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COMPLETE: To Care for Him

Does Team Rocket hire?
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To Care for Him
ACT 1: DIAMONDSHIPPING
Chapter 1: The Restaurant​

Author’s Note: Anime-based. There will be three main acts: diamondshipping (Delia/Giovanni), haleshipping (Delia/Spencer Hale), and eldershipping (Delia/S. Oak). Delia wants the perfect family, but is that possible? Rated PG-13 for innuendos and violence.

Delia pedaled as fast as her teenage athletic feet could pedal, over rocks and branches and ditches, feverishly trying to get to the restaurant in Viridian City before nine o’clock that Sunday morning. Her mach bike, an aluminum custom collapsible bike in red and black stripes, could barely withstand the barrage of obstacles she deliberately ignored, but that was no matter. She would get there.

Her parents were farmers, sharecropping on a vast farm owned by the reputable Oak family. They grew a multitude of vegetables and then sold a portion of them to the Viridian Café for extra money. They worked long hours in the sun and, despite thirty-four-year-old Samuel Oak’s expert advice and help, they continued to be too exhausted to do anything around the house, even to sell their own produce. So it was that Delia was “volunteered” for the job. She had to clean the small house while her parents were away and then cook supper that night and in the morning, first thing, she had to deliver the produce to the restaurant so the cooks could prepare the dishes before lunch.

Like any girl of sixteen, Delia just wanted to get married and get away from her family before their rules drove her insane. They never asked her if she wanted to go somewhere or do something -- it was always about getting the house cleaned and delivering the produce. As the trees and the bushes swept past her, she found herself daydreaming of what the perfect man would be like….

Delia wore a Marilyn Monroe white dress with cream-colored sandals, the kind that used straps that wrapped around the ankles to keep them on. She stood forlornly on the street corner of some bustling metropolis, her normally tied-up brown hair loosely curling around her face. She was so beautiful, but no man would have her. She was destined to be alone, abandoned by friends and family alike because she had nothing to offer besides her looks, and they were fading with every passing year.

A gentle shower began, moistening her hair and dress, causing her to shiver. The world was dull and gray except for a few neon signs here and there above her head. Just as she was about to resign herself to pneumonia, with a little melodramatic coughing for effect, she realized the rain had suddenly stopped. She looked up and saw a giant black umbrella shielding her from the intensifying downpour. A young man with chiseled good looks and mystifying cologne and dark black hair smiled warmly at her. He dried her face with a small handkerchief, laughing gently.

“You look as though the world has thrown you away,” he told her, smiling.

She nodded.

He took off his leather jacket and wrapped it around her, revealing a tight blue sports shirt of spandex and dark blue running pants. As she felt the heat from his body transfer to hers, she smiled back and gazed lovingly into his eyes. Suddenly, she glanced back at the cold wet concrete below her. “I’m sorry,” she said, “but you have the wrong person. I’m not meant to be loved by anyone. I have no skills and no money and I don’t even have my own umbrella -- how sad is that? Surely you want some other girl who’d make you happy.”

He laughed and pecked her on the cheek, before nuzzling her behind her ear. “All I did was walk to this street corner, prepared for nothing else but a long day of paperwork at my office, yet the moment I saw you I knew there was no Goddess in Heaven for She was standing right there on the corner.”

Delia smiled reluctantly and nuzzled back. “Can it be true? Have you come to rescue me from my wretched life?”

The young man brushed against her ear with his hand, caressing her tenderly. “I shall resolve this very second to walk you back to Heaven where someone of your stature truly belongs. For this impermanent earth can do you no justice -- only in my arms shall you find everlasting paradise forever and ever.”

She brought her lips up to his -- God, he smelled like the spring mountain air….


Her bike jerked out behind her and she fell face first in some moss deep in the Viridian Forest. She quickly sprang up and tried to retrieve her bike, but found it being enveloped in a silky material, which was spurting out of the mouthpieces of very angry weedles, yellow larvae that reached halfway up to her knees when they reared up, with a sharp poisonous horn on its head. She had unknowingly raced across a section of forest filled with weedle eggs and the insect pokemon were quite upset with her lack of empathy.

She started to kick away the strings of silk angrily, swearing at the weedle, demanding that they stop so she could get to the restaurant in time. They responded simply by engulfing her in the same sticky material. She growled in frustration, as she knew it must be fifteen til nine already. As her legs and torso were being wrapped like a Christmas present, several baseball-sized rocks came flying out of the air and struck each weedle with amazing precision. She glanced around and spotted a small geodude, really just a stone head with muscular arms jetting out where its ears would be, flinging rocks at the larvae pokemon. As grateful as she was to be rescued, by human or pokemon it did not matter, she couldn’t help but wonder how a geodude got to be in the Viridian Forest, for they typically preferred rocky environs. She struggled to get the silky trap off her body, finally succeeding a few minutes later, as the geodude succeeded in driving away the last of the weedle.

The geodude bounced over to her and asked inquisitively, “Geodude? Geo, geo, dude?”

Delia sighed and nodded. “I’m fine, thanks. I could have taken them on, you know.”

“Is that so?” a male voice asked from behind her. Delia whipped around to see a young adult male leaning against a nearby tree, smiling smugly. “From where I stood, you were about to need a machete just to get that stuff off had my geodude and I not arrived.”

Delia brushed what silk threads were left off and grunted. “Thanks for your help, but I’m not a damsel in distress.”

The man shook his head. “No, you were a supplier in distress. My mother expects timely deliveries and yet you continue to defy common sense by entering this forest without your own pokemon. Really, I get tired sometimes of having to watch you trap yourself in foolish scenarios.”

Delia lifted up her bike and inspected her produce to see if any had been damaged. Fortunately, they were alright. She shot the man an irritated glance. “I don’t care if your mother owns the restaurant or not -- I’m not late and I don’t need rescuing. Now back off or I will be late!”

The man checked his black sports watch with red lettering, which didn’t seem to match his light yellow tank top and blue jean shorts and beige hiking boots. It only seemed to accentuate his dark brown hair, so dark it could be black, combed neatly even though most trainers who came through Viridian Forest looked like they had been in a wind tunnel. They would also bear the dusty appearance of someone who ran up against pokemon knowing sleep powder and stun spore and such, yet this trainer was immaculate. He chuckled as he checked the time. “It’s 8:55. The ‘shortcut’ you’re taking will ensnare you for a further fifteen minutes. Really, was using the trail that much more terrible?”

