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TEEN: Pokémon Crossing: Fly Me to the Moon

Cherry_BombBees

"Check it in, check it out"
Joined
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“What kinds of trainers do you see yourselves becoming with these starters by your side? Where do you see yourself in the future? What new horizons do you see yourselves reaching?”

This is Pokemon Crossing: Fly Me to the Moon.

1657592115726.png


General Info:
Crossover between: Pokemon and Animal Crossing
Setting: Hoenn region (ORAS continuity)
Rating: T+ (mild language and violence, alcohol usage)
Can also be found on: FF.net and Ao3

Welcome to the beautiful Hoenn region. With diverse environments ranging from blazing volcanos to tropical forests and oceans that spread for miles on end, there's plenty to explore depending on which path you take, both metaphorical and physical. Our journey starts in sleepy little Littleroot Town.

A town that can't be shaded any hue. This small town, unlike the rest of Hoenn, moves at its own pace, never changing to accommodate any growing population. Empty houses were scattered about, most of them sold for affordable rent. Animals move in and out at whichever pace they feel like here, but very few residents stay beyond three years. A large tree stood in the middle, with a brown and black shinto shrine in the middle. The golden bells rang in the calm wind. Red and white presents lined the shrine, with elaborate kanji placed on the tags.

This time of year, three mothers and their sons resided here, but not for long, of course. Only three animals call themselves permanent residents of Littleroot Town; a tanuki by the name of Tom Nook, and his assistants and nephews Timmy and Tommy.

“Hmmph…”

Tom Nook rolled out of his bed with a thud. He checked the time on his green Rotom Phone— grr, already nine thirty am. What to do today...oh, right. He was supposed to give some of the local boys their starters today.

Oh, right. He didn't even meet them in person yet. He remembered the documents and emails that were sent to him via his assistants; a self assured optimist named Tank, an impulsive hothead by the name of Benedict, and an aloof snarker named Kidd. Unless he wanted to be cussed out again by that awfully rude neighbor of his (Marie, if he remembered right), he had to wake up, get the boys their starters and continue extensive research on local habitats.

“Mr. Nook! Mr. Nook!”

Two high pitched voices called out from behind the door. Oh, right. His lab assistants.

With a little teamwork, the two tiny tanukis opened the door. One of them held three Poke Balls while the other had a bag filled to the brim with healing items.

“Mr. Nook, we have the starters ready....starters ready!”
they chirped out, one following the other in perfect unison.

The larger tanuki stretched. He threw on his lab coat and waddled over to the stairs. Who cares if they see him in his pajamas, he thought as he put his yellow slippers on.

“Excellent job, you two” he reassured both his assistants.
“Yes yes, I just hope those boys will be here soon. I know these starters will be perfect for them”

Outside of the lab and near the shrine...

A trio of teenage boys argued outside. The first boy was an energetic rhino with pale blue skin, a bright white horn, strong thick eyebrows, and a ridiculous green undercut shaped like a leaf. He wore a short sleeved red and black jacket, a white crop top exposing one row of abs, loose black track pants, and green and white slip-on sneakers.

The second guy was a red chicken with a white heartlike face, long red and white tail brushing against the ground, menacing black eyebrows, grey scars on his cheeks, and shaggy red hair tied back in a messy ponytail. He wore a loose lilac and white hoodie, baggy grey and yellow joggers, and blue and purple sneakers.

The last boy was a lavender goat with medium brown hair in a stylish mod cut, a cropped brown tail, and tired dark eyes. He wore a classy black peacoat, light blue sleeveless shirt, silky white scarf tied in a bow, grey skinny jeans, and matching black knee-high boots with a blue button on the side.

The rhino yelled and shoved the other two out of his way

“I’m getting my starter first!”

He tried to open up the door but failed anyways. Maybe if he tried bashing the glass in with his horn….no, that’d be stupid. But he had to get his starter NOW!! He COULD throw his backpack through the window.... That'd be a great way to get banned from the lab though!

“Tank, y'all gotta calm down already” the bird scolded him. On his purple phone, he read several articles about the Hoenn Pokemon League. Champion Apollo, here we go.
“We’re all gettin' our starters anyways so what’s the rush?”

The goat sighed in annoyance. Some of his brown hair fell into his eyes. He brushed some dirt off his pretty black coat and checked Pokegram on his shiny white phone. Great. His former classmates online had the cutest starters ever- Pikachu, Eevee, Fennekin, hey was that a Dedenne?!


And here he was NOT getting any of those. It's only been two weeks but he already missed the Lumiose City scene. All the parties, the rambunctiousness, all traded away for a small town with nothing to do except stay on your phone all day. Not like he WAS invited to those parties anyways. He remembered arguing with his mom just hours before flying to Hoenn.


Everything about Lumiose International felt like another level of hell. The blinding lights, scratchy carpet, loud pop music, animals blabbing loudly on their phones about their monotone lives.

Kidd hollered as his mom dragged him by the arm.
"For crying out loud, mom! I'm fourteen! I don't need to go to Hoenn with you!"

The other goat rolled her eyes, while her short platinum hair fell in her eyes. Her long black dress swished against the carpeted floor.

She dragged her son to the terminal without any effort.
"Look, Kidd, I'd let you do whatever, but according to Kalosian laws, you're not legally an adult until you turn sixteen. And besides, Hoenn is such a nice region. Much less busy than Kalos. You didn't actually want to stay with your cheating father, do you? He never cared about you like I do.."

"But I want to stay here in Lumiose!"
Kidd argued back.
"Come on Mom! I'm going to hate being in Hoenn"


"How do YOU know that!"
The taller goat scoffed as she turned her nose up.
"Just give it a try, you might finally be able to make a friend for once in your sad and pathetic life."

"Sacre bleu....I don't NEED friends. Not after Aloe left me. And besides, you never let me have a Pokemon in Kalos!"
Kidd muttered under his breath.

"Quit whining and get over it already" his mom huffed as she pushed other animals out of the way. "You're making me look bad!"


His mother stopped at the terminal. A rabbit looked up.
"Two tickets for Marie and Kidd Chavignol?" he asked.

"Right here"
Marie pulled the tickets out and showed him.

"Alright, feel free to board" the rabbit pointed at the terminal gate.

Kidd groaned as he forced himself to get seated. Everything suffocated him like a snake eating its prey. His mom had the audacity to fly first-class while he was tossed away in the very back of the plane. Sitting alone was dreadful, and just when the flight couldn't get any worse, Marie got wasted on red wine and got in a fight with at least two flight attendants.

Lilycove International Airport, while well organized, was a chore and a half to get through.


“Yeah, I don’t see the big deal. It’s not like I’m getting something nice like an Eevee anyways”
Kidd sighed as he kicked a small pebble on the ground.

Benedict rolled his eyes. Really, a free Pokemon
Did Kidd really have to be so ungrateful?!

“Hey, Benedict, Kidd! You guys don't understand!” Tank barked back.
“I have to get my starter now or I'm never gonna get to work with Professor Nook!”

"What's the big deal with him anyways?"
Kidd asked him. Then again it's not like he wanted to talk to Nook anyways; he was just some guy that lived here. But anything was better than being cooped up all day at home.

Tank clapped his hooves, struck a pose and winked
"Because I got chosen by Tom Nook himself! He wants me to catch as many Pokemon as possible as part of his research!"

Tom Nook walked up and unlocked the door. He noticed that Tank got knocked over by the door and fell on the ground like a Banette. He chuckled in amusement, remembering what a hothead he was in his youth.

“Why, hello hello!”
he cheerfully greeted the three boys. “Come on in, you three. Your starters are here, yes yes”

The boys followed the tanuki trio inside. The lab was cold and grey, unlike the warm welcoming scenery of Littleroot Town. Two smaller tanuki were busy filling in research on huge screens. The first tanuki looked up critical information on severe droughts near Stark Mountain, while the second tanuki researched on flash floods in Po Town. Three round orange Pokemon hovered around the room, buzzing happily as they chased each other.

“So, boys, tell me about yourselves” Tom Nook gently lifted up each pokeball one by one. He grabbed a fourth ball and spun it in his paws. Unlike the other balls, it was blue with black netting. The professor had a bright blue stone dangling from his labcoat. The stone had yellow and green stripes running through its core.


“What kinds of trainers do you see yourselves becoming with these starters by your side? Where do you see yourself in the future? What new horizons do you see yourselves reaching?”



“Well….”
Kidd was trying to collect his thoughts.
How was he supposed to know this already?! This guy was so pushy, he thought. But at least a free Pokemon would help him stay away from Marie.

And then Tank yelled loudly, with confidence beaming in his eyes and voice.
“Professor Nook! I wanna catch as many Pokemon as possible! In the land! The seas! The skies! Heck, maybe see some legendaries! I know I can do it!"

Kidd rolled his eyes in annoyance. Such a showoff.

“And I'm thinkin' of takin' on Champion Apollo,” Benedict calmly explained to Tom Nook. "My pa's takin' on a tournament out in Galar right now, so I wanna be just like him!"

“Excellent goals, you two. And Kidd, don't stress too much. I'm sure you'll find your goal eventually. And I assure all of you that these starters will be of great help, yes yes”
Tom Nook was as chipper as ever, as he tossed each Poke Ball into the air.


The boys watched as each starter was released from their ball-- a purple and orange mudfish, an orange bird with a yellow beak, and a light green gecko with vivid yellow eyes.

The three starter Pokemon looked around curiously. The purple mudfish sparkled as it pawed at the ground. All three Pokemon chirped in excitement.



“Torchic, tor!”
The fluffy bird Pokemon cried out eagerly and ran right into Benedict’s arms!

“Looks like this guy chose me”
Benedict smiled a bit as he held the fluffy Fire-type close to him.
"Okay, y'all are just adorable!"



Tank took a good look at the remaining two starters.
Wasn't Mudkip supposed to be blue, he thought? Why is it purple?


He held his hoof out to the light green gecko Pokemon.
“Hey little buddy” he cooed to him. “How'd you like to be my friend?”



“Tree…...cko!”
the grass-type scaled onto Tank’s arm and wrapped himself tightly around his upper arm.



“I knew he'd join me!” Tank laughed happily as Treecko clung to him.
“Welcome to the crew, Treecko!"



“I guess I’m stuck with the last one” Kidd sighed in disappointment. He looked down at the small purple and orange mudskipper Pokemon. “It’s no Eevee, but it’ll do for now…”



The water type chirped sadly and looked away

“Mudkip…”



“Well congratulations you three, take care of your new Pokemon” Tom Nook was still chipper as ever. He leaned down to Mudkip’s eye level. “And trust me Mudkip, I'm sure you and your trainer will grow closer by the day, yes yes”

The starters perked up and cried out their names.



“Oh, when do we get our stuff?” Tank excitedly asked. His tail wagged as he bounced on his tiptoes “Like Poke Balls, the berries, potions, oh and—“



“We’ll be right on that!....on that” the twins called back to the excitable trainer. They paused their research to gather up a brown parcel of necessities for each new trainer. The packages were filled with potions, empty Poke Balls, portable chargers for their Rotom Phones, and a list of numbers for any emergency. Tom Nook's number was highlighted in pink.

Benedict kneeled down to play with Torchic. He pulled a rubber ball out of his pocket and tossed it in the air. Torchic jumped up and headbutted the ball like he was playing volleyball. Torchic looked determined as he kept headbutting the ball.

Benedict could see his future now-- a powerful Blaziken by his side, taking on several opponents with fiery kicks that could melt even the sturdiest of steel beams.

Kidd sighed in disappointment. His classmates back home in Kalos got nice Pokemon as their starters and all he got was this plain fish thing. Oh well, at least he didn’t have to run out catching anything for a while. Maybe he could just trade Mudkip to someone later.

Tank scrolled through a navigation app on his phone. Wow, there’s at least five or six new Pokemon to meet on Route 101 alone! That could mean…..yes at least eighteen species alone for the dex! Treecko wagged his tail as he sat comfortably atop his trainer's shoulder.



“Here you go….go”
the first tanuki twin handed each new trainer the brown parcels.


The second twin explained to them
"Also we have these for your phones.....phones"

Everyone in the lab watched as each Rotom successfully entered the trio's phones with a small ding.

"These Rotom will help you with your journeys......journeys."

The boys each thanked the tanukis, put their packages in the bags and then headed out their way.

“Have fun, boys!” Tom Nook called out while they left the lab. He sat down in front of his computer and wrote an important email. The two tanuki leaned over Tom Nook's shoulder to watch him type with lightning speed.

