more pokémon stuff? can be related to dos, or something else!

A/N: I was considering doing a “Viridescent: Or, Tetsuki Catches A Pikachu” ficlet–and went so far as to create her, unsurprisingly, all Electric-type team but then I realized that… I have no idea what that story would be. I think I just wanted to make a Pokemon team for her.

I wanted the title to be a little misleading–IS SHE PART OF TEAM ROCKET?–but the answer to that is, no, she just honestly catches a Pikachu for herself and ends up with an Alolan Raichu. And writing a ficlet for the sake of a click-baity title seemed not so much in the spirit of the ask box.

I had briefly thought of Tetsuki being the human touchstone for one of the Electric-type Legendaries–either Raikou or Tapu Koko–and most of her new life is acting as guardian for them because otherwise this world is too… peaceful for her. And that’d be a thing because her team only has five Pokemon and people would ask, where’s your sixth? (Her team would be the following: Zebstrika, Alolan Raichu, Alolan Golem, Galvantula, and Lanturn)

But then altogether it seemed like a little much for what would end up being a milk run life for Tetsuki. Not that she doesn’t deserve a vacation given what I usually put her through…

Other than that my current Pokemon series then would be the DoS fusion and Year With The Moon which is about a different SIOC.

Although I’m not sure what to do beyond that than just bringing them up though…

Hm, I guess here’s some random ficlets from Year With The Moon?


Ember exhales, face tilted upward, enjoying the way her breath puffs out in a cloud. For a brief moment she entertains the idea of being a Pokemon, ready to unleash her power at a moment’s notice, before chuckling at her own thought.

Curious, Sandshrew climbs up her shoulder and chitters, nuzzling against her cheek.

She smiles, smooths a hand across her Pokemon’s back, and continues walking, head still tilted upwards. Ahead of her Clefairy skips from footprint to footprint, dancing in the trail of Ember’s brother and friends.

The sky is clear, the moon is full, the stars are bright, and tonight is a wonderful night for traveling with the people and Pokemon she loves.

Yes, this is a good night.


She and Misty share a tent, sleeping bags curled together for warmth, whispers exchanged in the close space between them.

It’s nice.

Ember never had many… any… girl friends in Pallet Town, more than satisfied with what she had with Ash and Gary. Daisy was more role model than peer, years ahead of them to do more than act as guide, and so there wasn’t much for her there.

Misty, it seems, had a similar yet opposite problem–too many sisters but all of them older and beyond her.

Ember curls closer, lays a gentling hand on her excited, nocturnal Pokemon, and falls asleep with a smile on her face.


Gary is the first awake, a decade of discipline hard to break, but the care and feeding of Pokemon is so much satisfying when they’re your own.

Brock and Misty follow soon after, gym leader lifestyle no easier to forget, while the twins trail after. They lean against each other, practically propping each other up, eyes reluctant to open even as the others tease and berate them.

Breakfast today is berries and leftover onigiri–if they keep up a good pace, they’ll be in the next town by lunchtime and can have a real meal there.

Ember recalls her sleeping Pokemon to their Pokeballs, grumbling half-heartedly at their luck, before stretching, preparing for their journey ahead.

She is happy.


Ask Box Advent Calendar is on!

A Year With the Moon + what happens at Mt. Moon? (Thank you for your lovely writings! I always look forward your posts and I absolutely love the characterizations and snippets of plot you manage to convey in such a concise way)

Thanks anon! (●⌒∇⌒●)

I don’t remember something extremely significant happening at Mt. Moon–then again it’s been a LONG time since I watched the cartoon–and the temporary title “A Year With The Moon” is more a pun based on the Japanese names of the twins (Ashi is Satoshi and Ember would be Satsuki) but I do like the idea of the Clefairy and the Moon Stone resonating with her as beings not really of this world.

Fight-wise I don’t think things go very much different since Team Rocket always loses and with the addition of Gary and Ember, they’re even more outnumbered, but at the same time, they are very early in their journey and so it’s not a complete curb stomp…

I do think one of the Clefairy/Clefable chooses to go with Ember. I’m pretty sure it’s canon that Ash has aura powers and there do exist humans with psychic abilities and such… I’m not sure what Ember has. I mean, obviously, besides being an SIOC.

