The Little Mind Reader

Ash has a gift that makes him.. different from most others. Despite all the good it can do, it can also lead to hardships in a harsh, narrow-minded world. Watch as Ash starts his journey to find a place he will truly be accepted and grow stronger. Inspired by the anime 'Kotoura-san'. Smart/Psychic Ash.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11477240/1/The-Little-Mind-Reader

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4. Badge or No Badge?

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Pewter City.. The City of Stone..

And it fit its name perfectly. Most of the buildings seemed to be made of grey stone or rock-like materials. Despite the like color, though, each building had its own design or flare that made it different from all the other buildings around it.

"This seems like a nice place.." Ash said as he stood on a hill overlooking the city. He took in a deep breath before beginning to walk into town

"I'm just glad to be out of that Arceus forsaken forest.." said a slightly irritable female voice from his shoulder

Her comment made Ash chuckle, "oh, come on, it wasn't that bad. We made new friends.."

"sure.. in between angry hoards of beedrill and an irate red head, we met a weird armored bug boy and a caterpillar-turned cocoon.." Abra said as she huffed

"hey now, don't be so rude!" Ash said with a serious look on his face, "Metapod is your team member and our friend. Remember that."

"Careful boy..people get nervous quick around someone who talks to himself.." a new, gruffer voice spoke.

Looking towards the source of the new voice, Ash and Abra saw an older looking man, dressed in a red tank top, dirty brown pants, a beanie on his head, and a very rough beard around his face. He sensed that the man was somewhat weirded out by him supposedly talking to himself, though didn't show it outwardly.

"Oh I wasn't talking to myself," he said as he tried to correct the situation, "I was talking to my Abra here. She communicates in my mind. I just forget to do the same sometimes.." he said as he scratched the back of his head.

The bum-looking man just stared at him for a moment before saying, "You know.. that only makes you sound weirder..," making Ash and Abra sweatdrop.

At that moment, the little Psi pokemon let out a Yawn. Was it time for a nap already?

Noticing it, the man frowned, "Your Abra looks like it could use some rest. Come on, I'll show ya to the Pokemon Center."

"Oh, thanks!" The boy said gratefully. Upon reading the man's surface thoughts, he saw the man was sincere... mostly.. There was also a big part of his thoughts that was obsessed with seeing Nurse Joy and.. .. eww, creepy...not going there!

Thanks to the man, Flint was the name he read, they made it to the Center in almost no time, and was promptly greeted by Nurse Joy, "Welcome to the Pokemon Center. How may I help you today?"

That's what came out of her mouth.. but thanks to his gift, Ash heard this..

'Oh no, not that pervert again. Probably using that poor naive boy as an excuse to come here. Maybe I should call Jenny.. then again that only seemed to turn him on more.. eww..'

Despite the fact that Ash always tried his hardest not to reveal his secret, he couldn't help but go wide-eyed at the nurse's train of thought. It only took one look at the man to confirm that Joy had a good reason for thinking that.. the man was practically drooling, his thoughts merely chanting 'Nurse Joy... Ohhhhh... Nuuurse Joooy..' over and over. By this point, the poor woman was visibly grimacing.

Having seen enough, Ash decided to say something, "is there something going on between you and nurse Joy? Cuz' she doesn't look happy to see you.." he asked with a raised eyebrow and slightly disturbed look.

Caught off guard by the boy's question, Flint was snapped out of his trance and looked at him, "I-I have no idea what you're talking about!"

"..Suuurre" Ash said as he rolled his eyes and approached the desk, "hello, Nurse Joy, how are you?" he asked, before looking behind him at Flint, who seemed to be having an internal battle with himself as what was the best moment to approach Nurse Joy, "Uhh.. does that guy bother you a lot?"

To his question, the nurse just sighed, "well, he isn't exactly a welcome sight at the center.. but don't worry, he doesn't show up every day!" she said, keeping her happy face on, '..anymore..' she thought with an inward sigh..

After summing up the situation, Ash couldn't help but feel sorry for her. He couldn't imagine what it would be like to have a pervert that couldn't take a hint stalk you... WOAH! Bad thoughts!

"By the way," the nurse said, break him from his thoughts, thankfully.. "have you seen those posters over here?" she said as she pointed towards the wall. Looking over, Ash saw several posters up, advertising for several events. One was for the famous Indigo Conference, another was for an event new to Kanto, called Pokemon Contests. A third one that Ash noted was for several small tournaments that were being held throughout the region, with great prizes for the top three.

After the studying the posters for a few moments, Ash nodded, "I've heard about the League and the tournaments, but can you tell me what pokemon Contests are about?"

"Certainly," she responded with a nod, "Pokemon Contests are a new Pokemon themed event that originated in the Region of Hoenn. In contests, Pokemon and their trainers, who are called Coordinators, work together to make a variety of moves and combinations to show off their pokemon's strengths and abilities. The first round is usually the performance round, while the rest of the rounds are usually contest battles."

"Contest battles?"

"mhm.. they're almost like pokemon battles, only you must keep in mind to not only make your pokemon moves look beautiful, but to also keep your counters and dodges beautiful and graceful as well. "

"Hmm.." the young trainer hummed to himself. He didn't exactly know what to think of contests.. maybe it was something to at least look into..

"Thanks for the info, Nurse joy. But for now, I think I'll just focus on building up my team and getting to Saffron." he told her, to which she only smiled, "good idea to build your team up first, but why Saffron City may I ask?"

"uhh.." Ash said, trailing off, not sure what to say in response to her question, "...My uncle lives there... he runs a business that he needs help with, and even offered me a place to stay," he lied. Last thing he wanted to do was say that he was a homeless orphan with nowhere to go except the Psychic school because of his strange gift...

..man that's depressing...

"Oh I see," the nurse replied, "Well, in that case, I'll be happy to heal and check your pokemon for you if you like, and if you ever change your mind, just come talk to me. Maybe while you're here, you can check out our region-famous Museum."

