Very nice chapter Lunar.I think this is going to be great.So far one of the best I'm reading.
Very nice chapter Lunar.I think this is going to be great.So far one of the best I'm reading.
I'm liking this fic, but I want some more Advanceshippy moments...
Can you add me to those PM lists of yours?
It's times like these I really wish I could get my hands on a DS and D/P! It's so sad I'm not able to appreciate the references to the game you make.
Thank you for the chapter! Can't wait to see where this goes, but hey, take all the time you need!
Oh and I went and read Destiny Bond, thanks for the link!
Bah, I hate being really late to review. Better late than never, I guess.
So...we have good characterization here. I love the way you protrayed the Sinnoh Elite 4, they seem to be quite likable and quite game and anime based. Cynthia especially.
Now, I'm wondering exactly when May's gonna show up, but I guess we'll have to wait till after Ash's Gym Battle.
Keep it up!
Chapter Five: Rising Rivals
It was an evening with only a few clouds in the sky, and the sun had just set itself under the Earth’s horizon. Underneath the blackened blue overhead lay a stadium erupting in cheers in response to the battle taking place within. On the sandy ground, a field was outlined by the borders, boundaries, and the all-too recognizable Poké Ball shape in the middle, where all of the night’s action centered. On both ends stood Pokémon trainers, each commanding a Pokémon of choice, but on one side, the advantage was clearly his beyond the shadow of a doubt.
[~~:~~ P.M.] Evergrande City (Pokémon League), Hoenn Region
From the vantage point of the Pokémon League torch, now ablaze with simmering glory, the right-most side of the enormous stadium hosted a young teen of sixteen who stood tall, invigorated, wearing his red cap and jeans complete. On his side stood his faithful and loyal partner and friend, Pikachu, while out on the field lumbered his blubbery, yet swift Pokémon, Snorlax. Ash Ketchum ordered the final attack.
“Snorlax, jump and use Hyper Beam and finish this up! Full power!” he shouted out in the distance amidst the ear-splitting crowd.
Immediately, as if it were a doomsday sentence, an enormous mass of body weight appeared in the sky to unleash his savage, charged beam of pure energy upon his target.
A young boy of just nine years old on the opposite side wore black rimmed glasses, a green polo shirt, and dark green shorts. As each fraction of a second speed by, his entire body cringed ever more rigidly as he looked up at his opponent in the sky. His hands were both balled into sweaty fists as he turned his gaze out onto the rock and sand stadium. A Swellow was lying in the dust trying to shake off the pain from the last assault, but the boy knew it was over no matter what he ordered next. Max Maple’s Pokémon was about to be pulverized.
“No! Swellow, use Agility to dodge it!” he yelled out in a desperate attempt to evade the colossal assault.
The Swallow Pokémon looked up to see where his opponent had gone, but no sooner had it looked up the Snorlax unleashed his attack.
“Swe? Swellow!” it yelled out in surprise.
The brunt of the energy burst nailed its target and sent it and the field around it in a furious cloud of rock, sand, and dust. Max shielded his eyes against the savage gale of debris and waited for the aftermath for it to reveal itself. Max tore his eyes away from his arms and saw what he dreaded, but knew he would see. The battle-worn bird fell from the air to the ground knocked out.
Another, familiar voice called out in the distance, “Swellow is unable to continue battling; Snorlax is the winner!”
The surrounding crowd let loose an ear-splitting cheer, but the boy was oblivious to both entities. He could care about the referee’s verdict, or the crowd’s over-enthusiastic affirmation. All he knew was that before the ref even uttered his decision he had known what would have been declared, and it was his entire fault that it did. Max felt that every attack he ordered only summed up to a crushing defeat.
The young boy looked up from the field and stole a glance at the scoreboard up in the middle of the stands. He looked to the right half of the scoreboard to look at the Pokémon that were in his opponent’s slots. Only four slots were filled and all were in full light and color. The boy’s opponent hadn’t lost a single Pokémon, nor had he sent out his full roster. The boy looked above for the human slot and saw the same vibrant, confident, and red-caped face he did across him on the field. Looking to the left, he saw his own determined face beginning to fade into gray on the screen, and underneath it, all six slots filled with his Pokémon, and all of them were also faded gray. All six of Max’s Pokémon were wiped out.
On screen, the animation switched from the bi-sectional win and loss table straight to a dominant portrait of Ash in its center blaring ‘Ash Ketchum! Winner! Congratulations!’ It was final. Official. Finito. Game over. Max lost the tournament.
“The victory goes to Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town!” Continuing his duty, the referee raised his right flag high into the air and vainly announced to the all-too-knowing stadium. As soon as he raised his red flag in his right hand, he continued on, “Ash Ketchum is the winner of the Hoenn Pokémon League!”
Max’s mind had gone from gruesome slow motion into reverse. All six of my Pokémon. It’s over. I lost… It’s over... I lost!
Max summoned what little strength he had left to tear his eyes off of the recorded truth on the scoreboard and back to his fallen warrior, center field. Water began to build up in his eyes and filled his eyelids to the brim as he ran out into the dusty field even though it hadn’t settled yet. He collapsed on his knees before his fallen being of the sky and picked up the exhausted bird. His words became distorted with his sadness and self pity.
“I’m sorry Swellow, you did your very best and I didn’t. I’m so sorry...”
“Swel, swellow,” the bird cawed out.
The boy solemnly nodded at his Pokémon’s response and said back, “Here, have a long rest.”
Max drew a compressed Poké Ball from his belt, enlarged it, and loosed a stream of red light and withdrew his tired Pokémon.
Immediately large tears overflowed from his face and cheeks onto the sandy battleground and moistened the hard surface. He usually wouldn’t let them fall in the presence of his friends, but now that no one was there, there was nothing to stop him.
I’m so sorry everyone! Max inwardly scolded himself. I couldn’t do it! I’m just not strong enough, and you were! All of you!
After several moments of melancholy silence, Max noticed a pair of sneakers planted within arm’s reach from his point. They were red and black sneakers, and definitely belonged to Ash. He looked up and saw the familiar smiling face and a yellow electric rodent perched on his shoulder.
“Max, that was a great battle!” Ash said as he offered a handshake. On the ground, Max knelt with his knees and feet in the soil, and turned his head sharply away as more tears continued to empty themselves out of Max’s eyes.
