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Thread: Good Love Charm (Advanceshipping, PG-13)

  1. #101
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    Yay, thanks for all the reviews, guys! ^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Daisenki View Post
    I think most of it is my own personal preferences, for a shipping fic I usually tune out other stuff that's happening within the story. For example, I skip most of the battling because I find that its unnecessary needed and any other shippings that isn't the main one, for example in this one it's Dawn+Drew, I can't relate to it, so I also skip those parts.
    Oh, okay. Well, my objective with this fic was to really flesh out the whole world, not purely focus on Ash and May (it's intended to be a gradual buildup of shippiness) but Advanceshipping is still the primary focus.

    Quote Originally Posted by lunarshadow View Post
    Man, this is an incredible fic. One of the best I have ever read! Keep up the great work!

    When the next chapter comes out, I'll make sure to write an extensive rate and review! Reading then!
    Wow, thank you for your comments ^^ I'd better make chapter 10 a goond one, huh? ^^;

    Quote Originally Posted by kawaii serebii View Post
    Mo' drama!!! Mo' evil Drew! ^^ ar, sorry, I just like evil Drew =DD I'l be waiting for the next chapter~

    Seems like a long time since I gave a review
    Drew's taken a backseat for the moment, but he's not out of this story quite yet, I can assure you of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by buster_wolf View Post
    Hahaha, very action packed story in there. Lots of battle and suspense to change the romantic pace of the story. It's very refreshing pace from there, and the visit from Flint was quite awesome. Hehe, I think everyone already said what I would have said, but anyway, it's pretty awesome. Hahaha, I love your portrayal of Drew. Now I can't wait to see what happen nexts.
    Haha, thanks :D Flint was tough to write, as he's an Elite Four member and I also have to make him lose to Team Rocket, which makes things difficult to convey realistically. Still, the odds were stacked pretty highly against him, so I think it was fair for him to lose.
    Good Love Charm
    *COMPLETE*

  2. #102
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    aw... no evil Drew *hmph* but I can wait =D I just got a question though. Will all the Rockets we know appear in here? Including the Boss of course. It seemed like one big Rocket operation to me

    This is the start of a brand new journey...

    FF.Net +
    PB + DA + Blog

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post

    Wow, thank you for your comments ^^ I'd better make chapter 10 a goond one, huh? ^^;
    Just keep up the work. I doubt Chapter 10 could be bad at all! Anyways, just saying, you have two options.

    I could either:

    Absolutely murder your next Chapter with revisions and corrections and comments about how awesome it is.
    OR
    Absolutely murder your next Chapter by commenting about how awesome it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morpheus

    "You take a chance either way. I leave it to you."
    -The Matrix (1999)
    Quote Originally Posted by THE ARCHITECT

    "As you very well put it, the problem is choice."
    -The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
    Last edited by lunarshadow; 16th July 2008 at 7:33 PM. Reason: Added the Architecht
    3DS Friend Code: 2079-6549-2981
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    I am a shadow, I seek the ways of Hadou.
    I'll have you know, I am a Lucario.

  4. #104
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    I've been meaning to review this for ages and now that I'm about to do it, I can't think of much. But I will say this:

    I can see why this is a popular fic. You write the characters so well. For some reason, I really like Nico. And I always love reading your chapters. The characters are all getting fleshed out really well and I like fics that don't just focus on one shipping only!

    I don't feel like anyone is out of character and the various twists are so appealing, it's no wonder I've taken myself to becoming a bit of an Advanceshipping girl, and even like Belleshipping too!

    Gazmof, you are my shipping convertor, I swear.

  5. #105
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    Flint flinched as he watched his Pokemon topple down to the ground unconscious, dark-crimson blood spraying into the air like a morbid fountain.
    Oh wow. Talk about harsh.

    Sorry I've been so late to review. I was temperarely banned from the computer.

  6. #106
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    Chapter Ten:
    Winding Threads

    Paul stared blankly in front of him, his mind gently flowing with a stream of thoughts to occupy the time. The walls of the Floaroma police station were a dismal, off-white; presumably coming from years of neglect and a distinct lack of interest towards making the place look welcoming. This is, after all, where they interview suspected criminals, and that was not the most cheerful of occupations. The station could be forgiven, therefore, for forgetting to redecorate every once in a while.

    "So you're telling me that you had nothing to do with this operation?" the man in the blue uniform said, glaring at Paul as best he could.

    "Yes." Paul groaned in response, slumping in his chair a little. Clearly the police force's entrance exams were not sufficiently difficult enough if people like this could get a badge. "I've told you that four times already."

    "Then perhaps you can explain to me what you were doing sending your Pokemon in to battle that Metagross and Tyranitar?" the investigator countered, a sly smile crossing his face, as if he had just concocted a master-plan in his mind.

    Paul plunged his face into his hand, his frustration slowly getting to him.

    "Because," Paul began, his tone of voice clearly exasperated, "if I hadn't have done anything they would still be tearing up that circus tent."

    "Unless, of course," the investigator chuckled slightly, an enormous grin spreading across his face from ear to ear as he spoke, "you were trying to deflect the blame from your leader onto yourself in an effort to help them get away with the stolen Pokemon!"

    Paul remained completely silent for a few seconds, staring blankly at the man who sat directly across the table from him. The investigator continued to grin maniacally, his finger now pointing straight at Paul in the most dramatic way he could possibly muster.

    "You're a moron." Paul replied bluntly.

    ~*~*~

    Hot steam rose from the large mug of coffee that sat on the table directly in front of Dawn. Her hands were wrapped around her arms in an effort to defend herself from the cold Sinnoh night and the lack of a sophisticated central-heating system in the Floaroma police station.

    Dawn didn't care about how cold she felt, however. All she could think about were her Pokemon. Piplup, Buneary, Pachirisu - they were all gone, and there was nothing she could do about it.

    Today had been the worst day of her life.

    She was situated in a courtesy room of the police building where several other victims of Team Rocket's operation were seated, waiting to be told they could go home. The walls were coloured white with paint that seemed to be decades old and was showing plenty of signs of deterioration. A few colourful posters advertising new job opportunities in the police force were pinned over some of the more conspicuous cracks in the paint-work, as well as several wanted lists and warning signs that probably hadn't been changed in about four years or so. In the corner by the vending machines was a small, potted plant that looked like it wouldn't say no to some water.

    The gentle sound of footsteps removed Dawn from her inner thoughts and she looked up to see Brock smiling down at her, Ash's Pikachu riding on his shoulder.

    "You look cold." the Pokemon breeder observed, removing his dark-brown jacket and draping it over the girl's shoulders.

    "Thanks, Brock." the girl replied meekly as he sat down on the couch beside her whilst she continued to stare into her mug of coffee.

    "Don't worry, Dawn." the boy comforted his friend, gently placing his hand on her shoulder as he did so. "We'll get them back somehow."

    "Yeah..." Dawn sighed, picking up the mug and taking a sip, hoping that it would wake her up and she would realise that this had all been some silly nightmare that never made any sense.

    Silence was particularly awkward whenever Dawn was in the room, because the girl could never usually stop talking. She was always so happy and smiley that Brock was quite dumbfounded to find her acting so depressed. His friend's infectiously happy attitude was now slowly becoming more and more gloomy.

    "And hey," Brock chuckled slightly in hopes of repairing the atmosphere, "I don't think anyone's gonna want to mess with Piplup once they release it from its Pokeball! Whoever's unlucky enough to run into that little Pokemon is sure gonna regret this whole thing!"

    Dawn managed a slight smile and took another sip of coffee before shooting a glance towards her friend.

    "Thanks, Brock." she spoke softly, then gave him a wink. "No need to worry, right?"

    "That's the Dawn we know and love!" Brock laughed.

    "Pikachu!" Pikachu squeaked happily.

    The sound of a door opening from across the room caused both Dawn and Brock to look over and see Paul heading towards them, his hands in his pockets and his typically aloof demeanour as present as ever.

    "Hey, Paul," Brock greeted the boy who wandered straight over to the vending machine against the wall without so much as even glancing at the two of them, "how'd the interview go?"

    "These cops think they're in some kind of lame detective movie." Paul replied gruffly as the machine beeped at him and a soda can crashed loudly into the dispensing well. "Whatever. It's done now; I'm out of here."

    "Wait, you can't leave yet!" Brock protested. "What about Ash and May? They still haven't come back yet!"

    "That's their problem." Paul answered, frowning at Brock in a rather perplexed manner. "What's it got to do with me?"

    "We've got to go help them." Brock insisted, swiftly followed by Dawn, who stood up and pumped her fist in determination.

    "That's right!" she seconded her friend. "We can't just leave them out there!"

    "Pika!" Pikachu agreed, raising its tiny yellow arm from atop Brock's shoulder in imitation of the young coordinator.

    Paul glanced at Dawn somewhat curiously.

    "Who are you again?" he asked, causing Dawn to growl angrily.

    "What do you mean who am I!?" she yelled, shaking her fist at the boy who simply stared at her as if she were crazy. "We've already met like a dozen times! Why I-"

    Dawn's loud complaints were soon silenced by the sound of another door opening up and a woman stepping into the room, this time to their far right; a door which ultimately led to the entrance of the Floaroma police station. The newcomer was none other than the same Officer Jenny who had arrested the owner of the carnival and escorted the group to the station just a few hours earlier. She appeared to be deep in thought, a frown painted on her face as she agonised over the details of her current situation.

    "Officer Jenny!" Brock called to the woman as he rushed over to her, Dawn and Paul both following him with Pikachu close behind. "Do you have any leads?"

    "That's official police business," Jenny explained, "so I'm afraid I can't go into any more details."

    She looked at the trio warmly and smiled before adding something.

    "You kids all did a great job today in holding off Team Rocket's Pokemon. You should all head home and get a good night's sleep."

    "But we can't do that, Officer Jenny!" Dawn protested, Pikachu waddling up to the girl and standing beside her feet, its ears twitching as it looked up towards the policewoman curiously. "Our friends are still out there somewhere!"

    "What!?" Jenny exclaimed, clearly shocked by this fact. "But that's impossible; we completely secured the tent - there's no way we left anybody behind!"

    "That's just the problem, officer." Brock sighed, his eyes glancing down to the floor in concern for his two close friends, Ash and May. "They weren't in the tent when you arrived. A Pokemon coordinator named Nico Cyrax told them that he knew where our friend's Pokemon were being kept and they left with him."

    "What!?" Officer Jenny repeated, her eyes widening as she heard the boy explain. "That's important information! We need to do something right away!"

    She glanced over to the far door where Paul had originally entered and motioned towards the three of them to follow her, which they promptly did, though Paul was less than thrilled by the thought of sitting in another interview room. With a loud creak Officer Jenny opened the door and ushered the three of them into one of the empty interview rooms, locking the door behind them.

    "Now," the woman began, placing a notepad and pen down onto the table in front of her and taking a seat, "tell me everything you know about this 'Nico'."

    ~*~*~

    "Try not to worry too much, sir." Nurse Joy's reassuring voice did its best to work its usual magic on the very concerned face of the man with the bright red afro. "Infernape lost a lot of blood, but it would have been a lot worse if you hadn't been there to bandage its wounds. Try to relax a little."

    Flint's large, muscular arms leaned against the counter of the emergency Pokemon centre in the Floaroma police station. His Infernape was in one of the many rooms located just beyond the wall where a stalwart Chansey stood with a clipboard in its arms, and yet he couldn't have felt further away.

    Flint sighed, dragging himself away from the counter. His expression had now moved from concern to depression as his eyes glanced down to the tiled floor beneath his feet.

    There wasn't anything he could do for Infernape now. If only he hadn't been so stupid! Why did he have to be so arrogant and think his Pokemon could take on both a Garchomp and a Salamence at once?

    Flint sighed and glanced over to where the daughter of the carnival owner was sitting with a young Pokemon coordinator just a few yards away.

    'And you call yourself an Elite?' Flint's thoughts asked himself bitterly.

