Heather Mason
WELLP.

This camping trip sure couldn't have gone any worse.

[The camera is just... literally slowly panning around to show the thick blanket of snow ALL AROUND what had once been a quite sunny little meadow overlooking the base of the Mortar mountain range.]

We have literally been snowed in for like.

A week.

Look at this shit. Look at it. Did we ask for this? No.

[Heaving a sigh, Heather kicks some of it.]

At least it's probably gonna melt quickly. Um, anyway, this is just an update for... whoever cares, I guess? [Mostly letting the people back home know that none of them had DIED.] We're here, we're alive, we're probably gonna fuckin' BOOK IT from town to town from this point on so that we never have to camp again, and-- oh yeah.

My egg from Christmas finally hatched.

Scarlet loves him.

 
 
Yo, this is where I'm at: East of Ecruteak
I'm feeling: lethargic
 
 
Heather Mason
[ooc: BEEN AWHILE SINCE THERE'S BEEN ONE OF THESE, HUH. Solid the Onix Steelix and Butch the Quagsire are used with permission from Snake and Phoenix's players, respectively. As usual, reading this TL;DR monstrosity is TOTALLY NOT NEEDED so feel free to skip over it completely to the Action/Voice section of this post!]

Read more... )

Because here she was, sitting on a giant snake made of metal, with a bird in the hood of her vest and an electric-mouse-containing egg nestled in her small carrying bag, which was swinging gently back and forth from where it hung on one of the many convenient spikes jutting from the back of her mount’s neck.

No matter how vehemently she’d sworn to never pass through that city where she’d so thoroughly managed to make a bad impression on every last law-abiding resident around, there was no way she was going to sit tight and wait for her father to struggle his way through a completely foreign land to her. Not after what happened last time. She wouldn’t sit idly by and wait for the universe to snatch her second chance away again. Hell no.

She had saved the friggin’ world.

She could handle walking through Violet City and getting side-eyed by all the Nurse Joys if it meant actually being able to hug her father again.

The last time Heather had made this trip, it had been at the tail-end of winter and she’d been accompanied by two other people and their teams of Pokemon, and therefore a great deal of distracting noise.

This time around, the only sounds were the morning birdsong, a patter of light rain, and that great echoing vastness that characterized every large forest-- … well, that and the deep, metallic groaning of Solid’s body winding his way between the trees, deepening the already well-trodden trail. It was a noise that made her think of the far-off thrum of machinery that she had sometimes been able to hear in that town, like some sort of industrial heartbeat. But in this case, it was … a little more comforting, knowing that the thing creating the sound was her.

The newly-evolved Steelix was not the most comfortable of rides, but from her perch behind the steel serpent’s head, Heather couldn’t find it in her to complain about it too much. Snake had given her one of the dubious looks she’d come to expect from him when she’d asked him if she could borrow the Pokemon, but after a brief, heartfelt explanation, he’d handed the Pokeball over to her with firm instructions to be careful on her own.

She fully intended to.

It would be beyond lame if she somehow died on her way just when her father had returned to Johto, this time knowing who she was.

Heather sank forward to let her chin rest on her arms, which were folded on the cold metal cranium in front of her, grimacing slightly as Solid skirted around a bramble patch with a chorus of think shrieking sounds from the thorns on his sides.

“’Least the last time I did this, I had Phoenix’s sissy-yelling to distract me,” she mumbled to herself, shifting slightly to alleviate the ache of sitting on bumpy metal for hours on end. She was pretty sure she’d sat at high school desks more comfortable than this. “… And I could move around without sliding straight off.”

The sun should have been peeking through the bud-covered branches by now, but the cold drizzle that would go on to permeate the rest of the day had slipped in during the night, painting the misty woods in a monotonous set of gray-greens. It wasn’t really rain so much as just an all-encompassing wetness. And while Solid’s body had been pretty easy to hang onto when he was an Onix, now that he was coated in slick metal armor, the condensation mare it more or less impossible to get up while in motion without risking your feet flying out from under you and then the rest of you shortly following suit and careening off into the undergrowth like the star of an America’s Funniest Home Video. So not worth it, even if it was uncomfortable.

“I should make some kinda ‘Please remain seated while the vehicle is in motion’ sign before we get to Dad…”

A squawk of apparent agreement sounded from behind her head, where Wren the Murkrow, now a fluffy black mass of squirmy, toddler-aged bird, was bundled up in the hood of her trainer’s vest. Letting her ride in there meant having to put up with a lot of hair-tugging and the occasional ear-nibble, but it was nice having a neck-warmer.

Heather quirked a brow over her shoulder.

“What’re you fussing about? You don’t even have to worry about a sore butt. You get to ride in style. I should be charging you or something.”

She expected the bird to settle down at the sound of her voice as usual, but the squalling continued, more insistently—and Wren started to scrabble out of the hood and onto Heather’s bare shoulder, whapping her in the side of the face with a flaily wing in the process.

“OW! Hey! Don’t do that, you can’t fly ye—OW!”

