Pokémon and all related elements are (c) and (tm) to Nintendo, Creatures, GameFreak, The Pokémon Company, 4Kids Entertainment, Viz Comics, Warner Brothers, and anyone else I may have forgotten.
This could hardly be considered an original concept. I suppose I should give some degree of credit to NeoRavenK7 for the idea of matching up Ash and Misty with their respective forms...
Hopefully this will be continued. I just wanted to upload something before I lost all my inspiration for this. You know how it goes, you get an idea and it won't leave you alone. In this case it was Ash and Misty walking into the Ketchum house after a disappearance carrying a handful of eevee kits...
And this takes place after they get married because marriage isn't an ending, it's a beginning. So basically, Ash is 18, Misty's 20, they're married, and Ash is the current Indigo league champion. Come on, you know all this stuff has to happen eventually, right?
Okay, on with the show.
Delilah Ketchum set her coffee mug on the table. "I know they're out there," she said softly. "They're not..."
"We know" Ruth Waterflower said reassuringly. "It's just that, well..."
"People are starting to ask questions." Boaz Waterflower said. "We all know they're alive, but without proof, the state is ready to declare them deceased."
Delilah shook her head. "No, just give them time."
"I want to," Boaz said"but I need to know what to say when the state won't take 'wait' for an answer."
Delilah closed her eyes. "Ash's will is in the third cabinet from the left. It's a blue pouch with 'Kanto National Bank' on it. But he's still–"
She was interrupted by a knock on the door.
The three felt a wild hope in their hearts as they looked at the door. Slowly, Delilah got up and walked towards the door, praying that her boy was behind the door.
She opened the door to see a young man wearing a maroon t-shirt and blue jeans as well as a mop of hair that seemed to be in a perpetual state of unrest.
"Hi, mom," he said, tears in his eyes.
Ash was squeezed in a bear hug faster than anyone could blink. After overcoming the momentary shock, he returned the hug with just as much vigor. "Sorry I didn't call, but I did change my underwear," he whispered.
Ruth looked past the reunion on the doorstep and caught her breath. "Misty?"
A head of red hair, no longer confined to a ponytail, poked past Ash and his mother. "Mom?" she said tentatively, "What are you doing here?"
"So where have you been the past six months?" Boaz finally asked after everyone had settled down.
Ash looked thoughtful for a second. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you we were still on our honeymoon, would you?"
"I'd be curious to know how much is left in your bank accounts."
Ash laughed. "Well, do you have a while? Because it's kind of a long story."
"A very long story," Misty added.
The Waterflowers and Delilah leaned closer on the sofa. "We're all ears, dear," Ruth said.
Misty and Ash looked at each other briefly. "I'll get the kids; you start," Misty whispered.
Ash nodded. "Pikachu's playing with them in the back."
As Misty left, Ash took a deep breath. But before he could start, he was interrupted by Delilah. "Kids? Ash, you've only been married six months. Did you and Misty do something we don't know about?"
"What? No!" Ash said quickly. "No, nothing like that. You–you'll understand once you see the kids. In the meantime, where should I start...
"First off, we weren't kidnapped, abducted, or any of that sort of stuff. At least not per se. It could be argued that we weren't in this of our own free will, but I couldn't care less. I'm not exactly sure how the whole thing started, meaning why it happened to us and whatnot, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with that weird guy at the wedding."
"What weird guy?" Ruth asked.
Ash frowned. "The guy that was dressed like he just walked off the set of The Lord of the Rings? You didn't see him?" The three listeners shook their heads.
Ash thought for a second and muttered, "Why am I not surprised." Louder, he said, "Anyway, he gave Misty and I each one of these." He reached into his shirt and showed everyone a small yellow stone mounted onto a simple necklace. "Misty's is blue, probably because it's a water stone. Mine's a thunder stone. He gave them to us that night, and he said–oh, there's Misty now."
By this point Misty had come in the back door carrying two young eevees with three more eevees and Pikachu at her feet. She managed an awkward smile and said, "Meet the grandkids. The two girls are Dewdrop and Sunrise, and the boys–" She motioned to the eevees at her feet. "–are Ember, Sparky, and Dreamer."
