AN: This story takes place in an alternate world to the Pokemon world that everyone is accustomed to. (AU) Please, enjoy!
Lights Will Guide You Home
If there was one thing Tolly would have never expected that morning, it was waking up to the smell of rotted meat with just a hint of the cheapest perfume the world had to offer. The stench was so overwhelming that his eyes were already watering profusely with irritation and his nose crinkled like a ball of paper being crushed underneath a foot which was accompanied by a burning sensation that felt as powerful as a Houndoom's Flamethrower.
But still, he knew if he stayed in bed, allowing himself to be paralyzed by the smell, it would only get worse. He also knew he couldn't be late for an appointment he made. Taking a handful of clothes he had picked out to wear that day,Tolly quickly rolled out of bed and ran down the hallway and passed an empty room into the bathroom, locking the door behind him, switching the fan on, and spraying down the entire room with pineapple scented air freshener. He hated pineapples, but it was better than the alternative.
As his golden blonde hair slicked back in the shower, he laboriously bathed himself with nearly every bottle of soap he could find. Still, the putrid smell pierced through the shield of pineapple and barrier of lavish shower soaps. Considering that the incident only happened last night, Tolly was baffled by how fast the odor presented itself and how far it spread through their shack of a home. But deep down he knew that what took place was justified. It was just time to reap the consequences of what he and his brother had sown.
Quickly recalling that his older brother, Ethan, had taken part in what happened last night, Tolly quickly exited the shower, sloppily dried himself off, and reached for his clothes. He slipped on a gray t-shirt and royal blue pull-over hoodie with the phrase "Let's Get Weird" in colorful letters on the front, his boxers, black shorts, and a pair of royal blue and white sneakers.
Tolly raced into his brother's room, the empty room he walked by to get to the bathroom. His fears were confirmed. Not a single soul that promised the two would leave together this morning was present in the room. Just scattered clothes, an unmade bed, and Tolly's broken heart.
It may have taken around two hours, but a very winded Tolly finally managed to arrive at the train station. "Hello, welcome to the Heath Train Station!" a very lovely male attendant said, but the boy had no time for such a thing as formalities and completely blew past him. He plunged bravely into the sea of business tycoons and common, everyday people. Measuring up at barely five feet and one inch, his small, scrawny stature allowed himself to easily maneuver between legs and through tight gaps made by people, which was the first time he had ever thanked his parents for not feeding him enough as a small child.
His heart began to pound as every second not seeing his brother meant he was one second closer to getting on some Arceus forsaken train never to be seen again. He cursed Ethan under his breath for not abiding by their promise of seeing each other off that morning, but he also cursed himself for in his rush to find him, he completely ignored the one person that could have helped him- the male attendant.
As the minutes continued to pass faster than he had ever felt time pass, his heart began to sink and the crippling anxiety started to set in. He could feel his airways constricting as his pulse gradually grew faster and faster to the point where he probably should have been having a heart attack. Next came the horrible light headed feeling that made him dizzy and distorted reality around him as he staggered into very not-understanding strangers that probably thought he was coked out of his skull. The crowd around him began to turn into dust as the final stage of his anxiety began to set in- hallucination. He was just left with nothing but what felt like dry, arid sand from a desert. Although he consciously knew he was in the train station on a concrete floor, his body convinced him otherwise as his throat felt the sharp, dry pain of daggers stabbing it with thirst. Many people had simply ignored Tolly, who was on the ground shivering. It was not the fact that no one cared, but people high on drugs was quite common for the area. The only thing they could think about was their scheduled train departures and what they were going to eat later that night.
A friendly hand placed itself on Tolly's shoulder and all together, he felt his anxiety leave him. He regained the ability to breathe first, next came the removal of daggers from his throat, then the empty desert was replaced with a full train station, and finally his brother's discontented face staring him in the eyes.
"Ethan!" Tolly screamed happily as his arms death-gripped his brother in a hug.
