The Mystery of Me

Disclaimers: Sadly I don't own Pokemon. Not even a little.

AN:// Just a bit of back story. This is a short story tacked on to my longer epic titled The Blind Alley. It's a re-written version of the Lucario movie fitting into to the other stories' storyline.

Long story short, Ash ran away from home in order to continue his pokemon training. But sometime while he was on his own, he obtained a new rival by the name of William. Because of a tragic accident, Ash mistakenly caused his rival's death. This story takes place shortly after said accident. Ash is 15 years old (see The Blind Alley for more details, which takes place two years in this story's future).

Chapter One: Suicide

I don't know if I'll ever know
Exactly how much that I hurt you

Ash hadn't spoken a word since he was released from the hospital. Not that he was that talkative anyway. His only sentences had been spent asking for William's condition. Where was he? How was he? When could Ash see him?

William. William. William. And now all that was left was his name. A simple seven letter word in his mind. Because William was dead. Because he, Ash, had killed him.

Incinerated. Unidentifiable molten chunks of him and his pokemon were scattered around the crater Ash himself had been found in. They couldn't even pretend that William was okay.

Standing on the edge of his self made hollow, Ash couldn't speak.

Trapped on his hospital bed, he had painted an image of himself scattering rose petals and saying broken words of regret. And then he'd lift a pistol to his temple. Half sobbing, half trembling but fully embracing his repentance.

As soon as he recovered.

How many months had he spent dreaming of that pulled trigger?

Now the image had shattered- strewn across an inane landscape that he himself had altered. He could only stare into the dust and dirt, trying to piece together the last moments he had spent with William. The battle was a blur of sweat and emotions. But Charizard's final attack. The burn that ate away at his skin- and the bloodcurdling shriek that ripped at his ear drums. Was William screaming? Or had William died silently, leaving his murderer shrieking in his absence?

Ash closed his eyes. The cellophane wrap that bound the roses in his arms crinkled nosily as he sunk to his knees. He cradled the bouquet like it were a child. He wished that the dead could speak. So he could ask William what it was like.

He had a 9mm semi automatic pistol heavy in his jacket pocket. Its magazine had been loaded. But Ash took no pride in his weapon of choice. He wanted it, his death, to be crude and ordinary. A lonely suicide of no importance.

If Pikachu knew...

If his mother knew...

His mother. She had shown up at the hospital unexpectedly. When the charges were brought against him, a parental guardian was required to be present. They took the liberty of finding her, reuniting a family that had be separated for a good three years.

Ash had liked it that way. With his mother here, things were... complicated.

Though they had plenty of time to discuss it, neither wanted to bring up their last fight. Ash's father remained anonymous and his career path still absolute. They stayed safely out of arms reach of the other. Careful and polite, putting up nothing more than an image of a mother and son.

He often thought she knew. She always seemed to see right through him. But she never pried. Never asked. And she let him go this morning.

"Later," was the last thing she said to him. She brushed by him in the hallway, touched his shoulder and whispered the word.

It haunted him still. As he knelt at his would-be resting place, he felt unwilling.

Unwilling to make his mother a liar.

What would happen to his pokemon?

Charizard would have to be released. There'd be no managing him.

Butterfree was docile enough to warm up to any new trainer. Even as a pet, she'd live a good life.

Bulbasaur's fate would rest with Professor Oak and the living capacity of his lab.

While Squirtle would probably be willed to Cerulean gym.

Pidgeot could return to his flock without a moment's notice.

And Pikachu... well. Pikachu would just have to make do. Just like his mother. And Misty. And Gary and Brock and Richie and Tracey... They'd just have to live without him.

Because he couldn't bear to live anymore.

He dropped the bouquet in front of him, and reached for the handle of his murder weapon. Hoping that it wouldn't hurt and that it'd be quick.

"You're him, aren't you?"

Ash froze, the gun nozzle pressed hard against his temple. Ash had hoped that he himself had magicked the voice up inside his head. That it was just a painful recording- the voice of his victim hanging thinly on the air like his ashes spread across the ground.

But it wasn't William's voice. It was a woman's voice.

"I work as a nurse back in Kanto," the bodiless voice continued. "I know for the most part how hospitals work. Even if they wouldn't release your identity to us, there was only person's name on that roster I knew. That... Will knew..."

Ash let his hand fall. He found it odd that he could listen the sobs so calmly. And that each word didn't send pierces of guilt into his chest. Instead of wallowing in the woman's presence, he found himself peeking back at her.

She had William's deep blue hair, that washed long and straight down to the small of her back. She was dressed in a long casual skirt with a heavy wool sweater pulled overtop. Dark tights led into short flat sole boots, and she kept her hands hidden inside tight gloves. She wore black as if on purpose, and not for the unsuspected passing of her son.

