Chapter 7: May
May was outside, waiting for him.
"Hi again, Mark. Did you get the badge?" she asked as soon as he stepped out of the gym.
"Yeah, but his Mew was very tough," Mark answered.
"Yes, I also found it tough, it was the pokémon I was going to warn you about. But I beat it with my Skarmory! He really did great!"
Mark suddenly felt like a storyteller and told May in details how the battle went. May was very impressed by how Charmeleon discovered a way to beat Articuno.
"What an idea!" she said. "Most pokémon would give up in that situation - and most trainers, actually, too."
"Yeah, I'm very proud of Charmeleon," Mark replied.
"It reminds me of my Quilava," said May, looked down and started messing with her fingernails.
"What about it?" Mark asked.
"Well, I got my first pokémon from Prof. Elm. It was a female Cyndaquil. But I didn't like her and she didn't like me. I caught a Caterpie over in Johto and raised it to a Butterfree and then I went over here to catch a low level Skarmory. It's one of my favorite pokémon, you see, so I wanted to catch one as soon as possible. I always meant to go back to Johto after catching one, but when I was on my way, I found a trainer. "What about a 1 on 1 battle?" he asked, and I agreed. Cyndaquil was level 13 by then. He sent out a strange Pikachu - it had some blue balls at the end of its ears and its cheeks were also blue. And its pawpads - and claws. It had VERY long blue claws. And the tail was like a narrow thread with a blue triangle at the end. And its hind legs were so long and rabbit-like... well, when he sent it out, it said something that sounded more like "Pikatoo" than "Pikachu" and electric waves started streaming between the balls on its ears. And when I had sent out my Cyndaquil, the trainer said "Running shock!" and it ran over to Cyndaquil and made those electric waves touch her, and - and Cyndaquil just became paralyzed like that and couldn't use Ember. I couldn't understand what was happening, I just stood there and watched Cyndaquil being creamed, but finally I shouted: "Cyndaquil, don't give up!" and then she started to glow, and evolved into a Quilava. She looked at me, and I felt she trusted me unlike Cyndaquil. And she was so strong. She beat the strange Pikachu and when he had recalled it and I had recalled Quilava, he said: "That's a strong Quilava you've got there." And I said I didn't like her and she didn't like me, I must've been thinking about her as a Cyndaquil, because I liked Quilava, and he said he had a Charmander and asked me if I wanted to trade, and I said: "A Charmander? This is a level 15 Quilava!" - I just checked her level, you see - and he said: "Chamander is also level 15, but it won't evolve until level 16..." What's wrong, Mark?" He had suddenly turned pale.
"Wha... no, nothing. Just go on."
"Well, then I accepted the trade, I don't know what I was thinking, I handed Quilava's pokéball to him and he gave me Charmander's, it was just an unofficial trade, and then he went away, but when I checked the Charmander, it was only level five! And I went so mad I threw the pokéball away and ran after him. But I didn't find him, and it rained that evening, I'm so worried about the poor Charmander, it must have got out of the pokéball when I threw it, maybe it's dead by now, all my fault..." She couldn't go on and now didn't take her eyes off her nails.
"I'm sure the Charmander is okay," Mark said. "You know, probably some trainer found it and it's in good hands now."
"Why didn't you tell me it was May?!" Mark said angrily to Charmeleon when they were back in the hotel. "What if she finds out? She could as well claim you as her pokémon!"
"I only saw her back, Mark," said Charmeleon. "I didn't see her properly."
"That doesn't matter! Why didn't you just tell me it was a blue-haired girl that looked like May from the back? That would've helped, but you just stood there and told me nothing..."
"Why should I have known you'd be interested in knowing that?" Charmeleon spat, very annoyed.
"Didn't think? You act like you want to get another trainer!"
"And you act like you want to get another pokémon," Charmeleon said angrily.
"Well, okay, sorry, but still..."
Mark couldn't think of anything to say now and started watching Mew, who was floating around in the air. It was fully healed. It looked curiously at a lamp on the table and poked it carefully. Then poked it again and again, always faster and less carefully, until the lamp fell down from the table and broke. Mew looked apologizingly at Mark, used Psychic to make the lamp stick itself back together and then put it on the table again. Mark laughed.
"Mew, stop playing with things here! I will have to pay for it if you don't stop!"
"Meww," said Mew, still glancing at the lamp every now and then like to see if it would fall apart again, and flew up to Mark.
"Mew, I was thinking about something. You're the original Mew. You should be free. I've got you, so you count as one legendary pokémon I've caught, if I do make something out of this legendary collector idea. Now, you're no longer owned by Rick. So you should be free now. Now I declare you are free; you are a wild pokémon again." He opened the window and continued: "Now, fly out and enjoy freedom!" Mew looked sadly at him, and then gave a little "meew" as a goodbye and flew out into the sky. Mark looked out after it and hoped no one saw when it flew out. He had talked to Mew earlier and knew its home was deep in the Rainbow forest, so he just closed the window and stopped thinking about Mew. No one saw it; he tried to convince himself of that.
But someone did see it - and that someone also saw Mark looking out of the window.
Later, Mark went out to find May. Maybe she was going to train a bit, or maybe she would battle him again. He searched a little around the town, and found May in the pokémon market.
