(Prologue and Chapter one posted together due to length.)
Rated PG-13 for use of language, abuse / hints to abuse, and mild sexuality.
The sound of flesh meeting flesh echoed in the car, almost giving the illusion of causing it to shake. She quickly pulled her hand away from the green haired man, pressing her hand close to her body as she shook, tears rolling down her cheeks. Stoic, the man made no indication of moving or growing angry from her actions.
“You bastard,” she choked out, lithe body shaking with emotion.
His lips curled in a sad smile as he shook his head. “No. I’m no ‘bastard’, little one. I have done nothing to hurt these creatures. I couldn’t bring myself to.” Slowly, he took a Pokeball from his magnetic belt and held it up in front of him, pressing the button on the front to bring it to full size. “However… Wouldn’t this hurt them? Scare them, even? If so, doesn’t that make you the bad g…”
“Shut up!” she screamed, thrusting her arms down at her sides, the tears flowing even more freely than before. “Just shut up, you liar! I thought you were good!”
He frowned, his eyes hardening, and placed lowered his hand holding the ball. “And I thought you were good, too, White. Prove to me that you are. Let me hear them again; their voices.”
The brunette heaved a shaky sigh, relenting and nodding her head. “Right after we get out of this ferris wheel, and I’ll win this time, N.”
“White,” he tilted his head to the side, taking a step closer and leaning down in front of her, “it isn’t about winning. It’s about loving.”
Three teenagers stared at the blue box, wrapped in green ribbon that had been left on the desk by Professor Juniper just moments ago. It stuck out from everything else in the room, a majority of which was colored pink or white. It was, after all, the favorite color of the girl that lived there.
She had long, brunette hair that she wore in a ponytail, which slipped easily through the back of her white and pink pokeball cap. She was tall, with an almost lanky build. She wore frayed denim shorts, a white tank top, and a brown, sleeveless cardigan. Still, on her, the look fit. Here blue eyes almost seemed to sparkle as she looked at the box sitting on the table.
The only male of the group; a very studious looking boy with black hair that was just long enough to fall over his dark eyes, framed by glasses, watched her almost impatiently. He wore long, black jeans, a white t-shirt with a red Y shape starting at the collar and ending at his belt, as well as a blue button up shirt that he left unbuttoned. The inside of his blue button up was white, and, if it weren’t for the t-shirt he was wearing, he would almost look like an honor university student.
“Well,” he said, startling the brunette into looking over at him instead of at the box Professor Juniper left. “I think we all know what’s in that box; Pokemon, and I would really like to see them.”
“Yeah!” chimed in the second girl of the group; a blond haired, green eyed girl with a very bubbly – almost ditzy – demeanor. She wore orange tights under a long, almost ankle length skirt, which was white like her slip on shoes. She also had on a white, poufy sleeved top with an orange vest over top of that. Atop her head sat a green beret with a white stripe going around it.
“Alright, alright. Let’s start with the note she left us, though, okay?” she tried to reason, calming her friends down as she picked up the thick piece of floral embroidered paper. Clearing her throat, she read:
“Inside this box are three different pokeballs. Today is a special day; pick your first Pokemon and meet me at my lab! Signed by the professor.”
“Wow!” gasped her blond friend as she clutched her hands to her chest. “We can actually go on an adventure now, guys! I hope she left a Snivy! I’ve always wanted one!”
“Bianca,” began the boy, “let White pick first. The box is in her house, so it should be her pick. We’re her guests.”
The brunette, clearly named White, made a disgusted face. “I hate snakes. Let Bianca have it.”
Giddy with joy, Bianca bounced up in down in excitement. “Open the box, open the box!” she cried as the brunette rolled her blue eyes, slipping the top off of the box. Inside were three pokeballs, each marked with a design to specify which type was in what ball.
“Snivy’s grass, right?” she asked, pulling out the pokeball marked with a leaf to indicate a grass starter Pokemon inside. “If he’s here, he’s in this ball.” She plopped the ball into Bianca’s outstretched hand, sending the girl into an overjoyed fit of squeals.
