When One Door Closes, Two More Open

On the first day of his journey with his rebellious starter, Ash befriends a Spearow and a Rattata. Ash is seriously injured by Pikachu after saving the young spearow from a Thunderbolt, but the Spearow, her flock, and the Rattata save his life. With not one but two new starters, a strange new ability to understand Pokémon, and a calmer and smarter attitude, a new journey begins.



3. Meeting Misty and Traveling Through Viridian Forest

Ash approached the red-head with the charred bike and asked, "Hey, are you okay?"

"What do you think?!" the girl snapped, before realizing how that sounded and softening. "Sorry. I shouldn't have snapped at you like that. I've had a really rough day."

"That's alright." Ash reassured. "Do you need any help?"

"That would be nice. Thank you." the girl answered gratefully. She held out a hand. "I'm Misty Waterflower."

Ash shook the extended hand. "I'm Ash Ketchum." He began helping her push her bike into Viridian City. "So what happened to you?"

Her expression darkened. "I was minding my own business, fishing for Water Pokémon when this Pikachu appears." Ash nearly dropped the bike at this. "And it looked kind of tired, so I went to see if it was okay, and it zapped me big time! Destroyed my brand new custom bike and I had to push it half a mile back here! Hey, you're as white as a sheet. You okay?" Misty asked, noticing Ash looked pale and terrified, as did his Pokémon.

Ash snapped out of his shock. "Y-Yeah." he lied. "Were you okay?" he asked, concerned about the red-head.

"I'm fine. Just a few burns. My bike took the worst of it." Misty replied, confused at Ash's behavior. "The oddest thing happened though. It was shocking me, and this group of five or six Spearow come out of nowhere and chased it away. They completely ignored me though."

"Were they okay?" Ash asked anxiously.

"You mean the Spearow?"


"I don't know. I didn't stick around long enough to find out. I just ran out of there before any of them or that Pikachu decided to come chasing after me." Misty answered. She wondered why Ash was acting so bizarre and was so worried about a flock of Spearow.

"I've got to go tell Father!" Kiara cried, a little panicked. She was about to fly off, but Ash put up a hand to stop her.

"Kiara, don't go alone. Wait a few minutes and I'll go with you." Ash told her quietly, not wanting to reveal his new ability to a stranger.

Misty heard him anyway. "Huh?"

"Nothing. I was just saying something to Kiara." He gestured to the Spearow who was now sitting on his shoulder, fidgeting anxiously.

"They'll be fine, Kiara. Your family is tough." Trevor said, trying to reassure both Kiara and Ash.

"If I see that Pikachu, I'm going to kill him." Judy growled, looking around as if Pikachu was going to pop up out of nowhere. "No one hurts my trainer and my best friend and gets away with it."

A few minutes later, Ash helped Misty push her bike into the small bike shop across the street from the Pokémon Center. "Here you are."

"Thanks." Misty told him.

"No problem. But can you do me a favor?" Ash was anxious to go check on the Spearow Flock to make sure they were all okay. He'd never forgive himself if anything happened to them. But something needed to be done about Pikachu.

"Sure. What do you need?" Misty asked.

"I need you to call the Pokémon Rangers. Pikachu is really dangerous and someone could get seriously hurt if not killed. I've got to go." Ash ran out the door.

"Hey, wait!" Misty called. "Where are you going?" He didn't hear her and continued running. Worried, Misty quickly asked the salesperson to check her bike and then ran after him, unnoticed by Ash or his Pokémon.

Ash ran all the way to Route 22, Trevor and Judy at his heels and Kiara flying ahead. Seeing the Spearow flock and Garrett huddled together in the clearing, Ash ran up to them.

"Guys, Pikachu's…" Ash struggled to catch his breath. "Pikachu's in the area! He almost…"

"We know." Garrett interrupted. "The patrol team just reported back to me a few minutes ago. They found him attacking a human trainer and chased him out of our area."

"I was about to go to find you and let you know what was going on, but you guys came rushing back here before I could." Sasha said.

Garrett checked Ash and his team over, concerned. "Are any of you hurt? Did you see him?"

"No. We ran into the other trainer Pikachu attacked. She's fine, thanks to you." Ash replied. "We were worried about the flock members that went after Pikachu. Is anyone hurt? Please tell me Pikachu didn't…"

"Ash, calm down before you pass out or something. Everyone's fine." Garrett answered. "Hector and Alexis got a bit of a nasty shock," He nodded towards two ruffled-looking Spearow lying down in the middle of the others. "But they'll be okay and everyone else is unharmed."

Ash took out two of his Potions and set to work healing Hector and Alexis. "Thanks." Hector told Ash, sighing with relief as the Potion healed the electrical burns. "We lost him. Ran right into another flock's territory." he grumbled. "I doubt he'll come back though. Not unless he wants to deal with the vengeance of the flock."

