Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the characters or Pokemon in general. They belong to Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures Inc.

Author’s Note: This is in response to the write about Todd/Snap challenge. I don’t know Snap’s last name, so I made one up. Also, I’ve never gotten a chance to see the ‘Pokemon Paparazzi’ **grr** so this some information may be wrong. Thanks for understanding! Another thing: After reading this over, it sounds like one of Leto’s fics. Tell me, am I right, or am I hallucinating because of the heat? ^_^

A Camera Can't Do That
by Karana

My name is Todd ‘Snap’ Klein. I am a Pokemon photographer. And I hate it.

Did anyone ask me what I wanted to be? Did they say, “Todd, you want to be a Pokemon trainer? That’s great, you go on and do it!” No. Right from the start I was expected to follow in the footsteps of my dad, the great Pokemon photographer. As if I cared what he was. He never paid attention to me, it was always work work work. He never had time for his only son.

It was my life’s dream to be a great Pokemon trainer. Wait. That’s not even right. It was my life’s dream to be a Pokemon trainer, and if I did well in the bargain, wow. But I really just wanted to go out into the world with a loyal Pokemon at my side, ready to face any challenge. And we’d do it together.

Every last one of my dreams to be a Pokemon trainer was wiped away when, on my 10th birthday, my dad gave me a camera and roll of film. And even as I got a sinking feeling in my chest, I knew what was coming.

My dad gave me a speech about how I came from a great line of photographers, all who became filthy rich in their adult lives. He went on about how I was to carry on the tradition, and how my first camera would become my best friend. I was to treat it with the utmost respect, as it would bring me my fortune. And then suddenly, I snapped.

And not in the camera sense.

I told my dad I hated taking pictures, and I wanted to be a Pokemon trainer and have Pokemon and fight with them and have a *real* best friend, not some cold metal object. I thought he would explode. He roared at me that I would become a photographer whether I liked it or not. I threw the camera at him and stormed off to my room.

A few days later I was booted out of the house and told I wouldn’t be allowed back in until I took some good pictures. I really had no idea what to do. I had no money, no food, nothing. Except the hated camera, which my dad had managed to catch when I had chucked it at him. So what could I do? I had no choice.

I went around taking pictures. At first, it was as bad as I thought it would be. I felt sick inside, like my heart was aching. Like I was betraying myself. And then, I began convincing myself it wasn’t that bad. I pretended to like it, so that I started *acting* like I liked it. And when I started acting like I enjoyed photographing, I really thought I did.

When I came home, my dad was ecstatic to see I had taken pictures, and even sold a couple. He praised me until I felt great about myself. But deep down inside, I knew this was a false happiness, and it shouldn’t last long.

And then I met these two weird teenagers wearing funky costumes. They told me to go catch some kid’s Pikachu. Having nothing to do that day, I told ‘em I’d do it. They sniggered and ran off, telling me I’d be well rewarded. I shrugged it off, thinking they’d pay me for a picture of this kid’s Pikachu.

I caught up with the kid, Ash, a few hours later. He seemed like a nice enough guy, and the kids he was travelling with, Brock and Misty, were okay too. I didn’t let it show, but I was so jealous of Ash. He was free to do what he pleased, he and his Pokemon and his friends. He had everything I wanted out of life.

Remembering my promise to those freaky teenagers, I tried to take pictures of Ash’s Pikachu. The little guy was scared of the flash, and hid from me. This happened every time, until Ash finally told me to knock it off.

I wanted to, but it had become an obsession. I *had* to get a shot of the Pikachu!

But it wasn’t because of the teenagers.

It was because of the great friendship I saw between it and Ash. There was real love there, love I’d never seen before. Trust, loyalty, everything was there. They were truly best friends. They shared their emotions, and hugged and laughed and cried together. Seeing it made me want to cry out, in sadness at my own loneliness. Then I turned to my own “best friend”, and tears welled up in my eyes. I wanted someone to hug me and tell me everything would be okay.

But a camera can’t do that.

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