Chapter Seven: A City of Electricity!
"Air Slash, Togekiss."
"Dodge it, Scizor!"
Despite Scizor's frantic leap to the side, assisted by its wings, the Togekiss was much faster, and landed a vicious blow to the chest of the Pincer Pokemon.
Scizor slid back with a cry, and struggled to maintain its balance against the powerful strike.
Scizor's Trainer grit his teeth, "Flash Cannon!"
Scizor opened it's heavy claws and fired two blindingly white beams toward its opponent.
In the blink of an eye, Togekiss was gone and the Flash Cannon flew through empty space to crash into the opposite treeline.
Another cry filled the clearing as Togekiss crashed into Scizor with startling speed, sending the Bug-type back once again.
The Scizor stumbled and glared up at its opponent. Its body was littered with wounds from the fierce beating it was enduring.
"Iron head, while it's close!" The Trainer cried, slowly getting more desperate.
Scizor prepared its attack, covering its head in a silver glow it charged forward, aiming for a strong headbutt... straight into an Aura Sphere.
A loud explosion resounded as the Scizor was sent flying back, crashing hard into a tree.
It slid down to the base of the tree limply, eyes filled with swirls.
The designated Ref called the match, and both Trainers returned their Pokemon.
Scizor's Trainer begrudgingly handed over the money to the victor, but found himself attracted to the young girl in front of him. He offered his hand to shake with a not-so-innocent smile, "That was a close match. My name is Adam!"
The girl didn't even react to his hand offering, and sent him the coldest glare he had ever seen. A chill ran down his spine, and he turned away quickly, uneased by the dark look.
He met the eyes of the blonde Ref, and saw an equally malicious glare. The blonde cracked his knuckles and started walking over.
Adam let out an unmanly shriek and ran for the hills.
Hinata dropped her glare with a small giggle as she saw her opponent flee, and added the money to her wallet. It was not a close match, not in the slightest, but it gave her some much-needed experience with her new Togekiss. She had finally decided to evolve her Partner after two weeks of grueling training. Master Kushina had sent her a Shiny Stone to support her on her Journey with Naruto, and she happily used it on her Partner.
Her Togekiss was stronger than the other members of her team, but she had still trained all of them hard.
"Nice one Hinata!" Naruto said as he walked over with Leaf.
She smiled and gave him a peck on the lips, "Thank you Naruto. And for scaring that guy off." She gave him another long kiss.
Naruto pouted, "He was a creep! I should've kicked his ass."
Hinata giggled into her hand. She loved it when he got defensive for her, and she was sure Leaf did too.
"Should we get moving again? I'm ready to be back in an actual city, and we seem close." Leaf commented.
Naruto nodded and took the arms of his two ladies as the continued down the path. They were on the road to Vermillion City, after spending two weeks in the Route 6 Center. Two weeks of intense training for all three members of the group. They each trained hard with their teams and made quite a bit of progress.
The newest members of their teams were given extra attention, and with the help of some of the stronger members, were quickly rising in power. Naruto was extremely proud with how far Skadi and Amy had come, and he was excited to see how well they would perform in a real battle.
Ash had made some drastic changes while he stuck around. He had joined Naruto on several of his training sessions, and started pushing his own Pokemon harder. He spent four days at the lodge with them, battling any Trainer that would accept, and trying out a few different approaches to battling.
Naruto had thought Ash looked rather pleased with himself as they gave their goodbyes, and the group left on good terms.
Naruto's senses tingled as they made their way down the path, and he pulled his two girlfriends to a stop.
A bolt of lightning struck the ground in front of them, and a medium sized Pokemon appeared in the middle of the road.
The Pokemon was covered in shaggy black fur, sparking with electricity. A light blue showed through around its legs, face, and underbelly. A yellow star tipped a long black tail, and swayed behind the Pokemon. Shining yellow eyes glared at them.
It fired off another Thunderbolt, and Naruto glared back as it struck the ground in front of him.
The Pokemon, a Luxray if memory served him, pawed the ground and let out a Roar. It went quiet and glared at him again, giving a silent challenge.
Hinata let out a small giggle, "I think it wants to battle you, Naruto."
Naruto sighed, "I can see that." He stepped forward, and unclipped a ball from his belt.
"Burn brightly, Amaterasu!" Naruto called out as he threw his newest member.
The Luxray didn't seem impressed by the small Puppy Pokemon. It gave a small snort and turned to leave with a growl.
'Not after that fit you just threw!' Naruto thought as he tightened his headband.
Amy dug in her paws and fired off a stream of fireballs, much faster and much larger than she ever could with Damian.
The attack flew across the road before Luxray could react and slammed into its side with a hiss. The Electric-type jumped back with a yelp and tried to shake off the flecks of embers coating its fur.
It pawed the ground again and regained its glare.
"Taking us seriously now?" Naruto called out with a mocking tone.
The Luxray growled and fired off another Thunderbolt.
Amy jumped to the side with ease. Pikachu had given her plenty of training with Electric attacks.
Amy rushed forward quickly, flames encasing her body as she ran. The flames grew until she was one large fireball, heading toward the Luxray.
The Luxray growled and met the challenge. It pawed at the ground again, before running forward and matching Amaterasu's speed. It shrouded itself in yellow electricity, and met the Flame Wheel with a powerful Wild Charge.
A loud explosion echoed as they collided. Smoke filled the air as Fire met Electricity.
The dust cleared, and both Pokemon were still standing defiantly, glaring at one another.
Amy growled and lowered her stance, ready to start another move.
The Luxray studied her for a moment, and inclined its head shortly, before turning around and running off into the forest.
Amy huffed as her challenge fled, and trotted over to sit down in front of her trainer.
Naruto stared at the retreating Luxray with confusion. It just threw a few attacks and then left? That was strange. A small nip at his pants brought his attention back to Amy and he knelt down to scratch her head.
"That was a very good fight Amy, and you dodged that Thunderbolt perfectly." He praised as he pet his Pokemon.
She licked at his cheek for a moment and pulled back, "I don't think she was fighting seriously, those Thunderbolts were weaker than Pikachu's."
She, huh? Why were all of the Pokemon interested in him, female? But it was still strange, while Pikachu wasn't weak, that was a fully grown Luxray and should've been much more powerful. Maybe she was just playing around.
He looked back down at his Fire-type, "Are you feeling okay after that? You did get hit by a Wild Charge from a Pokemon several times your size." He checked her over for injuries.
Amy snorted through the bond, "As if size means anything to a man who wrestles with Gyarados every day. And I think I'm fine, she didn't seem to be aiming to hurt me."
Naruto conceded the point and placed her down. He scanned the area with his Aura, and felt the Luxray remaining on the edge of his senses. Interesting.
"That was exciting." Leaf clapped and got his attention, "I can see Vermillion from here, let's get to the Pokemon Center and rest for the night."
Naruto nodded in agreement and they got moving again, Amy trailing beside him to watch for any more surprises.
The city was pretty modernized compared to others he had seen. Most cities and towns tended to stay relatively small, and not rely on technology as much. Pokemon tended to steer clear of a modern town, so they didn't like to take it too far. Some towns would even try to appear old-fashioned and welcoming, but with high-tech inside the buildings.
The trend led to some interesting architecture. Eventually, each Pokecenter, Gym, or Police Station started adding their own flair. A good example would be the Pokemon Center they had stayed in at Route 6. A wooden lodge at first glance, but inside held some of the most advanced medical technology in the world.
Vermillion was a bit more modern themed, with large buildings lining the streets. It still had an abundance of parks and greenery lining the roads, but it wasn't quite as much as he was used to.
They made it to the local Pokemon Center, another good example of a 'personalized' Center. It was a bright red dome, with a glass stripe across the center of the roof to provide a skylight. Two small Pokeball statues sat on the roof, and a large P was displayed above the sliding doors.
They entered the Center and checked themselves in at the Counter. Naruto let his ladies book them a room while he made his way over to the video phones. He had gotten a ping from his mother on his X-Transiever, asking him to call her soon.
"Naruto!" Beamed the happy face of his mother.
"Hey, Mom! We just checked into Vermilion, planning to hit Surge where it hurts tomorrow!" He said with a small smirk.
Kushina giggled at her son and pumped a fist, "Be sure to give him a good thrashing, just in case he needs a reminder of our Uzumaki Temper."
He chuckled and nodded, "Sure thing. I've got a few surprises prepared for him. You sounded like you needed to talk about something?"
Kushina nodded slowly and turned serious, "Those two grunts you captured were extremely cooperative, and gave us some very crucial information with the fight against Team Rocket. They pledged their loyalty to the Order in exchange for protection against the organization, and have already given us everything they knew."
Naruto's eyes bugged out, "Are you serious? I know they had a surprising amount of Aura, but I never imagined they'd just swap sides like that. What changed?" He asked with a bit of suspicion.
Kushina sighed, "Long story short, they were forced to work for Team Rocket, and luckily, they are absolutely terrible criminals." Naruto snickered at the memory and she continued, "Since they didn't actually succeed in any of their plans, we convinced the Police to forgive them, provided that we pay for the parts they stole. They've been working for us for the last couple weeks and progressing nicely, but I feel their studies are hindered by staying here in the Order HQ."
Naruto nodded in agreement, they did seem to be the 'hands-on' type, so field experience would likely speed up their learning.
"So," She continued, "I'm sending one off to study under a Knight in their home region."
Naruto nodded again, "Makes sense, and the other one?"
She ran a hand through her hair, "Well... Some information they gave us was rather troubling. It seems that Team Rocket had a large heist planned within the next month. There is a small Pokemon tournament happening aboard a luxury cruise ship just after it makes its annual stop in Vermilion city, two weeks from now. Team Rocket plans to hide aboard the ship, dressed as the crew, and round the Trainers up in the ballroom, then steal the Pokemon of everyone on board."
Naruto widened his eyes and balled his fists, "How the hell are they going to pull that off?"
She shook her head, "They weren't too sure about the details. They weren't much more than grunts in the organization. They did have their own unit, but grunts are still grunts." She looked back at the camera seriously, "Because you happen to be the only member of the Order in the area, you'll have to take this mission, or let the Rocket plan succeed."
It wasn't even a choice for Naruto, and he accepted immediately.
She smiled again, "But. You are far too important, not only as my son, but as the Order's Grandmaster, to undertake this mission alone. At least with your current Pokemon Team." Her smile grew wider, "So I will be flying over to watch over the mission and assist you if necessary."
Naruto matched his mother's smile, "That's awesome! I was already missing you so much!"
She felt her heart soar and tried to push down the rising feelings, "O-Of course, the Order's newest member will be joining me on the trip. They are coming along to provide you with any information they can on Team Rocket, and give you an idea of how the Heist is going to be planned." She said, answering his earlier question. She gained a mischievous smile, "And then, once the mission is over, she will be joining you on your Journey as your Squire." She cackled with glee at Naruto's baffled face. It wasn't very often she got to surprise her son.
"A Squire? Why now?"
She gave him a pointed look, "You know why, Naruto."
The realization hit him like a ton of bricks. His mother was telling him to seduce his new Squire? He didn't know if he should laugh or cry at the situation.
He looked back at her, more than a little confused, "So you approve of her? I'm surprised you would choose a former member of Team Rocket of all people." Considering how many young women within the Order that had been staring at him recently, he figured she would try to send someone after him. He was a bit confused on why now, if she didn't try it earlier.
Kushina nodded quickly, "She reminds me of myself, and I've always told you to get a girl like me one day."
Naruto put on a teasing smirk, "A girl like you? Sounds like you are trying to tell me something, Mother."