Delia shook her head and swore under her breath, stomping the ground with her feet in frustration. Finally, she ripped off the crate of produce from the back of her bike and thrust it into his arms. He stumbled back from sheer surprise. “Here,” she ordered. “If I deliver them to you then I’m not late because you’re the owner’s son. If you have any trouble, I’ll be back at my house, putting ointment on all these scrapes,” she said, pointing to half a dozen red lines crisscrossing her arms. There were twigs and moss hanging from every inch of her red t-shirt and black riding shorts and she could feel a few pebbles in her sneakers. Today was a rotten day and she was in no mood to bow before her family’s all-powerful boss, or her son.

The early-twenties-something man snorted his disapproval. “Don’t expect to get paid since I’m the one delivering your produce.”

Delia smiled as she got on her bike and began to pedal past him, despite her aching muscles. “Oh no, they’re your produce now -- better get a move on or Mommy’s gonna ground ya!” She laughed as she rode away, finally free of such an inconvenient chore.
 
A black and white world
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Very nice. I like her daydream.

So is she aware of what his family does? The narration makes me think she does, but apparently she doesn't think much of it.
 
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In my view, no one is real clear on the TR aspects of Giovanni's family. Most in Kanto (at least in my fics as I don't know who knows his secret in the anime) believe they're just arrogant entrepreneurs who want to form business monopolies all over the region. The way Domino talked in Mewtwo Returns sounded like Gio has a whole host of legit front businesses, and you can kinda prove it with all the crazy biz ideas J&J and B&C come up with. So, Delia, at least at this stage in her life, isn't too scared of someone she just views as a selfish businessman and his mom.

Is that daydream over the top? Ever since I learned about a fic problem called a Mary Sue, I've tried real hard to avoid them, but I believe she needs these melodramatic daydreams to show how naive she is about the meaning of a stable, loving relationship. As she gets older, she has to come to grips that love rarely exists the way it does in romance novels/movies/etc.
 
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To Care for Him
ACT 1: DIAMONDSHIPPING
Chapter 2: Business Plan​

Author’s Note: This is going to be a long story… Just a warning. I want to ensure that each shipping phase is well-developed, so this could conceivably go for more than 30 chapters, although I don’t know how long it’s going to be just yet. It could be shorter, but only if I can say what needs to be said. It will be the last pokemon story I do for a while, because I want to do an original fic next, so I want to put a lot of effort into this one.

Delia was busy cleaning the dishes after breakfast the next morning. There hadn’t been a lot of business at the restaurant since the Pokemon Elites was on their annual trek throughout the Kanto region, so hardly any trainers passed through Viridian around this time of the year. However, Delia cared less about the success of the restaurant and more about the damage to her bike, which had two flats from thorns she had carelessly run over. Her parents were already furious about her dumping their hard-earned paycheck in the arms of their boss’s son yesterday morning. They accused her of being selfish and arrogant -- always thinking only of herself and her deluded notions of getting picked up by a knight in shining armor.

One could hear the parents’ voices down the street. “Have you no sense of responsibility?” her father demanded. “We have the good sense to get to work on time; what’s the matter with you -- or do you still think you’re too good for a paycheck?”

Delia sulked on the couch in the living room. It wasn’t a very large house. It had five small rooms total: two bedrooms, a kitchen/living room combo, a bathroom, and a small office for crafts and the produce packaging equipment. Delia felt as though she were trapped in a poke ball sometimes, the house focusing solely on her parents and she was just the afterthought. “I don’t know why everyone’s getting so ticked off at me -- I delivered, didn’t I?”

“You dropped the produce in her son’s arms and left!” her mother retorted angrily. “Did you think they were just going to mail you the check? We get paid in cash, you know!”

Delia glared at her parents and stomped her foot on the floor. “Why does he keep following me in the forest, then?” she bellowed. “If he’s good enough to go all over the forest, then HE’S the one who should come pick up the supplies! He keeps bragging about how short a trip it is between Pallet and Viridian -- let HIM focus on something other than training that God-forsaken geodude of his!”

“It’s not our place to tell our employer how to raise her kid!” the father barked. “She’s maybe a few years older than Sam Oak, but her family is her business, not ours.”

“Well it’s not my fault the weedle sprayed my bike and crashed me,” Delia replied, grumbling. “I was making good time ‘til then.”


A knock on the door surprised her. Her parents should almost be at the farm by now, so it couldn’t be them, unless they forgot something. She grumbled to herself. Maybe they came up with a new chore for her since she didn’t have to go to Viridian that morning. As she opened the door, her parents stood facing her, as well as the boss’s son. They had apparently been yelling at each other, given their flushed faces and scratchy voices.

“This is just what we need,” the father complained bitterly yet coarsely as he entered the house. He went straight for his bedroom and slammed the door shut.

Her mother, in contrast, silently wept as she headed for the kitchen. Delia could hear her mumble something about ‘her lazy daughter’, but she couldn’t quite make it out.

Finally, the boss’s son glared at her from just outside the doorway. He was fuming, but at least his face’s redness was fading. Still, he was immaculate in his business-casual attire of black polo shirt and khakis. She looked at him, half-accusing, half-questioning. “I’ll tell you outside,” he said abruptly. Dragging her out of the house, they walked around to the back, where a small plot of bare earth was beginning to be tilled for a private garden. He pushed her against the wall and pressed his lips deeply against hers. Initially startled, Delia returned the gesture. When he finally pulled away, he sighed and looked wistfully at the bare earth. “Oak is re-purposing his land,” he told her. He glanced in the direction of the Oak family abode. “He’s turning it into a pokemon ranch for research.”

Delia gulped. “But, what about the people who work there? All the farmers? How,” she added reluctantly, “is your mom going to handle this?”

“She’s furious,” he noted with a small grin. “Nothing … legally … can be done about it, though. He has the right to do with his land what he pleases. Still, his timing is rather unfortunate and I won’t even mention the words my mother used to describe his new concept.”

“So, how’s the Café supposed to get its food, Sakaki?” Delia asked innocently. Despite her intense dislike of delivering goods all the way to Viridian, she couldn’t bear the thought her dark knight would go penniless.

He shrugged. “We may have to re-purpose too, I guess,” he said. He glanced at her as though he was a beaten growlithe puppy. “And don’t call me that, Delia. In my training I find I prefer ‘Giovanni’ -- it sounds much more romantic, don’t you agree?”

She giggled. “If you like gangster movies, sure.”

He laughed. “That does have something to do with it, after all. Novices aren’t likely to waste my time challenging me if I have the aura of an unreachable godfather.” He continued to smile. “All I need is some cheap cotton balls and jowl lines and I’ll be a Pokemon Master in no time … I’ll set a new record!”

