CHAPTERS 1-17 + OAV1 REVISED JUNE 2003
Who borrowed: the Pocket Monsters anime concept and cast; Karlie (KazOhki); Mia (Arrow); Trish; Michelle (*Hotaru_firefly*); Sarah (Sarah the Pokeprincess); Rachel (the late pf14); Dana and Jene; Jacqui.
tune: Mezase Pokémon Mastuaa (Aim To Be A Pokémon Master)
Ending theme tune: Minna ga Ita Kara (Now We're All Together)
THEME TUNE: My Will; Inuyasha
THEME SONG: 'Don't You Know (It's
Love)' - Ranma 1/2
'Rain' - Marmalade Boy
Points of red and white exploded in his brain, but the thing that hurt Tony the most was when the linoleum floor of the café fwapped him in the back of his perfectly styled hair.
"Gary! What the HELL do you think you're DOING?" Mia screamed, feeling the other conversations in the small beachside restaurant grind to an audible halt as all eyes turned to her and the two dueling teenaged boys.
"You prick!" expostulated Tony, spitting small flecks of blood as he glared at the taller boy with clear hatred. He reached up and grabbed Mia's trousers, startling her as he pulled himself up to his knees. Gary grabbed him with a white-knuckled fist by the scruff of his collar, holding him in that position.
"If you try and pull anything with Mia again, I'm gonna do more than bring you to your knees…"
"Oh really?" mocked Tony, still glaring at Gary. "Such as?"
"Such as putting your lady-killin' butt straight into a coffin – got it? You so much as touch her again and I swear I'm going to kill you."
Tony was speaking in perfect English… his voice was double-toned, like Rachel's had been… Mia's eyes finally fell on the curved knife, discarded less than a metre away from her. A terrified gasp sounded from deep in her throat and she scooted backwards away from it, grabbing Gary's free arm and staring down at Tony in an absolute horror. Breathe.
And he glared back at her, jeering, having no further need for pretence.
But his 'twinkling, blue eyes', that had originally captivated her so, were now nothing more than seemingly bottomless pools of thick and crimson blood. A wave of nausea crept up inside her, thinking about Richie and Duplica, and about how close she had been, as she latched onto Gary's arm tightly.
How easily it had been for her guard to fall.
Is that how Duplica had been feeling in her last few moments, wondered Mia sadly. She hated the thought of her friend's last conscious thoughts being how stupidly and frighteningly easy it was to kill. To make people trust. To coax them subtly into dropping their guards.
And she saw in the eyes of the stranger she had trusted, the same poison that she had witnessed in Rachel's eyes, weeks before. You'd think it would be easy not to let your guard down, but when you actually came to play the game, it was a lot harder than any of the original seventeen had anticipated. And Mia, clutching onto the strong arm of Gary, was just beginning to appreciate that.
Pest… hissed the breeze that whipped up in the disturbed café, blowing hard into every nook and cranny. Petrified, Mia kept an alert contact with Tony's dark red eyes, not wanting to allow him out of her sights, but the wind blew violently into her eyes. The most unnerving thing about it was, apart from the eyes, he still looked like a normal human being to her.
Gary was also having trouble keeping his eyes open, and gritted his teeth in anger as he allowed them to close, and practically shoved the obstinate Mia into his chest to shield her eyes from the whipping breeze, as he knew she was far too stubborn to shield her eyes for herself. They felt the gale soften to a gentle zephyr, and Mia heard a deep gurgle of disgust from inside Gary's chest as he moved his foot away from the thick puddle of blood that had finally trickled out from Tony's irises.
Almost oblivious to the background murmur from the startled bystanders, Gary let his arms slip from Mia's shaking frame, and firmly grasped her hand instead. Mia stared sadly, in a detached fashion at the seemingly lifeless body of the boy who had mysteriously captivated her. Tony was lying, face down on the floor – and for a split second, his form flickered to that of Rachel's in Mia's memory, and she felt nausea climb up her throat once more.
