Tag Archives: Falkner

NaNo 18, Day 7: Princess, But No Successor

The sun seemed especially bright outside when she stepped out. Though that might have been because it was hitting the waves as it set, throwing golden light wherever it still touched. Tugging her hat where it wouldn’t glare quite as much, Evangeline pulled out her map for a quick consult. Tapping Cyllage City absently with her pointer finger, she eyed the route that she was expected to take and made a face. It was just long enough, she didn’t want to risk it. Folding the map back up, she set it into her bag and climbed up on her bag to make it back to the Pokemon Center. She’d stay here for the night and call Aunt Aya, then set out in the morning.

Nurse Joy was happy to see her again, and congratulated her on the Gym win. Flushing, Evangeline thanked her and quickly found a corner of the Center to hide in for dinner while seeing to her Pokemon. Cerise was eager to show off a new move she’d figured out, and the others were slowly starting to adapt to the new friend, to Evangeline’s sweet relief. While they played around a center rug that had a series of Pokemon-safe toys, Evangeline took off her Caster and set it on the table, rearranging it so it would be able to take a steady picture. Unlike with her calls home to her parents, she didn’t have to have a landline connection to reach Aunt Aya in Vaniville. All she needed was her sequence, which she’d gotten when they’d bought the Casters in the first place.

The screen fussed for a moment as it alerted her aunt to the incoming call, but at last, a holo-projection of her great-aunt from the shoulders up appeared in blue. “Hey there, Evangeline! I was hoping you’d call soon.”

“Hi, Aunt Aya,” she said with a shy smile. “How are things for you in Vanville?”

She waved her hand dismissively. “Same old, same old. I’m actually enjoying this little vacation, if you can believe it. It’s giving me a lot of time to consider the Academy’s curriculum and how we can make it better. I’m usually so involved with the day-to-day side of things, I don’t get to think about it.”

“Well that’s good,” Evangeline said, feeling something inside her unclench as she realized that her mother’s request wasn’t upsetting Aya’s life like she was afraid.

“Enough about my boring vacation in suburbia, how is your journey going? Where are you?” Aunt Aya asked eagerly, leaning forward. Much like the rest of her family, she hadn’t gone on a Pokemon journey or really traveled much, just settling in to family expectations. A part of Evangeline wondered if her great-aunt was trying to live vivaciously through her.

Unfortunately, Evangeline knew she was rather boring, so it wasn’t going to be that much excitement. Not to mention there was a good chunk of current events that she was desperately hoping her great-aunt wasn’t going to find out about. “Cyllage City, it’s up on the coast,” she said, then ducked her head. “I faced my second Gym today.”

“Oooh, how did it go?” Aya asked, and wouldn’t let Evangeline say just fine. She asked questions and commented until Evangeline told her the whole story, and even insisted on seeing her badge case now that there were two inside of it. She rested her chin in the balm of her hand, sighing. “Your parents are going to be so happy that this is going so well. I’m really proud of you, you know?”

Evangeline flushed in embarrassment at the praise, and a knot in her stomach rolled. She didn’t think she was worth all of this fuss. She was good, sure, she also grew up in gyms. And she’d lost Cho, and struggled with Felix for a bit there. (He was still a moody little bugger.) But she didn’t think she could tell Aunt Aya that. “I called my parents last night,” she finally settled for changing the subject slightly. “Mother is with Grandfather until you’re time to call, but Father answered.”

“Ah, how is the great feather-butt?” Aya asked with a tsk, making Evangeline giggle. That seemed to be enough for Aya, who waved her hand. “Never mind, I’ll see for myself soon enough. So Janine went to go see my big brother. She is such a daddy’s girl still.” Pausing, Aya murmured softly, “I wonder if that’s genetic?”

“I am not a daddy’s girl,” Evangeline argued, mortified.

“No, but you get along with him better than your mother,” Aya pointed out with a sad little smile. “I can’t blame you, I’ve seen how hard it is for you to fit the role she wants, remember? Actually, I think both of them have smothered you a little. It’s why I was so in favor of you going on this journey.”

