Capture the Heart
Author's note: This story is a continuation based on the Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl anime, starting from after the episode "The Battle Finale of Legend!".
Disclaimer: Pokemon is not my idea and I don't own it or any of the characters, obviously.
Extra Chapter 4
"Damn! Why did I have to oversleep today, of all days? I lost so much time because of that!"
Hearthome City; representing one of the largest centers of commerce in not only the Sinnoh region, but the entire world, it was a place bustling with activity on any given day. Whether a Pokemon trainer, a coordinator, or just a tourist, the city had something for just about everyone to sink their teeth into.
Today, Hearthome City had attracted to it a more unique brand of visitor. Atop the television station in the middle of town, peering out across the city through a pair of binoculars, was Officer Jenny—the one who nowadays was tasked with watching over Lilycove City in the region of Hoenn. After having her request granted for a few days off from duty, she had made her first post-transfer visit to her native region for…certain reasons.
Munching away on a peppermint candy as she worked, Jenny scoured the city with the greatest of focus while her Arcanine lay at her feet.
"Come on, I know you're here somewhere," she said. "I looked into your schedule. You can't escape me. I'm going to find you, and when I do…"
Jenny, reaching into her skirt pocket, pulled out another peppermint candy and chomped down on it.
"…I'm going to figure out why I can't stop eating these freaking mints!"
While clawing at an inch on its side, Arcanine had to sigh over its trainer's behavior.
As Jenny had come to realize, her search wasn't going to be an easy one. This was a big city with a lot of people wandering about; finding one of them in particular was no simple task.
She looked down to the streets below, just outside the television station. No luck. To the north, there was a Pokemon Center. Nothing there, either. Her eyes drifted to the east, where a hotel stood. Nada. Even further to the east was the Hearthome Gym. That was where Jenny stopped.
Out in front of the building, she could see the gym's leader, Fantina. And Jenny knew it was her; one would have to be blind to not be able to pick Fantina out of a crowd with that bizarre hairstyle she sported. What interested Jenny wasn't Fantina, though; it was the person Fantina was talking to, a slender woman with long, blonde hair that swayed in the breeze in such a way that Jenny couldn't help but be mesmerized by it.
Officer Jenny, her face turning red, slinked downward. There was a thumping in her chest the likes of which she had sometimes felt in high-pressure situations on the job, and yet, at the same time, it felt so very different. Jenny hadn't ever been able to get Cynthia out of her head since their meeting in Lilycove City, nor had she been able to forget the taste of the peppermint-flavored ice cream the woman had shared with her that day.
"Wh-…what is this? Just from seeing her?" Jenny placed her hands over her cheeks, feeling the warmth that had accumulated in them. "I knew it, it really is like that, isn't it?
"It was enough of a shock that J turned out to be into girls, but now I am, too? No, wait! She said she was only interested in Dawn, right? Maybe it's the same for me with Cynthia! Ahh, what am I saying? Like it really matters! Either way, I've still got a thing for her!"
As Arcanine got up and stretched its legs, Jenny peeked out over the roof's ledge with her binoculars.
"She's right there." Jenny, biting down on her knuckle, turned to her Pokemon. "What should I do? Should I…talk to her?"
Arcanine offered up a bark in approval of the idea.
"I guess I…should, huh?" Jenny gulped. "Okay. I can do that…I think. She's just one of the best, most popular trainers in the world. No big deal."
Standing up straight, the officer gave herself something she felt she needed: a stiff slap to the face to pump herself up.
"All right! You've got this, Jenny! Arcanine, let's go!"
After a lengthy trip down the stairwell of the TV station, the two of them arrived at Jenny's motorbike which was parked outside. The bike wasn't the only thing she had brought over from Hoenn, as most of her gear, including the police uniform she wore, had made the trip with her. It wasn't exactly common for officers to wear their uniforms while both off-duty and outside their own area of jurisdiction, but the only other outfit she owned that she believed would look presentable in front of Cynthia was the one Dawn had helped her pick out for her ill-fated date with Zack. Regrettably, she was still struggling with how awkward she felt in those clothes, so the comfortable choice of the police uniform was what she ended up settling on.
