AN: Before we begin, I feel I need to address some of the reviews I got last chapter. 1. To the people whining about Ash not beating Gym leaders for his badges did you not pay attention to the story and summary! The gym leaders are ass, most will fail, Ash proves his battling skill OUTSIDE those Gym matches to validate the badges. Whining about how 'you want Ash to win his badges officially' is pathetic.
2. To the people who are complaining about Ash 'getting his badges for sex'…you're friggin idiots. Ash and Jane are dating. The comment of her giving him the badge if he paid her in kisses was banter you idiots! Banter! Flirting! How people in a healthy relationship will act!
"Is it just me, or does this trail look…different." Ash frowned as he and Jane exited the forest, a large clearing revealed with a town visible in the distance. The road ahead of them was full of spotted patches, like areas had been dug up and refilled again and again.
"Maybe they were digging for pipes?" Jane offered with a frown, just as confused as Ash was. The answer was, irritatingly, revealed as they took another step down the path as the dirt collapsed beneath them, dropping them down a hole. Before she could react, she felt Ash wrap his arms around her waist, holding her close as he took the brunt of the fall, landing with a sharp grunt while she remained safe.
"Squirtle squirt!" hearing cackling, they looked up to see five Squirtles standing around the pitfall, laughing and pointed while wearing distinctive shades.
"Pikachu, thunder." Ash ordered, the electric type being the Pokémon he had out at the moment. The small yellow Pokémon jumped up, blasting at the biggest Squirtle that stood in the middle like a leader, one of its minions taking the blow, passing out their buddies grabbed it to bolt. "Scyther, help Pikachu chase them down." Ash sent out a second Pokémon, the two flying off while she and Ash started climbing out of the hole, seeing the battle hadn't managed to get too far away from the hole.
"Thanks boys." Jane smiled, petting Pikachu and Scyther who happily basked in the praise, five Squirtles knocked out on the ground, having not been prepared to face electrical powers the likes of what Pikachu was capable of.
"What now?" Ash asked, rummaging around his before pulling out some rope, probably planning to tie the five up in case they woke up.
"Wait for now." Jane narrowed her eyes as she squinted in the distance, noticing a motorcycle heading their way "Looks like an officer is heading out. Probably saw Pikachu's attacks." Pulling out a pair of binoculars, Jane focused on the upcoming officer and grinned, "It's one of my cousins! Hey Jez!"
"Jane?!" said cousin blinked in shock once she pulled up, noting Jane, Ash, and the five tied up and knocked out Squirtle.
"Yep. I think you have a Squirtle problem around here." Jane snickered, pointing at the five as her cousin's eye twitched.
"I've been trying to catch them for weeks and you do it in an afternoon?!" Jez growled in exasperation.
"You didn't think to have a flying type air drop an electric type on them?" Ash asked innocently as Jez slumped, realizing the now obvious simple solution.
"No." Jez sighed, "So, what are you doing here Jane?"
"Ash and I are doing a gym run." Jane linked her hand with her boyfriend's, giving it a squeeze "He's the one who exposed that whole 'Professor Oak Scandal' and since he was already about to hit the Gyms, I was assigned to travel with him to inspect the main gyms. We started dating a little while ago."
"Well, congrats to you Jane, and Ash…my condolences for having to put up with this one." Jez snickered, blocking Jane as she started trying to exact vengeance via repeated slaps to the arm with a hat.
"So, what's the story with these guys anyway?" Ash asked, helping load the Squirtle onto the bike as the group made their way back to town, Jez calling in a crew to come fill in the hole.
"They're called the Squirtle Squad." Jez sighed sadly, "They were all abandoned by trainers who thought they were too weak and so they've started taking out their anger on other people. We've been trying to catch them for weeks but they're slippery."
"Daaaaamn." Jane grimaced at that thought, hating how some trainers treated their Pokémon partners. Judging by Ash's furious snarl he felt the same.
