyes glitter. "We'll have loads of fun together!"

"...You didn't change one bit....you're still the sweetheart of a client and friend that I remember." Hilda sports a tender smile, shedding a few tears. "Thanks, Val-Val."

"Also, we've got more catching up to do," Valen points out.

"Give me a few days, then prepare for Expert Trainer Hilda." Hilda lets go of Valen and vice-versa.

"Roar, it's time for my cuddle of doom!" Rosa sweeps Valen into a warm embrace, wrapping her arms around Valen's neck.

"This is your punishment for setting your phone to Do Not Disturb yesterday." Rosa pulls Valen down on the bed with her as she lays on her back. "You don't laugh at the queen either."

As Valen rests his head next to her right shoulder, Rosa places the tips of her hands on the back of his head.

"This is an odd reason for not moving the larger bed into the master bedroom, but it's very relaxing." Valen closes his eyes, wrapping his arms around Rosa's mid-section. "Also, you're too adorable to question."

"Tee-hee, I turn Valey into a softie!"

"You turn everybody into a softie."

"Hey sweetie, thanks for the bowl." Rosa kisses Valen on the top of his head.

"Thanks for the chair."

"I’m also very proud of you, sweetie," Rosa softly says. "You’re trying your hardest to change."

"Thanks, that means a lot."

"Get some rest, sweetie."

"Why?"

"Ooooh, did you really think that because I'm going out on my own, you could escape being nurtured by me?" Rosa giggles. "Tsk tsk tsk, you're such a silly boooooy."

"I'm going to nurture you too, Val-Val," Hilda teases. "It's my turn to make you feel relaxed."

Before Valen can say anything else, he feels Hilda jumping onto his back. Rosa giggles again as Hilda wraps her arms around Valen's upper chest.

"Good thinking, Hilda!" Rosa exclaims. "Tee-hee, now he's all mineeee for as long as I want!"

"I've got exclusive privileges from Rosa," Hilda whispers into Valen's left ear.

"This is an odd situation to be in," Valen comments.

"What’s the matter, big boy?" Rosa flirtatiously winks. "Did you really think we'd leave an exit open for you?"

"Can't handle two gorgeous Unovan girls at once?" Hilda playfully winks. "We won't let you escape our grip, Val-Val."

"Hilda are I are going to gang up on you," Rosa whispers into Valen's left ear. "I hope Skyla shows up in Calvana someday."

"You know you want both of us.” Hilda whispers into Valen's right ear. "Admit it, or I'll make you admit it."

"Wait, what the hell?!" Valen shrieks. "Hilda, what happened to-"

Valen feels Hilda gently pressing her lips against the back of his head, causing him to grumble. "Double the pain in the ass."

"We got yoooou!" Rosa and Hilda cheer.

"...Moving on, I'm surprised that you're still single," Valen tells Hilda.

"Don't be silly," Hilda teases. "You know the reason why."

".....Right, now I remember." Valen smiles.

"Any romantic partner must accept all of my friends, or Hard-Ass Hilda's not interested."

"That's the rule for all of us," Rosa kisses Valen on the top right side of his head. "You're the only one who passed with flying colors."

"I'm Team Skull's Valen," Valen boasts. "Scrubs don't have my level of charm, so they can't pull it off."

Rosa and Hilda laugh, both bopping Valen on the top of his head.

"Not everybody's lucky as you, Val-Val," Hilda says. "Your friends are Rosa's friends, and vice-versa."

"You've got a point there," Valen admits, sporting a cocky smirk. "Like I said, scrubs can't pull this off."

"You're sooo funny!" Rosa and Hilda laugh.

"Heeeey, let's go to the agency tomorrow!" Hilda exclaims.

"Ooooh, good idea!" Rosa's eyes glitter.

"Let's bring Melanie along too," Valen suggests.

"Of course!" Rosa and Hilda cheer.

