^lol ^_^ OK, it's here! Now hopefully it will be good enough for you and I hope you enjoy it. It's my longest chapter so far and I think it is about 16/17 pages in length - double check that later. Enjoy!
Chapter 27 – Battle For The Heart (Part 2)
“But I also wanted you and your friends to know,” Brendan continued after watching the shock appear on Ash’s face. “That they are holding a competition over by the beach for fun. The winner gets an all expenses paid meal for two at the most romantic and expensive restaurant in town.”
“What do you have to do?” Misty inquired.
“Oh, you shouldn’t have any trouble, Misty. It’s a contest on the water where you have to ride a Pokemon through an obstacle course, on the water obviously, but you go individually and whoever does it in the fastest time and with the least amount of penalties is the winner. You two up for it?” Brendan asked Ash and Misty.
“You bet.” They replied in unison.
“Great. The competition starts this afternoon and our match, Ash, begins tomorrow at ten. Better see you both there.” He finished and walked out of the café. “Later, Misty.”
“Bye, Brendan!” Misty waved happily as he disappeared through the doors until she caught Ash’s glaring gaze and looked down at the floor.
Brock asked the group whether they should check out the obstacle course so that they could have an idea of what they would have to face before entering and the others agreed. They made their way down to the beach and gasped at the sight before them.
Across the sea stretched a wide variety of easy and difficult jumps and tricks to a finish line at the far right of their view. There were a number of ramps and poles that the contestants would have to jump and weave in and out of and what caught their attention was a number of fountains sprouting up simultaneously that they knew they would have to evade and time correctly.
“May I help you?” A young blonde female asked them politely from a sheltered stand next to a refreshment cabin. “Do you wish to participate in this afternoon’s event?”
“I don’t want to participate unless I win that romantic dinner with you!” Brock drooled and clasped the woman’s hands in his. “It is amazing how your delicate skin is not phased by the strength of the sun, though it does illuminate your marvellous eyes.” He continued poetically.
“Oh, you really think so?” The woman asked him blushing.
The group gasped at her reaction and Misty had to refrain from pulling him away as her jaw dropped. Brock’s smile broadened.
“Why yes, my sweet, you have a radiant aura of beauty surrounding you that has captured my heart. My name is Brock and I would love to be your date, so may I have the pleasure of knowing your beautiful name?” He finished on a drooling tone again.
“My name’s Cassie and I’d love to go out with you.” She blushed with a tremendous smile.
The group gaped at the scene in front of them.
“YES! Did you hear that guys? There is at least one woman in the world who wants to go out with me!” Brock yelled out and punched the air.
Cassie giggled and looked at him affectionately. She commented on how cute Brock was and his great sense of humour that made Brock faint on the sand and gazed up to the sky with a patrol of hearts dancing around him.
“Are you OK?” she asked him unsurely as she peered over her desk.
“I’m fine.” He replied dreamily and took her hands in his again. “Were you really worried about me?”
Ash budged Brock out of the way and asked Cassie if she would mind registering them for the event taking place later the same day. She apologised for getting carried away as Misty stood beside Ash and both of them were registered. May and Max had agreed to watch them and look after their things while Misty and Ash participated, promising to root for them both on and show their support.
“Here’s the programme of the events that you’ll need to take place in.” Cassie said informatively as she handed Ash and Misty separate leaflets. “There will be three rounds of events – an individual event of the obstacle course against the clock, a doubles race and an individual race against the remaining competitors. Your performance on each event will determine whether you enter the next round. Good luck and try your best.”
Misty and Ash thanked her and Misty cupped her hand over her mouth to whisper to Cassie.
“You want to be careful with Brock – he has a tendency to get carried away when there are lots of pretty girls around. He’s never been accepted by someone before so please go easy on him.” She whispered but jumped as Brock appeared abruptly beside her.
“Are you discrediting me?” He asked her in an angry, husky voice.
“Huh? No! I was just telling Cassie about um… I was asking Cassie about the Tournament.” She tried to cover herself and looked towards Cassie for assistance.
Cassie nodded. She and Brock continued to talk as Misty and Ash decided that they would get ready for the Water Events that would be starting in just over an hour. They returned back to the hotel room together, as May and Max said that they would keep a secret eye on Brock to make sure he didn’t get up to any mischief and in case Cassie found herself in boredom from Brock’s charms. Misty had promised May that she would bring back a bathing suit for her so that she could work on her tan before the competition started.
