I did some reading recently on the Wikipedia. Apparently Halloween isn't a global thing. Whoops. Oh, well. Those of you who aren't familiar with it can look up Trick or Treating on the Wikipedia for more info if you need it. Anyway, let's get started.
Behind a Mask
It was that time of year. No, not time for hearts and valentines, but for ghosts and candy. Fall had befallen the Kanto Region, and Halloween was just in a few hours when our heroes arrived in Pewter City. Having fallen victim to another ploy by Team Rocket, Ash, May, Max, and Brock were all running late to visit Brock’s family.
“I’ve been away for a long time,” Brock told the group as they hustled down the road to the familiar Pewter Gym and the house where the breeder’s family lived. “I wanted to take all my little brothers and sisters trick-or-treating since we’re so close by.”
“I think we deserve a break, too,” May added as they came to the door. “I mean, after all the hard work Ash and I have been putting in to our training.”
“I guess a little break couldn’t hurt,” Ash chuckled. “It’s not like we have anything really better to do.”
“Pika!” the small Pokémon chimed in from his trainer’s shoulder.
“Just as long as I can get some candy,” Max scoffed. “Brock’s little brothers and sister better not be the only ones trick-or-treatin’.”
Lola, Brock’s mother, opened the door and quickly drew the travelers inside her home. Sitting the group around her living room, she called Flint, Brock’s father, and the rest of her children into the living room to talk to Brock. The flood of squinty-eyed children quickly overwhelmed the Pokémon Breeder, and began begging of stories from his travels. A tired man, also with squinting eyes stepped into the room following the children, and began leaning of Lola.
“Now, now,” Lola warned. “You all should go change into your costumes if you want Brock to take you trick-or-treating!” Her voice had an over-the-top quality that May found slightly unnerving.
“Oh, gosh!” Max leapt up. “I still don’t have a costume!”
“Don’t you still have the costume you wore in the Festival of the Hero from Cameron Castle?” May asked her brother, thinking he lost it.
“I’m glad I was allowed to keep mine,” Ash smiled. “I like being able to dress as Aaron the Hero.”
“No way,” Max responded to his sister’s question. “That prince outfit is just goofy. Not something I want to wear on Halloween.”
“Alright,” May sighed, “I guess we’ll have to go get you a costume, then, won’t we?” She stood up and began to leave with Max darting ahead of her out the door.
Ash stood up and began to follow her. “Can I come, too?” he asked. “You might need my help to make sure Max doesn’t drive you crazy.”
“Pikapika,” the Electric-type added.
May smiled at Ash’s kind offer. “Sure, Ash,” she accepted. Turning to Lola and her family, she said, “We won’t be long. We’ll meet you back here and then we can go trick-or-treating.”
Lola smiled and sent the three off to get Max a more acceptable costume for him.
“Why don’t you like that prince costume, Max?” May asked as they walked down the streets in Pewter, looking for a costume shop.
“I looked like something that you would dress up as,” Max shot back. “I’d rather go as a Pokémon.”
“I used to dress up as Pokémon for Halloween, Max!” May growled.
“Yeah, ones like the Skitty you dressed up as last year!” Max egged his sister on.
“The last time I went trick-or-treating, I went as Professor Oak,” Ash laughed.
“The last time?” May blinked curiously.
“Professor Oak?” Max choked down laughter.
“The last time I went trick-or-treating was before I became a Pokémon trainer. Every year since, I haven’t. Mostly because I’ve been on the road, but I guess I’ve also grown out of it,” Ash thought. “I guess I’m too old to trick-or-treat.”
“Well, I hope I never get to old,” May looked at the late-afternoon sky. “I love Halloween! You meet so many different people, and you can’t tell who they are because of their masks. It’s like Romeo and Juliet! So romantic!”
“I still can’t believe you went your last year as Professor Oak,” Max snickered quietly.
“Professor Oak is really popular, especially with kids. That year, Gary also went as Professor Oak,” Ash remembered. He got depressed. “Gary always would wear the same costume as me, and a better one, too. I remember a Halloween a long time ago…”
“Here we are, honey!” Delia told her son as she walked him into the party room by his hand. She stepped up to her teacher and greeted him.
“Delia!” A younger and darker haired Professor Oak gave the woman a hug. “I’m so glad you could make it!”
“You better be,” Delia joked, “after that homework you assigned today. I only got it done so I could take Ash to this party.”
“Well, I had to throw something, what with the convention in town,” the professor prattled on.
The dark haired boy tugged his blue arm from his mother’s hand. “Mommy,” he whined, “can’t I go to the party?”
