A Hero's Rebirth
Chapter One: Tragedy At the Kalos League
It all came down to this, Ask Ketchum realized as he stood on the battlefield. He had made it to the finals, the finals of the Kalos League, and his opponent was his rival from before, Alain. Alain and his mega-evolving Charizard.
They had fought to a standstill at least twice now, with the battle remaining stagnant in favor of neither contender. The majority of the battle was behind them now, though. In fact it was coming to a close. Both Ash and Alain were fighting using their last Pokemon, being Greninja and Charizard respectively.
Truthfully, Ash couldn't even remember the rest of his opponents' team. This was his real challenge, what he had been waiting for since the first time he battled against Alain, a chance to show the world what he and Greninja could do together. His other Pokemon battled valiantly, Pikachu himself taking out two Pokemon, but it was in Greninja's hands now. Well, his and Greninja's, he though as he and Greninja concentrated.
Finally, after many, many practice sessions and failed attempts the duo felt confident in their ability to keep the newly dubbed form of Ash-Greninja stable for an entire battle. Alain and his Mega Charizard X would be their first major test.
"Water Shuriken, go!" Ash started off, their synchronization complete by the time the command was ushered.
"Dodge and use Dragon Claw!" Alain countered, mega-evolving already. Charizard evolved in no time and spared no seconds before shooting away from the Kalos starters' attack and charging, claws ablaze with green energy.
Ash and Alain smirked, but for very different reasons.
"Thunder Punch!" Alain ordered, thrusting his arm forward. Charizard grunted, tackling down Greninja with its fist crackling in electricity.
At least it would have, had Ash not ordered a speedy dodge with Double Team.
"Aerial Ace, all of you!" Ash replied swinging his arms like Greninja does while using said move.
All of the Greninja copies started towards Charizard at once and no matter the attack, they all couldn't be stopped in time. The real Greninja was only revealed when Charizard was thrown backwards towards his trainer and skidded to a stop, managing to lurch off the ground and back to its feet.
Charizard grunted to Alain, who nodded.
"I know, this is just the opponent we've been waiting for! Someone who could push us to our limits non-stop and keep up!" Alain said excitedly. "It's too bad it has to end, now." He said next, lower and into the microphone in his ear.
Alain and Charizard stopped moving, both stepping backwards as the air in the stadium went still, much too still for a stadium full of people to be. It seemed like nobody was moving, as if time stood still. Even the clouds seemed frozen in their place.
Ash and Pikachu noticed this and exchanged glances with one another, unsure. They had been in situations akin to this many times and each memory the duo recalled ended with an…
"Ambush!" Ash cried jumping back and dodging a 'rogue' Flamethrower from the side of the field.
Ash and Pikachu turned to see Team Flare members coming out of the Ref's box in droves, each tossing Pokeballs into the air. Greninja swiftly returned to his side, ready to defend and still in his boosted state. The trio looked across the field to see if Alain was unharmed, imagine their surprise when the grunts formed a circle around him. Only, the circle was facing outward.
"You!" Ash bellowed across the stadium. "You're a member of Team Flare."
By now a lot of the audience was retreating out of the stands and fleeing for the exits, bar the Champion and Elite Four who were rushing out of the VIP box to help and a few other former league battlers staying. His friends stayed too, no doubt not leaving without him.
He watched as Clemont and Luxray cleared a path for their group to make it from the stands to the battlefield, standing level with Ash and a sea of grunts now.
"I am." Alain said calmly, nodding. It was surreal for Ash to not hear him deny it as expected, even though Ash already knew it to be true.
"I thought you were better than this!" Ash yelled again over the duels, Greninja and Pikachu keeping him safe for the moment.
"All we want is to learn more about mega evolution, Ash, to harness its power and bring peace to the regions!" Alain told Ash, who scoffed.
The guy was getting played, Ash realized, by whoever the leader of Team Flare was. Alain didn't know what they were really up to, he hadn't been there the many times Ash had confronted the villainous team in his journey across Kalos. The only difference between them and the others Ash had brought down was that they lasted longer than the rest (barring Team Rocket).
"That's more than I could say for you and those scum you work for. I thought you were above that, Ash." Alain said next, confusing Ash greatly.
