Just your average Pika

Chapter 13: Epilogue

Pokémon is copyright Nintendo and Gamefreak. I intend no copyright infringement with this work.

Well, it's come down to this. It seems that lucky thirteen is the final chapter. Writing this story has been an experience for me.

This is the longest single story I've ever written. While I am a little sad to see it end, I also feel as though all good things must come to an end (as the saying goes).

So without further delay, here's the last chapter. I hope you'll all enjoy it.

---

Two weeks later

Pike spent a week recovering from his injuries at a pokémon centre with Amper was by his side. Rachel and Cal stayed in police custody while Samuel took care of Mark.

Eva was progressing. Each day, she re-gained more of her memories. Kevin was coming along, however he seemed uninterested in becoming human. However, he insisted in staying by Eva's side. Pike visited with Eva when he got out of the pokémon centre. He found himself forming a bond with her. While it wasn't as strong as his bond with Amper, he had a feeling that he and Eva could become good friends.

The police acquired the disk from Samuel and researched it. They discovered that in order for Pike and the others to return to humanity, they needed to bathe in the spring during a full moon (whether day or night). Using a physic type, if a changed human bathed in the spring, they would begin to change back if the physic type used any physic move on them. Even a healing move would work. However, there were concessions. The changed human needed to want to change back. If the human wished to remain a pokémon, nothing could change them back.

To Pike's elation, he discovered that a natural born pokémon could become human. However, as with the human who wished to regain their humanity, there were conditions. Said pokémon needed to desire a life as a human and they needed a bond with a former or current human being. This was to help the pokémon in their new form and to prevent one from accidentally becoming human.

-

Pike stood with Amper at the backyard window watching the first snow of the season falling. It wouldn't last but it was a reminder that winter was coming.

"The next full moon is in four days. Are you sure you want to go through with this?" Pike asked.

Amper hugged Pike, "I do."

"If this works, I'll have my life back. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it," Pike said.

"I want to experience being human, even if the idea scares me a bit. I will go where you go Pike. I trust you," Amper said.

Pike turned and looked at Amper. "I want you to be human if that's what you want. Don't do it just because I choose to do it."

"I want to be human!" Amper said.

Pike hugged Amper. "I can't imagine life without you. I love you Amper. I … despite what I've said about being human being the preferable choice for most people, I'm glad this happened to me. I wouldn't change it for any thing."

---

At Rachel's house, the police had been helping with taking care of everyone until they could restore the ones who chose to become human again.

Lenny had a decision to make. He wasn't sure he wanted to be human again. When he looked at himself in the mirror, he liked what he saw.

I'm younger, Lenny petted his arms and belly, and I'm better looking. Spewing fire into the air, Lenny smiled. I'm strong. Just wait until I evolve a couple of times. I'll be able to fly and protect good people from bad people.

Lenny however, also believed that Pike was right on one level. He could understand returning to humanity if you had something to return.

The former human knew there were others that needed friends. A Charmander was powerful itself. It had the potential to grow into so much more.

Winter's approaching. I can keep people warm with my fire. I'd love to go with a kid just starting on his or her journey.

He walked into and through the house to where Ollie and Penelope were laying. The two Eevees were quiet. Larry didn't have children of his own. He only known these two a short time but was already attached to them. He wondered if there was a way that they could start a journey with him. Failing that, he liked the idea of giving them a home.

"Mr Lenny?" Penelope asked.

"Just Lenny."

"Where are we gonna go?"

"Do you want to be human?" Larry asked.

"Playing isn't so bad but I miss reading and stuff. It's hard to read books now," Penelope replied.

Ollie stirred. He opened his green eyes and looked around the room. "Are we gonna become human now?"

"Almost Ollie, not quite yet," Lenny said.

"I want to play video games again. Being an Eevee is fun but I miss human things. I know, maybe if I evolve into an Espion I could use my abilities to play them!" Ollie said.

"You … might be able to. But, evolving is hard. What if it doesn't work?" Lenny asked.

"Yeah … you're right," Ollie replied.

Lenny felt Penelope pawing at his back. "Is Rachel okay?"

