A/N: So I tried to dedicate this chapter to as much character interaction as possible so everyone could get a feel of Vence, Rai and Fran's personalities. The next chapter will be battle heavy! I appreciate you guys reading so far!

Chapter five: Abandoned Anew

"Fuckin' Bitch!" the Rocket Grunt's boss spat as he delivered another hard kick to the olive skinned girl's gut "We're dead wit'out that damn thing! All ye had te do was rob a fuckin' train!" The gruff man continued his onslaught on the small girl, delivering a swift kick to the side of her face when she attempted to cover her stomach. Satisfied with her busted lip, he hunched back over to the furthest corner of the cell.

The olive skinned girl was silent on the prison floor, fearing that her boss would continue his attack if she made any indication of living. She closed her eyes and tried her best to feel soothed by the cold prison floor.

"They're not coming for us." The grunt boss spoke darkly to the brown skinned grunt hunched over in one of the cell's corners. "Ye almost don' Lulu?" The girl responded with a hacking sound before spewing a large amount of vomit in front of her. She dropped to the floor as the sick crept its way across the prison and between the grunt boss' legs. Turning slowly, she showed her boss the small, red and white sphere that she just regurgitated from her body.

"Good." The older man thought, digging into his pocket and retrieving his own sick covered Poké Ball. "A' least that one knew te swallow her Poké Ball when arrested. Now to-"

Silent coughs from the olive skinned girl broke his thinking. He turned and, upon seeing the girl struggling to her feet, was sent into a blind rage.

"Ye tryin' te get on my bad side." He screamed, rushing over to the girl and delivering another kick to her body. "Ye couldn't even keep ye Poké-" The feel of the vines wrapping forcefully around his neck made the man stop talking. He dropped his Poké Ball and tried to stop the vines from tightening around his neck, but couldn't tear them away.

"Crush it, Ivysaur." He heard Lulu speak from behind him before the green vines jerked around his throat in an attempt to shatter his windpipe. The grunt boss could see the prison cell blurring and, in desperation, fell to his knees to retrieve the Poké Ball he had dropped. He felt around the ground blindly for seconds before feeling the small sphere brush across his pinky. As he reached to enlarge the ball, he felt a final, assertive jerk from Ivysaur's vines and heard the horrifying sound of his trachea being demolished.

When the man's body went limp, Lulu crawled slowly to his discarded Poké Ball and then to her shivering companion "Are-Are you okay Thelm?" She spoke to the olive skinned girl with concern. She wasn't surprised when the girl began to cry.

"I miss him so badly." Thelm sobbed as her older friend grabbed her into a mournful hug.

"I know, I know." Lulu cooed, rubbing the girl's dirt-specked hair "We'll deal with that later. But we have to leave now…" Lulu broke the hug and presented her with their former boss' Poké Ball. "…and you need a Pokémon." Thelm took the sphere into her hands and began to sob silently to herself as Lulu got to her feet. "Ivysaur, SolarBeam the cell wall."

"Saur." The Pokémon replied, taking its vines around the man's neck.

"I don't understand why we're still in his damn city." Rai grumbled, folding his arms as he took a seat at one of the plastic tables that covered the roof of the Goldenrod Department Store. He gazed at the amazing skyline that the location provided making sure to avoid the direction of the red light district, which he now considered his own personal hell. "If we planned to travel why are we being slow about it?"

"It's simple, really!" Fran smiled as he spread his tattered map across the table he, Rai, and Vence sat at "You can't really leave Goldenrod without tasting vending machine drinks." He joyfully slammed three cans of soda over the old map to prove his point. Rai rolled his eyes at the move and frowned.

"So…" Vence began, trying to hide how odd it felt to be around the two boys he barely knew. Ever since they had agreed to travel with each other, he couldn't help but wonder what would happen if they all proved to be incompatible. He wasn't going to express this though, at fear of ending up travelling alone in a foreign region "Fran… the first city we have to go to is?"

