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Fanfic / The Road You Choose

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The Road You Choose is a series of Pokemon fanfics created by Skylight Sparkle. This AU portrays the differences that she makes to tie everything together into her own ultimate end game. Pokeshipping and Aura galore, this is what awaits readers when they follow Ash as he grows up over the course of his journeys.

Titles include:

The Mystery of Aura (TMOA)

"Small things can bring big changes. While visiting Cameron Palace, Pikachu goes missing, and Ash, along with his friends and a mysterious pokemon named Lucario, go on a quest to find him. Along the way, Ash discovers things about himself that could change his entire life. AU Novelization of Lucario and the Mystery of Mew."

The Master of Mirage (TMOM)

"Ash Ketchum thought that he experienced some strange things and faced almost every type of villain around, but this was something on a whole different level. One small thing can change everything, and sometimes the lines between what is real and what is just a mirage are impossible to see."

Between Time and Space (BTAS)

"There's a balance to the world, a fragile but powerful one that keeps everything in motion. Something has started to shift and change that balance with potential cataclysmic consequences, and not everything is as it seems. This is barely the beginning, but for Ash and his friends, it might very well be the end."


"this world, the consequences to our world would be dire. Time and space aren't the only things on a direct collision course, but how a small little pokemon fits into all of this is a mystery. A very annoying one, if you ask Ash Ketchum."

The Harbinger of Life (THOL)

"The signs and the warnings were all there, but only to those who were looking. Now judgement will reign down upon them for the mistakes of the past. Time cannot be changed without great consequence, and Ash is about to learn that nothing can be classified as just good or evil. Not even him."

When the World Ends (WTWE)

"Nothing in the world lasts forever. Sometimes the good guys aren't all that good, and the bad guys aren't quite as dark as they seem. Ash and his friends are about to learn that, in a world that's about to end, all actions come with a consequence and all secrets come with a price."

Who You Want To Be (WYWTB)

Everyone knows the story of the hero's journey to save the world, but no one talks about what comes after. /A short, introspective series that follows the characters from When The World Ends learning how to cope with a 'new' world, and discovering where they fit in it./ Rating for mentions and portrayals of PTSD and various other mental and physical issues.

We'll Walk Together(WWT)

Misty knew that she was a strong person, a strong trainer. That was why she was sure she could win this tournament. She wasn't expecting all the other things that happened along the way.

As well as chapters 1-4 and 7 in her collection of one-shots called Yesterday's Tomorrow

"They say that love can transcend time and space, and just maybe, they were right. A series of one-shots for Pokeshipping week. Parts 1-4 & 7 take place in my own canon (with my other fics). Part five is anime canon. Part six is a fantasy AU."

Not to mention her drabbles that also take place in her AU, these can be found on her tumbler

Epilogues and prologues are listed with drabbles and Yesterday's tomorrow one shots in Other.Warning: spoilers from any story before WTWE might not be marked. If from a specific story, please add the story the selection/spoiler is from.

The Road you Choose contains examples of:

