A/N: I tried to ignore this plot bunny...I really did. But it wouldn't detach itself from my brain until I wrote it out. D: Sooo...here it is: Far From Home, a Pokemon Heartgold self-insert! I need to stop writing these damn things...

Yes, it's a blatant SI. The character is me, with absolutely nothing changed. No special powers, no amazingly good looks, none of that Sue-ish crap. Men won't fall at her feet, and she won't instantaneously know exactly what to do in every situation. I just thought I'd establish that fact before anyone assumed that all self-inserts are Mary Sues. Either way, if you don't like the concept itself, you don't have to read. ;D

So! Prepare yourself for a more realistic take on Pokemon. Enjoy~

The house was completely quiet, except for the minute clicking sound my fingers made as they flew across the keyboard. I sat alone in the living room; my mom wouldn't be home from work for another three hours. In the meantime, I was typing up a chapter to one of my latest stories in a feeble attempt to put off doing homework. It was a beautiful day outside; I had opened all the windows in the house, and as I typed, I listened to the sound of birds chirping. Maybe I would go outside while it was still light out…

…No, I'd already spent enough time outside today, and that pile of homework on the table seemed to be glaring at me. Usually seniors in high school weren't confronted with such an unfair amount of homework, but of course I was the exception. Ah, well, it'd be worth it; I was graduating a year early, after all.

Enough dawdling. I had already written enough of that story, and I wanted to go to bed at a reasonable time tonight. Homework it was, then.

I stood up, closing my laptop and stretching. Just as I began to walk over to where my homework sat, though, I remembered that Memorial Day weekend started tomorrow. I smacked my forehead, letting out a groan. All that worrying for nothing…I didn't have to do any of it! Now I could put it off until the last minute, because that was the most responsible thing to do. Yeah.

My momentary upset passed, and was quickly replaced with a feeling of freedom. Well! That just opened up my schedule. Now that I was thinking about it, maybe I would get some extra time outside. I hadn't gone for a walk through the woods in a while.

Immediately deciding on that, I pulled my curly brown hair into a ponytail and grabbed my cell phone, shoving it in one pocket. I headed down the stairs and out the door, pulling on some sunglasses as I did so. Then I began the short trek up the street, heading for the dirt path that would take me into the forest near my house.

…Ow. What the hell? I felt like…like I had crashed face first into a brick wall. But last I checked, there hadn't been any brick walls in that field I'd been running through…

Darkness surrounded me. I couldn't muster up the strength to open my eyes, but at least I felt comfortable…no, I could wake up later. Whatever had happened, I didn't want to face it right now.

All too willingly, I allowed myself to slip deeper into the blackness. My thoughts dissolved into nothing, and I lost all awareness as unconsciousness took me once more.

My eyes snapped open.

Bright light instantly blinded me, and I instinctively reached up to block it out. After a few agonizing seconds my vision cleared, and I was able to distinguish the sunlight streaming through the open window from everything else in the room.

Now that I could see where the hell I was, I realized why I had woken up so abruptly. In the pit of my stomach, I had known something was off. First of all, the last thing I remembered was jogging through an open field, on my way to the forest at the other end. I had seen an interesting looking animal, and I had been following it out of curiosity. And then there had been this weird feeling, and then…augh. I couldn't remember exactly how it happened.

But none of that mattered, really. If I had woken up in my room, everything would have been all right. Of course, things never could be that easy. This definitely wasn't my room.

My insides churned uncomfortably as I lightly clenched my fists, attempting to calm my racing heart. The room seemed harmless enough…it was spacious, with wooden floors and white walls. The bed I sat on was just a simple twin size bed, covered with light blue sheets that were now wrinkled thanks to yours truly. There was a small bookcase against one wall, and a nightstand next to the bed with a cute little lamp on it. All in all, it was a pretty plain room, and it told me nothing about my surroundings.

I still couldn't shake my nervous feeling. I mean, maybe someone had found me passed out in the field, but wouldn't they have called an ambulance or the cops or something? People didn't just take you into their house like this, it was weird. But if I had been kidnapped or something…ugh, this just didn't seem like that kind of situation. This place seemed too…homey.

