A/N: What's going on guys, welcome back to Serene Dreams! So, after the last chapter there were a lot of you guys who remarked that Fearow will probably be a pain in the ass to handle for Ash and I can only confirm that he might not be too happy with his trainer as it is. Some of you didn't understand why I made him catch a Fearow "instead" of a Pidgeotto and to you guys I can only say... whoever said he won't get Pidgeotto? I had Fearow be his first catch because I felt like the struggle would actually teach him something and it made a lot more sense as a reason for the Spearows to attack him than simply throwing a rock at one of them. Also, in the manga "The Electric Tale of Pikachu", which is basically a manga version of the anime with some slight changes, one of those changes are that Ash catches a Fearow as his first encounter. That also played a part in my descision to have Ash catch it, plus I like the Pokemon for nostalgic reasons.
With that said, I don't think I got anyhting else to say. Question of the Day is simply "What Pokemon do you want Ash to catch during his Kanto Journey and why?". Now, please remember that this is Kanto. That means that only Kanto Pokemon counts.
Disclaimer: Yup, we got a disclaimer here. Do I really need to say anymore for you guys to understand that I don't own this stuff? XD
Chapter Five: Waking up
The slow and melodic beeping from the heart monitor sounded in the background as Serena looked down on the form of an unconcious Ash Ketchum. When Nurse Joy had told her that Ash was going to be okay, she had almost fainted with relief. She had been so scared, so afraid to lose him after just meeting him again for the first time in 5 years. Well, they hadn't really met yet, since Ash hadn't woken up from his coma yet, but at least she got to see him and know that he was going to be okay.
It had taken a few hours, but his health had been stabilized and he was going to make a full recovery in a matter of days according to Nurse Joy. He just needed some rest and to take it easy for a short time when he awoke. She hadn't said how long it would take, but Serena felt quite content waiting, as long as she knew that he would make it.
Sighing as she looked down on the relaxed face, framed by a mane of unruly, raven black hair, she couldn't help but feel amazed about how... familiar he looked. It was as if 5 years hadn't passed at all, he looked just the same as he used to. She knew from the photo on her bedside table that she had changed a lot over the years that had passed. It felt unreal to look down at Ash and still see the same boy who had reached his hand out for her and helped her to her feet that day in the forest at the Summer Camp, almost 8 years ago. It was as if he had been stored in a time capsule after she left Kanto or something.
Hearing her name being called, Serena looked up to find that Nurse Joy had entered the room, carrying a single Pokeball in her hands. If Serena wasn't completely out of her mind, that was the same Pokeball Ash had in his belt when she brought him in. When they had searched his gear for any Pokeballs, worried that he had more than one Pokemon in a similar state to Pikachu, they had only found one ball. That made sense, she guessed, considering he had just set out on his journey. It had been a few days since she herself left Vaniville and she hadn't caught a single one since that.
"Yeah, is that Ash's?" Serena asked and nodded towards the Pokeball in Nurse Joy's hand.
The Nurse nodded and put it down on Ash's bedside table. "Yes, it is. It contains a Fearow that undoubtly belongs to Ash, but it doesn't seem to want to be healed or anything. It wouldn't listen to what I told it and almost looked like it wanted to attack me when I tried to give it a Paralyze Heal. But aside from that little electric damage, it seems to be unharmed so it should be fine."
Serena frowned. Fearow had tried to attack Nurse Joy? Now, that sounded a bit worrying. Didn't Ash know how to take care of his Pokemon? Fearow must have been pretty angry over something if it tried to attack Nurse Joy just because she tried to heal it.
"That doesn't sound too good. Are you okay?" Serena asked with a hint of concern in her voice, looking Nurse Joy over for any sign that Fearow had went through and actually managed to injure her. However, the nurse just smiled and shook her head.
"Yes, I'm fine. And so is Pikachu. I checked in on him just a moment ago and he was awake. He was exhausted, but other than that he doesn't seem to have taken any lasting damage either."
