Black. How so many people could come upon the same conclusion normally baffled the 12 year old soon to be greatest trainer in the world —or so he claimed— Nail Hamrin, though he had since grown accustomed to his fate and had learned to accept it. At first, he thought the name had been a reference to his jet black hair; that belief flew out the window the second he got his head shaved and the name still stuck around with him. No, what initially seemed to be a mystery was all so obvious. It had every bit to do with the throbbing of his bruised left eye, which, with respect to his drunkard of a father, was polished preferably every weekend, or whenever it was he got his hands on some loose change.
To put things into perspective, Black wasn’t the wealthiest of campers. He managed to obtain a seat in Jubilife’s trainer school just barely, after the charming Nurse Joy had agreed to pay off the other half of his admission fee. She took responsibility of looking after him at the Pokémon Center, where he spent most of his day watching as the many pedestrians strolled on by, demanding to have their Pokémon healed without the slightest bit of gratuity. Subtle exposure to the outside world did him good. Black saw many different types of Pokémon on a daily basis, a list which only expanded when taking into consideration the fact that the Global Thermal was located just down the street. There, trainers could trade their Pokémon with neighboring regions through the advancement of modern technology. Lately, trainers had been trading away their beloved partners without knowing what they were going to receive in return. This method of “wonder trading” truly plagued Black. Why an incompetent trend had surfaced in the first place was beyond him.
Nonetheless, the many sights he uncovered day by day truly made his life one worth living, even if it meant returning home every night for his bedtime “massage”. Black truly loved Pokémon much like anyone else his age, and truly wished to obtain one of his own from the so-called professor in Twinleaf Town, but that would cost money, and even Nurse Joy had her limitations. Besides, even had she managed to muster enough to pay off for a starter Pokémon, he would have still required consent from a legal guardian in order to receive his trainer card, and a signature of the sorts for all the paperwork that followed thereafter. Becoming a trainer at the moment, was out of question.
The thought of attending school was becoming more and more pointless with each passing day, as all they really taught Black there were the proper procedures a beginning trainer should take to raise his Pokémon with the utmost efficiency. Even then, his love for Pokémon kept him from considering his future, whatever that would turn out to be. According to various sources, there weren’t many requirements that needed to be met to become a custodian, and apparently Pokétch almost always had openings for such a position.
Working there would have been nothing short of a luxury for a boy of Black’s caliber. While some argued the building was relatively small to be the headquarters of a successful company, it still managed to dwarf many others located about Jubilife, and rumors stated that their employees were often the happiest, though those were the ones who went in wearing shirts and ties, not jumpsuits.
Pokétch was known all around the world for their unique watches. Black uncovered several privileged children at school who wore several on each wrist, whatever the point of that may have been. Perhaps it was another bizarre trend he would never quite be able to comprehend. Either way, it didn’t matter much to him. It wasn’t like those kids were his friends anyway; in fact, they were the complete opposite. Their perception of him stopped mattering the second they realized he wore the same clothes every day.
Unfortunately, for the time being, it was back to reality. The hour hand had inched its way to the very peak of the clock, which meant Black had to return home with the hope his father hadn’t had anything to drink before he could lock his bedroom door. Waving goodbye to the precious Nurse behind the counter, Black made haste through the super cool rotating door out front and scratched the back of his shaved head as a cool breeze awaited him. For most others, roaming the streets of Jubilife out at night may have been frightening, but Black welcomed the lonesome just as he did any other time of day. There wasn’t really much to it.
As he progressed along the corner, Black tucked his hands away into the side pockets of his tattered trousers, and just before he received the time to curse the cold weather, a faint howl sounded in the distance, which swam away quickly with the wind. Paying no mind to it at first, and for the most part, believing it to have been apart of his imagination, Black carried on, crossing the street and passing along the construct of his school, until the very same noise once more became apparent, only this time, much more precise in dexterity.
