Ooookay. Disclaimer time again. I own Midori, Taralon, Kayla, and Dragon Town. Celadon City, the Rainbowbadge, Eevee, Pokedex, Pokemon, Team Rocket, James, Ash Ketchum, Misty, Caterpie, Abra, Pikachu, Dugtrio, Diglett, Cubone, Lapras, Pay Day, the guy with the Farfetch'd, and anyone/thing else I might have missed belong to whoever makes Pokemon. Frosteon and its attacks (minus Ice Beam) belong to Karana, and are used with her permission. The rose belongs to James ;)
Part 7: Confessions, Trust, and Rainbowbadges
Kayla suspected nothing as Taralon moped into the restaurant. Taralon eyed her huge bag of things from the mall and wondered if she'd have enough left to pay for all the stuff she was ordering - not only was she buying for herself, but for Taralon, Meowth, Dugtrio, Diglett, Cubone, and Pidgeotto.
"And before ya ask, Taralon, as a matter of fact I DO have enough money and if I don't Meowth can just use Pay Day isn't that right Meowth??"
Meowth and Taralon both blinked. Meowth nodded slowly, manging to decipher Kayla's sentence. He then turned to Taralon.
"She likes to shop. She's still on an adrenaline high from her trip to the Celadon Mall."
As soon as everyone was done eating, Kayla beelined for the Gym. Taralon looked at the rose in his hand and sighed.
"I can't believe he found me," he sighed.
Taralon's body jolted. He hadn't realized Meowth was walking beside him!
"...I'll tell you soon. Next time Kayla's actually sitting still." He'd hoped it'd be a long time until then, but as he approached the Gym, he saw a dejected Kayla sitting outside the building. Meowth ran on all fours over to his trainer.
"What's wrong, Kayla?"
"Oh nothing, except I found out that none of my Pokemon will do well against Midori, the Gym Leader," Kayla pouted. "He refuses to do a one-on-one, Abra can't take out all of his Pokemon, Caterpie is just too weak, Pikachu wouldn't do well even if I was carrying him, Dugtrio is weak against grass, Lapras doesn't know any ice attacks yet, and Krabby is out of the question." The redhead sighed. "I'd need an ice Pokemon to face him."
There was a long silence before Meowth spoke up.
"Taralon, I believe you had something to say?"
Kayla looked at Taralon questioningly. "What is it?"
Taralon sighed. No getting out of this one.
"On my seventh birthday, as soon as I got Cubone, I ran away from home to live in Viridian Forest. I ran away because my father... well, he wasn't a very good father. You know why I'm afraid of water now?"
"I nearly drowned when I was little, because my father wasn't keeping an eye on me. Sure, he freaked out and rescued me as soon as he found out, but just a few more seconds, and I wouldn't be here. The only thing I can really thank him for is Cubone."
Kayla's eyebrows were raised, and her eyes wide. "But why was he like that?"
Taralon shrugged. "My mother ran off when I was one year old, and he was never quite right in the head after that. Maybe that's what made him such a bad father. But that's not the point I was getting at." He swallowed down the lump in his throat. "He's been looking for me for the last three years. And he's finally found me. Cubone found his scent all over Pidgeotto, and I found some of his hair in Pidgeotto's crest." He handed the hair to Kayla, who examined it.
"Who's your father?" she finally asked. Taralon sighed, looking as if the weight of the world rested on his shoulders, rather than the weight of his shirt and hair.
"Your parents know him from their journey. He was a constant pain in the neck for them. Diglett also found this - his personal symbol."
Kayla stared at the rose Taralon had just given her, gears starting slowly to click. "You mean..."
Taralon nodded slowly and gave Kayla a very serious look. "My father is James. From Team Rocket."
Kayla instinctively scooted away.
"Don't worry!" Taralon threw his hands up in defense. "I'm not a Rocket, I never have been a Rocket, and I never will be a Rocket. I ran away because of my father! Even if you can't trust him, you can trust me."
"...Taralon, I like having you travel with me, but now... I can't trust you. I'm sorry. You're the son of my parents' enemy, and unless you can give me some very good proof that I can trust you, I can't travel with you any more. Excuse me, I need to go try my luck for a badge." Kayla quickly excused herself, Meowth following. Taralon sighed unhappily and hung his head, before standing to leave. Well. He'd just have to find a way to prove that he could be trusted.
For some reason, the thought of not being able to travel with Kayla hurt.
Taralon broke into a run. He wasn't quite sure how he ended up in the alleys behind the Celadon Mall, but he was sure that his legs wouldn't let him run anymore. He curled up into a little ball and started to cry.
Taralon looked up at the guy who was leaning against a wall in the alley. He'd expected a trademark shady character, but just saw a normal guy with brown hair tied back in a ponytail, wearing normal clothes. A Farfetch'd stood next to him.
"Yeah?" he asked, wiping his eyes.
"What's the matter?"
"Let's see now." Taralon started counting off on his fingers. "The girl I was traveling with won't let me near her until she can trust me; my hated father James, who I've been running from for three years, has found me; I don't know how much longer I can hide; and I don't know how to prove to Kayla that I can be trusted."
The guy's eyebrows went to his hairline. "Wow. I'm sorry to hear that. Anything I can do to help?"
"If you can help me prove to Kayla that she can trust me."
"KAYLA? As in Kayla Ketchum?"
Taralon nodded. "Daughter of the great Ash Ketchum and Misty Waterflower, blah blah blah."
