This story is set during the Johto League and defies characterization.  This part is mostly comic, but more serious moments will come in the later chapters.  I will not rate each chapter, but overall, the story is rated PG for slight language and violence. 


Part 1

            "Ash Ketchum, you are disgusting!" Misty yelled, braining the poor boy with a quick smack of her hand.  "What is it with boys and their obsession with spitting?  Yuck!"

            "Good grief Misty, would you chill?" Ash said, groaning.  He rubbed his sore head, allowing himself to grimace in irritation.  That smarted.  "You always overreact.  It's just a game."

            "I don't care what you call it, it's still the most disgusting, despicable, vile, crude, revolting, nasty..." 

            Ash rolled his eyes.  Misty was slightly older than him and consequently had a bigger vocabulary, her supposed proof of what she claimed was her superior intelligence.  She had dozens of adjectives in her lexicon for Ash—none of them complimentary.  Right now she was naming off her favorites.

            "....gross, offensive, uncultured, obscene, disgusting..."

            "You said that already," he broke in.

            "Well, it is!" Misty sputtered, turning an angry shade of red.  "Why would I want to play a game of spit with you?  Just swallow it—yuck!"

            Ash almost kept himself from laughing, then realized—why not?  Misty's face darkened even more at the first snicker and was practically scarlet when he burst out with a full-fledged guffaw.

            "IT'S NOT FUNNY!" She yelled.

            "Yes, it is."  He was still chuckling.

            "Ash Ketchum, you are the most obnoxious, insolent, arrogant, rude..."

            Ash decided he'd better quit while he was ahead.  "Misty, it's just a game," he said once more, and even as she opened her mouth to reply, he cut her off in clarification.  "A card  game.  It's just called Spit.  You don't actually spit or anything," he said, shaking his head in amusement.

            The angry red on Misty's face quickly turned to the bright pink of embarrassment.

            "But of course, if you're suggesting that we have a contest to see who can spit the farthest, I'd be more than happy to take you up on it..."

            "Oh, shut up!" Misty glared at him.  "I take back everything I said—because you're ten times worse than that!  Any game named after drool can't be that great anyway.  And have you forgotten we're supposed to be helping Professor Oak?"

            "It is too fun.  And have you forgotten that our absent-minded professor went to town earlier and forgot to leave us any instructions?"

            "He'll be back soon," Misty grumbled.   "We should act responsibly—though I can see how that'd be hard for you—and try to do something useful before he gets back."

            Ash didn't bite, because he didn't have to.  "Like what?" he challenged.

            "" Misty searched her mind, having almost forgotten that, as the dissenter, she now had to come up with her supporting argument.  "Like cleaning the house."

            Ash looked around at the living room that Brock had cleaned less than an hour ago.  He simply raised his eyebrows.

            "Well, he couldn't have cleaned the whole house!" she defended herself.

            Ash gave her an incredulous look.  "We are talking about the same Brock here, aren't we?"

            "Okay, bad idea," she grudgingly admitted.  "He could have.  But still, there's got to be something else we can do!"

            "Like play a game of Spit?"

            "Would you stop with that stupid card game!" Misty yelled.

            "It's not stupid.  You're the one acting dumb about it," Ash said, finally miffed by her continued complaints.  Misty resorted to a common yet failsafe comeback.

            "Am not!  Take that back!"

            "Are too!  You take it back!"





            The last stopped them both mid-shout, as it was spoken with the confidence and authority that comes only with adulthood.  Startled, they both looked over to the doorway from where it originated.

            "What's going on here?" Professor Oak asked in a calmer voice.

            "Told ya so," was Misty's only reply, sticking her tongue out at Ash, who promptly stuck his out back.  The duel sigh at this, as well as condescending laughter, was what made Ash and Misty realize for the first time that the Professor wasn't alone.

            The fact that their gaze flicked right over Brock, who had echoed the Professor's sigh, wasn't meant as an insult to their friend.  Their attention was simply captured by their unexpected visitor because he was so...well, unexpected. 

