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Thread: Kokoro No Dorobou (AaML; PG; Edited)

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    Default Kokoro No Dorobou (AaML; PG; Edited)

    Chapter 1
    Missing
    If this fic looks familiar, that’s because it’s a repost. I finished not too long ago, but I never requested it to be put in the finished fics section, and it disappeared. But at least it’s given me a chance to go through and change all my grammar errors and stuff. If it’s your first time reading, I hope you enjoy this very much, and I would thank anyone who is reading for the second time.

    “In recent news, there has been another abduction in a recent string of kidnappings.” Said a blue haired woman with heavy make up.
    “We now go to Christi Griffeth for more. Christi?”
    “I’m on the scene in Celadon where twelve-year-old Yuki Takahashi was last seen on her way to Celadon Department Store. She is the fiftieth young girl to go missing in this case, but police are still baffled as to the perpetrators. The victims share almost no similarities except that they are all females, but each crime is marked by a confusing lack of evidence and a single white chrysanthemum left at the scene. The crimes have taken place all over Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn, plus the Orange and Sevii Islands, so everyone is advised to be on their guard.”
    Ash Ketchum sighed at the brunette woman on TV and the picture of the little girl floating beside her head. Normally, he would have been more concerned about this strange occurrence, but today was special.
    “Come on!” He said impatiently, tugging at his blue hooded jacket.
    Now the anchorwoman replaced the reporter.
    “Thank-you Christi.” She said. “On a lighter note, fourteen-year-old Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town won against Isabelle Parker from Cherry Grove City in the semifinals of the Hoenn League today.”
    “Yes! Finally!” Ash cheered. Pikachu, his yellow mouse Pokemon, jumped in surprise at Ash’s exclamation, almost thundershocking everyone in the room.
    “Calm down, Ash.” His older friend, Brock laughed. “It’s not like you’ve never been on TV before.”
    “Yeah, I know, I just always get so excited.”
    “You have a right to be!” Said another of his friends, May, as brushed her brown hair out of her face. “You worked really hard to get here.”
    “Yeah!” Her brother, Max agreed. “I wish I could be in the Hoenn League . . .”
    “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll make it someday.” Ash encouraged.
    Max knew that Ash was probably just saying that because he had to, but it cheered him up anyway. He took off his glasses and polished them on his green shirt so he could see Ash’s Sceptile finish the opponent Altaria with a take-down for the second time that day.
    “Hi mom! Hi Misty! I told you I’d make it!” Ash yelled from the inside the TV. He took off his red and white hat and waved it around in celebration. He then replaced it on his black hair and gave a peace sign, saying “I’m going all the way this time!”
    Then his image disappeared and the anchorwoman was back on.
    “The finals of the Hoenn League are being held tomorrow at three P.M. Tickets are still available online at–”
    But someone turned the TV off before she could finish.
    “Enough TV. Time for bed!” Nurse Joy said.
    “Aw, come on.” Ash protested. “It’s not that late.”
    “You need your rest; you have a big day tomorrow.” Insisted Nurse Joy.
    “But I’m not sleepy. I’m too excited to sleep!”
    Nurse Joy said nothing, but crossed her arms and glared at Ash.
    “Fine . . .”
    Ash finally gave in and pushed himself off the green couch of the Pokemon Center lobby followed by Brock, May, and Max. Nurse Joy led them down the white hallway to their room, the loops in her pink hair bobbing up and down as she walked.
    “You’d think she was my mom.” Ash said when the door was closed.
    “But she’s right Ash.” Brock said. “You don’t wanna make a mistake tomorrow because you’re tired.”
    “Yeah, yeah.”
    Ash lied down on one of the bunks, but just as he had predicted, he couldn’t sleep. He kept wondering what the next day would hold. Which Pokemon would his opponent use? What would his strategy be? Ash had seen him battle others before, and his team was a force to be reckoned with. Especially that Salamence. It was times like these that he really wished she were here. The blue-eyed girl with a temper as fiery as her hair. Misty. Whenever he was down, she was always glad to yell at him or tease him. Funny how that always made him feel better. Maybe it was because he knew that despite all her teasing, she always believed in his dream. Ash had never even realized it until she was gone. A few years ago, he would never have believed that he would actually be missing her when she left, but now he thought about Misty more than he liked to admit. Finally, Ash fell asleep, thinking about her once again.
    ______________________________________________

    Ash woke up feeling refreshed despite his insomnia the night before. Right now, he was too excited to be sleepy. In just a few short hours, he was going to be in the biggest match of his life. Already he could feel the Beautiflies in his stomach! His nerves made him feel like running a mile. Ash did not know how he would contain all his energy until the match. As he put on his jacket and hat, the others began stirring. May woke up first with a big yawn, followed by Brock and Max.
    “You’re up early.” May said as she tied her red bandana over her hair.
    “Yeah,” Brock added, “usually we have to drag you out of bed.”
    “Not today!” Ash laughed, punching the air, “I’m totally ready . . .”
    “Wow Ash, I’ve never seen you this determined!” Max exclaimed.
    “ . . . for breakfast!”
    Everyone face-faulted as Ash finished his statement.
    “What?” He asked naively.
    But Ash got what he wanted. He filled his plate high with pancakes, bacon, and eggs before sliding into one of the red Pokemon Center restaurant booths.
    “How can you eat all that?” May asked in disbelief. “Aren’t you nervous?”
    “Yeah, but I need plenty of energy for my match!”
    “But don’t you think you’re overdoing it a little?”
    “No.” Ash replied, his mouth-full.
    May just rolled her eyes. Ash was such a . . . boy.
    “Whatever. There’s a big sale today in the town shopping center because of the League. You coming with me, Brock?”
    Brock glanced at Nurse Joy, who was waiting on a table across the room.
    “I’d love to go . . . but I think I should stay here and help Ash with his preparations for the match.”
    “Yeah right,” Max interjected, “you just wanna look at all the pretty girls who’re attending the tournament.”
    “Hey, I resent that statement! I do think about things other than girls, you know.”
    “May I take your plates for you?” Nurse Joy said from behind Brock.
    He grabbed her hand and put on his most romantic act, completely forgetting his previous statement.
    “Oh, Nurse Joy, of course you can take my plate, and while you’re at it, you can take my heart as well!” He said, running his fingers through his spiky brown hair. “My name’s Brock, and I– ow!”
    “Point proven!” Max stated bluntly while grabbing Brock’s ear.
    Nurse Joy just blushed and cleared the table as quickly as she possibly could, desperate to get out of the embarrassing situation.
    “So, does anyone need anything when before I go?” May asked.
    “We’re almost out of film.” Brock replied.
    “And you might wanna get some potions and antidotes for after the match, just in case.” Max added.
    “Got it. I’ll see you guys around two!” May said as she stood up, and then she left.
    ______________________________________________

    May hummed a tune to herself as she walked down the cobblestone street. It was turning out to be a great day of shopping. She already carried shopping bags with her new sun-dress, shoes, and a bright pink yukata inside, but she wasn’t through yet! She was already late, but May had completely lost all sense of time in her excitement. She pushed her way through the doors of an already overcrowded store and joined thirty other girls in fighting over clothing and souvenirs. Unfortunately for May, a rather large woman had spotted the Marill doll she was clutching, and was determined to make it hers. May did not even sense her presence until she noticed a shadow looming from behind, but when she did see the woman, she forfeited her doll immediately for fear of her life. She headed back onto the street defeated, but glad to still be in one piece. That was when she noticed a stand situated between two trees. “Pokemon League Memorabilia– Cheap!” the sign on the top read. The only people inside were a red-haired woman and a blue haired man dressed in foreign clothes. Everyone else was inside, looking only for name-brand goods. May, however, was not one to pass up a bargain.
    “How much is this?” She asked, holding up a porcelain Wynaut figurine to the woman.
    “Oh, that is very good deal!” The woman exclaimed. “You have good eye for value! This piece is hand-crafted by best glassblower in Hoenn! Usually very expensive, but I give you good price!”
    “Yeah, so how much is it?”
    “I think . . . fifty dollars is good price.”
    “Fifty dollars?! I’m not paying you fifty dollars for this!”
    Suddenly, the woman looked as if she were about to explode.
    “Now Je– I mean Hilda, remember, customer is always right!”
    “How dare you insult our fine collectibles like that?!” “Hilda” screamed, suddenly losing her accent. “I’ll have you know that I could sell that for three times that price!”
    “Yeah, well I’m not– wait a minute. Don’t I know you from somewhere?” May asked suspiciously.
    “N-no, how would you be knowing us?” The man stuttered. “We is just simple folk from Old Country!”
    “Hey, wait a minute, you’re Team Rocket!” May exclaimed as she pointed at the two.
    “Good guess, kid.” The woman, now known to be Jesse, said.
    Both Jesse and the man, James, threw off their odd clothes and revealed their gray Team Rocket uniforms with the bright red Rs.
    “Prepare for trouble!” Jesse began
    “And make it double!” James continued.
    “To protect the world from devastation!”
    “To unite all peoples within our nation!”
    “To denounce the evils of truth and love!”
    “To extend our reach to the stars above!”
    “Jesse!”
    “James!”
    “Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light!”
    “Surrender now or prepare to fight!”
    “Meowth, that’s right!” Said a Meowth who had appeared suddenly from behind the booth.
    “What are you doing here?!” May yelled.
    “Just tryin’ to make an honest buck. Is that so wrong?” Said the Meowth.
    “No, but I doubt there’s anything honest about what’s going on here!”
    “Well, we might have tried to steal a Pokemon or two while we were at it,” the man, James said thoughtfully, “but we were unsuccessful, so there!”
    May sweat-dropped. It was true, these guys could not steal a Pokemon if it were gift-wrapped and left on their front door step. Pathetic, really.
    “Well, Ash and Pikachu aren’t with me, so you can forget it!”
    “Oh, we ain’t after Pikachu today.” Meowth said, a plan forming in its head.
    James was slightly confused by the sly tone of its voice.
    “What are you talking about, Meowth? We’re not after anything today.”
    “Maybe not, but we can’t let an opportunity like this pass us by.”
    James still didn’t get it.
    “Opportunity like what?”
    “Don’t you get it, James?” Jesse asked, getting irritated with James’ slowness. “This is the perfect chance to add another piece to the boss’s little ‘collection’.”
    “Oh, I get it! We kidnap the girl and take her back to the boss!”
    “Bingo, Jimmy-Boy!” Meowth said as it winked at James.
    May could hardly believe it. She’d always known that Team Rocket stole Pokemon, but not people.
    “So you’re the ones who’ve been kidnapping all those girls!” She yelled.
    “Well, not us poisonally, but–” Meowth said, but May cut in.
    “What does Team Rocket want with all those girls?!”.
    “Because . . .” James thought out loud. “Hey, why does the boss want with those girls?” The question had never even occurred to him.
    “Don’t tell me you don’t even know!”
    “The boss is a very private person!” Jesse said in defense. “He can’t just go around telling everyone his plans!”
    “But once we shows him this girl, I’ll be top cat again!” Said Meowth dreamily.
    “And we’ll get promotions!” Jesse and James squealed in unison.
    Team Rocket was obviously off in their own a little world, and May saw her chance and started to creep away.
    “Hey, she’s gettin’ away!” Meowth called.
    “Come back here, Twerp!” Yelled Jesse. “Dustox, go!”
    Her green eyes flashed as she threw her Pokeball, which released a purple moth Pokemon with green wings in a flash of light.
    “Dustox, string attack!”
    Dustox obeyed its master and shot a string of sticky wed that wrapped around May like a rope, stopping her in her tracks.
    “Hey, let me go!” She screamed.
    “No way, kid.” Said Meowth smugly.
    Just then a voice came out of seemingly nowhere.
    “Roselia, go!” It called.
    Everyone turned to find the source of the voice, a teenager with unruly green hair. He wore a black T-shirt with a purple vest and a defiant look on his face. He threw a Pokeball and a green, flowery Pokemon appeared.
    “It’s that kid from Jessie’s contests!” Meowth exclaimed.
    “The name’s Drew, and don’t forget it!” Yelled Drew. “Let May go!”
    “Not without a fight!” Jesse answered. “Dustox, stun spore!”
    Dustox fluttered its wings and sent a cloud of yellow dust flying toward Roselia.
    “Roselia, dodge it!” Drew ordered.
    Roselia jumped into the air, just missing getting hit by the attack.
    “Now, razor leaf!”
    Roselia, still airborne, called out its name as it released a flurry of sharp leaves. The leaves hit their mark, knocking Dustox to the ground.
    “Get up, Dustox!” Jesse called.
    Dustox tried to rise, but it fell back to the earth.
    “Another razor leaf, Roselia!” Commanded Drew. “Cut May free!”
    Roselia sent another round of leaves flying, at May this time. She flinched, but they cut only the web binding her. Then she got up and called out her own Pokemon.
    “Go, Combusken! Flame thrower attack!”
    Her yellow and red bird Pokemon shot a beam of fire from its mouth, igniting Team Rocket.
    “Hot, hot, hot!” They screamed, running around in circles.
    May and Drew nodded at each other in agreement.
    “Combusken!”
    “Roselia!”
    “Tackle!” They cried together.
    Team Rocket was sent flying. One more attack would do it.
    “Combusken, flamethrower again!”
    The flames shot them higher and higher into the air until they disappeared into the sky with a call of “We’re blasting off again!”
    With that, May and Drew returned their Pokemon and thanked them for a job well done.
    “Thanks for helping me, Drew.” May said politely.
    “Yeah, whatever.”
    “So what are you doing at the Pokemon League, anyway?”
    “I have friends competing. Why are you here?”
    “I’m with Ash, of course. Duh!”
    “No, I mean what are you doing here? And especially by yourself! Haven’t you heard about those kidnappings that have been going around?!”
    “I can take care of myself!” May replied indignantly.
    “Like you did just now?”
    “That was– why are you worried about me anyway? I thought you didn’t even like me!”
    “Well . . . uh . . .” Drew stuttered, trying to come up with a good response, “you’re the only competition I’ve got. Without you, Contests would be way too easy!”
    “Gee, thanks for caring.” May remarked sarcastically.
    “Where are you staying?” Drew asked. “I’ll walk you there so you don’t get into any more trouble.”
    So May allowed Drew to take her back to the Pokemon Center. She was secretly glad that he had worried about her. He was arrogant and self-centered, but she had to admit that she liked him in spite of herself. At least a little.
    ______________________________________________

