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Electric Boogaloo

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So Tim’s pretty new to the whole detective business. He’s only been one officially for—what, a few hours? Still, there’s got to be something he’s missing, because both his dad and Pikachu just go quiet , freeze in their tracks, the instant he turns the doorknob.

“What’s—”

Dad puts a finger to his lips, shakes his head. Pikachu just stares back. Yeah, there’s definitely something he’s missing here, because both of them look like Stantler caught in headlights. Slowly, deliberately, Pikachu leaps down from his position on Tim’s shoulder, looks to Harry.

“Door’s unlocked, kid,” the actual detective here whispers, looks at him meaningfully.

It takes him a good few seconds to get it. When they’d left that morning to go get him registered at the precinct, Tim had headed out first with Pikachu, waiting for his dad to finish locking up.

Before everything had gone sideways, before his mom had died and before his dad had moved for work, his dad had always been pretty absent-minded. Always, except for one thing: locking up. He never, ever forgot to lock up.

Somehow, Tim doubts that’s changed.

“Someone’s in there?” He asks, lowering his voice to match. He gets a nod. “Who? I thought we—”

“Detective lesson number one,” Dad says softly. “Good detectives always have enemies. Some are just more of a pain in the rear than others. Tim, stay behind me, I need you to get help if things go south. Pikachu, be ready.”

Dad pushes open the door. Pikachu scampers in surprisingly quietly. For his part, Tim suddenly understands all too well how a Pikachu could hold his own against a Charizard trained for combat. This isn’t the first time this has happened. And, probably, won’t be the last.

On the bright side, it beats selling insurance policies in a town where everyone and their mom is already covered. And so, Tim holds his breath and goes in too, nearly runs into his dad from behind.

It takes him a much, much shorter time to figure out why they’ve stopped in their tracks this time.

“Pika-pika,” Pikachu says cheerfully, sits back on his haunches.

Greetings to you too, Mewtwo says wearily, levitating about a foot above the couch. Although I would rather the circumstances of our meeting were different this time.

It’s then, and only then, that Tim realizes Mewtwo’s favoring his left side. He’s got an arm pressed against it, a little too tightly to be an accident, and as he watches something dark drips onto the couch.

“Is that blood ?” Tim blurts out, earning an exasperated look from Mewtwo.

What do you think.

“I’ve got some medical supplies in the kitchen somewhere,” Harry says quietly. “Although this is a first.”

Tell me about it.

Chapter Text

It doesn’t take Tim very long to figure out that really, Mewtwo’s more irritated than actually hurt. Sure, he’s dripping blood on the couch, but he’s dripping blood on the couch while levitating a foot in the air above it. So he can’t be that seriously hurt.

Still, if the way he’s holding his side is any indication, whatever happened freakin’ hurts .

Tim finds himself glancing at the kitchen doorway, wondering what’s taking his dad so long, before shrugging to himself and looking back at Mewtwo.

“I thought you were, uh, leaving,” Tim says awkwardly.

So did I.

There’s a distinct sense of finality to the words. The kind you get when either someone’s not going to continue, or they don’t want to. And, considering that this is freakin’ Mewtwo , Tim figures he maybe shouldn’t push it. So he doesn’t. Gazes out the window.

I do not want to explain this more than once, Mewtwo adds tightly. When Tim looks back, he continues, Or I would tell you now. I would not be here if I did not believe both of you could be trusted.

“Uh, thanks? Thanks.” He hesitates. “You know you can sit down, right? That’s kinda what the couch is here for.”

I am sitting.

“Yeah, but—like this.” Tim’s been leaning against the wall up to now, and he doesn’t really feel like moving. But he does, walks the couple feet to the couch, and plops his rear end on the side opposite Mewtwo.

Mewtwo copies him, for a couple seconds. The only problem being that he’s still floating a foot above the couch, and he shifts back to his former, cross-legged position pretty quickly.

“Do you ever not float?” Tim asks. “Or levitate, or—yeah.”

Why would I not?

Tim opens his mouth, then shuts it. “Good point,” he says. “Guess I’d levitate all the time too, if I could.”

On that note, Harry walks back in, Pikachu at his heels.

“Found it, finally , I really need to clear this place up,” Harry mutters, carrying a little white box with the usual Pokemon Center symbol on it. “Here’s to hoping I didn’t use up all in the—okay no, we’re not bringing that up.”

“Pikachu!”

The what incident?

Judging by the very interested look on Mewtwo’s face, and the amount of attention he’s now giving Pikachu, and the more than a little embarrassed look on Harry’s face—well, Tim’s dad did something, that’s for sure. And dang it, now Tim’s curious too.

“That’s not important right now,” Harry tries, “so anyway what—”

You cannot just call something ‘the Magikarp incident’ and not explain.

Tim stifles a snicker. Whatever it is, it’s made his dad visibly redden. It’s gotta be good.

“Traitor,” Harry mutters in Pikachu’s general direction, getting a perfectly innocent look in return.  “Fine. You explain why you’re not already thousands of kilometers away from here, I’ll explain the Magikarp incident.”

You first.

Pikachu crawls up onto the couch, then up again onto the back of it, curling up in a very comfortable looking position and looking remarkably satisfied with himself.

“Short version, there was some sleazebag who was getting together a bunch of Magikarp to evolve into Gyarados to sell for a profit. Which—well, there’s a whole bunch of things very wrong with that but for starters he was stealing Magikarp so Pikachu and I got called in to bust him. That was the easy part. The hard part was getting all those Magikarp out before any of them evolved into Gyarados and started rampaging.”

“One of them started rampaging?” Tim guesses.

“Three, actually. I didn’t hear the end of it for months. Still haven’t heard the end of it, stop laughing.”

“I’m not laughing,” Tim says, before he realizes Harry was mostly talking to Pikachu, who definitely is. Mostly, of course, because for the smallest of seconds he swears Mewtwo’s smirking. It’s not for long, because Mewtwo suddenly hisses in pain. Curls into himself even more.

“Let’s get that taken care of,” Harry says, finally setting the box down and opening it. There’s a few different kinds of potions. Some revives, a few assorted status relievers like antidotes and awakenings, basically everything a Pokemon trainer would need.

Minus the fact that, of course, Harry isn’t a trainer, he’s a detective. But on the other hand—

“I suddenly understand how you were able to beat that Charizard,” Tim says.

Harry just laughs. “That was mostly luck and all Pikachu. Wasn’t planning on returning. Anyway—Mewtwo, catch.”

Mewtwo makes no move to catch the max potion tossed his way, save the flash in his eyes as it’s caught, not physically, but with some kind of telekinesis, giving it a faint purple glow. Which is, actually, really freakin’ cool come to think of it.

Still without touching it or moving, Mewtwo levitates the spray bottle closer to his face. He stares at it for a moment. Two.

What am I supposed to do with this?

“You’ve never used a potion before?” Tim blurts, earning a slight glare.

I typically make a point of avoiding humans. Mewtwo glares at the potion slightly, before side-eyeing Tim as Harry packs up the little white box and heads back into the kitchen with it.

...how do I use it.

“Uh.” Tim frowns, tries to think this through. “You… squeeze the trigger on the back of the bottle and it sprays out. And you spray it where you’re hurt.”

This seems needlessly complicated.

Regardless, Mewtwo narrows his eyes as he twists the potion around in the air, then finally lifts his… hand? Hand, from his side.

Tim knew it had to be bad, or at the very least not good , but he still audibly gasps. If he’d had to guess, he’d peg it as a burn, although he’s never gotten a burn severe enough that it’s bleeding . Judging by the tightness to Mewtwo’s movements even in levitating the bottle, it hurts. A lot.

“What ha—”

It’s then, of course, that Mewtwo figures out how to operate the spray bottle. The only problem being that it’s pointed in the wrong direction, and the next thing he knows he’s coughing and sputtering on max potion juice, trying to spit it out because it tastes horrible holy mother of Arceus it tastes horrible. Apparently those ‘do not drink’ labels had a point.

Apologies, Mewtwo says as he angles the bottle where it’s supposed to be and sprays. Blood clears up, the wound begins to close or at least look less painful, and Mewtwo exhales, visibly relieved.

Tim, naturally, is still coughing and sputtering when Harry comes back in, although at that point it’s more of an effort to get the bad taste out of his mouth than anything else.

“I’m fine,” Tim manages in response to his dad’s concerned look. “Got some in my mouth. Adding that to my list of things never to do again.”

You have a list ?

In the meantime, Mewtwo’s shifted into a much more relaxed looking position above the couch, and now sounds distinctly amused by that fact.

“No, I’m not telling you what’s on it.”

We will see about that.

“Uh—anyway,” Harry cuts in, “now that we’ve got that taken care of. Any particular reason you’re not long gone? Thought you wouldn’t want anything to do with Ryme City.”

I do not, Mewtwo says flatly, all traces of humor gone. I made the mistake of not leaving immediately.

“Why not?” Tim asks. He’s actually just curious, but if the glare he gets is any indication, he’s not getting an answer to that one anytime soon. Or at all.

“Not more of Howard’s lackeys?” Harry asks instead, tapping a pen to his chin thoughtfully.

No. A masked trainer with a fire pokemon I didn’t get a good look at.They had a different energy to them. More violent. Almost...

Whatever Mewtwo was about to say, he shakes his head to himself and continues, I retreated to the city to lose them. Here was, perhaps, the least dangerous place for me in it.

“Can’t argue with that logic, I guess?” Harry says. “I mean, thanks for trusting us. Means a lot. But, uh—how did you know where to find us?”

That, I am not answering. I do not intend to remain here any longer than I must.

“Pika-pi,” Pikachu says, flicking his tail idly.

No, Mewtwo replies, and Tim finds himself wondering what he asked.

Chapter Text

“We can at least look into it,” Harry says the next morning. “Well, mostly me, Tim here is still in training.”

Tim makes a face, mutters, “‘In training’ is a nice way of putting it.”

Lately, the most detective-ing he’s seeing is simulated cases on a computer screen. Because, apparently, detectives are supposed to have training, and while Yoshida is willing to make an exception for Harry’s son, he’s not about to send someone out into the field with no actual training.

And, unfortunately, Harry agrees. Never mind that said someone has already been out in the field for some time. And did perfectly fine, as Harry should remember from his time as a Pikachu and dang it, Tim knows he does. At least he’s not a glorified intern for too long.

There is very little to look into, Mewtwo says. This is not the first time this has happened. Nor will it be the last.

“Maybe you’re right,” Harry agrees, “but it’s kinda messed up that you can’t do anything anywhere without people coming after you. So maybe we can do something about that? Least we can do. Least I can do, anyway.”

You will not find much success there. Even so, Mewtwo hesitates, flicks his tail back and forth in the air indecisively. Finally, he adds, Thank you.

“Least I could do, after—” Harry coughs into his fist, smiles again. This time it’s more than a little forced. “Yeah. Least I could do. Um, we’d better get going, gonna be late, make yourself comfortable Mewtwo bye!

With that, he all but runs out the door, Pikachu hot on his heels, letting it slam behind him. Tim exchanges glances with Mewtwo. Looks down at his watch. Says, “If anything, we’re going to be early.”

He is angry with himself over the circumstances leading to my... capture. He considers himself responsible.

Mewtwo regards Tim with a far too knowing look and adds, You should talk to him.

“I—” He gulps, decides not to think too hard about the fact he’s getting advice about social interaction from Mewtwo, a Pokemon who’s known for actively avoiding human interaction. For very good reasons, but still.

“Okay,” Tim says. “Will do.

He finds his dad by the car. Or, more accurately, the rent-a-car Yoshida insisted on paying for. And then he has to stop and take a second, because Harry Goodman, detective extraordinaire, is currently giggling like a little kid while his Pikachu scampers after a laser pointer.

Tim doesn’t say anything. Because well, how can he? He can’t interrupt this. And honestly he’s so freakin’ close to just turning around, heading back inside, and asking Mewtwo if he wants company. And he knows—he knows that neither of them mean it, but times like these he’s reminded, all too painfully, that his dad’s built a life without him in it, because of a stupid, impulsive decision when he was twelve that he was far too stubborn to back down on until now.

Fortunately, his dad happens to glance up before he’s been standing there too long. He switches off and pockets the laser pointer (much to Pikachu’s disappointment), then sheepishly says, “Hey, kid. Um. Gotta keep Pikachu here in shape, right?”

“Pi!”

The Pokemon nudges Harry’s leg, but upon not getting the laser pointer back out, he climbs up Tim’s instead and settles on his shoulder.

“I, uh, think he’s mad at you,” Tim says awkwardly.

“Nah, not really. Just a little annoyed. Trust me, you’ll know when he’s mad.” Harry rubs the back of his neck sheepishly, and says, “So—how’s our guest?”

“Um, fine?”

“Pik a! ”

Harry coughs into his fist. “Right. So, how long do we have until we need to be in? Half an hour?”

“Something like that. We should get going.”

“Yeah… I have a hunch. Want to check it out before work, Hide’ll cover for me if I’m too late.” His dad grins, tosses the car keys in the air and catches them. “You want to come?”

His dad just asked him to skip work. On his second day actually working, no less. Harry Goodman, detective extraordinaire, is skipping work.

“Will I get in trouble for being late?” Tim asks, a little hesitant.

“If you do, I’ll cover for you, kid.” Harry’s smile fades a little. “ Do you want to come?”

“I—”

Talk to him, Mewtwo had said.

“Sure,” says Tim.

Chapter Text

“So where are we going?” Tim asks, because currently that’s a lot easier than dealing with the metaphorical Donphan in the room. Never mind that they really should be dealing with the metaphorical Donphan in the room.

“You’ll see,” his dad replies. They stop at a light, and Harry takes the opportunity to glance over. “Actually, let’s see if you can figure it out. Detective lesson number two: when you’re trying to figure something out, start with what you know. So, kid—what do we know so far?”

“Someone with a powerful fire-type Pokemon is after Mewtwo. That’s... pretty much it.”

“Who do we know with a powerful fire-type Pokemon?”

Tim doesn’t get it at first. Not until his dad puts on his turn signal, and he doesn’t know for sure until they turn onto the lonely road leading to the Roundhouse.

“Okay, that’s not fair, I didn’t know his name—”

“Sebastian.”

“—and you think he’s the one who—?” At a loss for words, Tim gestures helplessly.

“Honestly? No.”

Harry pulls up to the curb, switches off the car. Drops the keys into his bag, and opens the door. Pikachu rubs against Tim’s arm warmly, then follows his dad, scampering over to the driver’s seat and through the open door.

“Detective lesson number three: it’s never the obvious thing. Except for when it is. Sebastian probably isn’t involved but it never hurts to check.”

Tim winces. “I dunno, I really don’t think he appreciated us dosing the whole place with R and getting anyone who didn’t have the sense to leave already arrested.”

“Details, kid. Details. He wasn’t on the arrest record for that night’s bust, I checked, and if things go south we both know we can depend on Pikachu. Right bud?”

Pikachu chirps his agreement and settles on Harry’s shoulder.

“If you’d rather stay in the car—”

Tim’s out of the car before Harry can even close his door. His dad raises an eyebrow and goes, “Guess not. Anyway, how mad can he be?”

Very mad, as it turns out. Tim would say I told you so , but for one thing it wouldn’t help anything and for another he’s trying to improve his relationship with his dad, not be a smart—anyway.

“Great, there’s two of you now,” Sebastian mutters, arms crossed and glowering. His Charizard looks more pissed off than he does, if that’s possible. “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t have Charizard kick you both to the curb. And it had better be good.”

The Roundhouse is still closed, officially because it’s an underground fight club and therefore illegal, unofficially because it’s undergoing some serious repairs. It hadn’t taken long to find Sebastian, which—well, Tim had been hoping he wouldn’t be alone but now he’s kind of glad he is, he might have kicked them out first and asked questions later otherwise.

