When Green first saw Red with a new Pokemon, a Pikachu, he had haughtily told the other boy that there was absolutely no way the yellow rodent would be useful in a fight.
Red had stared at him, eyes blank and mouth in a thin line, a sign that he was angry; fed up, but Green didn't stop there, forcing Red to use that Pikachu in a battle against his Eevee. The other boy could've declined, he could've turned and left Green in the dust (like everyone else), but he didn't.
All because that rat had run straight at him, knocking him off his feet, charging him with small static shocks. One of the most intimate ways an electric type could show affection.
Startled, he let the display of fondness continue, finding himself liking the contact. Eevee started to growl, then, baring her teeth; 'Eve, no, it's okay,' he barely managed to stop her from attacking Red's Pikachu. He wasn't sure what to make of this - he and Red weren't... close, something akin to rivalry and hate had begun fostering between them, burning the bridges they'd built when they were younger.
There was no reason for a hostile trainer's Pokemon to like him this much.
In his confusion, heart aching, he tosses the electric rat away; 'there's something wrong with him!' He sneers, stomping past Red and continuing his journey into Viridian City. Eevee ran after him, voicing her concerns; but he brushes them aside, comforting her in ways his Gramps would've been proud of.
Pikachu's wails echo through the forest, but he ignores them in favour of talking to his companions.
He was Champion.
He could make Gramps proud.
For about ten minutes.
Red busted in the door, all uncool and pale, ghostly eyes staring at him blankly. An apology.
Green wasn't sure what he'd uttered, exhaustion and resignment coating his bones. He could never win against Red. He could brag and say that he was better, but Red was a league of his own - taking down Team Rocket and getting to Victory Road at the same time?
He could never be on that level.
They battle, fighting tooth and nail, taking down one Pokemon after another. Red's expression doesn't change. He can't figure out what that means anymore. He doesn't care.
The corners of his vision start to blur as Eevee mewls, pawing at his pant leg. He's going to lose, definitely.
Green grits his teeth, holding out his last Pokeball tightly, I want Gramps to acknowledge me. Rhypon was the only one left. I want to be acknowledged. Eevee's mewls turn in whimpers when he releases Rhydon, and the great beast himself gives him a judgemental stare, as if asking him if he was sure.
I need to win.
Rhydon gives him one last look, blinking slowly, before charging up; frustration and anger rolling off her in waves.
Red has only Pikachu left.
The air is tense, both trainers glaring (why did Red have to follow me?) at each other. The tell-tale fuzzy feeling crawls up his arm, but he holds on. There's just a little stretch left to cross, he can catch up. He can catch up to Red.
If he can't win, Arceus, at least let him tie with Red.
Predictably, Pikachu is the last on Red's roster.
Green lifts an eyebrow, tamping down the urge to talk smack about the tiny Pokemon. The little brat had an ego now, turning his snout up at Rhydon, Green scowls, 'well. Looks like someone's ego is too big for his body.' Sounds like someone I know, he tacks on his head, grinning at his self-deprecating joke.
The rodent shies away from his gaze, hiding his eyes behind droopy ears. The smile on Green's face slides right off, worry overtaking him. Is something wrong? Red looks at Pikachu, equally as puzzled. Pikachu crackles with electricity, blue arcs tracing over the edges of his fur, completely different from the usual bright yellow.
A question is stuck at the base of his throat, does he not want to fight? But Lance is there, urging them to finish the battle or forfeit.
Both of them send scathing glares his way, too wrapped up in the moment to actually consider giving up. They've come too far to stop.
Clicking his jaw determinedly, Green orders to cause an Earthquake, praying that this would enough to at least shake Pikachu. Thank Arceus Pikachu's attacks don't deal as much damage to Earth types. Rhydon does as ordered, the ground breaking apart and splintering beneath Pikachu's feet.
Letting out a shrill cry, the small Pokemon does his best to remain in-battle. He reluctantly follows orders, half-assing moves all the way while Rhydon gives it her all. But even then, Green can see that he will not come out of this as the victor. Pikachu's stats are insanely high, he should've evolved ages ago; but he didn't. Rhydon was struggling to deflect certain attacks, groaning as Volt Tackle does a number on her.
Gramps had a theory that unevolved, strong Pokemon could be even more powerful than its evolved counterpart.
His breath doesn't even hitch as Rhydon falls, completely knocked out by a simple Charge. Emptiness bottoms out in his stomach as he recalls her, murmuring praises of pride and hard work. Green should've won, but the Gods above loved everyone but him - of course, he would come out as the loser.
Without as much as a word, he turns around, Eevee yipping worriedly at his feet. 'It's okay, girl. Let's go back and eat some popcorn, 'kay?' She whiffs his hand, licking at the sting caused from getting zapped by Pikachu.
'I'll be okay, Eve,' he promises.
Claws clicking on the ground right behind him causes him to freeze up, expecting Red's shadow to fall on his frame. He finds none, so he takes a glance behind him, hiding his eyes behind a curtain of hair.
Pikachu is on all fours, hunched over in pain and despair.
Green says nothing, not even acknowledging his Gramps congratulating Red. His eyes skip over Pikachu's small form, sliding onto the large cracks on the floor.
He continues walking, ignoring the cries of a regretful Pikachu.
He doesn't see Red, or Pikachu, for several years.
