It had all started off with a simple battle.

"Pikachu, use Quick Attack!"

Pikachu had only been too happy too comply the command, ready to defeat his cocky opponent and that overconfident grin of his. He was battling a Raichu, his own evolution, but that had never bothered him before. Pikachu had battled plenty of other Raichu's in the past, each one with their own arrogance, but there was just something different about this one – perhaps he was just extra smug.

"Pika!" Pikachu yelled, already on all fours and charging toward his opponent. His form was now just a blur of yellow light and wind rushed through his pulled back ears like a howl, but despite that he could hear the opponent trainer yell, "Agility!"

"Rai!" the other electrical mouse yelled, eyes widening and gleaming with excitement. That cocky grin that had appeared since the beginning of their battle widened, taking up most of his orange face before disappearing in his own burst of blurred light, but not before he comment to Pikachu in their native language, "Too slow, little one!" before he was out of the way and on the opposite side of the battle field.

"Chu," Pikachu growled, ears lowered in agitation as he glared at his opponent, disliking him even more for that 'little' comment. "I am not little!" he snarled back in their native language, cheeks sparking from anger.

"Pikachu, keep it together!" Ash called. "Iron Tail!"

"Chuku!" Pikachu barked, giving confirmation that he was only too happy to carry out the order. His hair was beginning to stand on end just from looking at the Raichu and taking in that arrogant smile, mischievous eyes and muscular bod… wait, what?

"Raichu, Iron Tail as well!"

"Pikachu, snap out of it!" Ash yelled, worried about the glazed look on his pokemon's face.

Pikachu shook his head, only able to take in Raichu charging at him, tail aglow and smirk more relaxed and confident before he took off as well, tail glowing just as brightly as he scoffed. Peh, seems his dazed moment had allowed his opponent to believe that he'd be an easy defeat. And why shouldn't he? Only fools daydreamed during a battle, even when the opponent was powerful and fast and strong and…

Wait, why did he keep giving his opponent, and a Raichu of all things, compliments!?

"Cha!" Pikachu finally just snarled, smaller body spinning past Raichu's much larger body and whip like tail elegantly before linking his own tail on Raichu's, just like he had been trained to do. Pikachu was pleased to see a shocked expression take over the smug look on Raichu's face before he began to spin the electric mouse by his tail. Raichu let out a loud yelp in shock, electricity sparking from his yellow cheeks not from anger like Pikachu had done previously, but from genuine surprise, and in that moment, Pikachu felt something churn in his stomach. Guilt? How could he be feeling guilt at the moment, it was a battle! But it was there, and that guilt like churning was enough to make Pikachu falter and loosen his grip.

"Raichu!" the opposing trainer shouted worriedly, watching as her pokemon sailed into the air and smashed right into a rock, a dazed look appearing on his face.

Pikachu swallowed nervously as his foot dug at the ground, mentally battling with himself as he suddenly found himself guilty. "Raii," Raichu moaned, getting to his feet. Again Pikachu swallowed, but this time it was because his heart skipped a beat, and it wasn't because of guilt or nervousness, but relief. His heart had skipped a beat because his opponent had gotten back to his feet.

The thought was enough to make his tail twitch.

"Pikachu, finish it with Quick Attack!" Ash called happily. That tone was enough to tell that his trainer knew they were winning and that this would be the finishing move, and usually Pikachu felt Ash's joy course through his veins as if it were his own, but not this time.

And why was that?

"Pika!" came Pikachu's battle cry, his form already blurring as he shot forward, kicking up dust and leaves in his wake.

"Raichu, Hyper Beam!" came the desperate cry of Raichu's trainer.

Raichu opened his mouth as wide as possible, energy already beginning to form as he forwent the typical battle cry. There was no time for that, but then again there wasn't even enough time to form the proper amount of energy to create even half of a Hyper Beam. Pikachu had already slammed his head into the bulkier pokemon's gut. "Rai!" Raichu gasped, mouth still wide as he stared down at his smaller opponent.

