Thank you all very much for your reviews. I appreciate them, and I suppose I will answer some of the questions now.
*Orion*: Thanks for reading. I’m glad you like the way I combined them, given how both are rather crucial for me to set up, even though I will try to avoid making this too similar to ‘Pokémon Johto – The Funne Version!!!’. The reason behind those two being added is actually obvious, if you ask me… and I am glad that you think my writing is not dragging on; I’m trying to make sure it doesn’t, but it’s rather hard. As for Gary… what makes you say that? There was an actual reason why I wrote his scene that way. And, well, I’ll try to keep your attention in, seeing as how I know how you don’t favor stories starring Ash very much.
Zerodius: Thanks for reading, and also for calling my fic interesting; I really appreciate such a compliment coming from you. Thank you for appreciating the way I write, as well, regarding the blending of both universes, and also the characters involved. However, Ellen is not the Fire Red/Leaf Green Versions female playable character. I apologize if that disappoints you, but I would like to point out that Ellen is actually the character from the first season opening, and her description came from there. At any rate, you’ll probably enjoy this next chapter. Hopefully.
Iota: Thanks for reading. As stated, I would like to point out that your statement is somewhat empty, if you reread the chapter properly. Thank you for finding my manner of writing the characters as spot-on as I could do; most of this comes from actual memory rather than from watching the episodes or playing the games once more, which will affect the way this comes out. As for the Gym Leaders… I believe their personalities will be more enjoyable, this time around, than what most expect. I will do my best to keep up the quality as high as possible.
Air Dragon: Thanks for reading. For your information, Ash is, indeed, rather poor at playing; on the other hand, he had just started the game, or, at least, this stage. It’s a pity your review is so short, however.
Sike Saner: Thanks for reading. I’m glad that you liked the way this fic is written; it’s quite an encouragement. The fact that all the trainers are coming as lively as I tried to pass them is quite a relief, as I am trying to write them as close to canon as possible without making the characters act like precise copies. Differences will probably start appearing soon, at any rate.
Irin: Thanks for reading, on all counts. Even though you didn’t like it and felt it was too predictable, simply because of the fact that it is based on the already released stories on the animé and the games. However, while I can’t force you to like it, I would like to say that, essentially, just because you think you can predict how the story will go, then I will gladly disappoint you. The only confirmed point is that Ash will become Champion after earning eight Badges. If you think things will be like what you’ve seen before, however…
Araleon: Thanks for reading. I will try to continue the fic as much as possible, but with so many fics to juggle, I will not be able to work on this constantly, unlike other authors. To answer your question, yes and no. As for whether he’ll travel with Ellen, you will see soon; on this chapter, to be exact. And who knows? It’s quite an interesting story, what I’m trying to write.
CrystalSaurTower: Thanks for reading, though I can’t see how many Yellow fics there actually are. And yes, storyline-wise, this will be more like Yellow, but with the animé supplying any plot points or characters I may need. As for my writing style, it is as such, and I may take such comments in mind. As for Pikachu’s description… please tell me what are his species’ similarities to a rodent. And frankly, referring to something with ‘fancy’ colors tends to be unnerving, especially if it isn’t the precise color you wanted. Even so, thank you for the compliments.
With this, I would like to ask you all to read the following chapter and enjoy.
Pokémon: Thunder Yellow
Third in the Pokémon Kanto Version Series
Chapter Two: Rival Showdown
“If you even manage to win, I’ll consider it!” Damien mocked, before throwing his own Pokéball forward, releasing his own Pokémon. “Charmander, go!”
In front of Damien landed a rather small Pokémon, completely covered in red scales, with a yellowish belly and underside. Standing on both hind legs, it had claws on all four paws, though the ones in his upper paws looked sharper than the feet’s. The lizard-like being had a long, swishing tail, with a continuously-burning flame at the tip, and it had a funny-looking face with two nostrils, large eyes, and a mouth filled with sharp teeth.
“Charmander, char!” it cried out, in a masculine voice. Ash smirked, as he saw it, before twisting his cap backwards.
“Interesting… well, time to prove my best! Pikachu, go!” he replied, doing the same as Damien. From his odd-looking Pokéball came out a familiar sight to him, yet unfamiliar to most of the others; a small and yellow Pokémon. The Pokémon blinked, for a few seconds, as he took in his surroundings. “Are you ready, Pikachu?” Ash asked, and the Pokémon turned towards him, surprised.
“Pika! Pikaka pikapika chu?” he stammered, all confused. Ash frowned; that hadn’t sounded like it was ready for battle, which surprised him. Weren’t Pokémon all raring for battle the moment you caught them and you could order them at will and want?
Meanwhile, Damien smirked. “A Pikachu? I thought whatever you got would be stronger… but well, that just means you aren’t completely worth my time. Beating you shouldn’t take too long,” he said, grinning, and Ash grunted, angrily. “Now, Charmander, use Scratch!”
“Char!” the Pokémon replied, running towards Pikachu, claws outstretched. Pikachu turned around, confused, and saw the oncoming Charmander.
“Dodge it to the left!” Ash commanded, but the electric mouse Pokémon, instead, got on all four legs and ran to the right, making everyone stare at him in surprise. However, despite his speed, Charmander managed to reach it quickly enough. With a growl, it scratched Pikachu’s side, making the Pokémon cry out in pain.
“Wow, that Pokémon must be really stupid, if it can’t even obey its trainer properly!” Damien taunted, as he watched Pikachu turn around, wincing. It looked like he had a rather nasty wound, and now he was pretty angry, with sparks crackling from its cheeks.
