Thread: [Pokémon] Some Stars
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Old May 23rd, 2012 (6:22 PM). Edited May 23rd, 2012 by psyanic.
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psyanic psyanic is offline
    Join Date: May 2011
    Location: The USA
    Age: 21
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    Originally Posted by Psycho Bugler
    Good first chapter. I'm assuming Marcelo's going to appear again? I sure hope so. I liked him. It seems that Connie has plenty of inner turmoil for your to deal with when you continue.

    One thing I kind of like is how we still don't know what Connie's Pokemon are. Was this deliberate?
    An extremely late reply here, but glad you liked it! And yes, Marcelo will certainly appear again. As for Connie, I didn't think her Pokemon were that important. At least in that chapter it wasn't. They wouldn't have helped the plot of it in any way, so I kept them out.

    Originally Posted by DarkIceForever
    What happend to your other fan fic!? Hopping on Cloud Nine!? You threw in the towel?! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I liked it!

    I liked the presentation the most. The writing is more fluent and smooth. I think you're getting better at writing fictions. It's going to take a few more chapters to really get me going through. I can't offer much on the story itself. It could go anywhere from there. It could go back in time to see what depressed Connie or you can go into Marcelo's intresting history too. I say a story that keeps me speculating at the start is also a good story.
    Yeah, Cloud Nine kind of... died. I just had no idea where it was going, especially when I started writing the last chapter (which was about two months ago), and I decided I didn't like the story. I might get back to rewriting later on to refine it a bit, but that is a long ways to go. But I'm glad to see you liked the story! There are a lot of things I've been working on, and one thing in particular was getting my style set, so it's good to see I've made some progress.

    Notes: Oh look, a bad word! Like some language in here. And when I mean some, I mean about one. I thought I might as well get this chapter out before exams, which are next week.

    Chapter 2: Only Two

    It was a bright day and Reggie couldn’t decide whether or not that was a good thing. He shielded his eyes as he glimpsed at the sun. White, fluffy clouds accented the sky as he left the forest’s shade. Apparently this was as far as any driver would take him, since the place was so out of the way and any further would have been a waste of gas. Nevertheless, he followed the road into a small collection of houses surrounded by wide fields. It wasn’t connected to any main routes, now that he thought about it. Dirt kicked into the air with every step he took. Heat beat down on him; sweat slid down his face and dripped off his chin. His backpack didn’t help, which was bulky with fresh supplies he bought in the last town. Maybe he had bought too much. The fare didn’t help either. His pocket felt especially empty today, lacking the sound of jingling coins.

    He cursed the sun under his breath. Setting his bag down for a moment, he reached for the bandana tied around his arm and wiped his face. The cloth felt like it had just been soaked in a tub of water. Disgusting. He pocketed it and hoped it wouldn’t smell too bad later. Either way, he wasn’t going to be able to do his laundry for a while, so it’d stink eventually. He just tried not to think about it.

    At least it was quiet, except for the bugs buzzing around along with the occasional songbird. It really was a beautiful place. Spring had just passed and left the land lush and green for the summer to dry up. There weren’t many people around. Nothing much changed.

    Deciding he sat too long, Reggie took a swig of water and continued to walk on the road. How long ago had it been since he was here? A week at least. No, it was definitely longer. It might have been a month. He was here the last time he beat Connie, which was . . . Yes, definitely a month.

    Along the road, a flimsy fencing popped up, which surrounded a wide, open field. Pokemon were inside it, playing or sleeping. A few of them were even battling, and the others were sure to give them some space. They didn’t care about the heat at all, it seemed. Some even seemed to enjoy the sun’s harsh rays.

    There are more pokemon than last time . . .

    Reggie leaned on the fence and watched. They looked like they were having fun, and he almost felt jealous that they could spend their time so leisurely.

    A voice cut through his thoughts. “Can I help you?”

    He turned to a boy, about a head shorter, looking straight at him with a certain enthusiasm shining in his eyes. However, the boy didn’t seem to be that young. “Nah, I’m heading to the daycare. I got a pokemon I need to pick up.”

    “I’m going there too. How about we go there together?” But before Reggie could answer, the boy already went ahead. Reggie jogged to catch up and nearly complained about the weight he was carrying, but decided against it. He didn’t know him, and the boy probably didn’t care. So he kept it to himself, like always.

    “So what’s in the bag?” the boy asked.

    “Nothing much,” Reggie said flatly.

    The boy raised an eyebrow and peered at him. “You’re hunching over. That doesn’t seem like nothing to me.”

