OK guys, first I am SO SO SO sorry for not getting Chapter 25 up on its deadline. The reason for it, I can't really tell you, but I hope that you can understand that I've tried my hardest with it and I still don't think it's very good. I'll do a quick responce post and then Chapter 25 will at last, make its debute.
gladdecease: I dunno, we'll have to see when I write it. I've had the biggest craving to write for the past four weeks, and each time, something comes up to prevent me writing it. *sighs* Still waiting for 17th December...That's OK if you want to add something in from here ^_^ leave me a little credit though! lol Adding Psyduck in? Hmm... OK, I'll see what I can do - but it will have to be a Chapter 26 thing. ^_^ Make sure to tell me when you post it up!
Manmadhan: OMG I am so sorry. It's OK, take your time with reading them - I need to read your latest chapter as well soon, so I'll make sure to do that. ^_^
Shiny Lapras: Yay! Thank you. Nope. ^_^
lugin1212: Aww! Thank you. That means a lot. ^_^ Thanks, I'll try my best - only 6 more to go!
NintendoMaster: You're too sweet. ^_^ Well you shouldn't have to wait any longer!
Wierdo: If I don't beat myself up, I don't get anywhere. I've lost all my inspiration at the moment - ideas that I have need to come later in the story, so I need to remember what was going to happen then. I don't think that stress is helping me at the moment, that's why when the 17th December comes, I'm going to have a writing blitz and write lots of chapters to make up for it, even if it means double posting. I feel so guilty about letting you guys down that it makes me unhappy and then everything gets topsy-turvey. Hmmm... maybe, but then it will spoil everything that is going to happen because its going to happen in the last few chapters. I'll think about it but thanks for the idea.
Moonlusion: Oh, thank you! ^_^ That's really sweet of you. ^_^
MetalGardevoir: Thank you! ^_^
Shadow Shedinja: Thank you so much! I'm glad that you like it. ^_^ That's OK, take your time and no, there won't be 50 chapters so if you want to read it all, that's up to you, but thank you for your review. ^_^
Kwon: Thank you very much! I am debating as to whether I should post it on fanfiction.net at the moment. I'm still thinking about it and have a number of doubts going through my mind. But I agree, it must be annoying to go through so many pages to reach the chapters. I'll think about it and let you know and thank you for the advice. ^_^ Oh and thanks for voting! yay! It's gone up a bit!
Thank you the snagger, that really means a lot to me. ^_^
Cynadaquil: lol, well now you know why my stress levels have been high. I'll send you a PM later. ^_^
Kwon: No, my PM list is open to everyone who wishes to receive notice on when chapters are up and of course I'll add you to my list. ^_^
NintendoMaster: It's not on a five star because so many people have voted for it and it will take ages to get it there. I really don't care anymore, as much as I would love to see it a five star again, I can't see it happening any time soon. No, I'm posting Chapter 25 now. ^_^ It's been way too long.
lugin1212: ^_^ I don't blame you.
Cerulean Girl: *writes on hand 'must reply to CGs PM* Will do. ^_^ Awww! You're so sweet! *hugs*
Kold Krush: Thank you so much! I become really happy when people say that they've read all of it so far when there is so much to read. It means that they really enjoy it and thank you so much for that. ^_^ Of course I'll PM you! I'll add you to my list.
schrack: Thank you so much! ^_^
big evil: Thank you! I'm glad that you enjoy it even if you're not a Pokeshipper - It's great when people read fics out of their normal league and enjoy it. Thank you so much, that means a lot to me. ^_^ BTW, remember when you sent me a PM about a fic of yours? I'm sorry that I couldn't review it because it was on ff.net, but have you posted here? I wasn't sure, but could you please give me the links to your fanfics here, because I would love to read them. ^_^
515: Thank you! ^_^
Thank you PokemonScott!
Kwon: Are you still tired? Because I haven't written chapter 26 yet. ^_^
Elite Eevee & Cloud Strife: Thank you both for your concern. I've decided that they only way I'm going to be able to keep this alive is to write chapters, so I've written Chapter 25 and plan to have Chapter 26 up next weekend. Thank you both once again.
Shunok: Thank you! Sure, I'll PM you. ^_^
MageRyock: Thank you very much. ^_^ but please don't double post, just use the edit button in the corner of your post. ^_^ Yeah, it would be nice to see this story as an anime, I'd love to do the voice acting! lol
AshAndMisty: Thanks. ^_^
Well, at long last, I've got Chapter 25. Personally, I don't like it - it just doesn't seem...right, but it had to be done for the rest of the story. Please let me know what you think of it. I'll post the version with names in a bit later, but this is the original.