“Don’t insult him!” Ash snapped back, looking at his Pokémon. “Come on, get ready to fight!” he said, trying to think what move it was that the Pikachu had used. Damien let out a snicker.
“You don’t even know what moves Pikachu has? Man, that’s pretty pathetic…” he told Ash, who was glaring at him again. “Charmander, use Scratch again!”
As she watched the Fire-type barely miss its move, Ellen bit her lip, worried. “Do you think he can do it, Gary?” she asked the boy, surprising him. “Pikachu isn’t a regular starter, and Ash probably doesn’t even know what kinds of moves it can use… while we, having actually expected these Pokémon, know what moves they can do. Things aren’t in his favor…”
“Ash’s letting it get to him,” he replied, after a moment. “He doesn’t have a quick means of figuring out what moves a Pokémon has… none of us does, and it’s only because we’ve studied so much and have memorized the moves that our starters would have that we don’t need to worry. But Ash… he got the bad luck of getting a Pikachu for a starter. Not an average Pokémon, not expected for him to have this fast… no wonder he can’t think of a move to order.” However, Ellen could see he had something different in mind, as he seemed to be silent now.
“What is it?” she asked, and Gary shook his head.
“No… I’m just wondering why the Pikachu disobeyed him, like Damien pointed out,” he told her, somewhat evasively. “You’re paying attention to it, aren’t you? Most Pokémon, after being caught, are easily controlled… I wonder what happened.”
“Oh…” she muttered, before focusing on the battle again. Pikachu was still avoiding the attacks, though he had been taking some hits, yet he hadn’t quite managed to attack yet for some reason. His cheeks were sparkling with electricity, still, and it seemed it was trying to focus onto something; however, the Charmander was making this almost impossible, it seemed.
“Pikachu, please… just attack, do something…” Ash pleaded, as he watched him, already starting to lose hope. He had tried to make the Pokémon attack several times, already, with the results being always the same; the Pokémon never attacked, only tried to do something and got either attacked by Charmander or had to dodge, losing focus. “Please… just do something… anything… just do what you did in the Ranch and fight… that’s all I’m asking for…”
Nothing was happening… until Charmander, finally, knocked Pikachu down. While Pikachu struggled to get up, his opponent seemed proud of itself, and so did its trainer. “Hah! Guess this is it… time for my first victory, sweet as it will be!” Damien laughed, content, and everyone was watching them. The outcome seemed obvious, now, as he readied his next order, and Ash felt like everything would be over, now. His dreams, his hopes, the chance of becoming a champion… all over, just because he couldn’t cut it as a trainer… because he didn’t understand his Pokémon… because he was a failure…
“No… NO! PIKACHU, PLEASE, THUNDERSHOCK NOW!” he cried out, unconsciously remembering one of the Electric moves he had actually remembered Pikachus having, in his panic. The boy had closed his eyes, already fearing for the worst, and so he didn’t see what happened, immediately later.
Pikachu’s eyes suddenly shot open, his ears twitched, and he looked at Charmander. “Charmander, Scratch again!” Damien had just ordered, and the Pokémon had begun raising its right arm, ready to perform its last attack.
An attack that wouldn’t come.
At that moment, his cheeks crackled with electricity before he opened his mouth. “Piiiikaaaa…CHUUUUUUUUU!!!” he cried out, covering himself in electricity and expanding the field around his body, before it lashed at its target. Charmander screamed in pain, before taking a few steps back, seriously hurt by the attack. To make things worse, all of a sudden, the Pokémon had fallen down on one of its small knees, and the sound of an electric current had rang through the air, still, despite the move having stopped a few seconds ago.
“N-no way!” Damien cried out, eyes wide, and both Ellen and Gary were now staring at the Pokémon, taken aback by the display of power, as well.
“Did… did that Pikachu just do what I think it did?!” the brown-haired girl whispered, surprised. Gary didn’t reply, and just let his jaw hang, unable to think of an explanation for that. If the flame in Charmander’s tail indicated anything, then that move had been so strong, it had been hurt severely… and Pikachu grinned, somewhat, as he stood back up. It wasn’t an evil grin, but rather… he seemed content with finally paralyzing the Charmander that had annoyed him so.
Having finally opened his eyes, Ash took a moment to take in what had happened… and well, apparently he was winning somehow. That was great! Even though he hadn’t quite seen what he did, he was sure that had been Thundershock, and the way the Pokémon were standing, he was obviously with the advantage now! Why else had Charmander stopped, after all?
“Yes!” he cried out, cheerfully! “Now, Pikachu, use-”
“CHUUUUUUU!!!” Pikachu interrupted, already performing the attack before Ash could finish his command, and Charmander gave one last cry. Hurt as it was, however, it quickly had fainted, falling down to the ground on its face.
“D-dang… that wasn’t supposed to happen!” Damien grunted, nervous now. “I lost to him, of all people… it has to have been this stupid thing’s fault! I chose the wrong Pokémon!”
“Why, because you lost, Damien?” Ash taunted, smirking, as he stood on his side. “Well, that has to prove to you that I’m not as weak as you thought I was, right?”
“Like it does!” the blue-haired boy snapped back, shocking Ash with his roughness. “This doesn’t prove anything! You just got lucky, Ash… you still suck at battling! If you hadn’t given that order then and there, I would definitely have won! You had better wait, I’m going to grow much stronger and find stronger Pokémon! Then I’ll trounce you!”
