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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
45 Chs

The Return of the Champion

In the end, the adventure took our hero 30 days but he did it. 

He went through countless hardships, witnessed brutal murder and many rejections, but he came out stronger for it.

Swole Solo got his first pokemon from the untamed wilderness and has finally returned to civilization. 

With the mid-day sun illuminating his way, he follows the creek south until he reaches the unnamed lake at the south side of Twinleaf Town.

His joy is immeasurable as he sees his friends in the distance. 

The first humans in 30 days.

But his friends are still unaware of him. 

After all, he wears camouflage and Buneary is well hidden on his shoulder.

He drops to his knees and quietly tells to himself and to his partner pokemon. "We did it. We fucking did it!"

Buneary does not understand what is so impressive about the lake but is still happy for Swole. 

The past month might have been hell for Swole, but those were just regular days in the wilderness for Buneary.

His eyes refocus on his friends, "We need to brag..." 

His pokemon looks at him confused. 

"I mean, I need to show off how cool you are. And I got my partner pokemon before them and you are far more amazing than anything they could get from the professor."

Buneary nods slowly. Understanding what Swole wants but lacking an understanding for the 'why'.

"Can you go back into the pokeball for a moment? I will call you back out and you could land with a back-flip or something cool like that?" 

A task of physical prowess; The language that Buneary understands best. She nods eagerly, finally swept up in his excitement as well and looking forward to impressing these unknown humans too.

"Bun!"

Her trainer pulls out the pearly white premier ball, "See you in a moment." And returns Buneary to her pokeball.

Next, he hides himself better before loosening the ropes of his ghillie suit. He quickly stashes the ropes in his backpack and tosses the branches away. 

The pokeball starts shaking impatiently. "... I know that I said 'a moment'. Just wait a little longer."

With a final deep breath, Swole walks over to his group of friends, all the while pretending, not to be incredibly exhausted from his ordeals.

Barry sees him first and notifies Lucas and Dawn of the arrival of our black-faced, dirty, disgusting and rancid hero, Swole Solo.

While running closer, Barry starts to shout over to greet his friend faster than his legs can carry him. "Swole! Where the fuck have you been? We were worried about you, dude. You just disappeared on us for a month!"

The group meets up and Dawn hugs him tightly before speaking up next. "Swole! You're safe! Mom told me that your father might have done something to you! I'm so glad to see you're alright! ... Sniff sniff ... But why do you smell like you haven't showered for a month?"

Lucas is the last to give his input while keeping his own distance to stay out of smelling range. "You look and smell like a garbage bin. What happened to you man? And what's with the blackface?"

As Dawn completes the hug, she follows the round of greetings with another comment. "And what happened to your clothes!? They are more mud than fabric!" She tries to remove the fresh stains from her dress.

Swole stoically ignores all the comments and questions. A smug smile is plastered on his face as he simply pulls out a premier ball from his pocket.

His friends freeze up and look at him with growing wonder and disbelief. "No way." Are they saying, or at least thinking.

He takes the pokeball, tosses it high into the air and calls out, "Buneary, come out!"

The ball splits open and from a red beam emerges Buneary in mid air. 

Not only does she do a front flip, but she also makes a point landing on her trainer's shoulder. 

She smiles with a smug expression that tells everyone around her, "Look at me. I'm the best and you know it!" 

But the only sound that comes out of her mouth is her own name: "Buneary!"

Lucas, Dawn and Barry are shocked into silence. Their mouths are gaping while Swole and Buneary bathe in their awe. 

"Yea. You better be impressed. I got my first pokemon already. My starter pokemon is a wild Buneary from the deepest depths of the wilderness."

The three look even more awed at that. 

Even though Lucas manages to catch himself quickly and attempts to downplay the achievement. "Wow!... Cough. I mean, wow, you got your pokemon a whole day before us. Congratulations. You're still a nerd."

"Pure envy. Just as planned." Is what the hero responds with as his smug smile threatens to tear his face apart.

Dawn hits her cousin on the arm for being an ass, before rushing closer to Swole to fawn over Buneary from close up. 

"Oh. My. Arceus! You said it's a Buneary? It's sooo cuuute! Do you want to be my partner for dual performances!?"

But Lucas, Barry, Swole and Buneary have never even heard of a dual performance before and they do not care either. 

And since Buneary looks like she is about to hit Dawn for calling her cute, Swole steps away for Dawn's own safety.

"Holy shit, Swole." Barry is still awed. "That's seriously amazing. From the wilderness? Didn't your parents forbid you from leaving Twinleaf Town?"

A small round of head nods follows that question.

Every responsible adult keeps their children well within the safety of the town but sadly, Ben Solo is not a very responsible father.

