Cole grumbled angrily, a sudden jolt in his side. Someone was clearly doing a poor job of waking him in up. "W-What?" He barked getting up to lock eyes with the boy that ferried him and Elisa to Dewford.
Bright aqua eyes shimmered in the morning sun as a young boy flashed a smirk, "We've reached Dewford Town you know." Cole didn't seem to care what the boy had to say, sitting up right while rubbing his eyes tiredly. "Not even a thank you? Man, I don't see why Elisa is travelling with you if-"
"Where's Elisa." Cole cut him off, earning a scoff from the young sailor. Cole looked around, taking in his surroundings.
The trio had reached the beach town. The small ship was rocking gently against the dock from the lapping waves as he could hear the lively chatter of the town ahead. Houndoom was peering over the front of the boat; clearly waiting for his trainer to wake up, but the researcher he had partnered with was no where to be found.
"She went into town because she didn't want to wake you." Noah started as he leaned over the edge beside Houndoom. "She said that she'll be at the Pokemon Centre." He smiled cheekily.
"Alright, good." Cole quickly hopped off of Noah's ship along with Houndoom, heading towards the lively town as Noah sent a sneer in the Trainer's direction due to his apparent lack of manners.
'He could at least say thank you, thanks, Good job bud-anything?...' Noah's sapphire eyes then gleamed with a devilish grin once Cole faded from sight in the bustling streets, 'Have fun at the Pokemon Centre sucker; she went into the gossip house.' Noah snickered happily as the older male disappeared behind a couple of houses. 'Ha! Thank that, ya loser!' Nodding his head repeatedly, proud of his efforts.
"That's what he gets for being so rude. How does Elisa deal with him?" He asked himself before jumping off as well, relief flooding his senses now that he would not have to work with that tall weirdo anymore. He couldn't forget what he came here for.
'Time to go back home...' Noah sighed as he slowly moved to his house.
Exiting the bustling food markets of South Dewford, Cole attempted to shield his dark brown eyes from the blinding rays of the late morning sun above him as one of his Pokemon happily trotted along in front. Cole glanced forward with annoyance to the Dark/Fire type who seemed invigorated by the added heat of the day while he himself, although used to this weather from birth, was sweltering underneath his now open sand-coloured jacket and black cargo pants.
"Where is she?" Cole pondered while combing through his black hair, scanning the outskirts of market with slight concern. He and Houndoom had been searching all morning for their new companion, but the luck they were once overflowing with seemed to be drying up in the heat of the blazing sun.
The young Admin took a deep breath, the enticing smell of sizzling meat filling his nostrils as he noted the places he swept through: Pokemon Centre, Dewford Gym, the shipyards and Pokemon Centre all over again. Elisa, sadly, was no where to be found. With the ever-sinking feeling that he had been played by someone, Cole had stopped at the markets in order to feed his Pokemon, and cool off.
"At least someone's satisfied. Isn't that right girl? When are the pups coming?" Cole happily cooed with a smirk as his eyes narrowed at his partner. Houndoom tripped slightly, its stomach a size that would mistake him for a female about to birth multiple Houndours.
"Houunnnn!" Red eyes glaring back, the fire hound growled, hearing its Trainer's smart remark. Turning around to the chagrin of the Magma Admin, he was about to give Cole his own flaming comeback before something rather soft bounced off its side, preventing Houndoom from releasing an Ember attack.
Cole blinked twice as a flash of pink hit the soft sand below. Tipping his head to the side, Cole could only stare as a little girl no older than seven in a pink dress pushed herself up off the sand while muttering childish complaints to herself.
"You okay?" The Magma Admin asked.
"I-I'm fine!" The young girl snapped back, bright brown eyes ablaze with determination.
"Good to know." Cole replied quickly, his legs moving forward without a stop to the quiet bewilderment of the little girl.
"You didn't say sorry!" The girl cried as Cole continued on, his surprise fading.
"You ran into my Pokemon." Cole stated without stopping, nearly smirking from the girl's argument. "You should say sorry to Houndoom."
The little girl gasped at Cole's words, her skirt twirling as she turned to the confused fire hound beside her. "I-I'm sorry! Mr. Doggy!"
Cole nearly tripped from the little girl's words as Houndoom barked happily at the apology. Turning to her, the young Admin could see that she was petting Houndoom with one hand while smiling brightly at him, her short brown hair matted to her forehead with sweat. His eyes narrowed, annoyance now sliding over to anger with the luck he was having: No Elisa, no Dragon Plate, no transportation, but by all means. A little girl who didn't even listen to him, he'd gladly deal that. The Magma Admin took in a sharp breath.
"Houndoom let's go." Cole ordered. His Starter Pokemon obeyed instantly, turning from the now shocked brown eyes of the girl before attempting to go after its Trainer.
