This is a one-shot story originally written for PokemonTrainerLisa. Warning: Contains Ashachu/Satochu, Pikashipping
Ash whirled in shock as he felt the weight on his shoulder disappear and heard his friend’s cry of shock.
“Team Rocket! Give back Pikachu!” he shouted automatically before he even saw the trio. Jessie smirked as she reeled in the extendable arm, and James leaned over to grab hold of the struggling electric-type in his gloved hands.
“Dream on, twerp,” she taunted. “We’ve spent this long trying to catch Pikachu and there’s no way that we’re going to give her back to you after all of the pain that we’ve been through.”
“Staravia, I ch-” Ash began as he reached for the Poke Ball on his belt, but Jessie was quicker.
“Seviper, Wrap attack and then use Haze!” she shouted, throwing her Poke Ball.
“Sehh-vipahh!” the Poison-type hissed as it emerged. Ash gave a cry of shock as the long, sinuous body of Jessie’s Seviper wrapped around his body, pinning his arms to his sides. He gazed helplessly into the Pokemon’s red eyes as it opened its mouth and shot out a thick cloud of noxious gas. He began coughing violently as the Haze attack entered his airways. He shuddered and fell into unconsciousness as the oxygen dwindled.
Jessie smiled as the dark cloud obscured both her Pokemon and the twerp. Pikachu looked anxiously for any sign of her trainer, confident that he would find a way to escape and rescue her from Team Rocket as he had done so many times before. The confidence turned to alarm as she heard the coughing begin, intensify, and eventually stop.
“Good work, Seviper,” Jessie said as the poison-type slid out of the dark cloud of smoke. Pikachu let out a cry of fear as she saw her trainer on the ground, spread-eagled and unmoving.
“I can’t believe it!” Meowth burst out, jumping into the air in his joy at their success. “All dis time we’ve been tryin’ tricks and traps to grab Pikachu, and it turns out dat all we really needed to use were our Pokemon!” James leaned in cautiously to examine Ash’s prone body as he struggled to hold a desperately worried Pikachu.
“Are you sure he’s not dead?” he asked. Jessie just shrugged unconcernedly but Meowth put his ear to Ash’s face.
“No, dis twerp’s still alive,” he said. “I can hear him breathin’.”
“Couldn’t you have just a Glare attack instead of suffocating him?” James asked.
“Dat Haze will keep him down longer. It’ll be more difficult for him ta follow us,” Meowth said.
“Well, I know a way to make sure he can’t follow us when he wakes up,” Jessie said as she pulled out a small rocket launcher and pointing it at Ash. She pulled the trigger and a weighted net shot out, enveloping Ash.
“Perfect,” she smirked. “Now lets go while the going’s good.”
Ash awoke slowly, moaning in pain as his bruised ribs stretched. He coughed violently, purging the last of the Haze attack from his system.
“Team Rocket,” he growled. “You’re not going to get away with this.” He reached down to his belt and selected a Poke Ball. “Grotle, use Razor Leaf to slice through the net,” he called, making sure that the beam directed out of the net. He gasped in sudden pain as Grotle materialized inside the net with him, cramping him considerably.
“Gro?” the Pokemon asked in concern.
“That’s strange,” Ash muttered. “I’ve never seen a net that stopped a Pokemon from going where it’s supposed to. Well, try Razor Leaf anyways, Grotle.”
Grotle shot a storm of sharp leaves towards the net. To both Grotle’s and Ash’s considerable shock, the leaves rebounded and slammed into the two of them.
“Otle, gro gro otle?” Grotle asked.
“I’m fine,” Ash reassured him. “Try a Bite attack!” Grotle lunged for the net and sank its jaws deep into the twine. No matter how hard it bit, twisted, and worried the net, it just wouldn’t break. Ash inspected it and groaned inwardly. As formidable as Grotle’s jaws were (and he knew just how powerful they were from experience), they hadn’t even put a dent into the twine.
“Grotle, return,” Ash said. In swift succession he sent out Aipom, Chimchar, and Staravia, but none of them were released outside of the net and none of them could break through the twine.
In despair, Ash sank back. He had no idea how long he had been unconscious, and every minute that he was trapped in here was a minute that Team Rocket was using to get away with Pikachu. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply, trying to calm himself. He couldn’t help but wish that he hadn’t gone into the forest to do a little extra training and had just stayed at the local Pokemon Centre with Brock and Dawn instead.
He heard the bushes behind him rustle; he turned and saw several dark shapes leap upwards, hovering in midair.
