Author's note: Ladies and gentlemen... allow me to introduce my first ever multi-chapter Pokemon story! I hope you enjoy it... and please note that I have made up the surnames of May and Drew.
Chapter One: Past and Future
"I can't wait 'til you move on up to junior high with us," Misty said over the video phone, smiling. "It'll be so much fun."
"Yeah," May replied, nodding, "it sure will."
Ash appeared beside Misty. "Hey, Mist, Mom said to tell you dinner's ready," he stated. "Hi, May."
"Hey, Ash," May replied, waving.
"Well, talk to you later, May," Misty said.
Ash took a big sniff of the air and a dreamy look crossed his eyes. "Yeah... 'cause I smell something delicious." Misty whacked him upside the head and he scowled at her. "Ow! What was that for?"
Misty scowled right back. "Food always has to come first with you, doesn't it? Anyway, see ya, May."
"Bye," May replied before both girls hung up and the screen went blank.
As ten-year-old May Styles sat down at the table of the nearest restaurant, menu in hand, she began to think about the future that awaited her. She was no longer in elementary school and was not yet in junior high... though she would be once the summer vacation ended.
Currently, she was spending two weeks in Hawaii with her father, Norman, her mother, Caroline, and her eight-year-old brother, Max. Once the vacation was over, she'd have just one week before joining Blue Moon Junior High.
Ash Ketchum and Misty Waterflower, her two best friends in the whole world, the former being eleven and the latter being twelve, already attended and were eagerly awaiting her arrival. Yes, they'd seen a lot of each other at their houses and such, but the time would soon come where they'd all be together at school again.
This led May to cast her mind back to when she'd first met them. It was her first week at Blue Moon Kindergarten and she was feeling awfully shy. Whenever someone tried to talk to her, she'd blush, look elsewhere and twiddle her thumbs, stumbling over her words. She met Misty when the red-head was 'it' in a game of hide and seek with around five other kids and had spotted her sitting alone on a playground bench.
"Hi! I'm Misty!" she said cheerfully, sitting beside her.
May blushed. "Uh, hi... I'm May."
"Are you new here? You don't look familiar."
May glanced at her twiddling thumbs. "Um... yeah, I... This is my first week."
Misty smiled. "Well, it's nice to meet you." There was a slight pause as Misty glanced around. "So, where are your friends?"
May blushed harder. "Well, I... don't have any."
Misty eyes widened and her mouth dropped open. "Oh, you poor thing..." Then she smiled. "Tell you what. How about you come and play with me? You can help me find everybody, 'cause we're playing hide and seek."
May looked Misty in the eyes, unable to believe what she was hearing. "Really?" Misty nodded, making May smile. "O-Okay then."
May smiled at the memory. It was after they had successfully found everyone that Misty had introduced her to Ash, whom the red-head had met the year before. May didn't know the exact details, but they'd told her enough. Ash had started kindergarten, afraid of nothing and shooting off his big mouth, and Misty, who had heard him in the playground, had gotten annoyed with him and told him to shut up. This had let to an argument, plenty of tears from both children and a teacher forcing them to apologise and make up. The next day, Misty had gone back and asked if he wanted to play with her... thus, their friendship began.
Two years after May's arrival, Max started kindergarten and, by this time, the three friends were all in Blue Moon Elementary, May in second grade, Ash in third and Misty in fourth. No introductions were needed, of course, as they'd already met Max through trips to May's house. He was already a member of the pack and hung around with them at recess and lunchtime.
It was always a pity that the three of them had never shared classes, with them all being in different age groups, but that would never stop them being friends. They were companions for life... and always would be.
"May? May?" Max's irritated voice called to her.
May snapped out of her trance and looked at him. "Huh?"
"Are you gonna order some time today?"
May glanced up and noticed a waiter staring at her, a pad of paper in one hand and a pen in the other. "Oh!" May blushed. "Sorry... I'll just have the spaghetti bolognaise please."
Back at the hotel, May lay stretched out on her bed, the bottom bunk, while Max sat on the top bunk with his legs dangling over the edge, playing one of their many shared Pokemon games on their shared Gameboy Advance. It was difficult to tell which one it was, but May wasn't overly bothered anyway; she was thinking about the thing Ash and Misty had complained about almost every time the three of them had been together... a boy known as Drew O'Cadhla.
