Chapter 1 - Taking a Walk
There was a sound of knocking on the door.
Jake opened his eyes and, after letting out a yawn and stretching sleepily on his mattress, checked his hand watch for the time. Seven AM. He listened out for a moment, trying to figure out whether somebody had really just knocked on his door or whether it was just his tiredness playing tricks on his mind. A second or two later he heard the knocking again, the sound confirming that there was indeed someone there. He groaned with annoyance and stood up, getting a slight headache and a feeling of being dizzy from rising from the rather low height of a mattress on the floor in only two seconds.
Having an actual bed and not just a plain mattress could normally prevent the headaches caused by sudden changes of altitude, but the inn which Jake had been living in for the past 7 years was a very, very plain one. All he had in his so called bedroom was that old mattress covered with simple sheets and a small closet in which he kept his clothes. In the bedroom there were 2 doors; one that led to a small shower and bathroom and one that led to the so called living room.
The living room had a small kitchen area with a stove, a microwave and a small refrigerator. It also had an old couch, an old TV and an even older phone which was barely working and which Jake had been trying to replace for more than a month already. Not that he got to use it often. There was also a radio which the teenager listened to from time to time. On the TV there was a picture of him when he was 10 years old. There were also a man and a woman in the picture as well as a girl who was a few years younger with an ocarina in her hand. Next to the picture, there lay the same ocarina from the photo.
Jake walked from the mattress to the closet (a distance of not even two footsteps, seeing how small the "bedroom" actually was) and opened it, letting out a sigh as the knocking on the door of his inn room was heard once more.
"I'm coming, I'm coming…" he said with another yawn as he took out some clothes from the closet.
Jake was a 17 year old teenager who was only a little taller than the average height of most individuals his age. He had a rather pale skin color, green eyes and hair that was colored somewhere between brown and blond. His hair wasn't exactly what one would call long, being just about short enough so to not get into his eyes all the time. After he was fully dressed, with his only pair of jeans, a white T-shirt and his only jacket; a red one which he never zipped close, he went ahead to his "living room" and opened the door.
"Oh, hey Jacob." he said as he held back a yawn, looking at his friend who was standing on the other side of the door with an enthusiastic smile on his face.
The two of them have known each other ever since Jacob and his father moved in to Pewter City 6 years ago.
"Morning Jake!" it was then that Jake noticed that his friend had a backpack and that he was dressed up as if he was going to go on a walk throughout the entire region of Kanto. "What happened to you?" asked Jacob; as if he had been expecting something else upon the opening of the door. "You look as if you just woke up!"
"That's because I did just wake up." said the latter, looking at his friend with a rather blank expression. "You woke me up." There was a short silence during which Jacob stared at Jake, feeling a little awkward. "Why? Why would you do that? The morning is evil…" added Jake with a fake shudder. After another short moment they both chuckled and Jake invited Jacob inside. "But seriously, Jacob, it's only 7 AM." he pointed at the bag his friend had with him as they both sat down on the couch, "And what's with all the equipment?"
Jacob gave his friend a slight frown, "Have you forgotten?" Jake said nothing, but despite his empty and tired expression Jacob could tell that he was trying to think about what it was that he'd apparently forgotten. "I'm going to Pallet Town today. I've told you about it so many times just this past week. Professor Oak's going to give me my own pokémon to train!"
Jake let out a sigh, "Oh, right, that…"
It was all coming back to him now; Jacob has indeed been talking recently about how excited he was to get his first pokémon. Actually, he hadn't really forgotten. If anything, this was the type of 'pretending to have forgotten so that it didn't look as though you cared' situation. The truth was that his friend's planned departure has been the main subject of Jake's thoughts for quite a while already.
Jacob has wanted to become a trainer for quite a while now, but catching a wild pokémon without already having a pokémon to weaken it with first could be a problem. Since his father was associated with Professor Oak, the professor agreed to give him a pokémon. The latter was also 17, like Jake. He was about as tall as his friend was, dark-haired and had brown eyes.
"You said you'd come with me since you don't have to go to work this week." he said.
"True." said Jake, "But the owner of the restaurant came over yesterday and said that I have to work today. As a matter of fact, I have to be there in about an hour from now…" Oh joy...