Swamped with the Gym, trying to settle down in a larger city and hearing hushed whispers about a Champion that never was, he didn't have the luxury of time to go searching for the ones that dropped off the face of the earth.
Then, there was another problem. Mainly, a boy who was about as stubborn as Red and as loud as he: Gold.
'I'm telling you, Green! There's someone up there on that mountain!' The kid pouts, lying atop Green's Aracanine in a childish display of a tantrum. It's been like this for the past seven weeks, ten hours a day. A child, in his office, screaming and shouting about the damned mountain.
He sighs, thumping his head on the cherry wood desk, hoping the piles of paperwork would kill him before Gold does. He knows, theoretically, who is this Mysterious Mountain Man, but refuses to spill the beans. If I tell him, would he finally leave me alone? Green squints at his Pokemon, noting how haggard Arcanine was.
'Stop bothering him,' he snaps. throwing a paper aeroplane directly into Gold's crotch; the boy howls, wailing about paper cuts and whatnot, pouncing away from his poor, miserable, Arcanine. 'Shut up, you wimp! If you want to bother someone, go see Gramps!'
Gold frowns, standing stock still in his little "corner" of the office. 'Well... ' he gestures, 'Prof Oak sent me here... he said... you knew how to get up there.'
The Gym Leader sighs, feeling the migraine seeping beneath his irises. Gramps would do anything to make him suffer, huh? 'Well, you've been stalking me for almost two months. As you can see, I know about as much as the cashier at 7-Eleven.' He gives Gold a pointed look, making the boy blush a beet red before stammering an excuse he couldn't be bothered to hear.
Seriously, where was Silver?
The power shorts out then, casting them in total darkness as thunder crashes in the night sky.
Great, just what I needed.
Rushing to unlatch the windows, he heaves it up, 'Eve! Eggsy! A storm's coming up, get in!' He shouts, waving frantically at the frightened Pokemon; both of which scamper as quick as they can towards the entrance. He trusts Eevee to lead them to safety.
A flash of yellow jumps into the room, knocking over a photo frame of him and Daisy. Gold yelps, summoning a Raticate to cuddle into. Green feels his world shift, ever so slightly, when the figure lights up the room.
Crackling up with static, Pikachu gave off enough electricity to cause the power in the room to return. Green's sure that Pikachu basically wrecked the power switches in the building, but Lance can pay for that. Instead, he blinks, nonchalant, at the still unevolved Pikachu.
'Do I have business with you?' Is the automatic greeting he gives, shielding Gold behind him. Pikachu growls, cheeks jumping with arcs of yellow lightning, ears flat against his head. Gold whimpers, pulling at Green's shirt with a sense of urgency, frightened at the aggressive display.
Funny, how a Champion is afraid of some Pokemon. Or was it because he was too used to seeing overpowered Pokemon?
'Pikachu, you're scaring my friend.' He states, trying to sound detached as tears well up in his eyes. The mouse refuses to comply, growling low as he raises his tail. Gold almost pulls him back into a wall, but Green hefts him up, dropping him onto the couch, then, he brisk walks to pick Pikachu up; putting enough distance between the two to make Gold feel safer.
The moment he holds Pikachu close, the tiny rodent coos, wrapping his stubby arms around Green's neck, burrowing into his warmth. What?
'What are you... ' the question dies off, his throat closing up as tears start dripping from his cheeks, onto matted yellow fur. Am I crying?
Belatedly, he realises how lonely he's felt since Red had disappeared; leaving him and Lance to fill in the power vacuum. Belatedly, he realises how much he misses the bastard, head spinning too fast for the rest of him to keep up. Belatedly, he realises that Pikachu is here, not on the stupid mountain.
Is Red here, too?
Pikachu seems to be purring now, actively sending him small shocks and rubbing his ears all over Green's face. Then, Pikachu starts crying, sounds of elation turning into distress, yowling in grief.
Stumbling, Green tries to figure out what's wrong, rocking the Pokemon back and forth in a desperate attempt to calm it. Pikachu sinks his claws into Green's neck, a prickling sensation numbing him. Where was Red? Pikachu shivers, pressing himself up against Green, making little discontented noises; as if afraid Green might leave him.
Why would Green leave?
The door creaks open, Eevee poking her head in through the small crack, snarling when she sees her trainer snuggling with an enemy Pokemon. Those two strangely never got along nicely with each other. It worries Green, slightly.
Eevee runs in, crawling up Green's back and curling around his neck like a short scarf, yipping and scratching at Pikachu, huffing when Pikachu doesn't let go. Green has half a mind to tell her off, she should be more well behaved; he trained her to be at least polite.
The door slams open, an equally distressed and grief-stricken Red, soaked to the bone, gaping at his Pokemon much like Eevee.
Green's world halts, at the moment ruby meets amber.
'Pokemon are more empathetic than any other animal,' Gramps brings an Eevee out to greet Green, letting him hold the happy Pokemon. 'They can sense more than what others let on; but what's most important and astounding is that they're perfectly in-tune with what their trainers are feeling - happiness, sadness, loneliness, jealousy. They can pick it up almost instantly, and they will react accordingly.'
Green stares at the Eevee in his arms, content and warm, a trill of amazement going through him.
'That's so cool!'
Pikachu always did love Green the most.
There's nothing wrong with Pikachu, he's just responding and projecting how his trainer feels.