            "Look who I managed to find in town."  Professor Oak said, smiling at the surprise he had brought them.  He was the only one happy about it, though to the others' credit, Ash was the only one who voiced his displeasure. 

            "Gary?" Ash groaned.  "What are you doing here?"

            "Besides visiting my grandfather?" Gary said, a 'duh' written all over his face.  "Or do you mean why am I not training?"

            "It is what Pokémon trainers do," Ash retorted.

            "Not that you would know, with your lazy attitude."  Gary smirked.  "For your information, I am training.  I've already had five battles in the past week.  But since my journey brought me to within a days' distance from Pallet town, I decided to drop in to get some one-on-one training with a pokémon expert."

            "Who, me?  Aww, shucks Gary, you're making me blush."  Ash grinned.

            "My grandfather, you idiot!  For that matter, what are you doing here?  Besides slacking off."

            "None of your business," Ash said haughtily.

            "He's doing the same thing as you are, visiting," Misty helpfully provided.  "But you're right, he's been pretty lazy.  He hasn't done anything the last two days."  She received a dirty look from Ash for her efforts, and was more than happy to return it. 

            "I have too," he growled.

            "Let's see, you've eaten all day, slept, and buried yourself in pokémon comics and TV shows...oh, excuse me, I was wrong.  You've been a very busy boy," she said playfully.

            "They weren't comics!  It was all research!" Ash protested.

            "Sure it was."

            "It was!"

            "Was not."

            "Was too."

            "Was not!"

            "Was too!"


            The three in the doorway shook their heads.  "They go in circles," Brock sighed, "just like our trips through the forest."

            Gary looked over at Brock in apparent confusion.  "Tell me again why you choose to travel with this?"  The three watched as the fight disintegrated into a raspberry war.

            Both the Professor and his grandson nodded in sympathy as Brock replied, rolling his eyes.  "Sometimes, I have forgotten."


            The fight ended when Brock declared that he knew how to break it up.

            "Lunch is ready!" he announced. 

            "Good, I'm hungry."  Ash immediately walked away from the fight and towards the kitchen.

            "You always are," Misty said, but she followed him.

            "You could have done that earlier," the Professor advised Brock.

            "Yeah, but it's more entertaining this way," Brock said, then assumed his role as undisputed master chef as he led the way to the kitchen. Spread out on the table was a smorgasbord of delectables that he had laid out before being forced to temporarily take a break and play referee.  The food was impressive, not for its gourmet difficulty—not that Brock wasn't capable of it—but for its sheer quantity.  The entire tabletop was covered with sandwich stuffs, vegetable dips, cheese wedges, and the like.  Everyone burst into impromptu clapping, minus Brock, who smiled and nodded his head, modestly accepting the praise.

            "I don't know why you stick with them, but I can see why they stick with you!" Gary said.

            "And what's that supposed to mean..." Ash began angrily.  Brock decided it might be a good idea to 'accidentally' interrupt him.

            "Well, lunch is served!"

            "Alright, let's dig in!" Ash exclaimed, only to get jerked back by the collar.  He turned to see Misty wagging her finger at him.

            "Aren't you missing something?"

            "Uh...hey, where's Pikachu?

            As if on cue, the electric pokémon wandered into the kitchen, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes.  In spite of having just woken from a nap, Pikachu was just like his trainer. He had a sixth sense of when food was being served and never failed to appear at the beginning of a meal.  He hopped happily onto Ash's shoulders and let out contented "pi" when Ash rubbed the base of his ears affectionately. 

            "Have a good nap?" Ash asked, patting his pokémon on the head.

            Togepi toddled in right after, and Misty picked up the baby pokémon and hugged it to herself.  It gave an excited "Toki!" then curled right up to go back to sleep again. 

            "Togepi will wake up when we eat," Misty said, smiling and rocking it gently. 

            "We should let the other pokémon eat now, too," Ash said.  He reached for his poké-belt.  "Alright everybody, come on ou—"

            "Ash!"  Brock and Misty reprimanded at once. 

