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Pokemon - Solo's Strange Journey

The world is slowly ending. Dialga and Palkia fights outside of time and space and the impacts of their battle are disastrous for everyone. The hero is just a boy, standing on the brink of adulthood. Today marks the beginning of his very own pokemon adventure through the Sinnoh region. With dreams of becoming the Sinnoh League Champion, he sets out, only to find himself in a world on a steady course to oblivion. Will he uncover the veil that is keeping the destruction shrouded in mystery? Piece together the truth? Can he manage to save his career? His friends? Lovers? His very future, past, and his own existence? In the meantime, let's follow him on his journey as we visit ancient sites, discover the wonders of the pokemon world, and become an incredible trainer together. (LONG chapters, average 7k words) (character & adventure focused) (reader insert. But not a Y/N) (slow start to introduce world and characters) (harem with pokemon and human - slow-burn romance) (NO system or cheats) (NO reincarnators) (long intro. I guarantee satisfaction by the time you finish chapter 6)

BenisBoy14 · Video Games
Not enough ratings
50 Chs

Bewilder Forest

The weekend was far too short and we had far too many errands to run.

Professor Hedera reminded us Saturday morning, while we were reading her survival book, that we will split up into groups of 3, on Monday for a week of survival training.

Collectively, we have agreed to split into groups of 3 for our pokemon adventures too.

Larger groups can't properly sneak around and scare off the pokemon on the routes.

Smaller groups are a little bit risky. People can get sick on the road or break a leg.

Tiny groups simply can't handle worst case scenarios.

But that means we had to buy all sorts of equipment twice. Like the pokemon food pellet press.

The food pellet press is an ingenious invention, which allows for far quicker preparation and consumption of food on the road.

We had all tried out Barry's and the pokemon decided that the pellets taste good enough for travel food. So we had to get a second one for the second group.

The split actually caused most of our free time over the weekend, to be used up for errands and shopping sprees.

And we obviously had to stop at every single clothing store, since we went with all 3 girls this time.

"Man, these pellets are going to save us so much time out there." Says Lucas as he stuffs his press with broccoli, eggs and minced pork.

Right now we are in the kitchen.

Right before the week-long survival class starts.

We are here, doing some last minute preparations.

"Freshly prepared food will probably be a rarity on the road." Barry amends as he stuffs the second press with ground beef and spinach.

"What about the stasis thing from the bags?" Akari observes the process carefully and points to her infinite-storage satchel. "Can we not just cook a lot of food and put it all in the bag?"

"The bags aren't perfect." I point out as I laze around with Buneary. "Cooked food goes stale and bad really quickly. It's some magic-science-thing that works for ingredients, but not for cooked meals. Like Barry once said, 'No one knows how it works'."

I move my hands in a mystifying way for emphasis.

Akari doesn't believe me and pulls out ''food'' from her backpack.

Looks like the leftovers from Friday. And it looks gross.

A packed tortilla wrap that smells really bad and has some weird, moving mold growing on it.

Looks like the pre-sliced fish fillets that mom once put in the shopping bags. They somehow counted as sushi back then.

She tosses it away and re-checks her ingredients.

A perfectly fine, raw steak with no mold, not dried out and no bad smells.

"Hum. Magic-science, you say? Looks like an apt description." Then she returns the steak back in the backpack.

Ingredients are fresh for months but tasty food has a really short time limit.

The food pellets are quickly prepared. They last for, like a week in regular containers, and can be handed out while walking or running.

It's weird how these facts of life allow us to travel around for months, but still require us to make choices between good food and practical food.

It's almost as if someone designed it that way.

Like in a video game, where we have to manage resources.

"Well," I say, as we start heading from the communal kitchen to the auditorium.

"Even without a proper kitchen available in the wild, I still want to cook good food for Buneary as often as I can. It might not be necessary for her health, but I want her to be healthy and happy. I can't imagine eating pellets every day is going to be enjoyable."

Akari seems impressed with my opinion, while the others look to be deep in thought.

"I think that is very commendable of you, Swole. Your pokemon should always come first, I believe. If Cyndaquil did not like her pellets, I would cook for her daily, no matter the circumstances."

"Cynda!"

"No problem, Cyndaquil, you are worth the effort."

