Disclaimer: My name's certainly not affiliated with Pokémon –not unless I want to be sued .
Story: All Ash Ketchum has ever wanted was to be the best. Ash's dream was to be the unbeatable, greatest and grandest Pokémon Master there ever was. So now of legal age to get a Trainer's license, Ash can start the road for just that. Problem? Ash is a girl. And the world is full of perverts as her mother had warned and so Ash Ketchum the girl must become Ash Ketchum the boy.
Set as an AU.
Warnings: Perverts, raunchy humor, weird humor, craziness, etc…
Pairings: Ash with a lot of people (mostly one-sided), Ash/Lance and Ash/Steven for sure.
Loyal to the Game
Chapter Six: The Unsinkable Ship
Ash laid wide awake, feeling the sun shining on her. She took big, even breaths, not taking her gaze off of the ceiling.
Her mother would be furious and upset with her.
Even though it was entirely innocent and nothing had happened (plus she had a good reason for being there) Ash had practically unquestioningly and undeniably slept over a man's home. Alone. And was in his bed.
There was a strong knock on the door, and she glanced at it in panic.
"Good morning," she heard Lt. Surge say from the other side, though he didn't open the door. "Breakfast's ready downstairs, if you want some."
"Thanks! I'll…be down. Just give me a sec!" Ash hurriedly got off of the bed and went to the attached bathroom, washing her face quickly and combing her hair. In no time, she rushed downstairs to see Lt. Surge laying down a plate of pancakes down for her, and then rubbing a happy Pikachu's head, handing the pokémon a ketchup bottle as he passed Pikachu and went to his fridge.
Ash's lips twitched upwards, and she came closer.
"I was wondering if that was okay for Pikachu to eat. I keep thinking I should ask Professor Oak, but I forget all the time," she slid into her seat in front of her plate.
Lt. Surge laughed, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. "Actually, I don't know either. I just know Raichu likes mustard," he admitted sheepishly. He then took the mustard bottle out at the same time as he tossed a pokéball to the floor, calling out Raichu, who he then threw the mustard bottle to.
Ash clapped her hands. "Oh, that's so cute! Pikachu and Raichu match!"
"They do, huh?" Lt. Surge chuckled, watching the electric mice pokémon sit together and enjoy the bottles. "Hey, my pokémon are in the next room over eating too, so if you want to feed your pokémon, go ahead and set them up there."
She blinked in surprise, before grinning at him. "Really? Thanks! I'll go and do that. I'll be back!"
And after breakfast, they headed for the Pokémon Center, with Pikachu and Raichu trailing behind them and talking in their own language to each other as Lt. Surge and her walked quietly.
"So…I know your red-headed friend's probably going to scream and attack me," Lt. Surge mentioned, confusing Ash. "Therefore, I should probably do this now."
He turned to her and surprised her by the gentle hug he gave her, and she could feel her face heat up and become bright red.
When Lt. Surge took a step back, he was grinning lazily at her. "And, I hope you don't mind, I programmed my number into your pokédex, which is really cool by the way. Call or text me anytime, alright?"
"Y-yeah," she said in a daze.
And when they finally entered the Pokécenter, meeting up with Misty and Brock, Lt. Surge just met Misty's suspicious and angry look with a smug smirk, and let his eyes trail indifferently over to Brock who was frowning at him.
"Ne, Ash. We match like Pikachu and Raichu do," he said casually, confusing and angering Misty and Brock.
Ash just blinked, but he was satisfied to note her cheeks were still blushing lightly.
"Thanks again, Lucien!" Ash yelled as she, Misty and Brock boarded the St. Anne. Lt. Surge waved after her until she couldn't see him any more as she went further into the ship.
At the entrance, she grinned and took a selfie, giggling as she sent it to Lt. Surge. She hesitated, before sending it to Giovanni too. With both messages, she sent the text: Determinedly gonna copy Leonardo DiCaprio.
She just had to find the ship's bow and her Kate Winslet.
Misty was excited, despite her annoyance that Ash had to spend the night at Lt. Surge's and the so-called "tour." The man wasn't joking about calling it a date, Misty knew. And who knows what had happened at his house! A whole night alone together! She wouldn't trust that muscle-brained idiot as far as she could throw him. Pushing those feelings down, the hot-headed trainer tried to keep her focus on the fun, lest she ended up running back to the Vermillion City Gym and attack the blond gym leader.