            "Don't you have any sense?" Misty said.

            Brock was more direct with his objection.  "Don't you have Snorlax with you?  What do you think that's going to do to the Professor's house?"

            "Oops.  Sorry, Professor."  Ash was appropriately embarrassed.  Professor Oak just shook his head.

            "I have a suggestion," he said.  "Why don't you just take everything outside and have a picnic lunch?  The pokémon will have plenty of room on the reserve, and it's a beautiful day outside." 

            "Great idea!"  Misty said, then looked at the clock and furrowed her brow.  "Professor Oak, wasn't Tracey supposed to be back by now?"

            "He usually runs about a little late getting back from his errands," the Professor said.  "Which is not because he isn't conscientious...he just has a tendency to get distracted on his way back.  You wouldn't believe some of the sketches he's shown me from his trips..." he mused.  The kids exchanged a look, not able to figure out if the Professor was talking to them or himself.  "Anyway, I'll just send him out when he gets back," he finished.

            "We'll save some lunch for him," Misty said, and punched Ash lightly on the shoulder.  "Assuming Snorlax here doesn't eat everything before he gets back."

            "I'll keep Snorlax in his poké-ball," Ash protested.

            "I was talking about you."

            "I don't eat that much!  Besides, I'm a growing boy!"

            "Emphasize the 'boy,' part," Misty snickered.  "You're still a baby."

            "I am not!"  Ash said hotly.

            "I'm taller than you."

            "So?  You're older than me!"

            "All the more reason for you to listen to me!"

            "Shut up!"

            "You shut up!"



            Gary stared at them with a slightly puzzled expression on his face.  Brock just ignored them and started packing the picnic basket.  "Want to give me a hand here?" he asked Gary, who willingly obliged.

            "Don't they ever get tired of that?"

            "Do Snorlax get tired of sleeping?  Do Jigglypuffs get tired of singing?" Brock asked rhetorically. 

            "But not five minutes ago..."  Gary trailed off.

            "Has it been that long?  Wow, they've set a record," Brock said mildly.  "Come on, help me finish packing the baskets.  They'll stop when we go outside or they won't get any food."

            "You drive a hard bargain," Gary said.  "I'm impressed."

            "Survival of the fittest, man, survival of the fittest."


            Luckily, both tempers and hungers were appeased when they went outside.  Ash and Misty appeared to call a temporary truce and Gary, wary of Brock's retribution, decided to at least act cordial to Ash lest he be denied any food.  They walked towards the north end of the reserve, where there was a stream that the water pokémon liked to play in.  Misty was anxious to see an aberrant Tentacruel the Professor told her about that, instead of hanging around deeper waters like most of its kind, preferred to play Peek-a-Boo with the other pokémon among the shallower end. 

            The Professor had given his approval of their destination with one caution.  "Stay away from the Houndour pen at the Northwest corner of the property," he said firmly. 

            "Yes sir," three of the kids agreed.

            "You have a houndour?"  Ash said excitedly, only to be smacked by Misty.  "Ow!  I mean, of course, Professor."  

            "I mean it, Ash, " the Professor said, his face holding an uncharacteristically stern expression.  "This houndour is extremely wild.  Park officials in the Cobalt forest—the one above the Indigo Plateau—caught it and brought it to me in hopes that I could channel its aggression.  It had been wounding pokémon up in the mountains, and they were afraid that sooner or later it would attack a trainer.  But it hasn't been responding well to my trainings.  I'd just as soon you stay as far away from it as possible."

            "I promise, Professor," Ash said. 

            "And we all know how good Ash's word is," Misty mumbled, soft enough that only Ash could hear it.  He narrowed his eyes at her.

            "Which means?" he asked back, once again keep his volume low so that the others couldn't tell they were having a conversation .

            "B—i—k—e."  She mouthed the letters.

