Summary: WIP. Pike Chance was always a normal person, perhaps a little too normal. That was until a fateful encounter turned him into a pikachu and his life into anything but normal.
Thank you to Alex Warlorn for beta reading this story for me.
A/N: I've made several changes to these first two chapters. To avoid spoilers, I'll detail them at the end of the second chapter.
The shrill beeping of an alarm clock, the beginning of another day of work, plucked Pike Chance from a wonderful dream. He'd been lying on the beach of a tropical resort filled with beautiful women. The warm sun had tanned him; his exercising made him fit; the atmosphere having relaxed him. Now, however he was groggy and reached for the snooze button to silence the annoying beep. The twenty-four year old looked at the clock, unable to believe it was truly 6:45am; it felt as though he'd just fallen asleep.
He dragged himself out of bed, stretching and yawning as he made his way to the bathroom to take a shower. Hearing that his thirty-two year old cousin Henry was already out of bed, Pike hoped Henry was making coffee. Stripping, Pike turned the shower water on cool before getting in. The cool water both assisted in waking him and kept him from overheating in what was already a warm morning. He gradually awoke as he washed his short brown hair, wondering what sort of day he had ahead for him. Like it's going to be any different from these last two million days. Althoughhe was exaggerating, both his job and life felt stagnant.
After showering, he dried off and walked into his room. He put on a blue button shirt, black tie and black slacks. Afterwards, he made his way into the kitchen of their bungalow, where Henry was busy cooking bacon and eggs with a smile on his face.
"Morning Pike," Henry said.
Ick, it's too early to be this cheerful.
Pike yawned and scratched his head "Um, morning," he answered with a weary voice.
"How are you this morning?" Henry asked.
Pike saw the pot of coffee on the counter and almost dashed for it. "Can't talk ... coffee," he said. He opened the cupboard above the pot and pulled out a mug. Quickly filling it with cream from the fridge and sugar from the cupboard, he savoured the aroma.
"Man Pike, how late did you stay up last night?" Henry asked.
"Not late; I'm just not a morning person!"
"Well, I made enough for both of us. I have to be alert, today is a big day," Henry said as he read the newspaper.
Pike grabbed a piece of bread to toast after pilling a few pieces of bacon and a couple of eggs onto a large plate.
I wish I could have a big day at the office. The only thing that's ever newsworthy for me is some moron that thinks their CD-tray is cup holder.
"What's happening today?" he asked.
"We're almost done negotiations with Kramtec industries. If successful, our two companies are going to merge. It could be worth billions!"
"Sounds interesting," Pike said. The toaster popped up his toast. He picked it up and buttered it, putting it on his plate before sitting down to eat. He glanced at the newspaper Henry was reading.
The usual articles about pokemon trainers, conventions and competitions seemed to take up the majority of the paper. Pike had never been interested in becoming a trainer. He hated how people made money off watching creatures fight. He didn't like boxing either. At least however, the humans were doing the fighting themselves.
"Don't those papers ever report anything else?" Pike asked.
"Can you blame them? It's a multi-trillion dollar industry," Henry responded.
"Those trainers get all sorts of fame and everyone says they're heroes. What about real heroes like fire fighters, police officers or paramedics?"
Henry sipped at his coffee before responding. "Being a trainer isn't all fun, games and glory. Most of those kids don't get far. Imagine training your entire life, sometimes risking life and limb. Then you finally get into a major competition, only to lose. Alternatively, if you win, you're the king of the world to some for a year or so. That is, until the next prodigy or hot shot comes along; then you're yesterdays news."
"Yeah, I see what you mean. It's like studying for years, getting a good job, making one mistake, and ending up fired. Before you know it, the next batch of graduates comes along and you're yesterdays news," Pike said.
"Exactly, except you can go back to school or get another job. For them, their entire life's work could all come down to one moment. Imagine how hard it would be to lose!" Henry said.
"Yeah, you're right. Although I still don't like the competitions. Having one as a companion might be fun but it'd probably get lonely without us here."
Henry had expressed interest in adopting a pokemon, not as a fighter but as a pet. Pike seemed okay with keeping one as a companion. He however, felt with both of them working that they didn't have the time to give one the attention it deserved.
"At least consider it. The adoption centre has a female pikachu that needs a home. I hear they make wonderful companions and they're really cute," Henry said.
Pike looked at Henry, raising his left eyebrow. He'd always wanted a Pikachu, and he knew that Henry knew it. Pike's parents had feared that one would shock him and thus had never allowed it.
"You know I love those little guys but wouldn't she get lonely? I mean, if we could get her a companion she'd be all right," Pike said.
"We can be her companions. At least consider it. Anyway, I have to go. I have that big meeting and all. Talk to you later," Henry said.
"All right; good luck," Pike said. Henry smiled and nodded before putting the paper down, getting up, putting his dishes into the dishwasher and heading out the door.
Pike picked up the paper and read the news. He couldn't resist reading about the female pikachu. It said she was a young adult from a litter; the owners couldn't afford to keep her. The article advertised her as sweet and well behaved. Pike wanted to adopt her. He however, worried that neither he nor Henry could give her the attention she'd need.
However, there was an appeal in owning such a cute creature. Pike considered that as he finished his breakfast and put his own dishes into the dishwasher. After brushing his teeth and combing his hair, he made sure they'd turned everything off before locking the house up and heading out the door to catch a bus.
The bus ride to work was uneventful. Pike was thankful there were no accidents during the forty-minute ride. He hated seeing people hurt, especially if there was nothing he could do to help. That thought made him wonder why he hadn't become a police officer, fire fighter or paramedic. He'd considered it when he was eighteen. However, it was very different from the technical background he'd been studying at school. Pike never reacted well to change; the prospect of such a drastic one made his stomach hurt. Although, maybe if I had then I wouldn't be in a dead end job right now.