“Enough, Damien,” Gary interrupted them, surprising everyone. “You lost, Ash won. You should try and make those words of yours come true, rather than keep making these boasts you can’t back. It’s really annoying, you know?”
“Gary? You’re… you’re actually defending him?!” Damien asked, stunned, and the brown-haired boy shook his head, smirking.
“No, Damien. Not really. I just can admit that Ash is competent enough to make the best with a Pokémon he has little training with and who he only now started training,” he said, closing his eyes and turning his head away. “Of course, that doesn’t mean anything when compared to a real training genius like me, but I believe this won’t be an issue any soon.”
“Hey, is that a crack?!” Ash cried out, then. “Come on, I’m ready for another battle!” Gary took one look at him, before shaking his head.
“And have a natural disadvantage? Come on, Ashy-boy, even you can’t be that dumb… your Pokémon is weakened, while mine is at full strength… it can’t be that hard for you to guess that I’ll cream you no matter what Pokémon I used, right?” he asked, and Ash sweatdropped, after a moment.
“Guess that’s true…” he admitted, lamely, while Damien finally recalled his Pokémon. He then turned towards Ash, glaring at the boy intensely.
“I’m telling you just this once, Ash! I’m going to beat you the next time we meet, and you know it!” he told the boy, before pausing for a moment. “Oh, and your hat-twisting thing is stupid!” he added, running away. Ash pouted, then.
“…it’s not! It’s definitely cool! I saw it on TV!” he snapped back, angrily, to the surprise of the others. Gary just shook his head, then, as he watched that.
“Man, Damien’s a sore loser, definitely…” he commented, before looking back at the others. “Well, if you guys don’t mind, I’m going to Viridian City; I want to catch some Pokémon before I face my first Gym.”
“You’re leaving, already?” Ellen asked, and he nodded. “But… we just got our Pokémon, and… and we were going to travel together, weren’t we? I mean…”
“Nah… it doesn’t work that way, Ellen,” Gary replied, smiling despite that. “Really, if I traveled with Ash, I’d let him know about my fighting style, and I would know of his, so it wouldn’t be really fair for when we finally face each other, right?”
“…you actually want to fight against Ash?” she asked, somewhat in disbelief, and he nodded. “But…”
“It’s okay, Ellen,” Ash interrupted, grinning now. “We’re both aiming to become the Champion, after all… and since only one person can become the Champion, then we’re going to have to face each other, one day. It might be better if we train separately, overall.”
“I knew you’d get it, Ash,” Gary replied, turning away now. “Well, Ellen, Gramps, Ashy-boy? Smell you later!” And, with that, he started walking away.
After Gary had left, Ash turned towards Ellen. “Well… I’m going back to my house to talk to my mom. You think you can handle yourself? Traveling is pretty dangerous, you know,” he asked her, and the girl looked disappointed, for a moment.
“Um, Ash…” she began, then. “I… kinda want to tell you something. Can you meet me at the town exit, close to those large trees?” After a moment of thought, the boy nodded.
“Sure. Just let me recall my Pikachu and go back to my house… it shouldn’t take more than fifteen minutes, I promise!” he told her, before taking out the Pokéball he had, again. “Pikachu, return!”
To their surprise, Pikachu dodged the red beam sent out by the Pokéball, glaring at Ash. “Pikapika! Pika pikachu, chu pikapika!” he snapped back, and Ash blinked.
“It doesn’t want to return to its Pokéball?” he asked, and Ellen crouched, looking at Pikachu closer.
“How strange… not to mention the fact that it doesn’t seem like it likes you,” she added, the Pokémon taking a few steps back. At this moment, Oak walked nearby, and frowned.
“I see… so it seems this Pokémon doesn’t like to stay inside its Pokéball…” he commented, rubbing his chin. As both kids had turned towards him now, they hadn’t noticed the gasp the Pikachu let out. “I heard it happens to a few Pokémon. For some reason, this only happens if they are fairly spirited.”
“Well… what about it not liking me?” Ash asked, somewhat confused by this. Ellen looked curious, as well, seeing as how she didn’t interrupt them, while Pikachu stood there, as if struggling between running away and staying there.
“Not every Pokémon instinctively likes humans, Ash,” Oak told him, lowering his arm. “It’s possible that this Pikachu might even dislike you for catching it and forcing it to battle where it got wounded. Maybe if you try and gain its trust, it’ll start liking you more and you won’t have such problems handling it.”
“I see…” Ash replied, before looking back at the still nervous-looking Pikachu. As he tried to move closer, he heard the crackling of electricity, and stopped at once. “…I guess it won’t be that easy…”
“Well… if you want some help…” Oak began, before giving him a strange-looking collar. “Just release it over your Pikachu, Ash.”
After looking it over, Ash did so, and the collar attached itself to Pikachu, with a loud clack. The Pokémon struggled to get it off him, with difficulty, only to fail as his small thumbless fingers were pretty useless. The Pokémon grunted, but all it could do was hurt itself further, rather painfully.
“Um… is that supposed to be alright?” the young boy asked, somewhat confused. Oak nodded, smiling.
“Of course it is! Your Pikachu won’t be feeling hurt at all!” he told him, before Ellen got up again.
“Hah! Thanks for helping him, professor Oak!” she replied, before looking at Ash. “Well… I guess I’ll meet up with you later, then…” she said, smiling, before running off. “Bye, Ash!”
