A/N. At nearly two o' clock in the morning and both of my eyes are feeling really heavy, I should really be in bed instead of trying to type up a second chapter for this just because I refuse to go to bed at a decent time. But whatever, I apparently like to be a freakin' zombie in the morning and wake up three in the afternoon the next day. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: I own nothing!

Episode 2: Picking Up the Pieces

"How are you feeling today, Ashe?" The question was met with silence as the obviously traumatized twelve year old stared at the continuously moving world sitting just outside the large window. The sun was unusually bright today, and even the normally pleasant and genial nurse couldn't help but scowl at it from her position behind the patient, handing moving up and down as she brushed the child's messy and horribly tangled black hair, feeling as if it were mocking the poor child's situation and how the world had suddenly turned so dark and hopeless for her. She had been through a lot within the last year alone, having to fight with what the whole of the hospital staff had originally been led to believe were the young girl's friends over her own pokémon and whether or not she was a suitable and responsible trainer. So many had basically abandoned the girl just weeks after she had woken up from her roughly two to three week long coma, and the only ones that had deigned to stick around for her was a young boy from the far off Sinnoh region with shoulder length purple hair that occasionally visited when in town and not off training with one of the Battle Frontier Brains, and the world renowned pokémon researcher known as Prof. Oak.

There was also another boy, with short brown hair and a forest green cap that came to visit as well, a pikachu he called Sparky clinging to his shoulder almost everywhere he went. She couldn't quiet remember his name, something that started with the letter 'R', Ricky, or Ritchard, something along those lines, but he wasn't much older than her patient, maybe a year or two older, he was pleasant to be around, calming, and she liked that about him. He and the purple haired boy would stop by and talk to her on occasion, not at all detoured by the sickening stories that the others that the young girl had known told them or the lack of response that they got from their friend. It reassured the red haired nurse that her dear patient wasn't entirely alone in this world. At least Prof. Oak had seen the lies for what they were worth and allowed the girl the company of her pokémon, going so far as to have all of them moved to the hospital so that they all could keep their precious trainer company during the hard times they were being force to go through. Normally the hospital wouldn't allow pokémon in under any circumstances, it was for humans only after all, but the poor girl had been through enough and the last thing she need was to be left alone in her hospital room, the only company being the rare occasion when a doctor or nurse walked in to check on her or when her two remaining, true friends, visited. The pokémon were so well-behaved on top of that, so of course the director had bent the rules a little and allowed their continued stay.

It had gotten only slightly better when the girl's starter and best friend, a pikachu, had finally recovered enough from the ordeal it had suffered alongside its trainer and now deceased teammates, and was, by request from Prof. Oak and shockingly enough, the hospital director himself, moved to stay at the hospital along with the rest of the young trainer's pokémon. At first the professor had been somewhat worried for the pokémon itself, apparently not being as energetic as it used to be, usually found resting in its trainer's lap as the young girl mindlessly pet it while staring at whatever blank surface within the room had caught her attention at the time instead of bouncing around like it used to. But she guessed it might be handling things better than the child herself, after all, at least it chatted with the other pokémon, that came up to it, both those that belonged to the same trainer and those that belonged to the two boys that visited.

The nurse found herself giving quite the sorrowful smile as she finally dragged herself from her thoughts, hand still holding the brush she had been using to try and fix the child's hair. Most of the knots were out now, and if she didn't know any better, she would've thought the child had fallen asleep while she had been mindlessly brushing her hair. But she did know better. Ashe hadn't gotten a bit of sleep since the incident roughly a year ago that had resulted in her "friends'" abandonment of her, and when she did, it was restless and filled with nightmarish images and visions of the pokémon battle that had resulted in the death of five of her precious pokémon. It was worrying, but both the doctors and the nurses knew they could do nothing to fix it. She refused to take any medicine to help her sleep, and she wouldn't sleep on her own. She had almost injured herself when they had tried to use sedatives on her, and she nearly gave the psychiatrist they had attempted to hire a concussion when he attempted to use a pokémon to hypnotize her into getting some sleep. Since nothing seemed to work, they were forced to leave her to her own devices, sleep only coming when her body finally gave out on her and her mind forced her to get some rest rather than staying up one extra night.

She was still heavily injured as well, though the bandages that had once covered the injury on her head were gone and the gauze wrapped over her eye removed after it had been firmly confirmed that that would definitely be a scar the child would have to bear for the rest of her life. She was permanently blind in one eye, the damage having been too severe for her to properly recover from, but the rest of her body was recovering slowly. She no longer needed the cast for her ankle and sprained wrist, now only wrapped in a thin layer of gauze, but her right arm still needed the cast, and she wasn't supposed to walk on her feet if she could help it at all, otherwise it was back to wearing the cast for that injured foot of hers.

It was a long road to recovery, both mentally and physically speaking. But if the nurse were to be honest with herself, she wasn't entirely sure the child would ever recover, at least not emotionally.

"It's hard to breath, isn't it?"

"Yes, yes it is…"

"Hm? Did you say something Ashe?" The nurse asked, sounding unusually surprised as she looked down at the much younger girl. She was however, met with the same silence all of her inquiries had been met with before, resulting in the woman dismissing it as her own imagination acting up on her again, as it sometimes did when she let her mind wander a little too much.


A/N. Hope you guys enjoyed this second, unexpected chapter and thanks for reading again! Please review and tell me what you think and see ya!