Notes: When you have plenty of time waiting in your apartment for the damn school year to start, you end up having plenty of time on your hands to do useless stuff like write mushy fan fiction about three non-existing people. Albeit, who am I kidding? This was fun and I fairly enjoy the fact that my writing skills have developed significantly since I ran the Pokemon Fan Fiction Archives (Long story). I've always wanted to write a pokeshipping fan fic since I was twelve.
Anyway, I wrote this story so that it can become the trumph card in case pokeshipping becomes annihilated by the writers over in Japan. Much to the credit of you advanceshippers, good job, you guys have me very worried. As a result, this fan fiction assumes Ash and Misty never got together while Ash and May became a reality.
This piece of fiction also assumes that the universe in the Pokemon Anime is indeed a parallel of our world, except that Pokemon exist and have a heavy cultural significance. Oh, and that Kanto/Hoenn/Johto exist in the middle of the Pacific.
Synopsis: Ash endures a serious injury that could potentially end his career. May and Misty come to Ash's side and discuss the past, present, and future. PG
Chapter 1: “When Everything Is Wrong” (In this post you're reading)
Chapter 2: “I’ll Talk To You” (In this post you're reading)
Chapter 3: “You Make Things Alright” (In this post you're reading)
Chapter 4: “When I'm Feeling Blue” (In this post you're reading)
Chapter 5: “You’re Such a Blessing” (In this post you're reading)
Chapter 6: “And I Won’t Be Messing”
My Best Friend
Chapter 1: “When Everything Is Wrong”
Los Angeles was quite different from home. Way different. Ash had to remind himself that he wasn’t in the forests and rural fields of home, but rather, the sprawling metropolitan jungle known as Southern California. Considered one of the best professional trainers in the world, Ash Ketchum traveled frequently all around the world to compete internationally. Los Angeles was one of those locations he had to fight in in order to compete in the American Professional Pokemon League Open, one of the many championships of the world Ash had and was going to participate in.
“And here I am,” muttered Ash to himself as a platform slowly raised him from the dank, fluorescent lit basement he was preparing in. The relation between the platform’s height as it gained more altitude was clearly tied to the noise level of the surface. Ash could hear the thousands of screaming fans who had taken their seats at the Nokia Pokemon Coliseum. Ash’s best friend, his Pikachu, was propped beside him, waiting for the platform to finally take them to their destination: the battlefield.
Ash looked at his battle worn Pikachu. Although its appearance hadn’t changed over the sixteen years, any trainer worth his weight could identify the experience and veteran skill the small electric rodent possessed by simply looking into its eyes.
“Pika,” he assured his friend.
Ash detached his Pokeballs from his belt holster, still in their portable, miniature form. He asked the same question to the Pokemon inside, currently in their energy based forms. There was expectedly no response from them, but Ash had understood that his pokemon knew that they were given the best of the best training from their master.
The platform finally became level with the ground. The crowd went wild. Flashes from cameras of professional and amateur photographers alike were sprinkled from all over the stadium seats. The blaring megaphones drowned out the cacophonous noise.
“From Pallet Town. Kanto Region… Ash KETCHUM!”
Those two words triggered the screaming match between the megaphone and the spectators. The same treatment was given to Ash’s Brazilian opponent.
“From Sao Paulo, Brazil… Americo ESTEBANEZ!”
Amidst the cheering and screaming, the two professionals looked at each other. Both gave a nod of acknowledgement and respect.
The judge who was on the sidelines spoke into his headset. His booming Southern accent, amplified by the high amp speakers mounted on high rise posts, resonated and echoed throughout the stadium.
“Okay, gentleman! American Pro League rules! Three pokemon out! Three pokemon in reserve! Starting pokemon are released simultaneously! No healing reserves, no revives! Recalled pokemon are unable to fight! Match ends with trainer blackout! Do you understand gentlemen?!”
The cameras focused on Ketchum and Estebanez, their recorded motion pictures being displayed on the twin gigantic LCD screens. Both of the pro trainers nodded their heads in agreement.
Indicating that he was satisfied with those answers, the judge produced a pistol from his holster. His finger wrapped around the trigger and its squeeze resulted in an instantaneous crack. This produced an instantaneous assault by the two trainers.
“Pikachu! Glalie! Swellow! I choose you!”
“Donphan! Torkoal! Poliwrath! I choose you!”
Both trainers had done their homework on each other. Both had developed countless scenarios they had predicted would occur on the field. It wasn’t a coincidence that the pokemon out on the field would supplement, cover, and exploit certain weaknesses and strengths in both challengers’ strategies and tactics. The tactical knowledge of the two simply oozed of professional clockwork.
“Pikachu! Glalie! Double cooperation technique on Poliwrath! Super-conductive electric ice beam!”
Glalie fired an ice beam towards the poliwrath while Pikachu simultaneously fired an arc of thunder on the ice beam. It hit the poliwrath only to daze it a bit.
“Donphan and Torkoal! Scorching tire on Pikachu!
