Oh, I had no idea jewellery was spelled differently in other places when I wrote this. ^_^; But you know what it is. And I like this spelling.

Jewellery Box
by Leto

You know this hat I never take off?

It's not just me showing off. I'll bet that's what Misty thinks. I'll bet Pikachu understands though. This hat's about the only thing I had to remind me of my dream! To be a Pokemon Master!

I suppose I don't really need it now. Since I'm travelling, have my badges, have some Pokemon, I don't really need a reminder, I'm living my dream! But, years ago, nobody thought I could do it. Pallet doesn't even have a Pokemon Center. It's a small place, and people don't think big. Professor Oak was the only Pokemon trainer in town, and everyone thought he was crazy when he said he wanted to help kids get into training.

They thought I was crazy too. Being a fan of Pokemon and battles, that's fine. Going that way yourself, that's throwing your life out.

Anyway, the Pokemon League ran this national competition to give away a limited edition League hat. I entered a bunch of postcards every day. I spent hours writing them all out and spent most of my pocket money on the cards and stamps. The post office lady told me I was wasting my time and money, and Mom told me I shouldn't bother too. And my teacher told me that nobody in Pallet would be in the running to win something valuable - and it was valuable, a collector's item.

But then I won it!

I thought, if I could win that, which nobody thought I could, I could do something bigger that nobody thought I could. Through the same method, keeping on trying and spending lots of energy on it, I could become a Pokemon trainer - and a Pokemon Master.

The symbol on the hat is the symbol of the Pokemon League. You see it on TV in their stadiums, you see it on Pokemon ads. And now, it was the symbol of me as a trainer.

It still is. I think people give me more respect when they see I have this hat. Misty says I'm crazy, and imagining things, but I don't care. Besides, doesn't SHE have anything important to her?


You know that bike that Ash totalled?

He gets annoyed at me when I bring it up all the time. Guess I can't blame him. It probably was an accident (though I'm not letting him know I think that) after all.

But, that's just because he doesn't know what the deal with the bike is.

My sisters have always been better than me at everything. Even the things I liked - swimming, diving and water Pokemon - they were a lot better than me in. Every year, I'd get better and better, but they would still beat me easily.

They'd also get things I wouldn't be allowed to get. For example - I guess this might have something to do with it - they all had these really cool bikes, and I'd always wanted one. Daisy said I could have hers, but by that time, it wasn't worth having. Daisy's good at lots of things, but when it comes to bike riding, she's more accident prone than a Tauros in a china shop.

I asked Dad for a bike. I wanted to be able to ride, to drive myself, to go really fast and get away for a while. He said that when I was older, I could have one, but right now I needed to concentrate on my training. So I never got one. A lot of things were like that; my sisters got dolls and I didn't. My sisters got new clothes and I didn't. Maybe my parents thought that since I was just, I dunno, an afterthought, that I wasn't worth buying things for. After all, my older sisters sure made them prouder than I ever could.

My sisters cared more about their looks than anything else. Growing up in Cerulean, and then living in the gym for half my life, I started to like water Pokemon. When I turned ten, my parents gave me a Goldeen for my birthday.

When you're ten, you can get a Pokemon license and become a trainer. I always wanted to do that. My sisters never did, and I thought I could maybe beat them if I would go on my own Pokemon journey.

But no, my Dad told me to stay and train at the gym so I could take over it one day. Dad had founded the gym himself and wanted it run by the family.

I didn't want that at all! Stay and manage the gym after my sisters grew out of it and decided to do something else with themselves? Stay in one spot while my sisters pushed ahead of me yet again?

And also, I couldn't stand being around them any longer. An older sister's not so bad, but when you have three of them, all the same age, they're friends with each other and you're in a totally different league.

Finally, I lost it. I loved my family - even my sisters, although I didn't fit in with them - but I'm no bimbo. I'm not going to spend my life performing in water shows and always competing with my sisters. Since I was different, I wanted the chance to BE different. To see the world, I guess.

I told my family I was leaving the next day, and that was that. They knew they couldn't force me to stay. Daisy made little sniping comments to try to get me to stay (like, "guess you feel like you can't keep up with us here, huh, so you're running away?"), Lily begged me, Violet threatened me... my mother just stood there looking kind of sad, and my Dad, who was water Pokemon master, said that I wouldn't make it.

I knew I'd disappointed him and I felt bad about it. I'd always gotten on well with my Dad, and now I felt like I was deserting him.

In the morning, I snuck out the house early, before anyone else got up.

I felt guilty leaving my family, when they didn't want me to go. Almost like I was cheating them.

But as I reached the front gate of our house, to leave forever, I saw something leaning beside the big oak tree in our front yard.

