Once again I attempt to soothe my inner crave for a mixture of the Naruto and Pokemon worlds. My last attempt, the generic tournament, didn't satisfy me. Maybe the even-more-generic concept of Naruto-characters-as-pokemon-trainers is what I'm looking for. Of course, me being me, I will have to add in some weird shit that's unique to my story, such as the fact that I've made the Pokemon world more realistic by making it so that...
First: No ten-year-old trainers. That's bullcrap. Kids go to school. I never supported the whole "ten-year-olds can roam the world unsupervised" crap. Kids in this world have to go to school for a reasonable amount of time, y'see, and some classes are specifically about Pokemon care and battling. (Oh. And they can take Pokemon to school with them. Lol.) Kids graduate after tenth grade, and then are legally free to leave home and travel with their Pokemon for hoever many months or years they feel like it.
Second: You win a battle? You get a few bucks. Trainers' income. If you lose a Pokemon battle in this world you're obligated by law to give a couple bucks to the winner (like in the games). With this edict, any trainer can realistically have enough income to buy whatever they need to travel. And speaking of traveling, cars and planes don't exist. Trains do, though. Just cause.
Third: like fifty other small but important touches of realism! Such as... Pokemon have personalities and memories and that matters. A Flareon might be sad because he remembers being able to go swimming as an Eevee but now water causes him pain. And (a favorite touch of mine) Pokedexes are very rare, because kids learn all about Pokemon in school, and can recognize most types easily, and if you can't, dayum, son, u dumb. (I also used to say all Pokemons are herbivores so I could have violent battles without worrying about Pokemon accidentally giving in to some predator instinct and killling each other mid-battle but I scrapped this and will eventually delete all its references in this story. Charizards eat meat now :d)
And lastly: this story takes place in the madeup land called Shinobi, which mixes Naruto cities with ones I imagined. The characters do start off in Konoha, and Kiri and Oto exist, for example, but so do totally random ones that you don't know.
Jk, I lied. This is last: I get tired of "typical starter Pokemon," which means no Vulpix for Naruto. Also not everyone starts with typical starters like Cyndaquil and Piplup. Most trainers can catch one prior to graduation, or get one from their parents or whatever. DEAL WITH IT~
A cool, sunny day in Konoha, on June 20th, at 9:48 AM
Today had been awesome. Not just because his parents were letting him go today, and pretty much every pair of parents who had kids his age were as well. Not just because Naruto brought Charmeleon to school yesterday and she bit Sasuke's stupidass Houndour and the teacher didn't see. Not even because he battled Sakura's Mareep during passing period and won, or even because yesterday was his last day of school ever and he graduated and his parents were letting him go today but because…
Well actually it was because his parents were letting him go but basically Naruto Uzumaki was freaking ecstatic and that was the point.
The joys of summer vacation were done for him; his "summer vacation" would be the first few months of his Pokemon journey while all those younger than him would stay home. He was about to embark on the rite of passage almost everyone his age embarked on, and he swore to God, come hell or high water or the resurrection of Arceus, in a year or a little more, he could be at the Pokemon league and…
"Naruto?" His mother poked her head through the door, and observed her son smiling at his reflection in the surface of a TV. "If you're gonna check yourself out instead of pack your supplies, I don't know why the hell I should even let you go. Maybe you need a year of home training and that would actually get you-"
Naruto dashed all the way out to the front porch instead of the front door and stood there clenching his fists and grinning, his full pack that had been packed for a week at least held tight in one hand. It felt suddenly like he was six years old again, shuffling by the door and waiting to head out for the first day of elementary school. The image was gone when he felt a hand fiddling around in his bag and turned around to see his dad, a carbon copy of him (actually the other way around) stuffing an orange and black jacket into the open, largest pocket. "The weather can surprise you, Naruto. You might need this earlier than October. And who knows how long it'll be till you even visit home? Hey, got your sleeping bag and toothbrush?"
"Two changes of clothes and five ramen cups?"
"Fifty bucks starting money? And your iPhone? Please, Naruto, don't forget your phone."
"Got it all!"
