Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon.

Summary: Living on the streets with a dream to become a master of steel-type Pokemon, Holly Hughes steals a Pokeball from a random stranger in order to catch a starter. However, said Pokemon is not steel, not assertive, and hates battling. And the rest of her team ends up being no better. What a journey this should be, right?

New laptop, new Pokemon chapter fic! I've just really wanted to write another original trainer fic. And though I have Spotlight - which will be updated some time or another - this idea just stuck in my head and wouldn't leave me alone. I hope that everyone enjoys this new fic of mine! I think I'm gonna have a blast writing it!

Chapter One: Once a Thief

With trembling fingers, I peeked through the bushes.

This was not a new occurrence. I was much used to the strange nervousness that accompanied this action. Though I was not proud of my current way of survival, I knew that this was the only way to get by in this world. Stealing had become a way of life for me. I couldn't recall how many times I had snuck up to some poor man's produce cart and stolen a few bits of fruit, or even a dollar or two to get myself a drink. Not honorable by any means, but that was the only way I could live.

Now, that would all change.

If everything went correctly, I would be the owner of a shiny new Pokeball in just a few mere minutes.

I could go on and on about my reasonings for what I do what I do, but that would just bore the majority of you.

I'll give you the gist of it.

I'm a drifter. I float from town to town, sleeping on street corners or in caves. Picking berry trees dry when nothing else is available for food.

The sole reason for that being, I turned eighteen.

My parents died when I was ten. Ursaring accident. I grew up in a variety of foster homes, scrapping with other children who picked on me. Never adopted. I supposed I grew too old for some people's tastes. They wanted a child younger, one that didn't have a good chance of remembering their parents. One too young to even remember their parents so they weren't as...damaged as the rest of us. Not as troubled or as prone to disaster, as was the stereotype for foster children.

The foster home that I eventually became commonplace at was a cold place. The owners only in it for the money. The day I turned eighteen was the day they weren't responsible for me. No one was ever going to adopt an eighteen-year-old anyway.

So I left.

Packed up what meager possessions I had and hot-tailed it out of there.

It was oddly freeing, being out of there. Being able to actually breathe in fresh air and know that it might just improve from here.

Well, some things don't come so easily.

Jobs were scarce. It cost tons of money to buy a Pokemon or Pokeballs, and I was out of luck, because my dream rode on me owning a Pokemon.

The beat all end all for me was to be a steel-type master trainer.

To do that, I had to start somewhere, right?

And here I am, stalking some random boy that just bought a sack full of Pokeballs from the local center.

He looked like a promising target. Clueless expression. Large brown eyes. Wool cap settled over his mess of a head of hair. Maybe a bit older than me, and that was a good thing. I'd feel awfully guilty if I had stolen from one of the new trainers in town.

Proving my point, Mr. Clueless released a rather intimidating looking Charizard with scars proving its age and number of tough battles it had gone through. I gaped. I had never seen one in person before, and it was stunning. The red scarf it wore was rather curious, but hey, to each their own.

Night was falling quickly. The trainer brought out a bowl of Pokemon food and then rummaged around in his pack for food of his own - he pulled out a bag that contained a few sandwiches and chowed down. He ended up eating two of them before pulling out a third and handing it to his Charizard.

I had to punch myself in the stomach to keep it from growling and giving away my position. I couldn't even recall the last time I had that much to eat.

The minutes passed sluggishly. The Charizard lit a fire, and the trainer let out two other Pokemon. Geez, was he trying to make this hard for me or what?

A Persian with a bejewelled pink collar and a...holy crap, an Alakazam were released from their balls in a flash of white light.

This was definitely the wrong guy to target. He was obviously from Kanto, obviously a skilled trainer, and obviously packing some major firepower.

But I couldn't skip out on this. I couldn't.

There was a moment in which the Alakazam exchanged a look with the trainer. He nodded and then said, in a surprisingly commanding voice, "Okay, guys! Let's get some sleep."

The Charizard looked at him curiously, but agreed nonetheless. The Persian looked like it couldn't care less. The Alakazam sat down, crossing its legs and closing its eyes as if in meditation. The trainer rolled out a sleeping bag and curled within it, lying next to his Charizard's large frame, using as if one were to use a pillow. The Persian curled up against the trainer's legs, though the Alakazam stayed a far ways away from the scene.

I waited what seemed like hours. With no watch or anything that could be used to tell time, I had to rely on nature's signs. The moon was at its apex in the sky when I decided the group of travellers seemed to be asleep enough not to notice little old me stealing a mere Pokeball from them. I inhaled deeply, focused all my attention on keeping my movements sly and graceful, and crept out of my hiding position.

I levelled my breathing out, desperately trying to keep my presence unknown. Crawling for the abandoned bag at the edge of the campfire - closest to the Alakazam, I noticed with a feeling of claustrophobia - I managed to not wake any of them. I kept stealing glances at their faces. Peaceful in sleep. Closed eyes and even breathing.

Greedily, my fingers reached for the bag. I grasped the zipper between two fingers and tugged. Just as I got the zipper halfway open, I jolted at the sound of a...voice?

"Looking for something, miss?"

I gasped, turning around. The voice sounded sinister, penetrating my skull, directly deposited there by some psychic ability. Before I could even bolt away, I was pinned to the ground by a psychic force.

The Alakazam's eyes were wide open, glowing blue, and fiercer than anything else I'd ever seen.

I couldn't speak. Couldn't do anything except gape like a Goldeen.

I had no doubt the psychic-user could kill me. Not one doubt in my mind.

My chest was heaving, my mind wheeling. I longed to defend myself, but found no words could escape my throat. It felt as if the very air was trying to be purged from my lungs.

A laughing - but by no means joking - voice then broke the silence. The boy with the wool cap.

"Alright, Merlin. That's enough."

"She was going to steal from you, trainer."

"Eh, everyone has reasons," he said. I could not see his eyes, but I doubted they were as clueless as before. "Even thieves."

Oh, he had no idea.

End Chapter One.