“Spee, spee, spee,” they hissed angrily. Ash gulped as they drew closer, able to see what they were.
The Beedrill shot towards him, stingers outstretched. Ash did the only thing that he could; he turned and crouched low to the ground, his arms draped protectively across the back of his head and neck. He winced as the stingers poked through the holes in the net, pricking into him fiercely.
Gritting his teeth, Ash tried to keep as still and silent as he could; although he had been chased by Beedrill more often than he cared to remember, this was the first time that he had ever been stung by them. The stingers were much sharper than he had imagined, and when they withdrew they left a lingering pain that slowly spread through his body.
Unable to hold it in anymore, Ash let out his pain in a long, resonating screech. A strange sensation began to spread throughout his body, seeming to counteract the Beedrill’s poison. It pulsated within him, and he felt unimaginable energy course in his bloodstream.
The screech rose another octave and the energy suddenly broke out of his body; he could feel it streaming out of every pore, every hair, every inch of his skin. A blinding yellow light materialized from all around him, obscuring everything, even the net and the Beedrill from view.
Ash blinked as it cleared and he saw the devastation that surrounded him. Each and every one of the Beedrill lay motionless on the ground around him, their red eyes flickering and their striped bodies scorched; the net had shattered into tiny pieces of burnt twine; and he had turned into a Pikachu.
He felt the strange energy course within him again, and knew now that it was his store of electricity. He looked at his tail, pulled at his red cheeks, and loosed a small bolt of electricity that skipped lazily across the ground. No doubt about it; he was a Pikachu again.
He spun the hat on his around and grinned to himself. “Alright Team Rocket, let’s see how you handle this.”
“Did you see dat?” Meowth gasped.
“That was the most powerful electrical attack I’ve ever seen!” Jessie exclaimed. “It was as thick as redwood, and it even shot into the clouds! There’s no way that was an everyday Pokemon!” James flipped rapidly through his field guide; finding the page he was looking for he read it quickly and grinned.
“Look!” he said to Jessie and Meowth, thrusting the book into their faces. “According to this book only a very powerful legendary Pokemon could have possibly done that!”
“A Raikou, perhaps?” Jessie wondered, putting a finger to her chin.
“No way, dat had ta be a Zapdos!” Meowth said.
“Either way, we have to go back!” James said in excitement. “We can’t pass up the chance to catch a legendary Pokemon!”
“What if it sees that we’ve swiped Pikachu and tries ta take it back?” Meowth asked.
“Don’t you worry about that,” Jessie smirked, turning to look at the furious electric-type. “I wrapped Pikachu in a rubber suit. There’s no way it can shock us, and there isn’t enough room to swing a Wurmple, let alone an Iron Tail.”
“Hey, yeah!” Meowth said with a smile, maneuvering the balloon so that it was heading back in the direction that they’d come. “So how do we catch dis bad boy Pokemon?” Jessie smirked again and patted the rocket launcher at her side.
“This net is designed to stop any attack. If it worked once, it’ll work again!”
“Hey look! There’s another one of those powerful attacks!” James pointed.
Ashachu smiled as he looked over his trap for Team Rocket. He’d gathered all of the net fragments that he could find and piled them so that they made a rough tube. When he’d had all of his Pokemon attack the net earlier as he tried to get out, he’d noticed that they all rebounded with more intensity than they had been cast; Aipom had even knocked herself out with a Focus Punch! He’d guessed that if he cast an electric attack into the net, it would get stronger as it went up and emerge at the other end looking as if a legendary Pokemon had cast it! One simple test, and he’d been proven right.
He wriggled his paws together and shot out another little Thunder Jolt, keeping an eye on the sky for Team Rocket’s balloon. The weak electric jolt ricocheted up the tube, corkscrewing against the netting and gaining more power with each revolution until it finally burst from the top in a blaze of light.
Ashachu shielded his eyes from the brilliance of the beam; when he was able to look again he saw the Meowth balloon floating into view over the treetops. He quickly dragged the tube into the nearby bushes and hid, waiting quietly.
“Where’s dat lightnin’ gone?” he heard Meowth asking, and knew that the balloon had landed. “I coulda sworn dat it was comin’ from here.”
“Maybe it ran off when it saw us?” Jessie suggested. “Legendary Pokemon don’t exactly like being around humans.” Ashachu grinned and shot a weak little jolt into the tube. Seconds later, all three Team Rocket members let out high-pitched screams of fear as a massive burst of electricity seemingly erupted from the bushes.
“It’s in those bushes!” James yelled.