“Uh, bye, Ellen…” Ash replied, somewhat disappointedly. Just before he could leave, however, he felt Professor Oak’s strong arm hold him, and he turned around. “Professor Oak? What is it?”
“Ash… I just remembered something,” he said, before showing him a large box, wrapped in brown paper that had been taped together with duct tape. “The Pokémon Mart in Viridian City has made a mistake in their latest delivery to me, see, and I need to give it back… so, well, could you please stop by there and leave it there for me? I’d appreciate it.”
After a moment, Ash nodded, as he took the package and placed it inside his backpack. “Sure! It’s not like I wasn’t going to stop there, anyway!” he said, before noticing that there was a leash attached to the collar. “Let me guess… so I can drag him around?” The elderly professor nodded, in response.
“Yes, Ash. It will probably be of more use for you,” he replied, and Ash stared at it, for a moment.
Then, reluctantly, he began dragging Pikachu, who was struggling to get out of the collar and away from him, and headed back to his house. Now that he had the package on his backpack, it was weighing rather more heavily than before, and he was grunting with some difficulty. “B-bye, professor…” he managed to let out, during the walk, rather painfully now.
Just as he stopped by his house, tired and reclining against the mailbox, his mother opened the door. “Ash?!” she called for him, and the boy looked in her direction, breathing with some difficulty. “Oh, it’s you, Ash!”
“Hi, mom…” the boy replied, and Pikachu looked towards that direction, blinking for a moment. The nice woman that was coming closer to them didn’t seem like a threat, despite being so tall, but that was mostly because she lacked that feeling the other humans he had seen had. Of course, he tried to stay away, but with the leash that wasn’t much.
“So, did you get your first Pokémon from professor Oak?” she asked, and Ash nodded, motioning towards Pikachu. “Aww, it’s cute!” she added, after looking at it.
“Yeah… it’s a Pikachu,” the boy admitted, before noticing his mother had turned towards him, now frowning rather severely. “Um… mom?”
“Ash, you look awful! You’re so messy and dirty, you can’t go on your first journey like this!” she told him, before grabbing his free wrist, and dragging him away from the mailbox (which read ‘Ketchum House’). Pikachu was dragged inside as usual, struggling like before, but he wasn’t able to do much to get out of his trainer’s grasp.
Once inside, she pointed to the stairs. “Now, Ash, you go and take a good shower, while I’ll be washing your clothes for you,” she told him, and the boy grumbled, before starting to go towards his room. His mother followed, closely, obviously intending to get things ready for him as soon as possible.
And Pikachu stayed on the main room, staring at them, ignored for now. After a few moments, the electric mouse Pokémon let out a squeal of joy. “Chaaa~!” he said, before running off. He sure was hungry! Time to look for some food…
Going into the kitchen (though he didn’t know that) led to a productive search; the smell of food was noticeable, and Pikachu was happy to smell it. “Piiika!” Now if only he could find it! He hadn’t eaten ever since he had found that weird-looking forest, closed with those large things that stopped the larger Pokémon from coming around, and that had been early that day. So, if he didn’t eat anything soon, he’d probably starve…
Just then, as he followed the smell, he saw a rather large bowl of something on the counter. “Pika?” That something smelled rather nice, considering how strong it was, and it was probably vegetables… his favorite! “PIKA! Pikapika!” The Pikachu tried to look for a way to climb that high up, seeing as how there wasn’t anything he could do…
…wait, there was still that thing on his neck… and the Pokémon looked at it, rather suspicious. “Pi…” With a frown, he stood on both hind legs, a rather unusual position for him, and picked it up with both hands as well as he could. “Piiiika…” Raising it straight up, he noticed it fit one of those weird knobs on the counter’s walls…
Pushing it against the knob, he then tried to climb it, failing somewhat; the Pokémon had seen vines before, and how Grass-types used their own to either pull or push things, but he didn’t understand the principle behind it. “Chuuuuu…” he grunted, during his struggle. After some tugging, however, the sound of something moving was heard, then. “Pi?”
Looking up, the Pokémon saw that the knob had been pulled back, and so had the drawer attached to it; not very much, but enough that he had noticed. “Pika?” he muttered, before looking ahead of him. There were three other knobs there, as well… “Pikaaa….” After a moment, the Pokémon had grasped the knob, as well as he could, and began pulling back, as hard as he could, even using his teeth to try and press against the wood.
After several moments of struggle, it seemed like he hadn’t done anything; the knob seemed to be on the same place as before, and he couldn’t have moved that much… “Pika… pika…” the Pokémon panted, exhausted, and looked up. The bowl was still there, containing the delicious meal… “Piika!” he grunted, unwilling to give up. He was hungry! He needed to eat now!
With a grunt, the Pokémon began pulling again, hard. It almost felt like his arms were going to break… but eventually, he felt the thing moving, and smiled tiredly. “Chaaa~…” he breathed, with some difficulty, before looking over the thing. Apparently, the drawer had moved only enough that Pikachu could grab onto the tip and raise himself up. It wasn’t much, but he had managed to grasp onto the inside of the drawer, which was enough for him to have support. “Pika?”
After climbing it with some difficulty, which included trying to stick to the drawer above as well as he could, Pikachu tried to pull the next one back, as well. However, much as he tried, it wasn’t working out very well, at all; the Pokémon had apparently forgotten that it didn’t have enough of a grasp to do the same, and so Pikachu lost his balance and began tilting back, nervously. “Pika! PikapikapikapikapikapikaPI-!” he cried out, nervous, before managing to grab onto the drawer in front of him, letting out a breath. “-kaaa…”
Then, to his surprise, as he slouched, Pikachu was pushing the drawer further back, giving himself a better standing than the one he was currently on. “Piiiii?!” That surprised the Pokémon; had he actually managed to do that? “Piiikaaa?” he added, as he fell down on the soft tablecloths, looking up. He still couldn’t climb onto the upper drawers, but this was progress… or so he thought.
