Theodore lay in bed sleeping deeply, snoring loudly as a little drool puddle deepened on his pillow. Suddenly, he was awoken by what seemed like a cannonball rocketing into his bed. His eyes snapped opened and he yelled out in surprise as he bolted up, his head almost colliding with his brother's.
"Theo! Come on, get your big butt out of bed! That professor guy just called Simon, he says his assistant is at the pokemon center to give us our starter pokemon! Hurry up!" Alvin said so quickly that Theodore almost didn't understand any of it. As soon as he was done, Alvin was already racing out the door of their bedroom.
"Oh..." Theodore said quietly as he got slowly out of bed and began getting dressed. His name was Theodore Seville, and yesterday, he and his brothers, Alvin and Simon, had turned 10 years old, which meant they were now old enough to begin their pokemon adventures. His brothers were over the moon with excitement to begin, but Theodore was worried.
Alvin and Simon were already planning on splitting up and going separate ways, but since the day they'd been born, they'd never been apart for more than a few hours at a time. He wasn't sure he'd be able to take the loss of not having them there to talk with, to reassure and protect him.
He didn't say anything to them about it though, he knew how badly they each wanted to achieve their dreams. Simon talked endlessly about studying pokemon so that he could be a pokemon professor like Prof. Oak. Alvin dreamed of becoming the Pokemon League Champion and becoming famous for all time. Theodore...wasn't sure what he wanted from this adventure, if he even wanted it at all.
"Theodore! Prof. Oak's aide is waiting for us, we don't want to keep him waiting, do we?" Simon called to him as Theodore was getting his socks on.
"I'll be right there Simon!" he called back, taking a look around his room to make sure he hadn't forgotten anything. With a sigh, he walked out to join his brothers. Simon had his nose in yet another book on pokemon, whether it was how they evolve, their breeding, or battle techniques, Theodore wasn't sure. Alvin was busily pacing back and forth. When Alvin saw his brother finally make his way downstairs he groaned in annoyance.
"It's about time Theo, we've been waiting down here forever since we got the call!" the red clad boy huffed, giving his brother a glare.
"Alvin, it's barely been 10 minutes since Prof. Oak's assistant called to tell us to meet him, if even that." Simon sighed, closing the book and stuffing it into his backpack. "Patience is something every trainer needs, you know. Maybe you should consider learning it some."
To that, Alvin rolled his eyes. "Great, we haven't even started and I'm already getting a lecture. Can we head out before you get into it?" He asked. Without waiting for an answer, Alvin was out the front door, slamming it behind himself.
Simon let out a defeated sigh, then looked to Theodore. "Well, he's gone. We'd better not lag behind for too long." He said as he gestured for Theo to follow, stepping outside to wait.
Despite his brother's words, Theodore found himself frozen in place. After this… no turning back. Today, he became a trainer. Theo gulped, steeling his nerves right before he made his way through the door.
This was their home… Cerulean City. The buildings here weren't too tall, for the most part, and they weren't clumped together, giving the trees plenty of room to grow in between them. To the north, route 24, holding the so-called Nugget Bridge according to maps. That was their goal for now. But first…
"Jeez, I shoulda ran ahead myself." Alvin commented with a huff, tapping his foot impatiently on the ground. "Are we ready? We gotta be!" He said eagerly. From their home, the Pokemon Center was a two minute walk at the most. Once Theodore had stepped through the door and joined his brothers, Alvin was off, daring his brothers to keep up with him. Simon simply rolled his eyes and continued walking with Theodore. Alvin stood outside the center, again tapping his foot impatiently.
"Are you to trying to kill me from old age or something? Come oooon!" he cried out in exasperation. Simon and Theodore ignored the comment and walked into the Pokemon center.
The inside was basic, a large pokeball logo on the center of the floor, a front desk where a woman with pink curled hair in a nurses scrubs stood beside a Chansey, a few couches and chairs for those waiting on their pokemon to be treated, stairs leading upstairs and downstairs, and most importantly to the boys, the video call center to the left of the nurse's station.
