"Bold" = Two people speaking at once

Present day...

"SHUT UP!" Ash shouted, throwing the alarm clock across the room. It hit the wall right next to his door, where it broke into dozens of pieces.

("I hate those things. I still don't see why we needed it.") Pichu said sleepily.

"It's so we didn't miss our meeting with Oak. Well, we don't have to worry about it anymore once we start our journey." Ash said sleepily while getting up and getting his new clothes that his mother had prepared for him.

Both suddenly stopped moving, as the word 'journey' had made them remember the importance of this day. They both looked at each other, and after a moment of staring, they let out a big cheer.

"YES! Today is the day we're finally leaving Pichu!"

("Finally, I have been waiting for this day forever!")

However, their cheerful moment was stopped when Ash's door was abruptly opened, revealing a not so amused Delia.

"Ashton Ketchum! How many times have I told you to not throw your alarm clock against the wall?"

"Umm, well, I guess counting this one…twelve."

She looked at Ash with a small glare, while Ash was starting to sweat a little. After a few tense filled seconds, she let out a small sigh.

"I guess I'll let it slide this time. After all, you both have a big day." She said with a smile. As soon as she said that, both boys became extremely excited.

"Now, you both need to wash up. Breakfast is almost ready, and I am not letting either of you leave without a good meal." She told them sternly.

Ash and Pichu perked up even more, as they were sure that Delia had prepared a big meal since this one would be the last home cooked meal they would have in a while.

"Alright! Let's hurry up brother, I don't want to miss this meal!"

("Shouldn't I be the one to tell you to hurry up? I'm not the one who likes to take an hour long shower.") Pichu said once he jumped on Ash's right shoulder.

"That was only a couple of times!"

("I don't think a couple of times means you do it once every other week.") Pichu replied with an amused grin. Ash grumbled knowing it was true, but then he quickly gained a smug look.

"At least my mom still doesn't come into the bathroom to wash me herself." Ash said, not looking at Pichu but still able to feel the glare his brother was giving him.

("She stopped months ago!") Pichu shouted with a mix of annoyance and anger.

The boys continued their back-and-forth banter into the bathroom, while Delia couldn't help but giggle at them. Anyone who saw those two together instantly knew they were close, but that didn't stop people from getting surprised when Ash would introduce Pichu as his brother. While some thought it was amusing and cute for a young boy to call his closest Pokémon his brother, they were quickly shown that he was 100% serious by the way Ash would get defensive and angry when anyone would say a human and Pokémon couldn't be siblings. The same could be said for Pichu when he talked with other Pokémon, as he would always say that he and Ash were brothers.

Delia suddenly felt a weight on her right shoulder. She turned to see Pikachu resting happily on it.

("I got the fruits cleaned, and I went ahead and cut the apples for you.")

"Thanks Pikachu. I just have to finish up a few things before breakfast is ready." Delia replied as she began to walk down the steps.

("With the way those two were talking earlier, I don't think you'll have much more time.") Pikachu said giggling.

"You heard that?"

("It was hard not to hear it. Those two aren't exactly quiet.") Pikachu said, giving out a small laugh.

"I think that's one of the first things people notice when they meet them." Delia replied, laughing as well.

They made it to the kitchen where Delia was finishing up the eggs and pancakes while Pikachu helped to set the table and get the ketchup. Pikachu finished her part and jumped back onto Delia's shoulder while watching her cook.

("You know, it still amazes me.")

"Hmm? What does?"

("All of this. Living in a human settlement, let alone in one's home. I never thought I would live here and actually enjoy it.") Pikachu said, looking around the house that she had lived in for the past few years.

"It's your home too, you know. Pichu's as well." Delia replied, sending Pikachu a warm and friendly smile.

("Thank you. These years together mean more to me than you know.") Pikachu said, returning the smile.

"I'm glad that we could all become one big family. I'm also glad you were able to give us a chance."

("Me too.")

The two ladies stared at each other, glad to have met the other. Ever since Delia was able to understand Pikachu three years ago (and Pichu the year after), they were often seen together conversing about their day. While not as close together as Ash and Pichu were, they were clearly good friends and they trusted each other implicitly.

