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Aequus: Pokémon Rainbow & Shadow

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Book 1: Adaption

 

Aang slowly woke up to the feeling of warm sand on his back. His eyes fluttered open as he began to become more alert. He could hear the rush of the ocean and feel a gentle breeze on his face. As he sat up he began to look around trying his best to remember what happened.

The last thing he remembered was being in the royal palace watching as Katara and Toph sparred one another. He couldn’t figure out how he had ended up on a beach. What was more puzzling was he was alone. Standing up, Aang began to walk around the beach hoping perhaps his friends weren’t too far away.

“Katara?” Aang called out. “Sokka? Toph? Where are you guys?” His voice rang out across the small beach. 

“Zuko? Azula? Suki?” Aang tried once more. The only thing that answered him back was the wind and… something else. He felt the hair on his arms stand up as he heard a tiny growl following the rush of wind. Aang, frozen by this ominous sound, felt his mouth go dry as he took a step back. As he closed his mouth his heart began to pick up speed as he heard the sound again.

Aang shifted his body moving his right foot forward and placing his left foot behind him. Placing his arms in front of him he took on a defense waterbending stance as he began to scan the area around him as he heard the noise one more time. 

As he looked around Aang saw nothing; Nothing. The thought strangely echoed through Aang’s mind and soon he realized why. As he looked down at his hands a strange feeling began to overtake him. His hands felt empty of chi; the natural energy in his body that allowed him to bend. Forgetting the odd sound for a moment, Aang turned to the shoreline where gentle waves were lapping against it. He tried to reach out with his chi to push and pull at the waves but he felt nothing. Aang’s eyes went wide as he slowly began to realize that without his chi he was without his bending.

He was about to try and bend the other three elements hoping that perhaps he had only somehow lost his ability to waterbend. He was stopped though by that odd noise, the sound of rushing wind and growling but this time when he heard it he jumped and felt a rush of fear go through him.

Without his chi he was defenseless, and as he heard the noise again he took a few steps back his grey eyes grew wide as he looked around. The only thing he saw was the ocean, the beach, and a sandcastle just to his right. He didn’t see the people who had built the sand castle or any other sign of life near him. 

He turned around and saw behind him a bluff. On top of it was a dense amount of trees causing Aang’s stomach to drop. He began to take a few steps back, his heart beginning to pound. Aang heard the noise again but this time saw something move out of the corner of his eye. Spinning around he only saw the sand castle. Aang continued to look at the sand castle when suddenly it began to move!

More than that, it started to make the noise that Aang had heard earlier as the sand castle swayed back and forth. The more Aang looked at it the more he realized that the sand castle had two eyes and a large gaping mouth.

“Me? You’re trying to get my attention?” The sand castle began to wave the two little mounds of sand on either side of it and Aang realized those must be its arms. All his time in the Four Nations Aang had never seen anything quite like this. Perhaps he had hit his head really hard and was seeing things. As he thought this, he brought his hand up to the back of his head checking to see if he had been hurt.

Aang didn’t feel any injury just some slight tenderness. Maybe, Aang thought, this was a dream. Or a vision given to him? As he thought this he continued to watch the moving sand castle which seemed to get more excited the more Aang just looked at it. Frowning Aang took a hesitant step forward. He began to examine the creature and finally, his grey eyes landed on top of its head. 

What he saw wedged into its head was a small, plastic, hand sized shovel. Very carefully Aang took a few steps forward wondering if the creature was asking him for help. Surely for a living sand castle having a shovel in the middle of its head had to be the same for a person having a spear wedged into theirs, at least that’s what Aang thought.

“Do you need my help?” Aang asked trying to sound as soothing as possible. The sand castle continued to bounce up and down and make the odd noise as Aang got closer but didn’t seem like it was going to attack. Aang wasn’t sure how a sand castle would attack him but still remained cautious. He took a few more steps forward before quickly plucking the shovel of the creatures head.

“Got it!” Aang said triumphantly. “Do you feel better now?” Aang wasn’t sure what he had been expecting from the sand castle, but what happened next surely wasn’t it. He watched in horror as the sand castle made itself bigger and began to roar! The sound it was making earlier wasn’t nearly like this; this sounded ten times louder and ten times worse. 

“O-Oh no! What did I do? I was just trying to help!” Aang said stumbling backward. “I’m sorry does it...hurt?” The only respond again out was another upset cry as the creature began to slither towards him. Aang took a few unsteady steps back when suddenly the sand castle seemed to suck in a large gulp of air before spitting out a dark ball of energy.

Aang’s eyes went wide as he scrambled out of the way. He watched as the energy ball hit the sand causing it to explode. Aang swung his head around just in time to see another energy ball flying right at him. Jumping up to his feet Aang ran towards the bluff. It was only a few feet off the ground if he could manage to climb up the bluff and into the trees he could have cover from the angry sand creature. 

The creature let out another roar a spit another ball of dark energy at Aang. Rolling out of the way, Aang continued to run towards the bluff. He kept looking back at the rolling sand creature dodging its attacks as fast as he could. When he got to the bluff he dropped his shovel and began to scramble up towards the trees. Once he got up he darted towards the closest tree and hide behind it. Gulping he slowly dared to peak around the tree and down towards where he came.

He watched as the sand creature began to slowly sink down into the sand flattening its body until it blended in with the rest of the sand around it. Aang held his breath as that area of sand began to wither and move until suddenly the creature popped back up! In the center of its head was the shovel Aang had taken out and then all seemed well. The creature began to sway back and forth before retreating away from the trees.

Sighing, Aang turned around and leaned back against the tree vowing to never take another plastic shovel out of the ground again. Pushing himself off the tree Aang began to walk through the woods. The trees were dense and there was no telling what other strange creatures were waiting for him there. Not willing to go back to the beach, Aang pushed forward hoping that he would find a pathway as he walked through the woods. 

Eventually, he stumbled onto a dirt path and as he looked to his left he could see the ocean in the distance. When he looked to his right he saw the path kept going on with forest on either side. Deciding anywhere was better than a place with sand creatures he continued on right hoping there was a town nearby. As he walked he became lost in his own thoughts. 

He stopped briefly to test if he could bend any of the other elements. Nothing. It was like all of the chi in his body had been drained. Aang wanted to meditate and try to connect with his past lives but knew he would first have to get to a safe place and find out where he was. He had decided this wasn’t a dream or a vision; that attack from that odd creature was just too real. 

Taking in a deep breath, Aang continued to walk down the path. The more he walked the more worried he was becoming, and the more questions he head. Why didn’t he have his bending? Where was he? Did someone take him? Most importantly though, Aang needed to know where his friends were and if they were even anywhere close. 

“AGH!” Aang jumped his train of thoughts being interrupted by a scream. Running forward Aang came upon a small clearing to the right of the path. In the middle was a man hunched over with his arms covering his head and face. Above him, a flock of small reddish birds took their turns pecking at his arms and hands.

“Hey!” Aang shouted running forward without thinking. His first reaction was to bend at the birds in an attempt to shoo them away but he was quickly reminded of his sudden loss. His next course of action was to start waving his hands and shouting hoping to distract them. It worked, in a sense, half of the flock turned their attention towards Aang and began to fly towards him their beaks ready to attack. 

Not knowing what else to do Aang dropped down in a similar position as the man next to him and covered his head and hands with his face. The birds began to assault him with their sharp beaks. Poking and pulling at his skin causing Aang to yelp. 

“It’s okay,” the man beside him assured. “Don't worry.” Aang was very worried. This was the second time in a few minutes that he had been attacked by the strange creatures around these parts. The birds continued their attack for a few more seconds before backing away and landing in front of the two.

Both Aang and the man beside him picked their heads up to see the group of birds looking at them threateningly.

“Hurry!” The man whispered sternly as he began to back away. “That first assault was a warning, the second time around we won’t be so lucky. Follow me!” Aang nodded quickly and backed away with the man. The two hurried down the path away from the beach and the group of birds.

“What was that all about?” Aang asked as he looked over his arms and hands. He had a few minor cuts but nothing serious. He suspected that he might be bruised, he had been lucky that those birds hadn’t seriously torn into him.

“Oh my own foolishness,” the man beside him said with a heavy sigh. “You see, I was trying to conduct some research on the Luckrane in this area, I found a nest in that clearing we were just in and got a little too close.” Aang frowned and he turned to look at the man beside him. The man was a few inches taller than Aang. He had a soft round face and a speckle of freckles across his face made him appear to be young. Despite his youthful appearance, however, he had short snowy white hair that stuck out starkly against his olive tone skin and light brown eyes.

“Dear, this isn’t good; Luckrane are considered to be a sacred Pokémon in this region,” the man said more to himself than Aang. Aang, however, was hardly paying attention to the ramblings of the man. Aang looked at him bewildered, he had never seen anyone wearing this type of clothing before. 

The stranger was wearing brown boots and brown pants. Attached to his pants were two bright orange pieces of fabric that he had never seen before both going over either shoulder. He was wearing a long white coat and underneath was a white dress shirt with buttons going down the front. Around his neck was a light orange colored scarf.

“Have I suddenly grown two heads?” asked the man. Aang blinked a few times before looking up at the man in confusion. 

“Two heads?” said Aang.

“You can’t seem to stop staring at me,” the man laughed causing Aang to blush.

“I’m sorry it’s just I’ve never seen anyone in the Four Nations dressed quite like you before,” he said causing the man to laugh. 

“I suppose I could say the same for you!” The stranger said with a wink. “It’s not often we get monks here in Mian Town; tattooed monks no less.” Aang nodded and turned to look away from him. 

“How rude of me! My name is Professor Oscar Pine, it’s nice to meet you.” He said coming to a stop and turning towards Aang. He stuck his hand out for Aang to take. “Most people in Mian town call me Professor Pine but feel free to call me Oscar, or anything you like.” He added with a kind smile.

“I’m Aang!” Aang said happily as he took the professors hand. “Most people normally call me Avatar Aang but I would prefer Aang, it’s nice to meet you Professor Pine.” Professor Pine smiled at him kindly and overlooked the boy. Aang looked no more than twelve and was wearing monk clothes. He was bald which didn’t seem odd but what was a little concerning to the Professor was that the boy was covered in tattoos. 

Blue tattoos ran down his hands and ended in arrows on the back of his hand. There was also an arrow on his forehead and it ran down his neck and probably his spine. If Professor Pine had to guess there were probably tattoos on his legs and feet as well. Professor Pine had traveled all over the world and had met many monks before. He had never seen any with those kinds of markings and if they did have tattoos they were never so young. 

“Why don't you come back to my lab with me Aang,” Professor Pine offered. “I’m no nurse Joy but I have a few things that can help bandage those cuts up.” Aang nodded and smiled up at his new friend.

“Sure, maybe you can help me.” He said as they started to walk again.

“I’ll help in any way I can!” Professor Pine said immediately. “What’s the problem?”

“Well, I’m not quite sure where I am or how I got here,” Aang confessed causing Professor Pine’s eyebrows to shot up in shock.

“That certainly is an issue,” he muttered. “Come we can talk more once we get to the lab.” He said ushering Aang along. They walked a few more minutes before arriving in town.

“Welcome to Mian Town; A Paradise Sanctioned by Nature, ” He said happily as he spread his arms out wide. Aang let out a small gasp as he looked at the town. In the center were a few houses, two buildings, one with a blue roof and one with a red one, and between those two buildings was a large white one. 

On the edges of the town were different trails. A sign next to the trail they had just come from read ‘ Mian Beach and Mian Resort’. There were other signs next to the other trails but he was too far away to read them. As Aang looked around, he could see how this town had been ‘sanctioned’ by nature. They seemed to be in the heart of the dense forest. All around the town were a thick barrier of trees. 

“It’s peaceful,” Aang said as he followed Professor Pine towards the large white building in the center of town.

“A Professor couldn’t ask to be placed in a better location I assure you!” Professor Pine said. “Welcome to my own little slice of paradise,” Professor Pine added wistfully as he opened the double doors of his laboratory. Aang was immediately taken aback as he walked in. Everything seemed so bright and white like the outside of the building.

The tiles on the floor where white and the light from the ceiling reflected off them almost blindingly. As Aang looked up he winced as he looked at the white light coming from the ceiling above.

“Are those torches up there?” He asked causing Professor Pine to peer up confused by the question. A smile broke out across his face as he turned to look at his new friend. 

“Light bulbs,” he said causing Aang’s frown to deepen.

“What’s a light bulb?” Aang asked as he began to look around the rest of the large room. 

“Oh my,” Professor Pine said softly causing Aang to turn to look at him. “Come here and sit down I’ll get you some water.” He said as he walked him towards the back of the lab. The walls were white and large white shelves lined the floor. They were filled with books, binders, and files. All around men scurried back and forth with their heads in their files as they worked furiously. They were all in large white lab coats much like Professor Pine. There was a large table with a few stools around it and Professor Pine pulled one out for him and Aang to sit. Aang smiled as he took a seat on the side and thanked him when he came back with water and a small white box with red lettering on it. 

“What’s that?” Aang asked.

“A little first aid kit,” Professor Pine explained popping it open to reveal bandaids, bandages, and other packets. He immediately thought of Katara and a sad feeling came over him. “So you don't know where you are and how you got here, do you know the last thing you remember?” Aang frowned as he turned to look at his lap.

“My friends Katara and Toph were sparring together in the courtyard of the royal palace, everything after that is fuzzy.” He muttered as Professor Pine began to put bandaids on the cuts along Aang’s hands and arms.

“What are these?” Aang asked with a frown as he poked at the bandaid Professor Pine had put on.

“A bandaid, you’ve never seen one?” Aang shook his head. “Oh dear, so you remember your name do you remember where you came from?”

“That’s easy, the Southern Air Temple.” Professor Pine frowned.

“Where’s that?” he asked.

“Near the South Pole,” Aang said.

“What region is that in?” Professor Pine asked never have heard of those places before.

“Um, I guess the Southern Region?” Aang said a blush dusting his cheeks. He was embarrassed that he didn’t know the answer. 

“The Southern Region?” Professor Pine asked sounding skeptical. “Would that be the Sinnoh Region?”

“No,” Aang said. “I’ve never heard of the Sinnoh region before is that apart of the Earth Kingdom?” Professor Pine put his hands up to stop the back and forth. He felt his head begin to pound as he attempted to make sense of what Aang was saying.

“I don't know what the Earth Kingdom is,” he said after a minute. “What type of Pokémon live there?” He asked thinking that perhaps knowing the native type of Pokémon might help him pinpoint where the young monk was from.

“I’m not sure what a Pokémon is. All I can tell you is that mostly earthbenders live in the Earth Kingdom,” Professor Pine hummed only feeling more confused.

“And what is that exactly?”

“It’s a type of person,” Aang said looking as confused as Professor Pine felt. “Don't you know what a bender is?” Professor Pine shook his head no and Aang began to explain; Professor Pine’s eyes went wide as Aang told him about benders and their abilities. 

“And you can bend all four?” Professor Pine asked causing Aang to nod. “Interesting, I’ve never heard of this before. The only things I’ve heard of having this kind of power are Pokémon.” 

“Can you please explain to me what a Pokémon is?” said Aang. Professor Pine nodded and smiled at his new, odd little friend. 

“Our world is inhabited by creatures called Pokémon. For some people, Pokémon are considered to be pets, others use them to battle, or like me, some people spend their entire lives researching them.” Professor Pine began. “Each region of our world has its own unique Pokémon, and for those ready to embark on their own Pokémon journey with them each region is set with Starter Pokémon.”

“Starter Pokémon?” Aang asked puzzled.

“When young girls and boys impart of their own Pokémon journeys we supply them with Starter Pokémon to help facilitate that journey. For the Huoli region, our starters our Huow-Huow the Fire-Type starter, Kuashou , the Grass-Type starter, and Elemata , our Water-Type starter” said Professor Pine as he peered into Aang’s confused face looking unsure of what to say, “I, a Pokémon Professor, not only am in charge of facilitating this process, but I also spend copious amounts of time researching the development and livelihood of Pokémon in this region; specifically, I study rare genetic phenomenon. One such phenomenon that has grown popular in this region pertaining Pokémon called Domestication . Think of Domestic Pokémon as a ‘Regional Variant’- genetic changes in Pokémon due to where they are geographically- as some sort of a species of Pokemon, but has changed so much that it is now a new kind”. Aang looked puzzled as ever as the Professor explained all of this to him

“Domestic Pokémon… Sounds like wild animals that are tamed to live in houses like pets” Aang said trying to grasp what he is hearing.

“Along those lines. Any Pokémon, if you try hard enough, can be a pet- but it is better understood if you knew more about Pokémon to know the actual differences that transpire specifically in this region’s intriguing phenomenon; the Domestication process seems to be moreso ‘man-made’ change- but it is a theory... It is involved in remendos controversy. I have attempted to get other Professors' opinions on the matter- Oak and Magnolia alike- but not many Professors have much to say on this growing trend; I myself go off to ascertain the truth about it- along with all of that, each Pokémon has their own special abilities and moveset. There are also many different species of Pokémon around the world some we haven’t even discovered yet!” Said the Professor.

"Gosh, Professor- don't fry his brain!" said Yuu. Aang then scratches his head- attempting to understand it all.

“So... The birds that were attacking you... Were Pokémon?” asked Aang. Professor Pine nodded and blushed a little bit.

“Yes, those birds were called Luckrane, and like I said they are a very important kind of Pokémon in this region.” Aang nodded trying to absorb all this information. Then, the sand creature popped into his mind. He explained to Professor Pine what happened to him on the beach causing the professor's eyes to go wide.

“Oh my!” He said with a gasp. “It seems like you were getting attacked by a Pallosand, a very dangerous kind of Pokémon, especially when someone takes their shovel. You’re lucky that were able to escape alive.” The professor explained. Aang nodded and looked down at his lap. Everything was so confusing and Aang wasn’t sure he still understood everything Professor Pine was explaining to him. 

“I don't understand how I got here still,” Aang finally said. “This place is definitely not my home or… world.” Professor Pine frowned and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Tell me more about your world,” He said still a little skeptical. He wondered if that Pallosand had hurt Aang more than the young boy realized. Aang looked back up at Professor Pine with a soft smile as he began to explain about his own world. He told him about the Four Nations, the end of the 100 year war, and the peace they were trying to reach. 

“Can you bend now?” Professor Pine asked causing Aang to frown.

“No, I tried on the beach to bend water, and later when I was walking along the path I tried to bend the other three elements but couldn’t. I can’t feel my chi and I’m afraid if I tried to meditate to speak to my past lives that I might not be able to contact them either.” Professor Pine nodded and was going to suggest taking the young man to the Pokémon Center next door but was interrupted by a gentle knock.

Both Aang and Professor Pine turned to see a young man standing by one of the bookshelves, neither of them had noticed his arrival.

Yuuyin! How long have you been listening?” Professor Pine demanded causing the young man to smile at him.

“Since you’ve gotten here,” he confessed and when Professor Pine gave him a displeased look Yuuyin’s easy going smile grew. “Come on Professor you can’t just walk in with a tattooed stranger and not expect me to check out the situation.” 

“Your hair is blue,” Aang said completely fascinated with the new stranger's appearance. The boy, who looked a few years older than him, was just as tall as the professor. He had fair skin and bright green eyes. He was dressed oddly just like the professor was! He was wearing a black sleeveless shirt and tight black pants a black boots. 

Aang’s eyes kept gravitating up towards Yuuyin’s hair though. He had never seen someone with that hair color before. The hair on the back of his head went all the way down to his back while the hair in front only went down to his shoulders. The right side of his hair in the front was a little longer than the left. As Aang continued to stare he noticed a streak of white hair on his left side that was combed back and held in place by a pair of white glasses that sat on the top of Yuuyin’s head.

“What’s the matter? You’ve never seen anyone with blue hair before?” Yuuyin asked as he walked over to Aang. Aang shook his head no as he watched Yuuyin take a seat on the edge of the table right next to him. “I guess people don't have that kind of hair color in your world, I’m Yuuyin Yuumen by the way but you can just call me Yuu.” 

“I’m Aang,” Yuu smiled as he looked at the younger boy. “I overhead everything that you told Professor Pine. So you’re a hero in your world?” Aang blushed and turned his head away from the other boy.

“I was just following my destiny,” he explained. “Where I come from, the Avatar keeps the world in balance.” Yuu’s smile grew.

“It sounds like you’re being modest!” He laughed. “I guess all heroes have to have some kind of humility about them. I would like to hear more about benders and your ability to control all four elements.” Yuu’s eyes sparkled with interest, but before Aang could oblige him Professor Pine cut both boys off.

“Yuuyin now is not the time for that,” He said firmly. “I think we should get Aang to the Pokémon Center, I think that Pallosand seriously hurt him.” Aang frowned as he turned towards the professor.

“I feel fine. I was able to get away before it did any serious damage.” Aang said. Beside him, Yuu let out a soft sigh.

“I don't think Professor Pine believes your story,” Yuu said as he leaned back on his hands. Aang nodded understanding.

“It is a little hard to believe,” Aang admitted. “I have to admit; if I ran into one of you in my world and you started talking about things like Pokémon I would want to take you to a doctor right away, but you have to believe me! I’m telling the truth.” 

“I believe you,” Yuu said quickly. “Professor you know better than anyone that there are some Pokémon in this world who have legendary powers! Would it really be that far out of the realm of possibility for one of them to have brought Aang here?” As Yuu finished speaking Aang let out a soft gasp as a flood of memories came rushing back to him; the sky tearing open, being sucked into the sky with all his friends, and that eerie voice that rang out in the back of his mind.

“Aang are you alright?” Professor Pine asked as he started to move forward.

“I remember now, I remember how I got here!” Aang said as he jumped up to his feet. He explained to both Yuu and Professor Pine what he had just remembered. As Aang finished, Yuu slid turned to look at the Professor who had a new look of understanding on his face.

“Professor…” Yuu began.

“I don't know everything that’s going on,” Professor Pine admitted. “But Aang, I have to admit I’m starting to believe you and if what you’re saying is true-”

“Then I have to find my friends,” Aang said quickly causing both Yuu and Professor Pine to nod.

“Just what I was thinking, none of them were on the beach with you?” Professor Pine asked causing Aang to shake his head.

“Not that I saw.” He said.

“But we can always go around and look,” Yuu suggested. 

“You’ll help me?” Aang asked turning to look at the blue haired boy.

“Of course!” Yuu said. “I’m sure you’re friends are in a disoriented state right now and if they aren’t on the beach or in town then we have to find them as quickly as possible.” Professor Pine nodded his heart beginning to race with the idea of more people like Aang being here with no guidance and help they could easily get hurt. 

“Assuming that they fell anywhere near here then it’s possible they might be out on Route 1. There is a forest around there” Professor Pine explained. “As you experienced earlier it’s not safe to be out there without a Pokémon.” 

“Then we have to leave right now,” Aang said. 

“That might be a little harder than you expect,” Yuu said causing Aang to frown again as Professor Pine nodded. “I know these parts better than anyone else in town but without a Pokémon, I can’t take you on Route 1 you aren’t allowed to leave out on a journey of any sort without a Pokémon with you especially at this age.” 

“Well, how do you get a Pokémon?” Aang asked. 

“Unless one is provided, trainers catch one. I fear the issue is not with getting Pokémon, however,” Professor Pine said. “If it is Young Yuuyin who will help you he has not been permitted to yet have a Pokémon.” Aang turned to Yuuyin and watched as an unreadable expression crossed his face.

“Why?” said Aang.

“Because my mother won’t let me go on my Pokémon journey yet,” Yuu explained. “I should have gone four years ago when I was ten like everyone in this region, but my mother feared for my safety and wants me to wait a little longer before I start.” 

“That’s why Yuuyin works here with me at the lab, to gain as much knowledge as he can about Pokémon despite not being able to explore on a journey with them,” Professor Pine said. 

“Can’t you take me out to Route 1?” Aang asked as he turned to look at the Professor. “Why don't we just use one of your Starter Pokémon?” 

“I am too busy here at the lab to leave at the moment; I only was outside that little while to conduct research. And, in terms of the Starter Pokémon  I don't have them currently,” Professor Pine said causing Aang to frown. “They’ve all been taken by other young trainers who began their own journey. When I was explaining the starters to you I wished I could show you them in person, but I could not. However, that doesn’t mean I don't have any other Pokémon here at the lab to take.” Hearing this, Aang relaxed a little at the news.

“Great! So that means I can go!” He said. 

“Wait,” Yuu said turning to look at Aang, “You will definitely need someone that knows the ropes on using and taming Pokémon while traversing this region for answers. I want to help you along as you go through Huoli, but my mother won’t let me go on my own journey yet. Perhaps you could help me too?” Aang frowned as he looked at the other boy. 

“I don't understand; how I can convince your mother to let you go out on your own Pokémon journey I don’t even know exactly what a ‘Pokémon journey’ is yet,” Aang said honestly. “And I also don't have time to figure it out either, my friends could be in trouble right now and I have to go and find them.”

“I understand that,” Yuu said quickly. “But if the story you told me about you guys saving the world is true then I’m sure they aren’t in immediate danger against the Pokémon in this area; this is a resort town, so Pokémon here tend to be fairly docile well besides the Luckrane and Pallosand you encountered I guess. It’s either me going with you and guarantee a secure trip or you spending time having to learn how to use a Pokémon and keep them waiting regardless. Logically, me going is the fastest option!” 

“How are we going to do that?” Aang asked.

“I’ll just tell her the story you told us,” Yuu said. “About you being the avatar and saving the world trust me she’ll believe you and she’ll know I’m safe with someone who can literally bend all four elements.”

“But I can’t!” said Aang

“But she doesn’t need to know that right now,” Yuu said quickly. “Please.” He begged. Aang took a second to think about what Yuu was asking. Right now, his friends were lost somewhere in the woods filled with creatures who had powers that he still didn’t quite fully understand. There were however six of them and there was safety in numbers. Yuu seemed nice and was willing to help him. 

“...Okay,” Aang said finally. “But we can’t be there too long.”

“I promise it’ll only take a moment,” Yuu said.

“Great!” Professor Pine proclaimed causing both Aang and Yuu to turn and look at him. “Now before you leave, you’ll need to take a Pokémon. I'm gonna take a gamble on you boy and hope that you can convince your mom; I personally would have given you a Pokémon for your own a long time ago" said Professor Pine said.

"T-Thank you Professor!" exclaimed Yuu.

"No worries. Anyways- Be back shortly,” Professor Pine said as he left the room to go get the Pokémon mentioned he had before. 

As he returned, he reached into his pocket to show a small red and white ball in his hand. Pressing the button in the center with his middle finger Aang jumped as the ball expanded three times its size.

“Whoa!” Aang gasped. “What is that?”

“This is a Poké Ball ” Professor Pine explained, “This is how we catch our Pokémon.” As he said this Professor Pine tossed the ball forward causing it to land on the ground. The Poké Ball opened and a red light shot out. A second later a little Pokémon was in front of Aang and Yuu. Aang kneeled down as he inspected the creature.

It looked like it could fit in the palm of his hand. It was a little rodent creature with blue spikes all along it’s back. 

“This is Lingliu, The Hedgehog Pokémon!” Professor Pine said. “Yuu, I think this Pokémon would be perfect for you.” He added causing the blue haired boy to smile brightly. He knelt down beside Aang and reached his hand out. Lingliu sniffed and began to hesitantly move forward. 

“Lingliu is a Rock and Ground-Type Pokémon,” Professor Pine said. 

“Whoa,” both Aang and Yuuyin said. Lingliu slowly moved forward and began to sniff Yuu’s hand. It let out a little happy cry before jumping forward into Yuu’s hand. Yuu smiled and stood up holding Lingliu close to his chest.

“Hi Lingliu, my name is Yuu.”

“Ling-ling!”, the Lingliu shouted at Yuu in excitement. 

“It likes you!” Aang said.

“That’s a good thing,” Professor Pine said. “Now you two better hurry to Yuu’s home, the sooner you talk to your mother Yuu the sooner we can find Aang's friends.” Both Yuu and Aang nodded before bidding the professor a farewell and heading out of the lab both determined more than ever to speak with Yuuyin’s mother.

 

-Chapter End-

Chapter Text

Yuu glanced over at Aang as they walked out of Professor Pine’s lab. He could tell that Aang was nervous and thinking about his friends. Reaching forward, Yuu placed his hand on Aang’s shoulder and gave him a gentle comforting squeeze. 

“Everything is going to be okay,” he promised. Aang gave him a doubtful look but remained silent. “Just take a deep breath, focus on our current task and go from there,” Yuu added, this time his words caused Aang to smile. 

“Ling! Lingliu!” The pokémon cried out cheerfully only causing Aang’s smile to grow.

“Yeah your right,” he said softly. “We need to stay focused on convincing your mom to let you take me to Route 1, dwelling too much on anything else might only make that task harder.” Yuu nodded and gave Aang’s shoulder one last squeeze before he dropped his hand.

“Come on, my house is just up this path,” Yuu said leading them towards another path that lead away from town. Unlike the long path that leads from the beach to Mian Town, this path was steep and winding. Around them, the wind began to pick up blowing Yuu’s hair around and ruffling the boy's clothes. 

As they continue up the path, the trees began to clear and Aang could see a large mansion sitting upon a hill. As they got closer Aang could see that the large mansion was surrounded by a tall and unwelcoming black fence. At the top of each metal bar was a dangerous looking spike that looked lethal to fall on. 

In the center of the fence was a large elaborate gate towering over Yuu and Aang. In the center of both gate doors was the letter ‘Y’ engraved in blue metal a design motif that was replicated throughout the grounds.  Posted at either side of the gate was a tall intimidating guard dressed in heavy blue armour with a pike in either hand. They reminded Aang of the Imperial Guards in the Fire Nation palace. Past the gates was Yuu’s home; It was huge taking up a considerable amount of their view in their horizon, and vastly looming above them. The walls were white, and the roof and doors were blue. Aang took in Yuu’s home with a bit of awe.

“Ling…” Lingliu muttered the Pokémon’s eyes going wide as it took in the grandeur of Yuu’s home.

“This place is amazing ,” Aang said with excitement and glanced over at Yu who looked a bit sheepish. The older boy blushed when the guards bowed to them before opening the gates. 

A paved promenade cut through a large lush green lawn leading up to the large front door. Yuu lead them up the pathway and into his large home. Like the outside, the walls inside were white with blue trimming; doors accenting this theme were spread throughout the mansion as well. Against the walls were long tables that held expensive looking vases, and framed pictures hung next to paintings on the walls. Some were portraits of varying important looking people and some were of odd looking creatures that Aang had never seen and assumed must be Pokémon. In front of them was a large staircase that lead up to the second floor. 

“Well… This is my house,” Yuu said tucking his hands into his pockets as he turned his head away from Aang who was looking around with wide eyes. This certainly wasn’t the first time Aang had stepped foot in a nice house, but Yuu’s seemed different than the royal palace of Caldera or the palace in Ba Sing Se. It didn’t even seem like Toph’s home which was probably more on par with Yuu’s.

Aang felt like he was in a place of extreme wealth, but unlike the wealthy homes of the elites in his world this home felt different, however, Aang didn’t know why yet. Suddenly, Lingliu jumped on top of Aang's head before craning its own head up to gaze at the ceiling causing Aang to nearly jump out of his shoes.

“Ha, you scared me a little guy. Whatcha lookin’ at?” Aang asked after coming to. Aang mirrored Lingliu’s actions and looked up to see a large chandelier; one that Aang had never seen hanging from the ceiling in that fashion before. It was huge, like most things in the space around them, and looked as if it was made from crystals! As light refracted off its shards it resembled that of flickering flames of candles but without his bending, he couldn’t sense if there was a fire there or not like he normally could; this saddened Aang. 

“Yuuyin!” A voice shouted so suddenly, causing both Yuu and Aang to turn. As they did, they glanced upon a small woman coming from around the corner the sound of her heels echoed against the walls as she approached them. As she came into view Aang was taken by her beauty; she was a short plump woman, with a round happy looking face, and dark blue hair, the same color of Yuu’s, with one white streak in it. She was wearing a long blue skirt the same color as her hair, and a tight suit jacket that matched. Around her neck was a string of pearls and she was wearing a pair of white gloves.

“Mom!,” Yuu said with a happy smile. “Perfect timing, you are just the person we were looking for,” Yuu’s mom’s face lit up at his words and she chuckled.

“Oh my, I wasn’t expecting you home so early,” she said as she approached Yuu and Aang, “And who is this you brought with you? Not too often you bring back company. I haven’t seen you around Mian Town before, are you a trainer passing through? Your clothes are… intriguing," Her eyes drifting up from Aang to the Lingliu sitting on top of his head as she spoke.

“Not exactly,” Yuu said before Aang could think of something to say. “This is Aang and… Well to say he isn’t from around here is a bit of an understatement."

