What is it about Ash that I like so much?
I mean, I didn't hesitate for a moment when he invited me along with him on his journey. Even though we'd just met for the first time earlier today, it just felt right to go with him. Strange, since he was a big leaguer and I was just a rookie in the first inning.
Even so, I was happy that he invited me onto his team.
After that, we've had some interesting adventures. Like when Ash and a bunch of Heracross beat Team Rocket, and Heracross decided to join Ash. Or when Officer Jenny and her Spinarak helped stop Team Rocket's plot. Or when Brock helped that Stantler who was kidnapped by Team Rocket.
...Why is Team Rocket always involved in our adventures?
In any case, Ash is a very strange trainer. Sometimes, he shows incredible skill and ability in battles, like he's about to knock the whole battle out of the park. But other times he can be a colossal dork, acting in ways that no normal person would want to. He's also an idiot, often making bizarre leaps of logic that leaves us grasping at straws to understand. Also, he has no sense of direction. If there's one thing Brock made sure I remembered, it's to never trust Ash with a map.
But even with all that weirdness, I think I finally figured it out. What I like so much about Ash.
We were on the road to Violet city, and we were at a particularly high elevation. And it was really cold! Like, there was a mountain right nearby that was covered in snow! Which was pretty cool, to be honest. Both literally and figuratively. Ash even suggested that we should go skiing, which Brock felt would be a great way to meet girls.
"I think I may have hit on the perfect sport for me," he said. "Downhill skiing!"
I mean, seriously? Is trying to impress ladies all he thinks about? I mean, I love baseball, but I don't spend every moment of my life trying to find out how the Electabuzz will win against the Magikarp!
"I think your brain's going downhill."
I'm glad Misty agrees with me, at least.
"Is it even possible for his brain to go further downhill than it already is?" I asked.
Before we could say anything else on the subject, though, Ash interrupted us, having apparently found something that appeals to his own weird obsession.
"Forget skiing! I found something that's even better! Just take a look over there!"
Curious, I looked in the direction where Ash was pointing. And to my great surprise, there, laying on the grass, was a Chikorita!
"It's another Chikorita!" he said excitedly.
"Yeah," I said. "Just like mine!"
"What a coincidence," said Brock.
Amazed, I took a sniff. There was a bit of a sweet smell, just like when my Chikorita used sweet scent.
"It smells so sweet," said Misty.
"Yeah," I said, "It's Chikorita's Sweet Scent!"
Fascinated, Ash pulled out his Pokedex and scanned the wild Chikorita. He then came to a decision.
"I'm catching this Chikorita!"
As he rushed up to the wild Chikorita, it quickly got to its feet, glaring at Ash with a determined look. It then waved its leaf in defiance, clearly ready to fight against Ash.
But he wasn't.
"IF THIS CHIKORITA BELONGS TO ANYBODY PLEASE TELL ME NOW! IF YOU DON'T I'M GONNA CAPTURE IT!"
Remember when I said that Ash is a dork? And an idiot? Yeah, I rest my case.
If you thought that Chikorita would run away from Ash yelling his head off to tell everyone he was going to catch it, then you never met this Chikorita. Nothing anyone did would make it run away.
"This one looks like a pretty tough cookie!" said Brock.
"Yeah!" I said. "That Chikorita's definitely a heavy hitter for sure!"
"I thought Chikorita were supposed to be sweet, though," said Misty. "Just like yours!"
"Yeah, he's sweet most of the time," I said, "But my Chikorita knows how to play hardball when he needs to!"
"Well," said Ash, "If you ask me, there's nothing sweeter than catching a tough one!"
"Tough one" was an understatement. It managed to take out Ash's Bulbasaur and Charizard. Yeah! Charizard! Remember? Ash's MVP? The one who single handedly hit my whole team out of the park? That guy.
I mean, Chikorita did get pretty banged up from the whole experience. But still!
"You were great," Ash said as he returned Charizard. "Return now!"
As the big orange lizard was returned to his pokeball, our attention turned to Chikorita.
"Chikorita's hurt!" said Ash. But to our amazement, the leaf Pokemon was still trying to get back on its feet.
"It still wants to battle?!" I said in amazement. "It can barely stand!"
