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TEEN: It's Electric: Cranking it to Eleven.

GastlyGibus

World's worst critic
Joined
Oct 27, 2013
Messages
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Hey, lookie here, it's a Fan-fic! Hey, it's also the first one I've actually posted on a public forum! Huh.

Yeah, this is the first story I've ever actually posted. As such, I expect fair judgement. By fair, I don't mean "sugercoat it and say only nice things." If it sucks, tell me! I'd like to know. Just make sure you tell me what does or doesn't work, what you did or didn't like, or even if you'd like to see more. If you just say "This is stupid" well, I can't fix that. If you tell me "I didn't like XYZ" then I can take a look an try to fix XYZ. And hey, I might just keep writing more if people like it.

I'm rating it TEEN. There's no real language or any lewd acts, but there might be some violence in later chapters, so I'm just going to rate it TEEN.

Index:

So, without further ado, here you go.

*****​
"I'm gonna be a rock 'n' roll star, gotta groove from night to day!
Gotta blow my honey jar, gotta blow my blues away.

I'm gonna make a stand, gonna make a million, gonna make it with you.
I'm gonna be right my friend, I'm gonna push it through!

It's electric!"

Chapter One: Into the Great Wide Open.

Laughter, conversation, footsteps, the clacking of silverware, the scooting of chairs across the hardwood floor; all manner of sounds flooded the mess hall that afternoon, coming together in a single cacophony of noise that signaled a place of livelihood and social interaction. Most students on the college campus found the mess hall, despite the noise, a great spot to relax and enjoy each others company. However, on this particular day, Matthew was not most students.

"You can't do this to us, man!"

"I'm sorry! Do you think I wanted to let you guys down?"

"No, but I thought you'd at least stick it out for our first gig!

Matthew eyed his friend angrily, blue eyes staring daggers at him from across the wooden table. He and his three friends had started their own local band and had been practicing for weeks. Two more weeks from now they were scheduled for their very first gig, and even though it was just a small time performance, it was an important show for them. They had a solid grasp of their parts and were fully prepared for a live show.

Except now their lead guitarist, Derrick, was quitting on them.

"I'm sorry man, but with school and work I just don't have time to keep up with the band. We've got mid-terms coming up and I haven't studied nearly as much as I should have." Derrick replied. He really didn't want to let his friend down, but he just couldn't keep the balance between his studies and the band's practice sessions.

"You should have thought of that before you decided to form a band with us!" Matthew snapped back at Derrick, slamming his fist down on the table; Matthew was visibly upset, and even though Derrick was a good friend, he couldn't help but feel anger towards him.

"Guys, come on. I know tensions are high right now, but you two need to chill, alright?" Paul spoke up, trying to put out the flames of anger that has sparked between his two band mates. Paul, the band's bassist, was normally silent, but he couldn't stand to see two of his close friends treat each other with such animosity. He laid his hand on Matthew's shoulder, trying to calm him down.

"I know..." Matthew sighed. His clenched fists gradually loosened, his hands dropping to his sides. "Look man, I'm sorry for raising my voice; it's just that we have our first gig in only two weeks and you pick now to quit on us."

"I understand that you're angry man; I would be too." Derrick replied, looking genuinely sorry, "Life is just so busy right now, you know? I'm sure you can find a replacement; the material isn't that difficult."

"Yeah man, just let Derrick do his own thing. We can find someone to replace him and have fun rockin' without him!" Samuel, the band's drummer who went by his childhood nickname 'Sammy,' piped in. Lightening up the tension a bit, Sammy leaned over towards Derrick, jabbing his upper arm in jest. He meant it as a joke, and Derrick couldn't help but chuckle at Sammy's attitude.

Derrick looked at his phone, checking the time, then looked back up to Matthew. "My next class starts soon. Again, I'm really sorry, Matthew. I hope you can find a replacement." With that, Derrick left the mess hall and headed off to his next class.

Matthew let out a long sigh. The material wasn't terribly difficult, but how was he going to find a new guitarist and teach them the song in only two weeks? Sure, he could play lead, but then there would be nobody to play rhythm, and the music just wouldn't sound right.

"C'mon man, don't worry about it. I'll help scout out the campus for a good guitarist. I'm sure we'll find somebody!" Sammy chimed in, breaking Matthew's train of thought. Sammy was always so upbeat about things, despite how bad they were.

"Yeah, I guess you're right." Matthew replied, trying to share his friend's enthusiasm. He got up from his table and looked towards Paul and Sammy. "I've got classes soon as well, but tomorrow we need to start searching for a replacement ASAP."

Matthew gathered his things and threw on his backpack, with Paul and Sammy following suit. "I'll see you guys first thing in the morning, in front of the dorms." Paul and Sammy both nodded, and they each left for their respective classes.

*****​

Matthew threw his backpack on his bed and fell face first onto the covers, an audible sigh escaping him. He had been thinking of people to replace Derrick all throughout his classes, but nobody he knew had the talent that Derrick possessed. He had entertained the idea of playing lead guitar himself, but then there'd be no rhythm guitar, and he had trouble playing lead and doing vocals at the same time. Rhythm was just simpler for him.

He briefly mused with the thought of just canceling the gig altogether. Of course, he desperately hoped he wouldn't have to resort to that, but if he didn't find someone soon...

"Scrafty?"

Matthew pulled his face off of his bed and looked down towards the direction of the sound. He saw his Pokemon, Scrafty, poking her head over the bottom of the bed and looking quizzically at her trainer.

"Hey Jackie." Matthew sat up on his bed, patting the covers beside himself, motioning for his Pokemon to sit beside him. The Scrafty jumped over the bottom of the bed and climbed over to where Matthew sat, sitting beside him. Matthew brought his hand to her head, lightly brushing her head crest, which he knew she liked. Although the university he attended was a bit antsy about having Pokemon out of their pokeballs on campus, they had no qualms about them in the student's dorms, something Matthew greatly appreciated. He had caught Scrafty, which he had nicknamed Jackie, back during high school, and he often participated in battles with her against other trainers. Though he enjoyed the occasional battle, he never wanted to take the Elite Four challenge. He preferred a more laid-back lifestyle, and so he enrolled in a university to get a degree in art and focus on his music, which he enjoyed the most.

The Scrafty closed her eyes and purred her name to herself while Matthew kept rubbing her head, which greatly pleased her. Matthew kept petting her like that for a few minutes before sighing to himself again.

"I just don't know what I'm going to do." Matthew said out loud, partly talking to his Pokemon but mainly vocalizing his own thoughts to himself. "How am I going to find a replacement on such short notice?"

Matthew stood up off the bed and grabbed his guitar, a simple acoustic guitar that he had owned for quite some time. He always played his guitar to cheer himself up, and this time he could really use some happy feelings. He gripped the smooth wooden neck with one hand, his other hand hovering just over the metal strings at the body. He plucked a few strings, making sure the guitar was still in tune, then began strum a few tunes to himself, just focusing on the music. Meanwhile, his Scrafty just sat on the bed with her legs crossed, just listening to the sounds her trainer made with his instrument. Scrafty always loved listening to him play; it relaxed her and made her feel calm.

He played some simple chords, humming a harmony to himself as he continued to strum away. His mood began to shift with the tone of the music; soft, quiet, calming notes that elevated, yet placated him at the same time. He relished these moments, where he could just play to himself and be freed from the stresses of everyday life. He kept playing for what seemed like hours to him, but in actuality was only a few minutes time.

"I supposed the parts aren't too difficult to learn..." he thought to himself. "Still, I got to find someone who can actually play them."

After a few more strums, he felt exceedingly calmer than before. Matthew stretched his arms upward, yawning loudly, before returning his guitar to it's stand. Grabbing some clothes from his dresser, he headed out the door to his room and towards the bathroom.

"I'm going to shower real quick, Jackie. Don't get into any mischief while I'm gone." He always told her that, though he knew she was generally well-behaved. He closed the door to his dorm room, leaving his Pokemon to her own devices as he made his way towards the bathroom.

Matthew turned the handle to the shower and let the water warm up before stripping down and heading in. A nice hot shower was just what he needed after the stressful day he had. The water ran down over his dark-brown hair, down his bare body, completely washing away any remaining tension he had. His wet hair fell just over his eyes as he cleaned himself, lathering his light toned skin with soap before rinsing himself off and shutting off the flow of water. He stepped out, grabbing a towel and rubbing it vigorously over his hair to dry it off.

Once suitably dry, he threw on his fresh clothes, sweeping his now-dry hair to the side, giving him a look of youthful rebellion. He began walking to the door of his room, which he had to admit was the best thing about having a quad-room dorm; having an entire room to yourself. As he got closer though, he heard sounds coming from behind the door. It sounded... musical?

"Great, my roommate must be 'borrowing' my guitar again" Matthew said to himself, becoming slightly irritated at the thought. Matthew turned the handle to his door and swung it open.

"Look man, you can't just come in here whenever you want and--" he stopped mid sentence as he saw just where the sound had been coming from. It wasn't his roommate, to his surprise, but Jackie, his Pokemon, playing the guitar!

"What are you doing, Jackie?" Matthew said, rather bewildered at the sight before him. Jackie immediately stopped what she was doing and put the guitar down, throwing her hands up and putting on her best look of innocence. Matthew didn't like people messing with his stuff, and she knew that; she didn't want her trainer to be upset with her.

"Scrafty!" she said, trying her best to communicate her "innocence." She continued to hold her hands up, clearly displaying the distinct lack of musical instruments in them.

"No, wait a minute Jackie..." Matthew said to her. "I'm not mad... just a little confused. How long have you been using my guitar when I wasn't here?" He asked, though he knew she wouldn't be able to answer, at least not in a way he'd understand.

"Scraf... Scrafty" she said as she shrugged to herself. Truthfully, she had done it whenever he was in class or otherwise pre-occupied, though she never let him know for fear that he might take it away from her.

"I didn't even know a Pokemon could play guitar... wait a minute..." Matthew thought to himself, when an idea popped into his head. It was a crazy idea, one that probably wouldn't work, but he had to see for himself. He picked up the guitar and pulled up a chair in front of the bed, motioning for Jackie to sit across from him.

"Now, uhh, let's see..." Matthew said, trying to figure out how to approach the situation. "Here, do what I do," he said to her, as he strummed possibly the most well-known chord progression, "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple. As he finished playing, he handed the guitar back to the Scrafty.

"Now you try." Matthew said to her. He watched intently as she picked up the instrument looking at it quizzically before orienting her hands correctly. Jackie began to mimic his sounds; she played slowly, but managed to repeat the whole chord progression back to Matthew. Matthew was astounded; he never knew she could actually play.

"Let me see that." Jackie returned the guitar back to Matthew, as he began strumming the opening riff to "Shout at the Devil" by Mötley Crüe. Once he finished the intro, he handed the guitar back to Jackie, motioning for her to mimic him again. She thought for a bit before placing her fingers on the strings and copying Matthew chord-for-chord, albeit missing a few notes.

"That's okay, no big deal to miss a few." Matthew said reassuringly. Despite the fact that she was a Pokemon, he had to admit she knew what she was doing. Matthew grabbed the guitar again, this time going for something a little more fast-paced. He strummed the intro for "Yer So Bad" by Tom Petty, trying to gauge her skill. He handed it back to her, and after a slight pause, she managed to repeat the phrase back to Matthew.

Matthew was flabbergasted. Not only did she know how to play, but she could learn quickly too. He thought to himself a bit, before he stood up off of his chair.

"I'm probably crazy for even thinking about this, but it's worth a shot" he said to himself.

"Scrafty?" Jackie said to him, puzzled, though she was greatly relieved with the fact that Matthew was perfectly okay with her playing his guitar.

"Say Jackie, how would you like to practice guitar with me some more? Maybe I can even teach you a whole song!" Matthew said to his Pokemon, smiling the biggest smile he ever had in weeks.

"Scrafty!" she nearly jumped for joy at the thought of learning from her trainer. Matthew picked up the guitar and sat next to her on the bed, practicing many different songs well into the night.

END OF CHAPTER ONE
 
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Re: It's Electric

Well done, I'm quite impressed, especially for a first try at a published fanfic. The thing I like most is how you stick to the realism, and how for the first while it doesn't even seem like a Pokemon fic... it seems like all too often fics (and even the games themselves) bash us over the head so much with "THIS IS POKEMON!" through dialogue and random references that it breaks the illusion of reality. We don't relate EVERYTHING in our world to animals, and it goes to reason that in a realistic setting with Pokemon, we would have other aspects of our lives--like, for example, band drama--to worry about as well. I've been on the receiving end of a sudden band break up and it sucks, as you captured very well here.