Chapter 25 – Faith and Trust
“Well the good news is that he hasn’t broken anything.” Nurse Joy said happily to the anxious group who has been waiting outside in the main foyer. “But the bad news is he’s going to be out of action for a couple of days.”
“He can’t be!” Misty protested. “He’s in the Tournament! He’s going to have his next match tomorrow!
“I’m sorry, Misty, but I believe that he has a few bruised ribs and he has a nasty mark appearing on his back. I can’t see anything broken on his back but he’s knocked it pretty badly.”
“This is all my fault.” Misty said tearfully as she looked down at the floor.
“Don’t blame yourself, Misty.” May said comfortingly to her. “It’s not your fault that this happened – it’s Team Rocket’s. If they hadn’t stolen Pikachu in the first place, then Ash wouldn’t be in this mess.”
“I guess.” Misty replied, still unconvinced that she didn’t hold some responsibility to Ash’s pain.
Pikachu looked sadly through the window to its master and its ears drooped down as it cooed its name. Unable to see the group in so much despair, Nurse Joy hurried over to a nearby bookshelf and scanned it until she reached the title she was looking for and picked it out. She opened it on her desk and rapidly flicked through the pages.
“This might help.” She said happily and drew the group’s attention to her. “I remember that in the Romantic Gardens, there is a berry tree that restores any status problem and eases the pain for Pokemon or person to their normal self to some regards. With Pokemon, it immediately heals them but with people, it takes away the pain but the bruises may remain for some time. However, on humans the effects are only temporary until proper treatment is found to continue to ease the pain. It’s similar to the effects berries have on people compared to Pokemon. Here read this article that Professor Ivy wrote on ‘Symptoms of Berries for People and Pokemon’.” She finished while handing Max a magazine.
“That name!” Brock cried out and disappeared into a corner of the room where he crouched down and sulked.
“What’s wrong with him?” May asked, slightly perplexed.
“Don’t ask.” Misty replied and sighed. “Do you really think that this berry will help Ash, Nurse Joy?”
“It depends. But if you gather enough of them then I might be able to make him enough of the antidote to last him for the duration of his matches so that he can still recover when he’s not on the field. It will mainly depend on how long it will take him to regain his strength and the time it takes for him to be well enough to move around without the pain. At the moment, I would estimate that it would take him about three days until he would be fit enough to be out of bed – just to be on the safe side.”
“We have to get those berries for Ash.” Misty said confidently and held a firm fist up to her face. “Can you give me directions to the whereabouts of this berry tree?”
“You can’t go alone, Misty!” May protested against her proposal. “What will happen if something happens to you? I may not know Ash as well as you do but I’m sure that he wouldn’t want that.”
“She’s right, Misty. You can’t go alone.” Brock reasoned with his friend as he folded his arms.
“Well I don’t think that Ash would want us to sit around doing nothing when we could be helping him!” Misty retaliated angrily. “Nurse Joy, where do I need to go?”
Nurse Joy sighed and wrote down a number of instructions for Misty to follow to get to the place. It appeared to be a difficult trek, though Misty’s determination did not allow her spirits to drown.
“I’m coming too!” May said and interrupted Misty’s thoughts.
“Huh? May, I appreciate your help but it would probably be best if I went alone. Ash might need you.”
“No, Misty, I’m not letting you go on your own.”
May’s face was set and Misty witnessed her determination to help her friend. She sighed and agreed to let her come along with Brock and Max’s approval.
“Be careful, Misty.” Brock said worriedly as he watched his friend prepare her bag. “Just don’t do anything stupid, OK?”
“I won’t, Brock.” She replied and smiled.
“That goes for you too, May.” Max added.
“I’ll be fine.” She responded sarcastically to him.
“Come on, we’ve got to find that berry tree.” Misty said firmly to May as she walked out of the door.
“See ya later guys!” May waved as she ran to keep up with Misty.
Brock sighed as he watched them go.
“Please, just don’t do anything stupid, Misty.” He muttered to himself. “Don’t risk your life for Ash again – you’ve done that too many times already.”
Not fully understanding what he meant, Max gave him a puzzled look as he gazed at his older friend and then peered through the glass window that showed Ash lying on a bed and talking weakly to Nurse Joy.
