Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon nor do I intend to make a profit off of this story.

OC's are still being accepted. See previous chapters for character and team formatting. Reviews are always welcome, favorites are appreciated, but a simple read through will always be treasured.


Impatient. He felt impatient as he looked over his Pokedex outside Misty's house. After he agreed to Misty traveling with him last night after the battle the two parted ways after discussing tomorrow's travel plans and with Misty promising to be ready early tomorrow morning with her packing and Gym Leader business, whatever that means. Red was delighted at first and was thankful Misty was an early Pidgey. This way they wouldn't waste any time on getting his next badge. But unfortunately early meant two different definitions for the two trainers and now Red was stuck outside with Pikachu napping on his lap at just past six in the morning.

Red was looking over the Johto Pokémon again on his Pokedex as he waited for Misty. He had woken up sometime after five with the sun barely gleaming over the horizon and had already eaten a small breakfast of wild berries and packed up before six. He chose to camp out in the wilderness this time, horrified by the thought of his fans camping at every conceivable living quarters that Cerulean offered for public use so as to ambush him. His paranoia brought him to the outskirts of the city and close to the summit of Mt. Moon where he spent the night with nothing but his pack and team.

It was strange to live outside again, considering it wasn't freezing cold now and there was little threat of dangerous Pokémon around, well dangerous in Red's eyes at least. His team was grateful for the change for the most part. Venusaur loved the climate change the most and spent the entire time sleeping comfortably surrounded by the trees and foliage his kind calls home. Blastoise did much of the same and slept laying down and enjoying the soft feel of the grass and dirt. It was a drastic and welcomed change from Mt. Silver's climate where he was forced to sleep inside his shell to conserve heat and was surrounded by cold, hard rocks. Snorlax took to his usual demeanor of lazing around the grass with Pikachu resting on his belly as they both slept. The only team member who had a tough time readjusting to the woodlands was Charizard simply because of his tail which was an immediate fire hazard. Charizard kept a cranky demeanor throughout the night since he was forced to keeps his flame down as to not cause a forest fire but eventually he settled down as best he could and slept on a patch of dirt.

Surrounded by relative silence and blanketed with nothing but his clothes and the starry night sky, Red embraced sleep quickly once he lay down and before he knew it morning had come. Breakfast came and went and now he found himself in his current situation: stuck outside Misty's house with a faint buzzing sound in his ear.

She said early after all and for Red six was leaning towards late already. He had knocked loudly earlier and a few minutes later Misty, disheveled and eyes bloodshot, bust open the door and screamed at him. Something about how it was too early and that she was up all night doing packing and calling League officials and some other unimportant stuff. Red didn't much mind what came out of her mouth though he had to admit it was weird for her sleep wear to only consist of a large shirt and nothing to cover her legs, wouldn't she get cold like that? She didn't notice his nonexistent attention and a minute of screaming later and Red was back to square one again, reading his Pokedex about Johto Pokémon and moves.

'Never battled against an Ursaring before.' Red thought as he reviewed the moves and figure of an Ursaring. 'Large, normal type, similar fighting style to a Tauros minus hooves and horns. That means they are slower at charging. Smartest strategy for it would be to get close, perhaps disorient targets first, then attack with Punch moves, clawing moves, and grappling techniques. Built for physical power only it seems. Defenses are lacking in general. Speed is lacking as well. Special attacks can be disregarded as ineffective and hardly dangerous. Clear strategy would be to use projectile or long range attacks and keep a safe distance.'

Red focused on the moves next and was discouraged to find that most of them he had never heard of. He remembered back to that move Rock Polish Brock's, what was it, Rampardos used to drastically increase its speed. Granted his Blastoise could take that Rampardos on fairly well, he wasn't expecting such an increase plus that surprise Thunderpunch. That Mirror Coat Misty's pinkish Pokémon, Milotic was it, used was pretty powerful as well. He never expected such a counter from that Pokémon. Where she got that new species he couldn't fathom quite yet, perhaps that Sinnoh region maybe or Hoenn, but if there are more just as powerful as that Milotic the competition would be immense in the future.

He sighed in resignation. All these variables kept circulating his brain with him trying to form them into some universal battle equation he could implement. So many moves and Pokémon were still unknown. Back then when only Kanto mattered he could manage a specific strategy for every Pokémon in the region. Earthquakes and Submissions to take down large opponents such as Magmars and Rhydons, Fire Spins to entrap agile Pokémon like Raticates and Arboks, and surprise ice attacks and brute force to take down the infamous and powerful Dragonite. When Johto emerged as a new region for him to travel to he began to lose track of the various new Pokémon and moves. He had never battled against an Ursaring, Skarmory, or even the rare Tyranitar. He was faced and even adapted to use a multitude of new moves though a few he never seen or used before, like Charm or Nightmare.

Shaking his head, Red put away his Pokedex and sighed. It's a little early to contemplate battle tactics, even for him. Then again it was all he did in his free time and maybe he would be spending his time wisely if Misty decided to keep true to her word!

"Pika! Pikachu!" Red looked down on his lap to find Pikachu glaring back up at him. He crossed his arms and returned the look. He wasn't in the wrong, it was Misty. Pikachu must've been cranky.

Pikachu, seeing that Red wasn't backing down, sighed and jumped from his trainer's lap onto a nearby tree and pointed north. Red's glare turned into a confused glance. Why north? Nothing was there except a few more houses and then over to the northeast was the route southwards towards Saffron.

"Pika! Pika!" Now he was getting angrier at Red and Red was getting more and more confused. "Pi!" Jumping from tree to tree Pikachu made his way north after one last angry growl at Red. With nothing better to do Red slowly walked along the path Pikachu pointed out.

A few minutes later and Red found himself in front of an oddly familiar building. Pikachu suddenly appeared on his shoulder and used his tail to point towards the small house. Red tilted his head in confusion but suddenly it hit him, he was here years ago. Back when he first beat Misty he had to travel through the town northwards to get to the route to Saffron. But there was a Rocket agent who vandalized a house on the way and he stopped to get some more training done by battling him. He had dealt with their organization's grunts before and they seemed like good training fodder. But after the local authorities arrested the grunt and thanked Red he was forced to sidelines as they had to search the crime scene. Red was understandably aggravated but he complied nonetheless. He spent his time waiting outside one of the houses next to the crime scene until the owner, some young woman, asked for his help. He agreed and found the girl to run some sort of Pokémon orphanage where she housed and nurtured a few abandoned or weak Pokémon. Apparently one was injured in his attempt to fight off the Rocket grunt and she needed some help treating it. Red had little rest as he, Pikachu, and the girl tried to calm down the near dead Bulbasaur.

Red remembered the first time he met the stubborn Bulbasaur. Tricky to control and train, but the payoff was immeasurable for him at the end. Feeling his belt being pulled, he looked down to see Pikachu's nudging it. Understanding this time, Red grabbed Venusaur's Pokeball and sent him out.

As Venusaur emerged and shook the morning chills away, he looked around and his eyes widened in realization. Just as quick as it widened it closed in warm nostalgia.

My old home. Goodness it has been many cycles since we have returned here. Venusaur growled, more to himself than Pikachu. The electric type knew Venusaur was lost in his own world now so he jumped onto Red's shoulder and stayed quiet.

Venusaur turned around to face Red who was still as emotionless as ever. Bows were exchanged as Venusaur silently thanked Red for returning.

We have traveled for so long and so far that I believed home was never to be seen again. It will be nice to see that wonderful human female again. Perhaps those old friends are still there. Venusaur slowly walked over to the door with Red walking past him and knocking on the door.

Unlike Misty, within a minute the door swung open revealing the young woman who Red and Venusaur knew all those years ago. She certainly grew a bit but her nice demeanor and smile was still the same. "Good morning. It's quite early but is there something I can-Oh my goodness it's you again Red."

Red mentally sighed in relief. He was willing to reunite Venusaur with his old friend but he was very paranoid she was a huge crazy fan. Thankfully this wasn't the case.

"Oh it's an honor to see you again." She smiled and gently shook his hand, though it was more like she grabbed it and shook it herself. Red couldn't care less but he quickly moved out of the way for her to see Venusaur who was patiently waiting. "And it's…great to see you again Bulbasaur."

If only this barrier of language was demolished so you that may understand the full extent of my happiness. The woman hastily ran up to the large Pokémon and hugged his face with all her might. Tears fell from her eyes and she gently sobbed as she kept her grip. "It's been so many years. I've missed you so much." Venusaur could only close his eyes in mutual agreement and use his vines to gently return the hug.

"…"

Red and Pikachu waited nearby quietly. It was rare that his Pokémon would interact so intimately with other humans, much like himself. Only Pikachu liked to dabble with human socializing while the others weren't so prone to such openness.

"I'm sorry," The woman wiped her eyes and fixed her nightgown. "But please excuse me a minute. I wasn't expecting such visitors. I'll be right back once I get properly dressed."

The three nodded in silence and she quickly ran back into the house in such a hurry she didn't even shut the door. Venusaur instead did it for her, not wanting the cold morning air to creep into her house. Red kept standing there while Pikachu gave him a slight frown.

The woman kept her word and she soon emerged in a shirt and jeans and her once ruffled bed hair straightened out. "Sorry about that. But I found an old friend of yours and she would like to see you again." Behind her emerged a Vileplume who took notice of her old friend and sprinted as fast as she could to get a closer look.

Creator be praised. It's…great to see you again.

Ahh yes and it is great to see you as well.

How many cycles has it been? The Vileplume wondered out loud. So many seasons have passed since we heard about you and your master.

Indeed many winters have passed since that time. Would I be correct in assuming this "last time" you speak of was when I, my teammates, and Red battled in that battleground within that foreign land? Venusaur inquired. Vileplume nodded. Then I believe four cycles have passed since we were victorious.

You've grown so much. Your flower is much like a tree now. Vileplume pointed out. Venusaur grumbled a bit and shook his large flowering body. The large flower indeed mimicked a small tree in height. It was wide open, trying to catch the sun's rays and warm up. A strong perfume rose from it and permeated throughout the area though everyone here for the most part ignored it.

We've both grown since our last meeting. You were but sprouts when I left. And now you've bloomed as well.

While the two Pokémon conversed Red and the woman had their own one sided conversation.

