Synopsis: Max, a bright but pathological voyeur, sets out to expose all the town’s dirty, little secrets, only to capture a shocking affair that throws his practice into question.
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fan fiction borrowing characters from the Pokémon universe, which is trademarked by The Pokémon Company. I do not claim ownership over any of the characters or settings and make no money from publishing this story.
WARNING: This work of fiction is Rated MA and only suitable for mature audiences. It may contain explicit language, adult themes and graphic descriptions of a violent and/or sexual nature.
Under Covers Investigator
Chapter 1 – The Spilling of Tea
A disheveled woman stormed into the café and blared, “That little shit!”
Boisterous chatter fell to silence.
Anxious murmurs stirred amid the rising tension. Everyone froze and eyed the woman in disarray, her hair a ruffled mess, her shirt untucked and rumpled under her large overcoat. She scanned the café with ire, patrons shying away as her red face panned in their direction.
An uneasiness held the room hostage.
She clutched an expensive handbag in one fist and a canteen in the other, leaving everyone guessing her intentions.
“Uh, ma’am?” asked the cashier in a trembling voice. “You need help with something?”
If the woman heard her, she showed no signs of it, determined to spot a guilty face amongst the bemused. Her search ended when she located a small table nestled in the far corner, a table seating Max and May.
She seethed and made a beeline for the teenagers.
Max had looked down to conceal his identity, but it was too late; her heels were clicking and clacking with ferocity. “Oh, man…” he muttered under his breath.
May glanced back over her shoulder at the charging woman. “Oh my God.” She hid her face in both hands, embarrassed. “I can’t take you anywhere, can I?” she whispered hotly. If there was one thing she’d begged of her little brother, it was to keep her out of his needless drama. “What the hell did you do, Max?”
“Nothing!” he muttered back. “She did it to herself.”
“Uh huh, yeah. I’m sure she’s marching over here coz she desperately wants to tell you how much she loves your work.”
Max shrugged, unperturbed. He pushed his glasses further up his bony nose, a gesture he often pulled when he felt vindicated about something. “Look, I’ll handle this. You don’t need to worry about me.”
“I’m not worried about you, dummy.” She pushed his forehead with her index finger. “I’m worried about who’s gonna pay for my breakfast after she blasts you into the next dimension!”
He looked flabbergasted by her priorities. “I love you too, sis.”
“I’m serious. You owe me at least a dozen more brunches after this.”
“And how am I supposed to have them if you’re dead?! I better be the first name in your will. That’s the least you could do,” she hissed.
“Would you quit being hysterical? She’s not going to commit murder in broad daylight.”
“Says the boy who’s about to have a coffee cup shoved up his –”
“That’s lovely.” Max facepalmed. “Just lovely, May.”
As the siblings bantered in low murmurs, the fuming redhead bustled past waitresses who tried to calm her, ignoring their threats to summon security. Stunned patrons failed to react beyond recording the mad woman on their cell phones. With a murderous glare fixed on the bespectacled boy, she yanked the lid off her coffee cup.
Max threw his hands up in surrender. “Okay, okay!”
She didn’t care.
May caught sight of the coffee cup tipping forward and jumped to the far side of her chair. She watched in horror as the brown content flew over her shoulder, ice cubes riding the rapid tide of thrusted tea.
Gangly and uncoordinated, Max lacked the reflexes to evade the brunt of the liquid projectile like she had. The tea slapped him square in the face. Ice clinked against his glasses amid the splash. Gasps and camera flashes sprung from every section of the café, all but ensuring he’d relive this embarrassment for years to come, along with hundreds of thousands of online viewers.
“You just love ruining people’s lives, is that it?” asked the redhead with a manic smile.
Drenched in ice-cold tea, Max sat frozen and silent under her glare. His hands were trembling, though May couldn’t tell if it was the chilling beverage or his crippling social anxiety. He rarely dealt with the consequences of his actions in such an open or direct manner. So much for ‘handling this.’ Not that May ever had faith he would. It was a harsh lesson, but one he needed to learn.
