Everything was dark. It had been dark for a while, but Adam wasn’t sure for how long. Ever so slowly, his eyes fluttered open, staring up at the faintly billowing leaves covering up the bright-blue sky beyond them. Adam blinked a few times, simply laying there, staring up at the leafy roof, thoughts crossing his mind as he tried to figure out where he was, and how he got there.
His memories were foggy, and he couldn’t make much out. He remembered running from a Pidgeot and getting lost. He remembered meeting Aberdeen and fighting the ranger-woman with him and the two of them won. And then… nothing. Cringing, he sat himself up, rubbing his head slightly, staring down at his lap. It felt like he’d been laying here for quite a while. He jumped a little as he only just now got to thinking about his Pokémon. Reaching into his pocket, his hand grasped only one ball.
Fear ran through his mind as he franticly spun around and got on his knee, running his fingers through the nearby grass, his eyes darting all over the ground as he tried to locate his Pokéball.
“No no no, where are you? I couldn’t have dropped you, could I? Maybe I…”
His voice trailed off as his gaze slowly lifted up to a small, yellow figure sitting at the outskirts of the small clearing he was in. The Pikachu tilted its head ever so slightly to the right, watching Adam curiously. And there, kept in place by its teeth was a Pokéball. Adam’s eyes narrowed as he slowly reached a hand out to the Pikachu, as if asking for the ball.
“… Hey there, Pikachu. Can I please have that back? It’s very important to me.”
“… Pika!” the mouse called out, the tail wobbling for a moment before it turned around and ran into the undergrowth. Adam clenched his teeth and kicked himself onto his feet, dashing after the fast little mouse. “No, come back here! Give it back, you don’t even know what to do with that! Damnit!”
Adam trampled through the undergrowth of the forest, deeper and deeper into it while pushing aside branches and leaves aside, a few of them flying back and smacking him over the shoulder or across his cheek, but he kept going none the less. He hadn’t come this far, just to lose one of his friends. Suddenly, however, the ground seemed to disappear beneath him, and he tumbled forwards, down the steep slope, at first landing on his shoulder and then simply rolling down the hill while yelling out in surprise.
“Aaah! What the heck’s going on?!”
Finally, he landed at the foot of the slope with a grunt and a wince. For some reason, it hadn’t hurt as much as he’d thought it had. Pushing himself ever so slightly up with his hands, groaning out, he blinked a little, staring down at the angered expression on the Pikachu’s face. The two of them stared at each other for a moment before Adam’s hand shot towards the Pokéball still held by the mouse, but before he could grasp it, the Pikachu sent a jolt of electricity through him, causing him recoil in pain, giving the mouse plenty of time to turn tail and run.
“Nngh! You little…! Give me back my friend!” He growled out as he pushed himself to a stand again, grasping his remaining Pokéball, which he clicked and sent out a red beam, landing right in front of Pikachu. In a mere moment, Nidoran came into view, blinking at the Pikachu now coming to a skidding stop, preparing to dash off in a different direction.
“… Stomps, get him, he’s got Blair! Double Kick!”
“… Ran!” Stomps called out as he set off after the Pikachu, launching into the air and slamming both of his small legs against the Pikachu, driving it into the ground and making it spit out the Pokéball, which rolled off into a nearby bush. The Pikachu quickly got to its feet and spun around, backing away from the two while electricity sparked off of its cheeks.
“Alright, nice job Stomps! Let’s get it for trying to pokénap our friend! Leer!” The Nidoran glared at the Pikachu, his eyes flashing briefly, which made the Pikachu shiver. It didn’t deter the mouse, however, as a bolt of lightning suddenly shot from its cheeks, squarely hitting Nidoran. Adam grit his teeth and clenched his fists, his eyes darting to the bush where the ball had rolled into, which was now guarded by the Pikachu.
“Don’t let it get the better of you, Stomps! Give it a peck!” “Nido!” He called out, dashing forwards towards the Pikachu. However, it seemed a little too nimble at first, jumping off to the side, avoiding the attack. “Keep at it! He can’t keep dodging!”Growling, the Nidoran spun around on the spot and lunged at the Pikachu again, this time hitting it, and with a flick of his head, the Pikachu tumbled off to the side with a squeak, coming to a shaky stand, panting for air.
“Alright, we’ve got him on the ropes!” Adam proclaimed, raising an arm as he took his usual “Let’s finish this” pose. “Double ki-“ Adam was interrupted as the bush where the Pokéball had rolled into rustled, and a thundershock was shot out of. It wasn’t as effective as the one that the Pikachu he was currently fighting shot out, and easily missed Stomps, without him even having to move. Adam and Stomps both looked surprised at this, but the Pikachu they’d fought let out a faint “Pi-chu…” and began a rather tired-looking wobble towards the bush, which it slowly slipped into, and everything fell silent.