“Ash, what are you talking about? That was a terrible battle!” the young trainer spat. “After all I promised you that I would beat you one day, and now that day is today, and I barely laid a scratch on you at all! You didn’t even have to send out Pikachu!”
“Hey, Max. Don’t be so hard on yourself,” Ash recoiled slightly and Pikachu seemed taken by the back-handed compliment, but Ash’s hand was still outstretched for Max to accept. “Winning is not what a trainer needs to think about first on the battlefield.”
Pikachu on Ash’s shoulder tried to console Max the same, “Pika, pikachu!”
“I know that, but I thought I’d win because I knew all of your battle strategies!” Max still kept his head down to prevent Ash from seeing his reddened eyes. “I mean, I travelled with you for two years year through two regions! I thought I might actually be a challenge for you!”
Ash then dropped his knees to the ground and knelt in front of Max which prompted him to look up.
“You know, as soon as I heard you say that back after the Terracotta Contest, I’ve been changing my strategies up a bit,” Ash said with a hint of playfulness, putting his extended arm onto Max’s shoulder.
“Wha—what?” Max’s face turned from defeat to instant shock. “You mean you’ve been planning this the whole time?”
“In a way, yeah. Ever since you’ve said that to me I’ve been thinking a lot,” Ash’s smile grew ever larger as he replied. “I knew that you’d figure out a way to counter every strategy I had by the time you challenged me, so I went ahead and added the strategies I learned in Sinnoh to my playbook.”
Max wiped the tears from his eyes now that he knew why Ash was barely affected by his own counter-strategies. But it still didn’t add up.
“Wait, then why did I lose? I’ve fought a bunch of trainers and they’ve all used different styles and I could counter those perfectly fine! Why are you so different?”
Ash withdrew his hand that was on Max’s shoulder and stood up profoundly and said, “Come. I’ll show you!”
“Wait, really? Right now?” Now the sad face that was on Max was instantly re-written with sheer excitement and he leapt up off of the ground.
“Sure! But first, great battle right?” Ash replied. He re-extended his arm and held out his hand.
“Deal!” Max smiled with determination and firmly gripped Ash’s hand. The whole stadium noise seemed to melt away, leaving the two of them alone. “So what do I have to do first?”
“That’s easy!” Ash replied. “Wake up”
That was a surprise.
“Huh? Wait, wake up? I am awake!” Max stated.
“Max, wake up,” Ash said with a louder voice.
Is Ash playing games with me or what? He thought.
Max raised his voice as well, “I am awake!”
“Max, wake up!” Ash shouted. His figure seemed to lose focus and become foggy.
“I am awake!” Max shouted back.
“Max get out of bed or I’m going personally get you out! And could you please let go of my hand?” a different, more masculine voice sounded.
“Wait, wait, bed? Hand?” Max dumbly murmured. In an even more lethargic voice, he asked aloud, “Dad?”
Max realized that the entire stadium had gone, Ash had been replaced by his dad, and that the Normal Type Gym Leader was kneeling on the floor in front of his son’s bed, fully dressed for the day to begin. His face seemed undecided whether to laugh from comedy or awkwardness.
“Geez, Max! You’ve overslept much longer than usual! It’s nearly nine thirty! Come on, get up!” Norman ranted. “And could you let go of my hand for the second time, please?”
“Oh, sorry, Dad…” Max finally let go of his dad’s hand and they both rubbed theirs of their discomfort. “I guess it was just a dream.”
[09:23 A.M.] Petalburg City (Gym Living Quarters), Hoenn Region
Max looked out with his real eyes and saw his room just as it was before he fell asleep the night before. He saw his twin bed with different Pokémon embossed on his sheets, a small desk off to his right with a lamplight and drawing materials, a bookshelf on his left crammed full with Pokémon novels, manga, encyclopedias, and now his dad above him beckoning him to get out of bed.
“Well, come on, Mom’s already made us breakfast and everything. We don’t want to be late for the first challenger!”
“Yes! I knew today was the day that I could referee your match!” Max practically exploded out of his sheets and leapt up out of his bed. “That’s why I had that dream! Thanks dad!”
“Of course kiddo!” Norman stood up and faced his only son with a Gym Leader’s grin. “You’ve been practically counting down the hours since I told you!”
Max eyed his father and could barely contain his excitement as he jittered, “Yeah, I’m so glad the wait is over! Pokémon Master, here I come!”
“You’ll get there someday,” Norman just shook his head as he started toward Max’s bedroom door. “But first, I need some of your mom’s cooking, otherwise I’ll be at a severe strategic disadvantage when that challenger gets here. Come down as soon as you get dressed.”
“Ya don’t have to tell me twice!” Again, nearly flying across the room with energy, he threw off his dark green night clothes against the wall to the wash basket.
Norman continued towards the door, but he eyed something nailed to the door. It was a calendar with X’s marking off the days until a particular day, the 30th of the same month the page was turned to. Max’s birthdate is on the 30th, but it doesn’t say birthday there or anything. Norman thought.
“Max, your birthday is on the 30th of this month right?” Norman asked.
Max surprisingly had already put on a clean set of boxers, socks and shorts when he noticed his dad’s question,
“Yeah, of course! Why ya ask?” Max called out as he raced over to his dresser and fumbled around for a spare green polo.
“Well,” Norman began amidst the raucous of shifting clothes, “You didn’t write ‘birthday’ or ten years old or anything. It just says ‘Pokémon Journey’ in big letters.”
“Oh. Well, I don’t really care about being ten or not,” Max slowed down with his shirt half put on. “As far as I’m concerned, I was already ten the moment I started traveling with Ash!”
“So, I guess you don’t really care about the 30th being your birthday so much this year, huh?” Norman turned around and saw Max squirming inside his own shirt and grinned. He walked over to help out his strangled son.
“Dad! I’m fine!” Max further squirmed in his clothes. “You don’t need to put my clothes on for me ya know! HEY!”
Norman had already taken Max’s backwards shirt and flipped it before he could even protest.
“Dad! I’m not five anymore, geez!” Max protested.
“No matter how much you try to grow up Max, you’re still my son right?” Norman laughed; it wasn’t the first time this happened.
“I guess so…” Max just hung his head in defeat and looked off to where his calendar was saying.
Norman patted his son on the shoulder and said, “Well, come on son! You’re going to want to mark down yesterday on that calendar, right?”
“Oh yeah!” Again, flying across the room, he snatched a marker off of his desk and sloppily X’ed off the second day on his calendar.