Gritting her teeth, Heather adjusted her balance before lifting both hands and trying to grapple the little bird into a secure hold so that she wouldn’t go fluttering off into the forest, never to be seen again. She got her fingers nipped viciously for the effort.

“Frickin’—hold still, y’little monster—hey. HEY.”

Finally pinning Wren’s wings to her sides, Heather lifted the bird up inn front of her face to glare squarely at her.

“What’s the big id— … no, I’d rather you not attach yourself to my nose, thanks. It’s tempting, but no.”

Denied the opportunity to vent-via-biting her displeasure at being detained from wherever it was she planned on going, the Murkrow just wiggled in Heather’s grasp and angled her head backwards to stare intensely in the direction she’d initially been going, yellow beak wide open and continuing to emit noises like a cat stuck in a trash can with a firecracker. Heather sighed.

“Look, I’m gonna have to put you back in the ball if you decide to be a brat— huh? … What’re you looking at? Whoa, whoa, slow down, Solid.”

Turning her attention away from the bird in her hands for a moment, Heather squinted down with furrowed brows at the bracken-covered terrain below. At first, nothing seemed to be amiss—maybe Wren just really wanted to go explore and was being overdramatic about it. But then something had caught her eye.

A large, pale blue blob—she’d almost thought it was a big rock at first, but no normal rock was that smooth or shiny. … And it looked familiar.

“WHOA! Whoa—Solid, stop! Stop! Down, let me off!”

With a deep, groaning in reply, the mighty snake ground slowly to a halt and lowered his head to the forest floor. Before his broad lower jaw even made contact with the earth, Heather was already stuffing Wren back into her hood and leaping down to the damp ground.

The ‘shiny rock’ raised its head just slightly from where it was huddled under a clump of ferns, opening its beady little eyes to stare at the three figures, one small, one medium, and one massive. It did not move from its meager shelter. Just stared, with the corners of its wide mouth stretched downwards and its big, webby paws tucked under itself like a large, amphibious cat.

Heather gave Solid’s side a distracted pat before taking a wary step forward, holding onto her hood to keep Wren contained. The creature curled up on the ground a few meters in front of her was familiar, but… she had never once seen him wearing anything but a big doofy smile. Was this… the same one?

“… Butch?” she asked cautiously.

The Quagsire’s eyes lit up and he let out a few grunting chuffs as he got to his oversized feet, rudderlike tail starting into a feeble wag. Making happy bugling sounds, the big blue amphibian waddled his way over to the teen, who for once didn’t make a face as he clamped his cold, clammy arms around her legs in a hug and stared up at her adoringly.

“Wh—Butch, what the heck’re you doing all the way out here?! I thought Phoenix was in Cherrygrove! I—oof!”

She was cut off as Butch butted his head against her middle affectionately (and over-enthusiastically), letting go of her hood so that she could detach the Quagsire from herself long enough to figure out what was going on. Hands on his slimy shoulders, she looked him square in the round, dotlike eyes.

“Butch. I’m serious, where is Phoenix?

The smile (which was more reminiscent of the faces that Butch usually made) that had sprung across his face when Heather had recognized him drooped back into an upside-down ‘U’ and he let out a long, crooning whine that was as unsure as it was sad.

The barest beginnings of a flutter of panic started beating its wings deep in her gut.

“… Okay, just— … you just sit tight here. I’ll call him and let him know I found you, okay?”

Reaching into her pocket, she tugged out her PokeGear and started to move away, only for what passed for brows on the Quagsire’s mostly-spherical head starting to peak. He started to tug on her arm, making muted, unhappy sounds.

“Wh—Butch, no, just—stay here, all right? I promise, I’m calling him—okay. Y’know what, look—here.”

Grabbing Wren from her hood with both hands, she presented the young crow Pokemon to Butch.

“Remember Wren? You batted her egg around Phoenix’s room that time in the Center every time I walked out for like five minutes. You’re probably the reason she’s such a nut. She’ll keep you company—just lemme go for a bit, okay?”

Once the two Pokemon were sufficiently distracted with each others’ presence, Heather left them under the watchful eye of Solid and made her escape from the circle, walking to the edge of where the trees began to grow thicker and pulling Phoenix’s number up as she went.

Dialing...... |

Her fingers twisted the little belt-loop cord dangling from the ed of the device around and around as she waited, mumbling tensely under her breath.

“C’mon, c’mon…”

A brief dialing tone, and then…

ERROR: NUMBER NO LONGER IN USE. beeeeeeep.


“… No. No. Must’ve—hit the wrong number or something.”

Trying to ignore the growing sick feeling that was gnawing at her insides, Heather scrolled through the contacts list again. There. PHOENIX WRIGHT, with ‘lawyer-man’ and ‘phoenix + ledges = <3’ listed in the slot underneath it for a description, a result of some late-night conversation from months past. She hit ‘Send’.

Dialing...... |

The strap was wound so tightly around her index finger that the tip was turning purple. She noticed, but didn’t really care.

