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 A Blond Ray of Sunshine (13+) (Complete) 
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A Blond Ray of Sunshine

First in a series. A young, aspiring Pokémon Trainer is already deep into his journey to the Indigo Plateau. It's a common and simple life for him, until he begins to learn there's something very uncommon about him.

Author Note: For a bit more info about myself, click here.

Chapter 1

It was the middle of the day in the busy, bustling Saffron City. A young boy with bright, blond hair cut into bangs gets no further from leaving his home than his front door before being smothered with hugs and kisses from his worrying mother. The boy just smiled and soaked it all up.

"Are you sure you want to go?" she asked despairingly.

"I'm definitely sure!" he cheerfully replied. She smiled proudly, before hugging and kissing him some more.

"If you keep this up, he'll never get out the door," the boy's father joked. His mother sighed, letting go of him, watching him leave in his blue t-shirt and shorts, carrying a backpack carefully stuffed with supplies from his mother. He was on the starting steps of his own Pokémon journey, a journey which countless young people his age embarked on throughout the generations. He took a deep breath, and sighed happily. He turned back and waved to his tearful family as he began to walk away, eager to begin collecting badges and become a great Pokémon Trainer. Under the bright, noon sun he took off, one foot stamping in front of the other into the pavement on the suburban outskirts of Saffron City. He kept his map of the Kanto region in his pocket to guide him and make sure he knew which path to follow next. But mostly, he was moving as freely as the wind.

That was one year ago. Since then, the young boy named Antoshi traversed countless miles of paths, fields, cities and caves all in his penultimate quest to reach the Indigo Plateau and challenge the Pokémon Champion. With six badges to his name and trips to Cerulean, a confusing stop in Pewter that led him back to Cerulean, Vermilion, Fuschia, Celadon, and back to Saffron for a badge and to revisit his family, he made his way to the hard-to-reach Cinnabar Island for a seventh badge. By that point, eagerness and confidence were guiding his spirit closer to the end of his journey.

"Good luck, lad!" a friendly fisherman named Fred exclaimed, having given Antoshi a lift in his tugboat from Fuschia to Cinnabar.

"Thanks!" he cheerfully replied as he stepped down the small ramp leading off the boat. "I hope you catch that Dewgong!" Fred smiled proudly at the bubbly young man, just before a tall, hulking creature stomped his way off the small ramp, nearly bending it in half. Fred slowly navigated away from the island, leaving Antoshi and his friend on the island.

"What's wrong, Fire?" Antoshi concernedly asked his best friend, a large Typhlosion named Fireball as he groaned and held his stomach.

"I don't like water," he weakly replied, "at all."

"It wasn't that bad!" the boy proclaimed with a laugh, patting his friend on the back, who stumbled forward with a loud groan.

"The ground won't stop moving," Fireball remarked. "I'm gonna be sick." He then dashed off, in dire search of a restroom, frightening people in his way as they saw a towering Pokémon, somewhat larger than a normal Typhlosion, charging toward them. Antoshi chuckled nervously amidst the terrified screams and shouts of the islanders. "Out of my way!" Fireball exclaimed in the distance. Antoshi sighed, deciding to wait on his friend as he took a deep breath of the salty air, brought to him by the cool breeze of the nearby seashore and sighed happily. He had a big grin on his face as his big, brown eyes took in the scenery of Cinnabar, which had been rebuilt to its former glory after the volcano had destroyed much of it nearly seventy years ago. Antoshi felt himself eager to explore the island, urged forward by the cool breeze and the warm sun shining down on his blond head.

A short time later, Fireball exited one of the public restrooms with a groan, making sure to close it behind him as he didn't want anyone to use it for a good while. He made his way back to his friend, who greeted him with a smile.

"Ready to go?" Antoshi asked. Fireball cleared his throat and stretched out a bit, going through a brief spurt of flexing, push-ups and jumping jacks in front of Antoshi before loosening his shoulders up.

"Okay, I'm good," he confidently said. Antoshi grinned from ear to ear as his eyes focused solely on the Cinnabar Island Gym in the distance.

"Then let's do it!" he exclaimed as the two of them charged toward the gym's doors.

Inside the gym was more than they had expected. There wasn't a gym leader or even any trainers to be found, only a series of locked doors that could only be opened by solving a riddle displayed on a small screen on the nearby wall. Their knowledge of all things Pokémon were extensively tested and it took them far longer than they could have hoped to make it through.

"What is Pokémon number 157?" Antoshi read the question aloud before quickly pulling out one of his Pokémon Weekly magazines he'd been subscribed to for many years. Fireball looked at him with an annoyed expression. He walked up to the screen and spoke his answer.

"Typhlosion!" he said with vigor.

"Incorrect," the computerized voice replied.

"Maybe I should handle this one," Antoshi playfully said, as he seemed to be the only one capable of speaking to his Pokémon friend. To everyone else, Fireball simply seemed to utter growls and grunts.

"Fine," he agreed. "But I get the point for that one, too," he added, referring to their earlier agreement to have a little contest between them.

"Oh, all right," Antoshi complied with a smile. "You've gotten all the questions so far anyway."

"Cause that's how I roll!" Fireball proclaimed, thrusting out his fists in celebration.

After a grueling hour of answering a dozen questions and unlocking a dozen doors, the duo finally seemed to reach their destination. They stepped forward into a large spotlight, darkness completely surrounding them. They had their serious expressions on, anticipating a possible strike at any moment.

"Ha ha ha!" came the haughty laughter of a high-pitched voice in the distance. They looked toward the source, just as another spotlight came on, revealing an opponent in the distance. It was a tall man with a bald head, pointy white mustache, dark glasses concealing his eyes and a long, white lab coat. Antoshi couldn't believe his eyes.

"That looks like Blaine!" he exclaimed in disbelief.

"Yes, of course!" Fireball added, nodding thoughtfully in agreement before quickly turning to his friend. "Who's Blaine?"

"He was the leader of this gym lots and lots of years ago," Antoshi explained. "He's... a zombie?"

"I am no zombie!" the man, with a suspiciously feminine voice proclaimed. 'Blaine' cleared his throat, attempting to deepen his voice to be more convincing. "I am the greatest Fire-type trainer in all of Kanto! The 'Hotheaded Quiz Master'! I am Blai--ack!" 'Blaine' suddenly fell onto his face, a pair of tall stilts falling out of his long, white lab coat. "Ouch." Antoshi and Fireball stood in stunned silence, unable to figure out what was going on. 'Blaine' quickly hopped to his feet, laughing haughtily. Through the broken sunglasses, a pair of bright, blue eyes could be seen. Antoshi spotted them and became curious.

"You're not Blaine!" Antoshi exclaimed, surprising 'Blaine.' He growled and clenched his small fists.

"Oh, all right!" 'Blaine' exclaimed before pulling the white lab coat and broken sunglasses off, revealing 'himself' to be a young girl no older than Antoshi. "I'm not Blaine, okay?! I'm Blaire, the great-granddaughter of Blaine, and it's my job as Cinnabar Island Gym Leader to honor my great-grandfather by crushing all opponents of the Cinnabar Island Gym!" Antoshi and Fireball continued to stand there, stunned.

