A story already published by me on the NSM forums; it's not that great but I would like to hear some Pokefans' opinions. xD
It's not so much a fanfic as just telling my own kind of view on what the young lives were like of Will, Karen, and Aaron, of the Johto and SInnoh elite fours respectively.
I tried to keep perfect grammar, at the very least. Please read and comment. (But allow me a few posts so I can get the whole story in one place)
Will woke with a start. Glancing around frantically, he leapt out of bed and ran as fast as he could down the hall, stumbling as he went. He paused outside his parents’ bedroom, panting heavily. Without hesitating, he knocked on their door and threw it open. He ran inside and shook his heavily snoring father.
“Dad!” he whimpered. “Daddy…wake up…”
His father’s eyelids fluttered slightly.
“W-Will?” he said sleepily. He looked at his bedside clock. “It’s three o’clock in the morning,” he yawned. Will’s father turned on the light and sat up, rubbing his eyes.
“Daddy,” whispered six-year-old Will, “I had a nightmare again.”
“Again?” said his father wearily.
Will nodded shakily.
“All right,” said his father resignedly. “Tell me about it.”
Will recounted the dream.
“…and then the phone rang… it was the hospital… and they said that Mommy had…Mommy had…died.”
His father sat up quickly.
“WHAT?” his father shouted, causing poor Will to jump horribly. “They said… she had…? Are you ABSOLUTELY SURE that’s what they said, Will?”
Will simply stood there, his lip trembling.
“ARE YOU SURE THAT YOU DIDN’T MISHEAR?” roared his father, almost angrily.
Will began sobbing, softly at first, then giving off violent, shuddering wails, tears simply pouring down his face.
“Y-YES!” howled Will, then buried his face in his hands, still crying miserably. Will’s father felt a lump form in his throat. His eyes welled up. Within a moment they were both weeping, but Will’s father silently.
After a while, Will’s father lifted his son onto the bed and hugged him. He wiped his eyes before speaking.
“I apologize, Will,” said his father gently. “I know it’s – it’s not your fault.”
Will hiccupped and gradually stopped bawling.
“I’m sorry, Daddy,” whispered Will miserably.
“Don’t be,” insisted his father comfortingly. “It’s really not your fault.”
His son flashed a brief, weak, watery smile.
They sat there side by side for some time, Will’s father looking at the ceiling, Will himself huddled up, hugging his knees.
Just as the clock struck seven-thirty, the telephone rang.
Tearing up again, Will’s father took a deep breath and picked up the phone.
Chapter One – Will
Will had always had the gift – or, possibly, curse - of Sight. On a hot summer day, one-year-old Will looked up at the cloudless, sunny sky and spoke his first word – “rain”.
His parents looked quizzically at each other, but shrugged it off to congratulate Will on talking. Before ten minutes were over, gray clouds began to move in. In under fifteen, thunder could be heard in rumbling in the distance. Within twenty, buckets of water were being dumped unceremoniously on their heads, and they had hurried inside. Listening to the steady pounding of the rain, Will’s parents had gazed upon the odd little wonder they had been given, and Will slept on…
If his parents had thought that a coincidence, all skepticism was wiped clean from their minds in the next few years. Will seemed to know things others didn’t. He was particularly fond of knowing the weather – that was one area he never failed in. His parents always asked him the weather before they planned anything, and he always came through for them. He was extremely happy in his home in Eterna City.
Around the age of three, Will began to have strange dreams often, at least once a week, none of which failed to come true. He dreamt that their neighbor’s Skitty was run over. It happened the next day. One year he dreamt all of his Christmas presents accidentally – but he still acted surprised, so as not to make his parents upset. The strange thing was that no one could really figure out whether the dreams caused the future or simply saw what would happen. Will didn’t know himself.
Either way, around Will’s fifth birthday, he had a nightmare that his mother had fallen deathly sick.
She would spend the next year and a half in a hospital.
At the end of that year and a half, the other members of her family would receive a phone call.
Will took this loss extremely hard. He was very close to his mother, being an only child. His nightmares came far more frequently after that, sometimes on a nightly basis.
Soon after his mother’s death, Will’s father decided to move with his son to a small town in the Johto called New Bark. Perhaps he was thinking that some fresh air, maybe some friends would get Will out of his slump. I really don’t know. If that is what he was thinking, though, he was absolutely right – Will quickly became far healthier than he ever had been. He also made two friends, who would become the best friends he ever had…for some time, at least… His best friends were named Karen and Aaron, both of whom lived in New Bark Town.
Will and his father lived peacefully in New Bark Town for seven years. Will was anxiously awaiting his fourteenth birthday so he could start his Pokémon journey.
For those of you wondering, rules were quite different back when Will was starting out. Pokémon were considered highly dangerous creatures, and it was the law that one needed to be at least fourteen to handle them. This was utter nonsense, of course, and Professor Birch of Hoenn led a campaign to change the rules during Will’s sixteenth year. He succeeded, as you probably have figured out, and while Professor Birch was not exactly the most…orthodox…of professors, he is remembered and respected for this even today.
Will would have the happiest, and also saddest, time of his life when he set out to train his own Pokémon.
And our story begins there…
“Can’t hear you…” mumbled Will.