“Only twenty-eight more days to go!” Max looked up to his dad a last time, “Hey, Dad?”
Norman looked back at his son expecting some more father-son talking experience, “Yeah, what Max?”
It didn’t come.
“RACE YOU TO THE TABLE!” At that Max darted off downstairs in the direction of delectable scent.
Norman stood blinking, then laughing, again fooled by his kid’s tricks.
“Max! I’ll get you for that!” And he too darted behind the exuberant boy in the green polo, slamming the door behind him, and making the calendar on the other side knock back, a reminder of the twenty-eight days left to spend together.
I hope this chapter portrayed Max and his dad just like the Anime did. That was a real challenge for me. Also, I hope everyone got the whole dream thing going on, so, yeah. That's what this is all about! When I first wrote this chapter, I originally titled it ‘Dream On’ by Aerosmith, as it seemed fitting at the time. Now that I’m sticking to Obscurely Pokémon thematic chapter naming, the Heart Gold and Soul Silver TCG series Rising Rivals also fit the bill quite nicely.
As always, any rating or reviewing is always absolutely appreciated! Thanks to ALL!
7 years after – Max Maple is born
| one revision/may to appear in later chapter/dream challenge/characterize love of family |
-further no update period
RE: edit. 09/02/11
original title, “Dream On”
RE: edit. 11/01/12
Spoiler:- 20th December 2008:
Last edited by lunarshadow; 21st October 2013 at 7:24 AM.
First to read XD
Yay, Max is here You just made my day. Seriously.
I think you mean they belonged to Ash.They were red and black sneakers, and definitely belonged to Ash’s
That's the only thing I noticed right now. Very descriptive and well-written. Another great chapter.
“Max, your birthday is on the 30th of next month right?”
Don't you mean the same month? Norman did say that there were 28 more days to go!
Oh, and I'm wondering how old May is at this point. I hope she's not much younger than Ash in any case.
I didn't expect a shift in perspective, and this did seem like a filler, apart from the fact that you hinted at Ash changing his strategy and style. I'm definitely expecting Max to lose though, just like you described it. It would be bad on Ash's part to lose after so much experience, and even worse to hold back.
Waiting for May's introduction next chapter.
Waiting for May.
Wow i love this story
i hope May appears soon!
Chapter Six: Team Rocket
As fate would turn out, no matter where you go, you will always find life. This can be either good or bad depending on the circumstances. Life brings innovation and luxury, education and science, movement and vibrancy. Sometimes life brings love and peace while at other times it brings tribulation and strife. Even at more other times, life just seems to throw random things out in the open just there for the hell of it. However, this particular trio of life defies all of the above adjectives. Today we find life being blasted into the Sinnoh sky for being notoriously awful at what they do; being Team Rocket.
For what it was worth, it was a sight to see. The trio of two humans, Jessie and James, and one Pokémon, Meowth, were tumbling in the afternoon sky down to the earth at startling speeds. The surrounding landscape swept horizontally beneath them as if they were flying over a map, the sea enlarged itself as if under a zooming microscope, and underneath them the city began to show off its skyscrapers and innovative solar panel walkways in rapid succession. But with all due respect to the glorious Team Rocket, things always ended this way for them; blasting off into the sky farther than plain eyesight could ever see. Today was no different.
[17:20 P.M.] Sunyshore City (City Outskirts | Altitude: One Thousand Meters), Sinnoh Region
“AAAAAHHHHH!” the trio of thieves yelled at the top of their lungs.
At roughly two hundred meters of free fall left to go, Meowth yelled out in his trademark scratchy voice yelled, “Heads up you guys, prepare for a crash landin’!”
“Yeah, just like EVERY landing we’ve ever had!” Jessie yelled back, already bored with this routine.
James on the other hand couldn’t help but recall, “I don’t know about that! You know, there was that one time long ago when we just ran away like a bunch of—”
—SMASH! An impact into the trees of a courtyard cut his memory short.
Of all hazardous places to drop into, this one was relatively nice. Roughly thirty meters parallel to the shore existed a simple concrete walkway that ran from the Pokémon Center all the way to the Sunyshore Lighthouse about three hundred meters away. Along the side of the sidewalk nearest the shoreline existed peachy perfect sand and the waves nuzzling inside it, while on the other side existed a grassy walkway littered with thick trees, and Team Rocket swinging on one of those branches. Jessie on the other hand was not in the mood for evaluating the odds and counting blessings. It wouldn’t matter if they landed in sand, snow, lava, or trees, it was always the same crashing story’s end.
“WHY? Why is it always us? Why do we have to keep doing what we do best?”
“Ugh… now wat might dat be, Jess?” Meowth asked, no more enthusiastic than she.
“Failing at life...” James replied, saving Jessie the trouble of explaining.
An audible sigh resounded from all of their mouths simultaneously as they each swung on the same branch on the same tree, the same way; Jessie and James hung by their pants, and Meowth in a similar fashion with his fur.
Jessie Katana was the female member of the diabolically evil syndicate of three. She was the most outspoken of the group, possessed a temper that cut like a knife, and ensured that her physical appearance was unrivaled wherever she went. At twenty-one years old, she had deep blue eyes, preferred rose red lip stick, and her hair was long, violet, and coiled like a snake at its end. She wore a risqué variant of the Team Rocket Agent-W uniform that exposed her midriff, long rubber gloves, thigh-high boots, and topped it off with green orb earrings. While Team Rocket had been large part of her family history, her childhood was marked by her mother Miyamoto’s death at five years old, her accursed orphanage soon after, and a brief tenure at Kanto Pokémon Technical School as per her mother’s will before dropping out. It was not until her enlistment into Team Rocket did she meet her partners James and Meowth.
James Koch was the male member of the notoriously bad posse of three. He had the gentlest nature within the trio, was accused of being feminine too many times to tally, but retained a liberal wealth of knowledge and an incredibly diverse skillset. Also twenty-one years old, his had aqua green eyes and kept to his mullet length blue hair. He wore the standardized Team Rocket Agent-W uniform with short sleeved rubber gloves and lightweight boots. Born from money in every sense of the word, he ran away from home to evade his family obligation to marry Jessiebelle. His tenure at Kanto Pokémon Technical School was also brief, having flunked out within a few weeks. While it was a coincidence that he and Jesse were to have graduated in the same class, it also wasn’t until enlistment and agent training in Viridian City did they meaningfully meet. His resumé was highly diverse, covering topics in literature, sports, improv theater, and encyclopedic knowledge.