“We’re looking for strong trainers with fire-types,” Harry says, all business now. All business, and yet Tim doubts it’s an accident the way he’s not-so-subtly positioned himself in front of him. “Considering that battling isn’t exactly legal around here, thought you might be willing to help me out.”

Sebastian just stands there for a few, terse moments, and if looks could kill Tim’s pretty sure his dad would be six feet under. Finally, he says, “Battling’s well on its way to becoming more legal after that complete disaster of a parade. Since, y’know, people need to actually protect themselves. Try again.”

“More legal isn’t legal yet. It’d be a shame if the Roundhouse got shut down for good right before that.”

“You can’t do that.”

Harry meets his glare with an almost scarily calm gaze, one that clearly says, Keep calling my bluff. See what happens.

Finally, Sebastian goes, “Do you think I know every trainer in the city? Because, I don’t.”

“No, but you hear rumors about the stronger ones.”

It’s phrased as a question, but not said as one. Sebastian exchanges glances with Charizard. Time ticks on, and Tim glances at his watch. If they leave now, they won’t be too late.

“I don’t know any names,” Sebastian says. “But there’s a few. I can give you basic descriptions of them and their Pokemon, but that’s it.”

“That,” Harry replies, “will be more than enough.”


“None of these trainers are from around here,” Tim observes, looking over the notes his dad took. “How are we going to find them?”

“Leave that to me,” Harry says. “On an… unrelated note, how late are we?”

Tim just sighs . “Very.”

They spend the rest of the ride to the precinct in silence. It probably says something about their relationship that it was easier to talk to his dad when he was a talking amnesiac Pikachu.

Chapter Text

I fail to see the point of this, Mewtwo says. He flicks his tail back and forth with no small amount of annoyance, although Tim suspects he wouldn't be sticking around if he was that annoyed.

“Hey, it’s worth a shot,” Harry says. “Unless you’re willing to let me get Hide involved—he’s a dependable guy, he’d be able to help. I trust him.”

No.

Harry shrugs helplessly, looks to Tim. “Well, at least we’ve ruled out our good friend Sebastian.”

“He despises us,” Tim says flatly.

“True. Let’s start at the top. Try bringing up footage of a Darmanitan.”

Tim nods, starts searching for videos of a Darmanitan using fire attacks—which, surprisingly, there’s no shortage of. They’re apparently very popular in Unova. Not so much anywhere else.

Once he finds a good video, he turns the monitor towards Mewtwo and presses play.

“At all familiar?” Harry asks.

Not at all. I told you, I did not get a good look at my attacker.

“Right, right. There’s sound too though?”

It wasn’t a Darmanitan.

That’s probably the most conclusive thing they’re going to get. Tim sighs, closes the video, and asks, “Which one next?”

“Arcanine.”

In the end, they manage to narrow down the list some, although Mewtwo is very insistent that they shouldn’t rule out any of the Pokemon he definitely hadn’t recognized. So Tim maybe shouldn’t call it narrowing down, so much as prioritizing the ones Mewtwo wasn’t sure about.

Which: there’s three. Arcanine, Pyroar, Houndoom. Two originally from Kanto but found in a lot of other regions, and one from Kalos.

The Arcanine’s trainer is a distinctly Kantosian old man with one very notable trait: the poor man is blind. Has a seeing-eye Persian, no less, not that it stops him from being a scarily good trainer if rumors had any substance to them. Maybe he’d been a gym leader or something once upon a time, although based on how badly he took losing Sebastian had seriously doubted that one.

The blind old guy from Kanto is the only one out of their main suspects that Sebastian had actually met, but he’d heard rumors about the other two. The Pyroar’s trainer is an old fart as well, a Kalosian whose hair might have been red before it went grey. Would explain his anger issues, in any case. Then the Houndoom’s trainer is a kid younger than Tim, some edgy teen from Alola.

So, maybe Mewtwo has a point that this is a terrible way to narrow things down. A small one. Because somehow, Tim doubts that either of the old men is involved in this, and teenagers might be crazy but nobody he knows was quite that crazy as a teenager, not even Jack.

“Maybe we need to try something different,” Harry says thoughtfully, tapping his chin with a pencil. “Although I’m not ready to give up on this lead yet.”

As he gets incredulous looks from both Mewtwo and his own son, Harry sets down the pencil and reaches for his sixth (or seventh) cup of coffee with the biggest yawn Tim’s ever heard from him.

“Maybe, you should stop drinking that and go sleep. Maybe we both should go sleep.” Tim glances at Mewtwo. “Uh, do you need to sleep?”

What kind of a question is that. Of course I need to sleep.

His voice—or telepathic mind-link or whatever it is, it’s two in the freakin’ morning—is edged with irritation, but little else.

“You don’t sound tired?”

What do you think I was doing while both of you were gone. I do not need to sleep currently, if that is what you mean to ask.

Pikachu, naturally, is passed out on the couch and has been for the past three hours. He’s the only one here with any sense, and man does he look out of it. And yet, the next morning, Tim wakes up with Pikachu curled up on his chest, making it pretty impossible for him to get up.

Chapter Text

“Detective lesson number four, kid,” Harry says a few days later. “Cases usually aren’t as straightforward as you want them to be. Actually, they almost never are.”

Tim opens his mouth to argue, then shuts it. What he’s started referring to as the R Incident thanks to Lucy mostly, definitely seemed straightforward at first. And then it wasn’t. And then it was again, and then he nearly got thrown off a building because they’d all been so, so wrong.

That was fun.

“Good point,” he says instead. “But I thought we would have at least found something .”

Harry sighs. Reaches for his cup of coffee, polishes it off with an audible gulp. Then, he says, “We did find something. The problem is, it’s not exactly easy to follow up on that something. As we both know.”

“You’re right, you’re right, I just—wanted to figure this out.”

I did say you didn’t have to, Mewtwo chimes in. Additionally, that you were unlikely to find anything. Although the thought is greatly appreciated.

“That’s the thing. It’s beyond screwed up that, the instant you show your face anywhere , there’s suddenly a billion people coming after you.”

One way to put it. As per usual, Mewtwo’s floating in the air. Currently, however, he’s settled himself in what would be a lying down position if he wasn’t a foot above the back of the couch, actually looking almost relaxed for once. I’m used to it.

“Yeah. And you shouldn’t have to be, s’what I’m saying.”

“Chu?” Pikachu asks sleepily, worming his way into Tim’s arms.

Tim sighs, rubs Pikachu’s belly. Pikachu’s lucky. He doesn’t have to be awake yet, they’ve still got a solid ten minutes before they have to leave. Assuming they’ll actually get to the precinct on time, of course—which, if Tim’s learned anything recently, it’s that a minor apocalypse has to be occurring for Detective Harry Goodman to be on time for work.

Tim got his punctuality from his mom.

I do appreciate that you’re trying, Mewtwo says at last. However, unless you find something significant in the near future, it may be time for me to leave.


Naturally, they find something significant that very day. A few somethings, actually. Tim’s on his way back from meeting up with Lucy for lunch—which was not a date, regardless of the amused looks he’d been getting from his dad from the moment he mentioned where he was going on his break, or rather who he was meeting—when he quite literally runs into someone. Or rather, someone’s Pokemon. A Persian, who leaps back to her feet with a surprised hiss and her fur standing on end.

“Easy, Persian,” someone says smoothly, and Persian slinks back to her human partner, rubbing against his leg as she does so.

Tim’s first thought is, why is this guy just standing there? Then his gaze travels upward, beyond the professional-looking black suit, and sees the dark glasses and a long, thin cane. Mostly white, with some red at the end.

“Sorry, wasn’t looking where I was going,” Tim says quickly, getting back to his feet, and receives a thin, tight-lipped smile in return. Because this guy’s blind. Well freakin’ done, Tim, running into a blind guy’s Pokemon and then making things even worse. Well freakin’ done.

“Evidently.”

Silently, he raises a single hand to his face, slips his glasses down just enough that Tim can see his eyes, and glares . It would probably be more intimidating if he was actually glaring at Tim and not about three feet to the left. Persian, for her part, is at least glaring at him. Although admittedly, Persian’s not… never mind.

“Is everyone in Ryme City this insensitive?” The old man continues, sliding his glasses back up with a visible grimace. “Tch. And I thought Johto was bad.”

Even though he obviously can’t see him, Tim raises his hands in a placating gesture, out of instinct if nothing else. “I said I was sorry, and I’ve got to get back to work before my—”

A blind old man with a Persian. Arceus, how had Tim not seen this sooner?

“Wait, are you a trainer?” He asks instead, completely changing metaphorical gears. And man, if Tim thought the blind man was mad at him before , he’s positively frigid now.

“I was under the impression that the act of being a trainer was allowed here,” he says icily. “Just that the act of battling itself was prohibited.”

“It is! It is, I was just, wondering, yep. I used to be one? Didn’t, really work out, but I’m Tim. Tim Goodman.”

The old man just sighs. “Kegan Victorino. If you are looking to improve your undoubtedly sub-par training skills, you had better look elsewhere.”

Okay, that was uncalled for. But anyway. Tim glances at his watch, says a hasty goodbye, and sprints off, because the last thing he needs is to be late for getting back to work. The important thing is, he’s got a name for one of their suspects, even if nobody brought up Mewtwo.

Of course, the excitement of that quickly pales in comparison to what’s going on at the precinct once he actually makes it back.

Chapter Text

“So nobody else here knows about our… investigation,” Harry says lowly. “So I’m gonna keep this quick. Some kid with a distinct Unovan accent—I’m using kid pretty loosely here but he can’t be that much older than you—showed up while you were on break, and is insisting he needs to find Mewtwo. Won’t say why, hasn’t given anyone a name yet, but he matches one of the descriptions we got from Sebastian.”

“Uh, speaking of that—”

“He’s the Darmanitan’s trainer. Not one of the ones we’ve really been looking for but, the fact that he’s here and asking about Mewtwo? Luckily for us, Hide is having me talk to him since I’m the one that, you know...”

“Yeah.”

Harry sucks in a breath, lets it out. “This might be who we’re looking for but, I doubt it.”

“It’s never that easy.”

“You’re catching on, kid. But detective lesson number five: never let a suspect know any more about you than you have to. That includes relationships. As far as this kid knows, you’re just Tim the intern sitting in on the interview for learning purposes. You’re not…”

Not your son, Tim finishes silently. He should just agree quietly, listen to the person with actual experience here, hello? And yet, before he can think better of it, he mutters, “Not like I don’t have practice with that.”

And, naturally, he regrets it as soon as he sees the pain in Harry’s, in his dad’s eyes. But some stubborn mix of annoyance and pride keeps him from taking it back or apologizing, or doing anything beyond looking at the floor, at the ceiling, at pretty much anyone but Harry.

They don’t speak until Harry enters the room, Tim trailing behind. Harry takes a seat at the table, Tim leans on the wall next to the door. He finds himself looking over the trainer.

The most notable thing about him, visually, would be the long, pale green hair tied back in a ponytail, and stuffed under a worn black and white baseball cap. Or maybe the Zoroark pointedly ignoring the fact that she’s far too big to be sprawled across her partner’s lap like a much, much smaller Pokemon. And—yeah, the trainer does look around Tim’s age. Maybe a little older, maybe a little younger.

“You’re Harry Goodman?” He asks. Without waiting for an answer, his gaze finds Tim. “And who’s he?”

“He’s—”

“Just an intern,” Tim cuts in. “Here to observe. I’ll... shut up now.”

He doesn’t think he imagines the slight slump in Harry’s shoulders. Fortunately, the third person in the room seems to have missed it. Or, if he caught it, he doesn’t comment on it.

Tim already, and still, feels terrible. 

“Anyway, yeah, that’s me,” Harry continues, a little too quietly. Glances down at the papers in front of him. Frowns. “And you are…?”

He literally stayed in Ryme City to try and make amends with his dad. Bond again, be a family again even though someone else they both loved never can.

“N. Just N. Like the letter.”

And here he is. Messing everything up all over again. Mom would be so proud.

“Short for something, or…?”

Dang it, it hasn’t even been two weeks. Not counting the time his dad was a Pikachu, because he’s still not sure whether he remembers any of that or none of that or bits and pieces or what.

“Sure. You encountered Mewtwo, didn’t you?”

And at this point, he’s afraid to ask. For more than a few reasons. The most notable of which being, sure his dad isn’t perfect but, he shouldn’t have said that.

“Kid. The entire city encountered Mewtwo two weeks ago.”

It’s then, naturally, that Pikachu slips in the door, takes one look at Harry and one look at Tim, and goes, “Chu?”

Probably was hanging out with some of the other Pokemon in the precinct. Probably Snubbull. Eventually, though, he leaps up onto Harry’s shoulder, nods cheerfully at N and Zoroark. Tim doesn’t blame him. He’d pick his dad over himself too. After…

He needs to apologize. And then go back home. Gran’ll be disappointed but, she’ll understand. She knows just as well as he does that he just keeps pushing people away. Always has, always will. And Harry’ll be able to solve this case much better without him tagging along.

“True,” N agrees, completely oblivious to the mental breakdown going on in this very room. “But the police had to clean up the aftermath of what happened there—I was thinking someone might have seen where Mewtwo went. Your coworkers directed me to you.”

“I didn’t.”

“Pika-pi,” Pikachu agrees solemnly. At least, it’s probably agreeing. To be fair, no human can understand Pokemon.

And yet, N’s gaze lingers on Pikachu a bit too long to be an accident.

“Your Pikachu’s cute,” he says, smiles a little, but it quickly fades. “Look—I’ll be blunt. I need to find Mewtwo, or at least warn them.”

“You’re looking in the wrong place,” Harry says. “If I were Mewtwo, I’d be on the other side of the world by now.”

N sighs, smiles sadly to himself.

“Zor?”

“Later, you’re already far too big for this,” N tells his partner, then glances up again. “You’re not the only one, Detective Goodman. But thank you. I’ll be going now.”

“Zor.”

N just sighs. “Or, I will be once my partner here decides to let me move. Which might be a bit.”

At any other time, Tim might have laughed at Zoroark’s stubborn refusal to budge, despite her partner’s best efforts. But this wasn’t any other time. And so, instead, he slips out while everyone’s distracted.

Chapter Text

Tim isn’t quite sure how Mewtwo figured out something was wrong, although he doesn’t think Harry straight up told him. Maybe it was the fact that Tim walked back to the apartment and arrived there a solid twenty minutes after Harry. Or maybe it was the fact that neither of them were looking at each other.

Or, maybe, Mewtwo actually is psychic. Not psychic as in the move or moving things with your mind, because the door to Tim’s room slamming shut before he can duck through it makes it pretty hard to question whether Mewtwo’s not psychic in that way.

No, Tim means in the mind-reading way. The creepy way. And while up until now, Tim had been reasonably sure that Mewtwo was not psychic in that way, now he’s not sure.

“What was—Mewtwo!?”

What are you doing.

“Uh… nothing?” 

That wasn’t going to fool anyone. That wouldn’t have fooled the most gullible person or Pokemon in the world. So, Tim sucks in a breath and adds, “It’s just… been a rough day, need some alone time, y’know?”

It’s not that much of a lie. The day itself was perfectly fine until he proved yet again that he was just a really bad person with regards to not guilt-tripping his dad. And he does need some alone time, to pack and just… leave, quietly. Sure.

The insurance company will probably take him back, although he’ll probably have to start over again from the bottom. That’s fine. It’s not like he’s got anything better to do. Or, he did before he went and messed it up, just like everything else.

And what do you think you’re doing.

