Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon. It is the rightful property of Game Freaks. I only lay claim to the fanfiction plot.

A/N: I've been going through a lot of emotional upheaval as of late and as odd as it may seem for many people, Pokémon is my main default when I want to cheer myself up. Granted with my history and my 'choice' of material that I'm usually working on. This one is going to be a bit different from my usual pieces, for one, this is the first time that I'm adding 'myself' into a fanfiction. No instant Godmoding or landing with crazy luck like catching a Dratini right off the bat. Everything will be hard work and actual gameplay rules.

No, this is going to be all hard work and honest earning: how Pokémon should be done. For those that do not like OC Ash, this is your warning so if this is not your kind of fanfiction, thank you for reading this far and I hope you find a fanfiction more to your personal preferences. For those that are staying to see what will happen: Welcome and thank you for joining me on this journey. Now let us step into the world of Pokémon…

Pokémon World: Rebirth Chronicles

Chapter 1

It always seemed to Adam that everyone around him knew exactly what they wanted to do in life. Whatever goal they set themselves, they got it. Everybody he knew from his days in high school had ground up with well-to-do jobs, met someone and started a family. Like them, Adam had thought he'd have his time when he went to college. He'd find his place and somebody to share his life with and find contentment. It's been years after college, he was still alone, and he was still looking for that sufficient someone. Oh, he had been with some people but they always ended up not being what they appeared to be.

College didn't go too well for him too, either. He got a fine education but then when he tried to use it in real-life, he found he had too much education for any place to hire him, then they'd either offer him a job that paid too low to actually live on, or just decline him employment outright. Which left him working in random dead-end jobs just to make a living, hoping one day to land a job that would pay better, that had been eight years ago. He still was waiting…

His family had all grown distant or were starting to die off. He only had his mother who had helped support him until he finally got an apartment that he now shared with his friend Matt, who needed help with the rent. Adam jumped at the chance thinking it would finally change things up, and Matt was helping him get something better than didn't involve flipping burgers or wrapping a sandwich up. God, he hated the fast-food industry. He hated the kind of people that got hired and thought all the work would be done for them and only have to stand around to make money. It really pissed him off how lazy some people could be. If they could put the energy they put into texting in their phones to actual work, it wouldn't be so grueling to do.

Adam let it slide figuring one day reality would slap them in face like it did with him and they'd finally grow up. Also, he never was shy of hours because of people like that. He always was offered any hours he wanted to work and was sure to keep whatever job it was that he had at the time…all three of them. Yeah, in order to make something of a living and with all the taxes and insurances out now, Adam had to work three damn jobs just to manage. It was hell.

Sometimes Adam felt like the world had it out for him and didn't want him around. That was just defeatist thinking, he knew, and he tried to focus on the positive. He had some source of income, he had a mode of transportation, he at least was now somewhat out on his own, and yet, nothing seemed to fill the growing void in his soul that left him empty becoming more and more apathetic toward everything around him. If that kept up, no doubt, he'll end up on some kind of medication. That was the last thing Adam wanted was some doctor to label him medically depressed, or whatever, and put him on drugs that may make things worse for him as he got older.

No, he had to hope things would get better soon, they just had to…

That was why Adam was walking in the park. The apartment complex he and his friend shared was close to a local park with a decent nature trail. Since he moved in, Adam found himself going on long walks on that nature trail to contemplate life. It probably wasn't a smart thing considering how often he was up on his feet to the point they would bleed, but something about being out in small bit of woods, away from everybody, helped lift his spirits. Sometimes he would walk it until it was too dark to see where he was going, much like he was doing now.

The sun was already down and he could barely see the trail anymore, but thankfully he had the route completely down by memory and if it got too bad, he'd just pull out his cellphone and use it as a mini-flashlight, until he got back to the lighted part of the park. So far, he didn't need to. It was a full moon tonight and he was almost tempted to just keep walking. Today had been especially the worst. He woke up late and was three hours late for work, having to rush to it without any breakfast, then getting lectured by some teenager co-worker, who always late himself, about punctuality, then threatening to have the boss write him up.

What the asshole didn't know was that their boss was about to fire the punk, so Adam wasn't worried about getting in trouble as he rarely was late for work, but it still didn't make his day any better with the punk's attitude while they worked the shift together. Then he got a text message that his other job was starting to lay off people, and he might be one of them since he was only a part-timer there. Things just kept piling up it seemed from then on, until he finally realized he was back home, finding no food in the fridge as Matt forgot to get the groceries, leaving Adam to go back out and get something quick to eat, and then found himself going to the park to get away from everyone.

Life really sucked today, Adam thought, and he wished for once just for a break and if this damn world didn't want to give him one, then let him find a place that would!

His eyes flinched when he realized he had reached the end of the nature trail, almost walking into a light-post. Punching the stupid thing, not caring how much it hurt his knuckles, he was satisfied with the loud 'ding' sound he made and wondered if he actually left a dent. Not bothering to check if he did as he started to finally fill fatigue from everything catch up with him in that moment. He'll be arching tomorrow no doubt, but at least he had a little peace today. Grudgingly, he made his way out of the park and started heading back to the apartment, planning to just fall face first in his bed and not move, maybe even call in sick for once and just take the day for himself.

That perked him up a little as he started heading out of the park. He hardly called in sick and he usually was the one being called in to cover someone else's shift, so it wouldn't be unfair to do so. Plus, maybe tomorrow Matt might finally have news of that position at his job with the computer corporation he worked at. Yeah, that was how he needed to think. Tomorrow would be a better day…

But not for the person that he saw running up the sidewalk.

"Huh?" Adam uttered as he saw a small person running up the street…while being chased by larger ones. "What's going on…?"

Thanks to the light of the moon Adam could see that the small figure was dressed in what looked like a cloak, a really thick one. Who the hell wore cloaks in this era? Maybe it was a homeless person who just got lucky and found a discarded stage costume or something. The people chasing after the person, though, Adam had seen them around before. They were just punks that like to get into trouble for the fun of it. They must have thought the cloaked person was an easy target, as no one really helped out the homeless.

Anyone but Adam.

Regardless of how tired his body was, it started moving on its own. Adam ran in between the cloaked person and the punks, blocking them off and raising his arm just in time as one of the punks tried to run around him, close-lining the asshole in the chest and sending him spiraling down to kiss the pavement. Thankfully, there weren't more than four of them, one he already took down, but the other three had halted and were giving him looks that clearly stated they were pissed.

"Yo, back up before you get hurt, faggot," one of them said.

Adam just rolled his eyes as he rolled his shoulder, getting the sting out of it where he got the first punk. "I'm tired, guys. So, I'm going to make this easy on you. Just go home and we all can wake up tomorrow in our own beds, or I promise you will end up in the hospital before this night is over."

The sudden sound of a blade slicing out into the air and clicking home rang in Adam's ears, making him look down and saw one of the punks had produced a switchblade. "Funny, I think you might be dead in the next minute."

