It's often difficult not to compare real life to television. The glamorous lifestyles shown with all its bright colors. It was made difficult even more so if they were lifestyles nearly everyone pursued. Champions standing tall and proud next to their partner Pokèmon. Who wouldn't dream so big? Their battles were awe-inspiring. Their back stories even more so. But they never showed what happened behind the scenes. The blood, sweat, and tears that were spilt on the way to the top; the sacrifices done, the wins, the losses. All sugarcoated by the media. Most had enough common sense to know the darkness lurking behind these stories, but most chose to ignore it, blinded by their own thoughts that they would be different. Mistakes were made, people and Pokèmon alike died, all in the name of becoming the best.
I am June Aquaters, daughter of skilled Water-Type breeder, Walter Aquaters and this is my story of my climb to become my own best.
I would like to say that my start was easy as I had an advantage over others with where I came from. It wasn't the case.
For the most part of my life, I was very sheltered. I didn't have friends outside my large extended family and I was an only child. This would prove to bite me in the butt later on but we'll get to that part of the story soon enough.
I spent most of my time helping dad out in his breeding facility, the only one of his kind with its structure. It accommodated for each and any Water-Type; which my father spent most of his life, and life savings, in developing.
Money wasn't really the problem when he started, what the issue was that it had required a large quantity of land to build and no settlements were willing to partake in such a large and unstable project within the many towns of the Johto region.
It was a series of pools of many sizes and depths linked together by a large pipe system. Water-types could swim to and from any pool they wanted to freely, so long as they minded their size.
At the center of all these pools were three medium sized buildings for a hatchery, a small hospital for emergencies, and the last one for food storage/preparations
Another issue was the Breeder class in general. It didn't have much battling compared to that of a Trainer or Coordinator, so it wasn't popular. Many think breeding a Pokémon isn't difficult at all and most do it themselves.
Who could blame the towns for rejecting the scheme my father had? A lanky, tall man with dark brown hair and burning green eyes bursting through the city hall asking for land? Absurd! And very unprofessional.
But after a few phone calls, dad ended up in the town of Greenfield. A small, but expanding town that had run into a mess of trouble after an incident years ago involving a legendary Pokémon of fire, Entei. It's quantity of travelers had gone down dramatically due to fear and in the years after, the town disappeared of off many Pokémon Trainer maps and was on its last legs. Having nothing to lose, the Mayor of the town agreed to assist my father in his plans after discussing it with the citizens.
It was the biggest success of the town. The word had spread of it and through many years, Trainers of many sorts searching for Water-Types came to Walter for advice and offered up whatever Water-Type they were willing to place for breeding. Eventually, the facility became the only place to have many species of Water-Types collected in one space that lived comfortably. Walter had even mastered breeding Pokémon to give them much more potential than their wild counterpart, knowing moves it couldn't normally achieve, their abilities at prime condition; it was what got the attention of those who sought out my fathers work. But even with all the advancement in breeding my dad could create, the popularity of Breeders was still lower than the others. There had been break-ins, demands of Pokémon to be given away through nasty letters, and other damages. I guess because my father hardly battled in public meant he was weak, or at least that's what he told me; I had seen some of his matches when he had entered the Silver Conference and ended up in the Top 8. After several more incidents, my dad set up a large gate in front of our home, guarded by two of his best Blastoise at the entrance.
To make sure he was handing a Pokémon to the right customer, he also set up requirements to know that he was making the right choice. It depended on the individual, battling, answering questions, etcetera; they really had to put the effort to receive one of my dad's Pokémon.
Eventually my dad met my mother during one of these proceedings and they fell in love after several dates. They got hitched and had me later on. I'll spare the details.
With those nasty incidents in mind, and a touch of what I like to call 'Dad logic', dad decided not to let me have much of a life outside of family. The only times I was out of the house was to visit my Aunts and Uncles, who they themselves had followed after Walter and made breeding facilities of their own with a different type.
