Erm. Yay? My first fanfic on here, though I've already started it on a seperate site. I'll be uploading the first few chapters as soon as I can.

Please R&R!

A warm and inviting sun shone across the plains of the Kanto region. Near the outskirts of Fuchsia City, four youths were calmly making their way toward the large town. One of them was significantly broader and tanner than the others, and one was similarly shorter than the rest. Two, however, seemed to be nearly the same height, though one was still broader in build than the other.

Numerous creatures scampered around the landscape surrounding the four travelers, varying in size and shape. A group of small bird-like creatures glided low over the grass while a pack of small purple rats were led through the foliage by a much larger tan rat. There was even a two-headed bird clomping through the area, loudly disturbing any of the creatures it happened to run past.

"Man. Let's not try that again any time soon." The smallest of the four companions said in a depressed tone. He was clad in a green polo shirt and dark shorts, as well as large glasses and dark blue hair. Max.

"Mm, yeah." The broader middle one responded in agreement. "Who came up with Pokemon racing, anyway?" He wore a blue sleeveless hoodie with a black T-shirt underneath and jeans, as well as a red hat with a red stripe bearing a green Pokeball emblem on it. The hat masked his messily unkempt black hair. Ash.

"I think there's a league of Rapidash racers who would strongly disagree with you." The largest of the four joked. He was indeed much tanner than the rest of the group. He wore a dark brown jacket and pants with a forest green shirt underneath, and had uncovered spiky brown hair. Brock.

"You guys are just mad 'cause you know Eevee and I would've won if Team Rocket hadn't stopped us short." The second middle traveler, and only female of the group, responded jovially. She bore a tight red shirt and navy shorts partially covered by a short white skirt and had longer brown hair partially covered by a bright red bandana bearing a Pokeball logo. May.

"Well, hey, it isn't my fault!" Max countered, looking over at his older sister. "I mean...Munchlax wasn't even my Pokemon, right?"

"Oh, so, what, now it's my fault that you wouldn't have won?" May shot back playfully. "Don't blame me if you can't handle my Pokemon..."

As the two siblings continued to go at it with each other, Ash and Brock simply looked at each other and grinned sheepishly. The two siblings arguing was a common occurrence at this point for their companions, who had learned to simply shrug it off and wait for it to pass.

"Piii-ka..." Ash's Pikachu moaned from his perch on his owner's shoulder. Contrary to others, Pikachu much preferred everyday life outside with Ash to sitting inside a Pokeball all day.

"I know, buddy." Ash responded, turning his head to face his longtime partner. "I'm pretty beat after all that, too."

"Fuchsia City shouldn't be much farther at this point." Brock said reassuringly.

"Man, I don't remember it taking this long the last time we came here." Ash said, thinking back a few years to a particular involving a meeting with a group of a certain mole Pokemon.

"That's because last time we went around the other way, through the mountains, and ended up getting lost about three times along the way."

"Oh when we met those guys trying to build a dam, and the Diglett kept disturbing them?"

Brock nodded knowingly, his own thoughts drifting back in time as well. "Yeah. Gary was there, too, but none of us actually managed to help them that much."

Further down the path, Max and May were still arguing, and it seemed to have escalated in the past few minutes.

"Sometimes I just can't stand you, Max!"

"Whoever said I was crazy about you?"

Ash and Brock cautiously re-entered the group, grinning nervously at their companions. "Come on, guys, calm down. We're almost to Fuchsia City..." Brock said to them, hoping they would just dismiss their argument.

"Oh, are we?" May shot back. "That's too bad - I heard they don't allow infuriating younger brothers in the city limits!"

"Oh, really?" Max said in mock surprise. "I heard they don't allow annoying older sisters in, either!"

Ash and Brock merely glanced at each other and sighed.

"Pii..." Pikachu muttered sadly in agreement.

Meanwhile, across the field from the group of four, a somewhat thin, lanky man in a black cloak scanned them through his binoculars.

"Hmm...a group of four is approaching the city now. Looks like at least one of them is going to challenge the Palace." He paused for a moment. "Get things ready for me."

"Sometimes, I'm surprised your bandana even fits on your head, it's so big and bloated!" Max berated, continuing the string of insults he'd been flinging at his sister.

"You know what?" May said suddenly, putting her hands on her hips. "I wouldn't even mind staying out of this city, if it gets me away from him for a while! It's not like there's a Contest Hall here, anyway!"

"That's fine with me!" Max said angrily, looking away.

"No, come on, guys. We're all going to the city." Brock said calmly, trying once again to keep the peace. "Remember? The Battle Palace is there for Ash and then afterwards we're heading to Crysanthemum Island off the coast for May's Contest."

May and Max turned and stared hard at each other for a long period of silence. Then they finally both muttered "Fine" in unison.

Brock grinned in acceptance as the four continued walking.

"Sometimes I have a hard time believing those two are related..." Ash muttered, coming up beside his older friend.

"Are you kidding? My little brothers and sisters argue all the time." Brock explained, chuckling softly. "It's just what siblings do."

"Yeah, well, if that's what having a brother or sister is like, I think I'm happy I don't have any." Ash said, glancing sideways at May and Max.

Suddenly, a large black, red and white Pokemon with multiple heads materialized in the middle of the path ahead of them. May, who had turned away from lingering disgust at her younger brother, didn't see it and continued walking, running into it head-on.

"Ow!" She exclaimed, recoiling. "What - ?"

Ash, Brock, and Max shared a similiar reaction as they stared at the large Claydol that had just appeared before them.

"Is it...wild?" Max suggested nervously, staring at the beast.

"I doubt it." Brock said, examining it closely. "Claydol is a Pokemon native to Hoenn, after all."

"S...sorry!" A voice chimed in from behind the Pokemon. A man suddenly ran around the side of it, seemingly out of breath. "Sorry for any trouble he caused you...this, erm, Claydol, belongs to me, you see...we were training with Teleport and, um, I suppose he miscalculated."

"I'll say." Max said, eyes still locked on the Claydol.

"So, are you heading for the Battle Palace, too?" The man asked suddenly, eyeing Ash in particular.

Ash's eyes lit up at the man's words. "Yeah, or I am, at least. I'm Ash, and this is my buddy Pikachu."

"Pi-ka-chu." Pikachu greeted the man warmly.

"Nice to meet you - I'm Nate, and I guess you've already met Claydol here." The man said, grinning to the group. "And who are your companions? If you don't mind me asking, of course."

"I'm May, but I'm not here for the Battle Palace." May explained. "I'm a Coordinator - "

"Ah, so you'll be heading to Crysanthemum Island after Fuchsia, I presume?" The man interrupted.

May glanced at her companions before continuing. "Y-yeah, we heard there was a Contest Hall there..."

"I'm Max." Max said pointedly, cutting his sister off. "I'm not a Trainer yet, but I know a lot about Pokemon, and this Claydol here seems a little...different..."

"Oh, does he?" Nate responded, stroking his larger companion. "He might be tired out from all his training today - I guess we should call it quits for now, eh?"

Max nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I guess. Too much training is just as bad as not enough."

"Right you are, my young friend."

Brock didn't respond to the man, instead examining the large Pokemon next to him. "Max was right, something's not right about this Claydol..."

"Well, I think I've held you four up long enough." Nate said respectfully. "I'll let you be on your way, then."

"Maybe we'll meet up at the Battle Palace!" Ash said happily as they continued down the road.

Nate simply waved a hand at them as they slowly walked out of his sight. "Oh, trust me, Ash. We will."

Reviews are appreciated!