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Old March 2nd, 2008, 04:18 PM
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Grovyle42(Griff8416)
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Sorry for the ungodly long wait. I only posted the first part of the chapter because it would 1.) be very long if it was the whole thing. 2.) Since it's been so long, I would have rushed the second part because I'm so eager to post.

The first part was co-written my Diamondpearl876. Let's see who can spot the difference!

Anyways... ENJOY!

Exile: Part 1

The sound of the heart wrenching bars closing rang through Jeff’s ears; it was a sound he’d never even dreamed of hearing in a million years. The reverberation merely reminded him of his stripped freedom to continue his journey as a trainer for however long the police intended to keep him locked up. More importantly, it was impossible to reach Atlas or Treecko; he wasn’t as worried about the others, since they were left with Kevin and Rachel as he was led to this wretched place in handcuffs. He managed to tell Kevin to retrieve Treecko for him in order to tell him of the situation.

Jeff took a look at his surroundings, even though there wasn‘t much to be acknowledged in the room; the bed and the toilet, each placed in one corner of the cell, looked even more uninviting and unsettling than the cold, hard metal that had been harshly placed upon his wrists. What kinds of people had actually slept in this place? Criminals, convicts, and other things that Jeff believed he shouldn‘t be called. . . He definitely didn’t belong here, although people probably now presumed that he was; the thought caused a sickening feeling in his stomach. Jeff could sense the hatred and the wanting for revenge in the room, which unwittingly brought up another question: what exactly had these people thought when they were stuck in this dreadful place? He couldn’t imagine himself trying to get back at Brawly, the police, the Growlithe that had pinned him to the ground, or anyone else . . . It was his own impulsiveness that had gotten him into this mess.

Even though he had never known them before, Jeff didn’t want to become even more like those people. He took a deep breath and refused to think about everyone who had been apart of him being sent to the station. He walked over to the most appealing part of the room, which was undoubtedly the window. Peering outside past the metal bars, the only thing to be seen was a part of a forest with bits of the cave through the lush trees, but it was enough for the nauseating feeling in his stomach to slowly diminish.

"We must be close to the beach," he solemnly thought.

The beach! Jeff’s thoughts quickly turned to Atlas, whose whereabouts were unknown to him. He felt a sudden panic wash over him and numerous questions jumbled through his mind--questions that couldn’t be answered without the help of the police or another person.

What if they hurt him, or shipped him off to evil Petalburg again? Why exactly did Atlas admit he did… the whole destruction thing? Not possible, not possible… Will they even let me own him again? Would taking him away even be legal?!

All the questions came in vain, and the fact that none of them were being answered tore away at his juvenile heart.

---

“Alright, guys, let’s bring this pest to the spot. Brawly will lead the way. Never look away from the Onix, and always be ready to listen to commands.” Numerous species of pokemon that had been released from their pokeballs surrounded the frightened rock serpent and immediately obeyed the instructions, focusing all of their attention on him. They began walking towards there destination, careful to pay attention to Atlas and where they were stepping at the same time. Atlas hesitated for a moment, unsure of what he wanted his next actions to be.

“<What are you doing? Move, or I’ll be forced to attack. We wouldn’t want that, now would we?>” one of the policemen’s Growlithe said with a menacing tone in his voice. He snarled and glared at Atlas, trying to scare him into moving. The fire-type succeeded easily, since the rock serpent was terrified to begin with; Atlas swiftly turned his head away and began moving through the soft sand.

As they were making progress towards their destination, Atlas couldn’t help but feel intimidated with all the eyes set upon him. All the infuriated faces were things he were use to from the past, and didn’t want to witness them anymore. Atlas tried to distract himself by looking towards the humans. They were talking amongst themselves, saying things Atlas couldn’t comprehend with the distance between them. He assumed it was about himself, or about Jeff…

… Jeff. He envisioned the teenager when he had been taken away against his will, and the faces of the other pokemon were left staring in awe, probably feeling helpless at the fact they couldn’t do anything about the unfortunate situation. Atlas had originally thought that maybe admitting his wrong doings would clear his conscious and end the whole thing for good, but it turned out things were getting even more complicated. He was unsure of what his next encounter with Jeff would be like--if there even was one. The Onix wasn’t even sure if he’d ever see him again, all because of his presence on the beach at the wrong time.

Atlas stared straight ahead, fighting the urge to look down at the daunting pokemon below him. He noticed they were slowly approaching an open clearing, and he was surprised when he saw several Machoke, most likely awaiting their arrival. Seeing that the pokemon possessed large chains, Atlas struggled not to yelp when he realized they were definitely planning to immobilize him for the time being. The Onix wasn’t preparing a great escape, but the thought of being weighed down like that terrified him. The thickness was close to that of a tree trunk, as if especially designed to trap an Onix in its place. The rock-type couldn’t help but think they had somehow prepared for this, expected for him to come back and wreak more havoc on the popular island.

