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Thread: Not Listening Has Its Advantages

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    Default Not Listening Has Its Advantages

    Pairings: FireRedShipping (Ash/Zoey), LightRockShipping (Brock/Dawn) and one sided in both PenguinShipping and MorpheusShipping (pairs of Kenny/Dawn and Ash/Angie, respectively). (Potential for more shippings to come.)

    Rating: G

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3782092/...Its_Advantages

    DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon, a creation of one Satoshi Tajiri, and is produced domestically (in the United States) by Pokemon USA/TAJ/The Pokemon Company, and internationally by Shogakukan and OLM. I personally own nothing and make nothing by writing this. Please do not flame.

    (Chapter 1- Getting Into the Picture)

    ---------

    "Aipom! Wait up!" Ash Ketchum says while he Brock, Dawn and pikachu chase, or rather attempt to chase Aipom through an indoor mall. To Ash, it seemed to happen on almost every day that ends in the letter 'y'. Aipom in all its unbridled cheerfulness would run off on her own and look for fun. From Ash's perspective, however, despite the love that he had for Aipom and his other pokemon, it always seemed that Aipom would find more trouble than fun.

    "How many more times are we going to have to go through this before Aipom learns his lesson, Ash?" Dawn cries out while panting as she and Brock flank the trainer from Pallet.

    "Just try not to think about us having to chase Aipom," Brock responds, consoling Dawn. "Think of it as you getting your daily exercise."

    Dawn turns to Brock and gives him a somewhat jaded look, saying "Are you trying to say that I need exercise, Brock?"

    Brock becomes frustrated and defends his statement to Dawn by answering, "Oh! Criticize me for actually trying to put a positive spin on an otherwise sorry episode. I don't like chasing Aipom three or four times a week either, but all I'm trying to say is that you have to look on the bright side of these types of situations, you know?"

    "Will you two cut it out back there?" Ash vociferously requests of his comrades. "This isn't helping us catch up to Aipom at all!" Ash then looks forward once again. "Aipom! Please stop!" Ash then watches as Aipom goes inside of a instant photo booth and Ash becomes very worried. "Aipom, don't!" he screams, even though the purple ape with the funny tail had already bounced inside of the booth.

    Aside from the obvious Ash, the two people who are most happy that the chase for Aipom has come to a halt are both Brock and Dawn, who quickly slow down their previously frantic pace of an Olympic sprint down to the speed equivalent to a brisk morning walk.

    Dawn is especially happy, and shows her relief by exclaiming, "WHOOO! No more games of 'chase the Aipom' for me!"

    Ash is very perturbed, especially by the last comment that Dawn made. He turns around, thereby halting his walk towards the photo booth, and explains to Dawn "You know, if you were that against looking for Aipom with Brock and I, then maybe it would have been better for you to just stay back and wait for us to retrieve my pokemon, Dawn!"

    "Well, if you would have been a better trainer of Aipom, Ash, maybe he wouldn't run off all the time! Did you ever think about that, Mr. 'World's Greatest Pokemon Trainer?'" Dawn responds, becoming angrier.

    Ash gasps at Dawn's remark, legitimately feeling insulted, but then the trainer counters, "Dawn! How dare you! Aipom is doing just fine with me as I am, thank you very much, and as far as Aipom running off all of the time, he's a free spirit, all right? Did you ever think that he just wants to have a little fun? Shame on you for even inferring that I'm a poor trainer just because Aipom likes to run off on his own a few times!"

    Pikachu yells out a call of 'PIKA!' to the trainer in an attempt to calm him down.

    "It's nice to see that you two are still getting along just fine," says the voice of a female off in the distance. Ash, Brock and Dawn turn from their heated conversation to see a girl who is about Dawn's age. She is wearing an purple shirt and her orange vest over that. But perhaps her most noticeable features are her wild hair, which is fire red in color, and the sunglasses fixated over her eyes. She is carrying a Glameow and an Aipom in both of her arms.

    "Zoey?" exclaim Ash, Brock and Dawn.

    "In the flesh," Zoey responds cheerfully. "So how is everyone doing?" the girl asks out of habit as she lets go of both Glameow and Aipom and removes her sunglasses.

    "We're fine, Zoey," Ash tentatively responds. "So...you were the one that was in the photo booth?"

    "Yes, indeed!" As Zoey clarifies, "I wanted to send some photos back home to Snowpoint City to give this person named Candice some proof of my ever-expanding team..."

    "Wait a minute!" Brock interjects. "You're good friends with Candice, the Snowpoint City Gym leader?"

    Zoey hesitates for a second before she admits, "Not quite. Honestly, I'm in...what you would call a friendly rivalry with this pokemon trainer that also came out of Snowpoint City. Candice saw that Tolon, that's the name of the trainer, by the way...Tolon and I had different philosophies as far as raising and training pokemon are concerned. Before we left, we both agreed to have the first year of each of our careers documented by Candice to see who had the most success in their rookie year."

    As Zoey continues, "One of the objectives in our competition against each other is that we each send pictures to her gym address and pose with either our newly captured pokemon, our ribbons, or in Tolon's case, his badges. We have to mail them, because Candice is so tied up in her work as a gym leader, it's not often that she can answer a video phone. Because I don't own a camera, I go into photo booths like that one," which Zoey points to, "and I get about five different pictures. So I have one to myself, a few to send to the family back home, and one for Candice. At the end of the competition, the one who's career has progressed the furthest after one year in terms of pokemon captured and gym badges or contest ribbons won will be given automatic entrance into either our next Grand Festival or League Conference courtesy of Candice."

    "My only issue is that," Zoey stops her speech to bring out the five photos to show to the attentive Ash, Dawn and Brock, and the girl matter-of-factly says while nervously chuckling "I don't raise an Aipom!"

    Ash can see it clear as day. Aipom was able to cleverly sneak into the photo booth without the knowledge of Zoey or her Shellos and got its picture taken before Zoey could do anything about it. "Awww, man!" Ash sighs, putting his hand to his head. "I'm sorry, Zoey. I...I should've watched Aipom better than I did. I...gosh, I really feel awful."

    "Ash," Zoey nervously consoles, "don't feel bad about it, man. I mean it."

    "No, Zoey." As Ash reminds the girl, "It's my fault. Is there anything that I can do to...pay you back? It's not often that you get a chance for automatic entry into a Grand Festival, and neither Aipom or I had that intent. I'd just like the chance to at least atone for it. Aipom is my responsibility, after all."

    "Well, Ash, that's really not..." Zoey stops for a second and considers what Ash just asked her. The boy, who she'll admit is quite the looker and very charming, especially when he is roped into a conversation about his pokemon is willing to do whatever he can to pay her back.

    Even though she feels somewhat bad taking advantage of Ash in this manner, Zoey nevertheless asks Ash "You mean 'anything', Ash?"

    Ash says "Yes. Anything that you want. Really. I feel bad about what went down, Zoey."

    Zoey thinks about what she would like to do for a moment, and then finally answers "Okay. I'd like to have some ice cream. Your treat, and if you don't mind, I'd like to have it with just the two of us."

    "What?" asks both Brock and Dawn out loud.

    "But," Brock stutters in a confused haze, "why?"

    "Why not?" Zoey remarks quickly. "He owes me, because for some reason, Aipom got loose and messed up my photos." Zoey then pats Ash on the shoulder twice. "Besides, it's the least that he can do for me. Right, Ash?"

    Ash starts to become red in the face, which is something that Brock notices, but does not verbally respond to. "Uhh...yeah. You're right." Ash then nervously chuckles and adds "You and I will get whatever ice cream that you want." Ash then turns to his confidants and tells them "Brock? Dawn? Meet me back here in about half an hour. Okay?"

    Brock and Dawn can only tell Ash 'Okay,' as he and Zoey head for the ice cream shop with pikachu standing on the trainer's right shoulder. While they walk away with Glameow, Aipom and Pikachu in tow, Brock can only think to himself 'What is Zoey up to? Those photos couldn't have cost that much money. Something fishy is going on here, and I'm not just thinking that because we're near a sushi cart.'

    Meanwhile, Dawn's thoughts are far less critical of the coordinator. In fact, as Ash and Zoey walked off with each other so that Ash could pay back Zoey, Dawn thinks back to a conversation that she had with Zoey at a contest house about one or two months ago.

    ---------

    "Uhh, Dawn?" Zoey asks the raven haired girl while she brushes her hair in preparation for her contest appeal. "Do you mind if I get something off of my chest that's kind of embarrassing?"

    Dawn looks towards her good friend and explains to Zoey, "Zoey, you can tell me anything. I promise you; there is someone out there in your shoes that is in all likelihood more embarrassed faced with the same kind situation you're faced with. And whatever it is, I'm sure it's not that bad. So what's this thing you'd like to get off your chest?"

    Zoey nervously smiles to Dawn, and quickly tells her "I think I have a crush on Ash."

    "Woah!" Dawn retorts. "Slow down, girl! All that registered in my mind was the word 'crush'. Now are you trying to tell me that you have a crush on someone?"

    "Yes," Zoey softly answers.

    "Who...do you have a crush on, Zoey?"

    Zoey sighs and snickers for a moment before she says "Ash Ketchum."

    Dawn couldn't believe what she just heard, and by instinct, she said to Zoey "What?"

    Downtrodden, Zoey claims "See what I told you? Embarrassing! I knew you wouldn't understand."

    "No, no, no, Zoey. Zoey," Dawn says in an attempt to redeem herself in her friend's eyes. "You misunderstood me when I said that. I wasn't making fun of you. I was just shocked. You...really do have a crush on Ash?"

    "Yeah," Zoey laconically answers.

    "What makes you so sure that you have a crush on Ash?" Dawn curiously inquires.

    Zoey gives Dawn a goofy grin and explains to Dawn, "I know that...back at the contest in Jubilife, I really pre-judged him, especially after I found out that he was also going to compete in gyms. It wasn't until afterwards when you guys cleared up that the only reason why Ash was even in the contest to begin with was because Aipom wanted to be in it. After a while, I got to see the heart that he shows for his pokemon. He really, truly cares for them and loves them." Zoey sniffles for a moment, and Dawn can sense that her friend is becoming emotional reliving the highlights of Ash Ketchum.

    "Now, I'd like to think that we are already good friends right now, and that's something that I don't want to change," Zoey admits. "But...I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't at least interested. What should I do?"

    Dawn can see where Zoey is coming from as far as her budding feelings towards Ash. She herself has felt these feelings towards a young childhood friend by the name of Kenny, but has not acted upon them as of yet, as she does not feel that she is ready for that type of a relationship as of now. Despite this, she can feel for Zoey's situation; she thinks that she is in love, and it's quite possible that that is the case, but Zoey has no idea how to handle her situation.

    Again, wanting to be a good friend, Dawn makes her suggestion to Zoey, explaining "Look, Zoey. First of all, I thank you for telling me this, and I do have some advice in how to handle this so that it turns out the way that you'd like. First of all, Ash can at times be absent minded, but very rarely is that ever the case with his pokemon. So if you're gonna pursue that type of relationship with him, remember that few people come between Ash and his pokemon. If you happen to be one of those people, then he truly does care about you...in that way."

    "All that's well and good, Dawn," Zoey tells her friend, "but how do I go about expressing my feelings to Ash?"

    Dawn gets up from her seat on the bench and holds her friend by the shoulders answering her by saying "Subtlety. After all, you don't want to overwhelm the boy. Now, I have to go do my appeal. Remember what I said," Dawn concludes as she walks towards the staging area. Zoey can only hang onto the advice given to her by her good friend and watch her as she prepares to make her introduction.

    ---------

    As Dawn relives that moment, all she can do is smile. When Zoey asked if Ash could pay her back for the photos with ice cream, it had very little if anything to do with Ash paying back Zoey for the messed up photos. Zoey was making her first move in an attempt to let Ash know of her feelings. 'Remember, Zoey. Subtlety,' Dawn cheerfully thinks to herself as she goes to do some window shopping while she has the next 30 minutes or so.

    ---------

    After about 25 minutes, both Ash and Zoey have finished their frozen treats, which Ash treated Zoey for in exchange of the Aipom photos, or so Ash thought. While Ash decided to make the best of an otherwise embarrassing situation and got a large banana split with all the fixings, Zoey went for a more modest route so as not to entirely exploit the boy by ordering a chocolate and banana milkshake. Ash also decided to treat his number one pokemon by giving the electric mouse a bottle of tomato juice, but Pikachu didn't have much if any of the vegetable puree.

