According to the Rules, a trainer can only catch one pokemon- the first pokemon they see on a route. Aidan excitedly searched the route when they encountered a pidgey a while into the search.
“Fae! Let’s see if we can catch a new member of the party!” To say Aidan was excited was an understatement- being a trainer had never particularly been a dream of his in the past, but it was still just like out of a movie. Aidan had never done anything really adventure like before, and he was pumped. And he made sure to let Fae know too, hoping to get her into the spirit.
“Won’t it be cool, Fae? It’ll be so totally cool to have another member!”
Fae, riding on her trainer’s shoulder, could only sigh. “Master Aidan, I don’t get why you’re so excited. Didn’t we just met yesterday? How come you aren’t as excited about that, Master?”
“Don’t call me master.” He grumbled, shooting a look at his pokemon. “And it’s not that I’m not pumped to have you with me but I don’t get to meet new faces too ofte- crap!”
Unknowingly, the trainer had just stepped into a shallow pitfall trap.
“How could you fall in a pitfall trap, stupid Mast-”
Two pidgey flew in and one attacked the duo, the other stealing the fairly empty bag.
“Hey don’t take our- ow! Stop tha- ow-” A rattata joined the opposing forces, tackling the trainer down every time he tried to stand up.
“Master!” Fae cried, trying to stop the pidgey stealing the backpack.
The other offending pokemon tried to gang up on the small cleffa, all attempting to take the bag away, but were somewhat held off by the struggling Aidan.
If this had been a fair fight, one on one against either of the pidgey or the rat, Aidan wouldn’t have been worried, but three against one tiny pokemon was completely unfair.
It was a awkward tumble of fighting and scratching and bruising, but it eventually ended with two events. The rattata with its teeth on the trainer’s throat, and then, a very angry little ball of cleffa pounding her way out of the cluster of critters.
“Don’t you dare touch my master!”
Aidan didn’t think he had ever seen something so little so angry before. Angry didn’t even really cover the half of it- completely enraged, really. She just kept punching and slamming and doing everything within her power to hurt the rattata- the pidgey were smart enough to fly away from the danger.
While Aidan was pretty embarrassed he couldn’t even keep off a rattata, he was more concerned for it at this point than Fae.
“Fae, you can stop now-”
“NO! I have to kill it-”
The trainer tried to pick up the pink pudge of hate to calm it down but she was thoroughly pissed- although, at what, was now the question considering the rat could no longer move.
“You already killed it, Fae. It’s… not going anywhere. It can’t hurt me anymore. Calm down.” Aidan really wasn’t sure if he was supposed to be so flattered that someone got so mad on his behalf, or terrified about what had just happened. He never really had many friends, and sure, he had been bullied a bit, but no one had ever really tried to help.
He grabbed the now quiet pokemon in his arms and walked for a while in silence, deciding that they weren’t going to get anything done from sitting there. Maybe he would have to condition Fae to be less protective or something- that actually made him pretty curious… “Hey, Fae. If you don’t mind me asking… Why are you so protective? We barely met yesterday.”
Fae jumped up and stole his hat basically covering up half of the little pokemon, and seemed to press herself smaller, as if trying to disappear. “I… Master Aidan… Life in the lab wasn’t too bad. Oak played with us and fed us well, but we were a little trapped. We never met anyone else besides the aides. I’ve been told my whole life what I would be and do- protect my trainer. With my life if need be.” Aidan wasn’t entirely sure he liked the sound of that- but he was glad he was able to let Fae see the world, even if it wasn’t much. “You’re nice, Master. And I don’t mind being with you- it’s quite fun. You’re very silly and a little stupid and too nice, and I think you're soft. Even if it’s not much, you’ve given me a lot and I want to protect you.”
Aidan stopped in his tracks at the end of her speech. He set the confused cleffa on the ground, and moved the hat so the cleffa could meet him eye to eye when he kneeled.
His hair was so short and choppy, and he was still unused to the feeling of having virtually no hair. It was itchy. But, even more so, it drove to the point that this was his life now. Out with Clover and in with Aidan, the pokemon trainer.
“Look, Fae. You’re tiny! You’re a baby pokemon, and barely beginning to grow. Let me at least try to protect you, will ya? You’re going to be too cool for a trainer like me pretty soon.” Aidan smiled at the bashful stature of the little cleffa, reminded of meeting with his mother earlier. If Aidan had to be put in a similar situation with his mother, he thought he might just act exactly like Fae. “We’re friends, not a servant and master. Equals. Did you hear me?”
“Yeah, yeah, master. Equals an all that.”
Legends, it was going to be a while before Fae dropped the master part, wasn’t it?