    “It’s just supplies. Don’t you know anything about traveling? Without food or anything, you’d starve, numbskull.” Reggie barely pronounced those last words. Talking made his mouth dry. Dryer than it already was, anyway. He reached back and took another drink from his water bottle.

    “Sorry, I’m not a trainer,” the boy said. He seemed to smile at the thought of it. But smile at the thought of what? Not being a trainer? “But it seems like too much to carry around, really.”

    Talkative, isn’t he? Reggie frowned. “It’s better to have too much than too little. I’d rather die of overeating than starving.”

    “Too much could be a waste, though. Some things might get spoiled, and that’s just throwing away money.”

    “What the hell do you know, kid?” Reggie angrily adjusted his shoulder straps, resisting the urge to hit the boy.

    He laughed at this. “I guess I don’t know anything then.”

    “What’s so funny?”

    “Nothing.” But he still had that stupid grin stuck on his face.

    Reggie turned away from the boy. Silence stood between them, and Reggie relished it. He hoped he could get his pokemon and leave quickly. It wasn’t a long walk, however, so the moment was short-lived as they approached the building.

    The boy stopped in front of the house. “Well, here it is.”

    “I know, I can read the sign,” Reggie muttered as he climbed the steps.

    “So which pokemon did you drop off here?” he asked, standing in front of the door. The boy opened the door and went in.

    “A meowth.”

    “Oh, so you’re her trainer.”

    “Her? What the hell are you talking about?”

    “Well, I had to know what pokemon to get you,” he said. “This way.”

    As far as Reggie could remember, he didn’t drop off his pokemon with a boy. It was definitely with an older man. Not too old, but not a boy his age.

    He led him through the house to a single room. It was small with not much in it. Filing cabinets lined the walls, with a desk in the middle to top it off. The boy went over to the cabinets and searched through the row of papers. He shuffled through and pulled out a folder, which he opened and pulled out a sheet of paper.

    “Hey, what are you doing?”

    “Getting your bill,” said the boy, reading the paper. Then he signed onto the only computer in the room.

    This kid must have been messing with him. And Reggie didn’t like being messed with. “Bill? What the hell are you doing? I left my meowth with an older guy.”

    “Yes, my father.”

    “Oh.” That explained it. Now that he thought about it, he did see a kid in the back with the pokemon.

    After typing in a few numbers into a computer and ripping out a receipt, he handed Reggie the bill.

    He groaned. Reggie didn’t expect it to be that much. Grumbling, he fished for his wallet and flipped through it, only to find it empty.

    “Money trouble?” the boy asked.

    “No, it’s nothing. I’ve got it here somewhere.”

    “Look, don’t worry too much about—“

    Reggie dumped the contents of his backpack and let the items clutter on the floor as he sifted through them. He knew he had the money. Or unless . . . Shit. Maybe he had bought too much. He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up at the boy.

    “Listen, it’s fine. You don’t have to pay with money or anything. Actually, you don’t even have to pay. I’ll get your meowth and you can leave.”

    Before he could wander out, Reggie grabbed his shirt and pulled him back. “No, that’s not happening. I’m going to pay, just wait a bit.”

    The boy sighed. “Really, don’t worry about it. We’re not all about money, you know.”

    “It’s not fine with me. You don’t understand, I have to,” he said, slamming his fist on the floor. It was his virtue: he couldn’t take anything for free, because nothing was free.

    “Okay,” he said unsurprised, as if he expected him to say that. “I have an idea. How about you work at the daycare to pay it off? That happens a lot on TV, so I think that’ll work, don’t ya think?”

    Did he say TV? “Work here?”

    He smiled. “Yeah, right here. We’ve been getting more pokemon lately, and I don’t think we have all the people we need. We could use a hand around here.”

    Working off a daycare fee . . . that’s pitiful, Reggie thought. He could go back and sell his supplies, at a lower price anyway. But it wasn’t worth it. That would have lost him money and traveling necessities. He had to agree. “Okay, how long?”

    The boy thought for a second. “Does a week or two sound okay?”

    “Deal,” said Reggie.

    “Okay, but are you sure? I mean, I would just take my pokemon and leave if I had the choice. Really, it’s not a big deal.” Reggie didn’t respond to this, so the boy sighed and offered him a room instead, which he declined. “There’s just nothing you want, is there?”

    He shook his head.

    “You know, most trainers would have taken my offer and left. I wouldn’t be mad or anything, but I think it’s funny that you didn’t do the same.”