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The G-Men were aware of the Legendaries and Mythics' existence and their appearances in the last seven years but they don't believe in The Chosen One prophecies. It wasn't until they met Lugia who is larger and telepathic.
  • Action Girl: All the girls in Ash's friend group are this, even Serena who has her moment in the spotlight.
  • Adaptational Badass: Several of Ash's Pokemon are more evolved in this timeline than the main one.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Ash and Greninja do not possess the ability to battle-bond in this universe.
  • All There in the Manual: Sky's tumbler tells us a great deal about her universe. Most of it is listed under the world building tag.
  • Alternate Universe Fic:
  • Anti-Climax: (WTWE) While it is still a step towards their overall goal, every time they do get an orb can be counted as one.
  • Art Evolution: The author's writing started out exceptional, and her quality has only increased over time.
  • Babies Ever After: Sky's Tumblr details the main characters' marriages and the lives of their children.
  • Badass Crew: Ash picks his six strongest Pokemon (Pikachu, Charizard, Sceptile, Garchomp, Greninja, and Ria) to serve as his team during WTWE.
  • Back from the Dead: although not literally, Misty in (TMOM).
    • Drew and Misty.(WTWE)
  • Badass Normal: Everyone without some title of Chosen One, or can't reach out to Pokemon with their hearts, or can't use Aura in incredible ways, or isn't psychic. (WTWE) Then again, these people are being hunted down and killed so...
  • Bag of Holding: it's a common technology that lines bags and other objects, allowing anything to shrink down inside without shrinking organic matter, i.e. your hand or a Pokemon.
  • Big Bad:
    • The Mirage Master or Doctor Young. The mass murderer of both trainers and Pokemon, performing unethical experiments on both.
      • (WTWE) near the end, we find out that he was never slated to be the big bad, and it makes his death all the more jarring
    • (WTWE) Team Rocket and their Mirage Pokemon will destroy everything. Team Rocket, Team Aqua and Magma well, half of them, Team Galactic under the control of Team Rocket, Team Plasma split into two warring sectors, one working with Team Rocket,
  • Big Brother Instinct: The narrative mentions several times that Ash and Brock both view May and Dawn as surrogate younger sisters. Ends up being literal in Ash and Dawn's case.
  • Big Fancy Castle: TMOA has one
  • Book-Ends: In the final chapter of WYWTB, when Ash returns to Pallet Town after defeating Red and finally becoming the Pokémon Master, he and Pikachu see Ho-Oh flying across the sky, just like they did on the first day of their journey together.
    • According to Word of God, the original ending would've seen the universe reset, with Ash waking up in bed at the start of his journey.
    • The Mystery of Aura takes place largely in the Tree of Beginning, and so do the final few chapters of When The World Ends.
  • Broad Strokes: While there are some major differences note , the trajectory of Ash's journey is largely the same as the anime canon...until WTWE, that is.
  • Born-Again Immortality: Alpha Legendaries and Mythics who cannot breed will come back as eggs. This happened to Alpha Groudon and Kyogre when they were killed by their Mirage counterparts. Rayquaza saved them and Mew explained that they wouldn't leave the world to die so easily.
  • Bonus Material: Sky's tumbler, along with the epilogues and prologues of some of her fics.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The reason that Tobias seemingly appeared out of nowhere to cost Ash victory at the Sinnoh League is because he was specifically sent by Red for that purpose, as Red didn't want his son catching the attention of Team Rocket that winning a tournament would undoubtedly bring.
  • Character Development: The main point of the story is essentially "What if Ash actually grew up?"
  • Chekhov's Gun: The elemental orbs (such as the ones on Fire, Lightning and Ice Island) are more than just a means of calming the Legendaries; when brought together by Ash at the Tree of Beginning, they essentially serve as Arceus’s Mega Evolution Stone, allowing Ash to Mega Evolve Arceus so that Arceus has the power to undo the worst of recent events.
  • The Chosen One: The entire story can essentially be seen as a deconstruction of how often Ash is placed in this role. There is also a line of Chosen Ones as well including Damos and the original Mew. Their duty was to safeguard the world and the Legendaries. As it turned out, the Legendaries are well-aware of Chosen Ones when they are born and go out into the world such as in the case of Ash.
  • Crisis Crossover: When The World Ends is essentially this, reuniting all main/major characters for an adventure where the stakes are impossibly high.
  • Closed Circle: Lampshaded by the characters a few times, as anywhere they go, they seem to be furthering an unknown ultimate goal.
  • Cosmic Chess Game: Madame Boss likens the events of WTWE to this
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Essentially, the group are traveling around the world as it falls apart, literally and politically, hiding on boats and trains, riding on Giratina, as well as stealing cars every so often, not to mention trains, looking for shrines being watched over by legendary Pokemon in order to get glowing glass balls to give to Arceus so that he can stop everything from dying because of Team Rocket's Mirage Arceus.
  • Death by Adaptation: Newton, Zero, Damos, and Marcus.
  • Driving Question: In a world that is about to end, what choices will the characters make?
  • Dumb Muscle: Despite having evolved and become even stronger as a result, Ash's Garchomp is still just as dense as when he was a Gible.
  • Emotional Torque: Dear, Sweet, Arceus.
    • Ash could've won the Kalos league, had he not been kidnapped by Team Rocket along with Bonnie, Misty, and his mother.
    • Worry over Bonnie, being drugged... Then they realize later that Team Rocket was going to kill them.
