Island Wolf: yeah this is a plot I've been working on for quite some time so I hope you all enjoy XD Oh and this fic is going to be Game Based! Now it might start out slow but it will get quite dramatic in later chapters
Disclaimer: I own nothing except the plot -pouts-
Pairing: I'll let you guys figure it out ;) worry not I'll tell you at the end if you can't
Snow fell softly from the slate grey skies, falling congeal with the thick white blanket that had already covered much of Hoenn in her winter slumber. A smear of colour stood out on the vast canvas of white and grey, standing out starkly amidst the skeletal trees and snow covered forest paths. A young woman garbed in a long navy blue coat and a black scarf wound tightly around her neck, walked through the silent trees; her booted feet leaving faint footprints as the flakes of snow collected on her thick brown hair and long black eyelashes. May Maple was a woman in her prime, recently celebrated her twenty-first birthday, a champion trainer and a front runner to being Steven's successor as official head of the Hoenn Pokémon League. She had everything going for her…and yet at the same time nothing. Her cobalt eyes rose skywards as she watched a Tailow soaring high above. May felt envious of the little bird pokémon. It must've been nice to simply fly away from all one's problems, to have neither a worry nor a care because up there no one could touch you. A melancholic sigh escaped the young woman as she halted her woodland trek. Ever since defeating the Hoenn pokémon league she'd been left with an empty feeling, her long fought victory was in fact a hollow one. In the coming years her fame and skill continued to grow, but the challenges that were presented to her were few and far in between. To completely honest, May Maple simply was bored with life.
The pokémon trainer leaned against a birch tree, its papery bark clinging to her heavy jacket. The only time she'd felt as she'd done something truly great, a challenge that truly satisfied her thrill for a battle was back when she was twelve years old and hell bent on stopping Team Magma at every turn. And by god she'd succeeded. Almost nothing had been heard of the criminal organization since their well deserved thrashing. May allowed her thoughts to drift across on ocean of time, back to the heated battles with Maxie, the head of Team Magma and her legendary scuffle with the continent pokémon, Groudon. That had been an interesting fight indeed; in the end the mighty legendary returned to his slumber deep within the Cave of Origin, but not before giving May a parting gift. The great Groudon had acknowledged her as a true champion and gave her his praise in his own strange way, by initiating a bond between them; something in the way he looked at her as he prepared to return to his sleep.
What she wouldn't give to return to those exciting times when everything seemed so uncertain – there was a strange excitement in the danger and doubt, something that was sorely lacking from her life now. She shoved her gloved hands deep into her pockets and made a discontented sound in the back of her throat.
"Hn, never thought I'd miss Maxie."
For a moment she half expected the Team Magma leader to come stalking through the trees with that oh so malicious smirk on his face, making some sort of vague threat before unleashing his pokémon before she would do the same. The champion trainer shook and head and pulled away from the tree, abruptly turning on her heel and heading back the way she came.
"Maybe Steven's right, I am loony."
The door swung open with a loud creak, letting a frigid blast of winter air surge through the house before May slipped inside and shut the door behind her. She stomped her feet a could of times to dislodge the clumps of snow from her boots, receiving a discontented growl from her Mightyena, one of the pokémon she allowed to freely roam her small house and who'd rather unwisely curled up in the porch for a nap, receiving a rather rude wake up call from its trainer's entrance. May stared down her nose at the canine pokémon, matching its crimson eyes glare.
"Hey don't blame me, I told you not to nap in the porch!"
The Mightyena sniffed indignantly before promptly curling up on the floor again, directly in May's path. The pokémon trainer sighed and shook her head before removing her sodden boots and stepping over the slumbering canine before making her way to the living room and flopping down onto the leather couch. Grabbing the remote from the mahogany wood coffee table she flicked on the television and folded on arm behind her head lazily as she skimmed through the channels, pausing when she arrived at the Hoenn News Network. The blonde haired reporter, a stick thin thing with overly whitened teeth and eyes too blue to be natural, made the weather report in a monotone voice and an expression that clearly stated she'd rather be much closer to the equator then she actually was at the moment.
"How…uninteresting." She mumbled, tossing the remote back onto the table and reaching for a tattered brown book laying nearby, opening it to one of the many dog-eared pages.