"Whaddaya mean? I don't work for-" Ash started, before being cut off by a large explosion. A man with red hair in a triangle shape and black clothing with red undertones walked onto the field amongst the fighting and stood between Ash and Alain.
"Lysandre, mission successful." Alain reported, nodding. The man, Lysandre, grunted back refusing to take his gaze off Ash.
The man's predatory grin felt unsettling to the fourteen year old, and he quickly shouted at the man.
"Stop this, we don't need to fight!" Ash cried. Lysandre chuckled deeply and threateningly.
"Yes, we do." He said and before much else Ash felt a sting of pain in his shoulder.
Greninja had been hit, he realized. This wasn't working, was the next thought. Quickly, he released the other Pokemon he had on hand.
"Sceptile, Leaf Blade! Krookodile, Dragon Claw! Infernape, Flamethrower! Snorlax, Hyper Beam!" Ash cried, releasing his mighty team. "Greninja, Water Shuriken! And Pikachu, ThunderBolt 'em!"
Ash's Pokemon spread out, taking on individual Pokemon rather than an organized line up as usual. There were other trainers still; the ones who had also made it far in the league and the Elite Four members were still plowing through grunts. Diantha herself was dominating four battles at once, Gardevoir yet to even mega evolve.
The of course there was his friends huddled together in the far corner of the arena, keeping all the grunts away from Bonnie, Dedenne and their new green friend. Ash twitched again, knowing Greninja had taken another blow. This would take a while.
A half hour later and the police were finally involved and multiple gym leaders had rushed to the scene, Ash would've recognized some had he not been so busy. He was one of the only league competitors left on the field now, sans Alain, and Clemont and Bonnie's dad Meyer had come down in full Blaziken-man costume to protect his kids who could fight no longer.
Ash's brutal battling was put on hold as he overheard the command.
"Forget them you imbeciles! The boy, we're here for the boy!" Lysandre's voice called as he broke into Ash's view again.
Their eyes met and it was then that Ash knew this whole thing was about him. He didn't know why yet, but it had to be. He was the youngest still fighting, everyone else had left he had felt the large amount of Pokemon targeting Greninja for some time now.
He wasn't sure why they fought the others for so long if he was their main objective, but he didn't care anymore. He had to get out of here, draw them away and hope for the best. But, he remembered, he had no way for a speedy get away. His eyes scanned the broken and torn up battlefield, watching countless grunts, admins and elites and their Pokemon fight back against the police, elite four and a few others.
Before he could think of anything else, a loud, earth-shattering roar erupted from above. Ash knew what was happening, and he had about two minutes before it did.
All battling ceased for a few seconds and Ash grinned, running through the battles as they recommenced at top speed. He recalled all his Pokemon currently fighting, stopping the fights they were in halfway through. They had all defeated plenty of opponents by now. He continued running, Pikachu at his heels now, and passed right between Alain and Diantha brawling to get to Meyer who was in front of Serena and Clemont as they healed their teams. They were in the tunnel he walked out of to get onto the field that afternoon, Meyer guarding the entrance.
"I'm leaving. I gotta get out of here." Ash announced, stopping in his tracks and getting their attention immediately. "I'm the one they're after, they're here because of me." He elaborated at their shocked looks.
"Uh, okay. Where do we go?" Bonnie asked interested as Serena and Clemont turned to Ash, who looked away.
"You guys are going with Meyer after I get them out of here." Ash replied lowly.
"Ash you can't! We can win this!" Serena said as Delphox weakly stood up. Clemont and Bonnie agreed, giving determined grunts.
"No, there's too many of them. They'll outlast us all, and Lysandre hasn't even started fighting yet." Ash said. "He'll clean up what's left if I don't draw them away from here."
"Don't talk like that, Ash, we're not letting you leave without us!" Clemont yelled. "You're our best friend, it's our job to do stupid things with you, you know?" He tried to lighten the mood.
"I know. You guys are my best friends too, but I'll be back, I promise. After I loose Lysandre." Ash vowed, turning to face the opening of the tunnel.
"You don't even have a safe way out of here, you need to take us with you!" Bonnie protested, standing between Ash and the entrance. Ash smiled a sad smile.