"Hou!" It was not until a gentle yelp was heard behind him that Cole jerked back to see the little girl...pulling on Houndoom's tail!
"What..." Cole managed to choke out.
"Y-You have to help me!" She cried while Houndoom's claws dug into the sand to ease the pain. "P-Please save my brother! Bad guys from Team Aqua are after him!" Her words trembling as they escaped her mouth.
Gaping at the scene in front of him, one of his strongest Pokemon kneeling to a mere child, he finally blinked once the words hit him. 'Aqua?' His dark brown eyes hardened as he walked up to the girl. "Where is he?"
The girl's brown eyes shined brightly. "Follow me!"
Running with his latest surprise of the seaside beach town, Cole ran alongside Houndoom as the Dark/Fire type carried the little girl on its back, her pink dresses flapping wildly from the speed of the fire hound.
"There's my brother!" She cried as Cole snapped his attention forward. Not too far from them, on the outskirts of the beach that merged with the forest, a young boy was huddled on the sand. A surge of adrenaline rushing to him once he locked onto three older teens that were standing above the girl's brother, kicking at him repeatedly.
"You suck kid!" One of the older boys laughed as he jabbed his foot into the younger male's yellow t-shirt, causing him to cry out in pain.
"You don't even know how to battle!" The other one insulted fiercely as he wound up for a devastating blow. "Take thi-"
A strong hand blocked the boy's strike, surprising him, before the hand snatched his leg and sent him flying backwards. "What the hell?" He swore as he dropped to the sand with a thud.
Cole stood in front of the boy who groggily shook off the pain as Houndoom skidded to a stop beside him. "Miggy!" The little girl cried as she shoved her face into her older brother's chest.
The boy smiled fondly at his little sister before looking underneath him. A small silver Pokemon was panting slightly, groaning in pain as it stood up on its stubby legs. "Are you alright, Aron?" Miguel asked. The Steel/Rock type nodded slightly, wobbling for balance as Cole eyed the teenagers in front of him.
"Are you looking for a fight?" Cole's voice was sharp like steel in front of the three males. Only two seemed to be affected by it as they quickly jumped back behind the tallest boy of the group. His dark brown eyes widened in shock once he glanced upon the light blue bandannas that displayed a skull 'A' before he quickly composed himself.
"Team Aqua is done." He stated cautiously.
The taller, supposed leader of the group smirked at Cole. "We're bringing them back! Team Aqua is the coolest!" He then glared at the boy behind Cole who jumped in response. "That punk thought he could beat us with his little Aron! Aqua uses Water Pokemon; they'll never lose to Pokemon that stick on land all day!" The tallest boy laughed, his friends following along.
"Now get out of here so we can teach him a lesson!" He finally barked at Cole, pulling out a Great Ball from his belt, its blue and white surface glistening in the sunlight.
Cole immediately looked back at Houndoom, "Keep them safe." his Pokemon nodded before heaving Aron onto its back. Turning forward, Cole pulled out a Poke ball. "Care for a wager?" The Magma Admin smirked.
"What are you up to?" The leader asked, preparing for the inevitable.
"I win, leave the kids alone." Cole demanded.
"And if I win?" The teenage boy smirked.
The two younger boys then gasped at Cole who did not respond, their leader clenching his fist in anger from Cole's silence. "We'll see who's the winner; Go, Corphish!" He barked as a small crab-like Pokemon materialized onto the sand, pincers snapping repeatedly.
Cole smirked to himself as he threw his Poke ball into the air. "Lairon!" In a flash of bright light, a large iron-plated Pokemon materialized onto the sand as well, its blue eyes wide as it stared down its opponent.
Not too far away from the group, a boy and girl gasped at their apparent saviour's choice of Pokemon. "H-He can't win with a Rock type!"
The teenager smirked confidently as he looked over Cole's Lairon with confidence. "Rock type Pokemon! Ha, piece of cake! Corphish, Crabhammer!" Using its spiny legs, the Water type launched itself into the air as its pincer glowed a light blue.
Dark brown eyes narrowed as Lairon scratched at the sand, primed to fight. "Iron Defence!"
"No way!" The three boys gasped in unison as Corphish's pincer slammed into Lairon's head. Waves of sand blasting away from the attack; the impact mimicking the resonance of a massive bell as Corphish struggled to push forward. Lairon grunted from the impact but remained unmoving, locked in place.
Cole glared at the three not to far from him, sending shivers down their spines. "Lairon, Headbutt!" The Iron Armor Pokemon gladly obeyed as it lifted the front portion of its body before flinging its massive head into a defenceless Corphish.
A sickening crack was heard as the Ruffian Pokemon was sent flying backwards, passing the three boys and crashing into the sandy surf, waves erupting into the air. They could only gape in silence as Lairon roared victoriously, stomping the sand with its heavy feet.