“Well?” the angry woman pressed. “You have anything you want to say to my face? Or do you live all your life in the shadows like the coward you are?”
Max opened his mouth several times but not a single word fumbled out.
She humphed, looking down on him with pity. “Pathetic. You’re lucky I don’t chuck another one of these at you!” She made a throwing motion with her empty coffee cup and chuckled when he flinched. “You’re a fucking failure. Look at you. Probably never had a girlfriend in your life. Hell, do you even have a life? How about getting your own instead of ruining everyone else’s like some jealous loser?”
May did not appreciate this woman’s tone or judgement, despite disapproving of a lot of her brother’s life choices as well. Max appeared helpless and overwhelmed as the flaming redhead berated him in public, his nervous eyes jumping towards May every so often, silently asking for help. With a heavy sigh, May stood up.
“Okay, okay,” she said, trying to placate the woman with calming hand gestures. “I think he gets the idea. I don’t know what he did but I’d like to personally apologise and –”
“Apologise?” The redhead laughed. “Is your apology going to get me my job back? Is your apology going to stitch up the reputation he just tore to pieces? The reputation I spent decades building?! It’s all trash now.” She chucked the coffee cup on the floor. “Over 15 years of pokémon research and no professor in this town will ever look at me again! All because of some spotty teenager’s meddling?” She jabbed a finger at Max. “Are you freaking kidding me?! I have to start over in a new region and I’m not even guaranteed apprenticeship at this point, do you get that? Will your little apology suddenly make my life’s work meaningful again?”
May couldn’t answer any of her questions and, quite frankly, regretted offering her condolences. This unsolicited drama was beyond her paygrade. All she’d wanted was to save Max from an impending panic attack and now she felt foolish for even trying.
The manager came to their rescue when he had the hysterical woman escorted out. She didn’t disappear from their lives without marching past their window flashing her middle finger.
And she’d claimed she was a pokémon researcher? May found that hard to believe, often picturing lab workers to pose more eloquence and less temperament. Granted, not everyone could wield the professionalism of Petalburg City’s own Professor Birch. She struggled to imagine anything getting him that riled up. Although, she thought. This is Max we’re talking about.
Her little brother cut a forlorn figure on the other side of the table. He looked even smaller in his drenched sweater, his bony arms quivering in the wake of a very public humiliation.
It was hard to see a monster in his pale and timid visage. No matter what messed up stuff he did, May took pity on his lack of self-confidence, sure to be worsened by the advent an acne breakout.
His troubles ran more than skin-deep; ever since failing to make it into the pokémon academy with all his friends, Max disappeared inside himself. Now that she thought about it, the entry level battle he’d lost was as huge a public humiliation as what he’d experienced with the angry woman, and possibly what aggravated his social anxiety at the onset.
He froze because he’d been reliving his trauma.
Even so, she knew her brother. No way he was guilt-free in all of this.
She allowed his nerves to settle for a minute. His breathing steadied as chatter slowly rejuvenated the shell-shocked café. Everyone stopped aiming their phones in his direction and went back to not knowing he existed, much the way Max preferred things.
He wiped the droplets on his glasses with the dry bottom half of his sweater. “Heh,” came his dry, awkward laugh. “What a psycho, huh?”
May refused to reciprocate his blasé attitude. “What did you do, Max?”
“I told you – nothing. She’s the one that –”
“Max!” interjected May in a stern voice.
He looked as exasperated with facing the question as she was with asking it. Placing his dried glasses back on, he regarded her for a moment while twiddling his thumbs. “I caught her doing something she shouldn’t have been doing,” he finally admitted. “And I let her employers know about it.”
“Damnit, Max. I thought we talked about this. You can’t keep poking your nose in people’s business!”
He fretted at her chastising tone, glancing around in concern of eavesdroppers. Leaning in allowed him to be audible at a whisper. “Why would it matter if there was nothing to find?” He raised an eyebrow as if that was his best ‘gotcha’ question.