    Meanwhile, at the Pokemon League Stadium, Ash was beginning to regret having eaten such a big breakfast. It was already two o’clock, just one hour before the match was scheduled to begin, and he was getting more nervous every minute. This was the biggest battle of his life. What if he blew it? And in front of all those people? But it was sort of a good feeling, nonetheless. Ash thrived on the thrill of competition. It was almost addictive. And even if he did lose, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Sure, it would be disappointing, but all his friends would be there for him. Brock was with him right then, trying hard not to follow every pretty girl that walked by, and May would be there eventually. At least, he hoped she would get there on time. Max was sitting on the floor, busy brushing a contented Pikachu’s fur, getting it ready for the battle. And Ash’s Mom, Professor Oak, and Tracey had called from their hotel the night before. They were probably already in the stands.
    “I just wish Misty were here . . .” Ash mumbled.
    Brock overheard his comment and smirked. Could he be any more obvious?
    “There are still forty-five minutes until the match, why don’t you call her, Ash?” Brock suggested.
    “Good idea, Brock!” Ash said as he headed off to the video-phones.
    He took a seat at one of the booths, picked up the phone, and dialed Misty’s number. The phone rang a couple of times before it was answered and Misty’s sister, Daisy, appeared on the video screen.
    “Oh, like hi, Ash!” The pretty blonde girl said.
    “Hi, Daisy.”
    “Oh, Daisy, my delicate flower!” Brock said. He had a way of popping up out of nowhere whenever girls were involved. “I have awaited this moment ever since I last saw you!”
    “Yeah . . . so, Ash, aren’t the finals like, really soon? We’re all rooting for you!” Daisy said, quickly changing the subject.
    “Thanks! Actually, that’s sorta why I was calling. Is Misty there?”
    “Like, good one, Ash!” Laughed Daisy. “Really, what’s up?”
    “Huh? What do you mean?”
    Daisy stopped laughing when she saw Ash’s baffled expression.
    “Like, isn’t Misty with you?”
    “No. Why would she be?”
    “She left two weeks ago to go see you. She like, wanted to surprise you.”
    “Don’t worry, I’m sure she’s fine. She probably just got held up somewhere.”
    Ash was not sure of this at all. In fact, he was very worried about Misty, but he could not let Daisy see that. She was already concerned, and it would not help to upset her any further.
    “Like, I hope you’re right, Ash.”
    “I’m sure I am. She’ll be ok, Daisy.”
    “Thanks, Ash. Like, I have to go.”
    Daisy hung up without even a good-bye, but now Ash was free to express his worry.
    “Where do you think she could be, Brock?” He questioned. “She should be here by now, I know Misty wouldn’t be this late! And what about those girls that have been getting kidnapped? What if something happened to her? We have to find her!”
    “Calm down, Ash. Panicking won’t help.”
    “I know.” Ash said. He did his best to cool down. “What do we do?”
    “The first thing we need to do is find out where she was last seen.”
    “But how do we do that?”
    It took Brock a minute to think of something, but finally he developed a plan.
    “Why don’t we call all the Pokemon Centers Misty would have stopped at on the way here and see if anyone’s seen her.”
    It wasn’t the best plan, but it was all they had at the moment. So they called Pokemon Center after Pokemon Center, and spoke to countless Nurse Joys. No one had seen Misty. Not until they got to the Rustborough Center in Johto. The Nurse Joy there recognized Misty’s photo immediately. Misty had spent the night there just five days ago, she said. They finally had a lead. The next step was to go to Rustborough City and find Misty.
    “Ash Ketchum, please report to the arena. The final match will begin in five minutes.” The intercom boomed.
    “Ash, I’ll go and look for Misty while you’re having your battle. You can meet up with me later.” Brock offered.
    It was kind of Brock, but there was no way Ash was going to just stand by idly and wait for something to happen while Misty was in trouble.
    “No, I’ll go.” He said. “You stay here and wait for May to get back, and tell everyone else what’s going on.”
    “Are you sure about this, Ash?”
    “Positive. Misty’s much more important.”
    And with that, Ash walked out on the match of a lifetime. But what would winning a silly tournament matter if something happened to Misty? No, this was what he needed to do, what he wanted to do. He had no regrets.
    Last edited by Hakajin; 5th June 2006 at 5:12 AM.
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  2. #2
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    0_o...Where is Misty gone to? Don't tell me Team Rocket kidnapped her! =O
    Anyway, is there Contestshipping in it? xD Because...Drew in inside it...0_o
    Can't wait for the next chapter! =D
    STRAWBERRIES : DD
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  3. #3
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    May_Beautifly: Well . . . I can't tell you that     Spoiler:
    ! But sadly, no. Just in this chapter. He wouldn't really have much of a purpose in the rest of the story. Anyway, thanks! I think I'll post the next chapter next week.
    Last edited by Hakajin; 2nd June 2006 at 6:02 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Chapter 2
    Searching
    May raced toward the Stadium. She couldn’t believe she was late! And to Ash’s most important match ever! How could she have let him down like that?
    “Hold up!” Drew cried breathlessly. “You’re already late, what’s a few more minutes gonna matter?”
    “You don’t have to follow me, you know.” May replied, not slowing down a bit. Finally they were there. May bid farewell to Drew and rushed through the door, spotting Brock right away.
    “I’m so sorry I’m late! I had some trouble with Team Rocket, and . . . hey, what’s going on?”
    May had expected to find the lobby empty, but there were several groups of people milling about. And why were Brock and Max still there?
    “Ash forfeited his match.” Max replied stoically.
    “What?! What are you talking about?! Why?!”
    “There’s been an emergency. You remember Misty?”
    “Of course. What happened? I hope she’s ok.”
    “We’re not sure. She’s gone missing.”
    “And Ash went looking for her?”
    “I tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t stay.”
    May was not surprised. She knew that Ash could not sit still when someone he loved was in danger. She only wished that there were some way she could help.
    “Wait a minute!” A thought suddenly came to May. “Team Rocket tried to kidnap me earlier! They’re the ones that have been taking all those girls! Do you think they could be behind this?”
    “It’s definitely possible!” Brock said. “I’ve already told Mrs. Ketchum, Professor Oak, and Tracey what’s going on. They’re going to Cerulean to help Misty’s sisters. Come on, we should get going if we wanna catch up to Ash.”
    ______________________________________________

    Ash watched the shadows outside the windows fly by as the magnet train sped toward Goldenrod City. It felt too early to be night, but it was already nine P.M. Just seven hours ago, he had found out that Misty was missing. He kept trying to tell himself that it was nothing. She had gotten held up somewhere. Something like that. But he knew that it was not true. He knew that Misty would have found some way to get there if she could have. In fact, she would probably yell at him for missing his match over this. That was Misty for you. Sometimes she had strange ways of showing that she cared. But Ash had gotten used to it, and he had even grown to like that about her. He knew that she did care, no matter how hard she tried to hide it. Ash could remember the very moment he understood that. It was at Pokemon Tower, in Lavender Town. He had been trying to catch a Haunter, but Haunter ended up being the one that caught him when it separated his soul from his body. He had found Misty and Brock outside, and was surprised to find out that Misty was actually worried about him.
    “So, Misty, you finally decided to care about me.” He had said.
    The remark was sarcastic, but when he watched her cry over his lifeless body, Ash knew that he would never feel the same about Misty again. He had always known that she was his friend, but he thought that he was an annoyance to her. At least, that was what she wanted him to think. But after that moment, she could not fool him anymore. From then on, Ash knew that Misty cared about him, and she proved it over and over again. That was why he had to find her.
    “Don’t you worry, Misty,” Ash whispered as the train pulled up to the station, “I promise I’ll find you.”
    ______________________________________________

    Ash wandered lost around for an hour before he found the Goldenrod police station. It was an easy thing to do in the sprawling metropolis. Rows of skyscrapers pointed up, each one identical to the one before it. The police station was also a nondescript building, gray with a blue tiled roof and glass doors. Tired as he was, Ash ran through the doors, relieved to find a possible solution to this mess.
    The Officer Jenny at the counter looked up when she heard the boy run in.
    “Not another one!” She thought with a sigh.
    She had been standing at the same counter all day, making calls, filing reports, and doing background checks. Things were very busy with all the kidnappings that had been occurring.
    But Officer Jenny did her best to disguise her fatigue, straitening her blue cap that matched her hair and police uniform.
    “May I help you?” She said nicely.
    “I’m looking for my friend, I think she’s been kidnapped!” The boy exclaimed.
    “All right, have a seat in the waiting room, and we’ll get to you as soon as possible.”
    “I can’t wait, I have to find her as fast as I can!”
    Officer Jenny was starting to get annoyed with this bratty little kid.
    “Well, I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to! I’ve got a ton of people who got here before you, so you’ll just have to get in line!” She snapped.
    Ash suddenly noticed that there were a lot of people sitting in the waiting room. Parents, siblings, friends– all looking very distracted and worried.
    “Are all these people here because of the kidnappings?” Ash asked.
    “Yes,” Officer Jenny said, calming down a little, “we’ve been flooded with missing person reports lately, and it doesn’t show any sign of letting up any time soon. I’m sorry to have yelled at you like that, but you will have to wait your turn.”

    Ash nodded sat among the others in the waiting room, dazed at the sheer number of people who were there. He had known before that there were a lot of girls missing, but it was just a number. Now that he could see it with his own eyes, it seemed a lot more real. He tried not to worry, but it seemed that the police were not getting anywhere. Would they really be able to help him find Misty? Ash pushed the thought out of his head by picking up a waiting room copy of Pokemon Friendand flipping aimlessly through the pages while Pikachu slept on his lap.
    This is where Brock, May, and Max found them an hour later.
    “Hey Ash, what’s going on? Did you find anything yet?” May said, announcing their presence.
    Ash did not answer but instead asked “What are you guys doing here?”
    Brock smiled. “Hey, Misty’s our friend too. Did you really think we would let you search for her by yourself?”
    “Thanks guys.” Ash said.
    “So, what’s going on?” May asked again. “Are you getting anywhere?”
    Ash frowned. “No, I haven’t even gotten to file a report or whatever it is that you have to do. There were a lot of people here before me, so I’ve just been waiting.”
    “Hey, May, tell Ash what happened!” Max piped up.
    “Oh yeah, Team Rocket tried to kidnap me!”
    “What?!” Ash exclaimed. “Are you sure they weren’t just after your Pokemon?”
    “Uh-uh. It was definitely me they wanted. I found out that their boss has been kidnapping girls, and we think they’re behind all this!”
    “Come on,” Ash said, “we have to tell Officer Jenny!”

    But Officer Jenny did not want to hear it.
    “I thought I told you to wait your turn!” She yelled at Ash.
    “I know, but this is important!” Ash responded.
    “Oh, down the hall and to your left.”
    “Huh? No, not that, we think we know who’s been kidnapping all these people!”
    “Do you?” Officer Jenny asked sarcastically. She had already heard a thousand different theories on the identity of the perpetrator, and she did not believe that some kid would get it before all the police and detectives working on the case.
    But Ash did not catch her sarcasm. “It’s Team Rocket!” He exclaimed proudly.
    “Look kid, that’s a fascinating lead, but you still have to wait just like everybody else!”
    “Oh, Officer Jenny!” Brock cut in, “I would wait forever for a beautiful girl like you!”
    Everyone face-faulted except Officer Jenny. She had had it.
    “That’s it, out, all of you!” She exploded.
    “But–” Ash started.
    “I’m a very busy woman, and I don’t have time for your little games! Get out now, and don’t come back until you can control yourselves!”
    “Good going, Brock.” Ash said once they were outside.
    “I’m sorry! I just can’t control myself when there’s a pretty lady around!” Brock lamented.
    “We believe you!” Everyone else agreed.
    “So,” Max said, “what do we do now?”
    But everyone knew that if Max did not have any ideas, it was sure that no one else would have any either.
    ______________________________________________

    Misty sighed. She was bored out of her mind. There was nothing to do in this place– no TV, no books, not even any board games. Even the decor was boring– starch white walls, wood flooring, and a set of bunk beds with white sheets and blankets.
    Misty could not believe she had let herself get caught by Team Rocket, Batch and Cassidy no less! But she could not keep away from a sale, so when she saw the small shop, she had gone in immediately. How could she have known that the dressing room was really a cage? And she had not even gotten to try on the outfit she had picked out! Misty was still in her yellow traveling outfit with the maroon shirt underneath. How boring! But something did not make sense. They had already taken her Pokemon, so why were they keeping her here? Misty had tried as hard as she could, but she could not get the door to the little room open. The lock must have been pretty heavy duty. But why would they want to keep her here so badly?

    Suddenly, the door opened. Misty was a little apprehensive as to what was behind it, but at least something was happening. Someone clothed in black pushed a little girl with pretty auburn hair inside. She was wearing a yellow shirt with a purple bow on it, and she was crying.
    “Hey, what’s your name?” Misty asked the girl after the Team Rocket member had left.
    “Vivi.” She sniffed.
    “That’s a pretty name. My name’s Misty. Why are you crying?”
    “I want my mommy!” Vivi yelled, breaking into tears again.
    “Aw, don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll see her soon.” Misty tried to console, though she was not at all sure that it was true.
    But Vivi was not listening. “I’m scared!” She wailed. “These bad people brought me here, and I wanna go home!”
    “Oh, don’t worry about Team Rocket. They’re just a nuisance. They used to bother my friends and me all the time, but we always beat them.”
    “But they kidnapped you too, didn’t they?” Vivi pointed out.
    Misty face-faulted. “I guess . . . you’re right.” She said in embarrassment. “But we’ll be out of here soon.”
    “I hope so.” Vivi said, quieting down a little.
    ______________________________________________

    Ash and the others sat on a bench outside the police station thinking quietly. They had been there for several minutes already, but no one had any idea what they should do next.
    “How could you lose the Twoips?” Said a nearby voice.
    “Yeah, James, the boss is gonna kill us when he finds out!” Said another voice.
    “Well they must be around here somewhere! I know I heard the older twerp say that they were coming to Goldenrod City!” Another voice said.
    “I can’t think with all this noise!” Ash complained, covering his ears. Then it suddenly dawned on him. “Wait a minute, that’s Team Rocket!”
    “Huh?” The others asked, breaking out of their own trances.
    “Listen!”
    “So why do you think the boss wants to see us?” The male voice asked.
    “He’s probably gonna fire us for losing the twerps!” Said the female voice sadly.
    “How would he know about that?!” Said male voice again.
    “How did he even know we’s was here?” A third voice said in a thick Brooklyn accent.
    Ash and the others sneaked away from their seats and peaked around the corner of the building. Sure enough, there were Jesse, James, and Meowth, bent over and depressed looking.
    “What do we do?” May whispered.
    “They said they’re going to see their boss,” Max answered, “maybe that’s where they’re keeping the kidnapping victims. I think we should follow them.”
    “Why couldn’t you have left the balloon someplace nearby?” Jesse asked. “I’m tired of walking.”
    “I couldn’t just land it in the city, Jessie. There’re too many buildings.” Said James. “Besides, I’m not in any hurry to get to Viridian.”
    The others sighed.
    “What now? We can’t follow them if they’re in their balloon.” Brock said.
    “This is even better.” Max replied. “They said they’re going to Viridian, so we can just go there and find them from there.”
    “Good plan, Max.” Ash said.
    They made their way to the magnet train station and departed on the next train.
    ______________________________________________