"Museum?" he asked curiously, seeing some images of the building and what it looked like within Joy's mind, "sounds awesome, and yes I would like you to make sure my pokemon are ok." he said as he gave her two pokeballs and fished a sleeping Abra out of his backpack.

"Aww, how cute!" Joy said as she took them into the back

"yea.. cute.." the young trainer smirked. Cute wasn't exactly how he would describe Abra given her spitfire personality.

Within a few minutes, the nurse was back with his pokeballs, and Abra.. who was still sleeping unsurprisingly.

"here you are! Your pokemon are in perfect health," the nurse said with a sunny smile.

"Thanks, Nurse Joy!" Ash said as he returned the smile before collecting his friends and heading out. Though, not before giving the still lovestruck Flint a stern glare and a clear message, "do yourself and your health a favor and stay away from Nurse Joy, or else I will call a cop and it won't be officer Jenny!"

That was enough to snap the man out of his trance and give the boy a surprised look. How did he know about Jenny? Was it that obvious that he likes his ladies? He knew he was a bit of a pervert but still..

Gah!... Maybe it was best to head the boy's warning... for now anyway...

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It didn't take long to find the Museum, considering that it was one of the largest and most impressive buildings in Pewter.

After paying the entry fee and getting a rundown of the rules, the young trainer decided to look around for something that may interest him. As he maneuvered through the rooms and the crowds of tourists, he let his mind wander.. if anything to distract his mind from reading the numerous thoughts in the room and save himself a headache.

'Even though I said I wanted to build my team up first, it is awfully tempting to just go try the gym and see how I do..' he thought to himself, 'the Pewter Gym is a Rock type gym, and if I'm not mistaken, the Gym Leader's main pokemon is an Onix... Well, I do have Staryu.. who has an obvious type advantage, but it.. actually I'm getting the vibe that it's a she.. still needs work on perfecting rapid spin...'

He was brought out of his train of thought when a brightly lit display caught his eye.

The background of the display was a huge mountain cutout with a starry night sky. In front of that was a display strange looking rocks and stones of various colors.. in fact, they almost seemed to radiate those colors like a small prism.

But that's not what caught Ash's eye. Around the rocks were little pinks statues and various display pictures of one pokemon that Ash had been wanting to meet for some time.. Clefairy.

They are considered the first true Fairy type, and one of only two fairy types found in Kanto besides the Jigglypuff line. It's also one of the rarest and least known about Pokemon besides the Legendaries themselves, making it all the more mysterious and fascinating. Several stories and theories are out there, but very few really have a leg to stand on.

As Ash looked over the details of the display, he found three little information windows nearby and read them, the first one was right in front:

MOUNT MOON DISPLAY:

Mount Moon is a large, dark, and mysterious mountain that lies in between Pewter City and Cerulean City. Thanks to years of tunneling from various pokemon, including the gigantic Onix, the inside of mountain consist of a maze-like tunnel system that can stretch for miles and is easy to get lost in. It is also considered a rite of passage for young upcoming trainers to make their way through Mount Moon's tunnels to the other side.

The second window was right in front of a Clefairy Figure.

MOUNT MOON POKEMON:

Mount moon is home to numerous types notcurnal pokemon who have adapted to, or prefer the darkness. These types include Paras, Sandshrew, Geodude, and Zubat. The mountain is also said to be the home of the rare, mysterious, and sought after Clefairy line. Although many legends and stories surround this little- known about pokemon, there have been very few sightings and no reports of successful capture.

The third window was right in front of one of the shining rocks.

THE MOONSTONE:

Mount Moon is also well known for holding the Moon Stone, which it was adapted its name from. Legend has it that hundreds of years ago, a meteor fell from space and crashed right through the center of Mount Moon. As no meteor was ever found, the validity of this legend is skeptical, but many believe it to be true. However, it is well known that fragments of the evolutionary stone of the same name do reside in the mountain in various areas. They are hard to find due to their base color of black combined with the darkness of the cave. However, moonstones do give off a colorful sheen under the influence of moonlight.

As he read, Ash took in all the information he could. If he wanted to at least see a Clefairy, he would need all the info he could get. It also wouldn't hurt to get a couple moonstones for the future. No way in hell was he buying them.

As he committed the info to memory, the boy heard some stray thoughts that were directed towards him, then felt that same presence come closer, until whoever it was, was right next to him.

"So, you're interested in Mount Moon, huh?" a gruff but kind male voice asked.

As Ash stood straight up and turned towards the voice, he saw an older, taller male, that looked to be about 16 or 17. He had darker colored skin, dark brown hair up in spikes, and slanted eyes that almost looked closed. In fact.. now that Ash got a good look at him, he looked a little like Flint..

"Uhh.. yea!" Ash answered after a minute, "It'll be my next stop, and I wanted to know more about the pokemon that lived there.. especially Clefairy," he said as he looked over the display again, taking his eyes off the older teenager.

'Thought so.. another story chaser.. still, I don't want him ending up lost like the others..' the man thought, "I wouldn't waste your time..almost no one ever sees Clefairy. Just do yourself a favor and head straight through.."

"Oh don't worry about me, " Ash said with a small smile, "I'll be doing more homework on the mountain before I go so I'm not just chasing stories, and I'm going to invest in some more supplies so I don't get lost like other trainers have."

Hearing this, the man was understandably surprised. It was like the boy had read his mind.. or he was just very smart. Either way, the teen kept his surprise in check and just responded with a grunt, "well.. just make sure you're careful when going there.." he said, "oh, and by the way, are you taking on the gym challenge? I'm just curious.."

"I will be eventually," Ash answered, "but I want to build up my team first and get them stronger. I do have a pokemon that has a type advantage to this gym but I want to train her up first."

Hearing that, the man, from what Ash could sense his name was Brock, smiled and nodded, 'good, he's not another idiot noob that rushes into battle unprepared', he thought, "That's a good strategy. I wish more trainers thought like that."

Ash nodded lightly, before a wicked smirk spread on his face, "well, I don't want to be just another idiot noob that rushes into a gym battle unprepared." he said with an internal snicker. He didn't know where this side of him was coming from, but he kinda liked it.