The interactions with Scrafty kept things interesting and didn't feel at all forced, despite a guitar playing Pokemon being the most bizarre concept I've heard since the Pikachu detective game. I'm curious to see where this goes and I like the characters for sure, a concept for a fic I've never seen before that left me genuinely interested. My only input would be that I can tell you have an incredibly vivid world in your head and I'd like to have more sensory insight into it as a reader... like, instead of just saying the water ran down Matthew's back, describing how euphoric the warm droplets were or what have you. Instead of saying Scrafty played guitar, describing how a Scrafty has to physically contort to play it, and what the guitar looks like, that sort of thing. You hit the nail on the head with your physical descriptions of Matthew, but I found myself wondering what the other players in his band looked like, for example. It's obvious from the details you give us that you have a very alive and real world for this story, and it says a lot that my biggest criticism is just wanting a deeper look into it out my own affinity for the story. I look forward to reading more from you, here's to Chapter 2!
 
Re: It's Electric

I like it's like a regular world that just so happens to have pokemon like hey btw thres pokemon in this world
 
Re: It's Electric

Eh, wot? Chapter 2? Thanks for the input. This second chapter is an attempt to be more descriptive, so let me know how that works out.

*****
Chapter Two: On a Perfect Day.

“Watch me hit the cray button!”

The unmistakable sound of techno music and heavy bass filled the room. Matthew groggily woke from his sleep, grabbing his cell phone, which was still blasting music. He squinted his eyes, still adjusting to the light, and checked his phone; Sammy was calling him. Matthew hit the answer button and brought the phone to his ear.

“Hello?” Matthew asked, still not fully awake, even though he already knew who was calling him.

“Yo, it’s Sammy! Wake up! You told us to meet you downstairs first thing in the morning, remember?” Sammy replied enthusiastically.

“Yeah, yeah, I remember.” Matthew said as he got out of bed and rubbed his eyes with his free hand. “I’ll be down in a minute.”

Matthew ended the call before Sammy could answer, putting his phone down and stretching his arms, letting out a loud yawn as he did so. He glanced over at the clock on the wall, reading 7:00 AM on the dot; far too early for Matthew’s tastes.

“Should have rethought my choice of words...” Matthew said to himself with a second yawn. He got up out of bed, shaking his head a bit and stretching his neck as he stood. He turned his gaze over to Jackie, who was still sleeping in her bean bag chair, which was designed to resemble a Snorlax.

He recalled the events of last night; how he had found his Scrafty, Jackie, playing his guitar. The strange part was that she was actually quite good at it; not as good as Derrick, but he was just surprised she could even play at all, and she would learn with time. He had spent a good amount of time last night just teaching her basic chords and progressions, and even parts from some of his favorite songs.

Matthew threw on some fresh clothes, ran his hand through his hair to get rid of his bed-head, and left his room, closing the door behind him. He went down the stairs of his dorm building, into the lobby on the first floor, and pushed open the door to the outside, finding Sammy and Paul waiting for him.

Paul was sitting on the bench outside the door, obviously not fully awake yet. He wore his traditional green beanie cap which brought his dark hair over his eyes along with his dark colored hoodie, giving him that “I’m too cool” vibe. He didn’t act that way; he was one of Matthew’s closest friends, but he definitely had the loner look nailed.

Sammy, on the other hand, was just as energetic as ever, even in the morning. Sammy was sporting an unbuttoned yellow over shirt with a simple white T-shirt underneath, his shorter blonde hair bouncing as he bobbed his head. He stood near the bench, drumming a beat on the sides of his legs as he whistled a tune. Once he saw the door open, Sammy turned toward Matthew.

“Well look who’s finally awake!” Sammy said, as chipper as ever. “I asked around yesterday, and I found some possible replacements for Derrick. Although one of them was high as a kite, and the other--”

“I don’t think any of that will be necessary” Matthew interrupted. “Come upstairs and I’ll explain.”

“But I thought you wanted to search for a lead guitarist?” Sammy replied, a bit bewildered as to what Matthew was referring to.

“I told you, I’ll explain everything. Now come on!” Matthew said, holding the front door to the dorms open and motioning for the two to enter. Sammy walked in first, still confused, as Paul followed close behind. Matthew closed the door behind the three, as they made their way towards the stairs. They went up three stories, reaching the Matthew’s floor.

They exited the stairwell, walking into the third-floor dorm hall. They entered the dorm room where Matthew resided. For a university dorm room, it was surprisingly well furnished. The main living room had two simple-looking couches along with a desk and a main window overlooking the outside parking lot. A small kitchen with a fridge, oven and dishwasher stood at the back of the room. From the living room the dorm split into two sections, each with two separate bedrooms and one bathroom for each side.

The three of them walked past the kitchen into Matthew’s room. Jackie had woken up, but remained in her beanbag chair, looking at a pokemon picture book. Matthew liked to imagine she was actually reading, but she just liked looking at the illustrations.

“Good morning, Jackie!” Sammy said, smiling and waving at the Scrafty. Sammy and Matthew would often hang out and play video-games, so Sammy had made friends with the Pokemon early on. Jackie perked up, slightly confused as to why her trainer had brought his two friends over simultaneously and so early in the morning.

“Scraf?” the Pokemon tilted her head to the side, as if asking a question.

“Hey Jackie, would you mind showing Paul and Sammy what you learned last night?” The Pokemon perked up slightly, setting the picture book down on the floor and rising from her seat. Jackie walked over to the guitar stand, carefully lifting the instrument and securing the strap over her shoulder as she held the neck of the instrument with her left hand, her right hand hovering over the base.

“Dude, no way.” Paul said, concentrating on the Scrafty now holding a guitar, as ready to play as any human he’d ever seen.

“Jackie, can you play that scale I showed you?” Matthew said. Scrafty hesitated for a moment, thinking back on the night before. She got her fingers in position and began the pick at the guitar strings, playing a simple one-octave scale, up and down.

“Virtuoso,” Sammy remarked, quite impressed by the spectacle in front of him.

“Alright, can you do the opening for ‘Free Fallin’ like we practiced last night?” Matthew asked. Jackie nodded with a smile, repositioning her fingers and playing the opening chords for the song. She played a bit slowly, as she was still relatively new to playing actual songs, but she managed to make it through the chords with a little effort.

“Impressive…” Paul said, hands in his pockets. He had no idea that a Pokemon could actually pull off such a feat.

“Guys, this may sound crazy, but what do you think?” Matthew began, gesturing towards Jackie. “Would Jackie be a good candidate for lead guitar?”

“Are you sure she can play the songs?” Said Paul, still a little unsure as to whether this would actually work.

“Paul, you were listening just now, weren’t you?” Matthew replied. “She’s still new to this, but I’m sure with a little practice she’ll do just fine.”

“How come you never told us your Pokemon was a musical prodigy?” Sammy chimed in.

“I never knew it until yesterday when I walked in on her playing it herself.” Matthew answered. “I wouldn’t call her a prodigy just yet, but I’m just as amazed as you are right now.”

“I may be crazy for saying this, but I think you may be right.” Paul added.

“Well then, do you want to have her join us for band practice today?” Matthew asked, though he was pretty sure he knew the answer already.

“Dude, that would be sick!” Sammy said with enthusiasm, giving a thumbs-up to Matthew.

“What about you Jackie? You want to practice with us today?” Matthew turned his attention to the Scrafty.

“Scraf-Scrafty!” Jackie replied, obviously overjoyed at being able to play music with her trainer and friends.

“I’m eager to see how this turns out,” said Paul, still somewhat skeptical but willing to give the Scrafty a chance.

*****​

"Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire!"

Matthew tapped his fingers on the steering wheel in tune to the song, Jackie in the passenger seat bobbing her head to the music as well. The windows to Matthew's car were rolled down and the music turned up loud, the fresh spring air blowing through the vehicle. It was an older car, a 1998 Mauville Rider import from Hoenn, with a faded red finish. It was pretty beat up, but it drove like a dream and Matthew was happy with it.

Matthew continued the drive across the Skyarrow bridge towards his destination; Castelia City. Castelia's towering Skyscrapers stood tall in the distance, seeming to grow larger as they drove closer. Jackie had her hand out the window, feeling the breeze flow over her like water. The weather was absolutely perfect this time of year, and Matthew relished the chance to go for a drive whenever it was this nice outside.

Unfortunately for Matthew, they were nearing their first destination, which meant a temporary stop in their mini road trip. They drove through the bustling city streets, noting the growing crowd around Burgh's gym. Matthew didn't give heed to it, however, and kept going on for two more blocks before finally turning on Mode street.

Matthew pulled over and parked on the side of the road, taking the key from the ignition and stepping out of the car, Jackie following suit. Matthew stretched his hands upward, craning his neck from side-to-side to loosen his joints a bit. Looking ahead, he could see a familiar pink tent in the distance; the region-famous Casteliacone, one of his favorite places to hang out. The small ice-cream stand had a grand total of seven employees including the owner, and only two people were ever working at a time. Despite the fact that Casteliacone was almost always busy, they somehow managed to serve every customer on time.

Today, however, was one of those rare times where the stand was mostly vacant. Matthew and his Pokemon walked up to the front counter. Inside the stand Matthew could see Victoria, one of the employees, drying some dishes with a towel. Matthew tapped on the counter to get her attention. Hearing someone at the stand, Victoria turned to greet the customer with a big smile before realizing whom it was.

"Oh, hey Matthew! Sorry, I didn't see you walk up!" Victoria put the dish she was drying up on a nearby shelf before walking up to the counter. Her blonde hair was pulled up into a ponytail that swayed slightly as she walked, her brown eyes beaming upon seeing Matthew. Matthew and Victoria had become good friends, often going to places together and hanging out. They weren't dating, but the both of them were content with staying good friends.

"It's no big deal Tori, just need to pick up some snacks for the guys before practice today" Matthew replied. Jackie, being too short to see above the counter, hopped up on the bar stool in front of her, giving a wave and a grin to Victoria when she saw her.

"Hey, Jackie! How are you today?" Victoria smiled when she saw the familiar Scrafty sitting on the bar stool. Jackie simply smiled before turning in her seat to face Matthew, slightly nudging him with her elbow.

"No, I didn't forget about you, Jackie." Matthew said in a jovial tone, before pulling out his wallet and turning to face Victoria again. "I just need three small Pecha-shakes and one Casteliacone."

"Sure thing!" Victoria said in her usual cheery voice, "That'll be 550." Matthew reached in his wallet and pulled out exact change, sliding the coins over the counter to Victoria. Picking up the coins, she counted them out and tendered them. "I'll be back in just a minute" she said with a smile, before turning to make the desserts for Matthew.

Matthew turned with his back toward the counter, leaning back on it as he looked over Castelia city. The skyscrapers that lined the street were virtually endless, towering over the city and the people in it. In the distance Matthew could hear the unmistakable calls of the Wingull over by the pier. Looking up he saw several Wingull flying about with some Pidoves resting on window sills. Adding the calls of the Pokemon to the sounds of the people living within the city made Castelia one of the liveliest places to be in Unova. Regardless, even with all the noise and activity, Matthew couldn't help but feel a calming and relaxing atmosphere in the city streets. When he wasn't on campus or having band practice, Matthew would most likely be on the piers of Castelia with a Casteliacone, just enjoying the sounds and scenery around him.

Matthew's attention was drawn away from the city when Victoria came back with his order.

"Here you go! Three pecha-shakes and a Casteliacone!" Victoria had the shakes arranged neatly in a cup-carrier in her left hand, holding the small cone in her right.

"Thanks, Tori!" Matthew replied enthusiastically, taking the carrier and the cone from Victoria, then handing the cone to Jackie, who was still sitting on the bar stool. "Here you go, Jackie."
"Scrafty!" Jackie said happily, snatching the cone from Matthew's hand.

"So, Tori, how come it's not as busy as usual now? Most of the time this place is insanely crowded."

"Oh, Burgh is having his annual art exhibit at the gym," Tori pointed in the direction of the gym as she spoke. "In addition to attracting the artist crowd, Burgh accepts multiple challengers at the end of the exhibit. Everybody is so pre-occupied at the gym that we don't get many customers, but it's a nice break from the usual crowds." Victoria went back to washing and drying dishes as Matthew leaned one arm on the counter, sipping his shake. "You going for more band practice tonight?" Tori glanced over at Matthew, changing the subject.

"Oh yeah, we've got our first ever gig in just under two weeks!" Matthew replied, hardly able to contain his excitement. "You have to come and see us, Tori, it'll be great!"

