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Written Story Unova Teen Healing Wish: A Black Nuzlocke

Thread Description
Sometimes you can't heal without breaking away. A Black Storylocke.

SimplyUnknown

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
242
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,225
Location
Invisibly Watching
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
A silent watcher who speaks only when something needs to be said. Offers free hugs to those who need them.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #21
Garnet: Considering that people bet on anything from high school games to the freaking Olympics, it makes sense that people would gamble on Pokemon battles as well. Stration didn't really feel as much like a gym as others in this series, or even in Unova. Partially because the gym was almost completely integrated with the restaurant instead of being attached or its own thing like other gyms. So them being part-timers made a lot of sense to me. And again, thanks for the name catch!

Tailsimp: She needed to get those badges somehow! And it's probably better to start out with the Stration Trio than with someone like Lenora. That would be a scary first battle. We'll get answers about the 'rando dude' soon enough. Glad that you're enjoying Jay and Touko's friendship!

Distortionlocke: I'm glad that people like this version of the trio. I feel they tend to get ignored if they aren't turned into the Shadow Triad, so I wanted to try something different with them. And Touko will need to battle some if she wants to make it farther in the game. But that doesn't mean she has to enjoy it.

Bowser's Family Vacation: Welcome back, and boy do you have a lot of comments to do. I'll put them in a seperate spoiler to keep them from getting too large.
Overnight flights are never fun, especially when they show movies designed to bring up old traumas. We'll never know how Red would have reacted, but keep in mind that he didn't know about Blue's connection to Shadow. Though Shadow might have made it known eventually. And yes, I did give him an Umbreon partially because of the anime and partially because that way there would be no type overlapping with his team. All Unovan characters are chaotic. Though N might be Chaotic Lawful.

The part that Touko was relating to was being like a brightly shining crystal that suddenly shattered. She has her own past and it does reflect on her actions. We'll get more into that in a later update though. Lillipup is the best doggo and I do love them no matter what region I'm in. And we'll just call it 'drama' for now.

N might keep his space in-game, but that only makes it more fun when you can change things in a storylocke. And Touko knows how to handle herself, thankfully. N didn't think he was doing anything wrong by grabbing Touko, so he didn't understand why she punched him. His logic for punching Cheren was more that Cheren was getting aggressive with him so he'd do to Cheren what Touko did to him. Not exactly right, but it made sense in his head. And freaked out Koki. Touko does prefer honesty so this is a good way to talk to her.

Touya's disappearing act is probably the most convenient for a Unova run. Though I do agree it can be a rather linear region. It was either hair-dye or the Stration Trio was secretly a Pansear, a Panpour, and a Pansage in human disguises all this time. And that can be used in a different run than this one. You'll get your answers soon enough. And Touko has earned her first badge partially due to gym leader cowardice!

As for the small text thing, it all looks accurate to me when I change sizes back and forth, and it looks right when I transfer it to Word as well. Is it maybe due to a background difference? But I'll try to keep it in mind when I size-change. Thanks for letting me know!

QuietGuardian: Thanks for the comment and I hope you enjoy the path this story is taking!

"If this happened in Kanto, he probably would have been fired," Blue commented as the pair strode out of the restaurant. The Stration trio was still arguing behind them, and neither was in the mood to try and interrupt. "You can't become champion unless you earn all eight badges and I wouldn't say that battle was earning this one."

"Different standards for part-timers, and it's not like I'm looking to challenge the Elite 4 anyways," Touko replied as she gazed down at the glowing triad of triangles in her hand. Sighing through her nose, she slid the badge into her badge case and tucked it away. "At least we can finally get out of..." A cheerful tune rang out from her pocket and Touko flushed before plucking her phone out. "Hey Bel, you're on speaker."

"Hi Touko! Are you still in Stration?" Touko and Blue exchanged glances before Bel moved on. "If you are, could you do me a quick favor? I ran into Professor Makomo and she asked me to collect some Dream Mist from the Dreamyard, but there's a tree blocking the way and my Pokemon can't learn Cut and..."

"We'll be there," Blue interrupted, a little confused at the way Touko stared at him in shock. "Can you give us some time?"

"Oh of course B...I mean Jay! And thank you!" Bel quickly hung up and Touko slowly pocketed her phone.

"You didn't have to do that, you know. This is your vacation and you really haven't had the time to enjoy any of it. You can say no, you know," the brunette pointed out. Blue gave a shrug.

"It's pretty much what I did back home anyways. It's not that big of a deal." Touko tilted her head, eyeing him in a way that made the gym leader want to squirm. "What?"

"You don't know how to vacation properly, do you?"

"There's a proper way to vacation?" The Unova native rolled her eyes before turning on her heel.

"We'll have to work on that later. Come on, the Dreamyard is this way." A mixture of bemused and annoyed, Blue followed her to the far edge of town where trees took over and neat cobblestone paths became overrun with grass and dirt. His eyes widened in shock as a crumbling old building came into view. An old metal fence that looked almost completely rusted over surrounded the place, except for a specific spot where a small tree had been planted. Bel looked up from a small book she'd been reading to wave them over.

"Thank you so much, Touko! I would have asked Cheren, but you know he's been training for his first gym battle and you know how he gets!" Bel babbled as she awkwardly shoved the book into her bag before Blue could glimpse the title. "And how is your trip going so far, Jay?"

"Alright," Blue mused as he looked past the fence to the ruins beyond. "What is this place? You called the the Dreamyard?"

"Yeah, it's an old lab from back in the 50s," Touko answered as she released Akane from her ball. "They were doing a lot of research on dreams and sleep so they caught a lot of Munna and Musharna. Turns out if you put a bunch of angry Psychic types together, you get this."

"They weren't producing enough Dream Mist naturally for the experiments, so the scientists tried to force them," Bel explained quietly as Akane flashed her claws and slashed through the tree. "The Munna weren't strong enough to stop them, but there were almost 50 Musharna as well. It...it was an ugly time." Blue let out a reluctant whistle of appreciation.

"And this...Makomo wants you to get some for her?" He glanced at the patches of grass that were located all around the ruins. "Is this safe for you?"

Touko smiled as she stepped through the hole Akane had created. "It's a lot safer than it was before. After the Musharna and Munna broke out, the old gym leaders got together with some other Psychics to act as translators and negotiate with them. Since all they really wanted was to be left alone, the League gave them the Dreamyard as their own and brought all the scientists to trial for Pokemon abuse. We're still allowed to collect Dream Mist if we want to, but it's a harshly regulated substance and we can only collect it from an uncoerced Munna or Musharna. It's really easy to tell if you took Dream Mist by force," she added at the confused look on Blue's face.

"And Koinu knows Bite so I'll be fine if they get aggressive," Bel added quickly, releasing her own Lillipup from his ball. "But most Munna are pretty shy and the Musharna rarely show up so...Oh! Hello there!" The blonde girl beamed and waved at two small pink floating Pokemon with bright red eyes. They hovered cautiously as Bel removed a few empty glass bottles from her bag to set them on the ground. "I'm looking for some Dream Mist so if you want to donate some or know of any friends who'd be willing to, could you let them know?"

One of the Munna bumped against the other and gave a high-pitched squealing sound. The other gave a sort of air shrug before floating over. Bright pink mist began slowly dropping into the bottles. Blue watched in silent awe, mind composing plenty of questions to ask once this was done. But this was not to be as a man and a woman dressed in armor with a familiar logo on the front strode out from outside the Dreamyard. "Hey! What are you doing to those Munna?!"

"Oh Arceus, not them again," Touko groaned as she reached for one of her Pokeballs. Bel just looked baffled as the Munna stopped producing Dream Mist to hover in confusion.

"What? I'm just collecting Dream Mist. Who are you?" she asked as Koinu put himself between her and Team Plasma and began growling.

"Why do you need to extort defenseless Pokemon for Dream Mist? Humans survive without it in other regions and we can too!" One of them declared, striding forward with arrogant purpose.

The other shook her head sadly. "Humans can be so cruel to dear Pokemon. Surely they would be better off without humans. I mean, look at you. You want something from them and you just take it!"

"I...I..." Bel glanced helplessly from the Munna to the grunts.

"Wait a second, Bel didn't do anything wrong," Blue protested. "She asked them for permission and the Munna chose to do it. That isn't extortion."

Touko glared at the grunts before reaching down to pick up a partially filled bottle. "There's an easy way to test this. If one of you samples some of what we collected, you'll see that it's pure." Her eyes narrowed to slits as Koki dropped into a hunting crouch. "Unless all you want is to start a fight." The Munna who had donated the mist quickly dove behind Touko and Blue for protection as its friend let out a squeal and vanished into the grass.

"Maybe you need some sense knocked into you instead!" But as their hands dropped to the Pokeballs on their belts, a low humming filled their ears as dark purple smoke began spreading along the ground. Bel let out a terrified shriek and Touko paled as she recalled Koki. "Oh crap!" the female grunt wailed as she turned to run, but she almost crashed into a large purple Pokemon with a pale pink head and closed eyes. "Musharna, we're...just..." She swayed and collapsed onto the ground with a loud thump.

"Touko, what's..." Blue started to ask before everything went blurry. He could barely see the three other humans collapsing onto the ground before everything went dark around him.

Blue stared down at the unconscious body of his starter. The last sparks from the Pikachu's face fizzled out as he turned his back to leap onto a smirking Red's shoulder. It was over; he had lost. "Why," the boy whispered as he reached down to scoop up Shadow into his arms. "Why did I lose? And that was the moment that Professor Samuel Oak strode into the hall with a beaming smile on his face. One that had never been directed towards his own grandson.

"Red! So, you won! Congratulations! You're the new Pokémon League champion! You've grown up so much since you first left with Pikachu! You've truly come of age!" His grandfather patted Red on the back before turning a furious gaze to Blue, still kneeling on the floor. "Blue."

"Gramps, I..." Oak held up a hand and Blue immediately fell silent.

"… I'm disappointed in you." He ignored Blue's flinch and continued. "I came when I heard you'd beaten the Elite Four. But, when I got here, you had already lost! This is a new record for shortest reign as Pokemon Champion." The Pokemon Professor let out a heavy sigh and shook his head as tears filled his grandson's eyes. "Clearly you have forgotten to treat your Pokemon with love and trust."

That's not true! Blue wanted to shout, but his grandfather had already turned away to talk to Red again. Shadow let out a whimper in his arms before blinking them open. He sadly gazed up at Blue before licking his hand in apology. His eyes stinging, Blue dropped his head and scooped up his starter before racing away. If anyone called for him, he didn't hear. He didn't deserve to be there anyways.

Blue jerked awake, unwilling and unable to remain trapped in the memory of the worst day of his life. He glanced around, not recognizing anything and half expecting to be ten and the loser of another battle between him and Red. But instead, he appeared to be in a large white room with purple pictures on the walls. A hand on his shoulder made him jump, turning to see Touko looking at him with a sympathetic look and holding a glass of water in her hands. "Drink this. It should help with the headache you probably have."

He didn't have one, but eagerly downed the liquid anyways. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he grunted a thanks and received a nod in return. "What happened and where are we?"

"What happened is the reason you can tell if someone forced a Munna or Musharna to give them Dream Mist," Touko explained as she sat on a small stool near the bed Blue was on. "If it's forced, Dream Mist causes nightmares and hallucinations. Guess the Munna that ran off sounded the alarm and the Musharna wanted to get us out of there." She jerked her chin towards a set of stairs. "Dr. Makomo found us just outside Stration when it took too long for Bel to get back to her. The grunts were taken away by the police, but she watched us while we came out of it."

