Okay, folks. I have been challenged to deliver a very special fiction to all of you. This is for all those who are waiting for 'Election Week'. I promise you that I have not forgotten that fic. There are about eight or nine chapters left in it and I aim to finish it before the month of June. For now, stick with me and this chaptered story that author Newtype Omega requested. It describes the complex back story involved in the unique pairing of Max and Solana (also known as DeoxysStalkerShipping) like 'Election Week', it is rated 'T'. Enjoy, folks!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon, a creation of one Satoshi Tajiri, and is produced domestically (in the United States) by Pokemon USA/The Pokemon Company, and internationally by Shogakukan and OLM. I personally own nothing and make nothing by writing this. Please do not flame.
Quaint and comfortable, the living room of the Valdez household is where many of the moments that are said to last a lifetime occur. This might count as such a moment, but for the young teen and the older woman sitting on the couch designed for two, they only hope to get out of this moment unscathed and without any scolding they can't handle.
Few moments can compare with something like this. Sure, one can recollect back to the days of childhood when they would be reprimanded for breaking an item in the house or causing some form of mischief. Another experience much in that same vein would be the meeting in the principal's office that you have no clue about as far as details.
This is different, though. No talk of school, classmates or the latest in drama can possibly compare to this moment in time. No amount of breaking or wrongdoing could compare to this as very few families can prepare for this, but both families, Max's and Solana's, have been thrust into a very deep and unique situation as their children have had quite the coming out party a few days ago on a New Year's Day Pokémon tournament.
This moment in time is what the four individuals sitting on the other side of the room from their children what to know a lot more about. Norman, Caroline, Javier and Talia indeed know that the two of them have been dating for several months, and perhaps over a year's time, but seeing their kids on TV in the Orange Islands has put a new spin on their activities and lives as all six of them know it.
"So…" Solana's mother, Talia Moreno, begins, "Would the two of you care to explain what happened on Pummelo Island?"
Not being a fool but realizing that her mother asked her a really stupid question, Solana can only smile while answering "Max asked to marry me, mama, and I said yes. This is—you have to believe me when I say that none of this was planned out or for show. I was about as surprised as the two…the four of you. I just—I know that a lot of this is unplanned and a shock to all of you. It's a shock to me, too. I feel so strongly about this, though."
"You feel strongly about this, Lana?" Javier questions. "Okay. Don't get me wrong, but I think that you would agree with me when I say that that's how most relationships begin. There's more involved in the process than feelings, even though that is a piece of the puzzle. It takes trust, commitment to one another and planning. The bottom line is that you have to be ready for a relationship like this. Are you sure that you and Max are at that stage where you can make a decision of this magnitude…for better or for worse?"
"Honestly Mr. Valdez," Max interjects, "I think that we are more ready than people will give us credit for. I think that if we…explain where we stand as far as our relationship, we might be able to convince the four of you that we are ready for this. I truly believe that."
"I don't mean to be rude or talk out of place in something like this," Norman remarks. "You know that…I was not behind the idea of you being with Solana when she is nine years older than you are. I think that if you were going to have a relationship with her beyond friendship, I told you it might be best to wait until both of you are adults, but…then I realized that adulthood wasn't too far off for you, so I allowed you to be with Solana. You have shown a great deal of maturity with your relationship and I respect that. But…just like my friend and your…apparent fiancée's father alluded to, this is no laughing matter. You have to be absolutely sure about this or it's best to not do this at all."
"I'm certain about this, Mr. Maple. I think that…it would probably be best for me and Max to explain why we are so sure about this to you." Looking to her boyfriend, Solana feels that "It would only be appropriate for me to start at the very beginning. Mom, dad, you knew that I had a very difficult time coping with not being a ranger at first, but Max was so good to me from the beginning of my journey to right now.
"My breakup with Jackie didn't help matters, but that's another story that I really don't care to dredge up once again. I'd rather just explain that I could not find a more compatible person on the road for the last two years. Even more than just being a traveling partner, we found each other and found many interests that we had were the same. We both love to train, as I've come to learn of myself, but that is only a minor thing compared to all the other instances that I've experienced on my journey with this guy here; your son. If you would allow me the opportunity, I would like to explain where Max and I are coming from when we say we want to get married."