May remained unimpressed. “That’s not the point.”
“It kinda is. Or I’d have been out of business long time ago.”
“You could be out of a life if you keep it up.”
“Oh, here we go with the melodrama again.” He gesticulated in a wild manner.
May pointed out his sweater. “What if that was scorching hot tea instead?” He didn’t have a comeback for that one, stayed tight-lipped, never willing to admit when she was right about anything. By her book, he should’ve counted himself lucky the ‘psycho’ hadn’t intended to maim him. “One day you might step on someone’s toes who has a little more firepower than a coffee cup.”
Max glanced down at said coffee cup and seemed to reflect on her words seriously for once. “All the more reason I should keep doing this.”
“Wha…?” That was the exact opposite reaction to a sane person’s.
“I don’t get you. I’m not the one doing bad things. Shameful people like that redheaded witch are,” he said, matter-of-factly. “I’m being brave enough to expose them but you keep chastising me like I’m in the wrong. The fact is, if they weren’t doing anything shady, there wouldn’t be anything to expose.” He pushed his glasses up his nose, satisfied with his assessment. “And hey, if I go down doing this, I’d be remembered as a martyr.”
Great, so now he was delusional too. May screwed her eyes shut and pinched the bridge of her nose as if her brain was starting to hurt. There was no getting through to him.
He sat there slurping his hot chocolate like nothing had happened. She’d exhausted all avenues to his senses except, perhaps, for one – a road she’d been reluctant to tread down. At this point however, she’d all but reached a dead end.
May stared down her little brother. “Max, you’re obsessed.”
He recoiled as if it were the most ridiculous thing he heard. “What?”
“You tried to make it as a pokémon Trainer and it didn’t work out. I get it.” She placed a hand on his. “But instead of getting up and trying again, you quit. You replaced your pokémon obsession with… this – whatever this private eye stuff is – it’s all just distracting you from confronting your failures. I know you’re smart enough to realise that. You’re not exposing anyone for the good of society. You’re getting off on all this.”
He shifted in his seat with discomfort. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” He pulled his hand from under hers. “I’m not obsessed. Obsessed is staying with someone who constantly goes behind your back instead of confronting the failures of a dying relationship.”
She couldn’t believe her ears. He might as well have ripped out her insides and splayed them across the table. “Wow, Max.” Her hand trembled with the itch to dump the rest of her cup on him too, but a different kind of emotion threatened to burst from her eyes. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of shattering her.
Without another word, she shot to her feet, screeching her chair against the floor, then walked off leaving him to stew in his own dampened self-importance.
What she hadn’t seen was Max open his mouth with an attempted apology.
. . .
Max didn’t find the opportunity to talk to May for the rest of the day, despite sleeping one door down from her in the same house. She ignored him on the way to her chamber, shut the door and turned the lock with a clink. Any hopes of mending their relationship would have to wait till the morning.
Max retreated to his own bedroom, replaying the conversation in his head. He regretted belittling his big sister but didn’t doubt he was on the right side of the argument. It bothered him how she, and other people, couldn’t see that. Oh well, he wasn’t going to waste the night dwelling on it.
‘Obsessed,’ he thought to himself with a chuckle. She was dead wrong.
Max turned off his lights, leaving only his laptop screen to illuminate the room. From the drawer in his study desk, he retrieved one of a dozen flash drives and plugged it into his computer. He entered his password to decrypt a long list of directories titled with full names and timestamps. Ordering by the most recent files, he clicked on the top folder and played the video hidden within.
The screen lit up with four square quadrants showing different angles of a Pokémon Lab’s interior. From the top-left quadrant he’d acquired the typical security camera vantage, a high, slanted view of the large main area laid in shiny, sparkling tiles. The space was clear save for a modest desk and chair towards one corner, a three-cushion sofa and a whiteboard stand depicting technical diagrams too distant to make out.
