Author: Quill of Molliemon PM
AU, crossover, three-shot; follows "Soothe the Savage". Naruto reaches Shinobi Town where his first gym awaits. But will he triumph or fail? ...And what the heck is the gym leader reading!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - & Naruto U. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 11,628 - Reviews: 32 - Favs: 146 - Follows: 25 - Updated: 09-03-09 - Published: 08-30-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5343194
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Pokémon. If I did, I'd have a lot of money…but I don't. So don't bother suing, you won't get anything out of it.
Notes: (Crossover, could be a crack!fic if you want) Here there be Naruto characters and Pokémon monsters! This is a three-part short which follows "Soothe the Savage".
I hope that you enjoy it!
Naruto sighed in relief as he crested the small hill where the trees opened up to reveal a town about double the size of Konoha Town. This was Shinobi Town, a place supposedly named after a fictional type of ninja…or something. It had a pokémon gym; that was all that mattered to the young Uzumaki who stared upon it.
"Made it," he groaned and hiked his pack higher on his shoulders. This dislodged Bolt the pichu, who had been napping on top of the bag, and sent him tumbling over the blonde boy's shoulder and into his arms with a squeak. "Oh, sorry."
Helping the little yellow mouse back onto his shoulder, he sucked in a deep breath and marched down into town. His first stop would be to the local pokémon center where he could get cheap food and get his three little beasties treatment. And then, after resting his feet a bit, he'd scope out his first gym.
It took some aimless wandering, but he found the pokémon center. The bright red roof and giant sign was a dead giveaway. And after stepping inside, the nurse uniforms and chansey helpers only confirmed it.
Pokémon centers were the most important buildings to trainers. They offered free beds for the night, cheap food, and medical care for any pokémon that needed it. Without such centers, the trainer culture would collapse.
After getting his three minions refreshed at the counter, he headed for the bank of pay video phones to make a call.
"Hi Mom!" Naruto grinned as the black screen came alive with his mother's familiar face.
"Hey! You made it back to civilization!" she greeted with a cheery smile. "Excellent! So which town are you in now?"
"Shinobi Town," he answered. "Oh, hey look at what I got!" Unleashing Bolt from its ball, the pichu blinked and curiously poked at the video screen. "Bolt, say hi to my mom!"
Her blue-green eyes widened. "You know, while I love water pokémon…I have a secret weakness for these guys."
"There's more!" Naruto boasted. He let his magikarp free and struggled to lift the large fish into the camera's view. "This is Typhoon!"
"An ambitious name," she remarked. "But I'm sure that one day your fishy will back that up."
His smile found a way to get wider. "Hehe, yeah!"
"So, how's it going with Demon?" she asked.
Naruto grimaced and put Typhoon away. "A tiny bit better. It'll be a while before I can use it in any kind of serious battle."
"Well, baby steps can go a long way, it just takes time," she advised. "So, did you run into any trainers while you were traveling?"
"Yeah," he nodded.
She leaned in eagerly. "Did you get into any battles?"
"Ah…no," he muttered, glancing away.
He could've challenged Shino or Kiba to a fight, but he hadn't felt like it. Typhoon wasn't strong enough yet and Demon wasn't trustworthy. There was only Bolt, and he knew that both boys at least had two monsters they could call on.
If he was going to challenge either boy, he wanted a better choice of minions so that he could give his opponents a battle they'd remember because they weren't just random trainers on the road, they were his classmates.
"You haven't battled anyone before and you're going to challenge a gym?" his mother asked worriedly.
"I'll snoop around first," Naruto explained. "If I can, I'll challenge a gym trainer before I try the leader. I need to get three badges before next year, Mom!"
"You still have a full year," she reminded him. "You don't have to be in such a rush."
"Don't worry, Mom," he sighed. "I'll figure things out."
"Alright," she replied with a reluctant nod. "You said that you're in Shinobi Town?"
"Yeah," he confirmed.
"Shinobi Town…" she muttered to herself and wandered away from her phone, vanishing from the screen. "Where did I put that book?"
Naruto blinked and stared at an excellent view of the kitchen. It looked like his mother was in the process of either making poffins for her pokémon, or cookies. And then, just as he was getting bored, his mother's starmie drifted into view.
Out of all her pokémon, he found Hoshi the starmie to be the creepiest. It had no face, no visible eyes or mouth, and it just floated around with its multifaceted gem flashing or glowing. It was also large, bigger than he was—it was still bigger than he was.
"Hoshi?" he called into the audio pick-up.
