Author's Note:

Hello everyone and welcome to my first story! This is going to be a huge project for me so I will be counting on you, as the readers, to help me through it. This story will be AU and the first in a series. It will follow a smarter and slightly more mature Ash on his journey to become a Pokemon Master. That being said, just because he is smarter, he will still make rash decisions sometimes at the very start of his journey, but lose his recklessness later on. Essentially, he's still Ash. He will be accompanied by Serena, who will also establish her own identity. As far as shippings go, this will be an amourshipping story (mainly one-sided early on), but will also have small hints at other shippings as well. The regions Ash and Serena will travel to are: Kanto, Orange Islands, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh, with each region divided into a separate story. I will not be doing Unova or Kalos as I want this series to end at some point. If I do all the regions, this series will never end because I would have to keep adding new arcs along with the games. Sinnoh seems like a good stopping point before I wrap things up with a final arc. This one will cover the events of the Kanto region. I haven't fully decided who they will travel with in other regions, but here in Kanto, it will definitely be Misty and Brock.

With that, Let's get started!

Edit: For any new readers to my story, I hope you won't get turned off by the early chapters as I know they aren't of great quality...ah...who am I kidding? They're atrocious, and the reviews tell me that I've lost a lot of potential readers because they don't make it past chapter ten (I can't blame them, really). My writing gets much better as the chapters go on and I think you will like them. I've chosen not to rewrite any early chapters right now as it is a testament to how far I've come as a writer since I started.

Chapter 1: Pallet Town Summer Camp

It was a warm, sunny day in Pallet Town. There was not a cloud in the sky. It was the perfect day for summer camp, which is where our setting takes place. Kids were standing side-by-side in a line, all eager for the next activity. The said activity was going to be a scavenger hunt. It was one of the most anticipated activities at Pallet Town Summer Camp.

A young, raven-haired boy with brown eyes at seven years old was among the most eager of the group. His name was Ash Ketchum. Ash was a very kind, if not a little stubborn, boy. He loved to explore and go out on adventures, which is why he loved scavenger hunts. He always made sure to put his friends and family before anything else. His dream was to become a Pokemon Master. When he turned ten, he was going to set out on his journey and win every badge in the Kanto region, and then win the Pokemon League. Next, he would conquer other regions and challenge the Elite Four, the best trainers in the world, of each region. He was determined to become a legend.

Another boy in the group stood slightly taller than Ash and had his mouth curled into a smirk. His name was Gary Oak. He also had brown eyes and large, spiky brown hair that went out all over. His grandfather was the famous Pokemon professor of the Kanto region and was considered the authority on Pokemon. Because of this, Gary had grown to have a very arrogant attitude and loved showing off in front of the other kids, particularly Ash Ketchum. . They had been rivals for a very long time and were always competing. Like Ash, Gary's dream was to be a Pokemon Master as soon as he became of age. He wanted to destroy any other trainer that crossed his path and gain even more fame than his grandfather.

There was also a girl who was very excited for the activity. Her name was Leaf Green. She had brown eyes and long, chestnut-colored hair that went down her back. Leaf was a very energetic and bubbly girl who enjoyed making friends with everyone, Pokemon and people alike. Because of this, she was one of the most well-liked kids in Pallet Town. She and Ash were good friends and enjoyed exploring and playing together. She even managed to get along with the arrogant Gary Oak sometimes, though they weren't as close as she and Ash were. Unlike Ash and Gary, however, she didn't have any interest in being the greatest Pokemon Master. Her love of Pokemon and exploration inspired her to instead fill up the pokedex and gain information on every kind of Pokemon there is.

However there was also one girl in the group who wasn't very excited for the hunt. Her name was Serena Gabena. She had blue eyes and shoulder-length, honey blonde hair, though most of it was covered by the straw hat she was wearing. She was new to Pallet Town and had moved there just a few weeks ago. Her mother had sent her to camp in the hope that she could make some friends there, but Serena was too shy to talk to anybody. Leaf had attempted to start a conversation a few times, but even she couldn't get much response from Serena. Unlike Ash, Gary, and Leaf, Serena didn't have a clear goal in mind. Her mother had been a famous Rhyhorn Racer but was now retired. It only took Serena a few times on her mother's Rhyhorn to decide she didn't want to follow in her mother's footsteps. She was always getting thrown off the first few seconds. So what could she do with her life?