            "I keep my word!  I'll pay you back...eventually."  He flushed, and Misty started giggling.  The others looked at them curiously and Ash quickly tried to distract them before they asked for an explanation.   "So, are we going or not?"

            "And where should I tell Tracey you went?" Professor Oak asked.

            "The flower beds," Gary said.  "After all, we need to make sure Snorlax is released in an area that it's okay to devastate."

            "DON'T TOUCH MY FLOWERS!" the Professor yelled.

            Everyone hastily agreed to make a trek to the stream instead.

            They reached the stream, the blanket was unfurled, the food was unpacked, and then there was only one problem left.  Seating arrangements.  Anywhere he put Ash, Brock realized, he was going to be catty corner to one of his antagonists. 

            Of course, preventing a fight, no matter where Ash sat, would take a miracle...

            "Hey guys!"

            Aha!  Another referee!   Brock thought.  Now that was a miracle in itself.

            "Hi Tracey!  Long time no see!"  Ash started waving exuberantly.  Misty grinned at him and waved as well.

            "What do you know, the slumber party's all here," Gary said, rolling his eyes. 

            "Slumber parties are for girls," Ash said, wrinkling his nose at the thought.

            "And who said that was inappropriate?" Gary smirked.

            "Take that back!"

            "Make me!"

            "And what's wrong with being a girl?!"  Misty shoved her way between them, narrowing her eyes angrily.  Ash knew from experience a pounding wouldn't be far behind.  Evidently Gary could sense this as well.

            "Nothing," they both said hastily, backing away from her. 

            " it time for lunch?" Tracey asked, laughing nervously.

            "Sure is," Brock said.  "But let's take care of the pokémon first.  Ash..."  Four heads turned to him.

            "I know, I know.  Gary, do you know where I can let Snorlax out so that he doesn't eat all our food before we do?"

            "Of course.  The Snorlax groves," Gary said matter-of-factly.  "They're not very far away, either.  It'll take less than five minutes to get there.  Come on, I'll show you where they are.  Don't start without us," he said flippantly to the others as they started walking off.

            "Yeah, right.  Like that would ever happen."  Ash snorted at the thought.

            "You have hope, as long as you don't take too long.  Don't forget, we've still got to take care of the pokémon," Brock said.  "Here, let us borrow them while you're walking, and we'll go ahead and feed them." 

            They did, though Ash kept Snorlax for the obvious reason, and Pikachu stayed on Ash's shoulder.  He'd eat when his trainer did.

            They had barely made it three steps away when they noticed they weren't alone.  Misty was right at their heels, juggling the still sleeping Togepi in her arms. 

            "What are you doing?" Ash asked.

            "Somebody's got to keep you two from fighting," she said, and Brock and Tracey exchanged looks of amazement at this role reversal.  Misty ignored them.  She wasn't sure why she felt compelled to come, but there was no reason why she shouldn't.  "Besides, the Snorlax groves sound neat."

            "What about the Tentacruel?"

            "I can always see it after lunch."

            Ash and Gary shrugged their shoulders and the three set off towards a nearby hill. "Why are you bringing that egg?" Gary asked.

            "Because it will cry if it wakes up and Misty's not there," Ash said.  He shuddered.  "And believe me, you don't want that to happen." 

            They reached the top of the hill, and just as Gary had said, they could see the Snorlax groves laid out beyond it.  Trees with various fruits (all the kinds that Snorlax were partial to, Ash noted) decorated the landscape.  Here and there flowers dotted  the trees instead of fruit.  The casual observer might think the fruit simply hadn't bloomed yet, and while Ash knew this was true, he also knew that with this particular tree, the snorlax actually preferred the blossoms to the fruit.  Strangely enough, his Snorlax, who ate like nobody's business with almost everything else, was picky when it came to these flowers and would only eat them if they were for dessert.

            "Snorlax, go!" Ash released his pokémon as soon as he saw the trees.  Snorlax looked up, rubbed his eyes groggily, and then blinked at what he saw in front of him.  The three kids laughed at the fast trot the normally lazy pokémon quickly assumed, then they set out after him at a more leisurely pace.

