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Love is Blind [Advanceshipping] (PG-13)

Discussion in 'Shipping Fics' started by necris14, May 4, 2010.

  1. necris14

    necris14 Protect that smile

    Hey everybody. As you can see, I'm a noob here on the forums, although I've been coming to Serebii for years for game/anime info. I've even poked my head in the forums a few times, namely when I read Two of a Kind in this very forum a while back, which I thought was an amazing piece of fanfiction, personally.

    Anyway, I wrote my own fanfic on this other site a while back, one I'm way more familiar with. Sadly, there's nowhere near as big of a community for this stuff on there as there is here, but the ones who did read it apparently thought it was great, so there's that...shameless plug :3

    So, to business: I recently started my second fic on that same site, but decided it would be a fun experience to try my hand over here with the 'pros'. So, I'm planning to simultaneously upload this fic on both sites as I write it, if for no other reason than to see what some new people think of my writing.

    Here's the link to the original thread over there, containing a little bit of background and stuff. Also, I'll usually upload new chapters on there first before I post them here, although that usually shouldn't be a problem since I'm going to try and do them at the same time on both pages.

    So! I think I'm supposed to have some sort of PM list and/or chapter list? If someone could give me some additional info there I'd appreciate it. Other than that, I think I can go ahead and start this up.

    Lastly, I hope I didn't break any rules or anything, linking to that other site and whatnot. If I did, I apologize in advance. Let me know and I'll try and fix it. Enjoy!

    Chapter One: And So It Begins

    A warm and inviting sun shone across the plains of the Kanto region. Near the outskirts of Fuchsia City, four youths were calmly making their way toward the large town. One of them was significantly broader and tanner than the others, and one was similarly shorter than the rest. Two, however, seemed to be nearly the same height, though one was still broader in build than the other.

    Numerous creatures scampered around the landscape surrounding the four travelers, varying in size and shape. A group of small bird-like creatures glided low over the grass while a pack of small purple rats were led through the foliage by a much larger tan rat. There was even a two-headed bird clomping through the area, loudly disturbing any of the creatures it happened to run past.

    "Man. Let's not try that again any time soon." The smallest of the four companions said in a depressed tone. He was clad in a green polo shirt and dark shorts, as well as large glasses and dark blue hair. Max.

    "Mm, yeah." The broader middle one responded in agreement. "Who came up with Pokemon racing, anyway?" He wore a blue sleeveless hoodie with a black T-shirt underneath and jeans, as well as a red hat with a red stripe bearing a green Pokeball emblem on it. The hat masked his messily unkempt black hair. Ash.

    "I think there's a league of Rapidash racers who would strongly disagree with you." The largest of the four joked. He was indeed much tanner than the rest of the group. He wore a dark brown jacket and pants with a forest green shirt underneath, and had uncovered spiky brown hair. Brock.

    "You guys are just mad 'cause you know Eevee and I would've won if Team Rocket hadn't stopped us short." The second middle traveler, and only female of the group, responded jovially. She bore a tight red shirt and navy shorts partially covered by a short white skirt and had longer brown hair partially covered by a bright red bandana bearing a Pokeball logo. May.

    "Well, hey, it isn't my fault!" Max countered, looking over at his older sister. "I mean...Munchlax wasn't even my Pokemon, right?"

    "Oh, so, what, now it's my fault that you wouldn't have won?" May shot back playfully. "Don't blame me if you can't handle my Pokemon..."

    As the two siblings continued to go at it with each other, Ash and Brock simply looked at each other and grinned sheepishly. The two siblings arguing was a common occurrence at this point for their companions, who had learned to simply shrug it off and wait for it to pass.

    "Piii-ka..." Ash's Pikachu moaned from his perch on his owner's shoulder. Contrary to others, Pikachu much preferred everyday life outside with Ash to sitting inside a Pokeball all day.

    "I know, buddy." Ash responded, turning his head to face his longtime partner. "I'm pretty beat after all that, too."

    "Fuchsia City shouldn't be much farther at this point." Brock said reassuringly.

    "Man, I don't remember it taking this long the last time we came here." Ash said, thinking back a few years to a particular involving a meeting with a group of a certain mole Pokemon.

    "That's because last time we went around the other way, through the mountains, and ended up getting lost about three times along the way."

    "Oh yeah...like when we met those guys trying to build a dam, and the Diglett kept disturbing them?"

    Brock nodded knowingly, his own thoughts drifting back in time as well. "Yeah. Gary was there, too, but none of us actually managed to help them that much."

    Further down the path, Max and May were still arguing, and it seemed to have escalated in the past few minutes.

    "Sometimes I just can't stand you, Max!"

    "Whoever said I was crazy about you?!"

    Ash and Brock cautiously re-entered the group, grinning nervously at their companions. "Come on, guys, calm down. We're almost to Fuchsia City..." Brock said to them, hoping they would just dismiss their argument.

    "Oh, are we?" May shot back. "That's too bad - I heard they don't allow infuriating younger brothers in the city limits!"

    "Oh, really?" Max said in mock surprise. "I heard they don't allow annoying older sisters in, either!"

    Ash and Brock merely glanced at each other and sighed.

    "Pii..." Pikachu muttered sadly in agreement.

    * * *

    Meanwhile, across the field from the group of four, a somewhat thin, lanky man in a black cloak scanned them through his binoculars.

    "Hmm...a group of four is approaching the city now. Looks like at least one of them is going to challenge the Palace." He paused for a moment. "Get things ready for me."

    * * *

    "Sometimes, I'm surprised your bandana even fits on your head, it's so big and bloated!" Max berated, continuing the string of insults he'd been flinging at his sister.

    "You know what?" May said suddenly, putting her hands on her hips. "I wouldn't even mind staying out of this city, if it gets me away from him for a while! It's not like there's a Contest Hall here, anyway!"

    "That's fine with me!" Max said angrily, looking away.

    "No, come on, guys. We're all going to the city." Brock said calmly, trying once again to keep the peace. "Remember? The Battle Palace is there for Ash and then afterwards we're heading to Crysanthemum Island off the coast for May's Contest."

    May and Max turned and stared hard at each other for a long period of silence. Then they finally both muttered "Fine" in unison.

    Brock grinned in acceptance as the four continued walking.

    "Sometimes I have a hard time believing those two are related..." Ash muttered, coming up beside his older friend.

    "Are you kidding? My little brothers and sisters argue all the time." Brock explained, chuckling softly. "It's just what siblings do."

    "Yeah, well, if that's what having a brother or sister is like, I think I'm happy I don't have any." Ash said, glancing sideways at May and Max.

    Suddenly, a large black, red and white Pokemon with multiple heads materialized in the middle of the path ahead of them. May, who had turned away from lingering disgust at her younger brother, didn't see it and continued walking, running into it head-on.

    "Ow!" She exclaimed, recoiling. "What - ?!"

    Ash, Brock, and Max shared a similiar reaction as they stared at the large Claydol that had just appeared before them.

    "Is it...wild?" Max suggested nervously, staring at the beast.

    "I doubt it." Brock said, examining it closely. "Claydol is a Pokemon native to Hoenn, after all."

    "S...sorry!" A voice chimed in from behind the Pokemon. A man suddenly ran around the side of it, seemingly out of breath. "Sorry for any trouble he caused you...this, erm, Claydol, belongs to me, you see...we were training with Teleport and, um, I suppose he miscalculated."

    "I'll say." Max said, eyes still locked on the Claydol.

    "So, are you heading for the Battle Palace, too?" The man asked suddenly, eyeing Ash in particular.

    Ash's eyes lit up at the man's words. "Yeah, or I am, at least. I'm Ash, and this is my buddy Pikachu."

    "Pi-ka-chu." Pikachu greeted the man warmly.

    "Nice to meet you - I'm Nate, and I guess you've already met Claydol here." The man said, grinning to the group. "And who are your companions? If you don't mind me asking, of course."

    "I'm May, but I'm not here for the Battle Palace." May explained. "I'm a Coordinator - "

    "Ah, so you'll be heading to Crysanthemum Island after Fuchsia, I presume?" The man interrupted.