“Hiya! I’m Aang it's nice to meet you!” Aang said not trying to say too much too soon. Yuu sighs at Aang’s demeanor.

"So tell me Yuu, why did you bring Aang here?" Yuu's mother asked with a kind smile.

"I wanted you to meet him, and hear what he has to say, you might want to sit down for this.” Yuu’s mother frowned as she listened to her son speak. He sounded nervous and a little uncertain something that was quite unusual for Yuu.

“Fine. Let’s go to the den, and we can talk over tea I’m feeling parched for some Gold Berry Leaf Tea . It’s only found in the rarest parts of Johto !” Yuu’s mom said and she turned and started to walk down another hallway. Yuu started to follow.

“Come on, the den is this way it’s not that far I promise,” said Yuu. Aang smiled.

“Great!” Aang said as he followed both Yuu and his mother.

She took them into the den; a small intimate sitting room fashioned to host private conversations with the most elite personnel of Huoli. She put some tea to brew in her tea maker beside her, and then took a seat in an armchair while both boys sat down on the couch across from her. She listened intently as Yuu explained to her everything Aang had told Pine, about his dimensional trip, his journey as an Avatar, and his issue about his missing friends. Aang himself stayed silent while her son retold this story; his grey eyes focused on Yuu the whole time. 

“So, you see why it’s so imperative for Aang to find his friends and I believe I’m the only one that can help,” Yuu said as his mother leaned back in her chair. She stayed quiet as she mulled over everything her son had just told her. It was a lot to take in and most of what he said seemed quite unbelievable. 

“...Is this true?” She finally asked turning to Aang. He seemed surprised to have her address him but quickly nodded his head.

“Yes ma’am, every last word,” Aang said. “I need your sons help to find my friends.” Again Yuu’s mother stayed quiet for a moment or so before speaking again.

“You truly defeated a great evil in your own land?” Asked the mother, and Aang nodded his head yes response. The Mom then sat back in her seat a bit, and placed her hand on her chin, “And you have the power of the four elements? I’ve never heard of being able to wield such power beyond the Legendary Pokémon...” she muttered to herself.

“I understand, I’ve never heard of a Pokémon before I came here,” Aang said with a weak smile, “It’s still a lot to take in.” Yuu smiled nervously at Aang and back over at his mother as he waited for her to respond. 

“... If you truly stopped a war, and if you can bend all the elements, then why would you need Yuu’s help?” She asked. 

“Mother, he needs help to get through Route 1 as he isn’t a Pokémon Trainer, and it would be convenient for me to go,” Yuu said and he leaned forward in his seat, “We know his friends aren’t on the beach or anywhere in town, we can’t just send him out there blind.” 

“You know how dangerous it is out there in Huoli Yuu,” she said her frown deepening, “You’ve only ever been on Route 1 or near settlements with me or one of the guards who are trained for years in the art of Pokémon Battling, as well as hand-to-hand combat. I don't know how comfortable I am letting you out with a complete stranger hailing from another universe talking about how they saved their entire world. I mean, for heaven’s sake, it’s only half past dawn and the tea isn’t even hot yet.” 

Aang started to change his thoughts on Yuu’s mom all but slightly; one to a woman that seemed too overprotective of his son thinking, “ Wow, she won’t even let him leave town alone?... ” Aang then turned to look at Yuu seeing a face of annoyance.

“A stranger who I trust and who Professor Pine trusts,” Yuu argued keeping his voice level and calm. Aang, unsure how to interject, decided it was best to stay quiet at the moment and let Yuu handle his mother. “Not to mention is stronger than any guard that we have on the grounds, and can certainly hold his own against any Pokémon in the forest or any other kind of danger out there. And all of his friends, with the exception of two, can bend an element of Fire, Water, and Earth which means that when we find them I’ll be surrounded by people who can easily protect me if it comes down to it.” Yuu said while his mother looked more doubtful. 

To Yuu’s mother’s credit, she waited patiently for her son to finish and absorbed his words. She looked as if she was carefully considering what he was saying before she began to shake her head in disagreement causing Aang to sigh in disappointment. However, as he looked towards Yuu he noticed that he didn’t look defeated just yet. 

“That’s another thing I find hard to believe...” she said gently before looking over at Aang with soft eyes, “Now I’m not saying you’re a liar dear but you must understand the powers you claim to have… no human being in this world has ever possessed them. Now I can believe that a power of a Pokémon might have brought you here, but I’m not sure I can believe that you and your friends share the same powers as Pokémon,” She further explained. Aang felt his stomach drop as his mind began to flash back to the conversation he and Yuu had earlier. 

“Wait, so you believe me that I came from a different world?” Aang said with surprise. He was even more surprised when she began to nod her head.

“Oh why yes, we live in a world surrounded by powerful and mysterious Pokémon whose powers are not fully known to us. In fact, there are still many Pokémon in the world who have yet to be discovered!” She exclaimed as she raised her right index finger up in the air, “Why couldn’t one bend time and space and bring you here? But, with all that being said-”

“You still haven’t heard of a human with Pokémon powers...” Yuu said with a sigh. 

“I’m sorry, dear,” his mother said softly, “But as it stands, we live in a world rife with danger! For heaven's sake, we have terrorist organizations in Huoli now!”

“Mom can you not start with this?” Yuu begged sick of having this conversation every time he tried to convince her to let him leave.

“Not start with this?” She sounded aghast at the notion. “You know better than anyone how dangerous Team Vekros is!” Hearing this, Aang’s head cocked to the side in confusion.

“Because you won’t let me forget!” Yuu argued. “Every time I even think about starting my own Pokémon journey you drill that into my head!” 

“Team Vekros?...” said Aang, but no one seemed to hear his interjection.

“Well I need to!” she said sternly. “Honestly Yuu, you act as if you’re a normal child do you see where you reside?! I can't just send you, someone who will one day take the reigns of our family name, out into the world knowing those people are on the loose!” 

“Please ma’am, at least consider it!” Aang asked. With the way Yuu and his mother went back and forth, he felt as if they could be stuck there for hours going around and around in circles.

“I’m sorry but no,” she said with a shake of her head. When she saw the crushed look on Aang’s face she sighed, and her tone became more gentle as she went on to explain her thoughts. “Aang, you seem like a nice boy and I know you need help but I’m afraid my son cannot be the one to help you. You can see we aren’t your normal run of the mill kind of folk, it’s too risky to send him out there alone with his level of nobility.” 

“But he won’t be alone,” said Aang with desperation now creeping up along his spine. His mind began to flash to his friends believing they are alone, and surrounded by Pokémon in an unfamiliar forest, without any bending, or knowledge of what’s around them. Aang began to silently panic with the mention of terrorist being loose in Huoli. If Yuu was his only lifeline to finding his friends, his family, then Aang wasn’t going to be taking no for an answer, he had to convince Yuu’s mother.

“He’ll have me,” Aang continued on, his voice filled with a new kind of conviction, “We’ve been doing a lot of talking but if you don't believe my words than I can show you, I am the master of all four elements and I’ll prove it you!” 

“Ling! Ling!” Lingliu cried out happily. The small Pokémon on top of Aang’s head had been silent since they had entered the sitting room; even Aang, who had it on top of his head, had forgotten it was there .

“W-We’ll have Lingliu to!” Yuu said quickly, “Professor Pine gave him to me preparing me for this task!” 

“Did he now… even after all my conjectures against it...” Yuu’s mother said softly as she started to ponder Aang’s significance. She and Yuu shared a look, and suddenly the mood in the room shifted. “So, Professor Pine believes you’re ready… maybe…” her voice trailed off, and Aang dared to believe that she might let them go right then and there. Obviously, Professor Pine’s words and opinions meant something considering his line of work and notoriety. She began to nod her head in agreement and Aang’s hope sored, he finally found himself smiling.

“I’ll let my son help you,” she said and just as Aang tried to begin expressing his gratitude she added, “But, only if you prove to me first that you are in fact as you say you are, the master of all four elements.” Aang and Yuu both tensed up.

Oh no… ” Thought Yuu.

“Okay,” Aang said quickly not wanting to foster anymore doubt in her mind with a delayed answer, “So you want me to show you some bending…”

“How much do you want to see?” Yuu asked shifting in his chair from nervousness.

“I don't need much,” she said as she folded her legs and leaned back in her chair, “Create a wall made of rock, a wave of water, or a cool breeze… Oh! Or how about a flame to heat my tea faster we need to get a better tea-making machine.” Yuu began to laugh at the last statement. Aang slightly nudged Yuu’s leg attempting to calm him down.

“You want me to do all of that ?” Aang asked his throat tightening with nerves at the sudden challenge. “ I wish someone like Sokka or Azula were here… They both always seem to know how to work their way out of tough situations quickly... ” Thought Aang. 

“Just one might suffice,” she said with an intrigued look in her eyes, clearly she still didn't believe that Aang could bend at all and was trying to call his bluff.

“So, you’re making it easy for him,” Yuu said happily, “Good we’ll head outside and Aang can show you what he’s made of.” His mother smiled.

“Fine, I’ll meet you boys out there. If you’ll excuse me, I need to use the little lady’s room before we proceed,” Yuu’s mother said blushing a little. “Yuu honey why don't take Aang outside and I’ll be with you in just a moment.” Both boys nodded and Yuu hurried Aang down the hallway.

Chapter Text

I can’t believe we’re actually doing this!” said Yuu. “You’re crazy for this idea!”

“What else was I supposed to do? At least we have a chance at convincing her now!” said Aang with a worried look.

“L-Look, I have an idea...” Yuu said quickly once he was sure his mother was out of earshot, “My mother only needs you to show her one element right? It seems like picking air would be the easiest one out of all four.” Aang couldn’t help but agree.

“So what’s your idea?” Aang asked as Yuu lead him into the kitchen which lead towards two large double glass doors that lead out into the backyard. 

“You see those bushes over there?” Yuu asked, “You go stand by them and look like your meditating and I’ll be right back.” Yuu said before taking off at a sprint in the opposite direction. Nodding to himself Aang moved down the steps of the patio and hurried over towards the bushes Yuu had directed him towards. 

The backyard itself was huge and seemed to go on for miles. It was made up of mostly a grassy field but had a variety array of sculpted bushes, a pool, a garden and a stage for performances. Feet away from where Yuu had instructed Aang to stand was a small pond surrounded by stones big enough to sit on. Aang could see in the distance that the back yard was fenced off by large trees and shrubs allowing for a decent amount of privacy.

Gosh… I wonder how many trees were cut down to build this property, ” Aang thought; he had a feeling that there was nothing but more forest behind those trees and felt like whoever had built Yuu’s home had just taken out a huge section of forest to build this property. The thought made Aang’s heartache but he had no time to ponder the thought as Yuu was running back over towards him with something large in his hand. His face was bright red and he was panting heavily by the time he stopped in front of Aang.

“I-told-you-to-meditate.” Yuu struggled to speak as he sucked in a breath between each word.

“Um, sorry,” Aang said. “What’s that in your hand?”

“A fan,” Yuu said after a second or two of regaining his breath, “Cordless too, aren’t we lucky? I found it over in the shed. I remembered seeing it in there a few months ago when I was in there with the groundskeeper.” He added with a bright smile. 

“That thing’s a fan?” Aang asked with a frown. The fan had three large flat blades that were attached to a circular metal piece in the center. The blades were kept in a round wire cage and two larger metal pieces were attached to the bottom of the contraption keeping it upright. Aang had never seen anything quite like it. 

“Yep,” Yuu said, “It’s old, but I tested it. And it still looks like the batteries work.”

“The what?” questioned Aang.

“We don't have time,” Yuu said waving his hand impatiently. “This thing is loud so when I turn it on you’re going to have to shout and-”

“Wait, I’m confused what exactly is this plan you have?” Aang demanded.

“Simple; I hide in the bushes and turn this fan on while you pretend to airbend!” Yuu said gleefully, “It’ll push out air and if you make the right movements than it’ll look like you’re controlling the wind.” 

“What movements will I have to make?” asked Aang.

“Well, the air that comes out of a fan can only go forward in whichever direction that it’s facing,” Yuu explained. “So I guess you’ll have to make it look like your moving the air forward with your hands, or legs or both.” 

“I can do that,” Aang said with a nod.

“Good, now like I was saying this fan is going to make a lot of noise so you’ll have to be speaking loudly over it,” Yuu said. “We can try to keep my mom on the patio so she’s not so close, but still she’ll probably be able to hear it from there if you just stay quiet. Now I don't know how this bending works but-”

“Don't worry I have my own idea,” Aang said causing Yuu to smile. “Good, make sure to shout as loud as you can. Also, I was thinking that we should start on the low setting and then go up to medium and then high.”

“A setting? What’s that?” Aang asked scratching his head. Yuu frowned as he tried to think of the best way to explain it. 

“Okay, do you see this tiny switch on the back of the fan here?” Yuu asked pointing at the dial. “Every time you turn it in one direction it will go a different speed, the higher the speed the louder the fan will be. For example ‘low’ is the slowest the fan will go and ‘high’ is the fastest. A new speed is a new setting.”

“Okay, I understand!” Aang said eagerly. “If your plan is to switch the settings we’re going to need a word that will trigger to switch them.”

“Good thinking,” Yuu said.

“How about every time I say the word ‘wind’ you move it from lower to higher and when I say the word ‘return’ you turn the fan off completely,” Aang suggested causing Yuu to nod.

“Alright, I can do that,” said Yuu. Suddenly, his face immediately fell. “Oh wait, no no no! I can’t do that!”

“What why?” Aang asked moments before the same realization came to him as well. “Your mom, she’s going to be expecting you to be there with her.” Yuu nodded quickly.

“If I’m not there she’s going to suspect something.” Said Yuu. Both boys frowned.

“Ling! Ling!” Lingliu chirped jumping from Aang’s head to his shoulder, and then to the ground. They watched as Lingliu jumped onto the fan and began to tap on the switch. Suddenly, they realized their problem was quickly solved by the Pokémon.

“Ah! Lingliu! You want to control the fan little buddy?” Aang asked causing Lingliu to smile and nod ‘yes’.

“Haha! That’s perfect!” Yuu said relaxing a little, “Why didn’t I think of that before?” 

“He seems like he can understand fine,” Aang said with a sigh of relief.  

“Yea, Pokémon are very intuitive and intelligent especially once they start to pick up on your personality, ” Yuu said as he began to kneel down to Lingliu, “Alright, remember when you hear the word ‘wind’ turn on the fan, and every time you hear the word ‘wind’ afterward you turn the setting higher and when Aang says the word ‘return’ you turn the whole fan off altogether.” 

“Ling!” Lingliu said happily. Reaching forward both boys took a hold of the fan and carefully, with Lingliu still on it, moved it over to the bushes.

“The fan won’t be strong enough to blow branches or leaves out of the way will it?” Aang asked, “She won’t be able to see it will she?” 

“Don't worry her eyesight isn’t good enough to see it from the patio,” Yuu whispered. Suddenly, he glances to see his mom exiting the house. “Speaking of, you better get into whatever position you need to be in.” Yuu continued as he pointed to his mom. They both looked to see Yuu’s mother walking down the steps of the patio, she had put on a pair of sunglasses and sunhat before coming outside to join them.

“Alright!” said Aang.

“I’ll go back to make sure she stays up there,” Yuu whispered. Aang watched as Yuu moved forward quickly and met with his mother. 

“Oh, Yuu! I apologize for taking so long, I thought that watching supernatural activity would go great with wearing my Myu Myu sunhat, and it is awfully bright out you know about my sight issues,” said Yuu’s mom. Suddenly, Yuu took a hold of his mother’s arms ushering her back onto the patio. 

“It will be safer up here; I don’t wanna risk you getting hurt,” said Yuu.

“Oh? Well, ok.” Yuu’s mom said as she went along with Yuu onto the patio clutching her sunhat as she went.

“Anytime you’re ready!” Yuu called out. Aang nodded taking in a breath.

Bringing his hands together Aang tilted his head up towards the grey sky. He took in another deep breath before shouting loudly.

“OH GREAT AVATAR YANGCHEN I CALL UPON YOU NOW FOR GREAT GUIDANCE!” Aang’s voice rang out around the backyard as he invoked the name of the airbending avatar who had came in the cycle before him. Typically, Aang would have a connection to each of his past lives, but along with this bending, this connection had disappeared as well. Normally when it came to bending Aang would not need to call upon the spirit of one of his past lives but Aang had to say something to cover the noise of the fan. Subconsciously, Aang had hoped that perhaps by calling out to Yangchen that she and the rest of his past lives might hear him and that he would feel the familiar swell of chi through his pathways and again be able to bend. He swallowed the feeling of disappointment when this did not happen and continued to bellow up towards the sky. 

“I ASK FOR YOU TO BESTOW UPON ME THE ELEMENT OF AIR,” Sliding his left leg forward Aang brought his right arm up as he continued to speak, “I SUMMON WIND TO MY SIDE IN THIS HOUR OF NEED!” Aang said jutting his arm forward just as Lingliu switched on the fan. On the lowest setting, Aang couldn’t feel much of a breeze as he continued to shout out nonsense. He then slid his right leg forward.

“-WIND-” Aang said as Lingliu switched the setting. He jutted his arm forward as he began to feel the wind rushes from behind him. Noticeably, the grass around him started to move and leaves rustled. Yuu’s mother tilted her head in intrigue as she saw the grass move around Aang. Aang however, didn’t dare look up at Yuu or his mother but instead focused on his hand.

“- WIND -” Aang shouted thrusting both hands forward this time as Lingliu switched the setting once more. Aang felt a jolt of hope as his clothes began to press against his back at the force of the fan and the grass around his flattened. 

Aang began to twist around in the breeze of the fan twining his arms in a circular motion as he continued to shout. He slipped into a detailed pattern of movements that he would use when actually airbending. The breeze from the powerful fan managed to reach even the patio blowing the mother’s hat off her head which was unnoticed by both Yuu and his mother.

“I CAN FEEL THE PRESENCES OF AVATAR YANGCHEN BESIDE ME NOW!” Aang bellowed as he got to the last few movements. “SHE IS SPEAKING TO ME! USHERING ME TO RETURN THE GIFT BESTOWED ON ME BACK TO THE HEAVENS!”  At the word ‘return’ the fan behind him switched off as planned. Aang then placed his hands together and bowed his head touching his chin to his chest. He didn’t look up again until he heard thunderous applause from the patio. 

“Magnificent! Magnificent! Oh Avatar Aang, I’m sorry I ever doubted you!” She cried as she and Yuu hurried over to him; overzealous by the display of something unimaginable. “You truly do have a gift… I was wrong to not believe you in the first place.” Aang laughed as she pulled him into a bone crushing hug.

“It’s okay!” Aang winced not just from the hug but his voice was raw and horse from all the screaming he had done, “You had every right to be skeptical of course!” Yuu nodded and smiled as Lingliu quietly scuttled from behind the bushes, and ran over to him. Bending down, Yuu scooped up the small Pokémon and placed him on his shoulder. 

“Does this mean that I can go with Aang?” Yuu asked hopefully. 

“I am a woman of my word,” she said gently. “You may go with Avatar Aang to help his friends. I believe you’ll be safe with an Avatar, and if Professor trusts you… then perhaps it’s time I start to as well. I’ve held you here for four years after all...” She said softly. Yuu’s mother embraced Yuu in an apologetic hug but as he did Aang could see a brief flash of discomfort in Yuu’s eyes at his mother’s mention of trust. Their ruse had an important purpose but it was still a ruse nevertheless. Aang hoped, however, that if she ever found out she might understand and not be too mad at Yuu. 

“Come, I’ll pack your traveling bag! Oh, I wonder what clothes one would need for a Pokémon Journey? You surely cannot walk around looking unkempt like a Gossipuwei. Oh and I'll fill it with some snacks for the road! If only the chef could prepare a five course meal and compartmentalize it in your carry on such short notice, oh I guess you’ll have to do without…” Yuu’s mom said with a disappointed sigh.

She looked over to Aang’s confused face and Yuu’s embarrassed one,  “M-My apologies I’m sure Professor Pine is eagerly waiting for you, so we better get you three on your way.” She sounded almost excited and overzealous for the opportunity Yuu now had thanks to Aang. She began to lead them towards the house but then stopped. “Oh my in my excitement I hardly noticed that my expensive sunhat has fallen off right my head and onto the ground!… Aang darling do you think you can summon some flame to burn it?”

Aang laughed nervously and waited for her to laugh with him at the joke, but his eyes widen when it became abundantly clear that she was being serious!

“M-Mom, please!” Yuu said with embarrassment touching his tone, “Can we not do this in front of a guest?” Yuu’s mom, however, shrugged and stepped over the offending sunhat before leading them back towards the patio. 

“I suppose some lucky Haricus can have it as supper come let’s go,” said Yuu’s mom causing Yuu himself to scoff and roll his eyes. Uneased, Aang followed close behind Yuu’s mother who began to ramble on about Aang’s display of bending, and how impressed she was with it; hardly noticing Yuu dashing off to put the fan back in the shed, and returning to them. She then turned around hearing a panting sound of Yuu out of breath from running.

“Hm? Are you okay sweetheart? If you are getting overheated I can summon the house nurse to escort you to the infirmary.” 

“N-No mother, I’m just excited is all,” Yuu said with a pained breath. She smiled and hurried back inside with them. 

Once in the kitchen, she commanded the house chef to prepare snacks for Yuu to carry for their journey. During this time, Yuu showed Aang around their mansion; showing him they had another pool inside, two more kitchens, a music hall where his family would put on concerts or practice music, a separate wing for guards and butlers, his mother’s boudoir, as well as his pristine bedroom. While Yuu was in his room he changed his clothes; putting over his black outfit blue shorts and a jacket. He also changed out of his black shoes and put on knee high red shoes.

While he changed, Aang was so lost in all the decor that momentarily all his worries faded away, and he became just a kid again in glee over all the amazing things Yuu owned. By the time they made it back down to the kitchen Yuu’s mother was done preparing Yuu’s traveling bag, and lead them to the front door. Yuu’s mom turned to them and began to speak.

“Alright now remember-”

“Before you say it we’ll be careful, we’ll watch our backs, and we’ll stay together,” Yuu said. His mother smiled and Aang turned to look away when she became misty eyed.

“Oh...you really are growing up,” she sniffed before pulling him into another hug. “Alright, then you two be off good luck to both of you and your friends!” She said giving Yuu one more hug and Aang one more as well before sending them off. They waved at her until they reached the front gate, and headed back on the path that lead back to town. 

“Are you okay?” Aang asked once Yuu’s house was out of sight.

“Yeah,” Yuu said with a bright smile. “I just can’t believe that worked.” 

“Me either,” Aang said clearing his tender voice. 

“You really were amazing,” Yuu said clapping his hand on Aang’s shoulder. “And so was Lingliu! For a second I almost believed you were airbending.” Aang smiled and Lingliu let out another cheer. The rest of the walk into town was quiet as both boys contemplated what had just happened and what might happen next.

Once back in the center of town they saw Professor Pine waving to them. He was standing in front of his office was a bag in his hand.

“Aang! Yuu! I suspect everything went well from the look on your faces.” He said happily as they both approached him.

“It went better than we thought it would, she gave me permission to go with Aang Professor!” Yuu said with a bright smile. 

“Good, now before you go I have some items for you to take; Potions, and Poké Balls in case you run into a Pokémon you want to catch. I would also advise you to teach Aang how to catch one.”

“Is that really important right now?” Aang asked.

“I believe so,” Professor Pine said with a kind smile. “Who knows how long you’ll be here? You’ll find life is much easier and safer with a Pokémon companion at your side, but nevertheless, you don't have to! Also, I have this,” Professor Pine said reaching into his pocket and pulled out a red rectangular looking device. 

“You’re giving me a Pokédex?!” Yuu said with wonder his eyes lighting up.

“I am,” Pine said, “You’ll find this tool helpful when you're out in the forest and run into a Pokémon you might not recognize. It has many features that I’m sure you will learn to use with ease!” Yuu took the item quickly while Aang watched never seeing such a thing before in his life. Aang jumped when Yuu popped it open and peered over his friend's shoulder along with Lingliu who looked equally as interested. The front part of the Pokédex opened and inside revealed different colored buttons and another black rectangle. 

“I’ve always wanted one,” Yuu explained his voice filled with awe.

“You’ll certainly have time to use them while out in the forest,” Professor Pine said. “You two better get moving!” Yuu nodded and shut his Pokédex before slipping into his pocket. Yuu took the rest of the materials from Pine, thanked him, and placed them in his bag. Saying their goodbyes, Yuu eagerly lead Aang beyond Pine’s office, beyond the other homes and buildings, and towards a well beaten path at the very edge of town, next to the path was a sign read Route 1. Yuu turned to Aang and smiled wider than Aang had seen him do yet. 

“Let’s go,” Yuuyin said before taking the first step onto the path. 

 

-Chapter End-

 

Chapter Text

Route 1 spread out in front of both Yuu and Aang as they began to walk down the path towards the forest. Lingliu, nestled on top of Yuu’s head, took in the new area with widened eyes. The road they were walking on was wide and even and on either side were open areas of tall wild grass. To the right of them was more forest that stood alongside the road.

Admiring the vast wilderness in front of them as Huoli opened up for them Aang could see why Yuu’s mother was nervous, between the tall grass and the forest there seemed to be plenty of places for a Pokémon, or a person, to be lurking. Even now as they walked Aang could see the grass rustling in various places, and could hear odd cries coming from inside the forest. He began to pick up his pace as the thought of his friends again crossed his mind.

Beside him, Yuu seemed to be in the best of moods no doubt excited to finally be allowed to go out on his own. In his hand, the bag his mother had given them was swinging back and forth. Yuu started to notice Aang’s worrisome mood and gave him a pat on the back. Aang looked up at Yuu, realizing his intention, and smiled. Suddenly, a question popped into Aang’s mind.

“Professor Pine said he has given us some Poké Balls and Potions in case we ran into some Pokémon we wanted to catch, correct?” Aang asked causing to Yuu nod, “I know we use Poké Balls to catch Pokémon with, but how exactly is a Potion supposed to help?” Yuu smiled and reached into the bag to pull out one of the small purple spray bottles that Professor Pine had given him. 

“Potions are used to help heal your Pokémon when they’re hurt,” Yuu explained. “There are three different types of Potions, this one is the most basic kind which will only restore some of a Pokémon’s health, but there are others. Super Potions restores a moderate amount of a Pokémon’s health, whereas Hyper Potions restore a considerable amount of a Pokémon’s health. The best ones out there are Full Restores they basically make it like the Pokémon never even got hurt with how much health they restore but are expensive. The difference between them is just the potency of the medicine inside. ”

“Oh, that’s good!” Aang said. “That way we can heal Lingliu in case we do end up running into trouble out here. Do these work on people?” Aang asked his mind immediately going to Katara, without her waterbending she wouldn’t be able to heal them if they got hurt by a Pokémon it would be helpful to have something like this as a substitute. 

“Not that I know of,” Yuu said making Aang frown and sag his shoulders, “But these aren’t only useful for just Lingliu. I think Professor Pine is right you should try to catch a Pokémon while you're out here. I mean like he said we have no way of knowing how or when we can get you back to your home,” Said Yuu.

“Ahh…” Aang sighed.

 “To my mother’s credit some things she said are essential, Huoli isn’t the safest place to be right now, it only makes sense that you have a Pokémon companion by your side to help protect you and the rest of the group.” Yuu continued on. Aang nodded as he couldn’t help but agree with Yuu’s words.

“Yeah, before when Professor Pine suggested it I was in a hurry to find my friends, and thought it might be a waste of time,” Aang said with a frown, “But now I realize how short sighted that is, without our bending we really our defenseless.” Yuu nodded in agreement.

“Don't worry though along Route 1 there are a ton of easy and good Pokémon to catch,” Yuu said with a promising smile, “Even now, you can see the grass moving and can hear the Pokémon out in the forest.” 

“Yeah”, said Aang with a smile, but suddenly Aang remembered something. “But there was something that you had said a moment ago that caught my attention. I don't quite understand why we would need to use a potion on a Pokémon that we catch...” Yuu turned to look at him with a confused look.

“Ah, I keep forgetting you don't know this stuff,” Yuu said with an apologetic smile, “I should have explained. So, in order to catch a Pokémon, we have to battle it an-”

“W-Wait, you mean hurt it?” Aang asked with wide eyes making Yuu pause and look deadpanned by his reaction, “I don't understand, why are we hurting something we want to be friends with?” Yuu was a little taken aback by the statement. 

“Well we can’t just go up to a wild Pokémon and ask it to be our friend,” Yuu said with a bit of a chuckle, “In order to catch it, we first have to prove that we deserve to catch it.” Aang was starting to become a bit irritable by Yuu’s passive response to something he thought was fairly serious. 

Noticing this, Yuu then grabbed a Poké Ball from his bag and tried to explain it in a more technical fashion. “Well, you can’t just throw a Poké Ball at any Pokémon and expect it to be caught- well I mean you can but unless it’s a very specific circumstance that doesn’t work. Like I said before catching a Pokémon is all about proving yourself to it in a sense,” Yuu said as he went on to hand Aang a Poké Ball, “In order to do that we need to battle and prove that we are worth capturing it.” Aang’s eyes went wide and a look of disgust crossed his face. 

“You mean you beat these Pokémon into submission?” Aang said as he took a step away from Yuu and dropped the Poké Ball near Lingliu who had jumped down to Yuu’s feet, “That’s horrible how could anyone do that? How could you do that?” Aang demanded. Feeling as if he wasn’t getting through to Aang Yuu frowned.

“Well... When you put it like that it sounds a lot worse than what it really is,” Yuu said quickly and a bit defensively. 

“I don't really know how you could make it sound better!” Aang said his face twisting into a scowl, “You viciously attack a Pokémon over and over again until it’s forced to come with you!?” Yelled Aang. Yuu bit his lip as he tried to think of a good response. Yuu then started to think,  “ There had to be a good way to explain this to Aang... ”. 

“Listen, Aang. Most of the time when a trainer encounters a wild Pokémon it’s because the Pokémon is initiating some type of exchange between the traveling trainer, like a battle.” Yuu said, “Pokémon are very intelligent creatures. Look at Lingliu he just helped us with our little fan rouse and convincing my mother that you still have bending.” As Yuu said this, Aang looks down to Lingliu as he looks confusingly at Aang and Yuu as they argue, a bit startled by never seeing such a thing before between two humans. 

“Aang, when and if a Pokémon challenges a trainer to a battle it is aware of the chance that it can get caught,” Yuu said as he picks up the Poké Ball near his feet. “In fact, there are many Pokémon who want to get caught by a trainer, and the battling and catching process is the means in which the Pokémon decides if that’s the right choice for them. I also think that maybe you’re thinking of the process of catching Pokémon in only a negative context-”

“Is there any other way to think of it?” Aang said looking completely flabbergasted by Yuu’s statement. 

“Of course there is, a Pokémon’s choice to end up caught by a trainer is very situation specific it might ‘give in’ so to speak because the Pokémon thinks the trainer is really strong. Or, it might just like the trainer and want to join their team-”

“Or it might be scared, and wanting the fight to end, so it submits to stop the attacking!” Aang said angrily cutting off Yuu, “Are you going to sit here and try to tell me that’s never happened?”

“Aang think about what I just said for a second!” Yuu said as he places his hands on Aang’s shoulders, “If a Pokémon is submitting to a trainer that it challenged then it could be for a variety of reasons not just because a trainer has proven their own strength, but the Pokémon could understand the trainer's intentions. Like I told you at my house Pokémon are very intuitive and can pick up on people’s energy.” Aang brushed Yuu’s hands off his shoulders and took a step back.

“Yuu lis-”

“Before you say anything else consider this for a moment,” Yuu added cutting off Aang as he opened his mouth to speak, “In this type of world, which is much different than your own, being caught is a much more preferable option for many Pokémon.”

“Now it just sounds like you’re talking nonsense,” Aang said angrily, “Do you mean to tell me a Pokémon would prefer to be held in those tiny little Poké Balls and forced to battle against other Pokémon than live out in the wild?” He demanded. 

“That’s exactly what I mean to tell you,” Yuu said as calmly as possible, “Look at it like this: in the wild, a Pokémon has to fight for its life to survive. It fights for territory, it fights for food, it fights not to get eaten. If a Pokémon is caught by a trainer it doesn’t always have to endure those things. It has a home, food, love, and can still battle and train which in general Pokémon like to do."

“Hmm…”, Aang pondered Yuu’s words.

“Not to mention, trainers don’t just have one Pokémon, usually Pokémon form a family dynamic with its party members and trainer. When a Pokémon submits to a trainer its because it understands the trainer is strong enough to provide all of those things.”

“And they don't mind being stuffed into those tiny Poké Balls? It doesn’t bother them?” Aang asked with a frown. Yuu then immediately started to nod his head.

