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Past and Present

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Note:-Hey guys, so I had posted this idea on Tumblr. And initially I was thinking of waiting till finishing Origins of League before posting this, but the idea simply refused to leave my mind. So here I am! Hope you enjoy this!

And don't worry, I am going to update Origins of the League soonish. Probably tomorrow or day after that.

Chapter 1:- Cutest Confession


 

Ash Ketchum was walking towards Professor Oak's lab, a Pokémon egg clutched tightly in his hands. His yellow starter and best friend Pikachu sat on top of his shoulder. The usual bounce and excitement in Ash's step was missing today, as it was instead replaced by nervousness and fear.

Fear of rejection to be precise. He was often praised and complimented to be a very brave and daring person by his friends all the time. But what he was going to do today required a courage of whole another level.

"You think it'll all go well Pikachu?" Ash asked his trusted companion.

"Pikapi," Pikachu said, and gently patted his shoulder, as a sign of comforting him.

Ash smiled and continued walking towards the lab. He soon reached it and knocked on the door. His friend Tracey Sketchit opened the door and beamed at him.

"It's good to see you Ash! You are here to see Gary again, right?" Tracey asked him.

Ever since Ash had returned from Alola, he had found out that Gary was back from Sinnoh on a little trip to his hometown. And somehow for the past one month both of them had ended up spending a lot of time together.

"Yeah, where is he?" Ash asked nervously.

"He is at the backside of the lab, near the lake where we keep all the water-Pokémon," Tracey told him with a smile, then noticing the egg in Ash's hands he gasped and said, "Wow Ash, you are getting a new Pokémon for yourself?"

"What no, it's not for me. It's for Gary actually. He was feeling really sad yesterday about never getting to raise a Pokémon from an egg, so I bought an egg for him," Ash said.

"That's really sweet of you. Which Pokémon is it?" Tracey asked.

"That's a surprise," Ash answered mysteriously and hurried towards Gary.

He reached the backside of the lab, and the pleasant, cool air hit his face making him beam widely. But then he spotted Gary feeding a bunch of Poliwag near the lake and his nervousness returned. He had no idea how Gary was going to react to what he was going to say.

Ash walked up to him and slowly said, "Hey Gary! Are you busy?"

Gary looked up from his job of feeding the Pokémon and immediately a wide smile spread across his face.

"No Ash, I was just doing the usual work. Did you came just now?"

"Yes, I wanted to meet you," Ash mumbled, not knowing how to address the topic for which he was here.

"Wait a sec, is that a Dunsparce egg?!" Gary exclaimed. "Congratulations Ashy! I know you had always wanted a Dunsparce, and now you'll have one!"

"Actually, this is for you," Ash told him shyly, "I- I wanted to give this to you as a gift. Since you were really sad about never getting to raise a Pokémon from egg stage."

"But why Dunsparce Ash? Didn't you always wanted one for yourself? You can keep this and get me another egg!" Gary suggested.

Ash sighed. It was so easy for someone as rich as Gary to sometimes forget how costly Pokémon eggs were.

"Actually I can afford only one egg right now, and the Dunsparce one was the cheapest so..." Ash trailed off.

"Oh, I am so sorry. That was really tactless of me. But thanks for the gift Ash. It really means a lot to me that you are giving me something that you had wanted so badly for yourself. You really sure you don't want this egg?" Gary asked again.

"Nope, I can always catch a Dunsparce some other day!" Ash exclaimed.

"Oh alright, and thank you Ashy," Gary said. He took the egg from Ash and gave him a tight hug. Ash blushed. Now was the moment. He had to tell Gary how he felt. But he was really nervous about it.

"Hey Gary, I wanted to say something to you," Ash muttered slowly.

"Huh, what is it Ash?" Gary asked, sounding worried because of the changed tone of Ash's voice.

"I-I really like you. A lot. I think I might have a crush on you," Ash spoke really fast. His eyes closed and his cheeks were burning red hot. He couldn't believe he was admitting these feelings finally. That too to Gary in person.

Gary tilted his head and stared at Ash. His face was unreadable. At last he asked, "Since when?"

"Since when what?"

"Since when have you had a crush on me Ash?" he asked patiently.

"I think since the Silver Conference in Johto. But I was too young to understand these things back then. But now, after daily spending a month with you, I am much more surer and confident about my feelings," Ash said.

"That long. And you never said anything," Gary muttered. He had a lost look in his eyes.

"Gary-" Ash began,

But just then Gary said, "I have been crushing on you for a long time too. I don't even remember since when. But I remember feeling all sad and lonely and thinking that you'll never like me back. And yet here we are, confessing our feelings to each other."

Ash couldn't believe it. Gary liked him too? How could that even be possible?

"If you liked me why did you teased and taunted me back in Kanto?" Ash asked him.

At this Gary seemed a little hesitant to answer, "I-well, it's actually a little complicated. I don't know how to explain it to you-" he began, but Ash immediately interrupted,

"Hey, it's okay. Tell me whenever you feel comfortable talking about it, kay?" he said.

"Yeah alright, thanks Ash," Gary said.

"So, um, is this the part where we kiss?" Ash asked awkwardly. He had never exactly been in a relationship before. And had no idea what to do now. He vaguely remembered Serena kissing him at the top of the escalator before he left Kalos. Honestly, he couldn't find the same type of courage right now to kiss Gary. He was really nervous.

"Only if you want," Gary said and slowly leaned closer to him blushing furiously.

Ash leaned in too but just before they could kiss they heard Professor Oak's voice from inside the lab, "Gary! Ash! I want to talk to both of you!"

"Gramps!" Gary groaned, "Way to ruin a moment!"

"Let's just see what Professor Oak wants. We can do the kissing later," Ash suggested.

Gary winked at him mischievously and they hurried inside the lab to find Professor Oak and Tracey all ready to go somewhere.

"We are going for a meeting in Viridian City, so we were hoping that you two would look after the lab until we come back," Professor Oak said to them.

"A meeting? With whom?" Gary asked.

"Oh it's a company called PokéFood, they have became really popular these days for the Pokémon food they prepare. They wanted me to try some of their recipes on the lab Pokémon," Professor Oak told them.

"Are they the same company whose ads are all over Pallet town and other cities?" Ash asked.

"Yeah, and their ads are there on the T.V. too," Gary added.

"It's the same company. We need to leave now. Take care of yourselves and the lab," Professor Oak said.

"You too Gramps and Tracey," Gary replied.

Once they had left, Ash and Gary looked at each other and started laughing.

"Wow imagine having the full house to you and your boyfriend just after you two confess your feelings for each other," Gary chortled.

Ash gulped. Did Gary just called him his boyfriend?

"Did I heard you right? I mean, boyfriend, already?" Ash asked.

"Um, sorry, I should have asked you first before saying that. But now that the topic has been started anyways, can we be boyfriends Ashy? I would really love it. You know we can go out on dates and do stuff," Gary finished a little lamely.

"Gary I know what boyfriends do. And don't worry, that's what I had wanted too. Since the past few days, I can't stop imagining how dating you would be. But I am sure it would be a great experience!" Ash said.

Gary smiled. Then he said, "Now hurry up and help me in feeding the Pokémon. Or else, Gramps would be really mad at us."

They spend the next three hours feeding the Pokémon in the lab. Ash really wanted to play with his old Pokémon whom he didn't got to see much, but he knew the lab chores were more important. Besides, he wanted to impress Gary.

After most of the work in the lab was completed, both of them decided to rest for some time. They sat on the couch, with Ash resting his head against Gary's shoulder. He loved being so close to him. To hear his gentle breath and feel his soft hand entwined in Ash's.

"Hey Gary," Ash asked softly.

"What Ash?" Gary spoke from his place on the couch.

"You want to go out somewhere with me tomorrow? Like, on a date?" Ash asked feeling nervous again. He was sure his nervousness had crept into his voice as well.

Gary remained silent for a few seconds before replying, "Of course Ash. I would love to go on a date with you. That's like one of my dreams coming true," he said.

Ash got up from his resting position and looked at Gary beaming widely at him. He smiled and said, "That's excellent! I'll think of some really great plan for our first date. You just make sure to come on time."

"Alright Ashy boy! Now, how about the kiss?" Gary asked sounding nervous himself.

Ash smiled and leaned in, gently cupping Gary's face with one hand. He slowly pressed his lips against Gary's and started kissing him. For one horrified moment he was worried about being really bad at kissing and Gary not reciprocating, but then Gary started to kiss him back and all of Ash's worries melted away.

Their arms were wrapped around each other as they continued kissing each other passionately, but just then, the doorbell rang. Both of them hastily separated from each other. Pikachu and Umbreon came running from behind the lab, where they had been playing with the other Pokémon.

"Pikapi!'" Pikachu chided Ash.

"Yeah, don't worry buddy. I am opening the door now. Was just busy with something," Ash said and gave a mischievous look to Gary who smirked back.

Ash opened the front door and found a very crossed looking Professor Oak and Tracey standing in front of him. He couldn't understand what had happened to make them look so angry.

"What happened Gramps, Tracey?" Gary asked them. Apparently, he had noticed the look on their faces too.

"I think the PokéFood Company is a big fraud," Professor Oak said gravely, "I think the food they are making for Pokémon is not safe and contains some dangerous chemicals."

"But we don't have any proof, so we couldn't go to Officer Jenny," Tracey said through gritted teeth.

"Oh, can we help with this?" Gary asked immediately.

"Yes we want to help," Ash added.

"Right now I think I and Tracey can handle them. But if we need your help we will ask you both. Thanks for offering your help boys," Professor Oak said.

"No problem Gramps," Gary said.

"Yeah it's horrible that someone is mixing dangerous chemicals in the food of Pokémon. And no one is realizing that. If you need help in stopping them then definitely ask us," Ash said.

"We sure will," Tracey said.

"I should leave now. I'll see you tomorrow, right Gary?" Ash asked. For the slightest moment he was worried that Gary might hesitate or say no. But then that moment was gone. Gary smiled and nodded.

And said, "Definitely Ash. Just message me the time and location and I'll be there."

"Great! Bye everyone! Come Pikachu," he called his old friend, as they left the lab together.

There was a new bounce in Ash's step and a sparkle in his eyes. There was also a wide smile on his face that he was sure nothing could wipe out. He was finally going to date his biggest crush of all time, and he was really happy about it.


 

Note:- Hope you enjoyed it! I know not much happens in this chapter but the plot deepens in future chapters, so just wait a little please. :)

 

Chapter Text

Note:- Hey guys, back with a new chapter. Hope you like it! ^_^

Chapter two:- Disastrous Date


 

Ash Ketchum got ready in his best black t-shirt and blue jeans, which were pressed and cleaned just yesterday. He wanted to look his best for today. He checked his reflection one last time in the mirror, and tried to unsuccessfully tidy his messy hair a little bit. After that didn't worked, he sighed and decided to wear a cap as usual.

He and Pikachu entered the kitchen where his mother had just laid out a simple breakfast of pancakes and porridge. Although, Ash didn't cared. He loved whatever his mother prepared. It always tasted delicious.

After he and Pikachu had finished with their breakfast, Ash stood up to talk to his mother.

"Hey mom, we are going to the Oak lab today!" he announced.

"Again huh? You really seem to be enjoying spending time with your old Pokémon sweetie," she said with a smile.

"Yes, them and everyone else over there," Ash said a little sheepishly.

So he and Pikachu said their goodbyes to Mrs. Ketchum and hurried towards the Oak lab. Ash was in a really good mood today and was humming a tune to himself. Pikachu was also humming along with him.

Soon the two best friends reached the Oak lab, and Ash pressed the doorbell. The door was slowly opened, and standing before him was none other than his handsome boyfriend. Gary was looking absolutely stunning in a black leather jacket, white t-shirt and dark black jeans.

"Wow, you are looking amazing," Ash said, blushing slightly.

"Thanks, you are looking good too Ashy-boyfriend," Gary said, putting special emphasis on the new nickname.

Ash blushed even more. 

"So, are we ready to go?" he asked Ash.

"Um, yeah, I have already decided the place," Ash said nervously. Now that the time to actually go on a date had came, he could feel his confidence washing away.

"Pikapi!" Pikachu suddenly hopped down from Ash's shoulder, gave him a quick thumbs-up and ran inside the house.

"Where did he go?" Ash wondered, feeling confused.

"I think he wants to give us some privacy on our first date. So he went to play with the lab Pokémon," Gary told Ash.

"Wow, you really understand even my Pikachu pretty well huh?" Ash complimented him.

Gary rolled his eyes upon hearing that. "I am a Pokémon Researcher Ash. It's my job to understand all the Pokémon well."

Ash smiled at that, but then he noticed that Gary had a Pokéball attached at his belt. Apparently he hadn't thought about the privacy thing. Or maybe it wasn't important enough for him.

"You are carrying a Pokémon with you?" Ash asked him.

"What? Oh yeah, thought we should have at least one with us in case we run into any danger," Gary said.

Now it was Ash's turn to roll his eyes. Why was Gary always so cautious again?

"Gary, we are going to a burger place! What sort of dangers do you think would be there?" Ash asked him.

He suddenly realized that he had spoiled the plan of their date but whatever, Gary was going to find out in a few minutes anyways.

"Hmm, maybe Team Rocket would impersonate to be waiters over there and try to steal our Pokémon or something? Seriously Ash, after being stalked by those three idiots for so long you ought to give more importance to your safety," Gary chided him.

"Maybe I don't bother with safety because my biggest enemies are a bunch of fools who are always blasting off in the air?" Ash asked him with a faked innocence.

For a second they looked at each other and then burst out laughing. Gary's laughter was a little nasally, some might find it unattractive even. But Ash thought it was the most beautiful sound in the world.

"Good point Ashy boyfriend. Now let's get going, before this burger place of yours closes," Gary said.

So they hurried down the beautiful sunlit roads of Pallet town until they finally came to a halt in front of a small restaurant named 'Butterfree's Burgers'. But as luck would have it, the place was closed. There was a small sign hanging near the door that read 'Closed For Maintenance: Please Come Tomorrow'.

"Oh well, tough luck," Gary laughed awkwardly.

Ash was feeling embarrassed as hell. Imagine taking your long time crush on a first date ever and finding that the place is closed. He should have at least checked whether the place was going to be open or not today. How careless of him!

But he was determined to make Gary feel happy. So what if one place in Pallet was closed down, Ash was raised in this town after all, he would find some other place to take Gary to.

"There is a bakery just down this road that bakes some really good cakes. Do you want to try that instead?" Ash asked him.

"Okay, sure! I think I've heard of that bakery too," Gary said.

So they walked further down the road and took a left turn, which brought them in front of a bakery named 'Bulbasaur's Bakery'. The owner was a cute plump guy who owned a Bulbasaur.

"Hello," Ash said to him, "Could we get some cakes and brownies please?"

"Oh sorry kids, but my supplier has gone on a week long holiday. And without any ingredients I can't bake anything obviously. So the bakery isn't open today," he spoke in an apologetic tone.

"That's alright. We'll come again some other day!" Gary said pleasantly and they took their leave from the place.

Ash was feeling even more embarrassed now. But he was determined not to give up.

"There's a pizza restaurant on the road we came from. That would be open for sure!" Ash said.

"Um, Ash, are you talking about 'Paras's Pizzas'?" Gary asked him sounding nervous.

"Yeah, why?" Ash asked.

"I had happened to glance at their restaurant while we were walking on that road, and I saw that it's shutters were down too," he told Ash.

Ash sighed. Wasn't a single decent eating place open today? Where were the Pallet people supposed to hang-out today exactly? He guessed he would have to accept defeat and they would have to just return home.

"Ash, if you don't mind, can I suggest a place? It's a little on the outskirts of the town, but I think you'll like it," Gary said.

"Sure!" Ash said feeling hopeful again.

They started sprinting in the direction pointed by Gary. In front of them was an ice-cream cart, from which an old woman was selling ice-cream.

A wave of nostalgia suddenly hit Ash. He remembered buying ice-cream from this same woman when he was a little kid. He and Gary always used to visit her together. She even knew what their favorite flavors were. How fitting that their first date should take place here.

So they hurried towards the old lady who recognized them right away.

"Ash and Gary, isn't it? You both have grown so much!" she beamed at them.

"Yes it's us, nice to see you again," Ash answered with a smile. 

"So which flavor do you want Ashy?" Gary asked him.

"Chocolate!" Ash answered enthusiastically.

"Alright, and I'll take Cranberry," Gary decided.

The old lady smiled at them and handed them their chosen flavors. Gary paid for the ice-cream and then they left the place.

"I was planning to pay for our first date," Ash grumbled.

"Does it really matter? Besides, I like spoiling you," Gary winked at him.

They were walking hand in hand slowly eating their ice-cream, when suddenly the skies darkened and lightning flashed in the sky.

"Looks like it's going to rain," Ash groaned.

"It has already began to rain," Gary corrected him.

Sure enough little drops of rain had slowly started falling from the darkened skies. Before Ash and Gary knew it, the intensity of the rain increased and they got thoroughly drenched in it.

"Our ice-creams are ruined!" Ash exclaimed.

"Never mind them now Ash, we need to find a shelter from the rain. Let's stop in that cave for a while," Gary suggested.

Ash glanced in the direction where Gary was pointing. Sure enough, there was a large cave over there which would be a good shelter for the two of them.

"Good idea," Ash said.

They hurried towards the cave and went inside. There were some large rocks inside it. Ash sat on one of them. Gary came and sat beside him.

"I am sorry," Ash said finally, "This whole date thing was my idea and it ended so badly. I should have planned better."

"Hey, that's not your fault Ash," Gary spoke in a comforting tone, "You couldn't have known things would end up like this. Besides, I had fun just spending the day with you. It felt good regardless of everything."

"Really?" Ash asked feeling surprised.

"Yes, I really like you and I love spending time with you," Gary spoke, blushing a little.

That was it for Ash. He literally jumped into Gary's arms and started kissing him. Gary returned the kiss with equal affection.

They parted after what felt like an eternity. Then all of a sudden, Ash had an idea.

He took out his phone and said, "Let's take a selfie!"

"What, now? But we are totally wet and drenched in rain Ashy," Gary protested.

