Unstable feet stumbled backwards. Yet...he couldn't move, unyielding to his mind's pleas.
"You've come back."
Dark brown eyes trembled slightly. He could only shut his mouth as the woman's words reached his ears, a rush of memories and emotions biting at him as her deep brown eyes gazed into his own. "It's really..." The woman slowly placed her hand onto the face of the trembling Trainer. "My son."
Cole flinched before avoiding the gaze of his mother's soft expression.
'Could that be..?' Elisa exhaled, a breath she didn't know that she was holding in as she continued to stare at the woman with surprised eyes. She was elderly, but her youthful face would say otherwise as Elisa gazed upon her modest floral dress that cascaded down to her ankles. Glancing towards Cole, the anxious expression on his face alone easily implied the magnitude of the encounter between him and the mysterious woman.
The markets however continued to move, unnoticed to the unexpected meeting as his mother smiled at him; his heart skipping a beat as her dark auburn hair framed her gentle expression that easily broke down his own defences that he had spent years building.
"Five years.." Tears began to sparkle in the afternoon sunlight, sending daggers into Cole's very being. "Please..." She started, slowly reaching for his hand, earning another flinch in return. "Please come home with me."
Tears began to run down a somber face as Cole looked away, his own expression hidden from her. "I'm not supposed to be here."
Her mouth opened to say something, but she closed it quickly, frustrated as she took her free hand to slap the tears away from her cheeks. His eyes glazed over; he remembered now, she was always had that childish expression when she got angry...He was supposed to forget about those memories. He hesitated again, attempting to pull his hand free which quickly caught the woman's attention as she snapped up to him with wide eyes. "...Mom." He looked away, his hand a little more forceful to release himself, "...I...I should be leaving now."
Cole flinched. She was grabbing onto his arm with both hands now, shaking violently as some of the people in the streets turned to the source of the shrill voice. "You haven't been here for five years!" She forced herself closer, tears beginning to fall once again.
She hated crying, but she didn't care this time, she would not lose him. Not again. "Don't leave us again! Ever since you joined Te-"
Deep brown eyes bulged as a hand hurriedly clasped over her mouth, preventing the words from escaping her lips. She slowly looked up, eyes wide as they locked with her son. Cole shook his head slowly, beads of sweat beginning to fall as he quickly glanced behind her. "Not here..." Cole whispered, his voice sharp.
Cole's mother turned around softly, peering in the same direction as her son before her eyes landed on a young girl who fidgeted slightly, her large grey sweater and dark pants covering her frame. She blinked softly, mimicking the girl's awkward gaze before she looked back up to her son who did not take his shaky eyes from the unknown girl.
'This is exactly why I shouldn't have come back!' Cole slowly took his hand off his mother's mouth, trusting towards her as she dropped one hand from his own, remaining quiet before she slowly turned around to face Elisa. Cole let out a small sigh; his mother was about to expose his past to the entire world.
Yet, he didn't care about the entire world.
He only cared about her; Elisa's reaction if his mother's words hit her. 'Damn.' He cursed as Elisa finally approached them, her eyes soft as she stared intently at him. For the first time ever since his failure with Groudon two years ago, he actually did not know what to do.
"...Hello." His mother's voice snapping him out of his thoughts, The Magma Admin turned his attention towards her as she greeted Elisa with a welcoming smile. "So...You're a friend of Cole's?" She asked making her son flinch.
Elisa hesitated with her own greeting, shyly glancing at Cole who continued to stare at his mother. Were they really...friends? She smiled softly, finally building up enough courage to answer. "H-Hello." She mentally kicked herself, she could at least hold decent greetings back in Mossdeep. It was just a 'hello', why was this so difficult? "Y-Yes...Cole and I are travelling through Hoenn."
Cole snapped his attention towards Elisa from her words, face clearly shocked, earning a small jump from the girl accompanied by a noticeable blush.
"I-I mean!" She waved her hands frantically, avoiding the confused look on the older woman's face, "I-I'm not travelling with him alone! T-There's another person, but he went to the Pokemon Gym!" She laughed hesitantly, playing with the sleeves of her sweater as the older woman continued to analyze her. Elisa's feet began to shake as Cole's mother continued to stare, as if she was some test subject. But before she could continue on, she smiled softly catching her attention.