            "This is really great," Ash admired.  "I didn't know this was here.  Snorlax is going to love it.  Then again, I bet Professor Oak has brought him here before, when I had to transport him to the Professor's lab while I was on my journeys."

            "I think your Snorlax is the main reason Grandpa maintains the upkeep on it," Gary said.  "Sometimes various pokémon reserves and zoos send him a few for treatment or research, but yours is the only regular visitor.  Your Snorlax is really cool, Ash," Gary complimented suddenly.  Ash brightened.

            "Thanks," he said.  He scratched his head.  "I just try to keep him happy.  You know how Snorlax are.  Of course, the Professor has him almost as much as I do.  A pokémon trainer is only as good as the people behind him...or her," Ash added at Misty's glance.  She smiled but was busy setting Togepi down, as it was beginning to wake up and was wiggling in her arms. 

            "And my grandfather is the best," Gary added proudly.

            "I'll say," Ash said.  "I don't know where we'd be with out him."

            Gary snickered.  "Well, I think it's safe to say that at least I would be nonexistent."

            "Gary!  I don't even want to think about that!  " But Ash had to laugh.  Even if his face did turn bright pink.

            "Amazing," Misty said, mock seriously.   "You two are agreeing over something?"

            "What?" Ash asked.  "We've talked before without fighting."

            And then Gary's typical smirk returned.  "This is the first time I remember," he said.

            "We have too," Ash said.

            "Have not."

            "Have too."

            "Have not!"

            "Have too!"


            "This is unbelievable!" Misty yelled.  "You're fighting about fighting?"

            Ash looked surprised at the interjection.  "But Misty, you and I do it all the time."

            "No we don't," Misty said in exasperation.

            "Yes we do."

            "No we don't."

            "Yes we do!"

            "No we don't!"

            "Told you so!"

            "ARGH!"  Misty's face was a mottled shade of red.  "Ash Ketchum, you are the most insolent, ridiculous, moronic, pig-headed...boy," she spat out, giving him a glare that said that even bug pokémon weren't as low as him, "that I have ever known!"

            "PIKA PIKA PI!" Pikachu dove between the two frantically.

            "Well he is!" Misty sputtered.

            "That's not what he's saying," Ash said, turning serious.  "He's worried about something.  Come again, buddy?"

            Pikachu took a deep breath.  "Pika pika pi!"  The others looked to Ash for translation.

            "He said...where's Togepi."  Ash nodded in satisfaction, proud of having such strong bond with his pokémon.

            "What?" Misty squealed, and Ash bolted upright, his words finally sinking into his own head. 

            "What a minute, where's Togepi?" he shouted.

            Misty grabbed Ash by the collar of his shirt and shook him.  "If Togepi is lost it's your fault!" she yelled.

            "My fault!" he yelped.  "How can it be my fault?"

            "I don't know!  It just is—it always is!"

            "That's not fair..."

            Ash tried to protest but Gary cut him off.  Shaking his head, the older boy suggested, "Why don't we just look for it?"

            "Look for it.  Good idea," Misty said, temporarily dismissing her grudge.  "Let's split up.  I'll go south, Gary goes west, and Ash and Pikachu go north.  I don't think it would have gone east, that's where we just came from.  I would hope we would have seen it then.  Then again, you'd think we wouldn't let Togepi get lost in the first place," she said in distress.

            "Don't worry, Misty," Ash said, his voice surprisingly compassionate.  "We'll find it.  Come on, Pikachu.  Let's go looking.  TOGEPI!" he called for it.  "Togepi, where are you?"
            He set off farther into the trees, and could hear Gary and Misty echoing his cries.  He furrowed his brow.  The trees were spaced a fair distance apart.  Despite his inner compass, it would be hard to get lost, because everywhere he went, he could see one edge of the grove.  How far could Togepi get in this forest?  It was like he had just disappeared...


