disclaimer: Emerald Twin Blade does not own Pokémon or any of the characters, cities, etc. that you recognize from the show/game that appear in this fic. The Main Idea for this fic, also, does not belong to her. It belongs to the Asian Teddy Bear.
Dedication: To the Asian Teddy Bear, who is like my new best friend. XD
Emerald's News & Nonsense:
Yaay! I'm back with another new Pokémon fic! ... although, this is a new one for me! I've never actually written Palletshipping before, but I've been a fan of it for a good 2 years or so. XP
Also! The basic idea for this fic came from Asian Teddy Bear, who I met on Serebii Forums in the Palletshipping Thread. XD! I had put up a "What if Ash were Sick? What would Gary do?" Topic, and his reply turned into me making this One-Shot as a gift!
It was really fun to write... Actually, the flow of this fic is my idea, but he gave me the push to actually write it. LoL! I hope you enjoy it! :D
Go on, then! It's only a One-Shot! XD
Under the Weather : What Comes with the Moonlight
Ah-achoo!! Sniffle… "Aagh… That one hurt…" mumbled a certain black-haired Pokémon Master-in-training as he walked down a familiar roadway toward Ecruteak City.
"Pika pi!" a small, yellow electric mouse squeaked, calling the boy's attention to where it sat on his shoulder.
"… huh? What is it, Pikachu?" he asked, sniffling again in an attempt to clear his nose.
Pikachu turned around and rummaged in his backpack for a moment before getting comfortable again and holding out a tissue to its trainer. The boy smiled at his Pokémon, taking the thin piece of paper gratefully.
"Thanks." He then proceeded to hold the paper to his nose and blow as hard as he could, closing his eyes and even stopping his advance toward the city as he let out a loud HONK!!
Pikachu held on tight to the fabric of its trainer's backpack strap, hoping not to be blown away by the intensity of the blow. It could have been comparable to a Pidgeot's Whirlwind attack! At least it didn't last as long as the battle technique…
Wiping lightly at his nose, the trainer crumpled up the tissue and stuffed it into his pocket. He was not one for littering and it was very unlikely that he would find a trash can on the way back to Ecruteak City from Olivine City, so he would just have to hold on to his mess for a while. Taking a deep breath, he started walking again, wondering how his friends were doing.
Ash Ketchum, in his pursuit to become a Pokémon Master, had heard about the Champion showing up at Olivine City before making his departure for Vermillion City in Kanto, and naturally, he had wanted to go meet him and maybe challenge him to a battle. His companions, Brock and Misty, were much too tired of traveling between Olivine and Ecruteak City already, so they decided to stay there and wait. Ash went on his own with his partner Pikachu, but by the time they got to Olivine, the Champion was already gone. Their day-long trip had been for nothing, and Ash seemed to have caught something while he was there. He had promised his friends, however, that he would go straight back to Ecruteak when he had no more business in Olivine; this leads us to where we started, on his way back.
It had probably already been an hour or two since he departed from the seaside city, but it felt like it had been much longer. He was already feeling very tired and wanted to stop for a rest, but he had made that promise… so he would not stop unless something or someone came by to force him to. As if on cue, a short boy with dark green hair scurried out from behind some bushes, running out into Ash's path.
"You, there! I challenge you to a battle!" the probably ten-year-old boy called, holding a pokéball out in front of him to emphasize what he wanted.
Ash would have normally smirked and accepted the challenge whole-heartedly, with a confidence unlike any other! However, he was not feeling like he was at a hundred and fifty percent that day. He let out a loud string of coughs that sounded like they could be damaging his throat with every one that escaped him, but once he was able to stop himself, he spoke.
"I accept!" he replied in a slightly scratchier voice than usual.
The young trainer made a worried look, tempted to call it off since the other did not look so well. Before he could, though, the black-haired boy had already selected his Pikachu for the battle. The mouse-like Pokémon hopped off of his shoulder and stood on all-fours in front of him, electricity crackling at its cheeks. Realizing that there was no turning back, the younger threw the pokéball in his right hand out onto the ground.
