Hello my dear readers; welcome to the fifth chapter of "More or Less." This fic. is still not off Hiatus, but I'm doing my best to juggle my stories so that I won't have one story just sitting there collecting dust. Anyways, I changed Crystal's last name. It is now Suisho; a name that was submitted to my other story, "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate," by clover bookcat. So, I'd like to say thanks to her/him(?) for sending in that name! And I made this chapter a little longer and "action-y" (sort-of...), so please enjoy! And review!
Disclaimer: I'm just a fanfiction writer, so I don't own the Pokemon franchise.
"A written exam…how predictable."
The statement had come from Ruby as all of us sat or stood around somberly in Blue's room. Gold and I were sitting on Blue's bed, while Ruby sat in the swivel chair next to Blue's desk and Sapph stood, looking blankly out the window. Yellow, Red, and Green hadn't arrived yet and Blue was waiting for them downstairs.
"Well, your father sure does know Gold's weakness," Ruby paused. "No offense Gold."
Gold merely grunted in response, still staring blankly at the carpet. I frowned, reaching over to touch his hand. Gold jumped slightly and looked at me with a shadow of his regular grin.
"Yeah Crys?" he asked, taking my hand.
I didn't say anything; focusing on our hands and then looking up at Gold's face with a sad smile. His grin dropped slightly as he rubbed his thumb over my hand comfortingly. I didn't need to tell him how worried I was; he already knew.
"Argh! I hate not being able to do anything!" Sapph suddenly yelled, throwing her hands up in the air. The rest of us stared at her in shock as Sapph glared back. "Aren't you guys sick of just staying cooped up in here? Of not doing anything?"
"But we are about to do something."
Blue stood there in the doorway with Red, Yellow, and Green right behind her. They came into the room with Green closing the door behind him.
"The written exam is all on business and finance and whatever, right?" Blue asked. I nodded. "So, we got these!"
She gestured to Green and Red who pulled out two large bags and with heavy sighs, dumped out their contents on Blue's desk. I hopped off the bed and approached the table.
"Books?" I said questioningly, picking one of them up and examining it.
"Yup!" Blue nodded firmly. "They're all on business, stocks, anything along those lines…"
I quickly scanned through all the books. The Top Businesses of Kanto, Leaders of Johto, Hoenn Stocks, Inflation, Deflation, and How It Can Affect YOU!, etc. I held up one of the books. "Finance for Dummies?"
Blue shrugged. "Hey, it sounded good."
"And what exactly are we supposed to do with all these books?" I asked, already suspecting and fearing the answer.
"It's not exactly you. Gold just has to study all of them," Blue answered simply.
Gold and I said nothing, staring in disbelief and mild horror at the amount of books. Altogether, they made a stack taller than Yellow.
"Are you crazy?!? There's like 5,000 books there!" Gold shouted. (Actually, there were more like 35, but Gold was always one to exaggerate.)
"Would you rather lose? To Eusine and Crys' annoying dad?" Blue pressed.
I saw Gold twitch in anger as I felt myself go slightly red with anger at the memory of how my father had treated Gold when he had issued the challenge.
"Crystal." My father paused and shuddered delicately. "Gold…"
We nodded back at him as the three of us sat down in the living room. My mother and Eusine were already there; my mother humming and knitting, Eusine looking bored as he examined his fingernails. As soon as my father walked in, he immediately sat up straight and alert.
We all sat there in tense silence (besides my oblivious mother), before Gold broke it. "So you've called us here to…?"
My father raised an eyebrow, sniffing disapprovingly. "Still as crass as ever it seems…" Gold glowered as my father continued. "I have called all of you here to issue your first challenge."
Gold and I sat there, waiting anxiously for him to continue. Eusine looked as cool as a cucumber, watching my father intently.
"Your challenge is a written exam on the history of famous businesses, leaders, and the basic economy of each region. (Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh.) It will also include questions on the stock market, inflation, deflation, taxes, etc."