            Ash screamed as something humongous stepped out in front of him, blocking his path.  He ran headlong into it and quickly scurried back, then rolled his eyes.  "Snorlax, it's just you.  Sheesh, how did you manage to sneak up on me like that?  Something as big as you shouldn't be able to hide behind a tree!"

            Snorlax just looked at him with squinted eyes.  Ash sighed.

            "Oh, never mind, I've got to keep looking for Togepi...hey, wait!  Have you seen Togepi?" Ash only received another blank look.  "You know, the little egg pokémon?"  Still no response.  "You know, the annoying little thing that goes like this?"  He cleared his throat.  "Prrrrrriiiiii!"

            "Pika pika..." Pikachu fell off Ash's shoulder, laughing at his trainer's pathetic impersonation attempt. 

            "Oh, shut up," Ash said crossly.  Then his eyes widened, and he said triumphantly, "See, it worked."

            "Snore?"  Snorlax's ears stuck straight up and he placed his feet in the fifth position, straight out to either side.  He stuck his arms up in the air and waved them back and forth in unison in a metronome pantomime.  "Snore?"

            "Yes, Togepi!  Where is it?" Ash said excitedly.


            Snorlax's face broke into a wide grin, and lifted his arm as if to point Ash in the right direction—and then pointed directly to his mouth.

            "No!  Snorlax, you didn't!"  Ash asked, horrified. 

            "Snore!"  Snorlax nodded in satisfaction as he rubbed his tummy, a dreamy expression on his face.  Ash fell over.

            "Oh my God, you couldn't have!  Do you know what you've done?"  Ash gripped his hands to his head in dismay.

            "Snore?" Snorlax gave him a diffident look.  Ash leaned against his pokémon's great tub of a stomach and buried his face in Snorlax's fur. 

            "What am I going to tell Misty?" he moaned.  "She's gonna kill me!  She's gonna freakin' kill me!"

            Snorlax patted his trainer's head sympathetically, still happily oblivious to the stress he was causing, and Ash moaned again.

            "Thanks, but no thanks," he muttered.  "Oh Togepi...even you didn't deserve that death..."


            Pikachu's ears perked, but Ash paid no attention to the sound.  "I know, I know..." he said.  "I made fun of you, I said you had no powers, but I was just playing around.  You know, me and Misty do it all the time.  Since you were her pokémon, I must have thought you were just an extension of her..."


            "...but I didn't mean it, really.  I should have protected you...


            "Pika..." Pikachu tried to tug on Ash's leg but Ash brushed him off absentmindly.

            "...I know how Snorlax is when he gets in these moods.  I swear, he tried to eat me once.  Granted, I was dressed up like a giant apple...but you didn't choose your own appearance.  You were just a baby..."

            "PIKA PIKA CHU!"

            "...I should have...what, Pikachu?!"

            Pikachu pointed.  Ash followed his pokémon's gaze through the trees, out past the edge of the grove, and out into the middle of a giant field.  And there, waving exuberantly, was a clueless, perky, and very much alive, Togepi.

            "TOGEPI!" Ash was so relieved he forgot to be annoyed that it had run away.  "How'd you get all the way over there?  Never mind, let's just get you safely back before Misty stresses out even more.  HEY GUYS!"  Ash yelled as loud as he could, the effort causing a slight tickle in his throat which he ignored.  "I FOUND HIM!  Go see if you can find them."  The last was directed to Pikachu in a normal, if not slightly hoarse, voice.  "I'll go get that little booger."

            Ash broke out into a run.  "Stay there, Togepi, I'm coming to get you...oomph, why's this fence here?"  Narrowly avoiding plowing into it, Ash changed his momentum so that it carried him over the fence instead of headfirst into it.

            "Priiiiii!"  The egg pokémon waved its hands around with laughter, as if it were all a game. 

            "Good grief..." Ash mumbled.  "You just don't get it, do you?"  He glanced around.  He couldn't see the corner of the fence in either direction—in fact the fence cut through a forest, sectioning it off into two different areas. He wondered if this was even part of the Professor's property.  Togepi had never had any inhibitions about trespassing.