Lenny wasn't sure. Rachel and Cal were still with the police. Pike had refused to press charges against Cal. The younger man felt that the guilt Cal felt coupled with the lessons he'd learned was punishment enough.

Rachel was getting counselling. She'd grown depressed after the incident with Pike.

"I think she just needs time to accept what happened," Lenny said.

"Will the news guys ask what happened?" Ollie said.

When Eva had returned to her family, there had been media attention. Her parents hadn't of allowed the news to talk to Eva. They'd said that Eva was recovering and wasn't yet ready to speak with the media.

Lenny knew people wanted to know where the talking pikachu that saved those people in that car came from. He didn't believe in lying to people.

"I think people need to know," Lenny said.

Ollie and Penelope stood up, both looking at Lenny as though they wanted him to tell a story. Lenny smiled, he found it cute when the duo did that.

"How come?" Ollie asked.

"Yeah, won't bad people use the magic water for evil?" Penelope asked.

"People need to know. Pike's had a hard time. We need to make sure that good comes out of it. There may be others out there that the spring transformed. If the public knows about them, at least it gives them a better chance of someone finding them and helping them. Besides," Lenny said as he petted both kids on the head, "maybe if people know magic exists, they'll have more faith in life."

"But if bad guys know about it, won't they do mean things to people with it?" Penelope asked.

Lenny nodded. "I can't lie to you guys. People can use everything for good or evil. At least the good guys will know about it so they can help stop the bad guys from using it."

"Cool. Lenny, can you tell us a story?" Ollie asked.

Lenny smiled and sat down. "Sure."

---

Cal dried Rachel off after she'd taken a bath. She grown depressed after what had happened to Pike. Rachel didn't blame Cal. She blamed herself for it convincing him to become a Marowak.

Staring into the bathroom, Rachel's eyes appeared vacant. Over the past two weeks, she hadn't of said much to anyone but the counsellor she was speaking with.

"What if I've caused permanent damage?" Rachel asked.

Cal was overjoyed that Rachel was speaking to him.

"You didn't want to hurt anyone," he said.

Rachel turned and faced Cal. Her eyes were sincere. However, the spark was gone. Cal knew that this was difficult for Rachel. What had taken her a year to come to believe had come crashing down on her. Cal could only hope that Rachel could forgive herself and manage to move on.

"I wanted help those people," Rachel said.

"You are helping them. The runaways have gone home. They and their families are getting help to work through their problems. Samuel and Mark will be able to be human again," Cal said.

"What of us? I don't think I'm human inside any more. I can picture myself humanoid but I've forgotten what it's like to be human," Rachel said.

"We'll find a way to make it work, I promise," Cal replied.

"Maybe I should just go wild," Rachel said.

"Rachel, I need you, Mark needs you. We don't want to lose you," Cal said.

Rachel sighed. "That's the thing Cal. When I look in the mirror, I don't see a woman trapped in the body of a Furret."

"What do you see?" Cal asked.

"Call I," Rachel's expression changed. She appeared almost desperate. She grabbed at Cal with her small hands. "Please, we need to get out of here. I have to be in the wild. I'm a Furret, not a human being!"

Cal grabbed Rachel's arms. "Rachel, Mark needs you. I need you. I remember how hard it was for you after you became a Furret. Think of it this way. Does a natural Furret care about helping people like you wanted to?"

"I don't know … I," Rachel said.

"Would a natural Furret seek out people to offer them what you did? A wild Furret would be afraid of people! I know it's hard for you to think of yourself as human. But, what does being a Furret mean to you? Why do you feel the urge to escape?" Cal asked.

"I don't know. I know how dangerous being this way is but I'm afraid of being human. I don't know what to do with my life. I don't want my human form to inhibit me. Our times together have been amazing. It wasn't right with Pike or Samuel. He's even the same species as me! With you, it was amazing. I don't want to give that up!" Rachel cried.

Cal put the towel down, leaned toward and hugged Rachel.

"Before all of this happened, did you not enjoy it?" Cal asked.

"Are you kidding? Of course, I enjoyed it! But, now it feels different. Not just because I'm a different species, it's just I feel as though I can let go easier now without worrying about work as an example," Rachel said.

"In your position, you can help people. There's so much more you can do. Not just for yourself but for others," Cal said.

