AN 1: I realize I haven't updated any of my stories in a while. My writing muse has run from me and I haven't had the urge to write anything. I have been working on this story little by little and decided to post it as I finished it today (12/20/2016).

AN2: I am working on updating Heart of the Sea and Frozen Emeralds next but am unsure of updates as I am planning on taking the driving test to get my permit by mid to late March and haven't been studying for it so that is going to be my main priority.


Chapter Two

I Choose You!

The day that the four trainers from Pallet Town would begin their respective journeys brought a clear sunny sky with no clouds anywhere in the atmosphere. Usually there would be only three people starting out every year, hence why there was only one of each starter raised up to level five for beginning trainers' but this year, there was four people who were of age to begin their own Pokémon journey with their partner Pokémon. Besides Ash, there was Gary Oak who was the grandson of Professor Samuel Oak, Lilith Green, and Ray Morgan. It was a perfect day for traveling and setting out on one's journey to achieve their dreams…and dreams were what Ash hoped to achieve and conquer.

A set of stone stairs was placed into the side of the hill which wound up it to the Professor's laboratory and Ash could see a red convertible with a group of girls sitting in it that was parked by the Professor's lab. Gary was likely in the lab with his grandfather at the moment and Ash wasn't sure how he felt about that. It was hard to believe the two rivals had once been friends until an incident in their early childhood with a fight over an old Poke Ball, yet despite this, the two rivals still kept their halves of the Poke Ball, as a memento to what they used to have. Now the two rivals were well known in Pallet Town and often traded insults with each other, but Gary tended to be an arrogant jerk and that really got under Ash's skin. The two rivals had different ways of treating and raising Pokémon as well; Ash believed one had to be friends with their team to help them grow; Gary just believed the stronger the better.

As Ash reached the top of the hill, the Professor's laboratory stood out in front of him, a great white building with a windmill off to the right of the laboratory. The lab itself was two stories high with the research portion of the lab compromising the entire second floor. As he walked across the crest of the hill towards the lab, he saw that Lilith and Ray were already there. Lilith had blond hair, chocolate brown eyes and peach skin. She was dressed in khaki shorts and a green t-shirt with an orange backpack on. Ray Morgan had medium brown skin, wavy black hair and intense black eyes. Both children turned to Ash and while Ray didn't say anything, Lilith greeted Ash with a hug which Ash returned. "Morning Lilith and Ray."

"Morning Ash," said Lilith. "Did you see that convertible and those girls in the car? I saw Gary pulling up to the lab before I got here. He's inside the lab right now."

Ash grit his teeth as he heard about Gary but nodded and went to open the door…until Ray's voice stopped him, causing the raven-haired child to turn to the quiet boy. "Gary said you'd be late to pick up a Pokémon. I was at his house the other day and he bet Professor Oak ten dollars that you'd be late."

Ash grinned at that. "Well, Gary will just have to cough up the money to the professor," said Ash before he pushed open the door, all three children grinning like Cheshire cats as they walked into the laboratory. Blanking their faces, Ash stepped behind the two as the trio made their way towards the second floor which contained machines and computers…essentially it was the research floor of the professor's lab.

"Ah Ray, Lilith. I see you've arrived," said Professor Oak as he turned at the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs, Ash having stopped a quarter of the way behind them on the stairs. "Where's Ash?"

Gary turned as he heard his grandfather greeting Ray and Lilith. "Ha, I bet Ash was too scared to come. He's probably going to be late and miss getting out a Pokémon."

"Morning Professor Oak," said Lilith as she rolled her eyes at Gary's arrogant behavior.

As they moved forward onto the second floor, Ash continued climbing the steps as Gary turned back to his grandfather.

"Gramps, when are we going to get our Pokémon?" Gary asked.

"Now Gary, I'm sure you can wait a little longer for Ash to show up or not."

"Forget it Gramps. Ashy Boy ain't coming. He's already late and a loser."

Professor Oak sighed and went towards the cylindrical machine in the middle of the room where there were three Poke Balls that contained the Kanto Starters surrounding a center space for a fourth Poke Ball. His grandson was often hard to deal with, not like Gary's older sister Daisy who was a Pokémon Coordinator. "Well, I guess that we might as well begin then since Ash isn't…"

"I'm here Professor Oak," said Ash as he came up the rest of the stairs, making everyone turn to look at him.

Gary had a scowl on his face as he saw that Ash wasn't late to the choosing of Pokémon. Professor Oak, however, had a look of relief on his face. "Ah Ash. When did you get here?"

"A couple minutes after Lilith and Ray. Ray told me about a bet between you and Gary so I decided to have some fun which is why I didn't come up right away."

"Well Gary, I believe you owe me ten dollars," said Professor Oak. Gary grumbled to himself but pulled out ten dollars to give to his grandfather which the Professor immediately pocketed. "Now, if you four will come over here I'll show you the three Kanto starters we have for choosing," said Professor Oak as he turned to the cylinder machine that held the Poke Balls of new starters for trainers from Kanto.