"The new Titanic, they call it! It really is unsinkable compared to Titanic's fate," an elderly man exclaimed to his companion.
Ash blinked, eavesdropping on the loud duo. She couldn't help it anyway. They were being so loud, that she could've heard them even if she hadn't wanted to.
"Is that so? Why, I don't know how there is any difference."
The conversation grew quieter as they continued walking away, heading to the first-class rooms reserved for them. They were ecstatic about them, and were more than satisfied when they actually arrived to their rooms. Ash really had to thank Lt. Surge for the tickets again, especially since he'd had such nice, extravagant rooms reserved. She couldn't even imagine the cost this would have taken normally, and doubtlessly would have been more than any of them could have afforded, even together.
"Okay, let's split up and explore the ship!" Ash said decidedly, full male outfit on, via Giovanni's high class gift to her. She was excited to finally use the expensive and high-quality formal suit, and with all these fancy people around, she could blend in with it too.
Misty nodded in satisfaction and Brock sniffled, seeing his Ash all dressed up as a guy and hiding her beauty. Such melodrama from a man…
"See you guys later then!" she waved goodbye, leaving them behind to explore the huge ship.
Ash walked aimlessly around, grinning at everything. She oohed at the food and then aahed at the people and things. She was happy to see smiling faces, and felt happy herself, especially with continually getting to experience new things. She kept walking, not paying attention to where she was going, and she ended up running into someone.
Looking up, she looked to see a familiar face, though she couldn't quite remember whom.
"I'm sorry! Are you alright?" Ash asked anxiously.
The man actually had blue hair, she noted. "I'm fine. You are too, right?"
"Yep. My name's Ash!"
He grinned, "Ja –Jameson."
Ash laughed brightly, "Let's go finish exploring together?"
"Okay then. Let's explore the buffet first," Jameson said just as his stomach began growling.
She giggled again and they walked off to the buffet. After chowing down and drawing the occasional wide-eyed stares at their shared appetites, the two went out and found the shopping center. They goofed around a little, looking at things being sold, just window-shopping. They spotted some cool Poké Gear, and new tech for pokémon like the new Premier Ball from Devon Corporation and human tech toys like the new Kindle or iPod. They browsed the bookstore a bit, finally skipping to the manga section and hovering over one of them as they read together, and then lastly they both bought matching charm bracelets for each other and chose a single charm for the other to have.
James of Team Rocket, in the meantime, had grown less nervous about seeing his team's newly-made nuisance, and had all but forgotten that she was the one who usually messed up his team's plans. In the beginning, she'd run into him suddenly and he'd been caught off guard, but thought that he had to do something to keep her off the track of Team Rocket's plans on the ship. Wanting to distract her, she'd provided the perfect excuse by asking him to explore with her.
But now he'd forgotten that he was supposed to be distracting her, and was just enjoying himself and having fun.
He felt a buzzing in his pocket and realized it was his phone, and that he was supposed to check in with Jessie five minutes ago. Wincing, he glanced worriedly at Ash.
"Ah, I'll be just right back! I, uh, have to go to the bathroom! Meet you right here in a sec," he gave her a nervous grin before he rapidly ran away, and then darted into an alcove he found close by.
Taking out his phone, he called Jessie and quickly gave a vague excuse as to why he wasn't with her and Meowth, as well as telling her he'd meet up with her later, when the signal to start the plans on aboard was given. Which, he'd been lucky so far that he'd managed to steer and keep Ash away from the pokémon convention currently being held on the ship.
He finished up quickly with Jessie, before hurrying back and finding Ash humming and leaning against the wall as she waited for him.
"Hey, I'm back! Sorry for making you wait," James grinned, but he felt guilty for continuing to lie to her.
She glomped his arm and grinned back widely. "It's okay! I found out something really awesome!"
"What's that?" he asked curiously.
"There's a pokémon convention being held around here!"
He was a nervous wreck the entire time they went through the convention.
While there, they ran across a man selling Magikarp. The man hailed them over and started talking about how they could make riches off of the Magikarp, by the thousands of eggs that would hatch into more Magikarp they could then sell. Ash was skeptical, but James had dollar signs in his eyes.