Absorbing the information, Blue set down the glass and folded his hands together. "What about the other Munna?" Touko smiled and tapped a new Pokeball on her belt. A reluctant smile crept onto the Kanto trainer's face. "Ah. I guess that's one way to get a new team member."

"I guess it is," Touko replied, her smile fading slightly. "Jay, you were asleep the longest of all of us. Dream Mist...it's usually stronger on people who have bad experiences to recall. You might get asked some questions about it." Blue could feel himself stiffen involuntarily and Touko shook her head. "You don't have to answer them, but I thought you'd like a warning before we went down. Unless you don't feel up to it yet. You were out for about four hours."

"Four..." Blue shook his head in shock. "I just want to get out of here." Get moving, get away, stop thinking about things that couldn't be changed. Touko frowned, but nodded.

"Alright, I'll let the professor know and see if Bel wants to join us. You can come down when it's time to leave, that should help you avoid questions."

"...Thanks, Touko," he said quietly as the brunette got up to leave. He didn't think she heard him at first, but then he caught a glimpse of a small smile as she went down the stairs. Hissing out a breath, Blue leaned back against the wall, staring up at a crackled ceiling. He hadn't thought about that day since...no, that was a lie. He thought about that day a lot, but he hadn't relived it in years. Maybe he should have, maybe his grandfather's most recent attempts to kick him out of his position in favor of Red wouldn't have been such a blindside otherwise.

Blue could barely hear people talking from the floor below, but he tried to keep his focus on the ceiling, counting cracks until it was time to leave.

"Are you serious?" Blue wasn't sure whether to start laughing as Touko stared down the man from earlier, Stration Badge in her hand. Bel glanced from the man to Touko, clearly confused. "You asked for the badge, and now I have it. Why are you stopping me now?"

"Does she have a badge?" the man quizzed as he pointed at Bel. The blonde flushed and rapidly shook her head. "Then you're not going."

"Seriously?!" Touko fumed, and then she paused. Blue could practically see a light bulb going off behind her eyes, and then the brunette paled. Blue turned to look at Bel, only to find that she'd gone just as white. "You can't be serious. This isn't legal!" Touko hissed, dropping her hand to Hiroshi's ball.

"Ah ah ah! My team is level 30, so do you really want to challenge me to a battle?" the man smirked, folding his arms across his chest. "I have my orders, and no woman is leaving Stration until Mr. Shirai is back. So you might as well head back to Nuvema Town while you still can." Blue could hear Touko gritting her teeth in rage, but it was obvious her hands were tied. But his weren't. Blue carefully plucked an empty Pokeball from Bel's partially opened bag and enlarged it.

"She might not, but I can," he said, striding forward and lightly tossing the ball in the air to catch it again. "But how would your team fair against my team of level 60 and more?"

"Si...sixty?!" The man gaped in shock. "You can't have that! No one has that except the Elite 4 and you're..."

"Not from Unova," Blue countered, catching the ball one more time and smirking. "So, I'll give you one chance to run. Unless..." He lifted the ball to spin it around on one finger. "Unless you think you can beat me?" The man glanced from the ball to Blue's cocky smirk, and then he bolted. Sighing in relief, Blue caught the ball and turned back to face the girls. Bel was gaping at him in shock, but Touko was grinning gleefully.

"That was brilliant! Did you see the way he took off? Probably halfway to Accumula by now!" She cackled before giving a delighted twirl. "Looks like we won't have to worry about him anymore."

"...but he was here because of me," Bel whispered. Touko immediately stopped and wrapped an arm around her friend's shoulders.

"He was here because your dad is a jerk, Bel. That's not on you," the brunette stated firmly. "We won't let him stop you, I promise."

Bel was silent for a few minutes before shaking her head. "I...I'm going on ahead. See you later Touko and thank you Jay for the help." Before anyone could say a word, she sprinted down Route 3. Touko sighed and ran a hand through her ponytail.

"I hope she doesn't take this too hard. I'll need to talk to Cheren once he catches up," she muttered to herself. Blue opened his mouth to say something, and then decided against it. He knew all about family problems you didn't want to talk about after all. Asking about Bel wouldn't be fair.

"Shall we get going then?" he asked instead, earning a relieved smile from Touko.

"Yeah, let's."

So we finally left Stration, and dealt with the Dreamyard as well. I always felt like Team Plasma blew their load a bit early in this game with the Dreamyard. The whole 'kicking Munna' part didn't really lend credence to their 'saving Pokemon' deal. I think if they'd played it a bit differently, like they wanted to protect Munna from being caught by trainers, it would have worked out a lot better. So I tried to go with something different here.

And I did catch a Munna here at the Dreamyard. The monkeys are something I never counted as a catch so this was legal for me, even though I ran into 3 Patrats first. Her name is Yume, which means 'dream' or 'vision'. Hardy nature, proud of her power, and Forewarn. Now I have a use for the Moonstone as Munna is the only native Unovan Pokemon who evolves via Moonstone. Anyways, sorry about the missing update on Wednesday, but things should be fine for this week at least. Leave a like or a comment if you enjoyed this update, and I'll see you all next time! 👋
 

DistortionLocke

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
623
Caught
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
631
Location
U.S.
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Dark, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Anxious, sweet-toothed writer who hides amongst the papers. Only attacks when provoked.
Man, Blue can’t go one chapter without being haunted by his memories...😞

Love how you approached the Dreamyard/Dream mist lore and the man blocking the way out of Striaton. Such creative spins and choices!
 

Tailsimp

A Universally Under-Rested University Imp
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
767
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
I really loved the way you expanded upon the Dreamyard and used the mist to work not only into your story, but give us another glimpse into Blue's past. It was a really creative use for it that worked all around! Fantastically done!

Also I'm already sensing that I'm gonna wanna fistfight Bel's dad.
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
726
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
As you may have guessed from all the likes I've been leaving, I'm really enjoying this run! I love your take on Blue and his situation, and the idea of him going to Unova is definitely unique and interesting. I absolutely agree with the others that what you did in this chapter with the Dreamyard and mist was great! I think the different spin on Plasma here works really well. Definitely looking forward to more of this!
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,775
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
it's not like I'm looking to challenge the Elite 4 anyways

Do you... know what kind of story you're in, Touko? I'd say Blue is doing just the right kind of vacationing for a nuzlocke story! XD

"Yeah, it's an old lab from back in the 50s," Touko answered as she released Akane from her ball. "They were doing a lot of research on dreams and sleep so they caught a lot of Munna and Musharna. Turns out if you put a bunch of angry Psychic types together, you get this."

"They weren't producing enough Dream Mist naturally for the experiments, so the scientists tried to force them," Bel explained quietly as Akane flashed her claws and slashed through the tree. "The Munna weren't strong enough to stop them, but there were almost 50 Musharna as well. It...it was an ugly time." Blue let out a reluctant whistle of appreciation.
Medical history is surprisingly full of such breaches of ethics. I'm glad that Unova has advanced past such things! I'll admit that the past of this world does give Plasma a lot to work with, though.... >_>

I always love seeing what people do with the Musharna scene! Blue's nightmare isn't much of a surprise. I wonder if Touko saw her brother's disappearance?

"Ah ah ah! My team is level 30, so do you really want to challenge me to a battle?" the man smirked, folding his arms across his chest. "I have my orders, and no woman is leaving Stration until Mr. Shirai is back.
...Why specifically women?

Wait, this creep was here on Bel's father's orders? What kind of power does Bel's father have in this story? In canon, he gets chased off by Elesa, but her Pokemon are only around level 30. It's a very difficult gym, but still....
 

SimplyUnknown

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
242
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,225
Location
Invisibly Watching
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
A silent watcher who speaks only when something needs to be said. Offers free hugs to those who need them.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #26
DistortionLocke: What can I say, I just love tormenting characters sometimes.:sun:
Also, I'm glad that you enjoyed my use of those plot points. I had a lot of fun coming up with them!

Tailsimp: I really feel that the Dreamyard was underused. There are so many questions I have about that place that never really got answered. For example, why is it the only place you can find wild Munna and Musharna in the base game? And with Dream Mist canonically allowing you to see dreams, I thought it could also be used to see memories as well.

And yes, most people will want to fistfight Bel's dad. Or just punch him in general.

cyndakip: Thank you for all the likes and I'm really glad that you're enjoying this! My Dreamyard tweaks seem to be really popular, which is always nice to hear. Hope that you enjoy this new chapter!

Bowser's Family Vacation: Wow, this comment came in as I was updating. At least I can respond to it!
Touko sadly isn't aware of the story she was in. Otherwise she probably would have let Jay travel with Bel or Cheren. Jay could probably use some of the regular vacationing as well, considering his earlier work ethic.
Sadly, bad things have happened in the past. But that doesn't justify current atrocities done in their name. We'll see how Team Plasma handles some of the other parts of the story.
There is a specific reason he was targeting women, Bel is only a part of it. And he does have a bit more power than he typically would in this story. Makes it more interesting that way.

"TOUKO!!!" The angry shout made Touko stop in her tracks and let out a heavy sigh. She knew that this would be coming eventually, but had hoped for a bit more time before she had to deal with a furious Cheren striding up the road towards her and Jay. Drumming up a smile, she turned to face her angry friend.

"Cheren, hi. Look, I know what you're thinking, but if you would just let me..."

"You got a gym badge! From Stration! And you only battled one Pokemon for it!" The boy flung his hands up in the air in angry exasperation. "You said you weren't going to do the gym challenge! What the hell, Touko?!"

Touko glared, feeling her own temper brewing. "If you could calm down for a second, I could easily explain why I had to get a badge. But instead, you just start yelling and accusing like you always do!"

"At least I didn't lie to one of my oldest friends!"

"I wasn't lying!"

"Er, should I..." Jay hesitantly asked, causing both Touko and Cheren to whirl on him.

"BE QUIET!" They shouted in unison. Jay lifted his hands in silent surrender as Cheren released his Snivy and Purrloin.

"Maybe you'll do better after a battle that wasn't thrown in your favor," the bespectacled boy hissed as his team fell into battle positions. Touko hissed out a sigh and released Akane from her ball.

"Just, just light them on fire, Akane," Touko grumbled as she pressed a hand to her throbbing temples. Akane looked at the two other Pokemon, shrugged, and immediately started firing Incinerates off. The smell of burnt leaves and hair filled the air as Cheren and Touko stared each other down. Struggling to rein in her temper, the brunette tried once again. "Cheren, I promise you I'm not doing the League Challenge. You know how much I hate battling, why would I subject myself to more?"

Cheren folded his arms across his chest and scowled. "Then why do you have one? Why did Pod spend half his battle with me yelling at Dent about how he forfeited after seeing you have a Pansear?"

This was where it got tricky. Side-eyeing Jay, who was watching the drama curiously, Touko chose her words carefully. "Jay and I were blocked by an associate of Bel's dad." Cheren's eyes dropped to his sides as the anger vanished from his face. "Apparently, he was told to prevent any woman from leaving Stration without the badge."

At that statement, the black-haired boy's eyes dropped to the dirt, teeth worrying his bottom lip. Hebi, now black from the Incinerates, crawled to his feet to wrap leafy arms around his leg while Neko purred and wove circles between his ankles. One of Cheren's hands drifted to his pocket, where Touko knew he was rubbing the small keychain that she and Bel had given him two years ago. "That bastard," he whispered.

Ignoring Jay's stare, the girl stepped forward to wrap her arms around her friend in a tight hug. It took a bit, but Cheren eventually returned it. "Yeah, he's a bastard. I didn't realize what he was there for until I'd gotten the badge. I'm really sorry Cher, I never meant to hurt you."

