This oneshot started from Alakazam's first line, which in turn was inspired by something I heard on the radio. I don't know what the context was - I only caught three words: 'letters and numbers'. This is just a short piece, but I feel it serves its purpose.
Huh, I've been writing a lot of Pokemon POV stuff lately.
Letters and numbers . . . is that all we are to you, Trainer?
Don't you remember that time we beat Misty? Charizard – even though he was only a Charmeleon then; even though he had a crippling type disadvantage – fought tooth and claw to secure victory for you. He fought like one possessed, and all so you could have that Cascade Badge you coveted so.
I had just joined the team, and I remember sitting quietly in my Poké Ball and watching . . . observing. You were so excited, so full of life, that it made me tremble with joy just to be with you. Your enthusiasm was electric and contagious, and we, even at that early stage of our journey, loved you for it. There were only four of us then, and we prided ourselves on being the originals, the ones that stayed with you no matter where you went. If you had told us to leave you, we would have refused. If you had told us to die for you, we would have done it without a second thought.
The day you traded me away . . . it nearly broke me, Trainer. I didn't realise why you were doing it at the time, and we laughed about it together afterwards, but at the time, I was scared. Not scared of new things, new possibilities, like you might imagine, but scared of stepping out of range of your light.
You shone for us, Trainer, and we did our best to shine for you, too. We wanted so dearly to make you proud. So why . . . why would you leave us?
You caught me on Route 25. My mind retains all information, but even if I was able to, I would never forget that day. I was shy then, fleeing from any sign of trouble. Why, then, did I remain long enough to be captured? I think . . . to this day, I hold true to the belief that it was your smile. As you came along with your Poké Balls strapped to your waist, you looked so blissfully happy that I had to investigate further.
Even to the end of our journey, your smile made us strong, Trainer. Even my mind cannot comprehend how this is so, but that single expression of yours always filled me with strength I did not even know I had.
Oi! What the hell do you think you're doing? Don't just go ahead and leave us alone like that, you tosser!
Jeez . . . what gives you the right to stick us away like that? I stuck with you the whole damn time, and this is the thanks I get? Che! I didn't have to fight for you, Trainer. I did it because I felt like it. We all did. Those other sods are just too nice to say it. Useless buggers, the lot of them. And this is how you pay us back? Gah.
I guess . . . I guess I'd miss you if you left. Only a little bit, mind! Don't get the wrong idea.
Hmph. I've got nothing else to say to you!
Hey, um, Trainer. I dunno wha's goin' on 'ere, but da guys're talkin'. Sayin' ya've left us behind. Whassat mean?
I been wit ya fer so long, y'know. When was it? Yeah, i' was dat place – dat, um . . . Safari Zone, was it? Ya got me good there, 'n it was a good ol' long time afore I wuz ready to hang wit ya. I di'n like ya at first, but ya had summat in ya . . . summat special.
What'd make ya wanna leave us be'ind? We's ya good buddies, right? I di'n mess up nuttin', did I? I kin smash s'more rocks fer ya, if'n ya like? Didn'I smash rocks good 'nuff for ya? I'm right sorry, if'n tha's what it was, Trainer. I mean it. Don' leave us.
I'unno what I'd do if'n ya left, Trainer. I don' unnerstand why ya'd go, but . . . please, Trainer. Stay wit us fer a bit longer. I'll smash some rocks, jus' for you, all special, like. Please?
I-it's not my fault, is it? Oh, no, please don't let it be my fault! I know I was never as strong as the others, b-but I always tried my hardest for you! I promise, I did!
They were always so wonderful and strong, the rest of the team. For some reason, you kept me, and . . . f-for that . . . I'm so grateful. I nuh-n-never knew why you let me stay, Trainer. I couldn't learn any HMs to help you, but I did my b-best anyway!
I was so happy when you caught me. I w-was just a l-little Caterpie back then, and I was so . . . so weak. I needed someone t-to look after me, to give me that love and nurture I needed to become stronger. Y-you . . . were that someone. You were that someone to a T.
P-perhaps I was never that strong. I was always the f-first to go down in a fight, but you . . . you let me keep fighting. It was like . . . like you recognised how m-much I needed to fight for you. And I did, Trainer. I felt an enormous debt towards you for making me what I was, and . . . and . . . I felt obliged to pay you back.
I f-fought with you so many times, Trainer. I won some, I lost some . . . did I lose too many, Trainer? I-I'm sorry! Please don't leave us because of m-m-me! I c-couldn't stand that.
Hey, Trainer. It's been a little while, hasn't it?
. . .
Perhaps you should think this through? Why would you cast us aside like this if we really mean as much to you as you used to say?
. . .
You used to tell us that all the time, you know. Every day, you would tell us how much you loved us. It buoyed us up and made us love you back all the more.
. . .
If you ever need me to fly you anywhere again, Trainer, just say the word. I'm always going to be here for you. Just like you were always there for us.
. . .
Don't go, Trainer. You and I, we've been through so much – we all have. Why would you leave us? You're all we ever had. Without you, we are nothing.
. . .
I'll wait for you, Trainer. Forever, if need be.
Well, it looks like this is it, Trainer.
I guess . . . no, this is hard. I . . . I don't . . . no. No, that's wrong, too. What I mean to say is . . . I think I understand, Trainer. You want new adventures. We're old, and we've had our fun. We went through a lot together, but in the end, you're always going to keep moving. You'll grow up, and keep growing, and I know that. I think I saw it coming right from the beginning, but . . . I can't pretend it doesn't hurt.
Of course I still remember the day we started . . . it was the second of October, 2004. You were so young, so fresh, so full of life. I think . . . I think I loved you from the moment I saw you, Trainer. When you picked me up off that table, I made my choice: I would stay with you forever, if you needed me to.
Well, I guess you didn't need me forever. In the back of my mind, I've been waiting for this day for more than six years, but . . . it doesn't make it any easier. We had so many good times together – you and I, as well as the rest of your Pokémon. We were an inseperable, unbreakable team. That's what I thought.
The Japanese have a word for that, I think. What was it again? Nakama. It means friends, but friends who are like family. No, more than that. Friends who are closer than family. Friends who would do anything, give anything, go anywhere for each other. You always put yourself on the line for us, and we were willing to do that for you too.
You had us, Trainer. Why would you ever need anyone else? That's . . . that's what I don't understand. I know you'll always want new adventures, but . . . is there any reason we can't have them together?
I liked to think I had a special bond with you, Trainer, being your first partner, the one who had been with you the longest – but I was just deluding myself. You loved us all equally. You were our lighthouse, the beacon of strength that kept us safe and guided us to where we were going. You were the rock that we leant on for support when we needed it, and in exchange we were always there when you needed us. We fought for you, Trainer. We gave everything.
And now . . . now you say you're going to leave us behind? Again, I can't pretend I never saw this day coming, but I was hoping desperately that it wouldn't happen – especially not so soon. Where are your nakama now, Trainer!? What did we do to deserve being abandoned? Why . . . why would you leave us like that? It's not . . . it's not fair. It's not fair, and it's not right. You know that, Trainer, but you're going to do it anyway, aren't you? How . . . how could you?
. . .
I can never hate you, Trainer. Never. I'm angry, but I will never hate you. Go on, leave if you must. I can't stop you, no matter how much I might want to.
It still does not seem right. Letters and numbers . . . perhaps that is all we are after all, but it does not make this parting any less bitter.
Farewell, Trainer. Even if you forget us, know that we never forgot you. Always, we held you in our hearts.