Penalty Part II
A small flame danced softly, irregular in its movements, as a young woman continued to stare at her only source of entertainment. Her elbows sliding forward on a sleek table with the help of her grey sweater, she sighed softly, deep in thought, or bored out of her mind. She could not tell herself.
Tapping the side of the oval ornament that held a single flame, the young woman's hazel eyes gazed at the source of heat as the thumping from some unknown source vibrated from her seat.
"Where is he?" Elisa sighed, her chin now resting against the table. Cole had been gone for quite some time now while she waited, patiently, for her friend to return. She pouted slightly, 'It couldn't take him this long to find someone...He usually gets things done right away.' She then averted her eyes from the flickering flame, as if she was talking to a person.
'I mean...' She pushed the candle away slightly; she did not know that much about him to say such things...could she?
'He's just some guy...' She tried to argue with the candle as the flame jerked right and left. 'Some guy who is so willing to help me...reach my goal.' She took in a soft breath through her nose. Her thighs shifted slightly, allowing her to lean onto her ear. 'Just...a guy who wants me to reach my goal...'
The candle flickered brightly.
She suddenly glared at the flame. 'I don't like him!' She argued.
'He's mean...never talks...' She huffed this time. Those annoying traits of his were right for the most part. But thinking back, her sister had rambled about the qualities that a man should always have; soft hazel eyes narrowed in thought, he had to at least have one of them. 'Smart...understanding...' Looking away from the flame, Elisa's fingers played with the fold of her sweater.
'He's not dumb...and-' She pouted, she did not like where this was going. 'I guess...he...listens too.'
The pit of her stomach began to flutter, making her shiver from the sensation. She was about to glare at the candle again, but with her ear laying against the table, she could hear footsteps slowly approaching. 'He's back!' She did not know why she began to smile, maybe it was that they could order something to eat now; she did anyway, leaning up against the love seat, she waited patiently as the footsteps neared.
However that dorky smile faded once a tall man appeared before her. His lanky figure making her glance up slightly in awe. She knew this man, her hazel eyes narrowed. "...Hello." Elisa finally greeted as a small smile graced the lips of the tall man. "Um...We're not ready to or-"
"You split with your lover?"
Elisa blatantly gaped at the man. "L-Lover?" Her cheeks tinged pink in the candle's glow. "W-We're only...Um-Girlfriend and-a-"
"You two didn't read the rules for tonight at the entrance, did you now?"
"...Rules?" Elisa's blush faded softly, her brow furling with confusion.
"Well, you have to come down now to the entrance." The waiter smirked softly, abruptly laughing to himself. "Man, I only thought these things were just myths too. But I'm finally going to be able to see one!" He laughed again, yanking Elisa from the booth, earning a small yelp in return.
"W-What are you tal-"
"You'll see..." The waiter gave Elisa a dark grin before he dragged her away to the blaring music of the main floor.
'...This can't be good.'
~BOOM BOOM~ ~BOOM~
Elisa shuffled her feet as the man continued to drag her, without her consent, towards the main floor of the Game Corner. Her wrist beginning to hurt from the grip of her captor, she silently glared at him. 'I'm supposed to be holding Cole's hand.'
She blushed. They did not actually need to, so why was she thinking about it?
The man suddenly turned another corner, nearly making her trip as she bumped into a couple that was preoccupied with something. She huffed angrily, the man was not slowing his pace as he continued to drag her to some unknown location. This place was too weird; the blaring lights, loud, annoying noises that erupted from the large speakers, the blatant gambling.
With all of these constant distractions, she was quickly beginning to miss the childish laughter of Noah; her cheeks tinged pink yet again, and maybe Cole's calm presence too. 'I want to go now...' She suddenly felt lost without them by her side. She would have never ventured to Mauville if it had not been for them. Her friends, Cole and Noah urging her to take her to new places because of the Dragon Plates. She was about to attempt to yank her hand away from the now annoying waiter before he abruptly stopped, making the young woman slam into his back with a thud.
"I found his so-called lover!"
"Ow..." Elisa slowly opened her hazel eyes before jumping off the waiter with a hysterical face. "I'm not his lover!"
Well not really silence, but it was the closest thing to it as Elisa finally noticed her surroundings. The loud thumping of the music had slowed, turning into a modest mid tempo beat, the lights had dimmed slightly as well. But it was not these sudden changes that made the girl cringe. It was the quick realization that the entire main floor now seemed to have their attention focused on her. She trembled slightly, her legs shaking with weakness as she glanced in multiple directions for a way out.
"...Um...I-I would...l-like...t-to go now?" She squeaked, her face beginning to pale as the multiple couples stared at her wide eyed.
A chorus of laughter just behind the tall waiter suddenly caught her attention. Elisa leaned to her side in confusion as the lights suddenly focused on something that was obscured behind the waiter's frame.
"It seems like these two have some issues to work out!"
Elisa blinked in confusion. "W-Who's there?" Her voice wavered, she did not like this at all. Where was Cole? Why didn't Noah come? As the young woman finally focused on the bright light in front of her, she suddenly gasped at the sight before her.