“C’mon. Pick up. Pick up, lawyer-man. This isn’t funny. Pick the hell up.

ERROR: NUMBER NO LONGER IN USE. beeeeeeep.

No! Fuck you. Put me through, you goddamn piece of junk!”

A horrid, hollow feeling was starting to creep in, starting at the knees and working its way up. It was that empty sensation you got when you went up or down in an elevator a little too quickly—like her organs had all been carved out, leaving a space with nothing in it. She felt lightheaded. Her knees threatened to buckle.

SEND.

He never DID answer that last message… NO.

She shook the thought from her mind— literally giving her head a toss, as if the physical motion would somehow help dislodge the creeping sense of dismay. Her knuckles were white where they gripped the ’Gear.

“Don’t do this to me, man. Don’t do this. I know you’re there. You’ve gotta be there. Stop kidding around and pick up—

ERROR: NUMBER NO LONGER IN USE. beeeeeeep.

NO.

SEND dsgklj

Heather had argued ferociously that Phoenix wouldn’t disappear. Would never disappear. That she wouldn’t let him get snatched away from this place like that so crudely—this place of second chances and friendships that never would have happened anywhere but here.

But as reality came crashing in, words from all the way back in February came drifting back up into Heather’s mind, like some water-rotten body floating to the top of a lake, straight from the mouth of one Dahlia Hawthorne, the woman who’d tried to murder him right here in Johto.

Can you really be so sure, Heather? Nothing is certain in this world. What if he just... disappears one night while he sleeps, right under your nose?

But… but he hadn’t.

He couldn’t have.

People disappeared all the time in Johto— important people, even people she liked— but never the ones that were hers. Never the people she’d talked to almost every day at times, the people who had sat up with her on bad nights and let her cry her stupid teenage tears on their shoulder even as she tracked dirt and snow all over their furniture. Never the people who’d come checking up on her anxiously for days after that, hovering like tie-wearing, spiky-haired mother hens until she’d just hauled off and started chucking pillows at them every time they poked their head in the door. Never the people who’d cared enough to talk the truth out of her even though she’d given them every reason never to try and help her ever again.

Never her best friends.

C’mon, Phoenix, you gotta—just—you gotta be here, don’t do this… I haven’t paid you BACK for everything yet—and DAD’S here, I wanted—I wanted you to meet him after everything I told you, and after—after you—hell, YOU’RE the one who freakin’ got me THROUGH what happened before—you’re like the biggest, shiniest example of the fact that I can make friends with GOOD PEOPLE and I wanted him to meet you, and just—just PICK THE FUCK UP, all right?! Pick UP, Phoenix, I’m NOT kidding arou—”

ERROR: NUMBER NO LONGER IN USE. beeeeeeep.

“No! NO! You can’t!

Fully aware that the hot, burning feeling in her eyes that was making the trees blur in front of her was unwanted tears, Heather snarled and tried to slam the SEND button again, only to hit the wrong key and turn on the radio instead. She found DJ Mary’s overly perky voice obnoxious even under normal circumstances, but having it blare into her ear right now was nothing short of some sickening insult in Heather’s eyes, and she reacted as she would to any other insult.

Snapping the ’Gear shut so hard it wouldn’t have surprised her if she cracked the screen, she flung it at the ground with every ounce of strength in her scrawny arms. It bounced a little on the spongy soil. That wasn’t satisfying enough, so before she even thought to stop herself (because, you know, the ’Gear was sort of important…), she drew her leg back and sent it spinning off across the little clearing with a vicious kick and a frustrated yell.

That didn’t help much, either.

Behind her, she could hear a concerned rumble from Solid. Not being one of her own Pokemon, he had probably never seen her lose her temper before. She didn’t look over her shoulder— just let out a huff that disguised a hitch of the chest, and wiped her eyes with one hand while clenching the other.

That old urge was rising again, the urge to just let her fists fly against something solid until she didn’t feel like she was going to explode anymore.

Sights set on a gnarled tree trunk, Heather gritted her teeth and stomped towards it, raising her fist— … only to stop when her blurred vision settled on the gnarled, shiny white scare tissue decorating her knuckles.

A souvenir from the last time something like this had happened.

They probably wouldn’t be permanent scars—they’d fade with time. But they weren’t gone yet, and Heather felt her throat tightening as she looked at them.

Phoenix had bandaged those self-inflicted wounds.

Bandaged them and told her, in that slightly-deadpan but still concerned way of his that the next time she got the urge to turn her hands into raw hamburger, she could come to him.

“… Well I can’t do that nowjerk…”

Her voice was smaller and more choked-up than she wanted it to be, and somehow the sound of it made, at long last, the hot tears came spilling out over her cheeks and plopping down into the dirt. Dropping her fist, she just stood there for a moment, shoulders quaking.

After a time, a plaintive “Quaaaag…” sounded behind her and one of Butch’s clammy flippers pawed at her elbow.