"That smells so good!"

Both mothers turned around to see the young boys drooling over the delicious food. The loud grumbling noise coming from both of their stomachs made it apparent that they were ready to devour the meal that would soon be placed before them. While neither of them was particularly picky, they always had a ravenous appetite for Delia's cooking, much to Delia's pride and Pikachu's amusement.

They quickly sat down at the table with eyes gleaming, mouths watering, and stomachs rumbling. Although this was a sight not uncommon in the Ketchum household, it still caused Delia and Pikachu to laugh in response.

"All right you two, breakfast is ready, and I've prepared a big meal for today."

"All right!"

"Now Ash, you need to remember to chew your food, alright?"

"Yes mom." Ash said with a sigh.

("Now Pichu, you can't put too much ketchup on your food or else you'll get a stomachache, alright?")

("Yes mom.") Pichu said with a sigh.

Once the daily reminders were out of the way, the boys began to dig into the meal with a relentless pace. The mothers enjoyed their own meal at a much slower pace, knowing their words wouldn't do much to slow down Ash and Pichu.

The food was gone a few minutes later, with Ash and Pichu giving out content sighs while rubbing their enlarged bellies.

"Thanks for the meal mom. It was great."

("Yea, it was delicious.")

"Well thank you. Now you two better get going over to Professor Oak's lab. And make sure you guys come back so we can see you off."

"Of course! Let's get going Pichu!" Ash exclaimed.

("Coming brother!") Pichu replied, jumping onto Ash's shoulder.

The two exited the house and began to make their way to the ranch, while Delia gathered the dirty dishes and began to clean them.

("I'm going to miss that look of excitement too.") Pikachu said, turning to Delia with a knowing look.

"Yea…but we couldn't keep them in arm's reach forever." Delia said with a sad smile.

("I know they'll look after one another. They'll keep each other safe.")

"It still surprises me at times that you allowed Pichu to become one of Ash's Pokémon."

("Well, that boy has surprised me over and over again. He is the only one I will allow to train my son.")

"And I know that with Ash, Pichu will become a very strong Pokémon." Delia said with a smile. Pikachu gave her a nod and a smile in return as Delia continued to wash the dishes.

"Hey Professor, we're here!" Ash shouted, getting Oak's attention.

"Well hello Ash. I see you and Pichu are ready to get started."

"Yup, we're all fired up and ready to start our journey."

"That's good. I'll be rooting for both you and Gary to go as far you can. I know that the two of you will make it to the Indigo League."

"Well, as long as Gary's ego doesn't get in the way." Ash said, remembering how often Gary would proclaim that he would be the best in an arrogant manner, especially in front of Ash.

("Don't worry, I'll shock him again if he tries to act like a jerk again.") Pichu proclaimed, electricity sparking out of his cheeks. Ash gave him a grateful smile, glad to have someone stand up for him whenever Gary acted like a jerk.

"Yes, well I hope this journey will help with that attitude of his. That boy certainly needs to learn some humility. Just because he's my grandson doesn't mean he's suddenly better than other people." Oak said with a sigh.

"Well judging from how he acted outside by showing off his Squirtle, I don't think it will be for quite a while." Ash said with a sweat drop.

("And since when did he ever get a car and cheerleaders? Maybe it does help to be a professor's grandson.")

"Yea, maybe it does. Anyways, can we get our stuff Professor?"

"Oh, of course! It seems we went a bit off topic there. Follow me."

Ash and Pichu followed Oak into the next room, which they recognized as the main room of Oak's laboratory, with a machine in the middle of the room that contained the Pokeballs that held the Kanto starters. On one of the examination tables was a Vaporeon that was currently taking a small nap.

"Excuse me for just a moment while I get your things ready." Oak said, gathering up the spare Pokeballs and Pokedex. The entrance of the group woke Vaporeon from her nap, who sleepily rubbed her eyes. However, she perked up once she saw the two young boys in front of her.

