The following is a response to a prompt set on the LJ community 1sentence. The challenge was to take fifty words and form one story for each of them, but the catch is you can only use one sentence per prompt. Hence, yeah, sorry about all kinds of language abuse. Italics abuse too. And, not that anyone but me would probably notice (but you're free to point it out anyway), characterization abuse.
Uh, in any case, yes. All of these are standalone stories. Some of them are related, however, and you can certainly have fun connecting one sentence to another to form a much larger story. No, the related sentences are never next to each other, and no, tenses aren't a hint.
Finally (before I ramble forever), I had a lot of fun doing these, so maybe I'll actually sign up for the community and go through the other four prompt sets if people actually want to see more. (If not, hey, that's what that community is for.) Likewise, if people happen to like a line or two in particular, I might write a longer story about it. (One of them, however, is definitely going to end up as a longer fic.)
All rambling aside, only things left to note are that the lyrics are from the Beatles, and there's a quote from the 1986 version of The Fly thrown in for good measure. In any case, I hope you enjoy!
#01 – Walking
When nothing was said between them on their walk down the moonlit beach, Lanette thought it was because they knew each other that well, but looking up at the expression on his face, she suddenly understood what it was that he could never put into words without a cliché or two.
#02 – Waltz
Lanette spent years trying to find the one thing Bill didn't already know; that's why she smiled when he stepped on her feet three times in one song.
#03 – Wishes
When Lanette showed him the pinwheel and told him about the custom, he asked her what she was wishing for that week – to which Lanette responded by smiling at him and saying, "Well, none of the flaps are folded down, are they?"
#04 – Wonder
Lanette loved it when Bill marveled over a new pokémon fossil, in part because he looked like a child as he studied its cracked, rocky surface and in part because sometimes, he'd grab her hand to lead her to it: in that moment of contact, she'd feel the warmth and electricity of his excitement.
#05 – Worry
As a Cancer, Lanette had an unfortunate tendency to worry about everything – worry about the weather, worry about the project, worry about where she put her keys – to the point where she would work herself into a frenzy, and when that happened, Bill, being a Capricorn (and, therefore, ironically, the relatively sane, organized, and stable one of the relationship at those particular moments), would only sigh, give her a sympathetic grin, and fix the problem for her, not because he was a gentleman but instead because he preferred it when she was smiling.
#06 – Whimsy
"On the chance you might be interested, I've decided to invent a machine that enables trainers to trade from one year to another," he told her, and when she stared at him blankly and asked him why, he added (as if it was a perfectly natural and obvious explanation to such a question, no less), "Because it's what one would do, having thoroughly taken care of the laws of space already, isn't it?"
#07 - Waste/Wasteland
They looked out at the end of the world without worry; hand-in-hand, they silently knew that together, they could come up with the perfect plan to get through it.
#08 - Whiskey and rum
"You… you gotta penetrate beyond… society's sick fascination with the flesh. Drink deep, or taste not, the plasma pool. Y'see what I mean?" he asked, to which Lanette sighed, guided him back to his room, and silently vowed to kill Bebe later.
#09 – War
Lanette was crying when she told him the story about Kyogre and Groudon and when she told him about how half of Hoenn was flooded in a biblical rainstorm while the other half was drying up in the most intense sunlight she'd ever seen, and when she was done, he let her into his home as a refugee and looked worriedly towards the sea.
#10 – Weddings
As the bells of the church rang and her sister walked back down the aisle with her new husband on her arm, Lanette touched Bill's, asked him a question, and relished the stunned expression on his face.
#11 – Birthday
In an attempt to avoid celebrating it, Bill had her guess once a day all year long until she simply stopped guessing; he thought she'd given up until, on the streets of Goldenrod, surrounded by people counting the seconds to the new year, she smiled, wished him a happy birthday for the first time in their relationship, and kissed him.
#12 – Blessing
There were times (many, actually) when one or both of them wondered whether or not it would be a good idea for two career-minded scientists to have a child together, but the first time they saw their son – with his eyes, her smile, and their combined wonder towards the world at large – they decided that it was a rather silly thing to question.
#13 – Bias
One day, when Lanette jokingly asked whether he preferred pokémon or her, Bill gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and said, "Well now. That's a difficult question."
#14 – Burning
As she watched him make a fool of himself once again, Lanette recalled with a sad smile that she told him to be careful with the torchic hatchlings, but of course he didn't listen because since when did Bill ever listen to silly things like fair warnings when he thought he knew what he was doing?
