Nodus by WyldClaw

Plot: According to the dictionary a Nodus is "A complicated situation or problem", which makes the title perfect for this chapter. Why you ask? Read on to find out. If you think I own Pokémon you must've been hit with hyper beam cause I don't! Set about 12-12 ½ years after first time parents". I'll mainly be using Pokémon from Kanto-Sinnoh in this fic. There might be a few new ones/ attacks thrown in but not many [give me Kanto/Johto generations]. Notes: " "-humans talking, italics- thoughts. *Indicates untranslated serpent tongue, while the translation is in {}. I based serpent-tongue off Parseltongue from Harry potter. () - Translated Pokéspeech. One of Misty's Pokémon from the show makes an appearance- read on to find out which one! Enjoy!

Revised 6/25/16: after some thinking I have decided to lower Ash and and Misty's ages from 28 to 24/ 25, respectively when they have Derek. That waould make them about 36/37 years old at the start of this fic.

XxX

Narrator: it's been twelve and a half years since our heroes had Derek. Since then the world has changed. Two pairs of former foes are now on fairly good terms. Professor Oak retired leaving the lab in the hands of Gary and his wife Dora. New gyms and Pokémon have popped up. In fact a trainer's school now exists in Pallet City, formerly known as Pallet Town. Conveniently Derek has just graduated from the school and is ready to go on his journey. But there's a secret preventing His parents from letting him go. Let's peek inside a certain house on Doduo Drive shall we?

XxX XxX XxX

It was a warm late May evening in our Pallet City house when it began. We were having eggplant Parmesan for dinner but my mind wasn't on the food but on something else. I pushed the piece on my plate around with my fork.

Mom looked up at me concerned . "What's the matter Derek? Aren't you hungry? " she asked concerned. At thirty-six years old she was still pretty with her red orange hair flowing just past her shoulders. She was trying to feed dinner to my two and half year old brother Aiden, who had reddish brown hair and hazel eyes. Despite her best efforts, most of the food was on her light blue shirt. " It's your favorite meal- well one of them. "

I had gotten my fairly large appetite from dad. I shook my head. "Not really, Mom."

My short light brown haired five year old sister Delia Jane, or DJ, looked up, her face smeared with cheese and tomato sauce. "Are you sick? Did you eat something bad at the graduation reception?" she asked her brown eyes full of concern as she studied me, trying to read my Aura with her very minimal Aura powers. But she didn't have any luck.

Dad looked up from his own plate at her words. My best friends Jaden, Samantha 'Sami' Oak and I along with my other classmates had graduated from the Pallet City Trainers' School that day. To aide kids in their journeys kids started pre-school at age three or four and regular trainer school at six with 'graduation' at eleven or twelve. The classes included survival skills, the continent's past, poke-speech class-which I admit I was fairly good at, strategy class along with basic subjects. Many other major cities followed this example however it was not required.

"Not really, DJ. I just ate a lot there after the graduation. " I half lied. Though I had been able to eat some food, reporters kept coming up to me, taking pictures and asking questions. Unfortunately being the oldest kid of Pallet City's Battle Park Frontier Brain- not to mention the man who saved the world innumerable times from various evil organizations-and former gym leader Misty Waterflower had its downsides. who could really eat with those reporters bombarding me with questions? "Plus there were tons of paparazzi."

Aiden looked at me. " What putt-err-tat-zee?" He tried sounding out the word.

Mom chuckled as she wiped food from his face with a napkin. "Its pronounced paparazzi, sweetie," she said. "It means people who take photos of famous celebrities doing regular things for magazines and newspapers."

"Oh."

"Are we famous Mom?" DJ asked.

My mother nodded. "It's because of your father and I, dear."

"Is that why there's always people with cameras at my softball games that aren't part of the family?"

"That's right pumpkin." Dad smiled. "They were there as I was taking you to your first day of school . . . You have to know how to deal with them and answer their questions politely. Some of them can be very nice." He turned to me. "You said there were a bunch of them asking you questions at the reception. What sort of questions did they ask you?"

He looked at me oddly and I saw myself looking into his black eyes. A twelve and a half year old boy with green eyes and wild black hair in a gray tee shirt and a faded thin scar on the side of a cheek stared back at me . "Just... Questions about what I was going to do next, if I had a goal in mind and if I was going to start a journey of my own." I mumbled the last five words.