"My name is Theresa. I realized that the last time we met I didn't tell you that. Silly me, I was caught up in treating Bulbasaur."

"…It's fine…"

"It was great watching you two battle in the Kanto and Johto League. Most of the time I still couldn't believe that mighty Venusaur was once a rambunctious Bulbasaur here." Theresa giggled. She looked back at the two old friends conversing solemnly. "It was hard having him here at first. He was the most stubborn Pokémon I had ever met. I'm assuming you had the, well, displeasure of knowing that first hand huh?"

Red nodded in agreement. Bulbasaur wouldn't even Tackle Red himself if he ordered it. All Bulbasaur wanted to do back then was to fight his own battles, follow his own strategies, and bicker with his other Pokémon. Training and traveling with Bulbasaur was tedious to say the least.

Is no one else from my time here still around? Venusaur asked. It was odd only seeing Vileplume come out to greet him and he wished his old friends were still at least safe.

Aye indeed. Everyone you knew left already. Some chose to return to the forests, streams, and mountains. Others were picked up like you by other human combatants. Alas I haven't seen or heard from any of them ever again since their departure. Only the great Creator knows of their locations.

Mmmm, at least you are here. Too attached to Theresa are you?

Vileplume nodded. She is kind and loving towards all those who come into her den. Even towards stubborn children like you.

Hahahaha. Venusaur laughed deeply. Nice to hear that your spirit is still the same.

Vileplume couldn't help but to giggle herself before she grew solemn. I suppose you'll be leaving soon.

Now Venusaur grew sad as well. The pain of leaving a friend returned, much like how he felt when Red's Espeon died. Yes. Our travels seem far from over. Our leader relayed to us that many new lands have been discovered since our disappearance from the human world. It is inevitable that Red would travel there and have us battle alongside him.

You say the human's name like you two are kin. Is this the relationship you find you and your comrades have with the human? Vileplume inquired. Among the captured Pokémon she's talked with none would ever refer to their master by their name, much less be able convert their master's name into a word they could pronounce and understand. Luckily Red's name isn't too hard to pronounce, though names like Theresa were barely understandable once converted. I have lived with this human female for years and yet feel no such obligation. How is that human different?

You were there when I failed to stopped that human dressed in darkness. And you know the mistakes and attitude of my younger self. Red was there as well and he understood me as a child more than I could even comprehend myself. I would tell you the chronicles of our history together but time is running short. The sun is ever still rising and Red is on a busy schedule. But to simply answer your question dearest Lesia, Red is my dearest friend of all, both a brother and a mentor; a human who understands the importance of patience and brotherhood.

He doesn't seem so fantastic. Vileplume gestured over to Red who was nodding at Theresa's words. He seems silent and headstrong.

Red is much more Lesia. Much more.

I suppose I'll have to trust your word on that.

"…I'm glad you haven't told anyone Venusaur was from here. Otherwise I wouldn't know what I'd do if my home was invaded by your loving fans." Theresa joked. Red nodded in agreement once again. At least she had the decency of being a fan of his but still having enough dignity as to not dress up like him and ask for arms to be signed.

Suddenly his All-Gear rang and Red was quick to answer. Though once he picked up the phone it took him a few seconds to find the "Answer" button.

"…Hello?"

"Red? Hi it's Misty." Oh now she decides to wake up. It was at least seven thirty by now.

"…Okay…"

"Yeah sorry about the yelling earlier. I wasn't lying when I said I was up late doing stuff. Freaking League officials kept badgering me on the phone about Crestley and asking if her team was up to Gym standards. Ugh! I told them I left a few of my own Pokémon for her as a training buffer until she got her own teams going but still the questions never stopped with them."

"…Misty…"

"Oh right, sorry. Well I have no idea where you ran off to but I'm still here at my house. I'll be waiting until you get back. I just have to get dressed and we'll be set to leave. We're still flying on your Charizard right? I don't want it to be too big of a hassle for him if we're too big a load for him to fly."

"…It is…uh…fine…Misty…"

"Okay if you're sure. See you in a bit."

Ending the call, Red gave a small apologetic nod to Theresa. She only waved it off and began to say her farewells. "I hope your travels go smoothly Red. Seems like Misty has some business with you huh?" Red nodded while he put his All-Gear away. "Well I certainly don't want you to miss out on meeting with her. And again it was nice for you to bring Venusaur back here again for a visit. Thank you."

"…It's…um…fine…"

Theresa gave a small giggle at Red's awkwardness and headed over to the two Pokémon. She gave one last hug to Venusaur before saying her goodbyes to him and heading back into her home. She urged Vileplume to follow, but she stayed to have one last talk with Venusaur.

Before we part ways again, I must ask. Do you finally have a name now?

Venusaur grumbled deeply in thought. When he first arrived to Theresa's he begrudgingly told the others about his brief past. The one thing he didn't tell them was his name, for the simple reason that his family never bestowed him with one. He was too young to be given a title at the time he was forced to leave.

No.

Not even a title your master has given you?

No.

Very well then. Farewell old friend. Hopefully we can meet again soon.

Quite. Farewell Lesia.

The two females quickly returned to their home and left the three. Red quickly recalled Venusaur and started his way back to Misty's. Pikachu remained on Red's shoulder and stayed quiet.


She lied, again.

Red sighed deeply and pinched the bridge of his nose in annoyance. Pikachu was still on his shoulder but giggled at Red's anger. Misty promised she would be out soon after she got properly dressed. But it's been three minutes since he made it here and knocked. Some muffled words came through the door and Red took that as a sign that Misty was still not ready.

"Okay I'm ready to go." Misty announced as opened the door. On her back was quite a large backpack that Red was sure either she was struggling to carry or she had some powerful back and leg muscles. Nevertheless she didn't appear to be dressed in something that required an ungodly amount of waiting. Her hair seemed the same and she was still wearing blue clothing mixed with some white.

Misty got a good look at Red and noticed his disheveled look. He must've slept out in the wilderness because he was still wearing the same clothes he wore yesterday. That and there was still some twigs and grass stains covering his jacket and jeans. "Looks like you've had an eventful night."

"…Uh…no…"

"So, you're telling me you slept out yesterday because you wanted to? Why didn't you go to a hotel or the Pokémon Center like a normal guy?"

"…Didn't…want to…" It was so hard to convey his thoughts. Part of him wanted her to forget this conversation and let him take her to the next destination but another part wanted keep the conversation going, for the sake of training that is.

"Uh huh." Misty narrowed her eyes in doubt. "Let me guess, you were training all night huh?"

"…"

"Oh well guess I'll have to get used to that. Champions have to keep their teams as fit and strong as possible all the time huh? Should I be expecting long nights like that from now one? Huh Mister Champion?"

"…Misty…the fans…"

"Come again? Did you say fans?" Misty asked. Red nodded, his eyes scanning all around them hoping no one was around to catch them. "What are you paranoid that they'll camp out at all the hotels and wait for you to walk in and then ambush you? Hahaha!" Misty laughed until she realized Red was giving her a stringent stare. "Oh, you're serious about that." Red nodded.

"Pika! Pikachu Pi!" Both humans looked over to Pikachu who was pointing to the sun. It was sailing ever so higher into the sky and both of them figured that it was getting a little late.

"Right, well I have my bag ready. And I'm assuming you are too." Red gave the former Gym Leader another glare before he released Charizard. "Sorry again. Hehe."

As Charizard quickly familiarized himself with where they were Red wasted no time and jumped on his back. Misty was apprehensive to leap onto what she figured to be the strongest Charizard in the world but after a few seconds of fear washed over her she shakily stepped onto Charizard's back. She sat down and readjusted her bag so that it was snugly in place.

Pikachu was the last one to get onto Charizard's back but his reason was because he was talking to the beast. He absentmindedly pointed northwest this time and gave Charizard a questioning look. Charizard huffed and blew a plume of fire to his side, shaking his head and growling at the little Pokémon. Pikachu sighed and jumped onto Red's shoulder and held on, looking a bit sad as he stared at the back of Charizard's head.

"Are those two okay Red?" Misty asked.

"…Hold…onto me…"

The request instantly brought about a blushing Misty though thankfully she was behind Red and he didn't bother to turn around to face her. "Wh-what? What kind of request is that?"

"…Fast…"

"I'm fine the way I am." Misty defended. "I've flown on other Pokémon before. I'm not some frail Hoppip about to blown away by the wind. So just…just get on with it already!" Even if she was angry, she couldn't deny the idea of hugging Red would be blissfully awkward. But she couldn't give Red any ideas and certainly not fuel any budding ideas she had about him.

"…Fine…"

Red patted Charizard's back and that was a signal for the beast to start flying. Immediately Misty regretted her decision as Charizard jettisoned up into the air. "Arceus save me! Too fast!"

Red rolled his eyes while Pikachu chuckled. Charizard paid the girl no mind and focused on Red's All-Gear's map. Red pointed out the next town and Charizard nodded in acknowledgment. Then like a Sonic Boom Charizard flew over Cerulean City and southwards.

"Gah! Where-where are you taking us Red?" Misty croaked out as she struggled to hold onto Charizard's back with her appendages.

"…Lavender…"

"Wh-Lavender town? Why there of all places?

"…Respect…"

"Respect? Respect what exactly? Ahh this wind is way too strong! Can't your Charizard fly slower for the new passenger? I can barely hold on." Misty yelled. The wind was blowing against her like a Whirlwind, causing her hair and navy blue jacket to fly about crazily. Her hands were occupied in holding her cream colored shirt down. The last thing she wanted was to flash the Kanto region. 'Thank Arceus I chose to wear black jeans today. Otherwise this would be ten times worse.' Misty thought to herself.

Red silently laughed at Misty's misfortunes. Her fault for not heeding his advice.

"Are we there yet? Arceus it's like flying at the speed of sound!" Misty asked.

"…Yes…"

"What? Really?" Misty opened her eyes and sure enough below Charizard was the small Lavender Town. She was shocked. They haven't even been flying for ten minutes and they were already here. 'Wh-what in the world? Just how fast was that Charizard flying?' She thought.

Charizard swerved suddenly and found a small patch of trees next to the western route leading to Saffron City and landed there. He knew Red's…particular choice of landing zones and didn't argue against Red's want of privacy. Once Charizard touched down Red jumped down with his backpack and with Pikachu still clinging onto his shoulder.

