A Guide To Her Heart
Episode 4: Stealing the Competition!
"Hurry up, James! This dress isn't going to hem itself!" Jessie whined impatiently, daunting the bright orange, “Alice-in-Wonderland-looking” style dress atop the tree stump while James and Meowth tended to the shredded ends with needles and thread.
"Well it's quite difficult when you won't be still!" James whimpered.
"Oh quit complaining!" the young ruby-haired woman bit back, looking at herself in a small hand-held mirror. "Now…what Poke'mon should I use?" she though outloud.
"I don't think it really matterz!" Meowth snickered to James quietly. "If she lost da last contest, why would she'z win dis one?!" The lavender-haired male laughed under his breath in response.
"Quiet you two!" Jessie growled, slapping the both of them in the head from above. "Hmm…" she thought. "Wobbuffet should do."
"May, don't you think you should be practicing or something?" Violet stuttered as the brunette Coordinator pushed her out of the ladies' dressing room. Before May could say anything, Violet heard a group 'ah' behind her. She turned around to see Max smiling, Ash grinning, and Brock gawking.
"WWOOWW!!" the Breeder cried, taking Violet's hands in his. "You look absolutely stunning, Vi - may I call you Vi? - beautiful, exquisite, astounding, eleg-"
"Yeah, yeah, we know!" Max sighed as he rolled his eyes and tugged Brock away by his ear. Ash just laughed at his friends. "Ya look good, Violet!" he beamed, flashing her a thumbs-up.
"Thanks," Violet smiled back, turning in the mirror. She wore a short top that showed her shoulders and midrift, and was a dark navy color; the pointed-toe boots were also the same pigment. Her skirt was long, coming to her ankles, and was an angelic white. She twirled in the mirror to get a better image of herself.
"Told you!" May giggled with a wink.
"Hey," Violet said suddenly, looking back and forth. "Where's Drew?"
"He left…kinda before we came in," Ash explained awkwardly.
"Don't you mean 'snuck away?'" Max mumbled under his breath.
Now dressed in her normal clothes, Violet, Ash, and the others lounged lazily around the Poke'mon Center. Violet couldn't understand why May wasn't practicing for the Contest tomorrow.
It was now almost sunset, and with no sign of Drew, Violet took it upon herself to scout out for him. She sighed loudly, breathing in the afternoon air as she stepped out of the Poke’mon Center.
“I wonder where he could be?” she thought outloud. “It’s getting late.” Suddenly, a flash of white light burst from her waistline, causing the white-pelted Poke’mon to appear beside her.
“’Saul!” it barked, racing off down the street to the left.
“White Fang!! Where are you going?” the amethyst-eyed girl cried, sprinting after the Absol.
Violet chased the Poke’mon to the outskirts of Saffron, only to have it crouch down in a thicket of bushes at the edge of the forest. Panting heavily, she kneeled next to it.
“Fang, wh-what ..is it?” she gasped out, using the Absol’s powerful shoulders to steady herself after the run.
“’Aabbb - ssaauulll,” White Fang grumbled deep in his throat, unusually quiet, and ushered to a clearing only a few yards away from them, hidden by a haven of tall trees.
Violet squinted her eyes, her pupils darting through the area before her as she looked for the source of White Fang’s interest. Then, an unexpected scent wafted up her nostrils. Incredibly sweet, she inhaled deeply and mewled as a taste strangely equivalent to that of cotton candy coated her taste buds. Looking to her Poke’mon beside her, she noticed that the Absol’s eyes were half-lidded, its nose high in the air. It seemed to grin at her before releasing a curt “‘Saul!” and dashing off in the direction it had indicated. Violet blinked rapidly.
“Uh…White Fang! Wait up!”
She bolted after the Absol again, the saccharine smell growing stronger with every pounding step she took.
“Roselia, use petal dance!” came the command from no where, and Violet watched as a storm of peach petals pelted down on her and White Fang, who was only a few paces in front of her. Throwing her arms in front of her face for protection, she grimaced at the challenge.
“White Fang, dark pul- Huh? Drew?!” Violet canceled her order as she glanced up to see Drew and Roselia standing across the clearing they had arrived in, the flurry of flower parts ceasing. “Hey! Why’d you attack us?!” the mauve-haired girl cried.
“We didn’t attack you,” Drew replied in a ‘matter-of-fact’ tone. “Roselia and I were training. You two just happened to show up at a bad time.”
“Oh…” sighed Violet. Drew rolled his eyes.
“What are you guys doing out here anyways?” he asked.
“Looking for you,” Violet replied, then she giggled cheekily. “Er…sorta. I was looking for you until White Fang smelt something nice and went running off in this direction. Sorry about that.”
