Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or original story elements associated with the Pokemon series, manga, or game. All rights go to their respective owners.

Chapter 1: Out with the Old...

It's a strange thing, not remembering who you are, or where you come from...but you make due. I mean, what else is there to do? It's not like I can just say 'screw it' and give up. Well, I mean I could, but I won't. I guess waking up surrounded by frightened animals at the bottom of a gorge will do that to you.

Yeah, that was how it all started...this new life of mine. I'm still not sure whether new is a good thing or not, but I don't really have anything to go off of. All I have from whatever my past life was is these six friends of mine.

The first one is an orange dragon-looking thing with a flame on his tail. I was afraid at first until I noticed that what looked like a threat display was actually him reaching out to see if I was okay, and I instantly felt bad about acting all scared around him. He's been very protective of me and made sure to teach me how to find shelter, feed myself, and protect myself.

The next one is basically a purple floating cloudy face with two hands. I can't tell whether this one is a male or female, but whatever it is, it's mischievous as all hell. I always have to be on my guard around it, because I never know when the next prank is gonna be, but I realized pretty quickly that it was all in good fun, so I rather enjoyed it.

Next was a weird blue reptilian looking thing with giant red spines on its head, back, and tail. He's over a foot taller than me, but was very gentle and reserved otherwise. I think of him as my stoic protector, as he is always the last one to go to sleep at night, and first one to rise...ever vigilant for whatever perceived threats there might be.

Up next was what looked like a blue dog, but with yellow fur on its head, front paws, and tops of the rear legs. This girl is always wanting to play, so I figured she must have been really young, but it was okay because she always had a way of raising my spirits.

A giant snake was the last one I met, but still one of my favorites to hang around. She's green with what look like little leaves at the end of her tail, along with intricate yellow markings on her back. Near her head, it almost looks like she's wearing a really long coat, as it fans out in a beautiful collar, giving her a very regal appearance. The way she treats me and the others, it almost seems like she's the mother of us all, and she always makes sure we're all okay.

Lastly, but certainly not least, is personally my favorite to be around most of the day. She is about a foot shorter than me, and her body is the most like mine out of all my friends. She has soft blue hair that falls across her face, shielding most of it, and vivid gold eyes. A strange golden ridge is on both her front and back, and it's shiny, kinda like a gem. Lastly, she wears a flowing white dress with violet accents. I don't know what it is about her, but she always seems to be hiding something from me, though I don't know what. Still...she's always happy to spend time with me and her laugh is heavenly to hear the few times she lets it out.

These six were the first faces I woke up to after whatever the hell happened to me, and I live with them away from others like me. Seems whenever others see any of them, they want to fight them with animal-friends of their own, though I don't really know why. I make sure to keep my distance nowadays though, after a violent run-in with one of them caused my blue reptile friend to almost kill him. After that, I retreated into the safety of the forest, helping my friends cut down trees to build a large cabin for us all. In addition to my six friends I already have, every now and then other animals will come to check us all out, and I always get the distinct impression that they're very confused, though I don't know about what.

Over weeks and months, I had grown close to my friends - who from a passing boy I learned were known as "Pokemon". That same boy was also kind enough to tell me what my friends were as well. For example, my dragon-friend was known as a Charizard, and Mr. Protector was known as a Feraligatr. The boy - whose name turned out to the Anthony - would often visit me, making sure we didn't get lonely and that everything was okay. He also taught me how to plant and grow different kinds of berries, which depending on the type can cure poison, cure paralysis, heal burns, and even give an energy boost.

That pretty much catches us up to today.

So today, like most days, I was sitting out with my Gardevoir friend near a lake, simply enjoying the light breeze of fall and listening to my other friends play and/or train. Train for what, I don't know, but I wasn't going to stop them.

"Hey!" shouted a young voice from behind me.

The Feraligatr immediately crossed the small spring with ease and took a fighting stance near me before dropping it with a grin as he noticed who it was.

I turned to face the boy running up with a smile. "Hey Anthony, what's going on?"

He stopped and bent over, hands on his knees. He sucked in a few deep breaths before standing up. "I just thought you should know, there's a group of trainers headed this way. It looks like they heard about you."

I raised an eyebrow. "Heard about me? What do they want?"

He gave me a look that just screamed 'really?' "What do you think they want? They want to battle you. These guys don't look like they're gonna take no for an answer."

I shrugged. "Well they're gonna have to, because I'm not going to."

He gestured to all my friends around the area. "But these are your Pokemon! What do you think you have them for?"

