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Giovanni: a pleasure RD EDITING PENDING

K_S

Pokémon Trainer
If there was any mercy in this abomination pseudo world it was that the childbearing his wife’s voice looked very little (precious little) like Grace.


Age distanced them, though at this moment he seemed younger, time-reversed, and all that was his curse for the moment. But at that moment his mind felt infinitely older.


Experience with seeing a near generation grow up had trained his eyes to anticipate how potential could manifest. Long-legged, long-necked, skin near glistening white, all tells of a… how had he heard it referred to? A swanmay build? There was a promise of near ethereal grace to this girl. With training and time, she might become one of those few blessed people considered a timeless beauty.


As it was her dress hid her knees and obscured the fact they were knobby, probably scraped from a fall and there was nothing to grace to the girl as she staggered to her feet. Though it was likely nerves rather than an upcoming growth spurt playing with her balance just then. She seemed horridly timid, dangerously fragile just then. It’d taken several minutes for her to understand that she could uncurl from where she’d fallen, never mind that her ‘mon, a black and blue star-speckled tuft named “nebby” was placidly sitting at her side. Hinting this had happened often enough the beast knew to wait her out…


While her altruism –she’d curled around her companion to shield it even as she fell- was an admirable trait in certain circumstances… Shown in someone this young… to this extreme… compiled with her instinctual fawning that’d make a deerling proud. The hints were disquieting.


Her timidity and the fact that there were no callouses to this child’s hands as he pulled her up, served as another wedge between this girl and Grace. Though her apologies, of wasting her time in that voice were like knives to the gut. Snapping his finger set Beedrill to alighted upon a nearby tree, and startled her to silence. Above them all, Beedrill forgoed scraping his blades for such obvious prey that clearly wasn’t worth it. While the blonde child got combobulated Giovanni stayed kneeling. Allowing the vaguely amorphous thing that’d attached itself to the girl’s side as her starter to sniff his fingers and chirrup up at him.


It looked, vaguely mind, like a star-speckled hopip, save less solid, and looking at it directly made his head ache.


So he looked away as he stood, brushing his knees and sliding his hands into his pockets.


She was taller than Grace had been at that age, or so he supposed. Grace had a small collection of school photos he’d flipped through a time or two, while they’d spent one afternoon reminiscing about their educations and plotted tame things, about how they were going to accommodate their child, perhaps multiple children, into a school and training regimen.


This legend wrought approximation, his rival he supposed, was different, and each difference was a mercy. He tallied them even as listening to her chatter about nothing much at all sent him back, to the bittersweet give and take that’d been the whole of his and Grace’s relationship.


It’d never meant to be.


Grace had worked near all her life. Menial jobs at first. Finances and lack of opportunity binding her to the most mundane of lives. Only a lucky lottery ticket had gotten her enough resources to elevate herself into the proper circles and into his regard.


And yet she hadn’t caught his eye. Not in the traditional ways. With her windfall, she’d aspired to an education, and her ambitions had been of an altruistic slant. Human medicine, nursing to be specific, and she’d had the freedom to pursue her passion at whatever clinic she wanted. She worked at the high-end hospitals, to test her skills, and spent chunks of her time volunteering at the poorest facilities to help those in need, refusing pay because she could and refusing to allow her services to be charged because to do otherwise would be amoral.


He’d found her a pretty face among a wash of them at some medical charity or other. A reoccurring guest among the elite as Viridian was promoting itself as humane and medical break troughs and humanities went hand in hand.


At first, he’d thought the elderly man on her arm her father, and for a grown woman to have such deep seeming familial attachments, had led to him dismissing her beyond her prettiness and lowered her status to that of a babble. When her escort had proven to be a director or other, some supervisor of hers, the illusion of being attached to her family at the hip was dispelled. She’d cycled through a small clutch of elderly men who looked nothing like her and been shamelessly using them as a means to access, and then poke and prod at the elite without being “available” and thus accosted by the powerful and preyed upon.


It was an interesting tactic.


When he’d found… or rather not found the biological relationship between her and the first guest. And discovered her angle and her source of shield… Well, it was a curious mode of operation, to go as friends with such elderly souls.


And she’d seemed to genuinely like humoring the old curmudgeons she went with. Spending her time trading catty work gossip and commentary on those about her to the delight of her companion of the evening.


