Karen is bored. Lance is planning a vacation. It's just a day in the life of two of our favorite elites. Includes friendly banter, you have been warned.
Karen gave a lazy yawn, staring at the nails she had polished three times already. It was a bright, sunny day, and as a result, her dark types were all snoozing in their poke balls. Umbreon was curled up on her lap, ears twitching alertly even though her eyes were closed. It was a boring day, with no challengers, and she wished for something, for anything, to break the monotony.
Umbreon lifted her head at the sound of footsteps outside the room. There was a pause, then a polite rap on the door.
"Come in!" sang Karen and the door opened to reveal the Lance the dragon master and Johto champion. He opened his mouth to speak but when he caught sight of Karen's attire his expression quickly turned to exasperation.
"Karen, how many times have I told you the way you dress is not appropriate for a member of the Elite Four?"
"Exactly eighty four times," she replied primly. He gave her a look. "I swear, it's true; you see, I have this disorder where I count how many times I've been given annoying and pointless reprimands." Lance raised an eyebrow, clearly not impressed. She sighed "Look Lance, how many times have I explained to you the idea of fashion. You might look fine all togged up in that ridiculous cape and hero outfit, the workout look is good for Bruno, Koga is a ninja and they really only dress one way, and well, Will is a psychic and they don't understand clothing, but I train dark types! What am I supposed to wear, charcoal all over my body? Or I could just hide in the shadows, naked and scare the challengers. Hmm, actually, I like that one."
"Karen, enough." The man stared her down coolly before glancing side to side and letting a small smirk form on his face. "I'd like to see their faces if you did. They'd probably be so traumatized that they would quit the challenge."
She scoffed and then laughed."Definitely. So Lance, what brings you here?"
"I just came to tell you I am planning to take a two week break." Karen blinked.
"A break? You mean as in: 'Not going to train your pokémon', 'Not going on some pointless assignment for the league' or 'saving the world from an evil group'? A break as in, an actual vacation?"
"Last time I tried to take a vacation, you went on for hours about abandoning duties and frivolous pursuits. I think I took the chance to nap."
"Karen, you were planning on going to a salon."
"I was planning to enjoy myself. That's the purpose of a vacation; having fun and not working. I'm glad you're going to take one Lance, you are way too much of a workaholic."
Lance narrowed his eyes at her but let the remark slide. "While I'm gone, you'll be in charge of the league. You will not do anything crazy. You will not invite the gym leaders here for a party, nor will you pick on Will's pokémon. As I said, I'll be gone two weeks-"
"Hold on, Lance; where are you going to?"
"I was planning on going to the Orange islands, then stop off in Hoenn."
"I can just picture it: Lance lying on a beach wearing a Hawaiian t-shirt, basking in the sunshine while doing absolutely nothing."
"Yes, you can dream on. If that's all..." Lance turned to head out. "I'll be departing tomorrow."
"Hang on." Karen looked at him, eyes narrowed in suspicion. "About this whole vacation thing, I don't believe you."
He sighed. "Why not, Karen?"
"Because I know you too well. Come clean, Lance; you are honestly telling me you are taking a true vacation. Nothing trainer or league related. No lying?" She fixed him with a hard look, putting her hands on her hips. Lance looked away.
"Fine; you know me way too well, Karen. Drake, of the Orange League, is said to have a tough dragonite, which I want to challenge, and the Hoenn region has a species of dragon I want to catch. Happy?"
"Not at all. Lance, you work too hard."
"It's in my genes, Karen. Members of the dragon clan are not brought up to be lazy."
She snorted. "Hmph. I am never going to Blackthorn with you then. I do not want to meet your in-laws."
"Who said I'd ever invite you?"
"I'm hurt, Lance; here I was thinking we were friends. Good friends. Oh well, I guess I can't compete. I know who your best friend and only friend is; Dragonite." Lance's expression changed from curious to furious in an instant. He took a step towards the smirking trainer and then stopped short as an idea came to his mind.
"Maybe you should take that up with him." Lance threw the poke ball into the air, releasing his dragonite. He watched smugly as her umbreon cowered slightly.
"Lance!" The woman whined. "That's not fair. Didn't we make a rule you couldn't bring your pokémon into our arguments?"