“Five more minutes…” muttered Will.
“WILL! GET UP!”
Will jerked awake.
“Coming, Dad!” he yelled, leaping out of his bed and making it hastily. He threw some clothes on and collected his backpack. This was it…Today was the day…
“WILL!” shouted his father. “YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO BE AT THE LAB!”
Will bolted down the steps in a frenzy.
“I know, Dad!” he yelled. “I have time!”
“FOUR minutes!” corrected his father urgently.
Will smiled and met his father at the door. They hugged awkwardly.
“Stay safe,” said his father gruffly. He was smiling, but his eyes told Will that he was serious.
“Three minutes!” said his father, glancing at the clock.
“Right!” said Will, and ran out the door toward Professor Elm’s Laboratory. He rushed inside just as the clock struck eight.
Will grinned sheepishly at the sight that awaited him. Aaron, his green mess of hair shining loudly, was sitting in an armchair, bent forward in an anxious position. He looked up, saw Will, and smiled in a friendly way. Karen was standing up. Her arms were folded and she did not look happy.
“Well, Professor Elm,” she said sardonically, “I think that everyone’s here now.”
“I wasn’t late!” said Will defensively. “I was just… on time.”
“Yes, well, the other group has already picked their Pokémon, and we said we’d wait for you,” snarled Karen. “So we don’t get the starter Pokémon we were counting on.”
Will stared guiltily at Aaron, his heart sinking.
“We don’t get Pokémon?” he asked, dreading the answer.
“Of course you get Pokémon!” said Professor Elm scornfully. “Do you really think I would call you here without a backup plan?”
Will looked at Professor Elm. Actually, that was exactly the type of thing absentminded Professor Elm would do.
“Well, I do have a backup plan. I’ve received three Pokémon recently whose evolutions are currently unknown. We need you three to train each to train one on a Pokémon journey, and immediately notify us of their evolutions.”
“So… we only get to train one?” said Karen, horrified.
“Of course not!” laughed Professor Elm. “You can train as many as you like. But I do have a suggestion.”
“A…suggestion?” said Will cautiously.
“Yes,” said Elm, looking serious. “Now, as you know, the Pokémon regions are setting up something called the Pokémon Gym Challenge.”
The trio nodded, puzzled.
“Gym leaders train one specific type of Pokémon,” said Elm, pacing back and forth. “And we have all the applicants. But the regions are…shall we say, taking it a step further. They’re forming something called the Pokémon League, where one fights four strong trainers and then, should they succeed, the regional Champion.” Elm turned to face the teenagers. “As of now, our region has no applicants for the Elite Four. I suggest that you each train a separate type of Pokémon…”
“…And register to be in the Elite Four?!” said Will incredulously.
Elm’s face fell.
“Yes, I’d assumed you wouldn’t want…” he began, but Aaron cut him off.
“That would be frickin’ SWEET!” said Aaron enthusiastically.
“That would be really cool,” said Karen, forgetting her anger in the excitement of the moment. “Wouldn’t it, Will?”
Will looked over at Karen. Her eyes were shining excitedly and she was looking at him apprehensively.
“That would be amazingly cool,” agreed Will.
“I’m glad you’re so eager,” said Elm happily. “Alright, let’s get you three your first Pokémon!”
Chapter Two – Will He Choose the Right One?
“Wow…” whispered Will, looking at the choices. There were three PokéBalls sitting in a large display case. He suddenly frowned. A nasty thought had just occurred to him. He turned to Professor Elm. “What if I pick the wrong one?” he said uneasily.
“You’re supposed to be psychic, Will! I think you know which one you should take.”
“You mean that there’s a Psychic-type Pokémon in here?” said Will, astonished.
“Of course!” said Elm impatiently. “I know about your…background. How could I ask you to collect a certain type and not expect it to be Psychic?”
Will smiled, closed his eyes, and put his hand over the PokéBall farthest to the right. He didn’t need to think about it. He knew it would be the right choice.
“Well, send it out!” said Elm encouragingly.
“Here goes,” said Will, suddenly so excited that it hurt. “Go!” he shouted, throwing the PokéBall into the air. A small, humanlike Pokémon came out. It had a cute, pink little face with big, round eyes and a pair of pink lips. It had what appeared to be a small mop of blonde hair.
“It’s so cute!” said Will enthusiastically. He frowned again and turned to Elm. “Uh…what is it?”
“Oh, right!” said Elm, smacking himself. “I almost forgot – I haven’t given you three your PokéDexes yet!” He ran from the room and returned a second later with three large electronic Pokémon encyclopedias – to the average Pokémon Trainer, a PokéDex.
Will, Karen, and Aaron accepted their PokéDex one by one. Will started his up and flipped to his Pokémon’s picture. The PokéDex entry read:
“Smoochum, the Kiss Pokémon. Its lips are the most sensitive parts on its body. It always uses its lips first to examine things.”
“Smoochum is an Ice- and Psychic-type Pokémon, Will,” said Elm.
“Awesome!” said Will happily. “I did pick the right one! Hey! What’s so funny?” he demanded; Karen was stifling a fit of the giggles and Aaron was actually rolling around on the floor chortling.
