Hey, guys! Now, before we get into this one-shot, I want to announce something quickly: I've started to make music! If you head to the bio of my account, you'll find a link to a YouTube channel where I'm posting songs. There's only one, currently, but there will be five by the end of May as I'm slowly releasing an EP! Go and check it out, if you do, I hope you'll like the music! Anyway, let's get into the story!
Serena practically squirmed in her seat as she watched the Kantonian ground grow ever closer; she was unbelievably excited! Ash had recently returned from Alola but rejected Serena's offer about visiting Kalos on the way back. Instead, Ash invited her to fly to Kanto to see him. He even paid for her ticket as she was a little short of money at the time. They had been planning the meet-up for a few days, all the while with Serena buzzing.
The runway grew larger and larger until the plane bounced on the ground, the wheels coming into play as they rolled, brakes being pulled to bring the plane to a slow stop. People started to grab their belongings, the man sat next to Serena nearly taking her eye out as he awkwardly pulled his coat on while still sat down.
"Please remain in your seats until the plane has reached a full stop," the stewardess said over the tannoy. People begrudgingly sat down, one woman attempting to grab her bag from the overhead compartment as she sat down, resulting in odd grunting noises as she tried to stretch her arm further than it could go.
After a few moments, the wheels rolled for the last time, the plane stopping before people erupted from their seats, grabbing their belongings and rushing towards the exits.
Why are the flights I take always like this? Serena thought, slightly amused but also annoyed. Why couldn't people let others past? Why couldn't they be polite?
She slid out from her seat, reaching to the floor once she stepped into the walkway, grabbing her bag before she slid it onto her back. She made her way towards the door, and after waiting for almost the entirety of the plane to exit, she took her first steps into the Kantonian breeze. I feel like I'm home Serena thought with a smile.
After descending the stairs, she made her way across the runway towards the airport. She had landed in Celadon City. While discussing the meeting with Ash, he had explained that the best route to take would be to land in Celadon City and to take the train to Viridian. He explained that, if travelling over one city away, the train ride was free. Kanto had recently adopted a new train system that promoted exercise. The idea was that people could walk from one city to the next one and, therefore, they would have to pay to travel by train. Though someone couldn't travel the distance of two cities while walking in less than a few hours, so it was free of charge. The government had decided that it would be beneficial for the community, environment and region as a whole.
The route that Serena would take would be to travel from Celadon to Saffron, to Cerulean, to Pewter, to Viridian. She would then depart from the train and walk south to Pallet Town. The journey through Kanto would take around three hours, making it the middle of the day when Serena would arrive. She, being overwhelmingly excited to see Ash for the first time in a year, decided to get a late flight, landing in Kanto in the morning, around nine o'clock. She had landed on this decision as she realised that she could sleep on the flight, passing time easily before she landed in Kanto.
Serena walked through customs and arrived in the lobby of the airport. She took a deep breath before she walked into the city, taking a moment to let the wind breeze through her hair and lightly batter her face with its cool chill.
Taking no extra time than needed, she started to march towards the other side of the city which was where the train station was situated. She looked around occasionally, taking in the sights that the people who lived there were used to. She found it a strange thought that she frequented Lumiose City in Kalos, somewhere where tourists loved to visit for the architecture and food, while plenty of people lived in Celadon City and yet she was almost fascinated by the area. She thought about the oddities of tourism as she nearly bounded across the city, trying to appear a normal girl to the surrounding people though wanting to sprint to the train; she was too excited to see her crush again.
She glanced towards Celadon's department store, a famous shopping centre for the size and annual income. She had heard rumours that the centre's taxes was enough to cover the entire region's. Resisting the temptation to enter to have a look at the famous building, she continued her journey towards the train station.
After fifteen more minutes of travelling, she noticed the Celadon Game Corner in the distance. She had heard stories about the building, hearing that there was a lawsuit filed against them for allowing children as young as ten to gamble. She had also heard that there was a hidden Team Rocket hideout in the same building, something that the famed trainer named Red had raided.
