John looked over at the other about two hours since they started the day, watching as the other gathered all he could about where they were and the Pokemon that ran about, writing it down in that journal of his. "So." he started. "What made you decide to go out on your own now?" he questioned.
"There's only so much you can learn from books. I felt a more hands on approach would be more conducive." he replied simply, not taking his eyes off his notes. And it was true, well half true. Though he'd never admit it out loud, he was lonely. Most of his classmates had left at ten. The ones that didn't were gone by the time they were fourteen. His brother long gone on his own journey and then to University. All he had left was Eevee.
"But why not do your research at the lab?" John followed up. "I'm sure Professor Holmes wouldn't have a problem with it."
"The Pokemon there would skew the data. They are too accustomed to humans and no longer act as if they were in the wild." he returned.
John nodded, that made sense. "Well better late than never I suppose. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'll answer them if I can, I have spent quite a bit of time around wild Pokemon." he smiled.
Sherlock looked up at the other. "Noted." he said before once again turning back to his book.
The sun was barely setting, a nearby flock of Pidgeotto nesting for the night, the skyline just tinting pink and orange. "Hey, there's something I want to show you." John grinned as he stepped off the path and going towards the river that had been flowing next to them the whole day. John and Mar jumped over it with little effort, seeming to know the right rocks to use as stepping stones across it.
Sherlock followed. Or at least tried to. Eevee yipped happily as he skipped from rock to rock, thinking it was a game. Sherlock followed the steps John had taken and was nearly to the other side when a Magickarp jumped up just as he was about to jump, causing him to teeter back and lose his footing. He awaited the feeling of freezing water to surround him but it never came. He opened his eyes and was met with John's kind smile looking down on him.
"You alright there?" the older teen asked, one foot braced on the bank of the river and the other on the rock Sherlock had been standing on. He held the other teen with ease by the small of his back, Sherlock's feet still barely gripping the stone, though holding none of his weight.
"Y-Yeah." Sherlock replied shakily, desperately trying to keep his balance, even though there was no way John was going to let him fall.
John pulled him up and steadied him on the rock. "Careful, yeah?" he grinned, stepping back onto the shore, offering a hand to help Sherlock over.
Sherlock took it and stepped over to dry land. "It's just over here." the Champion grinned, leading the other, not letting go of his hand.
Sherlock noticed this and looked down at their still connected hands, feeling the warmth of John's skin on his. Sherlock looked around as the air around them became much warmer and foggier. "Can we get a little light, Mar?" John called. "Amph!" the Pokemon replied as it's tail began to glow brightly. "Okay, now watch you step." John warned before it opened up into a clearing, a huge hot spring coming into view. "Oh I've missed this place." John grinned. Mar, yipped happily before jumping into the steaming water.
John chuckled at his Pokemon, letting go of Sherlock's had to let the rest of his team out. The others were grateful to be out and ecstatic once they realized where they were. "Let's set up camp, and then we'll head in."
Sherlock looked around at the spring, surrounded by smooth rocks, wet from the rising steam. He put his bag down and took out his tent, setting everything up. Eevee poked his paw into the warm water and was shocked when Mar poked his head up from the water under, his lit up tail bobbing behind him.. "Eevee!" he squealed, playfully batting at his new friend.
Sherlock actually smiled slightly at the sight before turning around and blushing at what he saw. John was stood next to his complete campsite, shirtless and working on his trousers. "W-What are you doing?" Sherlock asked quickly.
"Going for a swim, what does it look like?" he teased, left only in his boxers, folding his clothing and putting them in his tent. "Come on!" He bunched up a towel and placed in on one of the rocks next to the hot spring, resting the egg there carefully before lowering himself into the hot water. His Pokemon quickly joining him, the spring was big enough to hold them all comfortably and plenty of room to play. John ducked his head under the water, coming up with a sigh as the warmth surrounded him. He leaned the side of the spring, before looking over to the still dry, clearly apprehensive trainer. "Oi!"
Sherlock cleared his throat before turning to look at the other. "I...that's really okay, John." "Oh, come on!" John chuckled. "It's fun." he promised, smirking as he threw a splash the other's way. "Hey!" Sherlock yelled indignantly, as he jumped back. "Well what are you going to do about it?" John replied, sticking his tongue out at the other.