Reaching up, I placed a hand tentatively to my forehead. What was going on…?

"Oh, you're awake!" A female voice said from my right, and I turned my head to see a woman standing in the doorway. She was smiling cheerily at me; I couldn't help but smile uneasily back.

"Um…yeah," I said awkwardly, staring at her while rubbing the back of my neck.

She looked to be in her late thirties or early forties. The woman had long, dark brown hair that she had tied up in a lopsided bun, with her bangs framing her face. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that her eyes were a deep brownish-black color; they had this strange warmth to them that I instantly picked up on. I felt myself beginning to drop my guard.

She quickly took note of my discomfort, and moved further into the room to hand me a glass of water she'd been carrying. Oh, she brought that for me? I still wasn't sure if I should drink it…not that I thought she'd slipped some kind of date rape drug into it, but I just couldn't stop myself from being at least a little suspicious.

"I know this is an unfamiliar environment," she said, her smile taking on an apologetic quality. "And I'm sorry if waking up here frightened you. No one in town recognized you, so I offered to take you in. Do you have any idea what happened?"

I slowly shook my head. "I'm not really sure. Who…who are you?"

The woman looked surprised. "Oh! I'm sorry! I forgot my manners. My name is Annette Thompson. Pleased to meet you."

"I'm…Brittany Furness," I said after a brief hesitation. "It's nice to meet you, but…where am I?"

Her friendly smile came back instantly, and I felt a little better about trusting her with my full name. "You're in New Bark Town, but how you got here is a mystery to us."

New Bark Town…what kind of name was that? Didn't sound like any town I'd ever heard of, at least not in New York. Something about it seemed familiar, but…I just couldn't put my finger on it.

My lips turned down in a slight frown. "I just remember going on a walk through the woods near my house. I was crossing through a field, and then…I don't know. I guess I blacked out."

I took a sip of the water, and was pleased to find that it was very cold and very refreshing. It was getting easier to think clearly.

Annette tilted her head, seeming thoughtful. "That's strange…when we found you, you were passed out on the edge of town. You're sure you weren't anywhere near this town when it happened?"

"I've never even heard of New Bark Town," I admitted, a little frustrated. "I'm from a town north of Syracuse."

"Hmm…Syracuse?" She seemed to say the city's name carefully, as if she was attempting to speak a different language. I knew instantly that she'd never heard of it, and my face fell.

Annette went still for a second, and then clapped her hands together. "Oh! I know what I can do. There's someone in the village that said he might be able to help you once you woke up. Wait here for a few minutes, I'll give him a call."

She stood up and shuffled out of the room, presumably to get her phone. I leaned back into the pillows, sipping at the water and thinking to myself.

If she had never heard of Syracuse, that meant she wasn't from the area…which probably didn't mean anything good for me. I had no clue how I could have passed out in one town and woken up in another, unless some sick individual had picked me up and dumped me here. I was pretty sure I could rule Annette out. Unless she had some psychopathic side that I wasn't seeing at the present time. Hey, you never know.

By the time Annette returned from her little phone call, I had finished the glass of water. She smiled and took it from me, pocketing a strange device that I had never seen before. Hmm…that wasn't a cell phone…who was this woman?

"I spoke with Professor Elm, and he's eager to see if you're doing well. It looks like he would know how to help you out better than anyone," she said.

"…Professor Elm?" I asked, blinking.

"He's the Pokemon authority in this town," Annette explained. "I'm not completely sure, but from his tone of voice when I spoke to him, he seemed to have an idea of how you ended up here."

I barely caught her second sentence; I was too busy gaping at her from her initial few words. New Bark Town? Professor Elm? Pokemon? What the hell?!

"Brittany? Are you all right?" She leaned forward, concerned. "I'm sorry, are you not feeling well? I can go buy some medicine—"

"N-No, I'm okay," I said quickly, staring at my lap. "Just a little…I don't know. Overwhelmed. So…so what about this Professor Elm person?"

