I do not, in any way, shape, or form, own Pokémon. I do, however, own this story.

Eh, the title is garbage, I know. It was the first thing that struck me and nothing else I thought of seemed decidedly better, so I ran with it. Anyway, this idea didn't sit in my head too long. I was feeling creative when it hit me, so I sat down and wrote this in one sitting. I know, it's not Color the Sunset. I'm still working on it, don't worry!

-ss


Just Like Old Times

The path was a familiar one, and he paused momentarily, thinking back on how many times he'd traversed it in years past. It seemed so long ago since that day when his journey had begun and he'd walked this road for the first time in his life. I guess it really has been a long time, he mused. A lot had changed since then. At that time, he had aspired to become something larger than life, to be better than anyone else in the world. Now, with that behind him, his dreams were quite different.

Some things refused to move on, however. Some things lingered in the world, anchors in the torrential sea of life and its happenings. The sun still shone its pristine greeting at the start of each new day; the stars still pierced the night sky as guidance for those who happened to be watching. The sign at the top of the ridge that overlooked Pallet Town was still there to greet newcomers who shared the same dream he once had. And it was still there for him as he reached the summit.

The man in question could not have been older than thirty. He was tall and well-built, though not overly so. His face held a mischievous look, and his dark, brown eyes seemed to twinkle as though he was still that ten-year-old boy, excited and in awe of the wondrous world that surrounded him. He stopped as he arrived at the top of the ridge, reaching a hand up to scratch his head through his dark, messy hair as he read the sign's contents with a smile.

Route 1. To Viridian City.

It wasn't as though he didn't know the route. He was on his way to meet his friend, under the tree. Their usual meeting place. He wasn't quite sure what they would do once he got there, though. Sometimes they would just sit there and enjoy each other's company. Occasionally they would strike up a conversation, if the right mood struck them. And then they'd talk for a bit, just like old times. Although, and at this thought he glanced down at his feet somewhat ashamedly, he hadn't met up with his friend in quite some time. It hurt him inside to think about this friend getting lonely. After all, Ash Ketchum was never one to let someone down.

Especially since this friend, in particular, was so dear to him. His friend had been with him since the beginning of his journey, sticking with him through thick and thin. They had laughed together, cried together, and shared each triumph and each loss with each other. They had eventually been separated, though not by choice, and Ash had been heartbroken. So, he had resolved to come to this place as often as he could so that he and his friend could be together once more, of only for a little bit, talking of adventures past and dreams of the future. Just like old times.

Ash was broken out of his musings as he reached his destination. It surprised him sometimes; it seemed that each successive time he came to meet his friend he didn't have to walk quite as far. Slowly, reverently almost, he took a seat under the tree, leaning back against the trunk, feeling the roughness of its bark against his back. And there he waited patiently for his friend's arrival.

After what seemed like an eternity, Ash broke the silence, finally addressing his friend. "I miss you, you know. You mean so much to me, and I hope you know that." He paused, knowing that their time was almost at a close. "Brock misses you too. I know we seem like we're too busy to visit sometimes, and I'm sorry. It just hasn't been the same since you left." At this point he rose, tears in his eyes. However, his face bore a gentle smile. "And of course, Misty misses you. When I get home I'll tell her you said hi, okay?"

He turned back toward Pallet, about to depart. But a final thought struck him and he cast one glance back toward the tree. The tree where one day so long ago, his friend had sat up in the branches, teasing him. "Don't worry, I'll be back, I promise. Thanks so much for everything." The tears were running freely now, glistening in the sunset. "I love you."

He turned away for the last time and started back towards Pallet Town, leaving only the tree behind, and the small stone that had been partially buried at its base, bearing a simple inscription.

In loving memory of Pikachu.

A great Pokémon, and an Eternal Friend.


**

I'm sorry this was so random. It's just that Pikachu's mortality is a subject that's actually intrigued me for quite some time, so I felt compelled to write something about it. I'm actually not entirely sure I'm satisfied with how this came out…I feel like the writing is a little clumsy in places, especially towards the middle. But oh well.

The story also served as my testing the waters of writing Pokémon fanfiction, so let me know what you think! I might do more in the future. Thanks for reading.