    • Team Rocket's hit list.
    • The deaths of Misty's sisters and unborn nephew.
    • Then we have Drew and May's relationship issues.
    • only for Drew to die.
    • You've got to feel sorry for the young people lead astray by Team Rocket.
    • The plight of Paul and his brother.
    • The young Darkrai and Cresselia's honoring of the bodies of the deceased
    • The whole prison arc is a good example
    • Ash now has depression and PTSD. His terror over making a choice is a good indicator of how bad it is.
    • Coballion's fate.
    • Diancie's magic/aura induced nightmares get pretty bad.
    • Clement's anger over Squishy.
    • Misty is actually poisoned by a legendary pokemon just so that it can get help from Ash
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Depending on how 'evil' you consider Jessie, James and Meowth, they reach this in When the World Ends, turning against Giovanni when he is about to have Ash and Dawn tortured to try and make Red talk.
  • Fan Art: Skylight makes a lot of it
  • Fingerless Gloves: Ash.
  • First Girl Wins: Misty, Ash's first female traveling companion, is who he ends up with.
  • Fisher King: When messing with the Alpha Legendaries and Mythics, anything can go wrong according to each Legendaries and Mythics' control over their domain. For example, the Elemental Islands in the Orange Archipelago had the Alpha Legendary Birds. As depicted in Pokémon 2000, when you harm them, the weather will be insane and there is no way to predict weather normally.
  • Foreshadowing: Where do we even begin with that one?
  • Generation Xerox: Ash and Misty to Red and Misty. It was noted by Delia and those who knew the latter pair personally. When Ash and Misty learned of this, they were weirded out and wondered what would have happened had Red and Misty's aunt actually got together instead. They went through varied emotions because it meant they are glad Misty's aunt was dead because they wouldn't have met but on the other hand, it's family.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: To varying degrees:
    • Misty in all of the stories.
    • May in Between Time And Space.
    • Leaf in Distortion.
    • Gary in Harbinger of Life.
    • practically everyone in When The World Ends.
  • Harmful to Minors:
    • The tree of life absorbs things that it thinks could be a threat to its existence.
      • Ash even sacrifices himself to this to protect Misty
    • Lucario's death and (kind of) reincarnation.
    • Doctor Young and his experiments.
    • Dr. Young experimented on and killed not only Pokemon, but their trainers as well.
    • Misty almost falling to her death
    • Ash getting captured by the mirage Pokemon, and having his memories searched (painfully) by the machine Dr. Young created to collect and store data.
      • as of WTWE, twice!
    • Giovanni doesn't seem to care if Dawn and Ash are kids or not.
    • Zero seems pretty okay with killing the thing that keeps the world that keeps our world in check, in check
    • Those Aura suppression cuffs, even if the people in the past saw him as an adult, he was still a child, not that it makes it any less horrible.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Jessie, James, and Meowth in WTWE.
  • Heroic RRoD: If Ash uses to much of his own aura, he risks Aura exhaustion.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ash after seeing the contents of the crates. dead, dissected Pokemon
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ash puts up an Aura barrier in order to protect Misty from the giant orange blobs chasing them down and absorbing them into the Tree of Life.
  • Heroic Second Wind: begins soon after the group reaches Kalos.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Poor Misty didn't know her actions would lead to The destruction of Cerulean City, and the supposed deaths of her sisters and unborn nephew.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Serena; by the time she and Ash reunite in Kalos, he's long since fallen in love with Misty.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Giratina can be seen as this
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Ash never asked to be The Chosen One. Eventually, deconstructed as the series goes on for he was forced into a Sadistic Choice sometimes and experienced increasingly worst events with Legendaries and Mythics.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Serena reluctantly puts aside her crush on Ash after learning about his relationship with Misty, deciding that she can accept losing him to Misty if she genuinely loves him.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite all the differences of this timeline, Ash's journey proceeds mostly the same...until When The World Ends.
  • It's All My Fault: Ash begins to feel like his choices are causing the deaths of people around him. It's giving him terror over making choices.
  • Jerkass: Paul. Justified. He is blinded by worry and fear over his brother and doesn't agree with the group's choices. Especially in a time where people are brewing about the end of the world and Team Rocket's domination, it's expected there would be bubbling negative emotions.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gary, he's trying to get better though.
  • Joker Immunity: All the teams mostly, barring Team Flare, they all seem to be going for a second try.
    • Team Rocket broke Doctor Young out of prison at the end of TMOM.
    • inverted as he is now dead.
  • Kick the Dog: Poor Ash, depression and PTSD just aren't enough, are they?
  • Kid Hero: Most of the main protagonists are just kids, the two exceptions being Brock and Tracy. It's even lampshaded many times when the kids themselves say that they shouldn't be caught up in these situations time and time again.
  • Killed Off for Real: Many characters including many of Ash's friends were killed in WTWE. Some by Heroic Sacrifice and others by murder.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Although they do have extra cloths like jackets, t-shirts, jeans and such, every character has a signature look that rarely changes.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Red is Jack Ketchum, Ash's father. Delia Ketchum, however, used to go by Yellow.