Turning her attention back to the box, White contemplated which she would pick. It was between Oshawott and Tepig, now, and she really didn’t like pigs all that much. As she was coming to her decision to pick Oshawott her male friend cleared his throat beside her and she glanced over at him, irritated.
“If it helps, I want Oshawott,” he said with an awkward grin on his face.
“Take him, then,” she mumbled, feeling her stomach drop in disappointment. Still, she reluctantly took Tepig’s pokeball figuring a Pokemon she didn’t really want was better than no Pokemon at all.
“I can’t believe this,” Bianca chirped. “You, Cheren, and I all have our very own Pokemon! Isn’t this great, White?”
She couldn’t help but smile. Seeing Bianca this happy was a rarity with how her home life was. Sure, when a stranger was over her father wouldn’t seem so bad, and her mother would play like everything was okay, but it never really was. Everyone knew that Bianca’s dad abused the poor girl, but neither her nor Cheren could prove just how much. The blond girl always played it off to be okay, to not worry about her. Yet, they both knew that, even if there wasn’t any physical abuse, there was definitely verbal.
Looking around her room at her flat screen T.V., Nintendo wii, queen sized bed, and all of the other things she had, White almost felt bad. Bianca had close to nothing in her room: a bed, a bookshelf that mostly held her school books that she didn’t need to carry with her to classes, a rug, and a desk for her to do her studies. No games, hardly any fun reading material, and she didn’t even have her own computer. Half the time, Bianca had to sneak over to hers or Cheren’s house to get her research or reports done.
Even Cheren’s room wasn’t this decked out. His room was mostly built for him to study, and study well. He had the best computer there was, he had books upon books on Pokemon. He was almost his own Pokemon library with three whole bookshelves full of information on them. He even had books on species outside their region, like Kanto and Hoenn. Never had she seen a game system in his room.
“Let’s battle,” echoed Bianca’s mousey voice, snapping the brunette out of her guilt-ridden daydream.
“What?” She blinked a few times, certain she heard her wrong. They’d only just gotten these Pokemon.
“Let’s have a Pokemon battle. Right here, right now. Just you and me, White.” A confident grin spread across the blond’s face, and Cheren’s eyes widened in disbelief.
“A Pokemon battle inside a house? Oh no. That’s a horrible idea, Bianca. They might be weak right now, but they’ll still trash her room if nothing else…!”
“Nah,” said Bianca with a wave of her arm, smiling and shrugging it off. “Like you said, these Pokemon are weak. They won’t hurt a thing. Right, White?”
“Uh, sure, right,” nodded White, “I’m up for a challenge, unlike Cheren.” She smirked at him, still bitter about his decision to take Oshawott over Tepig, when he was the Pokemon she’d wanted. “I’m no coward,” she mumbled, tossing Tepig’s ball into the air.
A man with long, light-green hair looked out his motel window, leaning back in the chair as far as he could without falling. He seemed to almost be expecting something – someone – to show outside in the park of this small town.
As he relaxed, a small cat-like Pokemon hopped onto his lap, ringing out a purring meow. It rubbed against his body, urging him to feed its need for attention, and making him groan softly. He seemed almost sad to see the Pokemon in the room with him.
“Keep it up and I’ll really feel bad letting you go, Purrloin,” he mumbled to the purple cat. “You know how much I hate recalling you into that damned pokeball.”
It tilted its head to the side and gave a small cat-cry seeming more interested in the attention than whatever words came out of this man’s mouth. Shaking his head he put on the black and white hat that had been sitting on the desk beside him and stood, preparing to head downstairs and out of the motel. Seeming eager, the Purrloin trotted along behind him, watching him walk, and never leaving his side.
“Yes, mom, I know my room is trashed,” mumbled White, her head hung down as far as it could go.
“It’s my fault,” piped up Bianca, trying to save her friend from being in as much trouble as she was. “I suggested the battle. I should have thought it though more.”
“And I should have stopped them,” murmured Cheren.
White’s mother shook her head, not taking any of the apologies or reasonings well. “If you’re going to treat my kindness like this and abuse it, I think I’m quite happy that you all are leaving town for a while. I can’t believe you thought it was any kind of good idea to have not just one, but two Pokemon battles in your room, which is in my house.” She gazed at each of them in turn, her eyes narrowed.