"…You okay?"

"Y-yeah, I think." Misty shakily replied as she carefully stepped down.

"…Careful…fire…"

Misty was confused for a second before realizing that this Pokémon was in fact a Charizard and that it did have a tail with a fire tip. She quickly maneuvered her backpack away from the fire and she gasped once she saw its blue glow. "Wow! Blue fire, amazing."

"…"

"Sorry," Misty apologized as she walked up to Red. "Just that you don't see natural blue flames on a Charizard every day."

"…Hmm…" With that Red returned Charizard after giving his friend a tip of his cap. The two then made their way to the town. They didn't make it very far until Red changed direction and headed north. Misty gave a questioning look but with no response from the guy she shrugged and followed. A few minutes later and they arrived at a small house.

"Mr. Fuji?" Misty asked out loud as she read mailbox outside the house. "Is he an old friend of yours?"

"…"

Red wordlessly walked up to the door and knocked. A few minutes of silence lingered until the door creaked open to reveal a small, skinny old man. His baldness was the first thing Misty noticed and next was the man's bushy white eyebrows. He wore a simple purple shirt and brown shorts and a small smile as he rested his eyes on Red and Pikachu.

"Ahh…welcome Red. Welcome! Oh and you have company as well. Please come in. Take a rest." Mr. Fuji ushered them in and closed the door. The house was small in the inside as well though it appeared Mr. Fuji only lived with a few guests so it was to be expected. A few small Pokémon crawled and slept throughout the house such as a Cubone, a few Bellsprout, a Sparrow, and even a Ditto. Red and Pikachu made their way to a seat and plopped down. He put his pack near Misty's as she too sat down on a small couch while trying to fix her messy hair. Mr. Fuji returned shortly after carrying a small tray of tea and offered it to them. Red and Misty thanked him and patiently sipped it while Mr. Fuji sat down. Once the elderly man was comfortable the Cubone who was sulking by a lone corner quickly ran and jumped onto his lap, nuzzling into his chest.

"Haha. So rowdy as always Cubone. In a few months you'll be way too big to jump on these old bones haha." Mr. Fuji laughed as he patted Cubone's skull. "Now it's been a long time since I've seen you Red and I believe I've never met you young woman."

"Hi. My name's Misty Lillis. And you're Mr. Fuji I'm assuming?" Misty smiled. Mr. Fuji returned the smile and nodded. Red kept quiet but raised a brow at the mention of Misty's last name.

"I'm Mr. Fuji, keeper of the House of Souls here in Lavender Town."

"House of Souls? Is that where all the graves were moved to when the Radio Tower was erected?" Misty asked. She had never traveled to Lavender Town before and wasn't familiar with the town. She had heard bits and pieces of information about the town through T.V and gossip and the House of Souls came up numerous times.

"Yes that's correct. It was saddening to see those construction workers tear up and remodel the old tower but at least those deceased Pokémon still have a resting place. I can find solace in that." Mr. Fuji said as he started to tickle the restless Cubone on his lap. Red kept his eyes on that Cubone, it looked very familiar…could it be?

"…That Cubone…"

Mr. Fuji chuckled. "Very observant Red, but then again I expected no less from such a capable trainer."

"What do you mean?" Misty asked as she kept looking between Red and the Cubone.

"This is the same Cubone whose mother's soul you freed all those years ago Red." Mr. Fuji revealed. Red hummed in acknowledgement while Misty was still confused.

'What in the world? Is Red some kind of mystique or exorcist or something?' Misty wondered.

"…Rocket…"

"What? Team Rocket?" Misty exclaimed. So there was factor that tied all this together.

"Yes Misty about the time Red traveled down to Lavender was when Team Rocket was causing some ruckus in the old Pokémon Tower." Mr. Fuji explained. Red nodded in agreement while he remembered back to when he scaled the old tower. It was a depressing venture to say the least. An uncountable number of graves were the maze he and his team had to run through to reach the top. Ghost Pokémon attacked them from all sides though they were strong enough to push through them and even the possessed monks and mediums that battled them. On the staircase that led to the top floor where the Rocket Grunts held Mr. Fuji captive was a malevolent spirit that relentlessly attacked Red.

"…Marowak…"

"Team Rocket killed this innocent Cubone's mother. They were killing Cubones and Marowaks for their skulls for some insane scheme for profit they had. When I heard about that I stormed up there and demanded that they stop instantly. The thugs instead took me hostage so the town had no choice but to cooperate." Mr. Fuji told Misty who was listening with rapt attention. "Then I saw this one Marowak who kept attacking those men no matter how beat up she was. She was protecting this little fellow here but those men killed her like the others. A day later and there were rumors among them that some unidentified spirit was attacking and killing them. Got them spooked so much that they ran up to the top of the tower where the sprit apparently wouldn't go. I figured it was the Marowak they killed and once Red headed up there and rescued me I knew for sure."

It was difficult getting past that Marowak Red mused; it hit hard like a Nidoking with its attacks but Red quelled its rage eventually. Its presence never left him though, even after he defeated the spirit. It watched him as he climbed the steps to the top, battling every Rocket Grunt along the way. Finally once he reached Mr. Fuji the spirit's presence vanished and that immense weight on him disappeared. Mr. Fuji was terribly weak when Red found him and he had to help him down slowly. Along the way that same Cubone ran across them, crying and looking for its mother. Mr. Fuji calmed him down and took him back to his home to stay with the other Pokémon. Red got a Pokeflute in return for his heroics and he tipped his hat in thanks and left after making sure Mr. Fuji was well rested.

Meanwhile Pikachu grew bored of their storytelling and opted to converse with the other Pokémon. Most were mere babies and so ignored him while they played around the house. The only Pokémon who grabbed Pikachu's attention was the Ditto. It was on the kitchen counter and just stared at Pikachu who returned it. Both looked at each other weirdly, Ditto rather dumbly and Pikachu with a curious one. What was odd about this was that Ditto wasn't transforming to humor Pikachu. Pikachu grew a big smile that matched Ditto's usual silly grin and sat down, keeping his stare. A few words were spoken between the two though none reached human ears.

"How did you even get yourself mixed into all that Red?" Misty inquired as she finished her tea. "Wanted more training or something? Or are you really some giant hero underneath that hat?"

Red grumbled at Misty's teasing while Misty giggled herself. Truth was that Snorlax blocked the route to Fuschia City and rumors around Celadon City pointed towards a Pokeflute as the only solution to waking up the fat Pokémon. Problem was that no one had a Pokeflute though he overheard they were still quite common in Lavender Town. That was also when the authorities stumbled upon Team Rocket's secret operations in the Celadon Game Corner. Red happened to be looking around the gambling house when Team Rocket's cover was blown and he was caught in the mayhem, battling Grunts left and right while inexplicably getting deeper into the hideout. The rest was history and Red walked away with the Silph Scope and made his way to Lavender Town.

Red scratched his chin as he struggled to remember his reasoning for running around Celadon and Lavender back then. Truthfully his memory of that time was fading; in fact he couldn't even remember Celadon's Gym Leader.

"Well stories aside," Mr. Fuji said. "I can only assume you're here for something other than keep me company Red." He turned to the still quiet Red. "Well? What can I do for you young man?"

"…Green…"

A sudden silence struck throughout the house once Red uttered Green's name. Mr. Fuji's eyes turned from nostalgia and mirth to despondent and bleak. The Cubone had fallen asleep on his lap and he gently laid him down on the ground, careful not to wake the young Pokémon. Misty now had her eyes fixed on Red, her mind filled with questions on how Green now entered the conversation.

"Green," Mr. Fuji muttered. "So you're here to honor his lost kin."

"Lost kin?" Misty whispered to herself.

"…The grave…take me…" Red more commented than ordered. His voice grew softer as he kept talking, its tone degrading into something akin to a depressed child's.

Mr. Fuji furrowed his brows and sighed deeply. He watched over the graves on a near daily basis and he remembered each and every Pokémon's gravestone and name there after so many years. He knew where the grave was and was glad to see Red both knew and remembered it.

"Hmmm, follow me then Red. Oh and you're welcome to come along as well Misty." Mr. Fuji offered as he slowly stood up, stretching his bones as he did. Red gave the old man a harsh and surprised glare from under his cap. He didn't expect an audience. "Calm done there young man," Mr. Fuji reassured. "I know you're the type who doesn't like much company but I'm sure having Misty come with us won't be a hassle."

"…"

Red narrowed his amber eyes further as he watched Mr. Fuji. The old man may look frail but his eyes still held passion and defiance. Those same eyes stared back at Red when he saved him from Team Rocket and like now, they never wavered.

Misty was watching in shock as the two men exchanged glares. Frankly she was more than happy to let Red go off and do whatever it is he wanted to do here. But Mr. Fuji was persistent as hell and she felt flattered that the old man was defending her, even if he threw her into the fire in the first place.

"She's coming with us Red. We can use the company." Mr. Fuji said with finality. He exited slowly, waiting for the two to join him outside. For a while Red and Misty just sat there in silence. Their eyes didn't dare meet each other. Red put his tea down and stood up, looking around for any sign of Pikachu. Pikachu and the Ditto had moved somewhere else to talk, leaving the kitchen empty. Red readjusted his cap and sighed before moving towards the door. Misty was still sitting, hoping not to anger Red anymore.

"…Come on…" Red ordered as he walked out the door. Without missing a beat Misty bolted up and followed. The Pokémon looked on curiously before going back to sleeping and playing.


"Here we are: The House of Souls." Mr. Fuji stated as they neared a large mausoleum in the southeast end of town. It was a shaky venture for Red as they walked straight across town but luckily they saw hardly anyone who took notice of them on the way. It was a quiet trek as well with no one wanting to stir up conversation. Mr. Fuji led the way with Red and Misty in tow and no one made so much as a sound as they walked.

"Wow, it's so large," Misty pointed out in awe. "I can only imagine how many graves are in there, those poor souls."

Mr. Fuji smiled at Misty's wonder. "I thank you for being respectful Misty. Now if you'll excuse me let me open the chamber to where Green's kin lays." He dug out a large steel key from his pocket and opened one of the many iron gates around the mausoleum. The gates opened with an eerie squeak and once Mr. Fuji slid the key in his pocket again he motioned for the two to follow.