"I'll speak to the leader of our neighboring flock and let them know what's going on." Garrett assured.

Ash sighed as he healed Alexis. "I'm sorry." he whispered, looking down. "This is all my fault."

Hector looked at him in confusion. "What are you talking about? You didn't shock us."

"I mean this whole situation with Pikachu!" Ash exclaimed. "I shouldn't have been so stupid as to think I could have befriended him! I shouldn't have brought him out here! Kiara was nearly killed because she was defending me, you two were shocked, and Misty got hurt and her bike was totaled! All because-"

Both Kiara and Garrett sharply pecked Ash to snap him out of his hysteria. "Ash, This. Is. Not. Your. Fault." Garrett said sternly, emphasizing each word, hoping to get through to the young trainer.

"Ash, you saved me from at least serious injury if not death." Kiara told him. "And you didn't force me to defend you; I did that of my own free will. I was the one stupid enough to get close enough to Pikachu that I wouldn't be able to dodge whatever attack he sent at me, and you're the one who had to pay for my mistake." She shuffled on the ground, not able to meet either Ash or Garrett's eyes.

Ash scooped up Kiara, gently hugging her. "Kiara, you're certainly not stupid, and it's not your fault my Pikachu was crazy enough to be willing to seriously injure or kill someone. You couldn't have predicted that."

"Ash is right, Kiara. Pikachu's attack on both of you was not your fault either, though you should have been a little more careful." Garrett said the last part as gently as possible, knowing Kiara had learned her lesson. "And Ash, what you said to Kiara applies to you as well. You couldn't have predicted what Pikachu would do either. I know you're not psychic. And you didn't cause Pikachu's hatred of humans either. From what Kiara told me, you did everything you could to become his friend. Stop blaming yourselves, both of you." He left no room for argument.

Both nodded, and Kiara snuggled closer to Ash's chest. "What do we do?" Kiara asked.

"The four of you should resume your journey as planned. The last time Pikachu was spotted, he was heading in the opposite direction that you're heading. If he does happen to return, I don't want you four anywhere near him. I doubt he'll ever come back to this area again, but if he does, he'll regret it. No one messes with my family." Garrett's tone was low and dangerous at the last sentence, and Ash didn't even want to know what the Fearow leader would do if Pikachu showed his face around Route 22.

"I asked Misty, the other trainer that was attacked, to call the Pokémon Rangers. I'm sure they'll be willing to capture Pikachu and take him somewhere where he can't hurt anyone else." Ash said.

"Okay. If they get to Pikachu first we won't inter-" Garrett was cut off by the sound of a breaking branch from behind a bush that was a few feet away.

Ash started to walk towards the bush. "Who's there?"

Garrett gently grabbed him by the back of his shirt. "Ash, stay back."

"I'll handle this." Judy said, running towards the bush. Trevor and the patrol team followed.

Ash suddenly saw a flash of red at the top of the bush. "Stop!" he yelled. He broke free of Garrett's grip and ran over. "Misty?!"


Misty slowly stepped out from behind the bush, her palms out to show the Spearow flock that she had no weapons.

"Misty, what are you doing here?" Ash asked.

"I followed you." she replied, eying the Spearow flock nervously. "You ran off like a pack of Houndoom was on your heels. What the heck is going on here? And don't say "Nothing." because we both know that's not true!"

"How much did you hear?" Ash sighed.

"Only that you were talking to a flock of wild Spearow, that both sides seem to completely understand what the other one's saying, that Pikachu was your Pokémon or something and that you blame yourself for it attacking everything that moves. In other words, everything! Now you tell me what's going on here, Ash Ketchum!" she shouted.

Ash looked at Garrett, unsure of what to do and the Fearow nodded.

"Well, it's a long story and you're probably going to think I'm nuts…"

"After what I just saw….Probably not. Go ahead. I'm listening." She sat on the ground and crossed her arms.

Ash sat down next to her, and for the first time since he had found out about his new ability, he told the entire story.

"It started on the first day of my journey. I managed to knock over my alarm clock and break it in my sleep, so I got to the lab too late to get one of the usual starters. But Professor Oak had one left. That Pikachu. I tried to become his friend, but he hated me. Kiara says he hates all humans." Kiara nodded, jumping on Ash's shoulder and giving him a nuzzle.

"Yeah, I can tell." Misty muttered, remembering the fierce zapping and her scorched bike.

"He kept shocking me and everyone else in Pallet Town, so I had to attach a leash to him and drag him out to Route 1. I tried to see what was wrong with him, why he was so angry, but nothing I tried worked. He ended up jumping into a tree and ignoring me."