May didn't know when she fell asleep but her next conscious was something warm and wet being pressed against her face. The cobalt eyes fluttered open, still dull with sleep. She sat up and was dimly aware of the book falling to the carpeted floor with a muffled thud. Looking down she saw her Mightyena sitting next to the couch with a distinctly tense expression. The canine pokémon gently clamped his jaws around May's arm and tugged on it lightly, a low whine escaping the coal black beast.
"Hey, what's wrong? You're acting awful strange," May mused, patting the worried creature on the head lightly. He released his hold and began staring, unwaveringly, out the window. May followed his gaze and saw that night had fallen outside and a full moon shone like a silver medallion in the star spangled sky. May smiled and rolled her eyes, "Now don't tell me you're acting all crazy because of the full moon are you?"
Without warning a harsh knock echoed through the house causing May to jump and her Mightyena to flatten his ears and growl. Composing herself the young woman rose from the couch and cautiously made her way towards the door. The sharp knocking continued and she could just make out a tall figure standing outside through the small window in the door. Swallowing thickly, her Mightyena standing at her side with hackles raised and teeth bared, she grasped the cold metal doorknob and gave it a twist. The solid oak door swung inward to reveal…
"Steven? What on earth are you doing here?"
Both May and her Mightyena wore identical expressions of surprise as the silver haired champion stepped over the threshold with an apologetic smile as he sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck
"My sincerest apologies May, I did not wish to disturb you at so late an hour but it cannot be helped."
"Oh nonsense it's no trouble, come in, you must be freezing!" May replied with a gentle smile, guiding the Hoenn Champion into the living room where they booth took a seat on her old leather couch. Her Mightyena sniffed and curled up in the porch again whilst her curious Absol watched from the top of the steps for a few moments before returning upstairs, "So, what's the trouble? Not Team Magma giving you more headaches."
"Ha, I wish it were only them. No, the problem we are presented with now is much graver. Hoenn is in an unofficial state of emergency."
"Steven what on earth are you talking about?"
"May you've heard of Cipher yes?"
"Of course, it was all over the news two years ago– the kid who was using the snag machine to steal all those Shadow pokémon back, was actually my cousin, David," May nodded, "But what have we got to do with them? Orre is a great distance from here and Cipher was decimated after Greevil was defeated and the legendaries were freed."
"It's not quite that simple. Ardos, one of Greevil's right hand men, refused to let Cipher die quietly. After Greevil's defeat he fled to Kanto where he began rebuilding Cipher from the ground up. Apparently he had a copy of the data necessary to re-create the shadow pokémon technology," Steven replied gravely, "In the past two years they've all but conquered Kanto, completely wiping out Team Rocket, and their influence is already strong in the Johto region."
"Let me guess, Hoenn's the next target."
"Correct, the first phases of their plans have already begun. Foreign trainers are showing up with incredibly strong pokémon, pokémon that aren't afraid to attack people. Recently we've received intell that there has been massive unauthorized construction throughout Hoenn. We think their main base is somewhere off the coast of Mossdeep, but we can't get anywhere near it at this time of year; sea ice has completely blocked the shipping lanes and the weather out at sea is far to unpredictable to fly during the winter."
"So why are you here?"
"May – you are really the rightful Champion of Hoenn despite what your modesty would say. We need your help – Hoenn needs your help. We need your skill and experience in this matter."
"Look I'm flattered Steven but its really David –"
"He's already on his way to Hoenn and Eldes, Greevil's other son will be coming with him too. If anyone can give us an idea of how Ardos' mind works it'll be him. We've chartered an icebreaker to travel to the Orre region and bring them here. May, you have a special connection to Groudon…we may need you to call upon that bond if all goes ill – I have a suspicion that Groudon may in fact be a target of Cipher."
"Steven I don't know if I can do that."
"Please May, Hoenn needs you, we all need you."
"Wait, first there's more you need to know. You remember Team Aqua?"
"Of course; why?"
"I'm just going to get straight to the point here…they've been completely and utterly destroyed."
"That's part of the way Cipher works, they move into a region and eliminate any force that may oppose them."
