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Old 12-29-2009, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Three [WWC]

Draco Tom had spent the better part of ten minutes trying to console Gina, yet anything he did was willfully ignored. Finally, he placed a young hand on her rose colored jumper in a last ditch effort to prove he cared. It only caused her to jerk away.

"I don't want your help! LEAVE ME ALONE!" she shouted, using her hands to push forward.

"Gina, dear," an elderly voice cooed. Janine had reappeared next to the two pre-teens after leaving Clair and her granddaughter to their own devices. She knelt once more by the girl's side, giving her shoulder several reassuring pats.

Gina smiled at the elderly woman, instantly attaching herself emotionally. She was about to tell her how Draco hadn't done a thing to help properly when a horrified Clair burst from the back rooms, her gloved hands grasping desperately at her temples. She squealed, watching the Gym Leader act as if she had gone insane.

"C-Clair?" Her apprentice dashed foreword, in an attempt to figure out what the problem was.

Thick streams of tears poured down her pallid face, smudging the make-up she had lovingly applied less than an hour earlier. Every time she tried to tell young Draco of the horror, her throat became caught with a mixture of mucus and fear. She coughed each time she tried, rattling her entire frame.

"M-M-Master..." The boy's eyes stood wide, not believing the scene he was witnessing. His hero had broken down into nothing more than a fragile little girl. He once had a dream of standing proudly by her side, reigning over a sea of Dragon Pokemon. Now, this is all he could think of when recalling the image of Clair.

"URGH!" Suddenly, Nurse Joy slid out into the lobby, her hands balled so tightly into fists that they looked ghostly. Her teeth were barred in frustration and anger. One could say, that covered in such mass amounts of blood, Joy might have been mistaken for a serial killer.

Gina took one look at the ghastly nurse before fainting. Her emotional state just couldn't process what had unfolded before her eyes. On the other hand, Draco just buried his head into his hands to avoid being seen. It was the ostrich reflex of; if you can't see me, I'm not here.

Clair simply refused to turn around and face the wrath of a crazed nurse.

Janine could only manage a gasp, raising an extended hand over her aged mouth. "My dear," she muttered. "W-What happened?"

"She..." Joy raised her hand, allowing the slimy glove to drip off her hand and fall to the floor with a disgusting splash. It lay in a puddle of ooze as she glided foreword. "She didn't help. I needed it. I BEGGED HER FOR IT!"

Chansey, who had followed her master into the lobby, threw herself at Nurse Joy's feet. Pudgy pink hands wrapped themselves around frail ankles as she wept uncontrollably. "C-CHAN-CHANSEY!"

Everything was silent, save for Chansey's blubbering and the frantic heaving made by an insane medical professional.

"Just... just hush dear," Janine quivered, resting Gina on one of the side benches in the appropriate recovery position. She stood, holding her back in pain as she scuttled past the fallen Gym Leader. Within moments, the old woman graciously extended a hand to the flailing pink blob attached to her granddaughter's legs. With a caring smile, she lifted Chansey up from underneath her arms.

"C-Chansey," she muttered, letting her balled fists dry away the muddled tears.

"What happened? Come now..." Arthritic hands grabbed a hold of Joy's shaking shoulders, turning her away from the scene. Janine escorted her down the hall and into the dreadful room. Perhaps there, she could make heads or tails of the situation.

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Grey eyes surveyed the area as her slipper clad feet shuffled farther into the emergency ward. Again, nothing could describe the horror that was in the back of the Pokemon Center. Joy simply turned away, refusing to look at the scene she left moments ago. Janine on the other hand, though distraught at what she was seeing, approached several of the gurneys with caution. She first spied the aching Azumarill, bandages remaining draped over glassy eyes. He was moaning his name gently with ragged breaths - pausing only occasionally to glance back at his owner.

Meringue Limmon looked worse than she had several hours ago when she had first been brought in. Her pale skin seemed to be stretched over pointed cheek bones, yet it was a skewed at odd angles - as if something were broken underneath. Her garnet coat had been removed so the medical staff could wrap her wounds but it looked as if there were more which had been neglected. There was no outward sign of movement in the poor girl, giving her the look of a broken china doll.

After several minutes of inspection, Joy summoned the courage to glance at her patient. "Is she...?"

Janine stayed somber. "No, not yet my dear," she answered, fully predicting the disturbing question. "However, we need to do something fast. Her pulse is weak and unsteady. We need to stabilize her. Do you have any ground Luvdisc scales? I know they’re rare, but…”

Joy quickly hurried to one of the splattered cabinets, ripping open the doors in haste. The bloodied gloves were cast aside as she plundered through the varied glass jars. "I don't..." Several more containers were tossed aside. "I don't see any!"

