Things have been going pretty well with Ash and co. as of late. While training for his next gym battle, Ash decides to let his team rest in a nearby forest for a few days after all the hard work they've done and the progress they made. Meanwhile, Pikachu begins to feel melancholic about his relationship with his trainer, and how he'll never have the same bond Ash has with Misty and Brock due to being a Pokemon and not being able to communicate with him on the same level. Feeling a similar sense of alienation towards the other Pokemon who view him as somewhat of a 'teacher's pet' due to being Ash's favorite Pokemon, Pikachu wishes he could have a deeper relationship with someone.
Later that night, his life takes a turn when he catches a familiar scent in the air and decides to investigate. He soon encounters Pichi, another Pikachu who is also traveling with a trainer as well. The two become fast friends, but little does Pikachu know that in the next following days, just how strong his bond really is with Ash will be put to its ultimate test...
A Pikachu in Love is a rarity among Pokemon anime fanfics and canon/OC shipping fics in general, as instead of focusing on Ash and his current travelling companions, most of the focus is on Pikachu and just how strong of a bond his relationship with Ash is, as well dabbling into the Fridge Horror aspect about a Pokemon/Trainer bond in how one cannot be young or a trainer forever, and that eventually Ash will have to grow up and might want to develop a deeper relationship with someone else, and leave Pikachu and his Pokemon trainer lifestyle behind. Also, though the OC does possess some Common Mary Sue Traits, this is negated by the fact that a lot of them get picked apart over the course of the fic, showing exactly what kind of troubles a perky, carefree being who the protagonist falls for can cause. The result is a fanfic that stands out among the usual grain of shipping fics, and a rather refreshing read in the see of anime shipping fics.
Given the very nature of some of the tropes listed here, while the exact details are hidden, there are a hefty amount of spoilers on the trope page. You have been warned.
This fic contains the following tropes:
- A Boy and His X: A greater part of this fic is examining the bond Ash and Pikachu have from Pikachus perspective, especially when a monkey wrench gets thrown into the works when Pikachu starts to develop deeper feelings for another Pikachu. Despite everything, Pikachu ultimately decides his bond with Ash is too important to run off with another Pikachu.
- Affectionate Nickname: Pichi gives Pikachu several, such as 'Thunder Mouse' or 'Pika-Boy'.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Implied to be the case with Pikachu to Ash's Pokemon, or at least that's how he 'feels'. See Informed Flaw below.
- Alone in a Crowd: How Pikachu feels in relation to Ash's friendship with Misty and Brock, and to Ash's other Pokemon as well.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Pichi does this in the climax with Pikachu, though she had practiced it several times beforehand, hoping that if she worded it right Pikachu would stay with her. Unlike most examples of this trope, though Pikachu does love Pichi, he sadly declines due to having already decided to stay with Ash and Co.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Pichi asks Pikachu what he wants to do with his life when he is telling her about how Ash will always be a trainer. In response, she asks Pikachu if he wants to be a "sports" Pokemon all his life. Though it stuns Pikachu for a few seconds because he never really considered it, he eventually decides to leave it up to the future. Though later on, he eventually starts asking this question to himself when he realizes Ash won't be young or a trainer forever...
- Bad Liar: Misty when she's trying to cover for Pikachu's midnight meetings with Pichi. Ash and Brock were quickly able to tell she wasn't telling the truth, but quickly dropped the subject when Misty decided to switch to being assertive instead when she realized it wasn't working.
- Bears Are Bad News: An Ursuring shows up in the latter chapters and nearly beats both Pikachu and Pichi to death. (Pikachu was too exhausted at the time from staying up all night to put up a good fight) Though, granted, they did crash into his den unannounced by accident... See No Holds Barred Beat Down below.
- Bitter Sweet Ending: In the end, though Pikachu decided to stay with Ash, it's clear that he was deeply depressed by being forced to leave Pichi. Misty is quick to comfort him though, saying that though he is a Pokemon, she, Ash, and Brock still love him like family and that if he's ever down, she wants him to remember just how much they all love him, reassuring him that he'll never be left behind if Ash decides to pursue other interests in the future. There's also an implied chance that he might meet Pichi again someday.The small group of friends journied on under the bluest of skies, the most golden of sunshine, and Pikachu took pleasure in smelling the clean air that gently blew into their faces. It felt like the world was beautiful all over again, and that there was something special waiting for him at the end of the road
- Boy Meets Girl: Though this is base of the story, unlike most example, the boy (Pikachu) doesn't meet the girl (Pichi) again after losing her, and it's of his own choice that it happens.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Pichi is incredibly carefree and playful, often dragging Pikachu along to whatever catches her interest. However, this exact nature ends up putting them both in incredible danger later on, to the point of almost getting Pikachu killed. Ultimately she and Pikachu don't get together, as while Pikachu may love her, his bond with Ash is too strong for him to just up and leave him.
- Deus ex Machina: Pichi knowing Thunder is never once alluded to in the fic, with quite the contrary being brought up early in that she is not a fighter. Despite this, she manages to whip this out and cause a rockslide that defeats the Ursaring and saves Pikachu's life; more than likely because they would have been completely screwed otherwise, what with Pikachu being beaten unconscious by the Ursaring.