Meowth was the Scratch Cat Pokémon member of the thrice maliciously militant mess. The strategist, schemer, and dreamer of the threesome, Meowth had developed the uncanny talent of speaking English but also fell prone to feelings of love, maternity, and philosophy. Apart from his ability to communicate with humans and habitually walking upright, his most cherished possession was the shiny charm on his forehead. Continuously plagued by misfortune, Meowth had to endure abandonment, abuse, and absolute neglect for his entire life up until joining Team Rocket.
Together this group of mishap individuals formed the Sphinx Cell of the international crime syndicate Team Rocket. Trained at the Agent level, they have participated, endeavored, and executed heists across the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh nations, evading the authorities every step of the way and furthered the cause of Team Rocket everywhere they went.
They had dreams and aspirations. They had goals and vision. They were the best of the best. They were slated for promotion to Elite Officers. They were supposed to have it all. But as of now, it seems that this particular team had it up to their necks in failure.
“We can’t keep going like this, you guys,” complained James. “This streak of misery is getting to me…”
“Oh I’m sure it is, especially for you, Mr. Rich kid!” Jessie spat. “Not all of us know what it’s like to have everything served to you just right!”
“Hey, hey! That all in the past!” James defended himself. “Besides, I gave that up a long time ago to join Team Rocket, remember Jess?”
Meowth couldn’t help but share his sympathy. “Yeah, just like I gave up chasing dat no-good-furball-of-a-feline Meowsy to live a life of crime…”
“And I gave up my dreams of become rich and famous and living like a queen just to be on the run from the law for the rest of my days!” Jessie admitted.
A collective sigh issued from all three of them.
“It’s dat brat boy’s fault!” Meowth realized to himself. His face contorted into sheer frustration. “He and dat Pikachu just keep blasting apart our mechs left and right—even if dey are electro-proof!”
“If he wasn’t our target all the time, we would’ve gotten loads of Pokémon by now. We’ve got to beat that kid no matter what it takes!” Jessie smashed her right fist into her left hand and all the same changed her facial expression to anger and frustration.
James pumped his fist up in team spirit. “Yeah, we’re gonna—!”
“Huh? Did you guys hear something?” James asked.
Meowth did. “Uh oh… I tink dat branch is going to give way!”
“No, no, no, nonononono—NO!” Jessie squealed in helplessness as the branch continued to noisily break off.
As if their luck couldn’t get any worse, a certain bluish blob of a Pokémon exploded out of his ball on top of the same branch and happily cheered, “WAHHH—BUFFET!”
Another ten meters the trio plummeted down to the solid ground. Jessie, James, and Meowth again simultaneously groaned while Wobbuffet still teetered on top of the three bodies as happily as a Ledyba.
[17:51 P.M.] Sunyshore City (Pokémon Center), Sinnoh Region
“Gliscor, oomph! Would you please contain yourself?” Ash laughed, struggling to get out of his Pokémon’s wingspan.
Gliscor, the Fang Scorp Pokémon that had flattened herelf onto Ash still giggled herself silly, rejoicing in the never ending game she played.
“Gli! Gli!” she gushed out as she winked and leapt up off of her trainer’s chest.
“Alright then, guys,” Ash said as he stood up and brushed off the dust on his vest as he said, “We’ll be doing a bit of training today, so I want everyone at their best, alright?”
Everyone responded affirmatively in every way they could convey.
“Perfect! Since Cynthia is coming soon, we won’t have as much time to train as usual. I think it’s time for a little fun! Who’s up for a game of beach ball?”
[b][18:11 P.M.] Sunyshore City (Pokémon Center), Sinnoh Region[/i]
As a man of simplicity, Brock always knew that the best way to do things was usually the easiest. His cooking was elegant, not extravagant, and his attire was functional, not fancy. Today’s simple ten minute shower was a testament to his personal mantra. Oddly enough though, Brock wasn’t the first one out of the complimentary Pokémon Center showers.
The Sunyshore Pokémon Center, by no means a worn down facility, had a lobby with a front desk in the center of view and several squashy armchairs for any tired trainer not intending to stick around for very long. To the right of the desk was a residential hallway with the human lounge, rooms and beds, and public facilities. To the left of the desk lay the Pokémon treatment hallway including the checkup room, resting room, emergency room, and critical room.
Brock walked out of the shower facilities fully dressed, carrying his towel and borrowed cleaning lotions. He deposited the spent items and used towel into the waste bin and laundry bin respectively, and proceeded to the lounging area. There he found Flint sitting on the couch, completely dressed, poofing his afro with specialized combs.
“I’ve got a question for you, Brock-o,” Flint asked as Brock was halfway down the hallway. “Why is it so that people like you and I can take showers as short as ten minutes, yet the ladies consistently must take showers anywhere between thirty and sixty minutes?”
“Heh, I really don’t have an answer for you Flint! If I did, I might just be that much closer to understanding girls!” Brock chuckled a little at the age old question and settled himself across Flint on the couch. Brock talked and raised his hand and formed a pincer grasp about a centimeter apart. “That much closer!”
“I hear you man, I hear you. Ever since I’ve become an elite four member, there’s just no time for socializing. You’ve gotta train a lot just to hold the title,” Flint sighed.
“I understand, I was a Gym leader at one point, so I know what it’s like to get cut off from the outside world. Back then the only thing I could think about was my family and my job. But since the day that Ash challenged me, I’ve been able to expand my boundaries and explore what the world has to offer! And I get around to a bit more womanizing, if you know what I mean,” Brock noted.
“I get the impression you get cut short every time you try, right?” Flint raised his eyebrow mockingly.
“Yeah, Croagunk stabs me every time I get close to a girl!” Brock laughed. “It’s ridiculous!”
“How about Ash and Dawn? Do they have any interests besides being trainers?” Flint inquired.
“No way, are you kidding? Ash is a one track minded person. He’s probably still training as hard as he can right now. For as long as I’ve known him he’s never given any kind of thought to relationships besides him and his Pokémon! Dawn I’m not so sure about, though. Don’t get me wrong, the bond between her and her Pokémon is steadily growing, but I wouldn’t doubt it if Dawn sometimes thinks about that sort of thing. Both of them have really strong dreams though.”