Brock, on the other hand was slightly freaked out. The kid just pretty much reflected his thoughts word for word, "uhh..yea. My thoughts exactly..heh" he said before holding his hand out, "My names Brock, I help with the Museum displays," he greeted, telling a half-truth.

"My name's Ash, I actually just started my journey about a week ago," the boy said while shaking the man's hand.

Now, Ash may be able to read a person's surface and at times in depth thoughts just by looking at them, but when physical contact is made, like a handshake, his telepathic power increases tenfold. As long as that contact is held, he can see a person's life story, including their memories, their feelings towards certain things , and even their buried skeletons, which has scared him on more than one occasion.

With that five second handshake, Ash could tell this. Brock was not only someone that worked for the Museum, he was also the Pewter City Gym Leader. He had nine little brothers and sisters that he cared for almost 24/7 because his father, who looked familiar, abandoned them, and his mother vanished soon after. Sounded kind of familiar to what happened to him...sans the brothers and sisters..

He could also tell that, like someone else he just met, the teen had an unhealthy love for Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny.. though he was able to keep it on a better leash than Flint.

So overall, Brock wasn't a bad guy.. definitely a big brother figure.

"Nice to meet you, Brock" Ash said with a sunny smile, "you know.. you kinda look like the guy that led me to the Pokemon Center earlier.. same eyes and everything.." the boy said while rubbing his chin in thought.

"I do?" Brock asked with a frown and a raised eyebrow

"Yea.. only he looked a lot older and had a scraggly looking beard. And he kept giving Nurse Joy the creepiest looks. I hope she's ok.. I had to literally threaten the guy before I left not to mess with her."

"Really..." Brock said as he frown deepened. That's sounds an awful lot like..

*BOOM!*

Before anyone knew what had happened, an explosion occurred down the hall towards the back of the building, causing the alarms to go off.

"What the hell?!" Brock shouted before he took off towards the explosion, with Ash right behind him.

The room in question was one of the Museum's most popular rooms, the Fossil Room, which depicted fossils and bones of prehistoric pokemon from across the world.

From the smoky room, a old man staggered out, looking ragged and roughed up.

"Curator!" Brock yelled as he approached the man, "are you ok?"

"I'm fine..." the man said, "but those thieves.. they're taking all of the fossils!"

"Thieves?!" the Gym Leader shouted before taking off into the room. After making the sure curator was truly ok, Ash followed.

Within the Fossil Exhibit room, five men dressed in black with red R's on their chests were spread around, hurriedly and carelessly stuffing the fossils and other artifacts on display into large burlap sacks.

"Hurry up! Five minutes before the cops arrive!" One of them shouted, causing all of them to speed up their pace, not even caring if the fossils were damaged upon extraction.

"STOP THIS!" A voice shouted, causing all five to stop and turn towards the new presence.

Brock was angry.. very angry.. he, the curator and his family helped build the museum from the ground up, and their fossil collection took years to make.

"Who's that?" One thief asked pompously, while another looked apprehensive, "I think he's the.."

Brock didn't give him time to finish, "Onix GO! Stop these thieves!"

In a bright flash of light, the enormous rock snake made its presence known with a roar, shaking the whole building. Thanks to the high ceiling, there was just enough room for the big guy to move around and not break anything..

"Ha! We're prepared for you rock loving wierdos!" One of the grunts said before they all released their pokemon. Just as he said, all of the grunt were armed with either water or grass type pokemon. A Tentacool and Tentacruel, along with a Vileplume, Victreebell, and Parasect were present.

"Tentacool/Tentacruel, water gun!"

"Victreebell, razor leaf!"

"Parasect/Vilplume, Stun Spore!"

"Onix, quick, sweep them all with your tail!" Brock cried out to defend

The tactic worked, partly, as Onix's heavy tail worked like a battering ram, sweeping all of the enemy pokemon to the sides. Unfortuantely, it wasn't fast enough to stop the influx of Stun Spore.

"Onix, Look out!" Brock shouted. However, he saw that there was no way Onix would dodge and was preapred to call it back when..

"Staryu, use rapid spin/water gun combo to blow that stun spore away!"

In a flash of light, the brown starfish appeared, already spinning as it sprayed flew through the air. Once high enough, it went vertical and started shooting off its Water Gun attack, knocking down the Stun Spore as well as soaking the enemy pokemon.

"Huh? Ash?!" Brock said, surprised.

The boy smiled and gave him a thumbs up before turning towards the evil men, "So.. going by the R's on their chest, I'm guess that these guys are Team Rocket."

One of the men smirked, "that's right kid. I see that you've heard of us. If that's the case, then you should know better than to mess with the likes of Team Rocket."

"Actually," Ash started with a small smirk, "last time I fought you someone from your group, they were pretty easily defeated. They are aggressive, yes, but they were dumb. Kinda like you guys."

"Why YOU!" one of the other grunts you, "we'll teach you some respect! Victreebell, use-"

He was cut off as something landed on his back, seemingly from nowhere, stopping him cold from surprise.

"Huh?"

"What the.."

Ash couldn't help but let out a snicker, 'guess all the noise woke you up?' he thought

On the grunt's back was none other than the young trainer's starter and partner, the particularly cranky Abra, "no, what was your first guess.." she said sassily, as the bopped the grunt on the head, making him see stars, before teleporting to the next one.

"Get that pest!" one of them shouted

"Forget it! we gotta get outta here! The cops will be here any minute!" the supposed lead grunt yelled

"Onix, don't let them get away! Rock Tomb!"

"Metapod, ties these guys up with String Shot!" Ash yelled, throwing out his third, and deceptively weak pokemon. Immediately , it began shooting its sticky string towards the Rocket grunts and their pokemon, trying to tie them up.

"Enough!" A grunt yelled, "Victreebell, RazorLeaf on the string shot then that pesky-YOW!" he couldn't finish his sentence as he was bonked on the head by Abra.

Still, the grass type got the message as it shot out multiple leaves at the string, cutting it and then at Metapod, knocking it back.

