Hi, Hakajin here! Nice to meet you, or see you again, whichever. This is my first OT fic. I guess it'll fall into the adventure/romance categories. I've put a lot of thought into my characters, and I'm excited to share them. Well, anyway, I hope you enjoy it!
Chapter 1: First Steps
I didn’t want to start my Pokemon journey today. I really didn’t. Isn’t that funny? I mean, up until just a few days ago, I couldn’t wait to get started. My dad is a three-time Pokemon League Champion, and my mom is Cerulean City’s gym leader. I grew up listening to my parents’ stories about their adventures- my dad’s first League Challenge, my mom’s first battle as an official gym leader, and of course, all those encounters with the “evil” Team Rocket. I made them tell those stories over and over, and I would lie awake at night imagining the wonderful adventures I would have when I left for my own journey.
But it turns out that dreaming and doing are two different things. I didn’t know then how scary it would feel to leave home for the first time. Then, I couldn’t wait. I was born premature and had pretty bad asthma, so I couldn’t do a lot of the things I wanted to. I got sick a often and I couldn’t run around like the other kids, so I didn’t get to play with them much. I was usually stuck at home, and I even had to go to the hospital a couple of times. Back then, all I could think about was how I couldn’t wait to get away from home. But with my condition, it seemed impossible. Recently, though, my asthma’s been getting much better. I still need my inhaler once in a while, but my doctor says I’m probably starting to grow out of it. Last week, he gave the ok for me to finally leave home.
And that’s when I started to get scared. Before, when it was just a dream, I only imagined good things about my Pokemon adventure- the Pokemon I might catch, all the battles I would win, the exotic places I’d see. I even thought about what kind of training methods and battle strategies I’d use. But I never thought it would really happen. I didn’t want to admit it, but I was afraid I’d never be strong enough to go on a Pokemon journey like normal kids. After being sickly for so long, I felt like I always would be. So I was shocked when my doctor said I was strong enough to journey out on my own. I should’ve been happy to hear it, but instead, I started feeling anxious.
I started imagining all the things that could go wrong on my journey: what if I get sick or injured? What if I get caught in a bad storm? What if I run into a violent Pokemon? It’s not like I never thought about it before; I always knew that my fantasies were unrealistic. My parents had plenty of stories about all the trouble they got into when they were young. I guess the danger just never scared me before because I didn’t think I’d ever have to face them. But suddenly, they seemed a lot more real. I haven’t been sleeping very well lately because I can’t stop thinking about all the trouble I could get into. I know I’m probably worrying too much, but still. Even if nothing bad does happen, I’ve never been away from my parents for more than a few days. How am I supposed to live alone when I don’t even know how to take care of myself?
Of course, I won’t really be alone. I’m meeting my friends, Fuuka and Kazue, in Vermilion City, and we’re going to travel together. But... that’s also kind of scary, in a way. I call them friends, but they’re really just acquaintances. My parents are friends with their parents, so we’ve played together before, but it was only a few times, and we were pretty little. I don’t really remember much about them. And new people make me nervous. They always ask too many questions, and I just can’t relax. I’m never sure what to say or how to react. I usually end up just embarrassing myself. People never laugh in front of me, but I can tell they think I’m weird. And now I’m going to travel with two people I barely know? That kind of freaks me out.
But I didn’t tell my parents about any of my fears. They were so excited for me, and I didn’t want to ruin it for them. Besides, I’m sure they’re already worried about me. I mean, they’re happy for me, but it’s my first time away from home, and a Pokemon journey’s not always easy. I guess I could have waited to leave until I felt more ready, but... I’m already 12 years old. That’s two years past the age when most kids set out on their Pokemon journeys. If I don’t start now, I probably never will. And there’s no way I’m gonna miss out on all the fun adventures I’m going to have just because I’m a little nervous.