    May glanced at her companions before continuing. "Y-yeah, we heard there was a Contest Hall there..."

    "I'm Max." Max said pointedly, cutting his sister off. "I'm not a Trainer yet, but I know a lot about Pokemon, and this Claydol here seems a little...different..."

    "Oh, does he?" Nate responded, stroking his larger companion. "He might be tired out from all his training today - I guess we should call it quits for now, eh?"

    Max nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I guess. Too much training is just as bad as not enough."

    "Right you are, my young friend."

    Brock didn't respond to the man, instead examining the large Pokemon next to him. "Max was right, something's not right about this Claydol..."

    "Well, I think I've held you four up long enough." Nate said respectfully. "I'll let you be on your way, then."

    "Maybe we'll meet up at the Battle Palace!" Ash said happily as they continued down the road.

    Nate simply waved a hand at them as they slowly walked out of his sight. "Oh, trust me, Ash. We will."

    Chapter Two: Fuchsia City

    A cool breeze swept through the city as the group of four travelers entered the confines of the coastal town. May shivered as the wind slipped past her.

    "Ooo..." She moaned, crossing her arms across her chest in an attempt to warm herself. "It's kind of cold here..."

    "Well, yeah, the city's just off the coast. There's even a beach down south somewhere - "

    "Oh, really?!" May cried in excitement, her previous complaint already forgotten. "We've got to go down there later!"

    Ash and Max glanced at each other and shrugged glumly, the two boys quite familiar with the young girl's love for the beach.

    "That won't be a problem, we're heading down that way anyway to catch the boat to Crysanthemum Island later." Brock assured her.

    As May squealed in excitement further down the street, Ash took to glancing at the surrounding buildings, remembering his last visit to the town: his search for the city's invisible Gym, his battle with the Gym Leader and ninja master, Koga, and how when they finally made it to the Safari Zone, the grumpy old Warden had almost shot them on sight.

    "Those were the days..." Ash thought to himself silently as his companions advanced further down the road. "Man, that was back when Misty still traveled around with us..."

    For some reason, when he thought of the female Gym Leader as part of his little cadre, he felt an odd twinge of annoyance in his stomach, though he couldn't figure out why. The harder he thought about it, the worse it got, until...

    "Ash!" May called out from the far end of the street. Ash jerked his head up, snapping out of his self-induced trance, and noticed that he had been lagging behind his companions for quite some time. "Hurry up, you slowpoke!"

    "Y-yeah, I'm coming!" Ash responded, taking off at a sprint to catch back up with his friends. By the time he reached them, the strange twinge that caused him to halt before was gone, leaving Ash just as confused as he had been previously.

    "So where's this Battle Palace of yours?" May asked eagerly as the group continued walking now that Ash was with them again.

    "I don't know..." Ash said, looking around the breezy town, observing a few of the civilians walking through the streets. "The Gym here is invisible, or at least it was the last time we were here. So, maybe the Battle Palace is hidden too..." He glanced over at his female companion. "Why're you so interested all of a sudden?"

    "Well, I just figure that the quicker you beat the Frontier Brain, the quicker we can go down to the beach and to my Contest!" May exclaimed happily, grinning at the thought.

    "Oh...right..." Ash mumbled in response, staring at May as he recalled the strange tingling feeling from before.

    "Well, if you're looking for something to do until then, you could always go check out the Safari Zone north of town." Brock suggested, turning to look at May as well.

    "Aw, that's right!" Max cried suddenly, his head shooting up. "Kanto's Safari Zone is near here, isn't it?"

    "Safari Zone...?" May said slowly.

    "Can I go with you, sis?" Max asked hopefully, glancing over at his sister with wide eyes. "Pleeeease?"

    "I - I don't know..."

    "Oh, come on!" Max persisted. "It'll be so cool! Do you know how many rare Pokemon are kept in there?!"

    "...well, all right." May agreed hesitantly. "I guess it can't hurt, if we're gonna be staying in town for a while anyway..." She chuckled to herself. "Who knows, maybe I'll actually find something cool in there."

    "Uh, yeah, you can say that again!" Max said, already excited at the prospect of seeing the safeguarded Pokemon reserve. "Oh man, this is gonna be so great!"

    Brock grinned at the two of them. "All right, then. Let's go check in at the Pokemon Center, then I can show you guys where the Safari Zone is."

    Max nodded eagerly at Brock's words. May, however, glanced over at Ash. "What about you, Ash? You coming too?"

    Ash shook his head. "Nah, I think I'm gonna go train for the Battle Palace."

    "Pika!" Pikachu chimed in, nodding enthusiastically.

    "Sure you don't want to come?" Max asked, turning to the older trainer. "I think even you could find something there..."

    Ash chuckled. "I already have, Max. Remember those Tauros I have back at Professor Oak's place?"

    "Oh, that's right!" Max said, his face brightening as the image of the rare bull Pokemon appeared in his mind. "But, it's not like you've ever really used them, right?"

    "Hey, I thought you guys were going to the Pokemon Center? Ash said pointedly, glowering at the young boy.

    "I'm just saaaaaying..." Max chirped, dancing backward away from Ash.

    "Piiika..." Pikachu said softly as their three companions headed further into the city, May waving back at them.

    "...Mm...whatever." Ash muttered in response. "I never really liked those Tauros anyway."

    * * *

    Later that evening, Ash was positioned on the far side of an open field, with Pikachu standing at his feet. His other four Pokemon had all been released in the grass, and were currently engaged in two seperate one-on-one battles by Ash's order. He had figured it to be the most efficient way to make sure they were all equally prepared for the battle ahead, as he wasn't sure who he wanted to battle with yet.

    "Good job, Donphan!" He called out encouragingly to his elephant-like Armor Pokemon.

    "Piika! Pi-ka-chu!" Pikachu added as Swellow swooped down low, narrowly missing Donphan with Aerial Ace.

    Across the field from them, Grovyle and Corphish were also locked in combat, with neither side looking to break anytime soon, despite Grovyle's type advantage.

    "Cooor-phish!" Corphish bellowed, hardening his armor to a polished sheen as Grovyle struck yet again with Leaf Blade. It simply bounced off, as it had all the other times the grass Pokemon had attempted the same move.

    "Groooo!" Grovyle cried angrily, bouncing back away from his opponent.

    "Coooor-phish-phish-phish!" Corphish squalled, cracking open its pinchers and loosing a torrent of bubbles from each.

    "Gro! Vyle!" Grovyle roared, nimbly jumping away from the harsh stream. He flipped over in midair, attempting to hit Corphish with an overhead Pound attack.

    "Corphish!" Corphish saw it coming, and parried the strike with his own glowing claw, swatting Grovyle out of the sky with Crabhammer.

    "GROVYLE!" Grovyle bellowed as he skidded on the ground, unleashing a torrent of Bullet Seed from his mouth.

    "Coooor!" Corphish roared, countering the move with another Bubblebeam.

    Meanwhile, Donphan wasn't faring much better against Swellow. Due to his limited attack range, he could only move in for a strike when the bird Pokemon was down low.

    "Swellow!" Swellow squaked harshly, bearing down in an attempt to use Aerial Ace again.

    "Phaaaaaaa!" Donphan grunted angrily, bending under the blow even with Defense Curl.

    "Swellow! Swelllll!" Swellow roared, looping around and diving to strike with Wing Attack.

    "Phaaaaan!" Donphan bellowed, quickly improvising a Rollout and crashing into Swellow as it glided down to his level.

    "Swell - !" Swellow cried out in surprise, swerving to the side in midair as it lost its balance.

    "Doooooo!" Donphan cried, quickly spinning around and firing a Hyper Beam at its disorientated opponent.

    "Swellowww!" Swellow cried harshly, taking the full brunt of the blow and crashing into the ground.

    "Grooooo-vyle!" Grovyle screeched from across the field, swinging another Leaf Blade at Corphish.

    "Coooor...!" Corphish grunted, catching the strike in its open claw. It struggled under the pressure for a moment, then swatted Grovyle away with its free pincher and quickly fired a Bubblebeam.

