A/N (Author's Note): This is one of my first fanfics, so I hope that it is okay. Constructive criticism will be welcomed. Flames...no, not at all. Please read and review. Thanks!
Chapter 1: The Gathering
"The wheels on the bus go round and round..."
The white tour bus kept going rickety-rack over the dry cracked earth road toward Hearthome City. The muddy route of Pastoria's rainy paths hardened in the scorching summer sun, and lumps of wet mud grew into dusty road bumps.
Inside the bus were the Pokédex Holders, at least the male half. Eight young men save the bus driver were lolling in the hot August sun. The senior holders were seated on the right side with the driver; the younger holders were seated on the left nearest the bus doors.
Diamond was singing sleepily about wheels and buses, his Munchlax – Beh - snoring on his lap. The mellow Trainer was a born comedian, the funnyman of a comedy duo. Observant and quiet, he was a gentle soul despite his shielded aura. Of them all, Diamond was an excellent cook and Poffin maker, which explained his somewhat gluttonous tendencies. His steel-blue eyes were half-closed, his grey-black crew cut trembling in the weak wind. He feebly tried to strengthen the breeze by fanning himself with his battle journal.
Beside him was Pearl, fanning himself with one of their manzai books. His pale blond hair stuck up in two distinctive directions-the normally fiery peach-orange eyes tired and closed. The straight man of the comedy duo, Pearl was sharp and impulsive. He was the son of Battle Tower Tycoon Palmer; the tendency to rush things ran in their blood. His own Chatot, Chatlord, was perched near the windowsill, trying to bring in the too-light air with its wings.
Red was dozing lightly, his black spiked hair slightly damp from sweat. His signature red jacket and cap were on his lap, leaving his black sleeveless undershirt on. Always cheerful, confident and friendly, Red was the first Pokédex Holder, and the defending Champion of the Kanto Region for the past seven years. With a brave heart and a knack for instantaneously directing a Pokémon's energies to victory, Red was deemed the Battler. His companion Pika snuggled in his arms - the Pikachu had been around constantly for years.
Next to him was his closest rival Green, who was pushing his long brown bangs out of his eyes. Cool and cunning, as well as a perfectionist, Green was the grandson of Professor Oak. He was always very technical in most things, from raising Pokémon to his own martial arts training. Not only was he taught by the Cianwood Gym leader Chuck, he himself was the Gym leader of Viridian City. His ability to instantly bring a Pokémon to its full potential gave him the title the Raiser.
The seats occupied behind them seated their counterparts of the Johto region: Gold was using his billiards cue to flip the overhead air-conditioning switches. His own coal-black hair was accentuated with a pair of gold goggles, matching the color of his own mischievous amber eyes. Fun loving and opportunistic, Gold was raised to love Pokémon. His goal in life was to become Pokémon Breeder, and his skill in influencing Pokémon Eggs and young earned him the name the Hatcher.
Silver was at the adjacent seat, his embroidered handkerchief wiping his dewy skin. His redheaded countenance sighed in relief as his seatmate managed to cool the temperature setting with repeated whacks of the wooden pole. His own eyes were grey, which brightened as his years from captivity from the Mask of Ice softened with his new friends. Thoughtful and distant, Silver learned how to be sly after training as a thief. His skill in predicting correct trading combinations to benefit Pokémon described him as the Trader.
Right across the two was a younger boy, sitting beside what seemed to be a sleeping green bundle. The bundle seemed more or less awkward, considering the heat of the day, but the soft breathing rhythm mimicked Diamond's light mumble-song with the same soporific effect. Green leaned back and closed his eyes; Red sneezed. Gold looked out the window while his ward - a cooing Bonsly - sat in his lap. Silver was gently patting its rock branches; Pearl's Chatot watched his trainer fan himself with a wilting look.