Cal let go of Rachel and she hung her head.

"It's not just that. Cal, that day that Furret … went after me," Rachel said.

"You told me about that, it wasn't your fault," Cal said.

Tears were forming in Rachel's eyes and her tone was weakening.

"No, maybe it was. At first I resisted but then, something inside of me clicked. For a long time, I'd been fighting these desires. Then, I just let go and let them win. I gave into him. Please, don't hate him, he didn't know what he was doing. I should have, but I was too weak to resist the instincts. The same desire is part of what drove me to change the others. If I'm not strong enough to do that, how can I ever handle being human?" Rachel said.

Cal hugged Rachel and allowed her to bury her face into his chest.

"We all have instincts, even as humans. What happened to you is a form of attrition. Sometimes when we've been fighting a battle for a long time, it wears down on us. We don't have time to recover between attacks. Slowly, our resistance fades and we just can't fight any more," Cal said.

Rachel looked up at Cal, who wiped the tears from her eyes.

"I should have been stronger," Rachel said.

"You're only … human. None of us is perfect. The fact that you're worried about these things and that giving into instinct bothers you only proves that even more," Cal said.

Rachel nodded. "I think I see what you're saying."

Cal hugged Rachel once more. "We will help you get through this."

"Thank you," Rachel said.

---

Ian swam through the icy cave where his brethren would play and spend most of their day relaxing. He hadn't returned to Rachel's place since the incident with Pike and Cal.

They'll make me be a human. I don't want to be human. I don't have anything to go back to.

Ian loved being a Seel. He was warm while swimming in the cold waters and he enjoyed being able to swim as naked as the day he was born. Some would call him selfish; he understood that. Ian however, believes that if fate wanted him to be human, he would feel compelled to return to the spring. He didn't feel that at all.

While he knew the risks of being this way, he also felt at home enough in his current form that the thought of changing back into a human made him feel ill. He didn't feel like a human in the body of a Seel and therefore saw no reason to return to what would be a false form.

As Ian swam out of the cave, he climbed onto an outcropping on rocks to relax in the sun. He lay there for a few minutes before a Pigeot landed beside him.

"Hey Ian," Adam said.

"Hi Adam," Ian replied.

"I don't want to go back," Adam said.

Ian looked up at his friend. Adam was a kindred spirit. Ian knew Adam would likely choose to stay a pokémon.

They'd never know who I am if I just decided to vanish. Even if a human captures me, I could stay a Seel.

"Neither do I. I don't have anything to go back to. I've thought of going to one of those parks and performing for kids. That might be fun," Ian said.

Adam nodded. "I don't want to abandon my family. However, I also don't want to go back to that chair. Maybe some day, if they can find a way for me to walk again as a human, I will go back."

Ian barked and clapped his flippers. The simple gesture (while silly to a human) felt wonderful. "I'll go back to when I'm ready. Right now, I feel like being a Seel. I want to entertain! First, I'm going to enjoy the sun."

"And I want to fly and be free," Adam said.

"Stay in touch okay?" Ian said.

Adam nodded. "Don't worry, I won't be a stranger."

With that, Adam took to the sky. Ian watched Adam until he disappeared into the day.

---

A day before the full moon, Mark stood with Samuel at the entrance to their home. While Mark didn't wear clothes, Samuel had on a black polo shirt and gloves.

Rachel and Cal were coming home. The authorities had decided that Rachel was not fit to stand trial given her emotional state. They also felt that she wasn't yet ready to regain her human form.

Pike had insisted that Cal not face charges for his assault.

Mark had decided that he would return to human form when Samuel did. He wanted to stay as he was. However, after what he'd seen his dad do to Pike, he didn't want to risk doing something similar.

A black car drove into the driveway. Mark's parents got out of the backseat after the driver stopped and opened the doors for them. The driver was a police officer.

He approached the house before Rachel and Cal did.

"I take it you are Samuel," the man said after looking at Samuel.

"Yes," Samuel replied. He could now speak in English.

"Where are my parents?" Mark asked. Mark was able to speak English, however his vocabulary was still somewhat limited.

"Don't worry son, they're here. You need to understand that your mother is sad about what happened. She needs to talk to people to help her to feel better. We think it'd be better for her to be with you guys," the man said.

