Author's Notes: Ok. I had originally written a betrayal story called Return of the Betrayed. But, I didn't like it all that much and scrapped it. So now I have this. Enjoy. Peace
Summary: We all have our moments. Those moments from our greatest triumphs, and from our most depressing failures. For a young raven-haired teenager named Ash Ketchum, there are a lot more. Accused of killing his mother and best friend, he flees to the only shelter left to him. His Godfather. Smarter Ash. Darker Ash.

"Pikachu is out! This battle goes to Trip Urban and his Serperior!"

Ash hung his head in defeat. Trip cheered. His two best pokemon had been taken down by Trip's starter. Despite how close he was to achieving his dream of winning the league, he was thwarted yet again. He walked out of the stadium in shame. He was taken down way to easily. He had competed in tournaments all over the world, and yet he never won any of them, with the exception of the Orange League and Kanto Battle Frontier. Sure, he came in close to winning, but he never actually won. He walked to his room in a depression. He was there alone. None of his friends had been able to come, as they were busy with one thing or another. Cilan had to return his restaurant and Iris was needed for some dragon festival back at her hometown. They all said that they would watch on TV though. He gave his pokemon to nurse joy on the way to his room. When Ash got up to his room he flopped down on his bed and instantly fell asleep.

Ash yawned and got out of bed, glancing at the clock. He'd slept for around five hours. He got dressed and headed down to grab a quick meal. He scarfed down his food and made his way to nurse joy's counter. She brought out his pokemon and Pikachu, who jumped on his shoulder, rubbing his cheek against his, feeling his depression. Ash petted his faithful partner and thanked nurse joy, making his way down to the pier, so as to catch the earliest boat back. He didn't want to stay here any longer than he wanted to now. There was a boat in 30 minutes. When it arrived, he got on and set off for Kanto.

(Three days later...)

The boat pulled up to the dock in Viridian City, docking and letting off it's passengers. Our favorite raven-haired trainer (Q: Are there any others?) walked off the dock and headed down the road through Viridian Forest, which had been built the previous year. He encountered Samurai again and spent the night in his house. After breakfast he set out again and made it out of the forest at noon. He trekked down Route One, but when he cleared the hill obscuring Pallet Town, Ash saw a plume of smoke in the air. He followed the source to... his house! The house was in ruins! Ash sprinted down the hill towards his house, fearing for his mother and Mr. Mime.

Ash arrived at the site, and dropped to his knees, devastated. The place that he had called home for 16 long years was in ruins. Only the chimney stood, and even that looked about to fall. He looked up as he heard something. It sounded like a muffled moan. The rubble shifted ever so slightly, but Ash saw it. He dashed over and started pulling away the debris, revealing... Delia Ketchum. His mother was cut an bruised everywhere. Her eyes met his and she mumbled his name.

"Ash... D-di-did you... find… Mimey?" Ash shook his head.

"No... I'm sorry, Mom..." Her eyes hardened and got teary. She sighed. "Well... I'll meet up with him soon, I'm afraid. I won't be around much longer... Ash... THEY did this..."

"Who? Who did this?!"

With her dying breath, the kind woman uttered,"Team Rocket..." At those words, almost as if they were a curse, the air got slightly colder, and a wind started up. Ash's beloved mother then drew a last shuddering breath, and was still. Her head in Ash's lap... eyes closed... no longer breathing. . He then heard footsteps, multiple sets. He turned his head and saw around a dozen people in black outfits with a big red 'R' on the front. Team Rocket. At the head of the group was Giovanni himself. He turned fully and spread out his arms, as if to protect his mother's body.

"What do you want? You've done enough damage here!" Ash shouted. Giovanni shook his head, stepping towards Ash. Ash took an involuntary step backwards.

"What do I want? I want your Pikachu. I also want you on Team Rocket. What do you say? Will you join us? Or will you die? It would be a shame to waste such talent, but it would be necessary. Well?" Giovanni asked. Ash opened his mouth to answer, but before he could however, he was interrupted by voices.

"Toxicroak, use Dark pulse!"

"Purguly, use hyper beam!"

"Skuntank, use flamethrower!"

Giovanni's attack force turned towards the voices, but were hit with the multitude of attacks. The combined power of the attacks caused an explosion, sending the dirt-bags off into the distance. Giovanni whirled back to face Ash, and threw a pokeball that had been clutched in his hand.

"Rhyperior! Hyper beam on that brat now! Full power!" A huge Rhyperior emerged, and fired a massive hyper beam towards the shocked trainer. He closed his eyes, waiting for the end… but strangely it didn't come. He felt himself shoved by a strong force. He opened his eyes, and gasped. Pikachu had pushed him out of the Hyper Beam's path… but ended up putting himself in danger instead. Ash watched helplessly as the beam enveloped his friend completely, lasting a full minute. Giovanni returned Rhyperior and raced off. Poor Pikachu was unmoving on the ground, badly charred and burned, looking very similar to Ash's mother's state. Ash gave an inhuman cry and started crying. His sorrowful wailing lasted for over an hour, until finally, he stopped. There were no more tears to cry, no more sorrow. All that was left in it's place was regret, anger, and hatred. He heard more footsteps, but this time they were rushed, like their owners were running. He looked over his shoulder to see all of his friends approaching, at least the ones that he had traveled with. May, Dawn, Misty, Brock, Iris, Cilan, Max, and Tracey. They were looking around at what used to be the Ketchum Residence, shocked. Then, their gaze fell upon Ash, with Delia's head in his lap still, and the poor mouse next to him. It hardened, turning into an emotion that Ash didn't recognize. After they looked at Delia and Pikachu they promptly walked away, to do Arceus knows what (and me). He sat there for a few hours, thinking about his poor mother and pokemon, as well as why his friends had just turned and left...

