“They are doing what?”, Steven couldn’t quite believe the words he was hearing, as they sounded absurd to his ears. Surely this must have been a mistake, right?
“As I said, sir, they are merging the Pokémart and the Pokémon Center in one single institution, we didn’t really want to, but the higher ups got a very nice merger offer from Pokémon Center Global and -”, The clerk seemed almost apologetic, like all of this was his fault, which Steven knew was not. Still he happened to be the target who had just told him the news and he needed to vent his frustrations on someone. Whomever they might be.
“Th...that doesn’t even make any sense!”, Steven’s eyes darted from one side to another, as he tried to make sense of the news., “Pokémon Centers offer free healthcare to Pokémon, they’re not exactly raking in the money, how would they even afford a merger?”, Steven glanced at the Pokémart clerk, who shrugged, as he himself didn’t have an answer, the best he could offer was the source of most of their funding.
“I think they’re League funded, that is, the Pokémon League pays for their functioning and maintenance, I do wonder why it would be in the interest of the league to join in them in one building but -”
“But that can’t be right!” - Steven practically yelled, in the face of the poor man who had to break it to him. “I mean, look at me!” - Steven pointed at himself, his jacket, his silver hair, everything about him showed class. “I’m the Pokémon Champion! I should have been informed of this proposal!”
“Well, sounds like someone hasn’t been doing their job!” - The clerk of Dewford town wondered out loud only to shut up abruptly when he saw the fierce face of the Champion, Steven.
“...Let me rephrase that”, and possibly avoid getting torn to shreds by a skarmony - the man thought. “Sounds like someone didn’t inform you, the silver haired dreamboat.”
“Now why does everyone call me that?”, Steven wondered, annoyed at the common nickname he seemed to have earned.
“Well, your hair is Silver and you’re, hum -”
“My hair is ice blue, not Silver, can’t anyone see?” - Steven took a deep breath to compose himself. “No matter! I must stop this whole thing, I have a feeling a couple of the Elite are in some deep trouble!”
Should have just kept my mouth shut - The Dewford Pokémart clerk said as he left, he glanced at the nugget he had been showing Steven, which he thought the trainer would be buying, but which now remained on the counter as Steven had left without it. He sighed, pushing the heavy gold piece back into storage. Yup, definitively should have kept quiet.
Riding a Skarmony could be quite uncomfortable when one wasn’t used to it, Steven had heard horror tales of certain body parts getting shallow but painful cuts, words that had made him cross his legs. But Steven enjoyed it, as soon as he had heard such descriptions, and he had invested in adequate protection, he went to capture and tame a Skarmony. He truly believed that Steel type pokémon were great - except against fire, obviously. - And so he had gotten one.
It was so second nature to him to get up on his Skarmony, grab onto one of the only non spiky bits, and fly all the way from Dewford from Ever Grande. Throughout his journey, which took several hours, Steven couldn’t help but focus on the tragic demise of the Pokémart. Not like there was much to look at down in the ground, just water, water, and more water.
“I want to know who in the name of Arceus authorised the merger between the PokéMart and the Pokémon Center”, he yelled as he entered the private chambers of the Elite (plus champion), starling Sidney who was idly touching his Pokénav, recently upgraded as a present from Steven.
“Huh? I, I did, I mean, it would save resources and space, if they were all in one place!”, Sidney said, being careful with his words, so as not to step on Steven’s nerves. Steven who could hide his feelings so well, but when he snapped, snapped hard. Harder than one of Wallace’s melodramatic “everyone hates me and I’m not good enough” crisis.
“And who, in the name of the League, gave you that authority?”, Steven was careful to keep his tone under check, though inside he was boiling with anger. But boiled things were never good, specially to Steel type trainers and their Pokémon.
Sidney must have realised how close Steven was to snap, as he gulped, Choosing his words carefully he spoke…
“You did, Steven. You said you were going to be busy for a couple of weeks and told us to take care of business, like usual.”
Steven had a terrible flashback, a memory to when he was planning on visiting mount moon in Kanto, in search of Moon Stones and had hand waved all his Champion paperwork to the Elite. Still he couldn’t admit defeat quite that easily.
“I see, well I thought maybe you would take care of Flannery’s trust issues, or check the hot springs, or even warn me if Mt Chimney did a Cinnabar. Not” he waved his hands around to indicate the gravity of the situation. “This!”
Sidney was puzzled.
“Why would I take care of those things in particular? I’m a dark type trainer, not a fire type one”
“The hair seems to disagree!”, he said, half chuckling to himself.
Sidney huffed, annoyed.
“You’re one to speak, what with your silver but not really silver hair, but really, Phoebe likes it...and I -”
Steven was quick to end his endless wanderings, well aware of the budding romance between Phoebe and Sidney. And he was nice enough to ignore the jab at his silver haired dreamboat nickname.
“What do you want me to do, then, Steven?”
Steven thought for about point two seconds.
“Call it off, of course!”
“But Mauville City already started it! And -”
Steven could only huff and puff in annoyance.
“Damn it Wattson!”