Indeed, Chikorita was still determined to keep fighting even as it fell to the ground. Worried, Ash quickly picked it up and held it in his arms.
"This is bad!" said Misty. "It took a lot of damage in that battle!"
"We've got to get it to a Pokemon center!" said Brock.
"Right!" said Ash. "Let's go!"
Immediately, we rushed off towards the nearest Pokemon Center. As we ran, Chikorita slowly began to stir in Ash's arms.
"Don't you worry now," said Ash. "We'll take good care of ya!"
Unfortunately, Chikorita still didn't trust any of us. And it made its displeasure known by biting hard on Ash's arm.
"Ow!" he cried. "Take it easy, I'm trying to help!"
I must admit, I'm glad I wasn't the one carrying Chikorita.
Sometime afterwards, we awaited further news in the lobby of the Pokemon Center. I had just let my own Chikorita out, thinking he would help calm down the newcomer and maybe get it to trust us a bit more. For now, though, all we could do was wait and see.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of waiting, Nurse Joy stepped out into the lobby.
"How's Chikorita?" Ash asked.
"Chikorita will be fine," Nurse Joy said, sending a wave of relief through everyone.
"That's great!" said Ash.
"Pika!" Pikachu said in agreement.
"But what about that arm of yours?" said Nurse Joy. "Looks like Chikorita didn't cooperate."
"Oh, yeah," Ash said as he looked down at the spot on his arm where Chikorita had bitten him. "I forgot all about it!"
I couldn't help but chuckle a bit at this. Sometimes I couldn't believe that Ash was really as nice as he was. I mean, he was so focused on Chikorita's safety that he forgot that he'd been hurt at all! For all his weird quirks, he really is a great guy.
Also, it helps that his quirks aren't anywhere near as annoying as… someone else's.
"Well I could never forget you!" Brock said as he grabbed Nurse Joy's hands. "Your hands are so small, but I'm sure they're also gentle and caring! Dare I ask? Might these healing hands impart their gentle loving care on-"
Having had enough of Brock's antics, I pulled out my trusty baseball bat and whacked him in the head. He then fell to the floor, crying out in pain.
"Your head isn't exactly a match for a baseball, but it works for getting in some practice," I said as I put my bat back in my bag. Brock just whimpered as he lay on the floor, with my Chikorita just staring at both me and brock in surprise. Nurse Joy just stood still in in bemusement, still trying to process what had just happened.
Fortunately, Ash and Misty were there to break the awkwardness.
"Can you check my Pokemon please, Nurse Joy?"
"And mine too!" said Ash.
"I'd… love to," Nurse Joy said, a smile slowly returning to her face. "Now, who's first?"
"I've seen lots of Chikorita just like this one," Nurse Joy explained as we observed Chikorita resting in a medical pod. "The Chikorita from around here are known to be stubborn, battling against powerful opponents even when they don't stand a chance."
"And they end up here when they get beat up?" I said.
"Chiko!" my Chikorita said, worried about the condition of another member of his kind.
"Right," said Nurse Joy. "They just battle until they can't go on. It's really sad, to be honest."
"Yeah," said Ash. "Still, you have to admire that kind of fighting spirit."
Curious, my Chikorita leaned over to get a closer look at the wild one. He seemed worried about the newcomer, but also curious. I suppose he'd never met any other Chikoria, apart from the ones in Professor Elm's lab, so It must have been quite an experience for him.
Any further musings, however, were interrupted by a pair of figures bursting into the room.
"Stand back! Coming through!"
"We're here to take this Chikorita to our special intensive emergency care unit!"
Much to our surprise, there were a pair of unknown figures dressed in some sort of medical gear standing in front of the wild Chikorita.
"But how did-"
"This is a critical condition, we don't have time to explain!"
Before we could say anything, the strangers grabbed the medical pod and rushed off. Now, I'm not an expert on Pokemon Centers, but I could tell that there was something fishy going on. So I didn't hesitate to follow the rest of the group as they chased after the mysterious newcomers. And as we exited the Pokemon Center, we saw the two strangers shoving Chikorita's medical pod into an ambulance.
"But I haven't seen you before," said Nurse Joy. "Where are you two from?"