"Don't act like a child." Sherlock sighed. "You don't act like a child." John mocked with another splash, hitting the other this time. The brunet growled as his clothes were drenched for the second time today. "John!" he complained, being met with laughter. "Sherlock!" he teased with a chuckle. "I mean you're wet anyway now. And you're gonna be cold now." The younger teen frowned before letting out a large sigh. "You're ridiculous." he mumbled before turning around and pulling his shirt over head.
John grinned and if his eyes wandered a bit, well, so be it. Sherlock knew he wasn't what one would call 'attractive'. He was too lanky and thin, he was often told he looked like a Scyther. Children weren't the kindest of people.
He took a deep breath and let his trousers fall, his tight black boxers being the only thing hiding his shame. John cleared his throat and turned back around to the knowing looks of his Pokemon. "Oh shove off you lot." he responded with a splash at his team, unknowingly starting a splash war. When Sherlock turned around, water was flying every which way with all the splashing. "Oi, no fair using Surf!" John cried before being hit with a hydro pump. He leaned over the side, coughing. "Okay, okay, Truce!" he yelled through his gasps.
Sherlock laughed lightly at the sight. He walked over and laughed even harder at the state of his Eevee, currently crouched on the rocks, brown fur sopping and stuck to it's body. "Hey!" Sherlock exclaimed as Eevee shook itself and sprayed his trainer, but Sherlock found he didn't really mind. Eventually the water calmed and Sherlock climbed in with Eevee in his arms, next to John but putting a good bit of space between them.
"You know, you should feel very lucky." John sighed once he relaxed again. "Almost no one knows about this place. It's a secret." he smiled, looking over at the other. "So you better keep it that way." John teased. "And that goes double for you, Mister." he said to Eevee, petting the Pokemon's head. "How did you find this place?" Sherlock asked, watching as Eevee used it's small legs to swim nearer to the other Pokemon.
"Well, I'm not actually the one who found it. It was actually Blastoise who found it." he ran a hand through his hair. "I can't believe he was still just a Squirtle back then." he said with a far off look, remembering the tiny turtle with a fond smile. "But, um, it was about a week after I got him and he just ran off. And he was only my second Pokemon so of course I run after him like an idiot." he chuckled. "So I ended up tripping into the river, and when I finally catch up, he's floating in here, not a care in the world." he said with a sweep of his hand. "He's always been a cheeky bastard." John said with a look at the Pokemon. "Blastoise." the water Pokemon replied.
Sherlock listened to John speak intently, laughing slightly. "You fell in the river?" he chuckled. John nodded. "Yep, and it was barely spring so the bloody thing was freezing." he recalled, sinking lower into the spring water to get rid of the chilly memory.
Sherlock smiled as he pictured it, a ten year old John slipping into the river. He surprisingly thought the vision was, endearing. He was about to ask another question when a blast of hot water hit him in the face, followed by an unfortunately familiar laugh. He looked past John shoulder to see the Totodile mocking him. "Are you following me?" he called in frustration, cause John to look as well.
John grinned. "Hey there." he greeted the small Pokemon. "This your friend?" he asked back at the younger trainer.
"Hardly." Sherlock scoffed. "He attacked us before." he informed. "I'm sure he was just playing." as he said this the Totodile jumped into the spring and began swimming, it's red spikes the only thing visible above the water. It popped up right in front of Sherlock's face, spraying it once more. "Would you leave me alone?!" he exclaimed in frustration looking over to see John laughing at him, his cheeks turning quite red, though he would blame it on the steam around them. "He seems quite taken with you." John grinned. "Maybe you should catch him."
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "All he's doing is shooting water at me, obviously he doesn't like me." John shook his head with a kind smile. "It's just his way of saying he wants you to be his trainer. Here." John took Sherlock's hand and lowered it towards the water-type. Sherlock's hand jumped slightly as it brushed the warm scales of Totodile's head but John's firm grip kept his hand in place. The Pokemon nuzzled his hand before darting back under the water. "See?" John said softly.
Sherlock's hand was still in the air where the Totodile had been and nodded. "I...what do I do?" he bit his lip. "Well, once we get out of the spring, you go get a Pokeball and catch him. Most likely he won't put up a fight and then you'll have a new Pokemon." John replied, watching as the Totodile attempted to scare the other Pokemon by sneaking up on him, only to be met with Arcanine's leer, retreating back under the water. "And look, he's already fitting in."