"Most definitely," Tori said, "where will you be playing?"

"We'll be playing at the Striaton gym; they're inviting several local bands to come and play for them during their dinner service, after the gym battles of course." Matthew took out his phone and lit up the display, checking the time. "I have to go now, practice starts in a few minutes. I'll text you the date, okay?"

"I'll ask Jo to cover my shift for me." Victoria replied. "See you then!"

Matthew grabbed the remaining drinks from the counter and walked back towards his car, Jackie giving one last wave to Victoria before hopping off her chair and following him. Both Pokemon and trainer climbed into the vehicle, closing the doors. Matthew turned the key in the ignition, the engine revving up and humming to life. Matthew grabbed his sunglasses that he kept in the glove-box and slipped them over his eyes, turning the music up. He plugged in his media player and queued up "Stand Alone" by Spoken. He leaned back in his chair and took a sip from his shake. He felt like one bad dude. One bad dude with his Pokemon, heavy metal blasting out of his car...

... eating ice-cream.

Matthew chuckled to himself at that mental image. He shifted the car into gear and drove off towards Paul's house for practice. Though this wasn't their first practice session, it was going to be their first practice session with Jackie as their new lead guitarist. The thought brought feelings of both eager anticipation and worry. On the one hand, Jackie had the ability to play, and he was sure he could help her practice and get better. On the other hand, she was a Pokemon, and to be honest he wasn't one hundred percent sure if she could actually be a viable replacement for Derrick. Matthew decided to give Jackie the benefit of the doubt, pushing the worry out of his mind for now. They were getting closer to Paul's house; he'd find out soon if Jackie could perform to his expectations.

END OF CHAPTER TWO
 
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Re: It's Electric

Only 758 words? Geez, GG, are you getting lazy? Are you holding out on us?

No, not at all. I'm just a busy guy is all. Well, more like a busy, lazy guy who plays video games and loses track of the time and oh yeah I said I'd write a new chapter again today but then realizes it's too late and forgets to do it and I'll stop rambling now. Here's chapter 3.

*****
Chapter Three: Ignition

The bass rumbled the frame of Matthew's small sedan as he neared his destination, the towering skyscrapers of Castelia city growing smaller behind him as he drew closer to Route 4. While this particular route was usually plagued by sandstorms due to it's close proximity to the desert resort, the newly constructed buildings and houses helped alleviate the weather somewhat, and on this particular day the sandstorms had settled to the point of non-existence. It was stunningly beautiful outside, even for a sandy place like Route 4. Several new houses, which had only been around for the past two years, lined both sides of the road, with small patches of grass and shrubbery adorning the lawns. Despite having been a desert route before, the construction made the area look more like a type of rural savanna.

As Matthew took in the sights before him, Paul's house became visible in the distance. Matthew turned on his blinkers and turned into the driveway of Paul's house, shifting the car into park and lifting up the parking brake before turning the key counter-clockwise and removing it from the slot. Matthew grabbed the drink-carrier filled with his pecha-shakes as he and Jackie both unbuckled their safety belts and exited the car, closing the car doors behind them. Approaching the garage door they could hear Sammy and Paul practicing inside. Matthew walked up to the metal door and slammed it twice to get their attention, the music behind abruptly stopping as he did so. Seconds later and Paul had opened the door, noticing the milkshakes Matthew was carrying, then looking Matthew in the eyes.

"You're late" Paul said nonchalantly, though his ruse of annoyance wasn't working on his friend, who simply held up the dairy treats and smiled.

"But I brought ice-cream!" Matthew replied over-enthusiastically. "They're Pecha-flavored."

"Did somebody say ice-cream?!" Sammy shouted from behind his drum set, waving at Matthew. "Toss one over here!"

"Catch." Matthew said as he tossed one of the cups over to Sammy, who caught it flawlessly mid-air and immediately began sucking down the frozen treat. Matthew took out the second cup and handed it to Paul. "I got one for you too, so I have an excuse for my tardiness."

"Whatever, come on in." Paul said as he grabbed the milkshake from Matthew's hand. Matthew and Jackie both entered the garage as Paul closed the door behind them.
"Hey, was Tori there when you picked up these drinks?" Sammy asked Matthew, already having drank half of his milkshake.

"Yeah, she usually is. Why?"

"Because I never seem able to see her! She's never there when I go!"

"Aww, does Sammy have a crush on our friend Victoria?" Paul said, teasing Sammy.

"Her beauty burns brighter than the inside of a Magcargo's shell! Not even a blizzard from a Regice could cool her radiant looks!"

"Alright, enough of your fantasizing, we've got a show to practice for." Matthew said.

"Victoria... you will be mine someday..." Sammy whispered to himself, being over-dramatic as usual.

"The guys in charge of the Striaton show sent out the details yesterday," Paul said, reading over the E-mail on his Xtranceiver. "Each act gets two songs to play, and each song can only be four minutes maximum. Basically, we've got eight minutes total to work with for our music. So let's pick our best two and practice those."

"Sounds good to me." Matthew said. "We should stick to the simpler songs though, what with our new guitarist and all." Matthew said, motioning to Jackie who was practically beaming with excitement.

"Scraf!" she said, nodding her head. She may have been a Pokemon, but she was going to give this her all.

"I love your enthusiasm!" Sammy said, smiling at the Pokemon.

"I say we just stick to the cover songs we've been practicing for now." Matthew said, thinking about what they had been playing for the past couple days.

"I say we definitely should open with 'Listen to Her Heart.'" Paul said. "We have that one nailed pretty much, it's just a matter of teaching Jackie the lead guitar."

"Well, if we're going to go with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, we could start with that, then end with 'Even the Losers.'" Matthew added. "How does that sound?"
"Sounds like a plan to me!" Sammy said.

"Well then, that's our game plan. Let's not waste any more time." Matthew said. With that, he closed the garage door, the sound of music picking up once again as the group began practicing with their newest member.

END OF CHAPTER THREE
 
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Re: It's Electric

I love your decision to add links to the text, rereading along the with the songs themselves instantly boosted the atmosphere tenfold. I feel like I'm really getting to know the characters (especially Sammy) now, and you've taken it to the point where while I wouldn't add any more description, I feel like the story's world is involving me through the descriptions you do have more than in the first chapter.

Fascinating story concept, still, and thoroughly enjoyable to read a slice-of-life that isn't just NOW ME AND MY EEVEE WENT AND FOUGHT BUTTERFREE AND HAD A SMOOTHIE IT WAS FUN. I'm curious to see how it unfolds, how the concerts go, if there's any band drama, etc. I eagerly await your next chapter. Also now I want ice cream.
 
Re: It's Electric

Chapter 4 is now live, and with a higher word count than chapter 3 and it's weak count. xD

Honestly, I was going to make this chapter a lot longer, but I decided to cut it short. Haven't posted a new chapter in a while, and I don't have time to write the rest before work. So here you go. Things are starting to pick up.

Also, little reminder: The links to the songs are in Spotify, and clicking them may redirect your page. Just to be safe, if you want to hear the song, right-click the link and select "Open Link in New Tab."

*****

Chapter Four: Don't Stop Me Now.

"Come on Jacob... where are you?"

Matthew was pacing in front of the university dorms where he stayed. The day of their first concert was finally here, and Matthew and the rest of his band had been practicing practically non-stop. Even though Nacrene city was only one route away from Striaton, Paul and Sammy needed to use his car to transport all of their equipment; there wasn't enough room for all three of them to ride in the same vehicle and it was too far to walk. Thus, Matthew decided to stay behind and call in a favor from a friend. A friend who was currently five minutes late.

Matthew checked his Xtranceiver: 6:05.

"I told him to be here at 6:00!" Matthew said out loud to himself. No sooner had he put his Xtranceiver down, it began to ring. Matthew checked the I.D. It was Sammy. Matthew hit the answer button. "Yeah?"

"Hey, it's Sammy! We just got to the Striaton gym. You almost here?"

"I haven't even left yet. Jacob's running late." Matthew replied.

"That sucks. Well hey, the concert doesn't start until 7:00, so you still have plenty of time!" Sammy said, trying to cheer Matthew up. "Anyways, were going to go inside and get set up. See you soon!"

"Alright, I should be there soon." Matthew responded. With that, he ended the call. Matthew sighed to himself, pulling up the contacts list on his Xtranceiver. Just as he was about to text Jacob to ask where he was, a large shadow suddenly flew over him, blocking out the sun for a split second. He looked up and saw the silhouette of a large Pokemon with four wings flying towards him. As it got closer, Matthew saw a figure riding on it's back.

"Trooooooooow!" The Pokemon cried, getting closer to Matthew every passing second. Flying over the warehouses the lined Nacrene city, it flew nearer and nearer to Matthew before stopping and rearing it's head in mid-air, landing on the ground with a mighty THUD.

"I'm here! Sorry I'm late!" A trainer in a white jacket riding on the Pokemon's back waved to Matthew before hopping off and patting his Pokemon's side. "That was some great flying, Tropius!"

"Troow!" The Tropius responded, holding his head high in the air and flapping the large leaves on his back.

"Where did you get that big fella, Jacob?" Matthew asked, looking at the towering creature before him.

"I met this kid from Hoenn who wanted to trade for my Sigilyph. As soon as I met Tropius, we were like instantly best friends!"

"And your Sigilyph?" Matthew asked. "Won't he miss you?"

"Well of course, and I'll miss him too. This kid, Brendan was his name, was really nice though. Him and Sigilyph just kind of clicked, and we decided to trade." Jacob looked at Tropius, giving him a smile. "Besides, this way Sigilyph can explore an entirely new region and start a brand new adventure!"

"Well, that's good to hear." Matthew said, before looking back at his Xtranceiver, the time reading 6:10. "We can talk about it on the way there, let's get going!"

"You got your Scrafty with you?" Jacob asked, noticing the absence of Matthew's partner. Matthew picked Jackie's pokeball off his belt and showed it to Jacob.

"She's right here. She hates flying though, so she's going to stay in her pokeball for this ride." Matthew said, clipping the pokeball back onto his belt.

"Right on, let's get going then!" With that, Tropius lowered his head towards Jacob, letting Jacob latch onto his neck before being lifted onto the Pokemon's back. Matthew followed suit, approaching the Tropius and hanging on the Pokemon's neck, dropping off right behind Jacob.

"Alright Leo, let's go!" Jacob shouted to the Tropius.

"Rooow!" Leo bellowed out, flapping his wings and pushing himself off the ground. Soon after, the three of them were high above Nacrene city, the warehouses and residential homes getting smaller and smaller. Even the huge Nacrene museum was shrinking, until they were so high they could hardly see it. Leo straightened his neck forward, reaching a steady rhythm with his wings as they made their way to Striaton.

"So his name is Leo?" Matthew asked, gripping the Tropius' back. Matthew wasn't too fond of flying either.

"Yeah, Brendan named him." Jacob said. "Who am I to go and change it? Leo's an awesome name, isn't that right Leo?"

"Troooow!" Leo replied, looking ahead, eyes focused intently on the horizon. It looked so calm, almost majestic, flying high in the air.

"Hey, I wasn't saying it wasn't a good name." Matthew said teasingly, before changing the subject. "So where'd you meet this Brendan kid?"

"He was on vacation from Hoenn in Undella town." Jacob said. "I was taking a sort of mini-break myself, hanging out in the Marine Tube. We bumped into each other and started talking. He's a pretty cool guy."

"Sounds like it." Matthew said, sweeping his brown hair out of his face. The winds from the altitude and their speed was blowing both his and Jacob's hair all over the place.

"He had a lot of awesome Pokemon from Hoenn. He even had a Combusken! Up until then I had never seen one in person. It was great!" Jacob said, fondly recalling the events from his memory. "Tropius are a rare sight in Unova, so it feels really cool to be one of the few trainers in the region who has one!"

"That's gotta be a good feeling!" Matthew replied, feeling a little envious of his friend. Then again, Matthew had a pretty laid-back life and got to play his favorite music with his friends, so the envy quickly subsided.

Matthew looked over the Unova region. From this height he could see it all. The usually giant and bustling city of Castelia was now more like a small model. Massive forests surrounded the cities, broken up by small roads connecting them all. Underneath them flew a flock of Swanna in a perfect triangle formation, heading towards the mountains of Route 18. Behind them the sun was halfway obscured by the horizon, burning a bright reddish orange as it set, creating an abundance of colors along the ocean. It was probably the most breath-taking view Matthew had ever experienced, and at their altitude it was even more spectacular.