My parents looked at each other as if having a silent conversation. Finally Mom said, "That's nice. I'm surprised they weren't surrounding Sami or Ryan. I mean they were swarming them when they started preschool. I'm a bit surprised they weren't around Jaden. After all, Jordan is pretty well known as a Coordinator and is about to compete in the Grand Festival. Their parents must be so proud... "

Dad stabbed his dinner with his fork and that was the end of that conversation.

XxX

After dinner DJ and Aiden went up to their room with Mom to get ready for bed. Then she came back down and we washed and dried the dishes. "Jaden said he was going to talk to his parents about being a trainer." I said casually.

The subject of my best friend, well at least his parents, was a sensitive one. Dad stopped drying the dish in his hand, put it down on the counter and looked at me. "I'm surprised they'd let him."

Mom looked over at him. "What do you mean by that, Ash? He's a normal boy just like Jordan is a regular girl/ never mind what their parents did in the past. I think it's good that he wants to go explore the world. Jordan did that and look at how well she's done. What did they say?"

"Uhh" I looked at my shoes. "He hasn't said yet"

We finished the dishes in silence. They went into the living room to talk quietly. I stared out the window at the remaining sunlight, which flowed over part of our backyard and Saw Sunset, my parent's shiny Charizard fly back in for the night. I sighed. I wish I could fly like her- I'd be able to see the world then.

I turned away from the window and walked over to the mirror. My green eyed tan skinned reflection stared back at me and I sighed. My unruly black hair- so similar to my dad's-flopped over the place and my bangs fell cross my face. I pushed them behind my ear but a strand flopped back in front. I wore my favorite tee shirt-a grey one that had a picture of a Ponyta racing across it and a pair of patched shorts. People said that I looked so much like Dad did when he was my age. My grandmother Delia said the resemblance- asides from my green eyes I got from Mom- was so similar it was like looking back in time to when Dad was my age . I stared at my reflection for a few minutes trying to flatten my unruly hair but failed so I gave up.

I grimaced as I took in the two thin scars on my cheek. Sami needed my help a few days ago getting an unfriendly Purugly out of a tree. It used me as a scratching post but we got it out eventually. That thing was worse than Meowth when we have to give him a bath. Something behind me yelled (Banzai!)

I turned around and looked as Aki, Pikachu and Storm's littlest pup, jumped at me from the kitchen counter.

I caught her in my arms in mid-air. "You little furball." I said as she nuzzled my check. We were pretty close. "You didn't scare me that time."

(Rats. you looked distracted so i thought I'd scare you)

"Silly mouse, tricks for kids" I tickled her ear as she sighed in content. "Where's Taran?" I asked, looking for her brother. The only one of her siblings still with us, Taran was normally near his sister.

Her ears dropped. (He was training with Pignite, Gible, Snivy and some of the others. Papa said he was wiped out so he crashed in the barn with sunset)

She gazed out the window. I looked over at her distinguishing feature: her lightning bolt tail stump. When she was little some kind of accident happened and it was bitten off. She didn't remember it and my parents became mysteriously deaf when the subject came up. The loss meant she couldn't use electricity that much. She couldn't really use electricity so she beat herself up a lot.

She saw Ron, one of dad's staff, lead two Jolteons back to 'the barn' -an enormous warm attack-proof shelter - with a gaze of longing. (I wish I were like them. I'd give the rest of my tail to be able to use electricity, even know Volt Tackle)

Despite barely being able to handle electricity she was determined to learn her species' special move, which not only took a ton of concentration but lots and lots of practice. Dad told me how long it took Pikachu to learn it. She looked away and focused back up at me. (Papa won't let me learn it) she sighed. (It's too dangerous.)

(He let Thora, Electra and Zap know it but not me. Taran didn't want to learn it)

I related to being unable to do something you wanted that everyone else could. "I understand where you're coming from. Dad won't let me go on my own journey."

(Have you tried asking him?)

'Plenty. He still says it's dangerous, I guess we're in the same boat" I sighed. You'd think it would be easy for my parents to let me go on my own journey! They should be encouraging me to leave but they keep refusing. . There's something they're keeping from me and I'm curious as to what.

