"Is that them?" Cheren asked as he entered Errah's bedroom the following morning. The girl could just see her 'friend' was itching to open the box on her desk and see what was inside. She had a pretty good guess. She was pretty certain that the box contained the Pokeballs for the Tepig, Oshawott and Snivy that she'd been banned from interacting with.
"Uh huh," She nodded, slipping the last few things into her bag, including the potion that her mother had handed her this morning. Errah knew that her mum would like to have provided more, but the Ranch was on slim profits at the moment and she only wanted to leave with the same that her sister had left with anyway. "Once B gets here, we'll pick our starters."
"Two things," Cheren sat down on the edge of her bed as he spoke, never taking his eyes off of the box and its precious cargo. "One, you're blatantly going to choose Tepig. I think everyone in the school has heard your theory on how a well trained Tepig could almost solo the Elite Four. Two, do you actually think Bianca's dad is going to let her leave?"
Errah grimaced at that. B's father was far too over protective of his daughter. Errah's mum still disliked the man for his actions towards her trusted team the first time Bianca had slipped away from his watch and come to see the Pokemon. She had wondered if they were going to have to break B out of the house in order for her to take her journey.
"I'm sure B'll find a way and if not we go to plan B." She answered finally, "After all we made contingency plans, didn't we?"
"Yes but I never expected to actually have to use them." Cheren scowled. The backup plans weren't sane, they were the product of teenage minds. They were however, something no one else would expect.
"Hi guys." They didn't need to use the backup plans as Bianca bounced into the room and moved over to Errah's side, looking for all the world like an over excitable Lillipup, only missing the wagging tail.
"Late as usual." Cheren half jokingly grouched at her.
"Sorry, sorry." Bianca chuckled, "I had to wait till dad was out. Is that them?"
"Uh huh and now you're here we can finally get started." Cheren hauled himself off of the bed, making it seem like a huge effort when it really wasn't, and came to stand next to Errah.
"Errah's house, so Errah gets to pick." Bianca told Cheren firmly, knowing that after all of Errah's hyping of the Tepig evolutionary chain, he was seriously considering the fire pig himself.
"That's fine," Cheren seemed less than concerned. "Go ahead, Errah," He pushed the brunette forward as he spoke.
Errah staggered slightly at Cheren's shove but managed to avoid stumbling into the desk. Taking off the lid of the box that her mum had delivered upstairs about ten minutes ago, she was rewarded by the sight of three Pokeballs. All three were sat on the same black cushion, all three had opaque white bases, grey bands around the middle, with a same colour release button, and semi-transparent red tops, through which you could see the Pokémon inside.
She'd been right. Inside of those Pokeballs were Snivy, Oshawott and Tepig.
"Mine." Errah didn't even think about what she was doing. Instead she snatched the Pokeball containing Tepig out of the box and moved away hastily, glancing at the other two, half afraid they'd changed their minds at the last minute and one of them really wanted the Pokémon that she'd just seized. Instead she was greeted by the sight of Cheren smirking knowingly and the sound of Bianca laughing. "What?"
Bianca pulled out her purse and handed Cheren a ten pokedollar note before heading for the box herself. "Alright, I admit it. I was wrong. I thought she'd want the Oshawott so she could trounce Mara the next time she saw her."
"See? Never bet against the house." Cheren replied, still smirking and obviously enjoying the embarrassed flush that arose as Errah realised that her friends had been betting on her.
"Well I'm taking this one," Bianca picked up one of the balls. Errah didn't see which one it was properly before Bianca put hers in her bag and picked up the last one, shoving it at the boy in their midst, "And you can take Oshawott."
"Hey! Who said you could pick second?" Cheren growled, glowering at Bianca for a moment before shrugging, "Fine, Oshawott's better anyway."
Smiling slightly at the almost petulant tone that Cheren was emitting, not that he'd ever admit to the possibility of him whining, Bianca turned to Errah with a small grin, rummaging around in her bag for the Pokeball she'd just dropped in. "Hey Errah? How about a battle? You could get to hear your Tepig's voice for the first time."
"I don't know..." Errah hesitated. They were in her bedroom and B wanted to battle? It wouldn't end well.
"Please?" Bianca begged as she yanked hard and pulled the Pokeball out of her small shoulder bag, wanting to release her Snivy from its Pokeball and battle against her friends at least once before they all went their separate ways.
"As long as we're careful, I do want to have a bedroom to come home to once I'm Champion," Errah nodded, putting on a grin she didn't really feel having heard Cheren's derogatory snort at her 'Champion' comment.
"Alright, come on out, Snivy!" Bianca chucked the ball up into the air, it bounced off of the ceiling and deposited its contents onto the floor in a burst of light.
"Ow!" Errah heard the Snivy chitter as it turned to look at Bianca. "What was what for?"
Glancing at Bianca and remembering belatedly that her friend couldn't hear the Pokémon like she could, she tossed her ball upwards too, making sure to only put enough effort in the throw to get the ball airbound, but not enough for her Tepig to end up with a concussion. The fire pig appeared, glanced around, spotted Errah and commented, "Could be worse."
Making a mental note to come up with a nickname, she pointed at Bianca and Snivy. The Tepig got the hint, turning to the pair too and glaring at the grass snake Pokémon. The Snivy in question just leered back, causing the fire Pokémon to growl.
"You're going down." Snivy told Tepig, completely confident in its victory.
"Yeah, no, not happening." Tepig replied before glancing at Errah again. "Of course we can't get started until..."