Again, resisting any urge to be a tourist, Serena carried on. She realised that she and Ash would most likely leave Pallet Town at some point during her week-long stay and that they would most likely visit places like Celedon City, Saffron City, Pewter City and Cinnabar Island so they could escape the small town for a while.
While the realisation hit, Serena noticed a local restaurant. She suppressed a giggle and blushed a small amount at the prospect of her and Ash going to somewhere similar for a date while they were together.
Finally, in the distance, she spotted the train station. No longer caring as to whether or not she would be judged for running crazily, she started to sprint towards the station. Ash had told her that Kanto had upgraded to electric bullet trains when they changed their policy, meaning that they were extremely fast and yet environmentally friendly. This meant that she could probably reach Viridian City in two hours, giving her an hour-long walk towards Pallet Town.
Serena entered the train station, walking to the information desk to ask which platform led to Viridian City. Luckily for Serena, there was only a small queue, meaning that she was able to get the platform number almost instantaneously.
After a moment of waiting for a mother and young daughter to be informed of their platform, Serena stepped forwards.
"What would like help with?" The informant asked her, taking an electronic cigarette from his pocket, closing his eyes before acting as if it were a real one.
"Which train goes to Viridian City?" Serena asked, trying to resist any urge to comment on the man's obvious quest to give up smoking.
"You'll want the train on platform nine," he told her, smiling as he pointed towards the platform that was almost directly parallel to the entrance before Serena thanked him and walked towards the platforms. She walked onto the platform and noticed that two trains were waiting to leave. One train was on the left of the platform while the other was on the right of the platform. Not seeing any indication as to which train was on platform nine, Serena decided to get on the train that was closest to where the man was pointing: the one on the right.
She found a seat and sat down, resting her head in her hands as she glanced at the platform from the window, waiting for the train to leave. After looking around the carriage for a moment, she noticed a countdown clock that was counting down to when the train would leave. She noticed that it said that there were only two minutes left. Serena silently thanked her self-restraint for being able to stay away from being a tourist for the moment; she wouldn't have been able to make it on time otherwise.
After two minutes of waiting, the train came to life, slowly sliding out of the station. Serena thought about waving to the people on the other train as they left but decided against it, realising that she would either look incredibly childish, sarcastic, annoying or crazy.
Serena nearly sank into her train seat. She didn't know why, but all of the excitement was making her slightly tired. Maybe it was walking across the city in such a way that made her feel worn out, but she didn't know. She closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. It would only be around three hours before she would see Ash. Three hours.
Serena jolted awake as the train left Saffron City. She leant her head on the window, attempting to get the best view possible. She wasn't wrong, they had left Saffron City. Serena had thought for a moment that she had slept for only a minute and woken up to see Celadon City being left behind, but she hadn't.
Wondering how long she had slept, she pulled her phone out and checked the time. It had been roughly twenty minutes, making Serena sigh. She had hoped that she had slept for a whole hour at least and that she had seen Cerulean City being left behind, but she didn't mind. She would have a chance to think about what she and Ash would do over the next week, and she would be able to think about how she would greet him. Would she hug him? Would she shake his hand? Would she even kiss him as she did when Ash left Kalos?
Serena blushed at the thoughts and the memory. She was still proud of herself for kissing him, but she was also still embarrassed. Now that she thought about it more, was that why Ash refused to stop in Kalos? Was he afraid that she would do something similar?
Serena felt as if her heart was smashed by a sledgehammer but it was quickly mended when she had a thought. I wonder if Ash has texted me since I've had my phone on aeroplane mode she thought, pulling her phone out from the pocket of her cardigan. She switched aeroplane mode off and received a single notification. Sure enough, it was a text from Ash.
Resisting the urge to squeal and kick her legs around like the levers of a squeaky pinball machine, she opened the message and read it.
"Hey, Serena," it read. "I hope your flight was okay. When do you think you'll arrive?"