She blushed a bit and cleared her throat, "A-Anyway, I'll be flying over tomorrow morning. You said you were staying in the Pokemon Center?"
"Yep! Hinata is checking us in right now."
She nodded in acceptance, "Good, it will give me some time to spend with you. I'd love to see how your team is progressing."
Naruto gave a small smile as he thought about his newest team members, "You'll love them all, I can already tell." Kushina, like the majority of female Trainers, had a bit of a soft spot for cute Pokemon, he was sure that Skadi would steal her heart at first sight.
She gave a satisfied smile, and said her goodbyes.
Naruto ended the call, and took a look around the Center.
He knew that the two girls had gone up to their room, planning on resting up from the long walk. He, on the other hand, still had plenty of energy, and it was only evening.
'Might as well get some training done.' He nodded to himself and wandered off to the Training Grounds.
The Training Area behind the Center was nearly deserted at this time of day, so Naruto had plenty of space to release his team. He still felt a presence on the edge of his senses, but if she wasn't going to show herself then he wasn't going to acknowledge her.
They lined up on the edge of a nearby pool, Scylla peering over them from the water.
Naruto clapped his hands and addressed his team, "Alright! Tomorrow we face Surge, he's going to be one of the hardest fights we've had so I expect you all to do your best."
His team all gave their own cries of agreement.
He nodded in satisfaction and spoke again, "We trained hard these last few weeks and I think you are all ready to begin some Aura Training. I've already been experimenting with Grace and Scylla, and we found that Pokemon can manipulate Aura just like Guardians, they just have to train long enough."
Amy and Skadi let out matching barks of excitement, and the others showed their own approval.
He turned to his partner, "Grace you finished Thunder Punch right? Care to give them a demonstration on what you can achieve with Aura?"
Grace nodded happily and stepped out in front of a target dummy, she set herself about as far away as she would be from an opposing Pokemon in a real battle.
She brought back her fist, and it sparked to life with brilliant yellow electricity. Holding the stance for a moment to gather her focus on her Aura, she swung forward and punched the air quickly.
The Thunder Punch cracked as she finished her swing, but instead of stopping and fizzling out as the spectators expected, the lightning jumped off of her paw in the shape of a fist. It flew forward with the speed of a Thunderbolt, and crashed into the training dummy with an explosion.
She smiled in satisfaction and lowered her sparking paw. Grace let out a silent laugh as she turned to the awe-struck faces of her teammates. Even Scylla was impressed.
Naruto clapped happily, and set off a roar of approval from the Pokemon watching. "Nicely done Grace! That was much faster than I thought it'd be. I figured you'd have to aim more carefully with it when you finally turned your Thunder Punch, ranged."
Grace gave a curt nod, "It is fast, but static. I cannot curve or manipulate the path, as I can with Aura Sphere, but I imagine it will be useful in the future."
"You discovered a way to throw your Thunder Punch? Fascinating, I never would've thought to use Aura in that manner." Scylla spoke up.
Grace turned to her with a bit of confusion, "Then what have you been working on?"
Naruto and Scylla let out a little laughter, "You will have to wait and see." Scylla teased.
Naruto set Scylla on her own training, she was confident with the 'Special Project' they had been working on, but there was no harming in continuing to practice.
He knelt down in front of Skadi and Amy, preparing to start them with their own Aura Training.
He took a paw of each in his hands and gently guided his Aura into them, "Alright, you girls feel that? 'Unlocking' your Aura is rather simple, just latch onto that feeling and try to make it bigger. Eventually, your own Aura will respond and push back against mine."
"This feels weird," Skadi said as she tried to get a feeling for her Aura.
"It's tingly," Amaterasu agreed.
"I think I'm starting to get it," Skadi said after a few minutes of concentration.
The two Pokemon's eyes glowed blue for a moment as their Aura responded, and Naruto felt himself being slowly pushed out.
He smiled and pulled back his Aura, "Excellent job! Now that you have a feel for it, you need to try to implement it into your attacks. Pokemon naturally use Aura in their moves, it is one of the reasons the can do so many varied moves, but if you learn to control the Aura consciously, you won't be as limited in what you can do with your attacks. A good example would be Grace throwing her Thunder Punch."
"Does this mean we could potentially learn Aura Sphere?" Amy asked.
Naruto scratched his chin a bit, "Maybe, I'm not too certain. It is a Fighting-type move, so that would make it difficult, but not impossible. I think re-creating Aura Sphere in Fire or Ice might be easier."
He left them to start practicing and instructed Serket in the same manner.
"So I can use Aura to increase the strength of my attacks?" Serket asked as she played with her newly unlocked Aura. She was making her claws glow slightly purple, and idly wondered if it would do anything.
Naruto tilted his head, "Indirectly, I guess... You could increase your physical attacks by using Aura to speed yourself up, for example." He paused and thought about it, "But you might be able to increase your Poison's effectiveness, I'm not too sure."
Naruto sat down on the edge of the field as he watched Skadi and Amy play with their Aura and run around. Serket happily laid down beside him, content to watch over the two little balls of energy, rather than join in herself.
"Hey, Serket... Do you ever think about Evolving?" Naruto asked as he watched the two youngest play tag.
"Sometimes." She replied, "It can be scary... Changing forms so quickly."
He nodded in understanding. It'd be like going from the body of an eight-year-old to an adult in an instant. "Do you want to Evolve?" He offered. He did have that Moonstone, and he had no idea what Serket thought about it. "I admit that having a Ground-type would be a massive help in the upcoming Gym, but I don't want to force you. If you want to stay as a Nidorina, then that is fine with me."
She thought about it for a while, and they sat in silence together. After a moment she shook her head, "I think... I'd like to stay as a Nidorina for a while. I had just Evolved before you captured me. To force an Evolution so soon, would just feel... Premature."
Naruto gave an understanding nod, "Then that is fine with me. The Moonstone will be there whenever you feel ready."
Serket was grateful he would let her make that choice. "Thank you, Naruto. I'm sorry I won't be of much use this Gym Battle." She felt slightly selfish for taking that advantage away from her Trainer.
Naruto waved it off, "Don't worry about it. It's no problem at all. You know the two little ones have been itching for this battle for a while. They're ready for it."
Serket gave her agreement, and Naruto took a look at the sky. The sun was setting, so he stood up and stretched.
He needed to tell the girls about the S.S. Anne. He gathered his Pokemon back into their Pokeballs and headed inside.
Naruto woke up trapped between the warm bodies of his girlfriends.
Hinata was clutching him like a teddy bear, and murmuring about whiskers in her sleep. She was once again dressed in her t-shirt, and he silently enjoyed the feeling of her large breasts pressing into his side.
Leaf was sleeping on his arm, breathing softly with a peaceful expression on her face. She looked adorable in her Grass Pokemon pajamas, and he didn't want to wake her.
He blinked the sleep out of his eyes and tried to slip out of the bed without disturbing them. It never works.
Hinata clutched him tighter and whined, "Don't get up... Naru~to."
He sighed and gave her a kiss, "We have to get up Hinata. We've got a Gym Battle today."
She looked up at him with pouting eyes and puckered her lips.
He rolled his eyes and gave her a longer kiss.
Leaf shifted on his other side as she woke, and he gave her a kiss as well.
Finally untangling himself from Hinata, he started getting dressed.
Hinata whined as she slipped out of bed, she decided to dress in her Kimono today, since they were spending it in the city. Her Kimono was made strong enough to survive traveling, but she still enjoyed to wear her hoodie on the Journey.
Naruto had told her that her Master Kushina was going to be arriving today, and so she wanted to look her best.
Leaf wore her normal clothes. The Guardian Suit was given to her by Naruto, but she didn't consider herself a member of the Order, so she wouldn't wear it. It felt a bit wrong to wear the Order's symbol without the training that Naruto and Hinata had to go through.
They got dressed and headed down for breakfast.
Naruto snagged a newspaper, while Hinata borrowed the kitchen to prepare breakfast.
He sat beside Leaf and skimmed through it, focusing on the important bits. He liked to keep himself up to date with current events, so reading recent news always helped.
Nothing really caught his eye. There was an article about the S.S. Anne's arrival and Pokemon tournament, but he had already heard about it from Kushina.
He stopped about halfway down, and smiled with amusement at an article.
Leaf peered over at him, "Something funny, Naruto?"
He chuckled and read aloud, "A local town gives its gratitude to a group of rouge Squirtle, that banded together under the guidance of a friendly Trainer to stop a wildfire heading toward the town. The group was formally recognized as 'The Squirtle Squad' for their brave actions, and have been accepted into the town's firefighting unit." He showed Leaf the image.
A group of Squirtle were combining their water guns to put out the fire. A Trainer stood behind them, pointing at the fire with a Pikachu beside him.
Leaf smiled as she looked at the picture, "That's cute! They even get their own little uniforms." She said as she read down a little further.
Hinata came back carrying plates, and they settled down for breakfast.
"So what is your plan for Surge?" Leaf asked as they started eating.
"I'd like to start with Skadi, but if he throws a Magnemite, I think Amaterasu would be a better choice," Naruto replied. He turned to Hinata, "What about you, Hinata? I imagine that your Tyrunt will be one of your first choices."
Hinata nodded, "Yes, she trained very hard for this so I'd like to use her first. I think I'll use Sneasel or Togekiss next, depending on how well Tyrunt does." She said as she blissfully bit into a Cinnamon Bun.
Leaf nodded in understanding, and bit her lip as she considered her own options. "I might have to use Ivysaur for this one. I don't want to rely on my starter for every Gym, but I don't have many effective moves for an Electric battle."
"It's fine to use your starter, Leaf. Many Trainers use them in every battle. As long as you don't neglect your other Pokemon." Naruto said.
She smiled and gave another nod, "Yeah. I'd still like to give my other Pokemon a shot at a Gym. I think I'll save Ivysaur for last."
"Sounds good." Naruto agreed as he stood up to stretch, "Why don't we find someplace to relax, and strategize? I'd like to go through the Electric-type moves one more time before the battle."
"Na~ru~to!" They heard an excited voice call out as they made their way to the lounge.
Naruto spun around just in time to see a flash of red hair come barreling into him. "Oof!" He nearly collapsed as he was caught by an unexpected bone-crushing hug. He smiled and hugged the red-head back, "It's good to see you, Mom!"
He was surprised to see her wearing the Order's colors. She was wearing a short-sleeved, Kimono-style blouse that was a dark navy-blue, embroidered along the edges in black. It was held closed with a black obi. The outfit's skirt went down to mid-thigh, and was met by a set of dark stockings. All in all, it gave her an attractive, youthful, look. One that Naruto appreciated as she pressed up against him.
She leaned up and planted a big kiss on his cheek, "I missed you so much!" Kushina said without letting go. They had never really been separated when he was growing up, so she missed him much more than she expected to.
She backed off as she realized that her son wasn't alone, and scooped up Hinata in an equally big hug. "And you too Hinata! I was so proud to hear about your adventures together."
Hinata smiled and hugged her Master back, "It is thanks to your training Master Kushina."
Kushina pulled back with a mischievous grin, "You don't have to call me that anymore dear, just Kushina is fine. Or perhaps 'Mother' would be more fitting, I'm sure it won't be long now!" Her smile grew as her apprentice turned bright red, and she turned to the third member of the group.
"And it is good to finally meet you face-to-face Leaf, I have heard all about you from my son's messages. I was so proud to hear how well you three did in the Cerulean City Gym Battle." She pulled the Grass Trainer into a gentler hug.
"Thank you Kushina, but it was all thanks to your son's help. He has been teaching me a lot while we travel, and I doubt I would be this far without him." Leaf said honestly.