It takes Tim a second to realize the question’s not directed at him, it’s directed at Harry. Who, if Tim bothers to look, he would notice Harry looks just as uncomfortable and a good deal more guilty. 

But he doesn’t. Instead he edges backwards, back towards the door of his room while Mewtwo’s attention is elsewhere. Carefully, slowly, he reaches for the doorknob and pulls it open…

Naturally, it creaks. Loudly. Very loudly. Loudly enough that Mewtwo whirls around, sees Tim trying to escape, and audibly sighs. Glances back, sees Harry having nearly made it to the door of his room.

We are not doing this, Mewtwo declares, raising his hand. It glows with pink psychic energy, and the next thing Tim knows he’s being levitated a few inches off the ground, not to mention back into the living room.

Slowly, both Tim and Harry are set down on the couch, and only then does Mewtwo continue, I don’t know what happened between the two of you. While running away from your problems is a perfectly valid solution in most cases, somehow I doubt it will help in this one. So. Talk.

Harry glances at Tim. Tim glances at Harry. Pikachu takes the opportunity to leap up onto the couch between them, looking remarkably cheerful despite the circumstances.

Then, at almost the exact same time, both father and son blurt out, “I’m sorry.”

Chapter Text

“Kid, why are you apologizing?” Harry says once the shock of them both saying the exact same thing at the exact same time fades. “You… weren’t wrong.” He sighs, glances at his feet, and maybe he would have said something else if Tim hadn’t broken in.

“I still shouldn’t have said it,” Tim replies, also not looking at his dad. “Anyway it’s fine. It’s nothing.”

It’s very clearly not nothing, for either of you. Talk.

While both of them would probably rather be doing anything else but talk, Mewtwo’s had enough of this, as evidenced by the fact that he’s levitating in a cross-legged sitting position nearby, arms crossed and looking just as frustrated as anyone else here does. Except, unlike them, he could actually leave if he wanted to.

Truly, the perks of having a temporary roommate with unfairly strong psychic powers.

“I ran into one of the trainers on our list during my lunch break?” Tim offers. “The blind guy with a Persian.”

“Really? What was he like, did you get his—”

Not about that, as intriguing as I am certain it is.

“—name.” Harry sighs, still doesn’t look at Tim. 

“Kegan. He wasn’t particularly friendly.”

What part of ‘not about that’ did the two of you miss? I’m not going to let either of you up until you’ve finally talked about your issues. Which both of you evidently have quite a lot of and are too emotionally constipated to actually deal with.

Emotionally constipated is one way of putting it, and not the one Tim would prefer. But it’s not wrong . So Tim takes a deep breath, lets it out. Decides.

“I should have gotten on that train,” he says, and feels his dad tense through the couch. “Maybe things would be different if I had. Maybe things would be a lot different.”

“Kid—”

Harry’s looking at him now, he can tell. But if Tim couldn’t meet his gaze earlier, he definitely can’t now. So instead, he says, “But they aren’t. I never got on the train. I abandoned you when you needed me most. You deserve a better son than me, Dad. Someone who would have been there.”

“Tim. Listen to me.” There’s a certain hardness to his words. “You were twelve.

“So?”

“So you weren’t thinking it through. You didn’t know how hard it would—” He coughs into his fist. “Never mind. You didn’t know, neither of us did! And ‘sides, I wasn’t helping things on my end either.”

“No, you weren’t,” Tim says. “But you’re wrong about one thing.”

He finally looks at his dad, and is greeted by a raised eyebrow.

“I did know how much it would hurt you. I—I wanted to hurt you, when you just wanted to hold together what little family you still had. You deserved, deserve a better son than me. I’m just a loser who gave up on being a trainer for insurance.

“Tim…”

“That’s why I’m going back as soon as Mewtwo actually lets me go. You wanted to know where I was going? Back to Leaventown, because that’s where partnerless, friendless, terrible people like me belong.”

With that attitude, I don’t believe I will, Mewtwo says.

“No, it’s—” Harry sighs. “Tim, look at me.”

Against his better judgment, Tim does.

“The fact that we got along better when I was an amnesiac stuck in Pikachu’s body probably says a lot about our relationship,” Harry says. “At least, I’m pretty sure we did. It’s a little fuzzy.”

Likely the copious amounts of caffeine.

“Quiet, you, I didn’t drink that much.” He clears his throat. “Anyway. Tim. If you want to go back to Leaventown, I’m not about to stop you. But you threw away the ticket you had, and that makes me think you don’t.”

“I don’t want to go back to Leaventown,” Tim snaps. “But this isn’t going to work, Dad. I know that now, and I should have known that already.”

“You’re right. Maybe it won’t work. But… after everything we’ve been through, it’s at least worth it to keep trying. We owe it to…”

Harry blinks hard, but he doesn’t have to say the name for Tim to know exactly who he’s referring to. There’s at least one picture of her in this very room, and he wouldn’t be surprised to find more.

“Mom would be so disappointed in us,” Tim says wryly, almost smiling despite himself.

“She would be. And—listen, we owe it to her to try. But if things don’t work out? I think she’d just be glad we tried.”

Tim nods. Thinks on this a bit. Finally, he says, “I think… I want to stick around a little longer.”

Until Harry exhaled, clearly relieved, Tim hadn’t realized he’d been holding his breath.

“I was... hoping you’d say that,” Harry says, smiles hesitantly.

For his part, Tim just scoots a little closer and hugs him. Hard. It’s… been far too long, honestly, and it shows because neither of them let go until Mewtwo awkwardly clears his throat.

You’ve been able to move for ten minutes, Mewtwo says. And… what are you doing?

Harry looks aghast, as does Pikachu—who wound up perched on Mewtwo’s shoulder at some point—although Tim honestly can’t tell how much of it is exaggerated.

“You don’t know what a hug is?

Evidently not.

“Okay, we’re fixing that, c’mere.”

Chapter Text

Dad’s done some digging. He can’t find where N is staying—which is more than a little suspicious, actually. And even more so was the fact that he’d specifically asked about Mewtwo. 

He was, however, able to find exactly where Kegan Victorino was staying. It’s in a shadier side of town, so Harry went alone.

Well, not alone alone, he’s got Pikachu with him, and while Tim understands perfectly that it’s probably not a good idea for Kegan to be able to connect him to the RCPD, he’d still… rather not be left behind.

But it’s alright. He’s meeting with Lucy for lunch, after all. Which absolutely is not a date in any way, never mind that she happens to be very attractive and really nice and completely and utterly crazy sometimes. And—

Well, okay. Maybe he wouldn’t mind that much if it did, somehow, turn out to be a date. But it’s never gonna happen, and he’s glad just to be Lucy’s friend honestly. He’d rather be her friend than screw it all up.

It’s with this in mind that he’s walking the short distance to the Hi-Hat Cafe, their usual meeting spot. He doesn’t notice that the street’s deserted, nor how odd that is for a few minutes past noon when plenty of people should be out and about on their lunch breaks. And really, in retrospect he really shouldn’t have taken his usual shortcut and ducked through a crowded alleyway.

In his defense, he just wanted to spend more time with Lucy and less time in transit. He never would have guessed that one moment he’d be walking through the alleyway, humming to himself, and the next he’d be knocked to his knees by a large, dark-feathered bird Pokemon that proceeded to sit on him when he tried to get up.

A Pokemon attacking someone? In Ryme City? Without R, that’s all but unheard of—and they destroyed all the remaining R. He and Harry both did. Didn’t they?

“You’re not an easy man to track down, Tim Goodman,” someone says instead, reminding Tim rather quickly that there’s a second option. That the Pokemon has a trainer, and said trainer just ordered them to. And to be fair, very little’s happened except the Pokemon sitting on him.

Yet. And the ominous note to the trainer’s voice certainly doesn’t help things. Tim glances up, sees a sharply-dressed person in a dark-colored suit and tie. And, unfortunately, a ski mask that’s a direct contrast to the rest of his outfit.

“Uh,” Tim says awkwardly, “really?”

The figure shrugs, seemingly indifferent. “Well, tracking you down wasn’t the hard part. Catching you alone was.”

“Oh.”

He really shouldn’t have taken the shortcut today. Or at least listened to Lucy and enrolled in those self-defense classes she’s taking. Because Lucy? Could and would kick some serious behind in this situation.

Meanwhile, Tim’s been sat on, and probably’s about to be kidnapped by someone that already knows his name. Great.

“Now,” the figure says, “answer my questions satisfactorily and I’ll let you move right along. Understand?”

Tim just nods, because he has a bad feeling what he’s about to get asked about might have everything to do with a certain Pokemon squatting on his dad’s couch. Or, more accurately, a couple feet in the air above it because Mewtwo’s just that extra.

“Good. Where is Mewtwo?”

He didn’t freakin’ want to be right , but. He is. Great. Peachy. Absolutely peachy.

“I dunno,” Tim lies. The palms of his hands already feel sweaty, and even though there’s no way anyone should know about it except Tim, the figure sighs, clearly disappointed. 

“Wrong answer. With all due respect, you were caught on camera talking to it.”

“Yeah? He saved my dad’s life. Then flew off. I dunno where he went after that.”

He meets the figure’s gaze, daring him with his eyes to doubt him. Not to mention more than a little terrified that he’s about to get called out on his feeble attempt at hiding the truth.

“Evidently. Perhaps, however, your father will know something, seeing as he was able to capture Mewtwo successfully once.”

Okay, so maybe Tim’s not the best at social interaction. Maybe he’s a lot closer to being the worst than the best. But he knows a threat when he hears one, and this? Is definitely a threat.

So Tim does something that’s, hopefully, unexpected. He cracks an admittedly uneasy grin, and says, “He wouldn’t tell you if he did.”

The figure steeples his fingers appraisingly, and smiles coldly. “I think he will, when I make it abundantly clear that his son’s life is on the line if he doesn’t.”

Tim doesn’t get it at first. Well no, he does, he just doesn’t want to get it at first. Because this sort of thing… doesn’t happen. It just doesn’t happen. Right?

Except… Mewtwo’s been scared of something since he first turned up, and not without reason considering he turned up dripping blood all over the couch. And he’s kept mentioning leaving, although not why.

He’s been scared for us this whole time, Tim realizes.

And now he’s the bait in a trap for his dad, Mewtwo, or both.

“You can’t do that,” Tim says, trying to sound defiant but judging by the laughter that comes his way, he failed miserably.

“I can’t, can I? Watch me.”

He snaps his fingers—and is suddenly, inexplicably, tackled to the alley wall.

Chapter Text

Tim didn’t see what tackled the figure, but whatever it was, it had to be something at least human-sized. Or, possibly, who ever it was? Meanwhile, the light of an opening Pokeball reveals a Darmanitan, who wastes no time in roaring and pounding the ground with his fists.

The Pokemon on top of him squawks in alarm, and lifts off. Tim takes the opportunity to scramble backwards, far enough that he can see it’s a rather large Honchkrow—and then Honchkrow too is recalled into a Pokeball.

“You had one job, Honchkrow,” the figure mutters, before slipping the Pokeball back into his bag and smiling. “Well, well. What do we have here?”

The person who tackled him’s not wearing a mask, and he’s got his back to Tim. But there’s not a lot of people in town with green hair stuffed under a baseball cap.

“I don’t know who you are,” N says as his Darmanitan steps up next to him, “but I’ll find out soon.” He looks meaningfully to Darmanitan, who charges.

The figure laughs and, as Darmanitan reaches him, disappears without a trace.

“No,” his voice continues, “I believe you won’t. While we’re on the subject, I would watch my step if I were you—Mewtwo is intriguing enough, but you? ” He laughs a final time, and goes silent.

N clenches his fists, mutters something angrily under his breath. One hand goes to what looks like a puzzle cube at his hip. He crouches, picks up Darmanitan’s Pokeball with the other, and recalls him.

“Zor?” N calls. From the shadows beside him, his Zoroark materializes and shakes her head. “Let me guess: he wasn’t actually here this time, either.”

“Zoro.”

“At least we’re closer to finding his signal this time.”

Zoroark nods, flicks her tail back and forth. “Zor-zor.”

It’s then, and only then, that Tim’s recovered his bearings enough to go, “Excuse me, what the—”

“You okay?” N asks, offering him a hand. Tim takes it, gets to his feet.

“Yeah? Think so,” he says. “Thanks?”

N nods. “There’s some things you need to know, and some things I need you to pass on. Is there anywhere private we can talk nearby?”

Tim’s pretty sure he’s sweating again already when he squeaks out a yes. He takes a deep breath, lets it out, then quickly adds, “I’m… well, I was sorta meeting one of my friends for lunch nearby.”

“Going on a date?” N asks, completely casually, and Tim proceeds to choke on his own spit.

“No! No, well, I wouldn’t mind it being a date kinda date, but I don’t know if she—we’re just friends!”

“Uh… sure. Okay. Do you trust her?”

“Of course.”

The words are out of his mouth even before he’s fully aware of them, but he wouldn’t take them back if he could.

Chapter Text

“So let me get this straight,” Lucy says, looking every inch a professional despite the sleepy Psyduck currently occupying her arms. “You nearly got yourself kidnapped literally two minutes ago because you took the shortcut and keep skipping those self-defense classes that you clearly need to take.”

Tim grins sheepishly. “Might have been ten minutes. Or twenty. In my defense, I was sat on by a Honchkrow.”

“And you weren’t kidnapped because of the timely, not to mention convenient intervention of this guy.”

N coughs into his fist. “This guy has a name. And he wasn’t there by accident.”

“Right, going to deal with the implications of that once I’ve finished going over everything else my mind’s just been blown with lately. You’d already met each other literally yesterday because you were looking for Mewtwo, and apparently Mewtwo, the very same Mewtwo that everyone in Ryme City saw leave two weeks ago, has been squatting in your basement since then.”

“We don’t have a basement,” Tim says helpfully.

Lucy clearly doesn’t appreciate his help. She throws up her hands in frustration, waking up Psyduck in the process. “That’s not the point and you know it , Tim Goodman! When were you going to tell me that Mewtwo ’s been squatting in your apartment for the past two weeks?”

“Probably never?” Tim winces, and amends, “I didn’t think he was going to be sticking around for long! And then he asked us to keep it a secret, and I trust you, Lucy, but Mewtwo doesn’t trust anyone .”

“Except you and your dad.”

“Except my dad, the only reason I’m involved was because I happened to be with him when Mewtwo turned up dripping blood on the couch.”

N, who’s become more and more bewildered as the conversation progressed, suddenly looks horrified. “Please tell me that’s a figure of speech. Or an exaggeration.”

“It’s not,” Lucy says before Tim can. “Is it.”

Tim doesn’t answer. Part of it’s because he doesn’t want to. Part of it’s because everyone here already knows the answer. And part of it’s because he just doesn’t know how to answer.

But when he opens his mouth to try, Lucy cuts him off, saying, “All that aside, you’re not the person here with the most explaining to do.”

“I’m not?”

“She means me, I think,” N says uneasily. He sighs, not meeting anyone’s eyes, although to be fair he hasn’t made eye contact the whole time. “There are some things I have to keep vague for your safety as much as mine, but I’ll tell you what I can.”

Lucy squints at him suspiciously, but says, “Continue.”

Chapter Text

“He’s going after legends,” N says after a quick, furtive glance over his shoulder. Which is, admittedly, a little hard to do when three humans and two Pokemon are cramped into a booth meant for two , but he manages.

Not that Tim’s paying attention to that, he’s a little hung up on what N just said.

“He’s what?” Tim asks, at the same time as Lucy squeaks out, “Who?”

“Going after Pokemon from myth and legend that most people aren’t sure if they actually exist or not, and if I knew who he was, or at least where he was, things would be a lot easier on my end.”