"Sure I do, he should be here right about now." Ash informed them, exchanging another look with Pikachu by his feet. No further words needed to be exchanged between the two partners as the yellow mouse scampered up to his shoulder.
As if on cue, the ground shook upon the impact of a new fighter in the brawl and roar so loud it was intimidating the people fighting on both sides as it's figure was revealed.
There, standing dead center of the battlefield was a hulking Charizard much like Alain's own, only a tad larger than his default form. This Charizard's tail flame burned almost white-hot as it glared around the arena, looking for it's master and best friend.
Using his friend's entrance as a distraction, Ash rushed past Bonnie with one last sad smile and forced himself not to look back at his traveling companions surely shocked faces. If he did he would definitely change his mind.
"Take care of them for me, Meyer, and I'll take care of Team Flare!" Ash said as he sprinted past the older man so fast he almost missed the kid.
Once more Ash ran through battles but with renewed vigor, determined to get away with his next closest pal who was now swatting away enemies left and right with Steel Wing, unwavering in stance as his eyes locked with Ash's. He knew what Ash wanted.
"Friend of yours?" Lysandre asked Alain, who stopped to gaze upon the newly landed Charizard. Alain shook his head.
"Shame," Lysandre followed with. "It shows potential."
Lysandre's eyes widened as he saw the boy, Ketchum, darting towards the beast, unwavering even as it flapped it's great wings getting ready to take to the skies. The boy was bloody suicidal, was Lysandre's first thought. But no, he realized when the large dragon-like Pokemon turned it's back to Ketchum, the boy swiftly landing on it, wrapping his arms tightly around it's neck with his Pikachu stuck like glue on his shoulder even still.
The leader of Team Flare realized what was happening a second too late as by the time he was yelling to move out and take to the skies Ketchum's Charizard had taken off in the blink of an eye and gotten much further than an average Charizard should have gotten in that span of time.
Luckily, Lysandre noticed his team reacting to his orders as they all filed out of the league stadium to make way to their helicopters and sending their flying Pokemon (albeit that one was in vain, Lysandre knew, as nothing his grunts had could keep pace with that behemoth) to follow Ketchum.
"Alain, I want you up there too. Take your Charizard and go after him, now." Lysandre ordered, turning to the black-haired boy.
"But- sir, I've never flown on Charizard before." Alain admitted, looking back to his partner. Lysandre growled.
"Well today's your lucky day, here's your chance to." The leader retorted, taking his leave before the police closed in. Most of them were following his grunts, but you could never be too careful.
"Charizard, stop fighting and come here!" Alain ordered, breaking away from his battle with Diantha.
His Charizard was covered in dirt and scratches, still sore even from his prior battle with Greninja and doing minimal damage to Gardevoir in return was wearing him out. He ignored the champion's confused expression and turned to his starter.
"I need you to give me a lift, we need to catch up to Ash." Alain said, leaving Charizard with a shocked expression. This was the first time his trainer would fly on him and he wasn't sure if this would work as well as Alain was hoping.
Nonetheless, Charizard crouched down and presented his back to Alain. Hesitantly, Alain climbed onto Charizard and, after almost slipping off twice, stabled himself.
"Okay, let's go Charizard!" Alain said after Charizard turned to look at him.
Just as hesitantly, Charizard slowly moved off the ground and into the air, going nowhere near as fast as Ash was.
"They're… leaving?" Diantha asked herself, looking to Gardevoir and making sure she was okay. The mega Charizard they were facing may not have landed many attacks but dodging them all had taken a bigger effect on her partner than anyone but her would notice.
"It sure looks like it." Officer Jenny said, adjusting her cap as she surveyed the scene. "What did they come here for then? They didn't take anything."
"What they came here for took off flying, so they did too." Meyer said, running up to Diantha and Jenny, the kids trailing him.
"Team Flare was here looking for Ash, Diantha! He left to draw them away from here and, ugh, I can't believe it worked!" Clemont announced in distress.
Jenny, however, seemed unconcerned.
"Well in that case it looks like our job is done here. Have fun at the league, kids!" Jenny said, walking away.
This left Serena, Clemont and Bonnie enraged.