"And what about…Team Magma?"
"That's what we need to talk about. May we've made a deal with them. Team Magma will be working alongside the League to rid Hoenn of Cipher."
"ARE YOU COMPLETELY INSANE!?" May shrieked. Steven winced and Mightyena yelped from the porch. The Hoenn Champion cowered slightly under May's flaming glare.
"That's exactly how I thought you'd react," He muttered, "Look, we really don't have a choice, we need all the help we can get. Cipher's resources and assets are massive, much more so then our own. Besides Team Magma has long since abstained from any criminal activity. In fact its part of the reason I've come to you at such a late hour. We've arranged a meeting between our two factions and it is tonight. I want you to attend."
"Tonight? But where?"
"Lilycove; it's the closest thing to neutral ground there is considering there's no gym. It'll only be the two of us, Wallace, Maxie and two of his Admins."
"Lilycove is a long way from here Steven, just how do you propose we get there within a reasonable amount of time?"
As if to answer May's question an impatient bellow suddenly sounded from outside. Steven grinned knowingly and winked at the bemused trainer.
"That's why I brought a Salamance."
"…Oh god you don't mean Drake's Salamance do you?" May asked fearfully. Steven raised a slender silver eyebrow, but nodded none the less, eliciting a loud groan from the young woman, "You just had to pick that dragon – that thing hates me!"
"Oh come now, I've never seen a pokémon show anything but adoration towards you."
"You've never seen me with that Salamance," May gulped, "…Oh okay, but be forewarned you are going to be held responsible for any and all damages that may occur while that bloody lizard tries to incinerate me."
Steven merely shook his head and laughed, placing a hand on May's shoulder. Fighting in vain to hide his amusement he gave her a gentle push towards the main hall.
"Hurry up and get your pokémon ready and meet me outside alright? Don't worry I'll keep the ah lizard, under control. No incineration attempts, I promise."
"I'll be holding you to that."
Five minutes later May was bolting down the stairs and out the door, taking care to make sure it was securely locked behind her. She'd carefully selected six of her most trusted pokémon to create a well balanced team – she didn't exactly know what she was getting into and it helped to be cautious of every possible scenario. Her Mightyena, Absol, Blaziken, Milotic, Altaria and Tropius formed her elite team. Taking a deep breath to steel herself the champion trainer rounded the side of her house and came face to face with Drake's menacing Salamance…and a grinning Steven sitting on its broad back. The dragon pokémon hissed and snapped its jaws at May. The trainer let out an undignified shriek and clambered up behind Steven, clamping her hands around his waist whilst he laughed. Salamance huffed and flapped his leathern wings, taking off into the winter's night with a discontented growl.
"Stupid lizard." May grumbled, her breath forming small clouds in the frigid night air. She received a sharp, stinging blow to her lower back from the beast's whip-like tail for her efforts, eliciting a sharp yelp from the young woman.
"Well you did deserve that one," Steven chuckled. May glared at his black clothed back and huffed indignantly.
"Yeah well…he started it."
"What are you, six?"
"Oh shut it."
After a two hour long (and extremely uncomfortable) flight the two trainers, both shivering from the cold winds they'd faced heading east, slipped off of the tired dragon's back, but not before he got one last parting shot off at May and sent her sprawling into a snow bank with a deft lash of his tail. Steven wisely returned the smug looking pokémon to its pokéball before May managed to break free of her snowy prison and attempt to strangle the dragon. Never the less she stood there, covered from head to toe in white snow with a rather nasty twitch in her left eye as she glared at the pokéball in Steven's hand.
"I swear to Ho-Oh I'm going to kill that thing."
"Ah why don't we go inside so you can…thaw a little."
The Champion's only response was a well placed snowball to the face.
After May had managed to rid herself of the majority of her snowy coating and Steven had cleaned his face and regained some of his dignity the pair stepped inside the grand Lilycove hotel – apparently the meeting was to take place in the conference room on the top floor. When May inquired about the lack of security and the potential of information being leaked the Hoenn League Champion assured her that the room was secure and had all ready been checked for possible spying devices.
"I'd still feel more comfortable doing this at a gym…or better yet the League headquarters." May grumbled. Steven shook his head and sighed, looking down at the young woman.
