Reaching for Indigo

Chapter One

"Charizard, use your Fire Blast!" Azul, a boy of ten, commanded. He wore his favorite hat to bring him luck on the day of the Pokémon League tournament finals. His opponent was none other than his childhood rival, Verde.

Charizard's mouth gaped and he belched flames. They bellowed out of his throat endlessly, engulfing Verde's plushy, pink Jigglypuff. When the flames subsided, the referee who stood watch over the battle raised a flag towards Azul, signaling that the fight was over and he had come out victorious.

Azul's joyous and somewhat maniacal laughter echoed throughout the stadium. He had accomplished his goal of becoming a Pokémon Champion. As his laughter grew, the ground began to shake.

His eyes flew open and he screeched as he saw his mom's face looming over him, her arms roughly shaking him awake.

"Did you have a nice dream? I almost didn't want to wake you because you were laughing so loud!" Azul's mother, Brooke Claywood, a young woman in her early thirties with the same dark brown hair and blue eyes as Azul asked as he rubbed sleep out of his eyes.

"Mreow, mreow!" Fluffy, the family's Meowth hopped onto Azul's bed, rubbing her face against Azul's upper leg. He absentmindedly reached over to scratch the cat Pokémon behind her ears.

"It's time to get up and go to Professor Oak's lab and get your Charmander," Brooke patted Azul gently on the back. Azul didn't budge; he continued to look around in a daze. His mom spoke once more. "I made you French toast…"

"I'm up!" Azul cried, darting out of bed and down the stairs to the kitchen, his shaggy hair a mess and his blue Starmie-print pajamas rumpled. Fluffy was violently tossed from the bed to the floor, and she hissed in annoyance towards Azul. He didn't notice; his French toast was waiting.

Downstairs he began to eat his French toast while his mom walked slowly down stairs to meet him in the kitchen. She held a grey t-shirt that had dark blue sleeves and a dark blue underbelly, a pair of grey pants that, also like the shirt, turned dark blue near the bottom. These were the clothes that Azul had picked out for his journey; his favorite colors, blue and grey, were also his lucky colors.

"I figured it'd be nice of me to prepare your clothes so then you're not late to Professor Oak's lab. I want my little boy's day to go perfectly," she told him while pinching his cheek.

He winced at the pain and knocked her hand away casually. With a fork with French toast drowned in syrup on the end in his mouth, he pulled off his pajama top and pulled his new shirt over. He quickly finished his French toast. It was getting so close, his journey to become a Pokémon Master.

"Please leave your pajama bottoms on in the kitchen and finish changing in your room. I'll go ahead and get your backpack ready for you while you do that," his mother kissed Azul on the top of his head. She pointed upstairs not wanting Azul to be bottomless in the kitchen. She pulled out his light blue backpack out from a nearby closet; it was still brand new with all the tags on it.

Azul dashed upstairs, his pants in hands. It wasn't long before he was completely changed and heading downstairs where his mom waited with his backpack and favorite hat. Azul grabbed his grey hat with dark blue lining on it and put it on his head backwards, hair poking through.

Brooke put his backpack on him and pushed him near the door, "You call me as soon as you get to Viridian City!"

Azul smiled before kneeling down and scratching Fluffy once more behind the ear, "I'll keep you as updated as possible. Take care of Fluffy, and Fluffy, you take care of my mom!" He then turned and gave his mother a thumbs up before walking out the door and continuing out into the sidewalk. Finally I get to start my journey, finally I get to show up all those jerks from trainer school.

"Yo, Azul!" Verde called from out the front door of his house, which was next to Azul's. The blue-capped boy hesitated before turning and waiting for Verde to catch up to him. Verde was dressed in the clothes his mom picked for his journey, a cropped green jacket over a grey t-shirt with matching green pants and a black backpack that strapped around his waist. His brown hair stuck out in front of his green eyes.

"What do you want, Verde?" Azul asked, his voice shook in fear and irritation as the two began to walk side by side to Oak's lab.

"You know who is going to get that Charmander today, right?" Verde softly nudged his elbow into Azul's side, knocking Azul's small frame to the side.