"...I know. Sorry for yelling." Squeezing her one more time, Cheren stepped back and glanced down to recall his defeated Pokemon. "Though seeing your Pansear at work, you probably would have earned the badge anyways." Touko laughed at the true statement as Akane cheerfully clambered onto her shoulder. "So, what happened to the guy? Did he really let you pass with the badge?"

Grinning, Touko turned back to gesture at Jay, who was looking less confused and a bit more embarrassed. "This guy got us through. Jay used an empty Pokeball and threated him with a battle against level 60s." Cheren snickered and Jay rubbed the back of his head awkwardly.

"Yeah, well...I wanted to leave. And he wouldn't let us by since Bel was with us," he explained, causing Cheren to blink in surprise.

"Bel was with you? What happened to..."

"Out of our way!" The shout came only a few seconds before two people in familiar metallic armor bowled past them, shoving the trainers aside and knocking them to the ground. As Jay, Cheren, and Touko stared after them in shock while Akane chittered angrily, Bel came jogging up with a little girl clinging to her skirt.

"Oh no, are you three alright?" The blonde asked as the girl tugged eagerly at her skirt.

"Miss, my Pochi!" she whimpered, tears welling up in her eyes.

"Bel, what's going on?" Cheren grunted as he pushed himself to his feet. Touko gratefully took Jay's hand to get herself up as the other boy began brushing off his clothes. "Why do you have a child with you?"

Bel puffed up angrily with her hands on her hips. "Those Plasma grunts stole Emi's Pokemon from her! I tried to stop them, but they were too fast and..."

"Wait what?!" Touko gasped. "Why would they take a Pokemon from a child?"

"In their mind, they were 'liberating it'," Jay muttered. Cheren scowled and started stalking down the road. "Hey, where are you going?"

"What do you think? I'm going to get that Pokemon back." Emi gave an eager gasp as the bespectacled boy turned to scowl at the Kanto native. "Unless you don't think I can handle it?"

"Normally, of course," Touko quickly interjected. "But normally, your Pokemon weren't just beaten by my Pansear setting them on fire." Akane snickered behind a hand and Cheren's grumpy expression faded into one of mortification.

"Oh. Right." He pondered for a few seconds before nodding. "Maybe cooperation might be the best idea."

"Maybe," Jay drawled as Touko giggled. He turned to look at Bel, who was shifting from foot to foot. "You should probably take Emi back. We'll find you after we get her..." He paused to recollect. "Pochi back."

"Right. Be careful, all of you," Bel warned as she took Emi's hand once more. "Let's head back to the school to wait, Emi. You can trust them, my friends are very strong."

"...Okay." The little girl reluctantly let herself be lead away, leaving the other three behind. Nodding in unison, they rushed off.

"Well, I guess we can be grateful that you caught us at the turn, Cheren," Touko commented dryly as she stared at the entrance to Wellspring Cave. Cheren scowled as he looked up from applying Potions to his Snivy and Purrloin.

"I already apologized, didn't I," he muttered. Touko sighed and Jay shook his head. Luckily, Cheren only caught sight of the latter. "I suppose you think this is funny, don't you?"

"...Something like that," Jay muttered, stepping closer to the entrance. "You're sure there's no secret tunnel they can use to escape?"

Touko shook her head firmly. "This is the only way in or out of the cave. Rest of the walls aren't stable enough to create a new exit on this side and they'd have to tunnel through some pretty thick bedrock to make an exit on any other side. No, they're pretty stuck."

"Then let's rescue that Pokemon," Cheren stated, leaving his healed Pokemon out to look more intimidating. Pondering, Touko released Hiroshi and Koki to join Akane. Yume wasn't strong enough if a fight broke out and Goro didn't seem comfortable with the rest of the team. The three trainers and the Pokemon slowly entered the cave, which thankfully was still well lit by the afternoon sun. Skulking in the corner were the two Plasma grunts, who were muttering to each other over the stolen Pokeball in one's hand. Touko gestured so that Cheren could take the lead, who nodded gratefully. "Hey! What were you thinking, stealing a little girl's Pokemon?"

The grunts jolted in shock before whirling around. Their eyes widened at the sight of Jay and Touko. "Oh crap, not you two again! We already found the blondie," one of the groaned.

Jay's eyes narrowed in anger. "You were the ones at the Dreamyard? What are you doing here, I thought the cops took you away!"

"Couldn't keep us since we did nothing wrong," the female scoffed with a toss of her head. "Maybe they can realize the truth for themselves."

"Nothing wrong," Touko stated flatly. "You stole a Pokemon from a five year old. I wouldn't call that nothing."

"It wasn't theft. It was a rescue mission!" the male grunt countered. "This poor little Pokemon was being abused dreadfully. We saved his life!" Touko could practically hear the tiny violins playing as a legitimate tear welled up in his eye. "Thinking of all the torment this poor little Lillipup had to suffer...Oh, what a poor thing."

"Stay strong Rigo," the other grunt whispered, squeezing her compatriot's arm. "We did good work today. One less Pokemon is being abused."

Touko and Jay shared equally unimpressed looks while Cheren pinched the bridge of his nose. Their Pokemon just looked baffled. "You're saying he was abused by a little kid? How exactly would that work? Did she give him too many treats?" Jay questioned, folding his arms across his chest.

Rigo and the other grunt exchanged looks, and then nodded. A flash of red light revealed the Pokemon, causing Jay to gawk, Touko to gasp, and Cheren to just stare. Sitting on the floor of the cave was a Lillipup dressed in a pale blue princess dress covered in sparkles. A high frilly collar covered his mouth, but you could still see the bright pink lipstick smeared messily over his fur. A clunky tiara covered in heavy rhinestones drooped around one of his ears as the Lillipup glanced from trainer to grunt in confusion. Rigo grinned smugly. "Can you honestly say that this Pokemon has not been abused?"

"...Okay, this is pretty bad," Jay admitted. "But for Arceus's sake, she's a little kid! Taking away her Pokemon is too severe a punishment, and she can learn to do better."

"No, she had her chance," the female grunt denied. "She clearly doesn't care about Pokemon unless they're being used as dolls for her. Right, Rigo?"

"Right, Unari!" Touko sighed and stepped forward.

"Look, there's one big thing that you're forgotten here," she pointed out. The grunts squinted at her in confusion as Touko knelt down to look Pochi in the eyes. "Hey Pochi. You don't look happy right now." The Lillipup stared up at her and slowly shook his head. "I take it that you don't like the costumes that Emi puts you in when she starts playing." Another head shake, this time more vigorous. "But you love Emi, right?" This time, a rapid nod. "Do you want to go back to Emi, even if it means wearing silly costumes?" This time, the nodding was so fast that the tiara flew off Pochi's head and landed somewhere deeper in the cave.

Smiling, Touko got to her feet and dusted off her shorts. "Well that's settles things, doesn't it?" She walked up to Rigo and held out her hand. "We'll be taking Pochi back to Emi now."

"That Lillipup has..." the grunt protested as Unari's hand dropped to a Pokeball at her waist. Behind her, Koki let out a little growl and Hiroshi waved his scalchop around as Akane's lips heated up with fire.

"Pochi has said what he wants," Touko answered firmly. "So unless you want to deal with three angry trainers and their equally angry Pokemon, I suggest you give us his ball." Rigo hesitated and Touko's smile sharpened. Clearly reluctant, Rigo dropped the ball into Touko's outstretched palm. She immediately recalled Pochi. "Thank you. Now if you could..."

"Smoke Ball!" There was a shattering of glass and thick smoke filled the cave. Touko kept her grip firm on the Pokeball, but thankfully the grunts just fled through the cave entrance. By the time the other three got out, they were long gone.

"And you thought what I did was impressive," Jay commented, waving smoke out of his face and shooting Touko a grin. "Nice job." Touko smiled cheerfully in response as Cheren staggered out, wiping his glasses.

"Well, now I just feel foolish for wasting Potions," the boy grumbled. "Do you want me to take Pochi back? I still need to pick up a Panpour from the Pokemon Center."

"...Nah, you can get back to the center, Cher. There are a few things I want to discuss with Emi," Touko decided, staring down at the little red and white ball in her hand.

"So, Pochi doesn't like my dresses?" Emi asked, clinging to the little Lillipup who kept trying to lick her face. Touko gently shook her head. "But he looks so pretty in them!"

"I know, sweetie," Touko soothed. "But clothes aren't comfortable for most Pokemon. He has all his fur, he doesn't need anything else." Emi pouted, and the brunette switched to a different tack. "You know those clothes your parents make you put on for fancy occasions? The ones that are a bit too tight and itch a lot?"

"Yeah?" Emi nodded cautiously.

"Well, all clothes are like that for Pochi. He can't really run around in those dresses all that well, and that's what a Lillipup likes to do."

Emi chewed her lip. "So I can't have tea parties with Pochi anymore?"

"Emi, of course you can have tea parties with Pochi. Just, maybe with a looser dress code?" The little girl stared at her in confusion, and Touko bit back a sigh. Behind her, she could hear Jay snickering. "Um, I mean, less clothes?"

"Ok! Come on, Pochi! Let's go home! We can have a naked tea party!" Jay's snickers turned into full-on laughter as Touko gaped at the little girl who threw an arm awkwardly around her. "Thanks for saving Pochi!"

"I...I..." By the time Touko managed to form a reply, Emi and Pochi were long gone. Blushing furiously, she turned to glare at Jay, who was now wiping tears of mirth from his eyes. "You couldn't have jumped in? You talked to kids back in Kanto, didn't you?"

"Yeah, but inspiring future nudists weren't on the topic list," he laughed. "Oh Arceus, my sides. Naked tea parties."

"That wasn't what I meant," Touko muttered burying her burning face in her hands. "And I didn't turn her into a nudist."

Still snickering, Jay lifted his hands in surrender. "Alright. Alright. So should we head to Nacrene or will you be inspiring future generations on the evils of clothes some more?" Grumbling under her breath, Touko stalked down Route 3, making sure to stomp on Jay's foot as she passed. But she'd barely gone more than a few feet before she stopped, staring at the odd sight in the middle of the road. A Blitzle was standing there, a Roggenrola on its back with a familiar rhinestone tiara on its head.

"Oh, that's Pochi's tiara. Did you two come to return it?" The Blitzle bobbed its head in a nod and stepped closer so the Roggenrola could offer the headpiece. Touko awkwardly took it. "Thank you, but I don't think they'll be needing it."

"I'll say," Jay agreed, earning another glare from Touko as she shoved the crown into his hands. The Blitzle then dropped its head to nudge at the Pokeballs on Touko's hip.

"...You want to come along with me?" A nod. "Both of you, I assume?" Another nod. Touko thought for a few seconds, and then reached into her bag to pull two new Pokeballs out. "Alright, I need catches from here and Wellspring Cave anyways. You can be Shun," she tapped the Blitzle on its nose, "and you can be Kei." Two quick captures later and Touko beamed at Jay. "So, Nacrene?"

"Hopefully no more delays this time." Rolling her eyes, Touko started walking once more. They had some distance to go before they reached the 'Pearl of Unova'.

This portion of the game was a breeze to play through, but I thought it offered some interesting story developments. Like giving Rigo and Unari some names, which both come from the Japanese word for 'grunt', and Cheren's negative reaction to Touko taking the challenge. He doesn't like being lied to, and thought that was what Touko had done to him. I also hope I left enough clues for you to figure out one of Cheren's secrets.

As for the catches, this was the part of the game when my nature luck started to turn bad. Shun the Blitzle, which means 'fast', has a Modest nature, has good perseverance, and has Lightning Rod. Blitzle and Zebstrika are physical attackers, and they can only learn 2 special moves naturally, despite Electric being better as a special type. We'll see how he works out. Kei the Roggenrola, which means 'gemstone', has a Mild nature, is capable of taking hits, and has Sturdy. Mild, probably the worst nature for a Roggenrola. At least Sturdy helps mitigate it some, but I doubt I'll be using her longterm. Which is too bad because I really wanted to use a Gigalith.