Ash regularly meets Legendary Pokemon that range from cryptids to gods, so Ember having some kind of abilities isn’t too far of a stretch. The Ketchum twins are both bizarre, frankly.

I guess, plot wise, it’d make more sense if Mt. Moon WAS more significant in A Year With The Moon–less because of the name, but because for Ember this is the first of her realizing she does have something else going on besides reincarnation.

And, also, maybe the Clefairy/Clefable is only her second/third Pokemon? She’s not really going full tilt on catching them all like her brother and Gary–game play wise, I personally preferred strengthening my team rather than completing the Pokedex–I think mostly she’d still be more amazed at being out in the world of Pokemon and not trapped in Pallet Town.

… yeah… sorry it’s not a ficlet, anon.

A Year With The Moon + what made Gary decide to travel with the twins. (I was debating asking for a Shikako au but Pokémon).

I was trying to go in a different direction with this (or rather, to-someplace-else, heyyyyyy ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)) but it turns out this makes more sense to me so…



To some extent, the Oak family is as close to nobility as Kanto gets. The prestige, the wealth, the influence, the name–it’s a lot.

That’s the world Gary is born to.

The mansion and the lab, the land that they own, is bigger than all of Pallet Town. People from all over Kanto come to his grandpa’s lab for advice, to research, or a place to keep their powerful Pokemon.

He doesn’t realize that his life isn’t normal until he goes to school.


Gary is six and his parents are gone. His sister has left for her Pokemon journey, and his grandpa is always so busy at the lab.

He thinks school will be a welcome change. It’s hard to befriend kids his age when he lives in the mansion on the outskirts of town. He knows that sometimes adults don’t want their kids going near the lab–worried that the Pokemon might escape and hurt them–but there’s only been maybe three breakouts that Gary can remember. And two of them were just a pair of Psyducks that spent the day wandering around in circles on Main Street.

He thinks now, away from the lab, he’ll be able to make friends of the human variety.


You can take the boy out of the lab, but you can’t take the love for Pokemon out of the boy.

Love is a kinder term than what the other kids use.

Crazy. Weirdo. Obsessed.

And that’s not even counting what the other kids think of him in that big house far away: snobby, spoiled, bratty.

The saddest thing is, it’s based on truth.


He’s not the only outcast in the class. A bratty, Pokemon-obsessed weirdo he may be, but that’s nothing compared to the twins.

The adults trade whispers amongst themselves–a single woman with no man in sight and two children, how scandalous–and that trickles down to the kids.

Ash, maybe, might be able blend in, but he dreams so loud of being a Pokemon master that he’s not so far off from Gary’s level.

And, also, he has the tendency to hit anyone who even looks at his sister the wrong way.

Considering what Ember looks like–her hair, the firemark, and the dazed, thousand yard stare–that’s nearly everyone.


Gary and Ash become fast friends.

Ember takes her time, but follows soon enough.

The three of them braided, balanced–nothing tears them apart.


In the end it’s not really a decision at all.


Check out the Ask Box Author’s Cut event!

24 + Misty/Ash + A Year With the Moon (THE BIKE THING omg). Failing that, 2 + Ember&Ash siblinghood.

I joined Plenty of Fish to find out who stole my bike.
A fun first date would be going to your house
to see if you have my bike.
(What a lovely home. Do you have a shed?)

Gary, at heart, was still an obnoxiously wealthy and possessive brat, and so–to catch two Pidgeys with one Pokeball, so to speak–offered to just buy Misty a new bike so that she’d leave them alone.

The expression Ash made in response was, somehow bewildered, considering, and offended, simultaneously. Before he could settle on a single emotion in particular, though, Misty rejected the offer, saying she wasn’t going to be paid off by some rich boy with more money than sense.

Given that they just fought off Team Rocket, Gary was understandably still feeling more confrontational than usual.

Though, considering his normal?

For the sake of peace, Ember sidled up and hip checked him.

“Welcome to our group, Misty,” Ember said, glad that this, at least, was not something she had ruined. And plus, it’d be nice to have another girl in the group.