The punk mustt have thought his knife would have been enough to intimidate Adam, hopping on his feet and readying to strike him with the blade, but Adam just remained still and giving the punk a dead-blank stare, noting the switchblade only was three-inches. "Kinda small, isn't it? No wonder you're out here and not with your girlfriend…or…are these your boyfriends? They don't mind it small, huh?"

"Fucking gonna kill you!" the knife-wielding punk declared and came at Adam with a dash and swiping at his face with the knife.

Now Adam wasn't an expert when it came to fighting someone with a knife, but he did know how the body worked, thanks to all the anatomy classes he took as per his mother's suggestion, and he watched a ton of Donnie Yen films. Reaching up and catching the punk's wrist, he experimented with turning it in the opposite direction that it shouldn't be twisted and was pleased to hear the punk cry out, then gave it another twist until the hand lost its strength and the fingers let go of the weapon. No sooner had it hit the ground, Adam quickly kicked it under one of the parked cars alongside the sidewalk.

Taking a step forward, he then pushed the arm way from him and the coiled muscles in the punk's arm had no choice but to spring away, causing the punk to fall on his back, moaning as he cradled his wrist. Hmm, maybe he used too much strength and actually did break something, Adam wondered. The other two took a step back, thinking he was a real threat now, and trying to decide if they wanted to try their luck. It didn't matter because the next thing Adam knew was that he was knocked over the head from behind and massive pain rolled through his skull.

Falling to the ground, Adam clutched his head and stared at nothing as the whole world started spinning. A foot whipped out of nowhere and caught him in the chin, knocking him back down and somewhat restored his sight. Looking through the pain in his head, Adam saw who had gotten him.

'Fuck, I forgot about the first guy I dropped!' Adam realized, seeing his attacker. In his hand was a bloodied blackjack.

The guy must have been used to getting roughed up and recovered quickly. Now he and his buddies were standing over him, shouting insults and foul-mouth taunts at him, or he guessed they were. Adam couldn't really hear anything anymore. His ears were ringing loudly and the dizziness was coming back in force. He just got a concussion and if that guy had hit him enough to draw blood…he was done for, especially if he lost consciousness. Struggling to get back up and try to defend himself, Adam felt fists and another strike from the blackjack on his arms and face, keeping him down and continuing.

Pain rippled through his body and darkness quickly claimed his sight, shielding him from the assault. Soon he felt only cold and a numbness spiking through his entire body, then he felt absolutely nothing. His mind stopped working and he had no thoughts, no cares or emotions that followed him into the empty void…this was the end.

Then his mind began to work again and he started to register a great warmth embracing him. He felt what he thought was his eyes blinking, trying to make out what was going on but all he could still see was darkness. The warmth spread throughout his entire body, and he felt more aware of himself but not enough strength to move. Adam wondered what was going on.

"…Am I dead?" Adam said, finding his voice working.

He hadn't expected an answer, but one came.

"Yes, you are dead," came a voice that seem to vibrate through his entire being.

Suddenly, the darkness vanished and Adam found himself floating in the air over the sidewalk he had just been attacked. He did not want to look down, knowing what he would see, but he had to confirm it for himself, he had to know that he really was dead. So forcing himself to look down, he saw his body, beaten and bloodied on the pavement. His pockets were pulled out, meaning his attackers not only killed him but they robbed him, probably hoping to prolong identifying who he was to whoever found his body.

Adam turned away when his eyes led him up to his own blank, expressionless face. He couldn't bear to see his own dead face, not wanting that to be the last thing he saw before…before he moved on he guessed. But there was no light leading him to the next world, or any shadows that might be trying to drag him down to his damnation since there was no light. If that was the case…then he was a ghost, bound to wander the earth until...until what? He had no regrets or any lingering desire to finish. So why wasn't he moving on?

"Well this is great…I get to spend eternity haunting this stupid sidewalk!" Adam said in frustration, knowing he was grabbing at his head and dragging his fingers over his skull, but he felt none of it. His body had no feeling and yet he knew when he moved a finger, when he turned his eyes. It was a very unsettling sensation and one he did not want to get used to.

In response to his outburst, the voice returned. "Is that what you desire?"

"NO!" Adam suddenly shouted. "That's the last thing I would want…wait, who is talking to me, anyway?"

Out of nowhere, the cloaked person that had been chased by his killers appeared next to his dead body. He watched as it kneeled next to his body and tenderly ran a delicate, white hand over his eyes, closing them and giving his blank expression an appearance of peace. The cloaked person then began to rise up from the ground and the cloak slowly fell off, and Adam was instantly shielding his eyes as a brilliant mass of light roared into being. The warmth from before returned and Adam felt his entire being bask in awe of it, revealing that this so-called homeless bun was more than his mind could have imagined.

"You stepped in to protect someone you had no personal attachment to. A stranger who could not have given you anything in return…why?" the imposing voice said.

"I…just reacted," Adam said honestly, feeling this presence would know if he tried to spin a lie, and he really had no need to do so. He was dead, what did he have to gain? "I couldn't stand seeing someone being victimized. This world is cruel enough, I didn't want anyone else to be hurt if I could help it."

There was no immediate response but Adam could feel a sense of rage flare from the blinding presence, then it spoke again. "Yes, this world is far too cruel…as I had feared. I dare not allow any of my children to live in such a place. I would be damning them to the same cycle of wickedness that the humans of this world seem to thrive on, at least…at this time."

"Children? W-what do you mean? Who are you?" Adam asked, not able to wait any longer for this entity to reveal itself to him.

"That is a complicated answer," the voice replied in turn.

Adam did his best to shrug while shielding his eyes from the light. "Not like I've got any other prior engagement…That was settled just a while ago."

The warmth his ghostly form was feeling grew and he felt comforted suddenly. "Yes, and it is my fault that you have met your end. For that I am truly sorry."

"That's life…things happen and then you die…that was the only bit of advice my father gave me before he walked out of my life," Adam retorted, not meaning to sound so bitter.

"Hmm, you indeed have suffered a hard life. You have no connections with others or even really known true love. It has left you bitter and with an anger that has turned to poison in your soul," the being stated.

Adam grimaced and shrugged again. "That's what life handed me. I tried to do the best I could, but it apparently wasn't enough."

"And if life gave you another chance? What would you do then?" the voice asked, and there was a seriousness in that question that Adam felt would determine what would happen next.

"…I dunno, honestly. I guess it would depend on what kind of life I would be given. If I was go to back to my old life…I'd try to work harder and keep trying to make the best of it," Adam answered as earnest as he could.

"And if you were given the choice of a whole new life? What then? Would you accept the chance of starting all over again?" the voice said.

Adam took a moment to think about it. Really, what was there to lose? He was dead now and his old life was hell. He never got to fulfill any of his dreams and it seemed the world really didn't want him if he was killed so brutally. He was just thankful he didn't feel most of it and died quickly. Now, here he was talking to some ascendant being, asking him hypothetical questions.

