183 Speak Up by Mya Latti (Pokémon)

Summary: So after about four months of tests, the doctor had confirmed to his mother what was wrong with Red. "Your child is mute," A novelisation of the generation one games.

Link: https://m.fanfiction.net/s/7001716/1/Speak-Up

Word count:155k(COMPLETE)

Chapters:57

Chapter 1: Prelude/Backstory

If you were to ask Red's mum about what it was like having a child who didn't speak, she would more than likely respond with something like this:

"When you find our your child is mute, everything just stops in your life. You realise that you can't communicate with them like normal people do, and everything in their mind is trapped within them until you find a way to reach them. It's not their responsibility, they can't help it. It changes everything,"

"Hey, Red," She looked down at her three year old son, who looked back at her when he heard his name. "Can you say 'mum'?" He just continued to stare up at her and slowly lifted his finger up to point. She sighed in frustration, she'd been trying to teach him to talk since he was one and a half, and so far he had not uttered a word yet. Surely that wasn't normal? She had read lots of child raising textbooks during her pregnancy, and all of them had said that a child should begin making word-like sounds at one, and should be taught to try and speak proper words at eighteen months. But it also said that children didn't always follow the textbook exactly and would develop at their own pace. She had been clinging to that for a while, convincing herself that Red was fine. Now, she wasn't so sure. "Can you say Red?" He just continued to stare at her with those wide brown eyes of his.

"Red!" Green said, pointing to the other boy. "We're going to play superheroes, okay? I'm going to be the hero, and you're going to be the villain. And this..." He looked around the room for something and set his sights on a Bulbasaur doll that was on a shelf. "Doll can be the girl I have to save!"

"Has he not said anything yet?" Green's mum asked her, taking a sip of her tea as she did so. She shook her head in response. "Have you thought about having him checked for anything?"

"No, I haven't actually," She answered, frowning. "I'm just really worried. What if he's got some horrible disease or something?"

"It can't be that serious," She attempted to comfort the other woman. "He's probably just a late developer,"

"I hope so," She moved her chair slightly so she could watch the two boys playing in the lounge room from the kitchen. It always made her sad seeing them together because Green would go along with their games, rattling off long sentences, describing the setting and all the different characters, while Red would just stare up at him, nodding occasionally. He'd play the games, but he didn't get much say in what happened and just went along with it. Green was a good kid though, he was very accepting of Red. But then again, they had been friends since they had been born. It was a nice friendship though, she hoped things didn't really change in that respect. "I'll do it," She nodded her head, turning back towards her friend. "This afternoon I'll make an appointment at the doctor's,"

Six months later.

Exactly six months ago, she had taken Red to see a doctor. They had run countless tests on him, making her run around to see all sorts of different specialists. They weren't even in Pallet Town, she had to travel up to Viridian and Pewter City for most of them. Red liked the travelling though, she would notice his eyes would always light up when they entered each city. He'd look around in excitement, pointing to buildings and making her take him to parks and playgrounds. She didn't like the travel so much herself, she saw it as too much of a hassle, but sometimes it was nice to get out and about.

So after about four months of tests, the doctor had confirmed what was wrong with Red. "Your child is mute," They had found that there was nothing physically or mentally wrong with him though, he just didn't speak. He didn't seem to want to either, which confused all of them when the results came in.

She had no idea how to raise a child she couldn't communicate with. She had little idea about how to raise a child at all, but one she couldn't talk with seemed near impossible. They had to visit the doctor several times after his confirmation, and at one of the visits, he mentioned something to her. "Have you ever heard of sign language?" It seemed like her saving grace, perfect for her and Red. The doctor gave her a pamphlet, and after researching it herself, she began teaching her son along with her.

"Red, this means water," She held three of her fingers up to form a 'W' and held them close to her mouth. "Can you do that?" He nodded and copied her movement. It was such a long, slow process. She had to teach him the whole alphabet, and most of the words in the language, as well. But they were getting there, they were starting to understand one another with certain signs.

But when he managed to ask her a question, and she was able to understand it and respond, it was the most amazing thing. Her son actually had a voice, had life.

A year and a half later - Green.

"Green, I'm going to teach you something important," His mother called him up to the couch.

"What is it?" He whined. He was only five, and as a general rule, children don't like purposely learning things. But right now was the best time for him to learn, it would be more difficult as he got older.

"It's called sign language,"

"What's that?" He huffed, crossing his arms over his chest. Well, so far he was rather reluctant. She started to consider whether it was a good idea or not, but she couldn't go back on it. She'd already told Red's mum she'd teach him, and she was very excited when she had heard that.

"You know how sometimes Red will make hand gestures to his mother and she'll respond?" She explained and he nodded. "Well, that's sign language. Each gesture corresponds to a letter or a word,"

"Why do I have to learn this?" He moaned, taking a seat on the couch. "It sounds like a lot of work,"

"You'll be able to talk to Red using it,"

"Really?" A massive grin spread across his face. "Let's go! I really want to say something to my best friend!" She was astounded at the effort he put into learning and how fast he picked it up considering he'd been so reluctant at the beginning. Every morning before breakfast he'd rush up to his mother, asking to learn another word or two. Then he'd practice with her at every chance he got. His enthusiasm was cute, but she couldn't help but giggle when he'd occasionally use a wrong gesture and his whole sentence would be completely mismatched.

"Hey, Red!" He heard his name and turned to see where it was coming from. He smiled when he saw Green running up to him, he seemed very excited for some reason. "Look what I can do!" Clumsily, he said using gestures, 'I can speak sign language!'

Well, Red's face lit up when he saw this and he said back, 'I can talk to you!' Red was ecstatic, he had someone to talk to other than his mother. And it just made it better than it was his best friend as well. But Green's sign language wasn't perhaps as fluent as Red's, as he found himself going to quickly for his friend to keep up sometimes. He would laugh silently as his friend threw him a confused look and told him to slow down, but they'd get there eventually.

When Red first said 'I can talk to you!', it was the weirdest thing for Green. For their first five years of them being friends, Red had a voice. Red was able to talk, to communicate. It was as if he suddenly knew his friend, that he had a personality, a life.

If you were to ask Green what it was like having a friend that was mute, he'd probably respond with something like this. "It was always so different as a child than playing with other children that did speak. We were silent most of the time because I felt stupid talking to myself. I still remember that, even though it was so many years ago now. When I was five and learned sign language, that was fantastic. Red is actually the nicest guy, he hardly ever takes anything seriously. It was difficult before that though, because you try to talk to him but you think he doesn't understand because he doesn't respond. So you talk to him as if he's a baby, or stupid. Which he isn't,"

Link: https://m.fanfiction.net/s/7001716/1/Speak-Up

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