So, I'm so glad that I've finally got this story to the point where I can post it. I really want you guys to enjoy this. If you don't, by all means be honest, but I hope you do. Anyway, on to the story!
DISCLAIMER: I own none of the rights to characters or names. This is a story for pure entertainment and out of respect for a great show from my childhood. No profits are gained by me.
Chapter 1: Arrival
All Pokémon Master hopefuls know that their journey can be stressful, at the least. For some, though, the journey can be far more stressful at several times for several reasons. And sometimes, they can be downright boring. And the latter is certainly the case for one black haired Pokémon trainer from Pallet Town and yellow electric Pokémon companion.
Ash Ketchum was sitting in the lobby of a Pokémon Center in Blackthorn City, reading a travel book about where to go next. Pikachu was sitting at his side, looking around at all of the people. After a while, Ash put the book by his side and tilted his head back.
He groaned, "This is soooooo boring."
Pikachu sat back in the chair, "Pika pika."
"I miss Brock. He was good at this kind of stuff."
Ash had been traveling with just Pikachu and his Pokémon for a year now. With ten years of traveling under his belt and now 20-years-old, he wanted to figure how he did on his own. Just on his own. And, while he did have great success and some failures, it was very dull at times, especially without people to share the experiences with. He would constantly keep his mother, Brock, and Misty informed of what he was up to, including the occasional letter or phone call to May, Dawn, and others but it just was not the same with just him and Pikachu traveling. Both trainer and Pokémon missed the friends nearby if, for no other reason, than to make the boring times seem a little easier to bear.
Brock and Misty were especially were the best people for him to travel with. All the times that they had together, the adventures, the battles, even the good-byes in Ash's mind, were great times. Plus, they were Ash's first friends. And best. Simply put, Ash missed them.
All of this thinking was starting to depress Ash. He looked down at Pikachu. "Let's go."
"Pika pi." Pikachu hopped up on Ash's shoulder and they got up to leave.
They were just about out of the door when Ash looked up and saw a poster on the bulletin board. It had the picture of a mountain, people wearing winter clothing and smiling. The poster's tagline read: "Stressed? Wanna get away? Come to Mt. Nakari! Forget your troubles!" The poster gave details of where the mountain was located. It was in the northern Sinnoh region.
"Hmm." Ask looked at Pikachu. "Could be fun. Whadda say, pal?"
"Pikachu!" he said, excitedly.
"Alright. Let's go."
A couple of days later, Ash and Pikachu were on a crowded train, headed to Mt. Nakari. With not even any sitting room on the train, Ash was standing amongst all the people in the crowded train car with Pikachu on his shoulder but there was barely enough room to do that.
After being shoved around a few times, Ash sighed. "I'm starting to think that this wasn't worth it."
"Pika…" Pikachu sighed in agreement.
Minutes later, the train pulled into the station and Nakari Town, the small town at the base of Mt. Nakari. But Ash and Pikachu's eyes were immediately drawn to the large majestic peak that the town was named after.
Mt. Nakari was vast, standing as one of the highest mountains in the region and having a forty mile wide base. The light, at any angle, was catching the majesty of it perfectly, making the white snow clear as day and giving the mountain a purplish hue. Even without the colors, it easily left anyone in pure of its massive size alone. Ash and Pikachu had spent their time on mountains but there something different about Nakari, something neither of them could grasp hold of. It had them so enthralled that Ash literally had to force himself back to his surroundings.
Ash looked around as the other passengers disembarked from the train and, seemingly, knew exactly where to go, taking a road that went to the left of the station and around the bend of the mountain. Not having the same insight as the rest of them, the trainer from Pallet walked into the small town directly before him, to the nearest Pokémon Center. Once arriving there, Ash and Pikachu saw how there was absolutely no one in the front lobby of the center.
Pikachu turned his head to side, curious. "Pika?"
"Ooooookaayyyy." Ash then rubbed his head, "Where is everybody?"
As they stood there, they were soon greeted by the resident Nurse Joy, emerging from a back room on the other side of the desk. "Oh. Hello there and welcome to Nakari Town." She bowed.
Ash nodded, "Thanks. I read about some resort near here. How do I find that?"
She rose up. "Oh, you must mean the Nakari Resort."
"Yeah, that's it. How do I find it?"
She looked at him confused. "You… don't know where it is."
'Why is she looking at me like I'm from another planet?' he thought. "No, sorry to say I don't."
"Oh, you must not have made a reservation, then."
"Yes, it's a must. Hardly anyone stays here in the Center anymore since this is more of a resort town now. The place is usually only available by reserva…tion…" Nurse Joy's voice slowed when she realized what she was saying, though she couldn't stop it from coming out.
