Stick and Stones -

Stick and Stones - Chapter 2

Authors notes: First I'm going to apologise about my horrible writing. I'm getting so lazy nowadays. I don't know whether my old stuff or new is better. But Meh. Let's carrrrrry on, shall we? I'm quite proud I actually got this finished, so to hell with whether it's good or not ^_^;

Btw, the lines separate scenes and different Points of view -- so don't get confused :D

It was hours before they reached Pewter City. The sun was starting to show in the distance; its fiery colours blazing in the sky. The stains of smoke on their skin became visible in the light, and the thin layer of mud painted onto them cracked as they walked. By the time they had come to the heart of Pewter City, the daily routine of the town had started, and The Pokémon Centre was open.

"You going in?" Gary asked her, looking at it as they passed.

Misty turned to the entrance. "I haven't been to one in ages -- probably should after last night." She clutched her bag even tighter, and turned to Gary as they began waiting at the counter. Her tone of voice then changed dramatically. "So, I guess this means I can have my bag now, does it?" She said teasingly, lowering her eyes down to it.

He slid his elbow further across the counter and grinned. "I suppose you earned it."

"Great." Misty said, and she neatly placed her refreshed Pokéballs back into her bag.

Gary followed her as she began walking outside, where she was about to walk straight on. He caught a glimpse of a smaller forest up ahead; the trees were spread out further apart, and mountains rose up in sight behind it. "You going to catch Pokémon?" He assumed this. If she was going home she'd be going left.

Misty looked around at him. "It's a lot easier now that I have some." She told him smartly.

Gary stood watching her leave for a second, before turning around himself. The Gym was to his left, just across the street. He walked along casually; his hands in his pockets and his eyes fixed on it: The Pewter Gym. It was built from large boulders, giving it a somewhat prehistoric look. Gary snickered at its appearance. "Easy." He muttered to himself. But he slowed to a stop a few steps later.

"Hey Misty," He spoke in a loud voice, turning his head slightly. "don't ya wanna see me battle?"

He turned around a bit more, seeing her walk up to his side. "This should be good." She said. "If you're as good as you say you are."

Gary walked on confidently, even more so, now that someone was about to witness this.

The Gym was as dark as night inside, seeing its only light after Gary had opened the large boulder doors. Their eyes followed a shadow, moving across the wall opposite them. It stopped and sat on a stone slab. "You're here very early." A cold voice echoed across to them. "You must be a serious trainer." Misty felt herself shiver at the monotonous voice.

"I'm Gary Oak, the greatest trainer from Pallet Town -- I'm as serious as they get!" Gary called back confidently.

"I'm Brock." The figure answered, and then spoke again. "Pallet Town? I've never had a challenger from there." He mumbled, hardly sounding interested by the matter.

"That's not surprising." Gary smirked to no one in particular, feeling even more eager to begin with every second.

"The girl can watch upstairs -- I wouldn't want her to get hurt." Brock said calmly. Misty stamped her way upstairs; feeling rather flustered. She wouldn't mind him getting hurt.

"Can we get on with this?" Gary complained, sounding impatient.

A deep breath was taken, before Brock clicked his fingers. Two platforms drew together on command, each planted with rocks on its surface. Together they made a rocky terrain in front of the challenger. There was a coat of excitement glossed over Gary eyes, and he lit up like a child in a toy shop. He watched Brock come into the light, throwing out a Pokéball.

Misty draped her arms across the bars, watching them from above. She hated to say she was impressed. Both the Pokémon Gary had picked were strong against Rock types. Not only did he know his Pokémon's strengths and weaknesses, but he knew in advance before catching his Pokémon which ones he'd need for this match. Most trainers would just stride into a Gym, using any Pokémon they had. They were always completely unaware what they were up against. Misty knew that only too well; Cerulean Gym seemed to attract these kind of people. Gary really was a serious trainer.

She watched as Brock tossed Gary a Boulder Badge, which he caught one-handedly. Misty made her way downstairs again. "Well done." She said, looking at the badge catch the light from outside.

Gary sighed happily as he carefully placed it into his pocket. "See ya Brock! I'd be looking for a new job if I was you!" He chuckled at himself and turned to exit, before a voice sounded from behind him.

