The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 23: Neath Shaded Boughs

Update 24: Neath Shadowed Boughs

… It’s kind of funny how Ballonlea doesn’t have anywhere you can go for a nice sit.


But I suppose there’re far worse places to have a nap, you know?



You ran outta stall tactics a bit ago. ’s okay. You ain’t wastin’ my time an’ I’m not gonna judge you. Go ahead.


*breathe in*

*breathe out*

Have you run into Bede, by any chance?

The ponce?

So you have. And you remember Hop?

I actually fought him part way to Hulbury. Gave me a run for my money.

But you won, right?


Hop… Bede destroyed Hop in a fight a week back now, I think? But he didn’t just beat him, he managed to worm his way into Hop’s head and actually mess him up. I was furious. He hurt my best friend, you know? I kinda fixated on getting back at him and did some deep dives on social media and such. The next time I saw him, I threw everything I found back in his face.

And, and he took it and, and…

I need to start somewhere else.

I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at four years old. I was living with my extended family up at the Crown Tundra at the time, and… Let’s just say they weren’t supportive. I don’t really remember what went down but me mum moved me out to a farm in Postwick. Dunno how she afforded it. The doctors said it was the ideal environment for me, and, you know, it shoulda been, but… I was a little autistic girl who’d just been moved halfway across the country and had no idea what’s what. But I started to get a handle on it all. I don’t know if it was the therapists or me mum or his parents that came up with the idea, but they put me together with the neighbor’s kid, Hop, who was struggling with some pretty severe ADHD. And… We clicked. We helped each other out. And with the help of our families and the Magnolias we managed to get it all under control for a while.

I never figured out what happened exactly, but I had to change schools when I entered First Form, and… Things didn’t go well. The change was just… Too much. Too much at once. I felt meself slipping. I was losing control. I’d fought HARD for control, you know? But it just seemed to all compound and mix and swirl together…

One day, I had a massive panic attack. I dinae remember what caused it – I think it was something that kind of warranted some kinda panic but not that much, you know? Anyway, a few weeks before, Sonia – you said you knew her through Piers – anyway, Sonia got lost in the Slumbering Weald for a couple days and came out kind of harrowed. So I thought, if I wanted to leave everything behind, that’s where I go, too, right? When I came to in th’ woods, another part of me just told me to sit down curl up and stay there. Just… Stay there. Th’ whole town turned out to look for me and I heard them and just kept silent. You know what broke me out of it? I heard Hop walking by and calling me name while he sent me text after text after text, when I next open up my phone, there’re like 70.


Things… Things actually got a lot better after that. I was able to pull myself together and start doin’ things. Me grades climbed, I learned how to deal with things. Apparently I’m a right success story now. And, you know, my issues, they’ve been… rough, at times, on the Challenge, but never unbearable. And then Bede hurt him and hurt me, because even though we aren’t related we may as well be brother and sister, and then he somehow managed to dig all of this up and throw it right in my face when I wasn’t expecting it. I’m not likely to roll back to it or anything, but… I just wanted to be able to talk about it, you know? Just… Tell someone about all of it, give myself a little distance, look at it from a remove… It helps, it helps a lot. Thank you so much for listening, Marnie. Just talking about it made it a little easier.

… I got my diagnosis when I was five.

Wait, you too?

Yes. We’d lost our mum an’ da the year before, so they weren’t sure if it was just me missin’ them for a while, but, eventually, evidence built up too much. Piers’d already made it, but we still didn’t have that much money, so we couldn’t get much help or anythin’. They ended up havin’ to crowdsource it, in a way. That’s why Team Yell keeps followin’ me ‘round like that. They offer a bit of a smokescreen, I suppose; I always know they’re supportin’ me an’ not judgin’ me. You know those horns they carry ‘round? I used to listen to ‘em when I was little, they were the only loud sound I could tolerate back then. Somethin’ about them…

They’re giant stim toys! I KNEW there was a reason I liked the sound.

You too? Yeah. I mean, they all c’n definitely be overwhelmin’, but they don’t know any better, even though they get in people’s ways so much, I can’t help but forgive ’em, you know? I have made a lot of progress in social display an’ such. I wanna show ‘em I appreciate ‘em. But I keep scoldin’ ‘em instead of thankin’ ‘em because they just get so shirty, an’ I can’t smile at them as I can’t really smile naturally at all, an’ I’m still strugglin’ with how to put up with touchin’ other people…

… You’re holding my hand right now…

Gloria… The first time we talked, y’asked me to infodump an’ actually listened. Nobody else has. Lotta people try, but they get kinda bored after a while ‘til even I can pick it up. But you just listened an’ listened an’ you asked questions that I could answer. An’ when you started talkin’ about things, they just… Made sense. I ain’t never connected with anybody before like that.

I’ve always known I liked boys, an’ at first I thought I just wanted you as a friend. But when you mentioned likin’ girls… I kept thinkin’, “maybe she’s the exception”. An’, an’ you are. I’ve never liked ANYBODY like I like you. You just… UNDERSTAND me better’n anybody I ever met. An’, an’ you’re STRONG. You had a worse experience than I did an’ you just waded through it, an’ now look at you. You’re amazin’. I… Maybe this is a bit forward, an’ I don’t know if you’re actually interested, so you can say no if you want, I understand, but I was, I was wondering if we could, you knowmmmf!

Gloria, I THOUGHT I saw your tent