“Piiika… pika pikaka, chu pika,” he said, standing up again. If he could pull another of those things, he’d probably get enough height to jump all the way up, but right now it’d be difficult. Still, if anything, this Pikachu was quite the decided Pokémon, that wouldn’t give up on this.
So, it was like that that the Pokémon began trying again, pulling onto the next drawer the best he could…
Ash sighed, as he finally walked downstairs. He was wearing a clean set of clothes, and his backpack felt slightly heavier now that he had been given a Potion by his mother, but the entire chore had been quite a bother. Did he really need to take another shower? He had already had one earlier that day!
Of course, because he hadn’t had breakfast earlier, he was now feeling hungry. He hadn’t been paying much attention to his surroundings, as he headed towards the kitchen, and so he hadn’t noticed that his Pokémon wasn’t in that room anymore. Getting inside, he was just about to walk towards the fridge-
-when something fell down, painfully loud. As he turned towards the source of the sound, he saw Pikachu standing on the counter, looking down with some worry, as the bowl of vegetables had fallen down.
“Piiikaaa…” the Pokémon groaned, before noticing Ash had looked at him. “Pika!”
“Pikachu, what are you doing there!?” the boy asked, walking closer to him. “It’s dangerous! You could get hurt!”
“Pii…” Pikachu growled, as he got on all fours, glaring at him. “Pika! Pikapika pika!”
To that, Ash could only stare, confused. “…what are you saying, anyway? I can’t understand a word of that!”
However, Pikachu wasn’t exactly responsive, jumping off the counter and trying to attack Ash. The boy managed to avoid the tackle, and as the Pokémon fell, he saw the leash moving behind him, and grasped on it instinctively. Pikachu landed, trying to run off… only to feel the leash tug against him, making the Pokémon gasp. “Pi-! Pipipipipipiii!” he grunted, trying to get away, his paws scraping the floor repeatedly.
“Hey, you stop that, okay?!” Ash ordered, trying to pull back with some difficulty; who knew Pikachu was that strong? “You’re the one who shouldn’t have gotten on there! What if you had gotten hurt, huh?”
“Pi!” Pikachu replied, turning his head arrogantly. This only annoyed Ash further.
“Ash?” his mother interrupted, and the two turned towards her. “Um… I guess it’s time you should leave, isn’t it?”
“…yeah…” the boy admitted, before walking towards her, still dragging Pikachu with him. The two of them hugged tightly for several seconds, before his mother reluctantly released him.
“Now… you have fun with your Pokémon, alright?” she asked, rubbing one of her eyes. “You’ll be away for the rest of the year, I’m guessing… can you at least call me whenever you get to a new city?”
“Yeah… I’ll do that, mom,” he replied, before walking off, dragging Pikachu with him. The young woman followed him to the door, and waved him off as he left the house. “I’ll make sure to bring you some souvenirs!” he added, and his mother smiled, simply.
“Good luck, Ash!” she added, as she watched him run off, Pikachu forced to do the same so that his neck wouldn’t be strained. After a few moments, her smile diminished. “I wonder… will he follow in his footsteps, as well?” she wondered, quietly.
It didn’t take long for Ash and Pikachu to arrive at the town exit, which was a small street, leading to a rundown path that served as the connection between this and the next city. By the sides, serving as gates of sorts, were two huge trees, both on size and width. These trees were among the town’s few landmarks, with kids always coming to them and trying to climb on the branches. It was easy, in a way; the trees had several strong branches that, being too heavy, tended to droop down. Ellen was sitting on one of them, watching the path from above.
“Hey, Ellen!” Ash called, and the girl looked in his direction, before smiling.
“Hi, Ash,” she replied, waving at him from her position. “You… you did come, after all…”
“Yeah… why wouldn’t I?” he asked, coming closer to her. “You asked me to, right?”
“…I… suppose I did,” she said, her face slowly becoming red. “Ash… do you like me?”
“Eh?” the boy replied, taken aback. “W-what do you mean? I mean, er…” he corrected himself, as the expression in Ellen’s face seemed to demand a positive answer. “I do find you cute, and there’s the fact that you’ve always been helpful to me… you’ve always been a good friend, too, so…”
“…is that it?” she asked, then, surprising him. “Do you… only think of me as a friend?”
“N-not at all!” Ash stammered, as he heard that. “I really like you a lot, you’re my best friend, very pretty, and…” However, as he went on, he noticed that Ellen didn’t seem to be reacting like he thought she should. She wasn’t smiling or seemed happy that he cared about her as much as she cared about him…
Her response was sudden, and Ash could only stare at her as she dropped down from the tree, landing in front of him. “Ash… I know I’ve been helping you out for so long, but… everyone keeps thinking that I’m doing this because I like you… you know, in the same way that you do,” she told him, rather calmly. Even so, it seemed like she was holding something back. “But… that’s simply not true. You’re my friend, we’ve been friends since we were kids… but Ash, you need to grow up on your own, and I can’t stay with you forever. And Gary and Damien think that, because I like you, that our friendship is ruined… I never wanted that to happen! I wanted us to be friends, and not to have these stupid arguments… we’re just ten, even!”
