Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Pokémon. If I did, I'd have a lot of money…but I don't. So don't bother suing, you won't get anything out of it.
Notes: (Crossover, could be a crack!fic if you want) Here there be Naruto characters and Pokémon monsters! This is a one-shot which takes place between "Guardian of the Sea" and "A Wild Tomboy Appeared!".
I hope that you enjoy it!
Rain Brings Rainbows
The leaden gray sky seemed to loom ominously over Minato's head as he walked out of Tower City. He couldn't help but think that it was an omen of things to come. It made him even more anxious than he already was.
To start off on a pokémon journey was a truly momentous thing. It was a rite of passage for many young people. It was an adventure that was different and special for every kid.
Minato was terrified.
He'd never been entirely on his own before. With his mother gone, and living with his life-long bachelor half-uncle, had made him somewhat independent. He could cook for himself, do his own laundry, and handle basic first aid. But it was so very different being all alone, among strangers…in a strange place.
It's all so…flat.
Myouboku Town was up in the Kage Mountains, and he'd lived there since he was about two years old. He had no memory of the cottage he'd been born in near the ocean; no memory of the fisherman father, long gone now. All he knew was hiking in the mountains, reading books out in the meadows, and helping Uncle Jiraiya and his pokémon.
Minato hesitated on the path and plucked a single pokéball from his belt. He fingered the basic red-and-white sphere for a moment. And then he snapped it open, releasing the creature inside in a burst of light.
The female bulbasaur eyed him curiously. He had chosen her from the selection available at Professor Mitokado's lab because grass-type pokémon grew quickly, and because bulbasaurs were the most toad-like of the standard starter pokémon (Jiraiya-oji-san really had a thing for toads). Thinking of the flower that would one day sprout from the onion-like bulb on her back, he'd named her Hana.
"…Would you like to walk with me for a while?"
Hana blinked at him, but didn't seem against the idea.
With that apparently settled, Minato kept on walking, and Hana followed him.
The path he'd taken out of Tower City was partially forested. Sometimes the trees were dense enough to form a tunnel of green around the path. Other times it was patchy, filled with clearings of tall grass and bushes.
And then a wild pokémon appeared.
It strolled across the path, sniffing about for food. It was mostly brownish in color, and it had several red-brown curly tails. A quick consultation with his newly-acquired pokédex identified it as a vulpix.
Okay. Minato swallowed hard. Okay…
He'd learned all about the basics of pokémon care, training, and capturing in the special course all prospective trainers had to complete to earn their licenses. He had lots of practical experience in living with his uncle's pokémon. He knew how to handle the capture of a wild pokémon…in theory.
"Okay," he muttered and fumbled through his backpack for an empty pokéball. "Hana, use razor leaf on it."
The bulbasaur just stared up at him blankly.
Hana still didn't move.
"…Okay…how about vine whip?"
She just looked baffled.
Still the bulbasaur failed to obey.
Minato bit his lip and dug his pokédex back out of his pants pocket. Those are bulbasaur moves…right? A quick check of the bulbasaur move list confirmed that they were. So why won't she…oh.
Razor leaf was learned around level nineteen. Vine whip was learned around level nine. Leech seed was learned about level seven. And Hana's estimated level was five.
"Oh, okay then." He nervously cleared his throat. "Hana, use tackle—"
Because of his distraction, the vulpix had had the opportunity to notice him, sense the danger it was in, and flee before he could get his act together.
"…Never mind," Minato sighed as his shoulders sagged.
He'd forgotten that starter pokémon were low-level so that young trainers wouldn't have any problem controlling them. He was used to his uncle's pokémon, who were high-level and well-trained. And so he'd screwed up and failed miserably at his first capture.
As if today couldn't get any worse…
And then the gloomy sky opened up, letting loose the rain.
It seemed like it rained forever, but it probably only lasted an hour. At some point during the storm, Minato had wandered off the trail and was now lost somewhere. Soaked to the bone and cold, all he wanted to do was find his way back to Tower City so that he could go home.
He wasn't cut out for this. He'd wanted an adventure—an escape from Myouboku Town, where he'd never quite fit in (no one was quite his age and they all thought of him as a dull bookworm). But he'd gladly go back there to get away from this wet, cold, lost misery.
But…Uncle Jiraiya would be so disappointed. The towering, white-haired man had ridden the cable cars down to Tower City with him to see his nephew off on his training journey. And with Minato away, the man would be able to go back to his hobby of taking trips to exotic locations.