From the top-right quadrant he got an eye-level view of the premises, bringing into shot expensive lab equipment lining the walls, including what looked like a mini reactor. The other two camera angles provided a closer view of the study desk and bookshelf, and an all-encompassing bird’s eye view from the centre of the ceiling. He liked to have all his bases covered.
Max kept an eye on the running timestamp in the top-right corner and fast-forwarded the footage until the front door opened. A familiar figure entered the lab, clad in a large overcoat and skin-tight jeans. Max clicked on the top-right camera and the quadrant expanded to fill the screen, giving him a much clearer view of the arrival.
Her red hair was layered and tied in a high ponytail, adorned with heart-shaped hairpins, a far-cry from the dishevelled display at the café. She sat tinted glasses on her forehead, boasting feline eyes that gleamed the same hue of jade as her form-fitting sweater.
Max had to admit she didn’t look half bad when she wasn’t raging and charging innocent patrons with ice tea.
She hung her overcoat on her chair and Max seized the opportunity to switch cameras. The closer angle, incidentally, captured her backside flush at the centre of the screen, her light-blue jeans hugging her thighs and round butt. He barely had time to imagine how she’d squeezed into them before she whirled round to take a seat. Her bosom swivelled into view, large mounds bulging out the top of her low-cut sweater.
A nervy excitement hitched in Max’s breath, despite this being the fourth time he watched the footage. Teenagerhood inflicted a budding weakness upon him, a proclivity for larger-than-average sized breasts.
He didn’t know where it came from or how to get rid of it. Every day the compulsions became harder to control – hard being the operative word. But that was it; it was a compulsion, not some obsession. And he didn’t let get in the way of his work.
The lab assistant scooted forward in her office chair, her breasts jiggling ever so slightly. Was it possible to hate someone and admire them at the same time?
He interrogated his internal conflict while watching her sort through paperwork. She appeared to be a model professional dedicating her alone time to her craft. But maybe that was the problem, having too much alone time?
Not that it mattered. Max didn’t get paid to burrow into the messed-up minds of his subjects. All that concerned him was what happened when he skipped an hour and a half into the recording. The front door opened again.
A young boy walked in. He couldn’t be any older than Max, albeit more stocky than lanky, with odd hair that could be mistaken for a purple Shroomish from a distance. Observing the time he’d arrived, and noting the backpack slung over his shoulder, Max deduced the boy had come straight from school.
Now, it wasn’t so weird for Pokémon Professors, or even lab assistants, to entertain young Trainers throughout the day. In fact, the footage revealed she’d had eight visitors pop in and out of the laboratory, staying no longer than a few minutes at a go.
Whenever someone arrived, she’d throw her coat on to maintain a façade of professionalism. What made Shroomish Boy’s visit stand out was how she’d invited him to her desk, stroked the top of his head, spun the ‘Closed’ sign on the front door, then shut all the blinds.
Max’s recording equipment didn’t pick up sound but the sequence of events made it obvious something out of the norm was about to happen.
He remembered the first time he watched back the footage, how he’d been on the brink of falling asleep before she locked herself inside with Shroomish Boy. And even now, on repeated viewing, Max perked up. He could only imagine the excitement surging through the boy’s bones when the busty lab assistant hiked up her sweater and pulled him into an embrace.
They stood in front of her desk where she pulled her arms out of the sleeves of her overcoat and wrapped its flaps around them. His head only stood as tall as her bosom, which appeared to suit her perfectly, judging by the mirth and giggles on her face while he stirred under the makeshift drape.
Max didn’t need X-ray vision to know the boy had her teat in his mouth, possibly both, probably interchanging between them. Every now and again she shook her shoulders in what couldn’t be anything other than giddy motorboating. And this was the behaviour of a respected authority in the field of pokémon research?
The people needed to know.
Max had it on good authority she was in a long-term relationship with a colleague and fellow researcher. What comfort did she need from a boy likely to be a decade younger than her?
Max would never understand grown-ups. She would’ve gotten away with it too, if not for his pesky sense of justice. Beyond the disgust of committing adultery, she was probably breaking the law too, and Max would watch every minute of it.