Naruto shook his head, "It was your own hard work Leaf. You've absorbed everything I've taught you easily, and you're already becoming a powerful battler."
Leaf blushed at the praise, and Kushina couldn't help but smile warmly at the interaction. The young girl was already falling hard for him, and with words like those, it was no surprise.
Kushina clapped happily and gestured to her own traveling companion, "Right! This is Jessie, the former Rocket Grunt Naruto had captured. She will be joining us on a trip to the S.S. Anne, I've already bought tickets for us."
Jessie was standing beside Kushina shuffling a bit nervously. She couldn't believe that her new Teacher had shipped her off to the man who had torn apart her team so effortlessly. Her pride had been shattered, and she didn't know what to think about him. He seemed so careless when she had met him, lazing around on the couch as if he didn't have a care in the world. She had expected them to be nervous, or even afraid around a group of criminals. Instead, she was scolded for being annoying, and disregarded as harmless. He simply sent one of his Pokemon to deal with her, and casually provided commentary as he watched her team get destroyed.
She observed the group from the skylight, taking interest in the handsome blonde that looked to be their 'Leader'. At first, she had thought he was insignificant, casually joking around as if in no danger. But when they made their entrance, just for a moment, he changed. His eyes became cold and unforgiving, and Silver Chains sent her crashing to the floor. She shivered at the memory. Those piercing blue eyes seemed to glow as he analyzed her. Judged her. Then, as quickly as it came, it was gone, and he was back to his cheerful self, brushing off her threats as if they were just one big joke to him. But his eyes were filled with a bit of curiosity.
He watched with a bit of amusement, as his Pokemon flawlessly took down all three of their Pokemon. He joked around, injuring her pride as he listed off her many failures, and then just reached down and took her only Pokemon from her with a teasing tone.
She was scared. That Ekans was a gift. One of her very few Birthday gifts. She cared for it deeply, even if she didn't show it. She was terrified as he took her only Pokemon away from her, and sent her off to prison. During her stay, she had a while to think. Her partner, James, didn't say much from his cell beside hers, and without Meowth, things were quiet.
She thought about her life in Team Rocket. Admittedly, it wasn't bad. The group had a strong sense of unity, so they were treated fairly among the ranks. She had a few people she hated, like Cassidy, but that was normal in a workplace. At first, she thought things were looking up, she had a job that would pay, and she was happy with that. But her illusion was shattered quickly. She was ordered to steal, to rob, and to fight. Against children. She was in too deep to get out, and she silently accepted her new role. She tried to be evil, and she tried her best, but she couldn't do it. She always messed it up in the end. Failing at the very last moment, and letting her target slip away.
The 'Boss' saw some sort of potential in them, at least she assumed. Because he never really got angry at them. He scoffed and sneered when they reported their failures, but he always seemed slightly amused by them.
She could steal, she could build machines, and she could battle. But never against children. She would be far too distracted, and miss simple things that would always end in her defeat.
She reflected on her time in Team Rocket, and looking back, perhaps it was better for her to stay in prison. She couldn't go back to Team Rocket, not after this latest failure. But she wouldn't be able to survive without them. She had no home, no money, and now, no Pokemon.
But then, she was pulled out of her cell, and had her cuffs removed. She was met by a man wearing the same black and blue as the blonde from before. He explained that he was here to transport her to the Kingdom of Rota, ordered by a man named Naruto Uzumaki. Her heart nearly stopped when she heard that the 'Insignificant' blonde that she attacked was the new Grandmaster for the Order of Aura Guardians. She was terrified all over again, and rode to Rota in complete silence.
She met a woman there, with hair in a beautiful shade of red. She introduced herself as the Assistant Grandmaster and made them a deal. They would spill everything they knew about Team Rocket, and in exchange, they would be offered a place in the Order.
For the first time in a while, Jessie felt hope. She could be free of Team Rocket, and do something good with her life. She had tried to be a Nurse, when she was younger. She wanted to help people, but she couldn't afford a real school. She learned what she could at a Pokemon Nursing School, but failed her graduation exam.
She was confused at first, and questioned the Assistant Grandmaster. When she learned that she had Aura, she accepted the offer immediately. Her partner James was a bit more skeptical, but accepted as well, not wanting to be left out.
They were separated and trained by different Masters, which made her a bit sad. She held no romantic feelings for James, but they had been partners since Pokemon Tech, and she considered James to be a bit like a little brother. An annoying one, but a brother nonetheless.
She was immediately put to work by Master Kushina, and trained hard. She was given another chance to make something of her life, and she wasn't going to waste it. She was given back her Ekans, and she was extremely relieved to have her first Pokemon back in hand.
It went well for the first week. Then her pride reared its ugly head again, and she made a less than pleasant comment about the blonde that had captured her. Kushina gave her a sickly sweet smile as she informed Jessie that the blonde was her son... then tripled her training regimen. She learned quickly that you do not insult Naruto Uzumaki in front of his Mother.
Besides the occasional bump in the road, she found herself enjoying her time at the Order. She was frightened at first, being inside the base of an Organization that had sworn to destroy Team Rocket. But her worries were for nothing, as Kushina simply brought her in front of the Knights and told them that she was a member now. They all focused on her for a moment, and she expected a lot of things, anger, rejection, abuse, but they just nodded in agreement and introduced themselves. She was welcomed with open arms, and was happy for the first time in a long time.
Until a few days ago, when Kushina finally approached her about the S.S. Anne. James had been sent off to Sinnoh, his home region, to study under a Knight there, and she was alone again. She was informed that she would be accompanying Kushina to help a Guardian stop the plot. She agreed happily, somewhat excited to finally strike back at the Organization that had attempted to corrupt her.
Her hopes were shattered once again, when Kushina informed her just who she would be doing the mission with.
Her Master's son.
She spent the next few days fretting all over again. Worried he would reject her, or attack her. She was even more confused as she remembered his personality. A cruel opponent one moment, and a joking prankster the next. She didn't understand him, and that only increased her fears.
She was pulled out of bed extra early this morning, by an over-eager Kushina, and ushered onto the back of a Flying-type so they could travel to Vermilion quickly. She listened to Kushina as she sung her son's praises. For the first time, she heard about Naruto from the other side of the story.
He was cheerful, and smart. A powerful fighter, but one that knew how to enjoy himself, and used his creativity to prank the over-serious staff at the castle. He was the Order's Prodigy, and took to Aura like he was born to use it. Kushina continued to list off his achievements and Jessie realized that Naruto was very different from how she had been picturing him. He was a hard worker, and was very protective of those he cared about.
The thought increased her fears just as much as they eased them. He was nice, from what she gathered from Kushina, but he was protective of his friends and Pokemon. Both of which, she had attacked.
She was pulled into the Pokemon Center with an ever-growing sense of dread. She watched with a bit of confusion as Kushina greeted her son like a lost lover. Weren't they supposed to be Mother and son? But she just assumed that was how Kushina was around people she was familiar with, as she watched Kushina give an equal treatment to a beautiful young girl beside Naruto.
Jessie admired the girl's gorgeous Kimono. She always had a love for fashion, and it seems that she was not the only one. Based on the coloring of the Kimono, she assumed this was the other Guardian, Hinata Hyuuga. She looked every bit a princess, with fair skin, and dark hair.
She turned her attention to the conversation, she didn't want to miss anything and make a fool of herself before she even got introduced. She wasn't the most observant woman, but she deduced that Hinata was in some sort of relationship with Naruto. The third girl seemed to be traveling with them as well, with Naruto teaching her.
Suddenly, Kushina switched gears, and introduced her quickly enough to catch her off guard. Jessie gave a timid look at the three, she lost her voice, and waited for them to speak first. She took a glance at Naruto, he didn't look as fearsome or scary as she remembered. Instead, he looked calm, and happy as he met her eyes. She froze. His eyes were much bluer than she thought, deep like the ocean, instead of the icy-cold blue she had seen that night. His eyes trailed down her body, and she felt a bit embarrassed, until she noticed he didn't stop at any one place in particular. He just gave her a quick once-over, and looked back into her eyes.
She didn't know how to feel about that, she was happy that he met her eyes instead of ogling her body like so many other men had done. But should she take offense that he ignored her outfit completely? Did he not consider her worth looking at?
He smiled brightly, and she felt her heart skip a beat. Whether it was from shock or embarrassment, she couldn't tell. He stepped forward and held out his hand, "I'm Naruto Uzumaki, nice to meetcha!"
She was floored for the second time in his presence. That's it? No glares? No annoyed looks? No insults? Just a simple 'Hello it's nice to meet you' as if he didn't know she was a former criminal. Just who was this man? Some of her fear faded into curiosity, and she timidly took his hand in her own, "Jessie." She said simply in response.
He closed his eyes and his smile grew bigger, if it was possible. She thought it was kind of cute the way his whiskers made him look like a fox.
"I see you've already gotten the team spirit going!" He said as he gestured to her outfit.
Kushina had thrown out her old Team Rocket gear the moment she joined, and made a similar outfit bearing the Order's colors. A tight black undershirt clung to her large breasts tightly, with a dark-blue version of her Rocket shirt over it, still giving an enticing view of her midriff. The R was replaced by the Order's symbol, and a long elbow-length pair of black gloves covered her arms. A black mini skirt covered her hips, held up by a Pokeball belt, and a long black pair of high-heels covered her legs, leaving just a strip of skin exposed between.
She nodded and crossed her arms under her bust, she wasn't ashamed of her body. In fact, she was rather proud of her 'assets'. She knew she was beautiful and wasn't afraid to show it. Naruto didn't seem to notice, and just smiled back at her.
The other two girls introduced themselves, Hinata Hyuuga, who she had guessed, and Leaf Green. Both were traveling alongside Naruto to compete in the Indigo League.
Kushina suggested that they find somewhere to sit, and the group moved into the lounge.
"While the mission is important, I think it can wait until you finish your Gym Battle." Kushina said as they settled down in the lounge.
His Mother had stolen Hinata's spot on his left side. Hinata was more amused by it than anything, and shot Kushina a knowing look as she sat in front of Naruto.
Naruto nodded in agreement and turned back to the newest member of their little group. Jessie was still nervous around him, and had frozen stiff in her seat. He wanted to make her feel a bit more welcome, "Why don't you introduce yourself, Jessie? I'd love to know more about you." She almost flinched when he addressed her, and he tried to keep a frown from showing on his face.
Jessie understood his meaning. She had gone through it with Kushina once before, so she spoke up quietly, "My name is Jessica, but I prefer to go by Jessie. I'm twenty-five years old. I like working with machines, mainly because it is one of the few things that I'm good at." Naruto frowned at the self-deprecating tone, and made a mental note to try to fix that.
Jessie continued, "I prefer Poison-type Pokemon, but I like cute Pokemon as well. I dislike people that insult my fashion sense, or my Pokemon. My goal... has changed recently."
She looked Naruto in the eyes, and spoke with a bit more confidence. "My goal is to become an Aura Master... I've always wanted to help people, ever since I was a child, and now Master Kushina has given me that chance. I will not waste it." She stopped for a moment, and was silently happy to see a large grin of approval on Naruto's face. "I also plan to help however I can in the fight against Team Rocket. I don't have much information, or powerful Pokemon that can help you, but I will still do anything I can." She finished her small speech with a bit of spark back in her voice. It helped that everyone here was smiling at her.
Naruto gave her his best smile and nodded in approval, "That's great! I'm glad to have you with us, Jessie!" He stopped for a moment as he realized something. "Is it just 'Jessie'?" He asked.