After a moment, she sighed. “Ash… please, just stop thinking about me that way, okay? We’re friends… that’s all we have to be. Can… can you do that? For me?” she asked, and the boy simply nodded, not sure what to say. After that, she smiled in response. “Alright… I’ll hold you to that. We’ll meet up later, then, alright?” she added, before running off. “Bye, Ash!”
Ash just stood there, for a few moments, as the wind blew. Pikachu was trying to take a nap, for now, curled up into a ball of sorts. Eventually, he managed to figure out something to say.
“…what just happened here?” he muttered, confused.
After several moments, he began tugging onto Pikachu’s leash, trying to get the Pokémon to follow him. Pikachu grumbled for a moment, before letting out an electrical discharge that surged through the rope and all the way to the boy. His painful screams were rather loud, and he ended up crashing to the ground, after it was over. “…owww…” he uttered, in pain. Pikachu woke up only a moment later, and glanced at him.
After seeing the state of the boy, he started to laugh, rolling onto the ground.
“Why, you!” Ash cursed, before getting up quickly. Then, he began tugging onto the leash again, but this time, he was also getting his distance. “Stop being so annoying! I’m going to be a Pokémon Master, and you’re going to help me no matter what!”
To that kind of tug, Pikachu had little choice but to obey, given how the alternative was likely for his neck to snap from the strength. With that, he began to walk as well, reluctantly, and Ash smiled.
“Yeah… that’s right, Pikachu,” he said, before walking ahead as well. “Well, we’re going to become the best of the best, don’t you think?”
“Pika,” Pikachu grumbled, in response. Ash ignored him, however, and instead continued thinking about his dreams of being the world’s greatest Pokémon Master. And, thus, did he leave Pallet Town, messy, fantasizing, and dragging his only Pokémon, who was absolutely not interested in following him and wanted to get away as quickly as possible.
As they walked, they found the road to be rather plain, other than a few cliffs and rough turns. It seemed like Pallet Town had been built on pretty low ground, lower than the norm, what with so much climbing to be done and how the fact that the path was heading uphill. There wasn’t much of interesting to note, however.
This soon changed, however, as they came across a young man, who seemed a bit lost. Ash stopped in front of him, confused. “Um… excuse me, mister, but… who are you?” he asked, and the man blinked, for a moment.
“Oh! I’m sorry, boy, but I have something important to do right now! I can’t waste my time talking to a kid!” he said, in a bossy manner. “If only I knew where Pallet Town was…”
“Pallet Town?” Ash repeated, before smiling. “Hah! I came from there!” The man blinked, before showing a face of relief.
“That’s great! Listen, kid, can you take me to that city? I really need to talk to a certain person there…” he explained, and the boy looked slightly uncomfortable.
“Er…” he muttered, before looking back. His hometown wasn’t that far away, overall, and there was the fact that he could easily go back and here again soon, but… he had just started, too, and he wanted to find some Pokémon to practice against… However, the man’s smile was enough to stop him. “Fine… just come along, okay?” he replied, turning around and dragging Pikachu with him. The man followed, as well.
Damien grumbled, as he walked through the city. He had gotten lucky, what with no wild Pokémon trying to assault him, and he had managed to heal his Charmander without much problem. Of course, the fact that he had lost to Ash – Ash, of all people! – was gnawing at him, now.
“I can’t believe it… that weak loser won with a wild Pokémon! He beat my Charmander… a Pokémon that, by all means, ought to have been able to crush his stupid Pikachu easily! Why have I lost?! He couldn’t even control that stupid thing!” he grumbled, annoyed. His Pokémon was confined to its Pokéball, as usual, and he didn’t think of releasing it yet. It wasn’t as if getting strong Pokémon was easy; otherwise, any random brat could do it, rather than the high amount of newbies with Rattatas and Pidgeys and Magnemites.
And as much as he might be hotheaded, he was never stupid.
He looked at the road ahead of him. The city exit was close by, and he hadn’t needed to go to the Mart; thanks to his family, he was well-stocked. In fact, it was likely that all of them had the basic needs, he figured, before shaking his head.
‘All of us… why did I just think about that?’ he thought, angrily. ‘It’s enough of a bother worrying about just me… if I worry about the others, I’m going to end up like that girl. And frankly, I’d rather not.’
It was thinking like that that he walked away, towards the city exit, not noticing that there was someone watching him. He remained under the watch for several minutes, until he finally was far from sight, and the city was far away. In fact, he had just reached a landmark, when he stopped walking.
The trees that served as the main entrance to Viridian Forest.
Damien spent a few moments watching it, before snorting. “Not very impressive… but they say that rare Pokémon are more easily found on the other side. I just hope that’s true… I need to prepare my team first, before I can challenge the first Gym,” he said, ready to walk inside… until he heard footsteps behind him. “Huh?”
Turning around, he saw a trainer, walking closer. “What do you want?” he asked, and the newcomer looked him over.
“You’ve got quite a mouth on you, don’t you, boy?” he taunted, his face contorting into a nasty smirk. “That’s interesting… seems like kids these days don’t know much about respect.”
“Respect… bah!” was Damien’s response, as he glared at the strange trainer. He was a tall and imposing teen, obviously older than him, and he was wearing casual clothes. While he didn’t seem to be too impressive, there was something in his stance and in the way his eyes stared at him, so coldly, that was unnerving him. “I’ll respect you when I see you doing something impressive! Meanwhile, you had better leave me alone! I’m not interested in dealing with someone like you right now!”
