Blizzaga Saga: Hello! I'm really excited to be writing this. I've always been a big fan of Pikashipping, and there's nowhere near enough of it. I'm doing this without any real planning. I got the idea for this after Red murdered me with his level 88 Pikachu in HeartGold. There will be a lemon later on, and yes, Pikachu is female in this story. I don't feel like that violates anything canon since Pikachu's gender has never mattered in the anime. (to my knowledge, anyway.)
Chapter 1: Pikachu is Too Awesome
"It is a law of nature that if something becomes too awesome, the universe will conspire to destroy it."
No matter how many times a Thundershock hit him, it still hurt as much as it had when he first met her at Professor Oak's lab as a little boy. His numerous traveling partners over the past five years used to joke that he had probably developed an immunity to pain caused by electricity due to her shocking him so much, but Pikachu's power coursing through his body, even though nowadays it was mostly playful little jolts, was something he could never get used to. She was simply too powerful, much more powerful than ordinary Pikachu, even when she wasn't trying to be rough.
Right now, the force of it was so strong that tears burned his eyes. Salty trails on his face conducted enough electricity to tickle his cheeks, though he hardly felt it due to the pain in the rest of his body.
"Pikachu!" Ash yelled the three syllables that he and she used to express so many emotions to each other. A desperate plea for her to stop and a strong declaration that he would not abandon her despite his own suffering carried them now.
The attack did not hit just him; bright yellow leapt from the small creature in all directions, scattering light that bounced off the overcast sky. Though it was night, Ash had to shield his eyes as he struggled to move closer to her. "Pikapi!" Excruciating pain and a message for anyone within earshot to please make it stop carried the word. But Ash was the only one there, somehow still standing and inching toward her despite the electricity radiating from her. She wanted to move toward him as well, but with so much of her energy leaping into the air without her consent, her body had nothing to work with.
Ash finally dove forward with a strength he was scared he wouldn't have. He passed directly through the brunt of her attacks and fell with his hands grasping her. He had no idea what he was doing or how simply hugging her to himself was going to help, but he did it anyway. The close-range shocks that followed were by far stronger than the previous ones, but he held her to his stomach tightly, not sure whether his gesture was comforting or crushing her.
"Pikapi!" Her paws clenched his shirt and she buried her face into his chest, shuddering violently. As he felt consciousness leaving him, it finally stopped. Route 1 was dark once more and he no longer felt pain or even the rain hitting him. He felt something at last—panic—when he realized that Pikachu was no longer moving, but it was too late to even turn her around in his arms and see if she was okay. Ash slumped over, and his eyes closed.
Running the entirety of Route 1 with a barely conscious Pikachu in his arms was vaguely nostalgic in its terror. Fortunately, this time there were no wild birds chasing them like there were at the start of his Pokémon journey, but he still moved with the same urgency as he had back then. "Chaaa…" his partner moaned weakly.
"Don't worry, buddy. Professor Oak will know what to do." Ash hugged her closer to his chest and picked up the pace, removing one hand from her just long enough to spin his cap backward. His trademark determined look reassured Pikachu as she looked up at her trainer. "We've been through tighter spots than this, and I won't let anything happen to you."
When the morning sun roused him, Pikachu had already been awake but immobile in the middle of a charred crater. Ash took less than a minute to rejoice at the fact that she was alive, register his own pain, marvel at the damage to the green plain, realize some Rattata had dug through his backpack and stolen his food and potions, and decide that taking Pikachu in his arms and running to Pallet was the best chance to ensure her survival. But Ash was not much better off than the limp bundle of wet fur: parts of his skin and clothes were singed and his limbs did not want to move, almost as if Pikachu's attacks had partially paralyzed him as he'd seen happen every so often to those unfortunate enough to battle her. He grunted and breathed heavily in his refusal to slow down, the happy, serene landmarks of his quaint birthplace clashing violently with his plight. Pikachu stared up at him. He was hurting so much more than he let on, she could tell. "Pika…kachu…" she said in a way that she hoped would encourage him and express her gratitude.
Pallet was the smallest and least developed town in all of Kanto: no Pokémon Center, no Pokémart to buy medicine for Pikachu, no public transportation, and no cab companies to call. He just kept pushing himself until they miraculously made it to the Oak research laboratory. "You're going to be all right, Pikachu..."
Pikachu was unsure that they would have been able to get into the building had running into the door not been enough to push it open. "Pikapi…" Using energy she had been saving since Ash first collected her in his arms, she raised her head just high enough to lick his cheek.
Ash stiffened, not immediately realizing the source of the sudden wetness—after all, Pikachu had only done that twice before, one of those times ironically enough being on Route 1 just after beating the Spearow. When he registered what happened, he cradled her closer and more gently. Pikachu closed her eyes and almost fell asleep in his arms until—"Professor!" Ash yelled loudly, causing her to moan in pain. He continued, oblivious to her headache. "Somebody! We need help!"
The professor was the first to investigate the yelling. The fatherly smile he typically greeted the youth with fell from his face when he saw the condition of his guests. "Ash! What on Earth happened?"
Catching his breath, Ash handed over his friend. "Pikachu needs help," he said simply before falling into a chair. His arms hung uselessly at his side, finally getting much-needed rest—Pikachu was not heavy, but carrying her for so long was exhausting.
"I'll have my assistants tend to her immediately." After handing the Pokémon to a curious young woman who just showed up, he held out an arm to prevent him from following. "You come with me, Ash. You don't look much better than she does."
"I'm sure she'll be all right, and if anything happens, my assistants will let you know."
"Pikapi," she called weakly as the young woman carried her away through a doorway that closed behind her. Ash took a step after her, but Oak blocked the way once more. Anger flashed through the fifteen-year-old boy, but it faded quickly. Though he almost refused to believe it, he knew he could do nothing to help. Aside from battling and training techniques, he knew little in regards to the physiology of Pokémon, and his experience in healing was limited to spraying potions.