Switching to the close-up desk camera, he observed them in a fit of robust fidgeting which ended with the boy’s pants dropping from under the coat. She looked down whilst holding the long jacket open, and while Max’s sideview didn’t allow him to see behind the curtain, it became obvious what the boy had been up to when her jeans started to come down.
They didn’t slip off as easily as his loose-fitting pair; he had to tug hard while she shimmied to help him. With a heap of pants and boxers and jeans and a thong bunched around their ankles, their legs appeared naked from the coat down.
“Obsessed,” Max muttered to himself, glued to the screen. That wasn’t what this was. He was shedding light on atrocities committed in the dark. “You’re such a dirty bitch,” he murmured at the half-naked redhead on screen.
Turned out it was easier to tell her what he thought when she wasn’t shaking her fist an inch away from his face. He didn’t consider that cowardice, but rather responsible for not ratcheting up an already heated situation. She got everything off her chest and it was his turn to do the same.
Max turned to glimpse at his bedroom door, wondering if he’d remembered to lock it, before extracting the erection in his pyjamas.
The shady whore leaned back on the edge of her desk with one pale leg raised and bent at the knee. Her overcoat partially covered her hiked-up sweater but fell loose behind her womanly hips and everything below.
The boy’s lack of stature meant he didn’t need to bend far to go where she needed him to, a rough clasp of the back of his head forcing him down her exposed crotch. She used her free hand to fondle herself under the sweater, staring south at him with a flushed face and a mouth half agape.
Max imagined she was panting as he gaped at her soundless expression. “Enjoying that, you whore?” he breathed, stroking himself under the desk. “You better be. It’s the last thing you’re going to enjoy in a while.”
He zoomed in on her face and stroked her on-screen cheek. “Look at you…” He stroked harder. “Gods, look at you…” he ran his finger down the screen, tracing her curves. “So pretty, yet so… whorey. Like taking advantage of our youth, is that it?”
Something told Max that Shroomish Boy didn’t paint himself a victim of the older woman’s clutches. The way he’d strode in and received her physical advances without flinching suggested the pair had done this before. He rubbed his face in her crotch way too eagerly to be considered an unwilling participant.
Still, her partner was a victim, Max decided. He deserved to know and she deserved to be exposed. If her ousting opened up a spot for a more talented, more ethically adept researcher, that could only be a good thing as far as he was concerned.
Max always handed over the outcomes of his investigations, whatever they were, whatever the consequences for the culprits. He was paid good money not to withhold details from his clients and, as a matter of principle, upheld his oath to do so every, single time.
It didn’t matter what he found out or where his morals weighed in on the actions of his suspects. They’d doomed themselves. Why couldn’t May get that?
The redheaded researcher bent over her desk and poised one knee on the edge. She flung the back of her coat aside, baring her naked posterior to the boy’s young eyes. Tilting her torso, she looked back to beckon him over with a finger.
The boy raced to the back of the couch, his hardened penis dangling about, where he picked up a conveniently placed box. It proved sturdy enough to support him as he elevated his height behind the bent-over woman.
As the boy grabbed his cock, Max looked down at the erection in his own hand, envious of his on-screen counterpart. Shroomish Boy was much thicker than him and slightly longer, although it was kind of tricky to determine, what with the camera supposedly adding ten pounds.
Max didn’t have the biggest hands and his full-grown erection disappeared somewhere in his fist. He’d never been with a girl but heard from just about everywhere they preferred their men well-endowed. That wasn’t fair, he thought, praying a growth spurt would serve him well.
Shroomish Boy fucked the older slut with his bigger cock while Max furiously beat his little meat in the darkness of his bedroom. “Give it to her,” he found himself mouthing at the laptop. “Make that whore scream.” If she did, he’d never know from the soundless video.
‘This is not an obsession,’ he responded to his sister’s judgement. He was not ’getting off on all this’ like she assumed.