She swiped an arm across her eyes hastily and looked over her shoulder at the trio of concerned Pokemon. Even the normally rambunctious Wren had gone quiet and was staring up at her trainer with alarmed red eyes.

After a solemn pause, Heather heaved a deep sigh and sniffed, scrubbing at her face. “Sorry, guys… um…”

With a wet cough, Heather started to head for the trees to retrieve her PokeGear… then changed her mind and turned back towards the Steelix with a dismissive hand-wave. She’d get another one in Violet, they were cheap and easy to replace. And she didn’t… particularly want to talk to anyone right now.

“You can come with us, Butch... let’s go.”

Once the heavy water Pokemon had been helped (with some difficulty) onto Solid’s back and Wren was safely re-situated in Heather’s hood, the motley crew was off again. With Butch behind her and her arms folded once more on the back of Solid’s head, Heather buried her face in them and tuned out the rest of the world entirely.

She’d rather not be awake.



[Three days later….]




[They had arrived in Violet three days after that, on Saturday.]


  [Heather wasn't planning on staying in the city long enough to justify paying for a hotel room.]

[So she and her team of six (plus one Quagsire) were crashed in the hotel lobby during this brief rest stop, taking advantage of the few daylight hours that a trainer could feasibly get away with doing this (before getting kicked out by a stern employee saying 'There's a free Center right down the street for moochers!' in admonishing tones). And with the Easter festivities going on outside, there weren't many people milling about in the lobby to stare oddly at the dirty, travel-sore girl being a bum with her Pokemon.]

[Heather was curled up tightly on the couch, staring straight ahead. The team were all asleep around her, but she just couldn't slip out of wakefulness. Now that the rigor of the road wasn't around to distract her, the full reality of what had happened had time to sink in.]

[She supposed, all things considered, that she should have expected something like this. Some price to be paid. Her father showing up had just seemed too good a gift to be true, especially after she had let the last present go without even trying. Of course she wouldn't get him back without having to let something go. It was even sort of fair.]

[... She just hadn't expected that thing would be the person who had gotten her through the first time Harry had vanished from Johto.]

[On the floor beside the sofa, Butch sighed deeply in his sleep.]

[He'd been taking it well, all things considered... not much could keep the happy-go-lucky creature down for long.]

[Heather, on the other hand... well, she'd cycled through most of the typical emotional responses to the situation... From shocked disbelief to sadness to guilt at ... Right now she was settled on just ... being mad. Mad at the world for giving her the one thing she'd longed for but then taking away something so important as payment. Mad at herself for not having paid closer attention. Mad at Dahlia for accurately predicting that Phoenix would vanish. ... And mad at Phoenix for leaving before she could properly introduce him to the man whose loss he'd comforted her through.]

[She knew it was stupid. She knew it was totally irrational, and that it wasn't his fault at al l.]


 [... But she was still mad.]

[A thought struck her and she shifted slightly to pull the brand new PokeGear she'd picked up earlier from her pocket. Might as well break it in... she'd have to make this announcement sooner or later, anyhow...] 
 

[AUDIO]

[It's the first anybody's probably heard from Heather in a few days. No video, because she doesn't feel like showing her sorry face on the network while it's still all blotchy and obviously-was-crying-like-three-seconds-ago.]

[Even so, her voice is... very noticeably OFF. It's thick and croaky and flat-- none of the usual pep and pizazz that usually characterized her transmissions.]

Hey... so...

If anyone's seen Phoenix Wright... I've got Butch here.

... I'll just... y'know. Hang onto him until...

Yeah.

[... A pause, and then a click. She can't bring herself to make a graceful close to that message.]

.....


[... But, as an afterthought...]
[Private Text to Dahlia Hawthorne]


You're dead meat.






|





[ooc: Anyone walking through the Violet City hotel lobby is free to spot Heather!]
 
 
I'm feeling: crushed
Yo, this is where I'm at: Violet City
 
 
Heather Mason
15 April 2011 @ 11:59 pm
[TEXT]-- locked to Otacon, Kaito, Rise, Snake, Phoenix, and Cybil-- (who Heather doesn't realize is gone yet oops)]

Hey, if you're there, answer ASAP

It's important.




[VIDEO]


[Dad's here.]


[Dad's here.]


[Dad is here and it's for real.]

[Heather knows because she went to sleep that night after talking what felt like forever-- almost positive that in the morning she'd wake up and that video message would be gone entirely, just a figment cooked up from her tired, bug-fried imagination and a whole lot of wishful thinking-- ... but nope. There it was.]

[Which of course meant that there was still a distinct possibility that she'd just gone CRAZY.]

[But hey. One good way to find out if THAT was true or not: Post stupid Pokemon videos to the network! If reality had indeed warped, maybe the responses she'd get would all be from Lovecraftian monstrosities and Picasso paintings instead of the fine people of Johto.]



Haha, oh my god, you guys. Look at this.


[The feed shakily settles on an intense drama unfolding on the floor of Heather's room.]