    Zoey got to get a firsthand look at Ash Ketchum eating a banana split and thought that it was extremely cute, especially when he would lick the whipped cream from the corners of his mouth and played with the cherry and cherry string afterwards.

    The redhead decides that the only way that she can open the door to a deeper relationship with the trainer is to start conversation. She begins with the obvious question, "Did you enjoy your banana split, Ash?"

    Ash smiles and rubs his stomach telling Zoey "Sure did! What about your milkshake?"

    "Oh, yeah!" Zoey heartily but uneasily responds. "But I can't help but think that chocolate and bananas would be something that Aipom would really like."

    Ash's cheerfulness is once again shot down at the mere mention of Aipom, and the trainer goes into 'apology' mode. "Again Zoey, I apologize for Aipom's..."

    "Ash? Enough, alright?" Zoey says in frustration, although she is trying her best not to be rude. "I forgive you. I forgive Aipom. I've learned that your Aipom will be Aipom, and you're not the type of trainer that will stand in its way. I admire that, Ash."

    Ash is surprised to hear that come from Zoey's mouth. "Really?" he asks.

    "Really," Zoey responds. "And as far as the pictures, I'll call Candice. I'm sure she'll understand. And furthermore, you're going to meet Candice in my hometown, right?"

    "Snowpoint City?" Ash inquires as a means of confirmation to which Zoey nods. "It's one of eight gyms, isn't it?" Zoey nods to Ash's rhetorical question again. "Then that means I'll be there, and I'll beat the pride of your city while I'm at it, too!"

    At that point, you could have colored Zoey amazed. 'That confidence. I love that about him. Absolutely nobody can tell him that he'll lose,' thinks Zoey.

    "Well," Zoey begins out loud, "when you meet Candice...and beat her," Zoey explains with a suffixed chuckle, "tell her that you know Zoey Aiken, and if I'm not able to get to her before you do, the Aipom in the picture still won't count against me."

    "Yeah," Ash concurs, "but I doubt that any of the pictures are worth anything to you right now. I mean, you did say that you send them to not only Candice, but some of your family members, and...I doubt that they would be interested in a picture with you and my Aipom quite clearly on display."

    "Well," Zoey begins, not really knowing where to start, "they might not be interested, but..." Zoey then takes out the photos once more, "I'd like to keep them, if you don't mind. Aipom reminds me of you, and..." Zoey stops and remembers Dawn's advice. She continues, saying "I like you, a lot. Every time I think of Aipom, I think of you, because naturally, Aipom and his attitude are both an extension of you. I get this...giddy feeling when I see Aipom's smile, and I know that he loves being your pokemon because you show him nothing but the best of your love. Whenever you decide to be in a serious relationship with another girl, I'm sure that they'll get that same type of love and affection that you show to Aipom, Pikachu and your other pokemon."

    Ash is somewhat jolted by this lengthy admission from Zoey and is curious as to whether she is inferring something deeper than what she is speaking. "Are you...trying to tell me something that's on your mind, Zoey?"

    Zoey decides to make her move here and now, as Ash has left the door open for her to truly speak her mind. She knows that by going this route, she is no longer following Dawn's sage advice to be subtle in her admission of affection, but if she holds in her feelings any longer, the girl feels as if she'll crack. Even if Ash doesn't return the feelings, she will be content knowing that she hasn't kept this secret from her friend before it becomes too late.

    "Ash," Zoey says, shivering just thinking about that name, "When I say that I like you, I mean it...but not just as friends." Zoey then caresses the soft face of the trainer and continues "I like you Ash...as more than just a friend." Zoey takes a deep breath and admits "I'm sorry. I just had to get that out. You can say or do whatever you want, but I just had to let you know how I felt." Frustrated, Zoey stands up and tells Ash "Thanks for the milkshake. I'll see you around," and she leaves for the exit.

    "Zoey? Wait!" Ash exclaims as he quickly walks towards the exit and to Zoey while Pikachu gets up from the counter to play catch up. The tomboy turns around and meets the glaze of the boy that she has become so infatuated with over the past few months. "You really mean it? You...love me?"

    Zoey timidly smiles and admits "Yes. I know. It's quite embarrassing, but yeah. I do love you. You probably don't love me back, but if there is ever some time in the future..."

    Zoey is not able to finish her impromptu admission to Ash, because she just got kissed by the boy on her right cheek. Zoey is left dumbfounded by the action, and finds it hard to even breathe knowing what Ash just did.

    "You know, it's clear that you haven't learned much from the first time that we met, Zoey," Ash softly and carefully admits. "You said that I shouldn't be competing in contests and gyms at the same time, even though Jubilife was a one time only deal for Aipom. I must say that after your comments about having Dawn raise Aipom, I seriously considered it for a day or so. But then, I realized that I don't have to take advice all of the time, even if it is meant with the greatest of sincerity."

    "I only said that," Zoey defends, "because I felt that if Aipom wanted to compete in contests so badly, she should be with a coordinator that can better focus her talents in that direction."

    "Well, Aipom does get the chance to be in contests, though," Ash happily explains, "only this time, it's with Dawn, as she gets to borrow Aipom for appeals or battling. Anyway, what I meant after I kissed you was that you had said that I probably don't return your feelings, and you were willing to just walk away content with just letting me know how you felt. I was...a tad turned off, because, again, you were judging before you even gave me the chance to tell you what was on my mind. Who knows? I could be absolutely infatuated with you, and you would have never known because you're so stuck in your ways thinking that I could never return your feelings."

    Ash's words have a great affect on Zoey. The fact is that Ash is absolutely correct, and it hits Zoey like a ton of bricks. Indeed, Zoey can go back in time and find several examples of being too quick to judge people, especially those that she cares for, extensively. Zoey prejudged Dawn for thinking that she was making fun of the fact that she harbored feelings for Ash. She sadly frowns, puts her head down and starts to tear up. Even if Ash didn't return her feelings, Ash made a great point that most of her relationships would be sabotaged from the onset because of Zoey's judgmental attitude.

    "I..." Zoey tearfully begins, "I need to do better. You're right. I mean, I can't see inside of your mind and figure out what you're thinking. I-- I need help, though. I can't change overnight."

    Ash carefully holds Zoey by the shoulders and then brings her chin up so that he can see the girl's face. He uses his thumb to get the tears out of the eyes and the face of Zoey. "Don't cry, Zoey. No more tears, now. Nobody is telling you that this has to be an overnight change, but the most important thing is that you make the change. We all have the ability to change if we just allow ourselves to do it. You wanna change, right?"

    "I do," she sniffles, "but...how? I've done this without thinking about the people I judge for years, now. What can I do?"

    Ash smiles and gives the grieving girl a hug. Ash answers Zoey by explaining, "You can take it one day at a time, and if you need help, I just want you to know that...someone who really loves and cares for you will be only one call away whenever you need him."

    Zoey does not exactly comprehend what Ash just told her and asks "What do you mean? Who's this person that can help me?"

    Ash releases some of the pressure from his hug, looks Zoey square in the eyes and tells her "Me," before he gives Zoey a kiss, this time, on the lips. Zoey is more than elated to return the affection, and kisses back while even more tears come out of her eyes, which are about as red as her hair.

    The two kissed, and did so with animated emotion and vigor behind the action, but with no subtlety to speak of. They were showing this affection while each of them remained inside of the confines of the ice cream shop and a audience of about 15 people or so saw the entire scenario take place under a hushed silence as they didn't know what to think. The confession, the kiss on the cheek, the conclusion of Zoey's character made by Ash, the tears shed by Zoey and the confession by Ash Ketchum all came together to form quite the arena and the setting for love.

    Regrettably, the newly formed twosome had to let go. As Ash gets a good look at his watch while in an embrace and a kiss with Zoey, he releases his grip from Zoey in shock. "Oh, Zoey! I'm sorry. I told Brock and Dawn that I'd meet up with them in half an hour and we've been here for over an hour! Oh! I wish we could stay together longer, but...they've gotta be worried sick! Come on! Let's find them together!"

    "Uhh, Ash?" Zoey calmly states, "I don't think we need to go that far. Look." Zoey points to an area in the ice cream shop and Ash sees Brock and Dawn. Like just about everyone else in the shop, they are shocked. Despite this unexpected turn of events for both Brock and Dawn, Dawn has the trace of a smile on her face knowing that Zoey has accomplished something very important to her--and it has paid off.

    "Umm, yeah," Dawn says, trying to subdue her elation for her good friend. Dawn drags the near motionless Brock near the direction of Ash and Zoey, and states "I think Brock and I can wait a little longer. I'm sure you two have a lot to discuss, so is another half hour all right for you?"

    Ash and Zoey both give each other nervous glances knowing that their kiss has become public knowledge to their friends. Perfect strangers knowing about it is something that they could care less about, but friends are a different story entirely. But then Ash clearly sees the smile on Dawn's face. As far as Brock is concerned, he might be a little jealous that Ash has found someone, but the trainer gathers that he'll get over it eventually.

    "Yeah," Ash answers after some apprehensiveness. "Thanks Dawn, and whenever Brock comes out of his trance, tell him that I said don't feel bad about it. Okay? Oh! Could you also watch over pikachu while you two are together?"

    "Will do," Dawn says as she prepares to take Brock and Ash's pikachu out of the shop. Before she takes two steps, Dawn turns back to Ash, specifically, and says "Oh! I need to tell you something, Ash--actually, I need to tell you two things. One is that I need to first and foremost apologize for my comments to you earlier about you not being a good trainer for Aipom. I'm sorry. I acted like a jerk, and...it was uncalled for."

    "It's okay, Dawn," Ash responds by patting the blue-haired coordinator on her right shoulder two times. "Besides, I don't feel bad about what you said. Not listening to every bit of criticism out there has its advantages. Imagine if I took everyone's advice? You would have been raising Aipom, I would continuously be doubting myself due to people doubting me over the years, and, well..." Ash stops to give a mouth to mouth kiss to Zoey once again. This time, the kiss only lasts a few seconds before Ash pulls away and explains to Dawn "If I had listened to Zoey when she said that I probably didn't return her feelings, I wouldn't be able to do what you just saw us do."

    "Sometimes, it's good to not listen, especially if your heart is telling you something important, right?" Dawn states.

    Ash tentatively says, "Yeah, sometimes. But...wasn't there something else that you wanted to say to me?"

    "Yeah," Dawn admits. "I knew that Zoey has had a crush on you for a while, now. She confided in me, and I gave her the advice to be subtle in her approach," and Dawn directs her next words to Zoey, exclaiming "that she didn't follow!"

    "I know, Dawn," Zoey humorously laments, "but to his credit, Ash left the door open for me to let him know my feelings. I had to seize the moment, you know?" Zoey dreamily looks at Ash and concludes "And I'm so glad that I did."

    "So am I, Zoey," Ash agrees.

    "Pikachu, Brock and I will leave you two be, for now," Dawn tells the pair. "See ya later."

    "Dawn, wait!" Zoey exclaims as Dawn continues to maneuver the immobile Brock to and fro while Pikachu rests upon her white hat. Upon hearing her name, Dawn turns around to see Zoey come up to her in a hurry.

    "Now, don't think that it's weird of me or anything," Zoey begins, "but I feel the need to apologize to you for something that happened about two months ago. I'm sorry for saying that you were making fun of me for having a crush on Ash before I got to know the whole story. That was wrong of me to pre-judge you like that, and I...need to work on it," Zoey then turns her head over to the direction of Ash Ketchum and grins. As she turns back to Dawn's direction, she finishes her sentence by proclaiming "and I will work on it, because I'm getting some help along the way from someone very special."

    Dawn pulls her friend close to her in an embrace and says in her ear "Good for you." Dawn releases the embrace after about 10 seconds and explains "Now, if you ask me, I think that someone is sorta lonely right now," as she points to Ash, who is now sitting on one of the mall benches. Zoey gets the hint, and tells Dawn that she'll see her later. Zoey then joins Ash on the bench, but not before stealing a quick peck on the lips.

    "So, what did you and Dawn talk about?" Ash inquires.

    "Change," Zoey answers. "I made my first step to change. I apologized to Dawn for thinking that she had made fun of my crush on you."

    "And?" Ash wonders.

    Zoey shakes her head for a moment and then adds "It felt great. I know you said that this is something that I had to do one day at a time, and...taking that approach and coming to you for help and advice could be just what I need."

