Welcome to Pokémon: Ice Blu Rose version! …What? I got it wrong again? My bad…again.
Anyway, welcome to the rewrite of my very first Pokémon fan fiction: Pokémon Gray! Or as it's now called: Pokémon Cold Gray! Yes, I know, the title sucks. I probably should've called it "Frigid Gray" or "Artic Gray" or some other cold-related term, but if Nintendo can get away with adding Alpha and Omega to the names of precious stones, I can get away with adding a simple adjective to a simple color.
Anyway, even though Gen 5 has come and passed and Gen 6 with its fancy 3D graphics and fancier Mega Evolutions has already made its roots evident, I still prefer the Gen 5 games and their stories. Don't get me wrong, Kalos isn't entirely bad to me and I love Hoenn despite the fact that I'm not gonna buy Alpha Sapphire, but Unova has won a special place in my heart. So yeah, if I still care for Pokémon by the time the Unova remakes come around—hopefully in the form of the first and second games combined, but Nintendo don't play that—I'd probably buy that.
Now, about this rewrite… Things have changed. Pokémon have been dropped. Nicknames have been added. Some scenarios have been changed. New one-off characters have been added. You might not see the changes immediately, but that's for the best. Probably. Hopefully…
Summary: White is a girl who can understand Pokémon, but an incident left her with a severe fear of them. Her brother Black is an optimistic young boy who yearns for the adrenaline of Pokémon battles. On a journey together to accomplish their respective goals, the two are pursued by Team Plasma and followed by the mysterious N.
Disclaimer: Blu Rose does not own Pokémon in any way or form. She only owns the personas that she's created for Black and White's male and female main characters, Black/Touya/Hilbert and White/Touko/Hilda.
Warning!: This story won't completely follow the story of Pokémon Black and White versions, so don't be surprised if you see things on a Route that shouldn't be there like certain Pokémon or areas, or if scenes don't go the exact same way as they do in the games. It's called creativity, people.
~The Start of Something Big~
I could feel myself growing colder by the second, both inside and out. I was sure that the tears that trailed down my cheeks and hit the ground became ice in less than a second. So this is what it felt like to be slowly freezing to death.
Something roared loudly and the ground shook as a shadow became apparent in a mist, eyes glowing yellow. If possible, the air grew even colder the larger it became. Now my body slowly began to freeze, becoming covered in ice as the giant shadowy figure loomed over me. I couldn't help it. I broke down completely and started screaming, but its roar drowned me out.
"NO!" I shouted. It took a while for me to open my eyes and notice that I was in my little room in my bed, drenched in sweat. "…Just a dream…!" I stuttered, getting up out of the bed and walking over to the mirror dresser on the other side of the room. I stared at my reflection in the mirror, my long brown hair a mess from tossing and turning in my sleep. My blue eyes reflected irritation from that awful nightmare.
"WHITE!" And that irritation increased when my brother Black burst through the door of my room. He looked like he had just woken up too, because his hair was a mess and he was dressed in a simple black shirt and boxers with little Pikachu printed on them. "The day has finally arrived!" He exclaimed, his light brown eyes shining brightly.
"That's very nice, Black. Now put on some pants and get out of my room," I told him flatly without even sparing him a glance and pointing at him. "Now."
"Black! What are you doing not wearing your pants?!" I heard my mother scold the idiot from out in the hallway. "Go put some clothes on!"
"Alright, alright! Geez…! You'd think I was the only one excited about this…" Black mumbled to himself, looking depressed as he closed the door.
"…Moron." I mumbled as I picked up a brush and began to brush my hair. I grabbed a scrunchie and put my hair up into a bushy ponytail. I took a deep breath and sighed before looking at the calendar on the wall. Today's date had been circled with a red marker at some point—probably by Black—and the words '1st PKMN' were written in the circle. "Oh, no…"
Later downstairs, the family had sat down to breakfast. Me and Black were still in our pajamas—Black now wearing pajama pants—while Mom was already wearing her day clothes.
"Why don't you wanna come?!" Black complained.
"Why?" I asked before drinking my juice.
"Because…it's a growing experience!"
I arched an eyebrow at him. "Between the two of us, you think I'm the one in need of a growing experience?"
"Uh…you could see new places!" Black immediately changed his answer. "You wanna see the world, don't you?"
"I can see it just fine over the Internet."
"Then…you'll be able to get over your phobia!" I twitched and kicked my brother in the shin. "Ow!"
"You know by now that your sister doesn't like to talk about that, Black. Leave her alone about it today, okay?" Mom told him. "Besides, you'll have Cheren and Bianca with you."
"Nope. At least not Cheren," Black muttered under his breath.
"What's wrong? Did you two get in a fight again?" I don't even know why she asked that question. Black and Cheren fought at least once a week, from arguments about whether or not there was human life on other planets to fights about who would be the better Pokémon trainer. A fight was inevitable, which made life around the two somewhat annoying.