Donphan formed into its trademark Rollout attack while Torkoal blew an inferno of fire on the large elephant like monster. The flaming rolling hunk of rock dashed to Pikachu, only to have it miss due to the mouse’s high level agility.
Those attacks were executed within seconds. It took a few seconds extra for the spectators to realize that the battle was on and fiercely active.
Since the US Pro Rules allowed three pokemon out on the field, significant micromanagement was required to accurately coordinate effective attacks and movement decisions on the battlefield. The style was completely different from the somewhat laidback non-pro leagues Ash used to be in during his teenager years. Multi pronged techniques and attacks were the norm in professional matches. As a result, the matches were nothing short of spectacular. The uninitiated watching would assume a decision making paralysis was on the verge of occurring; handling and assuming command of a battle of this magnitude seemed extremely complex and complicated. As a result, professional trainers couldn’t afford staying back on the sidelines. They had to be out on the field with their pokemon, being an active coordinator.
“And that’s why they call these the Big Leagues,” Ash whispered to himself as he ran with his Glalie while ordering an electric airstrike on Poliwrath using Swellow and Pikachu. The rodent was riding on Swellow. He dismounted and landed on Poliwrath and gave it several hundred volts of electric power. Poliwrath fainted and was instantly recalled. He was replaced by a hitmonlee.
Donphan was ripping it up with its constant Rollout attacks. Its main target seemed to be Pikachu. Ash knew that Americo was competent enough to understand that Ash’s team was built around the small, but powerful mouse. Ash needed to take out Donphan now or else he would lose the initiative.
“Glalie! Ice beam on Donphan!” ordered Ash.
Donphan was still in his curled up form rolling around. It was headed across Ash’s path. Ash realized this and the dangerous possibility it entailed for himself; he never anticipated something like this could happen. As a result, he immediately tried to belay his order. However, it was too late.
The beam of ice trailed the speedy Donphan as Glalie attempted to score a direct hit. It happened to be that Ash’s right leg was in the way of that trail.
Immediately, Ash dropped to the ground. His right leg was encased in a slender solid rock of ice. He began to cry out in pain.
“RED FLAG! RED FLAG!” screamed the judge.
* * *
She had been watching from the observation deck. The instant she took notice of the commotion on the field, she dashed out of the room, trying to get to the ground deck of the coliseum. The hallways were empty and dark with only several security guards patrolling. Nevertheless, her VIP badge was flashed repeatedly to expedite the journey to the playing field.
In the final straightaway, the young woman ran with the speed and endurance that even a distance runner would envy. Her pace had the tempo of a machine gun while her breathing and heartbeat was rapid and tense from the anxiety and the physical strain of pushing her body to the limits. The bright stadium lights had temporarily blinded her once she emerged from the tunnel. She ran towards the center of the field where a very worried Estebanez and three of Ash’s pokemon were circled around.
Ash looked dazed as he lay on the ground. He appeared to be staring into nothing, trying to focus his efforts away from the icy pain. He seemed to be shivering.
Ash was brought back into the real world with the girl crying out his name. She got to her knees and looked into his face. She put her hand on the side of his face while looking at the ice encased leg that seemed to be causing him so much trouble.
“Hi, May,” he sheepishly said.
Ash looked at May and reached out to touch May’s face. May immediately brought her hands to his outreached hand it and held on to it tightly.
“It’s… It’s really cold,” he said while smiling and chuckling a bit.
May smiled back at him while trying to do something about his low body temperature. She took off her sports sweat jacket and put it on him. She then pressed her body against Ash’s torso. She could feel Ash shivering like crazy. She was afraid that he’ll get hypothermia.
“Hang in there, please. I hope this can keep you warm until…”
May began to lose her patience.
“Where the hell are the EMTs?!”
“They’re on their way,” assured Americo trying to look for a sign of help, “No, wait, here they come.”
The faint high pitched siren in the distance became louder and louder as it drove through a large tunnel of the coliseum meant for support vehicles that would normally assist in maintaining the field. The ambulance that owned the deafening sirens drove on to the field, navigating through the obstacles which normally impeded battling Pokemon. It stopped to unload not Chanseys, but human beings, ready to take Ash to the USC University Hospital in Downtown Los Angeles.
The paramedics insisted on loading Ash on a stretcher, but he refused. With the help of May, he got himself up on his single foot for support. May handed him to the paramedics where they led him into the van.
The fans began cheering Ash on, chanting “ASH! ASH! ASH!” The monochromatic marquee displayed “RISE FROM THE ASHES” with a picture of Ash underneath. Ash thought it was cute until a spike of pain emerged as he tried to lift himself up into the ambulance.
The doors finally closed and the van drove off, sirens blaring. May leaned down to a guilty looking Glalie and assured him it wasn’t his fault. Pikachu and Swellow tried to make the ice pokemon feel better as well.
“He’ll be alright guys. He’s been through much worse than this.” May insured.
“Pika pika,” he murmured to reaffirm.
* * *
Being a popular televised event meant that millions of viewers were watching the events unfold as Ash Ketchum sustained an enormous career injury. It was no brainer that Ash’s closest friends and family would be watching, despite the huge time difference from the American Pacific Coast and Kanto.