"Uh, I am?" Azul replied, sounding very unsure of himself. "You're not taking anything else I want away from me, Verde."

"Well I'll tell you what. If you can beat me in a race to the lab, I'll let you have Charmander," Verde proposed, stopping in front of a tree on the corner of the street. "This tree will be our starting line, and the front door of the lab is the finish line."

"Alright, I accept your challenge," Azul agreed, lining himself up with Verde and the tree's tall trunk. He knew he was a faster runner than Verde so this would be a breeze.

"Go!" Verde shouted at random and before Azul could comprehend what had happened, Verde had shot down the street. Once Azul realized that the race had started he dashed off for the lab. It wasn't long before Azul caught up but with a price to pay− all the extra running had begun to wear him out.

"Can your girly figure keep up? That backpack looks heavy!" Verde taunted before sticking out his leg and tripping Azul onto the hard concrete. With cat-like reflexes, Azul managed to grab hold of Verde's leg the instant he fell.

"You cheated!" Azul screamed at Verde. Verde always got what he wanted no matter how hard Azul worked, but he refused to let go of his opportunity to receive a Charmander.

"If I cheated, then why did I fall too?" Verde snapped back. "I think that YOU cheated!"

Azul picked himself off the ground and wiped off the dirt that now coated his new clothes. "Can't we just play rock-paper-scissors or something to decide who gets Charmander?"

"I'm not going to play your sissy games," Verde told him with a frown. He then lifted his hands into a fighting pose. Azul may be faster and smarter than Verde, but when it came to strength, Azul could be overpowered by an Igglybuff.

"W-what are you doing?" Azul questioned before taking a step back. He was trapped in between Verde and a few trash cans up against a wall; there was no escape.

Verde grinned, "We're going to play a man's game!" He then threw a punch towards Azul's face and the boy fell back into the trash cans. It wasn't long before everything went black and Azul was unconscious.

"Hello? H-hello?" A voice called off into the distance. Everything was still black, but this one voice could be heard and Azul could feel someone pulling at his arms. "Are you okay little girl?"

Azul's eyes slowly opened and he looked upon a brown-haired girl who was no older than him. She wore brown shorts and a bright yellow shirt. She had a dark red bag but what was most noticeable was her big straw hat that shaded the sun out of her brown eyes.

"Are… are you talking to me?" Azul questioned, feeling at the red mark on his cheek.

The girl squealed and stepped back, "I'm so sorry; I thought you were a little girl! You have… soft skin…"

Azul looked around, still in a daze, "What time is it? Do you know? I can't be late… or else-" He then stopped himself, he knew he was late. Verde most likely received the Charmander.

The girl looked at her bare wrists, "I don't have a watch or anything but last time I checked… I'm late to an engagement. From the sounds of it you're late to whatever it is you're doing. I can help you get there if you'd like?" She extended her hand and Azul grabbed it; he was back on his feet but still extremely dizzy.

"I have to get to Professor Oak's lab," Azul explained, he fell over but the girl caught him and held him up.

She smiled, "Well, I guess that we're both late for our new Pokémon. I'm guessing that you're one of the new classmates?"

Azul looked at her and blinked to get some of the blurriness out of his vision, "Yeah, I guess I am. Are you one of them? I've never seen you before."

"I'm not from here, but Professor Oak has known me all my life. He added me to your class so instead of three members there are now four," She explained to him while walking slowly to the laboratory.

"I think I remember hearing something along the lines of that. My name is Azul Claywood, thanks for helping me out," Azul told her with a smile, but deep inside he was crying at the loss of Charmander.

"I'm Jaune; it's nice to meet you, Azul. I'm glad I can help," Jaune smiled, returning his smile. "We should really get going, though. Professor Oak is probably angry we're not there yet!"

Azul nodded and they both continued down the path towards Oak's laboratory.

"So, what exactly happened to you? Sleeping in a pile of trash cans isn't my idea of beauty sleep," Jaune questioned. Azul couldn't tell if she was being serious or not.

"I-I got into a fight over the Charmander. Verde, my neighbor, and I raced for it and then Verde tripped me. I suggested rock-paper-scissors, but before I knew it, he punched me in the face and everything went black," Azul explained, he could see Professor Oak's lab from a top a hill.

