Celadon City was often considered one of the most beautiful cities in Kanto - during the day. At night however, it could be horrifying and overwhelming, especially to a newcomer. Bright lights filled the streets, thousands of neon signs trying to catch the eyes of passerbys, whether they be restaurants, bars, dance clubs, and the like. The bright radiance cast eerie shadows in the alleys and darkened streets, filling the air with an ominous glow. Human beings of all shapes, sizes, races and creeds walked through the streets, walking past one another, usually without a passing glance. Music blared from a wide assortment of clubs, some shady, some less than shady, and some not shady at all.
"Can... Can you please...?"
The air was chill, as it should be in autumn. Frost was collecting at windows, and smoke was in the air. The sky was pitch black, without any stars due to the city's already vibrant radiance. But the radiance was lost upon the alleys, and darker parts of the city. Black shadows, like massive voids that swallowed up any light into their nothingness. They were so dark that even the lowest of humanity and its scum stayed out of them. Who knew what lurked in those alleys after dark?
"Please... Help me?"
Yes, Celadon was both amazing and terrifying - but either way, it tended to be overwhelming. Especially to a Pokemon native to Hoenn. Especially if that Pokemon was a trained Pokemon who wasn't used to cities - or being abandoned.
Standing on the sidewalk, cold, miserable and alone, was one such Pokemon. Her name was Rosaline, Rose for short, a nickname bestowed by her trainer - or her ex-trainer. The Kirlia stood in the midst of human giants, walking by her without much notice. Most of them had never been to Hoenn before, and couldn't recognize a Kirlia on sight. To most, she just seemed to be an odd doll, left behind by some child. Yes, she asked for help - again and again she asked for help. For someone to take her to the Pokemon Center, for someone to tell her where she was - she'd settle at this point for someone just to give her a small, dirty rag she could use for a blanket. But no one paid her any mind. They were too busy with their own lives - and it didn't help that she was speaking in Pokemon, so "Please... Help me..." sounded like a bizarre chirping sound to humans.
A tear trickled down Rose's cheek, but she swiftly wiped it away. The temperatures made it feel like it was freezing. She huddled her arms together and huddled against the large building she was standing by, rubbing her arms and struggling to get herself warm again. Every rub she gave herself hurt - she was covered in unhealed bruises, having been severely beaten. A burn on her chest sent a pang of agony and pain through-out her body as the slightest touch.
The pain was just too much for Rose. She began to cry. Slowly and quietly. She was cold. She was beaten. She was hungry. She was lost. She was scared. She was alone.
Her lower lip quivered. Her mind wandered back to earlier that day, when her life went down the drain. When she was abandoned - left behind forever.
She closed her eyes and began to sob, remembering.
"Rose! Use Psychic!"
Rose chirped in response as she launched a powerful bolt of mental power. The attack shot towards her foe, a massive Victreebel. The Psychic energy glowed bright violet as it neared her foe.
"Victreebel, dodge it!"
The Victreebel smoothly leaped aside, the attack missing completely.
Rose gritted her teeth unhappily, angered that she had missed - again.
Standing behind the Kirlia was Chelsea - Rose's trainer. A young girl from Hoenn, who had travelled to the Kanto region to compete in the Indigo League. Chelsea hadn't been able to defeat the Hoenn League, nor the Johto League, and had finally decided to try her luck with the Kanto League. She came prepared with her full team - Torcher, her Blaziken and starter, Pad, her Ludiculo, Ripper, her Mightyeena, Slash, her Zangoose, and finally, her Kirlia, Rose. The last member of her group that she had caught. The smallest. The weakest. The runt.
Chelsea kept trying to train Rose, forcing her to her very limits, trying to get her to evolve into her final form Gardevoir, where she would "Actually be useful" to quote Chelsea herself. However, Rose was often beaten - badly. She would sometimes end up in the Pokemon Center beaten within an inch of her life by her foe. She was nearly crushed underneath Norman's Slaking, and Flannery's Torkoal had given her a harsh burn that never quite healed completely. Sometimes her leg still ached where she had been scorched. Rose wassimply not a very good fighter - and her meek and shy personality made it worse. Slash, Chelsea's Zangoose and the only other female member of her team, often would bully Rose for whatever food Chelsea bothered to feed her, and most of the other Pokemon ignored her.
Rose missed her life in the wild. Spending time with wild Ralts and Kirlia, communicating through their natural telepathy, and lounging by the river while eating berries was far better than living as an outcast. Still, she vowed to try harder, and become a better fighter. But she never could. No matter how hard she tried, she lost and lost and lost. Chelsea looked down at her more and more, barely regarding her as a member of her team. Rose was just a burden to her - a chore.