"Dearest Sable,

I'm glad to announce that this month's starters have been safely trusted with their new trainers. I was particularly worried about that Mudkip-- her trainer didn't seem particularly interested in her, but I'm sure they'll grow closer on their journey. Anyways, can you contact the Swampert breeders in Route 117 to make sure both sire and dam are healthy? This is the third purple Mudkip I've recieved from the breeder this year alone, and I am curious on the cause of this. Let me know what they say, honey.

Your husband,

Professor Tom Nook"



The boys eagerly rushed into Route 101, zipping past a steep cliff. The grass nearly swallowed them whole as they tracked through the flora. Several small beige and brown raccoon Pokemon leaped through the grass, carefully avoiding each trainer like the plague.

"Aren't you two going to say bye to anyone before leaving?"
Kidd asked. That morning, he left a note on the table in red ink, cussing out Marie and telling her he never wanted to talk to her again.

"No way!"
Benedict brushed him off
"My ma's so busy playin' Eevee Crossings, that I could show up back home dressed as a girl and she wouldn't even care, let alone notice what Pokemon I get!"

"Yeah, and my dad can't move here yet!"
Tank joined in as he tore open the trainer starter kit. Brown papers flew into the air, falling back into his hooves. He pulled out at least three Poke Balls.
"But I can still meet him in Fortree anyways"

Kidd rolled his eyes at his two crazy neighbors. He did feel kinda bad for their family situations. Kidd knew all too well about dysfunction-- no friends to miss him, a cheating dad who wanted nothing to do with him, a horrible mom from the depths of the Distortion World. But at least they were nice neighbors-turned-travelling companions, even if both of them went with their impulses. He found them somewhat charming compared to the stuckup guys he knew back in Lumiose City.

“Help me!!!”
a young voice cried out.

The boys ran to the commotion like an Arcanine using Extreme Speed.



A mangy black dog Pokemon snarled, baring pearly white fangs as it chased after a tiny pale green turtle. She ran around crying and screaming as the Pokemon kept terrorizing her.

The girl nearly tripped on her pink flower dress
“Eeeee!!!”



Tank threw one of his Poke Balls at the unfamiliar Pokemon to no avail. It swatted the ball away with its tail then continued barking at the turtle.

“Aw come on!”
he hollered, making the enemy Pokemon bark louder.



“You have to battle it first” Kidd scoffed in disapproval.
He crossed his arms and held his chin up.



“Hey, Kidd! Just what do you know about battling?!”
Benedict yelled back.
“Just watch me. Torchic, use Ember, BUT don’t hurt the little girl!”



Torchic cheerfully chirped and spewed several small sparks of fire at the canine Pokemon. The little kappa ran behind a tree stump and crouched down behind it. Her little hands trembled as she grabbed onto the stump.



“Pooch!”
the dog Pokemon yelped as it got hit by the sparks. It shook the flames off but still winced from the damage it took.



“Ker-POW!” Tank hollered as he chucked the Poke Ball again. This time, the Pokemon didn’t fight back. It was enveloped in bright blue light and absorbed into the red and white ball. The Poke Ball rotated twice before stopping.

He checked his Rotom Dex. Sweet, it was a Poochyena!

"Poochyena: the Bite Pokemon. A dark-type. Poochyena are persistent Pokemon who will eat anything-- Berries, Chansey eggs, Tropius fruit, and the occasional Magikarp. Only Poochyena with the strongest and loudest howl will evolve into Mightyena"

"Poochyena can eat anything, huh?" Benedict commented as he looked over on Tank's phone.
"Neat!"

“Well, congratulations,”
Kidd shook Tank’s hoof. “I have potions for him if you want--”

Tank nodded and plucked two potions out of Kidd's messenger bag. Kidd rolled his eyes as his friend helped himself with healing his new companion. At least Tank wasn't trying to steal any of the pastel buttons and charms attached to his bag.

"....to heal him"
Kidd's face stayed flat.

“T-thank yew fer saving me…” the kappa sniffled as she walked up to the trio.
Her tiny hands trembled as she held the hem of her dress.

“It's no problem, kiddo”
Tank grinned as he arched down to her height. “In fact, we’ll take you home! Where do you live?”



“O- I….” the little girl sniffled and stammered. “Owd...owdawe…”



“Oldale Town? I think that's up ahead” Kidd noted.
“You can follow us if you want, I guess”



Benedict patted Torchic on the head before hugging his starter
“Good job, little guy!”

"Torchic, tor!"
Torchic squealed as he brushed his head feathers against his trainer's hood.



Tank effortlessly scooped up the young child. He had one arm supporting her legs and the other arm wrapped around her abdomen.
“Not to sound like your mom, but you really shouldn't run around without a Pokemon by your side”



“I-“
the kappa sniffled as she grabbed onto his jacket collar. “I know…”



The trio and their starters made their way towards the next town up.

A wooden sign read Oldale Town.

Where things start scarce. Oldale Town was bigger than Littleroot, but not by much. Several houses were built here, all of them occupied by animals who couldn't afford to live in Slateport or Petalburg City. Sure, Oldale had both a Poke Mart and a Pokemon Center, but most towns had one of those. A small garden was built in the middle. Two small blue and white Pokemon perched in the garden.

The new trainers looked around the town for a Pokemon Center— aha! The orange building near the left half!



They rushed inside towards the center. The place was VERY comforting-- the nice scent of flowers, light colored orange and yellow decore, several couches to relax on, and a counter near the back.



“Welcome to the Pokemon Center!” the animal behind the counter greeted the travelers. She was a pretty yellow dog wearing her blond fur in a high bun. She wore a pink and white nurse's uniform with a little hat on top, and ‘Nurse Shizue’ neatly written on a tag attached to her chest.
“Would you like your Pokemon healed today?”

"I sure do!"
Benedict picked up his Torchic and handed him and the ball to the nurse.
“Tank, if I was y'all, I'd get that Poochyena healed too”
he pointed out to his friend.

Nurse Shizue cheerfully smiled as she had Torchic safely return to his ball. She carried the ball over towards a bright red healing machine. A cheerful tune echoed from the machine as the Pokemon got healed from its battle.



“He’ll be fine!” Tank called back with a cheeky grin. He was still carrying that little girl
“Trust me! And besides, I’m more worried about this girl!”

“Alright”
Benedict shrugged. "Just try not to kidnap her!"

"I won't" Tank snorted in laughter. "I'm too young to have a criminal record!"



“Here you go!” Nurse Shizue happily handed the Poke Ball back to Benedict.
“We hope to see you again!”

“Thanks y'all” Benedict nodded. He walked back to his group with the ball in his hand.
“So, any word on where we’re s'pposed to take her back to?”

“No”
Kidd shook his head. “I don’t know anything about Oldale Town. Okay, well except, that we're in it. I'm not that stupid, non?”

“I know!”
Tank had a brilliant idea. “We could just knock on everyone’s door until they answer”



“Yeah, great idea. It’s not like the town will find us incredibly annoyin' after this incident”
Benedict snarked.

"Aw, but think about it!" Tank argued back. "Trying to get a little girl home is less annoying than selling overpriced essential oils, leggings that rip in two tears or gross protein shakes with weird names like-"



“Tank, we GET IT already!” Kidd interrupted him and rolled his eyes.
“.....Fine. Let’s get on with it already”



Mudkip sighed as she ran outside the Pokemon Center. The mud fish Pokemon chirped excitedly at one of the doors. She jumped up and down while wagging her tail.



The door slowly creaked open. The animal in front of her was a taller chartreuse green kappa with pretty brown hair in a side ponytail and a floral yellow dress. She had two Pokemon standing next to her-- a brown and yellow blue-eyed mouse Pokemon floating on its tail, and a round pink Pokemon with an egg pouch on its stomach.

"Oh, why hello cutie pie!" the kappa kneeled down to Mudkip's height.
She gently smiled at the smaller Pokemon
"Are you lost?"

"Mud-" the mudskipper shook her head. She got on her back legs and waved her upper legs around
"Mudkip, mud mud mud mud, kip, kip!"

"Your trainer and his friends found a girl on Route 101?"
The kappa asked the water type with a worried frown.

"Mud mud mud, mudKIP!"

"And the girl said she lives here in Oldale?"

Mudkip closed her eyes and smiled
"Mudkip, mud!"

"May I meet with your trainer?"

"Mud!"

Mudkip got back on all four legs as she ran over to the Pokemon Center. The door automatically opened.

“Mommy!” the little kappa cried out. She wriggled her way out of Tank’s arms and ran over to her mother. The tiny kappa clinged to her mother's leg like a Remoraid attaching itself to a Mantine.

“Aww, Leila. Did you run off without one of my Pokemon again?”
The bigger kappa worried as she brushed some dirt off her daughter’s cheek.



Leila quietly shook her head. Her small brown pigtails bounced as she nodded along
“Y-yes.." she sniffled as she tightly held her mother's leg. "A- a poochy….it- it chased me...and they- they saved me…”



“Who? Who saved you?”
her mother asked.



Leila pointed over at the three boys and their starters.

"Aww..." The kappa mother smiled happily

“Thank you three so much. Why, I’m not so sure exactly how to thank you…Well I have a few of these”



She pulled some unused Poke Balls from her brown satchel and handed each trainer a small pile. Tank neatly put his share of balls away while Benedict crammed them into the bottom of his backpack. Kidd opened another compartment in his messenger bag and tucked the gift away.

“Your Pokemon are great but it’s always nice to have more, isn't it? Well, we’ll see you later”

She sang an old Alolan folk song to herself as she headed back home with her daughter clinging to her torso.

"Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high

And the dreams that you dream of
Once in a lullaby, oh"

“So. Where do we go now?”
Kidd asked his friends.



Tank pulled up a map on his Rotom phone
“Well there’s Route 102 to the left. Hey, look, some new Pokemon for me to catch!”



Benedict leaned over in front of Kidd as he swiped his wing on the screen
“And a gym in the next city! Huh, it looks like a Normal type one”



“Yeah, I guess we’ll go to Route 102”
Kidd sighed.

The trio left Oldale Town and headed towards Route 102. The route trailed much longer than Route 101 did. There were several other animals walking around with their own Pokemon. Some Pokemon frolicked and played in the grass while others rolled around in dirt or splashed in a small pond. Most of the trainers were minding their business, either playing with their Pokemon or taking care of them.



Tank eagerly leapt into the tall grass, with his Treecko right on his head.
“Come on, buddy, let’s get you some more friends!”

He chased after some rustling sounds. Tank saw a bushy beige and brown tail pop out of the nearby grass. Hey, a new friend! He lept into the grass and chased the new Pokemon into a corner.

Tank chucked a Poke Ball at the unsuspecting Pokemon, easily capturing it without a fight.

"Zigzagoon has been added to your Pokedex"

Yes! Tank thought to himself in excitement.

Treecko bounced up and down, his tail wagging as he pointed to nearby a small pond. He followed his lead and crouched down in the grass as he saw a blue and yellow Pokemon skate across the water. He threw a new Poke Ball at the blue Pokemon and caught that one just like his Zigzagoon.

"Surskit has been added to your Pokedex"

Treecko ran off to follow a small brown acorn Pokemon and a flat blue and green Pokemon. Tank tossed both balls onto Treecko's tail and watched as the Poke balls ricocheted onto both Pokemon. Seedot tried to run away but tripped before being captured, while Lotad didn't put up any fight.

"Seedot and Lotad have been registered to your Pokedex"

Tank picked up every Poke Ball and put them into his backpack. Treecko crawled back up onto his shoulder and chirped loudly. Both trainer and Pokemon saw a small red and white worm Pokemon inch closer to them. The rhino held both hooves out to the worm and watched as it crawled safely onto him.

"You wanna join your friends too?"
he sweetly asked the new Pokemon.

"Wurm, wurm!!~"

"Well, alright" Tank let the bug crawl onto his left arm while he dug into his bag for yet another Poke Ball. He grabbed the ball and held it out near the bug. He watched as it was absorbed into the ball.

"Wurmple has been registered to your Pokedex"

But--

The ball disappeared in front of him!

Just then, his phone began to buzz. Tank picked up the call, not caring about who or what was calling him.
"Hello?" he asked the other animal on line.

"Oh, hello hello, Tank!" Tom Nook happily greeted him.
"I'm just calling to let you know that your Wurmple's been safely transferred to the Storage System, yes yes! You can check on your Pokemon on every PC in a Pokemon Center, yes yes"

Tank sighed in relief. Well, that's something to take care of when he reaches Petalburg City's Pokemon Center.