“This is the place where I train my pokemon at. No dude really comes by here, so no worries. If he cries out people will think it‘s totally from the cave,” Brawly explained. His voice was loud and clear, matter-of-fact. “Only two guard dudes will have to stay here when the Onix is totally chained up. He won’t be going anywhere.”

When the teenager was finished speaking, Atlas saw a couple of the policemen smile and nod; they were getting exactly what they wanted. Atlas’ heart sank even more when the Machoke began to use their muscles to pick up the massive chains. Most of them went directly to the rock-type, and began working relentlessly on placing the chains on nearly all parts of his body, starting from the bottom. As they progressed, Atlas found it difficult to stay in his place, and struggled not to topple over onto the grass. More and more chains were used on the boulders that had increased in size. The chains tightened around his body, and Atlas didn’t know it was possible to feel so trapped in such an open area.

Just when Atlas thought that the Machoke had finished working on securing him in his place, he saw two of them head over to one side of the clearing, near the forest that blocked the frightened tourists’ views. The two of them worked together to tie the chains to the tree trunk.

How is that supposed to help anything…? Atlas wondered. With the chains already weighing him down significantly and the guards that he’d soon be stuck with, he figured it’d be enough to keep him in place until someone decided his fate. Whatever the reason was, Brawly and the other humans seemed satisfied with it. Brawly mentioned something else inaudible to Atlas, and he and all the policemen except two departed from the clearing; Atlas almost felt sorry for the two specific humans who had been hired for watching him, seeing as it was a waste of time--no spectacular plan was being devised.

Once the policemen and Brawly were finally gone, Atlas noticed that night was beginning to set in, which not only darkened the sky, but darkened his mood more as well. The tall trees seemed to be watching his every move, and warning the creatures that might’ve been thinking about running through the clearing to turn back.

“Don’t face the monster. Go back. He could attempt to break out of his chains at the sight of you and attack for no reason, just like he did to those poor peoples’ houses,” he could imagine them saying, and then numerous frightened, innocent faces . . .

Atlas could’ve made himself believe he was seeing things, but indeed there we faces in the darkness, and they were peering into the clearing through the trees. He could make out the outlines of a human, and a few other small creatures that Atlas recognized as Jeff and Rachel’s pokemon. So, they had followed him here! The rock-type had been focusing on Jeff that he had forgotten about anyone else.

There was only one thing left to wonder about them now that he knew their identities: what exactly were they going to do about this situation?

Atlas pondered this for a moment, but no ideas came to mind and he wished he could see what they were thinking. He honestly couldn’t visualize Corphish or Daedalus or any other small pokemon destroying the chains that suffocated his body. Atlas sighed. There seemed to be no use, and his hope quickly vanished. He continued to watch the unmoving figures; there wasn’t much else he could do with his current position.

After a few more moments of silence and gazing at them, he was shocked and disappointed when he saw them swiftly scurry away. Atlas presumed that there was nothing left for them to see here in the clearing, and that they went to tell Jeff he was alive and well. Suddenly, he heard a loud noise coming from a little inside the forest, back in the direction of the cave that Atlas had once resided in. An outline of a shadow emerged through the trees on the opposite side he had seen his friends, and was thrilled to see it was another Onix; no other pokemon could share the same structural shape.

The guards hastily turned around at the sound, and began taking out their red and white spheres to prepare to attack whatever dared to come by. They gaped at the sight of another Onix when it could be seen clearly, but they rapidly gained a hold of themselves and sent out their faithful companions, a Growlithe and a Meditite. The two pokemon got in their fighting stance, ready for what ever was going to be thrown at them.

Atlas looked back to get a clearer view of the other Onix, who was now fully in the clearing and had stopped dead in his tracks. The expression on its face told Atlas he was here for a reason, and hadn’t accidentally stumbled over the scene.

“Get out of the clearing, or we‘ll have to attack!” one of the guards ordered furiously.

Atlas waited for the pokemon’s next actions, but he contently stayed in his spot. He saw a smile creep up the pokemon’s face, and felt that he recognized the Onix from somewhere before.

“<Don’t think I’m leaving you here, all right?>” the Onix said. Atlas gasped, suddenly realizing that it was his friend from his old clan, Prometheus.