An enumerable amount of graves marked the path they took. With each step they descended deeper into the heart of the mausoleum. Mr. Fuji of course led the way with Red and Misty behind him. Red walked on not glancing at the graves they passed while Misty's gaze on the slabs and statues only grew more solemn.

To him it was literally walking back into the past. To her it was a painful reminder of mortality.

No doubt most of these Pokémon died from battle wounds or died from a mercy killing. Battling to many seemed like a normal way of life, but it didn't mean it was any less brutal. She idly remembered a huge story two years ago about a large organization similar to Team Rocket who demanded an end to Pokémon brutality. Over in Kanto the story didn't garner much media attention since it happened in the Unova region.

Misty was shaken out of her thoughts as Red abruptly stopped in front of her. She nearly bumped into him but managed to slam her heels on the ground to stop her momentum. She let out a small breath of relief and then suddenly realized how close she was to the former Champion. Sucking in air, she got a good whiff of Red's scent. It was earthy, musky, overwhelming even. She couldn't pinpoint if it was the mausoleum's own smell that was overpowering but the smell blended with Red's own well.

"…Stay…"

Red's order was returned with a nod. Mr. Fuji returned to Misty's side as Red continued further into the mausoleum. Soon he disappeared into the darkness.

A few moments of uncomfortable silence blanketed the two living souls. With so much death around her, Misty had to find some way to counter the incredible dread and fear in her. "So…how long do you think he'll take?"

Mr. Fuji shrugged. "I don't know. Everyone who comes down here had their own way to reminisce and respect the dead. Some take a few minutes to pay their respects, some take hours."

Misty knitted her brows in worry. "Well I hope he hurries up. This place, feels unnatural." A few moments passed again and she wasn't feeling any better about the mausoleum. "So who is Green's kin exactly? This is a Pokémon mausoleum right? Why would Green have family buried here?"

Mr. Fuji chuckled. "Kin doesn't mean just our own family members. As a trainer yourself you must have very strong bonds with your Pokémon do you not?" Misty nodded in agreement. "Then to think of them as your kin isn't too crazy."

"But," Misty countered. "Ever since Green's been the Champion all of Kanto has been following his life. If he suddenly lost a Pokémon the media and paparazzi would've been all over it no matter how hard he'd try to hide it."

"What makes you think he's lost Pokémon recently?"

Misty's eyes widened at the question. Of course, now the pieces were falling together. Green must've lost a Pokémon during his travels to become champion. And even if he did lose a Pokémon recently there would've been no way for Red to know about it before the media. "Wait…if Red knows about it then…"

"I don't know how Red knows about Green's loss." Mr. Fuji said. "I can only speculate. But…"

"But?"

"When I stared into Red's eyes earlier when we had that small disagreement I noticed something. His eyes were of course as piercing as ever, but behind his frustration lie something else. Sadness, guilt, regret, something of that nature was definitely there."

Misty sighed in sorrow. That can only mean two things. Either Green had told Red sometime before he disappeared or the other logical conclusion would place Red as…

"If that's the case…then do you think…"

Mr. Fuji held up his hand to silence Misty. "All I know is that the boy has seen death. Whether or not he is responsible for Green's loss is not my call to make." Faint footsteps suddenly broke through the silence. "Now hush, he's coming back."

When Red returned he only gave Mr. Fuji a slight nod and waited for the old man to lead them back out. As they walked Misty was once again behind Red. She noticed that he seemed calmer than before with his shoulders more relaxed. And as they turned the various corners she sometimes caught glimpses of his eyes. They were still half-glaring and amber as usual, but now they seemed to be a bit brighter. It's like a small burden was lifted from his body, yet he was still shouldering more pain.

The two trainers parted ways with Mr. Fuji when they returned to his house. Formalities were exchanged before Red sent his Charizard out to fly them to their next destination. Where exactly Misty hadn't the slightest idea as her questions were met with silence and cold stares. She grumbled and stopped once Pikachu suddenly jumped onto Red's shoulder, ready for takeoff.

As Misty readied herself to saddle Charizard she remembered her first flight with him and blushed crimson at her earlier embarrassment. "Uh…Red?"

"…"

Misty gulped and took her place behind the stoic trainer. "I guess I'll…uh…hold on this time." Right afterwards she hastily barked at Red. "And don't think this means anything more than securing my safety!"

Red put his All-Gear away and readied himself for flight as though Misty's words and subsequent pout were nothing. Pikachu chuckled on his shoulder at the two. When the wings began to flap Misty's arms quickly wrapped around Red's chest. She held on tightly as Charizard elevated into the clouds and flew across Kanto.

'Okay Misty don't worry. If it's anything like last time this will only take a few moments. Just…hold on and don't look down.' At the thought of looking down Misty unconsciously gripped Red's body tighter. While he didn't seem to mind Misty definitely felt heated. His chest felt solid and hard and as her hands lowered a bit she found his stomach was too. She tightened her hold a little more, inching ever closer to his back until her breasts were barely touching him.

She held her breath hoping he wouldn't figure out that was basically feeling him up. A few seconds later and he remained still. Her hands grew more adventurous now with one cupping his side and the other one's fingers lightly tracing the faints lines of his chest. Her face grew slightly flushed at her actions and her breathing grew shallow. Suddenly the earthy musk was back again and she tilted her head up to see Red's capped head. The bottom most part of his hair was still sticking out and blowing in the wind. Since she was downwind, she could smell his scent despite the ridiculous wind around him. She took a large whiff, wincing at the strong cold air. She decided his scent was naturally earthy and very strong. Even with the wind around them she could smell it, its headiness making her lightheaded.

"Chu! Chu!"

Misty's hands and spine froze at the sound. She had totally forgot about Red's Pikachu who was had a small grin on its face as it watched the redhead and her matching blush. 'Oh Arceus no! I forgot Pikachu was still here. Oh god how embarrassing! It must think I'm disgusting and selfish…'

"Pika…"

Misty raised her brow in confusion until Pikachu motioned towards the ground with his tail. Looking down she saw Charizard was descending fast into what seemed to be the outskirts of Vermillion City.

"Wait, was…was Pikachu just telling me we're landing?' Misty thought to herself as Red recalled Charizard. 'There's no way Pikachu wouldn't have noticed what I was doing. So what was it doing?'

"Pikachu!" Misty gasped in surprise as the yellow Pokémon hopped onto her right shoulder. Red again took no notice, leaving Pikachu to do what it wanted while he started off southwards into the city. Misty followed though her thoughts were strictly on Pikachu.

"Pika. Pi Pi Ka." She was astonished at the amount of affection Pikachu was giving her. It was clinging on to her shoulder while gently rubbing its soft furry cheek against hers. It felt lovely, but it did little to cease her worrying. "Pikachu Pi. Pika…Chu Chu Pi."

Misty didn't understand a word it was saying but each cute cry was eroding her worries away. Maybe Pikachu didn't notice her actions. Maybe it totally ignored her and just wanted attention…

"Chu!" Misty yelped when Pikachu loudly cried. She stopped and turned her head to see the friendly grin it was giving her. Its ears twitched and pointed to Red's moving back. "Pika Pi Chu." And most surprising of all its tail started rubbing against her hand that was at her side. She rubbed the tail in return, hoping to end the conversation.

She stopped when Pikachu's tiny paw gave her what could be translated as a reassuring pat on the back. Her eyes widened at the amount of language Pikachu was trying to convey. Her mind was racing a mile a minute. What is this Pikachu implying? It obviously knows what she was doing on the ride here but it seems almost ecstatic that she was groping Red like a pervert. Pikachu gave a small grin and jumped back onto its master's shoulder. As he did Misty realized just how much space has grown in between them and raced to catch up.


Vermillion City hadn't changed much since Red was last here. It was still a large, bustling port city with construction workers around, fisherman racing about the docks, and the occasional trainer was wandering around taking the sights in. With noon long past, Misty was understandably hungry. She tried to tell Red that they should rest and eat somewhere but the stoic man only told her his own plan.

"…Gym…2 hours…Food…"

Misty was about to agree but he quickly ran towards the nearest dark alley. She could barely make out his last few words before he disappeared into the city.

"…People here…Move…"

Half an hour before the hours were up and Misty found herself casually walking around the city. She had eaten of course and chose to spend her time enjoying the sights like most newcomers did while sneaking in a little shopping. She had seldom traveled so far south in Kanto and only came to Vermillion City a handful of times when she was a girl. Back then she wasn't a Gym Leader yet but now she was well known throughout the region and it was no surprise that as she strolled around the city a few of her fans and former challengers noticed her.

She had signed a few autographs and taken a few pictures with her flock and though a few more tried to get souvenirs she had to shoo them away so as to make the deadline. Now she was by the Vermillion Gym entrance waiting for Red.

'Walking around here was much better than I had thought it would be. Good food, beautiful ocean, nice sea breeze, and even some nice trainers and fans around here. Well, a few of them were a bit crazy, but not like Reds'. Oh Arceus that would be a disaster." Misty's thoughts were accompanied by the slowly setting sun upon the ocean's horizon. The view by the Gym was pretty incredible. The sky was a blend of purple, orange, and blue and there was nary and cloud in the sky.

She breathed in the briny, cool ocean wind and incredibly her body relaxed even further. The ocean: such a beautiful vast place. It was the only body of water she hadn't had time to explore and boy did she want to swim in it. It was the lakes and rivers around Cerulean that first inveigled her into loving all that was water and now she had all the time in the world to enjoy the world.

"Hopefully we won't leave so soon. It'd be so fun to enjoy a nice swim." Misty whispered to herself. She knew it was almost impossible for Red to agree to such a thing, but it'd mean the world for her.

"…Misty…"

"Wahh! Don't scare me like that Red!" Misty screamed, reeling in shock from Red's sudden intrusion. The young man only returned the demand with a glare before entering the Vermillion Gym. Misty grumbled loudly and followed suit.


Like the city it's named after the Vermillion Gym hadn't changed at all since Red first visited. That ridiculous puzzle maze was still there but luckily the electrical fence was down at the moment so Red casually walked up to the Gym Leader's battlefield. Glancing behind him he saw Misty only a few feet behind though her glare certainly was not needed. He sighed. All he did was say her name and now she's mad, how irrational.

The few trainers still in the Gym paid them little notice until they passed them. Immediately the Gym was filled with hushed gossip and speculations. Red and Misty paid them no mind, blocking out all the ridiculous theories the trainers were spouting.

