Tag Archives: Henri

NaNo 18, Day 1: Cue Training Montage and an Unwelcome Surprise

Where to start was…a little overwhelming. When she’d first started this journey, she’d been able to bring a new Pokemon up to match the rest of the team pretty easily. But with a new Gym on the horizon, not only did she have to get her old team up to snuff, but she had to get five new Pokemon to their level to.

Evangeline decided the best thing she could do was break it up like her old situation as much as she could. Picking one of the new Pokemon at random, she built a supporting team of more experienced battlers around them. Then once the new friend was up to challenges on the same level as the older members, she could switch out one of the old guard for someone else. Kakashi grumbled next to her, leaning his head against her shoulder. “This looks like a lot of work,” he complained. “Nap instead?”

She shrugged that shoulder to jostle him. “No, no naps,” she scolded teasingly. “I know this down time hasn’t been necessarily restful, but we need to get going again.” It wasn’t just Evangeline who needed a chance to grieve the lost of her Vivilion, Cho, but the entire group. She was determined to ease them back into their journey, though.

“So, setting up a picnic spot?” Kakashi guessed. “Like you did outside of Santalune?”

But Evangeline shook her head. “No. We rushed down that last route so fast, I’m sure there are trainers who are upset that they didn’t get a chance to battle with us. We’re going to back track, taking on the trainers and wild Pokemon we missed last time.” She looked to him. “And I thought to go back to the river. The Pokemon are a little less…assertive, there, and that seems like a better way to ease the new ones into our style.”

He nodded slowly, crossing his arms. “Take it slow, if you need to,” he cautioned her. “We all understand, and would rather you be a little more protective than to lose someone else so quickly.”

“I will,” she promised, standing up. “Okay, let’s get the first team ready to go. I think I’ll keep Haruka with me regardless, he’s been a bit clingy lately.”

“Isn’t he technically a baby Pokemon?” Kakashi asked as they walked over to the computer.

Evangeline hummed. “Something like it, and I think his evolution is based off of how well cared for he’s feeling. Maybe that’s why he’s wanting to stay close to me. It can’t hurt to indulge him a little.”

So Kakashi, Haruka, Felix, Lars, Hikari, and Antoine came with her as the starting team. And the number of trainers she missed was a little staggering. That, or more had come out over the last couple of days. She couldn’t be sure which. Either way, her team gave it their all–even the newcomer Lars caught some of their excitement, even if he didn’t get as much action as Evangeline had hoped. But there was an infestation of Psyducks, and she wasn’t about to risk him against a Water-Type! (The cute little idiots sometimes pulled power moves at the weirdest timing.)

As a result of all the fighting, Evangeline was more than happy to flop down into a field of flowers. “Somehow, this wasn’t exactly how I planned for today to go…” she muttered. The blossoms fluttered around her, as if hearing her comments.

Wait, that was a lot more literal than she thought.

Sitting up, Evangeline blinked at the little heads poking out of the various flowers. “Oh, hello,” she said quietly to the group of Flabébé that surrounded her. “I’m sorry, did I disturb you?”

They giggled and spun around her a bit, shy but not aggressive. Tilting her head, Evangeline remembered that this was around the area that she caught her own Flabébé, one that she’d barely had a chance to meet. She reached for her bag, hitting the appropriate switch and letting Hikari out.

She blinked up at Evangeline in surprise. “Another battle?” she asked in her little voice, the petals of her flower wilting a little in exhaustion.

That made Evangeline feel better about her decision. “No, I think it’s some old friends of yours, but they seem shy.” She said, pointing to the surrounding group of Fairy types.

Hikari floated up to look and squeaked in happiness. She was off in the group before Evangeline could blink. Smiling, Evangeline also released a certain Frogadier.  Before Kakashi had a chance to disrupt the reunion, she flopped back down and pulled him to lie down beside her. “Okay, now you can nap,” she promised. “Just until we all have a chance to catch our breath. Then training time.”