Still smiling, Prometheus turned to face the guards and their tiny pokemon. With a quick swing of the tail in the ground, a massive wave of sand flew into the air. He kept swinging his tail around in the ground causing vast quantities of granules to blot out most of the sun from the defenders of the sudden sandstorm.

“Growlithe, use Take Down! Don’t let it finish!” one of the guards shouted to the fire-type. By then, though, it was too late; the sandstorm had finished its effects, and Atlas found it increasingly harder to breathe through it all. He heard muffled coughs and whines from the pokemon and the guards, but was unable to see them through the blinding dust particles.

The rock-type heard Prometheus move a little, but Atlas was unsure as to whether or not he could see where he was going. Suddenly, a thunderous crash could be heard just near where Atlas was chained down. He could feel the ground tremble beneath him vigorously. Small cries from the guards rang through Atlas’ head; they were as oblivious to what was happening as Atlas was. Without warning, Atlas was yanked back by Prometheus’ body and another booming collision moved the earth under them. The coldness of the chains still rested on his body, but he could see now that he was free from the tree that had collided with the ground, thanks to Prometheus.

The other Onix whispered something inaudible to Atlas, and soon after he could feel himself ram into the ground. He was being dragged away from the clearing, away from the fallen tree that had taken him as a temporary prisoner, and from the guards had made a vain attempt at trying to get rid of Prometheus. The chains pushed hard against his body, but it was worth the pain; even though the destination was unknown, any place was better than here.

His craggy friend pulled him away tail-first, slowly easing him along with the broken chain which was tied to the tree in his mouth. All Atlas could do was watch the sandstorm behind them subside and watch the guards and pokemon stumble around, holding their eyes. They were moving at a nail bitingly slow pace. Atlas cringed and sighed, knowing that this wasn’t over by a long shot.

“<Wow, Atlas, have you gained weight?>” Prometheus mocked while biting down on the chain.

“<It’s the chains,>” answered Atlas grimly, hardly amused by the situation he was in. Although it was understandable that Prometheus couldn’t free him due to lack of time to escape, Atlas wished that these almost crushing chains were off of his rocky flesh already. The rock snake had a feeling that he knew where his friend was taking him- the cave which was home to more than just bad memories.

They left an unmistakable drag trail which looked more like a trench than anything else. The humans grew smaller and the already lightless night became darker. Atlas knew that they were now inside the cave. The immobile rock type lifted his eyes up to see a gigantic mouth of the cave- it was tall enough for even Prometheus to enter without ducking. He felt the chains form a sandwich between his own stony body and the moist rocky floor, creating an occasional spark while his friend dragged him.

“<We’re almost there, friend,>” Prometheus explained, grunting with each pull.

“<Almost where? I think we’re far enough!>”

“<No… not yet,>” the Onix said, making a wide turn into a cavern which Atlas did not remember. Although he could hardly see in the dark at that time, he could navigate the grotto purely by touch and memory, save this cave that Prometheus was taking him to.

He felt an incline in the terrain. Atlas experienced his body scraping against stalagmites and smaller boulders, causing him to cringe slightly. The hill seemed to level off again and Prometheus stopped dragging him. The chain fell from his mouth with a clang that echoed about the rocky walls. Atlas began to grow more used to the cave’s darkness the longer he stayed in it.

“<Why did you bring me here?>” Atlas asked, almost coldly.

“<No one knows about this place. Here, I can free you without…>” Prometheus trailed off.

“<How exactly did you plan on freeing me?>”

The standing Onix put the end of his tail to his chin in contemplation.

“<Thinking as always,>” Atlas grumbled, trying to lift up his head but failing.

“<I never thought you as the sarcastic type, Atlas,>” Prometheus said with a smirk. The irritated Onix sighed. “<I’ve got only one idea,>” he continued. “<I’m going to try my Iron Tail. It will hurt, Atlas, but it’s the only way I can think of.>”

The chained down Onix gulped and attempted to nod. “<Very well, Prometheus.>”

Prometheus raised his tail, causing it to gleam in the darkness. He brought it down with a crash onto the metal along with Atlas’s body. Sparks flew and the rock serpent let out a pained grunt. The Onix removed his tail and noticed that the attack barely did anything against the massive chains.

Atlas sighed. “<Maybe this isn’t the best idea.>”

“<It’s the only way, Atlas. Just take a deep breath,>” Prometheus insisted, raising his tail again.

“<…Very well. Don’t hold back; I can deal with the pain,>” replied Atlas, half shuddering.

He brought his tail down again, harder this time. His friend growled and twitched slightly.

“<These won’t give! I will try again in rapid succession,>” Prometheus exclaimed, bringing his rocky tail down again. He struck the same place three strong times. Atlas let out a roar as the metal began to chip away at his solidified flesh.