Annette relaxed a little, but still seemed uneasy at my sudden change in mood. "He asked for you to come see him as soon as you're up to it. But if you're not feeling well…"

"I'm all right, really." I said, forcing a smile, despite the chaos that was going on in my head. "Where can I find him?"

She hesitated, seeming to look me over one final time. When she was satisfied that I wasn't going to fall over anytime soon, she answered. "His lab is in the northmost part of town. It's not that long of a walk; you can't miss it."

"All right." I nodded a little too eagerly, desperate to get out of this house so I could think. "I guess I'd better go see him, then…thank you for the help, Ms. Thompson."

"Anne," she corrected me as I stood up. "And don't hesitate to come back here! This is your home as long as you need it to be. Understand?"

"Y-Yeah," I replied, and this time my smile was real. I might need a place to stay, if this was really happening… "Thank you for everything…Anne."

With that, I headed out of the bedroom and quickly found the door out of the house. I walked a few paces away from the home, and then turned to look over my shoulder at it, as if I was confirming to myself that it was still there. It wouldn't have surprised me if the place had suddenly vanished. My home was long gone, after all.

New Bark Town. Jesus tap dancing Christ, I was going insane. I must have fallen and hit my head really hard on a rock or something. Maybe I was in a coma right now, and this was just one big fucked up dream.

A boy that couldn't have been older than twelve or thirteen ran past me. He was wearing a yellow and black cap turned backwards; a tuft of dark hair fell over one of his eyes, and he brushed it away as he ran. He was laughing loudly, chasing after a small blue blur.

It was an animal. Not what looked like. Just some sort of animal…this was all a dream…

Shaking my head with irritation, I tried ignoring the laughing boy and turned in the opposite direction. I had to find Professor Elm's lab…maybe I'd wake up if I just did what this dream wanted me to do. I started walking north, and within just a few seconds I was able to see the outline of a large building in the distance. That must have been it.

…Ethan. That was the boy's name. It was Ethan…or, at least, that was what he'd been called in my HeartGold game. I couldn't remember if he'd had a set name in the original Gold and Silver games…agh, who cared what his name was?! He wasn't real! None of this was!

Huffing with annoyance, I trudged in the direction of the lab building.

"…Hello?" My determination had wavered when I finally arrived at the large, official looking structure. I found myself knocking tentatively at the door, and then pushing it open lightly when there was no answer.

"Ah! Is that you, Miss Furness?" A tall, bespectacled man with brown hair was approaching me. He was wearing a white lab coat, and he carried a few books under one arm.

"Um, yes, it's me," I answered, a little timidly. This whole thing was so weird… "Are you Professor Elm? Anne—I mean, Ms. Thompson told me to come see you."

"Yes, yes, please come in," the man said, gesturing for me to enter.

I obeyed, and we walked down a short hallway until we emerged into a large room with various machines lined along the walls. There was a laptop sitting on one table with a bunch of papers, and then there was a pedestal near one corner that had—no. This just couldn't be real.

"I'm very sorry about all of this, Miss Furness," Professor Elm said, shooing his assistants out of the room with one wave of the hand. "You must be feeling very distressed. The fact of the matter is, what happened to you is something that we've never quite seen before."

"So you know how I ended up here?" I asked, curious. Of course I knew I was just conked out somewhere, but it would be interesting to hear this guy's explanation.

The professor turned away from me, shuffling thoughtfully through the stack of papers that sat on his desk. After a moment, he began to speak.

"…Well, first of all, I'd like you to confirm something for me. You…aren't from Johto, correct? In fact, you aren't from this world at all."

I stared at him for what felt like an eternity, shocked. Well, that was an interesting development. Might as well tell the truth…I mean, he wouldn't have just guessed at something like that.

"…No, I'm not," I said, my voice sounding strange.