"That's why it would be a unique selfie. Of our first date too. And we can make really silly faces in the camera to make it even funnier," Ash suggested.

Gary laughed upon hearing that. He seemed to like the idea because he nodded after a while.

Ash took out his phone and turned on the front camera. Both he and Gary wrapped their arms around each other and stuck out their tongues looking really silly. The resultant selfie was so funny that both of them burst out laughing after seeing it.

"This is really fun!" Ash decided.

"Yeah, these are the sort of little things that I never want to forget," Gary said.

"Why would you worry about forgetting anything? You have a strong memory Gary," Ash said.

"Yeah, but on some days I fear, what if I forgot you or the time we have spent together? Or what if I forgot my Pokémon? These kind of thoughts scare me," Gary admitted.

Ash smiled and squeezed Gary's hand. "Trust me, you'll never forget me or your Pokémon. When you really love someone they always remain in your heart and you can never forget them. So stop worrying about it," Ash told him.

Gary smiled upon hearing that and rested his head against Ash's shoulder. They sat like that in blissful silence until the rain stopped and they were finally ready to go home.

When they reached the Oak lab, Ash immediately realized that something was wrong. And sure enough, as he looked around, he saw broken windows and pieces of shattered glass scattered all over the place. His and Gary's Pokémon had formed a defensive circle around the lab which suggested that someone had tried to break in and the Pokémon were protecting the place.

Just then Professor Oak and Tracey came running towards them.

"Gramps! Tracey! What the hell happened over here?" Gary asked sounding extremely worried and shocked.

"Some unknown people attacked this place Gary. We still have no idea who they were. But we think they might be from the PokéFood company," Professor Oak told him.

"What makes you think that?" Gary asked.

"Today I got a call from their company about my visit yesterday. They wanted to know whether I was going to test their food samples on my lab Pokémon. I denied, because as I have already told you, I am extremely suspicious of their methods and intentions. This made them really angry and they started shouting and threatening me. So I think this attack must be done by them," Professor Oak concluded.

"These people sound really bad to me. Like some evil team," Ash said.

"Did you informed Officer Jenny?" Gary asked his grandfather.

"We did, but we couldn't directly mention about PokéFood as we don't have any proof yet," Professor Oak said.

"And they are a highly reputed company. We can't just point fingers at them," Tracey added.

"Pika!" their talk was interrupted by Pikachu suddenly appearing out of nowhere and jumping on top of Ash's shoulder.

"I think I'll leave now. Or, should I stay? Do you want any help?" Ash asked.

"Oh no Ash. You must be tired after today. Besides, I can help Gramps and Tracey in sorting back the lab. If it is really too much work, we'll call you, but right now you go and rest," Gary said.

"Oh, alright. But I'll see you around, right?" Ash hoped Gary knew what he was asking about.

"Definitely Ash. We'll be seeing each other a lot in near future," Gary answered with a smile.

Tracey was staring at both of them with a slight knowing smile playing on his lips. Whereas Professor Oak looked completely confused.

Ash said his goodbyes to both of them, hugged Gary a little too tightly and then made his way back towards his house. Despite the disastrous date he had still enjoyed the day, and he knew that the only reason behind it was that he had Gary for company.


 

Note:- Hope you enjoyed the chapter! :)

 

Chapter Text

Note:- Hey there guys! Back with a new chapter. Hope you all like it. :)

Chapter three:- A Lethal Plan


 

Ash and Pikachu were making their way around Pallet town as usual. Ash was planning to stay in Pallet for a couple more months as he hadn't discovered any new region to travel to yet. Besides, he didn't wanted to leave Gary alone either. Not after they had finally became boyfriends.

He and Pikachu were just passing a dense group of trees when they heard some strange whispers from behind those trees.

"Is the plan ready?" someone asked.

"Yes, it is. That old man will pay badly for refusing to make a deal with us," another voice said.

Those voices had a sinister feel to them. Something about them made Ash want to stop and examine whatever was going on.

So he hid behind a tree and then he and Pikachu gently peeked at the scene in front of them. Three people in some bright yellow colored uniform were sitting under the shade of a tree and talking rather animatedly.

One of them, a woman with bright pink hair said, "I think we shouldn't wait longer to finish this job. Let's use our poison needles as soon as possible and get rid of that Professor Oak and his assistant."

Ash almost gasped in shock upon hearing that. Were these people planning to murder Professor Oak and Tracey? He needed to know more.

"Relax Alicia, you always worry too much. I think we shouldn't hurry and wait for the right opportunity," a man with spiky blond hair spoke.

"Will you two keep your voices down young people? Someone might hear us!" the third person, who looked much older than the other two spoke. He had bright gray eyes, and similarly graying hair.

"But Mr. Wilson-" the spiky blond began, but was interrupted by the old man who said,

"Enough, I don't want to hear any more about this. We will definitely kill Oak. But we have to make it look like an accident. And that's not an easy job. So our planning should be perfect."

By now Ash was literally shaking with fury. These people were planning to kill Professor Oak and Tracey. That was simply horrible and he was not going to let them do that!

Before he knew what he was doing, he shouted, "Pikachu use thunderbolt on those three!"

Pikachu, who seemed to be equally mad at those people, did not hesitate in the slightest and used one of his strongest electric attacks on those three people.

"Who is it?" the girl named Alicia shouted the moment she had recovered from the attack.

"It's just some boy with a Pikachu," the blond guy spoke.

The old man named Wilson was eyeing him gravely. "How much did you hear?" he asked finally.

"Everything," Ash growled, "And I won't let you harm Professor Oak. He means a lot to me."

"As if we are going to let a little kid spoil our plan," Wilson said.

"Did you thought you were the only one with Pokémon over here kid? Well, we have some too! Go Beedrill!" Alicia yelled. 

"Raticate you too!" the blond guy shouted.

"And I choose, Aerodactyl!" Wilson roared.

The three Pokémon came out of their Pokéballs in a flurry of shining lights and deadly screeches. Aerodactyl looked the strongest out of the three and Ash had simply no idea how on earth this man had managed to revive one.

"So, you are quite outnumbered now, aren't you? Going to run home crying to your mommy or what?" the blond guy taunted him.

"Never!" Ash shouted.

"He is not outnumbered!" a voice shouted from behind Ash.

Ash turned around and saw Gary standing over there, with two Pokéballs ready in his hand. He gave Ash one reassuring nod and then yelled, "Umbreon, Blastoise go!"

His two trusted companions came out of their Pokéballs and stood in a fighting stance right next to Pikachu.

"You came right on time Gary," Ash whispered to him.

"What are boyfriends for?" Gary whispered back with a mischievous smile playing on his lips. But the next moment he turned serious and said, "Ash, I'll take the Aerodactyl and Raticate. You handle the Beedrill."

"Alright junior professor," Ash said with a smile.

"You two kids are going to get roasted in this battle," the blond guy shouted.

"We'll see who gets roasted. Pikachu use thunderbolt on Beedrill!" Ash commanded.

"Beedrill dogde it and use pin missile!" Alicia ordered her Pokémon.

Beedrill dodged Pikachu's thunderbolt and released an array of pin missile, but Pikachu was too quick for it and dodged it with ease.

Meanwhile, Gary was battling two opponents at once.

 "Raticate, use quick attack!" the blond guy told his Pokémon.

"Aerodactyl use agility!" Wilson ordered.

"Okay, Umbreon, use shadow ball on Aerodactyl, and Blastoise, use hydro pump on Raticate!" Gary commanded his Pokémon.

Blastoise's hydro pump was too strong and managed to knock out Raticate in one hit. But Aerdocatyl was merely slowed down a little by Umbreon's shadow balls. Otherwise, it looked perfectly healthy.

On the other side, Ash had gritted his teeth. He was determined not to lose to a Beedrill of all Pokémon. That too with his highly experienced Pikachu. It was time for him to use some trick.

"Pikachu use quick attack!" he ordered.

"Beedrill use Fury attack when he comes closer," Alicia instructed her Pokémon.

But the moment Pikachu was close to Beedrill, Ash shouted, "Electroball now!"

Pikachu used a highly charged electro ball which hit the Beedrill and it fainted right on the spot.

Both Alicia and the blond guy now looked helplessly at Wilson, who appeared to be their leader. His Aerdoactyl was surrounded by three very strong opponents now.

"Alright, I give up. I don't think I can win a one against three match," he finally said, accepting his defeat.

"You are not just giving up. You are coming with us to Officer Jenny now, and telling her everything about your plan," Ash ordered him.

"Wait, what plan Ash? Who are these people? I thought they were from Team Rocket?" Gary asked, sounding confused.

"Gary these people-" Ash began to explain, but just then he heard Pikachu and Gary's Pokémon shouting loudly.

Ash looked up to see what the matter was and felt immediate regret for not being alert around those people. Because now those three horrible jerks were escaping on Wilson's Aerodactyl. They were up in the air and the blond guy was making faces at Ash and Gary.

"I am so sorry Ash, they escaped while I was asking you about them. I should've waited till later," Gary said.

"It's okay, We can still catch them," Ash said, already running behind the Aerodactyl.

What happened after that, happened in a flash of a moment. But Ash would never ever forget it for a lifetime. He saw something silver and pointy being shot by one of those three people in the air, as if in slow motion that silver thing headed towards Ash. Ash was running at such a speed that even changing course to avoid the silver thing would take time, time he knew he didn't had.

And then, he came in between. Gary literally threw himself between Ash and whatever that silver, pointy thing was. And the next thing Ash knew, Gary had fallen on the ground writhing in pain and shivering.

"Gary!" Ash shouted, dropping to his knees beside Gary and staring at him with a shocked expression on his face. He was feeling lost, confused, not sure of how to help Gary.

And then, he heard them.

"Oops, we got the wrong boy," Alicia said.

"No, I had aimed for that one wearing cap, but the spiky-haired one came in between," the blonde boy said.

"You jerks!" Ash shouted, "I'll make you pay for this!"

But by then they had already started flying away on their Aerodactyl, and within a few seconds, they were out of sight.

Ash turned his attention back to Gary who was incoherently mumbling something, "Poisonous needle... gotta save Ashy boy... I love Ashy boy."

Ash had no idea what to do. So he did the only thing that occurred to him at that time. He picked Gary up in his arms and carried him towards the local hospital in Pallet town as fast as possible. Pikachu, Umbreon and Blastoise followed him.

Thankfully, there were quite a few number of doctors at work when Ash reached the hospital. He told them what had happened to Gary and saw helplessly as they carried an unconscious Gary on a stretcher inside a room.

There was a video-phone in the waiting room of the hospital. Ash used it to call Professor Oak and his mom. Within just a few minutes, Tracey, Professor Oak and Ash's mom had reached the hospital and were demanding all the details of the incident from Ash.

"I think they were PokéFood people," Ash told Professor Oak, "They were planning to kill you so I fought them. And then Gary joined the battle too. We managed to beat them but they tried to escape on an Aerodactyl. And before leaving they shot a poisonous needle in my direction, and Gary intervened."

Ash's voice broke at the last sentence. Gary had put his life in danger for him. If anything happened to him, Ash would be responsible for it. And not just that, Ash loved him, he wanted him to be alright.

Just then, the doctor came out of Gary's room and called Professor Oak and Ash aside to talk to them.

"Well, there's no actual need to worry. He is completely out of danger," the doctor sounded like he was choosing his words carefully and that increased Ash's fears.

"But, the thing is that, the poison in the needle was extremely strong. And before we administered the antidote to him, a little damage had already been done. Damage to his memories specifically," the doctor spoke.

"Oh no," Professor Oak said, sounding very worried, "Are you telling me Gary has forgotten everything?"

"No, not everything. We talked to him and we think this might be a case of partial amnesia. He has only forgotten some of his memories," the doctor told them.

"What was Gary talking about? Which parts does he remember?" Ash asked eagerly.

"Well, he was saying that he needed to get well soon because he had to collect his very first Pokémon from his grandfather's lab. And he said he was about to begin his journey as a Pokémon Master," the doctor told them.

Professor Oak gasped. While Ash sat down on a nearby bench in shock. He couldn't believe that the poisonous needle had done so much damage to Gary's memories.

"Kanto," he whispered, "Gary is back at the beginning of his Kanto journey."


 

Note:- Hope you enjoyed it! :D

Chapter Text

Note:- Hey guys! Here's the new chapter! :D

Chapter Four:- A Gloomy Birthday


 

"Kanto," Ash whispered, "Gary is back at the beginning of his Kanto journey."

Professor Oak looked at him in shock and said, "That can't be right Ash! Gary wouldn't forget so many years of his life, would he? That shouldn't happen at all." The poor old man looked like he was going to have a panic attack.

So Ash and the doctor made him sit on the bench and handed him a glass of water to drink.

Then, the doctor said to them, "You can visit Gary now if you want. But be very careful. He must not find out that he has lost his memories. If he realizes that, then it can be very stressful for his mind and might cause him more trauma. So just see what he is saying and act accordingly."

Both Ash and Professor Oak nodded.

"Don't worry doctor! We'll be very careful. Gary won't find out anything," Ash promised.

"Yes, I'll be careful too," Professor Oak said.

The two of them then entered the room shown to them by the doctor. Ash's heart did a double-take when he saw Gary on the hospital bed with tubes attached to his arm and a nurse looking after him.

"What had happened to me? I still don't understand why I am here?" he was asking the nurse, but just then he saw his grandfather walking up to his bed.

"Gramps! Why am I here? What had happened to me? I need to get my first Pokémon immediately!" Gary exclaimed upon seeing him.

"You- uh, you were attacked by a group of Beedrill Gary. And they used poison sting on you. That's why you don't remember the attack because Beedrill attack makes a person forget few recent things," Professor Oak said.

"Oh," Gary said, with a dawning comprehension on his face, "The nurse told me that they had injected some antidote in me. Now I know why. But will I be alright gramps?" he asked further.

"Oh yes of course Gary, you'll be completely healthy soon enough," Professor Oak spoke with a fake smile plastered on his face.

"That's good to know, because I want to start my Pokémon journey as soon as possible!" he said. Then he spotted Ash, standing behind Professor Oak and staring at him with wide eyes.

"You loser! What are you doing over here?!" Gary shouted at him.

"I-I  just came to see you Gary," Ash spoke in a nervous tone.

Gary glanced at the Pikachu on Ash's shoulder and said, "Oh! So you got your first Pokémon? And you have came here to gloat? You just wait until I get my first Pokémon, then I am going to kick your ass Ashy boy."

Tears stung Ash's eyes. Really? After the beautiful way his and Gary's friendship and later on romantic relationship had developed, they were back to this? He would have to endure Gary's teasing and taunting again? And he would have to endure his boyfriend having completely forgotten about being his boyfriend? And worse, he would have to endure seeing Gary like this, with his memories lost. It was going to suck, badly.

"Oh look the loser is going to cry! You are such a cry-baby Ashy boy," Gary sneered.

"Gary that's enough," Professor Oak said, but even he didn't had the heart to be too stern with Gary right now. He just gave an apologetic look to Ash.

"It's certainly not enough gramps! I mean, what was he thinking? We aren't friends anymore. There was no need for him to come to visit me. This is disgusting!" Gary said.

It was certainly enough for Ash, who realized he couldn't take any more of those harsh words. He turned around and ran out of the hospital, tears streaming down his face. He could hear his mother, Tracey and Gary's Pokémon calling out to him, but he didn't stopped. He couldn't stop and face anyone right now. He just wanted some alone time, preferably with only Pikachu for company. So he decided to run to his house where he was sure he would get some time to process things.

Oh boy, was he wrong! The moment he opened the door of his house a huge chorus of "Surprise!" rang in his ears. He and Pikachu looked up simultaneously, and saw all of Ash's friends, both old and new, standing before him.

There was Misty, Brock, May, Max, Dawn, Iris, Cilan, Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, Lillie, Mallow, Kiawe, Lana, Sophocles, Drew, Harley and yes Paul too.

Ash gasped in surprise. "What are you all doing over here?" he almost shouted with disbelief.

But as he saw, the smiles from the faces of his friends slowly vanished, and got replaced by frowns of concern and worry.

"Ash, why are you crying?" May asked him.

"Yeah Ash, what happened?" Clemont asked.

Ash hastily rubbed his eyes and said, "I'll tell that to you guys later, but first tell me, what are you all doing over here and- " he stopped mid-sentence as he finally noticed it. The entire Ketchum house was decorated with balloons and streamers. His friends were all carrying gifts in their hands.

"Oh," Ash said, as it hit him, "It's my birthday today, isn't it?"

"Yes you forgetful idiot, it's your birthday today. And we decided to throw a surprise birthday party for you!" Misty told him.

"A surprise birthday party? But who planned it? And how did you all contacted each other?" Ash asked them.

"It was planned by Gary," Brock told him, "He called me and Misty and asked us to call as many of your friends as we knew. So Misty called May, Max and Lana. I called Dawn, Paul and the rest of your Alolan friends. Dawn called Iris and Cilan. May called Drew and Harley. Cilan called Clemont and Bonnie. And finally Clemont called Serena," he explained.

"It was quite a chain reaction," Clemont added jokingly.

"So where is the genius who had planned all of this? I thought he would be here with us too," Dawn said, searching around the house as if Gary would pop up any moment.

At the mention of Gary, Ash's eyes filled with tears once again. He started crying and mumbled, "Gary is in the hospital."

Everyone looked shocked.

"In the hospital? But why? Is he okay?" Brock asked Ash.

Ash explained, between sobs, his and Gary's battle with the PokéFood people. And how Gary had taken the poison needle for him.

"And now he has forgotten most of his memories because of the effects of that poison. And it's all my fault!" Ash sobbed.

Serena rushed forward and pulled Ash into a hug.

"Don't worry Ash. I trust you. It can never be your fault," she said in a gentle voice.

"How much has Gary forgotten Ash?" Brock asked him sounding worried.

"A lot of stuff. He thinks he is back at the beginning of his Kanto journey, about to choose his first Pokémon," Ash told them.

"That's a lot of time," Misty said.

"Can't we tell him that he has forgotten some stuff?" Dawn asked Ash.

"Nope. The doctor said that if Gary found out that he had forgotten his memories, then he would feel more stress and even trauma. That could be worse for his mental condition," Ash lamented.