Prometheus whipped his tail around and brought it down precisely in the same place. The Onix cried out in pain. The massive chain broke halfway through.

“<Good!>” Prometheus said enthusiastically. “<Almost through! Once more should do it.>”

He raised his tail a final time and slammed it onto Atlas and the severed chain, which snapped as a result. Prometheus then began to unwrap the chains from his friend by pulling them with his stony mouth. Feeling lighter than air, if that was possible for an Onix, Atlas reared up and shook the remaining massive chains off of him. He turned to face his old friend and made out his blue eyes in the dark.

“<Thank you, Prometheus…but…>”

“<What is it, Atlas?>” the rock snake asked.

“<You should have left me there. They had a right to keep me! I’m tired of running away,>” Atlas answered.

“<What was I supposed to do? Watch them ship you off again… or worse?>” Prometheus shot back.

“<I do appreciate the save, but did you have to bring me back here? What if he sees me?>”

“<Don’t worry, Atlas,>” Prometheus answered. “<He’s busy sleeping in his royal chamber.>”

There was a brief silence between the two. All that could really be heard was the trickle of water hitting the cave floor. Prometheus cleared his throat, initiating a question.

“<Atlas, they shipped you over the water… how did you get back here?>”

“<Well,>” Atlas began to say with confidence, “<first I found this human sleeping outside of Petalburg and I curled around them to make sure that they wouldn’t be able to leave without awakening me. Then I begged to come along with him, knowing that he’d come by Dewford eventually for that gym.>”

“<And once you arrived here you were planning to ditch him and come back to the cave?>” asked Prometheus with a sly grin.

“<Yes, I->” Atlas began to reply, but he stumbled on his words as Prometheus’s stinging ones sunk in. He remembered how genuinely nice Jeff was to him upon meeting him, and then again further along in the journey. An image flashed into his head of Jeff being hauled away by the policeman after trying so hard to stick up for him and protect him. He had even fought that particularly prestigious blue-haired human over his innocence. Atlas closed his eyes and shuddered.

“<Atlas?>” asked Prometheus, curiously.

“<I cannot believe I was going to leave him alone after all that he has done for me,>” the rock snake thought in shame.

“<Atlas?>”

“<I needed to return here… but I shouldn’t have used him like that! Look where he is now because of me!>” he self-consciously continued to think.

Unexpectedly, Atlas let out a sharp roar and slammed his tail into a nearby stalagmite, causing it to shatter into many tiny stone shards.

“HWARRGHH!!!” bellowed the rock snake. Prometheus sunk back slightly before once again erecting his posture.

Atlas turned away, awkwardly. “<Sorry about that, Prometheus. I have a lot on my mind.>”

“<Does the scar hurt?>” he asked.

“<Yes… Always. Even if something comes close to it.>” Atlas answered, not wanting to talk about it.

Prometheus looked at him curiously.

“<I cannot stay here; I’m going to have to leave eventually, and they’ll be waiting out there,>” explained Atlas.

“<Maybe Cronus will let you back…>” Prometheus suggested rather sheepishly.

“<I doubt it; after what I did he’ll probably kill me the next time he sees me!>”

Prometheus looked around the cave warily. “<That’s the thing, Atlas. I don’t like how he’s been ruling us. I too want a change.>”

“<If only you had such a point of view back when I challenged Cronus, Prometheus,>” Atlas commented, rather disdainfully.

“<Yeah… I’m sorry about that. I really wasn’t prepared when you challenged his leadership.>”

Atlas nodded. “<Has anything changed since I left?>”

Prometheus shook his head. “<No. Cronus is still ruling the cave’s inhabitants by the means of fear. He’s even sending some of the smaller pokemon out of the cave.>”

The scarred rock pokemon let out a low sigh.

“<Just because he’s a Steelix with a shiny metal hide doesn’t give him the right to push the entire cave around like we’re his slaves!>” Prometheus protested.

“<But perhaps my strength does!>” a menacing voice echoed through the walls of the cave. A giant serpent similar to an Onix, but with metal flesh and spikes on his long body appeared from the darkness. He was easily distinguished as a Steelix by the lack of a head crest and the gleam emitted by the metal.

“<Cronus…>” Prometheus said in surprise, slinking back behind Atlas.

“<Why hello there, Atlas!>” the Steelix said in mock pleasure. “<And Prometheus, good evening to you too. Always a pleasure.>”

Atlas growled and felt a sharp tingling in his scar.

“<Atlas, I didn’t think you had the stones to come back here! Why the long face? That little scratch I gave you still hurt?>”

The rock pokemon in question looked at the ground in shame.

