Written by BansheeGirl

Disclaimer: Yeah, you know the stuff. Pokémon and its characters do not belong to me, yadda yadda yadda...

A/N: Hey everyone! I'm back again, this time with an alternate reality fic! Yup, our fave characters from pokémon are attending high school – and what's high school without a bit of romance? There's a couple changes I've made from the show, as you'll discover in the first few paragraphs, but I think they work well with the story. Ages of some of the characters are also different, but this is just so everyone is relatively around the same age and can interact more realistically.

Read on, and enjoy! Oh, and don't forget to review once you've finished!


Jessie – 17

James – 17

Ash – 13

Misty – 13


"Come on, we haven't got all day!" Jessie hollered to someone unseen, as she stood by the front door. She tapped her foot angrily, annoyed that her cousin was once again late getting ready for school. She had thought perhaps the new semester would bring about a change in Ash, but alas, on the first day back they had only just made it within the school doors when the first bell sounded. Now, on the third morning of the new school semester, it didn't look like things were going to be much different.

Jessie watched as Ash dashed out of his bedroom, still pulling on his school blazer and trying to put his socks on at the same time. Not surprisingly, he stumbled down the stairs in his rush, landing in a messy heap at the bottom.

"Quick Ash, this is no time to be lying around," Ash's mother appeared from out of the kitchen, pulling him up and shoving two pieces of toast into his hands. Delia swiftly and expertly fixed Ash's light blue tie around his neck, and folded his collar over. She went to tuck her son's shirt in, but her hands were abruptly slapped away.

"Mum!" Ash cried.

"Okay, okay!" Delia held her hands up. "But I'm not letting you leave this house without you tucking your shirt in young man."

Ash grumbled, held his remaining piece of toast in his mouth and tucked his white shirt into his navy-blue trousers. "There, happy?" He said, removing the slice of toast from his mouth and scooping up his schoolbag from the floor.

Delia smiled. "Well, I would have liked you to at least brush your hair..." she said, eyeing Ash's spiky black mess of tresses, "...but I suppose you'll have to do."

Ash let out a loud sigh, and bent over to kiss his mother on the cheek. "Bye mum."

Jessie laughed, the bout between mother and son having vanquished any trace of annoyance she had for Ash, and kissed her aunt as well. "See you tonight aunty Delia."

"See you later kids," she replied, and Ash and Jessie quickly disappeared out the front door.

"Well, it was nice of you to finally decide to wake up this morning," Jessie prompted, as the two headed out the front gate and onto the sidewalk.

Ash shovelled the last of his toast into his mouth, and leered up at Jessie. "...I'm sure you'll be able to forgive me, dearest cousin."

"Oh, I don't know about that," the crimson-haired girl growled, and pulled Ash in for a noogie.

Ash wailed, trying to free himself from the deadly head-scruff. He finally pushed away, and rubbed his sore skull. "Hey... you messed up my hair!" The boy mock-pouted.

Jessie laughed, and Ash did too. The girl was happy to have such a good relationship with her cousin. He was in all ways like a brother to her, as was Delia like a mother. Ash's dad, Ian, constituted for the rest of her family, yet as a successful pokémon trainer, he was only home for a few months of the year.

Jessie's mother had fallen pregnant with her at the young age of eighteen. Jessie had never known her father – he had left her mother when he found out that she was with child. Miyamoto had raised Jessie on her own until a tragic car accident claimed her life. Jessie was all but seven. Miyamoto's sister, Delia, and her husband, had offered to become Jessie's guardians, and Jessie had lived with the Ketchum family ever since.

Jessie brushed the memory of her mother away, as the cousins pressed on towards Spire City High School. She tended to try not to think about her mother and father too much, as the thoughts always made her depressed. Jessie hardly ever told anyone either – she liked to keep things like that very personal. Everyone usually assumed that Ash was her actual brother anyway, and Delia and Ian her biological parents, especially since Jessie had chosen to take up 'Ketchum' as her surname.