"Metapod!" Ash yelled as he caught his flying bug type, which made him fly backwards and to the ground from the momentum of the attack.

"ASH!" Brock yelled out, worriedly, which also distracted Abra from her task.. a costly mistake.

"Gotcha!" the grunt yelled as he grabbed Abra and slammed her to the ground, then yelled, "Vileplume, use Stun Spore on this thing!"

"Vile!" the grass type shouted as he prepared his attack.

"Geodude! Tackle that Vileplume!" Brock yelled as he released his second Pokemon, "Onix, use bind on the closest Rocket!"

"Victreebell, Razor Leaf on Onix!" a grunt shouted

"Parasect! Stun Spore that Geodude!" the first grunt snarled

"Abra! Teleport back to me!" Ash yelled as he stood up, cradling an injured metapod.

"No you don't! Tentacruel, restrain that pest!" the Lead grunt shouted.

"ABRA!" the Psychic type cried out in pain as the giant jellyfish wrapped two of its tentacles around her, wrapping her painfully. Thanks to the pain, she could not concentrate enough to teleport, "Arceus damnit!"

"Abra, NO!" Ash cried out worriedly to his pokemon.

It wasn't going well on Brock's side either, as his Geodude was stunned and Onix was taking damage from the Razor Leaves.

"Onix, do another sweep!" Brock called out desperately. They were losing ground, and quickly

"Staryu, help Abra! Use Swift on Tentacruel!" Ash yelled to his water type, who had been spraying at random targets. The Starfish pokemon immediately turned its aim towards the large Poison type and fired a flurry of stars. Since Swift is an attack that can't be dodged, Tentacruel was struck by the normal type attack, taking damage, but still holding onto Abra with a firm grip.

"Tentacool, Poison Sting on Staryu" The youngest grunt shouted

"Onix! Slam that Tentacool!" Brock countered as he gave Geodude a Pecha berry to cure his paralysis.

"Grr.. Victreebell, use-"

"Sir! the Cops are coming! They're in the building!"

"Damnit!" the lead grunt said, "We gotta get outta here.. leave the loot for another day! Tentacruel, toss that runt away!"

With a grunt, Tentacruel threw Abra to the ground, where it not so softly landed.

"Ugh..." the little Psi pokemon grunted, "I get you for that.."

"Abra!" Ash yelled as he ran to his pokemon

" I want some revenge before we go .." one grunt said with a smirk, " This should teach you not to mess with Team Rocket, punk.. Victreebell, Leaf blade on that little pest!" he shouted pointing towards Ash.

Without hesitation, the FlyCatcher Pokemon rushed towards Ash , who was still running towards Abra. Thanks to the chaos around him and his focus on his struggling starter, Ash didn't see the or feel the incoming danger. But Brock sure did

"ASH, LOOK OUT!" Brock yelled, getting the boy's attention. Unfortunately, it was too late.

"Huh?" was all Ash could before he felt and saw the incoming attack.

"WAAHH!" he yelled as he crossed his arm in front of him

"METAPOD!" ("ASH!")

*SLASH!*

Ash popped his eyes open, bewildered at hearing the attack hit but feeling nothing , and was horrified at what he saw.

His dear Metapod had taken the hit for him, and now had a deep gash right down the middle of her shell. She now laid on the ground, motionless.

"Metapod..." the young trainer whispered as he cradled his bug type, tears now falling from his eyes.

"Heh," the grunt laughed as he returned his grass type and followed his comrades, "consider this lesson learned, kid." she said cruelly before disappeared through the same hole they came in.

The fossils had been recovered, but at what price...

Within moments, Abra and Staryu were next to him, worried about their fallen comrade. Brock had also rushed over, along with, finally, Officer Jenny and her crew.

"Officer," Brock addressed, "the thieves got away through that hole in the wall, if you and your crew are quick enough, you may be able to catch them. They're supposedly from Team Rocket."

"Right," the officer said before leading her team through the wall to pursue the Rockets.

Ash was oblivious to all of this as he held his teammate close, "Metapod.. please..please be ok..." he whimpered. Staryu and Abra looked saddened as well, until the little psychic perked her ears, "What a minute... it's not dying... it's..."

Before she could finish, the now exposed gash area on Metapod's shell started to glow and the gash opened up even more. Ash and Brock both looked on in awe at what was happening. Within moments, the entire form of Metapod was glowing, and then shifting.

"..it's evolving.." Ash said barely above a whisper

The glowing form grew larger, and rounder, and sprouted a pair of antennae. Little blue hands and feet appeared in their proper places on its torso. The last thing to form was a large pair of white and black, gossamer wings that sprouted from the back. Within seconds, the glow faded, and a completely new pokemon was now fluttering in front of them.

Seeing his pokemon, not only evolved but happy and healthy, Ash cried, but this time they were tears of joy.

"Butterfree.." he said as he reached out to touch her new little hands and feet, "you're beautiful.."

"FReeeee!" ("Thank you!") she said happily, "Free Freee?" ("Are you ok though?")

Ash softly nodded and brought her in for a hug, "I'm fine.. I was so worried about you!"

"Freeee Freee!" ("I've never felt better!")

Witnessing the scene, Brock couldn't help but smile. The whole thing was heartwarming. Still, as he looked around at what was the Fossil exhibit, he couldn't help but frown. The entire room was a wreck. The walls were cracked and had larges pieces missing; the floor was completely torn up from all of the attacks; all of the glass exhibits had been broken; and broken fossils now littered the floor.

At least they were able to stop Team Rocket from actually stealing any of them...

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Later that night at the Center, Ash, Brock, and their teams were taking a well deserved rest. Butterfree, thankfully, was perfectly healthy, and no lasting trauma had been done by the Leaf Blade.

Abra was ok as well. If anything, she was even more irritable than earlier. Joy said it was from lack of sleep, but somehow Ash didn't think that was the problem.

"If I ever see that blasted Tentacruel again, I'll kill him!"

thought so..