The damage had been done anyway. Ash just sighed, "Great. Came all this way…"
"Pika pi…" Pikachu echoed the frustration.
Seeing the defeat in their eyes and hearing it in their voices, Nurse Joy took pity on them. "Well… they may have a couple of rooms open. It… could happen."
Ash sighed again, "Yeah… sure."
Nurse Joy shrugged, "Follow the road that leads northwest." The same road Ash saw everyone else taking. "It will lead you straight there."
Another sigh escaped as the young trainer shrugged. "Alright."
"But, hey, if things don't work out there, you're more than welcome to come back here."
Ash nodded and put on the best smile he could. "Cool. And thank you."
She smiled back. "You're welcome."
Ash and Pikachu then left the Center, following the road to the resort. After walking for about twenty minutes, Ash and Pikachu saw the large mansion-looking Mt. Nakari Resort. It wasn't an overly colorful place but it was big enough to make one stop and stare, echoing the feeling that one got from the mountain. It was four stories tall but it was the width that was the real impressive size. If Ash didn't know any better, he'd say that it was half the size of Pallet. And he was closer to right than he thought. There were numerous windows, evenly spaced out between each story. The front entrance had large stone arch that stretched up two stories and there was glass in the arch that showed the inside of the lobby.
"Whoa…" Ash breathed.
Ash looked at Pikachu. "Looks like a nice place, huh, pal?"
After getting inside the resort, Ash and Pikachu looked around and found it to be quite the classy place. With huge crystal chandeliers hanging above, brightly tiled floors, and beautiful furnishings all around, it was easily a five-star hotel.
And definitely out of Ash's price range. "Um… Pikachu?"
Ash put his hands in his pockets, "I'm positive we won't be able to afford this."
Pikachu just stared at his master then hung his head, "Pika…"
"Yeah… I know…" They stood there looking at all of the people. Seeing how crowded it was led Ash to say, "It's just as well. Doesn't look like there's any room, anyway."
"Oh, well. Let's just head back to the Pokémon Center. We can figure out what to do from there. Maybe we can go to…"
"Is that Ash?" a very familiar voice rang out.
Ash instantly recognized the voice. "Oh, no…" Ash breathed, "Gary…"
He turned around and, sure enough, there was Gary Oak, his first rival and person he'd known longest in this world, aside from his mother. A fact that Ash hated to admit.
Gary hadn't changed all that much; he still, more or less, looked the same from Ash's point of view, if only a little older. He still wanted to be a researcher like his grandfather but competed in league battles every other year or so. Per usual, Gary was surrounded by a pack of girls, none of which he was interested in, Ash knew this for a fact; they were just groupies. Not so standard was that he was also being followed by an entourage of his body guards, or "henchmen" as Ash thought of them, and paparazzi. The new additions to Gary's group were because he was coming off an impressive victory a few months ago against another of Ash's rivals, Paul. Ash was in another region from where the tournament took place and only watched when heard that Gary and Paul were going to battle one another. Ash saw the whole battle on television and even he had to admit that it was a classic.
Still, none of that made Ash any happier to see Gary, nor did his private thoughts keep the young mister Oak from walking over and throwing his arm around the raven haired trainer.
"Ash!" Gary exclaimed. "I knew that was you! How long has it been?"
Ash sighed. "Five years, Gary."
"Five years too long, buddy!" He then waved at his paparazzi, "Come get a shot of us, guys. The original Pallet boys, together again."
Dozens of flash bulbs went off at a time. So much so that Pikachu became dizzy very quickly. Ash could barely see through all of the light but managed to see that Pikachu was a little dazed.
Upon seeing Pikachu's woozy state and being pretty tired of it himself, Ash started to steady Pikachu. "O-okay, enough with the photos."
Smiling, Gary waved them off, "Take five, guys."
The cameras stopped flashing and Pikachu soon shook off the effects.
"You okay, pal?" Ash asked.
"Pika pika," Pikachu replied, moving his hand in the 'so-so' motion.
Gary chuckled, "Forgot that you're not one for the fast life."
Ash just chuckled, "Guess not."
"How ya been?"
Ash shrugged. "Eh, making it."
"Heard about Hoenn. Sorry, man."
He shrugged again. "What are gonna do? It happens. A loss is a loss. Nothing to do but learn and keep going."
"Ain't that the truth. You get my letter?"
Ash became even more discouraged, though he tried to hide it. "Yeah… I got it."
"So, you gonna be able to make to Pallet for the…"
"I'll see. I'll see." Ash kicked himself: forced that answer out too quick.
Regardless, Gary did not seem to notice. "Alright, man. So, what's your room number?"
