A PIKACHU IN LOVE
It was a cold night in the woods of Johto. The trees shivered along with the fleshly things as the chilly breezes whistled by and nipped at it with icy fingers. The moon was being passed by gray clouds and misty vapors, and in the song of the air a Noctowl or Hoot-Hoot could be heard joining in to the melody.
It had been a long day for Pokemon trainer Ash Ketchum and his friends. The battles they had been in with both Team Rocket and fellow trainers alike were tiring them out, and they needed a vacation from all the stress. Traveling through the woods they had come upon a lovely area of woods and forest land that would allow them a short cut to the next city, and for Ash, the next Johto League Gym.
The humans and their Pokemon friends made camp around a brightly burning, courtesy of Ash’s Cyndaquil. All of the Pokemon had been released from their confinments, including Brock’s assortment, so the three teens and their sixteen Pokemon friends encircled the fire and had a late-night supper. The food as normal was provided by Chef Brock, and tonight he had given them a special treat of sub sandwiches loaded with greens and white meat.
Misty pinched off little bits of bread and lettuce for Togepi, and the baby egg Pokemon gulped them eagerly, sitting besides its best friend and protector Pikachu.
The yellow mouse Pokemon had been the first Ash ever acquired, and as such he was the most powerful in terms of level and experience to all of Ash’s team. He didn’t look that tough and was not horribly intimidating at a height of two feet with his cute shining black eyes, but beneath the fur and the long pointed ears he could power half a city with the voltage from his electric-charged cheeks.
It was the greatest joy of Pikachu’s short life being with Ash and his friends. There were few Pokemon who could say to have the amazing adventures and experiences that this Pokemon did. He had traveled the world, had seen amazing secrets of the Pokemon universe and even witnessed some of the rarest Pokemon ever to exist.
But above all that he had a loving trainer who was his best pal in the world. That was the best part of all. As Pikachu sat on a little log with Togepi, hastily eating the sandwich given him by Brock, he looked at Ash on the other side of the fire. The teenage human was surrounded by admirers. Bayleef nestled next to him on his right and Misty sat on his left. The boy and the girl were laughing at something Misty had said in jest, and they didn’t stop. Even some of the Pokemon joined in laughing. It was that contagious.
It warmed Pikachu’s little heart to see them all having such fun, for the last few days had been far too tiresome. Ash had been training hard to prepare himself for the next gym, and had challenged nearly every trainer they met along the road.
That meant Pikachu’s exercise had increased drastically from what he had grown used to, and he had to stretch some muscles that had been dormant for too long. Pikachu remembered that he had fought a Marill, a Venomoth, a Drowzee and an Aipom all in the same hour. It had been hard, but Ash lovingly pushed him on and with some effort the yellow Pokemon was able to muster enough strength to win for his Trainer.
That was one thing Pikachu liked about Ash. He was much more than a friend; he was almost a brother and a parent at the same time. He was there for his pal whenever Pikachu needed him, and he was able to give him guidance and encouragement like a father.
When he was younger, Pikachu felt that he needed no one, that he could take care of every little thing life threw at him no matter what. But meeting Ash and discovering how dangerous the world was showed him why he needed someone to lean on, turn to in trouble and depend on when he was weak.
But also Ash respected his Pikachu. When the mouse had expressed the desire not to be transformed into a Raichu Ash heeded that wish and did not force him to. Their relationship was so close Pikachu knew that if he could actually talk to Ash he could trust him with anything. But as it stood he was content just to stand on the sidelines and watch the relationship between Ash, Misty and Brock grow. They were all becoming closer as well. Misty and Ash hardly ever argued anymore, and Brock was more and more becoming a part of Ash and Misty’s hearts like the family he was.
It was nice to see, but it made Pikachu a little sad.
As much as he tried he could not be on the same level as the humans. They conversed, shared their thoughts and hearts in spoken word and by other things. Pikachu could only speak his own name, or variations thereof, and was very limited in what he could express to them.
As much as he loved the people, Pikachu wanted more in a friendship. He got along splendidly with Ash’s other Pokemon, but they tended not to chat with him as much. There was always a lingering split between Pikachu and the other Pokemon because they all were well aware that he was Ash’s favorite. This made poor Pikachu the equivalent of a "teacher’s pet".