"We're close to Striaton, now." Jacob said, increasing his grip on Leo's back. "Hang on!"

The instant those words left Jacob's mouth, Leo craned his neck slightly, before straightening out and performing a full on nose dive towards the ground. Matthew ducked his head and held on for dear life as they accelerated at a rapid pace towards the ground. Leo, however, was unfazed by their rise in speed. The trees surrounding Striaton were quickly growing larger as they descended. Just as it seemed they would hit the ground, Leo, with an elegance that would make Togekiss jealous, curved sharply upward and reared himself, coming to a complete stop. Slowly, Leo lowered himself to the ground before crashing down on the pavement with all of his weight.

Matthew half jumped, half fell off the Tropius' back, just barely managing to land on his feet and remain upright. He wobbled a little trying to get his land-legs back. Jacob jumped off behind him, chuckling at Matthew's display.

"Heh, sorry about that. Leo likes to show off sometimes." Jacob looked up at Leo, who was looking at Matthew with a huge grin on his face. Matthew regained control, straightening himself out and fixing his hair which had been rattled from their ride.

"Well, that was... exhilarating, actually!" Matthew exclaimed. "Sure beats driving!"

"Yup!" Jacob smiled "Nothing quite beats the feeling of flying in the open air."

"Well, if you're not doing anything afterwards, want to stick around for the concert? There's multiple acts and lots of food inside." Matthew asked."

"Me? Miss my good friend Matthew's first concert? What kind of friend would that make me?" Jacob said, giving Matthew a friendly jab on the shoulder.

"Good to hear!" Matthew said, checking the time on his Xtranceiver: 6:34. "Shoot, not much time left. I have to get things ready, I'll see you inside!"

"Alright, Matthew, break a leg!" Jacob called after him before Matthew disappeared inside the doors of the Striaton gym. "Alright Leo, unfortunately I think you're just a tad too big for this venue."

"Roooow" Leo responded, as Jacob whipped out a pokeball, enveloping Leo in a flash of red light, encasing him safely within it's confines. With that, Leo approached the Striaton gym. After a two year hiatus, the gym had finally regained it's status as a gym, with leaders Chili, Cress, and Cilan reinstated as gym leaders. Cheren had resigned, instead refurnishing the Aspertia gym into a training ground for the trainers' school.

Jacob looked up at the building as he stood in front of the doors. The gym stood three stories high; all three floors provided dining areas for patrons, with a single door on the first floor leading to the battle arena. The battle arena having closed for the day, the gym was currently occupied by people just looking to relax and enjoy some good food.

The dining area gave off an aura of relaxation; waiters walked between tables, taking and delivering orders. People and Pokemon alike were sitting at various tables, enjoying themselves and quietly conversing. A coffee bar on the right was occupied by several patrons enjoying all manner of teas, coffees, and other assorted drinks. Despite being quite occupied and full of people, the restaurant was remarkably quiet, but in a soothing sort of way.

"Good evening, sir." A blue haired waiter, who Jacob recognized as Cress, greeted Jacob as he entered. "Are you here for tonight's entertainment?"

"That is correct." Jacob replied.

"Excellent. I'll show you to your seat." Cress motioned for Jacob to follow him. As they weaved through the tables, Jacob noticed a woman waving at him from her table.

"Jacob! Over here!" Jacob squinted before realizing it was Victoria waving at him.

"Excuse me, Cress? Is it okay if I sit with her over there?" Jacob asked his escort.

"It's no trouble at all, sir." Cress responded, following Jacob to Victoria's table. Jacob sat himself down next to her, making himself comfortable. "Would you like a drink to start with?" Cress asked.

"Do you have any Oran berry tea?" Jacob asked.

"Absolutely, I'll bring that right out to you." Cress said, jotting down the order on a notepad before addressing Victoria. "And would you like a refill of your coffee?"

"Oh, yes, thank you!" Victoria responded. With that, Cress left to get their drinks. Victoria turned to Jacob. "Are you excited? This is going to be fun, I can just tell!"

"No doubt there." Jacob replied. "When does the music start anyways?"

"Well, it's 6:45 now so I'd say--" before she could finish her sentence, the lights dimmed slightly, as one of the waiters got up on the stage in the back of the dining room. Picking up the microphone, he addressed the diners.

"Good evening and welcome to the Striaton gym!" The green haired waiter, Cilan, spoke to the crowd. "We hope you're enjoying yourselves tonight, as we've got some special entertained planned for you today. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show! We've got some light but fun music planned for you this evening." Cilan said, motioning for the first act to come onstage. "Our first act is called Patratt, playing some good old classic rock for you all! Enjoy!"

Cilan put the microphone back in it's stand before walking off stage, letting the opening act fill up the stage. Jacob and Victoria looked, but didn't recognize them.

"Matthew and them must not be playing until later" Victoria said. "Oh well, builds up the suspense!"

The band onstage got their instruments ready and started to play, filling the room with their music.

*****​

Meanwhile, Matthew, Paul, Sammy, and Jackie, all were waiting in the green room.

"You guys ready for this?" Matthew asked, looking at each of his friends intently. Paul, Sammy, and Jackie all gave a silent nod.

"Good... just remember your parts and pretend it's a practice session." Matthew said, feeling a twinge of nervousness in his gut.

"Matthew, don't worry about it! We got this and we're going to rock their socks off out there!" Sammy said, his face beaming with excitement.

"Yeah man, we've got the parts down, don't sweat it." Paul said reassuringly. Matthew looked at Paul and shrugged.

"Yeah, I know. I can't help being a little nervous though, this being our first real concert and all." Matthew said.

"Scrafty!" Jackie added, jabbing Matthew on the knee.

"I can tell you're excited!" Matthew said, patting Jackie on the head. They sat in silence afterwards, waiting for their turn on the stage.

END OF CHAPTER FOUR
 
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What's that? Oh, it's just chapter 5. The band actually plays something in this one! I added links to the songs in the text when they start, and I would HIGHLY recommend you have the songs playing in the background while reading. It adds to the atmosphere of the whole thing. :D Again, to prevent it from re-directing the page, right-click the link and select Open Link in New Tab. That way you won't be interrupted.

*****

Chapter Five: One Big Rush.

The minutes rolled by; music from the stage was being played from the speakers in the green room where Matthew and friends were waiting. Matthew sat, silently watching the other performers in the room and waiting for his turn on stage. Sammy was air-drumming in his seat, wearing a bright-red tank-top, spiky blonde hair bobbing with his body as he prepared for the show. Paul sat opposite of Matthew, wearing a simple black T-shirt with a Pokeball logo on it along with his signature green beanie cap as he tuned his bass guitar. Finally, Jackie sat next to Matthew, simply looking around at all the other instrumentalists with child-like enthusiasm.

"Act #6, you're up next!" one of the event coordinators shouted in the green room.

"That's us." Matthew said, raising his hand to grab the coordinator's attention. The coordinator looked over at them, before looking back at the clipboard he held in his hand.

"Right. you guys got a name for your group or what?" the coordinator asked, flipping over the papers in his clipboard to make sure he wasn't missing their name.

"Oh geez..." Matthew exclaimed, rubbing the back of his head. "We never did come up with a name, did we?"

"Well, come up with something quick, act #5 is almost done." the coordinator asked, trying to mask the impatience in his voice. Matthew turned to address the rest of the group.

"Okay, band names. Go." Matthew said, first pointing towards Sammy.

"Oh! How about 'BlackGlasses?'" Sammy said. "Sounds cool and mysterious."

"Ehh, pass." Matthew said. "Paul, band names. Go."

"Hmmm." Paul mused to himself for a bit before speaking again. "The Sevii Island."

"That's..." Matthew paused mid-sentence, thinking it over. "That's actually not bad."

"Is that what I'm writing down?" the coordinator asked.

"Yeah, put that down. The Sevii Island." Matthew responded.

"Okay... and this Pokemon... is it part of your group too?" the coordinator asked again, trying to wrap this up a fast as possible.

"Yessiree!" Sammy piped in, giving a thumbs-up to Jackie, who immediately returned the gesture.

"Okay." the coordinator said, jotting down some last-minute notes on his clipboard. "You guys are up after this song." He motioned for them to follow him. With that taken care of, the group gathered their instruments and gear, following the coordinator out of the green room and down the hallway.

They came to a propped open door at the end of the hall which lead to the stage. The door was obscured from the audience by a small black curtain. Just outside the door was a small staircase which lead to the stage, where the current act was finishing up their last song.

"Alright, when this group is finished, you guys are next." the coordinator said, motioning towards the group onstage. "Everything is set up for you guys. When this act is done, they'll unplug their guitars and you guys will use the same cables for yours. You'll get a brief sound-check, and then you perform your pieces. After that, leave the cables for the next group and exit via the stairs on the opposite side of the stage. Any questions?"

"Uhh, I guess not." Matthew said, trying to process all the information that was quickly relayed to him.

"Good." came the reply, the coordinator flattening the papers on his clipboard before turning and walking back towards the green room. "Have fun." Matthew turned towards the rest of his group.

"Well guys, this is it. Our first real concert. You guys ready to knock 'em dead?" Matthew asked, putting his hand out towards them. Sammy, Paul, and Jackie all put their hands in on top of Matthew's.

"You bet!" Sammy said enthusiastically.

"Without a doubt." Paul answered.

"Scrafty!" Jackie piped in with a huge grin on her face.

"All right, let's do it!" Matthew said as they all lifted their hands up in unison. As they did, the act onstage finished their song and began to pack up, the audience applauding their performance. Cilan then walked back on the stage, taking the microphone and addressing the crowd, motioning for Matthew to come onstage.

"What a wonderful performance! Give it up for Sweet Kiss!" the crowd began to cheer again for the last performance. "Up next we have the musical style of The Sevii Island!"

Matthew, Sammy, Paul, and Jackie all took their places on the stage; Sammy in the back and Matthew center stage with Paul to his left and Jackie on the right. Matthew approached the microphone, addressing the audience.

"Hey, we're the Sevii Island. We've, uhh... we got two songs for you today..." Matthew said, awkwardly fumbling over his words. "Hope you enjoy..." With that, he turned to the rest of the band. Paul, Sammy, and Jackie all gave him a thumbs up, signaling that they were ready. Matthew looked out at the audience; there were hushed whispers amongst the crowd, people looking at each other and some pointing at the stage. Matthew had a pretty good idea what they were whispering about.

"Is that a Pokemon with a guitar...?" Matthew heard coming from the closest table. Matthew looked out and saw Jacob and Victoria both sitting, giving a wave.

"Am I seeing what I think I am, Tori?" Jacob rubbed his eyes, making sure he wasn't seeing things. He looked again, still seeing the Scrafty on the stage with a guitar in it's hands.

"That looks like Jackie!" Victoria said excitedly. "This should be interesting!"

Sammy started counting down the song, hitting his sticks together and counting outloud.

"One, two, three..." silently mouthing four. On the fifth beat, he crashed down on the cymbals as Matthew strummed the first chord. Jackie began playing the melody, hitting each chord right on time. The audience was shocked at a Pokemon playing guitar; shocked, but in a good way. They began to cheer already, and the song had only just started.

Sammy kept the beat going, everybody playing their parts with near perfection. The crowd began to cheer once the song picked up, clapping along with the beat. Matthew kept strumming the rhythm, before approaching the microphone in front of him. All of his nervousness gone, he began his part.

"You think you're gonna take her away with your money and your cocaine. You keep thinkin' that her mind is gonna change, but I know everything is okay. She's gonna listen to her heart..."

He motioned to Jackie, who played the melody with all the skill of a human being. The crowd applauded, amazed at the spectacle.

"It's gonna tell her what to do... she might need a lot of lovin' but she don't need you!"

Paul plucked away at his bass, bobbing his head to the beat of the song. Matthew and Jackie played in perfect sync, and Sammy kept the beat nice and steady. Matthew continued with newfound confidence.

"You want me to think that I'm bein' used. You want her to think it's over. You can't see it doesn't matter what you do; buddy you don't even know her!"

Jackie continued, eliciting more cheers from the audience. Jacob clapped loudly in the audience, jaw-dropped. Playing through the chorus once more as the audience got more and more involved.

"And you just can't creep up behind her... and you can't understand that she's my girl... she's my girl."

Sammy rolled on the drums, opening up for the solo. Jackie played through the solo flawlessly, and the crowd went crazy, clapping and cheering non-stop. The band kept going, confidence sweeping over them from the audience.

