I'm not satisfied with this one's ending... it wasn't really padded out... I guess I just couldn't be bothered, I just wanted to finish the fic.
A small, stray cat sat shivering by the side of the road. The winter air was harsh, and unfriendly, especially to anyone who feels rejected.
The dark figure of a young man, around sixteen years of age, walked past. He seemed in a hurry, and did not even notice the cat. In his haste, he tripped over the cat and fell clumsily.
He sat on the pavement, as the drivers of the cars speeding past laughed. He glared at the cat and kicked out at it.
"Stupid cat. Some types of Pokemon are just useless. You should stay out of my way."
The cat glared right back. "Meeowth, I could say exactly da same thing about humans."
The man stared. "You spoke."
"Pokemon don't speak!"
"That's... that's incredible!"
A Pokemon who could speak could understand both humans and Pokemon. A Pokemon who could speak could be worth a lot of money. A Pokemon who could speak would be his Pokemon.
"Well, of course it is! You're just like a human. Sort of."
Meowth looked at the ground. "Yeah... humans..."
"Hey Meowth, sorry I lost my temper. Come with me."
The cat had nothing else it could do. It nodded silently, and cast one last look at the world it was leaving behind. The world of Pokemon.
It seemed that Giovanni Oak had a greater chance than most to reach his dream of becoming Pokemon Master. Son of a respected Pokemon professor, he grew up with them and began to understand them, or so everyone thought.
When he was ten years old, he set out for the first time, hoping that he could do his father proud. He lost to the very first gym leader he faced, a boy not much older than himself, Flint of Pewter City. And he lost badly.
He travelled widely and battled much. He was determined to never return home until he was a true success. But there was something missing, he wasn't sure what. It prevented him from ever reaching true success.
Yes, he learned to win, but his Pokemon weren't versatile, indeed, they only seemed to do anything if he ordered them to. It was as if they had no will or personality of their own. Even from a trivial or cold point of view, this was not a good thing, as they would not even dodge an enemy's attack without a word.
So, Giovanni became a teenager, and reached sweet sixteen. But there was nothing sweet about it. He felt as if he were an outcast, and could never return until he found what his father had; some sort of bond, or friendship, with his Pokemon.
One day, colder than most, reminded him that he truly had no roots. He couldn't afford to make any friends along his journey, because they were just a distraction to his goal.
Lost in his thoughts, he accidentally tripped over a small Meowth. He looked back at it, and it seemed as lonely and lost as he secretly felt. It made him mad, more mad at himself than anything, but he kicked out at the cat nonetheless, for representing him and his weakness.
It startled him by protesting to this. Giovanni decided that this was a good turn of events. Now he could have a friend, as he wanted, without having to divert any attention from Pokemon.
Meowth makes me forget that Pokemon are different from us. You know, maybe all Pokemon are like us humans, even if they can't talk. Meowth doesn't say much about that, but I think it's true.
I still don't know why it bothered to come with me. I have a suspicion that something bad happened to it, from other Pokemon, because it was like a human. Maybe it thinks it has to join the world of humans, if Pokemon have rejected it.
We're both rejects.
I know Meowth aren't very powerful, but this is the first Pokemon I really think I can work with. We'll become unbeatable, and Meowth will get so strong that it'll even beat my other Pokemon, rock types mostly.
He was talkin' to me today. Sometimes he sounds like an adult, and sometimes like a little kid. This time, it was like a little kid. Naive enough, anyway.
"Meowth," he said, "I want to become a Pokemon Master."
"Huh," I said.
"What do you mean, 'huh'?"
Pokemon are all horrible. I learnt dat da human world's better. Ya get to make your own future here. But I wouldn't wanna have nothin' ta do with Pokemon, even if I was a human.
"Can we do it, Meowth?"
I looked up at 'im, and even though he sounded as detached as always, I thought dat he really wanted reassurance.
"Yeah, 'course you can do it."
He put emphasis on the 'we' and I cringed.
"We? Me, battlin'?"