"Well if it isn't the little kid that could."

"…"

The brash voice was not lost in Red's memories as he saw the towering mass of muscle and brawn that was Lt. Surge. The man hadn't changed a bit since he last battled him. He was still big and imposing, still had spiky blond hair like lightening, and still wore some kind of camouflage get up. Red inwardly sighed. There was absolutely no need for camouflage here.

"Hey Surge. It's been a while." Misty greeted behind Red. She didn't really associate with the Electric type Gym Leader but she knew he was a strong trainer. The few times they met during Gym Leader meetings at the Indigo Plateau she scarcely chatted with him, usually scared by his imposing stature. She did however, like every other Gym Leader, knows about his brash and rude mannerisms. Just another reason to avoid the muscly man.

Surge smirked as he saw the two approach the challenger's side of the battlefield. "Oh hey there." He greeted in return. "Yeah it's been a while Misty. Haven't seen you since the beginning of the year. Missed you at the last Kanto Tournament." His smirk only grew as his eyes switched between the two. "Never took you for a fan girl though. Following Red here huh? Bold move girl hahaha!"

Misty's face contorted into a mix of rage and embarrassment from the older man's teasing. "H-Hey shut up! I'll have you know I have a perfectly good reasoning of being here. I just retired and I thought I would say hi to everyone before I left Kanto. Red was going to challenge all them obviously, s-so it was a good idea to start following him. Nothing more, nothing less, so get those thoughts out of your head."

Her words did little to stop Surge from chuckling at her radiant blush. "Whatever you say squirt. I'm not here to judge." His eyes turned to Red who already had his Pokeball at the ready and waiting for Surge to get into position. "I'm here to battle like the kid here." He turned around to a dark hallway leading away from the Gym and yelled as loud as could, "Hey! Get a ref over here! I got a challenger and he isn't any more patient than I am!"

Misty huffed in exasperation and took a seat in the empty stand outlying the battlefield. Unlike her battle there wasn't a large audience to spectate. Looking around the trainers that had watched them enter had scattered. Few peered through the gate though most left. When her eyes went back to Red, she saw the old confident Red Kanto had loved again. His cap still casted a shadow over his face but she could still make out his piercing eyes watching Surge as he shouted for the sweating and nervous ref to take his position. But there was something off about him, something was missing…

"Where's that Pikachu of yours Red? My Raichu was itching for a rematch. Hell he's still pissed that the little mouse overpowered him." Surge asked. Misty's eyes widened as indeed Red's Pikachu was missing. In fact has it been gone since they met up? Where did it go then?

"…" Red grumbled as his patience was wearing thin. The ref was literally shaking in his shoes and too scared to begin and Surge was still talking nonsense.

"Surprised you came back so suddenly honestly." Surge confessed as he readied his first choice. "Once I saw you on the news I rushed to get a little more training done. But don't think I haven't been training all this time Red. No holding back this time. You're going to be facing my strongest arsenal." Surge proudly proclaimed. "Come on ref let's go! Seven badge battle!"

"Th-this is a-a Seven Badge Battle between…uhh….Former Champion Red and Gym Leader Surge." The ref croaked out. "N-no substitutions. S-start!"

"Let's go Electrode!"

"…Venusaur…"

With a flash of light the two Pokémon materialized and readied for battle. Red glanced boringly at Electrode. It was nothing more than a fast and flashy Pokémon. With that said he knew Surge's strategy already. Surge whistled at Venusaur's size. It was easily larger than a regular one and its flower was staggeringly huge.

"Damn kid. Figured you trained while you were away but damn! That's a monster of a Venusaur there."

"…"

"Heh, alright then. Use Double Team!"

With its trademark smirk Electrode spun around in rapid succession and in a blink of an eye seemingly multiplied until it and its clones formed a circle around Venusaur. Venusaur seemed undaunted at the display; it was a tactic he's seen time and time again.

Again you and your kind fall into predictability. Venusaur mumbled.

Well then. The Electrodes taunted. Could you have predicted this grass beast?

The Electrodes spun around again however this time the clones stacked on top of one another until a dome of them covered Venusaur. Red raised his brow in intrigue. It was a scary move to be sure, but it was all for show. Again, an Electrode is nothing but flash.

"…Vine Whip…"

Venusaur shook his body and suddenly a Tentacruel's worth of vine soared out from under his flower and pummeled the doppelgangers in the air. Now only the initial circle of Electrodes remained.

"Thunder Wave!"

As the Electrodes simultaneously fired fast rings of paralyzing electricity at Venusaur, Misty was watching in rapt fascination. 'How in the world will Red get himself out of that? Venusaur can't jump high or is fast enough to move through the gaps.'

Luckily for Red he's got a backup plan.

"…Mud Slap…"

"What?!" Surge and Misty exclaimed with Misty nearly face planting onto the ground at the absurdity of Red's command. Crazy though it may have seemed it worked nonetheless as Venusaur's flower erupted like a geyser, spraying sweet nectar around him. His vines shot down and dug into the battlefield's floor only to shoot up again, flinging dirt around himself. The dirt mixed with the nectar to form a mud like material and acted as an admirable defense against the Thunder Wave, stopping all of them in their tracks.

"Damn…" Surge commented, duly impressed at Red's ingenuity. Misty only had white eyes and tilted her head in exasperation, wondering just what kind of crazy strategies Red has formed over the years.

"…Vine Whip…"

Taking advantage of Surge's gawking, Red watched blankly as Venusaur slammed his vines into each Electrode, singling out the real one beside him. The round Pokémon's face scrunched in pain and it was unable to stop itself from flying into the wall underneath the stands. When the dust cleared, the Electrode was out cold.

Recalling his Pokémon, Surge shook his head to rid himself of his earlier shock and took a moment to analyze Venusaur and the battlefield. The Mud Slap had created a muddy moat around Venusaur who hadn't opted to move out of it. The moat was somewhat deep as the vines had to reach such lengths to get fresh earth up. He smirked. That would do nicely.

"Alright kid gawking time is over. I admit you've got a smart mind underneath that red hat but I've been at this game much longer than you. I've covered a war you know." Surge half-heartedly boasted. In truth he respected the kid very much and his tendency to do the impossible. Red very much reminded himself of when he was a kid though he was much more communicable then the stoic former champion. "Let's get 'em Lanturn!"

Red's eyes widened. Now he was genuinely surprised. He knew of the Chinchou species and its evolution back during his Johto travels, but they needed water to survive. Surge was literally sending his Pokémon out to die! Red's eyes narrowed into a fierce glare. Was Surge planning on using a single move with Lanturn and then assume it will faint or even die afterwards?

"The Water Emulation Field is online!" The ref announced. Red was broken out of his stupor and turned to a huge device emerging from behind the ref. Once it grew to its max height it sprouted large black brackets that lined up perfectly with the outlines of the battlefield. Looking to his right he saw another one coming out until both connected with each other above the battlefield. A light on both machines turned on and shined a dull blue hue and some type of transparent wall shimmered and enveloped the field. However nothing noticeable happened afterwards on the battlefield.

"…Uh…"

"What's wrong kid? Never seen one of these before?" Surge asked. Red shook his head no. He figured it was some crazy new technology. Great…now he felt old again.

"Hey Red!" Both combatants looked up towards the stands to see Misty leaning over the railing shouting at Red. "The Water Emulation Field is a new battling mechanic that every League has incorporated since two years ago. It basically generates an invisible and untouchable level of water in the contained field. It only works for Pokémon that need water to survive and…"

"…Okay…" Red turned back around to face Surge and waved Misty's explanation off. This time when speaking to Misty Red didn't sound awkward or soft, but voiced the same amount of power and sternness as his battling voice; something Misty did not appreciate.

"Oi! Don't just wave off someone who's explaining something important to you! Don't you have any manners you pest! Argh!" Misty sat back down and crossed her arms in anger, glaring at the uncaring former champion with such force that a lesser, caring man would have been begging for his life. "You think you're so important and cool and shit but you're just a big jerk Red," Misty mumbled, her previous hopes of staying to enjoy Vermillion's ocean and perhaps Red's company quickly disappearing. Touching Red and smelling him though, that she still enjoyed.

Her face contorted into a blushing, broken frown. Arceus her feelings are so disturbing.

With Red properly introduced to the new battling mechanic, he watched with fascination as Laturn materialized and was seemingly swimming in the air. Its yellow orb glowed faintly as it adjusted itself with the fake water.

"Well…Misty wasn't wrong in her explanation. But I'm assuming you've never seen one yet since Misty prefers actual water during her battles," Surge said. "But the last thing you should know is that every Gym and Tournament stadium will implement this machine. Why we've had to do this isn't really important. I've never really needed it but having a Lanturn does give me a good advantage against most unsuspecting trainers. I recall the Leagues enforcing this thing because of all the water trainers bitching and moaning about unfairness or something like that. Tch…whatever."

"Why don't you shut the hell up and get back to getting your giant ass kicked Surge!" Misty roared. Surge laughed heartily at her anger while Red only gave an annoyed side glance at her, smirking a bit at her angry antics. "You know it was unfair for us trainers! So get back to battling you spiky haired ass!"

"Hahaha well fine then," Surge laughed. "I already know how to finish that Venusaur, so let's not stall the inevitable anymore. Lanturn use Rain Dance!"

With a small cry the Light Pokémon summoned stormy clouds that immediately started to rain down on the two Pokémon hard. Red and Venusaur readied themselves. A Thunder would be inevitably imminent as would perhaps a strong water move if Surge was stupid enough. But as Red watched Surge's smirk deepen, his eyes trailed down to the now overfilling moat and realized Surge's plan.

"Venusaur move!" Misty gasped. Not since the Elite Four battles has she seen or heard Red yell out a command to frantically. Venusaur tried to hobble away from its little pseudo-island but he was too slow to dodge Surge's next command.

"Blizzard! Freeze it in place!"

The Blizzard did just that and soon Venusaur's legs were completely frozen along with the moat. Surge looked up to see how much damage it had done to Venusaur itself but was surprised to see that it was perfectly fine. It wasn't even flinching at the cold; in fact he could've sworn the Grass-Poison type was merely shrugging the cold wind off. "Holy hell that Venusaur is damn tough. Granted Ice attacks aren't Lanturn's specialty but…damn I figured it would've done more."

