|Of Earth and Fire
Author: Coyote Soupus PM
White is not a dog person - she never has been, never will be. So when a mistake in the mail sends her a sickly puppy, she feels sure that her Pokemon journey will never kick off - and then she somehow finds herself on Route 1. Romance as a third genre.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Friendship - Hilda/Touko & Cilan/Dento - Chapters: 9 - Words: 27,481 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 29 - Follows: 29 - Updated: 11-24-11 - Published: 07-17-11 - id: 7190009
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon, Gameloft does. Sadly.
Of Earth and Fire
The Pig and the Puppy
I was dreaming once again.
The suggestions of a forest blurred around me as I ran, chasing after glittering men. ...Odd, glittering men. This was like something from the Twilight saga. Maybe I secretly have a thing for vampires.
A boy ran alongside me, puffing under his breath, have to catch them! All I knew about him was that he had green hair, and I felt a strange sense of companionship. But no matter, there was evil afoot. Again, that feeling that seemed to be related to deja vu kicked in, as if something was being held back that desperately wanted to reveal itself. Some bit of crucial information that would tell me where the hell I was kept on shying away from my attention, and naturally I was too distracted to focus much.
Stop! Thief! My dream boy yelled. They're getting away!
Who are they? I wanted to say, but I couldn't find the words.
Come on! Come on where? Who the hell are you?
"Come on, White, it's too late to be sleeping in!"
"White! The package arrived!" I was being shaken, the entire world was vibrating, was this an earthquake? Caught somewhere between dream and reality, I stirred, opening one eye halfheartedly. "Hnng."
"Honestly," I heard an annoyed huff from somewhere to my lower right, "the most important day of our lives and she's still asleep."
"Quiet, Cheren," a playful voice said from above me before I could zap him with a early-morning glare. "You know she had a long night last night - we all did, probably. How couldn't we? Our very own Pokemon!" This little speech was followed by an enthusiastic squeak. I felt a nudge on my shoulder. "C'mon, White, your mom says we all have to choose together!"
I propped myself up on my elbows, letting my eyes focus. "I'm up, I'm up," I mumbled, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes as I hastily kicked the sheets off of my legs. "What time 's it?"
"Time for you to get off of your butt and make the most important descision of your life, Snorlax." Cheren said, and when I sat up further to glare at him I could see a twinge of humor in his expression, the slightest curl of his lip. I frowned with what I hoped was a dissapproving stare. They only laughed, and I gave up on my endavour.
I stood, stretching. "Nice pajamas," my other friend Bianca giggled. I looked down, and shrugged when I saw the Blitzle pattern upon my PJs. I grinned, going along with the laughter for once.
"All right," I said, clapping my hands together. "Where is that package?"
"That's another challenger down," a red-haired boy said confidently, waving coyly at the receding form of the beaten trainer. "Honestly, you'd think he'd have at least gone fishing before coming up against a fire-type." His brothers, one with blue hair and one with green, both sighed. Their sweatdrops were practically visible.
"Chili," the blue-haired one said cooly, "we're the weakest Gym leaders in Unova. It's a little early for your ego to be such an unhealthy size." The red-haired one turned and stuck his tongue out childishly, "Oh, put a sock in it, Cress."
"Now, now," the last brother laughed nervously, coming between his quarreling relations. "Let's not be hasty... Cress is right, though, Chili." He held up an index finger as he turned to adress the pouting Gym leader. "We still have a long way to go until we are as strong as any of the others. We really only serve as strainers to sort out the inexperienced from the worthy." His brother huffed and turned away, and Cress rolled his eyes, exchanging a look with Cilan.
"Sometimes I think we're no more than gatekeepers," he muttered, and Cilan couldn't help but nod mutely in agreement.
"There must be some mistake!"
"That isn't Tepig..."
"No shit, Sherlock," Cheren said, more annoyed than usual to be provoked into cussing at Bianca. Instead of exploding at him, like I would have, she merely frowned at him until he looked away. I marveled for a moment at the power she exploited over Cheren, before being directed back to the dilemma at hand. Instead of Tepig, the Fire-type Pokemon that was supposed to come with Oshawott and Snivy, there stood a little orange and black striped puppy, staring timidly up at us. Oshawott and Snivy were standing off to one side, looking at it with who-the-hell-are-you raised eyebrows and incredulous stares.
