"Fuck you!"

Enter Ree Adelaide Majors, trainer of exactly forty-seven minutes, brand new owner of a snivy, lover of foul language, possessor of delusions of grandeur, and general ass.


Enter Mister Snivy Whiplash, her somewhat imaginatively named starter. She would swear up and down she thought he looked like the villain from her favorite old cartoon. He simply went with it because it made him feel fanciful.

These are the creations of a twisted world, fighting against time and fate and that very same world to achieve eight shiny, senseless little gems. Their goal is not unique, and is in fact shared by most of the training population of Unova—those bright-eyed, idealistic young children, the future of the region. What sets these characters apart is their journey, their strenuous, teary, joyful, heavy, lighthearted, and fantastic journey. It will have ups, it will have downs, it will shed blood, it will shed tears, and very possibly, it will touch your heart.

So, submitted for your consideration, this is

Ree Majors' Wonderful Journey


Chapter One: Ree Majors' Wonderful Journey Of Failed Tests


"Wake up," a voice above her said. Ree groaned and buried her head deeper into the pillow. She would do no such thing; it was far too early. "Ree, wake up."

"Nngh," she replied. A very dignified response considering her level of consciousness. He should be grateful he got that much.

"I'm making pancakes," he said softly.

"I'm up." She sat up fast enough to not only convince him that she would, indeed, wake up, but also fast enough to make her head spin. Ree yawned and held her head with one hand, fingers tangling themselves in the curled, messy locks. No, not locks—more like mass. She growled, struggled to keep her eyes open, and somehow managed to slide out of bed and make her way out the door. And she only tripped once.

"When did you put clothes on?" She felt more than saw Scott follow her, amusement evident in his voice.

"Had to pee something fierce about four. And I didn't wanna stumble around your house half-naked," she deadpanned.

"Wise move, I'm sure." Not that it stopped him. Scott passed her in the hallway and beat her to the bathroom, coming back out rather helpfully with her hairbrush. He handed it to her, made sure she could hold it properly, and then grabbed her free hand. He helped her down the stairs, guided her to the kitchen table, and sat her down. So pleasant in the mornings.

Ree growled unintelligibly at him as she tried to run her brush through her hair. Easier said than done. On a good day, it was easier said than done. She was rapidly getting the feeling that even if there were pancakes, that day wasn't going to be the best.

"Use your words," Scott sang, flitting around the kitchen, retrieving bowls and a skillet as he did so.

"You're a morning person," Ree repeated grouchily. She used the phrase like a curse.

"Yes, I am. But it's getting you free breakfast, so you shouldn't be complaining."

"What about your mom?" she asked loudly to cover her stomach's growling. Pancakes sounded amazing right then. "Is she, uh, joining us?"

"No, she's doing the whole 'let's pretend my son didn't have a girl sleep over' dance, I think. Or she may have already left for work. Either way, she's thoroughly ignoring us, once again," Scott said with a laugh. He began mixing the batter, whistling as he went, until he heard a thump. He whirled around in alarm, but it was only Ree. She'd collapsed onto the table, using one arm as a pillow, the brush still stuck in her bushy hair. "Oh, come on! Wake up, sleepyhead! I'll make them chocolate chip!"

"'m 'wake," she mumbled into her wrist.

"Up!" Scott marched over and pulled her chair out and away from the table, nearly making her fall over altogether. Ree tried to smack him, but he won out in the 'who's more coordinated in the mornings' category. "Do you want the pancakes or not?"

"Give me the fucking pancakes."

"Say please and stay conscious, then."

With tremendous effort, Ree sat upright. She glared at her boyfriend with as much venom as she could manage (it was a minor miracle he didn't burst into flames) and crossed her arms over her chest. "I want food."

"You're such a delight to interact with in the mornings, really you are."

She only felt slightly guilty at that. She knew he didn't mean it—even if it was true. Still, Scott had the patience of a saint. With her, anyway. Ree felt her eyelids start to droop again after several minutes of sulky silence, and decided to offer the olive branch as well as keep herself awake by striking up a neutral conversation. "...Wait, where are your pokémon?"

"Probably still sleeping. They'll be up soon enough, once they smell the food..." Scott stepped away from the stove to check down the hall, just in case. The last thing they needed was an overly excited gigalith prancing around the kitchen. "Mom may have taken Yorick with her to work, if that's where she is..."

"I don't see how you can just let your mom take your pokémon without your knowledge."

"She's my mom. It's not like she's gonna run off with him. And remember, he was originally hers. Kind of," Scott replied simply, shrugging. "Can you get the plates out? And forks?"

Ree made a negative sound, but got up to do as he asked regardless. "Do you want me to get enough for your team?"

"No. If they're hungry, they'll come. Otherwise, I'm not setting the table for them." He hardly set the plate of pancakes on the table and got his hands out of the way before Ree attacked. She was done with one—albeit quite messily—before he'd had the chance to do more than watch in awe.

That was how she began her first day as a pokémon trainer.


Ree left Scott to return to an empty house. Her parents were both at work and her sister, Maya, had left just days ago on a political trip to Sinnoh. She still wasn't used to her absence. It felt like she'd scarcely gotten back from journeying for months on end, only to leave again.

Oh well. It allowed her to sing along to the radio and dance around the house like a madwoman. Two of her favorite pastimes.

After attempting to slide down the staircase banister, she settled for shaking her ass in her own room. Even if she had the house to herself, it was simply habit. "By the way, how much is the—" Ree shrieked as her heel got caught on a jacket sleeve and she was sent sprawling. Her room also happened to be the messiest. "Ow..." She sent a rebellious glare to the radio for continuing on so happily without her. "Stupid thing. Stupid coat."

The jacket said nothing to defend itself.

After her embarrassing tumble and very glad she wasn't seen, Ree decided that she ought to be responsible. Shower, clean clothes, brushed teeth and all that jazz. Another perk of being alone in the house: taking clothes off at random and walking to the bathroom naked. Just because she wouldn't do it at Scott's house didn't mean she wouldn't do it in her own home.

"What are you looking at?" she asked the stuffed heatmor on her bed. Ree chuckled and stuck her tongue out at it.

The radio switched to Vagabond of the Revolution's newest hit, and spill forgotten, she started belting out the lyrics that she knew (not even half) at the top of her lungs once more. She danced her way to the bathroom and turned what was supposed to be indie rock into a stripping song. It was a talent.

She sang all the way through the shower, and then stepped out to find a none-too-pleased liepard sitting on the rug in front of the sink. He stared at Ree with a flat expression, ears pinned back against his skull, tail whipping back and forth behind him. Ree stared innocently back, dripping onto the floor below.

"Can I get my towel?"

"Lie," the feline sniffed and tilted his head back.

"Why thank you, Aubie," Ree exclaimed with her best accent, yanking the towel off the rack with an overly dramatic flourish. The liepard remained unamused. "I'll stop singing now, promise."

