Just before Misty, Ash and Brock decide to go their separate ways, a terrible tragedy strikes: Pikachu is killed. This story is set two years after the disaster. Enjoy Part One of this 10-parter epic. More parts coming soon!
'… Plus, on his day, Pikachu could kick ass. Let's not forget that about him. I know Ash would have wanted me to say it. That Thunderbolt, jeez! Powerful or what! It could take down the mightiest of 'em all on his day. Heck, just ask Team Rocket. Or even my Onix…'
There is polite tittering from the crowd of mourners, all of whom are gathered in the Pokemon Tower for today's service.
To commemorate the death of the Pikachu that formerly belonged to Ash Ketchum.
'Above all, though, Pikachu was a loyal friend. He did a lot of good, that little guy. He'd always help the Pokemon in need. Pikachu, buddy, if you're up there, know this: it was a true honour to travel with you for all those years. An absolute honour.'
Brock looks out into the throng of the mourners. They line up almost as far as the eye can see. And, boy oh boy, it's a hell of a sight.
A sight of unity, of compassion, of love. Pokemon and humans are intermingled. And everybody's here. Some had only heard of the legend of the little electric mouse that could take down Pokemon twice his size. Others- like Professor Oak- knew Pikachu intimately, all the way back from the early days. Long forgotten friends like Primeape and Butterfree have travelled for miles across Kanto to take just a moment for their dear, deceased friend. The one trainer that knows him best, however, is nowhere to be seen.
Brock takes a deep breath, trying to steady himself, as he's struck by yet another wave of grief.
'Th… that's all I have to say. Rest in peace, buddy. You were the best. The best.'
He then steps down from the pulpit, and returns to his seat.
At the end of the funeral, people make polite conversation about Pikachu. Reminiscing about the good times, the glory days. Lamenting the fact that it's always the good ones that are the first to go. In fact, the atmosphere is so full of melancholy and sadness that not a single mourner notices the shadowy figure that stands alone, draped in darkness. This person can sense the atmosphere in the room, the unspoken question that nobody dare ask. But everybody's thinking it.
Whatever happened to the Trainer from Pallet Town?
'It's been a while.'
Then there's silence. Both are quite pleased to see each other. But neither of them really know what to say.
Soon, though, the expression on Misty's goes from happiness to irritation. Her face reddens. There's clearly something bothering her.
And Brock knows exactly what's coming. That vintage Misty rage. Oh, how he's missed this. And then Brock realises just how lucky he's been over the years. He'd managed to avoid a lot of it, with poor Ash receiving the lion's share of the nagging whenever Misty saw red. But in our beloved friend's absence…
'Why didn't you call Brock?
Brock looks down at the floor. Now his face is going red, too. He feels embarrassed, like he's a little kid again.
'One call, that's all it would have taken. But I got nothing. You knew I was stuck in Cerulean City. Working my butt off at the Gym. And still I heard nothing. Zilch. Why the radio silence, Brock? Why?'
Brock continues to stare at the floor. What should he say? What could he possibly say that would make this- whatever the hell *this* even was- all right?
'Misty, this has hasn't been easy for me eith-'
'You think it's been easy for me Brock?'
'I never said-'
'Cos it hasn't. Not in any way. You know how much Pikachu meant to me. Not to even mention Ash… his whole… disappearing act. You know, none of us know a single thing about where he is. Not a damn thing, Brock. We've got posters in every town, every village, every damn hamlet, every Officer Jenny in every region working their fingers to the bone. Every morning I wake up with renewed hope, and every night I lie in bed at night overwhelmed with darkness and despair, crying myself to sleep. That sound easy to you, Brock? Does it?'
Brock just stares at the floor. Words fail him. Just like he's failed everyone else…
'I can't explain, Misty. I can't. I just can't. I know I should have looked out for you, and I'm sorry I didn't. But I couldn't. I wasn't up for it. I needed time to process this. To put it all in perspective… Travelling with Ash was my whole life. I still can't believe it's ended, how it ended…'
Misty's expression softens, ever so slightly.
'But I'm here now, Misty. I promise you that. I'm with you now. You won't be alone anymore.'
Misty notices the tears streaming down Brock's face and realises that he, too, has been suffering. Silently grieving, the only way that some men can grieve. Not knowing how to articulate that emptiness and hopelessness within him. Oh, Brock, you poor thing…
She moves closer to Brock, wipes his tears away.
'And I'm here, too, Brock. I'm here for you. You won't be alone, either.'
The two great friends then tenderly embrace. All the anger and the bitterness fades as quickly as it has come about in the first place, replaced with the feeling of contentedness and warmth that comes with being reunited with a long lost friend that you didn't think you'd see again.
Brock and Misty turn around, slowly. Standing behind them is a figure, clad all in black. Their face is concealed by a gigantic, oversized-hood, and the gender-neutral clothes worn give no indication as to the person's gender. Although their voice is muffled by the absurd hood, the person speaks with an air of authority.
'Can I have a word?'