“Why? What would people gain from…” Lucy sighs, shakes her head. “Never mind, I’ve long since learned not to underestimate greed. Or stupidity, for that matter.”

“And, uh. Why are you doing this personally? Why not let the cops handle it?” Tim cuts in, pointedly ignoring Lucy. Which, of course, has everything to do with her comment about stupidity and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they’re sitting next to each other and their knees just touched under the table. Or how cute she looks with messy hair.

“Don’t know why for sure, but greed is probably it—I doubt he has a secretly noble motive anywhere, if that’s what you’re asking. But it probably wasn’t.”

He’s answered Lucy’s question, but not Tim’s. So Tim waits.

N reaches up and takes his cap off, stares at the inside for a time, before he says, all too softly, “I didn’t know, or care, about this until he hurt one of my closest friends. Nearly killed them, too. So, whatever he’s trying to do with Mewtwo, I’m here to stop him. Whatever it takes.”

“And—what Tim said,” Lucy says. “Why not get law enforcement involved?”

“Few reasons. First of which… why didn’t you , Tim?”

“Because—” Tim frowns. “Because Mewtwo didn’t want us to, mostly.”

“The police, with all due respect, are generally incompetent when it comes to people like him. That’s ignoring the fact that putting one person at risk is a lot safer than putting multiple. Less unknown variables.” 

Seems reasonable enough, at least to Tim, at least until he glances over at Lucy and sees a very, very specific look on her face.

Lucy, admittedly, has quite a few looks that mean trouble . There’s the Tim-what-stupid-thing-did-you-do-this-time look, the I’ve-got-a-really-bad-idea look—although if you asked her it would probably be the I’ve-got-a-really-good-idea look, and she’d be wrong—and the this-is-a-horrible-plan-but-let’s-do-this-anyway look, all of which he’s seen fairly frequently in the time he’s known her. This one, however, is one he hasn’t seen in a long time, not since they met. 

Not since she, well, basically jumped him because something was suspicious about his dad’s ‘death’. She hadn’t been wrong then.

So, maybe, what Tim decides to call the there’s-something-you’re-not-telling-me-and-I’m-going-to-find-out-what look isn’t entirely unwarranted here, either. 

“How did you find out that Mewtwo was staying with Tim and his dad?” Lucy asks, rubbing the top of Psyduck’s head akin to the way an evil genius in movies might pet their Purrloin. “Tim, you didn’t tell him, did you?”

“No,” Tim says slowly. “Unless my dad did…”

N freezes. 

“Zor! Zoro ark! ” Zoroark barks, looking very amused, and that gets N to level a glare at her.

“It’s not funny, stop laughing,” N mutters.

Zoroark seems to think the opposite, and N eventually returns his attention to Tim and Lucy. “Your dad didn’t tell me, no. The way I found out… I’d rather not say what it was but I can promise you, no one else will find out that way.”

Lucy looks at Tim. Tim looks at Lucy.

“That’s not suspicious at all,” Lucy remarks. “How do we know you’re not on the dude who just trIed to kidnap him’s side?”

“I’m not, I promise.”

“And why were you even there? Trying to get his trust, trying to get mine too? Well, that’s not happening.” 

She lifts Psyduck up onto the table, earning a confused Psy? as she scoots past Tim, then out of the booth entirely.

“I’m out of here,” Lucy continues. “Tim, you should come too. We can figure this out on our own, I’m needed back at the station but I’ll walk you back to your work first, okay?”

Tim looks between Lucy, and N. N seems trustworthy, but… Lucy’s instincts… well, okay, to be fair they’re wrong a lot . Her first instincts are, anyway. Second instincts are a lot more trustworthy. But, on the other hand, her first instinct had been to scoot over and figure out what was happening.

Which made this her second one.

“Psyduck, psy?”

“Your Psyduck says he thought you weren’t needed back at work for the rest of the day,” N blurts out, a little too loudly, earning a shocked look from Lucy, confused looks from Psyduck and Tim, and a satisfied look from Zoroark.

“There is literally no way you could know that,” Lucy says warily, but slips back into the seat next to Tim without grabbing Psyduck and running for the hills. “Unless…”

“That’s how I knew where Mewtwo was. I overheard Pikachu talking about it.” N’s talking much, much quieter now, and not without reason if he means what Tim thinks he means. “I can… understand what Pokemon are saying. Any Pokemon. Have been able to for as long as I can remember. Zoroark, it’s not funny.”

“Zoroark, zoroark!” Zoroark seems to disagree. 

“No, this does not happen every time I talk to people, shut up.”

Tim would probably be amused himself if his mind just hadn’t been blown with the intensity of a wild Graveler using Selfdestruct. 

“I thought I was the only one!” His dad had said, when he realized Tim could actually understand him. Except neither of them had known who he was, then, and Tim’s mind was about as blown then as it is now because Pokemon didn’t talk , clearly he was hallucinating. Except he wasn’t. And the talking Pikachu that wouldn’t leave him alone turned out to be his dad.

“Prove it,” Lucy says, clearly still skeptical. “Psyduck, tell him… uh. Something only you or I would know.”

“Psyduck?”

“Roger Clifford watches Alolan pro wrestling on his phone and hogs the bathroom for hours while he’s doing it,” N recites, then realizes what he just said. “Wait. How did you—”

“Long story, not important,” Lucy says all too cheerfully. “Let’s just say Psyduck and I know a lot of things about our coworkers that we’d really rather we didn’t. Psyduck, did you really have to bring up that?”

“Psy.”

“That’s a yes,” N translates, completely unnecessarily.

Chapter Text

His dad doesn’t answer his phone, so Tim leaves a quick message saying what he’s doing and calls their boss. Or, at least, calls his boss, he’s not entirely sure where in the hierarchy his dad falls and he’s not about to ask.

Yoshida, unlike his dad, picks up immediately. “Tim? Are you okay?”

“Oh, yeah, I’m fine,” Tim says automatically, then winces. “Well, actually. No, I’m not, I’ve been feeling kinda… tired, and I can’t focus on things, and my brain hurts. I met up with my friend Lucy for lunch and according to her I nearly passed out when I stood up to leave, which didn’t happen by the way but—”

“Yes, you can have the rest of the day off,” Yoshida replies.

“Oh. Oh! Thanks, I—”

“I’ll let your dad know so he doesn’t worry when he gets back in, assuming he didn’t just skip work on me again. Which, knowing him…” Yoshida sighs. “Take care of yourself, kid. Let me know if you don’t feel up to tomorrow.”

Tim nods, before remembering he’s talking on the phone, to someone who can’t see him. “Right. Got it. Thanks, sorry, uh—”

Yoshida’s already hung up. With that, Tim sighs, locks his phone, and looks to the other two.

“Alright,” Tim says. “I’ll go talk to him, let him know about… you two.”

Lucy nods. “Text me when the coast is clear.”

Tim raises his hand in a mock salute, then heads up the stairs and up to the apartment. Unlocks the door, opens it. For a few, terse moments, there’s no sign of Mewtwo. He’s not above the couch, or anywhere in view.

You’re back early, Mewtwo notes. Look up.

He’s hovering above the doorframe, because of course he is.

“Hey, Mewtwo,” Tim says with an awkward wave, once he’s closed the door behind him. “Uh… how’s life?”

Not terrible. Where is Harry?

“Still at work, probably. I got off early since I was sick.”

Mewtwo kicks off the wall above the door, somehow without touching the wall at all, and takes a position hovering directly in front of Tim. It would probably be a little more unnerving if Mewtwo wasn’t hovering upside down.

You don’t appear sick.

“I’m not,” Tim agrees. “Um. Theoretically speaking, if other people found out you were here, what would you do?”

Mewtwo’s eyes go wide. You did what?!

“Theoretically. I never said I—” Tim groans. “Fine, okay. There was someone that came to the precinct a couple days ago, I think my dad mentioned him? He said he was looking for you, to warn you about… something.”

Little late.

“Maybe. I don’t know if I trust him for sure, but… he doesn’t seem bad? He’s got a Zoroark with him, his name’s N, and he can apparently understand Pokemon. That’s how he found out you were here, Pikachu mentioned something while he was in the room.”

Wait. Mewtwo flips in midair, now levitating right-side-up. This is a human.

“Yeah.”

A human, that can understand what Pokemon are saying.

“Yeah, apparently?”

I wasn’t aware that such a thing was possible. Although I should not be possible either.

“Also,” Tim says, “one of my friends sorta… found out as well. Her name’s Lucy, she won’t tell anyone else, she’s… honestly the bravest person I know.”

Mewtwo audibly sighs. Does anyone else know, while you are at it? And how did you meet this… ‘N’. I assume you’ve seen him since interrogating him at this precinct.

“That’s… a funny story, I almost got kidnapped and I’m pretty sure it was by the same guy who’s after you. N was in the right place at the right time.”

Conveniently, Lucy’s voice echoes in his thoughts, and while she’s not wrong , Tim’s pretty sure they can probably trust him. If not, well, they’ve got Mewtwo.

Am I to assume they are waiting outside?

“Well—okay. Yeah, downstairs.”

May as well bring them in.

Chapter Text

“So… you’re Mewtwo,” N says once they’ve all crowded into the living room. “It’s an honor to meet you.”

Mewtwo raises an eyebrow. That is… not something I’ve heard before. Not from a human. Thank you.

“Before we do anything else, I have to ask—sorry,” he offers quickly to Tim and Lucy, “but… what pronouns do you prefer?”

...pronouns?

“Like… he/him, she/her, they/them, or something else? I know you’re usually referred to as male, but you wouldn’t be the first Pokemon I’ve met that prefers something entirely different to what they’re commonly perceived as.”

Mewtwo looks thoroughly bewildered, but Tim gets it. Probably. 

“Honestly, Dad and I should have probably asked this earlier,” Tim says, “but what N means is… well. What gender would you prefer? Boy, girl, neither?”

What is gender?

“Agender, maybe?” Lucy offers. “But… honestly that’s a good question. Most people, gender is what you’re born as, but sometimes people aren’t born the gender they’d like to be, or they just don’t feel particularly attached to any gender at all. I’d assume that’s the same with Pokemon?”

N nods. “Yes, it is, although many Pokemon just have their genders to be assumed one thing or the other when that’s really not the case at all. Especially ones without much human contact.”

Why does so much depend on this… ‘gender’ concept?

Everyone looks at each other. N eventually shrugs. “It shouldn’t,” he says.

And yet it does. I do not believe I need one. Is that what this… agender, is?

“Yeah,” Lucy confirms. “One of my best friends in high school was agender. Haven’t talked to them in a while, but last I heard, they’re doing well. They use… well, they/them pronouns. To get back to what started all this.”

In that case, use the same for me. Mewtwo flicks their tail back and forth, and smiles, satisfied. But enough about me. Between all of us, we should be able to discover something new about… whoever it was that attacked me.

Tim winces. N looks horrified. Lucy looks… somewhat horrified, somewhat intrigued.

“He attacked you? ” N exclaims.

I was under the impression that you had already told them everything.

“They knew that you were here, but that’s pretty much it,” Tim admits.

Convenient.

“Okay,” N says, “I get that you… might not like touching people. Or being touched. And if you don’t, that’s okay, but Mewtwo, do you need a hug?”

Mewtwo pauses, levitates a bit lower to the ground. 

Actually, yes. I would love one. Thank you.

Tim considers bringing up the fact that Mewtwo hadn’t known what a hug was until last night, but eventually decides against it. They really need a hug, several actually, which is why once N lets go and offers Mewtwo a comforting grin, Tim offers them another.


Between everyone, and once everyone’s up to speed, they’re able to narrow down the list of suspects to… well, to one. One Kegan Victorino, and when Tim describes him Lucy gets a funny look on her face. Or, not funny at all, actually, it’s the I’ve-figured-something-out-and-you-won’t-like-it look.

“He had a… Persian, you said?” Lucy says quietly. “And your informant said that he was very, very familiar with battling? Like he might have been a gym leader?”

“Yeah,” Tim replies. “What are you getting at?”

Lucy doesn’t answer immediately, instead pulls over her laptop and starts typing away furiously. “Mewtwo,” she says, “there’s been rumors going around for a long time about… well…” She winces. “I wish I wasn’t putting it like this, but… where you came from.”

I’d rather not talk about it, and I suspect you already know the answer if you’re asking. You don’t think… that they are involved?

“It’s possible. Tim’ll be able to confirm if my hunch is right.” She hits the enter key, spins her laptop around, and asks, “Is this what he looked like?”

Mewtwo takes one look at the screen and hisses, and Tim doesn’t think they’re edging backwards from the laptop by accident. He looks at it himself, frowns. Glances at the caption and back at the picture.

The caption reads, ‘only known picture of Giovanni: former Viridian City gym leader and former leader of Team Rocket’. The picture itself shows a sharply-dressed, middle-aged man with slicked back black hair and anger in his eyes.

Giovanni… looks a lot like Kegan. Kegan’s clearly older, but… he could be an older version of this man. Older, and, well. Blind.

“Kind of,” Tim says. “Except I don’t think that guy’s blind.”

“Well, he disappeared twenty years ago, who knows what’s happened to him since then? He’d be the right age, anyway. The thing that really makes me think this is him, though… I have family in Kanto, my aunt went on a Pokemon journey back when he was a gym leader, and she was so annoyed because the gym was supposed to be a Ground-type gym, and yet he’d always, always start battles with his Persian. And if the rumors are true…”

I don’t want to talk about it, Mewtwo repeats. But they likely are.

“If the rumors are true,” Lucy continues with an apologetic look in Mewtwo’s direction, “then we have our motive. We just need to prove it’s him and Interpol will bust him.”

“Interpol is too incompetent to do anything unless criminals are handed to them on a silver platter,” N says dryly. “There was… a team similar to this Team Rocket in Unova. Team Plasma. Interpol’s still looking for some of their leaders.”

“Okay,” Tim cuts in. “So maybe Kegan is this… Giovanni. But if he is…” He gulps. “My dad went to talk to him right before lunch, and it’s nearly four.”

Chapter Text

“We can do this,” Lucy tells Tim sternly. “And we’re going to do this. Phones charged?”

“Mine’s got a higher percentage than yours does,” Tim says.

“Right. Tell me the moment you find something suspicious, and I’ll call your boss. Hopefully our cops are better than Interpol.”

“Dad is.” Tim frowns, winces. “So is Yoshida. If you can get him, we’ll be good, but not if they don’t have probable cause for entry.”

“So get probable cause for entry, it’s not that hard,” Lucy says. “Or I’ll just call the cops and tell them my friend’s being kidnapped. That usually works.”

“I… feel like I’m missing some context here.”

“Oh, definitely. Remind me to tell you the story sometime, it’s how I met Psyduck actually!”

“Psy?”

“Zoro.”

“You’ve got this, everyone,” N says over Lucy’s phone. “I don’t think telepathy works over the phone, but our mutual friend shares the sentiment.” A brief pause, and then N adds, “Yeah, it doesn’t.”

“Tell them thanks for us!” Lucy says cheerfully, then hangs up. “Alright, Tim, it’s go time. Keep him from getting into too much trouble, alright Zoroark?”

“Zoro,” Zoroark agrees, with a quick bob of her head. Her gaze becomes focused for a moment—and then, suddenly, there’s not a Zoroark there but a Growlithe. A Growlithe that wiggles her behind, stretches, and then takes a flying leap onto Tim’s shoulder.

He can’t feel the weight of the Growlithe there—that’s the only thing telling him that this is an illusion, and he makes a mental note to not let anyone else touch his ‘Growlithe’, because that’ll be a dead giveaway.

The Growlithe rubs her face against the side of Tim’s head affectionately as Tim gives Lucy a wave and tugs his phone out of his pocket. He calls her, she picks up instantly, and at almost the same time he puts his on speakerphone, and she mutes her end of the call.

