A/N: Okay, I'm taking an indefinite hiatus on everything but this story POSSIBLY. So if I stop updating please note that this is on hiatus.
Just as Alfred and Matthew retraced their steps through the Gym, Alice burst in. She had two extra Pokéballs strapped to her white apron.
"Matthew, it's time to battle!"
"I'm sorry, Alice, but Alfred and I were going to lunch to celebrate his first Gym win." Alice looked shocked to discover Alfred's victory. "If you want, you can come with us to lunch before we battle."
Alice crossed her arms. "Hmph. I can wait for you here. You and Alfred should celebrate together." She glared at Alfred, who smiled as a response, while Matthew frowned.
"Whatever you want, Alice. We won't be gone too long," Matthew promised.
"I expect not."
Without saying another word, Alfred and Matthew stepped past Alice and out of the Gym. Alfred wondered what new Pokémon Alice had gathered before arriving in Toronto City, but he quickly forgot this query for another as they walked along the busy streets.
"Where are we going to eat?"
"I dunno. There are lots of good restaurants here."
"God, what do we even have back home? Nothing?"
"Chikyuu Town's too small for any large businesses. All the adults work here in the city anyways. It's a wonder we don't already live here ourselves."
"Us? Abandon good ol' Chikyuu Town? No way, man. I'd rather deal with having no Pokémon forever than leave town forever!"
"You think so?" Matthew smiled gently as his younger brother nodded fiercely. "All right, then. I don't think I'd be able to leave for long, either. I got so homesick during my first Pokémon outing. It was horrible."
"You're soft, Matt, that's why," Alfred replied in a cocky tone. "I won't get homesick, obviously."
"This excitement is merely the Honeymoon phase, Alfred. It'll wear off soon enough and you'll wish you were home with the others and I."
"We'll see, Matt. We'll see."
Matthew sighed and shrugged his shoulders before suddenly stopping in front of a building. Alfred looked up and saw that the sign was in a language he could not read, but it did have a large cooking pot on it, indicating that it was a restaurant.
"Let's eat here."
"What's the sign say?"
"No idea." Matthew grinned before pushing open the door with Alfred trailing close behind. It was dimly lit and decorated with what Alfred could only describe as random crap (or, at least, as far as he was concerned).
A young man began to hug Alfred very suddenly. Alfred froze in place, realizing he knew the voice.
"Holy hell, Im Yong Soo?"
"That's my name!" Yong Soo replied, letting go of Alfred and grinning. "How's it been, bro?"
"Fan-fricking-tastic, bro! I just got my own Pokemon!"
"Dude, no way! That's so cool!"
"I know, right? So cool!"
"We need to catch up, da-ze! Sit down, da-ze! Sit down, da-ze! Your brother can come too!"
Yong Soo grabbed Alfred's arm and dragged him towards a nearby booth with Matthew following. Alfred took his seat in the booth with Yong Soo sitting beside him. Matthew sat on the opposite bench.
"I haven't see you in forever since you moved, dude," Alfred said, grinning wildly at his friend and his friend returning the same grin as wildly, if not even more so, to Alfred. "How's it going?"
"Awesome, since you got here! When'd you get your Pokémon?"
"What Pokémon did you get?"
"I gotta Mudkip as my starter, I named him Eyrie, I got a Starly named Starry. He, funny story about that Starly..." Alfred retold the events of the Starly and the Staraptor with Yong Soo listening very intently.
"So intense, Al! But you got through it okay!"
"Totally, Yong Soo. Oh, and that's not the best part! I got a Riolu and then a shiny Mareep!"
"A shiny Mareep?" Im Yong Soo asked, eyes widened slightly. Alfred smirked and nodded. "That's cool, but I got, like, twenty shinies in my PC right now."
Alfred and Yong Soo snickered loudly and then burst out laughing.
"Hey!" cried the waitress who had just arrived at their booth. "Yong Soo, are you gonna laugh or are you going to order something?"
"S-Sorry, Areum. I'll have kimchi soup, obviously. Al?"
"Uh... I'll have what he's having!"
"Uhm... what's a popular dish here?" Matthew asked quietly.
"...I guess I'll get that then."
"Very well. Anything to drink?"
"Hwachae, da-ze!" Yong Soo cried eagerly.
