Home Sweet Home
Perhaps I don't want to carve out my own path.
I only wanted to follow yours.
"So you haven't heard anything about Rayquaza being linked to the strange weather occurrences in Fallarbor Town?" Elisa repeated slowly to a woman who was currently talking to someone on a cell phone.
"Why no dear!" The large woman laughed while waving off the question, "But have you heard the saying that there is a deep connection between the women in Lilycove City and Relicanth's Rock Head ability? I just got the big news from my cousin today!" she squealed, her cheeks full with glee.
"What does that have to do with anything! You're completely off-topic!" Elisa complained, dropping her head in defeat. The large woman however paid no attention to the distraught researcher as she turned away, her face red as she whispered into the cell phone.
Elisa sighed in frustration, she had come to Dewford Hall earlier that day to get any leads on Rayquaza or the Dragon Plates, but to no avail. The people in the massive open house where currently running back and forth between tables, chattering about the latest gossip on Pokemon, celebrities and trendy sayings. She had tried multiple times to get someone's attention but they completely brushed her off because her story apparently wasn't spicy enough. She huffed, Legendary Pokemon were the only news she ever wanted to hear about.
"I should have brought Cole, he would have gotten something out of them..." Elisa muttered under her breath before heading back towards the entrance. "I might as well get him, we need to find another sailor that can take us to Slateport." Elisa sighed, exiting the doors of Dewford Hall.
Thinking back towards the events last night, she remembered how Cole constantly teased the young boy of their free pass to Dewford about the 'pearl incident'. Frowning slightly, she was sure that Noah would have broke if she had not stepped in. 'He's a nice kid, giving us a free pass to Dewford for nothing in return. How are we going to get someone like that again?' Elisa wiped a few beads of sweat from her brow as the sun beat down on her face, her hair itchy from the heat. Suddenly, an empty feeling rose in the pit of her stomach.
"Err...Cole can wait, I'm hungry."She snickered slightly while a low growl agreed with her. Drool running down the side of her lip, Elisa turned for the market district in search of a meal.
Elisa sighed happily as she finished off one of Dewford's local specials: The Pinap Berry Sundae. The enticing sweet taste melting on her tongue as the mid afternoon sun rained down on the busy market. She turned to her Riolu who was quietly watching the shoppers pass by, "Where do you think he could be?" She asked her small friend. "I told Noah to tell him to meet me near Dewford Hall, but that was a long time ago..." Riolu let out a lazy yawn in response, clearly not interested. "You don't think he got lost here?" She asked.
Riolu smiled with a yes, earning a giggle from Elisa.
"Mam?" It was the vendor, "Will you be having anything else today?" He asked.
"It's okay. Thanks for the sundae." Elisa answered, getting up and paying from her measly purse before jumping down from her seat; she needed to find Cole before the day was through and find transport to Slateport City. Holding Riolu in her arms, the two twisted their way through the bustling streets, passing through a seemingly endless display of foods and goods until a familiar figure was spotted up ahead.
It was Noah.
His small shoulders slumped while sitting against a large palm tree at the end of the market. Walking up to him, she quickly noticed the depressed look on his face, her own expression softening. Elisa leaned down next to him cautiously. "Are you alright?" Elisa asked.
The boy jumped slightly, completely unaware of her presence. "Oh...Hi Elisa." Noah greeted with half a smile, not even looking in her direction. He continued to stare off into space causing the young woman to frown sadly.
"What's the matter?" Elisa asked sitting down beside him. The boy was unresponsive, continuing to look off into the distance with a crestfallen expression. Elisa then tapped her chin in thought, "Was it Cole? Did he do something to you?" She asked, concern wrapped her voice. This earned a small smirk from Noah, so she continued. "Did you guys get into a fight?" She asked thoughtfully, "Maybe I should have just woke him up."
"It's not Cole..." Noah responded looking over to Elisa, "It's..." she peered at him waiting, "my parents. They don't think that I'm strong enough to travel alone." He waited patiently for her response, turning back to any direction that caught his interest.
"I see." Elisa responded nodding slightly. "Why do they think that you're weak? You brought us here by yourself, I've never seen any other kid handle a ship by themselves before." Noah's eye twitched angrily for the 'kid' remark but she didn't notice.
"You should go back and show them how much you've grown." She answered truthfully while getting up with a determined smile. "I know you can show them somehow."
"I dunno..." Noah answered slowly.