Adam looked over at Stomps, who looked equally confused, and finally, he stepped towards the bush, kneeling down in front of it, pulling the leaves aside. In the middle of the bush was a small nest made out of dried grass, pulled into a little circle. There lay an off-coloured, orangey Pikachu, flat on its stomach, wheezing for air and looking to be both exhausted and in a lot of pain. The one Adam had just fought picked up the Pokéball that had rolled into the bush and gently nudged it against the weakened Pikachu’s cheek, murring out softly, as if trying to help the other one.
Frowning slightly, Adam looked from the two, down to Nidoran who had poked his head into the bush to follow what was going on, though he seemed a little less eager to check things out than Adam. Looking back to the two Pikachus, Adam analyzed the situation for a few moments before clearing his throat lightly, looking to the Pikachu he had just fought, the yellow one.
“You… wanted my Pokéball because you thought it was empty? And your friend is hurt, and you wanted to put him into the Pokéball so he can get better? Is that it?” The Pikachu squeaked out softly and dropped the ball to the floor, still panting on top of the fight it’d just had before nestling up against the off-coloured one, looking to be in a lot of pain. On closer inspect, there seemed to be a little wound at its side which made Adam remember something he’d read up about before going off on his journey.
“… Stung by a Weedle or a Beedrill it looks like. Poisoned. Hold on…” Feeling bad for the Pikachus, especially the one who was just trying to protect his friend, Adam frantically searched his pockets and the pockets of his backpack, frowning as he found himself short on the one thing he needed most. “… No antidotes. Great.”
Looking down at the scene again, Adam’s brows furrowed in thought as the only thing that was heard for a while, was the raspy little breath of the orange Pikachu. Closing his eyes, he raised a hand to rub his temple, finally sighing and looking down at the yellow Pikachu. “… Okay, look. I know this seems dodgy, but the only way we can help your friend right now, is if I catch her in a Pokéball, like you were going to, and take her to Pewter’s Pokémon center. I’ll let her go as soon as he’s safe, but it doesn’t look like he’d survive a trip all the way to Pewter without being in a ball.”
He looked down at the Pikachu, hoping dearly it was one of the Pokémon that properly understood humans, though if it knew about Pokéballs and what they could do for people… just maybe this Pikachu had been a trainer’s Pokémon before. After a small while of contemplating, the Pikachu got to its legs and gave a little nod, squeaking out a “Pika.” Before nuzzling its head against his friend and backing off.
Adam nodded as well. He’d made a promise now, and he couldn’t back away from it. He was going to ensure that the Pikachu and his friend would return to the forest, unharmed and well. Pulling out a spare Pokéball, he lowered it down to the weakened Pikachu and gently tapped it with the ball, which made it turn into the usual, red light, zooming into the Pokéball. It hardly wriggled, and the Pikachu had been caught. Turning his attention the other one, he offered it a faint smile, pulling his last potion from his pocket.
“Here, I think you might need this. And then I’ll need you to guide me to Pewter, okay? I’m… a little lost.” He lowered the spray in front of the mouse and gave the bottle a few squeezes before tucking it away in his pocket again, having emptied it. The Pikachu shuddered a little before blinking, seemingly energized as it let out a squeak and lept up onto Adam’s shoulder and out of the bush behind him. Quickly grabbing Blair’s Pokéball and getting to his feet, he turned around to see the Pikachu waiting for him before darting away through a bush. He looked to Stomps and gave a smile. “Looks like that battle will have to wait.” “Nid…” Stomps didn’t seem too thrilled to finish it either way, but when Adam darted off to follow Pikachu, Stomps quickly followed.
It wasn’t long until Adam and Stomps erupted from the undergrowth and stumbled into a small plain, a gravelly road laid out about a kilometer off to the west, snaking its way through a couple fields of wheat and sparsely placed houses. Further off in the distance, down a hill and in a sort of valley, kept safe by both the forest here and the mountains behind it, Pewter City lay. Adam took in a deep breath of the fresh air, rather than the slightly damp, cramped forest behind him. Looking down at the Nidoran wriggling up next to his feet and looking anxiously around, he then looked to the Pikachu darting up one of the nearby hills, turning to wait for him.
“Pika pi, chh!” He called out impatiently, which made Adam chuckle. “Alright, we’re coming! See that, Stomps? We’re almost there! First proper stop on our jouney; Pewter City!” And with that, the two continued up the hill to meet with the wild Pikachu, before they descended towards Pewter City.