Author's Note: Hello, everyone! Miss me? Yeah, like I'm going to get my ego on or something if you didn't...Anyway. This is another one-shot. It's a bit twisted, but I've gotten to the point where I actually have a soft spot for writing this kind of thing. You'll have to decide for yourself if it's up to standards. Yes, updates for Elite Protection are, in fact, on their way, but as I'm now in college and trying to get the hang of things, you'll all have to wait a bit longer. I know, it's really unfair...I'm really sorry. TT^TT Take this as a token of my apologies.
Summary: Ash will live with the scars on his face for the rest of his life. Gary will live with something even worse...(Contains Murder, Gore, Language, and Abuse of Substances)(One-sided GaryxAsh)
Warnings: This story contains abusive language as well as the abuse of a spouse and a child. Alcohol is abused in this fanfiction. Someone will die, and it will be nasty. If any of this offends you, turn back now.
A Wonnykins Production
Some people say I'm too hard on him. His friends, mostly, but you can see in his eyes that he thinks the same thing. He simply won't say it aloud because he knows that I'll take it and run with it. I'm just that jerk, that's all. I'm supposed to do that.
I have to.
I could be his friend. I could drop the act and smile and walk side by side with him just like his friends do. I'd have no issues with dropping the facade and giving my all to him. In a way, I love him more then any other friend could. More then his friend Brock, who cooks for him and acts like a wise older brother. More then his friend Misty, who I know secretly wishes he'd love her more then a friend can. More, even, then Pikachu, who calls him master and loves him because he's been good to it.
You see, I can say that I love him more then them all because I've done what they haven't. I've loved him unconditionally, and I've done unforgivable things for him. Things even he doesn't know about. Things that, if someone knew them, I'd be put in jail.
I didn't want to do the things I did, you know. I was small, then. I didn't know any better. My mind had then been still over-loaded with the grief of loosing my parents to death and my sister to a man with a ring. My mind told me things that were crazy. I, myself, became crazy. I never showed it, of course. Back then, he was my friend. MY friend. And because I'd lost so much before, I was determined not to loose him.
The unforgivable things started when I was taken to the hospital by my grand father, to see MY friend.
MY friend, who was hurt.
There's a reason Mr. Ketchum never comes up in conversation. He was a dead-beat who ran off and left behind a wife and a son who needed him. Yes, needed, but I knew secretly that they needed him like they needed rotten teeth. I was small, then, but I wasn't scent-deaf. I could smell the odor of beer on his breath, even though I didn't know what it was, back then. They were both terrified of him; Ash told me when he was younger that he was clumsy. Clumsy enough to get bruises in the same places week after week. His mother must have been just as clumsy. Occasionally, when I came to visit, there were pieces of glass bottles and plates in the trash can, and when I asked, neither of them would look me in the eyes when they told me what had happened. 'A bird flew in' was one favorite. Another was 'The floor was wet'.
There must have been a flock of birds right outside the windows or a leak in the plumbing.
I saw a lot of things children shouldn't at that house. I saw the man Ash called 'daddy' slap Mrs. Ketchem, who I looked at as my own mother, so hard that she fell to the floor. I saw him spank Ash until he couldn't sit, even to the point of breaking skin. I saw him throw things at them, at ME, if I was present. He hated me. Apparently my father stole the woman he loved. I couldn't see how a man like Mr. Ketchum COULD love.
"What the fuck is that fairy's son doing here again?" He'd say, snarling, and Ash would cower, stuttering out that I'd come over to play. Sometimes his father left us alone, but other times he would give Ash a whack and scream at me to leave, that 'no fucking sons-of-queers' were going to play with his boy. He didn't fool me, though: sometimes I heard him call Ash the same names as he did my departed father. I think that just about killed Ash, on the inside.
On the day I visited Ash in the hospital, he was subdued. Apparently having your face cut open just below your eyes caused you to go into hysterics. His dad should have gone to jail, for that one, but his mother refused to press charges. My grandfather comforted her while I sat on the hospital bed and held my friend's hand until he woke up. He cried a lot that day. I hated when he cried; Ash just didn't cry. That wasn't like him.