And she was younger than Ash would have suspected.

In a way, she looked like his own mother- though he fought to push to their likeness away. It was hard enough facing the mother of his victim, much less being reminded that his own mother might soon be wearing the funeral black as well.

She soiled her gloves with her tears. As he watched, Ash began to realize that he hadn't cried, not once. Instead he took comfort in planning his own death. Tears were too commonplace for the guilt that he bore. Perhaps he had simply forgotten to shed them?

"You're Ash Ketchum, right?" She shouted, as if she had to force the accusation through her tears. "Of course you are. Or else why would you be here?"

She paused, wringing her hands together. "Here. Here on this godforsaken piece of shit of a place where you murdered my son."

Ash lowered his head and said nothing.

"You know, he loved you. You- you were all he ever talked about."

"I know."

William's mother swallowed her tears, and buried her face into her hands again. Ash returned to his feet, reluctantly facing her.

He was taller than she was. And that fact made Ash feel all the more exposed. As if standing in the middle of nowhere with her alone wasn't enough.

He hadn't been able to apologize to William. But to her, the words came more easily.

"I'd trade places with him in an instant."

She stared at him, her eyes unkind. "I don't believe you."

Ash glanced back where the pistol lay in the dirt. Her eyes followed. She didn't seem surprised to see the gun, only solemn.

"I didn't come here to say I was sorry."

"You think... that by killing yourself, I'd find it in my heart to forgive you?"

"I don't expect you to."

Ash was startled to see fury sweep across her features.

"Damn you. Damn you," she seethed.

She pointed a noxious finger to his face, backing him to the edge of the crater. "How dare you think so little of him! How dare you think so little of me!"

Before Ash could react, she had grabbed his gun off the ground. She snapped out the cartage, and pitched both objects as far as she could. Bullets scattered through the air. They littered the ground around them.

Despite that it only took one, they were standing in a shallow sea of bullets. And Ash felt oddly ashamed.

Kicking what she could of the remaining bullets into the ditch, she spat, "You're alive. I would give anything if it were the other way around. But it isn't. And there's no use trying to make things change that can't."

Through tears, she weakly scoured out the rest of Ash's weapon, making sure to keep it far away from him. But her fury had ebbed. Now it was merely a task to keep her busy. To keep her from meeting Ash's eye.

He could tell, she was normally a timid woman. Her rash behavior had embarrassed her, despite her merit to it. William's death had eaten her away inside, but yet Ash could still cause her pain.

Without warning, Ash buckled. Whatever wall he had fortified around his emotions was solidified by the comfort that he would never have to face them. Death would steal away his responsibility. But now, with the threat of suicide removed, the wall came down.

And it came down with such force, that Ash lost himself within it.

He wept violently, scarcely giving himself time to breath. Convulsing through his grief, Ash felt as though surely- he'd never be able to stop.

"I want to die. Please. Please let me die."

His tears dried hers. But she was not consoled.

"I can't," she answered dully. "More than anything else, Will wants... wanted to be a pokemon master."

Ash managed to swallow his tears, just for a moment. Her eyes were cold upon him.

"I hate you. But you live for him now," She said. "Become the pokemon master, Mr. Ketchum. So I can find a reason not to hate you anymore."

That was how she left him. Horrified and desolate in her wake.

To Be Continued...

Please Read and Review!

To someone who hasn't read Blind Alley, this beginning is probably akin to a sucker punch in the gut. It's a bit of a harsh way to start out a story that's the remake to Lucario's bit, but Blind Alley aint exactly a prance through a meadow of daisies either (though I started it a lot friendlier).

Blind Alley is basically a follow up of the first pokemon movie (its sequel will follow the second movie). But this is my first actual rewrite of a pokemon movie.

It needs to be said, outside of Blind Alley, as it is its own story. Events in this story will really solidify the foundation that is Blind Alley. Just think of this story as a belated prequel.

It will still follow the basic guideline of Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Ash will still win a competition, join the ball, and reawaken Lucario. They will still travel to the Tree of Beginning and meet Mew.

But Lucario's and Ash's relationship will be different. The cause for his participation in the trip will be different as well. And William's death as well as his mother's haunted demands will weigh heavily upon Ash's heart.

And no, neither May, Max or Brock will be accompanying Ash this time. Unfortunately I could not fit them into this verse properly. Brock lives unaware at his gym. And Ash was never acquainted with May or Max.

Consider this a more dark and adult version of Lucario and the Mystery of Mew.

If you've read this far, I hope that you will stick with me and possibly check out by other pokemon fanfiction, The Blind Alley as well.

Wishing you and your best, happy holidays.