He nodded slowly. "In this lab, I have state-of-the-art equipment that specializes in detecting the unusual abilities of certain Pokemon. There are some highly rare ones that I've always wanted to study—you are familiar with Pokemon, aren't you? Do they exist where you come from?" For a moment, he looked a little horrified at the thought that they might not. I found it sort of amusing, but not enough to laugh over.

"…I know a bit about them," I said after a moment, avoiding part of his question. I wasn't about to explain that this whole thing was a video game in my world. Not that it'd matter since this guy was just a figment of my imagination, but I never really took it upon myself to freak out dream characters.

Professor Elm looked relieved that he didn't have to explain. Good, it saved us both the trouble. Instead, he went on with his original explanation.

"As I was saying, I have equipment that can detect the abilities of certain Pokemon. Yesterday evening, just as I was getting ready to head home, one of the machines started making quite a racket. It seems that it had found a great deal of unusual activity nearby—there was, without a doubt, a legendary Pokemon in the area! Rather than standing around in the lab, I left my assistants to monitor the information while I went out to investigate," Professor Elm said, looking very animated as he told me this. It must have been one hell of an ordeal if he was this excited.

"When I approached the edge of town," he continued, "I saw a strange shadow vanish into the trees. I wasn't able to see what kind of Pokemon it was, but I did see you lying on the ground…and there was some sort of portal closing behind you." Professor Elm frowned slightly. "I tried getting an explanation out of you…but you were nearly delusional. You kept muttering all sorts of things…but it was from your words then that I inferred that you must be from a land completely unfamiliar to us."

"…A portal…" I murmured disbelievingly. But now that I thought about it...that weird animal I'd been following before I passed out, had that been…? I hadn't gotten a good glimpse of it…

"I know how it sounds," the professor acknowledged, "but there are records of Pokemon out there that are capable of some incredible feats. Although we do know a great deal about them, there is still a vast wilderness of knowledge waiting to be discovered. Pokemon continue to surprise me every day I study them."

…Okay, thank you for that, Professor. But that still didn't help me at all with my current situation. How was I going to wake up from this goddamned dream?

I'd humor him for now. "That's fascinating and all, but…how am I going to get back home?"

The professor frowned slightly. "Now, there's our problem." Of course, this couldn't be easy, could it? "I didn't see what type of Pokemon it was, so I'm not quite sure what to search for. You could wait in this town for a while, and perhaps the Pokemon will return…but since legendaries are so rarely seen, that may take a long time."

"Any other options?" I asked, shifting my weight from one foot to the other.

Professor Elm seemed to perk up a little. "Well, there is somewhere you can start," he offered. "A friend of mine just sent me a message regarding an unusual discovery he had made. I'm thinking it's probably just another Pokemon egg, but he might know a thing or two if you were to ask. His name is Mr. Pokemon, and he lives just north of Cherrygrove City—that's to the west of us."

North…west…yeah, okay. I hadn't played HeartGold in a month or two, but I was sure I could remember where everything was.

"Okay," I said with a nod. "So…north of Cherrygrove City. Got it."

"There is one more thing," Professor Elm said before I could even consider leaving. "It isn't quite safe to be walking such a distance all alone. Not only that, if you were to encounter this legendary Pokemon again…"

"I…I would need my own Pokemon to battle it?" I guessed, and Professor Elm smiled.

"Legendaries, as a rule, will often flee as soon as they are spotted. Some will only remain if they consider the trainer to be worthy enough…but yes, if you want this Pokemon to return you home, you may have to earn its respect first. I would recommend you having your own Pokemon to begin with," he said. "Of course, that's something I can help you with."

I frowned as he gestured for me to follow him, and he led me over to that pedestal I had been observing earlier. It…it had three Poke Balls sitting on it. I stared at them numbly for a moment.

"These Pokemon are rather rare, but I can part with one in circumstances like these," he said. "I've been wanting to see how allowing a Pokemon to walk alongside its trainer will affect their relationship. If the Pokemon you choose seems happy enough when you come back, I'll let you keep it."

"My own Pokemon…" I murmured, still unable to believe any of this.