"Sure, why not? Not like I've got anything else now," Adam replied.

The blinding light began to lessen and for a moment Adam feared he was all alone again, but then he saw the entire world around him rush out from under him. He sailed high into the air, above the clouds and now floated in the full brightness of the moon's silvery glow, and hovering over him…was a being he never, ever, would have thought was real. Behind him floated a massive quadrupedal creature with shining, white fur. Lining the front of its legs were golden tips that formed into pointed hooves and around its middle was a golden halo-like construct with green gems embedded in four long spikes that extended out of the halo. It possessed a long neck with a mouthless face and yet owned a pair of red eyes that seemed to see more than Adam could comprehend. Around its eyes were green rings and what looked like green tear-drops under each eye. Its mane flowed back into one massive tail-like appendage with a pair of tiny horns sticking out, with a grey-lining that extended from where its mouth should be to the bottom end of its mane, and a matching tail behind it.

"…A-Arceus?" Adam uttered in total bewilderment.

"You know of me...Good, this will make this easier then," the God of all Pokémon spoke, radiating a sense of satisfaction now.

Anyone who watched or played Pokemon knew about the Legendary Alpha Pokémon Arceus. He had been part of the young generation when Pokémon first came out, and then later the series. He must have lost his mind when he died. None of this made sense.

"W-wait a minute here! You're a Pokémon! Pokémon aren't real!? Is this some kind of sick joke you play on people that just died?!" Adam yelled, feeling something of his old anger return to him.

Arceus shook its head. "This is no attempt of humor or to humiliate you, Adam."

"I guess I shouldn't be surprised you know my name…but what is going on here?" Adam demanded desperately.

"All will be explained. This world has come to know my kind through what you believed only to be fictional means. What you call a 'game' or 'animation'. Such inspiration was not of an imaginative mind, but from me. I implanted the idea of my kind into the minds of mortals that would best be suited to help spread the knowledge and love to the mortals that lived in this world," Arceus said, looking down and the clouds parting, allowing them both to see the dazzling lights of the city Adam once called home.

"I did this so that I could prepare this world to see if they would be welcoming of my kind and to help this world gain what it struggles to possess: peace. It has been successful to a point. Many of the young humans have accepted the idea of Pokémon wholeheartedly, but it would take generations more before I feel it would be ready. I had thought to test it by walking among you, taking on a weak, mortal form that would allow me to interact with humans and keep my identity a secret…but I have found mankind here still has too much hate in its heart."

"Wait, if you really are Arceus. Why did you run away from those guys chasing you?" Adam asked.

"I mentioned a weak, mortal form. That was not an exaggeration. When I took on that form, I was indeed a weak mortal. I could not access my true powers without revealing my true identity as you see me now. For all purposes, I was vulnerable and could have been hurt greatly by those foolish mortals had you not intervened," Arceus replied with a nod to him.

"Oh…I guess that makes sense but why did you risk it?" Adam wondered.

"To see if it was ready to handle the responsibility. Sadly, it has shown it is not and I had previously determined it would never be…until you showed me that there are mortals that could one day be trusted," Arceus said, gazing back down at the world. "I will continue to be patient and 'hope' one day this world will find its own way, then I will entrust it with my children."

Adam was overwhelmed and felt very sad. His world could have had actual Pokémon in it. Oh, man, what a thing that would have been! Actual, real-life Pokémon. What it would have been like to live in a world like that and actually experience that kind of life. Adam couldn't hold back the next comment he made then.

"…I wish I could have been in a world like that."

"If that is your true desire, I can make it so," Arceus suddenly said.

Adam gave the literal God of Pokémon a puzzled look. "Wait, you're serious? How? I mean, I'm just…well, I guess I'm just a ghost now."

"You are not quite a ghost yet. You are a free soul and unless you remain bound to this world and not cross over, then you will be. But in your current state, you have a choice and I have the ability to make that choice happen," Arceus said.

"…So, I…I really could have a new life? One where in a world you come from?" Adam said, daring not to hope too much.

A confirmed nod from Arceus washed away all doubts in Adam, though. "I can make it so."

"I…I really don't know what to say but…but yes! If you are giving me this chance, I want to, please!" Adam exclaimed.

"I am not giving you anything. You have earned this through your selfless action and I can feel your heart is true, if somewhat clouded with the anger this world has produced in you. But I feel that it can be healed and you are trustworthy," Arceus said, and then gazed up at the heavens above them.

Adam witnessed the world around them shifting again, swirling rapidly until it was just a mush of colors and movement. When it was over and the heavens resettled themselves, Adam saw they were still hovering in the sky with a full moon, but when he looked down, he saw less lights, in fact, he hardly saw any lights. It was darker and the world felt more…peaceful. There were small speckles of it here and there, but more wilderness than anything before.

"…A-are we in your world now?" Adam asked.

"Yes, this earth possesses Pokémon and it will be where your new journey begins," Arceus answered, and the two of them began to descend to it.

Adam looked wildly for any Pokémon that might be about but it was so dark and probably all of them were asleep or hiding until the day came. He felt like a kid again! A new vigor for life that he had lost so long ago, quickly returning to him. Everything he had hoped for seemed possible again. He couldn't wait to see what awaited for him in this world.

"So how am I going to return to life? Is it some kind of reincarnation? Will I remember who I was or will I forget everything?" Adam asked excitedly. Either way, he was fine with as long as he was in this world.

"You will see but yes, you will retain your memories. I would not be happy if you forgot about me so soon, and I would not want to accidentally take away that which made you the caring human that made you risk and sacrifice your life for me," Arceus replied as they floated down to a small speckle of lights, quickly turning into a small town.

Adam was shocked when saw a familiar red-roofed building and a familiar Pokéball-symbol embedded on the front. "A Pokémon Center!? For real?"

"As you say, for real," Arceus said and then Adam noted its voice wasn't so overwhelming as before.

He turned to look and gawked when he saw in place of the towering God Pokémon was now a woman with a beauty Adam imagined could never be matched by any other physical woman he may ever come across. She wore a white dress with golden rims running around her D-sized chest and down the middle of it and rimmed over her curvy hips. Her hair was as white as her dress and seemed to act more like fire than normal hair. Her eyes remained their deep emerald, piercing self, with the same tear-drop markings under them. Around her slender wrists were golden bands and he had a feeling she might have the same kind around her ankles.

They phased through the roof of the Pokémon center and entered what looked like an emergency room. Adam guessed it was only meant for Pokémon as there laid equipment and items he was sure wouldn't be used on a person. Yet, laying on a gurney was an unconscious young boy with familiar black hair and tanned skin, but he was wrapped in bandages on his arms and legs and head, thicker ones were around his hands, barely showing his fingers. He was laid out on the gurney, hooked up to a machine that Adam guessed was a rebreather, making sure fresh oxygen flowed into his lungs. An IV bag hung by his side, attached to his arm, feeding him necessary liquids.