    “Yeah, whatever.”

    “Hey, what’s your name? I don’t think we even introduced ourselves. I’m Marcelo,” said the boy, offering his hand.

    “Reggie.” Marcelo’s hand was considerably thin and flimsy. If Reggie squeezed any tighter, he was sure he could have broken his fingers.

    “So that means you’re Connie’s rival, right?”

    “Yeah, I am. How did you know?”

    “She stayed here for a night some time ago,” said Marcelo. “We’ve been in touch. Well, it looks like we’ve been inside for some time. I better give you a tour before you start working.”

    He followed him through the house and outside. So Connie had stayed here. That wasn’t really like her. Then again, Reggie didn’t know her all that well, even though they started training pokemon at the same time. Funny, they had never sustained a conversation, one without cursing and insulting each other at least.

    “What?” Reggie said, for Marcelo had told him something and he hadn’t heard him.

    “I asked if you were hungry or anything.”

    Food. He couldn’t even remember if he ate breakfast or not.

    Without a response, Marcelo said, “I’ll pick something up later, then.” They walked outside. “Here we are. I know it’s a bit bland, since there’s not much to show. You can practically see everything from here.”

    Outside on the back patio, right in front of the daycare enclosure. He didn’t notice the pond stood in the center before. How could he miss it? Now that he got a closer look, Reggie could make out flowers littered everywhere. But they were all distinct: violets and tulips mixed in with daisies, and even roses. So, Marcelo was a gardener.

    “You’ll help me out handle the pokemon. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? It’s a pretty easy job, actually,” said Marcelo. “You can wait out here while I go order us some food. Let’s call it an early dinner.”


    Marcelo went back inside and left him alone. This job wouldn’t be so bad. But he couldn’t help but feel he should’ve just taken his offer and left. He wouldn’t have wasted time working here. No, he had to. Not because he believed that he had to work, even though that was a major role, but because he hadn’t relaxed ever since he left home. In fact, he didn’t ever return home either. Then again, there wasn’t a home to return to. Without any family, what kind of home could he have?

    The only way to go was forward. That’s what Mom always said. But everywhere he went, he was a stranger. Maybe he could change that.

    Reggie pondered this as Marcelo came back, calling him inside. “Hey, we got dinner here!”

    “Was it that fast? How long has it even been?”

    “Oh, about thirty minutes or so. You’ve been sitting there for a while. Come on, let’s eat.”

    They sat down at a table in what he assumed was the dining room. Marcelo opened up the plastic bag and laid out the contents: noodles. He handed him a bowl and ate from his own.

    “Aren’t you hungry?” Marcelo asked.

    Reggie looked up, realizing his food was untouched. “I’m just . . . thinking.”

    “Well, don’t let your food get cold. Personally, I hate cold noodles. They taste terrible that way,” he said as he slurped a food into his mouth.

    “I don’t really care. Food is food.”

    “So you weren’t raised with enough to eat.”

    It was blunt, but true. Reggie squinted at him, leaning back in his chair as he crossed his arms. He picked up fast. “Is that a problem?”

    “No, not really. But is that why you wanted to be a trainer?” he asked.

    “What does that have to do with anything?”

    “Well, I kind of wonder why people want to be trainers. For me, I want to be a trainer because I can’t. Isn’t that funny? People always seem to want what they can’t have.” He was staring straight at him now. “But either way, it’s interesting to hear about trainers. So tell me, what do you get for being a trainer?”


    “Like was it the chance to explore new places, or was it the titles, trophies, and the fame?”

    “Why the hell do you even care? I just want to work so I can get out of here,” he grumbled.

    “It’s an easy question. You don’t even have to think about it. But it does say a lot about a trainer, don’t ya think?” Marcelo sipped his water. “I didn’t mean it as an insult. I’m just curious.”

    Frowning, he said, “Because I had nothing. Training was a way for me to live.”

    “You could have just gotten a normal job and worked that way.”

    He shook his head. “No, I couldn’t have. I don't have much of a home anymore. I had to get away. Maybe it’s because Mom died.”

    “Oh, I’m sorry about that.”

    “She died a long time ago. It doesn’t bother me, not anymore.”

    “My mother died, too.” Marcelo reached across the table and touched his hand. Oddly, it was reassuring. But instinct took over, and Reggie pulled his hand back. “Didn’t you cry when she died?”

    Defiantly, he said, “No. Mom wouldn’t want to see me cry.”