"Go ahead, choose one." Professor Elm chuckled, seeing my look of amazement. He reached over, pressing a finger to one ball. "This one contains Chikorita, a grass-type Pokemon," he moved on to the next one, "and this one contains Totodile, a water-type Pokemon."

Finally, he moved on to the final Poke Ball. "In this one is Cyndaquil, a fire-type Pokemon. Would you like a more detailed description of them, or have you made your decision?"

"I…I think I know which one I want," I said, still feeling totally numb to all of this. I reached out slowly, touching the Poke Ball that contained Cyndaquil. I had chosen this one in my HeartGold game, though I had been loyal to Totodile in the original Gold. What did it matter?

"Cyndaquil it is, then," Professor Elm said with a grin. He handed the Poke Ball to me. When I only looked bewildered, he offered further assistance. "Press your thumb to the button on the front—yes, that's it. Now give it a toss; it'll activate on its own."

I did as he told me, lightly tossing the ball towards the ground. It opened up almost immediately, releasing a bright red light. When the light faded, a small Pokemon remained. I stared at the Cyndaquil in fascination as it began to sniff around, looking a bit disoriented.

Professor Elm laughed, bending down to give the Cyndaquil a pat on the head. "He can smell your scent, and it's new to him. Why don't you introduce yourself?"

"Um…" I murmured, stepping forward and bending down the way the professor had. I stared down at the Cyndaquil, still looking at it in complete amazement. It was so strange, seeing it in real life—no, this couldn't be real…right?

The fire coming out of the Pokemon's back certainly was real. I could feel its warmth from here. I was kind of nervous that it would burn me, to be honest.

"H-Hello, Cyndaquil…" I said quietly, feeling a little shaky. "I'm Brittany."

The Cyndaquil looked up at me, tilting its head slightly. Something inside of me melted. After a few moments of staring at me with its eyes, which were almost completely slitted shut, it shuffled forward and headbutted me lightly in the leg. That caused the professor to laugh again.

"Well, I think he likes you," he said jovially.

Meanwhile, I was tentatively reaching down and petting the Cyndaquil on the head. It seemed to enjoy that, leaning into the palm of my hand as I did it. A grin inevitably found its way on to my face, but when I realized it was there, it immediately fell.

This was…a Pokemon. As unbelievable as it seemed, I could tell…this thing was real. This wasn't some sort of cheap trick…oh, God…

I couldn't not fall in love with the little Cyndaquil.

Standing up to my full height now, I turned to face the professor. He nodded to me approvingly.

"Well, I'll get some things together for you," he said, rubbing the back of his head. "Why don't you say goodbye to Ms. Thompson in the meantime?"

"Oh…right," I said, forcing a confident smile. "I…I'll be back soon, then!"

With that, I left Professor Elm to his own devices. The Cyndaquil was surprisingly obedient, and followed me without even being instructed to. Well, I guess it would naturally be used to humans if it had spent a lot of time in that lab…

It was pretty easy to pick out Annette's house from the others, since I'd just been there not too long ago. I took my time, though; I wasn't exactly feeling up to more talking right now. Instead, I walked to the water's edge on the eastern side of town and sat down to take a breather. The Cyndaquil walked up and sat on its haunches next to me, staring at the water in what looked like an expression of distaste.

I couldn't run away from it anymore, could I? Now I had a constant reminder of this messed up situation sitting right next to me. I was in Johto…in the world of Pokemon.

I couldn't help but scowl, staring down at the water. For a seventeen-year-old, playing Pokemon was a bit of a guilty pleasure. I knew of others who played it, but…for the most part, it was a game geared more towards kids, right? Did that mean I was stuck in some sort of child-friendly environment where everything worked out conveniently for me and the worst bad guys were just bullies?

The Cyndaquil nudged me, making a sound that was completely unfamiliar to my ears. It sounded sort of like a ferret, only…I wouldn't even know how to describe it. I looked over to the Pokemon, raising my eyebrows in surprise.

"Wh…What is it?" I asked, but it just paused and made that noise again.