Black suddenly seemed to have flames burning in his eyes. Or maybe that was just a reflection of light. "Cheren is my rival! Rivals can't go on journeys together! They have to go their own way and live their own lives, meeting up for long and arduous battles in which there can only be one victor!" By the end of his little speech, Black was standing on top of his chair and holding a fist up to the ceiling. Talk about being overdramatic.
"That's nice, sweetie. So long as you two aren't angry at each other," Mom said with a smile before she went back to eating her scrambled eggs. "Now sit down and finish your breakfast." As Black sat back down, there was a knock on the front door. "Coming!" Mom got up from her seat and walked over to the door. She opened the door saying, "How may I help…you…?"
Standing in the doorway was a Pidgeot. At first glimpse of the bird Pokémon, I froze and felt the urge to run, but my legs were pretty much unwilling to move. My brother, of course, reacted the way only people like him would to the sight of a Pokémon from a completely different region.
"Woooow! A Pidgeot~! It's soooo cool!" He swooned. Yes, Black, a boy, swooned at the sight of a Pokémon. He was what some may call a Pokémaniac. He watched shows on Pokémon, he played games with Pokémon, collected Pokémon memorabilia… The boy was obsessed in a way no 15-year old should be.
Black jumped out of his seat to see the Pidgeot up close, but it had already taken off by the time he reached the door. He slumped over in depression over not getting in a look while I gave a sigh of relief and felt the feeling come back to my legs. I could hear people gasping in awe right outside our house. Mom closed the door and turned around, holding a small cardboard box in her hands.
"What is it, Mom?" My brother asked, getting over his nonexistent time with a Pidgeot. He gave his mother a suspicious look. "You didn't send out for anything from the Home Shopping Network again, did you?"
"Don't be silly! I haven't done that for a week!"
She looked down at the package. "It's addressed to White." At that, I blinked in confusion. Who would send something to me? "It's from your father."
"…Oh." Great. I put on my best emotionless face as I watched Mom put the box down in front of me. My mom and brother were staring at me expectantly.
"Well? Aren't you going to open it?"
No, I'm gonna go dropkick it into the sea…was what I wanted to say. Instead, I silently gave in to my family's stares and opened the box. Inside was a Poké Ball with a piece of Pikachu print stationary. I picked up the stationary and opened it up. "To White. Here's an early birthday present. Love Dad." I looked back down at the Poké Ball in the box and flinched visibly.
"Something wrong?" I heard my mom ask.
"Uh… B-black! You want this?" I spoke quickly, holding up the Poké Ball. I was eager to get the thing and its contents away from me as soon as possible.
"Is that…?" My brother began.
"White! Don't you think it's a bit unfair to your father to just give your gift away?" Mom scolded me.
"Why not see what's inside before you try giving it away?"
I gulped. My hand shook as it slowly reached inside and took the Poké Ball out. It felt like an eternity until Black spoke, "Will you open it already? I gotta go and get dressed before—!"
The front door opened once more, only this time someone burst in. "BLAAAAACK!" It was Bianca, a blonde girl who was one of our childhood friends. Her shouting made everyone jump, including me, and as a result, the Poké Ball in my hand dropped to the floor. "Let's go to the lab together!"
The Poké Ball opened and released something in a flash of light. When the light faded, the Pokémon inside was shown standing in front of the ball. It was small…yellow…mouse-like with little black tips on its ears and red-tinged cheeks. Its big brown eyes were staring up at me.
"Cool! A Pichu! You can't even find those in Unova!" Black stated.
"Awww…! It's adorable!" Mom cooed.
The Pichu continued staring at me. In a few seconds, its large eyes were shimmering with what appeared to be instant affection. "MOMMYYYY!" It ran forward and clung to my leg, rubbing its face against it. I was already shaking and sweating before that, so by the time it hugged me, my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I fainted.
A successful resuscitation later, I found myself outside and dressed up in a simple white and gray T-shirt and knee-length black shorts. Why? Because my dear brother Black had gotten his claws into my arm and was dragging me to the lab of the local Pokémon Professor, Professor Juniper. Professor Juniper had requested that Black, and also our friends Bianca and Cheren, go across the region and collect data on Pokémon, and today was the day they got their first Pokémon and Pokédexes.
"So, uh…why do you have your Poké Ball in a box? With the flaps taped over?" Bianca asked curiously. She was a green-eyed blonde who liked dressing up in bright outfits—today's being orange and white. Her thought patterns might make her seem like a stereotypical blonde at times, but she was nicer to me than most girls at our school had been.
"Because I don't want the thing inside getting out again until I can find someone willing to take it off my hands to a faraway place—like the North Pole," I answered flatly as Black continued to drag me. "Hey, do you want it, Bianca? You're going on a Pokémon journey, so you'll need all you can get."
"Really?!" Bianca's lit up as she exclaimed. "It looks so adorable, I could just—"
"Don't do it, Bianca," Black interrupted. "That Pichu was a gift from Dad to White, and it'd make him real sad if she just gave it away."