It was a bike. It was brand new, and I knew it was meant for me. My first new thing. My Dad had left it for me.

It meant, I knew, that my family was letting me go. I rode off with a clear conscience.


You know this necklace I always wear?

Before I officially got Squirtle as my starter Pokemon, I had a little experience with Pokemon training before. Grampa would let me play with some of his when I was younger, and he even gave me an Eevee of my own, just so I could get used to being a trainer. Technically, that wasn't allowed, but Gramps was allowed to bend the rules a little, and besides, it wasn't exactly common knowledge.

My grandfather had always wanted me to be a Pokemon trainer, so I could learn to understand them properly, and be a kid at the same time. I wasn't sure about that.

I liked Pokemon, but I was more of a student. More into routine, in doing things I knew I could do, that I'd done before. Being a trainer meant leaving home, going off on your own with no stability. And what if I wasn't any good at it? I'd be a helpless kid stuck in the middle of nowhere without any way to keep going.

A few days after Gramps had given me Eevee, I still hadn't let it out of its ball. I was a bit nervous, I guess. Stupid to be nervous of an Eevee, but what if it didn't respect me as a trainer? What if Pokemon wouldn't listen to someone like me? What if I wasn't cut out to be a trainer at all?

I held the ball in both hands. I felt like opening it would be a decision. Then, I heard someone calling to me.

"Hey, kid!"

I turned, surprised. It was a girl, maybe a couple of years older than me, running up to me.

"You have a Pokemon," she said, "I've been looking for AGES in this dump to find a Pokemon trainer."

I narrowed my eyes slightly. Sure, Pallet wasn't famous, and it wasn't big, but it was my home. I wasn't really listening to what she was saying, until she came out with:

"I want to test out my new Pokemon. I challenge you to a Pokemon battle!"

"But I don't want to, yet, I mean, I'm not even supposed to -"

"Look," she snapped, "if you're a Pokemon trainer, you have to accept ANY challenge. One-on-one. I'll win, of course, but that doesn't matter."

I stared at the ball in my hand. I made my choice, that would affect my whole life and how I lived it.

"You're on," I snapped, surprised at how aggressive I suddenly sounded. "Eevee, go!"

"Go, Golbat!"

Don't ask me how I won that battle. I'm not too sure myself. Of course, I knew my Pokemon's attacks, and somehow, more importantly, I just knew how to handle myself. From then on, I knew I'd be a Pokemon trainer.

"I... don't believe it," she said, staring at her fainted Pokemon. "I... I'm really sorry, but I wasn't prepared to lose. I thought anyone from this town wouldn't be a good trainer. I can't pay you for your victory."

I thought that she already had, in a way... but then, she symbolised it by giving all she had.

"Take this necklace," she said, "and don't you dare lose it! One of my Pokemon won it for me in a Pokemon talent show, so it's important. Only good trainers have them."

I accepted it, kind of amazed that she would give it away.

I never saw her again. But I kept it for her. It reminded me of my first victory ever, and that Pallet could, and would, have a champion. It wouldn't be called a 'dump' again. And I, Gary Oak, would be a Pokemon Master.


You know this vest I wear all the time?

You probably can't tell from here, but it's a bit of a wreck. Threads torn, little sections cut unevenly, stitching uncertain and patchy. I've had to resew it up several times. But I wouldn't take it off for the world.

After Mom died, it was all up to me. My useless father had run off, as usual, and I had to look after my family. I didn't want us to be split up.

I learnt what it was like to be a father prematurely.

Before long, I... I guess, stopped thinking about myself. It was useless trying to have hobbies or interests with so many small children to take care of. If there was a TV show I wanted to watch, Mike would throw a tantrum and say he wanted to watch something else, and then Cindy would chime in and whine that she wanted to watch something else altogether, and before long I was playing referee in a shouting match between ten kids, TV show forgotten.

The only good thing was Pokemon training. When most of the kids were at school - I brought Mike and the twins with me to the gym each day, because they were too young to go - I could do what I loved to do without having to worry about the kids.

But even then, my training was tied up in the kids. It was kind of embarassing when my brothers would run up to my opponent and try to get him not to finish off my Pokemon. Or if I was explaining the rules to a new challenger and had to run across to make sure one of the twins didn't climb one of the boulders and hurt themselves.

After a few months of this, a lady from Pokemon League came to see for herself. She said I should be ashamed of myself for bringing kids into such an unsafe area and interfering with Pokemon League battles, and made me enroll them in a daycare center.

I felt like nobody appreciated all the work I did. But of course I couldn't tell her I had no parents to look after them, or she would have reported it to the authorities.

Even my brothers or sisters didn't seem to realise the big sacrifice I was making for them. Of course they wouldn't; they were kids, I was their parent, that was my job and when you're that young, you think fairly black-and-white.