This battle was her last chance. If Rose didn't clean up her act - well, who knows what would happen.
Rose gritted her teeth as the Victreebel landed not five feet from her.
"Shadow Ball!" ordered Chelsea. The blonde trainer looked insanely frustrated, and was glaring fiercely at poor Rose.
Rose held up her hands and charged up an inky ball of shadowy energy, throwing it Victreebel.
Victreebel's trainer was none other than Erika, insomniac heiress and kimono clad gym leader of Celadon City. Despite always appearing to be half asleep, Erika was quite aware of her Pokemon's predicament, and was quick to give an order to save him. "Victreebel," she said in an elegant voice. "Use Vine Whip and deflect the Shadow Ball."
Victreebel gave a hideous shriek, shooting a long green vine and whipping the Shadow Ball aside.
"Now, Vine Whip her Kirlia," Erika said.
"Victreebel gave another shriek, lashing his vines at Rose.
"Rose!" Chelsea shouted. "Dodge it!"
Rose gave a yelp as she leaped aside. But, just as she leaped aside, Victreebel's vine intercepted, lashing at the Kirlia again.
Rose gave a cry of pain, falling to the ground while clutching her arm. A bad bruise had formed on her arm. Before she could move, she was whipped again and again, and again. Every smack of the whip made another bruise, another cut, and drew more blood.
"That's enough, Victreebel!" Erika said. Erika was not a vicious trainer; if her foe was badly wounded, she wouldn't kick them - or whip them - while they were down. Rose felt grateful for that. Now she had the chance to fight back.
She placed her two fingered hands to the ground and pushed herself up, struggling to stand up. She finally managed to get onto her own two feet, and stumbled uneasily towards Victreebel.
It's not over, she thought, determined. It's not over. I can win! I can-!
"Rose!" Chelsea said, angrily. "Return!"
Rose whirled around, horrified. Chelsea had already pulled her Pokeball and opened it, a red beam shooting towards her. She whirled about, hoping to land one single desperate last attack on Victreebel, to prove she had worth. She tried to summon forth her mental powers, but all she got was a bad headache.
She couldn't do it.
The last thing she saw was Victreebel and Erika, both looking very sympathetic for her.
A flash of scarlet erupted from the Pokeball. Rose appeared on the concrete ground, the Kirlia stumbling forward as her injuries began to ache again. She looked around, confused. This wasn't the Pokemon Center. She gave her trainer a worried look.
Chelsea sighed, looking down at her Pokemon. "Rose... Just... Just go."
Rose gave frightened cry, shaking her head no. Her trainer wanted to abandon her, in the middle of Celadon City. She leaped at her trainer, clinging to her legs, tears streaming down her eyes.
Chelsea gave a growl and kicked Rose off of her leg. "Look!" she snapped. "This isn't working out, okay? I had to use Torcher to beat Erika when you were supposed to be able to do it! But you couldn't! You couldn't help me beat Brock, you couldn't help me beat Misty, you didn't help me beat Surge, and now you didn't beat Erika. Just like you didn't beat anyone in Johto, and just like you didn't beat anyone in Hoenn. We're done. Now beat it!" she shouted.
Rose began to tear up. Her trainer couldn't abandon her here of all places. She didn't know anything about the city. She couldn't see any trees, any water, any shelter that would support her without her trainer, not to mention she was in a region that was altogether unfamiliar to her, and she was badly injured from her fight with Erika's Victreebel already. How could she survive?
She gave her trainer another look, filled with horror and despair, begging her not to leave her here.
Chelsea groaned. "Look!" she said, angrily. "This is your fault, not mine! You could've improved yourself, but you didn't. Now get moving!" she ordered, pointing down the alleyway she had released Rose in.
With that, the blonde trainer turned around and walked away, intent on leaving Rose in the alley.
It took about ten seconds before she turned around again, almost feeling guilty, to catch one last glance at Rose. To her surprise, she seemed to be gone, until she heard a pleading call from beneath her. She looked down to see Rose, staring up at her with wet, big eyes, not two inches from her feet.
"Go away!" shouted Chelsea. She brought her foot back and swiftly kicked the Kirlia, a little harder than she wanted to, and sent poor Rose flying. "Go!" she shouted again. "I'm not your trainer anymore!"
Rose gave a soft sob as she crawled to her feet, the injuries of her battle burning in pain, aided by the kick from Chelsea. But still, she stared at her trainer, whimpering for mercy and acceptance, begging her with her teary eyes not to leave her here in a strange city with no food or shelter.
Chelsea gritted her teeth and looked away. "Stop... Stop it!" she ordered. She pulled out another Pokeball and opened it. Torcher appeared, landing on the pavement. The Blaziken stood straight and battle ready, always ready for a good fight.