"T-That's Ash Ketchum! THE Ash Ketchum!" Adam pointed out as he willed himself to move closer to the famed Pokémon character.

"Yes…it was," Arceus said and with deep sadness.

"…Was? You mean, he's dead? No, no! That can't be right!" Adam gawked in disbelief.

He couldn't be dead. This was Ash Ketchum. A character he grew to love all through his childhood and into his adulthood. He would run as fast as he could when he got off the school bus to make it home in time to watch the opening song when the series' first aired on public television. He loved the show and the adventures Ash and his friends would get into during his quest, and even when Ash kept losing over and over in each region, Ash never let it get him down and kept believing his dream. It was secretly how Adam felt and why, no matter how much crap he had to deal with in his old life, he kept on believing things would turn out right in the end.

But to hear his favorite character, no the boy that inspired hope in him, was now dead? That was almost worse than what he had just went through. "How did this happen? Why are you showing me this?!"

Arceus moved toward Ash and touched his face with the same tenderness she had on Adam's, stroking his cheek and running her fingers through his hair before resting it on his forehead, before she spoke softly, "The events that you witnessed were inspired memories I took from watching this mortal's life play out. There are many versions of Ash, in many parallel worlds like this one, and all of them have become true friends of Pokémon and the most powerful Pokémon Masters their worlds have ever seen…but in this one Ash does not get to live his dream. In this world, Ash and his Pikachu, when attacked by the flock of angry Spearow did not make it out unscathed. Pikachu, brave and desiring to protect Ash…unknowingly used too much power in a Thundershock attack. It drew too much lightening from the storm that was overhead at the time and defeated all the Pokémon, but it also struck Ash…and although his body is healing from it, his mind could not take the high voltage..."

"…Ash is a vegetable in other words. His mind is gone," Adam said, sorrowfully.

"Yes…the person that he once was is gone and will never return," Arceus said while stroking her thumb over Ash's brow. "How many times this human has aided my kind and myself...It is countless and I have always kept him in favor over all other mortals for his selfless deeds, but I cannot undo what has befallen this Ash, not without great risk to this world's timeline. I may have risked it anyway with what I am doing now…but I cannot see no other way to fix this. Not after all I've done for the other Ash's in the parallel worlds. I have put too much strain on all the dimensions and any further tampering could be disastrous." She looked up at him and he was taken back when he saw a tear fall from her eyes. "That is why I risked going to your world. I felt if I could find new dimensions. I could connect them and ease the strain on this and many other parallel worlds...but my absence led to this fate to befall Ash and I will do whatever in my power to correct my mistake."

Adam was right on the mark with what she was thinking. "So...you want me to become Ash Ketchum?"

"In a sense, yes. I will heal whatever damage is left to his body and merge your soul into it and you will have a chance to live again, but this is not your only choice," Arceus said, waving her hand out. "If you desire another path, I simply can place you in the womb of a mother that wishes for children and allow you to experience life as a child all over again, but you will not remember anything from your old life. Or if you wish, I can turn you into a Pokémon and allow you to know what so very few humans ever get the chance to know, what it is like to be a Pokémon."

Adam thought about those choices but he kept looking at Ash and noting how sad Arceus seemed to see him like this. "You really care for Ash, don't you?"

Arceus continued to pet Ash's head, amazing Adam that the God of Pokémon would not meet his gaze. "It pains me to see him, or any version of Ash, in such a state. I felt I had failed and my time had been wasted in your dimension. Yet seeing your sacrifice reminded me of Ash and I felt it only fitting now that you…take his place."

He took a moment to weigh his options. He could go with a totally new start, be a completely new person but then lose all his memories, and might turn into someone he wouldn't like and he didn't want to make Arceus regret her actions: Yes, her, since she picked a female form. Or he could become an actual Pokémon and if maybe he could pick what kind of Pokémon, then that would be a plus, but then there could be the risk of him being captured by a trainer, and the chances he'd be caught by a good or bad one was too much of a gamble. But if he were to go with Arceus's plan…he'd be able to do things only Ash was able to do…and maybe even do better.

"If I were to go with your plan, Arceus, would I be able to do things my way? Like if I could capture any Pokémon, even a Legendary, beat the League, would that cause any problems?" Adam asked.

"You are gauging this world by that show you watched growing up. Although the events based for that world was around Ash's adventures, that was just one possible outcome. You would be free to make your own path as it would be your life now. Whether or not you can capture one of my stronger children…" a smile played across her angelic face. "It will be interesting to see if you can…So have you decided then?"

To be Ash Ketchum and with what he knew about this world? That seemed like the better way to go in his view. "Yes, I decided. This way both Ash and I can live again."

His decision caused a radiant smile on Arceus's face. "Good choice of words…Ash."

Instantly, Adam felt his spirit lift up and he did not fight it as he began to be drawn to Ash's body. There was a bright light forming over Ash's chest and Adam felt himself being pulled to it. He smiled once more at Arceus as he began to descend into that light and he returned to darkness. He had no idea how much time passed, but at some point he began to feel again. He felt solid and there was a comforting hand on his head and his eyes started to flutter open. When they finally stayed open and his vision started to clear, he found not the face of Arceus smiling down, but a woman with bright pink hair done back with two pink loops tied back behind her head and soft green eyes.

He saw her mouth moving and slowly her words reach him. "...an you hear me? I'm Nurse Joy, can you understand me, Mr. Ketchum?"

Adam—no, Ash, as who he now was, nodded his head finding the action hard to do.

"You're a very lucky boy, Mr. Ketchum," Nurse Joy said, smiling pleasantly down at him.

"I was…?" he uttered, already knowing the cause but he wanted to speak again, finding his voice sounding more like the Ash he grew up hearing than his own. It was strange hearing that voice come out instead of his own, but it felt right somehow.

"Yes, you suffered an extreme electrical discharge from your Pikachu. It nearly killed you and put you in a coma. I feared there was permanent brain damage as you started showing the symptoms, but I wasn't sure as I had planned to have you sent to a human hospital if your condition didn't start improving," Nurse Joy explained, leaning back to give him some room.

"…H-how long?" Ash asked, straining to sit up. It was really good to have a body again, but it was so weak and stiff. He felt like he had been lying there for ages.

"You've been only down for three days. A trainer had happened upon you, stating you stole her bike but when she found you and your Pikachu, she rushed you both here," Nurse Joy said.

'Stole her bike? Oh, right, that must have been Misty,' he thought, remembering how 'Ash' took her bike to outrun the angry Spearow. He strained himself to sit up but Nurse Joy put a hand on his chest and forced him back down.

"You need to rest! You've been unconscious for a long time and your body will need time to recover its strength," Nurse Joy lightly reprimanded.

His suddenly realized his throat was extremely dry, talking had made it worse. "…W-water, please?"