Meanwhile, Benedict kept his eyes peeled for anyone just as eager to battle. Torchic eagerly chirped and bounced up and down as he saw a wide eyed trainer across from them.
"Who is it?"

Torchic jumped out of the grass and ran to another trainer. The other trainer was a dark blue penguin with huge black eyes and wearing bright red flannel over a black workers' jumpsuit. He was tending to a peculiar looking flat blue and green Pokemon.



Kidd cautiously tiptoed through the grass with Mudkip by his side. Easy does it…Hopefully his outfit won't get ruined by all this grass.



“Hey! Hey you!” The penguin called out so loud that several bird Pokemon flew from the trees.
“Yeah, you with the Torchic. I want to battle!”



And then Kidd tripped and fell on his face
"Best day of my life" he muttered to himself.



Sweet, a challenge!
Benedict grinned as he ran towards the other trainer.



“Howdy!” he eagerly introduced himself. "I'm Benedict, an' I'm from Castelia City.
Y'all wanna battle or what?"



“Ah, a Unova man” the penguin shook his wing. “The name’s Roald. I’m from Rustboro myself, and I’ve been looking for someone to battle on this route”

“Hey, same here Roald!”
Benedict chuckled a little. “So, just one on one?”

“Yeah, that'd be fair for both of us. I have other Pokemon on me, but you look like a beginner trainer”
Roald crossed his arms. He pointed out in the air with his flipper. “Come on, Lotad!”



The flat blue lilypad Pokemon cried its name out as it stood on its nubby back legs

“Let’s go, Torchic!” Benedict yelled and pointed in the air. “Give it your best Scratch!”



Torchic cried out as it used its claws against the grass-type Pokemon.
Lotad flinched as its body took a scratch to the face.



“Hey, you're not so bad for a beginner!” Roald called out. “Lotad, Astonish!”

The grass-type Pokemon chirped as it quickly tackled the fire-type in a purple aura. Torchic winced slightly from the damage it took, but shook it off with its feathers.



“Don’t give up yet, Torchic!”
Benedict encouraged him. “Ember!”



Torchic cried out as it unleashed Ember on the Lotad. The blue flat Pokemon cried out as it was knocked out from the power.

“Lo….”



“Aww” Roald groaned in disappointment as he called his Lotad back to its ball.
“Well, congratulations Benedict”



“Thanks y'all," Benedict said as he shook his wing.
“That was a fun battle for both of us”



“Chic!”
Torchic happily chirped and nuzzled his trainer's pant leg.



Tank and Kidd sprinted towards him, both of them panting in exhaustion.

“Look how many Pokémon I got!”
Tank hollered as he eagerly showed off the dex app on his phone. “I caught almost every single species on this route, like Professor Nook asked me to!"



Benedict looked over at Roald
“Oh, these are my friends by the way.”

“Hey! I’m Tank Pepper! I’m from Littleroot Town but I used to live in Fortree!” Tank explained as he bounced on his feet. The tips of his sneakers squeaked against the dirt “And I just became a researcher for Professor Nook!”



“And I’m Kidd, I guess. I’m from Lumiose City” Kidd shrugged as he tried to introduce himself, trying his best to sound somewhat interested. Why did Benedict have to introduce him as a friend though?
“I’m....just along for the journey.”



“Nice to meet both of you” Roald nodded.
“Hey, by the way, there’s a gym in the next city”



“Really? Thanks yall!”
Benedict’s eyes shone in eagerness. “Come on guys, I gotta get my badges!”



He ran off without waiting for his friends, and then he tripped on a small green and white Pokemon.

“.....That was so stupid of him”
Kidd whispered to Tank.

"Hey, be nice!" Tank scolded him. "You don't have to snark at everyone around you!"

“Oh! Oh my Arceus I am so sorry y'all.”
Benedict frantically apologized to the new Pokemon.



The small Pokemon looked up and chirped
“Ralts?”



“Oh! Y'all wanna battle us?”
Benedict asked the wild Pokemon. “Well, let’s see what my Torchic thinks”

Torchic chirped eagerly before standing in front of Benedict. Oh, he was more than ready!



“Alright! Let’s go, Torchic! Use Scratch!”
He commanded his starter.



“Torrrrrrrr-chic!”
Torchic readied his claws then leaped in the air before swiping his claws at the wild Ralts' torso.



Ralts easily dodged the attack, landing on top of a small boulder. Its pink horns glowed indigo purple as it moved its shadow underneath the ground to attack. Torchic winced as the shadow slapped him across the face.



Huh, now that was quite the strange attack. But it made the duo want to fight harder! Benedict stepped backwards and pointed ahead,
“Torchic! Ember!”

"Torrrr-CHIC!"
Torchic screamed as he shot a blanket of small orange flames from his beak.

Ralts jumped in the air, but winced as the fire enveloped him whole, leaving small flickers around his wrists.



Benedict undid his ponytail as he struck a pose. “Now! Finish it off with Scratch!”

Torchic flashed a confident grin as he leaped onto the boulder, twirling in his spot as he scratched Ralts yet again.

The fae Pokemon collapsed on its knees, panting from the impact of its opponent's last attack. Its chest stung slightly, but for some strange reason, it wanted to join the two of them.

Benedict put two fingers in his beak and whistled. "Come on Torchic, that's enough!"

"Chic?" Torchic tilted his head. "Torchic, tor!" He chirped before running back to his trainer, leaping into his arms and nuzzling against the soft white hoodie.

Ralts crossed its arms and looked up at the duo, their happiness resonating with itself.
Perhaps that happiness could spread to it too?

Benedict kneeled down to let Torchic run around on the ground, while he looked over at Ralts. Huh, wouldn't most Pokemon just run away after defeat in battle? Unless-- hey yeah, maybe Ralts wanted to travel too!

"Hey, Ralts is it?" he asked the wild Pokemon.
"How'd y'all like to join me an' Torchic? I think y'all'd make a mighty fine member of my team”

Ralts thought to himself for a minute. Other trainers lobbed Poke Balls at his head like he was some sort of target, while Benedict and Torchic actually gave him a real battle. Perhaps traveling with these two would allow him more in life than running in fear from pesky trainers. No, wait, it already did!
He folded his arms together and nodded.

Benedict grinned as he pulled out a Poke Ball, gently holding the item out to Ralts' eye level. The psychic type Pokemon touched the button with his left hand, completely still as the red light enveloped him whole. The Poke Ball rocked in its spot, before stopping with a small ding.

Tank and Kidd ran up to their acquaintance.

"Hey, what'd you catch?"
Tank asked as he looked at the Poke Ball in his friend's wings.

"Oh not much, just a Ralts!" Benedict explained as he showed off the Poke Ball.

"A Ralts?!" Tank complained as he furiously stomped one of his feet. Dirt clouds blew up in the air as he held his hooves together and begged. "Professor Nook JUST asked me to catch one so he can study its evolutions! Can you trade it to me? Pleaaaaaaaase!!!"

"Hmmm...." Benedict thought to himself as he looked down at his Poke Ball. Tank was nice, sure, but this was his own Pokemon he caught fair and square!
"No way! Just catch one yourself"

"Yeah, it's not that hard to smack wild Pokemon with a Poke Ball"
Kidd snarked as he rolled his eyes, while Mudkip rolled around in the dirt. Treecko and Torchic ran over to join her, laughing as they tossed pebbles to each other.

"Oh, shut up Kidd!"
Tank shouted back. "At least we caught more than one. Oh wait, are these ones not cuuuuute enough for you?!"

Kidd scoffed
"It's not that! It's just that I'm not ready to catch another one yet! I can't even handle Mudkip right now!"

Mudkip sighed and frowned a bit.
She prodded at the dirt and flicked away at some pebbles.
"What is it gonna take for him to like me?!" she thought.

"Yeah, come on you two, y'all can argue during my first gym match"
Benedict pointed across from them. "Petalburg City is right this way!"

"Now, wait just a second. How DO you know that's Petalburg City?"
Kidd pointed out.

Tank facepalmed and pointed at the obvious brown sign in front of the trio. "Because the sign there literally says Petalburg City!" he lashed out. "I swear you're as blind as a Zubat"

"Oh SHUT UP, Tank!"
Kidd crossed his arms and lashed out. "At least I didn't beg for another Pokémon like some sort of freeloader!"

"Freeloader?"
Tank ranted. "Hey, you're one to talk!"

Kidd gasped from the audacity.
"Excuse me? How am I in any way a freeloader?!"

"Well, let's see," Tank pointed out as he started walking on the trail. "You're only coming with us because you wanted to get away from your stupid mom!"

The boys ran down the dirt trail and into the city limits. While Benedict skipped in glee from catching a new Pokémon, Kidd and Tank continued arguing over Arceus knows what.

What awaits their journey in Petalburg City? Potential rivals? Upcoming battles? A threat to the world around them?
 
Last edited:

Cherry_BombBees

"Check it in, check it out"
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Petalburg City: Let's mingle with nature!

By Hoennian standards, Petalburg City is rather small. Large enough to have an elementary school, but small enough to send older students to Rustboro High. The city has its basics; several neighborhoods for residents, a Pokemon district, and its main attraction, the gym.

The grey and white gym had a sign outside that read

"Petalburg City Pokemon Gym- Leader: Butch Reid. 'Father knows best, ROOOOOWF'"

A white and brown puppy sat outside of the Pokemon Center. She wore a loose purple short sleeved play dress, black bike shorts, purple flats and two yellow bows clipped to her ears. The girl was drawing a rough rendition of a Skitty in the sand with a comically oversized stick. The puppy hummed to herself as she had fun drawing Pokemon.

"Oh, there you are, Dolly"

The puppy looked up from her drawing. She saw her father towering over her- a black and brown dog with narrowed brown eyebrows. He wore a blue argyle print shirt, a light blue tank top underneath, black sweatpants with a white stripe on the left side, and grey geta sandals. A yellow and white badge was pinned to his left sleeve. Several Ultra Balls were neatly clipped to his waist. The bigger dog effortlessly picked Dolly up.

"Papa!"

Dolly yipped as she got picked up.

"Are you done battling yet?!"

"Not yet, kiddo" he assured her.
He held two fingers to her face
"Just two more Gym Battles today, okay?"

"Aw, okayyy"

Dolly pouted and crossed her arms.
"Can you put me down? I wanna draw more Pokemon!"

The two dogs saw three unfamiliar trainers approaching them with three small Pokemon following their lead. The bird in front eagerly ran towards them while the two mammals were trailing along.

"Hey, I TOLD y'all the gym leader was here!" the red and white rooster yelled back to them before greeting the gym leader in front of him.
"Howdy! I'm here for a battle!"

"Excuse me?"
the older dog was confused at the impulsiveness of this trainer.
"Who ARE you exactly?"

Oh. Right. Manners.

The chicken awkwardly chuckled and looked at the ground for a second.

"The name's Benedict Sussex!"
he held his wing out to the dog. "An' I'm here to challenge y'all's gym!"

His Torchic eagerly chirped and hopped up and down.

"Is that so?" the dog's face went flat. "Well, my name's Butch Reid. Yes, indeed, I'm the gym leader of Petalburg City. BUT I only take challenges from trainers with four badges"

Benedict's eyes widened. Wait, this ISN'T the first gym leader of Hoenn?! Oh geez...

"Trust me" Butch reassured him with a strong pat to the shoulder. "It's a very common mistake, especially with Unovans like yourself"

"How'd y'all know I was from Unova though?"
Benedict raised an eyebrow, shoving his hands into his hoodie pockets.

Butch shrugged the whole thing off without a care
"That, I could just tell by your accent AND outgoing personality. Nothing personal, kid. But. Wait a sec, you're Mornay's kid, aren't you?"

"You…. y'all knew my dad?!"
Benedict stepped backwards. Geez, was Hoenn that small of a region?!

The rooster turned around. GREAT. Tank and Kidd ran off without warning him! Jerks…Okay maybe it's what he gets for storming away from them for that battle with Roald… Oh well, they can make it up to him later!

"Course I did. We had many great battles back in Castelia"
Butch grinned. He reminisced on good times- taking down the Battle Subway together in Nimbasa City, facing off against powerful foes in Opelucid City, challenging a criminal wanted in several regions.

"Last I heard of him, he ran off to Galar for some world tournament. So what happened there? How'd you end up in Hoenn instead?"

Benedict sighed, his stomach churning in its spot.
"Yeah, Mornay went off to Galar. I wanted to travel with him but Tamako won custody of me instead. Unova laws, I swear..." he growled as he curled his wing into a fist.
"Hoenn's a nice region though. I just started traveling with two of my neighbors, and it's been fun so far. I met a lot of nice animals."