“That makes a lot of sense,” Flint nodded and looked off towards the female quarter of the shower facilities to check for Dawn. He sighed to himself. “I just feel trapped.”
“What do you mean, Flint? Surely a person like you has a love life, right? I mean, come on!” Brock asked with disbelief. “I feel like girls would love to get to know someone like you!”
“You’d think that, but it’s actually really the opposite. I’m one of the Elite Four, so I’m trapped to my job, and I have to constantly train and train for upcoming challengers. I don’t have time to ask people out to candle-lit dinners, movies, or any of that kind of stuff,” Flint responded in melancholy. “In fact, the last time I personally saw anyone else was when Cynthia told me to come look for you guys a while ago.”
“And what about Lucian or Aaron?” Brock questioned.
“Well first of all, all of the Elite Four members are rivals by default. Aaron is the new kid so he’s away training championship rematches to knock one of us down to the bottom rung. Lucian is either in some foreign land buying new books, reading in some obscure library in the middle of nowhere, or remotely training. It’s rare that we ever catch up!” Flint explained. “But Cynthia on the other hand, she’s a whole new person, and a lot of fun to be around.”
“I guess you two are pretty close friends right?” Brock pressed on.
“Yeah. I guess we are, but the thing is, I’d like more than anything to get closer to—”
“—Hey guys! Whatcha talking about?” Dawn exploded into the conversation as if out of nowhere.
“Gah! Dawn, geez!” Brock recoiled in shock. “Next time announce when you’re finally out of the shower!”
“Yeah! Yo, we were getting into a deeper than ocean blue conversation here!” Flint added. “Talking about our feelings and such!”
“I’m sorry, but I was hoping for a good second opinion! Does my hair look fine? I really can’t be sure if I’m the only one looking at it,” Dawn gushed out.
“Dawn—?” Brock began.
“I didn’t call Piplup out so I don’t think my hair sheens quite like when he does it, but does it look OK?” Dawn began fiddling with her hair and move nervously side to side.
Why does this always happen… Brock thought in mental exasperation.
“Dawn—?” Flint asked.
“I don’t want to have to go back and do it all over again! Do I have to fix it? Can I even walk outside with this? I can’t look like a mess in front of Cynthia and Lucian! And what if I—”
“DAWN!” Brock and Flint forcefully spoke out.
“Yeah?” Dawn came to a screeching halt and nervously looked over at the two men sitting on the couches.
“It looks fine!” Brock chuckled “You’ve got nothing to worry about.”
“Ah, what a relief,” Dawn heaved a sigh and her hand clutched over her chest. Dawn did a beauty twist on the spot and let her hair fly. “Hey, I didn’t hear your opinion Flint? How does it look?”
Flint got caught by surprise, thankful for a good change of topic, “Oh, yeah, it’s fine.”
“Hey Flint, shouldn’t we go and wait for Lucian and Cynthia to arrive?” Brock inquired.
“Yeah, if I know Lucian and Cynthia, they’ll be here anytime soon. Let’s get outside to Ash before they do!”
Brock and Flint stood up out of their extremely comfortable seats and started walking towards the Pokémon Center exit. Dawn fell into step beside Flint as the automatic doors slid open and closed behind them.
“Hey Flint?” Dawn asked as they were walking.
“What’s up?” Flint asked back.
“What were you two talking about before I got out of the shower?” Dawn cocked her right eyebrow, smirking slightly. “I heard you say it was getting so ‘deep’!”
Crap, now is NOT the time for this! Flint thought.
“Oh, uh, you know, just this and that, and totally nothing big! It was uhh—”
“We were just talking about the fact that you girls always take the longest showers and worry about useless things,” Brock interjected, saving Flint who breathed a quick sigh of relief.
“Useless things?” Dawn asked, completely befuddled. “Like what?”
Both Brock and Flint started cracking up and said in unison, “Your hair of course!”
Dawn felt a third degree burn after that.
[09:39 A.M.] Petalburg City (Gym Living Quarters), Hoenn Region
The air inside of the kitchen was almost toxic—toxic in the best of possible ways. Aromas of superb scrambled eggs laced with spices floated throughout the air, poisoning those who couldn’t have a taste of it. Sausages sizzled on the frying pan, bubbling and writhing in oil, ready to be fallen in love with at first smell. And yes, freshly flopped pancakes wafted in and around the two noses of Max and his father Norman. Caroline, Max’s mother and Norman’s wife, was busy like a factory worker, producing copious amounts of food for both seated at the table.
“Geez! I’ve said this before, time and time again,” she loudly announced while flipping the pancake pan. “CHEW WITH YOUR MOUTH CLOSED!”
Who could blame her? The only sound other than the sounds of scrambled eggs cooking, sausages sizzling, and pancakes pancaking was ‘OMNOMNOMNOM’! ‘OMNOMNOMNOM’!
“Foo forry, honee! I jhuph haph too feeneesh fiss beefoor Maaph!” Norman tried to apologize but the only thing that came out of his mouth was garbled gibberish.
“Yaaa, forry mom!” Max also tried to apologize, but similarly, his apology was just as indistinguishable.
Back in the kitchen, Caroline just shook her head and smiled. It may have been pointless to argue, but it was still humorous. Just as she was about to reprimand the two males for talking with their mouths open, a familiar loud tone rang throughout the kitchen.
“Hey, Norman! Honey! I’m going to pick up the phone, so if you want any more eggs you’ll have to scramble them yourself!” Caroline called out to her husband.
Still ever stuffed, he replied, “Fure! Whaever honee!”
At that, Caroline hastily turned down the heat on the scrambled eggs, pancake, and sausage pan to prevent them from burning, and rushed over to the videophone in the family living room.
This is unexpected. I wonder who it could be! She thought as she rushed to catch the phone. I sure hope it’s not that stupid gym inspection authority or whatever! They’ve been here already four times only to go back with a squeaky clean report! I swear if it’s them, I’ll personally—Oh! Well, that’s odd.
Instead of the caller ID stating the Pokémon League Gym Authority Bureau, Hoenn branch number, it displayed another number, and underneath in smaller print read Cianwood Island Pokémon Center.
What in the world would the Cianwood Pokémon Center call me for? Hey, maybe it’s her! Maybe she’s finished with one of her little contests!
“Hello?” Caroline picked up the green receiver and spoke. “Oh my gosh! It’s so great to see you, dear! I was wondering where you were and…”
Caroline gasped and brought her hand close to her mouth as she saw what was on her screen.
