The Buster Gets Busted!
Nobody but me out there knows how BADLY I wanted to tackle this pairing and do it the necessary justice it deserves. Again, this is BusterShipping (Iris/Georgia) and the dichotomy is quite unique amongst Pokémon ships. The two would bite one another if they weren't afraid of being poisoned by the other's venom but, at the same time, each girl wants the other one to be at their best. Not to mention that whenever they stare each other down, they make electricity. Heck if 'Connoisseur Boy' Cilan can see beyond mere strife and rivalry, that should tell you something right there. Ages of pair are now mid-teens and Cilan is in his late teens.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon, a creation of one Satoshi Tajiri, and is produced domestically (in the United States) by The Pokemon Company, and internationally by Nintendo, Shogakukan and OLM. I personally own nothing and make nothing by writing this. Please do not flame.
(Chapter 1- Sunrise in Georgia)
The notice in last Sunday's paper, held tightly in her right hand, caused a change in her plans so rapid, there was some inner fear within her that she'd break her neck if it meant there would be at least a shot for her in this latest Unova region tournament. Disregarding the wind that always seems to come through Driftveil City at this time, the pace of this young woman is like a cheetah in the pride lands; fantastic straight line speed and a noticeable depth of gracefulness as her destination finally comes into view. The still-lit street lights on this early Monday morning guide this aspiring soul to an opportunity few could imagine earning, but she finds herself among the first to take advantage of it if the true gravity of the news slipped past other trainer's minds.
As the arena grows closer, so does the box office and the sign-in station for Club Battle tournaments in the Unova region. No one is there, not even an office worker to process early deliveries. She just has to take in a sigh of relief knowing that she wouldn't be unnecessarily delayed by poor directions, but mostly because she can finally slow down and relax for a few minutes taking solace in the fact that her place in line is now secure.
Looking around her surroundings, she sees a park bench by one of the lights and sits there to collect all her thoughts. While here, the teen takes off her newsgirl cap to wipe the sweat off her brow. The rest is not simply a means of relaxation but to also make sure that her materials are in order so she can sign up with no issues.
Her actions are much like a fanatic waiting for tickets to her favorite artist, but for sixteen-year old Georgia Langelin if all goes well, she'll be on her way to notoriety more becoming of a rock star. "I can't believe that all the trainers in Unova aren't busting down the doors of the Driftveil Battle Club to take advantage of this," she speaks while noticing the calm of the city streets broken only by a select few who've elected to get their daily running in prior to the rising of the sun.
Georgia can't worry about competition now as much as she did five years ago. Such is the lesson that can often only come through much trial and error. Back then, the concerns consumed her to the point she nearly lost it all; the reason why she became a trainer in the first place, the desire to see new and exciting worlds, and the love that she had for her Pokémon and guiding that special combination to great success. "It's whatever. It's their loss and my gain for recognizing opportunity knocking."
Checking her watch the time shows Georgia fifteen minutes remaining until six o'clock. In another seventy-five minutes, the Battle Club will open up and she can begin preparations for the World Club Double Tournament. While here, she opens up her blue knapsack, pulling out her Dewar flask filled with coffee and creamer along with a bag of homemade trail mix for nourishment.
Indeed, Georgia is no longer a young girl riding the wave and wandering about as if she has no idea how to conduct business. The difference now, compared to then, is that she doesn't need others to get her psyched for her passion. Her past escapades make Georgia laugh at times. All things considered it would make an interesting, if not somewhat dark, comedy. She loses to one trainer of a dragon-type Pokémon very early on in her journey and went on her own single-girl crusade to bring down all other dragon trainers and all those who thought they could control dragon types until there were none remaining.
After some time she hears through the grapevine about a girl her age named Iris, locally from the Village of Dragons, who's expressed and spoken goal is to become a Dragon Master. Her primary target for dragon busting now known, she sets out to find her and find that Iris is in the company of a male Pokémon trainer all the way from the Kanto region and a Class-A Pokémon Connoisseur who also serves as one of the three gym leaders of the Striaton City gym.
Observers would rightfully question the methods of Georgia's madness; going through so much trouble just to meet and challenge Iris. After all, if she were worth her weight as a trainer, the aspiring Dragon Master would eventually find herself locking up with the Dragon Buster. "Some might think I was stalking the poor kid," she humbly reflects. There must be something that clicks at the point when people are willing to deal with truth. In this case, Georgia can look back and freely admit she had an obsession with beating that which beat her. This included several instances before their introduction when she'd ask passersby if they'd seen them while holding up a picture of the trio and placing added emphasis on the girl with the prodigious long-flowing hair and an Axew resting in said coiffure.
After six weeks of hunting her down, Georgia headed the trio off at the pass before they arrived in Nimbasa City and made her intentions well known to Iris; that Georgia knew who she was, that she knew where she came from and that her goal is to defeat her in battle. After making quick work of Iris' Axew, Georgia came away disappointed with the fact that an aspiring Dragon Master had only one dragon type and did not count her later draw against Iris' Excadrill as a loss.