At my worst, I worry you’ll realize
you deserve better.
At my best, I worry you won’t.
(I’ve never been better.)

In shock–in pity? In self preservation? Cutting the connection before her grief could overwhelm him–Mewtwo let her go.

It was as if, without the brainwashing making her apathetic to the events around her, she no longer had the strength to stand.

She wouldn’t have wanted to, anyway.

Ember dropped to her knees, gasping and shuddering, hands hovering over the petrified body of her brother. Her knuckles still stung from when she attacked Ash.

Arceus, she attacked Ash.

Pikachu rushed over, but even in his hurry to reach Ash he skittered away from her. And why wouldn’t he? She attacked her own brother.

And now he was dead (that’s what happens when a heart stops beating, a person ceases to be).

She knew how the story went: it wasn’t permanent–she wouldn’t let it be permanent–but it wasn’t a silly cartoon character lying in front of her now.

It was neither artifice or obligation when tears started falling down her face.


A/N: How about both, to-someplace-else? 😀 Thanks for the prompts.

I kinda went into it here, but there’s definitely potential for some EPIC FEELS in A Year With The Moon version of the Mewtwo Strikes Back movie.

Number + Ship + (optional) AU –> my ask box

[If anyone else wants to do a softer world prompt that isn’t on the list, you can just send the page id number for the original comic instead.]

Word Prompts (I25): Introduction

Konran Uzumaki – Counterpoise

(Spiral in, storm out.)

She wears wire in her hair, braids of red and metal winding round and round her head. Pins blunt against her scalp, sharp points outward, everything hidden under a bandana rigged to blow.

Uzushio’s legacy, beneath dark cloth.

Kiyoshi Utsugi – (In)Difference

(Neutrality brings peace.)

Lightning thrums under her skin, running along her nerves, writhing. Wind at her fingertips, whipping at her cheek, waiting to be unleashed.

Conscious clear, target in sight: shoot.

Tetsuki Kaiza – Trailblazers / Externality / Iron Will

(Fate worse than death.)

The first time around she is furious-regretful-afraid-satisfied, at least, she will be swiftly avenged.

The second time she is desperate: she doesn’t want to go, doesn’t want to do this again, doesn’t want this curse.

By the third she is hollowed out and resigned.

Aomi (Inuzuka) – B*tch Please

(Humanity is beastly.)

The rage in her has nothing to do with the fangs in her mouth or the growl in her lungs. She dreams of hunting intangible things–justice, strength, the future–plans like shaky ground beneath her paws.

Truth and loyalty require sacrifice.

Windy Strife – Into Thin Air

(Steps ahead, left behind.)

The suit sits heavy on her shoulders, fabric stiff and blue still new. The bow, long carried, doesn’t quite match but it fits perfectly in his hand.

Zie is a weapon, forged and honed, then and now.

Reyniero Chason – Running Backwards

(Battle fiercely for the king.)

There are no options, train on the track, future written down and read in the past. And yet, here I am, poised to defy the fate put on him.

If anyone is the spare, it’s me.

Branton Evans – Growing Strong (Burning Bright)

(Thorns, sparks, and silver linings.)

He knows much about regret, had felt it even as he continued to walk away, needing to follow through. Time doesn’t always heal, sometimes it erodes instead.

Nevertheless, things can still be salvaged.

Haru Kuwabara – (En)Closure

(Winning might be everything.)

Go is a battle, is a conversation, is life–according to her grandfather anyway. But she knows death, so she knows that despite all the drama, go is just a game.

But against gods and murderers and the stark face of justice, it’s a nice thought.

Ember Ketchum – A Year With The Moon

(Knowledge is double edged.)

Sight beyond does not make her immune, does not make her anything but a liability. Her entire existence is a dilemma and now, it seems, she has made the wrong choice.

Behind a glowing wall in her mind, she watches herself attack her brother.


A/N: Surprisingly, the word prompt is relevant to the writing! Except for the last one, each section is basically a motto + three sentence fic (or four sentence fic) summarizing my various OCs. Almost like little trailers for the different series… (The last one isn’t because I realized that Ash having a twin during the first Pokemon movie, ie the one featuring Mewtwo, would have the potential for EPIC FEELS).