"Oh, of course!" Nurse Joy said and quickly left to fetch some. A moment later, she came back with a cup and a straw. She held the straw until he could get his lips around the end and took as many sips as he could manage.

Once his throat didn't feel like sandpaper, he tried to talk more, remembering something very critical. "…What happened to…Pikachu?"

"Pikachu's right here!" a new voice answered from the doorway. Looking over in that direction, he saw a girl with red hair done up in a ponytail that stuck out on the side of her head, wearing a yellow top and blue mini-shorts with red spandex holding them up. Resting in her arms was the Pokémon that made him fall in love with this world, looking bright and cheerful.

"Pika!" the electric mouse exclaimed and wiggled out of the girl's arms and quickly darted to the bed, hopping on top and rubbing its cheek against his face.

There was tingling sensation when the cheek touched his and it made his face tickle, but seeing Pikachu, he couldn't help but start crying. A real Pokémon was next to him, and Pikachu of all Pokémon. He wanted to hug Pikachu and with great effort, he forced his arms to work up and wrap around Pikachu and embracing the happy Pokémon.

"I'm…so glad you're here, Pikachu," Ash said honestly, tears building up in his eyes.

"Cha!" Pikachu returned, nuzzling into his chest contently.

"Pikachu's been really worried for you since you both got here," Nurse Joy said.

"It's a good thing I came along or you both would have been goners. I'm Misty, by the way, and you have a lot of explaining to do, mister!" the famed Water-Gym Leader exclaimed.

Damn she's louder in real life than on TV he noticed. No doubt she was going to hold him for ruining her bike, and he knew how that would all play out. Now he had nothing against Misty, but he wasn't going to let her horde that over him. Thinking quick, he came up with a plan.

"We do?" Ash said, seeing if she'll take the bait, which he knew she would.

"Yes! You stole my bike and it got destroyed in the process!" Misty shouted angrily.

Nurse Joy sat up and gave Misty a stern look. "There will be none of that, now. Ash has been through a traumatic experience and just woke up from a coma. He needs time to remember what happened."

'Oh, perfect timing, thank you Nurse Joy,' Ash thought, taking advantage of the moment. "…I'm sorry, I don't remember anything except when I left Pallet Town."

"You what?! How can you forget taking my bike!" Misty yelled, louder this time.

"I said, enough!" Nurse Joy said firmly, walking over and starting to push Misty out of the room. "It's only natural that he might have lost some of his memories after the ordeal he went through. It's a miracle that he woke up at all, you should be more concerned that he's awake and will be okay!"

"Oh…I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to come off…"

'Bitchy?' he finished for her mentally.

"Whatever the case, let's leave Ash to rest. I'll leave Pikachu since it's been so worried for you, Ash. I'll be back in a bit to check up on the both of you," Nurse Joy said, leading Misty out of the room and shutting the door.

Ash sighed in relief. It was a mean thing to pull the amnesia card, but if this Misty was anything like what he remembered, then she was going to complicate things than help him. He had nothing against her and thought she was indeed cute, but if he was ten-years-old again, he needed some time to readjust and it would just be easier if he didn't have to deal with Misty's temper. Another tingle went through him and only then did he remember Pikachu.

"Hey, buddy…glad I remember you, at least," Ash said, sticking somewhat to his role. Pikachu had always shown it was smarter than people, so he'd have no doubt Pikachu would get upset if he acted too unfamiliar with the events that played out with the Ash it had left Pallet Town originally.

"Seems like you and I both have been through a rough time. I don't remember much but I do know I won't let anything happen to you, Pikachu…I promise," Ash said reassuringly, hugging Pikachu one more time.

"Pi, Pika!" Pikachu said happily and quickly settled down to sleep next to him.

He was very grateful he and Pikachu were going to hit it off as friends this quickly. It would have been rough having to go through the entire trial of getting Pikachu to open up to him, but it would have been worth it if he had to, either way. He fell asleep before he realized he did since his new body was still recuperating, but he held smile on his face as he did. At some point Nurse Joy came to check on him and Pikachu as she said she would, finding them sleeping and quietly left them be.

It wasn't until the next morning that he awoke, finding Pikachu curled next to his head, its lightning bolt shaped tail lying over his shoulder. He laid there for a while longer, not wanting to disturb Pikachu, and still getting over the fact that he was now in the world of Pokémon. It was so surreal for him because he still remembered his old life and only yesterday he was living such a stressful life, then died. Now he was alive again, granted he was in someone else's body, but he found himself quickly getting over that fact. This Ash would have never had much of a life after the accident.

He was brain dead and would have died from either being taken off life support, or his body gave up from physical neglect. At least this way, a part of the old Ash could keep living. But he wasn't going to play the fool. He was going to learn more about this world, find what some similarities from what he knew about this world to what was really in it. Whatever the case, he had meant the last words he spoke to Arceus. This choice allowed him and what remained of Ash to live. He would honor Ash by continuing his journey and seeing that his dream, now his own, would come about.

Pikachu started stirring and he looked over to see the mouse waking up. Upon seeing Ash awake, Pikachu smiled and nuzzled his face again with a cute "Cha" and then started stretching its little limbs to wake itself up more. Now that Ash thought about it…he wasn't sure if Pikachu was a girl or boy. They never really declared that in the series, always left that one open, but gauging from the tail, as it had a typical flat-square end, he'd have assumed Pikachu was a boy…but things could be misleading.

Ash started to try sitting up, finding his new body more responsive than before and managing to shift himself up. Doing as Pikachu did, he started to stretch his limbs out, finding the stiffness in them gone and he was getting stronger by the moment. Arceus's healing had to be responsible for that and if that was the case, then he'd be able to start out very soon. He wanted to get out and explore! Maybe something of the old Ash remained because he felt very energetic about finding new Pokémon!

But things were going to be different! Unlike Ash who barely could catch more than a handful of Pokémon in whatever region he went to, he was going to actually be a Pokémon trainer like in the game. That made him wonder, though. Was this world exactly like the show version or more like the game? Did he have to go through preliminary matches with the League or go straight to fighting the Elite Four?

He'd have to figure that out on his own. He couldn't rely on his fake amnesia to cover him forever. At some point, he might slip up and someone will catch him. Now that he thought about it, maybe his Pokédex could answer a few things for him. That thing recorded Pokémon and acted as his ID for Ash, maybe it had more functions to help a newbie trainer. Speaking of which, where was that thing?

As if to answer his question, Nurse Joy popped into the room, smiling brightly upon seeing him up. "Good Morning, Ash! I'm glad to see you're awake!"

"Oh, morning, Nurse Joy," Ash said, finding it oddly normal to refer to her that way, then heard a gurgling sound from the pit of his stomach. "Ah…hah, hah…I guess my stomach wanted to say morning, too."

Nurse Joy giggled, hiding it behind a hand. "I'll fetch you something. I'm not too keen on starting you on solids just yet. Let's see how you handle some soup, then we'll go from there."