    Alisa was still understandably upset and her reddened cheeks were clear proof of this. Drew never particularly enjoyed comforting people when they were upset; though he had to admit he was pretty good at it when he needed to be. After all, he'd done it many times - it was a setup too perfect to ignore: young girls were always at their weakest when they were emotionally upset, and Drew was a master of manipulation.

    "I just," Alisa sniffled, feeling Drew's hand gently caress her shoulder, "I just don't understand what they want with us! We're not the criminals; it's that Team Rocket! Why can't they see that!?"

    "Hey, come on," Drew whispered gently, taking a fresh handkerchief from his shirt pocket and offering it to the girl, who accepted it gratefully, "it'll be fine. It's all just a misunderstanding, right?"

    Alisa blew her nose as inconspicuously as she could before nodding in response.

    "Thanks, Drew." she replied, smiling warmly at the boy. "You're a really great guy; you know that?"

    Drew gave the girl a gentle smile in reply.

    "I just hate to see a pretty girl get upset, that's all." he explained. "So come on, cheer up. Things will be fine."

    Drew looked up towards the far wall, where Flint was watching the two of them. The two Pokemon trainers shared a quick glance before Drew turned back to the girl sitting beside him. He had only briefly been introduced to the member of the Elite Four; there had been a lot of confusion during the police takeover and so there had been no time for formalities.

    Suddenly Drew got to his feet, his reassuring smile still pinpointed directly towards Alisa, who looked up at him in confusion.

    "I'll be right back." the boy explained, before making his way towards the exit of the Pokemon Centre waiting room.

    Drew made his way through the bland corridors and hallways of the Floaroma police station until he eventually arrived at his destination. Drew took a moment to admire the small notice that proclaimed the name of the department in bold, capital letters: 'Investigation Department: Interview Rooms'.

    Drew idly checked the area before approaching. The hallway appeared to be entirely empty, save for himself and a single guard sitting on a chair, idly reading a newspaper as he sipped some coffee. There were some muffled noises coming from each interview room, and this suggested that much of the station's personnel were engaged in the interrogation process.

    The young coordinator smirked to himself and glanced around to make sure that he and the guard were the only ones within earshot before making his move. He casually sidled up to the window of one of the rooms. Inside the blinds were drawn but an unmistakable figure could be seen sitting alone behind them - Officer Kendrick.

    "Hey, what do you think you're doing?" the guard asked in his most intimidating voice. Drew simply smiled, turning to face the man in uniform.

    "Oh, nothing." Drew replied calmly, glancing through the window in an attempt to discern more information despite the blinds that were barring his vision. "I just wanted to speak to Officer Kendrick, that's all."

    The guard frowned at this response, almost unable to believe what the boy had said.

    "This place is off-limits to tourists, kid." the man said. "And you can't just waltz in here and ask to speak to a criminal!"

    Upon finishing his sentence the man dropped the newspaper to the floor with a loud slap.

    "Go on, get out of here." he added. "You don't wanna get involved with the likes of this guy, kid."

    Drew approached the guard cautiously, exaggerating a glance down the corridor as he leaned close enough to whisper into the man's ear.

    "Actually, that's just it..." he explained in a hushed tone, causing the guard to eye him suspiciously. "Officer Jenny suggested I talk to him. He and I go way back; he's like a father to me, you see."

    "Oh?" the guard stammered uncertainly, his expression clearly portraying the doubt that was now leaking into his mind.

    "Yeah, you see," Drew continued his charade in a manner that would have made even an award-winning actor envious, "I just can't believe he'd do something like this; behind his daughter's back..."

    Drew's expression faltered slightly before he added something.

    "Behind MY back..."

    "Well, I..." the guard began to speak again, but was quickly cut off. Drew hadn't yet finished with this story.

    "I guess that's why Officer Jenny thought I'd be the best man for the job." Drew continued. "Maybe I can guilt-trip him into explaining exactly why he did it, and how he got those Rockets involved..."

    The guard paused for a moment to make sure that Drew had finished.

    "And my Pokemon!" Drew interrupted just as the guard thought it was safe to speak. "They have my Pokemon! All of my friends... In the hands of those criminals..."

    "Okay, okay!" the guard sighed. "I get the picture."

    The man quickly fumbled in his pocket for the key to the interview room where Kendrick was being held, twisting it slowly to the right until a loud click could be heard. Drew smiled to himself as the guard ushered the boy inside, shooting a nervous glance towards the man as he did so.

    Kendrick's hands were tightly shackled to the table where he sat, just as his legs were strapped to the floor, iron manacles surrounding his wrists and ankles. Drew walked directly opposite the arrested man, looking over to the guard who remained by the doorway.

    "Just yell if he gives you any trouble." the man explained, pulling the door tightly shut behind him as he went back to his post. He was secretly rather happy to be out of the room - Kendrick's sharp, glaring eyes had begun to make him more nervous than he should have been.

    Both Drew and Kendrick watched as the door was pulled shut and the sound of the guard's footsteps echoed down the corridor. Their gazes then switched to each other and Drew took this opportunity to take a deep breath.

    Getting inside had been easy. Now it was time for the hard part...

    ~*~*~

    The heavy grinding of helicopter rotor blades could be heard just a few feet above the dull, grey, metal ceiling of the Team Rocket chinook's cargo bay. Nico and Butch were ensuring that May was tightly secured to one of the passenger seats against the wall of the cargo hold, whilst the back of Cassidy's head could be seen from the rear window of the cockpit. May continued to make a few weak attempts to struggle against the rope bindings Butch had wrapped tightly around her hands and feet, but she was too concerned about Ash to do much of anything. All she could think of was her best friend's welfare while she casted a furious glare towards Nico.

    Nico was standing several feet away from the girl, by the opposite wall of the vehicle's cargo hold. He appeared to be having difficulty with the Poketch that was strapped to his wrist, furiously twisting a few dials on either side of the device with an exasperated expression on his face. Eventually, after numerous attempts he gave up and made his way over to where May was sitting.

    "Kendrick's cellphone is switched off." he said to Butch, who was kneeling down beside May's feet, ensuring they were tightly bound so that she had no chance of escape. Nico rolled his eyes up towards the ceiling for a moment, pondering what the problem could be. "Maybe he's busy getting rid of that Tyranitar and Metagross."

    Nico gave May a quick glance. Seeing the girl's angry scowl he smiled smugly before returning his attentions to the Team Rocket agent.

    "Speaking of which... Do you mind explaining that to me? How the heck did those two Pokemon get in that tent?"

    Butch got to his feet and frowned at the boy before pointing straight at their prisoner.

    "You've got a lot of nerve asking me that!" Butch growled. "Why are we carrying this girl around with us? Team Rocket ain't a bunch of babysitters, kid!"

    Nico frowned at the man's reaction a little, not entirely sure what his problem was.

    "You almost screwed this entire plan up because of her!" Butch continued, waving his fist angrily at the boy. "We don't have time for you to go on a date! We have to get these Pokeballs back to the boss right away!"

    "I have my reasons." Nico defended himself, waving Butch's concerns away as if they were nothing more than idle nonsense. "And besides; the plan was that we split the Pokeballs fifty-fifty."

    Nico turned towards the cockpit window.

    "Cassidy!" he called to the woman who was piloting the helicopter through the clear, Sinnoh night sky. "How long until we reach Canalave City?"

    "Not long now." came the woman's reply.

    Nico smiled at this news, kneeling down in front of May and looking into her deep, blue eyes. She really was amazing to look at - those sparkling eyes; that long, luxurious brunette hair... His eyes creeped slowly down the girl's body and his smile intensified.

    "What do you want?" May hissed, already feeling her blood boil as she watched the young trainer admiring her from a safe distance.

    Nico's gaze returned to the young girl's beautiful blue eyes and he winked at her calmly, ignoring her question.

    "You know you look really cute right now..." he taunted her with a gentle whisper in her ear before getting back to his feet and turning to face Butch once more, who was glaring at the two of them.

    Nico checked the area and suddenly remembered that their company had lost one of its members.

    "...Where's my Shiftry?" he asked, his smile visibly fading. Butch's eyes fell towards the floor almost immediately upon hearing this name, as if he didn't quite want to talk about it to the boy. Nico noticed this reaction, immediately raising an eyebrow. "Well?"

    "Well you see..." Butch stammered, nervously attempting to figure out an appropriate way of informing the boy about his Pokemon's fate. "We ran into some trouble and..."

    "Trouble?" Nico repeated uncertainly.

    "Well, we..." Butch continued to work his mind around the sentence, checking each word as it formed itself in his head before uttering its first syllable. "We got stopped by some guy, claiming to be from the Elite Four, you see, and your Shiftry..."

    "Huh." Nico replied calmly, scratching his chin as he considered the man's words. Butch squinted at the boy uncertainly, puzzled by his reaction.

    "Aren't you..." he stammered. "Aren't you mad?"

    Nico smiled sinisterly at the man and waved his finger knowingly.

    "My boss will deliver it when we rendezvous in Canalave City." Nico explained. "This plan is too perfect for anything to screw it up now."

    The boy paused and smirked at May, who continued to scowl angrily up at him. He knelt down beside her once more, his hand gliding over her cheek, admiring how soft her skin felt. May flinched at his touch, turning away in disgust as she tried her hardest not to show her fear.

    "And I even got an unexpected bonus..." Nico continued, his eyes widening at the sight of the girl in his possession. His girl.

    Nico chuckled to himself, casting his mind back to the semi-finals of the carnival's contest tournament. Drew may have won the battle, but as far as Nico was concerned, he was the real winner today.

    ~*~*~

    Flint breathed a deep sigh before taking yet another sip from the soda can in his hand. He eyed the drink for a moment, raising his eyebrow.

    'Sparkling Oran berry juice, huh?' he thought to himself. 'This stuff ain't half bad.'

    It had been several hours since he had first arrived at the Floaroma police station; just a few minutes after the people at the carnival had been corralled. Many of the public had by this point been allowed to go home, though those competing coordinators who had had their Pokemon stolen were still waiting around for news of the perpetrators' whereabouts.

    Flint sighed again and glanced over towards the simple black-and-white clock which was hanging from the far wall, its red second hand busily ticking away.

    Flint rubbed his eyes lazily. It was fast approaching eleven o'clock and he was noticeably fatigued - he had been awake since the early hours of the morning to plan this operation with Officer Jenny and her team, after all. Peering out of the window of the Pokemon centre's waiting room he watched the dark-green leaves of the trees outside rustling in the cold, Sinnoh breeze.

    Suddenly a loud beep could be heard from across the desk of the Pokemon centre where a Chansey was furiously scrambling from counter to counter, examining different clipboards filled with paperwork on each one. Eventually the pink, egg-shaped Pokemon frantically gathered up the necessary materials and dashed through the rear door to where the operating rooms were situated, closing it firmly behind it.

    Flint calmly took another sip of the drink in his hands, watching the counter of the Pokemon centre from the corner of his eye. Though he couldn't see anything due to the fog-glass windows on either side of the wall, he knew they were busily tending to his Infernape.

    Flint let out another sigh, his eyes scanning the now empty soda can in his hand. He frowned to himself, remembering his battle against Team Rocket and the finishing blow their Pokemon had struck to his Infernape.

    'Infernape...' he thought to himself bitterly, his hands trembling as he continued to replay the scene over and over again in his mind. 'I'll make them pay...'

    As his mind relentlessly continued the torture his fist clenched tightly and soon he heard the loud crunch of crushed aluminium, rendering the can in his hand to nothing more than a flat disc of uneven metal. Flint considered the item carefully before casting it into the trash can which stood by his side, when suddenly he heard a knock on the window behind him.

    Flint turned in the direction of the sound and was pleased to see the familiar sight of his Ghost-type Pokemon Drifblim waving towards him with its long, flag-like arms. Flint hurriedly removed the latch of the window and allowed the creature into the light of the Floaroma police station where it hovered for a moment, curiously gazing at its surroundings.

