I... just needed to write something about Pokémon. I dunno why. I really, really, don't know why. Maybe because I'm trying to write a fic now, haven't written one in ages and I need to refresh my writing skills? Yeah. Maybe.

Probably.

-_-_-

Just Data?

-_-_-

It'd been so long since they'd had a reunion, the 5 of them. She had fond memories of the times they had met before, playing their games together. All of them had gotten into the Pokémon craze at the same time and all of them owned copies of either Diamond or Pearl. Well, the two boys and the youngest girl owned Diamond and only she and Winter owned Pearl, but that was out of the question. With Platinum hitting the stores soon and the rumours of Gold and Silver remakes buzzing, she couldn't be more excited. Their first reunion in six months...

But when she came back from it, her thoughts had been plagued by something Mel had told her...

"Hey, you weren't called Ayu back then! I thought you liked the name Satoru!"

"I did. But life got boring, so I started over. It won't hurt. They're just data after all."

... Just data after all...

But were they?

Her team, her companions, her friends.

Were they?

Right after that, she had snapped and called up Seth, demanding that he met her on Wi-Fi for her to let off steam. He understood and brought a full team of Bidoof and Bibarel for her to slaughter.

He always had been the most understanding.

"Now that that's over... Ai, can you please let me go back to chaining? It'll take ages for Eevee to pop up again. Okay? Okay. Bye!"

Click.

With a sigh, she sat back. Why were Mel's words affecting her so?

With another frustrated sigh, she saved her game and shut it off. Whenever she got herself into ruts like this, there was only one way to work her out of them.

She would write about them. Her companions.

Open went her exercise book and out came her pencil. She would lose herself within words...

How long has it been since I got my copy of Sapphire, my first game? It must have been a long, long time. I may not remember all the battles that took place, but I do remember the pain of losing the Pokémon I called my friends. My neighbour, in his young ignorance, had borrowed my Gameboy Advance AND the game too. Of course, the twit thought it fun to start over on MY game and delete days of pure, hard work.

When I found the new save file, with a horribly named trainer and an equally horribly nicknamed Mudkip, I cried. I wept. I cursed. Gone was Firenze, the Blaziken. Gone was Lyuna, the Mightyena. Gone was Kira, the Gardevoir. Gone was... Everyone.

The pain I felt at the time I lost them, that proves that they aren't just data... Right?

My next game was Emerald. My friend urged me to get a copy, saying it was an improved version of Ruby and Sapphire. Trusting her words, I bought myself a copy. Of course, I never got a chance to truly pick my starter. My helpful little neighbour did that for me (again). This time, he picked Treecko. I snatched the game away before he could do much damage though. He hurled abuse at me, saying it wasn't fair, I was biased against his choices.

Well, no, I wasn't, but his choices generally tended to suck.

Shooting him a glare, I decided to show him that I could make my own decisions. I kept the Treecko and called him Kito. Many, many days of gameplay later, Kito became a Sceptile. I rubbed this in my neighbour's face with glee.

It was on Emerald that I found my first Shiny, as well. He was a young Poochyena, only at level 3. I very nearly freaked out when I saw the sparkles fall from his fur and proceeded in my attempt to catch him. He was mine with my third Ultra Ball. I remember clearly that his name was Aurel.

After Emerald came FireRed, mainly because I wanted to explore Kanto. This time I was able to choose my own starter and he was a Charmander, whom I christened Lavi. And I didn't let my neighbour touch it. My team grew and grew. Soon, I had defeated my rival for the final time. Euphoria rose within me.

The emotions I derived from being around them, this proves that they aren't data, right?

Finally came the Diamond and Pearl fever. Diamond had been out of stock, so I got Pearl instead when I bought my very first DS. Piplup was my chosen starter and I called him Hikaru.

Hikaru, Kovu, L'Arachel, Saleh, Loryn, Rennac.

My treasured companions. With them I have many memories.

This proves that they aren't just data, right?

She sat back, read her work once through and flicked on her game. "Hey, guys."

With that, her consciousness was spirited away to a different world. One where Pokémon were more than data.

One where they were more than pixels, than living memories.

One where her friends were real.

One where she was free.

-_-_-

I don't think I'm good at writing one-shots like this. Sigh. I wrote this in one sitting though, so maybe I'm not suited for that.