The red-and-white ball popped open, releasing a bright white light that soon faded away to reveal what seemed to be a small cow. It cooed a soft "miru, miru!" as it waved its arms excitedly. Ash winced a bit from the flash of light prior to the opponent Pokémon's appearance, pain pulsing through his eyes and blowing waves of it over the inside of his skull. Picking up his right hand, he pressed it to his temple and lowered his head for a moment, trying to forget about the aching and erase the flash that continually appeared in front of his eyes.
The newcomer, after watching this for a moment, opened his mouth to ask if they should continue, but a loud "CHUU!!" stopped him. His light green eyes went from the trainer to the Pokémon, surprised that it had already started to battle even though its master had not issued an order. Pikachu radiated a yellow aura as it let out a powerful stream of electricity toward its opponent. The young trainer and his Miltank, completely off guard, could not do a thing as the attack struck the Normal-type Pokémon, doing severe damage to it despite there not being a type match-up. The second the Thunder attack came to a halt, Miltank fell to the ground in defeat. Its trainer was stunned by the one-hit KO, but recalled it to its pokéball; the other's Pikachu must have just wanted to get them out of the way quickly so they could go on.
"Hey, thanks for the great battle. Congrats on the win—" He was suddenly interrupted when he saw what the black-haired boy did next.
Ash began to cough again, his chest heaving painfully. His arms wrapped themselves around him as he keeled over, landing on his knees and coughing onto the ground. The unnamed Trainer ran up to the older and bent down beside him, putting his hand to his shoulder to steady him so that he would not fall. Ash's shoulders shook as he tried to stop himself, but every time he was able to pause for a few seconds, it all came out twice as badly afterward. Once he calmed himself down, the green-haired trainer helped him back up to stand.
"Listen… I know we just met, but would you maybe want to come back to my house? You're really sick!" he offered worriedly.
The older boy, however, merely shook his head, a few beads of sweat sliding down the side of his face, "No, I'm fine… This is nothing, and besides, I have to get back to Ecruteak City… My friends are waiting for me."
"I'm no doctor, but I don't think you're in any condition to be traveling like you are now…"
"I'm serious! There's nothing wrong with me! I've just got a throat problem, alright?!" Ash snapped, getting frustrated with the trainer, "Just… get out of my way."
The green-haired boy was taken aback, but he did back off. Taking a few steps backward, he took one last look at him before running off into the bushes.
Ash was alone again, with the exception of his best friend Pikachu. He picked up his right hand and adjusted his Pokémon League hat for a moment, walking forward again. Pikachu instinctively approached its trainer and walked along beside him.
Achoo!! The black-haired trainer sneezed, wiping at his nose with his right arm, "Aah… not sick… I am not sick…"
He kept mumbling to himself, staring straight ahead and clenching his fists. He felt just like he always did! Nothing anyone said or did would keep him from going back to Ecruteak City that day, period!
Sneeze! Cough, cough, cough… Sneeze!!
It was turning into a pattern now, and it was getting really old. Ash wiped his nose with another tissue for what seemed like the thousandth time that day, but he just could not seem to stop himself from repeating the sequence over and over again. If he did, he would wind up lengthening the amount of coughs and hurt his throat even more.
"What… did I do… to deserve this?"
"Pika pi, pikachu…" Pikachu squeaked from where it walked at his right side, worried about its trainer.
"What? We're not gonna stop! We promised them we'd be back!" Ash reminded in a matter-of-factly tone before he sneezed into the tissue his right hand held.
"Pikachu, pi pika!" The little yellow mouse protested with genuine concern in its small voice and in its big brown eyes.
"I already told you! I'm not sick! I've just… got allergies! Yeah, that's a—a—achoo!!" He breathed in deeply, his nose telling him that it was still full and heavy, "Aagh…"
It was then that his head began to feel a little bit odd. It felt lighter for some reason, as if he may just fly up into the clouds and get lost. His vision blurred, focusing in and out as the dirt road in front of him seemed to sway from right to left. All of a sudden, the pathway split into three and he no longer knew which he was taking or which he was supposed to take. Everything started getting brighter, but not as if the sun was coming out from behind some clouds; it was like everything just kept getting lighter and lighter until everything turned pure white. He could no longer see anything in front of him. His head became numb to the point that he was losing control of his face, unable to change his facial expression. He could not even gather up enough strength to force himself to smile.