The large purple starfish froze, then drew in close the video phone until all that the screen showed was its large red gemstone, flashing in a psychedelic pattern. Bolt stared at the screen for a minute before turning away, looking decidedly dizzy. Naruto scrubbed at his eyes and knocked on the screen.
"Stop it, Hoshi!" he commanded. "You're giving me a headache!"
"Hoshi!" The giant double-starfish was shoved aside and his mother's face reappeared on the screen. "Okay…" She flipped through a book and studied a page for several minutes. "…Kakashi."
"Scarecrow?" Naruto muttered blankly.
"That's the name of the gym leader," his mother informed him. "Kakashi Hatake." She was silent for a minute. "He doesn't really specialize in anything, from what I remember. He's very smart. Because you don't have any badges, he'll hold back when you fight…but don't mistake that for going easy on you."
"…You know this guy?" he asked curiously.
While he knew that his mother had been a trainer, she rarely talked much about the people she had met on her travels. She'd talk all about the adventures she had with her pokémon, and the battles they'd been in together, but she rarely said much about other trainers. He'd never thought too much on it because she'd always get him so wrapped up in the story of the pokémon that he never caught what she was leaving out or not talking about.
"I was acquainted with him a long time ago," she replied, "when he wasn't much older than you are now."
"Cool. Thanks for the info Mom; I'll keep it in mind." He waved at the screen. "Bye!"
"Be careful and do your best," she smiled and waved. "Bye!"
And then there was a click and the screen went dark.
Naruto sighed and removed Bolt from the little shelf in front of the pay video phone and carried the pichu up the stairs to where the bunks for traveling trainers were.
"Time for a little nap, and then snooping…"
The next afternoon, Naruto sat in the stands inside the Shinobi Town gym with Bolt sitting on his head and watched as a challenger waited for the gym leader to arrive. The gym building was very plain, it just looked like an abandoned warehouse with some leftover boxes stacked in the corners, a battle field painted on the dirt floor, and bleachers on one side of the field for spectators. Apparently there wasn't too much to do in Shinobi Town so the gym leader allowed anyone in to watch trainers trying for his gym's badge.
On the gym doors, Naruto had noticed some rules posted for all challenging trainers. The gym leader offered only one battle per day and all battles had to be scheduled ahead of time. The gym leader also could refuse a challenging trainer if they were trying again too soon…or if they were rude.
This should be good. Naruto grinned in anticipation. Now if only the gym leader would show up…
A few minutes later, a trainer who worked in the gym and was set to referee the match, stood up from the wooden crate he'd been sitting on and the gym leader appeared from the far door.
The man was tall with silver hair, an eye-patch, and a gray and black scarf wrapped around his neck and mouth. He was dressed in a dark-colored trench coat, fingerless gloves, and faded gray pants. The small visible portion of his face looked thoroughly bored as he slouched his way over to his end of the battling field. A violet-colored granbull trotted after him and sat at his feet when he stopped.
"Can we start now?" the challenging trainer, a boy a few years older than Naruto, asked.
"Do you remember the rules that I gave you yesterday?" the gym leader responded blandly.
"Yeah, I do!" the challenger growled.
"Then we can start!" Kakashi Hatake answered almost cheerfully. "Knock yourself out!"
The teenager immediately began by releasing a geodude, a living rock that was little more than a stone face with arms. Kakashi unleashed a lucario, a sleek fighting canine with black and blue steel skin. And then he pulled an orange book out of his pocket and started reading, leaving the fight solely to his pokémon.
"What's he doing?" Naruto muttered to himself.
"He does this all the time," a girl who was sitting nearby explained, her eyes fixed on the fight. "His pokémon are so well-trained he rarely has to give them any direction at all. It's amazing!"
Down below, the lucario easily trounced the geodude. The challenger lashed out with a bayleef, which Kakashi countered with a fire-breathing arcanine. That match-up was even quicker than the first and the frustrated and desperate challenger sent out a corsola. The gym leader seemed to take an extra moment before swapping out his arcanine for…a ditto.
Naruto grimaced at the sight of the shapeless purple-gray blob. It looks kinda like chewed up gum…
The ditto eyed its opponent before there was a puff of smoke and it transformed into a replica of the corsola. The only way to tell the two apart was that the transformed ditto was still grayish-purple in color and it still had a ditto-ish face. And then the fight started.
The match-up wasn't as even as Naruto had expected it would be. The ditto copied every attack that the corsola threw at it, but it was at a higher level than its foe. It was faster and stronger and had better stamina than the challenger pokémon. Its higher level gave it the edge, and it won without the gym leader giving it a single command.