Ash opened the door of the hotel room and closed it behind Misty as she disappeared in her room to get changed. They both emerged a while later – Misty changed in her magenta bikini with a pale sleeveless pink top on and Ash with his midnight blue swim shorts on, with a bright blue line running down the side, and a black T-shirt on top. Misty grabbed some swimwear for May as Ash rummaged for a pokeball from his backpack.
“Who are you going to use?” Misty asked him curiously.
“Who are you using?” He replied with a grin.
Catching on to his hint, she told him she would be using Corsola as Ash responded that he would be using Totodile. He threw his pokeball up into the air and caught it before placing it into the pocket of his shorts. Misty told him to take some of his medicine that Nurse Joy had made him in case any of the tasks were too strenuous for his recovery. He did so and before they exited the room, Misty held back a bit, pondering whether to ask Ash something or not.
“Are you alright?” He asked her when she didn’t move after he held the door open for her.
“Um, Ash? I wanna asked you something…” She began.
“For the doubles, could we go together? We work together really well and I don’t want to be paired up with just anybody. I wanna go with someone I trust.” She asked him and smiled.
“Sure, I was going to ask you that myself when we got to the events.” He replied with a grin as he disappeared out of the door with a grateful Misty.
“Hey, Pikachu! Quit it!” Max laughed as the Pokemon paddled in the shallows of the sea and splashed May’s brother.
May watched them from a sun-bed while reading a copy of the information booklet that Misty had left her to read. She peered over the top of it and saw Ash and Misty casually walking across the baking sand towards her in light conversation. A flock of Wingulls flew over their heads and disappeared into the blinding light illuminating the clear sky. A queue was forming at the registration stand and Brock was anxiously waiting for a chance to speak to Cassie again.
After finishing the page she was on, May thanked Misty for her swimsuit and began to explain the rules and information she had read. The contestants would each in turn have to tackle the obstacle course and attempt to complete it in the fastest time possible. Only ten of the contestants would be able to qualify for the doubles event. Penalties would be awarded for stumbles and incompletion of jumps and you would be disqualified if you fell off your platform and into the water. Competitors can only compete with one Pokemon for all the events if they qualified, where the Pokemon must pull a small raft that the trainer must stand on at all times – requiring balance and stability. There would be two cables attached to the Pokemon – one from the platform and the other cable the Trainer would hold to control and steer the Pokemon.
For the doubles, the Trainers will have the option to ether pick their partners or be selected at random. The Trainers would then have to race against each other in their teams and when they pass the floating object, they must jump from their stands into the water and take a number of underwater routes to reach a maze. From their journey underwater, they may take one breath above water before entering the maze. If at any time, either one of the Trainers surfaces for air whilst in the maze, the team is disqualified. Only four trainers will move on to the final event. The end of the maze opens out on to a seabed marked with two stone pillars that are easily distinguishable. The final event is a straight race between the remaining challengers until a winner is decided.
“It sounds tough.” Misty said after May had finished.
“Yeah, but I know we can win.” Ash stated confidently and brought a smile to Misty’s face.
“It also says here that participants should make up water related nicknames that they should enter on their registration forms before participating the first event. This is just for fun and isn’t compulsory but it will add to the mood of the competition and also a bit of fun for all.” May continued out loud when she saw the bright text box that caught her eye in the leaflet.
“Nicknames?” Ash pondered.
“I think Misty should call herself ‘Waterstar Misty.” Max stated proudly. “After all, you specialise with water Pokemon and you basically are a star from what I’ve heard from Ash.”
“That’s really sweet of you, Max.” Misty said happily to him with a smile.
“Or how about Cerulean Girl.” May suggested. “If you didn’t want to use your name in the title.”
“What about me?” Ash asked unsurely.
The group pondered until Max piped up: “What about Schrack?”
“Schrack?!” Ash repeated in alarm. “Where did you get that from?”
“I dunno, it was on that buffet bar up there.” Max replied sheepishly.
“Why don’t you take that name we gave Pikachu, Chipsy Ketchum?” May asked.
“Pika!” The Pokemon piped up in approval.
“How’s that related to water?” Ash inquired.
“We could call you ‘The Shiny Lapras.” Misty proposed. “Since you did once own a Lapras.”