"Hi, Mark," she said, grinning. "I just bought a new bike. Look!" She took a little bike-like thing out of her bag and pressed a button. It maximized into a full size bicycle. "They're cheap now, you should buy one, too. Something else than back when they cost 999,999..."
Mark bought a bicycle for himself, minimized it and put it into his bag. Then May saw a Super rod on a shelf.
"These can come in handy. Shall we go training at the Lake? We just need one rod, we can take turns battling the hooked pokémon."
"I've got no more money, so you'll have to buy it," Mark answered.
May bought the Super rod and then they went out and headed towards the Lake of Purity. The road was rocky and uneven, so they kept the bicycles in their bags.
"So, what pokémon have you caught?" Mark asked.
"Well, I have Butterfree and Skarmory, of course, and I caught a Pikachu here somewhere soon after our battle. And then I caught a Lapras on the bank of the lake just before I battled Rick. Well, that's it. What about you?"
"I caught a Gyarados," said Mark.
"A Gyarados? Do you mean..."
"Yes, the one that disappeared. I saw Suicune too."
"Wow! That's impressive... What else did you catch?"
"Soon after our battle, I caught a Sandshrew."
"Yeah, I remember now," said May. "When you told me of your battle, you told me you used it to beat Mew. And - where is Mew now?"
"I released it," Mark said. "I wanted it to be free, so I released it."
"That was a good thing to do," said May. "You did just the right thing, legendary pokémon shouldn't be stuck inside pokéballs."
Mark really felt like giving up the legendary collector thing now.
"Yeah, that was why I released it. Hey! There are two boys ahead. Maybe they'll battle us."
May stared at the boys, who were walking in their direction. "Oh no!" she sighed.
"What?" asked Mark.
"I know them. They're from my class and think they're funny..." she said. One of the boys pointed a finger at Mark and May and said something to the other boy. They walked on and stopped around four meters from them. May looked at them with uttermost disgust.
"Hi May!" one of the boys said cheerfully, and they started laughing.
"What's so funny?" said May in a voice that sounded like it was made of blood.
"I see you've brought your boyfriend," the other boy said, and they laughed more.
May suddenly looked exactly like a raging Tauros. "Give me that!" she snapped and grabbed Mark's bag.
"Shut up, Mark!" May said and turned to the boys.
"You know me, if I knew me I'd leave myself alone!"
"There it comes," one of the boys said and laughed more along with the other one.
"Now, you listen. I met him yesterday and he's my friend, he's probably going to help me find the Quilava that was stolen from me."
"And then you'll probably be more than just friends, you'll be telling each other teddy stories and..."
"I TOLD YOU THAT THE TEDDY STORY JOKE WAS NOT FUNNY!!!" May roared.
"Hey, May, teddy stories, teddy stories..."
"I... am going... to KILL YOU!!!" said May in the bloody voice. "I'm going to break every bone in your filthy little bodies with these here bags, they hold two bikes, a Super rod, tons of Potions and stuff and much, much more... they're heavy enough to kill you easily..." As May said this, walked slowly towards the two boys, tossing the bags around. When she was near enough, she flung the bags at them but they evaded it and found it very funny. She was about to swing them at the two boys again when Mark grabbed the bags and held them.
"May, remember violence solves no problems..." he started, but May looked furiously at him, and a second later, she punched him in the face. He felt himself fall and after rubbing his face with his hand, he noticed he had a bleeding nose.
"Boys!!!!!! Always thinking they're so smart! I HATE YOU ALL!!! I'm going to find my Quilava on my own, I don't need a boy to find one lost pokémon! Oh, I wish I was a Poochyena... did you know that in groups of Poochyenas and Mightyenas, the females have so much more power than the males that the male Mightyenas have to bow down to the female Poochyena pups? Really, it would make the world a better place! And you two..." she turned to the two boys again, "...don't you DARE say anything of this sort again, or else!"
"Else what?" asked one of them.
She took out a pokéball and sent out a Pikachu.
"Or else Pikachu will Thundershock you!"
"Oooh, I'm soooo scared," said the other boy in a mocky voice.
"Pi...ka....CHUUUUUUUUUUUUU!" May's Pikachu shocked the boys with a weak Thundershock, but they still stood there. May recalled Pikachu and sent out Lapras.
"I'll make Lapras Perish sing you if you don't go away this instance and never come before my eyes again! And take this as a goodbye!" She delivered a kick in their direction and they decided they had picked on her enough and should better run for it. On the run, they laughed and shouted "Help! There's a mad girl over there!"
"I hate them," May then said, like nothing happened. "Now, Mark, shall we continue?"
"You just said boys are stupid," Mark said, backing automatically off a bit like in fear she would hit him again.
"Don't be silly, Mark," she said. "I just said that so they wouldn't spread out that rubbish talk about us. SOME boys are stupid, like 90% of all the ones I know, for some reason."
"But you hit me right in the face!" Mark protested.
"To make it look real," answered May matter-of-factly. "Really, what do you think I am? I don't hit people who haven't done anything to me."
"Okay, May, I'll accept that... but don't do that again. It still hurts!"
"Sorry, Mark," said May. "But you wouldn't want to meet some twenty kids laughing their heads off, saying "hey, watch out, your girlfriend bites!", would you?"
"Bites?" Mark stopped.
"When I was eight," said May. "A boy in school was picking on me. But I haven't bitten anyone since then."
"May, do you know what? You can be scary!"
"I take that as a compliment," said May and handed Mark his bag.