"I wonder if that was ad-libbed," Antoshi quietly said to his friend.

"The bald look and mustache don't quite suit her though," Fireball quietly replied, his friend nodding in response.

"Hey!" Blaire shouted, the two of them immediately ceased chatting. "What do you think you're doing? Talking to your Pokémon? I guess blond's really are dumb!" she exclaimed with another haughty laugh.

"That wasn't nice..." Antoshi muttered, despondently. Blaire stood triumphantly.

"I look up to my great-grandfather, and dressing as him gives me the same confidence and ability as he had! I've never been defeated! ... Even though this is my first match as Gym Leader! But still, you're going down!" Antoshi stood confidently, clenching a fist.

"We'll see about that!" he rebutted, as Fireball nodded with a serious expression on his face.

Last edited by Antoshi on Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:02 pm
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Chapter 2

"Fireball!" Antoshi exclaimed, "use Rollout, again!" Fireball stared down Blaire's Arcanine, both Pokémon covered in dust and scratches. Arcanine was panting, seemingly on its last legs, while Fireball called upon the strength of his indomitable spirit for one final Rollout attack. Fireball shouted as he rolled his body into a giant ball and began to spin in place. The flames behind his neck sparked the rest of the fur on his back, transforming him into a literal manifest of his namesake.

He suddenly launched himself at Arcanine with incredible speed, kicking up small rocks and pebbles along the way. Blaire grit her teeth as she watched Fireball approach.

"Ohhh, Arcanine, dodge it!" she loudly commanded. Arcanine groaned weakly, ducking down for a moment before leaping into the air, but it was simply too late. Fireball hit the chest and underside of Arcanine, sending it flying helplessly several meters away, where it collapsed from exhaustion.

"Arcanine, no!" Blaire exclaimed in disbelief, her mouth hanging open at the sight of her prized Pokémon defeated.

"Awesome work, Fireball!" Antoshi cheered his partner, who hopped out of his ball form, standing in a heroic pose with his fists on his hips. Blaire sighed in defeat as she recalled Arcanine back into its Pokéball.

"I have no more Pokémon," she grudgingly admitted. "You win... ugh." Antoshi cheered loudly as he eagerly dashed over to her, with his hands open. She sighed in frustration, looking away as she dropped a Volcano Badge into his hands.

"Yes!" Antoshi cheered, tossing the shiny badge into the air and catching it on the way down. "We got a Volcano Badge, Fire!" Antoshi glanced over at his friend who was still in his silly pose. Antoshi blinked with an incredulous look on his face.

"Right," Fire said, walking over to his friend. "Let's scram." As the two of them made their way to the exit of the gym, Antoshi turned back to the young Gym Leader.

"Thanks for the battle!" he cheerfully said. "I'm sure you'll be as good as your great-grandfather someday!" Blaire smirked, folding her arms across her chest in the vein of Blaine.

"Maybe I will," she said to herself, enthused. Antoshi and Fireball left the gym, realizing the sun was already starting to set.

"Wow, we were in there for a long time," Antoshi remarked. Fireball yawned loudly, causing the boy to smile sympathetically. "Let's get some rest, Fire."

"Yeah, yeah," Fire concurred with exhaustion as the duo made their way to the nearby Pokémon Center.

That night, Antoshi and Fireball had their own beds, sound asleep after their long day of traveling and battling. Fireball snored loudly, the small, human-sized cot was nearly folding in on itself as it struggled to maintain his weight. In addition to his above-average height, Fireball was quite heavier as well. Antoshi had gotten used to Fire's snoring, to the point where it didn't faze him at all. The boy twitched a bit as he dreamt. He'd always had dreams every night due to his overwhelming imagination and insatiable curiosity. But that night's dream was different. It wasn't carefree and innocent like his dreams usually were. It was bleak and frightening.

He found himself standing in a black void, small fires flickering on the ground around him. A figure cloaked in the darkness stared him down with cold, dark eyes. Antoshi was intimidated by its presence. The eyes were unnatural, an eerie red on black. He could see a toothy grin being flashed at him, as though this figure was amused by his presence.

Just then, the figure was surrounded by some kind of dark aura that flickered around its frame like a fire. He could see a human-like hand from the figure being raised, palm open to face him. Antoshi panted nervously as the figure chuckled cruelly, a ball of dark energy forming within its hand. Antoshi nervously tried to step backward, but his feet were stuck to the floor. He panicked, his brown eyes as wide as they could possibly go when the ball of energy was suddenly fired at him, engulfing his entire body and leaving nothing behind.

Antoshi heard a loud crash, shocking him awake, realizing he was shaking and in a cold sweat. He glanced over at his Typhlosion friend, finding the metal frame of the cot had gave way under Fireball's weight. That didn't seem to phase the large Pokémon at all, as he quietly muttered something to himself, turning onto his side and going back to sleep.

Antoshi sat at the side of his bed in his white undershirt and boxer shorts. He didn't understand what his dream meant, but it seemed far too real, more so than any dream he'd ever had. He glanced down at his hand, realizing he was still shaking, and decided to get up for a moment, walking out of one of the several guest rooms in the Pokémon Center made for traveling trainers. It was very dark. He was barely able to see in front of him, eventually bumping into a wall with an audible thump.

"Ow," he whispered, rubbing his forehead. With his arms stretched far out in front of him, he was able to blindly find a nearby water cooler, taking one of the paper cups and pouring some water into it. He sighed and carefully walked back to his room, drinking the water along the way. He sat in bed, glancing at the clock by his bed that read '2:03.' He slipped back under the covers, worried about having another nightmare. Eventually, his fears were put to rest when his heavy eyelids closed and fell back asleep.

The next morning, Antoshi was awoken by some nudging.

"Hey, bud'," a familiar voice greeted him to wake him up, opening his eyes to see the big head of his companion. "You're not sleeping in, are you?" Antoshi looked over at the clock, '8:54.' He couldn't believe how late he slept.

"Whoops," he muttered as he quickly got to his feet, putting his blue shirt and shorts on which, at that point, had started to get a bit small for him to wear. He didn't even need the belt he once wore to keep his shorts from falling. It was safely tucked away in his backpack, which he slung over his shoulders.

"Let's hit the road!" Antoshi proclaimed, much to the excitement of his friend. They left the room and passed by the front desk, where just one bag of an already-prepared lunch for the trainers who spent the night was waiting for him, making him realize he was the last to leave. He took the bag and quickly made for the exit.

"Thanks, Nurse Joy!" he exclaimed on the way out.

"No problem!" she replied. "Come back any time!" Antoshi hustled out the door. He knew the annual Indigo Tournament was going to start in only three weeks, and he still had one more badge to collect.

"Come on, Fire!" Antoshi called back to his friend as he made his way to the Route 21 port on the northern end of Cinnabar Island. Fireball groaned and held his stomach.