She flinched and gave a nod, "Just Jessie."
He didn't press any further and turned to his two girlfriends and begun to strategize.
According to the Gym page, and Kushina's own experience. Lt. Surge was a pretty aggressive Battler. That was going to make the battle difficult.
He was known for pure power, and that meant it would be much harder for them to win. They would have to dodge or block his attacks if they wanted to win. One wrong move, and the battle could end far too quickly.
So they discussed a few tactics, using their brief battles with Pikachu as a reference.
They could expect a Magnemite. It was one of the few Electric-types that had a secondary type in Kanto. Surge was known to favor it, so they were all preparing their own strategies against it.
Electabuzz was a bit worrying, it was a powerful Electric-type, and considering Surge was the best Electric-type Trainer, it would be a hard battle.
They didn't really know if they should expect his Raichu or Jolteon. The entry just said that he used them against Trainers he found 'Worthy' but they each prepared their own ace, just in case he did use them.
They finished their preparations, and Kushina happily showed them to Surge's Gym, she had been to Vermilion City a few times over the years.
They came across a rather unique looking Gym.
It was clearly styled after Electricity. With yellow lightning bolts running up the front of the building and framing the door.
They walked inside, and were surprised at how large it was.
Multiple Battlefields were spaced out in a large open room. They saw several pairs of people wearing the same uniform battling each other on the fields to the side, and a large line of young men doing push-ups along one wall.
A loud booming voice caught their attention beside the men, "Double-time maggots! My hair is going to grey before you finish! Faster!" A massive man shouted at the line, and the young men on the ground doubled their pace in response.
A young woman approached and caught his attention. "Boss! We have visitors!" She said briefly.
He glanced at her for a moment and nodded. He turned to the door and saw them, smiling widely, he made his way over. "Challengers?" He said with a calmer tone.
He stopped in front of them, and took another look at Naruto, focusing on the whiskers. He snorted and gave a smirk, "Ha! Would you look at that! The little squirt is all grown up now." He said with a loud laugh.
The group was a bit intimidated by the large man. He was extremely tall, easily towering over Naruto, and everyone else in the room. He was wearing a green tank top with a pair of silver dog-tags hanging from his neck. A tan pair of camouflage pants, and a set of black boots, covered his legs. His hair was blonde and spiky, similar to Naruto's but shorter and slightly washed out in color.
Both Kushina and Naruto didn't seem to notice his height, already familiar with him.
Naruto gave him a small glare, "I wasn't that short! You are just way too tall." The man just laughed again.
Hinata let out a small giggle, "You were kind of short, Naruto." She remembered back when they were kids, Naruto had been about the same height as her. He stayed that way until about fourteen, when he hit a growth spurt. Now he was about half a head taller than her, a respectable height for someone his age.
He turned to her with a slightly betrayed look, "You too, Hinata?! So cruel!" He pouted.
The man looked over the rest of the group, blanching when he saw Kushina. He coughed to cover it up and addressed them, "My name is Lt. Surge, I am the Gym Leader here in Vermilion City. Who is my challenger today?"
Naruto stepped forward with a smirk, "Three of us, actually. Myself, along with my two traveling companions Leaf and Hinata."
Surge looked them over for a moment and nodded. They didn't seem like much, but considering the amount of blue and black they were wearing, he wouldn't assume anything until the battle began. "I was wondering when you would show up at my Gym, little man."
"Uh- Excuse me." Leaf spoke up to the Gym Leader. Surge turned to her with a raised eyebrow, and she continued, "What are those Pokemon doing? Over there." She pointed off to the side, just in front of the row of men doing push-ups.
An equally long line of various Electric-types were charging themselves up, before firing a Thunderbolt at a small pole of metal in front of them. A display was above each rod, that would produce a number after each strike.
Surge followed her sight and answered her question, "Those are the Pokemon belonging to my Cadets. While their Trainers build muscle, the Pokemon build up their own power by practicing their Electric attacks. The lightning rods will measure the amount of Electricity that runs through them. Giving a number in Voltage so the Pokemon can tell if they are improving or not." He explained.
He gestured to the back of the Gym, to a set of doors. "The extra juice gets sent off around back, to a Power Plant behind the Gym. We produce enough Electricity here, with just our training, to power the whole city!" He boasted with a proud smile. It was one of the reasons his Gym was so favored. Not only did he produce clean energy, but it was free. His Gym was supported by the League, so he didn't see the need to sell the power he produced here.
Naruto hummed in thought. It was a pretty ingenious method of training. The Pokemon could produce energy for the city, while pushing themselves to be stronger. The Trainers got a closer bond with their Pokemon at the same time, by training right alongside them. He understood now why Surge took so many Trainees. He didn't train them individually like a Knight would his Squires, but instead trained them as a unit.
Naruto guessed he didn't go into too many advanced subjects, but if someone was simply looking for a good place to learn how to train, this would be one of the best places to go to.
Surge turned back to them and crossed his arms, "Well? Which one of you is going first?"
"Naruto." Both Leaf and Hinata said at the same time.
"Why me?" He asked a bit confused. He went first in Pewter, so he figured Hinata would be up first this time.
Leaf shrugged, "You know the Leader already, and you've seen him battle once before. I think it's only fair we get to watch yours before we battle."
"Well, do your best!" Kushina gave her son a pat on the shoulder, "We'll be watching!" She said as the four girls went up to the spectator's stands above the main Battlefield.
"Good luck, Naruto!" Hinata called down.
"Be sure to win!" Leaf cheered.
"Kick his ass!" Kushina said a bit more aggressively.
He smiled at his three 'cheerleaders' and looked at the fourth girl. Jessie was still nervous around him, but he was confident she was just as sweet as the other three. He just had to bring it out.
He turned to her and looked up to her with expecting eyes. She was embarrassed, and tried to look away, but couldn't tear herself from his sparkling eyes.
His eyes started to glisten, and his lower lip quivered as he gave her his best Puppy-Dog Eyes.
She felt her heart drop, and couldn't resist anymore, "Good luck." She said timidly. Damn him and his cute whiskers.
He gave her another foxy smile. That was one minor victory, now he just had to keep it going. He'd get her smiling soon enough.
He turned back to an amused Surge, and walked over to the Battlefield.
"How many badges do you have?" Surge asked.
Naruto smirked, "Two... Three when I walk out of here."
"We'll just have to see about that."
He walked over to the Cadets and raised his voice, "That's enough!"
The group on the floor, collapsed with exhaustion, and the pairs of Trainers stopped their Battles.
"On your feet, you lazy idiots! We've got a Gym Battle here!" He shouted at them.
The Cadets shot to their feet and called over their Pokemon, looking slightly relieved that they would be getting a break.
They marched over, and settled on the ground to the side of the Battlefield, preparing to watch the match.
Surge made it to his side of the Battlefield and pointed at a random Cadet. "You! You're the Ref! Stand up and get over here! It's a two badge battle."
The Cadet he chose looked like a Deerling caught in the headlights and scrambled to his feet. He walked to the edge of the Battlefield, and started the match. "This will be a three-on-three, two badge battle, between Lt. Surge, the Gym Leader, and..." He trailed off for Naruto to answer.
"...And Naruto Uzumaki, the Challenger. Trainers, choose your first Pokemon!"
Naruto took another deep breath. This would be his hardest battle yet. Surge was no joke, and with his attack-based team, he would be a powerful opponent. But Naruto was ready, and so was his team. He had prepared plenty of surprises for Surge. This wasn't a battle he could win easily with brute force. He'd have to use a bit of ingenuity. Luckily, that was Naruto's specialty.
The two Trainers reached for a ball and threw at the same time.
"Let's go, Voltorb!"
"Toy with them, Skadi!"
A red and white, orb-shaped Pokemon glared across the field at an adorable snow-white fox. Skadi looked up at the Voltorb with innocent curiosity, and tilted her head cutely. Her baby-blue bow was still wrapped around her neck, adding to her charm.
Naruto smiled as he heard a few feminine squeals from the Spectator's stands. He knew Skadi would be a favorite. He could've sworn he heard a few gasps from the female Cadets, but they hardened their expressions before he could look.
Surge sneered at the small fox, "Are you trying to insult me Naruto?! I expected you to have more than a little baby." He was expecting a real fight from Naruto!
Naruto gained a tick mark and was about to retort, but an angry voice cut him off.
"Surge!" Kushina shouted down from the stands. "Do you need me to come down there and remind you of the last time you called a Pokemon 'baby'?!" She had fire in her eyes, and her hair was glowing slightly as it floated behind her with a mind of its own.
Surge paled, and glanced up at her, shivering at the visage of death hanging over the red-head. He turned to Naruto stiffly, trying his best to keep his composure. "I apologize, Naruto. I meant no offense." He sagged with relief as the pressure from Kushina's glare subsided.
He chuckled at Surge's reaction. Every Trainee at the Order experienced the same thing the first time they got on Kushina Uzumaki's bad side.
There was never a second time.
"Are both Trainers ready?" The Ref called out.
He watched them both nod, and started the match. "Begin!"
Instantly, the ground floor of the Gym was frozen over, and a white blanket was layered over it as the Vulpix's Snow Warning activated. The Battlefield was overtaken by hail and snow, making it difficult to detect the white fox.
Surge frowned as his Gym dropped in temperature. "Use Thunder Shock!" He started.
He generally didn't like the move Thunder Shock, considering it was just a weaker version of Thunderbolt. It'd be like telling a Pokemon to use Tackle when it knew Take Down. But Thunder Shock was faster, and didn't require the momentary charge-up of a Thunderbolt, so it was a good surprise the first time he used it.
The Voltorb let out a mechanical tone, "Torb!" Yellow sparks of Electricity surrounded Voltorb, and it launched its attack before Skadi could blink.
Skadi gave a small yelp as she was hit by the attack, but didn't flinch away. She met the Voltorb's eyes and begun their own little strategy. "Pikachu could shock much stronger than that! You defective Pokeball!" She taunted.
The Voltorb gained a small tick mark, but didn't respond.
Surge was surprised the Ice-type didn't have much of a reaction to the Thunder Shock. He had to give it to the small fox, it was sturdier than he thought.
"Icy Wind!" Naruto called out.
Skadi opened her mouth and released a gust of freezing-cold wind, sparkling with snow, toward the opposing Voltorb. It crashed into the Electric-type quickly, doing damage and lowering its speed. Both Voltorb and Surge had their vision obstructed for a moment, as the strong wind and hail blinded them.
The wind died down, and revealed... an empty, snow-covered, Battlefield. Skadi had vanished.
He looked across the field to a smirking Naruto and sighed, "Are you planning on hiding for the rest of the match?"
Naruto's smirk just grew wider, and he made his next move. "Ice Shard!"
"Take it, and use Thunderbolt where it comes from!" Surge commanded.
A small lump of snow shifted, and a large ball of Ice flew out, crashing into the Voltorb.
"Double Team." Naruto whispered, knowing that Skadi's sensitive ears could hear him. He could command her with the Bond, but that would feel a bit cheap, and it wasn't necessary at the moment.
Skadi smirked as she silently performed a Double Team, scattering a dozen copies of herself in the snow of the surrounding area.
Voltorb sparked to life, and fired a powerful Thunderbolt at the small mound of snow. A loud crack filled the air as the lightning bolt struck, but no cry of pain followed. The smoke cleared just in time to see a smirking Vulpix shimmer out of existence.
"What?!" Surge lost his composure for a moment.
The sound of a Vulpix snickering echoed throughout the Gym, coming from a dozen different sources. "Something wrong little red? I can see you're having some trouble aiming." Skadi taunted her opponent further, snickering all the while.