The grandparents weren't sure what to say. An awkward silence accented by the yipping and playing of the eevees hung in the room. Finally, Delilah ventured, "You found some abandoned eevee kits and adopted them? That's so sweet of y–"
"They're not adopted, Mom," Ash said.
"Wha... what do you mean" Ruth finally ventured to say.
"They're ours," Misty said firmly. "Mine and Ash's. As in I gave birth to them, we raised them... you get the picture."
Ruth slowly shook her head. "No, I don't."
"So back to the story," Ash said a little louder than normal. "The weird guy that gave us these stones said something weird when he gave them to us."
"Wonderful word choice, Shakespeare," Misty muttered.
Ash opened his mouth to retort, glanced at his mother and in-laws, and thought better of it. "As I was saying..."
"You must learn what a pokémon's life is truly like, Chosen One," the cloaked stranger said.
Ash looked at the two pendants he had been given. "What do I do with them?"
"One is for you, the other is for your mate," he said simply. "Another chapter to your story will be written, and if you wish, you will learn from it." Before Ash could ask him what he meant, he turned and left.
Misty came up to Ash, trying not to trip in her elaborate bridal dress. "Who was that"
Ash kept staring after the stranger. "I'm not sure. I couldn't even see his face..." He noticed the pendants in his hand and handed the blue one to Misty. "He gave this to you."
Misty took it and slowly put it around her neck and inside her dress.
"It looks nice on you," Ash said with a smirk.
"Really?" Misty said, taking the bait.
"Really really," Ash whispered as they leaned in for the seventeenth kiss of the night.
"Nothing happened for a couple of days," Ash continued. Seeing a pouty face on Misty he quickly added, "At least, nothing that's terribly important to the story. I'm sure you can guess what happened," he said with a smirk.
Delilah and Ruth giggled slightly while Boaz rolled his eyes. "Get on with it."
"Right. About two days after the wedding, things started getting a little strange. Like there would be times Misty and I would be reduced to barking in the middle of an argument and we wouldn't realize until Pikachu gave us both a nice shock and told us to watch our language. Misty was drinking a lot more water than usual, and I would constantly drag my feet across the carpet in the hotel room to build up static. But all in all, it didn't feel like anything to write home about.
Then, as you know, after five days in Cinnabar we hit the wilderness west of Pallet. That was when... well, everything happened."
Ash and Misty stepped lightly off of the ferry. They were the perfect picture of a couple on their honeymoon: holding hands, kissing every ten minutes, one constantly hanging on the other's shoulder. Hardly the picture of a couple about to head into the wilderness.
"So have we got everything?" Misty said.
Ash rummaged through the backpack. "Blankets, towels, food, stove, medicine, potions for the pokémon, spare pokéballs–"
"You brought spare pokéballs on our honeymoon?" Misty asked with a twinge of annoyance.
"Well..." Ash blanched. "What if we run into a really really rare pokémon? I could catch it as a wedding present."
"Nice try. I doubt we'll even be seeing anything as rare as an eeveeloution."
"We might see a dratini."
"In the woods?"
Ash's face fell. "Oh, right."
Misty sighed. "Once again, I've got to do all the thinking around here. I swear, you must be the densest person this side of the planet."
Ash stood up. "No I'm not."
"Yes you are."
"No I'm not."
"Yes you are."
"No I'm–Look, this isn't an argument."
Misty feigned offense. "Yes it is."
"No, an argument is a series of points leading to a general conclusion. This is just contradiction."
"No it's not."
"Yes it is."
"No, because in order to argue with you I have to take up a contrary position."
"Yes, but it's not just contradiction."
"No it's not."
"Yes it is."
An angry "PIKA!" from the ground signaled the end of the "argument."
Ash blinked, trying to remember what he was supposed to be doing. He glanced down at the backpack's contents, sorted through them one more time, and said, "Yeah, I've got everything."
"You sure?" Misty asked with genuine concern. "Once we walk in there, we're pretty much committed. You up for this?"
Ash flashed Misty his trademark grin. "Do you really need to ask me? Of course I am. I'm Ash Ketchum, Pokémon Master and Indigo League Champion! I'm ready for anything."
Misty smiled. "Except me."
Ash cast her a sidelong glance. "Is that a challenge?"