He followed the professor in a different direction. "So, Ash, what happened this time?" Oak's tone was playful, like it usually was. "Did you two have to save the world again?"
After his rough day, Ash didn't see the humor in such a comment, though he normally would have laughed. "No. Pikachu's problem has been getting worse lately."
"What? Are you telling me that Pikachu did this to you?" The boy nodded, and the professor's countenance lost all traces of amusement. "I'm sorry. I thought some wild Pokémon had attacked you two. Had I known the problem was this bad, I would have sent someone to Viridian City to pick you up." Ash stifled another wave of anger. He thought they had just been attacked by some Spearow? As if there was anything out there that he and Pikachu couldn't beat. "But we'll talk about that after we put some bandages on those burns. Wash up while I find some clothes for you."
Showering felt great after the initial sting from the infected areas. Days of sweat and dirt washed away as hot water soothed him, but he did not stay put for long. "Is Pikachu all right?" he asked immediately after throwing on his dirty clothes, not even bothering to wait for Oak to give him whatever outfit he had found.
"It's only been a few minutes. We've given her some medicine and sedated her to prevent her from accidentally using more energy. Once she wakes up, we'll run some tests and clean her. Until then, why don't you tell me what happened? I remember you calling me last week from Cerulean. You said that Pikachu was having trouble controlling her electricity."
"At first I thought she was just having an off day, but the problem only grew worse. She's been in pain the entire week, so I took your advice and came here. But last night…it got really bad. She lost control and all of her power escaped at once. It was lucky no one else is around, or someone could have been hurt badly. She lost so much energy that she couldn't move anymore."
"I see. I received your other Pokémon not long ago, so I know why they weren't with you, but where is Brock? Why wasn't he there to help you?"
"After we met up with Misty, he was so impressed with how far she and I have come that he felt he hadn't matured enough. He went off on his own back to Professor Ivy's."
A nod. "Well, I'll let you get some rest. I'm sure when you wake up, we'll have some more information on Pikachu." Ash wanted to protest, but the speaker had already left. Scowling as he lay onto a bed, he slowly realized he actually did need rest. Sighing, he wondered for not the first time that week if he had really matured any in the last five years and if he really getting anywhere. Despite all his hard work, people still saw him as a child, he still made stupid mistakes, and he still found himself running for his life from time to time.
Misty was certainly more mature. He had been just as impressed as Brock when they visited her at the gym last week. Her battling skills had grown from all the trainers who flocked to the gym for a Cascade Badge and were probably at least on par with his own, though he would never admit that to her. He wondered what it would be like if she saw him as mature. The thought made him giggle in a decidedly immature way. Traveling with her again was going to be great.
Pikachu came first, though. If she wasn't well, there was no point in even leaving the lab. He'd stay for as long as it took for her to recover, even if it meant giving up his first chance to travel with Misty in two years.
Ash tried to sleep. He really did. But he was too stubborn to do as he was told when his friend was hurt, and aside from that, it didn't feel right going to bed without his little buddy by his side. He wondered if Pikachu was having similar issues, if she was even feeling all right.
That did it. Leaping out of bed after two hours of unsuccessful sleep attempts, he walked briskly to every area of the building until he found one that still had people working at this hour. "You should be in bed."
"How's Pikachu doing?"
Oak sighed at his determination not to listen. "The sedative has worn off, but I don't think there's need for a second dose. I believe I've found the solution." Suddenly, Ash was very interested in what he had to say. He sighed once more. "I had to consult Professor Elm on the matter.
"What? You mean there are things you don't know?" Ash asked, genuinely surprised.
"Of course. Otherwise there wouldn't be a need for other professors. Elm is the expert on Pokémon evolution."
"What does evolution have to do with this?"
"I'll get to that. Tell me this, first. Exactly how strong is Pikachu?"
Ash managed to smirk through his worry. "She's the best there is." His pride deflated when the older man looked at him somberly.
"…Hm…then it is as I thought. When Pokémon grown stronger, they evolve into new forms to allow the best use of their abilities. It is a natural process, much like growing up for humans, and it's why Pikachu habitats are found near sources of thunderstones. The properties of the strange energy that Pokémon have which allows them to evolve are still mostly unknown, but Professor Elm believes evolving helps them to better utilize that energy."
"Oh," was all Ash could say, not really getting it.
"I'm afraid your Pikachu has grown beyond the normal limits of its species, and its inability to correctly harness that energy is what's causing its pain and loss of control. Quite simply, it's too small and doesn't have the right body type to control all the power it's gained, so that power is constantly looking for an escape."
"So the problem is that Pikachu's…too awesome?" the trainer asked, confused.
"If you want to think of it that way, yes. Pikachu is too awesome for her own good." Professor Oak laughed. Ash didn't think it was funny.
"You're saying…it's my fault she's in this much pain?" A dozen memories of intense training came to his mind. Forcing electricity through her to get her strong enough to beat Brock, jogging together in the snow, making her hit targets with Thunderbolt…had he pushed her too hard? Had he put his dream of becoming a Pokémon Master before his best friend's health?
"Certainly not. You couldn't have predicted this. I don't know if there's ever been a Pikachu as strong as yours. However, it will be your fault if she continues to suffer. Given the circumstances, I believe you should evolve her."
Any other trainer likely would have figured out that that was the direction Oak had been taking this conversation as soon as the subject of evolution came up, but the statement took Ash by complete surprise. The idea of evolving Pikachu was as foreign as the idea of putting her in a Poké Ball, and his jaw went slack as he let out a stupefied, "Whaaa—?!"