"What do you mean you have to work?" asked Jacob, sounding disappointed. "He can't do that after promising you the week off." Oh, if only people knew how long it had taken Jacob to convince Jake to come with him to do something that was related to pokémon.
"It doesn't matter whether he can or can't do that." said Jake with a sigh before sarcastically adding, "I need this job so that I can keep this lovely suite of mine and it's not that easy to find a job these days, especially at my age. I don't want to get fired."
Jake has been working in that restaurant for the past 7 years, which was the main reason why he was living in an inn and not in the streets. It wasn't a job that offered much in terms of payment and, considering he had only been 10 at the time, he was lucky to have been hired in the first place.
"Sorry, Jacob, I know I promised to come with you but I just can't risk losing my job."
In all honesty, Jake was feeling pretty conflicted about either going with his friend or not. On one hand, this was something Jacob had awaited for a long time now and it was very important to him. On the other, going with him would mean being forcefully reminded of the fact that he would be leaving soon (to go on a journey with a random pokémon he barely knew in the first place).
Also, Travelling from Pewter City to Pallet Town meant going through Viridian City, and going through Viridian City meant going through the Viridian Forest which was literally filled with wild pokémon. But eventually Jake had originally agreed to it after his friend's repeated pleas.. Now, however, he really couldn't go, something he was quite relieved about.
"Well, I guess it can't be helped…" said Jacob with a defeated sigh.
"Sorry, I really was going to come with you."
Jake has never been enthusiastic when it came to pokémon. In fact, one could say that he wanted nothing to do with them whatsoever. He was glad that Jacob understood that that wasn't the reason why he couldn't come with him to Pallet Town, though. There was no convincing his boss.
"How long will it take until you come back?" he then asked.
"Well…" Jacob paused, looking as though he was calculating the answer in his head, "It should take me a day to get to Pallet Town on my bicycle, so I'll be back tomorrow in the evening. I'll have to spend the night there so to not travel while it's dark." There was a short pause and then Jacob smiled, "Hey, maybe when I get back I can help you catch your own pokémon." he added, looking at his friend with a hopeful expression.
Jake immediately shook his head, "Not a chance." He looked at his friend after letting out a sigh, "When will you stop with that? Just because so many people have pokémon doesn't mean that everybody should have one." Seriously, wasn't he going to ever give up?
Jacob let out a sigh of despair. "Come on Jake, what's with you? You're like the only person in the entire city that doesn't own a pokémon."
No matter how many times Jacob had tried convincing Jake to become a trainer, he has never been able to change his friend's mind. And no matter how many times he tried figuring out the reason why Jake kept refusing the latter never told him.
"Look, I should be getting ready for work." said Jake, changing the subject as he got up from the couch. "Give me a call when you get to Pallet Town." There was a short pause during which Jacob also stood up, "You know, so that I'll be sure that nothing ate you on the way."
"Jake, pokémon don't eat people." said Jacob with a raised eyebrow. Sometimes it really looked as though Jake was serious. "But sure, I'll give you a call when I get there." He opened the door with a smile, "See you tomorrow in the evening, then."
After Jacob got out and closed the door behind him, leaving his friend alone, Jake sat back down on the couch, staring aimlessly at the wall. He thought about Jacob's inquiry for a moment before standing back up and walking over to his TV, picking up the picture that was on in and examining it closely. After a short moment of standing absolutely still he let out a shaky sigh before placing the photo back where it belonged. With both that and his friend's impending leave to go on a journey, he prepared for work and eventually left, taking the old ocarina with him and putting it in one of the pockets of his jacket.
He walked down the street in his usual, calm manner, but his apparent peace was interrupted when he heard a familiar voice behind him.
Hey, Jakey!" That voice, to Jake's ears, was like the horrible sound of scraping one rusty knife against the other.
Jake turned around, his expression an expression of someone who wasn't in the mood. "What do you want Brad? I'm kind of on my way to work."
The cocky-looking teenager approached Jake with a boastful grin. "I thought I should let you know that I'm going to Pallet Town to get a pokémon today."
"Really? Professor Oak's going to give a pokémon to you?"
