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Thread: Nature's Arrogance (LeafGreenShipping - Gary x Leaf)

  1. #1
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    Post Nature's Arrogance (LeafGreenShipping - Gary x Leaf)

    Pairing: Gary x Leaf.
    Rating: PG
    Summary: Leaf and Gary hate each other. But when Leaf is given a choice - to either travel with Gary or miss out on her Pokémon journey - what will she do?

    This story is also posted on Fanfiction.net and Wattpad.


    Contents:

    Chapter 1: A Journey Awaits
    Chapter 2: New Beginnings
    Chapter 3: On the Road
    Chapter 4: Practice for Perfection
    Chapter 5: Trouble in Viridian
    Chapter 6: Reaching a Milestone
    Chapter 7: Facing the Stone




    Chapter 1: A Journey Awaits


    Leaf was sitting on her bed, thinking about everything that was going to happen soon. It would only be a week before she could receive her very first Pokémon from Professor Oak and begin her Pokémon journey! She was so excited!

    She’d been counting down the days for months now, hardly able to focus on anything as time passed by at an extremely slow rate. It had been Leaf’s life-long ambition (admittedly, she was only 10, but still!) to finally become a Pokémon Trainer. And now, it was only a matter of days before her dream would come true!

    Leaf was still daydreaming about the adventures she would have on her journey when she heard a knock on her bedroom door.

    “Come in,” she called, and the door opened to reveal her father. He came and sat down next to Leaf, a solemn look on his face. Leaf was worried; her father was usually a cheerful person. Had something happened?

    Almost afraid of the answer, she asked, “What’s wrong, Dad?”

    He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, the same shade of brown as Leaf’s.

    “Leaf, honey, I need to tell you something,” he said softly, not easing her fears in the least.

    He continued, “It’s about you going on your journey.”

    Suddenly she wasn’t just worried; she was panicked. Was he going to tell her that she couldn’t go? That would be devastating, and Leaf didn’t think she could stand hearing that.

    “You know how much I love you, sweetie, and I couldn’t bear it if something happened to you on your journey. Even with your Pokémon, I just don’t think it’s safe enough.”

    So she was right. He was going to force her to stay here, and she might never become a Pokémon Trainer!

    She felt like crying. Her vision was blurry and she wasn’t really focusing on anything. She couldn’t, she felt like she was in a dream, a horrible dream and she would wake up any second and find that everything would be right again. She hoped with all her heart that it really was a dream.

    “That’s why I want you to travel with someone. It will be a lot safer with two of you. You can go with whoever you like, but if you don’t find anyone, I won’t let you go. Sorry, sweetie, but that’s just how it is. I’m sure you’ll find a great travelling partner!”

    Relief overwhelmed her, and this time the tears running slowly down her cheeks were those of joy.

    She was able to go after all! She wouldn’t have to watch all the other kids in Pallet receive their first Pokémon and leave her behind to travel. She could go too!

    Her father embraced her, and she hugged back.

    “I love you, Leaf,” he whispered softly, with his arms still locked around her.

    “I love you too, Dad,” she whispered back, and they parted.

    Then he left, closing the door quietly behind him.

    Leaf just sat there for a moment, stunned. Then a wide grin broke out on her face, and she hurried out of the house to look for someone she could travel with.

    ~*~

    Leaf was now walking back along the path, heading to Ash’s house. She had just gone to see her friend Katie, another future Trainer, but she had said that she planned to travel alone. And, as she’d been walking, Leaf had realised there were only two people left to ask: Ash Ketchum and Gary Oak.

    She began to shudder uncontrollably when she thought of the latter, and she tried not to think of having to travel with him.

    She desperately hoped that Ash would say yes, or she’d have to travel with the arrogant, cocky, self-centered jerk whose name was Gary. She couldn’t think of anything worse that could happen to her.

    Eager to confirm that that wouldn’t have to happen, she began to run. She was so intent on finding Ash that she accidentally ran straight into someone. They both fell to the ground, and Leaf struggled to get up.

    “Hey! Watch where you’re going, Leaf, you loser!” Unfortunately, she knew this voice all too well.

    “Why don’t you watch where you’re going, Gary,” she hissed in anger as she stood and dusted herself off. Gary was doing the same.

    “No thanks, my sense of direction is perfect, unlike yours,” he replied smugly, making Leaf want to hit him so hard that when he fell over, he wouldn’t get back up.

    “You think so, huh? I bet you couldn’t even find yourself in a mirror!” she retaliated.

    “Oh, I sure can! It’s not even possible for you to find yourself in a mirror, because it cracks whenever you try!”

    Leaf, who wasn’t that great at comebacks, was left trembling with fury, at a loss for words.

    Gary smirked. “Well, I don’t have time to waste talking to someone as stupid as you,” he said, and started walking. He called back to her, “So long, loser!” and Leaf was so mad she felt like she could explode from anger.

    You had better let me travel with you, Ash, or else! She mentally screamed this as she took off at a run in the opposite direction to Gary, toward Ash’s house.

    ~*~

    “Sure, Leaf, that’d be great!” Ash replied, after hearing her request. “It’ll be good to not have to travel alone!”

    At this, Leaf was overcome with joy. I don’t have to go with Gary! she thought cheerfully. She was so happy, she almost felt like dancing, but she stopped herself; she didn’t want Ash, her new travelling partner, to think she was nuts. Or that she was that happy to be travelling with him.

    “Great!” she replied, settling for a smile. “I guess I’ll see you when we get our Pokémon?”

    “Yeah,” he returned, and Leaf started walking towards the door.

    Turning around to look at Ash, she called back, “OK, see you then!” and stepped outside.

    She decided to head for a stream just on the edge of Pallet Town, close to her house. It was quiet, secluded, and a great fishing spot, but Leaf didn’t feel like fishing right at that moment. So, when she arrived there, she simply sat down with her back against a tree in the shade, partially hidden from view and closed her eyes, just relaxing.

    She snapped back into reality when she heard a noise. Opening her eyes and turning, she looked across to the other side of the bank to find Gary with a fishing rod in hand, having just cast his line into the water. Gary clearly didn’t know she was there, and she was considering resuming her previous position and ignoring him when he noticed her.

    “Well if it isn’t Leaf the Loser! What a surprise,” Gary taunted, smirking. “What are you doing here?”

    “I could ask you the same thing, Gary,” she snarled in response, getting to her feet. “It’s really none of your business, but I was just sitting here thinking. Now, I’m leaving.”

    She turned and stalked off, as Gary laughed and called out, “Wow, I didn’t know you could think! It’s a good thing you’re going; hanging around with someone stupid like you is bad for my health!”

    It took all of her self-control to not turn around and strangle him so much that he wouldn’t be able to insult her any more.

    She reached her house, climbed upstairs and into her room, and collapsed on her bed.

    Not long now until I won’t have to deal with him, she thought, her head throbbing from anger.

    Gary Oak, I hate you so much.
    Last edited by Misty#1; 20th September 2013 at 1:46 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hi! I don't even know if anyone's reading this, but here’s the next chapter. It’s not very good, so feedback would be greatly appreciated. Please comment, and thank you for reading!
    ~Love, Emma~



    Chapter 2: New Beginnings


    *BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BE-*

    “Stupid alarm,” Leaf muttered lazily after turning off her alarm clock, still half-asleep and rubbing her eyes. At that moment, she just wanted to go back to sleep.

    But then she remembered why she’d set an alarm in the first place and what was going to happen today, and she quickly got out of bed, a big smile on her face.

    Today was the day she would get her first Pokémon.

    Still grinning widely, she changed into her usual outfit: a short pink skirt and a blue tank top. She brushed out her long brown hair and put on her hat, which resembled the top half of a Premier Ball. Leaf slipped on her blue socks and her shoes and, grabbing her yellow satchel bag (which was already packed and ready), she hurried downstairs.

    She didn’t wait for her father, because she already knew that he was going to meet her at Professor Oak’s laboratory to say goodbye after she got her first Pokémon.

    Speaking her first Pokémon, she had thought a lot about which one she was going to choose, and had finally decided that she would have a Squirtle. It was just right for her, and it was really cute! She couldn’t wait until it was hers.

    Leaf rushed out the door and began to run toward the lab, eager to claim Squirtle before anyone else could. Once she did that, she would wait for Ash. Her father would see that Ash was there, and say goodbye to her, and then they would begin their journeys together. It was going to be so much fun!

