Ages:
Gary/Ash/Misty: 16
Tracey: 18
Brock: 20
James/Jessie: 22

Evolution
By Jaxxon

Part One – What Kind of Pokémon Are You?

Three years ago, I was on top of the world. Ash Ketchum, Pokémon Master. There I was, Indigo Stadium, waiting to challenge Gary for the title. Misty, Brock, and Tracey were cheering me on when Pikachu took down Gary's final pokémon. That had to be the best day of my life.

Then, we went our separate ways. Brock went back to Pewter to build a breeding center, but Tracey stayed in Pallet for a year with Prof. Oak before returning to the Orange Islands. Misty left for Cerulean, though she often sent me letters asking about her bike. My prize money from the League was enough to cover it, but I hope I can use the debt to my advantage. After all she did say, and I quote, "Ash Ketchum, I'm not going to leave you until you pay me for my bike!" Empty threat, I know, but a guy can hope.

We did eventually did get back together about a year ago, but it wasn't quite the same. Tracey had discovered several new varieties of pokémon and offered to take me there some day. And as for Brock, he was in a steady relationship and was talking about marriage. Marriage and Brock was not a concept I could handle. Neither was 'Charles,' Misty's boyfriend. He reminded me of something Muk spat up when he was sick, except not as 'minty fresh.' I have no idea what she sees in the guy. No, wait I do. Dollar signs. I never thought of Misty as being shallow, but then everyone is full of surprises, especially me. After retiring my title two years ago, I became Professor Oak's aide. So, between work and school, I never had any time for traveling, which made our reunion so important.

Well, that was history, now onto current events. The day started like any other, a Pidgey announcing the rising of the sun, a fresh layer of dew on the grass, and Pikachu shocking me...

~§~

"Pikapi!" he shouted at me after he fried my bed.

"I'm up, I'm up," I yawned as I slowly slid out of bed.

"Honey," my mom called from downstairs, "you better hurry or you'll be late for school."

"All right, Mom," I called back. Between her, Pikachu, and Mimie, I've never been late to class since returning from the Pokémon League.

After taking a shower to get rid of the burnt smell, I managed to get in a quick breakfast before leaving for school. School went by just fine. Except for a little argument with Gary about which was the best water pokémon, the day was pretty much routine. Then, I went to work.

"Ash, I want to show you something," Prof. Oak told me as Pikachu and I entered the lab.

"What is it, Professor?" I asked. I saw he had a couple of rocks on the lab table, which I identified as the evolutionary stones.

"First, tell me what you know about these stones," Prof. Oak told me. He was always testing my knowledge to make sure I was actually learning.

"Well, the fire, water, thunder, and leaf stones generally evolve pokémon of the same category as the stone or turn them into the category of the stone," I answered.

"And the moon stone?" he asked.

"It only evolve certain normal pokémon, but rarely changes type classification."

"Very good," Prof. Oak congratulated me. "I see you've finally been studying."

He picked up one of the stones off the table. From coloring, I could tell it was a moon stone.

"Now how does the moon stone affect the pokémon Evee?" he asked.

"It doesn't, sir." I was getting an idea what his latest project was going to be.

"Well, we're going to see if we can change that," he said as he led me to another part of the lab. Inside this room was lots of heavy machinery.

"This device will alter the molecular structure of the stone so that it affects a greater variety of pokémon," he told me as he placed into the machine. "The process is going to take several hours. I figured in the meantime, we could find a volunteer for the experiment."

We left the lab and spent the next three hours searching through the Evees in his reserve for one willing to take place in the experiment. When we finally one willing, he told me that the stone was also ready. We then walked back into the lab. That's when everything went wrong.

"Prepare for trouble," a familiar voice said after we had shut the door.

"And make it double."

"Won't you two ever grow up," I sighed as Pikachu leaped unto my shoulders.

"Don't interrupt us while we're saying our motto!" Jessie shouted at me.

"Forget the stupid motto," Meowth said as he jumped between the door and Prof. Oak. "Just grab dat Pikachu and Evee too."

"What about our motto?" James whined. "It's tradition."

"I think some traditions need to be changed," Meowth snapped at him. "Like our losing streak."