"Par," he said with a sharp smile, ears perking up once more. He wagged his tail once behind him, got back up to his feet, and wandered out of the bathroom.

"Everyone's a critic," Ree sighed. She kicked the door shut behind him and began the process of fighting with her hair. It more or less won after time; it was difficult to win against a wet cotton ball. She hummed to herself, keeping in mind her promise to the family pet, and looked down at her toes as she dragged the brush through her hair. The nail polish was chipping, she noted.

She finished brushing through her hair (actually getting fed up halfway through and tying it back in a ponytail to dry instead), threw on some clean clothes, and came back out into her bedroom to find that Aubie had turned down the radio. Ree turned it back up spitefully, wondering where he'd gotten off to. He was far too smart sometimes.

"And don't touch my stuff!" she called down the hallway, just to be sure.

Ree then sat down on her bed, looking across the room at the thing she'd been putting off since yesterday—a test. The test. The one she really should have done the day before, but couldn't bring herself to. Procrastination was a terrible thing, but so was failing tests.

She got more comfortable on the bed, keeping her eyes locked onto the innocent little test. But oh no, it wasn't so innocent. She knew its dangers. It made you think it was just another test. Ree narrowed her eyes and hugged the stuffed heatmor to her chest, using it as a pillow.

She really ought to take it at some point.

Definitely soon.

And so, Ree Majors spent the next three hours playing Mario Kart.

It wasn't until Maya called her that she even remembered it lying on her desk. Ree dove for her phone—lying on the stupid little test—and eagerly picked it up when she recognized the ringtone. "Maya! Hi!"

"Hi, Ree!" The connection wasn't the greatest, but she was calling from another region. "How are you doing?"

"I'm fine—fuck that. How are you? How's Sinnoh? How was the flight? Mom told me you called yesterday, but I missed you!" she whined. She missed her sister—was that a crime? Ree flopped back onto her bed, staring up at the poster- and picture-covered ceiling.

"Sinnoh's great! The beach is amazing and I wish you could've come!"

"Ha, yeah right. Working on your tan? Showing off that hot bod?"

"U-Uh, no! You know I'm not like that... Oh! I've already met most of the new gym leaders! They're so different here, Ree. Everything is! A lot of them have never even seen a serperior before!"

"Well, yeah. Unova doesn't like exporting. You need licenses both ways."

"I know, but..." She sighed. It came out as static over the line. "How's Scott?"

"He's fine. Nothing new to report, anyway."

"How's Aubie? Is he there?"

"No, he already left after trying to turn off my radio," Ree complained, glancing at the door to make sure he wasn't eavesdropping. No liepard in sight. "So, gone shopping yet? Done any tourist things? What exactly are you over there for, anyway?" She'd asked that question at least a dozen times, and had yet to receive an adequate answer.

"I'm the representative from our region." Another static-y sigh. "I'll tell you about it when I get back at the end of the week. Is there anything in particular you want from Sinnoh as a souvenir?"

"I don't know. Oh—wait—a dress."

"...A dress?"

"Yeah! Get me something cute and that's in fashion over there right now," Ree said matter-of-factly.

"Um, okay."

"Enjoy yourself, okay?"

"Oh, I will! Everyone's so hospitable and nice, and a couple of the gym leaders are pretty cute..."

"Hey, wait. Don't you have a guy waiting for you back here?"

"He's not my boyfriend! I-I—it's not like I'm—there's nothing wrong with looking!" Maya squeaked. Ree could hear the blush in her voice and couldn't help laughing at her sister's expense. "A-Anyway, Ree, I gotta go now."

"Try not to drool too much! Bye, Maya," Ree sang. Her sister was so successful, why not tease her sometimes? It was the least she could do to try to drag her back down to her level. She hung up and flipped the phone shut, casting a wary eye on the test once more. Her mood was lifted thanks to the call, so why not take it then? At least she'd go into it with a positive outlook, and isn't that supposed to improve your chances of passing or something?

With a groan, she decided to be responsible and finally take the damned thing. Then she'd go back to her normal life and video games and Scott and singing badly to annoy Aubie.

Ree ended up failing the test.


"So, you're applying for a trainer's license. According to this, this will not be your first time applying for one. Is there any reason in particular you're giving it another try?"

Ree smiled sweetly, trying not to look too guilty. "Uh... Fifth time's the charm?" She was fully aware of her track record, thank you. But this time, things would be different. So very much different. For one thing, she couldn't simply return home if she had a rough time of it; she'd be stuck with this journey.

The lab technician pursed his lips. Judgmentally. Her smile dropped off her face. "There isn't a limit to how many times you can apply, but it's just... You must understand why I'm asking about it."

"I know what that file must look like, but it's not that bad. My previous starters have either been given to friends or released safely back into the wild. And I'm not going to crap out again like that. Er, quit, I mean." Ree hunched her shoulders and dug her nails into her shorts, pulling on the fabric absently.

"...And it says here you're applying for a lab starter instead of catching your own."

"Yeah, that's right."

"Any reason for the change?"

"Well..." Ree scoured her mind for a good reason. "Mostly... My sister has a serperior, so I'm kinda familiar with that line. And I like novelty, so why not try something new?"

"Alright then... You just need to fill out these forms, and we'll need to take your picture for your trainer card."

"Sounds like a deal!" He began typing on the computer, and she kicked her legs aimlessly, scuffing her shoes on the floor. "So, uh... How long is this thing gonna take?"

"Oh, only a couple more minutes. The card has to print and the information has to be entered into the registry..." he replied absently, eyes still on the screen.

"Ah, sweet. Good. I can still make it to Nuvema tonight then." She grinned to herself.

"That eager to get started?"

"Well, yeah! Weren't you when you started?"

The technician paused, eyes wide behind his classes. Then, he smiled and ducked his head. "...I suppose I was. I'm so used to dealing with children... I forgot that kids your age can be excited to start training as well."

Ree scowled, affronted. "I'm not a kid. I'm legally an adult, especially with—"

"Say cheese."

"—cheese. Especially with that little card I'm about to get. Sixteen or older with a license, or three years' training experience without one. I know the rules. I'm an adult."

"You're an adult in some ways," he hummed, "but not in others. You still cannot vote, drink, or gamble until you're eighteen." Ree had naturally done all of those things. He didn't need to know that.

"I'll be eighteen next month," she waved him off. "Besides, trainer card. Instant adulthood, right?"

"Unfortunately..." Ree kicked his chair, much to his surprise. She decided he probably didn't get too much abuse in his line of work. She beamed and kicked the chair again, nearly knocking him out of it. "Okay, I get it. Stop it. Please."

"Anything else I should know before going out into the big, bad world?" the brunette asked innocently.

"Stock up before you leave and don't wear tennis shoes if you value your feet at all," the technician replied, a little more curtly than he had been earlier. She swung her legs again, just narrowly avoiding his chair. "It never hurts to have a traveling companion, either. Get a phone with a decent battery."