Ash pulled at his sleeve. "Ne, I don't think it's a good idea, Jameson."
He inwardly flinched at the use of his alias. He shook it off and focused on her.
"Why not? It would be awesome to get super rich!" James started laughing goofily, becoming stuck in a daydream.
Ash pinched his arm hard, bringing him harshly out of it.
"Ouch! Ash!" he pouted.
"Magikarp's no good at really anything, until it evolves into Gyarados. Even then, Gyarados can be pretty temperamental, and you don't even know when Magikarp will evolve into it," Ash whispered to him. "And it's really way too expensive. I think it's a scam."
James became dejected. Seeing that, Ash sighed and turned back to the merchant. She began to haggle aggressively with the man, until finally she got a reasonable price out of him. James was ecstatic at that, and for her help. Also, he wouldn't have to resort to using both his and Jessie's salaries, and end up facing his partner's wrath. He even got to keep some of his own salary!
He giggled and grabbed hold of his new Magikarp, hugging it tightly and rubbing his cheek against it happily.
Ash rolled her eyes and poked his shoulder. "Promise you'll work hard on evolving it…if it wants to evolve though."
"Promise, promise!" he giddily said.
He then grabbed her hand and ran off, getting her to start helping him begin to train and hopefully evolve Magikarp.
Later on in the dining room, Ash met back up with Misty and Brock, still hyped out about the pokémon convention and happy about making a friend. Misty didn't meet anyone interesting, though she did spend the day at the day spa. Brock pouted and said that he spent time lounging around the pool.
"I met this guy named Jameson and he was really nice," Ash smiled.
Misty went immediately on alert and Brock felt a cloud actually grow above his head. He thought he could hear thunder.
Unfortunately, the ship chose that time to shudder harshly. Almost overbalanced, the trio steadied themselves just as everyone did the same. There was a lot of muttering and speculating after, until the boat shuddered worse than before. Everyone fell down and some people actually screamed.
Just like that, the Captain ordered an evacuation without even explaining anything. No one said anything and then the next moment it was utter panic. People were rushing out of there, and there was a lot of screaming and crying, as people tried to escape.
"Ash, we have to get off!" Misty screamed, grabbing a hold of Ash's sleeve and then dragging her in the direction of a lifeboat. Unfortunately, there were too many people and everyone was pushing and shoving, desperate to get off the sinking St. Anne.
The two girls collided with someone and they met eyes with the culprits.
"Team Rocket," Misty growled, glaring at the three venomously.
"Who?" Ash blinked in confusion.
"You met them in Viridian when you came back with Giovanni. Everyone knows the organization is bad news and anyone part of it are just as bad," Misty locked her eyes on the red head.
"Oh, please. Don't give me some self-righteous rant," Jessie rolled her eyes, smirking haughtily at the other.
James and Ash stared at each other, with James having a sinking feeling in his stomach and Ash feeling cold.
"So you're not really Jameson?" Ash asked confused, ignoring the two other girls getting into a pokémon battle.
"No, just a Team Rocket guy whose name is James," James said apologetically, but feeling relieved that he was finally able to tell her the truth. "I made him up so we could nab pokémon. I'm sorry."
"I see…" Ash swallowed harshly.
"I won't hold back so I expect you to do the same," James smiled hesitantly.
Ash nodded seriously, not genki for once. "Hai."
The battle began.
"I think it's only fair, Jameson –I mean, James, to tell you that I'm a girl," Ash said while she directed a quick attack to Koffing's side.
"I know. I recognized your face from Viridian," James said, his eyes darting back and forth from each pokémon and trying to find a way out.
Ash froze, "Is my face that recognizable?"
"Sort of. But people can easily dismiss it so you don't have to worry about people finding out about your double identity. And I just took care to remember you," James explained sheepishly.
The ship shuddered again and Ash stomped her foot, "Dammit! What are we doing? Why are we still on a sinking ship?"
They all stopped and thought about that, before realizing the futility and stupidity they were going through of battling when they could be getting off of a doomed ship.
"She's right. Let's go," Jessie ordered, the first to dart out of there and head to the deck.
Unfortunately, by that time, the ship was deserted and no lifeboats or even any leftover people were left. Team Rocket managed to locate a raft and get on it.