After the loss of control to his face, Ash's knees gave out. He fell on top of them, but as he fell forward, his arms instantly shot out so that he could catch himself. The shock from the fall was enough to wake his head up, allowing him to finally open his mouth to pant heavily and to close his eyes in an attempt to steady himself. He had not been able to see… It was like he was blind! When he closed his eyes, all he saw was pure black, and he preferred it that way. He could hear his companion whimpering in alarm beside him, but he did not want to move so much right then. Pikachu would just have to trust that he would be alright on his own.
I'll just stay here for a few minutes to catch my breath… Ash thought, reassuring himself that he was just tired from traveling as fast as he had been. This was absolutely not happening because he was sick.
"Chuu…" Pikachu cooed from beside his arm, watching him intently.
The sound of footsteps stomping on soft, thin blades of grass took the Pokémon's attention, its ears twitching as its gaze was instantly pulled in the direction of the almost-noiseless thuds, "Pika, pika…?"
It blinked as it watched a particularly large bush rustle, only to be surprised when its trainer's main rival emerged from the other side of the plant. It did not feel a threat from him, but once he had brushed off some leaves from his long purple shirt and his reddish-brown hair, his green eyes immediately fell on Ash.
Gary Oak made a mildly shocked look, but it melted away in a matter of seconds. A wide, superior smirk curled over his lips as he straightened himself up and fixed his grip on the bag string he held over his shoulder. His brown boot-covered feet began to walk toward the fallen trainer and his Pikachu, completely unaware of their predicament.
"Well, well! If it ain't little Ashy-boy! What's wrong here? Did y'hurt yourself? Lose something? … Or are you just on your hands and knees for me? Better late than never!" the brunette laughed arrogantly for a moment, but then stopped as he awaited an angry reply.
Ash, however, was in no condition to give him one. He did not even acknowledge that he knew the other boy was there; all he did was continue to stare down at the pebbles and gravel of the dirt pathway beneath them as he panted quietly, his shoulders heaving up and down quickly.
Gary tilted his head to the side after waiting exactly triple the amount of time it usually took for the other boy to snap at him for cracking wise remarks, or even just using his oh-so-beloved nickname; something was definitely up.
He frowned, "What's your deal? You finally figure out that it's useless to talk back to me?" Or that I'm only teasing you?
Again, nothing; the black-haired boy did not move or say anything to him. At last, the older of the two squatted down in front of the other, putting his bag down beside him. With his right hand now vacant, he reached out his index and middle fingers beneath Ash's chin, gently tilting his head upward so that he could get a look at his face.
What Gary saw made his eyes widen for a moment in surprise; Ash's face was bright red and his skin was damp with sweat. His brown eyes were half-lidded, likely in an attempt to steady dizzy vision; his breathing was heavy, as though he had been holding his breath for a long time. The older boy's expression softened at this observation, a touch of worry in his voice as he spoke.
"Aaah… So, Ashy's gone and gotten himself sick, huh?"
A second ago, although weak as he felt, Ash's heart had been pounding so hard in his chest that he was sure that Gary could hear it. Being so close to his rival was something that never happened, and the way he held his chin so softly… The black-haired trainer was half-thankful that his face had been reddened by being ill, lest the other may have been able to decipher the blush that had added itself to his already dark cheeks. However, the moment those words left Gary's lips, Ash's state of exhaustion instantly melted away. He blinked and glared into the green eyes that were approximately six inches away from his own, picking up his right hand and smacking away the hand holding his chin.
The brunette, surprised by Ash's sudden burst of energy, flinched back a few centimeters. Ash let out a cough as he tried to growl, picking up his right knee and putting his hand on it to push himself up.
"I… am not… s-sick…" he stuttered, holding in a sneeze to finish saying the last word before letting it out.
Once he was on his feet, he stumbled a bit from sneezing, losing his balance. The trainer tried to steady himself, but everything started to spin again. His eyes rolled back a bit, closing as he began to fall backward.