    After 30 minutes or so of each party bearing their souls to each other and coming to a better understanding of their feelings for one another, Dawn and a rejuvenated Brock come back towards Ash and Zoey's direction. The new pair both sigh sadly in each other's direction with the reality of knowing that they must part at hand.

    'Shakespeare was full of it,' Zoey silently ponders. 'Parting is not such sweet sorrow. Parting just sucks.'

    "Well," Ash says out loud, "Unfortunately, Zoey, it's time for me to go. But, I'll be sure to talk to you in the near future."

    "Okay," Zoey returns as they both get up from the bench and share a final kiss.

    "I love you, Zoey," Ash says, almost despondent.

    "I love you too, Ash. Hey," Zoey consoles, even though she is sad to see her new boyfriend go "Like you said, we'll see each other again soon. There's a contest coming up in about a week. Maybe we'll run into each other."

    "Yeah," Ash remarks, even though there is clear sadness in his voice. "Maybe. Good bye, Zoey," Ash concludes as he depressingly walks away from Zoey to Brock and Dawn.

    "Ash! Wait up!" Zoey screams out after 15 seconds or so.

    "Huh?" the trainer exclaims as he sees his girlfriend quickly coming to him with a small object in her right hand. When Zoey opens her palm, Ash sees it first hand. It is one of the wallet sized photos with Zoey, her Shellos and Ash's Aipom altogether.

    "Here," Zoey tells Ash. "I probably should have given it to you sooner, but...I want you to have it to remember me by, even though I know we'll see each other again soon."

    Ash smiles and tells Zoey "Thanks! Maybe one day, I'll get into the picture."

    Zoey laughs and informs her beau that "But you're already in the picture, Ash; my big picture, and I wouldn't have it any other way."

    Ash goofily chuckles and says "Aw, shucks," and leans forward once more. Before Ash and Zoey can lock lips again, however, Brock turns the tables on his love struck friend by tugging him by the ear and dragging him to the direction of the mall exit.

    Brock remarks "Unfortunately, if we leave it in your care, this picture will be worth a billion words," and then Brock says "We'll see you later, Zoey," while he is dragging Ash. Everyone with the exception of Brock sweat drops at the scene and Zoey watches as Ash shrugs his shoulders upon his involuntary departure. Right before going through the automatic doors, Ash blows a kiss to Zoey, which causes her to return the action in kind before Ash and company are finally out of sight.

    When Ash is finally gone, Zoey deplorably puts her head down. "He just...he just left! And I already miss him!" she laments as she starts to cry once again. "I'm not even listening to my own advice now that he's gone. I told him we'd see each other again, but I'm not listening because I don't wanna listen! I want Ash!" Then Zoey comes to the very real conclusion. "I'm lovesick," she says while sadly smiling. "I hate the fact that I don't get to spend as much time with him as I'd like to, but...the fact that I'm even with him is something I can't help but love."

    Zoey then goes into her pocket and pulls out the now infamous pictures with Aipom in them. Sniffling, she can't help but love looking at the smiling face of Aipom. It reminded the girl so much of Ash Ketchum, but these feelings didn't make her sad. How could she be sad looking at the grin of Aipom and always thinking about that same grin on Ash's face the next time they saw each other.

    "Thanks, Aipom," Zoey quietly says to herself. "for bringing Ash into the picture...and not listening, too."

    ---------

    Initially intended to be a one shot, this is now a chaptered story with two coming soon. Your thoughts?
    Last edited by Rave The Rich; 6th July 2009 at 3:15 AM.

  2. #2
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    Another oneshot of yours that is becoming a chaptered story. But still, its a nice read. And I haven't seen many FireRedshipping fics.

    A nice break from what's going on in All Roads Lead to the Grand Festival.
    Its up; The Sinnoh Journey. The story is http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=334150
    Proud to be a Scarfshipper.

  3. #3
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    Finally, a FireRedShipping fic 8D! It used to be my het OTP, and I still rather like it, so this pretty awesome.
    Ash and Zoey seem to have really good chemistry (imo, it was a little too early to have the confession, but considering it was a oneshot, the pacing was still pretty good) and Dawn and Brock were very much IC. The one-sided Penguinshipping intrigues me, and it would be interesting if Dawn is pursuing Kenny, and Kenny is completely oblivious, since it's usually the other way around in fanfictions.
    I just found one little thing:
    "I could be absolutely infatuated with you, and you would have never known because your so stuck in your ways thinking that I could never return your feelings."
    "Your" should be "You're"...I'm sorry to be nitpicky, it's just my "thing" on which I need to work ^^;.
    {New icon currently under construction C:}
    You can call me Liberty4Pokemon, Liberty, or Libby (my given name), whatever floats your boat! =)

    Proud Namer of/Supporter of OutofSpiteShipping | Ditto on ShootsDownShipping :-*
    ^Glitter/Twinleafshipping, yuri-licious oneshot | ^ShootsDown/Penguni/AppealShipping serial <33
    Claims: Shinji/Kengo; Nozomi/Kengo; Kasumi/Hikari; Sakaki/Kaorin {AzuDai} (couples)||Gwen Stefani (celebrity)
    Nozomi is my bishie =3

  4. #4
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    Default Well, I think now's the time to reply back!

    @Lord Aggron: I really have to work hard at closing a one shot and keeping it a one shot. There aren't many Ash/Zoey fics, like you said, but I'm glad you like it and the clear change of pace from some other fics of mine.

    @Liberty4Pokemon: Yeah, I still like it. It has Zoey, so that helps! ^__^

    Thanks for the comments on the pacing. Given all the circumstances, the pacing issue turned out to be a wash. Brock and Dawn have a..fun role in this fic. Thier relationship is another unique one not seen often, and you've given me an idea for the potential PenguinShipping.

    And as far as that 'thing', that's a good thing. Please keep it. It will benefit us all.

    Now, continuing with the story, here is chapter number two!

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3782092/...Its_Advantages

    DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon, a creation of one Satoshi Tajiri, and is produced domestically (in the United States) by Pokemon USA/The Pokemon Company, and internationally by Shogakukan and OLM. I personally own nothing and make nothing by writing this. Please do not flame.

    (Chapter 2- First Date: Part One)

    ---------

    Whether it is his nervousness or the weather tonight, Mother Nature decided to make what would have been a very cool November evening in more ways than one unseasonably warm. The temperature, which would usually be around the upper forties during the twilight, is almost seventy degrees and has been like this for the past three days. Either way, Ash Ketchum has been sweating most of the water out of his body for the past fifteen minutes as he awaits someone special this evening. It probably doesn’t help matters given that he is wearing a suit, carrying a small box in his right hand and is very uncomfortable given the humidity outdoors.

    While traveling with Brock and Dawn over the past couple of months, both of them have noticed several positive and refreshing changes with their buddy, Ash. One of the changes was in his temperament, and whenever he would get angry, instead of yelling out his frustrations to any of his friends or enemies, he would just walk away from the situation. Another change is Ash being more helpful in the camping and cooking of meals for their trio, including the pokemon. If they had to venture to guess what it was that sparked this turn for the pokemon master to be, they would answer using one simple name; Zoey.

    Ash Ketchum would agree wholeheartedly.

    Since he and Zoey got together during an otherwise embarrassing exchange at a local Pastoria City mall some months ago involving his Aipom, which now belongs to Dawn after a trade for Buizel, just about everything has changed for him. His head, while clear on most things like his training, capturing and battling methods is often complicated as far as the matters of love and the heart are concerned.

    Admittedly, he has never felt this way about any other girl before in his life. Of course, he’s found several girls before him to be attractive and what not, but not once with any of those girls did he ever feel as if he was on the same plane with them as he does with Zoey. He has grown over these past couple of months and even though he and his new girlfriend do not travel together, they have talked extensively through video phones and seen each other a couple of times since the aforementioned incident at the mall.

    Conversations between the two young people over the past week have involved one subject in particular that Zoey brought up after a talk of theirs which lasted well over an hour. She realized that despite their many rendezvous since the change in their friendship, there is one thing that the two of them have not done that people in love do if for no other reason than because they love one another. It is the reason why he is outside a restaurant wearing a suit this Friday evening in Snowpoint City.

    “My first date ever,” Ash softly comprehends. To say that the young man is a ball of nerves does not do his emotions justice on this night. Ever since the day he and Zoey shared their first kiss, the trainer has just been winging it. Not a single pokemon battle with a gym leader, league conference or difficult capture of a pocket monster throughout his career could possibly compare to the arduous waiting game he is playing as he awaits the arrival of his girlfriend by pacing back and forth to kill some time. “I wonder what she’ll wear?” he ponders. Smiling, he forms the conclusion “Well, whatever it is, I have a feeling that it will be great.”

    Wondering, wishing and waiting while wandering around the front of the four-star restaurant known as Icicle, he says a silent prayer that nothing goes wrong this evening. One would rightfully accuse him of worrying himself to the bone thinking that something is not as it should be, and that Zoey is running late for some reason. Had he chosen to get a poketch like his friend Dawn and his girlfriend, then he would know that Zoey is not even relatively late. In his effort to make everything right for the night, Ash came about forty-five minutes early just to confirm his reservation.

    Checking the small bag in his hand one more time to make sure that the gift is inside, Ash sighs in relief as he finds the small red box in the bottom of the package. Given the fact that everything he is experiencing with Zoey is new and foreign to him, there are several things that he forgot throughout the dating process. For one, he knew that the place that he was going to tonight was a formal spot…but he neglected to get fitted with a tuxedo until that morning. Luckily, the shops were open and Brock fitted the bill as Ash spent whatever money he had on the cover charge for reservations to Icicle and the gift for Zoey.

    Throughout the week, Ash has heard advice and suggestions from both of his friends, with Brock claiming that telling Zoey how beautiful she looks and pretending to listen to whatever she says will give him points. He also said that he would not have to do much talking tonight as Zoey will pull much of the weight in that department. Dawn would often counter most of Brock’s so-called advice and take a more grounded approach on the matter. She made it clear to Ash that Zoey fell for him because he is himself and not someone else. She added that trying to be something he is not will catch him in a lie than anyone, boy or girl, will see right through. Ash said that he would consider each one’s words, but sided with neither of them.

    Around the middle of the week, Ash felt that he had everything in order, even though the problems with the tuxedo would arise on Friday morning to give him a rude awakening. Though what he did on Wednesday afternoon is not out of the ordinary for him, he has to admit that it is one of the most unique talks that he has ever had. It was not a long talk, but it was an important one that boosted the young man’s confidence somewhat and covered a base he naturally forgot while mired in his other plans for Friday.

    FLASHBACK

    Patiently waiting for the person on the other end of the line to pick up the phone, Ash takes in the scene at the pokemon center in the outskirts of Snowpoint City. It’s a mild day in the northern municipality compared to most and being inside the center, he feels no real difference between the phone room and outdoors. Having already called Zoey earlier in the morning to iron out the final details of their date in two days time, there is one other person who the trainer feels can give him some great advice before he enters uncharted territory.

    Not quite ten seconds after dialing the number, he gets a glimpse of a woman in her mid thirties with a bandana over her medium brown hair and a sky blue blouse, which is all he can see at the moment.

    “Ash, honey!” she speaks from the other line. The lady, until Zoey came along, stood alone as Ash’s favorite woman in his life. That woman is, of course, his mother Delia.

    “Hi, mom!” he replies. “Am I interrupting something?”

    “Oh, no dear. I just did some housecleaning today. That’s why I look so…different. So was there anything you wanted to talk to me about?”

    “Mom, you’re reading my mind,” he says in a playful but scolding manner. “Yes, there is something that has been on my mind for the past several days. It has to do with Zoey.”

    “Oh, Zoey,” she dreamily reiterates. “My son’s first girlfriend. And to think it wasn’t that long ago that you were taking about never falling in love. I know that you were only seven at the time and you and Gary had your journeys on your minds full time then, but I think that given everything you’ve done in your career, I wasn’t sure. I never got this call before about you finding someone special, so…to hear this now is very nice. I know you’re fourteen and you are doing a lot of growing up in a very short time. Just promise me that you’ll take this slow.”