"I see.." Her voice was soft, understanding, as her smile lit up a surprisingly youthful face in the sun's rays. She then glanced back at her son. "She doesn't know..."
"Know what?" Elisa blurted out, confused as Cole took in a sharp breath from the woman's words. She was about to ask until, suddenly, Cole's mother gently took Elisa's hand in her own. The young woman blinked, 'So soft...' Elisa looked down slowly, all words lost as the older woman's hand squeezed gently.
"I'm terribly sorry about the scene I made before." She smiled again, earning a shy one in return from the researcher. "If you are travelling then you must be tired," She pulled Cole and Elisa's hands gently, earning more confused looks in return. "Please, come. You two can stay the night!"
"O-Okay..." Elisa muttered, hazel eyes wide as she started to move out of the markets with Cole and his supposed mother.
"But mo-" Cole flinched again, lips sealing once an ominous glare was sent from the corner of his mother's eyes. His face paled, suddenly interested in the ground. 19 years old, or not. He wasn't a man when it came to her and that stare...It was too late.
He was going back home.
A soft ringing bell sounded, signalling the opening of automatic doors as a young boy shuffled out through the entrance, his eyes downcast from the sun's rays that hit his dirty blonde hair. Leaning against the wall of the Pokemon Centre, Noah sighed tiredly as he took out a Poke ball that contained his best friend. "That girl is extremely powerful..." Noah smiled sadly as he spun the Poke ball on the tip of his finger, "If I can't defeat her...Then I guess I don't have any chance against the Gym Leader, Flannery." Catching the red and white sphere in one motion; he huffed before stuffing the Poke ball into his white jacket.
"Well, whatever! Not like I was planning on entering the Hoenn Championships!"
Scratching at his nose lazily after a good laugh, he glanced around in multiple directions, a creeping thought beginning to form. "...Where did Cole and Elisa go again?" A bead of sweat ran down his forehead. "Well they'll probably come to the Pokemon Centre eventually. We're not going to be staying here too long anyway." His own feelings seemed to fall once the words hit his own ears. 'I wonder why he doesn't even want to stay in his own hometown?' The sailor was about to turn around, the automatic doors still open, but he suddenly caught a glimpse of the beautiful girl; yes that beautiful girl that imprinted herself into his mind not too long ago.
"What the hell do you want."
He loved that feisty attitude. Smiling slightly, Noah brightened once he lay eyes on a young girl, her arms crossed. She was glaring at a pair of older boys, looking to be in their late teens. Blinking slightly from the sight, he remained fixed on the female Trainer that stood tall.
"I want another battle!" One of the boys demanded, a Poke ball clenched in one hand. "You think you're the best just because you beat Flannery! You only won because of that Pokemon!"
"Yeah!" The other boy chipped in. "Just because you got a Pokemon from Professor Birch! You were just lucky! You're just a girl!" Both boys stepped forward now, intimidating in the eyes of any girl...
But Kyra was not like any other girl.
Noah gasped as the brunette suddenly lunged forward, kneeing the larger boy in a place that did not see the light of day. The sailor cringed, squeezing his own legs together as the teen dropped instantly, tears brimming at his eyes as he clutched at his pants. Before the other boy could react, in one swift motion, Kyra's leg swung in an arc. A devastating roundhouse kick connecting directly with the boy's head, sending him to the ground instantly.
"S-She's unreal!" Noah breathed as the boy's curdled in agony, squirming on the dirt roads. But what really surprised him was the reaction of the few residents that had the privilege of seeing the display. They were paying no attention to her! 'Does she do this all the time?!'
"Pathetic." Kyra huffed angrily at the boys as she stepped over them, her eyes closed in anger. 'Everyone here is so weak!' Kyra kicked a stone roughly, sending the small object into a small bush from under the Pokemon Centre. It was not until she reached the open automatic doors did she look up in confusion.
Some blonde kid was blocking her way. Dark brown eyes flared angrily once she recognized that goofy smile that embarrassed her back at Lavaridge Gym. "What the hell do you want?" She sneered, trying to shove Noah out of the way.
"H-Hi!" Noah's heart began to beat a little bit faster as he locked eyes with the fiery girl's face. 'So cute...' He blushed before shaking his head rapidly. "Y-You're a really good Trainer!" His voice cracked, mentally cursing the effects of puberty.
