Through a Window in Nuvema Town
Haroun, from his seat on the bed, looked out the adjacent window. He saw a man and his Pignite painstakingly keeping a barbecue grill fired and preparing frankfurters and burgers. It was raining that evening.
“Only in Unova.” Haroun said to himself. He glanced to the notebook computer sitting open on the bed before him, as it had been for nearly an hour. It displayed a characterized map of the Unova region with exaggerated features and over-large depictions of each town’s landmarks.
Haroun gazed at that map now as he often did from his home in the neighboring Munia region. His habit was to gaze at that map, or satellite photos of the region and daydream of exploring it when he was bored or needed an escape from the responsibilities that kept him under his own roof for so many years.
Tonight would be the first night in ages Haroun would sleep beneath an unfamiliar ceiling. This one belonged to a Bed and Breakfast in the heart of Nuvema Town. He arrived by airship at Nuvema Airfield earlier that afternoon, but as the last vestiges of daylight faded from the sky that already seemed like a lifetime ago.
It all seemed like a lifetime ago. His home seemed a universe away now that he was finally in Unova, yet somehow this seemed slightly unreal too. He stared at the map on his computer screen, savoring the knowledge that he was finally there.
Again his attention shifted from the computer to the bedside window. It was open, but there was no wind, so the rain fell safely past the window, sticking to the mesh screen and making pixelated patterns that vanished as the rain dripped down onto the peeling paint of the aged wooden sill.
The spectator, safe upon his bed, watched the barbecuing man’s wife rush out in galoshes and a rain coat with a platter which the man shoveled the barbecued meat onto as his Pignite steadfastly maintained the cooking fire.
Cars rolled by, splashing through the puddles of the narrow, one-way street.
A young woman, and older teenager like Haroun, ran up the sidewalk. Looking down upon her Haroun saw the cover of the trainer’s weekly she was covering her head with, one of the weekly magazines they gave away at Pokémon Centers full of coupons and deals from local businesses aimed at Trainers. In fact Haroun himself had found this Bed and Breakfast via that same circular, his own copy was crumpled atop his suitcase.
Haroun noticed an Oshawott happily skipping alongside the girl as she sprinted across the street and vanished under the awning of the same B&B he was staying in. This reminded him of a woman who sat across the isle from him on the dirigible holding a Minccino for comfort whenever she wasn’t busy breathing deeply into her barf bag to keep from vomiting.
Throughout the flight he spied the woman and her Minccino’s reflection in the window as he looked out onto the world 8000 feet below, admiring them and feeling mildly envious he hadn’t a Pokémon to share this inaugural phase of his journey with.
“What am I thinking?” Haroun asked aloud.
He was so distracted by the excitement of his first evening in Unova he nearly forgot about the friend he now had to enjoy it with, and scrambled over to the open dresser drawer in which he had tossed his backpack.
Inside his pack the basic model Pokéball was collapsed into its compact storage mode amongst his wallet, key ring, and other other mundane bag clutter. Just the sight of the Ball nested in the tangled cord of the headphones to his music player sent a thrill through Haroun’s chest.
The Pokéball was slightly warm, which was surprising to Haroun as he very seldom handled a Pokéball which actually contained a Pokémon. He would later come to realize this was why the chocolate bar he ate on the bus from Professor Juniper’s lab was soft when he removed it from his bag, but for now he clicked the button on the shrunken Pokéball, which with a slight jerk expanded to full size.
“Come on out and check out the room we’ll be sleeping in!” Haroun said as he dropped Pokéball to the carpeted floor, for the first time summoning the Pokémon which had been waiting patiently inside.
The ball’s hatch opened as it landed, revealing a brilliant sphere of energy which sprung from the container and solidified into the form of the Pokémon Haroun received from Professor Juniper just a short while ago.
“Snivy!” The grass snake Pokémon proclaimed proudly, still enormously pleased with herself for being Haroun’s immediate choice when he came to pick his first Pokémon.
“Wow Snivy, I can’t believe I never thought to let you out your ball since leaving the lab! Check it out Snivy, this is the room I rented for us tonight. Neat huh?”
While Snivy looked around, Haroun caught the Pokéball as it bounced back to his hand, shrunk it down, and clipped it to a magnetic catch on his belt.
“Snivy-sni.” She uttered in a blasé manner which Haroun took at once to mean “Not bad.”
“Well it’s no five star hotel, but we’ll be spending our first night together here!” He knelt down and lifted his Pokémon in his arms for the first time. Snivy’s skin was so smooth she nearly slipped right out of his grasp.
“Phew, you’re heavier than I thought Snivy!” He said as he hoisted his Pokémon up onto his shoulder. “I won’t be carrying you around up here all the time like I thought I’d be, my arm would fall off before we even reached Castelia City.”
Haroun turned and caught sight of himself in the dresser mirror. He forgot how heavy Snivy was for a moment, as the sight of himself with his very own Pokémon sitting on his shoulder and a Pokéball attached to his belt was actually took his breath away.
