I wasn't very satisfied with my first draft of this, I felt that the characters, May especially, were not very well written. But hopefully this edit is better. I didn't change the story but I added some things.
"Vigoroth is unable to battle! The winner is Mudkip, Nicholai has won the battle!" The referee stuck out his right arm in the Knickerbocker wearing victor.
The battle had happened in the Peralburg City Gym and it had only lasted roughly six minutes, much to the lad's delight but to other's dismay.
"Oh, Arceus…" A geeky looking boy with glasses and navy hair high-fived his face. That was their eight loss in only a month. He snapped an annoyed glare to the brunette, blue eyed Gym Leader who mournfully called back the ape back into its Pokeball.
"Sorry, Vigoroth." She sighed as she put it in her fanny pack "You did well."
"Hell, yes!" Nicholai punched the air, his Mudkip jumping onto his shoulder, chirping with glee. He walked up to the girl, a smug look on his face. She gave a soft moan and took the Badge of Balance out of her pocket. She dropped it into the boy's open palm.
"Well done." She said, trying to sound congratulating "As the Gym Leader of Petalburg, I award you with the Balance Badge." She added, she had said that phrase so many times she could say it in her sleep.
But he didn't thank her, he tossed the thing in the air and caught it.
"Wow, I hope all wins are this easy." He commented before leaving the Gym. The girl sighed and put her face in her hands, she knew what was coming next.
"May, what the hell was that!?" She jumped as she turned to spot her younger brother glaring at her with his arms folded, like a scolding mother.
"What was what?"
"That! He took down all three of your Pokemon with a Mudkip- a Mudkip for Arceus's sake!"
May winced "I'm sorry, Max, I didn't know what to-?"
"How could you not know what to do!? I kept telling you to make Vigoroth use Scratch but you wouldn't do it!"
"I was trying to but his Mudkip was too fast!"
"Maybe it's because you're too slow!"
May let out an annoyed shriek and yanked at her two ponytails, why did he have to keep doing this? She knew she was a complete failure at being a Gym Leader.
"If you know more than me, why don't you be the Gym Leader!?" She snapped at him, leaning over him as she was much taller than her 7 year old sibling. Unfortunately, he wasn't fazed.
"I'm too young, you idiot! I don't even have a Pokemon!" He yelled, craning his neck to look at her. May did not know what else she could say. He was right. But he what he lacked in experience he made up for with knowledge. She was so frustrated it was making her feel sick in her stomach.
Before May could say anything else, her mother Caroline poked her head through the main doors.
"Hey, guys." She walked up to them before her face lost its smile "Did the battle go ok?" She asked turning to her daughter, who had started shuffling the ball of her foot on the ground.
"Um, no." She answered reluctantly. Caroline put her hands on her shoulders.
"Aw don't be discouraged, honey, you'll get the hang of it." She said in an attempt at reassurance.
May doubted that. She had only had this job for a month and already things were going terribly. Being afraid of Pokemon did not help as well as knowing nothing about how to battle. She hadn't even started her journey and she was already in the deep end.
"I just came in to say I've just put out dinner. Chicken noodles, May." Caroline chirped. May gave her a weak smile, she was hungry and just the mention of noodles, her favourite food, was enough to make her stomach start rumbling.
"Thanks, mum but I have to tend to the Pokemon…" She said, scratching her stomach. She noticed Max rolling his eyes behind her.
"Ok, it will still be there when you come in." her mum said, trying to sound cheerful. May shrugged and trudged out of the Gym.
A few minutes later, in the greenhouse. May took out the three Pokeballs. Using her arm as a lever, she propelled them as far away from her as possible.
Vigoroth, Slakoth and Slaking all appeared at the far end of the greenhouse. They were used to this treatment. Almost every interaction they had with their new leader was at a distance. They sensed she was afraid of them and didn't understand why, but they found ways to get around it. By being quiet and staying still as May applied –at an arm's length- the stingy elixir on their wounds.
