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Pokémon Walls


Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
"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 The idea that a town had sprung up next to Nanu's station was an uncomfortable one for the withdrawn officer, and the construction had put his Meowths on edge, but this was even worse.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.


Angy Tumbleweed
In Guzma's Closet
  1. sylveon-shiny
  2. gothitelle
  3. froslass
  4. chandelure
  5. mimikyu

Okay, this was stellar. I admit I do not read a lot of Guzma content myself because I'm kind of territorial but this was fucking great, 100/10 stars on yelp. I loved everything about it, from the prose, to the characterization, to the structure, everything. Pat yourself on the back and put this in a fucking museum.

I loved how between each section we get a sense of time passing without anything really being said. There's just subtle changes in demeanor, and things said, that make it clear it's a different time, or something bigger has happened outside the Walls *roll credits* of the story. Going from the ransacking of Po Town, all the way down to the evident disbandment of Team Skull felt like a really nice, really evenly paced, procession, and I loved how naturally Guzma and Nanu's relationship progressed even with minimal exposition between each section. It just felt good, it didn't read forced, it just happened. Really really good.

Also holy shit your dialogue between them was stellar. Like wow, I'm a slut for good dialogue and you hard delivered.

"Maybe you've heard of her. Business, first name, Nunya."
"Well aren't you just the world's fucking greatest detective. Move."
"I'm seeing my sugar mama. Yep, got myself a hot piece."
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."
Like dear god all of this was fucking priceless, I could HEAR Guzma saying this shit. And especially that last one, made me scream out loud. Amazing comedic timing for something pretty damn heavy.

Nanu wanted to be sarcastic and say that records were before Guzma's time, but he didn't.
Also this was iconic and I totally wish he had say it because the reaction would have been everything.

They were both trying to quit, so they limited themselves to once a day and had taken to smoking together.
Then lastly, this. This just totally solidified their unlikely friendship, and I squealed like a little teeny bopper at a Jonas Brothers concert. Kind of leaning on each other for something relatively small in the face of all the other shit they're evidently dealing with. REALLY REALLY good.

If it wasn't clear I very much enjoyed this one-shot and I'm hard kicking myself for taking so long to read it. Thank you for writing this and sharing it, and I hope to see you around!!!

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Awesome! Thank you for reading and I'm glad you liked it!


A Scribe Penning His Brainworms
  1. aggron
  2. sceptile
  3. lucario
Given this week’s theme in the Review Blitz 2022 is oneshots, I thought I’d try my hand at reviewing a few of them, and this was among the ones that caught my attention.

Let’s get into it.


This is quite an interesting backstory of interaction between Nanu and Guzma. First of all, I approve of this, as these two are among my favourites of the Sun/Moon cast. Secondly, it builds backstory for why Team Skull’s base is in Po Town, and it provides history between the two of them.

They’re brilliantly within character: Nanu being as uncaring and apathetic as ever, and his dry, deadpan humour being perfectly on point. As well as that, Guzma takes on his cocksure, arrogant persona very well (and later on, a more timid side after his visit to Ultra Space). There’s a definite kind of love/hate relationship between the two of them that’s explored quite well, where Nanu, despite not liking Guzma or Team Skull’s presence outside his police station, begins to look out for them, and especially Guzma after the Ultra Space ordeal. Then in turn, Guzma wonders about Nanu joining up with the Pokémon League. The fic begins with them as frosty adversaries (though not in the aggressive sense) and ends with that coldness thawing. A nice feeling of progression, while I always like to see in fics.

It’s a great story of a friendship between an officer and a delinquent, summed up best by this last line:

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

If I do have to be critical of one thing, though, it’s the lack of horizontal lines splitting each scene up. It’s just a personal preference of mine for fics to have this.

This mild criticism isn’t enough to mar the fic, though. You did a great job with this backstory building oneshot, and this gets my seal of approval.


Unrepentent Giovanni and Rocket fan
I though intackles this one. Guess not. Lets fix that.

