Chapter Four

The only clue Ash had about how to control his powers was what he'd learned from the strange dream in which he had inherited Sir Aaron's body. His-or he supposed he should say Aaron's, friend- Dion, had mentioned meditation, about how it apparently allowed him to transcend time and space. He'd tried it multiple times since then, but nothing seemed to have changed.

If he was honest though, the more he thought about it, it was still the closest thing to a lead Ash had.

He was tired, so very tired, it weighed upon him, heavy like a woollen blanket, practically pinning him in place. Though what could he do? It wasn't like the others had any idea what was happening either.

He'd been avoiding Gou and Gary as much as he possibly could, refusing to leave his room and feigning sleep any time either of them chose to check on him.

'A ticking time bomb.' Lance had so callously stated, he couldn't get the words out of his head. They stalked his every waking moment and consumed his every thought.

'A human weapon…'

The nightmares were yet to cease their incessant hauntings. Every night was the same and every morning he awoke with that familiar paralysing sense of fear. In the three days that had passed, it continued to eat away at him.

What the hell was he going to do…

"Pika pi…" The electric mouse trilled from its place beside Ash, nuzzling the boys trembling hand with its nose.

" How am I gonna control this Pikachu? It feels so much bigger than me."

He brought his fingers down to trace the pokeballs that were attached to his belt. He could feel a gentle heat emanating from them and it calmed him somewhat.

"Ash?" Gou's tentative tone was accompanied by a soft knock and the squeak of the door as he peered around it. His form in the lamplight caused his shadow to stretch across the length of the bedroom.

"Oh… uh hey Gou…"

"M-may I?"

He sounded almost frightened and for a moment Ash felt his stomach drop. Was Gou just as scared of Ash now as Ash was of himself?

He should have expected as much.

He realised he'd forgotten to reply as Gou remained rooted on the spot, sky-blue eyes searching for some indication that Ash would allow him to enter.

"Uh Yeah 'course, what's up?" He tried to make himself sound chirpy, but he sounded deflated, even to his own ear.

Gou climbed onto the bed next to him, tapping his fingers upon his thigh slowly as he mulled over his thoughts- he was nervous about something, struggling to choose just what to say. Ash knew the other boy well enough by now that he could read him like a book.

Gou remained silent a moment longer before giving a shaky exhale.

Without warning, he grabbed Ash's hand in his and gave it a squeeze - just for a split second before pulling quickly away.

"Wha—"

"I'm really worried about you!" He blurted, then flushed a vibrant red. "I-I mean—"

"What he means is that you're acting even weirder than usual and that's sayin' somethin'!"

Gary was leaning against the doorframe now, stone-faced and sullen, arms folded and his back resting against the banged-up wood.

"I-I-" Ash tried to formulate some kind of response though all his words evaded him.

"Okay yeah, we get it. Lance waltzed right on in and fucked up everything for you, changed every thought you've ever had about yourself. So, you've locked yourself away in here for the past three days feeling sorry for yourself."

He strode forward, grabbing the front of Ash's worn sleep shirt, pulling him roughly to his feet, until they were nose to nose. He could feel the youngest Oak's breath upon his face, could see the anger burning in his onyx eyes and hidden in every line that creased his skin.

"How the hell is hiding yourself away like a coward gonna change a damn thing?!"

"Screw you, Gary!" Ash hissed, shoving the auburn-haired teen away from him with a growl.

"No, screw you! For Arceus' sake Ash we're your friends, we told you we've got your back, you know we're here, so why the fuck are you trying to deal with this shitshow all by yourself?"

"I'm trying to protect you—"

"You're a kid Ash, and by the sounds of it, probably the most powerful kid in existence! If anything, you're the one that needs to be protected, not me, not Gou—"

Gary's words made his heart clench and tears sting the corners of his eyes, threatening to fall, though he swallowed the sobs.

"I'm scared, okay! Is that what you want to hear?! I'm absolutely terrified! What if I can't control it, what if I hurt you or Gou, or any of the people I love?! They've been watching me! For months, maybe even years! You're already in danger by even knowing me! Don't you get that?"