[The little surprise-Eevee who hatched on April Fool's Day is lying on her back on the floor, just waving her tiny, stubby legs and occasionally rolling back and forth fruitlessly-- her enormous, completely-floppy ears puddled on the floor on either side of her, apparently heavy enough to prevent her from rolling over and getting to her feet entirely. She's not making any complaining sounds, or even looking particularly distressed. Just... quietly flailing and tipping back and forth.]

[When the camera turns on, it's with Godzilla the Totodile approaching. Maybe to help her up?]

[... Nope.]




I think he's jealous because this thing's been getting way more attention than him-- ohp-- look at that. He's jeaaalous!

[The little crocodile Pokemon had turned to face the screen, reptilian lips pouched in an angry pout.]

Sorry, 'Zilla. I call it like I see it. You-- no, don't you shake your head at me. You're practically turnin' green right now.

Keep this up and you'll look like a normal alliga-- hey, where're you going?

[The camera shifts to follow Zilla as he waddles angrily off to the other side of the room to sulk underneath the bed. Heather calls after him.]


Y'know your face will stick like that if you leave it too long!


Hahah....






.....



... He's probably gonna eat all my pants.
 
 
I'm feeling: restless
Yo, this is where I'm at: Goldenrod City Hotel
 
 
Heather Mason
27 February 2011 @ 04:48 am
[So some people in Violet City might have noticed something.]

[That something being the same blond girl who'd been hanging around the Pokemon Center during the day (and retiring to her hotel room at night) with a perpetually guilty expression... had continued hanging around the Pokemon Center with a perpetually guilty expression, but had also been growing increasingly exhausted-looking.]

[That worry she'd said she didn't have for her unconscious friend? ... Well, looks like something triggered it.]

[A couple days after the last transmission, she checked out of her hotel room and started staying in the Center more or less full-time, catching catnaps every so often but otherwise seemingly living off of caffeinated beverages and pure, concentrated force of will. Undoubtedly a few people have probably tried to confront her about this, but probably got either blown off, or an intense bloodshot stare until they quit.]

[... But her unexplained constant vigil apparently reached its peak around eleven o'clock on Saturday night. There's only so much weight one's eyelids could accumulate before they just went down and didn't come back up again. By the time midnight hits, anyone who happens to walk past and peep into the private room (one of many just beyond the lobby of your average Center, kept for anyone who might need to be spending the night due to illness or injury) that one unconscious Phoenix Wright happens to be residing in, they will see (in addition to the totally-zonked lawyer on the bed, surrounded by his loyal Pokemon (who... may in fact be crushing him, actually)... well, this.]




[Coffee just didn't do it after awhile, apparently.]

[Nestled somewhere against that uncomfortable tangle of limbs that she's only able to contort herself into on account of not having hit her thirties yet, is an egg that's somewhere between charcoal-gray and midnight-blue, a little smaller than a football, with a shell that's.... cracked?]




Pii-iip pii-iip pii-iip...



[An attentive listener in the doorway just might be able to catch a thin, tiny cheeping coming from the general direction of Heather's ill choice of bed. ... Good thing she's wedged into that shape too tightly to have much risk of shifting position and crushing whatever's hatching from that egg...]

[.... Buuuuuut maybe somebody ought to wake her up anyway.]




[ooc: So yeah, thanks to a conversation with Dahlia, Heather's been pulling a stupid and trying to stay awake as much as possible. If your character's in the area and they're the type to notice and care (or maybe just be snarky about it), feel free to assume that they've had a (sadly unsuccessful) talk with Heather on the subject!]
 
 
Yo, this is where I'm at: Violet City Pokemon Center
 
 
Heather Mason
[This is the last place Heather wants to be. And when the feed blinks on, it shows.]

[There's the usual busy murmur characteristic of a Pokemon Center lobby on a Monday morning. It's been awhile since Heather's been under these fluorescent lobby lights, and she looks a little washed-out and pale. Sleepy, too-- and blinking in irritation at the bright lights. She must have rolled out of bed not that long ago, and her cheeks are still flushed from the cold walk between the hotel and the Center.]

[Judging from the pink plush cushion she's leaning on and the colorful Poke-care posters splashed all over the wall behind her, she's sitting in the lobby. There's a small (say, less-than-a-football-sized) dusk-colored egg in her lap-- but weirdly, none of her Pokemon can be seen. Normally at least one or two of them are present in her transmissions, either chillaxin' in the background or (in Cujo's case) doing something derpy, but none of them are there.]


Hey, guys... uh...

I just thought I should letcha know, Phoenix is... um, he's in the Pokemon Center here in Violet. He went yesterday to get somethin' for his cold and didn't come back, and apparently he uh... collapsed.

But they said it doesn't look like it has anything to do with him being sick, it's like...

[She rubs at one of her eyes with the heel of her palm, grimacing.]

... Those faints that people've been going into lately.

So, he's... um... he's doing okay.

[Around this point, a familiar (to some) shiny blue head pops into the frame-- Phoenix's Quagsire partner, Butch, is clambering up onto the seat next to Heather. ... And onto Heather.]