"There must be some mistake," I repeated. "This isn't a starter. This is..." I paused, looking at the ugly little thing with a distasteful curl of the lip. "Frankly, I don't know what this is." The thing sitting on my carpet coughed a little, a harsh hacking sound quickly following it. I jumped back, expecting it to explode or at the least pee all over me.
"Oh, stop it, White." Bianca sat down and stretched out a hand to the orange thing; it let out another snorting sound and nosed her hand. I made a face. "It's actually cute; you're just prejudiced." Cheren let out a little snort-laugh at that, and I switched my glare to him.
"Anyways," he said once he had finished laughing to himself like a loser, "we'd better choose our Pokemon. Dibs on Oshawott!"
"What, wait, but this isn't-" I stuttered.
"I call Snivy!" Bianca yelled, sweeping up the Sea Otter Pokemon in her arms. Both of the Pokemon appeared as alarmed as I.
"But you can't just leave me with this... thing!" The thing was pawing at the matted creamy fur on its mane, making little snuffle-snort sounds and generally being disgusting. Was it's nose running? "Please!" I backed against my bed as the dog came towards me, jaws open in all of its snotty glory. It tensed, jaws open and slavering, and I closed my eyes tight, expecting its jaws to connect with my thigh at any moment. I was surprised when I felt something rubbing against my shin. Something wet. I looked down, and saw it was rubbing its head on my leg and making a sound like a strangled cat, rubbing all of its snot and eye goop onto my bare leg in the process.
It was then I screamed.
Overreacting? Maybe a little. But really, have you ever had a diseased creature rub its dirty, snotty, and goopy face on your leg, and have you ever had to wash off all of the mystery goop and watch it run in green rivers down the drain?
I wasn't a happy camper.
I sat on my bed, glaring at the thing that was running about my room with sickening enthusiasm. It barked once, twice, pausing at the foot of my bed to look up at me endearingly and cock its ugly little head to the side. I wrapped my arms around my legs, drawing my knees to my chest. It barked again and continued to run about, snuffling everywhere with that snotty nose and probably leaving a good coat of slime, too.
"Do you feel accomplished now?" I snapped, swinging my legs over the side of my bed. "You've sucessfully made me want to give up on being a Trainer. Not only that, you probably infested me with whatever poke-disease you've got with your goo... whatever it is." Unperturbed, the dirty orange and cream thing rushed over to my foot and leaped up, reaching up with outstretched paws. I shrieked and scrambled backwards, whacking my head against the wall in the process.
There was a soft knock at my door. "White? Are you all right? There's been quite a bit of screaming..." Oh thank Arceus. Mom'll make this better.
"Mom, help me, please!" She walked through the door, took in the dirty little monster running about my room. I felt a wave of relief when she walked in - still a bit of child dependency lingering - that was instantly shattered when she cooed in adoration and knelt to the ground, arms open.
"Oh, my goodness, this is so cute!" She stroked the thing's ears, all the while making the low cooing sounds. The dog - rat, whatever - licked her happily, slobbering all over her lap.
"M-mom? It isn't cute, it's deranged! I don't even know what the heck it is!" I struggled to make her see it my way. "It's sick or something, it slobbers nonstop, it-"
At that moment, the thing let loose another hacking sound, and smoke billowed out of its throat. I choked. "It coughs smoke?"
"Honey, where did you get it?" My mother asked, waving the smoke away with a frantic hand, continuing to stroke its dirty mane with the other. "Where is your starter?"
"That... It is, my starter, mom," I said, no longer upset or annoyed, just miserable. "There wasn't a Tepig. It was just that thing. I don't know what happened. Cheren and Bianca took Oshawott and Snivy, and left me stuck with this... this...!" The orange thing, hearing the distress in my voice, let loose a whimper as its red eyes flickered over to me. Oh, that was creepy, make it stop looking at me. It didn't stop, depsite my mental pleas, and only stared more intently. Arceus, the thing needs a bath.
"White." I knew that disapproving tone, and I ducked my head, not wanting to meet my mother's eye. "You should be grateful that you're getting a starter Pokemon at all - some children never do. You have this great opportunity to explore the world and expand your horizons, and you will take it if it kills you." Not the best choice of words, as that monster was bound to assasinate me, I knew it. "Now, go to Prof. Juniper and thank her politely. Take your... Pokemon with you." Even she didn't know what to call it.
"You know what? I'll come with you." She stood, hands on hips, mouth set in a stern line, shining in all of her maternal glory. "Come on."
