—"Power Play" was supposed to be a short story. After all, it was inspired in a way by my ficlet "For The Money". But now it's become a rather large production, and therefore I have cut it up into smaller parts.

I am really intrigued by this pairing and this story is only one aspect of their relationship in my eyes. It is part character study, part romance, part philosophical, part random shit.

—For Momo-chan, because I've been holding out on you. And if you remember, you've read a very rough draft of this piece.

Disclaimer: I cannot stress this enough—I do not want comments about the age difference unless it immediately pertains to the story. Which means no going, "but he's old and shit" and leaving stupid comments. Many people here can be immature, which is why I gave it an 'M' rating—also for some naughty bits later—but I know there are a lot of you who can think logically and critical.

You guys are all right.

Power Play

"No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;

Am an attendant lord, one that will do

To swell a progress, start a scene or two,

Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,

Deferential, glad to be of use,

Politic, cautious, and meticulous;

Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;

At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—

Almost, at times, the Fool."

-"Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", T.S. Eliot

Act 1, Scene I

Of Heroes and Thieves.

Leaf has heard of heroes, knights in armor and strong boys with hardened harts. She has read stories of the greater good—those who are pure and decent, angels fallen to earth to protect all that is right. She has known fairytales, and yearns to believe in them. That, she thinks, is why she can only see the best in people. She views the world through glassy brown eyes, filtering in all the happiness and love she sees.

But in Pallet Town, there is only silence and waiting, like a volcano that has been dormant since its creation. For she has lived an existence of breathing, of days moving like water into the next, and she wants more. Maybe Professor Oak sees this, and his grandson—her rival—too. There must be a reason why he pushes against her so fiercely.

When she receives her first Pokemon from the good Professor, a foul-tempered bulbasaur, she decides to leave her life of quiet indifference, a sheltered world of smiling mouths and trapped existences. She leaves her mother, who has no qualms of letting her young daughter wander into the real world alone. Because this girl is smart, too wise for a hick town. "Pallet Town is a town of beginnings," she always says. "It is the blank sheet."

There are things Leaf's mother does not want her daughter to see, that are unavoidable. The true ugliness of what's out there that she has been sheltered from since birth. There are heroes as well as villains, happiness and horror—and Leaf wants to know it all. She does not belong in such a small place, her mother tells herself as she watches her daughter's back, her courage needs freedom.

So first, Leaf heads to Viridian, a town of warm reds and eccentricity. She battles Pokemon as the sun dies, and the adrenaline pumps through her system, covering up for the exhaustion of a full day's travel. She is not very used to long walks, and her legs reject her every move, but her body sparks, ignites with the static summer air, and she is alive in the world for the first time. Then she sees bulbasaur's bowed head, raring to attack, waiting for her words. She decides then, in a field just outside of Viridian, that she will fight.

Almost in accordance to this new desire, an old man who had once been sprawled out on the street in need of coffee, tells her that Trainers go to Gyms to become the top, the master of it all. However, he says, there is no Gym Leader in this town. And just next door is the Indigo Plateau. "Will you aim for it?" he asks, his eyes heavy with the weight of years.

She thinks so. After all, a journey must have a goal. And she wants a substantial one to accompany the spiritual one. As she looks at the forest to the west, shielding whatever the Indigo Plateau may look like, she figures this is what every Trainer must want—glory and fame, to be the hero of their stories.

For now, she battles towns and gym leaders, catches Pokemon like souvenirs. When Leaf is with these enigmatic and lovely creatures, sees her bulbasaur's excited eyes as she gives him treats or sprinkles water on him from a can, she realizes there is more to life than herself. And she smiles, because it finally feels all right.

The beginning quote is from a poem that very much has to do with this story. After all, both have to do with being the hero of one's story and finding meaning in life. There are other parallels throughout, but I won't bore you. You guys are smart, you'll get it.

I like how this one is coming along. I have most of it typed, so updates will come soon.

-Ambiguity of the Avocado