Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / A Professor and a Student

Go To

A Professor and a Student is a Pokémon fanfic by LeDiz.

Ash seemed determined to stay in Alola, and Kukui had a loft going to waste. He'd boarded students before; he didn't expect anything special out of the experience. As it turns out, Ash isn't the only one who's going to be learning a lot this year.

The fic is completed. It has two pseudo-sequels in the form of Adults But not Grown-Ups and Return.

A Professor and a Student provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: It is hinted Hala's son, presumably Hau's father, being this is 'the dark secret of Melemele island'.
  • All-Loving Hero: Ash, natch. Even with all the trouble Team Rocket causes, he notes specifically that he only wants them to be happy (and to stop trying to steal Pokemon).
    Ash: "But at the same time, all I really want is for them to be happy. To just... quit Team Rocket and go on a real Pokemon journey. Find out who they're supposed to be and go for it. I'd even help them if I could."
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Kukui doesn't deny the existence of Legendary Pokemon, but refuses to accept humans using psychic powers (Sabrina) and Aura.
  • Berserk Button: Litten stealing Ash's lunch makes Ash want to catch it, for the sole purpose of teaching Litten not to steal food.
    • Hurting Pokemon as well.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Ash is revealed to have been the subject of several research papers by the regional Professors, including some incredibly famous ones on dimensions by Professor Rowan. Ash himself was unaware of this before Kukui asks him about it.
    • Tracey even points this out to Kukui in Chapter 20, mentioning that Ash is a Frontier Brain Candidate, knows every Champion from every region he's been to, met Legendary Pokemon, and even helped actual royalty. But he also deconstructed it in that the reason that Ash may actually be bothered by it but doesn't voice his opinions anymore (Kukui eventually notes this has also given him trust issues).
      Tracey: "I think it's our own fault, personally – we all used to get on his case for whining and bragging, so now he doesn't do anything that could be construed as either of them. In our defence, he could get pretty obnoxious. But it was a hard lesson learned over a long time, and Ash doesn't do anything by halves?"
  • Book Dumb: Ash and Kiawe are not good theory students, but are quite well versed in practical assignments. It's noted that Ash tends to overthink problems that he doesn't understand, and thus misses his simple errors in the process.
  • Bothering by the Book: Kukui does this to slow down one of his co-workers from getting an interview with Ash by stating they have to do it by the book. So when they do, they keep Kukui from hearing the interview since it has to be confidential by the book. That being said, the moment it becomes clear that they're overstepping boundaries, Kukui intervenes.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Ash's childish eccentricities get just as much focus as his years of finely honed battle prowess.
    • In the first chapter, Kukui gets a list of the astonishing amount of Pokemon Ash scanned with the Pokedex, and the impressive Pokemon he has caught and trained. Then he looks at Ash, currently lounging around and admiring Rowlet's soft feathers.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Sophocles is very excited to talk about how he saved the mall from Team Rocket (the events of SM006), but Ash sees it as notable only because it prevented him from getting groceries.
    • Tracey also brings this up too and how it became that way to them:
      Tracey:. "I first met him in the Orange Islands and decided to follow him so I could meet Professor Oak. And we did a lot of things that in hindsight seem pretty incredible. But at the time, none of them seemed that strange at all. All of those things I mentioned really did happen, from dealing with legendary pokemon to running errands for actual crown-wearing royalty. But they weren't that surprising most of the time. They were just things that happened, issues that needed to be dealt with."
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Oak openly admits he time-traveled when he was a child and that Ash has rode legendaries into battle, even going against Arceus. His cousin doesn't believe him, while Kukui tries to convince himself that he's being hazed.
    • Tracey complains that the political movers of the Kanto Pokemon League, who have met Ash under less than mundane situations, have accused him and Professor Oak of lying about Ash taking a year to go back to school, when it's more likely that he's on a secret mission for Lance or the Rangers. Tracey admits they have a point.
  • The Chosen One: Deconstructed with Ash. All of the constant world-saving has put an immense amount of pressure and stress on him, and it seems like the world itself won't stop putting him in situations where it's necessary. Even his time in Alola appears to be another world-saving event.
    • Also deconstructed with his mother and Kukui, both of whom are painfully aware that one day Ash might not return home because he'll die in the process.
  • Classified Information: The events of the Kalos league seem to be this. It's mentioned that they've confiscated footage, deleted it off the internet, and censored documents, likely because of Lysandre's attempt to wipe out the world (known as the Kalos Crisis). Ash himself seems to be extremely mum on it and gets very quiet.
    • Then it turns out that most of the information related to Ash is censored, including his conference battle against Tobias. Because of that, several of Kukui's colleagues are basically trying to fish information out of him about what they believe is a conspiracy.
