Author's Note:

Hey everyone, what's going on?

So this story is pretty much going to be kind of similar to From Servant to Stardom by MisterP also known as the king of abilityshipping. It was one of the first major stories that I have ever read on this site 5 years ago and I have always wanted to try and put my own ideas into possibly creating an even better story than he created.

Basically for a quick little summary Ash is back home now after losing in the Sinnoh League to Tobias and he has to make a choice on whether to continue on to the next region, in this case Unova or he can choose to stop and get stronger so he doesn't have to feel the pain of defeat again.

Also throughout this story Ash will be growing much more as a person than the way that it happened in From Servant to Stardom, I just feel that if he grows as more of a person it will make him a better overall trainer and make him easier to write.

That is about it so I hope you all enjoy the first chapter of Crossroads and leave a review when you're done!

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon and I don't plan on starting a campaign to try and buy Pokémon or anything like that so the point is that I don't own Pokémon.

Crossroads Chapter 1: Realization

Pallet Town – Kanto Region

It was a crisp, cloudless night in Pallet Town as Ash Ketchum laid awake in his bed at 4:00 in the morning. He was simply looking out his bedroom window, remembering the devastating loss that he suffered at the hands of possibly the strongest opponent he had ever been up against; Tobias.

Start Flashback:

"Latios shake off Pikachu!" Yelled Tobias. He knew that Latios had already sustained a substantial amount of damage from Pikachu's thunderbolts while being on its back.

Upon hearing his call, Latios shot up high into the sky like a bullet with Pikachu barely clinging to its back. Once Latios had ascended to a high enough altitude, Latios quickly turned back towards the ground which caused Pikachu to fly off Latios's back.

"Now Latios finish it with Luster Purge!" Called Tobias. Latios quickly descended, turned back around to face Pikachu and fired a purple beam from its mouth towards the now falling Pikachu.

"Pikachu, this is our last shot, use Volt Tackle!" Roared Ash. Pikachu, knowing that this was coming, stabilized itself in mid-air and engulfed itself in pure electricity before charging towards Latios.

Pikachu met Latios's powerful Luster Purge halfway which caused a battle for dominance to begin as Pikachu began to run against the powerful beam all the while slowly making its way towards Latios.

Once Ash deemed that Pikachu was close enough to Latios the young trainer called out "Pikachu, Iron Tail!" As Pikachu got closer to Latios, Pikachu's tail began to glow a bright, brilliant white. Once Pikachu's tail was at full power, Pikachu flipped himself around to hit the base of Latios's beam which caused a huge explosion and large amounts of smoke to blast around the stadium.

Both Ash and Tobias covered their eyes once the smoke reached them. Neither of the two trainers knew what the outcome of the powerful attack would be.

After about a minute, the smoke began to clear. Once everyone could see the field, they saw that both Latios and Pikachu were down on the ground clearly out cold with swirls in their eyes.

The referee looked at the scene before him and made his official announcement, "Both Latios and Pikachu are unable to battle, but since Pikachu was the green trainers last Pokémon he is out of useable Pokémon which makes Tobias the winner!"

End Flashback:

The way that battle ended kept making Ash rethink everything about it; "Maybe if I used different Pokémon, then I would have been able to beat his Darkrai quicker. Maybe if I prepared more, then I would have been able to come up with a strategy to beat his Darkrai" Ash thought to himself as he kept analyzing every aspect of that battle.

These thoughts and more kept flowing through Ash's mind. As he continued to go through the battle in his mind, he kept coming to the same conclusion which was simply "I'm not strong enough."

When Ash started to think about that aspect, it really put a new perspective on things. "Every time I have made it somewhat far in any league I have participated in, there was always somebody else that would end up beating me. Ritchie, Harrison, Tyson, and now Tobias, I couldn't even make it to the finals in any of them so what is going to stop that from happening again?" thought Ash.

"I already know about Unova and sure I could go get some new Pokémon, make new friends and participate in the league there, but what happens when I meet somebody that I can't beat again? It would all just be a waste of time and I would usually be the last person to think that. Now though, I can't keep acting like I'm the best trainer in the world because I'm not and if I want to be the best, then maybe it's time for me to stop and get stronger so I don't have to feel this kind of pain again for myself and even more importantly my Pokémon" continued Ash to himself.

With his mind made up Ash decided that he had done enough thinking for one night. He went to sleep with Pikachu lying at the foot of his bed without a care in the world.

Ash awoke the next morning to the wonderful smell of a probably delicious breakfast that his mother Delia Ketchum was making downstairs. Ash, knowing that food was waiting for him downstairs, got up from bed, stretched and got into his normal Sinnoh attire rather quickly before waking his best friend of 6 years.