"Yeah, you should learn how to become one." Kyra snapped back, earning an awkward cough from the young boy.
"Er...Well I'm not really a Trainer!" He replied quickly as Kyra gave him a quizzical look. "I just started my sailing career; but the way you battle...It's like-" Noah scratched the back of his head nervously, he was usually good with small talk; but the look in her fiery eyes was making his stomach flutter. "I really think that we should be together!"
"Huh?!" Kyra choked, face tinging red. "G-Get out of my sight!" She hurriedly raised a fist to the sailor's surprise before sending it towards the blonde target.
Her fist had connected with something, but surprisingly not the boy's face. Noah struggled as both of his hands trembled against Kyra's clenched fist. Another bead of sweat ran down his face before he smiled brightly towards her, making the girl cringe.
'H-How did he block my attack?!' Her mind screamed as he slowly put her fist down away from his face.
"I've never seen a real angel before!" Noah huffed, fighting off her power as his hands now surprisingly clasped onto the hand of the bewildered girl in front of him. "I know you seem kind of hard-headed at first!" He blushed lightly, her skin was surprisingly smooth in his hands. "But with time...I just know there's a sweet girl beneath that!"
That was it.
Kyra yanked her hand from the boy and took off, all in one motion. "S-Stay away from me you freak!" Kyra barked, jumping over the unconscious Trainers she had knocked out before. Glancing back, she panicked, noticing a blur of blonde right behind her...He was actually chasing her?!
'This isn't legal!' She cried as her legs tensed, pushing her in any direction, anywhere away from him.
Some of the residents that were lucky enough to see the whole scene giggled softly. It seemed the Queen Tom-boy finally met her match.
The air remained quiet, only the gentle patter of footsteps against dirt easing the growing tension in a young man as he was dragged forward, a small hand wrapped around his own. Dark brown eyes slowly shifted to another figure who was sadly being dragged along with him, but to his dismay, the young woman did not hold the same fear that resided within him.
'It hasn't changed...'
Turning a corner, Cole's thoughts seemed to slow down as the trio entered a small street. Massive red woods towered in the distance at the end of the street, coating the mountain range that framed the background. The homes, just like most of Lavaridge, had their very own styles, all unique as the group continued forward. The Trainer remained quiet, a rush of nostalgia washing over him as his mother began to slow down; he knew exactly why.
Stopping, Cole's mother released her hold on Elisa who continued to stare in quiet awe at her friend's home. Peering beyond the stone walls that guarded their front yard, hazel eyes wandered as a small stone walkway led towards a two-story house, which she quickly noticed was not built like the usual houses of Hoenn.
"Beautiful..." Elisa breathed, stepping forward slightly, she did not notice the small smile that Cole's mother was sending her. Growing up with the story of Pokemon legends, the aspiring researcher had studied countless legendaries throughout the world; Hoenn, Kanto, Johto, all the photos and art that would accompany those legends remained close to her heart as well.
"It has the same style of Ecruteak." Gazing upon the traditional home, she smiled softly at the thick wooden walls and interlocking shingles of the steel roof that slanted down towards the thick patches of plants that surrounded the house. Finally looking down towards the front entrance, a large wooden door revealed its entrance; the house alone wisely revealed its age without needing anyone to tell her. This was a home that clearly went through its years.
"I'm glad you like it-" Cole's mother snickered softly before her eyes went wide. "Oh my! I brought you all the way here and I haven't even introduced myself properly." She smiled towards the younger woman. "I'm Katherine. Cole's mother."
"My name's Elisa." Hazel eyes sparkled, returning the greeting. She knew it. Katherine and Cole had the same eyes. Deep and expressive.
Katherine gave her a thoughtful look. "That's a very unique name." She smiled again, making the girl's cheeks tinge pink. "Didn't that mean...A promise from the God's?"
Cole's eyes narrowed, turning to Elisa who shyly waved off the words from his mother. 'God's Promise?' His mother always liked to learn the meanings of people's names, thoughts rushing back to him as the winds picked up, brushing through the dense foliage of the plants that bordered his house. 'It's like she was named specifically for Legendary Pokemon...' He mused, watching Elisa's face tinge pink.
