I wasn't sure exactly what to do, but as Clefairy dove back into the stranger's backpack, I figured I should do something.
"Come back here, you!" I hissed, grabbing my Pokemon with both hands and pulling it backwards. It struggled and made a whistling sound, of protest.
"Shut up!" I hissed again, still trying not to wake the boy up.
"FAIRY!" shouted my Pokemon, and whistled angrily.
I sighed. Maybe the Flareon would've been a better choice after all.
Then again, I'd prefer to have a disobedient Pokemon whistling and shouting than one that would torch me every time I did something it disapproved of.
It continued to whistle, but the guy lying asleep on the grass didn't stir. If anything, he fell into a deeper sleep. Clefairy winked at me, as if it knew something I didn't.
Finally, losing my temper, I grabbed Clefairy's Pokeball and threw it at it.
Sometimes I think I really should've gotten into sports. Not only did I get tired easily, my aim was atrocious. The Pokeball missed Clefairy and instead, hit the sleeping boy in the head. It smacked and rolled down the side of his face where it stopped at his mouth.
'This is turning into something from a bad movie,' I groaned, as the boy stirred, mumbling something in his sleep. As his mouth moved, the Pokeball twitched.
I tiptoed up to him, intending to pick up Clefairy's Pokeball and proceeded to trip over my mischeivous Pokemon, thus falling in an undignified heap on this poor stranger.
Nobody could possibly sleep through that, and he didn't.
He blinked, startled... I got the distinct impression that he was as little of a morning person as I was. And I'm supposed to be a calm sort of person, so when I get crabby, I'd hate to see what an aggressive person would be like.
I suppose I would have been a trifle alarmed had I woken to somebody half on top of me - particularly someone of the opposite sex - with a Pokemon giggling and whistling nearby and a Pokeball on my face. So his reaction was fairly predictable.
"Ahhh! Get offa me! What's goin' on?!... Was I drinking? I don't remember..."
He sat up and pushed me onto the ground, a bit worriedly. Clefairy's Pokeball fell onto the ground, and I snatched it up, embarassed.
"Eh heh... hello," I said sheepishly. "I'm really sorry to have woken you up. My Clefairy was misbehaving."
"A Pokemon?" The boy looked over at Clefairy, who smiled innocently.
"Yeah... I'm really sorry, but I think it stole some of your breakfast. I'll pay you back, seriously."
The boy was wide awake now. "Stole my breakfast?"
"Well, it had a couple of cherries."
He grabbed his backpack and looked into it. Then he stood up and stared at me in disbelief. "A COUPLE of cherries? They're almost all gone! Do you know how expensive cherries are at this time of year?"
"Sorry," I said, feeling stupid and angry at Clefairy.
"Fairy!" giggled Clefairy. It wasn't sorry at all. The boy looked furious and lunged at my fairy Pokemon. I quickly stepped in between them.
"Now you two, there's no need to fight. Clefairy WILL pay you back for those cherries. WON'T YOU." I said the last words with an ominous expression, daring Clefairy to argue. It just nodded meekly.
"And how, may I ask, can it do that? See, this is exactly what I hate! Stupid, inexperienced trainers who can't control their own Pokemon!"
He looked at me. "Sorry? Being sorry doesn't help."
He sweatdropped. "If you say 'sorry' once more..."
"Fairy!" piped in Clefairy, which I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt meant 'sorry!'.
"You don't stick up for yourself," he said, in surprise. "Girl, is there something wrong with you?"
"Nah, you're right," I said, trying to affect nonchalance, "I have no idea what I'm doing. I only started out yesterday."
I guess subconsciously I was trying to make him feel guilty by making him feel sorry for me. I forget that these sort of subtle tricks don't work on obnoxious or very down-to-earth people.
I wasn't quite sure which of the two it was with him, but he had very solid brown eyes which told me clearly he wasn't a dreamer like me.