Lance raised an eyebrow. "And since when have you followed these sorts of rules? Actually since when have you followed any rules you don't want to follow?"
"Touché," she mumbled. He nodded and once again started to head out the door. Instantly Karen jumped up and tugged on his cape. Lance turned around with an irate expression.
"What is it Karen?"
"You can't leave because I am terribly bored right now." He looked at her. She looked at him. Finally, Lance spoke.
"Are you planning on having a staring contest with me? If that's the case I have no intention of participating. Also, Karen; if you are bored so much why do you ask for countless breaks? Why don't you just do your work when you're bored?"
"Work is boring," she grumbled. "Something you would not understand. Besides," she gestured to her Umbreon, "my dark types are lethargic during the day time."
"Excuses, excuses," Lance mocked her. "Do you have a concrete reason for detaining me here?"
"Psh, detaining." She waved her hand. Then inspiration struck her. "Are you going anonymously?"
Lance nodded. "Of course I am! I'm so sick of trying to walk into a pokémon center to rest up, and then getting swarmed by wannabe trainers who beg for battles. I don't have anything against helping amateurs improve, I encourage it! The problem is that after a long day it's so trying to see them start crying after Dragonite creams their pokémon."
Karen winked at him. "You know, I bet some of those fans wouldn't mind if you comforted them."
Lance groaned. "Don't. Get. Me. Started. Please!"
"Personally, I love devoted and mindless fans. They're kind of like personal slaves." The pained look on Lances face turned to the familiar disapproving one.
"No taking advantage of the fans!"
"It's not a rule, you know. It's not written down anywhere," Karen said triumphantly.
Lance growled. "You know, back in Kanto I had to fill in for the champion and preside over the annual meetings, but I didn't mind because they were nowhere near as trying as you four! Bruno is still the same, of course, but I remember... ah, the fans. Agatha and Lorelei made short work of them. It just took a few smacks of Agatha's cane and some icy reminders from Lorelei and we had no trouble after that."
"And you say I abuse the fans!"
"You encourage them, Karen."
"I do not!"
"Face the honest truth; you like attention. It's quite strange for a dark type trainer actually, though Sidney is like that too, so it's not just you."
"Do not get me started on Sidney," she said, putting her hands to her temple.
"I won't as long as you don't bring up the fans."
"Do I have to say touché again?"
"Not if you don't feel like it. Leaving now-"
"Never! Look Lance, how exactly do you plan to stay anonymous in that flamboyant cape you insist on parading around? And you say I like attention ..."
"I don't wear it to garner attention!"
"Don't pretend you have a fashion sense, Lance, because you don't."
"Are you sure about that? If I remember correctly, that magazine with the annoying name said-"
"I thought you threatened us on the pain of a super powered hyper beam from Dragonite never to bring that up again."
"That's just you. I'm allowed to use it in arguments as I wish."
" . . . I refuse to get into an insult war with you."
"Dang; I've thought up some good ones."
Lance raised his eyebrow. "Is that what you do in your free time?"
"What part of 'I'm bored' do you not understand?"
"Is it just me, or do you feel off topic?"
"It's just you," she said instantly.
"I'm quite sure it's not just me. I believe we were discussing my clothing choices for my trip," Lance informed her. Karen clapped her hands together.
"Right! So enlighten me on your plan to avoid attention and slip under the radar."
"You don't have to sound so skeptical. I infiltrate crime syndicates on a regular basis. My plan is to abandon my usual attire for clothes more fitting of the traveling trainer."
"Such simple genius; exactly what I would expect from you, Lance!"
"The whole sarcasm thing? It doesn't become you, Karen."
"I have heard otherwise. I think it lends me a certain charm." She gave him a beatific smile. Lance sighed.
"If you are done thwarting my plans-"
"I'm not thwarting your plans; I'm assisting them." She added on after thought, "Besides, who says 'thwarting my plans'?"
"Again, you would be surprised. You haven't helped me at all today, Karen."
"I'm going to interpret that as a personal challenge."
"Really. You really think you could help me out?"
Lance grinned at her. "Well if you are so keen to help out, I have an appointment with the league I will be missing during my trip, and I really need someone to cover for me..."