After healing them, May poured their food into three separate bowls. She tried to measure them correctly as Slaking, being much bigger in mass and size than the others, was to get more. She pushed them away from her and paused to watch the three dig in.
"I'll see you guys tomorrow." May said towards the uninterested Pokemon, watching them eat had reminded her of her own hunger and she was eager to eat her dinner. She left the Pokemon to dine.
But as she was about to enter the house, she growled under her breath as she realised she had forgotten to clean the gym. Another job she now had.
Ten minutes later, she was in the middle of sweeping the arena. She didn't mind this part of the job but it was everything else she struggled with. Her father made it look so simple and the way Max would describe the role as Gym Leader made the whole thing seem like a breeze.
Max had always had the ambition to take the position of Gym Leader after Norman and was baffled when it was given to May instead. The only reason was because he was 7, too young to train Pokemon and battle. May on the other hand had just turned 10 before Norman's death.
The door suddenly opened behind her, giving her a fright.
"Hey, boss." A familiar voice called, May turned to find Kenny walking over to her.
"Oh, hi, Kenny." May panted, continuing the sweeping.
"I heard you had another battle today, how'd it go?"
"He took down all three of them with just a Mudkip."
Kenny's eyes widened and only made an 'Hm' sound before promptly taking the broom from May's hand.
"I'll take care of this, May." He said before May could retaliate, "You should go and eat."
"I'm fine, Kenny, I can do it." May insisted, "I'm not very hungry." For a second he seemed to buy it but whatever she had convinced him in that second was immediately taken as her stomach suddenly let out a roar and the empty gym amplified it. May clutched it in an attempt to muffle the sound but it didn't work.
"Oh aye, I totally believe you!" Kenny sniggered after recovering from is brief laughing fit. The bridge of May's nose turned red, "Don't worry about it, boss."
"Kenny, I'd rather you didn't call me 'boss'." She hated being called 'boss' by everyone and it made her uncomfortable.
"Well…" He twirled the broom like a windmill "You are my boss, boss." He added with a smirk.
Irritated, May shook her head, "Hm…" She directed her eyes onto her shoes, "But please don't…" She added before looking away from her feet and towards the main doors.
Kenny noticed this.
"Have you been ok since… you know?" He asked her.
"Yeah, kinda…" She answered. She was only being partly truthful. She remembered Norman's funeral well. Max bawled like a small child the whole time, Caroline had sobbed but not to the same degree and May barely shed a tear, she had spent the whole time staring at her feet, trying to stifle her grief. She didn't have a close relationship with her father like Max did. Afterwards, he accused her of being selfish and not caring. That wasn't true, Norman knew May was afraid of Pokemon and didn't like them and that created some distance between them.
"You sure?" The boy asked, knocking May from her daze.
"Oh, yes. What about you?"
"Well, it's different, but I think I'm doing alright. So… how are you coping with being Gym Leader?"
May sighed deeply into her lungs "Not well… I don't understand anything! I'm a joke."
"Don't think about it that way."
"Kenny, the guy I battled today said 'I hope all wins are this easy'. He isn't the first one to say something like that… even Max says that."
"Pfft, they can take a hike." Kenny turned his back on May to sweep. "And don't worry about Max. He'll adjust. He's a robust little guy." She directed her eyes back onto the ground. She remembered Max's face when it was revealed that it was her that was to take the reins. It was an expression of both shock and anger.
In a way, he then made it his job to be May's 'mentor' and teach her how to battle but his method of 'teaching' consisted of sitting at the side during a battle and yelling instructions. But by the time May could figure out what he meant and what she was supposed to do, it would be too late and the trainer she would have been battling would have kicked her ass.
"I wish someone else could take the job… I'm not cut out for it."