I snapped my eyes up with a glare. "Hey...I told you that I don't own any of them. They're not mine. The only reason I don't destroy those Pokeball things and set them free is because then some other trainer would catch them and do Arceus knows what with them. As far as your other explanation, Pokemon don't have to fight." I gestured to the Charizard and Feraligatr. "Those two might want to, but I'm not going to make them. If they want to fight, it's on them, not me. They're their own Pokemon. I'm not their master or anything, and they're not pets."

Anthony then bowed his head in shame. "Y-your right. I'm sorry. I forgot about how you feel about them all." He then snapped his gaze back up to meet my eyes. "But what are you gonna do about the t-"

He was cut off as a loud obnoxious voice yelled through the trees. "Hey loner, where are ya? We know you're out here!"

I grumbled and stood up, looking towards the young blonde-haired annoyance. "It's not like I'm hiding, or anything. What do you want?"

The guy smirked, as did his friends. "Well we see you got a bunch of final evolutions out here, save for that Haunter. We wanna battle them and see just how tough you are."

I shrugged. "Well good for you. Not happening." As I turned to walk away a hand grabbed my shoulder and spun me around. The Feraligatr immediately pushed the punk back and growled menacingly. I just waved him off and shook my head. I turned back towards the young trainer and smirked. "I wouldn't recommend trying that again. Next time, I might not be able to stop him." At that moment, the Charizard and Feraligatr stepped by my side, both taking fighting stances and eyeing me with anticipation. I looked at the both of them and shrugged. "If you guys want to fight it out, I'm not gonna stop you." They both nodded and I turned to the group of trainers again. "Well guys, looks like you're in luck. These two are willing to fight."

The blonde-haired boy fist pumped and smiled. "Yes, finally! Alright then, take your position." The Charizard stood still where he was, I just went and sat against a tree. The boy looked at me curiously and beckoned me forward. "Umm...dude, you need to stand up if we're gonna do this."

"He's the one fighting. Why do I need to stand for him to fight?" I asked, pointing at the Charizard.

Now the trainer looked even more confused. "Umm...because you have to tell him what moves to use and when."

"Why?" I asked, confused myself now. "He obviously knows what he can and can't do, and from what I've seen he knows what he's doing in a fight. Just try him out. I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed."

The boy shrugged and threw a Pokeball onto the field, revealing a huge turtle-looking thing with two huge cannons coming out of its back shell. "Alright Shellshock, let's do this. Against a fire-type, this'll be a piece of cake. Alright, hit him with hydro pump!" The two cannons on the behemoth's back took aim before firing massive jets of water out towards the Charizard.

Now I don't know a whole lot about how Pokemon battle, but I was smart enough to know that water would be bad for a fire Pokemon, so I was a little scared when the Charizard didn't move at all.

I shouldn't have worried.

My orange friend flapped his powerful wings and shot into the air, immediately diving down towards the opponent with a crackling fist of electricity, before hitting the other in the face with a strong jolt of electricity. The opponent fell to the ground in a heap, eyes open but unmoving.

I chuckled and pointed to the Pokemon. "That was only after one hit. Are you sure you want to keep doing this?"

The trainer growled and called his Pokemon back to the Pokeball in a flash of red light. He grabbed the other Pokeball he brought and threw it into the air. "Go, Blaziken!" Out popped a tall red Pokemon, with white hair or fur going from its head down its back, and yellow fur along its feet and on its chest. Contrary to how fearsome this Pokemon looked, though, it was apparent it didn't want to fight. The trainer kicked his shoe into the ground and growled. "I said go! Get in there!"

I hadn't learned to understand the Pokemon language, but I understood body language very well. As soon as the trainer yelled at the Blaziken, it cringed in fear and even shuddered a little. My eyes widened and I leaned over to Anthony. "Hey Tony, what do you know about Blaziken?"

"Well, they love to fight and train. Why?" he asked.

I pointed at the Blaziken, who had a fear-stricken expression. "Does that look like a Pokemon that loves to fight? Something's wrong."

The young boy looked at the fiery Pokemon and nodded. "You're right, that Blaziken is terrified of its trainer." He gulped and looked at me, obviously thinking the same thing I was. "You don't think..."

I nodded. "Yeah...yeah I do." I stood up and glared at the yelling trainer. "Hey! Enough already, it doesn't want to fight!"

The blone-headed boy glared right back and snarled. "Well I don't care. I'm the trainer, and I say she fights!"

