It started out like any other day. Namely, Brock making breakfast, Ash rushing off to go battle someone, and Misty…
"Pikachu! Use Thunderbolt!" The Electric-type happily obeyed, shooting a blast of electricity at the opponent's Graveler.
"Ash!" Misty screamed. "That's a Ground-type! Why are you using Thunderbolt? Don't you have any other attacks? You always use Thunderbolt! You can't always win by dumb luck, you know! You have to learn sometime!" Her ranting was cut short as the Graveler fell to the ground, defeated in one hit. Pikachu stood over the Rock-type with a proud look in her eyes. "I'm not even going to bother with this," Misty muttered, shuffling back to the camp as the defeated Hiker recalled his Pokémon.
"Good job, Pikachu!" Ash cheered as the Hiker walked away dejectedly. "I knew you could do it!" Pikachu laughed nervously as her trainer continued to praise her on a job well done. She never really saw what was so hard about shocking the tar out of things, but if Ash wanted to shout encouragement at her, well, she guessed that was okay.
Ash suddenly stopped his excited stream of encouragement and focused his gaze somewhere behind Pikachu. She sighed and turned around to see what had caught his attention, only for her own mouth to drop open. A strange, blue Pokémon was walking through the grass, as though it were unaware that it was not supposed to appear in front of a rookie trainer without good reason. It was a rather vivid shade of blue, with the exception of its dark grey feet and ears. Its eyes were deep red, and silver spikes stuck out of its arms. Ash pulled out his Pokédex and gleefully pointed it at the creature, only to receive a rather negative message. Pokémon not found," the Pokédex bleeped. Ash frowned and hammered on the buttons, only for the screen to go blank. The boy frowned and chucked it back in his bag.
"Pikachu!" he chirped. "We're going to catch it!" He pulled a Poké Ball off of his belt and enlarged it to full size. The tiny Pokémon, which had been biting a rather tall blade of grass, suddenly seemed to notice the pair. Upon seeing the Poké Ball in Ash's hand, its eyes grew wide and it took off running. "Pikachu! Quick Attack!" Ash instructed. Pikachu began to chase after the tiny Pokémon – only for it to disappear without a trace!
Pikachu looked around the field wildly until she caught sight of a small, blue tail disappearing into a crevice at the base of a tall tree. She turned around and waved to let Ash know what she was doing, then darted into the opening. Almost immediately, she realized that something was wrong. The tunnel under her feet felt cold and hard, not soft like dirt should be. She continued into the tunnel for a few more feet, and suddenly the ground beneath her feet gave way.
"Ash!" she screamed in desperation. "Help! I'm falling! It's Team Rocket again!" Back at the tree, the ten-year-old heard her cries and jumped into action. Literally – he hit his head on a low-lying tree branch, springing into action. He couldn't understand Pikachu perfectly, but he knew that she had said something about Team Rocket – and there was no way he was going back to the camp to get the rest of his Pokémon when Pikachu was in danger.
"Don't worry, Pikachu!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. "I'm coming!" He threw himself down on the ground, worming his way through the tiny tunnel. After a few seconds, he found that he was… well, completely stuck. His arms were pinned to his sides, and he couldn't move frontwards or backwards. Pikachu was still crying out in front of him, each of her cries getting fainter and fainter. "Pikachu!" Ash growled, kicking his legs frantically in an attempt to get to his starter Pokémon. To his surprise, he started to move through the tunnel far easier than before! The tunnel seemed to widen dramatically, and the boy triumphantly made his way through the tunnel to his beloved Pikachu.
Then he fell into the same pit that Pikachu had.
"Pikachu!" Ash screamed, flailing wildly as he tumbled through space. The tunnel was pitch black, and the new Pokémon trainer wasn't entirely sure which was was up and which was down. Before he could summon the strength to shout for Pikachu again, he found that he had come to a complete stop, just as quickly as he had fallen. He could feel the ground under his feet, and could see a faint light a few feet away.
"Pikachu?" he called out nervously. He tottered over to the light on unsteady legs, and found himself in a spacious cavern. It was a huge, dome-shaped area with translucent blue walls. However, Ash was not looking at the strange structure. Rather, he was looking at what was in the middle of the room – namely, a giant Pikachu.
"Aaaaah!" Ash screamed, pressing himself up against the glowing blue wall.
"Aaaaah!" Pikachu shrieked back. Noticing her trainer's terror, she quickly swallowed her feelings of shock and tried to talk to him. "Um, Ash? Why are you my size now?"