"I think that's fair," Caroline responds, "and I like the fact that we can all discuss this like mature adults and disagree on items like this. It's important that we, at the very least, hear what you have to say about this because you do plan on getting married. That's what I seem to get from both of you when you talk; no matter what, you still plan to walk the aisle, and that's fine. If you do it for the right reasons and not the wrong ones, then the chances of things working out for both of you go up exponentially. I want to see that. If you feel this strongly about your union, it would be disrespectful and wrong of me to say that I want you to fail. I want to know what both of you bring to the table in this relationship in order for me to give you any sort of blessing. Solana, I heard that you had a story behind this, right?"
"Yes, ma'am," she answers. "I have to start when I first met Max and began to learn how much of a young man he had become since the last time we met. From that point on, I knew that something was much different with him compared to the seven-year-old I met almost a decade before then. No, I met an even more curious guy and I couldn't be happier that I did meet him in my goal of earning badges."
Two Years Ago…
"Okay, now," says the new trainer in action as she makes some of the first truly risky steps on her way to make an attempt to change her career and her direction in life. "Apparently, going through this forest will get me to the Fuchsia City gym quicker than any other way I've seen on the map. That's if I can believe that acromegalic madman, Lieutenant Surge."
Now pulling out one of her Poké Balls, she speaks to the object, much like Hamlet spoke to Yorick, claiming, "I know I will fight tooth and nail for all of you guys, but our last battle against Surge must've brought something out of us for the simple fact that it was electric versus electric. All the different maneuvers that you used in the battle made my head swirl for a bit, but that's the type of effort I expected for myself as a ranger and that's exactly the type of ethic that we'll all follow while I work on training and see how far this merry band of overachievers can go in battling."
Indeed, surveying and making her way through forests in her local Fiore region was leagues different just a few months ago compared to right now. As a Pokémon Ranger, twenty-five-year old Solana Valdez-Moreno had all of the amenities that went along with such a position, including GPS tracking, cell phone connections with local authorities and the ability to take command of virtually all Pokémon in existence on a temporary basis through the use of a capture styler if the need ever arose in battling against the region's top villains and crime organizations.
The truth is that she had quite the career in place as a ranger; earning her keep for stopping crooked factions before they could make their grand impact, and making sure, as environmental stewards, that the region would not be tainted by the works of industrial criminals now adjusting quite well to a revolution in the form of the Information Age. Receiving citations from the city and regional governments, it only seemed natural that she would be moving higher and higher up the ranks as one of the youngest, but most qualified individuals on any law enforcement force in the Pokémon world.
However clichéd the term might sound, the young girl, who came of age in the Ranger Academy, shot up the ranks like no other before or since and through her many endeavors matured far beyond her years. She truly was one in a billion, maybe even a trillion. It appeared that she would be destined for great things in the force that no other woman had ever accomplished, such as an appointment to chief of police or a promotion to an intelligence unit for further matriculation through the system.
Despite such a bright future ahead for her, she turned away from the light. The reasons for that could range from the great workload involved in being a ranger that the general public never sees or the fact that she is bordering on insane for giving up such a lucrative position in law to become a Pokémon trainer full time.
She walked away from it; the reasons being are extensive, but it is something that Solana knew that she had to do. While she loved her work and had a passion for it unmatched by many, she did grow tired at times due to many factors, both internal and external. Since the age of ten, she has aspired to be part of the rangers or work as a police officer. It's a path that caused many people to laugh in her face and doubt her, only fueling her desire further. What she did not expect was to hear the loud and vocal criticisms from her family about her choice of work in what has traditionally been 'men's work' until most recent years for law enforcement.
Even with the strides that many young girls, teens and women have taken in the name of following their path through the rangers and despite laws and rules as old as the movements behind them that are designed to prevent such careless discrimination in the workforce, Solana would be lying if she said that she has never experienced being put in her place by her fellow male counterparts and being reminded that she is a woman in a so-called man's world. It's this type of macho attitude that her teammates exuded on a more than daily basis that caused some of her discontent and at some level led to her eventual change of careers.
As she walks through the forest and hopefully in the direction of the Fuchsia City gym, the long process that the now ex-ranger went through to make this decision comes to mind. Not one for flippant choices and actions, though her previous profession did call for such decisions on the spot at times, she nevertheless knew that the environment she was in had become a toxic one. Breaking one of the greatest taboos in the workplace did not help matters, but she was certain that he would be different compared to all the others she's introduced to her mom and dad over the years.