My mom homeschooled me until I felt like I didn't need it anymore so there went that idea of making friends. It didn't bother me at the time since I never gave it much thought. I had the Pokémon to look after, so I never felt lonely.
Of course when my I heard of my older Cousins departing on their own travels through Johto when I was 12, that was when I started to realize that I wanted to see life outside of my home and a big question began forming in my head, When would I get the chance to go?
(4 years later)
"Dad, you know this can only go one way," I raised my chin at him, grinning.
He sighed and scratched his head, mumbling to himself. He furrowed his brow, glaring at the cards he had in his hand. Moving a few around he absentmindedly patted the head of his starter, a Feraligatr named Gatr. It laid next to his side of the table, occasionally snoring.
He raised an eyebrow at me, leaning back to his chair.
"Getting confident, huh? Why not make things interesting?"
I gestured to the pile of money on the table between us. Between the two of us, it was roughly 200,000 pokèyen. We were going crazy with the betting at the moment, it was far more than what I'd ever had since I spent all of my allowance usually. Also, most of the betting was from Dad, I'm thinking he set a trap for me.
"I mean to add something more than just money." He said.
The wheels in my head instantly turned.
"I win, you feed everyone in this house and the Pokémon for a whole month, even Banzai."
"I flinched a little. It wasn't the cooking, it was the thought of getting near Banzai, my dad's top Sharpedo. It's had a history with me since it likes to viciously growl at me in particular and scrape at the edges of the pool when I get too close. In short it doesn't like me and the way it stares at me with its evil red eyes, I don't like it either.
"But the thought of my side of the bet made me forget about Banzai and focus on the bigger picture.
"..'K, but if I win, I get to travel."
Instantly, my father's face tightened. He really did not want me to leave the house. The conversation usually ended with him cutting the topic short and leaving the room. But I wasn't going to let up on my goal, I was as stubborn as he was when it came to things I wanted.
Seconds turned minutes ticked by, me biting my bottom lip in anticipation. I was close to drawing blood until he finally let a breath out and spoke.
I held my breath. Arceus please let me win this game.
""But you should forget about it, cause you're going STRAIGHT to Banzai." He showed his hand, a Straight.
I mentally screamed, though I was completely composed on the outside. I grinned after a few moments and showed my hand.
Dad's face became emotionless, though vein of anger was popping out of his forehead. He abruptly got up and stormed into the house, jolting Gatr awake. He saw the door close and looked to me, a low grumbling sound in his throat. He was grumpy for being woken up and left the open garage to the backyard leading out, to the calm twilight sky. Gatr was probably going to look for peace, knowing a storm was brewing.
I collected the money into my shorts pockets, going into the house as well. Wish I could hide with Gatr.
I stepped quietly through the hall I entered in, heading to the opening on the left, leading to the kitchen. I stopped when I saw my dad, his back turned on me, talking to my mother. She was tying her dark hair back, listening attentively. I decided that maybe they needed the alone time to talk, probably of my bet. I turned quickly and began walking to the stairs, until I was stopped. Nothing was touching me but I was held in place, a Golduck coming into my sight. The gem on its forehead was glowing as was its eyes, it was using Psychic. It gave me a look of apology before turning me around, facing me back to my parents.
"Thank you Sinbad." My dad dismissed the water/psychic.
It nodded, letting me go but idly standing at the door. I shuffled a little, biting my lip again.
"You know I'm completely against you going." Dad narrowed his eyes at me. "I don't want you getting assaulted like I was."
"But I-" I stuttered out, before I was cut off.
"Yes you'll have Pokémon, but it's not enough. They won't be out at all times to keep an eye on you."
"Your father is right dear, I think most of this is from him being a sore loser but I worry like him," Mom spoke, Dad frowning at the 'Sore Loser' comment.
"I can care for myself," I muttered, looking down.