"Can't we eat first?" he asked, eyeing the bag in Antoshi's hand. "We missed breakfast, you know." Antoshi worriedly looked down at the bag.

"But this is supposed to be for lunch."

"Well it's... almost lunch?" Antoshi sighed, realizing neither of them were going to get far without eating.

"All right we'll eat on the ferry!" he happily proclaimed, Fireball shaking his fists with excitement.

"Awesome!" he remarked as the two of them walked up to the port where other trainers were also awaiting the ferry, glancing up at the big sign indicating when the ferry would return from Pallet Town.

"Looks like it'll be fifteen minutes," Antoshi said, looking over the times when the ferry returned.

"Fifteen minutes?!" Fireball asked incredulously. "I'll die of starvation before then!" Antoshi chuckled, holding the bag up to Fire's nose to let him smell the food inside.

"Maybe this will help," Antoshi said. Fire indeed liked what he smelled, and it made him all the more eager for the ferry to arrive. At the same time, the other trainers were not only shocked that the blond-haired boy would keep his monstrous Typhlosion outside of its Pokéball, but that he seemed to be conversing with it. Antoshi had frequently gotten strange looks and had people think he was insane. He, on the other hand, never thought anything of it until he started his journey. He generally assumed that everyone could understand what Pokémon were saying. It wasn't until people started questioning him, and subsequently laughing at him, when he realized it was just him.

"Ferry, ferry," Fireball started to chant behind Antoshi, his eyes affixed to the open sea. At the same time, a young man with short brown hair walked up to Antoshi. He seemed much older than the blond boy, but greeted him with a friendly smile.

"Hey there," the young man greeted him, catching Antoshi's attention.

"Oh, hello," he replied, his face lighting up with a smile as he saw an opportunity to make a new friend.

"My name is Matt," he said, "what's your name?"

"I'm Antoshi," he replied, greeting Matt with a friendly handshake.

"Antoshi, huh?" Matt wondered aloud. "That's an interesting name."

"Blame my parents!" he joked, the two of them sharing a brief laugh. Matt then stood next to Antoshi as the two of them looked to the sea.

"Ferry, come on ferry, ferry..." Fireball continued to chant in the background.

"So what brought you to Cinnabar Island and why are you leaving?" Matt asked, as his hand casually drifted behind Antoshi's back.

"I got my seventh badge," Antoshi replied with enthusiasm. "And I'm on my way to get number eight and go to the Indigo Plateau!"

"You don't say?" Matt casually said, his fingers sneaking inside Antoshi's back pocket, finding his wallet. "Well, I'm sure you'll make it all the way to the top and become Champion!" Antoshi's face lit up with pride as he looked up at Matt, just as his wallet was withdrawn from his pocket. Fireball was standing right behind them, but was too busy keeping watch for the ferry that he didn't even notice the pickpocket.

"You really think so?!" Antoshi asked with intense excitement. Matt smiled warmly at him.

"Absolutely," he replied, slowly placing the younger boy's wallet in his own back pocket. Just then, the horn of the ferry blared as it neared the port.

"Ferry, ferry, ferry," Fireball chanted quickly, feeling excitement rush through him as he knew lunch would soon be served. He couldn't help himself, and rudely barged through the crowd to get to be the first on the ferry. "Ferry!" he shouted, laughing hysterically in a daze. Matt snarled and scowled as he looked at Fireball, having been shoved out of the way. Antoshi noticed his expression, immediately getting an untrustworthy vibe from him. He frowned a bit as he followed the crowd onto the ferry.

Fireball felt like all of his dreams had come true as Antoshi unpacked their lunch from the bag. The ferry blared its horn, slowly beginning to sail off to Pallet Town. Fireball rubbed his hands in anticipation.

"Come on, come on," he eagerly said. "What do we got? What do we got, Ant?"

"Here you are," Antoshi said as he handed Fireball a large plastic bag full of Pokémon food. Fireball eagerly tore it open, emptying the contents into his mouth and swallowing it down quickly.

"What else?" he asked with a toothy grin. He moaned in awe as Antoshi pulled out a big sandwich wrapped in plastic.

"This is my sandwich," Antoshi rebuked with a bit of a smile.

"But that bag of 'treats' wasn't enough!" Fireball whined.

"What do you mean 'not enough'?" Antoshi asked incredulously. At that point, the other trainers sat in stunned silence as Antoshi had a back-and-forth conversation with his Pokémon. Some of them couldn't believe what they were seeing, some turned away from a seemingly awkward scene, while others laughed amongst themselves.

"Look here," Antoshi said as he picked up the empty bag of Pokémon food. "It says there's enough food to feed a Gyarados!"

"Yeah, well..." Fireball trailed off, unable to formulate an excuse. "I don't know how to read?" Antoshi playfully bonked him on the head with a water bottle.

"That's no excuse, you big dummy." Fireball whined again as Antoshi began to unwrap his sandwich.

"Hey," a trainer sitting across from Antoshi spoke up. He looked up at the other boy, who had spiky blue hair and a smirk on his face. "Are you talking to your Pokémon?" Antoshi and Fireball looked at each other, realizing they got carried away without even noticing.

"I, uh..." Antoshi replied, quickly trying to think of a response. He couldn't, and just shrugged. The other trainer laughed.

"You are a creepy dude," he remarked, causing Antoshi to groan despondently.

"Don't worry about that guy," Fireball leaned in, keeping his voice low to quietly reassure him. "I can totally punch his lights out. I mean, I'll do it."

"No, it's okay," Antoshi quietly replied.

"I'll totally do it. I'll give him a good 'pow, pow' and he'll think twice about being a jerk."

"I said it's fine," Antoshi whispered, "we're talking to each other again."

"Oh, right, shoot," Fireball said, quickly turning away from Antoshi, both of them acting casually, but it certainly didn't take away from the amusement the other trainers experienced from watching their antics.

"Pallet Town!" Fireball exclaimed as he and his friend got off the ferry. Antoshi was amazed to be in Pallet Town, as it was the hometown of his childhood idol, when Pokémon journeys were nothing more than a dream for him. Matt walked past Antoshi and flashed him an arrogant smirk.

"See ya, kid," he said, putting some hustle into his step as he got absorbed into the crowd.

"Uh, see ya," Antoshi muttered, wondering what his expression was all about. He shrugged it off, he and his Pokémon friend stepping foot onto the same beaten, dirt path that had been there for a century.

"This is so cool," Fireball remarked as he looked at all the houses, realizing they were exactly the same as in Antoshi's magazines. He was as much a wide-eyed fan as Antoshi was.

"Look, there it is!" Antoshi exclaimed, quickly running up to a large stone statue that towered high over him. He could feel his chest swell with pride, a big smile forming over his lips.

"Wow, it's really him," Fireball said. "The legend himself."