They saw a young man standing there, white lab coat down to his ankles, and a flashy silver briefcase in hand. Simon grabbed Theodore and Alvin's hands and lead them over to him. When he saw the boys approach, he gave them a quizzical look and adjusted his glasses.
"You're….the Seville brothers?" he asked skeptically.
"Yes sir. I'm Simon, and these are my brothers Alvin and Theodore. We're pleased to meet you" Simon said politely, indicating his brothers.
"And... you're all... ten?" he asked, looking down at their short stature. He'd never seen such odd looking children, and for a moment, thought about asking the Professor if they might actually be some kind of new, undiscovered pokemon.
"Yeah, we turned ten yesterday, now where are our pokemon?" Alvin asked impatiently, looking around, expecting to see pokemon hiding behind couch cushions and old magazines.
"I…..I have them right here, but Professor Oak would like to speak with you first," he said, indicating a nearby video phone.
Alvin let out a loud groan. "You guys are gonna be the death of me! I didn't think today would be nothing but delays!"
Despite his complaints, the three boys ended up by the video phone, with the aide quickly putting in the number to Prof. Oak. As soon as his image flashed on the screen, the aide stood straight. "Sir, I believe the new trainers are here now. The Seville brothers from Cerulean." He spoke.
"Ahh, good good! Let me see them!" Came the professor's voice. When the aide stepped aside, though, the mundanity in his tone was replaced with an "Euh?" of both surprise and intrigue. "I… Kids these days are getting stranger and stranger..." He mumbled before clearing his throat. "Right then! As you know, you're at the age where most trainers start their journey. Which means you need your starters, and luckily my assistant here is holding them."
The aide nodded, holding up the briefcase and opening it, catching the eye of all three boys. Within the case, sitting atop what looked like black velvet, were three pokeballs. They were polished and everything!
"I'm a little busy right now, so I'll spare you the formalities. Go ahead, choose your pokemon!" Prof. Oak said. "On the right is-"
"This one's mine!" Alvin nearly shouted, swiping the ball from the far right, cradling it close to his chest. "No need to say, doc, I already know who it is!" He said, tossing the ball up in the air. It popped right open, followed by a flash of bright light that landed right in front of Alvin.
The light faded fast, leaving behind… a Squirtle. It blinked a few times, shaking its head before meeting eyes with Alvin. "Squir…?"
"You've chosen the water Pokemon, Squirtle. Now, you can continue to call him Squirtle, or give him a nickname if you like," Oak, told them, watching Alvin's interaction with the pokemon closely.
"Oh my god. He's even cooler in the flesh!" Alvin cheered as he picked up the turtle pokemon with ease, hoisting it up over his head proudly. "Guys, meet… uh… Splashmaster! Splash for short!"
His brothers just… blinked. "Alvin… You could have just waited for him to be done. And what sort of name is-" Simon sighed, not wanting to get into an argument in front of the Professor. He reached out and took the pokeball to the right, "If that first one was Squirtle, then that would mean this one is…" he tossed the ball casually into the air.
Like last time, there was an almost blinding light that poured from the ball down to Simon's feet. The little pokemon blinked, then looked up at Simon, tilting its head and smiling. "Bulba, bulbasaur." The little plant pokemon growled happily, its vines coming out to touch Simon's arms and shoulders.
"Ah, I see you've chose the grass type Bulbasaur. I expected you to choose that one, Simom- Er, Simon." Prof Oak said, opening his mouth to speak more, but was drowned out by Alvin's laughter. Simon glared at his brother, who'd fallen to the floor, holding his belly and cackling like mad.
"He…..he called you Simom! Hehehah, C-Can me and Theodore be pokemon trainers, MOM?" Alvin continued coming up with questions, laughing like crazy at his own puns. Simon simply sighed again, and turned to look at the Professor again.
"Thank you Professor Oak, I promise I'll take good care of Bulbasaur." Simon said, doing his best to ignore Alvin now.
"I guess I'll go with this one." Theodore piped up, taking the pokeball in the middle, looking all over the ball's shiny surface. He gave a little nervous chuckle, and tossed it into the air. The light poured from it at his feet, and there was suddenly a warm glow.