The boy sighed deeply and leaned his shoulder against a tree trunk.
What am I doing? I want to go home… But should I really give up on the first day?
He tried to wring out his damp coat without peeling it off, and glanced around at all the trees.
…I suppose I should get myself un-lost first.
Whenever he'd gotten turned around in the mountains, he just hiked to a high spot and looked around for landmarks. With the ground so flat here, he couldn't do that. So he looked for a tall, climb-able tree instead.
As the rain slowly faded away into sporadic drips, he found the perfect tree. It had plenty of low branches, it was taller than most of the trees around it, and the top of it was bare, so he would have a good view of his surroundings. So he had Hana wait for him at the base of the tree, where she guarded his backpack, and started to climb.
I wish I had someone to travel with, he thought as he climbed. Then I probably wouldn't have gotten lost.
Myouboku Town was small, and he'd had the misfortune to be the only eleven-year-old who'd wanted to go on a pokémon journey. He'd been the odd kid out when he'd reached Tower City and none of the local kids had invited him to join their groups when they'd departed on their journeys with their new pokémon. So he'd been left to strike out on his own, with only his half-uncle to give him a farewell.
Almost there, he thought as he tried to get just a little bit higher. Almost—
His grip slipped on the rain-slicked branches and he feel. Thankfully he didn't fall that far. He was stopped barely a second later when his ankle and pant leg got caught in the fork of a branch, leaving him hanging upside-down by one leg.
"Urk," he grunted as all the blood started to rush to his head. Fantastic…
Clenching his teeth, and contorting his body, he managed to get upright again, but he foot remained trapped.
"Oh, come on—"
Minato jerked his head up to the sky. The dense blanket of gray clouds was starting to dissipate, leaving holes here and there that showed blue sky. But what really caught his attention was the bird.
It was the biggest bird that he'd ever seen. It was red and white and gold, with bits of pale bright green here and there. It had broad wings and a bushy burst of tail-feathers that made him think of the rays of the sun. A hazy aura of golden light seemed to surround it as it flew, and rainbow-colored motes of light trailed after it like fairy dust. With lazy strokes of its multi-colored wings the bird sailed through the air like a lord, gliding through half-formed rainbows born from the last remains of the rain and the few rays of sunlight that found their way through the clouds.
And, eventually, the magnificent bird soared over the horizon and out of Minato's sight.
He sat up in the tree for a while after the bird was gone. Then he sighed, un-stuck his foot, and slowly climbed down. Hana was still at the base of the tree, waiting for him.
"Did you see that bird?" he asked, still awed by the sight of it.
Hana blinked at him, then shook her head.
Minato pulled out his pokédex and did a search on flying-type pokémon to find out what sort of creature he'd seen. But, no matter what entry he looked at, he didn't see anything that looked like the bird he'd spotted while up in the tree. That left him scratching his head.
That's really weird… Did I…hallucinate? I don't see how else something that big isn't identified in here.
Shrugging, he put the pokédex away, picked up his backpack, and started walking with Hana again.
While up in the tree, he hadn't done the surveying that he'd intended to. The mystery bird sighting had thoroughly distracted him from his task. But he had noticed a break in the forest canopy that could be the path, so he headed in that general direction.
The gloom and anxiety that had plagued the blond boy was all but gone now. He felt rather silly for his earlier wish of running back to Tower City and from there to home. It had only been one day, after all.
If I'd quit sooner, or never tried journeying at all, I would never have seen that bird. Heck, if I hadn't gotten lost and needed to climb that tree I probably wouldn't have seen that bird either. So, really, today isn't bad at all…
He glanced up at the clearing sky through a break in the trees and smiled a bit at the sight of a fading rainbow.
If today is an omen, I think it's a good one.
As he kept on walking he found that what he thought could've been the path was actually a wide stream. It was a good thing to find. A stream was a landmark and it would definitely be on his map so he could get his bearings.
Before he could get his map out, he spotted movement on the near bank of the stream. It was dark blue and roundish with stubby legs and a long, white, paddle-like tail. When it turned to toddle further from the stream, he saw that it had a white belly with a black spiral on it.
This could be an easier capture than the vulpix he'd failed to get. Even though Hana was low-level and had no significant attacks, she had type advantage over the water pokémon. And poliwags were clumsy out of the water on account of their underdeveloped legs.
This was an opportunity that he just couldn't pass up.
"Okay," he whispered to Hana as he pulled out an empty pokéball. "Let's try this again…"