With that, Nurse Joy left the room to go care for the Pokemon Center's other occupants and their Pokemon, leaving Ash in Serena's capable hands. Or well, that's what they were supposed to be. Serena admitted that she had read up a few things on medicine in preparation for this journey, but she wouldn't call herself an accomplished medic just yet. However, if anything strange began to happen she would just call on Nurse Joy. For now, all she needed to do was exchanging the wet towel that rested on Ash's forehead every 15 minutes.
As she sat there, once again thinking back to the time before she left Kanto, she heard the door open slightly behind her and turned around. At first, she didn't see anyone and wondered if maybe Nurse Joy might have left it ajar and that it had been a gust of wind or something that had opened it, but she soon found her visitor. Sticking his head through the crack in the door, a little bit lower down that Serena had initially allowed her eyes to roam, she found a yellow mouse, who was looking around frantically, but with a curious look all the same on its face.
"Pika?" it said when it noticed Serena.
"He's over here." she said, pointing towards Ash in the bed as she recognized it as the same Pikachu that had been with Ash when she found him.
Slowly, Pikachu made his way into the room and jumped up onto the empty chair that Gary had been leaning against before he decided to get some sleep so he could leave in the morning. Seeing his trainer lying unconciously in the bed, Pikachu's eyes widened in shock and fear.
"Pika?! Pi-Pikachu!" he said, looking at Serena and waving his arms frantically, pointing at Ash for a second before he started to wave them around again with a continous stream of "Pika!"s.
"Calm down, Nurse Joy said he's going to be fine." Serena said to calm the little Electric Mouse.
Hearing that his trainer was going to be fine, Pikachu let out a sigh of relief and fell back into the chair. Serena eyed the mouse for a moment before she turned back towards Ash. Checking the time on her wrist watch, she realized that it was about time she changed the towel, and swiftly stood up to remove the old one, before she took a fresh and clean one from the pile Nurse Joy had given her, wet it with some water over by the sink and put it in place where the other one had been.
When she touched Ash's forehead with the new, cold towel, the boy twitched slightly and mumbled something inaudible. Serena froze half way through the motion, waiting to see if he was beginning to wake up, but when he didn't say or do anything else, she just sighed and completed her job.
In his chair beside Serena, Pikachu had noticed the Pokeball at Ash's bedside table and eyed it with suspiscion. He had a pretty good idea of who was hiding in there and in all honesty, he didn't feel too eager to meet that guy again. Fearow had been out to kill both him and Ash and if Ash hadn't caught him, he would most likely have succeeded. Even if Ash and Pikachu had decided to run for it, Pikachu knew that with the agility and mobility that Fearow had displayed during their battle, even when paralyzed, they wouldn't have gone anywhere, once they had gotten him annoyed.
Serena noticed the look Pikachu was giving Fearow's Pokeball and was tempted to ask about it, but realizied it would be pointless as she didn't understand Pokespeech anyway so Pikachu wouldn't be able to tell her what he was thinking. For a while, they just sat there in silence, not quite sure if they were supposed to try and make a connection or not, but about 20 minutes later they were interrupted, once again, by Nurse Joy.
"Serena, I think you too should try and get some sleep. Chansey can look after Ash while you're sleeping. You need some rest as well or you'll collapse."
Just as she was about to open her mouth to protest, Serena felt her jaws open wide in a big yawn. Okay, so maybe she was a little tired. Or... exhausted was more like it. She hadn't felt this drained since her mother had set up a full day of Rhyhorn Racing Training and tried to get her to stay active for 4 hours straight. That day had been one of the worst in her life, and she had been completely exhausted afterwards. And she felt almost just as exhausted at the moment, now that she actually stopped for a second to think about it.
"I guess you're r-r-right." she said, as she tried to stiffle a second yawn.
Nurse Joy smiled sympathetically towards the young girl. In truth, she was impressed that Serena had lasted this long without collapsing. When the girl had come back from her search, she had been amazed that she was still alive. To willingly run straight out into this storm... this Ash boy must be someone special to Serena. Not to mention the endless hours she spent, waiting outside the emergency room and the time she had since spent by Ash's side.