So this morning, I woke up early and put on the outfit my mom and I picked out together last week- a short, pale blue one piece over black leggings and a denim jacket with a sunflower embroidered on the left pocket. I brushed my bobbed, black hair and pinned my bangs to the right with two white hair clips. I looked myself over in the mirror, admiring how well my new clothes matched my eyes- blue like my mom’s. Then I took out my red backpack and checked my supplies one more time, just to make sure I had everything I needed. I took one last look at my room before closing the door. Everything was just the same as it’d always been- faded blue walls and walls and cream-colored carpet, Pikachu print comforter on my bed, shelves full of books and Pokemon dolls. I’ve never really changed it much over the years and I know I’ve outgrown it a little, but it was hard to leave it. I wondered when I would sleep in my own bed again, and whether my Pokemon dolls would miss me (even though I know that’s silly).
Finally, I went down stairs, and after breakfast, it was time to say good-bye to my mom and dad. That was the really hard part. I was already anxious about leaving home for the first time, and my parents didn’t make it any easier. I thought my dad was going to cry. He kept saying things like “Be really careful out there, Satsumi,” and “Don’t be ashamed if you have to come home.” It made me want to forget the whole thing and go back to bed. I started tearing up a little, and I think my mom noticed. She scolded my dad for worrying me and said she was sure I’d be fine. “Just make sure you call us when you reach Vermillion City, ok?” she said to me.
I looked at them standing there together, and I couldn’t help thinking about how much I was going to miss them. Even my dad’s overprotectiveness and my mom’s temper, as fiery as her hair. I knew I couldn’t keep from crying much longer, so I forced a smile and said a short good-bye. I didn’t even hug them before I left. I feel kind of bad about that, but... I couldn’t let them see me cry. Then they would’ve just worried. And I’m fine, anyway. I just felt a little lonely leaving home for the first time is all. I’ll be ok.
I already feel much better. Saying good-bye was hard, but. I feel fine, now, not lonely at all. I was probably worried about nothing. Besides, I’m not really alone, anyway; I have Eevee with me. I think I’ll call her out now; I could use the company.
“Eevee, come out!”
I throw the red and white Pokeball to the ground and Eevee appears in a flash of light. I smile and pet the soft, light brown fur on her head. She’s so cute! I love her long, pointy ears and fluffy, cream-colored collar. She looks up at me with her wide black eyes, excited to be out of her Pokeball.
“Eevee!” she chirps in her squeaky voice.
“Hey, there, Eevee.” I say. “Would you like to walk with me for a while?”
Eevee squeaks a “yes”, and we walk down the road side by side. I love Pokemon. I have hardly any experience as a trainer, but I just love being with them. They’re just so easy to get along with. Pokemon aren’t judgmental; they’ll be kind to you if you’re kind to them. And they won’t tease you or make fun of you behind your back. Actually, I think it’s a lot easier to get along with Pokemon than with people. I haven’t had Eevee long, but we’re already good friends. I’m glad she’s the one I chose.
At first, I wanted to start with a Pikachu like my dad had. But when I told him about it, he said that might not be a good idea. He said he was proud that I wanted to be like him, but Pikachu was a little hard to handle for a beginner. It made me a little mad that he thought I couldn’t do it. After all, he started with a Pikachu and he was fine, right? I started to argue, but my mom laughed and said I should listen to the voice of experience. My dad glared at her when she said that, even though she was agreeing with him. I wonder why?
Anyway, my dad took me down to the lab owned by his old friend Professor Oak so I could pick out a Pokemon. I had no idea what to choose at first. It wasn’t because I hadn’t thought about what I wanted before, though. Actually, I’d thought about it too much. I liked so many of them! I was supposed to choose a Grass, Water, or Fire type starter, but I couldn’t decide which would be best. My dad was the one who finally suggested Eevee. He said that starting with a Normal type would help me get used to basic attacks and defenses. Plus, Eevee has seven known evolutions, each of a different type, so I have lots of options. I think my dad would like it if my Eevee evolved into Jolteon, and I know my mom wants me to have a Vaporeon, but I’m not sure what I want yet. I’m not even sure if I want her to evolve at all; she’s adorable the way she is. Of course, what Eevee herself wants is what’s really important.