I looked back at the Haunter and nodded towards the trainer. "Hey, do you think you can sneak over there and get that Blaziken's Pokeball and bring it here?" It nodded and dissipated into mist, floating towards the group of trainers. Of course by the time the boy noticed what had happened, it was too late...I was already holding the Pokeball.

"Hey, that's stealing! Give that back!" he yelled in a rage.

I looked to the frightened Blaziken and curled a finger a few times in a 'come here' gesture. She looked back at her trainer briefly before dashing across the field to me, hiding behind my slightly smaller form. I looked back at the trainer and shook my head. "No, I'm not giving this back to you. It's pretty clear that whatever you did to her killed her will to fight...and for a Blaziken, it had to be something pretty bad." I sighed and looked back at the Blaziken, who now had the smallest of hopeful smiles on her face. "Do you want to go back to him?" The Pokemon immediately shook her head fiercely, so I gazed back at the trainer. "Well she's chosen for herself. She no longer belongs to you, because it's obvious you can't care for her properly." With that, I turned around to go back to the pond and rest.

"Bullshit!" cried a voice.

Before I could react, something hard hit me in the back, knocking me to the ground. I turned around painfully to see a huge rock snake Pokemon throwing rocks at us. I placed up my hands in a futile attempt to protect myself, but the hit never came. I opened my eyes and saw the Gardevoir, her hands extended to form a bright blue forcefield around us. Rocks continued to pummel it though, and I could tell she was quickly getting tired.

She seemed to mouth something to me in her Pokemon speech before the barrier collapsed, as did she. Rocks were again flying towards me, but the Gardevoir's form stood in front of me once again. For a brief second, I thought it would all be over for us, but a massive shockwave of energy shot out from her core, instantly causing me to black out.

"Oh no, oh no, oh no! Don't do this to me, Tim...wake up! Wake up!" cried a woman's voice next to me.

A gruff male voice spoke next. "He's survived worse, remember? He'll be fine Geanne."

I opened my eyes with some effort to find myself staring back at two golden eyes. I was instantly wrapped up in a hug, which I returned, even though I didn't really know who was hugging me. After I regained my bearings, I noticed it was the Gardevoir that saved me, so I then hugged her even tighter.

"Hey, I'm okay. My back's a little sore, but I'm pretty sure I'll be fine. I promise." I said gently, trying to reassure her.

She pulled back and nodded. "Okay."

As soon as the words left her mouth, I jumped back in shock. "Y-you just spoke!"

She rolled her eyes and sighed, looking at the Charizard. "I know I don't speak all that often, but does he have to be so rude about it?"

I pointed wildly at the Gardevoir, nearly hyperventilating. "See? Right there, you spoke again! I understood that!"

The Serperior sighed and coiled up next to me. "I think you hit him too hard, dear. He's delirious."

"Hey, I'm not delirious!" I shouted back.

"Whoa!" the Serperior exclaimed before lunging away from me.

I sighed and rolled my eyes. "Now you believe me." I then stood up, still a little shaky. "Okay, anyone care to explain why I can understand you all? Not that it's not cool and all, but it's freaking me out a little."

The Gardevoir stepped up to me and smiled sheepishly. "That may have been my fault...sorry. I had to protect you, but I couldn't think of anything else to do, so I just released all my energy in a blast to stop the fight."

"Ah." I replied dumbly. I then looked around. "Wait, is everyone else okay?"

The Feraligatr sat down beside me and nodded. "Yes, everyone's okay. Your little friend ran off to town once things started getting heated, and those trainers all skedaddled once Geanne let loose her power." His voice was the deep gruff one I'd heard earlier.

I assumed that Geanne was the name of Gardevoir, so I looked at her and smiled. "Geanne...that's a pretty name." She blushed and I looked around. "Wait, where's the Blaziken we took away from that monkey turd?"

"Here..." replied a comparatively soft voice from behind me.

I turned around to see a very shy looking Blaziken, and from what Anthony told me, this is very out of character for a Blaziken...female or not. I let her approach me and I smiled. "Well I'm glad you're okay. What's your name?"

She shuffled a bit before letting a shy smile grace her face. "Um...my name's Tessa."

I smiled and nodded. "Well it's good to meet you, Tessa. First off, I just want to stress that here, you're an equal with me and all the others. No one is less than the other. I believe that Pokemon deserve to be treated with the same respect and care that humans are."

She looked at me a little confused, but then smiled. "I wish all trainers thought like you."