The younger boy tried to stifle a yawn, his solid rose-stone eyes composedly lidded. His black hair was obscured by his "chic" hat, a red and black headband with a white cloth cap. Meticulous and gentlemanly, Ruby was the son of the Gym leader of Petalburg City, Norman. With that famous father came an undercurrent of anger - Ruby had inherited perfectionist tendencies and a temper, as well as a fierce pride and love of others. Despite being a Contest Champion, the young man was skilled in battle.
Ruby was leisurely rereading a copy of the invitation given to them a couple of weeks ago.
Dear Pokédex Holders,
You are all formally invited to the 1st Annual Pokédex Summit, to be held at Hearthome City. This event is to commemorate the achievements and completion of the Pokédex project, started by the head Pokémon experts of all regions.
Gracing the event will be Professors Oak, Elm, Birch and Rowan, as well as the Pokémon Association's Board of Directors and the presidents of the Pokémon Fan Clubs.
You will be staying at Hearthome Motel for a week; accommodations are already prepared on your behalf. The Summit will begin officially on the first day of August, at Amity Square. We await your presence.
Lady P. Berlitz
He noted the tight curl of words and the way each letter was written. The envelope that once contained the letter was lying on his lap, along with several other notes that were stashed away with it. Ruby examined the next slip, a powder-lilac note paper in bright glittery ink.
The girls and I are going early already and we're gonna wait for you guys. I hope you won't wander off anywhere before you all even arrive! Stay safe, and try to take plenty of pics about the sights; Love ya guys. ;)
Blue was the eldest of the girl Pokédex Holders. With long chocolate-brown hair and a winsome smile, Blue was much known for her tricky and sly tactics. All the girls looked up to her usually as the big sister, with her maturity and cheerfulness. Also a Masked Child in her youth, Blue later confronted her past as a thief and found her parents once again. Armed with the intuition of the conditions needed in evolution of Pokémon, Blue was granted the honor of the Evolver.
The capped boy chuckled at his senior's bubbly charm and hovered over another slip of paper, this time a refreshing lemonade tint with particularly neat handwriting, despite the sparse content.
Yellow was the second eldest, and was demure and innocent. Her long blond hair was usually tucked into her large straw hat; many mistook her for a boy when in disguise. Yellow was a shy soul, and very sincere; her immense crush on Red was glaring to everyone but Red. She was uniquely endowed with clairvoyance, able to heal Pokémon and empower them, as well as control Poke Balls with telekinesis, aided by string. Her special talents as a child of Viridian bestowed her upon her the title of Healer.
A girl of few words, Yellow always was to the group, Ruby mused. Another note was underneath it, in a slightly more severe handwriting but vibrant indigo ink on curlicued paper.
Our hotel reservations will be 11:30 in the morning, please don't be late! From there, we'll have lunch at the Heart's Home Cafe and (if time allows) a walk in Amity Square. The details of our stay will be explained from there. Please don't be late!
Crystal was the most knowledgeable of the girls, dubbed the Capturer because of her amazing skills at catching Pokémon. Quick-witted and hard-working, Crystal wears her indigo hair in two large ponytails. From her experience at capturing, Crystal has seen every non-legendary Pokémon in the world. Her unique style of delivering Poke Balls was kicking them, her feet being more accurate than her hands. She, Gold, and Silver had their adventures together throughout Johto.
Obviously a no-nonsense kind of girl, the boy judged by the simplicity and quickness of it. He almost hadn't noticed the last note had it not fallen from his lap. Ruby bent over his seat to pick it up and found the paper slip; it was different from the others because of its scent. Though the paper was plain, if a bit coarse, yet it smelled of honey and flowers and rain.
You're all probably on the way to Hearthome when you read this. Enjoy the ride, and let's meet up together and have fun!
Ruby looked over every stroke of her pen, every feathery line simplistically etched. The corners of his lips curved into a quiet smile-not many see him quite so gentle at that moment. Even the dark rose eyes seemed to shine a little brighter.
"It's true, then?"