“We have to climb up a side of a mountain?” May moaned at the instructions that Misty had just handed to her. “Where exactly is this plant supposed to be growing anyway?”
“Nurse Joy said that it grows underwater and in a pool that’s got a cascading waterfall. She said that it once grew in the pool where the Shiny Lapras is supposed to appear but because it was so easy to access it died out and there are no more there.” Misty replied.
“Great.” May stated sarcastically as she folded up the piece of paper and placed it in her bag.
They both hurried over the flat ground that they were travelling on and through a denser part of the Gardens. Climbing over rocks and fallen tree trunks, both girls focused on the aim of their task to carry them through the difficult ordeals that lie ahead.
“Hi, Brock. How are you doing?” Ash asked his friend as he sat in a chair next to his bed.
“I think I should be asking you that!” Brock chuckled at his friend’s innocence.
Max slowly entered the room also and sat quietly in an opposing chair to Brock. He didn’t say anything, even when Ash greeted him and this automatically struck suspicion in Ash’s mind.
“Where’s May and Misty?” he asked curiously.
Max jumped in his seat as Brock gave him a warning look.
“Urr… they went to the Pokemon Centre to get their Pokemon healed.” Max said quickly without thinking.
Ash frowned at him and quickly looked between Brock and Max for an explanation.
“But we’re in the Pokemon Centre now, shouldn’t they just be outside?”
“Oh, now I remember! They um… they went to the ur… they went to get something to eat!” he again said quickly, trying to recover his previous mistake.
“Why do I get the impression that you’re not telling me something?” Ash asked him with narrowed eyes.
“I’m not lying!” Max said innocently.
“I didn’t say you were.” Ash replied coolly with suspicious eyes. “Where are they?”
“Why are you so worried about them?” Brock cut in to try to give Max some time to breath.
“Because they’re my friends and I want to know if they’re alright.”
“They’re fine, Ash, just relax – I think that they went out a while ago to get some fresh air. You know what girls are like, they’ve probably spotted a load of shops and have gone for a quick look around.” Brock finished and waited to see Ash’s reaction.
Ash still seemed unconvinced but sighed and let the subject go. Pikachu hopped on to his lap and rubbed its head against his chest while cooing its name affectionately. Ash laughed and stroked his best friend’s soft fur.
“Hey buddy, how are ya?”
“Cha!” it replied softly and happily as it resumed its usual place on Ash’s shoulder.
“OK, OK, I’ll tell you! Misty and May have gone into the Romantic Gardens on a dangerous trek to find a berry that will help you to get better so that you can battle in your matches! Misty was going to go on her own for you but then May insisted on going with her!” Max blurted out randomly and quickly.
“WHAT?” Ash shouted as immediately sat up straight in shock and caused himself immense pain. “What did you let them go for?”
“Misty’s as stubborn as you, Ash, and May is no better when she sets her mind to it.” Brock said calmly as he folded his arms once more. “Smooth move, Max.” he directed at his youngest friend.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it. Ash seemed so worried about them and I didn’t think it was right to lie to him. Where are you going?” Max asked suddenly as Ash attempted to get out of bed.
“To find them.” He said confidently and fell on to Brock for support as the pain in his chest grew stronger.
“You are not going anywhere, young man.” Nurse Joy said firmly with her hands on her hips and persistently tucked Ash back into bed.
“But, Nurse Joy, I have to find them! They could be in trouble.” Ash protested.
“Those two girls have more persistence and determination than anyone I’ve ever seen. I think it unlikely that either one of them is going to be in danger.” She retaliated.
“Oh Nurse Joy! Even when you are angry, you still have the voice of an angel and the looks of a graceful Espeon!” Brock said dreamily as he cupped Nurse Joy’s hands in his.
“OK, Romeo, time to cool down and recite reality.” Max said heavily as he jumped up and grabbed Brock by the ear and dragged him away with Brock squealing in his own pain.
Ash watched the amusing scene and then focused his attention back to Nurse Joy.
“Please, Nurse Joy, I nee-”
“All you need is some rest and to stay here so that you can get better. I won’t hear another word of it and that’s final!”
Misty and May had at last, reached the side of the mountain that they knew they had to climb in order to reach the cascading waterfall. Still determined to complete their expedition, they gradually scaled the steep path that wound its way around the mountain.
“Isn’t the view beautiful?” May stated as she stopped to gaze over the infinite green merging with the crystal ocean.