"I don't have time for this," I sighed. "Pikachu, thundershock these three to kingdom..."

Prof. Oak put his hand over my mouth before I could finish the order. "Not in here," he said as he pointed to the now glowing moon stone.

"Enough of this bickering," Jessie shouted to her partners. "We came to steal that Pikachu, and that's what were going do. Arbok, go!"

"Please, not here," Prof. Oak pleaded.

"Sure, old man," Jessie laughed. "Just tell the twerp to hand over his Pikachu."

"Not on your life!" I shouted back.

"How about yours?" James replied as he released Weezing.

"We need to get them away from that stone," Prof. Oak told me as he ran towards Meowth and the door.

"And where's you think you're going?" Meowth asked as he tripped Prof. Oak.

During this time, the idea of actually fighting these two morons crossed my mind. That was my first mistake. This was my second.

"We got to risk it," I told Pikachu. "Thunderwave, now!"

I had hoped that the attack would paralyze the pokémon without damaging the machinery. I was wrong, dead wrong. One by one, different panels began to blow up on the machines. One of the first actually sent Jessie and James out the window. And while they 'blasted off' for the umpteenth time, I was busy trying to save Pikachu, Evee, and the Professor. Lucky for us, Meowth ran out the door when the place became one giant bomb. As the others made it out the door, I felt something very hard hit me in the back of the head. I don't remember much after that except Pikachu screaming, "Pikapi!" Then everything went dark.

~§~

When I finally woke up, the world looked different, taller to more precise.

"Professor," I called. As I tried to sit up, a massive headache forced me back down.

"Oh, your awake," a voice said when I heard a door open. I looked over and saw Nurse Joy walk towards me.

"I didn't know you also treated humans," I commented. The look on her face reminded me of Misty in the Viridian Forest.

"Prof. Oak didn't say you could talk," she said.

"And how many sixteen-year-olds do you know that are mute?" I replied sarcastically, but she was beginning to frighten me.

"I think I better tell him you're awake," she said as she left the room.

After she left, I sighed as I lied back down. When I turned my head to its side, I noticed an image in polish bed rails.

"Oh boy," I saw the Pikachu's image mouth.

"He's in here, Professor," I heard Nurse Joy say from behind the door.

When Prof. Oak came in, Pikachu was running behind him.

"Pikapi?" he asked when he saw who was in the bed.

"It's me, Pikachu," I told him. "Prof. Oak, what's happened to me?"

"In the explosion," he replied, "the hybrid moon stone was blown out of the machine and hit you in the back. I never thought that it could affect humans."

"Can you change me back?" I asked. Trying to remain calm was at the top of my mind, but I didn't know how much longer I'd stay rational.

"I don't know if I can," he sighed. Under his breath, I heard him murmur something.

I just laid in the bed silent. Millions of thoughts raced through my mind. What am I supposed to do now? Live in the forest with wild pokémon or stay in Pallet with Mom or Prof. Oak? What is Mom going to say? What will Misty say? It was the final thought that scared me to death. Can I be captured?

Prof. Oak must have seen the look on my face because he started to rub the back of neck. Did he seriously think I am pokémon?

"It'll be all right, Ash," he tried to comfort me.

"All right?" I shouted. I may be stuck as a Pikachu for the rest of my life, and all he could say was 'all right?'

"You need to calm down," he told me. Outside the frosted glass window on the door, I noticed a small crowd gathering, but at the time, I just didn't care.

"When your life has been ruined by two morons and a talking Meowth, then you can tell me 'it'll be all right!'" I continued. It was at this time that the room started to shrink to a more 'normal' size.

"Ash?" Prof. Oak finally spoke once the room stopped shrinking. "You're human again."

I demanded a mirror to confirm his statement. When he handed it to me, I was greeted by my own face.

"Never thought I could be happier to see this face," I commented as I checked to make sure I was fully human again.

"Maybe it was just something temporary," he said as he pulled out his modified pokédex. "Scan and identify."

We waited for several minutes before it gave a response.

"Error in processing. Scanner malfunction," it chirped. "Suggest maintenance immediately."