    “Miss Misty, I’m bored!” Vivi whined. Now that she had been there for a couple of hours, her fear was starting to wear off.
    “Well, what do you want to do?” Misty asked.
    “What is there to do?”
    “Let’s see, there’s . . . not much.”
    Vivi sighed.
    “Hey, I know, why don’t I tell you a story?” Misty said.
    “Yeah, that’s a good idea!” Vivi exclaimed.
    “All right, how about Snow White?”
    “I’ve already heard that one.” Vivi said.
    “What about Sleeping Beauty then?”
    “I’ve heard that one too.”
    “Cinderella?”
    “Heard it.”
    “Are there any you haven’t heard?”
    “How would I know if I haven’t heard them? Can you make up a story, Miss Misty?” Vivi asked, her hands clasped together.
    “I can try.” Misty laughed.
    “What should I tell?” She thought to herself. “I was never much good at making up stories. Hey, I know!”
    So Misty began to tell the only thing she could think of to tell.
    “Once upon a time, there was a princess who lived in her castle with her three older sisters. Her sisters liked to make fun of her and call her a runt, even though she was prettier and smarter than them.”
    “Hey, this sounds like Cinderella!” Vivi interrupted.
    “Wait a minute, it’s not the same!” Vivi was not convinced, but she listened anyway.
    “So anyway, the princess finally got tired of listening to her sisters all the time, so one day she decided to run away and prove to her sisters that she was just as capable as they were. So she took her Pokemon and set out on her bi– I mean Ponyta, and left the castle. She had not gone far when she got tired, so she took a break near a river. The princess loved water Pokemon, so she decided to do a little fishing while she rested.”
    “What kind of princess fishes?” Vivi wanted to know.
    “This kind!” Misty yelled.
    “Ok, whatever you say!” Said Vivi, shrinking back.
    Now, where were we? The princess took out her fishing rod and cast it into the water and waited a long, long time. Finally, she felt a bite. It was a big bite too, and the princess was sure that she had caught a big Pokemon. But it wasn’t a Pokemon at all! It was a boy with a Pikachu.”
    “Hey, I saw a Pikachu once! It was yellow, and small, and really cute!” Vivi squealed.
    “That’s neat!” Misty said as patiently as she could. “I’m friends with a really cute Pikachu. I haven’t seen it in a long time though. But anyway, back to the story. The Pikachu was injured, and the boy took the princess’ Ponyta and galloped away without even asking, which was very rude, because she would have loaned him the bike if he had just asked, and–”
    “What bike?”
    “Huh?”
    “You said ‘she would have loaned him the bike if he had just asked.’”
    “I did? I meant Ponyta. Sorry. So anyway, the boy stole the princess’ Ponyta so he could take his Pikachu to the . . . good fairy’s house to get it healed, but there was a flock of Spearow chasing them! Finally, the Spearow caught up with them, and the boy and the Pikachu fell off the Ponyta. But just when it looked like all was lost, the Pikachu let out a blinding flash and thundershocked all the Spearow, saving the boy and itself. And it also scared the princess’ Ponyta away, so the boy had to carry Pikachu to the fairy’s.”
    “Was the Pikachu all right?”
    “The Pikachu was just fine after the fairy healed it up. The princess wanted her Ponyta back, so she followed the boy and found him at the fairy’s. But some evil witches had also followed him. They knew that the Pikachu was special, and they wanted to steal it. Luckily, the princess arrived just in time, and saved the day by distracting the witches with her Pokemon. Then the Pikachu was able to thundershock the witches, and they ran away, swearing that they would still catch Pikachu someday. But now that they were gone, the princess demanded that the boy give her Ponyta back. She was very angry when she found out that he had lost it and told him that he had to pay her back for it. But the boy didn’t have any gold. So the princess decided to follow him until he got enough gold to pay her back. She followed him all the way into the dark woods where there were lots of icky, creepy, bug Pokemon, even though it was a little scary. But then the princess found out that there was something very special about the boy– he could talk to Pokemon!”
    “That’s impossible!”
    “No, it’s not, now be quiet and listen! The princess was still angry at the boy for losing her Ponyta, but now that she saw how kind he was to his Pokemon, she started to kinda like him.”

    “Miss Misty, I’m sleepy.” Vivi said finally.
    Misty had not noticed before, but she was sleepy herself. There were no windows in the room, so it was impossible to tell what time of day it was, but she guessed that it must be getting late.
    “That’s enough for right now. I think it’s time for bed.” Said Misty.
    She tucked Vivi in the bottom bunk before she crawled into the top one. She fell asleep quickly, and dreamt of the boy who could talk to Pokemon.
    Last edited by Hakajin; 5th June 2006 at 5:14 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted By Hakajin
    She fell asleep quickly, and dreamt of the boy who could talk to Pokemon.
    xD I liked this chapter, and how Misty told the story. I hope Ash finds her soon...And you can PM me when you have the next chapter up! I don't mind ^^
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    Good diolouge direction, rather than just ranting on and on and leaving the reader confused who's talking or not or overusing them.
    Banner: Me | Clubs: May/Drew/Harley/TR
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    This is a good fic. It has an original and interesting plot, so that will keep me reading. I noticed one mistake though, but it wasn't that big.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hakajin
    “How did he even know we’s was here?” A third voice said in a thick Boston accent.
    Meowth has a Brooklyn accent, not Boston. But besides that, I didn't notice any other big mistakes. This is a good fic, so keep up the good work!

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    May_Beautifly- Good! Oh, I'm glad you liked that and that it didn't seem out of place. It started out as having nothing to do with the rest of the story, but . . . I think you'll like what happens.

    wobbuffetds- Thanks! I try to make it seem natural. Yeah, it's kinda hard to strike a balance with that.

    Fez the Mysfit Elf- Oh, you think so? Thanks! I've never been up North, so I'm not really good at identifying accents. All I can say is that it must be Kansai in the Japanese. I'll fix it though.
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    It would be even nicer if you put a line between diolouge though, but it's still good like this. The benefit of that is because since this is a forum, it looks like a big block of text, and you don't want that, so spacing would help. I do love what you have to say though.
    Banner: Me | Clubs: May/Drew/Harley/TR
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    You can do a line on this site? I knew I could do it on fanfic.net, and I do. I'll look at it again later, I'm in kinda a hurry right now. Thanks!

    EDIT: There, is that better? Hope so. Anyway, just so you know, I plan to post chapter 3 on Tuesday.
    Last edited by Hakajin; 5th June 2006 at 6:05 AM.
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    Chapter 3
    Lost and Found
    Hi! I know I said that I'd have this up Tuesday, but the forums were down, as I'm sure you know if you tried to get here. But it's only Wednesday, so it's not too late. Enjoy!

    Vivi listened intently as Misty continued to weave her tale. It had started out kind of bumpy, but the more Misty told, the more Vivi wanted to hear. The boy who could talk to Pokemon was on a journey to defeat the eight sages of the land and get a jewel from each of them, Misty had said, so that he could prove himself to the emperor and become a knight. So far, he had caught a Caterpie (which the princess really hated), evolved it into a Butterfree, and caught a Pigeotto. The boy almost lost his first sage battle because of his kindness to Pokemon, but fortunately, the sage understood and awarded him the victory anyway. The sage even decided to join the princess and the boy. He had the ability to understand a Pokemon’s feelings, and also the ability to repel all girls within a two-mile radius.
    “What happened next?” Vivi asked impatiently.
    “Well,” Misty continued, “the boy needed to get to the next kingdom so he could meet the second sage, but the princess did not want to go.”
    “Why not, Miss Misty?”
    “Hang on, I’m getting to it. The princess did not want to go because the kingdom had three sages instead of one- her sisters! She had told them that she was not going to come home until she was ready to rule the kingdom, and she knew that they would make fun of her if she came back now.”
    “So what did she do?”
    “She tried to get the boy to meet another sage instead, but he was too stubborn and wouldn’t do it. So she had to follow him, even if she didn’t want to.”
    “Why did she have to?”
    “Because . . . he was her friend. The princess was not going to tell her friends about her sisters, but they were doing such a bad job, she had to battle him herself!”
    “So who won?!”
    “The princess of course! But then, the three witches attacked the gy- castle. The boy handled them easily, so the princess’ sisters gave him their jewel, even though he really lost.”
    Vivi listened to Misty’s story all day, but she never got tired of hearing it. It was fascinating, something new was always happening. But even more than the story itself, Vivi loved the way Misty told it. She told it with such emotion, and it made the characters so real. Vivi could feel how much they cared about each other in Misty’s voice. It was almost as if Misty had been there herself . . .
    ______________________________________________

    “Man, I thought we’d never get here!” Ash said as he rubbed his back.
    The group had taken the magnet train from Goldenrod to Saffron, but the trip to Viridian was an eight-hour bus trip.
    “Me too!” May agreed.
    She did not look like her usually cheerful self. Her hair was messy, as were her clothes, and her eyes drooped.
    “I think we should get some rest before we do anything else.” Brock suggested. “We’re probably ahead of Team Rocket, so there’s plenty of time.”
    It was already night in the small city, so the group took Brock’s advice and checked into the local Pokemon Center. Pikachu flopped onto a bunk, and everyone else did the same. Except for Ash, that is. Even though he was tired, Ash was ready to resume searching for Misty.
    “How are we gonna find Team Rocket once they get here?” He asked.
    May laughed. “I wouldn’t worry about that. They usually find us one way or another.”
    Ash was not entirely convinced, but he asked no more questions. He did not want the others to know how worried he was about Misty. He kept telling himself that she would be fine, that it was only Team Rocket, but there were two little words that would not leave him alone: “what if.” What if there were something really wrong? What if they could not find her? What if Team Rocket was not as innocent as they thought?
    “Stop it!” Ash scolded himself. “No one else is worried, so why should I be?”
    But he could not help thinking about it. The more he tried to ignore the thoughts, the more persistent they became. Sort of like Team Rocket, only not so annoying. And the worst part was that, for now at least, all Ash could do was hope. Hope that Misty was not hurt or scared or alone. Ash finally turned out the light and went to bed himself.
    “Don’t worry Ash,” Brock said to his worried friend, “we’ll keep looking tomorrow.”
    Ash only nodded solemnly.

    “Poor Ash.”Brock thought. “He tries to hide it, but it’s obvious that he’s really worried about Misty.”
    But he had to admit, he was starting to get a little worried himself.
    “I’m sure Misty can take care of herself though.” He told himself. “Team Rocket’ll probably be begging us to take her back.”
    He only hoped he was right.
    ______________________________________________

    Two had already passed, but Misty’s story still was not finished. She had already told Vivi of how the boy who could talk to Pokemon had beaten the first eight sages. Along the way, both the princess, the boy, and the sage had made friends, human and Pokemon, and said good-bye too many times. The boy had caught several new Pokemon, while he released others so they could follow their own dreams. The princess herself had caught a magical egg Pokemon, and a very stupid Psyduck. The witches continued to try to steal Pikachu, but failed miserably every time. Some things never changed. Vivi’s favorite part when Pikachu won against the third sage’s Raichu, even though the Raichu was stronger. Finally, the group made it to the tournament that would decide who would be the one to become a knight that year. Although the boy lost, he had put up a hard fight, and he was not about to give up. The sage had to leave, but the princess continued to follow the boy into a chain of islands, where he would face another set of sages. There was no way for him to become a knight this time, but it did not matter to him. He wanted all the experience he could get. So far, the princess and the boy had met a new friend, an artist, who joined them on their quest, and a beautiful Lapras who ferried them from island to island. The boy had already won two jewels, and he was now going after his third.
    “The third sage was also a prince, just like the princess’s sisters.” Misty said. “He was a very handsome and kind prince, and he fell in love with the princess.”
    “He was very sweet to the princess, and invited her to a royal banquet. There, he asked her to stay with him forever. The princess really liked the prince, but she also liked her friends. She didn’t know what to do! She thought about it a long time, but she still couldn’t decide. Then the prince and the boy had to battle to see if the boy could get his third jewel. The princess watched, but she wasn’t sure who to cheer for. But finally, she knew that no matter how much she liked the prince, what she really wanted was to be with her friends.”
    “So she didn’t leave?”
    “No. The prince was sad to see her go, but he knew he couldn’t change her mind. She wasn’t in love with him.”
    “But why not? He was so nice to her.”
    “There’s more to love than that.”
    “Like what?”
    “Like . . . friendship, and helping each other out. Those kinda things.”
    Vivi did not completely understand, but she was glad that the princess had not left.
    ______________________________________________

    It was already past noon when Ash woke up the next morning.
    “I can’t believe I overslept!” He said. “We have to start looking for Misty.”
    “Give yourself a break, Ash.” May said. “We all had a rough day yesterday, and I know you’re worried about her. You deserved a little rest.”
    Still, Ash wanted to start searching as soon as possible. But first they needed a plan. How were they going to know when Team Rocket showed up, or where? Ash did not know where to begin. Fortunately for him, Max had a plan.
    ______________________________________________

    “Jesse, I’m hungry, how much farther is the gym?” James whined.
    “Quit complaining, we’re almost there!” Jesse yelled back at him.
    She was hungry herself, but James’ complaining was only making her more irritated. Really, she had no idea how far they were from the Viridian Gym. As far as the eye could see, there was nothing but the path in front of them, lined by miles of trees.
    “Can we at least stop for a rest, Jesse?” Meowth begged.
    “No! What’s the matter with you two?! You’re such babies!”
    James and Meowth sighed. There was no way they were going to win this argument. Jesse could not be outdone. Suddenly, James just collapsed onto his knees.
    “Jesse, I can’t take it anymore! I can see Pikachu right in front of us, but that’s impossible because Pikachu is with the Twerps, and the Twerps aren’t here! I’m so hungry, I’m hallucinating!”
    “Wait a minute, Jim, I see it too!” Meowth exclaimed.
    “Me too!” Jesse said.
    Sure enough, a little mouse Pokemon sat in the middle of the path, just staring at the three “criminals”.
    “Do you think this is some sort of triple hallucination?” James asked. “Or do you think that Pikachu is really there?”
    “Maybe it ain’t the Twoip’s Pikachu.” Meowth reasoned. “They do live around heres, you know.”
    “Oh well, a Pikachu is a Pikachu. Let’s go!” Jesse exclaimed, running toward Pikachu.
    The others followed, but just as they reached the Pikachu, it ran ahead of them.
    “Wait, come back, we won’t hurt you!” Jesse called.
    But the Pikachu was not stopping. Then, just when they thought it was going to get away, it turned and gave an evil looking glare at Team Rocket. The next thing they knew, they had fallen into a deep pit, and it was not comfortable.
    “What is this?!” Jesse screamed.
    As she said this, three angry faces came into view just above her.
    “What are you Twerps doing here?”
    “Yeah, how dare you use our best trap against us?!” James added.
    Brock smirked. “You think you’re the first to dig a hole?”
    “Well, our holes are a lot better than yours!”
    “Who cares about the stupid hole, what do you want?!” Jesse screeched.
    “What have you done with Misty?!” Ash demanded.
    “We don’t know what you’re talking about, do we James?”
    “I know what they’re talking about!” James said proudly. “Misty is that redhead Twerpette!”
    “Shut-up, James!” Jesse whispered, rather loudly, to James. “Do you want them to think we know something?”
    “Oh, right. Misty who?” James corrected himself.
    Ash and the others sweat-dropped, but they did not forget their purpose.
    “We know you have her!” May shouted down to the three Rockets. “And you’d better tell us where she is, or we’ll-”
    “Or you’ll what?!” Jesse taunted.
    But she immediately regretted her words when Pikachu went into attack stance, sparking at its cheeks.
    “Now wait a minute!” Meowth called back.
    All three jumped out of the whole and took a ready position.
    “Don’t go threatenin’ us over stuff we ain’t even done!”
    “Come on, do you really expect us to believe you’re innocent?” Max asked.
    “Yeah, because we is!” Meowth answered.
    “Pikachu . . .” Ash said.
    Pikachu knew what that meant. It returned to its threatening pose as Team Rocket shuddered.
    “Really, we don’t know anything!” James said as he cowered.
    “Yeah, we don’t keep up with all them girls the boss’s kidnapped!” Meowth added.
    “Aha! So you do know something!” Brock exclaimed triumphantly.
    “Not really.” Jesse argued. “He might have her and he might not. We don’t know anything about your twerpy little friend.”
    “But you do know where those girls are being kept, don’t you?” Brock interrogated.
    “Maybe.” Jesse answered. “But we’re not gonna tell you!”
    “Oh yes you are.” Ash said slyly. “Because if you don’t . . .”
    Pikachu took its cue.
    “Alright, we’ll tell you!” Team Rocket cried together.
    ______________________________________________