"Well, I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve."
"So we walked down the path in no particular hurry," Ash said. "Pikachu was in front, keeping his nose open for any sort of danger, and Misty and I brought up the rear.
"We hiked for most of the day, stopping about every hour and a half to get a drink and rest. When it started to get dark, we found a small clearing a reasonable distance off the path and set up camp for the night."
"By the way, those cooking lessons you gave me really paid off, Mrs. Ketchum," Misty said with a grin. "I couldn't cook fast enough for this vacuum." Ash nodded in approval.
"You still haven't explained the eevees," Boaz said, earning him a mild glare from his wife.
"I'm setting the mood," Ash said, exasperated.
Misty hit him lightly on the shoulder and muttered, "Get on with it."
Ash rolled his eyes.
"Isn't it beautiful?" Ash whispered to Misty as they lay on their backs looking at what little of the night sky they could see through the trees.
"Is that a full moon?" Misty asked, pointing.
"Pika," Pikachu said in affirmation.
Ash sighed contentedly. He was in the middle of the woods, no humans around for miles, with his best friend and the woman he loved. How could anything be wrong at a time like this...
Suddenly Misty gasped and clutched her pendent. Her breathing quickened, and her face contorted in pain.
"Misty?" Ash said, offering his arm for comfort. He had barely made the gesture, however, before he collapsed in the same pain. Both pendents were glowing bright by this point.
Ash was nearly delirious with pain. It felt like his entire body was being hit with pins and needles, like when his feet would fall asleep and then wake up as painfully as possible. He managed to look at his arms and saw the hair on them, before not much to speak of, slowly become more pronounced and longer, almost like a rough fur.
He was sure it was just his mind playing tricks on him, but he could have sworn the ground was getting closer. He closed his eyes in an effort to stop the feeling, but that only brought attention to his aching muscles and his throbbing headache. To top it all off, he discovered a sharp pain right above his rear end and yelped in pain.
And then, just as quickly as it started, it was over.
Pikachu looked at what was left of the two humans in shock. "Pikapi," he asked tentatively, "are you okay?"
A jolteon wiggled out of Ash's clothes. "Yeah," it said in its language, "I think I'm okay."
Pikachu lowered one ear. "You- um, you do realize what happened, don't you?"
Ash smirked. "Sure. I had a wicked headache and WHAT THE CRAP?" he yelled after finally seeing his new form.
Pikachu ran over to Misty. Sure enough, she had transformed as well, except she had been given a vaporeon as her form. It suits her, Pikachu thought.
Ash bounded over to Misty as soon as he got his bearings. "Misty, are you okay?" he asked worriedly.
Misty slowly raised her head. "Ash?" she asked softly.
Despite the transformation (or maybe because of it), Ash had to admit that Misty's beauty hadn't changed at all; it had merely been "translated" to her vaporeon form. Her slick fur did nothing to hide her figure, and her mermaid tail, in addition to being sleek and powerful, was something Ash decided not to be on the receiving end of.
Likewise, Misty noticed that Ash's fur was just as wild and unruly as his hair had been, and she could nearly pick out his "electric" birthmarks on his face.
"What happened?" Misty managed to whisper.
Ash looked at her solemnly. "I think it was those stones," he said. "Modified evolution stones most likely."
"But who would want to do something like this to us?" she said, her tail beginning to sway.
Ash flipped through the faces in his mind, and one stood out above all the others. "Team Rocket," he spat.
"I seriously doubt that," Pikachu said. "It doesn't seem like their style."
"But who else would do this?"
Pikachu sighed. "There are other forces in the pokémon world besides Team Rocket. Lugia, Ho-Oh, or any of the other legendaries could have something to do with this. Whoever gave you the stone may have been a messenger of theirs."
"What did the man say to you" Misty asked, moving next to Ash.
"He said... I had to learn what a pokémon's life was truly like, and he called me 'Chosen One.' So maybe Lugia does..." He trailed off, lost in thought.
"Well, that's not really important right now," Pikachu said authoritatively. "What's important is that we find some shelter for the two of you. If this wears off in the morning, so be it, but if you're going to be like this for a while you'll need to find a den or something."
