Everyone wants to be a “Pokemon Trainer,” or at least most people do. You hear about it on tv, or during school, or even in your neighborhood. Almost every child has a star in their eye, gleaming brightly for the day they can one day train a Pokemon of their very own, in pursuit of their dreams. Be that becoming a gym leader, a league champion, a master, and many things in between.
What many people don’t realize is the struggle that one faces when taking up that task. Owning a Pokemon is one thing, battling and training is another.
The journey of a trainer is a coming of age, a time where a child leaves home to discover who they are and who they are meant to be. Such a long and arduous task comes with many struggles, obstacles, surprises, and crippling moments of self doubt…
However, it can be through these times of need that one might find a friend indeed.
A young brunette turned her head, her wavy ponytail bounced as her eyes met another girl about the same age. They shyly averted their eyes, holding their school books and binders closer to their chest. A petite, female Pikachu was perched atop her shoulder.
“U-Umm… You’re Rosette, right?” They asked, fiddling with their blonde hair.
“Yeah, what’d you want?” The brunette replied, raising an eyebrow.
“Oh… well we had that group project coming up in our Legends and Mythology class…” The blonde said, “E-Everyone else already had a partner… but someone mentioned you had been sick the day it was assigned to us so… Um, you’re welcome to say no… b-but did you want to be a group?”
Rosette looked to her fellow classmate. It’s true that they had been sick the day before… but she had a feeling she knew the real reason everyone was already “taken.”
No one wanted to work with the “weird exchange student from Kanto.” Rosette had heard all the nicknames, every bit of gossip that was shared behind her classmate’s back. She was bright, and certainly knew her stuff about Pokemon. Yet for one reason or another, all it took was forfeiting one battle in the “easiest” class in the school to get everyone to look at her with animosity.
Not that Rosette had been much better. She was failing a few of her classes, and she often talked back to teachers whose methods she didn’t agree with… and maybe she had once smuggled a few of the student’s confiscated pokeballs out of the dean’s office. Though many seemed to look up to her for her rebellious attitude. Yet for the blonde standing before her, a compassionate heart was looked down upon amongst these brick and mortar halls.
“Sure. I’ll do the project with you.” Rosette said.
The blonde’s deep blue eyes widened in surprise, “R-Really? Great!” she beamed, nodding in appreciation.
“I-I’m Terra by the way.” she continued, “I-I already had an idea for the project if you wanted to hear it. I was thinking we could focus on Jirachi and the legends behind it’s wish-granting powers. I’ve read up on all sorts of stuff regarding the millennium comet and variations of it’s mythos and I think-”
“Why don’t you tell me in the library? We can find all the research material we’ll need there.” Rosette said, giving Terra a friendly smile.
“O-Oh! Great idea!” the blonde said.
The two girls then made their way to their destination, all the way Terra chatting about her ideas for the project.
One project turned into sitting together at lunch, which turned into spending study hours together, and then to nights spent cooing over adorable Pokemon videos and discussing classmates they did or didn’t like. Soon enough the blonde and brunette had become a pair of unlikely friends.
As the school days carried on, Terra began helping Rosette with the classes she was struggling with. While Rosette became Terra’s training tutor, helping the blonde with her own weaknesses. It was thanks to their growing friendship and lesson that they had discovered new things about themselves. Terra’s creative, yet compassionate demeanor brought out a caring, and softer side to Rosette. While Terra looked up to Rosette’s tough and bold attitude, encouraging her to become more courageous, outgoing.
Weeks turned to years, and despite the hardest of challenges, through the sweat and the tears the two stuck together. Defending each other and their Pokemon from whatever stood in their way, be it a classmate or a teacher giving the other flack.
Soon enough the question of high education and pursuit of the Pokemon League was just around the corner.
“What?! Terra, you can’t give up!” Rosette blurted.
“I-I’m not giving up!” The blonde stated, “I’m just… switching my major to something better suited for me…”
The two were standing in school’s courtyard, shaded by Rosette’s Tropius. It was quiet that day, with most students finishing up final assignments or studying for finals. The girls and their Pokemon were the only souls to be seen.
The blonde nuzzled a clefairy that she held in her arms, burying her face in the back of it’s tuft of hair.
“Fairy…” The Pokemon said, concerned for it’s trainer.
“It sure sounds like you’re giving up to me.” Rosette retorted.