    Marcelo said nothing, as if he was waiting for Reggie to say more. Actually, there was more, but he wasn’t going to tell him. After a while, though, Marcelo spoke up. “Looks like we’ve finished eating.” Sure enough, Reggie’s bowl was empty. He could only hope he had enjoyed it, because he barely remembered eating it.

    “You can go now. Get some rest, cause you’ll need it. Meet me in the back tomorrow morning, okay?”

    Reggie nodded and quietly thanked him for the meal. Marcelo waved him out and he was off. He left through the backyard and hopped the fence to look for a place to sleep. He wandered out of the neighborhood until he found an open field not too far from the forest. There, he lay down in the grass on his sleeping bag. Grass tickled his face as the occasional wind blew.

    He lay there, thinking. He wasn’t sure what to make of the day. Part of him wanted to punch Marcelo in the face. But the other half wanted to open up to him, to let his traumas out. Still, something about Marcelo bothered him. He seemed so eager and willing to socialize with him. On the other hand, Reggie usually kept to himself. As a kid, he used to pride himself on spending hours and hours without saying a thing to anyone. When he did talk, it was usually to provoke or to argue with anyone around him.

    No wonder he couldn’t keep a friend. His answer to everyone was hostility. And in turn, no one connected with him, nor did they try. So why was Marcelo so different?

    It was a while before he could finally sleep.


    In the morning, a faint fog rolled over in the back, where Marcelo waited with an apple in his hand. He chewed noisily as Reggie approached him. He tossed the apple core and stood up to greet him. “It’s a wonderful morning, isn’t it?”

    “I hate fog,” said Reggie.

    “When there’s fog in the morning, it gets sunny in the afternoon.”

    “Are we just gonna stand around and talk the whole time?”

    He smiled at this. “No, I was just waiting for the pokemon to wake up. You can’t get them to listen to you if they’re grumpy, especially when they’re unfamiliar with you.”

    Reggie nodded. He knew that all too well.

    “They’ll need to eat first, but I already handled that. Don’t worry, they don’t take long,” said Marcelo.

    But he didn’t see any around, so he asked, “Where are they?”

    “In the pens over there.” He pointed towards the edge of the field. “That’s just where they sleep and eat. They’ll come out eventually.”

    “What are we gonna do today?”

    “Oh, the usual. Some pokemon need to be trained because their owners asked, but other than that, we just watch them and make sure they don’t do anything stupid.” Marcelo stopped to cough. “It’s a fun job, though.”

    It seemed like a meager work for so many pokemon. “Wait, what about the other pokemon? If they don’t train, what do they do?”

    “You remember the ones that just play around the whole time?” Reggie nodded. “They’re here because their trainers want them to breed. Pokemon don’t breed when you force them, so you have to leave them alone and they come around to it eventually. You don’t have to worry about anything today. You’ll watch first, then tomorrow you can help out.”

    He wanted to protest, but he knew Marcelo was right: He had no idea how a daycare worked, and how pokemon were trained here. Granted, he did train his own pokemon, but daycares usually trained pokemon differently. That’s why he left his meowth here in the first place.

    Soon after, a wooper waddled up to them, stopping a few feet ahead. Marcelo picked up a bag and pulled out ten target balls. Reggie watched him throw them, hard, in different directions. Almost immediately, the wooper shot water at each ball. When it hit one, the ball flew back towards them at their feet. Reggie knew that this must have been drilled into the wooper countless times.

    Marcelo scooped up the balls and wiped the grass off. “You’re getting better, Walon.”

    The wooper blankly smiled before waddling off again, presumably to gather the other pokemon.

    “It’s good,” said Reggie.

    “The best here. And you’re going to learn how to make the other pokemon like him. Of course, they’re all different, but you get the general idea. The other pokemon are coming.”

    Sure enough, more pokemon approached them. They were different from the others, however. As they ambled toward them, many walked with a certain air of confidence while some had a serious look in their eyes. Amongst them, Reggie spotted a meowth. His meowth. But he wouldn’t reach out for it now; it wasn’t the time.

    Once they all got there, Reggie asked, “Do you train all of them?”

    “Not at once. I try to keep their training individual. It’s easier, and you get to know them better that way, too.” Marcelo turned towards the pokemon, who were all snapped to attention. Evidently, they were used to this system. “Manny, go with Jaden and spar.”

    A grunt came from the back and a machoke stepped up, glancing at the hitmonchan uneasily. Could it have been intimidated? Hitmonchan were known for their elemental punches, and Manny’s body was covered with burns and cuts. He didn’t look too happy with the assignment, but he obeyed anyway.