"Don't worry. You and I are gonna train and get stronger. So far you haven't really been in an actual battles, but that's gonna change. No more excuses!" Ash said to her sternly

With a final growl, Abra took a deep breath and sighed, "Yea, I guess you're right.. Alright, no more excuses. We need to get stronger so that never happens again!"

'Wow, he really understands his pokemon..' a few people that were watching him thought, with some giving him suspicious glares.

For now, the young telepath ignored the random thoughts and focused on his pokemon.

Staryu was just fine after some rest, and was happy when Ash took the time to shine her, yes her, jewel, like Nurse Joy told him to.

Ash he looked over his team of three, Ash had a thought, "say.. do you think you guys would want some names?"

All three of his pokemon looked at him with tilted heads, or in Staryu's case, its 'head' appendage

"well, each of you have your own personalities and traits, so why not have your own unique names. I think it would help us be closer as a family." he said with a smile

"True.. that and it would be advantageous in a battle if you call out a personal name and not our species names.." Abra said

"True too..let's see..." he said in thought, before smiling, "Staryu, I know what I'll name you.."

The water star turned her body towards him

"Nenet," Ash said with a nod, "I think it means Sea Goddess or something like that. It fits you perfectly"

In response, Staryu, now named Nenet, flailed her appendages as her jewel blinked a few times. She liked the name

"Now let's see.. for you Butterfree.." he said as he thought for a sec, "How about Skye. Since you got those wings, you haven't stopped hovering in the air."

"Yes! I love the name!" The bug type said happily, "From now on, call me Skye!"

After sharing a chuckle at the now named Skye's enthusiasm, Ash turned to his starter, "As for you, Miss Abra.."

Abra tensed as she wondered what name her trainer could've possibly thought of for her

"How about..Sage," Ash decided

"...Like the seasoning?" Abra asked with a sweatdrop, making Ash chuckle

"No no, A sage is also defined as a very wise person that people confine in for advice and information. That's kinda like what you've been doing we me since we started our journey isn't it?"

"Hmm..." the little psychic fox thought on it, "I suppose so.. alright then..Sage it is" she said with a nod

"Then its settled." the boy said with a nod, before sensing that Brock was approaching.

"Hey Brock," Ash greeted, "meet my newly named pokemon, Sage, Sky, and Nenet."

In response, the teenager chuckled, "nice to meet you all."

The young trainer nodded before continuing, "everyone, meet Brock, the Gym Leader."

"Huh?" Brock looked at the boy, blinking in slight shock, "Ash, I don't remember telling you that I was the Gym Leader. How did you know?"

"Uhh.." he stuttered, before laughing nervously, "haha.. oh don't be silly Brock, everyone knows the famous Pewter City Gym Leader. " he said as he scratched the back of his head nervously, hoping that that was enough to cover up his slip.

"Smooth.. you really need to work on that.. or get some acting lessons.." Sage said with a sweatdrop

'hush..'

"Oh.. ok.." Brock said, although it was obvious that he was still suspicious. Still, he shrugged it off and smiled, "in that case, this'll be a lot more simple. I know you said that you wanted to build up your team first, but after your performance against the Rockets, I'm curious to see what you can do," he then stepped forward, "So what do you say? You wanna try out that gym battle?"

"really?" Ash asked, a little surprised, then smiled, "isn't it usually the other way around? Aren't I supposed to be the one challenging you?"

"Haha.. yea, but I'm willing to bend the rules here. What do you say?" the Gym Leader asked again

After a moment to think and consulting his team, Ash nodded, "sure.. doesn't hurt to try!"

"That's the spirit!" Brock nodded, "In that case, meet me at the Gym tomorrow at 9 o clock, sharp. Ok?"

"Got it!"

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Ash and his team spent a good part of the night thinking up strategies and counterstrategies, preparing for their first gym battle.

Even though Nurse Joy gave Skye the all clear after her evolution, Ash was still a little apprehensive about letting her battle. So they made the decision.. Sage the Abra would have her debut here, with Nenet being the other definite due to her type advantage.

"Ok.." Ash said with a yawn, "I think we're good... are we all ready for bed?"

"Yup!" "definitely.." "Hyaa!"

With that said, they all went to bed, their minds buzzing about tomorrow.

/-/-/-/-/-/-/

The next day couldn't come soon enough, as Ash and his team were up with the sunrise.

After some morning stretches and last minute strategizing, the young trainer recalled his team and headed towards the gym.

It only took about ten minutes, with the help of some friendly bystanders, to find the place.

The gym itself wasn't all that impressive looking. In Ash's opinion, it looked like a couple of giant boulders pinned together with a door in front of it.

With a small shrug, the young trainer opened the door and walked inside.

The inside was pitch black, to the point where Ash could barely see his hand in front of his face.

Still, he felt that Brock was here, somewhere over on the other side of the building. He also felt the presence of several other unknowns, possibly Brock's family. Then, right before he was about to call out for Brock to turn the lights on, he heard this..

'Hehe.. time for some intimidation!'

A loud thought.. obviously Brock's

"WHO GOES THERE!" the older male's voice boomed through the darkness.

Now, to anyone else, that would be pretty intimidating, but to Ash..

"Come on Brock! Cut the act, it's me!"

"Uhh... eheheheh... Sorry about that Ash..", said a sheepish sounding Brock as the lights finally cut on, "I like to do that with new trainer to test their nerve. Obviously you have a lot of it."

the raven haired boy smirked, "well that, and I was kind of expecting it, seeing how we met yesterday."

"Heh.. yea I guess..." The teenager said as he scratched the back of his head, "Anyways, ready to get started?"

"More than ready!" Ash said confidently.

"Alright then, are you aware of the rules of a gym battle?"

"If I'm not mistaken," Ash said in 'thought', "You do two on two battles and only I can switch, right?"

"Correct." the Leader said, visibly impressed, before turning to the referee, Forrest, "ok, little Bro, that's your cue."

"Right!" the mini Brock boy said, "this will be a 2-on-2 battle between the Gym Leader Brock and Challenger Ash Ketchum. As mentioned before, the challenger may switch, while the Gym Leader may not. Understood?"

