Apologies for the delay of chapters, but I've been busier than I thought I would be and I promise to do a response post for Chapter 21 AND if I get any for Chapter 22 tomorrow. Promise. Enjoy!
Chapter 22 – Competition – In More Ways Than One
As soon as Ash entered the room, he breathed a sigh of relief to see that Macey hadn’t followed him to his room and then settled himself down in front of the computer to see if the database had been updated to show the trainers’ profiles and whom they would fight against. As he clicked on his name and observed his opponents, he noted that the young man who he was to fight against first referred to himself as a ‘herd trainer’ and specialised in training Pokemon that would usually travel in herds or groups when they were in the wild. Ash grinned to himself.
Piece of cake. He thought to himself as he scrolled down the Trainer’s profile and analysed his Pokemon status’s.
May and Max entered the room a little while later and were closely followed by Brock and a smiling Misty.
“Aw, man!” Ash moaned as he read the small print by his name. “My first match is tomorrow since they’ve got so many people battling today!”
“Well, it must mean that there are a lot of trainers that are participating in the League.” Max replied calmly and sat down in front of the TV. “How many matches does it say you need to have and how many Pokemon can you use?”
“Errr… it says that I’ve got to qualify like I did in the Johto League – but this time I only use one Pokemon and there’s a time limit.”
“How long have you got, Ash?” Brock asked his friend.
“Fifteen minutes. Woah! That doesn’t seem a lot.”
Brock moved over to the PC screen to observe the rules with Ash. He looked to see how the marking scheme worked but he was satisfied to see that they would be no extra points given and it would work as a win would give three points, a draw would give each Trainer one point, and a loss would mean no points.
“You’re going to have to be careful, Ash.” Brock continued. “They request that both Trainers release their Pokemon at the exact same time, and the person to make the first move will be decided by a computer draw. The thing that’s interesting is that you won’t know what Pokemon your facing until you release yours. If you make a wrong choice then you’re going to be in trouble. What’s the person like who you’re going to face first?”
Ash clicked on a number of icons on the screen until the Trainer he would face tomorrow was displayed on the screen.
“His name is Treb and he refers to himself as a Herd Trainer. He’s got mainly normal Pokemon in his party but I think all of them are capable of using psychic attacks. But then he’s also got a Wailord but I don’t think he’d use that in the preliminary rounds coz it’s so big and there won’t be any water for it. I guess he might use his Houndour or his Kangaskan if he knows that I’ve got Pikachu. But anyway, he’s going to be a piece of cake.” Ash finished confidently.
“Um… Ash, have you finished with the PC yet?” Misty asked him quietly but sweetly.
“Oh, I just wanted to have a look at it – you know, see if there’s anyone else we know in the Tournament.”
“Oh, I can do that-”
“No! Umm… Could I do it?”
“Urr… Sure Misty, it’s all yours.” Ash said unsurely and slightly taken aback by her abrupt behaviour as he moved out of the way of the PC to allow Misty access to it.
She handled the PC so quickly that Ash was unable to keep up with what she was doing and gave up watching her to go to the phone to speak to Professor Oak.
“Hello, Ash. It’s good to hear from you. I take it that you’ve registered for the League and are eager to battle?”
“You bet Professor, I’m ready to fight my way to the top!” Ash replied confidently to his mentor while posing to the screen in front of him.”
“So, do you need any of your Pokemon for your upcoming battles?” The Professor asked Ash kindly. “I believe you still don’t have a water Pokemon in your party.”
“Oh yeah, that’s right. Let’s see, I could maybe swap for Totodile, or Kingler or…”
“You can use one of mine, Ash.” Misty said from the other end of the room where she was still intently focused on the computer database.
“What do you mean?” Ash asked as he turned around in his seat to look at the back of her.
“You can borrow one of my Pokemon.” She repeated. “You could use my Gyarados if you want since it knows fire, water, and normal attacks. It would give you a great advantage in you battle.” She said kindly as she turned to face him.
“Oh, thanks.” He replied slightly stunned but smiled at her generosity. “Professor, is that allowed? Can we do that?”
Professor Oak nodded his head knowingly at his question.
“That’s fine, but it might be an idea to trade one of your Pokemon in exchange for Misty’s Gyarados just so it doesn’t provide any complications.” He stated. “They might accuse Misty of giving un-authorised help to you since you need to use your own Pokemon in the League Tournament. However, if you trade with her and then trade back at the end of the preliminaries there shouldn’t be a problem. Once you qualify you’ll be able to use up to three Pokemon for the first rounds and then advance on to six. But I’m sure since Misty is a capable and talented Gym Leader and Trainer, her Gyarados will be very beneficial to you.”
