a fifth gen one-shot

There were signs Belle inevitably missed, having no patience for waiting around, and just the right amount of dreaminess not to catch them even if she was present. Her world was so vibrant and fast-paced ever since she left Kanoko Town that things were never really the same. There was so much "new" to experience that she sped up in the hope of maybe seeing half of it before the year was out. She rather forgot to pay attention to what would have peaked her interest in the past. Before, she would have caught on to the changing mood, and she would have struck while the iron was hot.

Now though, the chance had already slipped by without her notice.

There's a certain condition a person can obtain when they try to process a lot of new stimuli at once, or just being thrust into a state of being they are not accustomed to. A famous example would be someone living the lottery, and not knowing what to do with themselves now that they're rich. The truth is, no matter how much we individually pride ourselves on being adaptable, change is something scary to humankind, and too much at once is overwhelming. Some say that if we don't try to keep some normalcy to our everyday lives, change may drive us mad.

Cheren was usually very calm and collected as people went. His knowledge was a constant reassurance, and he was sure that it was sufficient to go out into the world with. As we humans who have grown up and strayed from home can attest to though, there are some things you cannot learn until you're out in that wide, wonderful, and at times terrifying, world we live in. Experience is, after all, the bread and water of life, not something found in books.

Change is a marvelous and dangerous tool, and some adjust to it better than others. It was just what Belle wanted – and needed – and so she was content. Traveling out on a journey was the adventure of a lifetime, and it wasn't so lonely. She had her Pokémon and every now and then she would run into her friends along the way. She was meeting new people and seeing new things every day, and so the world seemed all sunshine with no clouds.

It is amazing how the perspective changes from one person to another. And how even best friends can see the world so differently.

Cheren had done well at first. Training was a rewarding pursuit; he could see his team growing stronger alongside him all the time, and each new badge was a testament to his superior work ethic. He had never been too fond of spending so much time on the go or outside, but with all the sights to see, even he couldn't complain. The only downside in the beginning, and funnily enough, the straw that broke the camel's back, was that it was lonely. Cheren could never remember being lonely ever in his life. As introverted as he could be at times, there had been that faint notion in the back of his mind that if he did wish for company, his friends would always be just next door, or a short walk away. And sometimes they came to him even when he didn't wish for company; not that he denied them when they were persistent like that.

No, he had never been truly alone. The four of them, he, Belle, White, and Black had been friends ever since they were small children and their parents had made play-dates for them in the safe haven of the neighborhood. He supposed they had been rather sheltered, but he didn't think that was bad. He liked his simple way of life, and that was that.

He could remember the day they had decided to all go their separate ways. Unsurprisingly, this had been White's idea; her ideas had gotten them into trouble over the years more times than he could keep track of. This time though, it hadn't been some mischievous plot, just an idea White thought would be fun. It was the morning after she, Belle, and him had received their starters from Juniper – Black had obtained his Tepig the year previously. Cheren had always had the thought he was waiting to start his journey just so they could all go together; had White therefore inconvenienced him too?

The four of them had gathered in their favorite hang-out spot after saying their goodbyes to their parents. There had been a palpable feeling of giddiness; even the Pokéballs on their belts had seemed to rustle a little from excitement. They had all sat cross-legged on the green, end-of-summer grass, and looked at each other with hopeful expressions. Where to first? No one seemed to step up to a leadership role right off the bat. For that moment – one of the last in the coming months – they were all equals in every way.

"Everyone ready to go?" Belle had piped up eventually, her eyes bright with enthusiasm. You could just tell by the way she kept fidgeting and grinning that this was the best day she had ever had. She looked stunning, though honestly, not much had outwardly changed about her. It was her attitude making all the difference here. Cheren found himself wishing that he had not been so anxious and had met up with her before coming here like he had planned on doing. It had been his intention to ask her if they could travel together… just them two alone. Plus all that implied.

He had a sort of plan on his mind. First step: Travel with Belle. Find the right moment to confess to her. If she took it well, then he would make her his girlfriend; this was the best case scenario. He didn't know how long it would take to play out, but if they were traveling together, he was sure the moment would present itself.

In hindsight, he tended to blame himself for not asking her when he had planned to, because life inexplicably got in the way.