There was a large stage that she had not noticed before. A massive screen was against the mahogany walls, towering over the stage as Elisa's bewildered eyes finally noticed two figures on the stage. One was a stubby bald man, he stood tall though, his round face gleaming in the spot light while the other figure had his head down, messy black hair covering his face as he sat in silence. The man was literally pinned to the chair, thick steel straps were around his wrists and ankles.
"Cole!" Elisa gasped, rushing to the edge of the stage before she was abruptly stopped by two strong hands that grabbed onto her small shoulders. "Wha-Le-Let go of me!" She cried, struggling with her new captors as she tried to get closer to the young man's still figure.
"Ohh! Seems like there is still some love between them!"
The crowd suddenly erupted into a fit of laughter to Elisa's surprise before the short man spoke up again. "I have travelled far and wide these past two years," he turned around, hiding his shady face, "in order to learn new things of the world. All of you should know that I am a very good friend of our city's Gym Leader...He personally asked for me to host this wonderful night."
Elisa's brow furled from the man's words as he continued to banter, 'Who is this guy?' The shady man then snapped his attention back to her while raising his hands in the air.
"Now, I have returned!"
The crowd roared, waving their arms frantically as the short man smiled brightly to his audience. Yet there was only one person who did not follow along. Elisa continued to gape at the strange man, completely clueless from the sudden change of events. Why was Cole locked in shackles? Who was that man? And why in Hoenn was he now smiling at her?
"You there!" His voice was loud, making the young woman jump, all of the attention swerving back to her. "You and your lover have disobeyed our number one rule for the night!"
"I uh..." Elisa was at a loss of words, she shut her mouth once Cole finally managed to tilt his head up up, his expression completely dazed.
"...Elisa..." His voice was rough, as if someone had actually knocked him out.
"Who did this to you!" Elisa cried, struggling with her captors once again, only to earn a loud coo from their audience.
"Would you look at that! She truly loves her man!"
"Shut up!" Both Cole and Elisa snapped their heads to the short man as the crowd awed at his words.
"W-Why are you doing this to him!" Elisa cried, glaring at the strange man as he suddenly tapped Cole's shoulder.
"Oh, you didn't read the rules for tonight?" He asked, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses. "He's our special challenger for tonight!"
"Challenger? !" Elisa and Cole both stared wide eyed at the strange man as he erupted into another fit of laughter.
"Couples that come into the Game Corner on Couple's Night, should never. Ever. Leave their partners side during their visit here!" The crowd slipped into small chatter, their eyes still glued to the confrontation of Cole and Elisa against the exhuberant host. "Usually such rule breakers would be severely punished," he grinned, "but the people of Mauville are very generous!" The crowd erupted into more laughter as Cole and Elisa glared at the man silently.
"Therefore!" He pointed to Cole, his finger inches away from the man's nose. "Instead, as punishment, the one who was caught without their spouse shall play..." A sudden drum roll erupted from the speakers, making a bead of sweat run down Elisa's neck.
"THE PENALTY GAME!"
The seemingly endless crowd erupted into another roar of cheers, making Elisa cover her ears from the booming voices as the guards held her back from the stage. "P-Penalty...game?"
The stubby old man smirked, suddenly flashing a small microphone from his bright southern shirt. "You two must be travellers from outer space then!" The crowd burst into laughter again, earning a sneer from the young woman.
Cole eyed Elisa's enraged face softly. He never knew she could get this angry; he suddenly caught interest in the sleek floor below him. 'Well, except for that one time on the river...'
"Listen up! I shall explain the rules for your lover!" He tapped the microphone on Cole's nose, earning a death glare in response. The stubby man jumped back, his face fearful for a split second before he snickered to Elisa. "Hehehe...He must be very explosive in bed."
Elisa suddenly wished that the floor would swallow her up, face burning as if touched by the sun. The crowd erupted into mischievous laughter and Skitty calls. She had enough of this. This was basically a millenium's worth of embarrassment for her. "...W-What...do. You. Want!" She finally cried, dropping her head, desperately trying to hide her beetroot red face.
"She's very shy people! But she didn't deny it!" The man laughed again before he finally turned to Cole. "Now. You have been chosen for this Penalty Game because you broke the number one rule for Couple's Night." He suddenly turned to the audience, avoiding Cole's dark glare. "But I have a surprise for everyone tonight!"
The crowd went silent in awe as the lights suddenly went out; moments later a single stream of intense light graced the stage.
Elisa blinked softly as she tried to focus her eyes. "Who...Who..." She could barely speak, to mesmerized by the figure in front of her. A young woman stood tall in the light. Her legs were long, very long, long like the Cycling Path, Elisa thought with slight envy as she took in the slimming figure of the woman before her. The woman's slightly slanted baby blue eyes sparkling in the light, Elisa could only stare as she smiled down to her; a face so clean, so perfect, she believed that time itself had frozen just to keep it young forever. Continuing her identification of the beautiful woman, Elisa awed at the woman's golden strands of perfectly permed hair before she noticed some kind of headphones, or headband atop the woman's head, crowning her perfectly along with the tight black spandex pants and yellow coat that graced her body.