“Kiss Pokémon?” choked Karen, eyes watering from laughter.
Will went very red.
“Let’s see yours, then!” he demanded.
“Alright,” said Karen, managing to stop laughing. She walked over to the display case and picked up her own PokéBall. She sent out a black dog-esque Pokémon with a bit of armor on its back. She fired up her own PokéDex and checked the entry.
“Houndour, the Dark Pokémon. It uses different kinds of cries for communicating with others of its kind and for pursuing its prey.”
“Houndour is a Dark- and Fire-type Pokémon,” explained Elm.
“Wait…” said Karen slowly. “Dark and Fire? So… which type do I train?”
Elm shrugged. “That’s completely up to you, my dear.”
Karen growled rather like a Houndour and stepped out of the way of Aaron as he came up to the display case. She sat quite huffily down on an armchair and Houndour immediately attempted to jump on her lap. She shoved Houndour off in disgust and went to stand next to Will. Houdour followed her loyally.
“Guess that leaves me with this Pokémon,” said Aaron brightly. He picked it up and sent out a large dragonfly with large green eyes that somehow covered its whole head.
Karen and Will both took an involuntary step back.
“I – don’t – like – insects…” said Will disgustedly.
“Me neither,” said Karen, shuddering.
“I do!” said Aaron happily. Aaron whipped out his PokéDex in a cool way that Will somehow knew he wouldn’t be able to pull off. He flipped to the page of his Pokémon, which was now buzzing around the room at lightning speed.
“Yanma, the Clear Wing Pokémon. Its large eyes can scan 360 degrees. It looks in all directions to seek out insects as its prey.”
“I LOVE Bug Pokémon!” said Aaron, extremely psyched.
“Did I SAY it was a Bug Pokémon?” said Professor Elm, rather offended.
“Umm… no,” Aaron said sheepishly. “Is it?”
“Well…yes,” admitted Elm. “A Bug- and Flying-type. But…” he said, and his face got very spooky, “…DON’T interrupt me again,” he hissed.
“G-got it,” said Aaron. “Uh…sir, yes, sir!”
“Well,” said Elm, looking at all of them, “you should head west, toward Cherrygrove City. From there, you can easily get to Violet, where the first gym is.
“Keep in mind that you can keep one Pokémon out walking with you,” he advised. “It will have its benefits, believe me.”
He smiled good-naturedly at them all. “See you later.”
Karen’s Houndour led the way out towards Route 29, followed by Will, then Aaron last of all, who was talking to Will.
“So…Kiss Pokémon? Really?” Aaron taunted.
Unfortunately, Smoochum heard him. Smoochum blasted him with an icy cold Powder Snow, knocking him to the ground. She stuck her tongue out as she passed him.
Will He Catch a Pokémon First?
So that’s how Will, Karen, and Aaron (wow, accidental rhyme!) set out on their epic journey across…Route 29.
“How much longer do we have?” groaned Aaron, still bringing up the rear.
“Oh, is the little baby tired?” Karen said sarcastically. Smoochum let out a distinctive giggle. Karen smiled at her. She looked at her own Pokémon and grimaced. Why couldn’t she have gotten something cute?
“Come on, Smoochum,” called Will. Smoochum toddled ahead to catch up.
Karen sighed. Her Houndour was now walking a tad in front of her. She glared at it.
“No,” snapped Karen. “I’m in front. Me. Not you.”
Houndour gave her an adoring look and let her pass, which somehow made Karen even angrier.
“Oh, come on, Karen, lighten up!” said Will pleadingly.
Karen turned her head away.
Will looked at Smoochum and shrugged in an “I tried” sort of way.
“So, who’s going to catch their first Pokémon?” said Aaron, breaking the silence.
“Me,” said Karen without hesitation.
“Oh, really?” said Will skeptically. “And what type are you going to train?”
“Fire,” said Karen. “I think they match my fiery passion.”
“Or fiery temper,” suggested Aaron, earning a glare.
Suddenly, out of the bush in front of them came a small scorpion-like Pokémon.
“That is so cool!” said Aaron. “I bet it’s a Bug-type!”
“Aren’t you going to check?” said Karen suspiciously.
“Nah, I can go with my natural instinct,” said Aaron, nonchalantly reading the PokéDex protruding from his pocket.
“Skorupi, the Scorpion Pokémon. It burrows under the sand to lie in wait for prey. Its tail claws can inject its prey with a savage poison. Type: Poison/Bug.”
“Sweet, it IS a Bug-type!” said Aaron. “Go, Yanma!” Yanma flew towards the frightened Skorupi. “Use Tackle!”
Yanma flew towards Skorupi in a weak Tackle. Skorupi nevertheless took some damage.
Skorupi let out a freaky, hissing cry and shot out a poison barb at Yanma.
Aaron gasped. “Why, you little -”
“Freak?” suggested Karen.
“Danger to society?” said Will worriedly.
“- beauty!” gushed Aaron.
“And he’s making fun of me for having a Kiss Pokémon,” Will muttered to Karen. She smiled reluctantly.
Aaron shouted, “Here…I…GO!”
At the word “GO”, he threw a PokéBall at the Skorupi… well, it was meant for Skorupi. It ended up cracking Karen’s skull.