Akari and Cyndaquil hug each other and I am left with a Buneary, who just shakes her head at my unspoken invitation to a hug.

Once we finish our short walk to the auditorium, we see Professor Hedera in front of the entrance.

She was talking with some of the other students until she spotted us.

"Ah, the final students we have been waiting for! Don't worry, you aren't late but now we can go to the bus early." She tells us and then leads a whole procession of students on their way outside.

A small bus is already waiting for us.

We file inside and our gang manages to snag up the back rows of the bus.

Where the cool kids sit... According to the internet. There were no buses in Twinleaf Town.

I sit at the window in the right corner of the bus with Buneary on my lap.

Dawn seats herself next to me and puts Piplup on hers.

Akari and Zoey are in front of us with Cyndaquil on Akari's lap.

Over the weekend, Akari has also managed to convince Zoey to keep Misdreavus out of her pokeball, but the ghost pokemon prefers to just hide in her trainer's shadows.

Only Barry and Lucas are left to be convinced to keep their pokemon outside.

---

Narrator-POV:

The bus tour from Jubilife City took around 2 hours. 

Professor Hedera has used the time to inform the students on the various types of pokemon they may find in the nearby wild:

Those being mostly bug, grass, flying and a few normal and water types.

She has also handed out detailed maps of the area and informed them that unobtrusive drones will be watching the students' every move, to ensure that they are not in any actual danger.

"And I emphasize again, the drones will be watching! Don't do anything your parents wouldn't want you to do!" She said, about the drones. "Oh, don't look at me like that! I know what I did in school! There simply weren't any drones around back then."

Once the bus stops in the middle of route 202, half way between Sandgem Town and Jubilife City, the professor leads the students out of the bus and addresses them in a final short statement.

"Welcome to the Bewilder Forest. Some of you may recognize this name as a wilderness zone, but rest assured, the wilderness and the route are cleanly separated by cliffs. Make sure not to fall down."

With that description, most of the students check out their maps and can indeed spot an area with lower elevation, which is surrounded entirely by steep cliffs.

"Now, I want you all to split up into groups of 3 and then walk in a random direction when you are ready. You are free to stay or travel wherever you want in the forest, and Monday morning we will come to you to collect you. Good luck everybody. And stay safe!"

After they were told about it over the weekend, the group of young heroes has already talked about their own groups of 3. 

And they have settled on using the dormitory groups as their split.

"Actually, guys..." Says Barry. "I... Swole, you and I, we are rivals, aren't we?"

"Sure?"

"But you are so far ahead already and--... And I know I can't surpass you, if I just keep following you... What I want to say... Can I trade places with one of you?" For his final sentence he turns to the girls to ask them directly.

Barry, like anyone, is afraid of failure. 

And he failed greatly in the practice battles. 

He needs to improve. He knows he needs to improve. 

And he knows, he cannot improve enough, if he simply keeps following after Swole. 

He knows Swole will not stop progressing either. 

He needs to find his own way forward. A way with which he could surpass Swole. A way to become the next champion.

"Sure." Akari accepts the trade first. "I do not mind being in either group. Whichever is fine."

"Actually..." Dawn pauses. "Zoey. You and I are in the same position, aren't we? And you won in our last battle so it is only fair that I should trade places with Barry."

Dawn does not want to be stuck in Zoey's shadow either and she realizes that she is at the bottom of the group's hierarchy, together with Barry.

She cannot stay in the same group as Zoey and she has no right to make her leave. 

Dawn is the one who must improve. She is the one who must leave.

"But are you sure about this, Dawn? You will be stuck with the guys for almost a week." Says Zoey.

"They aren't that bad." Dawn laughs. "I had to hang out with them for years now. I'm used to it."

"What?" - "Oi." - "We're not bad at all." 

The guys take that personally while the girls and Piplup laugh.

"Haha, you're right. And that actually makes this a little more fair too." Says Zoey. "We can't put Swole and Akari on the same team. They need to help both groups out instead."

"Well then... I guess it's our turn to head out. Goodbye girls," Dawn is saddened by the temporary goodbye. "See you next week. And don't let Barry eat anything weird." 

The girls hug in goodbye while the guys give each other bro-fists.

Swole, Lucas and Dawn walk off. A little bit later, Barry, Zoey and Akari head out too, in a different direction.