Delia leaned over and smiled at her small child. “Of course, Ash,” she smiled. “Make sure you wear your mask,” she warned him, placing her hand on the mask that hung around his neck. She moved the Pokémon Mask over his face, much to his chagrin.
“Squirtle…” he said disappointedly. “It’s really hot, though, Mommy.”
“You wanted to go as a Pokémon,” she told him. “I said that a ghost or a prince would be much cooler, but you insisted on a Pokémon, so here you are.”
“Alright…” he gave in. “Can I go play with the other kids, now?”
“Run along, dear,” Delia smiled as her little Squirtle ran into the room where all the children were standing around, playing games.
Standing and returning to her professor, she continued their conversation. “The battle showcase was really informative,” she said to him. “Where was that man who was about my age from?” she asked, blushing.
“That’s a no go, Delia,” he laughed. “He’s married. Oh, and its Hoenn.”
Ash, May, and Max found themselves at a costume shop in Pewter as the sun began to set around the town.
“Alright!” Max dashed in. “I can’t wait to pick out a costume!”
May sat her back in her lap as she sat down on a bench, with Ash following and sitting beside her. She unzipped her pack and took out the dress she was talking about earlier. She stood and asked the shopkeeper if she could change into her costume here. The kindly woman agreed, nodding behind her bifocal lenses. Ash quickly leapt up and asked if he could change into his costume, too. The woman told him where the changing room was and sent him away.
“Can someone help me with these?” Max called for help. The woman stepped out from behind her counter and stepped over to help Max pick out a costume.
Ash took his costume out of the pack. He remembered the great time he had wearing it. Even though it was a hero’s outfit, the cape and general dark color of the costume gave it a fiendish quality. “Perfect for Halloween,” he decided.
After changing, he opened the door and stepped out of the changing room, hitting his door against another. Ash closed his door as May closed hers as well. The girl was dressed in her pink dress she wore during the festival. “How do I look, Ash?” May spun around for him, showing off how she turned her bandana into a bow and the Beautifly pin on the back.
“That looks really nice, May,” Ash complimented her.
“Thanks, Ash,” May giggled. “You don’t look bad yourself.”
“Princesses and Heroes just travel together, I guess,” he chuckled.
The changing room to the left of Ash opened up as a green figure about Max’s height stepped out, dragging his green tail across the ground. “Treecko!” said the Pokémon in Max’s voice.
“That silly costume’s not gonna fool anyone, Max,” May placed her hands on her hips and spoke down to her brother.
“It’s not supposed to, Sis, or people will be giving me Pokéblock instead of candy,” Max responded indignantly.
Pikachu, who had been waiting for everyone to get done changing ran up to Ash and leapt to his shoulder. “Pikapi!” he nuzzled the hair under Ash’s hat.
“Well, I still think it’s a stupid costume,” May crossed her arms, pouting.
“Hey, don’t say that,” Ash spoke up for Max. “Just because you don’t like the costume doesn’t mean it’s stupid.”
“Ash?” May looked at him with a confused look on her face. “What’s up?”
“It just reminds me how Gary treated me and a friend of mine one year…”
Young Ash was proud of the costume his mother made for him. She had stayed up late many nights at her sewing machine, getting his Squirtle costume ready for this big night. She made the tail herself out of old socks she dyed blue, and dressed Ash in light blue sweat clothes under the shell she made out of paper-mâché. He proudly paraded around the room, talking to the other children, who were in awe of how well made his costume was compared to their own.
Except for one child, and his group, who were already preoccupied.
“What are you supposed to be?” the young Gary Oak asked a child from behind his store-bought Squirtle mask.
“A Shuppet,” the child responded. “My mommy made this costume for me.”
“A Shuppet?” Gary said with disdain in his voice. “What kinda Pokémon is a Shuppet?”
“It’s a Ghost Pokémon,” the child spun its costume around, causing the bottom of the black sheet the costume was cut from to raise up, exposing its legs for a moment. “That makes it really good for Halloween!”
“There’s no such Pokémon as Shuppet!” Gary denounced it. “And I’d be the one to know. My Grandpa is Professor Oak.”
“Yeah, kid,” a girl dressed as a Clefairy from Gary’s gang taunted the Shuppet. “You don’t know who you’re messing with.”
“It is so a Pokémon!” Shuppet shouted at him. “I saw my daddy fighting one!”
“You’re just being a liar!” Gary announced, shoving Shuppet to the ground. The child fell on its end, and began to cry though from inside the dome mask made especially for the costume.
“You look like a big Hershey Kiss,” Gary taunted, laughing. “What a stupid costume.”
“Hey, leave ‘em alone!” Ash leapt between Gary and Shuppet. “Why’d you shove that kid down?”