"Where's Brock?" Misty screeched in frustration as she dragged Ash along, the girls having labored through the halls and stairs and been left behind. Both Team Rocket members had already made it to the top, which left Misty and Ash struggling to climb up with all the water crashing down on them.
'Water again. This is my territory,' Misty reassured herself, though she was feeling fear again.
The ship capsized and the two of them were surrounded by even more water. Misty shook her head violently and grabbed a hold of a panicking Ash, swimming them to the top, which was actually the bottom of the ship. They actually reached rooms where there was no water, but everything was upside down and they were standing on the ceiling.
"Are you okay, Ash?" Misty asked in concern, seeing her charge shivering and crying.
"I'm scared, Misty," Ash sniffled, her body shaking and feeling extremely cold, while being soaked to the bone.
"I know, Ash. Everything will be alright," Misty wrapped her arms around Ash, pulling her close and trying to comfort her.
Eventually, she rocked her to sleep, feeling hopeless herself.
"Didn't we ask not to have the entire month's recordings?" Bruno sighed, looking at all the tapes from the Pewter Gym.
"Well, since they're here, we might as well see them too," Lorelei sighed also.
The other two shook their heads and sat themselves on couches facing the TV, with Lorelei joining them as Bruno set it up. They went through tapes of crap before the last week began entertaining them. A bunch of the trainers acted cocky or stupid, and Brock put them in their place. That is until the last challenger on the tape.
Ash Ketchum was brilliant in her performance, using her environment to defeat Onix with her Pikachu.
"She's good. Would she have gone through any other gyms yet?" Agatha asked, curious about this girl.
"Let me see…um, here's two tapes from the Cerulean Gym," Bruno grabbed them and put the first one in. It didn't have her, though it had some good ones, and so Bruno put in the other tape.
"Oh, I hope she's alright!" Lorelei exclaimed, seeing Ash slip into the water and being dragged up by Brock.
"As much as I'm amused by the idiot's obvious infatuation with her, I'm glad it helped him to save her through those waters," Agatha added.
"We only have the Vermillion Gym left," Bruno said, taking the only tape out and playing it.
It went through various trainers getting thoroughly defeated by Lt. Surge, all ending in a brutal conclusion.
"You know, he sort of reminds me of Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach," Lorelei deadpanned, watching as Lt. Surge beat another opponent without any mercy. "Oh look, the last one's Ash!"
"That was excellent. She has a great mind," Bruno complimented the girl on stage.
"Very brilliant, though that Brock is rather weird. At least when it comes to her. And that Misty is really overprotective," Agatha smirked, becoming more and more entertained.
"I can't believe Lucien set up those terms. Is he allowed to do that?" Lorelei shook her head.
"She's the only one who beat him. How interesting," Lance studied the girl on the screen intently.
"Hey, I found one from the Viridian Gym," Bruno said in shock, holding it up.
"What? But his gym is last and he never accepts anyone without the other badges," Lance pointed out, confused with Giovanni.
"I know. But I think I remember the ones picking up the videos saying Giovanni insisted we take this one," Bruno told them, equally confused but also intrigued by this new twist.
"There's only enough time for two battles in here," Agatha commented, quietly musing on Giovanni's odd behavior.
Bruno shrugged and put it in. First, was Gary Oak in a mock battle, and who was promptly defeated. And then Ash came on.
"This must've been her first gym," Lance observed, examining the girl with even more interest, especially considering she must be the reason why Giovanni had out of characteristically insisted on giving them the tape to watch.
"Anou sa, is anyone here?" Ash called out.
"Unless you have the other badges, there won't be a match. This is the final gym to beat, not the first," a voice called out from the dark.
"Oh…I'm sorry," Ash said embarrassed. She was gesturing for Pikachu to come with her when the voice spoke immediately again.
"You are Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town?"
A man stepped out into the light, wearing a rather vivid orange suit and slicked back brown hair. His also brown eyes looked at her curiously from his perch on the balcony.
"I have heard many praises about you and his grandson from Professor Oak."
"O-oh, really? Um, I'm sure he was just exaggerating," Ash turned red.
The man smirked, "Good. You aren't cocky like the professor's grandson." Ash didn't note the derision in his tone when he mentioned Gary.