    • Additionally, it turns out that Jesse is Giovanni's daughter, revealed by Madame Rocket no less.
    • And Dawn is Red's daughter, Ash's half-sister. Who saw that one coming!?
  • Long Runner: this series is huge. It's longer then many published book series.
  • The Lost Lenore: Red's Misty was murdered by Team Rocket. That Misty was Misty's Namesake and aunt. Delia knew she could not compete with Misty, past and present; she mainly married Red for security.
  • Magnetic Hero: Ash. This is what everyone who knew him personally best for, inspiring and making friends' dreams. Lance intentionally tracked him because he meets the best trainers such as Paul and Trip in a generation he deemed talentless.
  • Mama Bear: In BTAS, Baron Alberto says to May's face that legendary Pokemon should be eradicated; May, who raised Manaphy as her own child, doesn't take well to this and this triggers a battle between them that May ultimately wins.
  • Masquerading As the Unseen: (WTWE) In order to get to Sinnoh, the group dress as Team Rocket grunts and board their ship.
  • Mythology Gag: When Red is revealed to be Ash's father, Ash refutes it, saying his father was a deadbeat, mediocre disappointment of a trainer who abandoned him and his mother. This may be a reference to anime writer Takeshi Shudo's original idea for who Ash's father was.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Giovanni's preference towards anybody who failed and those who stood in his way. He was perfectly willing to murder children.
  • Nice Kitty...: Those legendaries that just seem to be to easy to get orbs from.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted, the characters have clearly defined ages and they age further as the series continues.
  • Not So Different: Team Rocket and Pokemon League, similar to The Ash Connection. The Pokemon League became entrenched in government, even though the latter should have kept the former from interfering. Archie and Maxie noted the corruption - the League Sweepers and rigging - and the power mess-up - Prime Ministers, Pokemon Masters and G-men - but for them, they were upfront about their shadiness. The Pokemon League and thus the G-Men, to them, was the Lesser of Two Evils.
  • Official Couple:
    • Ash & Misty, whose growing relationship is one of the driving elements of the story.
    • May & Drew
    • Brock & Lucy
    • Dawn & Paul
    • Iris & Cilan
    • Serena & Clemont
    • Gary & Leaf
  • Opposites Attract: Dawn, the nicest and bubbliest of Ash's friends, ends up with Paul.
  • Post-Script Season: When The World Ends was originally meant to the Grand Finale, but Who You Want To Be was published around six months after the former story's conclusion.
  • Playing with Syringes: Dr Young does this to make the Mirage System.
    • Giovanni gets a hold of Ash and Dawn's DNAto find the identity of their father
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Cynthia, Diantha, Steven, Wallace, and Lance. The other G-Men, exempting Lance, had Arbitrary Skepticism for awhile until they met the Alpha Legendaries who are telepathic and larger than their smaller species.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Ash and Dawn are half-siblings by way of their father Red, aka Jack Ketchum.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Part of Giovanni's reason was to avenge his mom.
  • Second Love: Clemont to Serena.
  • Series Fauxnale: Both The Master of Mirage note  and especially When The World Ends have endings with a high degree of finality, but the story has continued on.
  • So Proud of You: Ash says this to Pikachu, Charizard, Sceptile, Garchomp, and Greninja in WTWE before he attempts to heal Arceus.
  • Spirit Advisor / Magical Guide: Arceus, Giratina, Cresselia, Darkrai, Slowking, Mew, and Mewtwo. There's also Lugia but that's relatively small.
  • Squick: May and Misty's reaction in TMOA when they realize that the former unknowingly danced with James at the Cameron Palace ball.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Misty called out the G-Men near the end for not doing as much as Ash and where on earth were they when the Legendaries and Mythics are attacking the towns Ash was in.
  • Telepathy: Alpha Legendaries and Mythics typically communicate this way. It's usually a mark of said Alphas.
  • Time Skip: The Master Of Mirage take place immediately after The Mystery of Aura, but the rest of series jumps around to different points throughout Ash's journey, which seems broadly the same as the anime canon.
  • Token Non-Human: Though Pikachu is still one, Ria is definitely this in many instances.
    • Oh. My. Mirage Arceus.
  • The Leader: Mostly Ash, however Gary, Leaf, and some others do try their best.
  • Unexpected Character: The prologue opens with none other then Pokemon Master Red
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: How does Ash Ketchum eventually propose to Misty? He argues with her that he was planning to propose soon and ends up tossing the ring at her. Strangely enough he jokingly said he would do this a couple years previously in-universe.
  • Wedding Finale: The ending features Ash and Misty's impromptu elopement when the battle to determine whether Misty becomes a Water-type Master is postponed.
  • World Building: Much of it was built upon headcanons. It established governments, particular roles such as Pokemon Masters of either specific type or general, tournaments, education, etc.
  • World Tree: The Tree of Beginning. It's where the original Mew live. That Mew also explained that they would also be the last to die too had everything was destroyed. Technically, there is a form of it in Shamouti and its elemental islands' currents. Cilan explained that every current in the world can be traced back to the elemental islands. If anything goes wrong here, it goes really bad very fast.

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