Jaune sighed then laughed, "You stupid boys and your games. I probably could have taken him, why couldn't you?"

Azul would have answered the question but before he could his eyes focused on the lab. With every step he was getting closer, closer to his journey. The two walked through the gates of the laboratory and made their way to the door. Azul pulled his arm from Jaune and knocked on the door. There was no reply; maybe Azul wouldn't receive his Pokémon today?

"Do you think he left for something?" Azul asked; in the back of his head he really hoped that Professor Oak was just using the restroom.

Jaune shook her head, "He should be here! Why would he leave on such a special day? I suggest that we just go in," she then reached for the doorknob and opened the door. The door swung open and a long hallway revealed itself. "You see, he probably couldn't hear us because he's most likely all the way down this hallway," Jaune told Azul. Either she was smart or acted like she was, Azul couldn't tell.

They continued into the laboratory and walked down the hallway. They could hear faint noises from a room that was at the end of the hallway, it was almost confirmed that Oak was still there. They pushed the door open and a blonde girl wearing a red shirt, tight spandex shorts and a one-strap backpack emerged. She held a tiny, light-blue Pokémon in her hands that had a huge smile on its face.

"Azul, it's about time!" The girl screamed, her eyes' natural eye color was covered with red contacts, and they locked onto Azul. "What took you so long? Verde said that you decided to take a nap. I already got my Squirtle! Take a look at it!" She then held up her Squirtle into the air. It grinned then turned and bit the top of Rouge's head.

"What is your Squirtle doing?" Jaune questioned in astonishment. "Doesn't that hurt?"

Rouge blushed, "I'm pretty sure that is how my Squirtle shows affection. I'm okay with it biting on my head as long as it doesn't hurt me. I'm nicknaming it Champion or Champ for short!"

"That's great!" Azul cried with joy, he then noticed Professor Oak giving both him and Jaune a great big smile. Oh no! I'm way too late, I bet that he is really angry, he thought, worrying.

"I'm glad that you both could make it. If you'd like to pick out your Pokémon now, that'd be fantastic," He told both Jaune and Azul, his smile never ceasing.

Both of the new trainers made their way to the Professor. Both had great big smiles and were ready to receive their first Pokémon.

Professor Oak picked up two Poké Balls from a small table and pressed the buttons in the middle of them. They both opened and two Pokémon materialized in front of Azul and Jaune. One was tiny and yellow. It had two red circles on its cheeks and two brown stripes on its back. The other Pokémon was a small, green quadruped Pokémon with a dark, green bulb on its back.

"As you can see, I only have a Pikachu and a Bulbasaur left. You two may decide amongst yourself who wants what, I'd prefer that you two do not fight over one," he then motioned to the tiny Pikachu, "I'd like to tell you that this little Pikachu was the runt of its litter and is still very small. It has been like that ever since it was born as a Pichu."

"Pichibu!" It cried out happily, Jaune's eyes lit up with happiness whenever she saw this Pokémon.

"Azul if you don't mind I'd like to have this little Pikachu! It is just so adorable!" She squealed.

"Isn't it supposed to say 'Pikachu'?" Azul squinted his eyes at the miniature Pokémon.

"But that's just another factor in its cuteness!" Jaune picked up the Pikachu and it snuggled up to her.

Azul sighed and shrugged, "I already lost a Charmander today; you can have the… runt Pikachu." He then looked at Bulbasaur who seemed a bit more mature than either the Pikachu or Squirtle.

Jaune kneeled down and the Pikachu crawled up her arm and onto her shoulder, "Thank you, Azul! I'm going to name it…" She then thought for a little bit but nothing came to mind.

"Pi-Pichibu!" Pikachu cried out happily; its sized didn't affect its happy attitude.

"I'm going to name it Chiboo! Thank you for the idea Chiboo," Jaune told her Pokémon while petting the back of its head. Chiboo grinned and squealed with happiness.

"So, I guess that leaves you with Bulbasaur. This Bulbasaur has been here for four years. No one has wanted to take it just yet with both Squirtle and Charmander being more popular," Professor Oak explained.