"What exactly was the sense in giving a person with Poképhobia a Pokémon as a present? He should have predicted that something like this would happen." Asked Cheren, my brother's dark-haired, glasses-wearing friend. Between all four of us, Cheren was probably the most intellectual. Granted, there were times when he could be something of a smart aleck, but he did make sense.
"Exactly," I agreed with a frown.
"Well… Maybe this is his way of helping," Bianca suggested. "If you wanna overcome your fears, you need to face them head on!"
"You sound like Black…" I muttered before we came to a stop in front of the professor's lab. "You know, you still haven't told me why you're doing this!" When I got no reply from my brother, I resisted the urge to groan. Well, at least I could have the Professor take this little fuzzy ball of death off my hands. Or so I thought…
My brother opened the door and the four of us walked inside to be greeted by Professor Juniper. "Good morning, all! I trust you're all excited, right? I can't begin to tell you how much of a help you're being by using these Pokédexes on your journey," she said with a smile.
Black beamed. "No problem!"
"Besides, after our mothers asked you to give us Pokémon to start us off, we had to do something in exchange," Cheren finished.
"So, can we see our Pokémon now? Please?"
The professor smiled and stepped out of the way so the three of them could see. Resting on the table were three Poké Balls—all of which probably held their own mini terrors. They walked up to the table and each took a Poké Ball. I closed my eyes and backed away as I was sure what was coming next…
I heard the sounds of Poké Balls opening. Then I heard Bianca give a squeal of "how cute~!" and Black an exclamation of "Cool!" while Cheren was silent, but he was probably just observing his own. The Professor went on to explain which Pokémon each had gotten, but I had drowned her out when the box in my hand began to shake. Surprisingly, it was the bottom that gave way, and I saw the little Pichu drop out along with its Poké Ball.
"MOMMYYYYYYY!" That high-pitched cry sounded before I felt something furry clinging to my leg. And for the second time that day, I fainted.
Another resuscitation later, Professor Juniper was inspecting the Pichu, which was bouncing in place on the table and apparently anxious to attack me once again. So for my own protection, I hid behind Cheren and Black in the hopes that it would cling to one of them instead.
"Hmmm… Well, I'm not a specialist on Pokémon breeding, but I can safely conclude that this Pichu is quite young. Less than a year old, I surmise," the professor stated.
"But…it came in a Poké Ball," Black pointed out.
"It was probably caught before it could imprint on anything to recognize as its mother. When it was released from its ball, it set its eyes on the first living thing in front of it and…"
"Mommy…!" The Pichu whined for what seemed like the hundredth time. Its eyes looked like they were tearing up. It was really annoying. "Mommy…!"
"Stop calling me that!" I shouted, making everyone else in the room jump. It was bad enough that I had to deal with the little yellow thing, but no one else knew just what it was that it was saying.
For as long I could remember, I'd been able to understand Pokémon. To me, what they were saying weren't merely cries, but English, plain and simple. Hardly anyone ever believed me about it, though. As a kid, they said I was playing pretend or was just weird. Ah, the joys of being a freak of nature.
"Right… Anyway, I don't see any reason to fear this Pokémon in particular," Professor Juniper stated.
"What?! But it tried to attack me! Any Pokémon can pretty much kill a normal person like me without much effort! Even the cute little ones like that!" I exclaimed, pointing a finger at the Pichu.
"Don't you dare say that again!"
Professor Juniper gave a sheepish smile and tilted her head. "While that is true, this Pichu is too young to be of any harm. Why, at most, it can give you a shock as harmful as an electrical short's. So it should be fine to leave with you."
"And what the heck am I supposed to do with it?" I grumbled under my breath.
The professor blinked. "Supposed to do? Isn't that the Pokémon you're going to leave with?"
I arched an eyebrow. "Leave where?" I noticed that at this point, Black had begun to inch away from me. "Black…!"
Professor Juniper looked at my brother in confusion. "Black? Didn't you tell me that White agreed to help out with my research as well so she could bear being around Pokémon?"
At those words, something ignited within me. Hate. Intense hate. Directed at… "BLAAAAAACK!" I screamed. I hoped that I looked more frightening than any sort of Pokémon that inhabited this world or any other.
"It wasn't my idea! Mom told me to ask her for you!" Black broke down.
"She said that it was the reason why Dad got that Pichu for you. He must want you to get better, too, by being exposed and seeing for yourself that Pokémon aren't so bad."
"NO! No, no, no! I'm not going and no one can make me!" I shouted, shaking my head and on the verge of crying.
"The world is chock full of Pokémon! Whether or not you want to, you're gonna encounter them a couple of times. You might as well take the chance to get over it now!" Black kept on insisting. "I mean, really… You know how embarrassing it would be, being afraid of something as small as a Pichu when you're a grown woman?! You'd have to become a shut-in to not run into any one of them!"