“Poké Balls aren’t tiny cages,” Yuu said reaching down to scoop up the Poké Ball Aang had dropped to the ground, “In fact, the inside of a Poké Ball is very Pokémon friendly and made for comfort. Here hold it and don’t drop it this time, please?” As Aang was handed the Poké Ball he turned away from Yuu, and glanced down at the Poké Ball. He was quiet as he thought about everything Yuu had said. Slowly Aang began to shake his head.

“... I understand what you're saying, but I still don't agree with it- it just goes against a lot of my principles that I grew up with,” Aang said gently.

“I get that but Aang please consider the situation we're in!” Yuu pleaded as he walked closer to Aang, “You said yourself that you and your friends are defenseless without your bending! For your safety, it is in your best interest for you, and perhaps your friends, to catch and train Pokémon in order to protect yourselves against all kinds of threats that can and most likely will appear on our journey! I have to travel far for the Pokémon League, and you will have to potentially to uncover your bending issue. And let’s not forget already you’ve been attacked by two Pokémon attempting to get to Mian Town, what do you think is going to happen once we start traveling for longer distances to more dangerous places?” Aang squeezed his eyes shut and began to shake his head again.

“I’m sorry Yuu, but I’m just not comfortable with catching Pokémon this way,” Aang said softly as he looked down, “Please understand that...”

“I do,” Yuu said after giving Aang a moment to collect himself, “It’s not for everyone and that’s fine. If you don't want to catch a Pokémon you don't have to I can be the one protecting us with them if anything. Or,  maybe your friends will get Pokémon too and they can help protect us as well, but just remember I can’t always be around and obviously, neither can your friends. That might be something you consider before you swear off not catching any Pokémon all together” said Yuu. Aang worried his lip for a moment considering Yuu’s words. 

“Maybe...” Aang mumbled under his breath causing Yuu to smile.

“Come on we should probably keep going,” said Yuu. Aang nodded in agreement, and the two continued to walk in silence both thinking about the conversation they had just had while Aang fiddling with the Poké Ball still in his hand.

Chapter Text

Suddenly, a movement in the corner of Aang’s eye caught his attention. Aang looked to the side, and saw something; something so alarming Aang had to do a quick double take as he came to a sudden stop. 

“Aang?” Yuu asked coming to a stop as well, “Is everything okay?” Aang however, didn’t answer as he watched a small Pokémon dart down a branch of a nearby tree. 

“Momo?” questioned Aang as he looked at the Pokémon. For a second, Aang had thought he had seen Momo, his beloved Winged Lemur, but quickly realized it wasn’t him. This doppelganger like Pokémon to Aang was a little smaller than Momo, and was predominantly white with pink paws, pink accenting its white face, and pink on the innards of its ears.

“Huh? yeah, it’s just that Pokémon over there reminds me of Momo,” Aang explained somberly. Yuu frowned as he heard the sadness in his friend’s voice.

“Momo is a friend of yours I assume,” Yuu said gently. 

“He’s a Winged Lemur,” Aang said with a frown. The more Aang thought of Momo and soon Appa the sadder he got. “...He and my Flying Bison Appa were left back in my world...” said Aang in a soft tone. 

This fact was true; Appa and Momo had not been in the training yard when they had all got taken from their world and thrown into this one. The moment Aang had woken up on the beach he had been so concerned with trying to figure out where he was and where his friends were that he hadn’t had a moment to think about his other companions. And now, as Aang was looking at the little Pokémon, he couldn’t help but think of the other things he had left with no way of returning to them. It made his heart feel heavy with sadness a slight tear ran down his face as he looked down. Suddenly, Aang’s face was caressed by a soft white handkerchief; one that Yuu pulled out of his bag. As Aang held the handkerchief in shock he looked into Yuu’s eyes, and Yuu smiled as he squeezed Aang’s shoulder unsure exactly what to say. 

“Hey… If that reminds you of your friend maybe it might help you feel better if you caught this Pokémon,” Yuu suggested tentatively. Aang turned to look at Yuu with a conflicted look; Aang wanted Momo with him but knew that was impossible. 

Perhaps having this little Pokémon with him might help Aang… ” thought Yuu.

“I don't want to have to hurt it in order to catch it...” Aang said standing his ground, “I’m not going to force the Pokémon to be my companion so I can feel better…” Hearing Aang say this, Yuu frowned and took his hand off of Aang’s shoulder. 

“... Unless we can catch it without hurting it,” Aang said as his face lit up with a little hope as he turned back to look at the Pokémon. As they talked, the lucrative Pokémon had jumped onto a tree with oddly shaped fruit on it and was picking some off the branches. 

“If that is what you want then we can try,” Yuu said with a small smile. “I can’t promise we’ll catch it considering we won’t be battling it,” Aang nodded and felt himself smiling a little. 

“Okay, so how should we go about catching it?” Aang asked. Instead of answering right away, Yuu reached into his pocket and pulled out the Pokédex that Professor Pine had given them. 

“First things first: let’s find out what Pokémon we’re trying to catch,” said Yuu. Flipping the Pokédex open Yuu took a few steps closer to the Pokémon in question and pointed the Pokédex in his hand at it. Nothing happened for a moment and it started to worry Yuu.

Huh? Am I using this thing correctly? I don’t have much experience with these things… I don’t wanna look stupid in front of Aang… ”, thought Yuu. Suddenly, the device began to shake in his hand.

“Is that supposed to happen?” Aang asked as the shaking became more violent. 

“Not the last time I checked!” Yuu said. Then, in a completely strange matter to Yuu and Aang, the Pokédex jumped out of Yuu’s hand and began to float in the air. It began to spin so quickly that Aang thought he could be sick just watching it, and dropped the Poké Ball in his hand once more. 

Yuu’s eyes went wide as he watched the scene; he didn’t have much experience with a Pokédex but he was almost positive this wasn’t how they acted! As it stopped its sporadic movements they saw it had transformed into an anthropomorphic like creature. In the upper area of the screen, two light-blue eyes formed, and a face started to become apparent to Yuu and Aang on the Pokédex itself as they observed it. The Pokédex zoomed over to Yuu, and stopped right in front of his face; the screen flickered on as a bluish circle formed. Yuu watched as the circle began to bounce back and forth.

“User Registration Initiated. Name?” the Pokédex said completely stunning Yuu and Aang. 

“Huh?!”, said Yuu. The Pokédex got closer to Yuu’s face. 

“I think it's asking you your name…” said Aang a bit startled.

“Uh… Y-Yuuyin. Yuuyin Yuumen.” Suddenly, the Pokédex started to make weird sounds, as ‘0%” appeared on the screen. It slowly rose in number until it read ‘100%’.

“New user, Yuuyin Yuumen, registered!” The Pokédex said. 

“Wh- what...?!” Yuu stammered pointing at the floating Pokédex with a shaking hand. Aang, speechless, stood there silent not exactly sure what was happening, “The Pokédex- it- how?!” Yuu exclaimed.

“Professor Pine didn’t tell you?” the Pokédex said, causing Aang and Yuu to nearly jump out of their skin, “I’m not your average run of the mill Pokédex! I’m Rotom Pokédex!” it said happily spinning around once after delivering the information. 

“A Rotom Pokédex?! I’ve never heard of such a thing! Why didn’t Professor Pine ever mention this to me?...” Yuu asked himself.

“I still don't even fully understand what a normal Pokédex is or does...” Aang muttered more to himself than Yuu. 

“I’m better than an average Pokédex!” Rotom Pokédex said happily, “I’m a Pokémon called Rotom! And I have taken over your Pokédex to aid in supporting trainers journeys. This technology of combining me with a Pokédex hails from his first unveiling in the Alola region.  Rotom like me have the ability to take over normal everyday appliances, and using this can extend the capabilities of the average Pokédex. Professor Pine programmed me to be able to speak your language as well!” As the Rotom Pokédex said this Yuu and Aang thought it was very fascinating and was a fact that Yuu didn't know and certainly neither did Aang.

“Oh…” Yuu and Aang said as their mind’s now raced a mile per minute. 

“Wait so I’m technically talking to a Pokémon right now? And I had you in my pocket this whole time?” Yuu questioned. Rotom Pokédex smiled and spun around excitedly again.

“Taking over the Pokédex has given me the ability to speak! And technically yes, since I was dormant in the Pokédex this whole time, I was in your pocket walking with you! More and more Pokémon trainers like you are using Pokédex like me every day as this process spread from Alola to Unova, Kanto, Galar, and has finally reached Huoli!” Rotom Pokédex said happily as it landed in Yuu’s hands, “Unlike normal Pokédex I have many interesting new features like a camera and a map. I also have the ability to give you helpful tips when battling or trying to capture Pokémon!” 

“Well that’s good,” Yuu said his confusion turning into excitement. “We need your help now, can you please tell us what that Pokémon over there is?” Yuu said pointing to the Pokémon sitting in the tree still. He was surprised that it hadn’t run off with all the commotion. The Pokemon, however, didn’t look bothered, in fact, it seemed to be interested in them as it watched their whole ordeal play out while it ate its piece of fruit. 

“Sure!” Rotom Pokédex said as it floated towards the Pokémon. It scanned the Pokémon before turning back to Yuu and Aang. The screen in the middle of the Pokédex had changed and was now showing a picture of the Pokémon sitting in the tree. “ This is Lemaki, the ‘Lemur Pokémon’. When they are not out collecting fruit, they often cling onto their parent Pokémon’s backs. Because of their nocturnal behavior and their slender bodies they often are mistaken for ghosts.”

“Wow…” said Yuu amazed by Rotom Pokédex’s commentary.

“Lemaki is a Normal-Type Pokémon, so it would greatly benefit you to battle it using Fighting-Type moves, and do not use Ghost-Type moves on it,” Rotom Pokédex added helpfully. 

“Wait what do you mean by a Normal-Type I remember Pine saying Lingliu was a Ground-Type as well right?” Aang asked, making Rotom Pokédex confused by the question.

“Oh, I don’t think I really explained types to you,” Yuu said taking the chance to answer before Rotom Pokédex could, “Every Pokémon has what we call a Typing! Types have weaknesses, resistances, and something its strong against. For example, Fire-Types are strong against Grass-Types but weak to Water-Types. But, Water-Types are weak to Grass-Types So, if you were battling a Water-Type with a Fire-Type it might be best to switch to a Grass-Type, if you have one, as they could deal out a type of move your Pokémon is weak to. Or, simply a Pokémon that isn’t weak to Water-Type moves would suffice. In total, there are 18 different types,” Yuu explained. 

“The moves Pokémon can do also have Types- if that wasn’t clear!” Rotom Pokédex said as he flew into Aang’s face showing a diagram on his screen of the 18 types, “When Pokémon battling, it’s very important to consider what types of moves will affect your opponent the most, but also what kind of moves the opposing Pokémon might have that can do a good deal of damage to the Pokémon that you’re battling with,” said Rotom Pokédex reiterating what Yuu had just said.

“Not all moves are damage dealing though,” Yuu said interjecting Rotom Pokedex, “Some moves are used in order to boost your Pokémon’s defense, attack or speed.” 

“I see...” Aang said taking in all the information like a sponge. 

“There’s a lot of strategy that goes into a Pokémon battle,” Yuu said carefully hoping that the statement wouldn’t set Aang off into another tirade. Aang simply nodded his head relieving Yuu.

“But we aren’t battling Lemaki in order to catch it,” Aang said turning back to Rotom Pokédex his words seemed to surprised it, “You said that Lemaki likes to collect fruit right?”

“Yep!” Rotom Pokédex said smiling, “Lemaki love to collect and eat fruit!”

“Maybe that can be a way we catch it,” Aang suggested.

“Sure there’s a ton of berries on the ground from the trees above,” Yuu said moving closer to the trees as he picked up the Poké Ball on the ground once more and slipped it back into his bag. Aang followed Yuu and knelt down on the ground right below Lemaki. Reaching forward he picked up a fallen berry. It was a tiny, red and had a long twisting stem.

“That’s called a Cheri Berry,” Rotom Pokédex said as Aang examined it. Meanwhile, Lingliu moved away from Yuu’s side to take a fallen berry for itself. Yuu smiled as he picked up a handful of berries that all varied in shape and color. 

“... and that’s a Pecha Berry,” Rotom Pokédex said When Aang picked up a pink berry with white spots. As the group collected berries each time any of them would pick up a new one Rotom Pokédex would helpfully inform them of the berries name. “And that is a Mago berry!” said Rotom Pokédex when Yuu picked up along twisted pink berry with a yellow tip.

“Here Lemaki, do you want a berry?” Aang asked reaching up to show the Cheri Berry to Lemaki. As he did, the Lemaki tilted its head to the side and leaned forward to look down at the fruit offered to it. It took a moment but Lemaki wrapped its tail around the branch it was on to anchor itself as it hopped forward and reached out for the berry Aang had offered it. 

“Whoa, it’s quick!” Aang said as Lemaki took the berry and quickly moved to stand on the branch once more.

“Lemaki’s are very fast Pokémon,” Rotom Pokédex said. 

“Here take these,” Yuu said handing Aang the berries he had been collecting. “Since Lemaki is going to be your Pokémon you should be the one offering it the berries.” He said. Aang nodded and turned back to the Lemaki who was holding the Cheri Berry close to its chest. 

With cupped hands, Aang stretched his arms out again offering all the berries up to the Lemaki whose eyes went wide with wonder.

“Le...Lemaki?” Lemaki didn’t move from its spot as it continued to look at the pile of berries in Aang’s hand. 

“For you,” Aang said with a kind smile. Lemaki shifted on its paws before scampering down the branch and tree trunk. It moved forward and stopped in front of Aang who knelt down in front of the Pokémon. Placing the berries on the ground Aang pushed them forward as an offering. 

“Lemaki Lemaki,” The little Pokémon said as it was looking up at Aang inquisitively. 

I guess it isn’t often that humans offered it two handfuls worth of berries.” Aang thought. His mind went back to what Yuu said about wild Pokémon having to fight for food often to survive.

“Take them,” Aang encouraged still the Lemaki seemed hesitant of the idea. 

“Ling! Lingliu!” said Lingliu causing Lemaki to jump a little as Lingliu hurried forward. Aang, Yuu and Rotom Pokédex watched as the two Pokémon began to speak. “Lingliu! Ling Ling,” Lingliu said seemingly excited as it gestured to Aang as it spoke. Aang smiled softly before he began 

“I wanted to give you these berries because I hoped that we could become friends,” Aang said taking over for Lingliu, “I would like you to come on my journey with me and my friends, please?” Lemaki seemed to consider what Aang had said before taking one of the berries in its hand and showing it to Aang.

“Le-Lemaki?” it asked. Aang immediately understood what the tiny Pokémon was asking.

“If you come with me I'll help you collect all the berries you want!" Aang promised excitedly, “And we can play together and help each other.” Yuu couldn’t help but smile as Aang spoke. He sounded so innocent as he promised Lemaki all of these things. 

“Lemaki!” the Pokémon said.

“That Lemaki seems very trusting,” Yuu said to Lingliu as he came scampering back over. Yuu was still looking at Aang and Lemaki interact with each other with a smile on his face. Reaching into the bag his mother had given him, Yuu fished out the Poké Ball Aang had dropped on the ground twice. 

“Here Aang,” Yuu said causing Aang to turn around. “It's the one that you kept dropping, it's only fitting you use it to catch Lemaki. Here, hit the button in the middle and it’ll expand you’ll be able to catch it then.” Aang nodded and took the Poké Ball out of Yuu’s hand doing as he instructed.

“Wow,” Aang said pressing the Poké Ball and watched the Poké Ball grow in size. “So what do you say Lemaki do you think you might want to come along with me and be my friends?” Aang asked showing the Poké Ball to the small creature. 

“Wait Aang, take a step back so you can-” before Yuu could finish his sentence Lemaki snatched the Poké Ball from Aang’s hand and began to sniff it as if it was a berry. Before either boy could react Lemaki’s nose bumped against the button in the middle causing the Poké Ball to open. Aang’s eyes went wide as it looked like Lemaki turned into red energy before being sucked into the Poké Ball. 

“W-What just happened?!” Aang asked as the Poké Ball closed. 

“That’s normal how a Pokémon goes into a Poké Ball although normally you would throw the Poké Ball.” Said Yuu.

“Oh no maybe Lemaki won’t be caught because it thought I had another berry,” Aang said sadly. Yuu shrugged and they all watched with bated breath as the Poké Ball wiggled once before there was a loud click. 

“Don’t worry my bald lad, You caught it!” Rotom Pokédex said happily spinning around faster than it had before as it cheered. Yuu, being astonished as he wasn’t sure that would work at all, cheered on as well. He couldn’t help but smile as Aang happily scooped up the Poké Ball. 

“I caught it!” Aang said jumping to his feet.

“Lingliu Ling!” Lingliu began to jump with excitement. 

“Do I press the button to get Lemaki to come out?” Aang asked as he examined the Poké Ball in his hand.

“Actually if you just-” 

Suddenly, Aang just pressed the button instinctively cutting Yuu off. It opened again and blue energy sprang out right onto Aang’s face. Yuu watched with wide eyes as Aang fell backwards releasing the Poké Ball from his hand with Lemaki clinging to his face.

“Aang are you alright?” Yuu asked as he and Lingliu hurried over. He was relieved when he heard Aang laughing. The younger boy sat up and pulled Lemaki off his face holding it up above his head. 

“Hey there! Guess that means we are buddies from now on!” Aang cried out with joy. 

“Lemaki!” Aang laughed again before standing up.

“Here, why don't we collect your berries,” Aang said placing Lemaki down on the ground. He and Lemaki walked over to the berries and began to collect them together. Lemaki placed the ones it picked up in Aang’s hands and when it was finished it climbed up his back and onto his shoulder. 

“Don't forget its Poké Ball,” Yuu said as he placed Lingliu on top of his head. “That’s Lemaki’s home now.” 

“Hm, I’d rather keep it out of its Poké Ball would you prefer that Lemaki?” asked Aang. However, Lemaki just shrugged its shoulders as if it didn't care either way. Lemaki then grabbed another Cheri Berry from their berry pile. Aang had made a makeshift bowl out of the bottom of his shirt and was now carrying the fruit in it. 

“Well I guess you can do that, but you need to keep the Poké Ball with you that's how the Pokémon stays yours. The Poké Ball is like a tag, so people cannot try and catch your Lemaki because the Poké Ball tags that as its home. Also, it’s important to keep safeguard of it so it isn’t stolen.” Yuu explained.

Aang nodded in agreeance, and with his free hand he picked up the fallen Poké Ball which had shrunk back down to the smaller size. He slipped it into his pocket before taking a large blue berry and handing it to Lemaki.

“That’s an Oran Berry,” Rotom Pokédex said. 

“I’m going to get some berries for Lingliu before we leave,” Yuu said moving to collect some.

“Lingliu Ling!” Lingliu cried out pleased with Yuu’s idea. 

Aang and Yuu finished collecting the berries they could and stuffed them carefully into Yuu’s bag.  Lemaki stayed perched on Aang’s shoulder eating more and more berries. Before long it had to start sneaking more out of Yuu’s bag when it ate all the ones collected in Aang's shirt.

“I’m really surprised that worked,” Yuu admitted as he and Aang continue to walk down Route 1. Aang saw Lemaki try to reach for another berry without Yuu and him noticing, and Aang pushed its hand away and grabbed more for him. 

“Here Lemaki. And yeah, I’m happy it did,” Aang said feeling a warmth spread through his chest as he looked at Lemaki. It felt as if he was carrying a little part of home with him. Yuu smiled and couldn’t help but feel happy for his friend.

They walked for a little while longer before they came upon a sign that pointed towards the woods. All it said was ‘Mian Forest’ and besides was an old looking path that branched off of Route 1’s road and into the looming forest.

“Come on, it’s time to find the rest of my friends,” Aang said taking the first step forward. With a new Pokémon and his goal in mind, Aang felt much more confident as he moved towards the entrance to the woods. Yuu took in a deep breath and followed Aang into the forest.

 

-Chapter End-

Chapter Text

“We have to be very carefully while we walk through the forest,” Yuu said quietly as the two boys began to make their way down the old beaten path. “There’s so many different types of wild Pokémon here, we have to constantly be on the alert.” Aang was barely paying attention as Yuu spoke as he looked around the forest. Instead, his attention had been pulled up to the long twisting trees as a group of Lemaki swung from the gnarled branches that hung above their heads by their tails, in their arms were clusters of different types of berries.

 “Wow! There are so many Lemaki here! Kinda wish I could take ‘em all,” Aang said in awe as they hurried off to who knows where within the forest disappearing in the thick canopy of the trees. 

Soon after, a high-pitched trill echoed around Aang and Yuu, “Pi-Pidove!” chanted a bird as it flew passed Aang’s head. Aang turned his head, and watched as two little grey birds landed on the ground in front of him and Yuu. 

“They have hearts on their chest!” Aang said with a bright smile while Lemaki, still on Aang’s back, watched uninterestedly as it ate the berries in its hand. 

“These are Pidove, the ‘Tiny Pigeon Pokémon’!” said Rotom Pokédex as it zoomed out in front of both boys and began to speak, “This very forgetful Pokémon will wait for a new order from its Trainer even though it already has one.” As soon as Aang and Yuu got a little close both of the Pidove flew away. 

“Dang… So close” said Yuu disappointedly. They soon continued down the path as they continued to search for Aang’s friends. As they walked, Aang caught a glimpse of purple-colored snakes slithering into bushes and along the path before quickly disappearing.

“Rotom, what are those over there?” asked Aang.

“Those are called Ekans,” Rotom Pokédex explained. Aang walked closer to the rustling bushes cranning his head to get a better look, “This is a Poison-Type Pokémon, so don’t get too close! This snake Pokémon sneaks through grass soundlessly, and strikes oblivious prey from behind.” 

“Wha-?! Well, I definitely don’t want my behind to be preyed on…” said Aang causing Yuu to laugh out loud. Suddenly, an Ekans peaked its head out from the bush and histed at the two. Yuu and Aang exchanged a worried look but before either could make an audible comment a loud series of shouts from this distance took their attention. They both jumped and spun in the direction it was coming from.

“Wohh, what was that??” asked Aang concerningly.

“It sounds like someone’s hurt!” said Yuu causing Lingliu to tense up, “Come on, let's go towards it!” Yuu started dashing forward towards the sound of the shouting. As the voices kept going Aang started to have a realization he recognized the voice!

“Wait Yuu- I think I know whose shouting!” Aang said excitedly. 

“Really?” Yuu replied with lit up eyes.

“Yea, trust me, I know that shouting anywhere. That sounds like my friend Zuko!” 

"That’s great! But also not great! He might be in trouble!” Yuu said with concern. Aang’s face fell a little hearing that, and they quickened their pace. 

 

The sounds origin seemed deep within the woods. They had to go off the trail through the thickets of the forest to get closer to it. As they ran, they both scratched their arms as they pushed aside the branches in front of them, and fought their way through bushes before breaking out into a clearing. Aang’s eyes lit up when he saw a group of familiar faces his face first panning to Zuko, as he stood in the middle of the clearing rubbing his eyes and grunting.

 Aang felt a sense of excitement deep within him when he realized he had been right! Beside Zuko, Suki was holding onto his shoulder with a worried expression looking like she was trying to get a better look at his face. Standing by a tree close to Aang and Yuu was Azula who didn’t seem concerned by her brothers yelling in the slightest and was instead preoccupied examining the tree she was standing by. Startled by all the people, Lemaki and Lingliu scampered towards Yuu and quickly hid in his bag.

“Zuko! Suki! Azula!” Aang shouted happily causing them all to turn towards him and Yuu who was trailing not far behind.

“Aang?!” Suki and Zuko said together as they rushed over to him. 

“Is everything alright?” Aang asked, once he got closer to Zuko Aang’s noise scrunched up once he got a whiff of his friend, he smelled like rotten eggs and old garbage!

“You might not wanna get too close too quickly, Aang.” Azula said in this distance causing Yuu to look back at her as he froze in his tracks from seeing so many people. He then turned his head back to see Aang’s friend Zuko his eyes immediately jumped to the scar that branded Zuko’s face before quickly averting his eyes.

“We were looking for you in the forest and suddenly heard you hollering!” said Aang. Zuko pointed to the tree his sister was standing by, and began to explain what happened a few minutes prior.

“Azula, Suki and I wandered into this clearing and found this weird looking bug resting on that tree over there. I was just inspecting it because it looked weird, and suddenly it sprayed me!” shouted Zuko as he waved his arms around spreading the pungent odor further towards Aang and Yuu’s noses causing them to gag at the smell. Azula started to chuckle.

“Zuko started throwing a temper tantrum, and attempted to firebend but like with so many things he tries to do he failed,” Azula said causing everyone to turn and look at her, “I suppose that we should be grateful, considering how close he had been to the tree at the time it would have no doubt caught on fire.”

“I was scared!” Zuko snapped, “I mean we woke up in this weird forest, I hardly remembered what we were doing before we got here, and this place is filled with all these weird creatures and noises. I just freaked out and started to react!”

"Zuko, just ignore Azula she’s only trying to get further under your skin,” Suki said gently. She turned to Aang and Yuu and continued to explain what was happening. “The point is that he can’t bend for some reason Aang! Azula tried as well, and she wasn’t able to produce any flames either.” As Suki detailed Azula’s inability to bend Azula scoffed and looked away.

“I know, I woke up on a beach a little ways away from here. I’m not able to bend either.” said Aang. Zuko and Suki frowned and exchanged a frigeneted look as they heard this. “Listen, there’s a lot of things that we still need to explain but right now we have to find Katara, Sokka and Toph.”

“So, you know what’s going on?” Azula asked.

“All I know is that for some odd reason we don't have our bending and that we’re in another world, I know that might be hard to wrap your head around…” Aang began to slowly trail off when he caught a look at his friends faces.

“Wait, what?!” said exclaimed with wide eyes.

“What are you talking about?” asked Azula as she became visibly concerned.

“Listen, I know there’s a lot you want clarity on, but we can have that conversation once we find everyone else,” said Aang trying to refocus everyone.. As Aang talked Suki started to look towards Yuu, who was just quietly standing there.Yuu and Suki caught glimpse of each other and Yuu waved nervously to her. Aang, seeing Suki look behind him, turned around.

“Oh! By the way, this my friend Yuu, he’s going to help us uncover our current issue!” Suki, smiling, approached first Yuu while Azula and Zuko looked on both taken at Yuu’s peculiar appearance.

“Hey there! My name is Yuuyin, but you all can call me Yuu.” he said watching Suki walk towards him.

“I’m Suki, nice to meet you!” Suki said reaching forward with her hand out. Yuu smiled and shook her hand firmly. “Are we really in a different world?” asked Suki as her face  contorted with confusion and fear awaiting the answer. Yuu, seeing this, wished he could give her some comfort.

“I’m afraid you all are,” Yuu said softly as he panned his eyes from Suki back to Zuko, “Don't worry though, we’re going to figure out how to get you guys back home.” 

"I hope so,” Zuko said when Yuu turned to him. Zuko searched his hand out to take Yuu’s, but realized they were a bit dirty. Seeing this, Yuu reached into his pocket and pulled out a handkerchief. Zuko blushed, and graciously took it. “Thanks. I’m Zuko” he said in response. 

“Nice to meet you,” said Yuu. Yuu turned to Azula, and began to walk over to her. When he got closer he saw what she had been staring at, a bug-like Pokémon about the size of Yuu’s palm resting on the tree. It was brown with white and red lining. Rotom Pokédex, hiding within Yuu’s bag from all the new faces, took that moment to zip forward causing Suki, Zuko and even Azula to jump in shock.

“W-What the hell?” Zuko said with round eyes. 

“That’s a Rotom Pokédex,” Aang said softly, “Before you ask I don't fully understand it either.” 

“This is a Halyodor,  the ‘Odor Pokémon’. These Pokémon produce a pungent odor from its glands. You can tell if this Pokémon trusts you if it’s never startled by your presence.” Rotom Pokédex said. Suki let out a shaky breath as she looked at Rotom Pokédex. 

“We really are in a different world...” Suki said. Rotom Pokédex continued to zip around them, and all Zuko, Azula, and Suki could do was watch. 

“Wait, it called it a… Pokémon?” asked Zuko.

“Listen I swear that this will all get explained to you guys soon but I think we should focus on finding your friends,” said Yuu.

I don’t know what is more preposterous; these weird creatures with abilities I have never witnessed before in my life, or this boy with blue hair with a flying… I don’t even know what that was that just came out from his bag, ” thought Azula as she ponders her surroundings. Suddenly, Azula saw a hand reach out of Yuu’s bag attempting to grab a berry that was hanging from it, and shouted in a suprise.

“Huh? What’s up?” asked Yuu.

“What is that arm coming out from your bag?!” asked Azula. As she said that, Yuu looked, and was surprised to see Lemaki in his bag. He soon shook his bag on his back causing both Lemaki and Mingliu to jump out.

“Don’t worry guys they are friendly!” said Yuu encouraging the Pokémon to meet them. Linglie and Lemaki jumped out and Zuko, Suki, and Azula became alarmed.

“Is that Momo?” asked Zuko as he squinted his eyes.

“I wish…” said Aang as his face frowned, “But it’s a friend of mine nonetheless. It’s a Pokémon.”

“I think I remember seeing one like that a bit ago swinging from the trees,” Suki said.

“That one right there is blue just like your hair,” Zuko observed as he compared Lingliu and Yuu’s aesthetics. Azula, looking over to Zuko thought, “ Hm, so he thought of his weird hair color too... ”.

“Listen as much as I would love to sit here and talk about hair we better get moving,” Aang said as he approached Yuu, “We need to find the others as quickly as possible.” Everyone, refocused on the task, agreed, and Aang and Yuu began to lead them back towards the path.

 

-Chapter End-

Chapter Text

As they walked, Yuu and Aang tried to explain what little they could as they simultaneously searched for the rest of their friends. The most Zuko, Suki, and Azula understood was that all the unique creatures in this new world are called ‘Pokémon’ and that they are unlike anything they ever have seen before. Suki, very amused by the Pokémon with Yuu and Aang, started to smile at Lemaki as it ate berries.

“I’m not surprised that you’ve already made a friend, naturally you just do that Aang. And that little thing on your shoulder really does looks a lot like Momo,” Suki said causing Aang to look at Lemaki with a smile.

“It’s name is Lemaki” said Aang.

“And these things are all called Pokémon right? Even that stinky bug?” Zuko asked. 

“Yup though I don’t think I’ve ever gotten that close to a Halyodor. Pokémon are the creatures that humans share this world with,” Yuu said helpfully. Just then, a little Pokémon popped out of the bushes and began to run out in front of them. It was small, red and shaped like a mushroom.

“Okay, please tell me that I’m not the only one who sees that mushroom running,” Suki said. Rotom Pokédex proudly flew forward to identify the new Pokémon. 

“Ahh, that right there is-”

“Ling! Lingliu!” Lingliu shouted as it hopped off of Yuu’s shoulder to the ground cutting Rotom Pokédex off in the process. Lingliu then ran after the little mushroom Pokémon who started to run away. 

“Lingliu!” Yuu called out with wide eyes, “Hey come back here!” Yuu then took off after Lingliu and the others quickly followed.

“Why is Lingliu chasing after that mushroom?” Zuko asked sounding very confused. 

“No idea,” Aang said. Rotom Pokédex took that opportunity to fly forward again this time finishing what it was going to say. 

“That’s because that’s a Tiaomogu the ‘Jumping-Shroom Pokémon’. These Pokémon are very loyal and work together in groups. Tiamogu and Lingliu are natural enemies and never miss an opportunity to fight each other” said Rotom Pokédex. 

“But, they aren’t fighting now,” Zuko pointed out, “Why is the little mushroom running away?”

“Didn’t you just hear that thing say it works better in groups? It’s probably running to a bigger group of Tiamogu,” Azula said as if she was talking to a child. Zuko blushed realizing what Azula said made sense. Not wanting to sound foolish again, Zuko didn’t say anything in response. 

“I think I’m dreaming…” Suki muttered to herself as she looked up at the floating Rotom Pokédex, it was hard to wrap her head around everything that was happening. In front of them, Yuu kept calling for Lingliu, but his little Pokémon barely heard him. 

The Tiaomogu hurried around a bend in the path with Lingliu closing in on it. When they rounded the corner they all came to a quick halt upon the sight they saw. The bend had lead to a small semi circle of trees that created a small alcove. Within the alcove stood the Tiaomogu that Lingliu had begun to chase, and behind it about twenty more standing in identical positions, each one ready to attack as they noticed the hedgehog Pokemon. 

“Holy moly,” Yuu muttered in shock. At the same time, both he and Lingliu took a step back. 

“That’s a lot of mushrooms,” Aang said.

“Tiaomogu,” Rotom Pokédex corrected as Lemaki hopped off Aang’s shoulder, and stood beside Lingliu ready to fight. Behind them, Suki and Zuko exchanged a look unsure what to do while Azula stood by quietly and observed the situation. 