“Father seemed better with it, last night,” she admitted.

That made Aya pause. “Well, good. He should be. You’re doing great, Evangeline, and you need to believe that. Part of this journey is you figuring out who you are, so you can figure out where your place is.” She leaned forward. “And that may not be in Violet or Fuschia City. Okay?”

Evangeline’s mind felt greasy even considering it. “But, but Father, and Mother…”

“Can only tolerate each other and need to figure that out already,” Aya said firmly. “When Koga retires from the Elite Four, I guarantee you he is going to want his Gym back, and where will your mother be then? And both of your parents could use some more variety to their team structures. And if they took over Violet City Gym together, maybe they’d have other children to take the pressure off of you. They are both young yet–”

“I’m not listening to this!” Evangeline squealed, covering her ears. “Aunt Aya!”

She snickered but subsided for her great-niece’s sake. “The point is, let that pressure stay back in Kanto and Johto, okay? Yes, you are still their gyms’ little princess, and you always will be, but you don’t have to be anyone’s successor unless you want to be.”

It made a lot of sense. Father had never shown any interest in anyone else, and… Well, it was hard for her to say on Mother. And hadn’t that been her complaint, wanting to do more than just the one solid type that they both wouldn’t budge from? She rubbed her forehead, feeling actually more stressed even thinking about not trying to fit into either role her parents wanted.

“But I’ve said too much.” Aya flashed her a V-for-Victory sign. “Don’t worry about us, okay? Keep up your good work! The rest will sort itself out.”

Evangeline sheepishly returned the symbol. “I’ll do my best,” she promised.

“Good. Now where is that Froakie of yours?”

Hearing himself mentioned, Kakashi had no problem leaving the play to run over to the table, craning his head around Evangeline’s shoulder. “Hi, Aunt Aya!” he greeted waving his hand as the Caster picked him up for the holo on the other side of the call.

“Oh! Well he isn’t a Froakie at all!” Aya laughed, clapping her hands in delight. “I’d let Nidoqueen say hi, but she’d probably burst into tears, and I’d never get her calmed down. Next time, okay? Or maybe you can pay a visit if you circle back around!”

“I’ll see what happens,” Evangeline promised. “Call you in a few days?”

“I’ll be waiting,” Aya said and waved good-bye before the call ended.

Shaking her head, Evangeline set the Caster back on her wrist. “Part of Lumiose was shut down when we were there, and I’m sure they have a gym. We can backtrack from there to see Aunt Aya,” she promised Kakashi quietly.

“She’d like that,” he agreed with a nod. “We can take Felix too, and some of the others to show that you know how to have diversity. That’ll help her lay hints on your parents.”

Giving her starter a glare, Evangeline lifted her bangs out of the way to give it more effect. “You are not going to help my great-aunt play matchmaker with my parents, are you?”

“If it’ll make you happy, I will. And anything that makes you less stressed is good in my book.” He stuck out his little pink tongue at her. “But unless they can understand me, I’ll have to be subtle. Sneaky. Like a–”

“Please do not say a ninja,” Evangeline groaned. “I get enough of that whenever I visit Mother.”

“…You know, I’m not even going to ask. But yes, like a ninja.” He puffed up his chest.

She laughed a little. “Even if you are the wrong type, Mother is going to love you.”

No matter how much Kakashi pleaded and demanded, Evangeline refused to explain what she meant. She instead focused on getting everyone to bed at a decent time so they could get going early in the morning. She had a lot ground to catch-up on!

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NaNo 18, Day 3: A Father’s Love

“Evangeline!” he greeted her, his voice more enthusiastic than his expression–but then, her father’s stern expression was nearly legendary. Overly serious by far, she could see a lot more of herself in him than her mother. But there was a softness there, affection for his only child, that had been present all her life outside of Gym battles when he had to be scary. “I wasn’t expecting a call from you and Aya for a couple of more days. Are you settled already?”

