For two whole weeks Ash and the gang remained at the Pokemon Center while Pikachu recovered from his fatal injuries. But it was all good while waiting. Gary got to battle Brock and Dawn's pokemon and helped point out battling tips for Dawn so she wouldn't make the same mistake as last time the next time she battled.
Brock's breeder skills took over as he bred and examined each of Gary's pokemon while Gary learned from Brock with interest so that he could use some of the techniques he learned to use on pokemon when he examined on them.
Gary also got to participate in a small contest with Ash, Dawn, and Brock to get the feel of how contests worked. Professor Oak and Ash's mom came by to comfort Ash and became the other two judges.
While they were all busy having fun, a certain female rabbit pokemon was hard at work taking everyone's chores for two whole weeks but Turtwig's, who offered to help carry some of the burden being that he had her trust that she could get the job done, but Buneary declined and said it would help gain some of the other pokemons' trust back towards her. Turtwig accepted the declination and allowed Buneary to treat the rest of the pokemon while she did chores they were assigned to.
By the end of the first week, Buizel, Happiny, Sudowoodo, Piplup, and Pachirisu all gained her trust again and lifted their assigned chores off of her. Halfway through the second week, Buneary was utterly exhausted from all the work and was just about to pass out when Croagunk came along and told her to go spend a bit of time with Pikachu.
At first she refused, saying that she still had a lot of work to do, but Croagunk told her that he'd finish up for the day, being that she hadn't gotten to see Pikachu in well over a week. Buneary thanked Croagunk for his kindness, but would rather earn seeing him instead of being offered by it. Croagunk understood and walked on to do whatever business he does.
During the two weeks, Jigglypuff just simply disappeared. By the time the question was asked, Jigglypuff was nowhere to be seen.
"Maybe she left to go find someone else to sing to," Brock said.
"Guess we don't have to worry about falling asleep anymore whenever she sings," Ash chuckled.
"Until the next time she shows up," Brock chuckled as well.
"Yeah," Ash said.
By the end of the second week, Buneary had just about everyone's trust back for her. Ash and them all noticed the hard determined work she did to receive it.
"I can't believe Buneary did everyone's work for two whole weeks," Dawn said with surprise and amazement.
"Well what did you expect?" Gary asked. "It was the only way she could gain everyone's trust back. And I for one certainly trust her."
"As do I," Professor Oak said. "When trust is broken, one has to work hard if they want it back. Otherwise, don't try it at all."
"Well I'm glad everything worked out well in the end," Delia, Ash's mom, said as she glanced down at the over exhausted Buneary who was just being picked up by Dawn.
"I think a good night's sleep should help you," Dawn said to Buneary. "How does that sound?"
All Buneary could do was manage a small smile in response, sending the message clear to Dawn.
"She deserves it," Brock said. "But isn't there one more reward for her good behavior and hard working?"
"What would that be, Brock?" Ash asked, confused to what he was referring to.
"Well why don't we show her?" Brock asked, glancing over to Nurse Joy.
"One moment," Nurse Joy said as she walked into the back room.
Buneary felt her eyes wanting to shut on her for all the hard work she's been doing for the past two weeks. She barely had any time to spend with her beloved pokemon since last week. The chores were getting harder and harder for her to handle and she almost quit, but Pikachu told her to hang in there for him.
Several moments passed by before Nurse Joy returned, opening the door up and holding it as everyone watched an all too familiar electrical mouse slowly walking out. No one was shocked to see the state Pikachu was in, mainly because they all saw, including Oak and Delia, and eventually gotten used to seeing him like this.
For two whole weeks Pikachu had been recovering, and now the two weeks have passed by at last and Pikachu was up and moving, though not as fast as he used to be.
Pikachu stopped after walking out and observed everyone watching him. Everyone he knew was there, staring right at him, smiles forming on their faces. Then, they all moved forward and welcomed him out from his two week rest.
"Glad to see you're out, Pikachu," Gary said, squatting down and smiling at him.
("We've missed you,") Pachirisu said, giving Pikachu a light hug so as to not upset his wounds.
("Looking better already,") Buizel commented.