Pikachu stared right back, but then that damned evolution of his gave another smirk before collapsing. Pikachu's eyes went wide; breath hitching as sparks once again escaped from his cheeks and left a tingle. He placed a tentative paw on his red cheek, almost jumping a foot into the air as Ash's excited cry echoed throughout the battleground and he was swooped up into a hug.

"You were great, Pikachu!"

Pikachu, squashing down his confusion and bewilderment, grinned back and nuzzled Ash as the surrounding people and pokemon gave cries of congratulations. There would be no need to worry his trainer, especially when Pikachu himself had no idea why he was feeling so disorientated.


It was later that night while Pikachu's companions (both pokemon and human) slept away in one of the rooms in the pokemon center and Pikachu was left completely alone and completely awake. He gazed out through the window, glaring at the stars. He had thought that whatever had ailed him during the battle would have left him by now, but it was quite apparent that it had not. Whenever he thought of that smug grin sparks erupted from his cheeks.

See! Like just now!

Pikachu sighed, ears twitching as he picked up movement. He glanced over at Ash, smiling fondly at his beloved trainer before glancing at the others. None of them had moved, and as the sounds got louder, he could discern that it came from outside the room. Narrowing his black eyes, Pikachu bounded down from his perch and, with a little struggle, Pikachu had the door open and his ticket to freedom. What he found down the hallway was not what he was expecting as he finally came upon the subject of the noise and his thoughts, however.

"You." Pikachu blinked, staring as the Raichu strutted forward, easy grin sliding across his face.

"Hello to you too," Raichu chuckled, deep voice somehow grating on Pikachu's nerves and soothing them at the same time. How was it possible that such a hypocritical bunch of emotions could happen?

"What are you doing?" Pikachu asked, wary and suspicious. He really didn't like that smile/smirk. It was too confident and made his strong features look too suave.

Raichu walked forward, body moving gracefully and Pikachu found his eyes following every body movement, only to squeak in surprise as a spark escaped from his left cheek. Raichu chuckled with that baritone tone of his, smirk somehow leaving but allowing a charming grin to appear instead. "You spark for me?" he asked, tone teasing.

"Absolutely not!" Pikachu barked, completely embarrassed. Why was he sparking so much? His kind only ever sparked like this when they were feeling embarrassed or angry, and he was usually frazzled enough to be angry only during a battle. It was their way of blushing, and it horrified Pikachu that he couldn't control what should have been a simple reflex.

"I think so," Raichu grinned, now standing directly in front of Pikachu. His curled ears twitched, giving way that the larger electric type was amused. He lifted a paw and made to touch Pikachu's cheek, but the yellow pokemon was having none of that.

"What are you doing?" Pikachu barked, jumping away from the paw, watching the appendage as if it would sprout fangs at any given moment and attack.

"Just checking something," Raichu answered, lowering his paw as he gazed at Pikachu through half lidded eyes.

"Checking wha—"

"Would you like to go for a walk with me?" Raichu interrupted.

It took Pikachu several seconds to process that question, having completely been thrown back by the suddenness and rude interruption. "Excuse me?"

Again that deep, soothing chuckled echoed throughout the abandoned hallway and sent shivers up Pikachu's spine. "You heard me," was the response. Raichu's cocky grin smoothened into a small, almost comforting, smile. He gestured to a window. "It's a beautiful night, and sometimes sleeping in a human bed every night can get a bit old. I prefer the tree's myself, and the stars are absolutely gorgeous tonight."

Pikachu rocked back and forth in thought. "You wish to take a walk with me?" Raichu nodded at the question. "Why?"

"Does one need a reason to enjoy such a beautiful night?" At Pikachu's glare, Raichu sighed and continued. "I enjoyed our battle, and you seem like an interesting character. It's not often I get a chance to speak with my opponents, especially one so strong. And besides, you interest me."

What was with all these compliments? "Alright," Pikachu said warily, not really seeing the harm in that. It was nice getting to know other pokemon that he met on his journey that weren't traveling companions, but he still didn't like this Raichu's cocky…

There was that damn grin again!