Ready to head out, Jenny threw one leg over the top of her bike, straddling the seat. "Okay, the gym's only a few minutes away tops. If I ju-"
She paused. Just ahead of her on the sidewalk, amongst the pedestrians going to and fro, a young boy was standing around by himself. He couldn't have been any more than four or five years old, and Jenny knew that frightened look he had on his face.
"Oh, come on! Really? Now? I need to hurry! But...urgh!"
Above all else, Officer Jenny was just that: an officer. Dismounting her bike, she swiped a megaphone from it and walked briskly over to the boy. "Hey, kid! What's the matter?"
The child jumped, startled by Jenny's voice. "I…I can't find my Mom."
"Yeah, that's what I thought," Jenny muttered. She gave the boy a pat on his head, ruffling his hair a bit. "Just leave it to me, kid."
Jenny flipped her megaphone's power switch and gave it a couple taps to ensure it was on. Clearing her throat, she then brought the device to her mouth.
The lost boy slapped his hands over his ears, and everyone within hearing distance of the officer spun their heads to look her way.
"I'VE GOT A YOUNG BOY HERE LOOKING FOR HIS MOTHER! IF YOU'RE THE MOTHER OF THIS BOY, COME OVER HERE AND GET HIM!"
Nearly all activity nearby had come to a standstill in the wake of Jenny's blaring call, but there was no one stepping forward as of yet.
"Needs another go, huh?" Jenny raised her megaphone up again. "ATTENTIO-!"
"Wait, I'm here!"
At last, a woman came rushing toward Jenny and the child.
"Mama!" the boy called out to her.
The mother crouched down, wrapping her arms around her son. "Where did you go off to? I was worried sick! I'm so sorry, Officer Jenny. You take your eyes off of them for two seconds and they wander off."
"Happens all the time, ma'am. Just be more careful with him." Jenny looked to the boy now. "And you, stay by your Mom from now on, okay? No running off."
The child was hoisted up by his mother. "Can you say thank you to the nice officer, sweetie?"
"Thank you," the boy said, waving his hand.
"Not a problem," Jenny replied. "Just doing my job."
As the mother and son went on their way, Officer Jenny's eyes sharpened. "Now then…Arcanine!"
Springing off her heels, Jenny blazed a path back to her bike and hopped on. She turned the key, firing up the engine, and off she went toward the Hearthome Gym.
Whether it was other traffic, pedestrians, or spots where construction was ongoing, Jenny, her hair whipping in the wind, weaved around them with pinpoint precision while Arcanine ran alongside her.
"All right, that slowed me down a little, but you'd better bet it won't stop me! Cynthia, here I come!"
A series of turns later, the Hearthome Gym was within sight. Jenny slowed her bike some so as not to draw too much attention as she pulled up to the gym, but the effort turned out to be unnecessary. Outside the building, there was no one. No Fantina. No Cynthia.
Jenny's shoulders slumped. She had missed her chance.
"Crap! I took too long getting here!" Looking around frantically, she spotted a man walking along the other side of the road. "Hey, you! Have you seen Cynthia?"
The passerby offered Jenny a quizzical look. "Cynthia?"
"Long, blonde hair, black coat, big hair clips?"
"Oh, her? I just passed her back there." The man pointed off in the direction Jenny's bike was facing. "She was heading that way."
"Got it!" With renewed spirit, Jenny hit the accelerator and sped off. She couldn't afford to lose Cynthia now. Who knew how long it might take to find her again if she did?
Looking every which way for any sign of the woman, Jenny passed by one block, then another. "She can't have gone that far! Where is she?"
Jenny's eyes went wide. Off to her left, she noticed a flash of black mixed with blonde. After zooming well past it, she took the sharpest of turns to go back, leaving an impression on the pavement from her bike's tires.
Parking the bike a safe distance away, Jenny crept up to a large oak tree and peeked out from behind it. Cynthia, who was just outside a nearby school, was standing around speaking to a pair of children with their backpacks on.
"I found her!" Jenny exclaimed. "Now's my chance to talk to her."