"So now what, are you going to make him think this is the past?" Cilan asked.

"I don't know!" Ash exclaimed, "All that I know right now is that my birthday party is cancelled. I can't celebrate knowing that Gary is going through such a problem,"

"We understand that Ash. I haven't met this Gary but I can see that he is really important to you," May said.

"He certainly is. He is my-" Ash wasn't sure whether to tell everyone about his and Gary's relationship or not. He still felt a little shy about it. "He is my rival-turned-friend."

"Oh, that's sweet," Drew said.

"Ash, if Gary is back in the Kanto-era, does that mean he has gone back to hating you?" Misty suddenly asked him.

Ash almost had to blink back tears as he replied, "Yes, Gary hates me again now. He thinks we are bitter rivals. And he has started calling me a loser again."

"I think I'll get along very well with this Gary person," Paul muttered.

"Paul, this is no laughing matter!" Dawn exclaimed angrily.

Just then, Ash heard footsteps behind him. He turned and saw that it was Professor Oak.

"Professor Oak! What are you doing over here? How is Gary?" Ash immediately asked him.

"Tracey and Delia agreed to stay with Gary for some time Ash, so I came over here. I wanted to talk to you because-" he suddenly noticed the large number of people gathered in Ash's living room.

"Oh! Wait a minute," he said, taking in all the decorations, "I really am getting old. How did I forgot about this very special day? Happy Birthday Ash!"

Ash was feeling anything but happy at that moment. He asked Professor Oak, "Thanks, but why did you wanted to talk to me Professor?"

"Oh, it's actually about Gary. He is being really stubborn. He just wants to participate in the Indigo league as soon as he gets better. And the doctor told him that he would be fit enough to be discharged from the hospital by next week. I just don't know what excuse I can give to Gary after that," Prof. Oak lamented.

"Maybe you can tell him that the Indigo Pokémon league has been cancelled this year. And he should try next year?" Brock suggested.

"That idea might work for the league Brock. But Gary also wants to go on a Pokémon journey of his own. And I can't find any excuse to stop him from doing that. Otherwise he'll get suspicious," Prof. Oak said.

"If Gary wants to go on a Pokémon journey then he should be allowed to. We can't keep him caged up in the house until his memories return," Ash decided.

"But Ash, if he goes outside he would know what the present year is. And that could affect his mental health," May reminded him.

"I... have a plan," Ash said slowly, "But I'll need all of your help in carrying it out."

"Well, what are friends for? Obviously we'll help you!" Lillie said brightly.

"But if Gary really insists on going on a journey, then the plan would have to last for a very long time. Would you all have so much free time?" Ash asked his friends a little nervously.

"Well actually, while we were waiting in your house for you, we had started discussing about just that," Misty told him.

"Huh, what do you mean Misty?" Ash asked her.

"We all were planning that since we are all here together we could go on a long vacation or something. We obviously can't do that now, but we can instead use that time to help Gary instead," she said.

"Yes, that sounds perfect!" Bonnie exclaimed.

"You are all really nice! Thank you so much guys!" Ash said happily.

"You can consider it as a birthday present from us," Max said.

"But Ash, what's the plan?" Professor Oak asked him.

"You'll find out soon," Ash answered mysteriously.

 

Note:- Hope you loved the chapter! :D

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Note:- Hey everyone! Back with a new chapter!


 

Chapter 5:- Running Away

"What? No way Ash! This plan is ridiculous!" Misty exclaimed, the moment Ash finished telling his plan to his friends and Professor Oak.

"You are such a kid for coming up with such an outrageous plan!" Iris yelled at him.

"Ash, even I think this plan might not work," Brock said.

Ash had finally told his 'brilliant' plan to his friends. It had taken him an entire hour to explain it to them in detail. During this time, their Pokemon had started playing with the decorations in the room. Pikachu, Piplup and Poplio were currently having a contest of who would burst the maximum number of balloons. Axew and Snowy had gotten themselves tangled up in the streamers. While Dedenne was enjoying Ash's birthday cake all alone. 

In the meantime, Ash himself just couldn't understand why his friends disliked his plan so much. 

"But why? I think it's perfect! We just need a strong psychic Pokémon to create an illusion which would make Gary think that he is travelling all over Kanto, when in fact he would be at his home the whole time. We would be tricking him, but we have no choice. And it can work," Ash defended his plan.

He remembered all the times during his journeys when he had been tricked by psychic or ghost Pokémon into believing something that wasn't actually happening. They could use something like that this time around.

"Ash, the plan is too dangerous. And you know Gary, he is too smart. He would be able to detect an illusion with ease," Professor Oak said, firmly refusing the plan.

"But that's not true for the Gary in the past. He wouldn't have been an expert at detecting illusions when he was just starting out on his journey," Ash argued.

"Does anyone here even has any psychic Pokémon with them?" Bonnie asked the group at large.

"I have a Ralts which I recently caught in Hoenn," Max told her. Ash was momentarily distracted by this. He remembered a much younger Max promising a Ralts that he would return to him when he became older and ready to become a trainer. Ash was almost on the verge of asking Max which starter he had chosen and how his Pokémon journey was going, but just then May spoke,

"I had caught a Girafarig during my journey in Johto. And it knows some good psychic attacks too."

"My ghost Pokémon can help too," Paul spoke in an indifferent tone.

"See Professor, we have lots of Pokémon to help us!" Ash pointed out to Professor Oak enthusiastically.

But the Professor still looked unimpressed and doubtful of the whole plan. It was Brock who finally spoke the doubts that were going on in the Professor's mind.

He said, "Ash, you see, even if all these Pokémon work together, we'll have to create the details of an entire region on our own. The Pokémon, people, places in Kanto, literally everything. And that's not all. Illusions can usually only make you see and hear different things. What about taste, smell and touch? Our entire plan would fall apart the moment Gary decides to simply touch his surroundings. It's just not practical."

"You put it perfectly Brock," Professor Oak said, "I had these exact doubts about this plan. Sorry Ash, but I don't see it working. And I need to go back to check on Gary now, so I'll see you later."

The abrupt manner in which he left made Ash feel even more upset. He was just trying to help! But now that he thought over Brock's words, they did made sense. His plan was quite flawed.

"I just want to help Gary," he mumbled.

"We know Ash. And don't worry, we'll come up with some good idea soon enough," Lillie said to him. 


He had spent the past one week in hospital and now Gary Oak was feeling really bored. He was also growing extremely impatient as well. He wanted his first Pokémon now and wanted to start his journey immediately.

He was sure that Ash must have already caught a few Pokémon and won some badges by now too, and he would have to play catch-up to him. Even though he insulted Ash on his face, in his heart he knew that Ash was quite capable of becoming a strong trainer.

He also happened to know who his grandfather favored. The thought was enough to make him feel sick with worry. What if he lost to Ash in the Indigo league and Ash permanently became his grandfather's favorite? Did Gary even stood a chance against Ash?

'I'll use my car', he decided. He obviously knew that people travelled much faster in a car than on foot. Ash stood no chance against him if he used his bright shiny new red sports car.

Just then, he remembered something. He turned to face his grandfather who was currently driving said car and taking Gary back to their lab/home after finally being discharged from the hospital. Well the lab and home were attached, sort of. Even Gary found it difficult to sometimes understand where the lab started and their home ended.

"Gramps, did you contacted the cheerleading squad?" Gary asked him with interest. It was going to be a unique strategy of his that no other trainer would have thought of before. He had seen on television how cheerleaders helped to encourage and motivate different trainers. But usually only extremely experienced and skilled trainers had their personal cheerleaders. Gary's plan was to have a cheerleading squad with him from the beginning to intimidate other trainers into thinking that he was already of Elite Four level or something. Not that they would be proven wrong of course.

That, and he could do with some support. So far in his life no one had ever actively cheered or encouraged him. The man who should have been his number one cheerleader was always busy rooting for Ash. So Gary thought why not just hire professional cheerleaders for the job itself?

"Oh, er, yes Gary," his grandfather answered. Gary wondered whatever made him fumble like that before answering.

"So are they coming?" he asked further to his gramps.

"What? Eh, nope. They are busy," Professor Oak replied in a feeble tone.

"Busy?! But we had been planning this arrangement since the past two months! I need cheerleaders with me on my journey gramps!" Gary shouted feeling angry and panicked. His Pokémon journey hadn't even started yet and he couldn't believe how many things were going wrong already.

"Well, about your journey Gary, I was thinking, why don't you start after a few months? You had just been poisoned. You should stay at home and rest," Professor Oak suggested to him.

Gary couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"Gramps do you hear yourself? You are asking me to delay my Pokémon journey because of some stupid Beedrill attack? The doctor did say that I was alright now, didn't he? So what's the problem?" Gary asked him angrily.

But before Professor Oak could say anything in response, a sudden thought struck Gary.

"Oh wait, now I get it! You want to delay my journey so that your precious Ash gets an advantage. You think I am a fool who doesn't see this gramps?" Gary asked him angrily.

Professor Oak looked shocked to hear that.

"Why on earth would you think that's the case? Ash hasn't even left Pallet town. He is so worried about you Gary, please don't be mad at him," Professor Oak said to him.

Gary was surprised to hear that. But then another thought struck him. If Ash hadn't left for his journey yet, then maybe there was still time for Gary to get ahead of him.

He decided to ask Professor Oak one final time, "So, when is Ash going to leave on his journey?"

"Soon enough," Professor Oak answered vaguely.

"And you won't let me leave anytime soon, would you?" he asked further.

"Not at all young man," Professor Oak replied.

Well, that settled it for Gary. If his grandfather wasn't going to let him go on a journey with his permission, then he would have to just opt for the reckless option. Tonight he would pick a starter and run away from home.


 

It was late at night and Ash couldn't sleep. Maybe it had something to do with his house being so full with people. Everyone stayed awake till late night chatting with each other. Usually Ash enjoyed talking to his friends, but tonight he wanted to clear his head and felt like a long walk under the starry night skies would help.

Maybe it was coincidence or fate or just the fact that he was missing him so much, but Ash found himself walking towards the Oak lab. He halted in his path when he realized where he was going, unsure of whether to continue or not.

Just then, he heard the sound of soft footsteps coming in his direction from the lab. Immediately, Ash was on alert. He was also a little panicked as he hadn't even thought of bringing Pikachu with him. He wondered whatever he was going to do if the person coming in his direction happened to be one of those PokéFood guys.

He instantly hid behind a tree and peeked at the person who was hurrying away from the lab. In the bright moonlight, Ash recognized the spiky haired boy running away from the lab immediately.

"Gary, where are you going?" Ash stepped out from his hiding place and asked his boyfriend.

Gary turned behind. The expressions on his face changed from fear to shock to finally anger as he glared at Ash.

"None of your business Ashy boy," he replied back.

"It is my business, okay? And whose Pokéball is that?" Ash asked him further.

He had expected Gary to get even more angry upon hearing that question. What he hadn't expected was for tears to threaten to spill from his eyes.

"I hate you," he muttered, "And I am mad at gramps too! He is purposely not letting me go on a journey even though he knows I am fully well now. So I chose my starter and decided that I'll go on my journey right now. But you had to end up here and ruin the whole plan!"

Ash couldn't believe what he was hearing. Gary had been so close to running away from home. He didn't knew that Gary was that desperate to start his own journey, but he could sort of understand. If someone had tried to stop Ash from starting his Pokémon journey maybe he would have taken such a drastic step too. Besides, Gary didn't even knew why they all were stopping him in the first place.

Ash took a deep breath. He needed to remain calm. And he needed to convince Gary to not act so rashly.

He stared in Gary's deep green eyes and said, " So, you were going to start without letting me know? That too after I waited one whole week for you to get better so that we could start our journeys at the same time. But I guess you are either a cheater or a sore loser Gary. That's why you are desperate enough to start before me."

Gary looked shocked upon hearing that.

"I am not a cheater or sore loser!" he exclaimed. "If you want us to start our journeys together, then you should have directly said so, I wouldn't have denied."

"Well I am saying so now," Ash said, trying to sound equally angry.

"Fine! I'll wait till tomorrow morning. You meet me with your Pikachu near the Oak tree on the outskirts of Pallet. We'll both start our journeys from the same spot at the same time. So you can't accuse me of starting before you," Gary said.

"Shouldn't we wait for a few more days?" Ash asked him hurriedly.

"No! I won't wait even a single minute after tomorrow morning. Either you start your journey with me tomorrow or I'll start mine without you," Gary said to him.

He gave Ash one last cold glare before stomping back towards his house. Ash sighed the moment Gary was out of sight. He had somehow stopped Gary from running away from his house tonight. But now he and his friends would have to come up with some excellent master-plan to make sure that nothing goes wrong in the future. And they had precisely one night to come up with this plan.


 

Note:- Hope you all enjoyed it! :)

 

Chapter Text

Note: - Hey guys, back with a new chapter! Hope you like it!

 

Chapter 6:- The Cheerleaders


 

The moment Ash Ketchum had stepped inside his house, he had woken everybody up and arranged an urgent meeting. He had even called Professor Oak, and asked him to come for the very important meeting.

“Ash, what’s the matter?” Misty asked, rubbing her eyes.

“Yeah Ash, who keeps a meeting at two in the night? It’s sleeping time!” Cilan said, yawning deeply.

“Did you all called me?” Professor Oak asked as he entered the house. They had kept the front door open as they knew he would be coming. Brock and Lana had been waiting for him at the front door.

“I honestly don’t know what’s even going on anymore Samuel,” Delia said, sounding anguished. “I had been asking Ash for the past half an hour what the matter is, but he isn’t telling us anything.”

“It’s Gary,” Ash said suddenly, “He was planning to run away from his home tonight. He is that desperate to start his Pokemon journey. If I hadn’t run into him today, when I had gone out for a walk, and somehow convinced him to delay his journey till tomorrow, he would have been already gone by now.”

Everyone looked shocked to hear this.

“What?! Gary is that desperate to start his journey? Ash we must do something! And that too really fast!” Professor Oak said.

“I know, that’s why I called this meeting. I am going to need some ideas. If he leaves for the journey he’ll know what the present year is. Which means that he’ll realize that he has lost his memories, and the doctor said that’s exactly what we have to stop him from realizing,” Ash reminded everyone.

“What if a few of us travel with him and try to make sure that he doesn’t see anything suspicious? It’ll still be difficult, but at least, it’ll be worth a try,” May suggested.

“I can’t travel with him. He thinks of me as his rival, and wants me to start my own Kanto journey tomorrow. And it would probably be best if Misty and Brock travel with me. Since they were with me the last time Gary was travelling through Kanto. So if he remembers anything, it would feel genuine,” Ash said.

"That makes sense. I'll come with you Ash," Misty said.

"Me too," Brock added.

"But what about Gary?" Max wondered.

“Eh… this might sound like the lamest suggestion, but you had mentioned something about cheerleaders earlier, right?” Sophocles asked him.

“Yeah, when Gary was travelling through Kanto the last time, he had cheerleaders accompanying him. I don’t know where they are now though,” he said and looked in Professor Oak’s direction.

“Oh, they are all extremely busy with their new jobs. They won’t be able to travel with Gary at all,” Professor Oak lamented.

“I was thinking something…” Serena muttered.

“I think I am thinking the same thing…” Iris said.

“I’ll just say what’s on the mind of all three of us then!” Dawn exclaimed, “Why don’t we disguise as cheerleaders and accompany Gary?”

“What?” Ash exclaimed.

“Ash, this Gary person is really important to you. So by extension he becomes important to all of us. And I am a skilled performer, doing some cheerleading won’t be a big deal for me at all,” Serena said.

“I think I can manage it too,” Iris said confidently.

“And you already know how good I was at cheering you back in Sinnoh. I can do the same for Gary this time!” Dawn said.

“Just to let you all know, Gary needs a team of six cheerleaders. I don’t know why he is insisting on that number, but he can be really stubborn at times,” Professor Oak informed them.

“I’ll go too. You guys will need someone who can do the cooking and everything in your group,” Mallow said.

“That’s a good idea. I mean, I can bake, but I am not a full-fledged cook yet,” Serena admitted, looking slightly embarrassed.

“What about you two, Lillie, Lana?” Mallow asked them.

“I’ll come!” Lillie said excitedly.

“I feel a little shy about this whole cheerleading business. Can I not come please?” Lana requested.

“Oh okay, then, who else wants to volunteer?” Mallow asked.

“There’s just me left. And I would love to come!” May said excitedly.

"That's decided then! The six of us would disguise as cheerleaders!" Dawn exclaimed. 

“So, if May, Dawn, Iris, Serena, Mallow and Lillie are going to become cheerleaders. And you, Misty and Brock are going to go on a separate Kanto journey, then what are the rest of us supposed to do?” Clemont asked Ash.

Ash thought for a while, and then said, “We’ll be needing lots more help too. It would be really helpful if some of you could go to the gyms in advance and make the gymleaders aware of Gary’s condition. So that they don’t accidentally say anything in front of him. Similarly some of you can visit Pokemon Centers and inform the Nurse Joys about Gary, so that they will be extra cautious while talking to him too. Beyond that though, I don’t see what we can do.”

“Me neither. But still your plan is good Ash. I am proud of you,” Professor Oak said.

With the plan mostly ready, Ash and most of the gang went to catch some quick sleep before starting their long journey across Kanto.


 

 The next day Gary Oak woke up early. Today was the day. When he would finally get his starter and leave on his journey. He got out of bed and took a shower. Then he got neatly dressed, his bag was already packed from yesterday night.

He went downstairs to have breakfast with his gramps and the new lab assistant named Tracey. Honestly, he didn’t remember his gramps mentioning anything about hiring a new lab assistant. But then again, Gary assumed, he must have been so busy with his plannings for his journey that he must have missed the news about Tracey getting hired.

He eyed Tracey curiously. The lab assistant wore a green t-shirt, some shorts and a strange head-band. He noticed Gary staring at him and gave him a kind smile. Gary flushed. He thought perhaps if he had decided to stay behind he could’ve became friends with this guy. But now it was too late. He had already made all the preparations for his journey.

After breakfast, he was just about to announce his departure, when the  doorbell rang. Professor Oak went to open it, Gary noticed that he seemed a little too eager.