"I want to go," she murmured. "I can't take this anymore. I don't want anyone else to die because of all this." Gary looked at her with an awkward compassion, and pushing aside some nosy pedestrians, gently led her outside into the twilight streets, deserted due to a light drizzle which was threatening to turn worse.
"Come on, we'll go back to the others and you'll feel a lot better," he mumbled, in an unusually gruff voice. Mia shrugged off the sensation of humiliation at being so dangerously gullible. They walked down the moody, grey streets in an all-oppressing silence.
"Poor Duplica…" Mia suddenly whispered, in a bitter, broken whisper. Gary clumsily squeezed the hand he was still holding.
"Poor Todd." Mia looked up, startled, and Gary's cheeks coloured slightly. "Well, it's really rough to have your, well, your girl in trouble like that." Mia forced back a laugh.
"Oh really. You know, people may think that because of how you just acted in that café, and cos of what you've just said… that YOU think of ME as your girl…" she smirked, moving back a damp lock of hair that had become plastered to her still pale cheek. Gary noticeably flinched at her words, and made a disgusted sound.
"Stupid people," he muttered, matter-of-factly. "You and I would be, the WORST couple in the world."
"Yup." Mia looked down at where he was still clenching her fingers in his unusually sweaty grasp, and smiled to herself. "Although some might only think we're as weird as Giovanni with Jesse," she laughed, as they slowly approached the halfway point in their journey.
"What's so weird about that?" Gary asked.
"He's her father. Actually he's yours as well. You're Italian." Gary rolled his eyes, but fondly kept silent, before suddenly breaking the silence in a more sensible tone.
"Trish and the others are soooooo gonna yell at you." Mia groaned.
"I know…" she moaned in dread. "And there's no way I can't tell them." Gary suddenly stopped, as they passed a tiny green stretch of common land, with nothing much more than a broken down climbing frame and a few wooden memorial benches.
"Look, I know it's wet, but I think you'd better sit down a while and calm down. You're still pretty white," he murmured, scratching underneath his chin awkwardly. Mia shrugged, and letting go of Gary's hand, began jogging towards the nearest rain-soaked bench, little water droplets flying from her hair as she ran.
"Great idea, Gar'!" she laughed over her shoulder, to where he was standing rather dumbfounded. "It'll give you the perfect opportunity to tell me how madly you are in love with me!" Gary froze, and chuckled nervously. Two can play at this game, he thought superiorly to himself.
"Okay MARIA, spill the beans," he teased in a flirty voice that totally caught her off-guard. "You only went out with that freak to make me jealous!" Gary's grin slipped off his face when Mia stared down at her hands placed on her knees and coyly refused to answer.
"Think we're getting de-sensitised to all this?" she murmured, gazing up at him with her emerald green eyes. He shifted under her gaze.
"What do you mean?" he shrugged. Mia sighed, and gestured tiredly in the direction of the café.
"Well, some random possessed person did just try to cut me up into pieces and we just left his body lying in a pool of blood in the middle of a café…" she answered, with a hint of sarcasm present. Gary touched his forehead lightly, and sighed.
"Well, it wasn't a real person, Mia…"
"Rachel is a real person," she countered. "But yeah, I think I understand."
"It's like a big fairy-tale," murmured Gary, stretching his legs out and leaning back to look up at the still drizzling grey sky. "But one hell of a dangerous one. We've gotta get to this stupid rock with these stupid flowers to work out how to make it stop, I guess…" Mia turned her head to stare up at the cloudy sky as well, and closed her eyes wearily.
"We should get back…" she murmured. "I think I just contracted hypothermia."
"Cuh, serves you right for wearing that tiny tee-shirt," Gary huffed, wringing a surprising amount of water out of one of his hair 'spikes'. He offered Mia his hand, and she rolled her eyes and stood up with her hands on her hips.
"You are HOPELESS," she yelled, startling the taller boy.
"What...?" he mumbled in confusion.