Basically, after my weird breakdown/rant/fit of low self-esteem that I had yesterday I kind of wanted to make up for that. Sorry, again, @to-someplace-else, it wasn’t your fault, I go through moods, I hope you (and other readers) enjoy this.

Post Word Count: 422, TOTAL Word Count: 10860

So… last day of November. Unsurprisingly, did not meet the NaNo quota but that’s okay because a lot of my posts this month (like this one) were three sentence fic and for some reason I wrote a lot of poetry…

I really like your Year With The Moon ficlets! The protagonist is pretty unique in getting a sandshrew, and the dissociation in her life before starting in the Pokemon journey felt very realistic.

Really? I’m honestly surprised. I appreciate it, but I’m bewildered. Like… I admit, with most of my series, I don’t really have much of a plan, but A Year With The Moon especially I have no idea what I’m doing.

Part of me doesn’t want to derail completely from canon considering Ember wouldn’t actively do that in order to make sure Ash develops similar enough to canon that he can be in those key points to save the world (much like how Shikako is particularly hands off with Naruto in comparison to Sasuke). But that does mean that I would have to go the Dreaming of Sunshine route of somehow reiterating canon material while elevating it and I honestly do not think I have the writing chops for that.

Because. Wow. Dreaming of Sunshine is fantastic. It is just. I mean, obviously, I wouldn’t write so much recursive fanfic of it if I didn’t love it so much. But it is way above my skill level. Just. Wow. SQ’s ability to world build within a set world, the way they not just use fillers but turn filler episodes into emotionally charged arcs, I’m just. O_O

Ideally, A Year With The Moon would by like that. Actually, ideally, a lot of my series would be like that (I also have Into Thin Air which is FFVII Cloud’s twin Windy, I have Counterpoise and B*tch Please which is Naruto and Akamaru’s twin respectively, I have a couple of other SI!OCs or just regular OCs who aren’t twins in various fandoms…)

But, like I said, I don’t have the writing chops for that. Part of it is, I’ll admit, commitment. SQ puts in a lot of time and effort of researching and outlining for DoS which I do not do with A Year With The Moon–could I? Probably, yes. If I put other things to the wayside and focused solely on this series. Will I? Probably not any time soon.

A lot of this blog is me expelling ideas that come to me during the day–I move between fandoms and writing styles fairly frequently. Maybe one day I’ll be able to hone in on one series and go to town on it, but for now A Year With The Moon will have to suffer from being my last second, “oh god I need to put a post up, let me get a word prompt, hm okay Pokemon?”

Sorry, to-someplace-else, I didn’t mean to rant at you. I appreciate that you like the series, and A Year With The Moon does have a surprising soft spot in my heart too (my very first fandom was Pokemon), but unfortunately I don’t think I can do the series justice any time soon and give it the attention it deserves :/

Word Prompts (R27): Reunion

This isn’t her story, this is her brother’s, but when the PokeCenter’s alarms blare–intruders, warning, the Center has been breached–she can’t just sit by and let him fight alone.

Especially since Pikachu is still injured.

They’re not heroes yet, it’s just their first day, she’s not interfering she’s helping.

And plus, she thinks, as Gary steps forward, gesturing his Squirtle who looks equally eager for a fight, it’s not her that will be the problem.

“Squirtle, water gun!”

Ember looks at Team Rocket, live and in the flesh, real–or, at least, as real as this world may or may not be. If they weren’t actively attacking a PokeCenter and trying to steal injured Pokemon, she’d smile.

Team Rocket was iconic–almost as much as Ash and Pikachu–they were misfits who were still good people despite their crimes. Outcasts from society who had made a mishmash family of their own and she can’t say that hadn’t appealed to her before.

But she already had a family and, for now, they needed her.

“Sandshrew, scratch!”

Gary has grown up with Pokemon his entire life–his grandpa’s lab as much a home as their actual house and the Ketchum’s house–but he’s never seen a Pokemon that can talk like a human.

Even while battling, he can be bewildered and impressed.