    On the outside, it appeared to be a normal gym. Stone gray walls, green roof, and a few statues of rare Pokemon. But in this case, appearances were deceiving.
    “Hey, I thought this place got destroyed a few years ago.” Ash said.
    “Yes, but the boss has rebuilt since then.” James answered.
    “But the police were involved after that. Isn’t your boss kinda worried he’ll get caught?” Brock asked.
    “Of course not.” Jesse said. “It’s so obvious, it’s the last place they’d ever look!”
    “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” Said Ash.
    “Actually, it’s pretty smart.” Max stated.
    “See? But of course, we can’t expect you Twerps to understand such a brilliant plan.” James added.
    “Hey, you didn’t think of it either.” May said curtly.
    “Guys, come on, we’re wasting time.” Ash said.
    Then Ash and the others forced Team Rocket to lead them inside the building. They walked all the way across the wide room until they came to the opposite wall. Jesse then lifted the lid on a small metal box on the wall and pressed a code onto the buttons beneath it. A piece of the floor slid back to reveal a passage way that led underground.
    “Ok, we brought you here.” Jesse said. “After we get down there, you’re on your own.”
    Ash and the others followed Team Rocket down the stairs and into the darkness.
    ______________________________________________

    “. . . So the boy was so close this time, but finally, he was beaten.” Misty said.
    “Aw, I feel sorry for him!” Said Vivi.
    “Well don’t, because he still didn’t give up. He’d never give up! And I know he wouldn’t want you to feel bad for him.”
    “Didn’t he ever get tired of losing though?”
    “Of course, but he knew he couldn’t win if he just quit. And he wanted to win more than anything. But for now, he and his friends headed back to his home. On the way, they stopped in the Princess’ kingdom and visited her sisters. But . . .”
    “But what?”
    “But they wanted her to stay and take care of the castle while they went to a ball in another kingdom.”
    “So what did she do?”
    “Well, she was glad that her sisters finally realized that she was capable enough to handle the castle. But that didn’t seem so important anymore. The boy was her best friend in the world, and she knew that it would be really hard for her to leave him. But there was nothing she could do. She couldn’t leave the castle unattended, and the boy still hadn’t achieved his dream, so he couldn’t just stay behind with her. So after all the time they’d spent together, and everything they’d been through, the princess and the boy had to say good-bye.”
    “That’s not fair! What happened next?”
    “That’s it.”
    “That it? That’s the end?” Vivi asked in disbelief.
    “I’m not sure.”
    Misty felt like she was going to cry. She was so afraid that it was the end. She knew that she’d see Ash again, but she worried so that she would just fade from his life. She was so afraid that he would forget her.
    “That’s a terrible ending! Make up a new one!” Vivi yelled.
    “I can’t.” Misty said as a tear escaped her and slid down her cheek.
    “But she was so in love with him! It’s not fair!”
    “What makes you think she loved him?”
    “It was easy to see. Remember all that stuff you told me about love and friendship? It’s just like that! I think I get it now. So you can’t let it end like that. Why doesn’t she just tell him how she feels?”
    Misty smiled at her little friend. There was so much she did not understand.
    “Because, what if he didn’t feel the same way? Then she’d totally ruin their friendship!” Misty said.
    “But he does feel the same way!”
    Her voice finally gave, and a few more tears ran down her face.
    “Don’t cry, Miss Misty.” Vivi said, suddenly feeling guilty for upsetting Misty so. “It’s just a story. Isn’t it?”
    But Vivi was not so sure anymore. If it was just a story, why couldn’t Misty change the ending? And why was she so sad about it? It just did not make sense.
    “Isn’t it?” She repeated.
    “Yeah, you’re right.” Misty sniffed. “I should just forget it.”
    But Vivi did not totally believe her. It seemed like Misty was hiding something, but she could not quite figure out what it was.
    “Ash . . .” Misty thought, “. . . was I really that obvious?”

    Suddenly, there was a sharp knock at the door.
    “Get lost, Team Rocket!” Misty answered.
    “Misty? Is that you?”
    It did not make any sense for him to be there, but there was no mistake. She would have known his voice anywhere.
    “Ash?!”
    Misty ran to the door and kneeled down and opened the meal slot. She could only see his eyes, but it was Ash alright.
    “Hi, Misty! Are you ok?” He said.
    “Yeah, I’m fine, but what are you doing here?”
    “Looking for you, what do you think?”
    “Pikapi!”
    “Hi there, Pikachu!” Misty said to Pikachu.
    “What’s going on here?” Asked Ash.
    “I have no idea. Where are the others?”
    “This place is pretty big, so we had to split up.”
    “Who is it?” Vivi asked as she came up to the door.
    “Hey, I remember you!” Ash said.
    “I remember you too!”
    “How do you know each other?” Misty asked.
    “Vivi lives near Mauville City in Houenn. I met her on my Pokemon journey.”
    “Are you gonna rescue us?” Vivi asked.
    “Yeah, just as soon as I figure out how to get this door open.”
    “You promise?”
    “I promise.”
    Ash stood up then and started to fiddle with the door handle. Vivi busied herself with stroking Pikachu’s fur through the meal slot, but Misty kept talking to Ash.
    “So, are you a Pokemon Master yet?” She asked.
    “Not yet.”
    “Oh, I’m sorry. How far did you get?”
    Ash did not really want to tell her, because then he knew she would start asking questions. But he could not just lie about it, she would find out if he did.
    “Uh . . . actually, I got to the finals this time.”
    “What?!”
    “Don’t act so surprised!”
    “Sorry, it’s just that . . . wow, that’s really great, Ash!”
    “Aw, it’s not a big deal.”
    “What do you mean it’s not a big deal? Of course it is! What’s up? It’s not like you to be so humble.”
    “What’s that supposed to mean?”

    But Misty did not get to answer, because Ash heard footsteps coming down the hall.
    “Someone’s coming, I’d better hide.”
    “You’d better be careful! Don’t you dare get caught!” Misty warned.
    “I won’t! And Misty?”
    “What?”
    Ash bent down to speak to Misty one last time before he left.
    “I’m really glad you’re ok.” He said.
    Their hands met in the slot in the door for an instant, and then Ash was gone again. Misty knew that she was blushing. Ash was definitely not the romantic type, so how was it that he could make her heart pound like that? It was always little things like that, things she never expected. It caught her completely off guard.
    “Hey Miss Misty?” Vivi said, calling Misty back to Earth. “Is Ash your boyfriend?”
    “No! Of course not! What a crazy idea!” Misty laughed. “We’re just friends.”
    Vivi just looked at Misty suspiciously.
    They both turned as they heard the faint sound of the door being unlocked.
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  12. #12
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    Nice chapter! ^^ I like how Ash wants to save Misty...
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  13. #13
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    Chapter 4
    Shadow
    Ash ran around a corner just in time to avoid being seen by the Team Rocket member. He peeked back to see him leading Misty and Vivi down the hall. And it was not just them. Girls were streaming out of their rooms and into the hallway, all led by their captors. Something was definitely up. Ash waited until the hall was clear, and then followed. Suddenly, he heard a sound behind him. But there was nowhere to hide, and he had surely been seen. Ash turned around to face certain discovery.
    ______________________________________________

    “Miss Misty, where are we going?” Vivi asked.
    “I’m not sure.” Misty answered.
    “Are you sure Ash will be able to rescue us?”
    “Of course!”
    “How do you know?”
    “Well . . . because I believe in Ash. Sometimes he’s lazy and self-centered, but when it really matters, he always comes through.”
    But Misty could tell by the expression on Vivi’s face that it was not the answer she was looking for. She quickly thought of something else to comfort the young girl.
    “Don’t worry, Vivi,” she said, “Team Rocket is no problem for Ash. He’s handled them plenty of times. One time, he even saved the whole world!”
    “Really?” Vivi said as her eyes grew large.
    “Really.” Misty laughed.
    “How?”

    This time, Misty’s story was about an evil Pokemon collector, who upset the balance of nature when he tried to capture the three legendary birds. The rain fell and the wind blew, and it seemed that it would never stop. Soon, the Earth would be flooded, and no one would escape. But then, the Chosen One appeared, and restored balance when he placed the orbs in their rightful places.
    “Ash was the Chosen One.” Misty said. “It was really dangerous, but he was brave. He didn’t give up no matter how hard it was. And Ash’ll do anything he can to help us, I promise.”
    “But that’s just a story, right?” Vivi asked.
    “Nope. I know it’s kind of hard to believe, but it really did happen.”
    “But . . .”
    “But what?”
    “Nothing.” Vivi said.
    But she was very confused. She had heard that story before. In fact, it was Misty who had told it to her. It was part of the story about the Princess and her friends. That was just a fairy tale. But now Misty was saying that it had really happened, to one of her friends, no less. It just did not make sense. But Vivi did not have long to think about it, because she and Misty were arriving at their destination.
    ______________________________________________

    “Ash! There you are!” May exclaimed.
    “May?!” Ash said. “You scared me! I thought you were Team Rocket!”
    “Sorry.” May giggled.
    “Did you find Misty?” Brock asked.
    “Yeah, she’s fine.” Ash replied.
    “Told you.” Brock said.
    “Where is she?” May asked.
    “Well, she was right here, but then Team Rocket came and . . .”
    “So where did they go?” Asked Max.
    “I’m not sure, but they took everyone else with them.”
    “There were a lot of girls here though.” Max said. “It shouldn’t be too hard to find them. “Which way did they go?”

    So Ash led the way down the hall in the direction he had seen everyone go. Soon, they came upon a huge room. Its stone walls were bare, and the high ceiling was the same, except for two chandeliers that dangled from it. There were four arched windows, but they were covered in dirt and impossible to see through. But though the room itself was bare, it was packed with people. On the left side of the room stood all of Team Rocket, and on the right, the kidnapped girls.
    “What’s going on here?” Ash whispered.
    But it was evident from the nervous chatter that filled the air that no one really knew.
    All of a sudden, the room fell silent. From their hiding place near the doorway, Ash and the others could see Giovanni, Team Rocket’s leader, step in front of the crowd from seemingly nowhere. He exuded an air of nobility and wealth, even in his tacky orange suit. His black hair was slicked back, and he wore a menacing smile on his face.
    “Welcome.” He said. “I suppose you are all wondering why I have called you all here, not to mention why I had you bring me all these lovely young ladies. But first, I would like you to meet someone.”
    Then Giovanni pulled from his pocket a small glass orb. Within it shone a mysterious black light. Giovanni held the orb up for everyone to see.
    “What’s he talking about?” Ash asked. “I don’t see anyone.”
    “This,” Giovanni said, “is the black mage, Shirakiku. She lived over five-hundred years ago, and devoted herself to the study of dark magic. She had all sorts of abilities; summoning demons, controlling the dead, and controlling the minds of the living. Shirakiku became very powerful, and after a time, her skill in magic caught the attention of a great warlord. He sought her out, and hired her to use her magic against his enemies. None could stand against Shirakiku’s magic, and the warlord became very wealthy and powerful. But he paid a price for his wealth. Or rather, Shirakiku did. The warlord became obsessed with his money and land. His greatest fear was losing it, and he trusted no one. He recognized Shirakiku’s vast power, and came to fear her above all else. And so one night, he had his servants murder her in her sleep.”

    Then Giovanni paused for effect. There was not a sound from the crowd, but all wondered what this tale had to do with the current situation.
    “Fortunately,” he continued, “Shirakiku had long known of the warlord’s fear, and had sealed her soul inside her most precious belonging, this orb. Although it is fragile, it was formed from the tears of the gods, and thus had the spiritual power to sustain her soul for all these years. Over time, the orb was lost and forgotten, but the legend of the mysterious Shirakiku prevailed. I first heard it when I was a boy, and for years, I tracked down the orb. At last, it is finally in my possession.”

    Suddenly a voice spoke up to ask what everyone wanted to know. It was Meowth.
    “That’s a real interestin’ story, Boss,” he said, “but what’s it got to do with us?”
    “Silence, fool!” Giovanni yelled. Meowth, Jessie, and James cowered where they stood.
    “Patience! I will tell you when I’m ready!”
    Giovanni then straitened up and regained his composure.
    “Now then, I have long searched for this orb, because with Shirakiku’s power, Team Rocket will rule the Earth! No one will be able to stop us! But Shirakiku is powerless while she remains inside the orb. Which is why I needed all these young women. Shirakiku needs a body with a sensitivity to the spiritual world in order for her to be able to work her magic. She will choose one of these girls to be her new body.”
    A collective gasp swept through the crowd. Every girl was terrified that she would be the one chosen, and the members of Team Rocket were sure that their boss had gone mad. Giovanni sensed this, but he was unfazed. He took out a Pokeball and threw it to release a purple ghost Pokemon.
    “I found this Haunter along side the orb.” He said. “It was Shirakiku’s favorite Pokemon and only companion. As you know, Haunter is a Ghost Pokemon, and therefore it is able to identify people with a sensitivity to the spiritual world.” He turned to the Haunter. “Are you ready?” He asked it. The Haunter nodded and began focus on the crowd of girls.
    ______________________________________________

    “Miss Misty, I don’t like this.” Vivi said as she tugged on Misty’s hand. “That Pokemon is scary!”
    Misty forced a smile. “Don’t worry, Vivi.” She said. “This’ll all be over soon.”
    She only hoped that she was right.

    Haunter’s eyes began to glow red. From its perspective, every girl had a light-blue aura which indicated her amount of spiritual power. Most of them had auras too feint to ever be its master’s vessel, but one girl’s aura shone bright and clear. Haunter grinned a malicious grin and floated over to her.

    Vivi began screaming when she realized that the scary Pokemon was coming toward her.
    “No! Get AWAY!” She screamed.
    Misty could feel her heart pounding and her knees buckling, but she knew that she could not show any fear, lest she upset Vivi even further. She put her arm around the child’s back and pulled her closer to herself.
    “She’s only a child, leave her alone!” Misty yelled.
    Haunter just laughed wickedly as it continued its approach. Vivi whimpered as Haunter came closer and closer. Finally, it stopped right in front of Misty’s face. It pointed at her with its huge purple hand. Misty gasped as she realized that Vivi was not the one Haunter wanted.