"Ignore diagnostic," Prof. Oak sighed. "Just give the findings."

"Subject identified as Trainer Ash Satoshi Ketchum of Pallet Town," it replied. "Subject identified as unlisted pokémon, type unknown."

"So, I'm still a pokémon?" I asked the Professor.

"If my pokédex is not actually malfunctioning," he replied, "yes."

"At least I still look human," I commented as I picked the mirror back up.

"I think we should run some test tomorrow," Prof. Oak told me as I tried to stand up. "Go home and get some sleep. I'll inform your mother and teachers that you will be absent from school tomorrow due to a lab accident."

"At least you're not lying," I replied as I tried to steady myself on the bed rail. I was still very dizzy from the ordeal. "Have you told Mom anything about this?"

"Only that you were in an accident and you are okay," he replied. "I'll drive you home."

~§~

Isn't funny how everything works out? Take a young boy from a town in the middle of no where, and you have a Pokémon Master. Take that same boy and make him the assistant of the most famous pokémon researcher in the world, and you have a new species of pokémon. Well, after a good night of sleep, I woke up the next morning thinking it all was just a crazy dream. That is, until Prof. Oak showed up to take me to his lab.

"These tests should only take a few minutes," he said as I waited in his pokémon analyzer, one of the few pieces of large equipment that survived yesterday's little accident.

"Let's see," I heard him murmur from behind the control panel. "Analyze for probably type."

A pale blue light swept over my body. It kind of tickled a bit.

"Test subject type unknown," it replied.

"All right, check for possible related pokémon," Prof. Oak instructed.

After the scanning light passed over me again, the machine replied, "Possible relation to Subject #151."

"#151?" I asked. "Isn't that Mew?"

"Yes," Prof. Oak grimaced, "but it was a definite type, psychic."

After pushing a few buttons, Prof. Oak instructed to scan for attacks and abilities. This time a dark crimson light scanned me.

"Subject known attacks are as follows: Transform, Teleport," it replied. "Subject possesses one unknown ability."

Prof. Oak sighed at that announcement. "I better call Bill in on this," he informed me. "It would be easier if there were not so many anomalies in your attributes."

"Sorry for being so difficult to identify," I replied. "How about next time I just turn into something simpler, like a Selebi?"

Prof. Oak shot me a glance of unamusement. "This is serious, Ash."

"You think I don't know that?" I almost shouted back. I was having a hard time controlling my anger, but under the circumstances, I think I was allowed a little leeway.

"I'm doing the best I can," he told me. "Right now, the most we can hope for is to identify as many of your attributes as possible. Now I have a more scan to do."

I sighed as another light, this time yellow, scanned me.

"Test subject at level five," it informed us.

A purple light scanned me, and its results rang through the entire lab. "Test subject capable of further evolution."

That was it. I had had it now. Okay, I'm a pokémon. That's difficult, but I can except it, eventually. After all, for practical purposes, I'm still a human. But wait, there's more! There's always 'more'. I can evolve, oh joy. I can turn into some freakish creature if the conditions are met for evolution. My only hope was that the conditions were something that was forced.

"Can this thing tell how I'll evolve?" I asked.

"No," Prof. Oak replied. "Bill would know if there's a device that can do that."

I left the test chamber and walked over to the window. A flock of spearows was flying through the air. They reminded me of a day six years ago that changed my life. Maybe this thing was just another step in my Pokémon Adventure that Brock once told me about.

As I was deep in my thoughts, I didn't notice Prof. Oak walk up behind him.

"I know this must be difficult for you," he said.

"You have no idea," I thoughtlessly replied.

"Come on," Prof. Oak said as he headed to the door. "I think we should test your abilities."

"Try and concentrate," he instructed me. We had spent the past hour trying to repeat the 'Pikachu Incident' but weren't having much success.

Following his advice, I cleared my thoughts of everything but Pikachu. I remembered the first day of being a trainer. How Pikachu refused to be in his pokéball. How he disobeyed all my commands. How we had to run from those spearows. How we met Misty.

"Very good, Ash," Prof. Oak said, breaking my train of thought. "But I thought we were going for Pikachu?"

