Title: Forget Me Not
Characters: Red, Green Okido/Blue Oak, Ethan/Gold
Rating: PG->T for occasional angst, language, near-death experiences
Word Count: 2800+
Summary: After finally listening to Ethan and actually going up to Mt. Silver to check on his former best friend/rival, Green ends up taking Red home out of concern for him. Green soon realizes that Red has no memory of who he is or just about anything from his past before Mt. Silver. Ethan suggests taking Red around places he’s been to in Kanto in an attempt to help the champion regain his memories, and the three of them set out to travel Kanto.
Author's Notes: Originally supposed to be a cheesy oneshot, this is now a cheesy multi-chapter fanfiction. This won't be very shippy and it won't have smut. I'd like to believe that fanfiction about a platonic friendship can be just as good if not better than a romantic fanfiction.
Green stopped by the front doors and turned around, looking back at his gym. The floor panels had been shut off as well as the lights, and it was nearly pitch-dark aside from the golden glow of the sunset from the high windows. The trainers that attended the Viridian Gym had left about an hour ago, leaving Green to close up the gym himself. He listened in silence for another moment before leaving and locking the doors behind him. He pocketed his keys and shoved his hands in his pockets before he started heading home in the calm evening.
“Green!” someone called from behind, running up to him.
Green sighed. He didn’t have to stop and look back to know who it was, so he didn’t. He waited for the younger boy to catch up with him before he spoke. “What now, Ethan? I’m not battling anyone else today.” he said, turning onto his driveway.
“I know, I saw you close your gym. I just got back from Mt. Silver and—“
“You beat Red again? Or did he kick your ass? I’m not in the mood to hear about the battle you had with him.” Green interrupted. He’d had a long day and he really wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone. He hadn’t eaten since breakfast and all he wanted to do right now was curl up on the couch, turn on the news and fall asleep after five minutes.
“No, it’s not about a battle…” Ethan murmured. The boy had been going to Mt. Silver at least twice a week since he was permitted there, and he had been battling Red nearly every time too. All he did after he beat Red was brag, but that had gotten old after a while, and hearing about it only annoyed Green. And, for some reason, Ethan was particularly eager to tell Green the ins and outs of his battles with Red down to the last detail every time he saw the gym leader.
“Look, tell me tomorrow when I might find you less annoying.” Green muttered, unlocking the front door. He hesitated after realizing what he just said, and looked at Ethan. The young trainer looked genuinely hurt by his words.
“Sorry, I just…” Green sighed. He didn’t mean to hurt the kid’s feelings. “I’m tired. I don’t want to talk to anyone right now. You’re not that annoying.” he said. It probably didn’t help, but at least it made Ethan think he could still talk to him. Not what Green was going for, but it meant Ethan wasn’t too crushed to hear one of his idols call him annoying.
“I’m not trying to bother you, but this is important… Red’s sick.” Ethan said.
Green blinked at him. That’s all? That’s the big news? Red’s sick?
“Okay, and? He lives on a mountain, away from any Pokémon Centers, always out in the cold. Obviously even Red’s going to get sick once in a while. If Red can survive up there for this long, I think he can withstand a cold. You’ve got nothing to worry about.” Green told him, opening his door and stepping inside.
“No, it’s not some kinda cold, Green…” Ethan said, for some reason thinking he could enter Green’s house without his say. “It’s like some kind of brain sickness. He doesn’t talk to me anymore and all he does is battle me. He won’t even say ‘hi’, he’ll just send out a Pokémon and wait for me to do the same. I mean we used to talk to each other a lot…” he said.
“Okay, so maybe he…” Green stopped himself. He would have suggested that Red finds Ethan annoying as well, but he was watching his words now. “When it comes to battling, nothing else really matters to him. Maybe he only wants to battle you rather than socialize.”
“But…” Ethan trailed off.
“Look,” Green started, leading the boy back outside. “Red’s not a normal person, and if he doesn’t want to talk, then fine. It’s not my problem, and it’s not yours either. Now go home, it’s getting late.” he said, going back inside and closing the door behind him. He didn’t give a damn about Red, but he felt a bit sorry for Ethan getting worried about it.
Ethan kept bugging Green about Red for another couple of weeks. And he wouldn’t just wait to talk after Green had closed the gym; he’d visit him during gym hours, before Green left his house in the morning, and even late at night a couple of times.
Apparently silence wasn’t Red’s only problem now. According to Ethan, the former champion had stopped battling, lost his Pokémon and his bag somewhere, has only eaten whatever Ethan brings for him and goes out into the snow without his jacket on. At first, Green thought that either Ethan is lying or Red is acting for attention. But it didn’t take long to think that Red might actually be slowly losing his mind.