"Ketchum," Antoshi muttered to himself as he looked over the detail of the statue, the tall figure of a grown man with unruly sable hair with a very common-looking Pikachu on his shoulder. Antoshi clasped his hands together, smiling as he closed his eyes for a silent prayer. "You're my greatest hero," he added as he opened his eyes and looked up at the statue once more. "I hope I can follow in your footsteps." Antoshi sighed happily, feeling immensely fulfilled to have visited the statue. He then began to walk over to the famous Oak Laboratory.

"Come on, Fire," he said as he walked away. Fireball smiled at the statue as well, knowing how much it meant to Antoshi, and was happy that he was there to share the moment with him.

"All right," he replied, quickly catching up to the boy. A small crowd was lining up outside the laboratory, as it had become a tourist attraction after its owner had passed on, and became even more popular upon the crowning of Champion Ketchum.

"Ten bucks to get in?" Antoshi wondered aloud as he read the small sign. "Well, I'm sure mom will spot me once we get to Viridian Ci--" Antoshi froze in place when he reached in his back pocket and realized his wallet was gone. He immediately panicked, checking all of his pockets, before quickly taking his backpack off.

"What happened, Antoshi?" Fireball asked with worry.

"I can't find my wallet!" he replied in a panic. He panted fearfully as he dug through his various clothes and supplies and couldn't find it.

"Well... your mom can send you more money, right?" he cautiously asked.

"My wallet had my badges in it!" he tearfully exclaimed. Fireball felt like the wind had been punched out of his chest.

"We--we worked so hard for those badges..." Fireball quietly remarked as he sat next to his friend who was quickly welling up with tears. Antoshi gasped when he suddenly remembered Matt standing next to him before they got on the ferry.

'See ya, kid,' he remembered Matt say, realizing then as to why he had such a cocky smirk on his face. Antoshi quickly became angered, gritting his teeth as he shook the tears out of his eyes.

"We have to find Matt!" Antoshi said as he slung his backpack over his shoulders and began running off.

"Wait, who?!" Fireball called out, unsure of which human he was referring to.

"The guy with the short, brown hair!" he called back. Fireball caught a glimpse of him in his mind, as he saw him smirk at Antoshi when they left the ferry. He punched his palm eagerly as he followed after Antoshi.

"Got it!" he said with a determined look on his face.

Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:13 pm
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Chapter 3

Finding the pickpocket turned out to be an impossible task. They had headed down the long stretch of path bridging Pallet Town and Viridian City, Route 1, with no luck. There were only a few trainers heading in either direction, and none of them recalled seeing a young man with short, brown hair. Matt had disappeared shortly after they got off the ferry, and there were countless acres of untouched forest surrounding Pallet Town which he could have easily ducked into. As the sun set, the two travelers were feeling exhaustion set in. Antoshi sat down in the grass with a glum look on his face. Fireball didn't know what to say, as he too felt the pain of their hard work going down the drain.

"Maybe I wasn't meant to be a Pokémon Trainer," he quietly said, staring blankly at the grass.

"I think you're an awesome Pokémon Trainer, Ant," Fireball said as he sat next to Antoshi. Antoshi smiled a bit as he looked at his friend, but it quickly faded.

"At least I still have my best buddy," Antoshi said. Fireball grinned at his remark, giving him a friendly pat on the back. Antoshi had been with Fireball since he was a small child. Fireball, a Cyndaquil, was given to him as a gift from his parents. He was skeptical of the little fire mouse at first, who was also just as skeptical around him. But on their first encounter, the little Cyndaquil accidentally burped up a ball of fire that singed off some of Antoshi's hair. The young Antoshi laughed in response, and his parents decided to name him 'Fireball.'

Since then, Antoshi never caught any other Pokémon as he felt a deep bond of friendship with Fireball, watching him evolve through their training at home into a Quilava, and then again on their current journey into a lumbering Typhlosion. It all worked out, because the blond-haired trainer never needed any other Pokémon. Though he repeated some gyms after losing, Antoshi gained all of his badges with victories solely with his best friend, and knew it was no fluke that he never caught any other Pokémon. Eventually, he let Fireball out of his Pokéball more and more until he never felt the need to recall him.

"You know," Fireball started, "we can still get that last badge. Even if we can't go to the Indigo League, at least we'll know we could have." Antoshi nodded, feeling his spirits lifted a bit.

"Yeah," he said as it made sense to him more and more. "Let's do it. That was our quest from day one: to collect all eight badges. That last badge will be like our own trophy!" He then gave the big lug a big hug. "You'll always be my best friend."

"That's right," he agreed, hugging him back. "Friends 'til the end." As night was quickly falling, Antoshi took off his backpack, unzipping the 'emergency supplies' pocket and withdrawing a decent amount of tinder and firewood he'd accumulated while walking through forests and wooded areas. He stacked them up into a tent-like pattern, and Fireball calmly gave it a puff of fire to get a small campfire going. Antoshi unhooked the sleeping bag atop his backpack and unrolled it before sitting down atop it.

They sat on opposite sides of the fire, blankly staring at it as it quietly popped and crackled, realizing their journey would soon be coming to an end. Antoshi yawned, and Fireball yawned louder. The boy grinned, yawning even louder than that, and Fireball raised the volume even higher. The two of them engaged in a loudest yawning contest for a moment until Fireball let out a disorienting, loud yawn that threw the trainer off his senses and caused him to fall onto his side. They both laughed as it became clear to them that there were things far more important than collecting badges. Having each other for a best friend was the best thing that happened to both of them.

Hours later, long after both of them had gone to sleep and their small campfire began to dwindle in size, Antoshi's brown eyes weakly opened. Amidst the sound of countless crickets chirping in the woods all around them, there was the audible sound of a stomach growling. He and Fire hadn't eaten dinner, since they had no food and nobody to give them a handout. He groaned, rubbing his stomach as he looked around, his head still resting on the pillow. His eyes widened a bit at the sight of an apple, barely visible with the flickering orange glow of the fire. He groaned even louder, reaching out for it. It was a bit cold, and he didn't want to leave his sleeping bag, but he was also being unnecessarily lazy about it.

"Come ooon over heeere," he quietly sang to the apple, trying to get the inanimate object to move closer to him. He groaned in defeat as the apple was too far to reach, letting his arm fall onto the cold grass. He sighed loudly, his body going limp for a moment before he suddenly groaned loudly in effort, trying even harder to reach for the apple. He was putting out more energy than was needed, groaning loudly as he inched ever closer to it. Just then, his eyes seemed to flicker a purplish hue, his hand flickering purple for a split second as well, causing him to utter a curious groan. Suddenly, the apple seemingly came alive, and lurched right into Antoshi's hand, stopping only an inch away as it inexplicably floated over the ground.

Antoshi gasped in surprise, pulling his hand away, only to realize the apple was bonded with it. He sat up in his sleeping bag, eyes wide with shock as the apple floated freely over his open palm. He couldn't believe what he was seeing, and pinched his cheek with his free hand to check if he was dreaming.

"Ow," he quietly uttered from the pain. He gazed endlessly at the apple, watching it slowly rotate in his hand as though it were underwater. "Wh-what's going on here?" he nervously asked, unsure of what to think of such an experience. Fireball groaned, turning over on the grass as his eyes slowly opened.