Leave a like and a review if you liked the chapter, and I'll see you all next time! 👋
 

Tailsimp

A Universally Under-Rested University Imp
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
767
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
Ooof, misunderstandings are always tough to deal with. I didn't peg Cheren as having such a temper, but I can't blame him for being hurt when he thought he was lied to.

The revelation of why the grunts felt it necessary to save lilipup had me rolling. I'm not saying Plasma was right to steal it,I'm just saying that I've heard worse reasons for stealing a pokemon is all. Glad that they could get the dog back and a..."compromise" of sorts was reached with the girl. Touko helping out people in all sorts of different ways on this journey lmao
 

QuietGuardian

Johto League Champion
🌱Featurer
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
33
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
1,287
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Ground
I'm joining the group of people who like what you've done with Team Plasma—I really don't like how any ambiguity of their true nature is shattered only the second time you see them in the game. It's refreshing to see them actually seem to care about Pokémon!

I also like the hints that we're getting that both Blue and Touko have secrets that will (presumably) be shared at some point in the future…
 

DistortionLocke

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
623
Caught
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
631
Location
U.S.
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Dark, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Anxious, sweet-toothed writer who hides amongst the papers. Only attacks when provoked.
Man, I get hating bring lied to, but Cheren could’ve given Touko a chance to explain herself before going off the rails, sheesh! But at least it worked out in the end.

And Plasma abducting a Pokemon just ’cause it’s wearing clothes??? The way they were carrying on, you’d think Pochi was being beaten or something. What a bunch of babies lol 😂 I loved how Touko approached the issue, though. Emi’s parents might not, but I do.

And a Roggenrola riding on the back of a Blitzle is funny as heck!
 

SimplyUnknown

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
242
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,225
Location
Invisibly Watching
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
A silent watcher who speaks only when something needs to be said. Offers free hugs to those who need them.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #30
Tailsimp: Cheren always struck me as someone who had a bit of a temper when really riled. Someone he trusts lying to him, that's a powerful spark.
Look, clearly Pochi was in trouble, but probably not 'let's kidnap him for his own good' trouble. Compromise is probably the best word for this scenario, and at least Touko is useful!

QuietGuardian: Thanks for joining and I'm glad that you like what I've done with Team Plasma. There was so much squandered potential there! But at least that leaves room for writers and comic creators to step in and make them more interesting. Their secrets will be coming out in time, maybe sooner than you think.

DistortionLocke: For people who don't get angry a lot, it can be rather overwhelming when they do. And yeah, it all worked out. I don't know about you, but I always feel sorry for pets who have owners who dress them up. I know that my cat would murder me if I tried to put a sweater or something on her. But yeah, they did overreact by a lot. And thankfully Emi's parents have no idea who Touko is! Kei and Shun are adorable, but Kei needs help getting around since she's a Roggenrola with no legs, only feet.

Blue liked to think of himself as a collected individual. There wasn't really too much that could phase him anymore, compared to when he was a kid and could go off at the drop of a hat. But after glancing over Touko's shoulder and seeing the natures of her new Pokemon, he couldn't resist the urge to drop his head onto the top of the PC with a loud thud. "You have got to be kidding me."

Touko side-eyed him before swapping the two new Pokeballs for one hanging on her belt. "Seriously? They aren't that bad," she muttered as Goro's Pokeball vanished into the PC.

"Your Blitzle has a Modest nature when it's a physical attacker and your Roggenrola is Mild," Blue countered. "That's pretty bad."

The Unovan native turned on him and folded her arms across her chest. "One, most of the best electric type moves are special anyways so having a Modest nature doesn't make Shun useless. Besides, his only stab move right now is Shock Wave so it's actually helpful right now." Blue scoffed, but let her have the point. "Two, while Mild isn't an ideal nature for a Roggenrola, Sturdy more than makes up for it."

"You're kidding right? Sturdy is way too situational to be helpful," Blue immediately interrupted. Now Touko's frown turned baffled.

"Really? Sturdy is incredibly useful. What are you talking about?" Instead of responding, Blue reached into his pocket for his old Pokedex and pulled up the info on Geodude. Touko scanned it and blinked a few times. "Ok, this seems like a language barrier thing here because that is not how Sturdy works here."

"Then what does it do?" the Kanto gym leader asked, annoyance fading to curiosity.

"You know Focus Sashes? Sturdy is essentially that as an ability. And it resets if the Pokemon is healed back to full health," Touko explained. The look on his face must have been something because the girl started laughing. "Yeah, Kei's a lot more of a tank than you'd think as long as I keep her health up. But you also didn't let me finish. The third and most important point is that I'm not a battler so less than ideal natures aren't that big of a deal to me."

"Huh. Wonder why this isn't as well known..." Blue muttered, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Rolling her eyes, Touko gave him a light shake.

"You're on vacation, remember? Save this for when you're back at work doing another of those papers," she ordered before her phone started ringing. Thankfully, she turned away before she could see Blue's instinctive wince. "Oh it's my mom. Can I have a minute?"

"Take your time," Blue waved her off, earning a grin before the girl pressed her phone to her ear and stepped away to talk. As he watched her happily chat with her mom about her catches and what had happened over the past two days, his face fell. On his own journey, there really wasn't anyone to talk to. His grandfather hadn't bothered to answer his calls, Red's mom was more interested in her own son (which was fair, but had hurt like hell at the time), and Daisy had cut him off over half the time to chat with some school friends or the guy she'd been dating at the time. Even before that, it wasn't like the Oak family had ever been close. Not like Touko and her mom, if the phone call was anything to go by.

Probably why she's so focused on finding her brother, he thought as he took a seat on a nearby couch to wait. A tendril of envy was sprouting hin his gut, and Blue didn't hesitate to squash it flat. It wasn't Touko's fault that she had the family situation that he'd dreamed of as a kid. Instead of a mom who had dinner waiting when he got home and a dad who would play with him after work, Blue had a sister who spent half her time ignoring a little brother five years younger than her and the other half acting more like a mom than an older sister. And his grandfather had barely been around at all. Even when he was at home, his mind was on his newest research or something related to Pokemon.

That had been why Blue had started doing research papers to begin with. After he'd proven himself a failure as a Champion, and being eighth gym leader had failed to impress the professor, the research had been another way for Blue to try and connect with his grandfather. He'd spent hours watching and documenting various wild Pokemon all over Kanto and sending his grandfather the findings, even venturing to places like the Sevii Islands or Johto on occasion. But after sending in the reports, he was usually sent replies detailing how 'Red had already concluded this' or 'Red had captured several Pokemon from this location for the newest study'. Sometimes, he was sent nothing at all in reply, and sadly, those were usually the best times.

The sound of the Pokemon Center door sliding open jerked Blue out of his musings as Cheren came striding in with a slightly wild look on his face. Since Touko was still talking, Blue quickly waved him over. "She's on the phone with her mom if you want to talk to her," he explained as Cheren hurried over.

"I don't think I can stay long," the black-haired boy admitted. "I want to get some more training in before the sun sets. But I heard something when I was coming into town that I think she should hear."

"What did you hear, Cheren?" Touko's voice caused both of them to jump, making her laugh. "Sorry. Oh, and Mom says hi to both of you."

Blue frowned. "But I never met your mother."

"So? That doesn't mean she can't say hi," Touko countered. Blue had no response to that as the girl turned back to Cheren. "So, spill it, Cheren."

"I heard some people say that a boy with a baseball cap was seen entering the Nacrene Museum earlier today," Cheren explained. "I highly doubt that it's Touya since he already has Aloe's badge. But the guy who attacked you in Accumula was wearing a baseball cap too."

"Attacked us, Cher," Touko quietly corrected, rubbing at her wrists. Thanks to quick treatment, they had skipped the dark purple color of most bruises, but the sickly yellow/green mix had yet to fade. "But why would he be here of all places? I don't think he's a gym trainer."

Cheren gave a baffled shrug. "Maybe he likes museums, I don't know. But I wanted to warn you before you went the museum in case he wants to try anything again."

The statement made Blue perk up. "We're going to the museum?"

Touko shrugged. "You haven't really had the chance to do any touristy things since you've arrived in Unova so I thought it was an option. And," she hesitated. "And I wanted to talk to Aloe if I got the chance. See if she can tell me anything about Touya. But it's your vacation after all. Your call."

Blue hadn't been to a museum since before he set out on his journey. The Pewter City Museum had been skipped since he'd seen it before and so he could grab Brock's badge and move on as quickly as possible. But he remembered liking it before... After thinking for a minute, he nodded. "Sounds fun to me." Touko smiled, looking pleased with herself.

"Touko," Cheren said as he laid a hand on her shoulder. "Aloe apparently isn't speaking to anyone unless they're a direct challenger. If you want your information, you might have to fight her." The smile faded as the girl bit her lower lip. Cheren dropped his arm to pull some familiar beige and purple berries out of his bag. "She uses Normal types and her ace has Hypnosis so Chesto Berries should be useful."

"Cheren, thank you." The childhood friends shared a quick hug before Touko placed the berries in her own bag. "But I want to try a non-battle based meeting first." She turned back to Blue with a weak smile. "You want to grab dinner before we head there? The museum doesn't close until midnight."

"I'm beginning to think that helping Pochi cursed your nature luck," Blue commented as the two made their way towards Nacrene Museum. He ignored her angry glare as he added, "This is your second Mild nature on a physical attacker, unless you tell me that Timburr is a special based Fighting type."

"You put too much focus on Pokemon natures," Touko muttered. "An ideal nature doesn't make for an ideal Pokemon."

"Hey, you know what my job is. Looking at natures gives you a better idea on how best to utilize a Pokemon in battle," the Kanto gym leader pointed out. Touko just rolled her eyes.

"Look, Takeshi would make an excellent addition to any team regardless of his nature. Slightly lowered defense doesn't mean..." she trailed off as a familiar young man stepped out of the museum, baseball cap musing his long green hair. He looked up at the sound of her voice and gave a slightly feral grin.

"Oh, it's you!" he exclaimed in delight as he took a step forward. But two flashes of red light made him pause as Koki and Hiroshi let themselves out of their balls to stand protectively in front of Touko. The Dewott sliced his scalchops through the air and the Herder dropped his head in a crouch to growl. "Ah, they've grown so strong!"

"I don't know how you made it here without running into the police," Touko snarled, "but you stay away from me and my friends." N tilted his head in confusion as he appeared to ignore Touko to focus on Blue.

"I see the bespectacled one lost. Good, his failing eyesight would have been terrible for future children." This completely out of the blue statement made Touko pause and Blue drop his jaw in bafflement.

"Wait, are you implying that I fought Cheren in some...courtship ritual?" Blue asked. N nodded. "Why in the world would I do that?"

"For future children," N replied absently, still staring at Blue. "When one wishes to produce offspring, one generally considers the healthiest of the available potential mates. He was also physically weak as well, my punch incapacitated him far more than yours did me," he added.

"There is so much wrong with what you're saying that I don't know where to start," Blue heard Touko mutter to herself. Then she stated more firmly, "If this is some sort of flirting thing, I want to say I am completely uninterested in both relationships at this time and in you for all time."

But the green-haired man didn't seem to hear her at all. "If I defeat you, she will have no choice but to come with me!" Letting out a high pitched whistle, a Pidove dove down from above with talons extended. Instinctively, Blue flung his arm over his face so the scratches raked across his forearm instead of his eyes.