Neither of us are ready for that yet, anyway. We’ll just have to figure it out together as we go along. For now, I think we’re both happy with the way things are. The sky is deep blue and dotted with puffy white clouds. The sun is hot, but there’s a cool breeze blowing. The tall, green grass surrounding the path bends in the wind. Its silvery waves and calming rustling sound remind me of the sea. I close my eyes and imagine I really am at the beach. Everything’s so pleasant. I feel so content that I can’t believe I was anxious just last night. Some birds squawk overhead, and I look up and see them gliding on the breeze. They’re not sea birds, but I’m not far from the ocean. Cerulean City is only about two days from Vermilion on foot, and sometimes we see sea Pokemon there. I watch the birds zigzag across the sky for a while, until-
“Woah!” I cry as I trip over a rock in the path.
I have to skip and run to keep my balance. Eevee turns around to see what’s wrong.
“Eevee?” she says.
I smile and wave at her to show I’m ok, and she goes prancing ahead of me again.
“Wait up!” I call to her. “I don’t have four legs like you, you know.”
“Eevee...” she agrees reluctantly.
Eevee tries to match my pace for a while, but she can barely contain herself. She’s almost shaking with pent up energy. I laugh at her impatience.
“All right,” I sigh finally, waving her on, “go ahead.”
I don’t have to tell her twice. “Eevee!” she cries as she bounds up the path. She stops several yards ahead of me to let me catch up, but darts off again before I even reach her.
“Just stay out of the grass!” I call. “There are wild Pokemon in there!”
I sigh again as Eevee completely ignores me and runs farther from the path.
“Eevee!” I call again, following her.
Eevee has disappeared in the tall grass, but I’m able to follow the trail she’s left behind. I look back, worrying that I might go too far and lose the dirt path. I don’t like this, but... I have to find Eevee before a wild Pokemon does. I don’t think she’s ready for a battle yet. I know it’s the only way for a Pokemon to get stronger, but we’re on our own out here. I don’t want us to get in a bad situation with no one around to help.
But I’m too late. When I find Eevee, she’s crouching and growling at a dark blue Pokemon. It’s perfectly round and has three blades of grass growing out of its head like weeds. It has no arms, just two large feet. Oddish. I recognize it from Professor Oak’s ranch, only that one was tame. This one is glaring right back at Eevee, and it looks like it could attack at any second. I know Eevee needs to attack first and get the advantage, but my mind is suddenly blank.
Quick, what are Eevee’s attacks? I ask myself, trying to concentrate.
But I can’t focus, everything’s happening too fast.
Don’t panic, don’t panic! I tell myself.
I take a deep breath and try to calm down. Suddenly something pops into my head.
“Eevee, use Tail Whip!” I call.
Eevee chirps and nods. She turns and whips her fluffy tail back and forth on Oddish’s face, tickling it, and Oddish falls over backward in laughter. It rolls back and forth under Eevee’s tail, but it can’t escape the attack. Now’s my chance to attack.
“All right, Eevee, good job,” I call, “now let’s use a Tackle attack!”
Eevee pulls back and throws herself against the Oddish, sending it flying. It flips in the air and lands on its feet.
“Oddish!” it cries angrily.
Tiny white lights start forming around the leaves on its head.
“Uh-oh,” I murmur.
The lights spread out and surround Eevee, sucking energy right out of her and into Oddish. An Absorb attack! Eevee squeaks in pain while Oddish sighs in contentment.
“Eevee, are you all right? Can you still fight?” I ask.
I don’t know what we’ll do if she can’t. But she turns to me and nods, waiting for me to set her lose on Oddish again. Oddish seems to have recovered a bit from the Tackle attack, but I see from the indignant glint in her eye that Eevee’s more determined than ever. Her attitude is contagious- even I’m starting to feel a little more confident.
“Give it another Tail Whip!”
Eevee runs toward Oddish again, but Oddish just stands there. I suddenly notice a pleasant, flowery scent. Eevee seems to smell it, too, and she stops to sniff the air. This must be Oddish’s Sweet Scent! I see it preparing another Absorb, and I know I have to think fast if I want to win.
“Eevee, forget the Tail Whip, Tackle, now!” I order.