"The winner of this challenge," the referee-trainer announced, "Gym Leader Kakashi."
The audience gave some polite applause and a few ragged cheers.
Naruto gulped nervously. This guy is really good. …Maybe I should've gone with Kiba, Shino, and Hinata to Kunoichi Town.
The patchy crowd started to disperse now that the show was over, but the gym leader didn't seem to notice. He was still reading his orange book. The man had barely glanced up from the pages to switch his monsters.
Intensely curious, Naruto crept down from the bleachers and over to the still-reading gym leader. The granbull still sitting at the man's feet made him cautious; it's long lower fangs looked very sharp and unpleasant. But what was he reading that was so fascinating that he just had to read it while in the middle of a pokémon battle?!
"Uh…what are you reading?"
The silver-haired man looked up from his reading material and studied him with his one visible eye. "…How old are you?"
"Eleven," Naruto answered.
"Then I'm reading something that you can't read," the gym leader answered.
Naruto frowned and peered at the orange book cover. The back cover had a red circle with a line through it and a warning against readers under eighteen years of age reading it. The front cover was entitled Come, Come Paradise.
"By the way," the man added, "what happened to your face?"
"An accident, when I was little," Naruto muttered sourly and rubbed self-consciously at one of his scarred cheeks.
Back home, everyone knew the source of his strangely whisker-like facial scars. But ever since he'd set foot in Shinobi Town he'd felt curious eyes lingering on his cheeks. Gym Leader Kakashi was the first person to ask about it, but Naruto feared that he wouldn't be the last.
"I see that you have a pokémon with you," the gym leader noted, noticing the pichu sitting on Naruto's head. "Any interest in challenging me?"
"Maybe," Naruto replied, trying not to seem as nervous as he was.
Kakashi snapped his book shut and slipped it into one of his coat pockets. "How many badges do you have?"
"None," Naruto muttered, glancing to the side in embarrassment.
"Hmm…and how many pokémon do you have?" the silver-haired man inquired.
"Three," the boy answered.
"I see…" the man nodded. "Well, if you would like to challenge me, here are the rules that we would play by: I would limit myself to using Copycat, and you may use any two of your three pokémon. If you blow it, I suppose I'll let you try again in a week if you want."
"Copycat?" Naruto blinked.
"My ditto," Kakashi explained. He tapped at his covered chin thoughtfully. "I believe I have an opening for you as soon as tomorrow. Check with Tenzo and he'll set you up with an appointment."
And then the gym leader walked away, his granbull at his heels.
Naruto stared after him until he vanished. "…Great."
"So you want to challenge the gym?"
Naruto yelped and spun around, dislodging Bolt from his head, and saw the trainer who had refereed the fight. He seemed about the same age as the gym leader, and looked almost as bored. He had short brown hair and very dark eyes that kind of gave Naruto the creeps.
"Er…yeah?" Naruto squeaked.
The dark-haired trainer—Tenzo—shook his head and beckoned for Naruto to follow. "Let's see if they're any time slots to your liking."
The older trainer led him into a cluttered little office hidden in the shadows of some large crates. There might've been a desk buried under old newspapers, empty take-out containers, and other less identifiable papers, but it could've been one giant pile of garbage for all that Naruto could see. Tenzo fetched a beat-up binder and flipped through the pages until he came to the proper place and handed it over along with a stub of a pencil.
Naruto frowned at the schedule. All of the morning was blacked out and only a few hours were blank in the afternoon. He stared at the time slots and fidgeted with the pencil for a few minutes, unable to decide…
…Ah, why not? If I don't make it, he said I could try again in a week. That's not so bad…right?
Impulsively he signed his name in at one in the afternoon and handed the binder and pencil back.
"Alright," Tenzo nodded and put the binder away. "We'll see you tomorrow…if you don't chicken out."
"I won't chicken out!" Naruto frowned, and Bolt boldly squeaked to back him up.
Tenzo snorted. "Well, don't take it too hard when Kakashi-sempai beats you. Learn from it."
Naruto stuck his tongue out at the gym trainer and left the office and the gym building.
We'll see whether I lose or not tomorrow!
Naruto tried not to tremble too visibly as he waited for his gym challenge to start. The bleachers, which had been half-full the day before, were empty of spectators. And the gym leader was nearly an hour late for the appointment.
"Where is everybody?" he asked Tenzo, who was sitting on a small crate on the sidelines.
"The last challenger was a punk, so Kakashi-sempai made sure that the match was publicized so he'd be embarrassed when he lost," Tenzo replied as he picked at his nails with a pocket knife. "He likes you a bit better, so no public humiliation…this time."