    The two walked a good distance before they began exchanging blows. Every punch Jaden made a sick cracking sound, which caused Reggie to cringe. It was brutal. “Why are you making them do that?”

    “They can’t learn anymore from me. The best way now is experience, so they’ll fight,” Marcelo said simply. “Besides, their trainers should be teaching them from now on. They should be trained to how their trainer wants them to battle, not my way.”

    It was weird to hear him talk about pokemon battling considering that he wasn’t a trainer. Still, he knew what he was doing so Reggie kept quiet.

    After that, Marcelo told each pokemon what to work on or who to battle with. They immediately set out to work. If they complained, Reggie couldn’t see it. Most of them were completely focused on training. They knew why they were here.

    He followed Marcelo around as he worked with each pokemon individually, explaining attacks and helping them maneuver in battle. By the end of the day, they didn’t accomplish much. Just talk. How to give certain pokemon specific situations where they’d learn new moves. Most importantly, how to watch pokemon and really observe them. You have to focus and note how they prefer to dodge, whether it was by jumping or diving to the side. Or if they even dodged at all. Look at how they attack and how easily they tire. There’s always something for them to improve on, you just have to be able to spot it.

    Even though he didn’t do much, Reggie still learned a lot. He took mental notes about the various ways to train his own pokemon. There was a lot he could improve on.

    Days went by. Reggie did more than just watch. At first he was clumsy, trying to emulate what Marcelo had done before. But he got the hang of it. The days grew longer as Marcelo became more comfortable giving him harder tasks and more pokemon to train. Marcelo kept coming up with new ways to train, which forced Reggie to keep up with him. Many of the things he attempted ended up being useless, but he always seemed to be having fun, excited about new possibilities. Enough things worked out so he helped the pokemon tremendously.

    And then an odd feeling came over Reggie. He began to be happy. And quietly, he considered Marcelo to be his friend.

    But he was worried–Marcelo seemed to be getting increasingly tired. He woke up later each day, and he didn’t move around with the same vigor as the day before. When Reggie asked him about it, he shrugged it off as nothing.

    “It happens all the time,” he had said. “More pokemon have been coming through recently. I guess I got Connie to thank for that. She’s been advertising. At least, that’s what she told me. I have no idea why, though.”

    “She’s like that,” said Reggie. “But really, you should sit down and rest a while.”

    “No, I can’t. If I want to be a trainer one day, I can’t lounge around and do nothing.”

    He liked that about Marcelo; he never gave up. He never quit on a pokemon and would take it upon himself to work with it until it perfected a certain move or maneuver. Still, it was stupid to do that when he was getting weaker. Reckless, that’s what it was. Reggie decided not to ask him about it anymore, mainly because he wouldn’t hear it.

    “We should end training earlier,” Reggie suggested.

    Marcelo sighed, running a hand through his hair. It was the first time he admitted he was tired. “If you want to.”

    And he left it at that.

    A few more days passed and Reggie had worked off all his debt. It was the last day. After dinner, they lounged in the grass, watching the day come to an end.

    “Your last day is over,” Marcelo said quietly. He reached into his pocket and handed him a poke ball. “Here.”

    So his meowth was in here. He rolled the ball in his hand and sighed. “I guess I really am done.”

    “You could leave now, if you wanted.”

    He shook his head. “No, I don’t really want to. I’m too tired right now.”

    “Oh, so you don’t have any problems traveling at night.”

    “It’s wonderful at night, especially in the summer. It’s not so hot, but not too cold either. Perfect weather.”

    Marcelo nodded as if he understood. Then he said, “Are you gonna name her?”


    “Her, the meowth.”

    He never thought of a name for it. They barely even knew each other. He’d have to think of one, so he let the meowth out and greeted her. The meowth shied away from him at first, but eventually warmed up to him so that it could comfortably sit beside him. She shifted every time he tried to pet her, but it was a start.

    “So how long did you have her before you left her here?” asked Marcelo.

    “Maybe half a day. I didn’t have her for very long.”

    “But she was here for a while, longer than she was with you.” He stood up and stretched. “Reggie, how about we battle? It’s time that you had some fun around here for a change.”

    True, he did want to battle and he was curious to see how his meowth would fare in battle. His meowth walked up and arched her back, now prepared. So she wanted to battle, too. “One on one then?”

    Almost as if on-cue, the wooper appeared and stepped in front of Marcelo. He bent down and rubbed its head. “You bet. Walon is my only pokemon.”