The waitress glanced at Matthew for his response. "...I guess I'll do the same."
The waitress scribbled down the order and turned from the booth, disappearing into the kitchen not too far away. Im Yong Soo and Alfred both watched this before turning back to one another.
"The reason kimchi soup and hwachae are the two most popular is because I'm practically the only one who eats here and my order never changes."
"Wouldn't it get annoying after a while to order the same thing?"
"I could never be tired of kimchi, Al. It's physically and scientifically impossible. It's like you with ice cream. Nothing can beat it."
"Or Matt with pancakes."
Matthew's face flushed with embarrassment.
"Hey, you still waiting here?"
"Nah, I quit waiting a year ago. I still come to this place a lot, though. It has excellent Korean food... but not as good as I make. I started working in Pokémon Center part-time as the TM Department salesman, but I needed more money so I started working in Yao's restaurant," (Yao being Im Yong Soo's older brother), "but then he became a Gym leader and shut the place down! How could he?"
"I don't know, man. Being a Gym Leader would be way cooler than a restaurant owner."
"Yong Soo, I didn't know you were out of work," Matthew said mildly.
"Well, I am. Luckily my bro Ki-Moon is paying the rent on our apartment right now, but he's getting really fed up with it."
"Do you think he's gonna kick you out?"
"I think so... I just don't know what to do," Im Yong Soo said, beginning to frown.
"You know, Yong Soo, I could-"
Alfred cut Matthew off quickly. "You could come join my Pokémon adventure! We can travel from place to place and collect badges together."
"...Geulae, geulae! It could work! Trainers give out lots of money, don't they? That could help me pay my half of the rent. Like, send it to Ki-Moon while I'm abroad and he's still stuck at our apartment?" Alfred nodded eagerly. "I am totally agreeing with you! Plus Pokémon journeys are very... special, and spiritual... and maybe I might actually find out what I'm going to do with my life!"
"I thought you wanted to be a Tyranitar when you grew up."
"When I was six everything seemed so much easier..."
"I wanna become the Champion. If I do, I could make you one of the Elite Four or something!"
Just then the lunch arrived and the waitress set down three bowls and three glasses.
"It's basically the only thing we sell here," the waitress replied drearily," because of this guy." Yong Soo grinned at Areum happily. "Enjoy your meal."
"Thank you," the three seated said together.
Not much conversation was exchanged during this meal, as Alfred and Yong Soo both began to wolf down their food. Matthew didn't eat much, completely horrified and entranced by their lack of manners. Once they'd finished their soup and drank everything out of their glasses, Alfred said, "So, you're gonna join my journey, right?"
"Of course, man! I'd never miss something as awesome as that!" replied Yong Soo, patting his friend's back. "Yeah. I just need to get back to my apartment and get my Espeon Sarangi and my Larvitar Haeguni."
"You have an ESPEON?"
"Yeah," Yong Soo said, shrugging his shoulders, "my Eevee evolved a year ago. Pretty cool, huh?"
"It's awesome! I can't wait for one of my Pokémon to evolve!"
"It's so cool, Al, and if we hurry up outta this city, we can work on getting them evolved quicker!" Yong Soo grinned at Alfred.
"Yes. Let's go. Now."
Alfred grabbed Yong Soo's wrist and dragged him out of the booth and straight out the door. However, he did halt for a minute, pop his head in, and say, "See you Matt! Wish me luck!"
"Good... luck..." Matthew muttered. He sighed. "He really is too eager."
Alfred and Yong Soo speed walked down the sidewalk as they chatted happily. Yong Soo's apartment was only a few minutes away from the restaurant, which Alfred found incredibly convenient since he had been walking for several hours by then, and even with his break he was still tired. Yong Soo's apartment was up on the fifth floor and was in an older building with a broken elevator, prompting them to go up several flights of stairs before they reached Yong Soo's door.
Using his key, Yong Soo unlocked the door and entered. His Espeon and Larvitar ran over to greet him, happily crying their names. The Espeon Sarangi rubbed her face against Alfred's pant leg, remembering him from years past.
"I'm gonna go pack," Yong Soo said, patting both of his Pokémon on the head. "You just sit tight for a few minutes, okay?"
"Uh-huh." Alfred nodded his head, and flopped down on the couch as Yong Soo disappeared down his hallway. Sarangi hopped up onto the couch and lay against him.