Eevee comes to her senses and rushes toward Oddish, landing a forceful Tackle to the Pokemon. Oddish goes sailing, leaving a trail as it tumbles backward through the grass.
“Ododododod,” it cries as it somersaults.
I think it’s a critical hit! Eevee and I chase after Oddish and find it lying dazed on its back. It’s now or never! I take a Pokeball from my pocket and push its center button to expand it.
“Please work, Pokeball...” I pray.
The ball hits Oddish, and it opens, pulling the Pokemon inside in beam of red light. It closes and lands on the ground, but it wobbles as Oddish struggles.
I almost can’t watch. But after a few long seconds, the Pokeball goes still.
“Is that it? Did I catch it?” I ask aloud.
Eevee runs up to it, sniffs it, and begins batting it back and forth between her paws.
I should tell her not to play with it, but I’m too excited to bother. She watches me as I pick up in both hands. I half expect Oddish to come bursting out at me, but the Pokeball is quiet. I did it! I actually did it! I can’t believe I just caught my first Pokemon! I was worried I wouldn’t know what to do, but I did it, somehow! I’m still kind of dazed. My legs feel like jell-O, my heart is pounding, and I’m almost trembling from excitement and relief.
“Eev!” Eevee trills, begging for my attention.
I turn to her and smile.
“Great job, Eevee,” I say, patting her head, “you’re a lot tougher than you look!”
She beams with pride, and I decide to forget her disobedience just this once. After all, I did catch my first Pokemon because of it, and she worked really hard. I walk back to the path with her, making sure she stays beside me this time. I can’t wait to greet my new Pokemon, so I take Oddish out of its Pokeball right away.
“Hi, Oddish, it’s nice to meet you!”
Oddish turns away from me, probably still mad about getting beat. This is a little awkward. I feel guilty for having hurt Oddish, and I’m not sure what to say. Luckily, I have something that might help it warm up to me.
“I’m sorry we hurt you, Oddish,” I say, taking a potion from my backpack.
I spray it on Oddish, and it seems to do the trick. Oddish turns and faces me.
“Oddish...” it says, studying me carefully.
“It’s ok, you’re my Pokemon now.” After I say that, I realize it might sound kind of mean. “ I mean, we’re friends now!” but I can’t decide that for Oddish, can I? “I mean, I hope we can be friends now! If you want to, that is.”
Oddish stares at me for a second, then bursts out laughing. I feel myself blushing. I just made a fool of myself in front of my own Pokemon! But Oddish extends one of its leaves to me, and I shake it in agreement. Eevee creeps toward Oddish, too, and it lets her sniff it. They start chatting in Pokemon language. I don’t understand what they’re saying, but I’m glad they’re getting along. I look to the sky and see that the sun’s starting to go down. It’ll be dark in a few hours. We need to find a place to sleep before then.
“C’mon, you guys, we need to get going,” I say, and we all start walking down the path.
My Pokemon seem fine, but I’m pretty tired. I hope we find somewhere safe to rest soon. And I really hope my next Pokemon battle isn’t as tense as this one was. I start to worry that I’ll never get used to battling, but I shake my head and chase the thought away. I’ll be with Kazue and Fuuka next time; they’ll help me if I get in over my head. I’ll just have to be more careful until then. That’s right, I can’t start freaking out now. I’m just getting started!
After about five more minutes of walking, I see a wooden shed on the horizon. It must be one of the rest stops my parents told me about. Seeing it gives me a burst of energy, and soon I’m opening the door to the shed. It’s small but tidy, and it’s actually kind of cozy. I spread out my sleeping bag and sit down. I’m not hungry yet, so I take out the shiny red Pokedex Professor Oak gave me. My dad’s always saying how important it is to learn all I can about my Pokemon, and now’s a good time to study. I’ve already learned a lot about Eevee- how its unstable genetic code affects its evolution, what attacks it can learn, its strengths and weaknesses. Now I point my ‘Dex at Oddish.
“Oddish,” it begins in its mechanical voice, “the weed Pokemon. Nocturnal in nature, it derives energy from moonlight, water, and soil. It wanders at night spreading its seeds. During the day, it buries itself in fertile ground and sleeps.”