Several hours later...

Ash had long since gotten up and buried his mother's body. He had buried it next to the garden that she had cared for. He had also found Mr. Mime. The poor pokemon was in a state similar to Delia, but already gone by the time that the trainer had found him. He had buried him next to Delia. And for his beloved friend, Pikachu, he had given him a place if honor next to the forest, with a headstone that he carved letters into with a sharp knife that he found where the kitchen was.

Here lies Pikachu...

Who was the best friend and pokémon that a trainer could ask for...

He died protecting his friend...


That night...

Ash woke up in a daze. He looked around, trying to remember where he was. Then, the events of the day came crashing down on him. He let out a cry, and looked up from his position next to Pikachu's grave. He had been there for most of the afternoon, and it looked to be night time. He decided to head towards Prof. Oak's lab to ask him for a room, as his house obviously wasn't fit for sleeping in. He arrived at the lab and knocked. It took a couple minutes for someone to answer the door. He was about to knock again when it suddenly was thrown wide open, showing a tired looking Professed Oak there. He seemed surprised to see Ash, but stepped aside for him to come in.

"Ash. Come in, please."

"Thanks. Professor?" The old man looked at the boy. "Would you mind if I stayed here? At least until I can find more permanent housing?"

The pokemon professor seemed to stiffen for a second, but a second later relaxed. He nodded. "Of couse Ash. So long as other circumstances or events demand otherwise, that is." Ash nodded and stepped inside. He went up to the spare room and immediately crashed on the bed.

The next day...

Ash woke up. He got out of bed and headed downstairs, intent on breakfast. But when he got to the kitchen, he spotted his friends, Gary and Prof. Oak at the table talking. As soon as he entered the room they stopped talking and looked at him. He nervously got out a bowl and poured some cereal. He sat down at the counter facing the table. All the while the group at the table was watching him accusingly. He swallowed his last bits of cereal and spoke up.

"Ok. Seriously, what's going on? You've all been staring at me like I'm a criminal or something."

The group looked at each other, and Gary stood up. "That's because you are, Ketchum! Don't think that we don't know what happened between your mother and you!" He said, pointing a finger at him accusingly. This shocked Ash.

"What?! Nothing happened!"

May stood up. "Don't lie to us Ash. Tell the truth and the police will let you off easily. Don't and you will be in a cell for a very long time. Tell us why you killed your mother and Pikachu!" She shouted. The rest at the table nodded and glared at him. By this time Ash was near tears. His 'friends' thought that he killed his mother and best friend! To say he was shocked and pissed would be an understatement. He was beyond pissed off and hurt. They were supposed to be his friends! Why would they accuse him of killing the only parent he had left? And on top of that, the greatest friend he'd ever had?! By now a five minute silence had passed, and the others sighed.

"Alright, fine. If you won't tell us than you'll have to tell the cops." Brock said. An Officer Jenny appeared from nowhere and cuffed him. But Ash was prepared. He spun his arms over his head and turned at the same time, putting his arms in front of him. He ducked to doge the woman's taser and swept her legs out from underneath her, and slammed her head on the ground, knocking Jenny out for a couple of minutes. He turned back to his 'friends', and saw that they had pokeballs out.

"We didn't want to have to do this Ash, but you give us no choice. Give up or fight." Dawn said. Ash weighed the odds. He was outnumbered, and didn't have any of his pokemon with him. He wasn't going to prison, so Ash decided that a tactical retreat was in order. He sprinted out the back door. Those assholes that mislead him into thinking that they were 'friends' in hot pursuit. He ran into the forest, and made his way to the hive. He gave them quite the chase, but intentionally running slow to lure them in. When he was a child he had once accidentally stumbled onto a large Beedrill hive, but these weren't ordinary Beedrill. They were strong enough to go toe-to-toe with any of the pokemon that those punks might have. But, unlike other Beedrill, they were compassionate, and didn't attack him on sight, but rather welcomed him and showed him around. He became good friends with the entire hive, and they would help him with whatever he asked. And that was the case at the moment. He burst into the clearing, making a strange hum. It was answered back and what looked to be hundreds of Beedrill emerged into the clearing. The queen of the hive, Spire, came up to him.

'Ash, what is it? You looked distressed.' She said.

Ash caught his breath and replied, "You know those people I called friends?" She nodded. Then caught the past tense. She motioned for him to go on. "Well, my mother, in your terms Meema, was killed by Team Rocket, as well as Pikachu." At that, the hive buzzed angrily. They knew Pikachu personally, as Ash had brought him to visit several times. Then Ash went on, and their horror grew. They started to fly angrily. How dare those people accuse Ash of his mother's death?! There was hell to pay. He then explained his plan.