He grinned, snuggling up close so he could lie his chin on her stomach. “Right, as much training as you want,” he promised. He grunted in complaint when she reached to let Haruka out too, but the little bud was all to happy to snuggle on the other side of her like a toddler for his own nap in the sunshine.

When they woke up, Evangeline lived up to her promise and ran her team through their paces. The nearby daycare had a computer that they let her use to shuffle the team along as they got tired, so she could get the others out to run their own paces. (Or in Emi’s case, give Evangeline a chance to learn how to curb her enthusiasm.) One of the workers suggested a nearby berry farm when Evangeline inquired if they had any sort of cafe or if she needed to go back to Ambrette or Camphier Town to visit their Pokemon Centers.

The path to the farm was a little narrow, so she wasn’t surprised she missed it before with Tierno and Trevor urging her to pick up the pace. The more common trees slowly gave way to an orderly grove, the trees short and squat. With numerous bug types leaping from bush to bush, sniffing the blooms…and eating any berry ripe enough to be plucked.

A little girl, her hair in pigtails, chased after them with a net. “Get away, get away!” she begged, waving the net wildly. “You’ll ruin today’s harvest!”

Evangeline just couldn’t sit there and wait. “Henri, come on out!” she called, throwing out his Pokeball. The Fletchinder came out with ease, and at the sight of the joint Fire and Bird type, the collection of bugs scattered. The girl stopped her running and spotted Evangeline. She waved and pointed to the base of a tree where another net was lying down. Seeing no harm in joining the fun, Evangeline grabbed it and joined Henri in his dash around the trees, swinging the frame to gentle rattle branches and shake out hiding Pokemon.

Including a Spewpa, who fell right into the net with a fearful squeal.

She acted first, thought later. “Oh shhh, sweetie,” she crooned, reaching in to pull the little thing into her arms. “It’s okay, shhh, it’s okay.”

Big ochre eyes looked up at her, and it sniffled. “S-sorry,” it–no, she, Evangeline had enough experience to know that tone was feminine for this species–whispered. “I’m just so hungry…”

It was like a fist squeezed around her heart. She tried to tell herself no. The rest of her team was going to be absolutely furious, see this little one as a replacement. Even if the personality was completely different. All they’d see was the same as their friend once was.

Henri fluttered over, perching where he could crane his head to see what she was holding. “You aren’t going to let her go hungry, are you?” he asked. “I mean, the others looked like gluttons. This one looks kinda scrawny…”

“No, no of course not,” she said quickly. “We’ll… We’ll share our lunch with her, how about that?”

He nodded, pressing his head against her cheek with a coo. She patted him gently so as not to accidentally burn herself, and carried her burden over to a nearby picnic table. There was a chalkboard set up near it, with a list of different prices for lunches (human and Pokemon friendly), and the nearby building had a sliding window that was open where she guessed she’d get orders.

“Hey!” the little girl said, running up to her while still carrying her net. “Wait right there, okay?”

Blinking, Evangeline could only nod in agreement. She took a seat nearby, Henri joining her and tickling the Spewpa, earning a series of quiet giggles. Well someone was bonding with the wild Pokemon. She eyed him in concern, but before she could argue, the little girl was back, carrying a huge basket that was probably used for the berry harvests, a cloth covering over it.

“Here,” she said briskly as she set it down. “Those Bug-types have been ruining the harvests for days now. If it wasn’t for you and your Fletchinder, we’d never have gotten them to go away. I talked to my grandparents, and they agreed.” She pulled back the cloth covering, revealing a veritable hoard of berry hand pies. “These are for you and your Pokemon. They keep pretty well for a couple of days even, so you don’t have to worry about them going bad if it takes you a while to go through them.”

Startled, Evangeline started to shake her head. “Really, you don’t have to try and feed us, we just saw you needed help–”

“And so has at least four other trainers who just turn around and leave, not realizing the bug population is too high so rather than helping pollinate, they are just being a menace,” the little girl argued, crossing her arms. “And I recognize you from Camphier Town gossip. Tell me you don’t have a Snorlax you are trying to keep fed. I dare you.”

