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 (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… ?

Word Prompts (T2): Tangled (2016-03-02)

It’s never said aloud–at least, not where her brother can hear–but it’s generally assumed that Ember is… a little slow in the head.

“Retarded,” Blake says, just once, before Ash flings all the fury of his tiny six year old body at him. Gary follows soon after in solidarity.

Ember, staring off into space, doesn’t notice until one of the combatants stumbles into her. At which point she blinks, startled, and shouts, “This isn’t supposed to happen!”

It’s loud enough to summon one of the school’s faculty to them, and while the teacher scolds all of the boys, Ember goes back to staring at what appears to be nothing. Of course, that’s not the case, but for the rest of Pallet Town, that’s what it seems like.

Ember Ketchum is generally assumed to be a little slow in the head, seeing things that never appear and reacting to sounds that don’t exist. Intelligent–she has the best grades at school–but she’s definitely… different.

If it weren’t a well-known fact that Ash and Ember are twins, the people of Pallet Town would probably assume that Delia found Ember in the forest; or maybe the other way around. Like one of those stories about legendary Pokemon pretending to be human. Benign, but alien.

And perhaps they’re not wrong.

Here is one thing Ember knows to be true: she is not supposed to be here.

After that, well, nothing else matters. Like an experiment, the presence of an observer–her presence–has altered everything else.

She doesn’t know everything that happened in Ash’s childhood–the Ash that was a character and not her brother–but already she has changed things. Primarily? The twins are approaching their tenth birthday, but Ash and Gary remain friends. Bewilderingly, she and Gary are also friends.

Somehow unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be likely to change anytime soon. Worse, she doesn’t know why.

On the day everyone their age is to get a Pokemon from Professor Oak, Ember fails to wake up her brother. Or rather, chooses not to.

Let him sleep in, she thinks, because if he goes to the lab early, he might not get Pikachu. And if he doesn’t get Pikachu… then what will happen to the rest of the world.

She doesn’t expect to be a hero–doesn’t want to be–but she’ll be damned if she stands in the way of Ash being one.

The Oaks greet them at the lab, impatient but expectant. Gary, having already chosen his starter, is wearing his Squirtle like a very odd backpack. It’s certainly a less embarrassing sight than what Ember remembers from the cartoon–cheerleaders and a convertible, what was he thinking?

But what really surprises her is that the professor has, not just one remaining Pokemon, but two. Frankly, she wasn’t expecting to get one–just to escort her brother to the lab, witness his first meeting with Pikachu, and return home to Delia. Maybe she’d continue her education–become a professor or a doctor–not a trainer.

Maybe the professor, knowing there was an additional trainer-to-be, prepared an extra starter. Though, more likely, it was Gary who reminded his grandfather to have enough. No way would he be starting his Pokemon journey without his two best friends.

Thankfully, Pikachu is one of them; he and Ash get along as electrifyingly as she remembers. The other twin’s meeting, however, is far less energetic.

“I think you’ll like this little lady,” Professor Oak says, fond and indulgent, even as Ember fails to even touch the final pokeball presented to her.

“Come on, Ember!” Gary says, both encouraging and demanding.

“Yeah, there’s no way yours is going to be worse than mine,” Ash adds, before receiving a shock from Pikachu.

Ember reaches out, unleashes her starter, and falls in love immediately.


A/N: … to be honest, I was watching Mythbusters and only realized I missed my post after midnight. So here’s this really late thing…

I was not expecting to write a Pokemon SI!OC… but then I realized… I kind of already brainstormed this here? But in that I used the Japanese names–Satoshi and Satsuki–and I figured, given the English dubs ridiculous translations, they’d make Ash’s twin’s names something punny. Like Ember.

edit: continued here