Gold looked blankly at my father, his expression getting more confused with every word. Eusine on the other hand, just smirked smugly at us.
"…That is what you are expected to know," my father finished. "Any questions?" Seeing how no one was saying anything, my father nodded. "Very well then. I wish you luck." Though it seemed he was addressing both Gold and Eusiine, he only faced Eusine as he spoke.
"Thank you sir," Eusine said earnestly. "I'll study hard and ace this exam. Then I'll prove to you that I'm the worthy one for Crystal's hand in marriage."
Gold and I rolled our eyes at his phony act, excused ourselves, and rushed out of the house to tell our friends what had just happened.
"No way!" Gold shouted, voicing both his and my opinion. I nodded in agreement.
"Then let's get started!" Blue exclaimed, clapping her hands together.
-30 min. later-
I looked up from one of the finance books, disrupted by the slight growling-snuffling noise.
Still sitting at the desk was Ruby who was glancing at the book in front of him occasionally, but most of his attention was on the needle and dress in his hands. Green was entirely focused on his book, while Blue was shuffling quickly through the pages. Yellow fidgeted occasionally on the floor, trying desperately to focus on her book; Red on the other hand was staring, eyes glazed, over at his book. Sapphire and Gold however, were both fast asleep on their books.
"Gold! Sapph!" Both of them jerked awake, looking around in surprise, only half-awake.
"What's going on?" Gold mumbled, rubbing his eyes. Sapph yawned widely, showing her pointy canine teeth.
I frowned, feeling annoyed and exasperated at their lack of concern. "Guys, this is important!" We had decided to each read a book and help Gold by giving him facts that seemed important, while highlighting the general points. "Can't you two focus?"
"Ah…sorry Crys…" Gold moaned. "But this stuff is so complicated…it's hard to remember it all…" Sapph nodded in agreement.
"No it's not!" Blue said. "Watch." She turned to Green.
"Which company is the leader in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh?" Blue asked.
Blue smirked. "Ok, who's the wealthiest family in Sinnoh?"
"The Berlitz Family," Green answered tonelessly.
"What's the definition of inflation?"
"Rapid increase in the general price level."
Blue's smirk got bigger as she turned back to face Gold and me. "See? Not hard at all." Turning toward Green, she pecked him on the lips. "At least…for a smart guy like Green it's not."
I bristled angrily at the jab at Gold's intelligence. "Gold's smart! He's just more gifted in other things other than educational things like reading."
Now even Sapph was wide awake; she and the others stared wide-eyed at me. It wasn't very often that I got this worked up, especially toward my friends. I breathed deeply, trying to calm myself down, and blushing slightly under everyone's stares.
"Relax." I turned as I felt Gold place a hand on my shoulder. He gave me a confident grin. "I've got this all under control."
With that, Gold walked out of the room, waving back to us and closing the door. I blinked in confusion and so did the others. "What just happened?" Sapph said aloud.
-3 days later-
"Where is he…?" I glanced anxiously at my watch then back at the road, looking for any sign of Gold.
"He should be here soon," said Yellow reassuringly, patting me on my arm.
"Typical Gold to always be late," Red commented. I didn't bother to defend Gold, knowing the statement was true. Gold always came at the last minute.
Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Ruby, and Sapphire were standing next to me, also waiting for Gold. They had decided to come to give Gold some moral support.
Suddenly the loud and recognizable roar of a motorcycle came from the road. Just as it was about to pass us, the bike skidded to a stop. Gold jumped off, pushing up his goggles, grinning. "Am I late?"
"You're about to be late if you keep standing there!" I yelped, pushing Gold quickly into the building that my father had rented just for the exam.
-inside the building-
"Hmm, just in time," sniffed my father, looking disappointed. Eusine, who was already sitting at one of the two tables in the empty room, also looked miffed that Gold had made it on time. "Well, sit down," my dad ordered, waving in the vague direction of the other table.
"Good luck," I whispered to Gold, giving him a quick hug and a kiss. My father watched this looking disgusted while Eusine looked annoyed and grossed out. My father coughed loudly as I pulled back, walking out of the room.
