“I don’t need to be any nicer to Ash. Especially not for that ridiculous reason.”
She was a welcome sight. It wasn’t often that Paul allowed himself to be frustrated, but his struggle to complete a battle was beginning to try his patience. So today, a distraction was more than welcome.
“It’s been a while. How are you?”
Hello everyone, this is a brief message to inform you that I am currently at the hospital for a pain crisis. I’m waiting in the ER right now, but I wanted to let you know now that I may be inactive for… hopefully not too long. I’ll be under an IV drip more than likely, and hardly ever coherent/awake to respond, so please keep that in mind. Don’t fret over my health or anything, this is a fairly par-for-the-course trip to the hospital for me, and I’ll be back before you know it. See you guys soon! -Ky]]
[The lights were dimmed as Cress took his place on the opposite side of the arena, a single spotlight marking his place. The viewing balconies on either side of the gym were crowded with his loyal patrons and fan girls, eager to see the leader in action. The cheers of dozens of girls actually didn’t appeal to Cress, but it was customary of such awaited battles. Besides, they were paying for their refreshments after all.]
I do hope you don’t mind all of this old “razzle-dazzle”, Paul. It’s a part of the job.
[With a shrug and a smile, his spotlight dissipated and the room was fully lit once again. He took a Pokeball from his vest pocket and first called out his hardy Lillipup.]
Paul never particularly cared about an audience in his gym battles. There are always large audiences at the Leagues, so there was truly no point in caring now. He simply tuned the women out and focused on what was important: his opponent.
Oh. One of those things. Having spent a good amount of time on Route 2 with these Pokémon, there was no need for Paul to pull out his Pokédex.
“Electivire, standby for battle.”
A toss of the Pokéball revealed his first choice in battle. Electivire released a proud cry and eyed the Lillipup hungrily, ready for battle.
Ah, so you’re the trainer from Sinnoh! Excellent, right this way.
[Cress led Paul through the dining area of the gym and past two large, ornate doors. Behind these doors was an arena for the gym battles to be held, and a small stage before it. The usual challenger got the “showtime!” prelude; with the two other triplets away, Cress saw it fit to get right to business.]
I take it you’ve already taken the Sinnoh gym challenge, correct? Shall a standard two-on-two battle suffice?
Paul followed, his hands still comfortable in his pocket. Even without the other two brothers, the presentation was over-the-top. Hiding the gym behind a restaurant seemed like more of a distraction than anything, which was a sad waste of time and effor, in his opinion.
The battlefield was all-too familiar. Still the nothing-special it was the last time he was here, but also still the promise of a gym match. Paul faced Cress and bowed his head to him. “That’s correct. Two-on-two will be fine.”
[Cress emerged from the kitchen doors; although they would be out of place in any other gym, the Striaton gym doubled as a cafe. As a restaurant, there were cute little tables and place settles scattered across the floor. It was customary for the leaders to give such a cordial welcome to visitor, as to be hospitable. Normally all three of the leaders would greet a challenger together (or a female customer), but with Cilan travelling and Chili preparing to visit…it was up to Cress to handle incoming trainers for the time being.]
May I help you find a table, sir? What would you like to drink?
Paul’s eyes followed the leader as he waltzed around the dainty tables. He was patient. He knew that he was in the right place, and that his battle would certainly come. Because this wasn’t Paul’s first visit, he didn’t let Cress’ cordial questions throw him off.
“I’m the one who called ahead of time. I’m here for a gym battle.”