A whole week apart. 

For Barry and Dawn, a whole week of danger. 

Who knows what dangerous pokemon they could meet? 

Would they meet another Ariados? 

The experience is still fresh on their minds and Dawn tightens her grip on Piplup in response.

But the others simply think, 'what better place to find strong pokemon, than right next to the wilderness?'

Swole, the de facto leader of their merry little group, has moved his friends closer to the wilderness zone for a short while. 

But he knows they need to secure a source of water. So he pulls out the detailed map, in order to look for the nearest river.

The closest river starts somewhere in the mountains, separating Oreburgh City and Jubilife City and runs south into the wilderness area of the Bewilder Forest, before merging into a larger river that flows into the ocean.

"So... How are we going to do this?" Asks Swole as he highlights the points of interest on the map using his fingers. 

"Are we going to stay here and train for a week or are we going up or down this river to find wild pokemon to catch?"

"Let's go down stream. Closer to the wilderness. I want to capture strong pokemon." Suggests Lucas.

But Dawn is not a fan of that suggestion at all. "Are you insane? Let's move upstream, away from the dangerous wilderness."

"I'm also voting for going down stream. It's not like we are going to enter the wilderness. We just go a little bit closer to finding stronger pokemon. Buneary, up or downstream? What do you say?" 

Swole asks his pokemon and Buneary lazily points south, towards the wilderness.

"What?! If your pokemon counts for the vote, then Piplup, towards the dastardly, dangerous danger? Or towards secure and safe safety?"

"Piplup! Piplup!" The little guy voices his opinion loudly and he points animatedly towards the south. 

"Betrayal! I can't believe it! ... But you guys will protect me... right?" Dawn relents in the face of being outvoted, and the two guys promise to look out for her in return.

Together, they make their way, traveling along the river. 

Eerily similar to how Swole's first foray into the wilderness had started. 

A sign perhaps?

---

Swole-POV:

As we walk down the river, I notice that the flow of the river is consistently getting faster. 

It was barely a trickle when we reached it. 

Almost still standing water but now it's really flowing.

It will only get faster, as we continue approaching the waterfall, at the edge of the cliff we are heading to.

The forest we are in is pretty dense too.

The trees are around 3 meters apart from each other and it shows that people haven't really traversed this area a lot. 

There are no paths, no streets, not a single sign of civilization. 

But also no trash. 

It's obvious that we are getting further and further away from route 202.

But those are just side observations and my full attention returns to Buneary.

She is in the vanguard position of our group. 

Her senses are amazing, especially her hearing and I fully trust her to spot any danger long before I can spot it.

Luckily for us, I refocused on Buneary just in time because she noticed something. 

I raise my hand and motion for the others to stop. Buneary's ears are turned to a specific direction, slightly off course, ahead of us.

Something is behind that tall grass.

"Buneary, Defense Curl." I whisper just loud enough for her to hear.

I use the same strategy for our ambushes that has always worked in the past. 

Normal type energy collects around her toned stomach and her muscles tighten to increase her defenses.

"What's going on?" I startle at Dawn's question. 

That was far too loud. I motion for her to be quiet but it's already too late.

Whatever was behind the undergrowth is now moving toward us. The grass rustles at the movement. 

I shoot Dawn a look to make her realize that she has messed up.

Lucas pulls his pokeball from his belt and prepares himself for battle too, while Piplup jumps down from Dawn's embrace to protect his trainer.

We have lost the element of surprise already and whatever is coming at us, is confident enough to approach us. 

It must be a powerful pokemon!

Lucas! Why the fuck is Chimchar still in his pokeball? Do you want us all to die?

...

It's a Wurmple... 

Out of the bush moves a tiny worm-like pokemon. Or rather a caterpillar-like pokemon. 

Red with a poisonous horn on her head.

Puuuh. I didn't notice I held my breath.

"All that stress over a Wurmple?" Lucas complains. "Dawn, you should fight it."

"Are you sure?"

Her confidence took a real beating on Friday and she hasn't been able to recover yet.

"Yes. You fight this one, I fight the next pokemon and Swole can have the 3rd. That keeps it fair."

Fair, but not efficient. 

Chimchar is strongest against the bug pokemon. And we only have so many potions with us. 