Curiosity killed the cat and unfortunately I was born under the sign of the lion. Why won't they let me go? It's just not fair. We both groaned in frustration.

As if reading my emotions a kindly female voice answered (I understand your frustration but your parents they have their reasons). I turned around and saw Aki's mother, Storm, pad into the room. I looked down at her. (And Sweetheart it's because you're too impatient) Aki jumped down from my arms and rubbed her fur against her mother's. I knelt down to give her ears a scratch. Asides from her petite size Storm was like any other female Pikachu but with one major difference. Due to a rare thing called electrumus deficient disorder, she couldn't really use electricity a lot but she could use it in little bits. Over the years dad developed attacks for her to use. But she had a skill that made up for it: She had this ability to read emotions and sometimes minds.

"You know I hate it when you do that emotion reading thing."

She licked my cheek. (Sorry but it was pretty strong. Your frustration's pretty clear)

"I'm surprised DJ didn't pick up on it during dinner," I said. My sister had some very slight Aura powers.

(I don't think her ability is that strong but Pikachu's and Ash's are). She said. Due to his Aura powers being really strong and not using them much Dad was able to transfer some his powers to Mom and some to the mouse. He said he did it because he didn't need that kind of ability.

She turned to her daughter (Krookodile wants to help you practice your Mega Punch before it gets too dark. He's underneath the Blue Apricorn tree near the barn)

(Yeah!) She dashed out the little flap door in the door.

The Pokegear around my arm went off with a chirp-a text message. I pressed a button on the side to see the message. It was from Jaden: said they'd 'talk it ovr'. Doubt it will happen pal. Keep fingers crossed. –Jaden

Storm looked at the text. (You think they'll let him go?)

" right ….. and Golems fly . " I knew what they were going to say. If they were any things but ex-Rockets in the past then perhaps they'd let him go. Probably want to keep him safe. I mean Jordan got to go but that was just contests. And they weren't settled down then…

Storm's voice broke me out of my thoughts. (That reminds me, your parents want to talk to you)

I groaned. "Oh joyful. Wish me luck."

(Just don't get on their bad side)

"Ha." I stood up. "You think i want to? "

XxX

I went into the living room. Mom and Dad were sitting on the couch, Pikachu next to looking at something on the table. As i got closer i saw it was one of their wedding photos. They all looked up when they saw me. I decided to lie a bit. "I got a text from Jaden saying that his parents said he needs a partner for his journey."

(Right… and I can fly like a Fletchling) Pikachu flicked his ears as if detecting my lie.

Mom looked at me not believing me at all. "Really?"

"Uh... no. "I mumbled. "But even if they did say so he could then would you let-"

Dad stood up. "Absolutely not."

"If Jaden goes on a journey can-"

"The answer is no".

"But dad-" I began.

Pikachu's eyes went back and forth between the two of us. "For the hundredth time Derek the answer is no."

"I've beaten everyone at school at least twice, some even three times. You were there when Principle Maplestone made that speech about me during graduation today."

"As much as I was impressed you're not going."

"Why are you against me going on my own journey? You know my friends all get to go-"

"You don't know what it's like out there."

"I've been to Johto on field trips and you've taken me to Cerulean city, Seafoam Island and the league. For Mew's sake I'm twelve and a half! Grams said when you were my age you already competed in two different leagues."

"Two and a half actually" he muttered half proudly half embarrassed under his breath and then raised his voice. "But the Times were different then. It's… not safe, "

(Your dad's got a point) the electric type said.

He gave me a look with his chocolate eyes but I didn't flinch. He sighed and turned to mom. I knew there was something they weren't telling me. "Mom, please Make him see reason..." I begged

She looked from dad to me. "Sweetie, it's not that we don't want you to go. It's just… "

"what is it?"

Pikachu looked down. (We-…can't tell you)

"You're…you're too young to know the truth. " Dad said

"That's not it is it? It's because you don't think I'm good enough. Sami's dad is the kanto Pokémon professor and he's letting her go on a journey." Another lie-Professor Gary hadn't said anything about it to her.

"It's not that-" Mom began.

"Then what is it?" I raised my voice.

"Derek, Aiden and DJ are upstairs." Mom reminded me.