She continued to brush against his world all accidental. And once affirmed that she wasn’t a professional escort -


And in such a humorous way no less! The Rocket had considering hiring her as such, thinking an evening on his arm would be a reprieve for them both when one of Giovanni’s rival, some oil dealer from Driftveil, had approached her to crassly suggest she spend the evening with him, rather than her present companion. The lewd undertones hadn’t been missed, and her refusal, to word it gently, had been to shoot both men and offers down. Calling any who’d hire her, a spineless reprobate, and suggesting a number of graphic medical conditions be inflicted on any who’d hire another as fucking eye candy.


Watching Clay slink off, tail between his legs, shirt front soaked as she’d ordered him to get back and when he hadn’t she’d lashed out. First with her glass’ contents, then by snapping up a knife from the table. To the sight of bared steel Clay’d backed down, blearily baffled as to why she’d get herself in such a twist at such a friendly offer.


But he’d left, to shamble off and inflict his drunken self on some other poor soul. And it’d been a treat to not only see an opponent debased but in such a way


-So she was not to be confronted or approached as an escort, noted.


His amusement was only mildly tempered when he’d gone to look up a few of the more obscure diagnoses and been sickened by the reading.


Parties in Viridian were funerals with a festive spin. Perhaps off-put by the natural greens and spring about the city the rich and famous who gathered in Kanto’s green heart wore colors long associated with funerals. Black, near see-through, speckled with gems to the point of looking like cheap sequins made of diamonds, was the norm. She skipped that memo, cycling through a few vibrant colors before settling into a flattering red, ankle-length dress that’d made it easy to trace her moments as she wandered about.


It was about the time she’d settled into her preferred colors that he’d admit he was attending more events just to see her. That he was gathering tales and weighing approaches, and it’d been a year and a half that she’d gotten that lucky ticket. And the wonder of her, such a low-class girl, being a part of the upper eulachons, was starting to wear thin in his circles. She’d been getting fewer invites, and he’d come to the realization that he’d have to approach, sooner rather than later, but there was a terror in doing so. Clay wasn’t the only man she’d shot down in self-defense, and while he wasn’t like that, drunk or cold stone sober, he had his own reputation she might misinterpret.


Though, on the other hand, she seemed oblivious to him, his regard, and really anything beyond her altruism and her amusements.


It was a curious and endearing sort of tunnel vision.


He’d normally not listen to the various chat shows and gossip rags given air time, but it made acceptable and educational background noise while he worked. Winter was coming, a time when he focused on the social aspects of his public persona. Not bothered by holidays, religious leanings, or familial obligations, he’d been neck-deep in the workings of his syndicate until a day ago. Unfortunately working among the dredges of society had its… messy aspects… And he was dealing with the residue of executions on his wardrobe. While not quite neck-deep, it’d made a mess of his shirt and undershirt, as one of the fools to be killed had had the audacity to fight back. He’d peeled off his shirt and was working off a pair of blood-stained gloves while the tv prattled on. Rocket uniform shucked off and thrown upon a sheet of plastic, he made idle plans of burning, tossing one glove after the mess, and fighting a bit with the second.


Her name, and the word scandal, stopped him halfway with the other glove. The horror that she’d raised was a tame thing. Not dressing as the other social climbers. Some interviewer or other had pinned her down at her work, ignored her calls to security, to grill her on the many social norms she was eschewing. Wasn’t she aware of the shame of not stimulating the fashion industry, by not trading her garb with every event…


Her response, that this prattle was keeping her from her patient, and that the interviewer needed to go, now, was hardly marking a dent… And, because she hadn’t been taught better, she made something of a fatal mistake, she’d responded to the question pressed to her.


Why waste the money? Her candor had caused Giovanni to huff a laugh, the other glove off and among the pile, relief both surprising and potent as it ran through him and the prattle went on.


Grace, a woman without many social ones, merrily alternated between tearing into the interviewer about how it was better to be frugal than flagrant and how he was compromising the care of her patient… Then security had come and hauled the damned fool of an interrogator off and the media bit had tapered off, switching to other subjects.


Some affair or other, utterly expected and boring, only mildly intriguing how the married woman managed to step out with five partners behind her husband’s back in their home.


The alluded security holes of that caliber could easily be exploited for break-ins in due time, he’d have to send a Capo to look in on that.


The Rocket, near buzzed on a rush of relief, finished the chore of changing and gotten on with burning what evidence needed to be burned. The following interviews faded to mere background noise as he got back to work.


She favored flowers wound through her hair instead of the bejeweled clips, gemmed tiaras, of her betters. Deciding that if she was going to do “something with her hair” she was going to stimulate a part of the economy that wasn’t horridly wasteful. When winter descended she swapped the woven plants for nothing. Picking warm scarves and fluffy muffs, and despite lacking style, the accessories had shown off a bit of her ingenuity. Grace had slipped a blue tooth earbuds among the fuzz and synching the technology to her watch which she could activate by seeming to stretch. She’d been listening to some talk piece before he’d approached; smiled and nodding at her companion who’d been awkwardly talking at her for a while now. The man was some director’s son she clearly wasn’t interested in and wasn’t paying a whit of attention to.


And the man was that special type of bore not to notice he was being ignored.


It seemed such a horrid way to spend one’s winter holiday, being monopolized by a boring bastard, so plucking a bit of courage up, Giovanni approached. Amused that such a cunning woman would be content to seem vapid for a man she wasn’t going to be talking to again. But then considering the last time she’d been obviously without an escort and Clay’s attempts at… getting her attention… And how no one had intervened. She probably considered it safer to tolerate and play a fool than do without.


She was clearly dying of boredom because she didn’t drive him off when he approached. When he asked her something “borderline intelligent”, well that’d been it for her companion, who once recognizing Giovanni, was quick to leave and leave her unprotected as well.


“He’s a poor defense,” Giovanni noted, dark eyes following the fleeing doctor, lips pressing into a scowl.


The soft buzz of the broadcast cut off as she rolled her wrist and cut the signal with the flick of a finger that looked like a pet stretching gesture. She considered her companion who’d merrily abandoned her, then considered him, clearly bemused.


“Yeah, he’s definitely not the best… But I knew I was getting into when I got saddled with him. An at-work lottery… Anyways,” Shaking her head, red locks tickling her ears, surly, she tipped her head at him, hands on her hips. “I got a taser, just in case. I’m not going to need it, am I?”


“Hardly.”


It was a quick dart from here to the nearest refreshment table; she could adlib a weapon and drag up a scene in seconds. The rug under his feet could easily be pulled, though her dress would make the motions awkward… He could see her weighing the various environmental factors to use against him, and he slid his hands into his pockets, letting her complete what mental tally she needed to feel safer.


“You could get a ‘mon, pass it off as a companion and no one would need to know it was meant as a guard animal, especially if you forgo the Arcanine line. It’d be less obvious.”


“Think they’d let me in with a grimer?”


Just imaging the sheer chaos a grimer, or muk would kick up. He smirked, envisioning rivals and lessers all trying to tactfully not wither away under the fumes and scream as art, rugs, and shoes were ruined in masse.


“Probably not. But if you do let me know, I’ll bring a few antidotes along, just in case.”


And if a few of those antidotes were duds, setting certain enemies and inconsequential to die or have long lasting side effects… well it’d be an interesting springboard to launch a smear campaign against a few of his rivals in the poke-medical field. Archibald’s organic flouted medicines were getting enough traction on certain crowds to be irritating, and a recall would likely beat the entreprenuers sales down enough to get them out of Celedon, and eventually out of Kanto without too much mob interference.


Really, he just wanted that bald man’s face off the billboard across from his office, if a few more odious irritants died as a result, all the better.


She smirked at him, obviously trying not to laugh and endearingly oblivious to the true slant of his thoughts.


“Who’d of thought there was something like humor under all that broody staring and dithering.” She drawled and to that stab, at his pride he snorted.


“So you did notice me.” He might have preened a bit for that, but her smirk had him rewind what she said. Mirth felled, his face twitching in irritation as he translated from Kanto slang to Italian and realized what she actually meant. “I was not being broody.”


To that bit of petulance, she rose an eyebrow, tipping her head up a bit because she was just short enough to need to do that to look at him properly.


“Whatever delusion gets you through your day, sweetheart.”


Then she left him, to carry on with what she’d later tell him, were her “ rich person rounds”.


As if her presence amongst them had been a duty and chore.


While she didn’t bring a grimer, her borrowed Kanguaskhaun made quite the impact. He’d known about well before because she’d gone through the tiresome legalities of filling out all the paperwork to rent a beast from a company he’d owned that dealt in renting retired battlers for various charity or sportsmanship events as mascots. The request was so odd, she’d wanted to deck the thing out in a gown, and had asked for something with high tactile tolerance and affability for children, loud noises, and glitter… It’d been so damned odd it’d landed on his desk rather than an underling’s. And he’d granted it with the request he be allowed to see the process and end results of all these odd caveats personally.


Which was how he’d found out where Grace worked on the weekends. And spent one amusing afternoon among the long-term care children in a hospital assisting them “make Kanga pretty” for some party of other that they could scarcely pronounce.


He’d ruined a perfectly good suit in the chaos, lost a shoe, and was finding glitter for days.


He could not imagine this child to have such spirit as his Grace. And that revelation soothed some of the pain gripping his heart. He’d humor her, perhaps linger a bit, because Grace would have wanted such and he wasn’t such a shoddy Gym Leader to throw children to the ‘yennas… Then, once an appropriate amount of time had passed he’d leave her, hopefully, safer. But if not… Well, he’d do what was reasonable to make sure she wasn’t in immediate danger when he left and that’d have to do.


“If I may?” He indicated the ground beside her, he’d coaxed her to sit upon a smooth rock after they’d walked a little way because she was limping, and she’d followed his lead woodenly. Still, he was tired, and standing over her was more irritating than anything else. So when she nodded he took a seat on the ground beside her, leaning against the sun warm stone, thinking of too much and too little, all at once.


“Th.. Thanks for saving us. Me and Nebby, from your Beedrill. Not that we needed it. I’m sure he’s a nice.. um Bug Type and wouldn’t hurt anyone.”


To that Giovanni huffed a laugh. “Oh no, it’s an utter avaricious-“ tipping his head up he considered the child and her age. “-black hole. It’d of eaten your fluffball and you for a snack and gone for a rattata for seconds if I weren’t around to slow it down and remind him that we can’t afford to empty out whole echo systems because you’re feeling peckish.”


The last he hollered at the tree. Blades scraped then, irritation and a wordless assurance that if he’d have a settled nest/hive Beedrill wouldn’t have to go showing it’s superiority and hunger among the masses. With a certain amount of hatchling weedles to tend to it’d hunt less, not more. Lies, from first to last, and were he alone Giovanni’d of called the bug out on its Taurus shit. As it was he rolled his eyes and ignored both the scraping lances from above. And the fact that the girl wasn’t breathing. She’d either fix it or pass out and her subconscious would fix it for him.


“You know, I don’t think I caught your name.” She managed to squeak out, finding something like courage in acute discomfort and kicking her feet a bit as she sat… well not beside him per-say… but close enough that he scrunched a bit away from her least she miss and kick him by accident.


“Giovanni Sakaki, you?”


This was so different, so wrong….


Having stepped out “for some air” and mildly intoxicated, she’d hung rather unseemingly about the edge of a balcony. Ground level, mind, so the fall wouldn’t be too great, but she was far gone and surprisingly melancholy. A curious mix and it was a peculiar backhanded honor that she’d let him see her like this.


“Haven’t you hear of me?, I’m the luckiest bitch in Viridian, won two lottos back to back, and have all the mandibuzz of a region calling my phone. I changed my number twice, block the bastards and they still won’t leave me alone. I’m seriously considering changing my name, might slow the carrion eaters a bit.



“Lillie Aether.”


From over a decade ago, hearing her voice now brought the memory of her voice as and words as clear as the night he’d heard them.


“ ‘M, Grace Evens”



And he responded then as he did now, unable to shake off the fact that this echo was not a benign bit of whimsy, but somehow ominous.


“Well, regardless of how we’re meeting, it’s a pleasure.”


The child's resultant confusion to what must seem utter nonsense was more than understandable, still, he didn't explain, dare not explain, though she clearly wanted answers.
 

TheCouchEffect

Bug Catcher
Pronouns
He/His
This was a really fun story to read, even without much knowledge of the Manga on my end. Despite that, the story was easy to follow and incredibly interesting from start to where it is currently.