"Anything would be fine, thank you," Ash replied, holding a bandaged hand over his rebelling stomach.

Ten minutes later, Nurse Joy had a bowl of soup that turned out to really be just broth, but he wasn't going to be picky. The broth itself tasted incredible and then she had him drink what he later found out was Miltank milk. He wished she had started him out with that because as soon as he downed a mouthful of that milk, he instantly felt invigorated. Thankfully, Nurse Joy had no problem helping him eat since his hands were still bound in bandages. It was a odd fantasy playing out for him, being nursed back to health by the iconic Nurse Joy. Damn, if only he wasn't in a ten-year-old body again, this scene could go a whole other way…well, in his mind at least.

By afternoon, he was on his feet, even though Nurse Joy wanted him to remain in bed. Before evening time, he appeared to be in good enough health that she had no reason to keep him. The decision was confirmed when she went to remove his bandages to change them, but when they were removed, nothing but healthy pink skin was there. All traces of his injuries were gone, as if magically healed. It might have seemed strange in his old world, but Nurse Joy did not seem at all phased by the miracle, seemingly expecting to see that. She then returned Ash's things, rather 'his' things, and he quickly got fully dressed, admiring the cap before he stopped and looked at the mirror in the changing room.

It was odd seeing Ash's face in place of his own, even more dealing with the mess of spiky hair that had been Ash's trademark style. "Hmm, this hair…how did Ash ever stand it? It's like Goku hair or something."

A knock came from the door, Nurse Joy kept staying close in case he might have a relapse, but respected his privacy while he changed. "Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, umm, actually, is there a pair of clippers?" Ash asked, making a decision.

"Clippers? We have grooming ones for Pokémon, would that be all right?" came her reply through the door.

"That'll be fine, thanks," Ash said.

When she came back, she handed him the clippers and he went into a bathroom, got shirtless, and went to work. Carefully as he could with the clippers, he started restyling his hair, removing the wild bangs on the side and trimming the back. He left a few bangs that liked to stick up over his head and the set that fell over his forehead. That felt more like him now and less wild hair to contend with if he was going to rough it out in the wilds. Cleaning up his mess and himself, he redressed and gave the clippers back to Nurse Joy.

Seeing his new look, the Pokémon Nurse smiled warmly at him. "My, you look handsome now."

'Man, if this body was only older, Nurse Joy…' Ash thought to himself, remembering the times he used to fantasize about the nurse when he was a teenager. It would have been a wish come true, but he was realistic about his situation. He was back in a ten-year-old's body and she was quite older than him. Trying to flirt with the older woman would have been awkward for both of them.

Taking it for the compliment she meant, Ash nodded to her. "Thanks, I just felt I needed a change…after everything that happened to me."

"That sounds like a good idea. A new look for a new start, as they say," Nurse Joy replied and decided it was best she returned to her duties, but not before she got him to stay one more night. It would be pointless to go traveling now as all the Pokémon would be sleeping and be too dark to get anywhere.

Begrudgingly, he relented to her wish and decided to make himself comfortable out in the common area for trainers that were visiting the Pokémon Center, waiting for their Pokémon to be healed. He was given use of a private bunkroom so he could retire whenever he felt like it and was thinking maybe of getting to bed early, when he spotted Misty walking up to him.

'Is she really going to hang around here because of that bike? She must have really loved it,' Ash remarked to himself but put on a friendly smile when she approached. "Hey, good to see you again!"

"Hey! I'm glad to see you're back on your feet. Oh? Did you do something different with your hair?" Misty pointed out, angling her waist so she could see the even sides his cap didn't cover.

"Yeah, I felt I needed to change," Ash repeated what he told Nurse Joy.

"…Hmm, I see," Misty replied, seeming unsure of it.

She'll just have to get used to it he felt. It was a personal choice and it helped him feel more himself now.

"So, what are you going to do now?" Misty asked next.

"Get back to my journey and face the League," he replied plainly.

Misty eyed him and took a seat opposite of him. "…Do you think you should? I mean, you had been in a really bad accident. You and Pikachu might need more time, maybe you might want to consider going back to your hometown and resting until you're better prepared."

'Wow, did she really have this little faith in Ash or is it just this world's version of her?' he wondered and frowned deeply at her. "If I can't overcome this at the start of my journey, then I'll never have what it takes to face the League. Besides, I'm not planning on just running out there blindly. I will take my time and probably spend a few days in Viridian Forest catching and training whatever Pokémon I get there."

She gave him a satisfied smile. "Sounds like that lightning wised you up. Made you more of a cautious trainer now."

'Seriously? Okay, not dealing with this,' Ash thought, feeling his mood falling rapidly. Sitting up and picking up Pikachu, who had been letting him do so without shocking him, as he was sure the Pokémon used to do to the old Ash. He then said to Misty in a slightly less friendly tone. "Thanks for reminding me. If you'll excuse me, I think Pikachu and I are going to get to bed early tonight. I hope you have a good night and good luck on your journey."

Leaving before she could make a reply, he marched off, seeing Nurse Joy giving him a sympathetic smile as he walked by her station and nodded to her. He went to his private room and put Pikachu down to let run around the room as it pleased, then fell into the bed face first, groaning some.

"Ugh, this was not how I pictured my day going…" he grumbled into the pillow.

He felt a small weight jump onto the bed and turned his head enough to see Pikachu looking at him with a curious and concerned look. A smile couldn't help by appear on his face upon seeing Pikachu and he shifted around to lay on his side and reached over to give Pikachu a soft pat and rub on its furry head. "Yeah, pal. I know this probably wasn't how you'd have wanted to spend your day, either."

"Pi, Pikachu!" the mouse replied, smiling at the attention, then moved closer to curl up against his chest and quickly going to sleep.

Just having the Pokémon next to him like this melted away whatever displeasure he had a moment before. Maybe it was just the fact it was Pikachu that did it, but he was really happy now. As careful as he could, he worked on getting his Pokédex out without disturbing Pikachu and spent a few minutes familiarizing himself with all its functions. He quickly found how resourceful having one of these things were, as it had a lot of information other than portraying to just Pokémon.

This world had a lot of basic rules that were similar to the game rather than the show. Mainly, this world's Pokémon Gyms allowed a trainer to use all six of their Pokémon in an official match, not limiting them to just two or three like the gyms in the show always seemed to do to Ash. Considering he only had Pikachu and he would face off against Brock once he got to Pewter City. He'll need to try and catch some Pokémon that will be useful against Rock-types. Also now that he was thinking about it, he'd need a training regimen to get Pikachu and any other Pokémon he caught up to their top strength.