"Well you have to try!" Elisa urged pulling him up with her free hand to his surprise. "You can't get anywhere in life if you just give up before anything happens! Do you think that you're a strong Trainer?"
"Well yeah, I guess bu-" Noah started.
"Then you can prove it to your parents!" Elisa dragged him by the arm towards the markets. 'If I can't pay him back for the trip here, the least I can do is give him the confidence to face his parents!' Elisa determined as she dragged him along.
"Elisa..." Noah started, but the young woman boldly moved foward, "my house is the other way." Noah coughed pulling in the other direction.
"Oh..." Elisa's cheeks tinged pink before turning around quickly, trying to play off her mistake with a light snicker. Riolu blinked curiously at Elisa as the pair headed up the hills toward Noah's home.
Edmond smirked to himself when he heard a ring from the front gates. 'I knew he would come back. That's my boy.' The rugged man headed for the door, and not to his surprise, there he was.
Noah did not take his eyes off of his father as the gates opened slowly. Edmond did notice though that his son was not alone. A young woman, most likely older than Noah stood beside him, she had a determined look in her light hazel eyes that fit perfectly onto the soft expression of her face that brought confusion to the retired sailor. "Are you coming back to get your things?" Edmond asked mockingly.
"I'm going to show you that I'm ready for the world dad." Noah started, his voice shaky but remaining strong. "I'm not going to run away from any problems that I face, and there's only one way for me to prove that to you."
Edmond smirked as his son pointed to him, "I challenge you to a pokemon battle!" Noah demanded taking out a Poke ball from his belt. The older male continued to give his son a cocky grin as Areta came through the front door with a small smile on her face.
"Fine, to the back." Edmond motioned the pair to follow with a jerk of his thumb. Noah took the lead and Elisa followed along with her Riolu.
"This...is your backyard?" Elisa gaped in awe as she took in the entire scenery. A massive pool took up the majority of the area, with stone tiles lining the perimeter. Statues of rare Pokemon decorated the corners of the area along with a large flower bed on opposite sides of the pool itself. Her mouth continuing to shamelessly hang, It was not hard for Elisa to realize that this battle would include mainly water Pokemon.
"Why thank you! My husband and I worked on the design ourselves. But the pool was mainly his idea, Edmond is a water Pokemon fanatic." Areta beamed at Elisa for her reaction to their masterpiece.
Noah and his father took their sides at each end of the large pool. Few floatation tubes bobbed in the crystal clear water as Edmond took out his own Poke ball with obvious confidence. "Let me see show you your limitations; Go, Crawdaunt!" He roared as a red crablike Pokemon materialized in the air and dove into the pool. It quickly noticed Noah and turned back to its Trainer in confusion.
"I know its him, we're going to test his strength." Crawdaunt nodded from its Trainer's words before turning back to Noah.
"Let's go Carvanha!" A large red and blue fish with sharp yellow fins materialized in the water and glared down at its opponent, waiting for a command. "I'm not going easy!" Noah yelled toward his father who nearly laughed at the comment.
"You're always trying to be a funny man. This will be a best of two!" Edmond announced quickly as Crawdaunt snapped its pincers.
"Fine by me! Carvanha," He smirked, the battle was under way, "Take Down!" The Water/Dark type suddenly ripped through the water at an amazing speed toward its opponent.
"Crawdaunt Dive!" Edmond's Pokemon barely dodged Carvanha's attack as the large fish tore through the water, sending a large wave to wash over onto his side of the field. "Come back up with Vice Grip!" And with that, Carvanha was blasted out of the water with a huge force from Crawdaunt's massive pincers.
"He's got him now." Areta smirked as Carvanha spun through the air. Elisa looked over to the older woman, "Noah's Carvanha is completely defenceless." she determined quickly.
"Crawdaunt use Crabhammer!" Crawdaunt exploded out of the water heading toward the defenceless fish.
"Counter it with Ice Beam!" The Savage Pokemon hastily launched the glittering beam of ice toward the incoming Crawdaunt, but to Noah and Elisa's surprise, Crawdaunt smashed the attack away and slammed its massive pincer into Carvanha all in one motion, sending it back into the pool in an explosion of rising water.
"It's too strong!" Noah cursed as Crawdaunt landed back into the pool waiting for Carvanha to resurface.
"Noah! If you can't handle this simple setback, how are you ever going to succeed in the real world?" Edmond mocked, "Finish this Crawdaunt! Use Aerial Ace now!" His voice boomed with the order as Carvanha slowly rose out of the water.