    As Leaf neared the lab, she could see a large crowd, containing a group of cheerleaders.

    Wait, cheerleaders? Who would be so self-centered as to have – Oh, she thought, as she realised that she could think of one person that would have his own group of cheerleaders.

    The self-righteous jerk was clearly bragging about something, judging by the smug look on his face. And there was a Poké Ball in his hand.

    If he took Squirtle I’m going to kill him, she thought fiercely, panic taking her over. He spotted her then, and she tried to pay no attention to him.

    Gary was tossing the Poké Ball up and catching it in his hand now, smirking as he watched her walk toward him.

    “Hey loser! Look what I’ve got! My very first Pokémon!”

    “What else would it be, a jelly donut?” Leaf replied sarcastically, shoving past him and his cheerleaders and continuing toward the lab.

    He ignored her remark. “It is the best one, you know,” he bragged, making her turn around.

    “And your Pokémon would be…?” Leaf inquired casually, secretly hoping that it wasn’t Squirtle.

    “That’s none of your business, loser,” he returned with a sneer.

    “Well, fine, don’t tell me then!” Leaf snapped, and stormed off in the direction of the lab.

    She heard Gary shout something to her, but she couldn’t make out the words. Not that she would even want to hear what he had to say!

    Leaf could see Professor Oak standing in the entrance to the lab.

    “Professor!” she called out, making her way to him.

    “Why, hello Leaf!” Professor Oak greeted her as she came to stand, panting, before him.

    “Hello, Professor,” Leaf replied, though she was thinking only of Squirtle. This must have showed in her expression, because he immediately said, “You must want to choose your Pokémon, correct?”

    She nodded quickly. “Yes.”

    “Well then, follow me,” he said, and stepped inside the lab, Leaf following close behind.

    They entered a room with a storage device in the centre, which held three Poké Balls. There was one empty space at the back of the machine.

    Leaf had watched enough of Professor Oak’s lectures to be able to identify the contents of each Poké Ball, including Squirtle’s.

    Reaching for the Poké Ball on the left pressing the button at its centre, she said coolly, “I choose Squirtle.”

    But when the Poké Ball opened, it was empty! But that meant…no, she wouldn’t be able to get one!

    “I’m sorry, Leaf, but Squirtle has already been claimed,” Professor Oak said sympathetically.

    “Who took it?” she asked quietly, already knowing what the Professor would say, but at the same time hoping that he wouldn’t say it. Anyone but him, Leaf pleaded.

    “My grandson, Gary,” he replied, confirming Leaf’s suspicions.

    No…this couldn’t happen! Why did he get to have Squirtle and not her?! That wasn’t fair!

    Well, it looked like she had to go with her second option. It was really a shame, she wanted Squirtle!

    “OK. I guess I’ll have Bulbasaur,” Leaf said, reaching for the middle Poké Ball.

    This time, when she opened it, there was a flash of bright light and her Pokémon appeared.

    Bulbasaur was a tiny, blue-green coloured dinosaur with small dark green squares covering its body. On its back was a light green bulb, and it had triangularly-shaped ears. It had three white claws growing out of its four legs, and its eyes were bright red with white at the inner corners and centre.

    “Bulba,” it said, as it looked around the room, and then at Leaf.

    Leaf knelt down so that she was at eye-level with it.

    “Hello, Bulbasaur, my name is Leaf and I’m your new Trainer. I hope we can be good friends,” she told it, smiling.

    “Bulba, Bulbasaur,” it said, and nuzzled against her hand affectionately.

    She patted it, then stood.

    “OK, Bulbasaur, let’s go,” she said, and held up the Poké Ball.

    “Bulba,” it repeated, just before it was recalled by a beam of red light.

    I think I’m going to be happy with Bulbasaur, Leaf thought happily.

    She then turned to the Professor.

    “Thank you for the Pokémon, Professor,” she said politely.

    “You’re welcome, Leaf,” he replied, and she walked out of the lab and into the bright sun.

    Gary was still down there with his cheerleaders, along with the rest of the crowd. Her father was there too, now, and he came to meet her as she headed down the path.

    “Hello Leaf,” he greeted. “What Pokémon did you choose?”

    “Bulbasaur,” she answered, showing him the Poké Ball.

    “A good choice,” he commented, smiling. Then he looked around.

    “Where’s Ash? I thought you were going to go with him.”

    Oh no. Ash, don’t do this to me!

    ~*~

    “I really don’t think he’s coming, Leaf,” her father told her. They had been waiting fifteen minutes, but there had been no sign of Ash. Katie had come and received Charmander, leaving no Pokémon for Ash.

    “And even if he does show up, all three Pokémon have been claimed anyway. I know you don’t like Gary Oak much, but if you don’t go with him, then you’re going to have to stay here. I’m sorry.”

    Don’t like Gary much? Dad, you have no idea, she thought bitterly. This was it. She had no other option; she had to travel with Gary. Ugh, even thinking of him made her feel sick!
    She hadn’t ever felt anything in her life that was worse than the way she felt now.

    She resisted the urge to collapse on the path beneath her and begin crying hysterically. Because this was Gary Oak. The most arrogant, self-centered, self-righteous, narcissistic, big-headed jerk she had ever had the unfortunate luck of meeting.

    Leaf blinked back the tears that threatened to spill from her eyes and pulled her hat down, covering half of her face.

    “Okay, Dad, I’ll ask Gary,” she managed to say, and turned in the direction of said jerk (who was, by the way, still busy showing off to the crowd), starting to walk toward him.

    “Why hello, Loser Leaf! Come to admire the future Pokémon Master of Pallet?” he said, so conceitedly that his words made Leaf want to hit him so hard that he wouldn’t be able to say anything ever again.

    But she didn’t. Instead, fixing her gaze on the ground, her hat almost completely covering her eyes, she choked, “Gary. Can I travel with you?”

    Everything was suddenly silent. It was a well-known fact that Leaf and Gary hated each other, and no one ever expected this to happen.

    Neither did I, everyone, neither did I, she thought miserably, waiting for the overwhelming feeling of despair that enveloped her to pass.

    But when Gary didn’t say anything, she looked up slowly to find him staring at her.

    “Why?” he asked, a puzzled look on his face. This expression, however, was quickly replaced by his usual smirk.

    “I guess it’s only natural for a loser like you to want to travel with someone like me. Fine, you can come,” he said, and Leaf was simultaneously disgusted by Gary and relieved that she would be able to go on her journey.

    “But,” he said, smirking, and she felt her heart sink down to her stomach.

    “What?” she whispered, wondering what cruel method of torture he would use against her.

    “I want you to bow. Do that and you can come,” he said, and began to laugh.

    This time Leaf couldn’t hold back her tears, and as they poured down her face she returned to staring at the ground, pulling her hat down further. She actually had to do it, she knew, and this realisation was heartbreaking.

    Leaf fell to her knees, sobbing, and knelt down at Gary’s feet. It wasn’t fair! No other Trainer had to do this! She thought about this while she stared at the ground. She didn’t even want to get back up, now, because then she would have to face Gary’s taunts. She wasn’t sure she could deal with that right now.

    “Leaf. Stop crying and get up,” Gary said, surprising her.

    She did just that, slowly rising to her feet and wiping her eyes.

    “Why do you care if I cry or not?” Leaf said, looking at Gary.

    “I don’t. I just don’t want people to think I’m travelling with a cry-baby. Even though you are one, I don’t want anyone to think that. It would make me look bad!”

    All the anger Leaf was suppressing was making her shake uncontrollably. Then she thought of something.

    “Oh! I left something at home. I’ll be back,” she told him, and started to run home. In two minutes she was there, and she hurried upstairs.

    Collapsing on her bed, her mind tried to process what had just happened.

    I’m travelling with Gary Oak.
    Last edited by Misty#1; 17th September 2013 at 10:46 PM.

  3. #3
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    Chapter 3: On the Road


    “So,” Leaf said after clearing her throat, trying to make conversation (after all, they were going to be travelling together), “I thought you were planning on driving the whole way?”

    Gary had driven his red sports car up to her house and yelled at her to hurry up or he would leave without her. But after they had left Pallet, they had gotten out of the car and began to travel on foot.