We could run out in a week of battling.

"Alright...Then, go Piplup, use Peck!" - "Piplup!"

Dawn shouts out her order with obviously false bravado. Piplup starts running and charges pale blue flying type energy in his beak.

The super effective move connects with the slow moving Wurmple. But she had all the time in the world to prepare to tank the hit as best as she could.

Peck was far from being a one-shotting move, despite the super effectiveness.

"Piplup, again!" Dawn repeats the order, but Wurmple doesn't just take it lying down.

Wurmple strikes back with a Tackle. Piplup is pushed off balance and rolls backwards... 

This is actually a really pathetic fight.

This is almost as pathetic as the 2 wild Starly, who fought without using any moves at all.

Piplup and Wurmple trade Peck and Tackle, and after a few rounds, Piplup wins because of the type advantage.

"We did it! Wuhu! You were great, Piplup." She tells him as she treats his few wounds.

That's about a quarter of a potion gone.

"Piplup! Piplup!"

I don't blame her for not noticing her pokemon's weaknesses and flaws. 

I find it hard to view Buneary as anything but perfect. Dawn is probably thinking the same stuff about Piplup. But...

"How was I?" She turns to Lucas and me. 

I turn to Lucas. 

I don't want to break it to her. She's finally happy again...

Should we tell her she did good, to improve her confidence. Or should we tell her that she didn't really do well at all and needs to improve?

"You were... pretty good..." Lucas forces out, with not nearly enthusiasm to be convincing.

Dawn won't be dumb enough to buy it. 

And I think it is better for her, if I tell her the truth, so she can improve a bit.

"Dawn..." But how? "You... Piplup should have... Good grief-- Piplup should have used Growl! And while Peck is the strongest move against a bug pokemon, it is not the best choice here. You could have used Bubble and Wurmple literally couldn't have done shit against it at all."

"Awww... I thought we did good... We... we won the fight!" 

"Piplup could have fought the battle without getting hurt at all." I say and Lucas nods in agreement. 

"A pokemon like Buneary has to go into close range to fight, but she can still improve her odds from range with status moves. Piplup doesn't even have that problem. The guy could have stayed in the back line and just use Bubble over and over again, and Wurmple would be too slow to do anything against it."

"Piplup... Piplup..."

"But... But the fight would have taken longer..." Dawn looks really dejected.

I look to Lucas to help me out. "We have a week of time. But if you need to heal after every battle, you will run out of potions."

I nod along to help get the point across.

"Alright... I will try to do better..." Her head hangs down. 

She looks so dejected.

But I don't know what else to do. 

She really needs to improve, if she wants to stand a chance at winning even a single contest.

After all, it's straight into the frying pan for coordinators.

She has to participate against opponents who have a lot more experience than her. And none of the other participants have to fight with a handicap, unlike a gym leader.

"So, uhm... What are we going to do about the Wurmple?" She chokes down the lecture.

If we were in the wilderness, I could say with confidence, to just leave her like this.

I don't really care much about the fate of a pokemon who tried to kill and eat me. 

... But Wurmple didn't do anything like that. 

She was just in our way and Dawn defeated her for battle experience.

"You don't want to capture it?" Lucas asks and Dawn shakes her head slowly. "Then just leave it. The pokemon on the routes are used to this. They know how to treat themselves in the wild."

"Sorry Wurmple," Dawn looks down to the knocked out pokemon. "But you just aren't cute enough." 

Leaving the defeated caterpillar behind, we resume our way downstream.

---

"Hey Dawn, check this out." I tell her as we travel. 

She turns to me and I show her two entries in the pokedex. 

Beautifly, the butterfly pokemon with colorful wing patterns and Dustox, the moth pokemon. Purple with green wings.

"Woah! Beautifly and Dustox are both very pretty pokemon. Beautifly looks a little better but Dustox is also very cute. Why are you showing me these? Do you want to capture either of them?" She says.

She is completely oblivious to the Wurmple she just abandoned, because she wasn't cute enough.

"Yea, nope... They both evolve from Wurmple, you know?"

"What?"

"Yea... I think you should learn a little more about pokemon when you have the time. I can lend you my books, if you want."

