Author's Notes: This is my first serious attempt at writing any kind of fanfic. I originally was going to wait until I finished this thing before posting it, but then it would be a HUUUGE post and have much less interactivity to it.
I'll post the Prologue and Chapter 1 for now and update every day until I run out and have to start writing more, when the updates will become less frequent. I hope everyone enjoys. Nobody's posted a serious Altoshipping fic here in quite a long time.
Also, it takes place 8 years after Pokémon Heroes, so I suppose it's a bit of a dimension of my own creation. Is that enough of a disclaimer, or do I have to say I don't own Pokémon? I don't. And I'm broke. And now on to the story...
True Love Never Fades
With a loud whistle, a red and white blur cut through the air at a break-neck pace, coming to a complete stop at the top of a large stone building. There dangling from the rafters was a Raticate hanging on for dear life.
“HELP MEEEE!” the Raticate could only scream to the guardian of Altomare before his grip fell slack and he started falling like a bomb to the treacherous rocky ground thirty stories below. A loud scream could be heard from beneath them as he plummeted.
With great concern, but a clear mind focused on the impending severity of the situation, Latias dove down and watched the ground rush at her as she hurried to beat the falling Raticate to the ground. Equaling his falling velocity and pushing herself to the limit, she rushed forward and pulled out of the dive at the last second before hitting the ground, having just enough time to fly forward for the Raticate to land on her back with a heavy thump. Ignoring the pain of the impact, Latias cried out in a loud victory chirp, happy to have averted disaster and to have saved the Raticate.
“Are you okay?” asked Latias sweetly with a touch of worry in her voice.
“Yes... yes... I think so,” responded the obviously shaken Raticate. “All thanks to you. If you hadn't caught me, I surely would have hit a jagged rock and found my death. Oh dear me, that would not have been good.”
As the Raticate clambered down Latias' back to the ground, another Raticate that was very pregnant came clambering up with tears in her eyes and hugged the other Raticate close to her.
“BABY!!! You're safe. Thank the stars.” After they hugged and cooed at each other for several moments, the female Raticate turned to face her lover's savior. “Thank you so much for saving my mate. If it wasn't for you, he would be gone entirely from my life. I don't think I could have handled that, especially with the new baby on the way. We owe you everything!”
Latias blushed. “Oh, please don't thank me. It's the least I could do. I'm happy to do what I can for everyone,” she insisted as she hovered silently half a foot from the ground, reaching up with one of her clawed arms to smooth out her feathers.
“Don't be silly,” chimed in the Raticate that had been rescued. He whispered a few words to the other Raticate and she nodded before he readdressed Latias. “What you have done for our family will never be forgotten. In fact, though we can't exactly name our unborn son after you, we would be very happy if you were to choose his name, for without you, he would have grown up without a father.”
Latias' eyes widened in flattered surprise. “I really don't deserve such an honor as to name your child. I wouldn't even know what to suggest.”
The pregnant Raticate smiled sweetly. “Is there really not any name that comes to mind? A relative or a loved one perhaps?”
Latias stopped for a moment and didn't move a muscle as she seemed to get lost in thought and inner-turmoil. Finally, she spoke. “Ash.”
“PIKACHU, DODGE THAT HYPER BEAM AND USE A FULL-ON OFFENSIVE ASSAULT VOLT TACKLE LIKE WE PRACTICED!” screamed a young man of 22 with shoulder length pointy looking black hair who was sporting a green sweater vest over a white t-shirt and long slightly torn blue jeans. There was a highly determined look on his face as beads of sweat from being out in the hot sun for several hours ran down his cheeks. Around him the combined gasps of a full crowd in an enormous stadium resounded.
“CHU PI!” the fatigued Pikachu screamed back in acknowledgment and leapt away right as a very powerful and violent beam slammed against where she had been standing only a moment before. With the incredible agility of an exceedingly well-trained and cared for Pikachu, she landed safely on her hind legs and without wasting a single moment, placed her front feet on the ground and took off in a running frenzy toward the frustrated and tired looking Exploud, her body temperature heating up as she began glowing an opaque yellow, sparks shooting from her cheeks.
Before Pokémon Master Renée could shout out another command for her Exploud, Pikachu had made direct contact with the Exploud's stomach. With a sick electrical lurch and a loud roar from the Exploud, he went flying 5 feet into the air while static yellow shock erupted around his body. Landing on his side in the mud with a heavy crash just as Pikachu landed four feet away on her feet, he groaned and slid for several moments. Looking up at his trainer, he saw the look of panic and alarm on her face. He slowly got to his feet in a very tired and pained manner, glaring at the Pikachu that was struggling with her own composure, a fierce red glow of contempt and derision in his eyes. Faltering, he fell over on his side, eyes spiraled, fainted.
Struggling and shaking badly, Pikachu turned around to face Ash with a look of utmost love and affection in her eyes. In that short moment Ash could see that she truly understood that everything they had ever worked for in the past 11 years had come to fruition and together they had finally achieved their ultimate goal in life. He looked at her in return with such adoration and pride, his trademark grin appearing for her.
“Pika-pi...” was all she could softly muster before toppling over on her side, fainted.
Until this moment, the crowd had become dead-silent. When realization dawned on them of what had just happened, the whole arena began to shake and explode in loud cheers. Still in shock, Ash stood there for a moment staring at his fainted Pikachu as Renée looked at her Exploud and frowned.
“Good work, Exploud. You did amazingly,” she said before holding out a Pokéball and pointing it at him. “Return.” A beam of red light shot out of the device and collected the fainted Pokémon, transferring him back within. It was then that Ash did something unprecedented by any newly titled Pokémon Master before him. He climbed over the trainer platform and dropped into the field and ran toward his Pikachu. He picked her up in his arms, cradled her close to his chest, and immediately began administering medicine to her wounds. “You were incredible, Pikachu.”
The loud amplified voice of the referee cut through the loud cheering. “This 6 on 6 Pokémon Master Battle has ended. Both parties have whited out. Renée's Exploud was first to faint by a few seconds, so the match will go to Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town, Kanto. This officially ends Renée Hostetter's of Azalea Town, Johto, eight year occupation of the title world champion. That title will now succeed to Ash Ketchum.”
The cheering of the crowd that was almost deafening before now suddenly picked up in decibels even more. It wasn't very often that a new champion was declared, and the audience there was able to witness this momentous occasion in person.
Ash could hardly believe his ears. The thing that he wanted most since before he could remember was now his. A flashback of being 5 and running around with his imaginary Pokémon gracefully battling for him before his mother cheerfully declared him champion of the universe ran through his head. It didn't seem real to him at all. Snapping out of it and tuning out the loud raucous cheers of the crowd and the referee, preoccupied with hopes of getting away to make sure his Pokémon were all right, he almost missed when it was announced where the World Champion crowning ceremony would take place.