He arrived at the office five minutes early and walked in. He greeted the secretary Candice and his other co-workers in the break room. One of them was discussing how proud he was of his daughter who'd just won her first ribbon in a pokemon competition. Pike listened in on the conversation for a few minutes. It was a contest type of show with all sorts of different categories. The man's daughter had a female meowth that had won first prize in a stealth competition. Pike didn't mind these sorts because at least he knew they'd take good care of the animals. Poorly treated animals never looked or behaved well. After listening in for a few minutes, Pike strolled to his cubicle, sat down and logged into the computer. His co-worker, Steve immediately walked up behind him.
Steve was a year older then Pike. He often had a smile on his face. Of course, having a steady girlfriend tends to have that effect on people. I wish I had a girlfriend. Why do I always get so nervous around women? Pike regretted not having a significant other; he felt something was missing in his life without one. While he would never admit it, Pike had always been jealous of how comfortable Steve was around women.
"Mornin' Pike, what's up?" he asked.
"Oh you know Steve; same old, same old. Oh well, something to be said for consistency I guess."
"Yeah, that's true," Steve answered. He put his hands on Pike's chair and leaned towards him. "So, you have anything planned for the weekend? Jackie and I are going on a trip up north for the weekend. I..."
Pike cut Steve off, "um too much information," he said with a cringe.
"Sorry," Steve said, his face turning a beet red.
"Well, we'd better get to work before you know who catches us talking," Pike said.
While their boss wasn't a dictator, he didn't approve of people talking on the job outside of breaks or lunch. Steve backed off with a grin of his face. Pike turned his attention to his computer to see what calls he had to make that morning. Cracking his knuckles, he accessed the first file.
The rest of the workday went without incident until Pike found himself on the telephone with a persistent caller that wasn't listening to his instructions. He was fifteen minutes past the end of his shift, the last bus home was minutes away and he was getting agitated.
Doing his best to contain himself, Pike used his customer service skills to the best of his ability. He was finally able to get the customer to listen to him before they ended the call.
With a frustrated sigh, Pike checked his watch; beads of sweat formed on his forehead when he saw he had a minute at most. He logged off and dashed to and through the door into the mild late afternoon. He saw (much to his chagrin) the bus pulling away from the stop. He tried to flag it down, but it was to no avail, he'd missed it.
Perfect, just perfect! Okay, I can call a cab but I don't have much cash on me. Maybe I should call Henry, but he might still be at work. I guess it's worth a try.
Most of the other employees had already left. Pike didn't know anyone still there well enough to ask him or her for a ride.
He walked over to a pay phone and dialled home; no one answered. Pike hung up the telephone with a grunt. He decided to walk home, figuring he'd at least get the exercise. He started walking along side the same road the bus travelled. It went by a forest and Pike had a thought.
I could cut through the forest. I doubt anything would attack me and it would be a lot shorter then following the road. My shoes might get dirty but I can always wash them.
Pike entered the woods and headed north in hopes of emerging close to his home. He welcomed the shade they provided. As he walked, he listened intently for any indication that a wild pokemon might attack him. At first, every crack made him nervous.
If I had that female pikachu with me, I'd be safe.
By the time he was halfway through the woods, he no longer feared attack and had relaxed. Unfortunately, his complacency distracted him enough that he didn't see a tree root in his path. He tripped over it, falling face first into a large slick of mud. The mud muffled his cursing as it coated everything from his feet to his hair. Standing up, he almost slipped in the mud as he wiped it away from his eyes and spat it out of his mouth.
Dammit, now what am I going to do? I can't go home like this!
A short but desperate search for water to wash himself off resulted in following the sound of running water that led him to a spring. Mist surrounded its surface with tall smooth rocks lining most of the west shore. Pike undid his shoes and removed his socks before dipping his right toe into the water. It was warm and soothing.
It would be the perfect place to wash up. No ones is here to see me and it's warm enough, so...
Pike half expected someone to leap out from behind a tree as he nervously removed his shirt and tie. With a quick glance around the immediate area, Pike ascertained he was indeed alone and removed his slacks and boxers. Laying his still clean boxers on the ground away from the rest of his clothes, he felt his cheeks turn red with worry someone was going to see him.
He slowly walked into the water with the dirty clothes, allowing the mist to tickle his skin as the warm water relaxed every muscle it touched. After cleaning every drop of mud off his clothes, he hung them on the low branch of a nearby tree to dry off, shivering slightly from the air.
It will take a while and it was comfortable in there so…
Almost running back into the spring, Pike realised the group of rocks would be perfect to lay against. He did exactly that, sighing in relief as he felt his muscles relax. Months of frustration seemed to fade. For several minutes, he wasn't sure he would be able to leave the spring.
That thought faded when the sound of something splashing in the water nearby brought Pike back to reality. Great, someone can see me! Expecting someone to laugh or even steal his clothes, Pike looked in the direction of the sound. Relief hit him when he saw it was a pikachu. Probably just taking a bath or something. I hope it doesn't shock the water or me.
Pike watched the pikachu splash about in the water; it was a cute and fascinating sight. Pike held his right hand out towards the creature.
"Tsk, tsk tsk tsk," he said.
What is wrong with me? I never tried to attract a wild pokemon before!
The pikachu looked up at Pike and he wondered what it was thinking. It cheeks sparked for a few seconds; Oh crap it's going to shock me! A dizzy sensation overcame Pike and the world seemed to spin for several seconds. Fortunately for him, it stopped. Fearing the pikachu had done something; Pike made his way out of the water. He saw the mouse run off, possibly startled by the noise he was making.