That reminded her; she only had one bar left on her phone. She'd just charge it in the pokémon center that night. Then again, she had wanted to actually set out that night, too... "Which starter did you pick?" she asked for a change of subject.

He looked up at her, eyes large behind his glasses again. He probably didn't come across that question in his line of work, either. "I didn't go to the lab for mine," he said after a pregnant pause, turning back to the computer beside him and pretended to read the screen. "Mine were a gift from my parents, long ago. I started off a little oddly—I received a pair of siblings as starters, two timburr who proved to be quite the handful. It's why I usually recommend to most starting trainers to work with their starter for a long period of time before rushing off to catch any other pokémon."

"Two starters?"

"And fighters," he said fondly.

Ree whistled. He had just earned a couple more respect points (but only a couple). At least not all lab techs were stuffy and bookish and boring. Not that she'd met a whole bunch. "Any other words of wisdom for me?"

"Don't push yourself, or your team, too hard or too fast. You have plenty of time. Value your pokémon—they're your friends, your family, and usually, the only thing standing between you and the hungry wild pokémon out there. And... really, don't be afraid to get dirty or bloody. It's going to happen. Don't be squeamish, especially when it comes to starving to death or self defense," he listed, counting off on his fingers. Ree bobbed her head in agreement. A lot of it was the same lessons they spouted constantly in school or on television. She wasn't some green little newbie, that was for sure, and she certainly wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty.

"That all?"

"What else do you want from me?" he asked with a dramatic sigh, pressing his hand against his forehead. "I'm simply a lab tech right now. I haven't properly been out in the field for years. The rest of it, you are going to have to learn on your own, missy."

Ree chuckled and smirked. "Fine, fine. Just..." Her snappy response died in her throat. "...Thank you." She ducked her head hastily to hide the way her throat constricted and panic momentarily overtook her. It passed, however. She'd be fine. She had done this (kind of) before. She could always call up Maya—or even Scott—no, wait, not Scott—but she had friends and family she could call for support! Not to mention how fast people seemed to make friends when off on training journeys. It was practically the national pastime.

"You're very welcome. Good luck out there, miss Majors."

"Thanks." I'll need it, she thought sourly.

She traipsed back to her house, making a second trip for a better-stocked backpack, as per his instructions. She also refilled Aubie's food dish, just to be nice, and scratched him as she whispered goodbyes to him. She didn't say goodbye to Scott. She couldn't face him and she was too impatient to get to Nuvema that day. Ree shouldered her heavy backpack and shoved her hands in her pockets. She then marched to the Center.

Since Unova was the only region that dissuaded teleportation, not to mention the only region with an actual system to more or less control it, flight was the main method of transportation by far. New trainers could also get free rides to Nuvema Town if they wanted. Airfare was cheap, anyway, but Ree gladly flashed her brand new trainer card for her free ride regardless. The braviary nipped at her, but its handler dragged it back and kept it from misbehaving further.

He helped her up onto the massive bird, then got up behind her. "Hey, uh, about how long will this take?"

"Just under an hour. Don't worry, Warren's a great flier. Fast, but super safe!" the handler said cheerfully, locking his arms around her and entwining his gloves in the saddle-like thing. Ree looked at it curiously. She had always liked birds, but had very rarely gotten to see such large ones up close. The incident at the zoo didn't count. Of course, there were wild pidove, tranquill, and even unfezant around the city, but they were so much smaller.

Braviary were pretty cool, she thought—and then, her train of thought crashed and burned completely as they flapped into the air. She couldn't help but scream and lean forward, pressing herself as much as possible into the ruddy feathers in front of her. She hated heights.

It's the fastest way, it's the fastest way, it's the fastest way, she repeated desperately, eyes screwed shut. She felt the handler shake her shoulder in concern, but she didn't dare raise herself from the semi-safety of the feathers. The hour passed by excruciatingly slowly.

By the time they landed, Ree's hearing was shot from the wind, she was sure she'd suffered several minor heart attacks, and her entire body was mercilessly sore. She nearly fell when she first slid off. She remembered the real reason why she had never bothered to get a lab starter; the flight had nearly killed her. It was only the second time she had flown by pokémon, too, but damn it all, that was going to be her last.

"Th-Thanks," she mumbled in a daze, waving off the handler's concern. The braviary made a sound that could've been a crow of laughter. At least it had been free.

Obtaining a snivy was exceedingly easy after that trial. All that was required was her trainer card and a bit more paperwork, and then she was led into an outdoor enclosure full of grass pokémon. She marveled at them. A couple she recognized, since Maya owned one, and even a little sewaddle—that had been one of her ex-starters from one of her previous attempts. She stooped to coo at it, only getting dragged away when the woman in charge of her got impatient.

"Just a warning," the woman said, "but snivy are notoriously... Well, they aren't known for their friendly temperament. More than most other species, you will have to work at earning its respect."

"Oh, no problem. Pokémon love me." Ree glanced around, still looking for any snivy. A couple deerling and a sawsbuck, as well as cotton-ball-looking things, but no serpents. A pair of patrat ran by, nearly tripping them both up.

Pokémon loved her about as much as any other trainer, but she wasn't afraid to get rough with them if that's what it took to earn their respect. Maya's snivy had been like that in the beginning, and wouldn't respect her until she had gotten fed up with him and used herself in a battle against him. It mostly involved her punting him into a tree, but it had worked marvelously. Ree had thought it hilarious at the time, too.

Finally, they found a servine. Not quite what they were looking for, but the woman didn't seem to mind. "Loco, where is he?"

"Ser," the grass pokémon replied with a smug grin, bringing up a tiny paw to snicker behind. It swung its body around and pointed with its leafy tail.

"Thank you," she said politely, and began to lead Ree away. For her part, she tried to study the servine as much as possible. She had only seen her sister's a sparse couple of times, and that had been years ago. Her snivy would evolve into that. And if she had any say in it, pretty damn soon after she got it.

"Ah, here he is."

"He?" Ree poked her head around eagerly, eyes bright. Leaning up against a tree, large eyes closed, was the snivy.

"Yes, this is a male snivy. Unnamed, of course, and still relatively young. He's fairly even-tempered, but of course, snooty if given the chance." The woman nodded down to him, and that was all the permission she needed.

She knelt down beside him, and finally, he opened his eyes. They were impossibly huge and reddish brown, although currently lidded and looking bored. "Sni?"

"Hi," she couldn't help but whisper, smitten. He was adorable and perfect and hers if she could get him to accept her as a trainer.

"Sni," the snivy said dismissively, closing his eyes once more.

"I'm gonna be your new trainer."

He didn't even deem her worthy of a response this time around.

Ree tried the nice routine again, but for the last time. Smiling brightly, she leaned down closer. "You're a cutie. My name is Ree. We're gonna be awesome together, and we're going on a journey to get gym badges and shit."

