Under The Skin
It was everywhere.
Hacking as he breathed in more smoke, he looked around frantically, searching for something. What is was he didn't know, but he loved it dearly all the same. He stumbled through the area he was in, not able to see if it was a building or a forest. The smoke was too thick and the flames too high.
Something white flashed across his line of sight, so he followed. It was an Eevee. It stopped and looked back at him, its pink eyes watching him steadily, sadly, as if it was saying it was sorry.
Then black shapes rose out of the flames around them, holding guns pointed at the tiny creature. He felt fear rise up in his chest at an alarming rate. No! he screamed. Not again! The shapes ignored him however, and raised the weapons. With a cry of anguish, he leapt forward to shield the pokemon from it's death.
"Hold him down!"
"He has to stop moving! He'll hurt himself!"
Where am I?
"Get those restraints!"
What's going on? It hurts…
Something was pressed against his face, and he felt his racing heart calm. He was able to think clearly now, even if he was still scared shitless. He couldn't even open his eyes. Did he even have any? He couldn't remember.
"What's going on?" Came a new voice, now the fourth in the room. It was old and worn, etched with worry.
"He'll be fine, Professor Oak." said one of the already existing voices. "He was having a rather violent nightmare, scared us. We were able to get him to calm down a bit. Had to drug him up to do it though. He may be awake, but he'll be really out of it."
"Can I stay with him for the rest of the night?" Oak asked.
"Of course. I'll be just down the hall if anything happens."
Shuffling feet, clinking, then a slight click.
It was quiet.
Then more shuffling. Someone sat down beside him, and sighed. He felt his hand being held, old, calloused fingers rubbing the back of his hand.
"Please be okay, Gary. We all miss you. Even Ash." Oak was tired, Gary could tell even through the haze the drugs had made in his mind. His grandfather had never sounded so old before. He fought against the drowsiness and cracked his eyes open as much as he could. His grandfather slowly came into focus.
"…gramps?" He whispered. His voice was rough from misuse and it broke, but it did the trick. Samuel Oak jerked his head up from looking at his grandsons limp hand to see hazy blue eyes looking at him through heavy lidded eyes. He stood quickly, gripping Gary's hand harder in both of his own.
"I'm here, Gary. I'm here." He saw a small smile on Gary's face as he felt the weak hand grip his old weathered ones a little harder. He fell back to sleep soon after, pulled into a dreamless sleep by the drugs.
Oak sat down slowly, the tears he had held at bay for months finally coming to the surface. He couldn't hold them back any longer and began to cry, shaking with his relived sobs.
His grandson was okay.
He was going to live.
Gary slowly became aware of the world around him. It was daylight, that much he knew. Sunlight was hitting his face, and he could hear birdsong from an open window.
He could at least remember his name now. He vaguely remembered that he couldn't at some point. When that was, he had no idea. His sense of time was warped, not that it mattered. He could catch up, make up the time he had lost simply laying here.
"What time is it?"
He hadn't known there were people in the room with him…
"Ash, you asked that five minutes ago!" whispered a disgruntled female. Gary felt his hand twitch in reaction to the name, and tried to locate the place Ash's voice had come from. He remembered him, his rival, his best friend.
"Hey, he moved." Ash said. Someone moved to his side, taking his hand. "Hey, Gary, can you hear me?"
Gary groaned, the sound coming out of him a sigh. His mouth was dry and he wanted some water badly. He struggled to open his eyes as someone else hurried out of the room. Gary watched as Ash's worried face came into view slowly. The black hair was a bit longer, but the green eyes were the same.
"…Ashy boy?" Gary whispered. Ash nodded, a grin spreading on his face.
"Yeah, that's right. Hey hun, can you grab him some water?"
"Sure." Gary heard someone move on his other side, but didn't bother to look. He kept eye contact with Ash.
"Brock just went to get Oak. He's been the most worried about you. Think you can sit up?" Ash asked, speaking slowly. Gary still took a little bit to register what Ash had said, and nodded as the rooms other occupant put some water on his lips. It felt good and he wanted more. There was the whirring of machines as the room dimmed.
"Good idea, Misty." Ash smiled as the red head came back.