Red gave a small sigh of relief, thankful that the Bizzard only froze Venusaur's legs. With the downpour going on he was afraid Venusaur would've been frozen entirely. Watching him shrug off the Blizzard, he was very thankful of the many harsher ones that Mt. Silver threw at them and giving Venusaur a much needed boost in resistance. "…Razor Leaf and break free…"

Like a volley of Swift stars, the leaves flew out from under Venusaur's flower and vegetation straight for Lanturn. The floating Pokémon proved the realism of the water emulation by seemingly diving and swerving all around the battlefield whilst dodging the leaves. The volley of Razor Leafs never faltered however and after a few seconds the back of the Gym was littered with a small tree's worth of leaves.

"Alright give it your best Thunder Lanturn!" Surge yelled. With a battle cry the Lanturn's yellow orb shined brightly and summoned a giant surge of lightening down from the storm clouds.

"…Brace it…And add Vine Whips…"

As if nothing had happened, Venusaur kept its volley up and added its plethora of vines in his assault. The Thunder struck him but did little to deter him and just like the Blizzard, Venusaur shrugged it off. With Lanturn needing to have stopped it's dodging to attack, the Razor Leaf and Vine Whip onslaught smashed into the Pokémon. It cried out in pain as the leaves sliced open its flesh and the whips buffeted its head and stomach.

"Shit! I was hoping for a flinch or better yet Paralysis. Lanturn swerve a hard right and blast that Venusaur with a Signal Beam!" Surge ordered. With the brutal attack combination it was hard for Lanturn to obey but when the there was a break in the assault for a second, Lanturn swerved through the air and let loose a multi-colored beam from its orb. The beam flew through the rainstorm, illuminating each drop like a mini rainbow until it reached Venusaur's head.

Confound it! What was that? Venusaur roared as he closed his eyes in pain. While the initial blast of the beam wasn't too powerful, the aftermath was dizzying. Every time he opened his eyes he saw nothing but bright lights and a distorted battlefield and so opted to close them and shake his head to rid himself of the afterimages. He would've slightly swerved around the field if not for his still frozen legs though his head thrashing was beginning to crack the ice.

"…?" Red raised a brow at the new attack. Whatever type it was it did a decent amount on Venusaur and judging from his thrashing Confused him too. "…Clear your head and relax…"

Hearing his trainer's words helped get the large Grass-Poison type relaxed and soon he stopped thrashing about. With his eyes closed still Venusaur tried to think of nothing else but emptiness and his breathing, much like what he did when he braced the harsh winds atop Mt. Silver.

This was the perfect opportunity for Surge to commence his own onslaught. "Alright another Blizzard and then as many Signal Beams as you can!" Surge ordered, hoping he continue his strategy until Venusaur would finally faint of exhaustion

Red was ready though and had a plant escape quickly this time. "…Jump up…"

"What!" Surge and Misty exclaimed as they saw Venusaur open his eyes and jump high into the air. "How can it do that? That's incredible!" Misty yelled.

"Heh I know. It's those vines." Surge pointed out. That's the only way that huge Pokémon could get so high, though he couldn't prove his theory with the Blizzard flying in front of him. "Well tough luck kid because you'll still get frozen."

"…Vine Whip…"

With its plethora of vines shooting out towards the ground, Venusaur dug the vines deep into the ground and pulled himself away from the wintry gale. Once he landed the vines shot out towards a heaving and tired Lanturn who tried its best to dodge.

"Damn! Keep dodging and when you…"

Suddenly a few more vines shot out from underneath Lanturn and wrapped around it. Surge looked over and saw vines digging through the Gym floor and cursed his stupidity. How Red instilled such extensive strategies into this Venusaur was beyond him, hell this Venusaur's tactics was probably better than most trainers'.

With its mobility down to nothing, Lanturn could only hold out for as long as it could until the Vine Whip barrage knocked it out. Venusaur retracted his vines and let Lanturn float in midair on its side, its body leaking blood and showing early signs of heavy bruising.

"Good job Lanturn," Surge praised as he recalled it. "You held out much longer than I thought you would have." Taking out another Pokeball, he watched the storm clouds dissipate and the roof lights penetrating through. They shined down on the ever still stoic Red and his resilient Venusaur. Other than the early Confusion it felt, the Venusaur looked perfectly fine and Surge was sure it was still raring to go. "But it's high time I start getting serious."

"Start?" Misty exclaimed. By now she was already demolished by Red and here Surge was putting up a much better effort than she did. "That was already pretty intense. Wonder what Surge has planned."

"Manectric let's go! Start off with a Discharge and get in close." With a flash of light Surge sent out a Pokémon that seemed to be an Electric version of a Houndoom. It was colored blue and yellow with its mane resembling a lightning bolt. And like a Houndoom it was growling, showing off its sharp canines and preparing to attack.

Once again Red was faced with a new Pokémon but this time it was already on the offensive so his analyzing had to wait. "…Vine Whip…"

The vines flew towards Manectric but it dodged with the agility of a well-bred Arcanine, jumping and strafing each vine. Once it found an opening it charged forward, still dodging, and let loose a Discharge which seemed to be a huge expanding dome of electricity. Red raised a brow, impressed at the attack's range as it only dissipated when it reached the outlines of the field. The power behind the attack did little to stop Venusaur, who was used to much stronger attacks from Pikachu, but he still had a hard time hitting the agile Manectric.

"Damn, was hoping for a Paralysis but nonetheless…jump and land on it and give it nice Crunch!" Surge ordered. Dodging one last vine, Manectric followed its trainer and jumped atop Venusaur. With its vines stretched out so far Venusaur could only retract them as fast as he could and bracing himself for the Crunch.

Manectric chose to Crunch down near the base of Venusaur's flower. A small gush of yellow-green blood flew out and coated its canines. Venusaur groaned in both pain and annoyance as he thrashed his body around trying to dislodge the Discharge Pokémon.

This was not good. Manectric was not letting go and Venusaur was open to more attacks whether it be Electric, which could Paralyze him and make the battle exponentially harder, or another unknown attack. But looking towards Manectric's position atop Venusaur, he found a way to get it off.

"Alright nice!" Surge yelled in glee. "Now let loose…"

"…Sweet Scent…"

"…huh?" Surge asked as his fervor deteriorated into confusion. What was Sweet Scent going to do?

With a grunt Venusaur straightened up his back and opened up his flower to its fullest. The flower opened up and from it came a huge geyser of pollen. Soon a strong sweet smell and cloud of pollen swept across the room. The speed and intensity of the Sweet Scent caught everyone off guard. Surge clamped his nose shut as being so close to Venusaur made the scent overly sweet to the point of burning his nostrils. The ref had to take out a regulation gas mask, provided in case of such attacks, to protect himself and watch the battle. Misty let loose a small droplet of drool from the corner of her mouth as the scent reached her, reminding her of a myriad of delicious deserts and sweets. Even the audience behind the gate got a good whiff of the flower's scent.

"Oh…Oh Arceus that's strong!" Surge coughed. "Manectric use…aw damn!"

With Manectric the closest to Venusaur it got the full brunt of the Sweet Scent. With its overly sensitive nose, the Sweet Scent virtually burned right through its nostrils. To make matters worse, the pollen blew into its eyes, essentially blinding it like a Sand Attack. Now with two senses take out of commission, the Manectric could only writhe around in the mud, dirtying its blue and yellow fur.

"…Vine Whip…"

Before Surge could find a way to counter the vines had already slammed Manectric down into the mud. Its head was firmly planted downwards and the rest of its body was twitching in pain. It was a definitive knockout and Surge could only sigh in exasperation as he recalled his third fallen Pokémon.

"Running out of moves here," Surge muttered to himself. He reached to his belt to grab his next Pokémon. "I was hoping for a close up Overheat to end it. But now I might have to take it slowly."

"Magnezone go!"

As Magnezone appeared from the bright light it immediately floated high up in the air and scanned the battlefield. At first glance anyone can see it was from the Magnemite family with its signature magnets and screws. But to Red it seemed as though somehow a Magneton had fused together into a disk shaped entity. How a Magneton naturally changes into that Red couldn't even fathom, but now is not the time to be speculating.

However it looks like it was still a Steel and Electric type.

"…Mud Slap…"

"I don't think so! Magnet Rise and dodge!" Surge ordered. Magnezone gave off a series of beeping noises before discharging a small electric charge from its magnets. As Venusaur's Mud Slap approached the mud couldn't even touch Magnezone and simply swerved or pushed away from it.

Red was intrigued to say the least. Venusaur kept up his Mud Slap bombardment but each wave of mud only repelled away from the Magnezone. Even if it was doing a poor job of floating around and dodging the mud, whatever that Magnet Rise did it seems to be working against the Ground move.

"Alright give it a Signal Beam," ordered Surge.

That attack again. Red couldn't risk another Confusion infliction so he had to counter. He looked back at Venusaur. He was standing tall and proud despite the long battle, even the bleeding was starting to stop. But Red knew his friend was starting to tire. This isn't going as fast as his battle with Brock. He had the type advantage then to make short work of that team, but he's having no such luck here.

"…Grab it…"

A flurry of vines shot out from Venusaur towards Magnezone but it was quick to start swerving and flying around. Its middle red eye started to glow a rainbow hue until the colors flew out into Signal Beams, shooting towards Venusaur in quick succession. For Venusaur it was either take the attacks and grab Magnezone or dodge and risk losing his chance. Knowing Red's plan already, he would have to take the full assault by the hovering annoyance. A small barrage of Signal Beams landed on Venusaur's face but luckily he was no worse for wear this time. Before Magnezone charged up more shots Venusaur finally caught it and wrapped his vines all around it, immobilizing it in midair.

"…Giga Drain…"

Within moments Surge's Magnezone's struggling and beeping mellowed down as Venusaur's vines began to drain the Pokemon of all its energy. Though it wasn't Super Effective just the sheer power of Venusaur's crushing vines and sapping was quickly whittling down Magenzone's strength. Its lone red eye began to beep in worry and it started to lower to the ground, tilting slightly to its right.

Surge clenched his teeth in frustration. He figured his type advantage would work but again he was underestimating Venusaur's abilities. "Shit. Magnezone keep up that Signal Beam! Try to stagger it!"