Elisa gasped as Crawdaunt launched itself toward Carvanha with blinding speed, the rippling waves sparkling in the sun's rays.
"Carvanha use Crunch now!" Carvanha weakly opened its mouth trying to catch the image in front of it but was caught off-guard when Crawdaunt shockingly disappeared, its physical attack missing completely. Crawdaunt then reappeared and slammed into Carvanha with enough force to launch it into the concrete walls of the pool. Noah protected his eyes as a huge wave of water rushed onto his side, soaking the area.
"One down." Edmond called out as Noah wiped the stinging water from his eyes. Carvanha was knocked out, floating on the surface with swirls in its eyes.
Noah growled as he returned his Pokemon, breathing a thank you as it was returned.
"Just give up Noah! My Pokemon are seasoned veterans." Edmond then smirked, a thought hitting him, "I checked your Trainer status after you left. I know you didn't even make it to the third Gym Leader, right!" He barked mockingly as Crawdaunt smashed its claws into the pool, waiting for the next opponent.
Noah couldn't shake the sinking feeling in his gut, remembering his last challenge with Wattson, the Electric Gym Leader. He was completely humiliated in front of the laughing old man. His throat suddenly feeling dry as his mind repeated that his father was right, 'I'm not strong enough...He's too good.' Noah could feel the rush of the battle fading quickly.
"Don't give up!"
The young boy snapped his head back up as he looked over to who called his name. "Elisa?" His voice cracked.
"Don't let him bully you around!" She stood forward, clutching onto Riolu while giving all of her support to the young boy, "You want to prove that you're strong; then believe in yourself!" Elisa cheered.
"I..." Noah was speechless, that someone would be standing up for him. He knew she was right, he couldn't give up even though he was down.
"It's not over dad," Fists clenched around another Poke ball, he threw it towards the water, "Let's go, Wartortle!" Noah roared as his Starter Pokemon appeared out of the Poke ball with flash. Areta perked up in interest as the long-tailed turtle dove into the water, waiting for its commands.
"Show me your best." Edmond smirked, pointing to Wartortle. "Crawdaunt, Bubblebeam!" Both of the Rogue Pokemon's pincers opened as a piercing jet of bubbles zipped towards Wartortle.
"Protect now!" Wartortle withdrew in a heartbeat and its body shimmered in a white light as the bubbles bounced off with ease, nullified.
"He has more confidence with his best Pokemon." Areta mused as Wartortle popped out of his shell.
"Hit it with Ice Beam!" Wartortle jumped out of the pool and fired the shining icy-white beam towards Crawdaunt.
"Dive now!" The icy beam froze the top of the water where Crawdaunt had hidden, missing completely.
"Don't stop! Freeze the entire surface!" Noah ordered as Wartortle continued his assault on the pool.
"What's he doing?" Edmond sneered as the entire surface was painted with thick ice, shimmering in the hot sun rays. A bead of sweat ran down his brow, Noah had actually put him in a corner? But that was far enough.
"Crabhammer!" Edmond yelled towards the pool. Seconds later, ice shattered in front of Edmond as his Crawdaunt launched out of the water and onto the icy surface, glaring at Wartortle.
"That was a slick move, but it ends here! Crawdaunt Aerial Ace!" Crawdaunt nodded and attempted to launch itself toward Wartortle, but to Edmond's surprise, his Pokemon slipped awkwardly on the icy surface.
Elisa and Areta gasped as Crawdaunt struggled to maintain his balance. "He froze the water to stop Crawdaunt's direct attacks!" Areta smiled brightly at her son for the defensive strategy he was able to come up with in such a short time.
"Rapid Spin! Don't give him a chance to counter!" Wartortle withdrew into his shell once again and launched itself towards a defenceless Crawdaunt. Edmond could only clench his fist as Wartortle slammed into his Pokemon repeatedly, sending Crawdaunt into the air with each strike.
Wartortle slammed into Crawdaunt once more, sending the Rogue Pokemon higher into the air before coming out of his shell. Wartortle panted heavily as he glared at his enemy fall towards the pool.
"End this buddy! Use Skull Bash!" Noah ordered.
"Torrrr!" Wartortle's voice rose as his body glowed a magnificent white before the aura centred at the top of his head, fully charged. He launched himself toward the centre of the pool using his tail as a catapult, smashing through the ice towards Crawdaunt.
"Crabhammer!" Edmond roared. Crawdaunt's pincer glowed a dark blue as it aimed towards Wartortle's Skull Bash.