“I dunno. That sounds more like a name a girl would use.” Ash said in thought.
“Who says you aren’t one?” Max asked.
“Gladdecease…” May thought out loud.
“I was thinking of the road in the Romantic Gardens.” May replied.
“We’re running out of ideas!” Max shouted.
“Hang on – what about Aquatic Spark?” Misty suggested for Ash.
“Hmm… yeah! Since I have Pikachu, that’s a great name! Thanks, Misty.” Ash said happily as he rushed off to join the queue at the registration point to tell Cassie his nickname.
“So what about you, Misty?” May asked.
“Well, I guess I could always use Waterflower…”
“How about A.Q.U.A. – A Queen Under the Aquatics.” Max pondered.
Misty burst out laughing.
“How about the Peachy Water Sprite?” Misty asked her friends.
“Awww… that’s cute.” May commented happily.
Still unsure about her name, Misty joined the queue with Ash and decided that she could always quickly change it at the last minute if she thought of something better.
“Wow! We didn’t expect the turnout to be like this, folks! Looks like we’re going to be in some hot water with the fiery competition lined up for the Water Aerobics.” A commentator blazed through his microphone, sitting in a deck chair with an umbrella shading him and a cool drink on a side table.
He was wearing a Hawaiian styled shirt and shorts with a beige cap covering his baldhead with black shades covering his eyes. He warmed up the audience as the helpers of the events lined the contestants up and instructed them on what to do when their name was called.
The competitors were to release their Pokemon upon being called and to step onto the platform floating in the sea at the end of the small pier as the assistants went through the necessary procedures and attached the Pokemon correctly to the platform. Misty watched a number of platforms bob up and down with the tide, attached to the end of the pier, each shaped as one half of a pokeball in a ray of different colours. She smiled. Knowing that her balance skills while practicing tricks on Gyarados’s fountain would help her in this event.
“WOW! This is incredible, folks! It has just been tallied that the number of people entering this competition is 515! Amazing!” The commentator continued enthusiastically as the judges looked at him in alarm.
There were three judges sat at a long table, sheltered by two large umbrellas and a fan blowing behind them to keep them cool. They appeared to be displeased at the number of entries they would have to judge, until the announcement was changed to reveal that there were fifty-one entries.
“Misty!” A voice called.
Misty curiously turned around and her face brightened when she saw Brendan heading towards her. He greeted her warmly and she blushed when he commented on how pretty she looked in her pink bikini.
“That colour really suits you.” Brendan said with a smile.
“So are you entering, too?” an annoyed voice asked beside Misty’s shoulder.
Misty jumped and felt a bit embaraessed when she saw Ash standing next to her.
“Yes, I am.” Brendan replied happily. “By the way, Misty, who are you planning on going with for the doubles?”
“Me!” Ash answered for her.
“Have you ever done anything like this before, Ash?” Brendan asked him with interest.
“Well, I did something a bit similar in Johto.” Ash said quietly as he tried to recall the memory.
Misty looked at Brendan apologetically and he smiled in return, assuring her not to worry. He explained that someone had asked to go with him before, however he wanted to check with Misty first on whether she had a partner or not. He bid them farewell and wished them luck before disappearing into the crowd of eager participants awaiting their turns on the water.
“Could Peachy Water Sprite, please make her way to the end of the pier!” A young male voice shouted out.
“Oh, that’s me!” Misty exclaimed in alarm.
Ash wished her luck as she disappeared down to the end of the pier and obeyed the instructions that the men were giving to her. Her nerves bubbled with excitement and anxiety as her Corsola awaited the signal for them to begin the task.
“Just do your best.” Misty whispered to her Pokemon as she braced herself for Corsola to dart off when the horn blew.
“GO!” The assistant shouted simultaneously with the horn.