Ooff-- Butch, jeez, hang on-- [She hastily grabs her bag (the smaller, owlless one) and slips the egg she was holding inside before it gets crushed under the giant amphibian's weight.] Anyway, uh-- I'll-- ... I'll be taking care of his Pokemon till he wakes up, I guess. But yeah, I just thought I'd give people the heads-up, in case anybody was... I dunno, worried.

[Weirdly, Butch looks as stupidly happy as ever (as he curls into a ball that's like twice as big as the lap he's trying to sit on), so Phoenix can't be in that bad a state. But for some reason, Heather still looks very uncomfortable-- and she's not the sort to worry unnecessarily about somebody when she knows they're more or less fine.]

... Anyway. So, uh-- hey, Kaito? [She addresses the camera.] You guys gotten to Violet yet? I thought maybe if you were here, we could all-- I dunno, meet up for lunch or somethi-- hey! [The camera jostles wildly-- looks like Butch is batting at it playfully. It shakes around a bit before the view steadies again-- upside-down and facing in the opposite direction, towards the front desk.]

[Two Nurse Joys are standing behind the counter and looking in Heather's direction very conspicuously. One of them has an expression darkened by consternation-- the other looks a little confused. The first says something quietly to her under her breath, and upon hearing it, the second one's eyes widen and she claps a hand over her mouth.]

[The camera jerks again as Heather grabs it back from Butch and turns it back to herself, but her attention is on the nurses now-- her expression briefly unreadable. But hey-- it's no secret to anybody who's been in Johto since the summer that Heather's relationship with the nurses of Violet City was an antagonistic one. Hell, she turned that Center upside-down on more than one occasion-- and laughed in the face of their authority, with no regrets (or shame)! Oh, the youthful shenanigans! Any second now she's gonna direct her gaze back at the camera and do a classic Heather "THEY MAD?" smirk or something, right?]

[.... Right?]

[Heather swallows hard, hunching her shoulders a little, as though trying to look a little more inconspicuous-- and then hastily shuts the camera off. Her last expression before the feed cuts out is one of... jeez, it kinda looks like ... guilt.]






[ooc: For those in the Pokemon Center, Heather can either be found milling uncomfortably around the edges of the Center lobby, looking like she just saw a Wanted poster for herself, or (most likely), hiding out in whatever room Phoenix's in to avoid contact with the Nurse Joys as much as she can.
ALSO, for those who weren't around back when this happened, this is why Heather's not feeling too hot about having to see these particular Nurses again.]
 
 
I'm feeling: guilty
Yo, this is where I'm at: Violet City Pokemon Center
 
 
Heather Mason
[It's cold today. You know that miserable part of winter that comes in the last stretch before spring? It's not that somehow-festive, powdery cold with deep blue nights and busy-but-cheerful days buzzing with anticipation that stretch through December... It's not even the fresh, new whiteness of January.]

[It's that dismal, perpetual grayness that fogs up February. You know the kind. The days are dark, the streets are full of slush, and the sidewalks are covered in black ice. It's just as cold as December, but it's somehow worse because at least in December you've got that tingly holiday feeling to keep you warm. February, on the other hand, has nothing to look forward to and it lasts forever.]

[Everybody hates February.]

[But when the feed clicks on, it's NOT outside-- it's already in the brightly-lit gym of Goldenrod City, and the camera is.... roughly at knee-level, and conveniently pointed straight at what appears to be a Miltank udder. Because that's how tall Godzilla is and lol what is that thing it's funny-lookin' and he's apparently not aware that UDDERS ARE NOT WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO LOOK AT.]

[In the background, there's a sound that should be VERY familiar now to anyone who's been watching the network recently--]

   
BWUUHHHHUHUHUHUHAAWHWHHHH! AHAWWWHHUH, y-ou-- you-- you meanie! Y-youhuhuh can't-- you just-- .... y-you're always so MEAN!  
 
[The camera's shifting and Whitney's white-shoed feet are pacing back and forth fitfully as she cries.]

[Heather's voice cuts in from somewhere above. It's even and level-headed, but there's an underlying quiver that anyone who's known Heather for any length of time will recognize as being a sign that she is physically restraining herself from strangling somebody.]


Look-- lady-- ... girl-- thing, during that battle, I deliberately refrained from being mean because every friggin' time I come in here, you're fucking CRYING EVERYWHERE.

I KNOW! I r-ruh-remember you, y-you always c-come in here to w-watch your MEAN FRIENDS and then y-you c-call me a BABY!

... Well, you are!

Y-YOU'RE SO MEAN TO ME, J-JU-JUST G-GO AWUH-WAY!!!"

I CAN'T, you haven't given me the freakin' badge-- AND WILL YOU STOP CRYING?!

AAAWWHHHHUHUHUHUHUHHHHHHHHH....!!!