"Ah, that's the fire type, Charmander. The flame on his tail never goes out, so be careful not to burn yourself," The Prof warned.
"Awwwwh, he's adorable!" Theodore cooed, leaning down to hug his Charmander, carefully watching the pokemons tail, which was waving back and forth happily from the contact.
"I'm gonna name you…" Theodore thought for a moment, sticking his tongue out of the side of his mouth as he thought.
"Oh, name him uh….Flamethrower! No, call him Incineratron! Or or or, uh, Burning Death!" Alvin called over to Theodore to encourage him. Theodore was watching Charmander's tail wave back and forth, and then it came to him.
"Matchstick! Your name is Matchstick," Theodore cried out happily, hugging him again. Alvin groaned and rolled his eyes, leave it to Theodore to pick something cutesy for his pokemon.
"Well… glad to see you three know what you want." Oak commented. "Now, as you should know as well, most trainers carry a pokedex as well. Think of this newer model as a little multipurpose tool. It's a phone, it can instantly scan a pokemon for data, it will help you keep track of what attacks and moves your pokemon knows, and can even act as a personal bank with the new upgrades it's had. My assistant will give those to you now." He spoke. "And with that, the introduction to the pokemon world is done! I'm sure you all are eager to hop to it, so goodbye for now."
With that, the screen went dark. Alvin was still playing around with his Squirtle- well… Splashmaster. The aide cleared his throat and produced the three pokedexes, holding them out. "I guess you all know where your journeys will lead you. I wish you all good luck." He said as the dexes were taken. "Maybe we'll keep in touch."
"Thank you. We'll be on our way." Simon said as he looked over his pokedex. "Guys? We're leaving."
"This is sooooo awesome you guys! We're full fledged trainers now! And I'm headed straight for the top! Woo!" Alvin cheered.
The three of them were on the Nugget Bridge now. Alvin was up ahead, of course, with Splashmaster walking happily at his side. Behind him, Simon and his starter Bulbasaur. This left Theodore in the back, carefully carrying Matchstick in his arms.
"So... why do they call this Nugget Bridge?" Theodore asked, looking around as they crossed it.
"Well, according to what I've read, years ago there was a contest where you battled trainers on your way to the end of it, and when you reached the end, you fought one more trainer and if you won, you were rewarded with a gold nugget. Strange to just hand off a chunk of pure gold just for battles, that's for sure."
Alvin stopped in his tracks. "Excuse me what?! Pure gold, Simon? Why aren't they doing that anymore, we coulda sold it for some serious cash!"
"Not like it grows on trees, Alvin."
Theodore stayed behind, just listening to his brothers' back and forth. He was focusing on the fire at Matchstick's tail tip, mostly. "We're gonna have a good time, little guy." He said, moreso for himself. But a playful little headbutt from Matchstick brought a smile to his face then.
The remainder of their walk was spent like that. As they approached the end of the route, though, Alvin stopped dead in his tracks, which caused Simon to bump into him.
"Mmf! Alvin, with all this space, you could have-"
"Hush Si! Look!" Alvin said.
Up ahead was a single house among a few tall trees. But Alvin's gaze was further ahead, up the hill. Someone was standing at the edge of the cape. Orange hair, fair skin, and all she wore was a white, one piece swimsuit that had some dark blue trim to it.
Alvin gawked at her dumbly until Simon caught on. With a little growl, he grabbed Alvin's cap and tugged it down. "Don't you even think about it. You know who that is, and I'm sure she won't be happy to see you eyeing her like that." He huffed.
"Hmph. Whatever, MOM, you stay here if you want. Theo! Let's go say hi!" Alvin said, snatching the brim of his cap from Simon as he raced up the hill towards the woman, Splash racing to keep up. Theo hurried quickly after, feeling very nervous about meeting her face to face like this. Simon grumbled in exasperation and walked after his brothers, his Bulbasaur reaching out a vine to tap him reassuringly on the shoulder.
