I am an author with a passion. And that passion is TMNT. Although I am a fan of Pokémon, too (and so many other "childish" pleasures), TMNT is what I write, and that will stay this way in the future, too.
However, today (since it's holidays here in Germany, where I live) I've seen that episode from the Indigo League (First Season!). And I got nostalgic.. And it made me write this.
It's the first Pokémon story I'm uploading. It'll probably be the last. It's a oneshot. But hey. Happy reading, and don't forget to tell me what to think, because criticism (and reviews of every kind) are always highly appreciated.
And That's Why
It had happened again.
Yet another time, Pikachu had been captured by the never-resting evil named Team Rocket. Once again, it had been Ash's fault. Because once again, he had been careless, had blindly trusted the "strangers" that offered to give his yellow friend a 'nice little massage, all for free!', and Ash fell for it. And now, once again, Pikachu sat stuck in some electro-proof glass box and could do nothing but wait while Team Rocked celebrated their victory.
And he was getting throughoutly sick of it.
He knew that sooner or later, Ash and his friends would show up. Guided by one of his trainer's flying Pokémon, or someone who knew the area. Maybe just because of good luck. They would come running out of the row of trees behind the small campfire Team Rocket hat set up, or appear on the other side of the thin stream that divided the forest into two. They would come, and rescue him, and it'd all be okay. Sooner or later. They always did...
But Pikachu wished they would just finally learn something so they wouldn't have to rescue him all the time.
He realized, without particular interest, that James stood now in front of the glass box. He said something, pointing at Pikachu. Then he laughed. The others joined him, grinning and mocking the small electro mouse. Pikachu ignored them. It was not hard, considering that he couldn't hear a thing through the thick sound-proof walls of his prison. He couldn't do anything but wait and hold still.
He was bored out of his mind.
Absent mindedly, the small Pokémon wiggled his tiny toes and flicked his ears. His cold, black nose vibrated, trying to catch a smell, but there was none in the box. He wondered if Team Rocket was bright enough to have air holes somewhere in this prison, and with a start realized that they probably hadn't thought of that. Their disguise got more tricky every time, but they weren't the brightest lights otherwise. Rather stupid, for that matter. Which was probably the reason why they had joined an evil underground organization rather than attending university.
Well, he would have to breathe less then.
Pikachu leaned back against the glass wall behind him and closed his eyes, determined to escape this whole mess until Ash came and got him out of it. But sleep wouldn't come. Instead, the image of his trainer danced behind his eyelids, teasing him, and the anger flared up again. How could he do that? How could he not watch out for his Pokémon? How come that Pikachu was always the one to suffer, even though he hadn't done anything wrong- even though he probably was the only one to behave in this world of madmen?
His tail flicked, but otherwise, the Pokémon didn't move.
Another image appeared in his mind. It was an old memory, back from the very beginning. Before it all had started to become weird. It was the image of a forest, not unlike this one, with trees as thick as pillars. There had been a river, too... And there had been Pikachu. Wild Pikachu, everywhere. It'd been a whole gang. And boy, had they had fun! They had played all day. There had always been enough food and something to celebrate.. and there definitely hadn't been problems. Pikachu frowned, trying to recall why he hadn't stayed that time.
He couldn't remember the reason.
Dawn was coming quickly, and Team Rocket seemed to settle for the night. Pikachu didn't quite understand that, even though he was grateful for it. But wouldn't it be better for them to fly at night, where no spying eyes could see them? Of course, there was always the chance that Ash got his Noctowl or some other Pokémon with night vision to find them anyway. He changed his fellow Pokémon all the time. It wouldn't be unusual... Actually, Pikachu hoped he would get here soon. The air was getting thinner already, and he didn't have a chance to tell Meowth- since the glass was sound-proof...
Ash changes his Pokémon all the time.
That was simple, since all it took was to press a button on that red device he carried- his Pokédex. He could simply send Pokéballs back and forth, with no effort at all. Pikachu settled back more comfortably into the corner of the glass cube. Ash could just edit his team, or even trade them, without problems... When he needed a water Pokémon, he had Squirtle. When he needed fire, there was Cyndaquil...
But he never, not once, had so much as considered to trade his Pikachu.
Pikachu's eyelids flickered as he remembered the first time he had met Ash. He had had the Pokéball in his hands, that time, and when the electro mouse escaped from it all he had thought of was to punish the one who did this to him. He remembered the countless times he had shocked the young boy in the following five years - first on purpose, later on mostly by accident. Ash had taken it all with humor. But still, Pikachu could feel the enclosed space of the Pokéball around him, and the feeling to suffocate. He still knew what it meant to be imprisoned in that ball, and the memory was refreshed every time he got caught up in some random new prison of Team Rocket.
Every time Ash managed to get him Pokénapped. Again.
But, after all, it was Ash who managed to find him every time something separated them. It was Ash who positioned himself between the cages, bags, balls, cubes and walls that held Pikachu and the enemy, and it was him who faced Team Rocket. It was him who was fearless and never resting when it came to saving his friends. Ash shouted at those who meant harm to his companions. Ash laughed the danger in the face when he had to. Ash never run away. He always came to the rescue.