Oh, for fuck's sa--

[The feed jitters to a soundless halt around that point-- Godzilla hit a wrong button and muted the sound. However, as the minutes pass, it looks like Whitney's calming down-- consoled by her girlfriends and probably a (VERY) grudging effort on Heather's part. As this happens, the camera shifts around occasionally-- showing a battered-looking but serene Honey, an irate Arty licking at two big flat sections of her fur (during the battle, she was a Rollout Victim (tm)), and Cujo, as derpy as ever.]

[And then, the sound comes back on-- what's this? Heather sounds even pissier than she was when Whitney was crying!]


-ok, I don't care if you have a really good hairstylist, I am not here for a haircut. I don't care that I have split ends and I don't care that my roots are showing. I am here because you won't give me my freakin' badge.

WELL. I just thought that I'd offer some advice because you clearly were raised in an environment where nobody taught you how to take care of your own personal hygie--

[Heather's voice is tinged with absolute disbelief.] I am not-- I'm not even listening to this. This is bullshit.

You're friends with that girl with the gorgeous pigtails! How could you possibly be friends with her and still have such an atrocious haircu--

For friggin'-- MY HAIR IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Give. Me. The badge. Or I will--

[She pauses, probably looking over her shoulder-- quite a few of her friends showed up to watch and, being much better people that she is, several of them are probably giving her VERY MEANINGFUL GLANCES RIGHT ABOUT NOW. With a deep sigh, she evidently turns back to Whitney.]

Okay. Look. I'm sorry that I'm a huge mean asshole with awful hair. Now, will you please give me the badge?

[Whitney brightens up visibly on the camera and completely ignores the badge request.]

So you admit it? YAY! Anyway, like I was saying about my stylist, he's great with hopeless cases, and seriously, I don't think you'll be able to find anyone else who can handle your hopeless case, I mean, seriously, it's that hopeless, no offense or anything, it's not like it's your fault, and--

I'd go to your stylist... [Heather's voice is dangerously low.] ... if I wanted to look like a tool.

[Whitney falls silent. Her expression is that of a well-meaning but tactless teenage girl who was only trying to help. The camera zooms in on her face slowly. Her eyes... are welling up with tears again.]



... oh motherf--



[TEXT to Phoenix and Snake, sent hastily as she's coming off the battlefield-- both are in the stands.]

Dave, Phoenix-- you guys okay with leaving tomorrow?

Im packed.




[OOC: Action for anyone who went to see Heather battle! She probably asked several of her closest friends if they'd like to come, considering she was about to leave Goldenrod for a spell.
For the watchers, the battle was intense and fairly close, but Heather stuck it out in the end. Honey's Stun Spore was integral.]
 
 
I'm feeling: annoyed
Yo, this is where I'm at: Goldenrod City Gym
 
 
Heather Mason
Christmas Eve.

The night may not have had quite as special a significance in Johto as it did in other worlds, but between the (admittedly somewhat aggravating) mistletoe and the jolly little mobile trees lumbering around in the snow, the festive spirit caught. Even the locals seemed more eager to join in the festivities. It seemed Christmas spirit was just catching like that.

The arrival of the day of Christmas Eve brought activity left and right.

Impromptu snowball fights in the streets, last-minute gift-buying, Snover-chasing...

Goldenrod City was bustling with activity all day long and the previously-stated were just to name a few.

And Heather?

Well, actually, she'd been popping in and out of all of them.

Her friends in Goldenrod might have noticed her occasionally rearing her scruffy head in their general presence every so often throughout the day.

Popping into the Pokemon Center to give Rise an enthusiastic hug, a couple of decorative butterfly ornaments ("I know you like the girly stuff, sooo... they made me think of you!), and a written coupon promising a shopping trip in the department store (during which Heather was not allowed to complain TOO much)....

Knocking on Phoenix and Miles's door far too early in the morning to drag them outside with the intention of showing Miles how to build a snowman (under the assumption that if he didn't know much about building FORTS, he might need an emergency injection of childhood-- and Phoenix obviously did, too)...

Grabbing Snake during a smoking break to give him a heartfelt hug and a couple of really big cardboard boxes she found in the storage basement of the department store while restocking (there were a few sticks of gum thrown in, as well)...

And, naturally, doing everything in her power to start a crazy snowball fight with Kaito and his little band of troublemakers (did she get them matching team sweaters? Yeah, she totally did-- "YOU GUYS CAN BE THE SWEATER BANDITS.")

That was to name a few.

Anyone she knew in Goldenrod was liable to have received a visit from the teen-- and if they were a friend of hers, a gift as well.

But she never hung around for long. Flitting around from place to place, anyone expecting her to remain would have wound up a little bit disappointed. By nightfall, there didn't actually appear to be much of a sign of her at all, which was a little odd, considering that just fifteen minutes before, she'd been at the Snover ceremony, sneakily making off with some of the free apple cider (despite the fact that she hadn't caught a Snover, dohohohoho). But as soon as that had been accomplished, wham bam thank you ma'am, she was gone.

This was because Heather Mason was very good at becoming scarce when she didn't want to be found.