Before Elisa could even mutter another incoherent word, another sudden light flashed down onto the dark stage. She had not noticed, but another figure was standing just beside that Goddess of a woman. Her heart began to race once a small, yet cute, grin flashed her way only to be accented by sparkling blue-green eyes that made her gape in awe.
It was a man. A man that seemed to be given all of the best physical traits a man could possibly need in his lifetime as Elisa could only hang her mouth in silence. Spiky, dirty blonde hair, a perfect chiseled face focused on her, Elisa took a step back as the man shifted slightly, his smooth hands sliding out of his dark blue jacket pockets, he stood tall above the woman, with his broad shoulders just above the woman's head.
The crowds sudden fanlike screaming snapped Elisa from her daze as the lights suddenly blinded her. Blinking repeatedly with a scrunched up face, she stumbled back as the gorgeous man and beautiful woman smiled at their audience.
"These are our special guests! Friends of Wattson!" The stubby man's voice boomed, "They have come from their separate regions in order to support Mauville's Special Couple's Night!" The crowd erupted into another roar.
"From the Sinnoh Region!" His microphone pointed towards the shining prince. "Volkner, the Electric Gym Leader of Sunyshore City!"
He then snapped his microphone to the Goddess. "Elesa, the electrifying model, and Gym Leader of Nimbasa City! Welcome to Mauville City!"
"Gym Leaders?" Cole muttered as the crowd was beginning to chant the strange pair's names over and over. 'Could this Penalty Game...be a Gym Battle?' Dark brown eyes widened in shock. If he were to battle them, he assumed that he would be paired with Elisa. He growled angrily. 'She's not ready yet...'
"Now then!" The short man's booming voice snapped Cole from his thoughts as he turned back to him. "You Cole shall face this electrifying pair, right before our very own eyes!"
"What!" Elisa gasped as the crowd mimicked her reaction. "B-But that's not fair!" Elisa cried, struggling with her captors yet again. He was always dealing with these challenges by himself over their journey.
She hated it! She needed to help him this time.
The man turned to Elisa, she could feel the intense stare through his dark shades. "Did I not say that we were generous people?" He laughed before he pointed his microphone to the large screen. It flashed on, only to reveal large yellow letters that read, 'PENALTY GAME'.
"Do not fret young one!" The man laughed, "I the King of Tricks, always play fair!" The screen then flashed again before a number materialized onto the black screen.
Calculating hazel eyes watched the number as the man turned to her. "This is all that were able to get out of your lover here." Elisa gasped once a small blue tablet materialized underneath the number, sparkling softly as it rested against a single strapped backpack. "Also, it seems like you two are treasure hunters? That must be a lot of excitement for you two. As I said before, you must share some passionate love when you're alone!"
Elisa dropped her head again, brow twitching as the crowd burst into laughter, Volkner and Elesa were also snickering lightly at the joke. "W-What is this Penalty Game!"
"My my!" The Trick Master laughed, "It is a trivia game of course!"
"Huh?" Both Cole and Elisa snapped their heads up to the bald man who continued to smirk.
"Coal here; this dirty, seductive man of yours shall face our guests for the night, Volkner and Elesa in a trivia game of Pokemon and world knowledge. All in attempt to get your money back, and this precious treasure that symbolizes your love!"
The crowd burst into a bewildered cry of amusement and shock. Truly, the King of Tricks had fooled yet another victim; and in grand style.
"Are you insane!" Cole barked as he struggled against the shackles he was confined to. This was already beyond ridiculous.
"Only on night's like this!" The Trick Master laughed.
"You can't kidnap-"
The crowd silenced as the speakers screeched lightly. "Your little girlfriend here can save you."
Cole shut his mouth, waiting for the stubby man to continue. "Since Coal here was caught, black-handed, without his lover in the Game Corner, we decided to make him face the sparking duo of Volkner and Elesa; as punishment for leaving a loved one behind."
Elisa's lips parted slightly, quickly noticing the distraught expression that ravaged Cole's darkened face. However she blinked once she noticed him glare at the Trick Master. She must have just imagined it.
"Coal here would have faced our Gym Leader duo by himself, sacrificing his own money and valuables in an impossible challenge of competing against a couple that truly shows what being together is all about!"
"Coal! You need to always be there for the ones you love!" Volkner suddenly chipped in before he wrapped his arm around Elesa's waist, earning a modest blush and bright smile in return.
The crowd awed at the sight before booing once the Trick Master pointed to Cole. "You cannot comprehend this now can you! Your heart is as black as your name!"
"It's not coal...Its-"
"These are true partners! Man and woman, who would do anything for one another!" He shouted his next words to the rooftops. "TRUE LOVE!"
Cole felt a pang of guilt hit him once he noticed the sunken look on Elisa's face, the crowd drowning out any previous thoughts from his head. 'True...love?' Cole looked away, Elisa's hazel eyes suddenly focusing on him.