“I’m sorry,” White mumbled, her friends Cheren and Bianca bowing low, mumbling their apologies as well.
Instead of accepting her mother merely shook her head and sat back down at the dining room table. “Just go. All of you,” she snapped, shooing them away with a flick of her hand.
White clutched her bag, packed and ready for the trip that she was so eager to go on, staying rooted to the spot as her two friends left the house. Hesitantly, she stepped forward, knuckles going white from how hard she held her fist around the shoulder strap of her bag.
“Mom,” she questioned.
Her mother turned her head to look over at her daughter and sighed. “Baby girl… Don’t give me that face…”
White hung her head, chewing lightly on her lower lip, trying to hold back the tears. “I can clean my room up before I go. It’s no big deal; I made the mess.”
“Don’t. I’ll take care of it. Now, here…” She stood, pulling a small device out of her pocket. “It’s an Xtransceiver. Use it to call me, your friends, or even Professor Juniper.” She swallowed, hesitating a moment before continuing on. “I love you, baby girl. Have a great journey. Don’t forget to call home, okay?” She smiled sadly, giving her daughter a quick, tight hug before ushering her out the door giving her barely enough time to say good-bye.
“Does that all make sense?” asked Professor Juniper, standing in front of Accumula Town’s Pokemon Center, the three teenagers chiming in with a “yes Professor”. She nodded her head, seeming proud of her work. “Take care of your Pokemon, and yourselves. I’ll be seeing you. Call if you need me.” She smiled, waving good-bye as she turned and walked down the route back to Nuvema Town.
Cheren heaved a heavy sigh and looked over at Bianca. “How did you convince your dad to let you leave?”
Her lips turned in a nervous smile. “I…kind of just left, actually.”
Both White and Cheren gawked at the girl for a moment before the brunette spoke up. “You…just left. Isn’t he the kind of crazy guy that will, like, hunt you down, though?”
She gave a nervous laugh. “I hope not.”
“Hey, something is happening in the plaza!” stated an older man, rushing over to join the rest of the people gathered, and distracting Cheren before he can reply to Bianca’s simple statement.
Bianca blinked, astounded. “Wow, he’s right. Looks like something huge, too!”
The three of them darted over to the crowd, getting separated in the process, but making it just in time before the man in front of them began his speech about Pokemon liberation. His green hair was wild, and he had a red piece over his right eye, that made him look powerful and intimidating.
White, who had managed to wriggle her way into the crowd and lose both friends, landing herself smack beside a man with long, green hair that was pulled back into a ponytail, like her brown hair, but he didn’t seem to mind how she’d made him stumble a moment ago. He merely gave her a kind smile, his pale green eyes smiling at her. With that, she couldn’t help but feel like she had been drawn to him. He was good looking, but he seemed to have something almost off about him, too.
He didn’t seem to be paying attention to the liberation speech, either. The man in front of them had barely even started talking before he decided to start a conversation with her.
“I can hear them,” he mumbled to her, seeming to feel only a little awkward saying it as he looked cautiously at the other people around them, almost as if making sure none of them actually heard what he said.
Her brows furrowed, confused. “What?” she mumbled, trying to focus on what was being said and not how he looked, though, he did pull his awkward fashion off very well. He wore tan pants with a black thee-quarter sleeve shirt, a white three-quarter sleeved button up pulled on right over the black one. He had a gold rubix-like key-chain hanging off of his left belt loop; the same side he wore three golden squared bracelets. On his other wrist, he wore a black and silver Xtransceiver.
He tilted his head to the side, his necklace flashing in the light, despite its onyx coloration, a silver ring going completely around the jewel. “Your Pokemon,” he mused. “I can hear them.”
She blinked her eyes, completely unsure of how to reply, and, right now, she wasn’t really sure she wanted to. This man was starting to come off as a bit…mental.
“I’m not lying to you. The things they say… I’ve never heard Pokemon say such things.” He seemed almost lost in a trance as he spoke to her, staring at the magnetic belt she wore to keep her Pokemon-containing pokeballs on.