    Gary scoffed, “And how would I catch Pokémon if I were in a car? That’s just stupid, Leaf, even for you!”

    “Then why were you driving it in the first place?” Leaf demanded, as she watched the one of the cars containing his cheerleaders tow the sports car away. “And why all the cheerleaders, if they aren’t even coming with us?”

    “That’s none of your business,” he said spitefully, “and if I were you, I would shut up now. You’re lucky I, the great Gary Oak, am even letting a loser like you tag along with me at all! But, I suppose it’s only natural for you to want to travel with someone as brilliant and talented as me,” he bragged, that dreaded smirk on his face.

    Leaf was furious, and she knew he could see it. Silently fuming, she walked ahead, not replying; she would just say something she knew she would regret, and then she would have to go home.

    She sighed in frustration. How had she gotten into this? She wished she could just run, run and leave the big-headed jerk far behind her. She was sure he’d be glad to be rid of her.

    But she couldn’t. It wasn’t just because she had promised her dad that she wouldn’t; she knew he would call her regularly, and if Gary wasn’t with her, he would become suspicious. Sure, she could come up with excuses for a little while, but in the end it wouldn’t work. It really wasn’t fair!

    Leaf sighed again and turned around, expecting to see Gary’s smirking face. What she didn’t expect to see was no one there at all.

    “Gary?” she called out, looking around her and trying to figure out where he was. Wouldn’t it suck if he was playing a joke on her? It was as this thought occurred to her that she heard a rustling sound in one of the bushes. She approached it cautiously, unsure of what it was, until she glimpsed its still form in the bush.

    Gasping, she ran to it and knelt beside it. It was a Pidgey, and it was badly hurt. Its wing was bent at an unnatural angle, it was bleeding badly from various cuts on its body, and it was struggling to get away from her.

    “Shhh, it’s okay,” she whispered soothingly, “I won’t hurt you.” It was still squirming, trying to avoid her, until their eyes met. A silent conversation took place, and she knew she had gained its trust when understanding flashed in its eyes and it fell back, exhausted.

    Leaf looked at the Pidgey.

    “If you come with me, I can get you some help,” she told it, her eyes pleading. It nodded slightly in understanding, and she slowly and gently lifted the small, brown-and white bird Pokémon into her arms. Its blood was staining her tank top, but she didn’t care.

    “It’s going to be okay.”

    Now she needed to get this Pidgey to the Pokémon Center in Viridian as soon as possible. But…she had to wait for Gary! Where was he?! This Pidgey needed help, fast!

    “Gary!” she shouted again. Oh, what she was going to do when she finally found the annoying idiot…

    “Gee, you must have really missed me!”

    Leaf whirled around to find Gary standing right behind her, an amused expression on his face.

    “No, not at all! It’s this Pidgey…”she said the last part quietly, her gaze drifting to the injured Pokémon she was carrying.

    He looked at it once and said, “Why are you bothering with that pathetic thing? It’s hurt. It won’t be any good for battling! Why don’t you just go find a healthy one?”
    Leaf was beyond disgusted. “How could you say something like that? You’re so heartless Gary!”

    She felt tears prick the corners of her eyes as she looked down at the poor Pokémon, its quiet cries of pain saddening as it tried to endure what must be a horrible ache in its wing.

    “I don’t care what Dad said about travelling with you, I’m taking this Pidgey to the Pokémon Center now!” she spat, and began to run up the path.

    “I’ll see you in Viridian City,” she called back to him, cradling the Pidgey to her chest as she ran as fast as she could.

    ~*~

    Leaf had always had a special connection with Pokémon, and it made her upset whenever she saw one in pain. That’s why she was so relieved when she could see the sign that read ‘Viridian City’, and actually glimpse the city itself.

    “Almost there, little Pidgey,” she panted, looking down at the Pokémon resting against her chest.

    It could only respond by opening its eyes briefly and looking into hers. The poor thing…

    She began to run again, looking for the large dome-shaped building with the big ‘P’ on the front. There it was, the Viridian City Pokémon Center. She headed towards it, and as she reached it the doors slid open to reveal the interior of the building. But this was no time to be observing her surroundings.

    “Excuse me, I need help!” Leaf called, as she approached the nurse behind the front desk. She was wearing a white apron with some sort of light pink garment underneath, and her pink hair was divided into two hoop-shaped sections that fell down her back. She had on a white hat which bore a red cross.

    The nurse took one look at the Pidgey before turning to a door at the far end of the room. “Chansey, I need a stretcher for a tiny bird Pokémon!” she told the two Pokémon, who were standing at the door.

    The Chansey were pink, egg-shaped Pokémon with hair-like growths on the sides of their heads which had darker pink tips. They had stubby limbs, a short tail, and a small pouch on their stomachs which held a single white egg. They were wearing a hat identical to that of the nurse.

    They went into a back room, and came back soon after wheeling a small stretcher. One of them reached for Pidgey, and Leaf allowed it to gently move the Pokémon from her arms to the stretcher. The Chansey then wheeled the stretcher away, and Leaf was left staring after the Pidgey.

    She sighed, and turned to find the nurse approaching her, a frown present on her face.

    “What did you do to that poor Pidgey?” she asked Leaf, disapproval clear in her voice. “You should take better care of your Pokémon. It’s in really bad shape!”
    “It’s not mine, Nurse,” Leaf replied, still gazing in the direction the Pidgey had gone. “I found it a while back and brought it here.”

    “Oh, I’m sorry,” the nurse apologised, “please forgive me. I’m Nurse Joy. I’ll take care of that Pidgey now, so if you could please make your way to the waiting room.”

    The nurse – Nurse Joy – began ushering her toward the waiting room. Great, now it was time to play the waiting game.

    ~*~

    It was a good thing she had a spare tank top. The one she was wearing was stained too badly, and Leaf knew the blood wouldn’t come out. So after she had changed into her spare top in the Pokémon Center’s bathroom and thrown the soiled one away, she re-entered the waiting room and took a seat.

    She thought about calling her father, but then she realised that she couldn’t; Gary wasn’t with her, and he would get suspicious. Speaking of Gary, where was he? It couldn’t have taken him this long to get to Viridian City, right? Or maybe…he’d gone on without her? Yes, that was probably it, the selfish jerk that he was!

    She stood, fists clenched, and was about to begin pacing around the room to relieve her frustration when she heard someone clear their throat behind her. She turned to find Gary, who was eyeing her clenched fists curiously.

    “So you didn’t leave without me, then? I’m surprised, I really am, Gary,” she told him, unclenching her fists.

    He smirked. “Be surprised, then,” he said, then casually looked around the room. “How’s that Pidgey?”

    “Since when do you care about anything but yourself?” she snapped, glaring at him.

    “Fine, then, I don’t care,” he said, taking a seat a few seats down from Leaf.
    She did the same, keeping her eyes on the floor. Stupid Gary, pretending he cared about Pidgey after everything he said back there!

    They sat in silence until Gary spoke. “Why were you crying before?”

    Leaf thought back to when she had last spoken to Gary, the injured Pidgey in her arms.

    “Why are you bothering with that pathetic thing? It’s hurt. It won’t be any good for battling! Why don’t you just go find a healthy one?”

    “How could you say something like that? You’re so heartless Gary!”


    The truth was, she had been crying because she had hoped Gary wasn’t that bad of a person, that travelling with him might not be so bad. But then he had proven her wrong, and it made Leaf see what a fool she really was to think that Gary wasn’t as mean as he seemed.

    It wouldn’t happen again, she promised herself.

    “The Pidgey,” she answered coolly, and that was part of the truth; she had felt really sad for the hurt Pokémon.

    Gary started to say something, but was interrupted by the door opening and the two Chansey from before wheeling in the stretcher with Pidgey on it.

    Leaf leapt to her feet, a relieved smile on her face.

    Pidgey was okay!
    Last edited by Misty#1; 17th September 2013 at 11:13 PM.

  4. #4
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    I haven't read a Leaf x Gary fic on here in a while. I've enjoyed reading the story so far, although the lack of spacing in some areas corrupted the flow and made it hard for me to read. However I really do like the plot to this, it has some sort of cheesyness to it, but the kind of cheese I like.


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    I'm really sorry if it's hard to read! I'll try to fix that... I'm glad you like it though, at least a little.

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    Chapter 4: Practice for Perfection

    Leaf ran to the stretcher, tears of relief flowing from her eyes. She couldn't believe it, Pidgey was okay!