"Misty! Wow, I can't believe its you, in the flesh!" Alvin cried as he came to a halt in front of her, poor Squirtle crashing into him and falling onto his back. He cried out in surprise and alarm as he couldn't get up, but before Alvin could turn to help him, the Cerulean Gym Leader was already kneeling down to help right the turtle pokemon.
"You should be more careful with this little guy," Misty said, checking him over. Theodore and Simon joined them a moment later, their pokemon all talking to each other happily.
"Well, look at you three. You must be the Sevilles, right?" She asked, leaning down to talk to them and smiling warmly, making Theodore blush and gulp.
"You know us?" Theodore asked, looking a little surprised.
"Of course, as a Gym Leader and a member of the Pokemon League, its part of my job to keep track of anyone who's trying to become a pokemon trainer. Besides, makes it a lot more interesting if trainers from Cerulean ever come after my badge." She winked.
"What do you mean if? Won't we need your badge in order to qualify for the Pokemon League?" Simon asked her, looking confused, "Everything I've read has stated that we only have 8 gyms in Kanto, and to enter the Pokemon Le…." Simon was cut off by a laugh from Misty.
"Let me guess, you read that in the official League guide? That's a bit outdated, I've been telling them for years to replace, it, but its all run by," she stopped to use air quotes, " 'traditonalists', so getting anything new done takes forever. Theres a lot more than just 8 gyms and 8 gym leaders in Kanto nowadays. I could tell you where they all are, but…." she grinned mischievously, "I think it'd be a lot more fun to let you find them for yourselves, don't you think?"
"So we don't even need your badge? Well thats a relief, I'd hate to have to wipe the floor with such a beautiful trainer," Alvin said with a wink. Misty turned her warm smile to Alvin directly.
"Kid, if you think you can wipe the floor with me, I dare you to come take me on. I promise you'll be in for the fight of your life," she said to him, that same smile on her face, but her eyes showed a fiery determination that had Alvin taking a step back and chuckling uncomfortably.
Noticing that, Misty just laughed and stood up. "Then I guess it's settled. I'll be the final gym leader for you three! That way, I'll know you're all prepared for it and we can go all out." She said with a nod of her head.
"So, uh… what're you doing here? At this spot, I mean." Theodore asked. "Doesn't look like there's a whole lot to do all the way out here."
Misty just beckoned to them, turning away and going over to the opposite side of the hill and, before their eyes, slid right down the side. Before they could freak out, though, Misty called out to them. "Hey! Ya wanna know what's up? C'mon down!"
The boys shared wary glances then. "If we go, we may as well let the pokemon stay out." Simon insisted.
With that agreed, and their pokemon assured to stay in place, the three chipmunks scaled down the hillside, careful to not slip into the water below. Misty was waiting for them, in the water. "You boys ready?" She asked.
Without waiting, Misty reached down in the water, seeming to pat… something. Simon immediately looked away, while Theodore and Alvin stared with blushing cheeks. All their reactions changed quickly as she was lifted up out of the water.
Misty was sitting atop a large, blue sea monster… that looked friendly. "A Lapras…" Simon exclaimed, holding up his pokedex.
"Yep! Just doing a bit of training with this big guy here. Gotta stay in top shape, after all." Misty explained proudly, patting the Lapras' neck. "And I'm sure all three of you are gonna have trouble with him." She added, teasing.
Alvin huffed then and there. "Oh yeah?! We'll see about that!" He shouted with a stomp of his foot, letting out a yelp as he nearly stumbled into the water, being saved by Theo quickly grabbing his shirt collar. Alvin did his best to save face, but Misty was already laughing away.
"Oh jeez." She said as soon as she stopped. "You guys are gonna be the most interesting battle in a long while, I can tell. Anyways, what's got you guys over here? Couldn't have popped in this corner of Kanto for nothing."
"Well, actually I wanted to talk with Bill… I suppose that's his house up there." Simon said.
Misty nodded in understanding. "Well, I'll let you guys go. Especially since your pokemon might have wandered off."