Jessie didn't really have to worry about people prying into her life anyway. She only had a few people that she would consider as friends at school, and she never projected herself to be the public attention of everyone. Jessie didn't believe in trying to be someone else just to please or impress other people. If someone wanted to be friends with her, they had to accept her for who she was and nothing less. It wasn't that Jessie was shy or quiet or anything – she would follow her opinions to the end and could have some serious attitude at times. She just didn't go out of her way to be noticed, and would by no means immediately hand over her trust to any passing stranger.

"Jessie... have you ever had a crush on someone... but have been too scared to tell them?" Ash's voice snapped Jessie out of her reverie. She looked down at her cousin, a slight smirk creeping onto her face.

"So... who's the lucky girl?" She drawled in a honeyed tone. Ash's face was more than a little red.

He sighed and continued walking with his hands up behind his head. "Her name's Misty... I had a crush on her all last semester, but she had a boyfriend. But they broke up over the holidays, and now I really want to ask her out. But I get nervous on the rare occasions when I just talk to her! How am I going to ask her out!"

Jessie smiled, amused at this instance of young, innocent love. Jessie herself had never really had many romantic relationships before, and the two or three that she had been in all ended up in the gutter: the other half always too insensitive, too domineering or too arrogant. In any case, they had all left her hurt and heartbroken. She was now very cautious in even considering someone to be her boyfriend. In view of this, Jessie had not been in a relationship for almost a year.

"I think you should just go for it. If you're worried that she'll turn you down, perhaps you could suggest just going to the movies or the arcade together one afternoon after school? That way she can find out what a great guy you are and then won't be able to resist when you actually ask her out." Jessie advised.

"Yeah, but then I still have the problem of asking her to go to the arcade or movies with me," Ash droned, obviously distraught with the situation.

As the two teenagers approached the school gates, Jessie pulled her cousin in for a half-hug. "Hey, everything will be fine, okay?" She looked Ash in the eyes. "For all you know, she's probably stressing out over the same thing. You'll be doing her a favour by asking her out first."

Ash looked a little more heartened, and smiled resignedly. "Thanks."

Jessie let go of him, and smiled back. "No problems. I'll see you after school."

"Yep, see you then," Ash replied, half-waving as he disappeared across the school grounds.

"Jessie!" Jessie turned see her best friend, Vanessa, calling from a bunch of trees on the other side of the school. Jessie jogged over to meet her.

"You're actually here before the bell today?" Vanessa queried, a tone of genuine surprise evident in her voice.

Jessie laughed, quite surprised herself. "I guess it just goes to show that miracles do happen." Vanessa gave a chuckle, and the two made their way up the steps into the school.

Jessie dropped her head into her hands, letting out a loud sigh of absolute frustration. It was fourth period of the day, and she was in English. For the last half hour the class had been discussing a controversial issue in a novel they were studying, and her and another of her classmates had been arguing over one particular point for most of that time.

"Jessie, can't you understand that it wasn't Regina who made the decision to save Mary and Elise? If it weren't for Thomas' influence, then Regina would have left those two girls to die at the hands of Drake just like the rest of his slaves. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out," a boy sitting across the room sneered. His name was Julian, and ever since meeting him two days ago in her first English class of the semester, Jessie had decided that he was one of the most pompous people she had ever met.

She didn't answer him this time. It was useless fighting Julian - he was simply too narrow-minded to even contemplate agreeing with someone else's opinions.

"Actually Julian, chapter sixteen thoroughly illustrates that it was Regina who made the conscious choice to save Drake's slaves."

Jessie sat up, shocked to hear someone else's voice join the argument, and more over, to join on her side. She spun around to see who belonged to the smooth, deep voice.