"No way! I could have had a Beautifly! Why didn't you tell me sooner!" She tears at her hat in frustration. "Sigh... Alright... when we aren't traveling and aren't sparing, I will study--" 

She says but I have to shush her. 

Buneary's ears have turned to the direction of a bush again.

"Stop being a pussy." Lucas' voice comes from behind.

... "It's called caution. Asshole."

As it turns out, Buneary has spotted a Burmy who was interested in the noise we made.

He instantly turned back around when he saw the 3 humans and 2 pokemon who are all too eager to fight the little guy.

Lucas, who doesn't want to lose his chance of fighting a wild pokemon, doesn't care whether or not Burmy was running away. 

He sends Chimchar after him with Ember and Scratch... Poor Burmy didn't stand a chance and lays dazed on the ground.

Then Lucas tries to capture him but he has to dig through his backpack to search for pokeballs. 

And then, when he finally dug one out, in panic he stumbled and fell. 

In the time it took Lucas to get ready to capture Burmy, he had already recollected his leaf cover and ran away through the bushes.

Now, Lucas is just standing there with his ball in his hand. His gaze, empty. His failure, immeasurable.

Staring at the place where Burmy was just a few seconds ago. "Fuck. I should have kept a pokeball ready."

Lucas says as he kicks a pebble away and clips the empty pokeball to his belt.

Ha ha.

"I don't think you want a pokemon that runs away anyway." I explain to him. "A pokemon that is not even confident enough to fight will be too weak. And a pokemon that flees from you after you defeat it, won't be a reliable team member either."

Should I be giving my friends so many tips? They might be my competition one day.

"I don't care so much about strong pokemon." Lucas says.

My jaw drops open. 

Why wouldn't he want a strong pokemon? 

"I'm not taking the gym challenge too seriously. For me, it's more about funding my research. My goal is still to become a researcher and that means I need to capture as many different pokemon as I can. Even if they can't fight." 

"Ah! Right. I forgot... Still, I think you should have at least a few pokemon who are strong enough to protect you in the wild. Like Buneary." 

Buneary is strong and reliable. And I trust her with my life. "You said you wanted to participate in the Team Galactic expedition, right? That is going to be seriously dangerous. Maybe you should focus on becoming a strong trainer first, before becoming a researcher?"

"Swole is right." Dawn chimes in her agreement. "And Captain Braviary said the same stuff. Us beginner trainers, we need to build a strong foundation first." 

She is quoting... Who the fuck is Captain Braviary? 

Some dude from TV? 

No... Wasn't that the name of the combat instructor? 

"And speaking of strong foundations... Swole," She looks at me with wide, pleading eyes, clasping her hands together, in front of her chest. 

Which in turn, I can't help but notice, pushes her C cup breasts out in a nice way. 

"Swole, would you be willing to help me train Piplup? You're such a skilled trainer, and I really want to learn from you!"

Wow! Of course I will help you! Whatever you say Dawn! But, "Yes." Is all I manage to say out loud. 

I can't really focus right now, and I'm somehow unable to look her in the eyes right now.

"Haha, simp!"

"Don't call him that. He is a sweet friend. Thank you so much, Swole. We will start sparring in the evening, alright?" 

Huh? Sparring? What? What just happened? "Sure."

I'm still trying to figure out what I just agreed to, but Dawn hugs me and manages to interrupt any and all thoughts into that direction.

Whatever I agreed to, it must be good.

---

As we continued our travel downstream, I asked Lucas what I had actually agreed on doing.

And since then, I have been thinking about Buneary's tasks and goals for our sparring.

There is no way Piplup could ever defeat Buneary in a fair fight, and simply fighting him doesn't teach Dawn anything. 

And unfair fights don't help Buneary either.

Piplup is just a little bit stronger than the average wild pokemon around here, and they are a non-issue for Buneary.

Whenever it is Buneary's and my turn to fight a wild pokemon, we defeat it with just a few attacks.

And that is only if the pokemon isn't just running away from us. 

I'm not really interested in catching any of these pokemon, but I still ask Buneary for her opinion after every fight.

She has a better feel for their strengths and weaknesses than I do, from just looking at the battle. But still, every single opponent was rejected by her too.

Maybe I need to travel into the wilderness again, to find pokemon who are strong enough to capture?

Lucas has also stopped trying to capture every single pokemon, because he sees the benefit of focusing on getting stronger first. 

