I do not own Pokemon. I'm too broke for that. I borrowed these characters for my own amusement. I won't be getting any money for this story, so you shouldn't want to sue me. Besides...you won't get anything but my jar of pennies and the 12.50 in my bank account. So...its just not worth it. *g*

Also, I got the seed of the idea for this story while reading The Valley of the Horses by Jean M. Auel. (Amazing books if you've never read them...start with the Clan of the Cave Bear and read them all you won't regret it!) Anyway...in this book, one of the characters was gorged by a wholly rhinoceros and it gave me the idea. Especially after having seen the episode with the pink pokemon. Anyway...thats where I came up with the idea, but the story is mine.

The Reason Why

Tracy and Misty were sitting in the shade waiting for Ash, who had gone to get some firewood. It had been an especially long day and they were all tired. Of course, Misty and Ash got in an argument about who should get the firewood. Tracy tried to settle the fight by volunteering to get the wood, but that made Misty mad too. Why should Tracy have to get the wood every single time? So Misty badgered Ash and glared at Tracy and finally Ash did go. She felt bad about it afterward, but it just wasn't fair. Ash could be so darn lazy! She sighed, wondering if she might have said some things that were a little too mean. Maybe I went a little too far that time, she thought. I'll just be extra nice to him when he gets back. That'll make up for it.... Misty looked up as Pikachu scampered up with an arm load of twigs and small sticks. ÒIs Ash on the way Pikachu?Ó she asked taking the kindling from the small electric mouse.

ÒKachu! Pikapi pi chu pika.Ó (Yep! Ash is right behind me.) Pikachu replied. Misty smiled at Pikachu. She wasn't sure what it had said exactly...only Ash could understand Pikachu and even then only when it spoke slowly. She did recognize 'Pikapi' as the word it used for Ash's name and so she figured it had said that Ash was on his way. Just then, they heard a scream of fear and pain. A scream that was cut off too soon.

ÒAsh!Ó ÒPikapi!Ó they all cried, running toward the sound.

They found Ash. He was on the ground in a pool of blood and a large Rhyhorn was nudging his still form. Pikachu didnÕt even pause. It let loose a powerful blast of electricity. The blast was fueled by PikachuÕs fear and anger and was more than strong enough to drive away the Rhydon. ÒPikapi!Ó Pikachu cried.

ÒOh no.....oh look at all the blood...Ó, Misty whispered. ÒAsh! Ash please open your eyes!Ó She begged, kneeling beside Ash and reaching out to him.

ÒDonÕt move him Misty. I think he has some broken ribs and who knows what else is hurt.Ó Tracy warned her. He felt sick looking at his friend. Ash had a large lump forming on his head. Through a tear in his shirt, Tracy could see AshÕs ribs and the frightening discoloration surrounding a small gash. Most worrisome though, was the blood pumping out of a deep tear in AshÕs thigh. Tracy pulled an extra shirt out of his pack and quickly wrapped it tight around Ash's leg. He didn't know if that would work, but it was all he could think of. Ash was losing too much blood.

Pikachu was horrified. Ash was so still. To the PokemonÕs sensitive ears AshÕs breathing sounded strange. There was a hollow bubbling sound to it that terrified him. Pikachu was afraid he was watching his best friend die and there wasnÕt anything he could do to help him. ÒPikapi...pika kachu. Pikachu pika Pikapi.Ó (Ash....you gotta hold on. Just hold on please Ash.)

Misty watched Tracy trying to help Ash. She knew he was doing all he could...probably much more than she would be able to do if it were just her...but she couldn't help but think how much she wished Brock were here. Brock would know what to do. Tracy was a great friend...and he knew lots about Pokemon...but she wasn't sure he knew enough about people to be able to help Ash. Brock knew how to take care of everything. Oh Brock....why aren't you here now! Misty thought. Ash needs you and you aren't here. A tiny voice in the back of her head whispered to her that she hadn't been there either. That if it weren't for her, he wouldn't have been out getting wood and this wouldn't have happened. Tears came to her eyes at that thought...especially when she remembered that the last thing she'd said to Ash was that if he hadn't ruined her bike and made her follow him around waiting for the money, she wouldn't be on this stupid island waiting for his lazy butt to go get some wood so she wouldn't freeze....again! Why did I say that? She asked herself. I don't care about that stupid bike...it wasn't even mine. Ash never made me do anything. Misty blinked back tears and looked to see if Tracy needed any help.