"It is in this chapter where Regina realises just how evil Drake is, and where she decides to do something about it. She doesn't know what she is going to do yet, but she has obviously made the decision to take action. Thomas only influences her plan of action to save the slaves in a much later chapter," the boy continued, as Jessie took in his character. He had straight, lavender hair that fell down to frame his face, striking emerald eyes and tanned skin. There were thousands of students who attended Spire City High, so Jessie wouldn't have been surprised if she didn't recognise him. Yet he looked familiar to Jessie, if only a familiarity of perhaps seeing him passing in the school corridor. She had never shared a class with him before, which Jessie thought strange because she had already had four periods of English this week, and he had not been present in any of them.

Jessie turned her head to see Julian's reaction. She was stunned to see his face turned a deep shade of scarlet, and showing no sign of retaliation. He embarrassedly lowered his head and spun back around in his chair to face the front of the room. What? Julian was backing down from an argument? What was going on here? Jessie wondered just who this mysterious guy was.

"Thankyou James," their teacher, Ms. O'Brien started, "Your statement is in fact, correct. Regina does make the decision on her own, with no initial influence from anyone else. And with that, we'll conclude today's discussion. There are only a few more minutes now till the bell so I'll write up some homework on the board for you to copy down and complete before next class."

So... his name was James. Jessie pulled out a pen to begin writing down the words Ms. O'Brien was etching upon the blackboard. As she wrote, she couldn't help thinking about this new guy. Just who was he? There was something about him... Jessie couldn't quite put her finger on it. As she finished writing, Jessie turned her head to take another look at James. He was still writing, his hand moving in quick, fluid motions. Jessie spied a black, rectangular carry bag leaning against the bottom of his desk, and identified it as a laptop case. Well, that at least established that he was loaded – only the richest kids in school could afford those sorts of things.

As she looked back up at James she was surprised to see him staring straight back at her. He looked as equally surprised to have Jessie spot him watching her. But instead of turning away, James held her gaze. The two maintained the look until the bell sounded several seconds later, and Jessie snapped her head back to the front of the room. What was that? She silently chided herself for doing something so ridiculous, while collecting her books and other paraphernalia from her desk.

As she stood up and proceeded to exit the classroom, something suddenly came over Jessie. She quickly twirled around to steal one last glance at the enigmatic James. He was looking at her, and as he caught her eye, he smiled. Before turning back around, Jessie fleetingly returned the smile, and quickly departed the room.

The bell signalling the end of lunchtime rang throughout the school grounds. Jessie and Vanessa made their way back into the school from the quadrangle where they usually ate their lunch.

"Great. I have two periods of Accounting next. God knows why I even picked the bloody subject. What do you have, Jess?"

Jessie didn't answer. She was staring ahead with a far off look in her eyes.

"Hello? Anybody home?" Vanessa waved her hand in front of Jessie's

Jessie blinked, suddenly brought back to reality. She shook her head and turned to Vanessa. "...Oh, uh... sorry." Vanessa frowned. "What's up with you? You've been spaced out all lunchtime."

Jessie sighed as they arrived at their lockers. "I don't know..." The truth was, she had been thinking about James from her English class. There was something about him... something different. She couldn't stop thinking about the way he held her gaze, with those sparkling, emerald eyes...

Jessie slammed her locker door hard. She had to stop thinking like this. Why was she letting herself get so preoccupied with this particular guy?

"So what classes do you have, now that you're back down to Earth?" Vanessa asked, as she shut her locker.

Jessie held her textbook up. "Double Biology. Not my favourite subject, but I guess it's not my least favourite either."

Vanessa laughed. "Well, have fun. I might see you after school."

"Yeah, okay Vanessa. Don't you forget to have fun either, will you!" Jessie smiled, as Vanessa waved before turning away to go to her class. Jessie did the same.

Jessie walked down the corridor, pressing through the tide of students going the other way and trying not to be swept along by the ones travelling in the same direction. Through the sea of navy-blue uniforms, Jessie finally found the door to her classroom – just one of the many science rooms in the school.

Jessie greeted her biology teacher – Mr Livingston, and seated herself in an empty chair towards the back of the room. Only about half of the students in the class had turned up so far, so Jessie opened up her books while they waited for the other kids to make an appearance. Slowly the seats started to fill up. Jessie began doodling on a spare sheet of paper in her folder – something she always did when she was bored.