I was speechless. Black had a point. If this kept up, I wouldn't be able to leave Nuvema Town because of all the Pokémon in the wild. Maybe not even my house. I'd become a shut-in for my own safety. I stared down at the ground with lifeless eyes, trying to imagine what sort of crazy person I'd become, being shut off from the rest of the world…
"So, do you want that to happen, or do you wanna change?!" My brother exclaimed as he shoved his face into mine.
I have no idea how that worked, but minutes later, I was standing on the path leading out of Nuvema Town with Black and Cheren, dressed up in a black vest over a white short and jean shorts with black and pink boots. I frowned as I tugged on the visor of my white and pink cap and scrounged around inside of the pink bag that hung off my shoulder. I pulled out the Pokédex that Professor Juniper gave me and looked up the information on Pichu.
Pichu, the Tiny Mouse Pokémon. Electric type. The electric sacs in its cheeks are small, but it is inept at retaining electricity within them. If it is startled or its electricity leaks, it will discharge its power.
I stared at the word 'discharge' for a while before I turned off the Pokédex and put it back in my bag. My fingers brushed against the smooth surface of the…my Pichu's Poké Ball. Hopefully there'd come a time when I wouldn't be afraid of having that thing pop out of its Poké Ball at random like it did.
"I'm here, I'm here!" We all turned around to see Bianca running towards us, fixing up her hat.
"There you are! What took you so long?" Cheren chided the blonde girl.
"Um…nothing important!" She spoke quickly, hooking arms with the dark-haired boy. "Ready to go?"
"You know it!" Black exclaimed, hooking arms with Cheren on his other side. My brother said it was because they had all promised to walk out of town together when they were younger. Only he and Bianca were taking it more seriously than Cheren might have with wanting to step in the exact same time. Black looked at me and waved his hand. "Come on! You, too!" Hesitantly, I hooked arms with him. "Alright! Forward march!"
The four of us began walking forward, somehow keeping in step together. The next town was already within sight. It would only take a few minutes to get there. I took a deep breath as we entered the tall grass. I was determined to remain calm and collected and focus on trying to overcome my fears.
"Huh? Oh, look!" Bianca pointed out a hairy little dog-like Pokémon that had walked in front of us. It stopped upon seeing us and barked defensively. "Aw, how cute! I'm gonna catch it if no one else minds!"
Black pulled his Pokédex out of his blue bag and pointed it at the dog-like Pokémon. "It says it's a Lillipup. It's…a Normal type and the hair on its face helps it to sense change in its surroundings."
I felt my heart begin to race and I could feel myself choking up. Before Bianca could release her Pokémon from the Poké Ball in her hand, I fainted.
Yup. This journey had gotten off to a successful start…
I blinked and stared at the creature in front of me. A small, yellow mouse-like creature that, at the time, stood taller than me. My tiny hands groped the parts of its body curiously: its lightning bolt-like tail, its black-tipped ears, the little red sacs on its cheeks. With each tug I made, it said "Ow" in a dull tone. At some point, larger hands grabbed my own and began directing them. They led me to touching the Pokémon's cheeks, forcing me to rub them in circles. The mouse Pokémon started to smile and gave a happy cry. For some reason, knowing it was happy made me happy, too. I giggled and accidentally gripped the mouse's cheek. It winced in pain and released a zap of electricity—not enough to seriously hurt a person, but enough to make me start bawling.
"Sshh-sshh-sshh. It's alright. Pikachu didn't mean to hurt you, just like you didn't mean to hurt him, sweetheart," a voice spoke from behind me. The Pikachu leaned forward and started to rub my cheeks the same way I rubbed his. I quickly forgot the zapping and started giggling again. "See? Friends already. Hm? Black, don't put that in your mouth!"As the voice faded, I started to rub the Pikachu's cheek again, cooing happily as I did.
When I woke up, there was something rubbing against my cheek. I slowly opened my eyes, expecting it to be Black or Bianca trying to wake me up. Instead, I was staring into the large brown eyes of my Pichu. I flinched and almost screamed until it began to bounce up and down beside me.
"Mommy!" It exclaimed, rubbing its cheek against mine. Once more, I felt my heart race. I remembered the Pokédex entry about Pichu discharging electricity and I thought that that would happen right then. I wanted to push the thing off of me right then and there, but I remembered what I was supposed to be doing. So, after several seconds of staring it down—and having it cutely stare back at me—I petted it in a stiff manner. The Pokémon nuzzled into the palm of my hand and squealed pleasantly. The Pichu may have been enjoying the contact, but I was terrified of being shocked. So I tried to ignore what I was doing by taking a look at my surroundings.
It looked like I was in a room at a Pokémon Center. I hadn't been inside one in ages, but I'm sure it looked the same as the one I'd visited before—and all others in the region, I bet. There were several beds—the one next to the bed I was on was unmade. Did the guys drag me here after I fainted outside of Nuvema Town? How embarrassing. People in Nuvema were used to the sight of someone dragging my unconscious self, but I'd never been to the next town over. They probably thought something was seriously wrong with me. In a twisted way, there was.