Tim shoves his phone back in his pocket, and starts running.

They can do this. The plan’s not a terrible one, as far as Lucy’s plans go, and usually even her terrible ones wind up working out somewhat so things should be fine. By that logic, things should be perfectly fine.

The first thing Tim does when he reaches the door they know is Kegan’s is knock on a nearby wooden column, albeit quietly. The second is bang on the door, and look panicked. Admittedly, he is kind of panicked, just not for the reasons he needs Kegan, or Giovanni, or whoever he really is to think he is.

The door opens, and Tim launches into his spiel. “Please, you’ve got to help me, there’s someone after me and I need to get inside somewh—” His gaze meets Kegan’s, or rather, it would if he wasn’t wearing glasses too dark to see through and wasn’t, you know, blind. “Wait, Kegan?”

“You again? ” Kegan sighs. “Assuming I recognize your voice, that is. Tim… Goodman, was it?”

“Yeah,” Tim says. “No relation to the crazy detective guy they keep having bust underground battling, that guy’s a freakin’ nutcase. Can I please come in, I promise I won’t make trouble, I’ll just call my girlfriend and let her know where I am and she can come pick me up.”

Kegan doesn’t react to any of that, instead leans out the door some. He sighs, shakes his head. “Old habits die hard, I suppose,” he mutters. “Get in here, then, I’m not heartless . Do you need to borrow a phone, too?”

“I—yeah, mine’s dead. Thanks. You’re a lifesaver.”

Actually it’s in his back pocket, and a girl that’s his friend and not his girlfriend because he’s an awkward disaster of a person and she’d never like him back anyway is listening to this entire conversation, but Kegan doesn’t need to know any of that.

Kegan waves a hand dismissively. “Yeah, yeah, just get inside before I change my mind.”

Chapter Text

Lucy doesn’t pick up when he calls her. Which is, well, not surprising, considering that he’s already called her on his actual phone, in his pocket, and she’s listening to literally everything they’re saying . They maybe didn’t think this through so well.

“Busy,” Tim says, frowning as he sets down the phone. “I’ll try again in a few minutes, she’s absolutely nuts but she usually picks up.”

Hopefully Lucy takes the hint.

“Growl?” The Growlithe illusion says quietly.

“Yeah, she’s coming to pick us up soon, don’t worry buddy,” Tim says reassuringly. “We’ll be fine.”

Kegan takes a seat, and his Persian leaps up to curl up on his lap. “You have a Growlithe?”

“Yeah, she’s a fiesty little one. Not very good at battling, unfortunately.”

Kegan smiles thinly. “No Pokemon is, at first. Some Pokemon, however, have much more potential when it comes to battling than others. Growlithe—well, Arcanine—is a good Pokemon. Mine has seen me through many years, and many battles.”

“You have an Arcanine?”

“Indeed I do. Give me a… moment…”

Kegan reaches for a bag at the chair’s side, pulls out a Pokeball. Tim catches a glimpse of an engraved ‘A’ before it opens, and out pops an actual Arcanine.

“Growlithe growl, ” Growlithe, well, growls.

“Arca?”

“Growl.”

“Arcanine!”

Arcanine looks between Tim and Kegan, then promptly lies down and puts his head down between his paws.

“Arcanine,” Kegan mutters. “Can you show this little one how it’s done for your old trainer?”

Arcanine lifts his head, looks directly at Kegan. Oddly enough, he shakes it before lowering it again.

Kegan frowns. “It’s ignoring me again, isn’t it.”

Tim winces. “Yeah, he is.”

Kegan’s frown deepens. “Well, let’s fix that,” he says. “Persian, up.”

Persian leaps to the floor immediately, and shoots Arcanine a smug look. And then Kegan kicks him. Arcanine lets out a pained yelp, right before he’s recalled into his Pokeball.

“You have to show them who’s boss,” Kegan says. “Whatever it may entail. It’s an unpopular method of training these days, but one that gets results. You will likely have much better luck with your Growlithe this way.”

It takes Tim a moment to realize that he’s being spoken to, because he’s just staring at where Arcanine was in… shock, and frankly he wants to punch Kegan now but that would only make things worse.

“I… got it,” Tim says, hating himself for agreeing, even if it’s just to get all buddy-buddy with this terrible freakin’ person. “Thanks. Never actually thought of that before!”

Kegan nods sagely, like he hasn’t just been endorsing straight-up Pokemon abuse. “You’ll go far if you take the time to try the things society doesn’t want you to.”

Okay, so that last bit isn’t terrible advice, but the way Kegan—Giovanni—undoubtedly means it is. And yeah, Tim can absolutely believe this is Giovanni, the former leader of Team Rocket, he’s definitely enough of a human piece of trash.

Fortunately, he’s rescued from answering by Kegan’s phone ringing.

“I’m not expecting any calls,” Kegan says. “That must be your girlfriend.”

“Right,” Tim says, and picks it up. “Hey, Lu. You get my message?”

“Yeah, I did,” Lucy says over the phone. “And a lot more besides. But also, girlfriend? That wasn’t part of the plan. Not that I mind, necessarily.”

Tim laughs nervously, and chooses to stick to the script. “Yeah, my phone died, some crazy person was chasing me and Growlithe, banged on someone’s door to let me in and he wound up giving me training tips.”

“Yeah. Piece of—” Lucy’s voice cuts out for a moment, although they both know what she said. “Listen. As soon as I hang up here, I’m calling the cops, because they can definitely get him on Pokemon abuse, especially on Ryme City. Just keep him talking.”

“Will do. See you soon, babe.”

He’s laying it on a bit thick, and Lucy knows this, but he doubts the flirty note to her voice when she replies, “See you very soon, babe ,” is an accident.

She hangs up, and Tim puts the phone down.

“She’s coming to pick me up soon,” Tim says. He’s pretty sure he’s blushing. It’s probably a good thing Kegan’s blind.

“What’s she like?” Kegan asks.

“Um… blonde hair, and—”

“Not what she looks like, I haven’t been able to see in ten years and I’ve stopped thinking of people that way at this point,” Kegan interrupts, sounding more than a little irritable. “What’s she like in here.

He taps his chest appraisingly, like in that meme where the car salesman taps the roof of the car and goes, this bad boy can fit so many … somethings, in it. Honestly Tim doesn’t remember the original, but then again who does remember the original context of memes?

This bad boy can fit so much cruelty in it would be fitting for him .

Memes aside, Tim gulps. At least Lucy shouldn’t be listening anymore, so what does he have to lose?

“Well,” he says, “she’s… kind of crazy, actually. She gets really passionate about the most obscure things, like… the most powerful Pokemon, among both those we know exist and those we don’t know for sure, and then she drags me around to go find out about the ones we don’t know for sure, and we keep getting in all sorts of trouble.”

Tim smiles, despite himself. “She’s really passionate about what she does, she’s really passionate about life in general, honestly? Which is kind of funny because her partner’s a Psyduck, she’s a Ryme native I think, so you’ve got her cornering some poor guy and demanding to know whether Mew is more powerful, or Arceus, while Psyduck’s just confused. Always. Interesting pair, honestly. But I wouldn’t give her up for the world.”

“She sounds like a winner,” Kegan replies. “You should take her out on a really nice date sometime. Candlelight dinner and all that.”

Tim laughs. “Nice idea,” he says, even though he knows dang well that he’s not taking any of Kegan’s advice. Why he’s even listening he doesn’t know. But hey, if it keeps him talking…

“How did you get together?”

That’s… an idea, actually. If, somehow, they actually did get together in the future, which is never gonna happen…

“We were at the place we usually meet up to chat, our lunch hours overlap and it’s close to both of our works, so it works out,” Tim says. “Then one day, she was running late. I was getting worried, and it was starting to rain. She came sprinting in twenty minutes after I was expecting her, completely soaking wet, slid into the booth, grabbed me, and kissed me. And promptly started apologizing for being late.”

Honestly, that’s something Tim could almost see happening, minus the fact that Lucy doesn’t like him the way he likes her, never will, and that’s okay. They’re friends. Good friends.

Kegan laughs, opens his mouth to say something—and then the doorbell rings.

“That must be her,” Kegan says wryly. “Stay safe, kid. And the next time someone corners you and tries to steal your Pokemon, kick their—”

“Got it,” Tim says, turns, and all but sprints for the door.

Chapter Text

To the surprise of absolutely no one, except Kegan when they arrested him three minutes later, it wasn’t Lucy at the door, it was Yoshida. To his credit, he didn’t ask what Tim was doing there, just told him to get behind him and Snubbull and that they’d talk later. Which Tim wasn’t looking forward to, but his dad had wanted to get Yoshida involved from the start.

It took maybe an hour after Kegan was arrested for him to be positively identified as the Giovanni, mainly because it took some time to get him back to the precinct and into a holding cell. And after that, Tim and Lucy were going to regroup back at the apartment, except here they are, being stared down by Lieutenant Yoshida himself and his Snubbull.

“Is it just me,” Yoshida says at last, “or have the two of you been involved in a lot lately?”

Tim looks at Lucy. Lucy looks at Tim. Psyduck looks at the ceiling.

“Um,” Tim says, meeting Yoshida’s eyes, “what do you mean?”

“Both of you were involved in the business with Mewtwo—don’t give me that look, Stevens, you knew far too much on that report you gave on it the next day to have not already known him. And now, it’s been two weeks and Giovanni Razzo of all people turns up in Ryme City and somehow, both of you are involved again. It’s not quite to the point where it’s a pattern, but it’s starting to look that way.”

Lucy shoots Tim a look that clearly means should we tell him? He catches it out of the corner of his eyes, but doesn’t visibly react. Instead, he says, “Okay, so, maybe I haven’t been quite upfront with this, but someone tried to kidnap me tonight.”

Huh. He’s getting better at this, because that didn’t sound like a lie at all. It probably helped that some of it, and some of what he’s planning to say, isn’t entirely wrong.

“That, she told my dispatch officer,” Yoshida replies. “You mean to tell me that was true?”

“Yeah, we… didn’t communicate very well. What I was trying to tell her was that I almost got freakin’ kidnapped, ran into this guy and convinced him to let me call someone from his house, and then he turned out to be a Pokemon abuser so I told her to call the cops.”

“...and you didn’t call the cops yourself why?”

“Probably didn’t want the Giovanni hearing him calling the cops, ” Lucy says helpfully. “Although we didn’t know that it was him at the time.”

The unimpressed look they’re getting from both Yoshida and Snubbull gives Tim the impression they really, really doubt that. And yet, Yoshida sighs and says, “Alright. I just have one more question, and then I’ll let you get home and rest. Where’s Harry?”

The fact that, in the excitement of all this, Tim completely forgot about his own dad and Pikachu probably means he’s a terrible person. He can’t lie on this. He just—can’t. He opens his mouth, then shuts it again.

“I’m sorry, Lieutenant Yoshida,” Lucy says, “what do you mean, where’s his dad? I haven’t seen him in some time, and I’m pretty sure Tim hasn’t seen him since before lunch.”

Yoshida looks to him sharply. Tim’s throat feels dry, parched even, which is ridiculous because he just downed like two of those little paper cups of water. But he manages a nod.

“He left shortly before you did,” Yoshida says. “He wouldn’t go into detail about why, just that he had a hunch and he needed to follow it—wouldn’t be the first time his hunches have solved a case, so I didn’t press him.”

“You haven’t seen him either?”

Yoshida shakes his head. “No,” he says, “but when he didn’t come back, I checked where he was. Almost everyone here keeps a tracker on them, just in case—and his went offline near where we found the former leader of Team Rocket.

Even though that was the whole point of calling the cops on Kegan, on Giovanni , it still hits Tim like a punch to the gut.

“But you look like a wreck,” Yoshida adds. “Go home.” He looks pointedly to Lucy and continues, “Make sure he gets home.”

Lucy nods. “Let’s go, Tim,” she says, but Tim doesn’t move.

“The Pokemon,” Tim manages. “Giovanni’s Pokemon. What’s going to happen to them?”

Yoshida sighs. “I don’t know,” he admits. “But go home. I’ll call you as soon as I know anything about your dad.”

He nods. Mumbles, “Thanks,” before he’s finally dragged out by the arm.

Chapter Text

“I don’t like that look,” Lucy says as Tim drains another paper cup. He tosses it in the recycle bin, wipes his mouth. “That look’s something that should be coming from me , not you, what are you planning?”

Tim glances around, and his gaze finds the bathrooms. “Stay here,” he replies. “I need to check something.”

There’s something to be said for the fact that Lucy doesn’t question this, just nods and asks, “What should I say if someone asks me what I’m doing, or where you are?”

“Uh… I’m in the bathroom,” Tim says. “I won’t be long.”

To get to the evidence room, Tim has to pass the interrogation rooms. The precinct really only needs one or two, and yet there’s four because… something something politics. Only one’s occupied, and from the quick glimpse Tim sees inside when he passes it, Giovanni’s in there and handcuffed to the table.

Tim wonders, briefly, who’s dealing with him, if Interpol’s here already. But his curiosity doesn’t outweigh his desire to not be caught snooping around, so he keeps going, and eventually finds the evidence room. It’s not hard to find what he’s looking for: a Pokeball with an A engraved neatly into it.

Tim picks it up, hesitates, then opens it. The Arcanine comes out, and immediately flinches, as if bracing himself for an attack.

“No, it’s—it’s okay, you’re not with him anymore,” Tim says, standing and backing up carefully. Arcanine looks around, evidently considering this, then looks to Tim. “He’s been arrested. I don’t know what’s going to happen to you and the others, but I just wanted to say—I’m sorry.”

“Canine?”

“Sorry for… what?” Arcanine looks at him meaningfully. “Well, if I hadn’t been there, you wouldn’t have been—I just wanted to say sorry.”

Arcanine thinks on this, then looks to his shoulder and barks questioningly.

“My… Growlithe? Yeah, I… don’t actually have one. Or a partner at all, actually. Growlithe was actually my friend’s Zoroark, she went back to her trainer for now.”

Understanding fills Arcanine’s gaze. As if that wasn’t odd enough, there’s not a hint of surprise there.

“You… already knew?”

Arcanine gives him a look that clearly means, Obviously.

“I’d… better get going, then,” Tim says at last. “I’ll be in trouble if they find me here. I should… probably put you back in your Pokeball…”

He gets an unimpressed look.

“That’s a no, then,” Tim decides. “It’s not unheard of for Pokemon to just… escape their Pokeballs sometimes, so you can just… stay here? But yeah, uh… I hope life gets better for you from here. Sorry.”

He waves awkwardly, then heads out the door without looking back. It’s only when he passes the interrogation rooms that he stops, because someone’s yelling and it’s not Giovanni.

“I’m going to ask you one more time,” the same someone says, and Tim realizes with a start it’s Yoshida. “Where. Is. Harry. Goodman.”

“I have never met the man in my life, I don’t even know what he looks like, and at this point I am well beyond caring.”

“Don’t even know what he looks like. Right. I suppose you’ll tell me you’re actually blind, next.”

Giovanni audibly sighs. “I am not blind, but I have never met anyone named Harry Goodman. I have been told the man is a detective involved in shutting down underground battling rings, but beyond that, I know nothing. Am I to assume he is someone employed here?”

“Stop lying. I know you know where he is, and believe me, Mr. Razzo, I can make life very, very difficult for you if you continue to not share that with me.”

“Can?” Someone asks, quietly, right next to Tim. Tangled fur brushes against his legs, and Tim glances down to see… Arcanine.

“What are you doing here,” Tim whisper-yells. “You should be back there!”

Arcanine shakes his head.

“You’re… following me,” Tim guesses. “Why?”