Dolly yawned and wriggled in her father's arms
"This guy is SO boring. Daaaaaad, can we go home now?!"

Butch chuckled and looked down at his impatient daughter.
"Just a minute, kiddo"

The dog shook his head
"Well, I'm sorry, Benedict, but my little girl comes first AND I have several battles to do today. I'll see you when you earn those badges"

"It's fine"
the chicken nodded and waved as Butch left for his house. "I'll see y'all then!"

Benedict ran back to the Pokemon Center. Great, he sounded so ridiculous, and in front of a Gym Leader of all animals!

"Thank you, hope to see you again~!"
Nurse Shizue chirped to a beige rabbit in a white and green school uniform.

Tank stood at the PC in the corner, switching several Poke Balls around on the screen.

In the far right corner of the Pokemon Center, a brown bear with thick eyebrows was carrying a small black and white striped Pokemon. He wore a yellow collared sweater, dark brown pants and red and black sneakers.

He held a small Oran Berry out to his Pokemon.
"Sorry I threw you out in battle like that, Ziggy Stardust. Are you still okay?"

The normal-type growled before wagging its tail as it gnawed on the tart fruit.
"Zigza!"

The bear looked up to see a light blue rhino approach him in a casual manner
"Do you need something from me?" he asked the unfamiliar animal.

"Yeah, I do" the rhino happily greeted him. He pointed at the Pokemon in his lap

"Is that a shiny Zigzagoon?"

"Huh?" the bear shook his head. "No, Ziggy Stardust is not shiny. He's just a Galarian variant, that's all. And besides, shiny Hoennian Zigzagoon is orange! Oh, I'm Teddy by the way. Teddy Crescendo!"

"Teddy, huh? Nice to meet cha! I'm Tank Pepper, and this is my buddy Treecko"
Tank pointed at his Treecko

The two mammals shook hoof and paw, while Treecko waved to the oddly colored Zigzagoon.

"Treecko-tree!"

"Now. What the heck is a Galarian variant?"
Tank asked him as he sat down next to him on the orange couch.

"Well" Teddy shrugged. His thick eyebrows looked down as he petted his Pokemon

"Sometimes Pokemon change their types in different regions due to different climates. Stardust here is half Dark-type. I brought him over from Postwick, that's in the south half of Galar region"

"Strange" Tank held his hoof to the monochromatic Pokemon. He watched as Zigzagoon sniffed and licked him. He chuckled a little
"I'm from Fortree City and I've never seen any Zigzagoon like this"

"Fortree City, huh?"
Teddy was intrigued. "I've heard of that city before. It has a gym, correct?"

"There's a gym there?"
Benedict butted into their conversation, his feathery tail fluffing out in excitement.

"Oh, there you are!"
Tank waved to his friend. He pulled the chicken into a side hug
"Teddy, this is my good friend Benedict!"

"Pleasure to meet you, Benedict"
Teddy got up and shook his wing.

"Same for y'all"
the bird shook back.
"Oh, yea. Tank. 'Parently I needed four badges to battle the Gym Leader here. And where the heck is Kidd?!"

Tank shrugged
"Beats me. Last I saw him, he stormed off outside with his Mudkip"

"Stormed? I know Mudkip can learn Rain Dance"
Teddy pointed out, not looking up from his Pokemon. "But I don't think it's as powerful as a Kyogre"

Tank tilted his head and looked over at Benedict. Um, what storm is HE talking about?

The door opened up with a ding. Kidd walked back to his group with several white full paper bags with a blue Poke Ball on the front. Mudkip cheerfully skipped along, chewing on a pretty yellow ribbon in her mouth.

"There you two are! So, Benedict, how'd the gym battle go?" Kidd asked him.

Benedict sighed in defeat
"I didn't even get one. 'Parently the guy here in Petalburg is the fifth gym leader in the Hoenn league. Oh yeah, and he knows my pa"

"Aw, it's okay"
Kidd handed him a Poke Mart bag.
"Hey, at least you know what you wanna do! Mudkip and I were just sightseeing"

"Yeah, I guess"
Benedict gently opened the bag and looked inside.

Well, this is convenient! Some Poke Balls, two bottles of Fresh Water with pink and blue ribbons tied to them, some Fraxure body spray, a few hair ties in colorful patterns.
"Huh, thanks."

"It's no problem" Kidd bowed with one hand in front. He looked at the bear in front of them, and that interesting Zigzagoon of his in his lap.

"Oh! Who's this guy?"

"Greetings, I'm Teddy Crescendo" the bear waved to him. "Your friends told me about you. Your Mudkip is very cute, by the way"

The goat tensed up and got flustered. Someone actually thought his starter was cute?!

"Th-thank you?"
he coughed in surprise.

"You're welcome. I've always wanted to have a shiny for myself"
Teddy explained.

Kidd picked Mudkip up by her sides and looked up and down her. She happily whistled from the attention.
"Shiny?"

"Well, yeah? You didn't know about shiny Pokemon?" the bear asked him.

"...No" Kidd shook his head. "I've heard about them but nobody I knew back in Kalos had one."

"That's a shame" Teddy, without any prompting, explained in thorough detail.

"But yeah, shiny Pokemon are Pokemon that have a different color than usual. Some are REALLY drastic, like the famed Red Gyarados of the Johto region, while others can be subdued, like a Pikachu-colored-Pichu, also of Johto. Some are easier to find than others, but they're pretty cool either way! I've heard they're even more common in Kalos, Alola and Galar! Heck, I even heard over in the Sinnoh region, due to a rare ability mutation, if you travel with a Pokemon with Cute Charm, shinies will be drawn to your Pokemon"

The three boys tuned out as Teddy continued to eagerly explain about shinies. Tank noticed some peculiar traits about Teddy- the way he would pet only the black parts of his Zigzagoon's fur, how he'd look down at Zigzagoon instead of making eye contact with any of them. But he couldn't remember exactly what...He had several classmates that were similar in the bear's behavior, but not quite. One classmate had strong knowledge and passionate interest in evolution stones, while another was heavily into Steel-types like the Beldum line.

"...And yeah, Pokemon of different languages have a higher chance of shiny offspring! Like if a Froslass from Galar has eggs with an Aegislash from Kalos, those Snorunt have a slightly higher chance of turning out shiny!" Teddy finally finished his monologue, looking up to smile a bit. "Any questions?"

"Not right now, no"

Tank shook his head. "But we gotta get going now to travel"

"Already? Okay" Teddy handed his plain orange Rotom Phone to the rhino. "Here, you guys should add me"

"Sure thing!"

The rhino tapped his number on the screen, then handed him back the phone.

"We'll see ya later!"

"Take care!"

Teddy waved after the trio left the Pokemon Center. He said to his Zigzagoon

"Ziggy, I think we finally made our first friends in Hoenn!"

"Zigza!"

The trio ran out from the city and onto the serene environment that is Route 104. The air smelled slightly salty and there wasn't a trace of wind to be felt or heard.

"...So did anyone notice how talkative that Teddy guy was?"

Benedict broke the awkward silence.

"Yeah, but he wasn't bad at all!" Tank cheerfully reassured him. "I've had a few neighbors in Fortree like him and most of them are nice"

Tank eagerly leaped into the grass with Treecko by his side. Benedict kept his eyes peeled for other trainers to battle in the area. Kidd walked over to the small beach and sat on a rock. He looked over at Mudkip and asked her

"So, what should we do now?"

"Kip!"

Mudkip happily shouted before she ran across the sand, eagerly digging for something. The water type Pokemon pulled a very pretty blue and pink triangular scale out. She held it in her mouth and hopped over to her trainer.

"What's this?" Kidd asked her as she dropped the scale at his feet. He glanced at the gorgeous scale and the way it shone in the light. Maybe being a Water-type specialist could be his calling- there's no other type he could think of that would make good use of this scale.

"Oh, thank you, Mudkip!"

"Mud!" Mudkip squeed.

Yes, her trainer is starting to like her!

Kidd put the scale away and walked into the grass with his starter. "I've gotta show the guys this" he thought to himself.

The goat stopped in his tracks when he saw Tank and Benedict paused near the entrance of a nearby forest. A yellow frog, with a very impressive mustache and an elegant ship's captain uniform, faced them. Their Pokemon were out of their balls and had a determined look in their eyes. Torchic and Treecko faced off against a white and blue seagull Pokemon and a dark blue bird Pokemon.

"What the?"

Kidd asked.

"There you are!"

Tank waved. "Hey we were just about to battle this guy!"

"I am NOT just 'this guy', oui oui! I am a renowned sailor who's traveled the WORLD" the amphibian scolded the rhino. He shook a fist at Kidd

"And you! The goat! Be thankful I only have these two Pokemon or you're facing me too!"

"Can we get on with it already?!"

Benedict scolded everyone.

"If you insist, oui oui!"

The frog adjusted his classy white captain's hat.

"Taillow, Quick Attack! Wingull, Growl!"

Wingull growled at both Pokemon while Taillow headbutted Treecko, causing the wood gecko to flinch from the attack.

"Torchic!" Benedict yelled. "Use Ember on Taillow!"

The fire-type opened its beak and spewed powerful flames at the bird.

"I see you two are...experienced"

the frog tipped his hat.

"Peeko-chan! Supersonic! Taillow! Focus Energy!"

"Dodge it and use Pound" Tank shouted.

"Cko!" Treecko backflipped to avoid the echoing attack. He frontflipped and pounded his tail against the seagull Pokemon.

"Gull..." The water-type squawked as it fainted.

The frog frowned and held a Net Ball out. His fainted Pokemon returned to his ball

"Good job, Peeko-chan. Rest up well for next time. Now, Taillow, Peck!"

Torchic leaped in front of Treecko, taking the blunt of the attack for him. The bird cried out as it was about to faint

"Torchic! You're close! Scratch!" Benedict hollered. His forehead dripped in sweat as he was determined on winning this battle.

"Tor...chiiiiiic!"

The orange bird cried out as it quicky scratched his opponent.

"Tai-" the navy bird paused in his tracks, taking a good amount of damage. "llow..." He fell over with a light thud.

The frog kneeled down and petted his Taillow before returning him to his ball. "You did well. Well, congratulations you two"

"Thanks for the battle, mister-"

Benedict held his wing out for a strong shake.

"...Cousteau Grenounille" the frog formally introduced himself. "You two are quite the formidable trainers. But I must warn you, there WILL be tougher opponents ahead, so don't get too cocky"

Tank snickered from the unintentional pun while Benedict and Kidd facepalmed in unamusement.

"Now run along boys" Cousteau said to them. "I need these two to rest up for the afternoon"

While the frog walked back to his small cabin, the boys ran into the woods in front of them.

A few mushroom shaped Pokemon ran through the grass in front of them.

The Petalburg Woods darkened as the sun slowly set. The trio continued to sneak through the endless forest. Some Pokemon chirped in the distance while the faint buzzing of Nincadas echoed in the heavy air. Kidd winced as mud splattered all over his nice boots. Hopefully it wouldn't be days, or Arceus forbid, WEEKS, before his next shower, he thought to himself. Mudkip, however, happily cooed as she rolled around and played in the dirt. Treecko jumped into a puddle next to her, splashing in the muddy water.

"Shouldn't we get some rest already?"

the goat asked his companions as they trekked through another seemingly endless dirt trail.

"No way!" Tank whispered as he crawled under a low branch. His horn brushed up against several thick green leaves

"I heard that Slakoth are easier to find here at night"

"Yeah, and I wanna get to my first Gym battle already, even if it means gettin' through these woods" Benedict joined in. He spread another bush and crawled through the heavy branches.

Kidd rolled his eyes. Did these two have no standards whatsoever?!

The trio stopped in their tracks. Tank and Benedict crept over to a different bush and heard some yelling and a sharp cry. Kidd followed suit, but backed away from everyone else.

"I already told you bastards to get the fuck away from these Pokemon"

A tall green hawk, with cold blue eyes and intimidating dark red eyebrows, scolded the two animals in front of him. A lit cigarette dangled from his beak. He wore an ocean blue button-down shirt without a tie, beige pants and black military boots. His classy navy blue trenchcoat rustled slightly in the air. Three large red spider Pokemon stood behind him. Two of them were shaking in fear while the third Pokemon's eyes glowed bright purple. The bug type on the left had a huge purple bruise on its forehead.

