What you know about rollin' down in the deep?
When your brain goes numb, you can call that mental freeze
When these people talk too much, put that shit in slow motion, yeah
I feel like an astronaut in the ocean, ayy
Vallis gapes at his father, disbelief and confusion written all over the teenager’s face. Solomon stares back at him with a cold indifference, eyes flicking to the child’s hands as he signs.
“It’s a waste of time. There are far more important things that something so ridiculous as becoming a so-called ‘pokemon trainer.’ I will not allow you to engage in low class activities like that.”
The man sits up a bit straighter, holds up a hand to stop his son, as they start to sign in protest. Vallis’ jaw clenches shut in anger. His hands drop, then raise, once, twice, as through he heat of his emotion Vallis tries to find what he wants to say. Soloman gives him another cold look, tapping his pen on the desk.
'I never ask you for anything- That’s not fair.’
“Life isn’t fair Vallis. I will not change my mind on this matter. If you’ve nothing more to bother me with, stop wasting my time and go.”
The man flicks his hand at the teenager in a shooing motion, gaze turning back to the papers on the desk, as he effectively ends the conversation. Even if they wanted to sign anything else there’s no point, they know Solomon will not look up fro his desk until the teenager leaves the room. Silently they do. They shut the double oak doors to the study with no more than a soft click, despite how badly Vallis wants to slam them shut in his fury. They linger thre for a moment, try to collect themselves with a deep breath.
Boiling tears of frustration slide over the teenager’s cheeks, only serving to make him more upset. Vallis silently scolds himself for being upset, for being dissapointed, yet they cannot help but feel betrayed in some manner. The teenager dries his face harshly with a hand, moving towards the grand spiral staircase on silent feet.
“Well how did it go?”
Not even halfway up the stairs, Vallis stops at the sound of his mother’s voice. Not fast enough. Vallis is silently glad they dried their face so hurriedly. He had wanted to shut himself in his bedroom, but the teenager stops his ascent and turns towards the woman. They give a shake of their head and Theodosia’s expression is genuinely sympathetic. As though she really felt dissapointed for him, as though she had been hoping just as much as Vallis that the conversation would go well.
The teen can’t help but think she had probably known the answer before he even walked into the room. Can’t help but feel betrayed that she had encouraged him to ask.
“Oh my sweet, I’m sorry… Come. Lets have some tea yes? That’ll make you feel better.”
That’s the absolute last thing that he wants to do, he has no appetite for company, much less that of his mother - well-meaning yet self-absorbed as she is. Vallis knows that it will be an exhausting hour or so of listening to Theodosia bad-mouth his father, that she will somehow, inevitably twist the situation so that she is the one deserving of pity and comfort, and that Vallis will have to pretend he doesn’t mind giving her that comfort. That it really won’t make him feel better at all.
Despite this he descends, follows his mother silently into the kitchen, and sits at the table with her while a maid prepares them tea. The teenager sits and somberly munches on a cookie or two, pretends to listen to his mother, and stares miserably into his cup until she finally seems to have her fill of his company.
Finally then he makes his way to the second floor, shutting the door to his bedroom as gently as he did the doors to his father’s office. Vallis sinks to the floor right there, back against the door as he slides to sit, and silently starts sobbing.
Why, why why, is he so upset? Vallis can’t wrap his mind around it, as he sits there, hands passing over his cheeks and eyes to try and dry tears that don’t stop. Is he just ungrateful? He really hadn’t expected his father to say no. Vallis had thought Solomon would jump at the chance to be rid of him, considering his absolute disdain for his only child. Vallis had thought it was an ideal situation for everyone involved.
Maybe what he was really the most upset about was not the fact his father hadn’t liked the idea, but the fact that he was stuck here, that there was an expectation that he would stay here. It was more than just wanting to train pokemon. He wanted out of this suffocating house, away from the control of his father and neediness of his mother. It was exhausting. He never complained about it once, he did everything asked of him and still… He was merely an accessory to the lives of his parents, the perfect child who could only do wrong.
He cries until he runs out of tears, until he’s left sitting there sniffley and hiccuping. Vallis finally pulls himself to his feet. He looks at the bag he had prepared assuming he would be allowed to become a pokemon trainer, sighs heavily, and moves to unpack it.
ah, scout. that would make sense. she’s not sure if the kid knows exactly who he works for, however. so for now, she’ll play the fool. but it would also appear that at least he wasn’t here to cause any real problems.
hand settles on hip as she looks him over, lips curling into a small smile. nothing quite as sinister as usual, but not something quite warm, either.
‘ i’m aware. however, you must understand there are investments i need to protect. you were too close to some of them. therefore you were a liability. if what you say is true, though, i believe i’ll be able to let you go soon. ’
maybe. she’d have to really cover her tracks with this one. she moves to the door, head sticking out before hushed words are exchanged with her grunts. and then she closes it before stepping back in.
‘ did your friend tell you he could be found around here ? ’
The teenager's nose crinkles in disdain at the explanation, expression breaking into a scowl.
A fucking liability. Oh okay. So these people are just the same as his family. Hope gets it. They're disgusted by the thought, but this isn't a new experience for them. Their arms cross over their chest.