"Pika…" said Pikachu lazily as he stretched on the bed before slapping its red cheeks to wake himself up. Once he has woken up, he climbed up onto Ash's shoulder. The two proceeded to head downstairs.

Once the pair made it downstairs and into the kitchen, Delia turned to Ash and said "Hello Ash! Your breakfast is on the table, how did you sleep last night?"

"Eh, I slept alright" said Ash, eating his breakfast. He was still somewhat sleepy from his mental reflections last night.

"Just alright? Usually when you go to sleep, you pass out like a log" said Delia while laughing light-heartedly.

"Yeah, I guess I wasn't really that tired though" said Ash as he continued eating Delia's delicious-as-always breakfast.

"Alright then Ash, if you say so. Anyway, what do you have planned for today? Asked Delia curiously.

"I think I'm going to go to Professor Oak's lab to work with my Pokémon for a while" said Ash as he finished his breakfast and as Pikachu was finishing his morning ketchup.

"Ok Ash. I'll be here doing the garden with Mimy while you're gone" said Delia. Upon hearing his name, Mr. Mime appeared in the window with a cheerful "Mr. Mime!"

Ash laughed at Mr. Mime's antics. He then brought his dish to the counter and proceeded to leave the kitchen while saying "Alright mom, I'm heading out. I should be back later on tonight."

"Alright honey, have fun!" Said Delia cheerfully as always.

With that Ash left the house and began walking on the road toward Professor Oak's lab all the while thinking about the decision he had come to last night.

Pikachu noticed that Ash was in deep thought as he rode on his shoulder as per usual. In response, he said softly "Pika…"

Upon hearing his best friend, Ash snapped out of his dream-like state and said "Oh sorry, Pikachu. I was just thinking."

"Pika…" said Pikachu in a more serious tone while crossing his small arms and giving Ash a look which basically said "Why are you acting like this?"

"Sorry buddy, I just have had a lot on my mind lately" said Ash looking down as he answered his faithful companion.

"Pika… Pikachu" said Pikachu which meant "Can you tell me what's wrong?"

Because he had known Pikachu for so long and spent so much time with him during their experiences together, Ash was able to understand what Pikachu was trying to say.

Ash suddenly stopped and replied "I don't know, Pikachu. I just don't want to lose anymore. Every time we have gotten far in a league, we always end up losing to somebody that we met there while traveling. I've been thinking lately about all of the past battles we have fought together. While thinking, I realized that we always do the same thing in every region and because of that end up losing. Because of our constant failures, I've been hesitant upon going to Unova..."

Ash hesitated briefly as he gathered his thoughts. "To be honest, I just don't want to go to a new region just to suffer the same result all over again."

Ash continued by saying "Pikachu, it has always been you and me. Over the past six years, we have gone out and made many new friends, accomplished so many feats and even saved the world a couple times. However, I think that we are now at a point where we have to make a decision about our future. The thing is though... I'm not sure what to do."

"Pika pi…" said Pikachu, quietly understanding the situation that Ash was going through.

"Hey, don't worry buddy. I'm sure I'll figure out something. Now let's go to Professor Oak's lab and see everybody" said Ash cheerfully in an attempt to change the mood.

"Pika!" Yelled Pikachu while pumping a fist in the air, excited to see all of their friends again.

With that, Ash continued to walk towards Professor Oak's lab and before they knew it they were standing at the front door.

Ash knocked on the door and after about a minute the door opened to reveal the aged professor.

"Oh hello Ash. What can I do for you today?" Asked the professor.

"Hey Professor Oak, I came by because I wanted to train with my Pokémon today" said Ash.

"Ah that sounds like a very good idea as it is a beautiful day to do so. In fact, I am glad that you came by today because somebody is here looking for you" said Professor Oak with a smile.

"Who would that be?" Asked Ash curiously. Who would be looking for him?

"Well, what do we have here? It's good to see you again Ashy-boy" said the man who came up from behind Professor Oak.

Ash's eyes widened as he could recognize whose voice that was from anywhere. As the man made his way past Professor Oak to reveal himself, Ash whispered "Gary…"

Author's Note:

Alright well that is the first chapter of my story and I hope that you all enjoyed it even though it was a bit short but trust me when I say that everything will get much longer!

Just wanted to throw out some information just in case some of you are confused about my writing. I'll always write in italics during a flashback or if a character is thinking to themselves or towards others like you may see in future chapters.

So like I said if you have read From Servant to Stardom by MisterP then this story is going to be familiar at first although once we start getting into the story more you will begin to see the several different changes that I'm going to be implementing into the story.

As always I will leave you with the name of the next chapter in the description!

Crossroads Chapter 2: Help From A Rival!

That about it everyone so I'll see you later and have an awesome day!