It’s not that Pokemon can’t understand human language–even the least intelligent of species can understand what humans are saying in intent if not quite exact definitions, and psychic types with telepathy can communicate directly to humans–but physically they can’t articulate enough to say words.

Or, well, they shouldn’t be able to.

Or, at least, Gary’s never heard of one doing so and he’s pretty sure his grandpa wouldn’t keep something like that secret.

“Hey, me-ouch, that hurt!” the Meowth says, paw to his face. Gary isn’t sure if that pun was intended or not. If the Meowth knows it even was a pun.

Arceus, Gary might be having some kind of existential crisis right now.


A/N: … argh, sorry, okay, i just… this is all i have for now… 

Post Word Count: 330, Running Word Count: 9978

Word Prompts (S38): Shining

They are drenched and cold and exhausted, but Ash is missing and they have to find him.

That dweeb.

“This is just like when we were five and Ash fell into that snow bank and got stuck,” Ember says, wringing out water from her clothes as she walks. Somewhat helpfully, her Sandshrew does the same with her hair, tiny paws wringing drops out a lock at a time.

Seeing as how it’s still storming, it’s not all that effective, but the tree tops provide some cover, and better partially dry than completely wet.

Squirtle, being a water Pokemon, doesn’t quite see what the problem is and so leaves Gary to fend for himself.

“That dweeb,” Gary says, out loud this time.

Ember laughs because it’s true.

“The only winter Pallet got a decent amount of snow, and he gets sick two weeks in,” he adds, because it’s not like there’s much else to do now while they look for Ash.

And also, because it makes Ember laugh.

“And by the time he got better…” she begins.

“All the snow had already melted,” he finishes, and listens to her laugh again.

It brightens this absolute loss of a first day. At least until the sky goes bright, literally. A single, massive lightning bolt descends from the clouds striking a fair distance to the east.

“That must be Ash and Pikachu,” Ember says, the worry threading through her voice again.

“The Spearow must have followed them instead of us.” Gary infers, because Spearow are stubborn and tenacious and just plain mean and if they didn’t stick to follow him and Ember then that means…

“They’re closer to Viridian than we are. Pikachu was the most injured out of all of us, Ash knows to go to a PokeCenter,” it’s a murmur more than a statement, reassurance more than prediction, but logical all the same.

They pick up the pace, anyway.

It had always been a joke–well, perhaps joke was too flippant a word–an explanation that soothed away childish hurts and anger.

They were twins, yes, but they didn’t look at all alike. Ember didn’t look at all like anyone, really. So Ember must be a shiny version of her brother, that’s all.

Hair only ever grey and skin splashed with bright reds and dark purples–firemarks, their mother had called them. The reason behind their names. Ash had been born with one, too, splashed across his tiny chest–though as he grew it had faded.

In contrast, Ember’s had only ever darkened, her face split into uneven thirds as one particularly large firemark travelled from one temple to the opposite cheek.

Just another thing that made her an outsider.

Although, in comparison to her admittedly bizarre behavior, the people of Pallet didn’t mind her appearance much. Pallet Town is small, never changing, and after a decade nobody’s appearance is a surprise.

Which is why it takes her a while to figure out why everyone stares as she and Gary make their way to the PokeCenter.

Pikachu is being treated by Nurse Joy and the Chancey, which means his heart isn’t clenched tightly in fear and worry. But it’s still there because he doesn’t know where his sister or best friend is until the latter pulls him into a headlock, and the former steps quietly to his other side.

“Ashy-boy, you dweeb,” Gary says, rubbing his knuckles painfully into Ash’s scalp before letting him go. All of them are still damp–from the river and the rain–scratched and tired, but at least they’re not worse off than that.

He tells them what happened after they got split up, and they do the same. Relieved that it hadn’t all gone completely wrong.

Almost solemnly, Ember touches a finger to the tip of her nose, “I’m not explaining this to Mom or the Professor.”

As quick as ever, Gary does the same then laughs, “Guess that means you will, you Slowbro.”

“Aw, come on!” Ash protests, until another trainer enters the PokeCenter. Fuming mad.