Probably the best Pokemon friend he had was Togepi, but it was still but a baby, and that made their friendship more of a big brother little brother one.
Pikachu sighed, looking up into the night full of swirling ray and twinkling white. It was a beautiful night, but he just didn’t feel happy enough to enjoy it.
As supper finished up Ash announced, "Okay everyone, time for bed! We can have more fun tomorrow. We’ll hang around in the forest for a few more days yet so you all can rest. You’ve all been working really hard and I’m proud of you."
The other five Pokemon on Ash’s team nodded and cheered for the break, then obediently returned to their warm comfortable Poke-Balls. Pikachu had not been in a Poke-Ball since he had been given to Ash, and he did not intend to do it again as long as he lived. He was horribly claustrophobic, and just wanted to be free. So instead as Ash set out his sleeping bag Pikachu curled on the free side of his pillow and tried to make himself comfortable.
Soon there was a line of three sleeping bags, Ash in the middle with Misty and Brock on either side. Misty let her hair down and yawned.
"I hope there are some good motels coming up," she sighed. "My back’s going to need chiropractic care after a week in the woods." Suddenly they heard a strange screeching noise of some Pokemon in the woods and Misty squealed, hiding deep within her sleeping back. Her muffled voice came through the bag and said in a little frightened voice, "Good night guys. Make sure one of you stays up and keeps the creepy forest Pokemon away from me."
Ash chuckled. "Okay. We’ll keep her safe, won’t we Pikachu?"
The yellow mouse smiled and twitched his ears. "Pi, Pikachu."
With that the people went off to sleep, and since Togepi was in the sleeping bag with Misty Pikachu for once didn’t concern himself to look after the infant. Yet he could not sleep. He looked up at the stars, and they reflected in his black eyes. Something just felt…different. Something was keeping Pikachu awake and would not allow him to drift off.
As he pondered this the mouse suddenly caught a scent, coming from somewhere in the woods. It was faint, but very familiar. The scent kept nagging at him, so Pikachu decided it would do no harm to go and explore for a moment. Ash was asleep, so what his trainer didn’t know wouldn’t kill him.
Pikachu knew that he could take care of himself if anything came up. He was trained well, and was in full control of his powers. Looking over his little shoulder to assure Ash really was snoozing Pikachu silently scurried off into the trees, following his nose like a toucan.
The Pokemon whisked through the trees and bushes with barley a rustle of the leaves, all the while the scent grew stronger. Pikachu had an incredible sense of smell, but for the most part he ignored it because it was some Pokemon species he was all too familiar with. But this scent was odd…like a memory that you could not pull out clearly, but you knew it was there and that it was important.
He ran into a little clearing, ringed with ancient cedar trees that were filled with Caterpie, Kakuna, Spinarak and other bug species. These were of no concern, and were not what he was after. Pikachu saw a little dirt path ahead leading to a rise in the forest, and he decided that to be the way he needed to go. He was getting anxious, so Pikachu used his Agility attack to run even faster and he was up the rise before a blink could be completed.
When he reached the top, Pikachu saw that the path led to a rocky cliff overlooking almost all of the forest, far reaching for miles and miles, and off in the distance he could see the twinkling lights of the nearest city. Berry bushes lined the cliff, and as Pikachu listened he heard one of them rustling.
The mouse tensed up, not knowing what to expect as a form began stepping out from it.
With a shock greater than any of his electric attacks Pikachu saw as a small yellow creature emerged, chewing on some of the berries. When the creature saw Pikachu it gasped and dropped its food.
The two Pokemon stood there looking at each other, silent as stone, not moving a muscle as they gazed. What Pikachu saw was another Pikachu, perhaps a little smaller than he with big blue eyes and little eyelashes. A pretty sky blue bow was attached to one of its ears, and it had bright pink cheeks.
It was what Pikachu had sensed. The familiar scents were from this fellow member of his Pokemon species, only this Pokemon was a female.
Finally Pikachu gathered some courage and spoke in his normal sweet manner.
<"Hi there. I didn’t scare you, did I?">
The girl Pikachu blinked a couple times before she made an answer. Her little voice was so high and cute it sounded like a newborn baby. <"Um, no, you didn’t scare me. Who are you? Where did you come from? I didn’t think there were any other of our kind around here."