As the older woman took the youngster from behind, Max found himself zooming in on her open-mouthed, slutty face, then scrolling down to her rolled-up sweater, gaping at her ample breasts squished on the table.
“Filthy… whore…” he breathed, stroking himself faster and faster. “Shit!” Not even halfway into the action and he was getting close. He couldn’t match Shroomish Boy for size or stamina, apparently. No wonder this whore loathed him and loved guys like Shroomish Boy. But Max would have the last laugh.
Fearful of a premature eruption, Max fast-forwarded the video to his favourite part, switching to the ceiling camera capturing the redhead naked and lying on her back, nothing but the overcoat separating her from the cold, hard floor. The top of Shroomish Boy’s head appeared at the bottom of the woman laying spread-eagled.
Max loved this segment because the boy really threw his back into thrusting and the whore’s large breasts swayed wildly as a result. His young but zesty cock disappeared and reappeared from her ginger bush.
“Yeah… take that…” Max whispered between heavy breaths. “Want to spill tea on my favourite sweater, bitch?” He fapped at an angry pace. “I’m glad you… aaahhh… I’m glad you lost your boyfriend.” He stroked harder. “Glad you lost your job. I fucking hate you,” he muttered, imagining he was on top of her. “Fucking take it, slut. You deserve it!”
Max grabbed the closest sock and emptied himself within seconds, panting hot and heavily, his face coated in sweat. Shroomish Boy continued fucking her for a while but Max shut the video off, knowing how it all ended.
Ultimately, in tears, for her. And he didn’t feel bad about it.
. . .
Every weekend Max volunteered to help his mother run their local corner store. It was hard enough being single raising both him and May (especially May), and she appreciated him taking a load off her shoulders.
May always seemed to have ‘other commitments’ – most likely placating her lousy, green-headed joke of a ‘boyfriend.’
It was an easy decision for Max, considering he didn’t have friends to hang out with anyway, and the quiet of the store was tranquil enough to conduct his homework and school studies in. The odd customer would pop in to purchase a trinket or some Contest memorabilia, but for the most part his time behind the counter passed undisturbed. Today seemed like another one those uneventful days until a woman in dark glasses and an oversized sun hat walked into the store.
Max looked up from his Science book, perturbed by her appearance. “Uh, can I help you?”
“You’re Maximilien P.I., right?” She bustled to the counter in a hurry. “Petalburg’s finest investigator?”
“Well…” Max pushed his glasses up and flashed a slanted grin. “I didn’t come up with that title but it is befitting.” Still, he’d never been approached at the store for an occupational enquiry; he kept a private number for that. He sought to keep his family out of his complicated business, including the shop his mother worked hard to maintain. “I’m sorry but if you need to make a request, you can contact me on –”
“Please, I need to know,” she cut him off. “My husband, he’s…” She fidgeted and looked back as if concerned someone might’ve recognised her sneaking into the store. “My husband is up to something. I need to know what. I suspect it’s another woman.”
‘Of course you do.’ They always did. And they were almost always right. Sometimes Max considered himself in the confirmation business rather than investigation.
“I understand,” he said. “But it’s bad policy to speak about this in the open. If you just call me later on –”
“Please,” she insisted. “I, I, I don’t know where else to go. I’ll pay you whatever you want. Please. I need to know.”
“Look, lady –”
She rummaged through her large handbag then dropped a jumble of reports and pictures on the counter.
Max recognised the tall, dark and buff man in the candid photos immediately. “Your husband is the Petalburg City Gym Leader?”
“Can you help me or not?” She brushed past his intrigue. “I got these from the previous investigator I hired,” she explained as he browsed through the shots of Norman walking to and out of motels. “After two months of trailing him, he said he couldn’t find anything suspicious.”
“Then you have nothing to worry about?”
“I don’t buy it. I think Norman must’ve found him and threatened him or paid him off or something. He can’t know I’m here. No one can.”
“I see…” Norman certainly had the power and resources to pull something like that.
“From what I hear, you’re incorruptible and always deliver. Or are those just tall tales?”
