Okay. I'd like to start off by saying I do not own Pokémon or any of characters associated with it. All I own is this story.
Chapter 1: Learning the Truth
It was a typical day for the inhabitants of the Pokémon world. The people went about their daily routines as did the Pokémon. Everyone had places to go and things to do. This couldn't be more true for Pokémon trainer Ash Ketchum. Despite his recent victory and induction into the Battle Frontier Hall of Fame he still felt the need to prove himself. This could be contributed to his loss to his long-time rival Gary Oak after his return home. Right now he was in a small port town south of Pallet Town, waiting for the ship that would take him to the Sinnoh region to start boarding. On his shoulder sat Pikachu, his first Pokémon and most trusted ally.
"I can't wait to get to Sinnoh!" he said. "How about you, buddy?"
"Pika! (Yeah!)" the small electric mouse replied. Ever since hearing about the Sinnoh region from Gary the two of them have been eager to set out for it. They wasted no time in booking themselves on the first ship they could find heading there. Now they were only a few short minutes away from setting out on a new adventure.
"Attention please! All passengers leaving for Sinnoh please make your way to Gate 9! I repeat! All passengers leaving for Sinnoh please make your way to Gate 9! Thank you!"
"This is it, Pikachu! A new journey awaits!" Ash cheered. As the two of them made their way towards their gate Nurse Joy approached them.
"Excuse me. Would your name be Ash Ketchum?" she asked.
"It is," he replied. "Is there something wrong?"
"You have a call at the Pokémon Center," Nurse Joy replied. Ash had no idea who would be calling him now. Both his mother and Professor Oak knew that his ship was leaving today.
"Where's it from?" he asked.
"I believe it's from Cerulean City," she replied. "You better hurry. It sounded really urgent." When Nurse Joy said the call was from Cerulean City Ash's first thought was that Misty was calling to wish him good luck in Sinnoh. But when she said the call sounded urgent he began to worry.
"Thanks, Nurse Joy," he said as he ran off towards the Pokémon Center.
"I've got a bad feeling about this, Pikachu," he said.
"Pi Ka Chu, Pikapi (So do I, Ash)," Pikachu replied.
It didn't take long for Ash and Pikachu to arrive at the Pokémon Center. Once there he found the videophone with the call that was for him. He picked up the receiver, expecting to see Misty. What he saw was Daisy, Misty's older sister.
"Ash! Thank goodness we caught you in time," she said.
"Is something wrong, Daisy? Nurse Joy said it was urgent," he said.
"Daisy, what's wrong? Is something with Misty?"
When Daisy didn't answer immediately Ash's worry started to grow. Her silence was enough to tell him that whatever was wrong was serious for them to call him.
"Daisy, tell me! Did something happen to Misty?" he asked again.
"Yes… in a way," she finally said.
"What do you mean?" Ash asked.
"It's… not really my place to say," Daisy replied.
"Why not?" Ash asked, growing more worried with each passing second.
"Listen Ash. I know you're supposed to be heading to Sinnoh now, but I… Misty really needs you here," she answered. That was all he needed to hear. One thing about Ash that always stayed a constant was his need to always put others before himself.
"I'll be there as soon as I can," he said.
"Thanks, Ash," Daisy said. Ash hung up and quickly made his way outside.
"Pi Kachu Chuka? (What about Sinnoh?)" Pikachu asked.
"I can't go there now, not with Misty in trouble," Ash replied. "I'm going to have to put that on hold." He reached down to his Poké ball and took one containing one of his oldest friends.
"I choose you, Charizard!" He threw the ball out, calling on his powerful ally. The massive dragon appeared, his tail flame blazing in all its glory. Truth be told Ash couldn't have been happier when he found out that Charizard's training at the Charisific Valley was complete. Since his return he's become a vital member of Ash's battling team, often times winning entire battles on his own.
"Okay, Charizard! We need to get to Cerulean City, fast!" Ash said. Charizard nodded and let Ash climb on. With Pikachu safely tucked away inside his backpack he hung on as Charizard took to the skies towards Cerulean City.
The mood at the Cerulean City Gym couldn't be described as anything else but gloomy. With Lily and Violet constantly away taking care of official Gym business out of town Daisy was left to attempt to solve the crisis on her own. Unfortunately there was nothing she could do. The only hope she had of getting through to Misty was in the hands of the trainer who was on his way there.
"Please Misty. You have to come out of there sooner or later," Daisy pleaded with her younger sister. But she got no response.
"I know you probably still upset with us for this, but you could at least yell at us or something. Come on, this silent treatment is killing us." She waited, but again got no response. She was about to try again when the sound of large wings flapping was head outside followed by a command of "Charizard, return!" and the sounds of a Pokémon being called back inside its Poké ball.
"Good, he's here!" Daisy hurried downstairs and opened the door.
"I'm glad you're here, Ash," she said.
"Where is she?" Ash asked.