The text had been sent only minutes before, making Serena question whether Ash had woken up moments before sending it. Again, Serena blushed a little, this time thinking about the fact that both of them would be staying in the same bedroom. Ash had previously told her that his house didn't have a spare room but refused her offer to sleep on the sofa. After Serena refused his offer to sleep on the sofa, they settled on sleeping on opposite sides of the room. Ash's mother had a camping bed from when Ash went to summer camp as a child, so Serena would be sleeping on that. Ash had offered to take it, but Serena had valiantly refused, explaining that she was the guest and had no right to make her host any more uncomfortable than usual.
Serena typed a quick reply, saying "The flight was okay and I'm expecting to arrive by twelve. I'm so excited to see you!" before she sent it and put her phone to sleep. Again, she closed her eyes, dismissing the idea of pondering what could happen and what she would say. If anything, she wanted to pass the time as quickly as possible.
For the second time, Serena awoke, this time slowly opening her eyes to see that they had arrived in Cerulean City. She looked through the window and paused. She wasn't in Cerulean City. Her heart skipped a beat for a moment as she thought that she was in Pewter City or Viridian City but she dismissed the idea instantly because of one building: the radio tower.
She had heard an urban legend about the radio tower in Lavender Town, hearing that it used to be a tower for dead Pokémon and that the ghosts of the Pokémon had hijacked a transmission, playing an eerie tune with a frequency that made children commit suicide. She knew that the story wasn't true, but she could recognise the tower anywhere. She wasn't in Cerulean City, Pewter City nor Viridian City. She was in Lavender Town.
She pulled her phone out and checked a map of Kanto that she had saved to her phone, seeing that Lavender Town was on the opposite side of the region to Pallet Town. However, there was a route that went north from Lavender Town which led towards Cerulean.
I'm going the right way Serena told herself. After all, Lavender Town was a famous town, though only a town. Not many towns were included on the destination schedule of trains, so it wasn't farfetched to assume that she was going in the right direction. Sure enough, the train turned, Serena realising that everything was okay.
An hour later, the train came to a stop. Serena stood up, grabbed her bag and happily skipped out of the train. She left the train station and looked around. She wasn't in Viridian City. She could tell as, directly opposite the train station, was the city's gym, a large sign next to it reading "take on Janine, elite four Koga's daughter, the Fuschia City Gym Leader if you dare."
Serena felt her heart sink to her stomach. How could she have made such a mistake? She had travelled from Celadon City to Saffron City, to Lavender Town, to Vermillion City, to Fuschia City. Where did she go wrong? How did she fool herself into believing that she was going the right way?
The turn from Lavender Town Serena thought, people having to swerve around her as they entered and exited the train station. She moved out of the way as she thought about it. The train had turned from Lavender Town to head south-west towards Vermillion City while she believed that it had turned north-west towards Cerulean City.
Serena sighed and started to feel tears in her eyes. Why was she like this? Why did she have to be such an idiot? She took a moment to take a breath and wipe the tears away before she pulled her phone out and phoned Ash. He would tell her what to do.
"Hello?" Ash asked when he answered. "Are you in Viridian City?"
"No, we might have a little problem," Serena said, sighing. "I managed to get on the wrong train. I'm in Fuschia City, instead."
Ash's laugh sounded from the speakers, cheering Serena up a little. It was nice to hear him laugh, especially because it meant that he wasn't annoyed with her.
"Okay," Ash said, taking a moment to think. "If you go south of Fuschia, you'll find Route nineteen. If you head down that route, you'll come across the sea which is Route twenty. If you follow that to the west and past the Seafoam Islands, you'll come across Cinnabar Island. You can go north from there until you reach Pallet."
"Is there a shorter route?" Serena asked, hoping that there would be. While Ash hadn't told her how long it would take for her to travel that far, it sounded to her as if it would take hours.
"You could head down Route eighteen towards the Cycling Road," Ash said. "If you take the footpath, you can use a Pokémon to surf from halfway up the road towards the edge of the forest surrounding Pallet."
"Is that the quickest route?" Serena asked, feeling a little scared about surfing across the sea. The fact that it wasn't a normal route possibly meant that there were extremely powerful Pokémon living there or that it was too unreliable and dangerous."