"At lunchtime I hear this scratching sound and find Trevor here digging around in my bag wanting something to eat." Ash scooped up Trevor, putting the little rat on his lap. "So I gave him some cheese crackers, and we became fast friends. Then I feel something poking me in the back, so I turn around and see that it's this little one." He reached up to scratch Kiara on the neck. "I gave her some potato chips and played with her and soon we were friends as well."

"I called for Pikachu to join the fun, but he just glared at me and yelled something. I couldn't understand him at the time, and I'm glad I didn't know what he said. Kiara and Trevor stepped up to defend me…and he shot a Thunderbolt at Kiara!" Ash's voice was shaking at this part. "I was scared that much electricity would kill her. So I pushed her out of the way…and it hit me instead. And even when Pikachu saw that it was me he was attacking, he didn't care. He just increased the power of his attack." Kiara began preening his hair, trying to soothe her trainer.

Misty gasped. "That's horrible!"

"He might have killed me, but Kiara and Trevor attacked him and cut off his attack. I remember a female voice calling for help, and then everything went dark for a few minutes. The next thing I remember, I was surrounded by the Spearow flock and almost fully paralyzed by Pikachu's attack." Ash shook slightly at the mere memory of this. Trevor cuddled closer to him, and Judy took his hand.

"He'll never hurt you again." Judy vowed. Kiara and Trevor nodded. Misty, so shocked she wasn't able to speak, reached over and touched Ash's arm in sympathy.

"At first they were upset at me, thinking I had been the one to threaten Kiara, but she and Trevor jumped in front of me and told them what had really happened." Garrett shuffled a little at this, feeling guilty about nearly harming the one that had saved his daughter.

"I was pretty out of it at the time and thought the electricity had fried my brain or that I was in a coma and having hallucinations because I understood everything they were saying and that had never happened to me before. I have no clue how, but the shock somehow gave me the power to understand the Pokémon language."

"Wow." Misty breathed. "I've heard of people having the ability to understand Pokémon, but I've never heard of it happening through an electrical shock."

"There are other people that can understand Pokémon?" Ash asked, both stunned and relieved. Maybe he wasn't alone after all.

"Yeah. Sabrina of the Saffron Gym is a psychic, and from what I heard, she can understand Pokémon. So can some of the other psychics that work at the same gym. And I once met this girl named Zoey who told me everything my Staryu was saying. So what happened after the Spearow flock came?"

"The flock, Kiara, and Trevor saved my life." Ash told her. "They healed me as best they could, then took me to the hospital. I owe them everything, and I can't thank them enough." The last part was said as much for the Spearow flock, Trevor, and Kiara as it was for Misty.

"That's amazing." Misty whispered. "And this is the same flock that saved me too?" She now knew why Ash was so worried when he learned a small group of Spearow had gone after Pikachu. It was obvious how much he cared for this flock.

"Yes." Ash replied.

"Thanks." Misty told the flock sincerely. "I probably would have been a piece of burnt toast if it hadn't been for you guys."

The patrol team nodded. "You're welcome." Alexis said.

"They said you're welcome." Ash translated.

"And Ash?" Sasha said. "You don't owe us anything. You're one of the very few humans that actually risked their life to save one of us. Not many humans care what happens to a wild Spearow."

"It takes a lot to earn the respect of a flock of Spearow, but you earned it with your bravery and compassion. You have the heart of a Spearow. You're part of this flock now, kid." Hector told Ash. Then he looked towards Garrett, worried his leader didn't approve.

But Garrett nodded. "For Spearow and Fearow, flock is everything. That's why humans consider us so violent and dangerous. If you mess with just one of us, you have to deal with all of us. If one of our members is harmed, we do not just sit by and watch it happen; we do whatever we can to make sure they are safe. You proved yourself to us the day you saved my daughter, and also today when you rushed back here just to make sure none of us had been harmed. Hector's right, Ash. You are a member of this flock."

Ash smiled widely. "Thank you. You don't know how much that means to me." As a child, Ash had been, and still was, a shy and awkward kid. He had never really fit in at school, and didn't have any real friends in Pallet Town, not since he and Gary had fallen out a few years ago. It felt wonderful to be a part of something, to have friends that would watch out for you. Impulsively, he hugged the Fearow leader, who stiffened for a second, still unused to being hugged, then relaxed. Ash's team smiled, used to his affectionate nature.

Misty watched with a smile. The bond between the flock and Ash was sweet, though she felt like an intruder observing what was obviously a private moment.

Ash finally remembered Misty was still there, and broke the hug, blushing. "Sorry." He wasn't sure whether he was apologizing to Misty or Garrett.

"No problem." Misty told him. She thought it was cute, but refrained from saying it to avoid embarrassing him further.


They said their goodbyes to the Spearow flock and the group headed back to Viridian City to check on Misty's bike. Unfortunately, the salesperson reported that the bike was completely totaled and that it would be much cheaper to buy a new bike rather than try to fix the damaged one.