"Shun, take it out!" There was a blast of electricity and the Pidove fell to earth, a victim of the Blitzle's Shock Wave. N let out another whistle and this time a Tympole poked its head out of the underbrush to fire off a Bubble Beam in Touko and Blue's direction. "Again." A second Shock Wave easily defeated the Water type as the other trainer let out a third and final whistle. Letting out a high pitched battle cry, a Timburr charged forward with his log swinging back and forth. Hiroshi lunged forward to hold the log in place as Yume was released to drop the Fighting type with a well placed Psybeam. "Jay, are you alright?"

"It's fine, I've had worse," Blue quickly replied, pressing a hand to the bleeding cuts on his arm. He kept his eyes on N, but the man made no more moves to attack or summon more Pokemon. Instead, N's gaze moved from the three unconscious Pokemon and back to Touko, who had begun digging through her bag for some bandages.

"You are the one!" he whispered in delight. Touko paused in her rummaging to look up in horror. "I never expected to find you so quickly, but here you are!"

"Whatever scenario you've built up in your head, you can take it and shove it," the Unovan girl snarled hotly. "I'm not interested." Finally finding the wraps, she stepped forward to start binding Blue's injury. "This should do until we can get to a professional."

N didn't appear to have heard her at all, still absorbed in his musings. "Now that I've found you, we can begin the proceedings. I will find you when we are ready!" The air around him began to shimmer and he vanished once more.

"What the hell was all that?" Blue muttered as Touko finished her wrapping. "We need to talk to the cops again."

"We also have another reason to talk to Aloe," Touko added. "Maybe she'll have a better idea about what's going on."

So my terrible nature luck continues with a Mild Timburr. It's not an Attack reducing nature, thankfully, but it's my third that improves Special Attack on a physical attacker. Takeshi, which means ‘military, martial’ or ‘strong, healthy’, also is somewhat vain and has Sheer Force for his ability. We also finally get to meet N again, and I get to expand on his character a bit. N is a bit less capable of separating people and Pokemon in this incarnation. Trainers are more like the leaders or the 'alphas' of a pack of Pokemon. Trainer battles are more like fights for dominance, and N's attacks on Cheren and now Blue are his way of proving himself a viable mate for her. Which obviously wouldn't work on humans and comes across as more creepy. But this may cause more problems for him down the line, which we'll see later.

The Aloe battle, or Lenora for those who don't know her Japanese name, will be up next time so leave a like and a review if you enjoyed the chapter and I'll see you all next time! 👋
 

Tailsimp

A Universally Under-Rested University Imp
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
767
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
I love the direction you've taken your N! Since he relates everything through the lens of pokemon, it makes sense he'd see things the way he does- but boy oh boy is it wonderfully off-setting to read. Poor Touko going forward- I feel like N will only get worse for her to deal with going forward 😬

Also RIP Jay who will be stuck in the middle of it all.
 

DistortionLocke

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
623
Caught
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
631
Location
U.S.
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Dark, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Anxious, sweet-toothed writer who hides amongst the papers. Only attacks when provoked.
*facepalm* N, honey, no—
 

SimplyUnknown

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
242
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,225
Location
Invisibly Watching
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
A silent watcher who speaks only when something needs to be said. Offers free hugs to those who need them.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #33
Tailsimp: I was initially unsure about how to portray N in this story, so I'm glad that people are enjoying it! I tried to make him off-putting, but in a way that people can understand. At least, readers can. Not sure if Touko and Jay can right now. And yeah, N will probably be harder to handle later on. Maybe Jay should have gone with Bel or Cheren instead.

DistortionLocke: I'm sure that if N had any knowledge of memes, he would be going 'N Yes!' at your comment. :XD:

Touko stared up at the museum, nervously chewing her lower lip. A gentle hand on her shoulder made her jolt before turning to a concerned looking Jay. "You know you don't have to do this right now. You can wait, or have Cheren do it."

Shoving down the part of her that wanted nothing more than to listen to Jay and turn away, Touko shook her head. "No, Cheren will be training to handle Aloe and that could take days. If she and the other gym leaders don't know about N yet, we need to warn her now. Something's..." she hesitated, searching for the right words. "Something is off with him, and I think they need to know. Besides, I do want to talk to her about Touya." She dropped a hand to rub at Takeshi's pokeball on her belt, currently replacing Yume's. It rattled encouragingly against her palm, bringing a small smile to her lips. "Let's go."

As the pair entered the museum, Touko snickered at Jay's gasp behind her. "Is that a fully fossilized Dragonite skeleton?" The Kanto native strode forward to examine the large fossil welcoming visitors to the museum. "They aren't native to Unova, so why is one here?"

"We actually discovered this fossil two years ago," a familiar man with a museum ID pinned to his shirt answered as he came out from behind the front desk. "The skeleton was found wrapped around the remains of what looked to be a human woman and a baby, as though trying to protect them. At the very least, it potentially proves that Unova was potentially visited by other regions earlier than we initially theorized." He offered a hand to Jay. "Kidachi Ogawa, one of the main curators of the Nacrene Museum."

Jay shook the outstretched hand, but was clearly floundering with what to say. Sighing, Touko stepped in to handle it. "Hey Dr. Ogawa. Jay's from Kanto so I'm guiding him to all of Unova's hotspots."

The curator's eyes lit up at the sight of the brunette girl. "Touko, lovely to see you again. I haven't seen you since Professor Araragi's collab with Aloe last year." Something appeared to occur to him and he snapped his fingers. "Oh, I had forgotten that you've started your Pokemon journey. Are you here to challenge my wife for the badge?"

"Not exactly," Touko admitted. "But I do need to talk to her, if it's possible. It's important."

Ogawa sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Unfortunately, the only way you'll be able to see Aloe is if you're challenging her. She's been peer-reviewing papers recently and refuses to leave her office unless I drag her." Touko winced, a sight that didn't go unnoticed by the man. "I'm sorry, but my wife can be stubborn at times. If it's really that important to you..."

Touko chewed her lip once more before nodding. "It is. I guess I'll have to handle it then. The battlefield is still in the back, right?" Ogawa nodded. "Then I guess that's where I'm heading." She glanced over at Jay. "If you want to explore the museum while I do this, you can."

Jay immediately shook his head. "No, I'm going with you. You don't have to face this alone." Touko smiled in gratitude, feeling a little bit relieved to have him there.

A small group of tourists appeared at the entrance, making the curator hesitantly step away. "Good luck with Aloe, Touko," he said before turning to help the newcomers. Exchanging glances, Touko reluctantly led the way through museum exhibits and displays until they reached a closed metal door. A sign on the right wall stated Gym Challengers Only. No entry without a valid trainer card. Hissing out a breath, the brunette shoved the door open.

Sitting at a large desk covered in papers at the far end of the room was a tall woman with skin the color of melted coffee, dark teal hair, and an exhausted expression. She didn't bother glancing up from the computer she was furiously typing at. "Unless you're my husband, you better have a good reason for being here," Aloe stated. "I've got ten more of these papers to get through and they average at 7463 words so I have a lot of reading and fact checking to do."

Touko glanced at Jay, who gave her an encouraging nod before stepping over to some benches nearby. "Gym Leader Aloe, I need to talk to you."

The typing paused for a few seconds as Aloe peered at Touko over red-rimmed glasses. "Touko, is that you? Are you here to challenge me?"

"If that's what it takes to talk to you, then yes."

Aloe glanced longingly at the reports on her desk before sighing and shoving her chair back. "Alright. You have until the end of the battle to talk to me, and then I get back to work."

"The battle?" Touko gasped. "But, if I do that..."

"If you can't multitask in a battle honey, then you don't deserve that badge." Aloe flung a Pokeball out and a large Herdier landed on the field, head down in an intimidating stance. "So, choose your first Pokemon and start talking."

Swallowing hard, Touko sent out Takeshi, eagerly bouncing his log on one shoulder. "Low Kick, Takeshi," she ordered as Aloe commanded a Leer. As the kick landed, the girl tried to balance battling with her discussion. "Have you seen a guy come in earlier today? Long green hair, ballcap, and I'm pretty sure he's a trainer."

"I've been locked in my office for the past two weeks so unless he came for a badge, I saw nothing. Take Down," she added as Takeshi went flying with a squeal. "Why?"

"He attacked us outside the museum," Jay called from the side, drawing Aloe's attention. He held up his bandaged arm as evidence. "It's not the first time either, he went after Touko and Cheren in Accumula too."

"Wake-Up Slap," Touko called out, sighing in relief as the Herdier went down. Takeshi was too injured to keep fighting, so she recalled him quickly. "The weird thing is I didn't see any Pokeballs on him. And the Pokemon he commanded to attack just came out of nowhere."

Aloe recalled her unconscious dog as she pondered. "I'll alert the other gym leaders to keep an eye out, but unless he seeks us out I wouldn't say he's taking the challenge. Might be better for you to talk to the police. Is that all?" she asked as her ace, a furious looking Watchog, entered the field.

Mentally flipping through her options, Touko sent out Kei. The Roggenrola looked pretty eager to fight, though that was hard to tell on a Pokemon with no face. "I also wanted to ask you about Touya, and Rock Smash!"

"Hypnosis...and it misses," Aloe sighed, pressing a hand to her face. "Why do I keep that move around? Go for a Crunch instead! And I haven't seen him since he left for Castelia. You know we would have told you otherwise, Touko." She winced as her Watchog fell back, bleeding badly from the nose. "Alright, time for a heal then."

"I know, but that's not why I'm asking," Touko explained as she recalled Kei to release Koki instead. "Was he acting strangely, or say anything that you thought was odd?"

"Nope. Second battle he was pretty focused." Touko blinked in surprise.

"Wait, did you say second? He fought you more than once?" she asked. Koki let out a whine as Watchog's teeth sank into his shoulder, pulling Touko's attention back to the battle. "Rock Smash, now!"

"Can't say what he was expecting, considering he waltzed in with only three Pokemon and his starter unevolved," Aloe sighed as her ace Pokemon fell to the floor, unconscious. "But he did better the next time, swept me with that Pignite of his. Guess he never told you."

"No," Touko whispered, staring at her shoes. "He never mentioned it." Koki whined again as he nuzzled her leg, jerking the girl out of her thoughts. "Sorry, boy. You did a great job out there," she praised him, dropping down to rub his ears.

"Guess that makes you the better battler in this regard," Aloe commented, walking back to her desk to pull out a small badge. "You earned this. Now, your time is up and I can get back to..." Suddenly, bright red lights on the ceiling started blaring and spinning. The woman's face went pale as Jay joined Touko and the girl recalled her Herdier to his ball. "Who the hell is attacking my museum?" Instantly, the gym leader rushed out the door.

"Hey." Touko blinked and looked up at her traveling companion, who was watching her with worry in his eyes. "You alright?"

"Honestly, I have no idea," she admitted. "Touya made it sound like he beat Aloe first try and really easily. I..." she shrugged helplessly. "I just don't get why he would lie to us."

Jay was quiet for a few seconds, and Touko let him organize his thoughts before he slowly stated, "Maybe he was afraid of disappointing you guys."

Touko opened her mouth to respond, and then closed it again. "...Maybe."

"Hey you two!" The pair jumped as a furious Aloe came striding back in, a nervous Ogawa following her. "Do either of you know anything about a Team Plasma?"

Touko frowned and Jay scowled. "We've dealt with a few of them before, but why would they attack here? There aren't any live exhibits," the Kanto native pointed out.

"I don't know, but I'm getting my answers along with my Dragonite Skull!" Aloe snarled, jerking open a drawer on her desk to pull out a belt of six Pokeballs. She strapped it to her belt and jerked her head at the door. "And you two are going to help me."