As the pair of strangers turned around, I became aware of the fact that even with their disguises, the two of them had hairstyles that were all too familiar to us.
"We're from the team that causes trouble!" one of them said.
"I hope you're insured 'cause we make it double!"
My eyes widened as the two threw off their hospital clothing, revealing two of the three idiots who seemed to have nothing better to do than to constantly harass us.
"To protect the world from devastation."
"To unite all peoples within our nation."
"To denounce the evils of truth and love."
"To extend our reach to the stars above."
"Team Rocket Doctors blast off at the speed of light!"
"Surrender now because we're not making any more house calls!"
"Ya got that right!" Meowth said as he poked his head out from the driver's seat of the ambulance.
I'm pretty confident that none of them have any real medical credentials. And I also don't think that Pokemon can have driver's licenses. Then again, we're talking about a talking Meowth, so what do I know?
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to point this out, as they had Weezing blow a smog attack, hiding them from view as they drove off. Even as we struggled to breathe through the noxious fumes, though, Ash immediately sprung into action.
"We can't let them get away with this!" he said as he rushed out in the direction of the ambulance. I was surprised by this, but there was no way I was going to be left behind! So I rushed off after him. I could hear Misty and Brock calling out for us, but I didn't pay much attention to them.
"We'll climb over that hill and get ahead of them, Pikachu!"
"Great thinking, Ash!" I said as I caught up to him.
"Casey?" Ash said in surprise. "What are you doing?"
"What do you think?" I asked. "We're going to help you rescue Chikorita!"
"Chiko!" Chikorita said, obviously unwilling to abandon his fellow grass starter. Ash and Pikachu wee surprised for a moment, but they then smiled, happy to have some extra help on their mission.
After some intense running and climbing, we managed to get up onto the hill that Ash had mentioned. Just in time too, as we could see the ambulance approaching right below us.
"Now we're going to show Team Rocket that we're just as tough as Chikorita!" said Ash.
"You got it!" I said. We then jumped off the cliff right as Team Rocket's vehicle passed by, and landed right on top. We nearly slipped off, but fortunately my Chikorita was able to use his Vine Whip to hold us in place.
Now all we needed to do was wait to free Chikorita.
After some time, Team Rocket stopped at a small cabin near the ice cold top of the mountain. Ash and I hid in some snowy bushes nearby, trying to come up with a strategy.
"So, how are we gonna get Chikorita out of there?" I said.
"Chikorita?" my Chikorita said.
"I know!" said Ash. "I'll have Charizard surprise them with Flamethrower!"
He smiled as he reached for his Pokeballs. However, his smile quickly turned into a frown.
"What's wrong?" I asked, worried about Ash's sudden change in demeanor.
"I… think I might have left all of my Pokeballs back at the Pokemon Center," he said with a nervous smile, which caused me and our Pokemon to groan.
"Really, Ash?" I said with a bemused tone. "You rushed off to rescue Chikorita without bringing along your Pokemon, who you would need for this sort of rescue?"
"Hey, give me a break!" said Ash. "I was in a rush! Do you think that Team Rocket's going to wait around for us to save Chikorita?"
"Eh, I guess that's a good point," I said as I reached for my Pokeballs. "Still, I don't think it's fair that you have to rely on me to…"
I then realized that my Pokeballs were missing.
"Oh no!" I said. "My pokeballs are missing too!"
Ash, Pikachu, and Chikorita sighed.
"Okay," I said, doing my best to not panic, "what do we do now?"
"Well," Ash said, "I think I have a plan."
For a moment, I listened to what Ash was thinking about. I then rolled my eyes.
"I think that's stupid."
"Do you have any better ideas?" Ash asked.
I opened my mouth to answer, then realized that I didn't have an answer. Thus, we decided to go with Ash's plan, as ridiculous as it was.
We quickly snuck up to the door of the cabin, ready to act. As we approached, we could hear Team Rocket attempting to recruit Chikorita for their team.
"Don't do it, Chikorita!" Ash yelled. "It's a dirty trick!"
"Who's that?" the terrible trio said, clearly not expecting anyone to have actually found them.
"Team Rocket, prepare for trouble," said Ash.
"And on second thought, make that double!" I said.