Gary didn’t recognize Ash in the costume, but Gary’s attitude made his own identity apparent. “This punk said that there’s a Pokémon that I don’t know about! Me!” He pulled the mask off his face, revealing his spiky brown hair and angry mood. “Gary Oak!”
Ash kept his identity concealed. “How are you sure that there isn’t such a Pokémon as…”
“Shuppet,” Shuppet identified the costume.
“…as Shuppet! Maybe it’s from a faraway place, and your Grandpa just doesn’t see if often!” Ash defended Shuppet. He always wanted to catch Gary on something Pokémon. Even though he wouldn’t reveal himself before the other Pallet children, everyone would talk about the Squirtle that upstaged Gary.
Instead of attacking the facts, Gary attacked the costume. “I guess you’d have to defend that kid, seeing as you both have equally crappy costumes,” he laughed.
“Hey, my mom worked hard on this costume!” Ash growled. “Take that back!”
“Fine,” Gary snickered. “Your costume is worse than that fake Shuppet Pokémon!”
Ash shoved Gary back into the girls who grouped themselves behind him. “Take that back, Gary!”
Gary began to whimper and cry. “I-I’m gonna tell the Professor on you!” he shouted, his eyes beginning to water.
“Go ahead and run, then,” Shuppet stood up. “Let everyone know that Gary Oak is a tattle-tail!”
Gary swallowed his tears. “I-I’ll get you both back for this! You’ll see!”
May listened to the story with peaked interest as she, Ash, Pikachu, and Max walked back to Brock’s house in costume. “Did Gary ever get you back for that?” she asked.
Ash laughed. “No. To this day, I don’t think he realized it was me.”
“That’s good,” May sighed.
Max was getting disinterested in the story. “We’re almost back at Brock’s, so we can go trick-or-treating,” he announced as they turned the corner around the Pewter Gym.
However, the home of the Pewter Gym family was dark. Ash walked up to the door with Pikachu on his shoulder. He knocked on it, and tried to twist the knob open. “It’s locked,” he announced.
May rolled her eyes. “If it was open, we’d be standing inside by now,” she griped.
“Hey, what’s that?” Max picked up a piece of paper that had been halfway slipped under the door. He adjusted his glasses and read it. “It’s in Brock’s handwriting. ‘My family wanted to go trick-or-treating before you all got back. I’m sorry I couldn’t stall them later. You guys go have a good time, and meet us back here later.’”
“Oh, well,” May sighed. “That just means we can take our time instead of being rushed around by a mob of kids.”
They group began down the road into a cul-de-sac close to Brock’s house. They saw children, all in costume, being escorted by their parents from house to house. Max produced a paper sack from his backpack and headed to the first porch they came to on the row.
“Pika…” the Pokémon tugged on Ash’s hair.
“I’m not going trick-or-treating, Pikachu,” he told his partner. “I’m too old for it.”
Pikachu sighed and looked longingly at the door.
Ash groaned. “I’m not going, but if you want to, you can,” he said. He took a small plastic sandwich bag from his backpack and handed it to Pikachu, who quickly ran up behind Max and stood at the door to get candy.
Ash turned around to see May. “Aren’t you going?” he asked.
“Well, uh…” May span her index fingers around each other, “I was actually hoping that you’d tell me more of that story with you and that Shuppet Kid. I guess I’m too old to do something as childish as trick-or-treat, too.”
“Alright,” Ash smiled, glad that someone was interested in his story. Max and Pikachu waved them over to the next house. “Now, where was I…?”
“Are you okay, Shuppet?” Ash asked his new friend as he helped it to its feet.
“Yeah, thanks…” Shuppet said. It tilted its head. “Um… what kinda Pokémon are you and that rude Gary kid dressed as?”
“Oh, it’s called Squirtle,” Ash said, proud that he knew something about Pokémon that someone else didn’t.
“Okay, then, Squirtle, nice to meet you!” Shuppet held out a hand. Ash took it and shook it.
“Nice to meet you, too, Shuppet.” Ash looked around at the party. The rest of the children were making Gary the center of attention, as he told stories about how great he was in comparison to his rival, whom he left nameless. “Hey, you wanna go trick-or-treating, Shuppet?” asked Ash.
“My Mommy and Daddy told me to stay here,” Shuppet responded. “I don’t think I should...”
“C’mon,” Ash pressured. “We won’t be gone that long. We’ll be able to get lotsa candy, too.”
Shuppet smacked its lips from the inside of the mask. “I do like candy…”
“We gonna go?” Ash hopped up and down.