True, Pikachu was better looking. Some of the scars on his body healed, though the major ones he had, such as the long gash along his body, had not. Pikachu was happy to see everyone again after not being able to see them for two whole weeks, but his heart was looking for one in particular. And she just so happened to be in the arms of her trainer who stayed behind and watched.
Almost immediately as Pikachu spotted her, everyone became silent and moved out of his way so he could walk over. Everyone now knew the relationship between Pikachu and Buneary. Well, everyone but Ash, that is, who still remains clueless to love even to this day.
All watched in silence (Ash in confusion) as Pikachu stopped before Dawn and looked up at her, his eyes pleading to see the pokemon he loved. Dawn knelt down and allowed Buneary to climb down from her cradled arms, also adding that she was glad to see him out and about before leaving the two alone.
The two stood staring at each other, staring into one another's eyes as everyone waited for something to happen. Then, Pikachu spoke.
("You look like you've been beat up,") he laughed a bit.
("But not nearly as bad as you,") she said with a small smile.
("I knew you could do it,") Pikachu said.
("I had you there with me every step of the way,") Buneary said.
("I told you, Buneary. I'll always be by your side. No matter what,") Pikachu said, filling Buneary's heart with pure happiness. ("Because I love you.")
("And I love you, Pikachu,") Buneary said before the two leaned in and began a long, passionate kiss.
Everyone watching smiled, touched by exchanged pikas and buns as they all began clapping for the two. Of course, someone sniffed, causing Dawn to tease.
"You're not crying, are you Brock?"
"No," Brock said, trying his hardest not to cry. "I just got something in my eye."
Of course, a gentle jab from Croagunk's Poison Jab set the waterworks off as Brock began weeping at the heart touching scene. Ash was clapping as well, though confused about what was going on. Gary was going to have to have a talk with him later, unless he left. Then Brock would have to have "the talk." And of course, there was one pokemon who was clapping, but wasn't entirely happy. Let's just say he's the pyro type on the team.
Pikachu and Buneary parted for some air, tears happily rolling down Buneary's face as she finally got what she always wanted: Pikachu's love.
"Well, guess it's time for me to hit the road," Gary said as he slung his backpack sack over his shoulder. "Got to get back to the lab and all."
"I hear you," Ash said. "If we ever meet up again, I'll be the one to break that tie."
"Keep dreaming," Gary said with a snicker. "You'll never surpass my level, Ashy boy."
"Oh yes I will," Ash remarked back. "Just you wait and see."
Gary gave out a hearty laugh before turning around and walking off, still laughing.
"That will be the day," he laughed as he walked off into the crowd.
Ash watched as his old friend and rival blended in with the crowd and disappeared entirely from view.
"And I think it's high time that we got back as well," Professor Oak said. "Can't let Tracy be messing anything up now, can we?"
(Back at Professor Oak's lab)
"Aw man!" Tracy said. "Professor Oak's going to kill me."
He hung his head down in defeat as pokemon stampeded right through the lab, being chased by a over hyper Growlithe.
(Back at Ever Lake City)
"So what's my big Pokemon Master going to do next?" asked Delia.
"Well," Ash said thoughtfully. "I'm going to try and train my other pokemon to try and win the rest of the gym battles I still have to face. It's not going to be easy though now that Pikachu can't battle any more."
"Don't lose hope, honey," Delia said. "I still have faith in you. And I know you can win."
"We all do," Brock added, causing Ash to smile.
"You're right," he said. "I can win. But still, Pikachu not battling is like a piece of me not being able to exist."
"Sometimes we have to do what we have to, even if something tragic happens in the course of journeying that's most important to us," Professor Oak said. "Even though Pikachu can no longer battle, he'll give you the support you need from the sidelines."
Ash turned to Pikachu and asked, "Do you think you can, Pikachu? It will be a big help to me if you do. As long as I have you around, I'll always feel like I win either way."
("You can count on me,") Pkachu said with a determined expression.
"All right then!" Ash said excitedly as he stood back up. "That settles it. My pokemon journey continues."
"Oh!" Delia cried. "That's my Ash."
Not being able to hold the tears back, Delia rushed forward and began hugging Ash, embarrassing him.