"After you," Raichu said smoothly, lifting the window open and gesturing for Pikachu to exit. He held out his paw, an open gesture for Pikachu to grab hold of him so that he could be lifted up and out the window, but Pikachu merely 'humphed' and jumped out the window within a single jump. "So, where to?"

"You're the one that asked me on the walk," Pikachu said dryly, walking beside the larger mouse on his hind legs, Raichu walking in a similar position. Pikachu looked away with a sigh as Raichu just looked down and smiled serenely at him. What was with this pokemon and all these smiles? It was making his heart race, and he didn't even know why!

"That I did," Raichu affirmed with a nod, black eyes never wavering away from Pikachu. "My trainer and I passed through the forest," Raichu mused. "There were some beautiful trees with the most delicious fruit. Would you care to come?"

"I did say I would walk with you," Pikachu pointed out, shaking his head before finally allowing his own amused smile to grace his features.

"Good!" With a beaming smile, Raichu grabbed hold of Pikachu's paw, not giving the poor rodent time to even think about drawing back before he was already bounding forward, dragging an exasperated Pikachu.

Pikachu took deep breaths, trying to get air back into his lungs, because as soon as he and Raichu touched, it was as if a thousand bolts of electricity had coursed through his veins… And no, not the usual kind of electricity he usually felt. It was enough to make his heart beat faster and breath to hitch, and oh Mew, was he sparking again?

Raichu paid the sparks no mind. He just strode right up to a tree and, finally releasing Pikachu's paw, bounded up. He looked down from his perch on a tree branch and waited. He frowned as he noticed Pikachu holding his chest, looking horribly confused and out of breath. "Would you like me to carry you up?"

Pikachu's head snapped up at the teasing tone. "I'm fine," he muttered, clambering up the tree quite easily. Raichu scooted over, allowing Pikachu some more room, but Pikachu made sure he sat at least a foot away from the other.

"Here," Raichu offered, handing Pikachu a ripe, green berry, not at all bothered by the distance. His smile was gone, but his face was peaceful, happy and amused all at once. Pikachu accepted the fruit with a thankful nod. He took a small bite, eyes going wide before he happily ate the rest in less than two bites. "Good?" Raichu teased, handing another one over to Pikachu.

"Very!" Pikachu reached out for the fruit, face lighting up into a grateful smile before blinking in shock as their fingers brushed as he grabbed the fruit. Again it felt like a surge of energy shot through his very core. "Thank you," Pikachu muttered, looking away and nibbling on the fruit.

"You're welcome." Raichu helped himself to some of the fruit dangling from the branches. He bit into it, a deep purr rumbling from his throat at the very taste. "My trainer claims that these berries help a pokemon become stronger," Raichu said suddenly, drawing Pikachu's attention. He let out a humorous laugh and gazed at the half eaten fruit, still purring, and damn it, the purr was sending shiver's down Pikachu's spine.

"Are you hoping for another challenge after you gorge yourself?" Pikachu mused, somehow managing a teasing tone despite his anxiety. He mentally shook himself before letting out a surprise squeak as Raichu's whip like tail wrapped around his body.

Raichu hadn't moved from his seat, but he did turn to gaze contentedly at Pikachu and tighten his hold on the frazzled pokemon. "I doubt I could eat enough of these supposedly mystical berries tonight to properly challenge you again," Raichu said seriously, and Pikachu was taken aback by the tone. "When I said you were an interesting character, I also meant that you were strong too. It showed in our battle when you defeated me."

"I've beat other Raichu's before," Pikachu said bluntly, another squeak escaping as the tail surrounding him tightened from Raichu's amusement. "Stop!" he finally blurted out, removing the offending appendage and stepping away and getting into an all fours position. "What do you really want?" Pikachu finally gritted out, tail stiff and ears alert.