"May, if I was given the opportunity to be Gym Leader in your place, I'd take it like that." he snapped his fingers on the word 'that'
"Thanks…" She knew he didn't mean that in a bad way. He was one of her fathers most skilled students after all and would do a better job than she could. But the rules stuck: The role of Gym Leader runs in the family. May would have given the role to Kenny if it wasn't for this rule.
She remembered sitting on her bed in her room, her knees pulled up to her chest as she listened to Caroline and Kenny arguing with the officials about the manner downstairs, but despite their efforts it stuck. She didn't want the role, but they seemed to feel that it was better for the job as Gym Leader to continue through the family.
"I'll take care of the gym, you go in and eat, and I'll see you some time tomorrow." Kenny turned their conversation back to the subject of food.
"Oh, right. Thank you, Kenny." May nodded at him thankfully. The two waved to each other before May left the arena.
May went home and went into the kitchen to see Caroline sitting at the dinner table, reading a magazine about Co-ordinating. She closed it as she saw her daughter finally come back.
"Hello, honey. You took your time." She said with a smile as she went to the cooker to warm up the relatively large pot of noodles.
"I forgot I had to clean the gym and I ran into Kenny." May sat at the dinner table, massaging her aching and rumbling stomach.
"Oh, I see." Caroline said as she stirred the noodles.
"Well, Kenny insisted he would do it so I could come home."
"That was good of him. I'm glad he is still around." Her mum poured the chicken noodles into a bowl and pushed it towards May.
But before May could dive in, Caroline suddenly took the bowl away, much to May's anger.
"MUM!" She snapped, suddenly jumping onto her feet.
"Whoa, easy Arcanine." Caroline laughed, she was used to this behaviour and sometimes found it humorous. May crossed her arms angrily, making her smile more. Caroline, positioned in a way so May could see, she took the ladle and scooped two more ladleful's of noodles into her bowl. She pushed it back towards May. It was now almost overflowing.
The girl couldn't help but give a happy little vocalisation at the prospect of more noodles.
"Thanks, mum." She said, now smiling. Caroline put her hand under May's chin to lift her head a little.
"Try not to push yourself too hard, sweetie. It's still early days. Kenny and I will help you." She said with a smile before sitting back at the dining table to resume reading.
As she ate, May looked up at the magazine that her mother was busy with. She didn't want anything to do with battling but Co-ordinating? That was a totally different story. She had seen contests on the TV and even the Grand Festival. She was quite intrigued by this and, despite her fear of Pokemon, it was something she was wishing to try but after her life had been turned up-side down, that was impossible. She couldn't even leave Petelburg, the population of the city wanted her as Gym Leader and, despite hating it, she couldn't just abandon her post like that. It wasn't in her nature.
The two were quiet for a few moments unitl the silence was broken by a small burp from May after she finished her meal.
"Do you feel better?" Her mum asked peaking over the rim of the magazine.
"Mhm." May huffed, feeling totally stuffed. She leaned back in her chair and rested her hands on her stomach. She frowned as a thought went through her head, "…um, did Max say anything when he was here?" She asked, assuming Max had gone upstairs to his room.
"Max? No, I don't think so, why?"
"It's just that he was saying stuff to me in the gym…"
Caroline shook her head and yanked off May's red bandanna to ruffle her hair.
"I'll talk to him about it, tomorrow. Don't worry about it."
May wanted to tell her about it but she knew that Caroline was also under pressure. Being Norman's widow she had to deal with a lot of publicity. May, herself knew what this felt like. It was only in the last week, the press decided to leave her alone.
May stood up and stretched. She felt so stuffed that she was beginning to feel tired despite it being still early "I think I'll go to bed now."
"Sure, on you go." Caroline gave her daughter a little wave as she trotted upstairs.
In her room, May slipped into her light blue pyjamas and dragged herself into her bed, practically going to sleep immediately.
She sighed heavily, exhausted. All she could hope was that there were no trainers turning up for a battle tomorrow. Three losses in a week was about all she could take.
So she doesn't want to battle another trainer tomorrow. Guess who's gonna turn up!?