I got off the bed and walked downstairs, my Pichu trailing behind me. As usual, people were going in and out of the building. I approached the front counter where a nurse stood. When I walked over to her and asked her where the people I came in with went, she said that Cheren and Bianca had already left, but Black had gone out saying he would be back.
"I can't believe they just went and left without saying anything…! They're gonna get an earful when I see them again!" I huffed as I walked over to the magazine case. I started searching through the magazines while trying to calm down. "Hm... What's this?" I picked up a magazine and stared at an article title on the front page. "How to get closer to your Pokémon. Page 24."
"Ohhh…" I looked down and saw my Pichu scratching the cover of a magazine featuring another Pichu and its owner. I lightly nudged it in the side to make it stop and it started to take an interest in the lace of my boot. I rolled my eyes before turning to the article page and reading:
"It has long been confirmed that how happy a Pokémon is has an effect on how it fights, how it evolves, and of course how it treats its trainer. Whether you're curious about how to make your stubborn new Pokémon like you or simply want to get closer to your Poké pal, these tips will help you on your path.
"#1: Give it a good nickname. Nicknames are given to Pokémon whose owners have multiple of the same species and need to distinguish among them or to personalize a Pokémon. Never give your Pokémon an insulting name. I remember in my childhood how a kid named his Pidove 'Idiot' because it flew into a window before he caught it. The poor thing looked miserable for as long as I could remember until it was traded to another kid who changed its name to something nicer. Despite what some people may think, Pokémon are smart enough to know when something is insulting or not. Even the baby ones eventually realize what certain words like 'Idiot' mean.
"Well, I may fear the thing, but I wouldn't name it something like 'idiot'…" I mumbled to myself. I looked down at the Pichu to see that it was untying the laces of my boots now. "Stop that." It stopped immediately and looked down in shame. Great. Now I felt bad. "…I'm not mad at you."
The Pichu's eyes shone. "Mommy…!"
"Is that honestly all you can say?" I stared down at it in thought before I pointed down at the tiny mouse. "Your nickname will be…Tiny. Can you say Tiny? Tie…knee. Tiny."
"Tuh…Teeenyyy…" Tiny pronounced slowly.
I pointed at myself. "White. Wuh…ite."
"W-wuh…ite. White." I smiled in success. "Mommy White." And then I held my hand to my face. I guess the Professor was right. Until it knew better, I was its mommy.
"Oh, well… I'll make the most of it…" I looked at the digital watch on my wrist. It was already past noon. How long was I out? I could feel my stomach gnawing at my insides now as I glanced at the magazine's price. "Better buy some lunch, too, while I'm at it."
Accumula Town was small, but still bigger than Nuvema Town and refreshingly different in some ways. It had a Pokémon Center, apartment complexes, and tall, grassy hills that gave you a good view of other towns. But I wasn't too concerned with any of that. Instead, I concentrated on finding a place to eat. Tiny was riding around inside of my bag, his head poking out of the flap. The magazine I bought said a way of becoming closer with your Pokémon was to keep them out of their ball so they could walk beside or be carried by you. But I was too afraid to let him walk on the ground and risk getting squished by something and too nervous to hold him out of fear of being shocked.
Eventually, after wandering for nearly 15 minutes, I spotted a diner across the street. I started to run towards it until a trio of Lillipups on leashes ran in my way, pulling their trainer along. Their owner accidentally pushed me down, not even apologizing as they disappeared down the street.
"WAAAAAAAAHHHHH!" A loud cry coming from in front of me made me forget about the slight stinging feeling behind my leg. Tiny was on the ground, holding onto his head and crying up a storm. He must've fallen out of the bag when I fell back. I could feel stares from people passing by, but I didn't care. I was too worried about whether or not he was seriously hurt.
"C'mon, lemme see…" I cooed softly, slowly pulling his paws away from his head. A light red patch stuck out in his forehead—blood from when he scraped his head from his fall. "Shush, shush, shush! Keep quiet now!" Tiny took it down a level with the crying, but he still whimpered loud enough for me to hear. I started scrounging through my bag, looking for a potion. I suddenly froze and realized I didn't even bring a potion along! What kind of trainer was I?!
I almost felt like cursing my luck out loud when I heard the sound of a spraying, followed by the sound of Tiny cooing. I looked in front of me and saw someone kneeling in front of someone holding a potion bottle in their hand.
"Ah! Thank you so much! I thought I'd have to run all the way back to the Pokémon Center!" I exclaimed. I had no idea why I felt so relieved. Just this morning, I fainted twice at the sight of the little Pokémon and now I was worried over a scratch. There really was something wrong with my head.
The person who had healed Tiny stood up and looked down at me. He had long green hair tied back into a bushy ponytail and wore a black and white hat on his head, a white shirt with a black one underneath and beige pants with green shoes. I think I was paying more attention to his clothes because he was giving me a sort of judging look.
"Is this your Pokémon?"
"Uh…" I stared, not sure if I should say he was. If I did, I was afraid those eyes would get angry and this guy would start lecturing me about treating my Pokémon right or keeping them in their Poké Balls so they'd be safe. I warily began to answer 'Yes' when Tiny hugged up against my leg.