His best friend especially would be watching. Enter Misty, who was sitting on her couch in front of the television, crying and sobbing hysterically. She was never so worried about Ash like this before. She especially never felt so worried about anyone else like this before. She felt so helpless being so far away.
Misty picked up her Pokegear which was sitting on her mahogany coffee table and dialed a saved number she had on it. Misty indicated that her call went through as she tried to recover from her sobbing fits and become somewhat lucid as she began speaking to the person on the other line.
“Da… Da… Daisy? No… No… Nuh-Nothing’s wrong… Wha… What about my voice? Tha… Tha… That’s none of your da… damn business… I… I… I’m sorry… Listen… Miranda is going to cover for me for a little bit. I… I… I’m going to be in Los Angeles for several days.”
END OF CHAPTER 1
Chapter 2: I’ll Talk To You
TRANSCRIPT FROM ESPN’S “HANDLED ACCESS”
David Moyer: …Okay, we’ve all come to the consensus that the Chargers and the Raiders are now playoff teams... Wow, I just can’t believe I said that.
Paul Leighton: [Laughs] Okay, enough with the NFL. Let’s move on to the pokemon championships. I certainly know that news regarding what happened yesterday in the American Pro Pokemon League has been fiercely resonating throughout the press and media.
Gary Oxford: Yup, in case you’ve been living under a rock, you probably heard of Ash Ketchum’s absolute gut wrenching injury last night during the American League Open semi-finals.
[Background LCD screens display footage of the accident]
Tex Weaver: This came as an absolute shock to me, I don’t know about you guys.
DM: Oh! No doubt, this is going to put a wrench into Ash’s personal dynasty he’s been trying to build lately and in the past few years.
PL: Put a wrench? You’re acting as if he’s going to bounce back from this. Did the doctors say anything about recovery?
GO: There has been no further press release from his doctors today I’m afraid.
PL: I honestly think this may end Ketchum’s career.
TW: No no no. What are you talking about? The kid’s been a trainer since he was ten! We’ve heard of worse injuries but there’s always been the possibility of dramatic recovery.
GO: I agree with Paul. He has a very serious injury and I won’t be surprised if he gets crippled from this extreme physical trauma on his right leg. How will this affect his ability in other professional leagues?
DM: What he got was an extreme case of frostbite. That’s it! All he needs is therapy and he’ll be back on his feet again.
PL: How long will that take? Six months? A year? Even if Ash Ketchum makes full recovery, what about his pokemon? Who’s going to train them and make sure they’re ready for the next season during that extremely huge hiatus?
GO: I’m not so worried about that, even. I’m more worried about the kid’s spirits.
“Miss… Miss... Wake up. We’ve touched down at LAX.”
The stewardess had shaken a drowsy Misty awake. Misty, not having an opportunity to sleep until she boarded the plane, was dismayed that the flight was shorter than she wanted it to be. She had scheduled her flight last minute, wanting to get to California as soon as possible. As a result, she put her flight on standby, hoping that an open seat would be available on the already full flight to LA she was eyeing on. Thankfully, one person was a no show and Misty got what she wanted. However, it was at the expense of her precious sleep.
Misty yawned. She took out her luggage from the overhead bin and disembarked the plane on to the Tom Bradley Terminal. After getting through Customs, she walked out of the building and on to the loading zone. Misty, being from a quiet bike town of seventy five thousand, was surprised at the sheer amount of automobiles coming in and coming out of LAX. Naturally, amidst the overwhelming confusion, she picked up her pokegear and looked for May’s saved number.
“Hi! You have reached May’s number! I’m sorry I’m not available right now, but if you can leave your contact information, I will get right-.“
Misty pressed the disconnect button when she saw a boy wearing a blue American Professional Pokemon League jacket holding a sign that said “MISTY.” She approached him while dragging her luggage behind her.
“Hi. Misty Waterflower.”
Misty shook the boy’s hand.
“Hello, Miss Waterflower. I’m here on behalf of the American Professional Pokemon League. How was your flight from Saffron International?”
Misty didn’t seem to be in the mood for small talk. The boy, whose name was Roy from what Misty could see on his badge, seemed to notice this. He cut right to the chase.
“Well, whenever you’re ready, I’ve been requested by May Williams to take you to USC. Depending on how the traffic is on the 405 and the 10, it should take about thirty to forty minutes.”
The LA freeway network jargon flew over Misty’s head. She nonetheless wasn’t too thrilled that it was going to take at least half an hour to finally be able to see Ash.
* * *
May was up all night and morning. She was understandably tired from the events of yesterday night. At around 9 AM, she had finally gotten to receive well deserved sleep after doing so much waiting and pacing outside the operation room. It was now 3 PM and May was slumped against the wall while sitting on a hospital chair, trying to make up for lost rest. She was so deeply asleep that she didn’t even notice her pokegear ringing and blinking repeatedly thirty minutes ago. Pikachu, however, did indeed notice. He investigated May’s purse and tried to at least turn off the thing.