("Ash and Pichu. How delightful it is see you two again!")

"Hey Vaporeon, I haven't see you for awhile." Ash said, rubbing Vaporeon's head, causing her to lean into his hand with a delightful purr.

("Yea, where did you go?") Pichu asked. Vaporeon leaned out of Ash's hand while straightening up her posture.

("Yes well, my trainer put me back into his rotation for a few weeks. I'm back here for an examination by the professor. How are Gloom and Raticate doing?")

"Last time I saw them, they were doing just fine. Right now, I think they're with their own trainers."

("Yea. I was hoping we would get to see them again before we left.") Pichu said with a frown.

("Oh, that is right! You two were going to be leaving on your journey! I can't believe it slipped my mind.") Vaporeon said while shaking her head.

"Don't worry, it's alright. At least we get to say goodbye." Ash said. Vaporeon looked up, giving them both a smile.

("I still remember you when you were only half your size Ash. You were always playing with Rattata, Oddish, and me. Then when you met Pichu, you two were absolutely inseparable from day one. I could already tell you two had something special, and I can see now that I was absolutely right. From the bond that you two have, I can tell you will go far and make many friends. I look forward to seeing what you both will accomplish.") Vaporeon said, looking at her old playmates with a nostalgic look in her eyes and a warm smile.

"Thanks Vaporeon, that really means a lot."

("Yea, thanks a lot.")

Both the boys were blushing and rubbing the back of their heads in embarrassment in response to her kind words. Seeing their reaction, Vaporeon couldn't help but giggle at them. It was at that moment that Oak came back to the group with Ash's items.

"Here you go Ash. Your Pokedex is ready to go, and here is your 5 spare Pokeballs as well as your starter's Pokeball." Oak said, winking at Ash.

("Your starter's Pokeball? I didn't know you already picked out your starter.") Pichu said, surprised that Ash never mentioned this to him. Vaporeon also shared in his confusion.

"Yea, I talked with Professor Oak some time ago about which starter I wanted, and so he is giving me this Pokeball for it." Ash said, trying to hide his smile. Pichu inspected the Pokeball in front of him. It looked like an ordinary one, the only difference being that there was a lightning shaped sticker on it.

("Well, open it! I want to see who is inside!") Pichu said excitedly.

Ash clicked the button, opening the Pokeball to reveal…nothing. It was empty. Pichu gave out a confused expression, wondering why the Pokeball was empty.

("Umm, Ash? How come your starter isn't in here?") Pichu asked, inspecting the Pokeball again to make sure he didn't miss something.

"Well, I did chose my starter already. I just need to ask him first."

("What do you mean?") Pichu asked, looking up Ash. He looked into Ash's eyes, and soon realized what Ash was thinking, causing Pichu's eyes to widen greatly.

("Wait, you mean…")

"Pichu, you have been my best friend and my brother for the past five years. Five years I wouldn't trade for the world. You were the only choice I could think of to be my starter. I know that together, we can show everyone out there what we're made of! We can become the best there ever was! So what do you say brother? Will you be my first Pokémon?" Ash said, determination burning in his eyes. Pichu could feel tears welling up, and then looked down at the floor.

("Ash…I don't understand.")

"Huh, what do you mean?" Ash asked confused. Did he not want this?

Pichu lifted his head back up to look at Ash with a bright smile and determination in his eyes as well.

("I don't understand why you're asking me a question we both know the answer to. You have been the greatest friend I have ever had. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I didn't meet you, nor I do I want to. You are the only person I would want to have as my trainer. So yes, I'll be your starter, brother.") Pichu proclaimed.

Ash could feel tears of his own beginning to build up at Pichu's declaration. He gave Pichu a bright grin as he extended the Pokeball to him. Pichu touched the center of it without hesitation and was sucked in. The Pokeball pinged almost immediately, signifying a successful capture.

Ash smiled at the Pokeball in front of him, unable to help but let a couple tears loose. He continued to stare at it for a few more moments before he released Pichu. Pichu came out a little dizzy, trying his best to shake it off.