Ash picked up Dreamer who was pawing steadily at his leg. "That's pretty much how things got started. For the first day or so Pikachu was determined not to let us do anything stupid that I probably would have done otherwise. For example, we were trying to light a fire one night, and I suggested we use Charizard. Misty was kinda on the fence about that, but Pikachu was completely against the idea."
"Ka chu pii chu, Pikapi," Pikachu yelled from the other end of the room.
"I know," Ash yelled back. To the humans he explained, "He says he would have eaten us, and to tell you the truth, I'm inclined to believe her. Fortunately, we never really had to contend with anything as ferocious as a charizard."
"Were you in danger?" Delilah gasped.
Ash nodded as if that were obvious. "We ran into our fair share of problems. Not all of them were life-threatening, but it's not exactly a hotel out in the wilderness."
"For the last time," Ash growled, "my mate and I were released here by our trainers. We did not know about your petty dispute over territory. If you will allow us to stay here for the time being–"
The ivysaur roared. "We will not allow you to stay," it repeated. "You are not part of our clan, therefore you must leave."
Ash opened his mouth to retort, but Pikachu silenced him. "It's not worth it, Pikapi," he yelled from a distance. Ash glared one last time at the ivysaur and walked back to Pikachu and Misty in defeat.
"I'm Ash Ketchum," he muttered. "I don't walk away from a challenge."
"Except you'd lose," Misty said. "There was no way you'd be able to take on all of those ivysaurs, and I sure as Ho-Oh couldn't help you."
"I'm just trying to find a place for you," Ash growled.
"Well you don't have to act all impressive about it," Misty retorted.
"Are you saying you don't want me to protect you?"
"You don't have to act like a freaking machamp about it."
"So what do you want then, huh?" Ash yelled. "Want me to prance around in a bed of flowers?"
"You can stop acting like I'm some sort of trophy!" Misty answered.
"CHU!" Pikachu yelled, glaring at the two eons. She took a deep breath and spoke slowly.
"Pikapi," he started, "you have to understand that although you may feel strong, you have a tendency to overestimate your abilities. I can still beat you in a fight; don't forget that. And you could start giving Pikachupi a little more credit."
Before Ash could retort, he turned to Misty. "And as for you, Pikachupi, there's a little something that happens about this time of year that clouds everyone's judgment. You and Pikapi have so many hormones in your system neither of you can think straight. Pikapi is acting like a 'freaking machamp' because he's trying to impress you."
When Misty didn't seem to understand, Pikachu groaned, threw his hands in the air, and yelled, "He's freaking attracted to you! It's freaking mating season and you're driving him crazy just by being here. Apparently his jolteon half hasn't realized that he doesn't have to impress you as much as he does. It's called freaking instinct!" He turned around and mumbled in frustration, "For all your talk, Pikachupi, you're just as thick as Pikapi sometimes."
"He said that?" Delilah said, gaping at Pikachu.
"Pika pika," Pikachu responded firmly, stomping his hind paw on the ground for good measure.
Ash nodded. "He certainly didn't mince words with us. I think he pretty much took it upon himself to ensure that we survived this ordeal. Since he was the only one out of the three of us that had ever been in the wild like this before–not to mention he's got a temper disproportionate to his size–we went along with it."
"Pikapi," Pikachu said threateningly.
Ash just smirked. "Now, where were we?"
Misty leaned over and whispered something in Ash's ear, causing Ash to blush heavily. "I think we can leave that up to their imaginations, Misty," Ash said in a hurry before he and Misty collapsed in a fit of giggles.
"Get on with it," Boaz groaned.
Pikachu started to charge up an electrical attack, but stopped halfway through. Hopping onto the floor, he talked with one of the eevee kits and helped it up onto the couch Ash and Misty were sitting on. The eevee looked at them from one end, then charged towards them with a shrill "Vee!"
Ash stopped giggling but never lost his amused smirk. He picked up the kit (who had quickly donned the most innocent face it could muster) and whispered in its ear something that wasn't caught by the other members of the room, though it sounded suspiciously like different annotations of "jolteon."
The kit's eyes brightened. With a yelp to its brothers and sisters it charged toward Pikachu. Pikachu glared at Ash and ran out of the room towards the back yard, the five kits in fast pursuit.