"I can't believe you actually remembered all of it," his mother Kushina laughed as she came outside. She closed the door and the three of them stood awkwardly on the porch. In silence. Which always made him fidget. He wanted to go, because this. Was. IT. "Well…" Kushina started again. She injected herself with energy, like she always did. "You go for it, Naruto. Don't you dare stop after just three badges like I did! The League is your dream and I can't freaking wait to see you on TV when you get there! IF you get there. Actually I think you will, but it might even take two years, you don't know!" She stopped to breathe, thank Arceus. "I want to see you really shine. When little miss Firefang evolves, you take a picture of her right away and send it us, okay? I mean that day and not next month."
Naruto promised he would, and thanked his parents genuinely for letting him leave on his Pokemon journey the very day after he graduated from tenth grade. He thanked them for everything they taught him and said that he loved them. The words he used were sort of blacked out in his mind, but the crushing family hug afterward was crystal clear. His mother almost cried. His dad did cry, and his aged Raichu had to comfort him. Naruto petted Arashi on his smooth head for the last time.
Wiping away tears, Minato suggested, "Y-You should take her out of her Pokeball. She ought to be walking with you. When you two walk out of the town, you won't be back for a long time."
His dad always had great ideas. Naruto did so. He reached for the single Pokeball on his belt and tapped it. It opened, and his Charmeleon, his companion since his tenth birthday, (he called her Firefang, or Firebitch sometimes) materialized. Kushina took the lizard Pokemon's hand and kissed it, and for once Firefang did not lash out in pointless violence.
"You protect Naruto, you tough girl. And show him how real battling is done. It won't always be as easy as practice battles in school." The female Charmeleon nodded with a smirk. Like she needed to hear any of that. Kushina stood up straight and choked out, "Go on, before I change my mind!" Naruto and Charmeleon ran away waving and disappeared around the corner. His mother screeched, "I LOVE YOU, SON! BE SAFE!" for all the neighborhood to hear and this time it brought happiness instead of embarrassment. He could already see himself in the future, high up on the plateau of the League, waving to a camera to his mom a thousand miles away.
They ran several blocks breathlessly to the edge of town, and saw Tenten was leaving town, was barely fifty feet out, in fact. He recognized her by that white shirt with the red trim she wore a lot. He remembered the day his Pokemon had played a prank last year in biology class, when she was still a Charmander, and burned the hem and somehow gotten Naruto in trouble.
Well, he didn't want to catch her attention just yet. He wanted to walk through the gate with Firefang, when no one was watching, so it would be like their special leave from home. They walked through feeling the adrenaline of the upcoming adventure, and the more excitable of the two couldn't handle it anymore.
"Tenten will you battle me?" The aforementioned Tenten jumped and dropped her bag in surprise.
"What? Um, sure!" Tenten was nice like that. She unhooked a Pokeball from her belt and was about to throw it out when a Squirtle ran out from the side of the road and dashed between her legs. This time Tenten didn't jump. "Wow. That was…"
But for Naruto, this was no time to stand and watch. Wild Squirtle were rare, especially as far west as they were. "Oh, dammit! Tenten, I'm sorry, I really wanna catch this. Maybe I'll see you on the road sometime!" He ran right past her and his Pokemon followed. Though he heard Tenten exclaiming in surprise behind him, Naruto ran on. The Squirtle ran straight as an arrow along the road and was pretty fast for just a Squirtle. Out of nowhere it stopped, turned and spat a stream of cold water in Firefang's face.
"Chaaaar!" the Charmeleon cried in pain. She brushed herself furiously with her claws to wipe off the remaining water droplets. Without warning she sprinted after the Squirtle like a hellhound. Naruto struggled to follow the sprinting pair, but the chase didn't last long at all. Soon a pinkish stick figure appeared way down the road, and as it got closer Naruto recognized his childhood-and-still-current crush, Sakura Haruno. As they got closer, she looked less like a stick figure and more like the familiar curved one he would occasionally stare at in class. He saw her black leggings, which he knew she wore in fall a whole lot, and a green tee because she liked green things, a short denim skirt which Naruto always wished was just two or three inches shorter so he could get a frigging decent look—
He ran right into her, and Naruto reminded himself that he shouldn't think so much. Thank goodness, though, he didn't land flat on her, that would just be awkward. But his arm was draped over her back and he did weigh her down. Naruto really enjoyed that but it appeared Sakura didn't.
"What. The hell." the pinkette murmured with her face in the dirt.
"Uhh…Sorry. Um. I thought you would hear me coming."