"Some day, Meowth, you and I'll be the greatest..." He'd gone all dreamy again. "Everyone'll fear me and my strong Persian. You know, Persian are often underestimated, but we'll -"
"Wait a sec," I interjected. I rarely argued with him, but this was too much. "Persian? Me, a Persian? You gotta be kiddin'."
He looked surprised. "But, that's your evolved form. That's what you'll become. What's strange about that?"
"I hate Persian! I hate all Pokemon, especially Persian!"
He blinked. "Why?"
"Long... story. But I ain't no fightin' Pokemon. I ain't gonna do no battlin', ain't gonna belong to no human. I'll hang out with you, right, but I'm never gonna go in a Pokeball or evolve."
I don't wanna tell him 'bout before he found me. What's da point? No point in lookin' for sympathy, dis world's not one you should bother tryin' in.
"Okay, Meowth," he reassured me, "don't worry. Your Meowth form is fine, and I won't ever put you in a Pokeball."
Giovanni faced Blaine, a young man in his early twenties. The final challenge.
"Show me what you've got," taunted Blaine, "we're down to our last Pokemon."
He tossed out a Pokeball and it opened, revealing a beautiful dog whose entire coat was flickering flames.
"Canine!" it barked.
"Fine," scowled Giovanni. "Just watch."
He pulled out a Pokeball and opened it. A red figure materialised into a small cat Pokemon.
"Hahah, cat and dog," laughed Blaine, "well, that's a real joke. A Meowth, against a gym leader? If it's not even strong enough to evolve..."
Meowth cast a glance at the Pokeball Giovanni cradled in one hand, and sighed.
"Alright, Meowth," called Giovanni, "use the fury swipes!"
That was Meowth's favourite move. The very name of it summed everything about him up.
"Hah, Arcanine, fire blast!"
The cat was very quick, and slashed the fire dog fast and hard before it could react. Before the flame Pokemon could even oppose Meowth, it had fallen.
"Gee, that was a challenge," said Meowth and Giovanni sarcastically, in unison. Blaine just gaped at the talking cat.
"You taught your Pokemon to talk?" sputtered the fire trainer, "you are worthy of being a Pokemon Master! Take the Volcanobadge, and enter Pokemon League. I wish you luck."
"Thank you," said Giovanni. But there was no elation in his victory. He seemed as cold and detached as always.
Blaine is handing over the Volcanobadge. I think I'm almost worthy of getting my parents' respect. My parents...
For some reason, the only thing in my mind right now is this image of my Dad smiling at me as he gives me my first Pokemon. A Nidoking, of all things. He said "I'm sure you'll be good friends."
He didn't say "I'm sure you'll win lots of battles" or "I'm sure it'll be strong" or even "I'm sure it'll help you reach the top."
I wonder if I felt so cold when I was little? I don't remember.
Well, I got my master da volcanobadge. Gettin' really strong, and I know I should've evolved long ago, but I never will. I'll fight it all my life if need be. That's my toughest battle, nothin' to do with elements and advantages and special attacks.
My master... yeah, dat's what he is now. Guess I shoulda known. Pokemon can't live in da world of humans without bein' used.
Dunno what to think 'bout Giovanni now.
"I've got as far as I need to," Giovanni told his Pokemon. "So I'm finished with you. You can work for me like the others do."
"But... master... I'm your -"
"Not master any more. Boss. Call me boss."
A Pokemon can't stand up to a human. Humans control Pokemon. It has always been like that.
Meowth often wondered what he had done to be gone from the boss's favour. For years, they had worked together. But it hadn't been anything he had done. It had been what he was. Not entirely biddable; a mind of his own, a thinking creature that said what it thought, and made Giovanni feel weird for ordering it around.
Giovanni did get his Persian. A beautiful Persian, and the coup de grace for Meowth, who KNEW that his master - no, boss - knew that he hated Persian...
Meowth could have told his former friend why he was not an exceptional Pokemon trainer. Why he wasn't friends with his Pokemon.
It was because he expected them to be his inferior.