"No comment about how we could have said no to that?" Touko asked as the pair made their way through the shadowed parts of Pinwheel Forest.

"After seeing how she shut down Cheren with a look, I thought better of it," Jay admitted, making Touko laugh. "And I thought Agatha was scary."

"I think that gym leaders and Elite Four members are people you should avoid making angry in general, regardless of their usual tempers," Touko commented. Koki, who had been tracking the scent of the skeleton, let out an eager bark and pointed deeper in the brush. "Thanks boy. You can take a rest now." As she recalled the Herdier, she noticed the examining look that Jay was giving her. "What?"

"Just thinking about how different you were with Aloe compared to your battle with Dent. You looked less nervous." Touko gave an awkward shrug. "Is that your main problem with battling? You overthink things?"

Sighing, the girl nodded. "Helpful with science, pretty bad in battles. I have some pretty big perfectionist tendencies and I know that Pokemon battles in general are rarely perfect."

"Depends on the levels." Jay grinned at the peeved look she sent him. "Look, all I'm saying is that with strong enough Pokemon, OHKOs with no damage taken become a lot more common."

"Well, I don't have a team of 60s at my beck and call so I have to deal with damage and panic," Touko snarked back, rubbing her arm with one hand. She stepped into the brush that Koki indicated, practically feeling Jay's smug grin burning into her back. "Don't give me that look. I bet you were just as nervous as I was when you started out."

"...Not really." The shift in tone had Touko pausing to glance over her shoulder. The sad look on Jay's face shocked her. "I was ten and believed I was going to be the champion. I was invincible, nothing and no one could stop me."

"You did it though," the Unovan native pointed out. "You became Champion at what, ten? Eleven? That's a huge achievement for anyone, especially at that age."

"Yeah, for fifteen minutes." Touko winced at the clear anger and misery in his voice, and Jay shook his head. "I don't want to talk about it. Let's just find that skull."

"...Alright." Putting the discussion aside for now, Touko briefly searched for another topic. "You know, the Cottonee I caught has a Careful nature."

"Is this the part where you tell me that Cottonee is a physical grass type?" Jay asked hopefully. Touko shook her head and he groaned. "I swear, your nature luck is going to kill me. If you don't get a decent nature on your next catch, I'll go out and find you a new one."

Filled with both relief and annoyance, the pair bickered their way through the trees until a flash of silver in the moonlight caught Touko's eye. She pointed up into the trees, and Jay nodded as she released her team. "Hey, we can see you there," Jay called out, making the figure up squawk and drop the large object they were holding. Thankfully, Hiroshi was able to catch it.

"That's the skull, alright," Touko stated after a brief examination. "Nice catch, Hiro." The Dewott gave a little cheer.

"Hey, return that skull to Team Plasma!" the grunt yelled as he attempted to scramble down the branch. "No one should be allowed to desecrate the body of a Pokemon for public entertainment. How would you feel if your bodies were put on display after your death?"

Touko and Jay looked at each other and shrugged. "Honestly, I'd be pretty proud if people thought my bones were worthy of permanent display for scientific purposes," Touko admitted.

"Same here," Jay agreed. "I mean, I'm already dead. What does it matter what they do with my bones? I doubt the Dragonite cares considering it's over 1000 years dead." As the grunt sputtered for a few seconds, a cheerful melody began echoing throughout the area. Jay and Touko glanced around and her Pokemon fell into battle stances as the grunt paused his climbing to pull out his phone.

"Yes? Uh huh. Uh huh. Yes sir. I'll be there soon." Putting away his phone, he reached the ground and rushed off. "Team Plasma will have their day!"

"...Should we go after him?" Touko asked reluctantly. Jay shook his head.

"He's not worth it. Let's just bring this skull back and get some sleep. I'm exhausted." Taking the skull from Hiroshi, he started off through the woods with Touko following as soon as she recalled her Pokemon. "So, Castelia after this?"

Touko hummed a moment before shaking her head. "Nope." Jay turned to eye her curiously. "Look, these past couple of days have been mostly about helping me, and I'm grateful for it. But I haven't forgotten that it's your vacation and you have no idea how to take a proper one." The Kanto native scoffed, but Touko ignored it. "So tomorrow, I'll be showing you what a real Unovan tourist should be doing."

"You really don't have to do that," Jay protested.

"I know. But I'm gonna do it anyways." Smirking at his slightly scared look, Touko skipped on ahead. "So you better get some rest Jay. Because tomorrow, I'll show you how a real vacation works.

So the Lenora battle is done and thankfully wasn't as deadly as it could have been. I boxed Yume for this fight since both Pokemon knew a Dark move and Takeshi was better for Normal types. But Yume is back on the team now. And yes, I caught a Careful Cottonee in Pinwheel Forest. My nature luck has not improved. Her name is Ayame, which means 'iris', she has Infiltrator, is somewhat vain, and I will not be using her. Partially because of the next two gyms being terrible for Grass types and partially because of that nature.

Aloe Battle is below for those who are interested, and next time will be some exploring of Castelia. Touko will show Jay how to actually relax a bit. Leave a like and a review if you enjoyed this and I'll see you all next time!👋
  • Everyone is level 20 and Takeshi is up front.
  • Vs. Herdier, female, and level 18. Intimidate attack drop, which isn’t great. Leer and Low Kick. Take Down to 12 HP and Wake Up Slap KO. Whew, glad I grinded.
  • Vs. Watchog, female, and level 20. Kei is in. Hypnosis miss and Rock Smash crit. Crunch and Rock Smash to 1 HP with Defense Drop. Super Potion and Mud Slap for the accuracy drop. Leer and Rock Smash. Potion on Kei and Crunch. Swap in Koki and Crunch. Retaliate dodge and Rock Smash KO! Win!
 

Tailsimp

A Universally Under-Rested University Imp
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
767
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
I love the exploration into why Touko gets so nervous in battles. I love that you also included that her overthinking is great for her scientific endeavors, because I love when a trait is both positive and negative for a person at the same time. I also adore the bit where Touko and Jay are like "our bones being displayed would be pretty sick actually" 1) i agree and 2) I love how much that threw the Plasma Grunts off lol.

Look forward to the next chapter, as well as the day your nature luck improves!
 

DistortionLocke

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
623
Caught
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
631
Location
U.S.
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Dark, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Anxious, sweet-toothed writer who hides amongst the papers. Only attacks when provoked.
Touko’s gonna make Jay relax whether he likes it or not 😂
 

SimplyUnknown

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
242
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,225
Location
Invisibly Watching
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
A silent watcher who speaks only when something needs to be said. Offers free hugs to those who need them.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #36
Tailsimp: I think being a perfectionist is a trait that is really good when you have the time to plan and think things through, like in a scientific field. But when it comes to times when you have to operate on instinct or in a fast-paced situation, a perfectionist might end up freezing since there is no time to go over all the options. So for Pokemon battling, Touko ends up having trouble compared to Jay who has been doing it for so long it's almost like instinct to him.

I'm also glad that you liked the bone display part because I thought it was really fun to write.

DistortionLocke: Look, if Jay doesn't end up destressing at some point during this trip, he's going to end up exploding in a giant ball of stress. And Touko isn't about to let that happen.

When Touko had told him to get some rest, she hadn't been kidding. Because for the next week, Blue had been put through more vacation activities than had believed existed in Unova. He had a feeling that this is probably what Agatha had been talking about when she'd told him to take a break.

After returning the Dragonite skull to the museum and getting free passes for life from a very grateful Aloe and her husband, Blue had passed out for about six hours before being awoken by Touko for the first day of their trip. Despite his earlier plan to spend about half an hour in the museum before moving on, they'd left the museum about nine hours later after going through every exhibit and falling into discussions about their ramifications on the history of Unova. Half of it had been just general theorizing, but Blue had to admit that arguing semantics with Touko had been really fun.

Instead of returning to the Pokemon Center as Blue had expected, Touko had insisted on heading across the Skyarrow Bridge over the large bay into Castelia. The trip had taken over two hours of steady walking and Blue honestly couldn't feel his feet when they reached the other side, a fact the Unovan girl hadn't hesitated to tease him about. At least she allowed him a fifteen minute rest before taking him to a large hotel they would be spending the week at instead of the mostly free rooms at the Pokemon Center. "You're on vacation, Jay," Touko had scolded as she paid for their room. "If you don't indulge yourself now, when would you?"

The definition of 'indulge' appeared to vary greatly between the pair as for the next few days, Blue was woken up around six or seven in the morning by an eager Touko who had planned their entire day out. No amount of whining, begging, or sulking (according to Touko at least because Blue wouldn't describe it as sulking at all) would change her mind. The first day in Castelia was dedicated to a walking tour of the city, something Blue's legs had protested greatly. But he had to admit the tour had been enjoyable, as it also included stopping at various famous restaurants and sampling their tasting menus.

Day two saw them spending their morning on Liberty Island, home to the primary immigration station for families wanting to move from their home regions of Galar, Kalos, and even Kanto and Johto, to Unova. Touko had teased him about his eagerness in searching for the supposed room of Victini, the Pokemon of Victory said to welcome newcomers to the region that it found worthy, something that made the Kanto gym leader blush while she laughed. After lunch, she'd taken him to some of the local art galleries to ooh and aah over the various paintings and sculptures.

The third day was focused more heavily on the scientific side, as the pair met up with Professor Araragi in one of the local labs to watch some experiments and offer their own opinions. Many of them had recognized Blue from his papers, a fact which both flustered and pleased him, and they had peppered him with questions and opinions. The day had ended with the pair walking away with two newly created Eviolites, an item that Blue wished he had back when he started training for Harry. Finding someone willing to trade with him to evolve the Kadabra had been a challenge.

Day four, and Blue swore up and down that his legs were about to fall off the entire time, was dedicated solely to shopping. Specifically, window shopping through some of the most expensive stores he'd ever seen, and watching Touko laugh at his reactions to the prices. Thankfully, any actual purchasing was done from various street vendors selling knock-offs versions of purses and shoes. "This way, you can honestly tell someone back home that you bought this in Castelia City," Touko explained as she held up a dark brown belt. "They'll probably assume it's a brand product and you can laugh because you only paid twenty bucks for it."

"Thirty!" the street hawker corrected and Blue just shook his head in bemused amazement as Touko eagerly fell into haggling for a belt he honestly wasn't sure he wanted. But he ended up walking away with it for only twenty-two dollars, a fact the Unovan girl appeared very smug about. But not as smug as either of them later that night where they completely crushed their opposition at a local pub's trivia night. Earned them a free dinner as well.

Thankfully for Blue's feet, day five was the day that Bel and Cheren made it into the city. The four of them spent their day by the hotel pool, losing horribly at hotel bingo in order to balance their trivia victory, and having a movie marathon ranging from the newest action to old classics in their room. It was where Blue learned that Hiroshi was adamant about no talking while a movie was going as anyone who tried would end up pelted with the nearest pillow.

Touko's idea of vacation had left Blue sore in a lot of ways. He fell into bed every night exhausted from moving around with his feet throbbing in agony. His stomach was uncomfortably bloated from too much food, and his face sore from smiling so much. Maybe it wasn't a typical vacation for the Kanto native, but he found himself laughing a lot more than he did at home. More than he could remember honestly. Touko might not be the best at battling, but she was far better than him at playing tourist.

Which was why today's final event was a bit more of a surprise. Blue awkwardly shuffled his feet as the line they'd been in for more than an hour inched forward. "Touko, are you serious about this?"

"Jay, you told me that ice cream isn't a thing in Kanto or Johto and that you've never had it," the brunette turned to poke him in the chest. "This is a travesty that must be corrected as soon as possible."