"I'm sorry you got mixed up in all this, Misty, and I'm sorry about your bike." Ash said as they left the bike shop. "I'll save up some money and buy you a new bike to make up for it."

"I'll take you up on that offer, but it's not really your fault." Misty replied. "I don't think anyone could control that Pikachu." Her eyes widened. "I forgot to call the Rangers for you!"

They ran to the Pokémon Center. Ash contacted Pokémon Control and reported the situation with Pikachu, Misty telling her side of the story as well. They agreed to send out a Ranger team immediately. Once he hung up the phone, Ash felt a huge weight fall off his chest. Hopefully, Pikachu would be captured soon and no longer be a danger to hapless Trainers or his beloved Spearow flock.

They went to lunch at the same small Pokémon-friendly restaurant Ash had gone to on his first day of training. Over bowls of chow mien and rice, they became fast friends. Ash found that Misty was easy to talk to and was soon telling her about how Kiara and Trevor joined him, meeting Judy, and his week of training with the Spearow Flock. Misty talked about her dreams of becoming the world's greatest master of Water-type Pokémon and shared stories of her beloved Goldeen, Staryu, and Starmie. Ash's team ate with them, occasionally offering commentary to Ash's tales which Ash translated for Misty. After finishing, they split the bill, then left, Ash carrying a now sleeping Trevor with Kiara on his shoulder and Judy right next to them.

"So where will you go after this?" Ash asked Misty.

She shrugged. "I haven't decided yet."

"I'm headed towards Pewter City for my first Gym badge. Would you like to travel with me?" He was half-afraid she would laugh in his face for asking this.

Misty smiled. "Sure. Sounds like fun." She liked Ash. He was genuinely sweet and caring, and easy to talk to besides. He was one of the few people she could actually consider a friend. She never had fit in well at school; her tomboyish ways and fiery temper clashing with the prim, proper and often snobbish ways of the girls at her school.

Ash grinned. "Ready to head to Viridian Forest then?"

"I'm with you."


After making a stop at the Pokémart for supplies, they passed through the gates connecting Viridian City to Viridian Forest. As they were about to enter Viridian Forest, a girl stopped them.

"Here, you guys might want to take a map." she said, handing one to them. "That place is a maze and you don't want to get lost in there."

"Thanks." Ash told her, taking it.

At the entrance, Ash opened the map. "Now, I think we're supposed to go this way." Then he frowned and studied it again. "Oops, I think I meant this way. Or maybe over…"

Misty sighed. "For one, it actually helps to have the map on the right side." She flipped it over. "On second thought, let me handle the directions."

Ash smiled sheepishly. "Sorry. I'm not very good with maps." he confessed.

Misty raised an eyebrow. "I couldn't tell." she said with playful sarcasm.

Misty found the right path, and they walked down it. About a half-hour later, they heard a snap! Misty looked up, seeing movement in the trees. "What was that?" she asked, a little bit shakily.

Ash looked up, but didn't see anything. "Probably a Bug Pokémon. Viridian Forest is crawling with them, from what I heard."

Misty stopped in her tracks and glared at Ash. "Bugs? You didn't tell me there was going to be Bug Pokémon here!" she yelled.

Ash took an involuntary step backward. "I thought you knew! And what's wrong with Bugs?"

Trevor woke up at Misty's shout. "Where are we?" he mumbled sleepily. "And what's with all the shouting?"

"We're in Viridian Forest and apparently Misty doesn't like Bug Pokémon. Ash invited her to come with us so she's going to be traveling with us from now on." Kiara explained.

"Oh." Trevor replied simply, stretching and yawning.

"Bugs are creepy and gross! They're one of the three most disgusting things out there!" Misty ranted.

Ash put Trevor down. "What are the other disgusting things?" he asked, both curious and amused.

"Carrots, peppers, and BUGS!" she shouted. "Everyone has something they don't like, and I DON'T LIKE BUGS!"

"Well, I definitely agree with you on the pepper part." Ash said with a grimace, remembering the time he had accidentally eaten a piece of jalapeño pepper thinking it was a green olive. Not a fun experience… "And I don't really like carrots, but Bug Pokémon aren't that bad."

"Well, I think they're disgusting." Misty growled, turning away. Ash wasn't going to argue with her. Misty was scary when she was mad.

"This probably isn't the best time to tell her that there's been a Caterpie tailing us for fifteen minutes now, would it?" Judy asked, though she knew the answer.

"Probably not." Ash answered, turning around and seeing a small Caterpie following about ten feet away, its eyes fixed on Misty.

"What?" Misty questioned, calming down.

"Nothing important. Judy was just asking me something." Ash replied quickly, not wanting Misty to freak out again.