What's more, he'd have to consider their individual diets and his own while traveling. He'd need to get his hands on some Breeder manuals and cooking equipment now that he thought about it. There was no telling if this world's Brock was the same and wanted to be a Pokémon Breeder, and really…he wanted to do things on his own. Misty, he already labeled a "Must Avoid". She may mean well in her own view, but that didn't give her any right to criticize other people and their choices, whether they were bad or good. He was bound to make mistakes, there was no avoiding that. Yet he could learn from them and improve himself and his Pokémon for the next time. He didn't need others keeping count, he had enough of people like that in his old world. No, this was his journey, his life now, things were going to turn out depending on his choices, no one else's. This was a whole new world, and there was one major proof that things here weren't going to follow exactly like show canon.

No Team Rocket.

The goofy trio had yet to make their grand entrance to try and steal this center's Pokémon. Maybe Arceus had a hand in that considering Ash was in a coma, or this world had something else in store. Either way, he was free to assume they weren't going to be a constant headache for him…but he should prepare when he did encounter them, or any member of Team Rocket. It would be foolish to think this world didn't have a Team Rocket. The question would be how strong they would be and if he actually faced off against their leader…Giovanni.

If he was going to take Ash's place in this world, he'd have to assume that facing off against the criminal elements of this world came with it. So rather than going to sleep like he said he would, the new 'Ash' planned how to confront each challenge he would face in this world. He had some foresight of what events will play out, but he had to take account for any surprises along the way. To be ready, he'd have to train his Pokémon as best as he could. One of the things on his list will be to get that Breeder's manual. Next, he had gone through Ash's personal items…and was amazed just how under prepared he was.

There was a simple sleeping bag, a town map, a few Pokéballs, a change of clothes, and a toothbrush: that was it. What was Ash's mother thinking letting her son go out into the world with so little? There was no camping gear, no tent, no food. What did his mother expect him to do on his own if he couldn't reach a Pokémon Center? Another thing he had to figure out was funds. How was he going to pay for things when he did happen upon them? Looking through the Pokédex functions again, he found he had some credits to his trainer's account.

Finding that, he figured the Pokédex acted like a debit card, so that would mean that whenever he won a match, funds were automatically added. But in turn if he lost…credits were taken out of his account. It was a good way to get people to battle one another, not only to train and strengthen their Pokémon, but also to get money, and if he was going to be better prepared, he'd have to win as many battles as possible. First thing tomorrow would be to find a Poke Mart and maybe other stores that could provide better traveling gear. Using the map, he found he was in Viridian City's Pokémon Center.

Sometime, after midnight, Ash finally decided to sleep and put away his Pokédex along with what little else he had into his travel-bag, then curled up beside Pikachu, who was happy for the extra warmth and he found himself instantly asleep and slept well into mid-morning. When he was fully awake, he took care of the morning necessities, then got dressed. Once he was ready, Pikachu jumped onto his back and made itself comfortable on his left shoulder.

Smiling, Ash said, "Good morning, Pikachu. Ready for a brand-new start?"

"Pika!" the electric mouse cheered, thrusting its little paw up into the air excitedly.

Leaving the room, they made it to the waiting room…when both their stomachs growled for lack of food. "Ugh, I forgot…all I had yesterday was broth."

One cue, he saw Nurse Joy walking out from the back with a tray of food. "Oh, you're finally awake! I thought I'd come check on you and see that you got a proper meal this time!"

"Thank you, Nurse Joy, but you didn't need to go through all the trouble," Ash said quickly.

She shook her head. "It's no trouble at all. I might tend to mainly Pokémon but I also like to see people in good health, too! Here, I'll let you eat in the backroom…it'll be quieter, I think."

He blinked for a moment in confusion, then clued on her meaning. "…I'm guessing Misty is still here, isn't she?"

"Yes, she asked me to inform her when you were awake, but considering how things went last night. I figured you'd want some time to relax before another confrontation," Nurse Joy replied.

Ash nodded his gratitude. "Thanks…and actually, I'd rather get on my way after I eat. I'm thankful for everything you did for me, Nurse Joy, and I'll thank Misty for bringing me here after my accident…but I think its best to do that another time."

"Hmm, if you're sure that's what you want, then I'll keep quiet but only after you call your parents and let them know you're okay after you've eaten," Nurse Joy said in compromise.

"Call? Oh, right!" he uttered, completely forgetting…the old Ash's mother, Delia Ketchum. "Does my mother know about what happened?" He had to quickly make it seem like he really was concerned. It would have seemed odd that he wasn't.

"I had planned to call her had your condition not improved, but seeing as you've recovered so nicely. I don't see the point in worrying her. Just make sure you tell her you're all right," Nurse Joy said, then nodded her head. "Here, I'll take you to the backroom, then you can use the room's personal vid-phone to call whoever you need."

Ash was overcome by just how generous Nurse Joy was being. She really was an icon of kindness and concern. If there were more people like her in his old world, then there would have been so little hate in people. She led him to the backroom and set his tray down on a quaint coffee table, greeted by a large pink, egg-shaped Pokémon with a pouch and a white egg resting inside.

"A Chancy…wow, they're bigger in person," Ash remarked quietly as he observed the Chancy at work, going back to cleaning the room with a spring in its wobbly steps.

"Chancy! Chancy!" it sang as it worked.

Another infectious smile appearead on Ash's face upon just watching the Pokémon. "This world really is amazing. Just seeing a Pokémon is making me feel so happy."

Pikachu poked him in the cheek with its paw and he laughed and reached up to scratch under his partner's chin. "That goes double for you, pal…or is it gal?"

"Oh, you weren't told what gender your Pokémon was?" Nurse Joy remarked.

"I wanted to assume it was a guy…but…" Ash left it there.

"That's nothing to be ashamed of, Ash. Not many know the subtle differences of male and female Pokémon, other than the Nidoran race, which is very easy to spot. As for your Pikachu, it's a boy. You can tell because its tail is flat-ended. A female Pikachu's tail has a sort of heart-end shape," she explained, pointing at Pikachu's tail but careful not to touch it in favor of not startling him and shock them both by accident.

'Huh, so that principal does follow here. Good to know,' Ash thought, doing his best to look like it all was brand new information to him. "Wow, that's really neat! Umm, Nurse Joy? That actually makes me curious to know more about Pokémon. Mainly how to care for them. Is there any place that sells Breeding information?"

"Oh! I can help with that!" Nurse Joy said, suddenly waving to the cleaning Chansey. "Chansey, could you go get those books in the lost and found area?"

"Chansey!" the egg-shaped Pokémon cheered and waddled off quickly out of the room.

One minute later, it came back with three medium-size books. Chansey waddled up to them and Nurse Joy graciously took them, thanking the Chansey, and it waved its little arms in content and then returned to its duties. Nurse Joy then handed the books to Ash, with a brighter smile than she had before. "Here you go, Ash. These should help you better care for your Pokémon. It is really heartening to see a trainer that actually cares for his Pokémon's health."

Ash accepted the books but was worried. "Won't the original owners be looking for these?"

