All Lucas ever wanted to be was a Pokemon Trainer, but at 10 years-old his dream was stolen by his older brother John. Now 16 and a certifiable juvenile delinquent, he's getting a second chance to be a trainer and show his family, the world—and himself what he's really made of.
Chapter 1: Delinquent
Lucas's older brother John was better than him at everything. He got better grades in school, teachers loved him, he had more friends and excelled in sports. The siblings' parents would always ask Lucas, 'why can't you be more like your brother?' However, their criticisms never bothered him, and John's numerous talents never brought about an ounce of anger or jealousy, because he knew, someday, that he would be better than his sibling at something. And he knew exactly what that would be: Pokemon. Because for Lucas, the numerous creatures were the only thing in the world that mattered.
One day when Lucas was four years-old, a family friend who was a trainer came for a visit and showed the boy his team. He was enthralled that creatures so powerful, intelligent and varied could be so friendly. It was in that moment Lucas fell in love with Pokemon and determined his life's journey. He constantly begged for new Pokemon merchandise and information. His constant companion was a stuffed Snorlax he nicknamed Lumpy that he had received on his fifth birthday. He counted down the days until he turned ten years-old and could get his Trainer's License. John, on the other hand, could care less about the creatures. While Lucas would play with the wild Pokemon just outside of his home in Cherrygrove City, John usually spent his time hanging out with his friends at the local arcade, or play on the beach. This was why it came such a shock to the younger brother when on John's tenth birthday he announced he would take his school leave and become a Pokemon Trainer. Within a year of leaving home, John became the League Champion of Johto, after another six months he had conquered Kanto, and shortly after that became the Champion of Sinnoh as well. Lucas realized he didn't stand a chance, Pokemon would be yet another thing his brother would always be superior at—the one thing the boy ever really cared about. Soon Lucas became consumed by a series of emotions he had never felt for his sibling: anger, jealousy and above all, hate and stopped caring about anything. When he finally turned ten he declined his chance for a Trainer Card and carved a new destiny for himself: if John, the perfect brother who stole Lucas's only passion was going to be good at everything, the younger boy would do everything in his power to be bad at everything. That's when Lucas started hanging out with his gang.
With his new-found friends, he'd go around vandalizing buildings, harassing the residents of Cherrygrove, and constantly get into fights. They were the only people anymore who seemed to understand the boy and his mission, kids like him that the world had given up on, and in turn had given up on the world. Lucas's GPA was 0.8 before he was finally expelled from high school. He had tied up a boy and duct-taped his mouth before stuffing him into his locker. It was three days before the boy was found, and when confronted by the principal Lucas showed no remorse. He was kicked out the next day. For his parents, this was the last straw. They tried grounding him, punishing him, but even two stints in Juvenile Hall did nothing to change his attitude. Unable to handle their rebellious son, they took the boy to the port in Olivine City and put him on a ship headed to the Sinnoh Region to live with his brother. For Lucas, there was no worse punishment.
Once upon a time, Lucas had been a cheerful looking boy with warm brown eyes and messy dark brown hair. Now at sixteen, the short brown hair was replaced by a fire-engine red Mohawk surrounded by short buzzed hair dyed black. A few seemingly random series of long hairs interspersed the much shorter fuzz at the front of his head to make for his bangs. His eyes were still brown, but now had a near-constant, angry, hard-edge to them, framed by a series of hoops and bell bars in his eyebrows. More hoops peppered the outer perimeters of his ears, finished at the lobe by three-quarter inch plugs that fit snugly in stretched holes. In either corner of his mouth, now held in an annoyed grimace, were two more hoops pierced through his bottom lip. As he walked safety-pins jingled in a neat, straight line down his black, skin-tight sleeveless turtleneck t-shirt, over which he wore an army-green vest with lots of pockets. His lack of sleeves fully exposed the tattoos that ran down his arms: on his right, a skeletal battle between the fossil Pokemon Aerodactyl and Kabutops, on his left, the commercially available Pokeballs done in a highly stylized calligraphic fashion with swirling scroll work connecting them. Around his waist were a series of belts, only one of which was used to hold up his faded brown pants. On his feet were intimidating looking steel-toed boots in shiny black patent leather, under which the twigs and leaves of the Eterna Forest cracked and crunched as he moved through the only clear path between the trees. With one hand he clung to the strap slung over his shoulder of his army-style duffel bag which now held all his earthly possessions, the other hand clamped onto piece of paper. Lucas paused for a moment and glanced again at the scrap of paper he and been clutching. The boy rarely smiled anymore, but as he reread the note his grimace increased.