“Oh my goodness! May!”
Caroline’s thirteen year old daughter, with her respective receiver in her right hand up to her ear, was nothing more than a pitiful sight. Her eyes had become swollen and blood shot, and traces of glazed tears showed on her cheeks.
“Hey, mom…” May uttered in a broken voice.
As it turns out, Jesse, James, and Meowth actually have very rich histories respectively. On the subject of money, James had it, Meowth didn’t, and Jesse had it then lost it. On the subject of friends, none of them grew up with anybody deserving the title. Jesse never truly knew love, James ran away from it, and Meowth is broken by it. Were it not for the fifth generation anime, I probably would’ve NEVER seen past the comedy and have a close look into their psyche. Now I’ve been given the opportunity.
Apparently Jesse has a mother named Miyamoto according to the canonical Radio Drama in Japan. I’ve tried to get a hold of those recordings or a transcript but it’s impossible. Jesse is named Musashi in the Japanese Anime and it turns out Miyamoto Musashi is the name of a famous Japanese swordsman from the 17th century who became famous by dueling many warriors and participating in a war between the Toyotomi and Tokugawa clans on the Toyotomi side. Thus, her last name should be Katana, which is a kind of sword in Japanese.
As for James, Koch is the last name of the fourth and fifth wealthiest individuals in the world and heads of Koch Industries, producers of asphalt, chemicals, commodities trading, energy, fibers, fertilizers, finance, minerals, natural gas, plastics, petroleum, pulp and paper, ranching. Thank the lord for Forbes magazine, Google, and Wikipedia. On the other hand, James never cared much for his family’s desires so I could see James developing a name for himself or abandoning it entirely.
It turns out there is a canonical contradiction. In the original season, Jesse and James said that they met up at Pokémon Technical as students before joining Team Rocket. According to the more recent Pokémon Chronicles series, Jesse didn’t meet James until agent training. I reconciled this by saying that they both were at Tech, but never really met. I decided though that true to the humorous spirit of everyone’s favorite villains, their initials are both JK, an acronym for ‘just kidding’!
Meowth is Meowth. Poor Meowth.
Yeah, I realized that Piplup is definitely a he. When I first wrote this chapter, I was only watching subtitled Japanese episodes of the Sinnoh saga and completely ignored the English dubs. At the time I especially hated the voice actors (less now) so I did everything I could to avoid them. The problem is that Japanese voice actors can sound wildly neutral-gendered, like girls playing boys or boys playing girls with high fidelity. I thought Piplup, or Pochama as he was called in the Japanese show was a girl. One quick look on Bulbapedia and a YouTube clip and I was wrong. Whoops!
5 years ago – Jessie Katana is born
5 years ago – James Koch is born
0 years after – Miyamoto is killed, Jesse is orphaned
| massive update period difference/unsure plot at time of writ/difficulty writing/introduce may |
original title, “Realization”
-terrible update time disparity
RE: edit. 09/02/11
RE: edit. 03/16/12
| decided on Team Rocket timeline/introduced last names |
second original title, “Overcoming Obstacles”
RE: edit. 11/02/12
Spoiler:- 24th March 2009:
Last edited by lunarshadow; 21st October 2013 at 7:25 AM. Reason: Draft II
Ooh, goodies chapter. It's been a while, but I'm not one to complain.
Brock and Flint's conversation was gold, especially the part where Dawn comes out asking about her hair. I guess Flint's got a point there...being in the E4 and all - mind if I borrow that argument for future use?
Why's she sad? Is it because she lost a contest? Is it because of WHO she lost the contest TO?
Why does this seem to remind me of some random coordinator with green hair, eyes...:P
Keep up the good work anyways.
[I really need to post another chapter for my fic. Seriously.]
How's it going? I like the interactions between Brock and Flint, especially when they can talk about stuff they like [women]. So now Team Rocket had the last straw. What will they do this time?
I think you meant to say "becoming" rich and famous.“And I gave up my dreams of become rich and famous and living like a queen just to be on the run from the law for the rest of my days!” Jesse admitted.
So May is finally here...sad and lonely...and it must be real bad...WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER, LUNARSHADOW?
Anyway, this chapter looked shorter than the rest but it was funny in the middle, but you shall be comdemned for that cliffhanger. Keep it up.
My Music Playlist
Lost in a sea of sadness
Blind in this place of darkness
If I fall, would you be there to raise me up?
Or will I be the forgotten one?
A really nice fanfic epic job dude
nice chapter...i liked the conversation of Brock and Flint,especially the Dawn part.
What happened to May?????
Keep up the good work!!!!
Chapter Seven: Neo Genesis
“May! Honey!” Caroline asked urgently. The poor mother was struck with a tidal wave’s worth of worry, concern, and panic. “What on earth happened to you?”
“Mom, it’s a long story…” May replied. The budding Pokémon Coordinator on the other side of the telephone let fresh tears escape her eyes and responded very in a very melancholy voice.
“I’m so sorry…”
[20:42 P.M.] Cianwood City (Pokémon Center), Johto Region
May Maple’s call came from Cianwood City, the only city on the entire island, located in the Johto region. She was sitting over one thousand kilometers away from the Hoenn region, Petalburg City, and her home at the Petalburg Gym.
She had brown hair that flowed down to her shoulders with a green bandana hosting the impression of a white Poké Ball atop. She had a fitting, orange with a black collar, and green and orange form-hugging shorts that ended halfway to her knees. Around her waist she wore a khaki colored fanny pack and green, orange, black, and white sneakers on her feet.
“May!” Caroline couldn’t accept the sight of her only daughter wound up in tears and showing clear signs of depression. “Please tell me what happened!”
“Mom, I’m so sorry,” May choked out. “I’m so sorry that I hadn’t called you earlier.”
“It’s been a whole month! What in the world happened to you that you wouldn’t keep in touch with us?”
“Mom, I don’t want to talk about it,” May brought her gloved hand up to her face and rubbed her eyes and forehead in a vain attempt to wipe the swelling away. “Right now I’m really confused and I’ve got nowhere to go. I just don’t know where else to turn…”
“What do you mean, confused and nowhere to go?” Caroline was becoming increasingly concerned as thousands of scenarios played through her mind. “Won’t you please just tell me what happened?”
May tried to hold back her fresh tears as she stuttered out, “Mom, I… I…”
“Mom, I’m not…” May began to sob quietly. “I’m not going to the Grand Festival.”