Out of the water, Pike held his head as he sat down on the cold ground shivering. The dizziness seemed to fade and Pike looked at the spring, wondering what had happened. Hoping his clothes were dry enough to wear, he stood up and was about to get dressed when a pain and itching in his stomach stopped him.
Holding his stomach, he fell to his knees cringing. The pain spread onto the rest of his torso and then his arms and legs. While it dulled slightly, it was far from comfortable. For a short few seconds, it felt as though someone or something were pushing on him from all sides trying to compact his body!
What's happening to me?
Now in a fetal position, Pike opened his eyes. Gasping, he noticed the world seemed larger. Warmth covered the entire surface of his skin and he looked at his arms in shock. Not only his arms, but all of his limbs were shrinking! That however wasn't what caught his attention. The yellow fur like hair sprouting all over his skin did a good job of that.
His eyes went wide, his stomach turning at the sight of the fur. He tried to stand up to run and get help but his body didn't co-operate. He could only witness as the forest seemed to grow as the yellow fur covered him. The fur warmed him but he still shook, only now from fear instead of being cold. His mind raced with fear over the implications of this, making him feel like throwing up.
It wasn't long before he was no bigger then the pikachu he'd seen. Fur had covered his skin with a pelt of soft yellow fur. While it was more comfortable then clothing, it had a permanent feel to it.
His proportions were still human, giving him the feeling this was far from over. He soon learned he was right when his hips started to ache and his ribcage felt as though it were expanding (an odd contrast to the compaction feeling of moments ago). He felt a warm sensation in his skull with warmth concentrating around his jaw and the top of his skull. He couldn't help but close his eyes as he felt his skull changing shape. Two of something seemed to push out from the top of his skull. Since he couldn't see his reflection, he didn't know if his hair was still there. Under his arms, which seemed to be shortening, he could feel his torso growing chubbier. His hips and legs seemed to be moving to the sides of his torso as his legs twisted and turned, forming into what he could only assumed was a form more suited to a quadruped. He felt a sting at the base of his spine. For a few seconds, the skin there seemed to stretch and rip as what he knew was a tail bust free of what it (if it could think) would probably have seen as its cage. The skin appeared to heal. Any pain from the emergence of his tail faded. All of his aches and pains subsided and he appeared to re-gain control of his body.
Pike opened his eyes and looked back at the new addition to his body. His stomached burned with nervousness when he saw it was yellow fur covered and shaped like a lightning bolt. He could now see his torso was rounded and chubbier looking, almost cute. His legs were not recognisable as human and his arms were shorter. His fingers now appeared as digits, complete with little claws. The thought occurred for him to call out for help.
"Pika!" he yelled. No, I didn't just say that! He tried again, "pikachu!" The sound of his voice was high pitched; it made his pointy ears twitch at first.
My ears! He did his best to feel his face. His human ears were gone; the familiar ears of a pikachu now resided at the top of his head. His mouth and nose were now a blunt muzzle, complete with a button nose. His cheeks burned for several seconds. When he sensation faded, he felt them, only to feel a little spark.
He stood up and tried to walk only to fall onto all fours with a thud. His already terrified mind reeled again.
No! Animals walk on all fours; I am not an animal!
He stood back up and again tried to walk on two feet. As soon as he tried to walk, his centre of gravity forced him onto four feet.
Dammit, I guess I have no choice.
Resigning himself to the stance, Pike hopped over to the spring, finding running on all fours alarmingly comfortable. He peered into the water. His reflection was that of a pikachu. He jumped back when he saw it, shivering at the implications.
Standing on his hind legs, he looked down at his body. It was true; the reflection was not lying to him.
It took him several minutes to gather up the courage to walk back the water. When he did, he was able to get a better look at himself. His human hair was gone, now only a small patch of yellow fur showed any sign he used to be human. His reflection both scared and angered him; his cheeks began to spark.
"Pikaaaaaaaaa!" he yelled into the sky. He'd wanted to scream the word no, but pikachu vocalisation came out naturally.
All right, calm down Pike, so you're a pikachu, nothing wrong with that. Oh whom am I kidding; I'm a freaking wild animal; I'm screwed!
He almost discharged his electricity before he calmed down. He stood up on his hind legs. Everything was massive now and he felt vulnerable. He tried to speak but he just couldn't seem to form the words. He could think human thoughts, but expressing those thoughts just didn't seem to work.
Great, just perfect; now what do I do?
The irony that him being a pikachu would not only solve the problem of getting a companion for that female but possibly him a girlfriend was lost on him. He felt powerful instincts and emotions flowing into his mind; human control and inhibition on the other hand were flowing out of it.
No, stay in control!
Instinct told him that he couldn't just stay in the open. Electric type or not, he was far from invincible. A rock or ground type could attack him or a human could even capture him! The image of a human sending one of their pokemon out to battle him sent shivers down his spine. He didn't think he could bring himself to harm another pokemon, even in self-defence.
Another Pokemon … no, I can't think like that. I'm a human being! I may look a little strange but I'm not an animal!
He walked over to the tree that contained his clothes, realising that he'd never be able to wear them as a pikachu. His lack of clothing had him feeling humiliated and vulnerable. The idea of a human seeing him nude was disturbing to say the least. His fur seemed to give him sufficient protection against the elements but it wasn't the same as clothes. He'd never realised how clothing did more then protect humans from the elements; it gave them decency and style. Clothing provided a barrier, a buffer zone of sorts between the body and the outside world. Even when he wore no more then a bathing suit, there was still something to separate Pike from the elements in some way. Clothing was also an element of civilisation, a reminder he was more then just an animal. Now, he was an animal and it was just he and nature.
