Rise to Champion
Ever since he was a kid, Red had always dreamed of traveling the world. Collecting and meeting new Pokemon friends. From the moment he was capable of conscious thought he loved
Pokemon and knew he wanted them in his life as much as possible. Those thoughts? They were leading him right up to this very moment. The moment he'd been waiting for his entire career as a Pokemon Trainer. The battle for the title of Champion.
It was safe to say that it would be an upset for Green if Red were to win. Green hadn't had the title for long, perhaps barely long enough for his Pokemon to be in any shape to actually fight. His Pokemon seemed in tip-top condition, but mentally? Well, he felt like they were still struggling from the fight here. Like they'd already had to fight five powerful trainers and now they had to face off against another one. Despite the fact that Red was familiar to them. It was safe to say that Green was looking a little desperate too. Down to one Pokemon while Red still had two. Charizard had taken to the field and was flying around in sharp turns as a barrage of seed-shaped bombs erupted from one of the three heads that made up Exeggutor's consciousness.
There was hesitation in Red. He could see not just how mentally worn down his opponent's pokemon were but...just how worn down Green was. He was making sloppy calls. He hadn't had time to rest and it was obvious just how tired his opponent was. This wasn't the kind of victory Red wanted...but if he threw the match or tried to lose, he wouldn't be able to forgive himself. If he did that, he'd be letting his pokemon down. They'd fought hard to get here too. Green would have known he was holding back and he wasn't sure he'd forgive him either. So, he uttered the words that would likely end this.
The words were spoken just as Charizard was getting ready to do a sweep over the Exeggutor. Twisting his long neck upward, he sprayed a gout of flames down onto the palm tree-looking pokemon. The heads reacted with a shout of agony before they fell to the ground. Charizard gave one mighty swing of his wings upward and landed upon the ground, releasing a victory roar into the air and spouting flames off harmlessly.
The crowd cheered. Reporters stormed the field. Green fell to his knees, exhausted and dejected. For Red, it felt like an empty victory. For his pokemon, it was a victory well earned. To Green? A crushing defeat. It was clear on his face as he walked away. Just before the swarm of reporters blocked Red from going after Green, he saw his rival slam his fist into the wall of the doorway before disappearing from sight.
Not all victories felt good.
It was only after the reporters had thoroughly gotten as much of his life story from him as he could that he was able to get a moment of reprieve. A small part of him wished he would have to face a trainer who had been coming right after him and lose the title. If only because he felt awful about having defeated Green...but then again, if he'd lost after that, he was pretty sure Green would have wanted to kick his ass even more. Defeating him and then going on to lose?
He reflected on the questions that had been asked. People had tried to get him to talk badly about Green. But he told them the truth. "Our pokemon fought hard. We both fought hard. But in the end, I think I only won because I was still riding the adrenaline high from my matches with the Elite Four." It was really all he had to say on the matter. When he got to the locker room after having his name put into the Hall of Fame, right next to Green's, he found his rival there waiting for him.
The TV in the locker room showed the empty stage where a celebration was still happening. Challenges were closed for the day even though there weren't anymore people waiting to challenge the Elite Four. Green and Red had just been neck and neck in their race to the Indigo Plateau. Green had beaten him there...and then Red had beaten Green in the fight for the finish line. There was a small party happening on the final stage, all of the Four were there as well as Professor Oak, a bunch of reporters, and fans who had been in the stands.
"You should be out there celebrating. I would be if I were you." Green muttered bitterly, his eyes still focused on the screen before him.
Red shifted awkwardly, frowning. "Well, you're not me. I...don't care much about all the atten--"
"Can it, loser. If you didn't want the attention, why'd you show up in the first place? Why couldn't you just let me have this?"
"Y'know what? I don't wanna hear it, actually." A flash of his green eyes, anger and tears evident in them. "Smell ya later, Chumpion."
And Green was gone. It was like a punch to the stomach. He hadn't even given him a chance to explain why he wanted it. But, honestly, now that he had it? He didn't even know why he wanted the damn title. He thought it would be fun. He figured 'Champion' was the highest title a trainer could achieve! He wanted to be the best that he could be...for his pokemon's sake. For his mom's sake. He didn't think of himself as a role model or anything like that, of course. But he wanted to do right by the people and pokemon in his life. All the gym leaders he'd defeated and all the friends he'd made along the way. He'd done just that. Red had become the Champion. The strongest trainer in Kanto and Johto.
So why did he feel so empty? So hollow? This wasn't what every other win had felt like. He'd been excited and happy but right now he felt about the opposite of that. He felt dejected, like this wasn't much of a win. He didn't necessarily want to be in the spotlight but now his name and his pokemon were ingrained in the Hall of Fame forever. He left the locker room feeling as though he shouldn't have even bothered coming here. But this was his responsibility now.
This was the life of a Champion.