Corsola darted off rapidly as Misty quickly kept her balance after the impact of the movement. They headed for the first blue ramp as Corsola diverted to the right so that the platform could go up with it. Misty happily sped up the ramp and landed safely in the water on the other side before instantly being pulled to the right, all the time keep her balance, she did this for three more ramps until she came to the fifth, which was much steeper than the rest and she had witnessed many problems with this ramp by the other contestants. She leant further back as she sped up the ramp without Corsola and allowed her feet to slowly lift from the platform as it quickly fell into the water and bobbed on the surface before she landed neatly on it and leaned backwards again to keep it moving with her. Corsola headed for a long pole that was suspended above the water but was high enough for the platform to go under without Misty. Thinking fast and aware that the platform was attached to Corsola so it would keep moving without her, she edged her way to the right of the raft so that she could jump back on to it with a turn, as the next jump was sharply to the right, so she wouldn’t have enough time to regain herself before attempting the next jump, if she did not get the angle of the leap correctly. She jumped and successfully landed a little further to the left than she would have preferred but she knew that it wouldn’t cause her too many problems. She jumped again and was surprised by the next task she saw. She would have to run along a wooden plank while still holding on to the rope and jump successfully on to the platform again. Her face was set. She jumped and stealthily moved along the wood and landed back on the stand with ease.
She heard the spectators from the beach cheer her on as she darted in and out of the floating markers with Corsola, before approaching the area that she knew was where the random fountains would appear. She allowed herself to stand up a little as Corsola slowed down as they both jumped when a fountain roared from below and appeared immediately in front of Corsola. The Pokemon swiftly moved around it, dodging the following powerful spurts of water with Misty narrowly missing them as she weaved in and out, guided by Corsola. Escaping from them, they quickly sped to the finish line, indicated by two tall poles and crossed as an attendant pushed a button on a stopwatch and hurried over to the shore on a Lapras.
“Wow! A clear run by Peachy Water Sprite! Well done!” The commentator shouted out in amazement as the audience heartily applauded her.
“Blazing Wave!” the assistant called out and brought Ash’s attention back to the scenario in front of him.
His smile at Misty’s success faded when he saw Brendan walk up the pier and follow instructions by the assistance. He completed the course with ease and Ash began to wonder whether there was any reason to worry about the difficulty of the course until he watched a girl fly up the ramp and land awkwardly on the other side. He was called up a while later and followed the instructions as Totodile jumped up and down on the water happily as the horn blew and they sped off at an incredible pace.
“Totodile! Slow down!” Ash yelled as he almost fell of his stand and instinctively leant back to try and balance his weight along with Totodile’s speed. Ash was unprepared for the first ramp and as Totodile danced up it and Ash fell heavily on to the platform on the other end before being sped off again at immense speed. The next few ramps were extremely bumpy, for something designed for smooth movement up and over, as Ash regained his posture so that he could prepare to leap over the jumps. He successfully did so as his confidence returned until he saw the plank that he had to run across. Totodile stopped to let Ash off and danced in the water as Ash impatiently instructed it to keep moving. His Pokemon fired a water gun at him that made him quickly speed along the plank and topple onto the platform that Totodile was pulling rapidly. It didn’t stop when it approached the fountains and Ash’s confidence returned as they expertly evaded the torrents of water and crossed the finish line.
“Clear round!” The commentator blazed as Totodile darted to the shore to let Ash of and to do a victory dance to celebrate.
A number of men came to take away the apparatus as Ash shakily walked on to the shore to be greeted by his friends.
“That was great, Ash!” May squealed excitedly and he noticed that she was now wearing a green bikini.
“Yeah,” he replied breathlessly. “Now we just need to see if we get into the next round.” He finished and smiled at Misty.
“And in my hand I have the results of the ten finalists who will soon need to pair up and participate in the next round.” The commentator once again shouted through his microphone. “And the first five top finalists are: Typhoon Wind, Magical Mermaid, Peachy Water Sprite, Aquatic Spark and Blazing Wave!”
When Ash and Misty both realised that their names had been called as finalists, they punched the air in excitement and were congratulated by their friends. Another five names were called and they also celebrated amongst many crestfallen faces. The ten remaining contestants had to gather over by another pier located further down the beach so that they could get ready for the next task.
“Can we still go together, Ash?” Misty asked hopefully as they were led down the beach by a number of assistants.
“You bet.” He replied happily.
“Ash! Misty!” Brendan called as he approached them. “Congratulations on making it to the next round – but I didn’t have any doubts that you wouldn’t make it through.” He said and winked.
A girl about Brendan’s age and height walked up beside him and smiled at Ash and Misty. She introduced herself as Aurora and Ash thought she was very pretty. She had dark, long flowing hair that was tied up in a ponytail, bright blue eyes and a friendly smile. She told them that her nickname for the competition was ‘The Magical Mermaid’ and laughed when she realised how stupid it sounded. Ash and Misty complimented her name and she continued by saying that she used to be a water ballerina before she became a trainer and so she that’s how she chose the name.