("I didn't expect that. Do you mind if I stay outside?")

"Of course not. I want to experience this journey with my best friend. He can't do that if he's inside a Pokeball." Ash said, getting a grateful smile from Pichu.

("That was so sweet! That has to be the most heartwarming scene I have ever seen!") Vaporeon exclaimed.

Ash and Pichu suddenly remembered that they weren't alone, turning to see Vaporeon with a bright smile at the happy scene. They also heard someone sniffling behind them, which turned out to be Professor Oak.

"I may not have been able to understand all of it, but it was so heartwarming that I can't help but cry." Oak said, blowing his nose into a tissue. Ash and Pichu sweat dropped, nervously chuckling at Oak's odd behavior.

("Well, now that we're all here, I can show my own special surprise.") Pichu said, getting Ash's and Vaporeon's attention.

"What surprise are you talking about?" Ash asked, getting Oak's attention as well.

("You're not the only one who can keep a secret.") Pichu said with a smirk.

Delia was in her living room, getting together all of Ash's supplies. She had made sure that Ash would have enough food to last for a week, and then Ash would have to start buying food on his own. She hoped that he remembered her cooking lessons. She didn't want him to rely on snacks or on someone else to do the cooking for him.

As she was finishing up, Ash came running through the door excitedly.

"Hey mom, I'm back from Professor Oak's lab!"

"Welcome back sweetie. I just about have all your stuff packed and ready to go."

"Awesome! I can't wait for us to get started on our journey!" Ash exclaimed.

Delia smiled at his enthusiasm, but it quickly faded when she noticed that something was missing. Pikachu came out of the kitchen to greet the boys, but noticed that only Ash was there.

("Umm, Ash, where is Pichu?")

"Oh, he's in his Pokeball. He became my starter." Ash said, getting the Pokeball from his belt and enlarging it.

"But why is he still in there?" Delia asked, causing Ash to grow a big grin.

"Because he has a surprise for you guys. Come on out brother and show them!" Ash said, tossing the Pokeball into the air, causing it to open and reveal Pichu.

Except, when the bright light disappeared, it wasn't a Pichu that stood in front of Delia and Pikachu.

The Pokémon that stood in front of them was about twice as large as a Pichu, looking almost exactly like the mouse Pokémon next to Delia, except this one didn't have a v-shaped notch on its tail.

("Hi Mom! Hi Delia!") The young Pikachu exclaimed with a big smile.

Both mothers just stood there with wide eyes and open mouths. For a few moments, nobody said anything. Pikachu couldn't help but feel déjà vu, as this was the same reaction he got back in the lab when he evolved.

("You evolved! I can't believe it!") His mother exclaimed, hugging his son tightly. Pikachu knew now that this was definitely déjà vu, except this time it was his mother and not Ash.

"Congratulations Pikachu! It's wonderful that you got to evolve!" Delia said with a happy smile. However, the young Pokémon wasn't able to respond due to the lack of air.

("I'm so proud of you sweetie! And I know your father would've been too.") She said, still squeezing the life out of her son, not noticing that he was turning blue.

"Umm, can you let go of him Pikachu? I'd rather not have my brother be unconscious when we start our journey." Ash said with a sweat drop. She looked up Ash confusedly, wondering what he was talking about, but then quickly noticed her son desperately trying to get some air.

("Oh, I'm sorry sweetie. I was just so happy for you.") Pikachu said, releasing her son from her grip, allowing him to finally get some air.

("That's…ok. Thanks for…letting me go.") The younger Pikachu said while trying to get his breathing under control.

"Say Pikachu, how did you manage to evolve? Was it because Ash chose you as his starter?" Delia asked as Pikachu got up on his feet.

("Mostly. I was starting to feel really strange this past week, but then I realized that the strange feeling was the energy needed for me to evolve. I did my best to hold it in because I wanted to wait until we started our journey, but when Ash chose me as his starter, I felt so happy that I couldn't hold back my evolution any longer.") Pikachu explained.