"The one with a contest and Gym close to each other is called Heliotrope City." Fran replied in between sips of his soda. He took a closer look at the map and squinted his eyes "All that's written is that the leader's a dark-type trainer. Man my handwriting use to suck…"

"Her name's Vivian, Vence." Rai spoke up as he gazed down at his Pokétch "She's known as 'The adorable oxymoron trainer."

"Sounds menacing." Vence weakly joked, only to be met with a frown from Rai.

"This is the only Dark Gym in this region." Rai said seriously "I don't doubt she is."

Vence let out a barely audible "I guess."

"So what's the next place we have to hit?" Fran yawned, leaning back in his plastic chair "Seems like you charted everything in your gizmo Rai~"

Rai furrowed his brow at the boy's lack of technical knowledge "It's the best thing for trainers in my region." He replied before touching the watch's screen. "After Heliotrope City the next gym is in Gamboge Village. It's a water type gym."

"The leader there?" Vence asked.

"Cordelia, 'The-err, The drowning master of tides." The ironic name of the leader got a laugh out of Vence and Fran. Rai tried to remain composed, but couldn't help but smirk at the name as well. "From there there are two contest locations and then we'll be in Ecru town." Rai gave the watch a confused look.

"Problem?" Fran queried, tossing Vence a can of lemonade.

"No. It just says grass gym. That's all." Rai tapped the watch's screen a few more times "The next gym is in Razzmatazz City. A guy named Virgil is the gym leader there. He specializes in Fire types."

"That's…a lot of Gyms…" Vence murmured, more to himself than the others. He looked into the soda cupped in his hand dejectedly, causing Rai's jaw to twitch "Guess …I won't be going home anytime soon."

"Most trainers spend at least a year collecting badges." Rai told Vence "And I haven't even gone over half the gym leaders you're trying to go after. It's just something you have to get use to." He let out a slight sigh before opening his soda can and taking a big gulp.

"Cheer up!" Fran smiled to Vence "You could always forget the entire quest and work in the red light district with me. We could be a two for one special!" The suggestion caused Rai's eyes to widen and the boy unintentionally spit out his soda, showering Vence, Fran and the Map with his soft drink.

"Y-you can't be serious!" Rai fumed, wiping the soda from his mouth "You can't leave me here! You were the one to suggest traveling-"

"I…think it was a joke Rai." Vence said, making a mental note of Rai's lack of humor. Fran let out a loud chuckle as the almond eyes boy turned away from the two in embarrassment and took another swig of his drink.

"Oi! Oh my gosh!" A voice shouted across the rooftop, causing the boys and several resting shoppers to turn towards it. Vence and Rai gave surprised looks to Bethany as she waved happily to the three boys with her fellow workers beside her.

"Getting some shopping in?" Fran shouted as his former co-workers approached the table with several bags from the Department Store's various sections.

"You know it!" Henry spoke up; waving a bag full of clothing "It's not every day Julia lets us buy stuff for ourselves." The group let out a round of genuine laughter as the pink haired girl knocked the buff boy across the head. Rai sunk into his chair and tried to go unnoticed. He wasn't particularly fond of the entire group because of their lifestyle.

"We're okay financially for a while." Julia spoke up as Jynx nodded behind her. "So you're starting up your journey again?" she said, turning to Fran.

"Yea." The boy rubbed the back of his head nervously. "Sorry for just starting up so sudden. I just have to do a few things out there."

"No need to explain, idiot." Fran winced as Lea's thin frame leaned over his head "Just make sure you come back home rich! And catch me some exotic Pokémon! " Fran gave a weak nod as the pressure from the girl began to crush his neck.

Vence felt a little uneasy as he watched the interaction Fran had with his friends. He held onto his stomach to try to stop the horrible feeling of homesickness in his gut. After the events that took place since he left home, he couldn't help but miss the comfortable environment his family provided, despite what they did to him.

"They're acting the way I did when Anita left home." He thought to himself, bringing up a mental image of his sister "I wonder if I could get in contact with her from-" A hard slap to his back brought Vence back to reality.