“I’ve done a number of underwater performances myself!” Misty said happily to know that she and the girl had something in common.
“So are you the girl who Brendan had to ask before he would go with me for this round? It’s an honour to meet you.” She replied with a smile and shook Misty’s hand.
Misty blushed and looked at Brendan awkwardly. He grinned at her and smirked at Ash’s face until their attention was diverted to the announcement that one of the assistants was making about the rules for the doubles event.
“You will all race at the same time, however, you will follow your lane at all times above the water until you see a green float in the water, which indicated that you must jump off your platform and travel underwater. The lanes have been designed so that you will not bump into or see any of the other contestants until you have reached the maze. There will be no disadvantages with the length of the courses on each lane despite you going in different directions as all the courses have been measured to be the exact same length.
Once you see two tall stone pillars at the end of your travel underwater, you may surface to gain air before entering the maze. The end of the maze is easily distinguishable by a similar set of stone pillars like the entrance; however, they have been coloured gold as to not get them confused with the entrance pillars, which will be a stone grey. Once you have reached the end of the maze, swim under the pillars and surface where a team will be ready to take you back to shore. You may not surface at anytime while in the maze and if you do so, your team will automatically be disqualified. We will have an underwater team around the perimeter of the maze and above it, however, if you face any problems while in the maze such as injuries or wish to no longer participate, indicate one of your Pokemon to shoot up a water gun and an aid team will be with you quickly. You will be disqualified for this unless there is an absolute good reason for it. Can you now, please get into your pairs!” He shouted once again.
Ash and Misty stood next to each other with Brendan and Aurora behind them. They all let out their Pokemon as the assistants attached them to the ropes but did not attach them to the platform. The rope was different to the one they had previously used in that it had two separate pieces to attach to the Pokemon and then joined together as one before splitting again for a short length so that both Trainers could hold on to a handle without creating difficulties of grip but close enough so that the Trainers would be able to support each other.
Misty and Ash both stepped onto the platform as Corsola and Totodile both jumped up and down on the surface happily. Misty stood so that her body was facing the left and Ash simultaneously did so behind her. They both held on to their handles tightly as Ash interlinked his free arm with Misty’s so that her arm was trapped against his chest to support her. She smiled at him and both of their faces were confident that they would win with the trust from their friendship.
You look so happy. Why don’t you make your sacrifice now? A voice echoed on the light breeze that was playing with Misty’s ponytail and pink sleeveless top.
She loosened her grip and moved out of her braced position a little to a more relaxed stance and curiously looked up at the sky. Ash noticed her unexplained movements.
“Misty, what’s wrong?” Ash asked her.
“GO!” The assistant shouted as the horn blew.
“Ahh!” Misty cried as her handle was wrenched out her hand by Corsola darting off and she span around before being stopped by Ash grabbing her wrist and he pulled her back on to the middle of the raft.
He tightly held on to her waist and supported her while she rapidly regained herself. She braced herself against the handle that Ash had just handed to her and she apologised and thanked Ash for saving her.
They sped off quickly along their lane until all the teams had separated and where barely in view of each another. Misty saw the green float approaching and told Ash to take a deep breath and to jump when she said so. They both bent their knees low so that they could quickly jump off on Misty’s command.
“Now!” Misty shouted as Corsola and Totodile dived underwater beside the green float and Ash and Misty plummeted in the water head first – with Ash still holding on to Misty’s waist so that they wouldn’t be separated and entangled when they landed.
Misty landed awkwardly in the depths and when she opened her eyes she saw the surface above her and felt Ash beneath her and she quickly turned so that they were both on their side and could see where they were going as their Pokemon sped off once again. Misty’s heart was pounding in her ears at what she had heard before the race had started. What did it mean? She felt Ash’s grip on her waist tighten as they sharply turned a corner and she placed her arm on top of his as they were literally pulled backwards before the rope straightened them out and they could see where they were going again.