The Gardens were miraculously bigger than they imagined and they both stopped to admire the view. Misty smiled contentedly to herself as she admired the scene. It reminded her of something – what she was unsure of – though there was something missing from the picturesque scene that would help to revive her memory of what it was.
“So, how long have you and Ash known each other?” May questioned as they continued to scale the mountain.
“Well, I’ve known him ever since he started his Pokemon journey – so quite a long time.” Misty replied.
May eyes widened slightly to hear this.
“Wow. So you’ve basically been through a lot together then, huh?”
She saw the back of Misty’s head nod, then May grinned.
“Is that why you know the colour of his boxer shorts?” She asked innocently and fought hard not to laugh.
Misty face-faulted but quickly regained herself and just replied that it was a lucky guess and continued up the mountain. May laughed silently to herself as she followed her. May consulted the map once more and explained to Misty that they now needed to climb up the mountain in order to reach the place. They both looked up at the nearly vertical rock and commented on how they were going to climb up it without falling back down.
“I know! We can use my Bulbasaur to hold on to us as we climb and it can support us!” May said happily at her convenient idea.
Misty praised her thinking tactics as Bulbasaur was released and held on to them each with one of its vines under its masters instructions. A soft melody reached Misty’s ears and she listened to it carefully.
“Do you hear that?” she asked May quietly.
The melody began to grow fainter and Misty asked if Bulbasaur could lower her down the mountain a bit so she could see where the song was coming from. Perplexed by Misty’s behaviour, May agreed and Bulbasaur gently lowered her down until Misty’s feet touched a rock oddly sticking out of the mountain. She looked in front of her to see a cavern and heard the song echoing inside. She called up to May to follow her down as she appeared moments later with Bulbasaur safely in its pokeball.
“What is that lovely melody?” May asked quietly and slightly entranced.
Misty cautiously moved further into the darkness of the cave with May close behind her. They used the wall as a guide through as the song grew louder and a speck of light could be seen up ahead.
“If you ask me one more time young man, I am going to blow a fuse!” Nurse Joy shouted angrily as Ash as he persisted on attempting to leave the Pokemon Centre. “You are not fit enough to move without causing yourself more injury.”
“But isn’t their anything you can give me to get rid of the pain for a while so that I can try to find them?”
“That is what May and Misty have gone to look for!” she answered through gritted teeth. “And if you ask me about painkillers again, they won’t work! They are not strong enough and I can’t give you anything stronger because of your age.”
Brock was hiding in a corner with Max – fearful that Nurse Joy may turn into a Misty if Ash continued to anger her any further. Nurse Joy looked over to them as they smiled nervously at her and sighed. She walked out of the room and returned a while later with a small vile with a blue substance inside.
“This is a sample of the medicine that I’ll be making from those berries that Misty and May are retrieving once they get back. I was reluctant to give this to you because I don’t know how long it will last to ease your pain. I wouldn’t give it anymore than an hour but if you do decide to take it, don’t overwork yourself because it will mean that the duration of the medicine will be short as you’ll be using more energy.”
She held out the bottle to him and he instantly took it and devoured the mixture. At first, he felt tingly inside but then realised that the pain had gone. He stood up carefully in case the mixture would suddenly stop reacting and found that he felt his normal self again.
“Thanks, Nurse Joy.” He said happily as he put his jacket on. “Come on guys, let’s go find them.” He stated as Pikachu agreed with him and hopped on his shoulder.
The melody became more harmonious as they moved closer towards it and Misty and May noted that the light at the end of there was becoming brighter and more vivid as they advanced forward. Misty picked up her speed as her curiosity grew and May ran to keep up with her. Misty stopped as the light blinded her and shielded her eyes until they focused on the scene in front of them. A graceful waterfall was gently cascading down from a crack in the mountain above into a calming lagoon that was surrounded by enriched greenery and vegetation. The melody had stopped and Misty looked around to see if there were any signs of where the song had come from, but found none.
“Misty, this is the place!” May said excitedly. “In that pool should be the berry plant.”