Samuel nodded. "We understand."

The man looked back at the car and nodded.

A Marowak and Furret both ran toward the house and Mark. The boy welcomed the Furret with a hug while the Marowak petted Mark's head.

"Rachel, Cal, are you two all right?" Samuel asked.

"We're … okay. We'll need time," Cal replied.

Mark noticed that his mother's hug wasn't as strong. It was as though he heart just wasn't in it.

"The full moon is tomorrow. Officer Jenny told us that if you guys meet us at the spring at 8pm that we'd help to change you back. We've also contacted your friend Pike to arrange the same for him," the officer said.

Samuel nodded. "While this form has been interesting, it will be nice to be human again."

Mark released the hug as the officer walked away.

"Are you okay Mom?" Mark asked.

"Yes, I just need to go lay down for a while," Rachel replied.

Cal opened the front door for Rachel and they walked into the house. Mark turned and watched them go, suddenly feeling great concern.

"Sam, will my Mom be okay?" Mark asked.

"She just needs time Mark. She thought becoming this way was the perfect solution to all of our problems. Now, she knows that most of us need to find another solution. Her entire world has crashed down around her. It's painful for her," Samuel said.

"I want to help her. Will it make her sad if we become human tomorrow?" Mark asked.

"If she sees that you can be happy as a human then she'll see that it's possible. We need to show her that being human isn't so bad. Pike of all people needs to do the same. Together, we can help your mother regain what she had before all of this happened. She may be sad now and at first but as long as we don't give up, she can get better," Samuel said.

Mark looked at Samuel and then at the door. He wished that things were easier. However, he was also starting to learn that things didn't always work out the way one wished them too. Perhaps, if nothing else this could be an important lesson for him.

---

Pike was tense. This was the day he was to become human again. More importantly, this was the day Amper would join him in becoming human.

His family was with him, although he wasn't sure he wanted people to watch if this worked and he changed back.

He'd spoken with Eva, who was still recovering and wasn't quite ready to become human. Mark, Samuel and Cal would be there, as would several of the people Rachel had taken in. Rachel would not be there, as the authorities feared that if she saw others change back, it would do significant damage to her.

Turning to Amper, whom Pike was sitting on the couch with, Pike petted down her back. "You're sure you want to go through with this?"

Amper nodded, "I'm ready. I know you want to be human. I trust you and I want to experience humanity."

Henry walked into the room soon after. "So Pike, if this works, what will you two do?"

Good question.

"I guess I'll have to get my job back or try to get another job. Maybe I can work with Eva or help some of the others," Pike said.

"I want to do stuff. I don't want to sit around all day doing nothing," Amper said.

"It'll feel weird wearing something besides my hat," Pike said, tapping the rim of the baseball cap he still wore.

Henry sat down beside Pike, who jumped on Henry's lap.

"You know Pike, once you change back, you won't be able to do this any more."

"I know. A part of me wants to stay this way. But, it's not fair to you guys. Anyway, I want to show Amper humanity. When we bathed together in the spring, I saw an image of both of us as humans. It only lasted a few seconds but…"

Henry looked at Amper. "You never told me this before."

"It was when we found Eva. Amper and I took a bath together in the spring and we kissed. For a second, we saw each other as humans. She was beautiful," Pike said.

Even the thought of it excited Pike. He looked at Amper, who was smiling.

"It felt weird but interesting at the same time," Amper said.

"Well Pike, you guys also won't be able to … you know what all of the time. I mean, we were never able to discuss that before. Personal stuff like that might have to go back to being private," Henry said.

"Probably better that way," Pike said.

The doorbell rang, Pike ears perked. Is it time? Henry stopped petting Pike and Pike jumped off his cousin's lap. Pike heard someone at the door talking to his mother.

A minute later, Pike's mother called down. "Pike, it's time."

Pike gulped.

---

Officer Jenny drove Pike and Amper to the edge of the forest with Pike's family following. They walked the rest of the way.

Pike was quiet as the group walked through the forest. His entire future was about to unfold. If this didn't work, he'd be stuck like this. While the idea wasn't offensive to him, it also would mean that his arguments were for naught.