"Mom forbade it but dad kicked me out and told me to go into the wilderness. I went all the way to Lake Verity. And around two weeks ago, I caught HER - not it - there."

More like, she let herself be caught. 

"And we have been fighting against wild pokemon ever since! ... Dawn, I know she is very cute, but try not to call her cute. She hates it, and she might even hit you." 

Buneary hits Swole. "Ouch! See? And what is a dual performance? Is that some kind of pokemon contest stuff?... And what the fuck do you mean, a day before you? Don't tell me trainer school starts tomorrow!? Come on! Give me a break!" The exhausted hero answers everyone at once.

Dawn is very excited to finally have the chance to talk about contests some more. "Some contests allow for two people to fight for a shared trophy! With you and Buneary as team partners, we can easily win those! And yeah... Mom picks us all up tomorrow and will drop us off at the professor's lab and then drive us to Jubilife City. I'll tell her that you're back home and you will need to be ready at 8 AM... Sorry."

For a short moment, Swole appears interested when he hears the word 'trophy' but instantly snuffs out that interest when he reminds himself that contests are for girls.

"Sorry Dawn, Buneary is a battle bunny. I don't think she'd ever want to dress up and dance around for some judges. And speaking of trainer school, I think we should actually cut our reunion short. I still have to pack my stuff for tomorrow."

"Shit, me too." - "Fuck, I forgot!" Say Lucas and Barry.

Dawn looks at them like they are dumb. "Seriously? You two had all the time in the world and you still haven't packed your bags?"

"Haha! Alright, I'll head off guys. See you tomorrow! And this time I won't just disappear, promise!"

"Bye, dude! You'll tell us how the wilderness was, right?"

"Smell ya tomorrow!"

"I'll hold you to it, Swole! You really had me scared! Bye everyone!" 

The group of friends disperses, each heading to their own home nearby.

---

Swole-POV:

I missed this town so much. 

Everything is so peaceful here. But I can't help but startle whenever a pokemon crosses my path. 

They are looking at me in suspicion.

Grrrr.

Or they are just worried about the mental bunny on my shoulder. Every wild pokemon is keeping a good distance from us thanks to her. 

I'm a little glad to be honest. I know these guys and girls are nice, but I saw so many pokemon just like them tearing apart prey or being torn apart that I can't see them as just cute little pokemon anymore.

They are pokemon, and pokemon are dangerous. 

They only don't hurt me because they don't want to, not because they can't. A human is helpless against them.

I make the few steps home together with my snarling Buneary. That was a nice little stroll even though my tense muscles made it more difficult than necessary. 

The front garden is as beautiful and well maintained as always and mom is taking care of some rose bushes at the moment. Roselia helps her while Cherrim just prances around energetically and enjoys the sunshine. 

That means Rapidash must be running around in the backyard.

My mother, Lisa Solo, is a 32 year old, still beautiful woman. She has long, straight, black hair and her eyes are just as blue as mine. 

She wears a dark, airy dress with leggings and a long red scarf hangs off her neck. From her ears hang 4 small earrings in a similar style to Cynthia's hair ornaments.

Cherrim sees me first and runs over to mom to notify her. "Hi mom!"

"Swole!" 

With that she drops her tools and rushes over to me. "Oh thank Arceus, you are safe!" Her eyes are a little puffy and new fresh tears are forming in them.

Buneary quickly hops off my shoulder to avoid being crushed... Lucky you. I'm caught in a back breaking hug.

"I was so worried about you!" Mom sobs out. "When-- When I found-- sniff found out what your father did," I tighten my hug. "I looked all over for you! Hick I couldn't find you!"

Oh... I really hate seeing her like this.

"I thought you died!"

Poor woman. "Sorry... I'm sorry for worrying you so much."

"Don't be."

Huh? 

"It was your fathers fault. That Arceus damned psycho!"

Oh wow. She's mad. "He kicked my sweet little boy out into the damn wilderness of all places! I can't believe I married such an asshole!"

Meanwhile, Buneary is just standing around awkwardly. "And who is this little cutie? Is she your new pokemon?" 

She looks upset at that description and pouts. "Bunnie..."

Doing that only makes her cuter.

"Oh, but you are very cute, my dear. And strong too! Please protect my little boy, will you?"

"Bunnie!- Buneary! Bun." No clue what that means.

"That's good, Buneary. Teamwork goes both ways."

Huh? Did she understand that?

Whatever. I need to tell mom more about my pokemon! "Mom, you won't believe how strong Buneary really is. On the way back home we defeated so many pokemon together! She's the best! Just yesterday we even defeated a Nuzleaf that tried to ambush us!"

"Ambushed!? Please tell me you had Buneary out to protect you."

"Of course! It was early in the morning and we were both still asleep. Buneary noticed something somehow and woke me up before Nuzleaf could take my head off with a sneak attack."

