Author's Note: Yes, I know Amy's team is unbalanced. It's not the team I use for battling, so don't chew me out about it. It's just for storyline. :P I'm looking at you, Frosty XD. Anyway, yeah, gimme reviews! Or else! Uh, or else I shall eat you... or set a penguin on you. XD This is my first fanfic (if you don't count the Digimon one, which was a script-fic purely for laughs). You can tell I'm not used to the genre; the story kinda sucks, hey? Oh well. At least it's not overwritten, as almost every fic I've seen on PC seems to be. Sorry the chapter's so short (only 2000 words).
Just an Idiot A Touching Tail
"Call me Amy.
"Yeah, I know that sounds really clichéd, doesn't it? But what else am I supposed to say? I mean, it's my name. Kind of. Actually, my name is Ami, with an "i", but I just prefer plain Amy. My parents pronounce it "aMI". I think Mom said it means "friend" in some language, but I can't remember what. She sometimes calls me "mon ami". I know what the "mon" bit means, of course - it's short for Pokémon! "Pokémon friend" - now there's a good name to have. Pokémon? My best friends! I'm ten years and seven months old, and I got my first Pokémon - a Pikachu - for a tenth birthday present. Now I'm travelling around, catching Pokémon and training them for battles and contests. Sure, I miss my family sometimes, even my annoying little sister, but hey! I get to meet the coolest people this way, and I wouldn't trade it for anything."
Pikachu chirped happily.
Amy smiled, putting a finger to her shoulder to stroke the small Pokémon. A thought firmed in her mind: why was Riya chirping? Riya, as far as she knew, had been known to say "pika". It had said "chu". It had even said "pikachu". But chirp? The young trainer felt a nip on her finger, and twisted her head to look at her Pikachu.
"Wingull?" she said. "What are you doing out of your Pokéball?"
The Pokémon flapped off her shoulder and glided, angling so a wing pointed at the Pikachu behind her. It chirped again.
"Riya let you out? Uh, great."
Riya smirked at Amy and jumped into the spot vacated by Wingull.
"Pika!" it said smugly. Amy sighed, looking from one Pokémon to the other.
"Fine, we might as well stop and have lunch," she told them. "There's a tree over there." She gestured at a large oak, a few hundred metres away. "I'll race you." Wingull soared to catch a higher air current, while Riya took off from its perch on her shoulder at full speed. Amy watched them, smiling for a moment as she watched her playful partners, then broke into a trot.
Amy stood at the base of the tree and looked up at it. It really was big - Amy doubted that six people with outstretched arms could span it. She shrugged and spread a blanket on the grass in the shade, pulling three Pokéballs from her belt.
"Vileplume, Kirlia, Quaggy - it's lunchtime," she called, throwing them into the air. Riya poked the Quagsire, which giggled.
"Pikachu," chided Riya. Quaggy giggled again. It loved teasing Riya, as it knew the little mouse's electric attacks couldn't touch it.
"Guess what?" Amy said brightly. "I bought something special in Aleadell City." She pulled a sparkling tin from her pack, along with a can opener. The Pokémon's eyes brightened at the sight of the slightly sweet, scented Pokémon food, which they had only rarely as a treat. Since it could only be bought in Aleadell, Amy stocked up on a few tins every time she stopped by, but that wasn't often and she couldn't carry much in her pack. Amy opened the tin and poured it into dishes for the Pokémon, then unwrapped a rice ball for herself. Chewing for a moment, she spat out her first bite -
"Peanut butter! Who puts peanut butter and vinegar on rice?" she yelped. "Next time, I'll check the filling before I buy rice balls!" She carefully ate around the filling, then rewrapped what was left of the ball. Just then, she noticed Riya peering around the edge of the tree.
"Riya? Why aren't you eating?" She shook her head, then saw Riya on her other side, happily munching away and oblivious to the world around it.
"Uh... so who are you?" she said, scooting closer to the new Pikachu for another look. Its ears went up.
"Pikachu!" it said, edging back around the tree. Amy followed it.
"Pika pika pikachu," said the Pikachu, waving its arms. A boy rolled over sleepily.
"Pi...kachu?," he yawned. "Is something wrong?" Amy jumped back, startled.
"Who are you?" she said.
"I could ask the same question," replied the boy, pushing black hair out of his eyes and jamming a cap onto his head. "I was trying to sleep."
"Well, is that your Pikachu? It came sniffing around when I was feeding my Pokémon," Amy told the boy.
"Uh, did you happen to have any ketchup around?" he asked. Amy thought.
"Well, the Pokémon food I bought in Aleadell has some mixed into it, I think," she said. The boy nodded.
"Yeah, Pikachu likes ketchup. That's your problem solved." He lay back and closed his eyes again.
"Wait! You haven't told me who you are yet!" Amy said, but the boy was already snoring quietly.
"That's Ash. He's an idiot sometimes," said a smaller boy, bouncing up to Amy. He looked about nine. "I'm Max. And that's Brock and my sister May." He pointed to a pair of figures in the distance, walking towards the tree. "They're idiots sometimes too." Amy blinked, slightly disconcerted.
"And I suppose you're an idiot sometimes too?" she inquired sweetly. Max shook his head, blue-black hair flipping up slightly, and pushed up his glasses.
"Of course I'm not! See, I have the PokéNav," he said vehemently, brandishing the object in question. "The keeper of the PokéNav is never an idiot." He promptly overbalanced and fell, right on top of the sleeping Ash.