With him being a ranger and she the same, coming to work everyday after her breakup was more than just an awkward experience. With boys continuing to be boys and no sign of such a trend being bucked in the near future, her fellow rangers often teased and prodded Solana about the details of the in-house relationship she had with one of her fellow public servants. During this time, not all of Solana's focus went to the duties she still had to take care of as a top ranger. Instead, they were split between two of her lives; both personal and professional, leaving her half in the bag and having it show, especially to her uninvolved comrades.
The distraction involved her, at that time, planning to transfer to a new region, but the many outside issues around her caused work that would normally be no problem to not get accomplished. Members of the local Fiore region gang, the Go-Rock Squad, in a heist which involved the modification of software within capture stylers that would allow Pokémon to be controlled for longer periods of time, even with older and less advanced models, got their hands on the technology. The rangers, with Solana leading her particular unit, were unable to recover the stolen goods. If nobody within their organization had a feeling that Solana was on a downturn before this turn of events, it was very apparent at that moment in time that some action had to be taken.
For even small tasks that could be done at a desk with pen and paper failed to get completed around this time. Before she could face any disciplinary action from middle or upper management, Solana thought it would be best to simply resign her position within the rangers, making her current contract null and void. This action saved her department from any unwanted media coverage and further embarrassment from her progressive loss of confidence. Unbeknownst to her now former coworkers, given her rapport with supervisors and management on the force, she was able to sign a new contract allowing for a return to the rangers in a period not to exceed twenty-four months under the provisos that she undergo physical, mental, and emotional exams and pass them to the approval of the region. Aside from signing this small contract free of any monetary strings while at the same time being able to stay away from her ex-boyfriend, she has no further ties to the rangers. Solana feels that this is for the best as she continues to work with Pokémon, now as a trainer.
'Well, when life gives you sour grapes,' she thinks as she spots something deep within the woods, which surprises the young woman who wonders what could be out there with her in the forest. "You shouldn't wine," she speaks, completing her thought out loud. Now that her attention is no longer focused upon phrases with a certain form of pithiness, she views the trees in the forest off into the distance to confirm what she thought was there in a figure camping within the woods. Walking in that particular area, Solana seeks to find out who this person is as the sun slowly begins to disappear below the horizon.
"Hello? Excuse me! Is anyone there?" she asks this unknown person, who turns their head away from a pile in the ground and towards the direction of the ex-ranger taking a few steps her way to get a better view of this young woman to learn her identity. Not much more time passes before he puts the pieces of this human puzzle together on his own. With the combination of teal-colored hair, a nice height and, even with a t-shirt and long pants on, the indication of a good muscular build, finding out exactly who this person was turned out to not be any great exercise of his memory.
As they meet face to face and Solana finally gets to see this person camping in the woods of Fuchsia, her memory also gets jogged as she recollects on her earlier years as a ranger and sees a face largely unchanged by the inevitable growth spurts and puberty that have him now standing at equal ground with her. Though, again, she could be wrong, she doubts it. But just to make sure that this face does not belong to another, she has to open up with that question. "Max?"
"Solana?" He responds. After watching the older woman nod her head in confirmation and even smile a little bit, the excitement in his voice was evident in his response of "Wow! Seriously, how long has it been since the last time that I've seen you?"
"Well, let's see," she replies, giving the question some real thought. "When we first met back in, ironically enough, a forest, I was sixteen years old at the time. And now, I'm twenty-five."
"That's nine years," he reiterates through simple arithmetic. "That's amazing that we would remember each other given that it's been that long and I'm now sixteen! So how have you been? How's life been for you? What are you doing out here…and now that I think about it, why don't you have your ranger uniform on?"
"Whoa! Hang on, now! One question at a time, Max, or I risk getting a severe case of information overload. Okay, let's see. For the most part, I've been doing all right. Family and friends have been supporting me in a move that I just had and that is a nice segue into the last two questions you asked me. A few months ago, due to many different factors colliding at one time, I decided to make a choice for myself and leave the rangers indefinitely."
"Really? Man, I never thought that would happen," he admits. "I always pegged you as being a ranger for life or something of the sort. What's the deal behind that?"
"Uhh…like I said, there were a lot of things happened that ended up causing me to leave the rangers and start over in my new career of training."