“EEEEEEYAAH!” shouted Karen in pain, massaging her head. “That… really… HUUUUUURT!” She turned toward Aaron with a look that would have frightened the Grim Reaper. “The PokéBall is supposed to go towards the POKÉMON, you frickin’ IDIOT!”
Aaron recoiled slightly.
“Umm… yeah. S-sorry about that, Kare. Won’t happen again.”
“QUIT CALLING ME KARE!” shrieked Karen. She flopped down on the ground to sit cross-legged frustratedly. Houndour bounded up to her happily and jumped onto her lap.
“THIS IS NOT THE TIME!” she screamed. Houndour recognized the signs and climbed carefully off her.
“I caught it!” cried Aaron joyously. “Look, Kare! I caught a Pokémon first!”
This did not improve Karen’s mood.
“I wanna catch a Psychic Pokémon,” announced Will.
“EEEK!” shouted Karen.
“Will you please stop screaming?” said Will irritably, pointing to his ears.
Karen opened her mouth, but no sound came out. She pointed behind him.
Will turned around to find himself looking straight into the eyes of a Pokémon. He leapt back, caught off guard. “Whoa… what is that?” He pulled out his PokéDex (We’re going to like these things, he thought) and looked up a yellow Pokémon with a white ring of fur around its neck and a pendulum in hand.
“Hypno, the Hypnosis Pokémon. Always holding a pendulum that it swings at a steady rhythm, it causes drowsiness in anyone nearby. Type: Psychic.”
“Don’t look at it!” commanded Karen. She looked at Hypno’s seductively swaying pendulum as if it were dangerous. “You’ll get hypno…” She blinked, her eyes following the subtle movements of the pendulum. “You’ll get hyp -” she began again, but was cut off by a large yawn. “You’ll get…hypn…” her eyelids drooped, but from what Will could see of her pupils, she was still watching the pendulum. “You’ll…get…” she mumbled, and her knees began to buckle. Aaron caught her in his arms triumphantly just as she fell and laid her down on the ground, where she fell asleep.
Will rolled his eyes.
“Dude, you have to catch that thing now!” said Aaron happily.
“And…why?” Will inquired suspiciously.
“Now we can get her to sleep whenever we want!” said Aaron enthusiastically.
Will’s eyebrows met his hairline.
“We can WHAT?!” he cried.
Aaron went bright red and covered his mouth.
“Oh, God… not like that, dude…” he said quickly. “I meant it would be useful if she keeps screaming like she has been doing… to shut her up…”
Will nodded, his eyebrows still way up.
“Sure, Aaron…” he said. “Oooookay, then.”
He turned back to the Hypno, while keeping his eyes distinctly off the pendulum. “Go, Smoochum!” he shouted. Smoochum toddled forward importantly. “Use Sweet Kiss!” (He heard Aaron s****** in the background.)
The Hypno staggered around, confused and unable to attack.
“Now, Smoochum!” shouted Will. “Powder Snow!”
Smoochum, having practiced this on Aaron, was excellent in freezing the Hypno solid. Will wasted no time in using a PokéBall. It was more than successful, and Will caught his first Pokémon.
“Okay, it’s…seven o’clock,” said Will, checking his watch, “and it’s starting to get dark… We need to get to Cherrygrove City.” He looked at Houndour, who was sniffing at Karen. She was still slumbering. He sighed. “What should we do about her?”
“I can carry her,” said Aaron all-too-innocently.
Will looked at him suspiciously.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “Just wake her up.”
“Karen,” said Aaron, prodding her arm. “Kaaaaren…” He sighed. “Kare, get up!”
Karen’s eyelids fluttered weakly.
“Don’t call me Kare…” she mumbled.
“Wake up, Karen,” said Will. “We need to reach Cherrygrove City.”
“All right,” she grumped. She stretched hugely and yawned, but obliged in getting up and trudging alongside Aaron and Will towards Cherrygrove City.
“Hey, Kare!” said Aaron happily (Karen growled). “Guess what – Will caught that Hypno!”
“Do you two hate me or something?” she moaned miserably.
“’Course not,” insisted Aaron seriously. “If we did, we wouldn’t be nearly so mean.”
Will laughed and even Karen gave a grudging smile, and they continued toward the bright lights of Cherrygrove.
Karen Loses Her Will
They arrived in the city, yawning and slumping. High above them, a black bird Pokémon watched Karen closely. They walked a few blocks to the Pokémon Center and entered happily. They noticed that there was a bit of a line to heal their Pokémon, so they decided to sit down for a moment.
They each took a chair and sat in silence for a while.
“So,” said Aaron. “What should our next move be?”
“Definitely head towards Violet City,” said Karen. “The first gym is there.”
“Yeah,” agreed Will. “But we should probably wait till morning.”
“But then the other group might beat us there,” pointed out Aaron anxiously. “Hey, does anyone know who the other group is?”
“The other group of what?” inquired a voice behind them. They turned their heads to see three people listening in on their conversation.
The one who had spoken was a guy with shoulder-length purple hair, rather the color of Will’s own. Next to him was another guy, this one with plain, black hair. And next to him was a beautiful tall blonde girl clad entirely in black.