What she didn’t realise was Max had a history with Norman; more specifically, his mother did.
After she divorced their dad and moved to Petalburg for a fresh start, she wound up meeting the local Gym Leader, ironically through him and May. Their relationship grew and intensified for the better part of two years. Wedding bells began to sound around the corner when, suddenly, it all fell through.
With no explanation from her, or him.
Max had figured the adults didn’t consider him or May mature enough for any clarification. Whatever had happened between Norman and his mom hurt her so much she destroyed a lot of his personal possessions and barred the mere mention of his name in the household.
Max and May didn’t get it, but respected her wishes nonetheless, and never asked any questions since. At the back of his mind, Max had always speculated Norman cheated on her, but had never had the means or ingenuity to prove it. He’d been too little to do anything towards the man who’d devastated his mother.
But not anymore.
“I’ll help you,” declared Max.
Relief sprung on what little he could see of her shrouded face. “Oh my God, thank you, thank you!” She dumped everything she had on Norman across the counter. “How much will I owe you for this?”
Max quoted her half his usual fee. Truth be told, he was prepared to do this one pro bono.
She accepted his terms and reached over to shake his hand. Raising her shades for the briefest of moments, she gave him a onceover.
“What?” Max didn’t like being stared at.
“You’re a lot younger than I thought, that’s all. Don’t you have school and stuff? Where do you find the time to – ugh, never mind.” She put her glasses back on and dismissed her curiosities with a wave. “That’s none of my business. I hope to hear from you soon, yeah?”
“As soon as I dig anything up. I promise.”
. . .
Two weeks of recording Norman’s every move, surveying him from tall trees for better vantage, hiding in bushes outside the Petalburg Gym, had led Max to the triple storey villa staring back at him.
The chic luxury home climbed high beyond the walls of the gated community it sat in. Like most of his targets, Norman was a creature of habit, jogging with his pokémon every dawn and dusk, fighting Gym challengers throughout the day, attending official Pokémon League conferences and running errands in between everything else. He almost seemed too busy for infidelity. The villa, however, was the one irregularity in an otherwise humdrum routine.
Max had only caught him visiting the property twice during his 14 days of surveillance; once in the very wee hours of the morning, when anyone who knew him, including his wife, would naturally assume he was on a run. And now, being the second time, Max had hopped on his bike and followed his car all the way outside of Petalburg in pure daylight. The trouble was his investigation hit a roadblock as he couldn’t fathom a way to get through the 24/7 security.
While Norman had visited the property alone on both occasions Max had followed him, it didn’t rule out the possibility his mistress could’ve been someone inside. He’d also got the distinct impression Norman’s wife had no idea this villa existed. Max hadn’t yet deduced whose name it was in.
He’d contemplated approaching his wife with the information gathered so far, but preferred handing over complete, undeniable evidence instead of nudging his client’s for help figuring things out. After all, he was considered the best for a reason.
As Max eyed the property with binoculars from a distance, searching for exploitable points of entry, a school bus pulled up blocking his view. Annoyed, he cursed under his breath as a plethora of noisy schoolkids piled out of the long vehicle and stampeded through the open gates, ushered in by the guards.
“I hate kids,” he muttered to himself, before a lightbulb sparked on.
The next day when the school bus pulled up, Max wasn’t watching from across the street; he was amongst the boisterous animals bustling in excitement, disguised with nothing more than a backpack.
Guards and kids alike didn’t bat an eyelid at his presence. He was used to being ignored by his peers, by everyone really, a natural born loner slipping under the radar. It was half the reason he felt perfectly suited for this job. The guards ushered him in with the rest of herd.
Outside Norman’s villa, Max kneeled at the cellar doors after the group of animated kids disappeared in their respective homes. He cast forth a Poké Ball releasing a Corphish then had the borrowed pokémon snap the locks with its powerful pincers.