"On the way here, we passed three other places that sold ice cream," Blue protested. "Why couldn't we stop at one of them? Or maybe head back to the hotel room and order something from room service?"

Touko rolled her eyes. "You can get any of those brands from most convenience stores in Unova, or in any other city. Casteliacones are the best in the world, and you're not leaving until you've tried one."

"Preach sister!" Someone from farther back in the line shouted and Touko laughed as the pair shared an air high-five. Blue sighed as the two finally made it inside the small parlor, only to blink in shock at the enormous plaque on the wall declaring this to be the best ice cream in the world.

"Oh. You weren't kidding."

"About ice cream? Never," Touko boasted as she briefly scanned through the flavors offered. "Hmm, we don't want to start you off with too much for your first time. I'm thinking a Neapolitan would be the best option. That'll give you the three basic flavors to try. Cup with a cone on top for the best of both worlds."

"And I'm not allowed to have an opinion?" Touko turned to eye Blue with a smug expression that had become rather common over the past week.

"You trust me, right?" With a sinking feeling, Blue nodded reluctantly. "Then don't stop now." She turned and smiled at the girl behind the counter. "Hi, two large Neapolitans in bowls, waffle cones on top, and six Pokemon vanilla bowls please." She dropped her hand to her wallet, but Blue already had his own out and ready. "Jay..."

"You've paid for basically everything this week," Blue protested, checking the total and pulling out some bills. "At least let me pay for this!"

"This is your vacation, and your first taste of ice cream," Touko countered. "I'm treating you, and that's..."

"Wait wait wait," the girl behind the counter paused in the middle of bagging up the ice cream for the Pokemon. "Are you saying you've never had ice cream before? Never?!" Blue awkwardly shrugged.

"It's not something that really exists in Kanto," he explained, only for the total on the cash register to drop heavily. "What are you..."

"First time discount. Never thought I'd actually have to use it, but what can you do?" the girl shrugged. Touko quickly handed over the cash and took two fancy bowls wearing cone hats and the bag holding the other ice creams. "Enjoy your day and your ice cream!"

"Thank you!" Touko called back as she quickly ushered Blue out the door. "There are some benches over there we can eat at. Hold these, I'll let out the team." Still a little miffed at how he'd been outmaneuvered, Blue reluctantly pocketed his wallet and took the ice cream as Touko released everyone. There was some shuffling so that everyone got a bowl (and so that Koki didn't steal more than his share), but soon they were all sitting on or around the bench to enjoy the frozen treat. Touko laughed at the look of bliss that appeared on Blue's face at his first taste. "Well?"

"Do you always have to be right?" the gym leader muttered.

"Not always, but it does happen a lot more with you," the girl teased as she took a spoonful of her own treat. "Mmm! I haven't had this in years. Still as good as I remember."

Blue thought for a few seconds as he swallowed, watching Koki try to inch his way towards Kei's bowl and receive a smack on the nose from Akane for it. "So, you've done all this before?"

"Kinda," Touko admitted. "Not all in one week, but I have done most of it. Lots of people from Unova do. Castelia City is a place where you come up to spend the day shopping, or touring, or visiting the galleries. More of a daycation than anything else." She stared out at the people passing by. "What about you? Any vacations like this when you were a kid?"

Blue shook his head. "Not unless it was for school or something. My parents died in a car crash when I was four and Gramps...was always busy." Touko glanced up from her bowl to look at him curiously. She didn't ask any questions, which somehow made it easier to go on. "There was always a new experiment he was running or a hypothesis he needed to test. When he wasn't focused on Pokemon, it was usually on Red or sometimes Daisy." He gave an awkward shrug. "I just...wasn't important enough to him. Never was. Not as a kid, not as gym leader, and not as Champion."

"Jay..." There wasn't pity or sympathy in her eyes, but real honest empathy. "Is that why you're in Unova? Taking a break from an old man's stupidity?"

"Kinda." Blue swirled his spoon in the melting ice cream, gazing down at the mixture of white, brown and pink. "He's pushing to remove me as a gym leader in favor of Red. I'm not allowed to work while they check for incompetence so Agatha," he swallowed, feeling tears building up in his throat. "She pushed me to come here and get away for a bit."

Touko placed her half-full ice cream onto the ground for Koki to devour, turned, and grasped Blue's hand in hers. "Jay, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you have to deal with him both as a professor and as your grandfather. He's awful, he's an idiot and an asshole, and you deserve so much better."

The statement pushed a surprised laugh from his gut. "He's Professor Oak, the most esteemed scientist in Kanto and one of the leading researchers on Pokemon in the world."

"So? He can be all those things at once. Being a good scientist sadly doesn't mean he can't be an awful person." Her eyes narrowed as she eyed him carefully. "Let me guess. You think that if you did something different, if you were better than who you are, then he would love you?" Blue dropped his eyes and refused to meet her gaze. "You're wrong."

"How are you supposed to know that?" Blue snarled back, anger overrunning the misery briefly. "You barely know me, it's been two weeks."

Touko paused to weigh her thoughts and sigh. "Because I know how it is. What your grandfather is to you, my dad is to me." The anger vanished as quickly as it came, leaving the Kanto gym leader staring in shock. The girl nodded. "Yeah. He walked out on my mom when I was seven. Which was probably the worst timing on his part since that was also the day I got my first B in anything."

"A...B?" She looked at the clear confusion in Blue's gaze before her eyes cleared.

"Oh, a B is a term for a grade between an 80% and an 89%. Or just 84% and 86% if you really want to be technical. Just shorthand." Blue nodded slowly and Touko continued her story. "So I bring home a B and my dad leaves that night. The obvious conclusion at the time was that he left because I wasn't good enough so I had to be better or next time Mom would leave. Or Touya, but that fear tended to fade depending on how annoying he was that day."

Sighing, she turned to stare out at the city again. Hiroshi, wiping ice cream from his face with a paw, climbed onto the bench to hug his trainer. She stroked his head as she continued her story. "So I dove into studying. The Bs vanished in favor of As, I worked on every extra credit assignment offered even though I probably didn't need it. I had no friends because friends were distracting and studying was more important. Mom didn't notice since she was working multiple jobs to pay for things now that it was just her and Touya was focused on becoming a trainer. So it was easy to convince myself they loved me only as long as I brought home the best grades. As long as I was perfect. And I thought, if I was good enough, then maybe he'd come back and love me again." Touko smiled and side-eyed Blue. "Sound familiar?"

"Yeah," he whispered. "It does."

Touko hummed. "So this went on until I was 11. Then I got an A-minus on a quiz and I handled it pretty badly. Managed to keep myself calm for most of the class, and then I raced off to the bathroom to cry in a corner." She smiled softly. "I cried for so long I missed the bell, and one of the hall monitors found me. They took me to the guidance counselor and I just...Broke down. They called my mom and I finally started getting the help I needed."

"You weren't broken," Blue protested, but Touko shook her head.

"Oh, I was. On the inside, I was really messed up. It took a few months to find a therapist that worked for me, it's not one-size-fits-all like you see on TV. Mr. Ito. Came to every session in an old concert tee and brightly colored slacks. I didn't open up to him immediately, but he didn't push me to start talking, or think all my problems came from being a repressed lesbian, so he was already better than some of the others." Blue choked and Touko laughed. "Yeah, that session ended really quickly. Anyways, it was our fifth session and that's when things changed."

"Mr. Ito asked me if my mom was perfect. I said no. Then he asked me if Touya was perfect, and I said no again. Finally, he asked me if I loved them, and I said yes." She turned to look at Blue head-on. "And then he said, 'If you can love them without them being perfect, why do you have to be perfect for them to love you?' And that was the first step. I started taking therapy more seriously, got involved in group as well which helped a lot too. It's where I met Cheren and Bel and they're the best friends I have. Still have bad days, but more good compared to how it was before."

Blue sat silently and bit his lip. "Why did you tell me this?" Touko gave a little shrug.

"Well, you opened up to me, so I felt I should return the favor. And I think the same message applies. You shouldn't have to be perfect for your grandfather to love you. If there's a flaw, then it's in him Jay." She took his hand and Blue squeezed it back.

"Can we just sit here a while?"

"Sounds good." And the two sat there, just watching the sun shine down on all the busy people of Castelia. It was probably a good hour later when a text rang out from Touko's pocket. She skimmed the message and her face went pale. "We have to go. Bel's Pokemon has been kidnapped."

So I did a lot of stuff in Castelia, but mostly gathering supplies and such. This chapter was one that I really was looking forward to writing for a long time, ever since I first decided that Blue would be traveling with Touko. The line that she quotes from Mr. Ito was probably one of my favorites to write.

Cheren and Bel's reasons for being in group therapy will be expanded upon later on, but next time should be handling Plasma and maybe Burgh if I'm lucky. Hope you all enjoyed this, and leave a like and a review if you did. See you all next time! 👋
 
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DistortionLocke

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
623
Caught
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
631
Location
U.S.
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Dark, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Anxious, sweet-toothed writer who hides amongst the papers. Only attacks when provoked.
It’s...it’s okay; not like I needed my heart anyway...
 

Tailsimp

A Universally Under-Rested University Imp
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
767
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
This is a really wonderful chapter. It's beautiful to see these two bond over similar issues, and Touko's advice was wonderful- both grounded and hopeful. And the fact that they get to sit there for a moment afterwards and really soak in the moment was lovely.

It made that last line hit all of the harder at the end :')
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
726
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
- I continue to appreciate your Team Plasma! I really liked what you did with the Lillipup, and the nudist bit killed me, haha.

- Your N is really interesting! Him behaving so much like a Pokemon makes a lot of sense, although it's extremely awkward (and rather amusing).

- I really enjoyed this chapter in particular! I loved the tourist montage and Blue’s first time trying ice cream, and then that conversation punched me right in the heart 😭

"Mr. Ito asked me if my mom was perfect. I said no. Then he asked me if Touya was perfect, and I said no again. Finally, he asked me if I loved them, and I said yes." She turned to look at Blue head-on. "And then he said, 'If you can love them without them being perfect, why do you have to be perfect for them to love you?' And that was the first step. I started taking therapy more seriously, got involved in group as well which helped a lot too. It's where I met Cheren and Bel and they're the best friends I have. Still have bad days, but more good compared to how it was before."

Blue sat silently and bit his lip. "Why did you tell me this?" Touko gave a little shrug.

"Well, you opened up to me, so I felt I should return the favor. And I think the same message applies. You shouldn't have to be perfect for your grandfather to love you. If there's a flaw, then it's in him Jay." She took his hand and Blue squeezed it back.

"Can we just sit here a while?"

"Sounds good." And the two sat there, just watching the sun shine down on all the busy people of Castelia.
This is just so good!!! I love these two and they deserve to be happy.

...But suddenly, kidnapping! Looking forward to seeing how you handle that. 👀
 

SimplyUnknown

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
242
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,225
Location
Invisibly Watching
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
A silent watcher who speaks only when something needs to be said. Offers free hugs to those who need them.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #40
DistortionLocke: Good to hear because I plan on ripping out at least a couple more times before the run is over. :XD:

Tailsimp: I'm really glad that you enjoyed this chapter because it was one I was looking forward to writing from the day this run became an idea. Though the part where Touko gets the call from Bel was an add-in, but I think it worked out really well.

cyndakip: Team Plasma would have been so much more interesting to me if their motives weren't as dark as they are in the games. I mean, I get why they did it, but I can always dream.
N is always a complicated character to write for and I'm glad I could put my own spin on him that people enjoy reading about.
All the tourist eventst that I wrote about were based off of various trips I took to New York City with my family, so I'm glad that you enjoyed the montage. And yes, Touko and Blue deserve to be happy.

