"It's so cute!"
Cadence stood in the tall grass, off the side of the road, alone. She'd left Nathan and Tobias to eat their lunch after taking off after a Pidgey she'd spotted overhead. She crouched behind a nearly rotted stump and smiled. The Pidgey was ahead of her, a decent ways away, pecking at some seeds on the ground. Pokeball in hand, she leaped out and cried, "You're mine, Pidgey!" She threw the ball, which landed a few feet short of the tiny bird.
Startled, the Pokemon flapped its wings, pushing itself into the air, as Django emerged from his pokeball. "Django, bring it back to the ground with a Water Gun!" The Squirtle opened its mouth and a jet stream of pressured water rushed out with the force of several fire hoses. It arched upwards and hit the Pidgey, which cried out in pain and fell. It hit the ground with a dull, wet smack.
"Good job, Django!" Cadence pulled out an empty pokeball from her belt and threw it at the Pidgey. It hit the Pokemon, but simply bounced off with a thud. "What the heck?" She walked over to the Pokemon, which didn't get up.
Cadence dropped to her knees in the grass beside the Pidgey, which laid there, unmoving, itswings bent at wrong angles. It wasn't breathing. Tears formed at the corners of Cadence's eyes as she picked up the soaked bird. "I'm so sorry," she whispered. Django stayed still where he was, empathetically bonding with his trainer, feeling her shock at what they did. "I didn't mean to k... to ki..." She shook her head and squeezed her eyes shut.
Neither Nathan nor Tobias questioned Cadence much beyond an initial "What happened?" when she returned shortly after with red, puffy eyes. She merely responded with a small sob followed by an accusing glare, as if to say, "Don't ask again." The boys quickly dropped the topic, but soon noticed Cadence's lack of interest in catching any new Pokemon.
The road to Viridian City from Pallet Town was a short one. They had reached the city in less than a day, at about an hour before sunset. On the way they met a man who was advertising for Viridian Town's, PokeMart. After agreeing to give it a visit, he gave each of them a free Potion as a sample. After arriving in town, Cadence suggested they visit the Pokemon Center, both to give their Pokemon a checkup, as well as request the place to stay for the night that Pokemon Centers often offer trainers.
"Sounds like a plan. But then I want to visit the PokeMart. It sounds like the items for sale there will be invaluable," Nathan added.
"Also, I want to challenge Viridian Gym while we're here," Tobias said softly. He'd decided that he'd take the Pokemon League Challenge shortly after leaving his home the second time, after receiving Garnet from Professor Oak. His father had been Champion once upon a time, and Tobias aimed to not only earn that title, but hold it for the longest time anyone ever had.
"You're looking to challenge the gym?" asked an old man nearby, who'd overheard. "I'm sorry to disappoint you, but that gym has been closed for a long time now. The Gym Leader up and left town months ago and locked his gym behind him." Spotting Tobias' dismayed expression, he added, "While you wait for his return, why not try the other gyms? I'm sure Brock of the Pewter City Gym would be delighted to accept your challenge." The man smiled.
"This idea cheered Tobias up considerably, who had forgotten momentarily that there was no designated order to challenge the gyms. "Thanks for the advice!" The trio continued walking towards the PC when Tobias stopped. He turned back to the man and called out, "Hey! Anything else I should know about Brock, so I can find a way to defeat him?" The man smiled knowingly and called back, "Just think some about his name." Tobias frowned and opened his mouth to ask what her meant by that when Cadence grabbed him by the arm and dragged him away to the PC, with Nathan following them, laughing.
"Welcome to Viridian City Pokemon Center! Would you like me to heal your Pokemon back to perfect health?"
Cadence, Tobias, and Nathan stood at the front counter of the PC. They nodded at the nurse in unison and each handed her their Pokemon. She smiled genuinely and said, "Okay, I'll take your Pokemon for a few seconds." She grabbed the pokeballs and turned and placed them in a machine, which whirred to life. After a brief moment of electronic noise, a loud ding rung out. The nurse picked up the pokeballs and returned them to their respective owners. "Thank you for waiting. We've restored your Pokemon to full health!" She smiled and performed a little curtsy. "We hope to see you again!"
She began to turn away when Nathan stopped her, "Hang on a moment, we have a question." She looked back at them with a quizzical smile. "Is it possible to stay the night here? We're from Pallet Town and don't have anywhere to sleep tonight." The nurse nodded. "Yes of course! We can definitely accommodate you! Whenever you are ready, I can arrange for three bedrolls to be set out." She curtsied again and says, "I'll see you three tonight," and she turned to the next trainer in line.
Brock. All I can think of is Rock. Is he a Rock Type trainer? Or is Rock Type what I use to defeat him? But then why would he be named something that rhymes with his weakness? Tobias sat on a rock just outside of town to the west on Route 22. Continuing along this path would take him to Indigo Plateau, where the Elite Four and the Champion waited. But before he could challenge them, he had to earn the right to by challenging and defeating eight gym leaders to receive their badges as proof of his victories.