Misty sighed. "You were right when you said it wasn't easy," she said. "You know–being a parent and all."
Ruth shifted slightly in her seat. "Well, dear," she said, "what you've got... well, I'm sure there are similarities and..."
Ash sensed the awkward moment and stepped in. "Now, where was I?"
"Mating season" Boaz said dryly.
"I'll skip to when we got the den" Misty said, picking up the story.
"This is perfect!" Misty squealed as she looked around the den. It was a hollow beneath a old oak tree, and as such was extremely large. Large enough for a family, as Pikachu had reminded.
"In a few weeks there's going to be a lot less space," he pointed out.
"How many weeks?" Ash asked, inspecting a tree root hanging from the ceiling.
"How am I supposed to know?" Pikachu groaned. "Do I look like Dexter?"
"Good idea," Ash yelped and ran out of the den. He came back in a few moments later dragging a half-open backpack stuffed in no particular manner with clothes, potions, and other various items.
"I had Dexter in my back pocket, right?" Ash asked no one in particular as he began rummaging through the contents of the backpack. Finally he found his old pair of jeans and–with much difficulty–pulled the pokédex out of the pocket and aimed it at Misty.
"Vaporeon," it said in its usual voice. "The water evolution of eevee. Due to the shape of its tail, it has often been mistaken for a mermaid by coastal residents."
Ash looked at her and grinned. "Well, you're beautiful enough to fool me any day."
Misty rolled her eyes but smiled anyway. "What are you trying to find out, anyway?"
"Right. Dexter, display more info."
Dexter's light flashed red. "Voice command not recognized. Please try again."
Ash sighed. "Guess it doesn't understand Jolteon."
"Well, there's got to be a button you can press, isn't there?" Misty said.
Ash studied the panel carefully. "That one," he said. He tried to press it but stopped halfway through, noticing the size of his paw.
"Which one?" Pikachu asked. "I've got smaller paws." Ash pointed, and he pressed the button.
"Information on wild Vaporeon is unknown," Dexter continued. "In captivity, all of eevee's evolutionary forms are known to have a gestation period of five to seven weeks. Be warned that the female will be fiercely protective and prone to violent mood swings, especially when provoked."
Ash and Pikachu stared at Dexter, then slowly turned their attention to Misty, a sense of uneasiness spreading through the room.
"I'm gonna go look for food," Ash said suddenly and ran out.
Pikachu took another look at Misty and yelled, "Wait up, Pikapi," before following Ash out.
Misty sighed. "And he left his mess behind," she mumbled, walking over to the backpack. "We haven't been married for two weeks and I'm already picking up after him." Slowly she began stuffing the objects back into the pack. When she was finished, she stared at the pack for a few minutes.
She and Ash had decided to keep the backpack with them, in case they were somehow able to reverse whatever had happened to them. But as Misty looked over the only tangible reminder that she had ever been human and reminded herself of the new life inside of her, the chances of going back home began looking slim.
But where was home, anyway?
She gripped one of the backpack's straps and dragged it to the back of the den, away from the doorway and the only source of light. She could still smell it from across the den, however, the fragrant mix of her and Ash's scents. She was amazed at how she was able to recognize Ash's human clothes from his scent now, and she wondered how they smelled to other pokémon. She made a mental note to ask Pikachu later.
She curled up on the floor, burying her muzzle in her tail. Where was home, anyway? Was it back in Cerulean? No... she was married to Ash now. So was it in Pallet? No... Ash was trying to line up a small place in Viridian for them. It was wherever Ash was...
She smiled at the thought of him. How his good humor seemed to brighten any dark day, how all he had to do was look at her and she'd feel like the queen of the world, how soft his tail was when-
She checked herself. They were human, not pokémon! She and Ash... they had to remember, they couldn't forget. She couldn't come up with a good reason why, she just knew they couldn't lose their humanity.
Misty caught a new scent from the doorway. Ash was back.
Ash poked his head through the door. "Hey," he said. He walked over to her and stroked her neck with his muzzle affectionately. "Sorry I ran out on you," he whispered.
"Ash," Misty whispered, her worry creeping into her voice, "what do you remember about... before?"