Outside stood six girls, with a determined look on their faces. Behind them stood three Pokemon that Gary couldn't recognize, and also a bright white Vulpix. Gary wondered for a moment whether that Vulpix was a shiny or something, due to its coloring being different from that of the Vulpix found in Kanto.

“Ah, Gary, here they are! The cheerleaders!” Professor Oak announced in a bright tone.

Behind him, Tracey simply looked amused.

“Cheerleaders? But you had said that they were going to be busy? That I was not going to get cheerleaders for my journey?” Gary asked, feeling confused.

“Well, we were busy, but now we are free!” a blue-haired girl, who looked like the leader of the gang spoke, “Besides, who wouldn’t want to cheer for the grandson of the famous Professor Oak?”

“Yeah, we are sure you wouldn’t let our efforts go to waste and would definitely succeed,” a honey-haired girl spoke this time.

“Uh, okay,” Gary said, not sure of what else to say. Just then a few questions occurred to him.

“Wait, aren’t cheerleaders supposed to wear a matching uniform?” he asked slowly.

“I am working on that. The uniforms would be ready in a couple of days,” the honey-haired girl promised him.

“Okay, and how are you going to cheer me up during battles? Do you have a slogan or something?” he asked further.

“Yes we do!” the girls said in unison.

Then as if one they made a pose and started saying, “Gary, Gary, he’s the man! If he can’t do it, no one can!”

“Hey, I like that slogan. It sounds really encouraging!” Gary said, feeling happy.

He then turned towards his gramps and said, “Gramps, if so many of us have to go on a journey together it would be more practical to take a car. I don’t want to make my cheerleaders walk hundreds of miles.”

“And does anyone here knows how to drive a car?” Professor Oak asked with a smirk.

Gary was literally filled with embarrassment at that question. He obviously didn’t know how to drive a car. Because every time his grandpa had taken him for a ride, he had just sat in the adjacent seat, overlooking the passing scenery. He knew he had made a fool of himself in front of his new cheerleaders.

“Um… I do know how to drive a car,” a blond girl, wearing a white dress, suddenly spoke up, “My older brother Gladion used to teach me. I haven’t driven in a long time though, so it might take some time in adjusting.”

“Oh, that’s not a problem Lillie! At least someone here knows how to drive a car! Yes you can drive it. Just be careful, okay?” Professor Oak said.

“Yes, I’ll be careful,” the girl named Lillie said.

That’s when something struck Gary. He slowly went closer to his grandpa and whispered, “How do you know her name?”

His grandfather literally sweatdropped, before replying, “Well, I had sort of gathered information about all the girls travelling with you, as I am concerned about your safety. See, the blue-haired one is Dawn, the brunette is May, the honey-haired one is Serena, the purple-haired one is Iris, the green-haired one is Mallow and the blond one is Lillie.”

“Oh, you have quite a memory,” Gary complimented his grandfather. He personally felt it might take him some time to memorize everyone’s names and faces.

“So, before you leave, don’t you want to pick your starter young man?” Professor Oak asked him.

“Oh, yes of course, I had almost forgotten about it. Just a second ladies,” he said to his cheerleaders and followed his grandfather inside the house, towards the lab area.

Inside the lab, three Pokeballs were kept in a device. Gary knew they contained the Kanto starters, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle respectively.

But he had already made up his mind. He looked at his grandfather and said, “I choose Squirtle!”

“Very well,” Professor Oak said, handling him, Squirtle’s tiny Pokeball, “Take good care of each other you two.”

Gary was just about to press the button on his Squirtle’s Pokeball to have a good look at his starter companion, when three Pokemon almost broke the lab door and entered inside. He recognized them as Blastoise, Arcanine and Umbreon. He had no idea who they belonged to.

“Bree!” the Umbreon shouted in a desperate tone, wagging her tail at Gary.

“Blastoise!” the Blastoise roared loudly, as if he wanted to make Gary remember something.

“Arcanine!” the Arcanine was also shouting desperately.

“Whose Pokemon are these? And why are they shouting at me in such a mannerless way?” Gary asked a little angrily.

“I- I’ll go and calm them down,” Professor Oak said and hurried towards the Pokemon.

He talked with them for some time after which they seemed to have become relatively calmer. Although Gary noticed that the Umbreon still had tears in her eyes, and the way she was staring at him made something in his heart twist and turn. A part of him almost wanted to go and comfort her, but then he realized that these were the lab Pokemon. Of some other trainer. And it was the job of his grandfather and Tracey to calm them down. Gary’s only job right now was to concentrate on his journey.

“I think I’ll get going gramps,” he said to Professor Oak, “I can talk with my Squirtle later on. And the cheerleaders would be waiting too. Plus I need to be in time, so that I and Ashy-boy can start our journeys at the same time. So I guess I’ll have to hurry!”

“As you wish my boy, take care on your journey,” Professor Oak said and gave his loving grandson a hug.


 

Just a few minutes after Gary and his ‘cheerleaders’ had left, Ash, Misty and Brock came hurrying towards Professor Oak’s lab.

“Did Gary and all the girls left?” Misty asked Professor Oak worriedly.

“Yes, it went all right. He wasn’t suspicious of them at all,” Professor Oak told her brightly.

“Oh, thank goodness it went all right. The three of us were really worried,” Misty said.

“Did they said the slogan properly? I made them rehearse it whole night!” Brock told Professor Oak.

“Yes, yes, they said it perfectly. Gary really liked the slogan,” Professor Oak said.

“So I guess, we should get going too,” Ash decided.

But just then, Gary’s three Pokemon, Umbreon, Blastoise and Arcanine appeared around the corner and stood before them outside the house. All three of them had tears in their eyes.

“Poor things,” Professor Oak said, “Gary has forgotten all of his Pokemon. It is really hard for them to go through this.”

“I wish we could do something to help them,” Misty said, looking sad.

All of a sudden though, Umbreon ran towards Ash and nudged at one of the empty Pokeballs on his belt. Arcanine did the same with Brock. While Blastoise, who couldn’t enter the house due to his size, stared at Misty longingly.

Ash, Misty and Brock were totally confused and dumbfounded for a moment. Until it finally hit Brock first.

“Oh, so it looks like they know that we are also going on a Kanto trip and might bump into Gary from time to time. So they want to travel with us. That way they can be close to Gary and keep an eye on their trainer, isn’t it?” Brock asked Arcanine.

The dog-like Pokemon barked in approval.

“You want to travel with us?” Ash asked Umbreon incredulously. He had known Umbreon for a long time now, but he didn’t knew she trusted him enough to agree to travel with him.

She nodded eagerly. Blastoise and Arcanine nodded as well.

“Okay then! You can join the party!” Ash said, and tossed a Pokeball at Umbreon. She entered it with a little hesitation. Ash did understand her hesitation. She had been with Gary since she was an Eevee. Now going with another trainer must be difficult for her.

Although this was temporary, Ash reminded himself. They would all return Gary’s Pokemon back to him once his memories return.

Misty also caught Blastoise in a Pokeball and Brock caught Arcanine in a Pokeball. They all smiled at each other. They would take good care of Gary’s Pokemon until his memories return.

After that they hurried towards the Oak tree. There was Gary, waiting in his shiny red sports car. Lillie was in the driver’s seat and he was sitting beside her. All the other girls were sitting in the back-seats.

“You are almost late Ashy-boy. I was thinking of starting without you,” Gary taunted him.

“I got caught with some important work. But now I am ready,” Ash said.

“Pikapi!” Pikachu exclaimed from his shoulder.

“Okay then, we are starting at this point, together. Except that you will be walking and I would be taking a ride in a car,” Gary said smugly.

He then smirked as Lillie started the car, and drove it leaving Ash, Misty and Brock behind in a cloud of dust. Ash thought he saw May and Dawn glance back at him for a second before their car went ahead.

“Well, there they go,” Brock whispered.

“I hope everything goes alright on their journey,” Misty said.

“I hope so too,” Ash said, as he stared at the red dot in the distance.


 

Note:- Hope you liked the chapter! :-)

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Note: - Hey everyone, sorry it took so long to update. I was busy with a lot of stuff. But I love this fanfic so I am definitely not going to abandon it.

Chapter Seven: - The Battle Of The Badge Resurgence


 

Dawn was sitting in a café, stirring a spoon through her coffee and looking deep in thought. On either side of her, sat May and Lillie. May was busy adding more sugar to her coffee, while Lillie was blowing air over hers to cool it down. Mallow was sitting directly opposite to Dawn; she was excitedly discussing a new recipe with Serena.  Piplup, Tsareena and Snowy were playing nearby them. The only people missing were Iris and her Axew.

Earlier that day, they all had arrived at Viridian City and Gary had immediately wanted to visit the Pokemon Centre to make sure that his Squirtle was alright. Obviously, it became necessary for someone to go with him; in fact the ideal thing was for all the girls to accompany him. But then Serena had suddenly noticed a beautiful café and nudged and shown it to the other girls, who couldn’t help but want to visit it immediately. Iris was the only one who had rolled her eyes, called them all ‘kids’, and followed Gary to make sure that he doesn’t run into any trouble at the Pokemon Centre.

“This coffee tastes heavenly. Serena, you were completely right in saying that we should come here,” Lillie said to her.

“Thanks, I just happen to have really good taste in food,” Serena replied with a light laugh.

Dawn kept her mug of coffee down, and stared at the other girls with a serious face. They all immediately looked at her with a ‘what happened?’ kind of look on their faces.

“Do you really think we did the right thing?” she asked finally, “We shouldn’t have let Gary go alone in my opinion.”

“He isn’t alone, he is with Iris,” May pointed out.

“And Pokemon Centers hardly ever change their interior designing or anything else. There is always a Nurse Joy, and a Chansey or Wigglytuff, and that sort of stuff,” Serena added.

“Yes but still,” Dawn muttered, she didn’t knew why, but she had a feeling that something was going to go disastrously wrong.

Just then, May exclaimed, “Oh look, there they come!”

All the girls immediately looked in the direction where she was pointing, and saw an over-excited Gary and a very concerned Iris hurrying towards them.

“Hey girls, you are not going to believe what I found out just now!” Gary exclaimed.

Dawn exchanged worried glances with Mallow and Lillie before asking Gary, “What did you found out Gary?”

“There is a Pokemon Gym in Viridian City! And guess what? I am going to challenge it today itself,” Gary said.

Dawn felt like she had been hit by Pikachu’s thunderbolt and Piplup’s bubblebeam at the same time. She glanced at Iris, and the other girl gave her a helpless look. Dawn felt sorry for her. She must have tried her best to change Gary’s mind, but it looked like he was going to be really stubborn about this.

Finally, May came to the rescue, “But Gary, I have heard that the Viridian City gym-leader is extremely strong, and you will need lots of highly trained, probably even evolved Pokemon to defeat him. You currently only have Squirtle with you, and he isn’t even properly trained yet.”

“This isn’t about winning or losing May. I want Squirtle to gain more experience. And what better way to gain experience than to battle with an experienced gym-leader?” Gary asked her.

May glanced at Dawn. Dawn could see the look of worry on her face, which she had seen on the faces of all other girls.

They all were worried about the same thing. What if the Viridian City gym-leader accidentally spoke something about the present or referenced to the current year in some way? They wondered whether Gary would be able to handle that.

“Uh, okay, you all check out the Viridian Gym, I’ll just make a quick trip to the washroom,” Dawn mumbled and excused herself from the group.

Once she was sure, that she was far away from Gary, she took out her phone and dialed Ash’s number. It was a good thing that Ash and all of his friends had now started keeping smartphones with them.

“Hey Dawn, is everything alright over there?” Ash’s concerned voice immediately spoke from the other end.

“Ash, where are you right now?” Dawn asked him, barely able to hide the worry in her voice.

“I, Brock and Misty are just on the outskirts of Viridian. It might still take us a couple of hours to reach the proper city. I mean, we are travelling on foot and it is a huge city,” Ash laughed, but became serious the next instant, “Dawn, is everything alright over there?” he repeated his earlier question.

“No Ash, nothing is alright!” Dawn finally exclaimed, “Gary wants to visit the Viridian Gym for a battle. Did you send any of our friends over there to inform the gym-leader of Gary’s condition?” Dawn asked him.

“No, we thought he would go for the Pewter Gym first!” Ash exclaimed, sounding shocked, “None of our friends have been able to contact the Viridian Gym-leader yet Dawn. Heck, I am not even sure whether it’s still Agatha! She had said that she was only temporary after all. Can’t you all change his mind please?”

“We tried Ash, but he just doesn’t listen. He is just like you at times. Way too stubborn,” Dawn said to him.

“I am coming there immediately,” was all that Ash said before he abruptly ended the call. That made Dawn feel worse. Was Ash mad at her and the other girls? Were they not doing their task properly?

She returned back in front of the café, only to find that everyone else except Serena was gone. And Serena looked like she had been secretly crying.

“We tried stopping Gary a lot. But he just didn’t listen and they all had to go to the Viridian gym!” she exclaimed, and further said, “This is all my fault. I made you all come to the café. How was poor Iris going to handle everything alone at the Pokemon Center? If we all had been there, we could have even stopped Gary from finding out that there is a Gym in this city in the first place!”

“Hey,” Dawn said, walking over to her and gently squeezing her hand, “How were you supposed to know that such a problem would arise? Now stop blaming yourself and let’s get going to the Viridian Gym. The others would need our help over there!” she said with a smile, trying to encourage Serena.

Serena slowly smiled in return. Together, the girls made their way towards the Viridan city gym. They were immediately stopped by two guards at the entrance. One of them said,

“A challenger has already gone inside. The two of you will have to wait for your turn.”

“Oh, we aren’t challengers. We are Gary Oak’s cheerleaders,” Dawn told the guards in as much of a cheerful tone she could manage right now.

“He did said that two more cheerleaders were going to arrive at the gym. What are your names?” the guard asked a little suspiciously.

“Serena and Dawn,” Serena told him.

“Hmm, that does match with the names he had told us. Alright, you can go inside,” the guard said finally.

The moment they were let inside, Dawn exclaimed, “Gee, why is there so much security in this Gym!”

“Maybe the Gymleader is an important person?” Serena suggested.

“Ash had mentioned that when he had battled here the Gymleader had been Agatha. She is one of the Kanto Elite Four, so she is pretty important. But he also said that she was just temporarily filling in the Gymleader’s place,” Dawn told Serena.

“Which raises the question that who is the current Gymleader of Viridian City?” Serena wondered aloud.

“Hey Dawn! Serena! Over here!” Gary was waving at them excitedly, and beckoning them to join him and the other girls.

“I thought your battle might have already begun,” Serena said to Gary.

“No, they told me that it would take a few minutes for the Gymleader to get ready and come here, so me and the other girls have been waiting,” he told them.

Dawn silently wondered whether Ash, Misty and Brock would be able to reach here before Gary’s battle starts.

But just then, the referee announced, “The Gymleader is ready. And will be coming to battle the challenger in just five minutes now.”

“Oh well, I hope the Gym-leader is at least a nice person,” Dawn heard Serena mutter from besides her.


 

He wasn’t one for much of emotions or sentiments, but still returning to this Gym had started giving him a non-stop feeling of nostalgia. He had so many memories associated with this place. So many projects had been started over here, although most of them had been unfortunately unsuccessful.

Although there was one project that he would never forget. Mewtwo and the clones. Oh, how badly it had blown in his face. And the police and local Officer Jenny had almost realized his true identity back then, because of which he had to abandon his precious Gym.

It had been a rather draining task, getting his position of Gymleader back, and providing fake proof that would make the nosy Officer Jenny believe that he had no ties with Team Rocket. Oh, how wrong the proof was. When in reality, he was the boss of Team Rocket.

Giovanni straightened his tie and glanced at himself once in the mirror, he sure did looked menacing. He knew it was always a good strategy to keep your opponent scared.

He turned around to pat his trusted companion on the head before leaving, when it struck him. Persian was no longer with him. Okay, technically he was kept in the basement of the Gym but he now hated Giovanni. And for all his cruelty towards Pokemon, Persian was his one weak spot. The one Pokemon he actually liked. He hated how Persian behaved with him these days!

‘Don’t think about it just now. You have got a battle to concentrate on. This is your first battle after getting back your Gymleader’s position. You don’t want to lose it’, he mentally scolded himself.

With an air of confidence and sinister calm he walked towards the battle stadium. He noticed that it was much crowded than usual. The referee was standing in his usual position already ready in his uniform. But there was a guy and six girls standing around the spot, where the challenger is supposed to stand. He wondered whether some of them were friends of the challenger, because his guards sure as hell wouldn’t allow seven challengers to enter the Gym at once.

He took his place and noticed that the guy and the girls immediately stopped chatting and turned to stare at him.

“Which one of you is the challenger?” he asked calmly.

“I am. And these are my cheerleaders,” the guy with spiky brown hair spoke confidently. Giovanni felt like giving him credit for not feeling immediately intimidated by him. Most people feared simply being in Giovanni’s presence.

“Well, then take your position challenger. And your cheerleaders can stand on one side while they cheer for you,” he replied. Even as he said this, something hovered at the edge of his memory. He vaguely remembered another over-confident guy with a similar group of cheerleaders. Oh, and how his Mewtwo had defeated him. He must say he had quite enjoyed that little scene, that boy with his ego was getting on his nerves.

He saw the girls quietly form a line along a side-wall of the Gym, although one of the girls with wild purple hair was staring at him with shock on her face. He wondered whether she had recognized him. For that matter, he tried remembering whether he had seen her before. She did look a little familiar, now that he thought of it.

“What’s your name Challenger?” he asked the boy.

“I am Gary Oak. Professor Oak’s grandson,” the boy answered proudly.

It felt as though time was working in reverse for Giovanni. Hadn’t this exact same boy challenged him when the Mewtwo incident had happened? Yes, now that he thought of it, it was Professor Oak’s grandson alright. Unless, that old man had multiple grandsons which was also a possibility.

He wondered if Gary Oak had visited his Gym in the past, how come he hadn’t recognized him yet? Also, hadn’t he read in some famous newspaper that Gary Oak was now a researcher? A lot of articles about his research used to get published fairly often.