Gary had gotten up quickly, reaching out a hand and grabbing the younger boy by the collar of his black T-shirt. He was about to pull him back to stand up straight, but he received another biting glare.
"What's the big idea!?" Ash snapped, trying his best to make it look like he was fine.
The older simply raised an eyebrow smugly at him, letting his grip on the other's shirt loosen significantly. Ash then felt all balance leave him again as he fell back onto the dirt road, his jacket falling open and his hat falling a few inches away from his head.
"A-aagh!!" he cried as the back of his head collided with the ground, turning it so that his cheek barely touched some sharp pebbles beneath him.
He winced as pain struck through his head, but it disappeared a few seconds later. Opening one eye, he looked upward, only to see a familiar, haughty-looking purple-and-brown blur standing above him.
Gary narrowed his eyes down at Ash, "Are you really that dense?" Ash was about to reply, but was interrupted by his rival continuing, "… don't answer that. You're sick, Ashy-boy. Most smart people would settle down until they felt better before traveling. And you're obviously not one of them."
This time, when Ash growled, it worked perfectly without causing a cough, "Shut up! What's your problem, Gary!? Just leave me alone! There's nothing wrong with me, so just back off!"
The older boy's light green eyes never left the other's brown ones for the following minute or so, until he finally shut them and turned his face in another direction, "Tch… Whatever…"
With that said, Gary started walking off toward Olivine City, his bag held over his right shoulder as he made his exit.
The black-haired boy glared at the other until he had finally disappeared from his sight, sighing when he was finally gone. He looked downward, only to see a shy-looking, worried little Pikachu staring up at him. He managed a small smile as he reached his hand down toward it, signaling it to jump onto his shoulder. It complied, running up his arm and hopping onto its spot beside his head. It rubbed its bright red cheek against his lovingly.
"It's alright, Pikachu… I'm okay." Ash reassured it as he put his hat back on and got back up, beginning to walk in the opposite direction toward Ecruteak, "… Stupid Gary doesn't know what he's talking about."
The sun had set about two hours before, and clouds seemed to huddle together to smear the sky so dark that nearly nothing could be seen without straining one's eyes. Ash Ketchum, although a very, very stubborn trainer, was finally talked into stopping for the night by his caring little companion. He had started a fire an hour earlier, managing to somehow find some pieces of wood, sticks and twigs in the surrounding area of his chosen campsite. Currently, he sat in front of the fire with his knees pulled up to his chest and his arms wrapped around his legs. Light brown eyes watched as the fire crackled and changed colors; was it supposed to do that? He knew that flames could be red, yellow and orange, but he had never seen a green or brown fire before. Picking up one of his hands, he groaned as his fingers covered over his eyes.
What did I do? Seriously? This isn't just a sore throat, and definitely not allergies… A headache rang through his head, making his brain feel like it was growing bigger and smaller than his skull could handle, Gary was right… I really am sick…
"Chuu!" Pikachu squeaked delightedly.
Ash's gaze went from the fire to his best friend, who sat to the left of the fire from where he was, as it happily munched on its Pokémon food. The trainer himself had forgotten to restock on food before leaving Olivine City, so there was nothing for him to eat at all. His water bottles had all come out empty, as well, so he could not even quench his thirst during his time of need. His head fell between his chest and knees as he realized that he would either die of whatever illness had taken a hold of him, or of dehydration because of the illness and his lack of available drinkable liquid.
If Brock were here, he'd know what to do… He thought in a reprimanding way, rolling his eyes. His eyes softened as another person crossed his mind, Maybe I shouldn't have been so harsh to Gary… He's usually really mean to me, but he actually seemed to care this time.
The clouds of the night that shielded any light from touching the earth below suddenly cleared, the full moon shining down and illuminating the area. Ash looked up at it, his sickly blush very visible in the night air. His eyes squinted slightly at how bright the moon was; had it ever been so bright before? Bright to the point of making his headache worse? He shook his head as he lowered his face to look at the fire again; he was just a little bit light-sensitive. It was another symptom of being ill.