Corsola and Totodile led them through an arch of coral and up again over a ledge before continuing along the white dotted lines marked on the seabed, so that they could follow it to the maze. They continued swiftly through the water and soon saw the maze in sight. It was gigantic. The Pokemon pulled them further down into the depths as they followed the underwater hill down and they distinctively saw Brendan and Aurora in each other’s arms, vertically descending down from the surface and entering the maze. Misty looked up and saw that the surface was very far above them and signalled to Ash to surface when they reached the pillars. He nodded and as their Pokemon approached the pillars they both jolted on their handles and pointed to the surface. Instantly responding to their masters’ orders, they vertically scaled the water with Ash and Misty holding on tightly to their handles. They breathed in gratefully as they surfaced and Corsola swam up to Misty to allow her to lean on it for support.
“Are you OK, Ash?” Misty asked him sympathetically as they both panted.
“Yeah, come on. We better get a move on into the maze. If Brendan and Aurora are already in there, then that might mean there are other teams in there, too.” He replied and breathed in deeply through his nose and sighed.
Misty nodded and Ash once again held on to her as Totodile and Corsola dragged them underwater. Everything was silent except for the rush of bubbles behind them as they sped through the water. They continued straight into the maze that was made on concrete slabs and Misty was convinced that it was part of the remnants of an underwater city. The walls were high so they couldn’t see any further ahead of them and the walls of the maze arched at the top as light from above filtered through the large gap.
The group pressed on and followed the maze around until they reached their first fork and the Pokemon stopped to follow instructions on which way to turn. Ash and Misty both looked at each other and they quickly agreed to go left. Misty tugged on her rope and Corsola instantly responded by pulled her to the left and guiding Totodile until they were both equally pulling the weight. They took a few more turns until Corsola and Totodile immediately stopped and brought Ash and Misty’s attention to a dead end in front of them. They began to panic and quickly turned around and took the opposite turn to the one they had previously taken and were off on a straight before agreeing to turn right again.
Ash began to feel his lungs swelling with the lack of oxygen in his body but he immediately ignored it when he saw Misty’s determined face and her perseverance in the water. They continued more quickly, taking the turns more sharply as they knew that they wouldn’t be able to continue underwater for much longer if they could not see any signs of escaping the maze. Misty felt easily at home in the water and knew she was capable of holding her breath underwater for a little longer than most people, however that came with the experience of being exposed to water all of her life and the continuous practice she had had. She was worried on how Ash was and when she looked up at him, she could tell that he would soon be in need of air. She understood that previously being underwater before entering the maze would have already drained him of some of his energy and limiting how much energy could be used from not fully recovering from their last surface.
They reached another dead end. Misty’s eyes widened and she looked at Ash who had closed his eyes but opened them to assure Misty that he wouldn’t give up on her. They doubled back again and Misty felt her lungs also reaching their pinnacle of lack of oxygen. Misty felt Ash’s grip around her waist loosen and she halted the Pokemon and panicky turned to face Ash as he tried to hold his breath but let out a cry in a stream of bubbles and began to float on the spot as Misty’s eyes widened in horror. She let go of the handle and quickly grabbed hold of Ash until she knew that she would probably have to forfeit because Ash was desperately losing consciousness. Then she had an idea.
She gently grabbed Ash’s face and brought his lips to hers. Ash’s eyes instantly opened and widened in shock, until he realised what she was doing. She was giving up the oxygen in her lungs and breathing it into his mouth so that he would stay conscious. He closed his eyes and instantly sucked the air from her mouth that she was bravely giving to him until she broke away from him, blushing slightly, and signalled to him whether he was OK. He nodded and smiled at her as they quickly grabbed the handles again and the Pokemon sped off, all of them knowing that Misty would not last underwater for much longer with no air in her body. Ash held her waist once more and she put her hand on top of his as they darted around a corner and down a straight where they could see two golden pillars. Ash’s spirits lifted as he saw the sight then looked down at Misty and saw that she was now unconscious and her grip left the rope and she was only supported by Ash’s arm. He moved her slightly so that they could move through the water more quickly by turning her limp form to face him and he placed her arms around his neck as he held on tightly around the back of her waist. He grimaced as his lungs began to give again but held on to Misty tightly as the Pokemon moved at full power towards the pillars. They shot through them and vertically scaled to the surface and Ash began kicking to help the Pokemon move faster.
He gasped as he surfaced and breathed in as much air as he could before choking himself. He was dragged back under again by Misty’s weight and he let go of the handle so that he could put his hands under her arms to lift her to the surface. He rose above the water again and began to shake Misty by her shoulders to gain a response. Her face frowned and she began coughing and spluttering and Ash was relieved to see that she was all right.