Yet, he couldn't shake another feeling within him. Being naked and fur covered coupled with the emerging instincts and emotions within him had him feeling wild. He was used to often holding back as a human. He'd never drank before out of fear of getting drunk and behaving in a way that was unbecoming. Now, the mental barriers he'd always set for himself were breaking down.
An innocent playfulness within him over being nude and in the wild was emerging. Afraid to let that side of him out, he shook it off as he looked in the direction of his house. His instincts saw it as a safe place. I have to get home, get help. Getting home however was going to be much more complicated now.
The only other option he seemed to have was to stay there and wait for someone to come looking for him.
They wouldn't recognise me as a human. If I can't talk I can't even tell them who I am?
With seemingly no other options, Pike set out in the direct of his home, leaving his clothes behind.
Pike did his best to ignore his annoyance over how his form forced him to walk on all fours. Walking barefoot annoyed Pike as well; he was used to wearing shoes. Now, however his feet were as exposed as the rest of his body was. Despite the soles of his feet being rougher and better able to handle the ground, going barefoot made him feel vulnerable.
He felt constantly on edge as he made his way through the forest. He'd only travelled these woods a handful of times. They'd never seemed scary or imposing. Now however, he might as well had been on another world.
Becoming a pikachu had radically altered his senses and thus his perception of the world. His sense of smell was augmented. To him, the woods stank. Everything had a scent to it, even rocks and twigs. This wasn't the scent a human would associate with them but far more. He learned enough from a single whiff to liken it to visiting a historical site with plaques detailing events that had taken place at that location.
He heard a twig snap nearby and instinctively looked in the direction of the sound. He'd known exactly what direction it came from. He didn't need to think before taking cover behind a large tree (or more so, one that was large to him. Even a young tree would now seem massive) and readying a shock attack. He peeked his head out and sniffed the air. He could smell something, but didn't see anything. While animal instinct told him that he should probably run, an adrenaline rush had him suppressing said instinct.
A feeling of danger overtook him as he creeped in the direction of the sound with cheeks sparking. He heard something run off in the distance. It didn't take him long to realise that with his enhanced hearing, sounds were louder. That twig had probably been a fair distance away.
Running back to that tree, he stood on his hind legs with his back to it. The adrenaline rush was fading and he almost shook at the implications of his behaviour.
I was thinking just like an animal there; I knew what to do and just did it. This is creepy
It seemed that the longer he perceived the world as an animal, the more he thought as one. Getting home seemed more urgent then ever. Unfortunately, he ran into another problem. Being so small limited his field of view. He just wasn't used to seeing everything at this scale. He wasn't familiar with the scents a natural pikachu would use to guide them. So far, he'd just gone in the direction he knew home was. That distraction however made him lose his bearing.
Okay Pike just focus; think of where the sun is coming from. It sets in the West. You had to go North to get home so face where the sun is shining and then turn right.
Pike tried to do just that. Unfortunately, the shade from what he now saw as immense trees made finding the sun seem impossible. He considered climbing a tree but didn't feel confident enough to do so. He appeared lost and was starting to feel panicked.
I have no way to get home. A human will see me as an animal. I'll never get home! I'm stuck like this forever!
Raw panic was starting to overcome him. No, I can't panic. If I panic, I'll really be in trouble. He looked down at his body, and shook his head. What am I thinking? I'm already in trouble. I'm a pikachu lost in the woods! At any moment something could jump out and eat me or someone could capture me. The inborn desire to flee in any direction overcame him and he acted on it. His little heart was racing and his fur stood out on end. Assuming there were predators out to get him, he didn't stop to think about or explore any of the sounds or scents around him.
Pike was unsure how long he ran before he was growing tired and slowing down. Slumping against a tree, he hung his head.
He heard a sound to his left. This time, he didn't hold back. He unleashed an electric attack. At first he feared he'd hit an innocent animal but relaxed when he saw he'd only struck a trio of rocks on the ground.
"Phew, all I hit were some rocks," he said.
"You also hit me fella!" a voice said.
"Who said that?" Pike asked, shaking.
One of the rocks began to quiver before raising from the ground with bits of dirt falling off it. It was a geodude, and he didn't look happy! It faced pike, frowning.
"I'm sorry, it was an accident!" Pike said.
"Yeah right!" The geodude said.
The geodude flew at him and all Pike could do was run. He knew he had no chance against a rock type. The ground flew by under his little paws as his heart raced and he breathed quickly while running.
It's not fair! It was just an accident!
He saw a tree and forgot about his apprehension over trying to climb it. Bolting up it, he found a high up branch and lay down, trying to stay hidden in the leafs. The geodude floated by moments later.
"Where did you go mouse?" it said.
It seemed to look up. Pike lowered himself in an attempt to hide. Somehow, it worked and the Geodude floated away.
"Next time, think before attacking," it said, the disgust in its voice obvious.
It took Pike nearly twenty minutes before he felt safe enough to climb down the tree. He felt vulnerable and helpless out there alone. It seemed like anything could happen in the woods. Out here, he was another mouse, a part of the food chain.
I'll never get home or be human again!
His eyes welled up with tears. He sat there for a few minutes before he heard something approaching. He didn't think before bolting up and letting loose a jolt of electricity at it. When he turned to see what it was, he shook at the possibility it was the geodude. When he saw another pikachu with its tail in the air, using it as a lighting rod to protect itself, Pike felt relief it wasn't the rock type but horror that he'd attacked what was now of his kind.
"Pika!" the other mouse said, its tone more concern then hurt feelings.
Pike felt horrible. He'd almost fried an innocent pikachu without thinking. The other pikachu hoped over to him and wiped Pike's tears. Pike felt a tingle run down his spine; he'd never been this close to a pikachu before. At first, it seemed huge. It was cute and appeared friendly. Pike decided to stay his ground; perhaps the creature could help him.