The old woman sighed, gripping the edge of the nearest gurney in frustration. "We need it to cure them. There's no other way around it, unless you want more deaths on your hands."

Nurse Joy turned a deep shade of red, "It was not my fault! I asked for help! I begged for it! I had to chase that damned Golbat myself and Chansey wasn't any help and then it started to fly, so I went after it! That's my job, right? And I-"

"Shush, dear." Janine had moved over to her granddaughter's position and carefully wrapped her in a hug. She stroked the braided strands of ruby as Joy began to sob. Her heart ached at the sound of each cry but now wasn't the time to give up. "They need you, dear."

Joy glanced up from her position in her grandmother's arms to look at the quiet battlefield. The tiny Nidoran, bandages around his feeble sides, was gasping for air. His small emerald eyes were closed with labored breaths. Jynx was still pushing the deadly poison from her system, but she seemed much more relaxed than she had earlier. Perhaps the Ice Pokemon was in a haze of relief. Joy's next target was the deceased Golbat on the floor of the Pokemon Center. His body looked grotesque from the angle of which he had fallen. A slight shudder went up her spine as her eyes drifted to the next contender. Meringue might as well have been dead, from what she could see. The trainer was hardly moving, giving the appearance of a discarded corpse.

"Azu...?" The last Pokemon was Azul, who had pushed the dirty bandages from his eyes to stare longingly at his master. With some heavy movements, the injured water rabbit had gotten down off his gurney and waddled over to Meringue. His fingerless paws stroked her hair.

"Help them," Janine whispered.

"I don't know what to do!" Joy cried.

"Get some Luvdisc scales so we can begin treatment. I don't think the girl - or Nidoran for that matter, will last much beyond the day. You need to hurry. I'll look after them here. You take Chansey and Erutis here."

"E-Erutis? But she’s your Togekiss!"

Janine held out a small Pokeball for her granddaughter which she had fished out from her ceremonial healing garments. Janine was more of a traditional healer than the modern day nurses. She was one who cured ailments with varied plants and prayers, rather than relying on machines to do the work for her. It was why she had a Togekiss, rather than a Chansey or Blissey. Those Pokemon were trained to read machinery and do mundane tasks. Togekiss on the other hand, was a free spirit who healed in its own way. This was what drew Janine to it quickly.

"Yes, dear. You'll need to fly to find Luvdisc, right? I don’t know of any close by."

"R-Right..." Joy looked down into her hand, gripping the multi-colored sphere. It was her turn to shine now - to make up for the mistakes she had already made. The woman headed for the door, looking back only to mouth a heart-felt thank you to her grandmother.

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"Please, Clair..." Draco looked torn between his silent master, the unconscious Gina and the quivering Chansey. He was still a young teenager and didn't fully understand the situation. Perhaps he didn't want to. "I don't really know what to do... What do you want from me?"

Chansey, hearing the apprentice's confusion, attempted to help. She wandered over on rose colored feet, patting Draco's capped head. An uneasy smile formed on her face as she then turned to help Gina.

Even if it wasn't very reassuring, it gave the boy just enough hope to continue pressing Clair. She had gone completely silent after Joy had left. Her usual strong eyes seemed to glaze over, as if she were detached from reality. If Clair had been lying down, Draco would have presumed she was in a coma. There were no outward signs of life coming from the Dragon Master, save for the light puffs of air streaming from the slightly agape mouth. He lifted both hands around to support Clair's back as he heaved upwards. "Come on!"

Clair's legs refused to listen to Draco's pleas. They only twisted in a rag-doll fashion while he lifted her body.

"STAND," the boy commanded. However, Clair's weight was too much for a scraggly teenage boy to hold up by himself. The Dragon Master was about to fall when Joy appeared. She helped hoist the other woman to her feet, where Clair stood as if she were a zombie.

"T-Thanks," Draco muttered in embarrassment.

"I... I need you to stay here and watch over that little girl over there. If my grandmother asks for help, do whatever she says. I need to go and get Luvdisc scales before time runs out," the Nurse explained.

"Luvdisc scales? Why do you need those?"

"There's not enough time to explain!" Joy threw up her hands in frustration. It seemed the nurse was prone to mood swings. "Chansey? Chansey! Come here. We have to go on a mission. Grab your coat and mine, okay?"

The round healer nodded sadly, abandoning Gina to fetch the light jackets Nurse Joy required.

"Azumarill! Azu, Azu." In the doorway, was Meringue's battered Azumarill. He was panting from rushing to Joy's side so quickly. I want to go with you! I'm well enough to go and find whatever it is you need for Meringue. Please.