This was supposed to be some joke...right? They had only gone in here to find that Aqua grunt. 'I don't...' Cole sneered as the man suddenly stood in front of him. Was this Couple's Night...really that important? Should he have just worked with Elisa, talked to her instead of just running off to find the man by himself?
"I...I..." He was at a loss of words, his dark brown eyes becoming lighter from the stage's glare.
"Do not fret, young lad!" The Trick Master spun the microphone between his fingers before it stopped, now pointing to Elisa. "If your lover here is willing to take you back, even though you made a horrible decision in the past. Then you may leave."
Cole's eyes widened in shock. "L-Leave? We can-"
"NOT. WE!" The King of Tricks scoffed, earning a small jump from the young man. "She will sacrifice herself for you! What is your lover's name? Hmmm?" He asked, dropping the microphone down to Cole's lips.
Cole averted his eyes from the man, his mouth suddenly dry.
"Well?" The Trick Master grunted; the crowd was silent, eagerly waiting for his reply.
There was a brief silence as the young researcher's name echoed throughout the large building.
"Aww!" Elesa cooed happily, breaking the silence before she turned to Elisa. "Did you hear how he said your name! Now that's love!"
The crowd suddenly burst into tears, only to earn a bewildered look from Cole himself. "W-Wha?"
"You're absolutely right!" The Trick Master hurriedly rubbed at his dark shades, sniffling before he turned back to Elisa's wide eyes that continued to shyly gaze back up to Cole.
The Magma Admin was beginning to sweat, but he could not look away from the girl's thoughtful face as she stared deep into his eyes. 'It's just her name...What did I do?' Cole could not help but stare right back, unsure of what the girl was truly thinking.
"It seems like you two still have some true love burning within." The Trick Master laughed, catching everyone's attention. "Elisa dear. If you take Cole's place for this challenge, we will take all of your money and valuables for the Penalty Game instead."
The pair gasped in shock. "I uh..." Elisa's words trailed as she turned back to Cole's desperate face. She then glanced to the screen above him.
'The Dragon Plate...' The young woman bit her lip, desperate to get their only treasure back; she did not need to think for this one. "O-Okay!"
"She really did?" Cole muttered as the woman finally broke free from the guard's hands before she ran onto the stage floor.
"I-" She blushed lightly but remained firm. "I will take his place!"
The crowd was silent before a sudden roar of cheering erupted once again. The shackles suddenly released Cole; the man jumped from his spot in an instant, escaping the chair as he rubbed his wrists angrily. As the crowd cheered, Elisa was suddenly forced by the guards and placed into the same chair without saying a word.
"Excellent! Excellent!" The Trick Master boomed before a sudden table dropped onto the stage in front of the pair of Electric Gym Leaders. "Now, let's see..." A woman suddenly ran on stage and began to whisper something in the man's ear.
"You...You saved me." Cole whispered thankfully as he leaned down to Elisa.
Elisa gave the young man a bright smile. Surprisingly, it was knowing that Cole would be safe that made her feel at ease right now, despite being watched by pretty much the entire world. "Yeah! We won't lose anything now!" She whispered back.
Cole gave her a questioning look, which only made her smile widen.
"Since I took your spot, the money and the Dragon Plate will be saved! I don't have any money!" She snickered, only to earn a bewildered look from the young man.
"O-Oh..." Cole glanced away, the screen's number suddenly dropping down to zero. "Yeah...That was a good move." Cole muttered. He did not know why he was not grateful at the moment though. The plate was safe...That was the only thing that mattered to her apparently.
Suddenly, the loud clearing of someone's throat snapped the pair from their conversation. Both glancing forward, Cole and Elisa eyed the Trick Master. "It seems like your lover, Elisa, has no funds." He smirked, earning a chorus of boos to rain down on them.
"Do not fret, young couples!" He boomed. "Since Elisa here boldly displayed her true love for Coal, I believe that they should compete in the Penalty Game...TOGETHER!"
"B-But-" The crowd roared again, with only Cole and Elisa gaping at the stubby man in shocked silence.
The screen suddenly flashed from behind them. Turning around, Cole's face paled once a familiar number materialized back onto the screen, along with a blue tablet that sparkled innocently back at him. "Crap."
"Now! Let us begin!" The screen then minimized the pair's fortunes before some words came onto the screen. Elisa yelped once her chair spun, turning her around to face Volkner and Elesa who were smirking right at her. "These questions are basic trivia that I learned while travelling around the world these past two years." The crowd awed at the man as he smirked to himself before he threw a small object in Cole's direction. He caught it swiftly.
"Coal and Elisa here shall use this buzzer to compete with our electrifying couple in a series of questions that shall come on this screen!"
Cole and Elisa nodded slightly to each other, but the Trick Master's laughter caught their attention once again. "If Coal and Elisa, or Volkner and Elesa should lose a question to their competitors..." He smirked, multiple woman suddenly jumped on stage, holding large pitchers of some golden broth and mugs in their hands. "Then one of them shall drink a full glass of our Mauville Virgins for losing!"