“Oh, is that so?” the trainer asked, keeping his smirk. “Well, that’s a pity… I was going to ask you if you wanted to practice against me, but if you’re going to be rude like that…” At that moment, Damien stopped in his mark, looking at the other teen with some surprise.
“A practice match?” he asked, before fingering his Pokéball. That guy didn’t look like he was any important… and considering how much his loss to Ash stung, he’d rather deal with his anger in a very enjoyable manner. “Fine, a one-on-one. I’m going to kick your butt, loser!”
“Oh, will you?” was the response, as the trainer took out a Pokéball of his own. “We shall see about that…”
As Ash finally bade farewell to the older man, he found himself back where he had started… Professor Oak’s Laboratory. In a way, it was something he really hadn’t wanted to do, since it had taken him more time than he had expected it to take, but in the end his conscience and morals had won over his selfishness and here he was again, far earlier than he had expected to return.
Still, Ash decided to keep his mind off it by thinking about the future… more specifically, his future battles. Pokémon trainers needed more than one single Pokémon to guarantee victory, with the average trainer having at least three. This was also the number of Pokémon possessed by most Gym Leaders, he believed, while elite trainers had up to five regular Pokémon. It was always assumed that they possessed more, but the fact that one trainer could only have six Pokémon meant that their sixth Pokémon would be chosen depending on situation, rather than kept permanently.
So, Ash needed at least a few more Pokémon, if he wanted to face a Gym Leader on equal terms. Hopefully they’d be good partners, and strong enough to help; if they were at least better than that Pikachu he had, right now, it’d be great. The aforementioned Pokémon was currently trying to sleep, grunting as he was dragged by his trainer, barely avoiding letting out the electricity it had stored in its body for a while now.
“You know… if you stopped struggling so much and started to follow me like the other Pokémon do, things would be a lot easier for the two of us,” Ash told him, glancing back, as they walked through the streets. Pikachu took only one moment to process that, before turning his head away, arrogantly.
“Pi!” he said, in an annoying tone. Ash glared at him, for a few moments, before grumbling.
“Stupid good-for-nothing Pokémon… stupid thing doesn’t listen to me…” he muttered, under his breath, before going back to dragging Pikachu, who was growing increasingly tired of this as well. “What’s so hard about that? All he had to do is do what I say and everything would work out just fine…”
“Pika!” was the angry response, and Ash noticed that the Pokémon was glaring at him now. “Pika pika, pikachu pika!”
“Oh, what now?” he asked, then, stopping for a moment to turn around and face his Pokémon. “You’re angry? Well, tough luck! You’re my Pokémon now, so you should start obeying me already!”
“Pikapika! Pipi pikachu chu pikapi!” Pikachu replied, shaking his head negatively. “Pikachu chu pikaka pika pika pipika!”
Ash stared at him, for a moment. “…I have no idea what you just said, but it really sounds annoying…” he grumbled, his expression becoming more and more annoyed by the second. “Well, anyway! If you’re not going to follow me like a good Pokémon, then just shut up and stop struggling! I swear, future Pokémon Masters don’t ever get it easy…”
Pikachu kept glaring at the boy, even as he turned around and continued to drag him away. It took only a few more minutes before Ash saw the place they had last stopped, where the lost guy had been looking around, in confusion. There wasn’t much else around, however.
At least, that’s what he saw.
Pikachu had taken to walk, now, only because his feet were starting to hurt from him trying to stay away, but he hadn’t really kept paying attention to the human boy anymore; these surroundings were slightly familiar, if only because he had been through here on the way to the supposedly large food place. Of course, had he known what waited for him once he had arrived, he’d have never come here; it was too much of a bother and a hassle and he had gotten all hurt thanks to that.
Still, the fact that he was paying attention to his surroundings made the difference, for his developed ears caught upon the distant sound of wings flapping faster than Ash did, and he turned in that direction at once. It was hard to see, but the shape was noticeable.
With his eyes widening, Pikachu tried to dash away, as quickly as he could, forgetting about the leash for a moment… something that proved to be the wrong choice; he was unable to go much further than its length allowed, and was soon skitting in place, his paws moving rapidly to no use, while Ash had to struggle to hold onto it.
“H-hey! What’s going on!?” he asked, stunned by the Pokémon’s sudden fear… until he heard a loud cry, coming from above.
As he looked back, he saw that it was a small bird Pokémon, with a pair of angry eyes on its face, ruffled red feathers covering its head and wings, a small and sharp-looking beak with a slight tweak to its curve, and a black body. There were a few red feathers on its tail, as well.
“YRO!” the Pokémon screeched, as it tried to divebomb Pikachu; at this point, the Pokémon pulled one last time, the leash yanking loose from Ash’s hand as the boy fell onto the ground. The sharp claws on its feet barely avoided grasping its prey, and Pikachu did a sharp turn to the left.
“Pika…” the Electric-type muttered, glancing back with one of his eyes. Indeed, it was a Spearow, a rather violent and hotheaded Pokémon who lived in large flocks, with the specie usually attacking those who assaulted a member of their flock. Living in the wild was not easy at all, and there had always been fights for food… and well, it hadn’t been his fault if a Spearow had decided he wanted the same breakfast as him.