"It's ...complicated" Dad said. "I-we"

"You Liar!" I bolted up the stairs into my room and slammed the door- hard. I looked around my room. Pictures and photographs littered the wall. I went up to my favorite drawing- one my cousin Rosie Sketchit did during a visit when I was seven. It was one with some Pokémon looking at me doing a victory pose with one hand and holding up a big trophy with the other. A title above the picture read "future kanto champ'. She had my uncle's drawing ability so it was incredibly lifelike. "Like that will ever happen except in my dreams." I sighed and flopped down on my soft bed, my fingers traced the pattern on the bed cover.

I heard Dad come up the stairs and then his voice from the other side of the door. "Derek? Can I come in?"

"No."

"It's not that we don't want you-"

"Leave me alone!" I shouted.

"Look, you don't understand-"

"That I'm your son and you want to keep me stuck here forever? Why can't you just let me go off on my journey?" I yelled. "I'm perfectly capable of handling myself so why can't I go?"

"I...can't" his voice was low.

"Why can't you tell me?"

"I… promised."

"Promised what? You scared that I'll be stuck in your shadow for the rest of my life if I go? Why can't you see that I can handle myself? I hate you! I wish you'd disappear from my life forever."

He muttered something under his breath before heading downstairs. I stared up at my ceiling. Serves him right Just cause he's my dad doesn't mean he can't keep me here forever. I mean, yeah I've been to the battle frontier conference before- I know that there are tough foes out there. I've made my own mark for myself at school but Nooooo!

About twenty minutes later there was another soft knock on the door. "I told you to go away Dad! I'm-"

"I'm not daddy". I heard my sister's voice. "It's me, Pikachu an' Aiden. Can we come in?"

I got up and opened the door. In came DJ, Aiden and Pikachu. I half-closed the door behind them. She looked just like a mini version of my grandma, whom she was named after. She wore a blue pj top pokeball print PJs pants. In her left hand she carried a stuffed My Little Ponyta doll while the other one held Aiden's hand. "We were reading and heard yelling," She explained. She ran over to me and hugged me.

"I Scareded" Aiden said as he toddled over to me. He wore his onesie with Bulbasaurs on it.

I knelt down to face them and ruffled his hair as he sucked his thumb. "hey, don't worry squirt. I'm still in one piece. Dad and I were at it... yet again"

DJ hugged her Ponyta doll. "Why do you an' daddy fight a lot?"

(Cause they are way too much alike) Pikachu sighed. (You are so your father's son)

"Is that a good thing?" DJ asked him.

(Um… well. Kind of. It means they're both stubborn and hardheaded)

"I am not," I muttered under my breath.

His ears twitched as he heard this. (Oh yes you are)

"Totally not." I replied.

He shook his head (I swear they should have named you Ash Jr . You act so much like him its like I'm seeing my best friend as a teen again)

"How's that a bad-" DJ began but Suddenly the door slammed shut and the lock clicked shut.

XxX

At that sound we jumped. "Wh-what was that?"

(I don't know) Pikachu looked around, sniffing the air as if trying to figure out what or who locked the door.

"Look!" Aiden pointed at the windowsill where a large spray bottle in a purple hand that looked like a Gengar's materialized. "What's that?"

His eyes went wide as we watched it sprayed out a thick cloud of blue powder around the room. As the powder hit me I immediately felt sleepy and saw that my siblings were fast asleep on my floor. Pikachu scratched at the door leaving long scratch marks in the wood. (Ash! Get hell...) his voice slurred as the powder took effect and he fell to the floor asleep.

As I gave into the powder I heard the voice of Sibyl, one of dad's assistants in my head, "forgive me for this. You will understand why soon enough".

XTime shift x Time shift X time shift X time shift X time shift X time shift X time shift X

"...Don't wanna get up "

"Wake up."

"Ten more minutes mom" I muttered sleepily into the pillow.

"Wake up"

"It's summer. I don't have to go to baseball practice till much later. "

"Okay you asked for it," A human hissed in serpent-tongue. {Come and arise up young Derek- san. Come and rise up! Caterpies aplenty wait for us under the earth. Trouble afoot!}

"Son of a Luxray!" I jumped up into the air- my heart pounding fast I opened my eyes, looked around and then saw the culprit- a blurry figure standing in my room. "I hearing hate serpent-tongue in my ear."