So, after Ethan’s persistent worrying for at least two weeks, Green finally assured the boy that he would go see Red.
It was Sunday and the gym was closed. Green still had plans to battle a few trainers, but cancelled at the last minute. They weren’t anybody important anyway. Green had no idea how long it would take to find Red on the mountain, but he wanted to make sure his schedule was clear before he began searching for him.
He thought he could simply fly to the summit and start his search from the top, but it was far too cold for his Pidgeot. So, he started from the base of the mountain, using a max repel as soon as he entered to ward off any Zubats. Except, the cave didn’t have Zubats. Only Golbats and Crobats. And Ursarings. A ton blood-thirsty Ursarings. It was like Cerulean Cave all over again, but so much worse. No wonder Red loved the place.
Green thought he might like to train here, but thought better of it. His Arcanine had already fainted, and that alone proved how crazy strong the Pokémon in here were.
After an hour of wandering through the dark tunnels, Green started to think he should just give up and go home. He could tell Ethan that Red was ‘normal’ as ever, couldn’t he? He didn’t have to do this at all. It’s not like Green cared about Red, or the other way around. They weren’t even close friends as children, were they? They just happened to play together because they lived so close. Yes, that was it. They never did like ea—
Green stopped. He just kicked something, didn’t he? It wasn’t a rock, it was softer than that.
Green looked down, but could barely make out what it was in the darkness. He reached down—hoping it wasn’t a Pokémon—and felt what he had kicked. To his relief, it was neither a Pokémon nor person. He picked it up, and it was fairly heavy. After feeling around and finding a handle, zipper and straps, Green determined what the object was. It was a backpack.
Green put the bag on, wondering how Red could carry this thing around as he scaled a mountain. Well, not that Red was carrying it around anymore.
Thinking about Red without his backpack started to make Green worry. No doubt it was full of potions, revives, escape ropes, repels, a map, food and so on. Without all that, how would anyone be able to survive here for a week, let alone years?
“Red?” Green called out in the darkness. After his echoes faded, there was silence.
Green started walking faster, his heart beat speeding up just a bit. He kept thinking about Red without his stuff and, even worse, without his Pokémon. That’s what Ethan said, isn’t it? Red was completely powerless in a mountain full of man-eating Ursaring and blood-sucking Golbats. And what if Red slept outside? What if there were snow and hail storms while he slept? What if he froze to death? The tunnels within the mountain weren’t much better, either; dark, damp, and full of deadly Pokémon he didn’t want to think about again.
It was easy to believe Red could be sick, but dead? Green had a hard time believing Red would be dead. Well, it was believable, but unthinkable. For some reason, Green really didn’t want Red to die.
In his panic, Green hadn’t even noticed that he reached the summit of the mountain until he started shivering. He looked around and finally noticed how cold it was out here; and the wind sending fat snowflakes his way didn’t help him. Not only that, but the snow was up to his knees already.
Grumbling, Green kept walking. If Red wasn’t anywhere in the mountain, he had to be somewhere up here. Green only wished that his Arcanine hadn’t fainted so soon.
“Red?” Green called out. He cupped his hands around his mouth and called out louder; “Red?”
And, again, his only answer was silence accompanied by the wind. Green sighed and marched on. He has to be up here. There’s nowhere else.
Green stopped when he felt something cold and hard hit the back of his head. He turned around before receiving a snowball right in the face. Groaning in irritation, he brushed the snow from his face and hair and looked around, his attacker nowhere to be seen.
There was another snowball thrown, nailing him right in the ear. Actually wincing at the sting, Green turned again and took out a Pokéball.
He got a glimpse of a figure running to hide behind a snowman. Green started to approach, and the attacker came out and threw yet another snowball at his face before running to hide behind another snowman. Looking around, Green only just noticed all of the snowmen around him.
He sighed and put his Pokéball away before reaching down, gathering up some snow and patting it into a sphere. Two can play at this game.
It seemed childish, but Green got into the snowball fight quickly. He watched carefully for his opponent and managed to get them a few times when they ran between snowmen, but got hit twice as much. It was easier and more exciting when he started hiding behind snowmen as well, and it evened things out a bit.
It felt like forever before there was a cease-fire. Green was still shivering and a bit breathless, though he had forgotten how cold it was. And as fun as the game was, he knew he had to stop eventually. It was starting to hail lightly, and he could tell that there was a storm coming.
Green stood up, staying behind the snowman that shielded him, and called out; “Red?”
There was no reply, but Green kept talking anyway. “We need to talk. I just found your bag in the caves. Ethan says you’ve been sick or something. He wouldn’t stop bugging me about you. He’s worried, you know.” he said, refusing to admit that he was worried as well.