"That is so sweet! You two are just adorable." Delia squealed while she grabbed them both into a big hug, causing Ash and his brother to sweat drop. Meanwhile, the older Pikachu looked at the two boys with gleaming eyes, as she was filled with joy that her son evolved and that it was all thanks to Ash. That kid could certainly work wonders.

"Hey mom, can we get our stuff now?" Ash asked, anxious to start his journey.

"Oh, of course. I have it all right here." She said, releasing the boys from her grip.

Once Ash gathered his supplies, the group exited the house and walked to the edge of Pallet Town, where they stopped so they could say their goodbyes.

"Now, I packed plenty of food and snacks to last you and Pikachu for awhile. It's all above your sleeping bag. I put a map in one the lower pockets in case you get lost. Oh, and I packed plenty of underwear, so make sure you change it everyday."

"Mom, I get it!" Ash said red-faced, causing his mother to giggle.

("Now, I want you to be careful and alert when you're out there in the wild. Not everyone out there can be friendly, so try to be cautious. Remember not to judge an opponent by their appearance, as it can be very deceiving. Oh, and remember to groom yourself daily and don't eat too much ketchup, or else you won't be able to find a mate.")

("Mom, I get it!") Pikachu said red-faced, causing his mother to giggle.

Both mothers took their own son into a tight hug, wishing them the best, as the boys hugged them back just as tightly. After separating, Delia moved to now stand in front of the younger Pikachu, while the older one now stood in front of Ash.

("Ash, I can't thank you enough for everything you have done for me. My entire life has changed since the moment I met you. I went from distrusting humans, to becoming part of a human's family, and I couldn't be happier. I just know that the two of you will do great things. Just be sure that both of you are safe out there, okay?") Pikachu said, giving Ash a loving smile. Ash then picked her up in a warm and hug which she returned.

"Thank you Pikachu. It means a lot coming from you. Don't worry, I'll take good care of him." Ash replied a warm smile. Pikachu then gave Ash a small peck on the cheek before she broke the hug. Next to them, Delia was giving her final goodbyes to the young mouse Pokémon.

"I'm going to miss you so much Pikachu. You don't know how happy it made me to see Ash have such a good friend. You two were always by each other's side, whether you two were playing or sticking up for one another. It makes me glad to know that there will always be someone looking after him. Just be careful out there, alright?" Delia said with a warm smile and watery eyes. Pikachu jumped into her arms and gave her the biggest hug he could.

("I promise I'll do everything I can to protect him from harm. Thank you for everything Delia.") Pikachu said to the woman he had come to see as a second mother to him. Delia hugged him back and gave him a kiss on his forehead.

Pikachu returned to Ash's shoulder, while his mother returned to Delia's shoulder. The boys looked at their mothers with eyes burning with determination, while the mothers were doing their best to hold in their tears of having to let their little boys go.

"Mom, it's time for us to go. One day, I'll come back and show you how strong we've become." Ash declared while pumping his fist.

"I know you will Ash. Now you get going before I decide to have you both stay here another year." Delia jokingly warned.

The boys then started to walk on the path that would get them to Viridian City and out of Pallet Town. As the mothers continued to watch the two figures shrink in the distance, they let loose a couple of tears.

"There they go, our little champions."

("Yes, they're going to be champions one day. I know it.")

With that, they then began to make their way back home. At the same time, Ash and Pikachu stared ahead at the long road with determined eyes.

"This is our first step Pikachu. The road to showing the world how strong we are. The road to one day becoming the best there ever was!"

("That's right! Let's show everyone what we can do!")

They looked into each other's eyes, both ready to take on the world. In that stare, they both shared the same thought. It was a thought that didn't need to be said. Though both had dreams of being the very best, there was another goal that both felt that, no matter what, they had to accomplish. It was this goal that would help push them even further and to surpass their own limits, to overcome any obstacle, and to endure any hardship.

I'll make her proud.

Thank you to everybody who has read my story. Tell me your thoughts on it. What did you like? What didn't you like? And in case you are wondering, no, I am not making this into a 'journey' story. I have neither the time nor the interest. Anyways, leave a review and tell me what you think.