Magnezone tried to comply but with most of its strength sapped away already it could barely muster a single Signal Beam shot. The beam again his Venusaur's face but he was hardly fazed by the attack. His health was replenishing steadily and his wound from earlier now closed up entirely.

"…Vine Whip…"

Even with Magnet Rise in effect Magnezone couldn't stop itself from being slammed into the ground by Venusaur's vines. Even when Venusaur let the Magnet Area Pokemon free he slammed his vines down again to make sure it would be down for the count. A cloud of dust erupted from the new crater Venusaur created with Surge and Misty needing to shield their eyes away from it.

"Arceus that was powerful!" Misty cried out as the shockwave from the attack blasted her. Surge muttered the same thought as he held his ground down near the action. When the dust settled he looked down at Magnezone, not surprised that it was defeated but surprised at the huge dent Venusaur's vines created. A sizable dent crowned most of its body and the yellow rod that once stood erect in the middle seemed to have melded with the rest of its body. Its red eye was dim and its other two eyes lolled back and forth.

"Damn." Surge commented as he returned his fourth Pokemon. He was about to grab his penultimate choice when the middle of the room began to shine brightly. "What the hell?" He looked up to fine a miniature sun flying high above the room, radiating heat and light down across the battlefield. "A Sunny Day? I don't remember Red ordering that." The Gym Leader turned to the ever stoic Red who was lowering the lid of his cap to block out the light. "No…I don't think he ordered it." His gaze flew to Venusaur whose flower was opening up more and him basking in the light. "More likely than not that Venusaur launched that Sunny Day by itself. Can't be it disobeying Red. So it must be planning ahead."

"Alright kid," Red slightly lifted his head to see the larger man ready a Pokeball. "I'm down to my last two Pokemon here and here you and that Venusaur are still sitting pretty. And you know what kid? That makes me pretty pissed." Surge growled, beads of sweat rolling down his head from both the Sunny Day and his anger.

Red kept his cool and could only stare at Surge with annoyance. Why converse now? Now is the time to focus.

Misty sighed and slouched back into her seat, fanning herself to combat the rising heat of the Gym. "Great," she muttered as watched Surge rant. "Spiky here is getting pissed. Big surprise." It was no secret to the Indigo League members that Surge had a bit of a temper. The man was big, cocky, loud, and with a short temper to boot. More often than not it was Surge who would yell and start arguments at their biannual meetings, making him the unwanted center of attention. It was ten times worse when alcohol was involved, but luckily Misty always left before he started to slur insults and challenge the random onlooker to battles.

"So get ready kid! I'm taking that Venusaur down!" Surge promised as he threw his Pokeball. Both Red and Venusaur braced themselves for whatever Surge was sending their way. What stood before them was most definitely a new evolution of Electabuzz. It had the same coloration of black and yellow as its previous form, but now sported a larger, rounder body. Two black, tentacle like tails protruded from its back each tipped with red. Its once white eyes were now a dim crimson color with dark black pupils and its hands grew in size, each finger now black and clenching together into fists. The large Electric type roared as it sized up Venusaur. Sparks flew around its body as it gave a toothy frown towards the Seed Pokemon.

"Another familiar that could change so drastically?" Venusaur pondered. "Interesting."

"Heh," it chuckled. "I can say the same for you flower. I've never seen your kind so large before. Your predecessors seem like mere weeds compared to you."

Venusaur gave a low grumble of appreciation. "I thank you. Perhaps you will be more of a challenge to battle than your compatriot."

"Alright Electivire!" Surge ordered. Red made a quick mental note of the name before focusing on the battle again. "Give it an Earthquake." Electivire gave a fierce roar and immediately stamped its foot on the ground. From the impact large cracks splintered the ground while traveling directly to Venusaur and soon the entire battlefield broke into sinking, rising, or flying pieces of cement and dirt.

"…Level yourself…"

Venusaur tried to obey Red's command to the best of his ability. Using his powerful legs he jumped from platform to platform as they rose from the cracked earth until he reached one that stopped rising. Gripping its foundation tightly, Venusaur balanced himself on the relatively small platform as the Earthquake subsided. While he was safe for now, both he and his master had lost visual on Electivire midst the rocks.

"Fire Punch!"

It didn't take long for the missing foe to reveal itself. Leaping from an adjacent platform Electivire slammed its flaming fists into Venusaur's side. The beast groaned in pain and retaliated with his extra vines to hopefully grab it but to no avail. Electivire blocked all the vines with a flurry jabs with Fire Punch still in effect and took the opening to deliver hard punches to Venusaur's flank.

"…Break the platform…"

With how small the platform both combatants were on, they both lost their footing when Venusaur's vines crushed the foundation of the platform. Electivire had to jump away from the rock while Venusaur hopped to the side, landing on a much larger platform still connected on the ground.

"Don't let up!" Surge yelled. "Wild Charge to get close and keep up those Fire Punches!"

Electivire immediately enveloped itself with electricity and sprinted towards Venusaur. Red hummed with interest. This new evolution of Electabuzz was certainly strong physically and very fast as well. That Wild Charge move looked like an Electric version of Double Edge, so at least there was recoil. But it looked powerful when combined with a Fire Punch aftermath and Venusaur could never dodge such a fast attack. Vine Whips won't work with those fast Fire Punches as well, so he had to counter offensively another way.

"…Solarbeam…"

Surge swore loudly as he realized his blunder. Electivire was charging head first into Venusaur with a move that by now was too late to cancel. "Shit! You have to dodge Electivire! Swerve left and right and get in there fast!"

With Sunny Day in effect Venusaur's flower charged up a Solarbeam way too fast to seem natural. Within seconds and by the time Electivire was halfway to Venusaur, the flower was already glowing bright gold. The flower lowered itself, its petals like a cannon, and took aim at the charging Electric type. It fired its payload at Electivire, a golden beam of pure natural energy, with the intensity of a Hyper Beam.

Only to miss.

Electivire barely sidestepped the beam with it only barely grazing its fur. It instead crashed into the Gym wall, nearly breaking a hole in it. A smoldering imprint was left on the wall with deeps cracks beginning to infect a larger portion of it. Surge smiled in success and waited for Electivire to close the gap and hopefully close the battle. Here was his chance to finally take the former Champion down a notch.

That is until he saw Venusaur's flower already firing another Solarbeam. The cocky Gym Leader's eyes widened in disbelief as the second Solarbeam blew Electivire clean across the battlefield. The blast was so powerful that it left a cratered outline of Electivire's body on the wall as it fell down. Everyone's mouth was gaping wide open in shock at the attack.

"…How?" Misty quietly asked herself in the stands. Her exact question was on the minds of the few spectators who were watching in equal disbelief. "How?" How?"

"How the hell did you get another one so damn fast?!" Surge yelled. He was so sure he found a winning strategy. He was so damn sure he could knockout that damn Venusaur. He was so Arceus-damned sure he could make Red cringe in disbelief, that he and his team weren't invincible.

And yet there he is, still watching the battlefield with not a single detectable emotion; just those amber eyes watching, waiting, underneath that hat. His body was the same as it was at the beginning of the battle: still as a rock, hands by his sides, legs indomitably attached to the ground beneath him. More like a mannequin than a revered former Champion.

"…"

"Urgh! Damn it!" Surge swore. He turned to Venusaur who was still ready for battle. His flower was still glowing gold and like Red he was waiting for Surge's next Pokemon.

Red gave a small sigh of relief. He was glad Venusaur's training was paying off well. With Venusaur unable to move fast it was imperative for him to make him a stationary powerhouse. Sunny Day definitely helped though he was very frustrated with the recovery time of firing and charging another Solarbeam. Usually by the time it was fired, and if it missed, then Venusaur would be too drained to give an effective counterattack to a charging Pokemon like Electivire. So the only way to change that was to extensively train Venusaur's stamina and charge speed. Sunny Day helped already, but Red needed Venusaur to be able to charge a Solarbeam fast even under grueling weather conditions. Mount Silver definitely helped in that department. The next step was much difficult as no matter how much Venusaur tried to recharge a Solarbeam, it wasn't fast enough for Red's liking. So he formed another strategy: train Venusaur until he can build up a deep well of solar power and fire smaller Solarbeams and not a massive one, unless the situation was appropriate. And by the time he and his team left Mount Silver Venusaur's "mini-Solarbeams" were on par with a normal Solarbeam. But when he fires off a full Solarbeam, it's devastating.

Both trainers were brought back to the battle when Electivire shakily rose from the ground. It stood up and from there Surge could see just the damage that Solarbeam inflicted. Most of the fur on Electivire's chest was singed brown and a fair amount of blood was flowing down its chest. It was breathing heavily and every so often it would cough specks of blood out.

"Impressive." Venusaur commented. "I've met few who could stand up after facing my Nature's Life."

Electivire couldn't muster a response. All it could do was glare at Venusaur with its half closed eyes. What it could do was carryout his orders and try to finish off Venusaur off. So with a painful grunt it began to charge towards Venusaur again, fists set ablaze again, and striding to end the fight one way or another.

Surge felt a tinge of pride for his Electivire. They both shared stubborn persistency and perseverance and just like him Electivire wouldn't go down without a good fight. "That's what I like to see Electivire! End it!"

Up on the stands Misty was watching Surge incredulously. Arceus he should stop that Electivire! Attacking now would be borderline suicidal! She thought to herself. By now she would've stopped the battle. She couldn't bear to see her Pokemon be utterly destroyed to such an extent but she supposed Surge had no qualms about it. The man loved to battle and fight, even if it was to the bitter end.

"…Vine Whip…"

Electivire couldn't stop the vines this time as they slammed him into the ground. A small dust cloud flew into the air as it fainted on the spot. Red had to admit it was a courageous try, even if it was clearly futile.

"Damn. Thought I could at least take out that damned Venusaur but I guess that's nearly impossible at this point," Surge sighed. "Only got Raichu left, and I know he's not going to be enough to take Venusaur down." His voice was eerily calm for how frustrated he felt. Surge closed his eyes and took a moment to calm himself down. When he opened them sure enough Red was still glaring and waiting. Surge sighed again, battling would be pointless now. He couldn't even take out one Red's Pokemon, let alone try to win the battle entirely.

So it was either concede defeat, or continue onwards in vain. And Arceus knows Surge would never forfeit a match.

