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not another nuzlocke, not yet

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I used to dream about going on a pokemon journey all the time when I was younger.

I would picture my starter, which changed a lot - flipping from Charmander to Bulbasaur to Squirtle to Charmander all over again - as I imagined different things  but the thing that remained the same is that it would be loyal to me and we would be best friends — partners . Together we would catch the perfect team and win every battle as we collected badges, of course it would be tough but we would do it because we were going to be the best. We were going to become the Champion.

But those were just childhood dreams. Real life isn't so easy. And the thing about real life?

Eventually....everyone dies.


 

Blue woke up early.

It wasn't exactly voluntary, if nothing else Blue was most empathically not a morning person, but it was necessary. Today, after all, was the day she finally - finally! - got her Trainer's License. Which meant she was going to get her very first pokémon today.

She was starting her Pokémon journey today!

Blue was so excited that she almost forgot about everything she had saved up and prepared for this day. It was only thanks to the note she had taped to the wall last night that she didn't forget. Instead, she rushed to grab her bag - she had packed, inspected if she had forgotten anything and repacked a total of five times last night - then to the PC to withdraw the potion she had stored there. Blue paused after tugging on her shoes - she had taken a shower and got dressed last night, knowing she would be too excited to waste time on such things today - to glance around her room.

Her floor was made of wood and the walls a boring off grey that had blue stripes painted at the bottom. She had a bed near enough to the old, hand-me-down TV that she could see the screen if she sat at the end but not so close that it was on the yellow-dotted green rug the TV rested on. There was an old Nes game set hooked up to the TV, it's controller resting in front of it like an invitation. In the corner, on the opposite side of her door - well, she said 'door’ but really it was just the stairway entrance seeing as her door was currently… indisposed - was her PC on a wooden desk with a blue little stool-chair in front of it. Her small dresser was next to the desk, and beyond the dresser was her bookcase that was crammed full of books. The only real ‘decoration’ was the note she had taped onto the wall last night.

Her room wasn't a big one and didn't really have much….but she was going to miss it.

“Not enough to stay, though.” Blue said, swiping her hat off the top of her TV and slamming it onto her head before rushing out of her room.

She slowed down when she reached the bottom of the stairs, seeing her mother up and sitting at the table with breakfast ready. “I made breakfast.”

“I see that.” Blue said, blinking before walking over to the table and snagging two slices of toast before shoving some eggs and bacon between them to make a quick breakfast sandwich. “I'll take this with me and eat on the way.”

“....Right.” Her mother said, turning to her. “All girls dream of traveling. It said so on the TV.” Mom added, voice lifting at the joke but her smile didn't fit. Before Blue could comment on her mood though, she shook her head and continued. “Oh, yes. Professor Oak, next door, was looking for you.”

“I'll just- go see what he wants then. Loveyoumombye!” Blue said in a rush, giving her a quick hug before fleeing the awkwardness of her mother being so… forlorn.

Shaking her head, Blue hurried to the lab as she swiftly ate the sandwich. When she came up to the lab doors, she shoved the last of it into her mouth and brushed off the crumbs on her shirt before going inside. It was a bit of a bad plan as a few of the researchers - students, mostly - gave quick hellos to her, leaving her with nothing to do but nod and pretend her cheeks weren't puffed out from a bunch of food while hurrying towards the back where the professor worked.

Blue wasn't running, really.

“What, it's only Blue?” She twitched a bit, hearing Green scoff and realized that he was alone here. As if to emphasize that realization he said, “Gramps isn't around.”

Blue nodded, eyes widening when he started to look at her - at her cheeks - more closely and hurried out the way she came before he could say anything. Outside she spoke to the man that hung out near the lab to see if he had seen the professor. That swiftly turned into politely ending the conversation when all he did was gush about the wonders of technology in general and the PC specifically. That idea a failure, she headed toward the Oak home to see if he was there or, if not, if Daisy knew where he was.

Blue couldn't help her eyes getting drawn towards the path out of town. She drifted closer without really realizing it, enraptured by the forest and dense undergrowth - there scattered bits of tall grasses also which is why people generally just referred to it as the tall grass - that grew beyond the town.

Soon, She promised herself as she wondered about the pokemon she would encounter on her journey. I'll be out there soon.

Hey! Wait! Don't go out!” Someone shouted behind her and Blue jumped, startled to realize just how close she had gotten to the wilderness. She whirled around and found the professor himself rushing to her. “It’s unsafe! Wild pokemon live in the tall grass!” He sighed, calming down now that she hadn't done something crazy like dive for the forest. “You need your own pokemon for your protection.”

Professor Oak sighed again, shaking his head before straightening up with a sudden enthusiasm. “I know! Here, come with me!”

Not willing to argue, Blue obediently followed behind the professor as he lead them back to the lab and inside to where Green was still waiting. Green, who immediately made his displeasure known. “Gramps! I'm fed up with waiting!”