    “Mom, please!” Ash pleads with the woman. Delia notices him turning away from the screen a couple of times, likely due to the embarrassment of possibly facing a conversation tantamount to the birds and the bees, which he heard not that long after he first left home. “My goodness! That’s the furthest thing from my mind right now, I guarantee you that. She’s just hit twelve a couple of months ago, so…I can do without it mom. I will do without it. Besides, what would that say about Zoey and me?” Pausing to check the reaction of his mother, Ash is redeemed in his mind to see Delia nodding her head saying that her son is right and is making a great deal of sense. “You wouldn’t be too pleased with me if we didn’t take this slow given our age. I just have a girlfriend, mom, and I don’t know if we could be doing this any slower, quite frankly. In fact, that’s the reason why I called you.”

    “Come again, Ash?”

    “Zoey and I are going to go on our first date very soon,” he says, hesitation free.

    “You haven’t gone on a date yet with her?”

    “Well yes…and no. As a couple, we haven’t gone on a date, but before that, we did have an ice cream date that convinced me to ask her if she were interested in a relationship beyond just being friends. I’ve told you all of this and my feelings.”

    “Yeah, you liked her love for pokemon more than anything else and you liked her sincerity,” Delia reminds her son. “It was very refreshing to hear that because I’ve had my share of boyfriends over the years. While it’s nice for girls to hear that they have beautiful eyes, a great smile or anything physical like that, keep in mind, Ash, that it’s important for any young girl or woman to know that they are more than just the way they look.”

    “I know that, mom. Believe me; I’m not with Zoey because she’s a model type or anything of the sort. I just…I see a lot of herself in me. She aims for success in everything she does and that’s admirable. She’s got a great sense of humor, as I’ve come to learn, and she loves her family. What more could you possibly ask for, mom?”

    “Those are all things that we look for in people,” Delia affirms. “Great personalities, high moral standing and attention to detail…but I think we went off topic there for a second. You said that this would be your first actual date with Zoey as boyfriend and girlfriend.”

    “Yes, ma’am.”

    “May I rightfully assume that you called me looking for some advice for your date?”

    “Well…yes, I did. I don’t know how much help they can give me, but I asked Dawn and Brock and now, I want to know what you think about my date.”

    “Ash, you’ve come to the right place,” she assures her son. “I’ll tell you everything you need to know before your date on…when is it?”

    “This Friday.”

    “Wow, then I don’t have much time, do I?” she jokingly responds. “It seems like you’ll just have to settle for the crash course. Okay are you listening, Ash?”

    “Yes, ma’am. I’m all ears.”

    “Okay. Above everything else that you can do on your date, just have fun and be yourself. There’s no blueprint for a perfect date and you shouldn’t treat the date like a life or death situation if some things don’t go as planned. Neither of you are experts on the subject as of yet, so don’t get frazzled or intimidated by anything you might not expect. Go with the flow and, preferably, go at her pace. As clichéd as it might sound, you want to make her feel like a princess to your prince. Let her lead with conversation, but don’t be afraid to interject at times.”

    “I get the feeling that I should be writing some of this down,” Ash interrupts with concern laden in his voice and confusion in the midst of his mind.

    His mother simply laughs and says, “Don’t worry, son. You will be fine. I wanna hear you say it; you will be fine.”

    A few seconds of silence pass. In Delia’s mind, she does not feel that her son is sharing the same confidence about his date. “Ash, please say it! It’s not the end of the world, no matter what happens on Friday with your date. Zoey won’t leave you because you happen to make mistakes in something new and different to you. You know that, right?”

    “Yes,” he says. Then, after mulling over his mother’s words for a bit he adds, “You’re right. Zoey doesn’t have to have…the perfect date in order for Friday night to be great. I’ll be fine. I just have to be there for her, and everything else will fall into place.”

    “That’s the spirit! Like I said and like I’ll continue to say, you’ll be fine. And…this is something you might want to think about, but you have to do it unless you want to. Have you gotten Zoey a gift of some sort?”

    “A…gift? No, I really didn’t think about that.”

    Sighing for a second, Delia questions why she isn’t surprised, but doesn’t say any of this out loud. “Well, you ought to think about it, Ash. I’m not telling you that you need to break the bank, but you know your girlfriend. Get her something that…she’ll like. Just remember to be creative with it and she won’t be able to thank you enough times.”

    Nodding while taking every word in of his mother, the native of Pallet is convinced that once more, mother knows best. “Thank you, mom. You always know what I need to do. Why is that?”

    “It’s simple; I’ve been where you’re going,” she explains. “After much trial and error, I understand what it takes to succeed in many different areas. I’m your mother, but I’m also your guide, Ash. So…don’t be afraid to come to me for advice on this and whatever else. I know you, son. I know that you are headstrong, stubborn and independent to a fault. From everything you’ve told me, Zoey is a lot like that, as well. I think it’s just great that you found someone with the same qualities that you have.” Pausing for a second to collect herself, Delia continues, “I really think that you should travel with her. Long distance relationships—now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to tell you that long distance relationships don’t work. I just think that if you really wanted to get to know Zoey, you would be with her all the time.”

    Ash agrees with his mom. Among the many topics which he and Zoey have spoken about over the months was the possibility of coming together on a trek through the remainder of the Sinnoh region. Though the idea is something both like and would like to happen, they are not sure how to go about it. Over their many talks, they did not know if they wanted to go at it alone leaving Brock and Dawn behind or have Zoey come in and have a group of four just like when he made his rounds through Hoenn and Kanto. Their only problem is that they do not know what they want to do, which is why they have not made any decision or talked to anybody about it.

    “I’ve thought about it, mom. Hey, I wanna let you know that…I’m gonna introduce you to Zoey very soon,” Ash claims, dodging his mom’s prior statement about traveling arrangements. “I’ll bring her home and you’ll get to see her for yourself.”

    “Okay,” she says, conceding that she won’t hear much about the matter for whatever reason. “Well, good luck on your date, Ash. Once you have time, tell me about it. Do we have a deal?”

    “I’ll talk to you then.”

    “Bye,” Delia replies and both of them hang up their respective phones.

    END FLASHBACK

    The conversation with his mother, advice from his friends, buying a gift for Zoey and getting fitted for a tuxedo this morning has prepared Ash for his first date as best as he could. Feeling that it would be best to invest some money into a watch in the near future, he is turned from his current thoughts as he feels something resting on his shoulder.

    Turning his head he sees an angel, or to put it more correctly, someone who wears the color white very well. Before him is the star of the evening in his mind. Zoey has come to him on this unusually warm evening in a tuxedo of her own. It contrasts Ash’s perfectly as it is white with a white tie and a black handkerchief in the breast pocket of the suit. Below the suit, Zoey sports a black collared shirt and her hair, like her boyfriend’s hair, remains as wild and unruly as ever, especially in the humidity and her eyes remain covered by her signature sunglasses.

    “Hello, Zoey,” Ash greets with the smile on his face never departing.

    “Good evening, Ash,” she answers back, taking off her sunglasses and giving her boyfriend a good look at her rustic brown eyes for the first time in several days.

    Though both are familiar with each other, they both hesitate as they come together in a hug; their first hug in about three weeks. Whether it is the unique situation they find themselves in with a formal date or some other unmentioned factor, each partner appears more willing to take things slow as they share a light kiss on the lips while in the midst of their hug.

    Releasing their hold on one another, Zoey asks a question that has been on her mind since meeting Ash outside of the restaurant entrance. “Why aren’t you inside?”

    “I wasn’t sure if you wanted to sit inside the main room of the restaurant or outside on the lanai,” he explains. “I didn’t want to decide anything without talking with you first. I don’t know if I’ve been in a restaurant this fancy in about three years or so. Usually, when I eat, I don’t make it into much of a special occasion. I just eat. But…you’re the one who suggested it and I want to make you happy by doing something that you wanted to do. That’s why I’m here. And…I don’t mind waiting for you out here. I see you sooner this way.”

    Leaning forward and giving the young teen a kiss on the cheek, Zoey comments, “Ash, that’s very sweet of you. But I must warn you that if you stay out here too long, you’ll sweat down to almost nothing.” This latest quip from Zoey makes Ash laugh once more. Patting the trainer on his back, she says, “Come on. Let’s go inside.”

    As the two walk hand in hand to the front door of Icicle, Zoey begins the first of many conversations between the two by talking about the restaurant’s food. “I haven’t been here since about a year ago with my family, but every time I come here, whatever I eat is fantastic. You like seafood?”

    “I love it.”

    “Well, Icicle has been ranked as the best place for steak and seafood in the Sinnoh region four years in a row,” she states before going up to the front desk, informing them, “Ketchum; party of two, please.”

    “Very well,” the maitre d’ says, as he asks them a question, “Would you like a seat in the dining hall or outside?”

    Looking towards each other for the answer, Ash makes the first move. “It’s your call, Zoey. Wherever you wanna eat is fine with me.”

    Truth be told, the decision was not a difficult one for the tomboy to make at all. Though she has no idea how much time her beau spent outside waiting for her, he looked like he just stepped out of the sauna of a local Snowpoint bathhouse. In Zoey’s mind, perhaps heading inside will help Ash cool down some. “We’ll eat inside, thank you.”

    Smiling back to the hometown girl, the man at the front desk says, “All right. Follow me.” He leads the pair to a table off into one of the corners of the lightly-dimmed restaurant. As both Ash and Zoey meander through the many different sections of Icicle, they notice the great architecture including large statues of snowflakes, mountainous snow peaks and paintings of such landscapes with murals adorning the ceiling containing life-sized pictures reminiscent of many scenes of the winter season. They also notice the many modern perks of the swank eatery including the replacement of pillars to hold up portions of the building with large faux icicles that have the tips facing downward just like icicles that would form during a snowstorm. Candles on each table are clear blue and in a similar shape as the pillars. Music in the background gives off a feeling of coziness as the faint but noticeable sounds of wind during a blizzard are played for the paying guests.

    As they walk, they notice more than the aesthetically pleasing atmosphere of Icicle. They come across more than their share of couples out to eat for dinner, fellow coordinators, trainers and families out on the town. While most of the women and girls are adorned in elegant gowns and stylized dresses for their meal, Zoey is the epitome of the exception to this unwritten rule. With her white tuxedo, she seems to stick out like a sore thumb compared to the other ladies whose beauty is only accentuated by their outerwear. The same would be said about Zoey, but few people call those who wear tuxedos ‘beautiful’.

    They look at her funny given that she is walking along with a male companion while wearing what is for all intents and purposes men’s clothing, but the stares which she receives are no different than what she gets at some contests. She all but expected the attention and got it.

    Dealing with the stares just like admiring the interior comes to a head, though, as both Ash and Zoey are led to their table for the evening situated near one of the restaurants windows, which gives a great view of the lanai and the people dining on it. Once seated, the maitre d’ gives both partners a menu to check over and lets them know that their server will be coming in just a couple of minutes to get their drink orders and leaves the two alone. Ash sits his bag next to his chair on the floor not sure what to think about the fact that the girl across from her has not mentioned it at all or even asked about its contents.

    While Zoey opens the menu to look for something eye-catching, her counterpart thinks it would be a good idea to start some conversation. “This is a great looking place. I tell you, if the food is half as good as the building, I’m in for something special.”

    “Oh, you are,” she says, scanning the menu for something that will grab her attention.

    “Did you notice those people…staring when we walked to our table?”

    “Ash, it is hard to not notice the stares. But that’s what I get for being myself. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m not a girly-girl. I haven’t owned a dress since I was probably…six years old. Luckily, the dress code is formal and I get to wear what I like.”

    “I feel like I’m watching you at your best, though,” Ash compliments. “Do you know what I’m trying to say? You’ve got class and you can obviously see that on the outside, but over these last few months, I’ve been real blessed to see that class on the inside as well. It shouldn’t matter how you dress. Clothes don’t make the person.”

    “Wow! That was awfully nice of you to say, Ash. I know I’m not the most endearing person out there, but believe me when I say I try.”

    “What to do you mean, ‘not endearing’?” he asks, his interest peaked.

    “Well…I read the newspapers and magazines. It helps to pass the time while I’m out on the road,” Zoey explains. “They don’t pull any punches whatsoever. I see forum posts on coordinating and it’s the same thing, only they are harsher in their language. I’ve been called…every name in the book, and it’s mostly because I’m not afraid to speak my mind.”

    “That’s not right,” Ash says, taking everything in that his girlfriend is telling her. “I read some of those things myself. I even see the news.”

    Putting her right hand to her forehead, Zoey exclaims, “Oh, God! Don’t even get me started on the news!”

