"IN THE BLUE CORNER!!!" A Salandit making wild gestures shouted into an enormous, but dimly lit gym which was completely abandoned besides himself and his friends, an Elgyem and an Oricorio. They were respectively levitating and standing, about 40 feet between them, facing each other on a part of the gym which was marked by white lines on the ground as to look like a Pokémon battle field. Poké Ball in the center and everything, even though, as far as all three of them were concerned, those did not exist in real life.
"WE HAVE OUR NEWCOMER, JENNY! She is going to battle for the very first time, after effectively sleeping through battle class every single time!" The wannabe announcer pointed towards the Elgyem, who looked so very uncomfortable in her position, on the battlefield, with a belligerent-looking black-feathered Oricorio blocking the path to the safe zone that was her room where she liked to spend much time reading about her ancestors' mysterious past.
"I-I'm sure we'll wake everyone up-" "IN THE RED CORNER! Her challenger, the graceful, elegant, inspiring force of natur that is Malibu the Oricorio! The top student and co-teacher in dance class, she has also proven herself as a fighter not to be undere-"
"Shush, Robin!", Malibu hissed. Robin the Salandit stopped abruptly, his expression turning sour as his performance had been disrupted. "Yeeees, ma'am."
"Guys, do we really have to do this?", Jenny pleaded the two while restlessly swaying from side to side as though she was sitting on an invisible swing, broadcasting her feelings of doubt to them clearly, though probably by accident.
"Listen, Jenny. I will not hurt you. Besides, battles are good for your health! If you ever showed up to battle class, you could hear Mr. Baumstamm talk about this all the time. C'mon, let's give it a try, what do you say?", Malibu asked with a confident smile.
Jenny, ashamed because Malibu was right about her skipping battle lessons all the time, was unsure of how to respond. But when Malibu's and her gaze locked, she started to feel something new. A warmth began to slowly build up inside her. shoving aside her anxiety. It felt as though Malibu's very presence sparked electricity in the room, and though it had not become brighter or warmer, Jenny did not feel as cold anymore as before, when she was pretty much dragged into the battle class gym by her friends.
Now, she was ready to fight. She actually... wanted to fight? Yes, indeed she did.
"It seems like our newcomer's gaining some courage! Very well then, there's no holding back anymore! LET... THE BATTLE... BEGIN!!!" The Salandit roared as loudly and proudly as his small frame allowed him to – at a volume level much louder than was allowed at night so close to the students' rooms hallways – and with a final clap of his claws, declared the beginning of the battle.
Jenny began frantically looking around for something to grab using her telekinetic powers. Her eyes fell onto some rocks lying next to where Malibu had stood – wait, where had she gone!?
FWHACK! Jenny felt a wing hit her hard on the head from behind, sending her tumbling forward towards the ground. She found herself dazed, skull aching, dust whirling around from the impact.
"Get up, Jenny!", she heard Malibu demand. And, like before, she suddenly felt inspired to stand her ground. Rising up slowly to her usual few feet above the ground, she brushed off some dirt and turned to Malibu, who was still standing in the position from where she had hit Jenny.
"I just used a Pound attack. You gave me several seconds to position myself perfectly for an attack from behind, where it's hard for you to keep up. So lesson number one: Study your surroundings before the beginning of the fight, and keep up with your opponent!"
„Okay, okay...“, Jenny muttered. I guess you do learn a lot in battle class, she added in her mind.
"Yeah, I did. Even Robin did, and he never listens to anyone." Robin nodded, as if he was agreeing to both statements, and Jenny facepalmed, realizing she had still not learned to control her thought broadcasting after two weeks.
"There is a lot more to battle class than just beating each other up. But for now, let us keep at it! There's one or two more lessons I wanna show you. Are you ready?"
Even though Malibu had just attacked her, Jenny did not feel hurt about it. Of course, her head hurt, but something about it felt... right. And she wanted to fight back. Malibu grinned at her, and she returned the favor.