Tank pulled up his Rotom Dex and set it on silent mode. He read the text that popped up

"Ariados: the Long Leg Pokemon. A bug and poison type. Its' feet are tipped with tiny hooked claws that enable it to scuttle on ceilings and vertical walls. The most aggressive Ariados are the mothers with baby Spinarak on their back"

The first animal, a grey deer with a white button-up and grey waistcoast, sneered and rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, and just what are YOU gonna do about it, birdbrain?"

He pulled out a Poke Ball with green and brown camouflage all over the top half.

"Like, don't take it out on us, man" the other animal, a light blue cat wearing a pink striped shirt, tried to reason.

"We're both only following bosses' orders!"

He scoffed before grabbing a pink Poke Ball with a cutesy pastel heart on the front.

The bird fumed as he continued to rant. He took his cigarette out and blew smoke at their faces.

"I don't give a flying fuck what your idiotic bosses have to say. These Pokemon have a right to live in their home without you two shits harassing them for silk. And for what? Cheap profits? Validation? Yourselves?"

The eagle put his cigarette back in his beak. He threw a bright blue Quick Ball into the air. A tall grey metallic avian Pokemon roared as it threw its head back.

The cat and deer furiously glared at each other. Oh they were NOT going to take this pesky bird down without a fight! They threw their balls in the air and summoned their Pokemon. The deer had a round blue Pokemon with a partially bloomed red flower on its head, while the cat used a rotund pink Pokemon with large rabbit ears and a white belly.

"So that's how you bastards wanna play, huh?"

The eagle snarled before he released another Pokemon— a red and grey avian Pokemon with long red and black wings.

"Skarmory, Steel Wing. Talonflame, Flare Blitz!"

"Gloom, Poison Powder!"

"Wigglytuff, Sing!"

The three boys intensely watched the battle unfold before them.

Skarmory slashed at Wigglytuff with its wing, knocking it out in one hit. Talonflame wheezed and tried to shake the Poison Powder spores off itself. The Fire-type growled before rotating and slamming head first into the grass type. Flames exploded in the air as Talonflame knocked Gloom out in one hit.

The two mammals freaked out and quickly called back their fainted Pokemon.

"Don't think you won yet!"

The cat hollered as he and the deer ran out of the woods.

"Great job, you guys"

The eagle commended his Pokemon after they calmed down from battle. He returned them safely to their balls. He turned around to see the younger boys staring at him.

"….Give me a damn break. There's MORE of you?"

He shook his head in disapproval before pulling out a white box and a grey lighter with a mermaid engraved on it.

"More of what?" Kidd asked him. Was this guy going to pummel them into the ground like nothing? He had at least two fully evolved Pokemon on him, and possibly four more! Who knows what he would do to them?! Pummel them in battle like dirt, steal their Pokemon for himself, maybe kill all three of them and leave their bodies to anything else dwelling inside Petalburg Woods!

The eagle froze up.

"It's nothing" he explained as he looked away from the trio. His feathers rustled in the light wind as he finished his cigarette, putting a new one in immediatly.

"…You three AREN'T involved with those two, are you?"

Tank had realized what was going on all too well.

"No?" he answered. "We all just started being trainers! Why would we be part of either Pastel OR Cottage?"

Phew.

The eagle sighed in relief and brushed some sweat off his forehead

"You kids are safe then. I've had to chase those pests away from this part of Hoenn for days now"

He put his lighter and box away, then stuffed his right wing into his coat pocket.

"Wait a minute. Who ARE you?"

Kidd asked the unfamiliar animal.

The eagle coughed slightly before looking back at the young boys

"Well, where do I start? The name's Frank Hawkian" the eagle formally introduced himself. "I came from far away to obtain a Mega Stone for one of my Pokemon, check in on the Hawkian Corporation while my cousin takes care of business in Ever Grande, and to put a stop to both Team Pastel and Team Cottage. What are you three up to here?"

"Treecko and I came to catch some more Pokemon for the dex" Tank explained himself as he held up the small gecko Pokemon. The rhino pulled a few Poke Balls out as well "We already caught a few on the way here AND several more in the Storage System!"

Benedict nodded and let his Torchic hop up in his arms

"And I'm on my way to get my first Gym Badge in the next city over!"

Kidd sighed

"I don't know what I want in life yet, so I'm just tagging along with them for now"

"I see" Frank nodded. He looked over at their starters before looking back at their owners.

"You, the rhino. You knew about Pastel AND Cottage before?"

Tank cleared his throat and groaned

"Yeah, I know about Cottage all too well"

(a few weeks earlier, in a small Fortree City hut)

"Did I STUTTER?! Give us ALL the Kecleon, and nobody gets hurt!"

A towering deer threatened all ten animals inside the treehouse, his antlers just barely touching the ceiling. He yanked on his Pokemon's leash. The Pokemon, a tall brown wooden Pokemon with long scraggy white hair and green leaves on its hands, growled from the restraint pressing against its throat.

"No, piss off, you little maggot!"
One of the animals, a navy blue rhino in olive green fatigues, stood up and hollered at the intruder

"Rhydon! NOW."
He pulled out a Dusk Ball and tossed it in the air.

A tall grey dinosaur-esque Pokemon leaped onto the floor and gave a triumphant roar.

"Sgt. Pepper, are you sure you want to do this?" Another animal in the crowd, a white and black bird, asked him. "I mean, did you SEE how they stormed in here without any effort?!"

"Yeah. Don't worry about it, Paul. I've dealt with way worse. Get everyone else's asses outta here first"
Pepper looked at his trusted partner before pointing at the Cottage admin
"Rhydon! Hammer Arm!"

The buck slammed a hoof against the wall
"Shiftry! Show no mercy and use Petal Blizzard that Rhydon AND his trainer!"

"Shif?" the grass type tilted its head.

"I SAID NO MERCY!" the buck hissed. "I DON'T GIVE TWO FLYING FUCKS IF I KILL HIM, THE BOSS NEEDS THOSE KECLEON NOW"


"And just like that, he got hit so bad he was unconscious for a week. He even had to get his leg amputated. My mom and I moved out of Fortree during that time" Tank finished his story. "My brother stayed with my dad while he recovered in the hospital, but hopefully he's better by the time I head there"

"That's...rather disturbing"

Frank shuddered from the thought of hospitalizing another trainer over protecting a few Kecleon. While he messed around with his cigarette, he had flashbacks to past incidents with Cottage and Pastel- almost breaking an arm, the cold threats, even his beloved Croagunk- No! Not Belladonna! She deserved better than to deal with... The rest too much to even think about right now.

"Forcing your own Pokemon to attack even other trainers..."

"Are you okay?"

Kidd asked him.

Frank coughed and snapped out of it. Why did his mouth feel like it was on fire...oh, right. He realized he put his cigarette in the wrong way!

"Yeah, I'm fine. Look, you boys should come with me for now. I don't want any trainers outside of here getting the wrong idea about any of you"

The trio looked at each other and shrugged. Sure, what the heck, this guy was trustworthy enough. And he had stronger Pokemon than all of them combined, so if anyone tried to mess with them, he could whoop their ass without breaking a sweat.

They walked through the woods with ease, Tank straggling along so he could chuck Poke Balls at each new Pokemon he met. Two Slakoth, a Taillow and two more Wurmple! Once everyone made it out of the woods...

Route 104 felt serene. There was no wind in the air, yet it wasn't uncomfortably hot. Flowers swayed back and forth. The sky was pitch black except for some flickering coming through a nearby house. How convenient!

The group ran towards the house and paused near the door. Frank stepped forward and gave the wooden door a mighty knock three times. The doorknob shook before opening up. A short sloth with grey fur and a comforting smile glanced up at the taller trainers. He wore a cute orange apron, a floral green hat and squeaky little boots.

"Greetings, greetings" he introduced himself. "I'd welcome you three to my happy little Pretty Petal Flower store, but unfortunately, I was just about to close up for the night!"

The younger boys groaned in annoyance while Frank shook his head in disappointment.

"BUT I'm thrilled to let you four visit me tomorrow when the sun's happy and shining!"

the sloth tried to reassure them.

"Yeah, we will, thanks"

Frank's voice went flat. He slowly closed the door and turned around.

"That was...disappointing. But we have to move forward"

The group nodded then made their way through Route 104, from crossing the bridge on the small pond to travelling through the grass. A Magikarp popped out of the pond and did a flip. And what do they know it, the city limits of Rustboro were just steps away!

"So, what are we gonna do about sleep?" Kidd asked everybody.

Frank cracked up with a snort
"I haven't slept in days!"

He reached into another pocket and pulled out a small energy drink, chugging it in one go.

The younger boys looked unimpressed at their new ally.

"Oh, right, other animals DO need sleep..." the eagle shook his head again, stuffing the empty container in another pocket

"I'll let you three stay the night at my uncle's business. But try not to break anything in there, or he'll kill me"

"What business does he run?" Tank asked him.

"It's a multipurpose business" Frank explained as he kept digging through his right pocket.

"There's supplying goods for trainers, research on fossil Pokemon, and looking into Mega Evolution. That's when a bond between certain Pokemon species and their trainers is strong enough to unleash a form of evolution"
 

Cherry_BombBees

"Check it in, check it out"
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Rustboro City: A rather large city by Hoennian standards. It’s always sunny here, and many intellectuals call it home. One notable thing about the city is the Hawkian Corporation, an eagle-owned business dedicated to improving life with technology and researching the latest Pokemon phenomena, whether it's Mega Evolution, regional variants, Hidden Abilities or Dynamax in other regions. Usually, the city is busy and booming with activity, but after dark, things start to slow down.

Not a single Taillow flew in the dark starless sky. However, two Zubat flocked to a fountain in the middle of the city.

The group walked towards the tallest building in the city. Frank pulled a holographic gradient card out of his pocket and swiped through a card reader to get inside. The card reader dinged and a key unlocked the door inside.

The first floor was decorated very elegant for a supposedly tech-based company— plenty of glass tables, countless paintings imported from other regions, even a glass exhibit you could walk over! Tank took a peek at the glass floor: lots of fossilized plants, some stones with vivid gradients. He noticed how many of the stones were round, had a blue-green swirling gradient and black shreds of pigment in the middle. Hmm….

The group traveled up the stairs and towards the second floor. They stopped in their tracks when an even taller eagle approached them. The avian's feathers were bright red, with blue and white trim on his wings and tail. He wore a classy blue suit and a black fedora with a neon green band. His voice was deep and harsh on the ears, like he smoked a pack of cigarettes a day.

“Do you bastards realize what time it is?!”
He scolded the younger animals as he shook a finger at them.

He grabbed an Ultra Ball from the band of his fedora and almost threw it into the air before being interrupted.



“Don, Don, I can explain!”
Frank guarded the younger boys with one arm while pulling a Poke Ball out.

“Oh, it’s just you”
Don stopped in his tracks before scolding the other eagle.
“Frank? What are you doing here? It’s eleven thirty at night! And for Arceus' sake, stop smoking in my business, will ya?!”

Frank rolled his eyes as he flicked the cigarette into a nearby trash can.

“Y’all know each other?”
Benedict asked them.



The two eagles looked at the chicken, then at each other, then at the other bird again, before they gave a hearty laugh.



“KNOW EACH OTHER?!”
Don still laughed as he smacked the other eagle on his upper back.
“You crack me up, little bird. Frank’s my nephew!”



“Yeah, that’s why I told you three about his business”
Frank cleared things up with another laugh. “So, Don, how’s that Empoleon holding up?”

“He’s quite fine. Still getting used to Hoenn weather”
Don held the ball in his wing.
“But that doesn't matter right now. Frank, who are these kids, and why’d you bring them over?”

“Well, they're new trainers, and I found them lost in Petalburg Woods”
Frank explained what had happened earlier.

“I fought two Cottage and Pastel grunts, they were trying to get silk from a group of Ariados. The Pokemon are better now, but it got dark, and I didn't want these boys ending up like Belladonna. That reminds me. You wouldn’t mind if the four of us spent the night here, would you?”



“Of course not!”
Don gave another hearty chuckle.
“I was a rookie once too, you know! Come on, I’ll show you three your room. Frank, you should probably heal your Pokemon first”



“I know, I know”
the shorter eagle snarked. “I’ll get on with it!”



While Frank went to another room to heal his party, the trio got into their room for the night. Tank and Benedict took off their backpacks and placed them near the door, while Kidd took a good look at the decor—a red and black painting similar to a Durian Durian album, some fluffy white rugs that resembled Flaaffy wool, and a small white vase shaped like a Croagunk on the wall. Oh, great, just great, there’s only two beds here. Which one of them is gonna sleep on the floor tonight--



“Dibs on the couch!”

