A/N: This oneshot is the result of a night of no sleep. The idea behind it is that not everyone can be a trainer forever, so clearly other people have to pick alternate career choices. The style I wrote it in is new to me so tell me how I did please.

Words: 3158

An Author Writes What She Must

Everyone in Kanto knows that anyone can go on a Pokémon journey when they turn ten. She has known this since before she could walk. That does not mean she got to go on one, and regret is ash bitter on her tongue. So is anger but she tries to freeze that out before it consumes her.

Sometimes she thinks she succeeded too well.

It starts with her ten and pleading. She is shuddering so hard her brown bob is jerking about but she continues to plead and beg. Her parents say no. They make empty promises and give fake apologies before patting her on the head and gifting her a kiss on her anger flushed cheeks. That night she looks at her reflection in the bathroom mirror and promises herself that she will get a journey of her own eventually. Even if it kills her.

It does, so she rises from the ashes like a phoenix and begins anew. But we are not there in the story yet, and there are other things to be told yet.

To seal the promise she stops cutting her hair. No one notices.

It seems like no time and yet all of time has passed, but eventually she is twelve. Six children from her class are leaving on journeys now that they are a little older and better capable to care for themselves in their parents eyes. The classroom hasn't been this empty since the september after most of her class turned ten.

Dinner is held that night in the dining room. She kneels down and begs again for the chance to spread her wings in the larger world. For the chance to finally leave the tiny town she has been confined in since her birth. She wildly promises and pleads, but in the end all she achieves is amusing her father. He laughs her out of the room, and she storms off to her bedroom grinding her teeth together.

She feels like a prisoner denied a parole they were promised, but she does not let that show in front of her parents. A quick check in the mirror that night proves that the bob has grown out to just below her shoulders. Privately she fears that she will be able to sit on her hair by accident before she escapes her prison.

Hidden from even herself there is a piece of her that thinks that they will never let her leave.

A hop, skip, and a jump later finds her fourteen and desperate. Everything inside of her screams for freedom, but she is still stuck in that legendary damned town. The town of Pallet has never seemed tinier to her.

She bites her lip so nothing shows on her face, but the feelings never fully stop. Desperation drives her to try to freeze herself inside and out until so little of that excited ten year old child is left. She wants to leave, has never left, and can never leave until she holds a red and white orb in her palm. Without one the journey through the wilds would be suicide.

Sometimes she contemplates what it would feel like if a Tauros crushed her skull beneath its mighty hoof, or a Victory Bell swallowed her whole so its stomach acid would slowly burn away her flesh as she lay trapped still screaming inside of it. The terror she feels when a moment of growth spirt clumsiness almost sents her tripping out of a third story window convinces her to drop the thought of ending it.

The feeling of being trapped remains curled inside of her like a ball of ice stabbing her organs from within. The freezes a little more and no one notices.

Her hair is like a mudslide down the cliff of her back, and if she stands just right while leaning back it will just brush the top of her jeans.

She is sixteen when she gets the biggest awaking of her life. One day she sits down only to jump back up in shock at the sharp tug that had been felt at the base of her skull. A close friend who has just returned from her own journey started at ten and finished at fifteen helps her put in up into a ponytail. The entire day she has to fight the urge to hyperventilate when she realises her childhood fears have come true.

She never did find out what they were learning in class that day, but it is not like it matters anymore.

For once she does not just rush strait home. She is not sure what she will do if she is faced with her parents (jailers). It is because she is still at school when she would normally be home that she overhears them talking.

They mock her. Call her a virgin, frigid, and cold. Silently she agrees with them from her hiding place behind her locker door. A friend, perhaps well meaning and perhaps with nefarious intent, points out that she has never gone on a journey. The sound of them calling her a coward echos in her ears as she slinks away.

There aren't any tears in her bruised brown eyes, but there haven't been since she was ten. Sometimes she fears that she has forgotten how to cry. The horror of the thought of her theory being proven right is what stops her from testing it. INstead she storms home and violently digs through the trash until she finds a note with her mother's signature on it. Reverently the minor's Pokémon journey permission from she has had since she was ten is pulled from its hiding spot.

The signature is carefully traced onto the permission form with her lightest art pencil. Then it is carefully forged in ink using her mother's favorite fountain pen. The note is shredded and thrown out again while the pen is returned to its place. The permission form is blown dry before being carefully folded away for later. She has one more task before leaving, and many preparations for said task.