Henri chirped in laughter, reaching in to grab a pie with his beak. “She has you there,” he said, almost swallowing it whole. “I know if we made a dent in Theo’s stomach, his handlers and the nurses would appreciate it.”

Evangeline groaned. She was out-numbered. “You and the others eat before Theo,” was her only condition as she pointed at Henri in a mock-threatening manner. “He can empty out the basket.”

He gave her a mock salute with one wing…and pulled out another pie. Rather than eating it himself, he reached over to dangle it in front of the Spewpa. Due to her lack of hands, it was obvious she appreciated the help in getting her own meal. Evangeline bit the inside of her cheek to keep from chiding him, getting her own pie to nibble on.

Only after the Spewpa was fed did Henri lean his head against her thigh, making his eyes as big as possible. “Can we keep her?” he whispered.

She stared down at him. “She isn’t a replacement for Cho.”

Ruffling his feathers, he rapidly shook his head. “Of course not! We… We can never replace her. But this little one needs us. Cho would never forgive us for leaving her behind, you know? Under that diva mask, she really did care.”

Sighing, Evangeline looked at the Spewpa who was starting to dose off in her arms. “Fine,” she agreed in a whisper. “But you get to tell the others.”

He winced, but nodded in agreement.

Cerise (Spewpa)

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NaNo 17, Day 19: Route 5 and Camphrier Town

Evangeline hadn’t made it too far down Route 5–also called Versant Road–when she got interrupted. She blinked and stopped as a blue and black Pokemon she recognized as a Lucario came running up to her. Were those native to this route? But she wasn’t even in the tall grass! Ignoring her confusion, it ran around her in a circle, getting her scent or something.

“Wait! Lucario!” a female voice called out in annoyance.

“Over here!” Evangeline shouted back, relieved a little. Oh good, it was a Trainer’s. She didn’t know what she would have done if the powerful Pokemon was native to the area.

A pretty blonde skated over, decked out in white and red gear. She skid to a stop, another Lucario right on her heels. “Sorry about that, are you okay?” she asked in concern. The original Lucario hadn’t left Evangeline, still obviously intrigued by something “I was just doing some special training with my Lucario when all of a sudden he dashed off.”

“I’m fine,” Evangeline assured her, though, the Lucario hadn’t looked back to his trainer once. She tilted her head. Was he just willful, or something else?

“Hey, Lucario!” his trainer barked, putting her hands on her hips. “What’s going on with you? Did you get drawn in by this girl’s aura or something?”

He growled back at his trainer, and then looked at Evangeline with bright eyes. “Or something,” he admitted reluctantly. “Though her aura is…interesting.”

“Huh, well, it seems Lucario likes you!” Obviously, Korrina wasn’t one that could understand what Pokemon said, but she still seemed to get the gist of it. Besides she knew surely knew her own Pokemon better than that.

“You think so?” Still, Evangeline could help but feel a little skeptical. Why would a Pokemon seek her out because he liked her aura or whatever?

The Lucario snorted and crossed his arms, even as Korrina nodded eagerly. “Sure do! See, Lucario can read people’s auras. I guess something in your aura has made this one take a liking to a stranger!”

She looked at him curiously. Was the Lucario blushing? He glared down at the dirt, scuffing his toes. “You smell nice,” he was all he was admitting.

Evangeline covered her mouth to keep from giggling. It was just so cute!

Korrina grinned and pointed back behind her with her thumb. “This Lucario is always getting worked up in battle with my other one. Maybe it’s just been waiting for a Trainer to appear who’s strong enough to challenge it…”

“Maybe,” Evangeline said, not wanting to ruin the cool image that Lucario had obviously worked hard to give to his Trainer. She couldn’t help but feel a bit of sympathy for the poor thing, being the second Lucario of his Trainer. It had to be hard, to prove yourself different and unique without being weaker.

