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Thread: [M] Pokemon: Avarice Versus Justice! (Ashen and Headwrapper)

  1. #171
    The Moonlight Knight
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    After hanging up with Yulia, Clive peeled himself off of the couch. He put his work things away and neatly placed his bag in the corner of his bedroom. Without giving it much consideration, he put on a pair of tan denim pants and a comfortably soft cotton shirt. He pulled up his sleeves, which became taut against his forearms, before washing his hands. Then, he headed to the kitchen to begin preparing dinner, shooing away his Pokemon all the while.

    When Rotom buzzed, signalling Yulia's arrival, Clive wiped his hands on a clean rag before answering the door. After greeting his partner uncharacteristically warmly, he took some of the things she was carrying from her and ushered her into the apartment, sneaking a quick poke to Fritz's nose as he was carried passed."I hope you're hungry," he said as he closed the door. "I think we'll have enough for everyone, Pokemon included." He looked at some of the ingredients that Yulia had brought, eying the labels carefully as he disappeared back into the kitchen.

    While the pan was heating up on the stove, he began cutting up some of the carrots into thick batons, tossing the excess into a nearby bowl. His work with the knife was quick and precise, each stroke confident and methodical. His hands firmly held the implement and the vegetables he was cutting, but without unnecessary tensing or squeezing. When he finished cutting the first set of batons, he placed them near a small pile of baby potatoes he had already cut into halves.

    "You said that you made a discovery?" he asked, casting Yulia a glance. "Something in the lake." Deftly, he reached for another carrot and sliced off the top, before proceeding to craft additional batons to include in their meal. Interested in what his partner would have to say, he continued to work in relative silence as he listened. A sudden, unseen disturbance broke his silence. "Don't even try it, Shadow."

    The Zorua, hiding, invisible near the entrance of the kitchen, snickered as it reappeared into view and fled back into the living room.

    "You should have seen them earlier," Clive said, a low chuckle rumbling in his throat. Carefully, he inspected the pan and quickly decided it was as hot as it was going to get. "Guess it's my fault for mentioning the prospect of steak to them."

    After they were done cooking, only awkwardly bumping into each other in Clive's small kitchen a few times, they laid out their mouthwatering and aromatic feast. On the detective's plates laid their thick cuts of steak, pan-seared and fragrant with the smell of black pepper and thyme. Joining the main course were the roasted potatoes and carrots, which having been flavored in the seasoned juices of the steak, had filled the air with their own delectable scents. A few choice cuts of meat were laid out for the Pokemon joining the meal, complimented with a few of their favorite berries.

    When they were partway through their meal, their conversation maundered to the Avarice case. It was inevitable, with what had transpired before, Clive's effective suspension, Yulia's recent discovery, and the pairs incessant desire to close the case for good. Shamelessly, Clive leafed through the file that Yulia had brought with her, chewing on a fragrant and buttery potato.

  2. #172
    The Ashen One
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    Once Yulia had been ushered into Clive’s apartment, she set the rest of her things down and sternly told her Glameow to be a good boy before walking to the kitchen to make herself useful. She got to work beside Clive in chopping the vegetables she’d brought, all the while eyeing the steak already on the stove. Clive had gone all out for this, and it was endearing to see the proof of his enthusiasm in his behavior. Yulia was excited that her stoic partner was excited, and just like that, the miserable last couple weeks faded from her mind.

    As they prepared dinner together, Yulia mentioned the documents she’d prepared for him, and she told him she’d give them to him once they finished eating. She couldn’t stop herself from talking about them, however, and about the discovery she’d made at Mt. Mortar. She went over the email she’d gotten about the rocks, and her speculations about what Avarice was hiding down there, before she interrupted herself with an apology to save the rest for later.

    She didn’t even notice the illusion Pokemon come up to them, so when Clive suddenly called out to Shadow, she turned to look for the Zorua. She giggled at the poor thing’s attempt, but then she thought of Fritz and his tendency to steal food, and she cast a glance around the room to look for him. She found him stretched across the couch in the living room snoring. Yulia smiled; even her fussy cat felt right at home here.

    When dinner was finished cooking and they’d plated their meals, Yulia made sure all the Pokemon were fed before sitting at the table herself. She watched Fritz out of the corner of her eye, hoping he would behave but knowing he wouldn’t. He tried to paw a berry from Shadow’s bowl, but Yulia scolded him, and the dejected Glameow returned to his own food. Yulia turned her attention back to Clive with an amused sigh. Even if she’d said she’d wait until after dinner, she handed him the documents she’d brought and continued her conversation from earlier, fully catching him up on the details about the case he’d missed. Yulia couldn’t remember the last time she’d been this animated about work, but she enjoyed having someone to share it with, someone who was also passionate about giving Avarice what they deserved. During a lull in the conversation, she realized how long she had been rambling, and she turned away, her cheeks coloring slightly.

    She sipped her water so that she could collect her overenthusiastic thoughts. She motioned towards her plate, which was empty except for a few stray vegetables. “Supper was delicious,” she said, and there was pride in her voice at having helped make it. “Thank you for inviting me over.”