“Thanks Professor!” Misty shouted from the end of the room.
“I dunno, I’d rather earn my title with my own Pokemon…” Ash replied unsurely.
“But think about it Ash, you’ll only use my Gyarados for your preliminaries and then you can use whatever Pokemon you want. It just gives you a slight advantage and if we trade then technically it will be yours anyway.” Misty said persuasively.
“Um… OK then, so what Pokemon do you want for Gyarados?” he asked Misty and cupped his hand over the phone.
She turned around and gave him a playful grin.
“Totodile.” She said teasingly.
“What?” he exclaimed.
“Ash, I’m only going to look after it while you have your matches.”
“Alright.” He sighed and directed his attention back to Professor Oak. “Can we swap Totodile for Swellow Professor? I might need to swap them over again at some point.”
“Sure, Ash. Is there a transporting line at your end?”
Ash stared at the small machine next to the video phone that was used from transporting pokeballs.
“Yeah, there is.”
“Alright then, place Swellow’s ball in position and I’ll carry out the transaction.”
Ash took a pokeball from his belt and placed it in the machine and watched it disappear in a flash of light and be replaced with a Lure Ball – a pokeball specialised in catching water Pokemon.
“I got Totodile!” Ash said happily. “Thanks a lot Professor.”
“Good luck, Ash, and let me know how things turn out – though I’m sure your mother, Tracey and I will catch your performance on TV.”
“I hope so.” Ash chuckled. “See ya Professor.”
Ash placed the phone back in the receiver as the picture clicked off and went back to its usual blank screen. He took the pokeball from its deposition point and looked at it as he moved over to Misty. When she realised he was behind her, she abruptly changed the window that was currently on her screen of a Trainer that she was observing and turned to face him as she laughed nervously.
“What were you looking at?” Ash asked in an annoyed tone to see her acting so strangely over looking up profiles.
“Oh, um, just what Pokemon Macey now has.” She replied sweetly.
“But the profile you were looking at was a guy. Why are you lying to me?”
Misty blushed and looked down at her feet in embarrassment. Ash looked at her sympathetically and sighed.
“So should we go and trade our Pokemon now?” he asked her.
The cordless phone, that was on a separate system to the video phone, let out a wail as it signalled an incoming call.
“Um, sure, just after I answer this call.” She replied and stood up and moved quickly over to the ringing phone.
Brock was about to pick it up as he emerged from his room but Misty bummed him out of the way with her hips and picked up the phone and answered in a caramel-sweet tone.
“What are you doing picking the phone up?” the person on the other end of the line shouted. “Have you got nothing better to do than answer Ash’s phone when this could be the most important phone call of his life and you’re preventing him from answering it?”
“Huh?” Misty yelled in confusion as she held the phone in front of her face in disbelief on how rude the caller was. “Who is this?” she asked angrily.
“This is Ash’s love and how dare you take on a rude tone with me! Where is he?”
“Who is this?” Misty asked again and grinding her teeth.
“Misty, are you OK?” Ash asked from the sofa.
“It’s Macey, and I want to speak to Ash. Aren’t you that annoying little brat who calls herself Ash’s coach?”
Misty’s rage built up inside her and she was on the near point of blowing several fuses.
“YOU COULD HAVE JUST SAID SO IN THE FIRST PLACE AND THEN YOU WOULD HAVE TO SPEAK TO ME LESS AND SPEAK TO YOUR ‘TRUE LOVE’ MORE!!!” Misty yelled down the phone and made everyone in the room jump.
She stormed over to Ash in such a rage that she hit Ash on the head with the phone as she threw it at him and stormed into her room.
“Who is it?” Ash asked as she stormed off but her only reply was the slamming of her door.
Ash picked up the phone and muttered a hello until he realised who it was began to panic as Macey bombarded him with a number of questions and a dinner proposal.
“So, Ash, how about it? Do you want to come to dinner with me tonight?” she said lovingly down the phone.
“Urr… tonight? Um…I’m busy tonight.” He stuttered to say.
“Oh really? What are you doing tonight then?”
“Um… I’m err… um…”
“That sounds really interesting. But I’m sure you can cancel it. So I’ll meet you by the fountain outside the Pokemon Centre and then we’ll go to the adorable little restaurant for couples across the street OK?”