Chelsea growled at Rose. "If you don't go right now, I'm gonna have Torcher attack you!" she threatened.
Rose's eyes widened, surprised and horrified. Torcher was equally as shocked. He wanted a good fight; beating on an already beaten and injured Kirlia was... cruel. He looked at his trainer, but there was no such mercy or compassion in her eyes.
"Now go!" Chelsea ordered the Kirlia. "I never want to see you again!"
Rose began to sob loudly. She looked at her trainer with her ruby eyes, filled with tears.
"Please..." she said in the language of Pokemon.
"Torcher, Blaze Kick!" ordered Chelsea.
Torcher hesitated. He never was never very attached to Rose - but he didn't want to hurt her. She looked badly hurt. If he was to hit her, she could end up-
"Do it!" shouted Chelsea.
Torcher sighed. He was a Pokemon, and Chelsea was his trainer. She made his choices for him.
Ignoring the cry of horror that erupted from Rose's mouth, he leaped into the air, fire pulsating down his leg and to his taloned feet. The Blaziken's blazing claws struck Rose, who was too weak to dodge the assault. Rose cried in pain, tears flying from her eyes as she hit the ground, her chest badly burned. But the real pain was inside her. She had been rejected. She had been taken from a home where she was happy, a quaint field in Hoenn - and ultimately was dropped off in the middle of a desolate city alley, after a harsh beating.
Crying softly, she began to crawl away. Her trainer returned Torcher, who felt horrible and guilty, and she turned around, and walked away, leaving Rose behind.
Rose sobbed softly, the memories of her abandonment still as fresh as her aching wounds. It was past midnight now, but she didn't know it. The sky was darker, and the streets were almost empty.
Something wet and cold splashed against her face. It wasn't a tear, it was a rain drop. Thunder roared in the sky, and lightning flashed. Soon, the rain began to pound the earth with heavy droplets.
Rose growled, her anger and despair bubbling up. "Oh, come on!" she screamed at the sky.
Another raindrop plopped onto her head. It felt like the sky was spitting in her face. She jumped up, regretting it swiftly as he wounds begged for her to sit back down. She couldn't stay in the rain. She needed to find someplace dry.
She stumbled down the road, her entire body in protest as she struggled to find her way to someplace safe. The only problem is she didn't know where. She came to a halt near an alleyway and looked around. Every house seemed either inhabited by a human already, or too dilapidated to stay in. She looked into the alley and caught sight of a pair of trash cans, each one with a lid. They looked dry enough...
Rose shook her head. No. She would not sleep in a trash can. However, there didn't seem to be any other options.
The wind blew harshly, nearly knocking Rose off of her feet. A wet, discarded newspaper slapped into her back, before slipping around her and flying off again. Whenever the wind changed its direction, the rain splashed into her from another direction, completely soaking her to the bone. Shivers ran down her back, and her teeth were chattering like crazy.
Must find shelter... Must find shelter...
Rose's legs were screaming in pain and weariness. Her eye-lids were heavy and wanted to shut. The rain stung her face, and her wounds were throbbing. The only good thing about the situation was that the rain was easing the pain of her burnt chest and stomach, but that was about it. She was tired, hungry, cold, lost and miserable. The only thing that kept her going was... well, she didn't quite know.
The wind suddenly picked up in force and knocked her off her feet. She landed face first in a deep puddle. Hacking and spitting the filthy water from her mouth, she struggled to get back up, only to slip on the soaked pavement, bashing her nose on the concrete. Rose whimpered as blood began to trickle from her nose. Just another injury to add to the list.
Finally, she managed to stand again. She slowly began to walk again, each step feeling like her feet were covered in concrete shoes. She walked on, and on, for five minutes - but it seemed like much, much longer.
She reached an intersection in the road. To her left, the road went down a steep hill. Water rushed down the hill like a rampart river, sloshing about angrily. Rose struggled to cross yet another street, tears and rain trickling down her face, wondering why she just couldn't lay down and die.
She looked up, and blinked. A pair of bright, blinding lights were growing nearer and nearer. Rose's eyes widened, and she leaped aside as the car shot by, spraying a practical tidal wave from a deep puddle as it drove by. The splash knocked Rose flat on her back, landing too close to the hill. She slipped down it, rushing down with the water, screaming as the gravel tore at her back.
She managed to turn herself over, still sliding way too fast down the kamikaze water slide. She whimpered as she caught sight of an empty manhole cover ahead, that water was pouring into like a massive whirlpool. Earlier, work was being done before the rain started, and the workers had forgotten to seal the manhole back up.
Rose screamed as the water carried her to the manhole, swirling about like a cyclone before dumping her into the black hole in the ground. She fell through a void of blackness before...