Red raised a brow. If Surge was admitting defeat, why not tell the referee?

"So can you at least oblige me Red?" Surge asked as he pointed at his younger opponent. "And let me and Raichu get a rematch with your Pikachu?" Surge more or less ordered.

Red shook his head. Even if he knew where Pikachu was, he couldn't force his lifelong friend to battle; and certainly not at the request of someone.

Surge clenched his teeth in rage. "And why is that huh? You too stubborn?"

What a ridiculous notion. Can't he just let the issue slide and lose already?

"Or is your Pikachu just too scared to face him?"

… … …

… … …

How dare he…

"Listen!"

Suddenly the very air of the gym stilled once Red yelled. Even Surge was stunned by Red's outburst. He was only trying to get a small rise out of the kid. But never in his life would he imagine it would make Red yell outside the context of a battle.

"Just!"

Misty eyes widened to their fullest as she heard Red scream angrily at Surge. This voice was totally different than the voice he battles with. That voice was cool, calm, but still had energy to them. But this yelling, it was on another level. It was harsh, cruel, and as venomous as an Arbok. At the same time however Red wasn't stringing his words together. She figured it was a habit he had already but here he was struggling even more with talking, or yelling in this case. He bared his clenched teeth but his lips were quivering. His amber eyes pierced right through Surge and if he was within arm's reach he might've been tempted to start punching the man if his shaking fists meant anything.

"Battle!"

Surge was about to comply and took his Raichu's Pokeball from his belt but Red wasn't done yet.

"And…Never!" Red growled with an intense glare that might've actually paralyzed Surge if he was Pokemon. "Demean…My…Friends!"

Minutes flew by as everyone stared at Red in shock. Almost everyone watching hadn't even heard him talk besides giving out commands in battle. It was a startling first experience.

"Fine," Surge muttered. "Have it your way." His Raichu appeared moments later glaring at Venusaur. It the immediately shielded its eyes from the fake sun, looking up slightly beneath its small arms. However once it saw Red behind Venusaur, its eyes narrowed down into harsh glare.

"You!" Raichu roared, though it was more akin to a loud squeak. "It's you again!" Spinning around, Raichu furiously searched for the Pikachu who had humiliated it years ago, uncaring of the bright Sunny Day. It was a battle Raichu could never forget. How that little, cocky Pikachu had made a fool out of it in minutes.

"Where is he?! That damned brat!" Raichu demanded from Venusaur. "Where is he so I could stomp his little pompous body into the ground!"

Venusaur sighed at the enraged Raichu. "He does not wish to battle here. I do not know where he has run off to."

"Then find him!" Raichu yelled. He would not be denied revenge, not after years of training and practice. Not when the taste of defeat by an unevolved ass was still so fresh in his mind. "Find him and make him fight! I will not be denied a rematch!"

"Then fight me if your bloodlust is insatiable." Venusaur offered. "But I cannot force him to come here against his will even if I knew where he is. We do not question his actions. Nor will we betray his trust in us."

Raichu's only reply was a scream of pure anger and to charge straight towards Venusaur. Surge was shocked at his Pokemon's strong headedness. He had to take control of the situation or else Raichu would fall into a trap and lose quickly. Even if there was little chance of winning against Venusaur, Surge wouldn't go out like an idiot. "Raichu control yourself! Circle around use Agility!"

Raichu begrudgingly followed Surge's command and stopped its charge midway. Then like lightening it was running around Venusaur, though it gave him a wide berth. Venusaur paid the moving blur any mind, instead closing his eyes and keeping calm.

His trainer however was having a hard time keeping his nerve. Red's glare was fixed on Surge, unwavering in its intensity. He knew the battle was much more important than being angry right now, but the man had no right, no warrant to insult his Pokemon. Looking down his eyes found a new target to release his anger at. The idiotic Raichu was running around pointlessly. From the moment he knew the battle was between Raichu and Venusaur he had a winning strategy, born from years of training Venusaur with Pikachu back during their trek through Kanto and Johto and up Mount Silver.

And if Surge wasn't going to admit defeat now, then he'll get it fast and face first.

"Undergrowth!"

"What kind of attack is that?" Misty yelled. However no one paid her any mind as they watched Venusaur's vines dig under the cracked battlefield. The earth crumbled further as the vines stretched underneath it until all of them seemingly disappeared. "That looks a lot like Ingrain…Wait does Red even know what Ingrain is?" Misty wondered out loud.

Surge knew exactly what Red was planning though. It was similar to the tactic he used against his Lanturn, but on a much larger scale. Just how many vines were underground he didn't know, but he needed Raichu to be wary. "Keep up the Agility and get in close with Iron Tails! Watch for movement underneath you!"

The orange blur stopped its circling and in an instant was barraging Venusaur with Iron Tails all over its body. One second Raichu was slamming into Venusaur's face, the next his side, and after that one of his legs in an effort to topple him. Misty and the other spectators tried their best to follow Raichu's movements but Red focused on his groaning Venusaur.

"Vine Whip Jungle!"

Raichu had to stop its attacks as the ground groaned and rumbled. Jumping back, Raichu was shocked to see vines rocketing up from the earth. Ten or so vines erupted out and were know flying right towards Raichu who in turn started sprinting around the battlefield to dodge them. But with every step it took more vines emerged to block it, every step launched another vine right in front of it ready to grab it. Raichu easily maneuvered away from the vines with its maxed out speed until it was between the Vine Whips and Venusaur. Under the hot Sunny Day weather Raichu was sweating profusely, its fur damp with perspiration and it was panting from how much running and dodging it did. But seeing an opportunity against Venusaur put a large grin on its face and it charged forward, tail gleaming under the fake sun's rays as it prepared an Iron Tail. The vines kept following Raichu though, flying back towards their controller.

"Raichu watch out! He's still got a Solarbeam ready!" Surge roared. Since Electivire fell Surge kept an eye on Venusaur's flower. It was still glowing golden with a Solarbeam, but it wasn't targeting Raichu. Regardless, Surge needed to make sure it stayed that way or at the very least would miss. "Sidestep to throw off its aim!"

Sidestepping did little to deter the vines chasing Raichu however. In fact it was slowing it down, too much for Surge's liking. But he had to be cautious. His eyes raced from the flower back to Raichu. Red was still withholding Venusaur from firing that Solarbeam off, why?

Surge had little time to analyze Red's plan as Raichu had nearly reached Venusaur. The vines were catching up quickly thanks to Raichu's slowing cautious approach, but still couldn't quite reach the Mouse Pokemon. It all seemed to go according to plan until the ground started cracking again.

Right in front of Raichu.

Raichu's grin turned into a pained, toothy frown as one final vine erupted in front of Venusaur and grabbed it. Venusaur lifted it up from the ground and let the rest of his vines catch up and wrap around Raichu as well. Firmly bound tail and all, the Electric type could only struggle and squeak loudly helplessly.

"No!" Surge cried out.

'…Finish it…" Red muttered.

Venusaur obeyed and aimed his flower. With Raichu bound there was no conceivable way it could dodge a close range Solarbeam. However unlike last time the flower was taking its time. Little by little it grew underneath the Sunny Day's light, little by little Surge realized what Red wanted Venusaur to do.

Surge's eyes widened in horror as stared at Venusaur charging his fully powered Solarbeam. Usually it was he who would fight with brute force, but to return the treatment with a possibly fatal Solarbeam is just too much. "Listen kid," Surge cried his voice filled with worry for his Raichu. "I know I may have crossed the line with what I said about your Pikachu. And I'm sorry for that."

Red's eyes still showed no mercy at Surge's apology. His mind was already made up. No one can ever insult his Pokemon.

No one can ever try to humiliate his friends.

No one can ever humiliate him.

Never again…never again.

"Red!" Misty yelled. Her mind was thinking the same thing as Surge's and there was no way in hell she was going to sit idly by and watch. "Think about what you're doing! You'll kill it!" Her voice grew hoarse as she yelled at the unflinching former Champion. Tears started to well up in her eyes as she slowly realized he wasn't going to back down. "It was just a small insult you don't have to go so far! Arceus, Surge was just being overzealous like the idiot he is! His Raichu doesn't deserve to die like that for his mistake! Red! Listen to me! Stop it!"

"S-sir!" The ref whimpered out. He had been quite during the entire battle but with a clear violation of the Official Indigo League Guidelines imminent he had to intervene, even if it meant he might die in the process. "I-I can't l-let you k-k-kill Leader Surge's Raichu!" Red didn't even turn his head in acknowledgement, so the referee had to pull out his ace in the hole. "If-f-f y-you don't, we m-must withhold the b-badge from you!"

To his surprise even the ultimate threat of losing the badge didn't deter Red. The referee gasped in astonishment and horror. His only way to stop Red was foiled and he had no other chance to stop him. Even his own Pokemon would be mere Pokemon Eggs compared to Red's Venusaur.

"Arceus Red stop!" Surge yelled. He ran onto the battlefield, Indigo Guidelines be damned, in an effort to somehow stop Venusaur from firing its deadliest move. "I said I was sorry! Listen damn it! Listen to us!"

"Red! Listen to reason!" Misty cried as she raced down the stand's stairs.

"Stop it Red! We won't let you kill Surge's Raichu! Are you fucking crazy!" The previously silent Gym Trainers yelled as they ran from the doorway, Pokeballs at the ready in their hands. "You won't make it out this Gym alive if you do! We'll fuck you up!"

"I implore you to stop sir!" The referee called out.

"Red, I beg you!" Surge pleaded as he kept sprinting over to Venusaur.

To Red the voices all droned together into an unbearable noise. His eyes watched Venusaur, waiting to see when he would fire his Solarbeam. It would only take a few more seconds and then this battle will finally end.

Never again…

"Please stop your Pokemon sir!"

They are strong…

"Stop that damn Venusaur Red…"

He is strong battler…

"Red please think…"

They are the absolute best at what they do…

"Red please…"

They will never have to be laughed at again…

"Red…"

They will never have to cry again…

"…"

"…"

"…"

"…"

He will never have his dream crushed again.


Authors Notes: I'm thankful for finally updating, for taking a break from the studious college life, and for you readers who, possibly, were still waiting. Thank you for waiting. And I hope you come back for more.

When will there be more? I wish I can tell you. Just know I haven't given up on this story.