Unbeknownst to Valen, Rosa, and Hilda, three of Valen's Pokémon are standing outside his room door. Gardevoir leans up against the with her arms folded, sporting an adoring smile. Gengar's returned, laughing at the mischief going on inside. Luxray's got his eyes closed, the feline sporting a faint smile.

Within the backyard, Salamence, Typhlosion, and Golisopod are watching through the room's arched window. Golisopod lets out a cackle, while Salamence and Typhlosion let out low-toned, triumphant roars.

It's not just the humans who're proud of him. All six of them are proud of him. He's finally moved on, accepting that he can't do such a job anymore. He's socializing, he's smiling, he's laughing, and he's determined. For Valen's Pokémon , it's only a matter of time before their trainer and them make their comeback.

 
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Yodakage Kira

A man with a golden gun
Pronouns
he/him
I'm here for catnip!

I read chapter 1 and I am quite mixed about it. I don't really know what'll be useful as criticism or what is simply my bias when it comes to these sorts of slice of life fics.

The characters are strong, I can feel that no matter the genre. They're distinct and easy to tell apart and I can tell you're good at that. I was never once confused about the dialogue between them either. It makes sense and drives connections. Good job here.

The plot itself... I can't really comment on yet. Again, its slice of life, so a plot would mostly be on the background. People don't read slice of life for the plot. They read it for the fluff, the relationships, the... slice of life. This is an area I have never written in, so I can't really say anything even of use.

Grammar... for the most part its completely fine. There are a few typos or missed characters like here where maybe I would recommend reading through your first few chapters exclusively looking for this sort of stuff...
What do you mean by that?!"
But other then that its not the most distracting thing in the world. Some parts could use some polish, like here...
Melanie sits on a park bench in a quaint, quieter neighborhood that is a considerable distance away from downtown. However, this area's still within Angel City's boundaries, as the city's massive.
Into:
Melanie was sat on a park bench in a quaint, quieter neighborhood that was a considerable distance away from downtown. However this area was still within Angel City's massive boundaries.
At the end of the day its your choice.

There is one thing I can give my definitive opinion on. There is a damn well lot of telling. Like in the first few paragraphs alone we find out that Valen is an ex-soldier, that he's anti-social, that his Pokémon give him the strength to fight on, and that he has a potential GF and hung out with Team Skull. There is so much coming so fast I barely have time to apply it to his character before something else is thrown at me at breakneck speed. If this is not your intention, you might want to look into it.

Other then that though, your first chapter was pretty good! I wonder what Rose will be like when she sees the absolute state Valen is in...
 

BossCar

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
He/His
I'm here for catnip!

I read chapter 1 and I am quite mixed about it. I don't really know what'll be useful as criticism or what is simply my bias when it comes to these sorts of slice of life fics.

The characters are strong, I can feel that no matter the genre. They're distinct and easy to tell apart and I can tell you're good at that. I was never once confused about the dialogue between them either. It makes sense and drives connections. Good job here.

The plot itself... I can't really comment on yet. Again, its slice of life, so a plot would mostly be on the background. People don't read slice of life for the plot. They read it for the fluff, the relationships, the... slice of life. This is an area I have never written in, so I can't really say anything even of use.

Grammar... for the most part its completely fine. There are a few typos or missed characters like here where maybe I would recommend reading through your first few chapters exclusively looking for this sort of stuff...

But other then that its not the most distracting thing in the world. Some parts could use some polish, like here...

Into:

At the end of the day its your choice.

There is one thing I can give my definitive opinion on. There is a damn well lot of telling. Like in the first few paragraphs alone we find out that Valen is an ex-soldier, that he's anti-social, that his Pokémon give him the strength to fight on, and that he has a potential GF and hung out with Team Skull. There is so much coming so fast I barely have time to apply it to his character before something else is thrown at me at breakneck speed. If this is not your intention, you might want to look into it.

Other then that though, your first chapter was pretty good! I wonder what Rose will be like when she sees the absolute state Valen is in...
Thanks for the review. I’ll fix up the opening sense.

The thing is that the story’s present tense. While I can still try to fix it, the suggestion you gave for that quote is in past tense.
 
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