The creature spoke again, not in English but in its species native language. Pike realised it had said its name was Kevin and wanted to know his name.
"P...Pike," Pike said.
He'd responded in the same language; he understood it as well as he understood English.
"You okay? What scared you?" it asked.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to shock you. Are you okay?" Pike asked.
Kevin nodded as he stood back, his eyes looking into Pike's.
"It was my fault, I didn't mean to scare you. Why were you crying?" Kevin asked.
"I," Pike looked at Kevin. He realised he felt much safer with another of his new species with him. Kevin seemed a little older then him. It was hard for Pike to tell, but if they were human, he guessed Kevin would be in his late twenties, perhaps early thirties.
"Did someone hurt you?" Kevin asked.
Pike shook his head. "I'm not supposed to be a pikachu."
Kevin grinned and leaned closer to Pike. As a human, he'd have called this too close for comfort. He however, knew animals (especially social ones) didn't have inhibitions about getting close to someone. "What are ya supposed to be?"
"Human," Pike said.
Kevin looked at Pike as though he were insane before giggling.
"Human? You're silly Pike! " Kevin said.
"I mean it!" Pike said.
He tried telling Kevin his story. While the mouse listened, its attention span appeared limited. Pike doubted Kevin believed him.
"I've never heard of a human becoming a pikachu," Kevin said.
"But it really happened! Can't you read my mind and sense I'm telling the truth?" Pike asked, realising how silly that question sounded.
"What do I look like a psychic type?" he said.
Out of what felt like nowhere, Kevin leaned in and sniffed Pike.
"You don't smell like a human," he said.
Curious, Pike smelled himself only to realise he smelled a lot like Kevin. Pike hung his head; this wasn't looking good. Kevin had no reason to believe him; for all Kevin knew, Pike was delusional. He was not about to give up. Even if he couldn't convince Kevin of the truth, he realised Kevin could help him get home.
"I'm trying to get back to my nest. It's," Pike started. He couldn't think of the words in the pikachu language and they just wouldn't form in English. "It's in a human place to the right of where the sun sets. I don't remember which way that is," Pike said.
"Human place! Did you share a nest with a human?" Kevin asked.
Pike nodded, "yes!"
"Then were you a pet?" Kevin asked.
"No! I was a human!" Pike protested.
"I dunno Pike. I guess you wouldn't lie. But, I can't just point ya to yer nest and leave you. Do you want to come to my nest? My family and friends live there! "
Pike's ears perked up at the mention of a lot of pikachu. He always thought they were cute and the prospect of seeing a lot together was appealing. It also appealed to his pikachu side; he wanted to see the others and to be among them. The prospect of being alone, (unless he was with a human he trusted) was not pleasant. It was a contrast to the fact that he was a bit of a loner growing up. He was never comfortable in groups bigger then three or four. Now, he welcomed the prospect of being in a crowd.
"Sure I'll come; I hate being alone, it's scary out here," Pike said.
Darn it, I came on too strong.
He looked into the woods. All directions seemed to go on for an eternity. He knew Henry would be worried about him, but he didn't want to try to make his way home alone. While he could ask Kevin to escort him home, the opportunity to see this pikachu colony was too much to say no to. Besides, he couldn't speak English, so he doubted Henry would see him as anything but a wild animal. If he could get the pikachu to believe him, they could help him home later.
Out of what felt like nowhere, Kevin playfully pounced on Pike, hugging him.
"Then come to my nest and join the family! They may think it's strange you think you're supposed to be human but they'll still love ya anyway."
Kevin jumped off Pike and Pike started following his new companion. Pike kept a close distance behind Kevin as the mouse led him to its home. For now, Pike felt safe. He could find his way home tomorrow or the next day. Maybe the authorities would find his clothes by the spring and know what happened to him. Either way, as long as he was with Kevin, the forest wasn't so frightening. It was big and scary but Kevin could protect him!
Pike followed Kevin for what felt like at least twenty minutes. Without his watch, telling time was difficult. He was also starting to realise that time seemed to have less meaning to him now. He still understood what it meant. However in this form it seemed he didn't have meetings to worry about or other timetables to keep. Concepts like AM and PM were irrelevant.
What he worried about now was how much daylight was left. There still seemed to be at least a little left. The concept of night was scary. There were predators around and it'd be a lot harder for him to see. While that meant he could still hide; when dealing with creatures with a sense of smell and hearing a predator would have, hiding visually wasn't effective.
Kevin had been so nice to him so far. Pike just being a pikachu seemed more then enough for Kevin to trust him. Perhaps Kevin thought him mad for thinking he was a human in the body of a pikachu. If anything, Pike sensed that Kevin viewed that as a desire to further help him.
Pike was starting to realise another aspect of this form. Gut instinct was far more powerful. Humans tended not to trust theirs or would ignore it (even when they knew it was right). Now, following his seemed natural. His instincts told him he could trust Kevin, that he was safe around him and that Kevin would take care of him.
They soon arrived at a series of thick bushes. Pike could smell the scent of pikachus all around the area; it made him happy. Pike heard running water nearby. Kevin made his way through the bush, beckoning Pike to follow. When they cleared the bushes, Pike watched over a dozen other Pikachus and a pair of Raichu approach.
"Hey everyone, I found a new friend!" Kevin said.
Pike stood on his hind legs as Kevin walked over to the closing group. Kevin seemed to be discussing Pike. Being this close to so many pikachu fascinated the human part of Pike's mind. The pikachu part of it wanted to play and cuddle with them. Another Pikachu, a female walked over to Pike after he heard Kevin use the word human.