“That was Roselia’s sweet scent,” Drew explained, crossing his arms and looking at Violet like a teacher looks at an ignorant child.
“I knew that!” Violet insisted, hands on her hips and never letting the grin leave her face. “Um….it’s getting late. Shouldn’t you.. I mean, we be getting back to the Poke’mon Center?”
Drew looked at the sky being painted a yellow-gold color as the sun sank behind the forest on the outskirts of Saffron City.
“Last minute training never hurt,” he exclaimed, returning his rose-dawning Poke’mon back to its poke’ball. Violet knew he must be referring to tomorrow’s Poke’mon Contest.
“Yes, but you need your rest too, mister!” she laughed, shaking a finger at him.
“What are you? My mother?” Drew asked sarcastically, raising an eyebrow, then walked past her back in the direction of the city.
Violet giggled at him as she and White Fang followed him out of the woods, the Coordinator scratching the scalp of her Absol at the base of its horn.
Lillian Meridian, clad in her trademark purple jumpsuit, leapt to center stage.
“Hey there, everybody!” she beamed, waving to the onlookers. “Are you all ready?!” The audience erupted into cheers and calls for their favorite Coordinators.
“I thought so! Then let’s get this party started!”
Violet clapped and howled with the rest of the spectators. She sat between Ash and Brock on the third row from the stage, Pikachu sitting atop her head.
“Lillian - as hyper as always!” she chuckled.
“Pika!” Pikachu mewled in happy agreement.
“Just wait ‘til you see May perform, Vi!” Ash told her.
“Yeah! She’s gotten a lot better since the last time you saw her!” Max added. He was sitting on the other side of Ash.
“I bet she’s good,” Violet nodded. “But she’s gonna have to be incredible to beat Drew!” she muttered under her breath, a smile spread across her face.
“Alright. All the way from Petalburg City, Hoenn - let’s give a warm welcome to May!” Lillian exclaimed as May bounced onto the stage, earning a series of cheers.
“Okay, Squirtle! Take the stage!” May shouted, tossing a shiny poke’ball into the air, which released the young, blue turtle Poke’mon.
“Withdraw, and spin!” May ordered. As Squirtle neared the ground, it shot back into it’s shell and tilted, resulting in a cute, spinning dance as it hit the stage.
“Now use bubble!” the brunette Coordinator went on, smiling as her appeal began to take shape. Now seas of glossy bubbles erupted from the openings in Squirtle’s shell, creating a twister of bubbles that decorated the entire stage.
“Finish with ice beam!” finished May. With that, Squirtle popped out of its shell and released a bright blue beam of ice. Swinging the ray around the stage, it froze the bubbles in mid-air, causing them to fall, and as they hit the ground, they exploded into beautiful blue sparkles that lit up the entire arena.
“Wow! Just beautiful! Judges?” Lillian smiled.
Violet watched as May’s scores of 8, 10, and 10 appeared across the screen, the 8 being from Mr. Contesta, of course. Secretly, Violet had to agree when he said her ending could’ve used work. Just letting the bubbles fall and crash like that by hitting the ground wasn’t that graceful, even if the resulting effect was.
“Way to go May!” Max and Ash cried, clapping loudly. Violet laughed at them before turning her neck around and glancing at the double doors leading out of the stadium.
“I’ll be right back,” she told Ash, standing up and scooting by Brock before jogging up the stairs and out the arena.
Sighing happily as the cool air hit her face, Violet shook her long hair in the afternoon wind. Suddenly, a white light burst from her hip, and cute yellow and red eyes belonging to Dark Thorn blinked up at her. She giggled.
“Hi there, Thorn. What’s up?”
“Rwarf!” the Poochyena barked, showing it’s tiny fangs in a toothy grin.
Violet leaned against the railing that fenced the sidewalk leading up to the arena, inhaling the refreshing air.
“Rrrhhmm?” Dark Thorn hummed, tilting its head up at her. She laughed at the cute expression.
“I’m fine! I’m just thinking, that’s all,” she explained. Dark Thorn blinked at her a couple times, as if urging her to tell it more. “Just think! We’re finally out of Lavender Town! Free from Mom and Dad forever!” she reminisced, sighing with content. Her Poochyena barked gleefully, making her laugh once more.
All of a sudden, the sound of footsteps from behind made Violet jump and she jerked around.
“Whose there?!” she demanded, and Dark Thorn growled viciously, stepping in front of its Coordinator.
“Next up, it’s Jessalina!” announced Lillian as a ruby haired woman in a bright orange dress (which looked ridiculous on someone of her obvious age) bounced on stage.