Voltorb heard the voice come from its left, and fired off another Thunderbolt in anger.
Another Vulpix shimmered out of existence and Surge growled, "Easy, Voltorb! You won't find the runt like that!"
Voltorb calmed itself again, reassured by its Trainer's voice. It scanned the Battlefield carefully, watching for any signs of movement.
Naruto wasn't going to let Skadi's fun be ruined so easily, "Swagger!"
Skadi's snickering grew louder and resounded throughout the Gym.
Voltorb heard insults and taunts, thrown at it from every direction, it spun around in fury trying to find its opponent through the hailstorm. Its eyes glowed red as the Swagger took effect, raising its attack stat, but confusing it.
Voltorb caught a shadow of movement out of its eyes, and fired off another Thunderbolt in a fit of rage. The dust cleared, revealing nothing beneath, and Voltorb's anger swelled up.
It raged, and fired off Thunderbolt after Thunderbolt, shooting at shadows.
"Too bad~ So sad~" Skadi sang as the Voltorb continued to lash out at anything that caught his eye.
"Voltorb! Stop it! Calm down!" Surge shouted in his best commanding voice. He couldn't believe his eyes! This little Pokemon had gotten his Voltorb more riled up in a few moments, than it had ever been before.
His words fell on deaf ears, and Voltorb continued its tantrum. They were known for their volatile temperament, and Skadi had it far too agitated.
"Now use Feint Attack!"
Vulpix burst from the snow behind the Voltorb, lashing out with dark energy.
The attack struck, sending the Voltorb crashing into the snow.
It rose back up quickly and spun around, sparking with electricity as it searched for its attacker, but Skadi was gone again.
The laughter continued, "You~ Can't~ Catch~ Me~" She teased through the Battlefield, her voice being disguised by the Double Team copies.
Voltorb Screeched with anger and continued to fire off his attacks.
Skadi halted her taunts for a moment, as her sensitive ears were assaulted by the Screech. She winced but shook it off, maintaining her Double Team taunting.
"Voltorb, stop!" Surge had enough of it. "Use Shock Wave!"
The Voltorb stopped its attacks long enough to see the logic behind it. A Shock Wave would hit her.
Naruto narrowed his eyes, 'Smart. A Shockwave would remove the copies, and guarantee a hit.' He thought to himself. 'Not bad, Surge. But not good enough. Skadi is quite tricky.' He had given Skadi one move to use at her own discretion, one that would come in handy here.
Voltorb held still, and started to glow a bright yellow. "Voool-Torb!" It pulsed, and a yellow ring of Electricity expanded across the field in all directions, zapping the ground as it went.
The snow melted under the attack, and the copies of Vulpix vanished into the air with a cry.
Everyone watched with bated breath as the fog from the melted snow cleared... Once again revealing empty space.
"How?!" Surge did a double-take, and searched the field again. He spotted a small hole in the ground on Naruto's side, and widened his eyes.
It was too late.
Skadi burst from the ground directly under Voltorb, and crashed into it with a powerful Dig attack.
Voltorb let out a mechanical cry as it took the attack, and glared at the Vulpix as it recovered. It realized Skadi was close, and it had enough of this battle. Still furious from the constant tormenting, and anger boosted by the Swagger, it launched a deadly move.
Voltorb let out a final cry as it glowed a bright white.
The audience all gasped as they realized what move it was, and Surge shouted at his own Pokemon, "Stop it, Voltorb!"
Naruto widened his eyes in shock, "Skadi look out!"
A thunderous explosion shook the walls of the Gym as the Voltorb Self-Destructed.
A cry of pain struck at the hearts of all of the spectators as the cute fox Pokemon was blasted back to Naruto's side of the field. Skadi crashed into the ground in front of Naruto with a whimper.
Naruto looked at the limp form of his Pokemon with shock. He wanted nothing more than to rush out and check on her, but that would force him to forfeit the match, and he wouldn't waste his Pokemon's efforts. He knew Skadi would want him to finish the match, but he still wanted to rush her off to the Pokemon Center.
He balled his fist as he waited for her to give him something, anything, to let him know she was fine.
He glared across the field at his shocked opponent, resisting the urge to curse Surge out for that move. He knew it wasn't Surge's fault, if anything it was his for provoking the Voltorb into using Self-Destruct. But he expected the Voltorb to be much more disciplined, and resist the taunting a bit more than it did.
He supposed he should've expected it. The Voltorb wasn't a member of Surge's personal team, so it likely didn't react to his orders as well as it could have.
He dropped his glare and watched the smoke clear, revealing the unconsious Voltorb.
The Ref caught the swirls in the eyes of the Voltorb, indicating that it had fainted, but waited for the Vulpix to move. If the Vulpix didn't move in ten seconds, he'd call it a draw, per the League Rules.
A small mewl caught his attention and Naruto watched with relief as Skadi made her way back to her feet.
"Whaaa~," He heard her whine through the Bond as she shook off the shock from the blast. "That unstable Mimic really surprised me."
He let out a breath he didn't know he was holding and smiled down at his Ice-type. "Are you feeling okay after that?" She sounded fine, but the voice through the Bond was the Pokemon's thoughts, so he couldn't really tell from her voice.
"I'm fine Whiskers, I just feel a bit dizzy." She tried to turn around, but flinched when she put weight on her leg.
"Guess not then. I'll pull you out for now." Skadi looked a bit upset, but didn't complain. She had taken one down in her first Gym Battle, even if it wasn't very elegant. She was satisfied.
The Ref failed to contain his smile as he saw the little fox get back on her feet. "Voltorb is unable to battle, Vulpix is the winner." He turned to Naruto, "Will you be switching Pokemon?"
Naruto nodded and recalled Skadi, giving her a mental 'thank you'. The hailstorm died down as Skadi left the Battlefield.
Surge recalled his Pokemon with a heavy heart. He couldn't believe he had lost control so easily. It wasn't Naruto's fault. The kid was using tactics, and Surge respected that. It was his fault, and his Voltorb's fault. He should have trained his team harder, and made sure it was safe to use in battle, regardless of the tactics against him.
He sighed and clipped the ball back onto his belt. He'd definitely be removing that Voltorb from his Tier two team, at least until he could fix that problem.
He was confident in his personal Electrode's abilities, but after seeing that...
He shook off his doubt and turned to his challenger.
"I owe you both an apology, Naruto." Surge crossed his arms. "That little fox showed more strength and skill than I've seen in the last dozen Trainers. I cannot believe that my own Pokemon would use such a petty move." He said genuinely, still angry at his Voltorb.
While it wasn't against any rules to use Self-Destruct, it was extremely frowned upon in the League competitions. Including Gym Battles. And for a Gym Leader to use it? Well, it made sense for Surge to be apologizing, even if he didn't order it. No one wanted to watch a Pokemon explode themselves, even if it was the only move left.
Naruto nodded to the apology, but didn't reply.
"Trainers, call out your next Pokemon."
Naruto reached for his next ball, and threw his newest.
"Burn brightly, Amaterasu!"
Naruto smirked at his opponent, it was lucky that he threw Amy second, she would have a strong advantage against the Electric/Steel-type.
Surge frowned at yet another small Pokemon. He was sure that Naruto had some power-houses hidden. At the very least a Lucario, he had seen the beautiful white Pokemon during his brief stay in Rota... Grace, if he remembered correctly. Why wasn't he showing them? Surge held his tongue this time. He was alert now, and wouldn't underestimate another one of Naruto's team. Even if it was tiny.
"Begin!" The Ref started the second round.
"Thunder Shock!" Surge started off with the same tactic.
Amy was prepared, and dodged the small bolt of lightning.
Amy returned fire with a low growl. Her mouth opened, and a dozen fireballs shot toward the Magneton. The Electric-type didn't have time to dodge, and flew back a bit as it took the hit.
Amy dashed forward, her orange coat bursting into flames as she ran. She winced as a metal grinding noise grated on her ears, but she pushed on. She lunged at the Magneton, crashing into it with a Flame Wheel.
Surge frowned as he took two hits in quick succession. 'He swapped tactics quickly. He went from guerrilla warfare to an all-out blitzkrieg? Interesting.'
"Fire Fang, while you're close!" Naruto called out.
Surge blanched as the Growlithe latched onto his Pokemon with burning fangs before he could react. That was sloppy of him. "Use Discharge!"
Magneton released a bright flare of yellow Electricity around it, zapping the Growlithe that was still hanging onto it tightly.
Naruto bit his lip, "Hold on tight, Amy! And use Flame Wheel, once more!"
Amy let out another growl as she tightened her jaw around the Magneton. She burst into flames again, enveloping them both in a ball of Fire and Electricity.
Both Trainers watched closely as the two Pokemon kept up their attacks, draining each other rapidly.
Surge had faith in his Pokemon, they were all trained to endure punishment, and a little fire wouldn't beat Magneton.
Naruto released first, "Drop down, now!"
Amy let go instantly, and fell to the ground, taking a moment to shake off her injuries.
Naruto smirked as he called his next move. Just because Grace didn't like to use it, didn't mean she wouldn't teach it to others. "Use Reversal!"
Amaterasu exploded with angry red energy, and lunged at the Magneton with a roar. The attack was boosted by Amy's wounds, and did a large amount of damage.
The Magneton crashed into the ground, its eyes filled with swirls.
"Magneton is unable to battle, Growlithe is the winner."
Naruto smiled happily at his Growlithe. "That was an amazing job Amy! You took down your opponent fast!"
Amaterasu barked in agreement, not at all bothered by her injuries anymore. "For my Trainer, anything." She said through the bond.
He was filled with joy at his Pokemon's words. Growlithe really was a perfect match for him. Not to say he loved any of his other Pokemon less, but he still admired Amy's loyalty greatly.
She trotted over and lied down beside him, knowing her Trainer would never allow her to fight twice in a row without rest. It wasn't that he didn't have faith in her, but she was injured and she understood that.
He looked down to her with a small bit of amusement, "You are staying outside then?"
She gave another bark of approval and he nodded in acknowledgment.
He turned to the Ref, "I'll be substituting."
The Ref gave a nod. "Trainers call out your next Pokemon."
He rubbed a ball on his belt with a smile, "You ready?" He asked through the Bond.
"Indeed. I'm sure it will be a good show." She responded.
They each pulled out their next Pokeball and expanded it.
Surge let out a chuckle, "You know Naruto, I really expected to destroy you the first time you challenged me. Guess I should've known better. You were raised by the Crimson Princess after all. Regardless, I'd like to say I've enjoyed this match so far. So much in fact, that I'll be using a Raichu against you." He said as he showed his next Pokeball. It wasn't his Raichu partner, but it was still much stronger than the other Pokemon he had used so far.
Naruto rolled his eyes, "Gee thanks." He said with a bit of sarcasm. He smirked at Surge, "I've got something special prepared for you as well Surge. It took me a bit of time, hard work, and determination, but I managed to pull it off." He raised his ball, "I hope you enjoy!"
"Crush them, Scylla!"
With a fearsome roar, a large Gyarados appeared in a bright red flash, towering over the Raichu with a deadly look in her eye.
Naruto had a proud smile as everyone was shocked into silence.
He had released a Gyarados.
A Water/Flying-type, that required water to move.
Inside of an Electric Gym.
While normally a Gyarados would be a powerful opponent, even to an Electric-type. The double weakness was compounded by the lack of movement. So in order for this to even be a close match, Scylla would have to beat the Raichu, while holding still, without getting hit very much.
But Naruto U-zu-ma-ki, didn't know the meaning of the word normal.
