Hi! This is a new series I am starting! What if Ash didn't start his journey until he was 15? (That seems like a much more reasonable age.) I am not copying anyone's story here!!

Disclaimer: Okay, I don't own pokémon; it belongs to Nintendo, Game Freak, 4Kids productions, etc. I only own the new pokémon and attacks that I make up! People who use them without permission will be flamed!

Note: Revised version. Also written to challenge someone discreetly for plagiarism. Is for telepathy, ** for thoughts, and italics for pokemon speech.

Background information: Delia is actually not related to Ash, he is in foster care. His real parents are unknown as of now. Ash spent 4 years as an intern/nurse at the Viridian City pokemon center and is a qualified healer. And he's got pokemon… changed his appearance a bit too. Oh, and of course, the key… takes place after CCA, so Ash has a nice collection of pokemon cards.

Chapter 1: All journeys must start

            Ashura Satoshi Ketchum, known as Ash to his pokemon and Delia, sat on the Pikachu bed in his room, counting the seconds as the Hoothoot wall clock ticked. He idly stroked his purring Persian.

            Worried? Persian asked, a hint of condescension in his silky tones.

            "Not really." Ash said. "But I don't need much sleep."

            I suppose you wouldn't, since your magic is very strong and you're only keeping a few of us out here at all times. But why did you choose me instead of your stronger battlers?

            "I couldn't very well be walking around with a Zapdos or Mewtwo, could I?" Ash asked, teasingly.

            Suppose not.

            Ash nodded as he lifted his head to look at the clock again. Alas, only two minutes had elapsed.

            "I have Pidgeot, of course."

            She is one of your favorites.

            "And she 'modified' my belt. It looks like I'm carrying twelve instead of six, instead of an infinite amount."

            So why aren't you traveling with the other guardians?

            "Too dangerous. I'm less likely to attract Serebii's unwanted attention alone."

            Ah.

            "So I also have… Chansey, since I'm required to carry a medical assistant… and for the others, I can always summon them."

            Persian yawned. I'm going back to sleep.

            Ash left the drowsy cat and padded downstairs in his fuzzy slippers, making himself a cup of hot chocolate with milk.

            After the hot chocolate, he felt much better, and returned upstairs to bed, where he slept for a good two hours before the alarm clock rang.

            Persian was the one who actually woke him up, by dragging him to the bathroom. Ash yawned as he quickly showered and brushed his teeth, before he dressed in his standard outfit and went downstairs.

            Delia was still asleep, it being six in the morning, so Ash fixed himself some cornflakes and milk, before strolling to Oak's lab to see what the old man had.

            The benefit was that Gary wasn't there; he had already left two years earlier.

            The bad news was that an annoying girl named Brittany had moved in a year ago and declared herself Ash's rival.

            But on the bright side, she always slept until around noon, so he was sure she wouldn't be there yet.

            Besides, she was only twelve. Baka.

            "Hello, Ash. I'm glad you're finally going off on your journey." Oak said.

            "Yes, well, seeing the states of the pokemon the trainers brought in to the center didn't endear me much to the idea." Ash replied, flicking his gold-streaked bangs out of his eyes. "What do you have?"

            "Basically most of the un-evolved pokemon. You already paid, so all you have to do is pick one." Oak replied.

            Ash looked thoughtfully at the selection of Kanto pokemon, with a few Johto mixed in.

            "Hmm…what do you think, Persian?"

            Persian shrugged and immediately padded over to the poke ball containing a Meowth. Ash picked it up, and, on closer inspection, discovered the tint of gold in its eyes that proclaimed it a magic-type.

            "All right then, Professor, I'll take Meowth."

            "Are you sure?" Oak pressed. "It won't be much good in any gym battle."

            "There's more to life than battling, professor." Ash replied as he took the poke balls. He didn't need a pokédex, as he already had a blue one with the league healer's symbol, with much more information as it was updated almost daily to help the nurses. Useful thing.

            "Well then, good bye and good luck!"

            Ash waved to Oak and then returned home.

            Delia was still asleep; only about ten minutes had passed, so Ash struck up a conversation with his newly acquired Meowth. He discovered that it had escaped from a breeding center that was trying to improve normal-type pokemon, but hundreds had died in the process.

            "Hmm…" Ash mused. * I have Lance's Dark Mirror, so they aren't using that… and Charlotte usually changes her light types directly even though she does have something she uses, but I can't remember what… but its magic, not light, dark, or shadow…*

            Could just be genetic mutation. Pidgeot reminded him. With enough trials you will get success, but it's about .00001% chance.

            That's cruel. Persian replied, but it made sense.

            "Wonder what breeding center?" Ash asked, his voice going cold.

            It's Wanda's Wonderful Pokemon. Meowth replied. Why?

            Ash smiled. "Who should I send?"

            His eyes lit up as a thought crossed his mind. "Got it!"

            Ash's key flashed once, and then something streaked off into the distance.

            He had a rather interesting collection of objects around his neck. Destiny's amulet hung next to Hope's locket, and between them dangled his Star key, the golden star in the blue moon surmounted by two pairs of wings on the white staff.

            They glittered slightly in the morning light, as Ash adjusted his black gloves. He was dressed in black, a red-and-white vest over his long sleeved black shirt with two electric blue bands around the wrists, and his black slacks tucked into his leather calf-length boots.

            A few minutes later, an Electrode materialized in front of Ash, startling Meowth but not the other pokemon.

            "Thank you." Ash said, caressing the pokemon briefly, before it disappeared in a flash of white light.

            By the time Delia came downstairs half an hour later, Ash was grooming his meowth; no glimpse of what had transpired left.

            "Ready to leave, Ash?" She asked, surprised.

            "Yes, Ms. Ketchum." Ash said.

            "All right, dear. I know I'm not your real mom, but take care." She gave him a hug and then waved goodbye.

            Ash nodded, got up, and exited the door, setting out on his journey.

End Episode! ^_^