Hello, everybody! That's right, I'm back, and with a brand-new story!

This specific story, Of Many Colors, is a prequel of sorts to Alphabet Soup, though it doesn't focus on Bree, Cheren, Bianca, N, or their parents. Though they might show up in passing, I dunno. Instead, this story (well, more a series of snapshots in their lives, or something like that. I intend for each chapter to work as a standalone but to weave into a sort of semi-plot. I dunno. Hopefully it'll become more clear later on) will focus mainly on Elesa and Arty! (For those of you who don't know, Burgh is named Arty here. His full name is Arthur Burgh, but don't call him that.) You don't need to read Alphabet Soup for this, but it helps. Besides, I like it when people read and comment, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the story too! :P

Two important notes to make: The chapters here will be shorter than the ones in Alphabet Soup, and the update schedule will be much more erratic. I'm in college, a really prestigious college, and I have a lot of work. I'm not going to have one update a week, unless I'm on vacation. And expect me to drop off the face of the earth come test time.

Also, there will be two more stories that will be created...at some point.

But anyway! Please enjoy my newest story! I hope it's okay; Alphabet Soup's going to be a really tough act to follow...

When Elesa first met Arty, she was eight and didn't know it.

She didn't know about Arty, that is. Elesa was extremely aware that she was eight years old since her birthday was last week and she would proudly proclaim her new age at every available opportunity. But when she first saw Arty, she had no idea who he was.

The park on Pointer Street overlooked the river dividing Nacrene and Castelia. Sitting in the swing (for Elesa had not quite reached the point where she considered swings childish and so would shun them until late in her teenage years), she could see the steel towers of Castelia poking through the thick clouds, and the Skyarrow bridge just out of the corner of her eye.

Elesa eyed the promenade before her, past the park and connecting where the sidewalk and road ended. She wanted to walk along the boardwalk, but her parents had said no, said that she was not yet grown up enough to do that, though she was enough of a big girl to walk to the park by herself.

A shout made her turn, made her hop off the swing and investigate.

Behind the jungle gym and partially shaded by the trees crouched a child about her age, a boy on closer inspection, his auburn hair falling tangled around itself instead of sleek and straight and bright blonde like Elesa's did. It was shorter than her hair, which was currently tied back in a ponytail, but not by much. Though it was the middle of spring, a scarf the shade of the budding leaves hung around his neck. With sweeping, exaggerated movements he marked the ground with a large stick of sidewalk chalk. Beside the boy was a Sewaddle who held a blue stick of chalk in his mouth; the pokemon's neck was wrapped with a clean white bandage. When Elesa thought about it, she realized that she could remember occasionally seeing this boy before, always drawing something.

Silently, hidden behind the slide, Elesa inspected the partially-complete drawing, which the boy was so engrossed in that he didn't even notice the girl's presence. All jagged lines and crude expressions, the colors scribbled in without care or even staying in the lines, the drawing (apparently a large monstrous pokemon stomping on buildings and catching airplanes) was bad.

Scrambling to his feet, the boy placed one hand on his waist and held out the other, using the chalk to indicate his pokemon. "Alright, now what should Tyranitar do?"

The Sewaddle swung onto his four back legs, pawing at the air with his front two and faking a growl around the stick of chalk. The boy laughed, "That's awesome! Perfect! I bet you could scare a Haxorus with that growl!"

Then Elesa realized that this wasn't just the average work of a mediocre artist, the scribbles of any old kid drawing with sidewalk chalk. There was a deliberateness to the crudeness, and a look of intense concentration on the boy's face. The drawing was deliberately crude; he made it bad on purpose.

"Hm. That's cool."

Now the boy turned around, supporting himself on his hands and knees. "Hi!" he all but shouted, his wide grin missing two baby teeth. His green eyes glimmered like a Flygon's scales. "You like my drawing?" Beside him, the Sewaddle waved his two front legs until his human picked him up. "Little Insect likes my drawings too, and he's helping me out."

"Little Insect?"

"Yep, that's his name. 'Cause he's little, and an insect. But you can call him Little if you want." The boy ran his fingers down his pokemon's back. "I found him hurt in the Pinwheel Forest because a Pidove wanted to eat him and so now he's mine and even though I'm not old enough to be a trainer for a few years, we're still best friends and we're gonna be the champion together! Say, do you have a pokemon?"