"I did. I didn't expect you to crash into me." She thwacked his arm off and brushed the dirt off her face. Naruto lifted a hand to help her and she didn't smack his hand away. She didn't scoff at him or tell him how dumb he'd been, but just stood up and dusted herself off. "Well, did you have a reason to knock my face into the dirt?"
For once, there actually had been a reason Naruto had done something foolish. "Well, I was chasing this Squirtle, and then it totally Water Gun'd Charmeleon, and—" He looked down and saw his Pokemon growling. She was glaring the Squirtle who glared back angrily from behind 's legs. "That one! I was chasing that one! But…it's yours, isn't it?"
This brought a smile to Sakura's face. A straight-on smile directed at him, and Naruto stared. "Yeah. I caught him just two days ago. My dad saw him sleeping by the tree in my backyard, and I let him inside my house. He's gotten really attached." Perfectly on cue, the little Squirtle put his little arms around Sakura's leg and glared with as much ferocity a Squirtle could without looking amusing. This made Charmeleon growl again and the ember on her tailtip flared. "So Firefang's in a bad mood." Sakura scoffed. "You think she wants to fight him?" Squirtle promptly spat a little stream of water in Firefang's eye.
"ChaAAAR!" The fire-type slammed her paw down in a vicious Slash attack, almost cutting Sakura's leg. Sakura grabbed her Squirtle and leaped out of the way just in time.
"Naruto, control her!" Sakura cried. "If she wants to battle, at least tell her what she should do!" She set her Pokemon unsurely on the ground.
"Okay, we'll battle!" Naruto agreed with sudden enthusiasm. "Okay, Charmeleon? Ready? Go!"
She didn't need to be told. She leaped at Squirtle with another Slash and bashed a section of ground, and nicked the tiny turtle's foot.
"Squirt!" Squirtle squealed.
At the same time Sakura glared down at his fire-type all tactical and stuff and said, "Relax, Squirtle. That anger will trip her up. Get close and give her a Water Gun." Naruto grinned at her.
Squirtle dashed up to Charmeleon and dodged yet another Slash. The Water Gun attack hit the red Pokemon in the face again and the pressure knocked her flat on her back. Stomping his foot in frustration, Naruto called, "Stop thrashing around like an idiot! Slow down and use Dragon Rage."
His Charmeleon got up and stared unblinkingly at her opponent, water dripping off her face. Naruto winced; nearly any amount of water on the skin that wasn't boiling-hot was painful for a fire-type. She bent her knees, preparing to leap forward. Naruto knew exactly when the moment was right and shouted, "Now!" Charmeleon leaped, and the Squirtle was unprepared. Her mouth ripped open and spiraling teal flames struck Squirtle's side. Sakura screamed in surprise and jumped back from the fire, following her Squirtle's falling back and skidding towards her. He would have hit Sakura's legs if she hadn't bent down to catch him. Squirtle pressed his face into her arm for just a moment and then jumped back down to the ground.
"Are you okay? Do you want to keep going?" Squirtle stood impassively, meeting the Charmeleon's glare. Eventually she gave in to her Pokemon's determination and cried, "Rapid Spin!" Squirtle obeyed.
Charmeleon was unprepared to be smacked in the face by a dozen revolutions of a rock-hard Squirtle shell, and Naruto was unprepared for the hard slapping sound of each and every one. Sakura gasped and smiled, distracting him for a moment.
Firefang was sent flying behind Naruto, and skidded messily off the road and into the trimmed grass. Squirtle's head and appendages popped out of his shell midair, and he hit the ground running, ran right past Naruto and Tackled from a good fifteen feet away, slamming his hard belly down onto Firefang's soft one.
"SQUIRT!" he shouted, and lost his balance, falling to his feet. Charmeleon sat up with a shudder and messily spat what may have been a 'raspberry' at him before she fell back down as well. Naruto and Sakura went over to help their injured Pokemon.
Fortunately for Charmeleon, she wasn't conscious to feel the pain those bruises would cause her when she woke up. Squirtle was burned all over and too dizzy and weak to stand by himself. Both were in need of potions, and Sakura clumsily lifted a cheap potion from her bag. She sprayed Squirtle's wounds and watched them sizzle and smooth over before her eyes. She handed it to Naruto, who grabbed it and urgently sprayed Charmeleon's face, and then stomach. They returned their Pokemon to their Pokeballs, where they would be in a peaceful state quite like sleep, and not be bothered much by their pain.