I felt a smile growing on my face before I could suppress it, and I had to laugh. Well, at least this little guy was making me feel better…and it looked like he had unknowingly disproved some of my theory. There were some differences, it looked like…for instance, Pokemon didn't just say their own name. To be honest, I was kind of relieved about that. It might have gotten annoying after a while.

"Sorry, I'm neglecting you, aren't I…" I murmured absently, trying to focus on the Pokemon instead of on how I had ended up in this place. "Um…how about I give you a name, then?" I asked, patting the Cyndaquil on the head.

I had always been too lazy to think up nicknames for all of my Pokemon in the games…but now that I thought about it, I really didn't want to just call my Pokemon Cyndaquil all the time. I mean, if I was still here when it evolved, wouldn't it be weird to suddenly start calling him Quilava? Agh…maybe I was thinking too much.

The Cyndaquil was staring at me, seeming curious. I rubbed my chin, trying to think up a quick name that would work at least until I got out of here.

"Hmm…Flame?" I muttered, frowning. Yeah, that was creative. Oh, well. "Okay, let's see…your actual name will be Flame, but I'll call you Flammie while you're still a cute little Cyndaquil," I said cheerfully. Flammie, like the dragon from Secret of Mana! Flammie the Cyndaquil.

Flammie made another one of those little ferret noises, staring at me. I couldn't really tell if he liked the name or not, but it was a little late for that; I had already grown attached to it.

Feeling a little better now that I had distracted myself for a few minutes, I stood up and brushed myself off. Okay, it was time to say goodbye to Annette.

"C'mon, Flammie," I said, taking a few steps forward. He followed me instantly, and I grinned. This Cyndaquil was probably the only thing keeping me sane right now, come to think of it.

We headed for Annette's house, not wasting any more time. Professor Elm was probably going to be finished soon…

"…And this is the map function, and you press this to use the telephone—don't you forget to call me!" Annette paused in her lecture, wagging a finger. "If anything important comes up, I want to hear about it. And I'll make sure to call you every now and then, too!"

I stared at the Poke Gear, surprised I hadn't recognized it when I had seen Annette pocket it earlier. She was currently showing me how to use it, having given it to me for my trip. I didn't understand what the big deal was, though…wasn't Mr. Pokemon's house a relatively short distance away? I mean, it couldn't take more than a few hours to reach…

"Um…Ms. Thompson—"

"Anne," she corrected.

"Right, Anne," I said, knowing I'd keep forgetting. "Professor Elm is probably waiting for me by now…is that everything I need to know?"

"Oh! That's right! I don't want to hold you back," she said, smiling. "Yes, dear, that should be everything. Just strap that Poke Gear on to your wrist and don't be afraid to use it, all right? And Flammie, you behave for your new trainer!"

Flammie just peeked out at Annette from his spot between my feet, and then yawned. I laughed.

"I think he'll be okay," I said, strapping the strange device on to my right wrist. "Bye, Anne! I'll be back soon."

We waved goodbye to each other, and then Flammie and I were off. I didn't take any detours on my way to the lab, so the walk was a relatively short one. I was starting to get used to walking around with the little Cyndaquil trailing shortly behind. Maybe this whole thing wouldn't be so bad…I just had to focus on the task at hand instead of on how worried my family was going to be. Right…just think about getting home, not about home itself. That could be workable.

The door to the lab opened before I got the chance to knock, and I almost rapped my knuckles on Professor Elm's forehead. Catching myself just in time, I lowered my fist awkwardly. The professor just seemed bemused for a moment, and then he smiled.

"Well, you're all set, then?"

I nodded. "Yeah, I think so. What's all that?" I couldn't help but notice the tote bag he was holding in one hand.

"This is for you," he replied, handing it to me. "There are a few potions in there for your Cyndaquil, if anything should happen to him. I also put some money in there as well; it should be enough to get you a room and meal at the inn in Cherrygrove City."

"Sounds good! Thanks a lot, professor," I said, smiling in a carefree way. I was kind of looking forward to getting away from people for a little bit; I needed some time to really get used to this scenario.