  • Class Trip: The trip to Kanto is organized by Kukui but is met with several issues, such as funding and the fact that he thinks the Gyms in Kanto wouldn't give a class trip for free. Professor Oak and Delia solve it in an instant, first by offering the barn for boarding, Delia for catering, and as for the Gyms...
    He handed his mobile over with a knowing smirk, and Delia quickly dialed a number from memory. She barely had to wait before breaking into an excited grin. "Misty! It's Delia, dear, how are you?"
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Kukui notes that Ash's friendly, Oblivious to Love nature might cause some awkward conversations with the class females in the future.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Deconstructed. After the incident with the Entei, Delia chewed Ash out for being selfish despite him risking his life to save her. Delia is aware she was being unfair to Ash, but still can't help but worry about him. This led to them agreeing to not discuss his adventures at all.
  • Commonality Connection: One of the reasons Professor Kukui and Ash get along so well is that they are practically the only Trainers in Alola with experience in the professional battle circuit. As much as some of Ash's traits baffle him, Kukui is often able to see where he's coming from in terms of training and battle strategy, while Ash's more sheltered classmates are completely mystified.
  • Cry into Chest: Happens with Ash and a Lucario that attacked him, under the mistaken impression that it had to protect the school from him and Pikachu. After a short battle and comforting from Ash, Lucario comes to its senses and fulfills this trope.
  • Culture Clash: Kiawe and Ash almost come to blows over one. Kiawe sees as Ash as being disrespectful and holding back by not using the Electrium Z-Crystal, whereas Ash believes that it's disrespectful to use powerful moves that he's not completely confident in using and waits til he and Pikachu practice enough till they can't get it wrong (especially since he's aware that not everyone is as resistant to electricity as he is so a misfire could get someone hurt). They get into a flat out fight over it.
  • Deconstruction Fic: The fic evolves into a character study of Ash, and how he and others would take his seeming inability not to be involved in some kind of action: confusion, concern, and quite a bit of astonishment.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Discussed. Professor Kukui and Ash know from their own journeys that there is very little that is "undefeatable" in the Pokemon World. On the lower end of things, Kukui tells RotomDex that type matchups really mean very little between highly trained Pokemon, but he is disbelieved. Later on, Ash comments that a lot of regions have techniques (such as Mega Evolution and Z-Moves) that are seen as so powerful that everyone is stunned if they witness them being beaten without a similar advantage. Later on, this trope is Played for Drama; Professor Acacia starts to believe that Ash must have some ability to make Pokemon stronger if he was able to compete in the Kalos League without Mega Evolution, and Ash finds himself struggling to explain that it really was mostly a matter of training hard with his Pokemon and preparing good strategies.
  • Destination Defenestration: Delia remembers perfectly well when Ash got thrown out of a window and nearly to his death in Pokémon 3 and worries that things like that won't stop. It led to the first falling out they'd had and at this point she makes it a habit of not asking him about the details because she may not be able to handle it.
    Delia: "You see, he really is my whole world, Professor Kukui. He means everything to me. But he doesn’t see it that way. He sees people and Pokemon who need help. And he’ll give everything for them. Every time. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, he’ll always put the world before himself."
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • Eastern regions like Kanto tend to have more rigid divides between Pokemon and humans, compared to Alola and even other regions in the east. Kukui repeatedly notes how much Ash defies the Kanto stereotype by being extremely close to his Pokemon. When the issue of Pikachu's Pokeball comes up, Ash notes that he usually has to explain it early on, but the Alolans don't notice anything odd about it.
    • In addition, battle styles are noted to differ greatly between regions, with the more direct Hoenn vs the more combo preferring Sinnoh vs the blunt Kanto as an example.
    • Ash Ketchum is seen as extremely independent despite his age in Alola where he's still a minor compared to Kanto where he's a legal adult.
  • Doom Magnet: Ash isn't one in the classical sense, he's an inversion; The Chosen One who is drawn to conflict to resolve it. But that's not what it looks like to some people: Olivia eventually confesses that the Kahuna were panicking when he arrived in Alola because they thought him being there meant disaster would soon follow.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title refers to Kukui and his student Ash; as well as how Kukui, even as a recognized scientific Pokemon professor, is still a student learning about the more spiritual/magical aspects of Pokemon.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: While not to the point of actively being a dumbass, Ash's status as not inclined towards academics is referenced several times before he makes a very good point that Attract can't be based on mating instincts because Pokemon that flat out can't interbreed can still use Attract on each other as long as the genders fit.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Ash and Delila both avoid discussing his more dangerous adventures with each other, and skirt around the topic of his status as The Chosen One and the strain it's placed on him. This is eventually revealed to stem back to an argument they had after the events of Pokémon 3.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Kukui's fellow researchers start calling him "Proud Papa Kukui" after he comes into work on the weekend solely to brag about Ash's victory against Hala. Olivia later starts on it.