... Arceus, I'm so glad I had Buneary around. Until now I hadn't even realized how close that was.

"Take your head off?! When I see your father, I will rip his head off! This damned moron!" 

Yikes. She's really pissed. 

"Deep breaths Lisa... Swole, it's very good that you kept Buneary out of her ball. Good that at least some of my lessons have stuck with you."

"Honestly, thanks mom. You're the best. And I should have listened to you more often. I'm glad for your tips. Your lessons, dad's and his library really helped me out!" 

I'm certain I would have died if it weren't for the survival books and mom's lessons. But I won't worry her by saying how close it all really was.

"By the way, is it alright with you if I keep Buneary out of her pokeball? I feel really anxious without her around." 

Even if she's around, I feel like I could get attacked at any moment. But with her I know at least that I have my own guardian angel on my shoulder.

"I think that's fine. When I was traveling with my partners, I also had them around as much as possible. But we might have to fight your father on that. It's not proper he says. That man is just so damn unreasonable about these things!" 

Sheesh. She's really fucking pissed at him. Anything I say sets her off.

"Swole. Always remember, that your pokemon have better senses than you have. Always keep all your pokemon outside when you are in the wilderness. And honestly, you should always keep at least one pokemon outside to protect you in the worst case."

"Bun!" Buneary seems to agree to that. 

"I know mom. You told me a million times already."

"And I will tell you a million more times if that means you will stay safe. And WILL fight your father on it, if he dares to force Buneary into her pokeball."

"Wow. You'll do that for us? Thanks mom. Buneary, you don't want to stay in the ball either, right?"

"Bunnie. Buneary!" She says and defiantly stomps her little foot. I thought so.

"Awww! Buneary, you are so cute." Mom fawns. "Don't worry, I won't let him send you into the stuffy pokeball. But only if you come here and let me hug you!" 

As a former coordinator, she is very excitable around cute pokemon. I don't think she understands that Buneary is very wild and might hit her for calling her cute. 

But instead of hitting mom, she hides herself behind me. 

What? Why? Does she not punch girls? Or am I the only one who gets smacked around for everything?

"She doesn't like hugging. Or being called cute. Besides, you don't want to hug her. She smells." Haha! Look at her face! She's pouting now. So cute.

And as if reading my thoughts, or as if reading the shit-eating grin on my face, she stops pouting and kicks me in the shin instead. "Ouch."

Mom sniffs at the air closer to us for a moment and realizes that we both smell like garbage left out in the sun. "Roselia, can you use Aromatherapy please?"

"Roselia."

Her Roselia lets out a relaxing, pink, powdery mist that smells incredible! I take a deep heavy breath and almost stumble over from the relaxing effects. "Thanks Roselia".

"Now, I know you two want to wash up first, but I want you to stay out with me for a little while longer. Alright?"

Huh? Why? "Huh? Why? We stink."

Even Buneary looks confused. "Bun-eary?" She asks something.

"I haven't seen you in a month, Swole. And the weather is nice. And I need to calm down a little more before we go see your father together. He should be in the living room right now." 

I don't really want to see the guy either. I don't think I can ever forgive him for not even giving me a sleeping bag.

Then she turns to Buneary. "And you don't have to go back to the lake to wash yourself. We have a shower and a bathtub that Swole will show you later." 

Buneary nods in understanding. Even though 'shower' and 'bathtub' should hold no meaning to her whatsoever.

How did mom understand Buneary so well? There is no way she could have understood so much from Buneary saying her own name in a questioning voice. I know she talks with her own pokemon often but I just assumed she guesses the meaning from experience.

I've been around Buneary for longer than her and I couldn't understand Buneary's question at all!

"Now, enough about your father. Swole, tell me about your journey. And don't leave anything out." She says but I don't really want to. 

Most of the adventure sucked.

"Do I have to? The first half was just horrible. I don't really want to think about that again..."

"I understand that. I can still remember when I ventured out into the wilderness with my friends for the first time. It was a traumatic experience, to say the least. But it's not healthy to ignore what happened. Telling me about it will make you feel better." 

Shit. So I really have to? 

"Now come. Let's sit down and you just tell me all about how you got dear Buneary here."

I guess I don't have a choice. "Well, about a month ago, dad kicked me out of the house and told me to get a strong pokemon. Alone..." And for the next hour I summarized my journey to Lake Verity.

I told her about the bloodthirsty pokemon, about the cold nights and about the monotone, boring days in-between. 

Every day, I had to eat the same food. Every day, I had to sneak through thicket for miles. And every night, I had to sleep in a cold hole that was barely large enough to sit in.

My mother is enraged for me. Again. 

She blames her 'psychopathic husband' for making my expedition far harder than it had to be. 

