Title: The Western Wind
Pairings: Championshipping (Lance x Red), Palletshipping (Gary x Ash), Comashipping (Paul x Ash), Originshipping (Wallace x Steven). Many others implied
Disclaimer: Pokemon belongs to Nintendo and Shogakukan Comics. This non-profit, non-copyright infringing fanfiction belongs to me under international copyright laws and taking it is plagiarism. Thank you. *Phantomness bows* Also, the Iliad and the Odyssey belong to Homer, who is dead and probably grateful he can't see what I'm writing.
Notes: for telepathy, ** for thoughts, italics if a pokemon talks
Warnings: AU, heterosexual pairings, adultery, possible OOCness, gender-bending, war, and other unpleasantness
Summary: Based on the Iliad, a pokemon take on the Trojan War.
Major Character Comparison
Helen = Ash
Menelaus (Helen's husband) = Gary
Paris (Helen's lover) = Paul
Achilles = Red
Odysseus = Lance
Hector (Paris's older brother) = Steven
Andromache (Hector's wife) = Wallace
Cassandra = (Prophetic sister of Paris and Hector) Misty
Athena = Charlotte
Sing, O Muse, of the tale of Ashline of Pallet, the most beautiful girl ever born to mortal parents, with the immortal Zapdos, the Lord Thunderer as her father, and the wondrously fair Delia of Pallet as her mother. Sing of how this single event brought about it the destruction of Hearthome City, the heart of Shinou, and the scorched the land besides. Sing of the valiant men who fought tirelessly, for ten long years, outside the walls of Hearthome, their families and lands left behind. Sing of how one mistake launched a thousand ships and brought so much ruin, and how men risked death for a single smile.
Now, not only was Ashline as fair as the dawn, she had also been blessed with the ability to bear children of immortal lineage. Her father, King Giovanni, was well pleased at this rare gift, for upon his daughter's fifteenth birthday the lesser kings of Kanto and Johto came from far and wide, each seeking to wed Ash.
Such a prize would make their neighbors esteem them greatly!
Morty came from gloomy Ecruteak and Surge from Vermillion. From Indigo hailed Bruno, from Pewter Brock, from the distant islands Chuck and Richie. So too, came Gary from neighboring Viridian, the young High King, and Lance, from Blackthorn, the man of many wiles.
For many weeks the suitors feasted and danced, while Giovanni entertained them greatly, but his heart was sore and sickened, for there were many powerful men, and to give Ash to one might cause the others to declare war, stung.
What could he do?
And what of the lovely Ashline, what did she think of the situation?
She sighed as her maids finished lining her eyes in kohl. Another adjusted the dark blue tunic and kilt she wore, speckled with golden embroidery bright as the sun.
"Oh, isn't King Morty handsome? That lovely blonde hair…" One said.
Another began to put Ash's earrings in. "He is, but personally, I think King Gary is the best choice. After all, he's High King! I'm sure he's filthy rich!"
"Personally, I'd take King Chuck."
"Chuck? Why? He drinks like a lout and gambles worse!"
"True, but perhaps he just needs a good woman to set him straight." The maid blushed.
Ash listened with half an ear, not sure how she felt. It was flattering, she supposed, to be stared at so ardently, but at the same time, she wasn't sure if any of the suitors were actually seeing her as a person instead of as a trophy wife.
She didn't really know any of them, and now she had to get married?
It wasn't very fair…
Lance sipped his wine pensively as he stared around the great hall, filled to the brim with great kings among men, but it seemed that the more time he spent around them, the lesser they became.
Brock, for example, liked to ogle the slave girls when they brought him food, and he often tried to pinch them. What he did in his own palace was his own business of course, but in another man's home, when his purpose for being there was to secure a marriage, well… it didn't reflect well on him.
Ash would have agreed with the sentiment. She did not think Brock would be faithful, and even if the idea of sex wasn't something appealing or anything she wanted to consider yet – Brock probably wouldn't be a good choice.
Bruno was an awful braggart. Ash hated to listen to his long stories on how wonderful a hunter he was. He would bore her to death if they had to live together!