Bel's text had placed her at Prime Pier, so that's where the pair headed after tossing their trash out and recalling Touko's team. As much as her heart ached for Bel, Touko couldn't help but feel grateful for the distraction. Talking about her past, while it could be helpful, always left her feeling a bit raw afterwards. So it helped to have something to focus on to distract herself with.

Like comforting a crying friend who was sitting on a bench with a girl maybe a few years younger than them with long purple hair attempting to soothe her. "Bel!" Touko called out as she skidded to a halt, stumbling forward a bit when Jay crashed into her from behind. The blonde looked up with tear-filled eyes before throwing herself into the brunette's arms. "Hey, hey. It's alright, we'll fix this," Touko crooned as she stroked Bel's back gently.

"They took Hana," Bel whispered, burying her face in her friend's shoulder. "They took Hana and I just...I..."

Touko turned when Jay laid a hand on her shoulder. "Why don't we sit down and you can tell us what happened?" the Kanto gym leader offered as he guided the pair back towards the bench. The purple-haired girl immediately scooted over to make room as the other girls took a seat beside her. Jay simply crouched down to get a better look at Bel's face. "Did you see the face of the person who took her?"

"It's my fault!" Everyone turned to the other girl, who was staring at the ground with a guilty expression. "Team Plasma was here and they were trying to take Pokemon from tourists and Ms. Bel and I tried to stop them and then one of them grabbed me and...and...!" She blinked rapidly to keep the tears from falling. "And they said they'd hurt me unless Ms. Bel gave up a Pokemon and she did and then they ran off! I'm so sorry Ms. Bel!"

Touko narrowed her eyes for a second before it clicked. "Wait, I know you. You're Shaga's apprentice. Iris, right?" Iris nodded and Touko reached out to take the girl's hand in hers. "Iris, you did nothing wrong. You tried to do a brave thing and got in over your head. It happens to the best of us."

"Team Plasma again," Jay muttered staring out at the crowds still filling Castelia's streets. "Looks like they're getting to be a bigger problem than before."

Touko nodded before turning back to her friend. "Bel, did you call the cops?" Bel nodded slowly. "Alright, then we'll wait until they get here. In a city this large, we're going to need all the help we can get."

One hour and a long interview with the police later, Jay and Touko were finally free to explore Castelia once more. Bel had wanted to return to the hotel to wait for news about her Munna, and Iris volunteered to accompany her as a bodyguard of some sort. Most likely out of some misplaced sense of guilt, but Touko thought Iris might also be sporting a small crush on the blonde as well. Fighting back a giggle, she followed Jay through the streets and frowned when he turned towards Gym Street. "Why are we heading here?"

"The cops aren't likely to let the local gym leader know what happened," Jay shot back, shoving his hands into his pockets as he strolled along. "I just wanted to give him a heads-up on the situation."

Touko pondered for a few seconds before deciding to risk it, lengthening her stride to walking alongside the Kanto native rather than behind him. "Does that happen a lot back home?"

"More often than I'd like," he muttered before shooting Touko a worried glance. "If you want to wait back with Bel at the hotel..."

Touko waved off his concern. "No, I'd actually like to talk to Arty too. Castelia was the last place Touya was seen and Arty is the last person we know saw him. And hopefully we can find Cheren here too." She frowned and ran a hand through her ponytail. "I know he said he was going to go for the badge today, but I'm worried that he didn't show up when Bel texted. Maybe the gym has bad reception?"

Jay shrugged. "I guess it's possible." He paused in front of the large glass doors that lead to the gym, scanning the ever-updating electronic list of victorious trainers who had earned the badge. "I see Touya's name, and there's Cheren's at the bottom. Guess he won."

"Is there a timestamp?" When Jay shook his head, Touko sighed. "I guess that would have been too easy. Come on." The pair strode in, Touko flashing her trainer card at the receptionist who waved them on before returning to her Tetris game. Arty was leaning against a wall near his battlefield, drawing in a sketchpad. As Touko and Jay drew closer, he glanced up and set pen and paper aside.

"Little late for a gym battle, but I still have a couple of hours."

"Oh, we're not here for a gym battle," Touko quickly protested, not wanting to get drawn into another Lenora situation. "There are a few things we need to talk about."

Arty snorted. "Is that so?" A smug smirk appeared on his face and reached down to pick up his drawing supplies. "Well, then I'll just..."

"A girl had her Pokemon stolen by Team Plasma less than two hours ago," Jay interrupted. Arty froze and then drew himself up to his full height, eyes narrowing. "Is that important enough for you?"

"That's a very serious accusation, young man," the Castelia gym leader warned. "Do you have any evidence?"

Sensing a potential brawl, Touko quickly stepped between the two men. "We have eyewitness testimonies from both an intern of Professor Araragi and Shaga's apprentice. Bel Shirai and Iris Hakuryu," she quickly added when Arty looked ready to protest. "They're staying at the Twin Dragon hotel if you want to confirm."

Arty hissed out a breath and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Alright. Follow me." He strode out of the gym, leaving a confused Jay and a baffled Touko to follow. He lead them out of the gym and across the street to a smaller building with a sign for P. Incorperated above the door. "You two are putting me in a real tight spot, you know," the artist hissed as he held the door for them.

"Are you telling me that you're allowing Team Plasma to set up a headquarters across the street from your gym?" Touko whispered back furiously. "This isn't the first time they kidnapped Pokemon you know!" This time, it was Jay who placed a hand on Touko's shoulder and squeezed it in warning.

Arty shook his head. "Just stay quiet and let me do the talking alright?" The elevator dinged open and Arty's angry gaze instantly transformed to a friendlier one as a familiar man in a dark brown and blue robe stepped out. "Ghetsis, how delightful to see you again."

"My word, if it isn't our local gym leader," the man purred. "To what do we owe this momentous occasion?"

Arty gestured towards Jay and Touko, who were both eyeing the green-haired gentleman with unguarded suspicion. "These two trainers just informed me that apparently a Pokemon was stolen by Team Plasma today."

"Ah yes. You just missed our local law enforcement questioning us about the same event," Ghetsis replied, folding his hands over the top of the silver cane he used. "They clearly found no evidence to support this girl's claim and left without a word. Probably another trainer wishing to retrieve an abused Pokemon."

"Abused?!" Touko snarled, absolutely furious at the claim. Jay's hand tightened on her shoulder and Arty shot her a glare. Reluctantly, she closed her mouth and fumed.

"Indeed," Ghetsis continued as if the interruption hadn't occurred. "Here at Plasma Incoperated, we dedicate ourselves to the protection and rehabilitation of Pokemon who have been abused by trainers. After all, there can be no criminal worse than one who abuses Pokemon, wouldn't you agree?"

"Of course, of course," Arty soothed. "However, they also claim that Iris Hakuryu was threatened in order for Bel Shirai to hand over her Pokemon." Ghetsis's eyes narrowed, clearly annoyed. "So I don't suppose you could check, one more time? Just to be safe."

"...If it will settle your mind, I suppose." He jerked his head and the receptionist behind the desk, also clad in a familiar set of armor, sprinted towards the elevator. "What was the Pokemon claimed to have been stolen?"

"A Munna. Her name is Hana and one of her flowers is located in the center of her forehead," Touko answered when Arty tilted his head towards hers. The receptionist gave a jerky nod before diving into the open elevator and vanishing. The group stood in silence, staring each other down, until the door opened once more, the receptionist reappearing with a Pokeball in her hand and an angry Munna hovering behind her.

"This Pokeball was dropped in the rescue bin five minutes ago, sir," the Plasma grunt said as she quickly exited the elevator. "No way to tell who brought her here."

Ghetsis let out a resigned sigh. "So many people hoping to bring our good name under scrutiny." He waved a hand. "You may take her back to her trainer of course. Provided that you believe it will be safe for her."

Arty gave a small bow in response as Hana picked up her Pokeball. "We are grateful for your cooperation, Ghetsis. Have a pleasant evening." Hana floated a few feet, stopped to blow a loud raspberry back at Team Plasma, and sped over to Touko and dropped her ball in her open palm.

"Hey Hana," the Unovan girl smiled and recalled the Psychic type. "Let's get you back to Bel." The trio quickly left, but Touko could feel the head of Team Plasma's eyes boring into her back as the door closed behind her.

Back in the Castelia Gym, Arty scowled at the pair. "You know, I'd thought that you'd leave after getting that Pokemon back."

"Why are you letting Team Plasma off?" Touko shot back angrily. "You know they kidnapped Hana!"

"Circumstantial evidence at best," the gym leader waved off. "Anyone could have put on a Plasma outfit to threaten those girls. They'd get off with a warning, at best." He glanced over at Jay, who'd been quiet for a while. "Anything to say, quiet boy?"

"Touko, he's right." Touko whirled on Jay with a retort ready, but the Kanto native held up a hand to stop her. "We know that Team Plasma did it, but what matters is what we can prove. Even if Bel or Iris could identify the people involved, they would claim it was a crime that the individuals caused, not the company itself."

"It's not like we aren't looking into things," Arty added. "We just need more time to compile enough evidence so we don't get laughed out of court." He nodded at the Pokeball still in Touko's hand. "You got your friend's Pokemon back. Take the win."

Fuming, Touko slowly counted to twenty in her mind to regain her temper. "Fine. But I'm still not done with you."

Arty rolled his eyes. "Whoop de doo." Touko grit her teeth and ignored it.

"About six months ago, my brother..."

"Yes yes yes, I've had this conversation about twenty times." The gym leader sighed and leaned back against the wall. "I'll repeat what I've told three sets of cops and a bunch of reporters. Touya came in, swept the gym with that freaking Pignite of his, and then walked out with the badge. I barely said more than three sentences to him! If you want more info, then you'll find it either in the desert or Nimbasa."

Jay's eyes narrowed. "How'd you know which trainer she was asking about?"

"I'm an artist," Arty replied. "I know faces. Similar bone structure, similar features. Even without that, Aloe gave me a call a few days ago, letting me know you might show up. Not to mentioned that glasses guy who asked earlier today." He sighed and pressed a hand to his temples, muttering, "And I still have to process that T79-J."

"Wait, Cher-" Touko was cut off by Jay snagging her arm, a warning in his eyes.

"Thank you for your time, Arty. We'll be leaving now." The gym leader waved them off and Jay half lead, half dragged Touko back out to the streets of Castelia. Once they hit the outside, Touko angrily jerked her arm free.

"What was that about? I didn't get to ask anything about Cheren!" the girl snarled, only for the anger to fade at the look on Jay's face. "Jay?"

"Touko, do you know what a T79-J form is?" he whispered. A sick feeling brewing in her gut, Touko shook her head. "It's a form to let the Pokemon League know exactly what occurred when a gym battle has a death."

The blood rushed from her face and Touko fought to keep from stumbling backwards in shock. "You...you think that..."

Jay nodded. "I think Cheren went to battle Arty, and that one of his Pokemon got killed."

I'm probably not the first to say it, but Burgh is usually one of the easiest gym leaders to face in any Pokemon game in a normal run. Part of it is because of the many weaknesses of Bug types, but you tend to get a lot of coverage for his team based on what starter you pick. You pick Snivy, Panpour/Simipour handles that Dwebble. Pignite of course steamrolls Whirlipede and Leavanny, and Oshawott covers Dwebble and Pansear/Simisear dominates his entire team. He's not hard.

So I thought I would make things interesting by making him more difficult, but for Cheren instead. Cheren has less coverage due to Snivy and he only ends up with a max of 4 Pokemon despite his goal of becoming Champion. So it's not too much of a stretch to imagine him losing Pokemon in battle. Poor Cheren, sorry! Anyways, leave a like and a review if you enjoyed it and I'll see you all next time! 👋
 

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