"HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY!" A group of people cheered as they placed a beautiful cake in front of a ten year old girl. It was a bright day in Nuvema Town, a gentle breeze singing in the trees and grass, perfect for a birthday celebration. The pre-teen sheepishly pushed her long rose colored hair back out of her face, and the flickering flames atop the candles reflected in her violet eyes. With a deep breath, she blew as hard as her lungs would allow to extinguish the fire dancing on each of the candles placed on her cake.
"You're finally old enough to travel with your very own Pokemon!" An excited teen practically leapt at Amy giving her a rough hug, her long orange hair almost flying behind her. On her shoulder, a small blueish serpent with a big nose and round amber eyes loosely draped it's long thin tail around the teen's neck, keeping it's balance atop it's wildly moving perch.
"I know! I'm so excited and nervous, I can't wait until tomorrow~" Amy chimed happily to her best friend.
She casually sat in the chair next to Amy, crossing her legs and her once energetic cyan eyes sharply changed, becoming listless and dull. "Yeah, it just sucks we can't go today, I've been looking forward to this for a while." She stated indignantly.
"Melody..." Amy began, her cheerful demeanor suddenly becoming more reserved, and almost guilty.
Too late Melody had realized she opened her mouth without thinking once again. "B-But it just means the wait will be well worth it! Right Aurora?" She sputtered, acknowledging the serpent residing on her shoulder. It carefully maneuvered it's body closer to Amy, nuzzling against her cheek affectionately while emitting a sort of purr.
"H-Hey, that tickles Aurora!" Amy giggled, the white fins on each side of Aurora's head which were surprisingly soft grazed her cheek each time Aurora rubbed her head against it.
"Anyway...." Melody started, as she began slicing off a piece of cake for Amy and herself each. "This will be the last night either of us will sleep in a house for a while, might as well have fun!"
The party went on through the whole day, and even though it was only family members, aside from Melody and her mom, everyone had so much fun. Although Melody and Amy couldn't officially leave for their journey until the following day, they still fantasized about where they were going to travel to next, what kinds of Pokemon they would meet along the way, all the battles they were going to have, and eventually becoming the Pokemon League champions. Melody decided to spend the night at Amy's house so that they could leave as soon as they woke up, so her mom had brought everything she would need for the journey.
"I bought you a new pack to keep all of your things, it's durable and light-weight because I know you don't like your movement restricted, it has your sleeping bag, a dual-purpose thermos for hot and cold drinks, a flashlight, your pajamas....." Melody's mom kept looking through the backpack checking off the essential items contained within, but despite her cheery tone Melody could tell she was holding back tears. "... and of course," She pulled out a wallet and handed it to Melody. "Some Poke to get you started. Now don't spend it all on food, or clothes, or accessories and whatnot, this will only cover you until you can earn your own from battles. And another thing-"
"Mom, I'll be fine. It's not like I'm going away forever, I'll still call you every once in a while." Even though she would never admit it, Melody was probably going to miss her just as much as she was going to.
Tears started forming in her mom's eyes, and her expression could only be described as a proud mother who doesn't want to let her baby go. "You'll..... you'll call whenever you get to a new town?" She croaked.
Melody smiled, and hugged her mom tighter than she ever had in her life. "I promise."
"Oh! One more thing!" Melody looked curiously as her mom reached into her pocket, pulling out a pokeball. "Your... your father gave this to me before he left to Kalos to give to you for your journey." Her already watery eyes glinted with a new sadness.
"Dad? Really...." Melody took the pokeball and hugged it to her chest. "It's been almost eight years since I last saw him. I know he's really busy in Kalos with his job, but he could at least come home every once in a while instead of just calling you. I haven't even heard his voice-"
"I-I know honey. I wish he was here too, but he's doing this for us." Her mom lifted Melody's chin up to look into her eyes with a soft warmth, silently signaling that things were going to be okay.
Melody shook off her tears, fiercely rubbing her eyes to dry them. Her usual cheerful spark returned, and she gave her best grin.
"That's my girl." Her mom beamed. They both hugged each other once more and said their goodbyes, and as Melody closed the door to Amy's house, she knew it would be the last time her mom would be able to hug her for a very long time.
"How'd it go?" Amy was waiting expectantly in her room with Aurora as Melody said farewell to her mom. She had been laying on her bed reading one of her manga books, and when Melody walked in she carelessly placed it open beside her. Amy then noticed the pokeball clutched in her best friend's hand, and her eyes lit up with excitement. "Oh my gosh, you got another pokemon?! What is it? Let me see!"
Melody couldn't help but laugh as her usually well composed friend was nearly bouncing off the walls in anticipation, almost sending Aurora flying off the bed. "Woah there, hold your Horsea! I haven't even seen it yet either, I just got it!" She lifted it up about chest height, and pressed the release button. A bright light spilled out of the ball, and what had emerged was a tiny blue bird with cottony wings. "Oh wow, a Swablu!" Melody gasped, excited to finally meet her new Pokemon. It landed on the bed beside Aurora and introduced itself to her.
"Awww~ What are they saying?" Amy cooed, then turned towards Melody.