"They'll be okay." Naruto concluded. "For a second it looked like Charmeleon's jaw was broken. I don't know if a potion can fix something like that. Even a full restore." Full restores could fix anything…he thought…used to think…sometimes.
But it didn't matter. They both looked better. "Anyway, we should both we going. Koga's supposed to be like two days' worth of walking, and we're probably the last kids to leave anyway!" By the end his his monologue Naruto had forgotten all about his fleeting thought to ask Sakura to travel with him and was walking away at the same time. Disappointed, he added, "Bye!" and took off running. He'd see her again sometime, surely, and ask her then. He looked back at her as he ran. Sakura was waving at him and smiling.
June 21st, 8:44 AM, the smothering woods which line the roads between Konoha and Koga
"Why are you such a bitch?"
"Screw you, too! I wish I had sold you at that carnival!" Firefang snorted fire at him and he added "not really."
Naruto had stopped in the middle of the woods the night before, just like a real trainer would, and made camp from his one-person tent and sleeping bag. He'd cooked up ramen on a campfire and Charmeleon had found some Cheri berries for herself. She was all happy because of her full tummy and Naruto even let her lie in the fire for awhile, a fire-type's preferred substitute for bathing. It couldn't have been better. And then he woke up to a Caterpie chewing one of his fingers. The tent had been left open and half a dozen of the freaky things had gotten it. Charmeleon woke up too, flaming as many as she could see. They scampered off with burn wounds, which was better off than the poor scraps of their tent that would cost most of his current cash to replace. And Firefang thought she was above apologizing for any of it.
"You know what? Get in your Pokeball!" He tossed it at her and it knocked against her shoulder, trapping her inside before she could refuse. Naruto sighed; his only Pokemon was about as sweet as a cactus. Maybe if he caught a few other Pokemon she could direct her temper at them. His father had always said she needed another target to vent her attitude, and half the reason she was so fussy was because she was lonely and bored. She'd kinda had "friends" in the form of his parents' Pokemon, though. The family Ninetales, and mom's Nidoqueen and Infernape. (Dad's Raichu, Arashi, got a free pass for some reason. Too fast to bother with, maybe.) Should he catch a Pokemon just to be Firefang's punching bag? Wasn't that Pokemon abuse? This was confusing.
"I hate brain freezes!" he scowled, kicking the charred scraps of his tent. Well, at least that was the only thing ruined and he could buy another, at some point. His food, sleeping bag and everything else was okay. Naruto pushed as much of the trash as he could into a pile and stuck it into a trash bag he'd brought. He could toss it in the next town, which ought to be Koga unless he magically turned ninety degrees and went to that little...village town that didn't even have a grocery store.
For now, he had some walking to do. Koga had to be a couple hours' walk away at the very least. Maybe he could watch for some wild Pokemon on the way. He'd seen nothing but Caterpie and Silcoon yesterday. So he started along.
Trees, trees, trees. Same as yesterday. There was a pile of berries wedged between two branches of an oak. Some Pokemon had to be here! Something stronger than bug-types. Once a berry dropped on his head, and he looked up to see an Aipom running fearfully away along the branches. "Aw, I'd love to have an Aipom…" he moaned as it dashed off. Half a dozen Starly flew over him a little later, scaring the living crap out of him, and then the woods were mostly silent for about ten minutes. Around the eleventh minute, Naruto got the living crap scared out of him again when he was electrocuted right on his butt—not enough to hurt, but enough to scare. After screeching and falling flat on his ass, he decided that whatever Pokemon this was, he didn't like its sense of humor.
"Come out!" he yelled to the woods around him. "You too scared to attack anything but my butt? Shows how brave you are! What, you can't even fight a human? Am I too strong for you? Are you afraid I'm gonna aaoww!"
Naruto felt a second, sudden shock all the way to his teeth; this thing wasn't being playful anymore. Maybe this thing had a worse attitude than Charmeleon. He'd have to find out. He tore Charmeleon's Pokeball from his belt and tossed it out. It hit a tree and opened, releasing his Charmeleon. It flew magnetically back to his hand. Charmeleon totally ignored him and began sniffing out his assailant. She walked in a comical circle and then pounced between two bushes. She dragged out a thrashing little Electrike.