    "Groooooo!" Grovyle cried in pain as the numerous bubbles impacted its flesh, sending it toppling to the ground in defeat.

    "Pika!" Pikachu cried happily, raising his right arm in the air.

    "Yeah!" Ash agreed heartily, gesturing to all of his Pokemon. "Great job, you guys!"

    "Corphish, cor!" Corphish responded, turning and grinning at its trainer.

    Donphan merely grunted in acknowledgement.

    "Ah, well, I guess it was too much to hope that he'd actually smile or something..." Ash said, grinning at the thought of Donphan cracking a grin of his own. "Well, anyway, return, all of you! You all deserve a rest after that!"

    "Hey, Ash...!" May's voice called, echoing throughout the now-empty field before Ash and Pikachu. "Ash!"

    "Huh?" Ash said to himself, turning to see May jogging up the low hill toward him, with Max close behind. "What are you guys doing here? I thought you were going to the Safari Zone?"

    "Yeah, we are." May said, taking a minute to catch her breath as Max ran up beside her.

    "But where's...?"

    "Brock?" Max finished, interjecting into the conversation as usual. "Where do you think? He's back at the Pokemon Center, trying to convince Nurse Joy to watch the sunset with him."

    Ash smiled in acknowledgement of his older friend's eternal quest to court one of the various Nurse Joys across the world.

    May simply giggled. "Yeah, so he gave us the directions and we decided to go and find it ourselves." She looked around the field, faintly noticing the slowly darkening amber sky in the background. "So, are you guys still training out here?"

    "Yeah...well, we were, at least." Ash explained as Pikachu clambored back up on his shoulder. "I think everyone's tired out for the day."

    May nodded and opened her mouth to speak, but Max cut her off. "Come on, May! If we don't hurry up it's gonna be closed!"

    "Yeah, I'm coming!" She answered as Max ran off past Ash's training field. Quickly turning back to Ash, who was now framed against the burning sky, she reached into her fanny pack and retrieved the key to their room at the Pokemon Center.

    "Oh, thanks!" Ash said enthusiastically, eyeing the key. She slipped it from her hand into his, and for a split second, as their hands locked, Ash felt the stomach flutter for the third time that day.

    However, he didn't even notice it this time, and a second later, May was chasing down her all-too-eager younger brother, and Ash was running back toward Fuchsia City, Pikachu perched on his shoulder.
  2. necris14

    necris14 Protect that smile

    Chapter Three: Showdown at the Battle Palace

    Once Ash and Pikachu reached the Pokemon Center, they found Brock still conversing with Nurse Joy at the counter. Deciding it was better to leave him be, they quickly snuck upstairs to their room and wasted no time in preparing themselves for bed. In a matter of minutes, Ash had claimed a bed, laid down his pack, removed his hat and sweatshirt, and was already laying down.

    "'Night, buddy." Ash murmured, turning to face his partner. "Tomorrow, we challenge the Battle Palace!"

    "Pi-pikachu!" Pikachu said enthusiastically before curling up on the floor beside Ash's bed.

    Ash rolled over to face the wall and closed his eyes as he felt himself drift off to sleep...

    * * *

    Seeing how much in love you two appear to be..." The fancily dressed, teal-haired male known as Oscar began, glancing across the path at Ash and May.

    "...We thought we'd offer you a challenge." His similiarly dressed, blonde-haired companion named Andy finished.

    Ash and May glanced at each other in disdain. "Us...in love...?" The two quickly turned away from each other at the thought. "Yeah, that's a laugh." Ash said in apparent disgust.

    "Ah - ah - ah." Oscar responded, wagging his finger. "That's what young lovebirds always say!"

    "And fighting is the first sign of love." Andy explained in a similiar tone.

    "It's pretty obvious that you two are in the middle of a fight, right?" Oscar said knowingly, pointing at the pair.

    "That means..." Oscar and Andy began in unison, clasping hands. "You two are in love!"

    "I don't think so!" Ash and May replied, also in unison.

    "Told you! You answered together!"

    Ash and May merely grunted in response, still angry at the assumption the couple was making about them.

    "Now...we challenge you to a battle!"

    "Y-yeah, you mean a Pokemon battle?!" Ash replied instantly, firing up at the thought.

    "Yes, but not just any Pokemon battle!" Oscar began.

    "A battle that tests the love of any couple..." Andy continued.

    "A Pokemon Tag Battle!" The two finished together.

    "Yeah, that sounds pretty cool!" Ash said. "A Pokemon Tag Battle...good practice for my next Gym Battle!" He glanced over at May. "May, you want to do it?"

    "Uh...I guess so." May replied slowly, considering the possibility. "I don't know about any of that 'test your love' stuff, but...why not! I've got a Contest coming up as well!"

    A few moments later, the two pairs had set up positions around a clearing, with Brock as the referee for their battle.

    "This Pokemon Tag Battle, with the team of Andy and Oscar, challenging the team of Ash and May, will now begin!"

    "Go, Nidoking! Come on out!" Oscar cried, tossing a Pokeball. A moment later a stout, heavily armored purple-and-white dinosaur emerged.

    "I choose you, Nidoqueen!" Andy called, releasing her Pokemon as well: a similiar-looking blue-and-white dinosaur.

    "Okay...I know they're both part Ground types..." Ash said slowly, grabbing one of his own Pokeballs. "Go, Corphish!"

    "Corphish!" The crustacean roared, emerging from its Pokeball.

    "Your turn, May." Ash said, turning to his battle partner.

    "Hmm..." May said slowly, putting a gloved hand to her chin. "I could use Torchic...but, I could use Beautifly as well...but Skitty's good in battle, too..."

    "Come on! Sometime today, please?" Ash nagged hurriedly.

    "I'd like to make the right choice, if you don't mind!" May shot back, content in the fact that her ploy to anger Ash had worked. Turning back to the battlefield, she threw a Pokeball of her own. "Go, Skitty!"

    "Myaaaa!" Skitty cooed, emerging alongside Corphish.

    "Okay..." Oscar began, eyeing his two opponents.

    "We'll see if you made the right choices!" Andy announced happily.

    "Yeah, you'll see all right!" Ash said arrogantly. "Corphish, use Bubblebeam!"

    "Skitty, use Assist, now!"

    "Assist? Already?!" Max cried from the sidelines in disbelief.

    "Cor...phish-phish-phish!" Corphish cried, loosing a torrent of bubbles from both claws.

    "Myaaaaa!" Skitty roared, firing a barrage of fireballs from its paw.

    "Whoa, that's Ember!" Max said in a worried voice.

    Nidoking braced itself as Bubblebeam streaked toward it, only to be intercepted and nullified by Skitty's Ember.

    "Corphish, cor!" Corphish said angrily, glaring at Skitty, who turned to face him and, in turn, blasted him with Ember.

    "Just what kind of move was that?!" Ash demanded angrily, looking at May.

    "Hey, look - " May began in a huff, then stopped for a second. Reconsidering her words, she finished, "Sorry."


    "Dear Nidoqueen..."

    "Show us the love with your Dynamic Punch!"

    Nidoking and Nidoqueen both charged up their right arm, charging forward and swinging it at Corphish and Skitty respectively.

    "Skitty, use Blizzard to counter that!" May commanded, leaving Ash momentarily confused by her cooperation.

    "Myaaa!" Skitty cried, shooting a freezing blast of ice and wind of its mouth at the two oncoming Pokemon.

    Both Nidos roared in surprise as they were frozen into a single block of ice.

    "Corphish, Crabhammer, go!" Ash cried, shrugging off May's sudden change in attitude for the moment.

    "Cooor-phish!" Corphish responded, leaping forward and slamming its claws down on the large block of ice before it, causing it to shatter.

    Nidoking and Nidoqueen staggered backward out of the destroyed ice block before stamping their feet on the ground with renewed vigor.

    "Hmm..." Oscar said softly, glancing at Andy, who nodded back. "Nidoking!"


    "Show us the love with your Submission attacks!"

    Both their Pokemon boomed in agreement, locking arms and feet to become a rolling armored ball, heading straight for Corphish and Skitty.