Although the officer was ecstatic to have gotten another opportunity, that excitement dwindled rapidly once it occurred to her that she had overlooked one rather important detail.
"...Wait, what am I supposed to talk to her about? I have no idea! M-maybe…no, no, that would just be weird! Umm…oh, where's Dawn when I need her!"
At Jenny's side, Arcanine rolled its eyes. Fed up with its trainer's hesitation, it decided to take matters into its own paws and do what Jenny couldn't: approach Cynthia.
So wrapped up in thinking of a conversation topic was Jenny that by the time she noticed her Pokemon's actions it was already too late to stop it. "H-hey! Arcanine!" She called out to it in a loud whisper, trying desperately not to let Cynthia hear. "What are you-? Hey!"
Cynthia had just been enjoying her chat with the kids when she heard a bark ring out behind her and glanced over her shoulder. "Hmm? An Arcanine?" She turned around, greeting the Pokemon with a warm smile. "Well, hello there. That coat of fur you have is quite lovely."
Receiving a scratch under its chin from Cynthia, Arcanine rolled over onto its back in hopes of a nice belly rub, and Cynthia obliged.
"And you're very friendly, too, I see." Cynthia giggled.
Back by the tree, Jenny's fingers were about to pry the bark away from her hiding spot as she watched the scene unfold with envious eyes. "That's not fair, Arcanine! I want her to rub my belly, too!"
While continuing to indulge Arcanine, Cynthia peeked back at the children. "Does this Arcanine belong to one of you?"
Sharing a puzzled look, the two kids shook their heads.
"Really?" Cynthia blinked. She turned her attention back to the Pokemon. "Do you not have a trainer?"
The mention of a trainer was a good reminder to Arcanine that it hadn't come over here for its own pleasure. Though reluctant to pass up on having its belly rubbed some more, it rolled back to its feet, bit down on the tip of Cynthia's sleeve, and began pulling her forward.
"Oh!" Cynthia gasped. "What is it? Is there something over there?"
A bark from Arcanine served as confirmation that there was indeed something up ahead. Turning back the other way, it headed for the tree with Cynthia in tow.
Jenny understood Arcanine's intention now, and the realization of what it was made her go pale. Panicking, she ducked behind the tree and out of sight. "Arcanine, you traitor! So that's what you were up to!" she thought. "I'm not ready! I'm totally not ready! What do I do? Someone help me!"
In a hasty search for cover, Jenny's eyes fell on a thick bush to her left. There was no time to think it over. Desperate to hide, she dove inside of it.
Arcanine had thought of its plan as a good way for Jenny to get past her nerves and talk to Cynthia already, and it looked as though things were going to work out. Once they reached the tree, however, Arcanine was surprised to find that its trainer had vanished.
Cynthia cocked her head. "There's…nothing here?"
Though it may not have been able to see Jenny, Arcanine did have a potent nose that few things could escape. Giving the air a quick sniff, it immediately dug its face into the bush.
"Arcanine, no! Get out of here!" Jenny pleaded as loudly as she could without Cynthia hearing.
Arcanine was having none of it. Growling, it grabbed the material of Jenny's uniform between its teeth and started to pull.
"No, no, no! Cut it out! Stop! Arcaniiiine!"
Cynthia leaned forward with her hands on her knees, curiously observing Arcanine's actions. She could only wonder at this point what it was trying to do.
Hearing one of the children call out to her, Cynthia, not one to be rude, wandered back over to where the kids were. It was only seconds later that Arcanine successfully yanked its trainer from the bush.
"Cy-Cynthia! Hi!" Jenny blurted out, her hat hanging over her eyes. She promptly adjusted it so she could see. "I was just…umm…huh?"
As Jenny saw, there was, in fact, no Cynthia standing before her. Overwhelmed with relief, with perhaps some disappointment mixed in, she dropped face-first onto the grass. "Arcanine, are you crazy? You nearly gave me a heart attack!"
Arcanine merely snorted, annoyed that its scheme had been foiled.