Ever since Melody was very young, she had the ability to understand Pokemon. She didn't know how or why, but because of that many people avoided her as if she was cursed. Not that she actually ever told anyone directly, but they would always see her talking to Pokemon and call her a freak. Melody almost lost hope of ever having a friend until she met Amy. She thought it was cool, and was the only person to accept Melody for who she was.
"Just the usual 'Hi, how are you? What's the plan?' Blah blah blah...." Melody replied. She walked over to the bed and petted Swablu. "Now, I gotta think of a name for you, huh?" She stood up again, her brow furrowing as she became lost in thought.
Amy decided to help out as well. "Hmmm.... Marshmellow?"
"Nah, too feminine. He's a boy." Melody answered, her face still locked in focus.
"Okay, uhhhh...... Cloud?"
"Hmmm.... I dunno..."
"Maybe..." Melody's eyes narrowed slightly more, before shooting open with realization. "Oh, Orion! It's a star constellation." She turned back towards Swablu. "What do you think, you like Orion?"
Suddenly, he flew up towards Melody and landed on her head, chirping happily.
"Ahaha haha! He looks so cute on you~" Amy busted out giggling uncontrollably. "So that's a yes?"
Melody laughed. "That's a yes." She gently reached up and pet his wings that billowed around her head like a plush cushion. "Welcome to the team, Orion. Our journey begins tomorrow!"
Later that night, after the girls had changed into their pajamas and crawled into Amy's bed to sleep, Melody was vaguely aware of a dull pain coming from her right knee. "Heh.... no sleep tonight either, huh?" She groggily whispered to nobody in particular. Cautiously, she slowly lifted her body up into a sitting position on the bed, shifting the blankets so that Amy wouldn't feel them tugging at her and wake up. Aurora and Orion were nestled up together at the foot of the bed, still sound asleep. Checking to make sure she hadn't disturbed Amy, Melody turned her gaze to the window right beside the bed. The luminous moon dappled the bed and Melody's face with shimmering beams of light through the glass, almost making everything it shone upon glow a pale blue hue. She was snapped out of her trance by that gnawing pain creeping from her leg, and she gently lifted the blankets away from the lower half of her body, eyeing a white band that hugged around her knee and part of her calf. Being mindful of her bedmate, Melody carefully slipped the band down her leg, exposing an old but painful looking scar. Her eyes locked onto the scar, and though it was partially in the shadows, she could see it more clearly than she would like. Her face became twisted up with emotions of agony and fear, as a distant memory held within her nightmares flashed in her mind.
"... Mel?" A sleepy voice stirred.
Melody snapped out of her flashback and hastily pulled the band back over her scar, and positioned her leg as if she was trying to hide it. "O-Oh! Don't worry about me, I'm j-just too excited to sleep-" She was startled when she suddenly felt a hand touch her arm.
"You're clammy..... and sweating," Amy spoke softly, her face almost expressionless. She sighed and lowered her gaze. "It was your nightmare again, wasn't it?" Her voice was barely a whisper.
Melody sighed, becoming reclusive and bringing her knees to her chest, hugging them there. "You know I don't like to talk about it..." She huffed, a distant look washed over her eyes. Instead of a responce, silence met her ears. It dragged on for a while, until finally Amy spoke.
"I know that's not the reason you stayed behind."
Melody's face scrunched in confusion, but as she turned to face Amy, she remained quiet, voicelessly urging Amy to continue.
"You said you didn't think you would be able to make your journey on your own with your knee still messed up, but I know you just used that as an excuse." Amy quietly said, hugging her blankets up to her chin. "You didn't want to leave me behind. I appreciate that, really, but I feel like I held you back when you could have been out there having fun and battling people."
Melody grew hot with embarassment. Crap, I didn't think she would have figured it out! She debated trying to insist Amy was wrong and that it really was the truth, but she already knew Amy wouldn't buy it. "Look.... don't ever think you held me back from anything, because that just isn't true. I stayed because I wanted to share my adventure with the one person who means more to me than anyone else in the world."
"But-" Amy began, guilty helplessness pooling in her eyes.
"Listen to me," Melody turned to fully face her best friend, the moon casting her body in shadows creating a silhouette. "Even if I would have gone four years ago, it wouldn't mean nearly as much to me if you weren't by my side every step of the way, experiencing everything with me." Though her face was dark, Amy could still see the serious tone glinting in her eyes, and all of her worries and doubts began to slowly fade from the back of her mind.
Wiping her eyes with her sleeves, she smiled sheepishly. "Okay, alright....... I believe you."
"Good!" Melody beamed, almost triumphantly, and gripped Amy in a tight hug. "Now, I don't want to hear any more talk of this, tomorrow is the beginning for both of us, and I don't want to sour an exciting day." With that, she pulled the blankets back over her and hastily laid back into her pillow, looking expectantly at Amy.
"Okay, mom!" Amy rolled her eyes, and followed Melody's lead.
"Hey! That's my line!" Melody jeered, maybe a little louder than she intended.
"Girls! Go to sleep, now!"
The shrill motherly tone hissed from the room right beside theirs where Amy's mom slept, which instantly silenced both of them. After a few almost fearful moments, they glanced at each other and stifled their giggling so they wouldn't get yelled at again. Then they settled down and finally began to drift off to sleep, until the light of dawn would awaken them to the adventure that lay awaiting them.