Giovanni decided to just ignore all this confusion and concentrate on the battle.

“Alright, how many badges do you have?” he asked further.

“Actually this is my first Gym,” the boy answered a little sheepishly.

Giovanni felt terribly insulted. Did this idiot of a boy really felt like he could beat the Viridian Gym on his first attempt without any prior experience with Gym battles?

But then something even more odd struck to him. He remembered the Gary Oak from past proudly telling him that he had ten badges. And he remembered it being mentioned in one of Gary’s research articles that he had participated in the Johto league too. So how on earth could this be his first Gym?

“And how many Pokemon do you have?” he asked Gary.

“Only my starter,” Gary answered, sounding embarrassed.

Okay, now he knew the boy was lying. He had seen with his own eyes that he had a Nidoking and an Arcanine at least. Why was he behaving like some idiot who had just started his journey?

“Do you take me for a fool Gary Oak?” he whispered in a low, dangerous voice, “Do you think I cannot tell what you are up to over here? I remember you clearly. And it is very obvious that you are working as an undercover agent for Officer Jenny,” he accused him.

“What? No! I am just here to get my first badge! Gary exclaimed, sounding shocked and confused at the same time.

“That, is the biggest lie I have heard of the year-“ Giovanni began, but the brown-haired girl who was wearing a bandanna hastily interrupted him,

“1999. The Gymleader seems to think it’s the biggest lie of the year 1999. Haha, isn’t that funny!,” she laughed.

He stared at her as though she had gone crazy. Why had she interrupted him and said that it is the year 1999? That was seven years ago!

“May, please, you are embarrassing me. We all know it is the year 1999. No need to unnecessarily stress it,” Gary scolded her.

And then it struck Giovanni. Gary Oak had most likely lost some of his memories. He seemed to be thinking that this was the year 1999.

Giovanni closed his eyes. Almost despite himself, he was reminded of his own Persian, who had also lost his memories. For the first time Giovanni felt a bit of pity for Oak’s grandson. Maybe he wouldn’t have felt anything if this situation had occurred a few weeks ago, but now because of Persian’s problem, everything had changed.

“Okay, let’s battle,” he said.

“Yes!” Gary exclaimed happily and shouted, “Squirtle, I choose you!”

Giovanni stared at that tiny-turtle like Pokemon. It did had a type-advantage against his ground-type Pokemon, but it looked barely trained. Defeating it would be a piece of cake, but at least Gary Oak would feel like he got to have a gym battle.

“Go Kingler,” he said calmly.

He watched as Gary took out his Pokedex and read information about Kingler from it. That just further supported his theory that the kid had lost his memories.

“Okay Squirtle, use water-gun!” he ordered his Pokemon.

Squirtle used one of the weakest water-gun attacks ever. Giovanni didn’t even bothered to ask Kingler to dodge or somehow defend himself. He was, frankly speaking, a little amused by the current battle.

“Kingler, use mud-shots,” he said lazily.

Kingler’s mud-shots were strong enough to knock out Squirtle in one hit, despite the type-disadvantage of the attack. Squirtle was clearly in need of lots more training.

Gary watched with shock as his Pokemon fainted.

“Squirtle cannot battle any further. Kingler has won the match!” the referee announced.

“Do some more training with your Pokemon, and then visit my Gym again,” Giovanni spoke in a fake-kind tone. If he had to remain the Gym leader of Viridian City, then he guessed, he would have to be a little kind towards his challengers.

“Losing in Viridian Gym, that’s, that’s, reminding me of something,” Gary spoke slowly. He started staring around the Gym desperately, as though the walls themselves would give him a clue of what it was that he had forgotten.

“Gary, come on, let’s go. We’ll come again, next time,” a green-haired girl said to him.

“A Pokemon. A super-strong Pokemon. It had beaten me,” he was mumbling in a low tone.

 Giovanni felt alarmed. If this boy remembered the past events and ran babbling about them to Officer Jenny, then his Gym leader position could once again come in jeopardy.

“What Pokemon Gary?” a blond girl, wearing a white hat asked him.

But apparently that was the wrong question to ask. Because the moment Gary tried to remember the past and put more stress on his brain, he fainted on the spot.

“Oh dear,” Giovanni said with fake-concern, “Your friend looks like he is ill.”

“Shut up you!” the purple-haired girl screamed, looking like she could take it no more, “I know who you are! You had captured me and my friends in Unova Giovanni! Have you forgotten about the Meloetta incident? You are the boss of Team Rocket, and I know it!”

The other girls gasped upon hearing this.

Giovanni gave her a cold glare and said, “If you even think of telling this to Officer Jenny or anyone else, I’ll make sure that you are dead the next second. Now, as for your friend here, there is a local hospital close to the Gym, you can take him there.”

“If you are the boss of Team Rocket why are you being so nice?” the blue haired girl from the group asked.

“I have my reasons,” Giovanni  answered mysteriously, before leaving the battle-stadium and heading upstairs towards his room.


 

Ash Ketchum was hurrying on the roads of Viridian City. He, Pikachu, Misty and Brock had just crossed the entrance of the city five minutes ago and were now on their way, heading towards the Viridian Gym. That’s when Ash’s phone began to ring loudly.

“It’s from Iris,” he told Misty and Brock, before receiving the call, “Hey Iris, what’s going on at the Gym?” he asked her.

“Ash, actually, Gary remembered something at the Gym and fainted. We have brought him to the Viridian Hospital,” Iris informed him.

“What?!” Ash exclaimed. He was shocked to hear that. This was exactly what he had feared.

“How is Gary now? Is he alright?” he asked immediately.

“The doctor says he’ll regain consciousness in about an hour. Till then, we’ll just have to wait,” she told him.

“What? But- did you informed Professor Oak?” he asked again.

“Yes, but he and Tracey are neck deep in finding out something important about PokeFood. That’s why they can’t come right now,” Iris told him.

Ash felt like yelling in frustration. Just what about PokeFood could be more important than Gary? How could Professor Oak and Tracey do this?

“Ash, there is something else that I need to tell you. Do you remember Giovanni, the boss of Team Rocket?” Iris asked him cautiously.

“Yeah, what about him?” Ash asked a little warily. The last thing he wanted to discuss right now was Team Rocket.

“He has been made the new Gym Leader of Viridian City Gym,” Iris told him in a very serious tone.

“What?!” Ash exclaimed again, “Did you all faced him? Did he hurt any of you? If he even thinks of hurting Gary I swear I will-“

“Relax Ash, he did nothing to us. But I just thought you should know about this. Anyways, do hurry up and come to the hospital as fast as you can,” Iris said and ended the call.

Ash looked up and found Brock and Misty staring at him with a ‘What Happened?’ look on their faces.

“Gary fainted at the Gym. He remembered something,” he told Brock and Misty, “Oh, and Giovanni, the boss of Team Rocket, is the Gym Leader of Viridian City Gym.”

“Do you think it’s possible that he might have purposely reminded Gary of something? I mean, this is Team Rocket we are talking about,” Misty wondered aloud.

“No idea. But we need to visit the Viridian Hospital now. That’s where Gary and the girls are. We can inform the Officer Jenny of Viridian City about Giovanni later. Trust me I am itching to do that,” Ash said, and hurried in the direction of the Viridian Hospital. Pikachu, Misty and Brock followed him.

Mallow and Tsareena were waiting for them at the entrance of the hospital. They smiled in relief the moment they spotted the three of them.

“It’s good to see you three, and PIkachu too,” she said, “Come, Gary is on the fourth floor.”

They had to first take visitor’s pass for Ash, Misty and Brock and then they were allowed entry on the fourth floor of the Hospital. Ash hated hospitals. Especially the smell of hospitals. It brought back bad memories to him. Although now was not the time to dwell on them.

“Ah, there’s the doctor,” Brock said. Ash followed his gaze and sure enough, the doctor was having a serious discussion with Iris, Dawn, May and Lillie.

“I’ll go and see what they are talking about,” Brock said and walked off in their direction.

“Oh Ash!” someone shouted loudly and literally fell into his arms, giving him a big hug. It was Serena, and she was sobbing inconsolably. Misty frowned at the sight, but didn’t said anything.

“Hey, it’s okay. I am here now,” Ash said to her in a soothing tone.

“We all were so worried about Gary. And it was all my fault! I shouldn’t have mentioned about that café at all,” she mumbled.

Ash had no idea what café she was talking about but he gently patted her head, hoping that would calm her down. Once, her sobs had calmed a little bit, he gently asked her,

“Hey Serena, where’s Gary?”

“Oh, he is in room 404. A nurse is looking after him. They said that they would only allow us to visit him once he wakes up,” she told Ash.

“How much time will it take for him to wake up?” Misty asked.

“Just half an hour more,” Brock answered, walking back towards them, “I just now talked to the doctor and he says Gary’s condition is improving rapidly. He just received a huge mental shock at the Gym.”

“He sure did,” Serena said, “He remembered that some super-strong Pokemon had beaten him at the Gym last time.”

Ash sighed. Of course, Gary had remembered about his confrontation with Mewtwo. He silently exchanged glances with Misty and Brock, but none of them said anything.


 

May gingerly opened the door to Gary’s room and carefully stepped inside. She saw him sleeping peacefully on the bed. The nurse attending to him was standing at a side, she gave May a small smile as she entered the room.

She slowly pulled a chair and sat beside Gary. They were planning on doing shifts with him. Although she personally felt that Ash should be the first person to visit him, no one had any idea how Gary would react upon seeing Ash. So they decided that one of his ‘cheerleaders’ should stay with him.

She was just wondering what to do next, when she saw a tiny moment from the corner of her eye. May turned her head and realized that Gary had woken up. Probably, she had made at least some noise while pulling the chair.

“Sorry, didn’t meant to wake you up,” she said to him apologetically.

“No, it’s okay. In fact, it’s a good thing that I am such a light-sleeper. If we are ever camping in a forest at nighttime, and any wild Pokemon shows up, I’ll wake up immediately,” Gary told her proudly.

“You are always thinking about this journey Gary. I think you need to slow down a little,” May advised to him.

“Huh, what do you mean?” Gary asked her.

“I mean, do you really want to become a Pokemon trainer? Have you ever seriously considered what career you want to do? I think you should think about it,” May suggested to him. She was secretly hoping that if Gary decided to become a Pokemon researcher much earlier, it would be much better for his health.

He could simply work with his grandfather in their lab in that case. No need to go on a stupid journey where there are chances of him finding out the truth on every turn.

But Gary sounded quite adamant when he said, “I am sure of it May! I want to become a successful Pokemon trainer and nothing else!”

May sighed. Well, at least she had tried.

Just then, the door to Gary’s room burst open and in stepped Ash Ketchum. May was startled upon seeing him. Hadn’t they all decided that Ash should stay away from Gary for the time being?

“Sorry, but I just really needed to see him. I was too worried about him and couldn’t just wait outside, plus they told me that two visitors are allowed at a time,” Ash told the nurse sitting in the corner, but May knew he was actually giving an explanation to her. Not that it was needed, but it helped to clear some of her confusion.

“You don’t need to be worried about me Ashy-boy. See, I am alright? I am not a weakling like a certain loser I know,” Gary taunted him.

May honestly couldn’t believe it. Gary had been talking so nicely just a few moments ago, and now here he was, behaving so rudely with Ash. She wondered whatever was the reason behind it.

May saw the way Ash stared at Gary longingly. He looked like he was about to burst into tears or something.

“I miss you,” was all that Ash said before quietly leaving the room.

May pondered in silence as everything that Ash had done so far for Gary came back to her. She wondered whether the reason for that was something more than friendship.

“Why are you so rude to him?” she asked Gary quietly.

“Leave it, you won’t understand. It’s complicated,” Gary muttered and turned to look away.

Just then, Dawn came into the room. May was surprised to see that she had an excited and happy look on her face, considering the current circumstances.

“What’s up Dawn?” she asked her.

“May you won’t believe it!” the blue-haired girl literally screamed, which earned her a glare from the nurse, “There is going to be a Pokemon Contest in Viridian City next week! We can both participate in it!”

“Pokemon Contest?” May asked, sounding surprised. But then she remembered it. Of course, there were Pokemon Contests in Kanto. She had participated in them after all. How could that slip her mind?

“Yes, we can participate in it and – oh, Gary, I didn’t realized you were awake?” Dawn said, looking shocked.

“Yes, I was listening. Are you two Pokemon Coordinators?” he asked curiously.

“Uh, we are basically cheerleaders, but it has always been our dream to participate in a Pokemon Contest. That’s why Dawn was so excited,” May hastily tried to cover up the topic.

“So, why don’t you participate this time? I am cool with my cheerleaders having their own goals too, you know,” Gary said with a smile.

“But we need to work on our cheerleading more. We were a complete disaster today in the Viridian Gym,” May tried to argue.

You all weren’t the disaster. I was the one who was the disaster. I need to work on my training more. You can participate in the Contest in the meantime,” Gary said.

“He is right May! I had always wanted to do the Contests in Kanto! And we can do them together this time. Please say yes,” Dawn said with pleading puppy eyes.

“Oh, okay, alright,” May said and smiled at her. She really couldn’t see any reason to say no anymore.

“And I can watch your Contests too! I had always wanted to watch a Contest since I was a kid,” Gary told May and Dawn.

May stared at him in shock. She hadn’t seen this one coming.

“You- you want to watch the Contest? But you’ll be in the Hospital,” she pointed out hastily.

“The Contest is in next week, right? And the doctors said that they are going to discharge me in just three days time. So don’t worry, I’ll be there,” Gary said and smiled at her and Dawn widely.

May looked at Dawn and saw her own shock reflected back in her face. They had totally forgotten about this point.

Also, the Contests usually had the current date flashing right next to the scoreboard. There was also the chance of the Contest Announcer speaking something related to current events or dates that might confuse Gary.

May realized at once that Gary watching a Pokemon Contest was not a good idea. But she couldn’t think of any way to stop him. She wondered whether Ash would have any idea.


 

Note: - Okay, so the title of this chapter is really silly. But it’s still better than some other terrible title ideas I had. I suck at chapter titles I guess.

Also, I really enjoyed writing from different points of views in this chapter. Usually I only write from Ash or Gary’s p.o.v. But I loved writing from Dawn, May and also Giovanni’s perspectives in this chapter.

And also, since the main villains in this story are a bunch of OCs, Team Rocket is going to be kinda nicer. They might even help Ash and others later on.

And about the timeline, I sort of headcanon that the Kanto series took place sometime in the late nineties (1999 in this fic), and it took one year each for Ash to complete his journey across the remaining regions, plus a few months each for OI and Battle Frontier. So I roughly decided that seven years would be approximately enough time, for the events upto Alola to happen. 

Hope you all enjoyed reading this! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Note:- Hey everyone, sorry for taking so long to update this! But I hope you all enjoy this! :)

Chapter 8:- An Old Newspaper


 

Ash was sitting on a bench just outside the Viridian Hospital and was shaking with uncontrolled sobs. He couldn’t stop himself from crying as he wondered how things had gotten so bad. He knew he shouldn’t let Gary’s words affect him so badly, and yet here he was.

Ash still couldn’t believe that this was real. That Gary had actually forgotten so many things from his life. His Pokemon, his journey as a trainer, his achievements as a researcher, and his relationship with Ash. And now he was back to being rude to Ash.

Ash closed his eyes and sighed. He remembered how close he and Gary had been as little kids. They had literally been inseparable best buddies. He wondered where exactly things had gone sore between him and Gary. Why had Gary started being rude towards him all of a sudden?

Ash had never been able to find out the reason behind Gary’s sudden change in personality. They had managed to patch-up and become friends without ever actually discussing that topic. It was only now that Ash was realizing what a huge mistake it was. Back then he had never had the courage to bring that topic up in front of Gary, even when he had become nice. Partly because he was worried that Gary would start behaving rudely again, and partly because he didn’t wanted to embarrass Gary or make him feel guilty by reminding him about his past behavior.

But now he felt like he should have asked something. Tried to find out how Gary really felt. It would have helped him deal with the current Gary at any rate.

Ash remembered, that on the day when he had confessed his feelings to Gary, he was about to tell Ash the reason behind his rude behavior. He really felt like he shouldn’t have stopped Gary from telling that to him.

Just as Ash was thinking about all of this, he heard someone shouting his name from a distance. He turned and saw May and Dawn approaching him, both of them had identical worried looks on their faces. Piplup was sitting on Dawn's shoulder, looking just as gloomy as his trainer. 

Ash hastily wiped away the tears from his eyes, plastered a huge smile on his face, and asked, “What happened?” as soon as they had walked close enough.

“Well, uh, I hope you don’t get angry, but, there’s something we really need to tell you,” Dawn told him, looking nervous.

“What is it? It’s about Gary, isn’t it?” Ash asked, immediately feeling worried.

“Actually, yes. The thing is that, he overheard me and Dawn talking about contests,” May explained to him, “And now he knows that we want to participate in the Pokemon Contest taking place in Viridian City next week. And he wants to see it. And you know that there is a chance of him finding out the current date and year if he came to see the contest. It is just too risky. We must do something, sorry Ash.”

Ash bit his lip. He knew Gary was going to be discharged from the hospital in just three days. So he could definitely make it to the Pokemon Contest taking place next week. He had to find a way of stopping Gary from going there as soon as possible.

Ash thought about it for some time. But no matter how hard he thought, he couldn’t come up with a solution. He was too distracted right now; all the memories of his and Gary’s past had made him both nostalgic and uneasy at the same time.

“I can’t come up with anything right now. Sorry both of you. But don’t worry, I’ll try to come up with some solution soon,” Ash promised them in what he hoped sounded like his usual cheerful tone.

Just when he was about to go back to the hospital, Dawn grabbed his arm and said, “Ash, you aren’t mad at us, are you? Do you feel like we are not looking after your friend properly?”

“Yeah, two days with us and he is already in the hospital and now there is this Pokemon Contest problem,” May mumbled looking ashamed.

“What? No way, I am not mad at you at all! I know you are trying your best!” Ash hastily reassured them.

“Our best is clearly not enough,” May said looking like she was going to cry any moment.

“Hey,” Ash said, putting a hand on her shoulder, “That’s obviously not true. I can’t think of anyone else who I would have trusted to look after Gary. And don’t worry, we’ll find a solution for this problem!”