Benedict yelled as he flopped onto the purple and white sofa near the door. He pulled his Rotom Phone out and shut it off for the night, then undid his shaggy ponytail.



Well, that solves one problem.



Tank stretched as he laid on the bed closer to the window
“Well, this is nice! Our first day as trainers, and we already made it through two cities!”



“Yeah, but….”

Kidd sighed as he slid his boots off, revealing blue polka dot socks. He set the shoes down next to the nightstand between both beds.

“You know what I wouldn’t mind doing tomorrow though?”



“What is it?” Tank asked his friend.
He was already buried underneath the thick covers of the bed, his ears poking out of the covers.



Kidd unzipped his jacket and set his scarf on the table

“I wouldn’t mind checking out the Pretty Petal Shop in the morning. I think Mudkip would like it too”



“Yeah, that’d be nice….”
the rhino mumbled before he fell asleep.



Kidd looked over— oh, Benedict fell asleep too, with his Rotom Phone flat on the floor.

The goat looked up at the plain white ceiling and thought to himself before falling asleep as well.

“To think that just a few weeks ago, I was stuck leaving Lumiose City. And now here I am, sleeping in somebody else’s place, with two of my neighbors. I think I’m liking this trainer thing so far…At least Marie isn't here to blame me for her own problems. But why didn't Merlot take me in? I would've been fine with that. But I still don’t know what I want to even accomplish. Or what Mudkip wants either? I hope that petal shop might give me a clue...”

Throughout the night, the trio found each of themselves wrapped up in a heavy dream.


--The Spectacular Performer--​

Countless animals looked on in aniticpation, awaiting Kidd's next move. He stood on a white stage, striking an elegant pose. The goat wore a princely blue and white military uniform with tall boots, a gold sash across his chest, and a white cravat neatly tied at his neck. He held a silver sword up in the air and hollered

"Swampert! En garde! Waterfall!"

A massive purple aquatic Pokemon stood in front of him. It summoned a wave of water and scaled the cascading water without a problem, muscles throbbing with each climb. The crowd roared in excitement. Several audience members tossed roses at his feet. He gracefully bowed after the red and blue roses stopped falling. The goat picked one up and tucked it in his uniform pocket.

A loud voice shouted to the audience
"Our most evergrand winner-- Kidd Chavignon!"

Kidd bowed before the audience
"Thank you, thank you all!"

-- A Field of Hollyhocks--​

A hen ran through an endless meadow of colorful flowers. Her long feathery hair blew through the wind as she chased after two blue mouse Pokemon. A disembodied voice stopped the girl in her tracks. She tripped on a small flowery bush and winced as she fell on her knee. The hem of her dress got torn up.

"Do you have what it takes to join them?"

"Yeah, I DO!" the hen shouted at the voice. She got back on her feet and smoothed out her blue gingham dress "I'll show you I'm worthy! Now give me a chance, you coward!"

"Prove yourself then" the voice calmly explained. "Hollyhock"

--I'm Finally Home--​

Cherry blossoms danced in the air.

A dark blue rhino walked across the bridge, holding onto the rail with his life. His face was tired, yet the rest of his body could carry on. He was still dressed in olive green fatigues, except the left pant leg was rolled up to his upper thigh. His black prosthetic shined underneath the sky, scars trailing up what remained of his leg.

"Dad?"

The older rhino turned around to face Tank. The paler rhino had countless Pokemon trailing behind him, all gathered in a crowd.

"Son? Is...is that you?"

"Yeah" Tank placed a hoof on the rail. "I missed you dad!"


The next morning...​

The sun slowly rised in the sky while the three trainers slept peacefully. Poochyena broke out of his ball and loudly howled, causing everyone else to wake up with exhausted groans.

“Aw come on!” Tank complained as he threw the white covers off himself.
“Poochyena, what is it, boy?”



The dark-type leaped onto the bed and gave his trainer an affectionate lick on the cheek

“Oh! You hungry?” Tank asked, his voice growing higher pitched. “Aww is someone a hungry boy? Who's a hungry boy? Who is? You are!!”



Kidd stormed into the bathroom with a heavy slam while Benedict got ready for the day.

“If he hogs the bathroom all morning….” the chicken groaned under his breath as he searched his pockets for a spare hair tie. Finally, he found one at the very bottom of his right pocket.



Someone knocked on the door.

“You boys awake already?”
Don hollered, his voice echoing through the walls. “I got breakfast on the way!”

“You do? Thank you sir!”
Tank called out to him.



Twenty minutes later, after the group finished getting ready for the day, they stormed downstairs and towards the largest glass table.



Frank sat on one end with a cup of warm tea in his hands. A fresh cigarette hung from his beak. He sipped from the dark green mug and watched as the boys sat across from him.

“You three sleep well?” he asked.

"No way"
Kidd shook his head, obviously lying so all eyes weren't on him.

“Yeah, we did” Tank nodded. He held up a Poke Ball that slightly rustled.
“Until my Poochyena woke me up” he laughed.



Don walked into the room. Instead of the suit from last night, he wore a long red robe with a black rock band shirt and green plaid sweatpants. He had a huge tray being carried behind him by a foreign Pokemon. This Pokemon was a dull teal bell-shaped Pokemon with bright red eyes, a hollow body and two appendages crossed nearly behind its body. It used its psychic abilities to float the tray, making sure nothing would fall off.



“Bronzong, the table please”
Don instructed his Pokemon.



“Zoooooong”

The steel type gingerly placed the tray onto the glass table. Without being commanded, Bronzong returned to its Ultra Ball.

The food looked and smelled delightful. Everything was placed into small bowls or plates in a red and white triangular pattern. There were bowls of steamed white rice, miso soup with freshly cut green onions and small bites of tofu, pickled vegetables and shredded kelp, and grilled Water-type fillets.



“Now, let’s eat”
Don said as he sat down closest to the wall.



The guys grabbed some chopsticks and dug into their food. Frank set his tea down to eat the pickled vegetables first. The crunchy and salty taste was incredibly satisfying in his mouth.

Benedict and Don went for the rice first, too busy devouring their food to say a word.



Kidd picked at the unfamiliar fillet with his chopsticks
“Hmm….”



“Hm? Kidd, you never had a Hoennian breakfast?”
Tank asked him before gulping down his miso broth. The tofu and onions had been cleared off already.



“No? It’s not that, it’s just that I don’t know what Pokemon this is”

Kidd kept prodding at the fillet.
It was bright red with little pink streaks in the middle.



“Oh, that? It’s just Magikarp!”

The rhino reassured him after he finished slurping down his soup.

“They’re overpopulated here in Hoenn so eating them’s okay!”



“Over...populated?”
Benedict asked in between bites of pickled vegetables.



“Yep!” Tank said.
“My dad said that so many trainers want the perfect Gyarados, that they breed constant Magikarp and release the imperfect ones into the wild”



Kidd sighed in relief. He was afraid he was going to eat something harsh on the palette, like Milotic scales or Sharpedo fin! Now that he knew what it was, he dug in anyways. The fillet was fresh with a hint of Nomel Berry juice on top for acidity.

Frank groaned in satisfaction as he finished his meal. He grabbed his cup of cooled down tea to relax. The boys thanked Mr. Hawkian for their meal.



“It’s no problem, boys”
Don grinned as he got up from the table. “Anyways, what are you doing today in Rustboro?”



“Well I’m gonna go get my first Gym Badge”

Benedict explained to him. “I'm hopin' to challenge the Elite Four”

“Interesting. You know, my son’s the current Champion here in Hoenn” Don admitted offhandedly, his stoned face not changing, until he chuckled happily
“Steel-types just run in our blood. Except for Frank. Using Flying types like the pink Mareep of our family”

“I’m right here, Don”
Frank deadpanned as he put on his long coat.



“So, why’d you choose Flying-types?”
Tank asked him.



The younger eagle went dead silent. He lit up another cigarette, looked away and filled his coat pockets with his hands

“It’s complicated”
was all he said.

Don facepalmed
"Frank, I already told you last night. Please stop smoking on my property"



Frank stayed silent.
He grabbed his bags and furiously stormed out of the place.



“Well, he wasn’t always a Flying-type trainer, boys” Don explained to the boys, his strong wings crossed in front of his body. "And a smoker either. He only took that up a couple months ago"

Several years ago…​


It started as a trip to Pastoria City in the Sinnoh region. A gift for Frank’s fourteenth birthday. The two cousins had stormed off to check out the Great Marsh. Everyone else was outside, having a picnic until--

“Gunk?”

A small blue bipedal frog Pokemon approached the two eagles. She was eyeing up their open-faced smoked Goldeen sandwiches, intrigued by the delicious smell.



“.....Come on, scram. I said, SCRAM!”

Don dismissed the unfamiliar Pokemon.

“I knew we should’ve stayed back in Hoenn”



“Nonsense, Don!” Another eagle his age, one with pitch black feathers and bright blue eyes, laughed it off. “These little guys are Pastoria’s mascot! And besides, Frank's gonna need a Pokemon soon. We should catch him one sometime”



“I'm fully aware of that, Clint” Don shook his head in disapproval.
“But Croagunk isn’t a Steel type. And I already bred a perfectly fine Beldum for him to start with!”



“You’re ridiculous, Don”
Clint scolded him.
“Just because you forced Apollo into the same type as you doesn’t mean you can make my boy follow your footsteps!”

"I didn't FORCE him"
Don snapped. He stood upright and slammed a fist on the table
"He asked for one and I gave him exactly what he wanted!"




“And just like that, my younger brother caught that Croagunk for him anyways”
Don finished his anecdote, his wings folded together.
“She was a fine Pokemon”



Kidd thought to himself
“Was? Maybe that means she evolved or was released or...or worse?!”



“But that's all in the past now. You three should get going already, it’s a fine day out”

The boys nodded then rushed out into the city. The place felt even bigger than it was from last night. Trainers walking up and down with several Pokemon, several Taillow and Swablu flying around one of the houses.



“I’m gonna check out that place over there!”

Tank pointed to one of the nearby houses.

“Hey, I’ll join ya!”

Benedict grinned as he followed his friend to the house in the middle of the city. They both knocked loudly on the door. An orange monkey wearing a blue happi coat answered them. The primate had a round yellow Pokemon behind him.

"Can I help you boys?"
"Yeah, we're new here in town!"
"Interesting. Hey. You guys ever traded Pokemon?"
"Hm? No, not yet"

Kidd sighed and walked alone. The stone tiles were cold as he stepped on each of them. He took note of a tall green and beige building with a grey sign near the door. The sign read

“Pokemon Trainers’ School: We’ll teach you anything about Pokemon!”

“A trainer school?” Kidd asked as he looked at the establishment. “Maybe teaching is my calling…” he mused to himself. He could imagine it now— him in a sharp suit, offering Pokemon to students so they could learn first-hand about battling. But bad memories of fourth grade filled his mind-- the first few weeks were fine, but the thoughts of his teacher made him shudder. She was so nice at first, but she changed one Friday and ruined his life. Enough of that, Kidd, he reminded himself. You went to therapy to forget about that!
Just think about that dream from last night with the performance...

Benedict and Tank walked behind him.



“Hey Kidd!”
the rooster hollered, snapping the goat out of his trance.

“Look what Tank just got!”

Tank released a rotund yellow and blue Pokemon from a Great Ball. The fighting-type caused the ground underneath him to echo.

“It's a Makuhita! Isn't he awesome?”



“Interesting” Kidd held a hoof up to his chin and looked up and down the round bipedal Pokemon. “Where’d you catch this one?”



“Catch? Oh no, I got him in a trade!” Tank shook his head and eagerly explained. “So the guy in that house we went into? He was looking for a Slakoth. BUT lucky for him, I had two of them on me, so I traded him the older Slakoth!”



“Oh” Kidd nodded along.
“I was gonna go into the trainer school, you guys wanna come with me?”



“Sure!” Benedict said as he walked closer to Kidd. “Besides, Torchic needs to evolve anyways if I want a chance at that gym!”

“And I could learn tricks on better catching!”
Tank bounced on his tiptoes.



The trio entered the school. It was a simple one-room schoolhouse with many shelves, a few desks, and one other student at her desk. Huh, no teacher yet. Kidd took note of her appearance: she was a pink goat with pin straight brown hair in a long low braid. Her uniform was bright blue and designed in a Western style, and her glasses were big but transparent enough that her dark eyes and freckles were visible.

The group found some seats inside and got comfortable.