"Think he can do it?" Blue asked.
She and the others stood just outside the door, waiting for me. I nodded, smiling more confidently than I felt. "Yeah, I know he can."
I watched as Crys' dad handed Eusine a paper along with a pencil; and slapping them onto my table. I rolled my eyes before picking up the pencil.
I flipped the pencil around my hand as Mr. Suisho droned on about the rules. Eusine looked just as bored as I did.
"…and absolutely NO CHEATING!" he emphasized, glaring at me. "Now you may begin."
I grinned, waiting for both him and Eusine to look away. Then, I pulled down my goggles, slipping them over my eyes.
"What are you doing?" asked Mr. Suisho. He and Eusine looked at me suspiciously.
"Nothing. Wearing my goggles help me concentrate," I answered, trying to look as innocent as possible.
"Give me your goggles!" ordered Mr. Suisho.
"Give me your goggles. NOW!" he yelled, turning pretty red in the face. I got up slowly, pulling off my goggles as I went. To my right, I saw Eusine smirking. Reluctantly, I handed Crys' father my goggles. He took them, examining it suspiciously.
I stood there, waiting. Finally, I sighed loudly. "Are you done yet? Find anything suspicious about my goggles?"
He didn't answer, still running his fingers over and around my goggles. I tensed up slightly as his thumb slid over the left side of my goggles, before breathing a huge sigh of relief as he moved his hand. Mr. Suisho glared at me and held out the goggles to me. "Here," he admitted begrudgingly, "Take them and do your test."
"Thanks." I swiped them quickly out of his hand and went back to my table; smirking widely at Eusine and snapping on my goggles. Then I picked up my pencil and started writing quickly.
-1 hr. and 30 min. later-
Sighing loudly, I dropped my pencil and pushed my goggles up to my cap. Eusine set his pencil down neatly; straightening his papers so that they were perfectly aligned. I rolled my eyes, not bothering to take care of my own pile.
"Good job Eusine," Mr. Suisho said, picking up Eusine's exam papers and pencil. He paused in front of me, wrinkling his nose as he grabbed my papers by one corner; holding them between his index finger and his thumb, making sure they were far away from his body.
"It's not going to explode you know," I remarked, eyeing him coolly.
"You. Leave!" Crys' father bellowed, once again turning red. This time, his entire face and neck turned a bright crimson shade.
I held up my hands and said, "Okay, okay, I'm going…See ya." With that, I walked out of the room, making sure to slam the door extra loudly. I grinned, hearing angry mutters from behind it.
"Gold! How'd you do?"
I watched Crys run up to me, panting. I caught her in my arms, kissing her quickly on the lips then pulling back. "It wasn't too bad. In fact," I paused, my grin growing. "I thought it was pretty easy…"
Crys looked at me curiously. "What do you mean you "thought" it was pretty easy?" she asked, raising her eyebrows skeptically.
"Geez Crys, chill! You'll see how I did when the test results come out." I winked, putting my arm around her and guiding her to where the others were waiting close by. Slowly, I reached up and ran my thumb over my goggles. "Heh…you'll see."
-the next day-
"So…I will now announce the winner of the exam…" my father said, walking back and forth slowly. I heard Gold grumbling next to me (something about how long this was taking and how it was a waste of time.) I giggled quietly, squeezing his hand and making a shushing motion to him when he looked up.
Eusine glowered at us from across the room in his lone armchair. Seeing this, I moved closer to Gold on the couch we were both seated on and smiled up at him, making sure to throw a dirty look in Eusine's direction.
"Anyways, the winner of the challenge is…"
A/N: Well, darn. Another cliffhanger...XD Sorry people, guess you'll just have to wait and see who's the winner. Feel free to guess though. (C'mon there's a 50% chance you'll get it right. Good luck! ;P) And sorry if there were too many breaks (time/P.O.V.), it just came out that way... Anyways, please review!