    If Clive was not yet tired of hearing her talk, Yulia still wanted to go over some details about Suicune and her plan to stop Phoenix. There was no room for failure now, and she wanted Clive’s input on the best way to trap the Avarice official and save the legendary beast. But she had spoken for a long time, and she was also content saving such talk for later if he preferred.

    Now that she’d gotten all of that information off her chest, Yulia realized just how exhausted she was. She had always been the type to work herself to the bone, but it was starting to wear on her now, as she was so close to her goals. A headache drummed at the back of her head, and she was sure, if Clive let her, she could pass out right on his couch. But she shook herself awake and carried the dishes back to the kitchen, including the Pokemon’s bowls now licked clean. She liked feeling useful, and she owed Clive for the dinner anyway.

    “I feel like I’ve been talking forever,” she announced as she scraped the plates into the trash can. “What’s new with you?”
    Thanks to Craze for the beautiful Bravely set!

    ~Recruitment Thread~
    Spoiler: Ashen's Personal Hall of Fame 

  3. #173
    The Moonlight Knight
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    As usual, Clive remained quiet as he mulled over Yulia's thoughts, both the ones she spoke as well as the ones documented on paper. When he finished his meal, he gently nudged his plate over to make more room to leaf through the file more attentively. There was a lot of information he needed to mull over. There were lessons learned from the failure at Mt. Mortar, a summary of the known tools Phoenix and the rest of Avarice had in their arsenal, and speculation regarding Suicune's whereabouts.

    Furthermore, Yulia mentioned the findings regarding the rocks found beneath the lake near Mt. Mortar. Clive had his own suspicions when he first noticed the the large mass that turned out to be a Wailord in the middle of the lake. A lake that could not sustainably house such a massive Pokemon. There could have been the makings of some sort of travel system that Avarice used to traverse the continent, and ship supplies, people, and Pokemon. Alternatively, they may have been hiding a secret facility, similar to the one they discovered beneath the warehouse in Saffron City.

    They discussed Suicune, what was known about it, and Yulia's plans. Clive admitted he needed time to think over the details, referencing back to some of their misgivings during the Raikou mission. How they were unprepared for the sudden discovery, ill-equipped to handle the scale of the mission, and just blatantly outmatched. Frankly, Clive was annoyed by Phoenix's preparedness for his illusion tricks with Shadow. Admittedly, he was also tired of getting shocked so many times during this case too, but was prepared to deal with it again.

    For a moment, Clive hesitated. There was a particular topic he had not addressed with Yulia. One that she needed to know could cloud her partner's judgement in the future. As he considered an appropriate way to approach the subject, he observed the enjoyment in Yulia's face, despite the signs she had been working herself so hard that day. Unable to help himself, he pushed the topic of his father's Dragonite aside for the time being to revel with his partner.

    "It was good. Thanks for helping prepare it. You didn't have to." Once the work discussion was set aside, they began to clean up after themselves. After grabbing a few items himself, Clive watched as Yulia carried the rest of the dishes back into the kitchen. He joined his partner, organizing the emptied plates into his dishwasher while Yulia continued to scrape off the rest. "What's new?" he repeated. "Hmm." Clive pondered for a moment, wiping his fingers with a checkered dish rag. "I've been training with my Pokemon the last few weeks, with the help of an old mentor of mine. In fact, Shadow and Houndour have both learned a few new moves."

    He took the remaining plates from Yulia. "I'll finish this up," he said while he balanced the stack in his hands. "Relax a bit." He nodded back towards the living room before dismissively turning to finish putting away the rest of their meal.

    The gentle roar of the dishwasher announced when the task was complete, and Clive emerged from the kitchen. He was a little surprised that Yulia was not completely passed out on the couch when he approached, and he observed her carefully before he settled down in his own seat. Like before, his partner still showed signs of fatigue. Maybe ones she could hide from others, but Clive knew people better. He knew Yulia better. "Hey, um..." He shifted uneasily in his seat, before deciding to lean forward and rest his elbows against his knees so he can better face his partner. "I wasn't sure how to say this, but I wanted to say that I'm sorry. That was I wasn't there for you these last few weeks. I should have came to see you after everything... Like, in person. Not just on the phone."

    With a loud sigh, he turned his head and looked to his Pokemon, particular his Umbreon. He withdrew his breath briefly before looking Yulia in the eyes again. "There's something else. Something I have to tell you. After all, it just wouldn't be right to keep this kind of secret from you after how pissed I was at you back in Saffron. Huh, I had forgotten we had a steak dinner back then too..." He rubber his chin gently, as if in thought. Suddenly, he stood and disappeared into his bedroom.

    When he returned, he carried the broken Pokeball in one hand. "Listen," he said before he dropped into his seat and leaned towards Yulia. His eyes locked with hers, magnetized to Yulia's dark blue irises. "In the grand scheme of things, you might still be new to this line of work... But if you even think that this will jeopardize your safety, it's your right to march to the Chief and tell him I withheld this information. Get me booted right back out of the case. It's just as much your right as it would have been mine about the 'brain thing', alright?"