    When she reached the tiny bird Pokémon, she wrapped her arms around it firmly (but not tightly), squeezing it in a fierce hug. It chirped happily in response, nuzzling into her chest. For a while she just stayed that way.

    She didn't know how long she stood there, embracing the Pidgey, but she was suddenly aware of footsteps on the tiles behind her. Gary, she realised.

    She also didn't know what she should say to him, so she pretended not to notice him and directed her focus toward Pidgey. It was looking behind her at Gary, too - and it didn't look happy to see him. Leaf recalled the moment the two had met.

    “Gee, you must have really missed me!”

    Leaf whirled around to find Gary standing right behind her, an amused expression on his face.

    “No, not at all! It’s this Pidgey…”she said the last part quietly, her gaze drifting to the injured Pokémon she was carrying.

    He looked at it once and said, “Why are you bothering with that pathetic thing? It’s hurt. It won’t be any good for battling! Why don’t you just go find a healthy one?”

    Leaf was beyond disgusted. “How could you say something like that? You’re so heartless Gary!”


    Well, that explained why it didn't like him. She couldn't blame it. She didn't like him either, to put it mildly.

    She realised that she was staring into space, oblivious to Pidgey's soft chirp that was calling for her attention, and a certain pair of eyes that were burning into the back of her head. She knew that they appeared black at first glance, but deep within their depths was a bright, piercing emerald green. Actually...it was a little weird that she had noticed that. She'd just better not dwell on it.

    To distract her thoughts from Gary, she addressed Pidgey.

    "Hey, Pidgey," she said.

    It looked at her with its brown eyes, waiting.

    "You're feeling better, right?"

    It nodded its head, chirping softly.

    "So how would you like to come with me?" she proposed. "You know, as my Pokémon."

    It thought for a moment - and then nodded furiously. Leaf felt so happy.

    "We're going to have so much fun together!"

    At that, it chirped happily in agreement.

    For the first time, Leaf could get a proper look at Pidgey. The small, plump-bodied bird was brown in colour, with a lighter coloured throat and belly. This cream colour was also present on the tips of its wings. Its feet and beak were both a pinkish-grey colour, and it had black markings around its eyes and a crest of brown and cream feathers above its eyes.

    Leaf took out her Pokédex and pointed it at Pidgey. "Pidgey is a flying Pokémon," a male automated voice said, and a picture of a Pidgey appeared on the screen. As the voice continued, the large blue button at the top of the Pokédex flashed constantly. "Among all the flying Pokémon it is the gentlest and easiest to capture. A perfect target for the beginning Pokémon Trainer to test his Pokémon's skills."

    Leaf reached into her bag and took out a Poké Ball. She held it toward Pidgey and pressed the small white button at its centre. It grew from the size of a ping-pong ball to the size of an baseball and popped open, the red top half sliding away from the white bottom half. A beam of red light shot out from the gap, engulfing Pidgey in its glow before being pulled into the Poké Ball, which then snapped shut. It shrank to its normal size and Leaf grasped it tightly, looking down at her newly-caught Pokémon. She grinned. She'd just caught her first Pokémon!

    "Why do you look so happy? It's just a measly little Pidgey," a voice said from behind her, and Leaf suddenly remembered that Gary was there. "Besides, you've only caught one Pokémon. I've got way more than you!" He emphasised his words, regaining his usual rude and obnoxious attitude. "And even the Pokédex says it's easy to capture, so that's the only reason you managed to!

    Leaf turned and glared. "Oh, no, not now. I'm in a really good mood and I'm not going to let you ruin it," she said.

    She thanked the Chansey and Nurse Joy before leaving the Pokémon Center, leaving Gary staring after her. She knew he was watching her; she could feel his gaze burning into her back. It was unsettling, but she straightened her back and strode casually out the door without looking back.

    ~*~

    The Viridian City Gym. Leaf knew it was here, and she planned to challenge it. But not now. First, she had some serious training to do.

    After some searching, she found an empty clearing. That would have to do.

    She reached into her bag and pulled out her two Poké Balls.

    "Go, Bulbasaur! Pidgey!" she said, releasing her Bulbasaur and Pidgey.

    "I haven't actually battled with either of you yet, so I think we need to work on our strategy," she told the Pokémon, who nodded in response. "First, let's see what you can do. Bulbasaur, what attacks can you use? Show me, please!"

    "Bulba, Bulbasaur," it said, nodding again.

    Two long vines extended from the sides of the bulb on its back, which Bulbasaur whipped through the air to demonstrate the attack's power.

    "That's great, Bulbasaur, you know Vine Whip!" Leaf exclaimed cheerfully. Vine Whip was extremely useful, Leaf knew, in a variety of battle situations.

    "So, what else do you know?" she asked, and waited for Bulbasaur to show her another attack. As Leaf watched, razor-sharp leaves shot out from underneath its bulb and flew rapidly through the air. "Razor Leaf! Yes!"

    "Bulba," Bulbasaur said happily. Then it charged forward with great force into a nearby boulder, shattering it.

    "Wow, that's a really strong Tackle!" Leaf complimented her Pokémon.

    "Bulbasaur," it said, practically glowing with appreciation. After that, it stepped aside, so Leaf assumed that it must not know any more moves. But that didn't matter, it knew plenty!

    "Thanks, Bulbasaur!" Leaf said, smiling at it. "Okay, Pidgey, it's your turn!" Pidgey came forward. "What about you? What can you do?" It whipped its wings back and forth, creating a miniature tornado of wind which it flung forward. The attack hit a nearby tree, splitting it in half.

    "Nice work, a Gust attack!" Leaf told her Pokémon, earning a sound of gratitude in response. "Can you use Sand Attack?" It nodded, and aimed a harsh spray of sand in Leaf's general direction, wings flapping furiously.

    For an instant she was shocked, as she thought it was targeting her. But then she realised that Pidgey had its sights set on something behind her. As she turned, someone stumbled out from behind a large bush, coughing and covered in sand from head to foot.

    "Were you spying on me? Who are you?" Leaf demanded, glaring at the figure before her. Bulbasaur and Pidgey moved between them, ready to protect her if necessary. Anger flashed across the faces of both Pokémon, although Pidgey also held a look of something she couldn't identify.

    The person was completely coated in sand, so she couldn't tell who it was. They didn't respond, just continued coughing from all the sand. The mystery person began using their hands to fiercely brush the sand off themselves and shook their head, sending sand flying out of their hair. Hair which immediately bounced back up in familiar brown spikes. Leaf could then see a purple shirt with a yellow-and-green pendant, the colours swirled in a style similar to that of the yin and yang symbol (although without the single smaller circle within each of the two halves). The piercing green eyes that had come to her mind earlier that same day peered out from beneath a layer of sand. By this stage, she would have to be unbelievably stupid to not realise who this was.

    "Gary," she said sharply, continuing to glare at him. "What are you doing here?"

    He opened his mouth to speak, then realised that there was sand there, too, and turned away to cough it up. "I'm here looking for Pokémon, stupid," he answered upon turning back around to face her. His voice was strained, but still held its usual obnoxious but strangely melodic tone. He - wait, melodic? She must be tired from everything that had happened. After all, it had been a long day.

    "So why were you hiding behind that bush, then?" She laughed out loud when it occurred to her that Pidgey had deliberately aimed its Sand Attack at Gary. The expression on the faces of her Pokémon when they were looking at Gary covered in sand, that expression that Leaf couldn't quite place, was one of recognition. She realised that now. And right now, Gary's facial features were marked by a sour expression, his eyes narrowed in annoyance. He must not like being laughed at.

    "This isn't funny...Twig!" he replied angrily, as his former countenance was quickly replaced with a look of pleased smugness at his new insulting nickname for her.

    "Twig. Wow, how clever..." she countered sarcastically, thinking of a comeback. She eyed his spiked hair. "...Porcupine!"

    "P-porcupine?!" he responded, clearly not amused. "Oh...fine. I'm not gonna keep wasting my time trading insults with you. It's a waste of my precious time." Leaf knew that meant he couldn't think of any, and she suppressed a giggle.

    "You still didn't answer my question," she pointed out.