            He made his way out to Togepi and picked it up.  By this point he could see Pikachu leading Gary and Misty up to the fence.  Misty clapped her hands and started to climb over the fence to reclaim her prodigal egg, but Gary yanked her back.  He was either incredibly stupid or brave to risk doing that, but he looked as though he wasn't even listening to her shouts as he gazed out across the field in concern.

            "Ash, what the hell do you think you're doing?" he yelled, and Misty stopped shouting, staring at him in astonishment.  Ash narrowed his eyes.  He figured Gary would try to boss him around at some point.

            "What do you think?  I'm saving this dumb pokémon!" was Ash's irked reply. 

            "Get out of there this minute!"  Gary yelled. "You're in the houndour pen!"

            Oops...this was not good.  Ash realized that Gary wasn't being harsh so much as he was worried.  After a quick look at his surroundings, where he noticed nervously that he and Togepi were the only ones who appeared to be out in the open, he broke out running towards the fence as fast as he could.

            "Well, why didn't you just say so?" he shouted. 

            "I tried!" Gary yelled in exasperation, but Ash was busy placing one foot in front of the other as fast as humanly possibly.  He covered half the distance to the fence easily and felt his anxiety ease a bit.  He might as well have been racing the wind—he could see nothing around him at all.  For all anyone knew the houndour was at the opposite end of the pen.  In a few moments he would be standing with the others and they would all be laughing about this.

            If only life were that easy.

            He heard Misty scream and picked up his already furious pace without even looking to see why.  When climbing tall buildings, don't look down; when racing houndour, don't look back.  He could never hope to outrun a houndour with speed or agility, but luck was on his side—he was so close to the fence, maybe he was close enough to beat it there...


            The voice was Gary's, trying to call the pokémon back, and this did cause Ash to look up.  Pikachu had ducked underneath the fence and now running in a diagonal towards the woods.  A frightfully large houndour, rushing horizontally towards Ash, was its target.

            "Pikachu, no!  Don't get hurt!" Ash yelled.  Pikachu ignored him.  "Pikachu!...Okay, at least protect yourself!  Thundershock, now!"

            Pikachu quickly powered up his attack and let loose with a bolt of electricity headed directly towards the other pokémon.  The houndour ducked around it easily.  But Ash was almost at the fence.  He could jump over it...

            Then what?  The houndour could too.

            Startled at this, Ash missteped and went sprawling upon the ground.  His ankle throbbed as he twisted it and his eyes went wide, but it was from fear instead of pain.  His heart was in his throat.  The game was over.

            He heard Misty screaming again but his mind had already blocked everything else out in preparation for the inevitable.  He curled up over Togepi to protect it, closed his eyes, and with an impossible sense of dread—just waited.


Coming in Chapter Two: Oh, wretched cliffhanger...does Ash get hurt?  Will there be any AAML hints?  And where the heck did the stupid title come from? 

Pokémon Did-You-Know:  Unlike in America, in Japan people do not point to themselves by pointing at their chest.  Rather, they point to their nose.  This can be seen in the second movie, both when Ash is at the shrine and learns he is the Chosen One, and at the end, when Lugia motions for Ash to get on his back.  (Both times are a "Who, me?" gesture.) 

Now, I'd better get no more than zero reviews, or else I won't post the next chapter.............made you look.  No, seriously, please don't take me seriously.  I love hearing from everyone.  Granted, some reviews are less psychotic than others (ahem, Sharon ^_~), but I'm not one to talk about sanity!  Thanks so much for all your kind comments! 

This story is dedicated to Spruceton Spook.  If you get bored waiting for the next part, go read her exciting conclusion to Spooked!  Well, make sure you've read the rest of the story first, of's quite fun!

Disclaimer:  I do not own pokémon.  However, I do own the absolutely adorable (okay, neurotic, close enough) Pikachu picture on my profile page.  I made using my Picture It!© program—you may call it "Neon Pika."  La di da...