Hey, everyone! Thanks for checking out my stories. This is a very old story I wrote and I urge you all to check out the rewrite, Lost Children. Thanks again for reading and reviewing!

Chapter 1

Another Home

WELCOME TO PALLET TOWN!

POPULATION: 50

"You've got to be kidding me." Ellen Adler sunk lower in her car seat as the Pallet Town welcome sign passed by. The girl sighed heavily.

The beaten car rolled into the Pallet Town suburbs, blurring past sidewalks lined by neatly clipped trees and an infinite number of two-story, brick houses. The lawns were brown and shriveled by the August heat and large drought notices were tacked onto electrical posts.

Ellen rolled down the car window and the rush of 90-degree heat hit her like a wall despite the shoddy car air conditioning. Beads of sweat stuck to her pale forehead; there was a dry, uncomfortable taste in her mouth; strands of brown hair were damp. The heat felt oppressive here, if it was Fuchsia City it wouldn't matter. A feeling of emptiness spread in Ellen's stomach. Fuchsia City was no longer her hometown. The beaches, the wide span of the Safari Zone hosting a multitude of Pokémon, and the small garden in the back of her house made her yearn to go back. Pallet Town seemed to be a shell of the former city she had grown up in – a simple, fake, reincarnation.

Apparently for a few months after she had been born they lived in Saffron City, a small apartment near the Silph Corporation, but her real childhood home remained Vermillion City. It was the perfect, conventional home, she, Fredia, her father and his Pokemon. There was a little playground out back, the baby pool, the fruit bowl on the kitchen table. The only idyllic slice of life before moving to Fuchsia. And now Pallet Town.

As she sulked, Ellen watched her mother drive. Her gray eyes were focused ahead and her pale, manicured hands clutched the steering wheel. Her dark brown hair was swept back, revealing a soft face. She briefly looked back at Ellen and smiled. "This is going to be better than you think, I promise."

"Good one, Fredia," Ellen deadpanned, catching her look with her matching gray eyes. "I think I have about a zero chance of making friends here."

Fredia sighed. "I know you're angry, but trust me, I would've stayed if I could. Jobs are hard to come by right now."

"It's the third time, Mom." Ellen sat up in her seat, staring at the back of her mother's head. "I'm sick of moving. I want to go back to Fuchsia. Can't we live in a motel or something?"

"Ellen, you don't even remember us moving from Saffron, you were a baby, and lots of people move twice even before your age." She paused and then sighed again. "Kanto isn't doing so well, and you know that. Team Rocket is everywhere, and in case…in case anything happens to Kanto for the worse, Pallet Town is the safest place anyone could be."

"It's also the most boring place. Let's see what I have to look forward to just after my super sweet 16: more homeschooling, no friends, and medication that I hate. Wow, awesome."

"Well, Pallet Town is close to lots of good colleges. Maybe you can start looking at them. Your father got scholarships for all of his computer science work."

"Mom, there is no way I'm getting any money. I have the worst grades ever, and I hate homeschooling."

"Do you think I like this?" Fredia shot back. "I don't enjoy moving, I don't enjoy paying for your medication, I don't enjoy homeschooling, and I don't enjoy being alone for all of this."

Ellen sat back in her seat, eyes widened, her temper cooled and replaced with hurt. She looked out the window again to see rows of identical small brick houses and knew they were getting close to the new house.

The car turned and gravel popped under the tires as it pulled into the driveway of one of the identical small brick houses. Fredia put the car in park and placed her hands in her lap, looking down. "Ellen, I'm sorry, I—"

The girl exited the car and slammed the door shut behind her, looking up at her new home. From what far away looked moderately nice was now revealed to be decaying in some spots. As she looked to the roof for damage, she caught something in the corner of her eye and turned to look at the upper window of her neighbor's house. There in the open window was a set of binoculars clutched by two pudgy hands, directed at her. Once she met the watcher's vision they slipped from the window, slamming the window shut.