Gary looks amused–because he’s a jerk, even if he is Ash’s best friend. Ember at least looks startled which is… unusual, but a lot about today has been unusual.

“You owe me a new bike!” The girl says, and Ash winces at the reminder of the absolute wreckage of a bicycle he left behind. Yeah, borrowing, sure.

He has to explain the story again, which at least cools her temper.

And that’s when the alarm goes off.


A/N: I dunno? I just really wanted to write some Pokemon stuff?

Word Prompts (Q1): Quarrel (2016-03-07)

Somehow, even though Ember is expecting something to happen–after all, there has to have been some kind of event that made the arguing Ash and Pikachu into the close-knit AshandPikachu she remembers–she is still completely blindsided by the hostile flock of Spearow. Almost literally.

She’s pretty sure nothing seriously bad will happen–Ash is the ultimate protagonist of this world despite Gary no longer being his rival and despite whatever she is–but that doesn’t stop her from being scared and worried. Sandshrew is a ground type Pokemon, and thus essentially useless in this fight against the flying Pokemon, and while Gary and his Squirtle increase their chances–they are still vastly outnumbered.

Pikachu would be most effective, but he’s not listening to Ash, and is attacking the way a wild Pokemon would–instinctively, recklessly, far from strategic.

Squirtle is tired out soon, as well as her Sandshrew, futilely trying to attack with scratch and poison sting, though their tough shells have prevented major injuries from happening. The same cannot be said for Pikachu’s softer fur and skin.

There are still many Spearow left.

One day, they will be stronger. One day, the idea of a flock of Spearows capable of taking them out will be laughable. One day, they will look on this moment with a little embarrassment, a lot of amusement, and the delicate brushstrokes of nostalgia.

But this is not that day. Today is only their first day, and they are outnumbered, outmatched, and simply out of options.

It’s frustrating.

And terrifying.

They run until they can’t anymore. Not because they’re tired, but because they fall into a river.

This is not the illustrious beginning to his Pokemon journey that Gary was expecting. Frankly, this is awful. And while the water seems to energize Squirtle enough that he can help tow Gary to the far shore quickly, the same cannot be said for the Ketchum twins and their Pokemon.

“Sandshrew!” Ember splutters, treading water for a few moments and looking around, before kicking down and into the water. Sandshrew is a tired ground Pokemon–a body of water is not the safest place for her to be. Ember’s head breaches the surface again, and even as she’s gasping for air she calls out for her starter.

“Squirtle, find Sandshrew,” Gary says, and the turtle nods obediently before diving back in. Gary hesitates before doing the same himself, he does actually know how to swim and since he’s already wet, and it makes the most sense for him to go to Ember since she seems to be panicking. “Ember!” He shouts, but she’s not paying attention or just can’t hear him, because she goes underwater again.

“Ember,” he says again, once she’s resurfaced, and he pulls at her arm to prevent her from diving back down, “Come on, we have to get to shore.”

“I can’t find Sandshrew,” she says, more afraid than Gary’s ever seen her, “I let go of her! She can’t swim, Gary,” she resists his pull towards land.

“Squirtle will find her,” he assures her, “I promise,” that seems to do the trick, and they both swim their way over to the shore.

They stand, drenched, waiting for their Pokemon to appear; seconds dragging on unbearably.

Until finally Squirtle’s brown shell and blue skin breach the river, further downstream than Ember had been checking. His movement is slow and awkward–and for a horrified moment, Gary thinks that maybe he’s been injured, gotten into a fight with even more wild Pokemon. Thankfully, it turns out that Squirtle’s only using his tail to propel himself forward, because gripped in his his arms and legs is the curled up body of Ember’s Sandshrew.

“Oh thank god,” Ember breathes and walks knee deep back into the river to pull the two Pokemon the rest of the way to shore, “Thank you, Squirtle,” she says with a rush, pressing a quick kiss to his scaly head, then passing him off to Gary.

While Ember and her Sandshrew grip tightly and speak to each other, apologies on one side and reassuring explanation on the other–apparently a well-timed Defense Curl can make a Sandshrew temporarily waterproof though it’ll sink like a stone–Gary smooths a hand over his Squirtle’s head with pride.

