Chapter 2: The Journey

On the very next morning, Ash raised his hand over his head trying to block the sun's ray from his face. "Oh… does it have to be morning already?" he moaned while scuffling around the grass. Mr. Mime unlocked the door and was surprised to see both Ash and Misty outside so early. It was barely 6:30 AM and Ash was already up and ready. Mr. Mime yelled at him waving both his hand up and down. "Huh what's wrong Mr. Mime?" the clown like Pokemon then took the mirror in the living room and showed Ash his morning glories. His face was smudged with dark colored marker, "This could only be the work of one Pokemon… Jigglypuff" Mr. Mime giggled when he heard a yawn coming from the bench. Misty had just woken up but unlike Ash, she only had sand in her eyes. In but a few moments here eyes focused and saw the strangely tattooed man was Ash! She let out a long and loud laugh since she didn't expect to see something so funny so early in the morning.

Ash washed his face and cleaned himself and finally got out of his pajamas. They all did the same routine like yesterday, Delia cooks, Ash trains, Misty and Brock helped around the house and professor Oak came by for a visit. Just as it seemed like it was gonna be another usual day, Ash came onto the table and announced his plan.

"Everyone listen up!!" the table was silent and no one dare say a word "I'm planning to leave for Valmarian city today!!" Everyone gasped in shock,

"But Ash, the tournament isn't until three months, that's still a long time away!" Brock complained,

"Brock's right, you just came back from battling the Elite 4 and I don't think you want to go so early" the professor agreed with Brock, but Ash wasn't gonna back down on his plan.

"The more I stay here, the more I'll lose my focus! If we go now, I'm sure I'll meet lots of trainers just waiting to surprise me when I get to the stadium. I have to go now and prepare for the worst and hope for the best!!" With that statement on the table no one could deny his or even to think of stopping the kids overwhelming determination.

"I expected as much…" Delia said suddenly. She expected that Ash would be leaving the moment she saw the letter. She had already packed his clothes, money, and food supplies for him and handed his backpack. "I expected that you would be going early but I didn't expect this early" she added.

"Well if you're ready to go the so am I! Who cares if the girls here at Pallet town are beautiful and gorgeous, the dreams of my friends will always come before my needs!" Brock quickly gobbled down his food and head straight up to pack his bag.

"Are you sure you wanna leave so early?" Misty hoped that he would change his mind, but when Ash sets his mind on something, he follows it and plows through everything that bars his path

"Of course I do! The early bird gets the biggest worm!"

After the gang has said their good byes to Ash's mom and professor Oak, they immediately head off for an adventure that would be full of excitement, surprises and perhaps a change in their destiny!

(A few hours later)

When I mentioned an adventure of excitement, surprises and all that, I didn't really mean it

The gang found themselves back to a familiar route which takes Ash and Misty to a stream of memories on how they first met.

"Remember this place Ash?" asked Misty, "This is where we first met" Ash remembered alright, he and his Pikachu were badly injured by Sparrows and then being pulled by a fishing rod, then before you know it, he was electrocuted more than a thousand times during his three years journey. Just when he was about to say something to Misty, Ash's stomach growled loudly like a Snorelax snore.

"Ahehehehehe… I forgot that I didn't have much to eat this morning… hehehehe" Brock and Misty fell anime style but this seemed to be commonly happening around Ash lately.

The group decided to camp at the river near Varidian City, since they couldn't afford to rent a hotel room. Misty set up the sleeping bags, Brock prepared what he was going to cook and Ash prepared the fire place… well at least almost. He placed rocks around the fire place and tried rubbing two sticks together to start a fire. It took him about 20 minutes to finally get a spark until Brock suddenly noticed that the wood Ash was using was wet.

"Nice going genius, you brought us a spark" said Misty "But I think the cave men already developed FIRE!"

"Well its not my fault that the fire wood was wet" Ash trying to think of a good come back, "besides, I can barely see in the forest at this dark."

"Did you use your eyes to look or was it your stomach?" Misty kept barraging Ash with all her insults until it finally grew into an all out fight. They kept yelling at each other that most of the words were intelligible.

