Author's Notes: Hey, so yet again, I've decided to branch off into a new fandom. I've always been a fan of the Pokemon games since the original Sapphire and Ruby (hint, hint, my first pokemon, a Mudkip I named Poseidon, is my favorite). Anyway, I really enjoy the OC trainer stories I come across here in the fandom, so I'd like to try one of my own. I'm starting with the events of Pokemon X and Y because I only got back into the games around that time, and I'll be continuing with future games since X and Y. That being said, I think I should establish that these will be more game-canon rather than anime-canon, especially when it comes to characters like the rivals and such. Anyway, let's get on with the show.
As always, I own nothing of Pokemon. Nothing I can do about that.
It was all the thumps and bumps from downstairs that finally woke Luke up that morning. He assumed it was his mother continuing to unpack at the crack of dawn. He rolled over to see sunlight peeking through his window. So, not exactly the crack of dawn, but still, she was at it early.
Luke decided to get up, considering it was late enough in the morning and his mother would probably be coming up to drag him out of bed soon anyway. He found a set of clothes that at least looked clean, and headed downstairs. Sure enough, his mother was finishing all the unpacking they had started yesterday. His family had just moved to Kalos from Unova. He actually liked the big cities in the region, but his mother kept insisting that he would enjoy the fresh open country of Kalos just as well. They had chosen the quaint area of Vaniville Town, which was a nice neighborhood, all things considering. It was not as if they were totally out in the country.
He had to admit they were nice little townhouses in the small village, more of a suburb really, at least that is what he would have called it back in Unova. But, Luke had been disappointed to learn that he wasn't going to get to go on that pokemon journey he had been planning all of last year. He had been preparing all year. He had studied all the gym leaders, the Elite Four, and their pokemon. He knew which pokemon he was going to be looking for on his journey. Now, what did he have to look forward to? Working at his father's supply store?
That had been what he was doing before the move. For as long as he could remember, and probably since he could walk, he had been working at his father's store, helping to sell supplies for pokemon trainers. That was what got him interested in going on his own journey in the first place. Better yet, with his knowledge of the different needs of different types of pokemon, he thought he was a shoe-in to be a good trainer. However, his dad had not been as supportive of it.
"I don't know, son," he had said one day, while they were cleaning up a pokemon food spill in one of the aisles. "It's a lot of responsibility, and a lot of time out on your own. I just think you ought to wait until you're older."
"But you never tell me when that is. Exactly how old do I have to be to prove I'm responsible enough? I feel like you just don't want me to go at all."
"It's not that," he answered. "It's just that…you know. People don't always understand with you."
Luke stopped sweeping, having a feeling that this would be the reason why. "I can handle it, dad. That kind of thing doesn't matter to me. I know how to take care of myself."
He smiled. "Your mother and I will talk about it. It's just a bit worrisome when you're out on your own. Every parent worries about it. Now, let me test you on this one. A customer comes in with a new Squirtle, and they're looking for what to feed it, what do you recommend?"
Luke liked these little mental tests his father gave him. It was why he was starting to become an expert himself on pokemon care. "That depends, how far are they going?"
"Right question to ask."
But that had all changed once they moved. Every time Luke tried to bring up the topic, his parents would brush it off because there was still so much to do, whether it was unpacking, getting his dad's store started here, or something else. There just was no time. But then, something did finally go his way.
According to his mother, one of the local pokemon professors had sent a letter out to the residents of Vaniville Town that he was looking for some young volunteers to help participate in some important studies. Maybe he would get his pokemon journey after all, except he wouldn't have the first clue what to expect here in Kalos.
"Morning, Luke," his mother greeted. "I was just opening the last few boxes after your father left for work."
"Um yeah, just give me a sec to fix breakfast, and I'll help," he said, starting to open one of the cabinets.
"Well, actually," she began, "there are a couple of girls from down the street just outside. They said something about a professor? That must be about that letter that we got yesterday. I think you'd better go with them to see what it's all about. Don't worry. I can finish unpacking here. I'll put the last box of your stuff up in your room to finish unpacking yourself."
"You sure? I can really do this?" Luke was suspicious when the letter first arrived that his parents would find yet another excuse to tell him he could not go.
"I think you deserve a chance to find something to do here other than just unpacking boxes. Who knows? It might lead to a promising career one day. Always take the chances opportunity gives you. It's what I did."
Luke decided it was best not to keep his neighbors waiting and ended up forgoing breakfast. He tried his best to at least make it look like he hadn't just rolled out of bed. That wasn't exactly easy. It had been a while since he had had a haircut. He threw on a hat, grabbed his bag, and headed out the door.