"We can't just let him go! He needs our help!" Serena insisted. Meyer and Diantha nodded.
"I know," Diantha started before she was interrupted by the familiar sound of helicopters flying.
Looking up at the sky, they stared as various helicopters passed over the stadium. Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, Meyer, Diantha and the Pokemon they had out at the moment all stood and watched the fleet of helicopters disappear into the distance in the direction Ash fled in. Quickly, Diantha turned to the others.
"Let's go, we can take my helicopter!" Diantha finished her statement, turning to leave the stadium. Ash's friends and Meyer ran to follow her, recalling all their Pokemon.
"Thanks for coming to get us, Charizard. I don't know what we'd have done without you." Ash thanked him, patting his neck gently. Charizard grunted contently, soaring through the skies.
"How'd you know what was going on anyway? I haven't talked to Liza lately at all." The raven-haired trainer asked.
Charizard had spent a while at Oak's Lab in Kanto after Ash returned to Unova, but returned to the Charicific Valley to visit Charla, his mate, who had recently laid two eggs. Ash had chosen not to bring back Charizard after hearing they hatched, wanting one of his closest friends to spend some time with his family. Ash hadn't spoken to Liza since halfway through his Kalos journey, which was also the last time he saw the fully evolved Kanto starter.
Charizard grunted and growled a few times, letting out a roar at the end as if to make his point stronger. Ash and Pikachu chuckled.
"You saw me on TV again, huh? I guess Liza was watching my battles. You didn't like that I was getting attacked. Or that I didn't call you for the battle." Ash realized, petting his friend again. "Sorry buddy, I just wanted you to spend some time with your family."
Charizard growled again, turning around to look at Ash. Ash and Pikachu smiled as they grinned down.
"Thanks Charizard. You're a part of my family too, you know. A pretty big part." Ash told him.
"How touching. Too bad we're taking you back with us." Alain's voice rang out through the clouds. The Kanto natives turned to see the black haired trainer emerge from the clouds under them riding on his Mega Charizard X.
"That's not gonna happen." Ash said, determined.
"Oh really? While the two of you were having your little heart-to-heart, Lysandre's most likely almost caught up to us." Alain told him. Instead of panicking like expected, Ash smirked.
"Good, just like I wanted 'em too." He said in return, turning around to look. Sure enough, Goalbat's and Swoobat's were closing the gap and the shapes of helicopters could be made out in the clouds behind them. "Let's go a little faster, bud."
"You can't go any faster, we're already going faster than cars normally do." Alain said surely. Ash smirked again.
"Just watch us." He replied. "Show 'em, Charizard."
Sure enough, Ash's Charizard's speed increased. Not tenfold or anything, or even anything to take them out of Alain's view, but they were going fast enough to stay out of the fleets grasp and Ash wasn't even concerned about the height or the speed at which they were. He was a special one indeed.
"If they won't slow down, we have to make them. Charizard, Flamethrower!" Alain ordered, trying to sound demanding. In truth, he wasn't sure about having Charizard use attacks while he was riding it. Was that normal, or could lots of people do that?
"ThunderBolt, Pikachu!" Ash countered.
The yellow mouse quickly fired a bolt of electricity from Charizard's back to meet the blue flames and hold them off from their target, creating an explosion. The shock-waves shook Alain, making him almost lose his grip and Charizard trying to stabilize himself.
'Let's see how he handled that.' Alain thought to himself.
To his surprise, Ash was fine. He hadn't even turned around during the commotion and Pikachu was still standing upright, as Charizard didn't even bother to slow down.
"I bet you can't keep that up!" Alain yelled as he caught up with Ash, his eyes straying downward.
"It looks like it's you that can't stay up." Ash retorted. The black-haired boy growled.
"Flamethrower, again!" Alain ordered clinging on as Charizard once again spat blue flames at Ash. This time they were much closer.
"Speed up and spin!" Ash followed up immediately, Pikachu jumping to his lap as Charizard spun around, doing a complete barrel roll, the flames passing harmlessly above them. "Fire back with Flamethrower!"
Ash's Charizard spat flames next, the attack accelerated quickly towards its target. Alain knew he couldn't spin-dodge like Ash had, his only chance was to counter.