"I'm ready, but... what do you say we make this more interesting?" Cheren was always wary of White's schemes, but this statement seemed destined for trouble from the moment it left the brunette's mouth.

"Interesting? How so?" he inquired, his tone even. He was trying to feel out her intentions, but she wasn't exactly hiding them.

"A sort of race. I bet that I can make it to the League before you," she pointed at Cheren, "you", at Belle, "and even you, Black!" Black was unconcerned by her boast; he smiled knowingly to himself and adjusted the cap on his head. The year of age and trainer's experience he had (even if it was only with his Tepig and the one Pidove he'd caught) over White and them all bolstered his confidence nicely. He wasn't planning on coming in last. In fact, it couldn't even be a possibility, to him.

"Ooh, so that means we won't be going together?"

"Yeah, Belle, that would defeat the purpose. If we're rivals then we can't be shacking up together and letting each other know all our training secrets!"

"It sounds like fun!" Belle decided, clapping her hands together in a merry manner.

"..." was the sum of Cheren's thoughts on the matter. Of course he couldn't be too thrilled; this clearly drove a wedge in his plans.

White leaned into their little circle, smiled deviously, and sang "Last one to Sanyou is a rotten Exeggcute!"

And before there was a chance for either of the boys to give their input, White was off and running towards the edge of town, Belle trailing after her at a more graceful pace. Cheren remembered Black staring at him, and him looking at Black. The older boy had shrugged as if to say "Girls!" and then picked himself up slowly.

"Good luck, Cheren."

And then he was gone, like the rest of them.

Months had gone by. He wasn't much of the moping kind, so he'd tried to make the best of things. There was no reason he couldn't beat all of his friends to being Champion. He had the brains to get the job done. This was something he felt he was cut out for, and it was his dream. Part of him also thought that if nothing else, it would look impressive to come out on top.

He'd gone throughout Isshu. Won all eight of his badges. Entered the League. Been Champion for nearly a day before he was edged out by Belle - who later fell to White, and then to Black, and that was as recent as he had heard. He now officially had nothing to his name worth bragging about. He lost the re-match versus her, and once was enough. He was so disparaged by the situation he had given up immediately. He felt so weak and heartsick; two things that were so foreign to him that his body was almost in shock from the experiencing of them.

The Championship wasn't the only situation he gave up on. His larger goal was cast aside too. How could she ever consider him in this state?

He needed to...wanted to...had to...go somewhere else.

Fresh start.

He had his eyes set for one of the other regions. Perhaps Sinnoh, it too was a fairly modernized as the regions went. Almost like home, an adequate substitute.

He hadn't told anyone where he was going. Only his parents knew he was leaving again, even if he didn't specify where to.

The ferry came into the terminal at 1 PM. Forty-five minutes later, he was on his way.

To a new place, new Pokemon, new memories, and hopefully, a new take on life. There was a League there too, and he was already gunning for the top spot without a badge to his name. The current Champion - Cynthia - was one of the toughest and most respected ones there had ever been. If he could usurp her place, that would be more notoriety to his person than winning his home region's league. His hopes weren't completely dashed.

But until that day comes, he will be forever yearning and hiding his emotions. His friends will all wonder where he's gone, and it will fall to White to tell Belle that if she didn't know any better, she would say that he was in love with the blond girl. It will fall to Black to hold his title and indulge his friends in the occasional re-match for posterity's sake. And for Belle, it will be her duty to wonder where Cheren is, and if he's okay, and if he does like her. If that's why he's gone to ground for the time being.

From that very first day of their journey onward, things were never equal between the four, but they see now that that's how it has to be.

They wouldn't have it any other way.






This was my first time writing fifth gen characters - I'm not familiar with them yet so I have to just dive in and go for it. Mm, let me know how it was, and if you like, check out my other fics via my profile. I'm hoping to add more parts to this, and make it a one-shot collection so that I can practice writing these characters. Each one shot may not relate to each other; haven't decided yet.

Don't know if anyone is interested - but care for a writing trade? One-shot for one-shot? I write you something you like, you write me something I like? PM me or add in your review if you might be interested in this proposition. I think it could be fun.

No more ranting. Please review, but regardless, thanks for reading.