"We're a little bit stocked at the moment, since many trainers have come here because of the storm, but I've managed to find a double room that you'll have to share with another girl your age. I think that your roommate is asleep now though, so try and be quiet." Nurse Joy said.
Serena just nodded and thanked the nurse for everything. With that, she got up from her seat, cast a last glimpse towards Ash, who was still asleep, and Pikachu, who had stopped glaring at the Pokeball on the bedside table and curled up into a ball in his seat. Smiling to herself, Serena left the room and allowed Nurse Joy to lead her to her rented room.
As soon as she entered, she noticed that her bag had already been placed in the room, by the foot of one of the beds. In the other bed, a girl who looked about her age was already sleeping, with her orange hair floating out over her pillow. Serena however, didn't pay her much mind and silently made her way over to her own bed before she curled up underneath the sheets. As soon as she had, she felt herself grow sleepy almost immediately. Nurse Joy was right, it had been a long and very tiring day and she needed to rest. With that, Serena drifted off to dreamland, as sleep claimed her.
Ugh... It hurt... Everything hurt. Every damn nerve and cell in his body felt like they were aching, as he felt his conciousness slowly come back to him after who knew how long.
'Note to self,' Ash thought bitterly, 'Don't EVER allow yourself to be hit by a thundercharged Discharge from Pikachu.' It hurt a lot more than the simple shocks he usually threw his way.
Slowly, Ash felt the initial numbness in his limbs wear off slightly, and the weight on his chest loosened a bit. Where was he anyway? The last thing he could remember was falling to the ground when his foot got caught under a root... What had happened after that? Hm... He was pretty sure he had tried to persuade Pikachu to go back into his Pokeball, but the Electric mouse had refused and instead gotten up to fight off the Spearows that were chasing them. That's when a lightning from the thunderstorm had struck Pikachu and the resulting Discharge attack had knocked him out. At least, that was all he could remember.
Was that a heart monitor? So he was in a hospital then? Or maybe a Pokemon Center, that sounded a lot more likely, as those were scattered across the region while Hospitals were only built in the larger cities like Saffron City. And logically thinking... he had to be in the Viridian City Pokemon Center, since that was the only town close to Pallet that even had a Pokemon Center at all.
Taking a deep breath, Ash tried to open his eyes. He did so slowly, knowing from experience that unnexpected exposure to strong light would only cause his headache to grow worse. Thankfully, the room he was currently in was shrouded in darkness. As soon as he realized that there was no light scource to make his headache worse, Ash opened his eyes wide.
Looking around the room, he noticed a number of things. First, it was indeed a heart monitor that was the cause of the constant "beep"ing in the background. Secondly, Pikachu was curled up into a ball in a seat next to his bed, asleep but obviously unhurt. Seeing that his partner was fine, Ash let out a sigh of relief. He tried to reach out with his hand to pat his friend's head, but found that he could barely make his arms twitch. They felt heavy and he barely had enough streght to move his fingers. Guess he was still too numb from being struck by Discharge.
Flexing his limbs, he quickly estimated where his current limitations were. Both arms and legs were too numb to move, but his neck, head and anything facial was at least functioning decently. He still felt pretty lightheaded, but with some effort, he was able to look around the room, his eyes finally settling on something on his bedside table: a Pokeball.
'Fearow...' Ash thought. What was he going to do with him? After the way he had captured him and their initial reactions to each other, Ash doubted that Fearow would listen to him. It would be Pikachu's scenario all over again. Releasing the Bird and try to forget it ever happened, but at the same time that wouldn't feel right either. He had caught Fearow and taken him away from his home, he should face responsability for that.
Sighing, Ash rolled his head back so he was looking straight up into the ceiling. What time was it? How long had he been knocked out? Judging by the state the room was in, it was somewhere around nighttime. Perhaps he should just try and get some sleep instead? He could get the answers to his quetions tomorrow. He was still feeling kind of... not drowsy, but he felt like he could definetely make good use of some more sleep. Hopefully, when he woke up next time, he would be able to move his limbs a little better. With that thought in mind, Ash felt sleep reclaim him.