Speaking of, the other Lucario gave a cough, which prompted their Trainer. “Oops, sorry, I was on such a roll, I forgot to introduce myself!” She knocked her knuckles to her temple and stuck out her tongue, obviously making fun of how absentminded she had been “I’m Korrina, the Shalour City Gym Leader.”

“Oh, well, I’m Evangeline,” she introduced herself, reaching around the Lucario to shake her hand.

With a glance at her bag, Korrina gave her a challenging smile. “If you’re collecting Gym badges, I’m sure we’ll be battling sooner or later. I’m looking forward to it, with how Lucario likes you. I hope you know how to roll with the punches!”

Evangeline gave her a smile. “I’ll be sure to figure it out,” she agreed. “I’ll let you get back to your training.”

“Right! Come on, Lucario!” she called out, taking off on her blades again. The one who had been following her loyally was right behind her, but the one who seemed to like Evangeline hesitated, giving her a tentative wave of his own before he hurried after the other two.

Shaking her head, she continued down the path with a soft laugh. “An interesting aura, huh?” She wondered what he saw.

The route wasn’t too big of a challenge. She passed a skate park, which in her opinion probably explained why Korrina had chosen to train around here rather than back in her own Gym. There were a pair of young twins who were eager for a challenge, but since they both used Electric Types, Evangeline was able to wrangle around them pretty easily, even in a double battle, with Hiromi and Ella, who worked surprisingly well together.

Her first step into the tall grass stirred up a Pokemon, a dog-like one with wild silver fur and a dark face. “Furfrou, the Poodle Pokemon,” her Pokedex identified it. Historically, in the Kalos region, these Pokémon were the designated guardians of the king.”

Ella was able to dance a circle around him, and Evangeline used a Pokeball rather than risk him getting away. Unfortunately, with a full party, she couldn’t meet him. Her Pokedex had a scanner though, that let her send the extra Pokeball to the same box as her other spare Pokemon. She’d have to meet him, once she reached a Center.

At the top of the stone steps, she grinned at two familiar figures in the middle of a friendly argument.

“My goodness. Pokemon hordes are certainly intense…” Trevor muttered, appearing to be picking grass blades off of his clothes and hair.

Tierno grinned and gave a little pose. “Yeah, they’re just like a dance team made up of Pokemon, aren’t they?”

Trevor gave him a dirty look. “Oh Teirno, don’t you ever think about anything besides dancing?”

With a laugh, the big boy moved into a little break dance. Evangeline covered her mouth to keep from laughing out loud. “Nope! Even during Pokemon battles, I’m always checkin’ out their moves. And then my feet just start moving, too!” Coming to a finishing pose, he paused and held his hands up. “I can’t even help it, you know? Like with Swords Dance! I love it. I guess that’s why I can never win…”

“Aww, don’t say that,'” she interrupted, moving to stand with them.

“Oh hey, it’s Evangeline!” Tierno said with a wave in greeting. “Glad to see you got my message. Hey, do your Pokemon know any sweet moves? Show me in a battle!” He leaned forward, fists clenched eagerly.

Blinking in surprise, she gave a nod. “Alright, sure,” she agreed, picking out one of her Pokeballs. “One round alright?” she asked, not wanting to risk wearing out her whole team in the middle of the road.

“That’s fine,” he agreed with a smile of his own. At the same time, they threw out their Pokeballs.

Tierno sent out a Corphish, a lobster-type Pokemon that’s grip was legendary. Meanwhile, Evangeline had sent out Cho. The butterfly danced through the air, refusing to get close enough for her opponent to pinch her between those claws. It was a longer battle perhaps as a result, but the end result was Cho’s success.

With an excited squeal, the Pokemon perched on Evangeline’s shoulders. With a laugh, Evangeline patted her on the head in congratulations.

“That was some nice footwork,” Tierno said with a reluctant smile, deflating a little. “Or wing work, I guess? I should have known better, huh?”