"Oh, by the way," Yong Soo yelled from his room, "you can use my Potions on the counter to heal your Pokémon!"
"Thanks, Yong Soo," Alfred replied. "I'll get it when we're about to leave. I don't wanna get up." Sarangi looked up at Alfred, blinking its wide purple eyes. Haeguni climbed up onto the couch now and stood beside Sarangi. Haeguni cried its name in a gravelly voice, though it sounded amiable. Much like Yong Soo, his Pokémon were friendly to all. Alfred stretched out his hand and rubbed Sarangi's head, whose tail swayed back and forth rhythmically. Alfred then touched Haeguni's rocky skin, sliding his hand up and down.
"You have a weird kind of skin."
Haeguni stared at Alfred, and then blinked slowly. Alfred smiled at the Larvitar, and then looked away, observing his surroundings. The apartment was nice and partially clean. It had a small kitchen, with several potions on the counter. Alfred stood up and stretched, before dragging his bag over to the counter. He let out his tired Pokémon and gave them the potions to share, revitalizing them all. Eyrie climbed up onto Alfred's shoulder comfortably, while Starry climbed onto his head and Kiku and Hero followed on foot, trotting over to the couch and making themselves comfortable with Alfred.
A few minutes later Yong Soo reappeared with a brown leather bag. "Okay! I'm ready, Al." He swung his bag over his shoulder. "I got, like, five changes of clothes, about five thousand Pokédollars, some potions... I think we're all good."
"I think so," Alfred said, standing up again with his Pokémon doing the same. "Next stop..." Alfred frowned as his voice trailed off. "Hey, what's the route after this?"
"Uh-huh, and what city comes after that?"
"London Town. It doesn't have any Gyms."
"Aw, what? What's the next town that does have a Gym?"
"Uh... Berlin City? It's only about twenty miles from Toronto. We could easily make it in a few days."
"Then let's get going now!"
Alfred charged towards the door with Yong Soo following. As they walked down the flights of stairs, Yong Soo said, "Well, we have to make a quick stop at my brother's job before we go. I gotta let him know I'm leaving or else he'll worry, then track me down, and then kill me."
"Your brother's nuts."
"Yeah, I know."
The duo walked through the city for some time, with Alfred merely following Yong Soo since he was extremely familiar with the large city.
"Uh, so where does your brother work?" Alfred asked as they walked along the sidewalk past many different people. His Pokémon were following best they could but were in danger of being lost, so Alfred returned Hero and Kiku to their Pokéballs while allowing Starry and Eyrie to stay as they had latched onto a part of his body.
"Oh, he works at Game Freak."
"It's some company. I dunno. He doesn't talk about his job much," Yong Soo replied, halting at a building. "And here we are. Nice timing, Al."
"You wanna wait outside or do you wanna come in?"
"I'll come in with ya."
Yong Soo nodded and opened the glass doors to the building. The two and their Pokémon walked inside. A man who looked exactly like Yong Soo but slightly more matured in the face had just left his elevator. He froze when he saw Yong Soo and Alfred.
"Alfred Jones, you are the last person I would expect to see here," said Ki-Moon, approaching his brother and his brother's friend. "It has been many years since we have seen you."
"Al got some Pokémon and he's goin' on a journey," Yong Soo explained. "I wanna come with'm, so I thought I should come and tell you since we're leaving now."
"Now?" Ki-Moon sighed. "Yong Soo, we should have talked this over first."
"Bro, I wanna go with Alfred. I don't have a job and I'm a burden to you. Plus this way I can send you some money since for some reason Trainers have to pay you if you beat'm! I can send you my half of the rent every month!"
"Yong Soo, I really don't know whether I can trust you," Ki-Moon said, shaking his shaggy brown hair. "What if you don't succeed? Than any money you do have will go to surviving till you can get home, and without your little bit of pay I don't think I could keep the apartment. My job doesn't pay much but it pays most of the bills. I have to rely on what little money you make from doing odd jobs to make it through the month. I just don't know."
"You promise to come straight home?"
"No matter how far away you are?
"Even if you're in Tokyo challenging the Pokémon League?"
"Yes! Ki-Moon, I'm seriously serious about this!"