Incensed, she walked to the neighbor's front door and pounded on it until a middle-aged man in a lab coat opened the door. He was a pudgy, jovial man with brown hair and a huge smile. "Hello there! You must be Ellen!"

She started. "Um…yes?"

He laughed. "Don't worry, I talked to your mom on the phone before you guys got here! I'm Professor Birch. Welcome to Pallet Town, it's great to meet you! Would you like to meet my son Brendan? He's upstairs in his room."

The pudgy hands and binoculars. "Sure," Ellen said, smiling sweetly. Birch showed her in. She made her way up the steps and stopped at a door with a crudely made STAY OUT sign taped to it. She knocked on the door.

"DAD, GO AWAY, I'M WRITING!" a shrill voice answered.

She opened the door anyway, stepping into the sparse room. The seated figure next to the window spun around angrily, revealing a pudgy cherub face. On seeing it wasn't his father, the young man gaped in shock. "I- I gave you no option to enter my room! Get out!"

Ellen walked further into the room, noticing stacks of notebooks on almost every flat surface. "You spied on me," she said, looking at him pointedly. She walked up to face him in his chair.

He had a cherub face and a snub piggish noise, slight brown eyes and a shock of snow-white hair. He bit his lip nervously, avoiding her gaze, before shrugging. "I'm so sorry, it's just in my nature. I'm a writer, I can't help myself. I just have to people watch." He had a light, slightly lisping voice that seemed odd coming from a fat teenage male. "I'm Brendan Birch. You're Ellen Adler. Aged 16. Coming from Fuchsia City."

She frowned at him. "How do you know so much about me?"

"I eavesdrop on my father, that's why." He paused, then looking at her slyly. "Of course, yours ditched you and your mother, so what do you know?"

She gaped at him and her expression turned dark. "How do you know about that?"

"What did I just say? Eavesdropping." He cast her an offhand wave. "You bore me. I need to go back to writing."

He turned back to his work, ignoring her. She took a few steps back, seeing that her fear of having no friends was slowly coming to reality, before quietly closing the door behind her and walking downstairs. What would've normally been intense anger was subdued by medication and replaced with dull sadness.

She passed by the kitchen on her way out, and Professor Birch burst through the doorway, all smiles. "Ellen! Wait!" She turned to him and he frowned. "Are you all right?"

"Tired. It was a long car ride."

He grinned again. "Well, I hope you're not too tired! I have a terrific surprise. Would you like your very own Pokémon?"

"I—"

He bustled past her, heading for the front door. "I was out doing some fieldwork before and I left the Pokémon down on Route 1. I've got to get back, but call Brendan and you two can walk there together." He smiled again and waved before shuffling away. "Tootaloo!"

"Too…taloo," she mumbled, looking back to the stairs. She imagined Brendan in his room, writing angrily, before turning back to the front door and leaving without the boy.

She crunched down the gravel driveway and eyed her house; the moving van was parked in the road and her mother was nowhere to be found. As she passed the front door the morning paper sat on the walkway; she picked it up and glanced at it briefly.

TEAM ROCKET CONTINUES TO HOLD SILPH CORPORATION HOSTAGES

Saffron City seemed so far away, and it hurt her a bit to know that bad things were happening in her first home. It had been like this for years, but it didn't matter. She spied a trashcan on the sidewalk and dumped the newspaper in, making sure Fredia wasn't looking. A woman as neurotic as her mother didn't need more bad news.

"YOU!"

Ellen whipped around to see Brendan Birch storming from his front door, pointing an accusing finger at her. He marched up to her, his impressively short form and her tall form causing his head to only reach her neck. "You!" he screeched again. "I just received a call from my father stating that you were supposed to tell me to meet him at Route 1 for a Pokémon!"

"I must have forgot," she said, deadpan.

His pale brow furrowed at her. "You really are a simpleton."