Will watched Aaron size up the first guy, and scrutinize the second. Will rolled his eyes – he knew what was coming next. Aaron took one look at the blonde girl and his mouth fell open. Aaron took in her appearance and Will could practically see any thoughts of Karen pop out of existence.
Aaron sidled past the guys rather like an insect and approached the girl. “Hello,” he said, working his mouth into what he clearly thought was a winning smile. “I’m Aaron.”
The girl looked at him in disgust.
“Fantastic,” she said sarcastically, and pushed him away.
Aaron looked shocked. Will sighed, got up, and dragged Aaron back to his chair.
“The other group of what?” asked the purple-haired boy again.
“The other group of trainers aspiring to join the Elite Four,” explained Aaron, his eyes still on the blonde girl’s flawless body.
The purple-haired boy laughed rudely.
“I don’t think that we’re the other group,” he said, rolling his eyes. “I was told our rivals had potential.”
Aaron went bright red.
“Do you really want to say that?” he growled.
The boy shrugged.
“It doesn’t matter, really. You’ll be horrible whether I say it or not.”
“Lucian, stop,” said the plain-looking kid, frowning.
“You’re name’s Lucian?” he laughed.
Lucian didn’t look fazed in the least.
“Yes,” he answered. He looked at the rest of Aaron’s group. “This is Norman,” he said, gesturing to the plain boy, “and this is Cynthia.”
Aaron smiled at Cynthia again.
“Wow,” he said hopefully. “That’s a nice name.”
Karen rolled her eyes.
“Can you spell desperate?” she muttered.
“Now we’re at a disadvantage,” said Lucian. He looked at Smoochum, who was in the chair and cuddling up to Will. “Er… so to speak.”
“In what way?” asked Karen.
“You know our names, but we don’t know yours, of course,” said Lucian.
“Sucks to be you, doesn’t it?” grouched Aaron, still angry.
“No, not at all,” said Lucian, smiling at the very idea. “I would like to know, though. What’s your name, green-hair?”
“Aaron,” muttered Aaron.
Lucian gave a loud chortle.
“The freaky bug-obsessed weirdo Aaron?” he snorted. “Wow. Elm is lowering his standards. And you would be…?” he asked, pointing to Karen.
“Karen,” she said, an intense look of dislike on her face.
“I’ve heard of you as well,” said Lucian, smiling. “You can’t be much of a threat. Maybe you’ll whine at me, but that’s the worst you can do.”
Karen went bright red and stared at Lucian with a look of hatred.
“And you would be…?” he asked, coming to Will at last.
“Will,” he said reluctantly.
“The only person on your team with a shred of potential,” snorted Lucian. “If that. But we must be going. We can’t afford to sit here and talk with losers all day. Norman! Cynthia! Come on.”
Smoochum stuck her tongue out at him as he passed. Compared to that kid, she seemed to be saying, Aaron’s a treasure.
“What a jerk,” Aaron said angrily. He sat down and folded his arms, clearly in a bad mood.
“It’s okay,” Karen said. “He’s just another idiot amateur. We’ll get him.” Karen reached into her bag and pulled out an apple. “Here,” she said, handing one to Will and pulling out another for Aaron. “God,” she snapped at Aaron. “No need to look so angry.”
“Who said I was angry?” said Aaron darkly as he squeezed his apple into a pulp.
“No one did,” said Will cautiously. “But I think you should heal your Pokémon.”
Will got up, took all of their PokéBalls to the counter, and handed them to the nurse. Shortly after getting them back, he dished out the PokéBalls to his friends.
Will rubbed his forehead.
“It’s already ten o’clock, guys,” he sighed. “We’d better stay here.”
Aaron went up to the nurse and booked three rooms in the Pokémon Center. He bade Karen and Will an annoyed goodnight and walked off to his room.
“Goodnight,” yawned Will, and shuffled to his own room.
Karen went to her room shortly afterward, exhausted. She made to put her PokéBalls away – Huh? PokéBalls? With an s? Karen frowned. She only had one Pokémon. One of the boys must have given her his by mistake. She bit her lip, wondering which one it was. She threw the PokéBall in the air and out came…
“Oh, crap,” she whispered. “No… no…”
Will’s Hypno loomed over her and swung its pendulum right in front of her face. She gathered up the PokéBall and attempted to call it back, but she was too afraid to try.
“No…” she whispered again, looking on with fear. The pendulum made a sound as it swung back and forth… Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Karen’s pulse seemed to slow down to align perfectly with it. Her eyes were pulled to the irresistible sway of the pendulum. Her eyelids drooped as the alluring Pokémon began to do its job. Her mind was suddenly filled with tempting ideas of sleep and relaxation. Suddenly, something snapped inside her, and she could resist no longer. Her eyes took on a glazed look and closed halfway; a small, dreamy half-smile formed on her face; and, completely hypnotized, she pocketed the PokéBall and followed the Hypno gradually out of the room.
She followed it out of the Pokémon Center and entered into the silent night. The pendulum sparkled slightly as it swung, enticing Karen a few steps at a time. They went on like this for some time, and she finally followed it all the way to Cherrygrove’s beach. Hypno walked backwards into the lake and Karen pursued. High above them, the black bird Pokémon that was keeping tabs on Karen was panicking – if she continued to follow, she would drown.