"You've never been out there on your own, how would you know?" Dad crossed his arms.
"And who's fault is that?" My cheeks felt hot, but I didn't meet their eyes.
"Would you like Catherine and me to get sick with worry every night?" He continued. "Or think you may get lost somewhere?"
"I'm suffocating here! Can't you see?! Will I be stuck here for the rest of my life? Don't I get a choice in what I want to do?!" I was huffing in anger, now I looked at them.
Their expressions softened, knowing I had made a point. They can't keep me here and they knew it.
After a pause, Mom spoke."She's right, we can't keep her like this. Hating us is the last thing we want from her."
"I couldn't hate you," I mumbled, my anger gone. "I know you do it cause you care and such but I've wanted to travel, like you did Dad."
He glanced to the floor, thinking hard. He humphed after a moment before looking at me.
"I'll let you go, but you'll have to wait a bit so you can get ready."
I flipped, grabbing my parents into a hug. I gave them a flurry of thank yous and telling them they were the best parents ever.
"Kids say that when they get something usually," Mom teased.
Dad laughed, the angry feeling in the air gone. I used the atmosphere to ask my next request.
"What's my starter going to be?"
"Oh I've got a good one," Dad grinned at me.
"It's not a Magikarp is it?" Nothing against them, but their helpless faces weren't exactly going to let me travel far. "Or couldn't I pick one?"
Mom looked to Dad in agreement. He looked back before nodding to me. "But I get to approve. I'm not letting you make off with some super powerful Pokémon."
I laughed. I didn't think about taking one of the older ones, I wanted a partner that could grow with me; plus having a powerful member to begin with would makes things difficult cause it was more than likely to ignore you if you were inexperienced. Of course I agreed with him before we left to turn in for the night. It wasn't late, but the arguing left me tired. Going up the stairs and into my room, I was greeted by a pair of glowing yellow eyes and what sounded like purring.
"Luxwave get off my bed." I told the pair of eyes before turning on my lamp at the side table.
"A Luxray currently laying on my bed rolled onto her back, ignoring me. The electric type was a gift to my mom who in turn let me care for her. She didn't leave the house at all since the Water-types usually glared at her and was as lazy as a Snorlax. I pushed her a bit so she got the message and the lioness slowly got off, flicking her tail in annoyance.
As soon as I was ready for bed and settled in, she leapt back on, laying her head on my stomach. She was big and as always took up most of the room on my bed. Chuffing at me, she curled up, pushing me to the wall my bed settled by. How comfortable.
"Luxwave no." I said, pushing back. "I need to sleep."
She grumbled but leapt off, settling to her own bed nearby and went to sleep. Snuggling further in to my comforter, I shut my eyes before realizing something. The thought of my journey buzzing in my head was going to make this a long night.
I'd like to think I got around a decent amount of hours in rest. Granted they were broken since I kept waking up checking my Lapras alarm clock every thirty minutes. When it went off at the time I set it to, I pressed the horn on its snout after it's first note. I also noted that Luxwave had made her way back to my bed onto my legs, which explained why I dreamt I couldn't walk earlier in the night. Making a big deal of moving abruptly I shook the lioness off, who in turn growled in protest. As I shuffled off, Luxwave settled into the center, curling up for a couple more minutes of resting. I honestly wonder how in Legendaries name can she sleep for so long but I didn't have time to think of that, tearing into my closet I pulled out my ideal traveling clothes, a green shirt and a baggy pair of beige shorts. Simple, how I usually like my outfits.
Passing by my dresser next to the door, the mirror atop of it showing me how much of a mess my bed-head was. Having short hair usually did that. I ran my brush quickly though my hair still sticked up, but it was neater as a pixie cut should be.
"I left the room, skipping over the last few steps of the staircase. I stumbled, but I recovered and ran into the kitchen. No one was in, not even Ore my mother's starter Empoleon. Weird, but the plate of breakfast on the counter told me my mom wasn't here right now. I ate it in steady bites, time catching up to me that I was leaving home soon. The bites became fast after a few moments, I needed to go out back to start looking for everyone.