"You're good," Brock said to him, in a low voice. "but you still have much to learn."

Gary drew his head back and sniggered. "Come on, Misty. Let's get outta this dump."

Misty grumbled in disapproval when they left. "Can't you beat someone without doing that?"

Gary however, hadn't heard a single word of hers. He was muttering grumpily. "Still gotta lot to learn, learn what? I beat him, didn't I?" He then shook his head and sighed, deciding to resolve the matter. "What a sore loser."

"I'll be off then." Misty suddenly said.

He turned around, hearing her words. "Ah -- don't you something to eat? It's on me." He tilted himself back on his heels. "After wins like this, I'll be able to afford anything." He added on proudly.

Misty turned sharply and faced him. "Gary," She started, grinning mischievously. "If you want me to stay, all you have to do if ask."

He froze. She knew he didn't want to, and she was trying to pry it out of him -- as painfully as possible. She waited for him, continuing to grin. Gary looked at her with a look of near disgust on his face.

She groaned, and her grin disappeared. "See ya."

Gary regained himself as she was walking away. "Alright," he drawled out. "But you don't know what you're missing!"

Misty turned her head around, looking ever sarcastic. "Wow, a car full of cheerleaders and you?"

Gary dropped his head in defeat. "Fine," He grunted loudly in agitation. "I'll dump the cheerleaders."

She stopped walking, possessing a look of slight surprise. "Really?" She asked in a low tone, her eyebrows lowered.

Gary shrugged and clicked his jaw in hesitation. "Yeah."

So Misty came back towards him, Gary quickly acting as if nothing had happened; Misty secretly hid a triumphant smile. He started explaining how he'd won his Gym Battle against Brock, while they kept a look-out for somewhere to eat.

"I know where Cerulean is -- I live there!" Misty argued with Gary, trying to grab the map from his hands.

He raised it out of her reach successfully. "And I know how to use a map." He replied calmly. "Look, we are here -- Cerulean is over there." Gary pressed a finger down, and started tracing it across. "So all we have to do is cross from here... over to there." They both looked up ahead of them.

The path they'd been walking lost its distinctive colour, and blended in with the dust and rock. It ended sharply, facing another dead-end road, and another steep cliff. Gary walked as close to the edge as he could go. "And there's a river's down there..." He peered down past jagged rocks and saw a distant twisting river below. He smiled, satisfied with himself for being correct.

Misty watched as he rose his head upwards, looking to tree-tops. She hadn't the slightest clue what he was doing, and stood in bored curiosity. She liked him better when he concentrating; it meant less time of him acting like, well, himself.

After releasing a Bellsprout, Misty was on the becoming more concerned than curious. "Uh, Gary?" She said questioningly.

He had ordered it to use its cut on a large tree, and the process looked to be moving very slowly. Yet Gary stood back, overlooking it with a strange patience. Misty made her way towards him. "Are you trying to waste as much time as possible, or what?"

Gary turned to her, highly annoyed by her words. But he changed his facial expression, achieving a superior look once again. "My Pokémon aren't born the best y'know. They all need to get some practice -- only amateur trainers use the same Pokémon all the time."

"Amateur trainers? Oh, yes -- you've been training for years, right?" She said sarcastically.

She watched the Bellsprout jab away at the wood, working hard under the supervisor of its trainer. She hadn't even remembered him catching a Bellsprout... but then again, do Eskimos keep track of the snow?

"Timber!" Gary roared as the tree began tipping over. It slammed down across the two cliffs, and Misty smiled at the problem solved.

"Nice work." She said, sounding anything but grateful as she followed behind him.

Gary had crossed the fallen tree no bother; Misty had her problems. She wasn't afraid of heights; it was something else. Her eyes were fixated on a Caterpie, snailing its way ever so slowly towards her. She screamed with every inch, gripping onto the bark; she was planted half way across the tree.

"Come on, I haven't got all day." Gary said to her impatiently.

"I hate bugs..." She moaned, holding on even tighter. She then yelled back at him. "What else are we doing today?!"

Gary groaned, dropping his head. "Just stop being such a wimp and hurry up."

"Can't we just go back? It's not that much longer..."

"It's four days longer." He told her matter-of-factly.

Misty eyes widened at her mistake. "Four days?! That's impossible!"

