Author's Note: This story has been written to clear my writer's block. It is not my main project, and an experimental one to test how well I could write in First Person. So I may constantly make a mess with the tenses, but hey you people will correct me right?

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon, and like my most people say: I wish I did.

Assumptions: As any fan fiction on Pokémon, there are a few things I as an author customized for the sake of reality. It would take one year for Ash to travel a region(including the filler stuff like Battle frontier) so Ash aged by five years. The age assumptions that matter are as follows: Ash 15, Misty 16, May 14, Dawn 13, Brock 18, Cilan 17, Iris 16, Max 10, Delia 33.

The world differs from other world: Legend of the Dark Prince at the fact that Giovanni is not Ash's father in this story. But yes if you really like Gio to be his dad, check out the other story. Another assumption: Ash gets to the finals in the Unova League(lol I know its kinda impossible)

Special Thanks: SailorChronos1 for his Beta Work. I really appreciate the help.

~*~ 1. Man Who Abandoned Us ~*~

(Beta: SailorChronos1)

'You have twenty-four hours to consider your decision. If you want to be a Pokémon Master, I can make it happen. But the way you are now, you don't stand a chance.'

The words kept ringing in my ears. Who did that man think he was? I didn't care if he was a veteran Pokémon trainer, but saying that I didn't stand a chance was ridiculous. He didn't even accept my challenge to battle!

That's right, he's scared. He's scared to lose to me. I haven't won a Pokémon League yet but I believe in my strength. I believe in my Pokémon, so I am sure that old man won't stand a chance against me. But—

The truth was, I was scared. The World Champions League was the ultimate stage for deciding a trainer's fate. It was held once every ten years, and I really wondered if I was ready. I believed that all my Pokémon were powerful, but the fact was that I couldn't win the Unova League, not to mention I was overwhelmed by Tobias in the Sinnoh League. Did I really have a chance? How much could I improve in just one year?

A soft touch brought me to reality. I looked down and noticed the yellow paws on my hand, that I had curled into a fist out of frustration.

"Pikapi?" My number one partner seemed to be worried about me. He must have realized what was going through my mind. Just like always. Even after five years I couldn't fully understand his language, but I could understand what was in his mind just by looking into his face. I guess the opposite was true too, because I was still not sure if Pokémon fully understood human language. I stopped wondering about it at some point, I guess. Did that mean I was growing up? I didn't know but a lot of people around me used to say I needed to grow up in some aspects. The problem was, none of them said what these 'aspects' were that I needed to grow up on. They simply sighed and said that I was naïve. I guess something was really wrong with me when almost everyone said that.

"Ash?" A soft familiar voice gathered my attention. It was Mom, with a sweet smile like always. But I knew she was a bit worried this time. I could see the hint of sorrow she was hiding behind the smile.

I looked away as soon as my gaze met hers. I knew what she was going to talk about, and I was in no mood to discuss something like that. I had enough things to worry on my plate already. Namely, the Champions League in one year.

She sat down beside me, where Pikachu had been sitting. The Pokémon took it as an opportunity and snuggled between my hands, and curled himself into a sleeping position.

"Look," she said in a calm voice. There were very few instances like this. I hardly ever got mad at my mom. She was a sweet woman, and constantly supported my decisions to travel to farther regions, even if she was worried sick about me. She didn't even ask me to call day after day like May's mom did. "I understand all of this is really sudden, but you must forgive him."

"I won't," I jumped to my feet, startling Pikachu awake. It was irritating how she kept supporting him, even now. Well all right, that's fine by me, but there's no way in hell she should expect the same from me.

"Ash, why don't you just think about it a little?" Her voice bordered on a pleading tone. It irked me more. Why was she pleading for him? If anything, he should come and talk to me, not send her. "He's your—"

"I can't!" I yelled. I didn't look at her, but I know her face turned pale. That man, he made me yell at her. She wouldn't cry. She was my mom, she was very strong, and Professor Oak said I'm like her too, but I knew she was very hurt. I couldn't stay in the room any longer.

I took two furious steps and pulled the door open as if to break it from its hinges, and exited my bedroom. The living room was filled with people, and all of them had their eyes set on me. I didn't know what went through their brains, sympathy or anger whatever it could be, I didn't care. Once again I dashed for the door. I hated it when people saw me like this.

"Ash!" May exclaimed, or was it Dawn? I simply didn't care, but I am pretty sure Brock might have stopped them.

Dawn was somewhat disappointed. She had come all the way from Sinnoh to greet Ash and congratulate him on reaching top 8 in the Unova League, but the meeting ended up being a disaster. Not that it was his fault.