- Did Not Get the Girl: In the end, Pikachu is forced to make a choice between staying with Ash or living in the wild with Pichi. Though he admits that he loves Pichi very much, he decides that his bond with Ash was too strong to just break like that, and with a heavy heart is forced to leave Pichi for what is likely to be the very last time...
- Disney Villain Death: How Pichi defeats the Ursaring. Her attacks being too weak to do any real damage, she instead uses her thunder attack to cause a landslide on the hill it's on, sending it plummeting to the ground below. It's ambiguous as to whether the Ursaring survived or not.
- Eagle-Eye Detection: The fic makes mention to how Misty has the eyes of a hawk when it comes to spotting things. So much so that she's able to catch Pikachu sneaking off after returning from a midnight swim.
- Friend Versus Lover: Pikachu is forced with this decision, whether he should stay with his best friend Ash, who he'll never be able to have a full open friendship with due to him being a Pokemon and Ash being a human, or Pichi, his new found love who, besides also being a Pikachu, has a lot in common with him, and is able to openly communicate with due to them both being Pokemon. Though it hurt like hell, in the end he chooses Ash.
- Genki Girl: Pichi, and very much so. Get's deconstructed when her wacky and carefree actions nearly get Pikachu killed. See It's All My Fault and Heroic BSoD below.
- Growing Up Sucks: Pikachu's view, at least in regards to Ash. Pikachu is terrified of the thought that one day, Ash will eventually leave behind his remnants of his younger years and likely go his separate way from him.
- Heartbroken Badass: Pikachu in the end, when he chooses to stay with Ash and Co. instead of living in the wild with Pichi.
- Heroic BSoD: Pichi gets a temporary one after her actions nearly get Pikachu mauled to death by an Ursaring. She gets better, but she is noticeably a lot less perky afterwards.
- Inconvenient Summons: Happens to Misty's Poliwhirl when she calls it out of it's Pokeball late at night to help track down where Pikachu has been sneaking off to."Oops," Misty slapped her forehead. "Sorry Poliwhirl. I forgot that some of my Pokemon actually need their beauty sleep..."
- Idiot Ball: The only reason for the Bittersweet Ending happening is because of the fact that it never accrued to either Pikachu or Pichi or even Misty when she finds out about them to just tell their trainers about each other instead of being forced to go their separate ways at the end is a bit hard swallow. Given Ash's past track record, he would have been more than accepting of it and likely would have been willing to have a few more traveling companions if it meant Pikachu would be happy, and from what we hear of Faith from Pichi she sounds nice enough and would probably understand as well. Sure, it would of probably bought them the rest of the region together at most but at least it's better than being forced to split up after only three days of only just getting to really know each other, and likely never seeing each other again. Doesn't help that the only justification In-Universe give is because Pikachu is worried he'll be seen as prev should his trainer catch him, a fact that in itself falls apart when again, Misty finds out about it.
- Informed Flaw: Pikachu being the 'teachers pet' of the team. It's only given a passing mention, and none of Ash's other Pokemon treat him as such in the course of the fic.
- Interrupted Declaration of Love: Happens to Pichi in the morning after she and Pikachu were attacked by the Ursaring. Just as she's about to tell Pikachu her feelings, she hears her trainer calling for her.
- Irony: In the climax where Pikachu tells Pichi how he could never leave Ash, despite how much they love each other, the fallen over tree they're sitting on during it is mention to be an Ash tree. The Author makes a slight nod to this when it's mentioned.
- It's All My Fault: Pichi feels this way when Pikachu was severely beaten to near death while trying to save her from an Ursaring.Pichi began to softly cry, and she moved close to Pikachu and hugged him. She rested her little head upon him, listening to his weak heartbeat and she prayed for him to be all right. She could never forgive herself if he were to die. If not for her fooling around then they would not have been in danger at all. Pikachu could have died because of it.
- Jerkass Realization: Pikachu has several of these in regards to how coldly he's been acting to Ash, but what really hits home is when Misty is carrying him back to the campsite after he had been attacked by the Ursaring, and she starts to talk about how much they all love him and how devastated they'd be if something had happened to him, especially Ash. It's at this point Pikachu realizes just how loved he is, and that Ash would never forget about him or leave him behind. This is what makes him decide, though with a heavy heart, that despite his feelings for her tonight was going to be the last night he would spend with Pichi.
- Language Barrier: Discussed when Pikachu sees Ash and Co. clowning around, noting it as one of the main reason he feels like he will never have the same kind of friendship Ash has with Misty and Brock.
- Love Cannot Overcome: PlayedStraight and Subverted. Though love wasn't strong enough to overcome loyalty, Pikachu did promise Pichi that once his battling days were done he'd come looking for her.
- Love Hurts: Pikachu gets hit hard with this in the ending, having to say goodbye to Pichi when he finally made his choice to stay with Ash. Misty's comment when she sees it pretty much sums it up.Misty: Im sorry Pikachu... It must have been hard, saying goodbye to someone you love."