"What is it, Ant--whoa," he interrupted himself when he saw the free floating apple and quickly sat up. "How did you do that?!" he asked as he watched such a thrilling sight.

"I... I... I didn't," the boy replied in confusion as Fireball crawled over to him. "I mean, I just reached out for it and it just... stuck to my hand like this." Fireball ran his hand through the space between the apple and Antoshi's palm, grinning excitedly.

"That is so awesome," he cheerfully replied. Antoshi suddenly became nervous, shaking his hand and letting the apple fall into his lap. Fire became concerned. "What's wrong?"

"I--I don't know what this means," he worriedly replied. "I just get a strange feeling like... something bad is going to come of this."

"It's just an apple, though," Fire said, unsure of what the big deal was. Antoshi flashed back to the previous night's dream, the figure shrouded in darkness. His mind was telling him it was somehow connected with the apple incident, but he couldn't understand why.

"Don't worry about it," Fire reassured him, realizing the boy was deep in thought. "We should just get some rest now." Antoshi nodded.

"You're right," he agreed, smiling as he slipped back under his sleeping bag. "Sorry for waking you up, Fire."

"That's all right," he replied as he crawled back to his own resting spot, giving the nearly-smoldering campfire another puff of heat as he passed by. The two of them laid down, closing their tired eyes.

"Good night again, Antoshi," Fire said. Antoshi chuckled.

"Good night again, Fire." It didn't take Fireball long to fall back asleep, but Antoshi, still worried about what had occurred, gazed blankly at his hand in front of his face, still having a sinking feeling that the event was some kind of premonition.

The next morning, the duo awoke at the crack of dawn. They felt quite rested, and eager to continue their journey, until they remembered they were down seven badges. The mood between them became a bit solemn, but they knew the journey had to come to an end eventually.

"Ready to go?" the boy asked his friend with a bit of a smirk. He grinned and nodded.

"Absolutely," he replied confidently, the two of them heaving a sigh to let go of their inhibitions and pressing forward, through the straight, long path of Route 1. Antoshi felt a sense of thrill as he realized he was stamping down the same, beaten dirt path that his idol, the legendary Pokémon Master, walked down as he began his own journey so many years ago. Fireball felt good as he looked over and saw his friend gazing down at the ground with a joyous grin on his face. He smiled, knowing everything would work out in the end, as he kept his gaze ahead, until the sight of tall buildings appeared over the trees in the distance.

"We're almost there!" Fireball exclaimed, causing the trainer to lift his head and notice the sight as well. They both grinned and took off into a run, eventually having to stop for a moment as they ran out of energy. The upcoming city was farther than it seemed. Once they were ready, they quickly broke into a run again, acting as though nothing had stopped them, until they reached the outskirts of the city.

"Wow," Antoshi remarked at the sight of the bustling city. "Viridian City. 'The Eternally Green Paradise,'" he added, quoting an article he read on the city. His expression turned into a pained smile as he realized he was looking at the end. He and his partner trudged forth, toward the noisy confines of the city. Fireball looked at his friend, realizing his mood was shifting ever closer to sadness. He hummed thoughtfully, trying to shift his focus away from his predicament.

"So, um," Fire began, "what happened last night with the apple?" Antoshi gasped in surprise, as though he weren't expecting such a question, his mind having been focused on the loss of their badges.

"Well... I don't know..." he replied distantly.

"Was it the first time that ever happened? I never saw anything like it before." Antoshi looked to the partly cloudy sky as he recalled any similar occurrences.

"I remember something strange happened to me," he said, "when I was younger. It happened before school one morning. Some bullies were starting to pick on me."

"Bullies?!" Fire roared, surprising his young companion. "You shoulda told me about them! I would've jumped right in there and gave 'em all a good shot to the nose!" he exclaimed, punching his fists through the air for emphasis. Fire glanced down and realized the trainer was staring at him strangely. "...Go on."

"Anyway, they started to back me into a corner. I didn't know what to do so I just shut my eyes and clenched my teeth real hard. They were about to start hitting me when something inside me just... lost control. I screamed so loud, as loud as I could, and then everything went quiet. I opened my eyes and I saw the three of them just lying on the ground. I didn't know what happened, I thought someone came to save me, but there was nobody around. They weren't really hurt, just knocked to the ground, so I ran away as fast as I could. They never bothered me anymore after that and I never knew why."

The duo stepped onto the sidewalk as they entered winding twists and turns of the city streets. The many people on the narrow sidewalk then had to deal with an over six-foot, massive Pokémon sharing the small pathway of pavement with them. People kept having to sidestep or bump into him, occasionally complaining at Antoshi for letting his large Pokémon walk freely on the streets.

"Hey!" Fireball shouted back to one man. "Leave him alone or I'm gonna give you a black eye to match that black suit!" As expected, his words were no more than angry growls and roars, which caused the man to start trembling in his shoes and quickly flee from the upset Typhlosion. Antoshi contemplated putting Fireball back in his Pokéball for a little while, until they were able to challenge the Viridian Gym Leader. As he thought it over, several other people ended up bumping into him.

"How rude!" a woman exclaimed.

"You saw me towering over you, lady!" Fireball snapped. He huffed angrily and turned around as Antoshi pulled out his Pokéball.

"Hey, Fire, maybe you should go back into your Pokéball for a sec," he quietly suggested. Fire's attention was pulled away from his trainer when he noticed a familiar, brown-haired frame in the distance, peering out from an alleyway. His eyes went wide, realizing it was the human that stole their year's-worth of work, and didn't waste a second before charging toward him.

"It's him!" Fireball exclaimed as he tore through the crowd, pushing people out of his way amidst their loud shouting and complaining. All Antoshi saw was his Pokémon barrelling through a crowd of innocent people and panicked, keeping the Pokéball in his hand as he gave chase.

"Fire, wait!" he shouted. The determined Pokémon didn't even look back as his trainer shouted to him, gritting his teeth angrily as he thought about how he was going to teach that guy a lesson about not stealing. Matt seemed to smirk, without even glancing at Fireball, and calmly retreated back into the alleyway. Fire furred his brow, seemingly hot on his heels as he turned the corner into the alley.

"Get back here!" Fire shouted as he disappeared from Antoshi's sight. The boy gasped, picking up the pace, apologizing to people as he bumped into them, dashing around the corner, into the alley, where it was somewhat dark, but there was nobody in sight.

"What a terrible trainer," he heard someone say on the sidewalk.

"No control over his Pokémon," another person replied. Antoshi tried to not let their comments get to him, as he ran down the alley.

"Fire?!" he shouted, realizing there was a small maze of alleyways interlocked with each other. He ran as much as he could, his eyes constantly scanning around for his Pokémon, calling his name only to get no response. He was panicking. After a few long moments of non-stop running, his eyes began welling up with tears, realizing both his badges and his Pokémon were gone. He huffed loudly, grabbing the chest of his shirt as he could feel his heart sinking into his stomach. He was scared, feeling lost and alone without his friend, wiping the endlessly flowing tears from his eyes as he sobbed, his trembling legs slowly carrying him out of the alleyway, and back onto the streets, where the pedestrians noticed him crying.