As was usually clear to almost anyone right away, Brad wasn't the nicest person. While Jake wasn't a pokémon expert, he knew that they were living creatures at the end of the day.
"How much did you pay to whoever convinced him to do that? Or maybe the professor just doesn't know you well enough to figure out that you're one of the devil's minions?"
One could almost say that the two of them have been mortal enemies since childhood. The thing that annoyed Brad about him the most was the fact that Jake never got upset or even a little worked up over anything he said. Even if something that annoying guy blurted did agitate him, he never let him show. The truth was that, today in particular, Jake was especially no in the mood to deal with him. He was already worked up over the fact that his best and only friend would be leaving Pewter City.
"What's that to you?" asked Brad, annoyed as always by Jake's sarcastic, apathetic response and by the fact that he was once again failing to get on his nerves.
"You're the one who came to me in order to tell me about what's happening in your life, which, by the way, is the last thing I care about in the entire universe."
"You're not going to get a pokémon, are you?" Brad didn't even give Jake a chance to answer, which kind of indicated that he had come up with what he was going to say before even approaching him. "I think you're just afraid that I'll- no, wait, you know that I'll be a better trainer than you."
Since Jake never allowed Brad to get to him Brad had this obsession of being better than Jake at pretty much everything. Well, everything except for playing the thought music was 'for dorks like Jakey'. "Everybody knows that's the reason you don't like pokémon."
"By everybody you mean just you right?"
"Whatever Jakey! You'll see, one day I'll be the champion! You're lucky I don't have time for you right now because I have to be at Pallet Town by tomorrow morning!"
"Give me a call from Indigo Plateau once you get to the hall of fame." said Jake with a chuckle as he walked off.
After a regular workday at the restaurant the teenager returned to his inn room, locking the door of the tiny apartment behind him.
"Home sweet home…" he said to himself, a slight hint of sarcasm in his voice.
It was already early evening by the time he arrived back to his dwelling place. He prepared himself a rather simple dinner and ate it before sitting down on the old couch and turning on the TV. What appeared on the screen was some pokémon battle which was being lively broadcast from some gym in the Sinnoh region. Jake sighed and switched to a different channel. This time there were a bunch of people sitting in a television studio and talking about pokémon. He switched the channel again. Another pokémon battle. And another. Heck, there was even a channel dedicated completely to pokémon fashion!
Jake groaned and turned off the TV, continuing to sit on the couch for a while before turning on the radio, letting out a happy sigh as soothing music began playing in the background. However, it was only a matter of seconds before the music stopped and a young woman's voice was heard instead.
"This type of relaxing music is perfect for helping your pokémon calm down and…"
Jake let out another impatient groan and switched to another channel.
"Welcome to Professor Oak's Pokémon Talk!"
Feeling one of his eyes twitch, the teenager facepalmed so hard that it actually hurt both his hand and his forehead. He decided to turn off the radio just to be on the safe side, because he didn't want to end up throwing it out of the window. The last thing he wanted was to pay for it, since it wasn't really his at the end of the day. Taking off his jacket and placing it on one end of the couch, he lay down and used it as a pillow. About a minute or two later, the phone rang. Jake got up from the couch and picked it up.
"Hey, Jake?" came Jacob's voice through the phone.
"Oh, hi! I take it that you made it there in one piece?"
"Yeah, I'm here. I'll be meeting the professor tomorrow in the morning."
"Glad to hear you're okay, Jacob. Let me ask, did you happen to see-"
"Brad?" asked Jacob, his voice indicating that he had anticipated the question. "Yeah, he's here in Pallet Town too."
Jake only chuckled. "Did he brag about becoming a champion to you already?"
"Yes." answered Jacob, "Why, did he brag about it in front of you too?"
Jake rolled his eyes, "Just this morning." He could hear his friend snicker. "I tell you, that guy does nothing but talk and talk. His mother should have named him Brag instead of Brad. Anyways, where are you staying? In an inn?"
"I was going to, but this very nice lady offered me to stay in her place. She said I can use her son's room because he's been gone for the past three years." said Jacob. "Ikinda feel a little bad, though… According to her, he hasn't contacted her ever since he left Pallet Town on his pokémon journey." There was a short silence. "But never mind that. What are you up to?"
