After what felt like an eternity, the Poke Ball finally stopped shaking and sealed shut. Becky breathed a sigh of relief as she walked over to pick up her new Pokemon. "You better be worth it, or I'm boxing you." She threatened the Slakoth, despite it not actually being present. "Now what should I na-"
"Tox!" Duster cried out in joy, getting Becky's attention. He was in such a rush to evolve that he turned into a Dustox while her head was turned. He flew around her head, proudly displaying his new wings. She grinned. "Glad to see you still have energy. We should probably get to Petalburg though. We need to heal you guys up, plus I wanna grab something to eat!"
They made their way over to Petalburg with relative ease. It was larger than the previous two towns, but still wasn't very large. The Pokemon Center was close to the entrance, so she stopped by there first. The nurses seemed a bit restless, as if there were something going on, but Becky decided not to question it, and waited for her team to recover.
After the brief delay, she decided to grab some food. The Center had a restaurant where she could sit down and eat, but she decided against it and just picked up a sandwich from the Poke Mart. Wandering around town, with sandwich in hand, she was about to take her first bite when she heard a cry of pain. Turning towards the voice, she saw a scruffy-looking Pikachu clutching its foot. Concerned, she slowly approached the Pikachu and crouched down.
"Are you alright?" Becky asked. "What's the matter?" The Pikachu looked up straight into her eyes. It's eyes were filled with sorrow. She couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor thing.
Without warning, the Pikachu snatched the sandwich out of her hands and ran with it. Becky blinked, processing what just happened, but soon ran after it in a rage. "Hey, that's my sandwich! Give it back, you yellow rat!" She chased after the Pikachu, who easily out-sped her. It wasn't long before she lost sight of it, but she refused to give up the search. It was only a sandwich, but she still wanted to give him a piece of her mind.
Eventually, she found the mischievous Pokemon behind the local inn. The sandwich was nowhere to be seen, it was probably eaten, but there were two Meowth with it. The duo clearly weren't friends with him, as their claws were extended, and the Pikachu had visible scratches on his body. It was easy to figure out what happened. Even though he was a thief, he didn't deserved to be ganged up on by stronger Pokemon.
"Go, Bayou! We can't let him get beat up like this." Bayou emerged from his Poke Ball, ready to battle. Since the Pikachu looked pretty injured, and Bayou couldn't take them on by himself, she sent out her unnamed Slakoth as well. She emerged looking as sluggish as ever. "I got to think of a name for you still." Becky remarked. "Let's just go with Tiny. It'll be ironic later."
"All right you two, Water Gun and Scratch!" Bayou blasted the first Meowth with water. Tiny slashed at the other with her claws. The two of them hissed, and retaliated with Scratches of their own. With the assailants distracted, the Pikachu dashed away into the bushes.
"Use the same moves again! Wait, Tiny won't do anything since she just moved. Stupid laziness." She sighed. "Just Bayou then, use Water Gun." He happily obliged, but this time the Meowth was well aware of the attack, so it dodged out of the way. Then, both of them used Bite on Bayou, who was the bigger threat.
Unexpectedly, Tiny appeared behind the two Meowths and managed to hit both of the with a single Scratch. Turns out she had followed Becky's earlier command, it just took her some time to do it. This gave Becky a chance to pull out a Potion from her backpack and use it on Bayou, restoring some of his lost health. The two Meowths then began to gang up on Tiny, both using Bite on her.
"Not again! Come on Bayou, see if you can hit both of them with your Water Gun!" He fired off a jet of water at them, but it only hit the one he wasn't attacking earlier. That one turned to face Bayou, and hit him with a Scratch.
While this was happening, the Pikachu was watching the battle from the bushes. He was confused by Becky's actions. Why would she help him after what he did? It didn't make sense. However, seeing them fight so hard for his sake gave him the courage to come out from hiding.
"Chuuuu!" The Pikachu sent a Thundershock flying at the two wet Meowth, frying them both. They yelped in pain and ran off towards Route 104. Becky was surprised. "You're still here? I thought you would have turned tail and run away by now." He looked at his feet, guilty about what happened earlier.
"Well, looking at the state you're in, I can understand why you took my sandwich. You were probably starving." Not only was he dirty and wounded, he was also a lot skinnier than average. "I've never heard of wild Pikachu around here." She continued. "Did someone abandon you?" He looked away, but Becky could tell she was right.
"I know it's been hard for you, and you probably don't trust me yet, but you were really tough back there, and I think you'd be a great addition to the team." Becky smiled. Bayou and Tiny vocalized in agreement. The Pikachu hesitated, still unsure how to feel. "You don't have to, I understand why you wouldn't want to, but I don't want you to keep on living like this. She pulled out an empty Poke Ball and tossed it on the ground. "It's up to you."
He stared at the ball in front of him, contemplating his choices. Slowly, he inched closer to the Poke Ball, and eventually pressed the center button, opening it up and sealing him inside.