Rose gagged as she fell into the foul waters below. Sadly, her mouth was open when she had plunged into the sewage, and she got a nice mouthful of who knows what. She swiftly burst her head out from the water, spitting the rancid brew from her mouth, coughing and spluttering.
She reached her hand out of the water, blindly reaching around in the dark, searching for any way out. She managed to grip onto a stone path that ran by the edge of the underground lake. After a few agonizing seconds, Rose hauled herself to the edge of the path and collapsed.
She wanted to cry, but she couldn't. She had no tears left. She was tired, weak, and now she felt sick.
Unable to think of anything else to do, she closed her eyes, and remained still, fast asleep by the edge of the rushing sewer water.
DRIP. DRIP. DRIP.
PLIP. PLOP. PLIP.
It was dawn. Very early in the morning. The sun had barely crept over the skyscrapers of Celadon, or the hills in the distance. The rain had died down, and the grey clouds of the storm still hung in the air, faint but present. Water dripped down from everything, making it seem like it was still raining down on the city.
Little light could creep down into the sewers, but some managed to, a faint, bluish glow from the early morning. It shone down onto the cold face of Rose, still lying in the sewers, fast asleep. Most of her wounds had healed up enough, but many of her cuts were becoming infected, and her chest was still burnt badly.
However, she was not alone. Something oozed down the path that Rose was laying on, drawing closer and closer with curious eyes.
It was an odd creature. It had a pale, purple body, and a pair of simple white eyes. It's body was not of skin and bone, but of slime and ooze. And it was staring at Rose oddly, as it could easily see that she was no piece of garbage, as he had first expected, but a Pokemon.
He examined the Kirlia, seeing how badly hurt she was. She wouldn't survive if he didn't help.
Picking the Kirlia up as gingerly as he could with his slimy arms, the Grimer slid off, Rose in tow.
"Useless! You worthless piece of trash!"
"No one wants you! No one, do you hear me?!
"Please... I can do better!"
"Just get out of my life! Get out of everyone's' lives! No one would miss you!"
"There are a million other Kirlia out there, and they're all better than you!"
"I hate you!"
"No!" screamed Rose, shooting up from where she lay. Tears were streaming from her eyes. She looked around, her eyes wide and full of fear. She was still in the sewer. In the pitch black, reeking void. She was lost.
"No one will find me..." Rose sobbed. "No one will want to find me!" She began to cry again, shoving her face into her blanket.
Rose finally noticed it. A blanket; a dirty woolen blanket had been placed on top of her. She was lying not on hard bricks, but on a worn human mattress. She was still in the sewers, so who could have helped her?
Rose laid back down, confused. She looked at her arms and legs. Someone had bandaged her up, too. Her chest was still burnt, but the pain was subsiding. Rose looked around. She couldn't see or hear anyone. She gave a quick scan with her mental powers, but stopped once her head began to burn in pain. Still too weak for that... she thought.
In the end, it came down to two options. Leave, or stay and sleep.
Her eyes made the decision for her. They slowly shut themselves, and she didn't open them for several hours.
It was late morning by the time Rose woke up. More light crept down into the sewer, shining onto her face. Her eyes fluttered open, then shut, annoyed by the brightness.
"Ough..." she groaned. "Wha..." She felt her chest. The burn was gone. Her wounds were fading even more. Her head felt a bit clearer, but her legs remained wobbly and her arms still ached. She didn't want to go back to sleep though. She wanted to... to... Well, she wasn't sure about it. She wasn't sure about anything anymore...
She stretched her arms, and tired to stand up. After a few minutes of rising slowly off the ground, she finally managed to stand up. Her legs felt like jelly, and she was famished. She didn't know how long she had been asleep. A day, two days, three days? Who knows?
She stepped forward, and promptly fell flat on her face. She gave a frustrated groan, though she was thankful for the mattress on the ground, which managed to break her fall.
Rose sighed. She couldn't just stay there, could she? She wanted to go but, she also was curious. Who had saved her? She wanted to find out. So, she fell back on the mattress.
A strange scent assaulted her nose. Her hand flew up to cover it. "Ugh..." she groaned. Something reeked down here. Well, she was in a sewer, as homey as it looked, so there was bound to be a scent. But this scent really did reek, and it seemed to be growing stronger.
A noise caught her ears. A wet sliding sound, oozing along a brick ground. Rose looked up, wondering what it could be.
Her eyes widened. Something was coming towards her. A long abandoned sewage pipe lay on the other side of the room, and a purple blob was oozing out of it and into the little home in the sewer. The blob slowly moved through the darkness, closer and closer. Rose could see a pair of eyes staring at her.
She did the only thing she could think of.