"Well I'm not a trainer. I guess I used to be, but I'm not anymore." I explained with a grin.

Geanne decided to speak up again. "Um...actually, you were the Pokemon League Champion of Kanto, Johoto, and Sinnoh."

I eyed her curiously. "Umm...I guess that's cool and all. Do I have a name?"

She nodded and reached into a bag she always kept with her, pulling out a card. It had a picture of me along with an ID number and...a name. "This is your trainer card; all Pokemon trainers have one. As you can see, your name is Timothy Allen Maxwell. You're originally from Kanto, which is where you met Brutus here." she said while motioning to the Charizard. "He was your starter - the first Pokemon you received."

I then asked the next logical question. "Do I have any family?"

Suddenly all the Pokemon around me looked a little sad, but Geanne kept speaking. "Well, you do have an uncle out there, but the rest of them - your mom, dad, and younger brother - died in a cruise ship disaster."

She then reached into a bag that she always carried with her, revealing a newspaper clipping. I held it up and read it aloud. "Fifteen-hundred killed in S.S. Gyarados disaster. Authorities say a fuel leak lead to a massive explosion, killing most on board..."

I felt a tingly hand on my shoulder, and looked to see an uncharacteristic sad expression on the Haunter's face. "The people and Pokemon that died in the explosion were the lucky ones. The few that were left slowly froze to death in the water."

I took a deep shaky breath and let a tear fall before looking up. "Which ones...actually no...I don't want to know which my family was."

Geanne then continued. "That was why you left to travel. After you caught the rest of us, Brutus told all of us that without a family, you didn't really have reason to stay in Kanto."

I sighed and slumped down a little. "Well...that sucks. So how did I end up at the bottom of this gorge...and better yet, where are we?"

Geanne reached into her bag again, pulling out some strange looking thing. She opened it up and inside was a little screen, with what looked like a map on it. She pointed to a blinking dot on the map. "We're here, at the base of Mount Silver near Blackthorn City in Johoto. Like always, you didn't listen to me when I said to be careful, and fell nearly all the way down the mountain. It was a miracle you didn't die, but somehow the only thing you got other than some bruises and scrapes was a nasty hit to the head. I guess that's what happened to your memory."

Brutus stepped forward next. "We patched you up the best we could, but the Chansey at the Pokemon center told us your memory might take a long time to come back, if it ever comes back."

I could tell they were all worried for me, so I offered a grin to them all. "Look, you all don't need to worry about me. I'm fine, really. I mean, it's not like I can miss what I can't remember, right? Besides, I have you guys." I then cleared my throat. "Umm, speaking of that, I should get all your names. I don't want to just call you all 'hey you'."

The Feraligatr stepped up first. "Name's Gunnar, son. You 'liberated' me from a Team Aqua trainer that was using me and a few others to cause all kinds of ruckus in a peaceful town." He then ran his clawed finger along my neck, gesturing to a scar. "That's from me. Let's just say it took me awhile to warm up to you...but you kept at it. Thanks for that."

The Serperior slithered up and smiled at me. "Well, we met in Unova a little over a year ago. Professor Juniper was in trouble and asked you to pick a Pokemon from his bag and use it to save him. I was very impressed with your skill and care for Pokemon, expecially when you tended to the wounded Pokemon we had battled. The professor noticed this, and gave me to you. Somehow he thought I'd be better taken care of with you. My name is Jade, by the way."

The canine-looking blue and yellow Pokemon sat in my lap and smiled happily. "My name's Rina! We met along a grassy path, and you beat me fair and square...but it was a lot of fun, so I didn't mind!"

I nodded, and the Haunter stuck out his tongue with a grin. "Well, my name's Orpheus. We met at the Sprout Tower here in Johoto just a few months ago, actually."

Geanne glared at him. "He may not remember, but I do. You paralyzed me!"

Orpheus grinned and stuck his tongue out again. "What's the matter hun, can't take a little tongue-action?"

"Ugh! You're disgusting..." Geanne said with a huff of annoyance.

I just chuckled and leaned back against the tree by the spring again. I let out a breath of frustration. "You know, something tells me that we're going to hear from that trainer from earli-"

"Stop right there, thief!" interrupted a voice from behind me. I turned around to see a woman in a blue police uniform, an Arcanine by her side. I then recognized the blond-haired boy next to her as the trainer from earlier. The officer pointed to him and glared at me. "This boy has reported that you stole one of his Pokemon. Is this true?"