The capped boy jumped at Emerald's voice, tearing his focus from Sapphire's note. The sleeping green bundle had uncurled and revealed the young boy's golden hair, gelled in a quite strange crescent style; the effect of adding to his height by at least a foot was convincing. His sharp green eyes were as bright as the huge jewel on his forehead, accentuated by antenna-like eyebrows. The tiny hands supported his chin as he leaned on the bus seat, the fingers thoroughly swallowed by his gargantuan long sleeves. Emerald was, in entirety, very tiny for his ripe age of thirteen.
Sharp and critical, with a playful side, Emerald was the conqueror of the Battle Frontier. His green crystal became a medium that tried to control the Sky-High Pokémon Rayquaza. Emerald's specialty was to calm rampaging Pokémon by shooting seals at them containing soils of their homeland. He can determine the soil seal needed for every Pokémon: his special hand extensors and platform shoes were created by the Trick Master. His own appearance only gave an illusion of his height-hence the gelled hair and long sleeves and slacks.
"You really do like Miss Wild Child, don't you?" Emerald smirked, looking like a cat savoring a meal. He enjoyed watching his senior shake his head - the sudden pink in his cheeks told the truth. "She's cute; don't get me wrong, but rather strange." This comment elicited a shaky snort from Ruby. "That barbaric...beast girl? No wa-"
The conversation between the two was promptly interrupted by a disgusted Gold, as his tiny ward decided to relieve itself on his lap.
"Where are they?"
Crystal frowned and tapped her wristwatch impatiently. Heart's Home Cafe was a quaint little bistro with delicious food and simple service, yet the ambience did not settle Kris' nerves.
It was already noon, and the female Pokédex Holders were waiting for their companions over lunch under the parasol tables outside. Blue sipped her iced coffee, her brown hair swept in a ponytail to ward off the heat. Yellow was quietly watching the clouds go by, her gentle dark yellow eyes drowsy in the sun. Crystal was miffed, dialing her PokeGear to call the delayed boys. Sapphire was eating pasta, her dark blue bandana barely moving in the scarce air. Platinum was looking through her Pokédex leisurely, her pale skin a blush pink in the heat.
Crystal pressed the first contact she could call in her PokeGear - Silver. She heard the line ring a couple of times before it was answered.
"Silver," she said, "where are you guys?"
"It's...er..." Silver's voice was oddly...pitched.
"That Bonsly Gold has with him…um…had an accident on the bus," the redhead made an audible sound of disgust. "He's changing into another pair of shorts. Thank goodness that stuff missed me, I was next to him."
"Hee hee." Crys said dryly. "Please be aware that you guys are late."
"Sorry, we'll be right there."
The PokeGear clicked as the line went dead.
Blue giggled infectiously, tossing her hair back in a very Blue-sy manner. "Looks like they'll be stalled awhile, love." Yellow nodded meekly, quite amused at the news. Crystal sighed and pocketed her PokeGear. She turned to her own dish and finished her cheesecake, a little worried that her plans were not going as she had hoped. Platinum kept on shuffling through her Pokédex, pausing briefly as she read the pages. Sapphire polished off the last bit of spaghetti from her plate.
They were not without their companions as well. Chuchu, Yellow's Pikachu, ate from her own special bowl; a bright flower graced one of her pointy ears. Pich was cuddled close by, its creamy pale yellow fur fluffed up; the offspring of Pika and Chuchu, Pich was a Pichu raised most by Gold. Blue's Ditty was napping in the shade of the umbrella, its soft pink body wiggling like jelly. Crys has her Smoochum, Chumee, kissing things with its gummy lips like a curious child.
Sapphire was especially fond of these small Pokémon in spite of her "reputation", and they of her. She knew the most how to get to the level of other Pokémon's minds and hearts, having grown up around them a lot. She laughed heartily when they approached her, and spoiled them with petting when she liked.