She winced a little. “Um, about that.” She ran her hands over her braid in nerves. “The nearby professor got word of me being here. Professor Sycamore. He, um, decided he could lump me in with the latest trainer class he was giving starters out to.”

His only visible eyebrow raised, and she could only tell because of how well she knew him that he was shocked. “So you have already started your journey?” he asked.

Evangeline nodded slowly. “Pretty much right away,” she admitted. “My starter is a Froakie, his name is Kakashi. Or, was. He’s already evolved.”

Falkner tilted his head. “I’m not familiar with that one, so not a Flying type in any evolution,” he said, his tone deceptively bland.

“No, Water,” she said, and quickly added. “Henri is the flyer, a Fletchinder.”

That smoothed his expression over, making her want to sigh in relief. “At least you have one,” he said, with a nod. “Your Maiko is doing well here, by the way.” Her heart swelled at the mention of the Pidgey-turned-Pidgeotto she had trained under her father’s guidance as a child. “I’m considering using her for Gym Battles, if you are okay with it. My current is ready to evolve, and she’s the best Pidgeotto in the Gym right now.”

“Of course,” Evangeline agreed. “I’d be honored.” Oh! Scrambling, she grabbed the case she’d brought with her from her room. “Speaking of Gyms, I faced the first one here, at Santalune City,” she said, and held up her case, letting him see her only badge so far. “I’ll be heading towards Cyllage City for my second in the morning.”

“Good work!” he complimented with a soft smile, making her sit up straighter in pride. But then he tilted his head like one of his Hoothoot. “Is that a beetle…?”

She whined, wilting at the reminder so her head rested on the table in front of the computer.

“Oh, my poor chick,” he said with a chuckle, though he turned serious again. “At least if you had stayed here in Johto, I could have talked to Bugsy for you.”

“I don’t want special favors,” she complained, voice muffled by the wood of the desk. “We talked about this, ad nauseam, before I left.”

“I know, but I promised the bird keepers I would ask their ‘hime’ if she was ready to come home yet,” he said. She snorted at him. If they were asking that, he must be talking about her as much as he talked Flying philosophy. “Evangeline,” he scolded.

Right, right, act like a lady. Sighing, she straightened up to pout at him. “I’m doing just fine here,” she muttered. “And I like that it’s different. New Pokemon, new places, new challenges. No one who knows who I am just by looking at me.”

Her father gave a slow nod. “I won’t pretend to understand,” he admitted at least. “I never had the desire to leave here, and just wanted to improve the Gym. But your grandfather Walker did, and it was quite some time before he settled here as the Gym Leader. Take your time, Evangeline, and follow your heart. It’ll lead you to your intended roost, just like it did him.”

“Yes, Father,” she promised and glanced at the clock. “I had better get to bed and let you get to work. I’ll call you in a couple of days?”

He nodded and added, “Make sure you call your mother sometime too. Or let Aya handle her, which ever you think is best.”

“Considering Aunt Aya was her idea, I’m tempted to just let them talk,” she muttered, but nodded in agreement before saying good-bye and hanging up. Neither of them were the type to casually mention their love for each other, but both knew it.

Evangeline sighed and went to go find a space in her own bed for her, between the cuddlers that made up her group of Pokemon. She’d call Aunt Aya in Cyllage to give her an update for her mother. Her father was too right, it would be easier for her to let Aya handle the communications back to their home regions as much as she could. If her mother wanted to talk to her, Aya could tell her that way.

*****

The aquarium’s collection was impressive. It made Evangeline wish she had a fishing rod. Of course, as she walked down the beach path, she found that desire was waylaid by the sight of the waves crashing up on the sand. She understood why Nurse Joy had pushed at her to consider taking some time to enjoy it. There was a small area that seemed intended for tourists, or at least those who might not have worn their bathing suit for their journey to the coast.