However, if it worked then he'd be human again. Pike wasn't sure what he'd do if Amper were stuck as a Pikachu. If she could, it would change his entire life.

When they arrived at the spring, there were many people there. Samuel, Mark, Lenny, Ollie, Penelope, Steve and a few others with people that Pike assumed to be their parents were all there. There were also the two reporters Pike had talked to after rescuing those people from the car crash.

Pike ran over to Samuel and Mark.

"Is everyone here?" Pike asked.

Samuel shook his head. "Adam and Ian aren't. They didn't show up. Adam flew over a while ago to say that he's not ready to go back. He told us that Ian wants to stay a Seel. Unfortunately, it seems that we have no choice but to accept their decisions."

Pike hung his head. "I see."

"There's the heroic pikachu!" A voice called out.

It was the reporter. Pike turned to see her with a cameraman.

"So, is it true that you used to be a human?" the reporter asked.

"Yes, it's true," Pike said.

Pike didn't like all of the attention he was getting. Despite being more outgoing now, Pike just wanted to get this over with and go home with Amper.

"Why didn't you tell anyone?" The reporter asked.

"This isn't something I wanted to make public. That spring could dangerous depending on who knows about it," Pike replied.

Officer Jenny approached from behind the reporters.

"If everyone is ready, we need to get started," she said.

"Who is going to go first?" The reporter asked.

"I will," Samuel said.

"Sam?" Pike asked.

"We still don't know if this is going to work. I want to test it on myself for that reason," Samuel said.

"Then I should try it. I'm the one that helped convince you guys to change back. If I go first, I'll show everyone that it's okay to become human again. If I let you go first, it's like I'm afraid to try it," Pike said.

Samuel nodded. "Okay Pike, you go first then."

"I want to go with you!" Amper said.

Pike faced Amper and nodded. He took her paws and smiled. "We need to do this together for it to work."

"I'm ready," Amper said.

Pike and Amper approached the spring as everyone watched. Officer Jenny asked Miranda to join the two Pikachu in the water. Once Pike and Amper stopped and kissed when they were shoulder deep.

"All right Miranda, let's give it a try," Jenny said.

Pike closed his eyes and a hush went over the crowd. Time seemed to stop when Pike felt Miranda use what he assumed was a healing spell. A tingle ran over Pike's body and he felt something happening to Amper. The water seemed to be growing lower on Pike's body; it splashed as he felt it.

I can feel it working!

Pike's body felt almost like jelly. Amper's fur was growing sparse as it retraced into her body. Smooth, warm skin revealed itself underneath the fur.

Oh my God, she's becoming human. This is incredible.

Excitement raced though Pike. Amper really was going to be human! Murmurs from the crowd confirmed what was happening to the duo.

Too nervous of opening his eyes, Pike felt his face and head re-shaping. A twinge of disappointment hit him as his tail shrunk into his body. He'd grown attached to the sensations and balance having a tail provided him and would miss it. The cold air chilled his wet skin, which made him press closer onto Amper's body. His heart pounded in his chest.

Pike's torso tingled next, he felt it re-shape from the chubby rounded form of the Pikachu into one that while now almost alien to him, had a sense of familiarity to it. His legs were next, changing from the short legs of a pikachu into the longer legs of a human.

Then, it seemed to be over. Pike opened his eyes to see a beautiful young woman looking at him. She looked the same as she had when Pike and Amper had their vision a few weeks before.

Both Amper and he were human. Pike noticed that like in his vision, he appeared to have blonde hair. It seemed that a part of his time as a pikachu had imprinted itself onto his humanity. He didn't mind.

"Amper, is that you?" Pike asked.

The young man couldn't help but look Amper over.

Opening her eyes, Amper looked Pike over. "Pike? I … I can speak your language!"

The crowd around them erupted into cheers and applause as Jenny and the other police offered towels for the duo as they walked out of the spring. It had worked; Pike couldn't believe it!

Pike watched the reporter run over to his side. Pike was somewhat in shock. He was back in his old body. However, he hadn't yet absorbed that he was truly human with a human Amper at his side.

His parents, along with Remmie, Tiffany and Henry ran to Pike and Amper's side.

"Please, give my son some space," Pike's mother said.