    “They aren’t kind to me, either. They call me names like ‘dense’ and ‘foolish’ and Paul’s favorite word, ‘pathetic’. Eventually, I just stopped reading and listening to them. If you know that they aren’t true, then they’re garbage. Don’t get caught up in garbage. Those people staring at you? It’s just more garbage. You obviously have something that others can’t understand.”

    The voice of a cheerful young blonde in her early twenties with a dark blue, knee-length skirt and a sky blue buttoned-down blouse coming to their table, saying “Good evening you two!” takes the two young lovers away from their talk for that moment. Arriving to the table with a glass pitcher of water filled about a fifth of the way with ice, she, without missing a beat, she fills two tall glasses of water belonging to both of them and introduces herself. “Welcome to Icicle. My name is Erin, and I’ll be your server for the evening.” Pausing to hear greetings from both Zoey and Ash, she continues, “Now aside from the water that I just poured for you, is there anything else that you’d like to drink?”

    Looking at the different items available for each of them to drink before their meal and appetizers and hearing suggestions of the Icicle specials including a numerous spread of flavored cream sodas and floats, Ash makes the first selection, letting Erin know, “Those cream sodas look interesting. Have you had the…chocolate cream before?”

    “It’s great, I promise you,” she answers. “I have it myself all the time.”

    “Okay. I’ll have that.”

    “And I’ll have my own personal favorite; strawberry cream.”

    “Strawberry. Kind of like your hair,” she compliments. The comment did its job by relaxing the two of them at the table as they shared a small laugh with Erin for a few seconds. Recapping, Erin says, “So that’s one strawberry cream and one chocolate cream for the two of you. Now, I know it’s early, but would you both like an appetizer before deciding on the main meal? Our specialties of the evening in soup include clam and crab chowder, fried dumplings in gravy, ramen in broth and fifteen bean. As far as salads, the specialties for those are Caesar and garden. Our most popular appetizer is the seafood sampler, which can be served either steamed or fried. We also have fried mozzarella scallops and chips with crab dip. What do you guys think?”

    “The…appetizers sound really good,” Ash remarks as he looks at the rest of the selection. “I didn’t really plan on having soup and salad with that, though. Zoey, do you know what you want?”

    “Well, funny that I didn’t really plan on having an appetizer,” she counters.

    “Are you two together? I mean, of course you are here together eating, but are you guys dating?” Erin asks. Both of them answer yes, confirming her suspicions. “You guys look great in your tuxedos! This is great to see young people in love doing more than just going out to of age hangouts for their dates.”

    “It’s our first one,” Ash explains, “and Zoey here wanted to do something special for the first date. This is her hometown and she is competing in the contest tomorrow and afterwards, we plan on spending some time with her family so that they can get to know me and vice versa.”

    “Wait a minute? You’re name is Zoey as in Zoey Aiken, the pokemon coordinator?” Erin questions.

    Smiling while holding up her right hand, she declares herself “Guilty as charged.”

    “Wow, my niece was just on the phone with me the other day talking about how incredible you are. In fact, my sister-in-law says that you’re all that she talks about, period.”

    “Well, I’m glad that I can be such an influence to kids out there. That’s what it’s all about, Erin.” As she reaches into one of the pockets of her pants, she asks the server, “Say, what’s your niece’s name?”

    “Alexandria, but we all call her Alex.”

    “Okay,” she replies as she puts a small index card on the table along with a pen. While writing a message on the card, she asks a few more questions and finds out that Alex lives in Goldenrod City and is eight years old. As Zoey finishes, she has an instruction for Erin, telling her, “Make sure that your niece gets this and tell her that I said thanks for her support.”

    Gasping, Erin has to catch her breath. Zoey just signed an autograph for a fan without even batting an eye or making a scene or objection. Taking the index card in her hand, Erin takes a couple of seconds to look over the autograph. The stylish coordinator put more than just her calligraphy on the paper—she also added a message to Alex, which stated ‘To Alex, from Zoey. Thank you for being a fan!’

    “Oh my,” she speaks. Taking the hand of the young girl, she says, “Thank you so much for this, Zoey. My niece is gonna love me for getting this! She’s not gonna believe it! You’re gonna be the talk…for a very long time!”

    “No problem. I’ll do anything for a real fan.”

    “Hey, Zoey. What you just did right now is exactly what I was talking about earlier,” Ash reminds her. “You have class on the inside. What you wear doesn’t matter in the least bit. What you do is what makes you who you are and is the reason why I can say I love you.”

    “Thank you, Ash,” Zoey says, her voice breaking in the middle of her speaking. “I want you to know that means a lot to me. I’ve got critics like everyone else, but…it’s nice to just hear that.

    “I mean it, Zoey. I’ve never met anyone like you and that has to say something about all the girls that I’ve known over the years compared to you. Think about it.”

    “Oh, my goodness! Forgive me, you two!” Erin said, regaining control of the conversation. “In all of this…great talking that I hear from you two, I forgot the appetizers, soups and salads. I just…the things I’m hearing here are very refreshing. You can’t help but get caught up!”

    “That’s okay, Erin,” Ash insists. “We’re kind of guilty for it. We started the talk, after all. Umm…just a suggestion, Zoey, but does the seafood sampler sound good to you?”

    “Okay, that’s fine,” Zoey concedes.

    “All right, and would you two like that sampler fried or steamed?”

    Looking in one another’s direction once again, the two young people silently determine which one of the two types of appetizers that they want. As Erin patiently watches the scene with pen and pad in her right hand and the autograph in her skirt pocket, she sees Zoey nod to Ash for a brief moment; not even half of a second in length. “Fried?” she asks the young man across from her.

    “Sounds good to me,” he answers. Jotting everything down, Erin lets both of them know that their drinks will be arriving to their tables soon and leaves them alone once more.

    Once he is certain that their server is out of ear sight and eyesight, Ash makes the comment to Zoey, “She’s gonna get a nice tip when this night is over.”

    “Yeah, I like her. She’ll make this night a lot looser if we can’t do it ourselves. So, have you decided on what you’re gonna eat tonight?”

    “Well, I like steak…a lot. Seeing all of the different types, I thought that the large steak with Kobe beef would be good, and then I saw the combinations of steak and shrimp and said, there’s the best of both worlds right there. So I’m still trying to figure out…”

    Ash continues to explain the minor dilemma he faces to his girlfriend. Meanwhile, several tables away from the couple are another couple. One is wearing a blue hat, which provides covering over much of her face, including the top of her head. She also sports a blue blazer and skirt combination. The male she is with is much older, and has over his body a suit similar to the one Ash is wearing, but with a patterned tie in the place of Ash’s solid tie, which he is wearing at the moment. Another feature of note is that his hair is tied back into a ponytail and that he is wearing glasses.

    “Can you see anything, Dawn?” he asks the girl.

    “It’s difficult, Brock,” Dawn replies back to her older guide of sorts. “I can hear them faintly. Ash is talking about his meal, I think. Their waitress was at their table a long time. Who knows what Zoey or Ash could have said then? Brock, I really don’t know if we’re gonna get any answers tonight. Maybe we should just be patient and hope that they don’t decide to just leave us behind if they choose to go through Sinnoh together.”

    Hearing the faint sound of ‘pika’ from under the table, Dawn looks under the cloth, and whispers to the bag, “And you be patient too, pikachu. I’m sure the restaurant has bottles of ketchup and won’t mind sparing some for you. Just wait and you’ll get what you want.”

    Sticking her head back up from underneath the table, Dawn comes face to face with a young male waiter pouring cold water into a tall glass. “Are you and the table having a nice conversation?” he asks Dawn.

    Not missing a beat, Dawn replies, “Yes, in fact, it told me that you guys haven’t dusted underneath him for quite some time. He feels neglected.”

    Caring very little for the coordinator’s tone at the moment, Brock and Dawn’s waiter leaves in a huff, without even refilling Brock’s glass. Saying nothing, he gives the young girl a high five for putting their arrogant server in his place.

    Brock never knew hanging out with a girl he didn’t go crazy over could be so much fun.

    ---------

    Your Thoughts?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Annapolis, Maryland
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    Default Now Comes Chapter Three!

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3782092/...Its_Advantages

    DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon, a creation of one Satoshi Tajiri, and is produced domestically (in the United States) by Pokemon USA/The Pokemon Company, and internationally by Shogakukan and OLM. I personally own nothing and make nothing by writing this. Please do not flame.

    (Chapter 3- First Date: Part Two)

    The dinner at Icicle does not need to come quickly in order to satisfy the young couple. After all, Zoey and Ash have quite a bit to discuss and little time to do it. The restaurant is known for excellent service as they have quickly found out with Erin.

    “This night has been…great so far,” Ash comments. “I couldn’t have thought that this night would be this nice. It’s nothing terribly exciting, earth shattering, but it feels right. You know when things just feel right and you can’t exactly say why?”

    Before answering the question, Zoey chuckles for a bit. It appears that Ash is hitting at a personal point that she knows quite well herself. “I know the feeling. It’s like when I put on a good-fitting tuxedo and head out to a contest house and do my thing, you know? I don’t know what it was that brought on this love for pokemon coordinating, but when I’m out there, it feels like this is where I belong right here and right now. That’s the feeling that I am getting right now with you on my first date.”

    “You feel like this is where you belong?”

    “Absolutely,” she claims. “But I gotta say that I get chills when I think about it all, to be honest. The fact is all of this is new and different than just me traveling alone and being on my own. It’s a good ‘different’, though. I look forward to us talking on the phone for as long as…two hours a day or night. I’ve got something besides my…I hate to call it work, but that’s what I do for a living is coordinate and I have something that I can anticipate doing every day.”

    “Will you look at Zoey over there, Dawn?” Brock asks her while they look over at the other table in their disguises. “She certainly has a lot of emotion inside of her that she letting out. And Ash is doing the best thing he can do given the circumstances…he’s listening, or at least pretending to listen.” This commentary from Brock earns him a slap on the shoulder from his eating buddy at the other end of their table.

    “Don’t be ridiculous. Of course he is listening to her! He’d better, or Zoey will let out more than just her emotions. Trust me on this one, Brock! I’ve been around the girl long enough to know that even though she’s got a temper if you test her. She saw this trainer from her hometown of Snowpoint City who had this odd name. Give me a second, I think it was,” it takes five times more time than Dawn thinks it would to come up with the name, but she finally understands that the name of the person in question was, “Tolon Wilkes. Brock, when Zoey saw Tolon on the television screen in a contest some months ago she got really ticked off. I wanted to ask her what it was about that boy that drew her ire so much, but…I didn’t want to press her at all.”

    “That reminds me of Ash. Not a little bit, but a lot,” Brock comments, interrupting Dawn. “I can remember when he just started out. He’d get ticked off easily if you get on his bad side, question his abilities as a trainer or his love for his pokemon. He’s not immune to that, either, and that’s one thing that makes them a lot alike.”

    “Look, Brock!” she says, pointing at the scene and trying her best to hold in her excitement. “Ash just gave Zoey a kiss on the cheek! Aw, how sweet,” she dreamily coos. “That’s what it’s all about, Brock.”

    “I bet you dream about a moment like that with Kenny, right?”

    Raising her eyebrows like the promise for better salaries for the middle class, Dawn eyes her much older friend tentatively before she starts to chuckle like her friend did before her. This chuckle turns into an out and out laugh as the coordinator from Twinleaf Town apparently found a serious remark from Brock equitable to a stand-up comedian at a club.

    “Oh, man!” she says through her laughter. It seems as if nothing will keep her from continuing to let her emotions out either but eventually, the moment happens and Dawn is left to explain why she found an innocent question from Brock to be so hilarious.

    “Are you kidding me? Look, Brock. No offense meant to Kenny at all. I love him like the brother I’ve never had, but…that’s the exact reason why I don’t see myself getting involved with him right now. It does not feel right to me, and I know you know what that means. The sad thing about it is that he tries to make this big impression on me wherever we go. He thinks I don’t notice it, but I’m not as much of a ditz as people take me for.”

    “I guess we’re all learning that the more time we spend around you. But—and forgive me if I’m going too deep with this, but is there someone you are involved with at all or are interested in?”

    “Not really,” Dawn admits. “This might be a bad metaphor, but…I’m the type of person where I don’t find trouble but trouble always seems to find me.”

    “So you’re not one who is keen on waiting for love?”