"Mommy…!" Apparently even Tiny was afraid of this stranger's look. Electricity began to surge around his little cheeks and he gave a cry. He had shocked himself in fear of this guy.
"Your Pokémon… Why did it call you 'Mommy'?" He asked.
"Huh? Well, he's a newborn and I was the first thing he saw. So he imprinted on me and thinks I'm his mother. At least until he realizes that a human can't make a Pichu…" I blinked. "Uh… Excuse me, but how did you know it called me 'Mommy'?"
"Because that's what it just said."
"Well, that's all he can say. We're working on expanding his vocabulary— I-I mean, how did you know what he said?! Can you…understand him, too?" He stared at me in confusion before he nodded and I instantly found myself on my feet. "Oh, wow! This is great! I didn't think there was anyone else out there who could understand Pokémon! All these years, I thought I was the only freak of nature out there!" I was so excited; I didn't seem to notice how close I was to the guy or how startled he looked.
A growling sound made my smile drop. I looked down and saw a small fox-like Pokémon standing next to the green-haired guy. It was black with shades of red in its fur and its blue eyes were glaring up at me. At the sight of the hostile Pokémon, my breath got held up in my throat and I fainted…
And surprisingly woke up in a matter of minutes with my green-haired freak-in-arms still there, kneeling next to me. Up close, he looked like he was about my age, maybe a year or two older. I was a bit too lightheaded to realize that I was staring into his green eyes.
Then I heard a little bark and felt the black fox Pokémon jump onto my stomach to glare at me. I started to sweat and began to feel lightheaded. "G-g-get it off of meeee!" I screamed.
The tea green-haired boy stared at me in confusion. "You don't like Zorua?"
"I don't like having it on me! J-just tell it to get off!"
He looked down at the Pokémon he called Zorua. "You're making her uncomfortable."
"She was invading your personal space," Zorua spoke, still glaring at me.
"I didn't mean to…" I spoke, tears beginning to well up in my eyes. Tiny was one thing because he was harmless and liked me, but this Pokémon had a nasty look in its eyes. But I was doing good, right? Crying like a baby was better than fainting, right? "I'm sorry…! J-just don't hurt me…!"
"Mommy?" Tiny stared at me as tears trailed down my cheeks. "Mommy…?" My little Pichu looked at Zorua and frowned. He growled and attacked it with a jolt that almost made it fall off of me.
"Did you just do what I think you just did?" Zorua asked, narrowing its eyes until the green-haired guy picked it up and put it behind him. "H-hey! N! What are you doing?! Lemme at that little yellow…!"
"I'm sorry if Zorua was rude to you," the boy apologized. "He…is my friend, and doesn't want anyone to hurt me."
I wiped my tears off on my arm. "I-it's okay…" I stood up slowly and dusted myself off. I picked up Tiny and held him close to my chest. I felt his paws clutch my chest as he glared down at Zorua.
"Your Pokémon seems to like you very much."
"Thank you…um… What's your name?"
"N? Is that an initial for something?"
He paused for a moment, looking thoughtful. "…No. Just N."
Just…N? And I thought Cheren was unlucky when it came to names. This guy only had a letter. Still, he seemed nice, and he could understand Pokémon, too. The comfort alone in knowing there was someone else out there like me made me happy enough. "I'm White. It's nice to meet you!" I said, holding out my hand in greeting. He stared at it, as if hesitating. After a few seconds, he took hold of my hand and shook it.
Okay, now I was confused. I went out in search of my brother, and now I'm having lunch with a stranger I just met on the street who may or may not be a psychotic killer, or whose Pokémon may or may not want to hurt and/or kill me. Maybe my hunger and the want of saving money by splitting a bill got the better of me. Curse my stomach and my frugalness…!
"So, this is your first time in Accumula Town, too, huh? That's cool." I spoke, taking a bite of my cheeseburger. Here I was, sitting in a booth with N on the other side. Tiny was sitting in the corner near the window for his own safety. I didn't want to put him on the ground with N's Pokémon after what happened—especially since the Pokédex told me that it was a Dark type and used illusions. Definitely not something I want him near.
N stared down at his cheeseburger and fries as if he had never seen them. I arched an eyebrow as he delicately took up a ketchup-covered fry and nibbled it. After a while, he started to eat more.
"What's the matter? Never had French fries before?" He shook his head, probably too polite to talk with his mouth full. "Weird. Your parents have you on a strict diet or something?" I'd heard of that before. Some health-conscious nuts only fed their children healthy foods and avoided junk food.
"Mommy." I looked down at Tiny. He pointed at himself, done with the berries he was eating. "Tiny…" He then pointed at the burger in my hands.
"You can't have this. It's too big for you." The Pichu pouted and got all teary eyed. Whether or not his species could even do it, I think Tiny had Fake Tears down to an art. "No." He started to whine. "…Here, have a French fry." I broke a fry in half and dipped it in ketchup before popping it into Tiny's mouth. He started to chew and when he swallowed, he held his cheeks in delight and began to bounce. "You want more? Alright…but that's it!"