"Upstairs in her room," Daisy answered. "She's been up there for the past week. She won't come out for anything outside of eating. Everyone's real worried about her, especially the Pokémon"
"But why? Why would she do that?" Ash asked.
"It's a real delicate situation, one that I, Lily and Violet are responsible for," she replied. She could tell that Ash was confused by what she just said. Before he could ask her what she meant she cut him off.
"Please Ash, go talk to her. You're our last hope." The urgency in her voice told Ash not to waste anymore time. He nodded and quickly made his way upstairs.
Misty's room was just as anyone would expect of a Water Pokémon trainer. Almost everything was blue and had something to do with either water or Water Pokémon. The walls and carpeting were blue. Her bed was covered in Marill-print sheets. Posters of various Water Pokémon decorated the walls, ranging from the cute and loveable Squirtle to the mighty Gyarados. But despite the overall cheeriness of the room its lone occupant was feeling as blue as the wall paint. Misty sat at her desk, he face buried in her hands.
"Why did this happen to me? Why?" she asked herself. As she sat there she heard the door to her room open. Figuring that it was Daisy she remained silent, not even turning around. But then…
"Pikachupi? (Misty?)" Misty lifted her head, not really believing that she heard what she did.
"It… can't be! He's supposed to be on a ship heading for Sinnoh right now!" She was sure she was hearing things, until a small yellow mouse jumped up on her desk in front of her.
"P-Pikachu!" The small Electric Pokémon smiled, glad to have gotten a response out of her. Misty was shocked to say the least.
"What are you doing here? I thought you and Ash were…"
"…on our way to Sinnoh?" Misty spun towards the source of the voice. There, her eyes saw the last person she expected to see there.
"It's good to see you, Misty," he said. Ash stood there for a while, taking in her shocked expression. However, he also noticed that, though her face portrayed a shocked expression, her eyes were filled with much sadness. It was also obvious that she had been crying, streaks of dry tears cascading down her face.
"W-What are you doing here? Did your ship to Sinnoh get delayed or something?" she asked.
"No. The ship was on time," he answered.
"Then why are you here?" Misty asked.
"Daisy called me and told me you needed me," he answered. At the mention of Daisy's name Misty's head moved down and she turned back to her desk. Pikachu had long since jumped down and had made his way back to Ash's shoulder.
"Misty, what's wrong?" Ash asked.
"Why don't you ask 'her'," Misty answered. Ash could tell by the sound of her voice that whatever the problem was Daisy was at the center of it.
"I did," he said. "She said it wasn't her place to tell me."
"So, she still intends on trying to keep it a secret," Misty said.
"Keep what a secret? What's going on, Misty?" Ash asked. Misty didn't want to talk about it, but she knew he wasn't going to leave until she did. If there was one thing about Ash she knew would never change it was his stubbornness.
"Please Misty. I want to help you," Ash said, encouraging her to open up to him. Despite that Misty is still finding it difficult to speak of the problem.
"I… I-I cant!" Misty cried, fresh tears streaming down her face. Ash walked over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"It's alright, Misty," he said, trying his best to comfort the crying girl. Her crying eventually died down.
"Whenever you feel like telling me I'll be here." With that Ash started to walk towards her bedroom door. Just as he gripped the knob to walk out…
"Alright. I'll tell you." He turned back and smiled before walking to her side once again.
"Okay. Now, just take it slow. What happened that made you want to shut yourself in your room for the past week?" he asked.
"Well… it all happened a week ago, but I'm sure you could figure that out on your own," she said. Ash simply nodded.
"I was helping Daisy clean the gym. We had gotten a bunch of boxes out of one of the storage rooms. I found a picture… or at least half of a picture in one of the boxes."
"What was it of?" Ash asked.
"It… was of me, back when I was about five or so, and a woman holding me," she said. "But that's not what was so bad about it…" At this point Ash could tell that it was stating to get hard for her to keep going. He once again placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"Go on," he said.
"In the picture… the woman holding me… she was holding a Gym badge… and…" By now the tears were threatening to come out again. But Ash had to know the truth. He had to know what was causing her so much grief and pain.
"What about the badge?" he asked. What Misty did next caught him by surprise. She got out of her chair and threw herself into Ash, crying into his chest. Ash did the only thing he could think of in this situation. He wrapped his arms around her and held her as she cried.
"I don't belong here, Ash!" she cried.
"But why not? This is where you live. It's where your family is," he said.
"No it's not!" she cried.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"This isn't my family! I'm not a Waterflower!" That sudden outburst shocked Ash more than one of Pikachu's Thunderbolts ever could. Rather than ask her to explain he decided to get the story from Daisy later. Right now his only concern was calming Misty down.
"It's okay. Everything's going to be okay," he said. As he held Misty he began to think of how hectic things would get later on.
What started off as anticipation for a new journey has quickly turned into a need for Ash to comfort his long-time friend Misty after learning a horrible truth. If she's not a Waterflower then why is she there? Who is her real family? Find out in the next chapter of Home is Where the Heart Is!