He grunted and turned his back on her, crossing his tiny arms in front of him. Snooty was definitely a word to describe him. Ree sat back on her haunches and sighed. Plan B then. She reached over and grabbed his tail, hauling him into the air. The woman behind her made a sound that seemed like the lovechild of disgust and shock. Just to make the effect more potent, Ree stood up. She was tall, both for her age and gender, and she figured that being held upside-down by something several times your size would have to be scary.

"As I said, I am gonna be your trainer, mister snivy. So start listening when I speak to you." It was hard to resist adding 'bitch' to the end of it.

He thrashed and hissed, although more in embarrassment than anything else. He couldn't swing up enough to get his claws on her, however.

"Train. Er," Ree stressed, holding him up at eye-level.

He swung at her face, narrowly missing, fangs bared.

She dropped him. He squealed, but she caught him easily with her other hand, and held him right-side up under the arms. He immediately latched onto her hand, of course, biting down hard and drawing blood. He scrabbled at both her hands with his claws as well.

Ree took it stoically, even if it hurt. She wasn't sure the woman would appreciate it if she kicked him into a tree, after all. Eventually, however, it started to throb and he still wasn't letting go. Weren't they supposed to realize the error of their way and apologize by licking you or something? "Trainer, me."

"Sni," he growled, lessening his grip a fraction. Progress!

"Do that all you want. I'm bigger and stronger than you are. You know I could beat you into the ground if I so chose." That was mostly a lie. Most pokémon seemed to be pure muscle, and even by holding him, she could feel how strong he was. She definitely had size on him, but he could break bones with a well-placed smack of his tail.

The snivy finally released her from his jaws and stared up at her. His eyes were still lidded and bored, and there was a little smear of red near the corner of his mouth. She grinned at him, and reluctantly, he grinned back, revealing sharp fangs. "...sni, snivy," he said at last, nodding his pointed head once.

"Does this mean I pass?" Ree asked the woman with a wide grin.

"If... If he's decided..." She seemed entirely unable to comprehend that sort of approach. Ree was fine with that. She liked being unique. "Ahem, right then. Please, if you both would come inside..."

Ree and her snivy-to-be followed her, chattering in low tones to each other. She liked him already. He was snappy and didn't seem like he'd take any crap from anyone. Perfect. "This is gonna be a rough journey, and we're gonna have to sit down and have a talk at some point... soon. There are some things I have to explain to you."

"Sni!" he squealed. He wiggled up out of her arms, sliding easily from her grasp. She wasn't used to being unable to grasp onto fur or feathers. The snivy slithered around her shoulder and attached himself to the back of her head, digging his claws into her bushy hair. He was surprisingly light, so she decided to let him ride on her head for the time being. It wouldn't hurt to get off to a good start, anyway.

"I'm gonna have to name you, too."

"Vee," he snickered, swiping his tail by her neck.

"I swear, if you cut my hair, I'll skin you and make you a pair of boots," she hissed back. She knew full well what snivy were capable of. He swished his tail once more, but she couldn't feel any hair falling or anything else suspicious, so she let him be.

He chuckled again and crawled around on her head. She could tell that he was trying to dig his claws in, possibly to her scalp, but she couldn't feel a thing. Finally, her hair paid off. He only got comfortable when he was draped across her skull, tail pressing against her ponytail, snout on her bangs.

"I'll give you your pokédex and show you how to use it, and then you should be fine," the woman said. She seemed much more at ease back in the laboratory. She flitted from bookcase to computer to desk, heels clicking on the floor, hardly paying them any mind. Which was a good thing, since the snivy had decided to actively mess up her hair further. It degraded into a squabble rather quickly.

When she turned back to them, the snivy had latched onto her bottom lip with his teeth and had a claw full of her brown hair, and Ree was trying to pull him away, one hand on his tail and the other on one hind leg, nails digging into his scales. The woman wasn't impressed, and even less so when they both instantly dropped their hands. The snivy fell, caught himself on the bottom of her shirt, and crawled back up on her shoulder with a smug expression.

"...Right then. Are you sure you'd like to go through with this? There are other pokémon available to starting trainers."

"Oh, I'm sure. He's great. I like him."

"Of course you do." The woman sighed and adjusted her ponytail. "Well, here is your pokédex then." Ree took the little red machine with awe. Her snivy curled around her neck in order to see it better. "When you first turn it on, it will prompt you for your information and will ask to scan your trainer card. While you're doing that, I have to go retrieve his pokéball and get a few other supplies. I'll be back momentarily."

"Ah, okay." She was far too enraptured with the pokédex to pay much attention. She slid it open and pressed the little power button on the side, tilting it to look at the port just below it while it booted up.

The snivy jumped violently when it dinged. He peeked out from behind her ponytail, eyes narrowed to slits. "Vee," he hissed.

"Oh, it's fine. It's supposed to make that noise." She eagerly started going through the welcome screen. She entered in the date and time first, consulting with her dying cell phone. It then asked for all of the information it seemed like she'd been giving out all day—full name, gender, trainer ID number, height, weight, hair color, eye color. The snivy practically had his nose in the screen; he was obviously fascinated with it. "I'm telling it who I am."


"My name. You know—Ree. And how old I am, and a whole bunch of other stuff. This way it knows it's mine—ours."

"Sni." He turned back to it with large eyes.

After her information was processed, it asked for "STARTER INPUT".

"Wait, what?" She nudged the grass lizard out of the way and squinted at the screen. Hadn't she just entered that stuff? "Oh, don't tell me this thing is gonna crap out on me already. Stupid thing."

"Are you done?" She looked up to find the woman had returned. She had a pokéball in one hand and a bag of some sort under the other. Ree frowned and held out the pokédex. "Ah, you've finished."

"What the hell is it asking for? It won't let me type anything more or anything!"

"Here. Give it here, please." She put the pokéball in her pocket and took the pokédex from her, holding it at an angle to show her the side. "See this little circle right here?" She pointed to the port she'd noticed earlier. "You fit the pokéball of any pokémon you own, capture, or buy, and it automatically registers their species, pokéball ID number, height, weight—basically, all of the information it just asked you for. It's so much easier to automate that part."

"Ohh." She nodded, nearly dislodging the snivy. "How does it work?"

"It'll be easier to show you." She handed the pokédex back to Ree to hold and withdrew the pokéball once more, unceremoniously returning the pokémon. She then tapped the button once lightly, and it shrunk into its minimized form. She took the pokédex back, and aligned the button up with the port. "There is a ring around the button that fits into this—the black line that looks like an outline? All pokéball types have this, and that is how the pokédex scans the inhabitant." It dinged again, and the woman proudly handed both items to her.

"So..." Ree looked down at the pokéball, then at the pokédex. It was now requesting a nickname for the captured snivy. Eyes lighting up, she gleefully started racking her brain for name ideas.