He was completely confident in his Gyarados' ability to secure a total victory. He wasn't going to win. He was going to crush them.
The silence was broken by Lt. Surge's uproarious laughter. He got ahold of himself and smiled to Naruto. "God damn!" He said in good spirits, "You truly are the most unpredictable Trainer I've ever faced. A Gyarados! Ha!" He laughed again, "I doubt I would've seen it coming, even if someone had warned me beforehand!"
Naruto gave a mock bow, "Well, I'm glad you are entertained, but I hope you know I'm not finished yet." His grin turned feral. "The show has just begun!"
Surge chuckled and signaled to the Ref.
"Do it, Scylla!"
Surge held his command, and watched with interest. What the hell was this kid going to do now?
Scylla let out another roar as she focused her Aura. She had been practicing from the first day she had been captured, for this. Naruto had asked a simple question, one that she didn't have an answer to. So, they worked together, and found that answer.
She chuckled at the memory. "Why can't Gyarados fly?" It was a simple question. But most humans would just scoff or laugh and consider it a 'childish' question. Perhaps give some equally childish response, like 'They weren't born with wings.' She was not like those humans, and thought long and hard about that question. Despite her knowledge, she couldn't think of anything conclusive.
The next day she had told Naruto she couldn't answer it, and he looked at her with a mischievous smile on his face. She asked for the answer, and he replied with, "Why not?"
She was perplexed by the response, and thought about it harder. It clicked in her mind, and she spoke to him again. He wasn't asking why they couldn't fly. He was asking why everyone thought they couldn't fly.
And so they worked together. Naruto had plenty of experience with Flying-type Aura, having been naturally attuned to it, and shared his knowledge with her. It was slow, and difficult, but soon enough, she learned to levitate.
It wasn't much. Just a few inches off the ground, but the implications were limitless. She could fly. The thought excited her, and she doubled her effort, training her hardest to push her ability to its limits. It was hard, she felt like her body simply refused to be in the air, but the more she 'flew' the easier it got. Eventually, something clicked, and her body felt weightless as she lifted off the ground, slithering through the air even easier than she did in the water.
She cackled with glee, and woke Naruto in the night. He snuck out of his room, and they flew around the area until dawn. Each one loving the feeling of freedom that flight provided.
They planned to use it on the first Gym they could, and while she was a bit nervous to test it against an Electric Gym, she had a strong desire to prove herself to her Trainer.
She opened her eyes, and floated off the ground. She slithered in place, as if swimming on air, for show. She took a quick glance around, and noticed everyone had their jaws on the ground. "Humans really are strange."
Naruto snickered at his favorite Water-type, "I'm really happy you figured this out Grace. It just proves how awesome you are."
She happily accepted her Trainer's praise, "Thank you, Naruto. I enjoyed working with you on this little 'Special Project'" And she did. She found him fascinating to speak to. At first, he was a clown, presenting his ideas with child-like innocence and wonder. But if you looked past it, you could see he held a completely unique perspective on the world. He saw things in entirely different ways than the majority, and found simple solutions for complicated problems.
'Flight' was only Step One of the Project that they had created, and the other parts would come with time. But it was still good progress, and would give her an extremely useful tool in battle.
"Well, I think we've kept our dear audience frozen in shock long enough, how about we make some noise to wake them up?"
"Yes, I suppose it is time to 'Let the Monster out' as you would say." She said.
He laughed as she put an emphasis on 'clearing her throat' in the Bond. She reared her head back and let out another roar, snapping the audience out of their daze.
Naruto gave Surge a big smile. "Dragon Rage." It was time to get back to the battle.
Surge snapped his eyes back to the field, "Dodge, Raichu!"
The large Mouse Pokemon dove to the side, dodging the blue-fire of Dragon Rage by a hair's breadth.
Scylla swung her tail down to the field with a smirk, a small tornado formed around her tail, and launched toward the Raichu.
The Raichu tried to dodge again, but wasn't fast enough. The powerful attack crashed into the Electric-type, sending him flying across the field.
Surge growled, "Use Thunderbolt!"
"Fly up." Naruto countered.
Raichu shot a lightning bolt off as quickly as it could, but Scylla flew up even faster. She reached the roof of the large building quickly, and awaited his next orders.
Scylla fired off a powerful torrent of water, cutting across the field until it hit Raichu, soaking it in the powerful stream.
"Use Thunderbolt in the water!" Surge commanded, planning to Electrocute the Gyarados with its own attack.
Naruto shrugged, "Cut your attack, and use Thrash."
Scylla stopped her attack just as the Raichu fired off its Thunderbolt, and flew down to the field with vicious speed.
She spun around before Raichu could recover, and whipped her tail down violently.
A loud crash sounded throughout the Gym, and Scylla prepared another strike.
She swung down, but stopped her attack short, backing off as she noticed the Raichu was unconscious.
If she were any other Gyarados, she likely would've just thrashed about violently until she ran out of steam. She was much more civilized than the rest of her species, and never lost her head.
She 'swam' back to Naruto and coiled up in front of him, patiently waiting for the Ref to call it.
Surge let out a chuckle despite himself, and recalled his Pokemon. He looked around the Battlefield, Naruto had truly made a mess of his Gym. There were patches of dirty snow scattered around, scorch marks from the Thunder Wave and Fire attacks, pools of water from the Hydro pump, and rubble all around. This field would be out of commission for a while.
He sent a quick glare to the Ref, and brought back his attention, "Raichu is unable to battle, Gyarados is the winner! Since the Gym Leader has lost all three Pokemon, the challenger, Naruto Uzumaki, is the winner!"
Surge's eyebrow twitched.
He turned to the group of Cadets, "You useless maggots better start clapping! Or you'll spend the rest of the day running laps!" He shouted at them.
Suddenly, Naruto was getting a very enthusiastic standing ovation from the group of Cadets.
He laughed and rubbed the back of his head as he recalled Scylla.
"Great job, Scylla!"
He heard a satisfied sigh through the Bond, "I must say, it did feel good to cut loose."
He heard footsteps moving quickly behind him and he reacted just fast enough to catch the red bullet as she crashed into him once again.
Kushina squeezed the life out of her son, "That was such a good battle, you know?! My son is such a badass!"
Leaf and Hinata followed behind Kushina giving their own congratulations.
He smiled and thanked them, turning to the final member of the group.
Jessie was standing behind the other three women, looking at him with a bit of curiosity. She noticed his expecting eyes again and sighed, "It was a good battle." She said simply, turning away from his bright smile before she did anything embarrassing.
Leaf joined in on Kushina's excitement, "Yeah it was! Skadi was so cute! She was beating that Voltorb so easily! How did she make it so mad?"
Kushina nodded her head quickly in agreement, "That Growlithe was strong too. She latched onto that Magneton and refused to let go! And your Gyarados flew! How did you do that?!" Kushina babbled alongside Leaf.
Naruto backed off with a sweatdrop, 'Now there's two of them. Oh boy.'
"I'm interested to hear that as well." Surge said as he approached them. "I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before, little man. It was quite a shock."
Naruto felt the eyes of everyone on him, waiting for an answer. He gave a cheeky smile and shrugged, "Scylla is just that awesome!" He could explain the long complicated process of using Aura to recreate Flight in a water-based Pokemon, but he didn't see much point. Gyarados was likely the only Pokemon that could do it, since it was half Flying-type. Not to mention that a Trainer who wanted to teach their Gyarados to fly would have to have a good understanding of Flying-type Aura. He was likely the only one in the world that could teach a Gyarados to fly.
Surge didn't buy it, but let the matter drop. It's not like he needed to know. His Pokemon were all Electric-types, anyway. He pointed at another random Cadet, "You! The one with the stupid look on his face! Go get the Badge case, double time!"
The Cadet was conflicted about responding to that, but wasn't going to push Surge's patience. He ran off to the back of the Gym and came back a moment later with a black case in his hands.
Surge took it and dismissed the Cadet, opening the case for Naruto, "Alright, Naruto. Here's the Thunder Badge, you earned it. You showed me more power packed in those small Pokemon than I've seen in most Challengers. You've got a good head, too. I'm not one for complicated strategies, but I can still respect them."
Naruto took the Thunder Badge, which was shaped like an eight-pointed golden star, with a smile on his face. "Thanks, Surge! I had a lot of fun!"
Surge snorted, "I wasn't trying to make it fun." His Gym was supposed to be a Battle, a War. But Naruto had come in and completely derailed that aim, placing Surge on the defensive from the very beginning.
"Well, I was." Naruto retorted.
Surge chuckled and turned to the other two challengers, "So? Who's next?"
Leaf pushed Hinata forward with a smile, "You went last in Pewter, Hinata! So you get to go next!"
Hinata nodded and went forward.
The group went back up to the Spectator's stands to watch the next match.
Jessie was feeling mixed emotions as she leaned against the railing to watch Hinata's match.
She was slowly trying to form a new opinion of the whiskered blonde standing beside her. He had completely thrown her mind through a loop.
He was nice to her, a bit too nice if she was being honest. She didn't feel any ulterior motive, but she still had trouble placing any trust in his words. Perhaps she was being too suspicious, but a few years in crime would do that to a person.
She thought back to his match. He was good. Better than she assumed, even after he had captured her so easily.
His first Pokemon had caught her eye immediately, an adorable snow-white fox. It was one of the cutest Pokemon she had ever seen, and she didn't even know it had existed until he threw her out. It was an Ice-type, which only complemented its beauty. The battle was difficult to keep up with, due to the Vulpix's white coat blending with the snow, but she was impressed by what little she could recognize.
She knew he did something to make his Pokemon blend in perfectly, and she lost sight on the cute fox. She heard a bit of yipping coming from the field, in at least a dozen different places. It sounded like laughter, as if the fox found the battle more amusing than anything.
The Voltorb raged around, and Naruto kept a cool head, ordering his Vulpix to continue the harassment. It went on for a while, a mixture of verbal tormenting, and quick attacks.
But then, the Voltorb exploded, and Jessie felt her heart clench. The Vulpix flew out of the smoke with a heart-breaking whimper, crashing to the ground in front of her Trainer. Jessie couldn't believe how fast the battle had escalated, and stole a look at Naruto's face.
He was devastated. Not for the battle, or for his strategy failing, but for his Pokemon. She saw him close his eyes and try to calm himself, but when he opened them to look at Surge, she saw it again.
Powerful, icy-cold eyes glaring murder at his opponent. A shiver went down her spine as she remembered those cold orbs glaring at her. She was surprised at the amount of hostility she saw, but once again, he blinked, and it was gone. He looked back down at his now-standing Pokemon with warm, proud eyes. The relief was clear on his face as he recalled his Pokemon with a smile, and she found herself drawn to that smile.
He started the next round, and this one was much easier to follow. He used a Growlithe, a Pokemon she was familiar with, and fought closer to a standard Trainer's style. She saw him use powerful attacks, opting to dodge or simply push through the enemy attacks. Focusing on a strong offense.
She couldn't say the battle was very interesting, it was just two power-types butting heads, but she did find herself watching it closely.
The third battle took her by surprise, it started with a brief back and forth between the Trainers. Naruto seemed all too pleased with himself as he threw his next Pokemon.
Her heart nearly stopped as a roar shook the stands, and a Gyarados appeared. He laughed at their reactions and promised another surprise as the battle started.
Then, the Gyarados flew.
She watched in shock as the Gyarados floated off the ground as if swimming through invisible water. Her mind made the connection as she heard Kushina start laughing beside her. He was using Aura! He had to be. There was no other explanation.