She approached him and rubbed his chest with her hands tenderly. “I just wish we could journey together, like some pokemon trainers do -- see the world, catch rare pokemon, -- be oblivious to the cares of the rest of the world.”

He stroked her long brown hair. His voice was tender and hopeful. “I’m trying to get away from her, Delia, just like you want to leave your parents. I train my team very intensely in a small gym I built in the Café basement. I have to find some way to train them since Mother demands my constant presence at home. As soon as some of my pokemon evolve, I’ll take them and challenge the big shots around Kanto.”

Her eyes grew wide. “You built a gym! Awesome! Will you let me see?”

He chuckled. “After the mess with the delivery yesterday? Mother isn’t exactly happy with you right now.” He paused, as though deep in thought. “Sure. In fact, a … um … delivery just came in which you would definitely want to see.” He wrapped his arm around her and led her to his motorcycle standing on the front lawn. He stared off into the horizon, making sweeping gestures with his free hand. “Together, Delia, we’ll have the whole world at our fingertips. Nothing will stand in our way. We’ll rise above the commoners we suffer from and extend our reach to the heavens themselves.”

Giovanni’s motorcycle rode smoothly through the Viridian Forest. It was amazing how fast the time streamed by when going about 70. Yet, even though Giovanni took ‘shortcuts’ as well, he didn’t suffer from his decisions as much as Delia usually did. That was why Delia loved him so much -- he seemed to be untouchable. He could probably be tossed off the cliffs just south of Pallet and not get a mark. He always seemed to be in control of everything: his training, his relationships, his goals. It seemed as though he planned decades ahead of the present. And yet, he was one of the most spontaneous people she had ever met. He would just shower her in the Viridian Forest with flower petals from oddish and gloom, two plant pokemon that grew more colorful with each evolution.

When they finally entered the heavily-reinforced door to the basement, Delia’s eyes appeared ready to burst out of her head. She was breathless: a large room with a fifteen-foot-high ceiling, walls painted in earth tones, and areas devoted to training specific types of pokemon, such as a grassy plot or a water tank. There were a few training machines here and there, with more being assembled by Giovanni’s co-workers. He pointed out a small white pokemon, with a green cap on its head and a red crest of some sort on the cap. It looked like a doll. It was teleporting madly all around the gym, its arrivals timed by several onlookers. Some were cheering as the pokemon teleported faster and faster until it seemed to be everywhere at once. Finally, nearly exhausted, it landed in front of Delia and panted, although from its facial expression it was pleased with its performance.

Delia squealed with delight and tugged Giovanni’s shirt impatiently. He grinned. “It’s called a Ralts, I believe. I know you share my affinity for psychic pokemon, so when we,” he cleared his throat, “came upon this non-native species and discovered what it was, I instantly thought of you.”

She gave him a dirty look. “Are you saying I’m a tomboy or something?”

He laughed. “You know how, no matter what gender an abra you get, it always ends up with those hyper-masculine mustache whiskers?” She nodded. “Well, with this one, from what we’ve been told, it evolves into a graceful, feminine psychic dancer known to the region of Hoenn. So, I was thinking, if I’m going to be including an abra in my party, it would seem most appropriate to give you this pokemon.” The ralts looked up at Delia with big starry eyes.

Delia was overwhelmed with emotion. Here was a rare pokemon from another region, and her knight in shining armor was giving it to her! Her heart raced with excitement. She immediately embraced it, her grin threatening to rip apart her face with its size. “I can’t believe it! My own pokemon! And a psychic one, too! I can’t tell you how happy you’ve made me!”

He tried to pry her arms apart. “You can show me by not killing it with your passionate embrace,” he said teasingly.

She loosened her grip and stared into Giovanni’s eyes. “You’re training an abra? Why? All they seem to do is teleport?” She paused, reflecting on her gift. “Is that all this one does, too? Are you giving me a bum gift?”

He shook his head. “It learns more than just teleport, Delia. You know that. I intend to breed these two to see how high I can get the offspring‘s stats. I prefer ground pokemon on my standard team, but I need powerful fallbacks since any grass or water pokemon trainer can devastate what I’ve got.”

Breeding? His pokemon and her pokemon? Eek, she thought, how romantic! She knew now she had made the right choice when she fell madly in love with him….
 
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Nice. You use both the Japanese names and English names though... might be confusing to an outsider.

And don't worry. I don't mind 30 chapters of Diamondshipping at all... ^_^
 
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I don't see why it has to be confusing. In my fics, Giovanni is the name he chose because he didn't like Sakaki. Even though he looks like a stereotypical Italian mobster, and since race can be hard to identify in this anime, I tend to suggest that he's Japanese but has a die-hard obsession with Italian mobster movies, thus his name change. Notice, I don't do that with Delia. Just Gio. And I'm aware of how outsiders might read this -- I'm emailing these to my mother, who doesn't have the slightest clue in the world how Pokemon works ... so if I can get her to "get" it, I can explain it to anyone. :D
 
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To Care for Him
ACT 1: DIAMONDSHIPPING
Chapter 3: A Mother‘s Story​

Giovanni lay back against a large beanbag on the gym floor as his girlfriend played ping-pong with her new pokemon, a ralts. He once met a gifted family in Saffron, a family devoted to the psychic arts, and he was spellbound. To be able to exercise one’s will to affect the environment directly seemed like a miracle, if he believed in such things. Having noticed that there were both human and pokemon psychics, he had decided that the best way to exercise his will was to breed or even create a powerful psychic, so that the genes involved in its nature could ultimately be bestowed upon him.

Exercising his will had become paramount to Giovanni. His mother was developing a covert underground black market and was suppressing his desire to rise through the ranks of this new organization. No matter what he wanted to do, she stood in his way like a giant Snorlax, the rotund giant of a beast best known for its unlimited appetite.

That was why he hadn’t told her yet about his new gym in the basement. If she knew, she’d try to get involved -- no, he thought angrily as he crushed a water bottle in his hand -- she’d take over the operation completely, leaving him with nothing, not even credit. Worse, she might confiscate the rare pokemon he had taken upon himself to collect.

Still, the hope of a powerful immortal existence meant nothing if his mother got involved. He also knew that immortality may not be feasible, so he decided that offspring could give him the immortality he sought. And that was why he felt attracted to Delia. Sure, she was a klutz … but she had a resolve, a strength of will, that he loved. She wasn’t afraid of him or his mother, although she had no idea what his family was up to, yet he found he couldn’t tear himself away. She was necessary -- to gain the immortality he sought. So, despite her immature whining and her klutziness and her naïve thoughtlessness, he wanted her to be his. He was willing to put aside all appearances of superiority if it meant she would be helplessly devoted to him and provide for him access to immortality.