    Drifblim was a rather unusual-looking Pokemon that possessed a large, round frame like that of a miniature hot-air balloon. In the centre of its face was a large, yellow cross which looked almost like a bandage, and just above this marking were two hollow, red eyes which scanned the area innocently. On top of its head was a small, cloud-like wisp of hair, and just below its body were four dangling arms which looked remarkably similar to large streamers. The creature itself measured just under four feet in height, though its tendency to hover several feet above the ground made it seem larger than this.

    "You've found them?" Flint asked the creature, already certain that he knew the answer.

    Drifblim tilted its large head forward in a nod, then waved its arms frantically, insisting its trainer follow it. Flint nodded back to the creature, giving it a thumbs-up sign.

    "Just give me one sec." he explained, then dashed towards the nearby exit which led to the main row of interview rooms to search for Officer Jenny and inform her of the news.

    Drifblim watched its trainer leave for a moment, then wandered over to the vending machine situated across the room, poking it curiously with its arms.

    ~*~*~

    The familiar sound of a ringing phone echoed throughout a small house in Pallet Town, causing a rush of activity to emerge from one of the upstairs bedrooms.

    "I got it, Mom!" Ash yelled, dashing down the stairs to grab the phone, leaping over his mother's Mr. Mime as he reached the ground floor.

    "Mime Mime Mime!!" the short, human-like Pokemon complained, waving its long broom at the boy angrily, though Ash had no time to look as he rushed into the living room and eagerly lifted the telephone's receiver.

    "Hello?" he asked, his wide grin only intensifying as he heard the voice on the other end of the line.

    "Ash!" May's voice sounded delighted to hear him, as always. "How have you been!? It's been so long!"

    "May!" Ash replied happily, pumping his fist in an effort to contain the excitement of hearing from his best friend after such a long time. "I'm great! I just got my eighth badge in the Sinnoh region! Next week I'm gonna be sailing straight to the Sinnoh Conference to compete in the Pokemon League!"

    "Oh, Ash!" May gasped, her voice positively thrilled by the news. "That's awesome! I bet you'll do amazing - even better than in the Ever Grande Championship!"

    "Yeah!" Ash agreed, chuckling to himself. "Hey, May - you'll be there to watch me, right? I..." He stammered for a moment, unsure of how exactly to phrase his words. "I'd really like you to be there! It'd mean a lot..."

    "Of course, Ash!" May giggled slightly at the boy's naivety. "I wouldn't miss it for the world! Oh, but..." Her voice lowered in volume slightly as she began to consider several things on the other end of the phone. "What day is it?"

    "Um..." Ash glanced up towards the pearl-white ceiling, trying to recall the date of his first round. "The twenty-fourth, I think."

    "Oh, that's too bad..." May sighed. Ash frowned a little at this response, but he didn't have to wait long for the girl's explanation. "You see, I'm getting married on that day..."

    Ash paused for a moment, dropping the phone to the floor, his mouth hanging open in both shock and horror. The receiver landed with a soft thud on the carpet, yet he could still hear the girl's voice in his head.

    "O-" Ash stammered, taking a step back. "Oh... You are?"

    "Well of course!" May laughed. "Drew and I have been going out for years, Ash; you know that! It was all just a matter of time before he proposed to me!"

    Her voice suddenly became the excited tone that Ash knew and loved once again.

    "I'm so happy, Ash; I can't wait!" she explained, raising her hand up and showing him the dazzling ring on her finger. "The ring alone cost seven-thousand! Isn't it beautiful?"

    Ash fell to his knees in front of the girl, gazing at the diamond ring on her finger as he felt his chest twist in agony. He clutched at his heart but the pain refused to stop as his eyes continued to stare at the ring on May's finger.

    It really was beautiful - luxurious gold that shimmered even in the ordinary light of Ash's Pallet home. Across the top of the band were two enormous diamonds with a large sapphire etched between them; each gem cut to a flawless degree. It was exactly what she deserved.

    "But Ash!" May continued, looking down at him as she continued to admire the ring herself. "I really wanted you to come to the wedding... You've been such a good friend to me - it wouldn't be the same without you there."

    "I..." Ash whispered, his face falling as he now focused his attention to the carpet beneath him. His breath was becoming ragged and his was beginning to beat faster as he felt the pain increase its intensity. "I..."

    "I mean, if it wasn't for you I probably would've never left for Johto with Drew!" she reminisced of her voyage to the Johto region fondly, gazing up towards the ceiling as she did so. "And if I hadn't have gone there I would've never fallen in love!"

    May wrapped her arms around herself, smiling happily before continuing.

    "I'm just so happy I've finally met the man of my dreams! And it's all thanks to you, Ash!" she sighed contentedly before looking back down to where Ash was kneeling. "The ceremony's going to be in Drew's hometown - LaRousse City. We already booked the reception - we're even having champagne flown in directly from Verdanturf Town!"

    Ash struggled to form the words to reply as the girl continued.

    "It's gonna be the best wedding ever, Ash! I really can't wait!" she paused for a moment, then frowned at the boy. "You are coming, aren't you?"

    "I..." Ash began, looking up at the girl again, though she only glared at him.

    "WHAT!?" she yelled. "Why can't you be happy for me for once!? I really wanted you there, Ash! I thought we were friends!"

    "But we are!" Ash protested, getting to his feet and gently reaching for May's wrist, only to have her snatch it away from him. "May, I-!"

    Ash struggled for a moment before coming to terms with the words.

    "I love you!!" he yelled, tightly shutting his eyes as if he were expecting the pain in his chest to only intensify.

    There was silence for a moment, and Ash waited a few seconds before opening his eyes once again to check if May was still there.

    She was - and she was furious.

    "LOVE!?" she screamed. "You don't even know the meaning of the word, Ash Ketchum! If you really loved me you'd be happy for me!"

    With that, May turned and began to walk away.

    "May, wait!" Ash cried, putting his hand on her shoulder only to have her turn around and slap him straight across the face.

    Time seemed to stop for a moment as Ash reached up to his cheek, feeling it sting bitterly at her touch.

    "Don't touch me!" May screamed. "I hate you!! I don't want to ever see you again, Ash Ketchum!"

    "May!!" Ash yelled after the girl in despair as he watched her walk away and there was nothing he could do about it. He fought and fought, but for some reason he just couldn't move. "May, please! Wait!!"

    Soon the girl was out of sight and Ash was alone in a field of darkness.

    ~*~*~

    "May!!" Ash cried, then immediately felt the sting of cold, hard metal hitting his forehead. "Ouch..."

    The boy slumped back to where he was lying and suddenly a flurry of memories came back to him. Cradling his head in his hand we groaned a little as he tried to make sense of things.

    "Ugh..." he stammered under his breath. "It was just a dream...?"

    Ash shuffled uncomfortably for a moment against the cramped confines of the steel capsule, doing his best to get his bearings back as he ran over the last few hours' events in his mind. His senses were no longer dulled and he was able to freely move his body, which he could only assume meant that the effects of Nico's Venomoth's attack had finally worn off.

    As Ash considered these facts it suddenly occurred to him that the roars of the helicopter's engines were no longer rumbling above him, which could mean only one thing - they had landed.

    Ash began to shuffle against the capsule, doing his best to find a way out that would be as quiet as possible, though he soon paused upon hearing the sound of muffled talking from what must have been only a few yards away. Ash pressed his ear against the metal of the capsule in an attempt to make out what the conversation was about. The distortion of the voices meant that Ash couldn't quite interpret much of what was being said, but he could tell immediately that the voices belonged to none other than Butch and Cassidy of Team Rocket. One other question remained, though - just where was May?

    There was no use in trying to avoid it - Ash would have to break out of the capsule somehow in order to find and rescue her. He didn't care what it took, so long as he could save her from harm.

    Slowly Ash began to apply gentle pressure to the frame of the capsule's opening with his fingers, being careful not to allow the hinges to squeak as he did so. Soon he was bathed in the silvery light of the moon and stars, causing him to flinch a little at the sudden illumination after hours of darkness. This didn't faze the boy, however, and he carefully exited the capsule, ducking down behind the support legs of the helicopter to avoid being sighted.

    Ash scanned the area cautiously, suspicious of every shadow and every breeze. He was in another clearing, though the scenery was distinctly different from that of Floaroma - all around him were rings of trees which led into what appeared to be dense forests and wooded areas; they were completely secluded from the outside world. Towards the front of the helicopter was the warm illumination of a campfire where the two silhouettes of Butch and Cassidy were sitting. The vehicle's cargo bay was shut tight, and there was no sign of either May or Nico anywhere.

    'May...' Ash thought to himself, his mind clouded by concern for his best friend.

    Suddenly, the voices of Butch and Cassidy caught Ash's attention once again, and so he crept closer to the front of the helicopter where they were both sitting lazily, Butch occasionally prodding the campfire with a long stick with several white marshmallows skewered on it.

    "I still don't get why he brought that kid with us..." Butch sighed, lifting the stick up in order to get a closer look at the steadily-roasting marshmallows.

    "It doesn't matter anyway." Cassidy replied calmly as she rested her cheek on her hand, an extremely bored expression on her face. "If Kendrick doesn't meet up with us within the next fifteen minutes we're taking off without him, and we're taking all of the loot with us."

    "How are we gonna manage that?" Butch enquired, eying his partner suspiciously. "I mean, that kid's got some pretty tough Pokemon."

    "Heh," Cassidy sneered at the man's concerns, "they're nothing compared to ours. Just look at what happened to that bozo from the Elite Four."

    Ash frowned as he continued to listen to the two Team Rocket members from the safety of the shadows, confused by their conversation.

    'Elite Four?' he thought to himself. 'How could Team Rocket beat someone from the Elite Four?'

    "Yeah, I guess you're right." Butch admitted, his smile widening. "I can't wait to get these Pokeballs back to the boss so we can finally be in his good books again!"

    "We'll become executives in no time at all once Giovanni sees how smoothly this whole operation went!" Cassidy chuckled. "And to think that even those two morons Jessie and James couldn't screw us up!"

    Ash carefully made his way back towards the rear of the helicopter as Butch and Cassidy's conversation began to turn into nothing more than mindless cackling. Clearly Nico and May had to have been inside the aircraft's cargo bay, but it was tightly shut and it probably wouldn't have made sense to alert them all to his presence - if they had managed to defeat a member of the Elite Four then they were either very lucky, or had very, very powerful Pokemon with them. And if Jessie and James had a Metagross and Tyranitar in their possession, Ash shuddered to think of what Butch and Cassidy might have up their sleeves.

    'Darn it...' Ash's thoughts were filled with concern as he investigated the cargo bay door for any signs of weakness. 'If only I had Charizard with me! Then I could bust my way in there...'

    Ash pressed his ear against the thick steel of the helicopter in a desperate attempt to make out any activity that may have been occurring inside, though this quickly proved to be a useless endeavour.

    'May...' Ash spoke to himself in his mind, his thoughts and concerns purely focused on the girl who had placed so much faith in him. 'I'll get you out of there somehow... I promise!'

    ~*~*~

    "Dammit!!" Nico roared, punching into the cold, hard steel wall of the helicopter's cargo bay. "Why aren't you answering me!?"

    The small Poketch that was wrapped around the boy's wrist continued to beep incessantly as he punched in several commands on its cellphone function. Nothing was working - Kendrick simply wasn't answering his calls.

    "He's ruining the entire plan!" the boy continued to growl, clenching his fists and running his hands through his long, black ponytail furiously.

    May sat in silence, watching the boy indifferently as he continued to pace up and down the cargo hold, his frustrations clearly growing with every step he took.

    "Why are you even doing this, Nico?" May eventually spoke up, glaring at the boy who simply stared at her, somewhat puzzled by the question. "Why ruin the contest? Why destroy the carnival? All for a few stolen Pokeballs? What's wrong with you?"

    Nico stood up straight and placed his hands in his pockets, turning his head slightly to admire the girl in his possession once more.

    "What's wrong with me?" he repeated, walking slowly over towards where she was sitting, her hands and feet still bound to the chair. "I wouldn't expect you to understand, May Maple."

    "Hmph." May replied defiantly, turning her head as the boy crouched in front of her, frowning.