She regarded the people around. They all might be feeling the same, she noted. Misty slumped on the couch, playing with what looked like a keychain. May was observing the Ketchum residence's décor, which wasn't that impressive. Then again, Dawn's mother spent too much on stuff like that, so it was natural for her to feel that way.

Cilan attempted to open his mouth twice, but Iris glared him into shutting up. Cilan liked to speak his mind, and that too in a fanciful manner. Perhaps Iris was worried that those not acquainted with them might take it the wrong way.

Brock sat beside her, equally silent. He was the one who suggested that Misty stop when she tried to call Ash earlier. The poor boy didn't even notice them. From what she knew he could even be crying, although she felt that a boy crying would be weird.

Of course the source of all this tension, and the reason they were all quiet, was sitting right across from her along with Professor Oak.

How long would this continue? Mrs. Ketchum must be crying inside. Ash was sulking somewhere else. The person responsible was simply eating cookies, indifferent. Yeah, he looked indifferent.

"I think I rubbed him the wrong way," he scratched his chin. "He's too much of a girl though." The same man then had to regret what he said, because the majority of the female population of the room glared at him, including herself.

"Alex, you do realize how much impact you have on him?" Even the ever-jovial Professor Oak (whom she adored for his poems) put on a stern face.

"Fine, fine," the man finally raised his arm slightly as if to accept that he was guilty, although his face still remained somewhat jovial. Perhaps it was a mask, much like how she constantly told people 'No need to worry.'

The river streamed down, reflecting the calm wind that gently brushed my hair. The sky slowly turned violet as the sun dipped toward the distant horizon. A couple of Rattata skipped around, chasing each other. The occasional Magikarp launched itself up as far as it could into the sky before returning to the water.

Something about this scene always soothed my heart. Made me forget the burning injuries. I was not alone: my little yellow partner sat beside me as always, enjoying the scenery as much as I did. I had noticed when we arrived that he was really worried. He put on a sullen face because I was depressed, and even tried to comfort me. I should perhaps try to mask my feelings, even if it's for him. It was kinda annoying when he put on that face whenever I did.

"Pikachu," I pulled him closer. Every time I got in trouble, I realized more that he was a valuable partner that I could never lose.

"Just like your mom," a gruff voice came from behind. I didn't need to take a second guess at who was behind me. I remained quiet. He didn't deserve my attention.

But of course, the silence seemed like an invitation to him. He sat down beside me on the lush grass, pretending nothing had happened earlier. I took a glance to my right; not that I cared for him, but if somebody sat beside you, you would at least throw a glance.

Until then I hadn't noticed how tall he was. I was fifteen, and I barely was few inches above five foot. But even in a sitting position like this he was at least half a foot above me. Not to mention he was strongly built too. The muscles somehow reminded me of Stephan's Sawk. Maybe Bianca might like him.

"Do you know how I met your mother?" he asked. I remained silent; I didn't care. But he didn't seem to notice. "She sat here, sulking just like you. The Professor scolded her for something about mishandling a Pokémon. She didn't cry though; what a tough one. I was trying to fish for a rare Pokémon so that I wouldn't need to wait until I turned ten. I was really impatient. That's how we met."

Uggh. Why was he telling me all this? Should I openly tell him I didn't care? But hey, that last part seemed too familiar. "Did you catch anything?" I asked. I know I hated myself for asking that, but I couldn't help ask it.

The older man was slightly surprised by the question. His lips pursed, "No."

A sudden silence stood between us. Maybe I shouldn't have asked the question. Had I made him mad?

Then he suddenly dropped the shoe. "Let's battle, Ash."

I involuntarily held my breath for a second. Hadn't he blatantly refused my challenge earlier? "Y-You will battle me?" I stammered.

"Yes." He smirked. "If you lose, then you should accept my proposal."

My eyebrows drew together in a sharp frown. It wasn't fair. But hey, if I declined his challenge then it meant I was accepting my defeat. No way in hell I would do that. Because I was Ash Ketchum, and there was no way I would lose to some annoying man who dared to think he was better than me.

"Sure." I smirked confidently.

Annoying Rambling from the author: This is a short chapter. (if you are aware of my standards) Yes because I wanted to just start it. It's annoying that I have ideas but my brain is scared to put them out.

Also Ash might look a bit OOC, but I believe he would seem so because this is a situation you wouldn't face in the anime itself. But as the story progresses I will try my best to keep him in his shoes. Showing Ash's naivete in his own narration might be difficult but I will do my best! I would also be grateful if any of you could find a story with Ash in first person, just show me to it!

In addition I kept things very vague this chapter, but I didn't waste framing the situation because it would just be a boring read to you guys.