Her views were shaken again. She had no idea you could do something like that with Aura!
Her heart calmed itself down again and she thought about it. It made sense, in a way. He was the Grandmaster of the Order, and she had heard Kushina call him a prodigy several times. But she didn't really believe it. She assumed it was just a happy mother exaggerating about her son's achievements.
She struggled to understand the blonde. He was an enigma. Cheerful, yet serious. Silly, yet smart. Calm, yet fierce. Surge had described him perfectly. He was unpredictable.
She had given a brief congratulations on his victory, not wanting to be hit by another 'Puppy-Dog Eyes', and moved back up to the stands to watch the next match.
He climbed up after her, and leaned into the railing beside her, giving her a big smile as she glanced at him. She was slightly irritated that he was being so friendly with her, especially after she had spent so long worrying about it, but she was on her first mission. If she couldn't handle an excitable blonde, it would just make her look bad in the eyes of her Master. So she silently tried to ignore him.
She glanced back down at the field as the sound of battle reached her ears. She didn't realize it had already started.
Her eyes widened in shock as she saw the Pokemon on the field.
Hinata's Tyrunt slid back as it took a Thunder Punch from Surge's Electabuzz.
The attack wasn't very effective, thanks to Tyrunt's Rock-type, but it still packed some power behind it.
"Fire." Hinata commanded.
Tyrunt flashed red and opened her mouth, revealing a bright white ball of energy.
Bide. An attack that builds up from the energy given by her opponent's attacks, and fires back with double power.
Tyrunt fired her bright white beam, and it blasted into the Electabuzz quickly, sending it reeling back from the force.
Hinata narrowed her eyes and continued her assault, "Dragon Claw."
"Thunderbolt!" Surge shouted.
Tyrunt charged through the Thunderbolt without flinching, barely even paying attention to the Electricity passing through it.
She slid to a stop in front of Electabuzz, and lashed out with sharp glowing claws, striking her opponent with Dragon Claw.
Electabuzz stumbled back with a cry.
"Buzz!" The Electabuzz dove for a leg sweep, pulling Tyrunt's two large legs out from under it.
Tyrunt fell to the ground with a crash. It didn't weigh much, but the Low Kick was still a super-effective move, so it did damage.
"Now, Thunder Wave!"
Electrabuzz fired off a quick burst of lightning, paralyzing the Tyrunt while it was still getting back on its feet.
"Earthquake." Hinata said calmly, ignoring the paralysis.
Tyrunt stomped her legs on the ground hard. The field rumbled with the effects of the Earthquake, and the ground beneath the Electabuzz exploded.
Hinata straightened up, proud of her Pokemon, "Now use Dragon Tail."
She had taken a small amount of inspiration from Naruto's battling with Serket, and started off her Gym Battle with a Stealth Rock. Any Pokemon Surge switched to would take damage upon entering the field. Including Pokemon that she forced him to switch to.
Tyrunt slammed its bright green glowing tail into the Electabuzz before it could get back on its feet.
A red light enveloped the Electabuzz as it was forcefully returned to its Pokeball.
A white flash, and suddenly a Magnemite had appeared on the field, looking quite confused. The Magnemite barely had time to gain its bearings before it was surrounded by large floating rocks.
The rocks crashed into the Magnemite as Stealth Rock activated.
Surge frowned as his Pokemon was forced onto the field, but didn't let it distract him. "Use Mirror Shot!"
The Magnemite blasted the rocks away with a white flash, sending a small ball of energy into the Tyrunt.
Jessie watched the battle closely, interested in the unique Pokemon of Hinata. She couldn't recognize it, but it was powerful.
She was surprised by the change in personality the young woman underwent. Hinata seemed to shed her quiet, kind personality, for a much more confident stance. She called her moves clearly, and didn't even blink when her Pokemon took a hit. The only visible reaction she caught, was a small smile Hinata gave as her Pokemon got back on its feet. Jessie assumed her caring personality was still there, if only concealed.
She took another look at the blue and white Pokemon on the field, as it took another Thunderbolt from the Magnemite.
It was sturdy, and hardly flinched as it took attacks. She saw it had used Dragon Tail and Claw, and based on the blue coloring, it would make sense if it was a Dragon-type, but she had never heard of it before. "Just what is that Pokemon?" She muttered in thought.
"Tyrunt." Came a voice from beside her, making her jolt in surprise. She was still focused on the battle, and forgot that she wasn't watching alone.
"It's a fossil Pokemon, a Rock/Dragon-type, Hinata found the fossil back in Pewter and revived it. She's been training hard for this Battle." Naruto said with a soft smile. That Tyrunt had guts, and refused to back down during their spars. He had a lot of respect for the Royal Pokemon.
Jessie tried not to look at him, still determined to ignore him. So it was a Rock-type too? That explains the Stealth Rock at least.
"Isn't it Shiny? I've seen a Tyrunt before, and it was brown, not blue." Kushina asked from the other side of Naruto.
Naruto laughed as he watched Tyrunt use Crunch on the Magnemite, and shook it around with her jaws like a chew toy. "Yeah it's Shiny. She got extremely lucky with it."
Kushina smiled proudly as she watched her apprentice battle, "It looks well-trained, they are usually pretty hard to keep control of."
"All of Hinata's Pokemon obey her perfectly. It's pretty impressive when you consider how gentle she is. She never really has to raise her voice or anything, she just gives them an order, and they do it." Naruto said as he remembered Hinata training her Tyrunt. It only acted spoiled the very first day, and was perfectly gentle the next. He never figured out how she did it.
"And your team?" Kushina asked, "From what I've seen, they don't have any problem listening to you."
"Yep! They are all pretty relaxed though, and don't make any problems for me," He replied.
Kushina cheered as the Magnemite finally fell to the ground unconscious. She saw Surge send his Electabuzz back out, and smiled as it was hit by the Stealth Rock.
Jessie took a glance at the cheering red-head. She seemed to be much happier in the presence of her son. Kushina was always more serious at the Order. Only getting excited whenever they talked about fashion, or her Pokemon team. But now, Jessie was seeing a different side of her. A bubbly, cheerful, Mother.
She had gotten along well with Kushina since she had joined the Order. They bonded rather quickly over fashion. Their tastes were different, Kushina preferred a more homely, tomboyish style, rather than her own flashy taste. But they still discussed it, and Jessie was happy to share some of her ideas to Kushina, helping her Master with her clothing-making hobby.
Kushina was always nice to her, even when she was strict, and Jessie found herself liking her a lot more than her old Boss.
But now that she was seeing the two Uzumaki together, she was starting to notice the similarities between them. They could definitely be Mother and Son, even if they looked strikingly different.
She watched as Hinata finished her battle.
Tyrunt and Electabuzz had knocked each other out, leaving Hinata with two Pokemon remaining, and Surge one.
She had thrown out Sneasel to battle Surge's Jolteon.
The battle was interesting, it turned into a speed contest pretty quickly, but with Surge focusing more on power, Sneasel had the advantage.
They traded blows for quite a while. Thunderbolts, and Double Kicks met Feint Attacks and Ice Shards.
It was a close match, but Jolteon gave first, and collapsed from a final Ice Punch.
She watched as Naruto, Kushina, and Leaf all cheered happily for Hinata. She silently cheered for Hinata as well, the young Nurse was her Master's apprentice, so she felt a slight connection to her. Maybe the next couple of weeks wouldn't be so bad.
After the Gym Battle.
Naruto took back his tray of Pokeballs from Nurse Joy, giving her a bright smile in thanks.
They were back at the Pokemon Center in high spirits. Each one, now carrying a Thunder Badge.
Surge had told them that his Gym carried enough Pokemon to battle them all in one day, thanks to his large group of Trainees. So Leaf had battled directly after Hinata, coming out with a victory.
He was alone at the moment. The four women had gone up to their rooms, Kushina and Jessie booked their own.
"So you defeated Surge then?" Nurse Joy asked.
"Yep! All three of us did." Naruto replied as he released Skadi onto the counter.
She looked up at him and yipped, jumping into his arms.
"Aww, what a cute Pokemon." Nurse Joy commented.
"Thanks, she really did good today in the Gym Battle, but she took a nasty hit so I'm glad she is okay." He sent another grateful look to the Nurse Joy.
The front door opened and Nurse Joy gasped, "Oh my!"
Naruto turned to look, and sweatdropped.
A very familiar trio were on their last legs as they stumbled into the Center.
Ash Ketchum fell to his knees, cradling his Pikachu, "Finally! We made it to Vermilion!"
Misty blanched as she saw her clothing was covered in dirt, "Ahhh. I want to go take a bath." She whined.
Brock panted as he readjusted his backpack. "Man, we really have to get something decent to eat. Berries just won't cut it anymore."
Ash and Pikachu had matching stomach growls as they were reminded of food. Ash groaned and got to his feet, walking toward the counter.
He froze as his eyes met Naruto's.
Naruto let out a chuckle and gave him a small wave, "Yo!"
Ash's hunger was forgotten as he pointed at Naruto accusingly, "How did you get here before us?! You said you'd be staying on Route 6 for two weeks!"
Naruto nodded in amusement, "Yep! Two weeks ago!"
Ash was extremely confused, his mind slowed by the lack of food.
Misty gave a weak wave, "Hey, Naruto. Do you mind showing us to the Cafeteria? We're starving."
Naruto chuckled and offered his arm to Misty, "Well then, let's get you some food, my lady."
She grabbed onto his side, far too tired to respond, and let him pull her to the Cafeteria.
The two men grumbled about being forgotten as they followed behind.
Naruto's eye twitched as he watched Ash dig into his food.
"So let me get this straight... You guys left before us, somehow got turned around, went all the way back up Route 6, all the way up to Route 24. Then Ash captured a Squirtle and a Krabby, and you guys went back down Route 6, getting lost in the forest for two weeks, before finally making it to Vermilion?"
Ash nodded in between bites, not seeing the problem.
"That's right." Brock agreed as he continued to eat.
Misty slammed her head on the table. "I'm surrounded by idiots! Help me, Naruto!" Misty sobbed as she ate.
Naruto shook his head sadly, "Whatever they've got... It's beyond my abilities I'm afraid."
Ash looked a bit annoyed by the insult, but pointed at Naruto with a fork, "I'm still going to beat you to the Gym! I can't believe you made it here first!"
Naruto rubbed the back of his head, "Uhhh, I actually got my Badge earlier today." He laughed at Ash's devastated expression.
Ash looked as if his world had shattered, "How?!"
Naruto shrugged, "I arrived here yesterday evening, and challenged Surge at around noon. We all did, actually."
Ash was disappointed, but gave a small smirk, "So you won. What was the Gym Leader like?"
Naruto blinked at the question, "You don't know?" He asked surprised.
Ash shook his head, "How would I? Like I said, we just got here a minute ago. I was planning on asking around the Pokemon Center, if I could find any Trainers here."
Naruto sighed, well at least he was planning on asking around. That's progress, right? He looked back up, "Ash... You do realize you are traveling with two Gym Leaders right? Two Gym Leaders, that have likely worked alongside Surge in the past and could probably tell you about him?"
Ash was completely stunned by the realization. He didn't even think about that!
Naruto laughed again, and turned to the other two. "Well, is there a reason you two didn't feel like informing him ahead of time?"
The two immediately looked away, whistling.
"You didn't think about it, did you?" He asked.
They both had the decency to blush in embarrassment.
He rolled his eyes and addressed Ash, "Well, that's going to be a disadvantage for you. What Pokemon were you planning on using?"
Ash thought about it for a moment, "I'd like to use my new Squirtle and Krabby. They are strong, and I'm sure they'll do great!" He said confidently.