He was surprised to find that the two girls were waiting right outside his door. Luke hadn't exactly had time to meet any of their other neighbors, so he didn't recognize them. The younger of the two girls smiled eagerly as he approached. "Oh, hey! You must be the other kid the professor was talking about. I'm Shauna. I live just over there. So, you just moved here, right?"
She talked so fast, some of her words started to blur together. Luke blinked a few times, trying to take it all in before answering. "Um, yeah, we got here a couple days ago from Unova."
Her eyes widened with that statement. "Unova! Oh, that sounds so cool. I once went on vacation there, but it must be fun living there."
"Yeah, it was."
He wasn't sure how to keep up with someone so energetic. He looked over to the other girl, who appeared to be closer to his own age, who had still not said anything yet. She seemed much more contemplative than her eager friend. She was busy looking at the Rhyhorn snoozing in the front yard. "Wait…was your mother Rhonda Harris, the Rhyhorn racer?" she asks.
"What? Oh, yeah, she was…er, is. That's part of why we moved. She was getting tired of the same old competition year after year. She wanted a change and decided to try out the Kalos circuit."
She nodded cheerfully. "That must be exciting, having your mother be a celebrity and all. I'm Serena."
"Luke. So, uh, did you guys want to…" He gestured at the door, not sure if he was supposed to play host to the two of them.
Serena's dark eyes lit up. "Oh, I'm sorry. We've lost track of time. No, Professor Sycamore sent us over to come get you. We're supposed to meet someone in Aquacorde Town where we'll get more instructions there. We'd actually better get going."
She spun on her heels and swiftly began to walk out onto the sidewalk, leading the way. He and Shauna followed close behind.
Luke had to admit that the new neighborhood his family had chosen was nice. While he hadn't explored all of Kalos, it was a rather well-kept and historic-looking landscape. In fact, he would even go so far as to say that it was nicer than some of the cities in Unova. The brick streets were certainly charming in their own way. In many ways, it was like some of the nicest suburbs back in Unova.
"So, you two live around the neighborhood?" he said, feeling stupid for having stated the obvious.
Serena was still moving briskly ahead, her honey-blonde ponytail swaying with each step. "Yes, actually, I live just next door to you. I actually feel bad I haven't stopped by sooner. My parents are professional pokemon battlers, and they've been really busy with some tournaments. I always go to their battles."
Shauna beamed. "And I live just down the street. I guess there's not much for me to say about myself. We live in Vaniville Town, but my mom works for an advertising agency in Lumoise City. Have you seen it yet? That city is huge. You've just got to check it out."
"Maybe some other time," Serena said. "I have a feeling this business with the professor will lead us to some neat places. So…Luke, you haven't really told us a lot about yourself."
He shrugged and shoved his hands into his pockets. "Uh, kind of like Shauna: not much to tell. I mean, you know my mom is a Rhyhorn racer, but that's about it. We used to live in Unova, which is where I was planning on having my pokemon journey, but then we moved. I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing now."
"Surely you have some interests?" she asked.
"Um…not much. I play a little soccer, oh, and I guess my mom says I've got a knack for cooking. Nothing big."
"Oh, look! I think those two kids over there are waiting for us," Shauna said, pointing just to the left.
They had only just passed the gates leading into Aquacorde Town. Where Vaniville was more residential, Aquacorde was a tidy little town with a few shops with a few apartments overhead. Right near the entrance was a trendy café, where Luke saw the two boys Shauna was pointing to. One boy was tall and large with an enormous grin on his face. He was waving to the three of them eagerly. The other boy was much smaller and very clearly shy. He only met their gazes when they got close.
"You guys must be the three that Professor Sycamore was talking about, right? I'm Tierno and this is Trevor. Come on, take a seat."
The smaller boy, Trevor, Tierno had called him gave them a humble smile. "I hope you didn't have to go to too much trouble to get here. Would you like something to drink before we start?"
"Nah, I'm good," Luke said, sitting across from Trevor. "So, do you guys know this professor or what?"
"Sort of," Tierno said. "We're kind of assistants…interns?" He shrugged. "Something. Point is, we help out whenever we can, and he sent us to help you."
"See, he's been doing some new research on something big, a whole new type of evolution!" Trevor said, clearly eager to be a part of this project.
Serena's curiosity was clearly piqued by this statement. "Really? A new evolution? How does that work?"
Trevor shrugged. "We don't really know a lot about it, and Professor Sycamore doesn't know all that much about it either. That's why he's looking for young pokemon trainers to help in his research."
"Okay, so how do we help?" Luke asked.
Tierno was pulling something out of his backpack. "Pretty simple actually. Professor Sycamore wants some volunteers to go to follow a few leads he has on this new evolution. Of course, to do that, you're going to need a pokemon. After all, we can't leave you guys hanging on your own."