"Oh, uh… I… uh… don't… have one…"
Gary was surprised. "Oh."
"Yeah… Didn't know you had to reserve one."
This moment was incredibly awkward for them both. The silence didn't help. Ash hated that he just admitted to Gary he didn't have a room while Gary felt awkward for asking in the first place.
Nevertheless, Gary was determined to right his wrong. He patted his friend on the shoulder, "Hey, don't worry about it, man. I can get you a room."
Ash was surprised. "Thanks, but no thanks, Gary. I'm good."
"You sure, man? It's no problem."
Ash was now pleasantly surprised. Gary was genuinely being nice to him. So, he smiled. "Thanks, Gary, I mean it. Really, I do. It's enough that you would even offer. But… I'm good. Thanks."
Gary was a little surprised but only for a second. If there was one thing he knew for sure about Ash it was that the guy never took handouts. Not so much out of pride but because he knew like to do things his way. That was thing that they always had in common. And it was probably what made them such good rivals. He just patted his friend on the back. "Alright, Ash. See you around?"
Ash shrugged, "We'll see." He then made his way past all of the people and out of the door, all the while Gary watching him leave.
After Ash was out of the door, Gary folded his arms, smiling, "Hmph. Same old Ash."
Ash and Pikachu made it outside, just in time to see that dusk was falling on the region. From where they stood in front of the Resort, Ash could see the twilight of the sky and just the remnants of the glare from the sun over Mt. Nakari. Both master and Pokémon stood in awe of the image. It was even more beautiful than earlier and neither of them could believe that was even possible.
Ash could hear people talking around him but really could not make out much, especially with the sight he was viewing. He was ignoring the voices and enjoying the peace of the scene.
Soon, however, both Ash and Pikachu could hear that one conversation nearby was possibly directed at them.
"Are you sure?" said voice one.
"Yes, I'm sure," said voice two. "It's him."
"He looks different," said voice one.
"That's because the last time we saw him was on TV," voice two retorted.
Ash sighed, figuring that it was someone who saw him from the last league battle he was in, wanting to ask him what it felt like to make it all the way to the finals and still lose. It wouldn't be the first time he heard it, though he was praying it would be the last. He tried out for the Hoenn League again, got to the finals, and lost to a trainer named Roderick. Gary alluded to it earlier but, thankfully, didn't go into detail or ask questions about it. Regardless of the outcome, it was a hard fought bout that distance and Ash felt no shame in the loss. He respected his opponent before and even more so after the match. Ash even loved the match itself. He was just getting tired of people bringing up the loss. He very seldom was praised for the performance or asked to comment on the battle itself but, instead, was constantly asked that same irritating question of how it felt to lose. He was so sick of answering that question that he had no idea what to do if he was asked that question again, though his initial thought was to scream.
"Excuse me?" voice two asked, coming up to him. The voice was clearly female.
With his back to the woman, Ash silently groaned and rolled his eyes, knowing what question was coming next.
"Are you Ash Ketchum of Pallet?"
Ash sighed, "Yeah, that's me." 'Here it comes…'
He heard the woman giggle. "Well, don't you owe me a bike from like ten years ago?"
Ash groaned, "Oh, come on, Misty, I got you a new one and every…" His eyes grew wide. "Wait a minute…" He had no idea that he recognized the voice that was talking to him. It was a subliminal reaction. The scenery had him and Pikachu in such rapture that he didn't even realize that he knew who was standing behind him by voice alone.
Ash turned around and sure enough, there was the red-headed Cerulean City gym leader, Misty Waterflower.
Ash chuckled, "M-Misty."
She put on of her brilliant smiles. "Hey, Ash."
"PIKA!" Pikachu shouted excitedly, quickly hopping off of Ash's shoulder and into her arms.
Misty, of course, was only too eager to hug him. "Awww, Pikachu. Did you miss me?"
"Chu…" Pikachu cooed, agreeing.
Ash just scoffed, "Wow. Thanks for that, buddy."
He smirked. "Only a little."
Misty rolled her eyes, "Fine. Come here, you big baby."
Misty then pulled Ash in and hugged him, while still holding Pikachu. The hug, for both Ash and Pikachu, felt awesome.
As they hugged, Ash looked and saw that his other best friend and the big brother he wished he could've had, Brock Slate, was standing just feet away.
"Brock?" Ash asked, in disbelief.
"What's up, Ash?" Brock greeted.
Misty released her hold on Ash as Brock walked up, throwing his arm around Ash's neck and resting it on his shoulder. It made Ash feel like old times, if only for a brief second. It made him happy to see them both again.
"What's been going on, man?" Brock asked.