His father came to visit. That was the first time I did something unspeakable for Ash. No one suspects that a child could have poured the eye drops fluid into the beer bottle. It was a fluke, really. Ash's father wore glasses, and those that examined him later as he lay ill suspected he'd tried to kill himself. I know better, though; the cap from the bottle is hiding in the back of the drawer at the bottom of my dresser. It was a simple act that I didn't regret. There isn't a shred of remorse for what I did in me today. Nor for what acts I would commit on the man later.
Even though Gramps had been set on filing charges for abuse himself, Ash's mother said something to him that made him sit in silent anger on the way home. I only voiced one of my questions, because I'd never seen him so livid before.
"Is Ash okay?" My voice had been small, back then. I hadn't had this sneer in it like I do now. I made myself have that sneer. Back then I had a normal kid's voice, because I had yet to be tainted with much of the darker side of the word.
And Gramps hadn't answered me for the longest time. I'd about given up getting the answer when we'd arrived home. As soon as I unbuckled my seat belt, however, he reached over and hugged me. Tightly.
That was when I became afraid. He ran a hand through my hair and told me that no, he didn't think Ash was all right, or if he'd ever be again. He then went on to say that he couldn't imagine anyone hurting ME the way Ash had; those scars, he told me, Ash would have on his face for the rest of his life. My grandfather cried that day, sitting in the car with me, and that night he watched over me while I slept. I think he thought that I'd have nightmares, but my sleep was, from what I can remember, rather dreamless.
From that point on, a part of me was attuned with Mr. Ketchum and what he did. That part of me was always calculating what I could do to him, to make him hurt like Ash and his mother hurt. I was eight years old, then, and thoughts like that shouldn't be inside the head of a child that young, but they were like a constant soothing voice. Each time I saw a new bruise on MY friend, that part of me would sooth my anger.
'Be patient; you'll have your turn.'
And I did. They were little things; someone slashed the air out of Mr. Ketchum's tires the day he canceled taking Ash to a Pokemon Battle like he'd promised in favor of going to that bar he liked; his beer went missing; once, I even took all the money out of his wallet. Mrs. Ketchum was blamed for that, and I felt awful for it, but he didn't go to the bar, that night, and he actually read Ash a story just like he wanted, so the guilt left me.
The day it all came to a head was actually a night. During dinner, (which was always just me and Gramps), someone began to pound on the door. Gramps got up to answer it, and then yelled to me to ask if I'd invited Ash over for the night.
I had run to the door; I hadn't seen Ash at all, that day.
He'd been holding it in, but he was trembling. He'd actually wet himself at some point, and when my grandfather pointed this out, he'd finally burst into tears.
"He hurt her!" He was wailing over and over. "He hurt her!"
It would have taken a complete fool to not understand whom he was talking about. Gramps took him inside, sat him in out kitchen, and, after about fifteen minutes, coaxed out all he would get:
"W-We were a-at the table," He finally choked out, "A-And he th-threw his plate a-at her and she FELL and she didn't get up and he was k-kicking her-" He couldn't go on, at this point. My grandfather was silent, and I could see the horror written on his face as he absorbed this. I'd never seen THAT expression on his face, before, either. He then told me to get some pajamas for Ash while he hurried to the phone. So I left the kitchen as if in a daze, everything looking fuzzy.
And I knew what had to be done. It was as if the wind had blown the solution into my ear. Eventually, Mr. Ketchum would go looking for Ash, and he'd find his way here.
Ash had left his jacket at the door. I put it on while on my way out. Neither of them heard me leave.
Sometimes, there are people in Pallet that go on night jogs, so as I set out, an eight-year-old with this insane, vicious idea in his head, I was nervous about them running into me and sending me home. It would end, that night; this was what I thought and what I was determined to carry out.