N stopped indulging in fries long enough to watch me feed Tiny another fry. "Could I ask you a question?"
"Why would I shoot you…?" I gave him a confused stare that he gave me back. He broke off eye contact. He was probably taught it was rude to stare, too. "Your Pokémon. I've never seen anything like it."
That wasn't a question. "Yeah. He's a Pichu. You don't find any of his species here in Unova—at least not in the wild."
"So he's a rare Pokémon. Why don't you keep him inside of his ball, then? Aren't you afraid he'll be hurt or stolen? Or do you like to show it off?"
I arched an eyebrow. If I didn't know any better, I'd say the look in his eye had gotten colder. "No… He just doesn't wanna stay inside. He always pops out whenever I don't want him to, so I figured he'd be happier outside of it. Besides…" I reached into my bag and pulled out Tiny's Poké ball…or what remained of it, anyway. It'd gotten broken during the fall somehow. "I'd have to buy another Poké Ball for him if he ever did want to go back… Plus, I read somewhere that walking alongside your Pokémon made them act friendlier towards you."
"But what will you do if you catch more Pokémon? You can't possibly have them all out of their Poké Balls and keep track of them. And league rules state you can only have six, which mean any more than that will be forced into containment in one of those dreaded PCs." I got the feeling that 'containment' of Pokémon was not a favorite subject of N's.
"I'm not…in the league. I mean, I'm not gonna run around challenging gyms or anything. I'm just…traveling for the experience." And so I won't faint at the sight of every Pidove and Lillipup. "…Is…there something wrong, N?"
N looked out the window with a distant look in his eyes. "It's wrong how humans catch and trap Pokémon inside of Poké Balls and PC Boxes, using them as weapons for battles and means of entertainment…always getting them hurt, but as soon as they're healed, it seems like they forget about it and make them get hurt all over again. But your Pichu…seems to truly adore you. How bizarre. But then again, perhaps he's too young for you to be cruel towards him."
Well, it's not like Tiny has ever been in a battle. The closest it got was zapping Zorua with a puny thunderbolt. And he was still just a baby, and I was his mommy. What baby hated their mommy so long as they gave them the attention they needed? After a while, I realized that I was staring at him, so I diverted my attention to my burger. "Well, at least trainers don't leave them to die… Good ones, anyway. Out there in the wild, Pokémon can fight and hurt each other and no one will be there to help them. Either way, there's something out there that can kill them, right? It's the same way with humans—they can kill each other or have Pokémon kill them. It's kinda sad how fragile both of us can actually be…"
I looked up at N and noticed that he was staring at me now, like he was paying close attention to what I was saying. Most people would look at me like I was morbid or something for saying such things about Pokémon, but he looked curious for more. So I gave him more.
"What would you say if…I told you a wild Pokémon attacked a child? The child didn't hurt or provoke it. They didn't even know it was there. Say the child…just got lost and wanted to go home when it came across the Pokémon. Large…intimidating…r-roaring and looking at her with cold eyes and tried to freeze her to death until she was nearly frozen all o-over, and it was about to eat her whole until—!"
I suddenly stopped and dropped the burger. I stared down at the table with wide eyes, my heart beating against my chest and my blood running cold in my veins. What sort of idiot was I?! I could feel stares from everyone in the diner. I just kept talking and talking, my voice getting louder and my tone becoming more panicked… I must have sounded like a psycho.
But surprisingly, N wasn't looking at me like I was crazy. Rather, he looked contemplative. "…I think…that the Pokémon could not be at fault. Perhaps the Pokémon endured a traumatic experience at some point that had made it violent. But I suppose the child is not at fault, either, if it was only an accident." He tilted his head curiously. "What happened to the child, by the way?"
"…She's gone now." And all that's left is a shell that fears all Pokémon—save for the little electric mouse she'd just grown attached to.
N looked down at his Xtransceiver. "…Can you come and see something with me? You need to see it."
I blinked in confusion. "Um, okay…" I really hoped that he wasn't going to do anything creepy now…
After splitting the bill for lunch, N led me back over to the Pokémon Center where a crowd had gathered, whispering things amongst themselves. We made our way to the front with Zorua on N's shoulder and Tiny in my arms, where we could get a clear view of what was going on.
The center of attraction was a group of people dressed in clothes that made them look like knights. They set up poles that had cloth banners blowing in the breeze with a stylized blue P on a black and white shield emblazoned on the chests. In the middle of all the knights was a man with long pale green hair, dressed in purple and gold robes with a white and red eyepiece over one eye. The green-haired man cleared his throat and the knights stepped aside, standing at ease like soldiers.