I stepped past the staircase through the doorway I came in from the garage and straight on out. I found my mother with Ore, the Empoleon protesting at a group of small Woopers bothering him.
"Mom?" I asked, mindful of the Woopers now playing around me.
"Morning!" She chirped, Ore clicking the small claws under his fins.
"You're up early.." I think I set my alarm a little late..
"Yes, Walter and I kept talking about you're possible starter. Couldn't sleep for hours."
"Really?" They were really in! I couldn't believe it, I had full support!
She nodded, rubbing the side of Ore's near-nonexistent neck. She then lead me to the Hatchery, where Dad was handing two eggs to a Quagsire.
"Awake are we?" He said smugly. I guess he was surprised I slept at all. "Well after a while of speaking with Catherine, I think I've got you're perfect starter."
He gestured at the play pen he had for newly hatched 'Mons. Weird, I thought I was going to pick my starter myself. I looked in the pen to see several Carvahnas in the shallow pool, no doubt Banzai's kin.
Dad clearly knew my dislike for Banzai, no way was I taking one of his kids.
"Just humoring you," Dad laughed. "A vicious Carvahna is not exactly a good starter to go by."
"I thought I was picking mine," I frowned, I think he's delaying me on purpose.
He frowned back, disliking my abrupt attitude. "Eager to leave are we?"
I sighed. I was not going to have my last moments with my parents in anger. I bit my tongue.
"Now darling," Mom broke the tension. "You were excited too to meet your new partner."
He sighed in agreement before motioning me to follow him, I looked at mom to see her winking at me. Leaving the Hatchery, we came to the center section of the pools where the younger Pokémon stayed in under watch. These were cut off from the network until they were old enough to mingle with the older Pokémon.
"I'll check on you later." Dad said, giving me time to myself.
I kept myself calm, I needed to look serious here. I told him I would be fine and thanked him. He rose an eyebrow at me probably wondering what was up with my sudden change but shrugged after, leaving me.
I grinned as soon as he left, then turned my attention to the pools. Lucky for me my Dad had hatched quite a few from different species. He regulated when eggs could arrive and when they hatched. It served to keep the compound from getting crowded and other purposes. Usually, my dad picked what Pokémon were to mate together for the season to make optimal baby Pokémon. The offspring often had one or several abilities from the parents. In example, if one of the parents had high defense, the baby was likely to have the same trait. Certain moves a parent learn could also be passed down to the next generation. Several Professors studied this phenomenon, but it was still a mystery as to why it happened; what was most fascinating about it was that it brought many possibilities to the offspring that could help benefit people.
I sat at the edge of the closest pool, dipping my bare feet in. A Remoraid poked its head out of the water, eyeing me curiously. Playfully dodging my hand, it circled my feet before another came up and took its attention to play further down the pool. I thought for a while before deciding that having an amphibious partner would be better as I wasn't always going to have water to swim around in and it wouldn't be fair to the Pokémon to not able to be out of its ball as often as it should be. That narrowed my choices down considerably. Something nudged my legs and I looked down to see a Buizel looking at me expectantly. It eventually got out of the pool and began clambering around me, it's tiny webbed paws hooking onto my clothes. I resisted the urge to laugh, as the sudden sound would scare the little guy away. It then got off and stood on its hind legs; judging by its height it was close to my knee. It tilted its head at me before yipping and wagging its tail, the flotation sac around its neck inflating and deflating. I slowly placed my hand on its head, sudden movements could make it scratch at me on accident and I wasn't sure Buizel was comfortable with me. It wriggled out of my touch and leapt back in the pool, leaving me as it swam down and outta sight as a few Luvdisc obscured its view. Not my starter I suppose. Sometimes the Pokémon just wasn't interested enough to stay by you.