Serena got woken up early in the morning by the sound of someone who were tossing stuff around the room. She squinted with her eyes and found that her roommate, the girl with the orange hair, was going through her bag, tossing its content in all possible random directions. She groaned under her breath, barely audible over the sound of things being tossed and the other girl's annoyed voice.
"Where is it, where is it...?" the girl mumbled to herself.
For a moment, Serena just closed her eyes and tried to go back to sleep, but with her roommate making such noise over... whatever it was that she was trying to find, that was quite a challenge. After a few seconds of pointless attempts to go back to sleep again, Serena sighed and rolled over so she was facing the girl again.
"Do you have to be so loud? Some people are still trying to catch a nap here, you know?" she said with an annoyed tone matching the annoyance in the other girl's voice.
She wasn't usually one to be grumpy, but interrupting her sleep was a sure way to get Serena in a bad mood. She wouldn't go as far as to say that she was a bad morning person, but she definetely didn't like having her sleep rudely interrupted like this.
The girl squeked in surprise at the sudden voice behind her and jumped up from her bag on the floor, looking aorund frantically for the scource of the voice, her eyes finally settling on Serena, who was still lying in her bed.
"When did you get here? I thought I was alone!" the girl exclaimed, still as loud as ever.
Groaning as she realized that she wouldn't be getting anymore sleep right now, Serena sat up and stretched her arms to try and get rid of some of the stiffness that came after sleeping.
"About 3 in the morning I think. Nurse Joy said I could use this room, as it is in fact a double room and they were out of regular rooms to rent out." Serena said as she tried to stiffle a yawn. "We would've asked you first, but you were asleep so we just hoped you wouldn't mind."
"Oh," the girl said. "I don't really mind. I was just surprised because I didn't notice you there when I woke up. My name is Misty, by the way. Misty Waterflower."
"Serena Gabena." Serena said as she got up and went over to her bag to pull out a fresh set of clothes. She should make sure to wash her used clothes now, while she was at a Pokemon Center. Who knew when she would next get the chance to clean up?
With that thought in mind, Serena stopped herself half way through getting dressed and instead went back to her backpack and pulled out a towel. She should make a point to stay as clean as possible, and a shower didn't sound like a bad way to start the day.
20 minutes later, Serena re-emerged from the bathroom, only to find that Misty was still crawling around on the floor, looking for whatever it was she had lost. Frowning, Serena went over to her bed and sat down, drying her hair witht he towel, as she watched Misty lift and look underneath every garment that was lying around after she had thrown them out of her bag in search of... whatever it was.
"What are you looking for anyway? You've been at it since I woke up." Serena asked as she got dressed.
Misty took a moment to answer as she lifted a pair of blue shorts with a hopeful look on her face, but that soon faded when she didn't find anything underneath it. Folding the shorts and putting them on her bed, she sighed in defeat and threw herself down on the messy blankets.
"My Trainer Card. It's my only way of indetification and now I seem to have lost it!"
Serena frowned as she tossed her towel aside and picked up her hairbrush. She herself didn't have a Trainer Card... Oh, wait! She did, just not a physical one. Her Trainer Card was her Pokedex, but only certain trainers had Pokedexes, as not all people received their starter from a Pokemon Professor. Some got them from their parents, others befriended them without first catching them, so those didn't get a Pokedex. The Trainer Card was supposed to serve as a way of identifying the Trainer and make sure that he or she really was who she claimed she was, if there ever was a doubt that the person might be lying for some reason. Kind of like a passport.
Looking over to Misty, she found that the other girl was starting to look frustrated. Or well, more frustrated than she had been when Serena woke up at least. Not that Serena could blame her; she too tended to become annoyed when she was sure she had known where something was and it wasn't there.
"Why don't you take a break and come down to the lobby and eat some breakfast? I won't come back here after breakfast, so maybe it will be easier to find then?" Serena suggested. In truth, her argument wasn't really that good as most of her things were still safely tucked inside her backpack so all the mess was Misty's, but getting breakfast could still prove to be beneficial, as Misty looked like she could use something to eat.