"No way is Splash gonna wander off!" Alvin declared, but all the same, he joined his brothers in quickly trying to climb back up the hillside to where they'd left their pokemon. Theodore turned back once to see Misty hugging her Lapras and giving it some reassuring pats before turning back to see him, and giving him a smile and wink. Theodore felt himself go beet red as he hurried to the top of the hill. Their pokemon were still there, it looked as if they were playing some sort of game, not that the boys could understand it. They each gave a little cry of happiness at their trainers return, running up to them and hugging them.
"So wait, Simon, who's this Bill guy anyway? I thought you were just leading us on a different path out of town." Alvin said, rubbing his Squirtle's head.
"He's one of many people who had a hand in making the storage system, Alvin. But other than that, rumor has it that he has spare tickets for the St. Anne ship." Simon explained. "May as well see if he has any more. I certainly don't want to go through several shoes walking around the whole region." With that, Simon was heading down the hill again, Bulbasaur tailing after him.
Alvin snorted. "Like he doesn't try jogging every morning." He said with a roll of his eyes, then he looked to Theodore, who was busy playing what seemed like tag with Matchstick. "You gonna go hear the nerds talk computers?"
For sure, Simon was in there for a while. So long, in fact, that Alvin and Splash even joined in on the game, running about and chasing one another just to pass the time. When he returned, Theo was chasing after Alvin, trying his best to catch
Simon waved as he exited the house, one paw tucked into his pocket as he closed the door behind himself. He let out a whistle to grab the attention of his brothers. "I'm done! Let's go while we still have some sunlight!"
The boys were back in Cerulean now, standing right in the middle of the city, pokemon still in tow.
"Well guys… It's time." Simon said to break the silence. "The journey begins."
Alvin nodded slowly, and Theodore bit his lip so it wouldn't quiver. "I know we're going different ways, but it won't even be for long! We'll meet up as soon as possible, promise." Simon added, more so Theodore wouldn't feel too bad.
"Yeah… We can group up in Saffron or something." Alvin added, clearing his throat as he put on a bold face.
"That's where I'm going anyway! So I'll see you guys when we all get there!" He proclaimed, pulling both of his brothers into a tight, firm hug. "So don't you dare keep me waiting, ya hear? You guys go and get real strong."
"I-I'll try." Theodore said. Though his eyes welled up, he refused to cry. Not right now. He quickly wiped his eyes, looking down to his feet hoping his brothers hadn't noticed. Then, he let out a yelp, as did Simon.
Alvin had squeezed them both on the butt. He was looking at them both with his usual cheeky smile. "Heh. One for the road. I'll see you guys soon." He promised, releasing them. "C'mon, Splash. We've got places to be." He said, scooping up his Squirtle before, after one last good look at his brothers, he bolted off towards the southern part of the city.
"Well… that happened." Simon said, huffing softly as he looked down to Theodore. "I know you're scared, little brother. But you've got your partner with you now. Go on and enjoy your journey, okay?" He instructed, pulling Theodore into a hug.
Theo let out a soft whine then. "I'll try, I promise." He said softly as he returned the hug, resting his head on Simon's chest as he held him tight. "Hey, uh, S-Simon? Could you…?"
"Heh. Sure thing." Simon complied, grabbing Theo's rear with both hands before giving him a good squeeze. Simon's cheeks darkened immediately as Theodore did the same. "Erhem… a-anyway, I'm sure you'll meet Alvin before me. When you do, can you give this to him? He ran off before I could." Simon said, producing two tickets from his pocket and handing them over. "At least a train won't keep us all apart for too long." He said, gently wiping Theo's eyes with his sleeve. "Come along, Bulbasaur. We're leaving." Simon said, slowly turning away and heading west.
Theodore watched him go… he was standing alone in the middle of the city. He dropped down to his knees then, whimpering softly. He'd have cried, but Matchstick was quick to come to his side, gently bumping his head on Theo's cheek. "Char…?"
"Oh… I'm alright. Honest." Theodore said, offering the fire type a soft smile and patting his head. "C'mon, little guy. We gotta go." He says simply, standing up with a heavy sigh. With that, he had Matchstick in his arms once more, careful of that fiery tail as he walked off to the east, repeating that thought again and again.
'I'm alright. Honest.'