"Yes, I'm ready."
"That's the spirit! Then let's waste no time..." The Oricorio's beak began to brighten up and grow, warning Jenny of an imminent strike. But she was too close! And Jenny knew, like from a slumbering instinct that had only just awoke, that she would only be able to compete using her psychic powers.
Malibu charged forward, and Jenny used all her brain power to propel herself up high into the air, away from her opponent, hoping to gain some time. Her lights flickered brightly and this time, she kept her eyes on her foe.
Malibu however had no intention to stay on the ground. She took flight and rapidly charged towards Jenny, who was hovering just below the ceiling. The bird came up to her at a startling speed, and Jenny, knowing of no way to counter the attack, swayed to the side as fast as she could; Malibu missed her by mere inches, almost slamming into the ceiling.
"Not bad!", Malibu shouted, flapping her wings to hover on eye-level with Jenny. "I see you're not afraid of heights. Use this to your advantage for three-dimensional mobility!"
Jenny nodded confidenty, realizing that Malibu was right – she felt somewhat indifferent to her high altitude. Maybe it had to do with her being off the ground all the time? Malibu, you're a great instructor, she thought, eliciting a bird smile from her opponent – which promptly turned into a wild gaze as she charged at Jenny, who once again found herself barely dodging the attack, though this time a wing grazed her shoulder! It hurt, and she wondered how painful a direct hit would be...
Malibu gave her no time to think about it as she turned around with a rapid u-turn, and Jenny dodged once more. And they repeated it over and over. The Oricorio did not seem to tire at all, but Jenny was becoming worn out, her mind and body drained of power. Seeing as she was running out of options, she began to feel panic dwell up, overwhelmed by her opponent's strength. I can't keep up with her!, she screamed internally, heart pounding fast inside her little body. Malibu aimed her speedy attack towards Jenny's chest, and she knew she did not have the power to dodge it this time. She had to come up with something! She had to use... something!! ANYTHING!!!
BWOOOOOOMM!! A flash of pink light suddenly shot out of Jenny's hands, and Malibu, who was flying too fast, had no chance of avoiding the attack. Her body received a direct hit and, basked in the pink ray which vanished as quickly as it had appeared, she plummeted to the ground, limp and and unmoving. Jenny's eyes widened. What did I just do?
"MAL!", Robin shouted, running towards where Malibu was going to land, and caught her with a dull "Oomph!" escaping his lungs. He looked up towards the Elgyem, who was still hovering close to the ceiling, though it now seemed as though she was standing still.
Jenny's vision turned blurry as she realized that her hands were warm, so warm even that it felt like they were burning. The lights they emitted that very moment were almost blinding, but they slowly lost their brightness, and she felt herself grow more and more numb at the same pace...
Before the last glimmer vanished, she succumbed to her exhaustion, dozens of feet above the ground, and she fell down, Robin unable to reach her in time as he was still holding on to Malibu's unconscious body. As Jenny met the ground, a loud "THUD!" was to be heard, accompanied by what sounded like the cracking of tiny bones.
"JEEEN!", Robin cried. This had gone so much worse than he and Malibu had planned. They just wanted to give Jenny a taste for battling, and now, both his friends lied next to him, one definitely seriously hurt – even audibly so. He was the one who had had the idea to sneak into the gym at night, where Jenny would not have had to be as shy as she usually was around lots of Pokéumans, so that she could just get some practice... it was his fault.
In that moment, the door burst wide open, and in stomped an Audino with a look so angry that Robin trembled, backing off a few steps.
"WHAT IS THIS COMMOTION SO LATE AT NIGHT!?", the bunny Pokémon bellowed, his deep and grim voice as unfitting to his appearance as his intimidating gaze.
"Marc, you're here!", Robin yelled with a mix between relief and utter terror in his shaking voice. "Help me get them to the hospital wing RIGHT NOW! Jenny got hurt really bad!"