"Greetings. I am Ghetsis of Team Plasma. And I would like to talk to you all about Pokémon liberation. I'm sure most of you believe that humans and Pokémon and partners who live together and need each other. However, is that really the truth? Or is that what we humans only assume to be the truth?" The green-haired man began to walk back and forth, and people's eyes followed him. "Pokémon are forced to follow the selfish commands of Trainers, injuring themselves in battles that we engage in for sport and enjoyment. But they are much more than a means of entertainment, ladies and gentleman. Pokémon have so much unknown potential, and they know so many things that we've yet to learn. So what is our responsibility to these wonderful beings? The answer is liberation. We must liberate the Pokémon of the world; release them from the restraints that trainers have placed upon them! Only then will humans and Pokémon truly equal!"
The people in the crowd began to talk: "Liberate Pokémon?" "Will my Pokémon really be happier if I let it go?" "But it took so long for me to catch it…!" "Bah, it's just a load of poppycock."
"As I end my words here today, I implore you all to consider the relationship between people and Pokémon, and the correct way to proceed. We of Team Plasma sincerely appreciate your attention." Ghetsis finished as the knights packed up their banners and formed around him in a c-shaped formation. They then started to march away, leaving people to talk amongst themselves. And for a moment, I swore I could see Ghetsis looking in our direction from behind his human shields. It had to have been my imagination.
Once the crowd had dispersed, I looked at N in confusion. "Was that what you wanted to show me?"
N nodded. "Don't you think Team Plasma speaks the truth? Things need to change. If people want to make Pokémon happy, they should just set them all free. So long as they're being confined into Poké Balls, they'll never become perfect beings."
"Slow down! I can't understand you!" I chided the green-haired boy. He seemed to have a habit of speaking fast when it came to the subject of Pokémon.
Despite my interrupting him, the focused look on his face didn't change. "I promise will change the world and make it a better place for Pokémon. Because they're my friends." He started to walk away from me, heading in the same direction as Team Plasma had. He then stopped and turned around to face me. "Talking with you was more interesting than with other trainers. Maybe we'll meet again, White." I saw Zorua stick his tongue out at me at those words before his owner turned his back on me and left.
"…Well, Tiny…I think we met a weird one today. Just like on TV: the cute ones always have something wrong with them." My goodness, did I just call that weirdo 'cute'?
"Weee…weeeird…" Tiny pronounced slowly. He really was learning at leaps and bounds in vocabulary.
"And what was with those guys in the weird knight getups? Who would be crazy enough to dress up like that in public?!"
"I know, right? They looked like they belonged in a play or something." I looked over my shoulder and saw Black with a little gray bird on his head and a little blue and white Pokémon with a shell on its stomach sitting on his shoulder. He gave me a casual wave. "Hi."
"D-don't 'hi' me! You just left me in there without waking me up or telling me where you were going!" I complained, pinching my brother's cheek. But when the bird started fluttering its wings and the blue one began to glare at me, I stopped and jumped back, breathing fast.
"Easy, guys! She's my sister! It's normal family jibbing!" Black explained, trying to calm down his Pokémon. When he did, he walked over to me, staying a good enough distance away so I wouldn't be too close to his Pokémon. "White, I don't believe you've been introduced to Oshawott."
"Hi!" The blue Pokémon, Oshawott, spoke up, waving a paw.
"Hi!" Tiny mimicked, but I doubt he knew what he said.
"And this is Pidove! I caught him while you were knocked out!" The Pidove stretched its wings and puffed out its chest. Was it trying to intimidate me?
Black looked down at Tiny and blinked. "Huh? Ah! White! You're holding your Pichu now!"
"His name is Tiny. And quit acting like it's such a big deal," I muttered.
"And you nicknamed him, too?! That's wonderful! That means you're over your fear of Pokémon now!"
"Well, why not?"
I reached into my bag and pulled out a piece of paper, which I held out in front of my brother. It was a list of all the sorts of types of Pokémon. "I'm not over my phobia until I can overcome my logical fear of every sort of Pokémon! And I'm not even over Electric types yet because Tiny is pretty much harmless!"
"Harmless? He fried that Lillipup Bianca wanted to catch when it tried to chew off your scrunchie while you were unconscious!"
"That's an over-exaggeration, don'tcha think…?" Oshawott mumbled, looking out of the corner of its eye. "It ran off when it got a little jolt."
"Then again, it is just a baby Pokémon. A baby Pichu is nothing compared to a Pikachu or Raichu when it comes to electrical power. So I guess you're really not over it yet." Black started to smile again and clapped a hand on my shoulder. "But you're getting there! You're holding a Pokémon in your hands! That's a great start! But if you wanna get better, you know you have to own at least 17 Pokémon with different types—or at least get in contact with that many. Give or take those with two types."
…17 Pokémon. I'd have to be in contact with 17 Pokémon in order to get better…at most. I started to shake at the thought and felt my heart get caught in my lungs. Black snapped his fingers in front of me. When I thought I would faint, I heard Tiny cooing. I forced myself to give a weak smile, although I was still shaking. "S-s-seventeen Pokémon? No sweat! I'll beat this thing in no time!" Or die of fright trying.
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