“Okay! Let’s get candy!” Shuppet agreed. They snuck out the back door of the party room and began walking down the street together.
“Um… where are we going, Squirtle?” Shuppet asked.
“Haven’t you ever walked around Pallet Town before?” Ash asked his friend.
Shuppet shook no. “I’m from far away. I don’t even know what this place is called.”
“Pallet Town,” Ash laughed as he took his friend by the hand and led it down the street. Shuppet almost tripped over its feet, but managed to stay up. “Are you okay?” Ash asked.
“Y-Yeah,” Shuppet stuttered. “I’m alright.”
“Good,” Ash smiled, “my house isn’t that far from here. We’ll go and get some pillow cases so we can get candy.”
“Yummy!” Shuppet squealed. Ash was sure to hold onto Shuppet’s hand, afraid that he’d lose his new friend in the darkness.
They stepped into the front lawn of Ash’s house. Ash tried to open the door, but it was predictably locked. Ash smiled. “C’mon, this way,” he told Shuppet. “Help me climb this tree and I can get in my window.”
“Okay,” Shuppet agreed. The child tried to lift Ash and help him scramble up the tree. Unfortunately, the costume made him to heavy and awkward to lift. “Why don’t you just put me up there instead?” Shuppet suggested.
“Alright,” Ash smiled. He put Shuppet on his shoulders and held the child up as they sat with their legs dangling off Ash’s shoulders. Shuppet grabbed the tree deftly and began to climb after Ash helped it up. Ash’s gaze was distracted by the shiny, black dress shoes that revealed themselves as Shuppet climbed upward. The boy watched as his new friend scrambled up the branches over to the window that lead into his room.
“Hey, Squirtle!” Shuppet called from Ash’s window. “I’m gonna climb into your room and go unlock the door, alright?”
“Alright!” Ash called back and went to stand expectantly in front of his door.
“Hey!” Max interrupted the story. “Which way do we go now?”
Ash and May snapped out of the story to find themselves at a crossroads. “I don’t care, Max,” May sighed. “Let’s just go some way so we get going again.”
Max pulled out the PokéNav. “It’s 9:32PM now,” he said, clicking buttons on the small device. “If we go this way, and hit a new house at the rate of about one a minute,” he pointed down the road, “We can loop back around to Brock’s House by ten.”
“Pika pika!” the Pokémon cheered as Ash exchanged the fourth full sandwich bag with an empty one.
“You’re gonna share with me, Pikachu,” Ash smiled to his best friend.
“If you had the PokéNav, then why’d you want to ask us?” May looked down at her green little brother.
“You and Ash have just been talking the whole time,” Max pushed his glasses up. “It’s kinda weird.”
May blushed and waved her brother off. “We’re just talking about Halloweens from the past,” she smiled.
“Whatever,” Max sighed. “Going around at Halloween in a costume and not trick-or-treating is weird enough. I’m not gonna get you to rub anymore of your weirdness onto me.”
“Hey, I’m a Pokémon Trainer, and as such, I’m too mature to do something as childish as Trick-or-Treating,” May retorted.
“Hey, guys,” Ash interrupted, “let’s calm down. This is just like what happened with me and Shuppet that year.”
“Oh, geez,” Max rolled his eyes. “Let’s just get walking.”
“Do you remember what you argued with Shuppet about?” May asked as they began down the road Max had pointed out to them.
Shuppet took its time opening the door, but when it did, Ash was thankful.
“Thanks, Shuppet,” Ash said, walking into the darkened house. Shuppet left the lights off when it opened the door. The Squirtle dashed up the stairs to his room and flicked on the light. Shuppet followed quietly inside.
“So…” Shuppet asked shyly, “this is your room?”
“Yeah, isn’t it awesome?” Ash wasn’t above showing off. “I have so many cool toys to play with.”
“But I thought we were going to get candy?” Shuppet huffed.
“Oh, I almost forgot!” Ash laughed. “Sorry.” He took the pillow off his bed and removed the pillow from its case. He tossed the empty case to Shuppet. “Here’s yours, and…” he said, turning to the decorative pillow that sat next to it, “…here...is… mine…” he grunted, tearing the pillow open. He shook the stuffing out of it. “There. Now we can go trick or treating,” he said proudly as the last of the white fluff exited the now-empty fabric. Ash hopped off his bed and looked at Shuppet. The child was looking at Ash’s collection of Pokémon figures.
“Wow…” Shuppet said, distracted from Ash as he began to walk out the door to his room. “I didn’t know there were so many different kinds of Pokémon.”