I stared unflinching at her. "Yes, I did."

She stared at me with a very confused expression. "That's it? No denial, no running? This is new."

I shrugged. "Well, in my eyes I've done nothing wrong. In fact, I've righted a wrong."

"How do you figure that?" the officer asked with a stern gaze.

I pointed at the trainer and snarled at him. "He was mistreating her, so I took her away from him."

The officer and her Arcanine glared at me. "That's a very serious accusation, sir. What proof do you have of that?"

I looked at Tessa and gently smiled. "Tess, I have to give you back to him. He's your trainer, not me." She instantly shook her head and clutched onto me for dear life, fear in her eyes. I then turned back to the officer and her Arcanine with a smirk. "I'm pretty sure that reaction speaks for itself."

Obviously the Arcanine quickly realized the severity of the situation, because he then turned his fierce glare upon the trainer. He started growling out words that the trainer didn't understand, but I did. "What did you do to her, monster?"

The female officer stepped forward and placed a hand on his back. "At ease, Flare. We can't take him straight to jail if you maul him, now can we?" Faster than I could blink, the officer slapped cuffs on the boy and smirked. "Young man, you're under arrest for mistreatment of a Pokemon." The boy started to speak, but he was silenced by a slap to the back of the head. "You'll keep your mouth shut if you know what's good for you. You can do all the talking you want once we get back to the station." With that, the Arcanine started to herd the boy away, but the officer remained. She walked over to me with a somber expression and patted me on the shoulder, stealing a glance at Tessa. "That's a noble thing you did there, son. What's your name?"

"Timothy Maxwell, ma'am." I responded.

She then looked around at the Pokemon around us and sighed. "You have more than six Pokemon now. Regulations state you can only travel with six at a time." I lowered my head in defeat and sighed. She smiled at me, however and winked. "However since technically you're not training now, and you're not traveling, we can consider these Pokemon your home group." She pointed to the cabin. "I'll write up papers with the mayor giving you legal residence here in the forest. That'll allow you to live here in peace with how ever many Pokemon you have. So long as you're not battling them, it's perfectly legal."

I nodded and shook the officer's hand with a smile. "Thanks a lot, officer..."

"Jenny." she responded with a grin.

I grinned back and nodded again. "Well thanks, Officer Jenny. I appreciate it...really. Why are you doing this though?"

She sighed and looked back at where the Arcanine and trainer had disappeared towards the city. "Because there are so many trainers out there nowadays that treat Pokemon like second-class. It's not fair to them." She turned back to me with a soft smile. "But you...you treat them like equals...like family, even. That's more than I've seen in a long time now. Call what I'm doing thanks, how about that?"

I stood again and shook Jenny's hand. "Sounds good, officer. I'll see you later then, I guess."

She nodded. "You will. Stay out of trouble, Timothy."

After Officer Jenny left and night fell again, Brutus and I set about fixing us all something to eat. I caught some fish and Gardevoir gathered berries and some wild vegetables, and Brutus set about cooking them up into two separate stews - one for omnivores/carnivores, and one for herbivores. Since Jade and Geanne were the only ones that didn't eat meat, the vegetable stew was quite a bit smaller in portion to the meaty stew, so they ended up eating first while the rest of us waited for the fish stew to finish. Rina lay her head down in my lap, and I ran my hand through the fur on the top of her head, causing little tingles to run through my fingers. She giggled and nuzzled against me.

Suddenly a thought hit me, and I gasped. "Wait, do I train any other Pokemon besides you all?"

"Oh yes, you have at least a hundred, last time you checked." Jade replied after swallowing a mouthful of soup.

My eyes widened. "A hundred? Where are they all?"

The tree I was leaning on jostled a bit as Gunnar leaned against it and plopped his bulk on the ground next to me. "Well they're all kept in what trainers call a 'Pokemon Box'. They're warped off to any one of hundreds of storage facilities until you need them. All you need to do is go to a PC in any Pokemon center and swap out the Pokemon you want to store with the one you want to withdraw. It's that easy, son."

I smirked at the large gator-like Pokemon. "Calling me 'son' makes you sound like an old man."

Gunnar grinned and chuckled. "Well let's just say I've got a lot of memories and a lot of experience."

"Dinner's ready guys, come and get some." called Brutus with a smile.