“You did well,” Gary says, it’s the truth, but Squirtle still looks pleased.

Now that they’ve reunited, however, there’s more pertinent matters to attend to–“Where are the Spearow?” Gary asks, scanning the sky for the flock that chased them into the river in the first place.

Ember gasps, dismayed, “Where’s Ash?”

Perhaps it’s coincidence, or maybe it’s fate, but Ash meets Misty, steals her bike, and proves his worthiness to Pikachu.

For once, in the aftermath of the storm, Ash sees something Ember does not. A shining, golden bird flying overhead.


A/N: Hm… so I’m mostly looking at the episode synopsis on bulbapedia for this so mreh? Even though it says Ash fell into a pond I figure, with Gary and Ember there, his path is altered enough that they could easily have fallen into a river instead. I guess. Also, ponds are tiny.

I don’t think I want to do a straight up rewrite of the anime–because that would be so boring–but I also don’t know what I would do with this series otherwise?

Word Prompts (V8): Vision (2016-03-03)

Things are better when they leave–not easier, no, but better. Ash can tell. Ember has been more focused in the past few hours than he remembers seeing her in years. Eyes fixed forward on their path through the forest instead of glancing up and away. The smooth armor of her Sandshrew seems to be helping, too.

No, Ash is not jealous.

Ember laughs–soft and pleased–as her Sandshrew delicately crawls its way over her shoulder and onto her back, matching Gary and his Squirtle. She says as much, almost startling him, but after a moment’s hesitation he responds, not used to her initiating conversation.

Ash watches and listens, bittersweetly happy.

Until he gets shocked, yet again, by his Pikachu.

Okay, so maybe he is jealous. Of who, he’s not really sure. Because, yes, having a Pokemon that doesn’t also count as electrotherapy would be nice–though there’s no way he’d leave Ember saddled with this ungrateful rodent–but it’s kind of…

Ash has spent practically his whole life trying to understand his sister and, failing that, defending her from all the small-minded people of Pallet Town. But Pallet Town is his home and Ember is his twin, and it’s almost hurtful that she’s so eager and alive only hours away from Pallet Town. As if the place that he loves is something toxic to her.

“Ash?” Ember calls, glancing between her twin’s face and her twin’s unruly Pikachu, “Would you like help? Ground types are immune to electric.”

As if to showcase just how poorly he and Ash are getting along, Pikachu takes the opportunity to shock him. Yet again.

“No,” Ash grits out between his teeth, because how is he ever going to be a Pokemon Master if he can’t even handle his starter Pokemon by himself? “I’m fine.”

He is not fine.

If Gary is going to be honest–and he often is, to the point of being considered rude–he would admit that he thought Ember was going to be, well, dead weight on their journey. Or, at least, in need of his and Ash’s help.

Of course, he still wouldn’t have wanted to go without her–while the twins are basically a package deal, Gary is friends with her on her own merits–but he didn’t think she’d be as helpful as she’s turned out to be.

He knew she was smart–he always tried, and failed, to beat her on tests–but that never seemed to translate to the real world before. She knows how to navigate through the forest, how to avoid webs and other byproducts of wild Pokemon, how to function without her brother holding her hand.

It’s as if she’s an entirely different person.

Once Ember gets her Sandshrew, its as if something in her mind just snaps into place. While part of it is thanks to the adorable and possibly literal grounding force that is her starter Pokemon, most of it is simply a change in perspective.

Being stuck in Pallet Town for the past ten years was nothing short of absolute monotony. Like reliving all the most boring parts of your life without knowing why or how to get out of this cycle.

Now though? She’s a Pokemon trainer. For real.

She has played this game before. Literally. Multiple times. And it never gets old.

Suddenly it’s as if everything is clear–she’s not some extra gear in a clock, or a puppet trapped in a script. She may not be the protagonist, but she wouldn’t want to be–Ash can have the fate of the world on his shoulders–she has agency, she’s a player now.

There’s no way she’s going to give this up.


A/N: Here’s some more of yesterday’s Pokemon SI!OC I guess… I don’t really know where I’m going with this so… ?