"You'll have to buy any more pokéballs you desire on your own. We do, however, give you a day's worth of pokémon food for your starter—that's three meals. This should get you both started until you either buy more supplies on your own, or if you choose, learn how to live off of the land," the woman said with a smile, offering her the little bag. Ree winced and thought of her overstuffed backpack.

"Thank you." Into her shorts pocket it went for now. Her attention returned to the pokédex and name. Scott named his after famous singers, and she wasn't sure how Maya came up with her team's names. She wasn't sure about Aubie, either. She was terrible with names, and the excitement of finally having a named pokémon of her own wasn't helping that in the least.

She was dimly aware of the woman asking her if she had any more questions, and shook her head. She was even less aware as she signed an affirmative of her retrieval of a starter, agreement to becoming a trainer, and was herded out the door.

Ree woke back up halfway out of town and still with no idea as to what to name him. Of course, there was no reason whatsoever that she had to do it on her own. She tapped the pokédex to make sure it didn't slip into sleep mode, and then tapped the button like she had seen the woman do to maximize the pokéball once more. Her pokéball. Well, technically his pokéball, but he was hers now! It made sense somewhere in there.

"Come on out, mister snivy!" she called, feeling a bit like an idiot for talking to thin air. Her snivy appeared on the ground in front of her after her call, lids still low over his eyes and mouth quirked into a sharp little smile. "We need to get you a name!" she announced without preamble.


"A name. Or nickname. It's what I—and other people—will call you from here on out. You know—me, Ree." She pointed to her chest. "You, something else."


Ree sighed and squatted down next to him, shrugging off her backpack. She managed to stuff the pokémon food into it and rummaged around for her notebook. She knew she had grabbed one in her rush to leave home... "Aha! There we go, there you are, you little fucker." She yanked out the tattered notebook, flipping it open. It appeared to be an old school one, half-full of chemistry notes and doodles. While mildly amused at the fact that she would get to deal with science on her awesome journey, she had more pressing matters to attend to. "Okay, so. A name! You're male, which means you get a boy name."

He glared at her flatly. She grinned at him. So he could fully understand her.


"Snivy," he said, and then pressed his paws up against his mouth, snickering again. She had the feeling she'd just been insulted. She stuck her tongue out, and he mimicked her, wiggling his forked tongue at her. "Vee!"

"You're an evil little imp..."

He batted his huge eyes at her, tail waving behind him. He was trying to look innocent, she realized.

She couldn't help but laugh. "Oh, you're conniving. I like you. You're gonna need a name to match this."

"Vee-vee!" He trotted over and hugged her knee, laying his head across it. "Snivy, vee-vee, snivy-sni!"

"I wonder when you'll realize that I use the same tricks." He looked up at her, blinking. "That means they won't work on me, mister."

He laughed and swished his tail again. She was unused to the movement. Whenever Aubie did it, it meant he was usually angry or annoyed. When Yorick did it, he was happy. What did it mean if a lizard-snake-thing did it? They were going to have to work on their communication, but it would be easiest after they came up with a name for him.

Not that he'd be much help, of course, unless he started speaking her language.

She'd called him mister enough, it was starting to catch. "I could give you a really fancy name... A girl in my class had a tepig she'd named Sir Swine The Second. It could be Mister something. ...I wonder what happened to the first."


"Yeah, I don't know what that means." She turned back to the notebook with a thoughtful frown. She wrote down 'Mister'. He was green, he was grass type, he was serpentine, and he was smug. She could work with that.

He snickered again and climbed up onto her knee, perching himself on her thigh. He picked at the fabric covering it, curious and unsure. "Snivy."

"Mister Snivy? Oh, that's wonderful," she cracked. She shifted around, finally sitting, careful not to displace him. He clasped his paws together—no, he was actually rubbing his claws together like those old cartoon villains. He was plotting. Of course, even if he came up with the most brilliant name in the history of the universe, unless he started to speak her tongue or could use her alphabet, he would be of no help.

And then she had it.

"Mister Snivy Whiplash!"

He stared at her, confused and unimpressed.

"There was this old guy with a mustache and a top hat on this cartoon Maya and I used to watch when we were little. His name was something Whiplash, but why not run with it? You could be a cartoon hero—or, well, villain, but close enough."


"You're right... That's hard to yell all at once." Her dad had a theory about names. If you couldn't shout it when angry, then it needed to be changed or develop into a nickname. Scott and Maya both agreed with the philosophy, so that was good enough for her. "Still, it's a start. We can give you a nickname for your nickname!"

"Vee-vee, snivy," he whined, leaning forward.

"What, you don't like it?"


"I don't know what that means!" she cried in frustration, throwing the notebook to the ground. "Okay, when you mean yes, you nod your head and say your yes word, like this." She bobbed her head. "And when you mean no, you shake your head and say your no word, like this." She shook her head.

"Sni!" He nodded awkwardly.

"Okay, good!" Progress, again! "Do you like the name?"

"Sni!" Another nod.

"High five, then." She held out her hand, and he stared at, head tilted. "Just press your paw against my hand." He did so, and she could tell the movement was still lost on him, but she was satisfied nonetheless. Ree tapped the pokédex's screen, and it lit up once more. She entered in the name 'MISTER SNIVY WHIPLASH'. Now, there had to be a nickname for the nickname. She personally found nothing bizarre about that whatsoever. Ree was a nickname, after all.

"Vee-vee, sni!" he said excitedly, coiling around her leg. He then made an odd little sound, half hissing, half growling.

"The first two words are out, pretty much," she said, at once realizing what a block she'd worked herself into. She looked up at the sky. It was streaked with orange and red, and they hadn't made much progress at all. "Come on, we can talk and walk."

"Snivy sni," he said, hopping off onto the ground. She straightened and shoved the notebook back into her poor backpack. As they began walking towards the outskirts, however, he either had trouble keeping up or got lazy. Ree felt him latch onto the back of her calf with sharp claws, shimmying up her body until he was riding on her shoulder.

"...Right. Okay then, nickname. We're pretty much working with the Whiplash part, which is two chunks, so we can either work with Whip or Lash."


"Hmm..." Nothing particularly creative came to her mind. Ree chewed on her bottom lip, hardly noticing as they passed the city limits. "Ah, fuck it. I'm just gonna call you Whippy for short. Otherwise, you get to be fancy, Mister Snivy Whiplash!"

"Snivy, sni-vee!" he exclaimed, coiling himself around her neck. She found it oddly soothing to feel his cool scales against her skin, although she wasn't too sure about having a pokémon she'd just met so close to her throat. Even if he was hers. He had bitten her.

Wait. That dude told me to trust my pokémon, she remembered guiltily. Bygones had to be bygones. Her hand barely hurt anymore, anyway. "Okay, so anyway. Whippy."

"Vee-vee!" he replied.