Well theres some symbolic stuff about dogneat dog and finders keepers but i suspect guzmas logic is going to come out as "it was there". Followed by a "and no one else was"

Wellnits preservation of skull culture which is an aspect of alolas culture.. The youth firebrand desperate faction... So hes got a point. Even if nanu doesnt want to really acknowledge it and the social issues it entails.

And the many social failures but thats a different essay.

Love how nanus always thinking of his kitties. Construction to bring in wealth? Cats dont like so he doesnt. Homeless kiddie camp springing up nearby. They hate it worse so he does too.

The man has his priorities nice and skewed.

And guzma has a point one that again no one seems to get and thats a shame.

Well nanus police instincts are still kicking as hes poking where he isnt wanted...

And nanus statement could have meant something totally different and i half think he meant it that way to get a rise out of guzma... That or he's slipping..
Still guzma putting it togwther was pretty bloody funny.

And no not that right hand.. Or the other one either.. Sheesh old man. Twisted mind much? But then considering how much of a misanthrope nanu is in canon...

Seriously why did the hawiaan pokegods pick him again? A stump might have had more empathy...

And consideri g he had his aha moment after the walk home maybe more brains...

How did this man survive police acadamy again?

So guzmas been busy. Set.post canon he doesnt have too many people to smack around that much so i wonder at the story behind his battle wounds. Considering nanu is king of half hearted investigation and caring indoubt we are going to get that story..


Laughs. actually since records came back, especially vinal, it is his time as are drones. Nanu just got the first time around with vinal.

Huh so nanis softening per shared trauma amd nicotine addiction and the skull kids are cottoning on and offering a olive branch of gaming. Nice that guzmas taking them up on it i wonder if nanu will as well?

Regardless its nice to see them bonding and the skull kids healing and everyone kinda moving on.

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
I'm glad everyone likes it so much! Haha this is wonderful! I wish I could have been part of this review blitz but I got too busy.

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
The comment about the walls being there to "keep us out" is about gated communities tending to be very exclusionary. It was probably initially constructed to be something swanky. The "Nunya Business" thing, think of it like "Bond. James Bond" or something. Though maybe the first comma could have been a semicolon.
The "sugar mama" he's talking about...oh you know her. He's just being weird about it.

I'm glad you liked it! And moreover I'm glad you like THEM!


Bidoof Fan
  1. sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
  4. kirlia
  5. windskull-bidoof
  6. little-guy-windskull
  7. purugly
  8. mawile
  9. manectric
Hi Blackjack! I'm here for your catnip review!

Man. The first scene does a great job of showing off Nanu’s apathy. Is Team Skull illegally squatting? Yeah. Does he care? Kind of. Is he going to do anything about it? Not if he doesn't have to, no. But even so, there are hints that he cares about what happens to the kids in Team Skull. The end makes it clear, even if it comes across as somewhat insincere if you don't know him.

Don't have much to say about the second scene, but the dialog is on point.

The third scene circles back to my point about Nanu’s personality. He is generally pretty apathetic, and his dialog would suggest that he only cares about what happens to the kids because it's his job, or could even be interpreted as a slight against Guzma. But knowing his personality puts those lines in a different light and makes it clear he cares in his own way.

And then at the end the focus on Po Town’s wall in the opening sequence is recontextualized to represent the metaphorical wall between these two. I'm struggling to put into words exactly why, but I like it.

Alright, overall thoughts. I do want to preface this with the fact that I don't read mainline/trainer as much as I do pmd/pokecentric, so there may be some nuance that I miss. That said, I think this fic does a great job depicting the relationship between Nanu and Guzma (and the rest of Team Skull, by extension.) The progression of said relationship feels natural, as does the dialog. They feel like Nanu and Guzma.

If there's one critique I do have, however, it's that I'm struggling to place how far back some of the scenes take place and what the timeline between some of the scenes are. The first one, in particular, is throwing me off a little since we’re just sort of thrown into it. Nanu calling Guzma a boy doesn't help. I think the implication is that he's a very young adult. But it's still difficult to pin down when this happened or how much time passes between this and the end.

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Anyone younger than 45 is probably a kid to Nanu honestly.

Thanks for reading! Glad you liked it!
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