“<What you’re doing isn’t right. You’re not the leader of the entire cave; you can’t push all the other pokemon living here around!>” replied Atlas sternly.

“<Well you don’t have to worry, Atlas, they won’t be living here for much longer.>” Cronus the Steelix calmly explained.

Atlas let out a low growl.

“<What are you doing back here, traitor? Did Prometheus here bring you or did you come back on your own?>” the metal snake asked in a growl.

Atlas looked back at his friend, who squirmed uncomfortably in his place. He sighed. “<I came back on my own accord.>”

Steelix let out a hard chortle from through his metal teeth. Atlas let out a louder snarl.

“<You’re not thinking of attacking me again, are you? Don’t you remember how that turned out last time?>” Cronus jeered, gesturing at the scar on Atlas’s face.

He turned his head slightly to hide the visible scar from Cronus and Prometheus in shame.

“<Why did you challenge me, I wonder?>”

“<Because you are a tyrant,>” Atlas answered coldly.

“<Poor reason, poor choice!>” said Steelix with a grin. “<You should have known that you can’t stand up to me, both in a fight and out of it.>”

Atlas let out a sharp grunt while Cronus continued, “<And what would have happened if by some slim miracle you did win? You can’t be a leader! How would you control them? You’re just not clan leader material; you’re too softhearted. You just don’t have the guts! Unlike me, you fight with your heart and not your head. That’s why I’m the leader and you’re the pathetic exile!>”

Sucking in the facts, Atlas sighed and thought that most of that might be true. Still, he shakily countered, “<But you have one thing wrong, Cronus; you don’t fight with your head, you fight with your greed.>”

“<Now, Atlas,>” Cronus said with a mock-hurt voice. “<I’m hurt by that! And Prometheus, I feel bad that you think so poorly of me!>”

“<Cronus, I->” begun Prometheus nervously before being interrupted by Atlas.

“<Leave it, Prometheus. Our leader is just trying to get in your head!>”

The Steelix let out a hard chuckle. “<Given your big heads with such little brain to fill them, I’d be able to fit Lord Groudon in them!>” Cronus’s face became stern again. “<But the problem is I AM the leader, so Prometheus, get your yellow tail over here and Atlas, get the hell out of my cave before I’m forced to make you, again!>”

Prometheus began to slowly slither towards the Steelix sneering in the darkness. He looked warily back at Atlas, who finally said, “<Prometheus, stop!>”

He turned and looked at the scarred rock serpent with wide, questioning eyes.

“<We’ve had enough; we’re not going to let you rule like this anymore!>” bravely exclaimed Atlas.

“<Oh?>” Cronus said, slithering up to face to two Onix. “<You’re going to try to stop me, are you?>” He imposingly turned to Prometheus and bore his fangs. “<You’re questioning my authority?>”

Prometheus shrunk back a bit.

“<Are you?!>” the Steelix roared. Prometheus quickly shook his head and avoided Atlas’s betrayed and helpless look.

“<Prometheus?>” Atlas asked. The Onix remained silent.

Once again, Atlas felt alone. If his best friend wouldn’t stick up for him, who would?

“<At least your friend has some sense.>” Cronus turned to the regretful Onix. “<You’re not as stupid as you look, but don’t think I’ve forgotten about your earlier comments!>” he said, slapping his metal tail on the dank cave floor. “<Perhaps now would be a good time for your penalty for defying me!>”

Atlas growled and slithered towards Cronus, ready to strike. The Steelix, getting just what he wanted, swiftly whipped around his tail. The steel appendage, not even close to full force, made impact with the scar on Atlas’s left eye.

Excruciating pain exploded from the hit. It coursed though every inch of his body within mere seconds.

From the sheer pain, Atlas sharply bellowed, “HWAAAAAAAARRRRRGHHH!!!”

His body thrashed around mindlessly and violently. He began to ram his head sideways against the cave wall, causing stalactites and pieces of stone to fall from the ceiling. Atlas then let out another strained roar and began to writhe in agony on the floor of the cave. Prometheus looked on in pure bewilderment and shock, while Cronus merely chuckled and turned around. Cronus gave Prometheus a light hit on the head, urging him to follow him back through the cave. Atlas’s friend looked back in guilt, but followed.

Atlas remained cringing on the ground. He opened one eye and muttered, “<I will…defeat you…eventually.>” He then waited for the gnawing pain to cease.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

The blond haired teen found himself faced with the pokemon center lit up in the night. Kevin tightly held Ace, who squirmed a bit uncomfortably in his hands.