Her long brown hair is brushed out and styled like those from ancient Kanto. She does her face up with stolen cosmetics from her mother's vanity. Just because she does not normally wear make up does not mean her mother didn't teach her how to paint her face correctly. The make up feels like a mask on her face, but considering it is supposed to be a degise she cannot help but find the metaphor aptly fitting.

A bag is removed from her closet and clothes are folded inside. Everything else needed for a journey is already packed inside and some of her spare cash goes to keeping all equipment and food current. All those years of wishful thinking have finally come in handy.

She walks out of her house with the backpack and a mission. The outfit she is wearing was for the school costume dance, but she has a better use for it now. Dressed as a maiden from millennia ago she slides through the thin spattering of trees around the town toward a (maybe not) friend's home.

She is the virgin sacrifice, but she was willing laying herself on the legendary's sacrificial altar of her own free will.

Stealing the most powerful male trainer from his female interest is pitifully easy. She picks him because the legendaries use only the best for sacrifices, didn't they? The party she snitches him from is not one she was invited to, but she has no problems crashing to steal him away. This is the first time she has been out in public all dolled up and at first her supposed friends do not recognise her. She is mistaken for a traveling trainer and has her chosen male out of sight and earshot before they know what has happened.

By the time someone connects the pieces and realises that the trainer was her she has had what she needed from him. It was the hair that tipped them off, although they have never seen it styled before. No one else in Pallet has let their hair grow to that length.

Regardless, it is too late for them, and by the time her friends find her stolen male in the forest where she left him she will be long gone. She knows just how they will most likely find him to. Laying sated and spread out nude on the forest moss with her blood still drying on his cock. The ache in her crotch and thighs can attest to this state of being, but she pushes on without a care. There are painkillers hidden in her backpack and a change of clothing.

She tells herself that she keeps the dress for sentimental reasons, but she is too frozen inside to really care either way.

She leaves for the professor's laboratory with a smirk she never would have let her family see on her face. Arriving there in record time she hands over the forged permission slip and received her trainer's ID in return. Next thing she knows she has been lead to the back room where three Pokéballs lay waiting for her to chose from.

For a moment she wonders if her shaking is from delayed shock over all she has done, but she pushed that thought away easily enough.

It feels like she is drowning a little at a time. Like every time she goes to draw air she gets less and less into her frantic lungs. In that instant her fingers wrap around a Pokéball then suddenly she is alive again, but she says nothing because there is nothing to say.

She knows without looking what is inside of her Pokéball. After all, it takes a fire type to unfreeze frozen Pokémon. Hopefully one will unfreeze her heart as well.

She hopes it is a boy like she wishes she was a boy, but you can't be a boy with long hair. Except in the stories she reads online. This is real life though, not one of her fanfictions, and she has no choice but to square her shoulders and keep marching forward with her hair whipping behind her.

It is horribly cold outside the inn and inside of her when she turns eighteen. Finally she can stop training and running. Finally she no longer has to keep her head down. She can challenge gyms and draw attention to herself without worrying that her parents will find her and drag her kicking and screaming back to Pallet.

Brock kills her team in a horribly drawn out fight that pulls them both down to their last Pokémon, but she ultimately fails. Her Charmander desperately tries to comfort her as she mopes about their room. She only sulks and blames herself more.

Even worn in a high ponytail she'll sit on her hair if she isn't careful. She hasn't cut it because somehow she still feels chained down.

By age twenty she has got three badges inside of her case, and a lot of failures under her belt. Sitting staring at her badges one night she finally listens to the feelings inside of herself and lets them burn her alive. She chooses a different path than she is supposed to for once. The tears are liquid fire to burn to ashes until she picks herself up and rises like a legendary out of her own dust. It is rejuvenation and reincarnation with a bit of rebirth thrown in for kicks until she is sobbing and laughing and breaking apart.

Her decision to pick up her favorite hobby and greatest skill results in a bag full of writing supplies and an all night writing binge. It doesn't take her much longer to decide to return to her passion as a writer. After all, there can only be one champion, but there are hundreds of authors. Each is unique, each is special, and each has a fighting chance.

She wakes the next morning with a Charmeleon where her Charmander should be. There is no screaming or even any shock. If she has changed so drastically in one night then why can't her Pokémon do so as well?

He gets his claws stuck in her hair but she still doesn't cut it. The chains are gone, but she is too attached to simply cut the burdensome mass off just yet. Soon she tells herself. It is not yet time.