“Um… well… err…”
“Great, I’ll see you at seven then! Love you Ash! Bye!”
She clicked off from her end and left Ash in a state of shock as he continued to listen to the buzzing of the telephone line and stare at the space in front of him. Brock moved over to him and waved a hand in front of his face.
“Are you OK? What just happened?” he asked in a concerned tone.
“I’m going on a date with Macey!” he yelled in a weak voice as May and Max entered the room to see what all the commotion was about.
“Is that supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing?” Brock asked unsurely.
“Well I don’t really want to go out with her!” Ash wailed.
“Why not?” May asked.
“Because I don’t exactly like her, but she seems to have got a crush on me.”
“Well who do you have a crush on?” May asked again while holding back a grin.
“Hey! That’s my business!” he retaliated.
“Oh, so you do have a crush on someone!” Brock teased.
“You know, you two are really starting to sound like Team Rocket.” Ash stated sarcastically.
Misty emerged from her room minutes later and poured herself a drink from the kitchen.
“So what did Juliet want, Romeo?” Misty said, dripping with sarcasm.
“Oh, she’s told me that I’m going on a date with her tonight.”
Misty spat out her drink and choked on the rest and Max ran up to her and patted her on the back.
“What?” she asked in disbelief.
“She says that I’m to meet her at seven at the fountain outside the Pokemon Centre.”
“And are you?”
“Well are you?” Misty asked.
“Well I guess I’ll have to.”
“You don’t have to do anything.” She said angrily. “If you don’t want to go out with her then don’t.”
“But I can’t just leave her there waiting or phone her back because she won’t listen.” Ash protested hopelessly.
“You know what, Ash? Do what you want because at the moment you don’t seem to listen to a word I say.”
“Misty, I didn’t mean it like that!”
The phone rang again and interrupted their argument. Misty glared at it and picked up and shouted down the line.
“Macey – Ash wants you to leave him alone! If you pester him one more time-”
“Misty? It’s me, Brendan.”
Misty’s cheeks turned a deep red in embarrassment at what she had just said.
“Oh, hi Brendan, how are you?” she asked as she looked up to see all of her friends staring at her.
She backed away slowly to her room as they continued to stare at her and closed the door behind her. The group rushed up to her door and pressed their ears against it to try and listen to what she was saying. Unfortunately they could only make out mumblings.
“I’m good. Listen, I was just wondering, are you free tonight?”
“Um… I think so, why?” she asked sweetly.
“Do you want to go out tonight? There’s this lovely little restaurant opposite the Pokemon Centre but it’s designed for couples… but we don’t need to go as one, just as two people who are interested in getting to know each other.”
“Brendan, that would be great.” She replied and smiled to herself.
“Great. So do you want me to meet you outside your room? Or somewhere else?”
“Um…” Misty looked at the door and pictured what her friends’ reactions would be. “How about I meet you outside the restaurant?”
“Sure. About seven?”
“Alright, see ya then.”
“Take care, Misty.”
She pressed the little red button on the phone to cut the call and smiled to herself. Then she heard Ash’s voice in the other room and her face fell. Why was she going out with a complete stranger when she thought that she liked Ash?
Maybe because he doesn’t feel the same way. She thought to herself and helped convince her that going out with someone like Brendan was the right thing. She opened the door only to find friends’ topple on top of her where they had been leaning against the door.
“Will someone please explain to me what is going on?” She yelled from the bottom of the pile as they got off her one by one.
She sat up and rubbed her head as Ash helped her up.
“So who was on the phone?” May asked suspiciously.
“Oh, my sister’s called and were asking how I was doing.” She lied.
“Oh.” May replied slightly shocked by her answer. “Are they OK?”
“Yeah, they’re fine.” Misty replied as she busied herself by brushing down her clothes. “So, where did Macey say she was meeting you, Ash?”
“By the fountain so she can take me to a restaurant.” Ash sighed. “I really don’t know why she’s taking me. I’m mean what’s so good about me that could make her like me so much.”
“Oh lots of things, Ash.” Misty replied and then blushed at what she said. “I mean… do you wanna go trade our Pokemon?”
“Oh sure.” Ash said as his spirits rose at the proposal and Misty grabbed his wrist and ran with him outside of their room and down to the bottom floor where the trading machine was located.
“So what are you planning on wearing tonight?” Misty asked him as they approached the machine.