We then burst the door open, while keeping our backs towards Team Rocket.
"To protect wild Pokemon from devastation!"
"To save all Chikorita within our nation!"
"You might think I'm way too brash!"
"But that's why I'm here to help out Ash!"
We then turned around to face the group
"Our Pokemon teams are faster than light!"
"Surrender now or you'll lose this fight!"
"Meowth! That's right!"
Alas, the other two were not nearly as happy about our version as Meowth.
"How dare you twerps mangle our motto?!" Jessie yelled as she stomped on Meowth.
"That's copyrighted material!" James added.
"Yeah?" said Ash as he tossed a snowball. "Well you three need to cool off!"
Lucky for me that years of pitching have given me quite a good aim. My snowball hit Jessie right in the face, while Ash's snowball hit James. And Pikachu was able to get Meowth.
"Get Chikorita!" I cried out. Immediately, Pikachu and my Chikorita jumped off my shoulder and rushed over to the wild one. They then quickly convinced it to run away, and so the three Pokemon rushed straight out of the cabin.
"You won't get away!" Meowth cried as he pushed a button on a remote device. To our shock, it activated a trap which managed to catch Pikachu and both Chikorita.
"Pikachu!" said Ash.
"Chikorita!" I said.
We then rushed to rescue our Pokemon… only to be trapped as well.
"What?!" said Ash
"Ah!" I cried. "Let me go!"
We then turned to Pikachu and the two Chikorita.
"We'll get you guys out of this!" Ash said as he struggled to open the clamp holding him in place. I tried to do the same, glaring at Team Rocket as they stepped out.
"Hey look," said Meowth, "we caught some twerps in out trap!"
"Let's take Chikorita and be on our way," said Jessie.
"No way!" I said. "We're not going to let you take any Pokemon!"
"Guys! Let's make a run for it!" said Ash.
Immediately, we all tried to run in different directions… while we were all tied together.
Yeah, that didn't turn out so well. We ended up tumbling down a hill, getting wrapped up into a huge snowball, crashing into a tree, then falling into a snowy pile at the base of said tree.
On the plus side, though, we got away from Team Rocket.
Once I had managed to more or less get my bearings, I emerged from the pile. Immediately, I saw both Chikorita, as well as Ash and Pikachu.
"Hey," said Ash, "That was kind of fun, wasn't it?"
"Pika!" Pikachu said in agreement.
I opened my mouth to complain that we could have been killed, but then I realized that… Ash was kind of right.
"I… yeah," I admitted, a smile slowly forming on my face. "It was kind of fun."
After that, though, we had to face the fact that we had no idea where we were, or how to get back to the Pokemon Center.
"So… what now?" I asked as I looked around.
"Uhh," said Ash, "I don't know which way we should go, to be honest."
"Well, that's not exactly unusual," I said under my breath.
"What was that?"
As we looked around, the wild Chikorita chose that moment to run off.
"Chikooo!" my Chikorita called out.
"Hey, wait!" said Ash.
Chikorita didn't listen to Ash, and simply continued to run away from us. Ash tried to follow, only to slip on the icy ground.
"Ash!" I said worriedly. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," he said as he got back to his feet. "I'm just fine."
As Ash got back up, Chikorita looked out in the direction that the wild one had rushed off towards. He cried out once more, evidently worried about his fellow grass type, but to no avail.
"Sorry, Chikorita," I said sadly as I picked him up. "I don't think the other Chikorita is interested in coming along with us."
"Yeah," said Ash. "It's too bad, I really liked that one."
It was then that we realized that it was starting to snow. Our eyes went wide as we realized that it was about to get very cold.
"We can worry about that later," I said. "We need to find shelter!"
Fortunately, we were able to find an empty cave not too far away. Once there, we were able to get a fire going. Even though we were able to warm ourselves up, we couldn't help but worry about Chikorita.
"I wonder if Chikorita's doing okay out there," said Ash.
"Yeah," I said as I looked into the fire. "I really hope it isn't out in the cold."
"Chikooo," Chikorita said as he looked away. Even though he didn't even know the other Chikorita that well, it was pretty clear that he really wanted the wild one to be safe as well.