#15 – Breathing
One of Lanette's favorite things to do after they'd make love was rest her head on his naked chest; she claimed it was because he was warm, though the real reason was because the rhythmic sounds of his breathing and heartbeat reminded her that, no matter what he did or what people said about him, Bill was still just ordinary, mortal flesh, the thought of which (for reasons she could never tell him) felt like a comfort to her.
#16 – Breaking
She threatened to leave him once because she felt like their relationship wasn't remotely important to him, and that was the first time she'd ever seen him panic the way she sometimes did.
#17 – Belief
In the shadows of Ilex Forest, Bill told her about the gods Johtonians passed from one generation to another; when he told her the stories about the Voice of the Forest, she swore she could hear its melodic answer in the distance.
#18 – Balloon
After she had her altaria Ice Beam the drifloon out of the sky, its near-victim lay flat on his back on the ground for several of the most terrifying seconds in Lanette's life; finally, when she crept over to him, he looked at her, raised his eyebrows, and calmly said, "Well, I do believe we've just verified those rumors Bebe told us."
#19 – Balcony
The beacon's light swept above them, the sea sparkled below them, and the warm, salty air brushed around them, and as she took in all this beauty and peace, Lanette leaned against the rail of the tower's balcony and breathed a gasp of awe, unaware that Bill was watching her with a small smile.
#20 – Bane
When Bill found out Lanette's parents were wealthy, he didn't think much of it until Lanette had him put on a suit – a real suit with a real tie, not any of the colors and Victorian styles he was used to – to attend his future father-in-law's birthday party.
#21 – Quiet
Before everything, Bill didn't mind the silence of the lighthouse; now, whenever she wasn't there and whenever he wasn't in the laboratory, it felt cold and empty.
#22 – Quirks
In the middle of her efforts to tear apart her desk in a frantic search, Lanette looked up to see Bill with her keys in his hand; he thumbed towards the lab's mini-refrigerator, smiled sympathetically, and didn't say a word while she took them gratefully and thanked the gods that he could tell when she'd rather not talk about it.
#23 – Question
Once, when Bill was close to cutting off his connection to reality in favor for his research for the umpteenth time, Lanette asked him "What's green, hangs on a wall, and whistles?" and took relief in the fact that his lack of an answer inevitably annihilated his ability to concentrate for the time being; this was only the first of two questions Bill couldn't answer right away, much to Lanette's amusement.
#24 – Quarrel
Lanette, who was naturally an easily excitable person, was no stranger to quarrelling, but every time she was very close to starting with Bill, as if he had a sixth sense for impending danger, he'd respond by giving her what she deemed the "sad kitten look," which, much to her frustration, would suddenly render her without the heart to actually hate him.
#25 – Quitting
"You're not your father," she told him bluntly, "so what of it if he couldn't handle marriage and a career at the same time? I'm not letting you quit being a researcher because, by all the legendaries, Bill, I'm not about to watch you throw away your talent – not if we can still make this work."
#26 – Jump
One day, as the two of them sat beside the lighthouse, Bill told Lanette he sometimes liked to jump off the cliff and into the sea when he was thoroughly bored, and she responded by laughing… until he went and demonstrated.
#27 – Jester
Lanette laughs at something he says; he responds by wrapping his arms around her waist from behind, leaning in, and whispering in her ear, "Sei la mia Columbina."
#28 – Jousting
Bill's eevee and Lanette's skitty watched as their masters engaged in a silent battle of wits; minutes ticked by like this with neither side saying a word until, at last, Lanette moved her queen in place and announced, "Checkmate. Seven out of nine?"
#29 – Jewel
He brought her to a hidden ceremony on Mt. Moon for a belated birthday present, and when the clefairy gave her a moon stone and Bill told her what they wanted her to do with it, she realized it was the most amazing gift she'd ever gotten.
#30 – Just
When she knocked over her books in a mad dash to get the phone, Lanette held the receiver to her ear and couldn't hear a thing; Bill, upon listening to her panic, smiled on the other end and replied, "Just dig out the carriage, Lanette. You put me on speakerphone again."
#31 – Smirk
Just as the Rocket mecha closed in on them and the voices from inside demanded – once again – administrative access to the Storage and Retrieval System, Lanette looked at her partner to catch him smirk and draw a PDA from his pocket, and at once, she knew that if they didn't have the upper hand already, they would in a few seconds.