She hadn't really thought about it. Sure, Elesa loved newborn Lillipups and Purrloin kittens as much as anyone else, but the idea of being a trainer was far-off, especially since in Unova they started late, at the age of thirteen.

So she blinked and said, "Uh."

Abruptly, he stuck out a chalk-stained hand. "I'm Arty. I like bugs. What's your name?"

Elesa's hand was more hesitant. "Elesa."

Arty grinned again. He seemed to smile a lot. "Elesa? Oooh, that's a funny name!"

"Hey!" She folded her arms. "So's Arty."

Again with the dramatic sweeps of his arm, as if the stick of yellow chalk was a sword, or a paintbrush spattering its colors everywhere. "Yeah, well, it's short for Arthur but only my teachers call me that and my parents when they're mad, and I hate it. So call me Arty!"

She shook his hand. "Okay."

"Yeah! And now we're friends!"

Elesa drew back her hand. "Wait, what?"

Arty laughed and said, "You're the first person who's said my drawings are cool all day!"

"Has there even been anyone else all day?" She pointed up for dramatic effect; the clouds that had been building for the past several hours were now definitely green and warning.

Unsurprisingly, Arty didn't seem unnerved by the approaching thunderstorm. Instead, he said, "Oooh, awesome! Is there gonna be a tornado, because that would be so cool and it would go woosh-woosh-woosh!" Those last few words were a blur because Arty said them as he spun around like a top.

Elesa was momentarily left speechless, but then she mumbled, "I kinda like lightning."

If it was possible, Arty's grin grew bigger. "Ooohh, then maybe when you get a pokemon, you can get a Joltik! No, we'll both have Joltiks because they're bugs like I like and they use lightning like you like! And then they'll both go zap and crash and boom and Little will be a super-strong Levanny and it'll be awesome!"

Ever appropriately dramatic, the thunder decided that this would be the perfect time to make a very loud entrance. Much to Elesa's credit, though she started she did not scream like a little girl, which was somewhat ironic. A few drops of rain plinked on their noses, to be followed by a deluge.

Raising her voice over the loud rain, she said, "Aren't you going home? You can't use chalk in the rain." And also Elesa didn't want to see this weird but funny and nice kid get soaking wet because she hated it, and so how could he like it?

His hair, which had been frizzing up the entire time from the humidity, was now beaten flat by the spring storm. "It's okay. Little and I love the rain, so we'll stay here a while."

Already the rain had soaked through her hair and was beginning to work on her shirt. She tugged on her wet hair with a grimace, as if she could squeeze out all the water before it got wet again. "Ugh, I don't like the rain. It's cold. And wet. I'm going home."

The chalk mixed with the rain and begna to run down Arty's hands, staining them blue. "Okay! See ya later," he said with a nod.

Her shoes splashing in the puddles, her hand resting on the metal gate, Elesa turned back. "Arty, you sure you don't want to come?"

"Yeah, I'm sure. Mommy and Daddy are gonna pick me up soon anyway."

"Okay. See you later. Uh, bye." And so she ran off, back to her warm dry home, though the image of the boy in the rain was still fresh in her mind.

Arty watched her leave with a smile on his face, then looked down to see his chalk drawing melt away and run down the drain with a final gurgle.

"You know," he said to his pokemon, "She doesn't talk much. I like her!"

Something pressed against his legs and caused his ankles to vibrate, only stopping when he actually looked down. "Little? What is it?"

Little ducked between Arty's skinny legs, trying to shield his face and neck from the rain.

"Oh, right. We've gotta keep the bandage dry." Arty scooped up Little and hid the pokemon under his shirt; his smooth round head popped out from the collar to stare in his human's face. When Little ran his six stubby legs against Arty's chest, he laughed and pretended to push his pokemon away. "Ee-hee, that tickles! Ah, stop it!"

Though the wound on the back of Sewaddle's neck would heal without complications, the chitin that grew there would never be quite as thick and durable as the rest of his exoskeleton. But it never bothered Little, and so both human and pokemon soon forgot about it.

A/N: Yeah, I know, short chapter. There weren't even any scene breaks. But I was just setting the stage. So what do you think of Arty here? Or Elesa?