Misty herself didn't seem too eager to leave the room without having found her Trainer Card, but she reluctantly accepted and 5 minutes later, both girls could be seen entering the lobby. Behind the counter, Nurse Joy looked up from some papers and waved when she noticed Serena.
"Serena, can you come here for a second?"
Frowning, Serena made her way over to the counter where Nurse Joy was currently arranging some papers. Behind her, Misty followed in her tracks, a little curious as to what Nurse Joy wanted with her new... well, new aqcuintance. Misty wouldn't go as far as to call Serena her friend just yet, but she felt that they were getting along decently so far so the option definetely wasn't an impossibility.
"Gary left earlier this morning, but he told me to tell you to keep an eye on Ash."
This didn't surprise Serena in the least. Gary had said the night before that he would be leaving in the morning, as long as Ash's condition didn't get worse over the night. At least that was a good sign, as that meant that Ash was still in decent condition and that it hadn't gotten worse while she was sleeping.
"What's more," Nurse Joy continued, "I checked in on him just a little while ago. His heart rate have been stable throughout the night and I felt confident enough to remove the heart monitor. He's practically back to normal in terms of physical shape, his body is just lagging behind due to extreme exhaution."
As she said this, Nurse Joy offered Serena a supportive smile, as if trying to show that this was indeed a very good sign. Serena nodded and offered the nurse a thankful smile, letting her know that she appreciated all that she had done for Ash. Knowing that Ash was in good hands and that his recovery was advancing at a good pace, Serena thanked the nurse for telling her about Ash's progress and told her that she would drop by the infirmary once she had gotten something to eat, before she left with Misty.
The first thing Ash noted when he woke up the next time was the abscence of the heart monitor. Clearly remembering his brief time awake during the night, he noticed that there was no "beep"ing the moment he regained conciousness, before he even opened his eyes. The next thing he noticed was that the room was lit up this time, as he saw an orangish glow when looking through closed eyes, rather than the complete blackness that had been present during his night time awake.
"I think he is waking up..."
That voice... Where was it coming from? It sounded familiar somehow, like he had heard it before somewhere. But it almost sounded as if it came to him through a long pipe or something. But despite that, it still sounded so familiar to Ash it was scary, because at the same time he couldn't remember where he had heard it.
"Ash? Can you hear me?"
It sounded a lot closer this time, and a lot more familiar. Ash tried to move his arm and felt his finger twitch slightly. The numbness from earlier was gone and he could almost feel his legs again. Slowly, Ash began to force his eyes open to try and get a glimpse of whoever was talking to him.
The sight that met him almost caused him to choke on his own tongue. Staring back at him were a pair of large, saphire blue eyes that were almost glimmering, almost giving the impression that they were shining. And while a pair of eyes might not be something to choke over, it was the close proximity to his face that freaked him out. At the same moment, his nostrils were assaulted by the faint smell of some kind of flowery scent, a perfume if he had to guess, that they for some reason hadn't noticed yet and his hearing cleared enough to pick up the sound of the person's breathing.
"Hghk!" Ash hiccuped as his eyes shot up wide in surprise.
Whoever had been standing over him squeked in shock and surprise and immediately threw themselves away from him and, if the crash and thud in the background was any indication, fell over one of the chairs that had been placed beside his bed. For a moment, the sound of the chair falling to the ground echoed through Ash's head, but it soon died down, enough for him to lift his arms and struggle himself up into a semi-sitting position to check on the person who had fallen backwards over the chair.
Then he froze.
The girl that was lying on the floor looked eerie familiar to him, just like her voice had souned. Her long, honey blonde hair that went down over her shoulders, her saphire blue eyes... she looked just like someone he used to know when he was a kid! She looked older of course, being taller and her face wasn't as round as it used to be... but otherwise she looked just like... her.
At that moment, the girl looked up and the two youths locked eyes. Time seemed to slow down as the two of them stared at each other, not even making a sound. For Ash, he felt his chest twist and turn with conflicting emotions. Could it... this girl, could she really be...?