“Stupid Jeff getting arrested and making me go get his Treecko. The thing will probably bite me,” mumbled the teen in complaint. Ace looked up at Kevin with some worry. The two sighed and walked through the automatic doors opening before them.

Kevin calmly walked up to the desk and placed Ace as well as his hands on the counter top.

“How may I help you sir?” the pink haired nurse asked perkily.

“Hi,” Kevin said with a broad smirk. “I need to pick up a pokemon for my friend, Jeff, from the recovery room.”

“Alright, I’m going to need to see some ID,” Nurse Joy replied.

Kevin nodded and took from his pocket both his pokedex and his pokemon trainer’s card, both of which he received from Professor Birch. Nurse Joy took the two and briefly scanned both with her eyes.

“Thank you, now which pokemon do you need to get?” she asked.

Kevin cleared his throat. “I need to get that Treecko!” he explained, now peering through the glass windows of the recovery room doors.

“Umm…” Nurse Joy stalled. “That Treecko is in no condition to move. His ribs are still very tender. You do realize that they were broken in a gym battle and that he almost died from a collapsed lung.”

Kevin stopped looking through the window and turned his attention to Nurse Joy with an eyebrow raised. “No, I didn’t know that… but still, this is an emergency.”

“I’m sorry, but it can’t be that important. That Treecko couldn’t go anywhere if he tried.”

Kevin frowned, but his grin swiftly returned. “That’s okay. Do you mind taking a look at my Squirtle here? I think he has a thorn or something inside of his shell.”

Ace immediately began to panic, looking around, both in and out of his shell, for this alleged thorn. Nurse Joy nodded and began to take Ace into the back check-up room. Kevin winked at Ace and mouthed, “Sorry, I’ll make it up to you later.”

As soon as the nurse was out of sight, Kevin slipped into the recovery room and ran over to the wood gecko pokemon’s bed. The grass type was staring at the ceiling with his old, acquired twig in his mouth. Upon seeing the teen’s sudden appearance, Treecko looked up at him with a mixture of annoyance and confusion.

“Okay, we don’t have much time. I’m Jeff’s friend, Kevin. He’s in jail right now and he asked me to come get you so you need to come with me!” Kevin explained, outstretching a hand.

“Treecko cko,” the grass type simply answered, turning his attention back towards the ceiling.

“I know this sounds crazy but I need you to come with me,” the blond teen persisted, reaching his hand in closer.

Treecko began to stand up; he attempted not to cringe with the movement. Kevin smiled. “I knew you were damn tou- OW!” Kevin emitted a sharp cry and put his aching fingers in his mouth. Treecko repositioned himself from his previous well placed pound on Kevin’s hand.

“Wha tha hell wah tha foah?!” he yelled, still sucking on his swelling fingers.

Treecko simply turned his nose up at the human and folded his arms. Kevin angrily removed his fingers from his mouth. “Okay, you don’t want to do this the easy way? We’ll do this the hard way! Now I know you’re injured, so for both our sakes, maybe you want to cooperate!”

The rebellious grass type opened an eye, adjusted the twig in his mouth, and mumbled provokingly, “<Try me.>”

Gladly giving into Treeck’s goads, Kevin lightly, yet firmly grabbed Treecko’s right arm and the base of his tail. The grass type struggled against the human’s hold. Treeck managed to rip his tail free from Kevin’s hand and he whacked the teen across the face with it.

“AH! Damnit! We don’t have time for this!” Kevin let go of the pokemon’s arm and whipped his backpack around from his back. He quickly unzipped the bag and gave a quick grin at Treecko, who began to realize what he was going to do. Before the grass starter could fight back, Kevin quickly grabbed him and began to put him in the bag. After another pound to the face and a bite to the right hand, Kevin was able to safely put Treecko in his backpack. Luckily for Kevin, it was late at night so no humans were able to witness the apparent kidnapping, and most of the pokemon there were sleeping anyways. Needless to say there were muffled cries of protest and feet and hands kicking Kevin’s back as he placed the bag back on.

As calmly as he could, he quickly strode out of the recovery room and nervously approached the desk to get Ace. The blond haired boy moved with the bag as it budged back and forth. Nurse Joy held Ace and looked at Kevin quizzically.

“Something wrong?” the nurse asked him, suspiciously.

“No, I’m fine! My back is just really itchy!” Kevin quickly answered. “Can I have Ace back now, please?!”

“Of course,” Nurse Joy answered, holding out a rather relieved Squirtle. She paused mid reach. “Do you hear something?” she questioned, noticing a strange noise.

“Uh, yeah! It’s just some Sandshrew having a bad dream. He’s fine!” Kevin insisted, practically ripping Ace from her hands. “Thanks for the check up!”