"I got up, walking to another pool to look in. A Staryu was clinging on the side, it's gem glowing as it acknowledged me nearby. I did like Staryu's, they were very mysterious since they don't project emotion in a visual manner. Being part Psychic meant it sent out signals to display what it felt, if it was trained enough to do so. Woopers jumped out of the pool, much like before and squealed around me as they played. I'm not going to lie, Woopers had a very...odd look to them, they were hard to understand and frustrating to battle with or against since the only emotion they showed was that dopey grin.
"I seriously considered the Staryu until I was distracted by a squeaky/gurgly sound. I turned and skimmed the other pools until I saw a rather vocal Totodile fighting over a bath toy with an Oshawott. I came to their pool, curious to all this hubbub. They stopped when they noticed me, the toy forgotten for a moment. Seconds later they went back to tugging at it before the Oshawott snatched it away and swam off. A defeated gurgle came out of the Totodile as it hung its head, then looked to me to make sure I was still looking. Seeing its audience the Pokémon blinked at me once, silence gracing us, before diving into the pool. Now Totodiles would make a great partner, amphibious, usually outgoing, strong and pretty darn cute! I sat crisscross at the edge, leaning in to see where the Pokemon had swam off to.
I peered in, but there wasn't much to look into since a few Feebas had collected in front of me. They darted away seconds after and before I had time to see why, I was met with a small blue blur latching onto my arm and knocking me over. I screamed. Immediately, Gatr was upon me, bellowing in fury. Dad charged to where I was, quickly poking Totodile in the eyes to make it let go. Gatr towered over Totodile and gave a deep hiss at it. It's scarlet eyes went wide in terror and quickly laid on its belly, a whimper coming from it.
"Easy Gatr." Dad helped me up. "Bring it with us to the house."
Lowering its head, the Feraligatr picked up its younger evolution up in his jaws by its tail, walking on all fours to the house.
Mom was pale at the sight of the tears in my arm. Totodile had ripped skin off along with the several marks of where its teeth dug in. Good thing it didn't need stitching. She had cleaned the bite and dressed it. I hissed in pain at the antibacterial spray burning me. To make things worst, there was a spot under the gauze where it was itching.
Gatr dropped off Totodile on the floor in the living room where we were at; the little water type still laying on its belly in fear. Seeing me it scrambled towards where I sat, I braced for yet another bite. Nothing like that happened, it was trying to latch onto something to get onto my lap.
"Get that thing out!" Mom exclaimed. "It bites!"
"That's what it does," Walter glanced to Gatr. "When they like a potential trainer, they bite."
Gatr rumbled and turned away, denying what he said. Totodile grabbed onto my ankle, gurgling.
"I think, I'll take Totodile with me." I said, looking at the amphibian.
"You sure June?" Mom frowned at Totodile. "Something else without those teeth would be much better. Arceus knows if it might dismember you. Maybe a nice Piplup would be better.
"No," I lifted up the small croc. "I think Totodile's picked me and now I've picked It."
Dad spoke up. "I'm not going to sugar coat it June. Maybe this is for you to have second thoughts but that bite is the first of many. It will continue to bite unless you train it to stop before it evolves. If you don't and it evolves, it's gonna be worst."
The bite mark throbbed a little in the wrap. I'm unsure about having more on me, but I really did want Totodile. I held it closer, feeling little claws dig into me.
"Then it settles it," Dad stroked Gatr's head fin.
Mom dejectedly looked at Totodile, not liking the idea of a razor sharp monster coming with me.
A/n: Sure as heck did not like where the other story was going. I'm going to keep some stuff from the old one, but I'm going to add more characterization. It needed more explanation to what and how things happened so that's what I'm gonna do. It was sorta messy the way I was typing the old story so I rather just start from scratch. Unless work takes time away from me, I will build this story away at a much more thoughtful pace.