"I think so," Ash replied. "If you decide to go that way, please be careful."
"I will," Serena said, gulping a little before she hung up. Let's go to Route eighteen, then.
Serena stepped onto Route eighteen, marvelling at the scenery. She could see the sea in the distance and the slight, salty smell somehow complimented the wildlife around her. She smiled before she noticed some people training their Pokémon and battling.
I hope I don't have to battle any-
"Hey!" Came a voice from beside Serena. Stunned, she turned to look before she saw a child. "Battle my Pokémon!"
"Sorry," Serena said, trying to think of an excuse. "I'm a tourist, not a battler."
"But you have Pokéballs!" The child exclaimed, pointed to Serena's cardigan where three ball-shaped objects were visible.
"I'm not here to battle, though," Serena said, hoping that the child would leave her alone. "I'm here to see someone."
"Who?" The child asked. "Your boyfriend?" He added with a playful tone, clearly ready to tease her.
"What? No!" Serena exclaimed, starting to blush. "He's not my boyfriend!"
"But it is a boy," the child said with the same tone.
"Fine!" Serena exclaimed after a moment. "I'll battle you if you stop teasing me and leave me alone!"
The child laughed a little before sending out a Raticate, Serena sending out her Pancham.
"Woah!" The child exclaimed, astonished by the foreign Pokémon. "You're from a different region!"
"Oui," Serena said, jokingly before she ordered the first attack. "Use Arm Thrust!"
Pancham rushed towards the Raticate before slamming his fist into the opposing Pokémon's face. The Raticate slid backwards a few steps before the child commanded it to retaliate with Tackle.
Pancham took the attack, being knocked into the air. He did a backflip to stabilise himself before he landed on the ground, ready for the next move. "Stone Edge!" Serena exclaimed, prompting Pancham to stomp on the floor a few times, large, sharp rocks erupting from the floor though missing Raticate by a few centimetres.
"Hyper Fang!" The child exclaimed, to which Raticate rushed forwards, its mouth open, ready to bite Pancham and drain half of his health.
"Dark Pulse!" Serena exclaimed in a panic, watching as Pancham conjured the move and sent it soaring towards the oncoming Raticate in a matter of seconds. The move made contact, knocking Raticate back a few steps before it continued to sprint towards its target.
"Arm Thrust!" Serena shouted when it got close again. Raticate jumped into the air to which Pancham wound up his arm and sent it into Raticate's chin, sending it flying into the sky. "Now finish it with Stone Edge!" Serena shouted, getting into the mood of the battle. Pancham, again, stomped on the floor, sending rocks stabbing from it and into the air, colliding with Raticate as it fell back to the earth, knocking it into the air again.
Raticate fell from the sky and landed on the floor in front of its trainer, knocked out. Serena congratulated Pancham, giving him a quick hug before she returned him to his Pokéball.
The child returned his Raticate and thanked Serena for the battle before heading towards Fuschia City to go to the Pokémon centre.
Serena smiled as the child left before she turned and continued her journey down the route. She knew that it would take anywhere between ten and thirty minutes to reach Cycling Road, but she was prepared to reach it.
The first step on Cycling Road and Serena was sweating. It had been a whole year since she had travelled around Kalos with Ash and, therefore, she wasn't used to walking so much anymore. She leaned on the barrier between the walkway and the road, catching her breath. She had made it, though, which was good.
Looking to the west, she could faintly see the edge of the forest which surrounded Pallet Town in the distance. All she needed to do was surf on a Pokémon to the other side.
Serena paused for a few moments before she sighed. She didn't have a Water-type Pokémon. How would she surf? She looked into the sea, moving to lean on the other barrier. There were Water-types in the water, but Serena wasn't sure whether they could take her weight. She spotted a Staryu, a Tentacool, a Horsea, but she knew that they weren't strong enough.
I need a Pokémon like Lapras, ideally, she thought. She started to walk along the walkway, trying to get a better look before she spotted a Tentacruel making its way towards the bridge.