“Oh no, it looks like we got ourselves in a mess they clearly all want to fight! How are we going to defend ourselves against this many Pokémon?” Aang asked with wide eyes. The truth was Yuu wasn’t completely sure.

“I guess we’re going to have to figure it out as we-”

“Why don't you morons just relax,” an abrasive voice said from the crowd of Tiaomogu. Suddenly, Aang and others recognize the voice 

“Toph?!” Aang, Zuko, and Suki said at the same time. Aang hopped forward causing the Tiaomogu to form a tighter formation around the spot Toph’s voice had come from making a wall with their bodies. Azula then realized that Toph was on the other side of the wall formation. The Tiaomogu began to say their name threateningly and continued to glare. Aang took a step back with a frown.

“Um... Toph, is everything okay?” Aang asked confused as to why these little Pokémon seemed to be guarding his friend. 

“Actually nothing is okay, thanks for asking! You guys can relax these idiots are actually my friends,” Toph said attempting to call off the Pokémon. The Tiaomogu exchanged weary looks but did shuffle out of the way revealing Toph. She was laying on the ground with her arms tucked behind her head and one leg crossed over the other as if she didn’t have a care in the world.

“Toph, thank Kyoshi we found you!” Suki said with a sigh of relief. Aang, Zuko, and Suki moved forward hesitantly watching the Tiaomogu with one eye as they approached. Lingliu snarled and snapped at the mushroom Pokémon, but stayed relatively close to Yuu. Azula remained rooted in her spot completely unimpressed by their find, and Yuu remained in his. Due to being unfamiliar with Toph, he kept a familiar distance. 

“So, what the heck happened?” Toph asked turning her head in the direction their voices were coming from as she leaned up from her position, “I can’t remember much after my spar with Katara, I woke up in this weird forest, without my bending, surrounded by these little things. All they keep saying ‘Tiaomogu’”.

“It’s a long story, but we’re in another world and none of us have our bending. We’ll explain everything once we get back to Mian Town. It’s a town not far from here that is safer than this forest,” Aang said with a bright smile. 

“Sure, whatever,” said Toph clearly annoyed and confused.

“By the way, this is my friend Yuu he comes from this world and he’s going to help us uncover our problems,” Aang said turning to look at his blue haired friend. 

“Hello. Nice to meet you Toph,” Yuu said waving at her but then immediately felt foolish when he saw her milky white eyes. 

“Whatever- look I’m-”

“Blind!” Zuko exclaimed with wide golden eyes as he realized Toph’s situation. Behind them, Azula rolled her identical eyes.

“Well spotted brother,” said Azula. Zuko shot her a glare.

“You know what- Agh. I mean without your bending your-”

Actually blind,” Toph said finishing Zuko’s thought, “Yeah I'm painfully aware."

“Oh no, I didn’t think of that,” Aang said his face going flush with shame for not thinking of this before. In his rush to find his bendingless friends, he hadn’t once stopped to think that without her earthbending Toph was left completely in the dark. 

“Oh Toph...” Suki said gently causing the Toph to scowl.

“I’m blind Suki not dying. This isn’t the end of the world,” said Toph. As they talked Yuu watched on with confusion.

“So... losing your bending caused you to become blind?” Yuu asked trying to keep up with the conversation. 

“I was born blind,” Toph said with a blunt tone. Yuu flinched and around them, the Tiaomogu started to become more agitated. “But, with my Earthbending, I can detect vibrations in the ground that lets me see objects and people around me. So, without it-”

“You’re nothing more than a hindrance,” Azula said causing everyone to turn to her shocked.

“A-Azula don't say something like that!” Suki snapped.

“Toph isn’t a hindrance!” Aang added before turning back to Toph, “You aren’t a hindrance.” Zuko turned and began to walk over to Azula. She took note of her brother's fast approach as she focused on Toph. 

What is your problem?! Don’t you see how problematic this situation already is, and you go say that !?” shouted Zuko.

“Don't coddle her it’s not going to help us in this situation and you all know that,” said Azula; her voice was sharp and matter of fact. Around them, the Tiaomogu began to shift and point their harsh looks at Azula. 

“Oh my god…” said Yuu with a hushed tone.

“What are you trying to prove in saying this right now?” asked Aang.

“It’s apparent that we will have to search above and beyond to uncover where our bending went, and why we are here. Well, Specifically why Aang is. When that weird, dark thing sucked us all up didn’t you notice that it seemed to gravitate to and only want Aang initially? The rest of us happened to be in the world place at the wrong time and got brought along with him,” said Azula making Aang’s eyes light up, he hadn't thought of that before.  "There has to be a purpose for him being here and we have to deal with it to get back what we lost. The last thing we need is a crutch along the way. You're  actually blind now-”

“And so are millions of other people!” Toph shouted jumping up to her feet. “They get along just fine.”

“That’s because they’ve adapted to their blindness, they didn’t have a cheat like you've had your entire life,” said Azula as she picked up her left foot and began to wiggle it around. Yuu watched with wide eyes as Azula spoke, he had never heard someone speak that way so bluntly and rude. However, internally Yuu was also trying to understand Azula side as well being someone that wasn't biased and often thought things through. To Yuu, perhaps there was a truth to Azula’s words, but there had to be a better way to say them and a better time. Yuu wanted to say something to help the situation but found he was speechless. Zuko, on the other hand, was not.

“What is wrong with you!?” He shouted his voice drowning out all others. 

“This isn’t productive at all…” said Aang with disappointment in his voice. Suki, in awe herself starts to back up as she witnesses the Tiaomogu around Toph get more angered.

“Listen here you Lightningbending psychopath, just because I don't have my bending doesn’t mean I can’t kick your face in!” Toph threatened as she took a step forward. As she did the Tiaomogu stepped forward as well. Azula laughed cruelly.

“How will you see it to kick it in?” Azula taunted.

“I’ll follow the sound of your nauseating voice!” Toph replied as the Tiaomogu glared menacingly at Azula. To that Azula said nothing, as if to prove a point. Toph scowled, but before she could yell at Azula anymore she was cut off by the sound of furious shrieking. 

“LUCKRANE!” echoed throughout the forest. This shout was followed by screaming and shouting. This shocking sound was enough to stop their dispute as they all turned their heads in the direction of the sound. Aang walked over to Toph and offered her hand to guide her. 

“Here, Toph. Grab my hand” he said.

“I don't need your help, I’m not useless.” Toph snapped.

“I never said you were Toph...” Aang replied sadly. Toph ignored him and began to get up herself without any assistance. Toph moved a couple of steps away from Aang and seemed to be doing fine on her own until she tripped over a rock and fell to the ground. Suki and the Tiaomogu rushed to her side. Seeing as Suki had her, Aang focused his attention to the bustling sound that seemed to be heading straight for them, and Aang, Yuu, Azula, and Zuko braced themselves for whatever was approaching them. 

 

-Chapter End-

Chapter Text

Suddenly, out from the trees running at full speed was Katara and Sokka- racing down the path running from a flock of Luckrane! Aang’s face lit up as he immediately recognized it as the type of Pokémon who had attacked him when he first met Professor Pine. 

“Katara!” Aang hollered running towards her, with Lemaki quickly rushing after him. 

“Aang?!” Katara said out of breath.

“Wait, is that Sokka I heard, I can’t see past these Pokémon!” yelled Suki in the distance.

“Help uuus!!” wailed Sokka as tears run down his face.

“We have to help them!” Zuko said quickly he reached forward and grabbed a good size rock from the ground. 

“Hey, stop it!” Yuu said when he saw what he was going to do, “Are you insane?!”

“We can’t bend, and our friends our being attacked, get out of the way!” Zuko snapped. 

“In this world, Pokémon fight Pokémon we don’t hurt them. Only bad people hurt Pokémon. Plus, they are super strong and would easily wreck you. We have Pokémon with us, just stay there while Aang and I handle it,” said Yuu. Zuko’s eyes burned with fury hearing Yuu’s words implying Zuko was useless against a bunch of birds, Yuu barely gave him a second thought as he ran towards the Pokémon. The Luckrane started to change formation around the group. This gave Katara enough time to run to Aang, embracing him in a hug, as some of the Luckrane came back down and was closing in on Sokka. Scared out of his mind he picked up speed as one of the Luckane’s sharp talons were only seconds away from ripping into his shoulders. Quick on his feet, Yuu started to think.

“Rotom Pokédex, what moves does my Lingliu know? I never stopped to ask that before,” said Yuu in a hurry. Rotom Pokédex flew in front of Yuu. Seeing this shocked Sokka and Katara.

“Ah, that is a good question. I am built with an Attackdex, which lists moves Pokémon can use.” said Rotom Pokédex as he flew to Lingliu showing Lingliu through his monitor to Yuu as he hovered in front of his face. “Luckrane, the “Red-Crown Pokémon”, is a Normal and Flying-Type Pokémon, meaning using moves that are of the Rock, Ice, and Electric-Type will deal the best damage! Let’s see what Lingliu has…”

Rotom Pokédex’s screen then showed various stats and numbers as the display showed characteristics of Lingliu. “Currently, it has 3 moves you can get familiar with them very soon! For now, I would recommend telling Lingliu to use Rock Throw!” explained Rotom Pokédex.

“Okay! Lingliu, Quickly use Rock Throw!” Yuu hollered. Lingliu rushed forward and reared up. Above him sharp dagger like rocks materialized before it, and a split second later shooting the materialized rock at the Luckcrane closest hitting it square in the chest. It gave Sokka enough time to put distance between himself and the enraged Pokémon. He ran to Katara’s side putting himself between her and the Luckrane. 

Azula analyzed Lingliu’s attack like a hawk, thinking, “ It’s like it is earthbending… ”. As the Luckrane was hit the other Luckrane following got scared away all except the one tailing Sokka. As it recovered from the blow it grew a determined face. Suddenly, this Luckrane’s attention was now on Lingliu and Yuu. 

“LUCKRANE!” The Luckrane shouted as it sped forward attempting to slam it’s glowing beak into Lingliu. Lingliu jumped out of the way quickly dodging the attack. 

“Lingliu, try it again. Rock Throw!” Lingliu prepared another rock, and hurled it towards Luckrane connecting with its wing with a blasting force causing Luckrane to stagger. “Okay, lets strike ‘em out! Let's do another one!” shouted Yuu as Lingliu went for a third Rock Throw, however despite this staggered Luckrane it managed to dodge the attack.

“Damn it,” Yuu grumbled under his breath. Katara, still out of breath from running, averted her eyes from the battle to Aang.

“Aang, what is going on?? Those birds were doing things that I’ve never seen before!” Katara said as Aang turned to her seeing Katara with large confused eyes. But, before she could ask Azula jumped in.

“No bending. New world. He’ll explain latter, just shut up and watch.” Katara, annoyed by Azula’s demeanor turned to glare at her, but Azula paid her no attention. She was staring intently at the battle unfolding in front of them. Aang, silent, was a bit taken aback at watching what essentially was his first Pokémon Battle. A mix of emotions swelled up within him as his want to not hurt animals mixed with his want to quell the Pokémon to ensure his friend’s safety. He looked down to Lemaki, who was staring at the Luckrane as well, believing it was ready to jump in if needed.

Flying up, Luckcrane began to pump its wings powerfully sending huge gusts of wind at Lingliu. It tried to dodge but the attack covered too much ground. The force of the attack caused Lingliu to become airbound for a moment before hitting the ground hard. 

“L- Lingliu..” Lingliu muttered as it struggled to stand. 

“Lingliu!” screamed Yuu as he rushed over as quickly as he could. Long scratches appeared on its body, and it’s body started to glow red in a pulsating fashion. It looked back up to Yuu, but fought to keep its eyes open. 

That is like airbending… ” thought Azula.

“How did it take so much damage?” Aang asked turning to Yuu. 

“That’s the weird move all those birds were doing! How can it create so much wind like an airbender?? That bird must be strong,” Katara said.

“Or the Lingliu is weak,” Azula said alternatively. Rotom Pokédex floated forward at that moment gaining the same wide eyed looks from Katara and Sokka as it had gotten from the others when they first saw it.

“That move was Gust , a Flying-Type move where the Pokémon creates a current of wind to attack the opponent. And, what you see before you is Lingliu’s ability, Life Clinger. When Lingliu gets hit with any move that makes contact with it will then enter a critical state. Lingliu will most likely be knocked out if it gets hit even one more time unless you intervene and heal it, or time passes and the critical state wears off. It’s red pulsating body tells you when the state is active. When in this state, Lingliu gets a considerable boost in its power, however, so many trainers can use this disadvantage to their advantage,” said Rotom Pokédex. They watched as Lingliu began to flicker red and get back up to its feet. 

“Well if that’s not a double edged sword I don’t know what is” said Zuko.

“T-That’s a pretty weird ability for it to have if it needs to fight,” said Sokka.

“We have potions to heal it with,” Aang said.

“But Lingliu is significantly stronger and faster; if Lingliu can avoid being hit than I can end this battle quickly. It’s a gamble, but one worth taking. What do you think Lingliu?” Yuu asked. The little Pokémon nodded and looked at the Luckrane with determined eyes. The Luckrane again flew up in the air in a high arch. It flipped around and began to fly towards Lingliu with a force, torpedoing towards the smaller Pokémon. Suddenly, Rotom Pokédex flew in front of Yuu showing him the Attackdex on Lingliu once more.

“It’s body is very strong in this state, perhaps using another move more suited might help? Take a look,” Rotom Pokédex said. Yuu analyzed the data in front of him, and memorized the moves Lingliu knew. 

“Okay, Lingliu. Let’s try this one. Use Homing Attack!” said Yuu. As Lingliu heard this, it rushed forward running faster than he had before. It jumped in the air with momentum, carrying Lingliu forward in a curved fashion seemingly deadlocked onto Luckrane’s position, and headed straight for it. The two Pokémon crashed into each other with all their strength sending the other flying in the opposite direction causing it to fall to the ground with a hard crash.

“Lingliu!” yelled Yuu as it rushed forward towards his friend, but by the time he got there Lingliu had already passed out. Luckrane was also knocked out. Yuu reached forward and scooped Lingliu into his arms.

“You did well,” Yuu said softly before taking Lingliu’s Poké Ball out and returning him. Reaching into his bag, Yuu pulled out another Poké Ball and moved towards the fallen Luckrane.

“You’re going to catch it?” Aang asked. Yuu nodded and expanded the Poké Ball preparing to throw it.

“Luckrane is a strong Pokémon, and I think it would benefit to have him on my team. I mean, while all the other Luckrane ran this one stayed and fought,” Yuu threw the Poké Ball and it hit the Luckrane’s chest. They watched as Luckrane went into the Poké Ball, and watched as it wobbled on the floor before they heard it click the telltale sign that a Pokémon caught. Smiling Yuu walked over and picked the Poké Ball up.

“Am I dreaming?” Sokka asked in confusion. 

“No, but now that everyone is together we can properly explain what’s going on,” Aang said feeling relief rushed through him. 

“What happened? why were you guys being chased by Luckrane?” Zuko asked. 

“My sister tried to pick one of them up  that was resting on the ground, and then a swarm of them came outta nowhere!” Sokka said annoyedly as he looked to Katara, “And where is Suki?” 

“I’m sorry ! I thought it was a baby who was lost and I felt bad for it,” Katara said defending herself,  “It was a mistake, I tried to waterbend when it started to chase us but I couldn’t.”

“Join the club, none of us can bend,” Azula said just as Toph came stumbling onto the path with Suki and the Taimogu’s following.

“Suki!” Sokka cried happily. 

“Sokka you’re okay! I knew I saw you earlier you ran past us!” Suki said forgetting Toph for the moment and rushed over to him. The two met in a tight embrace.

“Toph, what happened?!” Katara said as she moved past Aang and hurried toward her friend. Toph’s feet were cut and forming bruises, and her hands had been roughed up as well. 

“Nothing I’m fine!” she snapped. 

“She wouldn’t let me help guide her,” Suki explained as she looked back at Toph, “No earthbending…” As Suki said this Katara nodded realizing the situation, and approached Toph carefully.

“Give me your hand,” said Katara.

“I told Suki and I’ll tell you Sugar Queen I don't need help!” Toph demanded. Katara scoffed.

“Toph, your hands and feet are really bruised, just give me your hand for now at least until we get out of this forest,” said Katara. Toph clenched her jaw but after a moment of debate she snatched Katara’s hand in her own. The Tiaomogu all gathered near her one nudging at her toes. 

“Thanks for the company, but I’ll be okay from here. I won’t forget about you all and how you guys comforted me we will meet again soon enough don’t you worry!” Toph said as her harsh tone softening a little. The little Pokémon, a bit saddened, nodded as the ultimately understood before retreating back into the small alcove. 

“Come on, we need to get back to Mian Town now so we can talk. I know a place where y’all can recuperate. We have a lot to go over.” Yuu said.

 

-Chapter End-

Chapter Text

“Oh my! Aang, when you said that you were going to find your friends I did not imagine you meant this many,” Professor Pine said with a nervous laugh as he saw the group standing outside his lab. Pine was standing at the front door while Aang, Yuu and the others waited outside politely. “Well, come in everyone! Hurry we have much to discuss. My name is Professor Pine by the way. It’s lovely to see all of you safe and sound.” 

Professor Pine lead them all towards the back of the lab and began to quickly gather as many chairs as he could. Katara, Aang and Yuu helped him place the chairs around the table while everyone else looked around the lab with curious eyes never before seeing technology that looked so advanced. 

“Alright, everyone take a seat,” Professor Pine said with a bright smile. Professor Pine only had seven chairs so he, Zuko and Sokka stood while everyone else took a seat. 

“Can someone please tell us what’s going on now?” Katara asked. 

“I’ll start,” Aang offered turning to look at her as he spoke. He retold the story of the mysterious voice he had heard before waking up on the beach, finding Professor Pine and Yuu. When it came to tell them about what happened at Yuu’s mothers house Yuu helped to retell the story as well. They went over briefly what happened while catching Lemaki, not going too far into detail about the disagreement they had as to not rekindle a fire that didn’t need to be lit at this moment. When they were done, Professor Pine explained to them what he had explained to Aang earlier about Pokémon and the world of Huoli, as well as his role in aiding Aang and Yuu. No one spoke for a long time after that trying to absorb everything they had just heard. 

“So... how are we going to get home?” Suki asked breaking the stony silence. 

“I’m not completely sure,” Professor Pine said kindly, “In truth I’m not sure how much more help I can provide you at this point beyond what I can give you. The greatest guess I have is that the voice that called out to Aang was that of a powerful Pokémon seeking help but beyond that I am just as lost as all of you are.” 

“How can something have that much power? To take us all from one world to another, not even the Avatar can pull a feat like that!” Zuko exclaimed.

“Pokémon are very powerful creatures some more so than others. The Luckrane and Lemaki you encountered pale in comparison to things such as Legendary Pokémon- which are extremely rare and powerful Pokémon that are often sought after by evil organizations for their world influencing powers- that are hidden within this region for instance" said Professor Pine. 

"Legendary Pokémon..." thought Azula. Many in the group take a moment to reflect on what he said, and the overarching power that dwells within the world. Professor Pine notices the air shift in the room and clears his throat.

"We still don't fully understand the capabilities they have, and Pokémon Professors such as myself help in aiding the solution to all life’s mysteries we have on Pokémon. Although, I will say if that Pokémon can bring you to this world than it can certainly take you back to yours. Perhaps your own personal journey will entail finding this Pokémon" said Professor Pine. 

“... So then what are we going to do?” Sokka asked as he leaned up against the table, “I mean the Pokémon didn’t tell you its name, where to find it, or what it wants us to do. We’re sitting turtleducks here, and we might never find it! What if we’re stuck here forever?!” 

“Now, now calm down Sokka-” 

“Don't tell my brother to calm down!“ Katara shouted as she stood up from her seat quickly cutting off Professor Pine’s response, “If ever there was a time not to be calm it's now! We've been dragged to an entirely new world, we no longer have our bending and are now completely defenseless surrounded by creatures with powers beyond anyone's imagination!”

“Completely defenseless Katara?” Suki asked with a quirked eyebrow. Katara blushed realizing quickly the misstep she made. 

“Sorry, I didn’t mean that non-benders are defenseless,” Katara said as she lowered her tone. Azula narrowed her eyes as she glanced down at the table for the moment, and held her tongue. 

“There’s also friendly and helpful Pokémon to make up for any defensive issues you might have as well,” chimed in Yuu as he looked towards Lingliu and Lemaki in the distance laying out in a Pokémon playpen with berries galore. Professor Pine nodded his head.

“I do have a suggestion to add onto that about Pokémon that might help you lot,” Professor Pine said clearing his throat regaining everyone's attention, “Here in our world each region has a Pokémon League- which Yuu knows plenty about"

"Yes, I do" responded Yuu.

"Normally, in most regions, there are eight Pokémon Gyms where trainers challenge a Gym Leader residing in it to a Pokémon battle as a test of merit, strength, and the bond of your Pokémon. There, your goal is merely to defeat each Gym Leader, collect 8 badges, and that permits you to take part in the Pokémon League Conference- which is a championship tournament of other trainers who have managed to do the same in that fiscal year. In Huoli- the only main difference is that we have 16 Gym Leaders due to various reasons that I don't have to get into right now- but basically it's 'cause the region is so big! Those who win the Conference can then challenge the Elite Four- 4 trainers handpicked by the current sitting Champion of the League, and those who win can face the Champion in a quest to usurp their throne! And, the current sitting Champion is immortalized across this entire region!” said Professor Pine.

“That sounds interesting Professor, but why are you telling us this?” Zuko asked.

“I’m sure if you let him finish he’ll tell us,” Azula said as Professor Pine cleared his throat before speaking again.

“Gym Leaders, and those well versed such as myself, have a great wealth of knowledge. Perhaps, if you go and seek out help from one, they may aid or guide you to your answer- and there are many along the way! I’m sorry I myself do not have all your answers- as I mainly focus on my research on Domestic Pokémon. And sadly  that's my bread ad butter- not not phenomena like dimensional transportation from another universe!" said Professor Pine

"Huh... Well, it is understandable" responded Aang. Professor Pine then walks over to a map of the wall of Huoli, and points to a specific are on the map.

"I would believe the closer you get to the Pokémon League- situated on the Renwu Archipelago here- you might get closer to your answer. It is a bit of a roundabout trip, but it is worth it in my opinion. The reason being is many strong trainers- some who have traveled the whole world- will be there!” said Professor Pine as he then moves his fingure to another portion of the map, “This is where we are- right here on the bottom of Liyi Island, in Mian Town. As I said before, here in Huoli there are sixteen Gym Leaders- but to participate in the Cup you only need eight badges, which is the same in any region you might come across. So, you have free reign to travel around, and essentially accomplish both tasks at once; doing the Pokémon League whilst gaining intel” Professor Pine said as he started to cough from a dry throat.

"That's... a lot of information..." said Sokka as he rubs his head.

"It is a lot to take in- but I think it can help!" said Yuu.

"Are you sure?... We don't need to be participating in some sporting event to get our bending back..." said Katara

“I agree” said Aang.

"But we don't know how to get our bending back,” Toph said as she placed her bare feet on the table, “We literally have no idea what to do or where to go. This seems like our only lead at the moment.” 

“We?” Azula rolled the word around on her tongue, “Toph, with all due respect- I don't think you should include yourself in this we . In my opinion, you shouldn’t be coming with us if we decided to do this stupid cup thing or not; your disability is only going to get in our way as I mentioned-” 

"Where do you get the nerve!” Katara shouted cutting Azula off as the whole room started to uproar. Azula listened patiently as everyone, with the exception of Yuu and Professor Pine, hollered similar sentiments. 

“I already told you princess; I’m not useless! I can adapt without my seismic sensing just fine!” said Toph.

“That’s right! Toph won’t get in the way. She is a valuable member of our team, and will only help us as she always has,” Katara hollered as she stuck up for her friend.

“You can all get huffy if you want, but you said it yourself Katara we are without our bending, without real direction, and surrounded by powerful creatures that can attack us at any moment. We have no idea how long it will take Toph to get use to walking around freely without one of us babysitting her. It’ll be safer if she stays here with the Professor, I’m sure he won’t mind watching her while we find a way out of this situation,” said Azula. As she said this, the professor started to hum to himself in thought. 

“I’m not a baby! Or a child! I’m not useless either! I can and will learn. I don't care what you say or think I’m coming with you guys and that’s final!” Toph exclaimed so loudly her voice rang off the walls. 

“Toph has always been apart of our team- and will continue to be,” Aang said in a gentle but firm tone, “I know she can learn to navigate this world without her sight. Toph is strong, and will learn to adapt.” 

“Fine; but if she gets herself or one of us killed don't start crying,” said Azula.

“Isn’t that a bit too harsh?” asked Yuu but his question went ignored by those around him.

“She won’t. I don't want to have this conversation again Azula. If you are worried about your own safety you can stay with Pine,” said Aang.

“Suddenly, I watch over Pokémon and humans now?” Professor Pine said out loud.

“And what gives you the authority to make that decision?” asked Azula challenging Aang.

“He’s the Avatar!” Katara snapped.

“Is he?” Azula questioned as she turned to Katara, “Or is he just a little boy now without his bending?” 

“A little boy who kicked your dad’s butt and saved the world,” Toph said.

“Yes when he could bend all four elements” Azula responded. Aang then got up from his seat in annoyance.

“I don't need to bend the four elements to still be the avat-”

“But that’s exactly what you need!” yelled Azula cutting off Aang.

“Alright! Alright enough!” Yuu said finally reaching his limit, hearing him shout Lingliu jumped, “Please we haven’t even left yet and we’re already at each other’s throats.”

“Azula is the one at everyone's throat. We normally get along fine.” Sokka corrected. 

“Whatever. Listen, we aren’t going to make it out of this lab if we all don't settle down,” Yuu said as he got up out of his seat, “I know you don't like it Azula, but it seems like we all agree that Toph should be here along for this journey. However, I do think your safety is something to take into regard while we are traveling Toph. Her thoughts might be a great asset on what to do, especially since Pokémon took such a liking to her already. What we need to do is figure out where we go from here,” Yuu let out a deep breath as he finished speaking. 

“And I have the solution for that if you all would listen up,” said Professor Pine attempting to get everyone’s attention. 

“I’m sorry Professor, please what do you suggest?” asked Yuu as the group silence themselves to allow Pine to speak once more.

 

-Chapter End-

Chapter Text

“Right. Well now that we have that ugliness settled- my suggestion for you all is that I would make my first stop in Youchuan Town. It’s the neighboring settlement to Mian Town and is a port town. It’s often thought of as the ‘Home of the Yachts’. The headquarters to Lequ Inc. is situated there, and I’m sure you can hop on a boat that will take you to any gym you please- or any section of the region you want; in the event you do not want to participate” Professor Pine explained he shifted from one foot to another as he spoke, “So, what I can do is register Yuu for the league- now that he has the ability to leave for the Gym Challenge and has a Pokémon as well. I suppose if you lot make up your mind you always can register at any Pokémon Center along the way" said Professor Pine.

“Hmm…” Azula muttered to herself.

“A Pokémon journey…” Zuko said getting Yuu’s attention.

“Careful- we might end up Pokémon rivals if you wanna take on the league with me!” said Yuu with a smile. Zuko glanced at him and took on a small smile himself.

"I see," said Zuko.

"Well for now- we should focus on progressing with our search and worry about that stuff later" said Katara.

"Right; we don't even know much about Pokémon or the league to just jump in now. We can decide that later" said Sokka.

"So you are thinking about joining?" asked Suki.

"Well- it seems appealing. Not sure. You?" asked Sokka.

"I don't know either..." said Suki.

"Guess it's good that we can do it any point then" said Aang.

"Right! Now, for the next town- just follow Route 1, and you’ll end up there. Also, as I suggested to Aang a while ago before he and Yuu left to find you all, but I believe you would all benefit from catching at least one Pokémon for protection. It doesn’t mean you have to go on a journey- but since there is a lot of you, and seemingly you all are battle savvy, it will be in your best interest" said Professor Pine. 

"Right; after the encounter I had I can see the reason why we should have some on our side..." said Katara.

"I wonder which Pokémon would fit right with me..." pondered Zuko.

"Probably one as trite as you," said Azula.

"Hey!" shouted Zuko.

"Well that might not be accurate to what you might find in the wild; most Pokémon are very unique" responded Yuu.

"Yea! And who knows- maybe we will find a Pokémon as bitchy as you!" said Zuko.

"Say that closer to my face," said Azula- egging Zuko on. Professor Pine then laughs nervously.

“Okay- well before another fight breaks out let me start gathering some more Poké Balls and supplies for you lot. You’ll be able to carry more now that you have more people, so I’ll be right back and I can send you on your way. Oh! Give me you Rotom Pokédex as well.” said Professor Pine.

"Huh? Okay" said Yuu as handed him his Pokédex, and Pine moved away from the group quickly happy to be away from the awkwardness for a few seconds.

“So, are we going to Youchuan Town?” Suki asked once again being the breaker of heavy silence.

“I think that’s our best bet,” Zuko said. 

“Agreed,” Yuu said. 

“I don’t mind carrying the brunt of the load I’ve got a strong back!” said Sokka.

“Hehe, yes you do! 💖” said Suki heart-eyed causing Azula to roll her eyes.

 

*****

 

Time passed, and the crew all familiarized themselves the best they could with their tasks and surroundings as they get ready to leave. Zuko was given a serum that aided with his odor issues, while Toph was tended to with bandages and Potions by Katara. Meanwhile, Azula looked over the map of Huoli while Sokka and Suki spoke quietly together in the corner.

Aang and Yuu were still sitting at the table. Aang was beaming happily while Yuu observed his friends. Leaning forward he whispered to Aang.

“Your friends are rather interesting." Aang laughed and nodded. “I’ve never met people who are so…brazen. I will admit Azula’s willingness to unleash the truth in such a scathing manner certainly has taken me back a little.” Aang nodded.

“Azula tends not to hold back her thoughts. At least when it doesn’t benefit her to,” Aang said quietly so as not to provoke another outburst. Yuu hummed and found what Aang said to be interesting. He decided to keep that information about Azula in mind for the future. 

“So both Azula and Zuko are firebenders. They’re brother and sister too, right? Who’s older and who’s younger?” Yuu asked curiously.

“It might not seem like it usually but Azula is actually Zuko’s younger sister. They’re also royalty, Zuko used to be the prince of the Fire Nation but is now the Fire Lord and Azula is the princess. She also works as Zuko’s second hand.” Aang explained. Yuu found himself surprised by this. By the way everyone in the group acted around Zuko it was certainly hard to imagine he was the king of an entire nation.

“Ow!” Toph hissed pulling her hand away from Katara, “That hurt!”

“Sorry,” Katara said apologetically. “I’ll be gentler,” Toph grumbled something under her breath before reluctantly letting Katara take her hand once more. 

“And… Toph is an earthbender, correct?” Yuu asked. Aang nodded and a bright look came across his face.

“Yes. You know I actually thought a lot about Toph when I first arrived at your house. The home she used to live with her parents is very similar to yours.” 

“Is she royalty as well?” questioned Yuu.

“Like Zuko and Azula? No, she’s just from a wealthy family from the Earth Kingdom.” Yuu nodded and again from himself shocked. To Yuu, the way Toph dressed alongside her personal hygiene, didn’t give off the appearance of wealth as Yuu knew it. 

“And Katara, Sokka, and Suki?” asked Yuu.

“Sokka is Katara’s older brother, they both come from the Southern Water Tribe. Katara is actually the last waterbender in her tribe.” As Aang spoke a tinge of sadness colored his voice. “Their father is the chief.”

“So they’re highborn as well?” Yuu asked as he became increasingly more interested in the background of the gang.

“I suppose you could think of it that way; really it’s not thought of like that where they come from. Suki comes from a small island in the Earth Kingdom called Kyoshi Island. She’s the head of a group called the Kyoshi Warriors named after another avatar who went by the name Kyoshi. They fight with fans as she did and adorn the same face paint she wore in order to honor her.” 

“I see, I suppose it’s safe to assume that the island Suki comes from is named after this avatar Kyoshi as well,” Aang nodded enthusiastically causing Yuu to smile a little.

As much as Aang and his friends had to learn about Yuu’s world Yuu also felt as if there was still a lot he had to learn about them and where they came from to get a better understanding of his new companions. Although for now, Yuu felt like he did have a better picture of this new group he was thrusted into.

After a while, Professor Pine came back with supplies.