"Drinking?" Elisa muttered as the audience burst into surprised laughter. She glanced at Cole who held the same fear she did. "D-Do you...drink?"
Cole remained deadly silent, earning a fearful look in response.
"But to make things interesting!" The Trick Master pointed to Elisa's startled face. "You sacrificed yourself for Cole! Therefore you shall drink every time you lose a question!"
"Ehh!" Elisa cried. "B-B-But I-"
Elisa snapped her attention to her partner, her wide hazel eyes pleading to the young man's bewildered dark brown ones. "C-Cole! I...I'm not good with drinks!" She squeaked, her legs struggling to escape. To her sudden surprise though, Cole gently placed his hand on her trembling one, his soft touch calming her instantly.
"...We can't get out of this right now..." His words were weary as the screen brought up a few words.
Cole and Elisa gaped at the words in shock.
"Which two Pokemon are known to fall for one another on sight?" The Trick Master smirked.
Cole and Elisa glanced at each other with muted fear.
They looked up, only to see Volkner standing tall, clearly a beacon for all woman's hearts. "That would be Nidoran Male and Female!"
The crowd cheered as Volkner sat back down, only to blush lightly once Elesa pecked him softly on the cheek. "Excellent answer by Sunyshore's Gym Leader!"
Suddenly on screen, Cole and Elisa gasped once their funds literally began to dwindle down to 242,055 right before their eyes. Both faces pale, their lower lips trembled from the ghastly scene as the crowd cheered, the money dipping into a pot that had Volkner and Elesa's faces on it.
"How were we supposed to know that!" Both Cole and Elisa snapped at the snickering man as he twirled the microphone in his hand.
"It is only a small loss young ones! Now," A buxom woman suddenly stepped in front of Cole, earning a disgusted cringe in return as she poured a large glass of liquid and handed it to him, all in one motion. "The loser must drink!"
"But I-" Elisa squeaked.
"DRINK. DRINK. DRINK."
The crowd almost sounded like a cult to the young woman who shrank back from the booming voices.
"...H-How am I s-supposed to!" She finally cried, her hands wiggling in their straps. Her brow furled in confusion once she heard an uproar of laughter.
"It is Couple's Night!" The Trick Master boomed, earning a scoff from both man and woman. "Your lover shall simply nurse you with it!"
Elisa's face flushed to a whole new colour of red before she slowly turned to Cole's flustered one. She remained quiet, her body now trembling as Cole slowly turned to her, the mug shaking violently in his hands. They had to be going too far now...right? Her cheeks only burned hotter once she noticed a small grin breaking through his lips.
"A-Are you laughing at me!" She cried.
"DRINK. DRINK. DRINK."
Cole mumbled some words that she could not hear before he leaned down to her, making her squeak in surprise. "I-I'm...sorry..." Cole whispered before he brought the mug forward slightly, his dark brown eyes avoiding her fearful wide ones.
This had to be some kind of bad dream.
She must have fallen asleep in the Pokemon Centre, and this was just some kind of hallucination from the fumes of the dense city. Anything. Please, some kind of random explanation to prove that this was not real! Elisa shut her eyes before she finally, and slowly, tipped her head forward. The chanting was intensifying in her ears. 'Please...just be a bad dream!'
Hazel eyes snapped open; a cold, sweet and bitter sensation stinging Elisa's taste buds as she felt the cool liquid fill her mouth. Her cheeks burned hotter once she glanced to her side, only to see deep brown eyes gazing thoughtfully at her, truly concerned she believed. She was actually...drinking from...from...
She suddenly spat the substance from her mouth, earning a chorus of angered boos from the crowd. Cole gasped once he noticed their earnings drop again.
"Why did we lose money!" Cole barked, pulling the glass away from Elisa's mouth, allowing her to gasp for air.
"Drinking is part of the Penalty Game, Coal!" The Trick Master laughed. "If she doesn't swallow all of it, you can kiss your money and treasure goodbye!" The crowd laughed, earning a sneer from the enraged man.
"I'll make you swallow my foo-"
The man snapped his attention back, meeting Elisa's bright hazel eyes yet again. Except this time, it showed something different to him. A spark. Something, he could not put a word on it as she continued to stare at him. "W-We..." She hesitated but did not take her eyes off her partner. "We can do this..." She gave him a small smile, urging him on with her eyes to continue.
"...Elisa..." Cole's hand trembled, he looked back at the glass before nodding slightly to the young girl. "I'll get you out of this." He promised before tipping the mug back to the girl's mouth. Her cheeks reddened, small eyelashes batted softly at the glass, his eyes widened from her expression, before she opened her mouth slowly, her lower lip trembling as a drop of the cool liquid trailed down her neck.
Cole felt something rise from within as the girl slowly swallowed the alcohol to the surprise of the crowd. Now looking down licking her lips, wet and glossy, away from the eyes of everyone but him, Cole felt a sudden rush of blood go to an area that made his head spin. He was actually...enjoying this.