Everyone cried as a massive explosion of water and ice engulfed the backyard from the force of the attacks. Both Noah and Edmond shielded their eyes, waiting for the mist and water droplets to clear. Neither Trainer dared take their eyes off the battlefield, hoping to see their own Pokemon standing strong.
"I knew this battle was mi-" Edmond's arrogant comment was cut off as the debris finally settled.
"No...way." Noah breathed in mixed awe.
"A tie?" Areta gasped, finally breaking the silence.
Both Wartortle and Crawdaunt were floating on a block of ice, completely knocked out. The impact of the attacks taking its toll on both of them.
Edmond could only gawk at the sight in disbelief. Crawdaunt was one of his best! 'He really has gotten stronger...' Edmond finally realized as Noah pulled his Pokemon back to land. 'He's not just a kid anymore, my boy is growing up.' Edmond finally cracked a smile and returned his Crawdaunt with a thank you before walking over to his son.
"Well..." Noah started, trying to keep eye contact as his father approached. "You still have a Pokemon left, so you win. Good match."
"Get up." Edmond ordered. His son rose slowly.
"That was a worthy battle you put there." Noah looked up, surprise written all over his slightly tanned face. "I mocked you, insulted your skill, but yet, you still powered through. Real Trainers don't get stirred by petty insults from the opponent, and you were able to do that." His large hand patting Noah on the shoulder. "Your strategies have also improved, taking out Crawdaunt's speed with an icy surface. Truly excellent." Edmond stated with a smirk.
Noah couldn't help but crack a smile at his father's words. "T-Thanks dad."
"Look." Edmond grip tightened slightly on Noah's shoulder. "If you really want to try your life as a sailor, just like me, then go for it." He continued before Noah, and surprisingly Elisa began to jump for joy. "But keep this in mind, it is a hard choice if you don't have someone to support you along your travels." He warned cautiously.
Noah nodded happily, taking in his father's explanation. He then turned to his mother, waiting eagerly for her final say. His smile dropped slightly when he saw that his mother was tearing up. "Mom?"
"Yes!" Areta cried as she crushed her son in a hug. Noah gasped for air, more confused for her answer then his need for oxygen. "When you told me that you wanted to be a sailor, I thought you were giving up on yourself! But if you could give your father such a hard time, then I can trust that you'll be okay!" She revealed still crushing the boy's soaked body.
"You should know that your mother and I would support you in everything that you do; that's what parents are for. We just needed to know if you were actually serious with your decision." Edmond added, prying Areta away from Noah so he could breathe. Elisa smiled softly, taking in the family's moment.
"I won't let you down!" Noah promised bowing his head in thanks multiple times. His parents did care, he was finally getting a chance.
A cry of a bird Pokemon in the distance suddenly caught Elisa's attention as Noah's family continued with their happy conversation. It was getting dark. The setting sun painted the small town a deep red as the day was coming to and end, and she still couldn't find Cole.
"I don't mean to break the happy moment," Elisa interrupted softly, catching everyone's attention. "But I must be going, I have a friend to meet in town and I should be on my way to Slateport City." Elisa was about to wave her goodbye before Noah stopped her.
"Hey wait! You're on your way to Slateport?" Elisa nodded at the new sailor's question, "I could bring you there!" Noah offered cheerfully. "I just became a sailor, this could be my first test." He said hopefully.
"That's right," Edmond added. "Sailors need to handle the pressures of manning a crew. By the way, we didn't even get your name? Are you my son's girlfriend?" Edmond asked, still intrigued by the girl his son brought home.
"M-My name is Elisa Neville. I'm a Historical Pokemon Research Student." Elisa replied, cheeks tinged pink. She then shook her head quickly. "Uh...I-I'm just a friend of Noah's. He helped me reach Dewford Town from Petalburg." She panicked with a quiet laugh.
"A researcher?" The family asked in unison, causing Elisa to look away nervously.
"But you look so young. You must be extremely smart then!" Areta praised with smile, earning a modest blush from the younger woman.
"Noah, you should definitely take this girl! A researcher is constantly on the move, so a sailor of the seas is a perfect addition to the team." Edmond slapped his son on the back, making him stumble over to Elisa's side.
"Hehehe...What do you say Elisa? I'm not a problem to deal with, and I have some strong Pokemon to help you out." Noah offered with a smile.
"Of course!" Elisa responded immediately. "Finding you is the best thing that's happened so far!" Everyone laughed at her honest words, finally heading to the front gate of the house.