As the battles waged on and the traveling from both sides continued, Georgia gained more than a measure of respect for Iris and she could tell the feeling was mutual. The Dragon Buster certainly could drum up a myriad of excuses as to why she herself hasn't been busted by Iris, even though she's lost to Iris, and her dragon types, but the vast majority of them were for naught. She could tell that her adversary was well on her way to great things before the wild child did and that is the likely reason for the acknowledgements of jobs well done.
Finally, after just over a year of battling throughout the Unova region, the final Club Battle between the two took place. Both won Club Battles of their own and this would be the last battle between the two for a while. Georgia committed to train and capture Pokémon in the northern Sinnoh region while Iris aimed to do the same and cement her reputation in Hoenn. Both knew of each other's plans going into this battle and they made sure to bring their 'A' games in a tournament that was more than worthy of them. In the end it was Iris' Dragonite defeating Georgia's Beartic in a grinding test of wills spitting in the face of type advantages while providing the fans a classic battle to cap off the quarterfinals.
Iris would defeat Stephan in the semifinal match but lose the final match to, of all trainers, Bianca. Iris could hardly believe that the decidedly bubbly blonde rose to the occasion to win it all, especially after getting a sense of how close she was to none of this success happening because of her father's reluctance. Georgia was legitimately happy for Bianca, as well. Indeed, she always seeks to win whenever the opportunity arises, but this was different. Bianca could be accused of many things, but by no means was she a phony. Amongst her peers, the win was a popular one and after a few more years of training, she recently retired, converting her career earnings towards a new goal in educating the youngest Unova region citizens about the incredible Pokémon world.
After that intense tournament, the major players would be going their separate ways. Some would not see each other again and a busted Dragon Buster got a final talking to from Iris who made it clear that she is a great trainer. She told Georgia to not have any one thing consume her in this world that isn't the all-natural high of training, traveling and learning as much as she can about the world around her. Iris made it clear that if she wanted to become an ice-type trainer and an eventual gym leader, then that is her prerogative.
She added, however, that if this goal was merely to show her up or to prove once and for all that dragon types are inferior then Georgia is going about this for all the wrong reasons. "Even now," Iris added, "I don't know much about you, but I can see the desire in you to work to be the best. Just imagine if I were out of the picture, that we didn't have our…mess, and I think you'll get it. You're no kid, Georgia, you just have to put this craziness in the rear-view mirror, because I'm moving forward." Those were the last words Iris had for her then-rival before her departure. Georgia remembers her walk being one of purpose and feeling somewhat hurt that Iris made a point to tell her how little the Dragon Trainer knew of the Dragon Buster. Though Georgia wouldn't admit it out of sheer pride, Iris' words were an inspiration for her setting her on the current path as a premier trainer in Unova.
Looking back, if only for this brief moment, serves as more than a time killer as Georgia looks up to find the sun barely peaking up, from her perspective, to meet the cityscape. "It won't be long now," she figures. In about an hour she can sign up, get in some practice and decide the right combinations for this all important tournament.
From the peaking of the orange sun, Georgia turns her attention back to the empty stadium off to the left. It's not as if she's nervous to the point of self doubt; the butterflies in her stomach are the sign that she's a living being. It's a key to her mindset that says despite her preparation and strict regimen, someone else might put in that little more to make all the difference. It is the trainers she knows would give up one of their limbs if it meant only a small chance for what the Battle Clubs are offering. But most of all, it's the fulfillment of a challenge…
"Well, this is a 'long time, no see' moment if I've ever had one!" A cheerful yet too wise for his own good voice interrupts her pondering forcing Georgia to turn around and confirm for her own eyes the arrival of an older trainer from Unova.
She sees him and there's no doubt about it, now. "Well if it isn't Class-S Connoisseur Cilan," Georgia says before getting up from the bench and shaking the hand of the former Striaton City Gym Leader. "It's been—what? About a year since I last saw you in person; though I have caught you recently with Don George and Freddy O'Martian on TV. I know everyone wondered why a great gym leader, a rising connoisseur and superstar trainer would want to go into the booth as a commentator, but…once again, you proved the doubters wrong. You fit that crew like a rubber glove."
"Well, there's nothing wrong with a desire to go out beyond one's horizon searching for the best flavors of all worlds," Cilan reasons. "The aroma of opportunity to truly become well-rounded in my profession as connoisseur for many trainers at once made this an offer I just couldn't refuse. Granted, it certainly requires more homework than when I started learning about compatibility between trainers and Pokémon, but I know of no better way to present these relations to the Unova region and get my voice heard across the airwaves. You might say I'm living the dream of all the best Pokémon connoisseurs for that reason alone."
"But…what about you and your brothers?" Georgia questions. "You're a team, a family and a great story, to boot. Was there ever a moment where you thought, 'Okay, I worked my tail off for all this success and now is the time to enjoy the fruits of my labor with the people who know and love me.'? It's crazy! Cilan, you just don't stop. When you climb the summit of one mountain, you see the next mountain on the horizon and aim for that one, no questions asked. I can't…you're just…unreal."
Cilan is legitimately humbled by those remarks and lets Georgia know that, saying, "Well, thank you Georgia. That means…"
"I hate you!"
"I beg your pardon?" he asks confused.