The other girls cooed as Chumee waddled toward them, its round eyes shining. It rubbed its cheek affectionately at Crystal's leg before reaching toward the "wild one". Sapphire took a glance at Crys - as if to ask permission - and scooped the baby like Pokémon in her arms at the senior trainer's assent. The brunette laughed and played with the Smoochum's tiny pink paws, her own ocean-blue eyes sparkling.
Platinum kept her Pokédex back inside her bag and took a check at the time. It was already almost one o'clock - past lunchtime - she was sure that the boys, specially Dia, were starving. But there was at least quarter of an hour to wait.
A light bulb went off in her head.
"Miss Blue," she began respectfully, but Blue waved her lightly and replied,
"Just call me Blue, thanks."
She smiled as she said this, so Platinum took this as a note. "Blue...since the boys are running late, why not we go somewhere while we wait? The weather is quite hot, and I'm sure it would be pleasant for us to cool off."
Yellow listened to this course and looked at the brunette, who quirked an eyebrow upward in interest. "It sounds like a good idea, Blue. Let us follow Lady Platinum's plan." Platinum blushed, being addressed by her first name.
Blue laughed and polished off the rest of her drink, assent in her eyes. "So be it! Let us go somewhere else while we wait! But where can we go?"
Crystal shook her head to show she had no ideas. "Our Pokémon might disturb the peace inside the Hearthome Chapelette."
Sapphire looked at Chumee, who was beginning to sweat. "Our Pokémon should have a little shelter from this heat as well," she voiced, trying to fan the baby Pokémon. "Amity Square is definitely out."
"Yes," agreed Platinum, folding her hands in her lap. "There is a recording studio in Hearthome that I know of, and my father is friends of the proprietor. Perhaps we could go there and enjoy ourselves." The other girls brightened up, since most studios were fully air-conditioned.
"It's settled then!" Blue squealed enthusiastically. "Let us arrange for the boys' meals, and head to the studio in the meantime!"
Platinum borrowed Crystal's PokeGear and called the first number she recognized.
By great good luck, Gold's PokeGear was urine-free and Silver snatched it before anything could happen to it. He handed it to his senior Green, who felt the ringing by the palm of his hand. Gold scolded the stripling Pokémon, wagging his finger sternly at the Bonsly's always weeping face. As the offensive stain was being scrubbed off the seat, Green answered.
"Ah, yes, Lady Platinum." He smirked inward as Dia's deceptively sleepy face slightly perked.
"Yes...um, we are going to arrange for your meal at the restaurant we arranged. We will be waiting for you elsewhere, however."
"Oh? And why is that?"
"The heat is very uncomfortable outside, so we will be waiting at the Mirrors Recording Studio in the meantime."
"Thank you. Goodbye."
"I feel quite refreshed now," Gold laughed, returning from the back seats of the bus. He was now wearing a pair of clean white shorts, having changed his soiled black pair. "White is coolest to wear on hot days, you know." Silver just looked on balefully - his own dark jacket and gloves started to make him simmer. He reminded himself to get a cold shower when he arrived in the hotel.
"The girls said that they will wait in some recording studio while we dawdle." Green announced, settling back on his seat across Diamond and Pearl. "Said the heat was getting to them. And honestly, it's getting to us all." Everyone else agreed unanimously.
"That wouldn't be Mirrors Studio, would it?" Pearl asked curiously. He grinned as the brunette senior nodded. "Dia and I did a couple of our manzai tapings there, didn't we Dia?" he fondly remembered at Dia smiled broadly in response.
A few of the boys leaned toward them as they listened to Pearl's happy narrative, infused with Dia's slow and simple responses and side comments.
Ruby smiled and looked out the window, exhaling slowly. By chance, a Beautifly and Butterfree flew past the window: journeying toward the Eterna trees, the two butterfly Pokémon spread their lovely wings as they made their way back home. One's muted red eyes contrasted with the other's gem bright blue ones.