“I’ve got it covered,” Jessie said confidently. Through the leaves Ashachu saw Jessie aiming the rocket launcher and dived to the side. The net shot through the bushes and ensnared the tube, barely missing Ashachu’s tail.
“I got it!” Jessie shouted, sounding surprised. James and Meowth burst into tears.
“We’ve caught a Raikou!” James said.
“Or a Zapdos!” Meowth added, wiping a paw across his face. Ashachu burst through the bushes, his cheeks crackling with energy.
“Team Rocket, give me back my Pikachu!” he shouted. To his dismay, rather than jump back in alarm as he had expected they just stood there looking at him in surprise.
“Is that Pikachu talking?” Jessie asked uncertainly.
“Well, if Meowth can do it I’m sure that there are others that can too,” James offered.
“Hey, it took me years ta learn dat. No wild Pokemon coulda taugh’ temselves,” Meowth snarled. Ashachu stamped his foot angrily on the ground.
“Didn’t you hear me? I told you to give me back my Pikachu!” he shouted. A slow smile spread over Jessie’s face.
“Your Pikachu?” she asked sinisterly. “Any Pokemon stolen by Team Rocket belongs to Team Rocket!”
“How much do you think a talking Pikachu would be worth?” James asked.
“More than a talking Meowth,” Jessie answered.
“Hey, I heard dat!” Meowth complained.
“Sorry, but after ten years in the business your novelty’s wearing off. A talking Pikachu could be just the boost we need to be the all new Team Rocket!” Jessie said.
“Dat’s not true, I’ve still got a fanbase!” Meowth screeched, launching himself at Jessie.
“Oww, oww, Meowth stop it! I was joking! Ouch!”
James watched the Fury Swipes attack on Jessie, sweating a little at the commotion they were causing and completely oblivious to Ashachu, who had grown tired of trying to be noticed and was sneaking silently onto the balloon.
“Pikachu,” he hissed quietly. The electric type, completely immobilized in the rubber suit, looked up hopefully through the small window at the sound of her trainer’s voice. Her face sagged when she saw that it was just another Pikachu.
“Pikachu, it’s me,” he whispered again. “I’m going to get you out of here, just hold on.”
“Pika? Chu pikachu?” Pikachu whispered back in disbelief. Ashachu grinned and tapped his head.
“Who else would have a homemade hat like this?” he asked rhetorically.
“Pi?” Pikachu asked.
“I don’t know how it happened,” he said, shaking his head. “We’ll worry about turning me back after I’ve got you out of here.”
“Pika! Chu, pika pi!” Pikachu exclaimed, pointing at her rear end.
“You say that the zippers at the back?” Ashachu asked, running over to investigate. He ran his hands along the suit, trying to find it. “Got it!” he exclaimed suddenly, yanking the zipper upwards. Pikachu felt the firm structure of the rubber suit suddenly collapse and the cool air circle around her. She shrugged the suit off and leaped away to stand next to Ashachu.
“Pika pi, pika!” Pikachu cried, giving him a sudden hug and lick on the cheek.
“Hey, I’d never leave you alone,” Ashachu smiled, hugging her back.
“Well well, how touching,” Jessie sneered, and the two Pikachu froze as her shadow fell over them.
“Looks like we got ourselves a coupla’ escapees,” Meowth added nastily.
“Team Rocket, I told you I was taking my Pikachu back!” Ashachu said bravely.
“I don’t know who you think you are, but this Pikachu is ours!” James protested. “We stole it off the twerp.”
“I am the twerp,” Ashachu said angrily. “Look at the hat!”
“You know, come to think of it I seem to remember this happening once before,” James mused.
“You mean that the twerp really is a Pikachu?” Jessie asked in surprise.
“Den we gotta let him go,” Meowth burst out. “Teft is one ting, but kidnapping’s anudder!”
“Fine, the twerp goes. But we keep Pikachu!” Jessie snarled. “Go Seviper!”
“Suhh-vipah,” the snake hissed as it was released. Ashachu gulped; Seviper seemed much bigger and more dangerous now that he was Pikachu-sized.
“Carnivine, lets go!” James added, throwing his Poke Ball.
“Nivine,” the grass-type smiled as it flipped over on release and bit down on James’s head affectionately.
“Not me, them!” James screeched.
“Pikachu, think you can handle Carnivine?” Ashachu asked.
“Pika!” Pikachu nodded eagerly.
“Seviper, Poison Tail!” Jessie shouted.