    "Whoa, I've never seen Submission used like that!" Max said in astonishment. "As a combination..."

    "Corphish, use Harden, now!" Ash called.

    Corphish stood glaring at the two oncoming Pokemon as his shell became tougher than steel. The double Submission hit head-on, but Corphish didn't budge, struggling against it.

    "Now, use Crabhammer!"

    "Coooor!" Corphish roared, knocking the pair of Nidos up into the air as they roared in anger.

    "Now, Skitty! Use Assist one more time!" May called.

    "My-yaaaaaaa!" Skitty cried as a purple aura encompassed its body, as well as the Nidos, who hovered in mid-air for a moment before being forcefully slammed into the ground.

    "All right! That's Beautifly's Confusion!" Max cheered.

    "Let's finish this up!" Ash said excitedly, looking over at May.

    "Love to!" She responded happily. "Skitty, Blizzard!"

    "Corphish, Bubblebeam!"

    Skitty and Corphish obeyed, and within moments Nidoking and Nidoqueen were lying spread-faced on the ground, unconcious and defeated.

    "Wow. It looks like your love is stronger than we predicted." Oscar said as he and Andy recalled their Pokemon.

    "You're right. I don't see much point in continuing this." Andy added, watching Ash and May closely as they too recalled their battlers.

    "Uh..." Ash and May said together, glancing at each other.

    "I don't think..." Ash began.

    "...we're really cut out for that." May finished.

    "See? Told you!" The couple said, giggling. "You even spoke together!"

    Ash and May simply stared at each other, their mouths hanging open slightly, neither one knowing what to say.

    "Ash...Ash!" May said, attempting to shake him awake. "Come on, wake up!"

    "Huh...wha..." Ash moaned groggily, his eyes slowly cracking open. He was instantly met with the sight of May leaning over him, causing him to do a double-take as he jumped back. "M-May!"

    "Yeah...?" She replied confusedly, rising from his bed.

    "Boy, you were really out of it, Ash!" Max said from across the room, laughing to himself. "Were you having some kinda weird dream or something?"

    "Uh..." Ash muttered, not sure how to respond. "Yeah, I must have." He finished, feigning ignorance.

    "Well, it doesn't matter now." Brock said, glancing at Ash with his arms folded across his chest. "You should probably get ready. You did want to challenge the Battle Palace today, right?"

    "Oh, yeah!" Ash said, suddenly remembering why they had come here in the first place. "Just give me a few minutes..."

    Shortly after, he found himself in the shower, hastily cleaning himself as he rushed to get ready.

    "What was all that about?" Ash thought to himself as the cool water washed over him. "I remember that tag battle with Oscar and Andy back in Hoenn...but that's not how it ended. They beat me and May by a long shot, since we were arguing so much..."

    He continued to ponder his dream as he shifted positions under the stream of water. "So why..."

    A few moments later, he finally just shrugged. "Well, whatever...like Brock said, it's not like it matters now, anyway."

    * * *

    About an hour later, Ash and Pikachu were happily jogging toward the Battle Palace, with May. Max, and Brock not far behind.

    "I wonder if we'll see Nate while we're here." Ash asked to noone in particular.

    "If he really is a challenger here, he better have someone other than Claydol to help him out." Max commented. "From what I've heard, the Frontier Brain here's got a thing for using Grass Pokemon."

    "Really?" Ash said, already beginning to formulate a loose battle plan. "Guess that means I should start with Swellow...oh, wait a minute!" He turned around to face his friends, but didn't stop walking, despite his words. "Did you guys find anything good at the Safari Zone last night?"

    Max's face fell somewhat. "Well, we only got to look around for a little while, cause it was so late, and May didn't even get any Safari Balls..."

    "I didn't know you had to pay!" May responded indignantly.

    "Well, anyway, I did see a really cool Scyther, but besides that, nothing really special." Max explained, a hint of sadness in his voice.

    As the group approached the battle facility, Brock silently noticed the lack of anyone else around, challenger or not.

    Once they entered, they were met with a giant room framed with white marble walls, and numerous small exits that mirrored the look of caves, and of course the floor was painted in traditonal style for a Pokemon battle field. Not long after entering the room, an older-looking dark-skinned man with no hair and a long white beard entered as well from one of the caves opposite them, carrying a long staff.

    "Welcome!" He boomed across the chamber as Ash quickly moved into the battle square. nearest to them. Pikachu climbed down off his shoulder and instead perched itself on May's head. "I am Palace Maven Spenser!"

    "Hey, I'm Ash, and I'm here for a battle!" Ash yelled back as a smaller man filed out of the cave after Spenser, taking a position in the middle of the field: the referee.

    "Of course, of course!" Spenser roared jovially. "Then let's not waste any more time, shall we?"

    "The battle between Ash and Spenser will now begin! Each side is allowed three Pokemon with no substitutes, and the first trainer to lose all three Pokemon is declared the winner!" The referee paused for a moment as the two trainers stared each other down before lowering both his arms. "...Begin!"

    Chapter Four: Battle Palace Finale

    "I believe it is customary for the challenger to choose his Pokemon first?" Spenser said, smirking across the battlefield at his opponent.

    Ash nodded knowingly as he grabbed a Pokeball off his waist. "Swellow, I choose you!"

    "Mm, interesting choice!" Spenser boomed happily as the multicolored bird emerged from its Pokeball. "Now, Shiftry! To my side!"

    "Shift-ry!" The hybrid Grass Pokemon cried, appearing across the battlefield from Swellow.

    "Wow! A Shiftry!" Max said in awe as himself, Brock, and May made their way to the side of the battlefield to watch.

    "All right, Swellow, start things off with Quick Attack!" Ash cried, gesturing to his Pokemon.

    "Swellow!" Swellow responded obediantly, taking off and streaking toward Shiftry.

    "Getting a bit hasty, are we?" Spenser said, chuckling to himself. "Shiftry, jump away and use Shadow Ball!"

    Shiftry leaped away as Swellow continued flying past it, and fired a large black-and-purple energy ball at it. Swellow didn't see it coming in time, and was hit with it full force, causing it to soar into the stone wall bordering the arena.

    "Swellow!" Ash called.

    Spenser chuckled again, then nodded to his Shiftry. "Now, hit it with your Quick Attack!"

    Shiftry, who hadn't even hit the ground yet, hastily obliged his trainer and shot across the field in mid-air, leaving a brilliant white trail behind him as he charged toward Swellow.

    "Swellow, quick! Dodge it!" Ash cried.

    Swellow grunted in response and shot off the wall, soaring higher up above the field. Shiftry, however, wasn't fast enough to stop, and ended up slamming into the wall as well.

    "Now, Swellow! Wing Attack!"

    Swellow looped back around to face Shiftry and sped down toward it as both of its wings began to shine brilliantly. Shiftry took the blow hard from above, causing it to be knocked back down to the ground as Swellow soared away.

    "Good job, Swellow!" Ash called encouragingly. "Hit it with another Wing Attack!"

    "Swell-ow!" Swellow responded confidently, looping around again to strafe Shiftry a second time.

    "That's not going to work twice!" Spenser said, a smile on his face. "Shiftry, Double Team!"

    "Shiftry!" Shiftry roared, remaining immobile as copies of itself began to materialize around it. Swellow streaked through one of the fakes, causing it to disappear.

    "Good work! Now use Rock Smash!"

    "Shiftry! Shi-ftry!" All of the Shiftry clones boomed in unison, slamming their leaf-like hands into the stone floor. Dozens of rock shards shot into the air, temporarily creating an airborne minefield for Swellow.

    "Swellow, quick! You use Double Team, too!" Ash commanded.

    "Swellow!" Swellow cawed, summoning numerous clones of itself as well. A few of them smashed into the rock fragments and vanished as the remaining few weaved around the falling stones.

    "Two Double Teams?" May questioned in disbelief.

    "That's something you don't see every day." Brock added.

    "Pi-ka." Pikachu agreed, all of them watching the battle in awe.

