By: Chibi/Warlordess

Notes: A piece I wrote, reflecting an experience that happened recently in my life, only featured a little bit darker. If you're planning to take this too lightly, you might be a little wrong up in the head, but if you're planning on taking this horribly seriously, then I suggest you grab some tissues.

Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon. That's all you need to know in order to read this and not feel like suing.

-

Ages:

Ash - 17 years old.

Misty - 19 years old.

Brock - 21 years old.

Mrs. Ketchum - 44 years old.

Anonymous characters:

About four years older than the end of the series.

-

Trauma

Chapter One

-

You know that feeling you get when something really tramatic happens in your life? It's like this constricting, laboring feeling... I mean, you can't breathe, you can't move, and it feels like everything around you has gone still and silent, and dark... All of the voices and noises that you'd originally be hearing all die away into the background and it's only you and the ground upon which your feet are standing.

I hate that feeling. I know quite a few people who have been able to go through life without experiencing it, but I think after today, that... I can truthfully say that I now know more who have.

There was so much wrong with that whole commotion.

Beep. Beep. Tick. Beep. Beep. Tick.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Beep. Tick. Tick. Drip. Beep. Beep. Tick. Drip. Drip.

I couldn't stand sitting there like that. I watched as the surgeon's and nurses and doctors moved in and out of my friend's room; I watched them come and go without any idea as to what was going on. One of them had looked at me earlier, as if to say, "We're trying", but I could tell that their hopes for success were slim and getting slimmer still.

But I could not give hope. After the hell she'd been through thus far, my friend was strong; and I wouldn't show her how weak I was feeling for her sake, when what she needed was strength from me most of all.

But all I could do was sit and hope that things would change. Because the situation was darkening, like a cloud on my doorstep, a curse that wouldn't fade from above my head.

-

When I'd first gotten the call from her, I was pretty shocked, but still very happy. We hadn't been in contact for almost three months. My job makes for a real time-stealer and she had to deal with the Gym now that her relatives were almost never there.

In any case, the call was lighthearted, if not suspiciously vague. She said that she was hoping to come pick me up and take me out. She said to wear something nice. She said to be waiting outside of my apartment in about a half-hour.

I loved her voice.

It was like the sea that she loved so much, comforting. And when she laughed, it was like a low-tide wave crashing against my shore. It was amazing.

Of course, I'd never told her how attached I was to her. But I think that it went without saying. After all, two years after I'd quit travelling around the world, and she still saw me as the little boy from Pallet Town who needed a coach, or a friend... Or both. Let's just say that it was still our worth keeping in contact with each other.

So, anyway, on with my story, I told her that I'd be ready, though I had no idea what for. I figured, what with the bomb-of-a-hint in which she told me to wear something presentable, that it was for a party. My brain had obviously grown as I aged.

I'm sure that my friend would comment that it was about damned time.

I got myself tidied up, grabbed my keys, and locked the door to my place, then headed down the stairs to the front of the building. I liked to look inconspicuous, so I drew a random pair of sunglasses from my pocket and put them over my eyes.

I grinned. I thought I looked slightly devilish. She would probably say something like I looked sexy. But, then again, I often confuse my dreams with reality. I'd never mentioned it to anyone, but I had a couple dreams about her. Not... Not those types of dreams, but... You know... Just the types that would make no sense to my thirteen year old self.

So I stood right inside the door of my apartment building for about five minutes, and then went outside. It was stuffy in there and she would be here any moment, so what did I have to worry about?

Five minutes passed.

Nothing much to worry about; everything was all right. Most likely there was some traffic on the highway keeping her busy. So I sat down on the staircase and watched the few cars pull in and out of the parking lot, busying myself with plucking nonsense pieces of grass out of the dirt beside me.

Fifteen minutes passed.

Well, by now I was slightly panicked. I mean, the highway was large, yes, but she only needed to drive about ten minutes on an easy day to get here. She told me in the beginning that she'd pick me up in about twenty minutes and yet, thirty-five minutes later, I was still here. Still, I waited, cautious to any vehicle pulling into the lot.

Thirty minutes passed.

I was now completely overthrown with worry. I didn't know what to do. I could look stupid and slightly creepy to whatever bystander that passed me, by sitting here with nothing to do, or I could go inside and call her on her cell phone to see what was up. Actually, something occured to me in that moment. She was probably calling me right then! I'd head up to my small home and open the door to the sound of my phone ringing. I'd pick it up and she'd say that she was sorry, but she was running impossibly late, but that she'd be here in a few minutes...