“Carnivine, Bite!” James ordered. From his side, Ashachu saw Pikachu dodge the attack and retaliate with an Iron Tail. He leaped up, barely avoiding Seviper’s Poison Tail and retaliating with a Thunder Jolt that shocked Seviper. The poison-type reacted instinctively, lashing out with a Tail Whip that barely missed Ashachu.
“Pikachu, Thunderbolt!” Ashachu shouted. A blinding flash of light emitted from Pikachu and charged straight into the Rockets. They screamed as the attack smashed into them and blew them sky-high.
“We’re blasting off again!” they screeched as they vanished over the horizon.
“Pikachu, that was fantastic!” Ashachu exclaimed.
“Pika, pikachu,” Pikachu beamed as she ran over to Ashachu and gave him another hug. He laughed and hugged her back, but then noticed something.
“Hey, Pikachu, you look kind of different,” he said, staring at her. Pikachu stepped back and looked down at herself, puzzled; she couldn’t see anything unusual. Though the differences were slight, Ashachu could still see them. Her fur looked unusually bright and silky, and he realized that it seemed softer than he remembered it being when he was human. Her eyes seemed brighter too, and her red cheeks had a bright sheen to them that he had never seen before.
He shook himself; he could still see the differences, but he could tell that his scrutiny was making Pikachu nervous. He smiled at her and made to reassure her.
“It’s probably just my new Pikachu vision,” he joked. “Everything looks a little different when you’re a Pokemon.”
“Pika,” Pikachu smiled back.
A massive bolt of electricity coursed downwards, smashing into the ground nearby. Ashachu and Pikachu were both thrown backwards from the impact. They struggled up and stared in awe. The lightning bolt continued to strike the earth, the largest one they had ever seen. The static electricity washed over them as it grew in size and a dark shape appeared.
All they could make out at first were two red eyes that were simultaneously terrifying and comforting. The shape grew larger and more distinct as it approached them from within the lightning until at last a massive figure emerged, it’s yellow skin covered in black stripes. Crackling electricity erupted from the thunderous mane that covered it’s back as it came nearer; two dagger-like fangs jutted downwards, and the blue tail zigzagged in a perfect impression of the element it represented. It was the lord of thunder.
“Raikou,” Ashachu breathed in awe.
“Trainer,” the Raikou roared, though not with words. Although he wasn’t entirely sure how, by looking into the Raikou’s eyes Ashachu found that he could understand the beast perfectly.
“Trainer, are you glad of my assistance?” the Raikou asked.
“Your assistance?” Ashachu repeated, confused.
“It was I who drove the Beedrill away from you and broke the net in which you were made captive,” the Raikou breathed. “Had it not been for my assistance, they would have escaped with your Pikachu.”
“But… why did I turn into a Pikachu?” Ashachu asked.
“Two reasons. If you had remained as a human, the force of my attack when amplified inside the net would have destroyed you. It was for your own safety that you became an electric-type. The second reason is that this was a test. You have always cared for your friends, and yet you always rely on your other Pokemon to go into combat and help. You choose to stay in the background and direct from afar. That is a mark of cowardice.” Seeing the look of hurt, abashment, and sadness on Ashachu’s face, the Raikou smiled at him gently.
“Be reassured. That has always been the way between humans and Pokemon. I know that you are not a coward; the evidence for that is right in front of me. You have passed my test.” The Raikou sighed and looked upwards. “You have travelled far and seen much. There have been many tests of your courage and skill along the way; some you have passed some you have not. Only when you pass them all will you truly be a Pokemon Master.
“Now, I must depart,” the Raikou roared. “But before I go, there is something I must do.” He let out a low, melodic growl and a mist hissing with static electricity enveloped the trio. When it cleared the Raikou had vanished, and Ashachu had become Ash once again.
“Pikachu… did I imagine all of that?” Ash asked in confusion.
“Pika, pika chu,” Pikachu replied, shaking her head.
“Come here, pal,” Ash said, tapping his shoulder. Pikachu ran over to him, joy blazing in her eyes as she leaped up. Ash turned and looked into her eyes, noticing that she no longer looked different to him.
“Lets get back to the Pokemon Centre,” he smiled. “I’ll bet it’s just about suppertime.”
“Chaahh,” Pikachu cooed, rubbing her head along his chin. She was back with Ash, and that was all that mattered to her now.
On a nearby cliff, a Raikou stood watching. He nodded to himself in satisfaction as he saw, in the distance, Ash and Pikachu walking away with a closer bond than ever. He let out a roar that echoed through the forest and then began to run, continuing his relentless exploration of the world.