"Heh, this is going to be a piece of cake. Everyone knows I'm going to win," Gary said in an arrogant tone, causing the other kids to glare at him.

"Oh yeah, Gary? You might have beaten us at some of the other events, but you won't win this time! I can't wait to see that smirk wipe off your face!" Ash said to him.

This caused Gary to turn his attention to Ash now. Leaf sighed worriedly and shook her head. Here came another one of their arguments.

"Oh yeah, Ashy boy? Everyone here knows that you're a loser. Why don't you just go back to your cabin and sit this one out? It will save you the embarrassment of losing to me again," Gary shot back. There were few things in the world that made Ash angry, but Gary Oak was one of them.

"Just you wait, Gary. I'm going to win this time, and then I'll beat you at everything else, too!" Ash shouted.

The two boys then butted heads and growled at each other, silently daring the other to give in first. Leaf rolled her eyes while Serena and the other kids just stood there quietly watching.

That was when the camp counselor decided to intervene. "Alright. Alright. Break it up you two. You don't want me to have to call your parents do you?"

The two boys then gave each other one last glare before walking back to their respective places in line. Ash's ears burned as he stood next to Leaf. She was watching him with a frown, and Ash knew he had let Gary get to him again.

Leaf then leaned over towards Ash and whispered, "Ash, you are one of the nicest boys I know. You shouldn't let Gary get to you like that. You know he is just trying to make you mad."

Ash then sighed. "Thanks, Leaf. I just wish I could beat Gary at something to prove that he isn't as great as he thinks he is."

"Alright, so does everyone understand the rules?" the camp counselor asked, receiving a nod from all the kids. "Remember, no teaming up. You are to do this alone. There will be counselors at various points around the camp to make sure you don't get lost. The first one to find all the items will be declared the winner of the scavenger hunt. Most importantly, have fun! Are you ready?"

All the kids were then handed a basket and a list of things to find. Ash, Gary, Leaf, and the other kids had determined looks on their faces, all except Serena. She gave an unsure look at the list of things to find, going through them in her mind. How could she succeed at this event? She had barely even gotten through the others. She didn't even want to come to this camp in the first place.

"Are you excited for this?" Ash suddenly asked Serena.

Serena almost leaped in surprise at Ash's voice. She slowly turned and saw he was giving her a bright smile. The honey blonde-haired girl averted her eyes away from Ash and shyly nodded her head. Great. Another person was attempting to be nice to her, but here she was, not even trying to continue the conversation. Serena couldn't help but think the boy had a nice smile, though.

Not understanding Serena's shyness, Ash shrugged and turned back to the counselor.

"On your mark, get set, go!" the camp counselor yelled, pumping his fist into the air. The kids then all ran off into different directions, determined to beat one another at the scavenger hunt.

Serena was walking through the forest beside the camp by herself. It was already twenty minutes into the scavenger hunt, and she had only found a couple of items on the list. She then let out a sigh. She hoped she would at least be able to get through this event. It was going to be the last major one at the camp since it was the last day, and she hadn't made a single friend yet. Aside from Leaf, and Ash just now, no one had really attempted to talk to her. She hated being the new kid and wished she wasn't so shy to make new friends.

She then heard a rustling in the bush. She stopped and eyed the bush. "Umm, hello? Is anybody in there?" she asked timidly.

There was no response.

"Hello?" she asked again.

There was still no response. Serena slowly started walking towards the bush and was about to peek when all of the sudden, a Poliwag jumped out of the bush with a was so startled that she tripped and fell backwards, dropping her list and the basket of items.

"Owww!" Serena cried as she landed.