The trip on the boat from Johto to Sinnoh had been an unpleasant one. It was long and there was little to do and Lucas was constantly surrounded by happy trainers that he desperately envied but knew he could never be. They would constant battle around him and show off their teams, and to add insult to injury, some would occasionally ask about Lucas's Pokemon, and the boy was forced to explain he was not a trainer coming to challenge the league—no matter how badly he would have liked to. And he was once again reminded by the fact that was coming to live with the person who was responsible for this, the former Sinnoh Champion, his brother John. And once more his hatred for his brother and determination to be nothing like him returned. The boat finally docked in Canalave City and the final ounce of salt was added to the wound. Rather than meeting his brother at the dock like their mother ordered, Lucas was greeted by a message delivery person who handed him a piece of paper:
Couldn't meet you as you got off the ship because something more important came up. I'm pretty sure you can handle yourself and come to Eterna City on your own. I know Mom gave you some money but I know you're not stupid enough to try to run away and live on your own. And even if you are you'll run out of it eventually and you'll come here when you're hungry enough.
Don't get arrested in the meantime,
Lucas reread the note and wadded it into an angry little ball before stuffing it back into the vest pocket over his heart. He had to give his mother credit, even after everything he had put her through, she still gave him some emergency money which he was now extremely grateful for. With it he was forced to buy a map and began his trek towards Eterna City. He took a ferry to cross the river to Jubilife city, before going north to Floroma Town. He stopped in the picturesque city for a meal, noticing how much he stood out amongst the residents. When the local officer gave him a suspicious glance, Lucas moved on. Now he was in the middle of Eterna Forest, the last stop before finally arriving in Eterna City and starting his sentence. Out of another pocket Lucas pulled out his map and checked it. Unfortunately the paper map wasn't very detailed, and only showed a general overview of the forest, there was no marked path. As the young man continued to move forward the sticks becoming more numerous, the grass became thicker and taller and the path all but disappeared. Eventually Lucas ran into a large boulder covered with thick moss and just beyond it the trees turned into a virtual wall, with a groan he realized he had gone the wrong direction. The annoyed boy was about to turn around and back-track his was to the last fork he took when he heard a small sound come from the side of the large rock that signaled his mistake.
"Viiii," a small brown creature with large black eyes, long ears, a fluffy mane and incredibly fluffy tail was sitting huddled against the rock. It was an Eevee. Lucas studied the cute creature intensely, a bad feeling rising in his stomach. Eevee were extremely rare and valuable Pokemon, and though not entirely familiar with the Sinnoh region, Lucas was fairly certain wild Eevee didn't live in this forest. Additionally, the creature looked completely miserable: its ears were drooped, its fur was damp and matted and it appeared to be trembling. One thought came to the boy, its trainer had abandoned it. A dilemma arose in his mind, on one hand Lucas was not a trainer and this wasn't his business, on the other the Pokemon looked extremely sick and the likelihood of another passerby in the near future was low. The Eevee looked up at the juvenile delinquent with hope and desperation and in that instant the boy knew what he had to do. Lucas picked up the tiny Pokemon without struggle, whether because it trusted him or because it was too weak to fight back didn't matter much to him, he gently placed the creature under his vest and started running back down the path.
The young man ran as fast as he could, his duffle bag hitting him painfully on his back, as he chose the opposite side of the fork. The path stayed consistent before breaking into a three-part fork. Lucas cursed his bad luck and ran in place as he racked his brain trying to figure out which choice would get him out of the forest. The Eevee now had its eyes closed and the boy could feel its breathing slowing down. Suddenly a figure appeared down one of the paths, walking quickly towards Lucas. He could identify the person as a woman because of her tight shirt, but her face was covered with a green hooded cape. Lucas called out to her.
"Hey! Do you know which way gets me out of this forest? I need to get to a Pokemon Center, like, now!" Without a word the woman raised her arm and pointed to the furthest right selection of the fork. Lucas nodded and began running again, "Thanks!"