Cole cried, abruptly stopping the roar of the crowd. His cheeks flared red before he glared at the Trick Master, "Next. Question." His voice was deep, manly, filled with so much passion that it even made Elesa and Volkner gaze at him in awe.
"Uh..." The Trick Master gaped at the man's dark stare before he turned back to the screen. "N-Next question..."
Cole's dark brown eyes narrowed at the words. His mind raced, he would not make Elisa suffer. He was her bodyguard after all.
"Which past Champion of Hoenn managed to defeat a Gym Leader's Pokemon in one move during a live broadcast?"
The crowd gasped in shock, their eyes wide as Cole smirked at the Trick Master's dumbfounded face. The stubby old man seemed to curse to himself before he waved at a woman to go to the Gym Leader's table. Elesa smiled coyly as she took the glass and slowly tipped it to Volkner's lips, earning a gush of cat calls from the women of the audience.
Elisa eyed the back of the Trainer's black hair with surprise before he turned back to her. "H-How did?"
"My sister loves Steven Stone." He smirked, looking back to notice that their earnings managed to rise up to 222,055. He nearly laughed to Elisa's surprise as he turned back to her. "She never shut up about him."
"You did it." Elisa smiled softly at his expression before both of them turned back to the King of Tricks. They were determined now. They could beat these strange odds, as long as they worked together.
"Fufufufu..." The stubby man snickered, adjusting his dark shades as the screen rang with another question. "This shall be entertaining!" He roared, the crowd cheering along with him.
After what seemed like hours of buzzing, dinging, drinking and screaming; a young man and woman sat silently, panting heavily for who knows what reason as one of them glared across the stage at a another pair that panted just as heavily. Cole was leaning against the back of Elisa's chair, hundreds, okay not hundreds but many empty bottles lay at his feet, the clattering of glasses making his body jump as he leaned against the spine of the chair.
'Elisa...Don't give up...' Cole whipped a bead of sweat from her brow. They had tried, they really did over those past questions. But they were baffled for a large majority of them. From 'what does Fantina's hair smell like' to 'Who is Blue's sister's boyfriend' had bombarded the pair; they had nearly lost their earnings now.
Cole slowly turned to his left, his expression hopeless as he glared at the screen.
"So small!" Cole groaned as he dropped his head. All of these questions were impossible! He cursed himself for letting her down. He promised to protect her, yet the only thing he seemed to be doing was filling the girl's mouth with a jug every few minutes.
He cringed. That did not sound right.
Cole snapped his attention up, the Trick Master was glaring at him now. His face was red, clearly tired as well from the onslaught of questions he had to dish out to the couples. "Since you two are basically down to your last, barely legal, remains; I shall grant you with the SPECIAL. ROUND."
The audience cheered tiredly; clearly they were out of energy as well. Even the beats coming from the massive speakers seemed to be fizzling from this drawn out challenge. The Trick Master glared at Cole and Elisa, they should have fallen a long time ago, yet they had somehow managed to keep on pace with Volkner and Elesa. He smirked slightly before he raised his microphone, 'Time to get the last bit of chump change out of these losers!'
Cole looked down to Elisa, his tired eyes filled with worry as the girl's head tipped forward slightly before shooting back up. "...Elisa?" He called her name softly, his voice ragged from yelling out wrong answers, "Can you keep going?"
"Of course!" She squealed before bursting into a full fit of laughter. The Magma Admin could only shake his head in shame as she gazed at him with a huge grin plastered on her face. He could not remember when he lost her, so many rounds ago, but her red cheeks and dorky grin clearly told him that she was beyond drunk at this point.
"We-Werr a...team...b-buuudee!" She let out a small hiccup before grinning at Cole's flustered face. "Hey...Colbudeee-" She burped now, yet her blush was already drowned out by her red face. "D-Di...Did I eva...evar say...you-your cuuute?"
"Yes..." Cole droned, avoiding her coy grin. She had been saying the same thing now after every question they got wrong. Maybe around the 7th mug? He couldn't remember.
"The Special Round will consist of questions that only Elisa can answer as fast as she can! This is the Mauville Lightning Rounds!"
Cole snapped his head from the girl drenched in the stench of alcohol to the Trick Master's grinning face. "What?"
"That's right Coal! Elisa must answer the next series of questions by herself; if she answers the first question correctly, you will get your money back, all of it!"
The crowd suddenly snapped to the attention from the man's words. This was going to be good. The Trick Master then pointed to the screen. "It is one topic chosen at random! If you somehow manage to answer the question correctly, she will have to face five more questions straight-But wait!" His microphone was suddenly thrown into the air. "For every question that's right, your earnings shall double!"
The microphone landed perfectly back into the joyous man's hands before he glanced at Cole's wide eyed face. "D-Double?" Cole managed to mutter out loud.
"Double Double!" Elisa giggled, swinging her head back. "I hav...doubledouble too!" She glanced down to the small bumps that barely protruded from her thick sweater before she pouted angrily at herself. "Hmmmm?...I thi-think they werr bigga!" She erupted into fits of laughter again, her hyperactive voice echoing throughout the building.