He placed a small box on the table and opened it. Three pokeballs sat nestled inside. "So, is this…" Shauna began.
Tierno nodded. "Yup! It's just like the three pokemon trainers get to choose from before starting a pokemon journey. Actually, this is pretty much a journey, just with a little more work. So, who's going to pick first?"
The three neighbors looked at each other, wordlessly trying to choose. "Um…it doesn't really matter to me," Luke said. "I'm new here. I don't even know what these three pokemon are."
"Oh! Well, in that case, I think you should pick first," Serena said. "This is your first time seeing Kalos pokemon. We shouldn't take advantage of that. Tierno, can we see them so Luke knows what he can pick from."
He looked confused for a second. "Luke?" he said. Serena only gave him a look. "Oh, you're the new guy." He smiled. "Of course. Okay, so this is Chespin."
He opened the first pokeball and a little green and brown rodent appeared. He looked up at the group of kids, blinking. "Chepin?" he squeaked quietly before sitting down and proceeding to scratch his nose.
"Awww," Shauna cooed. "He's adorable."
Trevor pulled out his Pokedex and turned it on. He held it up to the Chespin. "Chespin," the Pokedex said in its monotone voice, "the spiny-nut pokemon. The quills on its head are usually soft. When it flexes them, the points become so hard and sharp that they can pierce rock."
Chespin turned around and regarded the electronic device Trevor held in front of him with minor interest, but then he went back to grooming his fur.
Tierno continued. "This one is Fenniken." He took the pokeball in the middle of the box and opened it.
A yellow-orange creature with furry ears popped out. She stood proudly before the group before she spotted Trevor's scone on the table and proceeded to gobble it up. "Hey, that was my breakfast," he moaned.
"I've never seen one in person before," Serena said breathlessly, watching the pokemon sniffing each of them.
"Fenniken," the Pokedex interrupted, "the fox pokemon. Eating a twig fills it with energy, and its roomy ears give vent to air hotter than 390 degrees Fahrenheit."
"And last but not least, we've got a Froakie." Tierno took the last ball and let the creature within out.
A small, blue amphibian hopped about on the table. It looked like he had a ring of bubbles around his neck. He seemed the most excited to be out as he jumped about. "Fro! Fro! Froakie!" he croaked taking in all the new surroundings.
"Froakie, the bubble frog pokemon. It secretes flexible bubbles from its chest and back. The bubbles reduce the damage it would otherwise take when attacked."
"Neat," Serena said. "So, it's bubbles work like a Pyroar's mane."
"A what?" Luke asked.
"It's another Kalos pokemon," she answered. "My dad uses one on his team. They're an evolved form of a Litleo. I'll have to show you while we're on our travels. They can sometimes be a handful, but they're worth training if you can catch one."
"Oh, speaking of Kalos pokemon," Trevor said, digging for something in his bag. "The professor wanted us to give you these."
He slid three Pokedexes, just like Tierno's, to Serena, Shauna, and Luke. Trevor continued. "Since you guys will essentially be going on a pokemon journey, it's important that you keep track of the different pokemon you see. These will help you do that. But, of course, when you want to send a pokemon over to the professor to watch for you or study, that's always welcome. I've been doing a lot of research myself. I want to see all the different pokemon in Kalos at least once."
Tierno shrugged. "Trevor's got a knack for all that Pokedex stuff. He's like a walking encyclopedia. He probably knows more than the Pokedex most days."
"What about you?" Shauna asked. "What kind of work do you do for the professor."
He gave her a huge grin. "I'm all about moves. I mean, pokemon moves are practically like dancing. It's watching choreography at its best. I like seeing all the different moves pokemon can learn."
Trevor cleared his throat. "Anyway, we need to get back on target. I believe Luke was going to choose his pokemon first."
Luke had stayed pretty quiet through the whole series of introductions and instructions. It was a bit overwhelming for him. Yesterday, he was so disappointed that he was going to miss out on going on his pokemon journey in Unova, and now he was about to start one here in Kalos. It was a lot to take in. He slowly pocketed the Pokedex, and then looked at the three pokemon who were still exploring their new surroundings.
Chespin was cute, and certainly well-behaved. He could be pretty easy to train. Fenniken was cool, and looked like she could pack a punch. Fire-types were good for that, he knew. Froakie, though, looked eager to get out and explore. He had a certain drive about him.
"I think I'm going to go with Froakie," Luke said.
"Fro?" the little frog pokemon croaked, cocking his head and looking at Luke with curiosity.