"Hi, I'm Pichka," she said.
"Pitch-ka?" Pike asked, trying to pronounce her name.
"No … Peeshh-ka!" Pichka said.
"So you think you used to be human?" Pichka asked.
"I don't think, I know I was! " Pike answered.
Pichka giggled. "You're silly!"
She jumped at Pike, hugging him while giggling. Pike felt awkward this close to a female. Neither of them was wearing clothes and she was wild. While the attention disturbed his human side, his pikachu side loved it. He felt another twinge of that emotion. He wanted to play with her. He tried to hold it back but with her looking right at him with those ebony eyes of hers, he felt his control slipping.
"You're cute," Pike said. If his cheeks weren't already red, he'd have blushed.
"So are you," Pichka said.
"Doesn't it bother you that I used to be human?" Pike asked.
"You're silly. Even if it's true, you're a pikachu now. Come on, let's play," she answered.
Pike heard the others approaching. Pichka jumped off him and he resumed a standing position as they all looked him over and sniffed him.
"Welcome to our shelter Pike. Your story about being a human that became a pikachu is … interesting. Behave and you'll be fine. We'd be happy to give you a place to stay for the night." The Raichu that said this appeared wise and powerful. Pike conjectured the Raichu was one of the group's elders.
"I should be getting back to my nest," Pike replied. He looked at the group. They all appeared friendly. He was comfortable around them and he didn't want to be alone again. Perhaps spending the night would be all right. "I guess I can stay here until tomorrow."
"Don't worry, it'll be fun!" Kevin said.
"Come on let's show you around," Pichka said.
"I see you've met Pichka," Kevin said.
"Yes," Pika answered.
"I think she likes you," Kevin said with a grin. No member of the opposite gender had ever shown attraction towards Pike before, so he was unsure of how to respond to it.
"It's not my fault you're cute!" Pichka said, looking into Pike's eyes.
"You th…think I'm c…cute?" Pike asked.
"You are cute," Pichka said, taking Pike's right forepaw. Come on Kevin, let's show him around!" she said.
With that, the other Pikachus cleared, Pike assuming they wanted to give him space to look around. He simply nodded and smiled awkwardly at Pichka. She giggled and nodded back before she let go of Pike and she and Kevin led the way.
Pichka and Kevin led Pike through their commune like dwelling. While the community these pikachu had was primitive; it was also peaceful. They used a pair of small caves to sleep and care for pichu in. The stream facilitated bathing and drinking. The trees provided plenty of food in the form of berries, apples and other fruit that smelled wonderful to him. Pike had never been much into fruit. Sure, he'd eat it, but he preferred vegetables like corn, potatoes or rice. Now however, the fruit on those trees was like ambrosia to him. He knew however that its supply was finite and he couldn't stuff himself with it.
Despite his story, Pike felt welcome by everyone. As a human, he took a long time to grow comfortable enough with a person to talk with them on an open level. Now however, he was able to chat with everyone there comfortably right from the beginning. He considered it was related to the playful feeling he'd been experiencing since changing. Whatever barriers he'd set for himself as a human were breaking down and he was finally able to express aspects of his personality and desires he'd only flirted with so far in his life. By the time Kevin and Pichka had shown Pike everything; he'd explored and chatted so much that a few hours had passed.
Pike felt somewhat guilty on two accounts. This was something that a human he wasn't supposed to see. Perhaps if he trained a Pikachu and had earned its trust or if he was medic who raised one then this could be acceptable. Right now however, he felt as though he didn't belong. He also felt as though expressing this side of his personality was wrong and that someone would catch him at any time.
That frustrated him because he wanted to be human again but he feared becoming one would mean he'd have to go back to suppressing so much of his personality. For a short few seconds of mixed emotion, he considered staying there as a pikachu.
He wasn't sure if Kevin believed his story of being human. If Kevin did, he wasn't showing any mistrust at all. Pike wondered if perhaps Kevin had encountered benevolent humans. The name Kevin in itself was a human name; Pike plan to inquire about that.
When Kevin and Pichka completed Pike's tour, the trio relaxed under an apple tree.
"It's," Pike said, doing his best to think of the right term. These wild pikachu had simple terminology. It wasn't enough that this new language he'd somehow learned just didn't have the sheer volume of synonyms and other terms that humans ones did; the version of it they used was even more basic. "Nice here," he finally said.
"You should stay," Kevin said.
"Yeah, I like you," Pichka said. She crawled on top of Pike. Having temporarily forgotten his modesty, Pike gasped at Pichka's affection. Her intentions were clear, which made Pike nervous. Pikachu or not, he wasn't ready to think of one as a girlfriend, let alone a mate. I wanted a girlfriend but this isn't what I had in mind. She is cute though.
"You're c...cute too Pichka," he felt mixed emotions. Here was a female right there and now and she was ready, most definitely willing and able. No, I can't betray who I am. This isn't fair to her, she doesn't know any better but I do. I have to resist these instincts; if I let them win, I'd regret it for the rest of my life. "But, I have to get to my shelter and find a way to become human again," Pike responded.
Pichka climbed off Pike and she lay beside Pike. "Too bad, you are cute."
Pike's stomach grumbled. His fellow chu's ears perked and they both smirked.
"I'll get you something," Kevin said.
"No, it's okay, I can get it myself, "
Kevin stood up, "no, you've been through enough Pike."
With that, the mouse bolted up the tree they were lying against. Pichka hoped towards Pike and started massaging his feet.
"This okay?" Pichka asked.
Pichka had a cute face and seemed so innocent. She barley knew him yet her attraction to him was obvious. Pike wasn't used to a female being this close to him. They're wild animals. They do things differently then humans.