Unfortunately, Pikachu had overlooked one important detail – while Ash might have been Pikachu-sized, he still didn't understand their language. The young boy's eyes seemed to light up, though, when he recognized Pikachu as his own Pikachu. "Pikachu!" he chirped happily, rushing forwards to hug the yellow Pokémon. "It is you! You're safe!" Pikachu blushed as he joyfully wrapped his arms around her. There was something nice about being the same height as him, she thought…
"A-ash? How did you…" Pikachu stuttered, blushing furiously under her fur for some reason.
"Yeah?" the boy asked.
"Are you…" Pikachu's voice trailed off. She stepped back from Ash, eyes wide as dinner plates.
"What's wrong?" Ash questioned. In response, Pikachu flicked her ears. "What is it?" Ash asked again, repeating the motion. Then it suddenly hit him. He had just… flicked his ears? Like Pikachu. Out of instinct, his hands flew to the side of his head. His ears were… gone! The sides of his head were completely blank. But he could still hear…
Being Ash, Pikachu knew that it would probably take him a while to figure out on his own, so she decided to help him. "Your ears, Ash! They're on top of your head! You – you have Pikachu ears!"
Ash gave a tiny little squeak and threw his hands to the top of his head. Instead of his hair or his hat, he could feel two long, furry ears lying flat against his head! "Oh no!" he squeaked. "I'll have to cut holes in my hat! Otherwise it'll fall off!"
Pikachu sighed as her trainer grabbed at his ears hysterically. After a few seconds, he stopped grabbing his ears in favor of holding his nose in apparent pain.
"Ow! Ow! My nose feels funny! Pikachu!" Pikachu sighed and pulled her trainer's hands away, gently holding them away from his face. Tears began to well up in his eyes.
"Stop struggling!" Pikachu told him worriedly. "There's something about this place that must be causing you to turn into a Pikachu!" Ash whimpered as Pikachu looked over him nervously. He was Pikachu height, and his ears flicked nervously as he tried to grab his nose. Pikachu suddenly realized that Ash was not speaking in human anymore, and his nose was quickly changing shape. The tip of it was black, while the rest of his face was quickly being consumed by yellow fur. Pikachu reluctantly let go of the boy, but he made no attempt to grab at his face anymore. He was more concerned with other matters.
"Where'd my hat go? Did it fall off, or-" Pikachu cut him off, grabbing Ash's prized article of clothing off of the ground, a few feet away. The young boy sighed in relief as he jammed it back on his head, on top of his ears. By now, his entire body was covered in fur. Pikachu suddenly realized just how cute her trainer was… no! Not that again! He was a human! Not a Pikachu! She wasn't supposed to think he was cute!
Then Ash fell over with a surprised squeal as his legs and feet changed shape. His shoes disappeared without warning, leaving him staring at his oversized, three-toed feet. Pikachu giggled, blushing like crazy. He… was… really adorable.
"Pikachu…" Ash said in an embarrassed tone of voice.
"What is it?" she asked him.
"Urm… um… tail?" he gasped out.
"Oh… eh…" Pikachu laughed nervously. "Well…" Her train of thought was stopped as a huge cloud of yellow smoke filled the room. When it cleared, Pikachu found herself looking at a completely normal Pikachu. Well, a Pikachu wearing a hat.
"My clothes are gone!" Ash squeaked, looking down at his furry body in shock. "Pikachu! Where are my clothes?"
Pikachu sighed. "You don't need clothes! You're a Pokémon, Ash! You have fur!"
"Oh… right," Ash said, as though he had realized that right from the get-go. "Well, we'd better find a way to change me back to normal! I can't be a Pokémon Master if I'm a Pokémon myself!" The ten-year-old took a confident step forward, only to trip over his own tail and fall flat on his face.
Pikachu giggled at her trainer's own ineptitude. "Well… I guess we'll have to get out of here first…" She glanced around the room and caught sight of something she hadn't noticed before – another opening leading upwards. "There!" she shouted, pointing it out. "That should get us out of here!"
Ash did not answer. When Pikachu looked back, she quickly realized why. His cheeks were sparking like crazy as he flailed around trying to make them stop. "Ash, you've just built up a lot of electricity. Aim at one of the walls and focus on sending it out." Ash instead stumbled onto his back, sending bolts of lightning every which way as he squealed in fright.
"… I can see we're going to need work on that," Pikachu sighed. "Well… come on. We need to get out of here, that's for sure." The boy struggled to his feet and nodded, tottering over to his partner on unsteady feet. After a few moments of trying not to trip over his tail, Ash seemed to realize what was wrong. With an embarrassed look on his face, he dropped onto all fours and bounded over to Pikachu. She giggled and lead the way out of the mysterious room.