“Let’s go, Wobbuffett!” she cried, releasing a bright blue Wobbuffett from a poke’ball.
“Hey…Brock?” Ash said, eyeing the claret-haired woman strangely.
“Is it just me…or does she seem really familiar?”
“Hmgh! Argh! Hmph! Lemme go, you..you…you big meanie!” Violet whined, struggling against the rope that bound her hands to her sides and had her dangling from the limb of a tree in the forest on the outskirts of Saffron.
“No can-do, peachez!” bit back the Meowth that sat Indian-style next to the lavender-haired man. Violet blinked in disbelief.
“I-it talks!” she gasped.
“Of courze I talk!” it growled, scrambling to its feet and sitting its claws on its hips.
Violet blew a chunk of purple hair in front of her eyes away, slumping in her confinements.
“Hey, this wasn’t my idea, okay?” said the guy with lilac hair in a calm voice. He didn’t seem like a kidnapper to Violet, although she’d vouch that the Meowth was; its attitude was awful.
“What do you guys want with me?” Violet bleated, flashing a puppy-dog look the young man’s way. Innocence was always the best policy. The ‘kidnapper’ blushed a bit, before quirking a weird half-smile.
“Hey, we’ll let you go as soon as the contest is over. Promise!”
“Bzzt! James!! You - bzzt…stupid…bzzt … idiot!!” came the static engrossed voice from out of no where. Startled, the lavender-haired kidnapper pulled a walk-ee-talk-ee from his belt.
“Ohh,” James groaned. “What did I do NOW?!”
“You … bzzt…got the wrong… bzzt … girl!!” came the shrill, feminine voice from the other end. Cringing, James jumped back from the device and held it out to arm’s length.
“The twerp-et has already…bzzt … performed!” added the voice, who was apparently James’ “partner in crime.” Giving the gadget an annoyed, desperate look, James quickly flipped the switch and turned it off. Violet couldn’t help but to giggle.
“You guys SUCK!!” she burst out in laughter, despite being hung from a tree by ropes.
“Oh yeaz?!” bit back the Meowth defensively. Violet nodded quickly in her fits of hilarity.
“If you’re going to kidnap someone…you could at least do it RIGHT!”
“Hey Ash,” thought Max outloud. “Violet’s been gone a really long time.”
“You think maybe we should go check on her?” seconded Brock.
“Hm. Yeah,” Ash nodded in agreement. “Good idea.”
Quickly leaving their seats and the Contest Arena, Ash and company stepped out into the afternoon air.
“Pikachu,” said Ash. “Any sign of her?”
“Pika!” squeaked the little yellow mouse, bounding to the ground from the boy’s shoulder. “Chu?” Pikachu perked its ears up high above its head.
“What is it?” asked Ash. Then, a tiny Poochyena bounced from the bushes and squirmed through the railing, rushing onto the asphalt and standing in front of Pikachu.
“Dark Thorn!” Max exclaimed.
“Rrawrf! Brawh-Brawh!!” barked the Poochyena frantically. Pikachu’s eyes lit up and it jumped back in shock.
“Drew! Drew! Violet’s gone missing!!” called out Max as they rushed into the Coordinator’s lounge beneath the stage.
“What?!” the green-haired boy gasped. He groaned loudly and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Brawf!” yapped Dark Thorn at his feet.
“Rrrossseee?” his Roselia voiced, tilting its head to the side slightly as if to say “What do you want to do?” Drew sighed loudly and looked at the screen showing center stage, then at the doorway that Ash’s group had entered through. He growled, then raced off in the direction of the exit.
“Stay here and explain everything!” he ordered before his mint green head disappeared out the room.
Violet dangled lazily, exhaling slowly out of pure boredom.
“Got any threez?” asked the Meowth from below as it held up pawfuls of playing cards.
“Go fish!” James grinned stupidly. Violet rolled her eyes in her head; he had two three’s in his hand. The gullible Poke’mon slid a card off the stack.
“Can’t you guys just let me go?” she begged. “Plleeeeeeaaasseee, Mr. James, sir!” James blushed a bit at being called ‘sir,’ then shook his head quickly.
“No, no! Can’t do that! Jesse will have my hide!” he replied with a shudder.
“But I’m not even in the contest…” Violet murmured to herself, sighing loudly.
“Roselia, magical leaf!” came the familiar voice from the woods. A flurry of multi-colored leaves swept through the clearing, one slicing through the rope that bound Violet to the tree. With a wail, she fell through the air and landed roughly in someone’s arms.
“Thanks, Dr-” she cut herself off when she looked up to see a cheeky James beaming down at her.