"Thankfully they kept it to just petty crimes and pranks." Jez gave a weak smile "We can try rehabilitation. And with them done we can finish processing the bigger crimes we've done recently. We even had a major illegal weapons shipment we busted a couple weeks ago." The three continued to chat and catch up as they returned to town, the Squirtle Squad waking up on the way as Pikachu and Scyther talked to them, the five water types refusing to acknowledge the three humans. Getting back to the precinct, Jane stayed with the Squirtle Squad to keep an eye on them while Jez and Ash went to grab them some lunch, Jez probably wanting to grill her boyfriend and, should he pass, provide embarrassing stories from when Jane was a kid.
"Hey, you five alright?" she looked at the tied up Squirtle.
"Squirtle!" the leader glared at her from behind his pointed shades, the other four staying silent.
"Don't give me that." Jane wasn't putting up with his attitude, "You're the ones going around attacking people. Not every person is an asshole like your old trainers. Or are you saying since you dumped me and Ash down a hill it would be fine if I stared shoving around any Squirtle I see from now on?" she raised a challenging eyebrow at him as he grumbled irritably.
"Who were your old trainers anyway?" Jane pulled up the Kanto trainer database on Jez's computer, her own position in the League letting her have access.
"Squirtle?" the water types looked confused at her asking.
"I don't like assholes. It would be good to know who to keep an eye out for." Jane shrugged "And assuming they didn't have their profiles scrubbed you should still show up in their history." The pokeballs did record the unique DNA signatures of Pokémon after all, the system one of the most advanced pieces of software in the region. She kept working with th Squirtles, Growlithe and Eevee talking to them as well, working on eliminating the trainers in the database since the Squirtles didn't trust her enough to allow a DNA scan. She'd just started making progress in her search when a loud explosion was heard outside, screaming and panicking following after. Running to the window, Jane's eyes widened, seeing the town's small prison busted open, criminals with what looked like the weapons Jez mentioned she and the other officers acquired in a raid now being used to attack the town. In the sky, she saw Team Rocket in a hot air balloon dropping bombs, setting the town and forest on fire.
"FUCK!" Jane cursed, "Growlithe, Eevee, we have to help!" she was about to run out before she looked at the Squirtle Squad and made a decision. Getting her knife, she cut the ropes off as the five looked at her confused "Jez said the worst you did was petty theft and pranks, you don't deserve to die tied up over that." Jane charged out the door, her Pokémon with her as they went to go try and help stop this madness.
"Vigoroth, Body Slam!" hearing the familiar voice of her boyfriend, Jane saw Ash and Jez trying to lead a charge against the criminals, holding them back as other officers and fire fighters worked to get people out of a burning building.
"Vigoroth!" the powerhouse slammed into a criminal with a rifle, knocking the thug out while they tried to reload.
"Growlithe, flamethrower!" Jane glared "Melt those guns!"
"Kill these bitches!" one tattooed thug snarled, aiming at her, Jez, and Ash while Team Rocket cackled in their hot air balloon, Growlithe's flamethrower not powerful enough to take out all the thugs at once.
"SQUIRTLE!" hearing a new shout, Jane turned stunned as the mini-Pokémon gang charged around the corner, water guns shooting out at the thugs.
"Hey, starter Pokémon are rare!" the voice of the talking meowth shouted from the hot air balloon "I bet the boss would love it if we brought him those Squirtle!" that was probably the wrong thing to say to the group of Pokémon that already had an issue with humans.
"Squirtle, Squirtle Squirt!" the leader shouted, directing his group towards the burning building as they started putting out the fire, meaning more officers were able to start helping them take down the thugs. Along with those officers, came the lead Squirtle who began firing water at the thugs, the water preventing their guns from firing.
"We have an opening men, charge!" Jez shouted as they all charged the suddenly much less confident Criminals.
"Pikachu, use Thunderbolt on team rocket!" Ash ordered, noting that group still had bombs.