Gary ignored her, already thinking ahead. "How about I catch that thing, that way we'll both be happy. What do ya say?"

"There's no way you're ca--"

"Great, you can never have too many Pokémon!" Gary reached for a empty Pokéball and looked directly at the target. "Alright baby, don't let me down."

"Oh brother." Misty muttered rolling her eyes.

Gary swung his arm back, and if pitching a ball to be hit, shot it forward at the Caterpie. It hit right on target, but instead of catching the Caterpie; it knocked it clear off the log.

They listened to the small splash it made from below.

"Well," Misty started lightly. "that worked out nicely."

Gary rolled up his selves, frowning. "Hey, I got rid of the thing, didn't I?" He crouched down, and started towards the log.

Misty stared at him nervously. "What are you doing?"

"Getting my Pokéball back, what does it look like I'm doing?" He tipped his head in the direction of the empty Pokéball; it was caught among the leafs of a branch.

Gary had already passed the distance it took Misty half an hour to cross. "I can get it!" She argued, holding out an arm. "And stop moving so fast, you're gonna turn this thing over!"

"You wouldn't be able to get it." Gary told her. He was now only a metre away from where she sat tensely.

Misty glared at him, ignoring the Pokéball's whereabouts. "Oh, you wanna bet?"

Gary took his eyes off the branch, and raised an eyebrow at her. "You're kidding, right?" He smirked. "You could barely get yourself across this thing."

"Just shut up and watch me." Misty grumbled. In her kneeling position, she began crawling closer to the branch. She raised her hands from the tree's surface and began leaning out towards it.

Gary reacted to her move immediately. "You're doing it wrong, you know what you're gonna do, you're--"

Misty snapped before he could finish, "I think I know what I'm doing!" But just as she was about to reach her target, the tree rolled sideways. Gary had maneuvered quickly, and he managed to keep ahead of the tree.

He looked ahead quickly, Misty was on the verge of falling off. He stretched out forward, awkwardly grabbing one of Misty's legs before she fell. She was stretched out mid-air, having managed to take hold of a flimsy group of twigs.

"I told you were doing it wrong." Gary said, securing her other leg.

"Just don't let me go!" She shrieked, watching in terror as the twigs began to snap.

"What do you think I'm doing?" He replied teasingly, acting too calm for Misty's liking.

"I'm going to die! I'm going to die!" She cried at him frantically.

He chuckled, looking across at her. "You're not gonna die, you're just gonna fall!"

A loud crack was heard, and the supporting twigs were no more. She screamed even louder, as her entire body lost its support. She dropped down like a rag doll, the blood rushing to her head as her legs ached; Gary was pinning them down to the tree harder than ever.

"You let go of me and I'll kill you!"

"If I let go of you, I've already killed you." Gary replied, and he extended his arm out. "Grab hold of my hand."

Misty struggled to raise her head. "I can't!"

Gary exhaled loudly. "Not this again! Come on, you can do it."

"I can't reach up that high!" She complained, hanging in a state of distress.

He re-gripped her legs, his arm becoming strained. After a moment of silence, he spoke again. "You know, it's not that far down..." He said thoughtfully.

"Don't even think it Gary!" She screeched from below.

"Yeah, sure." He said incoherently.

Misty looked at the upside-down view of cliff's side, and then decided on closing her eyes. "Maybe you can use your Pokémon!" She suggested hopefully.

But Gary was muttering quickly to himself, his eyes raised in concentration. Misty became worried with his silence, until he finally spoke. "You can swim, right?"

Misty replied without thinking too much. "Yeah, of course I-- wait a minute--" The next that came from her mouth was a scream. She felt the secure presence of Gary's hands lift from her legs. She fell faster than she'd ever thought possible.

"GGGGGGGGGAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYY!!" Her voice roared, reaching every crack and crevice in the trench, echoeing all around.

Gary straightened up and wiped his hands. "Now," He said assertively. "to get the Pokéball."

Meanwhile, two trainers and a Pikachu were situated near a river; they were resting during their travels. One stood bent over towards the other, holding a small plastic tree.

"Ok Ash, one more time." He began slowly. "This tree is small -- those are faraway." He pointed out into the distance.

Ash remained still, his face mangled with confusion. "Could you explain that again?"