Unfortunately, Pikachu’s limited grip on objects that were meant for humans severely impeded his ability to do so. As a result, the electric mouse hopped back on to the hospital bed where Ash was recovering on and returned back to sleep on his master’s lap, trying to ignore May’s catchy ring tone.
Fifteen minutes later, another incoming call began disturbing Pikachu again. Irritated this time, Pikachu decided to put a bit more effort to turn off the phone. He jumped onto May’s purse and tried to dig into it, only to be spooked by an instant burst of the room’s door entrance opening. Pikachu’s flight or fight response instantly triggered an electric shock which shockingly woke up May. May was understandably surprised, identified by the bug eyed looks in her eyes.
After Pikachu understood that the person in the doorway was a friend, not a foe, he stopped his spooked attack. May got her bearings straight as well and she immediately identified the person in the corridor who happened to be holding a pokegear in one hand, waiting for a call to go through. The brown haired girl smiled ever so brightly.
Misty immediately disconnected her outgoing call. The ambient ring tone in the room stopped. Her face began to scrunch up as overwhelming emotions started to register in her head. She had two friends and a pokemon she hadn’t seen in six months right in front of her and a special person she held dear was hooked up to an IV, a waveform monitor, and was breathing through an oxygen mask. She certainly wasn’t taking it well as she began to break down.
May got up and hugged Misty. She patted her on the back and assured that everything was okay.
“I’m so glad you’re here.”
“The doctors say he’s in stable condition. I think he’s going to be okay.”
“Oh May,” Misty said as she wiped the tears, “I’m so glad he has someone like you with him in times like these.”
“I’m also glad he has a best friend who’s willing to travel at least 2000 miles in times like these.”
Misty laughed amidst her tears. The two became silent as they looked at each other and then at the young man who was currently unconscious.
“Misty, take a seat. Please,” offered May, “I think there’s a seat on that side of the bed.”
Misty followed May’s request and pulled up a chair. May did the same.
“So… How have things been since you two been on tour?”
“Other what you hear on television?” asked May, “Nothing much other than constant touring. How about you, Misty?”
Misty snorted playfully at that question, “Other then training an apprentice for me, there hasn’t been much going on at the Cerulean Gym. Kanto and Johto aren’t much compared to this place.”
“Are you dating anybody?”
“That’s… That’s not something I would like to talk about…”
“I apologize. I didn’t mean to pry.”
“Oh no. I don’t mind you asking,” Misty assured as she smiled, “How are things between you and Ash?”
“Me and Ash,” said May as she smiled, “Now you’re just trying to get back at me!”
“Damn, straight,” replied Misty, “Ash hadn’t been calling me for any advice on you since two months. Give me some dirt, girl!”
May’s face became a bit serious after Misty’s statement.
“You haven’t heard, have you?”
“I broke up with Ash.”
END OF CHAPTER 2
Chapter 3: "You Make Things All Right"
EXCERPT FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES – SPORTS SECTION
From Ash to Dust
By Frank Nguyen, Times Staff Writer
From when he was ten years old, Ash Ketchum had always wanted to be the best pokemon trainer in the world. No doubt, his ambitions have never wavered since Ketchum traveled all over the Kanto/Johto/Hoenn archipelago, competing in the open minor leagues starting with only the clothes in his backpack and a Pikachu. Time had certainly tempered the young man, currently labeled by most sports commentators to be “the kid you better watch out for” (Fox Sports Net) or “the signal of the new generation of professional trainers.” (ESPN)
Albeit, a major stopgap had finally approached the twenty six year old juggernaut. On February 17, 2024, Ash Ketchum had suffered a major injury from a pokemon battle mishap during his match against Brazilian pro trainer superstar, Americo Estebanez, in the Nokia Pokemon Coliseum located in Downtown Los Angeles. It appeared that Ketchum had analyzed the battle situation too quickly and thus ordered his glalie to attack Americo’s donphan without giving second thought to his own safety. As a result, Ketchum’s leg was injured severely, requiring prompt emergency medical treatment.
“Mr. Ketchum has suffered from extreme congelatio,” said Dr. Patricia Mayer, a surgeon of the USC University Hospital, “Although he has been treated and had undergone extensive surgery, we are still unaware of the repercussions of what this will have on Ash Ketchum’s ability to compete in The Leagues.”
The possibility of an early career end had been considered almost blasphemous when applied to Ash Ketchum as certain close friends and family have extreme confidence in the young professional trainer. From the small rural town of Pallet to the large metropolitan Saffron area, Kanto cities showed their solidarity towards their trainer representative by placing banners on light posts with slogans ranging from gentle “Get well soon Ash” to militant “This is the only setback.” Specifically in Celadon City, buses and taxis parked on the curb kept their radios on and doors open so that pedestrians could hear the latest updates on Ketchum’s status. In Pallet Town, fans of Ketchum stopped by his mother’s house to leave gifts of condolences such as roses, get well cards, and pictures of the young trainer. Delia Ketchum herself was unavailable for comment.