"Oops," Errah could have facepalmed. She'd seen battles often enough to know that the Trainer had to give the Pokémon commands or they generally wouldn't do anything. "Tepig, Tail Whip!"
"Snivy, Leer!" Bianca countered, having wondered who would make the first move and enjoying watching the look on Errah's face as she listened to the two starter Pokémon talk.
Tepig darted in, smacking Snivy in the gut with the ball on the end of its tail. Snivy countered by giving the fire Pokémon the most impressive death glare ever.
"Tackle!" Both Trainers called at the same time. Their calls were unnecessary, both Pokémon were caught up in the battle now and Tepig slammed into Snivy, knocking the snake back a couple of foot into the bed. Snivy's response knocked Tepig into the TV stand, knocking its contents all over the place.
"You're strong." Snivy acknowledged, staring Tepig down as the pair circled each other, waiting for one or the other to make a move.
"You really think so?" Tepig pretended to preen, "Why thank you."
The Snivy just rolled its eyes and attempted to tackle Tepig again only for the Pokémon to dodge, escaping the hit by millimetres and smack the grass snake with its tail. Suprised by the swiftness of the rather pudgy looking pig, Snivy couldn't move in time to dodge the oncoming Tackle attack and was knocked across the room, landing at Bianca's feet.
"That's enough," The blonde girl said as she picked up her new friend who looked vaguely insulted that she wouldn't let it finish the battle. "Both Pokémon tried their best but it's obvious that we have a little bit of training to do."
"A little bit?" Tepig muttered as it wandered back to Errah's side, wavering on his feet slightly as he did so.
"Be nice." Errah muttered to it as she bent down to examine her starter. The Tepig looked at her in shock but didn't get a chance to say anything else as Cheren moved between them and Bianca.
"Here, let me." The black haired boy said, pushing his glasses up his nose as he did so.
"Let you what?" Tepig asked. Before it could wiggle away Cheren had placed a hand on the pig's back and a golden energy had surrounded it. Tepig let out a sharp grunt of surprise as its bumps and bruises from its battle with Snivy faded away.
"Yours too." Cheren had moved away and gone over to Bianca the moment that Tepig had been fully healed. Snivy took it better, having seen Cheren heal Tepig, poking its tongue out at the other starter as Bianca let it sit on her shoulder.
"My turn then." Cheren commented, "It's not fair if you two get to battle and I don't."
"You okay to go again?" Errah asked her Pokémon. The fire pig nodded, still not sure how to take its Trainer and whether she actually did understand it. "Alright then, Cheren." Errah stood up straight, "Let's go."
"Oshawott, I choose you!" Cheren sent out his starter. The water type posed as it appeared in a flash of light, causing Cheren to groan and the two girls to giggle.
"Oh I'm fighting you?" The Oshawott asked Errah's first Pokémon, looking disappointed. "I'd have more of a challenge with the Lillipup that came in this morning before we were boxed up."
Tepig glowered at Cheren's Pokémon and Errah had the impression that if it was able, it would be stood on its hind legs, pointing at the Oshawott as it told the water starter, "You're going to crash and burn."
Its Trainer's chuckle was enough to confirm in the Tepig's mind that yes, his Trainer could in fact understand it.
"Tepig, Tail Whip!"
The water starter crashed into the fire one but got smacked in the face for its troubles. Tepig backed off then charged, already pre-empting its Trainer's call, since he literally only knew how to use Tackle and Tail Whip.
Oshawott had seen the move before though and it danced out of the way, pulling Tepig's tail as it charged past. This only served one purpose, ticking the fire pig off and it did its job valiantly.
Unfortunately for the Oshawott, Tepig had wheeled around when Oshawott had pulled its tail and it slammed into the water otter, sending it tumbling head over heels and coming to a stop at its Trainer's feet.
"We appear to have made a strange blunder," Cheren frowned at his Pokémon who pretended to look sheepish, "But still, we're finally Pokémon Trainers. It's a good feeling..." No one quite knew how to respond to that, but Cheren spoke again within milliseconds, looking embarrassed, as if he hadn't meant to say that out loud. "We should go and apologise to Ms. Green..."
Bianca squeaked but nodded, Snivy still on her hat, and hurried Cheren, who recalled Oshawott, downstairs.
Once they were alone Tepig turned to Errah and stared at her. "You can understand me."
"Yes..." Errah answered hesitantly; worried that Tepig might not want her as his Trainer if he knew that fact.
The Tepig stared at her for a few moments, then nodded, "Alright then, a few things I want to get straight before we go anywhere. My name is Crash. You try and nickname me anything other than that, I won't answer. Also, I am a guy. That means no embarrassing baby talk or pampering, got it?"
Errah nodded, amused by 'Crash's' attitude. "Where'd the name Crash come from?"
"Nowhere important." The Tepig looked embarrassed for the first time.
"Wait, wait, waitwaitwait, you're not that Tepig who knocked over that huge stack of..." Errah trailed off and started laughing.
"It was an accident!" Her Pokémon replied, managing to look like it should be blushing, "I was chasing someone and it happened to be in my way." Crash tried to sound snooty but just looked ridiculous trying to look down his nose at her, causing Errah to chuckle.
"Fine, fine," Errah laughed at Crash's offended look, "I believe you. You happy to come with me?"
Crash considered her a moment longer then nodded. "Alright, one question though."
"Oh?" Errah asked, concerned.
"What's your name?"