"What's the matter, lad?" an old gentleman asked, placing a hand on his shoulder while a handful of other people surrounded him.

"I... I lost my Pokémon," he tearfully explained, clenching the Pokéball in his hand. The small crowd around him became concerned as he stood there, clenching his teeth as he tried to hold back his sobs, but it was futile. Fireball meant everything to him on his journey. The badges they lost paled in importance to his best friend. All he could see when he shut his eyes and wiped away the tears were memories of his friend, ceaselessly accompanying him on his long journey, always willing to move forward, always eager to reach their next destination, to obtain their next badge. It was the fact that they had each other that pushed them both forward. As he stood there, he could feel the amount of time they spent together, long before they even started their journey, the memories they had, all dissipating.

Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:14 pm
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Chapter 4

Eventually, an Officer Jenny stationed in Viridian City, drove past the scene on her motorbike, pulling over to see what the commotion was about. Antoshi was still too stunned by his loss, so curious bystanders filled in Jenny on the details. Jenny became upset, and a bit agitated. She knew it was the work of the criminal organization known as Team Rocket.

After many years of silence from the gang due to their breakup decades ago, and the eventual passing of their former leader Giovanni, Team Rocket reformed and returned to their predecessor's modus operandi in stealing and selling Pokémon from unsuspecting trainers. Jenny had been chomping at the bit to arrest any individuals associated with Team Rocket, but all she'd gotten was narrow escapes from suspects and dead-ends. She felt she could kill two birds with one stone by helping return the trainer's Pokémon as well as subduing a Team Rocket cell.

"Hey," Jenny softly spoke up as she placed a hand on Antoshi's shoulder. He looked up and saw a warm smile on her face in stark contrast to his disheartened expression. "Are you all right?" He slowly shook his head in disagreement. Jenny just nodded, fully aware of how he felt as she'd seen it before.

"I'd like for you to come to the station with me and tell me what happened," she explained. "I want to help you reunite with your Pokémon, okay?" The boy seemed to perk up a little at the thought of getting his Pokémon back, and nodded. She got back on her motorbike, motioning for him to sit behind her.

"Hold on tight!" she exclaimed just before revving the bike up and speeding away. As Antoshi held onto Officer Jenny, he stared blankly at the scenery of the city as they blazed past. He was unfazed by the seemingly reckless speed and driving of Officer Jenny, weaving in and out of slower moving cars all in an effort to get back to the station as quickly as possible. All Antoshi could think about was his best friend, and where he was at that moment.

It took mere moments for Jenny to get back to the station, parking her motorbike out front and hopping off with Antoshi in tow. The two entered a relatively small police station with only half a dozen other police officers inside. Jenny led Antoshi into her own office, sitting him down in front of her desk while she briefly exited the room. He sighed heavily, idly looking over the desk, seeing her personal effects and various knick-knacks along with a computer.

The thought of his best friend being lost was inescapable. He wondered if Jenny could really get Fireball back, or if it was a lost cause. Jenny then returned to the office, closing the door behind her before handing the boy a cup of coffee, placing her own cup on the desk as she sat behind it. He was not interested in coffee, gently placing the cup on the desk as he stared blankly at the ground. Jenny felt badly. She wanted to get him his Pokémon back, but at the same time, wanted to apprehend the criminals responsible even more.

"Why don't we just start from the beginning?" Jenny spoke up, breaking the silence. He looked up at her, causing her to see the sorrow in his brown eyes, making her empathize with him. She took out a piece of paper and a pen from her desk, preparing to write on it. "So, take me through the events."

"It all just kind of... happened so quickly," he muttered. "One minute we were talking, the next minute, Fireball went crazy, starting running away from me and down an alley. I don't know what he was chasing, but he was so determined to get to it. He ran through an alley and by the time I got there, he was... gone." Jenny wrote down most of what he said while Antoshi shifted his glance to the floor again, feeling his desperation all over again as he relived the moment in time.

"Did you happen to see what the person looked like?" Jenny asked, continuing to write on the paper.

"Person?" Antoshi asked. "I don't... know. I didn't see anyone."

"The people on the street told me your Typhlosion chased a young man down the alleyway," Jenny explained. "Nobody gave me a solid description, since they were terrified of the Pokémon charging at them." Antoshi couldn't help but let out a brief chuckle, as it seemed like something Fireball would naturally get himself into. His expression turned serious when he began to put the puzzle together in his mind.

'It's him!' he remembered Fireball shouting. 'Get back here!' he recalled him shout as well.

"It might have been him..." Antoshi muttered to himself.

"Him who?" Jenny asked, looking up at the boy with interest. Suddenly, Antoshi's expression turned to shock, gasping loudly. "What?" Jenny asked, concerned. "What is it? Did you remember something?"

"Fireball!" the boy exclaimed, jumping out of his seat and charging out of the office. Jenny quickly gave chase, wondering where he was running off to.

"Wait!" she called out. "I'm not finished with the questions!" Antoshi ignored her, rushing out of the police station, after attracting the attention of all the other officers within.

"It's okay," Jenny reassured them as she followed Antoshi outside. The boy stood there on the sidewalk, looking around as though he were searching for something in the street. "What happened?" Jenny asked.

"I... I saw him," Antoshi said in disbelief.


"Fireball!" he replied. "I can't explain it, but he's here somewhere, he's..." he trailed off, his eyes seemed to focus themselves on a red convertible driving by him and Jenny. "There!" Antoshi shouted. "Fireball!" he yelled as he gave chase to the car, recklessly running into the street, causing cars behind him to screech to a sudden halt.

"Wait!" Jenny shouted at the top of her lungs, fearing for the boy's safety. She wasted no time in requisitioning her motorbike and giving chase.

The two people in the car, a young man and woman, had annoyed expressions on their faces.

"Shut that Typhlosion up already!" the girl said from behind the wheel, hearing Antoshi shouting at them. The young man, turned and growled, pounding on the trunk.

"Be quiet in there!" he shouted. Fireball roared loudly from the trunk, being bound and gagged, but that didn't stop him from thrashing and yelling as much as he could.

"I'm coming, Fireball!" Antoshi shouted, catching the young man's attention in the car. He and Antoshi exchanged glances, both of them gasping. Antoshi quickly realized it was Matt, the same young man who stole his wallet and badges. Now, he had stolen his best friend, and Antoshi became furious.

"Step on it!" Matt shouted to his accomplice in the driver's seat. She nodded and pushed the gas down to the floor, the car speeding off, swerving around other cars in its path to keep its speed up.

"No!" Antoshi shouted. "Fireball!" he called out, somehow able to see a glowing outline of his friend in the trunk as he struggled with all his might. "I can't lose you! Not again!" Antoshi pushed himself to the limits of how fast he could run, but it wasn't enough, their car slowly disappearing from sight. Antoshi gave a loud cry of desperation, suddenly leaving his feet and taking to the air, his body hovering over the ground as he sped toward the car.