    "I mean, why should a girl who has everything understand what I've been through?" he continued, suddenly grabbing her chin and turning her face so that their eyes met. "No. You could never understand, could you?"

    "There's no excuse for stealing Pokemon, Nico Cyrax." May snapped back, refusing to back down from the boy despite her obvious predicament. "You can list all the reasons you want but none of them can make it right."

    "Heh." Nico chuckled, releasing his grip on the girl and smiling at her, somewhat amused by her response. "You know you look so beautiful when you're angry..."

    May flinched slightly at the boy's words - exactly as he had anticipated.

    "Hurts, doesn't it?" he laughed, getting to his feet and resuming his pacing of the cargo bay. "Deep inside you know me and him aren't all that different."

    May didn't answer - she didn't know what to say. Instead she chose to continue to glare at the boy who had by this point stopped and was again looking straight into her eyes.

    "I knew you wouldn't say anything." he explained, still smiling at how the entire situation was continuing to play out. "Why bother denying the truth? But Drew and I aren't all that alike. After all, he doesn't have the backbone to follow up on his plans for you. He'd never take such high risks just to be with you."

    May shivered as suddenly Nico was right in front of her once again, leaning closer to her.

    "Not like I have, May." he whispered.

    "Say whatever makes you feel good." May snapped. "None of that makes any difference!"

    Nico's smile refused to falter, and he simply leaned against her knees, unable to take his eyes off of her.

    "Do you have a family, May?" he asked, rather more directly than May was anticipating.

    "What's it to you?" she replied, somewhat flustered.

    "I figured." Nico laughed casually, still staring into her eyes. "We really are worlds apart, aren't we? You were raised happily and given all the support in the world to pursue your dream of becoming a top Pokemon coordinator; I was abandoned on the streets and left to rot until that carnival took me in."

    May's curiosity was admittedly peaked by this revelation, and she eyed the boy expectantly, hoping he would continue his story.

    "Yeah, that's right." Nico continued, sensing the girl's curiosity. "You'd have never even looked twice at me if we'd been living in the same neighbourhood. But Drew!"

    He got to his feet and wandered over to the opposite wall of the cargo bay before turning to face his prisoner once again.

    "Oh, Drew!" he chuckled as he spoke, finding May's upset expression rather amusing. "He's a different story, right? He's just as much of a scum-bag as me, but that doesn't matter, does it? After all, he's the legendary Drew Blackthorne! Champion coordinator and super-rich, super-handsome bachelor! What chance does a guy like me have against him?"

    May's eyes drooped to the floor as she shifted her feet awkwardly against the tight restraints that were wrapped around her ankles. She knew that Nico didn't know the whole story, but nevertheless every mention of Drew hurt her that little bit more.

    "But I'll show you, May." Nico said firmly, looking away and returning his attentions to his Poketch once more. "I'll prove myself to you. It doesn't matter if you don't feel the same right away."

    He smiled and glanced back up at her before adding something to his speech.

    "Because I always get what I want in the end."

    ~*~*~

    Yay more reviews!

    kawaii serebii: No much to say to this except... Wait and see! Yes I'm mean :D

    lunarshadow:lol, thanks; I'll keep that in mind :p

    Mel-Girl: Wow, thank you for your review, Mel! I know we've spoken already about it, but I'm really happy to have fellow great authors like yourself and Uza-chan enjoying this fic! I never really think of it as being popular, just hated for being updated so lazily, haha ^^;

    I'm really pleased with how Nico's being received! He's such a fun character to write, and really I think OCs can add a really unique blend to the mix if you give them half a chance. Villains are especially fun to write - the movie villains are always OCs, too, right? ^^

    And I'm still thrilled at being dubbed your shipping convertor! Wow, that's like the biggest honour a shipping author can get, in my opinion, so thank you so much, and I hope you continue to enjoy reading this fic as much as I enjoy writing it! ^^

    Ariel Anderson:No problem, as long as you arrive eventually ^_~ And yay, people seem to be split on that bit of description :D
    Good Love Charm
    *COMPLETE*

  7. #107
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    OMG I LOVE YOU FOR UPDATING! Well, what can I say? Well, for starters I have to say that I enjoyed reading every single scene in this chapter. You're really good at describing the scene so I can totally imagine everything that's happening.

    The dream scene totally had me. I thought it wasn't a dream at all, like it was really happening and it really showed how Ash feels about May and I was so sad for Ash when May was shouting how she hated him. Thank goodness it was a dream but... aw... Ashy! *hugs Ash*

    I also liked the Dawn/Brock interaction. Especially since barely any fics touch upon interaction between those two. I kinda tend to think that Brock's like the big brother amongst everybody and that scene made me smile. LOL at the classic Paul not knowing Dawn's name. Lots of people seem to like using that when it comes to Dawn/Paul interactions.

    And I love the May/Nico interaction too. OMG he's definitely interested in her. I couldn't help but go, 'Oh dear, Nico...' when he was eyeing her up. Poor May, all these guys... We like sticking our girls with lots of guys, don't we? XD

    I am so cheering Ash on. Go, Ash, go!

    And I'm cheering you on with writing too! Go, Gaz, go!

    LYK OMG GAZ AND ASH HAVE SAYM AMNT OF LETTAZ IN DERE NAYM. Deliberate bad spelling and grammar moment.

    Anyway, great chapter and good luck with updating!

  8. #108
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    I haven't reviewed in a while, but whatever. There's really not much to say, except that you are a superb writer (I'm a lot better at criticism than anything else, but there's absolutely nothing I can criticize). I like the way you're portraying Drew, despite the fact that it's sort of negative, and that you're actually giving Brock roles, unlike the show normally does. Not to mention how in-character everyone is. So, uh, I guess good is the word for this?

  9. #109
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    I am trying to formulate a review, but I can't...
    The whole chapter's awesome, the Police station part, the Team Rocket on the helicopter, the thoughts that occured on Ash's head as he slept... It was just awesome.

    "Oh, Drew!" he chuckled as he spoke, finding May's upset expression rather amusing. "He's a different story, right? He's just as much of a scum-bag as me, but that doesn't matter, does it? After all, he's the legendary Drew Blackthorne! Champion coordinator and super-rich, super-handsome bachelor! What chance does a guy like me have against him?"
    I, somehow, found myself reading Nico's lines with Homer Simpson's voice, and I have to tell you, it was fun to do that.

    Everyone was in-character and I found it easy to read.

    Keep this up.
    If you're an iCarly fan, check out RobSp1derp1g's iCarly Reviews.
    You won't regret it! (actual regret may be experienced.)

  10. #110
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    Sorry I'm a little late!
    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof

    "You're a moron." Paul replied bluntly.
    Pure. Gold.

    "And hey," Brock chuckled slightly in hopes of repairing the atmosphere, "I don't think anyone's gonna want to mess with Piplup once they release it from its Pokeball! Whoever's unlucky enough to run into that little Pokemon is sure gonna regret this whole thing!"
    Damn right, they will regret stealing the mascot!
    "These cops think they're in some kind of lame detective movie." Paul replied gruffly as the machine beeped at him and a soda can crashed loudly into the dispensing well. "Whatever. It's done now; I'm out of here."
    You have me converted. Paul is the best thing in this fic, aside from future advanceshipping.
    Drew never particularly enjoyed comforting people when they were upset; though he had to admit he was pretty good at it when he needed to be. After all, he'd done it many times - it was a setup too perfect to ignore: young girls were always at their weakest when they were emotionally upset, and Drew was a master of manipulation.
    Alright, you're managing to instill some strong negative feelings for him too. I won't say "hatred" but we'll have to see about that.

    'Infernape...' he thought to himself bitterly, his hands trembling as he continued to replay the scene over and over again in his mind. 'I'll make them pay...'
    Sorry Flint, but you should have been more cautious and have carried more Pokemon. Your fault.

    I had a very very hard time reading that Dream sequence. That wasn't because it was badly written, no, quite the opposite. I don't know whether you had a hard time writing it.

    "But I'll show you, May." Nico said firmly, looking away and returning his attentions to his Poketch once more. "I'll prove myself to you. It doesn't matter if you don't feel the same right away."

    He smiled and glanced back up at her before adding something to his speech.

    "Because I always get what I want in the end."
    Clueless Nico. Has he heard of a guy named Ash Ketchum, type III, always getting into trouble, ends up saving the world, has strange aura and mysterious father?
    I don't think so.


    ---

    There was quite some forward movement in this chapter. Let's see the action continue.

  11. #111
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    You know this fic is starting to grow on me, although the genre itself is not what I prefer, I'm starting to like this as it continues on. Keep up the good job.

    Don't forget to follow me on twitter: twitter.com/tsubasa1 and follow my blog: This Week in Pokemon.

  12. #112
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    Man as if I wasn't already excited to know what happens next we get this chapter. You really know how to keep fans interested.

  13. #113
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    I've been meaning to comment on this for a while.

    It's late so I can't give you a really extensive review, but I have to admit, this fic is very well written. The writing is descriptive, the characters are all in character, and the relationship between Ash and May is progressing at a slow but steady pace. No rushing here whatsoever. I certainly like the character Nico, and like the way Paul is portrayed, but the idea of having Drew as an obstacle in the building relationship of Ash and May is overused, in my opinion. Other than that, the fic is great.

    And by the way, the person that stated that Flint had only one Pokemon is misinformed. I reread the introduction of Flint and it mentioned he had all six. Why would Flint let Team Rocket escape then (I didn't read 10 yet though)? Well, whatever.

  14. #114
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    Hello again! this chapter was super-exciting! And now... don't feel bad, should I be correct. I just happen to be very, very good at predicting plot twists/deaths/hook-ups etc.

    Drew's going to get Officer Kendrick out and have him take him to May. This means that the three males of this twisted love quardrangle will all be within very close proximity of their love interest... and each other. Oh boy, this is going to be good.
    Last edited by Ariel_Anderson; 8th August 2008 at 8:02 AM.

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    Yay for some Nico and May interaction. XD I really like how he's so hell bent on proving himself. Though I should be rooting for Ash really. ;P

    Anyway, as usual, the story is super awesome in this chapter. I can't wait to see what else will show up. XD
    I waste my life away on Nico Nico Douga.

  16. #116
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    sorry for not reviewing in forever even though I've read this... forever ago, lol. Just blame it on my laziness and my Breaking Dawn <3

    anyway...!

    As usual, your writing is superb, details are there without over detailing anything. I really love how you focussed on Dawn a bit and Drew is just sneaky! Nico is a sick little man. I never thought a May fan like yourself would ever create a character like him!

    The last line in the chapter is just, wow, very suspenseful and evil-like (lawl, I overslept again and I can't think of anything else to say) Still rooting for Ash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof
    I'm really happy to have fellow great authors like yourself and Uza-chan enjoying this fic
    Aw, you shouldn't have said that... well okay, you should lawl

    I wasn't mad about the Keira Knightly thing btw!
    ~*Uza-chan's Good bye*~

    IS SUPAH FIIIINE

  17. #117
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    Mel: Thanks for your review! :D Aww, you're a Good Love Charm fanatic, it seems :D Hehe thanks for the comment about the dream - I was really pleased with how that scene came out ^^ Also, thanks for your comment about the Brock/Dawn interaction - I also feel that a lot of people ignore Brock (even the anime writers themselves sometimes), but he's such a good friend to all parties involved and he's really level-headed, so he's a pretty essential input in fics and shouldn't be forgotten. I always think of him as the "big brother" of the group, and I felt that scene portrayed that very well, so thank you! ^^

    GrizzlyB: Ooh, you return! Wow, what a flattering review... Thanks so much! Drew is being portrayed as I perceived him in the anime - I always felt he just needed a little push to turn him into what you see in the fic. And so, here he is. The negativity is intentional - he's an "enemy" in this fic, after all.