    His meowth growled at the sight of the wooper. Interesting. They spread apart and created room for a battle. Reggie said, “You go first.”

    “All right. Walon, Water Gun.”

    Before Reggie even said anything, his meowth stepped to the side, dodging the attack, and rushed at the wooper with her claws extended. Walon, however, was ready and shot another Water Gun.

    This time, it hit her straight in the face.

    She quickly got up, and glared at the grinning pokemon. Reggie groaned. He didn’t need another pokemon that wouldn’t listen to him. “Marcelo, just what the hell did you do to her?”

    Marcelo shrugged. “I only trained her. She has a grudge against Walon, though.”

    That made him grin. “Slash!”

    “Muddy Water!”

    Was that a bluff? No way could Marcelo teach it that. At least his meowth listened to him this time. She was trained well, and it showed. Speedily, she dived past the wooper as she raked its face. And as soon as the Slash struck, she dashed back in front of Reggie, wiping her claws in the grass. The wooper’s slime could be toxic if left on her claws for too long.

    Walon didn’t seem to mind the hit, and continued to attack. But it used Mud Shot instead of Muddy Water, which his meowth easily avoided.

    I knew it.

    “Why’d you call that out?” he asked. “No way Walon could have used it.”

    “You never know. I thought it was worth a shot.”

    Focusing back onto the battle, Reggie wondered what moves his meowth would know. It was probably best if he kept guessing. “Faint Attack!”

    Unsurprisingly, his meowth stared back at him as if he was crazy. He wasn’t too worried, however. This wasn’t a serious battle, and he wouldn’t mind if he lost. There was a different time and place to be competitive.

    His meowth had other plans. She continually charged at Walon, both of them continually exchanging blows. As the wooper used his tail to slam her, she’d retaliate by slashing its face. They knew each other well, so well that every attack one used, the other had a counter for.

    Soon, Reggie became more comfortable commanding his meowth, and he developed strategies. Eventually, he gained the upper hand. Just as he was sure he had won, Walon blew a thick mist over the field, disappearing in it. He could see his meowth treading cautiously, her paws sinking into the mud.

    Wait, mud?

    A thick stream of water fired from the mist, which hit the meowth straight on. Her body flew backwards and slid to Reggie’s feet, muddy water dampening her fur. As she struggled to get up, Reggie patted her head and shook his head with a slight smile on his face.

    “Milam, it’s fine.”

    She perked up at the sound of the name–her name–, and rested in his arms, while he returned her. Marcelo and Walon walked over.

    “Milam . . . Did you come up with that just now?”

    “Is there a problem with that?” he asked.

    Marcelo stuck his hands up innocently. “Just wondering.”

    “Yeah, I did. She needed a name. I can’t keep calling her meowth, now can I?”

    “I suppose not.”

    Reggie got up to and dusted his pants. “I didn’t know you could battle that well.”

    “I’m out here for a while, so I have plenty of time to practice,” said Marcelo. “At least I got Walon to finally use Muddy Water. I can’t get Walon to get better experience unless he battles against trainers.”

    “Why don’t you travel then? You could battle almost every day.”

    “I can’t be a trainer, not with my dad stopping me. But I’ve always thought about running away.” He smiled. “I wouldn’t be able to support myself for that long.”

    “I could look out for you. Connie, too.”

    “That’s nice,” he said, as if Reggie was a child pestering his mother. Then again, Marcelo was older than him. Only by a year, though.

    “Are you saying you’re fine here?”

    “It’s not a terrible situation. Really, it’s okay here. I like it here, it’s just that–“

    “That it could be better as a trainer,” he finished for him.

    “Yeah. Life is either a great adventure or nothing. Maybe I’m just not meant to be a trainer.” Marcelo looked off into the distance. “But it’s been fun having you here.”

    Shaking his head, he said, “No, I should be thanking you. You trained my meowth and let me pay off my debt.”

    “Don’t worry about it. I only let you because you were so stubborn.” This made Reggie smile, but Marcelo shivered and his grin wiped away, turning into a look of concern. How was he cold?

    “You okay?” he asked.

    “Fine, fine.” Marcelo stepped on the steps of his house and turned towards him. “I’ll see you around.”

    Then he went inside. Reggie went back towards the road and lightly jogged to find a campsite before it got dark. As he entered the forest, he quickly turned back and stared at the daycare one last time. It was a small block from his vantage point, but he knew he’d see it again some day.

    Looking back, he couldn’t have been more wrong.
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