    “Is this the one?” Giovanni asked.
    Haunter turned back to him and laughed a gleeful reply.
    “Very well.” Giovanni said “The rest of you will be escorted back to your rooms.”
    ______________________________________________

    Ash and the others dashed into a closet as the all the other girls allowed themselves to be led back down the hall. The girls were absolutely silent. They had not yet taken in the scope of what had just happened. All of them felt sorry for Misty, but were also glad that they had not been chosen. Only Vivi remained, still clinging to Misty’s side.
    “Vivi, didn’t you hear?” Misty said. “You can go back to your room now.”
    “But what about you?” Vivi asked.
    “I have to stay here for a little while longer, but I’ll see you later, ok?”
    “But I don’t wanna be by myself!”
    “Vivi, you’re a big girl, right? You’ll be fine. I promise I’ll see you in a little while.”
    “Well . . . ok.” Vivi said hesitantly.
    She followed the others out the door. She did not want to go, but Misty was right, she was a big girl now, and she had to be brave.
    Misty watched to make sure that Vivi had left. When she was sure that she could not hear, she spun around to confront Giovanni.
    “You’re crazy,” she yelled, “if you think I’m gonna hand my body over to some dead magician!”
    “My dear, you should be honored.” Giovanni said calmly. “Most girls would be delighted at the chance to serve such a great leader.”
    “Well, get one of them, because I’m not doing it!”
    With that, Misty turned and ran toward the door. She did not get very far, however, before the two Team Rocket members guarding the door rushed forward and grabbed her by her arms.
    ______________________________________________

    “You let her go!” Ash yelled.
    He was not exactly sure what had just happened. One moment, he was crouching near the doorway, watching the goings on, and the next thing he knew, he was standing in the middle of it all. But he did not have time to wonder how he got there.
    “Ash, what are you thinking?” Brock called as he and the others rushed out.
    They were in the middle of Team Rocket’s base, and every Team Rocket member there was probably being alerted. But Ash had already given them away, so there was no point in remaining hidden. May and Max were eager to help Misty, but they agreed with Brock that Ash had been too impulsive. They could only hope that Ash had some sort of plan.
    ______________________________________________

    “Ash!” Misty called. “You guys!”
    She had been getting worried, but now everything was going to be all right. She knew she could count on her friends to rescue her.
    “How rude.” Giovanni said indignantly. “You’re interrupting a very important ceremony.”
    “You let her go right now!” Ash retorted.
    “I’m afraid I can’t do that. You’re wasting your time. If you leave now, I’ll let you go free.”
    “Now way!” Ash yelled. “Torkoal, go!” He called as he threw a Pokeball.
    The fire Tortoise appeared before Ash and called out its name.
    “Pika . . .” Pikachu said, disappointed at having not been chosen.
    “Sorry, Buddy.” Ash said. “But if you use your electric attacks, you’ll shock Misty too.”
    “Torkoal, use your body slam!”
    “Well, if you insist on being so stubborn, I’m afraid I have no choice. Haunter, take care of this nuisance.”
    Haunter was more than willing. It had been a long time since it had battled. Once again, its eyes glowed red, but this time, it froze Torkoal in midair. A confusion attack. Torkoal cried out in pain as Haunter threw it against the wall.
    “Torkoal!” Ash called to it. “Return!”
    As soon as Torkoal had disappeared, Ash reached for another pokeball. But it was already too late. Haunter was focusing its confusion on Ash now, and he could not move at all.
    “Ash!” Misty called, this time in desperation.
    May and Brock started to go for their pokeballs, but they too, ended up frozen in place, Max along with them.
    “What’s going on?!” Misty yelled. “How can that Haunter use Confusion on all of them at once?!”
    “You underestimate it.” Giovanni said. “It trained under one of the most powerful magicians in the world. Its abilities are much stronger than those of an ordinary Haunter.”
    Just then, several Team Rocket members rushed in.
    “What’s going on here?!” One of them demanded.
    “Apprehend these intruders!” Giovanni yelled. And then, in a gentler tone, he said to Misty “Now, Miss, you can choose not to cooperate. But I would hate to think of what would happen to your little friends if you don’t.”
    “No, they don’t have anything to do with this!” Misty answered.
    “If you don’t want them harmed, then I suggest that you do as I say. There is no need for violence.”
    Misty glared angrily at Giovanni, but there was nothing she could do. She hung her head in silent agreement.
    “No, Misty, don’t! He’s lying!” Ash called as Team Rocket grabbed him.
    “I don’t have any choice, Ash!” She yelled back. “Maybe he’s lying, and maybe he’s not. I can’t risk losing you!”
    “Good girl.” Giovanni said.
    ______________________________________________

    Ash froze again, but this time, it was not because of Haunter. He could not believe that Misty had just said that. He knew that she cared about him, but she never admitted it. And he did not want her to sacrifice herself for his sake. But then, it was not just him she was worried about. There were also Brock, May, Max, and Pikachu. Still, it was not right. But there was nothing they could do as Team Rocket led them down the hall and threw them in a room.
    “Come back here, let us out!” Ash screamed as he banged fiercely on the door. “You can’t do this!”
    “Ash, stop it.” May said. “That’s not helping anything.”
    “I know, but I can’t just sit here and do nothing.”
    “We need to come up with a plan, Ash.” Brock said. “That’s what we should’ve done in the first place.”
    “I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened, I guess when Team Rocket grabbed Misty, I just kinda snapped.”
    “It’s ok, Ash.” May said. “I understand.”
    “What do you understand?”
    “She means that what’s done is done, and right now, we should just concentrate on getting out of here.” Said Max wisely.
    “Right.” Brock agreed. “Let’s brainstorm. The door is locked, there are no windows, what’s left?”
    May looked around the room for a moment.
    “I know!” She burst out. “The air vent!”
    “Uh, May, don’t you think that’s a little small?” Ash asked.
    May did not answer but grinned evilly at Max.
    “Oh, no, I’m not going in there!” He said as he backed away from his sister.
    “But you have to!” She said. “What about Misty? We have to help her! Come on, don’t be selfish!”
    ______________________________________________

    “I can’t believe I’m doing this!” Max muttered to himself as he crawled through the ventilation shaft. The plan was for him to find his way out of the room through the air ducts and then come back and free everyone else. And it was going to be a lot harder than it sounded. Max was lamenting his bad luck when he suddenly realized he was falling. He screamed as he came crashing down a bunk bed. He looked up and saw the vent cover still swinging from its hinges.
    “What are you doing here?” Someone said.
    “Vivi?” Said Max, recognizing the voice. “I was trying to escape through the vents, but I guess I was careless. Sorry if I scared you.”
    “That’s ok. I’m glad you’re here. I don’t like being by myself in this place. ‘Specially not after seeing that Ghost.”
    “I can’t stay here though, Vivi. I still have to get out of here.”
    “No, don’t go! It’s scary being alone in here!”
    “Hey, I know, why don’t you come with me?” Max said.
    “I can’t. Miss Misty promised me that she’d be back soon, so I have to wait for her.”
    “Ash and May and Brock and I are trying to help Misty escape. Come on, you’ll see her if you come with me.”

    So Vivi climbed up to the top bunk and followed Max as he crawled back into the vent. It was a little scary in there, but at least she was not alone anymore.
    “Hey, Max.” She said.
    “What?”
    “I was thinking while I was in there, and I think I finally figured out why these bad people want Miss Misty.”
    “Huh? Giovanni already explained. Remember the story about Shirakiku?”
    “Yeah, that was a weird story, but I didn’t really understand it all. So listen, Miss Misty told me all these stories about a princess, and a boy who could talk to Pokemon. But I don’t think that they’re just stories. I think that Miss Misty is really the princess! And Team Rocket is trying to hold her for ransom or something.”
    Vivi was too young to really grasp what was going on. She did not make the connection between Giovanni’s story and what was happening. But Max persisted.
    “That’s ridiculous! I’ve known Misty longer than you, and I think I would know if she were a princess.”
    “No, you wouldn’t. I think it’s supposed to be a secret.”

    Max sighed and conceded. Vivi thought that Misty was a princess, and she was not going to be convinced otherwise. And maybe it was better that she did not know what was going on. The truth was scarier than her version.
    Finally, the ventilation shaft came to an end, and Max carefully opened the door. No one was coming, so he crawled out and helped Vivi out. It was not hard to find the right room, since Max had already been that way once. The doors only locked from the inside, so the rest was easy.
    “Great job, Max!” May said as she entered the hallway.
    “Whatever.” Max mumbled.
    The group was worried that they would stumble upon a Team Rocket member, but the hall was deserted. There was only one place they could be.
    ______________________________________________
    Misty, still held by the two Team Rocket members, looked around the room nervously.
    “What are they going to do to me?” She thought.
    She did not know what was going to happen to her, and it terrified her. Thinking of Ash calmed her a little, but she was still very afraid.
    “I wish he were here with me.”
    All the Team Rocket members had returned, and were now waiting impatiently. Finally, Giovanni took the stage.
    “Before we begin,” he said, “I would like to say that whoever it was that brought this girl to me will be handsomely rewarded. You can count on a promotion. And to the rest of you, I have it in my records, lying about it is pointless.”
    Butch and Cassidy grinned widely, while Jesse and James grimaced at being outdone by their rivals.

    “Now, let us start the ceremony.”
    Giovanni called out Haunter once more, and it floated readily by his side.
    “Haunter, use hypnosis on that girl.”
    Haunter gazed deeply into Misty’s eyes, but she turned her face away and closed them.
    “Need I remind you of our little deal?” Giovanni asked innocently.
    He knew he had her. Misty gasped, but then turned back toward Haunter and took the attack. She soon fell fast asleep, and she slouched over between the two Team Rocket members.
    “Now, Haunter, remove her spirit from her body.”
    Hypnosis was a common attack, but this was practically unheard of.
    “Can it do that?” Jesse whispered to James.
    “How should I know?” James shrugged.
    But it could indeed. Haunter placed a hand on Misty’s head, and though no one could see it, pulled her soul away from her, a ghostly pale blue figure with Misty’s form. The spirit of the girl floated unconscious beside Haunter

    “Very good, Haunter.” Giovanni said. “And now for the final step.”
    He himself approached Misty this time, and placed in her hands the glass orb. The strange light inside of it grew brighter, and then it began to flow out of the orb and into Misty’s body. The black light glowed from within her for a few moments, and then just disappeared. Giovanni smirked as she awoke.

    May_Beautifly- Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    Last edited by Hakajin; 19th June 2006 at 6:43 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Chapter 5
    Possession

    Um, is anyone still reading this thing? Oh well, here's the fifth chapter.

    Shirakiku opened her eyes for the first time in over five hundred years. She blinked slowly, and then sat up to take in her surroundings. She was in a wide stone room, very dark and plain. Around her were people dressed all in black. They did nothing, just stood there, staring at her. And then she inspected her own body. It seemed small, somehow, and she was clothed in the strangest garments.
    “Good, you’ve awakened.” A man said.
    She looked defiantly at him.
    “Who are you?” Shirakiku asked.
    She grabbed her throat, surprised at how small and young her voice sounded.
    “Oh, please forgive my rudeness.” The man apologized. “My name is Giovanni. I am the one who gave you that body. In return, I would like you to serve my . . . organization. It would be a great honor for us if you would, and you will be richly rewarded.”
    Shirakiku smirked. She had already been murdered once, and she was not going to make the same mistake.
    I thank you for your kindness, sir,” she said sarcastically, “but I must decline your offer. I serve no one.”
    “I’m very sorry to hear you say that.” Giovanni smiled. “But I am sure we can come to some sort of agreement.”
    “And why should I make ‘agreements’ with you, when I could easily summon a demon to rescue me?”
    Giovanni held up the orb, and Shirakiku gasped in horror at the sight of it. He walked over to her, and held it just inches in front of her face.
    “Ah, so you recognize it.” He said, smiling at his victory. "So then you must know that if your body touches it, your soul will return to it and you will be imprisoned again. And who knows how many centuries it will take for someone to find it again?”
    Shirakiku was angry and afraid, but she regained her wits quickly.
    “You are truly wicked.” She said mockingly. “All right, I’ll play your little game. However, know that I will not give in so easily. You had better watch your back.”
    Giovanni laughed heartily as though it were a joke.
    “You are quite spirited! I only hope you put that spirit into your work. But for now, you should rest. Come, I will lead you to your room.”

    Giovanni led Shirakiku down a long hall until they came to a room. He opened the door to reveal a lavishly furnished room. The carpet was deep blue, and the walls a lighter shade of blue. An oak canopy bed sat against the far wall, draped all in white. Next to it sat a small white table with an ornately decorated porcelain lamp. There was an oak dresser with a three-fold mirror, and covered with perfumes, lotions, and other toiletries. Beside it was a plush red stool. Finally, there was an oak chest of drawers on the right side of the room.
    “I hope your quarters are to your liking.” Giovanni said. “Oh, and I almost forgot, I believe this is yours.”
    He took Haunter’s Pokeball from his coat pocket and handed it to Shirakiku.
    “You should be grateful to this Pokemon.” Said Giovanni. “It was because of it that I was able to revive you.”

    Then he shut the door, locking Shirakiku in her beautiful prison. She waited until she could no longer hear his footsteps before releasing Haunter. She did not want to give him the satisfaction of knowing she had accepted his concession.
    “What have I come to?” Shirakiku said bitterly.
    Haunter gazed sadly at his once powerful master. It pained it to see her stripped of her pride and freedom. Shirakiku walked over to the dresser and studied her new body in the mirrors.
    “And if he expects me to serve him, the least he could have done is find me a more suitable body. Puny girl . . .”
    Haunter felt ashamed that it had brought its master to this lowly state, and it began to cry in sorrow.
    Shirakiku softened as she spoke to it.
    “Do not fret, old friend. You have done well. This was necessary for my resurrection. And rest assured, I will have my revenge. That man takes me lightly, but I will not bend to his will so easily. He does not know with whom he is dealing.”
    Then she turned back to the mirror.
    “Now I should find more suitable clothes.” She said, obviously disgusted at Misty’s choice of garments.
    ______________________________________________

    Ash sat stunned, shocked by what he had just seen. Misty was no longer Misty, his friend, but Shirakiku, a sorceress from an age long gone. He could not bring himself to believe that Misty was gone. He would not. There had to be some way to reverse the spell. But what could he do? Ash knew nothing of magic, nor did he know anyone who did. He had arrived too late to see what Giovanni had done, so even if he had known magic, he could not have reversed it.
    “What’s wrong with Miss Misty? Why was she acting so strange?” Vivi asked. Ash had almost forgotten that anyone else was there.
    “Um . . . uh . . .” Ash stalled.
    How could he explain something so difficult to a small child? Especially when he barely understood it himself.
    Luckily for Ash, Max knew just what to say.
    “It’s a spell, Vivi.” He said. “These witches have put an evil spell on Misty. That’s why she’s acting that way.”
    “But why would they wanna put a spell on her?”
    “She’s a princess, right? Witches always cast spells on princesses. Like in Snow White, or Sleeping Beauty.”
    “Oh, that makes sense.” Vivi agreed.
    But the others were kind of lost.
    “What’s this about Misty being a princess?” May asked.
    “Can’t tell you.” Vivi said. “It’s a secret.”
    May looked at Max for some sort of explanation.
    “Like Vivi said, it’s a secret.” He said, crossing his arms and nodding cockily.
    “Come on guys,” Brock cut in, “we need to get out of here before Team Rocket finds us.”
    “But what about Misty? We have to help her!” Ash cried. “And Team Rocket took Pikachu and all the other Pokemon! We can’t leave without them!”
    “We’ll come back for them, I promise. But first we need to figure out how to get them back. We won’t be helping anyone if we get caught again.”
    Ash wanted to argue, but he knew Brock was right. If he really wanted to save Misty, he had to be patient. Even though it broke his heart to leave, he had to do it for her sake. So everyone marched back up the stairs leading to the hideout, and headed for the local Pokemon Center.
    ______________________________________________

    Misty awoke to find herself in a strange place. For a moment, she could not remember where she was or what had happened to her. Then it came back to her. Team Rocket, Giovanni, Shirakiku. But now the stone room was empty.
    “Where is everyone?” Misty wondered. “And why am I still here?”
    Suddenly, it occurred to her that she was floating. She screamed and closed her eyes, waiting for the fall, but it never came. She opened her eyes again, and strangely, she was still hanging in the air. Then Misty noticed that she could see through her hands. She raised them to her face and stared at them in disbelief.
    “What is going on here?!” She yelled. “Am I . . . ? I can’t be . . . dead? Can I?”
    She still had so much to do in life, so many people who needed her. She still had not mastered water Pokemon or taken over the gym. Misty thought of her Pokemon and wondered what would happen to them. She thought of her sisters and her friends. What would they do when they realized she was gone? Misty especially wondered how Ash would feel, if he would miss her. Ash, she still had not told him . . . She would never see him again. It was hard enough not seeing him while she was staying at the gym, and the thought of eternal separation overwhelmed her with grief. No, she could not be dead yet. But that was the only thing that really made sense. The last thing Misty remembered was falling asleep under Haunter’s hypnosis, and she could only guess what had happened after that. But it was not something she wanted to think about. So Misty, dazed and confused, floated toward the exit. She did not have any real reason, but she did not know what else to do. And she needed something to keep her mind off of the horrible possibility of death. Everything felt very surreal, like a dream. Misty half-expected herself to wake up in her bed back in Cerulean. But of course, she did not. So she continued floating aimlessly, out of the room and into the halls. Misty thought she could hear a voice coming from one of the rooms, so she followed it. But it was a dead end.
    “Oh wait, I’m a ghost.” She realized. “I should be able to go through walls.”
    And so she could. Misty found herself in a beautifully decorated room, but she was too shocked to notice any of it. She had come face to face with the last person she expected to see: herself.
    ______________________________________________