“Yuu, I’m gonna leave these extra Poké balls with you, you can disperse them amongst those that want them,” Professor Pine said pulling Yuu to the side as he gave him the rest of the load, “I have also programmed your Rotom Pokédex with additional functions such as a map my apologies for not telling you about it in the first place. Also, take the time to introduce Rotom to your team! That’s all I can do for now to prepare you lot for your journey, just stay safe, and between me and you watch over Toph… I am concerned for her wellbeing, but know that her resolve is set. Stay in contact as you head off, this Pokédex is also like a phone as well! But, there is also plenty of Pokémon Centers along Huoli! Feel free to send back here any Pokémon you encounter! Perhaps you might run into your friend along the way as well!”

“Okay Professor! Thank you for everything you've done for me these past few years, they all accumulated to this moment!” said Yuu. 

“It’s all a professor can do. I took a chance on you; hopefully the time you waited to go on a journey was not spend in vain. I mean- without it, you would not be here to help these lot. Anyways, here- let’s get you and your friends going.” said Professor Pine as he walked back towards Aang and company, “Come on guys, let's see you all off!” They all stood and followed Professor Pine towards the front of the lab. Katara carefully lead Toph to the front with them while Sokka got himself his own bag and filled it with other materials such as potions, so both he and Yuu both carries supplies for the gang.

“We really appreciate all the help you’ve given us so far,” Aang added before reaching forward and pulling Pine into a tight hug. The Professor laughed and patted his back awkwardly.

“Yes of course! May the Huoli lands fare you well!” said the professor as he waved them goodbye. Yuu nodded, and they all said their goodbyes before departing. 

 

*****

 

Off in the distance, in the sky was a hot air balloon. One, with a giant red “R” on it. Within that balloon rested two humans, one man and one female, and a Pokémon. They look down on Mian Town as one of them observes the group leaving.

“Wait, I think that is them!” the male says.

“Huh? The ones that you claim fell out of the sky? Stop playing around with me James, that doesn't make sense,” said the female.

“I swear Jessie! We were traveling from the Galar region back to Kanto to see the boss and along the way, I saw some rift in the sky!” said James.

“Agh, and you flew in closer just to look at a bunch of twerps walking?” asked Jessie.

“I know what I saw… I think…” said James feeling unsure.

“Well, we came all this way why not look around for some Pokémon to steal to give to the boss!?” said the Pokémon with them as it hops onto the ledge of the balloon basket, “I don’t think we have ever heard of this region before! So, there has to be new Pokémon!”

“Well, I guess we can for a little while, Meowth . This beach does look pretty nice!” said Jessie.

“Yes it does- agh!!!” screaming Meowth as it slipped off the ledge of the basket, and fell off!

“Meowth!” yelled Jessie and James, as they try to grab onto an airborne Meowth leaning over and hopping on the ledge. However, at the same time as they both grabbed Meowth they leaned over too far from the basket causing it to sink below their feet which cast them off as well. 

“Ahhhh!” They all screamed as the fell into the Mian Beach waters below. 

“Hm? Did I hear something just now?...” asked a puzzled Professor Pine as he glanced around the area of his lab, “... Like people screaming and falling to their doom? Hm… Oh well! Probably just people having too much fun at the beach. Welp, time to go back inside and do more research!”

 

This is the start of Aequus, and the start of Yuu and Aang’s journey .

 

-Chapter End-

Chapter Text

As the group found themselves walking back along Route 1, a growing amount of tension could be felt between them. The center of this tension, Azula, walked beside her brother quietly staring down at her hands as they continued along the path. She was not oblivious to the ill feelings of her friends, every few seconds Zuko would clench and unclench his jaw in frustration attempting to hold his tongue for the time being. Katara would periodically throw her a dirty look, while Toph was uncharacteristically silent as she clung to Katara’s arm.  Sokka and Suki, hand-in-hand, walked with distance from Azula as they silently looked around Route 1 as Yuu and Aang lead the way ahead. It was these nuanced actions that caught Azula’s eyes however, she remained indifferent. Yuu, sympathetic even to her own feelings in this moment, looked on with a frown at the state of the group.

Aware of all of this, Azula was not surprised; she had known that the conversation she provoked in Professor Pine’s lab would cause her soft hearted companions to get their backs up. However, Azula knew she couldn’t keep her thoughts to herself. With every step she took she was reminded of the dire situation they were in.

“Huoli is such a large and unknown place to us…” she thought her mind turning back to the large map she had been observing in Pine’s office. “None of us can bend, no one knows why Aang has been brought here, and we’re all just fumbling in the dark. I’m not going to coddle Aang or Toph or anyone at the risk of my own life.” Azula thought. 

While Azula was deep in thought Yuu too was doing some thinking of his own. He walked quietly beside Aang musing about something he had been curious about since hearing Aang’s story in Professor Pine’s lab.

“So, how did you guys get your bending in the first place?” He asked turning towards the rest of the group. 

“Hm? Oh, I don’t think I ever had told you that,” said Aang. Katara then turned to Yuu.

“Well, you’re born with the ability, but not everyone can in our world,” Katara explained sounding somber as she spoke. “And it feels absolutely horrible to be without...” she added sounding more miserable the more she spoke gaining the attention of everyone around her. This brought the group into a similar thought process; up until now those with the ability to bend never really had a chance to process the life of being without it as they had been constantly in a state of fight-or-flight. Yuu glanced over to Suki and Sokka those who couldn't, and then to Katara and Toph, those who could. A thought arose in his head as he noticed the different reactions on their faces as they adjusted to the settlement in his world.

“...What does it feel like?” Yuu asked with a small frown, “I would assume it would be like me, whatever me feels like, but I have never had a power taken from me.”

“It’s hard to explain to someone who's never bended before; I feel so much the same but so much different as well,” said Katara as she looked to her hands. As she spoke Zuko and Azula began to monitor their own bodies in tandem.

“... It is actually something I wondered myself but I couldn’t think when to bring it up,” said Suki.

“I thought to ask Katara when she was freaking out about it earlier,” said Sokka. Causing Katara to become embarrassed by his words.

“S-Sokka! Agh, it just was something I couldn’t explain why it was happening, the loss of my bending, and I panicked . When Sokka and I were running away from the crazed birds I kept trying to bend in order to protect us… but I couldn’t command any of the water that was nearby,” she said her voice becoming sad as she spoke. Aang frowned and reached forward to lay a comforting hand on her shoulder. 

“It’s okay Katara, we’ll get it back.” He promised softly, Katara gave him a small smile and nodded softly. 

“So, you physically feel fine?” Yuu said his tone lifting with interested. 

Some of us do,” Toph corrected causing a ripple of uneasy to go throughout the group.

“Toph-” Katara began but before she could start apologizing Toph began to wave her hand back and forth to silence her friend.

“It’s fine,” Toph said quickly ushering in a moment of horribly uncomfortable silence. It was Azula who broke it and continued to answer Yuu’s question as if the brief interruption hadn’t happened.

“It was the first thing I attempted to confirm to myself before running into my brother. I attempted to lightningbend, but nothing came from my fingertips, despite my form being immaculate. It felt like... almost akin to being chi blocked, only with the ability to move still,” Azula explained causing Yuu to frown with confusion. His eyes momentarily snapped over to Toph and Katara; he worried his lip for a moment wanting to comment on Toph’s status but instead, he asked the question that immediately popped into his head upon hearing Azula’s words. 

“... What does ‘chi blocked’ mean?” He asked.

“It’s when the flow of your chi is blocked,” Aang said in an attempt to explain. Yuu’s face dropped as he turned to look at his young friend.

“Oh thanks, that explains everything, ” Sokka, Suki and Zuko began to laugh and even Toph managed to chuckle after a moment's hesitation. Katara relaxed only slightly as she turned to explain to Yuu in more depth.

“In our world, Chi is the natural energy that flows through every living thing. Benders, people like myself, Zuko, Azula, and Aang all have the ability to channel this energy, and with it bend one of the four elements; or in Aang’s case all four.” Yuu nodded as he took in this information.

“Chi flows through a pathway throughout your body,” Azula cut in, “Along that pathway are different points. If one or more of these points are hit with enough force it can cause a block in that pathway and cause a temporary loss in bending and for the part of the body that got hit to become paralyzed.” 

“Interesting. That method is similar to a move Pokémon can learn  Embargo . It stops Pokémon from using a move they just used; that’s like chi blocking then...” Yuu said more to himself than the group at large. Azula, hearing Yuu talk about Pokémon terminology she didn’t understand, brought her mind back into alignment about Pokémon related thoughts she had prior. 

“Actually Yuu, I was wondering if I could pick your brain for a moment,” Azula said now that she saw a free moment to change to the topic. “I’ve been thinking about the battle you and your Pokémon had against the Luckrane that attacked Katara and Sokka in the forest. I was wondering if you could explain to me in detail how catching a Pokémon works.” Yuu nodded and began to speak enthusiastically. 

“Okay, I’ll tell you anything you want to know,” said Yuu 

“Tell me everything,” said Azula unusually enthusiastic which alerted Zuko. Yuu nodded and began to explain to Azula, as well as the rest of the group, everything he had told Aang earlier about what it took to catch a Pokémon. As he spoke Azula, Zuko and Sokka seemed to listen the most intently out of everyone in the group giving Yuu their full undivided attention. As Yuu continued with his explanation Aang seemed to become anxious and more interested to jump in.

“So... When it comes to catching a Pokémon, the main goal would be to prove your worth to it through a battle of some sorts?” Azula asked in an attempt to sum up everything Yuu had said. However, before Yuu could speak Aang saw his opportunity. 

“Not always! I caught Lemaki by giving it some berries,” he said pointing to the Pokémon still clinging to his back. Lemaki, docile and calm, was watching with a great deal of disinterest as it popped berries into its mouth. 

“Yes, there are some special circumstances in which a Pokémon can be caught.” Yuu explained with an awkward smile, “But the standard is to battle and catch as you saw me do with Luckrane.” 

Azula nodded in response, but as Yuu spoke a thought came into her mind; “ How are we supposed to battle to catch when we don't have Pokémon of our own…” Her eyes drifted over to Lemaki for a moment before she spoke again. “I see, we should all keep everything both Yuu and Aang said in mind. I think it’s smart we all keep our eyes open for Pokémon we might be interested in catching,” As Azula spoke Yuu and a few others found themselves agreeing. 

“Yea! The more Pokémon we have the stronger we’ll be as a unit, Huoli is huge and unknown to us. Considering we have no idea why we’re here, we need to be as prepared for any kind of fight or encounter that might come our way,” said Sokka.

“Agreed,” Zuko said. 

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

As they continued down Route 1 both siblings and Sokka kept their eyes focused on the tall grass and the trees. Meanwhile, Katara kept her attention on Toph who was clutching onto Katara’s wrist tightly. Katara helped Toph around rocks or other objects along the road while praising Toph for how well she was doing.

“I’m not a baby Katara,” Toph finally snapped after the fifth sugary compliment from her friend. “I don't need my butt kissed for walking.”

“I’m just trying to be encouraging,” Katara sounded put out as she spoke.

“I still feel like I’m dreaming,” Suki said quickly trying to get ahead of an argument before it could start. Yuu was grateful when it seemed to work, after what happened in the forest and in Pine’s lab he wasn’t sure if he could take another fight. “Are we really in another world?” 

“You really are,” Yuu said with a bright smile. “Although from what Aang told me you guys are used to going on grand adventures like this.”

“Yeah, in our own world where the stakes are clear,” Katara said with a frown. “Who even knows if we’ll ever get back home? Who even knows what’s going on back home now? Aang, The Fire Lord, The Fire Lord’s sister and all of the Avatars closest friends have suddenly disappeared…” Aang frowned as Katara’s voice began to shake, he reached forward to place his hand on the small of her back trying to give her some comfort.

“Katara I’m sure everything is okay, Iroh is still in the Fire Nation I’m sure-”

“Aang you can’t say everything going on back home is okay,” Katara snapped causing Yuu to wince. Apart of him wanted to stand up for Aang but he understood that what Katara was saying was true and her fear was valid.

“Katara is right,” Azula said shocking just about everyone in the group. “You can’t say everything back home is okay because you don't know what’s going on back home, and logically with your second disappearance, I’m sure everything is being thrown back into chaos, that however doesn’t matter right now. We can’t afford to harp on what might be happening back in our own world, it’s not productive. We need to focus on the task at hand, everything else will come later.”

“Yeah, we’ll just drive ourselves crazy thinking about the many ‘could ofs and what ifs’,” Sokka said turning to his sister. “Let’s just focus on what we can do now.” Katara nodded and found herself relaxing a little.

“Well said Sokka,” Suki said with a loving smile. Reaching forward she took hold of his arm and wrapped both of hers around it, pulling Sokka closer to her. Toph rolled her eyes and made a gagging motion causing Aang, Katara, and Yuu to snicker.

Azula came to a sudden stop as the group continued to move forward for a moment until Zuko noticed his sister was no longer by his side. He stopped and turned to see she was looking at the tall grass.

“Azula-”

“Shush, shush,” Azula said softly motioning with her hand for Zuko to lower his voice. Zuko turned to see what Azula was looking at and noticed that what looked like a bolt of lightning was sticking out of the grass. The bolt of lightning was twitching back and forth. Everyone else in the group stopped and turned to see what was happening. 

“What are you two morons doing?!” Toph demanded, her loud voice caused the twitching bolt of lightning to freeze.

“Shush!” Zuko whispered harshly as he made the same motion for silence. Rotom Pokédex floated over to the siblings and stopped beside Azula. A second later the lightning bolt disappeared and Azula found herself scowling. She was about to say something snide when the grass rustled and out popped the Pokémon! What came out from hiding was a reddish-yellow creature, with yellow cheeks, and a little tuft of hair sticking out between its long ears. It’s lightning bolt-looking tailed twitched as it looked up at both siblings.

“Hey… is that a Pikachu?” Yuu inquired out loud, “It’s a bit rare to see one around these parts, Pikachu are native to the Kanto region I believe… I remember learning from Professor Pine that Kantonian Pokémon are special finds outside of the region.” 

“Pika! Pika!” The Pikachu had jumped out of the bushes on all fours and looked ready to fight. Its little black eyes were filled with determination as it stared at Azula and Zuko. Rotom Pokédex swung forward to scan the Pikachu. 

“This is Pikachu, the Mouse Pokémon,” Pikachu relaxed for a second and watched Rotom Pokédex with curiosity. Suddenly, Rotom Pokedex ‘s eyes lit up as if it just realized something. “Oh! This Pikachu is actually a Regional Variant as well!” Rotom Pokédex explained further. 

“Oh yea! Aang, I believe Pine mentioned that to you when I was eavesdropping on your conversation with him earlier,” said Yuu a little bashfully. 

“I think I remember that…” Aang tried to remember what Pine had told him. 

“Well, basically, for those who don’t know, they are just Pokémon, known to be from other regions, that undergo some characteristic change in a new region's climate. The ‘normal’ Pikachu are Kantonian, and that one must be Huolian!” said Yuu with a smile. 

“Exactly! Pine taught you well!” said Rotom Pokédex.

“So… what’s the difference?” asked Azula. 

“Huolian Pikachu are said to have formed due to the weird magnetic fields in Huoli causing it to generate too much heat within its body due to its electric charges. They are aesthetically are different than Kantonian Pikachu by the color of their body and cheeks! Huolian Pikachu have yellow cheeks and a reddish body, like they are sunburnt, while a Kantonian Pikachu has the opposite being yellow with red cheeks.” said Rotom Pokédex.

“Pika?” It said as Rotom Pokédex spun around and floated back towards Azula. 

“That’s the perfect kind of Pokémon for you Azula,” Katara said thoughtfully.

“Yeah you should try and catch it,” Sokka said excitedly.

“Azula might not be the only person interested in catching it,” Zuko said quickly.  

“I don't think you can handle a Pokémon like this,” Azula said as she very slowly knelt down and carefully reached her hand out for it to smell. Pikachu’s ears twitched and it turned to look back at Azula, the Pikachu looked at Azula’s outstretched hand and picked itself up so it was standing on two feet as it began to sniff it.

“You don't know that!” Zuko said. Azula ignored him and kept her eyes trained on the Pikachu in front of her causing Zuko to silently seethe at being so easily pushed aside by his sister.

“How are you going to catch it?” Suki asked causing Pikachu’s curiosity to drop and the fire in it quickly returned.

“Pika! Pika! Pikachu!” It cried pulling it’s little hands up into fists and raising them up. “Pika! Pikachu! Pi!” It began to sound very proud as it flexed its arms.

“This Pikachu must be proud of its power!” Rotom Pokédex said.

“Which means I’m not catching it with berries,” Azula said causing Yuu to giggle. The laughter quickly died in his throat when Aang gave him an unamused look, however.

“Sorry,” Yuu said softly.

“So, you’re probably going to have to battle it like Yuu battled that Luckrane,” Katara said. 

“Well, how the hell are you going to do that without a Pokémon?” Toph asked.

“Aang and Yuu have Pokémon, you can probably borrow one to fight this Pikachu,” Suki suggested but Sokka was shaking his head. Before he could voice what he and Yuu were thinking Azula spoke their thoughts.

“Yuu said that apart of catching a Pokémon is by proving to it your strength,” Azula said. “I’m not really proving my own strength as a trainer by using someone else’s Pokémon, not to mention Yuu and Aang’s Pokémon might not answer to my command.”

“I agree. I guess you’re going to find another means of catching this Pikachu like Aang did,” Yuu said.  Azula nodded and watched as the Pikachu moved so it was facing a large rock at the edge of the road.

“I wonder what it’s doing?” Aang asked. The Pikachu promptly answered by taking in a deep breath.

“Pikachu!” It cried out as lightning exploded out of its cheeks and hit the rock it had directed the attack at.

“Whoa!” Sokka said jumping back at the display, this reaction seemed to please the Pikachu as it again flexed its arms. The grass by the rock began to rustle but everyone's attention was still on the Pikachu who hopped back over to Azula.

“It just used Thunderbolt!” Rotom Pokédex said excitedly.

“Pika! Pikachu!” It said as it pointed to her.

“Very interesting,” Azula said to the Pikachu. “I see you’re a very strong Pokémon, if I had my bending I would show you what a real thunderbolt looks like. Until then I suppose I’ll have to show you my strength in some other manner.” The little Pikachu looked like it had fire in its eyes as it watched Azula stand up and move towards the center of the road.

“What’s your plan?” Yuu asked as Azula motioned for Zuko to join her. Yuu noticed as he asked the question that something in the group changed and suddenly he felt like he was the only one in the group who didn’t know the answer.

“I’m going to prove my strength,” Azula said simply. Yuu seemed to understand as Azula planted her feet firmly on the ground and lifted her hands in the air. Zuko took an identical position as his sister. “You're clearly interested in catching Pikachu as well, fight me and whichever one of us wins the spar will catch it.” Zuko’s eyes lit up at the challenge.

“No games Azula,” Zuko warned.

“Zuzu, I never need a trick to beat you,” a sharp smile cut Azula’s face in two and for one second she looked feral.

“Pika-chu!” Azula was the first to move, darting forward with such speed that it caught Yuu and Zuko off guard. Launching herself forward Yuu watched as she flew in the air and landed a square kick the middle of Zuko’s chest. The older sibling let out a pained grunt as he stumbled backward.

“Azula got the first hit, a kick,” Katara said softly to Toph. 

“Why am I not surprised?” Toph asked with a roll of her milky white eyes. Yuu continued to watch as Azula advanced on Zuko with little mercy. She began to throw a series of sharp jabs that Zuko could only manage to block. Yuu was impressed that he managed to block most of his sisters punches seemingly predicting where she was going to direct her hit and when. 

“Do they spar a lot?” Yuu whispered to Aang not taking his eyes off the fight for a moment. Spending most of his time in Mian Town or traveling with his mother who was opposed to this kind of fist to cuffs Yuu had never been exposed to this kind of fighting before. “Zuko seems to be able to know where she’s going to hit next.” 

“She’s doing that on purpose,” Katara said answering for Aang. “I’ve sparred with her enough to know what she’s doing, and I can’t believe Zuko is falling for it.”

“I can,” Toph said although what they were referring to Yuu wasn’t sure until a few moments later when Azula made it look as if she was going for a punch to his right side and when Zuko moved to block she quickly switched and delivered three brutal punches to the left side of Zuko’s rib cage.

“She feigned him didn’t she?” Toph asked as she heard Zuko let out a sharp cry.

“Yep,” Katara said with a curt nod. While they were talking Zuko reeled from the attack giving Azula enough time to step back. Yuu watched, mouth agape, as Azula spun around and delivered a sharp kick to Zuko’s jaw causing him to recoil.

“This doesn’t look like the airbending you were doing in my yard,” Yuu whispered surprised by the violence displayed between both siblings.

“That’s because this is firebending without the fire,” Aang explained. “Each bending has a different style. Firebending, for instance, is made up of a lot of quick and powerful bursts of movement.”

“I can’t believe there’s normally fire at the end of these attacks,” Yuu whispered but then his eyes went to the large scar that took up most of the left side of Zuko’s face and he decided that he could believe it.

“Oh Zuzu, that last attack looked like it hurt a little,” Azula mocked as her brother cradled his face in his hands. “I hope I wasn’t being too rough.”

“Pika! Pika!” The Pikachu sprinted forward so it was standing at Azula’s side. Zuko dropped his hand from his face and looked up at his sister with a hard look. Bringing his fists up he planted his feet apart and gave Azula a slow nod. She smiled and took an identical position. 

Again, Azula was the first to move forward running quickly with Pikachu right on her heels watching. Pushing herself forward into the air Azula did an elaborate flip and thrust her left foot out to kick Zuko right in the face. Yuu thought Zuko was going to block again, but instead, at the last minute he snatched his hand out with a quickness that he didn’t seem to possess before and grabbed Azula’s ankle.

Using all of his weight he threw Azula to the ground and for a moment Yuu thought he might have gained the upper hand. But then Azula twisted and landed on her hands and feet, sliding through the dirt before coming to a stop right at the edge of the path on Route 1 they were on. The Pikachu, who had been right by Azula, had slipped underneath her and was standing by her right side looking up at her with anticipation.

“Come on if your coming,” Zuko taunted waving his hand for her to come at him. Azula’s eyes narrowed and an unreadable expression passed across her face. A moment passed and Yuu felt he was holding his breath. Then Azula moved and Yuu felt his heart racing against his chest as Azula formed a tight fist with her left hand and moved to throw it at Zuko’s stomach. A punch that Zuko managed to catch.

Sokka and Suki gasped, Aang’s eyes went wide and a smile broke across his face, while Katara leaned down and whispered what had happened to Toph. No one, however, looked as surprised as Azula did.

“Shocked?” Zuko asked with a cold smile.

“More like impressed,” Azula said without any mocking tone, she sounded truly sincere. Yuu’s watch as Zuko’s superior look dropped and he let his guard down an inch as a look of shock and something else crossed his face.

“R-really?” Azula smiled. But not kindly.

“No,” Azula said before taking a tight hold of his wrist and twisting his arm painfully. Zuko shouted as Azula ducked underneath his arm and spun him around. She twisted his arm more tightly and took a hold on his opposite shoulder pushing him down to the ground easily.

“Submit.” She commanded. Yuu watched with a frown as Zuko’s face crunched in pain as Azula continued to twist his arm not giving him a chance to answer. 

“I- I- I submit,” Zuko panted. Azula smiled and let go of him before cruelly kicking his rear end and sending him down into the dirt on his face. 

“Making a smart decision for once,” Azula chuckled crossing his arms over her chest with a proud look on her face. “Now that we’ve had our fun, it’s time for business.” Azula then turned away from her brother and towards the Pikachu who looked very pleased by the battle that just took place.


-Chapter End-

Chapter Text

Yuu frowned when Azula turned away from him and moved towards the Pikachu. “She’s not even going to check to see if he’s okay?” Yuu thought as Zuko rolled over to his side to catch his breath. 

“Pikachu! Pikachu!” Pikachu began to dance back and forth before punching its fists in the air. Azula smiled pleased that her idea had worked.

“Someone hand me a Poké Ball,” Azula instructed holding her hand out for one. Yuu moved forward and fished one out of his bag. He handed it over to Azula and instructed her how to throw the Poké Ball. She moved backwards until she was far enough to get a good throw. Planting her feet apart she took aim and waited a beat before throwing.

Yuu watched surprised as she threw the Poké Ball perfectly. It hit the Pikachu square in the chest and the Pokémon was sucked into the ball. It clicked almost immediately and Aang let out a little cheer.

“Azula caught the Pikachu,” Katara said to Toph softly. 

“You caught it!” Aang cheered.

“Congratulations Azula!” Suki said with a bright smile. “You make it look so easy.”

“That’s because for me it is,” Azula said as she inspected the Poké Ball in her hand. 

“Are you okay?” Yuu asked turning to Zuko who was still sitting on the ground. Azula snorted and answered for her older brother.

“It was a simple, bendingless sparring match he’s perfectly fine.” Yuu scowled as he looked at her.

“I was asking him, not you. Besides, he took a lot of hard hit-”

“If the Fire Lord is so easily shaken by such a tame fight, then we have much bigger problems on our hands,” Azula said sharply. Yuu opened his mouth to argue but Zuko pushed himself up to his feet.

“I’m fine!” he snapped. 

“How do I release the Pikachu?” asked Azula.

“Oh you mean you don't know how?” Katara said mockingly towards Azula, “I thought you knew everything.”

“Despite what you might think my dear Sugar Queen I am not omnipotent,” said Azula. Katara scowled at the use of the nickname while Toph snickered. 

“What’s omnipotent mean?” Aang asked.

“All knowing,” Azula said while Zuko stalked over to her and past Yuu. Yuu wanted to say something more to Azula, but as Zuko stood beside his sister he decided to remain quiet. 

“Just throw the Poké Ball, and Pikachu should come out,” Yuu said softly. Azula nodded and did as she was instructed. Everyone watched as she threw the Poké Ball and released her new Pokémon.

“Pikachu!” it said happily as it hopped over to her. Azula knelt down and held her hand out for her new Pokémon to smell. While everyone watched Azula and her new Pikachu the grass beside the boulder Pikachu had demonstrated it’s thunderbolt on earlier began to rustle softly. The movement caught Zuko’s eyes and he turned to look over at the spot.

He watched with wide eyes as a new Pokémon walked out of the grass. This surprised Zuko as he had never quite seen anything like it. The Pokémon walked on four legs, and its body was covered in steel armor-like fur, with red and gold spots around its neck and tail. It donned a steel-like helmet in the shape of a cone, with small holes pierced into it that resemble a nussle. Eye slits were carved into it which showed small portions of its feline face. It approached Zuko slowly, and as it did Zuko backed away.

“What is that?” Zuko asked causing everyone to pick their heads up and turned towards what Zuko was looking at.

“Hm, I don’t think I’ve seen that Pokémon before!” Yuu said his interesting piquing as he looked at it. Lingliu then crawled near Yuu’s feet and started to become defensive, altering Yuu. But as Lingliu looked onto the Pokémon they shared a look. Suddenly, Lingliu backed off. “Hm? Lingliu?...” asked Yuu as Lingliu became more docile as if it realized this Pokémon was no threat to them. Before anyone could react Rotom Pokédex zoomed forward in order to scan the new Pokémon. 

“Well, I’ll solve everyone’s troubles!” Rotom Pokédex said as he started to scan the Pokémon, “This is Matoic, the ‘Honor Pokémon!” As this Pokémon’s information started to be shared with the group everyone, with the exception of Zuko and Yuu, broke out into laughter. Zuko started to scowl as everyone clearly was laughing at the similarity between Zuko and the Pokémon.

“What an odd thing!” Sokka exclaimed between his laughs. “A perfect Pokémon for Azula appeared, and now a perfect one for Zuko comes out right after. I wonder if all of us will be this lucky!”

“The perfect one for me?!” yelled Zuko.

“I don’t know Sokka I don’t think there is a ‘Twinkle Toes’ Pokémon!” said Toph as she laughs.

“Hey!” said Aang in response as she chuckles.

What is so funny!?....” snarled Zuko as he folded his arms and blushed.

“I don't get it...” Yuu said with a frown as he looked from one person to the next. An awkward feeling came over him as he realized clearly they were laughing at some kind of an inside joke between them about Zuko. “ … they are making fun of him... I wonder why this is so funny,” thought Yuu.

“Let’s just say my brother has a strong sense of honor,” Azula said with a teasing smile. When Yuu continued to give her an owlish, perplexed look, she opened her mouth to further explain. “I would assume that Aang told you a little bit about our world. Well, when Aang and his friends were running around trying to get him to learn all four elements our father, Fire Lord Ozai, sent him on a quest to capture Aang in order to regain his honor .” 

“It caused an obsession within Zuko, and he couldn’t go five seconds without screaming about ‘regaining his honor’!” said Sokka as he laughed more. Yuu frowned as a thought came into his head, he recalled Aang briefly glossing over about Zuko chasing after him, but nothing in great detail. Certainly he never mentioned anything about regaining honor or having an obsession about. 

“But-” Yuu was quickly cut off by Zuko who spun around to give Azula a piercing look.

“Thank you Azula, perhaps you guys can stop laughing at me so that Rotom Pokédex can finish speaking!” said Zuko as he tensed up. 

“Oh- don’t get mad!” said Toph as she falls on her back laughing. Matoic, eyeing at everyone laughing, starts to shake its head in disappointment. Lemaki, still eating berries while riding on Aang's shoulder, looks off to the Pokémon with a cocked head noting the disappointment the Pokémon was feeling. Rotom Pokédex started to frown as it saw everyone get riled up.

“Come on guys, the Pokémon is just standing there watching us, so it seems fairly docile. Let’s find out about it,” said Yuu.

“You are right, sorry,” said Aang as he tries to muffle his laughter. The group all calm their laughter and look towards Rotom Pokédex. However, Yuu’s attention drifted towards Zuko who looked like he was about to lose it. 

“I can’t blame the poor guy. First, he loses a fight with his little sister, then he loses the Pikachu to Azula, now he’s being laughed at by all of his friends who didn’t even check to see if he was okay after Azula gave him some hard hits. I would be ready to explode as well. ” Yuu thought with a frown. 

Well now that that is over this Pokémon and your friend might have a lot in common!” Rotom Pokédex said before it continued on with his explanation. “As I was saying this is  Matoic, the ‘Honor Pokémon’. It has a strong sense of self-discipline and morals. This Pokémon is highly intelligent and is not deceived easily. It likes to cut off its claws as to not accidentally scratch its trainer, and keeps them in its visor.” 

Zuko watched as Matoic began to slowly move towards him. He felt his heart begin to pick up speed as the Pokémon began to get closer and closer. 

“It seems interested in you,” Azula said, stating the obvious. 

“I wonder why,” Katara questioned softly. 

“Perhaps it saw the fight and is interested in Zuko like Pikachu became interested in Azula,” Suki said thoughtfully. 

“For losing?” Toph asked with a frown. “I thought it was the Honor Pokémon, not the Pokémon who likes losing.” Zuko’s face, if possible, got redder as Matoic came to a stop in front of him. 

“Actually, maybe it can sense how honorable Zuko is,” Aang said causing everyone, save for Zuko, to turn a give him a bewildered look. “When I was with Yuu at his mother's home he told me that Pokémon are intuitive and can sense certain things about people.” Aang provided with a sheepish look. 

“It’s true,” Yuu said as he confirmed Aang’s statement to the group. “Furthermore, it’s possible that, as Suki said, the Maotic witnessed the fight and saw how Zuko upheld himself and decided to submit instead of pulling a dirty trick to win.” 

“Why don't you just ask it?” Sokka asked.

“Ask it?” Zuko said with a frown. 

“Yeah I mean obviously Pokémon can understand humans. How about instead of theorizing between ourselves, you just ask the Pokémon itself,” Sokka said with a confident look. Suki sighed dreamily as she looked up at her boyfriend.

“That’s such a good idea Sokka! Agh, you are so smart!!! 💖” she said with a broad smile. Sokka nodded and blushed when Suki reached up and placed a chaste kiss on Sokka’s cheek. Zuko slowly knelt down and looked at the Matoic. 

“Is it true? Did you see my fight with Azula? Did you sense honor within me?” asked Zuko. Matoic slowly dropped its head down and brought it back up as it nodded. 

“What happened?” Toph asked when no one said anything. 

“The Matoic just nodded,” Katara told her. 

“So, what’s that mean?” Toph demanded.

“Maybe Matoic wants to be your friend,” Aang said his grey eyes lighting up as he spoke. 

“You mean like perhaps it wants to be caught by Zuko?” Azula asked. 

“Only one way to find out,” Yuu said reaching into his bag for a Poké Ball. 

“Ask it!” Suki said as Yuu dug around his bag. She glanced at Sokka who was smiling, rather proud of himself. Zuko’s blushed deepened as he cleared his throat.

“Do you want me to catch you?” asked Zuko. Matoic slowly nodded again just as Yuu produced a brand new Poké Ball.  