My father is a capital A Asshole.

"This Arceus damned... Deep breaths Elizabeth... Focus on the good things."

She breathes a few times. "Wow. And you actually made it all the way to Lake Verity? I never dared to go so far out."

She didn't?

"Yeah mom. That place was amazing! It was like a little paradise surrounded by hell. And near the lake, right at the border to hell, is where I found Buneary losing against two Starly."

"Bunnie! Buneary Bun!" Buneary looks at me as if I didn't just tell the truth. 

"Suck it up. Without me you were totally losing against them."

"Bunnie."

"Yes you were."

"Bunnie!"

"No you weren't"

"Bunnie!"

"Ha! I win!" And mom chuckles too.

But there is no winning against Buneary. She just kicks me and it ends in a draw.

---

I continue to tell mom about our adventure for another hour with Buneary giving an occasional comment from the sidelines to support our story telling. 

Mom gives her own commentary in fury.

She said she wanted to calm down but I think I just gave more fuel to the fire. Dad might be dead after today.

But eventually, the story ends. 

And mom was right: It did make me feel a little better to talk about it. 

I ended up telling mom everything except the Bidoof story. That will never be shared with anyone. 

And then my stomach growls with perfect timing.

"You're hungry? Well, it's about time I make some supper." 

She stands up and removes two pokeballs from her belt before she turns to her pokemon. "Good grief. See you two tomorrow. Return Roselia and Cherrim." 

At last she turns back to me. "Come on. Let's go inside."

"Alright. Finally! I still need to pack my stuff for tomorrow."

She leads the way. She quietly opens the front door, probably hoping to avoid notifying dad, but it was for naught. 

Dad is sitting on the living room couch with a pillow and a folded blanket next to him, watching TV - probably the news - and he can see us in the entryway. 

He stands up immediately to walk into the hallway. 

I'm still mad at him but part of me also hopes that he will hug me too. Maybe he'll tell me that he's proud of me...

But mom talks first. "Swole, go upstairs and wash up for dinner. I need to talk with your father and I will tell you when the food is ready." 

I nod slowly. I've seen her like this only a few times before. It's her calm anger. 

RIP dad.

I make my way past her but dad blocks the way with his arm extended in a challenging gesture. "Son. I have warned you that I will test your pokemon." 

"You will not! You have no right to treat my son like this!" Mom steps between him and me.

But dad pretends that he didn't hear anything and pulls out the second pokeball from his belt. 

Fuck me!

Does he want Buneary to fight one of his pokemon?! 

That's impossible! They are all trained, fully evolved beasts! Fuck!

Buneary, from her place on my shoulder, notices me tensing up and she prepares some normal type energy. 

She's waiting for me to tell her to use Defense Curl. Can I do that? If a fight breaks out, we would need every Defense Curl we can get.

But if this is a trainer battle then I can't tell her to use moves before the fight begins...

Father casually tosses the pokeball, not even saying what he sends out. 

From a flash of red, Nidoking comes out. 

Fuck me sideways. We're so screwed. 

I unconsciously take a few steps backwards but Buneary jumps off my shoulder to stand in front of me. 

"Defense Curl." I whisper as quietly as I can, knowing that only Buneary has good enough hearing to notice my order.

Nidoking is massive. And menacing. A purple behemoth of a pokemon. 

In his last official match, he even won against professor Rowan's Rhyperior. In raw power, he's by far dad's strongest pokemon.

The charged normal type energy releases from Buneary's stomach, her muscles tense and her defense increases.

Mom pulls out both of her pokeballs at that and releases Cherrim and Roselia. "Don't you fucking dare Ben!"

A real trainer fight is about to break out right in the entrance of our house!

What the fuck, dad. Does he want to wreck our home?!

The pokemon are eying each other. 

Nidoking on one side of the hallway, taking up almost the entire space, only leaving just barely enough open space for dad to look at the battle stage.

Roselia, Cherrim and Buneary are standing off on the other side. Side by side. 

"Defense Curl." I whisper again. We need to use the stand-off to prepare. To increase our survival odds.

All of a sudden, another red light flashes up and Nidoking disappears again. 

Huh? What? Dad recalled Nidoking? Did he give up? No way, he has no respect for mom or anyone, he would never back down against her.

"It passed." He says as he stores Nidoking's pokeball back into his slot on dad's belt. "This was the test. If your pokemon had backed down I would have killed it and kicked you back out." He says nonchalantly. 

But his calmness only serves to piss off mom even more.

"Ben Solo, I've had enough! You're the one getting kicked out now! Get out!" Mom screeches. 

This manages to break through dad's cool demeanor, even he looks to be shocked right now. "Swole, go upstairs and wash up for dinner. Now."

Sheesh. This time dad doesn't block my way and I get past him. 