Raichu was silent for a moment, face for once serious before letting that damn smirk show up. "I think it's what you really want," Raichu shot back, walking toward Pikachu despite that smaller beings battle position. "After all, is this not what you want, being with me, being in my presence?"

What? "What!" Pikachu screeched before letting out a loud laugh. "Oh Mew, I thought you were cocky before, but this really takes it! For you to think I would just want to be in some strangers company without a reason!" Pikachu once again dissolved into peals of laughter.

"Isn't there a reason?" Raichu shot back calmly, not at all perturbed by Pikachu's actions. Without warning, his paw shot out, caressing Pikachu's cheek. Pikachu's laughter died out instantly and turned into a quick intake of air. Pikachu was frozen, sparks escaping from his cheeks. "You see?" Raichu pointed out softly. "Your mind may think otherwise, but it is your body that wishes to stay."

Pikachu brushed the paw away. "What?" he breathed, horribly confused. Why was he acting like this?

Raichu sighed, lips twisting into a firm line. "Poor thing," he crooned, drawing an irritated growl from Pikachu. "You don't understand, do you?" Pikachu remained silent. "Little one," Raichu said patiently, "you're attracted to me." They were silent for a moment before Pikachu's laughter once again erupted throughout the area. With an amused sigh, Raichu leaned forward and nuzzled his head gently against Pikachu. The poor yellow mouse jumped back, startled, foot nearly slipping and sparks becoming more erratic. "See?" Raichu didn't give Pikachu a chance to back up as he rubbed Pikachu's cheeks. "You're sparking for me."

Pikachu swallowed, black eyes on black. "How?"

"How?" Raichu parroted with a laugh. "How does one explain attraction, little one? No one can, it is simply instinct."

Again Pikachu swallowed, utterly bewildered. "But we're both male."

Raichu raised a furry brow. "Don't tell me you think like a hard headed human. It is perfectly natural for one to be drawn to another of the same gender. Just as some quirk draws a human to another, we pokemon are drawn to another's just easily, though sometimes it isn't always obvious to some."

"You've been attracted to another before," Pikachu stated quietly after a moment. Raichu nodded an affirmative. Pikachu's ears lowered slightly. "So is that why you invited me out here with you?" he bit out. "To play with me and these strange emotions?"

Raichu was clearly taken aback. He once again wrapped his tail around Pikachu's body, much to the smaller one's annoyance. "Do you not think attraction can't go both ways?" he asked with a laugh, drawing Pikachu closer to him with some difficulty. The yellow mouse was digging his heels into the branch, but at that comment, his feet stumbled and he was all but slammed into Raichu's gut. Muscled arms wrapped around Pikachu's body, and if Pikachu had been sparking before, it was nothing compared to now. "Now, is that so bad?"

"I…"

"Yes?"

"I… don't like you."

Raichu blinked in shock, looking down at Pikachu before letting out a roar of laughter. "Little one," he chuckled, wiping a tear from his eye. "Attraction doesn't always mean you have to actually like someone. Haven't you heard of… what do humans call it? Ah, eye candy."

Pikachu shook his head, stomach fluttering as it rubbed against Raichu's body. "No, I don't like your cockiness," Pikachu mumbled, embarrassed. He looked away, feeling drained.

Raichu chucked again, rubbing Pikachu's back in a comforting away. "My trainer has mentioned a few times I should do something about it, but it's what makes me me." Pikachu couldn't help but agree. "And I don't see you fighting against me holding you, so there must be something you like." Pikachu grimaced, causing another round of giggles. "Poor thing. You've never been attracted to another before, have you?" Pikachu shook his head. "How strange. You're very strong and are near adulthood, but then again, you are still a Pikachu."

"That could be it," Pikachu allowed, though he doubted that was truly it. There had been plenty of Pikachu's and Pichu's that became parents. He was silent for a moment. "So now what?" he asked, embarrassed as he moved away from the caresses, still unable to control his sparking cheeks.

"Well, I did invite you to go on a walk and enjoy the stars with me," Raichu supplied, smiling smoothly. "Would you care to just sit and watch with me?"