I rubbed my eyes to wake up. The figure came into view. When I saw whom it was my heartbeat went back to normal. "Thanks for the wake-up call Jade. Even thought of using the alarm clock?" I grumbled at my best friend Jaden.

"I had to wake you up somehow. I swear you sleep like a Snorlax. "His hazel eyes looked at me as he brushed a strand of his shaggy maroon hair out of his face. He wore a white tee shirt with the emblem of his parents' shop- a pair of forks behind a red rose. His Seviper, Severus was at his side.

There was something wrong- I noticed there was a worried look in his eyes, which was strange. "Jade, what's wrong?"

"Derek, something happened here last night." his tone was serious. "I -I saw cars outside the door and there was a smashed window... "

I looked around the room in a panic and remembered the door slamming, the spray bottle. I saw the door off its hinges and there were scratch marks on the door. Oh no! My parents are going to kill me!

"DJ, Pikachu and Aiden! Where are they? ...They were here last night and-"

(Don't worry) Severus waved his tail blade. (Your ssssiblings and Pikachu are sesame with your grandma. you were the only one ssssstill asleep when the copssss came)

"Wh-what?" I stopped for a second. "What happened? What do you mean cars outside? You mean cops are here?"

Jaden bit his lip when I mentioned cops. Until his family moved here they moved around a lot. It reallly didn't help what kind of history his parents had in the past so he got a bit nervous when cops were mentioned. "We don't know. I was helping out with the deliveries when we heard the news on the radio that there was a break in here. The living room looks pretty bad. Nothing valuable was stolen but..."

If nothing of value was stolen and Pikachu was in my room. "No pokemon stolen?" He shook his head. " Not even Sunset or Aurora?"

I mentioned our shiny Charizard and Mom's Dragonite. He shook his head "Nope."

"No cash stolen?"

"Nada."

"Then why do you look so down?"

The look on his face confirmed my fears. No pokemon, cash were stolen … I wonder if it was a burglary gone wrong and mom and dad-. I felt like a Blastoise Ice Beamed my stomach. "No…"

I put on my shoes – I fell asleep in my clothes- and raced down the stairs. " Mom! Dad! Mom? D-"

I stopped at the entrance to the living room/den. As I stepped into the den my stomach turned. "What in the name happened?"

XxX

The living room was a disaster. I saw red stains that looked like blood on the wall along with claw marks. The photographs from the mantle were scattered. Broken stuffing was ripped out of the pillows. The walls and furniture had ice on them. One of the windows was smashed. The living room looked like a battle had taken place and it was surrounded in yellow police tape. Police were everywhere. . I looked down at my feet and saw shards of broken glass so I sidestepped around them. There was a bustle of activity in the center of the room.

A picture on the ground caught my eye so I carefully picked it up. As I looked at it a tear fell down my face. It was a picture of Mom, Pikachu, and Dad and baby me in a tux at their wedding laughing with cake on our faces. I was only about six or seven months old so I didn't remember it but I heard them talk about it so much it felt like I did. I stared at it for a Fe minutes

"Excuse me Derek, can I talk to you?" I looked up from the picture and saw a police officer with chestnut hair and blue eyes address me- a Growlithe at his side. I looked up and recognized Mr. Smithson, one of my classmate's dads. He was a nice guy- blind in one eye so his K-9 Growlithe partner, Sasha, was his Seeing Eye dog.

I nodded as I carefully put the photo in my pocket. "Y-yes?"

"As you may have noticed something happened here last night" his eyes swept the mess that was the living room "we don't know what happened but we do know one thing for sure. Your dad is gone"

Dad's gone? My jaw dropped. "WH-what? Gone?"

Sasha looked at me sadly (just that. I can't find his scent anywhere. Not only that his Pikachu's mate is missing too. All I found were paw prints and blood) her gaze followed to some paw prints on the ground.

Storm's gone too? I felt like I had been hit with Stun Spore-I couldn't think or move. Behind me I heard Jaden curse under his breath in serpenttongue and Sev hissed the translation, which I couldn't agree more with. . "* Sssz'yet*".