Azul stared at Bulbasaur, "So… nobody wanted to be your friend?" He then thought about how when he was growing up, he had no real friends. If anybody was a friend, it would have been Rouge, whom he has always had a crush on. It's no Charmander, but I can't leave the little guy alone. Maybe I'll eventually capture a Charmander… he thought.

"Bulba?" The Bulbasaur questioned, it didn't know if Azul would take it or not because of his silence.

"We're going to be great friends," Azul told Bulbasaur with a smile, even though in the back of his head he still craved a Charmander.

"If you'd like to know… this Bulbasaur is a female. She's a great Pokémon and has been loyal to me this whole time. I do hope that you treat her well," Professor Oak told him before handing over her Poké Ball. "Would you like to follow your friends and give Bulbasaur a nickname?"

Azul grabbed the Poké Ball and wiped away a tear before anybody could notice. "I'll go ahead and name her… Cherry! Is that okay with you, Bulbasaur?"

Bulbasaur gave Azul a smile before nudging him with her face, "Bulba-Bulbasaur!"

Professor Oak took a few steps backwards before turning and grabbing two small, rectangular objects, one red and the other yellow. He handed the yellow object to Jaune and the red one to Azul. "These will be your Pokédexes. They will help you out on your journey. You can make quick phone calls from them, look up Pokémon information on them, and other things that I'm sure you'll find out for yourself."

"I got a green one," Rouge told Azul and Jaune while pulling out the green Pokédex from backpack. "I know that Verde got a blue one before he left, we all have different colors!" She still had Squirtle hanging from the top of her head.

"Speaking of Verde, if you three don't get going soon, he'll get way ahead of you. I suggest that you all make your way to Viridian City next," Professor Oak reminded them.

It wasn't long before the trainers collected their things from Professor Oak and were out of the lab. Their journey would start soon.

"Hey! Azul, would you like to have a battle with me? I'd like to test out Champ's battling ability against your Bulbasaur. I think that would give me and you an edge against Verde," Rouge asked, staring up to Azul after a few minutes of walking from Professor's Lab. Azul blushed as he gazed into her big eyes and he could hear Jaune tapping her foot impatiently.

"Um…" Azul started but couldn't finish, he had studied about Charmander, so he knew nothing about Bulbasaur. He looked down at Cherry and gave her a sad look. "I don't know how to battle with Cherry… I don't know any of her moves."

Rouge batted her finger towards the naïve Azul, "That's why you use your Pokédex! It'll teach you everything you need know about Cherry. All the technical stuff of course. Plus, I think that Cherry wants to battle." She pointed towards Cherry who was nudging its face into Azul's shin.

"I-I guess that we can battle," He pulled out his Pokédex and opened it up.

"Hello, I am Dexter. This module is registered to trainer 'Azul Claywood'." The small red electronic book informed Azul.

Jaune giggled at the puzzled Azul, "Now if you motion your Pokédex towards Bulbasaur it will give you all of its information." She then opened her Pokédex up and motioned it towards Champ.

"Squirtle the Tiny Turtle Pokémon. Nicknamed Champion. Level is 7 and known moves are Tackle, Tail Whip, and Bubble." The Pokédex informed her in its robotic voice.

Azul stared at her Pokédex then motioned his Pokédex towards his Bulbasaur, "Bulbasaur the Seed Pokémon. Nicknamed Cherry. Level is 9 and known moves are Tackle, Growl, Leech Seed, and Vine Whip."

"I thought that if it were older then it, it would know more moves," Azul wondered aloud. "Weren't you with Oak for four years before today?"

Bulbasaur nodded and then looked down; she was sad that its trainer thought she wasn't as strong as she should be. "Bulba…"

"You have to remember that Cherry was only with Professor Oak. There is no way that we could guess how much actual experience she got," Jaune explained. She didn't want to see Cherry get sad or downed by her own trainer.

Rouge kneeled down and placed her hand on Cherry's head, "How about that battle, Cherry?"

"Bulba…" Cherry growled and nodded her head "yes" to answer.

"Well, you heard her Azul! It's time to battle!" Rouge dramatically pointed towards Azul as Champ took his place in front of Cherry, grinning cockily.