As Chikorita looked downwards, Ash had a thoughtful look on his face. Then, to our surprise, he got up to his feet.
"I'm gonna find Chikorita!"
We all looked up, shocked by Ash's declaration.
"You guys stay here," said Ash. "Brock and Misty might come looking for us!"
"What?!" I said in shock. "But it's cold and dark out there!"
"Yeah!" said Ash. "Which is why I need to find Chikorita! So it won't be left out in the cold!"
"And how are you even going to find it?" I pointed out.
"I'll figure something out!" said Ash. "Besides, I've been through way worse than this!"
Before I could come up with a proper retort, Chikorita rushed away from his spot next to me and stopped in front of Ash.
"What?" Ash said in confusion. "Do you… want to come with me?"
"Chiko!" Chikorita said with a determined expression.
"So you're worried about the other Chikorita, huh?" said Ash. "Okay! Let's go find your friend!"
Before I could complain, the two of them rushed off into the snowy wilderness.
"Wait!" I cried as I got to my feet and rushed out towards the entrance. "Ash! Chikorita!"
But it was too late. Both Ash and my Chikorita had vanished into the snowy wilderness.
"Come on!" I said in frustration. I then sat down at the entrance of the cave, with Pikachu sitting next to me. Together we watched the snow fall, hoping that the others would come back safe and sound.
While we sat there waiting for Ash to come back, I reached into my backpack and pulled out my pills. As I swallowed one, my thoughts went back to Chikorita. Even though I had only known the little guy for a short time, we were still inseparable. Maybe it was the fact that he was my first Pokemon, and so we had a special connection like that. But that just made me worry all the more when he decided to go off with Ash to find the other Chikorita. What if something happened to him?
Of course, I just reminded myself that he had Ash with him. No doubt Ash would never let Chikorita get hurt.
I then began to think about Ash. He really could be an idiot sometimes, charging into dangerous situations without thinking about the consequences. And yet… he always does it because someone else is in trouble. He wants to help everyone else, even if he has to put himself in danger to do so.
"Hey Pikachu?" I asked.
"Pika?" Pikachu said as he looked up to look at me.
"Do you think Ash is going to be okay out there?"
Pikachu looked back out into the snowy woods for a moment, as if pondering the question. He then looked back at me with a confident look on his face.
"Pikapi, Pika! Pikachu Pika Pikapi!"
I couldn't understand what Pikachu was saying, but I had the feeling that he was pretty confident about Ash. And if his bond with Ash was anything like mine was with Chikorita, he probably had very good reason to be confident.
"You're right, Pikachu!" I said happily. "I know that Ash is gonna keep both Chikorita safe!"
With that, we went back to sitting together at the opening of the cave. And then, after several more minutes of waiting, we saw a couple of figures approaching the cave.
"Ash!" I called out. "Chikorita!"
We quickly moved aside as Ash and the two Chikorita got into the cave. We then all sat down next to the fire.
"Ash! Why did you go out in the snow like that?!" I said angrily. "You could have frozen to death out there!"
"Yeah," Ash said nervously as he scratched the back of his head. "I know, maybe it wasn't the smartest thing to do. But I couldn't just leave Chikorita out there!"
"Chiko! Chiko!" my Chikorita said in agreement, clearly not willing to leave another of his kind out in the cold. And, of course, I couldn't stay angry at him.
"Oh, fine," I said. I then looked at the new Chikorita, who was still shivering from the cold.
"Hey, why don't we all huddle together?"
Before I could say anything, Ash slid up to me. He then put one arm around me, making my eyes go wide. He then held the Pokemon in his other arm, holding everyone close together.
"There! This will keep us all warm!"
Oh yeah. It was definitely keeping everyone warm. And my face was definitely feeling warm.
"T-thanks, Ash," I said.
"No problem, guys," Ash said with a smile. "We'll just spend the night in here, and maybe tomorrow the snow will have passed and we can head back. In the meantime, let's get some sleep, okay?"
"Y-yeah," I said. "That'll be nice."
I was definitely looking forward to getting out of the cave. Having Ash this close to me was super embarrassing!
And yet, as we all fell asleep, I couldn't help but feel safe in Ash's arms.