The bird Pokémon was struck by an idea, and it flew off to the city.
Meanwhile, Will was having a nightmare. Karen was following something into a body of water, completely unaware of what she was doing… How could they help? She was going to drown! He was startled awake by a TAP-TAP-TAPping on his window. A small black bird Pokémon was trying to get his attention.
He let it in, and it zoomed straight for the door, trying to get it open.
“Do you know where Karen is?” Will yelped. “Is it too late?”
The bird didn’t answer, but Will got the message. He woke Aaron up frantically and they set off down the streets, chasing the bird Pokémon. They arrived at the beach, and they saw Karen following Will’s Hypno into deep waters. She was already in up to her neck and she was approaching the middle of the lake, where there was a huge drop-off.
Will wasted no time in diving into the waters and swimming a bit further in.
“Come on!” he yelled to Aaron, who was panicking.
“No!” said Aaron anxiously. “I could drown!”
“YOU’RE helpful!” snarled Will, and swam as fast as he could toward the middle of the lake. Karen was completely oblivious as to where she was. Hypno was not in the water, but somehow standing on top of it. “KAREN!” he shouted as he got nearer to her. She didn’t hear him, or appeared not to. She took another step towards Hypno. Will finally reached them and seized Karen around the waist. He tried to drag her back towards him, but she fought to keep her eyes on Hypno. She took another step, pulling Will with her. Will started to panic as well. He couldn’t pull her; this was more suited for Aaron. He wasn’t strong enough.
Karen tried to shake Will off, and his hands slid farther down. Hold on – there was something bulging in her pocket… the PokéBall! He thrust his hand into her pocket and extracted the PokéBall, calling Hypno back just in time.
Karen looked extremely dazed and exhausted. She mumbled something incoherently and immediately fell asleep. Feeling triumphant, Will lifted her up – with much difficulty – and carried her back to shore. He reached the beach and Aaron – who had calmed down – looked extremely relieved.
“I can take her from here,” he offered.
Will glared at him, but reluctantly handed her over. They walked in silence for some time. The bird insisted on following. Just outside the Pokémon Center, Karen woke up. She looked around, puzzled, then looked up and saw Aaron’s face.
“Good morning, sunshine,” said Aaron pleasantly.
“EEW!” she shrieked. “Put me down, you perv! Put me DOWN!”
Aaron shrugged, but dropped her. She got up, folded her arms, and glared at him.
“And what was that all about?” she demanded.
“You don’t remember any of it?” said Will incredulously.
“Just tell me what this is all about. Now,” she said angrily.
They entered the Pokémon center and sat around a table while Will explained what had happened.
“And then, we saw you in the water and, uh…” he said, trailing off. He had just glanced at Aaron, who was behind Karen and pointing at himself frantically. “…and we saved you.”
“We?” inquired Karen.
“Well,” began Will, but Aaron cut him off.
“And by that, he means that I dived heroically in the lake, reached you, and carried you back to shore,” said Aaron importantly.
Karen raised one of her eyebrows as she looked from one boy to the next.
“Really,” she said, clearly disbelieving. “Please explain why your clothes are completely dry, and Will and I are soaked from the neck down.”
“And I’m supposed to believe you called Hypno back, too?” snorted Karen. “Nice. Real nice.”
She looked over at Will, who was smiling weakly.
She smiled wryly, leaned over the table, and kissed him – SMAK – on the cheek.
A small grin broke out on Will’s face.
“What, none for me?” said Aaron indignantly. “I carried you here!”
“Whatever,” she said, shrugging, and leaned over to his cheek. However, he held up his hand.
“Nope,” he refused. “None of that cheek crap. Right here,” he said, pointing to his mouth, clearly hoping to get Karen furious. Surprisingly, she shrugged again.
“If that’s what you want,” she said. Aaron looked pleased as she leaned forward… he closed his eyes… and Karen grabbed Smoochum from the ground and shoved it against his face.
Aaron opened his eyes and saw with disgust what was pressed to his lips.
He tried to wrench Smoochum off, but it was stuck fast. A series of screaming noises from Aaron followed before Will stopped laughing long enough to call Smoochum back.
Aaron glared at Karen, who was laughing behind her hand. Will suddenly noticed that the sun was rising and hurried them out to Route 30.
“Do you think Smoochum needs some mouthwash?” he asked Karen just loud enough for Aaron to hear.
“SHUT UP!” roared Aaron as his friends laughed.
“Oh, come on, Aaron,” said Karen, putting her arm around his neck. “We’re only joking! Why can’t we just be one big happy family? Look, Will’s up for it!” she said, pulling Will over and putting her other arm around his neck.
“We are a family,” said Aaron. “Big, happy…and dysfunctional.”
“Hey, Kare,” said Aaron suddenly. “It’s that bird Pokémon!”
“The one who led you guys to me?” said Karen in surprise.
“Yeah! Let’s find out what it is,” said Aaron, pulling out his PokéDex.
“Murkrow, the Darkness Pokémon. Feared and loathed by many, it is believed to bring misfortune to all those who see it at night. Type: Dark/Flying.”
“Didn’t bring misfortune to us,” said Will.
“Hey, Kare!” said Aaron, struck by a sudden idea. “Why don’t you catch this and train Dark-types instead of Fire!”
“Do Dark-types suit me?” asked Karen skeptically, looking at the Murkrow.
“Oh, believe me, they suit you,” said Aaron.
“Okay, then!” said Karen agreeably. “Go… PokéBall!”
She threw a PokéBall at it, and Murkrow all-too-willingly hopped inside.
“This Pokémon is just as useless as Houndour,” she muttered, reading its PokéDex. But Will wasn’t fooled; her eyes were shining and he knew she was really happy with her new catch.
Will took out a PokéBall.
“What are you doing?” Karen said suspiciously.
“I’m releasing Hypno,” said Will firmly.
“What?” gasped Aaron. “Why would you do that?”
Will and Karen both turned to look at him.
“Umm, it put Karen to sleep, made her walk all over the town, and tried to drown her.”
“Why wouldn’t he release it?” Karen said.
Will threw the PokéBall far into a forest on the edge of the road, where he heard it open. When he ran to retrieve the PokéBall, Hypno was gone. He slammed the PokéBall shut, finalizing the release. He looked down at the empty PokéBall and sighed.
When he came back, Aaron was shaking his head.
“Can’t believe you did that,” he sighed. “Your first Pokémon.”
“It was insane!” said Karen heatedly. “It tried to kill me!”
Aaron shrugged as if it were no big deal.
“So what? Good riddance, in my opinion,” he said.
She glared at him, then turned back to Will and talked to him instead.
“I’m really glad I caught this little guy,” she said, looking up at Murkrow.
“It suits you,” said Aaron seriously. “I mean, look at that PokéDex entry: ‘feared and loathed by many…believed to bring misfortune…’” He looked up. “If I didn’t know better, Kare, I’d say that was written about you.”
He stared at Karen’s face, slowly turning red, and bolted down the path as quickly as he could. She was in hot pursuit, screaming “WHY, YOU LITTLE –”
Will rolled his eyes, smiling, and followed them.
Will We Ever Reach Violet City?
They continued on Route 30 for some time. Will and Karen were especially bad off, because they had just gone for an unplanned swim and their clothes were still damp.
“So, Will,” said Aaron, breaking the silence. “Are you still training Psychic-types?”
“Of course he is,” snorted Karen. “The guy’s psychic, isn’t he?”
“Yeah, but what if all his Psychic-types try to hypnotize you?” demanded Aaron. “There are plenty of Psychic Pokémon that learn Hypnosis.”
“His choice,” Karen sniffed, but she did look a little pale.
“I’m not going to catch my Pokémon based on their moveset,” scoffed Will.
Karen looked extremely relieved.
“That’s good, then,” she said comfortably.
“What do you mean?” s******ed Aaron. “He never said that they wouldn’t know Hypnosis. He just said that wouldn’t be a contributing factor.”
Karen gave him a nasty look and went to walk on Will’s other side.
“I wonder what those other people are training,” she said thoughtfully. “Lucian…Cynthia…and that forgettable kid.”
“I don’t care,” said Aaron angrily. “I just want to see him get paid back. Lucian is the biggest –” (here he called Lucian something that made Karen glare at him) “– that I’ve ever seen.”
“Yeah, but you…” began Karen angrily.
“Guys, look!” said Will suddenly. A small Pokémon had just crept nervously out of the forest and was approaching Will gingerly.
“What is it?” said Aaron excitedly, but was immediately “SSSSSHHHHH!”ed by Karen and Will. Will carefully took out his PokéDex, not wanting to startle the Pokémon. He looked up a small, white Pokémon with a round green head of hair covering its face.
“Ralts, the Feeling Pokémon. The horns on its head provide a strong power that enables it to sense people’s emotions. Type: Psychic.”
Will looked up.
“I think I’m going to catch it!” he whispered. He picked up a PokéBall and gently tossed it at the Ralts (something told him he wouldn’t have to weaken this one).
Jerk. Jerk. Jerk. DING.
“Great for you,” said Karen happily, shooting a smug look at Aaron.
“Why don’t you check its moves, Will?” suggested Aaron slyly.
“Let’s see…” mumbled Will. “It knows Psychic, Magical Leaf, Double Team, and…” his voice trailed off. “Oh…” he gulped. “Um…Hypnosis.”
Aaron broke into derisive laughter.
Karen turned her head away from Aaron to talk to Will.
“I really don’t mind,” she said honestly. “I don’t think this one will try anything.”
Will smiled and nodded.
Walking on, Will noticed that the trail became less and less pronounced. Soon they left Route 30 and came to Route 31. Right in front of them, there was a cave entrance. Will looked at his friends, who were looking back at him.
“I don’t think we should enter,” voiced Karen. “We’re not supposed to take any detours. Let’s just keep heading west to Violet City.”
By saying that they shouldn’t, she sealed Aaron’s vote that they definitely should.
“Come on, Kare, where’s your spirit of adventure?” asked Aaron, grabbing her wrists and tugging her towards the little entrance.
“Right here,” she said nervously. “But my spirit of common sense is overpowering it.”