I kept on going back to the yelling match I had the night before. It's my fault. I told dad I hated him and to leave me alone. It's all my fault. It's all my fault. I told him to disappear from my life. Why did I let my temper boil over me? Now storm and dad are gone.

I must have blanked out for a few minutes since because Mr. Smithson said

"Derek? Are you okay?"

I shook my head. "Sorry-I'm just worried"

Sasha licked my hand. (It must be hard for you and your siblings but we'll find him.)

Mr. Smithson looked at me. "Do you know if your dad had any enemies? Anyone who would have had a big grudge against him or your family"

I thought hard. "Sorry Mr. Smithson, I can't think of any one like that. He's a pretty likable-".

But then I saw something that made me lose my concentration. The group at the other end of the room got up from the ground and I saw Sybil, her curly sandy hair giving her away. ". Careful with that arm "she was saying to the paramedics. "Is the ambulance waiting outside? Easy does it Misty. "

My throat dried up. "M-M-Mom?"

"I tried to prevent it. They're gone" I heard her voice.

As the group went past I felt rooted to the spot. Mom was in the middle of the circle of paramedics but she didn't look like herself. There was a red line under her chin. Her skin, which was ice blue as if she been in a snowstorm, had bloody scratch marks on it. Her right arm was in a makeshift sling and I saw red lines on the sling. She was shivering and muttering something like 'I should've stopped her."

Her?

X time change X time change X time change X time change X time change X time change X time change X time change X

The next two days blurred together I couldn't recall whom I talked to or said- I was in shock. All I thought was it's my fault dad's gone. It's my fault he's gone and moms injured. I shouldn't have yelled. Why did I let my temper get the better of me?

"There you go, Derek" my grandmother Delia draped a shawl over my shoulders, breaking me out of my guilt train trip. I was sitting on the couch in the living room. Until the police found dad she was staying with us and would help Sybil. The living room had been put back together for the most part: There was a big board over the smashed window, the shattered photographs and shredded pillows had been taken care of but a few faint red stains still lingered on the wall. No matter how much it had been restored i still could see the way it was after the attack in my mind.

DJ was brushing Sunny, her Flareon, on the floor while Aiden was playing with his trucks though half-heartedly. It was like the dread of what happened loomed over us, threatening to crush us. Sunny must have sensed what we were feeling because he whimpered as he licked DJ's face.

I was glad Mom was resting in the guest room or she'd be feeling the same. 'Probably even worse since she saw whatever happened' She was rushed stat to the Pallet City Hospital that morning. The doctors were able to fix her arm but no matter how many times the police asked her, she couldn't recall what happened. At the moment she was resting so Sybil was taking care of the Battle Park. "Thanks Grams." I mumbled.

"Grammy, is mommy gonna be okay?" DJ asked.

"I think so dear. She just needs to recover from her injuries.

"What hurt her? Was it the same thing that took Daddy an' Storm?"

She took a minute to answer that. "I don't know sweetie. "She patted my shoulder "wherever he is ...he'll be fine. Your dad's been in. Tougher spots. "She reassured us, but I think she was trying to reassure herself more than us. It was clear to me that she was very worried and rightfully so-Dad was an only child.

(From what you've told me he'll handle it just fine) Sunny said.

"He's survived the Unown, saved Mewtwo a bunch..." her voice trailed off.

"He got to meet Mewtwo? But that's only a myth" DJ looked up.

"What's moo-two?" Aiden piped.

I explained as best I could. "He's called Mewtwo and quite real. He's a powerful psychic Pokémon that looks a giant humanoid cat with a long tail-"

Aiden pointed to Sunny's fluffy tail. "Like Sunny's?"

(Nah,) the Flareon went over and flicked his tail in Aiden's face playfully. (This thing's nothing compared to that one. Think of it like a long thin version of a Pachirisu's) Aiden giggled as the fire type tickled him with his tail.

I continued. "He was crested by an evil human to be the world's most powerful Pokémon."

"Why would they do that?" Aiden asked.

I shrugged my shoulders. " No clue." Probably for power

Grams took over for me. "And your father saved its life many times. The first time was in Johto. Your parents and godfather were traveling around. It was a rainy day..." Aiden and DJ's eyes went wide as she began the story. I tuned her out as I heard the tale many times. I even met him once or twice. Sure he had a rough past but he had atoned for his crimes.