“C’mon, Shuppet,” Ash called as he began down the dark stairs. He quickly ran down the stairs and turned up to see Shuppet walking slowly behind him, still at the top of the stairs. “Hurry up, Shuppet!” Ash called. Shuppet began running down the stairs, but stepped on the end of the costume and began to tumble, Fortunately, Shuppet was already mostly down the stairs when it began to fall, and Ash was there and caught it in his arms.
“Are you okay? You almost took a bad fall,” Ash said, concerned over his new friend’s well being.
“I-I’m okay,” Shuppet shuddered in Ash’s arms before breaking away. “I shoulda remembered what my Mommy told me about running down stairs. Thank you for catching me, Squirtle.”
“No problem,” Ash smiled from behind his mask. “Now let’s go. I really want some candy.”
The duo left Ash’s house and began to walk down the road, stopping at each house to knock on the door and say, “Trick or Treat!” Sometimes they were greeted by older couples, who would generously drop a few small candy bars into their sacks. Other times they met single parents who would prattle on to the children about how cute they looked in their home made costumes. Sometimes, grumpy individuals, whether older grouches or older students who stayed in that night away from the noisy kids who would grudgingly drop one tiny jaw breaker or spicy candy in, while wanting them to buzz off. Although Ash sometimes ran off without saying anything, Shuppet always bowed and said “Thank you very much,” to the people who offered candy.
“You should be more respectful to the people giving us candy, Squirtle,” Shuppet warned him.
“What?” Ash stopped and turned to his friend. “I said ‘Trick-or-Treat’?”
“They might get bitter if lotsa kids don’t say ‘thank you’, as well,” Shuppet said. “My mommy told me so.”
“Well, I want to make sure I can hurry up and get the most candy I can,” Ash took offense to Shuppet’s claim. “If I say ‘thanks’, that’s more time lost.”
“But isn’t the people’s feeling more important than getting more candy?” Shuppet fired back with a moral claim. “If that wasn’t true, you’d have eaten candy while Gary picked on me!”
Ash was taken back. “I…I’m sorry, Shuppet. I was just being stupid.”
Shuppet patted him on the back. “It’s okay. Just as long as you do it next time,” his friend giggled.
“Make sure you say ‘Thank you’, Max,” Ash warned as the bespectacled lad ran to the next house with Pikachu trailing behind.
“I will!” he shouted back to Ash.
“You learned some good manners from Shuppet, huh?” May asked, nudging Ash playfully.
Ash grinned. “Yeah. We had a blast that night. We got so much candy. We even traded some candy and little toys between each other afterwards.”
“So, what cool stuff did you get?” Ash asked, turning the light on as they sat in the living room in Ash’s house. He and Shuppet had turned their bags over into the floor to get a better look at what they got. They made sure to keep the piles separated, guarding their gains from the other child.
“Oh, I got some Reese Cups!” Shuppet giggled, organizing its candy by type. “These are my favorites!”
“I like these,” Ash picked up a rolled up candy. “They’re called ‘Smarties.’ I wonder if they’ll make me smarter than Gary.”
“You already are,” said Shuppet. “To me, at least.”
“Thanks, Shuppet,” Ash said. He reached down and tossed a Reese Cup at his new friend.
Shuppet saw it land near the others. Being stunned for only a second, Shuppet turned to Ash. “Yay! Thanks, Squirtle!”
“Don’t mention it,” he grinned behind his mask. “I don’t get compliments that I’m better than Gary very often.”
“It’s true,” Shuppet crawled over to Ash. “That Gary’s just a jerk. So stuck up on his Grandpa’s position. My daddy’s important, too, and I don’t get a big head.”
“Really?” Ash was surprised at his wondrous friend. “What’s your dad like?”
“Oh, he’s a great Pokémon Trainer!” Shuppet stood up and made aggressive poses. “They’ve been saying he’s gonna become a Gym Leader soon!” Shuppet turned to Ash. “What’s your daddy like?”
Ash sat down and looked at his candy. “I… I don’t know my dad,” he said.
“Why not?” Shuppet walked over and sat next to Ash. “Don’t you have a daddy?”
“M…My dad left my mom before I was born,” he sighed. “He just left. I don’t know what happened to him, or what he was even like.”
“Oh…” Shuppet looked down. The child picked up a small green Politoed toy from Ash’s candy and sat it in front of him. “These always cheer me up,” Shuppet said as it held its finger down on the end of the toy. “Sproing!” Shuppet said as comically as possible as the toy hopped through the air and landed in Ash’s candy again.
Ash chuckled. “Thanks, Shuppet,” he smiled from behind his mask.
Shuppet stepped over to its candy and began looking for a small toy as Ash picked up the Politoed. “Sproing!” he said, mimicking Shuppet.