Stunned that a suitable Pokémon was there, she pulled out an empty Pokéball and lobbed it at the unsuspecting Water-type. She knew that it would be better to weaken it, but she didn't have a Pokémon that could fly above it and attack or a Pokémon that could swim with it and attack. She prayed that the Pokéball would be enough to catch it. She watched it shake once, then twice, then a third time, then it stopped.
"I caught it!" Serena exclaimed by accident, stopping before she turned around. Luckily, it didn't look as if anyone heard her. The problem was, however, that the Pokéball housing her newly caught Tentacruel was floating in the sea. How would she get it?
Serena sighed as she realised what she had to do. She took her bag off and emptied her pockets into it. She put her phone in an inside pocket in the bag along with her Pokémon just in case before she made sure that it was shut tightly. She took her hat off and tucked it into the bag. She checked every pocket again and double-checked the bag before she slid it onto her back and clambered over the rail.
Gasps echoed around her, people undoubtedly thinking that she was going to do something terrible. Serena took a deep breath, her legs shaking a little before she jumped. She stuck her legs out and closed her eyes as she fell before she made contact with the water.
She went underneath straight away, slowly floating to the surface where she took another breath and opened her eyes, wincing as some salt hit them. To her, however, the pain didn't matter; She needed to get the Pokéball. She looked for it as she bobbed in the water, eventually spotting it a couple of metres away.
Teeth chattering, she started to swim, hoping that her bag wasn't going to leak as she swam towards the ball, eventually grasping it with her hand. She released her Tentacruel, who saw her and immediately lifted her out of the water, placing her on the top of its head.
"W-W-We're g-going t-t-that w-w-w-way," Serena told it though her chattering, pointing towards the closest part of the forest in the distance. Tentacruel started to swim, keeping its head above the water to keep Serena out of it. It was surprisingly quick, practically zooming across the sea with its tentacles. Serena was happy. Even though the original plan went wrong, it could turn out that she could reach Pallet Town on time or earlier.
Ten minutes later, Serena clambered off Tentacruel, thanking it over and over again before returning it to its Pokéball. She pulled her bag off and opened it, sighing with relief as she saw that all of the contents were dry. She grabbed her phone and Pokéballs from the pocket, putting the Pokéballs in her cardigan pocket before she unlocked her phone and went to text Ash. No signal. She had intended to tell him that she had made it to the forest and that she would probably be at his house in the next twenty minutes, but it was okay. Besides, what if she got lost and kept him waiting?
She slid her bag back onto her back before she stood up and started to make her way through the forest. Ducking under branches and avoiding brambles, dodging nettles and stepping over tree roots, Serena felt as if she was lost. She knew that she couldn't possibly be lost as she had been heading in one direction, but the suddenly had an idea.
She pulled her phone out from her pocket and opened the picture of the map that she saved on her phone. After looking at it for a moment, she found roughly where she was. Looking to the left from cycling road, she could see a part of the land that jotted out from the rest. She knew that was where she was standing as she had pointed to it while telling Tentacruel to swim, wanting to get to land as soon as possible.
A little more to the left of where she stood was Pallet Town, meaning that it would be roughly a ten-minute walk through the forest before she would come out on the outskirts of Ash's hometown.
A new source of adrenaline in her veins, Serena stuffed her phone back into her pocket and marched onwards, avoiding the brambles, branches, nettles and roots as before.
After a couple of minutes, Serena stepped into a clearing. Thinking nothing of it, she was about to continue walking before she realised where she was: the area where she and Ash had met. She stopped moving, turning to look at the tree that the had leant against when she hurt her knee. She looked around and saw the culprit of the injury, the tree root sticking out of the ground a few feet away. She took note of the bush that Ash had fought through while looking for the Pokémon that was chasing her and smiled. She was close to the town.
Five minutes later, Serena saw the edge of the forest. Excited, she rushed towards the opening and burst out onto the field that housed Professor Oak's Summer Camp. She giggled as she fought back the nostalgia before she started to run across the field, heading for the other side of the town. After only a few moments of running, she could see Ash's house in the distance.