"Whatever. Sounds great." She grinned and leaned her cheek against his back. He arched into her touch like Aubie usually did. Maybe serpents and felines weren't too terribly different. "So... Training."


"Yeah, I didn't mention it earlier, but we're on a time limit."

"Sni?" He jerked back, standing upright on her shoulder. He then dug his claws into her temples and forcibly turned her head to face him. "Sni?" he repeated in a hiss.

"Hey, calm your tits. This is how we're gonna do it, got it?"

"Snivy?" he whimpered, dropping the angry act. Ree pursed her lips and tried to concentrate on reading him accurately; he was too good at performing to get the reactions he wanted. That could get dangerous later on if she couldn't figure out his tells soon.

"Because," she responded, taking a stab in the dark as to what he was asking. Thank god pokémon raised their voice at the end of their questions, too, otherwise she'd be utterly lost. "Well, basically, this is gonna be hell for us both. But on the bright side, that means you'll get real strong, real fast!" He was not amused with her silver lining. "Say what you will, but neither of us have a choice in the matter."

"Hey, you!"

Ree had to have jumped a foot in the air. Whippy nearly fell off. She turned around, looking for the source of the voice, and spotted a boy at least five years her junior wading through the undergrowth towards her. "Wait, when did we leave the city?"

"We should battle!" he cried exuberantly, chest heaving as he finally made it onto the path.

"Yeah, about that. I kinda just set out from Nuvema and Whippy doesn't have any experience. I wanna raise him a bit on the wild pokémon before jumping into the pool, you know?" she drawled, placing a hand on her hip.

"That's not how it works." The boy seemed confused by her reply. He glanced up and down the path, and then locked eyes with her once more. "Trainers have to formally accept or decline all challenges they're given!"

"Well, then how about no." She turned and began walking away.

"Okay then, give me your money!" She froze on the spot.

"Excuse me? I didn't lose any battle. I don't owe you shit."

He crossed his arms and tilted his head back. "You forfeited the match. This means that you lose by default."

Ree paused to consider his logic. It, unfortunately, made sense. And hey, she loved schooling little brats. Who cared if Whippy had yet to actually battle? Her pride refused any and all failures. "Nevermind then. I accept your challenge!" She plucked her snivy off of her shoulder and let him slip to the ground.

The boy didn't seem at all deterred by her change of heart and instead smiled. "Come on out, Venny!" Oh, that didn't sound good. Ree reeled back in momentary panic when a venipede came out.

She was fully aware of how this situation would play out. Scott had a scolipede and Maya had a serperior—she had seen this battle played out many times before and at various stages of evolution. "Oh, fuck." They had a major disadvantage. She wasn't sure he knew how to use any grass moves properly, and she could only hope that it didn't have any poison or bug moves. She crouched down before the battle actually started, drawing Whippy back. "That thing is going to be nasty. Don't touch it and don't let it touch you."

"Sni," he replied with a nod. He then grinned and brushed her back, waving her off. "Sni, snivy-sni, vee-vee."

The battle commenced. The two pokémon circled each other, waiting on orders and sizing each other up. Ree wasn't sure if she should make the first move or not; she didn't want to send him straight into some sort of poison move. Plus, even their skin could be toxic.

Finally, the boy broke the tense silence. "Venny, attack! Poison sting!"

"Ah, shit! Whippy, dodge it and keep your distance! Make sure those things don't hit you!" She'd been hit by them before, and they hurt like a bitch. Her snivy managed to avoid the first volley and the pokémon circled each other once more. Ree growled to herself and dug the pokédex out of her pocket. It should have a list of moves he would be able to use. She only hoped for something long distance.

She got tackle and leer instead.

At least one of them was long distance. "Whippy, use leer! Put the fear of god into it!"

Her snivy stood up onto his toes, tilted his head back, and marvelously glared down his opponent. She applauded politely. The venipede shrank back a little, glancing back towards its trainer, unsure.

"Use a defense curl!" Oh, so the little snot could use basic strategy. Ree scrunched up her nose and tried to think of some fast, easy way of winning. She had two moves to work with, and whatever imagination they had and could get away with.

"Whippy, quick! Go hit it—with your tail!" His tail was his strongest part and hopefully wouldn't get poisoned. He shot her a confused look but darted forward nonetheless, smacking the balled up bug with his tail, sending it into a bush. It crawled back out with an angry buzz.

He didn't appear poisoned. They either got lucky or it wasn't the poisonous kind. Hopefully the latter. "Use a rollout!" the boy commanded.

"Hit it with your tail again!" The two pokémon collided, and once again, the venipede was sent back off the path. Whippy held his tail this time, however. She could see a scrape on it. "Whippy, whenever that thing comes at you rolled up, you keep hitting it away." She was hoping it would either get tired, or eventually, they could get it onto its back. "If it gets stuck on its back, you go for it and rip that little bug to pieces, okay?" She knew the underbelly was the weakest part.

And so did its trainer. "Use another poison sting! Try to get it poisoned!"

"Hey, don't play dirty!"

"Then you don't!"

"Fine, then play dirty!" Ree called back. So what if she started it? The venipede shot more little poison stings at her snivy, and he barely skittered out of the way in time.

The battle wasn't the fast-paced, hot-blooded type she usually saw on TV. Instead, it was a lot of circling and occasional potshots. Very reactive, not proactive. And this bothered Ree more than it probably should have. She was not the type to only react, and he hadn't gotten poisoned yet from beating on it, so they may as well take their chances. Otherwise, the battle was liable to last forever and get even more boring.

"Whippy, tackle it!"

"Sni?" He turned and looked at her over his shoulder. She nodded firmly. He made something that could've been his version of a shrug, and crouched down on all of his four little limbs. The venipede scuttled back towards its trainer, its tail held high and quivering. It was playing defensive.

Not that Whippy or Ree minded. He shot forward, half running, half slithering, and threw his entire body at the bug. It squealed and thrashed, even as they rolled and tumbled. When they halted, he had it pinned on its back and it was clamped onto his side, chewing viciously. She knew that part was poisonous, so Ree flailed and ran closer, careful to give them room. "Shit! Whippy, bite back!" Were snivy poisonous? At least he had sharp teeth.

"Haha, finally! Make sure you poison it, Venny!" the male trainer cheered, pumping his fists in the air. "Come on, we got this battle in the bag now!"

"Hey, fuck you!" Ree snapped. "Whippy, dig into its belly!"

He growled an unintelligible response and rolled instead. He pried the venipede's sharp teeth out of him using his tail for leverage, and plopped onto the ground on the other side. The bug, surprised by the move, wiggled uselessly. Ree resisted the urge to run to her snivy—to what? Comfort him? She was more than a little grossed out by the bug spit (hopefully not raw poison) and blood dribbling down his side. She settled for dancing from foot to foot anxiously.

The venipede thrashed and squirmed, having difficulty getting back onto its feet. Every time it got somewhat close, Whippy would use his tail to tip it back onto its back, snickering as he did so. Its trainer started forward with a cry of, "Venny! No!"