"Professor there are only three here," said Lilith as she looked. "Where's the fourth Pokémon?"

"The fourth Pokémon is one that I just caught a couple of days ago, and hasn't been tamed yet," said Professor Oak, "but it has some difficulties."

"What sort of difficulties Professor?" asked Ash, his interest intrigued by the challenge ahead.

"Well, the Pokémon I caught is known as Pikachu, the Electric Mouse Pokémon. It's been causing trouble around Pallet Town so I caught it to ensure it didn't get into any more trouble, though I must say, I'm at a loss as to what to do with it."

"I'll take it," said Ash.

"Well…it's not really the best Pokémon for a beginning trainer. I can see if there is another Pokémon from one of the other regions to send here for your use," said Professor Oak.

"Please Professor," said Ash. "I want the Pikachu. If you just caught it a couple days ago, then it isn't tame, yet right?"

"Well…yes. That is correct," said Professor Oak. If it was a choice between his grandson and Ash getting the difficult Pokémon, truthfully, he thought Ash might be a better choice. "Alright then. Do you all mind waiting while I go get the Pikachu then or would you like to look at the starter Pokémon now?"

"I want my Pokémon now Gramps," said Gary.

Ray shrugged, not caring either way and Lilith shook her head no. "I don't mind Professor to wait," she said.

"Gary just wait a minute. I'll let you choose your Pokémon when I come back with the Pikachu."

Gary shot Ash a look of contempt. "Fine Gramps," he said and went to go look out the window of the second floor at the back yard that expanded into the corral where the Professor studied Pokémon of Kanto and other regions that trainers from Kanto brought back from their journeys.

"I'm going to go say goodbye to my mom," said Ash though he planned on catching his friend that he had made four years ago. Without another word, he turned on his heel and made his way out of the lab and outside into the warm spring day, running down the stone stairs and across the road towards the forest that he had spent many days wandering in since that fateful day.

The forest was a peaceful and quiet place. Not much had changed in four years but then nothing ever really changed around Pallet Town. The forest outside of Pallet Town was home to mainly Spearow, Pidgey and Rattata. Yet, it was also home to his best friend in the whole world…well, his best Pokémon friend. He hummed a lullaby his mother often sang to get him to sleep when he was younger as he made his way to the cave where he had first discovered the Pokémon who would become his friend and agreed to come with him on his journey when he was old enough to get his trainer license and become a Pokémon Trainer.

"Hello?" Ash called out as he walked through the forest. "Where are you buddy? It's me Ash. I'm getting ready to start my Pokémon journey, soon as Professor Oak finds the Pokémon he caught a couple days ago." Ash listened but heard nothing except the wind through the leaves of the trees around him and the occasional chirp of Pidgey and Spearow. He stopped in a clearing and cupped his hands around his mouth before shouting. "LU…?!" Before he could finish he heard rustling in the trees above him and something jumped down onto the ground, landing in a crouch behind him. Ash turned around and stared as he saw a crouched figure on the ground before him, a figure that was covered in blue fur, four black paws and four black appendages on its head that rose when it was reading or sensing aura.

The Aura Pokémon stood on its toes and nodded to his friend, the human who had cared for him after escaping from the human leader of Team Rocket. "Lucario!" Ash shouted as he ran to his friend and hugged the Pokémon.

"Lucario," Lucario said as he let his friend hug him.

"Hey Lucario. How have you been?"

"Cario," said Lucario with a half shrug.

"Do you still want to go with me on my journey?"

Lucario stepped out of Ash's hug and studied the novice trainer and coordinator before placing a spiked forepaw on Ash's chest and closing his eyes. The four black appendages rose as it read the boy's aura, finding it as pure as it had been on the day they had first met. Opening his eyes and removing his paw from Ash's chest, he nodded once.

"Alright," said Ash as he removed the custom Master Ball and stepped back before throwing the Poke Ball at Lucario which hit him in the forehead and opened, drawing the Aura Pokémon into the capsule as a red beam of energy. The ball flew back into Ash's hand and clicked automatically. He grinned and shrank the Poke Ball before slipping it into his backpack and made his way back to Professor Oak's laboratory.

By the time, he had gotten back to Professor Oak's lab the others had already gotten their Pokémon and gone on ahead. The red convertible with the fan girls in it was gone as well making Ash assume that Gary had taken them with him as some sort of support squad for his battles. Well, Ash didn't need a bunch of girls in cheerleading outfits with pom poms to cheer him on. He knew his mother and the Professor would support him in his journey as well as his Pokémon team. "Professor I'm back," said Ash.

"Up here Ash," said Professor Oak. "The others already left if you were planning on traveling with them."