Misty stopped short and glared at him. "Ash, with you, "Nothing." means it's something important! Now WHAT is going on?"

Ash gulped. "Um, Misty, try not to panic, but Judy says a Caterpie's been following us for the last fifteen minutes."

Misty turned and saw the Caterpie coming up to them. "Keep it away from me!" she shrieked, running and hiding behind a tree.

"It's just a little Caterpie, Misty. It won't hurt you."

"It's disgusting and scary and I don't want it on me!" Misty screamed. "Make it go away!"

The Caterpie heard her. "I'm not going to hurt you." it soothed, crawling up to them.

Misty climbed the tree, in her haste to get away, screaming.

"Misty, he said he wasn't going to hurt you." Ash called up to her.

"Just make him go away!" she cried.

The Caterpie looked at Ash in surprise. "Can you understand me?"

"Yes." Ash replied. "It's a long story."

"Can you tell her I'm not trying to scare her then?" the Caterpie asked. "She seems nice and I want her to be my trainer."

"She's really scared of Bugs, Caterpie." Ash told him as gently as possible, not wanting to hurt the Caterpie. "I think you might need to find another trainer."

"Is the creepy Bug gone?" Misty called down.

"Okay." the Caterpie said sadly. "I'll leave." He crawled away.

Looking down and seeing no more Caterpie, Misty deemed it safe to climb down. "Phew. I'm glad that yucky Bug is away from me."

Ash looked at her angrily. "Misty, he was trying to be nice to you! He just wanted to find a trainer. He wasn't going to hurt you, but you hurt him!"

"I'm sorry, Ash." Misty sighed. "I'm just really terrified of Bugs. I've been scared of them since I was a little girl. I wandered into the territory of a swarm of Beedrill. They stung me so badly I had to go to the hospital." Kiara hopped from Ash's shoulder to Misty's and nuzzled against her, hoping to be of some comfort.

Ash softened. "I understand, Misty. After Pikachu, I don't think I could raise another Electric type either. I'm sorry I snapped at you."

She smiled sadly. "It's okay. Hopefully, that Caterpie finds a trainer that isn't terrified of him."

What she didn't know was that the Caterpie, hidden a short distance away, had heard her story. He felt badly for her and still wanted to become her Pokémon. Maybe he could show her that not all Bug Types were bad. Keeping himself hidden, he quietly followed them.


About a half hour later, Misty let out another earsplitting shriek, making Trevor jump about a foot in the air and land in Judy's arms.

"It's another Bug! A Weedle!" Misty screamed, pointing ahead.

The mentioned Weedle gave her a strange look. "Please stop screaming. You're interrupting my training." He turned to a nearby tree. "Venom, the mightiest of all Weedle warriors, is now facing his biggest opponent yet! He starts off with a Poison Sting attack!" He dived at the tree, lodging the stinger on his head deep within the bark. Unfortunately, he couldn't get it back out again. He wiggled, trying to use the tree as leverage, but to no avail.

"I'm going to go help it." Ash said, trying to hold back a laugh at the Weedle's antics.

"Okay." Misty replied nervously. "I'm going to wait way over here." She ran a safe distance away.

Trevor sighed. "I'll go with her and keep her safe from the Bugs." He ran off to join Misty.

"I'll help, Ash." Kiara volunteered. Judy agreed as well.

Ash approached the Weedle cautiously, Kiara and Judy following him. It saw him and renewed its struggling. "Stay away from me, trainer! I am the strongest of all Weedles! Even trapped, I can still defeat you!" It was pretty obvious that it was just a bluff by the fear in the Weedle's tone.

"I'm not here to capture or hurt you." Ash replied softly. "We just wanted to help you get unstuck from that tree. Will you let us help you?"

The little Weedle stopped struggling and nodded. Ash gently grabbed hold of him as Kiara pecked the wood right above the lodged stinger trying to loosen the tight hold the tree had. Judy watched, unable to do much without harming the Weedle.


A short distance away, Misty waited for Ash. "This whole forest is crawling with slimy, disgusting Pokémon." she muttered to Trevor. "I wish they'd all just bug off." She petted Trevor. "Thanks for watching out for me." Unseen by both of them, light glinted off a sword held by someone behind a tree.

Later, Misty could not recall whether a slight noise had revealed the person's presence or whether it had simply been intuition. But for whatever reason, she turned just in time to see a boy in a samurai's outfit jumping out at her and a sword coming straight at her face.

Trevor reacted quickly, tackling the kid and sending him flying to the ground. He moved in front of Misty in a protective stance.

The kid stood up, dropping his sword on the ground and raising his hands in a gesture of peace. "I mean no harm!" Trevor relaxed his battle posture slightly. "Greetings, o' shrieking maiden! Are you by chance the Pokémon trainer that comes from Pallet?" the kid dressed as a samurai asked.