"Um, thank you…I'm sorry to have wasted your time. I'll just be going now."
"Hold on. I can see why Oak likes you so much. You are definitely much more polite than his grandson, that's for sure."
This time Ash caught the dislike in his voice. Though she was still reeling from the compliments.
"What do you say we have a mock battle, huh Ash? To gauge your strength. By the way, my name's Giovanni."
Then Ash used that technique from her battle with Brock, soaking both of them.
"So that's where she came up with it. She did ask Misty to bring an umbrella so she had that pre-planned," Lance muttered to himself, the others thinking the same thing.
"She actually beat Giovanni," Agatha said in delight.
"Too bad she didn't have any other pokémon," Lorelei was disappointed at that, wondering how an entire match could have played out and if she could have won.
"Oi, get us any tapes that goes back to Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town," Bruno told the guys waiting at the door, the same ones going around picking up the gym tapes.
"Um, do you still want us to pick up the tapes from the gyms?" the blond one asked, after glancing at his partner.
"Sure, just make sure Ash Ketchum's battles are in there," Bruno ordered them, waving them off.
The two scuttled away without another word.
Lorelei laughed eagerly, "I think Lance had her right. Ash is an interesting character. I can't wait to see more of her."
"Hai, she's rather pretty too," Bruno grinned, snickering to himself.
Agatha smacked his head with her cane. "She treats her pokémon and others well; that's all that matters."
"Is it me or does it seem like we've become stalkers from all these videos we've watched of her? And going to watch. Plus, we seem to only be focusing on her," Lance sweatdropped, furrowing his eyebrows and glancing at the others uneasily.
Agatha twitched, Lorelei coughed, and Bruno winced.
"What's this I hear about an Ash Ketchum? Are you guys interested in her?" their personal secretary paused near them as she was on her way to another part of the Pokémon League Headquarters.
"Yeah, why? You heard about her?" Bruno questioned her, raising an eyebrow.
She grimaced, "Channel Five."
They switched their TV back to normal and turned it to channel five, the news playing loudly. It started about something with Team Rocket's activities in Saffron before moving on to another Team Rocket involved plot aboard the St. Anne.
"Unfortunately, the ship sank, due to some unexplained explosion caused by Team Rocket," the news anchor reported solemnly. "We have incoming news that two people did not make it back off of the ship. We don't have their status, but they are presumed dead. Please bow our heads for Misty Waterflower and Ash Ketchum."
"Oh my God," Lorelei stood up and held her head in her hands, the earlier excitement about this new, young female trainer suddenly turning into sorrow. "This can't be happening."
They just found out about the girl, and they felt oddly attached and all excited about this young, new and upcoming talent. And though they hadn't met her, she seemed like a good and kind soul. And she was young, too young to have died an early death. Never mind the fact that they'd really, surprisingly enough, had been looking forward to meeting and battling her. And then there was Misty, whom they'd met many times with her sisters. A bit cocky and over the top at times, Misty had always been very respectful to them and very enthusiastic about her own training and her pokémon. It just didn't seem fair that the girls looked to have met an early end.
And while the Elite Four bowed their heads in respect, there were others who were even more worse off.
Giovanni was irritated with the way things had been going. Most of his aggravation had been centered on his plans in Saffron being delayed, and he really didn't want to slow down the concentration there. Frustrated, he grabbed the remote for his TV and began flipping through the channels in displeasure, stopping on a news channel. As he watched, his annoyance went to numbness.
He just sat at his desk, the remote hanging limp from his hands. His other hand supported his forehead as he closed his eyes and refused to think about it.
Ash was not dead. He wouldn't believe it.
That strange girl, with her strange ideas and her happy outlook on life couldn't possibly be dead. That girl who had made him, for once in his life, stop feeling stressed and aloof all the time and had actually reminded him how to be content, and even had him give a rare smile.
His organization did not cause her death. He couldn't believe it.
For the first time in a long time, Giovanni let a few tears slip out.
And though he hadn't known her long, he had felt like he'd known her all his life.
The same could be said for others, like the silly and yet well-meaning rock trainer who had grown very fond of the young trainer, who was not just his crush but also his best friend.
Brock waited patiently at the docks. Ash would come. Of course she would. She was Ash. She was crazy, stubborn, and invincible.
There was no way she would just leave him.