"Because Maxie would never agree to such a meeting; he's a paranoid man…and an extremely intelligent one too…hence our difficulty in organizing this meeting," Steven explained as they walked up the stairs, "Now when this meeting starts I'd like you to remain silent unless directly spoken to or I tell you otherwise. I don't mean to sound rude, but until David gets here you may have to play the role of our trump card for a little while. The less that's known about you at the moment, the better."
"Understood Sir." May replied with a curt nod as the halted in front of the wide double doors that led to the conference room. Steven gave her a sidelong glance and nodded slightly before pushing the oaken doors open. Wallace was already seated on one side of the long mahogany wood table; sitting opposite of him were Tabitha and a man she'd never seen before and Maxie…only not quite the same Maxie from her youth. He still had the same stoic face she remembered, hardly changed from the past eight years save for a few more lines about his eyes. His hair had grown even longer since their parting, to the point where he now wore it tied back in a low slung ponytail, a few stubborn strands of fiery crimson falling to frame his pale face which only emphasized the darkness of his eyes; observing her from over the rims of a small pair of rectangular glasses the smoldering brown orbs were cool and calculating as he scanned the room. His garb had been notably altered as well. Gone was the brazen Team Magma uniform, now replaced with a long charcoal black overcoat and a high collard shirt of slate grey beneath paired with matching pants of the same colour with a small Team Magma insignia on his shirt collar. As soon as his dark brown eyes caught sight of her disheveled appearance a nasty smirk crossed his features and the dark orbs narrowed. May quickly averted her gaze from the Head of Team Magma and followed Steven to her place at the table. She was on Steven's left, directly opposite of one of Maxie's companions whom she could only assume was a Team Magma admin. The young man sneered at her, but she chose to pay him no heed as Steven began to speak.
"First off I would like to apologize for our lateness, but as we are here now this meeting can finally take place. I have already informed Miss Maple of the situation so we may speak freely in front of her," The Champion of Hoenn announced, "Maxie – if you would please begin by sharing with us your knowledge of Cipher's recent activities concerning your rivals Team Aqua."
Maxie stood, clasping his hands behind his back; his fiery gaze lingering on May for only the briefest of moments before it rose to meet that of Steven's. His velvety tenor soon resonated around the small room – again like and yet not like the voice of her memory. When it wasn't constricted by maniacal laughter or blazing insanity it lost much of the power that terrified her when she was twelve years old.
"As of now there is no Team Aqua to speak of anymore; they have been completely and utterly decimated, the entire organization has been dissolved and their assets stolen…along with all their pokémon, no doubt to be transformed into Shadow Pokémon. From what we've gathered the attack came without warning and was swift, precise…so much so we believe they must have had a spy in their midst. In any case it was a professional job and neither Archie nor any of his personnel have been heard from since the incident, their headquarters were completely destroyed; their computer banks wiped clean, and stored files obliterated. There is strong evidence to suggest that Team Magma is the next major target; it seems to be Cipher's standard operation policy; to wipe out any possible rivals then established dominance. Just this morning we received word of suspicious activity on the volcano – but nothing has been confirmed just yet."
"Our allies in Johto and Kanto have informed us of their situations as well," Wallace added, "Things are grim, Cipher has a chokehold on both regions and it's tightening the noose around Hoenn. Reports of pokémon with strangely aggressive behavior and unnatural strength are spreading across the region. It's only a matter of time before all of Hoenn will be under Cipher's sway unless we act immediately for we have reason to believe that the legendary pokémon of this region are prime targets."
"How do we know they haven't been taken already?"
"I do not know about the others, but I can attest to Groudon's safety…if he had been taken I would know." May interjected. Maxie's gaze shifted back to the lone female and he arched a slender eyebrow.
"Really? Care to elaborate on that Miss Maple?"
"Groudon and I – well it's hard to explain, but we have a bond of sorts…something that was forged between us during our confrontation in the Cave of Origin. He recognizes me as a – well as a friend," May answered shyly, "As I said, it's rather difficult to explain…but believe me Groudon is safe at the moment. But as for the others, I cannot say."