<"Not that I know of,"> Pikachu answered. He was nervous and could not think of what to say. It wasn’t often he ran into a friendly Pikachu here in the Johto region. <"Do you have a trainer?>" That was a good enough place to start.
The female smiled. <"Oh, yes, yes I do. Her name’s Faith. She’s a wonderful person, and I just love her.>" She reached out a little paw for Pikachu to shake. <" I’m Pichi. What’s your nick-name?">
Pikachu took her paw, but he looked a little unsure how to answer that question. <"Uh, my trainer never gave me a nick-name. He thought Pikachu was just fine, so I guess just call me that.">
Pichi smiled and looked in thought. <"Hmmm, I think I could give you a better one. How about Picha? No, wait, Thunder-Mouse. Sound good?"> She giggled and picked another berry off of the bushes. <"These just ripened, and they’re really good! You want one?">
Pikachu smiled and accepted. This "Pichi" was a very friendly type, and good company was hard to come by with Pokemon on the road so he thanked her and ate. The berries were very good, and he could feel them strengthening him with their nutritious juices. Pichi took a seat on the edge of the cliff and gestured for Pikachu to do the same.
Swallowing his berry Pikachu sat and looked out over the forest. <" So where is your trainer?>" Pikachu inquired.
The girl pointed down below into the woods. <" She and her traveling friend set up camp down there. I just needed some fresh air, so I wandered around for a while and found this great grove of Berry bushes. Faith is wonderful, but she doesn’t give me enough berries. I like them! So what about your trainer?">
Pikachu pointed in the opposite direction from where Pichi had. "<He and his friends are over there. So do you like your trainer?>"
"<Oh yes,>" she answered. "She’s very nice, but I really don’t like to fight that much. I’d just rather stay cozy and look pretty for her than get beat up in Pokemon Battles. Don’t you think those competitions are silly? >"
"<No, actually,>" Pikachu said honestly. <" If I didn’t train and wasn’t as strong as my trainer made me than I couldn’t handle dangerous situations as easily. It comes in handy to be strong and know your powers. It’s saved my trainer’s life on one or two occasions.>"
This interested Pichi. <"Oh, really? That’s funny, you don’t look that tough."
Pikachu raised an eyebrow. His pride demanded she think otherwise. "<Hey, I’ve taken down Gyarados ten time my size. It took a long time to train, but in the end I was rewarded for it. It just depends on your determination.>"
Pichi smiled strangely. "<Okay, how about a race? We’ll see what it takes to be a strong Pikachu. My trainer says I’m one of the fastest Pokemon alive. Think you could take me on?>"
"<I thought you said you didn’t like competition?>" Pikachu returned.
"<I don’t like fights, but I like proving to others why I’m the best Pikachu in the region. What do you say, Pika-Boy?>"
With a smile Pikachu decided to accept. This would be fun. He always liked to show off just a little, even as modest as he was. Pichi set the rules and laid out their course. No powers other than Agility were to be used, and they would zip back down the way Pikachu had come to get to the cliff and end at a particularly tall tree off in the distance.
The two Pikachu braced themselves on the top of the hill, tails flicking in anticipation, small sparks coming from their rosy cheeks. At last Pichi said, "< Ready…set…Race!>"
Faster than the law of physics could have predicted the two rodent creatures shot off like lightning bolts, creating small sonic booms in their wake. All one could have seen of them had they been there to witness this race would have been two flashes of yellow that could not have been made out.
Pikachu had to admit that this girl was fast…really, REALLY fast! The most powerful of Ash’s Pokemon, Pikachu often prided himself on his speed and power, but every once in a rare while their came along someone or something that showed him he was not all powerful. When that happened it was often necessary for Pikachu to refocus and try harder to win.
This was going to be one of those times.
As he and Pichi zipped along the forest paths, a cloud of kicked up leaves and grass flew behind them. They almost ran into some sleeping Spearow, Raticate and Hoppip as they went, but the speedy Pokemon were also good at quick thinking to evade the danger. As the tree that was their target loomed ahead, Pikachu gritted his teeth, forced his legs to give it everything they had and he was almost flying rather than running.
