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Celadon Woes


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"Hey Jules, what're you still doing here? Your shift ended like fifteen minutes ago!"

It was twelve and a half minutes, actually, and Jules was acutely aware of this. Unlike perhaps every one else in the world who worked in customer service in retail, the red-headed Jules preferred to stay late at her job whenever she could get a chance. Feigning surprise, she nodded at her manager and headed to the locker room of the famously expansive Celadon Department Store to change clothes. She went slowly and meticulously, even taking the time to comb and brush her long hair and arrange her bangs after they shifted during the exchange of her uniform for a tight black t-shirt with the words "It's Super Effective!" written in blocky white text in the center. She took her sweet time removing her contacts from and even washed her thick-framed rectangular glasses unnecessarily before placing them on her slender nose, all for the sake of spending a little more time inside the expertly ventilated store. For she knew the very instant she stepped outside...

"HATSHIIIEWW! Haah-Atshiiieww Hah-Ha-Hatchieew!"

...The abnormal pollen count of the grass-type pokemon adoring Celadon city would be waiting for her. Cursing under her breath as her nose was overcome with the familiar haranguing itch inseparable from this season. Pulling a number of tissues from her jean pocket, she clamped them down on her nose as tightly as she could and began the torturous walk back to her home.

As if spring wasn't bad enough for allergy-sufferers already, Celadon pulled out all the stops to make it worse. Flower producing trees lined every main street. Every storefront was decorated with a wide array of the wild flowers which grew naturally in the region. The front yards of most houses had at least a dozen different kinds of pollen-producing plants proudly displayed, and even the apartment buildings had garden boxes hanging out the windows. And of course, there were the grass-type trainers.

"Hey there, trainer!" A tall brunette in high-heels and wearing a sky-blue tank top got up from a bench and stood in front of Jules' path. "Up for a little battle?"

Jules clenched her fists. Most pokemon trainers in Celadon didn't challenge clear allergy-suffers out of doors; in fact the gym leader Erika forbid all her grass-type specialists from challenging anyone with allergies as part of her "Good Manners" mandate for those training under her. However, there were more than a few trainers who saw an easy advantage in picking on trainers sensitive to the pollen packed by their grass-type pokemon. While there was no direct penalty from refusing a challenge, refusing a substantial number of challenges could easily earn a trainer a bad reputation around town, and those looking to exploit allergy-suffers were quick to talk trash about those who refused their challenges. Jules had only recently become a trainer, and couldn't afford to turn down anyone at the very start of her pokemon training career. However, the very instant she removed her tissues her nose received far more than it could handle of the pollen-suffused air.

"Hatchiiiew! Y-you ahhh-Ahh-ATCHIIIEW Ahhh-Tchiiew Ha-Tchiiieww! You're on!" She finally managed to gasp out a response, blushing as she wiped spray from her face. "Best t-two ETCHIIIEW! Out of Ahh-TCHIIIEW Ahh-Tchiieew Ahhh-Ah-Ahahhh-Atchiiew Haatchiiew Hatchiiew Atchieew! ThreeeEETCHIEEW!"

"Ha, awesome!" The other girl twirled one of her many curls around a finger and from her smug expression Jules could tell she was about to send a swarm of pollen-producing pokemon straight at her. "My name's Cassandra. I'm guessing yours is Sneezy?"

Jules wiped her nose on the back of her wrist and grabbed her first pokeball off her belt, which had no doubt been how Cassandra had identified her as a trainer. She made a mental note to start wearing longer shirts and sent out her first pokemon, as her opponent did the same.

"Go, Lombardi! Use Gust!"

"Let's do this, Seedling! Attack with Stun Spore!"

Jules' Pidgey was faster than the chubby little Oddish it was facing, and summoned a powerful wind to attack its foe. The powerful wind not only knocked the little grass-type around, it blew away the cloud of spores it had launched from its leaves, causing its attack to fail. However, it also launched a fair amount of the spores into the air, and Jules' nose reacted violently to the further agitation. Already itching badly, it began tingling with such intensity that tears sprang from Jules eyes, rushing to cool the sudden burning in her sinuses.

"Etschiiieww Eh-Hetschiiiew Tchiiiew Ehh-Tschhiiiew Ahh-Chiiieww! Haaaaa-Hatschhiiiiew Ha-Atschiiiew Atchiiiew!" Jules held her hands to wipe and scratch her nose as sneeze after sneeze exploded into them. Though she knew from experience that scratching did almost nothing to quell the allergic itchyness from pollen, and nothing at all to discourage more sneezes, she couldn't help but scramble for relief almost reflexively. While she ravaged her bright pink nose a combination of her energetic scratching and her uncontrollable sneezing knocked her glasses to the ground, and she groaned in frustration. Her glasses often fell victim to her allergy attacks; this is why she opted for the thickest frames available even though she hated the look it gave her. But with allergies as bad as hers, contacts were an impossibility; they'd be scratched out of her eyes the first time she walked by a patch of flowers.

As Jules stood temporarily paralyzed by her allergies, Cassandra took the opportunity to counterattack.

"Seedling, try Sleep Powder!"