"Flamethrower too!" He decided.
The two attacks met, red and blue collided in the skies. To Alain's surprise, although he didn't know why he was surprised at this point, the attacks were equal, with both attacks exploding when they refused to let the other pass. Alain once again had to quickly adjust himself.
"It looks like they're new at this, Charizard. What do you say we give 'em a lesson?" Ash teased. Charizard nodded and looked back at Ash. Ash knew what Charizard wanted to do and nodded his approval, holding Pikachu tightly in his lap.
Before Alain could realize what was going on, Ash's Charizard turned upward and went on a steep vertical climb, turning around on the way and flying in circles, firing Flamethrower after Flamethrower at the approaching Pokemon and hitting every one.
Next Charizard flew straight at the helicopters, bobbing and weaving between blades and even attacking multiple. Dragon Tail's and Slash attacks quickly demolished a portion of vehicles, sending them crashing down below. It wasn't over as next Charizard batted away an Air Slash with it's wing while Ash hardly moved from his position and continued with Dragon Tail, easily deflecting Hyper Beam's from Liepard's and Houndoom's that were standing by the helicopter doors.
"That was real fun, Charizard, but it looks like reinforcements are coming in." Ash noted, becoming more alert now. Charizard nodded, done playing around with the helicopters and turned around face their get-away direction.
"You're not going anywhere, Ketchum." Lysandre said, sending out his Honchkrow. "Dark Pulse, go!"
Honchkrow wasted no time in firing off the ominous black rings at Charizard.
"Pikachu, ThunderBolt!" Ash countered. Just like before Pikachu's electric attack proved too difficult for the enemies attack to break through.
They continued to do this dance for some time, with the helicopters firing attacks and Ash maneuvering out of the way. Until Lysandre got sick of it.
"Attack at once, he can't dodge all of us!" Lysandre ordered. "Alain, you too!"
Flamethrowers, Dark Pulses, Hyper Beams and Shadow Balls came at Ash from every direction and he realized far too late that he had let the helicopters form a circle around him. Thinking quickly, Ash gave another order.
"Dive! Dive down!" Ash cried, laying flat on Charizard's back and covering Pikachu. Charizard obeyed immediately and went into a nosedive towards what Ash now saw was water. He guessed they had flown further than they had thought.
"Now climb back up and shoot a Fire Spin in every direction!" Ash commanded.
Despite the strange command, Charizard acted instantly. The fire dragon pulled up and spun around, already firing flames in all directions that circled around their enemies. Ash could tell they were temporarily immobile, whether because they were stuck in a vortex of flames or because they were caught off-guard he didn't care.
"That won't hold 'em forever, let's put some distance between us." Ash said, looking down. Charizard grunted and began to speed up, only for a Razor Wind to cut through the air in front of him.
The Kanto trio turned to see a Talonflame, much like Ash's own, but larger. Calling orders to it front the helicopter behind it was none other than Malva of the Elite Four.
"Did you really think you could get away?" Malva taunted. Ash grit his teeth but didn't reply. "We have you surrounded, where were you going to go? Can't go up," She continued, gesturing to the incoming helicopters above them. "And you can't go down." She finished, smiling at the water below. "And you're certainly not breaking past us."
Ash looked around and he was indeed surrounded again. There were helicopters above, water below and Pokemon on all sides. Talonflame, Honchkrow and Charizard X were the primary guards, locking him in on all sides while the others hovered about.
"If we're going down, we're going down fighting." Ash said, standing up on Charizard. Pikachu stood too, cheeks sparking and Charizard released another mighty roar. Lysandre smirked from his helicopter.
"I was hoping you'd say that." He said. "Honchkrow, Dark Pulse!"
"Razor Wind!" Malva ordered again.
"Flamethrower, once more!" Alain cried.
The attacks were fired so fast, all Ash could do was blink.
"Ash, no!" Serena called from Diantha's helicopter.
They had caught up just in time to see Ash take a stand against Team Flare, only to be attacked without opportunity to protect himself. Bonnie and Dedenne had to look away, both hiding their faces in Meyer's leg while Clemont looked down with clenched fists.