Their breath escaping in short bursts the Pikachu made the final stretch…and by barely a millisecond the female Pikachu slapped the bark of the tree with her little paw. Pikachu unfortunately had been going far too fast, and in order to not slam into the tree he swerved at the last second and crashed into a bush.
Pichi came to his aid with a worried exression on her cute face, until she saw Pikachu slowly pull himself out of the bushes, his ears covered in damp leaves and Spinarak webs. He looked quite a mess, and held his head as his eyes rolled in his sockets. That little race had been something of an intense physical output for him.
Then Pikachu heard Pichi giggling, which in turn became hysterical laughing.
"<What’s so funny?>"
In between her laughter the little lady Pikachu exclaimed, "< You look TOO silly with that stuff in your hair!>"
Confused Pikachu centered his eyes and looked up, seeing the edge of a leaf poking down his forehead. He then grinned in embarrassment and cleared his head of the unflattering adornments. He then blushed a little, his red cheeks glowing a deeper hue of almost maroon and he conceded, "<Well, I guess you won.>"
Pichi shrugged with a proud smile. "<Yeah, well, I told you I was the fastest.>"
Pikachu detected no condescension in her tone. She was just having some fun with him. Suddenly Pikachu decided that he really liked this Pokemon. She was funny, she was fun, and…well, she was a Pikachu.
He then had a thought. He figured she would love this.
"<Hey, since you won, how about I show you this great grove of Mint Berries? My trainer and I found it on our way here.>"
Pichi’s eyes widened in jubilation. "< Mint Berries?! Oooh, those are GREAT! So tasty! Well, what are we waiting for? Show me please!>"
Pikachu smiled. She was going to be fun to hang out with. Forgetting Ash and Company completely for the rest of the night, Pikachu and his new friend made their way to the Mint Grove, talking and playing until the early hours of the morning, and then they bid each other good-bye and went back to their respected camps. They promised that they would meet again the next night if they could. Pichi said that she wanted to show Picka chu a special spot overlooking a valley, but only if she could get away. If her trainer decided to leave than that would be the end of it.
Pikachu had not had that much fun for a long time, and he rather hoped that they could get together again. He had been so lonely lately, wanting to be with his kind, and Pichi had made him feel childish and happy again. It was quite wonderful, and with a smile on his face the whole way back to camp Pikachu silently reentered the sleeping grounds of the Trainers as the sun began to climb over the mountains, and carefully the yellow mouse slid beside Ash and nestled against his chest, warm thoughts of the last evening still racing through his mind, finally sending him to sleep.
In the morning Ash was the first to wake up, and after a heart yawn he looked down to see Pikachu curled beside him. The human formed a glowing smile and stroked the Pokemon’s head lovingly.
Gosh, he thought, Pikachu must be tired. He’s usually up before me!
Ash slipped out of his sleeping bag and stretched, then looking to his friends. Brock was drooling in his sleep, and Misty was looking very strange as she hugged her pillow to her body and was rested her head on it like she were clutching a teddybear. Togepi was curled up in egg form and did not stir.
Figures, Ash thought impatiently. They won’t want to get up for another hour at least. He was too ready for the day having got a good night’s sleep, and he wanted to do something fun with his time off of training. But his three main buddies were all sawing, so resorted to the next best thing Ash grabbed Bayleef's Pokeball and released the organic Pokemon.
"Bay Bay!" the sweet dinosaur/plant Pokemon said joyously, seeing its beloved trainer. Before Ash could act the Pocket Monster had jumped on him and pinned him to the ground, wagging its tail like an excited Growlithe.
"Bayleef!" Ash laughed, trying to force the heavy Pokemon off of him. It certainly was easier getting the Pokemon off when it was a Chikorita. "Get off you silly spice head! I just wanted to see if you wanted to go to the stream with me and do some fishing!"
Bayleef looked all too eager, and smiling cutely with its big eyes closed it squealed, "Bayleef Bay!" It then proceeded to kiss Ash repeated all over his face, forcing the young trainer to muster all of his strength to hurl the hyperactive Pokemon off. He laughed and wiped his face.