Surge had kicked one of the dogs. That alone was enough to make the Princess glare at him for three days straight before her father told – ordered – her to stop.
Ash's two younger sisters, Blue and May, had sadly been quite overlooked in the whole commotion. They would probably be given as consolation prizes to two of the other suitors, to offset the blow and hopefully cement alliances.
The serving girl came around to refill his cup, and Lance shook his head, waving her off. He left the hall, needing space.
Perhaps he ought to give up this pointless contest and go home to Blackthorn…
Gary watched as Ash slipped out. He wanted to talk to the other, but she was always closely guarded and in the company of her maids. The black-haired girl looked pale. She probably wasn't used to the commotion.
He walked outside to the gardens and found Ash sitting alone on a bench underneath an almond tree.
"Hello." He said.
Ash almost jumped. "H-High King Gareth!"
"No need for that, just call me Gary." He smiled. "Are you chilly?" He handed over his mantle.
Ash blinked, before wrapping the dark cloth around her shoulders. "Thank you."
"Was the feasting too much for you?"
"No," She said abruptly.
Gary wasn't sure what to say next. Maybe he should leave the Princess alone. "I…"
"You don't need to be nice." Ash said suddenly. "I know it would be a great political alliance if I married you. I'm not completely stupid. I just…"
Before Gary could say anything else, she fled.
Gary frowned. He hadn't meant…
Ash returned to her room, feeling hot and angry. It was all so pointless. She just wanted everything to end…
But that would mean she would have to pick someone, right? Unless her father Giovanni chose a man, it was her choice.
Maybe she had been a bit rude to the High King earlier. She sighed. She would apologize tomorrow. It would not do to cause a scandal.
She was just so frustrated!
Lance had watched the entire exchange from his position from a grove of lemon trees, enjoying the relative peace and quiet. Ash did not seem interested in marrying anyone, and as his tastes didn't run towards pretty little girls, he did not wish to marry Blue nor May either.
No, he would be heading home to Blackthorn then. He was heading for the stables when he collided with King Giovanni. Lance hastily helped the older man up.
"I'm at my wit's end!" Giovanni confessed.
"On what to do?"
"Well, you needn't worry about me declaring war. I'm heading home."
Giovanni frowned. "I was hoping for your advice."
"Really." Lance turned.
They adjourned to a private room. Lance leaned over the rude wooden table as the oil lamp flickered.
"I need a way to marry my daughter off without any of the others attacking."
"It's simple. Let her choose who she loves. Whatever the choice may be, you may blame it on a woman's fickle nature."
Love was weak and flimsy, after all.
Giovanni began to chuckle. "I see that your reputation is well deserved. But even if Ash chose to marry someone, what would prevent the others from wanting…"
"Make them swear an oath not to attack Ashline's husband, then." Lance said. "Or even to jump to his defense if someone else steals Ash away."
"Brilliant!" He enthused. "Now, as for you…"
"I do not wish to marry any of your daughters." Lance's eyes were dark. "However… if you wish to reward me…"
"Give me the Hydra's venom that your ancestor Cynthia the Valiant left."
Giovanni nodded. He left the room, coming back with a small glass vial on a golden chain. Lance smirked as he took it.
"No, thank you! I'm saved…"
"Ashline dear," Giovanni came to her room later that night.
"Yes, father?" Ash asked, wrapped in a sheepskin and ready for bed.
"I have decided to let you choose who you want to marry. You have two weeks." Giovanni kissed Ash's forehead, before leaving the room.
She only had two weeks?
Ash hugged her terra cotta figures to her chest, though they were little comfort. Two weeks… two weeks before her life belonged to someone else…
Such was a woman's lot in life.
Miserably, she began to cry.
Remember when I swore I'd never write consensual Palletshipping? I lied. And Comashipping? Lied about that too. I decided that if they don't interfere with Championshipping (And they don't, since Lance is with Red, not Ashline in this fic, and he wouldn't want her anyway), then I'm okay with them. Heh. I bet Roxy and Terra will be very happy…
Gary's a combination of Menelaus and Agamemnon because I don't like Agamemnon and couldn't figure out whom to cast him as.
This chapter only has Palletshipping. The others will come into the story later.