“Don’t say that,” Evangeline repeated herself. “You did fine! Honestly, Tierno, it’s about picking your battles better. I’m training for gyms, but that isn’t what you want, is it?”

Trevor chose then to butt in. “Good to see you, Evangeline… Excuse me, I meant Ladybird. And you have a very valid point, which I am afraid I belittled with my teasing. It really does seem as though Tierno can only think about dancing and moves. When a horde of Pokemon popped out, he just stood there watching them.”

“Well, yeah, Trevs!” Tierno said like it was the most obvious thing in the world. He reached over to ruffle the redhead’s hair. “Coming up with the world’s best Pokemon dance is my dream after all. I was born to dance! I won’t ever stop, not with moves like this!”

With a scowl, Trevor worked on righting his hair again. “That’s indeed a perfect dream for you, Tierno.”

“So stop challenging people who are going on Gym-centric journeys,” Evangeline suggested, nudging his shoulder with hers encouragingly. “We’re focused on making our Pokemon as strong as possible in whatever that means, which is just different. Instead, focus on those who raise Pokemon for fun or wild Pokemon for your inspiration.”

“That’s a good idea,” Tierno admitted. “Thanks, Ladybird.”

“I guess I should show just as much dedication to my dream of completing the Pokedex, then,” Trevor said with a hum, looking to the sky. “It’s good to be serious about some things.”

“Just not everything,” Evangeline cautioned him, tilting her head. The two friends were really opposites, weren’t they? One too serious, the other not so much. She hoped that eventually they would help each other find some balance.

When they reached fields of lavender, the duo took off on their own to see about finding more Pokemon, and Evangeline waved as she pressed on towards the next town, which a sign showed was Camphrier Town, just like she hoped. Along the way, she ran into more trainers requesting battles, and more wild Pokemon that got stirred up.

The first surprise came from Henri as he helped Cho chase a wild Dodou away. Both flying types shared a high-five. But then Henri was covered in white light, and Evangeline and Cho both gave him space as he grew within his change, and with a flap of his wings, revealed his new form of Fletchinder.

Henri (Fletchinder)

Any congratulations that Evangeline was going to offer was immediately curtailed by Henri challenging Cho to a race. With a laugh, she skated to keep up with them as they set out to prove who was the fastest flier.

The second surprise was from an unexpected source. A self-proclaimed Rising Star, Hamish, had scoffed when Evangeline called out Felix. “A Charmander against my Kadabra? You’re nuts,” he scolded. The tan Psychic-Type joined its trainer in a mocking laugh.

For his part, Felix looked to Evangeline, claws twisting anxiously. “You can do it,” she assured him. “I believe in you.” With a firm nod, he turned back to look at his opponent, baring his little fangs.

“Yeah, and with what? A little Ember?” Hamish mockingly cooed.

“No,” Evangeline said, pointing her finger. “Felix, use Dragon Rage!”

“What?!” Hamish yelped, but it was too late. Felix’s eyes glowed violet, and he sucked in a deep breath. Rather than the yellow and orange flames he typically breathed, the cone of flames that left his mouth were purple and blue, forceful and refusing to leave.

The fight from there was short. As Hamish called back his Pokemon, Felix gave a triumphant flame of his normal fire and Evangeline cheered him on, so happy he was gaining confidence.

Only to freeze as the flames turned white and wrapped around her Pokemon. “Oh no…” she whispered, for the first time dreading an evolution.

But it was too late. The white faded with a sweep of Felix’s now much longer tail, his scales a dark shade of orange that was almost red. He looked up at her, but not by nearly as much as Kakashi had after his evolution, eyes narrowing a little.

Felix (Charmeleon)

“Looks like you’re a Charmeleon now,” Evangeline said, and held out her hands with a grin. “Congratulations, Felix!”

He eyed her hands, his attitude reminding her of a grumpy teenager now, no longer the sweet little baby she had taken in from Sycamore. But he put his paws in hers with a grumble, letting her squeeze them. She gave his shoulders a hug before she called him back in, breathing out only after he was safely out of sight and hearing. Charmeleon was well-known for being difficult to change. She could only hope that Felix was an easy teenager…

She’d barely entered town when she heard the little tune that indicated she had an administrative type message on her Holo Caster. With reluctance, she raised it up to her eyes to see what was happening now.

The character of the admins popped up, generated with a cheerful smile on its face. “Thank you for using the Holo Caster. Lysandre Labs developed the Holo Caster to make the lives of Pokemon Trainers richer, fuller, and more convenient. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy the fine services this device provides.”

A standard message. Why did it fill Evangeline with such dread? Hopefully it wasn’t Lysandre trying to feel out where her and the others were… She immediately deleted it so she wouldn’t have it lingering in her inbox, just in case it was a tracking program of some sort.

Camphrier Town was smaller, more like Vaniville than Lumiose City, thank God. She walked around the city streets for a moment, finding that there was no Gym here. While briefly disappointed, she brushed off those feelings as she walked into the Pokemon Center. She had a new Pokemon to meet!

The Furfrou was nice enough, if a little on the shy side. He accepted the nickname of Antoine. The biggest surprise was when she started introducing him to the other members of the team. Despite being one of the bigger Pokemon and being new to her, he quickly hid behind her, eyes half-closed.

Antoine (Normal)

“Antoine, it’s alright,” she assured him, reaching over to scratch him on the head through his dense fur. “These are all your new friends!”

“Are you sure they will like me?” he asked, looking at her with unease.

“I’m very sure,” she said with a smile. How about I introduce you one at a time? Will that be a little bit easier?” He tilted his head and gave a nod. It made the meet-and-greet take longer, but if that’s what it took to help keep Antoine comfortable, that’s what she needed to do.

Once he’d met everyone, Antoine was more comfortable with the team. He and Hiromi were engaged in some play fighting while everyone took a chance to eat something. Evangeline had accepted a sandwich from the on-duty Nurse Joy, and was having an early dinner  herself.

“You handled that very well,” an unexpected male voice said.

Startled, she looked up to see a punk-dressed boy in a leather jacket, most of his hair sheared short except for an outcrop in the front dyed sea green. “I’m sorry?” she asked, confused by his comment.

“Introducing your Furfrou to the rest,” he said looking back down at her. “You took the time to put him before yourself. It’s impressive.” He looked back at her Pokemon and tucked his hands in his pocket. “I’m glad you’re finding the storage system useful.”

“Oh!” she blinked, sitting up. “You’re the one who developed the Kalos system?”

He laughed. “Nah, Bill is still the original creator, him and all the others just put their heads together to make the best system possible and are trying it out here in Kalos before they roll it out everywhere else. I’m good with computers, so he sent me here to maintain it.”

Most people wouldn’t have taken the boy as serious, not with his punk look. But Evangeline had seen enough to not believe him to be a liar. At least he hadn’t claimed to be the developer of it himself, that was a point in his favor. “Do you think you could walk me through some of it?” she asked. “I’m not used to this system, and there’s things like trays and this Battle Box thing that I don’t know how it works.”

With a blink of his own, he offered her a slow grin. “Sure, I can do that. My name is Cassius, by the way.”

“Evangeline,” she introduced herself, and let him show her how the storage system varied from what she was used to. It was the perfect entertainment for this brief break while she decided if she wanted to push on or not.


NaNo 17, Day 8: Route 3, 22, and Santalune City

Route 3 was Ouvert Way. Evangeline shook her head as she knocked out the Pokemon of a second preschooler. She was all for children getting experience before going off on journeys, but that seemed a little young, even for her. At least both of them took their beatings gracefully…well, gracefully for five year olds. Ella had been especially careful in the battles to cause minor injuries only so Evangeline wouldn’t have to be the one to break it to either kid that sometimes, battling could prove deadly.

Walking down a set of steps that had been built into the path, Evangeline wondered how much farther she had to go.

“Coming through!”