Not like him, who couldn't catch up to Misty's dragging Ash away. Who had been forced into a lifeboat. Who was a complete failure and didn't deserve to say he was in love with her.
She'll come. She had to be alive.
And the news just kept spreading and didn't seem to stop. It was like a virus infecting through the TV, and those who had met Ash Ketchum, even if briefly, were surprised to find themselves so affected.
Just like the lieutenant, who stared blankly at his TV before he'd shut it off and angrily tore through his kitchen, remembering how she had been there last time, laughing and smiling and alive. He made himself something to drink without thinking, vacantly realizing he was having what she'd had.
Lt. Surge knocked back another gulp of the drink. It was hot and burned his throat, but he was reminded that the last time she was there she had been drinking hot chocolate.
Only he added a bit of vodka to it to numb his senses.
Team Rocket was quiet. They all couldn't forget the girl who had made sure they stopped fighting long enough to realize they should be getting out first.
And James was haunted by their time together and the fact he knew just how Ash was now, and how he'd grown so close and come to like her so much.
"Hey, Jameson! Let's share this strawberry shortcake. It looks so good," Ash grinned, taking two slices and directing Jameson to a table, instead of pigging out at the line of food like they were doing.
"Dessert is supposed to be eaten slowly and savored," Ash informed him, taking her slice and biting into it.
"You eat with a fork then. You'll make less of a mess and get smaller portions to enjoy," James laughed.
"Whatever," Ash rolled her eyes.
There was a smudge of cake on the corner of her mouth and James leaned over to wipe it off, and then licked it off his thumb.
"Hey!" she pouted, blushing.
James smiled widely.
The rest of Team Rocket left James alone.
Started 10/15/07 – Completed 11/1/07
Revised (1) 5/9/10 – Completed 5/9/19
Revised (2) 3/27/14 – Completed 3/27/14
A/n 5/9/10 (6/20/14 -edited to remove moot points after revision and add clearer things): To clear things up, this is like a common anime with all the usual traits. Meaning Ash gets paired (sort of) with basically a lot of people and it's mostly one-sided (also hence the Ash being a little too naïve when it comes to men, as it's a common theme in that type of anime on girl romances ala shoujo and/or reverse harem genre manga/anime like Fushigi Yuugi, Ouran High School Host Club, etc.). The main pairing, however, has both Ash/Lance and maybe Ash/Steven (of which I originally had planned later and have been reworking to get them in earlier). A lot of manga too use bits of Japanese, so if you don't like it too bad -of this, I'm relenting and taking out honorifics as the names aren't Japanese so attachments don't flow as well with the names, and lessening most Japanese words.
Ash is NOT TEN years old in here. I would warn you if I did Lolicon stuff in any story, as while I may write it for story sakes, it is a bit of a squicky spot with me because of the age and all. In the original draft, which I lost a long time ago because of computer problems, I think I'd made that clear that I'd changed the age to 16 (because here, the official age to get a Trainer's license is upped to 16) and forgot to do so in this rewrite. So that part is my bad, so sorry. The older age is also why Ash is a bit better at battling, because she does have more experience (and has matured a little more) than she would have at ten. And also because I am sick of the anime, and I wrote this BECAUSE I wanted to write a better Ash, that's actually matured physically, mentally, and emotionally. I mean, come on, the anime has canon!Ash as this boy who stays a little boy, and after how many battles is still being mocked and seen as inexperienced? I'm writing this because I'm irritated by that. Not to say Ash is going to win every battle, but she's not going to be losing that easily either.
As for Ash having people gushing all over her, like I said, commonplace trait in many manga/anime, usually for humor purposes. Have a problem with it? Too bad. I'm not changing that. And Brock getting used to Ash? Not happening because in here she's special. Not to say Brock won't go gaga over others either though. And also because Brock/Ash is a RUNNING GAG in this story.
That's all, thank you all for reading and hope this clears everything up. Also, I'm a little unhappy with previous lengths of the chapters and I want to tweak some stuff, so I'll be adding and etc. to the past chapters and you can see the reposts this weekend, hopefully.
A/n 3/27/14: Edits: Details/descriptions, expanded time with James/Ash, and the beginning with Lt. Surge and Ash. Please review the new chapter and tell your thoughts on the updated version!