"Congratulations on getting a Pokémon!" Guam bellowed, giving the boy another hard pat on the back "We should battle sometime!"

"Oh! Me!" Bethany shouted, pulling Vence's head into her large bosom and making him turn red "Battle me!"

"H-hey!" Guam stuttered "I suggested it!" The two friends got into a mini squabble as Vence gazed at them in amazement and confusion. He wasn't sure how to respond to light hearted personalities the prostitutes possessed outside of the red light district as he was pulled closer into Bethany's embrace, slightly to his delight.

"J-just have a double battle." Rai stammered, breaking the silent streak he had began when the teens approached the table.

"Oh! Great!" Bethany clapped her hands, still smothering Vence "Will you join in Rai!?"

"N-no" He continued to stammer as he turned away from Bethany's gaze "I-I'll just- err-"

"Guam you can't battle." Julia cut in "We have more shopping to do and you're the bag holder this time. Henry can take you place."

"What!?" Guam exclaimed before silencing at Julia's stare "Ugh, this is so unfair."The muscular boy slumped back to Julia's side and Pep, Manni and Jynx patted his back in comfort before dumping their bags on him.

"I guess I'll play along then" Fran said rising from his chair and facing Vence "Being battling partners isn't as fun as co-workers, but should be interesting. Ready Vence?"

"Y-yea." Vence spoke up, still zoned out because of his closeness with Bethany.

"Catch up later Bethany and Henry." Julia waved before loading her bag onto Guam. She signaled to Manni, Pep, Lea and Jynx with a smile "Let's hit the TM corner next."

"Jynx!" the Pokémon spoke happily as the group walked off with Guam struggling behind them.

"Are you sure we should be doing this, er, here?" Vence shouted across the rooftop as several shoppers looked at the four trainers with interest. Rai sat at a table nearby acting as the battle's unamazed, unofficial referee.

"Don't sweat it man!" Henry called back to him "They love a show!" several people from the slowly forming crowd cheered in agreement at the boy's words. "Enough talk already! Poké Ball, GO!" Henry shouted, tossing the ball into the air.

"Let's go!" Bethany cheered, tossing her own ball into the air. The light that reputed from the two seemed to enthrall the crowd because they began cheering as the Pokémon were released.

"Lopunny!" Bethany's Pokémon piped, landing on a nearby table and striking a rather cool looking pose. Vence and Rai turned a florid hue when they saw the creature, remembering the outfit they met Bethany in.

"Ot!" Henry's Pidgeot screeched as it flew in quick circles above the rooftop generating another round of cheering from the crowd.

"Tourist." Rai grumbled to himself.

"Ready then?" Fran asked

"Yea" Vence replied, holding his Poké Ball in his hand. Both boys threw their spheres into the air releasing their own Pokémon onto the table filled battlefield. When both Pokémon were fully released, the crowd looked amongst themselves awkwardly.

"Wooper?" Fran's small, blue Pokémon looked around confused at the large, unamazed crowd.

"J-just ignore them." Fran smiled as sweat dripped down his neck.

Upon Unown's release the Pokémon began bashing itself against Vence's head in rage.

"Unown!" The creature shouted, poking Vence in the neck with its looped appendage as the boy covered his head. "Un un unown!" The creature landed a small, hit across Vence's face which he knew was meant to be a slap.

"Wh-what are you doing!?" he asked the Pokémon that angrily stared him down with its one eye. He took a few steps back when he felt a small wave of hostile energy emit from the creature "Are- Are you upset about being captured-" As a reply, the Pokémon gave Vence's cheek another slap.

"Everything okay there?" Henry called over as a series of whispers and giggles began to rise from the watching crowd. Vence tried to cover his embarrassed face from the crowd, which seemed to make Unown even angrier.

Fran gave an awkward laugh at the scene "Err Wooper. Could you…" The water fish nodded before wobbling over to the floating Unown, opening its mouth wide and spraying it with a small blast of water. Fran shook his head at the miscommunication.

