Clemont clutched onto the sofa. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from the TV. His heart pounded against his chest like a sledgehammer. Nausea settled in his stomach and wouldn’t leave. How could this happen right under his nose? He should've stayed longer. Made sure that he got on the plane. Now his best friend was goodness knows where.
The reporter continued her report on the security breach which resulted in a missing passenger: Ash. The day started out perfectly normal. Ash left for home – or so Clemont thought – Yesterday evening. Clemont and his sister returned to Lumiose Gym, had dinner then went to bed. They were having breakfast when Meyer called Clemont telling him he needed to see the news. Clemont didn't usually bother with the news but his dad sounded pretty serious. Clemont switched on the TV. They hardly moved since.
“Clemont, I don’t wanna listen to this anymore.”
Bonnie was sitting next to Clemont with Dedenne on her lap, she wasn’t even looking at the TV. Clemont nodded.
“Yeah, me either.”
It didn't look like they had any more information anyway. The reporter was interviewing the airport manager. He was telling her how they would be beeing up security. Clemont switched off the television. He rested his head in his hands trying to process what took place.
“What are we gonna do?” asked Bonnie.
“I don't know, Bonnie. There’s precious little to go off of."
“But we’ve gotta do something!” Bonnie stood up and faced her brother. “We can’t just let them take Ash away!”
“I know that!" Clemont flinched, he hadn’t meant to snap. He knew his sister was as worried as he was. Of course, she would look to him for comfort or solid answers. Any child would after hearing something like this. Clemont took a deep breath. "I want to help Ash as much as you do, but we need to know where he is first."
Bonnie crossed her arms and started pacing for a moment. She gave her brother a grin.
“Dedenne can help. He can use his electricity to find Pikachu.”
Clemont had to say that was a really good idea.
'Why hadn’t I thought of that?'
Wherever Pikachu was, Ash wouldn't be far behind. It wasn't a full proof plan, but it wasn't a long shot either and frankly, it was all they had.
“I guess it’s worth a...”
“Excuse me, Sir, Officer Jenny wishes to speak with you.”
Clemont stood up and nodded.
“Right, thanks Clembot.”
Clemont followed his robot companion to the kitchen with Bonnie right on his heels. Officer Jenny was sitting at the table with a cup of tea. Clemont stumbled backwards when a blur of yellow tackled his chest.
Pikachu stared up at Clemont with tears streaming down his red cheeks.
'So much for Bonnie's idea'
“Pi...pikachu Pika Pi!”
“We found him at the airport.”
Clemont turned to Officer Jenny who was pulling out a notepad and pen.
“As you can see, the poor thing is completely distraught. At the very least, he showed me where you lived.”
Clemont gave the officer a slight bow.
"Good morning, Officer Jenny."
“Good morning. I must say, I’ve never had a robot offer me tea before. That’s definitely one for the memoirs. That’s not what I came to discuss of course. Why don’t you take a seat?” Officer Jenny gestured to the chair opposite her.
Clemont nodded and sat down setting Pikachu down on his lap. The teen shuddered. Pikachu should be on Ash’s lap, not his.
"I understand that you and Ash know each other quite well. I was hoping you might have some sort of clue to his whereabouts."
Clemont’s fists clenched
"I'm afraid I don't know any more than you do. We only found out that Ash was missing this morning.”
"Do you if anyone has a grudge against Ash for anything at all that could provoke them to do this?"
“None that I know of. Ash isn’t the type of person to deliberately get under anyone’s skin.”
Officer Jenny nodded and took out what seemed to be a photo taken from a CCTV camera. Presumably one from the airport.
“Could I ask you to take a look at this?”
Clemont nodded and took the photo from Officer Jenny’s hand. There was a fuzzy image of three men who had cornered Ash against the wall. There was a Xatu and a Hypno standing next to them.
“Do you recognise anyone? Think hard now.”
Clemont shook his head.