"Roselia, if his hands move to his belt, cut his arms off. I've had enough of him." Roselia nods in response. 

Sweet baby Mew, I think she has snapped completely. I hurry up a little and Buneary hops the stairs up along with me. 

Neither of us want to be down there right now.

"Pack your things and leave-- No, just leave." Heh. Ironic. "The next hotel is in Sandgem Town..." The rest of their argument is thankfully muted from the floor and the thick walls.

If the ground starts shaking, I'm going to have to climb out the window to escape.

I make a straight line to the bathroom and Buneary follows me in.

Man, this is awkward, having my parents fight in front of her like that. 

"Buneary." She says worriedly. 

"It's alright. I don't think anything is going to happen. Dad is too stoic to fight with mom. Let's just focus on getting rid of all the blood, sweat and stank, alright?"

"Bun..."

I strip down to my underwear and toss my clothes in the laundry basket, while Buneary carefully inspects every item in the bathroom.

When I grab my underwear to remove it as well, I suddenly remember that I can't just expose myself in front of her.

"Hey, I need to get something from my room, will you wait here for a moment?"

"Bun." She confirms but is too distracted by the toilet paper roll right now. 

She probably didn't listen.

That's cute though, so who cares.

My room is nearby and while I quickly jog the distance, I notice my heartbeat is going up rapidly.

The room is still as messy as I left it. Mom doesn't clean it up for me and it's not like I had expected to leave the house so abruptly. But there isn't a speck of dust around for some reason...

Some noise comes from the bathroom and I jump in fright. 

I look around in panic, trying to find Buneary...

... Ah, right. She's in the bathroom. What is she doing there? Anyway, I hurriedly sift through my closet to find a pair of swimming trunks. 

Every piece of clothes I find during my search also lands on the ground. 

I can sort through them later. I really need to hurry up right now.

A pair of swimming trunks later, is when I change out of my underwear. 

My underwear is worn through, has some holes now and smells like death. I toss them into the trash bin. It's a wonder I didn't get infections from that.

Actually, they were probably just healed in time by Oran Berries. Gross.

My beige cargo pants and sweater are probably ruined too.

Mom will know if they can be fixed with a washing... Doesn't matter. I need to get back to Buneary.

With my decency ensured, I hurry to make my way to the bathroom in my baggy, Kanto-Starter-Pokemon-themed swimming trunks. 

I will have to buy new ones. They are too embarrassing now that I'm an adult... Anyway, I look up into the bathroom where Buneary should be.

... "What the fuck." 

The bathroom is in a state of absolute chaos.

---

Toilet paper is all over the room, towels are scattered around, the sink is running, everything is wet and toothbrushes litter the ground.

It's pure chaos. How did she cause so much mayhem in 5 minutes?

"Bune? Neary..." An apologetic voice comes from the corner of the room... 

A wet Buneary, covered in white, liquid soap stares pitifully back at me.

Wow. 

I wish that was Dawn in that compromising situation right now. 

A heavy sigh escapes me. 

"Neary..." She says sorry, even though she isn't even the reason why I sighed.

"Don't worry Buneary. You're not in trouble. You are just way too cute to ever be in trouble..." 

My comment brings out the perfect reaction. 

Instead of hitting me like usual, she just looks away embarrassedly. This increases her cuteness by a factor of 3 at least!

This is the second time I managed to get away with this. The other time was when we lost against Bibarel.

2 points make a graph. I think I'm immune to hits as long as she messes something up!

"Alright, stop looking so cute, before I get diabetes..." She does stop but looks close to hitting someone/me again.

Turns out, my immunity is just a resistance. 

"Help me get rid of all the water with the toilet paper on the ground, will you? And I will fold the towels and put them and the toothbrushes back in their proper place." I say, pointing out each object with Buneary nodding along.

After cleaning up the mess, I guide Buneary over to the massive, luxurious walk-in shower and she stops before the open doors. 

"Step in there. It's the shower. You will love it." 

She looks up at me with suspicion. "Oh, come on. I would never, ever prank you like this." And her suspicion turns into distrust. 

Smart.

But this time at least, it's really not a prank, so I enter the shower first and she follows after me.

I close the door and turn on the hot water. Perfectly hot water comes down directly from the ceiling, showering us like rain.

It's clear that Buneary is pleasantly surprised. 

The savage beast is experiencing luxury for the first time in her life and it warms my heart to witness that.

She's closing her eyes, and the liquid soap is starting to come off by itself from the pressured water. 

Speaking of soap, she must have no clue what it's for.

So I turn the shower back off and a snarling and growling Buneary meets me in response. 

"Calm down a little. We need to work the soap in before it's completely wasted." She nods slowly. 

I'm starting to understand that gesture. It means that she didn't understand what I said at all. 