"SHIT!" the blue haired one panicked "GET US OUT OF HERE!"
"CHUUUUUU!" the arc of bright yellow electricity shot up towards the group who were dumping all their bombs to help lighten the load and escape, the attack setting them off, the explosion flinging the hot air balloon with its screaming passengers far over the horizon and out of sight.
"Thank you, all of you." Jez was giving her and Ash a tight hug, the towns folk all celebrating the fact that the horrible events of the day hadn't cost anyone their lives. In the middle of the celebrations were the Squirtle Squad, confused at the treatment and the fact that they were being hailed as firefighters now.
"Glad to help Jez." Jane grinned, bumping her shoulder with Ash who gave a grin, rubbing a hand back through his hair as some of the cops slapped the raven-haired trainer on the back.
"Squirtle, Squirtle Squirt!" feeling a tug on her leg, Jane looked down to see the lead Squirtle standing there, holding some papers.
"What you got there?" Jane tilted her head as she took them, flipping through the sheets to see five trainer profiles.
"Those are the trainers that abandoned him and his friends." Ash frowned, eyes glowing faintly as he apparently read the surface thoughts of the Squirtle leader who nodded in agreement.
"Squirtle Squirt!" he declared proudly, standing there arms crossed as he waited for her response.
"He says he's willing to work with you and give you a shot." Ash translated, sounding somewhat bemused "In exchange he wants you to make him strong enough to crush the trainers who abandoned him and his friends."
"Damn straight you'll crush em!" Jane grinned, holding out a pokeball "And I'll make sure you get a chance to call and visit when we can…partner."
"Gonna rain soon." Ash looked up at the sky, rubbing Eevee's head as the happy bundle of fluff rode on his shoulder.
"Well, there's a center not far away." Jane checked a map on her phone, "The road between Cerulean and Vermillion is a pretty long one so there's plenty of rest stops for trainers."
"Awesome." Ash gave her hand a squeeze "I think a nice lazy evening cuddling my girlfriend, watching movies, and listening to the rain sounds perfect."
"You know just what to say to a girl." Jane gave him a soft smile, leaning up to peck his lips before their Pokémon out started running off.
"Eevee!" Ash blinked in surprise before he took off after them.
"Squirtle, what's going on?!" Jane shouted, keeping pace with him as they hurried after the two determined mon. Forcing their way through some bushes, Ash saw the two Pokémon talking with a tired and weak looking Charmander sitting atop a rock.
"What's the deal guys?" he asked as he approached, noticing Eevee seemed concerned and Squirtle was particularly agitated.
"Squirtle, Squirtle Squirt!" Jane's water type started gesturing energetically at the Charmander and the rock, the fire type saying something in protest to whatever was mentioned.
"You know little guy, it's going to rain soon. Do you have shelter to get to?" Ash asked, crouching down to look Charmander in the eye as Jane joined him.
"I didn't even know this area had wild Charmander." Jane blinked, checking her phone to see if she'd been mistaken on that front.
"Char, Charmander!" the little fire type pointed to the pokeballs on their belt.
"You have a trainer?" Ash looked surprised as the fire type nodded, piecing together why Squirtle was so upset, "Where is he?" the Charmander couldn't exactly answer, but by the gestures to the rock and the tone he could take a guess "He told you to wait here, and he'd come back?" Charmander nodded happily as Ash and Jane shared a look.
"It won't be safe to wait out here with the storm coming little guy." Jane said softly even as Charmander tried shaking his head in protest, clearly weak and hungry, likely having been out here awhile.
"How about this." Ash got an idea, pulling out some paper and a Tupperware tub "We can leave your trainer a note that you're at the Pokémon center nearby to not get caught in the storm. That way, if he comes back while you're not here, he knows just where to find you, and you can get some hot food in you." Charmander looked like it wanted to protest but its stomach rumbled loudly as it slumped over sadly. Writing the note and showing Charmander what it said to reassure the little fire type, Ash picked up the little mon while Jane sealed up the note and secured it to the rock.
