Well, it's been a while but I'm finally ready. This is a resurrected fic from years back - I've finally got round to properly planning a plot and character development. It's intended to be a more mature take on the journey fic without necessarily being dark or violent. Rated Teen just to be sure.
A couple of points before I get started: First off, the story is broadly anime-verse, but with some inventions and additions of my own. However, the only assumption I've made while writing is that the reader is familiar with pokémon. Fans of the games and manga won't be left out in the cold!
Secondly, I do make edits in response to feedback, and from now on I'll be adding a Version History spoiler at the beginning of each chapter with brief notes on changes I've made, for the benefit of anyone interested.
And finally, I've had a few questions off-forum about world building - at the bottom of some chapters you'll find an Atlas spoiler with a few comments, all of which are entirely supplementary
Part One - Growing Out
Chapter One - Choices
Chapter Two - A Real Trainer
Chapter Three - The Girl from Cherrygrove City
Chapter Four - Over Hill, Under Hill
Chapter Five - Matters of Grace
Chapter Six - Azalea Town
Chapter Seven - Better Judgements
Interlude - The Beast of the Sea
Chapter Eight - Two is Company
Prelude (Version 1.1)
It was the first thing that Bulbasaur thought, every time he was recalled. I. Me. The thing that is me, that is not another thing. This sort of circular thinking was rather more difficult to frame, outside. Here, it was obvious - something thought, and that thinking thing is me. It was a strange thing; once you know what ‘I’ means, all other thinking comes easily.
It was peaceful, here. It was always peaceful here. Within the circles of the Poké Ball, he didn’t have a body. The thinking I was all there was, the ineffable sense of me, the me that remained even when nothing else did. Away from the constant sensation of the world, from the experience of having a body, he could rest in a way that just wasn’t possible outside the Poké Ball. If he chose to, he could perceive some of what was happening in the world. Sometimes he could hear his trainer, talking to him.
It was peaceful, here. Within the circles of the Poké Ball, Bulbasaur dreamed his chlorophyll dreams.