As the white dust flew through the air, Lombardi fell to the ground, fast asleep. Rubbing vigorously at her pinkening nose Jules retrieved her incapacitated pokemon and replaced it with a new one, whose name she was only barely able to stutter through the desperate, itchy, messy sneezes that had overtaken her every breath. She shuddered as the buildup to each one drew her whole body back, before bending her forward with a wet explosion.

"S-Tchiiiew Ah-Tchiiiew Ah-Ah-Ah-Tchiiieww Atchiieww Haatchieeww S--S-Slyyyitchiiiew Heh-Itchiiiew Atchiiiew Ah-Atchiiieeeew! Slytherin Bite!"

The pokeball opened to reveal an Ekans, which immediately bit the Oddish hard with its sharp fangs. The little grass-type pokemon fainted away, and Cassandra returned it to its pokeball in frustration. Though she had put one of Jules' pokemon to sleep, sleep wasn't a knockout, and earned her no point of victory in this battle. She had to now beat two of Jules' pokemon without losing any more of her own, and Ekans had a type advantage over her most powerful one, a Tangela. Unwilling to take that risk, she sent out her Bellsprout instead.

"Ringding, go! Use Sleep Powder!"

Once again white spores filled the air, and once again Jules pokemon was put to sleep while her nose was assaulted by more tickly allergens. Her eyes and nose were streaming freely now; she didn't even bother using tissues on them yet, preferring to save them for after the battle when she could blow and wipe her nose without fear of more pollen being blown directly into her face. She continued relieving her nose on her hands and forearms, which were now so coated with sticky mess that she could see some of the errant powder sticking to them.

"Alright, Ringding, use Growth...wait what the-"

Her Ekans, however, didn't have to worry about the powder clinging to its skin, as its ability to shed its own skin allowed it to escape the effects of the Sleep Powder. Of course Jules was unable to utter a single word of attack, so her Ekans had to improvise. Perhaps feeding off the anger radiating from its trainer, it Glared at the Bellsprout with such intensity that the plantlike pokemon seemed to wither slightly under its gaze.

"Ringding, use Vine Whip, fast!"

The grass-type attack had almost no affect on the serpent, and it shrugged off the vines and looked to its trainer for instruction on how to react.

"Haaaatchiiieew! Ahh-Ah-Ah-Atschiiiew Ah-Atschiiiew Ah-Ah-Tchiiiew!"

Though incapable of speech, Jules made a gesture which her long-time pet recognized as a signal for "attack", and so it sprang forward and bit directly on the Bellsprout's head, critically wounding it and knocking it out instantly.

"Augh!" Cassandra returned her pokemon and stomped her foot. "Well, you win this time. I'll be rematching you again, though, believe it!"

Jules would have liked to have responded with a witty remark about how as long as she relied on cheap shots instead of real strategy, she'd never defeat a serious trainer like her. However, the best she could manage was a prolonged fit that burst from her sore, dripping nose with all the ferocity and wetness of a hurricane, summoned by her attempt at taking a breath deep enough to allow give her the air to form words.

"ATCHIIIEW! Ahhh-Ah-Ahh-Atchiiieww Hatchieew Atchiiew Ehh-Eh-Etchieew Hetchiiiew Hehh-Ha-Atchiiiiew! Hahh-Ha-Atchiiiew Ahh-Atchiiiew Itchiiiew Hiiitchiiiew Haaah-Ahhh-Ahh-Ah-Atchiiiieeeww!! Ahhh-Ah-Ah...Atchiiiew Tchiiiew Tchiiieew Itchiiew Itchiiiew Ahhh-TCHIIIIIEWW!"

So the trainers parted ways, and Jules demolished tissue after tissues with thick sneezes and blows as she returned to her walk home, cursing the fact that even after all that she still had a long walk past trees, flowers, and more trainers before she would reach her destination.

Pokemon Trivia*: Each city has it's own unique set of "starter" pokemon at its own research center, with pokemon according to a different type triangle. For example, in Celadon, new trainers may register with the research center and receive their choice of either a Tangela, Diglett, or Ekans, a pokedex, and six pokeballs in exchange for signing an agreement to follow pokemon league regulations and report all pokedex data back to the center. Assuming they are either over 18 or have written consent from their parents, of course.

*Not actually true.

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Dude. I don't think there's a whole lot I can say that you don't already know. The characters are great, the setting is great. The GREATNESS is great.

The world needs more Pokemon fics, and I strongly encourage you to keep going if you have the time. I can see these two building up a little rivalry...

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Prelonged fits of rapid-fire sneezes? Does not get much better than that ;) Always enjoy reading your fics.

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This...this made me smile. SO FREAKIN MUCH! :D :D I'll say this, I'm a poke-nerd along with a yugioh and a digimon nerd XD, but I haven't done too much to show it...anyway, the setting is beautiful, the two girls you used, especially Jules, are extremely likable, and poor her. Living in the one city in all of the games and series...it had to be Celadon *evil laugh*. Not even the grass gym in the Sinnoh league can compare to Celadon. Thank you for posting this story of...*can't think of a better word* awesomeness Pilgrim :)

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