The first thing that she thought was, 'I'm in Heaven, aren't I?'
The concept of death was foreign to her--as was that of Hell. Both shadows lurking in the brain of an overprotective mother that didn't want her to learn about anything bad, -ever-, and as far as she was concerned before this, she was okay with that. After all, she did learn some bad stuff from her friends.
But nothing of this sort.
Everything on her body hurt. Nothing seemed to stop its dull ache--especially her head, though. Her entire body was immersed in a thick, green fluid, her face covered by an air mask that pumped just enough air into her for her to stay conscious.
She wanted to go home.
She wanted her mommy. She wanted her dollies, her favorite blanket, to just cuddle up in bed and sleep.
But alas, nothing like that seemed to be coming. What instead came was a world of confusion and hurt and BADSTUFFS. The BADSTUFFS especially so. The BADSTUFFS was a man, she thought--but at the same time, he wasn't.
He was a monster.
"Oh. We're awake."
Oh Arceus. He knew.
"Tell me. Do you feel it?"
She did. She saw it everywhere--the BADSTUFFS. It hit her then--the BADSTUFFS was what surrounded the man. Not what he was. The man gave off the BADSTUFFS, and it scared her. Scared her so much.
"...Ralts' power. I've... succeeded? You see it? My emotional aura?"
She nodded again. It hurt her neck.
"...I judge it's accurate, from the look in your eyes. Yes. This is... heh. Heheh. The first... to live... has... HAHAHAHA! PERFECT! One... step closer..."
His BADSTUFFS floated around him like flames; licking at his skin, yet he took no notice.
She just wanted to go home.
"Little girl... rest easy. You are the one... who has helped me the most. Years upon years of research, human experimenting... you're the one who has done it. Now... just for... the one who I want."
The man smiled, and his BADSTUFFS flared up like a thunderbolt. It caused her to draw back.
The girl knew in that moment that things were going to be worse from here on out.
Chapter Two: Hyde[/QUOTE]
The first thing that the creature did was let loose a loud wail and run forward, clinging onto her leg and digging into her skin with a painful prick of its short, but sharp claws. On the contrast of that, at least its fur felt fuzzy and warm.
"...Blue said nothin' about it being so... childish," James mused, wearing a wide, ear-to-ear grin, "but it's not like Blue to say much at all, so I guess it's not surprising."
"What the heck..."
Mary leaned down, managing to pry the creature off with a bit of a wince and the cost of some skin. The furry thing bit into her fingers, and she ignored it, figuring it to just be... scared. She knew the feeling. It reminded her of an incident in the Viridian City Shopping Mall when she was six.
It was something new, and the little guy just didn't like that.
"...Hey. Hey. Calm down. It's okay."
With her hand that was not busy being gnawed on, she gently stroked the back of the creature's head--brown, rounded ears pressed themselves flat, and for a few moments, the little guy's head repeatedly drooped, the crescent moon on his forehead dropping out of sight then raising again. She felt the grip on her fingers lighten, and soon enough, she managed to slip them out, using the now freed hand to hold him tight to her chest.
A slight giggle escaped her mother's lips. She turned her head toward her parents, and felt a slight heat rise to her cheeks when she realized all eyes were focused upon her.
And soon enough, the creature that she had managed to identify from her school lessons as a Teddiursa fell dead asleep in her arms.
"James. Grab the Poke Ball and return the little guy."
James nodded, and did just that, tossing her the ball afterward. She held it tight in her hand, and she didn't realize until much much later how she was feeling protective. Maternal. Already.
"So. What'cha think? James asked.
"He's... Hyde. That's what I'll call him. Hyde."
A bit of an impulsive decision, but hey: nothing wrong with a llittle bit of impulsitivity every now and then. She finally released her deathgrip on the Pokeball, sliding it carefully into the pocket of her jeans.
"I meant what'cha think of... 'Hyde', not what'cha gonna nickname him. But okay. That works too."
"He's... interesting." She still felt the slight trickle of blood down her pants leg--she could clean it up later. "To say the least."
"That's good. 'cuz mama, papa and myself have worked something out. Sort of your birthday gift from all of us, if you wanna accept it."
She raised a brow. "And that would be?"
"Sit down at the kitchen table." James got up off of the couch, and moved to do the same. As did her parents. Mary propped her elbows up on the table, resting her head in her upturned palms.
"Okay. So. We have been thinking long and hard about this, mind you," her mother started off. "But we think it's about time you started learning some basic lessons of responsibility."
A lecture? On her birthday? Oh, come on. Besides. Hadn't they started this already?
"Uh-huh... six more years and I'll be eighteen and all that whatnot."
"Which is why we got your Teddiursa-- excuse me, 'Hyde'. Keep in mind that he is a life. A life which is now under your care, in your hands... no help whatsoever from your father or myself."
She nodded. Understandable, she supposed.
James lifted up a small white card. She could see it clearly from this distance--a photo of her. Her father had taken it a month or two ago, out of nowhere. At the time, she had just chucked it off to one of his little fits, but... it stood beside a small list of identification information. Beneath it, a small row of blank spaces.
It was a Trainer's Identification Card.
With one, she could very easily go out and start the Kanto Gym Circuit.
"This. We're kickin' ya out, actually. Whether ya like it or not." James still wore his goofy grin. "And... they're makin' ya go to Saffron City. At least. Spend some time out on the roads. Y'don't even have to take the Gym Challenge, albeit I'd totally love to see that."
"...so let me get this straight." Her eyes were wide--unsure whether to be upset at the fact that she was apparently being forced to do this, or happy, since she probably would have done it anyway. Better than sitting around the house for four years, since she was done with basic school, and she couldn't legally work anywhere until she was sixteen. "You're... kicking me out of the house. With little to no preparation. No knowhow on traveling the roads. Only a baby Teddiursa to protect me. No money to my name."
Her father nodded quickly. "Yep."
Mary shut her eyes for just a moment--and then bust out into a grin. This was totally bad parenting, she thought, but this was a time in which she didn't have a problem with it. The real amazing thing? This card took two months to get the application process done. Two months of waiting which she wouldn't have to do. If she wanted to, she could head out the house the next day.
"Of course, there are some stipulations," Patricia noted. "Namely, you'll have to visit your Aunt Jasmine's house in Pewter. Stop and see your grandparents in Celadon. And, of course..."
"I have two months until the league starts its next session. For the next full month, I'm gonna be travelin' with ya," James butted in. "Serve as guidance, help ya prepare, 'prolly drop by and see Tammy over in Saffron... all that whatnot."
...And now her big brother, whom twelve year old Mary adored, was going to be along for the ride.
Okay. She could deal with this. She could definitely deal with this.
"So. What do you say, Mary?" her mother asked.
"I say it sounds pretty cool." Of course, she wasn't too excited to see her Aunt Jasmine--the stereotypical cheek-pinching Aunt--nor her grandparents, who were about as exciting as an Ekans' shed skin, but the rest of it sounded pretty darn cool.
"Then we're set! Tomorrow, we're going for a shopping trip. Setting you up. On James' tab, of course," her father said. "With John Hunter on your side, fear not! He knows everything about the trail!"
"About as much as a Goldeen knows how to ride a bicycle," Mary deadpanned.
And that, of course, got them all laughing.
Author's Note: Short chapter. But the next one will be long to make up for it, that I can promise. :p Action picks up, too! Looking forward to writing it, and hope you're looking forward to reading it!
Remember, criticism is always welcome. Anything to help me better my writing is something that will likely earn you a hug, and possibly even a cookie. And you know you at least want that cookie.