Rather then fight the foot massage, Pike decided to listen to the proverbial voice in his telling him to let go, lay back and enjoy it. Pike nodded and enjoyed the massage.
Kevin jumped down a few minutes later with three apples in hand. He handed one to Pichka and to Pike, taking the last one for himself. Pichka halted her massage and Pike actually found himself disappointed.
"Thanks Kevin," Pike said. He looked at Pichka and smiled. "You too Pichka."
"No problem," Kevin answered.
Pike bit into the apple and it rewarded him with intense flavour. I don't remember them being this good. He devoured the rest of it, delighted when he discovered that he felt full. I guess that's one good thing about being this small.
"There's something I wanted to ask you Kevin," Pike asked.
"What's that?" Kevin asked as he finished off his apple.
"How did you get a human name. Did you used to be human too?" Pike asked.
Pichka looked right at Pike and giggled. "Kevin human? That's hilarious!"
Kevin looked at Pichka and then at Pike. "To answer your question when I was younger, a human, a young woman nursed me back to health after a gang of spearows hurt me. Oh they were mean; I was too young to shock them. She saved me and took me to her nest. She named me Kevin after her uncle, who helps others like us. She wanted to help us too. I stayed with them for a while before I was better and they let me go in these woods. The rest of the group found me a few days later. My name stuck and that's what they still call me to this day."
Pichka, having been listening to Kevin's story stared at Pike. "So how did you become a pikachu?" she asked.
Pike told Pichka his story.
"That was you?" she asked giggling. "I was the pikachu in that water!"
Pike looked right at her and felt his cheeks turning an even brighter shade of red. "Why did it did this to me?"
Both of the other mice shrugged their shoulders. "If we knew it could do that, we would have believed you right away," Kevin said.
It was getting dark and Pike was feeling tired. The urge to get home was stronger now. He felt safest there.
"Thanks for helping me out guys but I should get back to my nest," Pike said.
"Stay with us," Pichka said.
"I meant my human nest. My friends are probably worried," Pike said.
"It's too dangerous at night! Stay until it's light," Kevin said.
While staying around the pikachus was fun, the idea of spending the night with them seemed wrong somehow. Although, Pike had to admit, he didn't want to be alone in the woods again. Pichka and Kevin were friendly and he enjoyed their company. He guessed that he could stay the night. At least then, he'd have the entire next day to get home. He was happy the next day was a Saturday; had he missed work, he doubted his boss would accept a magical spring turned me into a pikachu as an excuse.
"Okay guys, I'll stay until morning," he said
The night grew darker and colder and soon, most of the Pikachu were making their way towards the caves to sleep. Although it was difficult to see that high, Pike could see far more stars in the sky then he ever thought possible. The cool air of the forest made him shiver a little and he wished he had a coat. Why use a coat when you can cuddle with the others? Where that thought came from, he didn't know. It felt natural and somehow much more appealing then just putting on a coat and sleeping alone. He'd slept alone his entire life and was used to it. Now however, the idea of it upset him.
He hopped with Kevin and Pichka towards one of the caves where a trio of Pikachu was standing guard. Probably in case anything tries something. Pichka and Kevin led Pike into the cave. Pike experienced a quick burst of embarrassment over the idea of sleeping naked with a female pikachu that was obviously attracted to him and equally nude. That worry faded when he lay down with Pichka and Kevin, curling up next to them. Right now, it was sleep time; play time would be later.
Feeling Pichka and Kevin's body heat beckoned peaceful feelings for Pike. It was a wonderful feeling. He wondered how he'd ever been able to sleep by himself. It didn't seem to matter that he was lying on cool ground. As long as he was with the others, he felt secure. For the first time in as long as he could remember, he fell asleep soon after lying down and closing his eyes.
That night Pike had a strange dream. It was much like his human dream of being on beach yet; he was a pikachu and was with other pikachu! He was even wearing a bathing suit (as were the others). They were feasting on berries, fruits and even drinking smoothies! It didn't feel unnatural at all.
When Pike awoke, the sun was beaming through the mouth of the cave and the weather was much warmer. Birds were chirping in the distance. Pike opened his eyes and looked around. He almost expected to wake up in his human bed and form only to discover this was all a dream. When he felt the ground beneath his body and saw Pichka's sleeping form before him, he knew that it wasn't. What perhaps disturbed him the most was, it didn't bother him. If anything, he felt almost relieved! He stood on his hind legs, feeling a moment of insecurity over his lack of clothing. Said insecurity faded into relief that the pikachu form liberated him from the human need to cover his body with artificial skins.
He tested his voice, finding he still couldn't speak. While speaking in pika-tounge (as he decided to call it) worked, up until now, it felt as though he were speaking a foreign language he'd only recently learned. Now, it felt as though the pikachu language was his primary one, English being the language he knew but didn't speak.
I'd better get home before I start thinking so much like a pikachu that I don't want to go back.
He tried not to let the fact that some of these thoughts used pikachu words disturb him.
Looking at Pichka sleeping, he smiled. She was so cute and peaceful looking. Aside from Kevin, she was the most familiar pikachu there. Since Kevin wasn't there, he decided to wake her. Putting his paws on her side, he called her name.
"Wake up, it's light," he said. Pichka opened her eyes and turned towards Pike. "Hi Pike. How did you sleep?" she asked.
"Great, I haven't slept that well in … a long time," Pike answered.
"Good. Are you hungry?" Pichka asked.
Pike nodded his head; the idea of eating the pikachu's food rather then bacon and eggs actually appealed to him.
"I ... I should be getting back to my nest," he said.
"Why?" Pichka asked, cocking her head to the left.
I don't want to leave right away but the longer I stay, the more I think like a real pikachu. It feels so good to think like that but I can't give up on who I am.