That's why, when I opened the gift they'd all gotten me that Christmas, that's why I put it on and didn't take it off.

It was a vest. Most people would have laughed at it. Pointed out the flaws in it and how that stitch wasn't done properly, and that fabric wasn't a great choice, and....

I didn't care.

My younger brothers and siblings had made it themselves.

My own vest was worn and quite damaged from battles. But I had no time to bother about buying a new one or fixing it; I had to look after the kids' clothes first. It was them first, yet again.

And this vest proved that they recognised that.

It meant I was appreciated.


You know my favourite pair of earrings?

Well, they're my only pair. People say they're a bad fashion statement, that they're too clunky, not the right colour.

I don't care about that at all.

Yeah, you heard me right. Me, the master of good fashion, not caring if my earrings are 'in' or not!

I'll be straight with you. For once. My childhood sucked. I hear James complaining about his, I want to shake him. He took a lot of things for granted that would've been beyond me. He complains about how he always used to hate the smell of orange sauce when they had duck for dinner. And I'm standing there thinking of how I would be lucky to have dinner at all.

My Dad had dumped us. Probably a good thing. I hated him, and so did Mom. Except it meant we had no money. I hate to say it, but we needed him. Mom was sick, I know she was. She didn't say much, but sometimes at night, when I couldn't sleep because I was hungry, or cold, or whatever else... I'd hear her coughing and coughing, for hours. That real coughing, that comes from inside you. And in the morning I'd see her quickly trying to hide her blanket from me. But I could see the red.

After each day at work, and it wasn't easy or well paying work, she would come home and not be able to get up for a few hours. But she would always make me my meals on time, she'd always find the effort to do that. And in the mornings, she always got up to prepare an elaborate breakfast and lunch for me that day, providing we had enough food. We didn't have much money, but she wanted to please me and keep me well, even if she couldn't keep herself.

She became too sick to work. She got fired. The money stopped coming in. So did the meals. I didn't know what to do. I'd sit there for hours, under my bed, hearing terrible sounds coming from her room. I couldn't just leave her there. And I couldn't help her, I couldn't stand to go near her when she was like that. Calling a doctor was out of the question. Doctors require payment for their services.

So, inevitably, she died. After the awful coughing had stopped, hours after, I finally crept out from under my bed. I was scared about what I might see. And she was dead. She had died because her daughter was too much of a coward to try to help her.

Two days later, the house was repossessed. Nobody seemed to care that I still lived there. Nobody seemed to care that two people had tried to make it a home once. In fact, I might as well have not existed.

I had no possessions. We'd sold them before. The only thing we had left were our clothes, and the earrings my mother always wore. She always said they gave her strength.

I took them off. She had lain there, dead for days, with nobody knowing but me. I took the last thing she owned, and without even caring about the pain - she hadn't cared about pain, after all - I shoved the rods through my own unpierced ears.

It hurt, a little, but it was good. I felt like I had to live her pain. I had to honour her somehow. The earrings remind me of that. They remind me that life's tough, that I have to be tough, that pain can break you or make you strong.

But most of all, these earrings remind me of when I had a mother.


You know the rose I always carry?

"If you love a girl, give her a rose."

I think that's really dumb. My father said it. Jessiebell said it. If *she* said it, I know I have cause to be scared! I never gave her a rose though. But somehow I got the idea that roses had something to do with love.

When Growly and I used to go out, I'd always pick as many roses as I could, and brought them all back in arms. My bedrooms were full of rose-filled vases. I was a pathetic kid back then, I thought somehow roses would bring me love. My family didn't love me.

After a couple of days, the roses would always wilt and die. I'd wonder what it meant. Did that mean love couldn't live in this house? Did that mean love couldn't live outside of where it was meant to be, freedom?

I wanted freedom after I decided that. The idea of getting it was absolutely ridiculous, but I wanted it.

When I watched roses growing absolutely wild and beautiful all over the hills, without any stupid restrictions like vases... under the sunlight, with all of life around them... I realised love could grow. Under the right conditions, it could grow. You just had to be careful with it.

Kind of stupid, huh. I learn lessons about love through some stupid flowers.

But, lessons like this, my family would never teach me. Sure, they'd teach me how to speak like a gentlemen and how to escort a lady and which forks to use for which meal. But anything important, I had to learn from whatever could teach me. Since there were no other kids around, Growly and the roses were about my only teachers.

I carry them now still... I think sometimes it's the only good thing left in me, the fact that I still carry roses.

The roses I carry now are red. Just appropriate for my teammate. Would I ever give her one? Would she understand what it meant if I did?


So often, it is the things that others deem worthless that have the most importance.

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