Author’s Note: This is the second story for Season Three, and surprisingly it’s a romantic comedy story instead of the typical angst fest. Amazing, eh?




-                       What Is Love?                       -

-                       By Brian                                 -




            When I went to sleep last night, everything seemed perfectly normal. Team Rocket had tried to take Pikachu (and they received the usual Thunderbolt), I was forced to drag Brock away from another Nurse Joy (He had wanted her to heal the wounds in his heart), and May and I had examined her newly acquired Wurmple (which had reminded me of my faithful Caterpie from years ago).


            When I woke up this morning, I expected to go through the daily routine of missing Misty, finding a new pokémon, dragging Brock away from another girl, fighting off Team Rocket, and having the day end with a valuable lesson learned.


            Instead, I was asked one of the greatest mysteries of the universe-


            “Ash? Uh, are you okay? It’s like you spaced out there for a second.” said May, looking at me with a funny look in her eyes.




            She punched me in the arm. “Hey, don’t try to play dumb with me…you still haven’t answered my question.”


            “What question? Where am I?”


            She put her hands on her hips and sighed. “I was just wondering if you knew what love is, Ash.”


            Love? What is love? Uh….


            “Well, love is…love is…” I stuttered out, not knowing what the heck I was going to say next.


            My stuttering didn’t last long as my Pikachu shocked me to a crisp, causing me to convulse violently on the ground. She threw up her arms in defeat and walked away, telling me that one way or another she’d find out what I thought love was by the end of the day.


            As I slipped into unconsciousness I thought: “Oh Rattatas…that doesn’t give me a lot of time, does it?”




            *          *          *




            “Hey Brock…I need some advice.”


            He was despondent, but that was probably because he was staring at Nurse Joy, who was busy talking with Officer Jenny. Poor guy…all the girls seem to reject him, probably because they think he’s either a pervert or a potential stalker.


            “Hey Brock? Are you listening to me?”


            He nodded a bit, his gaze never leaving the two adult women, who would forever be out of his league. I mean, they’re twice his age after all…and it would cause a scandal if a Nurse or Officer ever fell for a sixteen-year-old boy, right?


            “Yeah…what were you saying, Ash?”


            He looked at me, and I almost burst out laughing when I attempted to look him right in the…uh…eyes. “Heh…erm…I need advice on love, Brock. Think you can give me some?”


            Brock’s face considerably brightened, and he puffed out his chest proudly, pointing to the sky for added effect. “Of course you’d come to me for advice on love! After all, my love for Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny is as bright as any shining star!”


            To my surprise, the two women, who had obviously overheard Brock’s rather loud proclamation of love, giggled like schoolgirls. Even though there were absolutely no stars in the sky, seeing as how it was ten in the morning-


            Wait a minute! Did…did Brock just cause two perfectly beautiful women to giggle like schoolgirls? Maybe Brock was quite the charmer after all-


            Wait a second, this is supposed to be about my quest to find out what love is, not about whether or not Brock is a ladies’ man!


            “Erm, right. Anyways, what do you think love is about, Brock?”


            He folds his arms and thinks about it for a moments. “What love is about…?”


            “Um, yes?”


            “Well…love is…love is…”


            “Well?” I said irritably. Was Brock trying to avoid the question, like how I did with May?


            “Love is-” he stopped in mid sentence, and his jaw dropped to the ground.


            Was it something I said?


            He curled into a fetal position, and he mumbled incoherently over and over again, just like how he did when we used to mention Professor Ivy’s name…


            I turned around and found Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny holding hands, walking out of the pokémon center whilst whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears. Well, you certainly didn’t see something like that everyday…


            I didn’t know whether to laugh at Brock, or feel sorry for him. Shrugging, I left him alone as I wandered around the center, trying to find an answer to the greatest mystery of all time.




*          *          *




            “Hey Pikachu…” I said, a little desperately, “Do you know what love is?”


            She tilts her tiny head at me and looks at me funny, as if I were asking to be Thundershocked. “Pi…ka?”


            “Yes…um, right. So you do know?”


            The electric sacs on her cheeks start to crackle with electricity. Huh? I didn’t do anything! Oh no-




            I crumple to the ground once more, not appreciating the burning sensations I’m experiencing right now.


            I manage to cough out, “Why did you do that for?”


            She giggles, obviously enjoying the pain she has inflicted on me. “Pika pi!”


            “You mean you did it because I was asking a stupid question?”


            “Pika! Pika!”


            “But how would you know what love is?” I asked in wonder, “The last time we even saw another Pikachu was when we met Ritchie and Sparky awhile back-”


            Another Thundershock rudely interrupted me. “WAAAAAHHHHH!”


            This…doesn’t seem to be working. “Well, then, who is this mysterious love that you speak of?”


            Her little eyes sparkled as she said, “Pikachu, Pika! Pika!”