"Let's move, that storm is getting closer." Jane frowned returning Squirtle as he did the same with Eevee, needing to move quickly to keep Charmander's tail flame out of this storm with how weak it was currently. Holding the Charmander close and tight to keep them form jostling, Ash ran to the center, Jane at his side with the map up, the building coming into view just as the rain started to fall.
"Made it!" Ash sighed in relief, shaking the water from his hair while Charmander shook itself with a shiver, "Let's get checked in for now. We can let the nurse know about the situation and until your trainer shows up or the storm stops you can hang out with us. How's that sound buddy?" Ash smiled at the little fire type who gave a nervous little nod.
"Hello, and welcome to the Pokémon center. How can I help you today?" This center's Nurse Joy asked with a happy smile, tilting her head at them as Ash took a pencil to sign in.
"A room for two and a checkup for our Pokémon please." Ash nodded as he and Jane started removing their pokeballs "We also found-"
Before he could explain the situation with Charmander, the voice of another trainer carried from another part of the center "Hey Damian, I thought you had a Charmander too?"
Hearing that, and noting Charmander perk up at the name, Ash listened for this 'Damian' person's response "Yeah, I had one, but that puny thing was so pathetic it couldn't even beat the weakest opponents." Ash felt Charmander in his arms stiffen, tears forming in their eyes as its tiny claws clutched his shirt.
"So, what did you do with it?" one of the trainer's toadies asked intrigued.
"Eh, I left it on some rock in the woods. That thing is so stupid!" the bastard started laughing as Charmander began to shake "No matter what I do to it, it keeps following me! I finally got rid of it by promising to come back for it. The stupid little thing fell for it hook, line, and sinker and is probably still waiting for me with that dumb look on its face!"
"SHUT THE HELL UP!" Ash roared, eyes glowing faintly as his minimal psychic power flared up, his Pokémon sensing his anger and exiting their pokeballs.
"What you say to-?" Damian, now revealed to have the dumbest looking outfit Ash had ever seen, paused when he saw the shaking Charmander in Ash's arms.
"I'm talking to the criminal about to get his teeth kicked out." Ash snarled "You heard him, right Nurse Joy, right Jane?"
"Already calling up my sister." Jane promised "I'm sure the league will be very interested in a trainer abusing their Pokémon, abandoning them to die, carrying above the legal limit, and bragging about it all."
"You've got no proof!" Damian snarled, jumping to his feet only to yelp when Ash and Jane's Pokémon snarled angrily.
"This center has a security system which would have caught you confessing to your crimes." Nurse Joy was distinctly unimpressed "You were bragging about your heinous acts in front of everyone."
"You can't stop us!" the group tried to bolt only for Nurse Joy's chansey to start demolishing them.
"Hey," Ash crouched down to speak to Charmander softly, trusting Nurse joy to have this well in hand, "look at me Charmander." The tiny mon looked up at him with tear filled eyes "Don't listen to that bastard. He's an idiot for throwing you away and you deserved better than that. I'm not going to tell you what to do from here, it's your life and I won't force a choice on you, but there are some options. You can set out on your own once you're better, you can stay here with Nurse Joy who I'm sure would love to have you, I can send you to live with my mom back in Pallet town, or you can travel with me. If you come with me, I'll train you, I'll make you strong, and I swear to never abandon you."
"Pika!" his Pokémon approached to give their own two cents, led by the mouse Pokémon he'd saved before, Squirtle coming along too, given the shared backstory the two now had.
"Char…Charmander!" Charmander tapped an empty pokeball on Ash's belt, choice made.
AN: I was originally going to do the Squirtle, Charmander, Bulbasaur, and AJ (kid with fake Gym) episodes as one chapter but they were a bit longer than expected so I'm dividing them in two. Next time we see Bulbasaur and AJ.