    “Why? If there is a person out there for all of us, then I think it’s almost pointless. Not to mention the fact that…well I’m only ten years old, Brock. I’m not in any kind of rush or wanting to set some sort of record in finding a boyfriend. I know Zoey is only a year older, but obviously many more years mature and better equipped to handle someone like Ash.”

    “Well, not everyone is ready at the same time,” Brock agrees. “There are people twice my age who aren’t ready for romance so for you to not be ready is something that I really should not be surprised.”

    “Brock, listen to this!” Dawn says, pointing at the table where Ash and Zoey sit. “I think that they mentioned our names. We might be getting somewhere?”

    “Pardon me, miss,” speaks the spying duo’s arrogant waiter. “You had your hand up in the air. Is there something that you wanted like, say…yet another bottle of ketchup? This would be your third bottle, you know, and you haven’t even been served your main course yet.”

    Still turned off by the very snooty attitude of their server, Dawn does not show any intimidation on the fact that her waiter is so perturbed after they both asked him for multiple bottles of the red tomato paste for Ash’s signature pokemon. “Well, Matthew…”

    “It’s Matt to you, little girl.”

    “Very well, Mattie.

    Growling, he leaves the table without even considering that the young lady might need some service. This lends Dawn to even more praise from her much older partner in travel.

    At another part of the restaurant, another partnership is not feeling any sort of arrogance or sarcasm at their table. All that is happening is a discussion of great importance.

    “So I can honestly say that…I want to travel with you. Talking long hours on the phone have been nice, but can that last?”

    “The question is can this last, Zoey?” Ash responds. “I don’t know if we even give ourselves a chance if we don’t live together and see how this works out. I’m glad that I didn’t have to ask you if you wanted to join, but no matter how we came to this decision, I had a feeling you would say yes to my question of whether or not you wanted to travel with me. You know, it goes without saying that I’m glad that you want to do it…”

    “Umm hate to interrupt, Ash,” Zoey begins, “but I wanna get something straight; I do wanna travel with you but I can’t do that. I can’t do that right away, that is. I’ll need about a week to update some information in my personal files, inform some people, modify some of my contact information and emergency forms with the government and then I can go. Believe me, if I had the choice, I’d pack up and go with you right now, but the process is not as easy as one might think. That’s the reason why I didn’t say anything to you until now. Mom, dad and a few others helped me out and told me that I just can’t make this change without going through a bunch of red tape, which is not what I want, but a necessary evil.”

    “I see,” he laconically answers. One would get the feeling that the process will take a long time and keep him from the person he loves, but Zoey seems to have left out one important factor. In fact, she missed the most important factor. “How long will all of this take to finalize, Zoey?”

    “Maybe a week or two at the most. Wait, I thought I said that! Oh, man! I’m sorry. I had you worried over…nothing really.”

    “No, it’s fine. I don’t care if it took a month or two, it’ll be well worth the wait. And, I know you don’t mind Dawn and Brock being there with us, right?”

    “Oh, absolutely not! I’d love it if both of them could be there with us!”

    “Great!” Holding up his glass, he asks Zoey, “So may we toast to it?”

    “Indeed!” she answers as they bring their glasses of their drinks together and consume whatever is remaining before their waitress comes a few minutes later with a refill of chocolate cream for Ash and strawberry cream for Zoey.

    At this point, there is nothing. Nothing but the talking, light music and the conversations around them are making the restaurant come alive because neither party at the small table knows what else to say. Taking sly glances down at the ground, it does not take long for someone to realize that Ash is debating whether or not he should use this time to give Zoey her gift. He heard from everyone that he spoke to before the date that any gifts given should be saved until the end or near the end of the date.

    It is this time in which he decides to not listen to what everyone says. “Hey, Zoey. I have something to give you,” and then he reaches down in the direction of the bag. The young coordinator had a feeling that her much older boyfriend had something in the bag for her, even if he did not say it outright.

    The bag is a white one with similarly-colored handles and while handing it to Zoey, Ash tells her to “Go ahead. Open it.” She does so, and at the bottom of the bag, she finds a large, black velvet box. It is far too large for a single ring, but not shaped properly for a necklace or even a bracelet.

    Sitting and thinking about its contents will not get her anywhere. Like Ash said to her, it is best that she open it and find out for herself. Setting the box open, she finds what appears to be a pendant in the center of this jewelry. There is no doubt about what this is in Zoey’s mind. “It’s a locket!”

    “That’s right,” he affirms. “Now open it.”

    Using great care to remove the object from its holding place, Zoey looks for the clasp on the side of the locket and opens it to find two pictures at first glance. These two include Zoey with her pokemon along with Aipom, who now belongs to Dawn and an additional picture of Ash.

    “Oh, how sweet!” Zoey says, blushing at the gift given to her.

    “I see your looking at Aipom and myself, but take a look at the other side of the locket.” Heeding the words of Ash, Zoey takes another look at the locket to see that it is double clasped. Opening this second clasp, she sees a picture of herself along with two of her pokemon and Aipom in the photo booth. The other side of the locket, which is the final possible spot for any photos, is vacant with no photo in place.

    “Why is one of these empty, Ash?”

    “It’s for our picture together, Zoey. In the time we’ve been together, I noticed that we’ve never taken one with just the two of us in it.”

    “You’re right,” she answers as she puts the locket around her neck, wearing it for the night along with another necklace she wears more often than not.

    “Do they take pictures here at Icicle?”

    “Yeah, but they only do that in via a request. Once we finish our dinner, we can ask Erin about a photo and…we can call it a night if you want.”

    “Sounds great to me,” Ash questions. Even though he posed the inquiry, he doesn’t get an answer as their server Erin comes back to their table with their main courses. Ash gets his plate first, which consists of jumbo lump crab cakes, creamed spinach and lemon-pepper rice. Scant seconds after Ash gets his serving, Zoey gets her plate of surf and turf in a large sirloin steak and several tailfin shrimp.

    Once both plates are placed on the table, Erin asks the pair, “Is there anything else that I can get for you before I leave?” Zoey and Ash can’t think of anything, so Erin leaves them to their dishes asking that they enjoy their meals.

    “Wow, all of this looks so good!” Zoey exclaims. “I can’t remember the last time I’ve had great surf and turf. The other places in the region are nice and everything, but nothing really can compare to home.”

    “Tell me about it!” Ash concurs. “To give you an idea of that theory being put to test, I’m on the road…pretty much all year long, but I always, always look forward to mom’s cooking. I know everyone says this about their mom, but no one can cook like my mom. I’d put her works up against anyone else.”

    “I don’t know, Ash, but it sounds like you want me to come home and partake in this food of your mother’s.”

    “That’s right. Can you blame me? Mom…makes so much that our neighbors often get more of her home cooking than I do. She really wants to see you and I want you to see my mom. She’ll love you, I know it deep down she will love you, Zoey.”

    “I hope so. I mean, moms will tease their kids. Not meaning it or anything, but it happens, right?”

    Ash raises his eyebrows for the slightest of seconds at that remark from his girlfriend. “I guess,” he says.

    Shaking her head, she feels herself going off into a tangent she does not want to approach. “In any event, I know that this week is set aside so that you can see my folks and relatives and they can see you after tomorrow’s contest. They…they’ll like you too. They’re not that hard to get along with, it’s just that my family is real big and real critical. We’re all a bunch of big overachievers and it’s a family of professors, doctors, lawyers, business heads and the like. Yet my mother and father tell me that there is no pressure on me to graduate from college with honors after coordinating and continue on in the Aiken family tradition.”

    “Wow! Your family is…accomplished to say very little. Hold on; does your family—how do I say this? How badly did you want to coordinate growing up?”

    “I have loved the sport since I was four years old,” she explains. “Mom thought that it was nothing more than a hobby and treated it as such. She equated it to easy money and would say that anyone could call out commands for a pokemon. Until she saw that there was more to it than that, I faced a lot of opposition with me traveling alone on a journey.”

    “That’s rough, Zoey. I’m lucky to have my mother be so supportive of me wherever my journey takes me.”

    “Well, this story does have a happy ending, Ash. Mom came with my dad to an unsanctioned contest in Sandgem Town. Team Galactic operatives were there at the time and they wanted to take Glameow from me. I fought this one operative who was a little bit older than I am. Her name was…a planet? Mars! That was her name. Either way, I’d beat her into a pulp before I ever let her have Glameow, Misdreavus or any of my pokemon, and that’s exactly what I did. Mars turned very red that day from more than just embarrassment from getting her butt kicked by me. Mom saw something that day which I should have showed her from the very beginning. My mother saw the bond that I share with all of my pokemon and knew that coordinating is something I take very seriously. At the same time though, there was a selfish reason for me wanting to go on a journey so badly. I felt like I had to branch out and make a name for myself in my family. With so many people who have had a great deal of success doing what they love, I wanted to continue in the tradition.”

    “Yeah, but I don’t see how that’s selfish in any way. You want to be your own person but it’s hard to do that in a family that has done so many great things. That’s more you being you and coming into your own than defying…the family way. You’re growing up, Zoey, and you are being your own individual. Your mom seeing the care that you have for your pokemon is a large part of that, so don’t beat yourself up about expectations. You have plenty of time to decide what you really want to do the rest of your career.”

    Looking from afar, Dawn is really taken by the conversation Zoey and Ash are having. For the near year that Zoey and Dawn have shared a great friendship, the older of the two has always proven to be a confident, self-assured individual. But with the star trainer in front of her at the table, she opens up in a way she has not seen before. Whatever the Pallet Town resident is doing and however he seems to make Zoey so comfortable that she will speak of her own family like she is at the moment is grabbing at her attention and causing her to block everything else.

    “Hey, Dawn?” Brock says, putting his hand into the girl’s face in the hopes that that will send her back. “Earth to Dawn Berlitz!” Not even this technique works, and Brock concedes to just yelling out a very blunt, “Yo!” to the young coordinator.

    That gets her attention and then some as she asks Brock why he called out to her the way he did. “You haven’t eaten a bite of your lobster and scallops. You’ve just been watching Zoey over there with Ash. I don’t think we really need to pry in what they’re saying anymore. We know that when they travel together, they’ll take us along so that’s good.”

    “I just…I wish that I could hear Ash say these things when I had that real big hang up in my coordinating earlier this year before the Wallace Cup,” Dawn speaks. “He seems to bring out the best of whoever he’s with. I’m seeing a side of Zoey that…I never even knew existed, Brock. It’s making me wonder, that’s all. Can’t I wonder?”

    “That’s your right as a person, Dawn,” Brock concurs, “but the fact is that you can’t spend all of your time wondering when your moment will come or wondering when a guy will enter your life. You can wonder but not for long.”

    “Yeah, but it’s not bad for me to want something like that and to want to…share the intimate details with someone. I want that, but I don’t need to have it right now, you know what I mean? I see the two of them there and they are…like an example to live by. If there were a reason why I want to see Zoey and Ash, it would be to see how the two of them grow. That’s not…I’m not going beyond my role as a friend by doing that, am I?”

    “No way, you’re fine. I’m just worried as a friend and so are you. I wanted to see how my man would do in the dating scene for the very first time, and I think he’s hitting it out of the park.”

    “Brock, look at this! Now they’re feeding each other! How sweet!”

    Taking a look, Brock sees the scene, almost reminiscent of legendary moments in film and television where couples would do the same. “How is Ash feeding Zoey when he has those huge crab cakes? In all the years I’ve known him, he’s never been one to part ways with delicacies like that.”

    “In all the years you’ve known him,” Dawn counters, “he hasn’t had a girlfriend. Think about it.”

    “Good point.” And speaking of points, at this point, Brock can hear the light but clear sound of squeaking that can only come from a mouse.

    “Pikachu! Shhh! Please be quiet, you’re gonna get us in trouble. You know they don’t allow pokemon in here that aren’t in their pokeballs!” she warns the yellow electric mouse while peeking underneath the bright, white tablecloth. Looking down at the ground, she sees the four empty ketchup bottles and the eyes of the battle-tested pokemon start to cloud up with water and can’t help but chuckle for a bit. “Don’t worry. I promise that Brock and I will get you some more ketchup before the night is over.” This guarantee from the coordinator perks up Pikachu just like the one before and the one before that. “I know you’d like that. It’s coming as soon as Marvelous Mattie gets out of his little hissy fit…”

    “Uh, Dawn?”

    Turning up from conversing with Pikachu, Dawn says, “Just a second, Brock. I was just telling Pikachu about our foolish little imp of a waiter.”