“The guy is a rock,” said Brock Slate, gym leader of the Indigo League Pewter City gym in the Kanto Region, “I’ve always seen him get knocked down to the ground like this before. At the same time, I’ve always seen him get up and stand even firmer on that same ground.”
“It reminds me during his first semi-finals in the Indigo League when he lost,” recollected Ketchum’s old professor, Professor Oak, “I said to him that ‘We fall down to only bring ourselves back up again. We always learn, don’t we Ash?’”
Saffron Tribune Photographer Todd Snapple contributed to this report.
“Why, May? Why?”
May didn’t want to answer. She knew that Misty wouldn’t be happy with any response she had in mind. She sat silent.
“May, answer me. What happened between you and Ash?”
“Nothing! I mean, something! But it was really nothing at all!”
“It was something, but it was nothing?”
May stayed silent again.
Misty softened her tone a bit, turning away from her torturing interrogator personality to becoming a concerned friend again.
“We’ll take one step at a time. Was it you or was it Ash?”
“That’s… That’s what I don’t know, Misty.”
“But, you said you were the one that broke up with Ash. It’s true right?”
“May, I’m not here to hurt you. I just want to hear you out. I’m sorry I overreacted.”
“It’s… It’s okay, Misty.”
“Okay, so, what was going on?”
May looked at Pikachu who was dancing and hopping all over Misty, enjoying her company having not seen her in so long. Despite the commotion the yellow pokemon was creating around the water pokemon trainer, Misty didn’t seem to notice at all. She seemed completely engrossed in May’s story. May began to regret having told Misty the truth.
“Ash… He’s different from other guys…”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s so ambitious and so dedicated. He has such a burning desire to become something great… He knows what he needs in his life.”
“Isn’t that the reason why you wanted to stay with him?”
“Of course! But on the other hand, he never seems to know what he wants.”
“What are you talking about?”
“He’s so selfless, Misty! You of all people should know that!”
Misty didn’t say a word.
May continued, “He’s always concerned about what other people want and need. Rarely does he consider about his own feelings or… or… or… give seconds thoughts about sacrificing his energy towards other people. Delia… She did one hell of a job raising this guy.” May motioned towards the black haired young man resting on the hospital bed.
Misty stammered, “I… I… don’t see how this has anything to do with your relationship, May.”
“I was so happy with him, Misty. But, honestly, I don’t know how Ash’s feelings were like later in our relationship. About two years after we started dating, he all of a sudden would take these long walks without taking any of his pokemon. Not even Pikachu! Or he would just go outside and just stare at the sky, thinking. It… It was weird. He… He seemed like he was missing something.”
Misty closed her eyes and tried to absorb the information. She put her head back, looking quite tense, almost looking like she was pondering or reflecting back on something.
“Go on,” she said.
“I’ve always tried asking if there was something wrong or if there was something not working out in our relationship. He would cheerfully say that he was happy and content with me. He would try his best to keep me happy. Like I said, selfless and sacrificing.”
Ash stirred in his sleep. Both girls immediately shut up in case Ash was lucid enough to understand their conversation. A couple tens of seconds past. The girls began talking again as Ash continued to lie without any more movement.
“But I don’t think Ash was as happy as he was when we first started dating, Misty. I can easily tell by his behavior when he wasn't around me.”
“So you broke up with him?”
“Right. I ended the relationship. I tried to explain to Ash that he needed someone that was better for him. If he wasn’t going to end it, I guess it had to be my own responsibility.”
“How did he take it?”
“He didn’t understand... He said that being with me was enough for him.”
Misty repeated her original question, “So, how are things between you and Ash?”
May answered the question less elusively than she did before, “He’s still an extremely close friend, Misty, which is why I’m here. He’s like a brother to me, but at the same time, we’re somewhat still kind of clingy to each other and maybe still kind of intimate… It’s…It’s complicated. I… I still have feelings for him, but I love him too much to know that there’s someone out there better for him”
Misty looked at the ground and then at Ash. She was so utterly confused as she wondered why May could be so selfless and almost like a doormat while Ash could be so enigmatic about his emotions, even when talking to Misty. A part of her was upset at both of them for not trying harder to work things out. She especially wasn’t happy with May, breaking Ash’s heart like that.
Albeit, a part of her wondered if she was inadvertantly involved in ending their relationship. Misty thought about it for a few seconds and tried to remember any profound things she had said when talking to Ash in the past two years. When nothing could spring up in her mind, she immediately waved it out.
The girls and the pikachu remind quiet. The waveform monitor could be heard steadily beeping, basking in the silence of the room. It remained like that for a minute until May decided to add her own contribution to the non-existent background noise.
“Misty… Do… Do you have feelings for Ash?”
Misty looked at May. May expected hell to pay, retribution, and vengeance from daring to ask that question. May, however, could see no discernible emotions in Misty’s neutral, poker game face. No embarrassment, no anger, no sorrow, no regret. Nothing. Nothing at all could be collected and observed from Misty’s body language. It was as if May didn’t say anything in the first place.
“This jet lag is killing me,” Misty complained, “I’m going to grab a cup of coffee.”