Lucas sped up, the path was quickly growing brighter as the trees started thinning out and finally opened to a small clearing with a small pond. He ran across the wooden bridge covering it, his heavy boots shaking the planks and getting the attention of the Fisherman trainers who were lazily hunting Water-types. Just ahead between two massive rock formations the boy could see buildings, he was almost at Eterna City. His feet carried him into the metropolis, his eyes now on the sharp lookout for the red-roofed building all Pokemon Trainers relied on. Thankfully it was close. With a final burst of speed Lucas slammed through the doors and screamed, "Hey! Hey I need some help here!"
The Pokemon Center was almost empty and the nurse blessedly not busy. Lucas ran to counter and placed the ill Eevee in front of her. Her eyes widened in horror as she observed the Eevee, but without a word she nodded and scooped up the sick Pokemon herself. Followed by a small army of Chansey the nurse vanished to an operating room.
With the Eevee tended to, the adrenaline fueling Lucas subsided and he felt the effects of his exploits. He was now seriously out of breath and his legs were cramping badly, not to mention he was fairly sure his back was now badly bruised. He wondered to himself if this was punishment for constantly ditching gym class, to be in as bad shape as he was, as he dragged himself to a chair to recover. Waiting for the nurse he debated on whether or not to call John. He decided against it. John clearly didn't care that much where Lucas was or wasn't—otherwise he would have come to the dock in Canaclave himself and the longer he could put off dealing with his smug sibling, the better. The nurse finally came out from the back, she looked weary and and had a serious look on her face. Lucas's heart sank.
"Is it going to be okay?" Lucas asked hesitantly, he wasn't sure if he wanted to hear the answer.
"Your Eevee is going to be just fine," the nurse replied, her face now enraged, "You should be ashamed of yourself. How dare you let your Pokemon get that sick without treatment! He had fluid in his lungs and a sore on his stomach. If you would have waited any longer there would have been no way to save it. You should get your license revoked!"
Lucas snapped up from the chair in fury, ignoring the burning in his legs, "Hey lady, get off my back! That Pokemon isn't mine,"
"What?" Her tone softening and her eyes widening again.
"I'm not even a trainer. I just stumbled across it in the woods and try to do the right thing. No good deed goes unpunished, that's for sure," The boy replied acidly.
"I'm so sorry. It's just...when I see what some people do to their Pokemon it breaks my heart. Thank you for doing the right thing," The nurse bowed apologetically and sighed, "But least now I understand why that poor Eevee was in the woods,"
"Eevee are very unique Pokemon, they have the ability to evolve into seven different types—maybe even more. But this one can't evolve at all,"
"When I was running tests on it I noticed something strange about its blood. It had a trace of a mineral called Everstone. Everstones are so powerful that even if just held they can prevent a Pokemon from evolving. I suspect our little friend accidentally must has swallowed one at some time. That must be why its trainer abandoned it. That large moss covered stone in Eterna forest is called 'Moss Rock'. When Eevee are trained around it they evolve into the grass type, Leafeon. The trainer must have leveled it and leveled it, and when the Eevee wouldn't turn into Leafeon the trainer got fed up and told the Eevee to stay there. There is proper way to release Pokemon back into the wild, but you can't just tell it to stay somewhere and leave it. It's cruel,"
"If I ever find the guy who did it I'll break his face in," Lucas muttered under his breath as he sat back down. "So what's going to happen to him?"
"Well, in a little while it's going to be just fine. When treated, Pokemon heal extraordinarily fast, it's quite amazing. Since his trainer gave him up we can release him, properly release him. It's perfectly fine to release a Pokemon you don't want to train so long as you do it the right way. But it would be a shame since Eevee are so rare and hard to find. Then again I also know a woman in Hearthome City that raises Eevee, that could be a suitable home," the nurse paused and turned to the Mohawk-bearing boy seated near her, "Of course, you could always take him,"
Lucas looked down at the floor, "I'm not a trainer."
"You could always become one, it's very easy to get a Trainer's Card," the nurse added with a huff, "In some cases a little too easy,"
"You don't get it. There already is a trainer in my family. There's no point in me becoming one, too,"
"And what kind of silly reasoning is that?" A deep male voice suddenly interjected. Standing in the door was an old man with white hair and a square jaw wearing a white lab coat. He held his arms behind his back and strode towards the Pokemon Center's counter.
The nurse gasped in a revered whisper, "Professor Oak!"