  • Free-Range Children: Once Trainers from the East, like Ash, become of legal age, they're basically free to do whatever they want. The fic explores a number of elements of how this differs from Alolan kids, who are treated as minors much longer.
    • Technically speaking, Ash is considered an adult in legal terms and Kukui doesn't have really any sway over him barring Ash choosing to defer to him. He's not his guardian, but his boarder. However, very few people in Alola would hold him to the responsibilities of an adult.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Kukui and the class have no idea that Ash is anything more than a regular Pokemon trainer who just so happens to regularly encounter Tapu Koko. However, recent chapters imply the Kahuna have an idea or at least suspect Ash's involvement with countless Legendaries, with both Shamouti and the Temple of the Sea being mentioned.
  • Happily Married: Kukui frequently and affectionately refers to his wife Burnet in his narration, who's currently away on research.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: Kukui in Chapter 20 when, arguing with Rotom about ignoring things that don't fit into your hypothesis, admits to himself that he'd done the same thing.
    Psychics. Aura. Energy. What he himself had been learning all month. All things he'd previously blown off as ridiculous, and all things one of his colleagues had been actively studying for years. He’d called Acacia a quack. To her face.
  • I Will Wait for You: A parental variation from Delia to Ash. No matter how often he heads out, she'll be there waiting for him. Kukui himself notes how painful it must be for her considering everything involved with Ash.
    He wondered what that was like, to see someone you’d cared about for so long leave, only to come back different than they’d left you. He swallowed, and tried not to imagine how he’d feel if Ash didn’t come back to Alola. It had only been a few months, and already...
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Everyone to Principal Oak's puns. Pikachu to Professor Kukui's and Ash's puns.
  • Logical Latecomer: Kukui is completely stunned by the life Ash has lived.
  • Magic Versus Science: There is some hint of this sort of conflict between the Professor and the Kahunas where the fields meet (specifically the energies that are given off and become briefly visible during Z-Moves).
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Kanto trainers tend to have a strict divide between themselves and Pokemon, seeing them as just their partners for battle. This is why Kukui is surprised that Ash is extremely close to his Pokemon, and often will let *them* choose to join him rather than the other way around.
  • Nice Guy: The entire class Kukui teaches are "the nice guys of a school of nice guys", per Kukui's own words.
    • Beware the Nice Ones: That of course does not mean that they are not capable of doing a lot of damage if need be. Or being really hard to deal with when they decide to be irritable.
  • Not Hyperbole: Kukui reads about how Ash's Pokemon tend to use their moves on him, as a sign of affection. He assumed that meant that they were showing the moves off, at a safe distance, but Lillie's comments on Ash's training style makes him realize that they literally do attack him. Ironically, it's implied that Kukui's game counterpart does the exact same thing as part of his research.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Kukui was willing to pass Team Rocket off as a Harmless Villain group like Team Skull considering how lightly Ash and the others from Pallet Town take them (mostly thinking them just being idiots), but then he notes that they could have done some serious harm to them by trying to steal the Lapras and stranding the students in the middle of the ocean with a rising tide.
    • Brock later on admits that most people tend to forget or overlook how dangerous the situations they place him in simply because Ash handles them well.
  • Not So Similar: While Ash and Lillie are shown to have some similarities in absent parenting, Kukui is quite clear to Hobbes that Ash's situation is very different from Lillie's.
  • Occam's Razor: When Professor Kukui’s coworkers start looking into Ash’s background, they discover that the Pokémon League has taken down the recordings of the Lily of the Valley conference he participated in way ahead of schedule. They use this as a major point in their growing conspiracy theory that the League was intentionally hiding Ash’s existence from the public eye. When Kukui learns the full story, he thinks that Tobias was the more likely culprit. The League’s major concern is promoting the art of battling and educating the public about Pokémon; watching Tobias’ battles wouldn’t teach people much more than “Somehow get a Legendary on your side and steamroll the competition.”
  • Original Character: Kukui's fellow Pokemon researchers Acacia, Cassia, and Artocarpus, do not originate from the anime, games, or Adventures canon.
  • Papa Wolf: Kukui verbally tears into his colleagues for abusing Ash's kindness when they essentially interrogate Ash about information the Pokemon League has deemed classified about himself.
  • Parental Substitute: Over the course of the story, Kukui effectively becomes a father figure to Ash. After Ash is knocked out by one of his colleague's experiments, Kukui firmly states:
    Kukui:“No more science. Not on my kid. I’m taking him home.”
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Olivia explains that being a Kahuna means that you become more aware of the imbalances in the world, which includes having dreams of the things that have occurred with Ash involved in saving the world.