“So, you’re nocturnal, huh?” I say to Oddish.
It does look kind of sleepy.
“What were you doing above ground in the daytime?”
I look at Eevee who’s grooming herself in the corner and notice her muddy paws for the first time. She must have found Oddish and dug it up. I sigh. It worked out ok this time, but I’m really going to have to train her better. Who knows what Pokemon she’ll irritate next time? It could’ve been bad if we’d run into a Mankey or a Beedrill.
I flip through Oddish’s information on the Pokedex until I get hungry, then take out the sandwiches my mom packed me. I remember to give Eevee and Oddish their Pokemon chow first, and then I eat. It’s just chicken salad and peanut butter and jelly, but it tastes so good! I guess it’s because I’m so hungry. I have some pudding for dessert, and I gobble it down, too. At the bottom of my lunch bag, I find a note from my parents.
Hi, Sweetie, hope you’re doing ok so far! Good luck on your Pokemon journey! We know you’ll be great. We love you and we’re so proud of you! Love, Mom and Dad PS- Pikachu and Marill say hello!
It’s supposed to make me smile, but instead, I start feeling homesick again. I can’t believe it, I was feeling so great! Today was so exciting, it all felt like a fun adventure. I guess it didn’t really feel like I was leaving home until now. But seeing the note’s reminded me how much I’m going to miss my parents and how long it’s going to be before I see them again. I think about what they’re doing right now, probably just sitting down to dinner. My mom’s cooking is terrible and my dad’s isn’t much better, but I really wish I were there. I imagine the empty seat at the table where I usually sit, and a lump rises in my throat. My face is getting hot. I feel tears coming on, so I hold my breath and close my eyes tight.
It’ll be ok. I’ve got my Pokemon with me. I’m meeting up with Fuuka and Kazue tomorrow. But it’s not the same! I’m tired and it’s getting dark, so I crawl into my sleeping bag. It’s too thin and I can feel the hard floor through it, and I wish I were back home in my own bed. I flip over onto my stomach, and that makes me feel a little better. I’m still upset, though, and I can’t help from crying a little.
“Eevee,” Eevee coos as she comes up to me.
She curls up against me in the sleeping bag, and I pet her head. I try to smile a little for her.
“Thanks, Eevee, I’ll be ok. I guess I just have to get used to being a trainer is all.”
I say that, but I’m not so sure it’s that easy. All my worries start coming back to me in the dark. What if I never get used to this? What if I have to go home? No, I can’t do that no matter what. All the kids back in Cerulean already think I’m a baby. If I go back after just one day, I’ll never hear the end of it. My own dad kept saying “You can always come home if you need to,” and “You don’t have to do this if you’re not ready.” I know he was just trying to make me feel better, but I hate it when he babies me. It’s like he doesn’t think I can do it.
So I have to prove to him and everyone else that I can! Still... right now, I’m starting to wonder if maybe they’re right. I hate to admit it, but... Here I am, on the first day of my journey, and I’m already crying like a little kid. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Maybe I am still too immature to be on my own. Dad’s right, I really don’t have to do this now. I could go back home for a couple more years, try again when I’m more ready. If I start tomorrow morning, I could be home by sundown. I could be back in my own bed tomorrow night. The idea is comforting, and I want to give in so bad! But I’m just making up excuses. I don’t really think waiting would make leaving home any easier. And if I go back now, I might keep putting it off forever. I’ll just have to suck it up and get through this. I can’t give up every time I get a little scared. Then I’d never get anywhere! Thing’s’ll look better in the morning. I’m just tired, I just need a good night’s sleep. I’ll meet up with Fuuka and Kazue tomorrow, and everything’ll be fine. That’s right, things’ll get better. This is just the beginning...
Well, that's all for now. Next time, I'll be introducing some new characters. From there... I'm not sure how it's going to go. I have a few scenarios I'm definitely going to do, but... well, I'll just wing it. That's what I've always done before. Anyway, thanks for reading! Hope to see you next time!