Maylene’s mother had come to Johto in a matter of hours by using her husband’s connections. Crasher Wake had informed her of her daughter’s condition, and the hospital she was kept in. He sat at the far end of the room, while her mother talked to Maylene, who was covered in bandages and caskets.
Chuck was at his Gym, still refusing to accept Maylene back, though she was not informed of his decision yet. Brawly went on training; even though he cared about Maylene, he knew that she was alive, will recover, and since she won’t be staying here anymore, he might as well focus on himself rather than on the girl he didn’t know very well.
‘Can I talk to you for a minute?’ Maylene’s mother said to Crasher Wake. ‘Outside, please.’
‘Bring me some food from the cafeteria when you come back!’ Maylene shouted.
‘Sure thing, honey,’ her mother said and followed Crasher Wake to the hallway of the hospital. ‘I don’t want this happening ever again.’
‘It won’t,’ Crasher Wake said. ‘I’ll make sure of it.’
‘No, you don’t understand. I won’t let it happen. She’s coming back to Sinnoh with me.’
‘I think you’re overreacting,’ Crasher Wake said, almost begging. ‘This is for her own good.’
‘Her own good? Being crushed by rocks is her own good?’ she said, almost shouting. ‘Riolu won’t ever be coming back with us. Had he not run off, Maylene wouldn’t have followed him and-’ she breathed heavily. ‘I don’t want her here anymore.’
Crasher Wake could see the woman almost breaking into tears, and there was no arguing with an emotional mother. ‘I’ll go get Maylene some food,’ he said before backing away from the argument. ‘Please, think this through.’
Riolu searched relentlessly for the man who attacked Maylene; he didn’t care if he was weaker, the man had to be defeated. His search began in Cianwood City, which was the closest to the scene, meaning that the chanced of the man living here are high.
He would occasionally run into Poliwrath, who was smashing rocks. The bigger Pokémon would give Riolu an evil look before sending him away, and Chuck did the same. Brawly would offer him the chance to train with Makuhita, but Riolu would always refuse, and continue his search, but he found nothing in Cianwood, which meant that it was to return to the place where they were attacked.
Crasher Wake exited the hospital, and spotted Riolu pacing off to the direction they used to reach Maylene. ‘Riolu,’ he called out to the Pokémon and approached him. ‘Maylene is awake, and she told us what happened.’
Riolu lowered his head. He knew that Chuck wanted her sent away, and this would probably be what does it. Crasher Wake signaled for Riolu to follow him, and he did. They reached the shore they used, and sat next to Floatzel, who was resting after the long demanding ride.
‘She said that you had run off for a reason she didn’t know,’ he said. ‘And that she followed you. You two were on a cliff when the avalanche happened. She got hit by some rocks and dragged to the ground. You broke the rocks and dragged her across the water to where we found you, because you didn’t want more rocks falling on her. Is what she said true?’
Riolu managed to hide his surprise; Maylene had lied. And even though he didn’t like it, he nodded. ‘That’s good news,’ Crasher Wake said. ‘Well, not her getting hurt.’ He laughed loudly, making it evident that Crasher Wake was still Crasher Wake, even in tough times. ‘That means she’ll be able to stay here. Now we just have to convince her mother.’
Riolu gave a fake smile as Crasher Wake left. Searching for the man now would just destroy the lie. He walked to the water to wash of his dirt and sweat, when he noticed Floatzel. The Pokémon looked at Riolu with half-closed eyes, judging him. He knew that it was all a lie, and he looked as if he would attack Riolu.
Everyone gathered in Maylene’s room, with Chuck in front of all of them. He wanted Maylene to tell him that she wasn’t responsible directly, as he believed in his ability to detect lies. He stared down at Maylene, who tried hard to maintain her confidence. Her mother, Brawly and Crasher Wake were behind him.
‘So you didn’t cause the avalanche?’ Chuck finally said, demandingly.
Maylene tried to stay calm, and for the most part, managed to fake it. ‘I didn’t,’ she said. ‘I was hit by the rocks.’
Chuck looked down on the girl for a few second, showing no change in his expression at all, causing Maylene to worry that her lie was discovered. What will her mother, Crasher Wake, father and everyone in Sinnoh think?
‘You can stay,’ Chuck said. ‘Now you just have to convince your mother.’ He laughed before exiting the room, followed by Crasher Wake and Brawly.
‘Mom, please,’ she said. ‘Just let me stay. I’ll be more careful. Please.’
‘I love you, Maylene,’ her voice took on the motherly tone that Maylene had gotten used to. ‘When Crasher Wake told me about what happened, I came here without thinking it through. I know you’re a strong, and you can take care of yourself, but I can’t help but worry; I’m a mother.’ She chuckled and wiped at her teary eyes. ‘I’ve decided to stay here for a week before going back to Sinnoh. I’m not ready to leave you after this incident just yet.’
‘But I can stay right?’
‘Yes, you can.’
Maylene attempted hugging her mother, but the movement caused her to knock over some equipment, which in turn led to a beep that indicated her heart had stopped. The closest nurse rushed in terror, but emitted a sigh of relief as soon as she saw Maylene laughing nervously.
Riolu smashed a rock, and another, and another.
Chuck had allowed him to help in smashing some of the larger rocks that fell due to the avalanche, while passing trainers handled the smaller ones in hopes of finding some items. Maylene was going to be hospitalised for a few more days, so he might as well train on his own. He also took the opportunity to train with Brawly and Makuhita.
Maylene attempted joining the training after being discharged, but all she could do in her condition was sit under the waterfall with Chuck. And a few days later, her mother left, not for Sinnoh, but for a tour across Johto. Crasher Wake left after making sure that Maylene was taken care of and that she was recovering. She found herself alone again in Cianwood City, with no companion but Riolu.
One night she cried herself to sleep; leaving home was one thing, but having people from home leave her was another. The feeling of loneliness overcame her, and she regretted leaving home so abruptly. Her parents, friends, and everyone she knew in Veilstone and the Gym was away from her. She started to question her decision to train in Johto before falling asleep.
Her dreams were no different; homesickness and longing for the people she knew. She would wake up in the middle of the night at the feel of something moving next to her; it was Riolu attempting to keep her company in what was the hardest time of her life.
A week later, she was free to move her limbs as she wanted to, but the nurses advised her to take it easy, and demanded that Chuck wouldn’t demand the same intense training he did before. That week, Makuhita defeated Riolu for the first time due to Maylene’s mind being occupied by the people she left behind.
And the week ended with her crying herself to sleep again.