I've had this chapter finished for about a month now, but I never got around to posting it. *facepalm* Thanks to Zangoose-Kira and E werewolf for reviewing so far! :) Enjoy this chapter!

After lunch, Tate had left the diner to head for the pokemon center nearby. It was part of a weekly routine she had established since coming to Driftveil City a month or so prior. Originally, she was a native of Nimbasa City, a regular attendee of the baseball and football games. Her dream of becoming a first class trainer had never panned out, so her alternative was to find a job working in the big stadium.

That didn't pan out, either.

Her starter pokemon, Snivy, was too sick to fight, let alone travel. Of course, she had gotten him for free from some guy off the street, so no wonder he was so sick and so frail. The entire weekly routine of walking to the pokemon center after lunch on Wednesdays was so that Nurse Joy could look him over to make sure he hadn't gotten any worse.

The nurses in Nimbasa City had advised her to get a second opinion in another town, and since the treatments he sometimes required were far from free, she needed a job to help pay for it. Since the job at the stadium didn't come her way, she stuffed a duffel bag and made the short journey out to Driftveil City, not only to get a second opinion, but to find a job. Her mother still had to take care of her three younger siblings, along with her own pokemon, so Snivy was Tate's responsibility altogether.

"Hey, Nurse Joy," she greeted, walking up to the front desk.

"Good afternoon, Tate," Nurse Joy replied, smiling as she always did. "I'll see Snivy right away."

"Thanks. He's been eating all his food and I think he's getting stronger." The girl couldn't help but hope that maybe her pokemon would recover and she could start her own journey, challenging gyms and racking up tough rivals. She often daydreamed about being the strongest of the strong, with a Serperior as her best friend and greatest partner.

But she was just fishing in the air.

Nurse Joy smiled again, her eyes sparkling as she took Snivy's pokeball from Tate's hands. "That's wonderful, Tate. I'm sure that he'll be all better soon."

"Great! Thanks! Would you mind if I stayed with him while you look him over?"

"Not at all. The examination room is right back here." Nurse Joy led Tate back into the examination room, the equipment all sitting neatly in three corners of the room. In the fourth was a computer atop a desk, with a rolling chair pushed in. It reminded Tate of visiting the doctor's office when she was little, seeing all of the devices tucked in their spots in a pristine fashion.

The nurse let Snivy out of his pokeball and onto the table, before turning to grab what she would need to give him the proper examination. Snivy's creamy white underbelly and chest were still pale, as they had always been, and the usually dark, luscious green color of his back and head were a pale green. His red eyes were dull, but he was happy to see Nurse Joy and happy that his trainer had stayed with him this time.

He waited patiently, accustomed to the all-too-familiar check-up room, observing his trainer and the nurse. Tate pulled up the rolling chair to sit beside the table, resting her chin on her folded arms, which were propped on the table. Snivy moved towards her, wishing to climb into her arms so he could be warm, too. He didn't remember much of his first trainer - the man who had sold him to Tate - except for the fact that he had a very large and very mean Stoutland.

Snivy liked Tate right off the bat for this one reason, that she didn't have any other pokemon that were big or scary or mean. In fact, he was her only pokemon, and that made him happy. The only thing he didn't like about her was that she always smelled like cigarette smoke.

The little green pokemon clambered into Tate's arms, sniffing around her jacket as he got comfortable, even if just for a few moments. Tate rubbed his head with her thumb, his eyes drooping closed when he let out a little sigh. "You'll be just fine, Snivy. I promise."

Nurse Joy approached the table again, setting down a few small instruments that human doctors would use on their patients for a regular, routine check-up. "Has he been feeling as tired as usual?"

"Yeah. He still sleeps as much, but like I said, he's been eating all his food. Do you think he'll evolve if he gets his strength back?"

"If he makes a full recovery, he'll be just as fit as any other pokemon, so I don't see why he wouldn't."

Tate smiled at the thought of little Snivy evolving into a sleek, sly Servine. Snivy was content to stay just the way he was, although whenever his trainer showed him pictures of other Servine and Serperior, he did wonder what it would be like to be stronger. And if it made Tate happy, he would be happy.

She set him back on the table, watching as he fought to keep his eyes open while he turned back towards Nurse Joy. With gentle hands, she carefully examined his tail, back, stomach, neck, and head. She used the small light to examine his eyes, nose, and mouth, before checking his heartbeat. Tate waited with far less patience than her pokemon.

"Well? Is he doing all right?"

Nurse Joy set her stethoscope down as she gently rubbed his head. "His heart sounds the same as it did last week, which is good. Snivy might have a little case of the common cold, so I'll give you some special pokemon medicine for him. We don't want him to get anything too serious, or it could jeopardize his recovery. But, for now, that seems like that's the only issue."

Tate sighed, taking Snivy in her arms. "That's good. I'll make sure his cold gets taken care of."

Nurse Joy nodded, putting away her tools as Snivy curled up in his trainer's arms, closing his eyes. "Tate, maybe you should let him get some fresh air sometime. There was a boy who lived in the Hoenn region - I think his name was Wally. He was very sick, too, and as he spent more time with his pokemon and got some fresh, clean air, he grew stronger. That could be what Snivy needs."

Tate frowned. "This is a mining town, though..."

Again, the nurse nodded, turning back to Tate. "Maybe you should visit Nuvema Town. It's a very small, pleasant place where the air is fresh."

"But, I'm still behind on payments for Snivy's treatments... And my job is here..." Tate wanted Snivy to recover, but she needed to be able to pay for his prior treatments, too. "Would I be able to find a job there?"

"Well, if I were you I would visit the town first to see if it helps Snivy. If it does, then you should look for a place to stay and a job. For now, you should keep the one you have working for Clay," Nurse Joy advised. "And, I think you should find another pokemon to keep Snivy company. The other pokemon can cheer him up."

Tate paused for a while, letting Nurse Joy's advice soak in. How was she supposed to capture another pokemon if Snivy wasn't fit to battle? "What sort of pokemon do you suggest I catch?" The girl frowned, scratching her head thoughtfully. Snivy was so small, he wasn't hard to support in one arm.

"A small pokemon, for sure. It's your choice, but you should pick one that can't do too much damage to Snivy in case they get in a squabble."

"Okay. Thanks Nurse Joy!" Tate bowed to the pink-haired woman, who then bowed in return, before the girl retreated with her pokemon in her arms.

So what did you think? Tell me what you thought!