The reporter seemed to accept this and backed up along with the rest of the crowd.

"Pike, are you all right?" Henry asked.

"Yes I … it worked," Pike said, his voice quiet.

"Amper, is that you?" Henry asked.

"I'm human!" Amper said.

While she sounded tired, there was an innocence and sense of wonder in her voice.

"Yes," Henry said, smiling and nodding.

Pike looked at Remmie, seeing some disappointment in his brother's face. "I know I may not be as cool anymore, but aren't you glad that I'm back?"

Remmie nodded. "So, can we go to games and stuff now?"

"You betcha," Pike said.

"How do you feel?" the reporter asked.

"I … I think I'd just like to go home now. But first," Pike started, looking down at his body. "Does anyone have a some clothes for Amper and I wear?"

---

Pike deciding to change back first seemed to be enough incentive for Mark to do the same. All of the changed humans had returned to their human forms with the exception of one, Cal. He was not willing to change back until Rachel was ready.

Lenny, Penelope and Ollie had all changed back on that day. Lenny seemed to retain some of the youth he'd regained in becoming a Charmander. Rachel had done one thing to help him. She offered to get him a job and a place to live. Penelope and Ollie seemed to want to stay with Lenny, perhaps to the point of Lenny adopting them.

It wasn't until the next day that Cal had revealed to Pike and the others what he'd discovered. Cal had told Pike that he was nervous of revealing the fact as it could have people abusing the spring. It seemed that those who'd changed at the spring gained the ability to shift between human and their pokémon form. They could spend up to eight hours a day as a pokémon except for during the full moon, where they could spend the entire day as one.

Another ability Pike discovered was that he could still understand pokémon. He was able to communicate with them as easily as he could with a human.

Pike spent the following days growing used to be human again. He was able to get clothes for Amper, who found the concept of wearing clothes fascinating although she'd need to develop a sense of modesty. While Pike felt a strong attraction to the human Amper, he made sure not to act upon that attraction until he knew they were both ready.

News of the spring spread quickly. Pike knew that his experience was not going to be an isolated one. However, he was happy that the public knew about it. This way, others who the spring had changed that were missing had hope for, people now knew they could be out there and could search for them.

Pike's boss offered his job back, saying that it was waiting for him once he was ready.

Amper spent the next weeks studying. She still wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her life. However, she was considering writing a book about life as a Pikachu from the point of view of a natural born one. Given her ability to communicate with pokémon, she also considered working with injured ones.

Pike and Amper visited Eva as much as they could over the next few weeks. She was coming along and had recovered the majority of her memories. Eva still felt like a Pikachu rather then a human in the body of one. However, she also wanted to become human again as her time as a Pikachu had given her invaluable knowledge that she could use in her research. As well, she also felt that she could use the spring to help people.

Kevin was starting to accept living with humans. He however, didn't want to be human. Despite this, he desired to stay with Eva. He told Pike that even if Eva couldn't be his mate, he still loved her and felt a desire to protect her. Eva seemed to understand this and made it clear that she'd consider Kevin an equal.

Pike and Amper used their shifting abilities to play as Pikachu. For Pike, the form became one he used to play in, while his human form was what he used to work in.

Through Cal, Pike discovered new things about the spring that heightened his hope for others who'd inadvertently become pokémon. Drinking the spring's water as a means to become a pokémon only worked for an hour after a pokémon had bathed in it.

Although it was difficult for her, Miranda was able to locate two people that had changed by accident. Given the missing person's list, there didn't seem to be any more. Those two people had become a Mudkip and Sandschrew. The police helped to re-unite them with their families. They also provided assistance for their emotional and mental state.

When the next full moon approached, Eva decided that she was ready to become human again. Rachel was also ready. Mark and Cal had worked with her over the weeks and helped to convince her that becoming human was the right thing for her. Across the city, some people supported Rachel while others did not. However, a significant number of people wanted her to return to office. They felt that she could use the lessons she'd learned in order to better run the city.

---

The past month had been difficult for Rachel. She'd spoke with people and they'd helped her to understand that being this way wasn't right for everyone. With Mark and the others human again, Rachel was seeing that perhaps, she could be all right as a human being.