Gathering herself back up, Jenny peeked out to see Cynthia once again chatting with the children. The lovestruck officer flopped back against the tree, pulling at her hair in frustration.
"It sounds so easy, but really, she's Cynthia! And I'm just a police officer! Me just strolling up to her and striking up a conversation is weird, isn't it? Ohh, I really want to talk to her, though!"
Arcanine, taking up a proud stance, let out a bark that grabbed Jenny's attention.
The officer sighed to herself. She knew what Arcanine was getting at. "You're right. I've been in way tougher spots than this. Come on, you're an Officer Jenny! We're known for our bravery the world over! You can do this!"
As she stood herself back up, Jenny had a determined look about her.
"That's it! No more excuses! I'm doing it!"
At that moment, Jenny and Arcanine both turned their heads as they saw the kids Cynthia had been talking to walk past them. Batting their eyes, they looked out from behind the tree. Evidently, Cynthia and the children had wrapped up their chat and parted ways, because Cynthia was already a fair distance down the road and was just about to disappear behind a corner.
"Nooo!" Jenny cried. "I can't let her get away!"
Nearly tripping over her own feet, Jenny rushed over to her bike. The tires squealed as she took off again and burned rubber down the road, dead set on keeping Cynthia within sight.
Then, suddenly, contact.
As Jenny bore through an intersection, another motorbike, which hadn't heeded the stop sign in front of it, slammed into her. Jenny was knocked off her vehicle and sent sprawling to the pavement. Two shady-looking men who had been riding the other bike went flying even further.
After the accident, while Arcanine went to check on Jenny, the men, groaning in pain, were the first to stir.
"You goof! Watch whe-" The man cut himself off as he saw just who he had crashed into.
"Officer Jenny?" His partner gasped. "Crud, they're onto us already! Let's get outta here!"
Each of the men picked up a large bag they had dropped at the time of the impact. Leaving their bike behind, they fled on foot down the street.
Meanwhile, Arcanine was doing its best to bring Jenny around. Face-down on the road, the officer had some ugly scrapes on her arms and around her knees, and that was just what could be seen. Concerned, her Pokemon nuzzled its head against her cheek.
At once, Jenny began to stir. Raising her right hand up, she planted it firmly against the ground. The left one followed. Pushing herself upward, she raised her head. Her nostrils were dripping blood down onto a nasty scowl that had spread across her face. With a piercing look in her eyes, she glared at the men's backs as they made their escape.
Just a few minutes had passed by the time a police car pulled up to the scene of the crash. The only vehicle they found, however, was the bike the men had abandoned.
"They can't have gotten far," one of the officers said. "Let's keep going."
The officers wouldn't be searching for long. A little further down the road, one of them spotted something out his window. "Wait, stop the car!"
They got out and hurried over to an alley between two buildings. Down on the ground next to some overturned trash cans, they found the ones they had been looking for. The men, their faces swollen, beaten, both had their hands cuffed behind their backs.
"No more. N-…no more. No m-..."
"We're...we're s-sorry. We'll go...with you."
The officers stared at one another, neither sure what to make of it.
Off behind them, another officer pulled up on her bike. This time it was Officer Jenny—Hearthome City's Officer Jenny.
"What's the situation?" Jenny asked, walking over to them.
Lost on an appropriate answer to the inquiry, the officers parted to the side to allow Jenny through.
The instant the two suspects saw the female officer, their expressions became filled with terror.
"N-noooooo! Heeeelp! Get her away! Get her away from me!"
"Please, don't hurt us! We'll do whatever you want! Just don't hurt us anymooooore!"
Befuddled by the sight of the tearful, whimpering men just as her fellow officers were, Jenny took a step back. "What…happened here?"
As the hours passed, afternoon turned to evening, and evening began giving way to night. The sun was setting now over Hearthome City where, within a park on the west side of town, Officer Jenny—the visitor from Lilycove City—was pushing her motorbike along a stone path. Arcanine walked alongside her, offering the occasional nudge to help keep its trainer upright.
After searching nonstop for Cynthia following the traffic incident earlier, Jenny's bike eventually ran out of fuel. Even then, she didn't want to suspend the search for the duration it would take to find a place to refill it. She was like a woman possessed, unable to stray from the path she had set out on.