"Yeah, she's gonna listen to her heart... it's gonna tell her what to do! She might need a lot of lovin' but she don't need you!" Matthew stepped away from the microphone as they finished up their song. Sammy was getting more and more intense of the drums, and Paul was keeping a steady beat going. Jackie looked ecstatic, as if she were incapable of feeling nervous. They finished with a final strum of all three instruments, Sammy making one final crash on the cymbals.

The audience erupted into cheers, whistles, clapping, and shouting. They clearly liked the performance, which made Matthew give a huge grin. Motioning to the others, they began their second song.

The crowd calmed down as they started their second and final piece, though they still clapped along with the beat. Victoria nudged Jacob to grab his attention.

"Did you have any idea a Pokemon could play like that?" Victoria asked Jacob.

"No, but shoot, she can really play!" Jacob responded, looking back at the stage as The Sevii Island started to play again.

"Well it was nearly summer, we sat on your roof. Yeah we smoked cigarettes and we stared at the moon... and I showed you stars you never could see! It couldn't have been that easy to forget about me!" Matthew sang with increased vigor, pumped by the audience reactions of enthusiasm. Jackie continued playing her part, moving her whole body in time with the song. Paul just calmly strummed on his bass, tapping his foot in time.

"Baby time meant nothing, anything seemed real. Yeah you could kiss like fire and you made me feel like every word you said was meant to be! It couldn't have been that easy to forget about me!" Matthew belted out the lyrics; Sammy followed, rolling on the snare, opening for the chorus.

"Baby even the losers get lucky sometimes! Even the losers... keep a little bit of pride... they get lucky sometimes!"

Another solo, Jackie playing and putting her all into it, drawing even more cheers from the audience. Matthew just couldn't believe how well this was going, completely forgetting his nervousness and just losing himself in the music. Sammy looked like his arms might fall off with the energy he was putting into it. Paul just bobbing his head, on the outside he looked unfazed, but relishing every moment of the performance on the inside.

"Two cars park on the overpass, rocks hit the water like broken glass. I should've known right then it was too good to last. God, it's such a drag to have to live in the past!" Matthew sang the chorus once, twice, three times, never missing a beat. The audience was practically jumping in time, excited and enjoying the show. Eventually, they faded their music to an end, all of them standing still and silent. After a few seconds of just taking in the praise, Matthew walked back up to the microphone.

"Thank you very much, you've been a great audience! Have a good night!" with that, they unplugged their instruments and left the stage.

"Oh my goodness you guys, that was amazing!" Victoria said, meeting them backstage. She held her hand up to give them all a high-five, and they all returned the action.

"Yeah, that was great. Seriously, well done!" Jacob chimed in, giving Matthew a fist-bump. "You taught Jackie to do that?"

"Hehe, initially, but it was a group effort." Matthew replied, motioning to the rest of the band. "Thanks for coming out you two!"

"Oh of course!" Victoria said. "Anytime!"

"I hate to bail so early, but I'm going to head out now. Great job you guys, let me know when you're playing next!" Jacob said before turning around and walking out.

"Will do!" Matthew said, waving good-bye. "Let's get packed up guys, I think I've had enough music for one night!"

"I guess I'll be heading home as well." Victoria said, waving good-bye. "Keep me in the loop for your next performance!"

"Absolutely!" Matthew shouted after her. With that, they gathered the rest of their belongings and began to head back outside, leaving behind a very successful first concert.

END OF CHAPTER FIVE
*****​

Ohh, it finally picks up a bit! Hey, I hate to be that guy, but I'm seeing a bunch of views with no feedback. If you're reading this, drop a comment! Let me know if you liked it or if you didn't, and if you didn't like it, what I could fix to make it better. If you did like it, let me know if you'd like to see more! Thanks!
 
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Here's your review exchange. Sorry if it goes kind of into note format at times - I'm writing it as I go along. I hope it doesn't get too specific.

Well, you specifically asked for comments on your pacing, and after reading just the first scene of chapter one I can already tell you that it's REALLY fast. Starting in media res is one thing, but starting off with direct dialogue from an argument between two people we don't know anything about - and then adding a third person - without setting any kind of stage beforehand is kind of jarring. All that does is make the descriptions you do sneak in around the argument sound token and overly simplistic. I think they're supposed to be in college, but Matthew and Derrick sound like a couple of middle or high schoolers. The lack of description really hurt this first scene - you spend so much time on the dialogue that I had trouble pinning the characters down, but because of that I had a hard time getting invested in the argument and understanding the sense of anger and betrayal Matthew was feeling. Also, if we're supposed to be reading this story from Matthew's perspective, even if it's in 3rd person, you it's kind of jarring to jump into Derrick's head for a line so he can explain to us that he's overwhelmed when that should've been made apparent through context.

What does the name Jackie have to do with tenacity? I think you're trying to reference Jackie Chan, but the connection between why Matthew thinks the name Jackie represents tenacity is tenuous at best.

Again, your descriptions are way too simplistic and direct. Instead of telling us "Matthew picked up his guitar. Playing it always calmed him down. He played for a while and then stopped." really get us inside Matthew's head. He picks up the guitar, runs his fingers along the smooth wood, settles himself back on his bed, plucks a few strings, twists a few pegs to turn it, Jackie sits happily beside him, and his tension eases. As the notes spring off the strings, slowly and disjointedly at first, but then flowing together in a smooth rhythm he thinks that maybe he will find a solution to his problem. As you have it right now, he might as well not have picked up the guitar at all.

I've never been a fan of the whole "look and the mirror and describe yourself for the narration" trope, honestly. Jumping around and changing perspectives to explain certain details of how other characters are feeling breaks the flow of the narrative and makes it sound stilted. Also, it's a little awkward to reference direct songs, especially when you link them. Not that I have anything against those songs, but stopping to listen to the links again forces the reader out of the story and makes the narrative as a whole feel more simple and crudely put together.

The pacing and descriptions are a little better in chapter 2, but still very fast and very simple. I think the biggest problem is that the narration isn't very close to Matthew at all. It follows him around and occasionally dips into his head, but it's a passive observer, which makes the reader one as well. It doesn't do much to invest the reader into Matthew's character or the story of him and his guitar playing Scrafty. For example, we don't really get introduced to Victoria as a character or with regards to her relationship with Matthew, but it's clear the two have some kind of history or friendship with each other. But everything is glossed over so quickly that the reader doesn't have time to work it out, and they aren't really given enough clues to do so anyway.

Conversely, I feel like you went a bit overboard with the description of Matthew parking at the beginning of chapter 3. Your description of Route 4 was quite well done, but I feel like not much happened in this chapter that couldn't have been a scene in another one. I've been the victim of life and laziness all too often myself, though, so I suppose I can't really fault it. But again, your pacing needs to slow down. Before Matthew parked, I think your pacing was spot on - you set the scene, eased us into it, and then started the action. But once you started the action, the rest of the chapter went very quickly. If you had continued at the pace set by your opening paragraphs, I think this could've been a decently long chapter.

While I understand that the lyrics are an important part of a concert scene, I think that it would be better if there was some way to distinguish them from regular dialogue visually. Without hearing the melody, it can be difficult to string lyrics together into music that makes sense. Personally, I would've just omitted the lyrics altogether, except for some key lines, and concentrated more on describing how it felt for Matthew to be up there on that stage pouring his heart out there and hearing every word and note and chord coming together into a brilliant performance. I know the performance itself is supposed to be the focus, but I feel like it was in such a rush to get started that the opening and closing scenes felt kind of shoved aside.

You're getting there in terms of your pacing, but in general, it's very rushed. Slow down, get a little closer into Matthew's head, and cut out some of the extraneous stuff, and you shouldn't have any problems.
 
Here's your review exchange. Sorry if it goes kind of into note format at times - I'm writing it as I go along. I hope it doesn't get too specific.

Well, you specifically asked for comments on your pacing, and after reading just the first scene of chapter one I can already tell you that it's REALLY fast. Starting in media res is one thing, but starting off with direct dialogue from an argument between two people we don't know anything about - and then adding a third person - without setting any kind of stage beforehand is kind of jarring. All that does is make the descriptions you do sneak in around the argument sound token and overly simplistic. I think they're supposed to be in college, but Matthew and Derrick sound like a couple of middle or high schoolers. The lack of description really hurt this first scene - you spend so much time on the dialogue that I had trouble pinning the characters down, but because of that I had a hard time getting invested in the argument and understanding the sense of anger and betrayal Matthew was feeling. Also, if we're supposed to be reading this story from Matthew's perspective, even if it's in 3rd person, you it's kind of jarring to jump into Derrick's head for a line so he can explain to us that he's overwhelmed when that should've been made apparent through context.

What does the name Jackie have to do with tenacity? I think you're trying to reference Jackie Chan, but the connection between why Matthew thinks the name Jackie represents tenacity is tenuous at best.

Again, your descriptions are way too simplistic and direct. Instead of telling us "Matthew picked up his guitar. Playing it always calmed him down. He played for a while and then stopped." really get us inside Matthew's head. He picks up the guitar, runs his fingers along the smooth wood, settles himself back on his bed, plucks a few strings, twists a few pegs to turn it, Jackie sits happily beside him, and his tension eases. As the notes spring off the strings, slowly and disjointedly at first, but then flowing together in a smooth rhythm he thinks that maybe he will find a solution to his problem. As you have it right now, he might as well not have picked up the guitar at all.

I've never been a fan of the whole "look and the mirror and describe yourself for the narration" trope, honestly. Jumping around and changing perspectives to explain certain details of how other characters are feeling breaks the flow of the narrative and makes it sound stilted. Also, it's a little awkward to reference direct songs, especially when you link them. Not that I have anything against those songs, but stopping to listen to the links again forces the reader out of the story and makes the narrative as a whole feel more simple and crudely put together.

The pacing and descriptions are a little better in chapter 2, but still very fast and very simple. I think the biggest problem is that the narration isn't very close to Matthew at all. It follows him around and occasionally dips into his head, but it's a passive observer, which makes the reader one as well. It doesn't do much to invest the reader into Matthew's character or the story of him and his guitar playing Scrafty. For example, we don't really get introduced to Victoria as a character or with regards to her relationship with Matthew, but it's clear the two have some kind of history or friendship with each other. But everything is glossed over so quickly that the reader doesn't have time to work it out, and they aren't really given enough clues to do so anyway.

Conversely, I feel like you went a bit overboard with the description of Matthew parking at the beginning of chapter 3. Your description of Route 4 was quite well done, but I feel like not much happened in this chapter that couldn't have been a scene in another one. I've been the victim of life and laziness all too often myself, though, so I suppose I can't really fault it. But again, your pacing needs to slow down. Before Matthew parked, I think your pacing was spot on - you set the scene, eased us into it, and then started the action. But once you started the action, the rest of the chapter went very quickly. If you had continued at the pace set by your opening paragraphs, I think this could've been a decently long chapter.

While I understand that the lyrics are an important part of a concert scene, I think that it would be better if there was some way to distinguish them from regular dialogue visually. Without hearing the melody, it can be difficult to string lyrics together into music that makes sense. Personally, I would've just omitted the lyrics altogether, except for some key lines, and concentrated more on describing how it felt for Matthew to be up there on that stage pouring his heart out there and hearing every word and note and chord coming together into a brilliant performance. I know the performance itself is supposed to be the focus, but I feel like it was in such a rush to get started that the opening and closing scenes felt kind of shoved aside.

You're getting there in terms of your pacing, but in general, it's very rushed. Slow down, get a little closer into Matthew's head, and cut out some of the extraneous stuff, and you shouldn't have any problems.

Oh no, you're fine. I'm actually quite happy you went so specific, and I'm grateful for the feedback.

I tend to shy away from description because I've seen over-description completely cripple other stories and novels, where it gets so in-depth that you end up saying "Alright, we get it, it looks like this, can we get on with it already?!" Maybe that's just me though. I'll try to find that happy medium in future chapters. From what you're saying, it sounds like the biggest thing is going from passive voice to active voice, which I've always had an incredibly hard time doing.

But regardless, thanks for the feedback. I'll be sure to take it into consideration for next time! :D
 
Well then I'm all caught up after spending the last hour or so reading.

Now first of all I want to say that I really like the concept you grabbed, it's something that I haven't seen in Pokemon fics as it focuses on a different aspect of the Pokemon world, a more realistic one in a sense. The general idea of it kind of reminds me of those films where an anime with talent starts doing something amazing and then the main characters go on and become big thanks to its help.

And that's something I'm afraid of actually. I'm not saying that you're doing a bad joke, but I'm afraid that the story'll get predictable if it follows that set up, I trust that you have a lot more planned so I won't assume but that's just one of my concerns.