    Handling the item delicately with his finger tips, Clive raised the broken Pokeball between them. "This Pokeball used to contain a dear friend of mine, my father's strongest and most loyal Pokemon. A Pokemon that has been missing ever since my dad was betrayed and both my parents were wiped right off of this world." He paused, finally breaking his gaze from Yulia to look at the ball. "I'm not trying to be dramatic, but I want you to understand that this is something I... in the right situation, the wrong situation, I don't know what I might do. This Pokeball originally contained the Dragonite that Phoenix used against us at Mt. Mortar. There's no mistaking it. The same scar, the same tremendous power. It was my dad's Dragonite. And they have it."

  4. #174
    The Ashen One
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    Yulia was quick to wave off Clive’s thanks. Keeping everything updated about her case was part of her job, and she enjoyed feeling useful. She appreciated the opportunity to make something special, and though she didn’t know how to word it, this dinner catch-up meant more to her than Clive could know. She was glad when he started talking; as much as she had to say, she was starting to feel self-conscious about her rambling. It came as a surprise that Clive had been training with an old mentor. He had never shown much interest in battling, and his Pokemon seemed better suited for the non-combat parts of their missions. But though it was unexpected, Yulia was relieved Clive was doing new things to keep him and his Pokemon active.

    His apology seemingly came out of nowhere, and Yulia quickly shook her head, dismissing it. It wasn’t like she had tried to meet with him, either, and he’d been the one in the hospital. She had thought to, but a part of her figured he’d be too upset to see her again, or that she wouldn’t know what to say, so she used work as an excuse—just like she always did. “You don’t have to apologize,” she told him quietly. Remembering the state she’d last seen him in, and what had happened to him at Mt. Mortar, filled her with a returning guilt from not doing more to help him, but now that he was back on the case, and back to being her partner, Yulia was determined to make up for her wrongs. They’d take down Avarice for good this time, and she was sure nothing else would mean more than that.

    She wasn’t the type of person to stay idle, and even after Clive had sent her away to relax for a minute, Yulia busied herself with sorting the pillows on Clive’s couch. Fritz had taken two of them to lie across and thrown a third on the floor, so Yulia shooed the cat Pokemon off of them. She gave him a pat on the head and scratched him under his chin, a compromise. It had been a long and busy day, but Yulia could find comfort in things finally starting to look up.

    But when Clive spoke up again, the air turned tense, and Yulia nervously arched a brow. His tone indicated that whatever he had to tell her wasn’t such a happy thing, and her mind whirred with possibilities. It was difficult to not jump to the worst conclusions, but she tried to silence her thoughts. Yulia turned her attention to Fritz as she waited for Clive to return, but, as if sensing the tension, the Glameow hopped off the couch to poke around the kitchen some more.

    Clive returned with a Poke Ball, and Yulia wondered what kind of Pokemon he was about to show her. But as he got closer, she realized the thing was broken, and she dreadfully wondered what had been housed in it. She recognized that Pokemon; she’d seen it once, when they met with that judge so long ago now. Clive’s words did not comfort her; all this talk about his safety unnerved her. She tried to keep her expression neutral, though she wondered if Clive knew her well enough to see through her. She let out an unsteady breath and nodded to show she was listening, and she waited for him to continue.

    As Clive explained the origin of the Poke Ball and the Pokemon it belonged to, Yulia realized this was likely an heirloom, something Clive had to remember his father. But if the Pokemon it had belonged to had been a Dragonite, powerful and scarred and all too familiar… Yulia’s eyes widened as she remembered the Dragonite they’d encountered on Mt. Mortar. The very same tired-looking Dragonite that had attacked Clive and sent him to the hospital. Yulia reached for her partner, placing a hand on his in comfort. “I’m so sorry,” she began, not even able to conceptualize his grief. That wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg, however. If Clive’s father’s beloved Pokemon had fallen into the hands of Avarice, what did that mean?

    Yulia turned away from him, her brows furrowed in thought. She thought back to the things she had read about the great detective Clive’s father had been, including his betrayal by his partner. Was it possible his partner had been working with Avarice? Maybe it was mere coincidence that his Pokemon had ended up in their hands. And—was that Dragonite the reason they’d failed to stop Phoenix at Mt. Mortar?

    No. Yulia decided she was not going to blame Clive, especially if he’d been thrown off by seeing his father’s Pokemon again. His connection to that Dragonite did not endanger them any more than her condition did, and she wasn’t about to place her guilt on his shoulders. But this was a new piece of evidence for their case, and she was eager to research it and see what new leads it brought up.

    “What do you suppose that means?” she asked. Even if his father’s betrayal was shrouded in mystery, she still figured Clive might know more about that Dragonite than anyone else. If his father’s fate was because of Avarice, then Yulia would not rest until he was avenged, and his Pokemon was home with his son. “Do you think your uncle Richie might have anything to do with our case?” she pressed. Her voice was gentle—she knew these things were sensitive for Clive, and she didn’t want to upset him—but she couldn’t hide the excitement that came from potentially having a new lead.
    Thanks to Craze for the beautiful Bravely set!

    ~Recruitment Thread~
    Spoiler: Ashen's Personal Hall of Fame 

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