The girl just nodded silently, staring at Ash unsure of what to do. However inside, Serena was cursing herself. Why was she freezing up? She had been close to Ash for nearly 12 hours at least, why was she freezing up now? Swallowing nervously, Serena tried to compose herself and took a deep breath to calm her racing heart.
"Uhm... y-you're finally awake!" she managed to croak out.
In his bed, Ash sat up straight, not even noticing his protesting limbs. His eyes were still locked on Serena. How could this be? Could it really be her? He hadn't seen her for so long... wasn't she supposed to be living on the other side of the globe or something?
"B-but... how? How are you here? W-when...?"
Watching the scene from her corner of the room, Nurse Joy couldn't help but smile slightly. Serena had told her how she and Ash were connected while they had been waiting the night before and seeing the two of them finally reunite, Joy couldn't do anything other than feel happy for them. It was almost like a fairy tale, how they were separated and now reunited 5 years later.
"I'll leave you two alone." she said gently and nodded towards Chansey that they should leave.
However, neither of the two youths registered that the nurse had spoken and didn't even look up when the door closed behind Nurse Joy and Chansey. With Ash having managed to pull himself into a more comfortable position and Serena having gotten up from the floor and sat down beside the bed in the chair that hadn't fallen over. They still hadn't taken their eyes off each other, nor had they spoken a word. Eventually, Serena fought down her own nervousity and broke the silence.
"I-it's been a long time." she laughed nervously and gave him a strained smile.
"Yeah..." Ash said, the sound of her voice snapping him out of his stupor. Then, still not sure if he believed his own or if his senses betrayed him, he slowly reached out with his hand towards the girl sitting in front of him. Serena caught up on what it was he wanted and held out her own hand towards him.
The two best friends felt like time had completely stopped as their hands made contact. If he had doubted his sense before, this was proof enough to him that Serena was really here. His best friend, whom he hadn't seen or heard from in 5 years, was sitting right in front of him, holding his hand. Slowly, he twisted his hand slightly, allowing their fingers to interwine with each other, just like they used to hold each other hands when they were kids.
Her hand still felt the same.
On the other end, Serena felt her cheeks heat up when Ash interwined his fingers with hers. How she had missed that feeling, that slight tingle that went through their connected hands up her arm and down her spine, as if their contact had somehow sent an electric impulse that travelled through her body. This was proof. It was proof that she had done the right thing when she left Kalos behind and travelled back to Kanto.
For a moment, they stayed like that, just content watching the other and take in their features. It was no secret that they had both grown a lot since that day when they were separated. Ash had gotten a lot taller and muscular from days of exploring the forest and taking care of the Pokemon at Professor Oak's Lab that were sent there by trainers who worked for the old Professor. Ash had never been thin, but the last two years had really seen a change in his overall bodybuild.
Serena on the other hand had also grown since she sat in the car and watched Ash, and Pallet Town, slowly drifting away behind her. She too had grown a lot taller from the little girl who had been lost in the forest. Her face wasn't as round anymore, her cheeks being more flat and her body had become a lot more slender, with barely visible development in certain areas that suggested that she was entering puberty. Also, her hair had gotten a slight shade darker, compared to the light brown she used to have. Apparently, it was a trait she had inherited from her mother, who had been light blonde in her youth, but had her hair become a lot darker over time.
"I came back." Serena said awkwardly, attempting to break the awkward silence that had befallen them.
Ash just nodded, his eyes still locked with her's. He didn't know what to say. There were a thousand questions he wanted to ask and a thousand feelings running through his chest that he wanted to let out. He wanted to let Serena know how happy he was to see her again, to let her know how much he had missed her. He opened his mouth to try and say something, but no sound escaped.
The silence stretched on for a few more moments, until it was finally broken by a low grumble that seemed to originate from somewhere around Ash's midriff. Ash felt his cheeks heat up and redden in embarrassment. It took yet a moment longer, then Serena couldn't help it. She laughed. It wasn't a mean laugh or meant in any bad way, just a good natured and friendly laugh. And from there, it didn't take Ash long to join in. His cheeks was still slightly red from embarrrassment, but he couldn't help but laugh with Serena, glad that the tension had been broken.