Spire said, 'Ash, we will do as you ask, and get them out of the way, while you make your escape.' She said. He nodded, and raced off. The hive faced their queen, who was mad now. She was extremely pissed at what those 'friends' of his did. She faced her hive, and declared, 'Form up men! We're going to give those fuckers what they deserve! Drive them out, however you wish! But do not leave the forest. We lose our advantage otherwise!' The hive buzzed in response, and took off.

Ash blundered blindly through the forest, not knowing or not caring where he was going, because he was to upset and couldn't see through the shower of tears anyway. He had put up a brave face for the Beedrill, and was to stunned at the time to cry at the lab, but now the floodgates were open. He tripped and fell on the ground face-first. The fall hurt, but he didn't care. Nothing could compare to the pain that he felt right now, courtesy of those jerks. He rolled over and stared at the canopy of leaves, and through it, he could see a couple of clouds. He continued crying throughout the morning.

"My friends hate me, I don't have any money, and I don't have any pokemon. I am now a wanted criminal, and can't appear in public. What am I going to do?" He asked himself.

"Well, you could come with us, if you want to." A man's voice said. He turned. Three people were standing there in the gloom. They stepped out of the shadows. Just when Ash thought he couldn't be anymore shocked, something else shocking came up. The three people who he thought had disappeared. The first figure was a woman with blood-red hair that reached her shoulders. The second was another woman, but she had purple hair that went down to the middle of her back. The final one was a man with dark blue hair. From first to last, they were Galactic Commander Mars, Galactic Commander Jupiter, and Galactic Commander Saturn.

"Jupiter? Mars? Saturn? What are you doing here?" Then the scene from his encounter with team rocket came back to him. "Wait a second. Were you the ones that took out the grunts in team rocket?" He asked. They nodded. "Well, thanks for the help. Now, what do you mean by come with you?" Mars spoke up.

"Well, we heard what happened with your 'friends', and what you said to yourself just now. So, we decided to offer you a new place to call home." She said. Ash nodded. They then noticed that unlike their last encounter, his warm brown eyes that used to be full of life, were now little more than dull, lifeless orbs. They realized how hard his friends betrayal was. They were drawn out of their thoughts when he spoke again.

"Alright. I'll join you. Take me to your boss." And after his words, bloodcurdling screams of horror and and pain came from farther out in the forest. The commanders recoiled at the sadistic grins that Ash got when the screams started. They decided not to ask what they were for, and departed from the forest.

Galactic headquarters: location unknown…

Cyrus sat forward in his desk expectantly. Before him was a teen who had foiled a great many of his plans. Now he was here, and his Commanders said that he wanted to join the ranks of Team Galactic. One could not even imagine the shock and sheer ectasy that went through his veins at that. But, he had decided to keep a calm and collected appearance until he was done with the interview. Now, normally he would just leave this task to the commanders, since they would want to know if the recruit would be suited for their squad or not. But he was planning on taking this one under his wing, if it was agreeable with Ash. He placed his hands on his desk and looked the raven-haired teen in the eye.

"So, Ash. You want to join Galactic, correct?" The boy nodded. "Well, then you just have to do one thing." Ash nodded again. "I want you to build up a new team. Get back into the trainer business. And start it off with a bang. You'll have a new starter, aquired through blood and sweat. I'll fill you in on the way there. Cool?"

"Okay. As long as you agree to no longer call me by that name. Ash Ketchum is dead. Call me Gray."

Cyrus nodded. He decided to tell him now, and allow him to get used to it. "Very well, Gray. I just need to inform you on one more thing. Before all of this-" he gestured to the room, "-happened, I was a very good friend of your father. Apparently, he named me your godfather, and told me that should he and your mother pass away before you were 18, I would be your legal guardian." By this point, Gray was shocked into speechlessness. "So what do you say, will you accept me as your godfather?" He asked, spreading out his arms and smiling. Gray got through his shock enough to say,

"I would like that. After the betrayal of my friends, I thought that I was alone." Now Gray smiled. "But I see now that that is not the case. I also see now that you had the right idea with this world's flaws. I would be honored if you were my Godfather. Thank you…" With that, he accepted the hug. They broke apart a few seconds later.

"There. Now, with that out in the open, we need to fake your death."

At this, Gray grew confused. "Why?"

"To cover your tracks. Unless you want the police or your former friends to find you." He added. Gray saw the wisdom in this and nodded. "Good. Now, let's get started."

Whoo! *wipes sweat off forehead* This was fun and hard to write. A few notes. One, if you didn't notice, I changed my name. This was to throw off this stalker that I have at school. Two, I am going to take some time with my other story, The New Champion, chapters. I am having trouble with inspiration. Lastly, check out my friend's story, The Lost Champion. It is a Red story that takes place after the HeartGold/ SoulSilver character defeats him atop Mt. Silver. It is really good so far, in my opinion. Also, if you have any good pairing ideas for this story, PM me. Peace