Caroline was swept with a renewed sense of pity and additional shock.
My daughter isn’t going to the Grand Festival? She repeated in her head. But this is her dream! She… she really isn’t going?
“Honey, I…” Caroline barely spoke, the news heavy on her heart. “What’s the matter? Why aren’t you going?”
“Mom…” she sobbed. May brought her head up and tried to look at her mother straight in the eye, but she couldn’t and let more tears fall down. “I… I don’t have… I don’t h-have…”
“It’s okay dear,” Caroline said. Caroline made the connection soon enough. May had only four of the five required contest ribbons. “I’m not mad at you or anything like that. I just want you to be alright, well, and happy! Why don’t you tell me how this all happened?”
“Mom, I don’t want to talk about it right now, please?” May continued to let the tears fall from her cheeks. “I just wanted to let you know…”
“No. No, May, you’re not getting off the hook that easily. Especially not while you’re crying like this!” Caroline sternly spoke.
“Mom, I don’t want to talk about it!” May turned her head towards her mother and said. “Please, just let it go?”
Caroline grew agitated at her daughter’s stubbornness. “Then why did you call me in the first place—to let me watch you be so sad?”
“I…!” May withdrew slightly at her mom’s aggravation and whimpered. “Well…no?”
“Snap out of it, May! You know why you called me!” Caroline exclaimed. “You wanted someone to talk to. I’m your mother for goodness’ sake! Don’t think for a second that I’d just hang up the phone and walk away from you. Come on… You can tell me anything. Max and even your father will never have to know! How about that?”
“Well,” May looked at her mother, and she looked back at her with a warm smile. Slowly but surely, a shadow of a grin grew on May’s face. She stifled back a hiccup as she found refuge in her mother’s offer.
“Now, what’s been going on?” Caroline asked, knowing that May would pour everything out now. Calmly prodding her daughter, she tenderly asked, “I want to hear everything from the beginning. Take it slow and easy. How did this all start?”
May raised a sore eyebrow and commented, “Mom, I made a collect call…”
“Ugh, honey…” Caroline planted the palm of her hand onto her face and groaned. “I’ll figure it out somehow later, alright? How did this all come about?”
“I think it… all started after I got back from the Wallace Cup like six months ago,” May said, speaking slowly at first then increasing her tempo. “I came back to Goldenrod City, entered the contest there, but that was the hardest I ever fought and I still lost the contest! There were only a few more contests left, I still needed two more ribbons so I had to take a ship across the ocean to Olivine City.”
[14:59 P.M.] Olivine City (South Port), Johto Region — Two Months Ago
It was a beautiful day to ride the seas. The skies above were cloudless and sunny, and the ocean below maintained low wave swells. Now docked, that cruise ship happily stayed in place, sturdy like a rock. On board, a voice came over the intercom, instructing the ship patrons accordingly.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have just arrived at the docks of Olivine City. Please collect all of your personal belongings. You may depart when you’re ready. We will need everyone departed in two hours at five o’clock P.M. I repeat, everyone departed in two hours.”
May was onboard, smarting her wounds after a grueling loss in the Goldenrod Contest. She fought tooth and nail but even her own self-determination couldn’t help her secure the prize. Granted, her individualism wasn’t enough to place first in the Wallace Cup competition, but at least those had been the best four days she had in a long time. The competition was trying yet welcoming, the battles were invested but spectacular, and the appeals were awe-inspiring and empowering. Coming back from the Wallace Cup only to lose at the last second in Goldenrod was like coming home after a New Years party—a very sobering experience, indeed.
At the very beginning of her Johto journey, May traveled alone even though some of her Pokémon Coordinator friends and rivals were in the same region. They didn’t travel together because it would’ve been extremely awkward if two rivals competed in the same contest after practicing together and knowing the other’s strategies out of convenience. That said, the main quartet of coordinators, Harley, Soledad, Drew, and May started in different cities and partook in different contests for the sake of mutual competition.
So when May temporarily left the Johto region and her rivals behind in Ecruteak City, her journey to Lake Valor restored what she didn’t have since the beginning of her Johto campaign. The Wallace Cup restored her old life, her old memories, and her best friends. When she arrived on the Valor Lakefront docks after boating from Snowpoint City, Ash, Brock, and Dawn were waiting for her with the hugest smiles on their faces. She would never forget that feeling. But now, getting back to the swing of things in Goldenrod, hastily making up for lost time in Olivine City, and expecting nobody to help her out was a sobering experience indeed.
May lay on the bed, mulling over the past several months in her head. She had been placed in a room right on a balcony, and today the door was open, letting in the cool breeze and sea-salt laced air. She couldn’t help but stare out of the window, watching the soft curtains ruffle in the wind and the glistening light on ocean waves. She vaguely heard some sort of announcement, but the words just sailed through one ear and out the other.
It’s so peaceful here... May thought dreamily. I just wish everyone else could be here like this. I know they’ve got stuff to do, but… it’d be nice to keep traveling with them. Man, I I miss them a lot.
“Attention passengers,” The same voice over the intercom came up again. “Please continue to disembark from the cruise ship. We need everyone off within one hour and forty minutes. Please gather all of your personal belongings and thank you for traveling with us.”
She heard it that time. May pulled herself upright off the bed and walked about her bedroom looking for anything that was hers. She grabbed her fanny pack, took up what little was left in the room, stored it neatly in her pack, and picked up the zipper about to seal the bag. She looked inside at the Poké Balls inside.
Hey, we’ve got some time! May thought. I’ll let them have some fresh air before we leave! And I can laze around just a bit more!
“Come on out, everybody!” she called out as every one of her Pokémon materialized in front of her. She gazed upon her Beautifly, Venusaur, Glaceon, Munchlax, Wartortle, and Blaziken with great pride and joy.
“Well guys, we’re just about ready to get off this ship and head over to Olivine City. I want you all ready to win our last two ribbons, starting with the one in this city!”
Everyone responded affirmatively in their own Pokémon tongue.
“Great guys!” she acknowledged.
May’s Blaziken off to the side cocked her head off to the side slightly and asked, “Blai? Blaze, blaziken?”
May just looked at her Blaziken and asked in return, “Hey, Blaziken, what’s up?”
“Blaze,” Her Blaziken responded. “Bla—ziken.”
“Oh, I just guess I’m just thinking to myself about the Wallace Cup. That was such a great competition, right guys?”