"Terrible idea." Naruto mercilessly crushed his spirits.
Ash choked on his drink, "What?! Why? I know I haven't had them as long as the rest of my group, but they were already powerful when I captured them!"
Naruto shook his head, "That's not it. I guess I'll let you know, since you would probably just find out tomorrow. Lt. Surge is an Electric-type Gym Leader, and focuses on pure power. If you were to throw out a Water-type, like a Squirtle or Krabby, it would most likely faint after one or two hits."
Ash looked shocked. They would be defeated that easily? He was slightly more uncertain about his chances now, "Then what do I do?"
Naruto tapped the table, "And that is the question. I suggest you think about it tonight. Think hard. If you go into this half-assed, Surge will know, and he will beat you faster than I did back in Route 6." Naruto saw his words had gotten through to Ash, and stood up.
"Alright, guys. It was good seeing you again, but I'm going to head off. Maybe I'll catch you in the morning?"
The trio said their goodbyes and Naruto headed off to the training field.
Kushina met him halfway.
"Awww," She smiled as she noticed the little fox waving a tail at her from Naruto's neck. She reached out and scratched behind an ear. "This little girl is so cute~! Where did you find an Alolan Vulpix anyway?" She asked, slightly jealous that her son had such a cute Pokemon.
Skadi mewled under her affections, and licked at her hand.
Naruto raised an eyebrow, "Riley gave her to me as a promotion present! Didn't he tell you?"
She shook her head, "I didn't hear anything about it, I just told him to call you when he got back to base."
"Her name is Skadi, and as you can tell, she's quite the little prankster. I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with her."
'A Prankster, huh? Guess her little show back at the Gym makes sense then.' Kushina thought as she pulled the fox off of Naruto's neck. She held Skadi in her arms, "She was great today. How'd you come up with that strategy anyway? I've never seen anything quite like that before." She looked up at her son. She knew he was a genius, and had plenty of experience with strategy. He applied that knowledge both in his missions, and in his pranks. But she was always curious, and loved to hear him talk about his planning.
"I got the idea from Skadi, actually. She has a habit of giving everyone a nickname. She calls me Whiskers, and called the Voltorb a Mimic." Kushina let out a light laugh and looked back down at the little Ice-type. That was too cute.
Naruto continued, "So I just found a way to apply that to her battle-style. She taunts the opposing Pokemon while hiding in the snow, and uses quick attacks to whittle down her opponent safely."
She giggled as Skadi gave a yip of agreement from her arms. They walked out into the Training Grounds, and her senses tingled. "You know we are being followed, right?" She said quietly, stroking Skadi's stomach.
Naruto sighed, "Yeah, I know. I was waiting for them to come out, but it doesn't seem like that's going to work."
He summoned an Aura Sphere in his hand, and casually tossed it to the side.
The ball flew fast, and vanished into the bushes, crashing into the ground in front of their intruder.
A growl responded, and the yellow flash of Electricity filled the area as a Thunderbolt fired back at them.
Naruto summoned a quick, silver, Protect, blocking the strike. "Hold Skadi for a moment, will you?" He asked his Mother as he walked over to a nearby Battlefield.
The Luxray hopped out of the bushes and stood in front of him. Eyes locked on his Pokeball belt.
Naruto followed the line of sight, "You want to battle again?" He asked.
The Luxray growled and fired another Thunderbolt in response.
Naruto raised his eyebrows in momentary surprise and blocked it again, "You want to battle me?"
She inclined her head, and pawed the ground.
Naruto chuckled, "Alright then! Let's get to it."
He rolled his shoulders a bit in preparation and dashed forward before the Luxray could dodge.
"Dynamic Entry!" He called out as he jumped into the air, striking Luxray with a jump kick to the jaw. Technically, the move was called 'Jump Kick', but he figured 'Dynamic Entry' was more dramatic.
The Luxray spun her head back around, and light-blue sparks of Electricity jumped across her fur. She growled, and the sparks quickly expanded, covering her body in a large amount of Electricity. She dove forward quickly, and slammed her body into the Trainer.
Naruto caught the head of the Luxray under his arm, and held tightly as he slid back from the force. He ignored the biting pain of the Spark attack as Electricity surged through him. He grunted with exertion as he lifted the Luxray off the ground, throwing her over his shoulder with a Vital Throw.
Luxray crashed into the ground with a cry of pain.
Naruto waited as his opponent got back to her feet. He couldn't resist smirking as she glared at him.
She flared to life with Electricity again, and fired a Discharge.
Naruto hopped out of the way easily. "Swapped to range when you realized I'm a Fighter? Too bad for you. You'll never hit me like that." He taunted, and jumped back again as he dodged another Thunderbolt. He laughed cheerfully as he continued to move, dodging every lightning attack she threw at him.
He stopped for a moment and gave her another smirk.
He vanished, in an instant.
She felt pain as a powerful Mach Punch struck deeply into her side.
Before she could even cry out, he ducked down into a Low Kick, sweeping her legs out from under her.
He latched onto her neck again as she hit the ground, and held her in a Submission.
He felt her start to resist, and channeled Aura into her from his grip.
"Why are you so adamant about fighting me?" He asked through the temporary Bond.
"Release me, human!" An aggressive female voice growled in response as she tried to get back on her feet.
Naruto tightened his grip, and put his weight on her body, "Now why would I do that? You're just going to attack me again."
She snarled and covered her body in bright Electricity with Spark.
Naruto stiffened as the attack shocked him, but held firm with his grip. He released one of his hands and gave her a light Karate Chop to the head, "Stop it." He said as if scolding a child.
She growled again and her fur started sparking as she prepared another attack.
"Stop it." He chopped her again, amused by the attacks.
She relented for a moment, "How can you resist my attacks? I used enough Electricity to make a Machoke faint." Her voice had a mixture of curiosity in it.
Naruto laughed, "I'm an Aura Guardian, I thought it was kind of obvious." He ignored the slight growl from the Pokemon under him, "That, and Grace hits me a lot harder when we train together, so you'll have to use more power if you want a reaction out of me."
The Luxray considered testing it, but instead focused on his words. "An Aura Guardian." She repeated, testing the words for herself.
"Yep. Are you going to tell me why you were attacked me on the Route to Vermilion?" He questioned.
"I was searching for a strong Trainer. My last one was weak, and left me at the city's Gym." She answered.
"What about Surge? Surely he would be the best to train an Electric-type." Naruto suggested.
"No. He is strong, but not what I am looking for. He does not aim higher. He is content to stay as a Gym Leader. You defeated him, didn't you?" The Luxray said. She had watched the battle, and Naruto had shown that pure power would only bring you so far.
She came to a decision. "I need a strong Trainer, and you are the strongest here, Guardian." She said.
He was surprised that she would join him, but had a feeling that was going to be the case. She had been following him since they first battled. "Why?" He asked again.
"I want to be the strongest..." She trailed off as she fainted.
Naruto let her go, and snorted. The strongest? That was reason enough for him.
He tapped a Ball to her body, and captured her. He just hoped she wouldn't start picking fights with his team.
He stood up and looked over at a clapping Kushina, "Guess I have a Luxray now..."
He walked over and rubbed the Pokeball with his thumb. "Welcome to the family, Leizi."
Author's Notes (Minor Spoilers/Ideas)
Chapter 7 comes to a shocking conclusion. 100K words!
I wanted to hit 100k before New Year's so I hope you enjoy the quick update.
S.S. Anne – I originally wasn't going to do that arc, but I wanted to get some more Guardian business going, and the S.S. Anne is Team Rocket's first major operation in the Canon, so I went with it. I also realized I could introduce Kushina and Jessie earlier than I intended.
Kushina – She makes an appearance! I plan on her team being Fire based, not only does it fit her personality, but Fire-type Trainers tend to have red/orange hair.
Jessie – I was planning on introducing her next chapter, but I started writing about her and couldn't stop, so she's here. Her Romance is going to be slower than Leaf and Hinata's, I want to take my time with it, since I jumped straight into the first two.
What should Jessie's Aura Partner be? I want to give her something different from the standard Lucario/Togekiss. Maybe a Crobat? It would match her Poison, and line up with the 'High-friendship Evolution' of the other two Partners.
Leizi – I was honestly surprised at the amount of people that recommended names, I got about two or three full pages of reviews for them, thank you! I saw a bunch of names I didn't know, and learned a lot from researching them all, but I'm going with Leizi, the Chinese 'Mother of Lightning', also known as Dain Mu, but I like Leizi better.
I think more people recommended Astrape and Bronte, but considering they are twin goddesses, I'll save that for later. Maybe a Plusle and Minun duo?
Gyms – I glossed over Hinata's battle a bit, and skipped over Leaf's entirely. My main reason was the already large amount of battling in the chapter, and I didn't want to extend the Gym to two chapters. Leaf will be the main focus of the next Gym, so you'll get to see her battle then.
I'm going to try to give each individual Gym their own flavor. Some of the Gyms in Canon were really cool and unique, while others were just bland and only had the battle to show for it. Like Surge's in Canon. So I'll be adding some details, hopefully spice things up a bit. I used Surge's military theme and turned him into a stereotypical American Drill Sergent.
Speaking of Surge's Gym, I'm not too sure about the 'Powering the City' thing, as I'm not an electrician. But, according to the Pokedex, Raichu can shock with 100,000 volts. That is in a single attack, so I don't think it is too much of a stretch to think that an Electric-type powered Power Plant could support an entire city. Especially if it is powered by a Gym full of Electric-types.
Pikachu – I completely forgot about Pikachu's tail signifying that it was male, my bad (Pikachu Debuted before Gender Differences were added, so he could've still been female). You only see one or two female Pikachu throughout the series, so it slipped my mind. When I said the Anime made Pikachu genderless, I only meant that they never really just said, 'Pikachu is male' so unless you knew about the tail thing, or you watched up until D&P, you wouldn't really know.
Scylla – She finally gets a little love in this chapter. He is going to usually save her for the most difficult opponents, since she is so powerful. She's going to be Naruto's Powerhouse. Similar to Ash's Charizard in Canon.
Naruto's Battling – I'm going to start fleshing out his Pokemon's styles now that they are getting larger move pools, you saw a bit of my future plans with Skadi's fight. I want my Battles to be unique and show strategy. I'll try to avoid slugfests.
Aura – I'm going to start going into Aura stuff now that Naruto is getting a Squire. Naruto's Pokemon will use Aura, but I'm not going to go crazy with it. I said that his Pokemon could use Aura to boost their attacks, but it won't be over-powered. If you think about it, it takes a while for the Pokemon to learn to use Aura, time that they could've spent improving their attacks, so it should balance out. The only 'advantage' Naruto's Pokemon will have over others, is more move variety.
Ash – I didn't really intend to put him in this chapter until I rewatched the Anime episode, I figured Ash needed one more kick in the ass just in case he tried to pull something stupid with the Gym Battle. While he is there, should Ash go on the S.S. Anne with Naruto?
A Review asked for me to put a list of Naruto's Pokemon at the end of the chapters. I understand it can be a bit confusing to remember each nickname, so here you go.
Naruto's Pokemon Team:
Grace – Shiny Lucario – Fighting/Steel-type – Naruto's Aura Partner
Scylla – Gyarados – Water/Flying-type
Serket – Nidorina – Poison-type
Skadi – Alolan Vulpix – Ice-type
Amaterasu 'Amy' – Growlithe – Fire-type
Luxray – Leizi – Electric-type
He is missing: Grass/Rock/Bug/Ghost/Psychic/Dragon/Dark/Normal-types