"You shouldn't be out of bed," the nurse gasped, crouching down to fix the awkward bandaging.

"He wants to go, dear." Janine also appeared from the back of the Pokemon Center. She smiled her old, gentle smile. "Can't you see how determined he is to go?"

"I want to go too," Draco said, stepping forth. "Staying here won't do me any good. Gina doesn't like me and I'm not much use to Clair... You'd be better staying here. You're the Nurse after all, right?"

"I'm not leaving such a task to a child!" Joy squealed, causing Chansey to drop the coats she had finally pried off the rack.

"Let him go," Janine said, nudging Azul into the open room. "Draco, you and Clair take this Azumarill and bring back two Luvdisc. We need them to help the ill. Can you do that? If so, my granddaughter and I will stay here - doing our best to mend what we can."

"I'll do it. Come on Clair," Draco said, tugging his mentor out the door - Azumarill bringing up the rear.

"I hope they catch them on time," Janine smiled sadly, giving a slight wave to them as they passed through the dirty glass doors. "Because there's not much we can do without them..."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

It hadn't taken long for the comatose Clair to recover once her pupil led her outside. The fresh breeze had been welcomed by the trio, as it provided a smell which didn't linger with death. The spring air was crisp and light, even perking up the somber Azul.

"Master Clair," Draco began, one hand still supporting the woman. "Where do we even find Luvdisc here in Johto? I thought they were native to Hoenn. Unless you have some stashed away somewhere, I don't know how we'll get this done!"

"Azu..." Upon hearing the boy's questions, Azul looked down in defeat. He didn't know what he would do if Meringue couldn't be saved in time. He had spent his life next to the girl currently awaiting a cure. In fact, he was Meringue's eighth birthday present; back when he was a tiny Azurill. All of his life, he had lived with her. What am I going to do if she is taken away from me?

"You don't think there are Corsola in Johto?" It was the first thing she had said in about an hour, causing her voice to alter with new use.

"Wh-Corsola? I asked about Luvdisc..." Draco said, trying to understand where his mentor was coming from.

"Pull out your PokeDex. Look up Luvdisc," Clair commanded.

"But you were just talking about Corsol-"

"Now."

With a sigh, he relented. The boy reached a hand to the back of his denim shorts, lifting up an oddly bright yellow shirt to get access to the rear pocket. Draco fished out two items. The first was his leather wallet, which he assumed he didn't need. The second was a red, rectangular device, almost like that of a phone. A crafty thumb flipped open the top, only to have the boy give a vocal command. "Show me Luvdisc."

"Luvdisc, the Rendezvous Pokemon. Luvdisc are small heart shaped Pokemon that are known to travel with Corsola. This is because they make their nests in the same type of coral reefs. Much like Chansey, anyone who finds a Luvdisc is said to have extreme luck - although in Luvdisc's case, it usually regards chances with love." The mechanical voice finished with an upbeat tone. Clearly, it was not as worried as the trio were about locating the crafty fish.

"So... we need Corsola, then? But we're in Blackthorn! The closest Corsola are in Olivine City! It'll take hours to get there - even by flight!"

"You obviously don't know your geography well, either. Corsola are said to live in warm water."

"And we're in the Northern part of Johto - next to an ice cave," Draco shouted in protest. He was fed up with the numerous riddles.

"Of course we are. However, you foolishly managed to forget we have a warm body of water here in the city," Clair said, crossing her arms.

"The only body of water we have is the lake behind your Gym, and it's freezing cold - especially in spring!"

"I'm not talking about that one."

"Then what one are you talking about?" The boy was getting exasperated over something as ridiculous as water. "Because I certainly don't see one. Unless it magically appears or falls from the sky, I don't know what you're talking about!"

"I'm talking about the Dragon's Den," Clair explained, a tight lipped smile appearing on her face.

"The Dragon's Den," the boy gasped. He had only heard rumors about the Dragon's Den. Most of them were hushed whispers from Clair's other apprentices. Only those who had beaten her were able to enter - and not many had that privilege. It was rumored to be a large cave, guarded by a silent man. Inside, according to legend, were the most fierce and untamable dragons!

"Yes, the Dragon's Den. It has a decent sized body of water, which is isolated from the rest in the area. Underneath the Den, there is a small hot spring, allowing the dragons to bathe in warm water while simultaneously allowing for coral growth. My grandfather added several Corsola and Luvdisc to accelerate the coral expansion."

"Are you serious?" Draco asked, eyes widening in surprise.

"Does this look like a time I would lie?"

"Rill," Azul responded, for Draco's sake.

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