"Alright ENOUGH!!!!" Brock shouted, the two of them stopped to gaze at Brock, "Instead of standing here arguing, why don't you two go look for some dry fire wood this time?" Ash and Misty faced off in different directions ignoring each other. "It would be much safer if you two go together!" but they just ignored Brock's warning and continued.

"She can go all by herself for all I care!" Ash replied

"Why can't these two ever get along for once?" Brock said to himself and Pikachu nodded in reply.

(Back at Pallet Town)

"WHATTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!" Gary was infuriated the moment he heard the news. "You mean they left?!!" Tracey was still recovering from Gary's sudden yell "That's what I've heard from professor Oak, he said that Ash left to train along the way" "And you knew all this and you didn't tell me!!? Arrrgggggg, no wonder this place felt a little quiet today." Gary was then in deep thought. If Ash had already left, then that mean he would be first to sign up for the competition! "Tracey, tell my uncle that I left for Valmarian ok!" "Huh?! Wait Gary, its raining out there!!" Tracey yelled out

Gary had packed up all his belongings from his room and immediately left the house with burning passion in his eyes "Ash…" he said in his mind "I'm not gonna let you beat me ever again!!!" With a raging determination to reach Valmarian city before his rival Ash, Gary took another route to another city.

(Back at the forest)

"She didn't have to say all those things to me you know" Ash grumbled as he continued to pick several small parts of branches "I know I could be slow at times, but did she really have to say all those things to me?" "What am I thinking?" he slapped himself "We've been fighting like that for more than 2 years now, what makes this so different?!" even now his brain goes back into thinking mode, he ignored all the pieces of wood he dropped by and gone even deeper into the forest like he locked himself away from the rest of the world. "I know now!" he got an idea, "Maybe I just haven't been fighting with her for awhile and I completely forgot on how it felt like! Yeah that must be it!" Ash forced himself to agree on the idea and head straight back to camp… that is if he remembered the way.

On the other side of the forest, Misty was also grumbling about the recent fight. "Maybe I went to far that time" she thought to herself "I know Ash can sometimes be a little hard headed… but I guess I do owe him an apology" she had a larger pile of fire wood on her than Ash, but after thinking on what she said that time made her feel a little guilty. She grabbed her head and yelled deep in thought "Ohhhh why am thinking about this?!!! We've been fighting ever since Ash began this stupid journey and he still hasn't paid me back for my bike yet either!"

Misty tried to grab hold of herself until Togepi saw a cute little Butterfree and decided to chase after it "Huh? Oh wait Togepi! Don't go that way I still need to return these wood back to the camp site! Togepi!!" Before long, Togepi was already too far to hear anything but its own voice.

Misty dropped her large pile of fire wood chased after her beloved Pokemon. She followed the sweet sound of Togepi and yelled out its name. "Togepi! Togepi where are you?" she looked left and right for her Pokemon but to no avail until a Butterfree flew in the distance. She followed it until she heard the sweet voice of her Pokemon again, but something was wrong, the sweet kind voice of her Togepi was replaced by a sound of fear followed by an unusual roar. Misty panicked and searched high and low for her little Pokemon. The roar grew louder and Togepi's cries grew more loudly as well. Misty followed the sound without the care of thorns ripping through her skin. After a few minute of running, she came upon a small clearing where a medium sized Pokemon with unusually large teeth was chasing her Togepi.

Just before the monster could grab Togepi, Misty got to her first, she then tried to summon one of her Pokemons "Come out Star… huh?" she remembered that she left all of her Pokeballs back at the camp site. Without warning, the dark wolf-like Pokemon attacked her with its sharp claws, but she dodged it just barely. She was bleeding badly when she noticed that the creature had three fangs on top of its mouth and blood shot eyes. Its claws were as sharp as knives and its roar was frightfull. She used the Pokedex to find out what it was "This creature is not listed in the archive of any Pokemon center, please inform to the nearest Pokemon facility so that we may conduct…" Misty closed her Pokedex before it could finish.

Just when the beast was preparing to attack again, Misty tried to back away but it appears that her ankle was slightly aching from the sprint she had done to get here. Just as the monster leaps in to sink its teeth on her, Misty covered her Togepi tightly not letting her see the action that was going about to happen…………….