Suddenly, everyone stood perfectly still, their mouths agape. Not a sound could be heard throughout the entire gym. All eyes seemed to be trained on the door behind Giovanni, so he turned and looked and cursed to himself.

In the doorway stood a sleek woman with long black hair, her bright red business suit standing out among all the earth tones of the room. She was furious only initially, as her dark eyes suddenly widened with the many possibilities swirling through her head. It was as Giovanni feared.

She gasped and clasped her hands together as if she were cooing over a newborn child. “I can’t believe it!” she uttered. “All this time I thought my boy was just lazy -- but I see now that he’s just shy!” She hurried to every machine throughout the room and ended up towering over the reclining son of hers. “So, you’ve been developing new training equipment, eh? This stuff could make us --”

“A-HEM!” Giovanni coughed, glancing in Delia’s direction.

Giovanni’s mother whipped around and saw the young girl, gawking at the boss’s sudden appearance, and smiled. “It could make us millions, boy. Don’t you see? People will pay big bucks for pokemon training equipment! File a few patents, slap our logos on them and rake in the big money!” She nodded toward Delia. “And I take it you’ll be handling our deliveries to pokemon keepers everywhere? It’s quite a big jump from delivering lettuce and tomatoes, don’t you agree?” She glanced back at her son. “Don’t you think she’d be of more use to us as a long-term delivery girl? She could see the world, meet new people -- why, the intrinsic rewards alone make me want to dance!”

“Please, don’t,” Giovanni muttered in an embarrassed tone. “Besides, I’ve already asked her to be my partner.”

His mother stared at him in disbelief. She frowned, then turned back to look Delia right square in the eyes. “Let me tell you a little tale of ‘partnerships’, dear,” she said bitterly:

“I was a young girl, maybe nine or ten. I was on the playground, the large sandy patch behind the old day school. We were playing baseball and I was the team captain. It was the girls against the boys. On the other team was this quiet little boy with brown hair who seemed to be thinking far away instead of right then when it was most important to his team. He had only recently been back home after getting lost while traveling. Ditsy little thing, I tell you. In any case, he was the second-baseman, as leadership was not his cup of tea. His captain had ordered him to catch the ball flying from the bat of one my players, but he just stood there like a Slowpoke, oblivious to the world. Well, we got a couple home runs out of that play and his captain was furious. He, the captain, dear, hurled the baseball at me, screaming that I had made fools of the boys. Even though I got hit in the shoulder, I confidently replied that he was correct, but we didn’t need to make fools of the boys because they were doing a great job of that themselves. However, my shoulder really started to sting, and it snapped something in that quiet little boy. He found a rock and threw it at his captain, forbidding him to hurt a girl like that again. He took over as captain, but the captain didn’t like it, so they fought. The cute little quiet boy actually won, and the captain sulked and walked off the playground. We were whipped within an inning. After the game, I walked over to the boy and slapped him, telling him I didn’t need help. He told me I was stupid, that a good leader wasn’t afraid to accept help when he or she needed it. Naturally, being around the age when young children go off on pokemon journeys, I asked him if he had any yet. He said he already raised a young charmander into a charmeleon -- you know the ones, dear, the mid-sized red-orange lizards with flames coming out their tails and a big crest coming out the back of the head. It was love, dear. To have a second-stage pokemon so early in his career -- why nothing on this earth could prepare me for his talent. I looked up to him for so many years….”

“Is there a point to this romantic nonsense?” her son wondered aloud in an irritated voice.

His mother scoffed. “Only that with time everything started to fall apart. He didn’t know how to appreciate his talents and I surely appreciated mine, so our relationship fell flat. I just wanted to warn your new help about the dangers of professional relationships.”

“Maybe you two could have been more supportive,” Delia offered in a timid voice.

Giovanni’s mother’s feathers were obviously ruffled. “I am no one’s maid, girl,” she retorted snobbishly. “Men have to clean up after themselves and support themselves. Their purpose in life is to support me and cater to my every whim!” She began to walk out the door. “Oh,” she said, not even looking back toward her son, “don’t forget -- I want specs and pricing guides for these machines on my desk by tomorrow morning.” With that, she slammed the door shut.
 
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To Care for Him
ACT 1: DIAMONDSHIPPING
Chapter 4: A Son‘s Request​

Author’s note: A passage in the previous chapters somewhere has been edited from Pokemon League to Pokemon Elite, as I have discovered I want the formation of the league to be told in this story as well.
Giovanni studied his mother’s office that next morning as he sat in one chair awaiting her arrival, with a stack of papers in his hands. The room was small, less than ten feet in any direction. There was a small metal desk, a large leather office chair, a smaller leather chair opposite the big one, a metal bookcase, a stained-glass window with abstract colorful designs, a gold clock on the red walls, and a black safe behind the desk. Not that there was room to hold a lot of furniture, but Giovanni’s mother wasn’t the cluttered type anyway. She was the type who would sell all her possessions for one rare item -- even if it meant living in an empty house for the rest of her life.

Finally, his mother walked in, sat down in her big leather chair, and twirled around for a moment before coming to rest and staring into her son’s eyes. Before she could speak, though, her cell phone rang.

“Madame Roquet,” she announced cheerfully. “Ah yes, that sounds perfect. We would definitely like to come to the meeting. I’m certain we’ll find mutual benefits. Thank you. Goodbye!”

As she placed her cell phone, one of the first in the region to have a camera installed on it, in her suit jacket pocket, she clasped her hands together and rested her elbows on her desk, leaning forward in great interest. “Those are the specs I requested?”

Giovanni nodded and handed them over, suppressing his reluctance to do so. Fortunately, he had spent most of the night “fixing” the blueprints so most of his ideas wouldn’t be made public, but his mother didn’t need to know that. “Who was that?”

She smiled. “There are certain trainers interested in starting a league of some kind to help regulate the training process. They have grand plans to grow it into an international body. These elites, as they like to call themselves, will require regional assistance to help in the training of young pokemon journey-takers. They want to instill a sense of discipline and honor among those who currently view pokemon training as a hobby. They plan on remodeling their headquarters into a huge stadium where the best of the best will come and test their mettle. It’s such a fascinating concept -- and I want our family to take part in this as well. That’s why we will provide food and merchandise services, if our contract talks work out -- but I’m sure they will.” She glanced at the blueprints for the training machines. “Maybe we can also sell training machines to young trainers -- really cater to the sense of beating the top guys by any means.” She noticed her son making a contorted face of disgust. “Spit it out, boy.”