I do have to agree with Feli in that your pacing is a bit well...I wouldn't say it's rushed but rather it's kind of over the place. When it comes to pacing it really is a matter of opinion as I myself didn't actually find it that rushy, but there were some parts where it would've been better to focus on the characters reactions and feelings. In this chapter for example I think that you could've spent a bit more time pinpointing how the characters were taking the situation.

The pacing affects the characters as well. In the first chapter there was a lot of focus on dialogue during the first part and the second had a more focused pace between dialogue and description. But the last two chapters didn't have that much dialogue between the band mates, the fourth one did good in introducing Jacob but apart from that there wasn't much exposed.

So I would say that aside from the pacing you should also focus on exploring the character's personalities a bit more, so far we only have the basics of their personalities down and we're five chapters in, so I think that maybe doing a chapter of two to sort of expand more on the characters will be helpful because slice-of-life really is all about the characters and how they can become more relatable.
 
Just finished reading it last night, and I liked it. It's a fun and interesting idea; a Pokemon playing an instrument, and I like how you are portraying it. I personally think that the pacing is alright, but I'm not an experienced writer so definitely don't take my word.

The only tip I have is that you might want to give some more background to the characters you introduced mid-story. (Victoria and Jacob) You brought them in, making it seem like we should know them but we didn't, so it was a bit confusing. Other than that, I enjoyed it. I especially like how you mention Brandon; that was pretty clever.

I'm excited for the next chapter!
 
So I'm a horrible lazy person. Just wanted to get that out of the way. Most people have some kind of excuse for not updating stuff in a while, like school, or work, or something, but not me. I'm just lazy! So anyways, more story to follow!

I tried to incorporate your suggestions, so let me know how I did in that regard.

*****

Chapter Six: Out in the Cold.​

The night was finally beginning to die down. It was around nine o' clock and the Striaton concert was packing up. The crowd near the gym entrance began to disperse, their conversations and laughter becoming more distant as the city began to quiet down. Street lights illuminated the roads in Striaton, the familiar cries of Kricketune from the nearby Dreamyard filling the air with their unique symphony.

Matthew finished loading up the rest of the band's gear into his car as the rest of The Sevii Island was getting ready to head home.

"Alright guys, you sure we didn't leave anything behind?" Paul asked the rest of the group.

"No Paul, I made sure of it." Matthew said confidently, handing the keys of his car to Paul.

"Okay, just checkin'" Paul said as he opened the door to Matthew's sedan. Before he could take a seat though, he was interrupted by a voice in the distance.

"Excuse me? Are you guys The Sevii Island?" A man dressed in formal attire walked outside the doors to the gym, waving at the band to grab their attention.

"That would be us." Matthew replied, "Need something?"

"Not exactly, I just need to pass along some information." The man said. Clearing his throat, he continued, "I'm Mr. Stirn; I represent Ms. Roxie as a talent scout of sorts."

"Roxie? Roxie as in 'Virbank city gym leader' Roxie?" Matthew asked. Roxie was a very popular gym leader around Unova, partly because she was exceptionally skilled at battling, but more so because of her secondary hobby of music. She was part of a band and played music whenever she wasn't taking on challengers at her gym, and Matthew was a big fan.

"That is correct." Mr. Stirn replied, reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out a small pamphlet. "I was asked to attend this event in order to scout out potential music acts for a big competition Roxie has planned. A 'battle of the bands,' if you will."

"Wow, really?" Sammy exclaimed, leaning over Matthew's shoulder to get a look at the pamphlet he was holding. "I'm guessing we made the cut?"

"Before you get too excited, please note you were not the only act tonight to receive an invitation." Mr. Stirn added. "A small portion of the groups tonight, as well as other groups across Unova, have been given invitations as well. To answer your question though, yes, you did 'make the cut.'"

"Dude, that's sick!" Sammy said, snatching the pamphlet from Matthew and running over to where Paul stood. "Check it out!" Paul looked at the writing on the paper.

"Virbank City's new bi-annual music contest: Heavy Metal Havoc!" Paul read from the paper. "See who rocks the hardest and get ready to bang your heads."

"Ah, yes, I forgot to mention that detail." Mr. Stirn interrupted. "This venue is a lot more, shall we say, 'grittier', than the Striaton gym. The crowd will be expecting something more modern and heavier than tonight's performance."

"Oooh, sounds exciting!" Sammy said, hardly able to contain himself.

"Indeed." Mr. Stirns added rather plainly. "Now, if I can just get an E-mail address with which to contact you, I'll direct the rest of the information there."

"Sure thing." Matthew said as Stirns handed him a notebook. Matthew wrote down the address, handing it back to Mr. Stirns.

"Excellent." Stirns said, tucking the notebook away inside his jacket. "Auditions will be held in one month, at a disclosed location in Nimbasa city. I will forward you the details tomorrow."

"Looking forward to it! Thanks a lot!" Matthew said. With business taken care of, the sharp-dressed man walked off into the distance.

"So, I guess we're going to be practicing again soon, huh?" Sammy said, giving the pamphlet one more look before handing it back to Matthew.

"Cool. Forward me that E-mail when you get it." Paul said, taking a seat in Matthew's sedan. Paul turned the key as the engine roared to life and they drove off towards Nacrene city. Matthew waved as they left, until he felt a tug on his pant leg.

"Scraf." Jackie said, looking up at Matthew.

"Well, it's about an hour long walk from here, and seeing as Tori and Jacob left already..." Matthew didn't finish his sentence, but the implication was clear. He tugged his black hoodie around his chest and zipped it up; it was cold tonight, but bearable. Matthew looked at Jackie, who gave him a silent nod of approval, before they began the trek back home through Route 3.

--

Trees surrounded Matthew for miles around, casting shadows across the earth from the full moon that was out tonight. Most of the wild Pokemon were asleep, but the cries of Illumise and Volbeat could be heard in the distance. Matthew even saw a few Volbeat creating their signature patterns in the sky. This was the trainer's route, a small ways off from the main road and teeming with battlers and wild Pokemon. Luckily for Matthew and Jackie, most of the trainers who frequented this route were sleeping in their tents, which meant a lot less battle offers.

Matthew and Jackie walked in silence, about ten minutes away from the Nacrene college and a nice warm bed. As they walked, Matthew used this time to think things over. This Heavy Metal Havoc event sounded like a great opportunity to get their name out there. Matthew couldn't help but feel a bit worried though, since this time they were going to judged as part of a contest. Matthew was never good at taking criticism, a problem he was very much aware of but hardly able to get over. What if The Sevii Island didn't do well? What if they lost spectacularly? Would that hurt their reputation? These questions kept popping back into his head, and Matthew couldn't answer any of them with any certainty.

Still, he wasn't about to give up now, not after taking a risk like tonight. Finding out that Scrafty could play guitar and play well was probably the best thing that ever happened to the band. Matthew knew it would draw attention, but was really hoping it wouldn't become some kind of cheap gimmick to get famous. He wanted the band to be known for their awesome music, not for their guitar player who just happened to be a Pokemon. Then again, was fame the ultimate goal here? Did it really matter if they were famous? On one hand, Matthew very much wanted to be recognized, but in doing so he'd become another one of those sell-out artists; the kind that made cheap, easily produced, catchy music just to rake in the cash. No, he wasn't going to let that happen. He was going to the auditions, and whether he was accepted or not made no difference. Matthew silenced the voice of doubt in his head, at least for the moment.

Matthew's train of thought came to a stop however when Nacrene city finally came into view, the lights illuminating the way back home. It was a lazy town by day, but by night it was practically abandoned. No lights shown through the windows, the museums doors were closed for the night, and all the warehouses were locked up tight. Nothing could be heard but the buzzing of the street lamps and the barely-audible cries of Pokemon behind them.

A few minutes later, Matthew and Jackie had made it to the college dorms. With a swipe of his student ID the scanner on the door beeped once and unlocked the door. Matthew let out a sigh as he entered the air-conditioned building.

"That's enough exercise for one week, wouldn't you agree, Jackie?"

"Scraf... ty..." Jackie said in between breaths.

"Come here you!" Matthew said, hoisting the Pokemon on his shoulders to let her rest a bit. They climbed up the stairs until they reached Matthews floor, going down the hall and turning upon making it to their room. When they had finally reached the bed Jackie jumped off Matthew and plopped herself on her Snorlax chair, curling up and letting out a heavy sigh. Matthew threw off his jacket and kicked off his shoes, soon following suit as he collapsed on his bed.

"I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this..." Matthew said as he chuckled to himself, "but do you like playing in the band, Jackie?" Jackie stayed silent, only pulling her arm up and giving Matthew a thumbs up. "I'll take that as a yes."

With the two of them thoroughly exhausted, both from the concert and the long trek home, Matthew turned off the desk-lamp near his bed, covering the room in darkness as he drifted off to sleep.

END OF CHAPTER SIX
 
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Okay, so I finally read this fic. Least I could do after you reviewed mine. So, first of all, I really like the overall idea of this. I really enjoy how it isn't like, 'omg let's battle using my shiny charizard!' and even more than this, I enjoy how it's just so laid back. I don't feel much stress reading this at all, and being the band nerd you know I am, I really loved the music aspect of everything. I see you are starting to add depth to your characters, and it's noticeable, so you get a hundred for that. They still have far to go, but they have a lot of time to develop.

Now for what I wasn't a huge fan of. I absolutely despise pokespeak, it's just a major pet peeve of mine. I'm assuming this is taking place in the anime canon and not game canon (I'm saying this because you mentioned Roxie, who is a canon character) because of this, so I guess I really cannot complain if this is the case. Also, in the first few chapters, I noticed it was quite rushed? Things moved by very fast and most of your description was only setting up your characters.

Something I saw in your last chapter.

Clearling his throat, he continued, "I'm Mr. Stirn; I represent Mrs. Roxie as a talent scout of sorts."

Clearling is just a silly mistake. As for Mrs. Roxie... Is she married? Unless if I stupidly missed something, you need to use 'Miss' or 'Ms.' in this situation. Miss is used for a single woman while Ms. is the Mr. for women; it means the woman is either married or not and chooses not to reveal which she is.

Anyway, keep up the great work. I'm liking it!
 
@AutumnRain, Thanks for taking the time to leave a review! It really means a lot to me. :D

Others pointed out the pacing issues in the beginning as well, and I'm kind of glad you pointed them out too. Even though I wrote the first three chapters many months before I had actually posted them here, and I hadn't really developed a style at that point, I am grateful for people pointing out my flaws. It help me see what I'm doing wrong and how I can fix it. :p

And yeah, I'm fully aware that Roxie should have been Ms.. Don't know how I let that one slip by... xD I'll go back and fix that and the typo.

But anyways, thank you for the critique, and I'm glad you liked it! I'm hoping to start writing more chapters again, so stay tuned for more! :D
 
Double posting because I can. xD

Also, double posting because I actually have a new chapter ready. Shocking, I know. Hold your applause. It's been a while, but let's pick up right where we left off, shall we?

*****
Chapter Seven: Escalation

"I will break... into your thoughts... with what's written on my heart...
I WILL BREAAAAK!"


Paul slowly opened his eyes, lying facedown on his bed. He quickly winced, shutting his eyes as the morning sun beamed directly into his vision. He looked over at the clock, which was currently blaring heavy metal music for an alarm. 9:00 AM. Not terribly early, but after the concert last night, he felt exhausted.

He slowly picked himself up and sat up, throwing the covers off him as he stretched his arms out. He hit the stop button on the clock to end the music, rubbing his eyes before standing up. His long black hair fell over his face, hiding most of his features.

"I need a haircut..." he thought to himself, running his hand through his hair and sweeping it out of his eyes. He grabbed his green beanie-cap and put it on before leaving his room.

Upon opening the door to his room, he was bombarded with the strong aroma of bacon and eggs coming from the kitchen, accompanied by the familiar sound of grease sizzling on the pan. He walked over to the kitchen, seeing his sister, Rebecca, cooking over the stove. Beside her stood a Wigglytuff, gathering various ingredients and putting them up on the counter for Rebecca to use.

"Thank you, Ginger, my little kitchen assistant!" Rebecca said with a smile, patting the Wigglytuff's head which earned a coo in response. She swept her long brown hair behind her, before noticing Paul walking into the kitchen. "Good morning, sleepy head!" she teased.

"Morning, Rebecca," Paul said, still a bit groggy. "What's the occasion? You don't usually cook big breakfasts like this."

"What's the occasion?" she parroted back, saying it like Paul should have known. "My little brother's successful first gig isn't a good enough reason to celebrate?"