So I squat down before her and just rub the soap on her arm a little.

There's still so much of it, that the bubbles form easily and I can show that off as a result before Buneary hits me for petting her. "Do you want to clean yourself or do you want the luxury treatment?"

She hesitates and thinks for a long moment before saying, "Buneary." As if that means something. 

"Ehhhhh... Let me rephrase that. Do you want the Luxury treatment?" This time she nods but shows off a renewed scowl.

Simple questions Swole, remember it.

The luxury option it is. Ha! Finally! I can pet her and get away with it too!

I pick her up and sit down sideways on the bench inside the shower room. I place Buneary down in front of me, with her back facing me. 

Then I start rubbing in the soap into her furry back and arms. Her ears are twitching a little. 

Cute. 

But her muscles are taut. It's like moving my hands over a fuzzy rock!

And I can feel a few scars and muscle-knots through the fur too.

Poor bunny. Must have had so many untreated injuries before she met me.

According to pokemon-health books, I should be giving her a massage, but I also want to keep my head on my shoulders. 

Maybe some other time in the future.

Next, I rub soap onto her ears. At first, she squirms a little but then she lets out a purr.

That's so cute!

But here too, are a few scars hidden by fur. Every time my hands move over them she squirms at first, before seemingly calming down and purring again. 

My heart is melting.

Her ears receive a lot of focus, quite a lot longer than necessary; Just to enjoy seeing and hearing Buneary be as cute as she's supposed to be.

I mean, for real, the Buneary species isn't supposed to be an evil, bloodthirsty killing machine. 

And the soap bubbles and the purring, are doing a real nice job at hiding those gruesome aspects of her.

Now she's just bubbles, sunshine and cuteness. 

What a sight for my sore eyes and weary ears.

But all good things must come to an end.

Eventually I move on from her ears and refocus on her fluffy lower half. Except, with her being wet, it's just really long curly hair. And it's full of blood, mud and even small sticks...

Good grief. Even after rubbing in all the soap she had herself covered with, I still had to get more for the tonnes of dirt in her fluff.

When it comes to soaping in her front side, I end up blushing a little because I have to grab around her and rub her chest and stomach.

Luckily her back is turned and I don't have to explain myself. 

She might just be a pokemon but I'm not immune to having my imagination wander. 

Arceus, how I wish this was Dawn. Or even better, Cynthia!

"Ahem. So! You're almost completely soaped in now. Can you handle your face? I don't want to accidentally hurt you. Oh, and keep your eyes closed. Soap hurts a lot if it gets into them."

"Bun!"

The relaxed bunny nods in confirmation and starts rubbing her face with her tiny little arms. 

"So cute." She hears me and shoots me a dangerous look but with her eyes closed tightly, it has no effect.

Once she finished, I picked her back up and she tried to wiggle out on instinct. I quickly set her back down in the center of the shower and turn the water back on. 

Bloody, muddy and simply gross soap sods flow freely from her body. 

With her taken care of, I start lathering myself up.

By the time I was nice and slippery, Buneary was still enjoying the hot water. 

But the shower room is massive and there is easily enough space for the both of us to stand under the water at the same time.

"Bu, Buneary..." 

Is she thanking me? "What for?"

"Buneary. Bune bu bunnie."

... Alright. Whatever. I deserve that for asking for explanations. Time to bluff my way out. "You're welcome!" 

Awww. She looks so happy. Now I can't tell her that I have no clue what she said.

I have other surprises that are waiting for her, so I hurry to get myself clean.

Once we are both free of our filth, I turn off the shower once again. 

Grrrrr.

"Haha, stop it. The world isn't ending because I turned off the hot water." She's staring at me like a baby whose candy I stole.

"Come on, I have something else to show you before mom finishes dinner." Only the bribery of something else she could enjoy makes her follow me around again.

First, I lead her over to a couple of bottles on a high shelf and hand her one bottle after another.

"You pick what smells best."

Mom's collection of bathing oils: Rated to be safe for humans and pokemon. 

Buneary smells one bottle after another but she eventually settles on: "Hazelnut Caramel." Sounds tasty.

I take back the bottle and shoot a load into the bathtub before turning on the water.

The pleasantly sweet smell of nut and caramel immediately wafts into our noses. We're going to smell like ice-cream.

Buneary was distracted with the smell, so I swiftly picked her up and dropped her into the water. Her surprised face is so damn cute! 

"Bune?"

"Yep, it's like a lake to bathe in but the water is hot. Isn't that amazing?"

"Bun!"

I join Buneary in the hot bathtub and I can feel the stress of the past month slowly leaving my body. 

Sweet Mew, this is so nice. 

Buneary swims and is playing in the water. 

After a while of simply enjoying the water, I turn off the water and just lay down on my back and close my eyes. 