“I never said you were…lying…per say…” she mumbled, looking him up and down, memorizing how he looked so she could tell the police and get him back to the mental ward he’d surely escaped from.
“All three of them seem to like you a great deal, and I can’t figure out why… You see, I’m not exactly cosure with keeping Pokemon captive, either,” he continued on, trying to see if explaining further would keep her seeing his side instead of thinking he was a nut job.
“Wait…how many Pokemon do I have?” she asked, not noticing the man making the speech leave with all his goonies following him three in front, three behind, and one to the side. Almost like they believed he might need protection from someone.
“Three…?” he said, his eyes flicking up a second as Bianca and Cheren walked over to the two of them. “These must be your friends, I take it?” He nodded towards them, giving a kind smile at their arrival.
“Uh, yeah. Bianca and Cheren. We each just got our starter Pokemon today, actually.” She gave him a nervous smile, unsure of why she felt so comfortable spilling everything about herself and her friends to this man that she just met.
“It wouldn’t be proper of me to know your friends’ names and not give mine. I go by N. And you, Miss Blue Eyes?” He smiled softly at her, trailing his fingers to his magnetic belt, taking Purrloin’s pokeball between his fingers, slipping it into the palm of his hand.
“Oh, right, I’m sorry. My name is White. It’s very nice to meet y…” she stopped short, noticing the pokeball he held, now at full size.
“I want to hear more of their voices, White, if you don’t mind. Any of them will do, just, please. I must hear them.”
He tossed the ball into the air, backing up to give her enough room as she and her friends quickly backed up, too. Flustered, she pulled the first ball her hand came to and tossed it in front of her, releasing her newly caught Lillipup.
“Cocoa!” she gasped, realizing that she’d just sent out the Pokemon she’d trained the least. He face was flushed with embarrassment at how unskilled she must look.
N smiled, seeming to feel some guilt, his Purrloin sitting contentedly in front of him, awaiting whatever command his trainer might give. “Don’t tell me you haven’t battled a trainer before, White.”
She swallowed, keeping her eyes on Cocoa, who had turned to keep her gaze on her trainer, tail wagging in excitement. “Um,” she mumbled, watching as Cocoa sat down in front of her. “I battled Cheren and Bianca after we got our Pokemon from Professor Juniper. Does that count?”
He shook his head and heaved a sigh. “No. I meant…have you ever battled an experienced trainer? All of you are just starting out; learning the ropes.”
“Then…no,” she mumbled. “This will be my first battle.”
“It shouldn’t be too bad. I’m sure you’ll do fine, now… Purrloin, use bite.” He crossed his arms and watched easily as the purple cat stood on all fours, darting towards Cocoa, tackling the tan, terrier Pokemon to the ground, sinking its teeth into the dog’s shoulder.
White sucked air hard, having not expected the battle to begin so suddenly and violently, used to Bianca and Cheren’s pacifistic battle style. Cocoa growled and rolled, breaking free from N’s Purrloin, barking at it as soon as she backed up a safe distance.
The brunette swallowed, running through all of Lillipup’s attacks in her head as fast as she could when she heard N call out another. Obedient to a fault, the purple cat stood on its hind legs, rushing forward, front paw raised and ready for a powerful scratch attack.
Without much time to think she called out the only thing she could think of. “Dodge!” she cried. “Then tackle!” She bit down on her lip again, watching Cocoa roll out of the way and clamber up again in order to rush at the cat Pokemon as quickly as possible, only to have it dart right behind her and slash at her rear legs with the same scratch attack from earlier.
“This isn’t fair!” White cried, looking away from the battle and over at N.
“Keeping them in pokeballs isn’t fair, yet we still do so. Wouldn’t fair be letting them chose us, not us chose them?” He raised an eyebrow at her before calling out one final attack. “Night slash.”
“Wait…what? You’re really for that Pokemon liberation crap?” she snapped, too distracted to call out to Cocoa to dodge as Purrloin darted out of the terrier’s view and slammed it’s blackened, scythe-like tail against the dog’s body, sending it skidding across the dirt. Gasping at the obvious loss and Lillipup’s current state, she darted over and away from N and Purrloin, falling to her knees by Cocoa’s side.