It was him who, every time, opened up the dark enclosed space of the prison to set Pikachu free.
The air got thinner and thinner. The bitter taste of used oxygen, of CO2, filled the glass cube. Slowly, Pikachu opened his eyes and moved onto his front paws, determined to get a message through. Surely they didn't mean to suffocate him? But Team Rocket was fast asleep. All but James, who obviously had lost the battle about the first watch. But he sat at the fire, with his back to the box. With a start Pikachu realized that he was unable to make them help him. Almost unconsciously, tears started to dwell in his eyes, but he fought them back. He would not give in, and he would not cry.
Pikachu rested more comfortably against the corner of the cube once more. His tail flicked lazily, but his eyelids slid close again. He tried to fight the unconsciousness closing in on him, tried to take smaller breaths, but the air was heavy and used. His nose quivered, once again trying to capture any sign of fresh air, but there was nothing. He felt heat rising up in his cheeks, and his fingers started to get numb. Still, there was something important just out of reach, a memory that was long since forgotten...
Ash will cry.
As he slipped into the darkness, images rose from Pikachu's mind. Blurry and hazy pictures of a storm, and a lonely island out in the ocean. Pictures of a mansion... And the images of a battle, a battle between brothers, between those who should never have been parted. A fight between blue and pink light, and air hissing... and the distant picture of a small figure, running from the safety of the walls right into the heat of the battle, and shouting at the opposing forces to stop... A flash of light, and then, all that was left was a cold hand, unseeing eyes and one thought that united man and Pokémon into one.
No, no no no... Please, wake up. Come on... Please.
Something wet dripped onto the small yellow being's red cheeks. His nose quivered, and caught trace of something salty. He tried to wipe it away, but his hands were so heavy.. Yet another drop reached Pikachu's small face, and finally, even though with effort, he opened his deep brown eyes to stare right into those of Ash. The young trainer's face broke into the strangest smile, halfway between deepest sorrow and endless joy. "Oh God, Pikachu", he sobbed. "I am so glad..." His free hand, that didn't rest on the small figure in his lap, wiped the tears away angrily, but new came in an endless flow.
"I am so so-o-orry", Ash continued between his sobs. "I should have never.. I shouldn't have... I am so sorry, and then when we finally found you..." He couldn't speak on, but he didn't have to. Sunlight streamed through the leaves of the trees around them and blinded Pikachu as his vision got clearer. He wondered distantly when day had started again, and then how long he had lasted in the glass cube in the end. When night had started, he had been sure he would die right there. But daylight had come. And with it his trainer.
What had held him here?
But as Pikachu stared up into those deep brown eyes, blurred with tears, he finally understood. Ash was a trusting person, maybe too much at some times. No, definitely too trusting at more than some times. But after every failure, every time he got hurt, he recovered and started anew. That was what brought him many friends through the years, and true friends at that. He would give his best for all of them. He never let anyone down. And he never, not once, had so much as thought about just leaving Pikachu to the enemy and living the rest of his life in peace from them. Not once.
And it was exactly that character trait of him that made people like him.
"You're my best friend, ever, Pikachu." Ash's voice got less shaken as he continued to stroke the electro Pokémon's fur with his free hand. "Ever. And just now, I thought I would lose you. Again." A shudder came over him; Pikachu could feel the sudden goosebumbs against his skin. He remained unmoving as new tears came, rolling over Ash's cheeks and dripping onto the Pokémon's face. "I couldn't stand it. I still have nightmares about that time, when we first met.. Remember the Spearow encounter?" Pikachu blinked; how could he possibly forget? But he hadn't known about the nightmares.
I didn't pay much attention to Ash lately...
He found that he was still unable to move his hands. But he remembered that one time, back at the beginning. The time Ash had placed himself between the Spearows and his wounded friend, to protect him, without even thinking about his own well-being. He remembered the times they had fallen into holes, or rivers, or down cliffs, but he hadn't let go of Pikachu. All that days he had shouted at people that "his friend was kidnapped", when everyone else called it "stealing". The time in the ice cave when he begged his Pokémon to get into their Pokéballs while he shielded them against the icy wind. The times... All that countless times he had proven his friendship.
Oh, I am so sorry.
Gathering all his strength, Pikachu lifted his head to reach his trainer's face. Ash leaned down more, seeing his friend's efforts. He was still silently crying, wiping his eyes and stroking the soft yellow fur under his hands. Checking for the slow rise and fall of Pikachu's chest. Taking in the body heat that indicated the life of the body below him. And Pikachu's tiny tongue shot out, just reaching Ash's cheek and wiping away the salty tears and the thin layer of forest dirt. Just as he had done back then. Because, as well as Ash, Pikachu hadn't forgotten one single minute they had spent together this far, and he never will. There will always be that special bond between them, that life-long trust that unites them and helps them through every situation, however dangerous it may be...
And that's why.