Her expression is the same as that of the people that are brought to his mind, reminiscent of his mother. The teenager's eyes shut, as if he could shut the association out as easily, and then looks off to a corner of the room. What would his parents think if they knew what he was going through right now? His father would probably reprimand him for being in this mess in the first place, his mother would make herself the victim.
Hope tries to stop thinking about them, eyes coming back to Ariana at the question. He nods, but doesn't write anything else.
Hope smoothes out the next page of their notepad, pen tap, tap, tapping against the paper as they just sit there and stare at Ariana for a long moment. Expressionless despite how their heart drums against their ribs.
There's nothing to gain by lying here, no moral high ground found by dragging things out. He doesn't know what these people want. Doesn't know where his pokemon are. Hope really could die here and no one would ever know.
'I was looking for my friend Scout.'
Are they close enough for him to describe Scout as a friend? Hope's not sure, but it's true that they had been looking for him up til this moment. They had just wanted to hang out with him for a bit.
'Kidnapping is really rude you know.'
@ruinsofhope said: The sentence on their notepad is short. “Help isn’t coming.”
‘ no, i’m afraid it isn’t. ’
while ariana doesn’t have what one would call a good moral compass, she isn’t necessarily someone who would just kill a child either. how they’d managed to get here, however, was an issue that needed to be addressed. which was why the child was in holding, even if she had no plans on doing more than having their memory messed with and dropped somewhere on the other side of the city.
‘ now mind telling me how you found this place ? ’
This whole situation came at them so quickly Hope has hardly had a chance to process it. He doesn't look at the victim of that bat, he doesn't pay mind to the blood. Out of sight out of mind. There's a grimace when she inspects his face (already bruising) angrily avoiding making eye contact. It's a struggle to not just swat that hand away, or to headbutt her right in the face, but the aforementioned bat keeps him from acting rashly.
Hope shakes their head no, tries to wave her off as he turns away. He doesn't want to accept the help she's trying to give, already feels far too indebited by the rescue.
People don't help you unless they expect something in return.
He pauses only long enough to write; 'I'm not repaying you for this.' clearly making to leave with a flick of his coat. The teenager doesn’t feel safe - he needs to go to a pokemon center, and revive his K.O’d team to restore his peace of mind.
@ruinsofhope said: Expression full of contempt, they hold their notepad up where she can see it easily. ‘You’re wasting my time.’
‘ well ain’t that too bad, kid. cry me a river, why dontcha ? ’
her bat is leaned against a wall, arm reaching to to swipe her sleeve across her cheek. but it only smears the blood there rather than getting rid of it entirely. she approaches them, reaching out to gently grab their chin. eb turns it to each side to inspect the damage that had been done by the asshole before she’d arrived ( not that he’d be doing anything ever again with the state she’d left him in ). and then she lets go, looking down with furrowed brows.
‘ anywhere else that got hit ? ‘d rather be able t’ take care of it all at once rather than in multiple steps. that’d be wastin’ my time. ’
Skepticism is still written all over the teenager's face as they listen tot he pokemon, Hope's nose crinkling in doubt. Somehow the Pikachu's cockiness suits him entirely, but Hope doesn't find the argument convincing. With all the arrogance of sixteen years, like many his age, he can’t help think he knows best. Nevermind the fact that the pokemon - the actual detective between the two of them - most certainly would be the expert in the room.
Hope shuffles their feet slightly, pen tapping gently against their spiral notebook, before they write down their reply.
'If it turns out that you can't help them, that you're wrong, isn't it cruel to keep leading them on?'
Hope is not the kind of person who can so easily lean on simply believing things will turn out alright. They couldn't convince themselves that Blind Alley's would reap answers.
@ruinsofhope asked: They scribble something on a notepad and turn it towards him. “ as if you know everything. ” / unprompted.
He squints up at the paper, his nose crinkling up in distaste.
❝ It’s not about knowin’, kid! It’s about believing. Knowledge can be wrong, and that’s somethin’ you can fix once you realise the mistake is. I’s a fluid thing. ❞
❝ But in my line’a work, you need to rely a lot more on your instincts. You’ll have the basic facts of a case, yeah, but it’s up to you to put those pieces t’gether and see where they’re leadin’. Every detective approaches things differently, and my methods’ve made me the greatest among pokemon and humans alike! ❞
Was it an arrogant thing to claim? Absolutely. Was it true? Well… yes. Pikachu was indeed one in a million, a talking pokemon holding down a job that frequently put in him danger, and his reputation alone was an incredible testament to his investigative abilities.
❝ They have more knowledge, sure. That’s not special - it ain’t hard to outsmart a rodent. But I have the clients they’ve given up on as lost causes or dead end leads, and I’m the one workin’ with ‘em and believin’ we’ll get to the bottom of their cases. That’s what bein’ a detective means. ❞
You are the White King. You are the most important piece on the board, often called the weakest. But you are not weak in terms of tradition and status. The king gives orders to others, ensures difficult tasks are done, and makes the hardest decisions. Yes, the king's movement is weak but in every other aspect, they are strong and important, for it is them that the game is fought for, to begin with. Do not forget your place, my dear king. Even if tradition suffocates you, even if your status haunts your every move. You are the only one who can do this. Be strong, my king .