"I really don't have time for this, Oak. Do you, or do you not want to kiss me right now?" Gary blinked, and shrugged, slipping his hands into his pockets.
"Um, okay." Mia's left eyebrow twitched.
"Um, okay?" she repeated, sardonically. "Jeez, that's romantic you, you… for lack of a better insult, twerp!" Gary scowled.
"Oh yeah, and "Kiss me right now, Oak" is, Miss Boxer-Shorts?" he retorted, his eyes narrowing.
"I… you… arg!! But, grrrrrr!" Mia spluttered, her cheeks glowing pink even though she was freezing. Gary rolled his eyes impatiently again.
"Look, Mia. Just shut up," he moaned, grabbing her forcefully around the back of her head and pulled her still moving lips to his. For up to 70 seconds, there was almost total silence. Then…
"Don't tell me… me to… shut up, Oak…" gasped an out-of-breath Mia, who blushed in horror as she realised where her hands had roamed to during the kiss. Gary looked at where her hands were too, with one eyebrow raised in amusement.
"Trish is sooooooo gonna yell at you," he smirked, gently caressing the back of her neck with his fingertips as she bit down guiltily on her bottom lip, and grinned slightly as she tasted his saliva.
"Well," she began, looking up at him mischievously. "We got lost. And we need to keep warm somehow, Oak… And you DID say that I was hot," she teased, in an innocent, sing-song voice. Gary grinned widely, and showed his approval by silencing her again.
Mia let herself plunge deeply into the kiss, and true to their story, she did feel warm all over. When did I get so mushy, she thought to herself, as she felt Gary's fingers comb gently through her chin-length hair. Been spending too much time with Rina… She raised her hand up to his damp hair…
"Mmmmp," she squeaked, pulling away from him suddenly in astonishment.
"Whaaaat?" he panted, still holding her tightly around the waist, as if he were frightened she'd run away. But Mia wasn't going anywhere…
"My hand is stuck in your hair, Oak!" she snapped, trying to disentangle her fingers from his brown spikes. He winced, as she pulled at his roots. "Christ, what do you PUT in your hair to keep it like that?"
"Gel!" he snapped back, yanking at her suspended arm.
Without warning, there was a loud, masculine shout, followed by a familiar feminine squeal of alarm, and something small and blonde shot across the small grassy common at breakneck speed. Its small frame whacked into Gary's, and the three people landed heavily on the wet grass. Mia was vaguely aware of a 'pwtiz' sound, whilst Gary felt something tickly land on his cheek. Silky strands of blonde hair…
After what was only a few seconds, but seemed longer, Rachel hoisted herself up slightly so she could yell after the two flashy cars that were chasing each other away.
"Evil DEMONS!!!" she shrieked, as she clutched the back of her hair with her free hand. "That was my HAIR!" Below the hand that was supporting her, was Gary's cheek.
"Um. Blondie, I'm not gonna ask," he muttered with great difficulty as her palm was practically on his mouth. "Mia… Mia… your knee is… where I'd rather not have a knee, Angel…" Mia murmured something from the bottom of the heap. Rachel whirled around, her hand sliding off Gary's face and colliding again into the pile of bodies as she squealed in delight.
"Angel? ANGEL? As in a pet-name? As in you two are in LOVE!?" Mia and Gary sweatdropped at the embarrassing exaggeration as Michelle seemed to form from the misty rain. "Omigosh!!!" Michelle yelped, as Rachel struggled to stand up and cooed as she witnessed Gary blushingly help Mia to her feet. "That is soooo-"
"KAWAII!!!!" screamed a different voice, as hair bounced into view. Mia groaned, as she looked down to where Gary was still holding her around the waist. "That's sooooo PRECIOUS!" Erin babbled, cupping her hands around her face and beaming happily.
"You'd better not write a fic about this Rina…" mumbled Mia, sweatdropping as she saw pretty much the whole gang appear around the corner.
