To be honest, I was planning this long before my other story, but I never got around to it. This should set up a bit of the back-story, and I'll sum up the rest of the important stuff at the end.

Max smiled at his two Pokémon in the Pokémon Center lobby. They had just finished up a hard battle, something he was proud about. The battle, in fact, was against Juan, the eighth Gym Leader of the Hoenn region.

"That was a great job, guys. We made it to the Ever Grande Conference!"

Pulling out some Pokéballs, he returned the two. That being done, he propped his feet up on the nearby table and began to think.

I could get ahead and register, but the conference isn't for another few months. That wouldn't be a good idea, then. Once you register, you're stuck with the Pokémon you had at the time, no new ones allowed unless you pay for resubmission. I could just train a bit, but that difficult to do on your own, not to mention boring.

He suddenly sat up, an idea popping into his head.

I'll check on how May is doing! Maybe she finally got around that Red guy to win. Sheesh, what a cheat. Using legendaries to win like that, that's just unfair. Though, I do wonder, how did he manage to get them. All his records show he has no former Pokémon. Oh, right, back to May.

He pulled out his phone, a sleek new model with tens of features, most of which he never used. Being the son of a Gym Leader had its advantages. Flipping it open, he quickly dialed the number. When it stopped ringing, he quickly answered.

"May, its Max. How are you doing?"

His sisters downtrodden voice crackled through.

"Fine. I don't want to talk about it."

"Red again? Why does he hate you so much?"

"I said I don't want to talk about it."

"Sheesh, May. Just wondering."

"Oh, alright. The bastard left me alone four contests ago. Said him succeeding. I put it off as bullshit. Turns out this was the last contest of the year. I have four ribbons."

"Wow.. that's.. cruel. Giving you hope, but knowing you couldn't succeed. How many ribbons did he have when he stopped?"

"Thirteen. The bastard did it to keep me out this year. He said so himself."

Max started to get very angry at this 'Red' figure. He had never met the guy, but no-one, and he meant no-one messed with his sister like that. "Why does he hate you so much? You had never even met him before this year."

"He said something about me killing one of his friends. Or, as he says, being indirectly responsible with my selfish actions."

He started to sputter. "What? You? Kill someone? That's ridiculous!"

As the siblings continued their conversation, Max failed to notice he was being watched. The teen in the black hoodie turned his head to the air next to him. "Ridiculous, he says. I thought so too, until it happened. So did you, I bet."

Only the briefest flash of pink graced his statement with an answer, but it was enough.

"Yeah, I know. Maybe Misty, but never May. Only Dawn would be less likely. Come on, let's get a room."

He started walking forwards, ignoring the whispers of "Crazy guy" that ran around the room. He got that a lot. When he reached the counter, he started talking with the nurse.

"Hello, would like me to heal your Pokémon?"

He smiled sadly. "No thanks, I'd just like a room."

Inside, his thoughts were different. Of course I'd of liked you to, but thanks to May and her selfishness, I was an outlaw. That's what I get for trusting such a bitch.

He didn't phrase these of course. That would be stupid.

The nurse smiled at him. "All right, that would be fine, Mr.."

"Sato. My name is Red Sato."

Or Ash Ketchum.

"Well, Mr. Sato, we have quite a few rooms open. Most people don't get here for another month or two, it generally takes longer for them to finish the Gym Circuit. I assume you want a corner room."

"That would be great. Looks like this day is shaping up after all."

The nurse handed him a key ring. "Your room is room three thirty-seven. We hope to see you again."

He graciously accepted them. "Thanks, nurse. I'll be back here in a bit."

Once he was inside the room, he turned his head to his left shoulder. "You can appear now. Just don't tack –"

He finished his sentence too late as he was attacked by a certain pink cat attaching itself to his head. He sighed in exasperation. "Yes, Mew, I know I'm a good trainer, but can you please stop attacking my head."

The Pokémon shook its head. Red, despite not being able to see due to the cat on his face, guessed what it had done. "I can't see you when you shake your head if I can't see anything."

Reaching up, he gently pried the Pokémon off. "Thanks for coming with me when you-know-what happened. It means a lot."

Ah.. thanks a lot, Ash. You know me and Celebi wouldn't leave you alone after what May did.

Red sighed. "Please, call me Red. Only my old friends called me Ash, and I just don't like the name anymore. So, what do you think of the room?"

The Pokémon and trainer looked around the room. It had a fairly large bed, a miniature kitchen, and a curtains that were fortunately closed. He didn't any rumors of Mew sightings going around.

It's great. Why didn't you want you want to battle anymore?

"I just wasn't the same with Pikachu dead. Stupid May, falsely accusing me. If that hadn't happened, Pikachu would be alive right now. Wait, why are you asking? You know this.."

Mew's smug grin told him everything. "Damnit! Why?"

He ran to the door, trying to escape before he came, but he started pounding on the door.

Red glared at Mew. "Why did you have to bring Max in here?"

Max was wandering aimlessly around the halls of the Pokémon Center. He smiled, knowing he would have an easy time at the Conference, at least until the quarter-finals if his ease with the Gyms was any sign. He would have continued walking if he hadn't heard a particular sentence.

" Please, call me Red. Only my old friends called me Ash, and I just don't like the name anymore."

He froze. No, this is just a coincidence. Just someone else called Ash. It's got to be a common name.

Then came the next. " I just wasn't the same with Pikachu dead."

Max was trembling in fury. Ash was Red? The Red that hated his sister? The one that had stopped her from winning any contests except for those four, and those only to humiliate her further? He ran up and started pounding on the door. "Open up, you bastard! Ash, Red, whatever you call yourself! Why!"

The door opened and Max fell through. He turned to glare at the teen, only to shrink back at the intensity of the response.

"You want to know why?" Red's voice was cool and dangerous. "You want to know why? Because your saint of a sister lied."

Max's fury blazed up again." You're saying she lied to me? Her brother!"

Red and Mew glared back. "I see you don't believe me. Fine. Rather than tell you, I'll show you."

He pulled out a Pokéball. "Time travel can be very effective for this. Celebi, care to show Max what really happened?"

The pixie that materialized nodded it's head. Crying out, it let loose a wave of blue light in all directions, and the two pairs of humans and Pokémon vanished.

So, the back-story. May framed Ash for a crime, what the crime was is yet to be shown. As a result of this, he was supposed to have been sent to jail, and his Pokémon sold in auction. He escaped with Pikachu, but lost the rest. After surviving for about six months, Pikachu died of sickness. Due to Ash being a wanted criminal, he couldn't go to a Pokémon Center. After moping about for a few months, he cleared his name, though May still insisted he was guilty in fear of what would happen if it was found out she framed him. Ash, now nearly moneyless and without his Pokémon, was approached by Mew and Celebi, who convinced him not to kill himself, and allowed themselves to be captured. After trying out battling again, Ash could bring himself to continue without Pikachu. Instead, he started contests, tracking down May and making sure she couldn't win any ribbons. When he was done with this, he headed to the Cave of Origin in hopes of finding some way to have one last conversation with Pikachu. However, he was confronted by Max in the Pokémon Center, and that's where we left off.