She gave Ash a teary smile in return.

Ash, suddenly remembering that he was supposed to inform Professor Oak and his mother about Gary’s health updates, said to May and Dawn, “I need to go now. I have to tell Professor Oak and mom how Gary is recovering."


 

May watched Ash walk in the direction of the Viridian Pokemon Center. She let out a sigh.

“We have failed him,” she muttered.

“Not you May. I was the one who came shouting about the Contest in Gary’s room. I should’ve been more careful,” Dawn said.

“I am feeling terrible right now,” May admitted.

She was surprised to see a sudden smirk pass across Dawn’s face.

“Well, I know something, or rather, someone who would cheer you up. And he is standing right behind you,” Dawn told her with a mischievous grin.

May turned around immediately and did a double-take as she saw that standing behind her was none other than her boyfriend, Drew.

“Drew!” she exclaimed with surprise, “When did you came here?”

“About five minutes ago Beautifly,” he answered with a smile, “I was the one who was supposed to talk to the Viridian Gym leader about Gary’s condition. But you all reached here before me. I thought you would go to Pewter first.”

“Gary found out that there’s a Gym here. And the rest is history,” May told him.

“How is he now” Drew asked her and Dawn.

“Much better. They are going to discharge him in a few days,” Dawn told him.

“Good,” Drew said, “I think I should go and visit him too.”

“Um, you can’t Drew. He doesn’t know you, remember?” Dawn reminded him.

“If I just introduce myself as May’s boyfriend he’ll obviously understand,” Drew said.

“That could work,” May said, after thinking for a while.

“Be very careful in front of him though,” Dawn warned him.

“I’ll remember that,” Drew assured her.

The three of them made their way back towards Gary’s room on the fourth floor of the Viridian hospital. May saw Iris walk out of Gary’s room; she beamed when she saw the three of them.

“Oh, it’s nice to see you Drew,” she said, “And it’s good that you three came here just now. Because the nurse left just a few minutes ago and I badly wanted to get some coffee. Can you three stay with Gary till then?”

“Sure, no problem Iris!” Dawn said to her.

“It’s nice to see you too Iris,” Drew said.

Iris went to get coffee and May, Dawn and Drew entered Gary’s room. The green-eyed brunette was sitting wide-awake reading a newspaper with great interest.

May at once gasped and ran towards his bed. She snatched the newspaper with such a force that it literally got torn in two pieces.

“Where did you found this? How much did you read? Are you alright?” she bombarded Gary with as many questions as she could think of. Her hands were literally shaking with panic right now.

“May, please calm down! I should be the one asking you whether you are alright. I mean seriously, you just snatched the paper from my hand and tore it! What’s wrong with you?” Gary shouted angrily.

“Hey, relax, nothing’s wrong with her. She is just too excited about the Pokemon Contest. And wanted to check whether anything about it is printed in today’s newspaper,” Dawn told Gary.

Gary gave May one very weird look, then turned towards Dawn with a confused expression on his face and said, “Actually, that’s what I was checking too. But nope, there is nothing about the Pokemon Contest mentioned in today’s newspaper. Only interesting articles were an interview of the Viridian Gym Leader and something about how the Cerulean City Gym leaders are really easy to beat. They are someone named Lily, Violet and Daisy. I guess, that’s one gym where I won’t lose.”

May realized that she had found Gary’s statement odd for some reason, and then it struck her. The current Cerulean gym leader was Misty, and she was anything but easy to beat.

May quickly checked the date of the newspaper. It was published in year 1999. She heaved a sigh of relief. They were somehow saved again. But by who and how was the question.

Just then Drew asked, “Wait, did I heard right? Were you guys talking about a Pokemon Contest?”

“Who are you?” Gary asked him. He seemed to have noticed Drew for the first time since they all entered the room.

“I am Drew, May’s boyfriend. It’s nice to finally meet you Gary,” Drew said politely. May almost felt like rolling her eyes at that moment. Drew totally knew when to use his manners to charm strangers.

“I am Gary Oak. I’ll soon become the world’s greatest Pokemon trainer! It’s nice to meet you too,” Gary said to him.

“So, what’s this about a Pokemon Contest?” Drew asked again, sounding both curious and interested. May knew why that was, Drew was a coordinator just like her and Dawn.

“There is going to be a Pokemon Contest in Viridian next week. Both of us are participating,” Dawn told Drew.

“Oh,” Drew said as a look of realization settled on his face, “So, you told Gary that you are coordinators along with being cheerleaders as well?”

“Yeah, they told me. And I am going to watch the contest next week. We’ll leave this city only after that,” Gary told Drew.

May met Drew’s eyes. He looked confused and perplexed. She knew what exactly he must be thinking about.

“Uh, listen Gary; I’ll just be back in a few minutes. I need to show Drew around this place,” May said to him and then hurried outside the room, dragging Drew with her.

Although before she closed the door behind her, she heard a very confused Gary ask Dawn, “Is she going to show this hospital to Drew?”

Once outside Drew smirked at May and said, “Seriously May, you need to improve your skill of telling lies. Otherwise one of these days Gary is seriously going to start finding you weird.”

“I think he found my today’s behavior weird alright,” May mumbled, and then said, “But listen Drew; I pulled you out of the room because I need to tell you something that Gary absolutely must not hear. He shouldn’t have found out about the Pokemon Contest in the first place! That was an accident. And we need to stop him from watching our Contest. Do you have any ideas?”

Drew bit his lip and started thinking. May thought he looked really cute when he bit his lip like that.

‘Stop it May! This isn’t the time to think about your cute, rose-throwing boyfriend’, she reminded herself with a mental slap.

Just then she saw that Iris had returned back with a cup of coffee in her hands, and Axew happily waddling behind her.  Upon seeing her, May remembered something she needed to ask her.

“Hey Iris, do you know how the newspaper published in year 1999 ended up in Gary’s room?” May asked her.

“Oh that, well, actually I don’t,” Iris told her looking slightly embarrassed.

“Huh, what do you mean?” May asked, feeling confused.

“I mean, when I had entered Gary’s room he was sleeping and the newspaper was lying on a nearby table. I saw the date and thought maybe one of our friends managed to get an old newspaper or something. I thought it would help Gary so I let him read it when he woke up,” she explained.

“But which friend of ours could have managed to get such an old newspaper?” May wondered.

“I don’t know,” Iris shrugged, “I should go and check on Gary.”

As Iris went inside the room, May glanced at Drew and noticed that he was still trying to come up with some solution. May felt like she couldn’t decide which problem was of greater importance right now. Gary wanting to watch the Pokemon Contest or that someone had anonymously helped them.


 

Ash let out a sigh. He had just informed his mother and Professor Oak that Gary was going to be okay. He was feeling a lot better now. Pikachu, Misty and Brock were at the Pokemon Center too which was probably helping to ease his worries.

Although he was still worried for Professor Oak and Tracey. They were still going after Poke Food, trying to find more clues about them. Ash thought it was extremely dangerous of the two of them to do this just on their own without anybody’s help.

“Hey Ash, what’s wrong?” Misty asked him.

“Yeah, you have been looking really worried ever since you entered the Pokemon Center,” Brock said to him.

“I talked to Professor Oak just now. He and Tracey are still going after Poke Food. It is too dangerous, I feel worried about them,” Ash told his friends.

“They can take care of themselves Ash. They are both mature and responsible people,” Brock told him.

“And don't forget, Professor Oak has a Dragonite,” Misty reminded him.

“I don’t know how much help that would be,” Ash muttered, “But I do hope they manage to take care of themselves.”

“Don’t worry, they will,” Misty assured him.

“Is anything else bothering you as well?” Brock asked him.

Ash had to smile at that. His friends just knew him too well. Of course something else was bothering him too. A rather big issue. He told Brock and Misty about Gary and the Pokemon Contest problem.

“Ah, now that is a rather difficult problem,” Brock commented.

“That’s what I had been thinking too. There’s literally no way to stop Gary from watching the Contest,” Ash said.

“Yes there is,” Misty said suddenly,” What is the one thing that would interest Gary even more than a Contest? A Pokemon battle!”

Ash stared at her for a few seconds until it hit him, “Are you saying I should challenge him to a Pokemon battle on the day of the Contest?”

“Yes,” Misty replied.

“That would certainly help in diverting his attention,” Brock said.

“Gary always used to refuse to battle with me, back when we were travelling through Kanto for the first time. Remember how our first battle had happened much later? What if he refuses this time too?” Ash asked his friends.

“That won’t happen, I’ve an idea,” Misty said and whispered something to both Ash and Brock. The three of them burst out laughing for a few minutes, until Ash became serious again.

“I should go to the hospital again to check on Gary and the girls,” Ash said and turned to leave.

He was halfway in the direction of the hospital when it occurred to him that he had left Pikachu with Brock and Misty yet again. If he ran into any danger he wouldn’t have his trusted partner with him. Ash searched at his belt and felt relieved when he realized he at least still had Umbreon’s Pokeball with him.

But this was the third time he had left Pikachu behind. He was slowly becoming more and more distant ever since Gary got hurt. Ash knew he was not being his usual self. But he really didn’t care right now. The circumstances and situation wasn’t being its usual self either. He just wanted Gary to get well as soon as possible.

Ash was so lost in his thoughts he didn’t even realized when he’d reached neat the hospital. But just then a jet black car passed him and halted right in front of the hospital. Ash watched as a man who looked somewhat familiar got out of the car and started walking in the direction of the hospital.

It took a few seconds for Ash to recognize him. But when he did, he gasped in shock. It was Giovanni, the boss of Team Rocket.


 

Note:- I know some parts of the story are a little confusing right now, so if you have any questions feel free to ask! :)

Chapter Text

Note:- Hey everyone, back with a new chapter! Hope you like it! :)

Ash's Secret


Ash ran as fast as his legs could carry him but just when he had reached close enough to Giovanni, two guards came in his way and stopped him.

“Stop right there kid,” one of the guards said in a stern tone.

“Get out of my way!” Ash shouted.

Giovanni turned to stare at him. A look of recognition flashed in his eyes for a second, before it was replaced with a cruel smirk, as he said to Ash, “I am not accepting any challengers right now. You will have to wait for your gym battle.”

“I am not a challenger! And I am not here to battle you!” Ash exclaimed. He was pretty sure this was the first time he had said something like that to a gym leader.

“Well then why are you wasting my time?” Giovanni asked him.

“I want to know what you are doing over here?” Ash asked him angrily.

Giovanni raised his eyebrows, looking both surprised and offended, but nevertheless answered, “I am here to visit someone. I think that should have been obvious enough.”

He didn’t wait for Ash to say anything in response to that. He and his guards started walking towards the hospital and were inside and out of Ash’s sight as fast as possible.

Ash clenched his fists angrily. He knew, he just knew why Giovanni was here. He had a very good idea who he might be visiting. Without waiting any further, Ash ran inside.

“Serena!” he exclaimed when he saw her standing outside Gary’s room the moment he reached there.

“Oh, hi Ash, actually we are taking turns on staying with Gary. Mallow was supposed to be the next but I don’t know what’s taking her so long,” Serena told him.

“Listen Serena, nobody came to visit Gary just now, did they? Like, the Viridian City Gym Leader maybe?” Ash asked her.

“What? No, nobody came to visit him. Why are you asking about that?” Serena inquired in a confused tone.

But just then someone spoke from behind them in a cold voice, “Hello kids, can I talk to your friend Gary Oak?”

Both Ash and Serena turned to stare at the person at the same time. Ash’s guess was right. Giovanni had come to the hospital to visit Gary. He didn’t knew what Giovanni wanted to talk to him about, but he had a feeling it had something to do with the Mewtwo incident.

“No,” Ash said loudly, “We don’t let strangers visit him.”

“But I am not a stranger. He knows me as the Gym Leader of this city. And I feel concerned if one of my challengers suddenly faints in my gym. I want to make sure he is alright and recovering,” Giovanni spoke.

“He is going to get well soon. You don’t need to worry about him,” Ash told him rudely.

“Listen here boy;” Giovanni said angrily, “I know your secret. I know that your friend has lost his memories. Either you willingly let me talk to him, and I’ll only ask him a few questions and won’t tell him anything. Or I’ll forcefully visit him, and in that case I will tell him that he has lost his memories. Which option do you prefer?”

Ash stared at him in shock for a few seconds. He realized they didn’t have any other option.

“Fine, you can visit him,” Ash said at last, “But don’t you dare tell him anything,” he added in a threatening tone.

Giovanni merely smirked and walked inside.

Serena gave Ash a very worried glance and said, “I have a bad feeling about this Ash.”


 

Gary was sitting in his bed, reading a book on Pokemon battles. He was still feeling upset about losing his first gym match, and wanted to improve as fast as possible. Especially before Ash gets his first badge, he thought to himself.

Just then, the door to his room opened, and in stepped the Viridian City Gym Leader, wearing a bright orange suit, and looking menacing as ever.

Gary blinked. He had no idea what the gym leader was doing over here.

“Hello Gary, how are you feeling now?” he asked not unkindly.

“Much better, thanks for visiting me,” Gary answered politely. He wondered whether the gym leader had decided to visit him in person just because he was Professor Oak’s grandson. He was used to receiving importance from people oftentimes just because he was the grandson of Professor Oak.

“So, what had happened to you Gary? Why did you faint that day?” Giovanni asked him.

“The doctors told me that I over-exhausted myself,” Gary told him. He had himself found it a little hard to believe, because he had been comfortably travelling in his car all morning and even rested in the Pokemon Center before visiting the gym. There was no reason for him to feel exhausted.

“I see,” he said, and then looking like he was making up his mind about something, he asked, “So, what did you think about my battling style? Have you had any similar battles in the past?”

“No, I have only recently started my journey. But I think your battling style is great!” Gary answered.

“Thank you,” Giovanni said with a strange smile on his face, before asking him yet another question, “How many Pokemon have you come across yet? Have you seen any incredibly powerful Pokemon?”

“Nope, I only saw the usual Pidgey and Rattata on my way over here. Nothing powerful,” Gary replied.

“Okay, fine, take care. I’ll leave now,” he said that and left the room as swiftly as he had entered.

Gary stood staring at the door. He was a little surprised by Giovanni’s abrupt departure. But then, he started hearing some whispered noises from outside the door, as though some people were arguing.

Curious, he got up, and walked towards the door. He heard Ash’s voice very clearly from outside, “I want to know what you talked to Gary about!”

Then even more surprisingly, he heard Giovanni’s angry reply, “Don’t talk to me in that tone boy. You can directly ask your friend what we were talking about.”

“I don’t trust you! You must’ve reminded him of something,” Ash said.

“I did not and I am not going to waste my time trying to prove this to you,” Giovanni said and Gary heard footsteps walking away from his door. He guessed the Viridian Gym Leader must’ve finally left.

Just as Gary was wondering whatever was going on, he heard Ash’s voice again, “We can’t let Gary find out anything. It is too dangerous.”

Gary was extremely tempted to open the door right then and ask Ash Ketchum directly to his face whatever he was hiding from him. But then he decided on an even better plan. He would find out the truth on his own, without letting anyone know. And once he finds out everything, then he’ll confront Ash about it.

Three days later


 

Gary is finally discharged from the hospital. He is in an extremely good mood today. After all, he is going to get to watch his first ever Pokemon Contest today. He had always been quite curious about those things.

May, Dawn and Drew had already left for the Contest Hall. The other girls, Iris, Mallow and Lillie had also accompanied them. Only Serena had stayed behind to accompany Gary.

Gary and Serena stepped out of the Pokemon Center, and stopped short in their tracks in surprise. A huge crowd had assembled before the building, Gary saw that most of those people were standing ready with Pokeballs in their hands and guessed that some sort of Pokemon battle must be going on.

They slowly walked through the crowd, carefully observing the trainers surrounding them. Serena asked one of the trainers with a Charmander, “What’s going on over here?”

“Oh, a really powerful trainer with his Pikachu has appeared. He is challenging all the trainers in Viridian City. Nobody is able to beat him or his Pikachu,” the girl with the Charmander answered.

“A trainer, with a Pikachu did you say?” Serena asked her with interest.

“Oh yes, they are battling right at the center, over there,” the girl pointed out. Gary saw where she was pointing and felt totally shocked.

A clearing had been created at the center of the crowd, and everyone was eagerly watching as two trainers stood facing each other, ready to battle. One of them had a Butterfree, and the other had a Pikachu. Gary recognized the trainer with Pikachu immediately, it was Ash.

“Butterfree, use sleep powder!” the other trainer commanded his Pokemon.

“Dodge it and use thunderbolt Pikachu!” Ash shouted.

Gary saw as Ash’s Pikachu effortlessly dodged Butterfree’s sleep powder, as though he had been training for years, and then used an extremely powerful thunderbolt attack on its opponent. The Butterfree was knocked out with just one hit.

“Butterfree cannot battle anymore. Pikachu won!” Ash’s friend announced.

“They are so strong!” the girl with Charmander whispered in admiration.

“Not for long,” Gary muttered and decided then and there that he was going to challenge Ash to a battle.

“Hey, Ashy boy!” he shouted, walking in Ash’s direction, with a confident posture and a smirk on his face, “Stop with this show-off, and battle a real trainer!”

“Huh, Gary?” Ash looked like he had only just now noticed him, which worked wonders to increase Gary’s annoyance.

“I said I want to battle you!” Gary repeated himself.

“Sorry, but you’ll have to wait in line. All these other people came before you, you see,” Ash explained to him.

Gary got angrier. Was he seriously asking him to wait?

“We have been waiting for a long time! If you want to battle him, you should wait in the line too,” a trainer with a Geodude said angrily to Gary.

Gary looked at Ash. He gave him an apologetic smile. Gary had absolutely no idea why so many people were so desperate to battle a newbie trainer like Ash, but the way his Pikachu had defeated that Butterfree had sparked Gary’s interest. Now he was interested in battling Ash too.

“Fine, I’ll wait in line,” he said.

“But Gary, what about the Pokemon Contest? It could start at any minute,” Serena reminded him.

“This is more important,” Gary told her.

