Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon or Nintendo or anything like that. I'm just a nerd that has a huge interest in it. Most of the characters in this narrative are mine. People like Gym Leaders and Professor Oak, however, are NOT.

Hi, everyone. This is Mav Tails...or nokyo-chan, whatever you wanna call me. The title Convergent Paths is only temporary. This is a story that gets into the darker side of Pokemon, so...you've been warned!! It starts out VERY light, though. There's even a bit of parody.

All right, well...enjoy and please review!!

If you like the way I write, I have a few other fanfics, as well as a Fictionpress account. Review those too!!

The SS Anne cruised through the ocean, flashing in the sun. The on-deck pool was a bit crowded, but this was mostly because of the sunbathers lounging on the chairs around it. Fashionable sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats were common.

A nine-year-old girl (without sunglasses or a wide-brimmed-hat) stood impatiently by her mother's chair, staring down at her face. She wore a one-piece bathing suit and had her light green-blue hair in two rather unkempt ponytails on each side of her head.

"Momma, please watch me so I can swim?"

"Why don't you go in the kiddie pool?" Her mother gestured towards it without looking up. The girl scoffed.

"There are kids in the kiddie pool."

"Aren't you a kid?"

"I'm nine. Those kids are little."

The woman sighed. "Alyssa. Go."

Alyssa turned and stalked toward the kiddie pool.

A similar scene was happening further down, this time with a girl with honey-colored, shoulder-length hair and bright blue eyes. She wore a frilly two-piece bathing suit that she herself had picked out and clutched a pink towel to her chest. "Mother, I really would like to swim."

"Go to the wade pool, darling," the woman replied, adjusting her wide-brimmed hat.

"But those children are younger than I am! Much younger!"

"Cassandra, do as I tell you."

And just like Alyssa, Cassandra turned and weaved her way toward the pool. Unbeknownst to both of them, a third girl was going through the exact same situation. She, too, wore a two-piece. It had a red top and white bottom, making her resemble a Poké Ball. Her black hair was long and reached her waist, and she also desperately wanted to swim. She, however, got the same command as her two fellows.

"Belle, go to the kiddie pool."

And so Belle, Cassandra, and Alyssa arrived at the kiddie pool at the exact same time that fateful day, different as could be, with only a few things in common.

They stared at each other, each of them dumbfounded at actually finding someone their age. Alyssa spoke first, stepping in between them and sitting down on the edge of the pool as she did so. "My name is Alyssa," she said, thrusting her legs knee-deep in the cool water.

"I'm Cassandra." She sat down beside her.

"Belle." She lowered herself down on Alyssa's other side. "Me and my parents are from Cherrygrove City. Where are you guys from?"

Both Alyssa and Cassandra stared blankly at Belle. "Cherrygrove City?" Cassandra asked, leaning forward and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Where's that?"

Belle cocked her head. "Well, where do you guys live?"

Cassandra sighed daintily and flipped her hair over her shoulder. "I live in the most beautiful town in the world…Verdanturf! Oh, every day I see the Contest building! Every day I wish that I could compete!" She sighed again and looked over at Belle and Alyssa, smiling broadly. Her smile faltered when she realized that they had no idea what she was talking about.

"Verdanturf?" Alyssa asked. Then she snapped her fingers. "Oh, we're all from different regions!"

"Oh," Cassandra and Belle said in unison.

"I'm from Johto," Belle said.

"And I'm from Hoenn," Cassandra piped up.

"I'm from Almia," Alyssa told them. "I'm from a place called Chicole Village. Well, right now I'm going to the Ranger School. I want to be a Pokémon Ranger when I grow up! What about you guys?"

"I would like to be a Pokémon Coordinator," Cassandra said, raising her arms toward the sky happily.

Belle pushed her dark hair off her neck. "I want to be a Pokémon Trainer."

And at the end of the day, they were all very best friends.