Misty got up from her chair and walked out of the room. When Misty closed the door, May crossed her arms, looked at the ground, and then at Ash.
“Pika pika,” murmured the confused pikachu.
“Yeah,” said May, “She’s really good.”
END OF CHAPTER 3
Chapter 4: "When I'm Feeling Blue"
TRANSCRIPT FROM CNN HEADLINE NEWS
Karen Hogland: ...Commenting on Ash Ketchum’s condition, we have our resident medical advisor, Dr. Hikaru Yonai, post-doctorate graduate from John Hopkins University.... Hello, Dr. Yonai.
Dr. Hikaru Yonai [Over the phone]: Hello, Karen.
Karen Hogland: Dr. Yonai, what is your take on Mr. Ketchum’s medical condition?
Dr. Hikaru Yonai: As you know, Ash Ketchum is suffering from an extreme case of congelatio. Colloquially, the condition is also called frostbite. Frostbite is basically damage caused to skin and other tissues from extreme cold. As minor and almost humorous frostbite can and may be, it is indeed very serious. Nerves and blood vessels can potentially be permanently destroyed and sometimes amputation is necessary to save the patient.
KH: As you know, much of the sports community has been following up on Ash Ketchum’s situation. Do you have any idea if he will be able to compete again in the professional Pokemon Leagues?
HY: As much as I don’t follow sports current events, I can probably assure this: Ash Ketchum most likely has much financial resources at his disposal. Therefore, he can afford the best medical treatment possible. The hospital he’s currently being treated at is at the forefront of cutting edge research of treatments and surgery. With the latest developments in stem cell research, his surgeons can in fact replace any lost skin or nerve tissue that he lost in his injury, perhaps enabling him to compete again.
KH: Thank you for commenting, Dr. Yonai.
HY: Thank you for having me on, Karen.
Misty sat down at the cafeteria of the USC University Hospital, nursing a cup of hot coffee. She thought about May’s question about her feelings about Ash. It had been sixteen years since she’d known him yet through all those years, Ash never really was aware of the crush she had on him throughout their journeys together.
Misty could never admit to Ash that she liked him. She herself never understood why, despite the fact that both of them got older, matured, and continually kept in touch throughout the years.
“Was it because of pride?” Misty thought. Amidst thinking of this, Misty took another sip from her sixteen ounce coffee cup.
Misty continually was tied to her work at the gym since she separated from Ash’s party and rarely had chances to travel as much as she did before. However, Ash would visit the Cerulean Gym as much as possible, continually fostering her crush each time. They would talk and catch up with each other each time he came; Misty would love to listen to the stories Ash would tell of his adventures. It was certainly the closest thing she would get to being able to travel with him.
The big shock occurred when the two friends were both sixteen. Though Misty was still too proud to admit to Ash that she liked him, Ash instead had confessed that she was his best friend. His rationale was that she was someone who he constantly empathized with and vice versa. He owed it to the fact that she was his very first (human) friend on his pokemon journey. Misty, deeply touched, said the feeling had always been mutual. Albeit, the stronger truth was still heavily extant inside her heart.
Regardless of their closer relationship, Misty was still separated from Ash for long periods of time. Eventually, Misty had convinced herself she’d probably never end up with Ash and it wasn’t healthy to continually depress herself over him. Being his best friend was more than enough for her. Therefore, Misty tried as hard as she could to repress her feelings and forget about her attraction to her best friend. However, it was more easily said than done.
No longer being the ten year old boy he used to be, Ash would constantly take Misty out on friendly dates and walks whenever he had the time. Although Ash’s intentions towards Misty were clearly friendly and not anything more, Misty’s mission to not romantically involve herself with Ash was made quite difficult. The water pokemon trainer’s heartstrings were continually tugged unintentionally by the maturing young man. Misty would consider this blissful torture until seven years would pass.
It was until then that catharsis and redemption would come to Misty when Ash admitted to his best friend that he was attracted to May. Misty was happy for Ash for finding an excellent partner and said that May was perfect for him, taking account of her personality and goals they had in common. At the flipside, Misty’s extremely territorial personality which she constantly exhibited to Ash’s potential “fans” was also exhibited towards May. However, since May was a good friend, she decided to not let her emotions get in the ways of friendship. They were about twenty three that time. May was nineteen.
Misty mentally kicked herself for letting herself remember that time when Ash announced that he was going to ask May out. She knew it was going to be quite difficult to forget the several awful days of when she locked herself in her room, crying profusely over her pillow. Her sisters would try night and day to coax her out of her room, wanting to make her feel better.
Misty went to take another sip from her coffee cup. There was still at least half and a quarter left. When she brought the spill proof lid up to her lips and poured some of the drink into her mouth, she noticed it was quite cold. Misty looked up at the clock to see that at least an hour and a half had passed from when she entered the cafeteria.
Misty got up from her seat and headed towards the exit of the café. She tossed her full cup of cold coffee in the garbage as she walked out.