Ash chuckled, "Not much. Just, ya know, battling and traveling. More of the last part lately."
"How's that been going?" Misty asked.
"Pikachu!" Pikachu chimed in, giving the indication of horrible.
All three looked at him and had a quick laugh.
"To clarify," Ash said, "he means it's been a little boring."
"Oh," Brock said, "sorry to hear that, man."
Ash just waved it off, "Don't worry about it."
Both of his former travel companions looked at Ash and could tell that he was hiding being so bored with things as they were. They knew him well enough to know that.
"So, are you staying here at the Resort?" Misty asked.
Knowing that they would catch him in a lie or that Pikachu would tell, Ash decided to just confess. So, he sighed. "No… didn't reserve a room. Just came this way on impulse." He shrugged, "Guess I still lack planning skills, huh?"
The twosome felt bad for Ash. He was not whimpering for sympathy or putting on act; he was just being truthful.
Misty then made a decision. She took Ash by the hand. "Come on."
As she pulled him, Ash asked, "What? Where are we going?"
"Just come on."
All of them went inside the Resort and walked up to the front desk.
"Excuse me," Misty said.
The attendant at the desk looked up. "Yes, how may I help you?"
"We have reservations under the name Misty Waterflower and Brock Slate for the double suite."
'Double suite?' Ash thought. 'Wow… they must've struck it rich or something.'
The receptionist typed a little bit. "Why, yes. I have your keys right here."
"Umm… may we have one more key?"
'One more key?' Ash thought.
Brock smiled. 'Nice one, Misty.'
The receptionist smiled. "Absolutely. But, you must be aware that your suite only comes with two beds."
Misty just giggled. "That's alright."
"Umm… Misty?" Ash asked.
"You don't have to do this. Me and Pikachu will just go back to the Center and…"
"No way. You're staying with us."
"She's right, man," Brock chimed in. "I was about to do the same but she beat me to it."
"So, you're staying with us," Misty repeated. "And we aren't going to take 'no' for an answer."
Ash looked at Brock who, while already smiling, folded his arms and nodded his head. Ash then looked at Pikachu on Misty's shoulder who gave his master a thumbs-up.
Ash chuckled, "Okay. I give."
"Good." Misty looked back at the receptionist. "Sorry about that. It's all settled."
"Alright then." The receptionist handed the three card keys to the trio for their room. "Suite 507."
"Thank you!" Misty smiled.
"You're most welcome," the receptionist said, bowing in respect.
Misty looked at the boys. "Shall we?"
"We shall," Brock answered.
"Pi Pikachu!" Pikachu agreed.
Ash just chuckled. "Guess so."
"Good," Misty said. "Let's go."
She then led the way to the elevators and, as the two boys followed behind her, Ash leaned toward Brock. "When did she become the leader?"
Brock chuckled, "When was she not?"
Ash chuckled, as well. "Good point."
They went to their room and Brock opened the door. It was completely furnished and amazingly lavish. It looked like an apartment. The room they entered into was the living room with a large couch on the right hand side and a big screen television against the far wall along with a painting on the left wall. There were also doors on the left and right walls that led to the bedrooms.
How much money it would take to afford a room like this was beyond Ash. It was definitely more than he had. So he wondered where Misty and Brock came up with the funds. "Um, no offense, guys, but how can you all afford this?"
"We saved like crazy," Misty said, giggling afterward.
"For like a year and a half," Brock added.
"Wow." Even with two years, Ash doubted he could afford a room like this. But, seeing how it was a double, it made more sense to Ash how they could swing the cost.
"Alright, come on, Ash. You can share my bed."
Ash just shook his head, "No way, man. It's your money, your room, your bed."
Misty shrugged. "Well…" She walked up to Ash, "…you wanna share my bed?"
Misty was very close to Ash by the end of her sentence, causing him to gulp as he actually considered the offer. It was hard for Ash, Brock, or even Pikachu to determine whether or not Misty was kidding.
'What am I thinking?' Ash thought to himself. He then shook his head, "No… no… no, I'll just take the couch."
Misty just shrugged, "Suit yourself." She grabbed Pikachu. "But he's coming with me." She looked at Pikachu. "If that's fine with you."
"Chu…" Pikachu approved.
"And you." Misty looked at Ash.
"Umm… fine with me," Ash confirmed.
"'Kay! Night, boys." She then took her suitcase and Pikachu into her room.
After she went inside, Ash looked at Brock. "What just happened?"
Brock just laughed, "Well, bro, if you have to ask…" He headed into his room.
Alone, Ash scratched his head, "What was that all about?"
So, there's chapter 1! Please, review! Chapter should be up later this week. Enjoy!