"Tracy...is there anything I can do?"

"Yeah...can you go back to the camp and get Ash's sleeping bag? He'll need to stay warm. We might want to move camp over here." Tracy answered without looking up. He felt the bump on Ash's head and thought that he might have a concussion, but the skin wasn't broken and he didn't think that Ash's skull was fractured or anything. Thats good....well...not good..but not as bad as it could be I guess. He thought. Next Tracy looked at Ash's ribs. He felt very carefully and discovered that he was right...at least two ribs where broken. All the damage was on the front though...so he didn't think that Ash had any back injuries. At least I hope he doesn't, cause I have to move him...just a little...but a back injury could be very dangerous if he's moved even just a little, he thought. He looked up at Misty when she came running back with Ash's sleeping bag and her's. They spread his out and very carefully moved Ash onto it. Then Misty covered him up in her's. Tracy checked Ash's leg again and the makeshift bandage seemed to be working it was soaked through a little but not too much and they didn't seem to have done too much damage in moving him.

Pikachu watched Misty and Tracy work to help Ash and felt helpless. It looked around trying to think of some way it could help its friend when it noticed the pokeballs. There were two of them laying on the ground. One was about five feet away and open and the other was a little further and still closed. Pikachu investigated the pokeballs. It sniffed the open one and sneezed lightly. It smelled hot. Like the campfire or like...like Charizard! This was Charizard's pokeball...but where was Charizard? Next, Pikachu went to the other pokeball. A quick sniff told Pikachu that this was an empty ball. One that had never been used. Pikachu sat for a moment and wondered what it meant. Why was Charizard's pokeball out...and open? Where was it? And why was there an empty pokeball just laying here? Suddenly like a clap of thunder, it all made sense. Ash tried to capture the Rhyhorn. He must have tried to get Charizard to battle...only....Charizard must have run off leaving Ash defenseless against the angry Rhyhorn! Pikachu felt sparks fly from its cheeks it was so angry. Where is that lousy, no good Charizard! ? It thought, scanning the sky for the wayward pokemon.

Tracy, satisfied that they'd done all they could at the moment for Ash, noticed Pikachu acting oddly. It was staring up into the sky and sparks were shooting off its cheeks. It looked really upset. "Pikachu? What is it?", he asked, looking up at the sky. "What do you see up there?"

"Pikapi pika pikachu chu pi Pikachupi! Pikachu pika pi chu kachu ka pi. Pikachupi pika pika pikachu pi pika! Pikapi pi chu Pikachupi pi pika!" (Ash got hurt because of that no good Charizard! He tried to get it to battle that Rhyhorn but it just flew off and left him alone. Ash might die and its all that Charizard's fault!) Pikachu cried angrily, still looking up, trying to spot the orange pokemon. Pikachu glanced at Tracy and could see that he didn't understand. A quick look at Misty told the mouse pokemon that she didn't either. So, with a sigh, Pikachu began to pantomime and to point out the two pokeballs.

Misty, sitting by Ash and holding his hand, watched Pikachu's gestures. Usually she was pretty good at following them. Sometimes making Ash mad by figuring out what Pikachu was trying to say before he did. She sniffed sadly remembering that. Oh Ash...just wake up and be ok and I'll never ever figure out Pikachu's charades first I promise! Misty couldn't follow Pikachu this time...her mind was too distracted by her fear, worry and guilt. However, when the little yellow pokemon picked up the pokeballs she got curious. She took them from Pikachu and looked them over. Tracy knelt by her and looked too. One ball was open and smelled slightly like rocks do when they are really hot. The other was empty.

"That open one is Charizard's I bet...thats what pokeballs that have fire-types smell like usually", Tracy said. "But where is Charizard? And why was that empty ball there too?"

Misty thought about it for a moment....and a horrible thought came to her. "Tracy! Ash was trying to catch that Rhyhorn! He used Charizard..and Charizard must have ran off and left him here!"

With a confused look, Tracy asked, "Why didn't he use one of his other pokemon then?"

"Maybe he didn't have time...maybe the Rhyhorn had already started to charge. Oh that Charizard! When I get my hands on that sorry excuse for a pokemon..." Misty couldn't even finish she was so angry. It was one thing to refuse to obey orders, to nap during a battle...but it was whole different matter to leave Ash alone in such a dangerous situation.

To Be Continued....