"You're right," he said, "for a start, you should keep your Pokemon inside a Pokeball. Otherwise, it's just a menace and it won't respect you at all. Although to be honest, if you were my trainer, I wouldn't respect you either."
"I guess you're right..."
"Anyway, what are you going to do? Your Clefairy ate most of my food."
"Um... well, I don't really have much money, but... I guess I could give you a free Pokeball or something."
"A Pokeball?" He actually laughed. "Why would I want a Pokeball? I HATE Pokemon!"
"Look, those things are menaces, I tell you girl. But what's your name, by the way."
"Really. Well, Aurora, I don't find 'cute' Pokemon like your Clefairy endearing at all. They're rare Pokemon and they eat rare plant life."
"What's your name?"
"Don't interrupt me while I'm ranting! Did you hear what I said before? People are trying to study these plants but they can't because stupid Pokemon like that keep eating them all. They're rare enough as is."
"What's your name?"
"Are you even listening to me? Fine, it's Kerra. Why do you care? Just pay me something and get over with it."
"Everyone has to eat something..."
"NOT MY CHERRIES THOUGH!" he shouted.
Boy, this guy was defensive.
"Look, just get to the point already."
"I'm going to teach you a lesson," said Kerra, "and your Clefairy too."
I was getting fed up here, because he wasn't listening to me.
"Look, Kerra - whatever sort of weird name THAT is - you overreact. You know, you could've just been nice about a simple mistake, but no, you had to be a jerk. Fine. What's this 'lesson'?"
He grabbed a Pokeball from his backpack.
"You hate Pokemon," I said dully.
"Most Pokemon," he said, and threw down a Pokeball.
A Pokemon I'd never seen before - hardly surprising, since I knew maybe 15 different ones - appeared.
"Saur!" it croaked.
Kerra sweatdropped. "Come on, at least recognise one of the most common Pokemon. This is an Ivysaur."
I bent down and patted it on the head. "Hello there. You're cute."
Ivysaur smiled, but its trainer did not. He slapped one hand to his forehead. "Typical female..."
I sighed. "Okay, what are you going to do with that?"
"Pokemon battle! This will be my repayment. When my Pokemon thrashes yours, it'll get experience and grow stronger, so the flower on its back will grow."
It was happening rather fast, but you've got to learn some time.
"Alright, Clefairy, let's go!"
"Okay, Clefairy... umm..." I thought back to page 67 of the Pokemon book.
Before I could remember Clefairy's moves, the Ivysaur jumped into the air and crash-landed on my Pokemon. Clefairy jumped away with an alarmed squeal.
"Uh, pound," I said quickly. Clefairy took a deep breath and launched itself at Ivysaur, running, before suddenly changing course and jumping on it.
"Ivysaur, razor leaf."
"Umm, uh... aw, heck with it. Clefairy, just attack however possible."
Clefairy saluted and did so. Now I had something of an advantage, because Pokemon have natural fighting instinct, and it could fight quickly without waiting for me to order.
I had no idea how powerful Clefairy was. I guess Gary had trained it a little, but besides that, I was learning about its fighting skills for the first time.
Ivysaur's leaves filled the air, but Clefairy was no longer in the air. We all looked around for it, and finally it leapt out of a tree right onto the Ivysaur's back. The same thing it had done to me earlier that morning. I cringed in sympathy, as the Ivysaur was scared half out of its wits.
Clefairy whistled brightly, and to my amazement, the Ivysaur started blinking furiously. Kerra yawnwed. Me, I was more awake now, but my mind was going a little fuzzy.
What was it doing? Suddenly the Ivysaur just fell asleep. I thought it must not have been very well trained, to want to rest in the middle of a battle like that, but even after Kerra started poking it hard, it still didn't stir.
Before I knew quite what was happening, Clefairy started slapping its opponent hard until it fell down.
"Fine, you won, you satisfied now?" snapped Kerra.
I just blinked. "It... fell asleep."
"Yeah, that blasted sing attack. But hey, why not another challenge."