Her eyes widened."You sly, annoying, ninja-like person!"
"That's the best you can do?"
Karen ignored him and continued to rant. "I can't believe it! Lance, uptight and noble-ish person, trying to get out of a meeting! And even worse, trying to get me to fill in? You could ask the others-"
"-Will refuses to speak, Koga freaks them out and Bruno scares them."
"But no, you try to get me to do it! Really, me, your only friend in Johto-"
"-You forgot about Dragonite."
"And you ask her to risk her health and sanity to fill in as you go gallivanting off to look at dragons! I wouldn't expect such shirking from you, Lance-"
"-I would expect it from you, though."
"The job of champion is a sacred task, an example to all the trainers, a symbol of the hardworking trainer and you want to spoil it-"
"-You realize you are contradicting everything you said previously?"
"By hiding from your duties and thrusting them on less able, less qualified persons. It is lower than the low and frankly, Lance, I am quite ashamed of you-"
"-Good try, Karen, but you aren't getting out of this," Lance interjected in a tone that didn't encourage further arguing.
"Dang," said Karen. Umbreon let out a little yawn and nudged her leg.
"Well, since that's settled, I will truly be going." Lance made a move towards the door then caught the look on Karen's face. She turned away, crossing her arms defiantly.
"Karen," said Lance gently. "Look, I know you're bored but I really have a tremendous amount of paperwork to put behind me before I can go, and my pokémon need to get a good night's rest."
Her position did not change.
"You always tell me to take a vacation, Karen. Last week you said I was beginning to look like your grandpa even though I'm about sixty years younger than him."
Her lips twitched slightly.
"You really are upset." His voice turned slightly pleading. "I suppose being stuck alone with those three seems like a fate worse than death to you, but you have other friends."
Karen didn't budge.
"Look," Lance decided to make the ultimate gamble. "Maybe I'll meet a girl there."
He waited. Slowly Karen turned to face him; her features transformed to a feral grin. Lance swallowed.
"I only said maybe; it's not a guarantee. It's just, if I see someone, then maybe... but," he paused, "... I'm going to pay for that remark, aren't I?"
"You are." she said smugly.
"Great." Lance groaned
"Having a girl in your life might save you from those premature lines and your workaholic future of bleakness and despair."
"Melodramatic much?" he questioned. Suddenly, Karen got to her feet, surprising Lance with a quick hug.
"You listen to me! You are going to go out there and enjoy that vacation. You aren't going to work one bit, you are going to go to that sunny beach and spend one whole day there. You are going to absolutely annihilate that Drake guy and catch that dragon type. You are going to talk to a lot of girls and you are going to go to bed with the peace of mind that everything over here is taken care of. You are going to relax; you got that?"
Lance nodded, looking stunned. "Of course, Karen."
"Good; and when you have done all that, you had better rush back here and get that cape back on and save me from boredom."
Lance smiled at her. "Thanks, Karen," he said quietly.
"You're welcome. Now get going, go do that paperwork mumbo jumbo-"
"-It's very important."
"Alright, then do your very important paper work mumbo jumbo. Go on." She pushed him out the door and lead him down the hall way. The she headed down to the quarters of the other elite four members.
Lance had a bemused expression on his face as he sat down at his desk to begin the "mumbo jumbo." He had read through the first form when the shouting began.
"Listen up, fellow elite four members! Lance is being a lazy human being and has decided to meander around, completely forsaking his responsibilities. Do you know what that means?"
There was silence in which the elites either attempted to answer or wisely held their tongues.
"It means we are going to have to do all of the work around here! That's right! And we are going to do a good job, or else! If we have to interrupt Lance's little pleasure trip you are going to answer to me and you won't like that, I can assure you!
There was a chorus of 'yeses' from the cowed members of the elite four. Lance could feel a headache coming on. He wasn't sure whether to feel pleased by her promise to actually do the work, or angered by her slighting references to his trip.
In the end, he went for pleased. He would go to a beach, Lance decided. He would find a nice, quiet, and sunny beach where Dragonite could fly around and he would stay there the whole day.
He wouldn't do anything. Karen would be so proud.
Authors Note: Thanks to Sakura Mau Toki for editing this story!