“Oh…” Shuppet said, searching. “I don’t seem to have a little Politoed toy…”
“Well, we can share mine,” Ash offered. He picked it up, and with a little force, broke it in half down the middle. He tossed one half to Shuppet and sat down, trying to get his half to jump.
“I don’t think it’s gonna jump so good anymore, Squirtle,” Shuppet laughed as it set it’s half down on the ground.
“It’s gonna work,” Ash grinned. He pressed his finger on the middle and caused it to jump diagonally. “See? It may not jump straight anymore, but it can still jump.”
“You’re right,” Shuppet giggled.
Just then, the door slammed open, and a distressed Delia came in. “There you are, young man!” she stepped up to Ash. “What are you doing here? Why did you leave the party?”
“Are they in here?” A man with a receding hairline stepped in, with a woman dressed in orange coming in from behind. The woman carried a small baby in her arms.
Delia turned to the man and blushed. “Y-yeah, here they are.”
“Mommy, Daddy!” Shuppet ran to the parents. “I got to go trick-or-treating with Squirtle! We got lotsa candy!”
“I thought I told you not to leave the party,” Shuppet’s mom said to her child. “We were so worried.”
“It’s my fault,” Ash stepped forward, glad that his mask was covering his shamed face. “Gary was picking on Shuppet and I thought we’d get away from him by going trick-or-treating.”
“I’m just glad nothing bad happened,” Shuppet’s dad sighed.
“I got lotsa candy!” Shuppet hopped up and down hyperactively. “You want some?”
“Let’s get it together and go,” Shuppet’s mom said.
“Do you have a bag we can take it in, Miss?” Shuppet’s dad asked Delia.
Delia, blushing, walked into the kitchen, saying “I’ll get a bag for the candy so your ‘Shuppet,’ as Ash calls ‘em, doesn’t have to take my pillow case.” Delia reentered the room with a plastic shopping bag and helped Shuppet put the candy in the bag. Shuppet kept the halved Politoed clutched in the palm of its hand.
“There,” Delia smiled. “All in there.”
“Thank you, Misses Squirtle’s Mom,” Shuppet bowed respectively. Shuppet held the bag in one hand and the toy in the other.
“It’s no problem, sweetie,” Delia smiled at the child.
“Come on,” Shuppet’s dad said. “We’ve got to get going. I have an early day tomorrow.”
“Okay, Daddy!” Shuppet began out the door after its parents.
“Hey! Wait!” Ash ran up to Shuppet stopping it at the door.
“What is it?” Shuppet tilted its head.
“You said you live far away from here, right?” Ash asked.
“Well, one day, I’m gonna become a Pokémon Trainer,” Ash said proudly. “Maybe we’ll meet someday on the road. Make sure you keep that toy with you, so I’ll be able to find you when we meet again.”
“But how will you know it’s me?” Shuppet asked. “I haven’t seen your face or even know your name!”
“You’re my friend now, Shuppet,” Ash put his hands on Shuppet’s shoulders. “If we ever meet again, I’m sure it’ll just click.” He backed down. “Hang on to that Politoed toy just in case, to make sure it really is each other. Hey, maybe we can have a battle some day!”
“Honey!” Shuppet’s mom called from out the door.
“I’ve gotta go,” Shuppet turned from him. Shuppet reached out to his hand and held it for a second, before dashing out the door. “Bye, Squirtle! Until we meet again!”
“B-Bye! Until we meet again, Shuppet!” Ash called, startled and slightly confused about what had just happened.
“Is that my good pillow?” Delia picked up the empty pillow Ash had used to collect his candy.
Ash took off his mask and put it gently on the couch. “Yes, Ma’am,” he answered glumly. “Now I’m in even more trouble…”
Delia looked at her son and cracked a smile. “Give me a Baby Ruth and we’ll call it even,” she said.
“Deal!” Ash smiled, tossing his mother a small candy bar from his stash.
“Now you better get up to sleep, young man,” Delia shook the candy bar at him as Ash began putting all the candy in the pillowcase that Shuppet used. “I need to do that homework that the Professor assigned instead of day dreaming like I did this afternoon before the party.”
“Okay, Mom!” Ash ran up the stairs to his room, taking his candy. His mind was filled with the thoughts of his new friend Shuppet, and the possibility that they could meet in the future.
Ash and May walked down the road slowly, the waxing moon overhead lighting their way this Halloween night. Max had long ago gotten frustrated with his sister, his best friend and the boring story. He met up with Brock’s family and decided to travel with them instead, insisting that it was “better company than a bunch of dead weights who don’t even get any candy.” Pikachu, on the other hand, was tuckered out, and took a convenient place in Ash’s backpack to take a nap.