"Rachel got a warning about you," Sarah explained to Gary, as she came to a stop in front of them. "She saw you getting hit by a knife. Ah. That'll be it," she pointed to where a blade was suspended in the damp soil by it's embedded tip.
"There was a street fight," Rachel explained, straining to see the back of her hair as she spoke. "You almost got hit. The only casualty is my HAIR!" she wailed, but stopped when Jesse handed her a compact mirror and she saw the damage was barely noticeable.
"Wait, wait, wait," Gary spluttered. "How did you know where I was?" Rachel picked at her fingernails.
"I was stalking you," she began, and Gary started to splutter and protest at the idea, "while you were stalking Mia," Rachel finished, sunnily, shutting Gary up.
Trish folded her arms across her chest and grinned happily.
"I'm not gonna ask…" she laughed. "Let's just get back to the hotel, okay you lot?"
"So, Trish, how was your date?" Mia asked, as the group began the short walk back. Trish sighed dejectedly.
Sappy, sappy, sappy. Too many loved-up, hormonal teenagers. The only two that should be getting together in her story were barely getting noticed at all.
Oh well, thought Author, shrugging her shoulders and picking up her biro. Her pendant glowed its sickly red, the light illuminating the tear-streaked face of Jacqui beside Author. A gloved hand reached and squeezed Jacqui's shoulder.
Cheer up, mouthed Velve, as Jacqui bit on her lip and watched Author begin to write on the paper.
You know what happened when the first couple, fell in lust…
Mia sighed happily, and burrowed her nose deeply into Gary's (super-kawaii in her opinion) pajamas, and reveled in her new 'companion's' closeness. It was a lovely, if not new experience to be sleeping this close to him.
"Mia…?" he murmured, nestling his cheek into the top of her hair.
"Does this mean I get my underwear back?"
"Oh." There was a contented silence for a few minutes, until they were jostled by a banging sound.
"Okay you two, open up!" commanded Trish from outside The Cupboard. "We know you're in there! Get to your separate rooms until you hit 18! I mean it! We've got enough to deal with here! We don't need Gary Junior running around the place!"
Mia and Gary looked at each other.
"It's locked, right?" whispered Gary. Mia murmured yes, and Gary grinned in the darkness. "Night then, Angel!"
"Night!" Mia laughed back, feeling that warm sensation again when Gary fumbled and kissed her on the forehead. The closet filled with a sleepy silence once more, whilst outside it, Trish still fussed, Erin wailed about morals, and Karlie demanded that it was now her and her Kenji-koi's 'turn'.
Meanwhile, despite the noise… someone was dreaming…
Michelle walked around the colourful campsite, running her fingers lightly over various paddling pools of water, and painted caravans that were dotted around. Slowly, she pushed aside the flaps of the nearest tent, and walked into the bright light.
The tent was full of mirrors. Funhouse mirrors. Gradually, she made her way through the seemingly never-ending tent, gazing at her mangled reflections. Finally, she came to the end of the tent, and to the last, large mirror. Everything was deathly silent around the campsite.
A layer of dust seemed to shake itself off the surface, and Michelle recoiled in shock when she saw the reflection.
The reflection stared back – a perfect mirror image except for the look of hysterical agony in the twisted facial expression, and the gushing geyser of bright red blood that was pumping from a gaping hole in the dead centre of her stomach.
Michelle stepped forwards again, ignoring the sickly smell that was hanging in the air now, and stood transfixed on her reflection. The manifestation in the mirror reached out a flailing hand, and Michelle choked back an uncharacteristic sob as she reached towards the mirror.
Before her hand even made contact, the glass shattered into a thousand, angry pieces. As it splintered, the reflected image seemed to scream, in Michelle's own voice, and Michelle finally tore herself from her spot and made a run for the tent flap.
The terrified wail echoed all around her, as the tent seemed to simply melt away, and Michelle fell into an eternity of sharp glass.
I see a shadow in the mirror, and she's laughing through her tears – one more smile's all I can fake