"The well-being of legendaries aside – we now must come to the main point of this meeting," Steven interrupted, "The negotiations of a truce and alliance between our two parties."
"Indeed," Maxie nodded, "Name your terms."
"We would request that all information gathered by both parties be shared equally and that should the need ever arise and assistance in the way of battle is needed that we will help each other."
"Reasonable enough," Maxie mused, "But there is still an issue of trust we must broach here if this…partnership, for lack of a better term, is to yield any successful results. I will be blunt here, you don't trust us and I for one, do not trust any of you. Something must be done to ensure stability and avoid any…duplicity."
"So its collateral you seek?"
"In a manner of speaking."
"I think I have an idea."
Again all eyes shifted towards May, but this time she did not waver under the suspicious gazes, merely ignored them, looking determinedly at Steven and then Maxie.
"And what exactly would that be Miss Maple?"
"A trade of sorts…one might call it an exchange of personnel," May began. The Team Magma leader was silent for a moment before nodding to urge her to continue, "I propose that one member from each side go with the other party…that way we can keep an eye on each other and you get your collateral."
"And just whom do you propose take part in this exchange?" Wallace asked, bright eyes narrowing at the young woman. May smiled at the gym leader and pointed a slender finger at herself.
"What? May that's preposterous surely someone else-"
"No Steven," May replied firmly, cutting off the Hoenn Champion, "You, the League and all of the gym leaders are needed – together. I'm the only logical choice…in this situation I'm expendable, none of you are. Do we have a deal Maxie?"
"…Yes, I think it shall suffice. Admin Tabitha shall take your place and go with your ah companions," Maxie said with a small smile, a smile May decidedly did not like, "And you will come with us back to our headquarters."
"Not done," Steven snapped, "May this is madness, how can you possibly –"
"I've already explained my logic Steven, this is the only practical option available to us," May replied fiercely, turning back to Maxie with her hand outstretched, "Done!"
"Done," Maxie agreed silkily, grasping her hand briefly before motioning to Tabitha. The somewhat disgruntled Admin look almost as unhappy as Steven as he and May switched seats, "I believe we're finished here…until next time gentlemen, don't fear for Miss Maple's safety, we'll be sure to keep in touch. Now Miss Maple, if would please follow me."
May swallowed thickly and nodded, giving Steven one last sidelong glance and a reassuring smile before following the crimson haired man and his lackey out of the room and down the stairs. As soon as they stepped outside the doors of the hotel a piece of rough white fabric was placed over her eyes and firmly tied in place. The young woman let out a shrill yell and reached up to claw it off only to find her hands restrained, by the second Team Magma member she presumed.
"Calm yourself Miss Maple this is merely a precaution – we can't have you knowing the exact location of our hideaway now can we?"
Maxie's calm voice made her shudder as she felt a hand settle on the small of her back and guide her to what she assumed was some sort of vehicle as they climbed inside.
"This is ridiculous!" May spat, "Look I offered to go with you in good faith, you really think I'm the type to betray someone?"
"No," Maxie replied from somewhere nearby, "You're just loyal and that's the problem, I know you'll report every detail to Steven Stone and that's why you're being kept in the dark as it were."
"…So not funny," May muttered, resisting the urge to groan at his lame attempt at humor, "Fine, but let's get one thing straight here Maxie."
"And what would that be?"
"Under no circumstances and I wearing one of those goddamn uniforms."
"No, no of course not." Came the swift reply, laced with the faintest trace of laughter. May crossed her arms sullenly. This was not going to be a fun experience by any means…damn, Steven really should've put a muzzle on her; at least it would've kept her big mouth shut. The young woman made a small noise in the back of her throat as she mentally berated herself for her rashness. 'Way to go May, you've landed yourself in the company of your maniacal childhood archenemy for an undetermined amount of time in an undisclosed location…nice one idiot.'
"Oh don't look so disgruntled Miss Maple; after all you volunteered for this little escapade."
Island Wolf: and there you go :P I pride myself on being one of the few writers who've actually attempted the MaxiexMay pairing (if there I more I sadly cannot find them) there's plenty more to come andagain, it will get quite dramatic and well some might consider it twisted in later chapters :P