Gary waited in line and watched as the crowd grew thinner and thinner. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing before himself. Ash was defeating every single trainer who challenged him. He either used his Pikachu or Umbreon, and they were so well-trained that they managed to beat their opponents with just a couple of hits at most. Gary had no idea when Ash had caught an Umbreon, or evolved an Eevee for that matter. He was simply dumbfounded by Ash’s amazing performance before him.

At long last, his turn to battle Ash came. He saw that Ash was using Pikachu against him. Gary knew he only had Squirtle right now, who would be at a type disadvantage against Pikachu. But he had no choice. He was the one who had challenged Ash. And Squirtle was his only Pokemon.

“Go Squirtle,” he said, tossing Squirtle’s Pokeball.

The tiny blue turtle-like Pokemon, jumped out of the Pokeball and stood before Pikachu, looking completely fearless. Gary smiled; at least his Squirtle wasn’t a coward.

“Begin!” Ash’s friend declared.

“Pikachu, start with quick attack!” Ash ordered his Pokemon.

“Go inside your shell Squirtle,” Gary told him. He had been watching Ash’s battles for a few hours now, and had formed a nice little strategy on how to win this match.

“When you are close enough, use thunderbolt!” Ash said to Pikachu.

But the thunderbolt didn’t do much damage to Squirtle as he was inside his protective shell at that time, the moment the electric attack stopped, Gary shouted, “Now Squirtle, use Water-Gun!”

Squirtle emerged out of his shell and his water-gun attack hit Pikachu directly at a close range.

“Pika!” the electric type Pokemon shouted.

“Pikachu, are you all right?” Ash asked him concernedly.

“Pikapi!” Pikachu answered in a cheery voice, looking ready to bounce back in the battle again.

Gary couldn’t understand this. Ash’s Pikachu couldn’t be much stronger than his Squirtle. They had started out at the same time after all. And yet Pikachu seemed to be quite unaffected by Squirtle’s attack.

“Pikachu, use iron tail!” Ash ordered him.

Gary was so taken aback upon hearing that that he didn’t had any time to suggest any countermove to Squirtle. The iron tail attack hit Squirtle rather badly.

“Now, finish this with thunderbolt!” Ash shouted.

Gary watched as Pikachu used a thunderbolt that was much too powerful for a newly started Pokemon to use. Squirtle was knocked out almost immediately.

“Squirtle cannot battle any more. Pikachu wins!” Ash’s friend announced. The crowd cheered.

Gary felt tears sting his eyes. He had no idea how Ash and his Pikachu had become so powerful. He returned Squirtle to his Pokeball and stomped away in anger.

“Gary, I am really sorry about you losing the match,” Serena came up behind him and said worriedly.

“It’s okay, I guess I am just really bad at this trainer-thing,” Gary muttered.

“That’s not true! Your strategy to ask Squirtle to go inside his shell and then use water-gun was really good!” Serena said in an encouraging tone.

“Yeah, but still-“Gary turned to look at Ash. He had stopped battling now, and was talking with his two friends.

“I think I should go and congratulate him,” Gary decided after some time and started walking towards Ash.

But just when he was within hearing distance of Ash and his friends, he heard the red-head girl scold Ash, “You really shouldn’t have used Pikachu’s iron tail attack against Gary. What if he finds out how much experienced Pikachu is?”

“Yes Ash, at this stage Pikachu shouldn’t know iron tail move. Thank goodness, you at least didn’t use a z-move,” his other friend also spoke sternly.

“Sorry guys, I was so excited about battling Gary, that I forgot that we were supposed to hide how experienced Pikachu is,” Ash said to his friends in an apologetic tone.

Gary was shocked. Pikachu was more experienced than what he was supposed to be? They were hiding something about him? He knew z-moves?

“We have to be very careful around Gary, he must not find out anything,” the red-head said to Ash.

“Don’t worry Misty, he won’t,” Ash assured her.

Gary couldn’t believe this. They were definitely hiding something from him. He remembered how Ash was talking to Giovanni in the hospital a few days ago. Even that had sounded fishy to Gary, and now this.

“Gary, hey Gary!” someone shouted his name from behind, pulling him out of his thoughts. He turned and saw Dawn and the other girls, as well as Drew standing behind him. May was showing her ribbon to Serena which made him assume that she had won the Contest. But then he saw a similar ribbon in Dawn’s hand too, and got extremely confused.

“Did you two tie in the Contest?” he asked Dawn.

“Yes! May and I reached the final round and our match was a tie. We both won!” Dawn told him excitedly.

“Dawn defeated me in the semi-final round,” Drew told him.

“Where were you? We thought you were going to come to watch the Contest?” Mallow asked him.

“I had a Pokemon battle with Ash,” Gary told them.

“Oh, don’t worry. I am sure you had fun too! And battling is important for you to gain more experience,” Dawn said to him. She sounded more relieved than anything.

Gary nodded. But he was already trying to come up with a plan. A plan to find out what Ash Ketchum’s secret was.


 

Chapter Text

Note:- Hey everyone, back with a new chapter! Hope you all like this! :)

Ch. 10:- Journeying Across Viridian Forest


 

Gary Oak stood very still because he knew that if he made even the slightest of moments the Weedle before him would run away. Behind him, his six cheerleaders were watching the scene unfold with curiosity. They stood just as silent as him.

“Alright, Squirtle go!” Gary shouted.

His starter came out of its Pokeball and stood before the Weedle looking ready for a battle. The Weedle looked ready to fight as well.

“Squirtle, use water-gun!” Gary told his Pokemon.

Squirtle fired an accurately aimed water-gun at the Weedle, but unfortunately the bug-type Pokemon dodged it at the last moment. Weedle then tried to stab Squirtle with its stinger.

“Dodge it Squirtle!” Gary yelled.

Squirtle was quick to dodge it.

“Use tackle, and then water-gun,” Gary instructed him.

Squirtle moved at a fast pace and tackled the Weedle with all its strength, immediately following it with a water-gun attack. The bug-type Pokemon fainted.

“This is my chance,” Gary said to himself, and threw a Pokeball in Weedle’s direction. He didn’t knew why, but he had a feeling of déjà-vu while throwing the Pokeball, as though he had done this type of action plenty of times in the past, even though he knew that wasn’t true.

The Pokeball caught Weedle, there were those few seconds of high anticipation during which the light on the Pokeball flickered, until it finally stopped and it became clear that Weedle had been caught.

“Yes!” Gary exclaimed, slamming a fist up in the air, “I did it! I caught my first Pokemon!”

“That was brilliant Gary!” Iris exclaimed from behind him.

“Yeah, congratulations!” May said.

“Thanks Iris and May,” Gary said. He had honestly thought that after Drew had left, May would be upset or something, but so far she was being cheerful enough. He guessed she and Drew were the type of couple who could stay in a long-distance relationship.

“You didn’t just catch your first Pokemon, this is also Squirtle’s first win,” Serena reminded him.

“Yeah, I think we should celebrate this occasion,” Lillie suggested.

“But where would we celebrate? We are in the middle of Viridian Forest right now, there is no place where we can celebrate,” Gary reminded them.

That was true. They had left Viridian City the day after the Contest, and had travelled all morning. Right now, it was afternoon, the sun was shining brightly on top of them, and they were in the middle of Viridian Forest.

Gary was really regretting travelling by a car. It made it so difficult to sight wild Pokemon. He had found this Weedle with great difficulty. Dawn was the one who had noticed it, and then Gary had decided to catch it.

“No problem, I can make some delicious food for all of us over here! That would be our little celebration,” Mallow said.

“And I can bake Macarons as dessert,” Serena added brightly.

“That sounds great!” Gary agreed.

He watched as Mallow and Serena got busy with the cooking and baking stuff, while May and Dawn started chatting about contests in a corner of their little camp.

“Let’s go and gather some wood sticks,” Lillie suggested to Gary and Iris. Both of them agreed.

As the three of them were busy searching for wood sticks, Gary suddenly saw something purple dart across the corner of his eye. He turned and stared, it was a Rattata.

“Another Pokemon, I am going to catch it!” he decided excitedly.

“Shouldn’t you first check out info about it on your Pokedex?” Iris asked him.

“That’s not necessary, I have read a lot of books before starting my journey, I know everything about a Rattata,” Gary answered confidently.

“Squirtle go!” he said and threw his Pokeball.

“Use tackle!” Gary ordered his Pokemon.

But the Rattata immediately became alert and realized he was being attacked. He responded to Squirtle’s tackle with a tackle of his own. The two Pokemon crashed into each other and fell on the ground.

“Get up Squirtle, use water-gun!” Gary shouted.

Squirtle immediately got up and used water-gun on Rattata who didn’t had any time to dodge it. The attack hit him from a close-range and he fainted on the spot.

“Pokeball, catch him!” Gary said, tossing a Pokeball in Rattata’s direction. It took a little longer time than what had taken for Weedle, but Rattata still got caught alright.

“Excellent!” Lillie exclaimed.

“You are doing great!” Iris cheered him.

“Yes thanks I-“ but Gary’s words got interrupted by a slow clapping sound coming from behind some trees. Gary froze, the clapping sounded somewhat intimidating.

Finally, the sound stopped, and a person jumped out from the shadows of the trees. The person was a boy of Gary’s age, dressed in Samurai armor, and carrying a bug-catching net and a sword.

“That was a nice display of your Squirtle’s talents. Let’s see if you can defeat me,” the boy challenged Gary.

“Who are you?” Gary asked feeling a little taken aback.

“My name is Samurai,” the boy answered.


 

Ash Ketchum stared around Viridian Forest, feeling extremely nostalgic. This place brought back so many memories. Some good, some scary. He had caught his Caterpie and Pidgeotto over here. He had also very narrowly escaped the Beedrill in this forest. And he remembered meeting a boy named Samurai as well. They had had a ridiculous battle between their Metapod.

“Ash, what are you thinking?” Misty’s voice brought him back to the present, out of his thoughts.

“Nothing, I was just thinking about the past. How quickly things change, don’t they?” Ash mused to himself.

“Not everything changes though. In fact I feel like this is just like last time, with the three of us travelling together, and Gary trying to one up you,” Misty said.

“Except that this isn’t the last time. A lot has changed. And Gary needs to remember that. I don’t know when his memories will return,” Ash wondered.

“Well, all we can do is wait I guess. We can’t force the reality on him,” Misty spoke, and then added, “A lot has changed between the two of you too, hasn’t it? I can sort of feel it. You care about him so much now.”

“I had always cared about him. We were just two immature kids with a childish rivalry, that doesn’t mean I didn’t cared about him back then,” Ash replied.

Misty took Ash’s hand in hers and gently squeezing it said, “I know Ash, but something just feels different now. The way you care about him, I can’t place it, but it’s different.”

Ash gulped. Misty was really close to guessing what actually existed between Ash and Gary. Ash wondered for how long he would be able to hide his relationship with Gary from his friends.

“His Blastoise is really strong. We were training earlier, and it immediately became clear he had taken a lot of efforts with his starter,” Misty told him.

“His Umbreon is strong too,” Ash replied, glad and relieved about the fact that she had changed the topic.

“And his Arcanine is an excellent Pokemon as well,” Brock added, joining their conversation.

“Brock, I thought you were cooking!” Misty exclaimed.

“Oh, the lunch is ready. So, how about we eat it before it gets cold?” Brock suggested.

Ash’s stomach rumbled in response. He was really hungry and liked Brock’s suggestion. He was also glad about the fact that the food would distract him from thinking about Gary for a while.


 

Iris watched as Gary nodded his head and said, “Fine, I am Gary Oak, Professor Oak’s grandson. Let’s battle!”

She exchanged a glance with Lillie. The other girl looked relaxed. Iris guessed this wasn’t so bad. Trainers battle all the time after all. What sort of problem could arise from Gary accepting one challenge from some random trainer?

But then she saw it. The guy named Samurai raised his eyebrows in surprise and said, “Hey, I remember you! You are that Gary Oak! The one with the Squirtle!”

“How do you know my starter is Squirtle?” Gary asked him curiously.

“Honestly Gary, don’t you remember me? We had battled a long time ago, and you had defeated my Pinsir and Metapod,” Samurai spoke excitedly.

Iris immediately became alert. She glanced at Lillie again. Both girls realized at the same time what was going on. Gary must have battled this same trainer in the past and defeated him using his real starter.

“I think there is some misunderstanding. Gary has just begun his journey, he hasn’t battled anyone yet,” Lillie told Samurai in a cheerful tone that did little to hide the nervousness in her voice.

“But I am quite sure that that guy’s name was also Gary Oak,” Samurai replied stubbornly, “And he looked just like him.”

“There can’t be two Gary Oaks who look similar and have the same starter Pokemon,” Iris laughed.

“Exactly, which is why he must be the same one,” Samurai spoke; now sounding even more determined.

Iris felt worried. This person was being really stubborn and looked set upon blowing up their secret! What were they supposed to do?

But just then, Gary spoke in an angry tone, “Stop right there with your lies, I know exactly what you are trying to do!”

Samurai blinked.

“What do you think I am doing?” he asked confusedly.

“I had read in a book that not all trainers fight a fair battle. Some trainers, like you, love to confuse and distract their opponent, so that you would win the match easily. That’s what you are doing, isn’t it?” Gary questioned him.

Now the other boy got really angry.

“I always battle in a fair manner! How dare you suggest I am lying to distract you? That’s outrageous!” Samurai yelled.

“There’s really no other explanation,” Gary responded calmly.

“Fine,” Samurai said, “Let’s battle, and decide which one of us is the better trainer. I don’t need lies to defeat you Gary Oak!”

“Alright, “Gary said, and was about to remove a Pokeball from his belt, when Iris saw which Pokeball it was, and stopped him,

“Gary, that’s not Squirtle’s Pokeball,” she reminded him sharply.

“Squirtle must be tired after fighting twice today. I’ll use my other Pokemon,” Gary told her.

Iris sighed. She just wanted this battle to be over as soon as possible.


 

“This’ll be a two versus two battle,” Samurai told Gary.

“Fine,” Gary said.

“Butterfree go!” Samurai shouted.

“Weedle, I choose you!” Gary sent his bug-type Pokemon.

“Use stun spore Butterfree!” Samurai ordered his Pokemon. An orange mist came out of Butterfree’s wings.

“Counter it with poison sting!” Gary shouted. Weedle jumped at Butterfree with its stinger pointed and got ready to stab it.

“Use gust to set it off-balance” Samurai told his Butterfree.

Gary watched as Weedle was thrown off-balance by heavy gusts of winds, set in motion by Butterfree’s flapping wings. He started thinking of another strategy, but just then, Samurai yelled,

“Butterfree, use sleep powder!”

A blue, shining powder got released from Butterfree’s wings, instantly putting Weedle to sleep.

“Your Pokemon fell asleep. I won the first round,” Samurai told him.

Gary felt angry. He was Gary Oak, he couldn’t lose that easily! He called Weedle back and sent Rattata.

“A Rattata I see, well then, I’ll call back Butterfree. And send… Pinsir!” Samurai yelled.

Gary had read a lot about Pinsir in his books, he had a feeling he would win this one.

“Rattata, start with tackle!” he instructed his Pokemon.

“Dodge it, Pinsir!” Samurai yelled.

Pinsir skillfully dodged Rattata’s tackle attack. He looked like he had years of experience. But Gary had a plan this time.

“Rattata, use tackle again!” he said.

“Pinsir, vice grip!” Samurai ordered.

Pinsir grabbed Rattata using the horns on its head. This was the moment Gary was waiting for.

“Okay Rattata, use bite attack on Pinsir’s horns!” he shouted.

Rattata bit with all his strength and damaged Pinsir’s horns.

“Pinsir clearly cannot battle in such a condition, I guess I’ll have to use Butterfree again,” Samurai said.

He called back Pinsir and sent Butterfree in the battle again.

Gary started thinking. He had beaten Pinsir, but Butterfree’s sleep powder was a real problem. How the heck was he supposed to overcome that?

Just as he was wondering about this, a loud noise of bees humming in unison started coming from somewhere deep in the forest. The noise was steadily getting louder and closer to them with every passing second.

“It’s the Beedrill! Run!” Samurai shouted, he called back his Butterfree and started running away from them.

Gary called back his Rattata hastily.

“Gary, Iris, you two follow Samurai. I’ll go and warn the others about the Beedrill,” Lillie told them, and started running back in the direction of their camp.

Gary and Iris nodded, and ran after Samurai.

“Hurry up, my house is just a little ahead. We can hide over there from the Beedrill,” Samurai said to them, as he ran ahead, showing the direction.

Gary and Iris followed. The Beedrill were close behind them. They ran as fast as they could and soon reached a small house right in the middle of the forest. The house was very small and very dark.

Samurai entered it; Iris and Gary followed him, and immediately shut the door behind them.

“Phew, that was close,” Iris gasped.

“I hope Lillie made it back to our camp in time,” Gary said. He was feeling really worried about the other girls.

Samurai looked like he had suddenly became nostalgic for some reason.

“You know, the way those Beedrill interrupted our battle, reminded me of my battle with another trainer from Pallet,” Samurai spoke fondly.

“Another trainer from Pallet? Who?” Gary asked him, feeling curious.

“A boy named Ash Ketchum. You wouldn’t know him, would you?” Samurai asked him.

Gary felt shocked. He glanced at Iris. She looked really nervous and worried for some reason.

“I know Ash Ketchum alright. You have battled him as well?” Gary asked him.

“Yes, we had a very ridiculous battle. Both of us were using our Metapod. And then later on, his Metapod evolved into a Butterfree,” Samurai told him.

“Ash doesn’t have any Metapod or Butterfree for that matter,” Gary muttered confusedly.

“Gary I think-“ Iris began to say something, but just then, a car started honking loudly outside Samurai’s house.

The three of them went outside and saw Gary’s cheerleaders in his red sports car, waiting for him and Iris.

“Lillie told us about the Beedrill so we felt it wasn’t safe to stay here anymore. We came searching for you immediately,” May told him.

“Thanks,” Gary said, he then turned towards Samurai and said, “Looks like our battle won’t get finished. I am sorry about that. Maybe we can fight again next time.”

“Sure, “ Samurai said with a smile.

Gary and Iris hopped into the car, and Lillie started driving it through the narrow road in the forest.