“Green? Let me think...” Professor Oak blinked then shook his head. “Oh, that's right, I told you to come! Just wait!” He said, waving off his grandson before looking at her. “Here, Blue. There are three pokemon here.” He gestured to a table nearby that had pokeballs laid out carefully, a little printed out paper in front of each which seemed to have an image on it.

“The pokemon are held inside of these pokeballs.” The professor went on after a brief burst of delighted laughter. The laughter faded though, his tone becoming a bit more solemn. “When I was young, I was a serious pokemon trainer. But now, in my old age, I have only these three left. You can have one.” He shook himself out of the odd mood, regaining enthusiasm once more. “Go on, choose!”

Green protested at once. “Hey! Gramps! No fair! What about me?”

“Be patient Green. You can have one too!’ The professor waved him off, looking at her expectantly.

Blue went to the table, barely keeping herself from running. The papers, she now saw, were indicators of which pokemon was in which ball. Each paper had the name of the pokemon, then a picture of it, then it's type as a kind of 'general information’ thing but under that was additional information specific to the pokemon in the ball such as sex, ability, nature and the moves it knew.

Walking slowly along the table, Blue peered carefully at each paper. She already knew the general information, having spent years imagining this day, but the additional info was something she was keenly interested in. By the time she reached the end of the table, however, her choice remained unchanged from yesterday and she picked up the pokeball.

“Ah!” Professor Oak said, starling her a bit as she had forgotten she wasn't alone as she made this decision. “Charmander is your choice. You should raise it patiently.” He advised, pulling a notebook out of his lab coat. “So, Blue, you are claiming the fire pokemon Charmander?”

“Yes.” She said, nodding firmly.

“Do you want to give it a nickname?” He asked, scribbling something in his notebook.

“Yes.” She said, having already thought about this yesterday also. “I'll call him Charlie.”

The professor might have answered but she didn't know, Green rushed up to the table and glanced at the papers quickly before snatching up the middle ball. “I'll take this one, then!”

Blue…. kind of wanted to sigh when she saw it was Squirtle he chose. Squirtle, as in the water type pokemon of the trio. Squirtle, as in the pokemon that would have a natural advantage against her Charmander. She really had no idea where this rivalry Green concocted had come from but she knew it was exhausting.

“I need to say bye to my mom.” Blue said instead of sighing, heading for the exit with her pokeball still in hand.

“Wait, Blue!” Green called before she could get halfway to the front door, rushing to her. “Let’s check out our pokemon! Come on, I'll take you on!” Blue didn't get any more warning before he backed up a bit and called out his pokemon.

Fine. One battle!” She said after a moment of quick thought that had her eventually deciding it was best to test out battling here, where she could get immediate medical attention for Charlie if needed. “Go! Charlie!”

Blue was vaguely aware of Professor Oak sighing over their antics before deciding to use this entire thing as a learning experience. Instead, she was focused on Charlie, who looked back at her with a soft charr before focusing on Squirtle. “Alright Charlie, let's see how well we work together. Use Scratch!”

Mander! Charlie cried, tail swinging behind him as he rushed Squirtle and clawed at the fleshy limbs peeking out of the shell. At Green's command, Squirtle pulled back a little before rushing forward to ram into Charlie with a Tackle that had the fire-type staggering backwards.

“Alright?” Blue fretted for a moment before she got a firm Mander char! “Good! Use Scratch again, this time don't stay so close!”

Charlie nodded before attacking, Squirtle tried to back away but still wound up with a leg getting scratched up. Charlie turned away to get some distance and that's when Squirtle landed another hit in a Tackle.

“That's okay! We got to make sure to keep our eyes on your opponent. Scratch! This time aim higher!” Blue called.

Charr…. Charlie drew out as he went for another attack, circling Squirtle once before attacking. The claws on his hands raked across the side of the water-type's face as he bellowed out a loud MANDER! Squirtle let out a terrified squealing noise before it's head, tail and legs all disappeared into its shell. It took a moment, and an ignored order to attack, before it was decided that Squirtle would fight no more and the battle was over.

“WHAT?” Green returned Squirtle with a scoff, “Unbelievable. I picked the wrong pokemon!” He threw a bundle of bills at her that she guessed was somewhere between fifty and a hundred poké while the professor commented on how battle winners got money for winning.

“Okay!” Green said, shoving her a bit and cutting off his grandpa. “I’ll make my pokemon battle to toughen it up! Blue! Gramps! Smell you later!” He made to shove right past her but Charlie made an almost hissing noise that had Green walking around her - the opposite side of where her pokemon stood - as he made his exit.

“My valiant protector.” Blue smiled, crouching down a bit to look him in the eye. “I'm so proud of you Charlie. We won our first battle together! We're going to be an amazing team, I just know it!”

Charmander!