Plotbunny fic! Started 5/25/04

Summary: The Karate King of Saffron's Fighting Dojo muses on his relationship with the psychic gym leader, Sabrina. This fic refers to a mixture of the pokemon RBY game and the Pokemon Zensho manga (which is very close to the game).

Disclaimer: I don't own pokemon, however I do own this fanfic and thus it is mine… Pokemon belongs to Nintendo. This is non-profit, non-copyright infringing fanfiction written by me.

Notes: Deals with unrequited love, but I don't think it's really a 'romance' genre. More like musing and introspection. Implied Mirageshipping (Ash x Sabrina). Never mind. Blatant Mirageshipping, or at least pretty obvious, this goes in romance I guess…

Title: Understanding

            It wouldn't make sense if they asked me for help. I mean; I ran a fighting-type gym. Whoop-de-doo. My pokemon weren't very strong, nor did I have type advantage against Team Rocket's many poison-bred pokemon.

            Hell, the rockets didn't even think I was important! I noticed that they only barricaded the area in front of Sabrina's gym, and a few houses. I wasn't important enough to guard, I guess.

            Anyways.

            Sabrina didn't lift a finger to help – and I don't know why, really! She could have easily taken down that guard who stood smugly grinning in front of her door, looking so proud with himself; that is until he discovered she could teleport.

            She wasn't a psychic gym leader for nothing.

            I wish I owned a real gym, but I don't. My fighting dojo is just that. I do not receive a stipend from the Indigo League, nor do I give out a badge. Protecting the pennant that hangs upon our wall is my main goal. With my five subordinates, we guard the flag with our pokemon.

            Still… along every so often comes the trainer with the lightning-fast Pidgeot or the psychic Kadabra, and we lose, so I give them a pokemon.

            Hitmonchan or Hitmonlee?

            People usually pick Hitmonchan, a good choice if I say so myself. But I am wandering off topic. Where was I?

            Oh yes. The Saffron City Siege…

            I had learned from one of the junior trainers – no, really, that sounds demeaning. One of the lower-ranked black belts had informed me that Sabrina had left her gym. My heart sped up at that, was she going to fight now? I would go and offer my help immediately!
            So I took off after her… only to get completely lost since she didn't teleport where she said she was going. I had heard from the locals that her teleport was notoriously bad, but… this really took the cake!

            Anyways, so there I was, when I saw her talking to another new trainer. He had a red-and-white cap on his head and a Charmeleon next to him. He was asking her why the place was so empty. Didn't he know Saffron was taken over by Team Rocket?

            Apparently not! Well, I'd help too!
            Unfortunately, Sabrina somehow noticed me and vanished before I could tell her something. So I took the boy back to the dojo to talk to him.

            He said he was on the Master Quest. Then, he actually, stupidly, went to the Silph Co. building all by himself! Was he crazy?

            Fine. I will admit that I was busy lamenting about why she did not ask me for help, when I would have gladly given it. But as he was only about eleven years old, I doubt he knew what love was.

            Really.

            Are you clear now? Yes, I'm in love with Sabrina! I'll proclaim it to the world! But it's true! And there's the whole truth and nothing but the truth, because my Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee will crush anyone who doesn't agree. So after he had gone I, I snuck after him.

            It was quite easy, there was a rocket guard on every floor but I knocked him out with a few punches quietly.

            So up I went to the eleventh floor. There, I saw Sabrina talking to – Ash? Yes, that's what she called him. A giant Lapras in a cage sat there with them.

            Ash was telling Sabrina to fight with him, since he needed her help, but Sabrina refused. She said her future sight had told him that only he was needed to win this battle. But…

            But he contradicted her, and said that looking into the future was not always the best way to live. And the Lapras agreed – it gave me quite a shock when I found out it could speak human language, I'll tell you that!

            Well, before I could interfere, Sabrina took his hand and they vanished along with the lapras.

            I didn't see anything else until afterwards as Ash was walking down the path towards Fuschia, a new Marsh badge glittering on his cap.

            So he beat Sabrina?

            How!

            I ran after him, regardless of the fact that I was still dressed in my gi, and demanded an explanation.

            He couldn't have won that easily! His Charmeleon looked weak and wimpy!

            I was flabbergasted when he said she had given him the badge.

            Given him?

            He was just a cocky little kid! I hated him, oh so much in that instant! So I demanded a battle.

            He was confused but agreed.

            I sent out Hitmonchan, ready to take the Charmeleon down. But… it wasn't Charmeleon he used.

            It was Alakazam.

            How in Mew's name had he gotten that? He was just a beginner!
            "Alakazam, psychic."