"There's nothing on TV or the radio… Every single thing has pokémon in it, it's maddening!" exclaimed Jake, much to his friend's amusement. "I think I'll go for a walk in the Viridian Forest. You know, because there's no city noise there and all."
"I just don't get you Jake." said Jacob. "When I first asked you to come with me here you said you didn't want to go through the Viridian Forest because there are pokémon all over the place, and yet you take walks there in the evenings on an almost regular basis!" It was a habit Jacob has never been able to explain.
"That's because there are mostly bug pokémon there and they don't come out after it gets dark." said Jake, grabbing his jacket and putting it on, once again not zipping it.
"I guess that's true… Listen, I have to go now, but I'll see you tomorrow when I get back."
"Sure thing. Have fun."
He hung up and went outside. The Viridian Forest was located not far away from Pewter City – a matter of a few minutes' walk. Jake always enjoyed taking walks in quiet and peaceful places. It did however take him a while to learn that the Viridian Forest was a good place for that only when it was dark. The first time he entered the forest he ended up being chased by a Beedrill. The second time he went there, he came across a Caterpie which took an unusual liking to him for some reason and decided to follow him around. Despite him telling it to go away, the small bug type hadn't listened. The next and third time, by chance, happened to be after the sun went down. Ever since then he has never entered the forest during daytime.
As he walked through the woods, Jake made sure to listen out carefully and take in the sights. He enjoyed nature more than almost anything, especially when it came to a beautiful and quiet place like the Viridian Forest. It was simply relaxing. The feeling of the wind blowing against him and the sound of the leaves rustling and the sound the grass made as he walked through the forest made it easy to disconnect from reality.
When looking at the facts, he was living in what had to be the worst inn on the entire planet, had to rely on a not-so-stable job at a restaurant that could go bankrupt without warning in order to have something to eat and it felt like his life wasn't going anywhere. As much as Jake was a person who managed to be satisfied with what little he had, be it a terrible home and only one friend to ever hang out with, it felt good to just go to a quiet spot and not think about all the troubles of life from time to time. Well, there was the fact that said friend was keen on travelling the Kanto region and becoming a trainer.
The thoughtful teenager continued walking through the forest until something caught his eye; a light coming from a deeper part of the woods. It seemed as though somebody had put up a fire, but there was no telling whether that same person was going to remember to put it out or not. In fact, it was possible that whoever lit up the fire was already gone from the place. Having the the entire forest burn sounded pretty dreadful to say the least so he decided to go and make sure that everything was okay. However, when he finally found the source of the light, he discovered that it wasn't a fire somebody had put up. It was actually coming from a Charmander's tail. It was unconscious and, from the looks of it, in a pretty bad shape too.
A/N: I would like to congratulate those of you who have made it this far; it means that your brain has the mental capabilities of dealing with my writing (I believe in self-humor).
I'll be more than happy if you decide to follow the story; those of you who have read my MLP stories know that if I start a story, I finish it. If you do decide to follow, I'll be more than happy if you leave a review, in which case, I'll be delighted to hear whatever you might think about the story. Also, if you have any questions, you are more than free to add them to your reviews or send me a PM. I'll answer everything as long as it's spoiler free.
If you plan on reading on, then you should know what to expect. As for the anime, you might want to forget about it. I didn't watch a lot of it, and most of the episodes I did watch were in the first 5 seasons. Therefore, you shouldn't expect anything in this story to be like in the anime. For example, if any of the gym leaders appear in the story (which will happen eventually), their personalities will be based on the games and not the anime. The same goes for Elite Four members and whoever else you can think of.
There's no Gary Oak, for example - Professor's Oak's grandson is Blue. The only thing you can expect to be close to the anime is, um… How can I explain this? Did you see the second pokémon movie, "The Power of One"? It's my favorite pokémon movie of all time; my childhood was pretty much based on it. If you guys haven't seen I highly recommend it, not only because you'll enjoy it but also because I'm planning to make a pretty big reference to the plot of the movie later on in the story. You will not be able to understand this upcoming part of the story (when I get to it) if you haven't seen the movie.
BTW, I always proofread my stories for grammatical / spelling errors because I type very fast. I only read a chapter once before posting it so you'll have to excuse me if I miss anything.