“That was a nice story,” May commented, standing closer to Ash than usual. “Have you ever met Shuppet during your journey?” she asked him.
“I’ve met a few people that I thought could be Shuppet,” Ash sighed, “but I never seem to get that feeling that I did when we were together.”
“Are you sure you’ve never gotten that feeling?” May cocked her head to the side and blinked.
“Well, sometimes when all of us- I mean, you, me, Max, and Brock are all talking together, I kinda think about how that seems like how Shuppet and I talked in the past.”
May giggled. “D-Do you still have that half of the Politoed toy?” she asked shyly.
“Yeah,” Ash said, taking his pack and opening the front pocket. “I keep it with all the stuff I’ve gotten from my friends.” He reached in and felt for it under Misty’s handkerchief and Brock’s silverware. “There it is,” he said, pulling it out. He handed it to May. “See? I can still make it jump.” He put his backpack back on to let Pikachu continue to sleep and kneeled to the ground. May handed him the toy and watched as the boy pressed the tip with his finger, causing the thin toy to hop into the middle of the road. “Sproing!” Ash said comically, causing May to giggle. Ash ran over and picked it up and turned back to May, who was reaching inside her fanny pack.
“Good, because I remembered your promise,” May smiled, pulling out a half of a small Politoed toy. Ash felt his eyes widen as May leaned over and pressed her finger against the end of the toy. “Sproing!” she called out as the toy leapt over to Ash.
“M-M-May?” Ash was aghast. “Y-Y-You’re Shuppet?”
A young May had taken off her mask and placed the small halved toy inside. She carried her bag of candy in her opposite hand as she skipped alongside her parents. “Trick-or-treating was fun!” she giggled. “Can we come back here next year? I can’t wait to go trick-or-treating with Squirtle again!”
“May, honey,” Caroline told her as she rocked the infant Max in her arms, “I don’t think we’ll be on the road as much as we used to be…”
“Does that mean Daddy’s a Gym Leader now?” May was exasperated.
Norman nodded to his young daughter. “That’s exactly what it means. The former Gym Leader retired earlier today, and he’s passing the title down to me since he has no children of his own.”
“That’s great, Daddy!” May smiled. She felt sad after a moment. “Does that mean I’ll never see Squirtle again?” she asked her father.
“I’m sure that you’ll meet him again, someday, May,” he reassured his daughter, picking her up and placing her on his shoulder.
May giggled, and her face turned red slightly. “Good. I kinda liked him.”
“Does my little girl have a crush?” Norman chuckled. “I think you’re too young to have a boyfriend, May.”
“I know,” she sighed. “But if I meet Squirtle again, I’m gonna ask him if he wants to be my boyfriend!”
“Fine,” Norman laughed at his daughter’s lack of maturity on the subject. “If you meet Squirtle again, you can ask to him if he’ll be your boyfriend.”
“Yay!” the small girl shouted.
“I was such a kid back then,” May giggled to herself as she and Ash walked down the road. Ash had stopped trying to fit the pieces together when he saw that they made a perfect fit. He also heard what May said she and her father talked about on their way.
“Why didn’t you ever ask if I was Squirtle?” Ash asked his friend sheepishly.
“Probably for the same reason that you never thought that I was Shuppet,” May smiled at him. “I thought of Squirtle when you’d show up to protect me or other people, but I never clicked the two together.”
“Man,” Ash looked up to the moon, “I never thought we’d meet again.”
“But we did, Ash,” May smiled at him. “And because we hid behind our masks so long ago, we never realized it.”
“Well, I guess we did have our battle, then,” he chuckled, “when you beat me in North Petalburg.”
“Oh, you know as well as I do that that one didn’t count,” May giggled, rubbing his hat against his head. “We’ve never really had a conclusive battle…”
“You wanna have it right now?” Ash asked.
“In our costumes?” May asked, half laughing. “I thought the Hero was supposed to protect the Princess, not attack her.”
“I guess you’re right,” Ash said, stepping off the road to sit on a large rock off to the side. May followed him and sat next to him.
“I’m glad we were able to meet again, Squirtle,” she said to him, resting her head on his shoulder.
Ash was surprised, but said nothing. “I feel really bad for saying this, but I never thought you were a girl back then,” he said, flushed with embarrassment.
“I guess you weren’t able to tell,” May laughed, still resting her head on him. “When I climbed into your room that night, I looked around for a bit and found out that you were a boy just then.”
“Did you remember anything from my house when you were there before we left for the Battle Frontier?” Ash asked her, looking over to see her content face.