Antoshi gasped in shock, flailing in the air, only to quickly realize he wasn't falling; he was flying. His jaw hung open in disbelief, unknowingly drifting into the oncoming lane of traffic. A truck blared its horn loudly, catching the boy's attention, causing him to swiftly avoid the vehicle with a cry of surprise, but it wasn't nearly as surprised as the trucker's face, realizing he had almost run into a boy flying through the air.

Jenny gasped as he looked in the distance, seeing Antoshi flying. The boy became a spectacle for people on the street, whether on foot or in a car, they watched in shock as he flew by them.

"Are they filming a movie?" someone on the sidewalk asked.

"This is getting too strange for me," Jenny muttered to herself as she accelerated to try to catch up. The young woman in the convertible looked in her side view mirror, gasping loudly at what she saw.

"What is it, Naomi?" Matt asked. He saw her endlessly gazing in the mirror with a shocked expression. He turned around and yelled in disbelief when he saw Antoshi catching up with them -- in mid-air. "Wh-what the hell is this kid?!"

"I don't care!" Naomi shouted at him. "Just off him!" Matt growled, reaching into the glove compartment and pulling out a handgun which he quickly cocked. He stood up on the seat of the car and took aim at Antoshi.

"You're not going to stop our plans!" Matt shouted at him. "Especially not after you're dead!" Antoshi panicked at the sight of the gun being pointed at him, and suddenly time slowed down considerably for him. He panted fearfully as Matt slowly pulled the trigger, the bullet leaving the barrel slow enough for him to see it and therefore dodge accordingly.

"What the hell?!" Matt yelled as Antoshi's position shifted in the blink of an eye, dodging the bullets time and time again.

"Kill him!" Naomi screamed at Matt.

"I'm trying!" Matt screamed back. "He's too fast!"

"If you don't kill him, the boss is going to kill us for letting him down after we told him we were bringing a Typhlosion to him!" Matt growled in frustration, chucking the gun at Antoshi, only to have him dodge that as well.

"Fireball!" Antoshi exclaimed as he neared the car and grabbed onto the trunk. Fireball gasped in surprise, hearing a voice he never expected to hear ever again.

"An-o-fee!" he shouted with a cloth tied over his mouth, excited about being reunited with his friend. Antoshi laughed, overjoyed to hear his friend respond, still able to see him through the shell of the car.

"Damn it!" Naomi shouted. "Get him off!"

"Hey!" Matt shouted to the younger boy. Antoshi looked up, immediately giving Matt an angered look as their eyes met. He gasped as Matt swung a punch at him, Antoshi avoided by shifting to the other side of the car, grabbing onto Naomi's seat and inadvertently grabbing her long, brown hair. She shrieked in surprise, not expecting him to grab her, panicking as she took her hands off the wheel to pry him off.

"Let go of me!" she angrily demanded.

"Sorry!" Antoshi replied, grabbing onto the trunk again.

"Hey, look out!" Matt screamed, realizing they were swerving off the road. Naomi grabbed the wheel, but it was too late, the three of them screaming in terror as they crashed into a light pole.

Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:34 am
Bug Catcher
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:38 am
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Chapter 5

The trio groaned as they sat up from the wreckage. The pole had smashed in the middle of the car's hood.

"Oh, man," Naomi muttered, still dazed from the air bag deploying in her face. Matt also had the luxury of an air bag cushioning him but Antoshi did not. Luckily for him, however, he had clung to the trunk of the car like an immovable magnet, his fingertips pressed firmly into the red chassis, not realizing his hands were glowing a pale purplish color. Antoshi shook off the shock of the crash, ignoring the bystanders who had begun to encircle to car and make sure the passengers were all right. He quickly hopped off the car, pulling frantically at the trunk.

"What are you doing, young man?" a gentleman asked from the sidewalk. "There's nothing more important than your well-being in that trunk!"

"Yes, there is!" he quickly retorted, grunting with effort as he pulled on the trunk. He squinted his eyes closed, gritting his teeth, the purple hue around his hands glowing brighter. "I'm going to get you out, buddy!" The metal began to creak in his hands, Antoshi's newfound strength bending the metal away from the rest of the car, capturing the awe of the bystanders, until, with one last grunt of effort, he pulled the trunk up, the metal twisted around where he had grabbed it.

"Fire?!" he frantically spoke, shaking his friend's shoulders, finding him seemingly unconscious. "Wake up, please!" Fireball came to life just then, groaning weakly.

"Ugh," he muttered, his speech muffled from the cloth around his mouth. Antoshi laughed happily, pulling the cloth off Fireball's face and frantically untying the ropes around his hands and ankles. He helped his Pokémon friend sit up, shifting the weight of the car to the back edge as he did so, smiling as he pat his friend on the back.

"What just happened?" Fireball groaned.

"We crashed," Antoshi nonchalantly replied. Fire looked up at him with an incredulous expression.

"Crashed into what?" he asked. Antoshi pointed to the front of the car, Fireball turned and gasped as he saw the front of the car seemingly bent around the light pole. "What about--" Fire looked at his two captors in the front of the car, seemingly dazed and unresponsive. He growled softly, wanting to exact a little revenge on the two.

"It's okay," Antoshi spoke up before his friend followed through with his idea. Fireball looked at him in confusion.

"But they took our badges," Fireball said, "everything we worked for. Then they tried to kidnap me! They should be punished!"

"They will be," Antoshi reassured his friend, looking back and spotting Officer Jenny hopping off her motorbike with a shocked expression.

"Is everyone all right?!" Jenny asked with worry. Antoshi nodded.

"I got my buddy back," Antoshi said, looking back to his friend with a smile, who smiled as well.

"Doesn't look like those two are going anywhere," Jenny proudly said, ecstatic to finally get her hands on the criminals she'd been seeking. She then turned her attention to Antoshi. "I don't know who you are," she said, "or where you came from, but you're one heck of a special kid. This has to be the craziest day I've ever had on this job." Antoshi grinned from ear to ear at Jenny, just before stumbling backwards. Jenny gasped and caught him under his arms.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"Yeah," he quietly replied, his eyes fluttering. "I'm just... kind of tired right now." He gave her a reassuring chuckle as she helped him get to his feet.

"I'll get you to the hospital in just a bit," Jenny said with a nod before turning to the crowd gathered around the accident site. "All of you are going to need to move back!" she shouted in a commanding voice, not a single person disobeying her order. She then reached for the walkie-talkie on her shoulder and prepared to call in the accident.

At the same time, Naomi came to life, an angered look on her face as she slowly turned her head toward Antoshi, who was chuckling softly as he held onto the car for support. She slunk out from the driver's seat, mustering the strength to get to her feet, catching Antoshi's attention.

"You... little... rat!" she roared angrily, catching the attention of more people, including Officer Jenny.

"Hey, you!" Jenny shouted. "Stay in the car!"