"You're training now? Oh, that's nice!" Max compliments. "Is Kanto your very first region you're training in? How much progress have you made so far in the gyms? What do you think…?"
"Max, slow down! You did it again!" she speaks. While it might seem, given her words, that she is peeved by the multiple questions from her younger counterpart, she understands the reason behind the third degree. The fact is that the two have not seen each other in nearly a decade. Obviously, the young, curious boy that he was back then has changed into quite a handsome teenager, who appears to have retained that curiosity even at his new and older age. "All right. Let's see if I can remember just what you asked me…training has been going well so far for me. Kanto is a nice change of pace now that I'm traveling through the region as a trainer. It is my first region and so far…well, take a look." Going into one of the pockets in her blue jeans, she pulls out a badge case with a picture of a capture styler on the front cover containing a Thunder, Marsh and Rainbow badge.
"Excellent, you have three badges already?" Pointing to the contents in the case, he adds, "And I see that you defeated Sabrina in Saffron City, too! Well, this is the opinion of a guy who just started out himself, but if you were able to defeat a psychic-type gym leader, then with the right combination of Pokémon by your side, you can beat anyone. To be honest, I found the road to my badges difficult, but right now, I have five. Boulder, Cascade and the three you have there; Thunder, Marsh and Rainbow.
"Now I'm out here camping for the night. I figure that if I walked, I would not be able to make it to Fuchsia City gym in time to compete for my Soul badge. That's according to my PokéNav's map. I don't even know if running from here to the gym would be a good choice because the gym closes at about sundown and from the looks of the sky and the dimness of this forest, it looks like were getting close to that point."
"And that's why you've set up camp here in the forest?"
"Yes, ma'am. Spending enough time with Ash Ketchum, Brock and my sister on the road has prepared me enough that I camp out most nights instead of stopping inside a Pokémon center."
"Oh, that's cool. Most nights, I'd do the same thing, but being a ranger gave me priority as far as rooms at the centers. Despite that, most nights I would camp out because I was so far away from a center that I had no real choice." Several seconds of silence served as the precursor to a question that makes much sense, but never came up in the conversation. "Say, Max. I don't mean to impose when I ask this, but it's all in the name of common sense. You've set up camp…and you've done quite a good job of it."
"You want to know if you can share my campsite, am I right?"
"Well, again, I see no other campsites being set up in the area. It would be pointless and a waste of time to set up another one. Look, like I said, I've been traveling outside for years now. It is a must for me to have my own sleeping bag, fire-making materials, food and the like. I promise not to take up much space and since we're going to the same place first thing in the morning, it…it just seems to make all the sense in the world."
Nodding, Max knows that Solana has made many strong points in her argument for him to share the camping site for the night. What she doesn't know is that he planned to agree to allow her to use the space for the night the entire time. He was going to say something, but it appeared that she was just focused on convincing him to go along with the idea. "Okay," he says. Adding to his point, "Besides, it's not really safe to stay out in the woods alone, and like you said, it's about common sense; if you're camping, do it with a buddy."
"Great! So since we're not heading to Fuchsia right now, what is your plan against Janine in the battle tomorrow? Since we're sharing this portion of the woods it wouldn't hurt to swap battle strategies, am I right?" By virtue of Solana attempting to dig deeply into a young man she hasn't met since he was a boy, she causes him nervously chuckle a bit while looking over at the pile of brush and wood sticks he planned on using for his dinner and to keep warm.
While it is a great gesture on his part to extend the olive branch to a great former public servant, he is a bit uncomfortable with the idea of swapping training ideas and methods with a person he just learned will be his competition in the Indigo Plateau.
Asking for some advice, Solana scoots somewhat closer to Max and seals the request with a smile. Though the twilight sky serves as the setting for a night of a cool fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit, he begins to get just a little bit warm under the collar and suddenly excuses himself to begin setting up his fire which is the truth and did set him free from what was a very precarious scenario. But not simply because he is a magician when it comes to his battling practices.
'Why do I get the feeling that I could just melt out here?' he ponders. 'Sure, she's a beautiful, smart, funny and attractive…woman, but…I am way out of my league here. Or at least I get that feeling around her; just like nine years ago. The only difference is that I understand what it means. But…now what do I do?'
A/N: So here we get the ball rolling. The first of quite a few chapters that breaks down this relationship and gives my fans out there something to see while I work to my eventual comeback.
Until then, this has been Rave!