    “Jesse, are you sure we should be doing this?” James asked timidly.
    Jesse did not take her ear from the door. “Don’t worry!” She said. “We can’t let Butch and Cassidy get ahead of us!”
    “Yes, but isn’t this sort of betraying the boss?”
    “Of course not! I don’t trust that . . . ghost, or whatever it is. We’re just making sure that she’s not planning anything sneaky.”
    “But what if that creepy girl finds out? Who knows what she’ll do to us?” James whined, shivering.
    “What can she do to us locked in there?” Meowth reassured him.
    “But what if . . . what if the boss finds out?!”
    “Would you two be quiet?!” Jesse said in a loud whisper. “ I can’t hear what she’s saying!”
    She leaned into the door again and strained to hear.
    ______________________________________________

    At first, Misty thought she was looking into a mirror, but the clothes were totally unfamiliar. The girl wore a yukata, red, and covered with white and yellow flowers. Still, there was no mistaking it. Misty was looking at herself. Or at least her body.
    “Who are you?!” She demanded. “What are you doing with my body?!”
    But the girl apparently could not hear her. Then she remembered what Giovanni had said about the sorceress, Shirakiku, and how he was going to resurrect her.
    “That is better.” The girl said to herself. “Now, we must figure out a way to get back my orb.”
    Suddenly, Misty realized there was someone else in the room: the Haunter who had cast hypnosis on her. It floated near the person in Misty’s body, but stared strait at Misty herself. It laughed mockingly at her and stuck out its tongue.
    “Why you . . . !” Misty fumed.
    But the girl was speaking again, and Haunter turned to listen.
    “As long as that man has it, he has complete control over me. I could easily escape this room, but I would still be his prisoner. The trouble is getting the orb back without him knowing. When I find it, I will be free to exact my revenge.”
    “What is she talking about?” Misty found herself wondering. “She’s not going to help Team Rocket?”
    “But I don’t have time to be thinking about that, I have to get back inside my body!”
    Taking the most obvious path, Misty flew toward herself in hope of reentering her body by force. But she was jolted back with a flash like a bolt of lightning.
    “What was that?” Misty said as she tried to shake off the shock of the force field.
    But Shirakiku seemed fine. In fact, she had not even noticed.
    Misty was trying to think of ways to reclaim her body when slowly, she noticed something strange It seemed like her vision was getting a little hazy. She rubbed her eyes, but when she did this, she saw that her hands had become paler and more translucent than before. Misty had been worried before, but now she was starting to get really scared. Before, she had thought that there was plenty of time, but now she was not so sure. She did not know what was happening to herself, but she did not want to find out. She had to get her body back as soon as possible. Her situation had just become urgent.
    ______________________________________________

    “Did you hear that?!” Jesse asked.
    “That witch is gonna try to get revenge on the boss!” James responded.
    “What’re we gonna do?!” Meowth wailed.
    “Only one thing to do, we have to tell the boss.” Jesse said.
    “But Jesse, you know he won’t believe us.” James argued.
    “And then he’ll know we was spyin’ on her!”
    “Do you have any better suggestions? We have to do something. It’s our duty as members of Team Rocket!”
    So Team Rocket made their way into their boss’s office, even though they knew they would be harshly reprimanded. They found him sitting in his red chair behind his desk, stroking his favorite Pokemon, Persian.
    “Boss!” Jesse yelled as she rushed into the room. “That witch is going to escape!”
    “She wants to get revenge on you for taking her prisoner!” James added.
    “I know.” Giovanni replied calmly. He did not even turn his chair around to face them. “Shirakiku made sure that I was aware of her intentions.”
    “So what’re you gonna do about it?” Meowth asked impatiently.
    “Nothing.” Giovanni finally turned around and unlocked on of the drawers in his desk, and pulled out the empty orb. “As long as I have this, I am in complete control.”
    “She mentioned that,” Jesse said, “She said she had to take it back to get away.”
    “Correct. But she knows that if she tries to steal it back, I will break it, and then she will never be able to enter another body. Her connection to this world will be gone.”
    James was still not sure. “But if you break it, you won’t have any more power over her, right? Doesn’t she know that?”
    He cringed, expecting Giovanni to yell at him for questioning his plan, but he did not. In fact, he seemed to be in a rather good mood.
    “I’m sure she does, but she won’t risk it. Trust me. Besides, that is not all this little globe can do.”
    Suddenly, the phone on Giovanni’s desk rang, and he answered it.
    “Yes . . . I see . . . no, I will be there in a moment.”
    Then he hung up.
    “It seems our prisoners have escaped.” He said. “It isn’t that important, but it would be better to find them if they’re still here, and I need to supervise the search. If you’ll excuse me.”
    Giovanni stood up and locked the orb back it in the drawer, and then strode out of the room, Persian at his side.

    “Was that really the boss?” Meowth said when the door closed.
    “What happened to him?” James asked. "I guess he must be happy because he thinks that witch is going to help him take over the world . . ."
    “Who cares? This is our chance!” Jesse stated.
    “Chance for what?” Meowth wanted to know.
    “To steal that orb, of course!”
    “But Jesse, we can’t steal from the boss!” James objected.
    “It’s for his own good. He trusts that Shira-what’s-her-name way too much. We need to do something about her, and that orb is the key.”
    “But the boss said he has it under control!” James said.
    “He only thinks he does.” Jesse remarked. “But that witch knows what he can do, and she didn’t sound scared to me. She’s got something up her sleeve.”
    “I dunno, Jesse.” Meowth said, but he did not get any farther.
    “I said we have to do it, now get going! Unlock that drawer, Meowth!” Jessie yelled, shoving Meowth’s face at the drawer.
    Meowth sighed in defeat but did as he was told and unlocked the drawer with its claw.
    Jesse snatched the orb from its place.
    “Perfect!” Jesse exclaimed. “Now let’s get out of here before the boss gets back!”
    They ran hastily out of the room, pausing for breath only when they were far away from Giovnani’s office. James groaned in despair.
    “The boss is going to kill us when he finds out what we’ve done!” He said.
    “Don’t worry, he’s not going to find out.” Said Jesse.
    “How’d’ya’ know that, Jesse?” Meowth asked.
    “Easy. All we have to do is blame it on someone else. And I know exactly who.”
    ______________________________________________

    “Have you found anything yet, Max?” Ash asked impatiently.
    The eight-year-old looked up from the computer screen to answer. “Not yet,” he said, “but I’m working on it.”
    Ash sighed and continued pacing the floor. The group was using the Pokecenter’s PC to research what they were dealing with, but so far, they had found nothing.
    “What’s taking so long?!” Ash demanded of Max.
    “Hey, I’m doing my best!” Max defended himself.
    “Ash, calm down. We’re bound to come up with something sooner or later.” Said Brock, who was seated in a chair nearby.
    “But we might not have that much time! What if we’re already too late?!” Ash ranted.
    “Ash, yelling about it isn’t helping anything.” May said calmly. “It’s just making everything worse.”
    “I know, but . . . I’m just really worried about Misty. I feel like we should be doing something instead of just sitting here!”
    “Ash, stop yelling at Max!” Vivi suddenly perked up. “He’s really trying hard!”
    Max kept his gaze focused on the computer screen, but he could not help but blush.
    “Misty will be ok.” Vivi said assuredly. “She wouldn’t want you to worry. She believes in you, so you should believe in her too!”
    “Misty said that? That she believes in me?” Ash asked, taken aback by Vivi’s statement.
    “Yep, and I do too!”
    “Thanks, Vivi.” Ash said, revitalized. “What are we waiting for, let’s get back to work!”

    As Ash said this, the doors of the Pokecenter slid open.
    “Team Rocket!” Everyone yelled simultaneously.
    “Calm down, we’ve already got your Pokemon.” Jesse said cooly.
    “Then what are you here for?!” Ash retorted.
    “We need your help with something.”
    “Why should we help you?!” May asked.
    “Because you’ll also be helping your twerpy little friend.”
    “What are you getting at?!” Ash questioned.
    “What is this, an interrogation?” James asked. “Look, that witch is plotting against Team Rocket, but the boss won’t do anything about it.”
    “So it’s up to us to stop her.” Meowth finished.
    “Fine, but we have no idea how to do that.” Brock reminded them.
    “Oh, we don’t, do we?” Jesse said slyly, holding up the orb.
    “You know how to get Shirakiku out of Misty’s body?!” Ash demanded. “How?! Tell us right now!”
    “Well, we’re not really sure of the specifics,” James admitted, “we just know that it has something to do with this orb thing.”
    Ash and his friends all face-faulted.
    “But wait, why do you need our help?” Max thought out loud.
    “Simple, we don’t want the boss to know this is our doing.” Jesse said.
    “Typical.” Ash shrugged. “But if it’ll help Misty, we’re in, right guys?”
    “Right!” The others agreed.
    “All right, let’s go!” Ash exclaimed.
    “Hold on, Ash.” Brock chuckled. “We still need to think of a plan.”
    And so they began work on one immediately.
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  15. #15
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    Chapter 6
    Light

    “So, how do I look?” May asked cutely.
    She spun around, showing off her new “outfit”.
    “Just like a member of Team Rocket!” Ash said.
    “Yeah, no one will be the wiser!” Brock said.
    The group stood at the entrance to Team Rocket’s hideout once again, this time garbed in Team Rocket’s black uniforms with the red “R” on the front, complete with the matching hats, boots, and gloves. Everyone was there except Max and Vivi. This mission could get dangerous, certainly not something for children.
    “Quiet!” Jesse commanded. “Someone will hear you! They’re already looking for you.”
    “Yeah, we should probably get going, we look suspicious standing around here.” Brock agreed.
    So they headed back into the dark hallway, leaving safety behind. The first order of business was to get everyone’s Pokemon back. After that, they would free the other prisoners, and then they would find Shirakiku, return Misty to her body, and set things strait. Simple in theory, but much harder in execution.

    “This would go a lot faster if we split up.” Brock suggested.
    “All right.” Ash said. “May and Brock, you go find the Pokemon, Jesse and James, you go let everyone free, and I’ll find Misty. Everyone meet in the main room when you finish your job.”
    “Hey, who put you in charge? Why should we let them gurls go?!” Meowth objected.
    “Yeah, I wanted to rescue the girls!” Brock said.
    “Brock, you’re on our side, remember?” May reminded him.
    “Oh, yeah.”
    “We don’t have time to worry about who’s in charge right now, we have to hurry! You don’t wanna get caught, do you? If you don’t do what we say, we might just have to turn you in.” Said Ash.
    “Fine, we’ll do it, but we still don’t like having to team up with you Twerps.” James huffed.
    “Same here!” Brock shot back.
    “You little-!” Jesse started, but she was cut off by Ash.
    “Guys, come on, let’s go!” He urged.

    So begrudgingly, Jesse and James headed off in one direction, while Brock and May went the opposite way. Unlike the others, Ash had no idea of where to go, but he finally chose a path and followed it, hoping it was the one that would lead him to Misty.
    ______________________________________________

    Brock and May were not exactly sure where they where the Pokemon were stored, but they had a feeling that the place was behind the steel door they had found. Team Rocket members were crawling the hallway, unaware that those whom they were looking for were right in front of them. Two more were posted at the door. Whatever was behind there was obviously something that Team Rocket did not want getting out.
    “This looks like the place,” May said, “but how do we get past the guards?”
    She stared at the imposing figures of the two men.
    “Easy,” Brock replied, “Just act natural. We’re wearing Team Rocket uniforms, so they won’t suspect a thing. We have to act like we’re supposed to be here.”
    Brock and May strode up to the door, trying to look natural. One of them, however, was not doing so well.
    “Uh, hi.” Brock said to one of the Team Rocket members.
    “What are you doing here?” He replied.
    “We . . . um . . . that is . . . we were just-”
    “The boss asked us to bring the Pokemon to his office.” May said cooly.
    “What does he need them for?” The other Team Rocket member asked.
    “He, uh . . .” May stalled, trying to think of a good answer, “well, those twerpy kids got out, and he wants to make sure they don’t steal them back.”
    “Sounds plausible.” The first one said. “But first you gotta tell me the password.”
    “Uh-oh.” May thought to herself.
    “Password?” She said unsurely.
    But fortunately, she remembered that she had to act confident if she was going to pull this off.
    “Uh, what are you talking about? There is no password!”
    “Right!” The guard said, handing May the keys. “Guess you’re ok. Go right ahead.”
    She opened the door and found two bags full of Pokeballs, and a wire cage which contained a very unhappy Pikachu.
    “Pikachu!” It chirped when it saw its friends.
    “Shh!” Said Brock, holding his finger to his lips.

    They were afraid they had been caught, but the guards seemed not to notice. Still, Brock and May made off with their twice-stolen Pokemon as quickly as they could.
    “What was that, May?” Brock demanded when they had reached safety.
    “What was what?” Replied May.
    She let Pikachu out of its cage, which seemed to make it very happy. It jumped into her lap and gave her a big hug, which she happily returned.
    “That! With the guards back there, what were you doing?”
    “Me?! You were the one who panicked! I really saved us back there!”
    “Whatever. We should probably meet up with Ash now in the main hall.” Brock replied as he stood. “Pikachu, they’ll know it’s us if they see you, so you should go back to the Pokemon Center and meet Max.”
    Pikachu wanted to help, but it knew that Brock was right. It ran toward the entrance, making sure to stay in the shadows. Brock stood up to go as well.
    “Hey, what about . . . ? Wait for me!” May called after him.
    ______________________________________________

    Being Team Rocket members, Jesse and James should have had an easier time with their task than the others. Sadly, that was not the case. Their “co-workers” were scouring the hall, still looking for the escaped twerps.
    “How are we going to do this, Jesse?” James asked. “We’ll get caught for sure!”
    “Quiet, I’m trying to think!” Jesse whispered. “I know, we could tell them that the boss-”
    But then she noticed that Giovanni was standing nearby, supervising, so lying and giving false commands would not work.
    “Hey, why don’t we tell them we saw the twerps somewhere else?” James asked.
    “That’s great, Jim,” Meowth replied, “but what if the boss don’t believe us?”
    “Oh, he’ll believe us, all right.” James said, holding up a Pokeball.
    “James, what are you thinking?” Jesse inquired.
    “It’s simple, really. We just have to make it look like we had an encounter with the twerps.”
    “You don’t mean . . . ?” Meowth asked in fear.
    “Yes, we let our Pokemon attack us.”
    “That’s crazy, James!” Jesse shouted.
    “Yeah, I ain’t doing it!” Meowth agreed.
    “Fine. Then I guess we’ll just have to let Butch and Cassidy get ahead of us.” James shrugged.
    “But there has to be another way!” Jesse exclaimed.
    “Why don’t you try thinking of something?” James answered.