Katherine snickered lightly at the girl's modest blush before stopping, her expression becoming a little bit more serious. "I'm sorry Elisa. But would you mind waiting outside here in the garden for a few minutes?"
The researcher blinked before nodding slightly, "I don't mind, please." She replied politely as Katherine smiled towards her before abruptly pulling her son towards the house. As the pair slipped by the large wooden door, Elisa slowly sat on a rock bench that stood at the foot of entrance. Taking in the lush scenery around her, the thick scent of trees and flowers around her, a sense of calm came over as a mixture of aromas filled her nose. 'Why would Cole not want to come back home?' She peered at the closed doors. 'Katherine looked really worried too...How could he do that to his mother...' She sighed, looking up towards the fluffy white clouds that lazily rolled by.
'I hope everything is okay.' Glancing back towards the doors that remained shut, she quickly noticed letters on a small mailbox that hung just at the edge of its large frame. She tipped her head to the side.
Meanwhile, inside the spacious home that held every memory of his childhood, the young man remained quiet as his dark brown eyes gazed across a wooden table, only to remain fixed once dark orbs matched his own. He averted his eyes slightly as his mother mimicked his silence, only to glance around their kitchen. He had grown obviously, but it was still fairly large. A massive black fridge that hummed quietly in the corner, cabinets and pantries, filled with what he assumed was food and Pokemon ingredients for the entire family, just like he remembered.
Taking in a soft breath, the polished wood of the furniture around held the pleasant scent of pine as Cole's eyes trailed towards the entrance of the living room. The large amber coloured rug spanning the floor in the next room, forcing memories of his childhood back to the surface. The house barely changed over the past 5 years.
'Did I change then?' He finally glanced back towards his mother who placed both of her hands on the table, playing with the napkins that centered the piece of furniture.
"Five years..." Her voice was quiet, but Cole perked up from his mother's words. "...And you're still with Team Magma." Cole's heart sank as the tone of her voice leaned towards anger.
He remained silent, never leaving her gaze as she continued to play with the paper. She suddenly crushed it, lips pursing, before slamming her hand onto the table. The impact was surprisingly strong, but Cole remained still before hesitating with his words. "I..."
Cole jolted back slightly, the wooden chair groaning against the floor. "Don't forget that you are my only son!" She suddenly stood up, tears beginning to flow again as she gave him a sad smile. "What happened to you after those events two years ago?"
"Team Magma and Aqua disbanded." He answered quickly, earning a dark glare from his mother.
"Liar!" Her voice was rising to Cole's dismay as he averted her gaze once again. "What happened to you Cole! You!"
His heart was pounding from her distraught face; this was exactly the reason he did not want to come back. She was better off living with the thought that he was in prison...Or dead.
He didn't care.
"Most of them did leave!" Cole finally argued back, "The leaders of both groups ran away after Groudon and Kyogre disappeared-" He hesitated before continuing, his mother beginning to calm down as she hurriedly slapped away her tears. "The last remaining people are beginning to leave too...I don't know what will happen to them...Magma is in a complete mess right now."
Katherine bit her lip again, gently reaching out with a hand, as if her son was disappearing from her eyes. "Cole." Her soft hand touched his face, making him flinch. She frowned, he would never do that to her when he was a child. "If they're finished...Why stay with them?" Her voice trembled as their eyes locked once again. "Leave Team Magma. Come back home."
Cole's heart nearly stopped from her words. Looking into his mother's eyes, the only woman he once used to lean on his toes to try and steal a kiss from, he felt a knot clog his throat before his next words escaped his lips. "...They have Nidoking and Shedinja."
"W-What?!" Katherine took in a sharp breath, her hand dropping from Cole's cheek as her son clenched his fists. He lost a part of his family, his best friends, that day when Holland kicked him out of the base. Cole did not know why he told her the truth this time, but the thoughtful look in her eyes easily pulled his true thoughts out from him.
Just like she always would.
"There's a new leader," He muttered as his mother leaned in, eyes watery. "Holland. He's trying to bring back Team Magma..." She gasped slightly, but remained quiet. Why was he telling her? He exhaled angrily, but words continued to pour, "He's really going to bring them back..."