“Why be content to serve these ‘elites’? Our path is obvious, yet once again you take ‘the road less traveled.’”
“We could become rich beyond our wildest dreams if this works out,” she retorted derisively. “I can’t see why you don’t want the best out of your life. If you’d stop playing around and get serious, there could be no stopping us.”

Giovanni grabbed the thin arms of his seat, turning his knuckles white. He informed her through gritted teeth, “That’s what I’ve been attempting to accomplish. With more support from you we could turn my ‘playing around’ gym into an official one, once they start labeling such things. Being a gym leader would give us more access to League decisions than simply making nachos for a bunch of Pokemon Master-wannabes. I don’t see why you, a trainer yourself, can’t appreciate my goals, since in my opinion they’re more worthwhile than yours.”

She stood up and slapped her hand on the desk in front of her. “Listen to me, boy,” she threatened, “if you want to see your twentieth birthday this year, you won’t insult me like that again, do you understand? I will always be your superior and don’t you forget it! I was training pokemon before your geodude was a pebble on the mountainside!”

Giovanni smirked. “Pfbbt. For all your talk of superior training ability, I’ve yet to see you go out and actually train.”

Madame Roquet leaned back and laughed. “Fine. You want to challenge me, go right ahead and see how far you get.”

Giovanni glanced around. “Where do you want to battle?”

She pointed to her desk. “Right here, in this room, you little twerp.”

Giovanni’s face twisted in confusion. “The room’s rather small and,” he noted with great satisfaction, “my pokemon are very destructive.”

She glared at him, all sense of the ditzy gold-digger vanishing. “I only need one pokemon to take you down before your team can make a single move. Now choose.”

“One-on-one, then?”

Madame Roquet shrugged. “I only need one. Choose as many as you like.”

“Go, Gaia!” he announced, releasing his geodude from its pokeball. It appeared on her desk, pumping its arms in a show of strength. Giovanni smiled maliciously. “Earthquake.”

“Protect,” his mother announced strangely. After all, she never called out a pokemon. A faint glow covered every item in the room as Gaia punched the desk to rattle the room, although its face expressed some doubts over whether or not this was a good idea. Madame Roquet’s face relaxed as nothing happened. She condescendingly petted the rock pokemon on the head. “There, there, Gaia. It’s not your fault your performance was positively ghastly -- it was your arrogant trainer’s.”

“A Ghastly?” Giovanni barked. “Figures. Why bother with a defensive move like that, though? They are immune to ground attacks.”

Madame Roquet chuckled to herself. “You were going to destroy all of my expensive furniture.” She leaned forward in an exaggerated way and crossed her eyes. “Duh…

Giovanni was about to recall his pokemon when his mother cheerfully announced, “Mega drain.” A green aura filled the room and then settled onto Gaia, who suffered intensely as its life force was drained from it. A green blob of light floated away from Gaia and stopped just behind Giovanni’s mother, briefly illuminating the basketball-sized ball of purple gas, its glaring eyes and vampiric fangs shuddering Giovanni’s soul. The ghost pokemon absorbed the green light and announced with a gloomy voice yet a cheerful smile, “Ghas, ghastly.” Gaia shuddered and fainted, rolling off the desk and nearly smashing Giovanni’s feet. He sighed, disgusted, and recalled his favorite pokemon into its pokeball. So this was going to be a metaphysical battle, then, he thought to himself. Fine.

“Abra!” he ordered, demanding the golden cat-fox-like pokemon appear before it. It called out its name and promptly went back to sleep on the desk.

Madame Roquet laughed. “I told you you were lazy and good for nothing! Lily can wipe up the floor with a psychic pokemon!”

Giovanni nodded and bowed in fake humility. “Be my guest, then -- show this pathetic worm of a human being how it’s done.”

“Dream eater,” she ordered. “Destroy that abra’s dreams!” Her ghastly, Lily, nodded and its eyes glowed as it telepathically intruded into the young abra’s mind and proceeded to search for its most emotional dreams. However, Lily, in her own language, expressed her confusion to her trainer since there did not seem to be much success. “Strange,” she replied quietly.

“Isn’t it, though?” Giovanni replied wryly. “Better try again to make sure.”

Madame Roquet sighed and shrugged. “It is a pity to have to do this to my flesh and blood, but,” she added, nodding towards Lily, “shadow ball -- blow that thing’s soul to the other realm!”

A ball of dark smoke appeared, equal in size to the ghost pokemon who formed it, and shot forth toward the sleeping pokemon. It tossed the golden pokemon back toward Giovanni, who grunted as he was sent flying toward the wall just behind him. Finally, after convulsing, the body of the abra shattered into several pieces like pottery. Just as Madame Roquet’s eyes widened in the shock of this development, she felt a rush of air behind her. She turned around to see another, more lively abra floating just behind Lily, who also was beginning to turn around. A dark aura enveloped the ghost pokemon. The abra teleported in a brief shaft of light, reappearing on the desk, standing tall and proud. Just as his mother ordered another shadow ball, Lily screamed in terror and flew quickly through the walls of the office, wailing in horror.

Madame Roquet stood there, staring blankly at the spot in the wall where Lily disappeared. She turned to her son, who was grinning as he got a book from her bookshelf and pretended to read with a sarcastically snobbish air.

He cleared his throat. “Substitute: the formation of a corporeal double that absorbs a foe’s attacks without harming one’s pokemon.” He flipped a few pages and continued his lecture. “Torment: a feeling of dread is imposed onto a pokemon to such an extent that successive use of a particular move drives the foe into a frenzy of distraught trauma.” He tossed the randomly-picked book at his mother. “I hope you give my idea some further thought -- mother,” he said cheerfully as he beckoned Abra to leave the room with him.
 
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Thanks. I enjoyed writing it. Never having heard the CD dramas, I'm not 100% sure how she's characterized, but I knew she resented him and vice versa and she was not as into world domination the way Giovanni defines it.
 
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To Care for Him
ACT 1: DIAMONDSHIPPING
Chapter 5: Ralts​

Delia stumbled as she hopped over the wooden fence surrounding Mr. Oak’s, or rather, Professor Oak’s, large estate. She turned around and scooped up her ralts from the other side of the fence, determined to carry it over the large distance from the edge of the farm to the Professor’s house. She could already hear, though, the loud din of construction. As she carried her ralts, a doll-like pokemon with a white body and a green bowl-cut-like cap of scales, it chirped in a very disappointed voice as she kept stumbling over the furrows of the farmland. She looked down, trying to hide her irritation, and asked, “Do you want to walk?” The ralts shook its head. “Well, then this is how to get to Mr. Oak’s house. I can’t help that it takes a while to get there from the back of the farm.”