"Okay class," Mr. Livingston said, shutting the door as the last student sat down at the desk next to Jessie. She looked sideways, and was completely shocked to see that that student was... James! James looked over as he set his belongings down at the table, and again a feeling of mutual surprise rested between the two. James, this time however, warmly smiled at her.

Jessie didn't return the gesture, but quickly turned back to the front in attempt to concentrate on what Mr. Livingston was saying. This was strange – she'd never met this person in her life, and now they shared two classes together? There were so many students at Spire City High, it was a rarity that the same people ever saw each other again in class once they had shared one already together. And Jessie felt weird that there seemed to already be some sort of connection between her and James – she hadn't even talked to him yet!

"I hope you all completed the background homework I set you on Monday on the topic of human evolution, because it's going to be very helpful for you when you're completing the major assignment I'm about to set you," Mr Livingston proclaimed, as he walked around the room handing out assignment criteria sheets to everyone. Needless to say, the announcement prompted a wave of groans from the sitting class.

Mr. Livingston spoke over the grumbling students, "You will all be happy to know that this assignment is to be completed in pairs, so the workload can be divided equally between the two partners." This proclamation was met with a much more positive response from the students. "However," the teacher continued, and the group of final year students quietened, somehow not surprised that there was a catch, "I shall be picking the pairs."

Mr Livingston began pairing off the students simply based on who was already sitting next to whom. Jessie's stomach had already tightened before their teacher had announced Jessie and James partners – she had counted ahead. The girl and boy looked at each other, neither saying a word.

"You may begin work straight away. And may I just remind you that while I have not yet set a due date, one will be decided for within the next two weeks. I suggest that you do some out-of-school work together if you want any chance of scoring a B or higher," the biology teacher finished, before sitting down at his desk at the front of the room. The room was then filled with the screech of desks scraping across the floor as partners moved closer together in order to work with each other.

James was the one to drag his desk over to connect with Jessie's. He sat back down in his chair before finally speaking to her.

"...Hey. I'm James, as you've probably already gathered. James Morgan."

Jessie kept her head down, but lifted her eyes to look as he spoke. She briefly forced a smile onto her face. "I'm Jessie... Jessie Ketchum."

James genuinely smiled back. "Hey... I'm sorry about kind of ending your argument with Julian in English before. He was really getting on my nerves though."

"That's okay," Jessie laughed meekly, lifting her head this time, "I had just about given up at the time you jumped in anyway. It was a bit of a relief actually."

Jessie looked back down to her criteria sheet, but was curious about something. "So... um, I didn't see you in English or Biology classes on Monday or Tuesday."

"That's because I wasn't in any of them." James replied, sardonically. He was met with a frown from Jessie, and laughed. "I was still on vacation with my parents. We only just flew back in last night."

Jessie raised her eyebrows. "Oh? Where did you go?"

James' face turned a little red. "Uh... we stayed at the Lillialis Islands," he said, the last few words slightly slurred, as if to take away their effect.

Jessie's eyes widened. Did she hear properly? Did he say the Lillialis Islands? She had guessed that he was quite wealthy when she saw that he had a laptop, but only billionaires could afford to go to the tropical Lillialis Islands. Those two words were purely the things of daydreams for normal people like her.

Jessie could hardly utter a word. Her biology partner was a billionaire? Or at least, his parents were. She watched James, anxiously twisting his pen around in his hand. She understood that this was the sort of thing that he got inappropriate reactions from, and Jessie was determined not to be one of those people who became obsessed with the fact that they knew someone who was seriously loaded.

"Well, we should really get some of this work done. It's not going to do itself," Jessie said in an even tone.

James looked up, his expression showing gratefulness that she didn't harp on about his affluence.

As the pair discussed how they were going to go about their assignment, Jessie suddenly realised why Julian backed down so easily from James in English before lunch. Of course, James did make a very valid point, but in Spire City High, wealth usually came pre-packaged with popularity. James was probably one of the most popular guys in the school, and Julian being the sort of person he is, wouldn't be likely to argue against someone like that.