He grabbed another Pokeball. I was surprised that he had more than one Pokemon, especially if he hated them so much. But I wasn't surprised when another grass-looking Pokemon appeared.
"An Oddish," I mused. I actually recognised this one, one of our neighbours had one living in their front yard.
"Alright Oddish, beat them at their own game! Sleeping powder!"
*That* didn't sound good. The air began to fill with a light orange dust as the Oddish fluttered its leaves.
"Clefairy, don't go anywhere near that dust!"
Then I looked around, alarmed. It had disappeared again.
"Oddish, above -"
Kerra's warning was too late. Clefairy jumped right on top of Oddish, causing it to lose its concentration and roll beneath its own powder.
The small plant yawned widely.
"No, Oddish. Come on. Leech life!"
The Oddish shook its head (body?) to clear it, before suddenly leaping towards Clefairy and tying its leaves around it. The leaves glowed brightly and Clefairy cried out.
Oddish jumped back, well awake now, but Clefairy looked a little stunned.
"Good, Oddish! Again!"
"Clefairy, you've gotta win this match."
It winked at me, before whistling. Oddish, however, didn't seem to have any ears, so I guess it was exempt. It yawned widely again, before wrapping Clefairy tightly and draining it some more.
"Now finish it off!"
Oddish ran at my Pokemon, who was sitting on the ground stunned. I got angry. Attacking an opponent when it was down! That was cheap!
Later, I learned it wasn't cheap... it was Pokemon battling, plain and simple, and it was about the only way to win.
I felt sorry for my poor Pokemon who was just recovering from its first battle with an inexperienced trainer. So I did the first thing that came to me. I grabbed my backpack and threw it, hoping to have it land between Oddish and Clefairy, so the grass Pokemon's attack would miss.
Of course, with my notoriously bad aim, it didn't quite work out.
"FAIRY!" squawked my Pokemon as it was hit by a heavy, fully loaded backpack.
It tottered, dazedly, and the Oddish easily finished it off with another Leech Life.
I couldn't believe it. I'd lost my first battle because I'd helped knock out my own Pokemon.
Kerra grinned. "Not bad, Aurora."
I scowled. He didn't have to rub it in.
We stood looking at each other for a moment.
"What happens now?"
He sweatdropped. "You lost, so you have to pay me half your money."
"I didn't lose. I beat one of your Pokemon, and you beat one of mine."
"You don't have any Pokemon left in battling condition, do you?"
I shook my head.
"Then you've lost. Give me half your money."
I sweatdropped. "What are you, some kind of thief? I'm not giving you my money just because your Pokemon beat mine!"
"It's in the Pokemon League rulebook."
I sighed. "Look. I'll level with you. I ran away from home. I need all the money I can get. Right now I have, oh, $50. That's not much to wager the rest of my life on. Getting half my money isn't worth much anyway."
He raised one eyebrow. I've never been able to do that.
"Ran away from home? Isn't that a little childish?"
I shrugged. "So what. I'm not going back, even if you do make me give you half my money."
Suddenly he laughed. I blinked.
"Heh, maybe you're not such a wimp as you look. Keep your money, Aurora."
He picked up his backpack and shouldered it.
"Have fun on your journey. But remember, running away changes all former ties."
Then, Kerra walked off, with the Oddish following close behind him.
What an odd thing to say.
I wasn't sure what to make of Kerra at all.
But I couldn't worry about that. Right now, I was in the middle of the forest, not far enough from my home where people would probably be looking for me by now, with my only companion unconscious.
I was suddenly very aware of all the forest noises around me. I heard a bird caw, and cringed as it flapped suddenly over my head. The same bird I'd requested from Gary, the one too dangerous for me to control. I heard a faint buzz and cringed. I hate bees.
The grass rustled nearby and I didn't want to think about what could be lurking in them. The sun filtered dismally through the trees, trying desperately to shine brightly despite all the clouds, but it failed. And predictably, that's just when it began to rain.
This was an adventure, to be sure, but...
What was I doing here?