May knew what he looked like, since Ash had shown her his picture on a class photograph before (since Ash was in Drew's homeroom and a few of his classes, much to Ash's chagrin) and she had to admit, the boy was gorgeous. He had thick green locks draped over beautiful green eyes and he gave her the impression of a knight in shining armour searching for his damsel in distress. Unfortunately, what her friends had told her about him made her stomach churn. He may have been a 'super-strong girl magnet' as Ash had called it, but he was arrogant and conceited, believing himself superior to every other human being.
Misty had experienced this first hand when Drew was a newcomer to Blue Moon Junior High. She, like every other girl, had thought him irresistibly attractive and tried to catch his eye whenever he walked past. However, one day, when Misty was waiting for Ash outside his History class, since her Geography class had been let out first, Drew came out, surrounded by fangirls, and smacked straight into her. Automatically, not even thinking about who was actually in the wrong, Misty had muttered an apology, blushing... and his reply was to flip his hair, his fangirls glaring murderously at her, and say, "I wouldn't expect anything less from a klutz." Then he walked away, his fangirls laughing maliciously at her.
Since that day, Misty had hated Drew's guts, declaring almost every time May saw her how much she'd love to hurt him. Ash would always join in, though he would never give a reason for his hatred... although May found it obvious. First of all, Drew was extremely attractive and Ash was just average. Second, Drew had hurt his best friend's feelings. Third, Drew had initially managed to catch the attention of the girl he loved... Yes, May knew that Ash loved Misty; it was so obvious. She also knew that his feelings were reciprocated; that was obvious too.
May had never noticed anything going on until she was eight years old. Ash had been very upset because his chocolate Labrador, Rex, who'd been suffering from arthritis, had been put down. Misty, who'd been sick with the flu, hadn't been in to comfort him, so May did that herself. Ash had got a little too emotional because of her kindness and hugged her. Blushing, May had hugged him back, suddenly relishing the touch of his skin on hers. On that day, she'd developed a crush on him; his vulnerable side had won her over easily.
However, once Misty had finally returned and noticed how May flirted with Ash and had a constant need to stand and sit next to him, she got really annoyed and barely spoke a word to her. If she did say anything, it was one or two words, always spoken with an icy tone. That was when May had finally realised something; Misty had a thing for Ash too... but how long it'd been going on for she had no idea.
She'd decided to back off a little and observe them together... and her discovery was that Ash liked Misty the same way. He didn't have to tell her this... neither of them did... she just knew... and seeing her best friend happy and, possibly, in love made her happy. She even forced away her own crush on Ash because she knew what a perfect couple they'd someday make.
This brought Drew O'Cadhla back to mind. How ironic that his surname meant 'graceful' when, apparently, all he was was arrogant and proud. Then again, back in the days when Misty was crushing on him, she'd mentioned on more than one occasion how he was like a swan... beautiful, graceful and majestic. Now, however, Misty would always refer to him as a tiger... beautiful on the outside and deadly on the inside.
May chuckled and Max peered over the side of his bed. "What's so funny, May?" he asked, his game still blaring out a cheerful, yet somewhat annoying, tune.
"Oh, nothing," May replied, "just remembering something Misty told me once."
Max's head disappeared again and May heard the music change to a faster, more dramatic beat; he'd stumbled upon a wild Pokemon.
How fun would life be if it was like a Pokemon game? May thought. I wouldn't have to go to school anymore... I could wander around the world catching Pokemon... Hmm... I've always preferred the contests to the gym battles, so I guess I'd just focus on the contests... Oh, wow, that'd be so cool.
"Yes!" Max called out. "I caught a Pikachu!"
May smiled. "Great. Which game are you playing?"
"Cool, then you can take it to Goldenrod and get a Pichu."
Max gasped. "I can? How?"
May rolled her eyes. How can he not know this? "Is the Pikachu male or female?"
"Well, you know that old man and woman that raise Pokemon for a price?"
"Give the Pikachu to the old woman and give the Ditto you caught the other day to the old man... then go for a long walk, come back and pick up the egg."
"Wow! Awesome! Thanks, sis!"
"Heh, no problem."