They both nodded

"Then Begin!"

"Let's go! Geodude, I choose you!" Brock yelled as he threw his first pokeball.

In a flash, a pokemon that literally looked like a rock with a face and arms appeared.

"Geodude!" it said, though Ash heard, "Battle Time!"

"Alright then, Nenet, I choose you!" Ash yelled as he threw his own pokeball. In a flash, the gemmed starfish appeared, already spinning and ready to go.

At this, Brock raised a brow, 'he's calling out his Ace as first choice? I wonder who his second will be..Oh well, let's start with the usual...'

"Geodude, start with Rock Throw!"

Ash reacted almost instantly, "Nenet, Spin up and counter with Swift!"

With a small nod of her appendage, Staryu began her Rapid Spin to gain altitude. Then, as Geodude continued to haul rocks at her direction, the flying star began to emit a wave of bright yellow stars from her central jewel.

'Not bad..' Brock thought, "Geodude, we can't dodge this! Brace yourself with defense curl!"

The living rock complied by crossing his arms in front of his face. The incoming flurry of stars pushed the Rock Pokemon back, but thanks, to Defense Curl, the damage was cut in half.

"Water gun!" Ash yelled, not giving the gym leader time to breathe. Almost instantly, Nenet lowered herself to the ground again, then fired three simultaneous streams of water at the still guarding Geodude.

'Get out of the way..' "Geodude, Rollout to dodge, then attack!"

"Nenet, Run and gun!" Ash called out, confusing Brock a bit

'Run and Gun? What the hell.. !' he thought loudly as he observed the Staryu spin and take to the air again "Geodude, keep up the Rollout, dodge whatever comes your way!"

So it began. Geodude continuously rolled around the field as Staryu haphazardly spun through the air, shooting water all around the field. Since, Staryu's Rapid Spin was still kind of shaky, the Rock type managed to bob and weave through most of the unsteady streams, though he did get tagged by three of them, knocking him off course and slowing him down.

"Keep it up, Geodude!" Brock encouraged his pokemon.

"Lead the shot, Nenet! Slow down a little and aim if you have to!" Ash instructed.

As Geodude kept rolling, Nenet slightly slowed down her rotation and aimed her appendages more accurately. Following her trainer's orders, she followed the rock type's pathway and lead her shot.

"Geodude, turn!" BRock called out. Unfortunately it was too late.

"GEO!" The rock type cried out as he was blasted backwards

"Geodude!" BRock cried out in concern as his pokemon was blasted backwards.

"Finish this with another Water Gun" Ash said with a board smile. Upon landing, Nenet seemed to 'take a deep breath before shooting a powerful Watergun at the dazed Geodude, who had no chance to dodge.

"DUDE!" the little rock yelled in pain as it was smash into a nearby boulder, turning it into rubble. The end result was a knocked out Rock.

"Geodud is unable to Battle!" Forrest announced, "This round goes to Staryu!"

"Awesome job, Nenet!" Ash congratulated his water type, who was starting to show some visible signs of exhaustion. Staying in the air for so long with Rapid Spin was tiring!

As he recalled his pokemon, Brock couldn't help but smile, "not bad, Ash, not bad at all!" He praised, "but are you ready for my next Pokemon?!"

"You mean Onix?" Ash asked with a raised eyebrow, making Brock sweatdrop

"Oh yea.. you met him yesterday.." the sheepish leader said, "No Matter! All the more reason you should be ready! Go Onix!" he said as he threw the ball.

Within seconds, the mammoth rock snake appeared with a roar, before staring down at Ash and Staryu

After sizing up their new opponent, and a quick mental conversation, Ash nodded to his water type, "Just hang in there a little longer Staryu. I know you can do it!"

"Hyaa!" she yelled as her jewel flashed a few times.

'So he's sticking with Staryu eh? Is he trying to sweep me? Not very likely, or very smart..'

"I'll give you first move this time, Ash" Brock said while thinking, 'test two..let's see if he'll do what I think he will...Rapid spin?'

"Thanks Brock," Ash nodded, 'still, I gotta get this under control. It seems unfair that I can read his mind..'

'don't worry about it, just focus on the battle..' Sage's voice told him

'Uhh.. right..'

"Alright, Nenet, let's start with Water gun! Aim for it's head!" Ash yelled

The jewel starfish nodded before releasing more water in a concentrated blast, aiming straight for Onix's dome.

"Block that with your tail!" Brock countered.

Onix roared, "yeeeaaahhhh!" before bringing his tail up to block the stream of water, wincing slightly but mostly fine.

"Run and Gun!" Ash called for. Even though he had a feeling it would be much riskier, it was the best tactic he could think of. Nenet didn't hesitate as she skirted along the ground before getting up in the air with Rapid Spin. She then began shooting off streams of water from all five appendages, which only made her go faster. She was like a moving turbo sprinkler. The attack did its job, as Onix was hit with multiple blasts of water. Still, Brock stayed strangly calm

'Let's see how you handle this..' the gym leader thought before yelling, "Onix, use Smack down, then Tackle!"

"Uh oh.. Nenet, get to the ground, quick!" Ash yelled almost immediately. Unfortunately, it was too late, as Onix had already shot off the airborne rock, effectively grounding the poor Staryu.

"Nenet!" Ash called out to his pokemon, "He's coming in for Tackle! Give it a little bit more! Use Water gun head on!"

With some obvious effort, Nenet managed to stand, though panting heavily.. at least it looked like panting..

Just as Onix's attacking head was only a few yards away, the jeweled water type shot the most powerful water gun she could muster, which unfortunately wasn't saying much seeing that she was already exhausted.

The rock snake growled and groaned as he was hit dead on by the water attack. Still, it somehow persevered and pushed through the water, tackling Staryu into one of the walls.

"NENET!" Ash call out worriedly. Once the dust cleared, Nenet could be seen on the ground, unmoving, with her center gem blinking in distress.

"Staryu is unable to battle! Onix Wins!" Forrest called out, "Trainer, please send out your final pokemon!"