Diantha could do nothing but stare in shock as she was piloting the helicopter and couldn't move much. Serena too seemed too distraught to do anything but close her eyes. When the smoke from the explosion cleared the group prepared themselves to see Ash's form fall from the sky, bruised and charred.
Imagine their surprise when he had vanished from the middle of the attacks completely.
"What? He- He's gone?" Serena asked out loud, confused.
"He disappeared." Meyer stated soundly
"But- how?" Clemont asked. "How did he get away?"
"He- he disappeared, sir." Alain said staring at the site the attacks collided with shock. He wasn't sure if that was their intention, but he had been expecting Ash to fall from the explosion, not disappear completely.
"I see that, Alain." Lysandre replied shortly. He didn't like to lose, and his new favorite test subjects getting away counted as a big loss. He couldn't even be sure he was dead.
However Lysandre decided that, dead or not, they couldn't focus anymore on Ash Ketchum for the time being. The only way to explain that to his underlings was to assure them, so he put on a confident smile to keep them from thinking he had failed.
"Don't fret over it, the mission was accomplished. Eliminating Ketchum was a back-up plan, but our objectives were met here today." Lysandre assured Malva and Alain, the two closest Flare members. They both nodded and exchanged looks before turning back to their boss.
"What's next?" Malva asked as the fleet of ships turned around to head back to the Kalos mainland. Lysandre only smirked in reply.
The attacks that filled Ash's vision were quickly taken over by a blinding white light, and then… nothing. Until he felt a jolt go through his system and he shot up into a sitting position and gasping for breathe.
Composing himself, he looked around. He was on the ground now, in a field somewhere it appeared. There was grass on the ground and trees in the distance and the ground itself was mostly dirt. His partner Pikachu was scampering about in front of him, also looking about and Charizard was on the ground behind him, lying peacefully.
"Pikachu, where are we?" Ash asked, although he didn't expect the mouse to actually know. As expected, Pikachu shook his head sadly.
"Pika-chu." He said, before waddling up to Ash's side and rubbing his head against Ash's leg. Ash laughed.
"Yeah, I'm fine buddy. What about you?" Ash said, standing up and stretching.
"Chaa." Pikachu squeaked, climbing Ash's body to sit atop his perch. "Pikapi Pikachu?"
As Ash bent down to wake up Charizard, he saw a shape in the distance. After identifying it as a mountain, and looking around the landscape again, he noticed something. The three of them were currently situated at the bottom of a large crater over ten feet wide. Once again Ash looked around, this time remembering a certain set of events.
"Whoa man." Ash said, standing back up. "Pikachu, I don't think we're in Kalos anymore." Pikachu shot him a look. "We were here before once, buddy, a long time ago. A really, really long time ago." He elaborated.
Ash and Pikachu heard subtle, deep chuckles sound through the air.
"How nice of you to remember me, Ash." A body-less voice echoed. Ash and Pikachu looked around, desperate to find the source. "Of course, I remember you as well."
And with that, the voice made themselves know. A cat-like Pokemon appeared, floating off the ground and appearing about the size of an average human. It's tail gently whipped back and forth behind it as it watched the Pallet Duo with slightly glowing eyes.
Disclaimer; I don't own the Pokemon Series nor any of the characters in it represented in this story.
That's Chapter One, folks.
Before you all get on my case in saying that Charizard was OP… yeah, probably. But I don't think it was an unreasonable amount of overpowered-ness for something on the level we all know Charizard to be (aka on par with legendary Pokemon).
Now, as the summary implies, Ash will essentially be doing a speed-run to collect new badges but with the Champion's League so near and the experience Ash has, the Gym Leaders will be much tougher than before. But my question is, how many gym leaders do you think should use mega evolution against Ash?
Also my main idea for this fic was Ash/Cynthia, but I'm open to alternate suggestions and may change it later. But not to one of Ash's former traveling companions (Misty, May, Dawn, Iris or Serena), there are enough of those.
Another thing that will be mostly up to you guys is whether Ash enters with an alias and reveals his identity at the end/later in the tournament or enters with his real name from the get-go so let me know your thoughts on that.
Leave your answers, questions and comments in the reviews! Criticism is welcome!