Ash could feel a cough burning in his throat, just waiting to rip itself free. He tried to hold it back, but because his strength was limited, it came out even worse than it would have if he had let it out in the first place. His esophagus felt engorged and scratchy, likely from all of the coughing he had done during the day. His nose was just as red as his cheeks, due to the same treatment from too much sneezing.
Soft footfalls on grass could be heard, but after finishing eating, Pikachu had already fallen asleep. It was unaware of what was going on, so it's off guard trainer would be at a loss if the approaching person was dangerous. Ash simply went through another 'coughing spasm,' as he had come to call it, and then hugged his knees closer to himself, shivering. Why was the night air so cold? Or was it just him? His face was sweating, though, but he felt like he was going to freeze.
"You really are an idiot, aren't you?" the unnoticed figure asked aloud from several feet away from the unsuspecting boy.
Ash jumped in surprise at the loud voice that pierced the quiet air, his head whipping to the left to see Gary Oak walking up to him slowly with his bag under his left arm and a dark green blanket slung over his right shoulder.
"G-Gary…?" the black-haired boy asked, wondering what his rival could be doing there.
Gary simply pulled the blanket off of his shoulder and let it fall over Ash's head, sitting down beside him. The younger, uncomfortable with his head cover, quickly pulled the blanket from his cranium and let it settle over his shoulders; his light brown eyes slid over to the other just in time to feel an arm slide around his waist to pull him closer to the brunette. The blood instantly rushed to Ash's cheeks, but it was physically invisible because he still had his feverish flush in place. Hesitantly, he lowered his head a little and leaned his temple against Gary's shoulder, his eyes drooping tiredly.
The older boy sighed smoothly, speaking softly, "You seriously need to start wising up, Ashy… You won't ever be the best if you don't take care of yourself."
Ash glared into the fire, swearing that the flames had flared for a moment. Did Gary think that he was too sick to argue? Well, he had another thing coming! He began to open his mouth to reply, but his throat squeezed together on the inside and made him go into another coughing spasm. Pulling up the two ends of the blanket around him, he pressed his covered hands against his mouth to keep from contaminating his rival.
Okay, so I am too sick to argue. Fine, you win this time. He thought, but understanding of Gary's words finally dawned on him, making him sigh a bit sadly and cautiously.
The brunette noticed this, feeling the vibration of the other's deep exhalation go through his arm and shoulder. His arm tightened around Ash's waist, bringing him slightly closer.
"You don't have to worry too much, though… It doesn't happen very often, right?"
The younger trainer could feel the heat in his cheeks rise to an odd level, his heartbeat increasing from the one movement around him. He wondered if Gary could feel it now that he was so very close to him; he would not be very surprised, but as the same time, he did not feel as though he would mind.
"… Oh! I almost forgot!" Gary thought aloud, withdrawing the limb that held Ash close to him in favor of pulling his bag into his lap.
He quickly untied the strings keeping it closed and pulled out a glass bottle of what seemed to be milk. The confused look on the other's face was to be expected; before he could ask, Gary grinned and answered his question.
"It's Moo Moo Milk. It does wonders on Pokémon, but it also works on people, too. If you drink some, you're bound to feel a little better."
He tilted the bottle in his right hand toward the other, watching as Ash's green fingerless-gloved hand reached over to take it. Their fingers brushed each other, but even though Ash's blush was completely masked, Gary's was not. His brown eyes widened at the sight; his rival's cheeks had grown to a light rosy red color once he had quickly retracted his hand from the glass.
A small smile twisted over his lips as he opened the bottle and took a few slow swigs of it. Looking sideways as he did this, he caught Gary leaning his elbows on his knees and watching him suck the thick, two-percent white milk out of the small glass bottle. Ash nearly choked as a foreign feeling sparked to life in his chest; the soft, almost-fond look in Gary's eyes as he gazed at him was definitely not something he had seen (or noticed) before. Coughing again, he wiped his mouth with the back of his glove, holding the bottle in his left hand as his arms draped themselves over his knees.
Shiny brown hues glanced over to Gary again, his blush darkening, "Hey, Gary… Why are… you being so nice to me all of a sudden?"