But for now, Tobias just needed to take it slow, one gym at a time. Right now, Tobias had one thing on his mind, and that was how to defeat Brock. If his suspicious were correct, and Brock was a Rock trainer, then Garnet would be little use against him. He needed to catch a new Pokemon.
As if right on cue, Tobias heard a rustle to his right in the tall grass. He stood up, Garnet's pokeball in hand. He looked over and squinted in the glaring sunlight. The sun was setting at the moment, but it was still shining right on him. Sure enough, Tobias spotted a section of the grass that was shaking where the rustling sound was coming from. He raised Garnet in the air in preparation to throw and start a battle. Just as he did, the Mankey popped out of the underbrush. A fighting type. That should be able to break Brock's rocks. Brock's rocks. Tobias suppressed the urge to snicker at his rhyme like some little kid. He cocked back his arm to throw Garnet out. "Get 'im-"
It was then that Tobias spotted Nathan, who had just stepped out from behind a nearby tree, hurling his pokeball at the Mankey. It was only then that Nathan noticed Tobias as well, and for a brief moment they locked their very confused eyes. "Tobias?"
The pokeball landed a few feet from the Mankey and before it opened, Tobias and Nathan shared a look. It was at this moment that something changed between them, forever altering their view of the other, but also hardening the respect they each held for each other. The pop, followed by the hissing sound that pokeballs made when they opened shook them from their world and brought them back to reality as Lily seemed to leap from her pokeball at the Mankey.
Tobias lowered his throwing arm and took a step back to watch. Nathan nodded in understanding and returned his focus to the matter at hand. "Quick, Lily! Leech Seed!" The bulb on Lily's back pulsed and then shot several large seeds at the Mankey, hitting it. Nothing seemed to happen, but both trainers knew that wouldn't be the case for long. The Mankey retaliated quickly, however, and with a rage the almost surprised them, rushing at Lily with a series of scratches and swipes.
She recoiled from the assault, taking a step back, countering with a Vine Whip to push the Mankey away. Suddenly the Mankey glowed green and a beam of energy leaped from it and into Lily, healing her cuts and bruises. "Finish it with a Razor Leaf!" The leaves on her back stiffened and suddenly dislodged themselves, flying at her opponent, giving it its own set of deep cuts. The Mankey collapsed, exhausted.
"Hah! You're mine now!" Nathan exclaimed, grabbing an empty pokeball from his belt. He threw it at the Manky. It connected and pulls the downed Pokemon into it in a brilliant flash of red light. For a long, tense moment, nothing happened. Then the ball wriggled, a show of the Mankey's stubbornness. Twice more it struggled before the ball let out a ding to let them know it had done its job.
"Gotcha! I think I'll name her Edith, after my other grandmother. Ornery old bat, she was," Nathan said, more to himself than to Tobias, who sighed and said, "As a thanks for letting you take that Mankey without complaint, you are going to help me find my own." Nathan grinned and clapped Tobias on the shoulder. "Sounds like a deal!"
"Hey Cadence! Meet Edith and Mac!" they cried upon returning to the Pokemon Center that night. They tossed out their pokeballs, summoning the Mankies. They were still exhausted after being thoroughly beaten and caught. Cadence, noticing this, rolled her eyes and scolded them, "Morons. The poor things are barely able to stand. Nurse!" A Pokemon Center nurse hurried over. "Please take good care of these Pokemon. They've earned it." The nurse nodded and led the Mankies away by the hand.
Nathan smiled sheepishly and Tobias looked down at his shoes in shame. Shaking her head, Cadence grabbed two of the three bedrolls that the nurse had brought her earlier and tossed them at the boys. "Get some rest, idiots. We leave for Pewter tomorrow." Tobias unrolled his bed and laid it out over a bench, silent in his guilt. He had hoped he would have been better than this, but he'd been so excited when he caught Mac that he ended up neglecting the Pokemon and its needs. Never again.
"First thing after breakfast, you mean," Nathan corrected. Cadence sighed, laying down. "Fine, but pack some food too. It's a long way through Viridian Forest."
That night, they slept, dreaming. Nathan dreamt of his future as a Pokemon Breeder, alongside Lily, who, for some reason, could speak. She would tell him botanic secrets about the best herbs to use to make the happiest Pokemon.
Cadence dreamt that she was a brand new Water Type Pokemon and was ferrying her trainer overseas to a distant and magical land, full of hope that it would be full of other new Pokemon to learn about and befriend.
Tobias dreamt he was the Pokemon League Champion, fighting his first challenger. It was his father, but instead of sending out a Pokemon to do battle with Garnet, he sent out Tobias' little sister, Sam.
When they awoke the next day, Tobias got up, not feeling very rested.