"Jenny... wait, that Jenny? How in the world...", the Audino mumbled in disbelief, now much quieter than before.
"Yeah, this is a bad time to explain, I think she broke an arm or something, so be careful when you pick her up, Marc“, Robin said hastily, motioning him towards the blue Elgyem with his head. Marc understood and quickly moved over to Jenny to pick her up as gently as he could, and he noticed that her left arm was bent at a weird, unnatural angle.
"Whatever you guys did, you're in deep trouble", Marc muttered, sounding deeply concerned moreso than accusatory as they paced down the dark hallway towards the emergency room, labelled with a white plus on a glowing green sign. Inside, he laid Jenny onto a soft mattress and urged Robin to do the same with his cargo. He then proceeded to rifle through some drawers, finally pulling out a bandage roll and a tiny pair of scissors.
Robin eyed him curiously. "Why don't you just-" "Use Heal Pulse? Yeah, I can do that, and I definitely will, but its effect is merely auxiliary. The good, old, normal methods of tending to an injury are irreplaceable. And more trustworthy, too, if you ask me", the Audino stated plainly as he began to wrap the bandage around Jenny's arm while simultaneously pressing his paws lightly onto different parts of her body for a few seconds each. It looked like he was trying to get an accurate picture of her physical condition.
"Her body's been shaken up quite a bit", Marc announced like the nurse he was, in some way. "Though aside from the broken bones in her left arm, she is just really, really exhausted. Let me take a look at our other patient now."
"I think Mal's doing better than her", Robin suggested meekly. "I was able to catch her before she reached the gr-"
"Save the details for later, Robin", Marc intervened. "My matter is everybody's well-being. Everything else is up to administration. Alright?" Robin nodded silently, leaving his head hanging.
Marc began the same procedure with Malibu as he'd done with Jenny, running his paws over her body with gentle motions. After a few seconds, he declared: "She's been hit by a really strong attack, but I think she will get back up soon. If I am honest, I am kind of glad, because I love seeing her dance..." He shook his head. "Anyway, not much left for me to do. Let's get them to the hospital."
The first thing that Jenny realized when she woke up was a dull pain in her left arm. She slowly opened her eyes to find herself lying inside a comfortable, white bed below a white ceiling. Her arm was wrapped in some kind of thick bandage, even covering her hand, and as she tried to lift herself to an upright sitting position, she found herself too weak to do so. A heavy sigh escaped her as she lied there, collecting her thoughts.
"Jenny?", she heard a familiar voice from her right side. She tilted her head to see an Oricorio with recognizable black feathers weakly smile back at her from another bed.
"Malibu!!", Jenny exclaimed in excitement and tried to sit upright once more, though she felt a sharp pain in her chest right there, as she had likely strained her body too much. Defeated, she fell onto her back again, but still smiling.
"Hey, hey, now don't stress yourself too much", Malibu chuckled. "I think we've had... quite enough of that for now." She looked to the side, and Jenny noticed that she looked ashamed.
In a flash, the memories returned to her. Robin and Malibu had convinced her to some "secret training" in the gym, Malibu teaching her a lesson, then one blurry attack after another...
"You lied to me", Jenny decided to say. "I'm so sorry-", Malibu tried to respond, but Jenny interrupted her: "You said that you were not going to hurt me, but look where we've landed." Her friend seemed surprised at first, but then, her expression lightened up.
"Yeah, well you lied to me, too! You said that you were no fighter, that you would stand no chance. But look what you've got me into. A frickin' hospital bed." They shared a laugh, which hurt both of them, but it was worth it. To laugh after those events.
"So", Malibu began after they had settled down a little, "are you going to take up battle classes now? I'm not sure I got the lesson across right, but are you at least willing to give it a try?", she asked her friend.
Jenny responded with a strained, but happy smile: "Yeah, I will. But I think you'll understand if I wanna go easy for now."