Jumping out of the path and into the grass, Evangeline blinked as a girl in roller-blades whizzed past. She glanced at the ground, and then where the girl had zoomed off. The path was just hard-packed earth, not something she would ever choose to skate on. Did they have better wheels or something here? Shaking her head, she resolved to see if she could find a pair and look for herself. Bikes were super-expensive and not something she imagined being able to afford, but maybe skates would be more affordable.

The next town’s walls loomed overhead to the north soon enough. One glance at her clock and the horizon confirmed that she would be able to make it to the Pokemon Center before it was too late. Weighing her odds, she took a brief detour through the tall grass to see what she could stir up.

The answer filled her with glee–a bird-type Pokemon. Her Pokedex quickly identified it. “Fletchling, the Tiny Robin Pokemon. These friendly Pokémon send signals to one another with beautiful chirps and tail-feather movements.” It gave a chirp as if to confirm this description, tail feathering up behind it.

Ella made quick work of the capture, catching her breath once the Pokeball stopped wiggling. “Okay, I’m pooped,” she declared, flopping down. “Use the bug next time, I am in need of food and a nap before we do any more.”

Giggling, Evangeline patted her on the head. “No problem. Let’s go get all of us some food and sleep. We’ll meet our new friend and give him a nickname at the Center.”

It ended up being easy to get a room. Nurse Joy was kind, and set her up with a room with a window. All of the Pokemon came out for a chance to stretch their legs and get a bite to eat. The new Fletchling was regarded with unease by Cho, but everyone else was pretty excited to meet him. He took on the nickname Henri, and Kakashi was soon the unofficial leader of the little band…though, a very laid back one.

Henri (Fletchling)

As she was brushing out her hair to braid it, Evangeline looked out the window in thought. Her Pokemon had spotted preferred places to sleep, and Cho had surprisingly claimed the window sill. She ruffled her feelers a little, looking up at her trainer. “What are you thinking about?” she asked.

“Hmm? Oh, my father, I guess,” Evangeline admitted, beginning the familiar motions of weaving the braid as she spoke. “He lives in Violet City, which is the first stop for most Johto trainers. I guess I wonder what he would think if I was there, going through that region instead of Kalos.”

Cho tilted her head. “Why didn’t you? It just seems like a lot of work, traveling here just to go on a Pokemon journey…”

Sighing, Evangeline leaned her head against the window’s edge. “Fairness was some of it,” she said. “I didn’t want it to be easier or harder, just because of who my parents or grandparents were.” And it would have been a factor, she knew it. “But I also didn’t want the pressure, you know? I grew up around Flying types, but what if my passion really lies with Water types, like Kakashi, or Dark, or Fire. Going where no one knows who I am helps some of that pressure go away, so I can figure out who I am on my own.”

Cho nodded, looking out the window herself. “I didn’t think I’d ever get a Trainer, or get a chance to go stronger and evolve,” she said honestly. “But I’m glad to have the chance with you. Promise you’ll help me do my best?”

Evangeline’s heart melted. “Of course, Cho. We’ll all help each other.” She gave the Scatterbug a pat on the head. “But for now, let’s get some shut eye.”

“Alright. Good night, Evangeline,” Cho said.

“Good night. Sweet dreams,” the lone human in the room said with a yawn before crawling under the covers, working hard not to disturb Ella, who was curled up just so that Evangeline could tuck her legs around her, or Henri, who had settled on the headboard. Kakashi was on her pillow, and slid down to where he was cuddled in her arms as soon as she was lying down.

Cho looked outside some more, looking to the night sky and wondering. She hoped, and hoped… And then wiggled her way over to the bed, hopping up to sleep in the small of Evangeline’s back, just above Ella and on the opposite side as Kakashi. It wouldn’t do for the human to get cold, after all.