    Swellow and two clones emerged from the chaos as the stone shards fell to the ground harmlessly. "Great job! Now, Swellow, use Wing Attack one more time!"

    "Again?" Spenser mumbled under his breath. "Shiftry, use Rock Smash once more!"

    "Shift-ry!" Shiftry and its clones roared, slamming their fists into the ground for the second time, causing more rock fragments to become airborne.

    "Swellow!" Swellow cried as it streaked through the debris with its clones on either side of it. A rock collided with one, then the other, causing them both to flicker out of existence behind Swellow, who was unphased, and continued shooting toward Shiftry.

    "Shiftry! Shadow Ball!"

    Shiftry boomed yet again as it fired another Shadow Ball into the air. It wasn't aiming for Swellow, though; the attack veered off behind the Swallow Pokemon and exploded into a larger rock shard, causing dozens of smaller pieces to fall down around Swellow.

    "Swellow, dodge it, quick!"

    "Swell, swellow!" Swellow cawed, nimbly rolling past the falling shards. A second later, it slammed its wings into Shiftry on the way past before rocketing up into the air again, causing the false Shiftry clones to vanish instantly.

    "Now! Finish this up with Aerial Ace!"

    "Swellow!" Swellow roared, looping around in mid-air and streaking straight down toward Shiftry.

    "Shiftry! Use Quick Attack, straight up!"

    "Shift!" Shiftry cried, looking up briefly before leaping into the air toward Swellow.

    The two Pokemon collided in mid-air, sending both of them plummeting toward the ground. They landed in a heap, both trainers eager to see which would get up first.

    A few moments passed in silence, then Swellow slowly rose from the heap, strutting over to Ash's side of the field in victory, though it was clearly injured.

    "Shiftry is unable to battle! Swellow wins this round!" The referee called, briefly raising his right arm.

    "Pi-pikachu!" Pikachu cooed happily as Brock nodded in agreement.

    "You were great out there, Swellow!" Ash said encouragingly. "You ready for the next one?"

    "Swell-swellow!" Swellow responded, not wanting to let its trainer down.

    "Good job, Shiftry. You tried your best." Spenser said soothingly as he recalled the defeated hybrid. "You and your Swellow make quite the team, Ash. But let's see how well it does against this one...Claydol! To my side!"

    "Clay!" Claydol said gruffly, emerging onto the field.

    "A...a Claydol?" Max said in wonder. "Just like the one Nate had..."

    May nodded at her brother's words. "That's pretty weird..."

    Brock remained silent, his eyes locked on the newly summoned Pokemon across from Ash and Swellow.

    "Cool, it's another one!" Ash said, oblivious to his friends' concern. "Ready to go, Swellow?"

    "Swellow!" Swellow cried, lifting off from the ground at Ash's words.

    "Claydol, start us off! Psybeam!" Spenser commanded, gesturing with his staff.

    "Do-ol!" Claydol grunted in a low voice, firing twin rainbow-colored beams from its stubby arms.

    "Swellow, dodge it and use Quick Attack!"

    "Swell!" Swellow cried, soaring into the air high above Claydol's attack. A second later, it swooped down low and slammed into Claydol's thick hide.

    "Good job! Hit it with another Quick Attack!"

    "Swellow!" Swellow performed yet another midair loop, streaking down to the ground to ram Claydol again.

    "Claydol, use Teleport to dodge it!"

    Brock hardened his gaze as Swellow flew through thin air, pulling up and narrowly avoiding a collision with the ground. "Not only is it the same Pokemon...it knows the same move, too...?"

    "Now! Use Rapid Spin from above!" Spenser cried.

    Ash gritted his teeth as Claydol reappeared directly above Swellow and slammed into it whilst spinning, sending it crashing into the ground and pinning it in a drill-like position underneath itself. "Swellow! No!"

    May and Max gasped silently as they watched Swellow be forcefully drilled into the stone floor.

    "Pika-pi!" Pikachu cried out in concern.

    "Swellow! Come on, get up!" Ash called, quickly seeing that there was no way out for his Pokemon.

    "Swell - ow - SWELL-OW!" Swellow cried harshly in pain.

    "Now, Claydol! Finish up with Hyper Beam!"

    Ash glanced across the field in a mix of surprise and anger. It was clear that Swellow was beaten, why did he have to use another attack?

    "DOOOOL!" Claydol bellowed, leaping up into the air and fired another set of beams from its arms, this time bright orange ones. They smashed into Swellow hard, netting one final cry out of it before it fell unconcious.

    "Swellow is unable to battle! Claydol wins!" The referee declared, raising his left arm.

    "Swellow...return." Ash grunted softly, recalling his heavily wounded Pokemon. "You were awesome out there. Take a nice, long rest." He said quietly, replacing the Ball on his waist.

    "Who's it going to be next, Ash?" Spenser called happily from across the chamber.

    Ash merely glared at him in response, the majority of his respect for the Frontier Brain now gone. After considering his options for a brief moment, he turned to the sidelines. "Pikachu! You up for this, buddy?"

    "Pi, pikachu!" Pikachu responded passionately, eager to get revenge for its wounded comrade. It quickly clambered down from May's head and ran across to the battlefield on all fours.

    "Ah! Your prize Pikachu, I see." Spenser said. "This should make for an interesting match, indeed."

    Ash couldn't recall ever mentioning Pikachu to Spenser, but quickly shrugged off the feeling.

    "Pika!" Pikachu spat back angrily, glowering at Spenser's Claydol.

    "Pikachu, use Quick Attack!"

    "That seems to be your star attack today." Spenser commented, mostly to himself, as Pikachu took off running toward Claydol. He did nothing as Pikachu slammed into Claydol's chest and continued going.

    "Now, Quick Attack again!" Ash called, intentionally copying his strategy from before.

    "Pika!" Pikachu cried, jumping and rebounding off the wall, effectively turning itself around without losing momentum.

    "Claydol, you know what to do!"

    "Clay!" Claydol murmured in acknowledgement, disappearing into thin air as Pikachu dashed through it.

    "Pika..." Pikachu growled, stopping and looking around the arena, anxious to find its opponent.

    "Now, Claydol!"

    "Doooool!" Claydol bellowed, reappearing above Pikachu and initiating a Rapid Spin as it fell.

    "Pikachu, don't move!" Ash ordered suddenly.

    "Pika?!" Pikachu shot back incredulously as Claydol smashed into its back, pinning it to the ground in a manner similiar to Swellow.

    "Ash, what do you think you're doing?!" Max cried. "Pikachu can't stand up to that kind of attack!"

    Ash merely grinned.

    Suddenly, sparks began shooting across Claydol's bloated body. Within seconds, its limbs had frozen up completely, causing it to topple over onto the ground, freeing Pikachu from its attack before it had even really begun.

    "What is this?!" Spenser exclaimed in surprise.

    "That's Pikachu's Static ability!" Ash explained, a hint of triumph in his voice. "Way to go, buddy! Now hit him with Iron Tail!"

    "Pii-ika!" Pikachu cried, regaining its vigor and it leaped into a frontflip, slamming its glowing white tail into Claydol's chest on the way out of it.

    "Dooool!" Claydol moaned in agony as Pikachu slammed his tail into its chest, again and again.

    "Claydol, quickly! Teleport away!"

    "Claaay - !" Claydol cried in-between strikes from Pikachu, vanishing into thin air for the third time. He quickly reappeared on the other side of the field, still toppled over on his side and unable to move.

    "Pikachu, go get him! Use Volt Tackle!" Ash roared, forgetting that the Electric-type move wouldn't do anything against Claydol.

    "Pika!" Pikachu cried in agreement, clearly forgetting the type rule as well. He began charging toward his opponent, loosing a constant chant of "Pikapikapikapikapika!"

    Moments before impact, however, Claydol vanished yet again.

    "Wh-what?!" Ash cried in astonishment, looking up into the air to see a rematerialized Claydol, now free of Static's paralyzing effects. "Pikachu, above you!"

    Pikachu couldn't stop in time due to the momentum of his charge. Claydol slammed into him from above, causing the yellow aura around him to vanish and pinning him to the ground again.