Ash headed across the first floor and to the stairs, taking them two at a time before seeing the Professor by the machine that housed the Kanto Starters for new trainers and walked over. "No, that's alright Professor. I think I'll do my journey on my own. Maybe I'll make some more friends on my journey that I can travel with."

Professor Oak nodded and pressed a button that made the fourth Poke Ball appear. He saw that it had a lightning bolt design on the top. Ash picked it up and looked at it. "This Poke Ball has the Pikachu I was telling you about," said Professor Oak as he took the red and white ball capsule from Ash and opened it. A white light flooded the area before Ash's eyes and he stared as a Pokémon was revealed, a Pokémon that resembled a chubby yellow mouse with two black tipped ears and two red spots on its cheeks with a tail in the shape of a lightning bolt and brown stripes on its body.

"Pikachu," said the Pokémon as he looked around him.

"Aren't you cute?" questioned Ash as he looked down at the Pokémon.

"Chu," Pikachu said as he turned his head to the side.

"Don't you want to be my friend? I asked to have you when the Professor mentioned how he caught you," said Ash as he picked up the Pikachu.

"Ash!" shouted Professor Oak but it was too late.

"Pika…chuuuuu!" shouted Pikachu as he used Thunder Shock on the stupid trainer.

"I tried to warn you," said Professor Oak.

"Little…late…Pro…fes…sor," stammered Ash as he fell on the floor with the Pikachu still clutched in his hands.

"I recommend wearing rubber gloves."

"Why?"

"Rubber conducts electricity and therefore you won't get shocked," said the Professor. He handed Pikachu's Poke Ball plus five other Poke Balls and a Pokédex. "The Pokédex is your identification and a high-tech encyclopedia. It records data on any Pokémon you see and catch," said Professor Oak. "It also lists your photo, ID number, name, hometown and region. Try not to lose it because then I'll have to program another Pokédex for you and I don't want to do that."

"Don't worry Professor," said Ash as he set the Pikachu down and got to his feet, taking the items and putting the four Poke Balls on the belt around his waist. "Pikachu return," he said.

"Chu," said Pikachu as he swung his tail and hit the Poke Ball at the human child.

"Hey!" said Ash as the Poke Ball hit him in the face. "What was that for Pikachu?"

"Chu!" shouted the Electric Mouse Pokémon as he bit Ash's hand, making the child winch and drop the Pokémon on the ground.

Ash pulled out his Pokédex to scan his starter. "Pikachu, the Mouse Pokémon, and the evolved form of Pichu. Pikachu's tail is sometimes struck by lightning as it raises it to check its surroundings."

"I've found that some Pokémon don't like to be in their Poke Balls," said Professor Oak. "It seems that your Pikachu doesn't want to be in its Poke Ball."

"So, what should I do Professor?"

"My advice is to keep it with you just in case it is needed. Perhaps with time you can discover why Pikachu doesn't like to be in its Poke Ball. Well, I guess that's everything there is to say. I believe you can register for the Indigo League in Viridian City," said Professor Oak.

"Thanks Professor," said Ash. "Come on Pikachu. I want you to meet my mom before we go."

"Chu," said Pikachu as he scowled at Ash. Ash sighed as he headed downstairs and outside where he saw a crowd waiting for him, his mom at the front of the crowd. His mom was smiling as she saw her son come down the last few stairs and he recognized some people as being his neighbors and people he had seen around town.

"Mom! What are you doing here with all these people?"

"I wanted to see you off and got the neighbors to see you off as well. It's only once in a lifetime that a young boy or girl is old enough to begin their own Pokémon journey after all.

"What type of Pokémon did you get?"

"I got a Pikachu mom," said Ash as he looked down at his partner. "It's the Pokémon that was causing problems outside of Pallet Town according to Professor Oak. "

"Are you sure you can handle such a Pokémon Ash?"

"I know it might be difficult at first," sad Ash, "but I'm willing to try if Pikachu is willing. Right buddy?"

"Chu," said Pikachu dismissively.

Ash frowned at his starter and then turned back to his mom. "Don't worry about me mom. I double checked everything last night so I could arrive here bright and early."

Delia Ketchum looked down at the Pokémon who had turned away from her son. "Why isn't it in its Poke Ball?"

"Some Pokémon don't like being in their Poke Balls," said Professor Oak.

"I see," said Delia. "Well, it is cute and I'm sure you'll do your best with training it right Ash?"

"Of course, mom. We'll be buddies in no time." As Pikachu's cheeks began to spark with electricity Ash lunged for the Pokémon, only for it to shock everyone with its Thunder Shock attack and make the crowd fall to the ground, twitching from the after effect. "That's…some…attack," said Delila.

"Y…yeah," said Ash as he lay on the ground where he had fallen, blasted back by the attack. Beside him, Pikachu was laughing, finding amusement in hurting the human who was his trainer.