"Huh?" I blankly asked.

"You're a Tentacruel," he replied holding up a mirror.

I guess thinking about Misty allowed me to change into her favorite water pokémon.

"Now, care to do that again?" Prof. Oak asked.

I found that if I had the pokémon that I was transforming into in front of me helped me. When it was time for me to head home, I had managed to turn into ten types of pokémon and two of them were from memory, Pikachu and Tentacruel. Prof. Oak told me that I should go back to school tomorrow and that we would work on my teleportation in our next session.

~§~

"Earth to Ash," Gary called to me during history.

"Huh?" I replied as I awoke from my daydream. I was thinking about when I transformed into a Pidgey and flew over some of the reserve.

"You seemed out of it," he informed me. "Better not let Mr. Fields catch you like that."

"Right," I replied. Mr. Fields had a special place for me. It was called detention.

"Mr. Ketchum," I heard from the front of the class.

"Yes, sir?" I replied.

"Since you were the last league champion," he answered, "will you please tell us who was the first female champion?"

"Kristen Locks," I replied.

"I see you are actually paying attention," he said as he went back to talking about the traditions of the Indigo League. While normally I would be listening to him, I had more important things on my mind other than the number of steps to the torch.

After about third period, Gary started asking me what was wrong. He had noticed I had been spaced out for most of my classes since we had the same schedule. I simply told him that Prof. Oak had a big experiment planned for this afternoon. He accepted that as a valid answer since he often commented that we both got too rapped up with our work.

I managed to get through most of the day without drawing more attention to myself. After school, ran to the lab and found Prof. Oak waiting inside his den when I arrived.

My teleport skill seemed to develop more rapidly than my transform skill. After half an hour, my range was the entire town of Pallet. I wanted to see how far I could teleport, but Prof. Oak wanted me to work on transforming. I spent the rest of time before I went home working on some of the attacks of my other forms. I managed a thundershock as Pikachu and a poison sting as Tentacruel. The exercises wore me; so I when I got home, I went to bed.

Since the next day was Saturday, I spent most of the day with Prof. Oak and Bill who arrived that morning.

"And you say the analyzer can't id his type?" Bill asked when he was examining me.

"No," Prof. Oak replied. "A comparative analysis suggested he was related to a mew."

"You do know I'm in the room, don't you?" I asked them.

"What about that unknown ability?" Bill asked, ignoring my comment.

"I thought it would be best to wait until you arrived before testing it," Prof. Oak replied.

"I think they've lost it, Pikachu," I commented as the two went on to discuss me.

"Pika," he sighed in agreement.

I decided to leave the two scientists to their discussion. I walked out to the reserve and thought about that unknown ability. I wasn't paying much attention to what was going on around me. A swarm of scythers slowly began to surround me. It wasn't until they let out their battle cry that I noticed what was happening.

"SCYTHER!"

As if on reflex, I quickly discharged a massive thundershock to the swarm. When I saw that all but their leader were down, I gave him a poison sting. Between the thundershock and poison shot, Scyther collapsed on the ground.

"Pikapi?" Pikachu remarked when he saw the scythers.

"Guess I can use the attacks even when I'm human," I commented.

"Ash, you are all right?" Prof. Oak cried when he and Bill came running out of the lab.

"Yeah," I replied. "I think I figured out that unlisted attack."

"I would love to hear about," Bill said as we walked back inside.

~§~

"Well," I explained, "when the swarm first attacked me, I thundershocked them. Then when only the leader was standing, I gave him a poison sting."

"Sounds like you can use your transformed attacks when you are in your natural state," Prof. Oak replied.

"Dittos don't possess that ability," Bill continued, "but we've never been able to thoroughly study a Mew before. I know that they are able to transform, but they usually used psychic attacks when in their natural state."

All this science talk was giving me a headache. Sure I hoped to become Pokémon Researcher eventually, but a sixteen year old can only take so much at one time. So, while Bill and Prof. Oak went on to theorize about my abilities, I made a fridge raid. After discovery that it was filled with poké-chow and tofu, I searched the pantry for anything edible. Finding nothing, I decided now would be the best time to go home.