This was real. Haroun was here, standing in his room in a bed and breakfast in Nuvema Town. The dream he had for so long planned and deferred and clung to to get him through the days he felt like quitting was finally coming true.
“Wow. Look at you. Look at us.”
He swore he looked like a different person with Snivy on his shoulder, like something vital and dear would have been missing from him had his Pokémon not been there with him. Snivy was looking in the mirror too, with folded arms and a confident smile as she posed with her partner.
“Neat.” Haroun said at last.
Snivy extended one of her vines over to the dresser top and picked up the television remote that had been resting amongst the complimentary toiletries, and leapt from Haroun’s shoulder, making a heavy thud as she landed.
“You can’t thump around like that Snivy, you’ll disturb the people downstairs!” Haroun had barely finished his mild admonishment before Snivy, had turned the TV on and pole vaulted herself with her vines onto the bed, holding the remote in her hands and casually began browsing through the channels.
“Careful Snivy, you almost landed on my computer!” Haroun followed Snivy to the bed, closed the lid of the computer, and set it upon the night stand. “Now make some space for me up there.”
The mattress springs squeaked as the human joined his Pokémon on the bed facing the TV. The twin bed was narrow, and Snivy was sitting right in the middle.
“Sit on my lap Snivy.” And his Pokémon scooted back and took a seat on her Trainer as she was asked. She enjoyed that this human she barely knew already desired her company, and the warmth of a human body in the lack of sunlight was always welcome. She kept clicking through stations.
“I’ve never watched TV in Unova before, Snivy. So what show do you think we should watch?”
Snivy turned to a nature show just in time to see a Serperior in the wild swallowing a Pidove whole. She looked back at her trainer with a smug smirk and pointed to herself and then to the television screen.
“Tame Pokémon aren’t allowed to eat other like that you know.”
The little grass snake responded with a disappointed whine.
“The food I’ll feed you will taste better than that anyway. I’ve been practicing preparing all sorts of Pokémon food back at home for more than a year now.” He stroked Snivy’s head and ran his fingers down her back all the way to her tail leaf, which was was covering his chest.
Snivy hissed softly in approval and arched her neck back until her snout was pointing back to Haroun and her amber eyes met his.
“Why are you stretching like that? If you want to look at me can’t you just look over your shoulder?”
“Snivy-sni!” Said the Pokémon, her upside down eyes still locked on Haroun’s as she pointed demandingly to her head and back and positioned herself beneath his hands.
“Oh, you want me to pet you more don’t you? Alright then.” So he cradled Snivy firmly on his lap with one hand and petted her gently from her snout to her tail with the other. The Pokémon, still holding the remote much as her Trainer was holding her, went back to surfing through television channels.
Haroun’s legs already had pins and needles from the way they were folded and the way Snivy was sitting on them, but he’d never succumb to moving. He was enjoying this even more than Snivy was.
His Pokémon turned on the weather forecast just long enough for him to catch that tomorrow would be sunny and warm, perfect for exploring Nuvema Town in detail. Haroun wanted to find a park where Snivy could bask in the sunlight to store extra energy for their trek to Accumula Town.
But first they would need dinner tonight. Haroun looked out the window. There was a little diner built out of an old train car just a few doors down that looked promising. The rain had stopped, and the wet roadbed glistened under the glow of the street-lamps.
Haroun hadn’t planned for this moment. He planned to receive his Pokémon from Professor Juniper, he planned to pitch a tent somewhere between Nuvema and Accumula to sleep tomorrow night, he planned on meeting and catching wild Pokémon and battling with other Trainers and collecting badges, and crossing the Skyarrow Bridge.
He failed to plan for spending his first evening as a Trainer with his Pokémon on his lap watching TV, of all the mundane things in the world. The air was warm as it aught to be in May, and the energizing smell of rainwater and ozone was drifting in through the window.
Haroun couldn’t wait for his journey through Unova to truly begin tomorrow, but tonight the adventure in his heart was already in full swing.
Down the sidewalk outside the building a large flock of Pidoves were following a Watchog, which was carrying and eating a gigantic pretzel it found in a gutter. The Watchog stopped and looked over its shoulder suspiciously. The twenty or so Pidoves all stopped and looked away innocently. The Watchog strolled along again for several feet before stopping and looking back at the Pidove flock which had again followed him, and was again playing innocent.
The Pidoves continued stalking the Watchog and its pretzel until they finally vanished from sight down the road. Haroun watched the whole scene through the window, throughly amused, as Snivy, unconcerned so long as her trainer kept petting her, went on channel surfing.
“Only in Unova.” Haroun said to his Pokémon, smiling.
Re: Through a Window in Nuvema Town
This was a delicious oneshot, I must say. Well written and jam-packed with the adorable lulz machine that is Snivy.
I like the way it shows how most of life's best parts are the ones we don't plan for.
You should do more of these!