"Okay, let’s go. We’ll let everyone else sleep." He reached into his backpack and grabbed a Super Rod. He gestured for Bayleef to follow and the two set off for the nearby stream.
Just then Pikachu stirred awake for a moment, and the mouse was startled when he saw that Ash was not beside him. Looking just in time he saw as Ash and Bayleef walking away together to go have some fun together. Thinking that Ash had not bothered to invite him along made Pikachu a little sad. He always invited him along! Why did he---?
The feelings Pikachu had been experiencing lately, of loneliness, of not having as great a place with the humans as he wanted, were growing, and as he looked at Bayleef with his trainer he felt perhaps just a little jealous and depressed.
Pikachu wanted so much more than just to be an on the side attraction, something that was there but only really cared for when the humans needed his help. He knew deep in himself that Ask loved him, really did, but was Ash even capable of making Pikachu feel as loved and accepted as he wanted to be?
Being with Pichi last night…it had been a breath of fresh air, it had made Pikachu feel comfortable and understood, because Pichi and he were the same. They were two of the same creature, and had that automatic bond. It was nice to have an intelligent conversation with someone that could actually understand him, rather than just yelling, "Pika Pika Pikachu!" all day long and hoping that Ash could get the gist of what he was saying.
Pikachu felt quite determined now…he had to meet Pichi again tonight, and spend more fun time with her. She knew how to make him feel comfortable and happy. She could fix all of this.
Patiently Pikachu waited through the day, and the humans did their own thing. They ate, they played games with their Pokemon, and Ash came back to camp with Bayleef, four big fish as his prize capture for supper and even a Magikarp he had accidentally snagged. That one he decided to release at the insistence of Misty, who was quite disgusted with the sight of that ugly fish Pokemon in their camp.
The young Ketchum was too busy through his day talking to Misty and Brock, sharing ideas on training and Pokemon treatment and plans for when they got to the next town and other such things that he never even spoke to Pikachu, accept to remind him that it was time for supper.
That clenched it, Pikachu decided. He was going to leave again tonight, and go find someone who would give him some real attention and not just take him for granted.
The sun set and the night was full of stars. The campfire dying down, Ash settled into his sleeping bag and called over to his Pokemon, "Hey Pikachu, ready for bed?"
Pikachu sat by the dwindling flames and sighed. He looked at his trainer and shook his head slowly. "Pika."
Ash was understandably a little confused. Pikachu had never shown any resistance before. Was something wrong?
"No? Are you okay, Pikachu?"
Trying to get Ash off of his case, Pikachu frowned and stared down at his little feet, and said in a rough and insistent voice, "Pika!"
However Ash understood his Pokemon’s expressions and emotions better than even Pikachu guessed, and the young man could clearly see that something was eating at his friend. But like a wise parent or friend Ash could tell that now was not the time to persist. Pikachu seemed to need some space, so with a soft tone Ash laid his head down and whispered, "Goodnight, Pikachu. Sleep well."
After a few moments Pikachu glanced over at his trainer, saw the dying fire playing over Ash’s face. Pikachu’s heart softened, and sadly he sighed as he thought how he was judging Ash for not giving him enough attention. He knew better than to think that Ash did not care for him. Maybe Pikachu himself was the one who needed to find a better way to communicate his feelings to his trainer. If Ash understood how he felt, than he would certainly do more to make Pikachu feel comfortable.
Suddenly Pikachu saw a bolt of lightning shoot up from the ground, several hundred yards away. It was a Pikachu Thunder Attack, and he only took a second to figure out that it was Pichi, signaling to him where she was so they could meet up again.
The energy signal continued for several moments, and Pikachu knew what he wanted to do. Looking back at Ash with a sad expression, he finally gave in to his feet and began running in Pichi’s direction.
As he disappeared into the bushes, Pikachu did not know that one of the human trainers had not been able to sleep and had seen him leave.
Misty looked up from her sleeping bag and whispered curiously to herself, "That’s funny…where’s Pikachu going in such a hurry, and why didn’t it tell Ash?"
To Be Continued…
Thank you for reading. First submitted fic I have made, so if you like I shall continue, and many other keen stories are being brewed up in my mind for the Pokemon Fic Lovers. Reviews welcome atSamgamgee1985@Yahoo.com