"We're screwed." Cole slapped his head as the screen flashed. There topic was there...Yet he dare not look, whatever it was, Elisa wouldn't get any of it. Could she even understand human speech at this point?
'I'll have to steal the Dragon Plate back once this is all over...Guess I'll need Tori again...'
"Elisa!" The Trick Master pointed to the screen, "Fiiiiirst Question! Which bird Pokemon is known to freeze the air around it, thus making it snow?"
Dark brown eyes shot open as a dinging sound rang into his ears.
She was right. "B-But how!" Cole gasped as he jolted his head to the screen, only to nearly have a heart attack by the words before him. This...This truly had to be what Noah would ramble about in his stories about Mauville City...Lady Luck.
'Of all the-' Cole exhaled, his body completely going numb as Elisa tipped forward, only to hiccup again. She giggled loudly before she turned to him.
"H-Hey...buuudee!" She smiled happily, "I gottausone!" before dropping her head again, snickering childishly.
As the screaming fangirls greedily watched Volkner sadly take another shot of the Mauville Virgin, Cole could only stare wide eyed, taking in the entire experience.
He could not believe the turn of events. She had answered that question in a heartbeat, even while she was drunk. He quickly leaned down next to her, his hand gracing hers as he shook her slightly. Was she some kind of super genius? "E-Elisa?" He did not want to admit, but his shaking eyes did; full of worry for the girl's well being. "How did you know that?"
"Hiiiiii!" She gushed, flipping her head up, her hair was tousled all over her face. "D-Do you..you like me now?" She gave him a coy grin this time, earning a small blush in return.
The Trick Master finally snapped out of his daze, watching the screen suddenly blur with numbers until a big fat 262,055 glared right at him.
All of his work...gone.
"L-Lucky guess!" He stuttered before quickly pointing to the screen again. "Question one of the double or nothing!" He quickly glanced at the Gym Leaders, they would get this one easily. 'Time to get all the money out of them!'
"Which Pokemon has been known to descend to the earth in a flash of lightni-"
"~Raikouuu!~" Elisa cooed.
There were a few gasps in the crowd, suddenly life seemed to be flowing back into them as Cole stared at the giggling girl in awe. "She's amazing." He blurted out, his hand trembling against her own fidgeting one.
The Trick Master gasped, along with the Gym Leaders as they eyed the drunk woman who continued to have her head wobble back and forth. "T-This...girl..." He mumbled, his shades sliding down slightly as an even greater number rolled up on screen.
"You guys were supposed to get that one!" The Trick Master swore under his breath, a bead of sweat running down his forehead as Volkner was forced to take another chug of the thick drink.
"W-We're sorry!" Elesa cried, her eyes filled with worry as Volkner began to wobble in his seat. "She's too fast!" "
"Q-Question...Two!" The fearful King gulped, unsure to continue. They should have lost on the first question. "W-Which Pokemon...has been known to sleep for a millenium and then grant t-three wishes ev-"
"Oh come on!" Elisa blurted out, making the entire audience gasp. She let out a small hiccup before continuing. "I-I-was born...on the...that same land thingy... Jirachi!" She laughed, her legs wiggling this time.
The Trick Master, Elesa and Volker, along with the rest of the crowd had their jaws drop to the ground. With the slow thumping of the music now beginning to pick up its pace, the screen blurring with a rising number, and a giggling drunk girl that centered the stage, everyone remained silent as they waited for the newest number to appear.
Cole managed to crack an awkward smile before turning to the Trick Master's stunned face, his shades slipping sadly. "Can we go now?" He muttered. This was more than enough, about three months worth of living for three of them, and then some...
"Absolutely not!" The stubby man growled, earning some gasps from the crowd. He hastily flipped through some questions in his hand, completely ignoring the fearful look of Volkner as another jug was pushed towards his face.
"I-I think we should stop now! Wattson didn't tell me it would be like-"
"Question Three! W-Which Pokemon has been known to slip between p-parallel dimens-"
"Ohh!" Elisa perked up, "Palkia! It's veerry preetty!" She giggled as the ominous dinging sound rang out again.
DING! DING! DING!
"W-Whose is this girl?"
"She's really smart!"
"That Coal-guy is really lucky!"
Chatter began to erupt from the crowd, their voices rising in awe as a big gaping number came onto the screen, earning a cringe from the Trick Master.
"Grrrrr! How lucky can a drunk girl get!" He huffed angrily, nearly throwing his microphone in anger. "Question Four! Which Pokemon's tail has been known to have the ability to bring nutrition to fields!" He pointed, with all his might towards Elisa, gasping for breath.
"Landorus! He's serious! Just like my booooyfriend!" She giggled, eyeing Cole with seductive eyes.
DING! DING! DING!
One of the Trick Master's lenses shattered, revealing a fearful eye before he fell over from Elisa's quick answer again.