Jenny never did locate Cynthia again, though. Arcanine had the woman's scent, but, as good as its nose was, it wasn't enough to be able to track her all over the place. The city was too big, with too many different people and scents around to throw the Pokemon off.
The bleeding from Jenny's nostrils had stopped some time ago with the aid of a tissue. The scrapes on her limbs remained untreated, and they stung. Regardless, Jenny had a mission, and she was going to complete it.
"I'm…I'm not giving up," she said, trudging along the path with weary legs. Her stamina was a level (or five) above most others, but pushing the heavy bike around as she had was putting a definite strain on it.
The park had been empty up to this point as many residents had retired to their homes for the night. As Jenny followed the path further along, however, it became apparent that this didn't apply to everyone. Up ahead, there was a person seated on one of the park's benches.
Jenny didn't think too much about the individual sitting there. Even at this time of day, it wasn't strange or anything that someone would be enjoying the outdoors at this spot. But, once she drew nearer, Jenny quickly changed her mind on the importance of the matter.
The seated person in question, a woman, didn't so much as turn to look when Jenny and Arcanine approached. Her eyes were closed, her breathing slow and rhythmic. And more significantly, she was someone Jenny knew all too well. The woman was none other than Cynthia.
Jenny rubbed her eyes, wondering if she was seeing things. "It's…her. It's really her. Isn't it?"
Propping her bike up on its kickstand, she moved in for a closer look.
"Is she…sleeping?" Given Cynthia's complete lack of alertness, Jenny couldn't imagine otherwise. "Of course she is. She must have so many commitments every day that she wears herself out. Poor thing."
Although the sight of Cynthia peacefully napping like this tugged at Jenny's heartstrings, as a police officer, and one who had a particular interest in the woman, one aspect of it didn't sit well with her.
"She's so defenseless, though! Shouldn't she be more careful?"
Jenny scoured the surrounding area with her eyes. As far as she could tell, there was no one nearby, and therefore no immediate threat.
"I guess it's all clear for now. Still, what shou-…hey, Arcanine!"
Letting out a big yawn, Arcanine strolled right over to the bench where Cynthia sat and laid down beside it. Perhaps the Pokemon was just tired, or maybe it was trying to tell its trainer something. Either way, Jenny knew what she had to do.
"Well, someone needs to stay and make sure she's safe until she wakes up. I'm…pretty good at that. Right? Right!"
Swallowing hard, Jenny crept up to the bench as stealthily as possible so as not to wake Cynthia. The journey there paled in comparison to the effort it took to actually sit down, though. She had no idea parking her rear end on a bench could be so nerve-racking until now, but she managed to go through with it in the end, exhaling deeply as she sat back.
So far, so good. Cynthia hadn't been shaken from her slumber.
Now came the difficult part: keeping any danger at bay. Jenny popped a peppermint into her mouth as she kept her head on a swivel, constantly on the lookout for potential threats—not that there were actually any around.
After several minutes, just as with Arcanine before, Jenny couldn't stop herself from yawning. Her eyelids felt as heavy as stone. Running around town so much throughout the day had taken more out of her than she knew.
"Come on, Jenny, keep it together," she told herself. "You can't be napping now. This is an important duty! We have to protect Cynthia. Protect…Cynthia."
Jenny flinched. It may have been just a delusion brought on by her lack of energy, but she could have sworn something had just pressed up against her shoulder. Curious, she peeked to the side.
What Jenny had felt was no delusion; it was Cynthia, who had slipped over in her sleep, her head coming to rest against the officer. In an effort to get comfortable, Cynthia rubbed her cheek against Jenny's shoulder for a moment before settling in and quietly continuing on with her shuteye.
So stiff had Jenny's body become that her neck practically creaked as she looked ahead again. Cynthia was leaning up against her. Cynthia. Against her.
The feeling of Cynthia's warmth against her body was indescribable, far too much for Jenny to take. No matter where she looked, all she saw in her vision was a field brimming with the most stunning flowers she had ever seen. She melted into the bench, her eyes gradually falling on the orange sky above.