“Can’t I just wear this?” Ash asked her as he indicated to his current clothing.
“Not if you’re going to a restaurant.” She replied. “You’ll probably need to wear a tux. Do you have one?”
Ash shook his head.
“Well after we’ve finished trading we’ll go and get you one.”
“Do we have to?” he protested irritated.
The quickly traded their Pokemon so that Gyarados was in Ash’s possession and Totodile in Misty’s. With this completed, they walked outside to a number of shops until they came across one that specialised in eveningwear. Misty dragged Ash into the shop and gave him a hand full to try on. He mumbled as he went to the changing rooms and when Misty saw him disappear, she focused her attention on the ladies section of the store. She admired the beautiful gowns and dresses that were neatly arranged and displayed around the store. She looked at a short, pale blue strapless one that had a metallic shine to it and came with a pair of strapped shoes to match.
“What about this one?” Ash asked as he emerged from the changing room in a metallic black tuxedo.
Misty hastily replaced the dress that she was looking at and directed her attention to Ash. He looked extremely handsome and sophisticated and Misty smiled her approval.
“It looks great, Ash. But you might not want to wear your cap.” She said and chuckled to herself.
Misty shook her head in disbelief and dropped the subject.
“Ash, what do you think of this dress?” she asked him curiously and picked out the gown that she had been admiring before he had emerged from the changing rooms.
“It looks nice.” He said. “Why don’t you try it on?”
“Oh no, I couldn’t.” she replied and blushed.
“Why not? Get in that changing room and try it on!” he ordered and pushed her in that direction.
She sighed and put it on and emerged a little while later and left Ash with his mouth open in awe. Misty folded her arms.
“I hope you’re not suggesting that it looks horrible with that look, Ash.” She said slyly.
“Oh no! It looks lovely on you, Mist!” he apologised and laughed while scratching the back of his head.
She smiled at his kind words and spun around on the spot.
“So should I get it for tonight?” She asked and admired herself in the mirror.
“Where are you going tonight?” Ash asked confused.
Misty’s eye’s widened as she corrected herself by saying should she get it for a special occasion. He agreed with her and they both bought their outfits and headed back to their room.
“Hey, Ash, do you know what the time is?” she asked as she walked past the restaurant that she was going to later.
“Well that big clock up there says it’s half past six.” He commented.
“What? Ash, we need to get going! I need to get ready – I mean you need to get ready! Come on!” she panicked as he linked arms with him and ran at full speed to their room.
Brock and Max helped Ash get ready for his date as Misty shut the door of her room to prevent May seeking sanctuary with her. She quickly showered and changed into her outfit as May banged on the door and asked why she had locked her out.
“I just wanted to take a shower!” she shouted back as she fell over while trying to put her shoes on. “Hey, May, would you do me a favour? Would you mind asking downstairs if they have any more towels? They’re aren’t any left.”
“I’ll see if the boys have got any spare.”
“No! You don’t know what they might have done with them. Urr… could you please get some from down stairs?” she asked sweetly.
“Alright, but only coz we don’t trust the boys and their towels.” She mumbled back as Misty heard the front door close behind her.
Misty opened the door quietly and searched the area to see if anyone else was about and tip-toed out of the room and pulled her pale blue wrap tightly around her as she made her way out of the room. She moved quickly as she could down the corridor because of her high-heeled shoes, and took the elevator down so as not to risk bumping into May on the way down.
“I wish Misty was coming with me.” Ash sighed as he did up his bow-tie.
“Why’s that?” Max quiered.
“Well, maybe because she’s been really supportive to me and she understands people’s feelings better than I do.”
“May’s good with that.”
“OK, so I do I look alright?” Ash asked as he turned to face his friends.
“You look fine.” Brock commented. “You’d better get a move on though, it’s almost seven.”
“Alright. Hey, Misty! May! I’m off now.” He shouted as he entered the main room.
He didn’t receive a reply.
“That’s weird. Where are they?”
“Maybe the got bored of waiting for you and decided to go for a walk while they waited.” Max suggested.
Ash looked slightly disheartened but didn’t say anything.
“Well if I’m not back by eight, then send out the search parties.”
“If the service is slow then we’ll be looking for you for no reason.”
“Just have a good time, Ash, and we’ll see you when we see you.” Brock said airily as he shut the door behind Ash.
Misty saw a tall figure dressed in a tuxedo waiting outside the restaurant and was instantly reminded of Ash until she distinguished Brendan’s bright hair and blue eyes as he smiled when he saw her approaching him.