“Drop the girl, Rocket!” demanded a fiery, emerald-eyed Coordinator as he jumped out from behind a tree. “Poison sting!” Immediately, Roselia let lose a storm of sharp, white needles at James’ feet, resulting in him doing a humorous dance in a failed attempt to dodge them. In his fit, he dropped the still wrapped-up Violet who landed with an “Oof!” a foot or two away. At once, a tiny mound of gray fur hurried over to Violet and started gnawing at her confinements with its sharp canines.
“Thorn!” she smiled with glee.
“Alright,” Lillian began. “Next, let’s have Drew on stage!” Ushering to stage right, she waited a moment for the Coordinator to appear, but when he didn’t, she frowned. “Um…where’s Drew?” she thought outloud. Discretely, Ash Ketchum stepped onstage.
“Uh….sorry…but Drew’s…er…dropped out of the standings!” he stammered, blinking nervously at the large crowd of people.
“Oh…” Lillian sighed, almost frowning further. “Okay then. If that’s the case, let’s move on to the next round!”
“Cacnea!” James shouted, tossing a poke’ball. “Sandstorm!!”
“Cac-!” it shrieked as it was released, and started spinning around at rapid speeds, stirring up mounds of dirt from the ground. The grit rose up into the air, causing both Drew, Violet, and their Poke’mon to shield their eyes. When the dust dispersed, James and Meowth were no where to be seen.
Drew sighed loudly, returning Roselia to its poke’ball, then turning stiffly towards Violet, whom Dark Thorn had yet to free. Looking up at him, Violet flashed him a goofy, yet thankful grin. He rolled his eyes before kneeling down to help the little wolf Poke’mon untie its Coordinator.
“What were you doing out here?! I missed the Contest thanks to you!” he hissed, working with the ropes that were tied tightly at her waist. She averted her gaze so she wouldn’t meet his eyes, and frowned.
“Just save it!” he bit back, cutting her off, and grunted in irritancy at the ropes. Dark Thorn shrunk back and whined at his tone of voice. Drew cast a look in its direction, blinked, then looked at Violet before sighing at full volume. Finally succeeding in untying the ropes, Drew let Violet shrug them off of herself, and then stood up, offering her a hand to her feet. With a relieved smile, Violet took it and was helped up, although Drew’s face was as solemn as ever.
“We should head back to the Contest Hall,” Violet told him.
“And why is that?” he asked carelessly, raising an eyebrow.
“I think James’ partner is still there! They might try to ruin the contest!”
“Squirtle, get past its defense with headbash!!” May ordered, and her little blue Poke’mon sped towards Wobbuffet with its head towards the ground. Upon contact, the blue blob went flying into the nearest wall, resulting in an automatic win.
“And that’s it! May’s our winner!” announced Lillian, ushering to the giant screen overhead with May’s and Squirtle’s images. Grinning happily, May and her turtle Poke’mon blew kisses to the crowd as they received cheers and praise.
“Enough of this!” grimaced Jessalina, ripping off her orange dress and revealing her white, two-piece ensemble beneath. “Now, James!” she ordered into a large walk-ee-talk-ee. Suddenly, the stage floor opened up and a giant hot-air balloon in the shape of a Meowth’s head began rising towards the ajar roof of the Contest Hall. “Forget stealing the show!” the ruby-haired woman smirked. “We’ll go back to stealing Poke’mon!” With that, the bottom of the balloon’s basket unfastened, and a net propelled itself towards the ground, capturing Squirtle in its strings.
“Squirtle!” cried May as the crowd gasped.
“Razor wind!!” came two joined voices from the back of the arena. Slicing through the air, two powerful gusts of wind shot through the area and carved two long gashes in the hot air balloon. Heads turned to the back of the amphitheater to see Drew and Violet, a Masquerain floating above the boy’s head and a lean Absol poised for attack next to the girl.
“Razor wind, again!” Violet ordered; White Fang flipped its head, its horn glowing white, and shot another sliver of wind at the troublemakers’ net. The slice created the room needed for Squirtle to escape, but sent him tumbling through the air.
“Masquerain, String shot!” instructed Drew. The moth released a stream of off-white silk, capturing the turtle Poke’mon and safely drifting it to the ground.
“Ready to send these goons flying, Drew?!” Violet smirked. The green-haired Coordinator gave a curt nod before the two of them released the order.
The two Poke’mon let out outsized bursts of strong winds, which was more than enough to send the troublemaking team blasting off again. Violet couldn’t help but to giggle loudly.
“Bbyyyeeeee, James!!” she called, waving towards the sky. Drew covered his eyes, shaking his head.