Part 4: Paternal Instinct
The four of us walked back into Oldale Town to rest. After that, we set out for Route 102. I warned the guys to be wary. There were a lot more Trainers here than on other routes.
"Hey, kid." Tyler said, walking next to John. "You ever been a fight?"
"N-no." John said. "Why would I?"
"Arceus Christ, you've never been in a fight?" Tyler shouted. "What good are you then?"
"Stop making fun of him, Tyler." Daniel warned.
"Hey, you!" a high voice said. We all looked to see a small boy running towards us.
"We just made eye contact! Now we have to battle!" he shouted before sending out his Zigzagoon. Tyler stepped in front of us.
"Watch and learn, kid. This is how you fight." he said, his fur bristling.
The spiky Pokemon lunged at him and knocked him down. Daniel jumped into the fray and scratched our foe, knocking him out. The kid handed over some money and I walked with him back to town.
"How old are you?" I asked, a bit concerned with how young he looked.
"10. I just got my first Pokemon from the new Gym Leader in Petalburg." he said, brimming with excitement.
"Nice. Well, here's the center. See you around!"
"Bye!" he called back as he walked into the center. I walked back down the route while Tyler and Daniel argued on the ground below me.
"I had him! Why did you but in?"
"You were going to get hurt. At least stop complaining about it."
"Whatever." Tyler huffed.
As we walked down the route, we fought another group of Trainers; a Bug Catcher who walked back to Oldale alone, another new trainer who went back home to Petalburg, and a Lass who asked me to walk her home.
"Bye Matt!" she said as she walked inside her house.
"Bye Tiana!" I said. The team and I walked to the Center and relaxed.
It was late that night. Daniel and Tyler were sleeping on the other bed while I talked to Mom on the phone.
"Alright, Mom, I'm going to bed. I love you. Bye." I said, then hang up the phone.
Suddenly, John jumped up on the bed. "Matt?" he said.
"Yeah?" I asked.
"I was just wondering, um, could I maybe try a battle?" he asked, sheepishly.
I swung my feet off the bed, stepped into a pair of slippers and pulled on my shirt and jacket. "Let's go."
John beamed at me, then jumped on my shoulder. We sneaked out of the Center and onto the dark route. The Pokemon were much more active, as fewer people would be out here at night.
"Now, John. You can't knock this Pokemon out. I want to catch it."
Just then, a small red and white caterpillar walked out of the brush. John tackled it and it flew into the trees. I threw the Poke Ball into the trees. It hit the Pokemon and fell to the ground. After hearing the click, John grabbed the ball in his mouth. The two of us sneaked back into the room and let it out.
"Where am I?" the Wurmple asked.
"It's okay." I said. "You fought my friend John and I caught you."
"Oh." she said, growing quiet.
"What's your name?" John asked.
"Heather." she murmured.
"Nice to meet you, Heather." I said. "I'm Matt, and those two are Daniel and Tyler."
"Can I go back into the ball?" she asked.
"Sure thing." I said. She was enveloped in red light and returned to the ball. I climbed back into the bed and John wriggled next to me.
The next day, we walked into the Gym. Heather, still a bit shy, stayed in her ball. Unfortunately, John was having a hard time convincing Daniel and Tyler that he actually had a battle.
Regardless, I walked into Dad's Gym. It was very plain, with boxes up against the walls. Dad was standing in the foyer, directing his Trainers.
"Dad!" I said, running to give him a hug. He turned to embrace me.
"Matt! It's good to see you!" he said. "How's everything back home?"
"Things are going fine." I said. "How's the Gym?"
"It's exciting! I missed being a Gym Leader ever since Whitney took over Goldenrod."
Just then, a small boy walked into the room. "Um, sir?" he asked.
"Wally? What are you doing here?" Dad asked.
"Um, I was wondering if you could help me get a Pokemon?" he weakly asked.
Dad smiled. "Matt, why don't you take Wally out to the route and help him catch a Pokemon."
Wally's eyes lit up. "Really?"
"Sure. Take these to help you." Dad said, handing him two Poke Balls.
"Thank you sir!" he said.
"Come on, Wally." I said. We walked out to the route and, after some confusion as to which ball was which, Wally returned with a new friend, a Ralts.
"So. Dad," I asked once Wally left, "can we battle now?"
Dad looked a bit shocked. "H-how many Pokemon do you have?"
He sighed. "Son, I think I'm just too strong for you."
My stomach dropped. I was crushed. "But, why?"
"I think it would be best if you came back once you had four badges." he said. "Say hi to your mother for me."
I walked out the Gym as he returned to his work. I stayed at the Center that night and just slept, dreamlessly.
Pokémon: 4 Badges: 0 Deaths: 0 Current Location: Petalburg City