Great. "So you know he likes me because he doesn't feel like embarrassing me in front of a bunch of strangers?"
"That," Tenzo nodded, "and he seemed very interested in your name. I think he even looked up your trainer information…what little there was."
Naruto shrugged. "Well, when I talked to my mom on the phone she said that she knew him when he was little."
"Really?" Tenzo paused in cleaning his nails to scrutinize the young trainer. "Very interesting. Kakashi-sempai doesn't talk much about his adventures before I met him."
The doors at the back of the gym opened and the gym leader approached the battling field, still being followed faithfully by his granbull.
"You're late!" Naruto accused with an angry jab of a finger.
"Sorry, sorry," Kakashi shrugged carelessly. "I got lost on the road of life for a while."
Naruto blinked. Is this guy for real?
"Well, let's get this show on the road," the silver-haired man sighed and unleashed his ditto. "Pick your first fighter."
Biting his lip, he hesitated a moment before releasing Typhoon.
"…Are you serious?" Tenzo asked, staring at the flopping magikarp.
"Yeah," Naruto nodded.
"Okay," Tenzo muttered and stood up from his crate chair. "Begin!"
"Alright Copycat, do your thing," Kakashi instructed and the ditto transformed into a gray-ish magikarp all the way down to the pathetic flopping on the dirt floor.
Naruto studied the magikarp and false magikarp for a moment before deciding what to do. "Typhoon, try out your tackle."
The orange fish did its best to obey and flopped towards its foe. If the battle had involved a pool, it wouldn't have looked so pathetic, but on dry land it just looked sad. The ditto-karp just flopped in place until the last moment before flipping out of the way.
The battle went much like it had the previous day between the ditto and the corsola. Typhoon kept trying to hit it with its only attack, but the ditto just kept dodging and occasionally hit back with its own more powerful tackle. And in the end the result was the same: Copycat won and Typhoon lost.
"Sorry about that," he muttered to the fish as he returned the limp creature to its sphere.
He'd hoped that Typhoon would at least wear down the ditto a little bit, maybe cause it some damage. He might've used Demon to wear the ditto down, except when he'd tried to train with the fire fox the previous day all he'd gotten for his trouble was a face full of embers. But now it was time to put his real plan into action, and he unleashed Bolt onto the battlefield.
"Okay Bolt, charm and thunder shock!" Naruto instructed.
"Copycat, reset and transform," Kakashi said calmly.
The ditto melted back into a shapeless blob and then there was a puff of smoke and it became a gray-tinged pichu with a ditto face. Bolt looked a bit unnerved at the transformation, but put on a charming face and before the ditto could imitate the move the pichu launched an electrical attack. The ditto took the hit and retaliated with a thunder shock of its own.
Small bolts of lightning were exchanged, along with a few charming stares and tail whips, but Naruto was starting to get worried. He'd been counting on Bolt's electricity and static ability to paralyze the ditto, but it wasn't happening. The longer the fight went on, the more the ditto's high level showed as it dished out punishment while Bolt's efforts grew weaker due to damage and mounting exhaustion.
"Bolt, tackle it!" Naruto commanded out of desperation.
The little yellow mouse charged and crashed into the ditto-pichu, but it didn't have the effect that Naruto was hoping for—Bolt's static didn't take effect.
Naruto clenched his teeth and made once last attempt to paralyze the ditto and level the playing field. "Bolt, thunder wave!"
The pichu sent a wave of static electricity at its foe…but the ditto shrugged the paralyzing move off and hit Bolt with a tackle. Bolt skidded and bounced a bit before coming to a stop. He didn't get back up. Naruto returned him to his pokéball.
The fight was over.
"The battle is over," Tenzo announced, his voice echoing up in the bare rafters of the building. "Winner: Gym Leader Kakashi."
Kakashi returned his ditto to its pokéball as soon as it had melted back into its normal shapeless form.
"You were counting on paralyzing Copycat, weren't you?" he stated more than asked.
Naruto nodded mutely, numbly realizing that the gym leader hadn't brought out his orange book during the fight.
"I don't suppose that you did any research on dittos before the fight, did you?"
Naruto shook his head.
Kakashi sighed. "Well, for your information, ditto's ability is limber, which means that it can't be paralyzed by anything. Please keep that in mind for next week…if you still want to try for my gym's badge. The rules will be the same, unless you manage to capture two or more new pokémon before then, which will require a resetting of the rules."
"Okay," Naruto mumbled and slunk out of the warehouse building.
I'm such an idiot…