Far too soon for May's liking, the Styles family had boarded the plane back home and it was currently soaring through the clouds. Norman had headphones on and was watching the in-flight movie, Caroline was reading a book, May was playing Pokemon Ruby on the Gameboy Advance and Max was listening to music on their shared iPod. Currently, May was trying to win the Verdanturf contest with her Combusken. There was some tough competition, but she would never give up... not until she had that stupid ribbon.
"Hey, May," Max said from beside her, glancing over and pulling out one of his headphones, "wouldn't it great to train Pokemon for a living?"
"Mmm, it sure would," May replied, commanding Combusken to use Double Kick.
"I'd train to be the world's best gym leader." A dreamy look crossed Max's eyes. "What would you do?"
May looked up from her game. "I'd train to be the world's best co-ordinator... y'know, going into contests and winning ribbons."
"Um... so... what type of Pokemon would you train in your quest to be a gym leader?"
"Oh, definitely normal type." May raised an eyebrow at him. "What? They're cool! And they're hugely undermined. I'd be one to show the world just how tough they can really be."
May chuckled and went back to her game.
Well, the big day's next week, May thought as she trekked around the shops with Ash and Misty, gathering supplies needed for junior high. No more elementary school... but I'm having to leave Max on his own. I mean yeah, he gets to see me every day at home, but we've always been the ones to play with him and hang out with him. Well, now he'll have to spend more time with his other, younger friends.
Misty suddenly squealed. "Oh, my gosh! Look at that! Isn't it the cutest?" she shrieked.
May looked where Misty was looking... in the window of the most popular store in the area, Pokemon4Ever... at a light blue notebook covered in water Pokemon. There was a Marill, a Tentacool, a Lapras, a Staryu, a Horsea and a Totodile on the front cover.
"Come on! I've got to get that!" She rushed in the store and, with a glance at one another, May and Ash followed.
The store was full from top to bottom with Pokemon merchandise, from soft toys to school stationary, since the local fad going round was, of course, Pokemon. The store was also well known for its incredible efficiency. If what you wanted wasn't on the shelf, you could place an order for it and receive in a week, maximum, no matter what it was.
While Misty zoomed off to buy the water Pokemon notebook, May browsed around the store, separating herself from Ash. There were so many amazing things on the shelf... folders of all sizes and colours, covered in all kinds of pictures... many different types of stationary, each with its own colour and decoration... just nothing that reached out and grabbed her.
Suddenly, from the corner of her eye, she spotted a light pink notebook covered in Skitty pictures, where each Skitty was making a different pose, such as jumping into the air, curling up on a rug, firing a Blizzard attack etc., and, instantly, she fell in love with it. Plucking it off the shelf and tucking it under her arm, she continued to browse, immediately being drawn to the cutest pen and pencil set she'd ever seen; they were light purple with a Beautifly sitting on top of each one. Falling in love again, she grabbed them in her free hand and, looking over what else was there, suddenly spotted an Eevee sharpener and eraser set. She didn't exactly fall in love with them, but she thought they were pretty cute, so she grabbed them and made her way to the counter.
"Check out this notebook I bought," Ash said as he lifted it up. The cover was as black as the night sky with stars shimmering around a Charizard, a Blastoise and a Venusaur.
"Wow! Cool notebook!" Misty replied. "But it's nowhere near as cool as mine."
May sighed, slowly walking away. Why don't they just kiss and be a couple, instead of putting me through this all the time? she thought.
It was finally the night before the big day and May lay in her bed, staring out at the night sky. Tomorrow, she would start Blue Moon Junior High. She was both nervous and excited at the same time... but what did she have to worry about? She'd have Ash and Misty there. Then again, she wouldn't have them in her classes, due to the tiny yet significant age gap. She'd have to meet new people... make new friends... and the thought scared her a little.
Oh, what am I worried about? she thought stubbornly. Ash and Misty helped boost my confidence by a huge amount over the years. If I want to make new friends, I can... quite easily.
"Hey, May?" Max said from across the room.
"Yeah?" May replied.
"Good luck tomorrow."
May smiled. "Thanks."
"You'll finally be in sixth grade. Be sure to tell me what it's like when you get back."
"Don't worry, I will." There was a pause. "Max?"
"Will you be, y'know... okay on your own?"
There was another pause. "Yeah... yeah, I'll be fine."
"That's good. Goodnight, Max."
May's last thought before she drifted off to sleep was, Blue Moon Junior High, here I come...