“Okay maybe I am... “ Terra groaned, “But what choice do I have, Rosie? I’m not a real trainer like you, you’ve already become one of the strongest trainers in the whole school! I’ve tried so hard, studied endlessly, but I just can’t get the hang of it... I can hardly catch Pokemon myself, I can’t battle to save my life. Even if I wanted to switch to a Research Assistant or a Breeder that would still require me to have some level of training skill and... I just can’t do it.”
Terra buried her face even deeper within her pokemon, the round pink Pokemon turned around and hugged her tightly. Rosette could tell the blonde was crying, even through the muffle of Clefairy’s fluff.
Rosette frowned, rubbing the back of her friend as she sighed.
“I’m sorry if I sounded angry. It’s just… You are talented with Pokemon, Terra.” she said, “You may not be the best at battling, but you understand them so well… better than most people, honestly.”
Terra peeked her head out from her Pokemon.
“It’s not that special.” she said, “I mean… you just have to think of things from their point of view. Haven’t you ever imagined what it would be like to see the world from a Pokemon’s eyes?”
The blonde looked to her Clefairy, “Take my little Aria here. To be so cheerful, yet curious.”
Terra held the pink Pokemon up in the air, swaying her back and forth causing the monster to giggle happily as the trainer continued,
“To feel the need to sing a joyous song at the sight of the moon, dancing below the stars. Something we don’t do, but to a clefairy is second nature! Much like how music we like compels us to dance too! To Aria it simply makes sense.”
Terra took Aria back into her arms as she sighed. Rosette’s Tropius then leaned it’s head down to Terra, nudging her playfully causing the blonde to laugh in surprise.
“What about Mimi?” Rosette asked amusingly, “What goes on in her head?”
The other trainer hummed while she thought, the gentle Tropius graciously letting her pluck a fruit from it’s neck.
“All Tropius love to eat fruit. Many believe this is why such delicious fruit grows from them.” Terra said, taking a bite out of the fruit, “Another second nature, but for Mimi I can tell she does so with purpose. She’s nurturing, and shares her fruit with those she feels needs it most.”
Mimi happily cooed as she gave Terra another nudge, who hugged the large dinosaur’s head in return.
“Oh Rosette… Just imagine the kinds of things we could discover about Pokemon if we could talk to them... No, rather, if we WERE Pokemon. If I were a Pokemon, any Pokemon, even a Pikachu I’d want to use my gifts to help the world understand Pokemon better. To help people AND Pokemon understand each other better.” Terra said dreamily.
Rosette laughed, pulling her friend into a hug, “Terra… You’re adorable.”
The blonde chuckled in return.
“Am I… this adorable?” she said, holding up her Clefairy.
“Even more adorable than that.” the brunette said.
“Impossible!” Terra yelled, “No one’s cuter than my Aria.”
“Even your Pikachu?”
“Pika?” came a very demure voice, as a Pikachu decorated in ribbons poked out from under Terra’s hat.
“Pii! Pikachu!” It cried out at it’s trainer with an air of concern. It hopped down to the blonde’s shoulder and started nuzzling itself against her cheek.
“Geez Rosette, making a girl choose between a loyal member of her team and her faithful starter she’s had since forever? For shame!” Terra pouted. “Ribbon and Aria are equally the cutest Pokemon who ever existed. You can’t make me choose between my babies!”
Terra picked Ribbon off her shoulder and held her and Aria closely to her, both Pokemon snuggling her happily.
“Don’t you see now?” she said “You really do have a gift with Pokemon, and you shouldn’t brush it off just because that gift isn’t in battling. I know you’ll find something. We’ll find something, together.”
Terra, genuinely touched, gave a warm smile to the brunette.
“Thank you Rosette, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
The two continued to work together, and as the years went by they went their separate ways… though nothing could keep them apart for very long.
Terra continued her studies, having found a nice fit under “Pokemon Psychology,” while Rosette began her quest for the Pokemon league. Capturing new Pokemon, as well as training with her old ones, and battling with them.
As soon as graduation was said and done, the two reunited and set out on a Pokemon Journey together. For Rosette,the continued pursuit of becoming the League Champion. For Terra, it was discovering every little bit about Pokemon behaviors that she could, with Rosette leading the way.
They had gone from Hoenn, to Unova, to even Alola for a little bit. Finally finding themselves back in Hoenn once again as adults. A little bit older, a little bit wiser, a few more Pokemon in their possession, but largely the same two girls they were back in school together.