This bath was Made In Heaven. 

...

---

I fell asleep. 

Luxury baths are the best. My body is perfectly submerged in water that cannot go cold and my head and neck are supported, reaching out of the water. 

Buneary woke me up when she herself was startled awake. "Were you sleeping on my stomach the whole time?"

"Bunnie!" Lies! I know you did!

It's not like she could have slept anywhere else. The water is too deep for her to lie in.

"Don't worry, I don't mind it. You keep the nightmares away, so I prefer it--"

Knock, Knock, Knock. "Swole, Buneary, are you two still at it? Dinner is ready. Hurry up!"

I startle up and catch the tumbling Buneary in my arms. "We're out soon! We just fell asleep in the bath." 

I shout out and Buneary turns her head to me, still held princess-carry in my arms.

"Bune?" She asks me something. 

I think I can guess the meaning though. It's either "do we have to leave the bath?" or "can you put me down?" 

She and I both know that she wouldn't be asking if it was the second option.

"Yea, we need to get out now. Besides, aren't you hungry too? And I told you about mom's food. You won't miss the bathtub once you start eating, I swear." 

Begrudgingly, Buneary nods her head in understanding.

We quickly towel us off; Buneary looks extra floofy from it. The puffs of fur on the tips of her ears and the lower half of her torso have ballooned out.

I wish I had a Poketch to take a picture with. 

Instead I end up urging her to hurry up, so mom can see her before she has time to fix her fur. 

She's just too cute to not show off. 

Downstairs, the dining room is already prepared for dinner. The dishes are covered with silver cloches that come with Roselia, Bellossom, Lilligant and Floette designs. 

Very girly, but - as a Buneary trainer - I have no right to complain about stuff like that anymore. 

There are 5 plates; 2 and 3 per side of the table. A brightly smiling mom, Roselia and Cherrim have occupied one side.

Buneary and I take our seats. "Your father won't be participating tonight. He's staying at a hotel in Sandgem Town." Then she uncovers her dish first and everyone else follows her lead.

Steak, salad and mom's spaghetti. Arceus, I missed mom's spaghetti so much.

It's drizzled in Moomoo butter and Pomeg Berry sauce. The large, fatty steak is thickly covered in ground up pepper and flakey fleur de sel. 

The smell alone brings back happy memories from a better time. A tiny tear rolls down my cheek.

Buneary is shocked into a stupor from the aroma as well.

Roselia and Cherrim have half a steak but 4 times as much salad each. 

They are already using the knives and forks to eat their food and shoot Buneary critical looks in the meantime. 

Mom has drilled the same table manners into her pokemon and into me. 

And Buneary's struggle to use the knife does not suit the pompous coordinator pokemon.

"Buneary, for today you may eat however you like. I will teach you how to use the silverware, while we are at the trainer school. Understood?" 

Buneary looks at me like she can't recognize me anymore. 

My posture is perfect and my fork and knife are held exactly like a proper gentleman should hold them.

... But just for today, I should act a little more like a caveman, to make Buneary feel more comfortable eating with us. 

I adjust the grip on the knife, slouch a little on purpose and start cutting her steak into smaller pieces before digging into my own food like a savage.

Roselia and Cherrim look like they want to get up and gut me but mother clears her throat and smiles at us. Giving us her unspoken approval.

The dinner continues with the occasional polite conversation.

"Mom, I cannot help but notice that Roselia and Cherrim are eating with us today. Was that not against the rules?"

"Your father is not here and I'm done listening to him. Pokemon can not eat at the dinner table. It is not proper. He says. I regret ever listening to him. I used to eat with my pokemon all the time, when I was traveling. Your father has ruined what we had and I will not make them eat their food from the ground like some animal ever again."

I don't think I would have listened if anyone told me to make Buneary eat like a common pet either.

"You are right, if father told me that Buneary can not eat with me, I would have taken the food upstairs instead." 

That, or I would just have left home. I'm an adult now, I will leave home soon anyway and I know I can survive without a roof over my head.

Mom grins widely at my response. "Good! I'm done listening to that asshole and you shouldn't listen to him anymore either. He almost got you killed, for fuck's sake! Next time that second place loser wants you to do anything, he will need to get through me first!"

Wow, she's really pissed. I'm really glad her wrath isn't directed at me, unlike that one time. If dad wasn't such a prick all the time, I'd feel bad for him.

During a lull in conversation, Buneary makes the first sounds that weren't just the result of chewing, gulping or scarfing down her food.

"Bune? Buneary?" 

No clue what she said. But Roselia answers, "Rose." Mom chuckles lightly at this. 

Now I'm convinced. She can understand what they are saying perfectly. There is no guesswork involved at all. 

How?