            “You mean you left behind a Raichu in Professor Oak’s ranch? But that was over a month ago, Pikachu! He might’ve courted another Pikachu by now-”


            “PIKA!” she squealed angrily, and another bolt of energy struck me, causing me to black out once again.




            *          *          *




            May was going to kill me if I didn’t answer her question by the end of the day. Sure, she’s sweet and cute, and it’s nice that she doesn’t harm me with large objects, but I just knew that she was going to do something bad if I didn’t answer her question.


            I mean, you know, it’s a hard question and all…and…and…man, why did she even ask me? I thought today was going to be your average day, and then all of the sudden she asks the dreaded question…and now I’m wasting time trying to figure out what love is. I mean…you know…I don’t have to figure it out, but I’m being compelled by my sense of bravery and adventure!


            Or maybe I just have nothing better to do, and this is really just an interesting way to pass the time while I wait for our pokémon to get healed?


            Well…wait, what was I talking about again?


            “Ring-ring-ring! Ring-ring-ring! Phone call, Phone call!”


            Since I had no luck asking Brock (who was still moping over his lost loves) and Pikachu (who was moping over her lost Raichu), I decided that I wasn’t going to resort to asking random people in the center. I didn’t want to seem crazy or anything…


            “Oak residence. Who’s this? Oh, Ash!” said a familiar brown-haired boy, while an old man and a black-haired boy with a headband looked on in the background.


            So I thought, why not call up the Oaks (and uh…Tracey too) on the vid-phone? After all…they’re practically family…they ought to know what love is, right?


            “Hey guys. I um…have a question for all three of you, if you don’t mind.”


            Professor Oak popped onto the vid-screen. “Sure Ash, what’s on your mind?”


            I smiled nervously. “Um, I kind of have an unusual question to ask all of you. Do you mind?”


            “Ahh…” Professor Oak said knowingly, “You were going to ask us about pokémon, right? Breeding, perhaps?”




            “Maybe he wants to learn how to draw?” added Tracey, even though that was clearly out of the question.


            “How about no?” I said, slapping my forehead. This wasn’t going the way I had hoped…


            Gary closed his eyes, crossed his arms, and smiled mysteriously, causing me to wonder what he was going to say. “I know what he’s going to ask…”


            I blinked. “You do?”


            “Of course!” he announced dramatically, and suddenly all his old cheerleaders appeared out of nowhere, cheering him on wildly, “You wanted to ask if you could challenge me to the duel of a lifetime!”


            I rubbed the back of my head and laughed a little. “Sorry, Gary…but maybe next time?”


            Immediately his cheerleaders vanished, and he sulked off into a corner of the room, mumbling incoherently about being written off the show.


            “Well then…Ash…why did you call us?” asked Professor Oak.


            “Well, Professor Oak…I was wondering if all of you could tell me what your thoughts on love were, since I’m having a bit of a dilemma here.”


            There was a moment of silence, well…before Tracey abruptly broke it by pushing Professor Oak out of the vid-screen’s view. “Love? Love! Why…it is the very thing that drives us to what we do! It is the thing that fills her hearts with joy! It is what motivates people to follow their hearts! That is especially true for the artist, for he derives his passion and inspiration from love! Love…oh sweet, beautiful love! If only I could see my love right now, but alas-”


            I breathed a sigh of relief when Professor Oak pushed Tracey out of the screen, especially since Tracey wasn’t really making much sense with all that yelling and…symbolism…I think.


            “Well, if you ask me, Ash…love is a very important thing in life. You know, I used to be in love…heck, if I hadn’t been in love all those years ago then Gary wouldn’t be sulking in a corner right now!” remarked Professor Oak, a little too cheerfully as he pointed towards Gary.


            “I’m not sulking!” was his reply, causing the Professor to laugh heartily.


            “I guess I better be going now. Thanks for your…uh…help-”


            “Hey! Aren’t you going to ask me what love is, Ash?” shouted Gary, who pushed his grandpa out of the view of the vid-screen.


            Well, not really, but I have a feeling you’re going to tell me anyways.


            “I’ll take your silence as a yes. Getting back on track…I think love is a very precious emotion. Like Tracey said, it’s what drives us to do what we do. If it wasn’t for the one I loved, I would never be as good as I am today!”


            Eh? Gary loves someone, instead of himself?


            “And who might this lucky girl be?”


            He slumped his shoulders and sighed heavily. “Green.”


            “Amy?” I burst into laughter at this revelation, “But we haven’t seen her in years, Blue! She’s probably with some guy-”


            Gary scowled angrily. “Argh, don’t you think I know that already?”


            He sulked off once more into the corner, muttering about Green and how his love would always burn brightly for her.


            “Erm, thanks for all the advice. Later!” I said hurriedly, slamming the phone back into the receiver.


            Mmm…maybe I shouldn’t be asking guys about this, seeing as how they are as clueless as I am…




            *          *          *




            “Love? Why are you asking about love, dear?”


            Why does she look so nervous?