"HEY!" complained Ash. "Max, watch it!"
"Sorry," said Max contritely, picking himself up and brushing off the dirt on his knees. "You make a great throw pillow." Ash bristled.
"I'll throw you in a moment, you idiot."
Max glared at Ash.
"I'm not an idiot," he scowled. Amy couldn't help giggling.
"Maaaaaaxxxxxxxxxx." The girl Max had pointed out as his sister had neared them, and was standing with her hands on her hips, glaring at her brother. "Stop that." The effect was slightly lessened by the fact that she had a Torchic dancing happily on her head. May turned to Amy and smiled.
"Hi, I'm May."
"I'm Amy, and I was
hanging out on the other side of the tree."
"Hey, our names are almost the same!" May exclaimed. Amy nodded.
"Uh, why do you have a Torchic on your head?"
May looked surprised. "What Torchic? Oh, you mean this Torchic." She held out her arm and the orange chick Pokémon jumped down on it. She tickled it under the chin before her Pokémon scampered off to play with Ash's Pikachu.
"Have you had lunch yet? You could eat with us."
"Yeah, Brock cooks the best food ever!" added Ash enthusiastically. Amy grinned.
"Sure, I'd love to. The rice balls I bought in Aleadell had... peanut butter and vinegar fillings." Ash's eyes lit up.
"Hey, I love that! Can I try one?"
"Uh, okay," said a very surprised Amy. She returned to her side of the tree, where she noted that all her Pokémon had fallen asleep after their meal, and dug the rogue balls out of her pack.
"Here, you can have them all." Ash grabbed them from her hand and stuffed one into his mouth without removing the plastic wrapping. Amy goggled at him.
Brock sighed. "Ash eats anything, and he's always hungry," he told Amy softly, while setting up a pot. "We'll have a stew."
"Hey, I want some too!" said Ash, his mouth full of peanut butter and vinegar.
"I'd better go check on my Pokémon," Amy told her new-found friends, as she drank the last of the stew from a wooden bowl. "Brock, that was fantastic."
"I had to cook for my ten brothers and sisters back home in Pewter City," Brock explained, taking the bowl from her to start the washing-up. "My dad went away for a while, so I took care of them and the Gym there. I started travelling with Ash after he won the Boulder Badge from me, because Dad came home then." A shadow crossed his eyes. "I went home a little while ago to check up on things... it's all fine, but I miss the kids sometimes, you know. It's fun travelling with Ash, though. Gives me a chance to study breeding techniques in different regions."
Amy looked at Brock carefully. "You were a Gym Leader? You don't look old enough."
Brock grinned. "I'm sixteen. Misty, another friend of ours who travelled with us in Kanto and Johto, is the Cerulean City Gym Leader, and she's only fourteen - twelve when Ash battled her. Age doesn't mean anything, you know! She's back at the gym now. Hey, didn't you say you had to check on your friends?"
"Oh, yeah," said Amy, trekking around the tree. Most of her Pokémon were still snoring happily, but Riya was stirring. She picked it up.
"Hey Riya, nice sleep?" Riya poked out its tongue.
Amy put the Pokémon down and let it follow her back to the others. It spotted Ash's Pikachu and immediately made a beeline for it.
"Pika pika chu?"
Ash smiled at Amy. "It's been a while since Pikachu saw any others. I don't think it's been around one since we split with Richie a while ago. I take it this one's yours?"
Amy nodded. "That's Riya. But who's Richie?"
"He's a friend of ours," Brock explained. "Ash battled him in the Indigo League a while back, and we've seen him a few times since then. He's got a Pikachu called Sparky."
"Tuft of hair sticking out the front, like a punk?"
Brock looked startled. "Uh - yeah, if you're talking about Sparky, not Richie! You know him?"
"Yeah - he's from my home town, couple of years older than me. He and my brother were best friends - don't know if Bran's still in touch with him though. But he was called Dickie when he was a kid."
"Guess he figured that name was too young for him," sniggered Max. May whacked her brother on the head.
"Watch it, bro," she warned.
Amy watched the two Pikachu. They were touching tails.
"That's how they shake hands," said Ash. "A couple of years back we found this island that was full of Pikachu - they all did that."
"Ash figured Pikachu might want to stay with the others, but it liked him too much," Brock added.
"I think it likes your Pikachu too," Ash told Amy. "Hey, where are you heading?"
"Uh... I thought I'd go to Kassorine City next. My fourth badge."
Brock grinned. "Hey, we're heading that way too. Wanna travel with us?"
"Pikachu'd enjoy it," said Ash. "And it would be nice for Riya to have another Pikachu around too, wouldn't it?"
Amy nodded. "Sure, I'll have to ask my Pokémon how they feel first but I don't see any problems. Why not?"
May giggled. "Be careful if you're coming with us. Ash always gets us lost."
"I do not!" Ash grumped. The others laughed and sighed at the same time.
"He's always like this," said May.
"Pika!" added Pikachu.
"He's just an idiot," finished Max.
Yeah, Amy isn't the most multilingual 10-year-old ever. If you're wondering, "mon ami" is "my friend" in French. No, I don't speak French either. If you review in French I will... get back to you on that.
See Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels for information about the Duck Man. He's one of a group of beggars who live under a bridge, and unusually for this particular group he's completely sane except that a duck lives on his head. He doesn't know it's there.