    Sp1derp1g: Thanks for your comments! I really appreciate the review ^^

    Earthborn: Hehe, I'm glad someone liked that Paul line; I love writing his scenes :D

    I had a very very hard time reading that Dream sequence. That wasn't because it was badly written, no, quite the opposite. I don't know whether you had a hard time writing it.
    How so, may I ask? It was tough trying to construct it, but I'm satisfied with how it flowed. It was actually a lot of fun to try and merge it in a way that didn't make sense (like dreams do) but still keep it readable. Thanks for your review! ^^

    Daisenki: Wow, thanks; it's good to know I'm starting to convert you ^^

    Gaiash: Thanks ^^

    Meganium EX: Thanks for your review - my objective was always to take their relationship slow and steady - else it just feels contrived and rushed, like you said. Drew is supposed to be an obstacle - my goal with this fic was to attempt to separate it from the pack; I'm aware that Drew is an overused method of pushing Ash and May together and it's my hope that people will still enjoy it and realise that cliches aren't completely unapproachable and can be made to work in a new and interesting manner. I think Drew and Ash could have had a better rivalry in the anime and I want to rectify that in this fic.

    Ariel: Haha, I love when you guys try to discern what's gonna happen :D Thanks for your review! ^^

    Buster: Thanks :D Yay Nico's so obsessive :D

    Uza-chan: Haha, well it's true ^^;;;; lol, it's because I'm such a big May fan that I made a guy like Nico to force Ash into a position to begin to question his emotions! Plus, bad guys are such huge fun to write, and it just seemed natural that he developed a crush on her - to be honest he wrote himself.

    And you aren't? Phew ^^;;;;

    Thanks to everyone for the reviews :D
    Good Love Charm
    *COMPLETE*

  18. #118
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    How so, may I ask? It was tough trying to construct it, but I'm satisfied with how it flowed. It was actually a lot of fun to try and merge it in a way that didn't make sense (like dreams do) but still keep it readable. Thanks for your review! ^^
    Because it was overly Contestshippy. Duh.

  19. #119
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    Congratulations, you've just roped in someone who normally frowns upon shipping fanfiction in general.

    Well you know what you're doing right on most fronts, and thanks for sticking true to that path thus far. The quality of the writing, from descriptions to metaphors and so forth, is a major factor which I'll proudly attribute to the pleasure I've felt thus far. The numerous battle scenes are thought out as well and aren't glossed over horribly. For the most part there isn't a single scene that's lacking the mood or charisma it deserves (my one gripe from memory is that Blaziken isn't active in the Tyranitar and Metagross battle: Pikachu seems to hog the stage for some reason).

    Plot-wise, however, is where I'll thank you the most. Firstly, there's an actual plot. Which is heavenly and I can't wait to see if there's any more than what we can hazard a guess at so far, or how Kendrick manages to escape (he escapes, right? :< ). The action and other themes here are in a league of their own, simply put. Secondly, Ash and May weren't just rushed together at the start, giving a chance for their character to shine as well as the respect they have towards each other to glimmer (e.g Ash using May as an example of a good co-ordinator to shut Paul up). Nor is their relationship the only thing in the story.
    Thirdly, there's how you handle everyone else. Paul is a prime example and his actions in the story so far stand out as both a refreshing change of perspective and decisive action (case in point, the start of chapter 10). Brock could always use some more spotlight, but his sometimes sagely attitude and quirks peep through as needed. Dawn's suffered a good deal as we can see, and while she definitely got some good light previously and helped develop/identify Drew's character, I'm afraid she'll be a bit shafted.
    Drew...well I'll be honest, I didn't exactly see every single Hoenn episode, nor remember each one quote for quote, but all of what I did see of Drew just honestly pointed at him being a butthole (yes, even the later on aspects ). I definitely see what you mean with the Mr. Perfect atmosphere he seems to have and how he hogs the public eye, which is likely one of the main reasons I didn't like him so much.

    Nico deserves his own comment. I'm hoping you're trying to say something with him and use him for more than just an Advanceshipping plot device. I'm pretty intrigued by the execution of his character and what hints there have been of his character so far (I see what you did with Shiftry there, by the way; the hypocrisy being that Nico's bitter about being abandoned, yet in a way he's the one abandoning Shiftry here).

    To quit beating about the bush, Ash and May's dynamic is illustrated on par with the reasons why just about everyone appreciates it (the exemption being any overly flirtatious parts :P ). The level of synergy in emotion between them is evident and amiable. By the way, thanks for not going overboard and making every single sentence they share a flippin' flirt fest as what usually happens - you're right, realistic buildup good. Veeeeeery good.

    My only concern plotwise is that it's either going to end anticlimactically, or that May's going to be stuffed into the helpless damsel in distress until Ash is finished beating up the bad guy. I'm aware it's happened and of the student/mentor dynamic they have, but it seems a bit...demeaning? Boring?...if she just sat there without so much as an attempt when the right moment of opportunity came.

    Other than that, no complaints. I'm eagerly looking forward to how this all works out. If you submit a chapter then I'll read it. Deal?
    Last edited by Wily; 12th August 2008 at 8:37 PM.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthBorn View Post
    Because it was overly Contestshippy. Duh.
    Oh, right ^^;;

    Wily: Wow, thanks - what a review! ^^ I'm pleased you're enjoying it so far, and it's great to see someone who normally dislikes shipping fanfiction actually enjoying my Advanceshipping fic. Thanks for really clarifying what points you've liked so far, I'll be sure to keep that in mind when writing future chapters.

    As for May becoming a damsel in distress - yes, I'm aware that that's an overused cliche and damages her character somewhat. Don't worry - I don't intend on doing anything quite so stale.

    Deal.
    Good Love Charm
    *COMPLETE*

  21. #121
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    Hey, Gazmof!
    Sorry for the long awaited review, but now I will tear it to shreds!
    This is only the first half of your chapter, so I'm not even done!

    LET US BEGIN!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    Paul remained completely silent for a few seconds, staring blankly at the man who sat directly across the table from him. The investigator continued to grin maniacally, his finger now pointing straight at Paul in the most dramatic way he could possibly muster.

    "You're a moron." Paul replied bluntly.
    As EarthBorn said, completely GOLDEN!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    Dawn didn't care about how cold she felt, however. All she could think about were her Pokemon. Piplup, Buneary, Pachirisu - they were all gone, and there was nothing she could do about it.

    Today had been the worst day of her life.
    You know, I've got to admit, I've always thought of Dawn as a bit of a Girly-girl if you would, but now she just seems as fragile as bone china. I really love it how you showed how much Dawn really loves her Pokemon and feels lost without them. Good work!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    The gentle sound of footsteps removed Dawn from her inner thoughts and she looked up to see Brock smiling down at her, Ash's Pikachu riding on his shoulder.
    You know what, I don't think Pikachu had ever actually ridden on Brock's shoulders until today. Just picturing that is really cool. I never thought about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "You look cold." the Pokemon breeder observed, removing his dark-brown jacket and draping it over the girl's shoulders.

    "Thanks, Brock." the girl replied meekly as he sat down on the couch beside her whilst she continued to stare into her mug of coffee.

    "Don't worry, Dawn." the boy comforted his friend, gently placing his hand on her shoulder as he did so. "We'll get them back somehow."
    You know, at this rate, one could've thought that there was some shipping going on between these two now, in light of the difficult events that had just transpired. I really love it how you really made Brock in charge here to keep Dawn's head screwed on right, and her body within good temperature Nice interaction!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    Silence was particularly awkward whenever Dawn was in the room, because the girl could never usually stop talking. She was always so happy and smiley that Brock was quite dumbfounded to find her acting so depressed. His friend's infectiously happy attitude was now slowly becoming more and more gloomy.
    Yeah, Dawn i s normally such a talkative/fangirl like person, it must be very abnormal for her to feel so defeated like this. Poor Dawn...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "These cops think they're in some kind of lame detective movie." Paul replied gruffly as the machine beeped at him and a soda can crashed loudly into the dispensing well. "Whatever. It's done now; I'm out of here."

    "Wait, you can't leave yet!" Brock protested. "What about Ash and May? They still haven't come back yet!"

    "That's their problem." Paul answered, frowning at Brock in a rather perplexed manner. "What's it got to do with me?"
    GAH!!! I just want to take his stupidly, retardedly, stubbornly, jack***ly attitude and just beat the crap out of it! But at least he helped out a bit with the tent crisis. GAH!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "Who are you again?" he asked, causing Dawn to growl angrily.

    "What do you mean who am I!?" she yelled, shaking her fist at the boy who simply stared at her as if she were crazy. "We've already met like a dozen times! Why I-"
    That's what I was thinking. I thought by now Paul would at least remember her name because she annoyed him so much, but man! So singlemindedly focused on Ash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "Officer Jenny!" Brock called to the woman as he rushed over to her, Dawn and Paul both following him with Pikachu close behind. "Do you have any leads?"

    "That's official police business," Jenny explained, "so I'm afraid I can't go into any more details."

    She looked at the trio warmly and smiled before adding something.

    "You kids all did a great job today in holding off Team Rocket's Pokemon. You should all head home and get a good night's sleep."
    Well, I'm glad that you didn't just let Officer Jenny be all, "Oh, well I'm the authority, and as such I'm the only one who understands the situation at hand!" Good thing you made her a bit more friendly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "Now," the woman began, placing a notepad and pen down onto the table in front of her and taking a seat, "tell me everything you know about this 'Nico'."
    You know, she could've just said, "Now, tell me where we can find this sonnofabich so we can kick his a**."

    And then Dawn and Brock would be like, "Heck yeah! Let's go kick some non-Team Rocket criminal butt!"

    Overview of First Section
    Well, nicely done over all, definitely. There aren't any grammatical or spelling errors that I can see, but there are some pointers that I think you'd like to know about. You've began to write about their surroundings to generate the mood and tone of the setting. That is very very good, and you should keep doing that. Without that, the imagination has very little to operate without a bassis description, and during the entire section of the Police Station, I could see the beat down setting of the place as if it was somewhere out west without all of the dust and stuff. Paint peeling, cracks forming, the whole nine yards. Keep up your descriptions of your surroundings!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "Try not to worry too much, sir." Nurse Joy's reassuring voice did its best to work its usual magic on the very concerned face of the man with the bright red afro. "Infernape lost a lot of blood, but it would have been a lot worse if you hadn't been there to bandage its wounds. Try to relax a little."

    Flint's large, muscular arms leaned against the counter of the emergency Pokemon centre in the Floaroma police station. His Infernape was in one of the many rooms located just beyond the wall where a stalwart Chansey stood with a clipboard in its arms, and yet he couldn't have felt further away.

    Flint sighed, dragging himself away from the counter. His expression had now moved from concern to depression as his eyes glanced down to the tiled floor beneath his feet.

    There wasn't anything he could do for Infernape now. If only he hadn't been so stupid! Why did he have to be so arrogant and think his Pokemon could take on both a Garchomp and a Salamence at once?

    Flint sighed and glanced over to where the daughter of the carnival owner was sitting with a young Pokemon coordinator just a few yards away.

    'And you call yourself an Elite?' Flint's thoughts asked himself bitterly.
    You know, up until this point, I think many of the readers who get to this part have the pretense of believing the possibility that the Elite Four are so elite that they are of the likes of God abilities. This passage just about shattered it. The 2nd best Elite Four having its best Pokemon bested by two Dragons, lost pints of precious blood, carried to a Pokemon Center marred, only to be told that the Nurse will try as she might for a full recovery as soon as possible. Man. Talk about walls being shattered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    Alisa was still understandably upset and her reddened cheeks were clear proof of this. Drew never particularly enjoyed comforting people when they were upset; though he had to admit he was pretty good at it when he needed to be. After all, he'd done it many times - it was a setup too perfect to ignore: young girls were always at their weakest when they were emotionally upset, and Drew was a master of manipulation.
    Drew must think he's some kind of stud monkey! LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "Hey, come on," Drew whispered gently, taking a fresh handkerchief from his shirt pocket and offering it to the girl, who accepted it gratefully, "it'll be fine. It's all just a misunderstanding, right?"
    When was the last freaking time someone actually used a hankercheif!? Whatever happened to Kleenex?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    Alisa blew her nose as inconspicuously as she could before nodding in response.

    "Thanks, Drew." she replied, smiling warmly at the boy. "You're a really great guy; you know that?"

    Drew gave the girl a gentle smile in reply.

    "I just hate to see a pretty girl get upset, that's all." he explained. "So come on, cheer up. Things will be fine."
    STUD MONKEY!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "Actually, that's just it..." he explained in a hushed tone, causing the guard to eye him suspiciously. "Officer Jenny suggested I talk to him. He and I go way back; he's like a father to me, you see."

    "Oh?" the guard stammered uncertainly, his expression clearly portraying the doubt that was now leaking into his mind.
    LIES!!! This kid is ridiculous, coming up with such a white lie about being "like a son" to this Kendrick jerk! And this cop is stupid enough to buy it? What a screwed up world these peeps live in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "Behind MY back..."

    "Well, I..." the guard began to speak again, but was quickly cut off. Drew hadn't yet finished with this story.

    "I guess that's why Officer Jenny thought I'd be the best man for the job." Drew continued. "Maybe I can guilt-trip him into explaining exactly why he did it, and how he got those Rockets involved..."

    The guard paused for a moment to make sure that Drew had finished.

    "And my Pokemon!" Drew interrupted just as the guard thought it was safe to speak. "They have my Pokemon! All of my friends... In the hands of those criminals..."

    "Okay, okay!" the guard sighed. "I get the picture."
    First of all, talk about knowing how to get what he wants! First he knows how to kiss up to Alice, then he goes and gets to speak with Kendrick due to a blatant white lie! If I had those skills, I would be somewhere else in a heartbeat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "Just yell if he gives you any trouble." the man explained, pulling the door tightly shut behind him as he went back to his post. He was secretly rather happy to be out of the room - Kendrick's sharp, glaring eyes had begun to make him more nervous than he should have been.
    YEah, RIGHT. As if Drew would yell if he's getting violated or something. Big man if Drew would start screaming like a little girl. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    Both Drew and Kendrick watched as the door was pulled shut and the sound of the guard's footsteps echoed down the corridor. Their gazes then switched to each other and Drew took this opportunity to take a deep breath.

    Getting inside had been easy. Now it was time for the hard part...
    Something tells me that things are going to get ugly. What I don't get is why he entered into Kendrick's office to begin with. What's he going to do? Strike some sort of insider deal? What? Is Drew turning criminal ally just to get what he wants back?

    Drew and Flint Section of the Police Station
    Okay, firstly and foremostly I would like to say that Flint now probably feels as Dawn does, only in a different light. His title as Elite was shattered, and is now sulking around like all of the other victims of this heinous plot. Poor Flint. And then Drew. Gah! I want to beat the pulp out of him! He's such a smooth talker it's not even funny! And he's probably not even using for perfectly benign intentions! Beat the pulp out of him! And also, the cops in the entire Floraroma Police force all seem to be portrayed as toal XML NOOBS! I mean, dramatic finger pointing, then a slur of buying some kid's white lies? Talk about stupid...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "You almost screwed this entire plan up because of her!" Butch continued, waving his fist angrily at the boy. "We don't have time for you to go on a date! We have to get these Pokeballs back to the boss right away!"

    "I have my reasons." Nico defended himself, waving Butch's concerns away as if they were nothing more than idle nonsense. "And besides; the plan was that we split the Pokeballs fifty-fifty."
    Hah. His own reasons. I just wonder what the heck those could be. And besides, if Nico does go on a date, May would probably be kicking and screaming!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    Nico smiled at this news, kneeling down in front of May and looking into her deep, blue eyes. She really was amazing to look at - those sparkling eyes; that long, luxurious brunette hair... His eyes creeped slowly down the girl's body and his smile intensified.

    "What do you want?" May hissed, already feeling her blood boil as she watched the young trainer admiring her from a safe distance.

    Nico's gaze returned to the young girl's beautiful blue eyes and he winked at her calmly, ignoring her question.

    "You know you look really cute right now..." he taunted her with a gentle whisper in her ear before getting back to his feet and turning to face Butch once more, who was glaring at the two of them.
    Somehow, I get the feeling that Nico is really going to go completely overboard with this lust stuff. He's just such a complete totalitarian!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "Well, we..." Butch continued to work his mind around the sentence, checking each word as it formed itself in his head before uttering its first syllable. "We got stopped by some guy, claiming to be from the Elite Four, you see, and your Shiftry..."

    "Huh." Nico replied calmly, scratching his chin as he considered the man's words. Butch squinted at the boy uncertainly, puzzled by his reaction.

    "Aren't you..." he stammered. "Aren't you mad?"

    Nico smiled sinisterly at the man and waved his finger knowingly.

    "My boss will deliver it when we rendezvous in Canalave City." Nico explained. "This plan is too perfect for anything to screw it up now."
    WHAT! THAT LITTLE B****** JUST LEAVE HIS POKEMON ASSUMING THAT HIS DAD WILL PICK IT UP!!!??? THAT LITTLE, GAH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    The boy paused and smirked at May, who continued to scowl angrily up at him. He knelt down beside her once more, his hand gliding over her cheek, admiring how soft her skin felt. May flinched at his touch, turning away in disgust as she tried her hardest not to show her fear.

    "And I even got an unexpected bonus..." Nico continued, his eyes widening at the sight of the girl in his possession. His girl.
    Oh, crap. Something tells me Nico's lust is really getting to him. Somehow I get the feeling he's turning into a ruthless hound! NOW HE'S THE ONE WHO NEEDS A BEATTING!!!

    [QUOTE=Gazmof;8468557]
    Flint sighed again and glanced over towards the simple black-and-white clock which was hanging from the far wall, its red second hand busily ticking away.

    Flint rubbed his eyes lazily. It was fast approaching eleven o'clock and he was noticeably fatigued - he had been awake since the early hours of the morning to plan this operation with Officer Jenny and her team, after all. Peering out of the window of the Pokemon centre's waiting room he watched the dark-green leaves of the trees outside rustling in the cold, Sinnoh breeze.

    Suddenly a loud beep could be heard from across the desk of the Pokemon centre where a Chansey was furiously scrambling from counter to counter, examining different clipboards filled with paperwork on each one. Eventually the pink, egg-shaped Pokemon frantically gathered up the necessary materials and dashed through the rear door to where the operating rooms were situated, closing it firmly behind it.

    Flint calmly took another sip of the drink in his hands, watching the counter of the Pokemon centre from the corner of his eye. Though he couldn't see anything due to the fog-glass windows on either side of the wall, he knew they were busily tending to his Infernape.
    [/.QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    Drifblim watched its trainer leave for a moment, then wandered over to the vending machine situated across the room, poking it curiously with its arms.
    You know, I really laughed out loud at that point! You'd kind of think that Drifblim would've seen a Soda Machine somewhere before...just a thought!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "Oh, that's too bad..." May sighed. Ash frowned a little at this response, but he didn't have to wait long for the girl's explanation. "You see, I'm getting married on that day..."

    Ash paused for a moment, dropping the phone to the floor, his mouth hanging open in both shock and horror. The receiver landed with a soft thud on the carpet, yet he could still hear the girl's voice in his head.

    "O-" Ash stammered, taking a step back. "Oh... You are?"

    "Well of course!" May laughed. "Drew and I have been going out for years, Ash; you know that! It was all just a matter of time before he proposed to me!"

    Her voice suddenly became the excited tone that Ash knew and loved once again.
    Okay, here's where it gets a tad confoosing. All I know is that Ash hasn't won his eighth gym badge yet, so I assumed it was somehow unreal. But then when it said something about a phone call back at his Mom's house, it just clicked that this was a dream. But then it got really weird.
    I think you made it so that Ash first dropped the receiver, then heard May's voice still in his own head, and then she kept talking at that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "I'm so happy, Ash; I can't wait!" she explained, raising her hand up and showing him the dazzling ring on her finger. "The ring alone cost seven-thousand! Isn't it beautiful?"

    Ash fell to his knees in front of the girl, gazing at the diamond ring on her finger as he felt his chest twist in agony. He clutched at his heart but the pain refused to stop as his eyes continued to stare at the ring on May's finger.
    Now, I think it changed from just talking to her on the phone, then all the way to her magically appearing in front of him, dangling the ring in his face in her excitement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    May wrapped her arms around herself, smiling happily before continuing.

    "I'm just so happy I've finally met the man of my dreams! And it's all thanks to you, Ash!" she sighed contentedly before looking back down to where Ash was kneeling. "The ceremony's going to be in Drew's hometown - LaRousse City. We already booked the reception - we're even having champagne flown in directly from Verdanturf Town!"

    Ash struggled to form the words to reply as the girl continued.

    "It's gonna be the best wedding ever, Ash! I really can't wait!" she paused for a moment, then frowned at the boy. "You are coming, aren't you?"

    "I..." Ash began, looking up at the girl again, though she only glared at him.

    "WHAT!?" she yelled. "Why can't you be happy for me for once!? I really wanted you there, Ash! I thought we were friends!"
    Man, talk about breaking Ash's heart into about a gazillion and three pieces. May's there in her self-happiness with Drew, and then she's just rambling about how she's so happy and completely negligent to the fact that Ash is having an episode of "I...I..." Good thing this ain't real.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "But we are!" Ash protested, getting to his feet and gently reaching for May's wrist, only to have her snatch it away from him. "May, I-!"

    Ash struggled for a moment before coming to terms with the words.

    "I love you!!" he yelled, tightly shutting his eyes as if he were expecting the pain in his chest to only intensify.
    Bad move Ash, now she's just going to get ****** because you tell her you love her not weeks before her wedding! Smooth...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "LOVE!?" she screamed. "You don't even know the meaning of the word, Ash Ketchum! If you really loved me you'd be happy for me!"

    With that, May turned and began to walk away.

    "May, wait!" Ash cried, putting his hand on her shoulder only to have her turn around and slap him straight across the face.

    Time seemed to stop for a moment as Ash reached up to his cheek, feeling it sting bitterly at her touch.

    "Don't touch me!" May screamed. "I hate you!! I don't want to ever see you again, Ash Ketchum!"

    "May!!" Ash yelled after the girl in despair as he watched her walk away and there was nothing he could do about it. He fought and fought, but for some reason he just couldn't move. "May, please! Wait!!"

    Soon the girl was out of sight and Ash was alone in a field of darkness.
    Wow. And I thought May wasn't the kind of person to turn sour so quickly... And now she slaps him across the face? I can only imagine how many gallons of sweat Ash must have on his face in the real world...


    What I really admire about your writing is the fact that in addition to your impressive story and plotline, you make sure that you mention the background details as well to set the mood. Very impressive...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmof View Post
    "You've found them?" Flint asked the creature, already certain that he knew the answer.

    Drifblim tilted its large head forward in a nod, then waved its arms frantically, insisting its trainer follow it. Flint nodded back to the creature, giving it a thumbs-up sign.
    You know, it's a trait of all trainers, particularly the main characters in Pokemon to send out a search bird, and when they come back, already know what their status report will be. I'm glad you included that in you fic as well!

    Second Half Soon to Follow...
    3DS Friend Code: 2079-6549-2981
    "Let's trade and battle!" - *message me first*
    I am a shadow, I seek the ways of Hadou.
    I'll have you know, I am a Lucario.

  22. #122
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    Wow, lunar. That's one crazy-long-review. You should win a prize or something. Thanks to everyone for the reviews! ^^

    Well here it is. Long time no update, (not my fault, I had like no Internet for a month! :p) so please enjoy.

    Chapter Eleven:
    Precursor to a Change

    The calm serenity of approaching midnight which remained disturbed only by the gentle sound of crackling campfire flames was soon destroyed by the cargo bay door of Team Rocket's helicopter opening up with the loud grinding of gears. Butch and Cassidy both glanced nonchalantly up to see Nico stepping out of the aircraft smugly, his hands hidden deep inside the pockets of his dark-grey jacket. The boy paused for a moment upon stepping onto the dry earth and gazed up into the deep, navy sky that was littered with stars before breathing out a deep sigh of satisfaction.

    "It's the perfect night." he admired to himself, raising his hand up and imagining it was an airplane cutting a path through the clutter of stars and constellations that were suspended high above him.

    "Right." Cassidy replied with extreme disinterest. "Kid, have you got in contact with Kendrick yet?"

    "Not yet." Nico admitted, turning to face the woman who was watching him carefully from afar. "But he won't keep us waiting much longer."

    "Your faith in him is cute, kid." Cassidy chuckled, though the expression she wore on her face seemed less than amused. "But we've been waiting way too long already." She got to her feet before adding, "It's time to finish this."

    Nico raised an eyebrow cautiously towards Cassidy, not entirely sure of what she was insinuating.

    "Finish this?" he echoed her words uncertainly. "What do you mean by that?"

    Butch and Cassidy both wandered over towards where the boy was standing, sinister smiles painted on their faces as they came ever-closer.

    "The deal's off, kid." Butch explained, grabbing the boy by the collar of his jacket and lifting him up into the air.

    "What the Hell!?" Nico yelled, struggling against the man's iron grip.

    "Team Rocket makes the rules in this game." Cassidy laughed, "You and your boss should be more careful about who you make deals with."

    "You bitch!" Nico snarled, then gasped as he felt Butch's elbow slam into his gut.

    "Thanks for the Pokemon, kid." Cassidy giggled to herself as she began to make her way towards the cockpit of the waiting helicopter. "But hey, we're fair sports. At least you can have your little girlfriend back!"

    Butch and Cassidy's laughter filled the clearing as the boy fell to the floor in a crumpled heap, gasping for breath.

    "I'm..." he panted, glaring at the dirt beneath his hands as Butch removed the Pokeballs from his belt. "I'm gonna... Kill you...!"

    "Tough words for a snot-nosed punk." Butch happily mocked the boy as he slammed his foot into his back, pinning him to the floor. "But you're messing with the big boys now, kiddo."

    "Let's go, Butch." Cassidy ordered as she stood beside the cockpit door. "Go throw out the trash from the back so we can get out of here."

    "Sure thing, Cassidy." Butch chuckled, applying pressure to his heel until he was certain the boy had learnt his lesson. "I can't wait to get out of this dump of a region."

    Butch made his way towards the cargo bay and soon reappeared, holding a struggling May in his arms.

    "Get out of here!" he laughed, shoving the girl out of the helicopter and forcing her towards the dirt several feet below. "Cassidy! All clear!"

    Slowly the vehicle's rotor blades began to spin as the engine was engaged and the aircraft was prepared for takeoff. Butch flipped a nearby switch on the wall beside him which began to initiate the cargo bay door's closing sequence, proudly watching the young girl fall to the ground as he did so.

    "Staravia! Go!!"

    Suddenly a flash of dark-grey feathers tore through the night air, causing a gust of wind to blast into Butch's grinning face as May's silhouette vanished into the darkness.

    "What!?" Butch grunted awkwardly, quickly pivoting on the spot as he heard the sound of hundreds of Pokeballs crashing onto the metal floor of the chinook and tumbling onto the grass just beneath it.

    As soon as Butch could see what was happening he felt a sharp, stinging smack to the side of his cheek which brought him tumbling to the ground in shock, nursing his wound. In front of the bewildered man was a grinning, monkey-like Pokemon with purple fur and a long tail ending with what appeared to be a large, yellow hand. The creature hopped energetically on the spot, clapping its hands and feet together excitedly before gathering up any spare Pokeballs that were left on the floor of the aircraft and throwing them out of the automatic door which continued to slowly close.

    "W-wait!" Butch stammered, doing his best to chase after the creature. "Cassidy, stop the chopper! We've got trouble!!"

    Team Rocket's helicopter proceeded to jerk about erratically as Cassidy did her best to maintain her composure. Soon the rotor blades began to slow and eventually the engines were completely switched off as Butch and Cassidy both dashed out of the aircraft and began to survey the damage.

    The ground itself was completely littered with red-and-white spheres which stretched almost as far as the eye could see. The dim lighting of the moon and stars was the only illumination on offer to the two Team Rocket agents, who squinted hard across the clearing to discover the source of the confusion. However, the only movement they could discern was that of Nico struggling to get to his feet a few yards away.

    "What did you do, Butch!?" Cassidy snapped, turning to face her companion with a disapproving look in her lavender eyes.

    "It wasn't me!" Butch protested. "I just threw the girl out the door and the next thing I knew-"

    Butch's voice was silenced by another loud slap across his face which sent him tumbling into his partner whom he accidentally knocked straight to the ground. Cassidy felt Butch's heavy body push against hers and immediately shoved him away.

    "Idiot!" she yelled angrily. "Now isn't the time to cop a feel!"

    "What!?" Butch coughed, his face turning bright red. "I didn't!"

    Butch's eyes looked straight down towards his feet, his embarrassment overwhelming him like a shroud of fog descending across a deep valley. His embarrassment soon turned to anger, however, when he once again saw the form of the small, monkey-like Pokemon from before peering up at him with the same huge grin on its face.

    "What the?" Cassidy stammered in surprise. "What's this Aipom doing here?"

    "That's it!!" Butch cried, pointing straight at the creature which was hopping in-between the two of them. "That Aipom must've dropped all the Pokeballs!"

    "Annoying little monkey!" Cassidy snarled, readying a Pokeball and launching it towards the creature which effortlessly hopped away.

    "Aipo Aipo!" the Pokemon squeaked before dashing up, picking up several Pokeballs as it went and darting into the safety of the nearby forest.

    Cassidy's Pokeball briefly illuminated the clearing to reveal its contents: a small, short, humanoid Pokemon with translucent, navy-blue skin and sharp, rugged eyes that glimmered like gemstones. The creature had two long, pointed ears and even longer claws on its hands and feet, their sharp edges glistening under the moonlight.

    "Sableye!" Cassidy ordered, pointing straight towards the area of the forest where the Aipom had entered. "Go find that Aipom and bring back those Pokeballs!"

    "Sab!" the tiny gremlin hissed with glee as it bounded off towards the edge of the clearing. "Sableye!"

    Butch and Cassidy both watched the creature slip into the darkness of the woods and a thick, uneasy silence fell over the clearing. Neither person said a word as they awaited the Pokemon's return sooner rather than later.

    A few moments passed when suddenly a large gust of wind picked up and soon several more Pokeballs had disappeared from the clearing. Butch and Cassidy both gasped, turning back-to-back with each other as they tried to make sense of what was happening.

    "What was that?" Cassidy asked nervously, crouching low to the ground as if she was anticipating some kind of attack to be directed towards her at any second.

    "That was way too fast for an Aipom..." Butch muttered, his eyes darting from one corner of the clearing to the other.

    "Staravia!" the loud, shrill cry of a Flying-type Pokemon could be heard against the din of beating wings as the two Team Rocket agents were engulfed in a miniature whirlwind and the area was cleared of several more Pokeballs. Butch and Cassidy immediately did their best to shield their eyes from the sudden attack, both of them kneeling on the ground in order to get as low as possible.

    "Someone's trying to steal the Pokeballs!" Cassidy yelled. "We've got to stop them!"

    "Right!" Butch agreed, diving for a pile of Pokeballs a few feet away from him. As soon as he reached them, however, the sound of tiny, rushing footsteps could be heard and he felt the sharp sting of an Aipom's tail smack into his face once again. Butch flinched for a moment, and upon opening his eyes he saw that the Pokeballs had vanished.

    "This is crazy!" he cursed loudly, then suddenly felt the weight of Cassidy's Sableye running across the top of his head in an effort to chase the rogue Aipom. Slowly the man got to his feet, gently rubbing his wound. "Ouch..."

    "Sableye, you dolt!" Cassidy cried as she watched her Pokemon try desperately to catch up with the energetic monkey. "Hurry up and use Shadow Ball!"

    "Sableye!" Sableye agreed, leaping into the air and forming a black lump of shadowy energy between its hands. Before it could throw the projectile towards the target, however, Sableye was struck from behind by a flying assailant and landed headfirst in the grass beneath its feet. "Sable..."

    "Staravia!" a black-and-grey bird Pokemon squawked, flapping its wings proudly as it circled the clearing overhead, occasionally diving to collect several Pokeballs and deposit them somewhere within the woods.

    "Sableye!" Cassidy's Pokemon cursed loudly, shaking its fist at the creature which continued to fly above the group, mocking them. "Sableye!"

    "Alright, it's time to even the odds!" Butch exclaimed, throwing his own Pokeball down into the arena to reveal a large and intimidating wolf-like Pokemon. The creature barked loudly, snarling at the bouncing Aipom a few feet away as it shook its black fur coat and showed off its huge, sharp, silvery fangs. "Mightyena! Get those Pokemon!"

    Mightyena charged towards the irritating monkey whilst Sableye quickly got to its feet and readied an attack which it would soon launch towards the Staravia which continued to fly high above the clearing. Butch and Cassidy both watched their Pokemon cautiously as the battle commenced, Staravia and Aipom doing their best to dodge their attackers whilst collecting as many Pokeballs from the area as possible.

    No monkey was going to make a monkey out of Team Rocket.

    ~*~*~

    Ash was still panting heavily amongst the thick trees and shadows of the forest, an increasing number of Pokeballs lying in a pile beside him. They were of no concern to him right now, however - all he cared about was the girl whom he had carried in his arms all the way here.

    May was safe now, lying on the grass beside a large oak tree and stretching her legs as Ash did his best to try and catch his breath. It was close to being pitch black in this deep part of the woods and the nearby proximity of Team Rocket meant that a campfire or any other kind of artificial illumination was completely out of the question, but none of that mattered to Ash. She was still the most beautiful thing he had ever laid eyes on and she was still all he could think about.

    "Ash..." May whispered, looking up to her saviour who continued to pant wearily, his hands on his knees. "Thank you."

    Ash smiled warmly at the girl, kneeling down beside her and shuffling closer.

    "Are you okay?" he asked softly, his eyes filled with concern as he looked her up and down. "They didn't hurt you, did they? If they so much as touched you I'm gonna-"

    "Ash, I'm fine!" May insisted, placing her hand on the boy's own and pushing it down into his lap to calm him down. "Thanks to you, that is."

    A serene silence filled the air for a moment as the two friends gazed into each other's eyes. Ash still found it incredible how even under the meagre light of the stars May's eyes continued to shine like the most beautiful sapphires known to man. The girl's hand was still on top of his own and instinctively she squeezed it tightly, causing him to squeeze back.

    'This is it...' Ash thought to himself, neither of them wanting to break their gaze. 'May's finally here with me. We're finally alone...'

    Ash struggled with his thoughts and emotions for a moment, still entirely absorbed by the girl's wonderful stare. He felt his heart begin to beat faster and his skin grow comfortably warmer. His fingers were tingling with a sensation and energy like that of electricity, but it wasn't painful at all - on the contrary, it was very, very enticing, and the two friends soon found themselves moving closer and closer until their faces were almost touching, their warm breath tickling each other in contrast to the cold, stinging night air.

    Ash paused suddenly and jerked back a little, his mind recalling the unwelcome dream he had had whilst travelling in the helicopter's capsule.

    'I hate you, Ash Ketchum!'

    'No...' Ash thought to himself. 'It was... Just a dream, Ash! Just a dream...'

    "Wh-what about you, Ash?" May asked nervously, Ash's sudden movement snapping her out of her own daydream and causing her to check herself worriedly and ensure she was looking as unflustered as possible. "Do you feel better?"

    "Huh?" Ash stammered uncertainly, then suddenly remembered how he had suffered at the hand's of Nico's Venomoth and its Stun Spore attack. "Oh, yeah, I'm fine."

    "Ash!" May exclaimed disapprovingly, giving him a questioning glance as she looked him up and down. "You need to take more care of yourself! I was worried sick about you the whole time!"

    "You..." Ash muttered, his breath quickening again as he looked into the girl's eyes once more. "You were?"

    May paused for a moment, her face flushing a gentle pink as she quickly averted her gaze to the ground where the pile of Pokeballs continued to lie.