"If you say so..." Paul said, not sure if that was really a valid reason for celebration. "It wasn't really that big of a deal, honestly."

"Oh hush!" Rebecca chastised; she was not going to have her brother downplaying their achievement. "You should be happy! You guys rocked last night! Now go have a seat, breakfast is ready."

Paul wasn't going to argue with her, since he was thankful he didn't have to make breakfast himself. He took a seat at the small dining table, the Wigglytuff approaching him with a plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. The Pokemon placed the plate down in front of Paul, receiving a scratch behind the ear in return.

"Thanks, Ginger," Paul said, the Wigglytuff clearly enjoying the affection being bestowed upon her.

"Tuff!" she replied happily, before returning to her place at Rebecca's side, helping her to gather utensils and napkins. Rebecca soon took a seat across from Paul with her own breakfast.

"So what are you guys going to do now?" Rebecca asked as she began to eat.

"Well, some dude approached us after the concert last night," Paul responded. "He invited us to an audition for a big metal show happening in Nimbasa."

"Sounds exciting!" Rebecca exclaimed. She was happy her brother had found a good hobby and group of friends. So many of her colleagues during her days at college were into drugs, alcohol, and non-stop partying. While those activities could also be associated with being in a rock band, Rebecca knew her brother was better than that. She had come to know Matthew and Sammy as well, and she knew they wouldn't foray into that kind of fleeting, baseless extravagance.

Just then, Paul's Xtranceiver started beeping. He looked down at the device; he had an E-mail from Matthew: "Fw: Audition Info."

"Well, that's was quick," Paul remarked. He looked over the E-mail. It had the information on how the audition process would work, as well as a map attached with the location of the club marked. He pondered over the information for a minute as he ate, Rebecca just looking at him out of curiosity.

"What is it?" she asked, raising a single eyebrow in confusion.

"That guy I just mentioned. Matthew got his E-mail." Paul responded, his eyes not leaving the Xtranceiver. The place was a club in Nimbasa City, aptly named "Metal Sound." It was a hot-spot for metal-heads, and often featured several wild and out-of-control events, born of the genre it supported. Paul had never been there, but he had heard of the place before. Definitely a change of pace from the classic rock they played their last concert, but Paul liked heavier music better anyways.

"Awesome!" Rebecca cheered. She was genuinely happy for her brother, especially seeing him and his band getting invited to gigs like this. Paul had finished eating, as Wigglytuff hurried over to grab his plate, placing it gently in the sink. Paul stood up, putting his Xtranceiver in his pocket.

"I think I'm going to go and scout out this club. Get a feel for what kind of venue we're working with." he said as he turned towards Rebecca. "Thanks for the breakfast, it was really good."

"Anytime, bro!" Rebecca chimed, waving goodbye. She had finished eating as well, grabbing her own plate and walking over to the sink to wash the dishes. Paul pocketed his hands in his jacket as he made his way towards the front door.

Paul stepped outside, greeted by the now-familiar sands of Route 4 blowing in the wind. He covered his face, reaching into his pocket and pulling out his sunglasses to shield his eyes. He briefly surveyed the landscape, the urban construction obscuring the once-desert landscape. Despite the construction though, the route was still affected by sandstorms, like on this particular day.

Paul began to walk north, heading towards Nimbasa city, trekking through the sandstorm. He heard the unique sounds of the Maractus in the deserts beyond the mountains, the cactus Pokemon becoming very active during the dust storms. He saw a few Darumaka running for cover in the alleys, finding a safe place to hide and tucking in their limbs. Paul wished he could have the luxury of just curling up like that at will. He pushed against the winds as he was nearing his destination.

After some minutes of walking, passing through Join Avenue and avoiding all the solicitations of said avenue, Paul had made it to Nimbasa City. It was easily one of the most populated cities in Unova, second only to Castelia city. Large skyscrapers towered above the ground, each one lined with bright, dazzling billboards and advertisements. The carnival to the east was bustling with activity, the laughs of children carrying their sound throughout the cityscape. The cheering of the audiences from the stadiums up north was also audible. Add all of that to the sounds of the regular day-to-day activity of the city - the cars driving by, people on their Xtranceivers and Holocasters, and the wild Pokemon fluttering throughout the city - and you had one of the liveliest cities this side of Unova by far.

A fair bit of wandering around Nimbasa, making a few turns left where they should have been right, Paul had finally located the club in question. The location itself was rather unassuming, built into the side of an old apartment complex. This section of Nimbasa was probably the only one that was not covered in neon lights and displays, giving the club and the surrounding area a run-down feeling to it. It didn’t bother Paul though, who was slightly put-off by the extravagance of the rest of the city. This section, though older, had a quaint, homey feel to it. It was old, but it was also quiet, and had a certain aura of peace.

Paul walked up to the entrance of the club: a large, wooden door with a single window in the center. Above the frame of the door hung a sign, adorned with a simple font spelling the club’s name: “Metal Sound.” Just below the title was an illustration depicting the Pokemon Steelix, complete with it’s species’ signature, toothy grin. A single piece of paper was taped to the front of the door, with a simple message on the front.

“Auditions inside.”

“Wait, what?” Paul said to himself as he looked over the paper. “That Stirns guy said auditions would be in a month…”

Paul hesitantly pushed the door open, immediately greeted by the sounds of dampened drums and electric guitars. The door closed behind him as a stream of conditioned air surrounded him immediately. It was freezing compared to the relatively warm weather outside, causing him to shiver slightly. Paul took a look around the club; to the right was a standard bar, shelves lined with dozens of drinks behind it, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. To the left, a door leading to an long hallway, leading to storage and the backstage area. Looking towards the center, there was a railing the guarded the edge of the platform, standing above a large pit: the main audience. Two sets of stairs led down into the pit, which looked large enough to encompass at least a hundred people, if not much more.

On a raised platform, above the audience pit, stood the main stage. There were dozens of speakers and amplifiers that lined the front, sides, and top of the stage. Bright spotlights cast their shine down on the stage from above. The stage was currently occupied by a musical trio, with one man on drums, one on bass, and the last one on guitar and singing. They had a very casual look about them, with medium length hair as they were bobbing their heads to their own music. The guitarist started to sing a chorus, his voice slightly scratchy, yet still in tune, as he belted out the lyrics:

“He’s the one who likes all our pretty songs, and he likes to sing along, and he likes to shoot his gun! But he don’t know what it means… don’t know what it means, when I say yeah!”

In the audience was a table, two gentlemen sitting with various papers, taking notes of the performance on stage. As Paul walked over to the railing that looked over the audience, towards the stage, someone behind him tapped his shoulder.

“You here for auditions?” A man came up behind him. He wore a simple black T-shirt and jeans, the word STAFF etched across his shirt in bold, white font.

“Well, yes and no,” Paul said, turning to face the man. “I guess I am, but I was told auditions would be in a month.”

“What’s your band name?” The man plainly asked.

“The Sevii Island,” Paul responded. The man looked over a clipboard, flipping through the pages until he managed to find the entry.

“Yeah, says here your audition is not due until the end of the month. You can stay and watch, I suppose, but the bar is currently closed,” the man added. He was about to turn and walk away, until Paul spoke up again.

“Wait, exactly how many bands are auditioning?” Paul asked. If the auditions were being held for the entire month, there had to be a large amount of bands participating, far more than Paul had anticipated.

“Quite a bit,” the man replied. He flipped through his clipboard again, estimating the amount of bands. “I’d say… around fifty or so, give or take a few. Not everybody is going to make it in, though.”

Fifty bands?!” Paul thought to himself, taken aback. The thought alone was worrying. They’d have to go up against fifty other acts. He wasn’t sure how many were actually going to make it in, but he and the rest of his band certainly had their work cut out for them. They’d have to really practice and work hard if they wanted to stand out. “Okay… thanks, then.” Paul said calmly, as the man turned and walked down the hallway.

Paul turned back towards the stage, leaning forward on the railing as he watched the act on stage. “Fifty bands…” Paul couldn’t get the thought out of his head. It’s not that he was worried about the ability of him and his band, but more so about the ability of the other acts. What if The Sevii Island was outclassed and couldn’t make the cut?

“Hey, Dan the downer, you lost? Hot Topic is down the street!”

Paul turned to his right, seeing a group of people snickering at him, most likely making fun of his manner of dress, specifically his beanie cap which brought his longer hair over his eyes. The group was comprised of two men, one woman, and one Pokemon, a Nidoking. Judging by the instrument cases they carried with them, Paul figured they were one of the auditioning bands.

“Wow, did you come up with that insult all by yourself?” Paul quipped back. Were they really making fun of his clothes? “What is this, middle-school?” he thought to himself.

“Well, I’m just saying,” one of the men spoke as he stood up, wearing a simple black T-shirt and a tattered pair of jeans. “This is a metal club. Not exactly dressed for the part, you know?” he sneered in Paul’s direction, speaking with a smug, haughty tone.

“I’m sorry I’m not as cliche as you,” Paul came back in retort.

“Ohhh, sassy one, aren’t we?” the man replied again, unfazed by Paul’s comment.

“Oh, would you come off it already, Felix? This chump’s not worth the time.” The female of the group spoke up, clearly irritated by the exchange. She sat with an annoyed look on her face, her long black hair tied into pigtails that hung behind her.

“Fine,” Felix said calmly, crossing his arms as he sat back down. “Hope you’re not here for auditions, kid, because you might as well just leave the way you came in.”

“So sure of yourself?” Paul said back. Felix’s smug confidence was beginning to wear on Paul’s nerves, and he had only heard four sentences from the guy.

“Hard not to be,” Felix said bluntly. “This isn’t our first rodeo, and it’s definitely not the last. We’ve been bringing mayhem to Unova for a little over a year now. From what I’ve heard so far today, we’ve got nothing to worry about. All these bands? Posers. Every one of them. Reaper Cloth is going to dominate this competition.”

“We’ll see about that,” Paul responded, growing increasingly agitated by this man’s arrogance. “Don’t count your Torchics before they hatch.”

“Now who’s sure of themselves?” Felix stated smugly. “Where’s the rest of your amazing band?”

“Not here, I’m just looking around. Need to get a feel of the place before we bring the house down.” Paul stated, countering Felix’s confidence with his own.

“That’s good,” Felix said. “Wouldn’t want to discourage them before they even had a chance to audition,” he jeered, laughing slightly as he did. The woman sitting next to Felix simply sighed in exasperation, before raising her voice.

“Felix, for the love of Arceus, just shut up!” she yelled. “Seriously, you’re such a child, Felix!”

“Hmph,” Felix scoffed, shrugging as he sat. “Whatever. We’ll see who’s who at the show, assuming you actually pass the auditions.”

“I’ve got better things to do anyways,” Paul finished. He was fed up with this Felix person’s attitude, promptly turning around to leave the club. Despite his convictions from earlier, he had a new-found determination to pass the auditions and make it in the show. It didn’t matter if there were fifty, a hundred, or even a thousand other performers auditioning; The Sevii Island was going to make it, if for no other reason than to make Felix eat his own words. Paul put his hands into his jacket pockets, greeted once again by the warm Nimbasa air as he made his way home.

END OF CHAPTER SEVEN
*****​

Yes I know Nirvana isn't considered metal. Wait wait wait, what are you doing? Why do you have a pitchfork? Put that down! Get away from me!

*runs and hides*
 
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By the way, I'm pasting this exactly as I wrote it for the awards

Electric, Cranking It to Eleven


Plot 8/10: I’m not going to say that we don’t know the plot yet, the plot actually isn’t that hard to figure out once you read through the first two chapters of the fic. It’s not a very innovative plot but it’s definitely something original if we’re considering Pokemon fics. GastlyGibus gives us a story that, aside from being set in the Pokemon World and of course having a Pokemon as part of the main cast can be a story of its own.

I for one think this is good because I’m tired of all of the fics about trainers battling, travelling or just doing general things that you would never see in the real world. True, we’re dealing with a franchise that’s anything but realistic, but I think that trying to make it more grounded is not a bad and it gives it a certain slice of life edge that reminds us all of the real world.

Setting 7/10: The setting itself isn’t anything Grandiose, it takes place in Unova and the characters are changing around from city to city. It’s actually funny that the fic is anime based considering the fact that characters just go around from one city to the next as if they were just strolling down to the market. I do like the most realistic feel that this story has going for it though and it clearly shows that the world is much more like us than what other fics would lead you to believe.

Style 7/10: In regards to description I don’t think that it’s bad, but rather I think that at times it can vary. The description can be very detailed at times and at others it could actually use some more expanding on since it makes it a bit hard to imagine some things.