    “Yeah, about that…”

    “You have something to say about him, too? I tell you, once I leave here, I’m not gonna give him a good tip, that’s for sure. This meal might come to one hundred fifty dollars, but he’ll only get about five. He doesn’t deserve a single cent more with his snooty attitude this evening.”

    “Dawn, stop!” Seeing that it’s worthless to stop her with everything that she’s said at the moment, Brock palms his face with his left hand and points his younger friend in the direction just behind her.

    “What? What is it?” she asks before finally deciding to turn around. Dawn had no choice in the matter, to be blunt, but she wishes that she did not have to look at a very insincere Matthew with a sinister smile plastered from one end of his face to the other. Upon seeing the face of the freckle-faced teen, it became apparent to her that the jig may very well be up. It causes Dawn to mouth something which might have been obscene in nature, but no one will ever truly know except her. “Uh, hello Matt. I—you know I was just kidding you buddy.”

    “Don’t call me buddy, little girl, and might I say that you have a very odd way of kidding around. Now I could have the two of you thrown out of here on your rumps very easily for bringing a pokemon in here for a non-disability purpose, but I think that dish duty would be best for taking you off your high horse.”

    “After you, Matt,” Brock unexpectedly chimes in. “You’ve been nothing but discourteous to Dawn and I the entire time we’ve been here, and I think it speaks badly upon this establishment that they would even consider employing you. The two of us are paying customers. We’ve overused our ketchup privileges, for sure, but we don’t mind paying for that. Just…don’t mind Dawn, we’ve had a pretty hard week and we wanted to…”

    “Just save it before I have to alert management about this unfortunate turn of events. Your Pikachu,” he explains while opening the tablecloth to see the mouse on the floor next to a bottle attempting to get a small amount from the bottom, “needs to go on ketchup detox and is causing more than just a shortage in condiments. There were people in the tables next to you complaining about a smell coming from over here and wouldn’t you know that I knew just where to go to find my culprit?”

    Looking down underneath the tablecloth one more time, she asks Pikachu to move over. He does so and Dawn gets treated to a mound full of scat. “Oh, Pikachu!” which causes Ash several tables over to do a double take.

    “Pikachu?” Ash asks out of pure habit. Zoey decides to get his pokemon off of his mind for once by giving him a kiss directly on the lips.

    Brock notices absolutely none of this and takes a look under the table and whistles at the pile made by the pokemon in less than half an hour of eating ketchup. “My goodness!”

    While both Brock and Dawn spend time commenting on the mess that the pocket monster has just made on the floor, Matt grits his teeth and curses his fortune given the fact that, “I have floor duty this evening,” but the two friends could barely hear him given the fact that he sneered while making this statement. “Do you two have any idea how difficult it is to clean this carpet? A couple of snot-nosed kids had their macaroni and cheese about a month ago and you can still see traces of yellow on the carpet.” Bringing his head down, he laments, “Cleaning it gave me nightmares; this might require some sessions in therapy…and you two are responsible!”

    “Look, if it makes you feel better, I’ll pay for the carpet cleaner! Don’t stress about it, we were just concerned about a friend and came here to see how he was doing on his date tonight. We didn’t know it would turn out like this!”

    “Why can’t this little rat just stay in his pokeball, for Pete’s sake?” Matt’s frustration is no excuse in Pikachu’s mind for being called a rat, which he considers an insult of the most degrading sort. He charges up electricity through his cheeks; a show of anger towards this Matthew character.

    “I wouldn’t call Pikachu a rat, man,” Brock says in an almost pleading fashion. “That’s just a warning, Matt.”

    “Well, your pal here has caused hundreds of dollars in damage.” Reaching down he aims to pull Pikachu out from underneath the table, saying “Let’s get your friend out of here and then we can break down how you plan to pay for all of this.”

    Dawn, seeing the look on the face of Ash’s primary pokemon at that moment “Wait, don’t do that, Matt. I’ll pick him up!”

    “You’ve done enough already!” he counters. “It’s time for me to take a stand for once and it starts with getting rid of this rodent…” Matt can not continue his rant as he is suffering from electric shock due to Pikachu’s thunder attack, which he is using as a means of defense. He screams and the calls from Brock and Dawn to let go of Pikachu fall on death’s ear as the volts of electricity pulse through Matt’s body until the mouse thinks that the very haughty waiter has had enough.

    “Oh!” he exclaims as he collapses down to the carpet of Icicle in a blackened and charred heap. When Brock gets up from his seat and offers to help him up, he gets the comment from Matt to, “Just go,” in his strained voice. “Just get your butts out of here before I call my manager, my lawyer or the police. I don’t care that you’re not paying for your meal. Just get out of here and take that disturbed little mouse out of my sight right now!”

    Hearing the very impactful and near-disturbing tone of Matthew’s voice, Brock and Dawn take a hint and gather up Pikachu, placing him in a bag meant for pets. The twosome catches a lot of attention for the scene, including the watchful eyes of Ash and Zoey, who try to figure out who is making their exit out of Icicle so quickly not caring whether or not they are drawing attention to themselves. Seeing the girl leaving the restaurant and holding the handbag, Ash notices that there is a head with ears sticking out inside the carry on. Knowing that carrying pets in this fashion is a new-old trend of sorts, he thinks nothing of it as he heads back into his seat along with Zoey to finish the rest of their meal.

    ---------

    “I just want you to know, that…this entire night has been great, Ash,” Zoey says while he walks the younger girl to her home, where she will be staying for the weekend. “I doubt that calling it a date is enough. Even without the incident with that couple and the waiter getting shocked, this was quite an experience.”

    “The pleasure’s all mine, Zoey,” Ash responds. “I’ve been waiting for this for some time and it’s all been well worth the wait.”

    As they walk and get closer to the Aiken household, Ash makes the obvious comment, “I’ll be rooting you on at the contest house tomorrow, but you probably knew that already. It’s funny. For the past several months, I’ve been rooting Dawn on and cheering for her in the stands and had you on my mind the entire time. This is when I wondered if you had any feelings for…anyone at that point. Now not only will I be cheering Dawn on, I’ll be cheering you on too. Boy, I think my voice will strain if you go up against her in the finals, what do you think?”

    “Ha! You’re right!” Zoey laughs. “At that point, you’ll have to leave it up to everyone else in the houses to cheer for you. You know, I’m glad to hear that, honestly. I wouldn’t want us being together to have some sort of negative effect your other relationships with your friends. You’ll cheer Dawn just as loudly as you cheer me. I like that.”

    “Thank you, Zoey. Really, you should know that I’ll always be there for my friends. They come first and so do you.”

    Now is the time when Zoey thanks Ash. With each other’s arms over one another, they finally make their way to the house. “We’re here. This is where we say good night.”

    “That’s until we see each other tomorrow,” he says. Afterwards, he leans in for a conservative kiss on the cheek, much like a first kiss, though both will admit that their first contained more pent up emotion than this one right now. This kiss that the two just shared is the epitome of a good night kiss.

    “Good night, Zoey. The deal is that I meet with your family and spend the day with them tomorrow, right?”

    “Right. Now you take care and above all, try not to be nervous. Mom and dad will see right through it. Now if I know my family everyone is probably gathered in front of the TV to watch soccer, so you can go if you want. I know it’s a ways away from the pokemon center.”

    “Okay, then. You have your copy of the eight by ten, right?”

    “Yep, it’s in the bag that you gave me with the locket. Good night, man!” And with that, Zoey makes her way back into the house using her key. As she predicted, no one was there at the door as they were all in the family room cheering on the local soccer team in their match against rivals, the Football Club of Solaceon.

    While Zoey walks in the house to greet her relatives and talk about her date, Ash’s mission is to not get caught outside too late at night. He hurries back to the hotel in near record time while still holding onto his copy of the photo that he and Zoey took at Icicle.

    In just ten minutes of what would have been a thirty minute walk, Ash goes to his room to find both Brock and Dawn channel surfing while the two are in their pajamas.

    “How are you guys?”

    “All right,” they answer. “How was the date?”

    “Incredible. Here, take a look at this,” Ash explains as he pulls out an eight by ten photo of her and Zoey smiling to the camera at Icicle while on their date.

    “Man it sounds like you knocked it out of the park tonight,” Brock comments, giving the young trainer a fist pound and declaring, “That’s my man!”

    “Did you two and Pikachu find something to do while I was out?”

    “Oh, we…made great use of our time,” Dawn answers, doing her best to not let the Delcatty out of the bag, or even the Pikachu for that matter.

    “All right. You should be heading for bed soon, Dawn. You’ve got a big day ahead of you tomorrow at the contest.”

    “You’re right. I shouldn’t be long.”

    “Where’s Pikachu?”

    “He’s in the bathroom,” Brock nonchalantly answers.

    “Okay then,” he says, knowing that Pikachu will often relax in a shallow bath of warm water whenever they are at a center hotel. Going inside the bathroom, he sees his signature pokemon with a big smile on his face as if he were in a dream state.

    Seeing his pokemon smile makes him smile, until he notices the bag next to the tub. ‘Wait a minute. I didn’t know Dawn had a bag like that!’ Getting a closer look at it, Ash can see that it looks familiar…and can feel everything coming together for him as he takes the bag and heads back into the main room. “Brock? Dawn?”

    “Yeah, Ash?” they sleepily ask while resting on the bed.

    “Be honest,” he says while holding up the bag, “did you spy on my date with Zoey at Icicle tonight?”

    The two look at each other and know that they are beat. Ash has brought the evidence and there’s not much defending either of them can do. They admit to their wrongdoings by saying “Yes,” and then apologizing for butting in like there is no tomorrow.

    “Don’t worry about it,” Ash assures the two of them. “I guess I should have thought that there was a chance this would happen. I’m not really mad. I’m just…”

    Ash doesn’t get the chance to finish his thoughts as he hears a noise coming from the bathroom. Checking on his friend, he sees that Pikachu is now inside a bath with water that is blood red.

    Fearing the worst, he checks his pokemon up and down and sees no cuts or injuries of any sort. Turning to Brock and Dawn at the front of the doorway into the bathroom, he asks them, “How did this water get…” and in less time than it took to ask the question, Ash gets his answer as his Pikachu throws up right in his face. “Oh, man! How did this happen, you guys? What did you feed him?”

    “Well,” Brock begins in an attempt to find the right words, “he wanted ketchup, and we gave it to him. I think it was…five bottles in all.”

    Putting Pikachu down, Ash wipes his face off and says, “No wonder. Okay two things, you two. One; you don’t need to spy. If you wanna see how I do in my dates, call Zoey and me. We’ll see if we can’t double date or go as friends. And two; limit Pikachu’s ketchup count to two bottles. Anything beyond that…” Ash explains as he watches Pikachu throwing up in the bathtub, “and he won’t be able to handle his sauce.”

    “Are we okay, Ash?”

    “Dawn, we’re fine, I just want to know that you won’t pull a stunt like this again. Do you swear to Mew?”

    Raising their right hands, both promise not to spy and the conversation ends with Ash hugging his best friends all at once.

    All of this happens while Pikachu continues to bleed ketchup from the mouth and regret going on his latest binge.

    ---------

    Your Thoughts?

  6. #6
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    I'm sorry I haven't given you reviews in a while, but I was like that for everybody ^^'
    I had to take some time off, but I saw this one, and the pairings in this fic made me genuinely interested

    On with the review :

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    "In the flesh," Zoey responds cheerfully. "So how is everyone doing?" the girl asks out of habit as she lets go of both Glameow and Aipom and removes her sunglasses.

    "We're fine, Zoey," Ash tentatively responds. "So...you were the one that was in the photo booth?"

    "Yes, indeed!" As Zoey clarifies
    lol, Aipom started everything when rushing in that booth ^^'

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    "No, Zoey." As Ash reminds the girl, "It's my fault. Is there anything that I can do to...pay you back? It's not often that you get a chance for automatic entry into a Grand Festival, and neither Aipom or I had that intent. I'd just like the chance to at least atone for it. Aipom is my responsibility, after all."

    "Well, Ash, that's really not..." Zoey stops for a second and considers what Ash just asked her. The boy, who she'll admit is quite the looker and very charming, especially when he is roped into a conversation about his pokemon is willing to do whatever he can to pay her back.