Excitement flooding her veins, she started to sprint, eventually stopping outside of Ash's house. The flowers in the front garden were beautiful and, as Serena was admiring them, the door opened and a Mr Mime stepped out of the house, a gardening hat on with a watering can in his hand. Serena giggled a little before she smiled at the Pokémon and ran to the door, knocking on it, not wanting to enter even though the door was ajar.
After a moment of waiting, Ash opened the door and immediately started laughing by what greeted him. The journey hadn't been extremely rough, but Serena was still damp and she had twigs and leaves on her clothes and in her hair.
"Hello, best friend," Serena said sarcastically, smiling at him before she pulled him into a hug. "I've missed you so much."
"I've missed you, too," Ash said, holding her though not entirely sure how to handle the situation. "I'll go and set up a bath for you if you like," he said. "You must be freezing."
"Thanks," Serena said, kicking her shoes off before she entered the house, nearly closing the door on the Mr Mime as he returned.
Ash disappeared upstairs before Delia came into the entryway. "Serena!" She exclaimed before pausing, looking up and down at how Serena looked. "New look?" She asked after a moment, to which Serena started to laugh.
"No," she said, smiling. "It was an odd journey," she said, pulling a twig from her hair that was obstructing her vision slightly.
"What happened?" Delia asked, giving her a hug before letting out a noise of surprise. "You're damp."
"I got on the wrong train and I had to jump into the sea to catch a Pokémon so I could get to the forest and make my way here," Serena explained, laughing a little, making Delia start to laugh as well.
"You've always seemed to get into odd situations," Delia said, turning to see Ash coming down the stairs.
"Bath's ready," he told Serena, who smiled before she thanked him and headed upstairs.
"I'll make a warm cup of tea for you, Serena!" Delia called after her, to which she called back, thanking her.
"Tell me exactly what happened," Ash said to Serena as they sat down on the couch, Serena dressed in some of Ash's warmer clothes for the time being. All of his clothes were a little big for her, so she had to wear a pair of shorts with a belt and a shirt which she had to tuck into the shorts.
Serena explained everything, telling him that she thought that the reason why she got on the wrong train was that she couldn't tell which platform was which, assuming that they were both platform nine.
"It's the informer's fault for not telling you which one," Ash said once she finished, to which Serena agreed.
"I think he was too invested in trying to refrain from smoking to care," Serena said, to which Ash gave her a questioning look. "He had an electric cigarette," Serena explained, to which Ash understood.
A few seconds of silence passed before Serena realised what she had to tell him. "I found the spot where we met, by the way," she told him, to which Ash looked at her, dumbfounded.
"You came across it?" He asked, smiling though shocked.
"It was an accident," Serena said, laughing a little. "I found it and didn't notice for a moment until I looked around."
Ash stayed silent, smiling to himself. Serena asked him what he was thinking about, to which he replied that he was touched that she remembered the location.
"I'd never forget it!" Serena said, leaning over to hug him with a smile plastered on her face. She had her head on his shoulder and, deciding to push her luck a little, nuzzled his neck.
Ash smiled and squeezed her, pulling her closer to him. After a moment, he pulled her a little too hard and fell backwards with Serena on top of him.
Serena lifted herself off him for a second, looking into his eyes with a smile on her face before she realised what happened. She started to blush a little and was about to get off before Ash pulled her down, her head resting on his chest.
"You're so special to me," he said, making her heart melt. Had he really said that to her? She felt as if she would explode at any moment from happiness.
"You're even more special to me," Serena said before she had an idea. "Come on," she said, getting off him and standing up, holding her hand out for him to grab.
"What?" Ash asked, confused. "What do you want to do?"
"Let's go to where we met," Serena replied, pulling him off the sofa before hesitating and giving him a kiss on the cheek. "For old times sake."
There we go! Another story! Anyway, as I said in the beginning, I've started to make music and I would be very grateful if you would check it out. The link to the YouTube channel is in my bio, so please go there and listen to the song that I released today! Bye!