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Pokémon Walls


Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
"Why Po Town?" Nanu asked under his breath. Guzma was in front of him, all attitude and rough presentation, but Nanu had said it mainly to himself.

The boy laughed in that cocksure mocking way he had, louder than natural, throwing his entire body into the noise. "Why not? We deserve it more than any of those rich fuckers. They pay billions of p and don't even appreciate the view. Consider it cultural preservation."

Nanu frowned, which was hardly visible on his usual dour face. Team Skull didn't know anything about culture, other than what they cobbled out on their own. "They still paid for those houses. The wall is for protection from the strong winds."

"Whatever, ain't like they lived there. The town was empty so we moved in."

Po Town was set to open three months after Team Skull made it their headquarters. The idea that a town had sprung up next to Nanu's station was an uncomfortable one for the withdrawn officer, and the construction had put his Meowths on edge, but this was even worse. "It wasn't yours. But fine, if the owners won't move you out, I won't either."

There was that exuberant, heartless laugh again, echoing off the walls despite the rain. "That's right! You can't touch us! So, old man..." He started to slink towards Nanu, a good foot or more taller than the officer. "...Get the FUCK out of my town."

"Fine." Nanu waved a hand dismissively and turned to go. "I'm keeping the town key. You kids will probably need ambulance access pretty often."

Behind him, Guzma snorted, sounding like a furious Tauros. "The wall's here to keep us out. Wind my ass."

Nanu didn't say anything further, just closed the gate behind him.

"Who do you keep going to see?" Nanu asked a little louder.

Guzma stopped, hand on the Po gate. "Maybe you've heard of her. Business, first name, Nunya."

It sounded almost like something Acerola would say, if she wasn't always a ball of sunshine. "All I know is whoever it is seems to have a good effect on you. Whenever that car drops you off, you're in a good mood. Isn't common to see."

The boy looked back at the white car, almost out of sight already down the road. "Well aren't you just the world's fucking greatest detective. Move."

"Whatever. Mood's already gone. I was gonna say you should see them more often, but I don't care any more." Or at all, some part of Nanu's mind said.

"Well, if you MUST know, OFFICER," Guzma intoned heavily, leaning back, "I'm seeing my sugar mama. Yep, got myself a hot piece." He reared to his full height, but it wasn't in threat. He was smiling, not his usual mad, toothy smile but a more relaxed, almost blissful look. "What can I say? Something about that babe puts me in the right place."

Nanu just stared back blankly, thinking of just what sort of woman this could be. "Not your right hand."

Guzma sputtered, suddenly coughing. "Fucking WHAT?"

"Your right hand. That woman with the two-tone hair."

A heavy hand came down on Nanu's back, nearly knocking him over. "Of course! Officer Nanu can't have a perverted thought in his head!" It came down again and again as Guzma cackled, shades of his usual self. "Can't have that! It would make him too interesting!" The gesture was too heavy to be friendly, but Nanu didn't think it was hostile either, and he wondered if Guzma even knew how much that slamming hand hurt.

"Boring's just predictable. Nothing wrong with that."

The cackle got louder for a beat before suddenly stopping. "Whatever. Hey, that's your line, ain't it? Just don't make me do that again." With a few large steps and a slam, he was inside the gate again and Nanu was alone.

It took the officer until he was already back at the station to realize what Guzma had reacted to.

"Are you taking care of everyone?" Nanu asked distantly.

Guzma wiped his hands on his jacket, leaving a little smear of red visible on the white zigzag. "Don't ask something when you don't care about the answer."

The officer shrugged. "I can't have a bunch of kids die on my watch. You can't either."

"Ha!" It wasn't exactly a laugh, but not the word itself either. "Team Skull is indestructible."

"I haven't seen any shipments show up in a while. You must be running low on supplies."

"Nah." The boy wiped a red streak from his arm. Whatever he had tangled with had given him the proverbial what for, but Nanu knew better than to ask so directly. "My sources send us stuff by drones. After your time, old man. 'Sides, isn't as though you care."


"Whatever!" Guzma shouted, mimicking Nanu's usual tone. "God, you sound like a broken record!"

Nanu wanted to be sarcastic and say that records were before Guzma's time, but he didn't. "Better put something on those cuts," he said as he walked back to the station.

Behind him, the gate slammed shut with a force to shake the entire wall.

"When did you get back?" Nanu asked as casually as he could. It lacked his usual monotone, but it wasn't direct either. Almost as if it was directed over Guzma's shoulder.

"Donno. A while ago." Guzma shook his head. His tone had changed too. For once there wasn't any rage in his voice, no shaking anger, no dominance. He was still slumped at the shoulder, but rather than bringing out his height, something in his body language spoke of a shift in him.

Nanu wasn't going to ask about the boy's time in Ultra Space. He was a Faller now, and Nanu had had enough of that. It was a subject he wanted to leave behind him, but he knew he could at least be supportive.

Finding that he WANTED to be supportive was strange on its own.

Guzma turned around, but only took a few steps. "...It wasn't...It wasn't real." He shook his head again and laced his fingers in his hair, a calmer mirror of his familiar tantrums. "It wasn't real..."

"I'm here if you need me." Nanu hadn't planned on saying it directly, and indirectly not yet. But it was what the boy--no, the young man--should hear.

Guzma laughed softly. "You going soft on me, old man?"

"Probably." He shrugged.

"Say it again."

Nanu paused. "Nah. You heard me."

"You gonna join Kukui's league?" Guzma asked. He was slouched on a ledge, puffing a cigarette.

Nanu drew one out as well and sat beside him. They were both trying to quit, so they limited themselves to once a day and had taken to smoking together. "It's bad enough being Kahuna, and Kukui isn't a god. You?"

The young man took a long drag before flicking ash into a small container. From someone who thought nothing of vandalizing and threatening everywhere he went, he was remarkably environmentally conscious. "He didn't ask me."

"You're taking it well."

"Yeah well..." Guzma leaned back on the wet ground, hoodie up. "I asked him why he left me out and he said he didn't. But I need time."

"His words or yours?"

"...shut up."

Nanu smirked. "Are you getting along with Hala?"

"Fuck no! He's an asshole."

"Haha..." While Nanu's laugh was flat and usually got him a poke to the ribs from Acerola, Guzma was more oddly understanding.

"..." Guzma paused with the clear intent to say something, but held onto it. "...Some of the grunts asked if I want to play video games with them sometime."

"Will you?"

"Not really into that."


"But I might anyway." Guzma shrugged. "Good for morale. 'Sides, they were always bugging me to join them when the team was together."

"Mm." Nanu purposefully gave the same response to both.

"Maybe you should come. Mend your rep with them too."

The offer stunned Nanu for a moment. Could he really picture himself playing video games with a bunch of young punks? But they were all trying to get their lives together, and in a way so was he. "Why not? First time for everything."

At the image, Guzma started snickering, and at the sound, Nanu joined in. At hearing the officer expressing mirth for once, Guzma expanded into his old familiar cackle. Though Nanu's laugh didn't change, he settled back with a relaxation he hadn't felt in a long time.

The walls around Po Town still stood, but the walls around the two of them were falling at last.
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