* * *
May had told Pikachu that she was going to look for Misty. She was getting worried as she began to regret asking such a sensitive question to her. After she gave Ash a quick peck on the cheek, May walked out into the corridor, merging with the human traffic that populated the hospital. Doctors and nurses were trying as hard as they could to get from room to room, satisfying the needs of other sick and injured patients. Worried loved ones could be found wandering around, trying to find the room where their sick friend or family member lied.
May headed towards the fifth floor lobby to take the elevator to the first floor. She assumed that she could try to find Misty in the cafeteria. When she got to the lobby, she was about to press the button which would call the elevator only to be interrupted by a medium-pitch tone. Apparently, an elevator had already stopped at the fifth floor ready to take any passengers going down. May was about to enter the lift only to run into Misty who was disembarking the elevator.
May walked towards Misty while Misty stopped to wait for May.
“Where were you? You were gone for almost two hours!” May asked.
“I got a cup of coffee. That’s it,” Misty said.
“And it took you an hour and a half?”
“I…I guess. I lost track of the time, that’s all,” Misty said as she smiled.
May realized that maybe Misty just didn’t want to talk to her. She decided to apologize for what she said before.
“Misty, I’m really sorry.”
“For being so rude to you back in Ash’s room.”
“May, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“You mean, you don’t remember what I asked you?”
“It doesn’t matter May. We should go back to Ash’s room.”
May was extremely perplexed at Misty’s circular logic. She just stood there, trying to analyze Misty and predict just what the hell was going in her brain. After several processes in her head, she then realized that Misty was already walking her way down the hallway towards Ash.
“Hey! Misty! Wait up!”
End Chapter 4
Chapter 5: “You’re Such a Blessing”
EXCERPT FROM SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
By Thomas Schildt
Drew Rosen Back Into the Game?
Summary: Drew Rosen had announced he was not competing in the professional coordination associations for an indefinite amount of time three years ago. Though the professional coordinator has frequently been seen in the public eye throughout Hoenn, London, Paris, and New York City (notably with famous actress Grace Bowden) he has never made any sort of announcement when he will get back into coordinating again. Circulating over the Internet and various message forums are proclamations that Rosen will indeed make an announcement during March about his comeback to the coordination leagues.
True, false, or too hard to tell?: Too hard to tell. Though some of these reports are extremely unsubstantiated, Drew Rosen has a nasty habit of almost arrogantly doing press releases simultaneously along with shocking news in the pokemon sports department. Perhaps it took the Ash Ketchum upset to finally trigger Rosen into deciding the time is right? Though, it will certainly be exciting if Rosen makes a come back. Perhaps we won’t be bored anymore by the current May Williams dynasty we’ve been hearing constantly since Rosen took a break?
Misty looked back at May who was running down the hallway, trying to catch up. She had opened the door to Ash’s hospital room where he was recuperating while keeping her head towards Ash’s ex-girlfriend.
“C’mon, May. We haven’t all day!” she said playfully before she entered the room.
May smiled at her as she huffed and puffed down the sterile white hallway, trying to evade the obstacles consisting of stretchers, patients, visitors, doctors, and nurses. She had gotten dirty looks from some of the senior residents of the institution, but May didn’t seem to notice.
When Misty gauged that May had closed the distance between them, she finally walked into the room. At first, she noticed Pikachu being more jolly than usual, frolicking on Ash’s bed with loads of energy. Before she could scold Pikachu for bothering Ash while he was resting, she had noticed that the occupant of the hospital bed was quite conscious and well.
“Oh. My. God,” the patient said as he looked up. The young adult male froze and stared at the red haired girl he had known since the both of them were ten years old. The young man’s mind had put all processes on hold and devoted all its energies into absorbing the enthralling presence of the girl in front of him. His look of bewilderment and awe was slowly replaced by a smile and a look of happiness when he realized that he was in fact quite awake and not asleep.
Misty herself was speechless. She didn’t know what to say as she felt like she was sitting in front of a live studio audience, discerning her every move and word. As a result, she froze still like a deer in front of bright headlights.
All the while, May entered the room and tried to squeeze past Misty who was blocking the door frame. She had also noticed Ash was quite lucid.
“Ash! You’re okay!” she exclaimed as she approached to hug him.
Ash smiled at May as he held her. He then gave a concerned look towards Misty after giving his attention to May.
“Misty? Is anything wrong?”
“N…N… Nothing!” Misty stammered. She tried to get herself back into reality. “I… I… I was just really worried about you!”
Ash smiled at his best friend.
“I kinda think you worried too much,” he said, “May, why didn’t you try to stop her from wasting her frequent flyer miles?”
“I tried to, Ash,” May said in a patronizing tone, “You should’ve heard her over the phone. She was hysterical!”
The two laughed out loud. Misty responded by simply narrowing her eyes at the two. Both of them shut up immediately.
The joke had ended and Ash gave a serious look at Misty this time.
“Misty, I’m really glad you came to see me. It… It means a lot to me.”
Misty gave a smile of assurance to Ash. Any gratitude from him was always something she cherished greatly.