The tabloids have whipped themselves into a frenzy over the twenty-two year old author they called a writing prodigy. She still travels about Kanto, but her badges have been left to gather dust in her lonely one bedroom apartment. In six years she hasn't spoken to her parents once. That is not for lack of attempted contact on their side. She has simply left Pallet behind her and has no plans of returning.

An interviewer gets a quote from one of her old friends about how she was always restrained and caged. She scoffs at that because it is not like they ever noticed until she disappeared. The media blames her running away at sixteen on her parents. The media accuses them of caging her artistic soul, but she knows that is not really why she ran.

She runs into, and barely recognises, the boy who took her virginity. The gown is hidden in the back of her closet and she smiles fondly at the memory it inspires. He recognises her by her hair, because who else wears it that length, and talks his way into her bed that night.

He calls her virginal tight, and she abstains from informing him that he is the only one to have ever taken her. It has nothing to do with feelings and everything to do with her social awkwardness. When he makes her come screaming she loses her voice. The two get a laugh over the media blaming it on a cold.

One night of fever driven madness results in her letting all her Pokémon go in a nearby meadow. Her Charmeleon beats her home and opens the door for her on the way in. She cannot remember going to bed but she awakes there in the morning with her hair tangled about her cover in sweat. At least the fever has broken.

It is two years and she is twenty-four when she sees the male trainer again. He has just failed the elite four test and is looking for a sympathetic ear. She offers him a warm bed instead.

One night turns to a week turns into a month until they're looking for a larger place and ohh isn't that house nice. Too expensive she tries to argue but they end up getting it anyway. She starts writing up his history as a trainer in secret. It is a project to distract her from the fact that she does not where this is going at all.

When he finally makes it through the elite four she is right there in the crowd cheering for him, and she cheers the loudest when he defeats the champion. He calls her his good luck charm on national television and the media eat their 'love story' up. Suddenly they are the media's favorite couple, the award winning author and the champion. They go home that night and celebrate.

She gives him the incomplete draft of his life story and he asks her to marry him.

Her hair cascaded around them as she embraced him and sobbed out an affirmative.

The ring on her finger is rarely off and never long enough to grow cold. Now there are three dusty badges sitting on the mantle beside his well polished eight and the championship trophy. Pictures of them in high school and on their journeys mingle with first print editions of her novels.

By the time of her wedding her hair is so long the stylist just splits it into three braids and braids them together in an attempt to make it shorter. She still can't bring herself to cut it.

She is twenty-six and sleep deprived, but she left the baby at home with a trusted sitter. The Charmeleon of her youth helps her by blowing through the fourth gym for her. Grass types don't handle fire types very well. Her husband smiles that night when he comes home to see a shiny new badge sitting beside her dusty old ones.

She would polish them to match her newest one but she is kind of busy trying to figure out where her newly evolved Charizard should sleep since the foot of their bed is no longer a viable option.

She eventually manages to get the other four, and all before her maternity leave ends. There will be no challenge of the elite four. She knows she would lose with only one Pokémon. Her husband humors her with a battle in which he sorely trumps her and her starter but they both have fun and finish smiling.

A reporter calls her hair childish. She tells him it is a promise she made as a child that made her grow it out. A week later a package from her mother arrives. It holds shampoo and conditioner with an apology note. She sends her address back with a picture of her daughter.

She's twenty-eight sitting on her back porch watching her daughter play with her Charizard's tail. The child later sprains several fingers getting them untangled from her mother's hair and for the first time in twelve years she takes scissors to her chocolate locks. The hair is donated to charity so it can do some good for once. She's sick of it taking an hour to brush the damn stuff anyways.

They call her sophisticated and mature the first time she appears in public with her shortened hair in a bun. Her husband just says he likes it better because he doesn't have to worry over catching it when he fucks her. She snorts at him but smiles into her coffee.

He eventually loses the championship and she writes a book about that too.

There can only be one champion at a can be hundreds of writers though. Over the years the championship changed hands several times. The same amount of kids still aimed for it and the same amount still failed. Most find other callings until finally something different happens. A trainer from Pallet town starts out with a Pikachu instead of one of the other starts.

She'll never get to write that story. Her bones are dust by then. The only thing left of her is her books and the engraving on her tombstone.

"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Metal is screaming and turning to rust.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Men are eaten alive by their lust.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

An author writes what she must."