“It’ll be fine,” he said coaxingly, pulling her closer to the cave. “Besides, we really couldn’t do it without you,” he added sweetly.
“Shut up,” she snapped, but she looked slightly flustered as she reluctantly followed Aaron into the cave.
They all missed the sign next to the entrance – “DARK CAVE – AVOID UNLESS POKÉMON KNOWS FLASH. DARK AND DIFFICULT TO NAVIGATE.”
They figured out the consequences shortly after stepping in.
“Aaron!” shrieked Karen, terrified. She was unable to see anything, not even the light of the entrance. It was pitch-black. “AARON! WHERE DID YOU GO? THIS ISN’T FUNNY!”
“Boo,” whispered Aaron right into her ear.
“EEEEEYAAAH!” she screamed.
“Relax, it’s only me,” said Aaron soothingly. “You’re fine. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“How can you mean anything otherwise when saying the word ‘boo’?” she snapped, and Aaron knew exactly the way she was glaring at him. “Besides, I was NOT scared.”
“Why’d you scream, then?” he asked, and Karen could tell he had that annoying superior smirk.
“Uh…” she said, at a loss. “Uh… I was humoring you,” she said lamely.
“You were humoring me?” repeated Aaron, the smug smile more pronounced than ever in his voice. “Okay, then. Consider me humored.”
“Good,” she snapped, and walked in what she thought was the opposite direction. It wasn’t.
“OWWCH!” said Aaron in pain. “What, are you trying to run me over?”
“No, but that’s an excellent idea,” she snarled. “The best one you’ve had all –”
“Will you two PLEASE SHUT UP!” Will shouted, from somewhere to their left.
“Will?” Karen gasped.
“No, it’s Professor Elm, coming to tell you there’s been a mistake, and you OOOOF!” Aaron started to say sarcastically, but ended in a cry of pain; Karen had finally had enough and had slugged him in the stomach with all her might.
“We need to find the exit,” bellowed Will.
“Thanks for the update!” shouted Karen sarcastically. “Oh, there seems to be a problem. WE CAN’T SEE IT!”
“Don’t mind her, Will!” yelled Aaron. “She’s just in a bad mood because I scared her! Maybe we should leave her here and –” he suddenly stopped speaking, clearly in pain. Karen had kicked him harder than she knew she could, in the last spot he would have chosen to be kicked. “– owwwwwwww…” he groaned slowly.
“Ooohh…” said Karen, feeling a little bad. “Umm…sorry, Aaron. I didn’t mean to, uh… hurt you.”
“I wasn’t hurt,” muttered Aaron through clenched teeth, trying to stop himself from screaming.
“Okay, then,” said Karen with that annoying wry smile of hers. “Come on, let’s find the exit.”
“Got it,” muttered Aaron. He stood up and walked straight into the wall. Karen and Will winced at the nasty crack they heard and could tell his face was contorting with pain. “That hurt,” he whimpered.
“Uh, are you…okay?” Karen asked uncertainly.
“Fine,” he said shortly. “Come…on…” he insisted bravely, taking another step and tripping over a small rock. “Oh my God,” he groaned. “I think…my ankle’s…broken.”
Will and Karen groaned. This was all they needed in a pitch-black cave where they couldn’t even see their hands in front of their faces.
“Can you walk on it?” said Karen worriedly.
“Don’t know,” he grunted. He tried to stand up, but he couldn’t quite manage and he fell down hard on his knees. He was overcome with pain and he passed out.
“Aaron?” said Karen frantically. “…AARON?”
“I think he’s fainted,” said Will, grimacing.
Karen walked over to where they had last heard Aaron and nearly tripped over him. She groaned and lifted him off the floor of the cave. Meanwhile, Will felt along the sides of the wall and found the small hole they had crawled through.
“Yessss,” he murmured. “Karen!” he shouted. “Come here! I found the exit!”
“Thank God,” moaned Karen. “I’m done with caves… forever.”
Will nodded grimly. Then he realized she couldn’t see him and said “Yeah.”
Karen and Aaron went through first, Will pushing Aaron’s head through. Will crawled through after that, and they were in much dismay to find that it was already dusk on Route 31.
Will’s PokeGear suddenly rang. He checked the caller ID – Professor Elm. Puzzled, he answered.
“Hello?” he said.
“Is this Professor Elm?” he said loudly. Karen gave him a puzzled look. “Elm… you’re breaking up!”
Will groaned. Absentminded Professor Elm… he turned around and tried it from a different angle. It worked slightly better.
“Only one of…can take the gym challenge…must decide…yourselves…that one person will…other…
This was followed by a series of buzzing noises, then a dial tone.
Will turned around frustratedly.
“What did Professor Elm want?” asked Karen curiously.
“He said only one of us could take the gym challenge…that we would have to decide who… and he started to say what that one person will do at the end… then our connection broke.”
“I know he’s absentminded, but how could he forget to tell us THAT?” she said incredulously. Will shrugged resignedly. Karen bit her lip and voiced a serious question. “Who’s going to take the challenge?”
“We’ll figure it out when we get there,” said Will miserably, and led the way for Karen, who was still carrying Aaron. They trudged dejectedly through a gatehouse and into Violet City.