I reluctantly returned the thing to its Pokeball and trudged down the stairs, feeling my mother breathing down my neck with every dragging step. We exited the house at a funeral march.
"Hey, Whi- oh, whoops, sorry." Cheren beelined away as I glared at him.
"See ya later, maybe!" Bianca yelled, waving, and the two of them exited the town onto Route 1. I felt a flash of jealousy that was utterly unreasonable; I couldn't expect them to wait for me in the exitement of the moment... even though we had promised we would wait for each other. My heart sank into my feet, and I looked at the ground as I walked, sinking more into my miserable misery. I felt sorry for myself, and although I knew I was being selfish and, well, a bit of a brat, I honestly didn't care at that point. My friends, my only friends, weren't even bothering to wait as this got cleared up...
Prof. Juniper would have my Tepig, right? I mean, this had to be a mistake.
"Nope, no mistake!" Well, that cleared that up. "That Tepig is all yours!" Professor Juniper beamed at me happily. "I"m sure your friends are eager to get going; you'd better not keep them waiting!" I stared, gulping like a Magikarp at her ignorance. My mother daintily brought a hand to her face, shading her smile from my view. I knew she was, though; I saw her eyes crinkle at the edges, and I felt a blaze of tired annoyance run through me. The Professor was bustling around, humming to herself, apparently searching for something. I was about to set her straight when something rectangular and cool to the touch slipped into my hands. "There, your own Pokedex!"
"Uh-nuh-fu" I think I said, blinded by temporary awe.
"Something wrong?" She smiled, still oblivious to my dilemma.
"Everything is wrong!" I spluttered, fumbling for Thing's Pokeball and dropping my 'dex in the process. "Shoot, wait a moment." There was an awkward silence as I pressed on the ball, cursing when nothing happened. I pressed again, blood draining from my thumb with the pressure. There was finally a flash, and-
Arceus, the monster was on me! Slobber and drool and dog breath in my face, I stumbled into my mother, arms flailing wildly. Was that me screaming? Something battered in my chest, causing my blood to race and fear to course through me as it threw itself against my ribs; only later did I connect that activity to my heart's suddenly accelerated rate. I may have been screaming 'Get it off me' and 'What kind of trick is this', but mostly I think it was just Aaaaaaaaaugh!
"What - Growlithe!" Juniper exclaimed. "How did you... They aren't native to Unova!" Explained how I didn't know what was. I pried the orange dog from my face, practically flinging it at the professor so I could wipe my face off.
"Yeah, Growlithe, whatever that is. It was there insead of Tepig!" I folded my arms after cleansing my face of slobber with my sleeve. "Care to explain?"
"Er, yes." Junpier scratched her neck, embarrassed. "I requested a Pokemon be sent to me from the Kanto region for research on berries and the extents of their capabilities, if some Pokemon may be immune or allergic, like humans." My mother murmured it was a good idea; I ignored her. "This Growlithe came. I suppose I must have, erm, mistaken one Fire-type for another when packing your Pokemon. Terribly sorry."
"S'all right," I shrugged - it really wasn't, but my mother was standing right there, what was I supposed to do? "I'll take the Tepig, then-"
"Wonderful. I love surprises!" I couldn't keep the sarcasm from creeping into my voice now, and my mom cleared her throat.
"See, I don't have a Tepig... I forgot to order one. And delivery takes at least a month or two; they're rare, you know." I knew.
My mouth had dropped open, and I was now once again performing my Magikarp gulping-action. The Growlithe tilted its head at me, matted creamy fur flopping into one of its eyes, a concerned look on its face. Oh sure, I think, shooting it a sour look, of course you're concerned. Don't think I can't see through your facade!
"I'm sure the Growlithe will do," my mother said before I could speak out in more complaints. "Won't it, White?"
"Yes, I think it will," she said, making my descision for me. "You need to learn that you can't get everything in life by stomping your foot," she added in a low voice, turning partially to me. "You will travel with this Growlithe, young lady."
"Y-yes, mother." I said humbly after a few taut seconds. I pointed the Pokeball at the thing and pressed the button, and the Growlithe disappeared in a flash of red light from Professor Juniper's arms. "I'll be going, then. Can't let Cheren and Bianca get too far ahead." With that I slumped out of the lab in a new wave of self-pity. Glaring at the Pokeball, I huffed and clipped it onto my belt with great reluctance. "Guess I'm stuck with you, then."
I could almost hear the dog's satisfied sigh.