The inside of the luxury home looked as chic and spacious as expected from its outwards appearance. He noted the furniture was sparse: a rug, a single sofa, a flatscreen TV and one abstract portrait on the wall. The kitchen housed a fridge but almost nothing else, and every cupboard he opened was empty. He walked across a large window in the living room offering a view of the sparkling pool outside. It was a nice touch but, very apparent to Max, Norman didn’t spend any time actually living here.
If he owned this property, it could only be for leisurely purposes. Everything seemed to corroborate Max’s theory – this villa had to be Norman’s hotbed for adulterous activity. All that was left was to catch him in the act.
Max ventured upstairs to the biggest bedroom, also the only bedroom to have an actual bed in it. He swung his backpack on the mattress and dug out a wide range of surveillance equipment, including inconspicuous pens fitted with video recording technology and button-sized hidden cameras.
For the purposes of espionage, Max preferred a cluttered room to the tidy hand he’d been dealt. It was much easier to disguise hidden cameras in a mess but he had to try.
He climbed onto the mattress and replaced the normal lightbulb in the aluminium hanging light with his own tinkered version, which would capture a panoramic view of the bed and everything around it.
Scanning the room further, he noticed a single photograph sitting on the bedside table. It was a happy picture of Norman and his wife, but more significantly, the top and bottom borders of the frame had crystal-like decorations embedded at their centre. Max used a pocketknife to pluck out one ornament then replaced it with a camera just about the same size; the lens even gleamed in a similar fashion.
Norman would really have to be looking to notice the difference.
The sneaky home invader opened the wardrobe next, hoping to camouflage a spy-camera button amongst his blazers or press shirts, but the shelves and hangers were vacant, just tall mirrors embedded on the insides of the closet doors.
He positioned a camera pen on the window sill and set its lens sticking out the far end of the closed curtain, aiming towards the heart of the room. Stepping back and looking at it, it was impossible to spot without a hint of suspicion it was there.
Although, he did run the risk of Norman opening the curtains and discovering it. He hadn’t got a chance to observe Norman’s usual behaviour in the bedroom unfortunately. Was it worth the risk?
Max extracted a tablet connected to all the devices and ensured the live feedback was working correctly, as well as surveyed all the angles for decent coverage. Hmm. The picture frame camera needed slight adjusting. He was on his way to turn the photograph when the bang of a door downstairs caught his attention.
“What the…?” Heart in his throat, Max rushed to the window and spotted Norman’s car in the driveway. “Oh, crap!!”
Max shovelled all the equipment sprawled out on the bed back into his bag, tangled cables and all. He ran to the door.
Footsteps from the other end made him think twice about exiting that way.
He ran to the window. The drop would probably kill him, or leave him paralyzed in the best-case scenario. Trapped, like a Rattata, he paced back and forth as an impending panic attack threatened to steal his breath away.
If Norman caught him in here, he was good as dead. His own wife was terrified of him!
Max didn’t know if the rumours of his ties to mobsters were legitimate but he didn’t want to stick around to find out. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and counted to ten, like his big sister had always advised.
Calmer, he looked around for a solution, even as the footsteps grew louder.
In a moment of pure desperation, he dropped to the floor and crawled on his belly under the bed, dragging his backpack with him. There was just enough to space to fit and breathe.
His tablet slipped out and lingered an arm’s reach away.
He swept it under the bed a split second before the door cracked open.
Heavy duty boots treaded into the room. Max held his breath as they slowly walked across the floor inches away from him. A box was set down next to the bedside table.
“Uh, Norman?” a female voice called out from afar.
“In here!” Norman bellowed.
Max celebrated in silence. ‘Ha! Gotcha.’ It might’ve been premature but who else would he be inviting to his super-secret, super-secure pad if not for his mistress?
Max peeked from under the bed as a damning pair of red and yellow trainers stepped into the room.
He exclaimed in a shocked whisper…
Author’s Notes: Thanks for reading! Please rate and drop a review to let me know what you thought of this fic!
Special credit goes to Aster Crowley for the artwork that inspired this fan fic cover! As of the time of this writing, you can find more of the artist’s work here:
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