Nodding decidedly, I got up, dusted myself off, and flung open the main door to the complex building. I jogged up the six steps to my front door and jammed the key hurriedly into my lock. Was it just me, or was my phone ringing all ready?

It was just me. I opened my door and heard nothing, no ringing, no answering machine taking a message. Checking my caller I.D. told me that the last call I'd received had been from her, about fifty minutes ago.

I picked up the phone and dialed her cell phone number, absentmindedly undoing the knot in the cord...

-

That had been about fourteen hours ago.

My best friends were there with me as I watched everything happen. It was like a horribly vivid dream. After that moment in time when those eyes had met mine, and I'd heard that cry, everything returned to normal... Only the sounds and voices of danger for my friend stood out strongly among everything else. I heard shouting, and I heard that beeping speeding up, growing in volume...

All the while, my mother clutched my shoulder, like I was two years old again, watching my father fade away from me. I wasn't a child anymore; I wasn't so innocent and young. I had seen the evils of the world, I had met those people who could overthrow my happiness, who could change us all for the worse.

I looked up at my mom, as though silently telling her that I didn't need her as much as she thought, but she just gripped me tighter and, looking into her eyes, I noticed something. Such a strong sense of fear was dangling over us all, and not just myself... I realized then that my mom was groping at me for her own sake, not mine. My friend was like a daughter to her, the one she'd never had, as it was so commonly dubbed; she was the witty voice of reason that you could turn to when you needed help in making a decision.

I was ashamed at the moment. I couldn't believe that I'd forgotten, even if only for a minute, that I wasn't the only person losing something here. I'd thought only of myself, and of no one else, this entire time. Until now.

I let my hand grope my mom's, clutched her flesh just in time to feel a tear hit it. She was crying. Suddenly, I felt alienated from them all. All of those who'd come to be with me, all of those who'd come to be with her. During this time of desperate need, I hadn't shed one tear.

I've always been able to let myself go during situations where emotion was called for, but... Somehow... Today... I just couldn't stand to do it. I didn't understand what was wrong with me... It was the first time I'd never been able to cry. I wondered blandly if something was wrong with me, but then I understood. It wasn't that I wouldn't cry. I just... Couldn't.

I had spent every waking moment in worry, in panic for my friends life, and that panic, worry... It had taken up all of the emotional carraige I had available. I had no room left inside my empathy train for anything else at this point. Definetely not for more agony and not even for some relief.

But I felt like I needed to feel something, which means that it was lucky because, at this point, one of my friends was shaking me in order to gain my attention.

"C'mon Ash; they're ready to tell us how she's doing." Brock told me and I got to my feet, feeling my legs tremble below me like jello. I'd never felt this nervous before, this out of place.

"Right."

When we'd walked down the hall and entered some room that we could interpret as an office, we sat in a few of the chairs and waited for about five minutes. By the time the doctor had appeared and closed the door, my mind was all ready in the middle of making wild guesses at her condition.

"Welcome to my office." He nodded to every one of us and then gave a small smile that I couldn't read anything out of, "I'm glad that Miss Waterflower has so many friends here to help her in her time of need."

That's what he said to all of us, I knew, but that just wasn't what I heard and saw.

"Welcome to hell." He bowed a bit to let the horns upon his head more noticable and then smirked, showing some sharp and deadly fangs, "I'm glad to see that the Waterflower girl has so many scrumptiously delightful friends."

So sue me. I was delerious. I'd been awake for about eighteen hours now, and I just couldn't handle much more. The only reason that I was still awake now was so that I could hear of Misty's recovery status. I allowed myself a thought.

What if it wasn't about recovery status? What if it was about picking out her tombstone? Or if we knew whether she wanted to be buried with her family or cremated and thrown into the ocean that she loved so much?

"The reports have been filed by the officers on the scene and she's been through surgery successfully. At this point, the sustained injuries that we know of consist of a fractured hip and ankle, and open wounds upon the legs, arms, and forehead. She won't be up for awhile, but she's been stitched up nicely enough..."

My mind was like a spinning glass ball at this point, reeling in five different directions at once. Or more like a defendant in a court case, whose just found out that he was guilty, and was now waiting for the final verdict and conviction.

"...You should know, though, that she'll be fine."

My eyes widened and I felt a small, reassured grin coming to my face. She was okay... She was okay!

"...She'll be fine..."

-

Notes: The fic is not over. I REPEAT THAT THE FIC IS NOT OVER. Lol. Yes, I just wanted to be positive that I got through to you all. I plan on doing something that's about three chapters long, with a different health... You know what? I'm just going to stop there before I give away the whole plot. Let's just say that the suspense is not over. You'll want to stay tuned.