~§~

"Mom, I'm home," I called as Pikachu and I walked in the front door.

"I'm in the kitchen," she replied. "We've got company."

I walked in the kitchen to see who was here.

"Hey, Brock-o," I greeted my friend who was eating some soup Mom had made.

"Ash, it's been awhile," he replied. "Man, have I got a lot to tell you."

"Like what?" I asked.

"I'll leave you two alone," Mom told us after she placed a bowl of soup in front of me. She then went to the den.

"You remember when I told you that it was getting serious between me and Suzie?"

I was seeing were this was going but decided to play dumb. I'd learn they generally tell you all the details instead of assuming you know them anyway.

"Yeah," I replied. "So, what?"

"Well," Brock said as a big smile covered his face, "we're getting married in three months."

I knew this was coming; there were signs. First, Brock now had a successful business in Pewter with a steady income. Second, Suzie started working with him shortly after he started his breeding center. This also meant that they would be together almost as much as Misty and me were four years ago. Finally, Brock always had a crush on her, even after we parted paths. Still, it didn't comfort me much. Brock's getting married, which meant the world would end soon. Or the miltanks would be showing up soon along with flying swinubs.

"Congratulation," I simply replied. What else could I say?

"I wanted to know if you would be my best man?" he asked.

"You bet," I replied.

"Thanks," he beamed. "Just remember to get that mop you call hair cut."

"What's wrong with my hair?" I demanded.

"Ash," he chided, "you haven't combed it since you were ten. Don't you think you should get a new style?"

"Why tamper with perfection?" I replied.

"Now you're starting to should like Team Rocket," Brock laughed.

"Is Misty going to be in the wedding?" I asked.

"Yes," Brock replied. I could almost swear his smile was getting bigger now. "She's going to be the maid of honor."

I had a feeling that I would get some joke about this soon. Brock always thought that we would make the 'perfect' couple. Too bad Misty didn't feel the same way.

"Maybe you'll get lucky and catch the garter," Brock laughed, "and Misty will catch the bouquet

"For who, Charles?" I replied.

"I guess you haven't heard then. She dumped the chump," he informed me.

It took a minute for that little bit of information to sink in.

"Ash, you okay?"

I glanced at Brock.

"Yeah," I weakly replied. "I just wasn't expecting that."

"Here's your chance," he coached. "I know you've had a crush on her since you both were ten. Go for it, man."

I just grimaced. If only I had known about this a week ago, before the accident.

"I'll have to think about it," I sighed.

"What's to think about?" Brock asked.

"Something's come up," I replied.

"Oh, do you have a girlfriend you never told me about?" he laughed. I didn't respond.

"That's not it, is it?" he asked.

"No, it's not that," I replied. "I just don't think a long distance relationship would work out."

"Whatever," Brock sighed.

He put his hand on shoulder. "Just remember," he continued. "She is going to find someone else if you don't do something."

"I know," I replied as Mom walked back into the kitchen.

"Ash," she said, "Prof. Oak is at the door."

Before I could reply, Prof. Oak was standing in the doorway.

"Ash," he urgently told me, "I must speak with you immediately."

I led him to the den and sat down on the couch. I had a feeling this wasn't going to be good news.

"Bill and I have done a more thorough scan on your DNA," he explained. "We thought that maybe you could filter out the new genes with the use of the pokéball transporter. Unfortunately, you do not have any new genes. Your genes were completely altered. It's a miracle that you still even look human."

"Are you saying that this is permanent?" I demanded.

"At the moment, yes," he answered.

I remained silent. I felt like my life had just been given its death sentence. 'Permanent.' That word meant I could never be human again.

"I think we should tell your mother," he said, breaking my thoughts.

Just as he was about to call my mother into the room, I stopped him.

"Professor, can I be captured?"

"I don't know," he sighed, "but you will need to be cataloged."

"#252, that's me," I remarked.

Prof. Oak shook his head trying not to laugh at the comment.

"I'll refrain from posting a picture," he told me. "Wouldn't want every trainer hounding you to capture you."

"And my name?" I replied. "I think the title '252. Ash Ketchum' would draw some attention."