"You're helping them do this?!" She asked, voice quivering as Cole remained quiet. "...But Team Magma is only going to bring destruction to Hoenn again!" She cried, slamming her hands on the table. "They're evil! Those people only want to destroy! Cole why would-"
"I know that!"
His racing heart tripped.
"I know that..." He knew Magma's objectives; he was the one that started it after all. He was collecting the Dragon Plates to bring back Groudon. To become stronger...To redeem himself for his failures...
"I...I just have my reasons..." His voice trailed off as his mother gaped at him with shock clear in her wide eyes. "So...I need to-"
A stinging sensation burned Cole's cheek. Eyes wide, he looked back at his mother, her hand shaking while still raised above his head. "Didn't you learn anything from two years ago!" She cried, "Those Pokemon cannot be controlled! If you try to revive them now, who knows what will happen! Those saviours Brendan and May aren't here to fix your mistakes again!"
"They have my Pokemon!" He blurted out, earning another gasp from his mother. "Even if I didn't want to do this any more, what choice do I have now!" His voice hoarse, he looked away as his shoulders sank. Katherine slowly lowered her hand, unable to say anything for the first time. Would he have run away from Magma if he still had his Pokemon? If they were foolish enough to just let him walk out without a price to pay?
"I made a promise to Maxie..." Cole's words snapped Katherine from her thoughts as she dropped back into her chair, remembering her first encounter with that man...11 years ago. He was the one that filled her son with such foolish thoughts; of bringing a power into this world that could end all life in a heartbeat.
"A promise." She choked.
"He was the one that saved us from Team Aqua." Cole stood up now, earning a gasp from his mother. "I know you wouldn't forget that...You were nearly killed!" He snapped, fists clenched.
Katherine stood in silence, watching her son fight with himself internally with the tasks of Team Magma, and his own desires. He was always doing this, and it hurt to watch. Keeping things to himself. 'Stop bottling everything inside-'
"The day that Team Magma truly falls..." He abruptly turned away from her, heading for the door that would allow him to walk away again. "If that day ever comes, then I'll come home. But I-" His voice slipped from his mouth as he felt a pair of warm arms suddenly embrace him from behind.
Why do it.
Trembling, he slowly glanced back, only to feel his own eyes water as his mother cried softly into his back. "I still remember when..." She sniffled, "I-I still remember when you used to hug me like this..." She could feel her son's body shiver from her words. "You always used to say...Mommy...I got you..."
She tried to fight back her tears, but failed miserably. She could not let him go. "I got you now...Cole...Even if you're stuck in a hole...P-Please...stay." The words came out muffled through his jacket, but he could hear the pain in her voice.
"Mom..." He tried to move his feet, but his body refused to listen.
"If only your characteristics with battling translated to your major decisions in life..." Katherine hugged him tighter, earning a small grunt from the boy which made her smile sadly. "I know I can't stop you...I couldn't stop you back then either...But can we..." She nuzzled into his back. "Can we just stay like this...for a bit longer?"
There was a pause of silence, the gentle cries of a few wild Pokemon spilling in from the back sliding door of the living room. He was going to leave everyone behind again. 'Mom...Dad...Ky-' Cole hung his head, sniffling slightly, but no tears dared to fall from his closed eyes. He did not move.
He did not want to move.
He felt another rush of emotions wash over him as his mother hugged him tighter.
"Thank you Cole."
'God's Promise.' The meaning of her name echoed around her. It was just a name...
Elisa snapped her head up, drool running down her lip as she slowly opened tired eyes to come face to face with a masculine gaze. "W-W-Wha!" She screamed, sending both her and the unknown man in opposite directions. Falling into the bushes, Elisa squirmed for her life as the man groggily got up from the stone walkway with a laugh.
"I'm sorry about that."
Elisa stopped. "I fell asleep..." She breathed, slowly looking up to lock eyes with the man. "I-I...um..." Her mouth moved, but no words left her lips as she stared in awe at the tall man now towering over her.
Elisa had never imagined it, but if she did, he would be the man she wished Cole looked like when he got older. Staring silently at the man's broad shoulders that were easily noticeable through his black shirt, his warm smile made her quickly avert her eyes from his handsome charcoal orbs that twinkled playfully in the sunlight.