XxX

The mention of my parents reminded me of what I heard that night in my head. "Forgive me for this. You will understand why soon enough". I knew Sybil was a bit psychic and had a gengar. Was it because she saw what happened? Was it her gengar who closed the door and knocked us out? But why? Who in the name of ho-oh's tail feathers is the person mom –?

(Psst. Derek.) A light tap jolted me out of my thoughts. I turned around and saw Mom's Azumarill- Tidal. (Your mom was mumbling your name) he whispered

I looked over at my siblings- they were too engrossed in the story so I got up and left. "How is she Tidal?" I asked. "Is-Is she doing better?"

He sighed. (A bit. I wish Pikachu would improve. He hasn't really been himself. He's been beating himself while beating the training dummies at the Park and looking around for them. )

He shouldn't be the one doing that. It's my fault. "Poor guy. I feel bad for him with Dad and Storm both gone. *He must feel like there's a huge hole in his heart. Did he try contacting dad with Aura?"

Dad was one of the few people in the world with the power to use Aura, this strange kind of mystical spiritual energy. Due to his Aura powers being really strong and not using them much he was able to transfer some his powers to mom and another third to the mouse. He said he did it because he didn't need that kind of ability. Mom claimed it was since he was famous getting them into bad situations though he always found a way out of them.

The Azumarill shook his head. (He tried but No luck. It's like he's blocked off or something. He's pretty upset. I remember when I was an Azurill. Misty, he and I got separated from your dad thanks to some Beedrills-)

"Bet she completely flipped out" I grinned. Mom's fear of Bugs type pokemon- like Beedrils- was famous.

A smile crept onto the water type's face. (Naturally. However I never saw such a determined Pokémon want to find his trainer.) We reached the door. (I used a slight Refresh on her wounds to help them heal a bit. I'll leave you alone while I get a cool compress for her)

"Thanks Tide. You're the best. I don't think Sybil or grams would have made it through these past few days without your help. I swear you've got the heart of a Luxray or even an Entei."

His cheeks went Tamato-berry red at the compliment. (I'm no legendary- I can't perform miracles or anything like that. My mother taught me to be compassionate and to help out my trainer )

"she did a great job. I bet uncle Tracy helped her teach you that. "

he blushed. ( he did. But I'm just your ordinary Azumarill. I do my hardest to help misty, that's all) His statement cheered me up.

"She couldn't have asked for a better Pokémon. You've really kept us together during this time."

(Thanks, Derek.) His eyes went a bit watery (I hope that she gets better and the police can find Ash. Be back in a few minutes with a cold rag) he said as he walked off.

XxX

I went into the room and quietly closed the door halfway. The large room, which was bright and cheerful with puffy white clouds painted on a blue wall, was familiar. It was my room when I was a baby but now it was our guest room. Through the open window I heard the sound of nature. Pictures dotted the bureau. But this did nothing for mom. She tossed and turned in the bed.

I went up to the bed and touched her hand. She jumped up in the bed, opened her eyes and shouted dad's name - her face pale. The long blue nightshirt she wore was soaking in sweat. "Mom don't worry - it's just me."

She blinked and calmed down when she saw me. "Oh Derek it's you. I thought- I thought you were-"

"Dad" I finished. I knew how much we looked alike.

She nodded. "How's the search going?" she asked casually but I could tell she was worried,

"Not good. They can't track them down because there was no evidence left aside from blood. "I shuddered.

"He's not dead, Derek I know it. I'd know if-he." tears formed in her eyes- and she was unable to finish. . "He's out there somewhere, alive."

"Is that cause of the Aura bond?" I asked. She nodded, fighting back tears. "Anything?"

She gazed from me to her wedding ring Om the bedside table next to her. It was a small ring with pieces of a Water Stone and Thunder Stone cut into two intertwining hearts. On the ring's silver band it had the words 'Together forever through thick and thin I will always love you'. She sighed as she turned her gaze from the ring to a framed picture of her showing off her engagement ring with dad Pikachu and Tidal-a Marril then. They looked so happy. She looked back to me. "No. If I could –" she looked at her injured arm and sighed -"I'd take Aurora and search all over kanto, Johto. Hoenn even, if it meant finding him. If the Battle Frontier festival weren't coming up next week-"

An idea sprouted in my head- a crazy idea. "Do you remember what happened that night?"