"Holy..." Cole muttered, eyeing the gaping number on screen. Elisa had literally made them millionaires in a span of a few minutes.
"Volkner!" Elesa's sudden cry rang out as the Electric Gym Leader suddenly collapsed onto the floor, his eyes swirling as the bottles crashed to the floor as well. "She's too good!" Elesa cried, pulling Volkner up and shaking him vigourously.
As the crowd continued to scream and cheer for Elisa's surprising heroics, Cole quickly noticed a young woman run onto the stage, holding his black backpack before she clasped onto the Trick Master's ear.
"S-Sir...These two have already taken more than half of our earnings!"The Trick Master gasped before she continued. The man swerved from one emotion to the next before he finally smirked from her full explanation. The stubby man then glared at the giggling girl before shooing the woman off.
"I'll deal with this." He then walked up to Elisa's red face and handed her the black backpack.
"All of your money and your treasure have been returned."
Cole snatched his bag in an instant, opening it up quickly, he let out a tired sigh once he gazed upon the Ocean Plate, safe at last. "Why are you giving it back."
"It seems that your lover has broken another rule!"
Cole narrowed his eyes as the straps around Elisa's wrists and ankles finally opened. The young woman lifted her hands slightly before she drooped forward. "Hm? No more games?" She asked innocently before passing out to everyone's shock.
The Trick Master suddenly waved his hands in the air to the crowd before him. "This girl is eighteen years old!"
Everyone let out a massive gasp, clearly shocked as the Trick Master smirked to himself. "Therefore, this game should not have even started in the first place!"
"That Coal guy is a monster!"
"How dare you force such an innocent girl!"
"Y-You can't be serious!" Cole cried as Elisa dropped onto the floor, swirls in her eyes as well. A chorus of boos suddenly rained down upon him again. "What about our money!" He finally blurted out, picking Elisa up who wobbled on her feet.
"Stop using innocent girls you freak!" Someone screamed from the crowd.
"You guys are not even supposed to be here!" The stubby man laughed before turning to the crowd. "I, the King of Tricks have done it again!" A bead of sweat ran down his bald head. Lady Luck had kissed him instead tonight, if that girl was a year older...
"Now." He turned to the pair, his grin wide. The entire crowd yelled along with him.
Two feet continued forward on the quiet streets of Mauville, the sun long gone now; a crescent moon hung over a young man who shuffled softly through the silent streets towards a red roofed building. With only the gentle groan of air conditioners and street lights around him, a young man stopped before shifting his bent arms inward, lifting a warm body further up his back.
"We didn't win anything..." Cole sighed before glancing back. A round face rested on his shoulder, hiccuping softly before a small groan escaped small lips.
"...Cole?" She muttered softly, her breath full of alcohol to the young man's chagrin. "W-W-Why-...Why am I...on you!"
"It's okay." His lips turned upward slightly, amused from her groggy voice. He never would believe such a strange person would be hiding under that good-girl surface. Yet he really was happy that the old Elisa was back.
'She's pretty amazing...' Cole smirked to himself as he hoisted her drooping figure up again, earning a small yelp. "We played some games at the casino." A small sigh from the woman's lips made him shake his head with amusement, "I think you passed out because you were having too much fun."
"M-Me?" Elisa hiccuped, her face heating up to her dismay. Suddenly a large burp escaped her mouth. She cringed, face deep red as Cole snickered lightly at her actions. She could not recall anything. The last thing they were doing was sitting in that love seat. Elisa quickly hid her face from his eyes. She really did not want to admit, but she was glad that they were out of there now. "I'm sorry..." She muttered.
"You shouldn't be..." Cole started, looking up towards the bright moon. His eyes narrowed at the white cresent shape, finally noticing the dark half that filled the rest of the moon's shape. "I had a really great time with you."
"Eh?" She glanced up, her hands gripping onto his firm shoulders in slight shock. "B-But we didn't get any info..."
"It's okay." Cole grinned slightly at the large moon overhead. "It was probably info we already knew." To be honest, he had completely forgot about their reason for going there now. As random, scary and downright disgusting that night was, he had spent it all with this weirdo, a good weirdo; this drunk researcher that really made him feel what it's like to have fun again. He looked down now, a creeping sense of nervousness pulling at him, he hesitated with his next words.
A deep groan made him stop. Abruptly coming to a halt, Cole slowly turned his head around, his dark brown eyes filled with concern as the young woman's hands squeezed onto his shoulders. She just seemed fine not too long ago. He blinked, "What's wrong?"
"I...I-" She started to pant which quickly earned a fearful look from the young man. "I feel sick...I think...I-I'm going to-" She clasped at her mouth.
"W-Wait! You're not-" Not needing any more signs, Cole sprinted for his life, as fast as his tired legs could carry him, towards the Pokemon Centre. He had spent all that time thinking about her, he did not even remember the amount of drinks she had to take down.
"Elisa-Please!" Cole yelped as her head slammed into his back. "Don't do it-"
With the disgusting sound of regurgitated stomach contents, a young man's death cry howled throughout the streets of Mauville City.