“Here,” Yuu said handing it over to Zuko as the older boy stood up. Yuu gave Zuko the same instruction he had given Azula a few minutes prior. Nodding Everyone moved out of the way to give Zuko enough room. He took a few steps back, planted his feet apart, and cocked his arm back as he took aim.

Zuko threw the Poké Ball hard and everyone watched as it sailed over the Matoic’s head and landed onto the ground behind it. Azula and her Pikachu snickered, but Zuko ignored them. Yuu went to go and retrieve the Poké Ball before handing it back over to Zuko. Zuko took the same stance but this time threw the Poké Ball a lot gentler. This time it landed a few feet in front of Matoic.

“Ugh!” Zuko huffed in frustration. 

“Matoic?” The Pokémon cocked his head to the side. Meanwhile, behind Zuko, a few others joined in with Azula as they giggled. Katara, who saw no humor in Zuko’s failure, said nothing to Toph. She knew her little friend would only add fuel to the flames and further upset Zuko. 

This time it was Zuko who retrieved his Poké Ball. He tried for a third time, and Zuko was sure that it would have landed on Matoic only the Poké Ball veered off to the left a little bit. 

“By Agni,” Azula muttered invoking the name of the Fire Nations patron spirit. “Do you want me to throw it for you big brother?” Pikachu outright laughed at that, no longer hiding behind snickering.

“No! This will be my Pokémon, and so I will catch it!” Zuko snapped.

“Matoic!” The Pokémon said, pleased by Zuko’s response. Again Zuko got the Poké Ball and tried again. This time the Poké Ball went too far to the right. 

“Here, try standing like this. Pay attention to my body,” said Yuu as he demonstrated the proper stance and way to aim.

“Like… This?” asked Zuko as he mimicked it.

“Sorta. Try it now,” said Yuu.

Now the fifth time throwing Zuko took in a deep breath and pulled his arm back. He threw the Poké Ball not too hard and not too soft. He watched as the Poké Ball hit Matoic’s shoulder! The Poké Ball opened and sucked the Matoic into itself. The Poké Ball wiggled once before clicking and everyone cheered. 

“Good job Zuko,” Katara said kindly before turning to Toph and explaining what happened.

“Congratulations, you have a new friend now!” Aang said. Lemaki, still clutching onto Aang, looked over with a slightly less enthusiastic look. Lingliu cheered on with the rest of the gang as it jumped about.

“Now I have to catch a Pokémon,” Sokka said punching his fist into his hand determination clear in his eyes. Suki smiled at him and began to rub circles against the small of his back.

“If Azula and Zuko can, you can as well!” She said. Zuko threw his Poké Ball and released Matoic. 

“Mato mato!” the Pokémon cheered.

“Hello,” Zuko said with a small smile. “I’m glad to have caught you.” He added politely causing Yuu to smile softly. Azula was smiling as well, but it was much sharper. She glanced down at her Pikachu who looked up at her with a similar look.

“Zuzu,” she began causing her brother to frown. “It would seem we both have a Pokémon now. It gives me a bit of an idea, let’s see who has the stronger Pokémon.”

“You mean like a fight?” Toph said.

“A Pokémon Battle to be more precise,” said Yuu.

“That’s exactly what I mean,” Azula said. Beside her Pikachu nodded eagerly and hopped forward so it was standing in front of Azula. “Let’s battle” she continued. Zuko narrowed his eyes at Azula before glancing over at Matoic.

“No.” It was Katara who answered.

“No one asked you my dear Sugar Queen,” Azula said not taking her eyes off Zuko.

“I don't care,” Katara said firmly as she walked over to Azula. “Well I’m sure you two would further enjoy measuring each other up and fighting, the rest of us would like to continue on. Fight each other later.” Azula finally pulled her attention over at Katara. Azula however, didn’t like her comments.

“Who are you to speak for everyone else? No one but you is complaining,” said Azula

“I don't care, I’m taking over executive control for the time being,” Katara said in a tone that left no room for argument, “You’ve already done enough fighting for one day, battle your animals later.”

“Pokémon,” Yuu corrected softly. 

“Whatever, let’s go,” Katara said spinning around and tugging Toph forward.

“Hey!” Toph exclaimed as she stumbled forward.

“Sorry, Katara has spoken. I don't think I want to get on her bad side,” Sokka said before following his sister with Suki in tow. Aang smiled at the siblings sweetly before hurrying after Katara. 

“Well, I guess we are going let’s go Lemaki,” said Aang as he patted his Pokémon. Lemaki, unbothered, just ate another berry. Zuko and Azula exchanged a look before giving up and followed the rest of the group. Matoic and Pikachu, both new to the group, simply followed their new trainers.

“What just happened?” Yuu asked blinking a few times as he turned to look at Lingliu who ran up to rest on his shoulder.

“Ling Ling?...” the Pokémon said sounding just as confused as Yuu who realized he was being left behind and quickly moved to catch up with everyone.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Here we are,” Yuu announced coming to a stop along Route 1. They stood on top of an incline, and below them, Youchuan Town spread out. Yuu smiled softly as he placed his hands on his hips.

“Whoa, it looks bigger than Mian Town!” Aang said with wide eyes glancing over at Yuu. From here they could see a few clusters of houses with brown roofs, and in the center of town was a behemoth fountain. In the distance, they could see a giant factory with the words ‘Lequ Inc.’ written across it in giant letters. One thing that caught some of their attention was the dampness of the town. It was very marshy; forestation littered the buildings around, and the ground beneath the townsfolk looked wet as if it had just rained. All throughout the town were wells and fountains that sprinkled out water. 

However, what drew their attention the most was the harbor attached to the gulf of the town, with large boats docked along the pier and water irrigation systems that carried water from the gulf to the factory across town like blood through veins. Yuu, having only been to this town on rare occasions in the company of guards or his mother, was excited to finally be here without his mother’s guiding influence.

“Come on!” Yuu said excitedly as he began to hurry down the path with the group following him eagerly. 

“Welcome to Youchuan Town, the Home of Yachts,” Sokka read aloud as he squinted to read the large sign posted at the front of the town's entrance. “What’s a yacht?” He asked, turning to look at Yuu for clarification. He pointed towards the piers.

“Those boats over there. They’re luxury ships.” Yuu explained.

“Luxury ships, I’ve never heard of such a thing,” Katara said. 

“Let’s go and take a closer look,” Aang said excitedly. 

As they walked through the town they passed by the small, nice looking homes. They saw a few people walking along the cobblestone streets, some leaning out their windows as they spoke with their neighbors, and some hanging clothes on a line. They had even caught sight of small children playing outside near the buildings in the center of town with a few Zigzagoon running between their legs. 

“This seems like such a sweet little place,” Katara said with a bright smile. 

As they made their way to the pier, their eyes grew wide with awe at the sight of boats docked there. From a distance, they had looked already big, and now that they were up close the boats seemed larger than life. 

“Whoa! These are ships people use for luxury?” Sokka asked. 

“Yup,” Yuu answered.

“I’ve never seen ships so large before, aside from the Fire Nation of warships of course,” responded Sokka. This particular Yacht that caught Sokka’s eye was a few stories high, and in the harbor was one of the smaller boats docked.  

“You must need immense wealth in order to own one of these,” Azula said as she craned her head up to look at the boat. 

“Pika pi,” Azula’s Pikachu muttered as it craned its head up as well. 

“It sounds like there are no yachts in your world,” Yuu began as he turned to look at the rest of the group, “I’m guessing there’s not an equivalent either.” Katara shook her head.

“Like Sokka said, the largest ships we have are the Fire Nation warships,” Katara began as she turned to look at Yuu. “But those are… what’s a good way to describe them…”

“They’re more industrial,” Azula chimed in finishing Katara’s statement, “They’re about the size of some of the larger boats in the harbor, but I wouldn’t use ‘luxury’ in the same sentence as those ships. Of course, considering their use, luxury is not something that was taken into consideration when crafting them.”

“We have sailboats too, I’ve seen big ones but nothing on this scale,” Suki said.

“Can we see what the inside looks like?!” Aang asked swinging his head over to Yuu excitedly. On his shoulder, Lemaki gave him an annoyed look, as his sudden movement almost caused a berry to drop from its hands.

“These are actually private ships, We can’t just walk into one on a whim.” Yuu laughed.

“If we don't get caught I see no harm,” Zuko said with a mischievous smile, “And this one is so big I can see us easily going undetected if there does happen to be someone inside of it.” 

“W-We can’t!” Yuu stammered with a blush. Both he and Lingliu looked shocked at the suggestion of breaking an entering.

“Don't worry, Zuko is only joking,” Katara said both she and Matoic turned to give Zuko a pointed look. Zuko smiled and put his hands up in surrender while Azula, Sokka, and Pikachu inspected the side of the ship quietly, to see if there was in fact any way to sneak in. 

“Toph, are you okay?” Suki asked a worried look crossing her face as she realized Toph was being oddly quiet. 

“Oh sorry, I was just lost in this amazing view,” she said in mock reverence as she held her hands out as if she was beholding the boat in front of her. Suki pulled her bottom lip back as she looked away from her friend, happy Toph couldn’t see her reaction. 

“Hey, guys look!” Aang said pointing out at the glistening water, “There’s another yacht coming this way.” They all turned to see a very large yacht pulling in on the opposite side of the dock they were standing on. 

“That one looks a little...” Sokka trailed off as he took in the state of the incoming ship. 

“Dented up,” Yuu finished. The yacht in question was filled with dents and scraps and moved across the water lethargically. 

As the boat pulled in, they all watched as the anchor dropped. A few moments later a ladder dropped from the lowest story of the boat, and a few crewmen came scrambling out. They went to work quickly tying down the boat to add extra security. 

As they watched this, a plethora of people came thundering down the dock, causing it to shake. They swarmed around the edge of the dock like flies and held up cameras. Immediately, they began to start snapping photos, the sheer amount of cameras caused a blinding effect as so many flashes went off at once. 

“Oh my god!” one camera flickering person yelled.

“The rumors were true! The Fashion Monster is rolling up to town in her recently trashed luxury ship! Make sure to get closeups of the haul!” another camera person shouted. Another female, holding up a mic and notepad, started to cue her cameras, and style her hair.

“Guys, be ready to go live in 5! We are going to try and get an interview with one of the best designers in Huoli!” the woman exclaimed. Hearing all the commotion got the gang very confused as camera shots took pictures of the ship.

“What in the world is going on?!” Suki asked with large eyes.

“I’m hearing a bunch of… clicking…” said Toph.

“It’s from those things that the group of people in front of us are holding. What are those things causing that light?” Sokka asked with large eyes. 

“Cameras,” Yuu said distractedly, “They’re used to take pictures. Those people are called ‘paparazzi’; they take pictures of famous people... but I have no idea what kind of celebrity would be coming out of a boat in that kind of condition that would attract such press...” He said with a frown. 

Then, down the latter came multiple men with black suits huddled around someone, each man was holding a black umbrella. As they made their way down the crowd of people intensified as they tried to get as close as possible to the people walking down, but the bodyguards pushed them back.

“Excuse me! Excuse me!” They heard a soft voice shout from among the crowd. It began to part to reveal a young radiating woman; she had long, light pink hair, and an old looking dress that seemed to shimmer in the sun. She looked utterly exhausted as her bodyguards pushed past the manic men and women snapping relentless pictures of her. However, despite her appearance what contrasted that heavily was the overzealous energy that she permeated throughout the crowd as they cheered for her.

Yuu squinted as he watched her trying to see if he recognized her or not. As he was trying to figure it out, the young woman picked her eyes up and noticed immediately the group standing in front of her. Her mouth fell open as she took them in.

She said nothing but stuck her hand out and pointed at them. Flipping her hand over, she curled her finger towards herself a few times making it clear she wanted them to come forward and approach her. As she did this the mob around them took note and turned all of their attention at Aang and his friends.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“This just in! The Fashion Monster has been spotted on the docks of Youchuan Town with a group of strange looking teenagers!” The reporter from earlier said loudly, her voice cutting through the chaos going on. For a second, the group stood frozen as all the attention that had been on the woman who had exited the boat was now turned on them.

“What in the world is going on?” Suki asked covering her eyes as the blinding lights of cameras continued to flash right in her eyes. 

“Ah!” shouted Katara as she got temporarily blinded.

“W-What’s going on?” asked Toph.

“They're flashing those things right at us!” said Zuko. Suddenly, one female reporter motioned for the cameraman to pan to Aang and the group.

“It seems that this odd looking group of kids are being wanted by the Fashion Monster!? Just WHO are these kids have they attracted her attention suddenly or are acquainted to her?!” proclaimed the female reporter.

“They seem to be intrigued by us” said Azula somewhat interested in their focus on them. As the reporters focused on Aang and the group, the strange woman started to approach them as she motioned for her bodyguards to go away. Walking through the reporters, the woman’s aura changed; prior, she had been radiating an endearing energy, but now one of intent and resolve came wafting off of her. This almost commanded the reporters to back away from her as if they were intimidated by her. As she walked towards them the flashes of light grew in velocity instantly as the reporters captured photos of them all in frame. They started to circle around them closing them in which scared Suki, Katara, and Toph.

“I-It sounds like we are being surrounded! What’s going on!?” shouted Toph. Katara reached down and grabbed Toph’s hand.

“Don’t worry we're fine,” said Katara. Toph scowled at Katara's attempt to consul her and pushed away from her friend.

“If we're fine don’t start to baby me!” said Toph as they become flustered with all of what is going on at the moment.

“C-Can we not do this right now?” asked Suki as she starts to cling onto Sokka.

“You all need to calm down” said Yuu as he tries to rally them all out of their confusion. As this was happening, a reporter tried to stick a mic in Aang’s face.

“D-Do you know The Fashion Monster? And what is with that arrow on your bald head?” asked the reporter. Aang frowned before he pointed up to his head.

“My arrow? Oh, that is because I’m an air nom-” Aang began before he was interrupted by Yuu hitting his side. As Aang groaned in pain Yuu then gave him a look that read, “ You can’t say that! ” right now, it was best not to give anyone the impression they might be from another world. At this look,  Aang understood what he almost did.

“You are a what, sir?” asked the reporter.

“I am- uh… an arrow fanatic!” exclaimed Aang. Katara, Yuu, and Zuko slapped their foreheads upon hearing his answer. 

In all of this, the group was still confused as to the sudden interest they gained. Unknown to them, by just this woman motioning to them made the paparazzi correlate the two together, thus making the paparazzi believe they had to be something noteworthy to grab this woman’s attention. Noticing their panic, the infamous woman approaching started to chuckle.

“Such… Unique looking folk. Say, the scenery here is nice, don’t you think? But... Perhaps we should be changing locations soon…” said the woman as she started to walk off. As she walked the paparazzi was split, those taking her photo, while the rest still photographing the group. She walked a few feet from them before she turned back around, and noticed they were not following. Somewhat confused, she then motioned for them to follow her, and then pointed to the roadside ahead where bodyguards waited in front of a blackened vehicle.

“She… Wants us to follow her?” questioned a confused Yuu.

“Why does she want us to follow her?” Katara asked pulling Toph closer to her side despite her objection prior. Analyzing the crowd’s unending interest in them, and this woman giving them a way out, Sokka started to form resilience against the crowd.

“Who cares?! She seems to be able to command this crowd! Look how easily she's walking through them!” Sokka said taking a hold of Suki’s wrist, “It’s either follow her or we get hounded by these people! Come on Suki!” He pulled Suki forward and started to walk towards the woman. Suki started to blush at her boyfriend's assertiveness and quick thinking.

“Sokka, the way you just deduced a solution to our problem in the heat of the moment is so sexy! Ah! Only you could do that! 💖” said Suki.

“What? Anyone could of came up with that,” said Azula.

“But guys, should we be following a complete stranger?” asked Katara.

“Yuu, you said she's well know, do you know her?” asked Aang. "I would feel better following her if you did."

“Nope. Don’t follow social media much, growing up I had obligations that took much of my time.” said Yuu. 

“Social… Media?” asked Zuko. Yuu just sighed.

“Let’s talk about that another time for now, Sokka and Suki are getting away, and the crowd is closing them in!” said Yuu as he noticed that as Sokka and Suki walk forward the paparazzi start to surround them. In an attempt to save them, the group with the acceptation of Toph who was being grabbed by Katara, rush in to meet back up with them, and with a combined effort push through the crowd to the mysterious woman. The woman then turns around once more seeing them behind her, and smiles as she leads them to a long black car with tinted windows. However, in seeing the car it sparked confusion with the group.

“What’s that?” Aang asked with wide eyes.

“A limousine,” Yuu responded. The woman then entered the limo as the bodyguards opened the doors for her. 

“Get in” said one of the bodyguards as they motioned for them to follow the woman. Behind them, the crowd was coming in close, and in a quick decision they all entered the limo. The bodyguards closed the door behind them before they went to enter the other vehicles that were parked behind the limo. 

The inside of the limo contrasted the black exterior with a very abstract interior; various fabrics and prints littered the inside, and near the partition of the limo sat the woman as she sipped on lemonade through a metal straw. Seeing their confused looks, the woman took a break from sipping to speak.

“You know… metal straws are good for the environment in that it produces less wasted material,” said the woman.

“Metal straw? That makes no sense! Can someone please explain what in the world is going on?!” Toph demanded. 

“It’s not metal straw , Toph. Straws are little funnels that people use to drink with,” said Yuu. The mysterious woman said nothing as she lowered the partition, and peeked her head through it.

“Head to Hotel Swalohelon,” she said politely before rolling the partition back up. Yuu then gets shocked.

“Sw-Swalohelon?! That’s like one of the most exclusive hotels to book a night in all of Liyi! J-Just who are we in a limo with?!” exclaims Yuu. The women then turned back to them and gave them a beaming smile. 

“Well, I’m sure that was a very interesting experience for you lot!” the woman said as she laughed. Yuu, somewhat taken aback by her aloofness, sat back in his seat. 

“Y-Yeah… It sure was…” Yuu responds. The limo then started to drive away from the crowd around them. The women then turned her full attention over to Yuu.

“Your jacket has design patterns I recognize… They’re of Sinnoh origin correct? Did Hermione design these?” asked the woman.

“Yes, actually. This was imported from one of her most recent collections. Well, at least from what my mother said,” Yuu explained. 

“Ah. Poké Chic is catered to women, but I see that she isn’t shying away from upping up the flare for men…” said the woman as she starts to pan across to the others, “But I do not recognize any of the designs on their clothing… What region do they come from?” she asks. instantly, the mood in the limo suddenly became tense.

“Excuse me?” asked Yuu. 

“Their clothes. Where did they get them? I have seen fashion designs and catwalks from all over the world, from Kanto to Galar, and I’ve never seen those. I know that I’m not going insane, these are clothing pieces I have never seen before. Be it they are a little smudged…” the woman said as she looked them up and down bringing notice to the dirt on their clothes. That is what gravitated me to you all. Unless these are from underground designers, or you are out of this world there is no way I couldn’t of seen these,” continued the woman. Hearing her statement caused even more tension with the group as she brushed against the truth. They all fell silent as the woman noticed the mood shift.

“Oh my where are my manners… I'm asking such invading question, but I do not know who you are- or even your names! And, from how un-starstruck you are, I’m assuming none of you know who I am; this is quite an interesting turn of events. May I ask your names, and offer contents in the bar?” asked the woman as she opens up the fridge to a bunch of beverages. Seeing this, Sokka, Aang, and Yuu’s eyes light up.

“Woah! Those look tasty!” said Sokka. He went to reach for one, but Katara quick pulled him back.

“Sokka!” said Katara. The woman laughs.

“Such an interesting name,” said the woman. Yuu then clears his throat.

“My name is Yuuyin Yuumen. These are my friends Aang, Katara, Toph, Suki, Sokka, Zuko, and Azula. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” said Yuu going down the line showcasing everyone to her before he reached out his hand for her to shake. 

“The Yuumen name… I have heard that before… anyways, the pleasure is mine, I can assure you,” The woman said taking Yuu’s hand firmly in her own. “My name is Jyajy,” she continued. 

“My family is pretty well known in the music industry,” said Yuu.

“Oh! Perhaps that!” said Jyajy. Yuu smiled politely as he tried to place her name. She was clearly a celebrity, but try as he might he did not recognize her face or her odd sense of fashion.

“They called you the… Fashion Monster back there?” asked Yuu.

“Oh yea that was kinda weird...” said Aang. Jyajy laughs.

“Well, you have an arrow on your head so… I guess we can relate on weirdness,” said Jyajy making Aang feel a bit self-conscious, “But fear not I celebrate the oddity! I construct the provocative! You all ooze such energy.” 

“Ooze?” asked Zuko with a blush.

“She’s probably talking about your odor,” said Azula. Suddenly, Zuko shrunk into himself as if trying to get his smell to shrink in with him.

“What?! Y-You can still smell me?...” asked Zuko worried. Yuu then turned to Azula

“He doesn’t smell anymore, stop it.” said Yuu. Jyajy looked confused by all this but still smiled.

“Well the only thing I smell is the aroma of mystery emanating from all our souls, and sewn together donning the unique garb you fashion. Which brings me to what I wanted to speak about!” exclaimed Jyajy.

“And that is?” Katara asked her voice tinted with suspicion.

“Ah! We can talk about that in length at our destination. We should be there soon,” said Jyajy as she points out the window. It’s tinted, but in the distance a large building could be seen. They all looked on in awe, awaiting their destination while everyone but Toph, who sat in silence hiding her somberness...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Here we are,” Jyajy said as the car pulled up to the front of the large hotel. “Come, come let’s get out and head up to my room so we can speak!” Azula popped the door open, and the moment she did Pikachu, who was sitting on her lap, hopped out of the car and darted forward. She quickly got out followed by everyone else. As they look up to the hotel they were mesmerized by the sight around them. A tall royal looking , white building adorned with a fountain garden out front, with a water tunnel going straight through it underground. Jyajy then faced the group noticing their fixated looks.

“This hotel celebrates the Legendary Pokémon Swalohelon’s architecture of swales; the entire Hotel is one!” said Jyajy. Yuu took notice to her statement.

“You sure know your Pokémon lore” said Yuu.

“That weird long word is a Pokémon?” asked a confused Aang. Suddenly, Yuu became shocked.

“Aang!” said Yuu as he hits Aang’s side. Jyajy looks on confused, unsure what Aang meant. In Yuu’s eyes  not knowing that name was a dead giveaway. “He’s such a jokey person you know! Haha!” continued Yuu humming as a distraction as he pulled Aang close to stand by him. Lemaki was still hanging off his shoulders as it plucked berries in it’s mouth. Jyajy shrugged her shoulders and continued forward.

“Well, I wouldn’t expect new Pokémon Trainers to know all the lore of the vast region that is Huoli why, it has to be one of the biggest! However, I’m more interested in designing than storytelling,” said Jyajy assuming they were all Trainers. 

“Y-Yea! Haha,” Yuu laughed nervously. “ I’ll have to explain some lore to them later… ” He thought with a small sigh.

“This looks like a nice building,” Aang said happily. 

“Follow me!” Jyajy said quickly zooming past everyone. “If we hang around for too long that crazy mob of paparazzi will show up again.” Her words were enough to spur the gang into walking faster as they hurried towards the front doors of the hotel. As they approached towards the hotel men standing on either side of the entranced opened the doors to let them through. They walk into the lobby a large, decorated room, with marble floors and plush chairs. A smaller fountain stood in the center of it with two golden Magikarp fountain tops spitting out water. Once inside the lobby of the hotel, Jyajy went to the main desk while everyone stood in the distance behind her.

“Hello. I’m here to check in,” said Jyajy. 

“Ah! I’m glad you have made it here safely. We got the call about your arrival and have already set up your VIP suite,” said the receptionist woman. 

“Great. I’ll have my people fill out any paperwork, I have a separate group of people coming with my bags as well, so just send them up to my room when they arrive.” said Jyajy.

“Great! And, are those people behind you also staying with you as well?” asked the woman as they both look back to Aang and the group. 

“Well, who knows what might happen. For now keep 8 rooms open for me as well as anticipated Pokémon accommodations,” said Jyajy. 

“I will do so Miss Jyajy!” said the woman cheerily before motioning for everyone else to follow her, “Now if everyone will come this way this elevator will take you to your floor!” Besides Yuu, reluctantly Aang and group all climbed in. Jyajy hit the button for her floor, causing it to light up which immediately caught Sokka’s attention. 

“What do those buttons do?” He asked as the sleek doors slide shut. 

“Takes us to our floor?” Jyajy said slowly as she gave him an odd look. Sokka blushed and ducked his head while Suki gave the other woman a not so kind look.

“He was just joking,” Yuu said quickly. “Sokka tends to do that a lot,” Jyajy, believing Yuu, smiled and nodded as the elevator began to pull them towards the top floor. Suki scoffs, and looks to Sokka.

“Don’t worry Sokka your slight blunders are what make you human!💖” said Suki causing Sokka to giggle as they attempted to kiss. However, Zuko quickly stopped them.

“Hey! No making out in such a closed space!” said Zuko causing Jyajy to laugh.

 

*****

 

“This way,” Jyajy instructed as the doors opened, and everyone quickly got out and spilled into the long white hallway. Jyajy hurried to the last room on the right side of the hallway. Once there, butlers waited outside the door, waiting for the moment to unlocked the door to usher them all inside. She then handed both of them stacks of cash as a tip and nodded her head at them as a thank you for their service. Yuu quietly takes all of this grandeur into consideration as he watched her closely. 

They make their way into the suite and to Yuu it’s as immaculate as Yuu's own house is; the room was an extensive one. Plush white carpet covered the floor and a huge circular bed stood in the center of the room with night stands on either side. Mounted to the wall in front of the bed was a huge curved T.V. and under was a long white dresser. The back wall was made up of windows that stretched from the window to the floor, giving them a nice view of the docks and boats below. To the right of the front door of the room was equally as large bathroom and to the left of the T.V. were two slatted doors that lead into the walk in closet. To the right of the T.V. was a nice sized desk and a large armchair tucked in against it. 

“Take a seat wherever you wish,” Jyajy continued as she shut the door behind Zuko and Matoic who were the last two to enter the room. 

Katara lead Toph to the side of the bed facing the front door and carefully sat them both down. Aang quickly took the spot next to her, and once he was sitting down Lemaki hopped off of his shoulders and rested against the pillows of the bed. Suki moved to sit at the desk while Azula leaned against the edge of it. 

Zuko plopped down on the floor and Yuu followed his lead taking the spot beside him, Lingliu jumped from his head and curled up into his lap while Matoic laid at Zuko’s feet. Only Sokka and Jyajy remained standing. Naturally, Azula was the first in the group to speak.

“Enough dancing around the topic, what do you want from us?” She demanded as she crossed her arms over her chest. Pikachu, who was standing next to her, mimicked her action. 

“Straight to the point,” Jyajy chuckled seemingly unfazed by Azula’s assertive gaze, “I like that, I won’t mince my words then. The moment I laid eyes on you lot I was simply taken aback by your odd state of dress.” As she spoke her voice lowered, changing just as her energy started to as well, it almost sounded as if she was in a trance. 

“All of this over our clothes?” Katara asked with a scowl while everyone else, with the exception of Toph, began to examine their state of dress once more; Zuko and Azula were both wearing near identical red silk tunics with golden trim that was common in the Fire Nation. Sokka and Katara were wearing similar looking tunics only theirs were a little thicker and dark blue with white trim. Suki was wearing a burgundy tunic while Toph was wearing a green one and Aang was still in his yellow and orange monk clothes.

“You lot are so uniquely dressed, and I knew I had to bring you here to speak with you the moment I laid my eyes on you.” Jyajy said. Katara scowled as she crossed her arms over her chest.

“You think we’re uniquely dressed? Look at you!” She said referring to the odd state of dress their host was in. Katara had never seen a bulkier looking dress or the odd colors that the fabric was made out of it. 

“I’m not really sure that’s even fabric if I’m being honest…” said Yuu. Jyajy then smiled wide.

“And that’s why I needed to speak with you! You must let me model clothes after the fashion you are all wearing! Oh, the fashion community will die when they see these designs!” said Jyajy. This seemed to catch the group off guard, and sensing this Jyajy further explained. “Fashion is what I live for, I spend most of my free time constructing new unique clothes out of non-conventional materials. A few years ago, I decided to start my own fashion line,  Myu Myu, and I love to pull inspiration from the places society is least looking. And when the whole world was looking at me I was looking at you all," Hearing this caused a thought to spark in Aang.

“Yuu…didn’t your mom say that word before?” asked Aang. Suddenly, a light went off in Yuu’s head.

“Oh! Her sunhat that she burned…” said Yuu.

“Excuse me?” asked Jyajy as she twists her face hearing this.

“Uh- nothing! But wait- if you own that fashion line then… oh my… you are more famous than I initially thought,” said Yuu. 

“I suppose in the peninsula of Liyi it’s isolated, so perhaps my work isn’t as accessible. However, I do love this hotel… anyways, I’m off track. The point is I want to feature your cloths in my line!” said Jyajy. Katara began to ponder the idea.

“A fashion line… It does sound a bit fun…” said Katara slightly warming up to the idea.

“What’s in it for us?” Toph asked with a scowl.

“Toph,” Aang said with a frown, “Shouldn’t helping someone be enough?” 

“If we are so good looking for her that she wants to model clothes after our own than we should get some kind of compensation,” said Toph. Jyajy chuckles as she hears this.

“I’ll let you keep whatever I make of course,” Jyajy said as if Aang hadn’t spoken at all, “No charge, I can even let you model the clothing in some photos. Just as long as you understand the designs will be under my name but I give credit where credit is due,” said Jyajy.

“Well… I wouldn’t really say that I made my outfit…” said Aang.

“Oh? Then who? It was an underground artist wasn’t it? I don’t wanna steal work of someone else,” said Jyajy. Yuu then sighed at the new problem they were in. Suddenly, Azula started to speak.

“He means that we didn’t make them; we have had people create garments inspired by us, tailored for us, and gifted to us. So, for what matters we own what you are seeing,” said Azula. Jyajy, seemingly satisfied by her response, smiles.

“Well, okay! If you all would agree to being my muses the only thing is I will have to require you all to do something for me to make it happen...” said Jyajy as she trailed off into thought. Azula then raised her brows. 

“If we agree we’re allowing you to make clothes for us, isn’t that enough?” asked Azula.

“Pika, Pika.” Pikachu said with a quick nod. Zuko had to fight the urge to laugh at his sister words while Yuu out right rolled his eyes. Jyajy then sighed with a slight grin. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door, and as it opened Jyajy’s bodyguards brought in the rest of her bags.

“Ah, here are my materials. Let me show you some,” said Jyajy. She then went to unzip some bags, and get out outfits and raw materials for outfits, some that fall far from conventional outfits that any of them would wear. Just the small samples she pulled out start to give clarification to her title ‘The Fashion Monster’ to the group. She then brought out a bunch of colored containers that looked fairly empty and busted. She looked a bit annoyed as she then sifts through other bag and pulled out shoes and accessories that were damaged. She then turned back towards them.

“Well, hear me out since I'm also certain you are wondering why I came out of a damaged ship. I like to search for materials for my designs across Huoli and the world. I take this so seriously that I often take expeditions to dangerous places to get unique material. I ventured out to the dangerous Huoli Whirlpool, and needless to say I didn’t make it back unscathed,” said Jyajy. Yuu became shocked.

“That place is very chaotic!” said Yuu.

“What is that?” asked Aang.

“Basically about southwest of here, there is a portion of the sea that is extremely bizarre, and a whirlpool constantly roars and never stops. It’s so dangerous that no normal routes lead anywhere near it and it is supposed to be annexed from even visiting by the Pokémon League…” said Yuu while Jyajy laughed.

“That does sound really deadly but she thinks it’s a joke. Sounds like you could of died!” said Suki.

“But wouldn’t you think the most untouched materials rests in the depth of that area? It fascinates me so!” said Jyajy weirding out the group, “Anyways, when I tried to escape the pull of the whirlpool it messed up the ship I was on and in doing so ruined a lot of my materials. And, in order to make those clothes I first need to collect berries in order to make the dye which I ran out of,” Jyajy explained. Lemaki’s head perked up and it looked over towards her. 

“Berries?” asked Sokka.

“Again I make stuff with non-conventional material, and I like to make my dyes using organic materials. One of you also commented on my outfit, no, it is not actual fabric it’s made out of recycled plastics; people throw away perfectly good plastic all the time, so I take it and literally wear it! Anyways with your Lemaki, it will be so easy to do that. So, please just this one thing, and I’ll make you all a brand new outfit.” continued Jyajy.

“We’ll help you,” Aang said quickly as he pushed himself up to his feet.

That was fast,” said Toph.

“If all we have to do is find berries I mean we already did that for little Lemaki!” said Aang as he pets Lemaki who looks very happy at the idea, “So, I think we should do it. Thank you for offering to make us these clothes. We appreciate your kindness.” 

“Well, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to get new clothes…” said Zuko as he looks at what he is wearing.