Misty looked at the scene again and was unsure as to why she hadn’t noticed the location sooner. She called upon Corsola and Staryu so that both her and May could go down to the bottom of the lagoon to pick the berries. They walked up to the edge of the pool and Misty placed her bag on the bank. Knowing that it was going to be cold, Misty dived in so that she could acclimatise to the water more quickly. May removed her shoes, socks, bandana and bag and placed them on the bank before dipping a toe in the water and squealing that it was cold. Misty surfaced and called to Corsola so that they could dive down and instructed May to do the same when she was ready. May hesitated but held her nose and dive bombed into the water and surfaced seconds later complaining about the coldness. She scurried to the bank and breathed heavily as Staryu stood in front of her, jumped over her head and into the water and waited for her to hold on to it so that they could dive down.
Misty was already at the bottom and searched for the plant and spotted it, entangled along the rocks littering the bottom and the pronounced tiny blue berries that shimmered with the shadows of the ripples above. Corsola guided her down and Misty wedged her foot into one of the rocks so that she wouldn’t float to the surface and began picking the berries and placed them in the bag. When her bag was full, she surfaced with Corsola and saw May on the bank, now dressed in a bikini. Misty frowned at her.
“May, I’ve already collect one bag full of the berries, do you want me to go down and get another bag for you instead of you coming in?”
“How can you stand the cold of that water?” May asked her and silently nodded to Misty’s question.
Misty grinned at her.
“I guess growing up in a water Pokemon Gym helps with that. I’ve been around water all my life, so whatever the temperature, I get used to it.”
Misty swam up to the shore and returned Staryu to its pokeball. May handed her the next bag and took the full one from her. Misty dived down with Corsola once more and began to pick the berries again until her bag was full. She was about to surface when the melody she had heard earlier filled her ears. She looked around the waters but couldn’t find the source the music but caught sight of an opening in the side of the lagoon. She instructed Corsola to swim there and as they approached it, a powerful force repelled them back and sent them back to the surface. May congratulated Misty on the other bag as she took it from her but Misty had dived down once again, without Corsola, swam to the opening and peered inside. It was empty. She frowned and looked around, but the lagoon was peaceful and unmoving. Doubting herself on what she had heard, Misty surfaced again and joined May where she explained what had happened.
“That’s really weird.” May commented when she had finished. “I wonder what forced you back to the surface.”
“Obviously something that doesn’t want to be found out.” Misty replied as she recalled Corsola and placed one of the bags into her backpack after emptying it of the excess water.
May did the same and they looked around at the place in front of them.
“It’s so peaceful here.” May said as she was soothed by the atmosphere. “It’s like a secret haven that should never be discovered.”
“That’s a good thing so that that berry can grow.” Misty said as she looked around for any signs of strange behaviour.
The melody sounded in Misty’s ears once again and she immediately turned around to face the cave that she had come through to reach the area. It was echoing once again as Misty’s curiosity grew.
“What do you want?” she muttered to herself.
Misty was intrigued by the sound and ran to the cave and told May to wait for her by the pool.
“Where are you going?” May shouted after her but received no reply.
Misty hurried through the cave towards the sound, stumbling here and there and following the wall of the cave around as the melody grew louder. Misty ran towards the light, hoping to find answers, but stopped and quickly held on the side of the cave to stop herself from falling out of the entrance and down the side of the mountain. She looked out and saw a sunset painted a brilliant orange with a surrounding pink sky and her heart skipped a beat.
“That sunset.” She whispered in disbelief.
Remember? A voice echoed quietly from the sky. You once gave a sunset to someone.
“Who are you?” Misty called.
A scene formed in front of Misty and her eyes glazed over. Misty dreamily gazed on to the scene and stepped on to the odd rock that she had landed on previously. She hesitated on whether she should step into the scene before her, or to stay where she was.
I am the one who is encouraging you to follow your heart’s desire. But will you make the sacrifice?
“A sacrifice?” Misty said dreamily, still in her trance. “Why?”
Only you have that answer, young one – no one can tell you otherwise. The voice whispered and became fainter as the words echoed.
“No wait!” Misty cried out in her trance as she held out a hand to grab on to the figure in the scene.
She stepped forward on to the scene in front of her and felt herself falling – falling away from everything, everyone.
She screamed. A figure jumped off the cliff after her, that she was previously standing on, and grabbed her around the waist. She kept her eyes closed as she continued to fall and ignored the person that had grabbed on to her. She heard May scream out her name from above as she fell and collided with a sloping ground where she hit her head with a rock as she fell and fell unconscious. Both bodies rolled to a stop next to each other – neither one making any movement.
End Chapter 25
Well, there you have it. Please let me know what you think of it coz this chapter is really worrying me. I'll see what I can do with Chapter 26.