"Ahhh, it's good to be alive…"
The next thing Jenny knew, that sky she was staring up at had grown completely dark. She brought her head forward, blinking as she let her eyes adjust. Off to her right, she could see that the lights spread out across the path through the park had come on. Down by the foot of the bench, Arcanine still lay on the ground just as it had been. She turned to her left now, to where Cynthia had been sitting before.
There was nothing there.
Jenny jolted to her feet. She looked around, frantic, hoping for some sign of Cynthia's presence. Still, there was nothing.
"She…she was really here! I know she was! Wasn't she? I didn't just dream it all, did I? Did I?"
As Jenny's attention returned to the bench, she realized that while Cynthia may not have been there, her seat wasn't entirely barren. Beside where Jenny had dozed off, a small, metal container now sat.
"That's…the first aid kit from my bike? Huh? What's this?"
Beneath the first aid kit, a slip of paper had been tucked away. Jenny slid it out to take a look, only to find the lack of light complicating things. She had to hold the paper at just the right angle for the park's lights to allow her to read it. It took some experimenting, but she eventually got the angle she needed.
The note, it turned out, contained just one simple line: Thank you for watching over me.
Jenny read it to herself over and over, trying as best she could to piece everything together.
"Cynthia…was here? She was! And she…she thanked me!"
Jenny's eyes wandered down to her forearms. Around both arms and one of her knees, she felt a tightness that hadn't been there before, and now she knew why. Each of those areas had been wrapped in bandages, tempering the painful sting from the scrapes that had existed since the bike accident.
"I...I didn't do this, I don't think. If I didn't do it, then...Cynthia? Did she really...?"
Giddy as could be, Jenny held one of her bandaged forearms to her cheek. This arm...to think that while Jenny slept, Cynthia had been gently tending to it. She may not have gotten the chance to talk to Cynthia like she wanted, but maybe today wasn't a total loss after all.
"…and that's what happened."
Two days later, Jenny was back in the Hoenn region, her mouth stuffed with pasta at J's and Dawn's dinner table.
As stirring as the officer had found her account of the events that unfolded in Hearthome City that day, not everyone eating with her was of the same opinion.
"That's it?" J asked, thoroughly unimpressed.
"What do you mean, 'that's it'?" Jenny snapped. "She thanked me for looking after her! And she even fixed up my injuries! Isn't that the greatest thing ever?"
Dawn, unlike J, had found the tale quite enjoyable. "It is pretty great," she said, smiling. "That sounds like something Cynthia would do."
"Right?" Jenny's expression lit up. "So this was good, wasn't it? She must like me at least a little bit, right?"
"Mmm…well, it's definitely a good start," Dawn allowed. She went around the table, gathering up everyone's empty dinner plates. "I'm going to go grab dessert. Would you like some, Jenny?"
"Ha ha. Okay, I'll be back in just a minute."
While Dawn headed to the kitchen, J sat with her eyes still fixated on her oft-visiting dinner guest. "Can I ask you something?"
"I didn't make it up!" Jenny insisted.
"That wasn't what I was going to ask."
"Just…let me confirm a few things here, Jen." J held up one of her fingers. "First, you never actually talked to Cynthia, correct?"
Jenny winced slightly at the question. "N-no, but next time I will!"
J held up another finger. "Second, almost every city, including Hearthome City, has one of your extended family in its police force, am I right?"
"Of course, we're top-notch officers all over the world!"
"Third," J continued, holding up yet another finger, "if I'm not mistaken, the same style of police uniform is used in both the Hoenn and Sinnoh regions."
"Ye-…yeah, I guess it is. So what?"
"So," J said, leaning forward in her chair, "since Cynthia didn't get to ask about you, wouldn't she assume the Officer Jenny this all happened with was the one stationed in Hearthome City?"
A blank look came over Jenny's face. She pondered the thought, and pondered it, and pondered it. At one point she opened her mouth to dispute it, only for nothing to come out. Her expression darkening bit by bit, she finally shot up from her seat.
End of Extra Chapter 4