"N-No, that's not me!" Misty replied shakily.

"Alas, my search continues." the kid said, picking his sword back up. "I advise you to refrain from further shrieking while in this forest, unless your goal is to attract a horde of Beedrill." With that said, he walked away.

Misty sighed with relief, sitting down. "What a weird kid. I wonder why he was looking for a trainer from…" Her eyes widened in realization.

"That's Ash!" Trevor cried, running to rescue his unsuspecting trainer. Misty quickly chased after him.


Ash and Kiara had nearly freed the young Weedle from his predicament when they heard a voice behind them. "Greetings. Am I addressing the Pokémon Trainer that comes from Pallet?"

Ash, Judy, and Kiara barely glanced at him. "I come from Pallet, but I'm a little busy right now." Ash muttered, finally freeing the Weedle's stinger from the tree.

"Thanks." the Weedle said gratefully. His eyes widened. "Look out!" Ash also heard Misty and Trevor screaming his name.

"I have found you at last!" the samurai kid cried, swinging his sword at Ash with a battle cry. Startled, Ash fell backwards, landing on his bottom. He would have smacked his head against the tree if Judy hadn't caught him in time.

Kiara and Venom reacted as one. Kiara flew at the kid, using her Fury Attack, while Venom stung him in the ankle. The Samurai kid cried in pain, flailing, kicking, and swinging his sword at Kiara. Thankfully, she evaded his swing. The little Weedle wasn't so lucky. A kick sent him flying several feet away, and he landed in a bush. Trevor, who had finally reached them, leapt up and snatched the sword. With a cry of rage, Ash and Judy tackled the kid, pinning him to the ground.

Someone else had seen the attack, unbeknownst to everyone else. It was another young Weedle, who quickly ran off to warn her hive.

Judy probably would have beaten the crap out of the kid, but he cried, "I surrender! I surrender!" Ash got off of him. "Are all of you okay?" he asked his team. They nodded, so Ash ran over to the Weedle, who was lying dazed in the bush. "Are you okay, Venom?"

"I'm fine." the Weedle groaned. He then looked up at Ash in shock. "Did I hit my head, or did you just call me by my name?"

"I can understand Pokémon. Long story. I'll explain later." He sprayed a Potion on the Weedle, then ran back to the scene of the confrontation. "Who are you, and why did you attack me and my Pokémon? I will not let you steal them!" he yelled at the samurai kid. Judy had since gotten off of him, but all of Ash's Pokémon were watching him intently, daring him to make one wrong move.

The kid got up, groaning. "I am no Pokémon thief!"

"Who are you, then?" a still shaken Misty asked.

"I am Samurai!" the kid cried. "I am shrewd, fearless, and completely invincible in combat! I have been searching the forest for you meaning to challenge you in a Pokémon battle!"

"So you decided to shove a sword in my face instead of just asking me?" Ash said incredulously.

"It is not my fault you and your Pokémon are such novices as to misinterpret the art of a Samurai's challenge!"

Ash, Judy, Kiara, Trevor, and Misty all glared at him. Ash was about to retort but was stopped by something that sounded like a thousand angry voices. "What's that noise?" he asked.

"A Beedrill swarm approaches!" Samurai cried. "Good day!" He ran off. The group looked up, seeing a huge swarm of Beedrill.


Misty grabbed Ash's arm. "We're no match for them and I doubt they want to talk! Run!" she screamed. She took off as fast as she could.

Ash recalled his team, but they all broke back out of their Poké Balls. "Ash, if you think we're leaving you unprotected, you're crazy!" Judy scolded, grabbing his hand and running, dragging him along behind her. Trevor ran alongside them.

Kiara went to face down the horde of Beedrill. Ash screamed, "There's too many, Kiara! We've got to run!" She listened, flying as close to her friends as possible in order to defend them. Suddenly Ash tripped over a rock that was half-hidden in the grass, pulling Judy down with him.

Hearing the noise, Misty, who was ahead of them, turned. Much to her horror, Ash and Judy were on the ground with the Beedrill swarm almost upon them. Misty's concern for her friend overcame her fear of Beedrill, and she rushed back, helping them up and dragging Ash and Judy away from the swarm.

But the fall had taken too much time. The swarm reached them. One went charging straight at Ash, preparing a Twineedle attack.

Seeing her trainer in danger, Kiara screamed. She flew quicker than she ever had before, slamming into the Beedrill and sending it flying into a tree.

"Aerial Ace…" Ash whispered, remembering the move from a battle he had seen on TV.

Another Beedrill went flying straight at Misty. She screamed and braced herself But the attack never came. A green blur dived in front of her, shoving the Beedrill back. It was the Caterpie from earlier. It stood in front of Misty protectively. Another Beedrill tried to swoop in, and the Caterpie shot white string at it, covering it completely. The Beedrill fell to the ground, struggling to get free. Suddenly, Caterpie began to glow, evolving into Metapod. It used Harden and placed itself in front of Misty, shielding her from the attacks.