"...That Pokemon is really strong..." The little girl sighed in awe as she peeked over their protective Houndoom. Miguel could only squeeze a bit harder on his partner Aron, hearing the shouts of rage from the boys that attacked him. Their amateur Aqua bandannas were beginning to blow in a rising wind.
"Great job!" Cole called as he pulled out his Poke ball again. But before he could return it, the leader stamped his feet in frustration before sneering at him.
"Let's see if you can beat my ace!"
Cole could only take in a sharp breath as a massive, serpent-like beast exploded into the ocean waters. The waves crashed onto the sandy beach as Cole slowly lowered his Poke ball. 'This kid has some fight in him.' Cole almost smirked as the boy's Gyarados screeched to the sky while slamming its heavy tail into the shallow waters.
"You scared now!" The leader yelled, his voice quivering. "You better return that stupid land Pokemon! Only Water Pokemon rule Dewford!"
"This better be your last one." Cole's demeanour did not change along with his Lairon who stared at its massive opponent, eyes unwavering.
"W-Wha?" The boy gasped again along with his followers. He had enough of Cole's insults. "That's it! Gyarados, Tackle it!" The massive serpent obeyed, waves rising as it dived towards Lairon on the sandy dunes.
Watching safely from the sidelines, Miguel and his sister could only gasp in complete shock as the monstrous Gyarados slammed face-first into Lairon. But it was not the initial hit that surprised them.
"W-What is that thing made of?" The boys cried as Lairon slid back, at most, a single foot while Gyarados growled from the impact. Sand blowing up in the wind, the sky blue eyes of the Steel/Rock type remained fixed on the trembling red eyes of Gyarados, unfazed from the Tackle attack.
Cole's eyes remained focused as he stared at the battlefield. Even though these kids were just amateurs, the bandannas forced the Magma Admin to unwillingly remember dark shades of his past. Battling Water Pokemon constantly forced him to teach his Pokemon multiple ways to get around that disadvantage, like turning defence into offence.
All three boy's dropped onto their behinds as Lairon roared, bright yellow bolts of electricity that rivalled the brightness of the morning sun poured out of its steel body before connecting directly with Gyarados. The Atrocious Pokemon could only bellow with pain as it jolted upwards, the close proximity between them sending streaks of yellow to circle around its long body before it crashed back into the ocean waters. Lairon huffed, sands blasting around its steel body, the battle was over.
Cole immediately walked over to the fallen teenagers, who were now cowering in fear. His brown eyes were dark with anger as he ripped the bandannas from the top of their heads, each one crying out lightly from fear of physical abuse.
"W-W-We're really sorry!" They all begged, bowing multiple times as Cole towered over them, his tanned arms crossed. The Magma Admin crushed the bandannas in his fist.
"I don't care about the kid." Cole's words made all three snap back to his face with confusion.
"Team Aqua have committed multiple crimes in Hoenn that have endangered countless people." His words were sharp, making the group of boy's eyes widen with attention. "If you are ever seen trying to play Aqua again...Team Magma will personally come after you,"
Deep brown eyes flickered, "..And your families." With those words, the boys jumped, fear plastered on their faces.
"Get out of here now." And with that, the group sprinted off, tears flowing from their eyes from their actions.
Walking back to the young boy and his sister, Cole knelt down to Miguel and his Aron; Lairon right behind its Trainer as it looked on with concern. Pulling out a small orange spray-bottle from his backpack, Cole sprayed the Super Potion onto Aron who cried out softly, causing Miguel to jump.
"Don't worry, its just a sting." His words were soft, calming Miguel and his sister down as Aron opened its eyes slowly, blinking from the strong sunlight.
"Aron!" Both children cried as they hugged the small Pokemon who cried out happily.
Cole stood up, before handing the Super Potion to Miguel. "Keep it, I'll bring you guys to the Pokemon Centre." He informed as he slid the single strap backpack around himself.
"You were really strong mister!" The little girl squealed, shaking Cole's hand excitedly. "You showed those Team Aqua meanies!" Cole smirked from the little girl's words before Miguel spoke up.
"None of them are good."
Brown eyes widened as Cole turned to Miguel who returned his Aron. "Team Aqua and Magma both hurt Pokemon and people. I'll never trust 'em." Miguel then looked up with a bright grin, Cole's eyes could only tear away from the sight. "But I'm happy that good people like you protect everyone from those bad guys!" His voice high with happiness.
Cole's eyes glanced back to the two children that he saved, both were smiling happily towards him. Fading memories of his battles in a Magma uniform resurfacing; they contradicted the boy's very words.
Why would a bad guy help the weak?
His mind mocked him as the children clasped onto Cole's hands to his surprise and squeezed hard. The Aqua bandannas slipped from his fingers, relaxing from the sensation.