“Did we make it?” She asked him weakly and he beamed at her and excitedly told her that they had successfully made it through the maze thanks to her.
Ash thanked her gratefully and a man on a Lapras helped them out of the water as they recalled their Pokemon and he took them back to shore, after handing them some towels.
“You did WHAT!?” May yelled in alarm after Ash and Misty told them what had happened in the maze and about Misty’s bravery at helping Ash.
“It’s called an Underwater Kiss.” Misty replied while blushing slightly. “Because I was giving Ash the oxygen in my body so that he could keep conscious and continue to be able to travel underwater without suffering.”
“But it resulted in you suffering, didn’t it, Misty?” Brock reasoned with his friend.
“Well, no.” She replied with a smile then became aware that everyone was watching her. “I trust, Ash, so I knew that he would get me out safely even if I was unconscious.” She replied passionately as she beamed at Ash.
He returned the grateful smile.
“Wow.” Max said in awe at how strong their friendship was – to trust each other when one of them knew that they could be in a fatal position and still have enough belief in each other to know that the other would bring them out OK even when they weren’t conscious.
Something jogged in Max’s memory as he thought about this.
You see, sometimes friends have to go away but part of them stays behind with you. It's especially true when friends are best, best friends. You'll remember Jirachi forever and he's gonna always be in your heart. A good friend left me and...I miss her every day. But I...I know we'll always be friends forever.
“Hey, Ash! Is this what you meant when you told me about Jirachi always being with me? Just like you and Misty? You did mean Misty when you said that she was your best, best friend, right?” Max asked curiously.
“Urr… did I say that?” Ash thought and then recalled the memory. “Oh yeah! I was talking about Misty.” He said and smiled.
“Friendship is built on trust, Max, and even if you’re not together, so long as your memories stay with you in your heart, so will your friendship.” Misty stated knowingly.
“Wow, Misty! You’re so cool!” Max cried out happily and brought a smile to Misty’s face.
They were informed that they had qualified for the final round after finishing second after Brendan and Aurora. They celebrated with their friends as Brendan and Aurora came over to praise them on qualifying with them.
“Now we just have to wait for the slowpokes to finish before they can set up the next race.” Brendan joked as he and Aurora said that they would see them later after they had gone to get a bite to eat.
May assured the group that she would go and buy some snacks for everyone and disappeared with Max so that he could help her carry the food. Brock slowly edged away from Ash and Misty across the sand and when he was convinced that they weren’t looking at him, he sprinted across the beach so that he could continue to speak with Cassie. Ash and Misty watched him go and giggled at the sight of him.
“It’s strange isn’t it?” Misty started. “That we worked so hard together to get through one task and then we’ve got to once again be rivals to become the winner of this Tournament.” She finished on a slightly sadder note.
“Yeah, but so long as we give it our all and that one of us wins then I’m happy.” Ash said comfortingly.
Misty smiled at him but then it instantly faded.
“Ash, before we started the doubles race, I heard that voice again.” She began in a worried tone. “It said that ‘I look so happy’, so why not ‘make my sacrifice now? What do you think it means?”
Ash pondered as Brock’s words of protecting Misty from this mysterious source echoed in his mind.
“Well, nothing’s harmed you yet has it? You feel OK in yourself?”
“Here ya go!” May said happily as she handed Ash and Misty a hotdog each that they accepted gratefully. “I see that Brock has gone off again to be with Cassie.” She began in light conversation.
Misty and Ash continued the conversation with May and ignored what they had previously said to discuss it at a more appropriate time. After finishing their hotdogs, they watched the last team emerge from the water and be brought to the shore with a disappointed look upon their faces.
“Well there we have it, folks! Everyone has finished the maze and we are down to our last four remaining contestants. Will they please make their way to the judges area so that arrangements can be made for the race.” The commentator stated happily.
Ash and Misty bid their friends farewell as they made their way over to the tent. Misty remarked on how long the last couple had been underwater until it was later discovered that they had been cheating with mini oxygen mouthpieces and had got what they had deserved by finishing last in the race. They were informed at the judges’ tent that they would be racing on their platforms in an all out race against each other to determine who would be the winner and win the free meal at the expensive restaurant. The group of four walked down to the pier, guided by one of the helpers and were instructed to once again release their Pokemon and to jump on to one of the pokeball rafts, as their Pokemon was attached to the platform. They were the same platforms and structured ropes as they had started off with in the first round – two attachments from the Pokemon that connected to the raft and to a handle that the Trainer would hold.