Both the Metapod and Ash's Pokémon put up a good fight against the swarm; Judy using Karate Chop and Scratch, Trevor using Bite, and Kiara using Aerial Ace and Peck. But they were beginning to tire, and more Beedrill kept coming… Ash feared that none of them would make it out alive. But just as all hope seemed lost, a voice broke through the battle.


Everyone, both the Beedrill swarm and the defending Pokémon, froze. They looked over and saw that it was Venom, the same small Weedle Ash had freed from the tree earlier.

"Wow, I'm loud when I want to be. You guys have the wrong human. It was the guy with the weird looking extra skin and the giant stinger that attacked me. This one," The Weedle went over to Ash. "Actually helped me get free when I got my head stuck in the tree again. Then this creepy guy goes after him with his giant stinger. So his Pokémon and I attacked the weirdo. I stung him in the foot and he kicked me into a bush. You should have seen how high I flew! And this nice human," he nudged Ash. "Healed me up with a Potion and I found out he could speak to Pokémon. And then you guys showed up, and I tried to chase you down to tell you that you had the wrong human, but you moved too fast! And that's what happened."

The Beedrill flock blinked and looked at the Weedle in stunned amazement, all anger gone. Finally one spoke. "These types of things only happen around you, Cornelius." she said in an amused tone.

The Weedle glared at her. "My name's Venom! Cornelius is a stupid name and not one that is fit for someone who is to become a mighty Beedrill warrior!" The Beedrill just shook her head.

"Sorry for our attack." a embarrassed older male Beedrill said to the group. "It won't happen again."

Ash translated for Misty, who shakily nodded. Ash's team glared at the Beedrill swarm, but finally nodded as well. "We accept your apology." Ash replied, hoping they couldn't see how terrified he still was.

"If you can understand Pokémon, why didn't you stop and tell us what was going on?" a younger male asked Ash. Then he turned and looked at his swarm; over a hundred Beedrill with their arm needles wickedly glinting in the sun. "Oh. Never mind."

The Beedrill began checking on and untangling their fallen swarm members. Ash turned to his Pokémon, checking them over. They were tired and had a few cuts and bruises, but were otherwise fine, considering the massive attack they had went up against. Ash healed them with a few of the many Potions he had brought along. Kiara insisted on checking him over too, then landed on his shoulder. Trevor jumped into his arms and Judy gave him a quick hug before standing next to him, deliberately keeping herself between him and the Beedrill swarm.

Misty kneeled down to check on Metapod. The Cocoon Pokémon was shaken and had a few dents in its shell. "Are you okay?" she asked worriedly, spraying it with a Potion. He did its best to nod, considering his new form. "You saved my life." she whispered, hugging it. "Thank you…"

The Beedrill finished healing up and detangling their swarm members, then began to fly off. One brushed against Metapod, who was on Misty's lap, then suddenly grabbed him, starting to take off with him.

"Metapod!" Misty screamed, unsuccessfully trying to grab him back.

"Hey!" Metapod yelled, struggling. "Let me go!"

Another member of the Beedrill swarm turned at the shouts. "George, what are you doing?"

"One of our Kakuna must have gotten out of the nesting area. I'm taking it back." the Beedrill carrying Metapod explained.

The other Beedrill sighed. "George, that's a Metapod."

"Oh." George replied. He attempted to hand Metapod back to Misty, but held him too high and too far to the right.

"He's blind." the other Beedrill explained, then gently took Metapod from George and held him out to Misty. Ash translated what the Beedrill had said, and Misty summoned all her courage to take Metapod back from the Beedrill arms. The Beedrill then turned to Venom. "Here. I'll give you a lift back."

"Actually, I think I want to stick with… Hey, what's your name again? I forgot it." Venom asked, turning to Ash.

Ash smiled at the little Weedle. "That's because I forgot to tell you. I'm Ash, and that's Kiara, Trevor, Judy, and Misty." He pointed to each of them in turn.

Venom turned back to his fellow hive member. "I'd like to stay with Ash. I want to become the mightiest Beedrill warrior ever, and I'll be stronger with a trainer than I will working alone."

"Okay." the Beedrill replied. He turned to Ash. "Good luck with him, kid. You're going to need it." He flew off.

Venom looked up at Ash. "Oops. I never did ask you first. Do you want to be my trainer?" His little eyes were pleading and vulnerable, like he feared that Ash would reject him.

Ash smiled at Venom. "I'd love to be your trainer." Setting Trevor down, he took out a Poké Ball and tossed it towards Venom, who went in without even a struggle. He let Venom out after the capture was complete, and the little Weedle cheered, crawling up onto Ash's other shoulder and chattering a mile a minute.