He doesn't have the funds to feed every single pokemon either.

As for Dawn and Piplup, they are starting to be caught up with fatigue. 

She has started diversifying her moves and fighting more safely, but she is still the weakest link in our group.

The exhaustion is making Piplup's performance fall off again, too.

We should probably start resting for the day soon.

But just as I'm about to notify the others that we will stop for the day, Buneary spots another pokemon. 

It's Dawn's turn, so I tap her shoulder and Piplup gets combat-ready.

A Buizel crosses our path. 

He comes out of a bush with a few fruits in his arms, and heads towards the river. 

He hasn't noticed us yet.

"Hey Buizel, I challenge you!" Dawn shouts, causing the fella to startle and drops his loot on the ground.

His eyes go to Dawn first, then to Piplup and finally settle on Buneary. 

Lucas, Buneary and I retreat a little and Buizel refocuses on his opponents.

"Piplup, use Growl!" As Piplup starts charging the normal type energy, Buizel is already sprinting towards him. 

It's Quick Attack.

Buizel does not manage to attack quick enough to interrupt Piplup's Growl, causing his attack's power to fall just in time. 

However, even with lowered attack power, Piplup still rolls a few meters back when Buizel rams into him.

Piplup is already hanging in the ropes from today's exhaustion, but still struggles up. 

"Use Bubble!" Dawn decides to use the distance that was created to attack.

I would have used Growl again, but it turns out that Bubble was the right choice. 

Buizel uses Sonic Boom. 

A quick, white shock wave moves through the Bubble attack and pops a few bubbles before hitting Piplup.

The remaining bubbles manage to hit Buizel for a little bit of damage.

The attacks weakened each other but ultimately, Sonic Boom was stronger.

Sonic Boom is a weak, special type move that ignores defenses and always carries the same amount of damage.

Growl can't do anything against it but Bubble at least weakened the move and dealt some damage in retaliation. 

"Piplup, no!" 

Piplup is KO.

Dawn runs over to her pokemon and Buneary gets ready to intercept Buizel.

Buizel is high on his victory and challenges us. His paw is flexing as if beckoning the next fight to start.

But it's Lucas' turn now. "Chimchar, let's go!" He calls out as he releases Chimchar from his pokeball.

I can hear Dawn softly crying now. 

She sprays a potion over Piplup's wounds and her shoulders are heaving as she hunches over him.

Lucas is focused on the fight and he seems to be able to win this.

I wouldn't mind if he lost and I could get the chance to capture Buizel instead... But I doubt he will.

I better check up on Dawn.

But before I could reach her, she abruptly ran away, into the forest with tears streaming down her face.

Fuck! "Dawn! Stay here!" We are in the middle of nowhere!

We can't just separate from each other! 

"Lucas, stay here after your fight, I will go look for Dawn!"

I'm not sure if he actually heard it, but I can't let Dawn run off too far.

---

I run after her with Buneary leading the way. 

She can hear where Dawn is and I just follow her. 

My short sprint ends when I pass a bush and enter a clearing with wild flowers growing inside.

Dawn sits in the center on a large, smooth rock, sobbing to herself with a defeated Piplup cradled in her lap. 

Her hands, slowly tracing over his head in comfort.

Her face is turned down and hidden by stray strands of hair that escaped her beanie.

I slow down and approach her while thinking what to say. 

"Hey..." She startles a little and hiccups without looking up. "We need to stay together. Remember the Ariados? Wild pokemon could always be everywhere. Stay with us, alright?"

I sit down next to her and Buneary hops to my other side. 

"But I'm a failure! I can't even get a single win! I'm useless as a trainer! How am I supposed to win a single contest like this? ... My mom will be so disappointed in me." She wrings the frilly ends of her skirt, tears flowing freely.

"Don't be so sad. You have improved a lot since the Wurmple fight, you know?" 

She looks up at that.

"You suck so much at cheering up. It's incredible." 

Her face is a mess. She has makeup running down her face, her eyes are puffy, but she is still smiling a little at my failed attempt.

I guess that means it worked after all? 

"But I mean it. You did nothing wrong in the fight. Piplup was just too exhausted from the day and... I think you would have won otherwise."

"You really think so?"