It didn't occur to me that I didn't have a weapon until I actually SAW Ash's father clumsily making his way up the road towards me. The sight of his hulking, massive frame drunkenly swaying against the moonlight and braying for his son scared me to death, and I hid before he could see me. It was a fluke, really, that the huge branch was there. A kid my age and of my body type, (I was, and always have been, a scrawny kid), shouldn't have been able to lift it, and I wasn't able to, at first.
"WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU, YOU LITTLE BASTARD?!"
Anger surged through me, because I knew what he planned to do to Ash if he found him. He'd do the same thing he'd done to Ash's mother. One count of battery was enough for me, and I would be damned if I let him beat Ash.
I was unsure as to how to distract Ash's father into coming towards me, into the trees, until I thought about Ash once more. So I started to 'cry', trying to sound like him. It was like a magnet: the slob of a man bee lined, (albeit drunkenly), towards me, and when he entered the trees, I felt strength surge through me, and I picked up the branch.
He was glaring around, wondering where the noise had come from, and growling like some sort of starving dog. "Boy, you best get your ass out here before I give you an even WORSE whoopin', you here me?!"
And that was all.
I raised the branch and swung it, hitting him in the small of his back. That was luck, really: I was only so tall back then, and that was what was about my swing level. It packed the punch I'd been hoping for, though, and he went down with a bellow. Once he was down, I kept swinging. I hit everything I could reach: his legs, his rear, his back, his arms, and I know I hit his head at least once. I knew because I remember the image of looking into the gray matter of his brain.
Eventually, he lashed out, grabbing me around the ankle and yanking me down. He was dazed, and he had tears rolling down his face in pain. Once he was able to see who was mercilessly beating him, his eyes widened in shock, causing his grip around me to loosen. I stepped back, looking down at him blankly.
"You..." He huffed, then he glared, "You fucking little...bastard..." He began to crawl towards me; in his drunken state, he was ignoring how his knee was now shattered beyond repair and bleeding, how his fingers were dislocated. To this day, I see him crawling towards me in my dreams. "..When I...get my hands...on you...I'll fucking KILL YOU."
"Oh, what?...You a pussy, kid?...You...you did this for HIM, didn't you...you fucking queer..."
I raised the branch and brought it down on his head; blood splattered onto my shirt, and he suddenly seemed to realize that I was going to kill him. He looked up at me in shock, then began to blubber.
"C-Come on, k-kid! W-We...we can talk this over...It's the bitch, right?...You...You heard...what I did to Delia. Ash...Ash told you. I-I-I'll never lay...a hand on her...on him...on EITHER OF THEM...I swear!" I hit him again. "I SWEAR! OH GOD, DON'T KILL ME!"
I did anyway.
Raising the branch one last time, I shoved the end of it into the center of his face. The reaction was immediate: he had a spasm, clutching for the branch with blood spurting out around the now gaping hole where his nose and upper lip used to be. He was gurgling, now, and I shoved the branch further in, down his throat, where all the beer had gone to make him the monster he was. Choking sounds met this, and his eyes rolled in their sockets. I was crying, by this point: I was a child, and children weren't supposed to see these sorts of things, let alone do them. And when he finally fell silent, disfigured and most assuredly dead, I dropped the stick, backed into a tree, and threw up.
But it was done. Delia and Ash were safe.
Once I'd had my cry, I used what was left of my strength to drag him further into the trees, where there was a moderately large stream. His eyes gazed up at me once more before I shoved him, with my foot, into the water. That was the last I ever saw of him.
Ash never saw his father, (or the windbreaker I'd worn), again. At first, he was sad, but when we were alone that last time before I became paranoid that he'd find out the truth, he told me that he was glad the man was gone.
No one bothered with a search team. I'm still grateful for that, because I knew that they would find out what happened if they sent one out. I'd be the youngest murderer in history.
I think about telling Ash about it, sometimes. I think about it day in and day out occasionally. It HAD been his father, after all.
Maybe one day I will.
Maybe. But first, I have to find this Paul he talks about.
Paul's said some awful things to MY friend, you know...
Author's Note: Comments? Concerns for my well-being? You know what button to hit. Also, that little bit at the end was for all of you Paul-Bashers. :3