They had returned to the region where they first met for a reason, the return of the millennium comet. A rare event only to happen every thousand years. Terra and Rosette were on their way through Route 114, planning to hike their way up meteorite falls to find a place to camp out, and enjoy the meteor shower and the spectacle of the comet together.
“I think Blitz will be able to get us up the girth of the mountain trail, then we can walk the rest of the way.” Rosette said, patting her large horse-like Pokemon, Mudsdale’s side and looking over a map.
“What do you think Terra?... Terra?” the brunette questioned when she didn’t get a response.
She looked over to see her friend in the tall grass. Attempting to capture a blue and white bird-like Pokemon, Swablu.
“Come on Ribbon! Give it a tiny shock, just a tiny shock!” the trainer pleaded.
The Pikachu looked back at it’s master nervously.
“Pikachu-pi…” Ribbon said apprehensively.
“I… I know you probably don’t want to hurt it, but we can’t make more friends if we don’t battle!” Terra explained, “So if you could just....”
Suddenly, one of the Pokeballs on Terra’s belt popped open, startling the blonde. From it came a medium-sized grass Pokemon, a Steenee. She had a pink and white ball-dress bottom tied around her waist, a pink crown was snugly fit around her calyx, and she had a pair of petals which grew out from her shoulders emulating puffy sleeve.
“P-Princess?” Terra stutted. The Steenee put her hands on her hips and puffed her cheeks at her master.
The little Pokemon bolted past the Pikachu, running right up to the Swablu and unleashing a hardy DoubleSlap using the large leaves that dropped from her head. The Steenee had completely caught the tiny bird Pokemon off-guard, causing a decent amount of damage to it.
“Princess! Princess I appreciate it, but you have to be careful!” Terra called out, “You’re a grass type and Swablu is-”
Just as Terra was about to finish, the Swablu struck back at Princess with a sharp peck. Knocking the scrappy Steenee back, sending her rolling over to her trainer who knelt down and caught her.
“... a flying… type.” Terra sighed as the Swablu flew off, fleeing from the battle.
Ribbon quickly ran over to Princess, “Pika-pi?” it cooed as it patted the mark caused by peck on the Steenee’s forehead.
Princess pouted, crossing her arms and turning her head away curtly.
“You know, I could always catch you a Swablu if you wanted one.” Rosette said, walking over to Terra. The blonde picked up her Pokemon, holding them in her arms as she met Rosette.
“I know… but I won’t become any better at being a Pokemon Trainer if I don’t try to catch some Pokemon for myself.” she said, laughing sheepishly, “You’d think with the psychology degree I’d be able to understand Pokemon enough to be a better battler.”
Princess let out a loud huff, whilst Ribbon whimpered. Terra held both of her Pokemon.
“No, no! Guys, you did great out there. I’m talking about myself. I’m the one here who sucks.” she reassured them.
Princess gave her trainer a pat on the head, while Ribbon nuzzled up to her.
“Your Pokemon sure don’t seem to think that.” Rosette said.
“I know, they don’t. They don’t think I suck...” Terra sighed. “I’m the one who knows I suck.”
“Terra! You do not suck.” The brunette protested, “You’re extremely talented at understanding the feelings and behaviors of Pokemon, you’ve studied and learned so much about them. You are practically a walking Pokedex, no, BETTER than a Pokedex. You’re the… Terradex?”
The blonde blinked, then she laughed with her pokemon giggling along with her, “The Terradex?” She questioned through her laughter.
“Okay that one was bad, I’ll admit that, but do you get what I’m saying?” Rosette asked.
“Yeah, I suppose. I just wish I could be a better trainer.” Terra said, “You can’t catch all my Pokemon for me forever!... and how am I supposed to defend myself if I’m out on my own?”
“Well that’s why you’re practicing, right?” Rosette said, “It’s true you’re not the best trainer, but you’re a hard worker and I know you’ll be continue to be a great Pokemon Psychologist and an even better Pokemon Trainer.”
Terra gave Rosette a small, half-hearted smile.
“Thanks…” She said, looking down and away. Rosette frowned.
“Why don’t we start making our way up the mountain? I can start working on dinner once we find our camping spot.” the brunette offered.
“That… that I would like that yes.” Terra replied, drool practically seeping from her mouth. Rosette laughed, pulling her friend into a shoulder-hug.
Terra returned her Pikachu and Steenee to their Pokeballs as Rosette helped her onto the back of her Mudsdale. Rosette then sat herself up front, directed the Ground-type Pokemon up the trail, and the two were on their way.