"Hey," Ree deadpanned, grabbing the kid by the arm. "You can't just interfere with a pokémon battle unless you're forfeiting. Your bug is on its own or you fork over the cash." This is what you get for not letting me walk away, bitch, she thought vengefully.

"Nngh," he replied smartly. He stepped back and she dropped her hand. "Venny, just... Try to get back on your feet! Or, wait—roll into a ball! Roll away!"

It curled up and while it took a couple rocks to build momentum, it safely rolled away from the snivy. He watched it go with an indifferent gaze. Just as it unrolled, safely back on its feet, however—and without waiting for any sort of orders from his new trainer—he ran forward and threw himself at the venipede again. He knocked it back onto its hard shell and rendered it temporarily useless once more.

"Whippy, what are you waiting for?" Ree all but shrieked. "Attack its stomach!"

"Snivy-vee," he replied, rolling his eyes.

"I don't understand you!"

He heaved a great sigh. "Snivy-vee," he repeated, just as unhelpful as the first time.

"Venny, roll away again! This time, fire a poison sting as you open again!" the other trainer cried. His insect loyally rolled away once more, uncurling near his feet. Whippy again dodged the poison attack, but he still didn't seem too keen on Ree's strategy. She huffed in frustration.

"You know what? Whatever! Do what you want—just win this battle!" she snarled at him.

He grinned and nodded. It was her turn to roll her eyes. He had to win it his way, did he? He ran at the venipede, only to get a face full of poison sting. He hissed and spat and shut his eyes, blinded. He whirled around and smacked it with his tail on reflex, bending his head down and drawing in his tail around him, scrabbling at his face with his little claws.

"See where your way gets you?" Ree couldn't help but call out.

"Snivy!" he shouted back, cracking open a red eye to glare at her. Just to prove he could still battle, eyes only open in slits, he charged once more at the bug. It spat out another mouthful of poison sting, but this time, he used his tail to push himself into a leap over it. He landed neatly on its hump, immediately grabbing hold of the antenna like reigns. It squealed and bucked in a panic, but he kept hold.

And looked completely absurd. He looked like he was at the rodeo riding a bouffalant. Ree couldn't help but crack up as the other trainer squawked and spluttered. The venipede ran around in a circle, flailing wildly, and he managed to hang on. At least for a little while. After a too-sharp turn, he slipped off—and took the bug with him by the antenna. They tumbled into the grass on the side of the path. The pair got into another wrestling match, biting and clawing and hissing at each other. He smacked it in the face with his tail, and it responded by latching onto one of the leafy ends.

"Whippy, finish it already!" Ree called. She was already afraid her snivy wouldn't be able to, though. He seemed to be a lot messier than the venipede, and he was more or less still blinded. He snapped his jaws shut on one of its butt antenna, and with a hollow pop, snapped the last couple inches off. It screamed and instantly retaliated, ripping a chunk of his tail out. It was his turn to shriek and they progressively got more and more savage, caring less about their own health and more about hurting the other one.

"Stop it!" It was the other trainer who broke them up. He rushed in and tore them apart, hands and forearms scratched and bloody before he succeeded.

A little late, Ree trotted over and retrieved her hissing pokémon. She realized then how bad of shape he was in. His side was still bloody and scales and flesh were missing, there was a large tear in the leaf on his tail that was oozing something brownish, and his eyes were red and puffy. When had it gotten so bad?

"L-Let's call this one a tie," the boy mumbled, cradling his venipede gingerly. It gurgled and tried to get back at Whippy. When he saw the movement, her snivy launched himself forward, trying to get back into the fray, too—she caught him by the haunches and drew him back against her chest.

"Alright, a tie," she replied dumbly, unsure of what else to do. She was used to carefully choreographed battles, in which the pokémon obeyed their trainers perfectly and yeah, they got the shit beat out of them. But always just bruises and a bit of blood. Never missing pieces of tail. Whippy growled and used his injured tail as leverage for another jump, pushing it hard against her stomach. It hurt and she lost her grip on him. He slipped out of her hands and almost made it to the venipede once more before she threw herself at him, pinning him to the ground. "No! Whippy—stay!" She didn't know what else to say.

The boy and his bug took off soon after that, anyway, shouting something about rabid pokémon. It was only until after they were out of sight did she let him up.

He glared at her reproachfully, or as well as he could with his eyes in such a state.

She would have none of it. She was the trainer, so she was right. Or so she kept telling herself. "Are you happy now? If you had just listened to me—"

"Snivy." He turned on her, coiling his tail around himself.

"Don't turn away from me, mister."


She growled and reached out for him, but stopped before she could touch him. She was probably going about this all wrong. She had let him battle on his own and he had messed up. He had gotten hurt and angry and wanted to defend himself. That wasn't so bad, right? Plus, pokémon were still somewhat wild, and they were dangerous. He was only kind of proving that.

Maybe he was trying to defend her? She would work with that angle. He wasn't vicious or proud or anything like that. He was just protective.

"...C'mere," she said softly, drawing his attention. She shrugged off her backpack and dug around in it, coming up with her half-full bottle of water. "We need to get that poison out of your eyes before anything worse happens."

He grudgingly approached her, allowing her to tilt his head back. She trickled water into his eyes, holding him still when he whined. "S-Sni," he whimpered, scrubbing furiously at his eyes when she was done. He blinked rapidly and looked up at her. His eyes, scarlet in the sunset light, were still bloodshot, but it seemed like he could open them without wincing now. That was a good sign.

"Okay, let's get you cleaned up. No need to look like roadkill after your first battle."

"Vee-vee... Snivy-snivy vee, sni."

"I don't know what you're saying," she sang, raising his arm so she could inspect the damage to his side. Scales were missing and hanging loosely to the rest of his skin, but the bite didn't seem to be too deep. More of a chew than a bite. "Ah shit, I really hope you didn't get poisoned."

He responded by throwing up in her lap.

"...That's lovely." Ree stared down at the mess on her shorts, shocked—and then the disgust set in. She gagged and tried not to vomit herself, stood up, and kept him at arm's length. He coughed and spat, but didn't throw up again. She danced around in a circle, wondering what the hell to do. She didn't have a sink or bathroom to wash off in, and her water bottle was nearly empty, anyway. He was sick and wounded, and she was grossed out and lost.

Ree marched off of the path and into the trees until they came to a small clearing. She set him down in the cool grass, propping him up by her backpack, and peeled off her shorts. Thankfully they were made of thick material, so it hadn't bled through. She was fairly certain she'd curl up into a ball and cry if she had no way of cleaning vomit off her legs.

"Uh, okay, think. Shorts are disgusting and dirty. Whippy is poisoned." She glanced down at him, only to find him digging through her backpack. He came back up with the packet of pokémon food and eagerly opened it. "Hey! No!" She draped her shorts across a low branch and hastily took it from him. "I know you're hungry, but you can't eat again until you get more of it out of your system! Otherwise you'll just throw it back up." Speaking from personal experience, too.