"I can't give you the cup just yet." Misty told Gary. "You'll have to do with little dabs." Gary could only nod and lick the water off of his lips so he could ease his burning throat. His tongue felt swollen, and that soon began to subside. He leaned his head back, trying to gather his thoughts when there was a noise at the door. He looked, to see his grandfather standing in a state of shock/relief.
"Hey, Gramps." Gary said, relived to see his voice was a little closer to being normal. It didn't hurt to say anything, and his voice cracked a little less. Oak smiled, and hurried to Gary's side. Ash stepped out of the way so that Oak could sit next to the bed.
"I'm so glad you are okay…I thought I had lost you…" He was then crying too hard to say anything else, gripping Gary's hand tightly. Gary closed his eyes, wondering what had happened to him. He only just remembered the people in the room, but he couldn't bring up any other information. He could only grip his grandfather's hand in return, feeling sleepy again.
"I'm glad to see you too, Gramps…guys…" He murmured as he let himself slip back into sleep. He knew he would wake sooner this time.
Gary sat looking around the plain hospital room. It had been a week since the last time he had woken, and he was awaiting his visitors. The doctor had finally gotten the four to go home, then return when Gary was awake again. Gary had been able to sit up for several hours without feeling sleepy if he didn't do too much. However, several hours of having a clear mind was all Gary needed to come up with what felt like hundreds of questions. There was a huge gap in his memory, and he couldn't figure out what was missing. The last memory he could recall was one where he was driving down a road.
He looked up as the door opened, and in came Oak, his sister Daisy, Delia, Ash and Pikachu, Brock, and Misty. No one else had come, but why had Gary been expecting any different?
"How are you feeling?" Delia asked, touching Gary's forehead as a reflex.
"I feel fine, a little sore, maybe." Gary replied. "I can't remember much. There's a huge blank spot in my memory." He said, not catching the worried faces. "Anyway, good to see everyone again. It's been ages I'm sure." Gary smiled, trying to lighten the mood a bit. Ash seemed to have caught on as he 'humped' and crossed his arms with a smirk.
"You bet you were out for ages! You completely missed the Elite Four Challenge!"
"What, did you climb to the top finally, Ashy boy?" Gary asked, feeling a bit of his energy coming back. Ash opened his mouth as if to reply, then closed it, crossed his arms, and looked away, appearing almost embarrassed.
"Oh, Ash was in the Challenge all right." Oak stated proudly. "Reached all the way to the finals. Once he heard you were hurt, he withdrew and hurried right over. Made history he did." Gary stared at Ash.
"Put your eyes back in your head, Gary." Ash laughed. "You were more important than a title. There is always next year." Gary smiled.
Gary looked over at Brock, seeing the budding pokemon breeder in a uniform he didn't recognize.
"What's the last thing you remember?" Brock asked.
"I was driving down the highway heading to pewter city. I think it was August 25th, 2004." Gary said, feeling a little proud of himself. His visitors exchanged a look that gave him the chills."
"Gary. It's April 16th, 2009." Ash said. Gary was dumbstruck. He had been asleep for five years? What had happened to him? "You've been asleep for three months." Gary sat in silence for several minutes, trying to wrap his tired mind around the truth.
"What happened?" He croaked, staring at everyone in turn.
"That's what we were hoping you could tell us." Ash nearly whispered. Gary sank back against his pillows, suddenly exhausted. Oak squeezed Gary's hand and smiled.
"It's okay, go back to sleep." He said, smiling encouragingly at his grandson. Gary nodded and closed his eyes, falling asleep moments later. The people in the room exchanged worried looks before looking back at the auburn haired young man asleep in the hospital bed.
There! i've posted this on deviantart too, although it's further along there. I have a really good stock of chapters, so unless i forget to update weekly, you won't be sitting on your hands waiting for me to type one up.
I really hope you like this, whoever reads it. I've looked over some of the other fanfictions, and i'll be working with the cocky personality Gary has in the show eventually. I really don't like how everone makes him out to be an asshole-player though. Doesn't quite work.
anyway, i hope you'll stick by and see what happens! thankx for reading the first chapter of Under the Skin!