The next morning, Evangeline spent a good hour wrangling everyone through breakfast and into Pokeballs, not to mention getting herself fed and cleaned up. Then she set out to explore Santalune City. There were people to talk to, including the teacher inside the school and some of the students who were starry-eyed, seeing a new Trainer visiting. The boutique was cute, the PokeMart was actually in the Pokemon Center, which took some getting used to wrapping her head around. She spotted the gym, but walked ahead to find another route, Route 33–Detourner Way.

However, Evangeline quickly saw that the Route didn’t really have much to offer her, aside from a new friend in the form of a Litleo. Her Pokedex declared it the Lion Cub Pokemon, and the description was the stronger the opponent it faces, the more heat surges from its mane and the more power flows through its body. Her little cub was female, and quickly took on the nickname of Hiromi.

Hiromi (Litleo)

Rather than stay in the dangers of Route 22, Evangeline backtracked towards Ouvert Way for training up her little team before she dared take on the gym. Picking out a tree just outside of town where running into the Center would be easy, she laid out her sleeping bag as a picnic blanket and let all her Pokemon out again so those who she wasn’t working with could play. Hiromi and Henri made a fast-friendship, and Kakashi easily settled down for naps when it wasn’t his turn. Ella was poking her nose into every bush and bramble she could find.

It was Cho, however, who stole the show, just as Evangeline was considering a break for lunch and then go back inside to face the gym. This little patch was riddled with Burmy, and while annoying and creepy to Evangeline, they had been good for training purposes. Cho in particular, while struggling against them, at least didn’t have as much of a threat as she did from Henri’s fellow Fletchling. It was after one of those fights that Cho began to glow.

Startled, Evangeline took a few steps forward in concern before what she was seeing clicked in. Eyes wide, she watched as the white reshaped itself, and finally snapped off of her Pokemon with sparkles. Only rather than a Scatterbug…

“Spewpa,” her Pokedex declared. “It lives hidden within thicket shadows. When predators attack, it quickly bristles the fur covering its body in an effort to threaten them.”

Cho (Spewpa)

“Cho, you evolved!” Evangeline said in excitement, running over to pick up the Bug type for a twirling hug.

“I did it, I did it!” Cho squealed.

The rest of the team quickly gathered around, offering their own congratulations and hugs. The newly-formed Spewpa basked in the attention, but also didn’t let Evangeline get away, leaning against her legs. Evangeline smiled at everyone and let them have their fun for a few more minutes before herding them back under control so they could get an extra-special lunch to celebrate Cho.

While the Pokemon were munching and getting their training scrapes healed up, Evangeline was making a battle plan. There had been signs proclaiming that this first gym specialized in Bug types. While she wouldn’t put Cho into the storage boxes just for that reason, it definitely meant that the little bug wasn’t going to be seeing much action inside the gym. Neither would Kakashi, really. That left Hiromi and Henri to take the lead, with Ella as back-up.

Conveying the plan to the team, everyone seemed on board, even if Cho pouted a little. She packed up all of their things, planning on hitting the road rather than stay at the Center for a second night.

Outside the gym, Evangeline was surprised to see the roller-blader from yesterday blocking the entry way. She frowned, but went on ahead.

“Hey stranger!” she greeted with a warm wave. “Isn’t cruising around town on your Roller Skates the best thing ever?”

Evangeline held out her legs, looking down at her white, calf-high boots. No wheels in sight.

It caught the attention of the girl instantly. “…Wait. Do you mean to tell me you don’t even own a pair of Roller Skates?” she demanded.

Evangeline shook her head. “Not since I was little, and I don’t think mine worked like yours,” she said. “You couldn’t leave town in them, that’s for sure.” Not unless you knew the roads were paved which were…few and far between.

“Wow, you must be from out of town.” The girl shook her head, and then grinned. “How about this then: if you beat me in a Pokemon battle, I’ll give you a pair.” She gave Evangeline a wink. “I have a spare set that I outgrew that should fit right over your boots. And I can’t say no to a contest, not me! So how about it? Do you wanna battle?”

Why not? It wasn’t like she was on a time constraint. And besides, free skates were even better than cheap skates. “You’re on,” she agreed.