The Poliwag just looked at her and waddled off into another part of the forest. Serena had scraped her knee pretty badly when she fell, and it really hurt. She couldn't even stand up. Serena then began to cry. Where were the camp counselors at? They were supposed to be at every area.

"I didn't even want to come to camp in the first place," she said in between tears. "I wish someone would come to help me. MaMaaaaa!"

Just then, she heard more rustling from the bushes. She hoped it was one of the counselors, but what if it wasn't? What if it was another Pokemon, only more dangerous than a Poliwag? Serena stared fearfully at the bush until a raven-haired boy emerged from it. She sighed with relief that it was just one of the campers. They hadn't been formally introduced, but she believed he was called Ash Ketchum, they boy who tried to speak to her right before the event began. He was still clearly looking for items in the scavenger hunt.

"Hmm, where is it?" Ash said to himself. He then noticed Serena. He walked up to her and gave her a warm smile. "Hi. You're that girl from earlier. My name is Ash Ketchum! What's yours?"

"I-I'm Serena," she said timidly.

"Why are you on the ground, Serena?" the raven-haired boy asked.

"I fell, and now my leg hurts," Serena said, grimacing at the pain.

"That's okay. I'll help you," Ash said as he set down his things.

He then bent down and pulled a blue cloth out of his shorts pocket. Serena watched him as he began to tie the cloth over her leg. "This is really nice of him," she thought to herself. He could have just ran to get help which would have left her alone again, but he was fixing it himself.

Once Ash was done, he began to wave his hands over the wound. "I'll say a good luck charm really quick. Pain, pain, go away!" he said.

Despite how silly it sounded, Serena thought that it was really sweet and gave Ash a smile of her own. The young girl even felt a slight tinge of red on her cheeks.

"Thank you, Ash," she said gratefully.

"No problem. Can you stand?" Ash asked her.

She then began to try, but the pain forced her back down. "It's no use! My leg hurts too bad!" she cried.

"Never give up until the end!" Ash told her as he stood up and offered Serena his hand.

Serena stared at the open gesture for a moment before she slowly slipped her hand into Ash's. He then gave a hard tug and pulled Serena to her feet, but ended up pulling a little too hard which caused Serena to fall against Ash in an almost hug- like state. Serena stood in total surprise for a moment as she leaned against Ash and felt her cheeks go red again. She then pulled away and stared at Ash with wide eyes. He didn't appear to notice the type of state they were in, and instead gave Serena a bright smile.

"You stood!" Ash said happily before giving her a grin. "Come on. Let's head back to the camp."

With that, he began to lead Serena by hand, out of the forest. Serena turned around and noticed that Ash's basket of items and her own spilled ones were still behind them.

"But what about your things for the scavenger hunt?" Serena asked.

"That doesn't matter right now. What matters is getting you back safely," Ash told her with a smile as he continued to lead her by the hand.

Serena continued to silently follow Ash out of the forest. He was being so nice to her, and they didn't even know each other. First, he tied up her wound, helped her stand, and was completely dropping the scavenger hunt to make sure that she was safely led out of the forest. She would say that he was probably the nicest boy she had ever met.

"So do you live in Pallet Town?" Ash asked her.

"Yes. My mama and I just moved here a few weeks ago," she replied.

"Well that's great! Once camp is over, I can come over to see you at your house, and we can play together! I'll also introduce you to some of my friends!" Ash said enthusiastically.

"That would be really nice. Thank you, Ash," Serena said with a smile. She was so surprised at how kind Ash was. He was even offering to come see her once camp was over and be her friend.

"You bet! Hey! Look! We've reached the end of the forest! Let's get you to the nurse's office to make sure you're okay," Ash said as he pointed to the exit. Then together they walked out of the forest, hand-in-hand.

It came as no surprise to anyone that Gary Oak had become the victor of the scavenger hunt. He didn't waste any time bragging to everybody about how he knew he would win and that he was the greatest ever, especially to Ash. Normally, Ash would have gotten angry and given a retort to Gary, but at the moment, he wasn't bothered by Gary's taunting. He was just glad he was able to help Serena when she was in trouble.