Maybe… maybe I wouldn't have minded a couple more nights like this.
How are Team Rocket so good at catching us off base?
When we woke up in the morning, we found that the snow had indeed stopped, and the sky was clear. Unfortunately, Team Rocket were waiting right outside the cave with some weird snowball shooting machine, which hit both Ash and me before we could react. Fortunately, the wild Chikorita was also quick, and sent out a Razor Leaf attack to intercept any remaining snowballs.
"Perfect shot!" said Ash.
"We're lucky we have you on our team!" I said.
"Chiko!" my Chikorita said, making the new one smile at the encouragement.
"Chikorita, you could be Team Rocket's star player!"
"You'll be seeing stars alright!" I said. "Chikorita! Use Vine Whip!"
"You too, Chikorita!"
Immediately, both Chikorita shot out their vines at the device, causing it to go haywire and start throwing snowballs at Team Rocket instead. As they panicked and tried to get the machine working again, Ash made his move.
"Alright, Pikachu, warm them up with a Thunderbolt!"
Pikachu didn't hesitate to blast the three idiots with a huge blast of electricity… which caused the machine to explode.
"Yeah!" I said. "We knocked them right out of the park!"
"We sure did," said Ash. "And both our Chikorita worked together real well, just like a team!"
"Chiko!" my Chikorita said. The wild one, however, looked just a bit surprised.
"Chiko?" it said.
"Oh," Ash said realizing what he'd just said. "Sorry, Chikorita, I know you're not really my Pokemon, I was just distinguishing you from Casey's Chikorita."
"Chiko," the wild Chikorita said in understanding. To my surprise, though, it seemed that it was also a tiny bit disappointed.
"Although," Ash said as he got down close to Chikorita, "I really would like you to join me."
"Yeah," Ash said, a big smile on his face. "I think that it would be great to have a feisty and determined Pokemon like you on my team. And besides, it'll help you get stronger too. Don't you think so?"
"Chiko," Chikorita said, a curious look on its face.
"It's okay if you don't want to, though," Ash said as he held out his hand. "But I really think we could both become really strong together. What do you say?"
The wild Chikorita was now looking down in deep thought, while I just watched in awe. Ash wasn't going to battle it? He was going to ask it to come along? I'd never even thought about asking a wild Pokemon to be on my team!
And then, to my surprise, Chikorita nodded in affirmation and held out a vine to grab Ash's hand.
Immediately, a grin formed over Ash's face.
"Yeah!" he said happily. "Welcome to the team, Chikorita!"
I kept watching, amazed that Ash had actually gotten a wild Pokemon to join his team without battling it first! I mean, he did battle Chikorita when they first met, but that… was kind of a strike out.
As Ash and Pikachu welcomed their new team member, my Chikorita walked up to the new one with a smile on his face.
The new Chikorita looked away from its new teammates to look at the other member of its kind. It then smiled and pulled out a vine to offer a high-five, which my Chikorita returned.
"Aw, they're friends," said Ash.
"Yeah," Casey said happily. "They're gonna be really good teammates!"
As I said this, I looked over at Ash. He was such an intriguing guy. He loves Pokemon more than anything else, and he's always determined to get new Pokemon, and make his team as strong as they can be. And yet… he's never afraid to do the right thing. Whether he's rushing off to rescue Chikorita from Team Rocket, or from the cold, or from Team Rocket… again. And even though he wanted to catch Chikorita, he didn't try to do so even when he had the chance to do so earlier. Instead, he actually asked it to join him.
In a way…he's the kind of trainer I'd like to be.
As I reflected on this, I heard a couple of voices in the distance.
We all looked up, and saw Brock, Misty, and Joy all rushing towards us. Ash smiled, then looked down at the newest member of his team.
"Hey, Chikorita, you want to meet some of your new friends?"
"Great!" said Ash. "Let's go!"
I smiled as we began to head towards our friends. That new Chikorita may be a handful sometimes, but Ash is really happy to have it on his team.
And I'm kind of looking forward to seeing how they do.
A/N: So, yeah, this time I'm writing from Casey's POV. I'm thinking I'll be alternating between the two from here on out.
So Ash's Chikorita has now joined the group! How will things go between the two Chikorita?
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter!