xspx: ^__^ Well, guess what? You're going to be the first to see it coz I'm putting it up now! lol, yep, it's 2:30 pm here now so all good! Glad you had sweet dreams! ^__^
Tahukun: Take a look. ^__^ Don't worry, I did use it in this chapter.
Elite Eevee: It’s here! ^__^
OK, um... guys, this chapter is pretty long... OK when I say long I mean reeeeaaallllllly long... in total it's 50 pages!!!!!! XD Yep, you heard right, 50 pages!!!! So any of you complain about the frigging length then I will blow a fuse. XD But then again, it's the quality not the quantity that counts.
Happy Belated Birthday to Blazing Charmander! Sorry I couldn't get it up yesterday.
OK, I want to say a special thank you to Brian Powell for all his help with the battle scenes in this fic - he has helped me tremendously and I'm very grateful for all his help. ^___^ *hugs* Thank you so much!
Right, I'm going to shut up now and allow you to at last read, Chapter 28. Enjoy!!!!
IMPORTANT EDIT: OMG, we have a problem - the chapter's too long for the post! Umm... OK, I'll try to fix it.
SECOND EDIT: Right, after going at this for the last hour, I think I've finally solved it - the chapter is divided into three posts but hopefully I won't get done in for that. Please enjoy! ^___________^
Chapter 28 – Hold your breath…
From the silent footsteps entering their room at two in the morning, Ash, Misty, May and Max had suspected that Brock’s date had gone well and by his quiet cheerful humming as he set himself up for the night, they were convinced that they were right.
They couldn’t contain their grins and laughter when they awoke early the next morning to the tantalising smells of a cooked breakfast and saw before them on the table, a wide variety of foods consisting of a three course meal with the hot foods gently placed under small, candlelit heaters to keep them warm. Misty read out the message that Brock had left for them, which explained that he had decided to spend the morning with Cassie and as an apology he had made them breakfast. He assured them that he would be back to watch Ash’s match and had stated that he would meet them at the stands before the match started.
They laughed heartily at his kindness and devoured themselves in the delicious foods – whether deciding to start where Brock had suggested depended on the individual. Misty and May agreed to start from the beginning as they both helped themselves to cereals and toast, whereas Ash decided to begin with the sweets and pastries along with Pikachu, who insisted on covering everything in ketchup and Max resulted in starting with the hot food. He pilled his plate with bacon and scrambled eggs, followed by a few sausages and hash browns, until his pile of food appeared to be higher than him and Pikachu persisted on coating it in ketchup. Pikachu happily tapped on the end of the bottle to get it out until it noticed that nothing was being left on the food and his eyes began to water as he threw the bottle into the air and jumped against Misty’s chest crying. Ash looked up to see the bottle flying towards him and he yelled out as it collided with his head, causing him to fall backwards off his chair and remained in a dazed state on the floor.
“What’s wrong, Pikachu?” Misty asked soothingly as the Pokemon cried against her.
It didn’t move its head from her chest but pointed in the direction of Ash and both May and Misty gasped.
“Oh no! We’ve run out of ketchup!” Misty cried out as she saw the empty bottle next to a dazzled Ash.
She ran over to it, picked it up and sighed.
“I guess I’ll have to go out and get another one.” She said out loud.
“Hey! What about me?” Ash protested as he sat up and rubbed his sore head. “How come I don’t get any sympathy?”
“Because, I knew that you weren’t that hurt.” Misty replied with a grin. “It’s obvious, that someone like me, who has known you for so long, can easily tell when you’re in a lot of pain.” She finished matter-of-factly and couldn’t stop the grin forming on her face.
“Oh, you know him only too well, don’t ya, Misty?” May said with a knowing smile and folded her arms. “Like, Ash’s boxer shorts? What colour is he wearing today?”
“How should I know?” She yelled angrily.
May and Max were laughing silently together as Ash was debating in his head whether to laugh or look shocked to think that they were openly discussing his underwear.
Misty put her plate over by the sink when she had finished and looked down at her backpack that was propped against the wall. She rummaged through it and looked at Psyduck’s pokeball and she sighed as she held it in her hand.
“Hey, Misty, someone’s on the phone for you.” Max called to her through her trance as he pointed to the cordless phone.
Misty stood up and was surprised that she hadn’t heard the phone go and moved over to Ash who had answered the call and was waiting for her to take the receiver.
“Who is it?” She asked quietly but Ash averted his gaze from her and kept his back to her as he continued with his breakfast. “Hello?” She asked tentatively as she stared at Ash’s back.
“Hey, Misty, it’s Brendan.” A friendly voice replied back to her.
Misty’s spirits lifted and skydived at the same time – linking the reason to Ash’s reaction to her caller. She spoke to Brendan for a while and tried to keep her conversation minimal so that the topic couldn’t be overheard. She bid him farewell and wished him luck with his match against Ash and finished by promising to see him soon. She replaced the phone back in its cradle as the videophone simultaneously rang. Frowning she picked up the other receiver and jumped out of her chair when she saw who was displayed on the screen.
“No! Go away! Go away!” She screamed and hastily returned the receiver to disconnect the call.
“Misty, what’s wrong?” May asked her in alarm.
The phone rang again and Misty refused to pick it up before Max rushed in front of her and picked up the receiver. Misty bellowed down at him before she was scolded by her older sister for shouting at a younger child in that way.
“What do you want!?” Misty shouted at Daisy as she caught sight of a pokeball in her hand.
“Relax little sis, I just, like, wanted to tell you that I plan on keeping this Psyduck that we like, accidentally cloned the other day!” She responded happily as she kissed the pokeball in her hand.
Misty’s eye quivered unsurely as she watched Daisy.
“What are you up to?” She questioned.
“Well like, watch this.” Daisy said whilst releasing the Pokemon confined in the ball so that it was beside Daisy’s feet.
Daisy adjusted the camera so that it focused on the Cerulean Gym pool, to which Misty was most familiar with, and instructed the duck Pokemon to use a ‘water blaster’. It looked up at her clueless before turning towards the pool and shooting a powerful spout of water that stretched the length of the Olympic sized pool. Misty’s jaw dropped in horror as she moved closer to the screen to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. She looked down at the pokeball still in her hand and released it with eagerness to see if her Pokemon would do the same. Psyduck looked up at her as she released it and held its head with its perplexed expression as Misty commanded it to use a ‘water blaster’. May and Max flinched and covered their heads as Psyduck faced them. It closed its eyes and concentrated hard before opening its mouth. A small trickle of water flowed out and on to the carpet before it held up a peace sign and walked off to Misty’s bag.
Misty’s legs buckled beneath her and she fell with tears to the floor – pounding the ground while crying out how unfair this was. Daisy bid her farewell and clicked off as Misty was left in a crumpled state on the floor.
“It’s too early in the morning for this.” She wailed against the floor and crawled all the way to her room and shut the door.
“I’m going to get ready.” Ash stated as he placed his plate by the sink and walked off to his room as if nothing had happened.
“That’s weird.” May said quietly as she watched Ash close the door behind him. “He didn’t react at all to what just happened with Misty.”
”Should have he?” Max questioned intelligently. “What were you expecting him to do…”
“You’re as clueless as Ash is.” May sighed solemnly.
“Not if you’re suggesting that I’ve noticed something between them deeper than friendship.” Max stated knowingly while cleaning his glasses.
May looked down at her brother in shock and was impressed by the knowledge beyond his years. He explained to her that he had been fully aware of their relationship from the start and was surprised by how neither had admitted to liking the other. As he finished his sentence, a white light emitted from Misty’s bag and a small heart-shaped Pokemon appeared before them. LuvDisc cooed its name affectionately and looked around to see a clueless Psyduck staring at it. It hopped over to the duck and communicated in its natural tongue to which, surprisingly, Psyduck happily responded to.
May and Max watched them closely until LuvDisc was rolling on the floor laughing with Psyduck also in fits of amusement. The Pokemon looked up at the two siblings staring at them and LuvDisc hopped over to May whilst squealing at the top of its voice – trying to communicate. May apologised that she couldn’t understand it so LuvDisc pushed Psyduck in front of them and began using Psyduck for its body gestures. LuvDisc headbutted Psyduck’s arm so that it pointed to Misty’s room and nudged the other so that it indicated Ash’s room. It then was able to position Psyduck’s arms so that they came together and LuvDisc danced around Psyduck.
“I’m totally lost.” Max muttered and sweat-dropped.
“We need an interpreter.” May pondered thoughtfully and grabbed both Psyduck and LuvDisc and ran out of the door.
“Where are you going?” Max yelled as he followed her.
May didn’t answer him but knew that she had to find out what both LuvDisc and Psyduck were now aware of. She ran out of the hotel, her heart pounding in her head, why she did not know. Something had happened to make LuvDisc this happy and if it was related to Ash and Misty then it might explain the awkwardness of this morning.
Could it be to do with Brendan? Her mind echoed.
Her eyes widened and she ran faster. Misty’s words of reassurance that there was nothing between her and Brendan whispered through her head but something wasn’t convincing her to believe it. Her mind was in doubt, it must have been Brendan who phoned her this morning, but why? Why had Misty been so evasive to talk to him in front of them? Why had Ash reacted strangely to the phone call? Her mind continued to buzz with questions as she ran through the streets towards the market and glanced past all the stalls – searching for someone. Her attention was caught by two lone figures lazily leaning against their stall and talking to a cat-like Pokemon. They had no customers and May determinedly ran up to their stall and placed the two Pokemon on the counter.
“I need you to do me a favour.” She said tonelessly.
The group looked down at her and flinched.
“It’s the twerp’s friend!” Meowth cried out in alarm.
“Shush! She might recognise us.” The blue-haired man whispered. “Act like normal.”
“I’m sorry, young miss, but we’re on our break at the moment, would you be able to come back later?” The red-haired woman asked politely.
“Oh, please, you’re always on a break because it’s impossible for you to get any customers.” May replied airily. “Besides, your costumes don’t do you any good and it’s not hard to figure out that you’re Team Rocket.”
Max caught up with her, panting and seemed surprised at who she was talking to.
“Huh? We’re not Team Rocket, young miss. We specialise in selling our homemade Pokemon cookies! Would you like to try a free sample?” Jesse continued.
“If I did I might be committing suicide.” May stated with narrow eyes.
“Save it! Meowth, I desperately need you to translate LuvDisc’s words for me.”
“Why?” The Pokemon asked perplexed.
“Please, I’m begging you! Ash and Misty’s friendship could depend on LuvDisc’s words!” She pleaded with tears shining in her eyes.
Meowth frowned at her but was taken aback by the tears she was shedding for her friends.
“Alright.” He sighed.
He hopped down in front of LuvDisc and asked it what the problem was. LuvDisc’s dialect came flowing out like the water gun from its mouth as Meowth nodded his head in understanding.
“OK, twerp. The Pokemon says dat when her master was back at her Gym, Psyduck popped out at an awkward moment between Misty and this other guy who said he liked Misty. But a purple-headed gurl who liked baseball managed to get it out of the red-haired twerp that there was ‘someone else’ that she liked so dat’s why she didn’t like this other guy. When Psyduck got out of its ball, it had overheard what they said and coz Psyduck knew who it was, it started laughing and Misty got really embarrassed. Heh! Who’d have thought?”
“Who was it? Did she say who she liked?” May asked intrigued.
“May, this really is none of your business.” Max interrupted.
“Max, Ash and Misty are destined to be together – you weren’t there when LuvDisc told me, you don’t understand. Something’s happened that’s causing a problem for both of them – one minute they’re fine and the next they are so cold to one another. It’s like this morning, Misty got a phone call and Ash was really cold to her. We have to help them.”
“Nope, she didn’t say who it was.” Meowth translated after Psyduck began talking.
“Jess, do you remember what Butch and Cassidy said before we had a fight with them when they briefly came to Houen?” James asked his partner.
“About the twerp’s friend in Cerulean?”
“What!” May exclaimed. “What did they say?”
“Oh, they were talking about how they had overheard that conversation you were talking about before they attacked them with their Pokemon and they said that they heard the red-haired twerp talking to the other girl, Casey wasn’t it? Anyway, Casey was trying to force it out of her and all the red-head said was ‘he’s tall, dark and handsome and always brings a smile to my face’.”
“She must have meant Ash!” May cried gleefully.
“No, they said it was someone else, didn’t they, James?” Jesse pondered.
“Yeah, apparently the Casey girl asked if it was someone called ‘Stacee’.”
“It wasn’t Stacee, it was Tracey!” Jesse corrected him angrily. “He was the tall twerp who went round the islands with them.”
“Oh no.” May said as the colour drained from her face. “Did Misty say it was him?”
“How should we know? By then we were in a fight with Butch and Cassidy because they started boasting about how the Boss liked them more!”
“What? You guys are hopeless!” May shouted.
LuvDisc was jumping up and down in front of Meowth to get his attention and ordered the Pokemon to start translating again. Meowth explained that LuvDisc knows that Misty has no interest in Tracey otherwise it would be protecting those two but instead, it is protecting Ash and Misty. Therefore, Misty must have been referring to Ash but the problem, it said, was the guy that Misty always seemed to be with a lot when Ash wasn’t around. Apparently, LuvDisc couldn’t work out the deal between those two at all – whether they are in love or just friends, Brendan and Misty’s relationship was too complicated to work out.
“So Misty and Brendan might like each other?” May questioned breathlessly.
“The only way to find out,” Meowth continued to translate. “is by asking them and truthfully getting them to admit if they have feelings for one another. If either one of them answers ‘yes’ then there is nothing that can be done for Ash and Misty. Fate itself will be the decider and then destiny will follow.”
Ash leaned against the wall of his room by the door, thinking. The sun filtered through the open window and illuminated the bunk beds and slowly crept up the wall as the time past. Ash’s upper half remained in shadow as he stared at the floor and put his hands in his pockets. He pulled out a small handkerchief and smiled at it. It was the handkerchief that Misty had given him before they had departed and he had made sure to keep it with him since. It was the only thing that he had from her, except for a few photos but this had been special to him – since it was the only thing he had been able to keep of her to help preserve a memory when they had been away for so long.
It’s strange how one little thing can bring back a lifetime of memories… a voice echoed in Ash’s ears.
He looked up, expecting to see someone but there was no one there. The breeze dancing with the curtains from the open window caught his attention. He frowned.
Wasn’t that window closed before? He pondered.
Pikachu startled his thoughts with its cries as it pointed to the clock on the wall.
“Woah! It’s nine already? We’d better get going, right, Pikachu?”
“Pika-chu.” The Pokemon replied and nodded.
The agile Pokemon pointed to a small bottle on the bedside table that contained the medicine, which Nurse Joy had given him to help with his recovery. Ash stared at it and smiled.
“I’ll be OK.” He replied confidently. “I’m feeling fine now and I haven’t taken any of it this morning – I’m back to my old self.”
He once again pocketed Misty’s handkerchief and walked out of the room with Pikachu following. It stopped in the doorway and looked back at the bottle unsurely.
“Where is everyone?” Ash questioned aloud. “Misty? May? Hey, Max?”
Misty emerged from her room in response to Ash’s call and when he asked her where May ad max were, she replied that she did not know and hadn’t heard them leave the room. She suggested that they might have gone to the stadium already but it seemed strange that they had left their bags behind.
“Hey, Pikachu, what have you found that’s so interesting in my backpack?” Ash asked when he saw half of his Pokemon’s body hanging out of his backpack.
Pikachu looked up innocently and hopped over to Ash with a photograph in its mouth. Ash bent down to take the picture from it and stood up straight so that he and Misty could observe it. They both beamed at the photo, which had been taken just before they had all separated, on the bank where they had asked the local fisherman to take their picture. Everyone had happy smiles and it dawned on the two how closely they had been sitting next to each other when it was taken.
“I love this picture.” Misty sighed happily by Ash’s shoulder. “I’ve got it hung up on my wall back home.”
“Yeah, I remember when Brock sent it to me and I’ve kept it ever since. It turned out to be a really great photo.”
Misty smiled when he looked at her.
I’m so happy that he got it. At least he thinks the same way about that picture as I do. She thought quietly to herself.
“Pika! Pika-chu!” the Pokemon cried out in alarm and pointed to the clock on the wall.
Ash and Misty both gasped and grabbed their backpacks – Misty grabbing May’s and leaving Max’s on the floor as they both dashed out of the room in a panic.
Brock stood with his arms folded outside the stadium doors as he waited patiently for his friends. He consulted the clock tower in the square to see that they were all running late.
“Brock!” a voice called and disturbed his thoughts.
“Hey, May! Max! Where’s Ash and Misty?” He greeted his two companions warmly.
“We thought they’d be here with you. Haven’t they arrived yet?” May panted.
Brock shook his head.
“Why have you got Psyduck and LuvDisc?” He frowned and looked at the small Pokemon perched on May’s shoulder and the round duck she was holding under her arm.
“Oh, would you mind returning them to Misty when you see her?” she laughed unsurely and thrust Psyduck into Brock’s arms as LuvDisc hopped onto Max’s head.
Brock told the siblings that they really should sit in their seat but May insisted that she would wait for Ash in the changing rooms. Brock appeared to be taken aback by her words but did not question her further as he directed Max inside the stands. May waved them off as she quickly ran around the back to the changing rooms entrance. Her face was set. Since it was the quarterfinals, the changing rooms had been personalised so that the contenders’ names were on paper cards, stuck to the doors. She spotted Ash’s and kept moving. Further down the corridor, she found the door she was looking for and grinned. She knocked on the door and waited for a reply. The door opened and Brendan smiled at her.
“Hey, May.” He greeted her warmly. “What’s wrong?” He asked when he witnessed the slight coldness and determination on her face.
“I need to talk to you.” She said firmly. “It’s about Misty.”
Ash and Misty had run the whole of the way from the hotel and were now panting in front of the stadium. Misty had collapsed on her knees and was trying to regain her breath with Ash beside her, resting on his knees.
“I’m-so-glad… we… made it.” He panted and fell back on to his behind and looked up at the sky.
Misty laughed beside him, now sitting up straight.
“Now you’ve got to battle.” She teased and winked at him. “Hopefully your stamina levels are up for that.”
“I hope so.” He laughed as he stood up and helped Misty to her feet.
“How come you didn’t want us on the coach’s bench this time?” She questioned as she brushed herself down.
“Well, I thought that I wanted to do this battle on my own. Since it’s against Brendan and he’s a friend of ours, it might be better that I do this one by myself and with less distraction as possible.”
“Oh, we’re a distraction to you are we?” She questioned playfully.
“Well… urr… that’s not what I meant…”
“I know what you mean.” She said with a smile of understanding.
“Pika!” Pikachu cried out in agreement after finally catching up with them.
“Oh yeah, Misty, would you be able to look after Pikachu for me? I want to use it for my last battle, so if you wouldn’t mind looking after it until then, that would be great.” He asked with a smile.
“Sure, no problem.” Misty laughed as Pikachu hopped onto her shoulder – understanding why its master wanted to save it for the last battle.
“Well, I guess I better get going downstairs to quickly get ready.” Ash said confidently and turned around to make his way to the changing rooms.
As he turned to face her, he was alarmed to find that her arms were around his neck and she was hugging him. If a picture could have been taken at the moment, it would have been to highlight the shock and colour of Ash’s face as he looked down at the top of Misty’s head in surprise at the gesture she was making for him.
“Good luck.” She whispered and let go of him and ran to the doors of the stadium.
He glimpsed that the colour of her own face had also increased with his, but he smiled contently as he watched her go, the morning breeze whispered gently across his face, as he felt lighter inside. His confidence rose that he could win this battle and all of the gratitude he had coursed through his veins, to know how lucky he was to have Misty as part of his life and as his closest friend.
“Right, since the usual commentator, Lugin Tahukan, has been diagnosed with a mysterious flu and the weather girl, Miss “I am the Queen of the Weather Pokemon” – Tracey “Traz” Hypershell, has decided to call an early vacation with some random person, I’m taking over.” The sarcastic commentator droned through the microphone.
The audience looked puzzled and seemed to disagree with putting this arrogant man in charge of speculating the events of the anticipated match ahead.
“I’m Brian Powell.” A large applause and cheering came from the stadium when these words were uttered against the microphone. “Oh please, spare me the cheers, you all hate me.” The crowd continued to applaud him as he sighed into the microphone. “I should have taken up talent hosting.” He grumbled as he watched a large group of fan girls fight their way up to the commentating box.
Misty had taken her seat alongside Max and Brock with a smile on her face. It was only when Brock dumped Psyduck on her lap did she return to reality.
“Psyduck?” She questioned.
LuvDisc hopped onto her spare shoulder that wasn’t occupied by Pikachu. She asked Brock what was going on and he shrugged, saying that it was May who had had them and had dumped them both with him. Misty seemed even more puzzled when May had reportedly gone down to wait for Ash in the changing rooms. Trying to dislodge her curiosity, Misty indulged herself in a conversation with Brock about Cassie.
“She’s the girl of my dreams!” Brock exclaimed with his famous brigade of hearts circling around him. “The tickets you gave us were for this beautiful restaurant that has a fountain outside and the food was amazing!”
Misty sweat-dropped and frowned at Brock.
“This restaurant wasn’t designed for couples was it? Next to the clock tower?” She questioned.
“Yes! Do you know where it is?”
Misty sighed and held her head in her hand.
“That was the same restaurant that Brendan, Ash, Macey and I ended up going to.” She replied wearily as she recalled her Pokemon back to their pokeballs.
“Wow. Small world, huh? Oh, and do you know what else? Cassie’s sister is the one and only famous breeder, Rene Bellosh!” He finished excitedly.
“Listen, Romeo, only one girl at a time, OK?” Misty replied coolly.
“Oh, sorry – kinda got carried away. How come you’ve got Pikachu? Doesn’t Ash want to battle with it?”
“He asked me to look after Pikachu because he wants to save it for the last battle.”
“Misty!” A voice called from the row in front of her.
Misty bent over curiously to see the girl whom Brendan had been partners with in the water competition that they had participated in.
“Aurora! It’s great to see you again.” Misty cried happily. “Are you here to support Brendan?”
“Well, sort of. My brother, Derek, is battling in the match after Brendan and Ash in this stadium so I’m here to watch both matches.” She replied.
A small Pokemon appeared on her shoulder as she talked to Misty.
“Oh, this is my Horsea, Coral Eye.” Aurora introduced.
“Ahh… it’s so cute!” Misty complimented. “I have a Horsea, too.” She said as she went into a discussion about her gym.
“Well, ladies and gentlemen, it seems that both trainers are finally ready to battle.” Brian Powell started up again in an even duller tone that still received a deafening applause. “Oh, shut up. Right, well the rules of this battle are that there are two one-on-one battles and a double battle, so they do one battle with one Pokemon first, then the double battle, then if it’s a tie, they have another one-on-one. Who writes this script, I mean come on! My Goldeen could write a better script than this! What do you mean, ‘usually the normal guy does it with enthusiasm?” The commentator argued with the producer.
The fan girls screamed against the glass of the box and demanded to be let in so that they could worship Brian Powell.
“That commentator is really sarcastic isn’t he?” Misty pondered.
“Yeah, but the girls seem to like it.” Brock said thoughtfully.
“Brian Powell is so cool!” Max exclaimed excitedly as he stood up in his seat with the rest of the crowd. “If I can’t become a gym leader, I want to be just like him!”
“You know who he is?” Misty questioned.
“Everyone in Houen knows who he is!” Max continued in his bubbly tone. “He’s one of the most respected commentators in the whole region! He’s so sarcastic but that’s what people love about him – he also seems to attract the girls a lot. This is great! This match is going to be the best!”
Ash and Brendan emerged on to the field with a tremendous applause as they were introduced and Ash’s friends looked down at them happily.
“Excuse me, sorry, come through!” May exclaimed apologetically as she made her way to her seat.
“Where have you been?” Misty asked her as she sat down beside her. “And what have you been up to with my Pokemon?”
May looked her in the eye only to receive a curious expression from Misty. May leant over to her and whispered in her ear. Whatever her words, they caused Misty to blush furiously and look down at the floor as she sheepishly gave her reply.
Ash looked confidently across the field to his opponent who returned the playful grin. The referee signalled for them to released both of their Pokemon at the same time, which they did and quickly studied what had been released before the battle started.
“Ready, Chibi?” Brendan confidently asked his Pokemon.
“Chibi?” Ash asked himself as he got out his Pokedex.
The Pokemon opposing him was small in size from what he had expected it to look like though still carried the distinct features that resembled a camel.
“Huh?” Ash questioned aloud as he took out his PokeDex and pointed it at the Camerupt.
“Camerupt, the Eruption Pokemon. It’s average height is 6ft3 and its average weight is 485lb. Despite the smaller size of this Camerupt, it has highly explosive power and is not to be underestimated in its power or ability.
Ash grinned. He was now thankful that he had released Totodile onto the field against this unusual fire type that he has only had the opportunity of studying on a few rare occasions. Ignoring the advice his PokeDex had given him, he planned in his head how he was going to overcome this Pokemon with its obvious type disadvantage.
“Chibi means small, Ash.” Brendan stated knowingly when he saw Ash’s perplexed expression. “But just because it’s small doesn’t mean that it should be taken lightly.”
“GO!” The referee shouted and held up both of his flags.
“Totodile! Water gun!” Ash immediately shouted and pointed at their opponent.
Brendan lowered his head and grinned with confidence. He didn’t order his Pokemon to move or evade the oncoming attack. The force of the water hit Camerupt directly and sent it backwards slightly until its digging heels preventing it from moving any further. It looked up at Totodile persistently but didn’t flinch.
“What?!” Ash yelled in disbelief to see that the disadvantaged type had taken on little damage.
Both Totodile and Ash’s eyes widened with shock until Ash regained his focus again. Ash instructed his Pokemon to commence with a repeat of the previous attack as Totodile breathed in heavily.
“I don’t think so, Ash.” Brendan said confidently. “Chibi! Use your Earthquake!”
Chibi reacted quickly and raised both of its feet and slammed it with such a force that the entire field shook – sending Totodile’s directed attack off course and into the air. A number of the spectators screamed as the tremors worked their way up the stands and Totodile was knocked off its balance and onto its back. Thinking quickly, Brendan ordered his Pokemon to use a rapid Flamethrower that scored a direct hit and shot Totodile back towards a panicking Ash.
“Are you OK, Totodile?” He asked his Pokemon with concern.
The small Pokemon stood up and shook itself from its stun before carelessly dancing on the spot, much to everyone’s surprise.
His technique is incredible. Ash thought in his head. I didn’t have any time to react for Totodile because his combination was so fast.
“Not bad.” Brock commented randomly.
“What’s not bad?” May asked.
“Well, why Brendan didn’t react on the first move that Ash made. He waited for Ash to make the first move – knowing that he would repeat it because Brendan was giving him the perfect opportunity to react. With a brilliant combo attack on Brendan’s behalf, it’s already given him the upper edge.”
Misty’s face displayed her concern. Pikachu watched her carefully – it hadn’t been able to overhear what May had said to her but it could tell that something was troubling its master’s best friend. Misty continued to watch the match with a distracted mind, thinking about what May had asked and questioning her response to it. Did Brendan feel the same way?
May’s reaction to her reply hadn’t been quite what she had expected, though they had both spoken in silent whispers to avoid the boys overhearing the subtly of their conversation. Misty had been very evasive of the questions that had followed her main reply – to which she had promised to give her truthful answer. For now, May had been silent, intently watching Ash and Brendan’s battle.
“Alright, Totodile, it’s time for a change of tactics!” Ash bellowed with renewed confidence. “Use your – huh?”
Ash looked up to the sky after the field had darkened with a shadow to see…
“Prepare for trouble, you little twerp!”
“And make it double, before we land in the dirt!”
Ash’s face displayed that of most disbelief mixed with a dash of sarcasm, followed by a sweat-drop.
“Urr… hello!” He shouted up to them. “I’m kind of in the middle of a really important battle here!”
Distracted by Ash’s calls, the trio peered over the side of the Meowth-shaped balloon and laughed.
“To protect the world from devastation!”
“To unite all people’s within our nation!”
“To denounce the evils of –”
“Oi! You people in that stupid looking balloon! Get out of here now! You’re blocking my view of the field!”
Curiously, the trio looked in all directions to see where the voice had come from.
“Urr… to your left. No, your other left. Now look down… down, down, down… up…right. I suggest you three idiots move out of the way before I pop your balloon with my microphone.” Brian Powell said as the group looked up at him in the commentating box.
“James, who’s he?” Jesse asked in a small voice.
“I think he’s a man.” James whispered in her ear.
She narrowed her eyes at him.
“Well done, Einstein.”
Brian shouted at them again and this time received a response from the crowd who were in agreement with him.
“Oh, shut up!” Jesse shouted heatedly. “We’re only here for the Pokemon and then we’ll be gone!”
She threw a pokeball to release her Pokemon at the edge of the basket and her partner did the same. The silhouettes of Cacnea and Seviper appeared before the lights disappeared and revealed the Pokemon who called out their names. The thieves instructed their Pokemon to attack the commentating box, breaking the glass and leaving a disgruntled Mr. Powell on the edge of another dose of sarcasm.
“If that is what you call Pokemon then I dread to think what you call Trainers.” He said airily.
“How dare you!” Jesse shouted as James restrained her.
He reminded her that they were here for the Pokemon to which she let off a smoke bomb that covered the entire field and rose up through the stands. The audience coughed and spluttered as they were choked by the fumes and could barely see through the billowing smoke.
“Swellow, blow this smoke away with your Gust attack!” Ash coughed his command as he released his Pokemon out into the open.
The extraordinary bird flew high into the sky, through the cloud, and was beating its wings powerfully to direct the smoke into a different direction and to diffuse it out of the way. As it cleared from the grounds, both Totodile and Camerupt could be seen suspended in a net below the balloon, crying down to their masters. Jesse ordered her Pokemon to attack Swellow while it was distracted and scored a direct hit with a poison sting. Stunned by the attack, Swellow fell to the ground and crashed heavily, sending up a cloud of dust as Ash ran to aid his hurt Pokemon.
“Ash, look out!” Misty cried from the stands and jumped out of her seat.
She quickly handed Pikachu over to Max as the Pokemon protested in his arms, wanting to protect its master until Max held it even tighter, trying to reason that Ash needed it for the last battle.
Misty ran to the balcony that was separating her row from the below stage of seats. Cacnea had launched a set of pin missiles in the direction of the fallen Pokemon, to which Ash was now bent over. He looked up in shock to see them heading for him and shielded his Pokemon from the oncoming attack.
Misty had leapt the balcony and was running down the stairs as she called upon a Pokemon from the pokeball in her pocket to help her friend.
“Staryu, help us out!” She cried angrily as her Pokemon emerged and aimed a water gum at the attack that was heading for Ash.
The attack was disintegrated within the flow of water and Staryu stood proudly in front of its master, who had now reached the bottom of the stairs and was beside the balcony that separated the stands from the field. Ash looked towards his friend and smiled his thanks as he looked back up to the balloon that was now trying to make its exit. Brendan called upon another one of his Pokemon, a Shiftry – shaped in a peculiar fuzz ball way with sharp features that stood prominent against the rest of its body. It maliciously grinned at the trio trying to escape and launched a “Shadow Ball” at the rope suspending the net below the balloon. The Pokemon were dropped on to the field, Totodile jumping about enthusiastically, as James ordered his Cacnea to use a spiralling Pin Missile. Wishing he hadn’t said this after he watched the consequences, his Pokemon span around on the spot and launched a number of sharp needles as it rotated – also inside the balloon. The crowd shielded themselves as a number headed for Misty who had been unprepared for the attack after ordering her own Pokemon to protect the audience by counteracting with a spiralling water gun. With her defence lost, she could only gasp in horror at the oncoming attack and hear Ash yell out her name. He reacted quickly and ordered Totodile to fire a spout of water towards her but was intercepted by Shiftry grabbing hold of Misty and jumping out of the way with her. As a result, Totodile’s attack soaked the displeased crowd. Shiftry placed Misty a little further down the balcony, towards Brendan’s end, as she said her thanks to it and it bowed its understanding before standing proudly before its master. Brendan shouted to Ash and Misty that they should combine their attacks together to form an all powerful attack to get rid of the trio of trouble-makers. Both nodding their agreement and Ash returning Swellow to its pokeball, Misty and Ash joined forces with their Pokemon to create a powerful jet of water that combined with the darkness of Shiftry’s shadow ball to form a liquefied black beam that headed straight for the screaming trio in the balloon and caused an explosion that sent them sailing off into the sky with the traditional “We’re blasting off again!”
The audience shouted and cheered their approval of the group’s efforts and even a positive word was said by the commentator on the splendour of the combined attack. As the crowd were distracted by this, Misty signalled to Brendan to come to the balcony as she crouched down as low as she could while he strained to hear the words she was whispering down to him. He frowned his response until he saw the look of concern upon her face and nodded as she smiled her thanks and wished Ash luck in the remainder of the fight as she recalled Staryu and disappeared back up the stands – a large applause following her as she went. Ash looked at her suspiciously as she went and was distracted by the secret talk she’d had with Brendan as the commentator and referee announced the continuation of the match.
Totodile danced up and down readily as Ash focused his attention on the battle ahead of him, before his thoughts were interrupted by a sharp pain across his chest. Ignoring it and recovering from it quickly, he dismissed any worries from it and treated it as a random pain from his sudden movements.
“Totodile, use another Water Gun!” Ash yelled out to his Pokemon as Brendan simultaneously ordered his own Pokemon to use a flamethrower.
Both Pokemon obeyed the instructions of their respective trainers and launched their powerful attacks at the other. A forceful explosion resulted as they collided, leaving both Pokemon starring maliciously at the other. Without further hesitation, Brendan ordered his Pokemon to use one of its most powerful and destructive attacks once again – earthquake. Unsure on the true potential of this power, having only witnessed it once at the beginning of the match, Ash could only helplessly watch his Pokemon suffer the endurance as the opponent lifted its front feet high in the air and forcefully stamped them down on the ground.
The force caused the earth to shudder violently as a shockwave was sent from where it stood towards Totodile, who was taken back by the abruptness of the attack and was sent flying backwards in pain towards its master. Screams and yelled echoed throughout the stadium as numerous amounts of spectators were dislodged from their seats.
“Totodile!” Ash yelled out desperately as his blue crocodile hit the ground brutally.
Totodile struggled to its feet and determinedly stood on its shaking stumped legs with high persistence to beat its opponent as Brendan was ordering Chibi to use another earthquake.
“The force from that Camerupt is incredible.” Brock commented. “Brendan was right – even though its small, it makes up for it with its amazing power.”
Misty remained silent next to him.
“Brock, if Ash does lose this battle, do you think that it will give Brendan more of an upper edge?” May asked unsurely.
“Have confidence, May, we’ve already seen Ash come out of worse scrapes than this in some of the gym battles we’ve seen him fight in.” Max replied knowingly.
“Max is right. Besides, even if Brendan did win this match, Ash still has two battles left to make his comeback. Though double battle after this though, is what is really going to put him to the test. He hasn’t had that much experience with double battles before – he’s participated in a few but it will be interesting to see what Pokemon he’ll use together. I have a hunch that Brendan will have had a lot more of experience than Ash in double battling, so if Ash wanted to gain a some security on the winner of this match, he’s going to have to start by turning this one around first.” Brock replied with his wisdom.
When the group turned to watch the match again, they gasped to see Ash commanding a weak Totodile to use a water gun – only this time aimed at the ground. Curious as to what his intentions were, the crowd watched Ash’s unusual tactics as Brendan smirked and ordered his own Pokemon to release its now fully charged earthquake – knowing that this would mean the end for Ash’s first Pokemon.
Slamming down harder than ever before, Chibi released the full power of its attack as it was distributed around the arena. The stands shook and dislodged the majority of irritated spectators from their seats and to tumble down into the rows below. As the spectators regained themselves, momentarily dazed, they were surprised to see Totodile standing proudly, apparently unaffected by the sheer force of the attack.
Responding quickly after seeing Brendan and Camerupt’s shocked faces, Ash bellowed for his Pokemon to use a Hydro Pump. Totodile breathed in heavily and let out a huge fountain of water from its mouth, hitting Chibi squarely in the body and causing it to be sent flying and slammed against the side of the stands and limply fall back to the ground.
Fear crept across Brendan’s face. Even with the strength that he knew that his Pokemon would have suffered greatly from Totodile’s attack, especially since it was at a major type disadvantage.
“Chibi!” Try to stand up!” He called out his encouragement as it weakly got to its feet but before it could regain its bearings, it had been hit with another strong fountain of water from which, this time, it was not able to recover.
“Camerupt is unable to battle. The first round victory goes to Totodile!” The referee announced clearly and held up the flag closest to Ash.
Ash celebrated his close victory with Totodile, spinning it around on the spot as he held it and continuously praising its tremendous effort. Brendan comforted his injured Pokemon on the other side of the field and recalled it back to its pokeball. Ash jumped up and down with his Pokemon but immediately held his side as a bolt of pain coursed across it. He dropped Totodile and tried to ease the pain as his Pokemon looked up at him with deep concern.