    "Oh, fine," he replied, sighing moodily. "I saw a Pokémon run behind the bush, so I - hey, wait, I'm not the one who should be explaining anything! First you run out of the Pokémon Center like you'd just seen a Gastly, makin' me wait around for you, and then you sic your stupid Pidgey on me! What is wrong with -- wha? Hey! That hurts!"

    Pidgey was ramming into him over and over, obviously angry at being called stupid. Leaf burst out laughing. Gary was still shouting. Leaf's laughter was leaving her out of breath and making her throat sore. It was also making her eyes water like crazy, so she shut them while she laughed madly.

    "Great...Tackle...Pidgey!" she panted in between fits of laughter. It was weird that she was laughing this much, but it was just so funny to see someone get Gary back for being such a jerk.

    When she finally got her breath back, she opened her eyes. Pidgey had continued to slam into Gary the entire time. It had to have been at least a minute. Gary was on the ground now, and he'd stopped yelling. His eyes were closed.

    Leaf didn't feel like laughing any more. "Pidgey, stop!" It stopped using its Tackle and looked at her. "Return," she said, holding out her Poké Balls and recalling both Pidgey and Bulbasaur. She rushed to Gary's side.

    "Gary?" she murmured softly, her voice shaking slightly. He didn't move. "Gary." she repeated, her voice louder and more insistent. Still no response. He looked unconscious. "Gary!" she shouted pleadingly, grasping his shoulders and beginning to shake him. She leaned in closer, studying his face for any sign of consciousness. "Gary, I'm s-"

    "Boo!" Gary shouted at the top of his lungs, his eyes springing open and his lips curving in a mischievous smile. Leaf screamed and fell back, banging her head into a tree - hard. "OW!" she cried, rubbing a huge lump on her head and glaring at Gary.

    "What is wrong with you?!" He just laughed. It was a nice sound, something she wouldn't mind hearing that more often if it wasn't at her expense. ...Wait...She must have suffered brain damage from banging her head...or something.

    "Funny, that's just what I was about to say before your Pidgey attacked me," he replied, drawing Leaf's attention back to him. "Now we're even!"

    "That isn't funny! I thought…" she trailed off. She thought he was seriously hurt. She had experienced a certain sense of emptiness when she'd thought that, and now she just wanted to forget about it. It made no sense to care about this selfish, nasty jerk.

    "Who cares what you thought?" he said mockingly, smirking. "And what was it you were saying before you got scared?" She'd been meaning to say, 'Gary, I'm sorry.' But she wasn't sorry any more. He had deserved it, and Leaf was way too mad to sympathise with him in the least. She got to her feet and faced him.

    "I was saying," Leaf began, crossing her arms, "Gary, I'm so not sorry!"

    Then she picked up her bag and turned her back on him, stalking off angrily.

    "If you're going to travel with me, you'd better not walk away. Otherwise I'll just leave you here." Leaf stopped dead, but didn't turn around. Sadly, he was right. She couldn't just argue with him and leave.

    "Why are you even tagging along anyway?" he asked.

    "My dad won't let me travel alone, and there wasn't anyone else in Pallet to ask. I was supposed to go with Ash...but he didn't show up."

    "Ashy-boy? Really? He was probably still in bed, that loser!" Gary said, but his voice sounded...different. Like he wasn't telling her something. "I bet he was dreaming about catching Pokémon, since he'll never be able to catch any real ones!"

    She frowned, but managed to keep from arguing back. "Why don't we stay here for a while?" she proposed instead. "It's still only afternoon. We can catch some Pokémon and challenge the Viridian City Gym tomorrow."

    "You forget that I'm the one who makes the plans here," he responded. "You're lucky that's what I was already going to do. That's why I came here, to catch some Pokémon. I heard the Gym Leader trains Ground-type Pokémon, so Squirtle will wipe the floor with him, but I want something else ready for backup."

    "Good." Leaf started walking, intending to find another training spot. "I'll see you at the Pokémon Center later."

    "I sure hope I don't," he called, as she walked away.

    ~*~

    After about five minutes of walking, Leaf found a small clearing to resume training in. It was perfect - it had plenty of large rocks and trees for her Pokémon to aim their attacks at. There was even a cute little tree stump for her to sit on. What luck!

    Until she considered sitting down, she didn't even realise her legs were aching from all the walking she'd done today. Perching on the stump, she allowed herself to rest for a moment and closed her eyes.

    This had to have been the biggest day of her life. She'd faced excitement at receiving Bulbasaur and becoming a Trainer at last, crushing disappointment when she'd accepted that Ash wasn't coming, horror, shame, and embarrassment with the revelation that travelling with Gary was her only option. Relief that he agreed and that she would still be able to be a Trainer. Annoyance at Gary's cocky attitude. Fear and protectiveness when rescuing Pidgey. More relief at Pidgey's fast recovery and more excitement for its inclusion to her team. Motivation to strive to be the best while she was training her Pokémon. More anger and annoyance because of Gary. And through it all, the lingering confusion about why she'd always wished, now more than ever, that she and Gary could get along. A lot had happened today, and she was both physically and emotionally exhausted. Her head ached and she just wanted to cast aside her worries, at least for a moment. For that instant, she didn't want to be disturbed for anything.

    As if in response to her thought, it was right then that she heard a loud rustling behind her.

    Her eyes darted open and she rose to her feet, her arms automatically moving to rest on her hips and her mouth opening, ready to yell at a certain someone for interrupting her again. But when she saw what was there, no words came out. It was so cute!

    It was a Pokémon, round and pink with huge white-rimmed blue eyes with white centres and small, triangular-shaped ears filled with a smaller black triangle in each one. It had tiny pointed hands and oval-shaped feet, and on its head was a big pink swirl. This was a Jigglypuff, one of Leaf's favourite Pokémon and one she had always dreamed of having. This was almost too good to be true.

    She pulled out her Pokédex and scanned Jigglypuff. "Jigglypuff, a balloon Pokémon," it said, the blue button flashing. "It has large, friendly eyes and it sings a pleasant song."

    "Jigglypuff!" she exclaimed happily, finally regaining her voice. She quickly reached into her bag and took out a Poké Ball.

    "Go, Bulbasaur!" she shouted, expanding the Ball to its maximum size and throwing it to the ground. It span around in the air over and over until it landed, snapping open to release the Pokémon inside. Following a flash of bright light Bulbasaur appeared and, after briefly looking around for its trainer, focused on Jigglypuff.

    "Alright, Bulbasaur, use Razor Leaf!" she commanded, and it sprang into action. It fired a series of razor-sharp leaves at the balloon Pokémon. Jigglypuff tried to avoid it by jumping to the side, but it wasn't fast enough and was hit by the attack full-force. It went down, but quickly rose once again, puffing its small body up in anger.

    "Puff!" it cried angrily, glaring at Bulbasaur as it opened its mouth and breathed in deeply. Oh, no. It was going to sing!

    "Quick! Bulbasaur, use your Vine Whip!" Two long green vines shot out from both sides of Bulbasaur's bulb and seized Jigglypuff in their strong grip.

    "Toss it, then Tackle it!" Bulbasaur whirled Jigglypuff through the air like a lasso before hurling it to the ground, where it collided with a large boulder. The rock cracked and split in half, and Jigglypuff looked battered and bruised. It was breathing heavily, but it still looked ready for a fight.

    "Go!" Leaf ordered, and Bulbasaur rushed forward, slamming into Jigglypuff. It cried out in pain as it skidded across the ground, and it was struggling to stand.

    "Finish it off with Razor Leaf!" Bulbasaur launched its attack once again, and it was a direct hit. This time, Jigglypuff didn't get up, and black spirals swirled in its eyes.

    "Poké Ball, Go!" Leaf yelled, reaching into her bag for an empty Poké Ball which she expanded and threw at Jigglypuff. It opened and released a bright red light, which engulfed Jigglypuff before being drawn back inside the Ball. The Ball snapped shut and began to shake from side to side, the button in its centre pulsing red. It shook once, twice, three times. After quivering five times a soft ping! was heard and the Ball became still, the pulsing red light disappearing.

    "Yay! I caught a Jigglypuff!" Leaf exclaimed, picking up Jigglypuff's Poké Ball and jumping into the air in glee. She was so happy! She just stood there for a moment, clutching Jigglypuff's Poké Ball excitedly. Then she reached for Bulbasaur's Poké Ball.