Putting up her right hand and shaking it in front of Cilan, she clarifies her words, saying "Don't worry about me, Cilan. At least one of us has it together. I've put myself under an inordinate amount of stress because the stakes are just that damn high. I…I'm just hoping to my higher power out there that everything comes together for the tournament this week. You and I both know that no one entering this will leave any stones unturned."
"Why would they?" Cilan acquiesces. "I mean, we're not talking about a…year's supply of this, a collection of knickknacks, winning a day with a Pokémon Champion, or even the opportunity to battle him or her. This goes beyond even that great of an honor. This is truly life-changing." Holding up a single index finger, he says, certain that he's only reminding Georgia, "A one-year scholarship to the finest school for aspiring gym leaders combined with a year-long sponsorship from the Battle Clubs including free VIP access. The cost is…no. There's just no way to place a value on that to trainers who've scratched, clawed and captured their way to the top for this unique chance."
"And you wonder why I might be just a little bit on edge," Georgia interjects. "I mean, you've seen me through a good portion of it and your new gig just puts me and other like trainers in that bright spotlight. I just…never want to go back to that time when I drastically lost focus. I was out of control and…I was such a kid. Never again, Cilan."
"Well, it definitely speaks highly of your character to admit as much. Aside from the fact that at the time you were a kid, one thing's for sure; it always takes two to tango."
Georgia had a feeling where Cilan was attempting to go with this and it made her go on the defensive for her sake. "Spare me. She's in the past."
"I…wouldn't be so dismissive of Iris, Georgia," he replies sincerely. "Remember, I have some contact with her and one of the best paths to her goal of Dragon Master goes through this tournament. Iris is bound to be here and with the records you two have, you're bound to meet each other again, and then what? Will she just be 'in the past' to you when you stare across to her in the heat of battle…or was that more than just electricity that I saw between you two back then?"
It was true. The connoisseur made an informed point on a subject Georgia would argue he has no evidence to form any conclusive basis. If Cilan decided to go any further with this, Georgia would be of the mind to call him out for prying into private business. "Just get your mind focused on what you yourself said was the all-important prize, all right? Look, it has crossed my mind the possibility that she'll be here. You happy, Cilan? Besides, I'm not really dismissive of her as much as…I'm not interested in going down that road again."
"Would that mean even…not being cordial to her if she wants to say 'hello'?"
"Well, I don't have anything against her anymore," she admits.
"Then why won't you even say her name?"
Sighing, Georgia doesn't want to keep this conversation going. Cilan is really pushing her buttons, but she'll keep up the wall of doubt as long as she can. "I have nothing against Iris. My feeling is that we're two different trainers with different goals and preferences for what one might call the…yin and yang of elemental types." Then, like a light bulb's illumination, the idea comes to her to stop Cilan from bringing this tiresome subject up again. "Besides, it's been four years. She's probably forgotten about me and…she'd have every reason to. She's moved on, as she should."
"How do you know that if you haven't seen her?"
"Look, I'm done with it, Cilan!" she exclaims, pissed off that he persists with this subject of Iris. "I can't worry about it, because I can't control it. What time is it?" she asks, feeling this conversation taking a longer time than what she would've asked. Checking her watch confirms as much. "Five minutes to seven. The battle club opens at seven on the dot and I can start practicing. In another five hours, I can sign up. So you see? All this talk about Iris coming and what she'll do means nothing. She'll do what she does! I couldn't tell you. I'm worried about Iris, but no more or less than the other fourteen trainers that make it to the elimination rounds."
"I'm not saying you aren't," Cilan argues. "What I'm saying is your candor is very evasive towards someone you haven't seen since age twelve. 'I won't go down that road again?' 'She's in the past?' 'She has every reason to forget me?' Where's all this coming from? You both grew up together in this sport! Not to mention, Iris would not have become the trainer she is if it hadn't have been for you."
"Well, if she were any kind of woman, much less a trainer, she'd at least say something after four years, right?"
"I don't quite think that's how it works, Georgia."
Shaking her head, she can tell that the niggling feeling is coming back, no thanks to this Top Connoisseur in front of her. "I don't give a damn," she concedes. Walking away from Cilan and to the Battle Club she makes it known to him to "Think what you will. I still have a job to do this week."
Cilan watches Georgia absolutely baffled at her apathy. Following her to the doors, he asks, "Is that how you're gonna leave it between you two? Nothing at all to say?"
Really, that did not amount to the whole story for Georgia, but to keep Cilan from digging any deeper than he had the right to, she says, "Like I said, think what you will. Now, if you'll excuse me," and after that hanging pardon, she opens the door and does not hold it for Cilan.
He's left outside to ponder the actions of a trainer, who's some parts scorned, other parts annoyed, and all parts on the defensive. "The question is, why? Georgia's not gonna say anything, so I'm just gonna have to keep my eyes open this week and make sure no one leaves with a bitter taste in their mouths...if I can help it."
A/N: So this is part one, focused on Georgia. Part two will focus primarily on Iris. It would seem Georgia is on pins and needles. How's Iris handling the possibilities? Find out in chapter two.
Until then, this is Rave!