For several minutes, he just looked at the young trainer, as if judging him. Eventually, he seemed to like the idea, hopped up onto Luke's shoulder, and nuzzled against his cheek. "Froakie," he said.
Tierno handed him the pokeball. "Good, he likes you. That's always the best for a new trainer. You gonna give him a nickname or anything?"
He shrugged. "Nah, I don't think so, at least not right now. I barely know him, and Froakie sounds like a good name anyway."
"Okay then, who's next?"
Serena nodded to Shauna. "You go next," she said. "I can't really decide myself."
Shauna seemed pleased with this idea because she had been eagerly looking at one particular pokemon. "Yay! Well, I'm definitely going with this Fenniken. Hello, cutie!"
"Fenniken!" the fox pokemon barked before scampering over to her lap.
Serena nodded toward the Chespin. "Hello, Chespin. It's very nice to meet you."
He nodded back quietly and scooted closer to her.
Tierno seemed pleased with the results. "Well, it looks like everything's settled. I'm also going to give you guys these letters to let your folks know where you'll be for the next few weeks. Once you have everything settled, Trevor and I will meet you just outside of Santalune Forest. See you then!"
Trevor and Tierno got up and started to leave. Shauna, Serena, and Luke stayed for a little while longer getting to know their pokemon. Luke's Froakie was a ball of energy and could hardly stay in one place for very long. He was already off of Luke's shoulder and hopping around the ground, exploring everything.
"We really should head back home," Luke said. "We at least need to pack our stuff if we're going to be travelling."
The girls agreed, and the group started to head back to Vaniville Town. "Wait!" Shauna said before they left the café.
Luke and Serena turned around. "Why don't we try one quick practice battle before we go? I really want to see what my Fenniken can do."
Luke looked back at Serena. She shrugged. "Up to you if you want to. I really need to get back home and get my letter to my parents. They're about to leave on another battling tour later today and I want to say goodbye."
Serena looked eagerly at Luke. "Please?"
"Froakie! Froakie!" his pokemon pleaded as well.
"Alright, well, Froakie seems game. Let's do it!"
"Hooray! Okay, Fenniken, let's go. Use your ember attack."
Fenniken spat a small burst of flames at Froakie. It struck, but it did not seem to hurt all that much. In fact, it almost looked like it turned to steam just when it struck. Luke smiled. His pokemon was already proving tough.
"Froakie, use pound."
Before Luke could even get the whole sentence out of his mouth, Froakie was halfway to a running start, heading for Fenniken. With a sure and quick strike, he took a rapid hit at her. She was knocked back a few feet, but otherwise, she was fine.
Shauna's eyes widened. "Wow, he's really fast. Okay, Fenniken, use tackle."
Fenniken ran and throttled Froakie to the ground. This took Froakie by surprise and knocked the wind out of him. He grunted in frustration before pushing Fenniken off. This seemed to light a fire under him and made him even more eager to fight.
"Nice one," Luke said. "Froakie, use pound again."
"Fro!" He leaped at Fenniken and struck her before leaping back out of the way.
"Ember attack!" Shauna called.
"Fenniken!" she barked, spitting more fire at Froakie.
This time, her attack hit, and though it was not particularly strong, it did singe Froakie's blue skin. He glared back at Fenniken.
Luke smiled. He had been saving his ace in the hole. "Alright, Froakie, let's finish this. Use your bubble attack."
Froakie took a deep breath and blew a series of bubbles at Fenniken. When they burst, they hit her with little droplets of water. With a weak cry, Fenniken laid down, unable to battle.
"Aw, I thought I was close," Shauna said, letting Fenniken rest in her pokeball.
Froakie hopped back over to Luke's feet. "Well, I did have type advantage over you. Water beats fire. But, with a little training, I'm sure Fenniken will be a challenge for any trainer. Good match!"
"Fro!" Froakie agreed.
"I'm glad. It was kinda fun, even if I lost. Let's catch up with Serena in Vaniville. We'll meet up later."
"Sounds good. See you later, Shauna."
He waved as she ran down the street. Froakie started tugging on Luke's pant leg. "Froakie?"
"Sorry, pal. We'll battle other trainers later. We need to head home. You can meet my mom, and we'll get all our stuff ready to go out."
The blue frog pokemon pouted. "Fro…"
"You'll like my mom. Come on."
Luke led the way back home. He was a mix of emotions right now. He was thrilled that he was finally going to get to go on his pokemon journey like he always wanted. Though, he was not sure what he would find on his trip. This was a whole new world to him, and he had no idea what to expect. But, he did have some confidence that his new pokemon pal, Froakie, would make this a lot easier.
Author's Note: At least 2 other chapters for this story exist on AO3, but since this story is undergoing some rewrites, those will not be posted just yet.