"I don't think you want to be sitting on those flowers all day." His deep voice snapped her out of her thoughts as he reached out with a free hand, the other holding a large bag filled with something she could not identify. "My wife would probably kill me if she found out that I let someone trample on them!" He laughed.
"I-I'm sorry!" Elisa panicked, quickly taking the man's strong hand. She squeaked as he pulled her up in one motion, his smile never fading as he brushed some of the leaves off her back. "I-I...must have fallen asleep while waiting at the door." She was about to apologize for her embarrassing first impression before she noticed that the man was...well... not focusing on her face?
"U-Um...Sir?" She took a step back, he could not have been looking at her through these clothes. She wore them specifically for that reason! Cheeks beginning to heat up, she silently glared as he locked onto her eyes once again.
"Hhm? Oh, I'm sorry!" He laughed lightly, scratching his messy black hair that had patches of grey at the back of his head. "You just seem to be the right looker for my son. I bet he would have loved to meet a girl like you!"
"S-Son?" Elisa croaked, suddenly realizing her location at the moment. No wonder she was sadly attracted to this man's features. 'This is...Cole's dad!' She gasped, flustered by the tall man in front of her that looked at her with confusion.
"Why yes." He answered, though his expression seemed to fall as he looked towards the front door. "Are you a fan of Pokemon battles? He's an excellent Trainer! My ma used to say he was a prodigy with Pokemon!" He bragged happily, rubbing his flat nose. "He's probably grown twice as big since the last time I saw him...It's too bad he's not here, I bet you would have liked him." He shrugged his shoulders sadly, unaware of the bewildered look on Elisa's face before turning towards his front door. "Hopefully I can see him...One more time." He turned back to the mute girl before waving at her to follow.
"You must be here to buy some medicinal herbs? For a Pokemon, or for you? She's very keen on herbs-Ba! Why am I even telling you? Everyone in Lavaridge knows that!" He chuckled with pride.
"Um...Well I'm not really-"
"Come, come! If you're looking for my wife, she should be home now..." His brow then furled in confusion as he fumbled around for his keys in his brown cargo pants, the cloth stained with mud and dirt. "She usually calls me when she comes home for lunch...I must be in trouble again...great."
Callus hands reached for the large wooden door, but he blinked once the wooden frame swung inward. Looking up, he was about to greet his wife before stunned charcoal faced shocked brown.
"C-C-" He stuttered, dropping the bag with a soft thud as the young man gave him an equally shocked expression. He was just talking about him...His son. The son that left his family 5 years ago to join Team Magma.
"D-Dad?!" Cole gaped as he took a step back only to bump into his mother. Katherine gasped, stopping his retreat as she peeked over her son's shoulder with confusion.
"Ethon?" Katherine asked before a smile broke onto her face.
"Cole..." Ethon, Cole's father, breathed before stepping forward slowly.
"Get the hell away from me, you stalker!"
Mixed expressions of deep thought, pain, relief and shock all swung towards mighty confusion as a shrill cry rang from the stone entrance of Cole's house. With all 4 adults blinking in unison, one of them furled their brow as a young girl bolted into the garden, panting heavily as she dropped her hands onto her knees.
"Kyra?" Ethon asked, clearly shocked.
Strands of light brown hair clung to the feisty girl's forehead as she glanced up. "D-Dad!" She panted, a bright smile on her face. "Can you please beat this weirdo-"
She suddenly lost her voice; still panting heavily, her heart pulled off multiple flips as her dark brown eyes locked onto a tall figure just beside her father. She recognized that stern face immediately, she could never forget him.
"...C-Co-" It was all too much.
Stumbling forward, her head feeling like the weight of a balloon; eyes slowly blurred just as the last thing she saw was her brother dashing towards her, his eyes wide with fear. '...He came back...'
"Kyra!" Cole cried, catching his sister before she hit the ground. He breathed softly as the girl's red face was inches from his.
'She..She's grown up...' He smiled softly as his parents ran over to him, leaning down towards their daughter. "She fainted." He informed his parents as they sighed softly.
Hearing a shuffling of feet at the front gate, Cole, Elisa, Katherine and Ethon, once again, blinked in confusion as a young blonde boy panted, leaning against the stone walls.