We finished up dinner and all went to bed, save for Gunnar of course, who chose to keep watch for a few more hours before he turned in. Gunnar preferred a small artificial pond that was outside, and Brutus chose to stay in a roost he'd built on the top of the house, with four solid wooden logs to support his weight and a thick layer of steel we'd salvaged that made up the actual alcove, so that he wouldn't burn the house down or something. The bunkroom was basically an assortment of different beds that I'd stitched together with Geanne's help, so that left just Geanne, Rina, Jade, Tessa, and myself, as Orpheus had chosen to go and stir up some fun with the late-nighters around Blackthorn City.

If only they were human, right?

Well, in all honesty, them not being human didn't really bother me...especially now that I could speak to and understand all of them. I mean, I already saw them all as people, but even with that being the case I did not have a thing for snakes, or canines for that matter...so that just left Tessa and Geanne.

'Wait a minute...what the fuck am I thinking? This is wrong!'

"Tim?" called a soft voice from the bed next to mine.

I turned my head to find myself looking at yellow eyes with deep blue irises. For having a beak, Tessa's face was oddly expressive, and I could tell she was both nervous and afraid at the same time. "What's wrong, Tess?"

She shifted a bit in nervousness before locking eyes with me again. "I-I was wondering if it would be okay..." she trailed off.

"Yes?" I said, urging her to continue.

She looked more nervous, but looked at me again. "Could I sleep with you? I just..."

I was a little taken aback, and tried not to patronize her for how cute it seemed. "Are you afraid that trainer is going to come and get you or something?" I was just joking of course, but she nodded. My eyes widened in realization of just how deep her wounds must go, and I couldn't help but feel a little tug at my heart in imagination of what must have done this to her.

She gulped and looked away from me. "I'll tell you someday what happened...but for now, c-could I..."

I just scooted over and patted the space next to me with a smile. "Come here, Tess. I'll keep you safe...we all will. He'll never hurt you again, and that's a promise."

The shy Blaziken scrambled over to the open space on the bed, and I immediately noticed the change in temperature as her high body heat was now next to me. I threw the covers off of me and and took off my shirt, opting to go shirtless so I wouldn't sweat. I then lay down again on my back with just a pair of shorts on, and closed my eyes. I lay quietly for a few seconds before I noticed a scaly, yet soft hand snake around my middle, and a warm presence press itself against me. I opened my eyes to see Tessa looking up at me, a little unsure.

"D-do you mind? I just..." she started.

I shook my head and lifted my arm out from between us, instead pulling it around her to rest on her side above her hip. "Really Tess, it's okay. I want you to feel safe, so if this is what does it, then it's okay. Just try and get some sleep now, okay?" I finally got to see her smile as she nodded, and she rested her head on my chest and I felt her strong muscles relax into my embrace. A few minutes later her breathing slowed as she fell into slumber, and I couldn't help but smile at how cute the image was. A few minutes later, I followed her into the realm of dreams.

I woke up a few hours later to find Geanne at my left side, leaving the three of us very little room to spare on the bed. Over the months, Geanne had taken to often joining me in bed. She explained to me today that as a Ralts and Kirlia, I used to allow her to sleep in my bed with me, so I guess it wasn't really a big change for her. Thinking about this very situation I now found myself in caused my mind to wander to what Anthony had told me.

Relationships between Pokemon and humans weren't illegal, but in most parts of the world it was a little taboo. By what Anthony had told me, Blackthorn City wasn't one of them...but nearby Mahogany Town was. Yet again, it wasn't illegal...but I still didn't want to rock the boat or anything. I mean come on...a guy living alone in a forest with Pokemon already is a little weird to an outsider. Add in a romantic relationship with a Pokemon or a few, and there's a huge can of worms I did not want to open right now.

Still...I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it even before I could understand them. Ever since I woke up with no memory, Geanne and I had been really close...which I take it means I was pretty much the same in my past with her.

And then there was Tessa.

I hated to think about it - as the very thought set my blood on fire - but it was pretty clear that she had been abused by her trainer in some way. Whether it was physical, mental, or Arceus forbid...sexual...remained to be seen. Anthony had been pretty clear about what a Blaziken's demeanor was usually like, so to see Tessa so broken, afraid, and insecure...it was unsettling. I must have made a hell of a first impression, though, as she seemed to place her life in my hands...and for some reason found safety and security in me. I get the distinct impression that these friends of mine know more about me than they'll tell me, but I'll try and force it out of them at a later time. For now, I'll just enjoy things for what they are.

Laying in that bed between Tessa and Geanne had me in a very relaxed state, and as both of them hugged tighter against me, I fell into peaceful slumber with a smile on my face.