    "Bulbasaur, return!" she called, recalling her Pokémon. She shrank both Poké Balls to their normal size, put them in her bag, and began walking. She'd head to the Pokémon Center and let her Pokémon get some rest, and then she'd follow suit. She needed some rest herself, after the day she'd had.
    Last edited by Misty#1; 17th September 2013 at 11:22 PM.

  7. #7
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    Chapter 5: Trouble in Viridian

    Unfortunately for Leaf, she didn't receive much rest at all. She tossed and turned all night, unable to drift into a peaceful fog of sleep. She was too excited, too on-edge from everything that had happened and what was to come.

    She rolled over and checked the time on the alarm clock beside her bed. 1:17, the red letters glowed through the darkness, and Leaf sighed.

    Realising she was hungry, she decided to go and look for a snack. Nurse Joy wouldn't mind - after all, the resources and supplies in every Pokémon Center are free for any Trainer to use. Including the food.

    She got out of bed and walked through the building until she found the kitchen. She rummaged around in the fridge for a while before settling on some cheese and crackers. After preparing her snack, she was about to head back to her room when the video phone began to ring.

    Placing her plate on the bench, she hurried to answer it. Placing the phone to her ear, she said, "This is the Viridian City Pokémon Center."

    As it was a video phone, Leaf was expecting to see the person who was calling. Instead, the screen was pitch black and she could only hear a quiet, shaky voice through thick static.

    "Help me!" the voice called, and though it was barely loud enough to be heard over the crackling of the static, Leaf managed to make out the words.

    "Hey, what's wrong? What happened?" she asked, urgently, straining her ears for a reply.

    "Viridian Forest...danger...help," Leaf heard, but after that the static overcame the voice and, seconds later, even the static fell silent.

    Leaf didn't know what the problem was or who was calling for help, but she knew she had to do something. Someone was in trouble, and she couldn't just ignore it!

    She was about to rush out the door when she realised she didn't have any of her Poké Balls with her. She hurried back to her room, grabbed her bag (with her Poké Balls inside), slipped on her shoes, and was about to leave again when it occurred to her that she should bring Gary along. If anyone was hurt, Leaf would need help carrying them (and besides, she could always use backup, even if that backup was a huge pain).

    "Gary, we need to go now! Someone's in trouble in the Viridian Forest, and we have to help them!" she shouted, knocking on the door to his room. "And if you're too selfish to help, I'll just go by myself," she added, waiting for a reply. It never came, and she was about to leave when the door opened behind her and Gary stepped out.

    "Hold your Horseas, Leafy. I'll come," he said, examining her worried expression, and Leaf smiled faintly at her new nickname as the two of them exited the Pokémon Center and stepped out into the night.

    ~*~

    As it turned out, it wasn't until they neared Pewter City that Leaf and Gary found the source of the phone call. The two of them had run deep into the depths of the Viridian Forest (which, at night, had so many active Bug Pokémon that Leaf found herself almost tripping over them on numerous occasions). What they saw caused them both to gasp loudly in shock.

    It was a robot. A small, simple-looking grey robot that was clearly designed for speed rather than power. It had small, block-like arms and legs, flashing red eyes, and a large mouth. But what most caught Leaf's attention was the large red 'R' plastered on the front of the robot. The symbol of Team Rocket.

    She didn't have time to think about it further as the robot began to speak.

    "Greetings," the robot spoke, its 'voice' low and shaky. And very familiar.'

    "You! You're the one that called for help!" Leaf shouted, disbelieving. What is this about? she wondered. But the robot was still talking.

    "This is a pre-recorded message. If you're hearing this, it means the fake phone call successfully lured you, everyone from the Pokémon Center, deep into the Viridian Forest. Right now, several Team Rocket agents have infiltrated the Center and proceeded to take possession of every Poké Ball in the building. There is nothing you can do to stop them."

    "What?!" Leaf and Gary cried in unison, looking at each other anxiously.
    "This robot will now self-destruct." the robot said, and promptly exploded, leaving Leaf and Gary with barely enough time to duck and cover their heads. Thankfully, the explosion missed them.

    "Phew, that was close," Gary said, staring at the charred bits of metal on the ground.

    "That robot! It's the one that made that call!" Leaf shouted, "It lured us out here so Team Rocket could rob the Pokémon Center!"

    "Wow, you figured that out all by yourself?" he replied sarcastically, smirking at her.

    "This isn't the time!" she said back, and Gary's face became serious again.

    "I couldn't resist. But you're right, this isn't the time. It's lucky that we're the only ones who came out here, though."

    "How can you be so calm? Everyone in the Pokémon Center is in danger!" Leaf turned to face the direction from which they had come. "If we hurry, we can make it back to help!" She was about to take off at a run back to the Center when she felt a hand clasp hers firmly and pull her back.

    "Even if we hurried, we'd be way too late," Gary said, leading her in the opposite direction. "We should just head for Pewter City. I can see it from here, anyway."

    Leaf was about to object, but stopped herself. Though she hated to admit it, he was right. She noticed, once again, his hand beneath hers, and her heart pounded. He seemed, almost, to have forgotten about it.

    "Uh, Gary," she said hesitantly, "you can let go of my hand now." He dropped her hand like it was on fire, looking at it as though it had betrayed him. He said nothing, just made a simple 'hmph' sound and strode on ahead, leaving Leaf to follow.

    "Hey, wait up! Gary!" Leaf called out, running after him. What a pain!


    ~*~


    "So...everything's okay at Viridian's Pokémon Center?" Leaf and Gary had arrived at the Pewter City Pokémon Center and immediately begun to question the Nurse Joy there about the situation.

    "Yes, there's no reason for you to worry," Nurse Joy reassured them. "There was some trouble, but it's over now and all the Pokémon are safe. Apparently, two young Trainers saved them. Their names were...Ash and Misty, I think."

    "What? Ash?!" they both shouted at the same time, then turned to glare at each other.

    "Stop copying me!" They said it in unison, then turned away from each other angrily.

    "We went through all of that, all for nothing?" Gary whined.

    "Well, at least we're in Pewter City now." Leaf was happy about that - they were far ahead of Ash now. Speaking of Ash…

    "Hold on a sec. I need to make a call," she said, and quickly headed for the phone before he could say a word.

    Dialling the number for the Viridian City Pokémon Center, she waited, clutching the phone to her ear. Luck was on her side; as it turned out, the person who had answered the call was just the person she wanted to see.

    "Hello?" he answered, then realised who it was. "Leaf! Hi, you-"

    "Ash Ketchum!" she yelled at him, interrupting him mid-sentence. He looked shocked, obviously wondering why she was angry at him. What an idiot. "I can't believe you did that to me!"

    "Huh?" Ash said, surprised, his brows furrowed in confusion.

    "You don't remember?!" she shouted, and he paused for a moment. "You were supposed to travel with me, you moron!"

    "Oh! That's right," he said, remembering, "Sorry about that, I overslept."

    "You overslept? That's it?! I'm stuck travelling with Gary now, thanks to you!"

    "I'm sorry...wait, Gary?" he altered his sentence at the last minute, looking around Leaf to see if he could spot his rival. "Gary's here?"

    "Yes, and speaking of him, I have to go or he'll leave without me. This is all your fault, Ash!" she cried, and hung up, slamming the phone back onto its cradle.

    She sighed and turned around to find Gary staring at her, one eyebrow raised in amusement.

    "You know, you could've just talked to him in person. We're going back to Viridian, 'cos I haven't gotten my Gym battle yet!"

    In response to that, a man who was standing nearby informed them, "Sorry, kids, but I heard that the Viridian Gym's closed right now. Not sure when it'll reopen." He walked away.

    "What? No way!" Gary objected, to nothing in particular.

    "Well, at least we won't have to go all the way back to Viridian," Leaf said, "and that way we won't fall behind. It's a good thing we brought all our stuff from the Pokémon Center." Leaf paused.

    "Oh no! I forgot!" She suddenly remembered something very important that she'd left behind.

    "What now?" Gary complained, looking annoyed.

    "This is serious, Gary!" Leaf countered. "I left my cheese and crackers on the bench!"

    Silence. Then, hysterical laughter sounded through the whole Pokémon Center. Gary was laughing so hard that he doubled over, clutching his stomach tightly.

    "You…you're so…" he said, panting, between fits of laughter, "you're so stupid!" He was still laughing when Leaf whacked him over the head with her fist, producing a large red bump.