"Maybe I should forego the pokédex entry for now, then," he conceded. "I should talk to my of my colleagues about it first."

"I would appreciate that," I replied. "Now, Mom, can you come in here?"

Brock and Mom came into the room.

"Brock, this is a private matter," I told him. "Would you mind waiting in the kitchen."

"All right," he replied. "Actually, I should head to the Pokémon Center to get a room."

"Nonsense," Mom told him. "You can stay in the guest room."

"Thanks, Mrs. Ketchum," he replied as he left us to our discussion.

Prof. Oak took a deep breath before beginning.

"Mrs. Ketchum, I told you that there was an accident in the lab a few days ago," he began. Mom nodded in agreement. "I think you better sit down."

I was getting nervous now. How would she take it?

"I think I should just be frank," Prof. Oak continued. "Ash's DNA has been altered so that he now registers as a pokémon."

Mom was silent. Was this a good sign?

"Is his condition permanent?" she calmly asked.

"At the moment, I'm afraid so," Prof. Oak replied.

She looked at me. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

"I didn't want to worry you," I replied.

"Ash, I'm your mother," she said in a comforting voice. "I had a right to know."

"I know," I sighed. "I just thought that we might find a way to reverse this without having to let you know."

"I appreciate your concern," she replied.

I waited for what she would say next.

"Thank you, Professor," she said at last.

"If there any changes, I'll let you know," he said as she led him to the door.

"I would like that," she replied.

After he had left, she returned to the den. She threw her arms around me and started to cry.

"We'll get through this," she said as the tears rolled down her checks.

"I know," I replied. "I know."

~§~

The next morning, I woke up when Pikachu gave me a weak thundershock. I sighed as I got of bed. I walked to the mirror and jumped back when I saw my reflection.

"Add Scyther to my list of forms," I sighed as I returned to normal. "I guess I should train my other forms some."

"Pikachu," Pikachu nodded.

"Maybe I should get Prof. Oak and Bill to help," I said as I started to get dressed. Just as I was about to grab my jeans, pajamas changed into my usual jeans, shirt, and jacket.

"That's weird," I commented, "but it'll cut down on things I need to pack when I go on the road."

I walked downstairs and saw that Brock was cooking breakfast.

"Morning, sleepy head," he greeted. "Hope you like omelets."

"If Misty was here, you be under her mallet," I laughed as I took a plate.

"Why do you think I stopped cooking them after she got Togepi?" he laughed.

Pikachu leaped into his highchair and waited patiently for Brock to bring his omelet. After he was served, he dumped most of the ketchup bottle on it. I'll never understand his love of ketchup, but it makes him happy.

"Ash," Brock said as he sat down with his own plate, "I'm heading back to Pewter once breakfast is over. Care to come?"

I shook my head. "Sorry, but Bill just came in, and Prof. Oak will probably need me to stay here."

"I understand," Brock replied. "We all have responsibilities now. I was lucky I managed a way to come here myself."

"Hate to be away from your lovely fiancée?" I laughed.

"You better believe it," he replied as downed a cup of coffee.

"I would never thought I see you on such a short leash," I continued to laugh.

"At least I have a fiancée," he smugly replied.

"That's a little below the belt," I grumbled.

"I've told you a million times," he said as he picked up his empty plate, "just tell her."

"I don't think I have that option anymore," I sighed.

I could see it now. Hey, Misty. Just thought I should tell you that I've been in love with you since we were ten. BTW, I'm a pokémon now. That'll go over real smooth.

"Your lost, man," Brock replied. He looked down at his watch and said he had to hit the road.

After he left, I headed to Prof. Oak's lab. When I arrived, Bill was anxious to test my abilities for himself. His regiment of exercises was more difficult than Prof. Oak's since he also included battling pokémon. By the end of the day, I had risen to level seven and learned a few attacks as Scyther. I was extremely exhausted when I finally went home. I was actually looking forward to school tomorrow, because there I didn't have to do any more tests.

"Mr. Ketchum," Mrs. Smith snapped at me during literature class. "Will you care to explain why you feel it is necessary to sleep during class?"

