AN: Welcome to the collection that is Like No One Ever Was. I've been a longtime fan of the animé, and have recently started watching it over again from the very beginning. I see a lot of "series remakes" in other fandoms, but not too many here. (Then again, I haven't looked for a while...) Since rewriting the entire series would take way too much time, I've decided to devote my time to short snippets of what really interests me - the Pokémon.

Anyway, without further ado, Pokémon! I Choose You!


PIKACHU


"Great. My life just can't get any better than this."

I'd said that to myself maybe ten minutes after he had tied me up. I still remember the rubber gloves, fluorescent pink and ugly as sin, gripped tightly around the thin length of whatever cord he had in that bag of his. That's an image I'll never forget.

Maybe I'd had it coming. I was me, after all, the popular little prick who had a bit too much confidence for his own good. It was high time someone struck me down from my pedestal. And who better than some eccentric old guy who wasted no time in making me the subject of his latest haiku?

Why had I wandered away from the rest of the group, again? To show off? I don't even remember. I should have paid more attention, though; it's not exactly a boost for your pride when you get caught just 'cause you weren't looking. Meh.

Either way, I wasn't in the professor's possession any more. Nope, I belonged to a ten year old kid. Was that any better? Maybe? Who knows? It sure didn't seem like it at the time.

For one, this kid did not pay attention to anything in school. I was amazed he knew how to walk. I mean, really, who doesn't know that Rattata steal food? That's common knowledge out in the woods. He was struggling, and it showed. He asked for my help, but… nah. Why would I help this kid? I would gain nothing.

So when the little pocket machine began spewing nonsense about wild Pokémon being jealous of trained ones, I was pretty confused. Was that the real reason that Spearow took a dive for me? I sure as heck didn't know. Ash seemed to think so.

We ran, but flying is faster and the birds caught up. Before I knew it Ash had scooped me up and jumped off a cliff, landing in the water. I'm pretty sure I blacked out for a bit after that. I'd blame all the water that ventured unexpectedly into my lungs.

Eventually I found myself hurled through the air. I landed harshly, my battle bruises whining in protest. Karma had come for me today, I knew it. Rain poured into my wounds. The sodden road was my deathbed along with the poor, naïve kid's. A bicycle lay to the side, one wheel still spinning; where it had come from I could only guess. All I dared watch was the sky, darkening with the shadows of Spearow after Spearow.

And then there was Ash.

I was too delirious to make out much of what he was saying. He placed my mechanical prison, a red and white sphere beside me. I think he was urging me to get inside. Did he think it was safer in there? There was no way it was better. It was even darker inside than it was out.

He stood up, his arms outstretched. He yelled at the Spearow as they inched closer and closer, ready to shoot right through him if they had to. Why would he do something so foolish? He could still run, into the woods to the side. What kid wouldn't try and save his own skin?

It was then I realized he was doing it all for me.

Me, his little jerk of a Pikachu.

I'd treated him like dirt since we'd met. I'd been as uncooperative as I could muster. Had I been in his place, I'd have given up ages ago. But he didn't. Ash didn't give up.

He was willing to risk his life to save mine.

That was all I needed to snap me out of my half conscious stupor and fill me with adrenaline. I felt myself run, shooting up his back quicker than I thought possible. I took a leap and unleashed every ounce of electricity I carried within me.

It was too bright to see what happened next.

I was back on the earth when it was over. Ash was, too. I couldn't see any birds, but the bicycle had been reduced to a charred mess. I noticed he was stirring and gave him the biggest smile I could manage.

"We beat 'em," he said, also smiling.

And as Ash looked toward the rainbow in the sky, I knew. The journey had just begun, him and I, out on adventures grander than we could ever imagine.

My life really couldn't get any better than this.