"And you're an asshole. I don't like you." She turned away and began her walk down the sidewalk.

There was silence for a moment before Brendan huffed behind her, struggling to catch up with her long strides. "Perhaps that was a bit harsh for someone like you," he admitted.

She frowned, staring ahead. "I didn't want to move here. It's just another house for me to live in for a few years. No friends, no high school, no Pokémon, just me and my mom. And you, being an asshole. I don't even know if I'm going to college."

"Why?"

Her failing grades, even with homeschooling. "I don't know. All I want to do is get out of here." She stuffed her hands in her jeans pockets. Through the tall grass in the distance she saw the small figure of Professor Birch, but he was acting strangely, as if avoiding something. She squinted. "Is your dad okay?"

Brendan squinted too and they jogged forward, seeing that Birch was cowering on the lower branches of a tree. They looked and each other and burst into a run, stopping at the edge of the tall grass.

"Dad?" Brendan called, peering through the grass.

Birch caught sight of them from the tree, grinning despite the situation. "Brendan, Ellen, I'm so glad you're here! Please, a Poochyenna chased me up this tree, my bag is near you in the grass. Pull out a Pokeball, help me!"

"In the grass…?" Brendan muttered uncertainly, inching back. "I…well, dear me—"

Ellen looked at him and then to Birch before sighing angrily and trudging into the tall grass, staying low to the ground in search of the bag. Pokémon muttered around her and she caught sight of Ratatata in the distance before her eyes focused on a brown leather bag. She tore it open and dug through it, pulling out a Pokeball and awkwardly tossing it on the ground.

A flash of light burst from the capsule, swirling and shifting into the form of a small orange lizard. He blinked at Ellen sleepily.

"Hi," Ellen said quickly, dropping to her knees to talk to him. "I'm Ellen. I need your help. A man is being attacked by a Pokémon. We got to help him."

He cocked his head at her slowly, making little growls. "Humans just get into everything, don't they?"

The growls were sharp in her ears and while her medicine made it hard to understand them, her damaged brain worked. She glared at him. "Hey. He's just a professor."

The Charmander gaped at her. "You…you…"

"I'm one of the six percent of the population affected with PSD," she crooned in a commercial voice, before glaring again. "Come on, we need to help the professor. We'll talk later."

They wove through the grass before a small white figure suddenly shot at them. They barreled away from one another, jerking around to see a snow white Poochena growling at them.

"This shit is my turf," the little wolf growled.

The Charmander frowned at him. "This man is clearly bumbling around. Leave him alone."

"We're leaving soon, anyway," Ellen added. "We swear."

The Poochena looked at them, steely-eyed, before turning away. "I want you gone in five minutes. Or ELSE!" He disappeared into the grass.

Birch gingerly hopped down from the tree and the three walked from the grass and began back to Brendan's home. The Charmander waddled beside Ellen.

"That was certainly courageous of you," Birch said, grinning at Ellen. "And I'm so glad you've found a Pokémon. Keep him, he's yours!"

The Charmander gaped, but only when Brendan and Birch left Ellen on the sidewalk next to her home did he whip around to her, staring at her angrily. "I belong to no one!"

"Relax," she muttered. "I'm not a trainer or anything. I'm just the local loser. You can leave if you want. I don't care."

He saw the tiredness of her face and shrugged. "Well, I mean, I could stay around for awhile. I just don't like Pokeballs, that's all. I have been alone for quite awhile." He put out his claw. "I'm Charles Thomas Raphael the III. But call me Charles."

She shook his claw. "Ellen."

"So you have Pokémon Speech Disorder?"

She squinted at him. "How do you know so much?"

"Living with a professor gives me plenty of time to learn." He tapped his orange head with a claw. "And I have a good brain, I like to think."

"ELLEN!" Ellen and Charles turned to the screech to see Fredia hurrying out the front door. "I had no idea where you were!"

"Sorry, mom, I got caught up in some Birch family adventures." Her face brightened. "And I met Charles, look!" She pointed at the Charmander.