            “Uh…I’m fourteen now, and most boys my age should know about love…?” I said, lying through my teeth. If I had told her that May had asked me, she’d probably ask me why I had a new “girlfriend”, and I wasn’t prepared to deal with something as embarrassing as that.


            She gulped nervously. “But…dear? Don’t you think you’re too…young for that?”


            Now I was starting to get worried. What was she trying to say?




            Mom starts panicking, much to my surprise, since she’s usual calm and collected. “But-dear-you’re-way-too-young-to-hear-about-the-birds-and-the-bees-and-this-is-something-you-should-talk-about--with-your-father-even-though-we-haven’t-seen-him-in-years-and-that-jerk-left-me-I-bet-and-you-are-the-world-to-me-please-don’t-grow-up-so-quickly-”


            “Whoa, hold on mom! Calm down! I’m not asking about…that…” I said, trying my best to calm her down, “I was just wondering what your thoughts on love were…”


            “So you’re not asking about the birds and the bees?” she said, looking at me suspiciously.




            Her cheerful demeanor returned once again. “In that case, I’ll be glad to tell you what I think love is!”


            “Then what is it, mom?”


            “Love is…is when you worry about him all the time, even if you know he’s perfectly fine. It’s there when you heart swells with proud at all his accomplishments…and it’s there when you see him all grown up, with so many friends that care about him as much as you do…”


            My cheeks reddened as I heard this. “Mom! You’re embarrassing me! I thought you were gonna tell me what you thought love was!”


            “But dear, I did tell you!” she said knowingly, “Love isn’t just the romantic kind! Especially when the one you thought loved you left you for some-”


            “Okay-thanks-I-love-you-bye-mom!” I cut in, hanging up on her before she could go further. She always went on and on whenever she talked about dad, but I guess it was understandable, considering he was an evil, cold-hearted b-


            “Pika-chu!” squealed Pikachu from out of nowhere, giving me a Thundershock in the process.


            “Wah…it’s like you can read my mind!” I whimpered, as I fell to the floor for the third time today.




            *          *          *




            One last person to ask…but would she know?


            I dialed her number and waited for the screen to show her face…




            It’s been so long since I’ve seen her! She looks wonderful! But I could never tell her that…


            “Ash? Is that you?”


            I feel funny…like there’s a whole bunch of Butterfree and Beautifly in my stomach. Maybe I’m sick?




            She’s changed so much. She looks so much more mature, like her sisters…


            “Here’s an idea Ash! Why don’t you say something instead of staring?”


            I never imagined that I missed her so much. Why didn’t I call her before?


            “Ash? Come on Ash! Say something! Anything! How are you? How have you been?”


            Now I understand now! Now I know what it means!


            “Grrr! Call me when you’re actually gonna say something instead of just staring, Ash Ketchum!”


            A goofy smile appeared on my face, even though the vid-screen was blank.


            Why? Because it all made sense now!




            *          *          *




            “So Ash, you gonna tell me what you think love is?” May asked smugly, and I resisted the urge to yell, shout, or scream it out.


            I merely smiled and said, “Love is…”




-                       End                              -




            “Wait a minute, you didn’t even finish your sentence!” yelled May, grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me violently.


            “But it’s the end! It’s supposed to end like that!”


            “No it’s not! You still have to tell me what you think love is! I’ve been waiting in the background while you were trying to figure it out! I only had one scene! You’re gonna tell me or else I’m gonna get Misty to come down here!!”


            “Okay…okay!” I said, managing to slip out of her grip-of-death, “Love is…um…love is…”




            “It’s when you…look, there’s stuff!” I said wildly, taking advantage of the situation by running as fast as my legs could take me.


            I’m pretty sure I know what love is from my “conversation” with Misty, but I’m still too young to talk about it, right?


            “GET BACK HERE ASH!”


            Eep, must run faster!




-                       End                              -




            Didn’t turn out quite the way I expected, but I think this is an okay story at best. o_o Certainly not my best…but I wanted to try another romance/comedy fluff thingy…


            Just in case you don’t know…Green/Amy is from the Green version of the original games; her version was released in Japan only. More information on her will be available in Ascension. =D


            As usual, tell me what you thought of this story by reviewing! *Insert evil cackle*




            Next stories for Season Three (also available in my profile):




Shadows – Ash and May come upon a dark, nameless city, and find more then they bargained for...

Conversation – Ash, Misty, and May talk? Huh? Angst? Humor? What?


Never – "Misty" explains to Ash that she'll never come back, because Hoenn is the end of the line for the series.


Ugly Little Runt – Misty finds out what Ash really thinks about her.


Born To Be A Winner – May and Ash battle for the title of Pokémon Master of Hoenn, and only one may win...and May is going to make sure it is her, no matter what she has to do...


Wistful – While Ash and Misty are on a date, Brock, Tracey, Gary, and May play a game of thirteen…


Cognitive Dissonance – Ash must choose between the two most important things in his life.


Love Is Not A Magicarp You Can Catch – Gary goes on a date with Misty, and tries his best to impress her…