He busied himself setting up the camera as trainer and team arranged themselves by the trees just ahead. She was coming up on sixteen, tall and graceful like most other female trainers turned out. Something about traveling agreed with them, he supposed. She seemed a little off balance, but everyone had off days, and that wouldn't show in the shot, since she'd be standing, or maybe she'd perch on one of the larger Pokemon… He looked over at the two largest Pokemon at this thought and remembered the day he'd met the three, five years ago.

He had first met this girl and her first two team-mates when she was newly eleven. She had been held up due to an odd rule, one that stated the of-age children of a divorcing couple were to be held back until the case had been settled. In her family's case, the marriage had been one of business, and was being dissolved so her parents could find partners of their own choosing, rather than stay in a loveless marriage.

(They did get along, they were just happier as friends.)

They had decided to get her the extra Pokemon as an apology, and in a way as protection. Other trainers would take her at face value, and assume her age meant she was already an experienced trainer like themselves. Making sure she had two defenders right out of the gate meant she could insist on a one on one, then have the second Pokemon left to defend her while the one who had fought recovered. This all made perfect sense, until the girl discovered what they had picked out for her. Her mother had chosen from her home region of Johto, and acquired a clever, quiet Totodile. Nothing unusual there, especially since she'd started with one herself, of course she'd get one for her little girl. But the father had somehow gotten hold of a Gible! The photographer chuckled to himself, remembering the girl's shock at seeing the chubby little shark-dragon, looking from him to her father in utter disbelief. She hadn't met them until about fifteen minutes before that first picture had been taken, but she had adjusted well and the photograph was honestly almost perfect. The Gible had sat in her lap, almost vibrating out of his scales. The Totodile had been a stark contrast, eyeing the camera with the reptilian disdain one might see in…Oh, a Snivy, for instance. That look saying do hurry up, I have better things to do than this. The now enormous crocodilian seemed to have grown out of that, but the dragon hadn't changed at all; despite being a seven foot tall Garchomp, he was still full of that vibrant spirit, the energy that called him to adventure had merely been refined to an impatience that made his trainer laugh. Speaking of her, she was motioning at him. Time to take another picture.

One month later, Deana set up the End of Travels picture next to her Setting Off photo where they both belonged, as part of her 'Trainer's Shrine'. Every semi-retired trainer had one, made of those two most important pictures, any others they felt appropriate and important mementoes. She stopped to compare them, smiling at the drastic changes wrought by the five year gap between them.

The first picture had Gift in her lap, trembling with that famous draconic energy all his type carried, while Treasure leaned against the front of her left knee, looking bored and a little annoyed. Deana herself had been rather gangly back then, already starting to complain about the ground getting further away, already getting into some of that 'teenage rebellion', but in the picture none of that was present. Instead, she saw a young brunette with a reddish tinge to her short, scruffy mane, and dark brown eyes that were focused on the excited Gible in her lap, rather than the camera. She clearly couldn't believe there was really a Dragon here, that he was hers, that this was really happening! Her teenage self had to laugh, since that was exactly it. What the picture didn't show were the five tiny bruises under her right sleeve, repeated assurances against this all being a dream.

The second was sharply different, and not just because there were four more Pokemon in this one! No, this one was filled with a calm confidence not present in the other. The subjects were happy with their journey, and were now bringing it to a pleasant end. (Yet, there seemed to be a tension in their poses, in their smiles…)

Gift towered over everyone from the very left, keeping his afternoon shadow out of the way. Treasure stood next to him, and Deana had chosen to park herself between her two starters, though she was half concealed by Gift's left arm-fin. Next to them was Natani, a powerful, sleek Luxray, but even a casual look told her story, clear as day. She was covered in scars, some of them still naked, others now covered by fur that was devoid of the yellow-gold it had once been. Despite being a Shiny, she had been left for dead outside Jubilife, a dying example of the phrase 'torn to shreds'. Deana never found out how she had been so badly injured, and Natani didn't remember, the trauma blocked from casual recall, though flashes of it came through in her rare nightmares, telling her things she promptly re-blocked. Nonetheless, she was the equal of any other Electric type, her abilities having remained blessedly undamaged.

Posed next to her was a fairly average looking male Staraptor, named Cruise. He was an accidental capture, however. Deana had been battling another Starly, but it had slapped the Pokeball into a nearby tree, smacking into and capturing the sound asleep Cruise. He was still a Starly, and seemed perfectly happy being on her team, so she had never questioned him further, leaving the happy accident behind and enjoying her new friend's company.

Pious and Peril were brothers, but they were also wildly different species. While Lucario and Houndoom share an Egg Group, it being the 'Field' grouping, they rarely came into intimate contact, and for them to produce pups of different species was almost a miracle. Deana's father had purchased the pair, but as they grew he realized they would never be the stoic guard dogs he had intended them to be. After hearing this, Deana offered to take them, since she had no prospects for the empty slots in her team. Her father agreed only to let her meet them, but when they immediately warmed up to her, he gave in and let her keep the two rather odd dogs. Pious tended to watch the sky, his mind busy with serious matters, leaving his gaze unfocused and undirected. On the other hand, Peril had the worst luck any of them had ever seen, though it seemed to keep out of his battles, making him no better or worse than any other Hound his age. Both canines were friendly and hard to be upset with for long, no matter how much trouble Pious got into for staring at people while deep in thought, or how many times Peril got them into every other kind of trouble.

Deana had never collected more than these six, never seeing the point in having more. They were all fantastic specimens of their kind, healthy and confident not only in themselves but also in each other, having built up strong bonds over the long years of wandering Sinnoh's wilder places. Each of them had battle wounds earned not in legal combat, but in those wild places, where every fight put your life on the line. Even Deana herself had several, on her arms from protecting her face, and on her long legs were claw mark and a few bites. A million tiny pinpricks rounded out her scars, from an embarrassing encounter with a thick clump of thorny brambles. (She still swore they had never gotten them all out.)

The rest of the shrine consisted of a fat photo album, one filled badge case, and her tattered old bandana, stained by her travels and torn during her various misadventures. She smiled at the battered old thing and let her memories go, for now.

She had more pressing matters demanding her attention.