“I agree” said Suki.

“I should always be adorned in the best, so I will go along with this,” said Azula.

“Well I can’t see anything, so my vote won’t count.” said Toph.

“Nonsense! I think all of our opinions matter! I for one can roll with the idea,” said Sokka. Jyajy then walks over to Toph.

“Someone once told me that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To me, eyes that see no prejudice see the most beautiful creations; for the greatest eye is the mind,” said Jyajy. Hearing this, Toph got shocked.

“W-Wha-!...” uttered Toph as she started to blush. Jyajy then giggled. 

“Well, I think my vote kinda doesn’t count either since I am dressed differently than you all, but I agree with the idea. Toph, don’t you?” asked Yuu.

“S-Sure…” muttered Toph.

“Well then it’s settled! We are going off” said Aang. Hearing Aang’s words, Jyajy beamed at him.

“Oh thank you! If I were you I would suggest heading over to Route 2; I know there are plenty of vibrant berries along there.” Aang nodded while Lemaki excitedly scrambled up to his shoulders. “Don't take too long now; even though I don’t have the dyes I already have cool designs in my head! I need to get to drawing! Guards! Please help me set up my on-the-go station!” she continued as the bodyguards began to move around quickly. Aang and group then get up as well.

“Let’s go guys!” Aang said leading everyone,somewhat reluctantly, out of the room as Jyajy waved goodbye to them. 

 

*****

 

Once outside Yuu took the lead and they all moved towards the elevator again. As the doors slide shut behind them Sokka happily pressed the button to the lobby under Yuu’s instruction. Suki smiled at his glee as he began to press every button bouncing as he watched each one light up, subsequently making the elevator ride back down much longer as it stopped at each floor. 

“Am I the only person who thinks this is a giant waste of time?” Katara demanded after a while of being on the elevator. “Shouldn’t we be putting our efforts into finding out what happened to our bending? I mean I was find getting new clothes before I knew we had to go on a whole expedition,” Toph then scoffs.

“This might be more beneficial than you think. I mean obviously I have no idea just how much we standout, but it’s enough for some chick to point us out and gush over how much different we look than everyone else. I think her making us clothes might be good for us in the long run, we won’t stick out so much.” said Toph.

“Well look at that your opinion changed drastically!” said Sokka. Toph scowled and punched him in the gut.

“Ow!” Sokka shouted.

“Quit it!” shouted Suki attempting to protect Sokka.

“Like when we were in the Fire Nation and we all ‘borrowed’ those clothes to fit in better,” Aang added reminding them of their time spent blending in while in enemy territory during the war. 

“I guess you have a point,” Katara conceded. 

After that, the ride was relatively quiet until they got to lobby. Once they excited, they were witness to a much busier scene than it had been upon coming in. A few tall, muscular men were directing and helping five Machamp’s move in large pieces of luggage. The group all marveled at the magnificent looking Pokémon. 

“Look how many arms they have,” Suki said with a bright smile, “They look so strong.” She added as they passed one. 

“Ma! Machamp!” The nearest one said, flexing it’s top pair of arms causing Suki’s eyes to grow even wider with wonder.

“I wonder who all of this stuff belongs,” Yuu said. 

“Most likely Jyajy since she just got her bags sent to her room” Zuko said.

“Yeah, but look how many bags there are; surely this can’t be for one person.” Katara said with a hint of disapproval. 

“I mean she did say she owned a whole fashion line; so it makes sense,” Sokka pointed out with a shrug.

They group headed out of the front doors of the hotel, and began to make their way towards Route 2 their conversation tapering off as they began to think of their new task and the reward at the other end of it. Unknowingly, as they walked off they passed a man and woman, who were dressed head to toe in black clothing, and a strange insignia on their chests.. 

“What a group of people that just walked out of the hotel,” the female said to her companion, “I’ve never seen anyone dressed like that before.” 

“Jyajy is in town, I would bet anything that they’re with her.” The man said with a soft frown. 

“Do you think we should follow them?” she asked.

“It might be worth checking out,” he said with a shrug. Making their decision, the pair followed Aang and the rest of the group as they made their way to Route 2... 

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

The path along Route 2 was much like the roads and walkways in Youchun Town were; muddy and dotted with puddles both large and small, deep and shallow. The grass on either side of the path grew darker, and became more dense as they came closest to more forestation in the distance. They headed into the forest on the sides of the Route looking for berries for Jyajy, grey twisting trees stood tall on either side of them which donned long dropping branches covered in different berries of varying shapes, sizes and colors. There were also clusters of bushes covered in berries as well, giving the gang a large selection to choose from. 

“So, what berries should we take from?” Suki asked as she looked around at the trees and bushes. Before anyone could answer, Lemaki jumped forward and began to head towards the nearest bush, it’s large eyes focused on the berries there.

“Maybe we should focus on berries closer to the colors of what we’re all wearing, since that's what she'll be modeling the clothes after,” Aang suggested with a warm smile.

“I think that's a good idea. Lemaki seems to have gotten a head start!” said Yuu with a wide smile.

“So... we should look for berries that are blue, red, green, yellow, and orange then!” Sokka said taking Aang’s idea and running with it. Suki started to squeal at Sokka’s words.

“Ah! What good idea our harvest is going to be just as colorful as your heart, Sokka💖!!!” Suki responded Azula started to scoff hearing this and Yuu started to frown. 

“Actually Suki, that was Aang’s suggestion...” Yuu pointed out with a small smile, “But I think we should follow Lemaki’s lead, why not pick a whole bunch of different berries to give Jyajy a wide selection?” suggested Yuu.

“That actually seems like a good idea," said Katara. “She’s the artist after all, she would probably appreciate it if we gave her more to choose from than just limiting her with a smaller selection.” 

After they all came to an agreement on what they should do, they began to break off into small groups in order to cover more ground. Aang, Yuu, and Lingliu headed over to Lemaki, and began to pick the Cheri Berries on that bush and the bushes around the spot Lemaki had chosen to start.

Zuko, Azula, Pikachu, and Matoic went over to one of large trees, and began to collect large, round Oran Berries that were hanging over their heads. Sokka, Suki, Katara, and Toph all went to the bushes across from where Aang and Yuu were, and began to pick the lush Apicot Berries there. 

Despite the fact that she was unable to see, Toph still wanted to help. Reaching forward carefully, she began to brush her fingers along the dark, green leaves of the bush slowly feeling around for the berries. Katara smiled proudly at Toph but remained silent, not wanting Toph to snap at her again.

Meanwhile, Azula and Zuko were both carefully examining the berries that they had collected. 

“Do you know what these are?” Zuko asked turning to Rotom Pokédex who was hovering above the siblings head. Rotom Pokédex had been watching Pikachu zip up and down the branch picking berries before playfully throwing them down into the pile it and Matoic were creating at the base of the tree. Rotom Pokédex spun around and quickly scanned the berry in Zuko’s hand.

“These are Oran Berries; they help restore a small portion of a Pokémon’s health.” Rotom Pokédex informed them helpfully. Once each person in the group had collected a decent amount of berries they would carry it over to the large, joint pile of berries in the center of the general area they were all in. 

Lemaki, out of everyone, had picked the largest variety of berries. So far it had collected Pecha Berries , Mago Berries , Fig Berries , and Lum Berries just to name a few! For every three berries Lemaki had picked it would eat one. Aang and Yuu watched on with delight, beside them Lingliu picked some berries off the bush and carried them back to the growing pile as carefully as possible not wanting to damage the fruit. 

“Look at Lemaki go! It’s really good at collecting berries!” Aang said as he watched his Pokémon. Hearing Aang’s praise Rotom Pokédex zoomed over to float above them. 

“That probably has something to do with Lemaki’s ability, Pickup!” Rotom Pokédex said excitedly, “Lemaki can pick up an item of an opposing Pokémon during battles, and outside of them it makes for a useful gathering ability!”

“Wow! Lemaki, you can do that?” asked Aang as he looked at Lemaki with endearment. Lemaki, indifferent to the conversation, looked back and shrugged before it continued to gather berries. Aang laughed awkwardly and turned his attention back to picking berries.

“Don’t worry Aang, I’m sure Lemaki is just really focused on its task,” said Yuu.

“Yeah…” said Aang.

As the group happily went on their task the grass closest to Sokka, Suki, Katara, and Toph began to rustle. None of them notice as they continued on collecting however. After some time passed, they began to move down the muddy path to start collecting off different bushes and trees. As they went up Route 2 the grass rustled some more, but still no one seemed to notice as they continued their task.

Time passed, and Suki was taking her smile pile over to the larger one in the center. As she headed over in that direction she came to a sudden stop. At the edge of the main pile sat a Halyodor! Cautious, she stayed as still as possible before she turned around and quickly went back over to her group.

“Guys we've got a problem,” Suki whispered as Sokka turned to look at her. This got Katara’s attention and she turned to Suki as well. “Right at the bottom of our main pile is that… bug that made Zuko smell like death warmed over earlier.” Both siblings eyes widen as the memory of just how badly Zuko smelled earlier rushed back to them. 

Sokka and Katara both slowly turned around to look at the main pile and saw the black and red bug chewing on one of the large berries they had collected. Toph who hadn’t noticed the mood change with her friends, and had no idea what was going on continued to quietly pick berries. Katara noticing this leaned over to whisper to Toph deciding to clue her in.

“The Pokémon that sprayed Zuko earlier is right behind us on the big berry pile.” Katara said in a hushed tone,  She watched Toph’s face slowly morphed into a grimace.

“Ugh, the thing that made Zuko smell like rotting butt?” asked Toph. 

“Yes, we need to figure out away to get it away from us and our berries,” Suki whispered. 

“Maybe Rotom Pokédex can help us. It might have a way to shoo this thing away without making it spray that horrible smell,”  Sokka suggested.

“Spirits Sokka your so smart! Thank goodness you’re here with us 💖!” said an excited Suki. Katara and Toph both rolled their eyes, but said nothing more as Sokka blushed. Turning in the direction of Zuko and Azula, Sokka began to wave his hands to get Rotom Pokédex’s attention. 

At the same time that Sokka began to wave his arms back and forth Lemaki had turned around to place more berries into the large pile it had gathered on the side of the path. As it did so the motion of Sokka waving his arms back and forth caught the Lemaki’s attention for a brief moment and it stopped to stare at him before seemingly becoming uninterested and turning back to it’s task of harvesting berries. As it turned Lemaki caught sight of the Halyoder who was slowly crawling around the main berry pile in search for a new fruit to eat. 

Lemaki’s dark brown eyes grew wide and it dropped the berries in its arms onto the path. Aang, Yuu, and Lingliu all turned to look at Lemaki. 

“Le-” Aang was cut off as his Pokémon took off across the path as fast as possible.

“LEMAKI! LEMAKI!” It screamed at the top of it’s lungs causing everyone to turn and look at it and startling the bug sitting on the berry pile.

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

“Lemaki what are you doing?!” Aang asked completely shocked by Lemaki’s sudden change in demeanor. He scrambled up to his feet before quickly running after Lemaki with Yuu and Lingliu following him.

Azula, Zuko and their Pokémon moved forward as well interested in getting a closer look at the battle. Meanwhile, Lemaki rushed forward and extended it’s long, sharp claws as it lashed out at the Halyodor with Fury Swipes

However, Lemaki’s attacked missed as the Halyodor quickly scuttled away. Lemaki’s claws sliced the berries that Halyodor had been resetting on, only further enraging Lemaki as it ruined it’s favorite treat.

“Lemaki! Lemaki!” It shouted and in a fit of rage picked up the nearest unruined berry and used Fling at its opponent. The berry hit Halyodor, but dealt little to no damage. Reaching forward Halyodor snatched up the berry and began to quickly eat it.

“We need to do something!” Aang said with wide eyes as he watched Lemaki spring forward. Before Yuu could react Halyodor moved quickly and jumped back before hitting Lemaki with Belch. 

“Lemaki!” It squealed before stumbling backwards.

“Lemaki!” Aang cried as he ran forward towards his Pokémon.

“Aang no!” Reaching forward Yuu wrapped his arm around Aang’s wrist and pulled him back towards him. “It’s too dangerous to get close to two battling Pokémon!” He explained. As this was happening Lemaki let out a frustrated holler as it advanced on the Halyodor! Leaping forward, Lemaki used Fury Swipes again, this time its attack landed.

Lemaki raked its sharp claws against Halyodor’s back twice before Halyodor released Poison Gas causing Lemaki to scramble back. Halyodor scrambled away from Lemaki, and towards the area of grass that Sokka and his group had been earlier. 

“Halyodor!” It cried out. 

“Lemaki! Lemaki!” Lemaki shouted as it bound forward. 

“Hal! Halyodor!” It shot back before releasing String Shot towards its opponent. Lemaki dodged by jumping to the side though its movements seemed a little more sluggish than before. As before Lemaki continued to hop forward jumping from side to side as Halyodor continued to shoot String Shot at it. 

Bearing its teeth, Lemaki leaped forward and buried it’s sharp fangs into Halyodor’s front, left leg using Bite as hard as possible. 

“Halyodor!” It shouted before using Belch again, and causing the other Pokémon to release its leg and stumble back a little. Suddenly in that moment, when Lemaki was rearing up to attack again, there was a rustling from the bushes. Everyone’s attention turned to the sound, even the battling Pokémon.

“Now what?” Yuu asked with a frown. Suddenly out of the bushes came out a swarm of Halyodor lead by a larger bug Pokémon! This Pokémon was brown and had triangular white and red points outlining its entire body. 

“Hal! Halyodor!” The Halyodor that Lemaki had been fighting called out to the new group of Pokémon that appeared. 

“What is that thing leading those Halyodor?” Sokka called out to Yuu. He was kneeling on the edge of the path a few feet away from Lemaki and Halyodor, he had one arm wrapped around Suki’s shoulder holding her close and the other pinching his nose. 

“I don't know!” Yuu called back at the same time Rotom Pokédex zoomed forward to hover over the new Pokémon.

“This is a Halystungent, the ‘Paralyzing-Stench Pokémon’ and the evolved form of Halyodor!” Rotom Pokédex exclaimed, “Refining the paralyzing chemicals of its odor glands, this Pokémon’s odor mist is now paralyzing losing its poisonous nature and gains a nervous system stunning property. Due to the charge constantly in its body it can conduct electricity that currents through its exoskeleton; despite this it still can use poison attacks!”

"Wait- Pokémon can evolve? That bug was once the other bugs?" asked Suki

"Yes; just like human evolution- or genetic changes over a long period of time- when Pokémon get to a certain point in their life journey they also can as well at a more accelerated rate to other species of Pokémon" said Rotom Pokédex. Suddenly, Yuu grunts.

“Great! Now we’ve got a whole mess on them on our hands!” Yuu said with a frown. Yuu counted four Halyodor along with the Halystungent that lead them. He watched as the Halyodor that was dueling Lemaki spoke to the new Pokémon on the scene. The Halystungent and other Halyodor quickly hurried over to the wounded Halyodor’s side. “Looks like we’ve got a fight on our hands here, I’ll take care of the Halystungent, you guys-”

“I don't think so,” Yuu and Aang jumped at the sound of Azula’s voice. They had forgotten that she and Zuko had come forward to witness Lemaki’s fight. “You three take care of these Halyodor, Pikachu and I will take care of their leader.”

“Azula I’m not sure-”

“Pikachu and I can take care of it,” Azula said firmly cutting off Yuu, “You’ve had most of the battles anyway, give some others a chance.” Yuu narrowed his eyes at her reasoning but stayed quiet. They didn’t have time to sit here and argue. 

“Fine but-”

“We won’t,” Azula said breezily, cutting Yuu off for the third time. Pikachu nodded as it looked up at Azula with fire in its eyes. 

“Pika! Pi!” It exclaimed as it raised its fists high in the air. Azula motioned for it to follow her and the two began to approach the Halystungent slowly. Yuu rolled his eyes before looking over at Aang and Zuko.

“Aang, now’s a good time to go to Lemaki. Here, take this,” Yuu said reaching into his bag and pulling out a potion. Aang nodded and quickly took the potion out of Yuu’s hands before hurrying over to his Pokémon.

“Come on Zuko, let’s see if we can run the rest of these Halyodor out of here!” Zuko nodded and so did Matoic. Yuu, along with Lingliu and Rotom Pokédex, began to rush two of the Halyodor causing the bug to start and scuttle backwards and back into the woods. Zuko ran for the other group with Matoic trailing behind him attempting to keep up as much as possible. The Halyodor they were after as well hurried back into the woods, however they veered off in a different direction than the others splitting up from the other Halyodor. 

Back near the large pile Aang was spraying the potion Yuu had given him on Lemaki while the Halyodor it had been fighting hurried over to the Halystungent. Smirking Azula decided not to waste anymore time.

“Pikachu use Thunderbolt on the Halystungent,” she commanded remembering the move that Pikachu had used when it had first appeared earlier. 

“Pika! Pikachu!” It cried out before releasing it’s attack. Two bolts of lightning jumped from Pikachu’s cheeks and straight for Halystungent. It hit the other Pokémon causing it jump back! Halyodor jumped back too, and hurried away from Azula and Pikachu.

“Le...Lemaki,” Lemaki growled as it pushed itself up to its feet.

“Lemaki don't,” Aang said reaching forward to stop his Pokémon. It pulled away however, its eyes trained on the Halyodor. 

“Lemaki! Lemaki!” It shouted as it prepared to attack again. Frowning Aang realized that he wouldn’t be able to stop Lemaki from fighting. Taking a deep breath he stood up and decided to take part in the battle as well instead of being a bystander. 

“Alright Lemaki… let’s do this!” Aang said trying to sound as confident as possible. Lemaki turned back and gave him an odd look before nodding. Planting all four paws on the ground Lemaki prepared to attack once more. 

Meanwhile beside them Azula and Pikachu watched as Halystugent hurried backwards. Instead of hitting Pikachu with a counterattack it used Charge preparing to use a more powerful electric attack. 

“Use Thunderbolt again,” Azula instructed. Once again lightning came from Pikachu’s cheeks but this time Halystugent was prepared and quickly dodged. This quickly became a cycle over the next few minutes. Instead of attacking, Halystungent continued to Charge while now easily dodging Pikachu’s Thunderbolts.

“Haly! Halystugent!” It cried out as it dodged another Thunderbolt. This time however it didn’t simply use Charge again but used Charge Beam! Halystugent released a concentrated bundle of electricity from it’s center and aimed it directly at Pikachu.

“Dodge it!” Azula said but Pikachu was already jumping out of the way. Pikachu was quick but Halystugent was quick as well! Aiming for Pikachu again it quickly released another Charge Beam. Pikachu jumped out of the way again but the Charge Beam still managed to graze the side of it’s leg.

“Pika! Pikachu!” it hollered as it stumbled a little. Azula narrowed her eyes as she glanced down at her Pokémon. Next to her Aang was trying to figure out his next move as well. He cleared his throat before giving out his next command.

“Lemaki, attack the Halyodor with your claws like you did before,” he said. Lemaki was moving immediately taking off towards Halyodor. The opposing Pokémon began to scramble backwards, both Pokémon moving slower than they had at the beginning of their fight. Reaching forward, Lemaki’s first swipe missed but it’s second Fury Swipe sliced Halyodor’s front right leg. 

“Halyodor!” It cried before using Belch once more.

“Lemaki get out of the way!” Aang said and immediately Lemaki jumped back to avoid the attack. “Alright Lemaki bite it!” Lemaki launched itself forward. Halyodor wasn’t fast enough to dodge this time and Lemaki landed on it’s back and sunk its teeth into the other Pokémon in a few different places.  Aang frowned as he watched the Halyodor run back and forth attempting to throw Lemaki off of it’s back. 

“Hal! Halyodor!” It cried. After a minute of attempting to get Lemaki off of it’s back, Halyodor managed to dispelled the other Pokémon. Lemaki landed on its feet and was immediately rearing up for another attack but Aang stopped it.

“Lemaki wait a moment,” he commanded. Lemaki halted and they both watched as Halyodor swayed one way and then the next before collapsing to the ground and passing out. Lemaki immediately let out a happy cheer and Aang let out a sigh of relief. 

"Now that is over, let's handle this Pokémon here for good Pikachu," said Azula. 

“Pikachu,” Pikachu said lowly as it stared down the Halystungent. It was on all four of its paws and looked frustrated by its Thunderbolts lack of hitting its opponent. Around Pikachu the air was beginning to heat up as it prepared to use a new attack. Halystungent let out a cry before rushing forward.

Rearing its head up Halystungent charged at Pikachu using Megahorn! Pikachu made no move to dodge the attack as wisps of flames began to surround its body. As it ran and got closer and closer to its opponent the flames around it grew larger and hotter until they were covering its body. The two Pokémon met in the middle of the battle field! 

As they clashed Pikachu slammed its body into Halystugent as it completed its Flame Charge! It caused the Halystungent to go flying back and hitting the ground hard. The Halystungent landed on its back with its legs pointing up towards the sky.

“Hal...Halystungent…” it whimpered before passing out. 

“We both won!” Aang cheered.

“Lemaki!” it cried out happily.

“Naturally,” Azula said folding her arms behind her back. Something occurred to Aang just then though as he looked towards the trees that Zuko and Yuu had disappeared through. 

“Do you think maybe we should go and help them?” Aang asked with a frown.

“No,” Azula said immediately as Pikachu hopped over to her with a pleased look on its face. “They can take care of themselves, I’m sure they’re wrapping up their battles now and will rejoin us soon.” Aang nodded and turned back to look at Lemaki before he began to softly pet the top of its head.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

While Azula and Aang were in battle, Yuu and Lingliu were chasing away the Halyodor they were trying their best to keep away from their pile from Jyajy. They see the Halyodor flutter away through a thick bush, 

“Lingliu! Let’s not lose sight of them! We don’t want to have them get back to our pile!” said Yuu.

“Gliu, Ling!” said Lingliu. Yuu and Lingliu proceed through  the thick underbrush, and suddenly broke through the line of trees and into a small round clearing. Yuu and Lingliu, stopping momentarily, attempted to search around for the Halyodor- but didn’t know where they were initially. They barely had time to catch their breath before a String Shot attack was being thrown in their direction! They both jumped out of the way as the thick, stringy substance hit the tree behind them with a dull ‘thud’. Only one Halyodor was standing in the center of the clearing chattering angrily at Yuu and Lingliu. 

“What? Where did the other one go? Agh- who cares. Let’s just make sure this doesn't go any further behind us- and hope the others are doing the same!” said Yuu.

“Ling! Lingliu!” It shouted as it moved forward getting into a battle position. Taking a few steps forward, Yuu shot his hand out in front of Lingliu to block his Pokémon. 

“Actually Lingliu- I want to sit this battle out,” Yuu said as he glanced down at the little Pokémon. 

“Ling?” Lingliu questioned as it looked up at Yuu with a confused look. Yuu glanced down at his Pokémon with a comforting smile. 

“I’m going to use Luckrane this time buddy,” Yuu said as he reached down and plucked Luckrane’s Poké Ball off his belt. Lingliu nodded and moved to stand a little bit behind Yuu to watch from the sidelines. Lingliu watched intently as Yuu clicked the button in the middle of the Poké Ball causing the device to expand. 

“Let’s go Luckrane!” He called out as he threw his Poké Ball out. It opened, and Luckrane appeared! 

“Luck! Luckrane!” It cried out as it stretched out its wings. 

“Alright Luckrane let’s make sure these Pokémon stay as far away from our berries as possible!” Yuu said, turning his attention back to the Halyodor, “Use Tackle!” He instructed. 

“Luck! Luckrane!” shouted Luckrane. Yuu watched with shock as Luckrane shook its head, not moving forward as it hovered in place. 

“Why isn’t it using tackle?” Yuu thought with a frown. He remembered clearly from his battle with Luckrane that it was able to use both tackle and gust. 

“Luckrane, use Gust!” Yuu said wondering if perhaps Luckrane just didn’t want to use tackle for whatever reason. However, the moment that Yuu commanded Luckrane to use gust it did the same thing as before.

“Luckrane! Luckrane!” It shouted shaking its head once more. Just then, Halyodor moved- and shot out String Shot right at Luckrane! Before Yuu could command Luckrane to dodge, it did so on its own;quickly moving out of the way.  

“Luckrane... Why aren’t you listening to me?” Yuu demanded as Halyodor shot String Shot at Luckrane once more. Luckrane moved again, dodging the attack for a second time. 

“Ling Ling! Lingliu!” Lingliu shouted as it bound over to Yuu’s side. Yuu understood Lingliu’s intent and nodded. He didn’t have time to argue with Luckrane at the moment; whatever the reason it was being disobedient he could figure out later. 

“Alright Lingliu it looks like you’re up!” Yuu said. Upon hearing this, Luckrane flew away from the Halyodor and landed down in the spot that Lingliu had been occupying before. Luckrane watched with critical eyes as Yuu and Lingliu began to battle. 

“Lingliu, use Rock Throw!” Yuu commanded. Lingliu nodded and reared its back up ready to attack! Above the Halyodor shards of rocks began to materialize before shooting forward. The Halyodor was quick though and easily dodged Lingliu’s first attack. 

“Lingliu, use Homing Attack!” shouted Yuu. As Lingliu heard this, it charged towards the Halyodor with full force leaping into the air. As the Halyodor saw Lingliu charge forward, it suddenly released a pungent aroma from its glands. A yellow-tinted aura shrouded the area near it, and as it approached Lingliu started to gag at the nauseating smell causing it back up.

“Lingliu?” Yuu asked uncertain for a moment why Lingliu was refusing to attack. “Lingliu, use Homing Attack!” shouted Yuu once more. However, this time Lingliu jittered around in place; wanting to move, but not wanting to approach any closer. Yuu was increasingly confused as to what was happening. However, as the faint remnants of the aroma hit Yuu’s nose- he suddenly realized.

“W-What?!That smell is horrible!” Yuu cried as he plugged his nose, “ Way worse then what Zuko smelled like!”. Luckrane, perched next to Yuu, covered its beak in disgust as it started to smell it as well.

“Ling! Lingliu!” Lingliu cried as it backed away from the opposing Halyodor. 

“I guess we’re just going to have to tough the smell out…” Yuu said with a deepening frown, “You don't want to go near it, do you?” Yuu asked.

 Immediately, Lingliu shook its head ‘no’. 

“This is due to  Halyodor’s ability, “Odor”,  produces a smell so repugnant that its opponent doesn’t want to physically attack it!” Rotom Pokédex said as Lingliu began back further and further away from the Halyodor.

“Well if we can’t use Homing Attack then let’s go back to using Rock Throw!” Yuu said causing Lingliu to nod before using Rock Throw once more. Again shards of rock began to form above the Halyodor before shooting forward but unlike before this time the attack hit Halyodor center in the back.

“Halyodor!” It cried out as it stumbled back.

“Use Rock Throw again!” Yuu said taking advantage of Halyodor’s momentary stumble. 

“Lingliu!” Lingliu cried out before using Rock Throw again! Once more the attack hit Halyodor directly causing it to fall to the ground.

“Hal… Halyodor…” It cried before passing out. 

“Ling!” Lingliu cheered as it turned back to Yuu.

“Good job!” Yuu praised as he knelt down to pat Lingliu’s head as it came running up to him,“You did amazing,” Yuu continued. 

“Luck, Luckrane...” Luckrane called as it hesitantly flew back down towards the pair. Yuu frowned as he turned to look at his other Pokémon.

“Luckrane…” he said with a frown his victory becoming dampened as he looked at his second Pokémon and remembered how it had disobeyed him. While Yuu was distracted by his disobedient Luckrane, in another part of the forest Zuko and Matoic battled against their own opponents ...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Zuko and Matoic hurried after the two Halyodor they were chasing trying their best to keep up with the quick moving bugs. However, Matoic, who was moving considerably slow, was causing them to fall behind. Not too long after entering the thicket of the forest, Zuko and Matoic lost sight of the Halyodor as they entered a clearing within the forest. Zuko looked around intently, but still could not find the Pokémon they were chasing away.

“Damn it!” Zuko snapped as he and Matoic came to a stop, “I don't think I saw which way they- whoa!” Zuko exclaimed as the Halyodor came flying out of the bushes right at him. Zuko and Matoic both ducked, and when they picked their heads back up they saw both of the Halyodor had landed on the ground. Forebodingly, the Halyodor were now facing them; chattering angrily. Zuko, tired of the games, started to grunt loudly.

“Alright, Matoic looks like they want a fight, so let's give them one!” Zuko said balling his hands up into fists and taking a step forward.  Matoic nodded, and took a step forward as well. The Halyodor in front of Matoic began to shift back and forth as it chattered at Matoic. 

“Ma! Matoic!” It cried it as it began to lumber forward. Zuko watched with wide eyes as the Halyodor, instead of dodging the attack, moved backwards towards a bush of berries that sat near the edge of a stream that outlined the area in the clearing. Zuko watched as Halyodor grabbed one of the berries on the side of the path, and began to quickly eat it.

“Matoic, move faster!” Zuko commanded as Halyodor quickly turned back around and began to rush forward! Matoic, due to its armor-like skin, was moving slowly as it approached the Halyodor; this contrasted greatly with Halyodor who moved vastly quicker. Rushing forward, Halyodor used belch.

“Matoic!” It cried out as it was hit with the shockwave like attack, causing it to stumble backwards.

“Matoic!” Zuko shouted concern etching his face as he saw Matoic get hit, “Are you alright!?” He called out as Matoic slowly steadied itself. 

“Matoic! Ma!” It said with a nod of its head. Zuko could see its fighting spirit unwavered by the onslaught, and with that Zuko smiled.

“Good! Let’s try using Feint now,” Zuko said. Matoic nodded, and again began to move forward towards Halyoder once more; at this same time, Zuko watched as Halyodor charged just the same! As it started to move forward, Halyodor began to release a malodorous gas from it’s glands activating its ability Odor. A yellow colored gas began to spread throughout the field, and as Matoic got closer it inhaled the foul scent. Matoic, feeling the affects of Odor course through its body, started to stall in its movement not wanting to approach. Seeing Matoic stop, Zuko became alerted.

“Matoic? What’s wrong?” asked Zuko. Zuko, unaware of Halyodor’s Ability, wasn’t aware that it was starting to make Matoic react by not attacking. However almost in the same moment Matoic stamped it’s paws on the ground, and donned a determined look on its face.

“Matoic!” Matoic shouted as it became very angry. Suddenly, began to charge forward continuing Feint! In this moment, Matoic’s own Ability activated! Matoic’s ability ‘Fair Play’ took precedence; which in itself is an embodiment of its honorable temperament. This Ability allows Matoic when hit with any move, or Ability that gives it a status ailment or alters its stats, to reverse its effects! Pushing through Halyodor’s disgusting scent, Matoic was able to continue his attack taking Halyodor by surprise! The Halyodor fell to the ground as Feint collided with it. Zuko, unaware of the whole exchange, looked towards Matoic with praise.

“Good job Matoic!” Zuko cheered as Matoic landed a hit on Halyodor and caused it to fall backwards. “Keep up the good work and attack that stinky bug again!”

“Matoic! Matoic!” It cried as it began to lumber forward again. As Matoic advanced Zuko saw a blur out of the side of his eye. He snapped his head just in time to see the second Halyodor running towards them! 

“Matoic!” He called out in an attempt to warn his Pokémon but he was too late. The second Halyodor used String Shot wrapping Matoic up tightly in a silk binding. “They are ganging up on it! What kinda fair fight is that?!” continued Zuko. However, as String Shot binded Matoic it still attempts to triumph through the move’s effects to stall it’s Speed!

“Matoic!” It roared as it struggled against his restraints. However, as it attempted to release itself, the Halyodor hit with Feint suddenly jumped back to its feet and used Belch again as the second approached rapidly. Zuko watched helplessly as the second used Belch on Matoic as well. Matoic was attempting to break the tight silk around it but it was difficult with the oncoming assault from both sides. 

“Stop it!” Zuko shouted not sure what to do as he watched his Pokémon get ganged up on. Looking around, he desperately searched for something to throw-,despite Yuu’s scolding earlier in the forest of Route 1. This would prove to be a hard task for Zuko however; Route 2 was soft and marshy not filled with many rocks or hard things to throw right away. Zuko turned back to the battle, and watched as Matoic tried his best to back away, but it was too slow. Halyodor, with this superior speed, caught up every time Matoic tried to back away and escape. 

“Matoic…” Zuko said as a feeling of shame began to well up within him as he watched from the sidelines helplessly. His chest clenched as Matoic let out a strangled cry. Zuko couldn’t take it anymore and he rushed forward towards the two Halyodor. 

“Stop hurting it! Go away!” shouted Zuko as he flailed his arms about. He was expecting them to turn their barrage of attacks on him. The Halyodor froze for a second before they began to rush forward. Zuko raised his fist up, prepared to fight but was surprised when the Halyodor zoomed past him. One between his feet and the other brushing against his ankle.

