A/N: And here we are! The final chapter of Light's and my shared series, poking a toe into GSC happenings and Blue beginning a new chapter in life. If you haven't been following, please catch up to Light (The Light Refrain)'s Red to Crimson before reading this final chapter. She explains in more detail what happened to Kanto following the glitches running rampant.
Thank you everyone for sticking with us. It's been a pleasure (and a bit of a wild ride when the glitches showed up) and hope you all enjoyed! After this, we'll be working on our other Too Many Cooks challenge combo: Commencing Overwrite and Concurring Overwrite, featuring Digimon seasons 01-04, so any digimon fans, join us there. To everyone else, thanks again for reading, and have a great 2019!
After Being Blue
Poke-Ball 30: Famous
Just as quickly as Kanto changed, it settled. The Kanto and Johto pokemon leagues were combined with equal representation within the Elite Four. The gyms, in part separate entities, remained more or less in tact. Red was removed (or removed himself - Blue wasn't convinced it was entirely involuntary) from his seat after one of the most colourful stints as Champion. Cynthia and Gardenia from Sinnoh helped restore the gym and the pokemon. Blue stopped following the grass gym after that. It would be a long time before he'd return to Celadon.
He couldn't blame Red, really, for vanishing from public view. Cinnabar Island had changed Kanto, but the pair of them were only instruments pulled along for a show. It was hard to even know how many people had been involved behind the scenes, and to what end. They only knew their own shortcomings and their own follies.
The peace they'd settled back into... Who knew what had remained unburied. Like that monster in the Cerulean caves Lorelei had mentioned. He hadn't seen that in the news, nor had his grandfather mentioned anything. Even Misty, who Blue had dropped in on afterwards, said nothing. Just something about Cerulean Cape being a good date spot. That wasn't what Blue wanted to know.
Of course, the public wouldn't know, wouldn't think there were still hidden monsters in Kanto. Sinnoh had examined the league: examined the records dragged up and the experimental grounds that Cinnabar Island had been, and though they didn't withdraw their gaze completely were sure the worst was weathered over.
The Kanto he'd lived in... since he'd set out on his journey, he'd learnt a lot more than he'd known from small but famous Pallet Town. And he knew there were more he still didn't know, that he still had to learn.
And the question he'd set out to answer was still unanswered: what'd he do now. He could travel to Johto and approach the joint Elite Four. He could travel to Sinnoh that he'd only seen a glimpse of. Or he could do as his grandfather did, step away from the conspiracies but help the region in his own way.
He wasn't a researcher though. He was a battler. And there were still battlefields in Kanto for him. The mystery in the cave. The league that had managed to hide that cackling laugh of Moltres and who knew what else in its depths. And Team Rocket members had slipped away in the confusion and would probably resurface again.
He'd keep an ear out for monsters lurking where they shouldn't but chasing them would do no good; he knew that, now. They'd failed at Cinnabar Island. Moltres cackling as it plunged into the depths of the volcano, forcing its eruption... No-one had seen Moltres since, and Articuno and Zapdos roamed aimlessly, it seemed. Red would have chased them, once upon a time... But it was too much, now: too many consequences and lessons wrapped up in barbs thrown at him. Blue came away with flesh wounds at the end but Red: he'd cut and been cut deep.
There'd be other kids like Red, probably, who'd go on their pokemon journeys and wind up unmasking a bit of a conspiracy and getting dragged into the rest. Other people like Lance and Bruno, who knew but didn't dig too deep, unearth too much, because they knew the turmoil it would later bring. But Celadon Gym, Lavender Tower and then Cinnabar Island... He was a battler but those weren't the battlefields he sought. Especially without Red around.
There was a vacancy though: that vacancy for the Viridian Gym Leader position that the boss of Team Rocket had once held. That'd be a step down from defeating the Elite Four, from his fleeting moment as Champion before Red trounced him. That'd be watching the up and coming trainers instead of being one of them himself: watching kids getting mixed up in things they had no business being mixed up in, or watching the starry eyes of those who'd avoided it all.
Like a master growing with their apprentice, he'd grow alongside the children who knew of the shade of Kanto's monsters, alongside the children of Johto who could now cross Mount Silver and challenge them.
And when Red was ready, one day he'd walk through those doors as well. Like he'd sat on the throne of Champion and waited for Red to battle his way through the Elite Four... One day, and again.