    "That's good, Claydol! Now, Rapid Spin!"

    "Claaaaay - dooool!" Claydol bellowed, drilling Pikachu into the marble floor beneath him.

    "Pi-ka...chu...!" Pikachu moaned in a strained voice.

    "Pikachu! No!" Ash cried. None of Pikachu's move would allow him to get out of it, and Static wouldn't work on Claydol a second time.

    May, Max, and Brock stared on in horror as Pikachu's strength slowly ebbed away under Claydol's brutal assault. After a while, May was forced to look away, unable to bear looking at Pikachu suffering any longer.

    "Pi...ka..." Pikachu grunted in desperation, struggling to push the larger Pokemon off his back, but to no avail.

    "Now, Claydol...! Use Hyper Beam!" Spenser ordered.

    "No!" Ash exclaimed, reaching out toward Pikachu.

    "Do-ol!" Claydol boomed, halting his Rapid Spin and leaping up into the air above Pikachu. He lingered there for a moment, locking eyes with the Mouse Pokemon, who looked back up at him with pleading eyes. Then, he fired the twin beams.

    The bright orange streaks smashed into Pikachu brutally, throwing him across the field with the blast and landing him at Ash's feet, severely injured and unconcious.

    "Pikachu is unable to battle! Claydol wins again!" The referee called, raising his left arm again.

    "So, Ash, which of your remaining Pokemon is strong enough to take on my Claydol?" Spenser asked as Claydol made his way to his side.

    "Pikachu..." Ash murmured, holding back tears. "I-I'm sorry..."

    "What was that?"

    Ash summoned his courage, then looked up and glared Spenser straight in the eye. "I'm not using any more Pokemon. I'm through battling here." He paused a moment as his companions gasped. "If this is how you fight your battles, then I don't even want your Frontier Symbol."

    Without another word, Ash scooped up Pikachu in his arms and walked out of the arena.

    "A-Ash! Wait a minute!" May cried, glancing briefly across the room at Spenser before taking off after her friend, along with Brock and Max.


    Sorry about the lengthy double posting thing. I thought it was the most efficient way to upload all the chapters I've done so far.
    What do you guys think?
  3. Midnightmoon6o2

    Midnightmoon6o2 "Tougher than you."

    Hm, i see, good work so far. i like how everything is paced, not to slow or too fast. but from now you should post one chapter at a time, also try to make your chapters little longer.

    I really like the describtive words used. you could try to put a little more and describe more but its okay as for now, im impressed how well you write for your second fic, i didn't ever write this much for my second one, only after a few stories did i get the hang of things.

    Anyway great work, love the polt and descriptive words in here. Keep up the great work and welcome to serebii btw. ^-^
  4. necris14

    necris14 Protect that smile

    Thanks for the input. I know about the multiple chapters in one post thing, I was only doing that because I wasn't sure if it would be worse to do it that way, or to post four consecutive times to get them all up.

    Thanks especially for the comment on the quality, considering the 'this is my second fic' thing. I'm writing a novel series too, ever so slowly I might add, but I don't think I have any other experience with this. I've RP'ed quite a bit over the years, but that doesn't really count, I don't think.

    Anywho, next chapter: slightly fillerish, I think, and kind of short, but I felt like I needed it in here to transition from this to the next part. Enjoy!

    Chapter Five: Toward the Horizon

    "Ash!" May called out again, chasing after him alongside Brock and Max as he ran out of the Battle Palace and continued down the road, his pace quickening as he heard his friends following him. "Wait!"

    "Ash!" Brock echoed.

    "Come back!" Max cried.

    Ash continued running for a moment, then, gradually, he began to slow down, finally coming to a stop in the middle of the street. He was still holding Pikachu's unconscious body, and his head was bowed slightly.

    "...Are you okay?" Brock asked slowly, looking firmly at the back of Ash's head.

    There was no answer, other than the slightly muffled sound of the young boy's sniffling as he looked down at his companion.

    "A-Ash...?" May said slowly, tentatively stepping forward and peeking around to see the front of his face. She recoiled slightly, softening her expression, when she saw tears cascading down his cheeks.

    "It's..." He began slowly, in a small voice. "It's my fault! I'm the one who made them battle!"

    "What - ?" May began, but he was already running again, sprinting down the street and around the corner. "Ash, wait!"

    May took off running after him, and before Brock or Max could follow, they were interrupted by Spenser's voice from behind.

    "Excuse me, could I speak to you two for a moment?" He said politely, stepping out of the Battle Palace with staff in hand.

    "I - ah - " Brock stuttered, glancing between the Frontier Brain and May's shrinking form for a moment.

    "Oh, don't worry. I'll make this fast." Spenser assured him, grinning. "I just wanted to ask if your friend there planned on coming back for a rematch sometime soon?"

    "Wh - " Brock started, still partially distracted by Ash's behavior a minute ago. Max turned to face the old man as well as Brock finished, "What?!"

    "I don't mean to intrude. I just got the feeling that he was angry with the outcome of our battle just now, and I didn't want him to walk away from here with a bad impression of this facility." Spenser explained pleasantly, seemingly oblivious to his actions in the battle mere minutes ago.

    "Look, if you don't know why Ash stormed out of there just now, I don't really know what to tell you. I really don't know if we're coming back or not." Brock said hurriedly. "But if you ask me, I'd have to say no."

    "Ah." Spenser said, seemingly taken aback slightly by Brock's words. He didn't speak for a moment. "I see. That's unfortunate, but I suppose that's his decision."

    He turned away and retreated back into the Palace. Once he was out of sight, Brock turned to Max, who nodded back at him. The two turned away from the facility and took off running after their friends.

    * * *

    Ash wasn't even sure where he was going, but it didn't really matter to him, either. He simply ran, following the street wherever it took him, cradling Pikachu in his arms the whole time. He'd never felt this terrible before - due to his poor battling, two of his Pokemon ended up severely injured. He didn't know what to do at this point, so he did the only thing he could do - run.

    Eventually, though, the road came to an end. He stopped at the edge of the street, which branched off both left and right, leading down to the rest of the city. The street happened to end on a ledge, walled off with a metal fence, which gave him a decent view of the rest of the city.

    "Ash!" May called again, but Ash didn't react when he heard her voice. He simply continued staring out over the top of the railing. He felt her run up beside him on his right side. "Why'd you run off like that?"

    He turned his face away from hers. "I - I wanna be alone right now."

    "Huh...?" May breathed. Those words didn't come from Ash's mouth very often. "That battle must have shaken him up worse than I thought..."

    She continued looking at him for a few more seconds, but when he remained silent, she shifted her gaze to Pikachu, still lying faceup in his arms. "Is it okay?"

    Ash didn't respond for a long time. The two stood there in the silence, letting the brisk coastal breeze sweep past them for what seemed like an eternity.

    Then, Ash turned and looked May in the eye, allowing her to see the tears brimming up in his own eyes. "I - I don't know."

    May took another step toward him, raising her right hand and stroking Pikachu's fur a couple of times. "It...looks okay. Just tired, maybe."

    Ash felt a strange sensation wash over him as he watched her analyze Pikachu. He couldn't explain it, but he suddenly felt that it was okay to talk to May about this.

    "It's...my fault, you know." Ash said softly, causing her to look at him in confusion. "I'm the one who asked Pikachu to fight that guy. Swellow, too."

    "Ash - "

    "I just wanted to beat him." Ash continued. "But look..." He said, his voice beginning to get louder. "Look what happened!"

    "How can you say that this's your fault?" May asked incredulously.

    "I told them to battle!" Ash said in frustration. "I was the one giving them orders, but - I couldn't help them - "

    "You were just battling like you always do!" May shot back. "If this is anyone's fault, it's Spenser's! His Claydol went way overboard with those Hyper Beams - "

    "But that's what I'm saying!" Ash exclaimed, the tears beginning to flow again. "If I was a better trainer - I could've gotten them out of it - "

    "Ash, listen to me!" May cut in, grabbing him by the shoulders and spinning him around to face her. "You didn't do anything wrong! You couldn't have done anything different to help them, and I don't think Swellow and Pikachu are blaming you, either!"