Fredia looked at her, and then to Charles, and then back to her. "That's nice, honey, but we need to talk about what Brendan and you discussed. He called me."

She frowned. "What?"

"Your and Brendan's plan. To travel together."

She continued staring blankly before realizing that Brendan must have concocted some kind of plan. She almost gaped when she realized that this could be her ticket out. Her face lit in a genuine grin. "Oh, right! Yeah, doesn't it sound great?"

"You know how I feel about Kanto right now."

"But I have Charles! He's super strong!"

"We'll talk inside," she sighed, starting into the house. Ellen followed her closely behind. Fredia began to clean nervously, shelving books, wiping the coffee table. Her daughter watched her from the doorframe. "Ellen, it's so dangerous right now, there's just too much. People are being killed, trainers are being looted and killed, cities are being taken over…I just don't really think it's such a good idea."

"Mom, I'd rather be looted and murdered than stay in this town one more second. I am so freaking bored and considering I don't have a future right now, I might as well run around Kanto for a few weeks."

"Ellen!" Fredia said sharply, looking at her in horror.

"Mom! Please. This is something I really, really want to do. I'll be fine. God. I'll be with Brendan. He's smart as anything and older than me. And I have Charles."

Fredia composed herself, holding her elbows. "Ellen. I'm sorry. It's just not the best time to go on any kind of Pokémon journey."

"Mom, please." She wrung her hands, looking at her in desperation. "For the past sixteen years I've been sitting around. I've been taking drugs for the past twelve years that make me feel numb inside. I don't even know if I'm going to college. Please just let me run around the region for a few weeks to feel something."

She paused in her cleaning, sitting down in an armchair. She seemed to be on the brink of tears. "I…" She looked down, as if thinking, before sighing and looking up again. "Just call me everyday, all right? And video chat, you can do that at Pokémon Centers. And don't stray too far, stay away from Saffron and Celadon and really any major city. And stay by Brendan's side. And always have your Pokémon with you. And don't talk to strangers. And watch out for Team—"

"Team Rocket. I know, I know. They wear black and stick out like sore thumbs." Her expression softened and her hands fell to her sides. "I promise I'll be fine, Mom. This'll help me, you know, get some energy out or something."

"I suppose," she sighed.

Ellen looked outside. The sun was creeping lower over the horizon. "I think I have to pack and then leave, Mom, Brendan is probably waiting for me."

"Call me as soon as you get to the Viridian Pokémon Center, okay? Clear?"

"Clear." She saw her mother's distraught face. "I'll be back before you know it, I swear."

"Okay."

The girl ran upstairs to quickly pack a backpack before running back downstairs again to see Fredia still in her chair. Ellen hugged her mother before slipping out the front door, Charles waddling by her side. The door clicked behind her and she breathed in the late summer air. She looked to her right and saw Brendan's paunch figure standing in the distance.

"Freedom," she said. They set off down the sidewalk. Charles attempted to keep up with her strides. She looked down at him. "I know I never asked you about traveling, so you don't have to go if you don't want. I just wanted my mom to think I had a Pokémon."

He gaped at her. "What? Of course I want to go! I've been stuck in a Pokeball all my life!"

She smiled at him as they reached Brendan, the young man watching them impatiently. He had a Pokeball clipped to his belt and a pink satchel on his shoulder.

"Nice murse," Ellen said. "Thanks for helping me escape."

Brendan frowned at her, sighing dramatically. "It was hard work, but it was worth it. You did save my father, so it was the least I can do. Consider me taking you under my wing a privilege." He whipped around to face the path of tall grass, inhaling deeply. "All right, simpletons." Brendan shifted his satchel and set off into the tall grass. "Let's commence."

Ellen and Charles looked at each other before following him into the wilderness of Kanto.


I'm in the process of revising chapters- be warned, there is crappiness ahead of ye until this post disappears!