"Far farfetch'd!" Farfetch'd contributed, looking up at the guy. The guy nodded.
"Tell me a little about her. I just might be able to help."
"Well, she's really fond of water Pokemon, but likes ice better. Right now, she's trying to beat Midori, but she doesn't have any Pokemon that can beat his grass. Anything else you need to know?"
The guy shook his head. "I know exactly how to help now. Here, take this."
Taralon blinked as he was handed a Pokeball. "What's this?"
"It's a Frosteon. I evolved it from an Eevee that I caught a while ago. Kayla'll probably like it because it's an ice-type, and it'll make short work of Midori's Pokemon."
Taralon blinked several times. "Thanks! Why're you doing this, anyway?"
"Ash Ketchum helped me discover how strong my Farfetch'd could be, so I was able to make a living as a real trainer, instead of a thief. I owe him for that. Besides, I feel sorry for you and I wanted to help you out."
"Oh. Well, thanks. What should I pay you for this?
"Nothing. Free of charge."
Taralon's day was looking up more and more. "Thanks!"
"No problem!" the guy said cheerfully.
"Fetch'd far far!"
Taralon smiled gratefully before running off to take the Frosteon to Kayla.
Kayla doodled in the dirt with a stick. Three straight losses. Three straight losses! None of her Pokemon could beat Midori. The guy was *good*! She'd repeatedly used up her whole lineup just trying to put down that blasted Parasect of his. And the guy only had two Pokemon, which was even worse. She was in a profoundly foul mood, and nothing short of a miracle would cheer her up.
The miracle happened.
Taralon didn't waste words. He sat down next to Kayla and gave her a Pokeball. "It's to beat Midori," he said simply.
Kayla stared at the Pokeball, then wordlessly entered the Gyn. Taralon followed.
"Midori Chigaukangae!" Kayla called out to the green-clad, green-eyed, green-haired man. "I challenge you for a Rainbowbadge - don't even let that question slip out. YES, I'm the little pest who is Ash Ketchum's daughter but you can't figure out how I possibly got this far."
Midori chuckled. "Well. What Pokemon do you plan to use this time?"
"I don't know," Kayla said bluntly. "I just got it."
Midori's chuckle turned to a whole-hearted laugh. With fire in her eyes, Kayla growled. "Pokeball, go!!"
"Parasect, time to win again!"
Parasect was released first, and then Kayla's new Pokemon was.
Kayla blinked, eyes wide, and pulled out her Pokedex.
"Frosteon. A blizzard Pokemon. Evolves from Eevee with a Snow Stone, and employs powerful ice-type attacks. This Frosteon's current attacks are: Frost Bite, Razor Snowflake, Ice Beam, and Freeze."
Midori was looking worried. Kayla put Pokedex away, looking smug.
"Frosteon, start out with Frost Bite!"
The faster Frosteon bit Parasect good and hard on the mushroom. It squealed in pain, but managed to avoid being frozen. It slashed at Frosteon with one of its huge claws, scoring a critical hit. Frosteon was knocked across the mat.
"Frosteon!" Kayla moved towards her injured Pokemon, but it got up.
"Frost... e... on... frost," it assured her.
Kayla bit her lip. "Razor Snowflake!"
"Parasect, Stun Spore!"
Frosteon flicked its wrist and produced five razor-edged snowflakes, which it threw like ninja stars at Parasect. The snowflakes burrowed into Parasect's mushroom, getting a critical hit and reducing Parasect to one hitpoint. Parasect whimpered in pain, but pulled off the Stun Spore. Unfortunately for Parasect, it didn't hit Frosteon.
"It's over. Frosteon, anoter Frost Bite!"
Parasect fainted. Midori, grumbling, called it back. "Exeggcute, go!"
"No problem. Frosteon, Ice Beam!"
"Exeggcute, Solar Beam."
The Ice Beam hit the largest Exeggcute, but it didn't freeze it. Exeggcute was taking in sunlight from the convenient sunroof.
"Frosteon, hurry up and use Freeze before it gets that Solar Beam in!!"
Frosteon's fur bristled and its eyes glowed white. It opened its mouth, releasing a HUGE blizzard of snow and ice that engulfed the Exeggcute.
Critical hit, one-hit knockout.
Then the Solar Beam that Exeggcute had been storing up exploded from the defeated grass/psychic-type and slammed into Frosteon. It nearly fainted.
"FROSTEON!" Kayla ran towards Frosteon and scooped it up into her arms. It looked up weakly at her and smiled.
"Frosteon on eon frost," it said quietly.
"Oh, Frosteon, I gotta get you to the Pokemon Center..."
"Wait, hang on," Midori said.
Too late. Kayla was already out the door, followed closely by Meowth. Midori sighed. Taralon, leaning against a wall, grinned.
"Yes, she's always like that. Here, I'll take the badge to her," he said, holding out his hand. Midori placed the Rainbowbadge in Taralon's hand.
"And tell her that she fights good," Midori added.
Taralon smiled. "I will."
Kayla strolled happily down the path, admiring her new Rainbowbadge. Meowth was asleep on her shoulder. Taralon, smiling, walked alongside Kayla, Cubone walking alongside him.
"So! On to Saffron?"
"Actually," Taralon said, looking at a map, "there's a little town near Celadon called Dragon Town. It's not a whole lot, but it has a Gym and a store that sells rare items."
"About a half-mile in the direction we're headed."
"Then it's off to Dragon Town!" Kayla cheered, before taking off.
Taralon chuckled, picked up Cubone, and ran after her.