"Aww, forget it!" His companion slung the plastic tree away in frustration. "I'm gonna get some water. You want some?"

Ash picked up the plastic tree again, examining it carefully. "No, I'm fine." he mumbled.

"I'll be right back then."

Brock began trekking towards the river. It wasn't a far walk, and his eyes explored the magnificent view around him. He stretched his neck up, looking beyond and above the trees. An enormously tall cliff edge towered above him, making the trees seem very small... or faraway. He crouched down to the river's bank, water speeding and spraying past him quickly. After dipping the bottle in, and filling it to top, he saw that the river was gushing out from a gap in the cliff.

He secured the lid on the bottle and turned to leave, when noises from close-by stopped him. It was of gasping and choking, accompanied by dragging sounds, across the dirt and grass. It was coming from just beside him. A patch of growth grew separating him and it, and so he moved through to investigate.

After pushing across, his eyes fell on a girl; her body was sprawled across the bank. With her eyes closed, she was fighting a racing breath -- laying with clothes soaked to the very bone. She had fought against the river's force and swam ashore.

Brock rushed over to her side -- his face expressing serious concern. "Are you ok? Can I help you?"

She looked to have collapsed with exhaustion. Brock didn't doubt it. After seeing the river's water begin to splash her, he was certain his decision of moving her was right. He bent down and dug his arms underneath her; feeling the mud squelch as he gripped her wet skin. He remembered to lift with his legs, and so with one heave he stood with her in his arms.

For a moment, she raised her head and opened her eyes. She stared directly at him; Brock felt a slight jolt of surprise. "Are you ok?" He repeated once again, but she only mumbled nonsense, and closed her eyes again.

He sighed for the long journey back; time doubled from the cargo. Not that she was heavy; her slight frame made her a lot easier to carry, her thin legs fitting neatly across his lower arm.

And she looked young. Her skin was fair, and her water-tortured hair looked ginger in colour. After a few thoughts of how she had befallen such an accident -- Brock had reached where Ash was.

Now holding the tiny plastic tree in the air, he turned and almost jumped from the sight. "Wah... Brock, what happened?!" He asked, rushing towards him.

Brock placed her down onto the grass, standing up again. "I found her by the river, she'd passed out." Brock rubbed his acheing back -- he hadn't lifted with his legs.

"Is she ok?" Ash asked urgently.

"She'll be fine." Brock answered, dismissing any need for Ash to worry. "Nothing my trusty first-aid box can't help." Brock scanned the long graze on her lower leg, blood now beginning to appear.

Ash and Pikachu watched with interest for the next fifteen minutes, as Brock applied a bandage to the graze, surrounded her with a towel and finally cushioned her into a comfortable resting position.

While Pikachu stood worryingly at the girl's head, growing a sense of attachment to the unconscious girl; Ash helped Brock pack the supplies away. "You think she's a secret agent and had to escape by jumping off a cliff?" Ash suggested excitedly.

Brock smiled, closing the box. "Yeah, that, or she could have fallen."

Ash grumbled with the lack of adventure and action in Brock's theory. His face soon brightened. "I bet she was pushed!"

Brock raised a questioning eyebrow at his remark. "I guess we'll have to wait until she wakes up to find out."

Ash stopped asking questions as he sat on a rock, emerged in deep thought. Brock sat on the same rock, falling back onto its broad surface. They had agreed to the obvious -- they would stay and wait until she woke up. Brock didn't even have to assure Ash that it wouldn't be long, for Ash was far too curious to leave.

"Hey Brock, how'd you get so good at all that first-aid stuff?"

"I've got years practice." He replied.

Ash chuckled lightly. "You did better than any Nurse Joy ever could."

Brock made a happy mumbling sound, his tone of voice changing. "I guess a stop by the hospital wouldn't hurt..." He stroked his chin grinning.

"Maybe she won't want to goto the hospital. I bet she has another urgent mission to complete." Ash said, looking in the sleeping girl's direction.

"We'll see, Jo-- I mean Ash."

"Now really Ash, can a trainer like you afford to be relaxing?"

Ash and Brock's heads looked up to see a visitor on their spot in the forest. While Brock's face was etched with confusion, Ash was clearly suprised. "Gary!" he exclaimed.

