Disclaimer: All things Pokemon belong to Nintendo, GameFreak, and Creatures. I am simply reinterpreting a genre and making it into a story to tell. The song "Wine Red" belongs to The Hush Sound.

Rating: M/R because things are going to get real.

Thanks: To all my readers who believe in me and stick with my, despite the sporadic updates. And thank you for putting up with the overhaul this tale is about to receive. I promise it will be worth the wait. A special thanks to Alma, my new Beta, and long time reader.

{Wine Red}


The world that you know now and the one that I knew are vastly different.

My generation was one that followed the Great World War. The last of the World Wars…Or perhaps second-to-last. I suppose it depends on how one defines the term war. At the age of twelve I was instructed to memorize and recite the definition of war: "two or more militant states engaged in conflict." I followed that definition with a cheeky, brief summation of our country's most recent political involvement in war. Of course, my understanding lacked any true comprehension of the horrors that actually occurred not even two decades prior to my birth. Regardless I received the highest of marks for both that assignment and class.

Memorizing information, regurgitating facts, all of that came easy to me.

I knew that over 600 species of Pokemon were relocated across the globe to combat against the after-effects of the Great World War; I did not know that the introduction of new species to habitats was shifting ecosystems across the world out of control. I knew that western countries renamed our country Kanto; I did not know that the power struggle and rivalries among political leaders were a subsequent reaction. I knew that the Champion of Kanto, one of the strongest trainers alive in the world, had not been seen since I was eight; I did not know his location would continue to be a mystery until I was well into my twenties.

I also had no idea how much Kanto was suffering for it.

I should have had some idea, what with the growing crime rate, the increase in drills in the school system on how to defend if there was an attack, or how we had mandatory classes in Trainer School on self-defense. Or perhaps through my father's growing temper.

Actually I take back that last one, as I do not remember him without one.

The point that I am making with all of this is that you and I have had different experiences in the world. Of course, this is a given with every individual. We each have our own unique experience that is summed up by the life we lead, and no two lives are exactly the same. Therefore we are all different.

But you and I, we are very different.

You probably like the sound of that, actually. Us as different individuals.

Contrary to your wish, I think I would like to discuss our sameness. Like that eye roll just now; I used to be the master of such a symbol of disrespect.

You're lucky to be who you are. Others have very well learned the price of behaving poorly in my presence.

That being said, somehow seeing you doing it, I do not feel so irritated. Actually, I feel something a bit akin to nostalgia. To a younger me; a lighter me. The kind of me who would roll my eyes, break tensions with a hearty laugh, and who was eager to assume the center of attention.

I think you would have liked me, perhaps. I could be a little too optimistic in that statement, or perhaps hopeful, but I am sticking to that assumption.

Many people liked me. Not everyone, certainly not everyone. But many.

People liked that I was intelligent, athletic, involved, and handsome to boot. What was more, I knew it. There was a time when I could pull back my lips, reveal a straight smile, with a quip on the tongue in the genre of dry humor. I would crinkle my brows, stare down those around me, dare them to challenge me. I would defeat them, and then I would extend my hand and suddenly we were friends. I was helping them, so of course they loved me.

I simply understood people in a way that made them work with me. Easily. I was a brat and would not work with them, but oh they would work with me.

I think that's why I got the Partner that I did.

Oh yes, you never learned about Partners, but you know about Gabe. He's better known as Gabriel. Yes, that Gabriel. He was given to me from the Trainer School I graduated from.

I was sixteen, top of my class, with my hair combed and slicked back as was the style of the elite. Upon meeting my Partner, I outstretched an arm, patted my shoulder and he found his perch, my little dark fox.

Zoruas weigh about 27 lbs. on average, so carrying him around I was swift to toughen up. However, I can tell you that if you're to go on a journey as was expected of teenagers at the time, you bulk up real quick. It's either that or you die. There were some who found shortcuts, but they were never really Trainers anyways.

But Gabriel, my Gabriel, he was something special. Schools back then did not give students tricky Pokemon like Zoruas. They're Dark types, one of the most difficult types of Pokemon to train because of their unpredictability. They're pranksters by nature, known to cause people and Pokemon alike real grief if upset. They are also one of the few Pokemon who can imitate the appearance of a human being, nearly as well as a Ditto. A Pokemon imitating a human when that Pokemon has a dark nature is dangerous, and everyone was aware of that knowledge.

I do wonder how the faculty had reacted when I had taken the personality test that had garnered me such a species. My guess is that given my popularity, they assumed it had more to do with my academic proficiency than something being different about me. Or more different than that, I should say.

I know my inner alarm bells would have been ringing.

Still, there has been no other in my life like Gabriel. My greatest, truest friend. He has witnessed so many of the same beauties I have, and so many of the same horrors. We have grown together, fought together, loved together, and I suspect we will die together.

He has been the constant.

The moment his furry black head emerged from a {red light} and looked up at me with bright blue eyes, I knew that he was going to be an important figure in my life. Yet the depth of his importance would not begin to reach my consciousness for months, even years.

Often I have found it takes a great amount of reflection to recognize the imprint others have left on our lives. I think Gabriel's is the one that is still too difficult to grab hold.

Of course, he always liked to slip through my fingers. Hm, I no longer have the dexterity that I used to.

…I must say, that saliva pooling out of your mouth is truly unbecoming – if you promise not to interrupt, I may loosen that gag.

{Wine Red}

a/n: rewritten and published 9/11/15

Let me know how you're liking the changes. There will be more to come.