Ash backed up far enough to look her in the eyes. "Before what?"
"You know," she said, looking towards the ground. "When we were human."
Ash turned around and took a few steps away. When he did speak, his voice was low, as if he didn't want to hear the words coming out of his own mouth. "Not much," he said. "I remember places, people, walking around, losing the championship to Gary, winning the championship the next year..." He looked at Misty. "Marrying you... but I don't remember what it was like. It's like my life up to this point is just one long movie, or maybe a dream..." He looked at the ceiling and continued.
"You know how when you're sick? You know, when your stomach is all unsettled and you're burning up with fever and you don't have the strength to get out of bed? You know how hard it is to remember what it's like just to not be sick, right?"
Misty nodded. "That's what it's like for me, too." So her fears were confirmed. "What if we never get back?"
Ash walked back over to her and licked her muzzle. "We will," he said with his usual confidence.
"But what if we don't?"
"Then we don't. We'll survive. We'll get in touch with our families somehow and let them know we're okay. And if a trainer wants to catch you, he'll have to go through me."
"But what if–"
"Misty, I'm scared too," Ash interrupted. "But we can't let fear paralyze us. We've been through worse stuff than this. Now come on, there's a pack of ratatta not too far from here, so if you want dinner tonight..." He winked at her, and the two of them ran out of the den.
"So how does it feel now?" Ruth asked, slightly dazed.
Misty looked towards the ceiling for an answer. "The same way, pretty much," she said. "The past six months are like a strange dream or a movie... not as real as a memory."
Ash nodded. "It's kinda freaky, really. Like that Lao Tsu guy... said something about not being sure if he was Lao Tsu waking up from a dream where he was a butterfly, or whether he was a butterfly now dreaming he was Lao Tsu, or something like..." Ash's sentence was cut off by an enormous yawn which Misty echoed, though not to the same degree.
"Oh, goodness, you two must be exhausted," Delilah said, glancing at the clock. "You can sleep in Ash's old room; I turned it into a guest room just for the two of you in case you ever decided to come here."
Boaz nodded. "We should get going, Ruth," he said. "We've stayed longer than we planned."
"Well, we hardly planned for them to show up, now did we?" Ruth said with a hint of annoyance. She turned to Ash and said, "But dear, how did you two get back?"
Ash shrugged. "We woke up this morning and those stones were glowing, so we herded up the kids, dragged the backpack out of the den, and next thing we know we... sort of evolved back into humans."
Everyone stood in silence for a moment, pondering the last point, before a gigantic yawn from Misty broke the silence.
"Right," Delilah yelled. "Off you two go; you're in my house and you'll do as I tell you. Now go to bed!"
"Five more minutes, Mom?" Ash whined.
"That was an adventure," Misty said softly as she and Ash lay down in their bed.
"Mmhmm," Ash mumbled.
On the floor Pikachu was busy getting the kits in order to go to bed. One of them, Sparky, protested loudly.
"Jolt," Ash said threateningly.
"Veee," Sparky whined as he curled up and attempted to go to sleep.
Misty smiled. "I wonder what Blossom would say about all this," she said.
Ash's face darkened. "Yeah..." he said dejectedly.
Misty inwardly cursed herself for bringing up the subject. "Stop worrying about her, Ash."
"I can't help it. I mean, what if–"
"What did you tell me about what-if's? I'm worried about her too. I know the two of you were close, but it sounds like she got a good trainer. Meanwhile, we've got bigger fish to fry."
"Like you'll have to defend your League title in two months."
Ash sat bolt upright. "Two months?" he nearly yelled. "Come on, Misty, we've got to start training!" He started to get out of the bed, but Misty was faster and managed to pin him into place.
"Not yet," she said softly.
"But Mist–" Ash said, but he was silenced by Misty's finger on his lips.
"Not yet," she whispered, leaning close to him.
"Kachu pika," Pikachu grumbled, opening one eye.
Misty sighed and resumed her place next to Ash. "Vap eon," she muttered.
"Chu, Pikachupi," Pikachu yelled, now fully awake.
"Vap vap eon vaporeon," Misty yelled back.
"Pika pika pi!"
"JOLT JOLTEON!" Ash yelled, turning over and burying his face in his pillow.