Jessie shook the thoughts from her mind, trying to focus on what James was saying. She wasn't the sort of person to become smug or intimidated by someone who was at the top of the popularity ladder. The fact that she didn't even know who this guy was before this day proved that. ...But then, what was it that was making Jessie feel so strange as she sat next to James discussing with him genetics and the theories of human evolution?

Jessie and James sat up straight after being hunched over their desks for the best part of two periods, as the bell indicating the end of the day resonated from the speaker in the biology room. The sound of desks scraping along the floor filled the room again as the students dragged them back into their original places.

Jessie and James' conversations during class had been limited to strictly biology-related topics. Jessie had no idea what was going on inside James' head, but within her own she had been feeling more than a little confused. James was different to the usual guys she got to know - he had a certain air about him, like there was a lot more to this person that meets the eye. But that left her feeling like she didn't know where she stood with James, which in turn produced sensations of apprehension and cautiousness.

The pair stood up. "What do you say we do some more work on this during lunchtime tomorrow?" He proposed, not knowing how Jessie would respond, "It's probably better if we do a lot of work on this to begin with so we're not hit hard-on when Livingston gives us the due date."

Jessie hesitated, before mentally scolding herself. Why should she be troubled about doing some study with her biology partner one lunchtime? She was again being ridiculous. "Sure, that's probably a good idea."

James smiled enigmatically. "Great. I'll meet you in the library tomorrow at one o'clock then." And with that, he spun on his heel and left the room.

"Guess what?" Ash prompted, plonking himself on one of the stools at the island bench in the Ketchum kitchen.

Jessie was leaning against the utility bench against the wall, waiting for the kettle to boil. "What?"

Ash had a pleased grin plastered across his face. "I talked to Misty today."

Jessie looked up at Ash with an expression of expectancy. "And?"

"And what? I had a full ten-minute conversation with my crush today! What more do you expect!"

Jessie laughed incredulously. "Do you want a hot drink?"

"Hot chocolate please."

Jessie spooned the appropriate powders for a hot chocolate and a coffee into a couple of mugs, before pouring the steaming water in, and lastly, the milk. She handed Ash's mug to him. "I thought you were going to ask her to the movies or the arcade or something."

Ash sipped his drink. "Hey, I'm working on it. One step at a time, you know."

Jessie smiled. She slid onto one of the stools next to Ash and gently blew the steam off her coffee, before taking a sip herself. Still, she could not stop thinking about James. He was of the type of people that she would usually detest – rich, snobbish and totally conceited. But already he had somehow proved that he was not like that. She somehow felt that if she got to know this guy, he might be someone she could come to like. It was strange for her that she would have these feelings so soon after just meeting a person, but there was something different about him. Or so she thought, anyway. Time would soon tell, as they were sure to be seeing a lot of each other over the next week. It was just up to her to let down a few walls and show a little friendship and kindness, or otherwise she might end up scaring him away like she had so many others with her defensively hostile temperament. She took another sip of her coffee.

One step at a time.

Yay! First chapter completed! So what do you think? What's going to happen between Jessie and James? Will Ash ask Misty out? I know things probably sound a little moderate at the moment, but trust me, there is a lot more action ahead. Keep your eye out for the next chapter – we'll see a few more of our favourite characters introduced. And PLEASE review – the more reviews I get, the more likely I am to work towards getting the next chapters done!

Till next time,

Author's Note, 9th July 2005: Hey guys! Thanks to the new 'hit' feature available I'm glad to see that a lot of people are still visiting this fic I wrote last year! But how come nobody's reviewing anymore? Just because Evolution is finished and I'm not updating anymore doesn't mean that everyone needs to be so quiet! I'm still around, and would love to know what everyone's still thinking of it! So go on - just press that little button down there and give me a nice, juicy review! Thanks, luv y'all!