Enter Elliot the Shellder, West of Viridian (Route 22)
I scooted closer to the noise, secure in my hiding spot in the bushes and brambles. I willed myself not to tremble as I saw a young trainer- one of the boy things, but short and not yet in puberty. A pokemon smaller than I was with them- it was pudgy and cute and the only thing that I could think of that looked a bit like a jigglypuff.
They certainly didn’t seem scary, but I couldn’t underestimate them.
The trainer had just pitched a tent, wiping off sweat from their brow as they sat down, next to the cleffa who was tending to a transportable human invention for cooking.
I could practically hear my mother’s words in my ears. Don’t you dare trust humans! She would say, cursing a storm, rocking back and forward in her shell. They slayed your father! She would break down in tears, ice icicles sliding down her face as she howled and murmured ideas of revenge.
I didn’t trust humans one bit. And if I was strong enough, I would venture to hunt down anyone associated with my father’s death- but I was a weakling. A runt, and had little in the ways of anything- even in food or adequate protection to sleep peacefully- the pokemon east of Viridian city weren’t all that strong, but they were mean.
I scooted a inch closer, intrigued by the cleffa beating up the trainer.
“Master Aidan, will you STOP TICKLING ME!”
The terrified trainer was trying to scramble away, but little was working. “Ow- I did- I’m sorry, I’m sorry, you just looked really cute laughing! WHY ARE YOU STILL- ow meh thongue- NOTH THERE!”
The huffy cleffa was the first to notice me, to my dismay. “Eh?” She grinned, giving me a similar look. “If you don’t have business with me or Master, beat it, kid.”
I thought the trainer was going to dismiss the situation or agree- but they laughed. “Fae, you’re not very good at being threatening.” The other pokemon started to make a retort about the trainer’s questionable puffy eye, but it was cut short, instead becoming loud noises of protestation when he kneeled before me.
“H-hello there, mister trainer.” I squeaked meekly, trying to shy away father into my shell. Up close they looked friendly, but I wouldn’t be fooled so quickly.
They smiled and shushed the cleffa gently, covering up my view of it with their body. “Would you like to eat with us, little guy?”
For the entire quarter moon, they stayed in the area, the cleffa fighting wild pokemon to become stronger and the trainer reading a lot of books. The trainer, despite the many arguments with their companion pokemon on the subject, always left some food out for me, even when I was watching from far away.
In all honesty, I was beginning to become worried for the trainer. They were naive and a bit stupid- I was benefiting from it, but they were so kind, it made me feel intensely guilty.
One day, while the trainer- er, Aidan, was washing up in the pond, I decided to confront the cleffa who I had learned was named Fae. The pokemon beat up her trainer far too much to be healthy, and it was the least I could do to get the guilt off my shoulders- well, figurative shoulders.
“F-Fae!” I called out at the familiar campsite, sucking in all the courage I owned. I wasn’t very strong- I had rarely ever fought before and really, ‘fought’ was a generous term. It was more like I was beat up- but I wouldn’t mind getting a little roughed up to pay my dues.
The pokemon put the pan she had been scrubbing down. “What is it, you pathetic clam?”
I could feel my heart panic, and I had to force myself to rationalize. If I was about to be killed, the trainer would save me, right? ... Right? “I-I’m a shellder, not a clam! And stop beating up Aidan! It’s stupid and it isn’t nice at all.”
“Nice?” She scoffed, putting her tiny hands on her sides. “Master Aidan is an idiot! He’s going to get himself killed, so I have to make him think about what he does and show him what’s wrong! He’s too nice, and that’s exactly what will get him killed! Plus, I mean, he's really dumb too.”
I swallowed, starting to tremble. I had to stand my ground! “St-st-still, Fae! That’s too m-much, you know! You should be ni-nicer!”
She looked deadly unamused, with a raised brow promising she was pissed off. If I hadn’t been trembling before hand, I was shaking violently now, but somehow I still was able to talk like I had the courage I desperately lacked. “Why don’t you join the team and protect Master then, you stuuupid clam?” She sneered, and I could feel her looking down on me.
Maybe it was because I was angry and wanted to prove a point, but my next words shocked both of us. “Maybe I will!”
Why on earth had I thought it was an okay idea to get involved with a human? I could picture my mother screaming at me as she churned in her grave, with an anger beyond words. I had betrayed her just now- but I wanted to do something for the trainer- even if this was more than I wanted. I hadn’t meant to join or anything like that- I had just liked the company they had presented- but I wasn’t a mon’ to go back on my word. Ever.
And my next move was also quite stupid- was the boy rubbing off on me?- I tackled the cleffa.
Needless to say, Aidan had to pull her off me. He told me to wait after apologizing for her behavior- and being me, I followed them at a safe distance.