Ki-Moon didn't reply instantly. He looked down to the ground, his eyes sometimes moving over Alfred and Yong Soo's feet. "Very well. I shall trust this once, Yong Soo."
"Woohoo!" Yong Soo hugged his brother, who very awkwardly returned it. "Thanks, Ki-Moon! You are so awesome!"
"Well, to be fair, you are eighteen," Ki-Moon said, letting go of his brother. "I can't keep you here legally. Only the landlord can but I doubt she'd miss you much when you're gone."
"Yeah, I s'pose not."
"So, we all set here?" Alfred ask the two brothers.
"I should say so," Ki-Moon said, nodding.
"Great! Nice to see you again, Ki-Moon! It has been ages, huh?'
"Incredibly long. I daresay you'd gone from my memory."
"What? Nah! No one could've forgotten about me." Alfred waved his hand dismissively.
"Yeah, sure..." Ki-Moon sighed. "Are you going now?"
Yong Soo nodded, frowning slightly. "Yeah, I guess..." he muttered. "B-Bye, Ki-Moon."
"Bye, Yong Soo." Ki-Moon reached out and hugged his brother again gently. "Call me soon, yes?"
Alfred placed his hand on Yong Soo's shoulder, smiling. "Let's go, man. Bye, dude. We'll call you when we get to Berlin City!"
"Berlin?! That's a few days from now!"
"I'll call you in London Town, Ki-Moon."
Yong Soo and Alfred turned together and left the building with Sarangi and Haeguni following the two closely. An hour or so later Yong Soo and Alfred found themselves at the mouth of route 12. They were stopped by two familiar voices.
The duo flipped around to see Alice and Kiku approaching them.
"Well, I say it's due time for us to have a battle, Alfred," said Alice, placing her knuckles on his hips. "I've beat Matthew and I have two new Pokémon. I wish to fight."
"Nah, not right now," Alfred said. "I've fought, like, fifteen people today."
"Bully, Alfred. There's only a few Trainers to fight so far. I wish to fight. Do not turn down my challenge!"
"And dude, Kiku, what do you want?"
Kiku blinked. "Oh... nothing. I was merely accompanying Alice-san since we both have the Tundra Badge now and were heading the same way. But I... didn't expect to see you, Yong Soo-kun."
"Oh... likewise," Yong Soo replied, frowning. "How've you been, Kiku?"
"Fine, and you?"
"Oh yeah! I forgot you guys knew each other too!"
"Knew? We're brothers, Alfred-san," Kiku explained to Alfred. "That's why we were always together..."
"Oh- Oh! I get it! But why didn't you ever tell me?'
"I've been telling you for years..."
"No, that doesn't seem right. I would remembered it."
"You never remember anything," Alice intervened in annoyance. "Nothing. Not even that Kiku is cham-"
"So, you guys are really brothers?"
"Geulae." Yong Soo crossed his arms. "Can we go now?"
"So Yao is both of you's older brother?"
"Huh. I knew Yao was both of you's brother but it never clicked in my mind."
"Ugh! You are such a moron!" Alice growled. "Battle! Now!"
"Hey, here's the deal," Yong Soo began, "how about we all have a double battle when we reach Berlin City? We can all test the separate strengths. After all, this is Al's first day, and Alice's too, so we have room to improve. Let's give each other three days and meet up in front of the Pokémon Center in Berlin. How's that?"
"Well... all right. Berlin it is, then," Alice said, nodding. Her hand ran down to her apron and she felt her Pokéballs. "My Pokémon require improvement, as does Kiku's. Plus he only has one Pokémon himself. We all need time."
"I suppose it is a good idea," Kiku agreed. "It is a deal, then. Berlin is where we all meet."
Alfred grinned. "Great! You guys are gonna lose so hard! Let's get a head start on them, Yong Soo!"
"You said it, brother!" Yong Soo ran off with Alfred out of the city, following through a small rest stop and out into the grassy plains of route 12. Sarangi and Haeguni caught up with them, panting lightly. Alfred let out Kiku and Hero so they could stretch their legs and walk along with them. Alfred glanced at Yong Soo, grinning widely.
"You ready to start an adventure?"
"Ready as I'll ever be, Al."
A/N: If this story was an anime, this would be the end of episode 1. Well, to be fair, this story is half inspired by the anime and half inspired by the games.