"Woop!" The Pokémon squeaked to Unown, who floated to its face level enraged. The water Pokémon nudged its head in the direction of Lopunny and Pidgeot, who were giving their trainers agitated looks at being called out to face such inexperienced opponents. Unown caught wind of their emotions and wasn't pleased.

"What- What are you doing?" Vence asked Unown as it rose high into the air, surrounded by a ring of white light. The crowd winced as the light grew brighter and began to split in various parts until Unown was surrounded by several small, white orbs.

"G-get down idiots!" Rai shouted to the crowd before diving under the table he was sitting at. With a loud cry, Unown sent the orbs flying in every direction, causing a great amount of panic as they collided with tables, vending machines and shoppers. The crowd that had expected to watch a battle became a large stampede as they rushed to the stairs that lead to the lower shopping levels desperately seeking safety.

"Unown!" The Pokémon screeched before releasing another Hidden Power attack onto the roof top. Wooper danced around the attack in panic before Fran called it back into its ball.

"Vence, could you do something?" Fran shouted as he lowered himself on the ground to keep out of Unown's aim.

"S-stop!" Vence stuttered, freezing up as Unown turned to stare at him. The Pokémon zoomed towards Vence and circled the boy curiously at the feeling he was emitting. "What are you doing?"

"Unown" the Pokémon replied before rolling its eyes when it processed the emotion as nervousness. It hovered away from Vence and over the roof's edge.

"Where are you going!?" Vence screamed, chasing after the Pokémon. It gave Vence another eye roll as it lowered itself down the building's side. "Wait! I need you!" Vence looked over the edge and saw Unown swiftly make its way down to the street below, spinning several times as if searching in every direction it could.

"Hurry and go after it!" Henry shouted, pulling the boy away from the roof's ledge. "It'll get away if you don't. Pidgeot, follow Unown!" The bird screeched before outstretching its wings and soaring into the sky with one, large flap. It sped down the side of the building in pursuit with ungodly speed. "Go!" Henry shouted to Vence once more before the boy rushed towards the rooftop's stairs and stumbled down them.

"God..." Rai grumbled, rising from under the table "We should've left this hell hole."

"Don't think like that~" Fran replied, dusting himself off "What's a journey without some bumps?"

"We've all had plenty of them already." Rai said, pointing to his bite mark and Fran's scabbed right hand, which he covered quickly.

The fall down the rooftop stairs wasn't nearly as painful to Vence as the long wait he had to endure in the elevator to the first floor. He tried to drown out the sound of classical music that continued to stream into the box and ignore the chatter of two oblivious girls that spoke in a language Vence didn't care to understand.

"I need that Pokémon!" He clutched his head feeling a pounding headache begin. "I can't go home without-! Why are these girls so loud! Where did that Pokémon go? Crap, what do I do?" When the elevator signaled that they were on the first floor with a jolly 'ding', Vence pushed the girls out of his way and made a dash towards the store's entrance. Forgetting about the soaring Pidgeot in the sky, he looked around the busy block before running blindly into the crowd and down several streets, unable to shake the feeling that he was close to the run-away Unown. "I need that Pokémon!" He mentally screamed before crashing into something hard and plummeting to the ground.

Vence took a moment to actually look at his surroundings and found himself in an abandoned alleyway several streets away from the Goldenrod Department Store. He rose to his feet slowly and rubbed his head, searching for what he collided with.

His eyes widened when he discovered it "S...sh-"

"Shit." Lulu spoke softly as she watched the olive skinned grunt rise to her feet with Unown tucked safely between her arms.

A/N: So what do you think? I appreciate reviews! I'll keep writing regardless, but by god if they don't motivate me like crazy! Much thanks to Vivronkasaur and SwAlLoWiNg DaNtE for their OC submissions of Vivian and Virgil, who I have very wonderful things in store for! If you are interested in submitting an OC, the form is located in chapter 4! Farewell for now!

P.S: I am contemplating changing the name of the story. The name was significant, but not anytime soon. Hmm, perhaps a classic "OC's Journey" title with a twist. Hmmm.