“The Trainer who crosses the line first will be the winner!” An assistant declared.
Brendan, Aurora, Ash and Misty braced themselves for the impact against the water that would follow after the horn was blown.
“GO!” The assistant shouted simultaneously with the horn.
All four of them darted of at the same time with Brendan slightly in the lead with his Gorebyss and Aurora hot on his heels with her Dewgong. Misty and Ash were neck and neck a few inches behind them until all their lanes branched out in different directions. Corsola bounced up and down on the approaching waves until it zoomed along the surface as the lanes gradually narrowed in so that the four were alongside each other once more. Misty grinned as she was now in the lead with Brendan following up beside her and she could see Ash and Aurora tying for third a few inches behind them. Misty weaved in and out of the poles happily and praised her Pokemon for doing so well. It cried out its name with glee and pressed on even faster up the lane as they saw the finish line coming into sight. Suddenly, Brendan sped past her with a grin on his face, which Misty playfully returned and commanded her Pokemon to move even faster.
“C’mon, Totodile! We don’t want to come last!” Ash shouted to his Pokemon.
Totodile laughed and danced on the water before pulling an angry face and moving at incredible speed until it moved past Aurora, Brendan and Misty – almost knocking them off their rafts. Ash yelled out as he was forcefully pulled through the water until he noticed that Totodile was slowing down just before the line. His Pokemon was puffing and panting and fainted in the water – just before the finish line. Ash looked at his Pokemon with an shocked face and the quickly paddled his way to the finish line as two of the contestants, who he was unsure who they were, zoomed past him and he was happy that he had paddled himself quickly over the line so that he beat Aurora. He smirked at her as a man on a Lapras attached the platform to the Pokemon and sped off to the shore with Ash holding Totodile.
Shouts and roars of joys filled his ears as he saw the spectators gather around, circling whom Ash presumed to be the winner. He thought he saw Misty standing on the beach talking to his friends and felt a little disappointed that neither of them had won, however, as he drew closer, he realised it wasn’t Misty. He frowned. Pikachu hopped on to his shoulder as he jumped off the Lapras and thanked the man for the ride and returned Totodile to its pokeball as he ran up the beach towards his friends. Aurora greeted him and thanked him for an excellent race. He inquired as to where Misty was when Brock grinned as Misty came running down with a large golden trophy with a golden surf on the top. She beamed at her friends as she ran towards Ash and jumped into his arms in delight at winning – only to discover that she had bashed him on the head with the trophy. She apologised profoundly until he assured her that he was alright after rubbing his head and he congratulated her on her superb win against Brendan. Brendan appeared beside her and smile.
“She’s awesome when it comes to the water.” He complimented her and smiled. “So who are you going to take to the romantic restaurant?” He asked her with a wink and indicated towards the two passes in her hand.
She blushed and then her face brightened.
“I’m giving them to Brock.” She replied sweetly.
“Me?!” He stammered in surprised and pointed to himself.
“I want you to have them because it would be great for you to take Cassie somewhere romantic on your first date and I really think you deserve them more than me.” She replied affectionately.
Brock’s eyes filled with tears as he smiled at Misty, then he turned around on the spot so that his back was facing his friends.
“I… just need to … get a grip… of myself.” He sniffed and turned around once more and hugged Misty tightly – almost squeezing the life out of her as she handed him the tickets with a smile and he continued to thank her for her generosity.
He ran off at full speed to Cassie and they watched her squeal in delight and hug Brock as she shouted her thanks across the beach to Misty.
The crowds disappeared and May and Max began to pack away their things and left Ash and Misty to sit on the beach together and watch the sunset.
“That was a really nice thing you did, Misty.” Ash said with a smile. “You really made his day and he sure is happy.”
Misty’s smile broadened but she shook her head.
“No, we’re all happy.” She replied passionately as a light breeze played with her ponytail once more as they stared at the infinite mass of warm colours over the horizon.
Not as happy as you could be if you made your sacrifice. A voice echoed on the breeze.
End Chapter 27
Cerulean Girl X
Shiny Lapras X
WaterStar Misty X
Aurora Wish X
Well, there you have it. I hope you like it. PMs will have to be later coz I'm going out now. ^_^ Even I need some fun! Please let me know what you think of it!