Green sighed, and came out from behind the snowman, expecting another snowball to the face. But he wasn’t hit.
Instead, he faced Red. It took a second to actually recognize him. Of course, he still wore that same stupid hat and the same outfit he wore when he first left the Kanto region. It was worn, torn in some places, and barely fit him. Red was a lot paler than before, too. He probably spent most of his time in the caves and didn’t get much sun. He was also much thinner than Green remembered. And there was neither a stupid smile nor look of determination on his oddly expressionless face. And his dark eyes were blank, too. But he was still a few inches shorter than Green and somehow he still looked like a dumb kid.
“Hey.” Green said. What was he supposed to say? ‘Hi, I only came up here so Ethan might shut up about you’? That was the original intention, anyway. But now that Green was actually seeing Red again after so many years, well…
“Look, I think you need to take a break from the mountain. You’re going crazy or something. Ethan's worried sick about you.” Green said, taking Red’s arm. It wasn’t a suggestion. The gym leader started leading Red back into the tunnels just as the hail started to come down harder.
Red didn’t say anything, he just followed behind Green. The gym leader thought Red would protest and make things difficult, but he was oddly cooperative. Maybe he realized he’d been on the mountain for too long as well.
It was much easier getting down the mountain than going up. There were far less Pokémon than before, and they seemed to avoiding the two. Maybe they knew how powerful Red was. It would explain why he hadn’t been mauled to death by now.
When they finally exited the caves at the base of the mountain, they both squinted at the sunlight. After their eyes adjusted to the light, Green kept walking, and he glanced back at Red once in a while. Red paid him no attention and was looking all around, like a tourist in Saffron City. It was almost as if he’d forgotten what the world down here looked like.
Green probably should have taken Red to his place for a bit, at least for the night. Red was probably hungry, and they both should have a shower or at least change into dry clothes. But the first place he went to was Pallet Town.
Green stopped when they entered the town, and he looked at Red. The former champion looked around curiously, taking in the small houses and flowers. It was the same sort of look he’d have when he visited a whole new city, completely unfamiliar to him.
Green sighed, and kept walking.
He dragged Red over to his old house and knocked on the door, waiting for an answer. Red’s mother was dumb as hell, but at least she’d put up with her own brat.
After a few minutes, Green knocked again, and received no answer. Impatient, he opened the door and looked inside.
But all he found was an empty house. There was no furniture, no photos, no pet Pokémon, and no mother waiting for them. Funny, it felt like a totally different house now. Green couldn’t even really call it a home.
Green shut the door and kept walking. So the lady had moved out; big deal. He could find a place to dump Red tomorrow. For now, he’d just have to let Red spend the night at his place.
It was dark out by the time they reached Green’s house. Red still hadn’t said a word, and Green was starting to find the silence a tad bit ominous. Green noticed that Red still looked all over, but he should be unfamiliar with Green’s house.
Green unlocked his front door before entering and bringing Red indoors. He slipped out of his shoes and locked the door. “You’re only staying with me for one night, okay? I’m leaving you with Daisy tomorrow.” he said. Daisy could probably babysit for a while.
But Red paid no attention to him and entered his living room. He found the sofa and lay down on it, curling up with a couch cushion and making himself comfortable, not bothering to do so much as take his shoes off.
Red squinted a little when Green turned the living room light on, and he hid his face in the cushion and groaned a bit.
“Red, we need to talk.” he said, dropping Red’s bag by his feet before sitting on the other end of the sofa. Red didn’t budge, and Green continued. “You’re not going back to Mt. Silver. You know that, right?” he asked.
Red blinked at him from behind the pillow.
“You shouldn’t have stayed there for so long. I mean you’ve been gone for so long that your mother moved away without letting you know. Then again, you two probably didn’t communicate at all over the past years.” Green said, biting his cheek a bit. He’d never admit it, but he always was a bit jealous that Red had a mom. Daisy still took good care of him, but it wasn’t the same.
“Like I said, you can stay with me for the night, but I’m dropping you off at Daisy’s tomorrow. She probably still likes you enough to let you stay until you grow up enough to get your own place.” he said, looking at Red.
Red still remained silent, staring at Green. The gym leader was getting annoyed. Why wasn’t Red saying anything? Did he hate him or something? He probably wouldn’t have come with Green if he did, but maybe he was hoping Green would take him to Ethan? Maybe Green should’ve just left him on the damn mountain.
“Red, are you even listening?” Green snapped.
The person in question nodded his head, and he sat up a little. He started fiddling with a filthy shoelace, his face partly hidden by the brim of his hat. “Um…” Red started, mumbling quietly. Green leaned in a little, eager to hear Red finally speak.
“Who are you?”