"Mom!" he yelled out. "You're embarrassing me!"
Everyone laughed while Delia continued to hug her son. Of course, this was the opportunity that a certain someone needed for the moment to talk. Walking over to Buneary and tapping her on her shoulder, gaining her attention, he motioned her to follow him.
("I'll be right back,") she told Pikachu.
("Don't you be gone too long,") Pikachu called over his shoulder.
("Don't worry,") Chimchar said. ("We won't.")
Walking off a few feet, Chimchar stopped.
("So what do you want to talk about?") Buneary asked before Chimchar ducked into an ally next to him, pulling Buneary in and slamming her against the hard, brick wall.
("You might have everyone buying into your niceness, little miss goody two-shoes,") Chimchar spat. ("But I'm not buying it one little bit.")
("What do you mean?") Buneary asked, struggling to get free. ("You're hurting me.")
("I've been with Paul long enough to see how he treats his pokemon,") Chimchar said. ("You're no better off than he is. From now on, I'll be watching you, making sure you don't do any more damage to Pikachu.")
("I give you my word I won't,") Buneary said, desperately trying to break free.
("I'll be watching to make sure that doesn't happen,") Chimchar said. ("One slip up, anything you do to hurt Pikachu physically or emotionally, break his heart, for example, I'll make sure he never gets hurt again. Understand?")
Buneary was frightened now by Chimchar's attitude, clearly being threatened.
("I asked if you understood me?") Chimchar yelled, his tail flame flaring up.
Buneary gulped and nervously nodded her head, being released.
("Oh, and if you tell anyone about this, I'll make sure you're disowned,") he added before walking out.
Buneary remained where she was and trembled. Clearly Chimchar was being a little too overprotective of Pikachu, but what could she do? If she told anyone, Chimchar clearly stated that she would be disowned, and that was the last thing she wanted, let alone causing a breakup of friends between Chimchar and everyone else.
"Buneary!" she heard her trainer's voice call out. "Where'd you go?"
Putting aside the fear for a moment, Buneary jumped out from her hiding place and yelled, ("Here I am.")
"There you are," Dawn said as she walked over to her. "So what'd you and Chimchar talk about?"
An image of Chimchar smashing her pokeball flashed across her mind and she decided to pretend to brush it off by saying, ("Nothing really.")
"Bet he was apologizing to you for thinking wrongly of you, huh?" Dawn asked.
("Yeah,") Buneary said in a normal tone as the two walked back to the gang.
Chimchar was nowhere in sight, so she figured that he was back in his ball.
("Everything go all right?") Pikachu asked, averting Buneary's gaze to him.
("Everything's peachy!") Buneary said with a fake smile.
("That's great,") Pikachu said as he looked up to what his trainer was talking about to Professor Oak.
"Really?" Ash said before looking down at his pokemon. "Hear that Pikachu? There's a pokemon tournament in another town starting in about three months. You think the other pokemon are up for it?"
("You bet I do,") Pikachu said, pumping his fists into the air.
"That should give us enough time to strengthen our pokemon," Brock said.
"I can't wait," Ash said, getting a sigh out form his mother. "That's my Ash, always running off to more battles. I'm proud of you."
"Thanks, mom," Ash said as he hugged her one final time. "You take care of yourself now, all right?"
"I will mom," Ash replied. "And I got Brock and Dawn to watch out for me too."
"And don't forget to change your you-know-whats," Delia said.
"Mom!" Ash said, embarrassed by her mentioning this out loud.
"Well, you ready to go?" Brock asked.
"Let's hit the road," Ash said as the trio, plus Pikachu and Buneary, began walking towards the exit of Ever Lake.. "Bye mom. Bye Professor Oak. See you again soon!"
"Take care, son!" Delia yelled, waving.
"Send me more pokemon to discover!" Professor Oak said.
"I'll do my best!" Ash yelled back as the gang all disappeared into the crowd and out for another adventure.
To all those who have reviewed, thank you. This is not the end, though, for a sequel will be coming soon. Can't end the story with Pikachu never being able to battle again and Chimchar's threat being left weighted on poor Buneary now, can I? Hope you all enjoyed this story!