- Love Makes You Dumb: Pikachu is worried that this would happen if Ash fell victim to it, and if he might forget his Pokemon training (and his best friend) as a result.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Pikachu to Ash, though exactly how loyal is put to the test. Apparently though, he's loyal enough to give up a possible relationship to stick with him.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Pichi is a Deconstruction of this trope. Though she does help Pikachu lighten up a bit during his depression and worry that Ash might leave him one day, her antics nearly get Pikachu killed later on. See It's All My Fault above. On top of that, her attempts to make Pikachu lighten eventually leads to heartache for both of them when Pichi realizes she's in love Pikachu, and though Pikachu loves her too, it was because of her that he realized his bond with Ash was too strong for him to ever leave him, and decides to stick with Ash until the end.
- Mistaken for Cheating: A platonic version happens when Ash wakes up the morning after Pikachu spent his first night with Pichi. Though confused as to why his friend is still sleeping when he's usually up at this hour, he decides not to disturb him and takes Bayleef fishing instead. Unfortunately, Pikachu wakes up a few seconds before they leave, and wonders why Ash didn't take him instead. This is what starts Pikachu really considering how strong of a bond he has with Ash.
- Naughty by Night: Pikachu is worried that this is what Ash and Co. will think if they catch him with Pichi, and doesn't want them drilling him for questions on the matter. That still doesn't stop Misty from finding out, though she doesn't press the matter and keeps it a secret from the others for most of the fic.
- Nightmare Sequence: Pikachu has one after being knocked unconscious by the Ursaring. Namely, he hears a mass combination of voices from the main trio, and then sees Pichi about to be killed by the Ursaring.
- No Holds Barred Beat Down: An Ursaring delivers a pretty nasty one to Pikachu due to him being too exhausted to properly fight back, as well as being forced into cramped corridors where his main attribute (speed) is of no use. Poor Pikachu nearly gets beaten to an inch of his life until Pichi finally got up the courage to save him.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Pichi falls into a cave, the first thing Pikachu sees after she screams are red glowing eyes, which is shortly revealed to be an Ursaring's.
- Please, Don't Leave Me:
Pichi continued to weep, and she whispered into Pikachus ear, knowing he could not hear her, "<Please be all right. Please you have to be okay! I I want us to be friends forever I want Faith to meet you I Im in love with you >"
- Pichi says this to an unconscious (and possibly dying) Pikachu after he risked his life saving her from an Ursaring.
- On a greater scale, the fic revolves around Pikachu having to deal with his growing fear that one day Ash may grow up and/or replace/abandon him for a potential sweetheart with whom he could have a far deeper bond with than with any Pokemon. A major reason why he even considers the idea of running off with Pichi is because she's one of the few beings he could have a deeper connection with as well. In the end, Misty reassures him that no matter what, Ash will always love him and will never abandon him.
- Pokémon Speak: A great deal of strife for Pikachu, as the language barrier between him and Ash is one of the reasons he starts to feel disconnected to him over the course of the fic; and why he takes to Pichi so much, since she's a Pokemon too and thus can understand what he's saying.
- Solemn Ending Theme: The lyrics at the very end of the fic where Pikachu leaves the forest with Ash and Co., and by extension, whatever little connection he still has of Pichi, has elements of this. There's no lyrical version of it though, but it's easy to get this feeling just by reading it.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Pikachu and Pichi have shades of this. Both of them are owned by different trainers who plan on leaving the forest they met in and going there separate ways in three days. Though it doesn't end in death like most victims of this Trope, in the end Pikachu is forced to part ways with Pichi so he can continue his adventures with Ash.
- The Power of Friendship: Deconstructed. Pikachu's close friendship with Ash only makes it all the more harder to choose between him and Pichi, and when he finally does choose Ash because of this Trope, he's severely depressed by it and it's implied that he might not ever have that same chance of a relationship again.
- The Power of Love: Both played straight and Subverted. Though it gave Pichi the courage to save Pikachu from nearly being mauled to death by an Ursaring, in the end it wasn't strong enough for Pikachu to choose to stay with her over Ash.
- The Promise: Pikachu makes several of these over the course of the fic. One is to meet Pichi again the next night, another one is to Misty, to never leave her or his friends behind, and to always come back to them no matter what, and one final one to Pichi as they say their goodbyes..."<Just promise me that you wont forget me... And... if you ever end your journey or if you and your trainer go separate ways, will you look for me? Will you still love me and come for me then? Even if its years away...?>""<I will. I promise it.>"
- Train-Station Goodbye: Though there's no train station involved, Pikachu's final goodbye to Pichi has a lot of elements of this.
- Opposites Attract: The rather calm, serious Pikachu who loves battles to the rather hyperactive, playful Pichi who'd rather just be a 'pet' Pokemon.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Pikachu ponders this for a good majority of the fic, especially in regards to how one day it might effect Ash. Eventually, once he starts to develop feelings for Pichi, he starts wondering this about himself.He stopped and gazed down at his feet, feeling embarrassed as these strange emotions coursed through him. He had never thought such things. What was wrong with him? Was this what made Brock such a weirdo, and were these the emotions that would someday make Ash forget him? Were these feelings of love?