#32 – Sorrow
Gently, Lanette put her hands on his shoulders and looked down at the table and the limp eevee that fought for its life since hatching; she told him, "You did your best. This isn't your fault. Sometimes, you just can't prevent these things, no matter how hard you try," and wondered if he believed her.
#33 – Stupidity
Lanette stared at him, at the fact that he was currently pink and furry, and as if he knew already what was going through her mind (because he did, more so because he would ask the same thing if he was her than because he simply knew her that well), Bill replied, "I tripped."
#34 – Serenade
Through his pokégear, he sang her a song ("Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play? Dear Prudence, greet the brand-new day. The sun is up. The sky is blue. It's beautiful, and so are you. Dear Prudence, won't you come out and play?"), but instead of getting the response he expected, Lanette chuckled, told him to go back to work, and hung up on him.
#35 – Sarcasm
"What, you mean that's not perfectly normal?" his sister asks (in response to Lanette's complaints concerning yet another one of Bill's eccentric moments) with a knowing smile, and the trouble is that because she's talking about her brother, Lanette can't tell if she's being sarcastic or brutally honest.
#36 – Sordid
There were advantages to being a pair of inventor geniuses – finding creative uses for canned air, twenty feet of unused copper wiring, and a pair of pliers, for example.
#37 – Soliloquy
He held up the plastic cranidos skull she was studying and opened his mouth, to which she, without even looking up, replied, "Bill, I swear to all the gods in this world that if the next thing out of your mouth is something Shakespearian, I'm not speaking to you for a week."
#38 – Sojourn
Breaks had always been rare for them because of the passion they had for their work, but that time, as they wandered through Meteor Falls and marveled the ethereal glow to the cavern walls and waterfall together, they realized that maybe they should do it more often.
#39 – Share
Hiking back to the Sea Cottage, he noticed she was shivering from the cold ocean wind, so without a word, he took off his jacket and put it around her.
#40 – Solitary
When she first saw the Sea Cottage, she told him it must be lonely living all the way out there with no one for miles; years later, after she moved in with him, he put her arms around her and said, "Not really."
#41 – Nowhere
Sometime after Bill's experiment fails – when he's accidentally thrown himself between dimensions, where he can see her and put his arms around her, but she can't see him, feel him, or hear him speak to her – he realizes just how badly he screwed up, but he knows she can help him because she tells her sister she has a strange feeling in her chest that's telling her he's not entirely missing.
#42 – Neutral
Early in their relationship, Lanette was worried that Bill was actually indifferent to everything but pokémon and technology, but when she noticed he was paying an inordinate amount of attention to every little thing she said, she realized the exact opposite was true – that he was interested in everything.
#43 – Nuance
Lanette didn't entirely mind that Bill had a habit of noticing and analyzing every little detail about her as if she was another pokémon – because she could easily do the same thing to him (though it was her little game to keep him from knowing this).
#43b – Nuance, take two
Sometimes, after she'd kiss him, Bill would respond by licking her cheek; Lanette thought it was just a weird kink he'd picked up in college until, while observing pokémon, she realized with a mixture of annoyance, horror, and amusement where he actually learned it and proceeded to tell him that that wasn't how humans showed affection.
#44 – Near
It's only after Lanette hangs up and looks at the map on her wall that she realizes just how much distance there is between Meteor Falls and Cerulean Cape.
#45 – Natural
Although Bill warned her that the cell separation process would "reset [him] to [his] natural state in more ways than one," when he stepped out of the second pod, she was surprised by two things – the first, that he was completely naked, and the second: "…You're naturally a brunette?"
#46 – Horizon
There were many things they had in common, but the one thing that came to mind first was the fact that they saw horizons as challenges, not limitations.
#47 – Valiant
There were many things Lanette Rousseau, in all her years as the companion and confidante to Bill McKenzie, never expected to see from him; hence, she was thoroughly stunned to see him walk into the room and have his alakazam telekinetically blast three male Rocket grunts into the wall for touching his sisters and her.
#48 – Virtuous
"I'm sorry, Lanette, but just I don't think it's right," he said, and when she tried to object by reminding him that they were still unmarried but had already made love before, he replied, "Well, yes, but on Bebe's desk?"
#49 – Victory
When they were kids, each breakthrough they made in their research would be celebrated with lemonade and cake; now, they celebrated with wine, talking, kissing, and, on the occasion that the breakthrough was particularly significant, something a little more.
#50 – Defeat
When he said he couldn't fight it anymore, she told him she would be with him, no matter what form he took, and then, looking at her with an expression she couldn't completely define, Bill leaned against her and let his body lose its humanity.