"Have any of you seen-" Noah blinked, "Cole?" looking down, his face went pale as he noticed the unconscious girl in the Trainer's arms. "I uh...I just wanted to ask her something." He took a step back, beads of sweat running down his face as Cole picked his sister up in his arms.
Before Cole could say anything, a firm hand latched itself onto his shoulder. Looking back, he gave his father a shy glance as Ethon nodded towards the open door of their home.
"I think you three should all come inside for some tea." Cole, Elisa and Noah's mouths all opened slightly before shutting closed.
Sitting at the side of a small bed, arms crossed as he gazed upon the sleeping figure of a young girl wrapped in light red sheets; dark brown eyes never left the small frown on the girl's face. She had grown up into a young woman now. Cole smiled softly as she mumbled in her sleep. 'Ky-'
The Magma Admin's eyes widened before sighing softly, 'Dreaming...' His attention shifted to the closed door that separated his sister's room from the rest of the house. He could hear the small chatter between his parents and their new guests for the night, Elisa and Noah, before a roar of laughter made him jump slightly. Based on the laughter, he assumed it was Noah; that boy was quickly becoming the favourite down there. Though, he wouldn't agree with that thought.
Glancing back to his little sister, he softly brushed the light strands that fell over Kyra's closed eyes, observing 5 full years of development that graced her features. '...How did it end up like this?' He pondered as the girl snorted in her sleep.
'I don't deserve to be your brother...' A sad smile formed. The next plate was supposed to be in the desert; he tried to leave earlier that afternoon when Kyra was safely placed in her room, but his parents insisted; shamelessly threatening him that they would expose his true identity to his travelling companions if he tried to leave.
Yet, he was surprised that he was not angry with them. Looking around the small room; posters of Pokemon, Gyms and past Champions plastered themselves on the sandy coloured walls. He then noticed a sheet of paper with his name in bold letters that was pinned to a poster of a past champion that hung on the wall beside an open window.
Getting up from the soft mattress silently as to not wake his sister, he walked towards the poster of the silver-haired man who smiled confidently at him.
"Steven Stone..." Cole breathed, his eyes narrowing as he glanced towards the sheet of paper below the Champion's name. Flipping the folds open, his eyes widened as he noticed it was a copy of a certificate, the edges tearing slightly as he read the fading words. His eyes widened once he read the first few words that were scribbled above his name.
Cole smiled at Kyra's handwriting before reading on.
Cole Hughes...3rd Place in the Hoenn Championship Games.
'She kept this...' He sighed, turning the pages to read more.
Greetings from the Elite Four...Cole Hughes from Lavaridge Town shall be given the honour of participating in Ever Grande City in order to challe-
He stopped. The clicking of a doorknob hitting his ears.
Turning around, his eyes widened in pleasant surprise as an elderly woman walked into the room. The old woman glancing at Kyra's sleeping form before turning to him, he quickly noticed how small she was now, but carried a strong air around her as she moved silently towards him, her long white and red kimono fluttering below her.
"Grandma...." Cole breathed as the woman stood up to him, just at his chest, yet he was the one that felt small near her. "Mom told me that-"
"Yes." She interrupted, her voice smooth, fitting perfectly with the gentle whisper of winds outside. "I just came back from Sinnoh." She smiled up towards him, earning an equally bright smile in return. She was the only one that accepted his decision so many years ago. Was it wisdom? Most likely, coming from her.
"So, you've finally come back..." She slowly raised herself onto her toes, rubbing her grandson's messy black hair, earning a childish blush in return.
"You won't be leaving this time, will you?" She interrupted again, her light green eyes flickering in the weak glare of the overhead lights.
"N-No..." Cole stuttered softly as his grandmother smiled. With the raging sandstorms blocking his path of moving further towards his goal, he really was a sitting Psyduck.
"I am pleased that you decided to come back home, Cole. We've all missed you." She turned to leave, only to stop at the door before turning to him one more time for the night.
"Your training starts tomorrow morning."
Cole blinked, but his only answer was the gentle closing of the wooden door. Either way he looked at it, he would be staying here because of these problems: A sandstorm preventing him from leaving, a leader who held his Pokemon captive...and now...
A full smile, he gazed outside to the moon. It was full...bright and oddly lifted him with a warm feeling as the cool winds kissed his face, almost like a greeting from Lavaridge Town itself.
'Family...' The only good problem in his life.