“Why are you so nice to the stupid shell, Master Aidan?! I don’t understand! He’s weak and pathetic and-”
For the first time since I had met the two of them, he actually sounded irritated. “Fae.” He growled firmly, staring her down in an uncomfortable kneeling position since she was so small. “Listen: I’m grateful you want to protect me. I am. But I want you to understand- it isn’t bad to be friendly sometimes. If you don’t, someone friendly might not be there when you need it the most, okay? I want you to think ab- shit!”
Fae had landed a jab to the human’s shin- before I could stop myself, I was tackling Fae again. “Fae, stop!”
She evaded the attack easily- but I was not prepared for the water works when I turned around to look at her.
“Stupid Master Aidan!” She screamed, falling to the ground. “Y-You’re so naive and defenseless, and I’m s-scared you’re going to die every time I t-take my eyes off you! Don’t make me c-care about you just to go away so easily! I s-still have nightmares a-a-about that stupid rattata, and I refuse to let you die, okay?!”
The trainer looked as if he had been slapped in the face. “Oh, Fae, I’m sorry. I didn’t…” The rest of the evening had been spent in a somber mood, little being said at all.
The cleffa even went to bed early, saying thank yous and please, even to the me. It was about the creepiest thing I had ever experienced- and I've seen some of those human horror films.
Both the trainer and I were baffled by it, discussing it when enough time passed and the we deemed it safe she wouldn’t hear.
Aidan sighed, stressed out by having little idea what to do to help his starter. “Ahh, I’m her trainer and I’m supposed to know what to do to make things better, right? Legends, I’m pathetic.” The trainer held his face in his hands, so still as if he were made of stone.
I hoped my pessimistic attitude hadn’t affected Aidan. “Uhm… How long have you two been together?” I questioned, trying to keep his mind from dwelling too much.
He didn’t move to look at me, hands only tightening on his head. “A little over a week, I guess? It’s felt like longer, honestly.”
That was a bit of a surprise- the two of them got along well enough, and the cleffa was extremely clingy to have only known the human for a week or so. “Fae is really attached to you already. Isn’t that a good thing for a trainer?”
It was only a fraction of an inch, but his shoulder relaxed a little bit. “That’s true, but she’s been pretty attached to me from the beginning, really. I think it was more of her upbringing though, Shellder. She’s been raised her whole life to protect my role as a trainer.”
“Hey, this is Fae we’re talking about! She wouldn’t care so much about just anyone, you know, it just shows that she cares and is really worried about you!” I felt good about this one- that this would be at least somewhat helpful in cheering Aidan up. It was weird, to see him down, when he was usually smiles and laughs, even when being beaten up.
Or not. He curled into a tight fetus position, and from the little bit that I could see of his face, he looked about to cry of all things. “It’s only because I’m pathetic, Shellder. I was almost killed by a rattata on our second day- a rattata, for legends’ sakes. She’s right about everything she says, you know- I’m pathetic and weak and-”
I said things like this to myself practically every moment I breathed and existed but I wasn’t going to stand for Aidan- no, my trainer to talk about himself this way. If he was going to be strong enough to kill my dad’s murderers, he was going to be something better than this. “Shut up, Aidan! You’re my trainer, and her trainer, and you should be proud of that, so chin up!”
He fell out of his curled position and, awkwardly splayed out on the ground, looked shocked beyond belief. “When did this happen?!”
“Just now!” I barked with strength I didn't possess.
“R-really? Are you sure, Shellder?”
I was fidgeting in my shell, nervous, but excited. For once in my slow, cautious life, something was going to change.“Y-yeah, of course! But, on one condition.”
He nodded seriously, crouching to be at my level. Didn’t that ever hurt his back? “Of course.”
“You have to get both of us strong enough to kill my dad’s murderers, okay?” I had told him about them before, to see if he had any idea who they were, but to no avail.
“You bet!” He grinned, face now lit up with his usual positivity. “Oh, hey! This will probably make Fae really pleased!”
I gagged. “You think so? I doubt that. I think you being there and telling her you’re going to get strong will make her much happier.”
His pleasant expression doubled with delight, smile stretching from ear to ear. “Really? You think so?”
I scooted closer to nudge his ankle as we started to move to the tent. “Of course, Aidan. And if not, I’ll protect you.”
Finally, he laughed at that.
Looking at my trainer, he was weak. Small for a human boy, from what I knew. Hardly muscular. Not the smartest, and more than enough naive for the time being. But seeing him happy was contagious, and even if he didn’t have potential as a trainer, I was happy to follow him. He was cute in almost a growlithe sort of way- much cuter than Fae, for sure.
I couldn’t make a conjecture of any way that our team would turn out- it was as likely to end up dead as it was to prosper, and it wasn’t like to do either- but being snuggled by his warm body, and with Fae’s foot uncomfortably close to my face, I felt like it would be okay to be this way for now.