"How is she, Ms. Nurse?" Ash asked after the nurse had examined Serena's scrape.

The nurse then turned to Ash and gave him a smile. Serena was sitting on a chair with her leg in a more appropriate bandage.

"She will be just fine, young man. It was only a scrape and will heal completely in a few days," the nurse told him kindly. "You were very smart to tie that cloth around her scrape until you could get help for her. She must be lucky to have a friend like you."

"That's great!" Ash exclaimed and turned to Serena. "See, the nurse said you will be just fine. You will be feeling great again in no time!"

"Y-yeah. That's great," Serena said, feeling the red return to her cheeks. Why did she keep getting so flustered around Ash?!

"Oh, no! Serena, your face is getting red. You aren't getting a fever, are you?" Ash asked with worry. This caused Serena to become even redder than she already was.

The nurse, however, knew exactly what was going on and came to the rescue. "Don't worry, Ash. Serena isn't getting a fever at all so don't you worry about it. Why don't you go on back outside while I finish up in here?" she told him with a smile.

"Ah, young love. That's so sweet," the nurse thought to herself.

"Okay," Ash replied as turned around and headed for the door. Before he left, he turned to Serena and gave her a thumbs-up. "Hey, Serena! Let's play together real soon!"

With that, he walked out of the nurse's office, leaving Serena and the nurse alone. Serena still had the blue cloth Ash had given her and brought it close to her chest. As she watched the young boy go, she felt a wave of sadness wash over her. She hoped she would be able to see Ash again soon.


"Hey, Ashy-boy! Are you even listening to me?! I beat you again!" Gary exclaimed, trying to get some type of rise out of Ash, but Ash wasn't giving any type of pouting or angry look as usual. Instead, to Gary's surprise, Ash gave him a smile.

"Alright, Gary. Good job. You beat me this time, but you just wait until next time," Ash responded.

Gary just stared at Ash, dumbfounded for a second. He finally gave up taunting Ash, but not before muttering, "Loser," and walked away with his hands in his pockets.

Leaf then walked up to Ash. "Wow, Ash. I've never seen you handle Gary's taunting like that," she said in approval.

"Yeah. I guess I'm just happy because I was able to help someone and make a friend today," Ash replied.

"Really? Who is it?" Leaf asked him, curiously.

"Her name is Serena. She had hurt her leg during the scavenger hunt. I found her and helped her out. It turns out she lives in Pallet Town, too," Ash told her.

"Oh yeah. I remember Serena," Leaf recalled. "I had tried to talk to her while we were here at camp, but she never said much back. She was really shy."

"Yeah. She didn't say a lot to me, either, at first," Ash said.

Leaf then smiled at Ash. "That's always what I've liked about you, Ash. You care a lot about others, you're always wanting to help those in need. You will be a great Pokemon trainer in the future. I know it."

"Thanks, Leaf! I'm going to shout it out right now!" Ash responded and then turned toward the sky. He then cupped his hands over his mouth, and shouted out, "Look out, world! Ash Ketchum is coming before you know it! I'm going to be the greatest Pokemon Master ever!"

Little did Ash know that Serena was watching him from the window of the nurse's office and heard the words he had shouted.

"Ash really is something," Serena thought to herself.

She had a feeling that he was going to be a big part of her life from now on. Maybe coming to the summer camp wasn't such a bad thing, after all.

So how was it everyone? Please tell me what you thought in a review. Constructive criticism is welcome. Should I keep going or not? I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have about the story.

This chapter was a little shorter compared to how long the other chapters will be. It was mainly used as an introduction to some of the characters, as well as the meeting of Ash and Serena The next chapter will begin their Pokemon journey. My chapters should contain around 4000 to 6000 words each. Is that an okay length?

If any of you thought that Serena was too shy or Gary was too big of a jerk, that will change. Serena's shyness was mainly because she was the new kid. Gary will mature but still be cocky.

Expect the next chapter to come up soon! "Chapter 2: Meeting the starters."