Then there’s the concept of describing characters and their appearance where I think the fic does need to do a bit more, I’ve talked to GastlyGibus before about this and he’s told me that he prefers to describe the characters’ gradually rather than in one go, that’s not bad, but there’s times where the description is non-existent some times throughout many chapters.

Characterization 6/10: The characters aren’t bad, but this is an aspect that I think the fic has to work on the most. So far we’ve still only scratched the surface of the characters and their personalities, with some hints here and there but at 7 chapters in I feel like we should’ve known more about the characters and their lives and pasts already. The story isn’t bad, but the characters may sometimes not be strong enough to carry it through.

Technical 9/10: This fic is perfectly clean, having barely any grammar mistakes that really jump out you and even then those mistakes tended to show in the first couple of chapters. The flow of the story is pretty well, while sometimes the pacing can be a bit messy it does manage to get to a point where you don’t feel that it’s going to fast or too slow.

Overall 79/100: The story is pretty lighthearted and fun, it’s not something you should read if you want a really serious and over the top story, but if you want something to help you relax then I assure you this is a fic that will make you sit down, relax and just enjoy the music.
 
My Awards feedback;

I will start off by saying this story is very impressive largely for the fact it is so simple and such a nice change to what we usually get, so reading a music themed tale was rather refreshing and definitely helps give your story credit. The characters are diverse and get enough focus to stand out, and there are some nice little things being built up. Your description is nice and you do enough for your story.

My main criticism though lies in the fact there doesn't really seem to be much driving it forwards. I read the latest chapter which wasn't in consideration for the Awards and it seems to help change that problem with a bit of rivalry going on, but at the moment you could replace Scrafty for an ape and you'd have yourself a Disney Channel Original Movie. I think having a simple plot is working so far, but in terms of standing up against other stories there is nothing really making me want to keep reading despite its niceties. I think perhaps some more challenges that aren't necessarily typical of this genre would be good - the thing I really dislike when reading Pokemon stories is when people make it Pokemon based but the Pokemon world contributes nothing to your story. You have avoided that issue well, but I think you could use some more elements from the world of Unova to contribute to your story and make it more diverse and enticing - perhaps Team Plasma's actions could have some adverse effects for the band, or you could bring in a game character in an interesting role?

That is just my personal feelings, so feel free to ignore it if you have an end plan already set; the story is simple and sweet, the chapters have enough detail but are also an easily digestible length which is great, and your characterisation is decent, but I just feel there should be some little extra spice to jazz things up.
 
Here for the Review Game! I actually read the first couple of chapters of this before the last Awards, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Technical Accuracy/Style
I think this is one of the strongest aspects of the story. Your prose is, in short, unpretentious and vivid. There's a good balance, on the whole, with the story moving on and the description of the setting. I was most worried that you'd try and use technical musical terms as a substitute for description (And music is difficult to write in prose) - instead using unobtrusive little links works very well.

Story
I think that on this forum - and in pokémon as a whole - there aren't enough slice of life stories. A slower start isn't always a bad thing for me, and I quite like a story that takes a little time to build. That being said, the conflict of the story comes a little late. The first concert almost seem to come off too well, and likewise, Jackie's mastery of her instrument. As far as Reaper Cloth are concerned, well, they and the protagonists feel real. I know first hand that amateur musicians love a childish scrap over their music (Or more accurately, fashion sense) - that comes across as very true, but also slightly annoying. That's not necessarily bad at the moment, but certainly something to keep in mind. I know I would find a battle of the bands between rivals who are only rivals because of fashion sense music more irritating than tense.

Characters
Related to the point above, the characters feel real enough. As far as the protagonists are concerned, they are blending together a little in my mind. I'd keep an eye on that and make sure that they're all complete characters in their own right. Likewise, at the moment Victoria and Rebecca feel kind of similar

Final Thoughts
It's different, and so far it works! The story as it continues will really decide what this fic ends up as - if that makes sense, I've been awake for 24hrs and counting
 
I abandoned you guys! I'm so sorry! AhhhhjhskaJHSKas

Yeah, sorry, I've just been really distracted. I've got a ton of other projects going on at the moment, which have been taking my attention away from this story. But like I said before, it's not dead. I'm just taking longer to update... xD

Well, I rated this story T, and this chapter has some language in it, so be warned.

So without further ado, here you go!

*****
Chapter -1: My Name is Mud

Matthew’s eyelids grittily forced themselves open like a sentient garage door in hell as the burning sky-orb called the Sun screamed silently. It was the morning-time, and there was a show today in the afternoon-time, which meant Matthew had a shitload of work to do.

Matthew slid out of bed and fought valiantly to pull his socks on. “Oh my god,” he said as he valiantly fought in an attempt to pull his socks on, “I have a show in the afternoon-time, and that means I have a shitload of work to do!”

He finally got his manly-ass Metallica socks on and slipped on his Dream Theatre shoes (did I mention Matthew likes random author-insert music references as much as Metallica fans hate St. Anger?) and leapt onto the banister on his home’s staircase, sliding down like Shadow the Hedgehog in that awesome game with guns and ro—er, motorcycles. “Good morning, Jackie!” he said, leaping off of the banister and landing right on her tail by accident.

“It would be a better morning if you hadn’t stepped on my tail,” Jackie quipped, taking a slow sip of her boysenberry tea. “What the bloody hell do you intend to accomplish by being awakened at such an early hour?”

“I have a show in the afternoon-time, and that means I have a shitload of work to do!” he replied, hurriedly drinking raw waffle-batter and pouring his orange juice into the waffle-maker. Oh well, salmonella sounded kind of like Salamence, it couldn’t be that bad. “Jackie, have you been practicing?”

“Yes, and in fact, I think I’ve finally memorized the entirety of my lines for the production. I’m ever so excited to bring my own twist to Polonius in the University’s adaptation of Hamlet, but—”

“Goddamn it Scrafty, I don’t want to hear about your shitty fandubs, I’m talking about your guitar.”

Jackie sighed. “Yes, yes, I practiced all our songs. I daresay I do quite well for having no opposable thumbs and for breaking the laws of physics by even being able to hold the bloody thing upright. I believe my performance will be satisfactory.”

“That’s what she said! HURR HURR HURR,” Sammy shouted, falling out of Matthew’s upper kitchen cabinets. A vaguely bong-shaped object fell with him and shattered all over the orange juice puddle that had been inconspicuously forming in the waffle machine.

“Sammy? Why are you in my house?”

“OH MY GOD,” Sammy screamed, “I THOUGHT I WAS IN THE NATIONAL FOREST. WHY DO YOU HAVE GOATS IN YOUR CABINETS!?”

“…I’m glad to see you’re prepared for the show as usual,” Jackie sighed.

“Where the hell is Paul!?” Matthew shouted, trying to pull the orange juice waffle from the iron with his bare hands and scalding himself in the process. “OH GOD,” he wailed in agony, “I TRIED TO PULL THE ORANGE JUICE WAFFLE FORM THE IRON WITH MY BARE HANDS, AND I SCALDED MYSELF IN THE PROCESS.”

“That looks bad,” Paul said, suddenly emerging shirtless from the refrigerator and flipping his gorgeous, well-conditioned, musk-scented hair from before his deep, ocean-after-BP-oil-spill-brown eyes. Paul was so cool.

“If your hand is burned, you can’t play guitar tonight!” Sammy chirped gleefully, jumping up on down on the waffle maker in his bare feet and apparently feeling no pain. “And you only have one Scrafty, so I guess we’ll have to tell them we can’t do the concert after all and go play City of-I mean go get ice cream!”

“Not so fast,” Paul said, pulling sunglasses from one of the folds in his tight-ass abs and putting them on dramatically. “I have a Pokemon prodigy as well.”

“You have a Scrafty?” Sammy asked chipperly, licking the burning waffle iron.

“No,” Paul replied. “Better.”

“A Jynx?” Sammy asked excitedly, snorting ‘flour’ off of the burning waffle iron.”

“Better. I have…” he tossed a Pokeball dramatically into the air and posed sexily as the Pokemon emerged, “…an AZURILL!”

“…goddamn it,” Matthew said, letting his face slip into his palm like an obnoxious otaku who still goes to Memebase, “Azurill doesn’t even have any damn hands.”

“Neither does Scrafty,” Paul replied, defensively crossing his arms.

“I can see forever,” Sammy added, happily pouring raw hamburger meat from the trash into his eye sockets.

“He does too,” Matthew replied. “Not having thumbs is one thing. Not having appendages is another.”

“That is correct, ‘bitch-ass,’ I believe you vulgar city chaps would say,” Jackie replied.

“Well, screw you,” Paul said. “You’re tearing me apart like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which is one of the author’s favorite bands by the way in case you hadn’t noticed. I guess we’ll have to play without a guitarist.”

Suddenly, a knock came at the door. "I am become death, destroyer of worlds!" Sammy sang happily.

"Oh god, it's the record producer," Matthew said. "He can't see my burned hands or he'll think that we won't be able to record tomorrow! Which we probably can't, but still!"

"Never fear," Paul said, ripping off Matthew's shirt and putting it on his own, much more attractive body, "I will be Matthew today."

Paul approached the door and threw it open with gusto, bowing to the suit-clad man before him. "Good day, sir. It is I, the great Matthew, head of this band and possessor of two totally unburned, worthwhile hands. How are you this afternoon-time?"

"I'm absolutely horrible," the man replied, angrily twirling his mustache. "I don't know how to tell you boys, but I'm afraid we have to delay your recording by a couple of weeks, and your show, too. I was parked next to a limosuine at Goodwill earlier as I was buying up all of thier CDs to sell at a marked up price online when a limosuine next to mine suddenly erupted into flames and destroyed my own. Inside it was the pen I use to make you sign on the dotted line of your contract, as well as the dots I use to make the dotted line on which you sign. I'm so sorry."

"I, the great Matthew, appreciate your groveling apology, and accept it courteously and with great sex appeal," Paul said, bowing again.

Sammy wobbled into the front room and cheerfully shouted "OH GOD MATTHEW'S HANDS ARE MELTING THEY'RE TURNING INTO GOATS"

"Shut the hell up you stoner," Paul whispered.

"BUT PAUL, IF MATTHEW HAS NO HANDS WHO WILL PLAY RYTHYM GUITAR AT THE SHOW? HOW WILL WE EVER PLAY GO KINDERGARTEN AND OTHER SONGS BY THE LONELY ISLAND, WHICH IS A BAND THE AUTHOR FANCIES? HE ALSO CAN'T SING NOW BECAUSE THE WAFFLE BATTER TURNED INTO A GOAT TOO."

"Oh dear," the record producer said, twirling his mustache ever more furiously.

"I'm so sorry," Paul said, ripping off Matthew's shirt sexily and bursting into tears and hugging the producer's leg. "I'm not actually Matthew. Matthew was trying so hard to please you that he accidentally melted his hands off in the waffle iron and then drank Salamence or something and now our band is sunk. I'm so sorry, and I hope you'll give us another chance next year, I'll even go on stage naked to sell more tickets if that helps though honestly I probably would have done that anyway because GOD look at this body am I right?"

"There's only one thing to do," the man growled, reaching into his suit's pocket. "You boys leave me no choice."

"Please don't shoot, sir! I'm an endangered species!" Jackie shouted, dropping her boysenberry tea and raising her hands in the air and waving them like she just don't care.

"...I'll have to take care of this... myself!" the man finished, pulling a rythym guitar from his pocket, and suddenly breaking into a Tom Petty song.

"IT CANNOT BE," Matthew said, a single salty tear escaping from his right eye and sliding down his cheek like a cascade of records by Family Force 5. "IT'S--"

"That's right," the man said, letting down his flowing, dirty blonde hair. "I'm motherf***ing Tom Petty, and I'm ready to come out of hiding and begin my Hoenn tour, and it looks like I'll have to play with you boys now to do that," he said, smirking attractively.

"THANK YOU I LOVE YOU" the auth--er, Matthew shouted, racing out of the house to embrace Tom Petty heterosexually on the front steps. At that very moment, before his arms could grip Petty's ripplingly muscular form, the sun pierced his eyes and he woke up.

"Goddamn it, Lysandre," he mumbled. He didn't know what this phrase meant, but it just seemed fitting. His dreams crushed, but his hands intact, he rose from bed to make a waffle with the proper protection, because he had a show in the afternoon-time and had a shitload of work to do before then.

END OF CHAPTER -1
*****

Big thanks for @Lysandre for helping me out with this chapter! :D

(P.S. April Fools! :p)
 
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