The sounds of crowds and festivities bled away into the night like muted trumpets as a single figure, in a short blue coat and a silly pom-pom hat tromped through the snow away from the center of the city, well-bandaged hands in her pockets. The cold was nipping at her face, but unlike the hasty, not-too-well-thought-out excursion she had taken two weeks before, she was dressed for the night, scarf around her neck and ears firmly covered.

It was surprising how silent the city got on these nippy winter nights, once you left the central streets.

It reminded her of home in that way.

When the brightly-colored lights strung all around the little plaza where the Snover ceremony was taking place faded around a corner, Heather picked up her pace and tossed the now-empty paper cider-cup-- still steaming-- into a nearby wastebin, re-stuffing her hands into her pockets hastily to escape the chill.

There were a few other people making their way down the cobblestone street, but not too many.

Feeling a slight bounce enter her step, Heather puffed out her cheeks as she walked and started to whistle a jaunty, old-timey tune-- which soon turned into a lowly-uttered song that nonetheless sounded loud against the night's quiet-- audible to anyone who might happened to have been near, although its singer was walking too swiftly to be deterred or caught up with.

"The Mason died on Monday...
We bricked him in the wall.
All his children grew and grew,
Theeeey never grew so tall befoooor-ooor-ooore..."

When she reached her destination-- she kicked snow off of her boots and shouldered open the glass door, heading inside and going up the stairwell.

There was nobody in the Department Store tonight except for the janitors cleaning up-- the whole place was empty, closing early. Which was why Heather had chosen to go. Puffing, she climbed the staircases-- all seven of them-- but kept the little tune going, even though she'd gotten a little out of breath.

"They may never grow so tall agaaaaa-aaa-aaaain..."

During the blizzard, the wind on every rooftop in the city had whistled and whipped, but several days later, the air was still and calm in the wake of the storm. Heather had to plant her back against the rooftop door to shove it open through the snow that had piled up there, but with a few strained noises, she was able to get through. Nudging a crate to prop the door open (last thing she wanted was to wind up locked out up here all night on Christmas Eve...), she crunched through the icy pile-up and towards the edge of the building, breath steaming.



The sight tugged a smile onto her face.

The crowd down in the little Snover ceremony had grown since she'd left it-- and if she listened closely, she could even hear the festive chatter far below.

Bunching her scarf up around her neck, she made her way along the edge of the roof.

"Mason was a mighty ma-an, a mighty man was he-eee,
All he said when I'm dead and go-oone,
Don't you weep for meee-eee-eeee...."

Take me to the reaper man, to give back what was owed... )




[ooc: MERRY CHRISTMAS, ROUTE. I love you guys so much. I'm going to be posting a list of everything that Heather got her friends for Christmas shortly-- once I'm done writing this post. I just wanted to get it put up before Christmas Day was over! Sorry for the tl;dr!

FEEL FREE to action or video-tag here if you wanted your character to run into or talk to Heather on Christmas Eve Day! As usual, reading the redonk long prose is NOT NECESSARY. XD]
 
 
I'm feeling: pensive
Yo, this is where I'm at: Goldenrod City Department Store (rooftop)
Currently jammin' to: "Mason's Children"-- The Grateful Dead
 
 
Heather Mason
13 December 2010 @ 06:09 am
[ooc: Hey guys! Like most tl;dr stuff I post, THIS IS OPTIONAL READING so feel free to completely skip over it, although those with characters in the hotel are also free to say that they saw Heather leaving her hotel room with a really, really dark expression. She will not be deterred or particularly receptive to any attempts to engage in conversation. If you would like to, however, here's some appropriate listening material.]









ERROR: NUMBER NO LONGER IN USE. beeeeeeep.






ERROR: NUMBER NO LONGER IN USE. beeeeeeep.






ERROR: NUMBER NO LONGER IN USE. beeeeeeep.



Heather's thumb hovered over the 'Connect' button, but didn't press it again. She'd already done it about fifteen times, hoping to hear something else, but she'd already known that the message wouldn't change, no matter how many times she called. The truth was that it wasn't even a surprise, no matter how much she wished it could have been, nor how much she simultaneously dreaded and expected it.

With each passing day, she had known it more and more.

Hearing this now was only a confirmation.

The last nail in the coffin.

He was gone.

Don't remember one jump or one leap... just quiet steps away from your lead. )


[Audio-- locked to Phoenix Wright.]

[Her voice is punctuated by gasps-- she's out of breath and wheezing. Her voice is hoarse and there's weird gaps between the words, like she's struggling to put them together.]

I-- ... P- ... Phoenix?

Uhm.

Are you-- ... are you there?

I gotta-- ... can I talk t'you?

It's.

Uhm.

It's important...





[ooc edit: thank you so much for your lovely comments, guys. I can't even begin to describe how much I appreciate ALL of them. I'm screening them to cut down on clutter, though! ILU!]
 
 
I'm feeling: ashamed
Yo, this is where I'm at: Goldenrod City