He receives a look that can be easily translated as, How dumb are you. Something along those lines, anyway, but Tim doesn’t get long to dwell on it because Yoshida, the man who, in the short time he’s known him, has never actually yelled at anyone, for any reason, is yelling again.

Well, no. Tim can, faintly now, remember him yelling when he thought, when they both thought, that Harry was dead.

He almost doesn’t bother peeking inside—it’s not worth the risk, and Yoshida’s likely still fairly composed even if he is actually raising his voice. But he does, and luckily Yoshida’s distracted enough not to see him looking.

The reason he’s distracted is because he’s standing over Giovanni, murder in his eyes, and what looks almost like… he looks like he’s about to cry. Tim knows the look far too well.

“WHERE IS HE?”  

Yoshida slams his hands down on the table, looking not at all composed to say the least and, there’s no denying it, legitimately on the verge of tears.

Tim ducks back out of sight before it’s too late and Yoshida sees him, although in retrospect, the window’s actually a one way mirror. But still, better safe than sorry, and… he feels like he’s intruding, truth be told.

He exchanges glances with Arcanine, and leaves without another word. Arcanine follows him out. To Lucy’s credit, she doesn’t question the fact that they’ve been joined by an Arcanine, just accepts it and moves on.

Chapter Text

“So, where did the Arcanine come from?” Lucy asks, as soon as they’re far enough away from the police station—a couple blocks by her standards, evidently. “Not that I’m complaining, he’s a good fit for you I think! And I’m glad you finally found a partner!”

So much for Lucy not questioning it. Tim exchanges glances with Arcanine, and says, “He’s not my partner. He was Giovanni’s Arcanine, I went back to apologize to him, he sorta… followed me out. And I don’t need a partner, anyway.”

It probably says something about him that the one Pokemon he actually might have asked to be his partner turned out to be his dad, in a Pikachu’s body, with amnesia no less.

“Right,” Lucy says skeptically. She stops, crouches in front of Arcanine, and asks, “Can I pet you?”

Arcanine looks back at her, equally skeptical if for entirely different reasons, but eventually barks what sounds like an assent. He sits back on his haunches and closes his eyes as Lucy starts to scratch under his chin, cooing something along the lines of “Who’s a good boy?”

Tim finds himself staring out into the Ryme City traffic, and frowns.

“We need to find Dad,” Tim says, more to himself than anyone else. “Where Giovanni was staying would be a good place to start, but if the police didn’t find anything… not to mention it’s a crime scene, we’re not supposed to be there.”

“You say that like it’s stopped us before,” Lucy replies. She gives Arcanine one last pat before standing. “I did promise your boss that I’d make sure you went straight home, though. So we should probably do that.”

“Yeah, we probably should regroup, maybe they’ve figured something out we haven’t?”

It’s then that the reality finally hits him, that his dad’s missing. Again. And he just got him back, and this time he doesn’t have Mewtwo to stop him from dying horribly in a car crash. And—great, he’s crying or at the very least tearing up.

Lucy sighs, puts a hand on his shoulder. “Tim,” she says, “listen to me. Your dad’s going to be fine. We’ll find him. We did last time, didn’t we?”

“Last time, you spent most of it gunning for the big scoop that would finally get you out of being the fluff columnist.”

Lucy shrugs. “No, not really—it was clear from early on that it would take a miracle to get a story out of it. I was curious, sure, but it’s kind of hard to report on the conspiracy surrounding someone’s death—” (She uses air-quotations around the word ‘death’.) “—when all signs point to your literal boss being behind the thing . I stuck around because I wanted to help you find your dad.”

“...and?”

“And, you seemed pretty lonely.”

Well, she wasn’t wrong about that part. Most of his friends from home had already left for one reason or another, so… really, there hadn’t been much keeping him in Leaventown, in retrospect.

Tim hadn’t thought there was a lot keeping him in Ryme City, either, but… that’s not true. Not anymore.

“I’m just…” Tim takes a deep breath, lets it out. “I just got my dad back, I can’t lose him again.”

“We’ll find him,” Lucy promises. At some point, she starts rubbing his back. “And whoever Giovanni is working with, we’ll find them too. I know Psyduck doesn’t look it, but he’s got some serious moves.”

“Psy?”

Lucy frowns, amends, “Serious moves that won’t cause half the city to collapse, that is. Anyway, whatever you’re planning, I’m with you. So’s Psyduck, and I’m pretty sure Arcanine is too.”

Arcanine barks an agreement, even as he’s sitting a little apart from the others. It’s then, as Tim’s gaze meets Arcanine’s, that he realizes something. And honestly, if that something was remotely tangible, it would have bowled him over like a rampaging Tauros.

“Arcanine might know where Dad is,” Tim realizes.

Arcanine gives him a look that, if Tim could put it into words, would probably mean something along the lines of it took you that long to figure out?

Tim takes off.

Chapter Text

By the time Tim makes it back to the apartment, Arcanine’s hot on his heels. Lucy, and Psyduck strapped to her back, are nowhere in sight.

“I…” Tim has to breathe a little before he can get any more words out. “I… guess we’re actually more fit than them? Maybe police training’s been paying off.”

Arcanine takes a seat in, perhaps, the most inconvenient place possible—the bottom of the steps leading inside.

Tim raises an eyebrow.

Arcanine holds his gaze, clearly having no intention of moving.

“I didn’t say anything.”

Arcanine doesn’t look away, and quite possibly doesn’t even blink.

Tim raises his hands in surrender. “Hey, if you want to sit there, that’s your problem, not mine.”

Arcanine makes a pleased noise and lowers his head, closes his eyes. Considering that Arcanine’s blocking the only place he could sit, and Lucy still hasn’t caught up, he pulls out his phone and texts N.

<< soooooo

probably secretly a superhero >> so, mission accomplished?

probably secretly a superhero >> don’t text me the details by the way. Tell me in person.

<< mission accomplished ye

<< im actually outside now waiting for lucy

probably secretly a superhero >> ...ok?

<< shes slow

probably secretly a superhero >> ok???

<< also i brought arcanine back with us

<< thought you or m could ask him where dad is 

probably secretly a superhero >> not a bad idea.

probably secretly a superhero >> you should probably get in here sooner rather than later, however.

probably secretly a superhero >> texting logs can be accessed far too easily. I really don’t want to have this conversation over text.

<< got it ill text lu

Tim glances up briefly, sees Lucy’s still nowhere in sight, and swipes across from N’s contact to hers.

<< hey lu you coming

crazy woman >> yeees. sort of.

<< ???

crazy woman >> dont wait for me tho, im getting psyduck ice cream.

crazy woman >> in my defense i couldnt say no to the eyes.

<< you never can say no to the eyes

crazy woman >> exactly!

crazy woman >> you want anything while I’m here?

<< im good

<< thanks tho

crazy woman >> np, seeya soon :)

crazy woman >> on an unrelated note, how are you more fit than me???

<< i run for exercise and have since i was like

<< fourteen i think

crazy woman >> you run???

<< ye

crazy woman >> in the city???

<< ye

crazy woman >> youre coming to class with me next week. first 3 lessons are free and you need them

<< thats fair

<< seeya

With that, Tim locks his phone, stuffs it in the back pocket of his jeans, and heads in. Or, well, he would if Arcanine wasn’t blocking his path. Gingerly, he steps over Arcanine and heads up the steps—only for Arcanine to dash past him into the apartment with a too-cheerful bark.

“Seriously?”

Arcanine sits on his haunches again and gives Tim a look that seems to say who, me?

Tim sighs, shakes his head. 

“You’re terrible,” he mutters, a little too fondly for the words to be genuine.

Chapter Text

“So where’s Lucy?” N asks immediately, looking more than a little suspicious.

“Um. Getting ice cream for her Psyduck?” Tim shrugs. “Not the first time. Or the last time. She said she’d be back soon.”

“Zoro?”

“No,” N says immediately, and gets the most hurt look from Zoroark. “Fine. Maybe once we’ve dealt with all this. Maybe.”

From the exceptionally satisfied look on Zoroark’s face, it’s clear she already knows—or at least suspects—that maybe roughly translates to yes . Clearly pleased, she leaps up onto the couch and curls up, glancing up a few moments later at the Pokemon levitating above it as per usual.

Mewtwo looks like they’re trying very, very hard not to laugh.

“Canine,” Arcanine greets, warily. He’s... keeping Tim between himself and everyone here. Tim might have an idea of why, but if it’s why he thinks it is…

He makes a mental note to give him a hug later. Or at least lots of pets, he’d liked it when Lucy petted him.

N, meanwhile, exchanges glances with Mewtwo. He walks over to Arcanine. Kneels. Says, softly, “Hello. My name is N. What’s yours?”

Still clearly wary, Arcanine barks something that honestly, doesn’t sound anything like any intelligible words. N, however, nods and gives him a little smile.

“Arcanine it is, then,” he says. Hesitates, and adds, “I don’t know the full extent of what you’ve experienced from… I won’t say his name. I suspect I don’t have to. But I am so, so sorry.”

Arcanine bobs his head, takes a seat, and… starts talking. Tim’s pretty sure he’s talking, anyway—it sounds like just barking to him but judging from how everyone in the room that can understand him is slowly looking progressively more horrified, whatever Arcanine is saying, it’s nothing good. For the first time, Tim's glad he can't talk to Pokemon.

Lucy shows up after about half an hour with more ice cream than either her or Psyduck could eat on their own in a bucket that’s quite literally frozen over. Psyduck knows Ice Beam, apparently.

“We figured everyone could probably use some,” Lucy says sheepishly. “If not, freezer’s working. I hope.”

She takes a seat between Tim and Zoroark on the couch. Learns over to him, whispers, “I’m guessing someone asked him about Giovanni.”

Tim nods.

Eventually, Mewtwo floats over, takes a seat next to Arcanine—not on the floor, admittedly, but as close to it as Tim’s ever seen them—and gives him a hug. Arcanine sniffs them, then licks their arm.

N, meanwhile, says, “We… have a problem.”

Arcanine isn’t certain, but he’s fairly sure that Harry never made it to question… him.

Tim’s breath catches in his throat. “Oh,” he whispers.

Arcanine barks something, and Mewtwo adds, However, he was not aware of everything that happened while he was there. He suggests questioning Persian, but warns that Persian will likely not be very cooperative.

“First things first, we need to find Persian,” Lucy says. Looks to Tim. “Probably the same place you found Arcanine?”

“The evidence room, yeah. Except…” Tim winces. “It’s police procedure not to detain any Pokemon longer than overnight if they are uninvolved in their human partner’s crimes.”

N sighs. He’s not looking at anyone, instead fiddling with the puzzle cube usually hooked around a belt loop, and not coming remotely close to solving it. “In any other situation,” he says, “I’d be happy about that. But—correct me if I’m wrong, Arcanine—once Persian leaves the station, we’re not finding her.”

Arcanine thinks on this briefly. “Can.”

Then we need to talk to her before she leaves. Mewtwo floats up, twists around in the air so they’re lying on their side. In the air. Tim.

“Uh, yeah?” Tim frowns. “I don’t know the station security very well. I’m an intern there . And have been for all of two weeks.

“Well, no,” N says, “but you’d know it better than anyone else.”

Chapter Text

“This was a terrible idea,” Tim mutters. “This is a terrible idea.”

Arcanine barks something. Quietly, and altogether too cheerfully.

“You’re having fun with this, aren’t you?”

Tim receives an innocent look, as if to say who, me?

“Very funny.”

Tim’s part in the plan is, honestly, one of the more straightforward parts. Not that it helps any with just how nervous he is. There’s so many things that could go wrong with any part of the plan, with anyone. On Tim’s side of things, Yoshida could realize that he’s calling him to distract him, or just not talk for long enough, or not pick up at all, or about a billion other things. And that’s just with Tim himself.

Arcanine and Tim exchange glances. Arcanine pads off to watch the entrance, while Tim keeps an eye on the time and an eye out for any texts from… anyone, really, but mostly Lucy and N.

At exactly one in the morning, his phone chimes, and Tim opens the groupchat Lucy added them both to.

We Are Number One (Hey!)

crazy woman >> im in position lads

probably secretly a superhero >> as am I. Although I fail to see the reason for this group chat’s name.

crazy woman >> now listen closely

crazy woman >> heres a little lesson in trickery

probably secretly a superhero >> ???

crazy woman >> this is going down in history

<< lucy are we actually doing something or no

crazy woman >> right. cameras going on loop…

crazy woman >> now. you’ve got twenty minutes, station’s deserted except for your boss and a couple of other people keeping an eye on things.

crazy woman >> anytime now will be good

probably secretly a superhero >> got it. Zoroark and I are going in. Tim?

<< calling him now.

Tim exits out of the group chat, puts his phone on ‘do not disturb’ so that if Lucy decides to start spamming again, it won’t mess him up, and finds Yoshida’s contact.

This is… probably a terrible idea, honestly. But he just needs to keep Yoshida distracted. That shouldn’t be hard. Neither should be lying to his boss. And hey, both Lucy and N have harder jobs. Lucy had to hack into the station network—she didn’t say how, Tim didn’t ask, plausible deniability’s a thing anyway—and N has to sneak in, all the way to the back, talk to Persian, and get back out.

He really hopes he gave N and Zoroark good enough directions. But, there’s no time to waste—Yoshida needs to be distracted when N sneaks past him. And so, Tim hits the call button, and hopes he’s better at lying over the phone.

“This is Lieutenant Hide Yoshida. Leave your name and message after the beep.”

Tim nearly misses the aforementioned beep, because Yoshida should have picked up right away, right? Since he was still in the station? Either way, he takes a deep breath, and starts.

“Hi, Lieutenant, it’s Tim. Goodman. Um… I really shouldn’t have expected you to be up this late, sorry, I just… wanted to know if you’d found anything on my dad. But it’s fine, I just…” Tim sighs. “Sorry. I’ll go now.”

He hangs up his phone, leans back against the building, and reenters the group chat.

We Are Number One (Hey!)

>> yoshida didnt pick up

crazy woman << that is NOT good. hang on let me find him…

crazy woman << okay so good news hes nowhere in your path N

probably secretly a superhero >> good. What’s the bad news?

crazy woman << actually this is also good news

crazy woman << hes got his phone out now, hes staring at it

crazy woman << hes calling you back Tim

As if on cue, Tim’s phone buzzes. Yoshida. Who else could it be? Even so, Tim hesitates a moment, then accepts the call.

Chapter Text

“Tim? Goodman?”

“Sorry, I thought I canceled it quickly enough you wouldn’t notice,” Tim blurts out. “Sorry. Uh, pretend I didn’t call you, sorry if I woke you up—”

“You didn’t,” Yoshida says, although the fact that he sounds half-asleep already really doesn’t help things. “You… are aware of what time it is, correct?”

Tim goes silent for a moment. If he had a watch, he’d look at it casually, but instead he waits a moment before mumbling, “Oh. I—sorry, Lieutenant.”

Yoshida audibly sighs. “First off, kid, it’s one in the morning. Call me Hide. Second off, I told you to call me if you needed anything, didn’t I?”

“Well, yeah, but…”

“Spit it out.”

“I butt-dialed you,” Tim lies.

Silence for a few, terse seconds. Then, Yoshida says, “You’re a worse liar than your dad.”

Tim gulps. “Right,” he says. “Um. Okay. I didn’t butt-dial you. I just…”

“You miss him?”

Tim nods, before remembering he’s talking to someone on the phone, and his isn’t one of those neat new ones that can do video calls, unfortunately. “I… yeah.”

Yoshida sighs again, then says, “You’re not the only one. Your dad… he means a lot to me.”

Tim blinks. This is not where he expected this conversation to go.