They had been driving for five hours straight when Gary finally realized it. The Viridian Forest was huge and they won’t make it out of it in a single day. Besides, night had slowly started falling.

“Hey girls, I think we should set up a camp. I don’t think we’ll make it to the next city before nightfall,” he said to his cheerleaders.

“Hmm, I think you are right. We should find a place to set up a camp and get some sleep,” Dawn agreed.

They finally found a place large enough for all of them to build a camp-fire and assemble their tents. Mallow prepared a delicious dinner and Serena baked Macarons as promised. Everyone enjoyed the meal, especially May, who took three helpings of everything.

At nighttime, everyone went to sleep. Everyone except Gary that is. He just couldn’t get it out of his mind how easily he had lost some of his previous battles. First the match with the Viridian City Gym Leader, and next with Ash. And while he hadn’t exactly lost today, he still remembered how easily his Weedle had been defeated. He didn’t like that.

He decided to do something about this. He thought maybe he should catch more Pokemon. If he had a variety of Pokemon, all belonging to different types and with different strengths and weaknesses, then it would be difficult to beat him.

Feeling determined about his decision to catch more Pokemon, he slowly got out of his tent, and walked away from their campsite. He walked deeper and deeper into the forest, eyes and ears on the alert for the sign of any Pokemon. He knew it was dangerous to roam around forests filled with wild Pokemon in the nighttime, but he had a feeling he might get to catch some rare nocturnal Pokemon.

Just as he was thinking these things, his foot slipped in the muddy forest floor and he lost balance and hit a nearby tree with full force. The Pokemon sleeping on that tree woke up and started buzzing around. Gary recognized that sound very well. They were the Beedrill.

Gary started running away from that tree as fast as possible. But the Beedrill were now fully awake and had started following him at a top speed.

Gary searched at his belt for Squirtle’s Pokeball, but realized that he had left all of his Pokemon back in the tent.

‘Great! Simply fantastic!’ he thought to himself.

After some time he started getting tired of running. He couldn’t find their campsite anywhere either. He had no idea what to do.

Just then, a Shadowball soared above his head and hit the Beedrill behind him. It was followed by a couple more Shadowballs. The Beedrill got scared and ran away.

Gary turned around to find which Pokemon had saved him. It was an Umbreon. She was looking at him in a weird way. As though she knew him and missed him for some reason.

“Hey, thanks there,” Gary said to her with a smile.

That was it for the dark-type Pokemon. She ran towards him and started licking his hand, as though he were her trainer. There were tears forming in her eyes. Gary blinked in surprise, and then gently patted the Umbreon on her head. He thought she was really sweet.

“Umbreon! Where are you?” he heard a familiar voice shouting from behind, and the whole moment got ruined.

“So this is your Umbreon?” he asked a surprised looking Ash Ketchum in an angry tone.

“Um, yes, she ran away. So I was searching for her,” Ash told him.

“Do your Pokemon often run away from you?” Gary asked him.

“What? No! I think Umbreon ran off because she sensed you were in danger,” Ash replied.

“Yes and thanks for helping me Umbreon,” Gary spoke, emphasizing the Pokemon’s name. Ash glared at him.

“I think we’ll leave now,” Ash said. He recalled Umbreon in her Pokeball and was about to turn away, when Gary stopped him and asked,

“So, how is your Butterfree? You taking good care of him?”

Ash’s reaction was all the proof Gary needed to know that something was terribly wrong. Ash almost jumped in shock, his eyes wide with surprise and looked like he didn’t knew what to say. It was so obvious he was hiding something.

“I don’t have a Butterfree. I have got only two Pokemon so far,” Ash told him hastily and almost ran away from there.

Gary watched Ash’s retreating back with narrowed eyes and whispered to no one in particular, “I’ll find out your secrets soon Ash Ketchum.”


 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Note: - Hey everyone, back with a new chapter! Hope you all like it! :)

Chapter 11: - Pewter Panic!


 

Brock was in a good mood today. He, Ash, Misty and Pikachu were currently entering Pewter City, his hometown. They were pretty sure that Gary would want to challenge the Pewter City gym leader, who was none other than Forrest, Brock’s brother.

Brock glanced at Ash, he looked really relaxed and calm today. Why wouldn’t he be? They could count on Forrest to handle the situation pretty well. He was Brock’s brother after all, and one of the few gym leaders they could hundred percent trust with Gary’s current condition. Besides, Brock had already called Forrest and explained Gary’s condition to him. Forrest had assured him that he would do everything he could to make Gary think that this is the past.

For once everyone was certain that things would go according to their plan. That is, until Brock’s phone started ringing. He glanced at the screen; it was his gym-leader brother. He touched the green button on the screen and spoke,

“Hey Forrest! Are all the preparations done?” he inquired.

“Actually Brock, there’s a problem,” Forrest answered in a worried voice.

“What happened?” Brock asked, feeling worried as well.

“Bruno has asked me to meet him today; he wants to discuss something about the diet of rock-type Pokemon. You know I can’t say no to him,” Forrest answered.

“How much time will it take?” Brock asked him.

“He said that we were going to test food-samples from an extremely well-reputed company, and it could take all day too,” Forrest answered.

“Oh,” was all that Brock managed to say in response. There went their perfect plan.

“Actually, I was thinking,” Forrest suddenly began, the nervousness in his voice did nothing to ease Brock at all, “Would you be able to fill in for me today? Like, can you be a temporary gym-leader for today? You already have the experience and there’s no one else I trust more to look after this gym than you Brock.”

“I- I’ll have to think about it,” was all that Brock said in response and ended the call.

He glanced at Ash, Misty and Pikachu who were staring at him with identical curious expressions on their faces.

“Forrest has some work with Bruno today. He wants me to be the gym-leader in his absence,” Brock told his friends.

“Cool! You’d get to be a gym-leader again!” Ash exclaimed, when all of a sudden a look of realization spread across his face, “Wait a minute, what about Gary then?”

“Exactly. That’s what I was wondering about too. Gary has seen me with you. He knows we are friends who are travelling together. Wouldn’t he find it odd if I suddenly turn out to be the Pewter gym-leader as well?” Brock wondered aloud.

“Odd maybe, but not impossible,” Misty said slowly, “I mean, why can’t you be the Pewter City gym leader as well as Ash’s friend at the same time? It shouldn’t be that hard to accept.”

“Yeah, it might work. We’ll just need a good story on how and where we met and became friends,” Ash spoke.

“We can cook something up on the way, let’s hurry towards the gym first,” Misty said.

Brock followed Misty, Ash and Pikachu, but he wasn’t really feeling too optimistic about the situation. He knew that Gary Oak was really clever and if he found the situation fishy he would try to excavate all the truth hidden by them. Even one badly thought out lie could endanger everything.


 

Gary Oak was standing outside the Pewter City gym with a huge smile spread on his face. Today would finally be the day when he earns his first badge. He had been training with his Pokemon ever since he’d left the Viridian forest, and now he was feeling quite ready to face the gym.

He glanced behind at his cheerleaders. Serena had designed matching cheerleader outfits for all of them, and they were looking like a badass cheerleading team in it. Gary was sure that with their support and encouragement he wouldn’t lose at all.

“Let’s get going girls!” he said excitedly.

The girls followed him looking just as excited, although Gary noticed that May was busy messaging someone on the phone. He shrugged it off, thinking that it was probably her boyfriend Drew.

He saw May whisper something to Dawn and the two girls exchanged a look of concern which confused Gary alright.

“Is everything alright?” he asked May.

“Oh yes, we were just discussing something about the Contests,” she told him.

“Oh, I see,” he said. That made sense. They were both coordinators as well.

They entered the gym, and Gary saw that the battle-field was made up of jagged rocks and boulders. He had read that the Pewter City gym was a rock-type one so he wasn’t exactly surprised.

What did surprise him was the get-up of the gym-leader who stood directly in the dark in front of him. He had covered himself with a cloak, and also wore a mask to hide his face. Gary thought that was just plain weird. Why would a gym-leader feel the need to disguise himself like that?

“Welcome Gary Oak, I am the Gym-Leader of Pewter City Gym,” the gym-leader announced.

“How come you know my name?” Gary asked, feeling surprised.

“I- uh, I happen to, know your grandfather,” the gym-leader spoke, sounding a lot more nervous and a lot less confident than earlier.

“I see,” Gary said, mentally trying to remember whether his grandfather had ever mentioned anything about the Pewter City gym-leader. He didn’t remember anything.

“Are you here for a match?” the gym-leader asked him.

“Yes, I am going to win my first badge over here!” Gary announced.

“I like your confidence. But it is very difficult to win against me. Are you sure you are prepared?” the gym-leader asked him.

“Yes,” Gary answered confidently.

“Alright then, this will be a two vs two Pokemon battle. The challenger can change his Pokemon any time during the battle. Whoever defeats both the Pokemon of their opponent would win. Is that clear?” the gym-leader asked him.

“Yes, it is totally fine!” Gary answered.

“So let’s begin the battle,” the gym-leader spoke.


 

Ash, Misty and Pikachu were waiting outside the gym, and were watching Brock’s performance through a half-open window.

“He is doing well so far,” Ash observed.

“I think this’ll work,” Misty spoke positively.

“Pika pi!” Pikachu added.

“They are starting with the match now. Brock has chosen Geodude and Gary chose Squirtle,” Ash said, as he watched the match with great interest.

“Squirtle has a type-advantage but Geodude has more experience,” Misty muttered, as she too watched the match attentively.

Gary’s ‘cheerleaders’ had started cheering for him too.

Geodude had started with a tackle. But Squirtle dodged it and used water-gun just the way Gary instructed him to.

“I think Squirtle might win this one,” Ash commented as he watched.

“Do you think Brock is going easy on him?” Misty wondered.

“No idea,” Ash answered.

But then, suddenly, the lights in the gym went off. It became completely dark. Ash, Misty and Pikachu started finding it difficult to see what was going on inside.

When the lights came back, Ash saw May, Dawn and others staring around in shock. At first he couldn’t understand why, but then it struck him.

“Brock’s gone! He just disappeared when the lights went off!” Misty exclaimed.

“Gary’s gone too!” Ash exclaimed. He, Misty and Pikachu ran inside the gym as fast as they could.

“Oh Ash, you won’t believe what happened just now!” Serena exclaimed, running towards Ash and clasping his hand in hers.

“Gary and Brock just disappeared!” Lillie exclaimed.

“Yeah, we saw that from our hiding place,” Misty told her. Ash caught Misty’s eye and saw her glaring daggers at Serena. He immediately let go her hand. He had seriously no idea what was the problem between the two girls.

“One minute the battle was proceeding nicely, then the next minute the lights went off, and when they returned, Gary and Brock were nowhere to be found,” Iris spoke.

“I think we should search for them,” May suggested.

“Good idea May, let’s first look in the gym itself. Maybe it is a prank pulled by one of Brock’s siblings,” Misty said.

They divided themselves in pairs and started searching for Gary and Brock. Ash and Pikachu were with Serena. They were searching in the rooms where Forrest and Brock’s Pokemon usually trained. Ash saw Croagunk and Forretress, and waved at them, the Pokemon immediately hurried towards him.

“Are these Brock’s Pokemon?” Serena guessed.

“Yes, I think they might know something, “ Ash replied, and then turning towards the Pokemon, asked them, “Do you two know where Brock and Gary might be? Or why the lights in the gym suddenly went off?”

Both the Pokemon shook their heads. They didn’t knew anything. Ash felt even more worried than before.

He and Serena continued their search through the other rooms, when all of a sudden, Serena exclaimed loudly, “I don’t understand what Misty’s problem with me is! I feel like she hates me!”

“Misty would never hate you. She is a very nice person,” Ash answered. He was a little taken aback by Serena’s sudden outburst. But then again, it wasn’t that surprising. Ash had noticed Misty glaring and frowning at Serena on more than one occasion. Even his oblivious self could tell that something was off between the two girls.

“I know she is a nice person Ash, but I still feel like she doesn’t like me. And I just wanted to become friends with all of your friends. Because you are too important to me,” Serena spoke.

“I- uh, I’ll talk to her,” Ash answered. Although he knew he would never be able to ask about this to Misty directly. He was too scared of her famous temper.

They continued their search for Gary and Brock in silence after that.


 

May and Misty were searching the rooms belonging to Brock’s family, the part of the gym which was designed to be more like a home.

“Where is Brock’s family? I don’t see anybody over here,” May wondered, peering inside yet another room.

“Maybe they have gone out or something, but why all the doors are open in that case,” Misty wondered aloud as well.  

“This is really suspicious,” May said, she was starting to feel somewhat scared now. Where were Gary and Brock, she wondered for the umpteenth time.

“Serena really cares a lot about Ash, doesn’t she?” Misty suddenly spoke aloud.

“We all care a lot about each other. We are all friends,” May answered with a smile.

“No, I mean, Serena seems to like Ash I think,” Misty finally said it.

May blinked her eyes a couple of times. Serena liked Ash? How come she hadn’t noticed before? And what about Ash and Gary in that case? She had thought something had been going on between them before Gary lost his memories.

“I never realized that,” she admitted.

“I just- don’t know what to make of it. I don’t like it, that’s all,” Misty confessed.

“You don’t like Serena liking Ash?” May asked. She was definitely confused as well as curious now.

“No, I mean, it’s actually because-“ but before Misty could explain herself, a muffled yell was heard from the only room which May and Misty hadn’t searched through yet. Both the girls exchanged a concerned glance, and cautiously made their way towards the room.

The door was locked and neither Misty nor May knew where to find the key to open the door. But May was running out of patience now. She felt like she had faced enough suspense for a day, besides she was getting really worried about her two friends.

“Blaziken go! Use blaze kick on the door to open it!” she ordered her Pokemon.

The end of Blaziken’s leg blazed in flames and he delivered a strong kick to the door. As a result the door broke and fell down with a loud thud.

“Are you always like this?” Misty asked her, looking both impressed and amused.

“Well, sometimes. And this was an emergency so-“ May left her sentence half-finished as she glanced at the room and took in the sight.

It felt like a fight had happened in there. The room was in a state of complete chaos. Things had been turned over, broken down and scattered about. And in the midst of all this mess was Brock. With his hands and legs tied up and a cloth tied across his mouth. His eyes sparkled with relief the moment he noticed Misty and May.

Both the girls ran towards him and untied him immediately.

“Brock, how did this happened? Who did this to you? And where’s Gary?” Misty asked him at once.

“The PokeFood people,” Brock answered angrily, “Some of them were already present in the gym when I came. They overpowered me and tied me up. Then one of them took my cloak and mask, and I think he pretended to be the gym-leader.”

“So the gym-leader who was battling Gary wasn’t you? But he was using your Geodude!” May exclaimed.

“They stole my Pokemon,” Brock answered bitterly, “They took away Geodude, Steelix and Sudowoodo.”

“And they also took away Gary. There’s no other explanation for his sudden disappearance,” May mumbled.

“We will find all of them. But first we must tell all of this to Ash and others,” Misty said. May recalled her Blaziken and the three of them made their way out of that messy room.  

When May, Misty and Brock returned to the front of the gym, they saw Ash, Serena, Iris, Dawn, Mallow and Lillie standing together looking deep in thought and really worried. Their Pokemon looked just as worried as the trainers.

“Hey guys, missed me?” Brock asked, drawing everyone’s attention towards himself.

“Brock! You are alright! We were really worried! What happened?” Ash asked him immediately.

Brock, Misty and May retold everything to Ash and others. By the time they had finished retelling the incident, Ash looked really shocked and scared.

“If PokeFood people have Gary then they might seriously hurt him. We must do something quickly!” he exclaimed.

“But how are we going to find them?” Mallow wondered aloud.

As if in response to her question, at that precise moment, Sophocles and Kiawe entered the gym. Both of them were looking out-of-breath and really tired.

“That was some chasing we did,” Sophocles grumbled, looking drenched in sweat.

“Kiawe! Sophocles! It’s nice to see both of you!” Lillie exclaimed happily.

“What are the two of you doing here?” Ash asked, feeling surprised.

“We thought we would visit the Pewter City gym in advance to warn the gym-leader about Gary’s condition. We wanted to be of some help too you see,” Sophocles explained.

“Well, I had already taken care of that. But our plan failed and now we have a bigger problem,” Brock told them.

“Is this problem related to Gary in any way? Something about a bunch of strangers kidnapping him in that red car?” Kiawe asked. Everyone immediately turned to stare at him.

“Are you saying that someone took Gary away in his red car?” Dawn asked him.

“Yes, they were a lot many people. At first we didn’t recognized them. But then we noticed an unconscious Gary amongst them and then it struck us that they were using his own car to kidnap him,” Kiawe replied, “We tried to catch them. But their Aerodactyl defeated my Charizard. And their other Pokemon were strong too. We couldn’t stop them.”

“Yeah, sorry Ash. We really tried,” Sophocles added.

“Don’t worry guys, we’ll catch those people and rescue Gary,” Ash said.

May smiled upon seeing Ash’s optimism. Although she couldn’t help but still feel worried. They didn’t know where those PokeFood people might have taken Gary. And unless they found out his location, how were they going to save him?

“I don’t think they could’ve taken Gary much away from the city. We saw them only half an hour ago. They would probably still be in Pewter,” Sophocles said.

“Well, in that case, I have an idea,” Brock suggested, and tossed a Pokeball. Out came, an Arcanine.

“He is Gary’s Arcanine,” Brock explained to everyone, “He can probably detect Gary’s scent even from a long distance away. That would help us to find him.”

“That’s an excellent idea Brock!” Ash exclaimed, his eyes starting to shine with hope again.

“Hey Arcanine,” Brock spoke in a gentle, soothing tone to the Pokemon, “We are searching for your trainer. Can you help us in finding Gary? We think he might be in trouble and we need your help.”

The Pokemon’s face grew concerned. He closed his eyes and started smelling the surroundings carefully. It took him a couple of minutes, but after that he opened his eyes looking fierce and determined and let out a loud bark.

“He has detected the scent, let’s follow him. Arcanine, lead the way!” Brock said.

All eleven of them ran outside the gym, following Arcanine, who was sprinting down the streets like a raging tornado, desperate to save his trainer.