    Jesse and Meowth sighed, but neither could think of a better plan. They sighed deeply as they conceded. They found a secluded area and released their Pokemon.
    “Seviper, go.” Jessie said half-heartedly as she released her black snake Pokemon.
    “Go, Cacnea!” James yelled.
    He was not as reluctant as the others, this being his idea.
    “All right, Cacnea, use your tackle attack on us!”
    “Seviper, use bite.” Jessie said.
    The cactus and snake looked first at their masters, then at each other, obviously confused.
    “Well, what’s the matter, Cacnea?” James asked. “The one time I want you to attack me, you won’t do it!”
    Cacnea and Seviper still did not get it, but it was their duty to obey their masters, no matter how strange the orders. So they did as they were told, and after a few attacks, Team Rocket looked sufficiently beaten up, complete with scratched limbs and frazzled hair.

    “That ought to do it.” James said wearily, but still quite pleased with himself.
    They then returned to the search party to report their “sighting”.
    “Boss!” Meowth called out.
    Giovanni took one look at them and said “What happened to you?”
    “Isn’t it obvious?” Jesse explained. “We found the twerps, and they attacked us!”
    “Impossible.” Giovanni returned. “We still have their Pokemon locked away in a closet.”
    “Uh, no we don’t.” Said one Team Rocket member.
    “What are you talking about?”
    “I was in the other hall a few minutes ago. A boy and a girl came and said that you had asked for them to be sent to your office.”
    “I did no such thing!” Giovanni yelled, suddenly realizing his loss. “Which way did they go?!” He demanded.
    Jesse and James pointed weakly down the hall.
    “Everyone, let’s go!” Giovanni called, and he and the other Team Rocket members raced in the direction Jesse and James had indicated.
    “Phew, that was close.” Jesse sighed.
    “Let’s hurry, we don’t have much time!” James reminded them.

    They went down the hall and let out all the girls, room by room. None of the girls understood why they were being released, but they did not stick around to ask questions. After being assured by Jesse and James that their Pokemon would be returned, they all made a quick escape. By the time Giovanni and the others returned, neither they nor Jesse, James, or Meowth, were anywhere to be found. They had already met up with Brock and May and were returning the Pokeballs to the now free girls. The Pokemon were long gone.
    ______________________________________________

    Misty wandered the halls, looking for the orb. She did not know what she needed to do with it once she found it, or even if she could do anything in this form, but it was better than just giving up. She was not fading now, and but was enveloped in the mist. So thick was it that Misty could not even tell where she was anymore. But suddenly, she noticed a light shining through the fog. She did not know what it was, but she followed it, hoping to find a way out of the mist. When Misty reached the source of the light, she noticed that it was being carried by someone. The mist still surrounded her, but the light illuminated the area around it, and she could see the figure of a boy. And even though he was disguised as a Team Rocket member, it only took Misty a moment to realize it was Ash.
    ______________________________________________

    Ash was lost. But it did not really matter, because he did not know where Shirakiku was anyway. He was about to turn a corner when he heard someone call his name. But when he turned, there was no one there.
    “Misty!” Ash called.
    It had to be her. He could feel her anxiety in the room around him.
    “Where are you?!” He asked, looking around the room.
    But he got no response. The only thing he could do was to follow the direction her voice had come from, so he reset his course and began running toward the source.

    At the end of this hall, Ash found a large, ornately carved door. When he opened it, he almost fell back in surprise. There, right in front of him, stood Misty. She jerked her head around and glared at him.
    “Who are you? What do you want?” She asked.
    Then he remembered that this was not Misty. Of course. Ash knew that there was someone else in her body, but it was so hard to get used to. Even in different clothes, standing next to a foreign Pokemon, it still looked like Misty, and it was very strange to hear her voice coming from someone else.
    “My name is Ash,” Ash said bravely, “and I want you to give Misty her body back right now!”
    “I’m sorry,” she laughed, “but I cannot do that.”
    “That’s what you think!” Ash answered.
    But Shirakiku did not seem upset.
    “No, I mean I really cannot do that.” She said. “I was murdered in my previous life, and I still harbor a great deal of sadness and hatred. It was not my wish to be reborn. I would like nothing more than to return to the afterlife.”
    “Oh . . .” Ash muttered, unsure of what to say.
    He carefully slipped the orb from his pocket. Shirakiku’s eyes went wide.
    “Someone told me that this would help. Do you know what to do with it?”
    “Yes, and I will gladly return this body, if you will do one thing for me.”“Sure, what is it?”
    “Allow me time enough to get revenge on that horrible man for using me like this. Then I will return quietly to the grave.”
    “Fine, I’ll help you defeat him. No problem! Let’s go!”
    Shirakiku returned Haunter to its Pokeball and followed Ash back down the hall. She was now free of Giovanni’s control. Or so she thought.

    When they reached the large stone room, Ash and Shirakiku were confronted by Giovanni, backed up by the whole of Team Rocket. They were blocking their only exit.
    “Very good, Shirakiku.” Giovanni said evilly. “But you will go no farther, this ends here. “Nidoqueen, go!” He called as he threw his pokeball.
    It split open and revealed in a burst of light a beautiful teal Pokemon that resembled a dinosaur or dragon from long ago.
    Ash immediately tensed up, ready for battle, but then he remembered that he did not have his Pokemon with him. Fortunately, Shirakiku was prepared.
    “Do not worry.” She said. “I will handle this.”

    Ash watched as her eyes turned blank. She stared deep into the eyes of the Nidoqueen, who began holding her head and thrashing about.
    “Nidoqueen, what’s wrong? Use your hyperbeam!”
    Nidoqueen did not seem to hear, until suddenly, it stopped moving and stood strait up. Giovanni smirked, but not for long, for Nidoqueen had turned around.
    “What are you doing?! Attack her!” He commanded, but it had no effect.
    Nidoqueen began charging a brilliant ball of light in its mouth, and just when the light glowed its brightest, Nidoqueen released it, sending it flying at its own master. Giovanni and several other Team Rocket members took the hit and were sent sprawling to the ground. Several gasped, but none dared move. Even Ash just stood there with his mouth hanging open. He had no idea that Misty had such power inside of her.
    “I warned you not to take me lightly.” Shirakiku said, obviously enjoying her triumph.
    Giovanni rose on his elbow and returned Nidoqueen.
    “This isn’t over yet.” He said confidently. “All of you, charge her!” He shouted to Team Rocket.

    They were afraid of her power, but they were also extremely loyal to their boss, so all of Team Rocket rushed toward the girl as fast as they could, even Brock and May, who did not want to be conspicuous. But Shirakiku was unafraid. She smirked and swooped her hand into the air. Where she did this, the very fabric of space seemed to rip, and it tore toward Team Rocket at lighting speed. Then the tear closed as quickly as it had been opened, leaving several Team Rocket members lying in its wake. Still, the rest continued to run at Shirakiku.
    “You truly are vexing.” She said.
    This time, her eyes glowed, and every Team Rocket member left standing froze in place. She raised her hands, and they all began to levitate higher and higher into the air. Then, just when it seemed they could go no higher, she threw them all back to the ground.
    “Satisfied yet?” Shirakiku asked.

    Still, a few got up and continued toward her, slower this time, but still coming. In one last attack, Shirakiku raised her hands into the air, and a ball of dark light formed between them. Her eyes became blank again, and her hair spun around her head as if a violent wind were blowing. The light grew larger and larger, until it began to shoot beams from its center. These hit the walls violently, causing them to shake. Soon, the whole room was vibrating with the dark light, which had now consumed the white, pure light. Finally, the ball reached its maximum size and exploded, knocking everyone but Shirakiku to the floor, and making the ground split apart.
    “Stop!” Ash cried. “That’s enough, this is getting dangerous!”
    “You are right.” She agreed.

    Ash began to hand her the orb, but Shirakiku shrunk away.
    “Wait.” She said. “ I cannot touch it. It . . . would seal me in this body forever.”
    “No!” Giovanni yelled. “Don’t listen to her!”
    “Here.” Ash said, taking off his gloves and handing them to her.
    She put them on and then eagerly took the orb from him.
    “You fool!” Giovanni cried out.
    Ash looked first at him, then at Shirakiku, whose demeanor had changed drastically. She wore a wicked grin, one that told him she had no intention of returning Misty’s body.
    “You tricked me!” Ash shouted in disbelief.
    “Did you really think that I would return to the afterlife?” Shirakiku said. “I now possess the power to take the world, how could I give that up? I can finally agree with you,” she said, turning to Giovanni, “he is a fool.”

    “Get the orb back from her!” Giovanni called.
    Normally, he would never trust this twerp, but his underlings were now completely incapacitated.
    “Touch her with it! It will absorb her soul back into it! It’s the only way to defeat her!”

    Ash lunged at Shirakiku, desperate to take the orb back from her. He knew now that it was Misty’s only hope of returning to her body, and now the fate of the entire world rode on it. He had to take it back, he had to, he had to. But Shirakiku saw his attack, and quickly swept her hand in front of her, erecting a barrier that sent Ash falling to the ground when he hit it.
    “Good try,” she said, “but you will have to do better than that.”
    ______________________________________________

    Misty watched from above Ash threw himself into Shirakiku’s barrier again and again, only to be thrown back each time. The light from the orb illuminated his face, full of determination, even though he was tiring. Misty winced every time he fell, but she knew he would not stop until he won.
    “Come on, Ash!” She called down. “I know you can do it!”
    ______________________________________________

    Ash got up once more, somehow revitalized. He put every ounce of strength into this attack, and finally, finally, the barrier gave and disintegrated. The confident expression on Shirakiku’s face turned to one of disbelief. But Ash did not stop. His charge had broken through the barrier, and its momentum sent him crashing headlong into Shirakiku. He collided with her, knocking her down, and sending the orb flying out of her hands. It hung in the air for a long moment before falling to the ground and shattering it, along with Ash’s hope, into a thousand pieces. Misty covered her eyes as the light of the orb burst fourth and illuminated the whole room, and then faded away to darkness. Now she could see nothing beyond the gray mist.
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    I've only read the first three chapters so far, but this is excellent. It's been so long since I've seen an AaML fic like this. You really have a knack for writing these characters well.

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    The Great Butler- Thanks so much! It's been awhile since I've gotten a review, lol. I'm really glad you like it. I'm glad you thought I did well with the characters too. I try very hard to stay in character. Thanks again!
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    Great story. It's been a while since anyone has bothered with a good Pokeshipping Fic. Good job! If there's a PM list, add me to it.

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    masterwannabe: Thanks! Lol, actually, it's been awhile since I actually wrote this. This is actually a repost. But if you're looking for some good Pokeshipping fics, you can't go wrong with Warlordess/Chibi. And I've recently been reading some stuff by SweetStories11, and she's good.
    Sure, I'll PM you when the last chapter is up. Around this time next week, I think.
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    The Great Butler- Well, the seventh chapter is the last ^_^;. But I'm really glad that you like it so much. I have a couple of other fics, but the second is barely underway. Um, people tell me that the first was good. If you decide to read it, please disregard the first chapter's suckiness. It got better after that. Thanks!
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    Ack, I forgot to mention here that I'd be on vacation for a week, and thus wouldn't be able to post the last chapter when I said I would. Sorry! But here it is anyway.

    Chapter 7
    A Fairytale Ending


    “No!” Shirakiku screamed. “What have you done?!”
    She got up and raged toward Ash.
    “Now I can never take on another body! When this one dies, I will perish!”
    Ash, still on the ground, backed away from Shirakiku’s advance, but there was no chance for escape. Then, out of the corner of his eye, Ash saw Brock rise from among the fallen Team Rocket members.
    “Go, Forretress!” He called.
    His Pokeball popped open and a giant clam like Pokemon stood before him.
    “Forretress! Use your explosion on her!”
    Forretress began to glow, and then let out an attack so powerful that it knocked itself unconscious. Shirakiku was taken by surprise and had no time to move. Ash knew he had to act quickly. He got to his feet and pushed Shirakiku out of the way just before the attack hit.

    “Ash!” Brock and May called.
    Ash cried out in pain as he fell back to the earth. He winced as he rose up on one elbow.
    “Brock, what are you doing?!” He cried.
    “She’s not Misty anymore, Ash!” Brock replied. “I know she looks like her, but Misty’s gone! There’s no way to get her back! We can’t let Shirakiku get any farther, we have to take her down!”
    “No!” Ash yelled fiercely. “No, there has to be another way! Misty wouldn’t give up on of us, so we can’t give up on her!”
    “Thank-you for saving me,” Shirakiku said as she drew near Ash. “But do not think that I am going to spare you. However, I will make this quick and painless.”
    She knelt beside Ash and locked her hands around his neck, forcing him to his back. Brock and May could only watch in horror, the element of surprise had been lost.

    “Really, it is not personal. But I have a premonition that you will be a hindrance to me, and my premonitions are always right. Is there anything you’d like to say before I kill you?”
    There was no emotion, neither anger nor hatred nor regret, in her voice. Ash felt hot tears roll down his cheeks, not for himself, but for the friend he had failed. He searched Shirakiku’s eyes for any trace of Misty’s warmth and kindness, but he could not find it.
    “Misty . . .” Cried Ash, trying to hold back his sobs. “I’m sorry . . . I’m sorry I couldn’t save you!”

    At that moment, something strange started to happen to Shirakiku. It began with a warmth deep inside her body, but it quickly began to become more intense. She tried to look away from Ash’s sincere gaze, for whatever was happening, he was the source. But she could not. Shirakiku did not understand why, but she could not move. Her eyes were locked on Ash’s.
    “What are you doing to me?! It burns! It burns!” She screamed.
    “I’m not doing anything!” Said a very confused Ash.
    Shirakiku felt as if she were burning from the inside out, as though her very soul was on fire. And in a way, it was. Misty’s love for Ash ran so deep that it had become a part of her body as well as her soul, flowing in her veins, penetrating her bones. Shirakiku had suppressed it well so far, but she could not harm Ash. Misty’s pure love welled up inside of her body, love that burned Shirakiku’s dark soul to the core. Ash watched apprehensively as Misty’s body began to glow with black light. Finally, Shirakiku screamed as the light was dispelled into the air.

    Misty’s now empty body collapsed onto Ash. He sat up, still holding Misty, and watched as the dark light swirling above him took form. After a moment, the spirit of a beautiful woman descended to the ground. Her dark hair fell past her waste, and she wore a simple yukata. Her eyes were blank, but they still reflected sadness. Ash immediately jerked back, holding Misty close to himself protectively.
    “Leave her alone!” He shouted.
    But Shirakiku only smiled.
    “My orb is gone, I can no longer enter that body.” She said quietly.
    “Then what do you want?!” Yelled Ash.
    Shirakiku’s long, dark hair floated gently around her as she spoke.
    “I only wish to tell you that you have not yet won back that girl’s soul.”
    Ash could find no response, and only stared suspiciously at Shirakiku’s fading spirit.
    “She has lingered outside of her body for too long, and her soul is lost somewhere between this world and the next.”
    Ash still did not trust her.
    “Why are you helping us?” He asked.
    “I told you, it was not personal. I am a very practical person. I needed a vessel, and your friend provided me with one. Now that I cannot return to that body, it does not matter to me if she takes it back. I do not know how, but you won, and I admit defeat with honor. I will not begrudge you your victory. But I do not have much time left.”
    Ash noticed that her spirit was becoming almost invisible, even as she spoke.
    “That girl’s body will die if her spirit does not return soon, and then she will be lost forever.”