    "Yeah...but..." Ash trailed off as Pikachu slowly came to in his arms.

    "Pi...ka..." Pikachu mumbled quietly.

    "Huh?" May said, looking down at it in concern.

    "Pikachu!" Ash cried, happy to see that it was all right. His face quicky fell, however, as he thought back to what happened during the battle. "I...I'm sorry, buddy. I thought that I knew how to beat it...but..."

    "Pi-ka, pi-ka-chu." Pikachu said softly, shaking his head as he looked up at his trainer.


    Ash was cut off, however, when a blinding flash of light signified Swellow's forced emergence as it appeared, perched on the railing that overlooked the other side of town. It still appeared to be exhausted, as well as significantly injured.


    "Huh? Swellow...?" Ash said slowly as May lowered her hands from his shoulders.

    "Swellow! Swell-ow!"

    "You guys..." Ash said soberly as a solemn grin appeared on May's face. "I'm so...sorry..."


    Ash continued to stand there for a moment, grateful for the support of his Pokemon. He looked up at Swellow, who looked back at him knowingly before he called it back into its Pokeball. Pikachu, also exhausted, fell asleep again not long after, leaving Ash and May standing on the ledge as the midday sun hovered low in the sky.

    * * *

    "So...what are we gonna do now?" Max asked, looking around the room at his companions. All four of them were back in their room in the Pokemon Center, where Ash had dropped off Pikachu and Swellow for recuperation.

    "I dunno..." Ash replied.

    "I guess we should head to Crysanthemum Island...for now, at least." Brock suggested. "You sure you don't want to challenge Spenser again?"

    "Yeah." Ash responded instantly. "Well, at least not for a while. I know I need his Symbol to complete the Battle Frontier...but still..."

    Brock nodded knowingly. "Well, either way, we don't really need to stay here any longer." He rose from his seat on the foot of one of the beds. "I guess we should go and get our tickets for the ferry, then. Anyone else want to come?"

    "Sure!" Max responded happily. May was momentarily confused by his sudden excitement, but as he walked out the door alongside Brock, she heard him eagerly mention the words 'Safari Zone'. She giggled as Ash rose from his seat as well.

    "I think I'm gonna go check on Pikachu and Swellow." He said, heading for the door.

    "Okay. I guess I'll come, too." She said, shrugging. "Better than sitting around here.

    They went down to the lobby, where Ash asked for the status of his Pokemon. He was told that they still had a few minutes left before they were ready.

    Ash grunted as he sat down on an empty bench hugging the wall of the building. May promptly sat took a seat next to him.

    "Hey, May..." Ash started slowly after a few moments of silence. "Listen..."

    May turned to face him questioningly as he struggled to form the words.

    "I just...wanted to say thanks. You know, for before." He said, blushing slightly for reasons unknown to him. "You really snapped me out of...well, myself."

    May smiled lightly at his words. "Sure, anytime. I just hope Pikachu and Swellow are all right."

    Ash nodded. "Yeah. Me too. I still can't believe that he would do something like that...I haven't seen anyone battle like that in a long time."

    "I know..."

    There was another short moment of silence between the two.

    "So, I bet you're gonna have fun at that beach later on." He said, attempting to start another conversation. "You know, when we head down there to catch the boat."

    "Huh? Oh, I don't know..." She replied, staring at the floor. "I don't really feel like going to the beach anymore...you know?"

    Ash most certainly did not know. He had never known May to turn down an opportunity to go to the beach. "Uh..."

    Just then, however, he noticed one of the Pokemon Center's Chansey rolling a cart out of the back room with two Pokeballs on it. "Hey...!" He said slowly, jumping up from the bench and crossing the room to retrieve his Pokemon.

    May stood up to follow after him, but stopped as she watched him release Swellow and Pikachu from their Balls. Swellow cawed happily as it emerged on the ground next to him, and Pikachu rapidly shook itself off and stretched before filling the empty position on Ash's shoulder.

    As she watched him grin and laugh as he spoke to his two companions, she felt something stir deep within her. She continued to watch him for a few seconds, unable to move or shift her gaze as she came to grips with this new feeling.

    Before she knew it, however, Ash had already returned to her side. "Hey, uh, May?"


    "Oh, nothing. Just thought you looked a little out of it for a second." He replied, recalling Swellow into its Ball. "C'mon, let's go back upstairs."

    And then he was walking away again, and the feeling was gone, leaving May slightly confused as to what exactly had just happened.

    \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \

    Comments are appreciated!
  5. necris14

    necris14 Protect that smile

    Hmm. Is this really that bad? If it is, just tell me and I can stop uploading them...

    Chapter Six: There And Back Again

    The next morning, the four of them, along with Pikachu, boarded the ferry bound for Crysanthemum Island across the bay. Ash was still slightly upset by the entire encounter at the Battle Palace, but had managed to push it out of his mind, for the most part.

    Also, true to her word, May ended up refusing the chance to visit the beach before they left the city. When asked why, she simply replied that the 'urge had passed', ignoring Max's snide comment that he never knew that she used the beach as a bathroom.

    Truthfully, though, seeing Ash get so depressed over his brutal loss to Spenser had, for some reason, temporarily replaced her love of the beach with concern for her friend: She felt bad for him, and didn't think it was right for her to go off and have fun when she knew how bad he was feeling.

    Fuchsia City had long since disappeared from the rear horizon. Brock had taken position on the tanning deck, flirting with any girl who would pay attention to him, while Max had taken to playing with Pikachu, the two chasing each other across the front deck and through the cabin halls.

    Ash, however, was leaning over the edge of the railing on the sundeck, halfheartedly watching Swellow fly around above him. Part of him was still thinking about the battle with Spenser, but the other part just wanted to forget about the whole ordeal.

    May, on the other hand, had released Squirtle and Combusken, and was watching them practice with each other across the deck from Ash. Every few minutes, she would glance over at him, trying to decide if she should go and talk to him again, fairly certain that he was still upset about what happened back in the city.

    Eventually, her decision was made for her, as Combusken threw its head back and shot a Fire Spin skyward, initially planning to have Squirtle freeze it with Ice Beam. But Swellow flew into it by mistake, haphazardly catching the bird Pokemon on fire.

    "Swelllll-ow!" Swellow screeched as it streaked through the sky, leaving a trail of smoke behind it. Many people turned and stared in shock, and Combusken and Squirtle's eyes widened in horror.

    "Huh?" Ash muttered, turning when he heard Swellow's cry. When he saw it blazing across the sky, arcing toward the sea, he snapped to attention immediately. "Swellow - ?!"

    "Ash! I'm so sorry!" May said quickly as she rose from her seat, Ash running up beside her, his eyes locked on Swellow.

    "Combusken!" Combusken added in apology, all of them running over to the opposite railing as Swellow plummeted into the water.

    "Swellow!!" Ash cried, putting one leg up on the railing, preparing to jump over it.

    "Ash! No!" May urged, grabbing his shoulders in an attempt to hold him back.

    "L-let go of me!" Ash shot back, struggling against her as a splashing sound echoed across the air. Steam began to rise from the splash a moment later. "SWELLOW!"

    "Squirtle!" Squirtle said bravely, attempting to scurry up the railing itself. However, its small size proved this to be a fruitless endeavor. "Squirtle, squirtle!"

    "Combusken..." Combusken chirped softly, staring at the steam rising from the water.

    "Ash, stop!" May said desperately, still attempting to prevent him from jumping over into the water.

    "May! Let me go!" Ash responded urgently. "Swellow's down there! I have to - "

    Suddenly, a green Pokeball with black webbing embedded over it soared past Ash and May's heads, cracking open a second later and plunging a glowing white streak into the water before flying back to its owner.

    "Craaaaw!" The Pokemon roared, emerging from the surface of the water: a large crustacean, with a golden star atop its elongated head, which also bore two blue stripes across it.

    "Dive, Crawdaunt!" A male's voice rang out from behind them. "Find that Swellow!"

