Got a challenge from Doralee23 to write a fic about Bill. Voila.

The Night Sings
by Leto

Children have always been patronised in the world of Pokemon, I have noticed. Despite that one may begin their journey at age 10, 10-year-old trainers *are* discriminated against for their age and size. Despite being new, some *do* show real talent, but only in the most tenacious may that develop.

I went on my journey at age 10, so I know what I'm talking about. I left because I couldn't stand school, I couldn't stand being bossed around and having to learn a lot of rubbish and being treated like a helpless kid.

It didn't change much. There was heaps to learn, and people still were patronising.

"Oh, isn't this challenger a cutie!" squealed one of Cerulean's gym leaders. "Now kid, you should be careful when challenging, you don't want your Pokemon to feel as if they can't, like, ever win!"

I beat her.

"Kid, quit wastin' my time," snapped Vermilion's leader, "I don't have time to mess around with little babies like you who think dey can fight!"

One-hit KO.

"I don't think a youngster like you should take training too seriously just yet," advised Celadon's leader, "just be friends with your Pokemon and have empathy with them, and when you're a little older, you can start to train them!"

She didn't even have time to order an attack.

I carved my way through various gyms, earned a dozen badges, yet arrogant older trainers said it must have been a fluke. Just because I was small for my age.

When I finally made it to the Pokemon League, I didn't have my Pokedex any more. I had learnt everything on it, and left it at home. But because of my age, they wouldn't let me compete without a Pokedex, even though I had other ID and my badges. What a joke. I loved Pokemon but I hated training. I hated the attitudes, the petty rules.

So - if my Pokemon were strong, my collection large and my knowledge equal to that of the Pokedex - what was left?

Night was the only time that things seemed clear. When I was asleep, I knew I had some purpose... but after waking, I could never pinpoint it! All I could remember was a sliver of song, a haunting, beautiful song.


"Bill," said my Butterfree, "where are we going?"

It spoke in its own language, of course, but we could understand each other well enough. I walked along the cliffs of Porta Vista, Butterfree perched on one shoulder.

"If I remember right, we are not far from where Butterfree each year congregate to select a partner."

"Fureee, what are you saying?!"

"Well, it's Butterfree mating season. You're a Butterfree. Don't you have to go?"

"I don't WANT to go."

"So you won't go?"

"I want to stay with you. What if another trainer caught me who didn't know me?"

"I'm glad!"

Butterfree wasn't the first Pokemon I caught, but it impressed me by willingly facing - and often defeating - some tough opponents. We had beaten Crimson Gym's fire and electric types. It had helped me to capture a Kingler and a Scyther. It liked to be freed from its Pokeball on occasion, as, in its own words, "dark things like that give BAD memories of cocoon stage".

I grabbed Butterfree's feet, and it twittered happily, before whirlwinding us along the cliffs at a much more effective pace. We went quite some way before stopping abruptly at a decrepit lighthouse that seemed to have seen its last light in days long past.

"Go in, freee?"

Butterfree, despite not liking dark enclosed spaces, have an unhealthy amount of curiousity, and before I could even reply, it gusted both of us into the air and to the top of the lighthouse.

Up close, it was not in a bad state; well, an exaggeration, but it seemed solid at any rate. After poking around, we went down the stairs to check out the inside.

And here, what a surprise! Contrasting to the outside, dingy walls, with the itomaruwebs and mysterious dents, the inside was immaculate. Perfect paint job, pictures on the walls - of Pokemon - even clean carpeting.

At the bottom of the lighthouse, Butterfree flew from my shoulder and darted from room to room, squealing excitedly. Then it squawked and flapped erratically back to my shoulder, pinwheeling through the air.

"What's wrong?"

"Trainer there!"

"A trainer?"

It nodded, and just then a man came out of the room Butterfree had just been in. He looked a lot older than me, his hair was brown but with tell-tale shades of grey.

"So, you just thought you'd walk right in, did you?"

"I-I didn't think anyone lived here, sir."

"Amateur trainer, I see?"

"Excuse me? What makes you say that?"

"I see you have a Butterfree. Most beginning trainers tend to keep an easy Pokemon like that to raise until they gain more experience..."

"I will battle you then," I interrupted, "I'm no amateur."

He smiled at that, and said, "boy, I am not a trainer. I study Pokemon. What use does a man of my age have for fighting?"

"Do you WANT to battle?"

"Boy, before you become much older, you will learn that we cannot always have what we want."

"Why can't you?" I asked, ignoring the fact that he was unconsciously patronising me.

"It's a world of new talent, of energy, of youth... I'm past my time."

"And I'm before mine..."

"Maybe so," he said thoughtfully, "maybe so."

We looked at each other for a few moments.

"Boy, the world does not accept trainers just for training skill. Have you realised that?"


"Come with me, then. I will show you what I am doing here. What is your name, boy?"


"And I am Professor Oak."


He showed me how he had bought the lighthouse as a research centre; studying Pokemon that lived in the oceans all around, without fear of being noticed. He had heard rumours of Pokemon that visited Porta Vista's cliffs every year, Pokemon that the world had yet to discover... his curiousity was up.

And as I listened to him, mine was also. Enthusiasm is contagious.

Because there wasn't really anywhere else to go, I stayed at the lighthouse for a few days. I realised I didn't really want to compete in the League anyway, and I couldn't return home... my family was large, they encouraged us to become self-reliant as soon as possible. We didn't have a lot of money, so seven children is not an ideal situation. My family was okay, but I didn't want to go back. I didn't think they'd really care to see me anyway.

Professor Oak taught me new things that I could not learn from the Pokedex or from battles.

"There are rumours of a new type of Pokemon... a dragon type. Bill, the legends did suggest a dark, winged figure that came in the night."

"So, what do you think?"

"I think we had better capture it. If there are no other dragons in the world, this could be quite a remarkable discovery!"

The days spent there became weeks. We saw no sign of the rumoured legendary Pokemon, and the professor began to lose faith that anything would ever come of his research. When he left to return to his home in Pallet, I stayed. The Pokemon that the professor had so desired to catch, I still believed in, but I did not want to catch it.

My Butterfree agreed with me, no legendary Pokemon that wanders alone should be caught - unless it wants to. And sometimes, on a quiet night when the waves are gentle and the air still, I think I can almost hear a haunting song across the ocean. The clouds darken with it, but it is not a threatening song.

I can hear it in my dreams.

I can understand it...

I have heard that Pokemon training is a little kinder to young people now. It has been three years since I first found the lighthouse, but I cannot leave yet. Training disappointed me, but research will not.

The whisper of a lullaby is still here.

It will come.

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