She'd also come to understand that in this form, giving into her instincts had not been a crime. In a way, it was a lesson in humility for her. Rachel had learned that she wasn't perfect. Just like any other person, she made mistakes. The fact that Cal and others had forgiven her showed her that everyone makes mistakes and that it's what we learn from those mistakes that's most important.

Cal and Mark took Rachel to the spring. She was nervous. After this long as a Furret, she had trouble remembering what it felt like to be human. Pike seemed to be doing all right; however he hadn't of been a Pikachu for as long as she was a Furret. Rachel had grown attached to having fur and a tail. To get rid of those seemed wrong. While she knew that she'd gain shifting abilities if this worked; she didn't like the idea of having to give up this form as a human.

Rachel had seen the stories about Pike and the others becoming human again. It saddened her that her family had left. However, she was happy that she was able to help Lenny, Penelope and Ollie.

She gazed into the shimmering water before her. Rachel was comfortable with the reflection. She knew that she was doing this for Mark and Cal rather then herself.

Snow covered the ground around the spring. Steam that rose from the water showed that it was still warm.

"I don't think I'm ready for this Cal, I'm scared," Rachel said.

"Mom, I'm doing okay now. I had to catch up at school but I'm glad I can play with my friends again. I can even be a Meowth a little bit each day," Mark said.

"I won't do this if you aren't ready. I will stand by you no matter what. Think of all the good you can do as a mayor. Maybe some day, you can run for something even better," Cal said.

"I don't see myself as a governess," Rachel said.

Besides, I can just imagine the nicknames the people will come up for me.

"Mom, I want you back," Mark said.

"All right Mark, I'll do this for you," Rachel said. Rachel turned to Jenny and nodded her head; "I'm ready."

Rachel and Cal walked into the warm water until Cal was shoulder deep. Rachel looked at Miranda and Rachel nodded her head.

I can't believe I'm doing this. I want to be with Mark and Cal but I'm not sure I'm still human inside.

Miranda used a move and Rachel felt light-headed. The entire world felt as though it was spinning. Rachel couldn't help but close her eyes. Her body seemed to twist, turn and reshape itself. The sensation while not exactly painful felt bizarre. When Rachel had become a Furret, she hadn't of experienced anything quite like this.

Her tail felt different, but it didn't fade away. Her legs and arms grew longer. Rachel felt relief at that; at least now, she'd be able to use them better then she could as a Furret. She felt herself becoming bipedal. However, her fur didn't seem to be vanishing. Rachel wondered what was happening to her.

Am I human or Furret? I don't understand!

Rachel twitched with sudden pain that shot through her body as though someone had unleashed an electric attack on her. When it happened several more times, Rachel feared she would pass out. Then however, the spinning stopped and the pain subsided.

Opening her eyes, Rachel looked down at her body. She still seemed to be a Furret but something was different. The shape of her body was no longer the long body of a Furret, indeed it was humanoid.

"Mom?" Mark asked.

"Mark, I … Cal, I … what happened?" Rachel asked.

She turned to see Cal standing by her side. His helmet had fallen off and was now floating in the water beside his bone club. Both had returned to their human form as well. Cal picked them up and he and Rachel walked out of the water and into a tent that Jenny had erected. Inside were clean clothes and a heater to keep the duo warm. Cal dried Rachel off with a large white towel before he dried himself off and got dressed.

For Cal, wearing more then just a skull was something he hadn't have done in months. However, he was relieved to be able to wear clothes again.

Rachel put a shirt on; however; she didn't seem to need to wear pants as nothing was showing. She and Cal walked back outside. Cal kept his right arm around Rachel, who seemed disoriented.

It feels so strange to walk on two feet like this again.

"What happened?" Cal asked.

"I'm … not sure," Jenny said.

Rachel was humanoid in appearance however; she still had the fur, ears and tail! Her tail was long, bushy and beige with brown rings.

"This is so cool!" Mark said. Rachel felt Mark grab her tail. "It's so bushy and soft."

Rachel turned and looked into the lake. Her reflection was that of a beautiful Furret woman. "Wow," Rachel said.

"Maybe since you sort of wanted to be human but weren't sure about giving up on being a Furret, the spring made you both in a sense. I have to say, not a bad result," Cal said.