The plot itself is interesting - taking a character like Giovanni who is about as experienced as can be and who is used to operating in a much more brutal world then plopping him in the world of the games is wonderful. The set-up was wonderful as well with Giovanni suffering from injuries both man-made and caused by his actions against the Legendaries. Him being put into the current situation alongside Silver because Celebi took the most convoluted route of healing and potential punishment for his actions works well. I'm curious where you'll take it in the future since so far he seems to be avoiding the plot of the games. Will he decide that Aether and the Ultra Wormholes are his best bet to escape whatever this is? Will he ultimately get revenge on Celebi? How will he react to Guzma and Team Skull? Will Rainbow Rocket make an appearance? There are so many questions I'm dying to have answered.

I love the direction you've taken with the Legendaries as well. They are the closest thing to gods that the Pokemon world has, and that you've decided to depict them the way you have is really interesting since most of the time they're benevolent forces. Here they're a lot more ambiguous. Some of them like Entei and Jirachi having more positive views of mortals while those like Celebi view them as things was interesting to see. With Celebi in particular I can see why it's in the camp of viewing them with disdain since it only appears in times of peace... supposedly. Also Celebi is a lot more snarky than I would have thought and I really like that.

I also like that Arceus is considered something none of the other legendaries want to deal with if they can help it. It's a refreshing change of pace.

The battle scene between Giovanni and the legendaries was fantastic. It was well detailed, well choreographed, and had a really fun flow. It was nice to see that not only were Giovanni and Silver both working together to use their Pokemon to hold off the Legendaries, but that the two of them had actually gotten involved personally. Celebi having its fingers sliced may have been the most surprising moment in the fight, but it worked.

Overall, this was a great story and I can't wait to see more. Giovanni is such a fun character to see in action here and really makes this story unique.
 
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K_S

Pokémon Trainer
You know I realized I forgot to answer all of your questions that I could without getting too spoilery and since I have some time I'll do so now...

The Manga has a really interesting combat system, where OP moves (those in the games and anime) might actually not save your bacon in contests/fights and the cast gets their hands dirty with one on one physical trickery brutality, and the like. It's a good case study to see an alternate way for 'mon battles. I drew Silver's attack on Celebi from the spirit of that, and Gio's going to draw on it during his chapters later on. I'm seriously thinking of having him walk around the scuffling 'mon, up to a Skull grunt during a 'mon battle and just decking one of them out of irritation... perhaps even Guzma... because they are in his way and that's not the safest place to be when he's on a mission/ticked/ect and having the whole Skull team just blue screen of death because this random dude just broke all the rules. Like broke broke them and they can not compute.

Celebi technically did heal Gio when he de-aged the man, all the Legend had to do was de-age him and ditch him and they'd of been done. The fact that Celebi didn't, and the fact that he dragged an innocent and good person into it (silver's kinda that antithesis of his father in that regard) in my mind slides Celebi out of ambiguous and into the villainous camp. And of course, Celebi's snarky, a lot of the Legends are basically entities stacked to a job they don't want. Legends fall into two categories, burned-out misanthropes, weirdos who really get into it and fall into their roles and legends with fanatical zeal, or the ones who want out. If Arceus wasn't a threat over their heads they'd all flit off to random directions and there'd be a disaster far and wide...

About Entei, and the hound trio... this is more SoulSilver/heart gold game canon more than anything but it's established that those Legends were actually a trainer's 'mon who died in a disaster. They were brought back by Ho-Oh as a miracle and... they're probably the most friendly Legend in Manga canon, probably because of their previous positive encounters and perspectives.

Actually, I think Entei was an Arcanine/Growlithe before he died. So the Legend's basically a reborn sabertooth volcano god who mentally's stuck in his head in being a floofer snuggle dog, his Legend status is something he hates and he helps people part to prove he's better than the "aloof more professional Legends" and because he's still a relatively good dog who really really wants pets.

I'm actually looking forward to the first "trial" chapter and the opportunity it offers to get into real combat. Because Gio's not dodged all of canon, he's preceded it by heading out early, so when it catches up and he tackles a "gym" more on a whim than anything... his style of fighting is going to be so out there compared to the games canonical.. I'm looking forward to the clash.

Anyway. That's all I can answer without going too far into spoiler territory, I suspect my next update is going to be a chapter (hopefully next month latest) we'll see how it goes.
 
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