Suddenly, she felt an overwhelming urge to pee. She let down her ralts and hopped hurriedly over to the nearest group of bushes near the trees that served as windbreaks and hid herself, taking down her pants. She waited and waited but nothing came out. She stood up and looked quizzically at her ralts. “That’s weird,” she noted. “Just a couple of seconds ago I felt like I was going to explode!” She noticed her ralts shaking its head and urinating discretely in a small pit it had created, then covered up with loose dirt.

“Ralts, ralts,” her psychic pokemon said before giggling and shaking its head again. It pointed to itself, then Delia, then crossed its small arms over its heart.

“So, you had to go, and you made me think I had to go just so you could get your point across?” Delia asked, confused. “Our thoughts were, like, synchronized, or something?”

Her ralts nodded.

“DON’T DO THAT AGAIN!” Delia boomed before jumping out from behind the bushes, only to fall as she realized she still hadn’t pulled up her pants. She pulled them up quickly and pointed angrily at her new pokemon. “Look, I don’t like making a fool of myself like that! Can’t you, like, find another way to tell me you need to go to the bathroom?”

The pokemon shrugged and smiled embarrassingly, since it didn’t know it would bother her trainer that much. Empathic synchronization was even easier than telepathy and was the preferred mode of communication among ralts and its evolutionary siblings, kirlias and gardevoirs. Although sometimes the three-year-old ralts found some abra, who regularly conversed with humans mentally in their own tongue, in its home region, far from this new place, it couldn’t understand the need to mimic human speech using telepathy. After all, images combined with sensations were more potent than words could ever be. Still, the ralts didn’t want to make its new trainer uncomfortable -- it knew the human female was not like the ones who caught it. It didn’t appreciate being forced from its nest in a far away land, although it did like the stimulation it received once it got here. No pokemon nor human cared as much about its performance as the ones who now looked after her.

An hour after walking, Delia stopped in the middle of a grassy area in the middle of the tilled ground. She could finally see the house, with its windmill turning gently in the breeze. She could also see -- and smell -- dozens of pokemon that assisted in the construction efforts, putting up fences, planting trees and flowers, plastering new walls…

“I wish I didn’t have to walk anymore,” Delia whined, taking off her sneakers and rubbing her feet. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure exercise is very important, but it’s so tiring…”

“Ralts, ralts,” the pokemon announced in a tone that suggested it had an idea.

“I would rather not teleport, thank you very much,” Delia said, shaking her head. “I’ve never done that and I’d be afraid you’d put me back together backwards or something.”

“Ralts!” it retorted in a “Hmph!”-kinda way, turning its back on its trainer.

“It’s nothing personal, dang,” Delia replied.

Suddenly a huge roar shook them out of their brief argument and forced the two to gaze skyward. A large winged lizard came flying toward them, an orange western-style dragon with flames coming out of its tail. It landed a few feet away from them and nodded its head toward its back, as if to invite them for a lift.

The ralts eagerly glided over to the six-and-a-half-foot creature, a charizard, and studied its body most intently, as it had never seen such a fire pokemon before. It got too close, however, to the tail flames, and scorched one of its hands.

Delia screamed and swore a blue streak as she blew on her own hands, which were beginning to redden. She glared at her pokemon, although a part of her felt sorry for the poor clumsy thing, “Dang it, ralts! Be careful! I don’t want to end up in the hospital because you can’t stop linking your feelings to me!”

The charizard snorted in retaliation toward Delia, then growled softly at the ralts, nuzzling its head in concern. Ralts nodded after blowing on its hands some more and portrayed its feelings to its trainer.

Delia felt a wave of relief come over her. “Well,” she said more humbly, “I’m glad you’re alright, but try to remember to keep yourself safe, okay?”

“Ralts!” it chirped happily as they got on the charizard for a short flight to Professor Oak’s house.
 
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To Care for Him
ACT 1: DIAMONDSHIPPING
Chapter 6: The New Professor​

Author's Note: well, Act 1 is winding down. Ralt's Synchronize ability will become important later on, but there's probably only about 4-6 more chaps for this act, if that.

Delia and her Ralts, who while riding on the back of the charizard Delia named Roll-On, landed safely at the back door of the Oak residence, as the front doorway was filled with pokemon construction workers. She carefully entered the back door, her hands leaving smeared sweat on the handle. This was the man who was taking her family’s life away. This was the man who was abandoning a whole section of the economy of Pallet Town.

All so he could play school with the trainers of pokemon.

How could she forgive him?

“Excuse me,” a teenage boy said abruptly as he tried to get past her toward the back door, “would you and that weird pokemon get out of the way, please? If you’re not here to help, get your business over with and leave.” Delia was surprised that anyone was still wearing the mullet hairstyle anymore. If he tied his hair back he could almost be a masculine version of Delia herself.

She pushed him backwards. “Excuse me,” she replied, “but you’re kind of rude. Roll-On and I need to speak with Mr. Oak.”

The teenage boy’s voice box quivered, as did his lips, as he alternated glances between this rude girl and her pokemon. Before long, he couldn’t stand it any longer and burst out laughing, bracing himself against Delia’s shoulders for balance. His eyes were so tightly shut from sheer guffawing that he failed to realize the exact placement of his hands …

Wham! Delia headbutted the pervert, causing him to stop laughing and fall back, completely stunned. However, he recovered enough to continue snickering some more. “Roll-On?” he asked between giggles. “Are you serious?” He laughed half-heartedly while rubbing the sore spot on his forehead. “What names did you give your other pokemon? Maybe T. P. or Tweezor? Or Makeup? You seem like a ‘Shower Curtain‘-kind of girl.” He laughed a little again.

“Laugh it up, fuzzy,” she replied coldly, although a slight smile betrayed itself. “It seemed appropriate, given its look.” She smiled warmly at her pokemon. “Besides, I think it’s a great name and she seems to like it.”

“Yeah, whatever,” he told her, getting up and nodding as he went past her outside.

Delia took Roll-On to a room where Mr. Oak kept all his priceless pokemon books from his college days. They were stacked everywhere in clumsy heaps, with papers falling out of some of them. She shook her head.

“I’m sorry,” an adult male voice announced cheerfully. “I keep meaning to straighten those, but I’m in the middle of building an addition to my house and half of it will compose my library.”