"I doubt it. Those books have been collecting dust in the Lost and Found for over a year now. Most likely the original owner thought they lost them for good or bought new ones. Plus, I just have a feeling that you could use them more than whoever had them before," Nurse Joy replied, waving his worries aside. "Now finish eating. I need to return to my rounds. A Pokémon Center doesn't run itself, you know!"

"Thank you for all your help, Nurse Joy! If I can do anything to repay your kindness, I will," Ash said graciously.

"Seeing you awake and making sure you're more mindful in the future is enough for me," Nurse Joy said, then patted Pikachu on the head. "Just remember what you said and take really good care of your Pokemon."

She winked at him and a faint blush rose on his face. Seeing his reaction, she giggled and chose that moment to return to her rounds, leaving him staring at her rear as she exited, then thinking as he tried to calm down from the sight. 'Damn it, I'm gonna be a mess going through teenage hormones again...and I'm only ten again! AH! What will I be like when they really hit me in force?'

Putting all thoughts of hot nurses out of his mind, he focused on his food and then started flipping through the books he just received. The first book was more of a beginner's manual, giving him the basics of what a Breeder needed to keep in mind. The next one was more on the technical end of things, and the last one was about each and every Pokemon type's needs and preferences. It was exactly what he needed…

'Arceus…did you have a hand at this?' he thought in wonder.

Suddenly that same warm feeling when he was a ghost overcame him and he instantly knew…she did.

A tear came to him and he nodded, hugging the books to him. 'Thank you, I won't let you down.'

'I've no doubt…' a faint whisper in his mind echoed.

Albeit only a whisper, he was still happy that Arceus spoke to him again. It helped him feel he wasn't completely alone in this new world, and she was indeed keeping taps on him. Now he just had to keep from disappointing the God Pokemon and doing his best with whatever task he'd have to face along the road. So far it seemed like he had total freedom, but if what he knew about this world was anything to go by, he wouldn't have to go looking for trouble: it would find him along his journey.

With that in mind, he dove into the first book while he finished his breakfast. He was so absorbed with it that he never noticed when Nurse Joy came in to check on him, beaming at the determined look on his face as she quietly took the breakfast tray. This trainer was going to go far, she could tell. Something about him was different from all the rest. She wouldn't be surprised if next time she saw him he was back to face Viridian's Gym, after getting all the other badges required.

She wished him the best of luck and quietly prayed that he had a safer journey than the one he started out on. As she left the room and returned to the front counter, she spotted Misty entering the center, seeing her and quickly rushing over. 'Hmm, I normally don't do this sort of thing, but I did promise Ash I'd run interference for him,' the nurse thought and put on her professional smile. "Welcome back to the Pokemon Center, Misty!"

"Hey, Nurse Joy...umm, has Ash woken up yet?" the redhead asked.

'I hope she can forgive me, but I won't really be telling a lie, am I?' Nurse Joy prayed, then said aloud. "He's still resting, I'm afraid. It may be some time before he's back to full health and continuing on with his journey."

Misty frowned and huffed some, crossing her arms over her chest. "I see...If he's still not recovered, then he really should just go back home. Someone needs to get in contact with his parents and get them to come pick him up."

Now Nurse Joy had a frown. "Dear, that isn't our call to make unless his condition worsens, but it hasn't so far. You have to remember he was only in a coma for four days. He will need at least a day or two to recover his full strength."

"He shouldn't have gotten himself in that predicament in the first place! If he was a more responsible trainer, he'd have been more careful!" Misty started to yell, baffling the nurse to why she was starting an argument in the middle of the lobby.

'I see now why Ash wants to avoid her…she's got quite a temper,' Nurse Joy remarked.

"I'm gonna call Pallet Town's Professor and see that he informs Ash's parents! He doesn't need to be traveling if he got himself into a coma on his first day as a trainer!" Misty declared and started heading for the vid-phones.

"Wait, Misty!" Nurse Joy called out, running around her counter and grabbing ahold of the angry redhead's shoulder. "That is not your call to make, young lady!"

"It needs to be somebody's! You can't let him continue like this! What if he got his poor Pikachu hurt again or worse!" Misty retorted heated.

Nurse Joy shot the redhead a stern stare, the kind she had to give to unruly patients and trainers that didn't want to cooperate. "Now listen here, young lady. Ash knew the risks when he sent off on his journey, as do all trainers when they start out. The whole point of the journey is for trainers to understand their Pokemon and to discover themselves. Ash made a mistake but I'm sure he learned deeply from it and won't be so brazen as before."

"You can't know that. He seems like the idiot type to me." Misty stated.

"That's enough of that talk. We all have to learn in our own way. Sometimes we make more mistakes than we plan, but that is part of growing up. If Ash wants to return home that is his choice to make, neither you or I, can force him and it would be very wrong of us to try and do so," Nurse Joy stated firmly and pointed Misty away from the vid-phones. "So, with that said, please. Let him make the choice."

Misty did not look like she was going to back down. Didn't she see the risk of letting Ash go on like nothing happened? He barely survived whatever happened to him and what's worse, the idiot ruined her bike! How was she going to get it replaced? Bikes were madly expensive and she wasn't about to go back home and try and get a new one…not after the promise she made before she left it. How would it look if she came running back after her bike got incinerated?

Granted it wasn't her fault. The boy stole her bike and got it messed up. He needed to take responsibility for his actions, even if he claims he doesn't remember doing it. She was going to make him repay her for her bike and the time she spent worrying for nothing. Once he was up and on his feet, she would…

Her eyes started to get heavy suddenly. Her body started to feel heavy, too, and she found herself moving to the lobby couch on her own. Before she could even reach it, though, she fell instantly to sleep and was caught by two Chanseys that just so happened to be around her before the sleepiness overtook her. Each of them had been instructed by a voice from a source neither could believe to keep an eye on the redheaded human. True to its words, the human started to collapse and both were given another set of instructions to keep her comfortable, as she will not awaken until the human with the red cap left the Pokemon Center…and was a day's journey gone.

Unseen by either the humans or the Pokemon, Arceus in her human form stood next to the sleeping Misty and smiled down at her sadly. 'For my new chosen one to be strong…I need him to stand on his own. He needs to be tested and I cannot guarantee your safety, or risk you hindering his development. When you awake you will return to your Gym and be the Gym Leader that it needs since your vain sisters do not take their task seriously enough. You must be prepared when he comes to challenge your Gym…and give him a battle that will prepare him for what is to come.'

Arceus stroke Misty's face once, calming the redhead so she would rest fully and with an afterthought she gracefully rolled her fingers around until a piece of paper appeared in them, then slipped it into the girl's pocket. The paper was a coupon for a free bicycle at any store she may visit. This would impede her to return quickly to Cerulean City ahead of her chosen one. The path he had chosen for himself would be a hard one, and he may not be the same mortal she had originally picked in this world, but she knew she had chosen right. He would prevail and may even do more than any other chosen one had before…