"Nobody crosses Team Rocket and lives!" she sprung forward, shoving Antoshi hard into the street, right into the path of an oncoming bus. Antoshi stared at it, frozen in shock as it blared its horn at him, unable to stop in time.

"No!" Fireball shouted from the car. Antoshi saw a light flash in front of his eyes suddenly as he stretched his arms out toward the truck in the blink of an eye. The last thing he saw was his arms covered in the mysterious purple light before everything went black.


Antoshi slowly opened his eyes, met with a bright, fluorescent light.

"Oh, no," he muttered. "Am... I dead?"

"Not even close," a familiar voice replied. Antoshi looked over, seeing his best friend sitting on a chair next to him. He sat up, realizing he was in a hospital bed.

"What... what happened?" he asked, rubbing his eyes. Fireball just chuckled, chewing on a piece of apple. He said nothing, only holding up a newspaper to the boy, who took it, gasping at the front page's headline. 'Boy Stops Bus With Bare Hands.'

"Did I... really do this?" he asked incredulously as he gazed over the black-and-white picture of him being loaded onto a stretcher, a large gash in the front of the bus that apparently did not take his life.

"Yep," Fireball replied as though he weren't surprised, biting off some more of his apple. "Nobody got hurt, by the way. Not even you. Officer Jenny made sure nobody came to bother you in the hospital." Antoshi looked at him curiously. "A lot of people saw what happened! Aside from the paper, Jenny is trying to keep it as quiet as possible." Antoshi nodded, wishing to thank Officer Jenny for all she'd done.

"And what about, you know, those two?"

"In jail," Fireball said, happy to be catching his friend up on current events. "You were right though, they will be punished. And it'll be way better than anything I could've done to them. They'll get to savor it for a lot longer," he added with a chuckle. Antoshi smiled at his friend.

"You're okay, too?" he asked.

"Never better!" he exclaimed as he got to his feet and stretched. "Antoshi," he said, looking down at his friend with a serious expression. "I didn't get to tell you this earlier, but... thanks. I don't think I can ever thank you enough for saving me."

"There is one way," Antoshi said, grabbing his friend's attention. The boy's lips curled into a smirk. "Don't run off without telling me ever again." The two of them broke out a couple of grins.

"Absolutely!" he boisterously agreed. The two of them then went silent, suddenly remembering how Matt had stolen their badges. Fireball waited until Antoshi looked away, a devious smirk coming across his lips.

"Oh, I almost forgot," Fire said, suddenly tossing something into Antoshi's lap. "That's a little extra 'thank you' present as well." Antoshi gasped, unable to keep his jaw from hanging open as he realized it was his wallet. He quickly opened, seeing all seven badges, present and accounted for.

"Fire, you... you got them back!" he exclaimed in disbelief.

"I wasn't going to go through all that trouble and get nothing out of it," Fireball explained. "I didn't really pick his pocket to get them back as much as I tore it off." Antoshi laughed, overjoyed to have everything important to him returned all in one sitting.

"By the way," Fire spoke up, causing Antoshi to look up at him. "How did you... you know, do all that stuff? First the thing with the apple, Officer Jenny told me you 'saw' me in the trunk of the car and that you flew after it, then you stopped a bus. A bus, Antoshi! That's... totally insane!" Antoshi chuckled nervously, looking down at his open palms. He wasn't sure whether to be proud of what he'd done or be afraid of it.

"I don't... know. It's like... it just happened," he muttered. "When I was in the police station, I saw you in my mind. It's like you were moving really fast outside. When I ran out there, I just saw you, like an outline, inside the car."

"But flying had to be the coolest part, right?!" Fireball asked with enthusiasm. Antoshi chuckled.

"Well, yeah, I guess so..."

"Do it right now!"

"I don't remember how to," he said. "I ran as fast as I could, then I started flying when I couldn't catch up." Antoshi swallowed nervously, clenching his fists. "I'm not so excited about all this," he said, confusing his friend.

"What? Why not?" he asked. "Flying has to be awesome!"

"It's like how I could feel your presence outside the police station. Right now I feel like something very bad is going to happen. Something that includes all this stuff I just did." Fireball mirrored his friend's glum expression for a moment, but quickly perked back up.

"I know one thing that can't be very bad, though," he said. "Getting that eighth badge." Antoshi's spirits perked up at the idea.

"You're right," he said, quickly pulling the blanket off himself, but suddenly realized his clothes were dirty, worn and torn up after everything he went through. "Good thing mom packed extra clothes for me," he said, finding his backpack on the floor and opening it, pulling out a red t-shirt and blue jeans. But when he put them on, he realized they were a bit big for him.

"Geez, Antoshi," Fireball said, looking at his friend's new apparel. "How long did your mom think you were gonna be gone? Three years?" Antoshi chuckled, cinching up his belt to keep the baggy blue jeans from falling down.

"Oh well," he said, looking over his new clothes. "I kind of like it!"

"I like it, too," he said, walking alongside his friend as they exited the room. "Makes you look like a rap artist," he added, both of them laughing at the idea. "Hey yo I'm Antoshi, rolling with Fire, he's my numba-one G, don't call me a liar."

"Ah, knock it off," Antoshi said, playfully shoving Fireball's arm. The two of them then looked for the nurse's station, talking to one to get him discharged from the hospital. It took a bit of back and forth debating, as there was still the issue of the bill. However, Antoshi didn't want to alert of his parents of what had happened to him and expressed that. The compassionate nurse decided to let him leave, but they had to do so without any of the staff see them.

It was no simple task with a Pokémon as large as fireball. However, they found a stairwell and descended it as quietly as they could. Antoshi peered out from the ground floor exit before they made a quick dash out of the hospital. They both sighed heavily in relief, finally able to resume their journey.

"Hey, how long was I in the hospital?" Antoshi asked as he adjusted his backpack.

"Two days," Fire casually replied.

"Two days?!" he asked in shock. His expression quickly turned to seriousness. "Well, that's two days we'll just have to make up for!" Antoshi and Fireball marched their way back into the city. The bright mid-day sun shined down warmly upon them, reflecting a bit off of Antoshi's shiny hair, giving the impression of a blond ray of sunshine. A sense of euphoria surrounded them knowing that, with their badges returned and each other by their side, they no longer had anything to worry about, and that their lives had returned to normal. The two were focused on their next destination: Viridian Gym, ready to give it their all for the eighth badge and move onto their much-anticipated goal, the Indigo Plateau.

At the same time however, far away from the carefree duo, a small town in the nearby continent of Johto had been completely destroyed. Where the town once bustled with life was now a shallow crater. Absolutely nothing was left in the wake of what appeared to be an explosion. But as the law officials began to investigate, it didn't take them long at all to find the one sole survivor: a young boy with sable hair, unconscious in the very epicenter of the crater. Curiously, despite the apparent enormity of the explosion, the boy was left unscathed.

The End

(Just so nobody's confused, "The End" does not denote the end of this series, just this particular story. If you enjoyed this story please be assured that there is more of the Antoshi series yet to come, and please rate/review. Thanks for reading!)

Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:25 pm
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