Misty is not portrayed in a very positive light in this story, but just try to see things her way. Ta. ^_^.

Doing Things the Hard Way
by Leto

"Prepare for trouble!"

"Make it double!"

"To protect the world from devastation!"

"To unite all peoples within our nation!"

Half a year and they were still doing poses and a speech as if they had an admiring audience.

Ash stifled a yawn.

"To denounce the evils of truth and love," prodded Misty, wishing they'd hurry up and finish instead of prolonging it all the time.

"Shut up!"

"Yeah, let us finish!"

"To extend your reach to the stars above," continued Brock, wanting Team Rocket to go away so he could go back to brushing Vulpix's tail.

"Jessie!" said Misty.

"James!" said Brock.

"Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light, surrender now or prepare to fight!" finished Ash.

"Meowth, that's right!" added Misty and Brock in unison, and then laughed.

Jessie, James and Meowth looked annoyed, but they couldn't be bothered quabbling.

"Hand over Pikachu," snapped James, "we're very busy today and we don't have time to mess around waiting for you."

"After all this time, and you still think I'm just going to 'hand over' Pikachu?"

Jessie responded by throwing her Pokeball onto the ground. A red beam shot out and Arbok appeared.

"Boka!" it hissed.

"I'll field this one," said Misty. "I could use a bit of practise. Misty calls Staryu!"

Misty threw out a Pokeball but before it could open, her backpack flashed and out came...



Psyduck looked at her blankly and said "psy?"

"Fine," she sighed, resigned, "go get beat up. See if I care."

Psyduck took this as encouragement, and waddled up to Arbok, who looked very amused.

"Arbok, glare!" snapped Jessie.

This was probably the wrong attack to use. The very nature of glare - scrambling a Pokemon's mind with fear tactics - did exactly what was stupid to do to a Psyduck.

It intensified its headache.

Psyduck's eyes glowed, and Misty held her breath. "Yes! Excellent! Psyduck, confusion attack!"

But Psyduck ignored her. The glow from its eyes extended to the rest of it, and suddenly it was glowing silver, all over.

"What's happening?" whispered Ash.

"Is that a new attack?" whispered Brock.

Neither was sure quite why they were whispering, all they knew was that something important was taking place.

"It's not doing a new attack," realised Misty, with a note of real happiness in her voice, "it's evolving!"

Even Team Rocket stopped their attack for a moment, and were also captivated by the evolution.

"I've always wanted a Golduck," continued Misty, "and maybe Psyduck won't be such a doofus once it's not itself any more!"

Presently, the glowing stopped. The evolution was complete. The duck turned and gave Misty a thumbs-up (or web/claw-up, I suppose you'd say.)

Misty swallowed hard.

Brock and Ash looked sympathetic.

Jessie and James started laughing.

"Psyduck!" said the Pokemon brightly.

"It... didn't evolve?!"

Misty's voice rose an octave.


Psyduck blinked.


Misty was wrong. Psyduck understood a lot more than she thought it did.

"Don't be so hard on it, Misty," said Ash, "if it doesn't want to evolve, that's its own choice. I think it's very brave of Psyduck to want to stay as it is, headache and all."

Pikachu nodded and said "Pika!" wisely. ("That's right!")

"You don't understand," said Misty, now quiet. "Everywhere I go, this Psyduck makes me look like an idiot. It nearly made me lose Togepi. It made the bike gang in Sunnytown think I was a loser trainer. It's such a... headache!"

Psyduck still had a blank look on its face. Nobody knew what it was thinking.

'I just wanted to please my trainer,' thought the duck. 'To get strong and win battles for her. Not my fault I'm weak.... I wish I could be like other Pokemon, 'cos now she hates me.'

"Hey, look!" said James suddenly.

Psyduck was glowing again. And this time, when it finished, Golduck stood in its place.

Misty blinked, shocked.

"See Misty," said Ash, "Psyduck only wanted to please you. It didn't want to evolve at all, but it did it so you wouldn't be mad at it."

"That's... so touching," said Jessie, remembering how her own Pokemon had done that for her. Arbok hissed, smiling, if it could be said that a snake could smile.

"Really," agreed James, his eyes wobbling slightly.

"Golduck!" quacked Golduck, looking a bit unsteady in its new form. But it had made the right choice. Its trainer was looking at him with sparkling eyes - and maybe a touch of guilt.

And its headache, at long last, was gone.

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