“I’m glad you could make it. You look really nice.” He said when he walked up to him. “Shall we go to dinner.” He mocked formally as he held out his arm to her.
Misty blushed and accepted as they walked into the restaurant. The waiter introduced himself and seated them at a table for two near the back but close to a window. Brendan ordered drinks for them and he and Misty began a light conversation on the Tournament.
“So who are you fighting against first?” Misty asked politely as she took a sip of her drink.
“Well it says that I’m up against this guy called Brian who calls himself a Bird Master. All of his Pokemon are birds and since I’ve got an Electrike, I shouldn’t have too many problems. Who are you up against first?”
“Oh, I’m not participating in the Tournament. But my best friend is and I’m here to show support.”
“Why aren’t you? I’m sure you’re a talented Trainer.”
“I’m the Gym Leader of the Cerulean Gym in Kanto.” Misty said and smiled. “I specialise in Water Pokemon and I used to travel a lot with my two best friends but then I was needed to take responsibility of the Gym while my sister’s were away and then I came back to show my support to Ash.”
“I take it Ash is short for Ashley then.”
“Not that I’m aware of. His mum always calls him Ash.”
“Yeah, Ash is my best friend.”
“Oh, when you said that you were travelling with your best friends I presumed that they were both girls.”
“Oh no,” Misty said and laughed at herself for not explaining properly. “My two best friends are Ash and Brock and they travel with my two other friends who are May and Max who are brother and sister.”
“I see.” Brendan finished as the waiter came over to take their orders.
Ash stood by the fountain and waited anxiously for Macey to arrive. He thought he heard something behind him but dismissed the thought when he couldn’t see anything. He heard something run at him and as he turned around he yelled out as a young girl jumped on his back and hugged the life out of him.
“Oh Ash! I’m so glad that you came! And you look so handsome in that outfit! Come on, I’m starving!” She said quickly and dragged him to the restaurant.
The waiter looked at a distressed Ash and an excited Macey with an unsure looked but placed them in a booth by the window. Many of the people sitting at the tables looked at them because of Ash’s constant wailing and Misty, who had caught sight of Ash because she recognised his voice, looked at how closely he was positioned to her table and stared at him with wide-eyes. She quickly pulled out a menu and hid behind it as Brendan asked if she was OK.
Ash backed against the window as Macey snuggled up to him and ordered a huge pasta bowl to share and Ash’s face was horror-stricken.
“Look, Macey, I came here just to tell you that…”
“That you love me?” Macey said dreamily as she stared up into Ash’s eyes.
“So what’s the deal with you and that kid over there?” Brendan asked Misty as she spied through a hole in her menu.
“That’s Ash.” She whispered. “But he doesn’t know that I’m here.”
“Oh, and that girl he is with is his girlfriend?”
“NO!” Misty shouted and unintentionally drew attention to herself.
She looked on at Macey and Ash in disgust and couldn’t bear to watch any more of their behaviour.
“Look at the way she is throwing herself at him!” she said bitterly. “And Ash doesn’t even like her!”
“You know, Misty, you’d think you were jealous of him or something.”
“I am not jealous!” she shouted at him.
Their food arrived and they ate in silence as Misty kept glaring at Macey and Ash. She watched as their food arrived and Macey was trying to spoon-feed Ash who constantly refused and assured her that he was quite capable of eating his food himself.
When Misty’s and Brendan’s plates were taken away, they decided not to have desserts but Brendan proposed that they go for a walk around the gardens. Misty accepted and something struck Brendan as he watched Misty and then looked at Ash. He insisted that they walk past Ash and Macey’s table and when Ash had recognised Misty, he turned around in his seat to see her and Brendan stop by the door and Brendan gave Misty a quick kiss on the cheek. Misty blushed and Ash looked at her in horror and disgust as Brendan took her outside.
“What’s wrong, honey?” Macey asked as she finished off the pasta.
“Nothing.” He replied tonelessly and stared at the table.
Macey proposed that they go for a walk after they finished their dessert, but Ash insisted that he was no longer hungry and was unconsciously dragged towards the gardens.
End Chapter 22
Well this one is 13 pages in length, so hopefully you won't complain too much about that because I could have made it longer but then I thought it would be too many events in one chapter.
Anyway, I would love it if you please read it and let me know what you think!
Your reviews always mean a lot to me. ^_^