"Fascinating, a humanoid pokémon, or are you a human with pokémon features?" Jenny asked.

"Maybe I'm a little of both," Rachel said.

"You're still beautiful either way," Cal said.

Rachel looked at her arms and then at Cal. "So, you don't think I'm a freak?"

"No, I don't. Rachel, I don't care what you look like on the outside. I'm used to you having fur and a tail. At least now you're," Cal stopped and looked into Rachel's eyes before kissing her passionately.

"Ewww," Mark said.

Cal and Rachel kissed for several minutes before they stopped. When they did, Cal blushed and Rachel looked at Mark.

"Sorry Mark. I guess that's your father's way of saying, he approves of me looking like this," Rachel said.

Mark shrugged his shoulders. "Now that your not a pokémon, are you guys gonna go back to kissing all the time?"

"We won't do it in front of you," Rachel said.

"Okay. Wow, just wait until my friends see you like this," Mark said.

"I guess this won't be so bad after all. At least I can still be partly Furret until I'm ready to be fully human," Rachel said.

Cal nodded and hugged Rachel. "Come on, let's go home."

---

Before they went home, Cal stopped by the mausoleum to return the skull and femur to what he saw as their proper resting place.

Soon after Rachel changed part of the way back, Eva used the spring to change back into a human. As with Pike, Eva found that her hair had become blonde.

Kevin did not use the spring. He felt saddened by Eva becoming human vowed to stay with her. Kevin however, kept calling Eva by her pokémon name. Eva accepted this. Kevin considered Eva his companion and he wouldn't leave her side. Eva still loved Kevin and refused to abandon him.

The public had mixed reactions to Rachel's form. Rachel however, seemed to enjoy it. After her experiences with Lenny and the others, she vowed to do everything in her power to help people in these sorts of situations to attain a better life. Knowing how being a pokémon felt, Rachel said that she'd also build more adoption centres and hospitals for them.

Adam stayed with his parents. He got a job helping to fly people to and from various locations. Ian worked performing at a marine park for kids. He loved the attention they gave him as well as making them happy.

Pike began writing a book about his experiences soon before he went back to his job. He enjoyed being able to contribute to society again.

Amper got a job working at a pokémon centre helping injured pokémon to recover. She enjoyed being human and the experiences it allowed her.

Both Pike and Amper however, also enjoyed shifting back into their pikachu forms on those occasions that they could. Pike knew that a part of his pikachu self would always be with him.

With knowledge of the spring public, Pike also knew that things were going to change. People knew that magic was real. In a sense, perhaps it would not change the world. However, Pike hoped that it would help people to understand that there was more to life then the things people saw every day.

Pike realised that with his experience, he wouldn't be the same again. His life had changed in more ways then one. Perhaps he had been and still was an average person. However, he'd brought something from the experience that made it more then worth it. This had taught him that a person's entire life could change at any moment. He'd never thought that what happened to him could happen to anyone. Pike knew that sometimes he had to take charge of a situation and make things happen. When he'd convinced those people to re-gain their humanity, Pike knew that if he hadn't, things may have turned out a lot different and not in a good way. He also knew that there was no longer such thing as impossible.

It was okay for him to let go and have fun every once in a while. Pike was happy that he'd finally begun to accept that. Maybe Rachel wasn't right about living her life out as a pokémon. However, Pike knew that Rachel had a point when she said that he needed to let go and have fun more often. This had taught Pike that as long as he knew where to draw the line, he could let go and enjoy life.

Helping Amper to grow beyond being a normal Pikachu had also taught Pike that indeed, he had value. People could learn from him, he knew it was all right to accept that.

Sitting on the couch watching TV, Pike kissed Amper on the cheek.

"What was that for?" Amper asked.

"For being there for me. These last months have been amazing. Without you, I probably would have lost myself to my Pikachu form. You taught me a lot," Pike said.

Amper smiled. "You showed me a life beyond being a pet. If it wasn't for you, I'd have never experienced any of this."

With that Pike and Amper kissed and relaxed. Pike realised that while all of this was perhaps the end of one journey, it was only the beginning of another, one he was happy to embark on.

The end