"Of course we do. Do you really think any of that crap even matters, that it changes a thing?"

"It should!"

"You utter buffoon!" What surprised Ash the most was that this had come from Gou. He stood between he and Gary, fists clenched and his chest heaving, eyes squeezed tightly shut as though wishing desperately on some kind of distant star.

"Wha-"

" No, just shut up and listen to me! As much as I hate to admit it Gary is right, you sitting here wallowing in self-pity isn't going to get you anywhere! We're your friends, you're supposed to be able to talk to us, not hide from us! We can figure out how to help you control them! Together!"

"Gou-"

"Just get up, we'll meet you outside in five."

He didn't even give Ash time to respond, instead turning on his heel and striding out the door, Gary following right behind him.

Ash gaped at the empty room, his thoughts a jumbled mess. He brought his fingers up to rest upon his chest and could feel his heart pounding almost painfully. Gou and Gary were right, sitting around moping wasn't going to help him master his powers any faster. He dressed quickly, giving Pikachu a quick scratch behind his pointed ears.

Here goes nothing I guess…

The first thing he noticed was the cold. The wind was biting and harsh and Ash found himself involuntarily shivering. A couple feet ahead of him, Gary and Gou were bundled up in their winter coats, the smell of smoke from Team Galactic's (or vires as they had now deemed themselves) unprovoked attack lingered in the air.

"Oh good, you're here. Was wondering if Gou and I would have to go back in and carry you out."

Ash flushed slightly and ducked his head, mumbling a quick apology under his breath. He should have known better than to keep secrets from them and the more he thought about it, he supposed that had the roles been reversed he most likely would have reacted exactly the same.

He needed to pull himself together, but he felt as though his head were about to explode at any moment, his thoughts racing wildly and without cease.

"Ash, back in the tree of beginning, how were you able to manifest your powers?"

"Gloves… Sir Aaron's gloves, they'd been left there after he…" A sharp pain shot through his skull as he squeezed his eyes shut, and for a moment an image flashed through his mind, he was back in the tree's heart, he could feel his aura ebbing and flowing within him, a strange sense of relief enveloped him, as the words 'I'm sorry.' escaped his lips in a breathy whisper.

When he reopened his eyes he could still feel that energy within him. It moved inside of him as though it were a river, when he looked down, his hands were glowing softly. Suddenly he could feel it begin to bubble violently, he tried to control it, to push it back down deep within him - but it was far stronger than he was.

"Ash…?" He could hear Gou speak his name but spots danced in his vision. He grappled with his aura struggling to contain it, desperately fighting the fear he could sense beginning to overtake him.

Fight it, fight it, fight it…

He tried, Arceus he tried… The light that emanated from his palms continued to grow brighter until he almost couldn't bear to stare at it directly.

Never before had Ash ever felt so lacking in control, the aura so desperate to escape the confines of his body, if he couldn't stop it, he'd have to at least try to redirect it.

He could feel the pressure within him continue to build as it tugged on his gut almost painfully - he brought his palm down to collide with the dirt beneath his feet with a furious cry. There was a sudden violent tremor, one that knocked Gou and Gary off balance and sent them crashing unceremoniously to the ground.

Beneath his hand the earth had completely shattered, a crater now bigger than Ash himself decorated the Oak conservatory and all he could really do was stare mutely, mouth agape.

Just how powerful was he?

"My, my, my" a voice echoed from behind them. "I always knew you were something special Ash Ketchum… But this... This is beyond anything I could have ever imagined..."


Hey everyone, apologies for being MIA for such a long time, I recently relocated to a new city and a new country to study so its taken quite some time for me to settle in - hence why this has taken so long! Not to mention writers block has been absolutely kicking my ass.

I'm not really happy with this chapter if I'm honest so it may be edited in the near future, but I just felt like I needed to get something down on paper! Either way, I still hope you enjoy!