Naruto crouched down to its tiny level. Electrikes were barely a foot tall and with Charmeleon forcing one down he practically had to put his face in the dirt to be look it in the eye. "It's pretty mean to shock people who haven't done anything to you." he told the Electrike. "But since I'm nice, I'm gonna let you battle Charmeleon instead of just slapping you upside your big, fat head myself. Charmeleon!"
Ready to attack, she released her jaws from around the Pokemon's neck just before it lit up with electricity. A thin line of it sped towards her but she dodged it. Thunder Wave, the trainer realized. Then the little beast raised its big head and howled. Charmeleon covered her ear holes. The Electrike tackled her with a sudden increase in strength.
"It's right in your face!" he cried. "Flame it!"
Not that "flame it" was an attack, but she got the point, and spat a fierce Ember attack in the Electrike's face. It cried out at the hot sparks crackling on its forehead.
Without even a command to attack, Charmeleon leaped on the Electrike and pinned it down. Her claws glowed silver as she prepared to perform Metal Claw, and she slashed her claws across the Electrike's face. Blood sprayed on the grass and the Electrike's face contorted, and froze. That was vicious. Too vicious. Even in Combat class, she almost never-
"Firefang!" Naruto screamed.
He ran over and pulled his Charmeleon away. She was panting and weak, and didn't fight back. Naruto got down on his knees and surveyed the Electrike's face. The scars bled, and the scars were indeed scars. These could leave permanent marks, maybe even after it evolved. From behind him, his Charmeleon made unsure, tired noises.
He sighed. Blood in battles was unavoidable sometimes. A Pokemon's thick skin was exactly that: thick, and not impenetrable. "It's, it's just that…he's so little, he's..." The words wouldn't come out properly. He just sighed and retrieved his last potion from his bag. He sprayed the scars and the Electrike didn't seem to feel the sting of medicine on a wound. Naruto got a Pokeball from a nearby pocket and flicked it open. Electrike glowed red and disappeared inside as shapeless matter. Charmeleon looked on silently.
For a few seconds, the woods were gloomily quiet. Naruto didn't like it, so he said with excessive loudness, "What a friggin' depressing first catch. Um…" Firefang came up to him and smacked him lightly on the neck. It lightened him up a little.
"Yeah, at am I saying? I got an Electrike! Suck on that, Sasuke!"
I always gotta make a story long, don't I? I would rather write my absurdly long chapters than leave you with a 500-word chapter of little substance and expect attention and reviews for it. I should make you aware that the presence of blood in this story is not going to go away, because sometimes a Pokemon gets hurt in battle and gets hurt in battle (like Naruto's new Electrike. He'll always have those scars from his Charmeleon's claws.) Not always, but don't be surprised, 'kay?
On a side note, pairings will probably exist in this story but they will not be the focus. And since I ship every flippin' thing under the sun, don't take any "hints" or "moments" too seriously or fret about your fave pairings not being the end outcome. These are teenagers (though they have adult responsibilities and power, pretty much...) and they are gonna flop and fumble around with their emotions for a good while till they realize which ones and which people suit them best. This is my excuse to be loose with pairings because maybe I like NaruHina on Monday and KibaHina on Tuesday and SasuSaku Wednesday and SasoSaku on Thursday and an utterly bloody, un-romantic Battle Royale on Friday :D
Now, as I said, here's the list of cities/towns in the country of Shinobi that have gyms, and no, they are NOT in order of difficulty like in the games. That's only realistic if every Pokemon trainer in the country starts in the same place and happens to go in the exact same direction. SO LIKELY, RITE.
Koga - poison-type gym
Kiri - water-type gym
Saraku - fire-type gym
Roku - flying-type gym
Suna - ground-type gym
Kusa - grass-type gym
Ame - ice-type gym
Oto - dark-type gym
I was so kind as to stick in a dark-type gym because the games, after five generations, still don't have one. (Geez!) You're free to guess who the gym leaders are. I will say that none of them are Akatsuki members, because those people have another function in this story, a more obviously dark and threatening one than the bumbling Team Rocket. Aaaand...first chapter done.
PS, as an added note in December of 2013, I miiiiiight change one of the gyms to a fairy-type gym. I don't even like fairy-types that much, but their ability to fuck with my mind in how they're affected by different types is interesting.