    "Ow! Hey, stop doing that!" he moaned, removing his hands from his stomach and clutching his head. At least he's not laughing any more.

    "Stop making fun of me, then!" Leaf glared.

    "I'll do what I want," he replied, smirking, then went on before Leaf could object.

    "Anyway, let's go. I'm going back to the Viridian Forest to catch more Pokémon, since I didn't get a chance to last time. I am, after all, Pallet Town's only Trainer with a chance at becoming a Pokémon Master!"

    He walked off, a swagger in his step that made Leaf furious. Why is it that you always seem to have the last word?! she thought angrily.

    "Hey, don't just walk away!" she yelled at him, running to keep up with him as they travelled along the path back to the Viridian Forest.
    Last edited by Misty#1; 17th September 2013 at 11:29 PM.

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    Chapter 6: Reaching a Milestone


    Leaf was wandering aimlessly in the Viridian Forest, minding her own business, when the sharpened tip of a katana was thrust suddenly in front of her face. She froze, staring at the blade, and for what could very well be the first time in her life she wished Gary were there.

    The two of them had parted ways after he had suggested that they look for Pokémon on their own, claiming that she would 'scare the Bug Pokémon away' - those were his exact words. Naturally, Leaf had welcomed his suggestion and gone off on her own. Which she now regretted, swallowing hard and facing her assailant head-on.

    He was dressed strangely (although, considering his katana, it wasn't all that strange) in the armour of a samurai, the sheath of his weapon secured to his waist along with a few Poké Balls.
    So he's a Pokémon Trainer, then,* Leaf observed, and for some reason that calmed her a little.

    Taking a deep breath, she addressed the strange boy, feeling proud of herself when her voice didn't falter. "What do you want with me?"

    "Are you one of the Trainers from Pallet Town?" he answered confidently with a question of his own, his katana still raised.

    "Yes," she replied cautiously. "Now tell me who you are." She paused, then added, "And put away your weapon, please!" He did as she asked.

    "My apologies, fair Trainer of Pallet," he said, returning his katana to its sheath. "I am known as Samurai, and I would like to challenge you."

    ~*~

    My first real battle!*Leaf thought excitedly, her hand grasping one of her Poké Balls as she made her choice; the Pokémon she had the most experience with, her very first Pokémon.

    "Go, Bulbasaur!" she cried, tossing the Ball out onto the field. Bulbasaur appeared with a flash of light, taking in its surroundings. "Okay, Bulbasaur, this is our first battle. Let's win this!" She encouraged her Pokémon, determination flaring in her eyes. Bulbasaur noticed this and smiled.

    "Bulba!" it agreed, nodding, as it braced itself for battle. Leaf smiled, too.

    "Whenever you're ready, Samurai!" she called across the field.

    "Very well, Leaf," he responded, releasing his Pokémon. "Pinsir! Let's go!"

    Pinsir was a bipedal Pokémon with a brown body and a set of large white pincers, which were dotted with small spikes, atop its head. It had short legs, each with three toes, and skinny, three-clawed arms. Its mouth had long, flat teeth that were arranged horizontally rather than vertically. To gain more information about it, Leaf pointed her Pokédex at the Pokémon.
    "Pinsir," the automated voice said. "This fearsome Pokémon uses its powerful claws to put the squeeze on its opponents." Leaf frowned. It sounded tough, and she wondered if Bulbasaur could handle it. Only one way to find out.

    "Be careful of its pincers, Bulbasaur!" she warned her Pokémon as she considered the situation. She decided on a direct confrontation. "Use Tackle!"

    Bulbasaur slammed into the big Bug Pokémon, and though it was a direct hit Pinsir remained upright, its pincers grinding together with great speed. Leaf thought fast. "Secure its pincers with Vine Whip!"

    Bulbasaur's vines shot out quickly - but Pinsir was quick, too. As the vines neared Pinsir, it angled its head forward and snapped its pincers together, trapping them. Leaf gasped.

    "Bulbasaur!" she cried out as she watched Pinsir toss her Pokémon around by the vines with ease.

    "You'll have to do better than that against my Pinsir!" Samurai called. Leaf frowned, her mind working furiously to think of a solution. But however hard it tried, her panic-stricken mind couldn't think of anything at all.

    Just as she was about to give up, she glanced at Bulbasaur. It was still being thrown around and was in obvious pain. Despite that, though, it still looked determined to win. She caught sight of its eyes and saw the same spark lurking within their depths that had been present in her own eyes mere minutes ago. It was then that she made her decision. She would find a way to win, somehow. Not just for herself, but for Bulbasaur and all of her other Pokémon. And so, she forced herself to reassess the situation.

    Watching Bulbasaur being tossed around was hard, but she gritted her teeth and tried to disregard it. She caught sight of Bulbasaur's legs flailing around in the air, every so often touching one of the nearby trees...and then she had an idea.

    "Bulbasaur! Kick the trees and launch!"

    After a few seconds, the Pokémon registered the command and followed Leaf's directions, pushing against the trees with its back legs as it was tossed through the air. It pushed off, aiming for Pinsir, and was propelled toward the unsuspecting Bug-type at great speed. Gravity was on Bulbasaur's side, and the added force significantly increased the Pokémon's own power as it collided forcefully with Pinsir.

    "What?!" Samurai yelled, shocked, as Bulbasaur repeatedly launched itself at Pinsir. Soon the other Trainer's Pokémon lay on the ground, motionless, with swirls in its eyes, and Bulbasaur raised its newly-released vines in triumph.

    "We did it! Bulbasaur, yay, we did it!" Excited, Leaf extended her arms and grasped Bulbasaur's vines. Together they leaped into the air over and over in their own version of a victory dance. Leaf knew she looked ridiculous, but she didn't care. She couldn't help it - she was just too happy! And Bulbasaur looked happy, too.

    "Our first battle...and we won!" Leaf dropped the vines and wrapped her arms around the Pokémon in a firm embrace. "You were so great...I'm so proud of you," she whispered affectionately, and Bulbasaur grinned. They celebrated their victory for a moment longer before their peace was disrupted.

    "It's not over yet, Leaf," Samurai informed her, reaching to his belt for another Poké Ball.

    "What?" She was surprised; in all her excitement, it hadn't occurred to her that there might be more to the battle.

    "I still have one Pokémon left." He released his Pokémon, and Leaf found herself supressing a laugh when she realised what it was. One hand over her mouth and tears beginning to leak from the corners of her eyes, she held up her Pokédex to add the Pokémon's data.

    "Metapod, Caterpie's next stage," Dexter announced. "It has encased its body in a hard shell." Leaf couldn't contain herself and toppled over, rolling around on the ground and clutching her stomach as she was overcome by a fit of giggles.

    "What's so funny?" Samurai demanded angrily, and Leaf quickly composed herself.

    "I'm sorry, it's just…" She thought for a moment, then decided it would be best to show him what she meant. "...this."

    She recalled Bulbasaur and reached for Pidgey's Poké Ball, releasing the tiny bird Pokémon. It was only a matter of seconds before Pidgey dived at the unsuspecting Bug-type, pecking at it in an attempt to devour it.

    "Ahh! Metapod!" Samurai cried, and returned Metapod safely to its Poké Ball. Pidgey glared at the boy, clearly disappointed that it had lost its meal. Leaf sweat-dropped.

    "Uh, Pidgey, you can come back now," she said hesitantly and recalled Pidgey. For a while she and Samurai just stood there, neither sure about what to say before Leaf spoke. "So...does this mean I win?"

    Samurai sighed. "Yes, I believe this does count as a win for you." He smiled slightly. "Congratulations, Leaf!"

    Leaf's smile, in response, was so wide that it almost seemed like it would split her face in half.

    "Yes! I won! I can't believe it, I won!"* She was spinning around in circles, jumping in the air, anything that would express the sense of joy that was running wild inside her.

    "Well, I must go now. My battles with you and the Trainer named Gary Oak have inspired me to track down the other Trainers from Pallet Town. Until next time, farewell!" By the time Leaf had registered what he had said, Samurai had already turned away and begun walking.

    "He battled Gary?" she thought aloud. "I guess he won his battle, too." For some reason, she felt a little disappointed. She found herself wishing that she could have seen him battle. But then she came to herself, shaking her head fiercely. "Why would I want to see that jerk battle?"