    "Well, of course!" she managed, nervously examining her fingers as she spoke. "I mean, it's not healthy to go around jumping into Stun Spores and things like that, you know?"

    "Hey, it's not like I wanted to!" Ash protested playfully, then cast his gaze down towards the damp, dark forest ground as his words became slightly muffled. "It's just that when I saw you in trouble..."

    "You mean you put yourself in so much danger," May began uncertainly, "just for me?"

    "Well, yeah!" Ash replied instantly, then felt his stomach tying in knots, causing him to add a few extra words. "Um, and of course I wanted to save the Pokemon, too!"

    "Oh..." May answered, her eyes glancing away into the darkness which surrounded the two friends. "I see..."

    'Huh?' Ash thought to himself, noting the girl's somewhat disappointed response. 'Oh Ash, you moron! What did you do now? I just don't understand girls sometimes...'

    Suddenly May climbed to her feet, dusting off her shorts and shivering slightly as the cold night air brushed against her legs.

    "Anyways..." she considered, eying the constantly-increasing stash of Pokeballs by their side. "How are-"

    "Here." Ash interrupted the girl by handing her his jacket.

    May looked at the boy curiously, raising an eyebrow to signal her puzzlement.

    "You're cold, right?" Ash asked, continuing to offer the girl his jacket as he spoke. "You should wear this."

    "But... Ash..." May whispered in reply. "You'll freeze in this weather! I can't take that!"

    "Hey, I've been through worse." Ash insisted, smiling warmly at the girl, who stared at the jacket carefully. It was true that she was very cold right now, but she didn't want Ash to be cold, either... This really was quite a dilemma, and yet Ash's soft eyes seemed so sincere, and she didn't want him to worry.

    "Thanks, Ash." she finally answered, accepting the boy's offer and wrapping his black, short-sleeved jacket with the yellow stripe down the centre over her shoulders. "I guess that's two I owe you, huh?"

    Ash waved his hand in-between lighthearted chuckles as he watched the girl pull the jacket on top of her own. It was a baggy fit, just as May had first anticipated, and she carefully straightened out any creases in the fabric as she rubbed her hands over her arms in a further effort to heat herself up and stave away the incessant Sinnoh weather. Ash breathed a deep breath as he admired the girl as if she were on a catwalk modelling a new line of clothing. May noticed this reaction and smiled to herself, running her fingers through her hair and allowing the boy a good chance to gawk at how his outfit looked on her.

    "Say, Ash?" she spoke up, putting her finger to her chin and casting her eyes to the sky as she often did when a sudden thought had confounded her. "When did you get these new clothes, anyway? I thought you said guys never cared about how they looked."

    "Uh!" Ash started, jerking backwards a little in surprise at the girl's sudden interrogation. "Well, my Mom sent them to me just after I arrived in Sinnoh, so..."

    "Oh, so Hoenn wasn't good enough for a new wardrobe, huh, Ash Ketchum?" the girl teased her friend playfully, who was as flustered as she had expected him to be.

    "Actually I had a brand new set of clothes for when I arrived in Hoenn, too!" Ash retaliated just as playfully. "I even got a brand new cap. Just for you, May!"

    The two friends continued to laugh and joke with one another as they began to relive old times and fondly recalled the memories and moments that they had shared together in both Hoenn and Kanto. It was amazing how Ash felt entirely at ease with his best friend in all situations; when she had mentioned his full name his mind had replayed the situation in his dream and he immediately knew that it was all nonsense - May would never say anything so hurtful to him. That was just how May was.

    Suddenly a loud roar shattered the happy conversation, shaking the very forest as it echoed between the trees and warped the shadows surrounding them.

    "I've never heard a Pokemon that sounded like that before..." May whispered in-between shivers of fright. "It sounds so..."

    "It sounds hungry..." Ash finished May's thought for her and the two friend's shared a brief moment of eye contact before Ash clenched his fist in a moment of realisation.

    "May," he began, his voice suddenly becoming serious and unwavering, "I need you to wait here and look after the Pokeballs, where it's safe."

    "Ash!" May protested abruptly, giving the boy a scolding look akin to the kind his mother might give him. "You're not seriously thinking of doing what I think you're going to do, are you?"

    "I don't have a choice!" Ash replied, his eyes shimmering with his usual brand of sincerity and steadfast determination. "We can't let Team Rocket get their hands on these Pokeballs! And..."

    Ash's voice fell for a moment and he lowered his eyes towards the damp, forest ground as he considered his words carefully.

    "And I won't let them get their hands on you again." he vowed, then turned to resume his rush through the forest when May's hands grabbed him by the wrist, pulling him back towards her. Their bodies gently collided for a brief moment and the two of them felt a natural instinct to look away from each other as both their faces were lit up by a light, red blush. They ignored their instincts, however, and instead looked deep into each other's eyes, May's hands moving from the boy's wrist to around his chest as they embraced in an emotional hug.

    "Ash..." she whispered, pulling him closer to her and rubbing her face against his shoulder. "I won't let you do any more crazy things..."

    "May..." Ash stammered in response, awkwardly accepting the hug as best he could in his surprised state.

    Ash pulled the girl close to him, squeezing her tightly before looking into her eyes once again, her breath tickling his face.

    "I'll be right back." he whispered in her ear. "I promise."

    With that, Ash quickly broke their hug and dashed through the forest, his mind focused clearly on his destination. He had to stop Team Rocket at all costs.

    May waited for a moment, standing in silence, her fingers gently touching the spot on her cheek where the warmth of Ash's breath could still be felt. Her mind was in a daze as her heart fluttered like a butterfly gliding on a gentle, early summer breeze. After a few brief seconds of daydreaming a smile formed on her lips as an idea came into her head and she clenched her fist confidently.

    "You should know I'm not the kind of girl to play that whole damsel-in-distress thing, Ash Ketchum." she spoke under her breath. "Never have been; never will be."

    ~*~*~

    Heavy, monstrous breathing filled the air of the clearing where Butch and Cassidy both stood, confidently scanning the area for any signs of intrusion.

    "Come on out, you little thieves!" Cassidy laughed, glancing up towards the enormous, blue dragon that stood beside her, anxiously awaiting its prey. "Our Garchomp here would like to have a little word with you..."

    A quick rush of wind rustled the leaves of the trees which surrounded the clearing and yet the area remained still, with no sign of either the Aipom or the Staravia that had stolen all of the Pokeballs from Team Rocket's possession. Both Sableye and Mightyena had been returned to their Pokeballs and now the two Team Rocket agents had placed their faith in Garchomp to do their bidding.

    Suddenly the wind that had rushed into the clearing began to take on a bizarre, ethereal glow, turning into a purple shroud of fog that engulfed Garchomp in its powerful grip, causing the creature to roar loudly in pain.

    "Garchomp!" Cassidy yelled, her mind in a state of total confusion at this sudden occurrence. "What's going on!?"

    "Ominous Wind is going on, that's what!" the familiar voice of the Elite Four member Flint declared as he stepped out of the shadows of the eastern entrance of the clearing and pointed directly towards Butch and Cassidy. "And now you two are gonna pay for what you did to Infernape and all of the Pokemon you tried to steal from those hard-working coordinators!"

    "Well, well, well..." Cassidy chuckled to herself, turning to face the man whom they had battled just a few hours before. "If it isn't the clown from before. Butch?"

    "Yes, Cassidy?" her partner replied, a similar smirk painted on his own face.

    "Why don't you show our little fan here how eager Salamence is to have a rematch?"

    "With pleasure." Butch hissed, removing the Dragon-type Pokemon's Pokeball from his belt and enlarging it in his palm when suddenly he felt another gust of wind, causing him to shield his eyes temporarily. Upon opening them again he was quick to notice that the Pokeball had vanished from his grasp. "What!?"

    Both Butch and Cassidy switched their gaze to their right where a small, humanoid shadow was crouching. Slowly the creature got to its feet and turned, the faint moonlight illuminating its pale-blue body and casting ominous shadows against its glowing, red eyes.

    "Gunk." the Pokemon chuckled, grinning mischievously at the two Team Rocket agents as it playfully juggled with Salamence's Pokeball. "Croagunk."

    "Great job, Croagunk!" the voice of the young Pokemon breeder Brock could be heard from just beyond the other side of the clearing as he made his way through the trees and emerged out into the open, a familiar blue-haired coordinator standing by his side.

    Dawn glared at Butch and Cassidy with a malice that was rarely seen from the traditionally happy-go-lucky girl, and soon she was pointing straight at the pair of criminals.

    "You two ought to be ashamed of yourselves!" she cried. "I know Team Rocket is supposed to be a bunch of criminals but you two are the worst kind of all! How dare you take advantage of an innocent contest to further your own ends!"

    Cassidy was clearly unimpressed by the girl's angry display and simply shrugged her shoulders, adjusting her golden-blonde hair as she did so.

    "Aren't you the spunky one?" she sniggered in response. "Well as a matter of fact we dare quite easily. Nobody gets in the way of Team Rocket and gets away with it! Garchomp!"

    The Dragon-type Pokemon beside the woman then proceeded to let out an ear-splitting roar, stretching its sharp, blue wings out in both directions as it finally broke free of Drifblim's Ominous Wind attack. The purple haze was quickly split into fragments and soon dissipated, leaving only a very angry Pokemon in its wake.

    "You kids might think you have us outnumbered," Cassidy continued confidently, "but I think you'll find that we're never outgunned."

    Suddenly the woman pointed straight towards Brock's Croagunk, which quickly assumed a fighting stance, ready to deflect any potential attacks that might come its way.

    "Garchomp!" Cassidy bellowed. "Show them what a real Pokemon can do!!"

    ~*~*~

    Ooh, lemme know what you all think, please! :D Also, since my PM list is completely and utterly terribly organised, I'd like to re-request that people um... Request... To be on it again? That way I won't bug people who don't read this anymore and can construct a proper list on the front page. Either PM me or let me know in a review. And thanks for reading! ^^
    Good Love Charm
    *COMPLETE*

  23. #123
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    Wow, I really liked this chapter! =D I'm not in my best reviewing mood so I'll do my best. XD

    First things first, Cassidy and Butch are great villains. Usually when villains are needed, it's usually OCs from OC Team or Team Aqua/Magma/Galactic or Jessie/James. So using Cassidy and Butch was great. Just thought I'd mention that even if this wasn't like their intro chapter. XDDD

    Dang, Nico got betrayed. Looks like he'll know who not to trust next time then.

    Woohoo, May got rescued! And I really liked that exchange between her and Ash. It was really cute and I loved that hug. Plus May's comment about not being a damsel in distress made me like her more in this fic. Time for the girls to kick ***! XD

    Lol, poor Ash. He doesn't always know the right thing to say. But the discussion about clothing made me smile a lot. =D

    Now to see what happens with Ash and May, and also with Cassidy/Butch and Dawn/Brock! Great chapter overall, Gaz! =D

    Adios!

    PS - Lawlz, if I can think of anything better to say, I will edit this review. XD

  24. #124
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    Ooh, thanks for the super-fast review, Mel! :D

    This chapter was pretty difficult to write since there were so many directions I could've taken the story from here, but I like where it's currently heading so I think the readers are in for a real treat in the next few chapters ^^

    Y'know I was just thinking after posting this fic how much fun Butch and Cassidy are to write. They still have that kind of bumbling streak that Jessie and James have, but they can also be pretty sinister and know what they're doing most of the time. Their initial confrontation with Nico at the start of this chapter was by far my favourite part of this update - nothing quite like bad guy vs bad guy, huh? :D

    Hm... Am I sensing fan support of Dawn/Brock? I really should look up that shipping name sometime. Anyway, thanks for the review, and I'll be sure to repay the favour on Except Me as soon as you update! ^^
    Good Love Charm
    *COMPLETE*

  25. #125
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    I really liked Ash and May's reunion this chapter. I agree with that Mel-Girl said about Butch and Cassidy, one of the reasons they work so well is they can be used as either comic relief or a serious threat and remain in character.

    As usual the end of the chapter left me excited for the next chapter.

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