“So” Kidd leaned over to face the other goat. He winked and pressed an elbow against the table, propping his head up

“What did you come here to learn?”

“Oh!”
The pink goat got flustered and adjusted her glasses as she stammered.
“W-well, I c-came to l-learn more about my Ralts”



“Hey I got a Ralts too!”
Benedict yelled from the other side of the classroom.
“Are y’all goin’ for Gardevoir or Gallade?!”



Kidd turned around and snapped
“Benedict!! Do you have to butt into every conversation?!”



“What?” Benedict shrugged and laughed.
“Y’all CAN tell a lot from a trainer dependin’ on which Pokemon they evolve one to!”



“You- you can?” the pink goat asked him.
She had done extensive reading before on Eevee, sure, but evolution and personality factors for other Pokemon? That was new...



“Well, yeah!” the chicken perked up.
“Like with a Poliwhirl! Trainers who go for Poliwrath are WAY more impulsive while Politoed trainers are more chill. An' trainers with Beautifly are--"



“I can tell that you four are in for some solid education”

The four animals faced the front of the class to see who interrupted them. A sheep walked into the building, her puke green skin and baby blue fur standing out against the beige walls. Her eyes were flat and emotionless, despite all the hot pink eyeshadow caked on her upper eyelids. Her face was covered in obnoxiously huge freckles and her mouth was large. She wore a sleeveless purple dress and a small denim cardigan.



“Now” the ewe sat down, with her legs crossed and her face unchanging. “I should introduce myself to you all. My name’s Mrs. Cashmere L’Amour, but you may call me Cashmere. I’ve been teaching here for several years. In fact, one of my first students is now the gym-- ugh, what?”



Tank lowered his raised hoof
“Can we see your Pokemon? This IS a trainer school after all!”



Cashmere sharply glared from the nerve of this kid. She bluntly explained to him

“……I don’t have any. You don’t need a Pokemon to learn about them, after all. Now”

She continued her introduction, glaring at Tank like she wanted to throw him out of the building already

“As I was SAYING!!

When it comes to Pokemon, not all of them are exclusively about battling. Some, like Ditto, are more suited to breeding. Larger ones like Pelipper or Corviknight are used as travelers. While others, like Pikachu or Eevee, are usually used as companions instead due to their weak sense of battling…”

Tank yawned as she kept droning on and on. This sheep didn’t really care about Pokemon, he thought to himself. He could tell by her monotone voice yet condescending attitude. This was a stupid idea, he thought to himself. But if he left, she'd roast him alive.



“…..Hmph”

She felt her phone go off.
Cashmere left the room without a warning, leaving the others to their devices.



Finally!

Tank stood up and released Treecko from his ball.



“Enough of what SHE had to say! You guys wanna battle or what?”
He asked everybody else.



“Oh heck yeah!”
Benedict hollered excitedly as he got Torchic out.



“Well, i-if it will help my Ralts and I”

The pink goat stammered before letting her Ralts out. She tightly held onto her Poke Ball after releasing her starter into the classroom.



“Fine. I’ll do it too”

Kidd flipped his hair as he released his Mudkip. She did a triumphant flip as sparkles released from her ball.



Benedict and Tank ran to one side of the room while the two goats walked to the other side.

“I forgot to ask you” Kidd held both hooves with the other goat. “What’s your name?”



“W-well, I’m Velma” the pink goat smiled a little, blushing slightly from how forward the other goat was. "Velma Jaffe"



“Come on, Kidd!”
Tank stomped his foot against the carpet.
“Quit flirting and get to battling!”



“He wasn’t flirting with her!”
Benedict facepalmed.



“Oh I’ll show YOU!”
Kidd yelled back after he stopped holding Velma's hooves. “Mudkip, Water Gun!”



“Muuuuuud-“

Mudkip arched her head back and a ball of water pooled in her open mouth.
She stood on her back legs and blasted the water across the classroom.

“Kiiiiiiiip!!!!!!”



Torchic yelped as it got hit by the stream of water.
He stood still and shook the offending substance off his feathers.



“Sorry, buddy” Benedict tried to reassure his Pokemon.
“Now, use Scratch on Mudkip!”



Torchic boldly dashed across the room, white sparks flying off his body. His feet sharpened as he ran faster by the second. Papers and pens flew around the room as he picked up the pace.



“Now, Treecko! Quick Attack!”
Tank shouted.



Just before Treecko could attack, the door slammed open.
Cashmere stood in the doorway with narrowing eyebrows, a cold scowl and a nasty sneer.



“What do you hooligans think you’re doing?!” Cashmere screamed at the students. Her pink eyes were burning in fury as she stomped into the classroom.



The four animals paused in their tracks. They returned their Pokemon safely, afraid that the sheep would hit one of them in a fit of rage.



“Ma’am, please-“ Tank tried to defend himself and his friends. “We were just battling and-“



“That is NOT how we learn in my school” she harshly scolded him. “In MY trainer school, we don’t just resort to ONLY battling. And now look at this! My school is a MESS because none of you had any patience OR respect for me AND refused to learn MY way! Arceus CHRIST you're all messed up! I swear, your parents should've hit you more if I knew you'd all be this disrespectful!"

Kidd shuddered from her rant. Hit more?! Talk about backwards....Well, there goes that dream of teaching.

“Please, miss!” Benedict begged, his wings clasped together. His heavy accent slipped away
“We’ll stay after class, we’ll clean the whole school top to bottom! Just give us another chance!”



“I don't care how much you want another chance, you.... you disrespectful assholes!"

Cashmere screamed at the three boys. She furiously dragged her hooves against the chalkboard. The students cringed from the grating noise.

“Thanks to you, I have to spend forever cleaning all this mess up!”



She hissed and pointed at the door.
“You three are no longer welcome here anymore. Now get out”



“B-b-but miss-“
Kidd tried to argue back but got hollered at instead



“I said get out NOW!” Cashmere slammed her hoof against the wall, leaving a large dent.



The three boys groaned in annoyance. Benedict angrily slammed the door shut after Tank and Kidd left the building.

“What a jerk!”
Tank complained as he stormed down the street.
“Just because our Pokemon like to battle doesn’t mean she can treat us like that!”



“Yeah” Kidd sighed in defeat.
“Well, I guess we just need to move forward to the next city”



Benedict didn’t move an inch

“Yeah, I don’t think so.”



“Huh?”

Kidd and Tank turned around.



“Y’all both saw what happened inside!” the bird ranted to his friends. He had fiery determination in his eyes
“I don’t even care that I got kicked out! I NEED to win another battle so I have a chance against the gym leader!”



“Face it, Benedict” Tank tried to reason with him.
“You’re just gonna have to tough the Gym Battle out with Torchic”



Benedict facepalmed into both hands

“I don’t feel ready yet!”
he blurted out
“Heck, I didn’t evolve either of my Pokemon yet…”



“Dude, just TRY it already” Tank begged him.
“What’s the worst that could happen?”



“Y’all is right” Benedict got determined

“Now follow me!”

He yelled as he sprinted towards the gym.

The bird swung the door wide open while his friends tagged along behind him.

The trio gasped in surprise from how gorgeous the place was. The first half of the gym was neatly arranged into a small museum. A few exhibits on the right side featured glittering rocks and minerals, while the left side had a glass display of the Hoenn region. The walls had plenty of fossils embedded in them. Some fossils resembled feathers or jaws, while others looked like a dome helmet or a mysterious swirl.

“Hey! Champ in the making!”

The trio turned around to face another animal: a brown monkey with a cream face and hands. He wore a long sleeved blue shirt with a white t-shirt layered over it, a matching blue cap, and green pants. A tag was attached to his cap, reading ‘Porter’ in shiny bronze gold.



“Welcome to the Rustboro Gym”
Porter ran up to the group with a friendly smile.
“So, tell me, which one of you lads is challenging the gym today?”



“That’d be me”
Benedict shook hands with him. “Can y’all tell us more about the Gym?”



“Why, I sure can!”

Porter bowed after the handshake. He pointed at the small museum as he explained to the new trainers

“This gym is both a dedicated museum and a fine battling place. See all the exhibits? Those belong to Coco, she's Rustboro's gym leader. She specializes in Rock-types, which are known for being very durable. BUT Rock-types don't do well against Grass, Water, or Fighting types. Oh, I almost forgot this--”



Porter pulled out a Fresh Water from a blue cooler and handed it to Benedict

“Here. Do you feel at home yet?”



The bird took the water bottle and stashed it in his backpack for later

“Sure do. Thanks so much, y’all!”



“It’s no problem,”
the monkey assured him “You got this, champ!”



Benedict rushed through some of the exhibits and stopped at the end. He saw another trainer positioned near the Hoenn map— a brown hamster with interesting beige marks on his face. The short and stocky rodent wore a delightfully outdated outfit; a brown and orange poncho with a gold lunar necklace, acid-washed bell bottom pants, and chunky black platform shoes.



“You think you’re tough enough to take on Coco?”
he called out to his opponent.



“Yeah, I know I am!”
Benedict shouted and grabbed a Poke Ball and tossed it in the air.

“Come on OUT, Ralts!”

Ralts delicately floated onto the museum floor, like a fairy landing in a field of flowers. He placed a hand on his chest, saluting like a prince.



“A Ralts huh? Well color me surprised. Geodude, come on out, thump!”
The hamster tossed a Poke Ball into the air and released his Pokemon; a brown boulder with a furious face and muscular arms. The rock Pokemon roared and flexed its arms.

“GEOOOO!”



Tank popped out from behind a Chargestone Cave exhibit. He turned his Rotom Phone on silent before scanning the unfamiliar Pokemon.



“Geodude, the Rock Pokemon. A rock and ground type. The longer a Geodude lives, the more its edges are chipped and worn away, making it more rounded in appearance. To their dismay, Geodude are frequently used by Rhyperior as cannon fodder.”



Kidd whispered to his friend
“Well, at least he’s not pitting Torchic against one of those”



“Yeah, he’s just thinking with his gut, where you think with your heart”
Tank nodded as they watched the two animals battle.

Kidd scoffed and bonked Tank on the nose
“Just because I was nice to one girl doesn’t mean I’m some casanova wannabe that hits on every Nurse Shizue in Hoenn!”

Tank rolled his eyes
"Sheesh, sorry!"

"Whatever. Let's just watch the fight"
Kidd turned his nose up.

The hamster squeaked at his Pokemon.
“Geodude, Tackle!”

Benedict punched the air with his left wing
“Ralts, Confusion!”



Ralts’ helmet flipped upwards as he summoned magenta waves of energy. The burning pink light blasted through the air, glowing under the museum lights.

Geodude flinched as the waves flung its body backward, knocking it against one of the boulders.



“Not bad” The hamster called out.
He crossed his arms

“But even with your skill, Coco’s light years ahead of you.
Geodude, Defense Curl!”



“Geo-DUDE!”

The Geodude curled itself into a tight ball, its skin hardening like a diamond from the pressure.



“Confusion again!”
Benedict cried out. He snapped his fingers "And aim for the gut!"



Despite the green helmet blocking his eyes, Ralts looked on in determination. His arms glowed purple as he blasted another pink energy ball at Geodude's underbelly, smiling to himself as the impact forced Geodude to uncurl and land on the ground with a heavy thud. Fortunately, the museum floors were built to withstand any Pokemon battling inside.



The rock Pokemon groaned pathetically, unable to get up.



“Aw man!”
the hamster sighed in disappointment. He picked his Geodude off the floor and returned him to his ball

“Well, congrats on the win! You think you can handle any more?”



“Oh, I know I can!”
Benedict beamed in confidence. He high fived the hamster
“Thanks for a good battle!”



“It’s no problem. I can tell that you and Ralts are unstoppable”
The rodent grinned as he handed a few Poke Dollars to him.



After Benedict stashed the money in his pocket, he ran towards the other half of the gym. A larger animal, a brown elephant with shaggy long fur, blocked him in his path.

The elephant asked his challenger
“Think you got what it takes to take on Coco?”

Benedict gulped. This guy was at least twice his height! He looked closer at the elephant's face; unlike most elephants he saw back in Unova, this one had massive white tusks protruding from his face. The elephant wore an open grey blazer, white button-up shirt, black pants, white slippers and a yellow leopard-print necktie.

“I sure do! Y’alls friend was such a cakewalk”
Benedict flashed a cocky grin.



“Well let’s see about THAT”
The elephant snorted.
“Geodude! Arise, fuzzers! ARISE!”

“Torchic, let’s go!” Benedict tossed his Poke Ball up in the air.