In only a moment, Pikachu’s cheeks crackled with electricity, as he turned back to face his opponent. Undoubtedly, this Pokémon was a member of the same flock, but Spearows were usually smart enough to avoid facing Pokémon they were likely to lose to… either this was a strong Spearow or an important one. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t matter much; in only a second, he unleashed his electricity, the Spearow flying back with little hope of escaping the attack…
…but to Pikachu’s surprise, the energy that had been released was too low; in fact, it had barely been enough to reach the Spearow, who broke free easily from the discharge. The Pokémon stayed in the air for a moment, waiting for a second attack… before what seemed to be a smirk came to its beak, before it flapped its wings rapidly.
Ash watched the battle with some surprise, as he stood there, ignored by the Pokémon. Pikachu looked too taken aback to react, as the first attack struck him hard, and the Spearow rose in the air, getting some distance before its next move. As it approached, its opponent tried to use its attack again, but this time it did a quick evade, getting Pikachu on his unprotected side. The Pokémon was flung towards that direction, pained.
Just as the Spearow had turned around, however, Pikachu saw Ash come towards him, fast, getting in-between the Pokémon. “Pi…pika?” he asked, wincing a bit, though Ash didn’t notice it.
“Hey, you!” he told the Spearow, who had paused in the air, confused by this intruder on its fight. “Why are you trying to fight my Pikachu, huh? You think you’re tough, acting like that? Who do you think you are?!”
“Pika…” Pikachu grunted, trying to rise again, slowly. The Pokémon was having a harder time than what should be normal thanks to the collar around his neck, and it seemed like the thing had done something to his electricity-producing powers. “Pikaka, pikachu ka…”
Meanwhile, the Spearow grew tired of hearing the human’s blather, and dived towards its prey. Pikachu had only barely noticed that, when he kicked onto the ground, giving himself a burst of speed… and then, he realized that the Spearow had realized that, already following him, a black shadow over him-
The scream of pain that rang over the plain was not Pikachu’s, surprisingly, especially to the Pokémon who had thought it was over. He skid to a halt, turning around… and saw Ash, trying to keep the Spearow away, one of his arms showing a surprisingly deep gash.
“You… you’re not going to get Pikachu…” the boy said, pushing the Pokémon away as well as he could; not very well, but he had managed to attract the Pokémon’s attention completely for now, which was enough time for his Pokémon to do something.
“Pika?” Pikachu muttered, as he watched the scene. “Pika… pika pikachu pi? Pika, kapikachu pika?”
Ash wasn’t sure why he said what he did, on that moment, but it had been in response to what Pikachu had asked, regardless. “I’m not letting anyone attack one of my Pokémon… one of my partners… just like that! Especially not when he can’t even defend himself!” he said, surprising the Pokémon.
However, at this moment, the Spearow managed to score a direct hit, making Ash fall back on the ground painfully. “OWWWW!” he cried out, eyes closed for a moment. Pikachu gasped, then.
“Pika! Pikachu, pikaka?” he asked, running towards Ash quickly, the young boy opening one of his eyes slowly.
“S-sorry, Pikachu…” he apologized, smiling in a lame manner. “I guess I couldn’t do much…” With that, one of his hands pressed against the Pokémon’s, without being shocked by him… and the hand pressed over the collar’s release button.
With a clack, the electronic device opened up, falling off Pikachu’s body and onto Ash. The boy gasped, as he felt the weight, and Pikachu’s eyes widened… before he turned around. The Spearow was coming closer, so closer…
The Pokémon didn’t hesitate; with a hop, he moved towards his opponent, cheeks crackling and sparkling with his unrestrained energy. The look in his eyes, at that moment, took the Flying-type aback…
With a cry, Pikachu unleashed the several hundred volts straight onto the Spearow, who was at point-blank range. It intercepted the Pokémon before it could have touched Pikachu, making it scream in pain and get sent back by the following headbutt, the two Pokémon landing on the ground – Pikachu on all four legs, the same look in his face, and the Spearow on its back, painfully.
“Spearow…” it muttered, before falling unconscious. Pikachu panted, for a few seconds… before losing his balance, starting to fall down. Rather than the cold ground, however, what he felt was a different feeling… two soft hands, grasping him from the sides.
“Pikachu… are you okay?” Ash asked, getting down rather than pulling the Pokémon up. Pikachu looked at him, clearly annoyed, for a few moments… before letting out a breath.
“Chaaa~…” he sighed, his eyes closed for a moment, before he opened them again. His expression was a lot less angry, now. “Pika… pikapika, pika pika pi. Pikachu pi. Pika?” he said, then, and Ash shrugged.
“Well… if you’re okay, I guess you are. And… sorry about the way I was treating you, by the way,” he apologized. “I’m Ash. Would you… would you like to be my partner?”
Pikachu stared at him, for a few moments… before closing his eyes and smiling, all of a sudden. “Pika! Pika pika… Pikapi pika! Pikachu!”
Seeing as how the Pokémon was very happy right now, for once, Ash decided not to complain about it. “Well… alright, then. We should probably get going… I don’t think Viridian City is going to wait for us. Do you feel like you can walk there?” he asked, and the Pokémon nodded, before jumping off his hands.
“Pika! Pikapi, pikapika ka!” was the response, before Pikachu started to run off. Ash ran as well, now.
“Hey, wait up! You can’t go there without me, I don’t think you even know where it is!” he said, but even then, both of them were laughing, as they ran.
So, I hope you all have enjoyed this chapter. I will hopefully bring more to you soon… after some updates.
As for the next chapter hint, hn… on the next chapter, we shall see Ash and Pikachu in… a house.
What’s wrong? Do you not like cryptic advice coming from me? I apologize for the inconvenience.