It was now clear to the boy that it had belonged to a Pokémon; what type he did not know, but his love for them led him around another corner, before the figure of a grounded jackal was seen lying beside a dumpster in an alleyway. It was a gruesome sight to take in all at once, with a pool of blood supporting what was soon to be a lifeless corpse. Black’s eyes widened and he felt his spine shiver, however, this time not a result of the frigid temperatures, but rather from the fear of what he had just witnessed.
Springing to life, Black hurried to the side of the poor creature and being wary of its injuries, lifted it carefully, before heaving it onto his shoulder in a hurry. Next came a full out sprint that Black himself had not known he was capable of, and then another rotating of the super cool rotating door and finally, the worrisome expression across the face of the pink haired maiden. As Black’s own emotions possessed him, he found himself spending the night on the Center couch, which oddly enough, was much more comfortable than the “bed” of newspapers at home.
Black awoke the next morning to a soft whisper in his ear and a delicate sway to his shoulder. As his eyes blinked about the room, they focused faintly on the amused expressions belonging to the several visitors, and Nurse Joy helped him to his feet and proceeded to escorting him down the hall and into where the Pokémon he had rescued the night before was resting.
Through a clear window pane, Black peered down upon the recuperating jackal as it continued its slumber. The poor thing had a mask essentially strapped to its face, with several cords encompassing its entire being. Nurse Joy explained that it had very faintly escaped death, and that those wires were the very things keeping it alive at this point.
"It's a Riolu," she explained. "Quite a rare sight to see, especially in this part of Sinnoh. My best assumption would be that it drifted apart from the Global Terminal, for whatever reason."
Black's father was not the least bit pleased by his son's absence the other night. While he wasn't particularly worried, it did bother him that he was unable to unleash his built up anger. When Black returned home that night, he received his father's wishes in full.
Visiting Riolu took up most of the day. By the end of the week, the Pokémon had regained most of its stamina, and it was able to play in a nearby backyard with Black. It seemed to have taken a liking to the boy almost immediately, something Nurse Joy found very mysterious.
During their many rounds of playing fetch, Black uncovered the sheer quickness Riolu was able to exhibit. Most of the time, it'd have already caught the ball before it landed.
As the bond between the two strengthened, Riolu often tried to follow Black home, much to the dismay of the Pokémon Center's medical staff, most especially Blissey. Riolu consciously waited for Black to return at the end of every school day. They settled on meeting up by a swing attached to a tree.
Around the same time Black graduated from the academy, Riolu was emitted from the Pokémon Center. While many of his peers received starter Pokémon upon completion of their schooling, Black was unable to meet expenses, though Nurse Joy instead offered him a Pokéball to keep Riolu in, and taking advantage of his father, Black forged the signatures he needed to receive his trainer's card. Under the legitimacy of the Pokémon league, Black was now a registered Pokémon trainer. Cheating the law in such a manner prompted Black in deciding Riolu's nickname.
Law's existence was kept a secret from Black's father, for all the right reasons. Black himself feared his partner would be taken away from him had he found out, so he kept Riolu sealed within its Pokéball for the duration of the night.
With the necessity of attending school now away with the wind, Black had much more free time on his hands. However, instead of spending it at the Pokémon Center like usual, he instead offered Law the utmost importance. The two could be seen knocking down soda cans in the park or simply playing tag with the entire city as their playhouse. On one of these instances, Law was spotted by Black's father as he was stuck in traffic.
That night, Black received another one of his father's patent massages. He had never owned a Pokémon in his life, so there was clearly no reason for his son to.
"Do you think life is all about having fun?" He inquired, raising his fist up above his head. "Do you think life as a Pokémon trainer will do you any good? That it will fill your pockets with money or even get you a woman who'll stick around long enough?"
Black had never known that Pokémon Centers treated human boys his age. It was quite the expression, though Nurse Joy maintained a grim expression for the duration of his stay. Having Law by his side, with a switch of roles, made Black happy.