With that, he dashed out of the lobby and into the warm night. He sprinted his way back to the police station, ignoring the stares of people who most likely heard the muffled Treecko from inside his backpack. Either that, or they were confused by Ace’s shocked and frightened expression; he had been part of that whole ordeal--and he had done it all unwillingly. Nonetheless, Kevin’s trip to the station was free of people being entirely convinced of him being a kidnapper and chasing him down the streets of Dewford.

Before entering the building, he came to a halt and set Ace down on the ground. The little turtle attempted to recover from the situation as Kevin kneeled and began to unzip the backpack that contained the wood gecko. Kevin noticed that Treecko wasn’t fidgeting anymore, and he wasn’t sure how long ago he had stopped. Nurse Joy’s words then echoed in his ears.

“That Treecko is in no condition to move. His ribs are still very tender,” was what she had said. From what he saw, though, it wasn’t as bad as she made it sound; Treecko removed himself from the backpack without any of the boy’s help, and Kevin sighed in relief--he would be able to report back to Jeff with an unharmed pokemon.

“Okay, Treecko, we’re where Jeff is at. You don’t have to cooperate anymore…” Kevin said, standing up. “…Not like you were doing that to begin with,” he added, loud enough to where Treecko could hear. Surprisingly, the pokemon made no comment back to him; instead, he looked back from Ace to Kevin, and then made his way through the station doors. Kevin and Ace soon followed close behind.

“Can I help you with anything?” asked a deep voice when they arrived inside.

Kevin looked up and replied, “Yeah . . . we’d like to visit Jeff Growell.”

“Very well.” He gave Kevin a questioning look, as if he wanted to ask why the three of them would want to visit a criminal--why anyone would want to visit a criminal. He turned and started walking to where Kevin assumed was Jeff’s jail cell. He began to follow the man with Ace and Treecko at his side.

When they reached his cell, Jeff was found staring out the window. He wasn’t immobile, but he might as well of been; he looked as if he had no intentions on leaving his current position.

“Um . . . Jeff?” Kevin said, trying to get the boy’s attention, wondering if he was completely oblivious to his surroundings and hadn’t heard them enter. Jeff quickly turned, however, eager to see if his friend had brought what was requested. Kevin could see a faint smile on Jeff’s face when he saw that Treecko was indeed with him.

“Hi, Treecko,” Jeff said, as if Kevin and Ace weren’t even present. The wood gecko only smiled in response. Jeff continued, “I’m glad to see you can walk, though Nurse Joy must not be too happy about you leaving . . . You told her it was an emergency, right?”

“Yeah, of course! She understood completely,” Kevin lied. Jeff wasn’t even looking his way, so deducing that he was lying was out of the question. He knew Jeff would most likely learn about what really happened eventually, but figured now wasn’t a good time. Kevin peered down at Treecko, awaiting some kind of glare that would give the situation away. Surprisingly, nothing came from him. He didn’t even do so much as look at Kevin.

"Odd," he thought. "I’d expect something out of him, considering how awfully stubborn he was before..."

“Good. Anyway, Treecko, I don’t know how long I’ll be in here. Days, weeks…” he trailed off, and shuddered. “Point is, I may be here a while.” He hesitated, assuming the next part would be unacceptable to the grass-type. “So… you’ll be with Kevin until I can get out… okay?”

Treecko looked from Jeff to Kevin a few times. His face was emotionless, and Jeff worried about his reaction. After all, he had sent a complete stranger to fetch him and bring him back, and now he was asking Treecko to spend practically all his time with Kevin for an unknown amount of days . . .

“<That’s fine with me,>” he finally said. His voice was unfaltering, as if he had thought about it a thousand times over and nothing would change his mind.

Jeff’s eyes widened. Had he really heard what he thought he did? Treecko… agreeing with something like that? Well. This was quite unexpected. At least he wouldn’t have to worry about Treecko being miserable with him as well.

Jeff decided to test the wood gecko, even though he predicted he’d regret it later. “That also means you may have to go in your pokeball at times, you know,” he said slowly, carefully.

“<… I know that,>” he replied, and frowned. Treecko figured this should be the kind of behavior that was wanted from their trainers; he thought there was no reason for Jeff’s statement--he wasn’t an idiot, and he knew what he was doing.

Jeff smiled at the fact this was easier than he had expected it to be. He’d have plenty of time to figure out what his pokemon was up to later, another day, when he wasn’t cooped up in this place, where bars were the only things that stopped him from being where he wanted to be--with his pokemon.