    He was not sure if he could trust Shirakiku, but he knew that she was speaking the truth. Already he could feel Misty’s body growing colder in his arms. He had no choice but to listen to her advice.
    “What should I do?!” Ash begged.
    “If you want to save her, you must find that which binds the two.”
    “What does that mean?!”
    “I do not know, it is not the same for every person. It is something that only those who know her best will be able to find. I am sorry, but I cannot remain her any longer.” Shirakiku said.
    Her ghostly image faded away to nothing, leaving only air.
    “Wait!” Ash cried. “Please, I don’t understand!”
    But it was useless. She had disappeared from the world of the living.

    “Just what is going on here?!” A woman’s voice yelled harshly.
    Ash turned and saw Officer Jenny, backed up by an entire squad of policemen. The young girls who had been captured stood behind them, and they did not look very happy. Team Rocket was even less happy, but they did not try to escape. They knew that there was no getting away. Soon, all of them were put into the backs of police cars and carried back to the station. After the last of them had been safely shipped off and everyone changed back into their normal clothes (and it was established that Brock and May were not members of Team Rocket), Officer Jenny gave Ash and the others a ride back to the Pokemon Center in her patrol car. The mood inside the car was very somber. Everyone was lost in silent thought. Ash held Misty close, trying to warm her chilled body.
    “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you earlier.” Said Officer Jenny when they arrived.
    “That’s all right.” Ash said, forcing a weak smile. “It was kinda unbelievable.”
    “Still, I hope everything works out ok.”
    “Thanks.” Said Ash.

    After this was said, everyone got out of the car and headed up to the Pokemon Center. They were greeted at the door by Max and Vivi, both very anxious.
    “I thought you’d never get back!” Max exclaimed.
    Then he noticed Misty’s lifeless body in Ash’s arms.
    “What happened?” He asked.
    No one answered. They all followed Ash into one of the rooms and watched solemnly as he laid her down on one of the bottom bunks. Brock ran to get some extra blankets, for even though it was warm, Misty’s skin was as cold as ice.
    “What happened?” Max repeated.

    Finally, Ash told him all that had happened, about Giovanni and Shirakiku and the broken orb. Max nodded, but Vivi seemed confused.
    “What’s wrong with Miss Misty?” She sobbed.
    No one knew quite what to say to the little girl. She would probably not understand, and it would only upset her more.
    “It’s . . . part of the spell, Vivi.” Max said, taking her hand.
    “Well, how do you break it?” She asked.
    “That’s what we have to figure out.” Brock said.
    “Shirakiku said we have to find ‘that which binds the two’. What does that mean?” Ash asked, shaking his head in frustration.
    The riddle did not make any sense to him. The answer seemed so close, but he could not find it. And he knew that Misty was running out of time. Her face had become deathly pale, and Ash could not even tell if she was breathing. He was afraid it was already too late . . .

    “I know!” Vivi gasped suddenly.
    “What is it, Vivi?” Asked May.
    “I know how to break the spell!”
    “Huh?” Max asked.
    “Well, Miss Misty’s a princess, right?”
    Everyone except Max looked at Vivi confusedly, having no idea what she was talking about, but wondering where this was going.
    “So?” Max said.
    “So it’s just like in ‘Snow White’, or ‘Sleeping Beauty’! The only way to break a spell on a princess is true love!” Vivi explained, looking quite pleased with herself for figuring this out.
    “What?!” Ash exclaimed.
    “She has to be kissed by her true love!” Vivi exclaimed.

    Everyone continued to look at her with the same baffled expression. She did not understand why they did not get it, it seemed perfectly obvious to her.
    “But we don’t know who Misty’s ‘true love’ is.” Max said finally.
    “It’s Ash!” Vivi cried.
    “Huh?!” Ash said.
    “You’re the boy from the story, aren’t you?!”
    “What story?!”
    The more she talked, the more confusing it got.
    “The story Miss Misty told me about the princess and the boy who talked to Pokemon!”
    Ash stared at Vivi blankly.
    “But-”
    “Ash,” May interrupted, “we haven’t thought of anything else, and there’s not much time. What will it hurt?”
    Ash nodded. May was right. It was not much, if there was even the slightest chance that it would work, then it was worth a try. He sat down beside Misty on the bed, and slowly bent close to her. He gently pressed his lips against hers, and hoped against hope that it would somehow bring Misty back. Ash then sat strait up, and watched her closely for any change. But there was none. He choked back a sob as he realized that she was gone, there was nothing more he could do. Ash turned away from Misty. He could not bare to look at her pale face anymore. So he did not see the color returning to her cheeks, or notice her breaths becoming deeper. He did not even see her blink her eyes open, but he did hear her when she spoke.

    “. . . Ash?” Misty said weakly.
    Ash turned and looked down at her. She looked perfectly normal, if not a little sleepy. It was as though nothing had happened. It did not even occur to Ash what this meant, that he was Misty’s ‘true love’. He was so overwhelmed with disbelief and joy, and all he could do was scoop her up in his arms and cry with relief.
    “Misty . . .”
    “Ash? What’s going on?” Misty asked, very surprised at this sudden outburst.
    She looked around the room and saw that everyone else, even Pikachu, had tears in their eyes.
    “What happened? Why is everyone crying?”
    “You mean you don’t remember?” Asked Brock.
    “Remember what?”
    Ash released her from his tight hug and looked at Misty.
    “Your soul was stolen, you were separated from your body.”
    “I was?”
    Ash and the others nodded.
    “I don’t remember any of it.” Misty said. “The last thing I remember was being put to sleep by Haunter. And I had a really weird dream.”
    “About what?” May asked.
    “I was lost in this mist. It was really cold, and I didn’t know where I was. But then I saw this light, so I followed it, and then I woke up.”

    Misty did not know it, but it was no dream. She really had been lost in the mist, in the place between the world of the living and the world of the dead. When Ash kissed her, the love she had for him reacted, giving off a spiritual energy, the beacon of light that had led Misty back home. The love she had for Ash was something her spirit and body shared, and what finally brought them back together. Though no one understood it, it was the answer to the riddle, that which bound the two, body and soul, together.
    But Ash was not thinking of why it happened, he was only glad it did.
    “How do you feel?” He asked Misty.
    “I’m fine.” She answered. “But I am kinda hungry.”
    Everyone sweat-dropped.
    “You’re starting to sound like Ash.” Brock laughed.
    But it was about time for lunch anyway, everyone went into the diner to get something to eat.

    The first thing Misty did was phone her sisters, who were very glad to see her safe. She explained what had happened to her, but only the parts about being kidnapped. Daisy would have thought she was crazy if she had started talking about ancient legends and sorceresses.
    “Like, you should be more careful, Misty.” Daisy said. “I mean, how could you let Team Rocket catch you in the first place?”
    “Hey! Don’t make it sound like it was my fault!”
    “And like, what’s with the funny clothes?”
    Misty looked down at the yukata she still wore and blushed. She was not even sure of that one herself.
    “Well, whatever. Just try to stay out of trouble. You like, had us really worried.”
    “I’m sorry.”
    “It’s ok. I’m just glad you’re ok.”

    Misty changed out of her odd clothes as soon as she hung up, and then joined her friends at the table. She slid into the booth beside Vivi and across from Ash, who had already started into his food.
    “Hey Miss Misty, guess what?” Vivi said eagerly.
    “What Vivi?”
    “It was me who figured out how to break the spell that was on you!”
    Misty did not know exactly what Vivi was talking about, but she decided to play along.
    “Really?” She said.

    She wondered why Ash looked so nervous. He had stopped eating and was now staring intensely at Vivi.
    “Yeah!” Vivi continued, oblivious to Ash’s discomfort. “No one else knew what to do, but I realized that-”
    Ash started to panic, and “accidentally” knocked over his water glass, spilling it all over Misty.
    “Ash, look at what you did!” She yelled, trying unsuccessfully to dry herself with a napkin.
    “Oops, sorry Misty.” Ash said innocently.
    He knew he was in for it, but he could not let Vivi reveal his secret.
    “You’re gonna be sorry!” Misty retorted, but Ash had already left the table. “Hey, where do you think you’re going?!”
    “To get you some more napkins!” Ash called back.
    “That was too close.” He thought.

    Later, Ash stood lost in thought on the porch while everyone else watched TV. Now that everything was back to normal, it finally dawned on him what had happened. He and Misty were “meant to be” . . . or something. But Ash did not understand; how could he have been that in love with Misty and not even realized it? He had never given much thought to that kind of thing, but had always assumed that he would just know if it happened to him. So what was this? Misty had always just been his friend.

    But after what had happened, Ash started to wonder if what he was feeling might be something more than just friendship. And it sort of started to make sense. He thought of Misty a little differently from his other friends. He could not quite say what it was, but the more he thought about it, the more Ash realized that Misty was special. He knew he felt happy, at ease around her more than anyone else. But what about her? Did she realize that she was in love with him? Was she in love with him? Could Misty have been saved if it were unrequited? Ash thought about it for a minute, trying to remember everything that Misty had said and done.

    Slowly, the pieces fell into place. All the times she had yelled at him, hit him, degraded him, what was that all about? Ash knew that Misty really cared about him, and in the end, she always supported him, so why did she act like that? What was she trying to hide? And all the times she had denied being in love with him, all those blushes and sideways glances, what was she thinking? Ash began to understand why Misty sometimes got that hurt look in her eye when he said something wrong, and why she always pretended to be angry. He realized how many times he had hurt her, how vehemently he had denied liking her, how he teased her about her looks and her personality, how he had never thought of her feelings. It saddened Ash to think of the countless times he had hurt Misty without even realizing it. How long had she suffered in silence?

    “Ash Ketchum, what were you thinking?!”
    Ash spun around to find Misty standing in the porch’s sliding door with an angry expression on her face.
    “Uh-oh,” he thought, “Vivi must have told her.”
    “I can’t believe you!” Misty continued.
    “I’m sorry, Misty,” Ash cut in, “but kissing you was the only way I could save you, and-”
    “Ash, what are you talking about?” She asked, baffled.
    “Huh? What are you talking about?”
    “I’m talking about the finals of the Pokemon League, I just heard on TV that you missed it! How could you?!”
    “Oh, that. It wasn’t very important.”
    “What do you mean, it wasn’t very important?! It’s been your dream to become a Pokemon Master ever since I met you!”
    “I didn’t mean that it wasn’t important at all, but . . . you’re a lot . . . more important. What if I had won, but lost you? What would it mean? Do you think I would be happy? Besides, I couldn’t have concentrated anyway.”

    Misty turned bright red, and she felt her heart start to race.
    “Ash . . .” She said, but she quickly remembered that she could not let him see her looking so nervous. “But what were you talking about?!” She yelled, pretending to be angry again.
    “Oh, never mind, it’s nothing.” Ash said, sweat-dropping.
    “If it’s nothing, then why were you apologizing?!”
    Ash, realizing he was backed into a corner, finally gave in and told Misty everything. But she did not react the way he had expected her to, with violence. Instead, she started to cry.
    “Misty, I’m really sorry.” Ash said, this time truly concerned.
    “No, you’re not the one who should be apologizing.” Misty cried. “I am. I know you don’t feel that way about me, but I couldn’t help it, I love you. But you weren’t supposed to find out!”
    Ash was shocked. Even though he had realized it before, it was so different to actually hear it from Misty. And she had suffered. He could not stand to see her cry because of him any longer. He put his arms around her and pulled her close, wondering why he had always been so afraid to do this before.

    “Ash, what are you-”
    “Misty, I do feel the same way. It took me a long time to figure it out, but I get it now. I’m in love with you. So you don’t have to cry anymore.”
    Misty just stood there, taken aback so much that she could not move or even speak. This was what she had waited to hear for so long, but somehow, it felt unreal.
    “Ash . . . you don’t mean that, do you?” She finally said, pushing him away. “You just think that it’s destiny or something because of what happened, right? You don’t really feel that way about me. But, you shouldn’t force yourself to be with me just because you think you’re supposed to. ”
    “But that’s not it!” Ash yelled. “I mean, sure, that’s what made me think about it, but when I thought about it, I realized that I really do love you! I just didn’t know it until now!”
    Misty, still not quite sure, searched his face, looking for a lie. But there was no doubt, Ash was telling the truth. And this time when he hugged her, she returned it. Then they let go and faced each other.
    “Do you really think we’re destined to be together?” Ash asked.
    “No. I don’t believe in destiny.”
    “You don’t?”
    “No. Maybe we were fated to meet, but that’s all. I’m with you because I want to be, not because of destiny.”
    Ash smiled at her, surprised by Misty’s words but agreeing all the same.
    “You’re right. It’s the same for me.”
    After this, they said nothing, for there was really nothing left to say. Ash and Misty leaned against the porch railing and watched the sunset in silence, just enjoying each others’ company. And that was enough.
    __________________

    A few days later, the group set out again. Misty knew she had to return to the gym, but she would at least travel to Hoenn with the others to escort Vivi home. She really wanted to stay, but her sisters had insisted. Besides, it was not so bad now. Misty knew that Ash loved her now, and although she would miss him, she knew he would not forget her. She smiled knowingly when she noticed that Vivi was holding Max’s hand, but not wanting to embarrass Max, she kept quiet.

    “Hey Vivi, what was that story you were talking about?” Ash asked suddenly, remembering Vivi’s words.
    “I already told you, it’s a secret! Sorry!” Vivi giggled. “Hey Miss Misty, you never did finish the story.”
    True, she had figured everything out and knew that it was not just a story, but Misty did not need to know that. She knew this was the only way she could find out what happened between Ash and Misty.
    “Whatever happened to the princess and the boy?”
    Misty smiled happily and laughed.
    “I have a feeling they lived happily ever after!”

    The End

    Sorry if the end seems little cliched, some have said as much, but I don't think it is. When I first imagined this story, I avoided resolving it with a kiss. But then I threw the little side-story in with Vivi and the fairy-tale. I hadn't intended it to tie back into the main story; it was just something to write about while Misty and Vivi were captured (lazy writing, I know), but somewhere along the way I realized that it fit perfectly. Serendipitous. And I added the explanation for good measure. Tell me what you think (please)!
    Last edited by Hakajin; 10th July 2006 at 5:49 AM.
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    I like it. Very good work. A sweet ending, with appropriate danger and alarm put in at just the right places.

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    I really enjoyed this story! Although, I thought that the Rocket member wouldn't just give in to Jenny like that, if it was all of them against one cop and an army of girls. I noticed no mistakes in your grammar, so that's a plus! I don't really know what else to say now. I like how you didn't end it with a kiss. It just seemed more natural that way. All-in-all, I give it 4.5/5 stars! Good work!

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    The Great Butler- Thank you! I'm glad you liked the ending, and that you thought everything was well-placed.

    Fez the Misfit Elf- Thanks! Well, they were already pretty beat up by Shirakiku. There were more police than just Jenny, she was just a spokesperson. Oh, thanks, I pride myself on my grammar, and I'd fixed a lot of mistakes I'd made when I first posted this fic. But . . . I did end it with a kiss . . . You mean that it wasn't the very end, and there was stuff after that? Oh, thanks. I hate it when everything ends all mushy. Thank you!
    These are my fanfics. Read them. Or not, whatever.
    Pokemon Generations: Satsumi's Journey (Chapter 1 Now Up!)
    My Fanfiction.net Profile

    This is my Tumblr. Read it if you are so inclined.
    The Philosophy of Shipping (shipdr.tumblr.com)

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    *Holland*
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I love this story
    This is 1 of the best AAML story's everr!

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