I wasn't in the mood for this. I was still tired from yesterday, and the material didn't help to keep me awake. I think it could rival Jiggypuff in putting victims asleep.

"I haven't been feeling too well lately," I replied.

"Unless you're dead," she snapped back, "you have no reason to have your eyes closed in this class."

"Keep at this, and that might happen," I muttered under my breath.

"What was that?" she demanded.

"Yes, ma'am," I replied.

She went back to her monotone description of the book we were going to read, and I tried my best to stay awake. I was grateful when the bell finally rung since this was my last class. I decided that I would head home and get a nap before going to Prof. Oak.

~§~

As I walked up to my front door, Pikachu ran out to greet me.

"Pikapi!" he shouted as he leapt into my arms.

"Hi Pikachu," I laughed. "Miss me?"

As I carried him inside, I heard a rustling in the bushes. I turned to them and out jump my favorite trio in the world.

"Prepare for trouble," Jessie shouted.

"And make it..." James said before I cut in.

"Do mind just jumping to 'Looks like Team Rocket's blasting off again' please," I sighed. "I'm really not feeling too well."

"Are you okay?" James asked with genuine concern before Jessie corrected his attitude with her fan.

"We're here for Pikachu," she shouted into his ear. "Not a social chit-chat."

"Right," he moaned as he jumped back to his feet.

"Pikachu, I think you can handle this," I said as I continued to the door.

Team Rocket had a puzzle look on their faces after I said that remark. I guess it seemed out of character to them, but I was just not the mood for anything but sleep. Their expression soon changed when they realized Pikachu was about to thunderbolt them.

"PIKACHU!" he shouted as the electricity raced through their bodies.

"Meowth," the cat pokémon sighed as he collapsed on my front lawn.

"I think that was a really 'charged' moment," James said as he picked up their fallen pokémon.

"Really 'electrifying' if you ask me," Jessie replied.

"Stop with the bad puns and get lost," I shouted back.

"Looks like Team Rocket's creeping off again," they sighed. I guess they weren't in the mood for a fight either.

I walked up to my room and fell onto my bed. I soon went into a dreamless sleep that lasted until tomorrow morning.

~§~

With only two weeks until school was out, my teachers seemed to be in a rush to get as much in before finals. There wasn't enough Prozac in the world to deal with my stress. On one hand, I had teachers getting on my case because they were trying to ensure we all pass our sophomore year. While on the other, Prof. Oak and Bill were still running countless tests on me. At least Brock's wedding was still two and half months away.

It was about this time another ability started to show itself. I had already mastered my transform and teleport skills and learn at least three skills for each of my four other forms. I still didn't use the clothes thing that much since I was afraid that it might give out and I end up naked. However, this new skill I would really change my relationship with several of my pokémon.

~§~

"Isn't this great, guys," I sighed as all of my pokémon and I were lying by a stream. I still trained whenever I got the chance thinking I would return to the Pokémon League after I graduated. Also, if being a pokémon researcher didn't work out, I could always start my own gym.

"Pika," Pikachu sighed.

They all were enjoying the break. Even Charizard seemed content for once. It was then that I noticed something was different.

*You said it,* Bulbasaur replied.

I blinked at him. I had begun to understand some of them a few years ago but not at this level. It was like trying to translate a foreign language you only half knew. This was totally different. I still heard, "Bulbasaur," but I also knew what it meant.

*Something wrong?* Pikachu asked.

"Yeah," I weakly replied. "I think we better go see Prof. Oak."

*Okay* he said as he leapt onto my shoulder. I recalled the others and started for the Professor's lab.

~§~

"Good afternoon, Ash," Prof. Oak greeted when he opened the door.

"I think I learned another skill," I quickly replied as I walked in.

"What is it?"

"I can understand pokémon," I replied.

"That's nothing new," Prof. Oak laughed. "I can understand pokémon, and it wasn't because of a lab accident."

"Yeah," I snapped back, "but like their taking human?"

Prof. Oak lost his smile. "Perfect translation?"

I nodded. He was finally getting it.

"I wish Bill was here," I said as he quickly went to the pokéball storage room. "He had to leave to discuss your pokédex entry with the Board of Pokémon Research."