Ash opened his arms towards Misty while May stepped out of the way. The two friends embraced while Misty closed her eyes.
“I honestly thought I lost you there,” Misty admitted, “Again.”
Ash patted Misty on the back.
“I’m never going away. You of all people should know that.”
“Pfft,” she dropped, “Unfortunately.”
Ash gave an uneasy smile to May. May simply shrugged and returned the same uneasy grin.
“But, honestly, Misty, you really shouldn’t have come all the way here to check up on me. I’m a tough guy.”
Misty immediately let go of Ash. She put her hands on her hips, appearing to not approve what Ash just said earlier.
“For your information, Ash Ketchum, the entire Kanto region is going absolutely nuts over you!”
“Oh, no…” said May.
“So what? It’s not like I got killed in the match or anything!”
“You almost got killed in that match!”
“That’s debatable, Misty.”
“Debatable, huh? If Glalie had aimed several more inches up, we would be having this argument at the coroner instead of the hospital!”
Ash stared at Misty’s absolutely serious, concerned, and scolding face and mirrored the same look back. The two leered at each other, playing a short game of serious stare eyes. The contestants seemed vigilant in winning. This went on for a minute, much to May and Pikachu’s dismay, until one of the sides had finally stood down.
Ash was the one that lost as he began to burst into laughter.
“Wha… What’s so funny?” Misty asked.
“Oh, God…” Ash giggled, “I missed you. A lot.”
Misty wanted to stay mad at Ash. However, she couldn’t help but smirk at his bright, optimistic personality.
“I swear to Christ you’re hopeless, Ash,”
Ash winked at Misty and gave a toothy mocking smile at her. Misty responded by pulling her bottom right eyelid down. Nothing appeared to have changed since the two were both ten years old.
"So, what did the doctor's have to say about me? Will I be back into the game next week?" he asked enthusiastically.
Misty and May looked at each other uneasily. This wasn't going to be pleasant.
* * *
Expectedly, Ash wasn't happy about the news. It was going to take at least five months for his leg to fully heal. The doctors said that Ash was in no condition to train or compete for six months, effectively taking him out of the entire season.
After Misty and May had given the prognosis to Ash with the help of Dr. Mayer, they had both gotten the hint that Ash wanted to be alone for the rest of the day. With no further business to be done at the hospital, May decided it was time to get Misty settled in to the local hotel they were staying at. Walking down the hallways of the fifth floor, the two headed towards the elevator lobby.
While they were walking, May decided it was time to warn Misty.
"Misty, how much experience do you have in dealing with the press?"
Misty was unsure where May was going with that question. However, she decided to answer it to the best of her knowledge.
"Uh, not that much. The most I've done with reporters were small interviews for amateur training magazines and several large ones for local Kanto papers."
May looked at Misty with a quite unsure look as they entered the elevator. Misty pressed the button that would bring them to the lobby.
"Misty, whatever you do, don't say anything when we're outside until we get to the car. Do you understand me?"
Misty returned an equally unsure look to May. As the elevator doors closed she nodded to assure May that she was to follow her instructions.
When they arrived at the first floor, they took notice of copious amount of news reporters outside through the glass doors. In the corner of Misty's eye, Roy could be seen getting up from one of the main lobby couches, making his approach towards the two young women.
"Miss Williams, Miss Waterflower. We need to move quickly."
"Where's the car?" May asked.
"It's on the loading zone. Joseph is waiting for us outside."
“All right,” May said, “Let’s go.”
The three persons quickly skimped through the lobby and stepped through the automatic doors. Reporters with their cameras and tape recorders quickly exerted themselves upon Misty and May as they reached outside of the building.
"Miss Williams! Could you give a comment on the current status of Ash Ketchum?!"
"May Williams! May Williams! Has Ash Ketchum's injury changed your perceptions of him? Was there a relationship between you two?"
That was only a sample of the barrage of questions that were thrown at the two girls. Though actually, it was more like those questions were the only ones that could be heard amongst the cacophonous discordant choir of inquisitive voices.
When the reporters noticed that Ash's childhood friend was with May, it was decidedly Misty's turn to also have a line of juicy questions asked about her.
"Misty Waterflower! Misty Waterflower! Is there a reason why you travelled all the way from Kanto? Was it because of your relationship with Ketchum?"
"Miss Waterflower! Throughout your time since childhood with Ketchum, have you two had feelings for each other?"
Misty's neck had an instant turn around reaction to the last question. She stared at the women reporter who had the look of business in her face. In contrast, Misty's face looked absolutely stunned, mouth slightly ajar. May noticed Misty had stopped walking and began tugging at her wrist, goading her to finally get into the car. Misty complied, albeit reluctantly, as she continued to stare at the reporter.
May had not heard the reporter who had somehow gotten to Misty. She obviously was curious as to what had pushed Misty’s right buttons. After they entered the relative safety of the four door sedan’s back seat, May put her attention on her friend.
"Misty? What did that woman say?"
"Uhhh… Nothing. Nothing at all," Misty assured.
May wasn't satisfied with that response. However, she was smart enough to not question it.
End Chapter 5