Spinning around, Zuko watched as the Halyodor disappeared underneath the thicket of the forest. Zuko scowled and tightened his fist until his knuckles turned white and his palms began to ache from his nails digging into his skin. Anger welled up him as they escaped, but his attention was quickly diverted back to his Pokémon at the sound of Matoic let out soft pained noise. Zuko hurried over to the spot were Matoic was laying in the grass. Zuko quickly knelt down beside his Matoic who was groaning softly on the path. Reaching forward, he began to take off the silk bindings. 

“Ma...Matoic…” Matoic groaned in pain

“I know... you tried your best, but you just could not land a hit on those quick little bugs… but you never gave up” said Zuko as it started to pet Matoic, “I know that it doesn't feel good… I know you value your honor and being apart of such an unhonorable fight must have you feeling pretty down,” continued Zuko. Matoic looks up to Zuko, and nods its head. Quietly, Zuko continued to gently run his fingers against Matoic’s body. 

“I still think you fought well,” Zuko said kindly. “And with honor, I’m proud of you.” Matoic let out a soft noise that sounded much like a purr. 

“Here why don't you return to your Poké Ball,” Zuko said as he fished out Matoic’s Poké Ball from his pocket and expanded it. “We’ll head back to the group and get some of those potions Yuu has to heal you up.” He promised as Matoic returned. Sighing, Zuko pressed the button in the center of the Poké Ball before slipping it back into his pocket. Standing up Zuko turned around and began to head back the way he had come….

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Zuko! Yuu! You’re back!” Aang called out happily when both boys emerged from the forest at the same time. As they proceed back, they both looked a bit disheveled from chasing the Halyodor throughout the forest. “How did everything go?” Aang asked a little bit more wearily when he caught the look on Zuko’s face.

“...Not so good,” Zuko said honestly as he crossed his arms over his chest. “We lost our battle with the Halyodor… They ganged up on Matoic and he was just so slow that he couldn’t really counterattack”. 

“Sorry to hear that Zuko...” Suki said softly. 

“Though we’re not surprised,” Azula mocked. She and Pikachu were standing beside Aang and Lemaki, she and her Pokémon looked rather proud of themselves. Zuko scowled at his sister before snapping at her.

“Matoic still fought well and with honor!” He informed her. 

“I’m sure he did,” Yuu said gently trying to calm the other boy down. “My battle with Halyodor wasn’t an easy one to win; they’re fast little Pokémon and let out strange smells to throw off their opponents. The one I fought let out some kind of gas that seemed to make Lingliu fearful of it.”

“Ling! Lingliu!” Lingliu cried nodding in agreement.

“My fight with Halyodor was tough to!” Aang said causing Zuko and Yuu to look at him. “Lemaki had to put up a heck of a fight in order to defeat it as well!” Aang said.

“Lemaki!” Lemaki said with a nod of its head. 

“I’m glad I’m not the only one,” Zuko said feeling slightly better about the outcome of his battle. He felt embarrassed to be the only one who lost. 

“I find it hilarious that while you three were bumbling around struggling to pull out a win, Pikachu and I easily defeated the Halystungent- a much stronger opponent,” Azula said causing Pikachu to snicker. Aang and Yuu both frowned while Zuko gave his sister a nasty look. 

“Oh, stop boosting as if you easily defeated Halystungent,” Katara scoffed with a roll of her eyes. “I was watching your battle very closely Azula, and if I recall- you and Pikachu had to do a lot of dancing and dodging. Pikachu could hardly touch Halystungent before it pulled out that finishing fire move.” Azula and Pikachu’s arrogance drained away for a moment and was replaced by looks of annoyance.

“Pika! Pikachu!” Pikachu shouted as it pointed it’s finger at Katara. Narrowing her eyes, Katara scowled at the Pokémon. 

“Oh! Pikachu did a Fire-Type move, and I missed it? Dang. You know what’s interesting; only Huolian Pikachu can use Fire-Type moves, despite them being pure Electric-Types.” Yuu said as he turned to look at Pikachu.

“Is that not normal?” Azula asked.

 “For your Pikachu it is,” Yuu said with a nod of his head, “In the Kanto region, where Pikachu originates from, those Pikachu can not learn Fire-Type moves.”

“But your Pikachu is a Huolian Variant!” Rotom Pokédex said excitedly as it flips out of Yuu’s possession- and into the luscious air of the forest.

“I see,” Azula said as she turned to look down at her Pikachu with a new found interest. Pikachu looked up at Azula with a puffed out chest, and a proud look in its eyes. 

“That so cool that a Pikachu’s move pool can change from one region to another,” Sokka said looking at Pikachu with interest as well. 

“Not just Pikachu,” Yuu said turning to look at Sokka with a small smile. “There are many different types of Pokémon in Huoli that are variants from their original regions. There are variants aren’t just restricted to move type either, but the typing of a Pokémon can be subject to change as well; this phenomenon isn’t just restricted to Huoli either.”

“Really?” Aang asked turning to look at Yuu with wide eyes.

“Yes. In this world there are other regions, and in two of them specific- Galar and Alola- they also have regional variants as well,” Yuu said as he turned his attention back to Aang. 

“That sounds so neat,” Aang said with a sweet smile. 

“It certainly is interesting,” Azula said. 

“Yes, yes well as informative as this has been,” Katara began- getting everyone else’s attention. “I think it’s about time we head back and get these berries to Jyajy.” 

“That’s probably for the best,” Suki said with a small smile. As everyone else agreed with the idea, they all began to prepare to head back to the hotel to bring Jyajy back her requested berries. 

 

*****

 

After that, everyone agreed that they had enough berries, and action for the moment, and that it would be okay to head back to the hotel. First though Zuko released Matoic from its Poké Ball before asking Yuu for a potion. He sprayed Matoic down as he promised causing the Pokémon to sigh in relief. As they headed back towards the hotel Yuu and Aang lead the group as they softly talked about their battles. Behind them Sokka, Suki, Katara and Toph took up the middle while Azula, Zuko and their Pokémon pulled up the rear. 

“So something weird happened during my battle with Halyodor,” Yuu said his thoughts going back to Luckrane and it’s disobedient behavior. 

“What?” Aang asked as he glanced up at his friend.

“I lead with my Luckrane- deciding to use it in a battle for the first time, but try as I might it wouldn’t listen to any of my commands” said Yuu. Aang frowned.

“That’s odd… Maybe it just isn’t used to battling yet,” Aang suggested. 

“It seemed to battle pretty well against Lingliu. I don't understand why it wouldn’t listen to me” Yuu said.

“It probably just needs some time to adjust to you,” Aang said softly. 

“Maybe...” Yuu agreed softly. The rest of the walk was peaceful as they made their way out of the forest. They were just about to head back into town when there was a lot of rustling in the bushes. Yuu came to stop and tensed up expecting a wild Pokémon to jump out! He was in for a big surprise when two people,one man and one woman, clad in back with odd insignias on their chests jumped out instead!

“We hate to stop you,” the man said with a small smile. “You seem to be in a hurry and all- but we were wondering if you folks could stop and talk with us for a moment.”

“About what?” Aang asked with worry. He was getting a bad feeling from the pair in front of them.

“While you see we were just passing through the forest and so happened to stumble upon you all,” the woman said. “You didn’t notice us but he certainly noticed you oddly dressed lot and your talented Pokémon.”

“Your point…” Yuu asked as he stepped in front of Lingliu. 

“Our point is,” the man said stepping forward. “We noticed that Lemaki was pretty good at collecting berries and good at battling to protect em’ to. We also noticed that Pikachu has a… Fiery attitude that we could make use of.” He added causing Azula to lift her eyebrows.

“In fact we were thinking,” the woman said stepping forward as well. “That we would just save you all the trouble...and take all of your Pokémon off of you!” 

Chapter Text

“T-Take all of our Pokémon?!” Aang exclaimed with a frown as he took a step away from the mysterious pair. Reaching his hand up, he grasped Lemaki’s fur protectively. Yuu, becoming cautious as he started to form a realization over the logo on their clothes; a purple prism with a black line on it- forming a 'V'- that sticks out off of their black and purple clothing. Suddenly, Yuu frowned, and took a step forward as he eyed up the man standing in front of him. Beside him, Lingliu took a step forward as well. 

“We don't want any trouble,” Yuu said as calmly as possible.  

“But we do,” the Male Grunt said sweetly as she batted her eyes at Yuu.

“You two… You’re apart of Team Vekros- the organization that goes around stealing other people’s Pokémon,  aren’t you? ,” Yuu said as his attention shifts from the Female Grunt to the Male Grunt in front of him.

“That’s right! We go around taking Pokémon as we please- and all of these Pokémon are goinlg to be our next victims!” the Male Grunt declared as he took a step closer to Yuu.
“Wait- where have I heard that name before?...” ponders Aang.

“From when we were talking with my mother when she warned us of our journey” responded Yuu.

“It’s nice to know our exploits are that popular that we are in talks!” said the Female Grunt.

“These guys sound like a bunch of phonies!” proclaimed Toph.

“Suki! Stand back!” said Sokka as she grabbed Suki, and hid her behind him- away from the Vekros Grunts in front of him.

“Oh, Sokka! You are like my Hero💖! Please, Protect me!” said Suki.

“W-Well, I don’t have Pokémon… But I will protect you with my body!” responded Sokka.

“Yes, please!💖” said Suki as she blushes.

“Agh, please- can someone steal her?” asked Azula as she shakes her head in annoyance.

“Sorry- we only steal Pokémon I’m afraid. But we might make an exception for you if you hand over your Pokémon!” said the Male Grunt. Seeing this interaction play out, Aang starts to get worrisome himself.

“Katara, please stand behind me as well; I can protect you with Pokémon!” said Aang- finding new meaning in having the Pokémon with him for situations like this.

“I’m not helpless! I will fight them if I have to!” said Katara.

“O-Oh, okay…” said Aang- feeling embarrassed. He then looks over to his docile Pokémon- still chewing on berries even at a time like this. “L-Lemaki, let’s protect our friends!” . Lemaki then looks over, and sighs.

“Lemaki…” said Lemaki as he hops off Aang’s shoulder, and down to the ground to fight.

“Woah! Watch your mouth, bitch!” said the Female Grunt.

“Yea! We will mess all you guys up!” said the Male Grunt.

“Excuse me?!” said Katara as she begins to walk forward. However, Yuu stops her.

“Well, in case you haven’t noticed- there are more of us than there are of you. You are not taking anything from us” said Yuu.

“I don't care how many of you brats there are; my partner, and we do  plan on taking those nice little Pokémon from ya.” the Female Grunt said- giggling as she looked at the Male Grunt.

“Now; we can do this the easy way- which is you hand them over to us with no fuss- or we can do this the hard way and we can battle for em,” the Male Grunt offered with a bright smile plastered across his face. 

“We are very accustomed to doing it the hard way- so make your decision wisely before you get in too far over your head.” the Female Grunt added with a wink. 

“So you two idiots make it a habit of stealing?” Zuko demanded as he and Matoic moved from the back of the group to the front to stand beside Yuu and Aang. Behind him Azula and Pikachu followed quietly.

“No need to call us names!” the Male Grunt said his smile grows wider as he caught sight of Zuko. 

“It’s not a habit!” the Female Grunt said turning to look at Zuko with a similar smile, “This is our job silly boy!” 

“You sound so proud for a thief,” Katara spat as she looked at the pair in front of them with disgust. 

“We won’t let you take these Pokémon,” Aang said his frown deepening. “If we have to do it the hard way then we will!” The man let out a shrill laughter causing a shiver to run down Yuu’s spine.

“Don't say we didn’t warn you!” the Male Grunt bellowed as he pulled out a Poké Ball. “Let’s go, Haricus!”. As the Poké Ball opened up it revealed a small Pokémon that resembled a hare. It was covered in black, brown and white fur.

“Whoa look at those Pokémon, I don't think we’ve seen them before,” Suki said. Suddenly,  Rotom Pokédex flew forward out of Yuu’s pocket, and his screen changed to show Haricus’s picture and a reading of it’s stats.

“This is Haricus, the ‘ Little-Hare Pokémon ’. They are common all over Huoli, and are thought of as the Earth’s ‘little helpers’. It is a Normal-Type.” Rotom Pokédex said.

“Come on Lingliu!” Yuu said- the moment he spoke Lingliu jumped forward, and jumps down to meet Lemaki.

“Matoic. I know you just battled, but we gotta do this again! You ready?” asked Zuko to his Pokémon.

“Ma! Matoic!” responded Matoic.

“Hehe looks like fun!” The woman said as she then took out a Poké Ball . “Come on Gossipuwei- it’s time to play!” the Female Grunt cried as she produced a Poké Ball of he own and threw it out.

“Wait… That looks familiar...” said Yuu.

“This is Gossipuwei, the ‘Poison-Dew Pokémon’. The cotton it produces is wet- secreting a liquid similar to dew on grass. This dew is often brewed into certain teas in Huoli- after the pollutant component if separate out of it. Often found around tea houses, it is good at storing information- and make great gossipers” said Rotom Pokédex as he displayed the Pokémon on his screen for the gang to see.

“This Pokémon… I think… It is a Domestic Pokémon, correct?” asked Yuu.

“Yes! It traveled across the lands on the western winds from Galar to Huoli, and initially were Gossifleur!” said Rotom Pokédex as it zoomed around towards Yuu.

“Yes… I knew it. Gossipuwei I think I have seen in Pine’s notes… If the books are as accurate as I believe- it’s an old Pokémon of study for Professors and Domestication aficionados alike" said Yuu as he starts to ponder a thought in his mind, “It’s said to have laid dormant on Liyi Island as Gossifleur, however, due to the pollution levels of the area, it changed itself molecularity to adapt. At least- that is the theory” he continued.

"Theory?" asked Aang.

"It's mainly because the pollution- comparatively to other regions- is not that big of a difference... So... I wonder what caused the change..." ponders Yuu.

“Well, I thank you for the Pokémon lesson you fucking know-at-all, but getting an 'A' in Pokémon School ain’t going to stop you from getting poached!” exclaimed the Male Grunt. 

“I never thought I would say this, but I agree with the people trying to rob us. Step forward, Pikachu” Azula said. 

“Pika! Pikachu!” Pikachu said confidently as it rushed forward. 

“You to Matoic,” Zuko said- Matoic nodded as it began to move forward slowly. 

“Alright Haricus let’s see what you can do,” the Male Grunt said menacingly.

“You too, Gossipuwei!” said the Female Grunt.

“Goss! Gossipuwei!” It cried out cheerfully.  

“What, don't know what your own Pokémon is capable of?” Zuko taunted- causing the man to laugh.

“Well Haricus is a new addition to the team after all!” the Male Grunt said turning to look at Zuko with a broad smile, “We took it off some kid back in town- just like we’re going to take your Pokémon!” Yuu narrowed his eyes at the man as he took another step forward.

“Bastard,” Yuu said underneath his breath, “You’re going to return that Haricus to its rightful owner!”

“Well why don’t you take it back with your own hands?! Or are you all talk no action you blue-haired lab rat?” the Male Grunt asked with a mocking smile. 

“W-What?... Why you… Then I will” proclaimed Yuu.

“Well are we going to stand here all day or are we going to battle?!” The Female Grunt questioned demandingly. “The chit-chat is over! Matoic!” yelled Zuko.

“Pikachu, ready yourself” said Azula.

“Lemaki! Let’s go!” said Aang.

“Let’s show ‘em what we are made of, Lingliu!” shouted Yuu. The trainers all prepare their own battle stance as their Pokémon all chant out- ready for battle.

“Gossipuwei- use Dark Pulse on Matoic!” said the Female Grunt. 

“Gossi! Gossipuwei!” Gossipuwei cried as it released a dark energy that went straight at Matoic! Before Zuko could give his Pokémon a command the attack hit Matoic directly- causing Matoic to stumble back.

“No!” shouted Zuko.

“Don’t give up yet, Zuko!” said Yuu- cheering him and Matoic on.

“M-Mato!” said Matoic as gets back up, and widens its stance. Seeing Zuko struggle so early on, Azula scoffs.

“Pikachu, use your Thunderbolt attack on Gossipuwei now!” Azula said. Pikachu nodded, and lunged forward before releasing Thunderbolt from its cheeks. Gossipuwei quickly jumped to the side- just barely missing Pikachu’s attack. 

“Haricus- quickly, use Hyper Fang on that Pikachu!” the Male Grunt said. Haricus quickly ran towards Pikachu baring its fangs. Lunging forward, Haricus sunk its sharp fangs into Pikachu’s left leg.

“Pika! Pikachu!” It cried out in pain as it pulled away from Haricus and jumped away from the Haricus.

“Lingliu quickly use Rock Throw on Haricus!” Yuu shouted. 

“Matoic, use Feint on Haricus as well!” Zuko called out. Lingliu reared up as rocks began to materialize above him. A second later, the rocks shot forward right for Haricus! Haricus jumped back- missing Lingliu’s Rock Throw- before quickly dancing away from the slow moving Matoic.

“Damn it,” Zuko whispered under his breath.

“You got this, Zuko!” cheered Katara. Hearing all of the cheer from the other,s Zuko steels his motivation as he starts to contemplate another method of attack.

“Gossipuwei, use Foul Play on Pikachu!” The Female Grunt hollered. 

“Gossi! Goss!” It cried before charging forward right at Pikachu! Gossipuwei slammed itself into Pikachu- causing it to tumble to the ground.

“P-Pika…!” Pikachu groaned as it pushed itself back to its feet.

“Oh no! Pikachu took a big hit!” said Suki.

“That’s because Foul Play uses the power of the target Pokémon against it; if Pikachu took that big of a hit- then that means it’s the stronger Pokémon of the two” said Yuu.

“Oh really… Hm…” said Azula as she ponders what she just heard, “Pikachu, use Flame Charge!” Azula commanded- Pikachu began to charge forward as flames began to surround its body. Gossipuwei moved but not fast enough and Pikachu slammed its body into Gossipuwei as hard as it could.

“Gossipuwei!” It cried out as it hit the ground. 

“Damn you, you little brat!” The Female Grunt shouted as Gossipuwei hit the ground and fainted.

“Whoa! You knocked out that Pokémon in one hit!” Zuko said with wide eyes. 

“That’s because Gossipuwei is a Grass/Poison type Pokémon!” Rotom Pokédex said zooming between them siblings, “And Fire-Type moves are super effective against Grass-Type Pokémon!”

“No- it’s because my Pokémon is superior” said Azula- indifferent of Rotom Pokédex‘s words.

“Pika~... Pika...~” Pikachu groaned as it stumbled backwards, and purple lines appear underneath its eyes..
“Wait… Something is wrong with Pikachu…” said Yuu.

“It tooks like Gossipuwei left your dumb little Pikachu a gift!” the Female Grunt shouted angrily. “Your Pikachu has been poisoned! An effect from Gossipuwei’s ability Poison Cotton; it causes any Pokémon that physically attacks Gossipuwei to become poisoned!” the Female Grunt continued as she withdrew her Pokémon. 

“Shit...” Azula said under her breath.

“Here, Azula! I’m sure my mom packed an Antidote in my bag somewhere…” said Yuu as he goes inside his bag. Suddenly, he pulls out a yellow canister, and runs over to Pikachu. "Aha! You can always trust a mom to give you things you don't really need- until you really need 'em..." Yuu continues.

“What is that thing?” asked Azula

“It cures Pokémon of being poisoned; you just spray it on them, and the chemicals inside rids the poison from the Pokémon’s body” said Yuu as he uses the Antidote on Pikachu. As the spray enters Pikachu’s body the the purple lines underneath its eyes start to fade gradually.

“Really? That works similar to the healing properties of my waterbending” said Katara.

“Well, I’ll take your word for it” said Yuu.

“How do you feel, Pikachu?” asked Azula as she gazed into its eyes. Pikachu looks back up, and gave Azula a thumbs up as it smiled.

“P-Pika~...” it said in a satisfied tone. As this happens however, the Male Grunt yells in annoyance.

“That damn Gossipuwei of yours is useless! You know that?,” the Male Grunt said- snapping on its own partner.

“What?! Tell that to the higher ups that give us these shitty stolen Pokémon!” responded the Female Grunt.

“Higher ups?...” said Azula.

“Stolen?! So, none of those are yours!?” asked Aang.

“Haha! Team Vekros is a terrorist group; you think we go around wasting time actually catching Pokémon?” said the Female Grunt.

Supervoid often supplies us with their newest catches- but Grunts like us get the bottom of the barrel! Fuckin’ sucks!” said the Male Grunt.

“Supervoid?...” said Yuu- taken aback by the name they said. He attempts to trace faint memories within his mind to ascertain where he has heard that name before- but cannot seem to figure it out whatsoever

“Whatever- I can take these brats on my own! Haricus quickly kick that Pikachu while it’s down with False Swipe!” Haricus quickly lunged forward towards Pikachu and raked its claws against Pikachu’s chest not once but twice.

“Pika! Pikachu!” It cried out as it stumbled backward. 

“Lemaki, quickly use Fury Swipes on Haricus!” Aang said. Lemaki jumped forward, and slashed its claws into Haricus!
“Yes, Aang!” cheered Katara.

“Haricus!” It cried out painfully.

“Your foe is weak, Lingliu- quickly use Rock Throw!” Yuu commanded. Lingliu nodded and reared up again for a second time. Once more rocks began to materialize above it before shooting forward and hitting Haricus directly. 

“Har… Haricus…” it whimpered before falling forward and fainting.




-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“You stupid useless Pokémon!” the Male Grunt shouted as he thrust his arm forward with Haricus’s Poké Ball and returned it back to it’s Poké Ball, “You lot think your so smug?

"Well lets see how well you do against this! Drizzard, let’s go!” The Male Grunt hollered as he pulled out a second Poké Ball. The Pokémon that came out a Pokémon that looked like a lizard with blue and green scales.

“A second Pokémon?!” exclaimed Suki.
“That thing looks like a dragon! B-But, like a small version of one…” said Sokka. As he says this, Rotom Pokédex whips over to read the Pokémon.

“That is Drizzard, the ‘Drizzle-Lizard Pokémon’. Their scales can call upon the rain, and can often cast week long rainstorms if many Drizzard are around,” said Rotom Pokédex.

"Wait long rainstorms?” Aang said. Suddenly above them all, dark rain clouds began to collect quickly and moments later rain began to pour from the sky.

“It’s raining?!” Sokka said with a frown as he looked up at the sky.

“Geez- thanks, captain obvious,” Toph snapped as she crossed her arms over his chest. 

“That’s Dizzard’s ability!” Rotom Pokédex said helpfully, “Drizzle; when a Pokémon with this ability comes onto the field, it causes it to rain. And the phenomenon of rain boosts Water-Type moves but makes Fire-Type moves weaker.”

“Lovely…” Azula said with a frown as she looked down at Pikachu.

“This isn’t good for Lingliu…” said Yuu.

“Why?” asked Aang.

“Ground-Types and Rock-Types don’t mix with Water-Types; Water-Type moves are super-effective to Ground and Rock-Type Pokémon. And, Lingliu is both… so…if you can connect the dots…” said Yuu.

“Double-super-effective?” suggested Aang.

“Yes…”  Yuu said. “Lingliu come back, there’s not much more you can do right now!” Yuu called out, Lingliu nodded as it hurried back to Yuu’s side right as Yuu began to reach for Luckrane’s Poké Ball.

“Go Luckrane!” He called out as he threw out Luckrane’s Poké Ball! 

“Luck…” Luckrane muttered, appearing sceptical as he looks around the battlefield at the incoming rain. Luckrane wiggled its wings trying to brush off the excess water.

“You can switch out as many Pokémon as you like brat, but the result will be the same!” The Male Grunt promised with a wide mocking smile, “Dizzard, use Water Pulse on Luckrane now!” The Male Grunt shouted.

“Dri! Drizzard!” Drizzard shouted before opening its mouth and let out a forceful stream of water right at Luckrane’s direction, hitting it and knocking it to the ground!

“Luck! Luckrane!” It cried out.

“Shoot! That was a powered up Water-Type move… don’t worry Luckrane you got this! Use Gust on Drizzard!” Yuu commanded. However, Luckrane shook its head, and instead of using Gust like Yuu commanded it rushed forward and used Tackle instead slamming its body into Drizzard and causing Drizzard to stumble backwards. 

“T-Tackle?! But I didn’t tell it to…” said Yuu astonished by Luckrane’s actions.

“Well I can see what you meant by it not listening to you…” said Aang.

“Yeah…it is not uncommon for newly caught Pokémon to just be completely complacent with you but it is not like I maliciously caught it…is there something I'm missing?” questioned Yuu.

“During my journey in my home world, one thing that I've tried to stick by is trying to understand what others creatures are thinking; it really helps with working together,” said Aang.

“Huh… understanding what my Pokémon is thinking…” Yuu said softly to himself as he looks over to Luckrane.

“It’s not just you, Yuu all of us are still on the journey of understanding our Pokémon better, I'm just now grasping how they change us to! Just look at how enthused Lemaki is at battling now!” Aang exclaimed with a smile. Lemaki, however, looks back at Aang- looking anything but what he described.

“Lemaki…” it said- thinking that it would rather be doing anything but battling right now, but was doing it for the sake of its trainer.

“Speak for yourself Pikachu and I are a well oiled machine," Azula informed Aang.

“Pika!” shouted Pikachu confidently.

“Matoic and I have a good understanding of how we both feel… we both have a sense of-” Zuko began only to be cut off.

“Honor?” Toph suggested causing Sokka and Suki to chuckle.

Yes but you're making a joke about it!” Zuko shouted. Suddenly, the Male Grunt growls loudly.

“Well as much as we would love to hear all about how much you all suck as a trainers, I think I might steal that stupid bird from you as well!” The Male Grunt said. Suddenly, Luckrane looked over at the Male Grunt.

“Luck!” said Luckrane with an annoyed tone. Suddenly, Luckrane used Gust on its own towards Drizzard!

“Drizzard, dodge!” shouted the Male Grunt.

“Driz!” shouted Drizzard as it evaded the attack.

“H-Hey! Luckrane is moving by its own!” said Suki.

“I don’t know much about Pokémon but I feel like that isn’t supposed to happen,” said Sokka.

“Please don’t remind me…” Yuu huffed as he sucks his teeth.

“Yuu, let’s worry about that another time! Lemaki use Bite!” Aang said, Lemaki quickly dashed forward and lunged at the Drizzard.

“Drizzard counter with Aqua Jet!” The Male Grunt said quickly. Drizzard began to charge forward as water surrounded its body! Drizzard hit Lemaki at full force knocking Lemaki backwards. 

“Le- Lemaki!” It cried as it hit the ground soaking wet. 

“Matoic quickly-” 

“Dizzard, use Water Pulse on Matoic before its bratty trainer can give it a command!” The Male Grunt said heatedly. Drizzard nodded, and turned towards Matoic and released a strong stream of water from its mouth hitting Matoic right in the face. Matoic let out a pained cry as it feel over. 

“Can you still battle?” Azula asked turning towards Pikachu.

“Pi-... Pika!” said Pikachu shaking any doubt form its head as it stood upright. 

“Then use Thunderbolt!” Azula said. Pikachu nodded and released Thunderbolt from it’s round cheeks right towards Drizzard.

“Shit! Drizzard get out of the way!” the Male Grunt shouted just as Thunderbolt hit Drizzard causing it to cry out as it hurled backwards.

“That’s super-effective!” shouted Rotom Pokédex.

“Drizzard get up now!” The Male Grunt said quickly. However, as the Drizzard attempted to stand back on on its feet it suddenly collapses!

“It fainted!” Yuu shouted.

“Hmph! See? Even after being poisoned my Pokémon still came out on top,” Azula said proudly.

“Pika!~” said Pikachu in reverie as it rubbed its head, feeling flattered over Azula’s praised

“Damn it!” The Female Grunt cried, “We lost!” 

“Worthless!” The Male Grunt snarled as he returned Drizzard back to his Pokémon. “Come on, let's get out of here-”

“Not so fast,” Yuu said taking a step forward as he cut off the Male Grunt, “That Haricus doesn’t belong to you”. As he said that, the Male Grunt gritted his teeth as he narrowed his eyes at Yuu.

“Fine damn thing isn’t worth anything in the first place.” The Male Grunt said as he took out Haricus’s Poké Ball and threw it at Yuu, “Come on let’s get out of here!” 

“No, wait!” Aang said taking a step forward towards the Grunts but before long they both disappeared into the thicket of the forest around them.

“Leave them Aang Team Vekros are terrorists after all, we might have had a joint victory right now but there's no telling what following them could lead to…” said Yuu.

“Fine…” Aang sighed heavily feeling annoyed that they were just letting The Grunts get away.

“We need to attend to Haricus and the other Pokémon,” Yuu said as he moved forward to kneel beside the wounded Haricus. Yuu then began to rummage through his bag as the others gathered around. He pulled out a Potion, and began to administer it to the hurt Haricus.

“Har~” it moaned as the Potion stung its wound. However, it started to show a more relaxed expression as the pain began to subside. Yuu then handed Zuko and Aang a Potion for their Pokémon as well. Yuu then looked over to Luckrane who steadily watched Yuu as he holds onto Haricus endearingly. Luckrane, who still felt resistance to being with Yuu, starts to wonder about what kind of person his new trainer was.

 

*****

 

“I’m glad you guys were able to get rid of those creeps,” Suki said as she inched closer to Sokka. “Didn’t you say they were apart of some group that steals Pokémon Yuu? Gosh how many other people have they done this to?” she asked. 

“Yeah I did,” Yuu said as Haricus began to heal, “And historically way more... you can be sure they’ve done this to lots of people. Like I said earlier those two weren’t just some random thugs wandering around the forest they’re apart of a group of people named Vekros and they're terrorists”

“I remember your mom bringing them up when we were at your house,” Aang said turning to look at Yuu.

“Yeah, mother warned me about them,” Yuu said softly thinking back to his mother's words.

“Well, just how bad are they? I feel like we should know more about them…” Katara said.

“Well I think it would be best to speak with Professor Pine about them… he might know more than me,” said Yuu.

“Why him? I thought he just focuses on Domesti-whatevers” said Sokka.

“Domestic Pokémon” Yuu corrected.

“Right those!” said Sokka.

“Anyway, the reason why he would know is because of something really sinister… something tied with Team Vekros that is also connected to an outbreak that has been happening recently,” said Yuu.

“Huh? An outbreak?” questioned Aang.

“I didn’t wanna talk about it much- to not deter you from journeying with me... but sometimes Pokémon go rampant, as if they gone mad, and kill trainers too weak to fend them off,” Yuu said quietly.

“Gosh- thats sounds horrible!” Suki said with a frown.

“I know. And that phenomenon is tied to Team Vekros…” said Yuu.

“So that’s what you mean by how they do way more than just steal Pokémon…” Azula said.

“It's starting to make more sense as to why your mom was so worried… we definitely need to know more about them,” said Aang.

“When we return to Youchuan Town, we'll contact Professor Pine,” said Yuu.

“Right," Aang said.

“And in the meantime those people could just be anywhere? Oh we definitely all need to have a way to defend ourselves for sure!” Suki exclaimed.

“This must be one of the reasons why Professor Pine advised us to all have Pokémon…” Katara said causing Yuu to nod in agreement.

“I don't like that you're hiding stuff from us,” Toph said with a scowl. "This should have been one of the first things you told us."

“N-No! I’m… it just has taken so long to go on this journey and this kind of info is what has stopped me. I don’t know much but I’m sorry I have not properly warned you of the dangers that face us,” Yuu said feeling guilty.

“Don't feel too bad about it,  without you we wouldn’t have the manpower we have currently and we wouldn't have been able to get this far,” Zuko said as he looked over to Matoic, “And if we do happen to run into them once more, we’ll take them on again- and win.” concluded Zuko. Hearing this, Yuu started to smile.

“Thank you” said Yuu.

“I like that idea Zuko!” said Sokka.

“It will be smart to steel yourself as well as we gain more knowledge,” said Katara.

“I wonder what Pokémon I’ll find for myself…” Suki said.

“One just as beautiful as you!” responded Sokka with a slight blush.

“Ah!!!!💖 No Pokémon could be as handsome as you~💖” Suki gushed.

“Agh! The funk of their flirting is super-effective towards me… I’m fainting…” said Zuko as he starts to sway back and forth.

“Zuko! I’ll carry you if you are feeling woozy,” Aang said with worry.

“N-No, I was just joking…” Zuko stammered as his face began to turn bright red.

“That was a joke?” asked Azula.

“I thought it was funny,”  Yuu chuckled as he began to stroke Haricus’ fur softly before gently scooping up the somewhat frightened Pokémon into his arms, “Come on, let's get going before we can get ourselves into anymore trouble,”  he continued, the group all agreed.



-CHAPTER END-