The words were simple. So simple. But they continued to seep down into Cole's very soul. Chipping away at a wall he never thought existed.
"I'm home..." Noah gulped nervously as he stood outside the white gates of his family's large house.
When you were successful, like his parents, showing off became a daily routine. Flowers of multiple colours dotted the front garden and a stone pathway that led to the front door. It had been a long time since he last came here, but it had not changed a bit. 'This is no time to daydream!' He yelled at himself as he shook his head trying to be brave, 'Just go in there and tell them how you feel.' He took a deep breath and rang the doorbell.
It took only a few seconds, but the time felt like hours to Noah as he saw movement at the door. A slender woman opened the front door and in no time he heard the usual squeal from his mother.
"Noah!" The gates opened immediately as he smiled sheepishly walking up to his mother who was running at him in a full sprint. She wrapped him in her usual death hug and he suffocated, barely able to hug back.
"I-I missed...y-you too mom!" Noah cried trying to free himself. His mother finally calmed down, slightly allowing the young boy to gasp for air.
"My baby!" She released him, bright blue eyes brimming with tears. "I thought that you would be going to Lavaridge Town for your fourth badge?" putting her hands on her hips, "Or have you come back to rest before you set off again?"
Noah averted his matching eyes with his mother Areta as she awaited an answer; this was the exact situation he dreaded. "Well...you see..." Noah scratched the back of his head as his mother peered at him.
"I kind of don't want to compete for the Pokemon League Championships anymore..." he ended with a nervous smile.
Areta gave him a blank look. Noah could only sweat bullets awaiting her brutal response. It could only be the worse thing imaginable. "So you've given up on yourself." She stated simply.
Noah hung his head, her words cutting into him like a sharp blade. "I haven't given up mom!" He replied trying to keep his courage up, "It's just that...I really want to travel the world like dad did, as a sailor!"
Areta narrowed her eyes, piercing at any hope he had left. "You're father and I went all the way to the Kanto region to ensure you had the best Pokemon to compete with the best Trainers in Hoenn!" Her voice was rising, "Are you telling me that after all the effort and time we put into making you become a successful Trainer; you just want to throw it away and become a sailor! Where's the money in that career? You're father was a Sailor and a Trainer, he competed in multiple League Championships!" Areta lectured crossing her arms.
Noah fought every urge in his body not to run away, "I know that...I just don't-" his weak reply was cut short when a taller figure came out the front door. He grimaced. It was his father, Edmond.
"Aree? What's the ma-" Edmond stopped as his light blue eyes caught onto young boy ahead, "Noah!" He cheered as he ran over to his only son and playfully slapped him on the back. "You've finally come back for a visit! How were you're adventures?" Edmond asked happily.
Edmond's brow furrowed in confusion as he looked between his silent son and stern looking wife. It didn't take long for him to come to a conclusion. "What did he do?" He asked Areta.
"He doesn't want to be a Trainer anymore." Edmond looked down at his son who was trying to keep a straight face and not breakdown. Areta continued, "He said he wants to be only a sailor and go on a foolish joy ride over seas." She turned to walk inside, "You deal with him." The door slammed shut.
"Are you too weak to be a Trainer?" Edmond scoffed at his son, "Every boy with a right mind wants to become a Pokemon Master."
"I know that!" Noah cried tearing away from his father's arm. Edmond's eyes widened at his son's outburst, he had never talked back before. "But I love the ocean! I want to follow the same path that you did! Why can't I do that?" Noah tried desperately to keep his voice down, but was failing miserably.
"Noah!" Edmond roared causing his son to shut his mouth from going any further. "Life isn't all about fun and games! You would know that if you took your journey seriously! You really think that everything will work in your favour if you go out there alone without a real plan! I could only sail because I was battling Trainers around the region!" His voice booming.
"Where do you think you're going?" Edmond suddenly barked as Noah bolted towards the front gates.
"You told me! Even if I live the rest of my life at sea, it will always be a better home than here!" Noah snapped back. His father flinched as his son turned a corner and was out of sight in seconds.
Noah slapped at his face trying to remove as many tears as possible, but they continued to fall. His parents were always like this; constantly pushing his own dreams down while trying to force a life that fit their own standards.
"I don't need them! I only need my Pokemon and the ocean by my side!" Noah cried as he stormed towards the markets.
There was an uncomfortable silence in the yard before Areta came back through the door, delicate hands clenched with worry. "He's actually serious about this?" She questioned in surprise.
Edmond sighed, scratching his head trying to find some explanation. "He'll be back, just needs time to cool off." He smiled at his wife.
"I'm happy that he's finally standing up for himself, but he can't just rush into the life of sailing only." He turned around and walked inside with his wife. "When he comes back, we'll deal with it." The door closed softly this time as the two waited patiently for their son to return.