Ethan simply groaned and wrapped his arms around his little brother, allowing him to melt in the hug as he always did. "What in the Distortion World are you doing here?" he asked, pulling away from him.
Tolly quickly felt his shortness of breath coming back the instant his brother let go of him and began to cling to him like a lost puppy. "You jerk! You said we would see each other off this morning. How could you just break our promise like that?" he tightened his little fist and slammed it into the older boy's chest with tears streaming down his face. "The house smelled horrible and I had to wake up alone to it!"
"Wait, the smell started to spread already? Arceus Above, that's horrible. I guess we really mucked things up." Ethan let out a sad sigh and knew that wasn't what his little brother wanted to hear. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to leave you behind. It's just..." he paused for a few seconds and averted his from Tolly's, which were already welling up with enough tears to supply water balloons to a little kid's party. "You know how I hate goodbyes."
"You hate good-byes? Look at me, I'm a wreck over here. I think it's safe to say that if you hate them, then I can't even handle them." Tolly giggled slightly, trying to cheer himself up. "I'm just really gonna miss you. Do you really have to go to this stupid Freedomist group home or whatever?"
Ethan groaned again and gave his little brother the slightly annoyed look. "You know how I feel about Pokémon and people being together."
"I think it's stupid you think Pokémon and humans shouldn't live together." Tolly folded his arms.
"Yeah?" Ethan smirked. "Well I think it's completely absurd you even allow people to be Pokémon Trainers and Coordinators. That's like slavery to the Pokémon." He saw that Tolly was also growing slightly annoyed and stopped himself before he went on his usual minute long rant about how people and Pokémon coexisting is wrong. "Hey, c'mon, let's not let our last conversation for a while be this age old argument between us."
Tolly's face immediately lit up like lights on a Christmas tree. "'For a while?' You mean we're gonna see each other again?"
"Of course we will. We've got opposing views, you're going on to be a Pokémon Trainer, and I'm joining a religious movement to separate humans and Pokémon. That and the Hokkaido Region isn't exactly the biggest region in the world. You bet your butt we're gonna meet again." Ethan laughed, hugging his little brother as tightly as possible. "You be good, OK? I'm serious. Don't go wandering off into trouble like you did when you were seven." his voice began to crack slightly as tears rolled down his cheeks. "I remember when you had your accident... I was so scared when you walked away from the car wreck. And then I was terrified when I looked in your eyes and you looked back at me like I was some stranger... But look at you, you're all grown up now. You're gonna do great things."
Tolly scoffed and smirked through his tears. "I just broke down in a train station because you were leaving and apparently I'm all grown up? Alright." he chuckled.
Ethan looked back to see passengers boarding a nearby train and let out one last saddened sigh. "Well..." he stopped, not wanting to say that he had to leave.
Tolly saw his brother's mouth unable to form any words and he smiled slightly, hugging his brother for a last time and backing away slowly. "I'll see you around, Ethan."
Ethan took a deep breath and mouthed "Thank you" to his little brother for not making him say anything, although he probably should have. "Remember what I told you, right? About the stars?"
Tolly nodded his head as Ethan began to disappear into the dense crowd of people boarding trains. "I'll always remember! You said 'Let the lights guide you home!' I'll let them guide me!" As Ethan was nearly out of sight, tears formed in Tolly's eyes again as he screamed "I love you, Ethan!"
But no response was heard from Ethan as the crowd thickened with people and the commotion began to grow louder. Tolly sniffled at not being able to hear his brother say anything, but he knew he said it.
"I love you too, Jason!" Ethan's voice called out.
Tolly smiled as his heart began to warm and rise from the pit of his stomach. The two of them had chose to go by different names on their adventures, although none of them had given each other their fake names. To go by the name 'Tolly' felt right for Jason, like a missing piece of the fragmented puzzle that was his horrible life. Things finally felt as if they made sense to him. Now he could be who he felt he was destined to be: Tolly Anderson, a world renowned adventurer that would make the world a better place.
But first he had to stop crying in the middle of the train station.