“He’s a good friend, and a good detective,” Yoshida continues, and any suspicions Tim might have dissipate on the spot. Mostly. “We’ll find him, Tim. Assuming Harry doesn’t find his own way back first. If I’ve learned anything about him for as long as I’ve known him, it’s that whatever you think he’s going to do, he does the opposite.”

Despite himself, Tim actually grins, snickers a little. “That sounds exactly like him. You’ve known him for… a while, I guess?”

“Since the Academy. The bonds you make there—they’ll last a lifetime, let me tell you.”

...right. Tim’s only interning at the precinct until the next session of the Academy starts. Which is… soon. Next month. He’d nearly forgotten, what with everything.

But anyway. He needs to keep Yoshida talking for now, and so he says, “What kind of crazy stunts did he pull off there?”

Yoshida actually laughs . “You don’t want to know, kid. Let’s see… so, we used to have this instructor that was terrible, right? Shouldn’t have been an instructor, much better at investigating crime scenes than teaching a bunch of teenagers and young adults. One time, he decided he was going to give us all a quiz on something no one understood.”

“What did he do, steal the answers?”

“Worse. He sneaked into the classroom after class—I don’t know what he told the janitor, or maybe he just sneaked past him too—and copied the answers onto the slideshow that the teacher always put up in the mornings. He spread the word around, not enough that anyone could tell it was him, of course, and the answers was well-hidden enough that if the teacher looked at the slide, he wouldn’t have seen anything wrong.”

Yoshida clears his throat and adds, “Of course, you didn’t hear this from me, and if anyone asks, nobody knows who did it.”

Tim finds that his grin’s stayed, even grown. He keeps asking, and Yoshida keeps talking. Tim finds that his dad actually knew Yoshida before he knew his mom—they’d both grown up in the city, gone through the police academy, and while Yoshida stayed in Ryme, his dad met his mom, fell in love, and moved out to Leaventown.

Eventually, Yoshida makes a surprised noise and says, “It’s getting late, I’d better be heading out. I’ll let you know as soon as I know anything about Harry, okay?”

“Okay,” Tim says. “Thanks.”

He hangs up and checks the groupchat, finds N’s long since finished and the others have been waiting for him. He fires off a quick text saying he’ll grab Arcanine and meet them back at the apartment, then slips his phone back into his pocket and starts walking. Arcanine’s just around the corner, watching the entrance of the building.

“Hey, bud,” Tim says wearily, waving in an equally tired fashion as he sees the Pokemon. 

Arcanine barks in response, quietly but not unenthusiastically.

“We should head back, shouldn’t we?”

Arcanine nods, and starts padding over—but stops in his tracks. Sniffs the air briefly. His eyes go wide, his ears go flat against his head, and he growls.

Tim’s confused for all of two seconds, right up until something swooping down on him from above smacks him down to the sidewalk, flat on his back, and something cracks.

Probably his phone. Hopefully his phone. Priorities, y’know?

Chapter Text

“Canine!”

Tim meets Arcanine’s gaze, right before he breathes a very fiery and deadly looking attack at him. Or, at whatever’s on top of him. It makes a very undignified screech and shoots up, leaving Tim to duck just in time to not get set on fire himself.

Then, and only then, does he scramble away and look up. It’s dark out—it’s two in the morning —but he catches a glimpse of beady, glittery eyes that definitely aren’t human, and if he can’t see this Pokemon very well… almost definitely a bird, almost certainly a dark-feathered bird…

He has a sinking feeling just what tackled him to the ground even before she crows, “Honch krow!

Tim scrambles to his feet, reaches for his phone—shattered, lovely, he really should have gotten either a better case or one of those older phones that’s straight-up indestructible. So, no calling anyone for help. Great.

He backs up, and Arcanine dashes forward, putting himself between the Honchkrow—which has since alighted in the middle of the road—and her trainer. The snappily dressed man he’s met once before, in the alleyway. Still with a ski mask pulled over any defining features, obscuring anything save his eyes. Blue. And, for whatever reason, the figure seems to stink of… hairspray, of all things. 

Odd smell aside, Giovanni’s eyes were black, and Tim could kick himself for not noticing that earlier. Although to be fair, he only actually saw his eyes once he was in the interrogation room and someone made him take off his dark sunglasses, and he wasn’t really paying attention to either person’s eye color before that.

Still. Tim might be a little screwed.

“You really thought you’d caught me, didn’t you?” The figure notes, sounding almost amused. “Although I can’t say I’m particularly bothered you helped bring Giovanni in. He would have caused problems for me, too."

“Sorry,” Tim says, not meaning it as an apology at all this time. The other guy ignores him.

“I see you’ve found yourself a Pokemon. You could come with me willingly, save yourself and your—” He says the next word not unlike someone would refer to moldy leftovers just scraped into the garbage bin. “— partner.

Tim and Arcanine exchange glances. Tim really doesn’t feel like disputing it today, so instead he says, “I can’t speak for both of us but I’m definitely not coming willingly. Arcanine?”

Arcanine takes an offensive stance. Really, that kind of says it all.

“Very well, then. If it’s a Pokemon battle you want, it’s a Pokemon battle you’ll have. Honchkrow, Aerial Ace!”

Tim isn’t a trainer. He hasn’t been one for a very long time, hasn’t wanted to be one for a very long time. But for a while, he was researching everything he could about training when he was trying to be one.

So maybe, just maybe, he and Arcanine aren’t so screwed, because Arcanine leaps back out of the way, then looks to Tim for further instructions.

“Arcanine, use… whatever that was you used earlier.” Tim’s greeted by an eyeroll, but Arcanine obliges. “Fire Blast…?”

Arcanine barks his agreement. It is Fire Blast, then. One of the most powerful fire moves there is, if Tim remembers correctly. Nice.

Honchkrow nearly dodges, but her wing’s clipped by the blast. She goes down—but not out. Not entirely. Instead, she ruffles her feathers and glares at them from the middle of the sidewalk.

“Night Slash,” his opponent orders. It should have been easier to dodge, and yet this time when Arcanine leaps back, he recoils from the pain.

Tim mumbles something under his breath that would probably make his dad stare at him in shock and be reminded all too well that Tim isn’t a kid anymore. And then Tim remembers where his dad is , and he mutters something that would definitely have made his mom blush before washing his mouth out with soap.

But she’s not here, and neither is his dad. He’s alone, except for Arcanine. But he can do this. They can do this. Together.

“Fire Blast again,” Tim orders, partially because he doesn’t know what other moves Arcanine even knows, partially because it’s probably his strongest move anyway.

Honchkrow collapses, and is withdrawn, and Tim finally allows himself to breathe.

“Not bad,” the figure grudgingly admits. “But you didn’t think I only had one Pokemon, did you?”

Tim’s too busy staring at what he just sent out to admit that he did, because… a Gyarados. He sent out a freakin’ Gyarados. Not only a water Pokemon, but quite possibly one of the most powerful ones in existence. Even if Arcanine wasn’t a fire Pokemon, they might still be a little screwed. As it is… they’re really freakin’ screwed.

“Change of plans,” Tim says softly. “Run.”

He doesn’t have to tell Arcanine twice. They both book it, because—well, they’re not far from the precinct, Yoshida’s probably still there, if they can make it inside they’ll be safe!

Except, they don’t. Neither of them do. Arcanine falls first, and even though every instinct Tim has tells him to turn back, he knows he’s the one the figure wants, so he keeps running. He might have made it, too, if he hadn’t tripped.

The last thing he sees is a glimpse of purple fur and angry, brown eyes.

Chapter Text

Tim’s quite literally shaken awake. As in, someone’s shaking his shoulder, and if he focuses through the painful throbbing in his head he can hear someone talking to him. Barely. Except the painful throbbing really, really hurts , to the surprise of absolutely no one. Even so, Tim manages a tired groan, opens his eyes just enough to squint, to focus somewhat…

“...Dad?” Tim asks, cautiously. Because it is his Dad, it’s Harry, Pikachu’s crouched on his shoulder, and if both of them look battered and more than a little worse for wear Tim’s too relieved to see them to notice immediately.

The next thing Tim knows, he’s hugged tightly enough to make his ribs hurt. In fairness to his dad, he misses him too, and his ribs were hurting already, but… still. Ouch.

Tim’s almost too relieved to mind, almost. As it is, he winces, and his dad immediately lets go.

“Sorry,” Tim mumbles.

“Sorry? For what? I’m just—I’m so glad to see you, kid, even though I really shouldn’t be, if you’re here that means—”

“Dad,” Tim says. “It’s fine. It’s—”

Harry hugs him again, cutting him off entirely. Except, this time, he whispers, almost too quietly for even Tim to hear, “Detective lesson number six, Tim. If you’ve been captured anywhere, always assume they’ve got cameras and are listening to everything you’re saying.”

“I’m just glad you’re okay,” Tim says back.

Harry visibly stiffens, and exchanges glances with Pikachu guiltily.

“Pika-pi?”

Before Harry can say a thing, though, someone barks quietly, and with no small amount of pain in the sound. Tim’s eyes go wide, and he whips around.

Collapsed against the bars—because there are bars, they’re in some kind of prison cell and if Tim didn’t know better he’d say the place looked like one of the precinct’s prison cells—is Arcanine. Faster than Tim thought he could move, he’s knelt next to Arcanine, stroking his fur in a way he hopes is comforting.

“I’m so sorry,” Tim mumbles, “I shouldn’t have gotten you into this, I’m sorry—”

Arcanine lifts his head just enough that Tim can see the matted, dried blood underneath it, and fixes him with a particularly unimpressed look.

“I’m sorry,” Tim says again, albeit unnecessarily. Arcanine huffs and puts his head down again, closes his eyes. If it weren’t for the faint rise and fall of Arcanine’s chest, Tim would be… a lot more than scared, for one thing.

“Arceus, ” Harry swears, “I didn’t—well, I’m glad you finally got a partner, kid, but I wish I could have found out under better circumstances.”

“Dad—” Tim groans. “He’s not my partner. We’re just working together on… things.”

Arcanine opens one eye to look at Tim judgmentally. Harry, meanwhile, looks between the two of them.

“Pika?”

“Ar. Can.”

“Pi-pi.”

Harry raises his hands in surrender, backs up a little, and says, “Okay. Didn’t mean to assume, kid. Sorry.”

Arcanine shakes his head with a huff, and goes back to sleep.

Chapter Text

“The both of you Goodmen are entirely too difficult to find,” the masked figure observes, leaning against the wall just outside the bars.

Tim raises an eyebrow. “Goodmen?”

“Your name is Tim Goodman, and your name is Harry Goodman, so yes. Shouldn’t that be the plural?”

Tim looks at Harry. Harry looks at Tim.

“Um…” Harry frowns. “No. I’m no grammar nut but I’m pretty sure it should be Goodmans. Or just don’t refer to us by our last name at all, that works too. Or, hear me out, you could just let us go. Wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle at all, then.”

“No, Detective, I don’t believe I will,” the figure says. “Although the attempt was not a terrible one, I’ll give you that. But no—now that I have you both here, I believe it is finally time to reveal who I actually am.”

Harry blinks, looking every bit the picture of confusion. “And why would you do that?”

The masked figure laughs. “Please. You can’t possibly contact anyone from in here, and if you could they would be able to do nothing about it. Besides—it’s a little irritating, to have your own achievements pinned on another.”

“I… wouldn’t call them achievements,” Tim mutters under his breath. 

He glances up, finds the masked figure has pulled off his ski mask and is now running his hands through his hair irritably. Grey hair, that might have once been red, sticking up in a way that can’t be possible without copious amounts of hairspray—which explains the smell in here. Blue eyes, filled with irritation, and whoever this is, he’s smiling.

Whoever it is, his dad recognizes him if the small gasp from beside Tim is any indication.

“You were expecting Giovanni to be your culprit? Too bad!” He jabs a gloved finger at himself, and his smile turns cold. “It was me, Lysandre!”

Tim decides his dad definitely knows who that is. But he certainly doesn’t.

“Who?” Tim asks.

Lysandre looks aghast. “What do you mean, who? You don’t know who I am?”

“Um… no,” Tim says. “Should I?”

“Should you? Should you? I am Lysandre, boy. I had the power to remake the world at my fingertips once. And, once I have Mewtwo, I will have it again.”

“He knows nothing about Mewtwo,” Harry cuts in, a little hurriedly. “Less than nothing, even. They’ve never met. Even I don’t know where Mewtwo is right now.”

Lysandre laughs cruelly. “Somehow,” he says, “I doubt that. But that, my good men, is why you’re in here and I? I am out here. And I have all the time in the world for you to change your mind.”

“That won’t happen.”

“Will it? We’ll just have to wait and see, Detective. Enjoy your accommodations, Goodmen. I do hope they’re comfortable enough for you.”

Tim fails to resist the urge to flip off Lysandre’s retreating backside.

Chapter Text

Tim doesn’t know how long it’s been. Neither he nor his dad make a habit of wearing a watch, and while his dad’s phone wasn’t broken , neither of them know where it is. However long it’s been, it’s been some time at least. The others must have figured out something’s happened to him by now. He can almost picture them all crowded into his dad’s apartment, trying to figure it out. Trying to figure out where he disappeared to.

He doesn’t know how they could figure it out. Not unless he was able to get a message to them, somehow, and he has no idea how he would. His dad might have some idea, but they can’t even talk to each other in case there’s cameras or something.

Tim really hates this. But it could be worse, he figures. At least they’re stuck together, instead of all alone with no one there, no one to talk to. At least Arcanine isn’t getting any worse, although neither he nor Pikachu can use any attacks which is—worrying.

Even so, Harry seems to think he has some idea of timing, based on how often Lysandre stops by, asking the same questions. He seems to think that, if they’re stuck here long enough, eventually they’ll answer just to get it over with.

Tim is afraid it might work on him, if he was alone. 

On the not so negative side, being kidnapped and stuck in what’s definitely a prison cell for Arceus knows how long is a good opportunity to catch up on your sleep. It’s also a good opportunity to… talk about things.

“I… talked to Yoshida about you, right before I wound up here,” Tim admits eventually. He decides to leave out the fact that it was at one in the morning for now. “He seemed pretty worried about you too.”

Harry’s mouth upturns a little as he says, wryly, “He would be. And… yeah, okay, I really can’t blame him for that. This isn’t the worst situation I’ve gotten myself into.” He frowns. “Still up there.”

“He told me about the time you gave the whole class answers for a… pop quiz, back in the police academy.” Tim grins. “I didn’t know you knew him back then.”

“Kid, you didn’t know a police academy existed back then,” Harry observes. “You didn’t exist back then, either.”

“But did you actually?”

Harry strokes his chin thoughtfully for a moment, then smirks. “It wasn’t a pop quiz. Guessing Hide left out the fact that he dared me to do it?”

Tim’s mouth falls open.

“That’s a yes.” Harry chuckles a little. “Not surprised he left that bit out. If you ask him, I was the one getting into all the trouble.”

“You weren’t?”

“Well, no, but I’m sure he left out the fact that he was always there with me.” Harry smiles a little, almost unconsciously. “He certainly caused a fair bit of trouble himself—he was just far better at getting away with it.”

“You’re telling me he was worse than you?

“Worse, no. About the same—”

“Snub. Snubbull.”

All eyes in the cell go to the bars, and the pale purple Pokemon standing just outside them. Lilac fur, ears laid back, a scowl on her face, and an exceptionally pissed off look in her eyes. Brown eyes.

Tim never actually noticed Snubbull’s eyes before, but come to think of it, he’s seen them somewhere before even if he didn’t realize Snubbull was there. That’s assuming, of course, this is the Snubbull he thinks this is.

Harry seems to think so. Quietly, he says, “Snubbull? Is that you?”