            My poor, poor, Hitmonchan was so slow it didn't even get to land a punch before being pulverized.

            Poor Hitmonchan!

            I was angry enough to spit rocks at him, but I didn't. I kept him temper in and told Hitmonlee to Hi Jump Kick.

            I was totally unprepared when Alakazam teleported – with only four moves allowed why had he kept that – and reappeared behind Ash.

            So Hitmonlee hit the trainer.

            Ash didn't fly very far, but what shocked me even more was when Sabrina caught him, appearing out of thin air.

            "How could you do this, Karate King?" She asked. "It is not your right to question my decisions."

            "I'm okay…" Ash said, but from his tone he obviously wasn't.

            "Shush, you. I'll heal you up later. But first of all I have to talk to him in private."

            My heart skipped a beat.

            Ash's Alakazam nodded, took his master from Sabrina, and teleported off in that cursed blue glow.

            I waited for her to speak.

            I was completely unprepared when she slapped me across the face! What did she do that for?
            Baka! That attack could have killed him! She scolded. Your pride has got to go. And it's not your choice to make whether I give badges out or not!

            "I'll do anything for you." I whispered in as much soothing tone as I could muster. I think it worked.

            She nodded.

            Then she teleported away again. My head was still spinning. She actually spoke to me! Oh glorious day! Maybe I wasn't too old for her!
            All right… I was ten years apart, but she was going to be a mature young woman anyways!

            But… was that affection?

            Oh mew! Please let it become true!

            I wandered around in a delirious haze for a sweet, sweet year and a half where I saw her almost day when she walked into her gym. She would say good morning.

            Oh…

            It wasn't much of a conversation, but it was so much better than nothing! And she acknowledged my presence!
            Oh glorious day!

            I vowed to train harder for her.

            She would learn that fighting-types were good battlers! Even if she were a psychic trainer, I would get her respect.

            So off I went into the wilderness on a training trip to better myself and show off, yes, I admit that too.

            I went to Johto for a few months, but ran home every so often just to check on her. To my immense relief, she did not have a boyfriend.

            But I couldn't bear to be turned down, so I never bothered to ask her on a date. Maybe I should have, because what happened next was horrible.

            It was fifteen months and twenty-three days later, precisely. The Indigo League Championships were over. Had been over. To my shock, Ash had actually managed to win! Impossible!
            Wasn't it?

            He was a thirteen-year old brat for goodness's sake!
            Yet…

            He had an air of maturity somehow. Where did that come from? It hadn't been there at all when I had fought him.

            Since Sabrina was a psychic, I decided to ask her. I reflect now that perhaps I should have knocked on the door first.

            Well, I should have. Common courtesies are there for a reason, I must say. I do not think I will ever forget that sight, even if I live to be a hundred. [1]

            Sabrina, my admired goddess, was sprawled on the couch, with Ash – that little kid – kissing her senseless!

            And… and… she didn't fight him off!

            In fact, before my horrified eyes, she kissed him back!

            MEW! NO! PLEASE NO!

            But my eyes didn't lie…

            Maybe it was a dream? That faint thread of hope must have been the thing that carried me through…

            Because I think I blacked out.

            I don't know how long I stood there staring, but when I came to my senses again, I was back in my gym.

            How had I walked back? I found out the next day that I hadn't. Sabrina's Espeon had decided I was disturbing the scene and teleported me away.

            Oh, the shame…

            It wasn't a dream!
            That must have hurt the most… but why? Why had she chosen him? I was a man, virile, in the prime of my health, and he!

            He! He was just a child!
            I think it was then that I realized that my beloved Sabrina was only sixteen, barely a teenager, and much closer to his age…

            I actually cried! How unmanly of me! How shameful! How rude and unpleasant the awakening!

            But what could I do?

            She seemed happy….

            Why wouldn't she choose someone who helped her become a better trainer? What had I offered?

            Nothing.

            I hadn't helped her when she was alone and in need of a friend, no, I had only watched and admired her body.

            Yes, that.

            So I suppose I didn't really love her, did I?

            Still… the death of an illusion is as painful as any other death. [2]

            I moved to Johto soon after, not being able to bear the sight of them living their lives out happily together.

            Now, I stay here in the Waterfall cave where the Marill live raising Tyrogue, for my pokémon are my only family now.

            There is no one to care for me.

            I have nothing to look back to Saffron for. I doubt I shall ever return.

            It is all right.

            I do not expect anymore from the cursed fates.

End FIC!

Well, what do you think? One-shot deal, was it bad?

Completed 5/31/04

[1] This quote is from Phantom of the Opera

[2] This was from a very good Hotohori x Nuriko Fushigi Yuugi fic.