"Yea... Well... Maybe. Sonic Boom might have eventually overpowered Piplup. You need to train him Bubble Beam."

"Sigh, I know. The combat instructor said so too. He said Piplup needs to spread the Bubbles out less, but we haven't had much success over the weekend... I don't know what we were doing wrong." She complains as she strokes Piplup's head.

"Don't worry Dawn, stuff like that, is just going to take time. You are making Piplup use more water type energy for his attack, right?" 

She nods. "Then all it takes is a lot of practice and then you have Bubble Beam. At least that's what the books said."

"You bought books for Bubble Beam? I didn't know Buneary could learn that move."

"No, but I got a general book on attack moves to cross-reference. I'm training Buneary to learn Jump Kick and Play Rough right now. And the upgrade from Double Kick to Jump Kick is very similar to Bubble and Bubble Beam... I can lend you the book if you want."

I offer and Dawn brightens a little. "You will? Thank you! But why are you teaching two moves at once? Won't that take longer?"

"The books say that every type energy comes with its own reservoir and they don't really interact with each other. As long as you have the time for it, you can train multiple attacks at once... I think you should train for Aerial Ace too."

I'm also thinking of adding Dizzy Punch or Double Hit to Buneary's training for her normal type. 

I have the time right now and Buneary and I are going to be bored otherwise.

As for Piplup and Buneary's sparring sessions, I'm thinking of heavily handicapping her to dodging only, and to keep practicing fairy type energy. 

When Piplup is exhausted, Buneary can practice Jump Kick against some trees.

"Aerial Ace? Hmm... that would allow Piplup to get closer much faster. How can I train Aerial Ace? Just Peck with more power?" Dawn asks.

"Yep. And from farther away, I think. Anyway, let's head back, alright? I left Lucas alone, with the Buizel and I don't think he can find us." 

She looks worried about that.

"Alright. You're right. Let's not leave him alone like that." She recalls Piplup to his pokeball. "Take a good rest Piplup. I'm sorry for losing."

And then she stands up and faces me. 

The ruined mascara is still ruining her beautiful face, and it makes it obvious that she had been crying. A lot. 

Should I...

I end up pulling out a small towel from my backpack and wet it with water from my water-filter. 

"Here." I hand Dawn the towel and she is visibly confused. "I'm guessing you want to clean up your makeup before Lucas sees it."

"Oh! ... Thanks." She turns away from me to clean up her face and then turns back around. "All good?"

"You still have a little left, right there." I point out her left cheek.

"Oh... can you wipe it off for me?" She asks and hands me back the towel.

A core memory is about to happen. 

I move the towel up to her cheek but then I freeze up. Argh! 

I'm too afraid to touch a girl! Arceus, damn it! Come on Swole!

Ouch! Buneary kicked my shin! 

But my hand finally moves the final bit to Dawn's face.

Her incredibly pretty face. 

The evening sun is illuminating her face and her dark blue pupils are contrasting her pale white skin perfectly.

She is wearing her shoulderless, black and pink dress and the only flaw in her skin is the smudge of makeup. 

My hand lingers on her face. 

Her smile is infectious. The corners of her lips are turned slightly up and her eyes.

... Her beautiful eyes are staring right into mine. "Are you going to wipe the makeup away, or just stare?"

I pull myself together and actually do the job.

The task is done. The stain is gone. Emptiness fills me as I remove my hand.

"Thank you." She says and gets closer to my face. "And thanks for coming to cheer me up." 

She kisses me on my cheek and turns around to walk back to the river... 

She... She kissed me!

Oh. My. Arceus! I got my first kiss! 

Sweet baby Mew, I'm awesome!

Buneary hops onto my shoulder. "Bun. Buneary." And commands me to start walking. 

"Thanks, Buneary." Without her, I would have failed this! "You're the best!"

... Wait a second... 

This wasn't my first kiss... 

Buneary stole the first one with Sweet Kiss near Lake Verity!

And I had touched her face like that too, when we were eating ice cream. 

The sun had also been illuminating her face just like that too. 

And her pretty, black eyes, cute, beady nose and adorable snout are stuck in my memories; Just like Dawn's stunning, blue eyes, her pert, little nose and her breathtaking smile.

It doesn't count because she's just my pokemon... Right?