Snubbull rolls her eyes. In all fairness, it’s a little obvious. Pikachu chirps a greeting, and Snubbull responds in kind.

“Where’s Hide?” Harry asks, quieter.

“Snub.”

Under his breath, almost too soft for Tim to hear, Harry mutters, “If he’s somewhere nearby…” He claps Tim on the shoulder, stands up, and continues in a louder voice than necessary, “Hey, kid, did I ever tell you about the time Hide stole his exam back from under a teacher’s nose and—”

“If you’re going to tell him slander, at least do it when I’m not here,” Yoshida mutters, turning the corner as he says it. Snubbull glances up at him and growls a greeting. “Good to see you too, Snubbull.”

Chapter Text

“You followed me,” Tim realizes. “Or Snubbull did.”

Snubbull snorts. 

Yoshida, meanwhile, nods solemnly. “With respect, you are a terrible liar, even over the phone. After what happened to this reckless fool—” (He ignores a quiet ‘hey!’ from Harry.) “—I figured I’d better check where your phone was. So yes, Snubbull followed you.”

The lieutenant looks over the two of them and adds, in a quieter voice, “I’m glad she did. I’d hope you would be too.”

“We are!” Harry says a little too quickly.

“Good. Now, would you like to explain just what the two of you got yourselves into now, or on the way out?”

Harry’s eyes go wide, and he quickly changes his tune. “You have to get out, now, he’ll have seen you on the cameras. Take Tim with you.”

Tim blinks. “What? No, Dad, I—”

“I know about the cameras, Goodman,” Yoshida says. “That’s why Snubbull got here first. They’ll be on a loop for the next…” He checks his watch. “Seventeen minutes.” He clears his throat, adds, “If you think I’m leaving you behind, you don’t know me at all.”

Harry apparently ignores that last bit in favor of jabbing a thumb at him, looking to Tim, and going, “What did I tell you? He’s not innocent at all, he got the cameras!”

Tim looks between his dad, and Yoshida, and back to his dad. Then back to Yoshida. “Okay, ignore him.” Tim says. “We’ll be fine, probably. But can you take a message?”

All eyes are on Tim now. Harry looks confused. Yoshida simply nods, and asks, “What kind of message, and where?”

“Dad’s apartment. You’ll understand once you get there, say we sent you. Just… tell them where we are, and honestly it’ll be fine from there. I think.”

Silently, Harry shakes his head, and meets Yoshida’s eyes. “No, it won’t. Listen, Hide—are you sure the cameras are off?”

“Positive.”

“Mewtwo is in our apartment,” Harry says, as casually as if he was informing Yoshida of the weather. To his credit, Yoshida takes it remarkably well. “There’s a field here that disables Pokemon abilities—if you just tell Mewtwo where we are, he’ll come storming in and that’ll be exactly what Lysandre wants.”

The name Lysandre makes Yoshida visibly stiffen. “You’re telling me there wasn’t just one, but two internationally wanted criminals hiding out under our noses in Ryme City? What’s next, the leaders of Team Plasma finally start turning up?”

“I accidentally got… a couple of my friends involved too,” Tim says. “They’ll be with Mewtwo. Probably panicking around now. They can help. Just…”

He hesitates, not sure of how to say this. Fortunately, Harry’s got the same idea, and says, “Mewtwo promised me not to get the police involved when he was shot out of the sky. I need you to go not as a police officer, but as a friend.”

After a long moment, Yoshida nods. “I need to go, in that case,” he says. “Anything else I need to know before I do?”

He and Harry exchange a long look, before Harry quickly looks away and says, “No, nothing. You’d better go.”

“Don’t get yourself killed while I’m gone.” 

With a curt nod, Yoshida starts running, Snubbull on his heels. They’ve got a few minutes left until the cameras go back on. So, quietly, Tim turns to his dad and says, “Mewtwo told us they preferred… well, being called they. Not he.”

Harry nods. “Got it. Will do, on the off chance I ever see them again.”

He paces to one of the walls of the cell, sits against it with a sigh.

“What do you mean, on the off chance?” Tim says. “We’ll get out of this. Right?”

Uncertainly, Harry shakes his head. “I don’t know, kid,” he says. “I just have one thing to ask you first. If you have an opportunity to run, and I don’t—run. Please, for the love of Arceus, run . Don’t look back.”

Tim doesn’t think he can lie convincingly enough to say he will, so he just nods, and tries to ignore the choked up feeling in his throat.

Chapter Text

Time passes. How much, Tim still isn’t sure, but Lysandre stops in every so often. His dad’s answer doesn’t change, and the older man seems to be completely overlooking Tim… for now. 

They need to get out of here as soon as possible. Unfortunately, waiting for the others is the best option Tim’s got at the moment. So instead, after Lysandre’s fourth or fifth visit, Tim decides to try and get some answers out of his dad.

“So,” Tim says, “you and Lieutenant Yoshida seem… pretty close, huh?”

“We’ve been buddies for a long time,” Harry says, scratches Pikachu under the chin. “Pretty sure I told you this.”

“That, you did.” Tim thinks on this, looks to Arcanine. Arcanine’s look probably means either go for it or why are you asking me for advice , and he’s going to choose to believe it’s the former option. “The two of you, uh… seem a bit closer than that.”

Harry freezes. Pikachu looks between him, and Tim, then pokes him in the cheek.

“What? No, there’s nothing—what are you talking about, I’d never have a crush on my best friend in school, of course not, I—” He groans, mutters something under his breath that makes Tim raise an eyebrow. “Okay, so maybe I was a little gay for him in school. But then I met your mother!”

“And… you moved back here right after Mom died.”

Harry visibly winces. “It’s not like that, I promise. Hide’s straight, for one thing—he’s never liked me back. And I’m perfectly happy to just be friends. Good friends.”

Tim considers whether he should mess with his dad some more, and decides—why the heck not, might as well go for it, it’s not like either of them are going anywhere and Yoshida can definitely take care of himself if Lysandre’s listening and decides to go after him.

“Friends with benefits?” Tim asks, with a raised eyebrow and a smirk.

“I—no, of course not,” Harry sputters. “I told you, he’s straight.

Somehow, Tim doubts that. Maybe it’s how much of a wreck Yoshida had seemed in that brief moment while interrogating Giovanni. Maybe it’s the fact that, if he looked closely, Yoshida still looked a little like he’d been crying when he sneaked in with Snubbull. Maybe it’s something else entirely.

Whatever it is, Tim says, “You should ask him once we’re out of here. Ask him whether he’s straight or not or ask him out, I don’t care.”

“You don’t think I’ve tried that?”

Tim meets his dad’s gaze. Ironically, Yoshida’s own words echo in his ears— you’re a worse liar than your dad. Even as Harry holds his son’s gaze, he’s fidgeting uncomfortably.

“No,” Tim decides, “I don’t. And you should. Mom would want you to at least try.”

Harry opens his mouth, shuts it again. Before he can even begin to think of a response, and perhaps quite deliberately on the interrupter’s part, Lysandre steps in around a corner with a large, silver key.

“Greetings to you, my good men,” Lysandre says cheerily, like he isn’t keeping them prisoner. “I believe I have something you both would like to see. No sudden moves, or it won’t end well for you.”

He unlocks the door.

Chapter Text

In Tim’s defense, he doesn’t know why Lysandre’s not expecting them to try anything, right up until Harry goes through the door first, Pikachu on his shoulder as usual, and surprisingly not doing anything out of the ordinary. Well… maybe he has a point. Tim frowns, kneels beside Arcanine.

Arcanine gets up, slowly. Shakes his fur, and looks to Tim.

“We’re going,” Tim says, though he doesn’t know where.

Arcanine meets his gaze, nods solemnly, and the two of them follow suit.


The first sign that something’s gone horribly wrong is Mewtwo. Well, actually, the first sign that something had gone horribly wrong was the fact that Lysandre seemed genuinely happy , but the really big one was Mewtwo being there, strapped into a machine that looked uncomfortable at best, and looking genuinely terrified.

The second major sign that something’s gone horribly wrong is when a familiar voice yells, “Tim!”

His heart sinks even as he turns and sees—Lucy, chained to the wall. Same goes for N, and… Yoshida. Freakin’ great.

“As you can see,” Lysandre says far too cheerfully, “despite your best efforts, you failed. All of you.”

Actually, come to think of it, Tim doesn’t see any of their Pokemon. Psyduck’s nowhere to be found. Neither is Zoroark, or Snubbull. So there’s some hope there.

Mewtwo’s eyes narrow, but for whatever reason, they don’t say anything. It suddenly occurs to Tim that maybe, they can’t.

“Sorry, Harry,” Yoshida says wearily.

Harry shakes his head. “I’m sorry I got you involved.”

Lucy looks at Tim. Tim simply mouths the word gay . Surprisingly, Lucy seems to understand perfectly, because she nods.

N, meanwhile, looks as miserable as Mewtwo does.

“Touching. Very touching,” Lysandre says in perhaps the most un-touched voice Tim’s heard in his life. “Is everyone here aware of what I am to bring about? It wouldn’t do to have you die uninformed, after all.”

Of all people, Yoshida and N exchange glances. N says, “I don’t even know who you are .”

“Lysandre, my dear boy. You should be no stranger to changing the world. After all, you once attempted to accomplish the same thing.”

For the briefest of moments, anger flashes through his eyes. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” N says. “Actually—no, I do. If you’re doing what I think you’re doing, you do know someone’s going to stop you at the last second.”

Lysandre laughs. “Please. Who’s going to stop me, you? Your Pokemon? Powerless, they don’t worry me. And soon, the whole world will be the same, thanks to you of course.” He nods to Mewtwo and adds, “Thank you in advance for your cooperation.”

If looks could kill, Lysandre would be six feet under. Even so, Tim suddenly… gets it. Gets what N’s trying to do. Quietly, he says, “Wait, powerless Pokemon?”

They need to keep Lysandre talking. N’s trying to stall, and while it’s entirely possible he’s just hoping for something to happen… the fact that everyone’s here, and especially the fact that Yoshida and N seemed to have talked to each other, makes it much more likely that there is a plan. They just need to buy enough time for it.

“Indeed. This world is a terrible place, as I’m sure you know. What one person receives, another does not. One person may receive the medical treatment they need to survive, and another may die, shattering a family forever.”

Tim doesn’t even realize he’s talking about his family until Harry shouts something particularly rude. Lysandre blinks mildly, visually nonplussed, and continues, “The simplest way to fix this is to reduce the number of people. Without Pokemon to protect them, or rather, without the powers of Pokemon to protect them, reducing the number of people will be easy. Child’s play, even.”

“You’re wrong.” The words come out of Tim’s mouth even before he’d registered saying them, and yet he keeps going. “Pokemon are still strong, even without special powers. Even if you do succeed, which you won’t—”

“And why wouldn’t I? Who will stop me, when anyone who could stop me is chained up here?”

Tim takes a deep breath, lets it out. “I don’t know,” he admits. “But chaining people to the wall? That’s pretty kinky.”

“Kinky?” Lysandre blinks, like he doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Somehow, Tim doubts that. Then his eyes narrow. “A kink, like a wave. Waves are water. You had a water-type. Which means…”

He snaps his fingers, and in place of the doorway, a video feed appears of what appears to be a big, red button reading do not press. The problem is, there’s not one, not two, but three Pokemon currently staring at the camera.

Zoroark, who waves cheekily.

Snubbull, who has an exceedingly smug look on her face.

And Psyduck, who is just moments away from pressing the button.

“NO!” Lysandre yells. “You can’t do that! You’re powerless!”

Psyduck presses the button.

I think not, Mewtwo says, and within moments Lysandre is telekinetically thrown into the ceiling.

Chapter Text

It’s… been a while. Tim’s got maybe a few days before the next session of the Academy starts, and… honestly? He’s a little scared. On the one hand, who wouldn’t be? On the other, after everything, school should be easy.

It won’t be, of course. But he’ll be ready.

As he waits for Lucy, sipping a steaming mug of hot chocolate, he stares at the rain outside and thinks about the others. Well, first he hopes Lucy’s not stuck in the rain somewhere, but she hasn’t texted him that she’s not coming, so she’s probably on her way already and too stubborn to turn back. She… does that sometimes.

Mewtwo had left for good shortly after Lysandre was arrested by the agent from Interpol, the one who’d looked at N a little strangely before shaking his head and deciding he’d mistaken him for someone else. The one who’d arrested Giovanni not three days before— had it really been that short a time? —and who was more amused than concerned to find he wasn’t the only internationally wanted criminal hiding in Ryme City.

They hadn’t left, of course, before saying goodbye. They got hugs from everyone first. Even Yoshida, surprisingly. Harry had told them, before they went, that they were welcome here anytime.

By here , Tim’s pretty sure that Harry meant their apartment, but considering Mewtwo’s flair for the dramatic, he wouldn’t be surprised if Mewtwo shows up at the precinct to say hello someday in the future. That day in the future, however, certainly isn’t today, and likely isn’t anytime soon, either.

N had left too, not long after Mewtwo. Said he had things to go, places to be, and for whatever reason he was always a little more fidgety than usual around Yoshida. It wasn’t Tim’s place to question, and as curious as Lucy was, she agreed to wait until the next time he was in town. Which, again, might be a while. But if Tim knows anything about Lucy, it’s that she doesn’t forget things easily, or ever.

Tim takes a sip of his cocoa, and glances out the window again. Still no sign of Lucy, and the storm’s getting worse. He checks his phone again. Still no text from her.

He’s… getting a little worried, but she’ll be fine. Tim sips his cocoa some more, stares into the milky brown, delicious depths of the mug. Glances up, briefly, because someone with blond hair not all that different a shade from Lucy’s had walked in—but definitely not Lucy. 

“What are you looking at?” The kid asks.

Tim shakes his head. “Sorry,” he says. “Thought you were a friend of mine.”

The kid pulls his hood off, looks out at the storm and then back at Tim like he’s crazy. “Your friend’s out in this weather? Are they nuts?

“Probably,” Tim agrees, and the kid snorts. He heads up to the counter, orders a drink to go, dashes back out, and Tim forgets all about him again soon, because Lucy still isn’t here.

She’s fine, though. She has to be. Right?

To take his mind off it, he thinks about Harry. And Yoshida… Hide, he keeps telling Tim to call him. If Tim hadn’t suspected they were both hopelessly gay already, he certainly does now, because they’re both still dancing around each other and the sexual tension is so palpable at this point that one of the junior officers started a betting pool on when or if they’d finally do something about it.

Tim put his money on before the end of the month. He’ll have to get Lucy involved—she seems like she’d be able to help with shoving two grown men who should have their feelings worked out together when they don’t have feelings worked out at all.

But speaking of Lucy… she’s still not here.

Tim frowns, keeps drinking his chocolate. He gets a sympathetic look or two from the waitress and her Ludicolo. Considers correcting her, then decides against it—it’s not worth the effort, Lucy’s probably just… running late or something.

Almost as if summoned by his thoughts, the door slams open, and a completely soaked Lucy sprints in, followed closely by Psyduck. Arcanine barks a greeting, then ducks under the table when Lucy slides in the booth, getting water everywhere .

She looks at Tim. Tim looks at Lucy.

The next thing he knows, she’s leaned over the booth, grabbed him, and kissed him.

A part of Tim realizes she’s doing exactly what he’d told Giovanni happened when they got together, over the phone, when he thought she hadn’t been listening. The rest of Tim is more than a little overwhelmed, and some of it’s dimly aware of the fact that she’s a good kisser.

When they finally break apart, Lucy says, “Sorry I’m late.”

She doesn’t sound particularly sorry. Not when she smirks at him, not when she waves down the waitress for a coffee for her and a refill of cocoa for Tim, and not on their way out, when she grabs him again.