Bianca fell to her knees beside her, digging through her purse for medicine as Cheren walked over, standing above them. “Don’t worry about it,” their studious friend murmured. “There’s a Pokemon Center just over there, in case you forgot. She can just heal Cocoa there so you don’t need to waste your money.”
She rounded on him, her eyes narrowing. “I’m sorry that I give a damn that her Lillipup just got the **** beat out of it, Cheren. I’m going to give it something so it’ll feel a little better and not have to suffer until she gets it there. Do you mind?”
He turned his head, making no comment when N approached, kneeling down beside her with his Purrloin still following close by him. “Yes, I’m for Pokemon liberation. Is that a problem?” he murmured, watching intently as Bianca carefully sprayed Cocoa’s wounds with a potion she’d bought earlier.
Cheren shook his head. “Pokemon liberation is bull. We aren’t doing anything wrong. I’m going to go before I have to listen to any more crap.” Grumbling, he turned, walking away and towards the exit to town, heading directly towards the next city.
“Serves him right,” the blond mumbled, giving White’s Lillipup a treat she’d made in excitement a few days prior when she’d heard that Professor Juniper might be dropping off starters at one of their houses in the near future. Luckily, the news had been true.
She stood, brushing off her tights and glaring in the direction Cheren went. “I’m going to head on, too, White. Call me when you get to the next Pokemon Center, okay?” She smiled down at her, kneeling down briefly to give Cocoa a kiss on the head before heading towards the exit to town when she paused and turned around. “You know, N, I never thought about that. The letting them chose, thing.” She hesitated, taking another step towards the exit, backwards. “I think I’ll stick with that. I just left for the adventure. I don’t want to be top or anything. I just want to see the sights, so… I’ll get what I get.” She smiled and darted out the exit of town leaving White alone with N.
“Well,” he began, “at least she gets what I’m saying.” He turned his attention to White, standing and offering her a hand up.
Reluctantly, she took his hand, feeling a tingle of excitement rush though her body as their skin met. Easily, he pulled her to her feet, turning his head away as she recalled Cocoa into her pokeball.
“Meet me by the gate to leave town when you’re done healing your Lillipup, if you don’t mind. I’ll walk you to the next town. It’s getting late, and I would feel horrible if someone tried to take advantage of the opportunity. New trainer. Dark night.” He shrugged his shoulders. “It’s just an offer.”
She hesitated, looking around nervously. “Well… I guess I don’t mind. Sure.”
“Great. I’ll be waiting for you,” he mused, giving a small wave and walking on towards the gates as she turned to make her way to the Pokemon Center.
He took Purrloin’s ball from his belt, holding it in his hand. The purple cat tilted its head to the side, expecting to be recalled, but startled as he threw the ball as hard as he could into the distance.
“You don’t need that, anymore. I’m releasing you,” he mumbled, his tone serious.
“You what?” White’s voice snapped from behind him, and he reeled around to face her. Her look of shock and sadness took him completely off guard. If she hadn’t had tears in her eyes, he might not have felt so bad about what he had just done.
White lowered her head into Cocoa’s fur, keeping her eyes locked on N, shaking her head slowly in disbelief. The small dog Pokemon whined, licking her cheek in a futile attempt to cheer her up.
He sighed and looked over at Purrloin, gesturing to him as he spoke. “I released him. I don’t like keeping Pokemon in pokeballs. I think it’s cruel.”
“But he loves you,” she whimpered, watching as Purrloin weaved its way between N’s legs, ‘petting’ him and purring. Almost as if he was asking to not be thrown away.
He looked down at the cat, brows lifted in guilt. “I don’t hate Purrloin. I just don’t want to keep him cooped up in a ball. Just because I released him doesn’t mean he needs to get out of my face.”
She glared. “If you’re going to keep him, then why release him?”
“White!” he snapped, just as she stormed off through the gates and towards the next town, not wanting to hear his counter argument. “…It’s not the same thing…” he mumbled, though no one was there to hear.