"Oh, it's no trouble," Professor Elm said with a smile, and then it faltered. "Ah—just a second, I completely forgot…I'll be right back."

I watched with raised eyebrows as the man shuffled back inside, hearing a few crashes coming from somewhere inside the building. Man, he'd seemed so organized until just a few seconds ago…

In a minute or two, he emerged once more with a paper in hand. He smiled a bit sheepishly, straightening his glasses.

"This is a copy of the e-mail I received from Mr. Pokemon," he explained. "It's just to prove that you're the person I sent to see him. I also wrote my number at the bottom of the paper, so you can input that into your Poke Gear. I'll give you a call if anything important comes up while you're gone."

"Thanks," I said, smiling wryly as I slipped the paper into the bag he had given me. Inwardly, I hoped he hadn't forgotten anything else important.

"Well, that's everything, then," Professor Elm said with a satisfied nod, and smiled. "You'd better get going before your Cyndaquil leaves without you," he said, amused. I turned and saw that Flammie was waiting for me a few yards away, staring with his head slightly tilted in inquiry.

"…I guess I should," I said, grinning a little at the Pokemon's antics.

We said our goodbyes, and once again I was alone with Flammie. Finally…time for a few uninterrupted hours of thought. I intended to fully take advantage of it.

Slinging the tote bag over one shoulder, I took a few seconds to put Professor Elm's number into my Poke Gear. Then I checked the map for a second, and confirmed that I did indeed know exactly where I was going. Everything seemed to be in the same general layout as the game, only bigger. Well, at least I wasn't in totally unfamiliar territory.

I headed for the path on the edge of town, seeing the tall grass already in the distance. I wondered if I'd see any wild Pokemon during the trip. Hopefully we wouldn't be attacked…ack, I just couldn't imagine my cute little Flammie in a battle!

All of a sudden, I stopped in my tracks. I felt like I was forgetting something…

Ah. And there was that feeling like I was being watched. When I looked up, my eyes instantly wandered in the direction of Professor Elm's lab, and I saw the shock of red hair in an instant. That was…oh man, how could I have forgotten about that guy?

A very familiar red haired boy of about my age was leaning against one of the building's walls, his arms crossed. He was glaring at me, and didn't even bother to look away when we made eye contact. Ah, crap…I was going to be periodically bumping into this rival dude every now and then, wasn't I? And he was going to basically tell me I failed at life, describe how Pokemon are tools, and then chuck his Totodile in my general direction so that he could duke it out with Flammie. Awesome.

What was his name again? Pfft, I had named him "Douchebag" on my last playthrough. Before I could help myself, I snorted, placing a hand to my mouth to cover my grin. Rival DOUCHEBAG wants to battle! Ahahaha, I was so immature.

Flammie was looking at me curiously. I risked one final glance in…er, that guy's direction, and saw that he didn't look too amused. Whoops, he had probably taken my little episode there as an insult—though it was probably better that he hadn't seen what was going through my head…actually, who cared, really? I was gonna call him Douchebag until he told me his name. And maybe after he told me his name, too. I'd just have to wait and see on that one.

"Let's get going, Flammie," I said to my Cyndaquil, acting as if I had never seen the boy in the first place. For now…I had more important things to worry about.

We continued onward to the edge of town, to where Route 29 began. As we left the redhead behind, I couldn't help but wonder how long it would be before he stole that Totodile…and if I should feel guilty that I wasn't stopping him.

A/N: Well, there you have it. I'm not completely sure how far I'll go with this, but I just thought I'd post up what I already had. Whether I'm motivated to write more or not depends on the feedback I get, I guess. ;D

...okay, I'll probably write more at some point regardless of reviews, but reviews will help me get my ass in gear. XD

Good? Bad? Lemme know what you think! Constructive criticism is always appreciated.

Next time: The first Pokemon battle! Stop hurting my little Flammie, you bastard!

Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon, nor do I profit from this story in any way.