“No, I have no idea who they are.”
"No, no, it's fine. I knew it was a long shot," said Officer Jenny as she put the photo away.
Clemont’s blood boiled.
“How did this even happen? Why didn’t the airport security do anything?!”
“Apparently, they were very quick. By the time security got to the scene, they were gone. All they could find was Ash’s Pikachu, passed out.”
Clemont patted Pikachu on the head.
“Is it okay if Pikachu stays here? I don’t know how he would react if a stranger took him in.”
“I see no issue with that. He was already check over by Nurse Joy and there were no serious injuries he just needs to take it easy for a day or two.”
Officer Jenny gave Clemont her card.
“Call me if you learn anything, no matter how small.”
“I will, thank you.”
Officer Jenny nodded and went on her way. As she left Meyer came in. He saluted as Officer Jenny walked by then turned to Clemont.
“How are you holding up son?”
“As well as can be expected.”
Meyer sighed then placed his hands on Clemont’s shoulders.
“Clemont, I promise that I won’t rest until Ash is safely back with us.”
Clemont sighed and nodded.
The rest of the day was a blur. Meyer got on the phone to inform Ash’s mum of the unfortunate incident. Clemont retreated to him room not wanting to see the reaction. Yet, not even his bedroom door blocked the sound of uncontrollable sobs. Afterwards They searched city, but there was no sign of the raven-haired trainer. They stayed out all day. The only reason they stopped for the night was so Bonnie could sleep.
"I'm not tired dad we've got to find Ash!" moaned Bonnie.
Pikachu shook his clenched paw at Meyer.
'Trust me, Bonnie I don’t want to stop either.'
Meyer placed a gentle hand on Bonnie’s shoulder.
“It’s getting dark Bonnie. I promise we'll continue our search first thing in the morning. Come on now. I don't want you alone at the gym tonight. Come stay with me.”
So they all went through his repair shop and into the living room. Meyer made them all sandwiches for dinner, but they were hardly touched. Pikachu refused to eat at all despite Meyer’s coaxing.
"Come on Bonnie, you should try and get some sleep," he said as he led a moping Bonnie upstairs. I'll even read you a bedtime story if you want. How about Beauty and the Beast? You've always loved that one."
Bonnie only nodded.
Clemont smiled at his father’s help at keeping Bonnie distracted. Now if only distracting himself was that easy.
‘Does Serena know about this? Should I try to contact her somehow? If only she had a cell phone.’
Clemont’s vision blurred. He clenched his fists and squeezed his eyes shut. How could he let this happen? Ash was his best friend. He should’ve made sure he was safely on the plane before leaving. Then this entire debacle could’ve been prevented.
“It’s not you’re fault you know.”
Clemont jolted and turned and opened his eyes. Meyer was leaning against the sofa with his arms crossed and a serious look on his face.
“But….if I stayed with Ash then….”
"They might've taken you and Bonnie too." Meyer finished for him. "I understand how you feel Clemont, but this isn't the time to beat yourself up. like I said, I won't rest until we bring Ash home," Meyer then smirked. "and I'm sure he's not gonna want to hear that you were wallowing in self-pity."
Clemont smiled slightly and wiped the tears away then nodded.
“No, you're right. Don't give up till it's over. That's what Ash always said. We will find him. No matter how long it takes!"
“That’s my boy!” said Meyer as he walked towards Clemont and patted him on the back. “You’ll need a good night’s sleep for that, so why don’t go catch some Zs.”
Clemont nodded and headed upstairs.
"Night son," said Meyer.
After a long shower, Clemont got into his pyjamas, brushed his teeth and climbed into bed. Sleeping wasn't going to be easy tonight. Wherever Ash was, sleep probably wasn’t at the forefront of his mind either. What started out as a normal day has turned into a nightmare. Too bad that this nightmare was very real. The worst part was Clemont had no idea how long this It would last, or even if it will end at all.