Gary tipped his head in the girl's direction. "I see you've taken her hostage."

Ash jumped up defensively. "We were just helping her. What's it to you?"

He eased his head downwards, sighing heavily. "She's my partner in crime, of course."

"I knew it." Ash muttered, snapping his fingers.

"Pikapi." Pikachu shook its head at its trainer.

Gary grinned and began walking towards her, turning his head around to Ash. "So Ash, you caught any Pokémon?"

Before Ash could splutter out his answer, Brock had jumped up; he proceeded towards Gary. "She's just resting." He told him, seeming almost protective over his patient.

Gary backed away slightly, still grinning. "Well, thanks for the charity work boys, but we're gonna have to get going now."

"What makes you think she'd want to go with you?" Ash questioned him.

Brock spoke over Ash. "I'd let her stay for a little while longer."

"Aww, she's fine. All she needs is a little waking up..." Gary bent down and pinched her nose. After a few minutes she jumped, coughing and gasping for breath. Gary looked back at Ash, smiling. "Of course she wants to go with me."

"YOU! I'M GONNA KILL YOU!" She roared on awakening, and grabbed for Gary's neck. He leapt away quickly; jumping to his feet. She immediately began chasing him.

Ash and Brock stood still, observing. "I didn't think Gary was ever wrong." Ash commented, watching her pin him to the ground.

"Pika pika."

She raised her fist up threateningly, and Gary held up his hands in defense. He was laughing hysterically, not exactly taking her violence seriously. "Come on Misty, you really think I'd do that without doing some calculations first?"

Misty shook him angrily. "What kind of calculations?! You dropped me off a cliff!"

Gary replied smugly. "I worked out the speed you'd fall at. I knew you wouldn't die."

Brock had recognised Gary as the same over-confident Gary who challenged him days ago. "Very clever." He muttered.

Ash frowned at Gary after hearing his friend's words. "You're lucky she's still alive!" He objected.

Misty released Gary from her grip, and stood up. She looked remotely pleased with Ash. "Thank you-- ah, what's your name?"

Ash smiled and introduced him and Brock proudly.

"Wait a minute -- you're Ash?" Misty looked questioningly at Gary, and then back to Brock. "Aren't you the Pewter Gym leader?"

Gary stood up behind them, brushing any trace of dirt from his clothes. "So he is. The sore loser -- hey, you two make a great couple." Gary chuckled as Misty ignored his remark, continuing to talk to Brock.

"Were you the one who brought me from the river? I remember someone..."

Brock smiled back, almost bashfully. "Yeah, you had a cut on your leg as well." He indicated towards her leg, and Misty saw it bandaged up.

"Wow, thanks." She smiled, and then looked to the ground. "I don't know what to say, is there anything I can do?"

Ash and Brock exchanged a considering look, and Ash shrugged. "You want to come along with us? We're going to Cerulean -- I'm going to get a badge."

Misty hesitated. "I, um..."

"She owes me a car." Gary prompted, stepping forward. "So we gotta get walking to Cerulean. Wasted enough time today already..." He mumbled, glaring at Misty. He turned to Ash, and brightened. "I wouldn't be so confident about that Cascade badge Ashy, not all the gym leaders are as easy as that one." He sniggered at Brock, and then turned around.

Brock extended his arm to hold Ash back from attacking Gary. Misty took a few steps backwards. "Thanks for everything, you guys." She waved and then followed behind Gary, who she started talking to furiously as they walked further away.

"I'm gonna get that badge -- I'll show him!" Ash declared, clenching his fists.

Brock looked out after them, and picked up his bag casually. "Well, she'd want to be owing him a car."

Chapter 3 coming soon.

Authors notes: Welp. Hope you liked it. The next chapter will be on its way... hopefully soon enough. I'm sorry this one took so long. But hey, at least it came ^_^;; Btw, I'm sure Father Ted fans noticed something I put into the fic. (not very well, but nice all the same) Oh, and I'm sorry about the crappiness of Ash and Brock's appearance. I probably could have made it better... but meh, what are you gonna do? ^_^; Besides, I have more time to develop everything. Of course they'll be more characters from the series, as well as a few things answered that I've been brought up. (where?) I'm hardly going to leave it here. Well, review nicely. or horribly, I don't really mind :P