She looked around and spotted a thirties-ish man with short-cropped brown hair and broad shoulders, his body muscular and well-toned. She had met him once before at a birthday party, but he seemed like such a moron. Yeah, he was smart, but he was pathetic when it came to common sense stuff. In any case, she decided to get down to business.

“I hear you’re going to be a Pokemon Professor,” she started, trying to feign confidence. She noticed out of the corner of her eye Roll-On sighing and shaking her head slightly. They’ll have a talk when they get home, she thought to herself, wondering if her pokemon could hear her. “My parents work for you and we distribute crops to the restaurant in Viridian,” she added. “I just want to know how you can sleep with yourself knowing you’re putting my parents and every other hard-working sharecropper out of work.”

He laughed nervously for a moment. “Ha, uh, well,” he stuttered, “I can see you have some misconceptions….”

“I don’t have ‘misconceptions’, sir,” she replied angrily. “All I know is that you’re ending our way of life!”

His smile faded. “Look, um, Miss -- I’m not ending anything. After all, every ending is a new beginning. I just got a letter today from one of the Pokemon Elites: they are setting up a league and they will require my assistance, as well as other pokemon scientists, to research pokemon and determine what would make good starters for beginning trainers.” He stopped, having noticed the girl’s strange pokemon. “What is that?”

Delia stepped in front of her pokemon to shield it from view. “Don’t change the subject. What are families like mine supposed to do?”

“Well, I intended from the start to enlist their help in my research. I’ll need field agents, mythologists, artists and photographers, sound recorders, behaviorists -- everything required so I can help the Pokemon League construct logical and reasonable rules of training behavior.” He cleared his throat. “In fact I just hired a student from the next region over. He is learning about ancient languages, which should prove useful in our studies.” He nodded towards Delia. “You’re welcome to join this project too, you know. Is there anything in particular you’d enjoy?”

“I already was offered a job with the owner of the restaurant,” she said proudly, only though she just accepted Madame Roquet’s offer in her mind just now. “Thanks anyway.”

“Well, I see,” the Pokemon Professor replied thoughtfully. “If you change your mind, I could always use a good researcher in pokemon nutrition. If you become interested, of course.”

“Not likely,” she said, exiting the cluttered room with her pokemon.
 
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i love it so far. cant wait to read the rest.
 
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what are you talking about? new chaps? sorry, but I'm working a 9-day stretch ... i only tend to write a new chap when I'm off. I'll be off next Mon.
 
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To Care for Him
ACT 1: DIAMONDSHIPPING
Chapter 7: Gaia​

A five-foot-tall concrete block stood before Giovanni and his geodude, Gaia. Except for a few red-stained dents here and some brown-stained dents there, it was largely intact. Giovanni silently studied the block for about an hour, while Gaia mirrored his pose, with steepled fingers to display deep thought.

The day Gaia first met her trainer, well over three years ago, she was creating nesting sites for some bird pokemon in the cliff face she called home, near the mystical Mount Moon -- a place regularly endangered by freak attacks courtesy of winged pink pokemon called clefairy and clefable, whose metronome attack was the most feared of all in their repertoire. A simple rhythmic waving of their tiny fingers, and suddenly huge boulders could be thrown your way or a cave could flood or a confusing wave of psychic energy could spread out and make other pokemon hallucinate.

In any case, the geodude kept pounding rhythmically at the cliff face, creating small ledges, when she heard a scream. She looked down and spotted her future trainer stumbling quickly out of a cavern that led to some dangerous areas within Mount Moon. He fell finally just below her while a horde of angry clef airy stampeded after him. When they reached him they began chanting their names, waving their tiny fingers back and forth. The geodude could feel the rocks behind her loosen. They were going to create a rock slide, she thought. She jumped off the ledge where she had been making nesting sites and landed just in front of the young human male, who was desperately wiping what looked like sludge from his eyes. As the rocks and boulders finally loosened and came crashing down, the geodude grunted and used one fist to pound the ground toward the horde of clef airy while using the other to summon her control over falling rocks.

A rush of kinetic energy rumbled the ground and knocked down the little pink pokemon just as the largest of the falling boulders landed in a circular pattern around the geodude and the human, building to an igloo-shaped tomb over them. The geodude could hear the clef airy stomp off, their pride hurt. When it seemed clear the rocky pokemon nudged the human, pointed at the ground, and started digging a short tunnel out from under the large boulders. At last, when the human male emerged behind the geodude, he stood, kicked the dirt in frustration, and threw a rock toward the entrance to Mount Moon. He cursed the clefairy, his eyes still watering from the sludge created from their metronome attack inside.

“Geo, dude, dude, geodude, geo,” she remarked in a concerned voice.

He didn’t look at her, but kept his back turned. “I don’t need another mother, you big ball of rock,” he said, gritting his teeth. He surveyed the damaged surroundings. Finally, he turned around and sighed. “Still, I’ve never heard of a pokemon managing two attacks at once. You were very clever -- I’ll give you that.” He stroked his chin. “Perhaps I’ve been rude. I’ve been rather stressed out and it was wrong of me to take it out on you. If you wish, I’d like to make it up to you by making you my partner. I already train a young nidoran male, and I think you two would get along nicely.”


“Gaia,” Giovanni finally announced, “hand me those steel gloves in front of you.”

Gaia uttered a sense of doubt, looking up at her trainer. He quickly glanced at her. “Obviously, if I continue to punch this block I could end up with useless hands. However, if I were to reinforce my hands, I can still develop my strength while protecting my skin from further harm.” He grinned briefly. “I’m not softening, Gaia. I’m just using my head.”

After putting on the special gloves, he glared at the block, wishing for a moment that it was his mother. She had taken his advice, after a whole week, and had begun preparations to finance the remodeling of the Roquet Café. It was to become a gym and would hopefully have full official sanction within a couple of months of its completion. All in all, Giovanni should have been very happy. Instead, his mother insisted on developing the gym to her own specifications and left him to design uniforms for their … employees, so Giovanni was more than a little resentful that his dream -- no, it wasn’t his dream to have a gym of his own, for that was just a mere stepping stone in the great river of life. No, his real dream of climbing to the top of the new regulatory agency, the Pokemon League, was what he was really after. He didn’t care about being an elite, such as they were, but once in power he would manipulate the whole region of Kanto … and maybe Johto … to his liking.