    Even though she feels somewhat bad taking advantage of Ash in this manner, Zoey nevertheless asks Ash "You mean 'anything', Ash?"
    Why doesn't Ash actually pay her back for some other photos to be taken ?
    And hehe, Zoey's going to take advantage of the situation xD

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    "All that's well and good, Dawn," Zoey tells her friend, "but how do I go about expressing my feelings to Ash?"

    Dawn gets up from her seat on the bench and holds her friend by the shoulders answering her by saying "Subtlety. After all, you don't want to overwhelm the boy.
    No you don't
    Notice the use of the word 'boy' instead of 'guy' or something similar

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    "I'd like to keep them, if you don't mind. Aipom reminds me of you, and..." Zoey stops and remembers Dawn's advice. She continues, saying "I like you, a lot. Every time I think of Aipom, I think of you, because naturally, Aipom and his attitude are both an extension of you. I get this...giddy feeling when I see Aipom's smile, and I know that he loves being your pokemon because you show him nothing but the best of your love. Whenever you decide to be in a serious relationship with another girl, I'm sure that they'll get that same type of love and affection that you show to Aipom, Pikachu and your other pokemon."

    Ash is somewhat jolted by this lengthy admission from Zoey and is curious as to whether she is inferring something deeper than what she is speaking. "Are you...trying to tell me something that's on your mind, Zoey?"

    Zoey decides to make her move here and now, as Ash has left the door open for her to truly speak her mind. She knows that by going this route, she is no longer following Dawn's sage advice to be subtle in her admission of affection, but if she holds in her feelings any longer, the girl feels as if she'll crack. Even if Ash doesn't return the feelings, she will be content knowing that she hasn't kept this secret from her friend before it becomes too late.

    "Ash," Zoey says, shivering just thinking about that name, "When I say that I like you, I mean it...but not just as friends." Zoey then caresses the soft face of the trainer and continues "I like you Ash...as more than just a friend." Zoey takes a deep breath and admits "I'm sorry. I just had to get that out. You can say or do whatever you want, but I just had to let you know how I felt."
    More or less subtle.
    But calmly done

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    The two kissed, and did so with animated emotion and vigor behind the action, but with no subtlety to speak of. They were showing this affection while each of them remained inside of the confines of the ice cream shop and a audience of about 15 people or so saw the entire scenario take place under a hushed silence as they didn't know what to think. The confession, the kiss on the cheek, the conclusion of Zoey's character made by Ash, the tears shed by Zoey and the confession by Ash Ketchum all came together to form quite the arena and the setting for love.
    They've got a soap opera, and they didn't even have to pay for it

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    Before Ash and Zoey can lock lips again, however, Brock turns the tables on his love struck friend by tugging him by the ear and dragging him to the direction of the mall exit.

    Brock remarks "Unfortunately, if we leave it in your care, this picture will be worth a billion words," and then Brock says "We'll see you later, Zoey," while he is dragging Ash. Everyone with the exception of Brock sweat drops at the scene and Zoey watches as Ash shrugs his shoulders upon his involuntary departure.
    OH MY LORD
    So Misty was just frustrated all these years ?!? xD
    She wanted some of the romance Brock was sharing lol

    Of course, you have another social portrait of people's minds with the part about change. Makes you wonder. Like in all of your stories.

    Chapter two ! :

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    Wondering, wishing and waiting while wandering around the front of the four-star restaurant known as Icicle, he says a silent prayer that nothing goes wrong this evening. One would rightfully accuse him of worrying himself to the bone thinking that something is not as it should be, and that Zoey is running late for some reason. Had he chosen to get a poketch like his friend Dawn and his girlfriend, then he would know that Zoey is not even relatively late. In his effort to make everything right for the night, Ash came about forty-five minutes early just to confirm his reservation.
    Talk about anxious ^^'

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    “It’s simple; I’ve been where you’re going,” she explains. “After much trial and error, I understand what it takes to succeed in many different areas. I’m your mother, but I’m also your guide, Ash. So…don’t be afraid to come to me for advice on this and whatever else. I know you, son. I know that you are headstrong, stubborn and independent to a fault. From everything you’ve told me, Zoey is a lot like that, as well.
    Obviously, Ash has a thing for tomboys xD

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    “Did you notice those people…staring when we walked to our table?”

    “Ash, it is hard to not notice the stares. But that’s what I get for being myself. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m not a girly-girl. I haven’t owned a dress since I was probably…six years old. Luckily, the dress code is formal and I get to wear what I like.”
    Stares and other people's judgment. So difficult to not behave how other want us to. Kudos to Ash and Zoey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    Sticking her head back up from underneath the table, Dawn comes face to face with a young male waiter pouring cold water into a tall glass. “Are you and the table having a nice conversation?” he asks Dawn.

    Not missing a beat, Dawn replies, “Yes, in fact, it told me that you guys haven’t dusted underneath him for quite some time. He feels neglected.”
    rofl. xD

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    Brock never knew hanging out with a girl he didn’t go crazy over could be so much fun.
    Spying, so cool

    And on for three ! :

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    Sitting and thinking about its contents will not get her anywhere. Like Ash said to her, it is best that she open it and find out for herself. Setting the box open, she finds what appears to be a pendant in the center of this jewelry. There is no doubt about what this is in Zoey’s mind. “It’s a locket!”

    “That’s right,” he affirms.
    Nice
    Let's just hope he didn't go bankrupt in a day because of his new girlfriend ^^'

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    Looking down underneath the tablecloth one more time, she asks Pikachu to move over. He does so and Dawn gets treated to a mound full of scat.
    o_o

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    “Okay then,” he says, knowing that Pikachu will often relax in a shallow bath of warm water whenever they are at a center hotel. Going inside the bathroom, he sees his signature pokemon with a big smile on his face as if he were in a dream state.
    omg he's stoned !!!! xDDD
    I loled, seriously ^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave The Rich View Post
    “Dawn, we’re fine, I just want to know that you won’t pull a stunt like this again. Do you swear to Mew?”

    Raising their right hands, both promise not to spy and the conversation ends with Ash hugging his best friends all at once.

    All of this happens while Pikachu continues to bleed ketchup from the mouth and regret going on his latest binge.
    The poor thing


    Is this story over ?
    Anyway, you are a great writer. Had you just been a fervent admirer of a mainstream ship, your popularity would have no doubt equaled any of this section's top writers. Nevertheless, I don't care, since anything that appeals to me, I read, more or less, and this, with its implications of philosophy, sociology and more, really reaches a higher level than you find in most stories.
    The writing itself is flawless. Abundant information, beautiful expressions, twists and turns. This story gets five stars from me in any case.
    The only thing I could point out, is that you tend to make your conversations about people and society sometimes too thorough and deep. Making the characters slightly ooc (after all, Zoey is twelve in this fic :/)

    I'll get working on "All Roads" asap my friend ! Take care
    Because of serebiiforums, my Life has been put on hold...

    ...wait, that sounds wrong...
    ...yeah, it's the other way around.

    My Works : A, B, C, D, E

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Annapolis, Maryland
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    I'm sorry I haven't given you reviews in a while, but I was like that for everybody ^^'

    I had to take some time off, but I saw this one, and the pairings in this fic made me genuinely interested
    No problem, shadow_shipper! In fact, I noticed that you didn't review any stories in a while. My first thought was vacation and I was right. Glad you had a great time in Croatia and glad you found this new diamond in the rough that has caught your interest! ^__^

    Now to some of your comments...

    Why doesn't Ash actually pay her back for some other photos to be taken ?
    And hehe, Zoey's going to take advantage of the situation xD
    Because Zoey doesn't want money in this instance, she wants Ash...and she'll take advantage of the situation for sure!

    OH MY LORD
    So Misty was just frustrated all these years ?!? xD
    She wanted some of the romance Brock was sharing lol
    I've never really been a Misty fan (she plays minimal roles in my works for that reason and the fact that she's been out of the picture for a while, as well), but I loved the fact that she would do her best Carol Burnett impersonation and tug at Brock's ear when his libido was running at high. That's one that always tickles my funny bone.

    I never thought she was frustrated at a lack of love but more frustrated at the hopeless romantic known as Brock. It is a possibility, though. She's not linked to anyone.

    Of course, you have another social portrait of people's minds with the part about change. Makes you wonder. Like in all of your stories.
    Yep, that's my goal to make people think and wonder. This chapter (chapter one) was done over a year ago, believe it or not. I'll admit that I was not the caliber of writer then that I am now, but I like to look back and see how I impressed readers while just giving a lot of thought to the situations in stories while essentially winging it with the ships (Example: MinamoShipping). I just write what I know and what is inside of me in terms of romance and what's going on around me. People seem to like that, though, so I must be doing something right.

    Stares and other people's judgment. So difficult to not behave how other want us to. Kudos to Ash and Zoey.
    It's a shame these days that we live in a world where so many people do not really live as much as they just exist. But freedom to do what we want in this world is, ironically, not free. That's the meaning behind the scene in the restaurant. There are those in this world who don't believe in freedom. I'm not talking about terrorists said to be in a faraway place wanting nothing more than to plot our destruction. No, often times, these people can be our next door neighbors who place our everyday private lives in high regard and expect us to live to a great moral standard when they fail to realize that morals are internal. If you don't believe in them, no one can get you to sign on board no matter what the tactics involved.

    I'm going too far again! Sorry! ^__^

    Spying, so cool
    Isn't it though? *thumbs up*

    Nice
    Let's just hope he didn't go bankrupt in a day because of his new girlfriend ^^'
    Nope. He listened to his mother who told him not to break the bank when thinking about Zoey and a locket is a great idea. It connects the role pictures play in their relationship and it keeps memories. Double your pleasure!

    omg he's stoned !!!! xDDD
    I loled, seriously ^^
    Well, I remember 'Showdown in Dark City' quite well. It's the episode where Pikachu shows off his addiction to ketchup. There he went through withdrawal and it's like his personal drug so 'stoned' is a great way to put it! He has no one to blame but himself for getting sick, though.

    Is this story over ?
    In a word, no.

    Anyway, you are a great writer. Had you just been a fervent admirer of a mainstream ship, your popularity would have no doubt equaled any of this section's top writers.
    Thank you. If that were the case I'm sure that I'd be talked about in the vein of a PikamasterADV, Medea, Encyclopika, Water Spirit, ~Mist~ or others, but I did not write these works for popularity. I look for a...dedicated fanbase because I knew that there would be one for fics like Kelly/May, Zoey/Dawn, Ash/Zoey and others. I fashion myself as being like an Indie (Independent) rocker who plays his own style and gets a great deal of respect from many in the mainstream whether on forums or through private talks.

    People come to the ships that those aforementioned writers write for because of the ship and the reputation of the author. People come to my works for the story (and to a lesser extent, the reputation), which I personally feel is leagues more important in the long run. I respect their works, though. One day this site will see a mainstream ship from me and when they do, I plan to knock it out of the park.

    Nevertheless, I don't care, since anything that appeals to me, I read, more or less, and this, with its implications of philosophy, sociology and more, really reaches a higher level than you find in most stories.
    The writing itself is flawless. Abundant information, beautiful expressions, twists and turns. This story gets five stars from me in any case.
    Thanks for not caring! It has its advantages, no? ^__^

    I always aim to reach for a higher level. I realize that when I finish doing this, my work will be left behind for people to observe and see for themselves. I hope for one day people to put aside the differences in ships and just tune into a story for the story's sake (ars gratia artis). I look for works that ignite thoughts on numerous levels, just like you said. So I reference forms of higher arts and lower media all at the same time and write a story that is all encompassing and eclectic in nature; representative of Rave The Rich as a real person! Thanks for the rating.

    The only thing I could point out, is that you tend to make your conversations about people and society sometimes too thorough and deep. Making the characters slightly ooc (after all, Zoey is twelve in this fic :/)
    Yeah, you are right about that. Sometimes I'm in a situation where I don't scale back on the great implications of the actions of characters. I should, because usually getting that deep doesn't happen.

    And I did get chastised for making Zoey twelve in this somewhere else. I've heard the criticism as I have a feeling she'd only be a year younger than Ash or they would be the same age. That was haste on my part. Forgive me and please believe me when I say that OOC is not intentional in this or any other case when I write.

    I'll get working on "All Roads" asap my friend ! Take care
    Thanks! Chapter 35 of that fic is not too far off (maybe it'll come in the next five days). The past six chapters have been pretty long, so that means even more to review for you and more to reply back for me! I look forward to your feedback!

    Take care, yourself, man!
    Last edited by Rave The Rich; 1st October 2008 at 4:20 AM.

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