He sighed and approached the bars between him and the others. Jeff squatted to a kneeling position and playfully ruffled the top of Treecko’s head. The grass type backed off a bit in irritation, not to Jeff’s surprise.

With almost a chuckle, he said, “Okay, well, don’t give Kevin TOO much hell.”

Treecko looked down a bit as he chewed on his twig.

“Do you mind going into your pokeball now?” Jeff asked mostly to Treecko, but to Ace in proximity, as well. “I need to speak with Kevin in private.”

The teen still didn’t expect Treecko to comply with such a demand. Kevin swiftly pulled out Ace’s pokeball and returned the Squirtle, but he hesitated when bringing out Treecko’s pokeball which he had swiped from Jeff’s backpack before the police took it. With a closer inspection of the pokeball, it was collecting dust on the red and white exterior.

Treecko suppressed a shiver which tried to crawl down his spine. After a deep breath, he slowly nodded, calmly. Kevin stalled, examining Jeff’s bewildered expression.

“<Go for it,>” answered Treecko with a sense of a mixture of irritation, resoluteness, and acceptance. Jeff was positive that his fear was still present, but he knew that he wouldn’t let it show. The red beam shot from the sphere and engulfed Treeck- he disappeared into it without another sound.

With a sigh, Jeff leaned against the bars and let himself slide to the floor. “Are you sure you picked up the right Treecko?” he asked Kevin, half joking.

“What do you mean?” hastily questioned the blond haired teen, fondling the collar of his blue t-shirt. Kevin wondered if he indeed picked up the wrong Treecko- it would make sense given his previous determined refusal to go with him.

“Treeck would never have agreed to… any of that! He hates being inside his pokeball… It’s like he just…changed his mind all of a sudden!” replied Jeff, brushing some dust that had accumulated on his white shirt and blue shorts.

A silence ensued. Kevin decided to let Jeff soak in his thoughts for a minute until he became rather fidgety. He broke the calmness with his usual manner.

“So of all the gym leaders you had to pick a fight with, you just happen to have to choose Brawly, the fighting gym leader-slash-surfer! Well played, sir!” Kevin had a wide grin plastered on his face and he was sure he could sense a vein throbbing on the back of Jeff’s head from anger.

“Kevin?” the teen asked in a faux-innocent voice. He was facing away but he began to stand up. “Can you come a little closer to the bars for a minute? I have something to tell you.”

“I’m fine right here, thanks- out of the reach of strangling hands,” insisted Kevin still with a broad smile.

Jeff’s voice became serious again. “Have you talked to Rachel yet?”

“Nah, not since I practically had to beg her to follow Mt. Crushmore for ya,” Kevin replied, referring to Atlas.

A knot tied itself in Jeff’s stomach as he was thinking about Atlas. “I feel bad for bringing you guys into this… but I had to try to-”

“I know,” Kevin interrupted. “I wanted to punch him out too, but, ya see, I’m a thinker!” he explained, making a tapping gesture to his head.

There was a brief pause and Jeff looked at the floor.

“Kevin…” Jeff sighed. “Are your shoes on the wrong feet again?”

The teen looked down at his feet and scratched the back of his head. In a sheepish attempt to cover his tracks, he stated matter-of-factly, “…It’s the new fashion craze… all the cool kids are doing it! What? Are you afraid to be cool, Jeff? Are ya?!”

Jeff let out a chuckle before bleakly staring at the wall again.

“Make sure that you take care of them, and let them out of the pokeballs as much as possible,” the teen instructed.

Kevin nodded and looked at the guard keeping a watchful eye on the two.

“You don’t happen to have enough money for bail, do ya?” Jeff asked, half joking.

Kevin shrugged apologetically. “I can go steal something else and then sell it and then maybe I will.”

“What do you mean something else?” asked Jeff, confused.

His friend tensed up and fidgeted to put Treecko’s pokeball in his bag. “Well hang tight, Jeff. It shouldn’t be too long, now!” he explained turning to walk down the hallway.

“Where are you going?” asked the incarcerated male.

Kevin turned and answered his friend, making sure to be out of the earshot of the guard.

With a reassured, determined tone, Kevin replied, “I’m going to find Rachel, and then we’re going to find out how to rescue your Onix.”

And with that, Kevin gave a sideways glance to the police officer and left the station, leaving Jeff, once again, alone.

To be continued...
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[B]Claimed: Treecko, Grovyle, Charmeleon.
Co-Owner of Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club.
Paired withAnastasia R.
PC Family so far: Cousin - ScytheMaster, Awesomest Sister - Diamondpearl876, Brother - Rebellious Treecko (PM one of us if you want to join it)

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Click Below for The Awesome Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club
Older Fic banner by Scenice.
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