I would just like to take a moment to say something. This fic takes place nearly a year after the first episode of Pokemon. Ash and Gary have both collected the eight badges. However, I'm disregarding all episodes of Pokemon that take place after Ash gets the Earthbadge. This means things like, Togepi doesn't have any funky powers, Ash still has Pidgeotto, etc.

The two trainers from Pallet are now awaiting the reopening of Pokemon League so they can try their luck.

Ash is now 11 years old.
Gary is 11 years old.
Misty is 13 years old.
Brock is nearly 16 years old.
Jessie is 18 years old.
James is nearly 18 years old.
The Hanasea sisters are about 18 years old. (They're triplets.)

I think those are all the relevent characters? (Meowth: YOU FORGOT MEOWTH!) ^_^. I'll set up a timeline in a few episodes' time, so that you'll avoid total confusion. I won't make one now 'cos I don't wanna give anything away.

by Leto
Part 7 - Brock's view

When I said I wanted to go on a Pokemon journey and have adventures, this isn't quite what I meant! It's a little extreme... Ash is being even more reckless than usual. Maybe he's restless 'cos there are no challenges around now.

Anyway, I chose to go with Ash and Misty. I went on this journey in the first place to get experience and have fun... to learn more about Pokemon in the first place. Maybe I was a gym leader but I didn't earn that position and so I did lots of on-the-job training, as it were. Anything I know, I learnt from experience.

Dad loved rock Pokemon. He had a Graveller, Rhyhorn, Onix.... of course, he had more than that from when he was Pokemon Master, but the league rules stated that he wasn't allowed to use his super experienced Pokemon in his gym.

My Dad set up the Pokemon Gym all by himself. After winning title of Primary Pokemon Master, he got license to start one. Before that, there were only four gyms and the Pokemon League wasn't well set up... Cinnabar Gym, Viridian Gym, Lavender Gym and Fucshia Gym. They took down Lavender's ghost Pokemon gym, I have no idea why, but the others still have their original trainers and founders.

I was really proud to have a famous Dad. Not only was he a great trainer, he was a great Dad, and he treated us kids as well as he treated his Pokemon. I always liked Pokemon, especially rock Pokemon, since that's what I had experience with. When I was 6, Dad took me to Mt. Moon and showed me some of the wild Pokemon there. He caught me a Geodude and I've had it ever since.

But Dad was restless. Our family was growing and he had to stay home and look after the kids more than train Pokemon. But it was more than that; battling beginner trainers in a gym wasn't appealing to him.

He left home when I was 10, to go and get more challenges before settling down to a life of gym training and staying with a family. He promised to return in a few months after successfully becoming the High Pokemon Master. But he never came back.

I was going to go and become a Pokemon trainer when I was 10, but I never got the chance, because I had to stay home and look after my family, being the oldest. Also, because I already had a rock Pokemon, Dad left the running of Pewter Gym to me.

It was challenging but a lot of fun. That's the only thing I like about Dad leaving; that I got to be a gym trainer. You get some respect, and it brings in a lot of money too.

When Dad left, he arranged for me to be the gym leader (I had to take a Pokemon exam first to qualify, but that was easy) and left me a Pokeball. Inside it was his Onix.

When he got me ready for taking over the gym, he didn't say anything about leaving. He just said that he thought I should have a go at battling, and see if I had any potential. He never stuck around to see if I did have potential though.

A Pokemon Master is allowed to set up a Pokemon Gym, but whether or not it's sanctioned by the Pokemon League depends on the trainer's personality, how successful the gym is and how much the Pokemon League needs a new gym for hopeful trainers.

Only a Pokemon Master is allowed to be the leader of that gym, but if they need to leave, they can temporarily assign the task to another member of their immediate family. It can't be permanent, though.

My Mom did her best but it was hard with so many kids. I had to help out a lot, but she was still getting stressed out and tired. Months passed and work grew harder for her. More of her children were starting school and there were parent-teacher interviews, ferrying us back and forth from school and other places, buttons to sew back on school uniforms and maths problems to help us work through, plus keeping a house.

At least money wasn't a problem, 'cos Dad had at least left us that much, owning a successful gym, but money sure doesn't solve all problems.

-- flashback --

"Mom, you need to go to hospital!" I was pleading with my mother, who was clearly drained of energy but denying it.

"I'm fine, Brock. I'll be just fine, I don't need to go to the hospital."

"But Mom, you're sick, you're tired all the time..."

"I'll be fine after a good night's sleep, I promise. Good night, Brock."

I went to bed, but couldn't sleep. Later, I crept into Mom's room to see if she was getting a good night's sleep like she'd said. She tossed fretfully in her sleep, looking very careworn.


I moved away in surprise as Teryl, my 4 year old sister, came running into the room and dived onto the bed. Mom sat up with a start.

"Tim's making faces!"

She sighed and said "It's okay, Teryl. Just go back to sleep, it's too late to be playing around with Tim."

"But he started it!"

"Go back to bed!"

Teryl sulked but went back. I stayed hidden in the shadows and nobody noticed me. Mom looked after her for a moment, then curled back under the bedcovers.

A few minutes later, I was about to leave, but there was more commotion and Sarah, my 5 year old sister, ran in screaming.

"Mommy, I had a horrible dream where the big wolfman Derek was telling me about came and was creeping around the -"

She dove on the bed and the rest of what she was saying dissolved in frightened childish tears. Mom started to comfort her and I moved away.

-- flashback end --

Two months after that, she died. I say it very frankly. I wouldn't have been able to back then. At 11, I was already the person who brought the money into the house, but now my job tripled because I had a household and 10 younger siblings to look after.

I soon dropped out of school. Nobody enquired about me back then. I don't think anyone cared. My father sure didn't... his pride kept him from coming home! His pride! As if I cared whether or not he'd been successful in beating people with his Pokemon... all I wanted was a normal childhood.

Anyway, it was okay looking after my family, and especially being a gym trainer, but... it was kind of worthless because I didn't have any friends, and absolutely no freedom. I hated that.

When my Dad showed up again, I was shocked. I'd never taken into account that he could come back. I'd never thought there could be a way out. I just thought I'd be an eternal babysitter, a substitute father.

We went back to Pewter a little while ago, to visit, Misty, Ash and I... I'm kinda hurt, the family is doing so well, it's like they didn't need me at all.

I shouldn't complain. My life is pretty good right now, although if I have to hear Ash and Misty argue one more time... right now, they're holding hands. It's very cute, but I can see they're very scared.

I might be scared but we've gotten out of worse scrapes... I think.

Who am I kidding. I'm scared too. But we'll come through, together.

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