Pikachu was very tempted to just say no, but after being told and actually realizing that he was attracted to this electric pokemon was daunting and confusing. Should he stay? Would that give mixed signals? The other had even said that he himself felt attracted to him. "I guess that wouldn't be too bad," Pikachu allowed, immediately regretting those words as Raichu all but slammed him into his side, an arm wrapped around him in a one armed hug. "Cocky bastard," Pikachu groused, thoroughly tussled.

"Hey, there're more than just the stars to enjoy," Raichu said with a laugh, eyes sparkling with mischief. "Snuggling is an enjoyable past time, and maybe we can do more since you've found out what your feelings are."

"No," Pikachu said immediately, tone exasperated but with a hint of a smile on his lips. Raichu noticed and just grinned in a victorious way.

The two remained silent for a while, each one enjoying the night, and Pikachu was beginning to relax in the larger one's arms. Raichu turned and studied Pikachu for a moment. "Why have you not evolved yet?" he asked quietly. "You are more than mature and old enough to evolve without any damage, and it's a large power boost."

"Just don't want to," Pikachu responded honestly, eyes never leaving the twinkling lights. "I can still grow as a Pikachu, and I want to prove that it doesn't always take an evolved pokemon to win a battle."

Raichu was silent for a moment before asking, "Is that all?"

"No. I always thought Raichu were kind of fat."

"What?" The high pitched tone was completely offended.

"Well, you are!" Pikachu defended, actually letting out a laugh as he took in Raichu's horrified look. For good measure, he poked Raichu's body.

"We aren't fat," Raichu stated indignantly. "We're just bigger because we use more physical attacks like Body Slam and Mega Kick," he said sourly. "We aren't in a small body anymore, little one."

"And your paws," Pikachu continued, ignoring the pet name. He rubbed Raichu's paw. "How can you handle only having one finger?"

"You get used to it." That amused, cocky smirk spread. "But surely you remember getting used to your Pikachu body when you were younger. It's just like that – simple and easy. We adapt so easily."

Pikachu licked his lips, looking at Raichu. "I've never evolved," he said honestly and continued quickly to interrupt Raichu's "Wha?" "I was born a Pikachu." He smiled softly. "I've met others like me, in a forest in the Kanto region. During spring there are baby pokemon everywhere." Pikachu's smile grew. "It was very nice there."

"How strange," Raichu said, staring at Pikachu with a peculiar look. "But interesting." Raichu looked content, almost as if knew there had been a specific reason why he was attracted to Pikachu. He was an amazing pokemon, thus it would only be obvious that he would be attracted to an interesting and amazing pokemon. It was his smug outlook.

Pikachu looked up at Raichu, taking in the other's features and going over all that he was feeling. "What is this?" he asked, gesturing at the two of them in their strange embrace that Raichu had forced him into (though he certainly wasn't complaining). "Is… is…" he trailed off, embarrassed before plowing forward. "Is this love?"

Raichu was silent as he stared at Pikachu; eyes glowing with a warmth that made Pikachu feel comfortable and safe. With a smile, a non-cocky one, he leaned forward and pressed his lips against Pikachu's. This time, Sparks erupted from both their cheeks, and if someone were to have been walking by, they would have thought fireworks were going off.

"Not exactly love, little one," Raichu said gently. "Just attraction."

"Wha—?"

"Race you back to the pokemon center!" Raichu laughed, changing the entire topic and jumping down the tree and waving at Pikachu to follow. "It's already dawn!"

Pikachu, whom had been slack jawed and wide eyed from the kiss, blanched, looking up to see that it was indeed dawn, and the sun was rising in a mass of beautiful colors that could rival their little light show from mere seconds ago. Again Raichu called to him, that baritone laugh echoing in the forest before being joined by Pikachu's. So maybe he wasn't feeling love, but there was something about this attraction thing that made him want to chase after Raichu, and the larger mouse knew it. So Pikachu chased after Raichu.

He chased after Raichu and that damned cocky grin of his.