"We should head out tonight, so that way I can reach Slateport City by tomorrow night." Noah informed as the two stood outside the front gate, Riolu and Wartortle already returned to their Poke balls.
"Don't forget to go to the Pokemon Centre before you leave." Edmond implied, causing Noah to jump slightly; he didn't know why that happened... "We had a rough battle so you should get your team up and running before you set sail."
Areta nodded in agreement. "Noah, if you need anything along the way, don't hesitate to ask. Don't forget to call!" Areta said softly, giving her son a kiss on the cheek.
"I'll stay in touch mom." Noah replied happily, hugging his mother and then father. "I'll call you when we reach Slateport City." Elisa and Noah waved lightly as they began their trek back down the hill towards the main square of Dewford.
Small children ran by the duo, laughing with their parents as they made their way down the hill towards the Pokemon Centre. "You're still pretty damp." Elisa pointed out, breaking the silence between them on the way back to the docks as a cool breeze blew by.
"I know," Noah laughed, rubbing his nose. "I'll be fine, I love the water." He said while wringing the water out from his white t-shirt, a goofy smile plastered on his face.
"I'm happy though that your parents agreed to your decision." Elisa said, changing the subject. "We'll really need someone like you to be helping us on our journey. We should get to the Pokemon Centre quickly so we can heal your Pokemon." She continued, unaware of the sudden dread on Noah's face. "I have to admit that was a really good battle." Elisa smiled, remembering the surprising strategy pulled off by the young sailor.
"Y-You know we could just skip the Pokemon Centre all together; how about we just head to Slateport now?" Noah stuttered with a smile, earning an odd look from Elisa. "Really! Wartortle and Carvanha are fine!"
"Haha sure." Elisa giggled, assuming that he was making a joke. "I know you're an amazing Trainer but I think it would be best for your Pokemon." Elisa then laughed, playing along. Noah began to sweat as the duo continued toward the docks. He could not believe how quickly they were reaching the familiar red roof of the Pokemon Centre, but it would make sense since most of the shoppers were now off the roads for the day and heading home, making it easier for them to move. His fears only turned into reality as he locked eyes with a tall figure outside of the Pokemon Centre doors.
"I'm screwed..." Noah muttered as Elisa noticed Cole and waved to him.
"There you are!" Elisa greeted with a small frown. "I've been looking all over for you! Why didn't you come to Dewford Hall?" The researcher asked with confusion laced in her voice.
"H-Hi!" Noah gulped, realizing Elisa just exposed his lie to the world. His fear only intensified as Cole's eyes narrowed and fists clenched.
"Hey, guess what though. We have a sailor on our side now! Noah agreed to join us." Elisa announced happily as they finally reached the young man.
"Huh? What's the matter?" Elisa asked as Cole passed her and up to Noah, the younger boy just laughed nervously and put his hands up in defence.
"C-Cole look, it was a joke! I...wait...What are you doing?" It was too late, the few people in the streets looked on in shock or amusement as Cole decked the boy in the back of the head and then flipped him onto the ground with a thud. Dust kicked up slowly as Noah groaned from the treatment.
"Cole! What was that for? He's our newest member!" Elisa cried, rushing over to Noah to help him up.
"No, no. I-I kind of deserved that..." Noah muttered as Cole brushed his hands off and turned to the docks.
"Thanks to you, I went on a wild Zangoose chase all over town. Do that again and your head won't be the only thing that I dent with my fist." Cole said simply. His mind replaying the events continuously in his head. He wasn't meant to play babysitter.
It would sound like a simple threat to anyone, anyone but Noah at the moment who rubbed his now swollen skull. The duo's new companion couldn't help but smile slightly as Cole headed into the Pokemon Centre without looking back towards the others.
"So he can say it..." He muttered under his breath.
"He's pretty strong to flip you so easily." Elisa said to herself as she got up with Noah who was still rubbing his head.
"Why do you sound impressed?" Noah cried angrily, causing Elisa to smile nervously. "He was just faster this time! I'll get him back!" Noah cursed to himself as he followed after Cole into the Pokemon Centre.
"Well you should have just told him the truth in the first place." Elisa giggled as she too followed after her two new comrades. Even though she was not very social, she was astounded by how quickly they were becoming...well actual friends. She was going to need to tell Noah what their journey was about though, it would be truly inconsiderate of her if she didn't.
"I know Cole won't say anything." She mused. Their first destination for the Dragon Plate was now closer then they expected, thanks to a now trustworthy sailor named Noah.