He nodded to Gaia, who took position opposite him on the other side of the concrete block. They weren’t merely attempting to test their strength. The idea was that, with careful strategy, several well-placed punches would crack the block in such a way that with one more punch it would crumble like a sandcastle. For that is the way Giovanni had come to love: power mixed with cunning. A brute can be out-thought while a geek can be overpowered -- it was the combination that showed him the path to the universe.

And by his side would be Delia, even though he had his concerns about bringing her into Team Rocket. His mother seemed to think it was a good idea, since the girl did have potential. Still, she could be so idealistic sometimes. He doubted if she could pull off the hard decisions they may need to make.

Her major flaw was that she was spoiled, even though her family was poor. She had never lost anything of any major consequence, for you can’t truly mourn for a cared object or person if they are not to be had in the first place. He shook his head and concentrated on the block, smashing into it about halfway up, watching cracks spread over the face of the block. He was getting so close, he thought. Gaia, on the other side, provided an uppercut of her own, smashing away concrete and leaving a large upward dent on her side. Several more cracks could be heard forming on the top as the weight distribution began to shift. Delia, he realized, would need to overcome adversity. She, if she were going to be a valuable member of Team Rocket, would have to learn to dig herself out of the hole of despair.

“You know, there are machines for that sort of thing,” an adult female voice sneered playfully.

Giovanni turned around and met the eyes of a young woman with long purple hair and a loose-fitting blue dress that captured sunlight with its sequins and dazzled the eye. “That’s not the point,” he retorted, angry that his exercises were interrupted by a friend of his mother’s.

She sighed. “I know, Sakaki …”

Giovanni,” he corrected her bitterly.

She shook her head. “You shouldn’t disrespect your mother like that, … boy,” she replied haughtily. “That woman feeds you and shelters you and you abandon the name she gave you?”

“The children should improve upon their parents’ ideals,” he noted, quickly tiring of his anger toward her. After all, she wasn’t worth it when his mother was the true impediment to his dreams.

The woman nodded. “You have a point, I guess.”

Giovanni laughed. “You’re the first one to say so.” He nodded toward her. “What brings you here? Did Mother let you off early today?”

She smiled. “I’m off today, actually,” she replied, sighing. “I’m taking my daughter to a fair over in Vermillion. I haven’t managed to take her to one in the last couple of years because I couldn’t afford it.”

“You should demand more money,” he told her in a serious tone. “My mother isn’t nearly as poor as she wants others to think.”

The woman laughed. “I know that … Giovanni,” she said. “Besides, your mother is already going to be paying me handsomely for roaming the region -- if you must know. Even though Team Rocket is taking its first steps, she wants me to look for other business opportunities so we can fund all that needs to go into Team Rocket.”

“Are you going to take your daughter? It could be a nuisance to have a kid following you around.”

She growled momentarily before sighing and shaking her head. “No, I don’t want that for her. My little rose petal is my angel, and I don’t want to put her in harm’s way. You wouldn’t happen to know any good babysitters, would you? Aren’t you seeing a girl nowadays?”

Giovanni laughed. “My ‘girl’ isn’t the mothering type, sorry,” he informed her. “She has to be taught how to tie her own shoes.” He smirked. “But I’m certain we can arrange it, if need be -- with someone else. Her father isn’t too thrilled with the child he’s got, much less a new one. He tends to make me look downright compassionate, sometimes.”

“That’s too bad,” the woman noted sadly, “but I’m sure it will work out. Things always do eventually.”
 
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To Care for Him
ACT 1: DIAMONDSHIPPING
Chapter 8: The Pre-Interview​

Delia was fast asleep, her head lying snugly in Giovanni’s lap as he sat cross-legged at the base of a large tree deep within the Viridian Forest. He stroked her long brown hair tenderly. He struggled to keep his plans to himself today. He had to make sure that every thought, no matter how inconsequential, was tailored to their date. The sun was just beginning to set, but Delia had already been exhausted from her trek from Oak’s ranch. Her first thought had been to rush to Giovanni’s side, begging for comfort. She was still angry with the Professor, although he had told her that her family would not be fired … just … repurposed.

Giovanni smiled as he looked down on her, the orange glow of sunset giving her soft face a warm hue, almost flushed. Indeed, this was a time of changes. He had given his mother sketches of costume designs for Team Rocket -- which she promptly complained were too simplistic. He admired the whole ‘yin-yang’ feel of the black and white designs, since he viewed life in much the same way. She accepted them only after her son had gritted through his teeth that they could be accessorized to each member’s liking. His mother then left to go contact various people around Kanto, so that appropriate training facilities for Team Rocket could be set up. One day, Giovanni vowed to himself, he would change that too. He would focus more on strength and willpower. He would prove to the world that his mother’s subtle approach, indicative of her training ghost pokemon -- who always used subtlety and misdirection in their battle strategies -- was improper, to say the least.

“Ralts,” chirped Delia’s Ralts happily as it returned from its, from her, short walk investigating the flora and fauna of the forest, for she loved discovering new things.

Giovanni couldn’t stomach the name Delia had given her. How juvenile, he thought. Still, Delia was going to have to prove herself worthy of being his equal. And this date was the perfect start for what could end up being a very carefully planned interview with Team Rocket. After all, if she didn’t past muster, then it was foolish to let her know just how deep into the underworld Giovanni’s family wished to go. He motioned for the psychic pokemon to come closer. He smiled warmly and spoke in hushed tones so as not to awaken his girlfriend.

“Would you like a snack?” he asked. It chirped happily. He nodded. “Do you see the berries above us?” It replied positively. “Good. There are berries like those all over these trees. If you collect a bunch of the different kinds, I can make you up a smoothie I think you’ll enjoy.” He forced happy thoughts of sharing frosty fruity treats, of playing in the woods at sunset -- any positive daydream he could come up with. It was a test of one’s will, he believed, to be able to keep one’s true nature from psychics.
 
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Aww... I'm really getting hooked on this, you realize?
 
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Thanks. Sorry that Ch 8 was so short, but I wanted to tell of Roll-On's tragedy in chapters using Delia's POV. I want there to be a reason she doesn't get a psychic pokemon until Mimey. The end of Diamondshipping is approaching, and I'm struggling with Gio's character. I don't like portraying him as a cookie-cut-out villain. He's going to do something very nasty (and will get paid back for it), but I want readers to see that he feels he is right -- that hurting Delia in some way is actually a show of love. He wants her to grow up and not be the idealistic teen she is. I'm trying to show he has doubts about it, but in the end he feels the direct approach is best, regardless of how much it hurts.
 
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Yeah, I hate it when people write Gio as a two dimensional, stereotypical force of evil in their fics. That's why ALL my characters have complex motivations and whatnot.
 
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