She let her Pokemon out as she struggled to get her hair up in a ponytail and out of the way. Kakashi gave a whoop and was off to the waves before she could stop him, Ella right on his tail. Shaking her head, she straightened the ruffle at the top of her one-piece swim suit–it formed the straps that sat just off of her shoulders, tying with a chord in the middle, and not exposing any cleavage but just highlighting her collarbones. It was in her preferred aqua blue, with white and pink flowers and navy leaves for the print.

Glancing around at the ever-so-fashionable other swimmers, never had Evangeline been more happy that Aunt Aya had insisted on a shopping trip before they even boarded the boat to Kalos. She hadn’t even owned a swimsuit before, and would have looked awkward in either her ninja gear or her hakama skirts trying to wade into the water. She already felt odd since she was so simple compared to high French fashion. But it worked for her, and she was going to be happy.

Kakashi and Ella were joined by Chiko, who seemed to be enjoying snapping at the spray with her larger-mouth and the splashing at the others with her hands. She didn’t even try to convince Haruka, figuring that salt wouldn’t be good for him, and he seemed content to guard her bag. Cerise stayed with him rather than risking getting carried away with the waves, being so small. Felix seemed torn between avoiding Cerise and avoiding the water, and settled for sitting away from the other two and far from the waves. One of the handful of stands that rented out equipment included beach balls. Evangeline was more than happy to purchase one for those in the waves to bounce back and forth.

Of course, keeping control of the ball was something else entirely. One wrong hit by Ella sent it crashing into a nearby girl who was splashing around herself. “Hey!” she shouted, spinning around and indignant. Her blonde hair was easily as long as Evangeline’s, but perfectly straight and cut in fashionable layers, contrasting with the tan of her skin. Her pink halter bikini exposed a lot more skin than her one modest one-piece, and it made Evangeline self-conscious.

But she wasn’t going to let her Pokemon get yelled at. “Sorry, it was an accident,” she said, stepping forward and folding her hands in front of her to give an apologetic bow. “We’ll move further down the beach and be more careful.”

“We?” the swimmer looked over and saw Evangeline’s team. “Oh, a trainer! You can apologize with a battle. My Pokemon will get me vengeance.”

“It was just a ball,” Evangeline protested, but didn’t try and argue. She just gestured for her own team to gather around. The swimmer released a Psyduck, and she barely refrained from groaning. At least she knew how to handle them. “Haruka, you’re on!” she called out. The Budew waddled over, his bud opening and closing as he faced off. Cerise came over to watch, which Evangeline only thought could do the Spewa good.

At least until the Wingull came out. Cerise squeaked at the sight of the bird, trying to hide behind Evangeline’s leg. Haruka quaked a little too, but Evangeline stood firm. “You can do this, Haruka!” she promised. “Just keep up your attacks!” Both of her littlest Pokemon looked up at her. The Grass-Type puffed up, and he set his mouth in a firm line. He faced down the dual type with a fierceness that filled Evangeline with pride in him. So when he burst into white light at the end of the battle, she wasn’t surprised.

Haruka (Roselia)

What did surprise her as Cerise inched forward to watch was Cerise copying him.

Her breath caught in her chest, and she looked between both of them. Haruka finished first, shaking his new hands and then raising them up in happiness. Then he saw Cerise and quickly came running over as her wings flicked off the light with a gust.

Cerise (Vivilion)

Purple wings. Evangeline felt like she could collapse in relief. Apparently they had moved into a new region for wing patterns for Vivilion. She smiled softly as Haruka and Cerise danced together in excitement for their new forms, the others clapping and cheering. The swimmer sulked and tossed her some coins, which she went to go put in her bag.

She looked up just in time to see Felix approaching. Evangeline tensed, watching the Charmeleon pause behind Cerise. The new Vivilion’s wings fluttered anxiously. But Felix held up his clawed hands, delicately taking her much smaller paws in his. He gave them a little shake, ducked his head, and then went to walk next to the bag to sit again.

Evangeline grabbed him by the shoulders, hugging him close. “That’s my boy,” she whispered to him, making him flush before she ran to join the celebrations.