"Vee-vee," he whined, eyes big and sad. "Snivy?"

"No, you can't have any. Uh... Drink some water. We need to flush out your system. After you drink, then you may have a bite. One. A little one." She handed him the water bottle and crouched down next to him. She delved into her backpack, looking for clean pants. She'd worry about the shorts later. If all else, she could always throw them out.

Ree and Whippy both learned a valuable lesson that day. Several, but one of the more surprising ones was that snivy could not use water bottles. His snout got in the way and prevented him from tipping it back enough to access the water. He ended up spilling most of it on the ground before giving up. He sat down, tossed the nearly empty bottle away, and sniffled.

When she finally saw what had happened, she had the sudden urge to bang her head against the nearest tree.

"Okay, so, that was stupid. That's all the water we have, the sun's set, and we have no shelter or fire or anything. We have a bit of food," she had brought a bag of chips and a couple of granola bars, "but you can't have any yet." He looked at her with his big, innocent eyes again. She grimaced. "...Come here. We still need to bandage you up."

Foresight was a tricky thing. She'd thought ahead to bring bandages, but left home with a half-full water bottle as her only source and means of carrying water. The sad part was that that was amazing for her.

It took half the roll she had, but she managed to bandage him somewhat neatly around the middle. She didn't know what to do about his tail. It had stopped oozing the brown stuff, anyway. After he was taken care of, sort of, she returned to her backpack. "May as well see the damage now." Truthfully, she had only grabbed fistfuls of things when packing, even on her second trip. A couple of clothing items here, an old chemistry notebook there, her stuffed heatmor, her cell phone charger...

It turned out that her estimates weren't completely off. She had four pairs of socks, three pairs of underwear, four bras, one pair of potentially ruined shorts, one pair of jeans, two tank tops, three t-shirts, and a jacket. Nearly half of these items had been from her dirty clothes hamper. Whippy held up one of her bras, the metallic purple one, with fascination. It was half of a set that Scott had gotten her as a joke.

"Don't throw up on any other clothes," she told him, carefully dragging them back towards her and away from him. She glanced over the rest of her stuff. Notebook, a couple of paperback books, tangled phone charger, pokédex, dying phone, stuffed heatmor, and a little baggy full of her toothbrush, toothpaste, hair ties, and two colors of nail polish. It was remarkably well-planned for her.

"S-Snivy," he sulked.

"Oh, you'll be fine. Poison usually works itself out of pokémon's systems in a matter of hours." That was complete and utter bouffalant shit, but he didn't need to know that. Plus, hey, it would be awesome if it turned out to be true. Ree tried to maintain a busy facade, although really, she didn't have much to do. She hadn't brought along a lighter or matches, so unless he started spouting flames, they would be out of a fire for the night. She also didn't have any sort of blanket, pillow, or sleeping garments.

The sun had fully set by then. The temperature was dropping, but it was still early August. It wouldn't drop too far. Ree shrugged on another t-shirt, her jacket, and started pulling on more socks. She then used her backpack—filled with the sad assortment of the rest of her clothes—as a pillow.

"Come here, Whippy. You can sleep it off, and I bet we'll both feel better in the morning." She curled up on her side and tried to use her jacket as a blanket as much as possible. He slithered into her arms, curling up against her stomach. She zipped it up around him, hoping to trap some of the heat.

It turned out to be a long night, one of the longest she'd ever have. She could hardly sleep, although he was just fine. She also found out that he was a reptile, which meant that he wasn't offering any new heat for her to use. She spent the night cold, uncomfortable, and unable to get the sour smell of vomit out of her nose.

Man the fuck up, bitch, she told herself sternly, looking down at the green, sleeping lump near her stomach. At least he's able to sleep. We can get some water tomorrow. Stop thinking about it—you'll only get thirstier! She didn't stop thinking about it, and she did get even more thirsty. Ree closed her eyes and drew her knees up as far as he'd allow. The whole journey's gonna be rough like this. Hopefully he won't throw up on your shorts again, but it's all gonna suck. You can't go back.

Not until she got all of the gym badges and made something of herself. As it stood, she didn't have a lot to be proud of. She'd completed school, yes, but not with stellar grades. She had some money in the bank, yes, but she wasn't breaking it. She had never been a successful pokémon trainer.

Well, she'd do it this time if it killed her. She had to get something to show that she'd done something smart with her life. Instead of the stupid mistake she'd made earlier. She couldn't go back until she had something to show that she wasn't a waste of space and of a life.

Not that she was, anyway. She simply wanted something to be proud of.

No, that was wrong, too.

Ree Majors wanted an excuse.

She wanted an excuse to run away from home and be gone for months on end. She couldn't stand on Scott or her family or her friends; she had to stand on her own, as a trainer, and become independent. She also needed to become invisible. She couldn't bear to share her mistake; if she could get through this journey with everyone none the wiser, she would be happy. Ree slipped her free hand down and lightly traced it over Whippy's spine, then moved to her stomach. Her hand was cold, but at least it was warm inside the jacket.

Ree had to earn the gym badges in well under a year, and she couldn't go home until she had, because she was pregnant.


Author's Note: And here we begin RMWJ, or Ree Majors' Wonderful Journey! For those of you following me from Pedestal, welcome back! For those of you just joining, hi! I hope everyone enjoys this story, its cast, and its twists. Please, however, be aware that there will be major swearing, some mature (including sexual) themes, a little more realism than what the games (and anime) are used to, and some shameless, minor, and generally harmless references to my various other stories.

This story takes place in the Unova region and will make references to the plot of the Black and White games, although it will not follow it; this story follows Ree, not the games. Still, be aware of minor spoilers.

And I sincerely hope that everyone enjoys this story. I'm not completely happy with this first chapter, but it was the best version I could come up with. We'll get to see Ree and Whippy's true colors in time; both of them were remarkably mature in this chapter. Which they're not. Anyway, the writing will be better, and the chapters will be shorter in the future. Hope that's an equal tradeoff! XD

Disclaimer: In the name of the fanfic, the original author, and the disclaimer. Amen. That aside - I do not own anything related to the Pokemon franchise outside some of the games and cards. Most of the characters in this story do, however, belong to me in name, personality, and design. Those that do not will be noted or have appeared in the games (such as Gym leaders). There is also music and video games referenced which I do not own - although a fair share of the creative things in this story will be fictional, such as the band Vagabond of the Revolution, so they kinda belong to me. I'll generally trend more towards fictional books and songs/bands, and existing video games.

Next Chapter: Ree explains to Whippy her 'predicament', with mixed results. Maybe calling him her baby daddy wasn't the best of ideas. Past that, after a frigid night with her own body heat, Ree resolves to capture another, warmer, pokémon for her team.