Meanwhile, Misty was speaking to Metapod. "I'm so sorry for those things I said about you." she murmured, tears in her eyes. "I was wrong. Not all Bugs are bad, and I shouldn't have judged you by the Bugs that hurt me when I was younger."

"I forgive you, Misty." Metapod told her, though he knew she couldn't understand him. "I heard your story and I don't blame you for being scared."

"He said he forgives you, Misty, and that he heard about what happened to you. He doesn't blame you for being scared." Ash translated as he walked over , having heard the conversation.

Misty smiled at Metapod. "Do- Do you still want to be my Pokémon?"

Metapod jumped straight up in the air, making a happy noise that Misty could tell was a "Yes!" even without Ash translating. She took out a Poké Ball and tapped it to Metapod. The Cocoon Pokémon was sucked in and the ball locked without a struggle.

Misty picked up Metapod's Poké Ball, shock in her eyes. "Wow. If you had told me this morning that I'd be the trainer of a Bug-Type, I would have told you that you were crazy and should have your head examined."

Ash smiled. "I know you're a Water-Type trainer, but it never hurts to diversify, and Metapod's a good Pokémon."

"I know, and I never thought I'd be saying that about a Bug. He was so brave, diving in to save me like that, even after I insulted him."

"You were really brave back there too, Misty, running back into the swarm to help me when I fell." Ash told her. "I know how scared you must have been, and yet you risked yourself for me."

She smiled, blushing. "I was scared of the Beedrill, but I was more scared that you would get hurt. Friends are more important than fear."

He hugged her. "Thank you." Surprised, she stiffened for a second, then hugged him back. He pulled away, apologizing, but Misty smiled and said she didn't mind.

After some discussion, they decided to stop for the night. They were all tired and achy from the Beedrill attack; plus the sun would be setting soon anyway. They found a small clearing with a pond and began to set up camp. Misty released her Pokémon, and Ash and his team finally got to meet her Staryu, Starmie, and Goldeen she had told them so much about. The Water Pokémon were surprised when they heard about Ash's ability to understand them, but they took it in stride. Finding out that Metapod had joined Misty's party was much more of a shock to them, as they all knew of her fear of Bug Types. They had been amazed by Misty's story of how Metapod had protected her from the Beedrill swarm, and admonished her, through Ash, to let them out next time she was in trouble, water or no water.

Despite the initial shock, both Venom and Metapod got along well with all the other Pokémon, even though they were both total opposites. Venom was very outgoing and a chatterbox, making everyone laugh with stories of his exploits(and mishaps) in the Beedrill hive. Metapod, on the other hand, was much quieter, listening more than he talked and sticking close to Misty.

Ash and Misty prepared a quick supper of peanut butter sandwiches and Poké Chow, as neither of them had any cooking ability whatsoever. They all ate, laughing and talking, with Ash translating Pokémon speech to Misty on occasion. After dinner, Ash and Misty pulled out their sleeping bags, exhausted from the excitement of the day. Misty recalled her water Pokémon before turning in. Soon, both she and Ash were asleep, Metapod and Ash's team cuddled around them.

There's Chapter Three done! I know, I know, you probably all think I'm crazy for giving Misty a Bug Pokémon when she's scared of them and is a Water type trainer. I figured that if a Bug saved Misty's life, she might change her mind about them, or at least about that particular Bug. She still will have some fear of Bug Type Pokémon, but her Metapod and possibly Venom, Ash's new Weedle, will be exceptions as she trusts them.

I tried my best to keep Misty in character. But she will act differently in my story then she did in the anime because she doesn't have to deal with Ash's immaturity as much and she is not angry at Ash about her bike.

For those of you who asked about Pikachu's fate. It could go one of three ways.

1. He returns to the area and the Spearow flock finds him. Let's just say that wouldn't go over well for Pikachu. If this happens, the flock will not mention it to Ash. I am somewhat reluctant to use this fate for obvious reasons.

2. The rangers find him. They will capture him and either send him to an area with no humans or have someone trained in dealing with those cases work with him and warm him up to humans. If the latter happens, Pikachu may meet up with Ash at some point and apologize, but he will still not be on Ash's team.

3. He leaves the area and is never seen again. His fate will depend on his actions. If I use this fate, Ash will not see him again, and the Spearow flock will simply tell Ash that he never returned to the area.

I am asking you, my reviewers, to choose Pikachu's fate. The end result will be whatever you decide.

Next chapter is the battle with Samurai and the big Pewter City Gym battle with Brock. And this time, there will be no Harden battle, and no sending an Electric type against a Ground.

Okay, that was the end of an obscenely long author's note. I hope you guys are liking this story so far. Please, please, please review!

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