Jack silently watches as people disperse from the meeting with the legendary Pokémon. Several storm off alone clearly upset. Others leave softly, sometimes in groups, crying or with worried looks on their faces. Understandable, really. After such a near death experience, Jack was feeling rather anxious himself.
He sat against a nearby wall and tried to digest what a close call it had been, Ayessel fluttering on his shoulder to keep his balance. One moment they were on the bus to a tournament Jack had found a flyer for a few months back, and the next they were plummeting to the ocean below the road. He had rather been enjoying the scenery, in silence as usual, so the lurch of the bus was the most gut-wrenching. Without sound the drop was morbidly fascinating. He was sure there was air whipping past the many open windows, and people were screaming and flailing, but he heard none of it as the water rushed up at them.
Now they were here at the stadium, safe. Jack thumped his head lightly on the wall behind him and heaved a heavy sigh. He’d never been that close to death before. Sure there had been scrapes, but his Pokémon had always gotten him out safely. Portent was especially good at that. But now he had no idea what was going to happen next. He didn’t see anyone milling around that wasn’t on the bus with him. No staff, no other competitors, not even a janitor.
Hmm, time to get some information.
He turned to his ever present backpack and pulled out a notebook and a pen. After finishing his message, he stood to find someone to question.
In a hall outside of the stadium seats a young man a few years younger than Jack stood leaning against a pillar. He had his back turned to Jack, and couldn’t tell he was mumbling to himself angrily. He was wearing what appeared to be a red suit with black trim and gold colored boots. Jack could never understand the fashions going around, and it looked like this would not be any different.
Jack tapped the boy on the shoulder and smiled politely as he held his notebook forward. The boy had dark red hair framing his face and the goggles (or were they glasses?) he wore. His eyebrows pointed down in a scowl as he looked at the page.
Hello, my name is Jack. I’m deaf, so while I could figure out that we were saved by Dialga, I don’t know what’s going on now. Normally I can read lips if I’m looking right at someone’s face, but…Pokémon don’t really have lips to read. Can you help me out?
The young man’s glare shifted to a warmer grin and he nodded. He locked eyes with Jack and spoke. “So, if I look at you like this, you can read my lips?”
“Yes. Thank you for your help.” Jack’s voice was soft, but was clearly audible.
“Not a problem at all. See, since Dialga saved us from Celebi’s screw up, he’d like to see a little tournament of his own. So we’re in this time bubble he’s got us in. We can be here for a few days and he’ll zap us back to the beginning of the real tournament when we’re done.”
Ayessel gripped Jack’s shoulder tightly at this. Jack knew the Chatot didn’t like to fight, but this was a little unusual. Speaking of unusual…
“I wouldn’t think a Legendary Pokémon would bother being interesting in battles by trainers. Doesn’t’ he have other things to do?” The boy shrugged.
“Who can tell what they’re thinking? Must be a quirk of his.”
“Hmm, okay. So it’s just a regular tournament?”
“Right, but it is a doubles tournament. Each battle is a double battle. Other than that, it’s just like any other tournament.”
Ayessel suddenly started flapping wildly, and the boy jumped back in surprise. Jack couldn’t hear him, but the younger boy could. The Chatot was screaming insults.
“Wrong! False! Incorrect! Liar, liar, liar, LIAR!” If Jack hadn’t held the bird back, he would have flown at the redhead.
“Hey! Calm down, Ayessel!” He cried as he tried to shove the Pokémon back on his shoulder. “I know what this is about. This is you trying to keep people from talking to me again, isn’t it? Always trying to keep me to yourself! If you don’t start behaving, I will put you in your Pokéball until I need you again.”
The Pokémon settled down, but his glare didn’t lessen at all. The other boy still looked nervous, so Jack apologized profusely. The boy pulled at his collar as if to loosen it.
“Is that your bodyguard bird or something? Seems rather vicious.”
“Oh, no! Ayessel is usually my voice because I’m so soft spoken, and he usually points out things I need to pay attention to. This is quite uncommon for him to misbehave this badly.” Jack said with a pointed look at the Chatot. “I’m very sorry he did that.”
The boy waved it off and pointed his thumb over his shoulder. “I should get going. Hope to see you in the tournament.”
Jack smiled and then realized, “I don’t know your name!”
The boy smiled and mouthed something at him that Jack couldn’t quite read. “Did, did you say Jack? Are you a Jack, too? That’s so weird!” The boy shook his head and reached for Jack’s notebook. He wrote one word and handed it back before walking away with a wave over his shoulder.
“Thank you!” He called out as the boy went around a corner. Jack’s face flushed slightly as he turned to go, rather looking forward to the tournament. Especially if I’ll get to see him again.
Jack failed to notice the glare on Ayessel’s face had not gone away. The Music Note Pokémon vowed he’d not let his friends go into battle unprepared.