"I guess that's one thing that hasn't changed at all, has it?" Serena said when she had caught her breath and grinned at Ash in a way that anyone she knew in Kalos would think of as a very "un-Serena-ish" way.
"Yeah, I guess so." Ash grinned sheepishly and the back of his head with his free hand.
The 2 old friends smiled at each other widely, in a way neither had thought they would ever do again, before Serena slowly stood up and let go of Ash's hand.
"Tell you what, just stay still and let Nurse Joy check you over really quick and I'll be back with something to eat shortly. Okay?" Serena said with a smile.
Ash nodded in embarrassment, feeling very aware of himself at the moment. Out of all the times, his stomach just had to growl at that specific moment? He hadn't seen Serena for years and now that they finally met again, which he still wasn't quite sure how it had happened, his stomach just had to be there and ruin the moment. If that wasn't embarrrassing, he didn't know what was.
Seeing that Ash agreed with her suggestion, Serena flashed him a slightly more relaxed smile and turned to leave. That hadn't gone exactly like she had expected it to, but she wouldn't complain. She was too relieved to know that Ash was up and okay to be angry or upset that things had become so awkward. Actually, she almost felt like thanking Ash's stomach for growling in the middle of their awkward staring-moment to break up the tension. And it also felt good to know that Ash still had his insatiable apetite. At least that was one thing that would never change.
It was later that afternoon when Nurse Joy finally deemed Ash strong enough to at least stand up and walk around. The shocks from Pikachu's Discharge, coupled with his extreme exhaution from fighting off the Spearows and the storm, had left his muscles in a very bad state, but he should recover if he just didn't overexert himself for a little while. However, remembering how stubborn Ash could be in situations like this, Serena insisted that they spend the night at the Pokemon Center before they left.
"So you came all the way from Kalos, just to travel with me?"
Ash, Serena and Pikachu had taken to sit at the one of the tables in the Pokemon Center's Cafeteria so Serena and Ash could catch up. Ash had gathered up his stuff to make sure he had everything for the journey ahead already, but Serena had insisted that they should stay. While normally he would've complained about this, Ash didn't argue with her, partly because he was so glad to see her again, and partly because he still had the storm in pretty fresh memory and didn't want a repeat of that.
"Yup, we promised each other we would travel Kanto together, didn't we? I wasn't going to let my stupid mom stop me from keeping that promise!" Serena smiled, relieved that the awkwardness from back in the emergency room had passed after Ash had gotten his meal.
The boy in question was sitting opposite to her, his black shirt, red and white jacket and blue pants back on, and his red and white baseball cap lying on the table between them. Now that he was up and walking around again, Serena could notice and appreciate his growth better than when he had been lying unconcious in that nursery bed. He was taller than she had first thought and now that his muscles had recovered and his arms weren't shaking or lying limp by his side, he looked a lot healthier than she had first noticed. Also, his face had lost the last of its chubbiness, though it still maintained most of his features from how he used to look. Even though she felt slightly ashamed that it was the first thing on her mind, now that she had reunited with her best friend, Serena couldn't help but think that Ash actually looked good.
Ash on the other hand, was more interested in how and why Serena had gotten here, which was pretty natural since last thing he heard was that she had moved far, FAR away from here. Pikachu was also very interested in the girl sitting opposite to him and his trainer, though he was more intrerested in how they knew each other and where she came from. He figured that he would've met her if she was a friend of Ash's from Pallet Town, so she had to live somewhere else.
"Really? You travelled half way across the globe, just to keep a promise to me?" Ash asked with dismay.
"Well," Serena said, "would you rather I go back to Kalos?"
As she said this, she put on a mock pout, causing Ash to do a 180 degree turn around.