    Ash slowly let himself down from the railing as the Crawdaunt quickly obliged, allowing May to loosen her grip on him as well. They both watched the surface of the water, along with Combusken and Squirtle.

    Then, the Crawdaunt emerged from the water just as quickly as it had dove, clutching an unconcious Swellow in its claws.

    "Swellow!" Ash cried happily, hastily grabbing its Pokeball and recalling it. "Rest up in there for a while...okay?"

    "Good job, Crawdaunt! Return!" The voice echoed again, causing Ash and May to turn as the Crawdaunt was recalled into its Nest Ball.

    They were met with the sight of a young man, a little older than Ash, by the look of him. He wore a plain, dark brown T-shirt with a sleeveless black vest over it, and black sweatpants to match, three Pokeballs clipped on to each leg, and messy brown hair that completed the look. He replaced the Nest Ball on his pants and looked to Ash. "Hey, your Swellow alright?"

    Ash nodded. "Yeah, I think so...thanks to you. Thanks a lot for helping us out."

    "No problem." He shrugged, holding out a hand. "Name's Trey."

    "I'm Ash." Ash replied, shaking the boy's hand.

    "My name's May."

    "Hey, Trey!" Max's voice rang across the deck as he emerged from the ship's interior, with Pikachu in tow. "Why'd you run off like that - "

    "Max?" May said inquistitively. "You know this guy?"

    "Huh? Oh, hey, sis." Max replied, looking up at her. "I just met him onboard the ship. Get this - he a specialized Dark trainer!"

    "Really?" Ash said, looking him over. "I never really got how you can train just one type of Pokemon."

    "Well, there's a lot of variety within the types." Trey reasoned, as Pikachu ran over and climbed onto Ash's shoulder. "Oh, so that's your Pikachu?"

    "Yeah." Ash replied, nodding.

    "At first I thought it belonged to him." Trey explained, jerking his head in Max's direction. "Then he told me he isn't even a trainer yet...then I heard your Swellow screaming, and I figured I should find out what's up."

    "Combus-ken..." Combusken mumbled, still upset at itself for what it had done.

    "Yeah, you really helped us out back there." Ash said gratefully. He thought for a moment before continuing. "So, you're a trainer, too? Why're you heading to Crystanthem Island?"

    Trey shook his head. "I'm not. This ferry's bound for Cinnibar Island as well, and Pallet Town after that. I'm heading for the Battle Tower near Tohjo Falls, so I figured hiking from Pallet'd be the quickest way."

    Ash recognized the Battle Facility's name. "Battle Tower? So, you're doing the Battle Frontier, too?"

    "Yep. Spenser, the head of the Battle Palace, he's a friend of mine. He hooked me up with Scott and let me run it as a favor." He stared at Ash for a second. "You're running it, too?"

    Ash frowned, a dark glint in his eye. "Yeah, but I think you should talk to your 'friend'. I challenged him yesterday, and he was way too tough on my Pokemon."

    Trey frowned, furrowing his brow as he recalled his recent battle. "That can't be right. I actually got his symbol the other day, but after that he said he was closing down the Palace for a little while for a vacation..."

    Ash's gaze darkened. "That's not what we saw. Are you sure Spenser's not there?"

    "Of course he's sure." A frail, old voice drifted around the corner, as a familiar bald man stepped out, staff in hand. "I'm right here, aren't I?"

    Ash, May, Max, and even Pikachu gasped audibly and did a double-take.

    "What the - ?!"


    "Pika pika!"

    "Yes, yes, it's me." Spenser replied jovially. "Now then, come and tell me what is happening back at my facility."

    * * *

    By the time they had finished explaining Ash's battle to him, Brock had returned from the tanning deck, and had quickly been brought up to speed by his companions. Trey remained there as well, listening intently to the entire story.

    Spenser's normally cheery face had darkened considerably. "I see...it would seem that someone has taken it upon themselves to take advantage of me being away."

    Trey crossed his arms and looked to his friend. "Sure sounds like something's going on back there."

    Spenser looked to Ash. "I humbly apologize for the way you were treated. This is not right. The Battle Frontier is supposed to be for elite trainers only. I will be on the first boat back to Fuchsia City once we make port, and I will deal with this...situation."

    "No, it's fine, it isn't your fault." Ash assured him. "But, would you mind if we came back with you, too? I've kind of got a score to settle with him, myself..."

    "Of course." Spenser obliged at once. "Trey? Will you be accompanying us as well?"

    Trey shrugged. "Sure, why not? And, who knows, having me around might actually come in handy."

    May giggled as she recalled her Pokemon before they all made their way over to the edge of the deck. Leaning over the railing, Ash could see Crysanthemum Island already coming into view.

    * * *

    "Man, is this what it's like being a Frontier Brain?" 'Spenser' moaned, stretching out on the bed in his personal quarters while his six Pokemon grouped up around him on the floor.


    "Aaah, be quiet." He shot back. "I know I signed up for this and everthing. Just didn't expect it to be so tough."


    "Yeah, that's true. Even if we did only get one trainer today...boy, was she a trainer. And her Pokemon were something else, too."

    He grunted softly to himself as he put a hand to his forehead, feeling the familiar tingle that told him his false identity was still intact.

    "I've gotta say, it was pretty smart of us to transform you into a Staryu, then use Camouflage when I bumped into Spenser as he was leaving town a few days ago." Nate bragged, laying his duplicate staff down on the bed. "I wonder if we could've copied the stick, too..."


    "Ah, doesn't matter now, anyway." Nate replied, shrugging as he rose from the bed. "Sure wish there was some way to get out of this disguise, it still feels pretty weird."

    He knew, of course, that Camouflage was never meant to be used on a human in the first place, but it didn't much matter to him, either. Nate, along with his six Ditto, had successfully taken over the Battle Palace, and personally, he couldn't wait until Spenser came back and saw what he had done with the place.

    \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \

    I know the chapters are kind of short, at least compared to some other fics I've seen on here. But, eh...not sure if anyone is interested enough here for me to keep uploading these.
  6. Chaos_Umbreon

    Chaos_Umbreon Advanceshipper!

    Do keep posting this isn't bad by many means, it is actually very good for a second fic. A decent level of discription, could do with a little more but is definately light years better than some fics I've read on fanfiction.net.

    I will say that the time line for the fic is very confusing, as Ash's Grovyle had evolved before he battled Spencer (the Frontier Brain of the Battle Palace). I'm guessing it is AU from a few episodes before the Battle Palace, and that this battle palace is a fake, unless this is AU as well, as it was not situated in Fuchsia City. Nothing wrong with this, it just needs explaining.

    The best thing is that you have kept the characters true to who they are, there are so many fics which just take a charcter's name and appearance and put them in an unlikely senario, so I give you credit as a writer that you managed to keep the characters' personalities.

    I'm sorry I hadn't reviewed earlier, it's just that I've had amasive project at University that had taken up my time.

    Good luck with continuing this story.

    See Ya!

    Chaos Out!
  7. Midnightmoon6o2

    Midnightmoon6o2 "Tougher than you."

    Very nice. i love how you have kept the chararthers the way they are, not too OOC. Your fic isn't bad it just thelack of reviewers. there are still people how read but forget view.

    Anyway very nice job, keep it up and im looking forward for the next chapter. =D
  8. necris14

    necris14 Protect that smile

    Oh, I just randomly checked this thread today after pretty much abandoning it to the wind. Glad I did! I've started uploading onto FF since I last posted here, but if you want I can try to post all the current chapters onto here throughout the week.

    Yeah, I realized after I started it that I got quite a few of the details wrong, continuity-wise. I never really watched that much of BF, just heard about it and got info from the episode guides and stuff on here, so, yeah. (In one later chapter I reference something that didn't happen until AG160, even though this was supposed to pick up before that) Nobody seemed to mind too much on Neoseeker, after I explained it. I guess the best way to explain it is to simply take something as AU if it doesn't fit in with continuity, but I do try my best to keep it all the same.

    Anyways, yeah, I can either post the ff.net link, or simply continue updating on here, whichever you guys prefer.
  9. necris14

    necris14 Protect that smile

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