May shook her head, keeping it on his shoulder. “Everything looked so different than from when I was little. I didn’t even recognize your mom.”
“I guess that’s true,” Ash grinned. “I guess that kid your mom held was Max, then, huh?”
“Yeah, Max was only an infant when we came around,” May thought fondly. “He was also much better behaved,” she added, causing the boy to chuckle.
“Didn’t you have something you wanted to ask me?” Ash said slyly, tapping May on her head.
“What do you mean?” May looked up.
“I can’t believe you’re as dense as I am,” Ash chuckled. “Remember the story you just told me? What you and Norman talked about?”
May recalled very quickly, and her face turned bright red. She also leapt from the rock very quickly and backed away from Ash. “I-I remember,” May laughed. “Of course I do! How could I forget?” She stood there laughing for a moment, obliviously.
“Well? Are you?” Ash looked at her, a mix of irritation and mischief in his eyes.
“I-uh-I’m going to!” May shouted. “Maybe I should have accepted that battle instead…” she muttered under her breath.
“What did you say?” Ash asked her, standing and facing her.
“You’re making this so hard, Ash Ketchum!” she flustered. “Maybe I don’t want you to be my boyfriend anymore!” she spat.
Ash looked down. “I see…” He began to turn down the road. “I-I guess we better get going back to Brock’s…”
“Wait, Ash,” May stopped him. “I didn’t mean it like that... did you want to be my boyfriend?”
Ash blushed. “Why don’t you ask me and find out?” he said, his knees shaking.
May grinned at her friend. “Okay,” she smiled. She spun around, causing the edges of her dress to rise from the ground. She faced him again with as cute a look on her face as she could put together. “Squirtle,” she asked shyly, “would you like to be my boyfriend?”
Ash stepped closer to her and took her by the hand. “How could I refuse?” he smiled into her eyes. “Especially after Shuppet’s become such a beautiful girl.”
May felt her eyes light up and her face heat up. “Well, to be fair, I didn’t think Squirtle would grow up to be so handsome and brave,” she rested her head on his chest.
Ash was unsure what to do in this situation. He wrapped his hands around May’s head and held it protectively.
“You’ve never held a girl before, have you,” May asked, slightly annoyed.
“Well, no, not intentionally,” he blushed.
She removed his arms from her head and stepped back. “That’s alright,” she sighed. “If I waited this long to meet my dream guy, then I can spend a little more time getting him even more perfect.”
Ash was taken by surprise again. “Perfect Dream Guy?” he gulped.
“You just need more practice in how you’re supposed to treat me, that’s all,” May smiled.
“Does that mean…?” Ash trailed off, turning deep red.
“Well, come on, Boyfriend,” May took him by the hand and began leading him down the path to Brock’s house. “It’s getting late, and you should never keep a lady out passed her curfew.”
“Max is gonna have a field day when he figures out,” Ash said as they walked down the path, side by side and hand in hand.
“We’ll just have to try to keep it our secret,” May smiled over to him.
“Wait,” Ash stalled her. He reached into his backpack and took out one of the bags of candy Pikachu had collected. “I want to make sure we get this started on the right foot,” he said, opening it up. He took out a Reese Cup and handed it to the girl. “I remember what you said about those. About them being your favorite.”
May blushed and slowly wrapped her arms around Ash. “That’s very sweet that you remember. Thank you very much, Squirtle.”
“Y-You’re welcome, Shuppet,” Ash smiled, not moving an unsure how to hold a lady.
May let him go and turned down the road. She unwrapped the Reese Cup Ash gave her and popped it into her mouth. She took Ash by the hand and began to lead him down the path back in to town. “Y’know, Ash,” she said, “even though I didn’t go trick-or-treating this year, I ended up with something very sweet.”
Ash squeezed her hand back. “I guess I got a treat this year after all,” he laughed.
Ash and May had been reunited with a friend they both had a chance meeting with in the past. And little did they know that that friend was each other. All because of the masks they wore long ago.
This was inspired by a meeting my girlfriend and I had on Halloween, at least four years before we actually "met". She was trick-or-treating in a home-made Charizard costume that year, and I remember when she came by (I had actually mistaken her for a boy at this time, and thought nothing of it. I was impressed by the costume).
Fast foward to last summer, when we're talking about trick-or-treating on our way to going swimming. I mention someone dressing in a home-made Charizard costume one year, and she tells me that she went trick or treating in a home-made Charizard costume. We check dates (she had moved to and from where we lived at the time between that Halloween and the present), and I was amazed. We had met eachother many years before we ever actually met. That's where the inspiration for this story came from. I hope you enjoyed it. Read and review and whatnot.