"Nenet, return!" Ash yelled as he quickly returned his pokemon, "you were awesome, I couldn't have asked for more." he said with a sad smile as he put the pokeball away. Then, as he looked over Onix's hulking form, a small grin formed on his face before turning to his backpack, "Ready, Sage?"

With a quick unzipping of the backpack, the Psi Pokemon popped its head out before crawling out and taking to the field, "Let's do this!"

"Think you can take me, pipsqueak?" Onix asked with what looked like a smirk on its face

Sage just glared back with her seemingly closed eyes, "Oh, I know I can.."

Meanwhile, Brock looked on in thought, 'what's he up to? last time I checked, Abra only knew Teleport..'

"This is the final battle between Brock the Gym Leader and Ash Ketchum the Challenger. Winner of this round wins the match. Begin!"

"Ok, Onix, let's start this off with a bang, Rock Tomb!"

With a mighty roar, Onix complied and summoned several rocked to fall from above, right where Sage stood

Both Ash and Sage watched as the tail came for them before Ash called out, "Now!"

In the blink of an eye, the little Abra teleported, disappearing from view

"Keep an eye out, Onix!" Brock called, not surprised, 'might be time to use Dig..'

Ash wasn't about to give them the chance, as with a subtle nod, Abra reappeared.. right on top of Onix's head.

"What the..!" Brock said as he spotted her, "Onix, use Dig to get her off, then Bind!"

"Hang on tight, Sage!" Ash warned his starter as the rock type went underground, losing her grip slightly.

"Easier said than done!" the Abra young shouted in his mind as she struggled to hand on to Onix.

Within a few moments, Onix had sprouted back up, and Abra was nowhere to be seen.

"Sage?" Ash asked cautiously, before thinking, 'Where are you?'

"Right here.." said the little psychic fox as he crawled out from in between two of Onix's rocks, looking slightly battered, but mostly ok.

"Humph..hate to say it Ash, but I think your strategy is flawed. Onix, finish with Bind!" Brock yelled to his starter.

"Sage, teleport!" Ash yelled as a smirk formed on his face, 'feel like talkin some trash?'

'Live for it!' She nodded as she reappeared on Onix's back, "heh, you're not exactly the smartest one of the bunch, are ya?"

"What you say, pipsqueak?" Onix asked as he glared at her

"What, you got rocks in your ears as well as your head? I called you a dumbass"

"Oh yea?!" Onix roared as he tried to grab her with his tail, only for the little Psi to teleport again, this time on top of his head. While up there, she began knocking on his head as if it were a door, "woah, is it hollow in there? sure sounds like it? Where is your brain anyway? In your tail?"

"GET OFF!" Onix roared as he tried to knock her off with his tail by slamming it into her.

"Onix DON'T!" Brock yelled. The warning came too late.

As soon as the tail was close enough, Sage teleported away again, causing Onix to hit nothing but his own head.

Everyone in the gym could only watch as Onix knocked himself for a loop.

"Come on Onix, snap out of it!" Brock urged.

Try as he could, Onix couldn't shake himself of the major headache and dizzy spell he just gave himself. When trying to look at the field, instead of one Abra, he saw 6!

"I'll get you for that! ALL OF YOU!"

With that, the oversized Rock type began mindlessly tackling at the Abras in front of him. Thanks to his double vision, his accuracy was way off. With every miss, he only got angrier, which led to him completely ignoring Brock's desperate commands.

Suddenly, all of the Abra's disappeared, leaving Onix even more confused. "huh, where did.."

"Right here, big guy!" said a snickering Sage as she tapped him on his head crest.

"Huh...?! GET OFF ME!" Onix yelled as he thrashed his head around frantically. At one point Sage had her eyes wide open, something that many didnt think was possible, as she struggled to keep herself on her opponent's head.

"I SAID GET OFF!" Yelled the Rock type as he did possibly the dumbest thing he could've done... he tried to smash Abra off his head again...

With a mighty swing of his rocky tail

"NOOOO!"

*SMASH*

Within seconds, Sage had teleported back to Ash's side, looking tired, but accomplished. Meanwhile, Onix was wobbling dangerously from side to side, until finally , just like a tree, it fell over, knocked out.

After a long moment of silence, the results were announced, "Uhh...Onix is unable to battle! Abra wins! The victory goes to Ash Ketchum!"

"Woah.. we won?...We WON?!" Ash said in disbelief before Sage teleported to his shoulder and bonked him on the head, "Of course we did! Did you really ever doubt me?"

"Heh, of course not." he said as he brought her into a light hug, "you were awesome.. both you and Nenet!"

"Ash," Brock said to get his attention as he came over, "I have to say, I wasn't expecting much when you sent Abra on to the field, but you proved me wrong. I can honestly say that this was one of the most interesting battles I've ever had!" he said as he scratched the back of his head.

"heh, yea.. not bad for my first gym battle!" Ash beamed

Brock nodded in agreement, "I agree. And, as proof of your victory here, I'd like to give you this," he said as he held up a gray octagon shaped object, "This is the Boulder badge, the official badge of Pewter.."

Seeing it fall into his hands, Ash couldn't keep the grin off of his face

He then held it up for Sage to see, "what do you think?"

The Abra stared at it for a second before saying, "Nice.. now can we get out of here? I could use a good meal and a nap if you don't mind.."

The young telepath could only chuckle and shake his head at that response before turning back towards Brock, "thank you for giving me the opportunity to battle you Brock. I gotta say it was the best battle I've had so far."

The teen just smiled, "oh don't worry. You'll have plenty more battles in your future that are more exciting than this one."

Ash just nodded in agreement, "anyways, I better get back to the Pokemon Center to get Nenet looked at, and to make sure that Pervy guy isn't messing with Nurse Joy.." he said with a deadpan look

At his comment, Ash felt a spike of a mix of emotions in the gym leader.. anger, curiousity..sadness? And a thought of ,'could this perv be who I think he is? I better check it out..'

"Actually.. maybe I should come with you," he said right after, "my pokemon need looked at too."