    She closed her eyes briefly, and when she reopened them Samurai was almost out of sight. "Samurai! Let's battle again sometime!" she called out to him. She wondered if he had heard her. But then he turned around, once, and waved quickly before disappearing into the dense forest. She smiled in the* direction he had gone. "It was fun."

    For a moment she stood there, staring into space. Then she turned and began walking in the opposite direction, sighing. "Guess I'd better go find that jerkface," she muttered to herself, venturing once more into the depths of the Viridian Forest.

    ~*~

    Unbeknownst to her, that very same jerkface was leaning against a nearby tree, watching as she walked away. He smiled softly. "So, Leafy won her first battle."

    He continued watching until she disappeared out of sight. "It's a shame she's such an idiot."

  9. #9
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    Mar 2012
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    Australia
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    Chapter 7: Facing the Stone

    Leaf swallowed hard as she stared up at the huge stone building, the Pewter City Gym, and tried to fight back the waves of anxiety that threatened to envelop her. Today, she would have her very first Gym battle.

    The thought both excited and terrified her. After all, she didn't have much experience. And it didn't help that a certain stuck-up, arrogant someone had already won against the Gym Leader with his Squirtle (which, by the way, he couldn't stop bragging about). Now it was her turn, and she was having a hard time getting over her nervousness. It also didn't help that he was standing right beside her, ready to watch her battle and already telling her how badly she was going to do.

    But at least I have a type advantage against Rock-types, she thought to herself, and that brought a small smile to her face.

    She had her Bulbasaur, of course, and she also had a Butterfree, which had evolved from a Caterpie she'd caught in the Viridian Forest. Her Pokémon were ready and waiting for battle. Now if only she could calm her nerves.

    "What's wrong, Leaf, are you scared?" Gary taunted, causing her to flare up.

    "Of course not!" she retaliated, pushing open the doors to the Gym as though to prove her claim. She strode in confidently, not noticing the small smile on her rival's face as he watched her go.

    Upon seeing the interior of the Gym, she stopped abruptly.

    The massive room was almost completely dark and she could hardly see a thing at all. The only source of light came from the entrance; the doors were still slightly ajar. Leaf peered cautiously into the darkness.

    "Hello?" she called out, hearing her voice echo slightly. "Is anyone here?"

    "Who goes there?" a voice said, and she gasped when a light suddenly flickered to life behind her. She turned sharply in that direction.

    On a pedestal atop a small flight of stairs sat a young man, surrounded by rocks of various sizes. He had tanned skin, narrow black eyes, and spiky black hair (though it was nowhere near a spiky as Gary's!). He wore a green vest with four large pockets on its front over an orange short-sleeved shirt, accompanied by brown pants, blue and white shoes, and brown belt pockets attached to his black, gold-buckled belt. He had both a serious face and tone of voice, and he was staring at her intently.

    "I'm Leaf from Pallet Town," she said, trying to keep her voice steady. "I'm looking for a Gym battle."

    "Then I'm the one you're looking for." The young man stood up from his position on the floor. "My name is Brock, and I'm the Leader of the Pewter City Gym." He eyed her closely. "You're a rookie, aren't you?" Leaf was suddenly self-conscious. "Are you sure you're ready for a Gym battle?"

    Leaf faced Brock head-on. "I may still be just starting out, but that doesn't mean I'm not ready," she told him firmly, withdrawing a Poké Ball from her bag. "Please accept my challenge."

    "As the Gym Leader, I am required to accept every challenge," he said, and two roller doors on either side of her flew upwards, revealing a series of large boulders behind each one.

    Suddenly, they began to move toward each other at an alarming rate. Leaf turned and quickly ran toward the Gym's entrance, only narrowly avoiding being caught between them. When she turned around, she gasped at what she saw.

    The Gym was now a huge battlefield, littered with jagged rocks and boulders, a large Poké Ball symbol painted on the rocky floor's surface. Brock turned to her, making his way down to the Gym Leader's area. He was holding a Poké Ball.

    "This will be a one-on-one match. Are you ready?" he asked, and Leaf nodded, and he threw his Poké Ball onto the field. "Go, Onix!"

    Onix was a huge rocky snake that reached almost to the roof, and Leaf was awestruck by the sheer sight of it as she scanned it with her Pokédex.

    "Onix, the Rock Snake Pokémon. It tunnels through the ground which shakes when it raises its thunderous roar. It can move through the ground at fifty miles per hour."

    Impressive, Leaf thought to herself as she stared up at the massive creature.

    "Just try not to lose too badly," that familiar, irksome voice called to her, and she turned toward the viewing platform to see him leaning casually against the wall, smirking at her.

    "Watch and learn, Gary," she told him firmly, smirking back at him. She then turned back to Brock.

    "Let's finish this quickly," he called to her from across the field. "Onix, use Tackle!" Suddenly the giant chain of rocks was hurling itself at Bulbasaur at a seemingly impossible speed for a Rock-type, slamming into it and sending it flying, where it crashed into the wall with a dull thud. Leaf gasped.

    "Bulbasaur!" It recovered quickly, though, and was soon back on its feet and launching a fierce Razor Leaf. But the leaves bounced straight off and Onix looked completely unfazed. Leaf didn't dare look up at Gary to see his reaction.

    "Grr," Leaf growled, watching as each leaf was rendered useless against the Pokémon's rock-hard defences.

    I have to do something, she thought to herself furiously, I have to find its weak spot.

    She was still searching desperately for a solution when suddenly, Onix had Bulbasaur wrapped tightly with its rocky tail and was squeezing tighter and tighter, the small Grass-type crying out in pain.

    "What?!" She stared in shock at the scene.

    "It's a Bind attack, stupid," an unwelcome voice drifted down to her, and she glared back up at him.

    "I know that!" She refocused her attention on the situation at hand.

    I have to do something, she thought again, panicking. Uh...um…

    "I don't want to hurt your Bulbasaur," Brock called out to her. "You can give up at any time."

    She just shook her head in response. She couldn't just give up! She would be disappointed in herself, and so would Bulbasaur...She would make a fool out of herself in front of the Gym Leader...and not to mention a certain someone who was watching her right at that moment.

    She studied the scene carefully, seeing the rocks of Onix's body tight as ever around Bulbasaur, the spots in between each rock held together only at the centre… The gaps… She gasped as a light bulb went off inside her head. I know!

    "Bulbasaur, aim between the rocks!"

    Her Pokémon* looked confused for a moment, undoubtedly trying to focus through the pain that tore through its little body, before following her directions. First one sharp leafy blade slammed into the weak spot, then more and more. Onix roared in* pain and thrashed about, but didn't let go of Bulbasaur as the little Pokémon kept up with its attack. Finally Onix crashed to the ground, smashing a huge boulder in the process. It was motionless, with big swirls in its eyes. They'd won.

    ~*~

    Leaf felt like crying tears of joy and dancing in her excitement both at the same time as she glimpsed the shiny badge in front of her. It was sitting in Brock's palm, just within her reach, but it almost felt too good to be true.

    "Congratulations," Brock told her, holding out the badge for her to take. "This is the Boulder Badge. You've earned it."

    It was designed simply, in the shape of a grey octagon, and it looked exactly like its namesake aside from its brightly polished surface.

    She reached out and slowly, gently grasped it in her fingers, bringing it into her own palm. She stared down at it, disbelieving. She could hardly believe that she'd actually won, that this precious Badge was actually hers!

    Even as she began the short walk back to the Pokémon Center, where she and Gary would rest briefly before heading toward Mt. Moon, she couldn't keep her eyes off her newly-acquired Boulder Badge - something that her less-than-supportive companion was quick to point out.

    "Why don't you just put that away already? It's not that special. Brock's a pathetic Gym Leader, anyway! He'd have to be if someone like you won against him."

    But Leaf wasn't planning to let him ruin her mood. And so, she flashed him her most dazzling smile and continued onward, leaving him obviously confused about her behaviour.

    "What's with that dumb grin of yours?"

    "Shut up, Gary."

    She was still smiling brightly as she stepped inside the building, turning to face him so that he could see it. See that she was completely unfazed by him right at that moment. And, though it was probably just a trick of the light, Leaf could have sworn that she saw the ghost of a smile dancing on his lips, too.
    Last edited by Misty#1; 20th September 2013 at 1:45 AM.

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