The sound of the creature's bite was terrifying, but as Misty slowly opens her eyes, she realized that she was not the one being bitten but a tall boy whose figure was easy to identify. It was Ash! He covered Misty with his right hand and took the creature's mouth to sink its teeth on his arm. Blood flowed throughout Ash's hand as the creature kept hanging on to Ash's arm not giving any chance to let go. In a little while, Ash summons up a bit of his strength and used his left hand to smack the beast right in the face. The creature growled in pain but it was far from finish.

"Misty, take Togepi and get behind those bushes, hurry!" Misty complied and hid well behind a bushel of Winter Roses. She took a peek in by the bushels and saw Ash using one of the fire woods as a club. Ash smacked the creature about four or five times until it finally gave up and ran back to the darkness on which it came.

Just as he finished the battle, Ash told Misty to come out from her hiding place. Blood was rushing down his arm and Misty didn't know anything about first-aid. It was then that Brock came with the cavalry. Pikachu, Cyndaquil, Squirtle, Bulbasaur all came to the rescue, but too late as presumed. Ash fell to the ground as the blood continued to flow from his right arm.

"Brock hurry, do something?!" Misty yelled out in panic

"I'll do what I can Misty, but I'm no doctor"

Brock worked hard and fast with all of Ash's Pokemon's help. Bulbasaur wrap the wound around with his vines while Squirtle and Charizard made a bucket of warm water. Pikachu stayed by his master's side giving him morale support. By nightfall, Brock had finished wrapping Ash's right arm with a large bundle of leaves but without proper tools and equipments, the bleeding wouldn't stop.

Brock carried Ash to Varidian city where they tried to find a hospital quickly. The roads of the city were so different at night and there was no one around to give them directions. While they searched everywhere for anyone, Misty decided to bring Ash to the Pokemon center. It sounded crazy but Brock understood that she was very worried about him.

Brock barged in and head to the receptionist Nurse Joy. "We need a doctor, hurry!" Misty yelled out "Ash is hurt and he really needs help!" nurse Joy recognized Ash's face immediately but was shock to see that they would bring a wounded human to a Pokemon center. "Alright, follow me this way!" Nurse Joy took out flat bed for Pokemons and put Ash on it. There weren't any doctors in the facility so Brock gladly took the spot. They went in to an emergency room and close the door behind them. The emergency sign lighted up and not letting anyone inside the room. Misty held Togepi tightly on her arm with worried written all over her face. Pikachu let out a tiny "Pika pi…" to let Misty know that she wasn't the only one that was worried about Ash. Misty cuddled both Pikachu and Togepi while the other of Ash's Pokemons rested on the waiting chairs worryingly.

It felt like forever since Ash and Brock went into the emergency room. Misty felt all alone outside; awake while all the other Pokemons worried themselves to sleep. "How could this have happened?" Misty said to herself. She was feeling guilty on being a part of the recent incident tonight. She tried everything to ease her mind, but none of them seemed to be working very well. Just as she gave Pikachu a little rub behind the ear, the emergency light turned off. Brock walked out of the room smiling.

"Looks like we were worried for nothing" Brock said, "The wound of Ash's hand wasn't as serious as it looked and I think that he just fainted on what just happened" Misty let out a huge sigh of relief. She was terrified on what may have happened to Ash, if anything had gone wrong she would blame herself endlessly. "Nurse Joy says that he can leave the Pokemon center tomorrow, so why don't we get a room and stay here for tonight?" Misty nodded "That's great Brock but… why don't you take the room and I'll stay with Ash tonight…" she then headed into the emergency room leaving Brock alone will all of Ash's Pokemon.

On that night, Ash was having sweet dream, he dreamt that he was already fighting at the Valmarian League! He was already fighting against the other opponent for the championship and the score was on Ash's favor: 5 to 0. He only needed one more win against his opponents Pokemon and the game would be all his. Pikachu was on the field and his opponent threw out a Pokemon that he has seen only for a very few times… a Mew!!? Ash stuttered back wondered where he could get such a rare Pokemon. Pikachu and Mew battle long and hard but none of them seemed to be holding back any strength.