Gary blinked, staring at him blankly. This look, though it confused him, made Ash cough again, but in embarrassment, "I-it's not that I don't appreciate it or anything!! It's just that… you're usually so high-and-mighty and looking down on me… I guess I kinda forgot that you had a nice side."
Ash continued to speak, but more to himself rather than to Gary. It was also more quietly to the point that the older boy had to strain his ears to hear him.
"… I like you better this way…"
Green eyes widened, cheeks reddening to a darker shade. He quickly looked away from the younger boy before speaking aloud, "Y-you should drink all of the milk! I heard that if you down the whole bottle… you'll be better by the next morning."
The black-haired trainer leaned his head onto Gary's right shoulder again, further surprising him. His smile was an innocent and genuine one as he stared down at the bottle in his hands, "… Thanks, Gary."
The glitter of that smile… was definitely contagious. The brunette found himself smiling back, "Anytime, Ashy-boy…"
Ash's eye twitched lightly at the sound of the nickname before he finished the rest of the milk quickly. Pulling the container away from him, he was about to wipe away the milk mustache it left behind, but Gary reached out his left hand and stopped him. The younger raised a curious eyebrow at him, asking him 'why' with only his eyes.
"No, let me…" Gary whispered enticingly as he slowly moved closer to the other.
Ash froze in place, his bones locking into place and muscles tensing uncomfortably. His heart thumped painfully in his chest as he began to take short, rapid breaths. The older boy's face was coming dangerously close to his, but even though his mind kept telling him to get out of the situation, the truth was that he really did not want to. All of the feelings inside of him seemed to be fusing and merging together, making one big, uncontrollable sensation spread throughout his body. He felt so weak because of it, his eyes falling closed as his vision began to go out of focus with how close Gary was.
Gary's eyelids fell half-closed as his tongue slid out from between his lips to lick away the line of milk over Ash's upper lip.
It felt so weird… but a good kind of weird, to have the other rid him of such a feeble thing as a milk mustache. The black-haired boy suppressed the urge to whimper, the feel of a warm, wet tongue near his own mouth making it that much harder to concentrate on that one little thing.
With no trace of pure white milk to be found, the brunette had no intention of ending such an intimate moment. His soft lips ghosted over Ash's lips for a moment before pressing them to the rough surface gently. He did not care that his rival was sick, or that they were both boys; all he cared about was being with him right then.
The weakness that Ash had from being ill had intensified tenfold by the feelings he was getting toward Gary and what they were doing. His vacant right hand hesitantly placed itself over Gary's left shoulder as he tried to keep himself upright, but his grip on the empty glass bottle loosened, making it fall to the ground with a dull clink!
The two boys immediately jumped away from each other, startled by the sudden, high-pitched noise. It might have actually been louder and have broken if they were camped on the road, but the grass made the sound significantly quieter. Nonetheless, their senses had been heightened, not only because of the moment they just shared, but because of how absolutely quiet it was.
"Ah-ahm…" Ash mumbled, looking away shyly, What just… happened?
Gary cleared his throat loudly as he picked up the bottle, putting the cap over it and tossing it back into his bag. Placing his right hand over his knee, he pushed himself up to his feet, securing the bag over his shoulder before speaking again, "I should probably get going… See you arou—"
He was stopped in mid-goodbye when Ash's hand reached out and tugged on his pant leg, his meek voice asking, "Can… you stay with me? Just for a little longer?"
The older trainer was shocked to see the look of wanting on the other's face, but he sighed in mock-restlessness as he put his stuff back down and sat beside him again, "I guess I can spare a little more time…"
Ash smiled, leaning onto Gary's shoulder again as he looked off into the fire. It was not long, however, until his eyes slowly fell closed and he had fallen asleep. Gary noticed easily enough and smiled, softly laying the other down over his sleeping bag and covering him with the blanket again. Picking up his stuff, he then walked off into the fading light as the moon became hidden by the clouds again.
Emerald's Notes & Nonsense:
Blaha! I seriously sped through this fic... XD! I'll admit that it's not very well written... I know I can do a lot better, but I'm too excited right now. XD!
HOPE Y'ALL ENJOYED IT! And don't forget to Review! XD