"Mom, did you understand what they were talking about just now?"

"Of course. Buneary wanted to know if the food is always so good. And Roselia said it's only when I cook." 

Still, how?

"How can you understand all that from just the few sounds they make?"

"Oh, it's just something some people learn over time. Your grandma was a lot better at it than me. Sometimes the meaning is lost to me, but most of the time it just sounds like normal people talking in my head." 

What? I never heard of that. "Can dad do that too?"

"I don't think so. He's too cold for that to work. My mother told me that you need a strong bond to pokemon in general for that ability to come through." 

Wow. I should have asked mom about stuff more often. She knows more about pokemon than I thought!

"Will I be able to talk with Buneary normally?" Buneary looks up, she hopes so as well. 

It's way too annoying to limit myself to yes or no questions.

"I'm sure you will. You have only known Buneary for a few weeks but you are already inseparable. That's a good basis as far as I know."

Awesome! "Do we have any books on that? I want to learn that as fast as I can!" 

Buneary finished her plate and is stretching her too-short arms to the cloche in the center of the table. 

Seeing her struggle, I passively serve her and me a second portion from the refill plate while listening to mom.

"No. I don't think we have any books on that. And what I do know is only what my mom told me when I was still a small child. I forgot most of the lessons over the years... But don't worry so much. You will make a great trainer, I'm sure! Just focus on your journey, alright? I'm sure you can understand pokemon in no time at all."

"Alright mom..."

"Speaking of your journey, do you want any help packing your bag?"

... My stuff. I forgot about it again!

"Fu-- dge! There is still so much to go through! My bag is filthy, I still have to sort through my clothes and I have no survival equipment at all!" 

That's not good.

"Mom, can you clean my jacket, backpack and shoes tonight, please? They are covered in mud and I still need to dig through my room for equipment." I beg her for help.

"Already started it, hun. Consider it done by tomorrow. Have you selected your clothes yet? They are very important. Clothes make the man after all. You need something suitable for cities, travel and wilderness. And don't forget to pack enough underwear. And--"

"Alright! Mom! I get it! I know what I need. Worst case I go shopping with my friends in Jubilife City. Come on Buneary, let's finish quickly, every second we waste now, is a second less sleep later."

---

Narrator-POV:

Our hero and his pokemon rush to eat their food and then rush up the stairs to prepare for their next grand adventure.

In Swole's bedroom they sort through clothes together.

He points out outfits and asks Buneary for her opinions.

Buneary is pretending to care while Swole pretends to take her input into account.

In the end they settle on a few sets of dark blue cargo pants with a plain white sweater and a long Buneary-brown scarf for cold days.

"With the black rain coat, this will be a nice casual outfit. This shouts professionalism and is suitable for most occasions." He tells Buneary, who does not care and is unresponsive.

"But I will need something for gym matches and something for the wilderness too. My old suit doesn't fit me anymore and I don't have anything at all for the wilderness!"

He lets out a long sigh. "I guess that means we'll need to go shopping for clothes with Dawn..." A shudder of fright travels up his back.

His pokemon does not understand the horrors which await her in the near future.

Ignorance is bliss.

He also went through all of his drawers to find anything else useful for the future, but only managed to scrounge up a few empty notebooks and some ballpoint pens.

"Huh. Everything I own is either clothes or useless." He tosses the outfits, his writing material and a month worth of underwear on a large pile and his preparations are done.

Buneary yawns and is already half asleep. Swole changes into his gray Ariados-silk pajamas and lays down in the bed before covering himself in a thick blanket.

"Hop on Buneary, time to sleep."

She hops on and lands on his stomach, "Oof" And makes herself comfortable there.

Two claps ring out and the lights turn themselves off.

And so, the hero has completed his first foray into the bizarre sites of the Sinnoh region.

Lake Verity: Home to a legendary guardian who sealed away the creators of time and space, but also the former home of the wildest Buneary he has ever seen.

The hero and his first pokemon. Their breaths slow, their hearts beat calmer, their minds fall asleep and the world keeps turning ever so slowly...

...

...

...

Elsewhere, a certain Aipom sneaks up on his excited trainer on a passenger ship from the far-away Kanto region.

Somewhere, a certain lake guardian spirit has finished securing her home and has left to see how much the world has changed outside since her last departure.

And nowhere and no-when, two certain beings that should never meet, have met each other at a rift in space-time.

Their ensuing battle, causing unknown damage to this world, to the worlds of the past, the future and even to worlds beyond this one.

What will the future hold for our sleeping hero?

One full of hardship and struggle?

Full of battle and strategy?

Friendship and love?

Or will there be no future left at all?

Or perhaps, it will be a little bit of everything? Only Arceus himself may know the answers to these questions.

As for us, well, we will just have to wait and find out for ourselves!