"Pikachu use agility then thunderbolt now!" in but a few moments, Pikachu dodged all of Mew's psychic beams and jumped into mid-air to unleash a large jolt onto Mew and soon Mew fell to the ground with swirling eyes. Victory was his… or so he thought… when he looked closer on his opponents face, he realized that it was a face he'd recognized anywhere… it was Ash himself!! Confused on what was happening, the stadium began swirling in a sea of bright golden light and a strong gushing wind blew him away from his dream.

'Tick…tock…tick…tock…tick…tock' the annoying sound of a nearby alarm clock woke Ash up from his dream. Everything seemed blurry around him. He could hear the noise coming from the streets outside the window: cars honking, people shouting at each other and the never ending sound of foot steps. It took awhile for his eyes to come to a complete focus.

He noticed Pikachu and Togepi sleeping on his stomach. On the left side of his bed was a sleeping Misty. She must've been with him the whole night. Ash took a look on his right arm, but felt like his body was restraining him. His arm was wrapped with a good number of bandages but enough to keep the blood circulating. Brock then came in with a tray of food made by Nurse Joy. He didn't think any of them would be awake but and to his surprise… Ash already was.

"Oh you're up!? How are you feeling Ash?" the squinty eyed boy came up to the side of his friend's bed

"Like I just had one of Misty's mallet slammed on my head" the boy gestured with his head

"Well that's a relief, but seriously… anything unusual? Any strains, pain or something?"

"Well (stomach growl) I do feel kinda hungry" Brock simply let out a soft laugh to his common stomach

"Well neither of us had anything to eat yesterday, ever since you got bitten by that monster back at the forest"

"Monster? What kind of a Pokemon was it?" the future Pokemon breeder tried to calm his friend from moving anywhere

"Dunno, all I saw was you chasing away the creature and your arm was bleeding, then you fainted." Brock tried to describe the situation as he remembered it "Well anyway, I'll go and get us something to eat you just relax for a bit.

Ash got out of his bed and did his usual stretches along with Pikachu before going back out. Misty still slept quietly on the bed. Her hair was now down and she still had a worried expression on her face. Ash looked at her with amazement. His heart beat faster, and his cheeks grew more reddish every second that past by.

A few minutes later Misty finally woke up from her slumber and gave out a cute yawn off her mouth… her eyes widened suddenly she was surprised to see Ash awake and alright.

"Good morning sleepy head…" Ash tried to create his own morning greetings to her

"Ash?... you're alright?!" (she tried holding back her emotion)

"Yeah, and see? I can get up early too" he flexed out his muscles but as you all know, he doesn't have any... yet

In a fraction of a second, Misty hugged Ash where he stood, her eyes nearly burst into tears as her guilt builds up in her "Oh Ash, I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry" Ash was surprised and didn't know how to react… her soft warm touch felt like it could just take him to paradise, but her tears felt like an obstacle in the way. Ash first hesitated to hug her back so he took up the courage and run his fingers through her hair gliding his hand over her head as she weeps on his shoulder. Misty's blonde-red hair was amazingly soft, the hint smell of her perfume was streaming around her and her sweet voice echoed gently around the room.

"Sorry about what?..." Ash said in confusion. A quick moment of silence past by and the wind blew open the curtains letting a moment of sunshine into the room, "Misty… I uh…" before Ash could say anything, a loud knock disturbed their concentration. "Hey Ash, would you mind opening the door? I got us some burgers from the store next door" Misty and Ash both separated instantly. They came to realize on what they doing and pretended that nothing had happen.

Right after a quick meal, Ash and the gang quickly thanked Nurse Joy for her helped and headed off towards Cerulean city via bus from Pewter city where they could catch a boat to Goldenrod city in the Johto region (wow so many cities)

Brock had a little reunion time with his family at Pewter city, but as all good times come they must go at some point.

A whole week had past by until they finally reached Celadon City. It was a bustling town filled with lots of excitement just like Varidian city. Ash didn't want to waste time on useless endeavors so he took the next good weather out of the city as fast as possible.