"NO! No no no no! That's not what I meant! I can't begin to tell you how nice it is to see you again, Serena! That's not it. It's just... travelling half way across the globe like that, it sounds like a pretty reckless thing to do, just because of a promise." Ash felt like he really was explaning himself very poorly. He wasn't angry or anything that Serena was here. Seeing his best friend again after all these years had made him feel happier than he had felt since... well, since she left! It was just... honestly, he wasn't sure what it was, but it felt like he didn't deserve to have his best friend just root up her life in Kalos and come back here.
"Oh yeah? Well, what if I felt like it was worth it?" Serena said, turning back towards Ash. "Besides, you're not exactly one to talk about being reckless, are you?" she winked at him as she added the last part.
This had Ash grinning sheepishly and scratching the back of his head, while Pikachu was nodding his head in agreement with Serena. After what had happened in the storm and the plan that Ash had come up with to subdue Fearow, Pikachu couldn't classify Ash as anything less than reckless.
"Guess you got me there, huh?" Ash said, while Serena giggled at his face.
The two fell into a comfortable silence, neither quite willing to speak up and confirm the implications of what had just been said. Pikachu was looking between the two old friends, a little confused as to what was going on, but decided to not bother trying to understand. Humans were weird, that was all he needed to know. Or at least, Ash was weird, but in a good way. He didn't know about Serena, but his trainer seemed to be well acquinted with her, so he figured he could give her a chance, as long as he gave Ash the benefit of the doubt.
Ash just kept grinning, not quite sure what he was supposed to say. The mere thought that Serena had come all this way, from the other side of the globe, just to travel with him made him feel... odd. He couldn't believe that she would actually go that far and the fact that she had indeed went that far made him feel kind of weird inside. What was more was that ever since they had left the emergency room, he had had this nagging feeling that there was something he was supposed to say, but he couldn't for the life of him come up with what to say. It just didn't sound right to say that he was flattered, because that sentence just sounded... incomplete for a situation like this.
"Uhm... so, what did your mother say about this? Does she even know that you're here in Kanto and not in Kalos?" Ash asked, trying to find something to talk about.
It was strange, really. He had wanted to see Serena again so badly ever since she left. After all this time, there were still nights when he couldn't sleep because he kept remembering the times they used to share with each other, yet now that she was finally here again, he didn't know what to say. It felt like he had a thousand things to say, yet he couldn't come up with a single thing to actually talk about. At least none that felt relevant enough.
However, something he had said seemed to cause something to turn over in Serena's mind, because her eyes widened in shock and before Ash could ask what was wrong, she stood up from her seat.
"Mom! Oh no! I told her I would call as soon as I found you!" she exclaimed in shock.
Before Ash could ask why not calling Grace on time was such a crime, Serena had grabbed her pink hat in one hand, and Ash's wrist in the other and was dragging him towards the lobby, where the phone booths were at. Left behind was a very confused Pikachu, who stared after his trainer and blinked, not quite sure what to make of it. Ash hadn't even had time to get his hat...
Shaking his head, Pikachu resigned himself to be Ash's hat carrier for now and lifted the cap and put it on his own head. It actually fit surprisingly well, so he left it there and jumped off the table and took off after his trainer and his trainer's friend. One thing was for sure: it would be interesting to follow those two, no matter where they went.
A/N: Ooooh... damn, I'll be honest with you guys. I feel like I messed that up pretty badly. It felt like the situation where Ash woke up would be one of those times when neither of the two involved knew quite what to say. They got like a hundred things they want to say, but instead of asking they just find it hard to put their feelings into words. I am not sure if I displayed it too well though, neither in that scene or the cafeteria scene.
But ah well, it is what it is. Also, I am really sorry that this chapter did little to push the plot forward, but I wanted to give a good impression of how it could feel to wait for someone who you care a lot about and is in a coma. It's really shitty, believe me.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter and if you did and haven't followed or faved yet, make sure to smash the hell outta the two nice little buttons down below, and if you got an opinion on this chapter be sure to leave a review. I want to promise you that the next chapter might take a little time, since I got Serene Phoenix Reborn that still needs work and a Harry Potter story named "Prodigy" that needs updating. Also, I want the next chapter to cover more ground and actually see the travellers make some progress. So hopefully, it will be worth the wait! Until then, bye guys!