  • Pungeon Master: Principal Oak finds some way to include Pokemon names as puns in his sentences, and Professor Kukui does the same with Pokemon attack names. Later on, Ash starts joining in, to Pikachu's annoyance
  • Rage Breaking Point: Kukui becomes increasingly unamused with his colleagues over them treating Ash like a human experiment. When one of them suggests he is mentally conditioning Ash, he snaps and punches the man in the face.
  • Retired Badass: Kukui won a Kanto Pokemon League back in his youth, though he lost to Lance during his Elite Four challenge. He also once completed the island challenge.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Ash does this by accident, simply by virtue of being mentioned in a conversation. The Alola teachers were struggling to handle the legal permission and logistics needed for their visit to Kanto, when Kukui called Delia to explain, and almost instantly they had all the support they needed from not just Delia and Professor Oak, but Gym Leaders like Brock, Misty, and off hand assistance from Kanto Champion Lance.
  • Seen It All: Ash of course. This appears to be a recurring plot point. Notably when Legendaries are concerned. Unlike Kiawe and Kukui ,Ash doesn't see getting a Z-Ring from Tapu Koko as a big deal (this is basically par for the course for him). However, it's deconstructed in that Ash's failure to understand why this is so important to the Alolans creates major friction between him and Kiawe.
    "While normally I would agree with you, I have to remind you, Ash," he said impatiently, "You were challenged by the Guardian Deity of Melemele Island. When Kiawe challenges you, he is doing the same thing as a god has done. A lot of people would take that a little more seriously than your average battle."
    "It never bothered anyone before," he said grumpily.
    "And how," he asked, "would anyone have known you were going to be challenged by the Guardian of an island you’d never been to?"
    "That's –" Ash cut himself off, just scowling for a few seconds, before he abruptly shook his head. "Forget it."
    • Not just Ash. Even Tracy and Professor Oak just consider most of the things he's done ordinary.
      Oak: "If he's still breathing and it hasn't been more than twelve hours since he switched dimensions, I do not have time for it. And unless the Legendary has actively kidnapped or eaten him, it takes a lower priority than him sorting out his Talonflame and Swellow. I've had to replace the windows in my barn twice already since he left!"
  • Ship Tease: Between Ash and Misty, as Kukui notes.
  • Take That!:
    • One is aimed at the infamous G.S Ball, with one of Kukui's fellow scientists referring to it as 'the premier example of a failed research experiment'.
    • Another is aimed at Tobias when Kukui hears about him using a Darkrai and a Latios to win a tournament. Catching a Legendary is viewed as a rare, almost unheard of event, and since they're usually a force of nature given form with important duties, using them for cheap wins in tournaments is viewed incredibly negatively, and usually invites the local Elite Four to intervene and forcibly release the Legendary in question.
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: Ash offered to have interviews with the Alolan Professors since he usually doesn't refuse to help anyone who asks. Many of them are taking advantage of this to basically hound him for information on classified info surrounding him, paying very little regard to how uncomfortable it's making him.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: From the perspective of the Alola citizens, Ash has a tendency to avoid asking for help with problems he runs into and instead handles them by himself, much like an adult would. Kukui comes home one time to find out that Ash accidentally scratched the floor, and responded by buying enough varnish and wax to redo the entire house before Kukui came home as an apology.
  • Unwanted Assistance: During the climax of the story, Professor Kukui’s second in command, Banyan, explained that he was trying to help his superior by attempting to dispel the conspiracy theory in the lab. If he got Ash to admit that he was just making things up, that would mean that Kukui wasn’t hiding some big secret on behalf of the Pokémon League. Professor Kukui is not amused by this “help”; first of all, it was bad science, discounting an incredibly valuable first-hand source for the sake of Kukui’s “office rep.” More importantly, it meant that Banyan just added to the four adults already interrogating the young teenager by trying to get him to recant everything.
  • Vague Age: At one point Kukui calls the group a bunch of young teenagers, but no solid number is given for their age.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Ash's infamous loss to Team Rocket makes him realize that he's been slacking off, and he vows to get back into shape.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 18 reveals that Ash is in Alola to take a break from constantly Saving the World, as the experiences have given him mild PTSD.
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: Played somewhat seriously, but Delia makes it a habit of not wanting to know what's happening with the details of Ash' adventures.

The pseudo-sequels contain examples of:

  • Adaptational Explanation: In canon, Ash has expressed multiple times that he wants to catch a Dunsparce, but has never succeeded. In Adults but not Grown-ups (the first pseudo-sequel to this fic), Ash explains that his dad has one for a partner, which he considers to be "so cool", and that he's always wanted one just like it.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: In the last chapter, Burnet ends up revealing she wasn't made aware that Ash isn't Kukui's son and nobody actually brought it up to her.
  • Oh, Crap!: Kukui's reaction to the above circumstances. It's flat out his internal reaction to figuring out the misunderstanding.