She shook her head. "Not much. We heard storm yelling so we went to check it out. There was this Kadabra and a tall woman I didn't know. Ash had this horrified look." She paused trying to remember, "The room got blurry. It was very cold... That's when i woke up in the living room."

So dad recognized the kidnapper but mom didn't. "Mom, we'll find Dad and Storm."

"I don't k-know where that woman took them, why she took them or who she is. What if she comes back?"

"I'll fight her off"

She smiled weakly "I wish I knew who she was" She yawned. "I keep having these dreams of her hurting you and your siblings."

"Why don't you go back to sleep? You think you'll dream of her but" I thought hard. "Just think of something happy instead like your wedding or something." her face brightened up. "Tomorrow Jaden and I'll go out on Sunset to look. I'll find her and show her why I was one of the top trainers in the school. Nobody messes with my family".

She looked like she was holding back a tear. "You sound so much like your dad right now." I nervously chuckled and brushed my untidy hair with a hand. "You are so your father's son"

"Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" I wondered. "Everyone says that but …"

She kissed my cheek. "It depends. You have his boldness. I know y-you'll find that woman."

She yawned, closed her eyes and was asleep before she hit the pillow. . I felt her forehead- she was really hot. I slumped into the chair next to the bed.

"Poor mom. She really misses dad. I wish there was some way for me to help out but what can I do? I'm just a kid"

XxX

No sooner had I said this Tidal came into the room, a cool compress in one paw and a folded up piece of paper in the other. (How is she?)

I took the compress from him and put it over her hot forehead, which helped to cool it down. "She's back asleep. She- she misses dad" I stated. I he heard some of the conversation with his ears but I also knew he liked listening to Grams' stories.

(I can only imagine how much it hurts. I don't like seeing her like this.) He looked away for a few seconds.

"What's that?" I pointed to the piece of paper in his paw

He handed me the paper. (I found this by the door. I thought I heard something but it was nothing but then I saw this)

Even folded up I got a bad vibe from it I unfolded it. At first I couldn't make out what it said because there were all these red smears across the paper. The words were done with a thick black marker.

As I read it my hand shook as a gasp came from my throat. I pointed at the note, which read:

I've taken something you hold dear. To get him back you must enter a place you entered with him many years ago. Come to the darkest part of it in one night's time alone . No police/ tricks or else. His life and the rodents hang in the balance. If you don't come by noon I will hunt you down after I kill the worthless rat

I couldn't speak for a few minutes-It was a ransom note. By the sound of it, it was the same person who wiped mom's memory. It also was a threat: come alone or be hunted down like an Absol.

"Th-the kidnapper knows. She knows Storm can't use electricity. "

I nervously bit my lip. It means deadly business! Their lives depend on Mom showing up somewhere or-. I couldn't end my thought. I turned to Tidal-I was torn. "What do I do? Should I tell Grams and the police? Where's the place it's taking about? What would you do, Tide?"

He looked at me then mom before answering. (I'd try to find them if the authorities were unable to find them. But I wouldn't do it by myself. ) His voice dropped (I wouldn't show that to Delia or Misty. - They would flip out, I know you have the potential to save them. This is the chance you've been waiting for)

"Yeah." I folded it up, put it into my pocket, and then got up out of the chair. I knew what he wasn't saying. If I got the police involved or if Mom didn't show up the woman would kill Storm then return to finish her – maybe even my whole my family. I had to go- there been no choice. I bent down and kissed her cheek. "Don't worry. I'll be back with dad and storm. Ursa Scout's Promise. You just get better. I'll bring them back home safely "I vowed.

"You mind staying with her till she falls asleep, pal?" I asked the Azumarill. "I don't want anyone to sneak-"

He cut me off with a wave of his paw (who's gonna sneak in a room with an Azumarill in it, Derek?)

"Oh yeah." I gave his left ear a pat. "How silly of me."

(Good luck)

"Thanks." I exited the room, leaving mom and tidal and closed the door quietly. I went up quietly to my room to call Sami.

To be continued …