Pike could only nod, perhaps somewhat sadly.
"I have to get back to my friends and family." Even though these guys can be friends and family to me now; No, I can't give in.
"At least have something to eat," Pichka said.
Pike nodded and the duo ran outside into the warm sunlit forest. Yesterday, Pike had found the scents of the forest overwhelming and almost offensive. Now, they felt almost familiar, as though they belonged there. He looked at the stream and considered taking a bath, but he didn't seem to need one. If anything, he saw taking a bath as something he'd only need to do if he got filthy, as he had to yesterday when he fell into the mud.
He walked with Pichka to a bush loaded with berries that Kevin was standing in front of while happily munching on them. He turned towards Pike as they approached him.
"Good morning guys," he said.
"Pike says he has to get back to his nest. I got him to eat first," Pichka said.
"Do you have to? It's safe here!" Kevin said.
The idea was appealing. Pike couldn't help but looked around the commune. The other pikachus appeared happy as they played and chatted with each other. This would be a life free from his human responsibilities and worries where he could explore this form without having to worry about going back to work.
He however, knew he had to get home before he lost himself to this form to the point where he couldn't remember being human.
"My nest is safer for me," Pike said.
"But you're so cute. I like you," Pichka said.
Pike looked at both of them. They both appeared sincere. Pike, however knew that they didn't know of a life apart from the wild. While humans did care for Kevin for a short while, Pike knew at heart, Kevin was a wild animal. Pike had to leave for his own good and shook his head at the duo.
"I like you Pichka but unless you come with me," he said.
Pichka shook her head. "This is my nest, I can't leave for another."
Both nodded. Pike feasted on the berries; something he found delicious. Kevin wandered off as Pike ate, the later assuming he was telling the others about his decision. When he was full, he felt ready to go. He met Kevin at the entrance to the commune. One of the Raichu was standing there and nodded at Pike.
"We're sorry to see you go Pike but we understand you need to get back to your nest."
Pike nodded, feeling a pang of regret. He wanted to stay with the others but knew that he had a human life waiting for him.
"Pichka and Kevin will go with you to the edge of the forest."
"Do you believe me when I say I was human?" Pike asked.
The Raichu nodded. "We have heard legends of that spring being able to do that. As you saw, Pichka didn't change so it cannot work the other way. I'm afraid you may be like this forever."
Pike hung his head. No matter how nice this felt, he wasn't prepared to live out his life like this!
"You will be fine once you adjust to it Pike. We wish you the best of luck in your journeys," The Elder said.
Pike nodded his head and turned towards the group that had gathered before saying and waving goodbye to them.
Afterwards, he, Pichka and Kevin crawled through the bushes surrounding the area and headed into the forest.
They'd walked for a short while before approaching the spring. Pike had told them that he needed to get something from it.
"It seems much less scary now," Pike said to himself.
Kevin and Pichka stopped and Pike almost ran into them. Pichka giggled when she saw Pike's startled expression.
"What does?" Kevin asked.
"The woods; before they seemed full of danger and went on forever. With you guys with me, I feel safe."
Pichka giggled. "Of you are silly. When we stick together, we're strong," she said.
They walked a short distance until coming to Pike's clothes. They were still hanging from the tree. Pike was relieved that no one had stolen them. He managed to climb the tree and throw the pants to the ground. Climbing down, Pike walked over to and sniffed them. The human scent on them, one he never realised he had while not offensive, was almost alien to him now. He went through the pockets until finding his wallet, where he pulled out his identification. It might not work, but at least it's a chance.
"Thanks guys, now I can show them who I am," Pike said.
"You're sure you want to leave?" Pichka asked.
Pike nodded. "I'll be fine. There's a female pikachu that needs a nest and my friend wants to let her live at ours. If she's like you guys, we'll be great friends."
Of course, before Pike had seen this Pikachu as a possible companion, now he was starting to think of her in almost the same way he'd think of a girlfriend! If he was going to go home, he definitely wanted a companion. He hoped Pichka wouldn't get jealous.
"Can you bring her to meet us if you take her to your nest?" Kevin asked.
Pike smiled. "I might be able to," he said.
"She'd better be nice to you!" Pichka said, her cheeks sparking.
With that, Pike held his identification in his mouth as Kevin and Pichka led him through the woods. It was an almost three hour journey for them. Pike was actually finding himself dreading leaving them behind as they were approaching civilisation. When they were at the edge of the woods, they all stood on their hind legs, Pike putting his identification down so he could say goodbye. He first walked over to Kevin and hugged him. "Thanks for saving me back there. Are you sure you don't want to come with me?"
"I'm glad to have helped you Pike. Thanks for the offer but I already have a home," Kevin said.
Pike released the hug and walked over to Pichka. "What about you? You're probably a little young for me, but I think Henry would love you."
"The elders say caring for someone sometimes means letting them go. I guess this is one of those times. I can't leave my nest."
"I won't forget you guys and don't worry, I won't tell anyone about your shelter," Pike said.
Pichka released the hug and looked him in the eye. "Goodbye Pike, you were fun even if you only stayed overnight."
Pike then looked at Kevin. "Take care of yourself." He looked back at Pichka. "Both of you."
Picking his identification back up, He turned around and starting running. He stopped seconds later, looked back at the duo and waved goodbye. He felt real regret about leaving them behind but knew it was for the best. With a nod, he turned around and resumed running into what was now a more familiar locale. He turned once more to see that Kevin and Pichka had run back into the woods. He wished he'd had the opportunity to know them better but understood that fate had other plans for him. With a determined sigh (perhaps slightly hampered by his ID), he headed towards the direction of his house where he knew people were waiting for his return.