"Oh! Sure Brock.." he said as they left out the door, with Ash throwing Brock sideways glances every so often

/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/

it was only a 10 minute walk from the Gym to the Center, and in that time, Ash was able to get a deeper scoop of the situation thanks to a little mind detective work.

Apparently, Brock had a suspicion that he knew the perv, on a very close... familial level. And if he found the guy at the Center perving up Nurse Joy.. oh dear...

As they entered the Pokemon Center, the first thing they saw was, sure enough, the Pervy bum trying to chat it up with Nurse Joy, who was trying her best to ignore him.

When she spotted Ash and Brock in the doorway, she mouthed the words, 'Help Me!'

That was all the encouragement Brock needed

"Come on Nurse Joy.." the Pervy Flint said as he hung over the counter, "I'm honest when I say I have this terrible pain in my heart when I around you.." he said before putting on a smirk, "why don't you.. take me in the back and- GAWK!"

That was all Flint could say before his head was smashed into the counter, causing him to fall to the floor. As he laid there, his 'beard' came loose from his face, revealing more of his true identity.

Upon seeing this, Brock's eyebrows nearly shot up to his scalp, before he put on a scowl and ripped the perv's fake beard and hat off.

Now.. seeing the man's full face, it was clear who it was..

"So.." Brock said in a deadly sounding voice, "After all this time, this is how I find you.. a scraggly, perverted bum who doesn't even have to decency or honor to come home to the family that needs him!"

The older man shrunk back at Brock's words, before looking down in shame, "I..I'm sorry son..I was just too ashamed of my failures to come home and.."

"No.." Brock said, cutting him off, "You don't deserve to call me your son... not until you've redeemed yourself to me and the rest of Pewter!"

"I-I will!" Flint said as he got on his knees in front of his son in a praying posture, "I promise! .. I'll better myself! I'll become a good father again! I will!"

Brock just nodded, keeping his face in a frown, "good..Oh, And if I ever catch you in here harassing Nurse Joy.. or any other female for that matter, I'll have you castrated, got it?!"

Flint shrunk back at his son's harsh words, his hands unconsciously going to his crotch, but nodded.. he had no room to argue here, "Y-Yes...Brock.."

'Damnit... how did he figure out who I was, or that I was even in town?' Flint thought to himself. He wasn't ready to return home yet, not until he had a good enough story, which he sadly still lacked. It was then that Flint looked over to where Ash was standing and staring at him, 'was it him that told Brock? Possibly.. after that threat of the police earlier, he would definitely be a suspect..and he is a bit of an odd one..'

"HEY! Come on! We don't have all day!" Brock yelled as he made his way out of the Center.

"Uhh!" Flint uttered before standing up and running after BRock, "C-coming!"

Before he left completely, Brock waved and nodded to Ash, giving him a smile and a silent thank you, which the boy returned whole-heartedly.

After they left, he heard Sage's voice say, "well that was weird.."

'Not really,' Ash responded mentally as he approached the counter, 'If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. It explains why those two looked so much alike to begin with and where the perviness comes from'

"Maybe.. but I still think it's weird... and pitiful.."

'heh.. just a tad...' he thought as he gave Nurse Joy Nenet's pokeball and placed Sage in on the counter to be examined.

Within minutes, they were both given a clean bill of health and an order to rest and take it easy for the night. All three agreed

After a good meal and a show, they headed to bed. The would head towards Mount Moon and Cerulean City in the morning, but for now, it was time to sleep

/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/

"I see.. so you caught two of them?" Brock asked over the video phone. On the other end of the line was the Pewter City Officer Jenny giving him a rundown of what happened during Team Rocket's escape.

"Yes, but unfortuantely, three of the got away, including the supposed leader. They used a Wheezing's Explosion as a distraction.." she said distastefully, "Some of our pokemon were hurt in the explosion, but thankfully, not seriously"

"Sounds like something they would do," the Leader said with a frown

"We don't know if they have left or are still in the vicinity, so I suggest taking extra measures to make sure your family is safe, in case they do the unthinkable."

"Right," Brock said, "I'll do that.." with that , the connection was terminated.

/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/

"So the mission was a failure?" A calm but deadly voice echoed through the small room that three men in black were in. The source of the voice was a small portable vid phone on top of an old crate.

"Y-Yes sir.." the leader of the men said, "we ran into strong interference from the Gym Leader sir, and-"

"That is precisely why I instructed you to take grass and water type pokemon with you. Pokemon that would have the advantage against a Rock Specialist."

"We did sir! And we almost overwhelmed him, but there were others battling with the Gym Leader. They were able to hold us of until the Police arrived. By then we decided it would be wise to cut our losses and retreat-"

"Without the fossils!" the dark voice snarled, making all three men jump back in fear.

"We- We had no choice sir.. the bag was too heavy and would've slowed up down immensely!"

"Humph!" the voice said in disgust, "you're nothing but cowards, the lot of you... incompetent cowards.. And I am going to take a guess that you're escape wasn't smooth either.. seeing how there are only three of you, and not five.."

"Err..." the lead grunt said as he started sweating bullets, "Emmerson and Killian were..apprehended by police during our escape.." As soon as the words left his mouth, the man knew they were all doomed

"FOOLS!" the voice said as a loud bang was heard, as if a fist had collided with something, "IMCOMPETENT FOOLS! You could not have not screwed this up any worse!"

"We-well, sir..we did cause a lot of damage and mayhem.." one of the other grunts said softly

"Y-Yeah! I bet we made front page news! Now people will know to fear Team Rocket!" the other, larger grunt said proudly.

"No, you morons!" The voice said again, "They will see us as common criminals that are possibly beatable in battle. They will have more courage to rise against us!" he growled, "as I said, you could not have messed this up more!"

All three grunts looked down in shame, "P-please boss, give us another chance. Give us a chance to redeem ourselves!"

After a moment of silence, the dark voice spoke, "very well.. one last chance.. if you mess this one up, consider yourselves grass!"

"Yes sir!" all three said together

"Now.." the voice said.. "Your next assignment.. will be at Mount Moon.."

/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/

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