Both trainers released their Pokemon for battle.

Benedict jumped up and shouted
“Torchic, Ember!”

The elephant pointed up in the air
“Geodude, Tackle!”



Geodude curled into a ball and catapulted itself through the air. Torchic yelped and coughed small flames as the other Pokemon threw him across the museum.

“Come on, buddy!" Benedict encouraged his Pokemon "Get back up and blast it with Ember!”

Torchic growled as he stood back up
“Torrrrrrr----”
He clawed at the ground, snarling at Geodude.



The elephant snorted
“Rock Throw!”

"Geooooo......"
Geodude held its hands above its head, summoning a large boulder in between its palms.
"DUDE!"

Geodude roared as it hurled the boulder through the air, effortlessly knocking over Torchic like a bowling pin. The rock exploded into dust, revealing that Torchic fell over from the impact, obviously unable to battle.



Benedict went quiet. His blood turned cold as he returned Torchic to his ball.
He shook his head clear, then released Ralts without a word.

Ralts cried out as it floated onto the floor, ready to battle again.



"Use Rollout!"

Geodude tightly curled into a ball. Its' body hardened as it rolled with incredible speed, darting through museum exhibits like a pinball in a pinball machine.

The rock type Pokemon hurled itself into the air, torpedoing onto Ralts like a falling bomb.

More dust exploded in the air, revealing that Ralts completely passed out from the attack.

Benedict jumped up in surprise. He felt like a Pelipper that flew into a swarm of furious Vikavolt. He looked down and shamefully returned Ralts to his ball.



“Sorry, man, but I win this battle!"
The elephant placed a hoof on his own chest, turning his head up in pride.
"No hard feelings, right?"

"Yeah, no hard feelings" Benedict sighed, looking away from the other trainer. Uncomfortable numbness flooded his body "Um, I need to head out"

He stuffed his Poke Balls into his backpack, clutched the straps then turned around and stormed out of the gym. His heart paced against his chest as he sprinted to the outskirts of Rustboro City. Somewhere near Route 104, his hair tie flew out, leaving his hair to carelessly flow in the wind.

“Benedict, wait!!!”
Tank cried out as he ran towards his friend.

Kidd sighed
“Hopefully he didn’t run off too far…”







Benedict grabbed several rocks from the Petalburg Woods entrance. He stormed through the forest and found the tallest tree possible. He dropped the rocks near his feet. The bird glared at the tree in front of him. Anger flowed through his body, replacing the numbness. Why did that stupid Geodude have to sweep his team! Was he being too careless?!

He picked up a rock and chucked it at the tree, feeling relieved from the way the rock snapped some bark off.

He continued pelting the tree with each rock, calming down with each snap and shatter of the tree. Scraps of bark fell off, but in the end, it didn’t matter to him. The only thing Benedict cared about was letting out his stress, away from his companions.

Until the final rock hit something completely different.



It wasn’t bark, or leaves, or even dirt. It was a poor Ariados who crawled down to see the commotion. And then that last rock smacked it in the head, leaving a throbbing red bump. The bug-type hissed at this-- this selfish prick! White foam dripped from its fangs, splattering against the grass and dissolving several patches into dirt.

Ariados’ eyes glowed lime green as it spewed a white string from its horn. Benedict backflipped in an attempt to avoid the sticky string, but tripped on one of the rocks he threw earlier. The spider Pokemon successfully ensnared the trainer, yanking the remaining thread to tighten its grip.

Benedict tried to reach for his Poke Balls but with no avail. He shoved the balls in his backpack earlier, but his wings were tightly bound to his sides. So this is how his life ends, he thought. Not taking on the Champion, not sacrificing his life to save somebody else. Only becoming Ariados food...



Meanwhile, outsid of Petalburg Woods…



Tank and Kidd ran down Route 104, calling out for their friend in both directions.

“Benedict! Where are you?!”

“Come on Benedict! I know it sucks losing a battle but you can talk to us about it!”



The duo stopped when they heard yelling from inside the woods



“That’s gotta be him”
Tank said before charging into the woods and stopping in his tracks. He picked up a red feather from the ground. It looked smooth and silky, just like Benedict's long red hair.

“Hey, wait a minute! I got an idea”
He released Poochyena from its ball.



“Alright Poochyena” he commanded his Pokemon as he held the red feather to its nose
“I want you to find this trainer by his scent. Can you do that, buddy?”



“Pooch!”

The dog Pokemon yipped in glee. He took the feather in his mouth and ran into the forest. Tank eagerly followed him while Kidd trailed through another path in the woods.

Somewhere in the heart of the Petalburg Woods….



Benedict wriggled around as the Ariados pulled his prey through most of the heavy woods. He tried to kick away the string, but failed due to the string's slippery coating. Leaves and branches smacked across both trainer and wild Pokemon. Ariados scaled up a tree and lept through the forest's canopies.

“Hey! Y’all don’t wanna eat me!” Benedict shouted to the Pokemon.
“Trust me! Chickens ain't very tasty!”



But alas, Ariados was apathetic to its prey’s shouting. Maybe the high energy would make it taste better?

It jumped to another tree before being stopped by some loud barking. More food?

The bug-type crawled down, still apathetic to Benedict’s frantic yelling.



So this was the cause of the commotion-- just a mere Poochyena. The wild Ariados hissed at the pesky pup.



“Hey, great job!”

Tank cheered as he ran up to his Pokemon.
His happy demeanor changed on a dime when he saw the Ariados furiously glaring at him.

“Hey! Let go of my friend already!”



“Ariiii….”
The spider Pokemon’s fangs turned purple as it glared lower.

“Ados!!”

It cried out as it bit at Poochyena, indigo goop dripping onto the tree's bark.

Poochyena backflipped and barely avoided the bite.



“Hey, you’re getting the hang of it!”
Tank cheered his Pokemon on.

“Now, Poochyena, use Bite to break its string!”



Poochyena barked and shook his head no. Instead, he formed a small ball of fire in his mouth and swallowed it. The dark-type howled as it charged at Ariados’ legs, clamping down with a more powerful bite. Flames shot off its jaws as it landed one last bite against its' abdomen.

Ariados hissed in pain from the burning bite. The sheer amount of strength forced its' string to break, freeing Benedict from its clutches. The spider Pokemon scuttled behind the tree and took off for another part of the woods.

Tank ran under a branch as Benedict fell through the air. He easily caught his friend, holding him with one arm under his knees and the other under his upper back. He lowered his arms to let his friend step down and shake any dirt, branches and leaves off.



“Thanks for savin’ me!’ Benedict smiled, blushing hard from being saved. He pushed some hair behind his shoulders
“Y’all wouldn’t believe how rough it was out there”



“Aw it’s no problem!”
Tank felt relieved. “I’m just glad you’re okay”



Kidd finally reached his friends, panting heavily from all the running he had to do
“What’d…. what’d I miss?!”

"I was throwin' rocks to calm down, and" Benedict explained. "I accidentally hit this Ariados, an' it tried to kill me! So, Tank had to come in an' fight it off with his Poochyena"

Tank kneeled down and picked up his Poochyena
"Yeah, he was a good boy. Weren't you?"

Poochyena yipped in joy, overcome with praise.



“Well I just found an easy route back to Petalburg” Kidd pointed at a small clearing in the endless sea of trees.
“You guys still wanna head back to Route 104?”



“Sure!”
Tank picked up his Poochyena.



“Yeah. I kinda need to heal my Pokemon”
Benedict awkwardly chuckled. "An' to get a rematch against that guy"



“Then let’s go”

Kidd turned around and pointed at the clearing.
“Follow me!”

The trio headed through the familiar woods, no annoying Nincada or more aggressive Ariados to harass them through the way. Amazingly enough, Tank didn't bother trying to catch a single Pokemon. Once heading out of the woods, they looked around so their eyes could get used to the glaring sun again.

Kidd walked to the Pretty Petal Flower Shop while his friends tagged along. He knocked twice on the door



“Come on in!”
a voice called out to him.



He slowly opened the door and walked into the flower shop. The trio looked around at the calming aesthetics of the store; a dozen tables with various colorful flowers and shrubs propped up on top. A TV played in the corner. A grey bear with blond curls stood next to a cream serpentine Pokemon with vivid pink and blue scales on its tail. The announcer's voice boomed across the flower shop

"And Klaus Zeusian of Sootopolis City wins today's Beauty Contest! This is his twenty ninth contest victory as of this year, but certainly not the last one he'll have"



“Hello, hello!”
Leif happily greeted the boys with a smile that could warm even the coldest Ice-type.

“I’m so glad to see you three could arrive at my happy little store”



“So what all do y’all sell here?”
Benedict asked him.



“Glad you asked!”
The sloth was still as perky as ever.

“I sell all sorts of plants! Berries, trees, flowers, you name it”



“What about that plant?”

Tank pointed at the corner of the brown and green counter. A small round blue and green Pokemon slept peacefully on top, a snot bubble inflating and deflating from its face.



“Oh no no no”
Leif shook his head. “My happy little Oddish is not for sale, thank you very much!”



Kidd walked over to one of the plants and gently felt the leaf. Maybe gardening was his call, he thought to himself! He could have Mudkip do the watering, some Ground-types for tilling soil, an Electric-type to fend off any Bug or Flying types, a Fire-type to use Sunny Day to make things grow…



“Y’all got any good plants that could help for battlin’?”

Benedict asked the shop owner.



“Well, not quite plants, young man, but I have these”
Leif bent down to pull out five Oran and three Sitrus Berries from a basket. He gingerly placed them on the counter.

“If you give these Pokemon Berries to hold before battle, they’ll restore their health in a pinch” the sloth explained to the new trainers.



Benedict looked down at the berries. He held one of the Sitrus Berries in his hands. Maybe this could help him bounce back in battle; have his Pokemon eat one in a pinch. That’ll show that trainer he faced off against in the gym!



“How much is all this?”
he asked Leif.



“Just twenty-five happy little Poke Dollars please”
Leif closed his eyes and calmly smiled. The sloth clasped his hands together, his long claws pressed against the backs of his paws.



The two boys looked at each other, nodded, then Benedict handed over the Pokedollars.
Leif cheerfully thanked the duo while they gathered their berries.



“Hey, Kidd! We’re done here, y’all want five more minutes?”
Benedict called out to his friend.



Kidd rushed back to the duo.
“No, I’m fine, thanks”



“Alright”
Tank waved to Leif

“Seeya later!”



“Take care now, boys!”
Leif waved back as the trio left the small store.



“Hey, look!”
Kidd pointed next to the store. Several small trees grew in a brown patch of soil.



The trio walked over to the trees to check them out. Tank leaned down to read the small sign

“Please help yourself to more happy little berries-- Leif Ross”



“Don’t mind if I do!”
Benedict said as he picked off a few berries from the tree. He grabbed three pink heart-shaped berries and two round red berries with long green stems.



Kidd looked at the berries and held one in his hoof. It felt firm, not quite ready to pick.
"Hmm...."

"Y'all thinkin' of somethin'?"
Benedict asked his friend after he finished grabbing some goods.

"What?"
Kidd and shook his head. He blushed angrily and looked over at the flower shop instead
"No!"

"Sheesh, sorry I asked"
Benedict shrugged and rolled his eyes
"Hey, where'd Tank run off to?"

The duo looked over next to them. Huh, where DID he go?

Tank crept through the foliage, parting the grass to take a better look at a wild Pokemon. Treecko sat on his left shoulder, watching for any funny business.
"Come on...." he whispered as he watched a wild Wingull perch on a boulder. He grabbed an empty Poke Ball and hurled it over the grass, watching as it whacked Wingull in the face.

"Gull!"

Wingull yelped and smacked the ball away into another field. It flew off to the Rustboro outskirts, looking around for something important. Tank and Treecko chased the stray Poke Ball, finding that it had captured another Pokemon instead.

Tank picked up the Poke Ball and scanned it with his Rotom Dex

"Shroomish, the Mushroom Pokemon. A grass-type. If it senses danger, it scatters spores from the top of its head to protect itself. Trainers in the Unova region love using its spores for more recreational purposes"

"Recreational purposes, huh?" Tank asked to himself. "Hey, I should bug Benedict about that!"

"THERE you are!"
Kidd cried out as he ran towards the patch of grass.

Tank popped out from the field
"Oh, hi guys!" he waved. "Guess what, I was trying to catch a Wingull, but I got a Shroomish instead!"

The trio turned around to face an angry voice yelling through the route.

"Oh, there's the jerk who's tried to steal my Wingull!"
 
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