"My what?!" I shouted.

"Ash, you knew that you would have to be cataloged," he replied. "As a pokémon researchers, Bill and I have a responsibility to insure a complete listing of all known pokémon. And like it or not, you are a pokémon as well."

Kind of cold if you ask me, but he had point. After all, it might ensure that no one would be foolish enough to repeat the moon stone experiment.

"I think the BPR will decide that the entry of a human pokémon might be dangerous," he went on to say. "A panic might break out if people think that 'wild' pokémon can now walk among them."

"Thanks," I said to that bad way of cheering me up. "Maybe we should just deal with one problem at a time."

*Is it really a problem, Ash?* Pikachu asked. *After all, many trainers wish they could talk with their pokémon like that.*

"I guess you're right," I replied.

"Ash, will you hand me Dexter?" Prof. Oak asked.

"Sure," I answered as I handed my pokédex to him.

"Now, let's see," he muttered as he walked to his computer.

I decided it would be best to just wait for him. I sat down at the couch and pulled out my history book. It wasn't long before he returned with Dexter.

"I made some modifications to Dexter," he informed me. "It can now also track your own development as well as your pokémon."

"Thanks," I replied.

To test it out, I pointed it at myself.

"Level Nine," it chimed. "Attacks: Transform, Teleport, and two unlisted."

"I guess it doesn't include the one's I learned as Pikachu, Tentacruel, and Scyther," I said as I put Dexter in my pocket.

"I assume they fall under your first unknown attack," Prof. Oak replied. "I'm still a bit perplexed at how you've adapted transform. You should develop that skill more."

"I really want to work on my teleport range," I told him. "If I could just teleport from town to town, I could visit my friends more often."

"Why not fly as Scyther?" he asked.

"I never really thought about that," I replied. "I've never really stayed as a pokémon for more than a few minutes."

"Maybe once school is over," Prof. Oak said. "I think we should halt your training until exams are finished."

Yuck! Two weeks of pure schoolwork is a little more than I could handle, but I realized that if I really wanted to take Prof. Oak's place one day, I would have spend a lot of time study.

"You're right," I sighed. "I guess I should head home and get back to studying."

~§~

For the next week, I spent almost all my free time studying. If Misty was around, she would've said, "Who are you, and what have you done to Ash Ketchum?" but then realized that the same dedication that I had for pokémon training was now geared toward schoolwork. At least that is what Mom said.

I started talking with my pokémon more often. I never realized the organizational skills Squirtle had. I guess being the leader of the Squirtle Squad taught him how to be a leader. He helped me get into a very productive study plan.

As for the other pokémon, I got some mixed results. Charizard said he'd help with my training, but I think he really wanted a chance to just beat me up. Bulbasaur turned out to be quite the philosopher, while Snorlax was really just a walking stomach.

When finals started, my nervousness lessened somewhat. I knew I was ready for these tests, and I had planned on leaving for Cerulean once they were over. I never got a chance to talk with Misty about Brock and Suzie's wedding since I was so busy with training and school. I guess the gym kept her busy as well.

As far as the exams went, I surprised some of teachers by getting some of the highest grades. Take that, Mr. Fields.

Now with school over, I packed my backpack with clothes and supplies. I decided to take Prof. Oak's advice and fly to Cerulean as Scyther. I would just have to avoid any trainers so they wouldn't try to capture me, but I think the exercise would be worth the trouble.

So, I told Mom good-bye, convinced Pikachu to get in his pokéball so I wouldn't have to be weighed down by him riding on my back, and transformed into Scyther. As I flew through the clouds, I watched the sun sink beneath the horizon. It reminded me of the sunset after I released Butterfree. I could almost hear Misty sighing, "This is so romantic."

When Cerulean was just a few minutes walk away, I landed and returned to normal. Staying as Scyther for so long was very tiring, but I had enough energy to make it the Pokémon Center. There, I turned into Pikachu and slipped into the rejuvenator. One of the advantages of being a pokémon was these things worked on me. Once completely restored, I slipped out before Nurse Joy caught me. After returning to normal, I checked in for the night.

To be continued...