Most everyone responded enthusiastically. Each of them had participated, and even though Dawn Berlitz won the unique Wallace Cup ribbon, it was still an overwhelmingly positive experience. However, Glaceon off to the side showed a slight but noticeable droop in her ears. May smiled at her for some encouragement.
“Just remember how much fun we had competing with everyone! Dawn had an amazing team going there, and I’m really glad for her that she won the competition. Zoey wasn’t bad either; we really had to pull out a lot of strategies to combat her. It’s just a shame that Ash didn’t advance to the finals. I would’ve really loved to battle him, though. Just like the last day of our Kanto jour—”
“—Attention all passengers,” The loudspeakers blared again, “Only one hour and twenty minutes remain before we load the next passengers aboard. Gather your belongings and exit the ship. Once again, thank you for traveling with us.”
“Okay, in that case, everyone return!” May held out her Poké Balls and returned everyone, save Blaziken who backed away from the rest of the group to avoid getting called back inside.
“Hey, Blaziken? Are you okay? Don’t you want to go back inside?” she asked as she indicated towards the last and empty Poké Ball. Blaziken shook her head.
“Aw, that’s so sweet Blaziken! Why not? It’ll just be the two of us like when we started out back in Littleroot Town!”
“Blai!” she responded very enthusiastically. Together, the both of them left their respective room, closed the door and headed toward the Olivine City dock.
[18:25 P.M.] Sunyshore City (Shoreline Park), Sinnoh Region
As the trio of Brock, Dawn, and Flint approached the exit of the Sunyshore Pokémon Center, the automatic glass doors opened, releasing the cool air outside. The afternoon sun had tired and began its slow decent towards the eastern horizon, creating an orange hue amidst the blue overtones of the sky. A warm breeze floated around the three trainers.
“It’s really nice out,” Brock commented, taking a deep breath and glancing around from left to right.
“Yeah man, it’s always been like this,” Flint said, casually dismissing Brock. “After spending my childhood here I’m so jaded, you know?”
“Still, I’d take this over someplace cold like Snowpoint City any day!” Dawn replied nonplussed as she brought her arms around herself, imagining the frigid air and feigning a shiver.
“Well I guess that’s fair. Cynthia and Lucian are gonna have a hard time trying to find Ash especially if we can’t find him first,” Flint mentioned out loud, more to himself than anyone in particular. “Where is he, anyway?”
As if mocking him, a commanding voice in the distance shouted, “Great job, Gliscor! Staraptor, use Wing Attack! Now Monferno, follow up with Mach Punch!”
All three trainers turned and swiftly jogged towards the source of the voice, each taking turns guessing at what Ash was training.
“He could be working on the spinning dodge! You know, he’s used it in most of his battles so far!” Dawn called out against the passing trees.
“Naw, he’s probably working on the counter-shield,” Brock replied. “After all, he’ll be at a serious disadvantage in the next Gym battle if only a few of his Pokémon can actually do it.”
“My guess is he’s just doing some sparing matches. There’s a massive park just around the bend,” Flint said as they rounded a corner onto an exquisite scene. “I bet that’s where he’s at!”
On the far end of the park’s border lay the Sunyshore Lighthouse, dominating the skyward backdrop. Pristine white concrete, water fountains, lush grass, and many berry trees decorated the park walkways. In the center of the concrete sidewalk facing the lighthouse, Ash was commanding his Pokémon to use their attacks, not at each other, but on a beach ball. The pitiful training tool was surely taking a heavy beating.
“Pikachu, use Iron Tail! Grotle, bounce it back here with Rock Climb!”
Pikachu leapt into the air at high speed as Monferno threw a Mach Punch attack at the ball, hurtling it towards Pikachu. Crumpling into a dense sphere of yellow electric mouse, Pikachu started to spin, charging his Iron Tail all the while as he grunted a menacing, “Chuuu…PIKA!”
The attack landed a perfect hit and the unfortunate ball hurtled towards a neighboring tree, which Grotle, now with his claws extended, raced towards. Grotle jumped towards the tree, bounded neatly off, and violently swung his massive tail at the ball, sending it nowhere else but back at his owner—at frightening speed.
Ash, too busy yelling words at encouragement to Pikachu and Grotle, didn’t notice his impending doom. Brock, Dawn, and Flint arrived in time to see Grotle direct his attack, and froze in both surprise and panic.
“ASH!” Dawn yelled out, almost afraid to do so.
Ash turned his head away from the ball, now completely oblivious to its trajectory. “Hey guys! You found—”
The beach ball landed directly on Ash’s face, knocking him over, and apparently also knocking the wind out of him. As he fell to the ground, garbled words that didn’t resemble language spewed out of Ash’s mouth. Brock, Dawn, Flint, and all of Ash’s Pokémon ran towards Ash, now sprawled with his hand covering his forehead.
“Ash! Are you O.K.? Can you hear me?” Brock asked hesitantly, stifling a laugh. “Can you talk?”
It seemed as though he and all of the others gathered around him were in a battle over themselves on whether to be genuinely concerned or to bawl on the floor laughing.
“Well Grotle,” Ash mumbled after a few moments. “I think Paul was wrong about your strength… you nearly killed me with a beach ball…”
He slowly got up to his feet, chuckling and smiling, and soon all of his Pokémon had tackled him back to the ground affectionately as Dawn, Brock, and Flint smiled, watching. None of them happened to hear a soft disturbance in their midst, nor a duo of Pokémon trainers, one returning an Alakazam back into his Poké Ball.
“Having fun, Ash?” called out the woman of the duo.
All the commotion froze to a standstill as Brock, Dawn, Flint, Ash, and the entire roster of his team registered what was in front of them—Lucian of the Elite Four and Cynthia the Sinnoh Pokémon Champion.
“Cynthia!” Ash took the lead and said, “It’s so great to see you again! How did you get here?”
“Lucian, it’s been so long! How’ve you been?” Dawn warmly greeted.
Flint made an attempt to say, ‘Hi,’ or anything of that nature to his superiors, but somehow Brock had teleported from his spot previously to a spot right in front of Cynthia. Brock genuflected with his right knee on the ground and his right hand in Cynthia’s, while Cynthia looked at him, flattered, but not flustered.
“Oh, Cynthia! The great angels of fate have brought us together today after all of this time! Surely this must mean it is prime to go on a romantic candlelit dinn—AAAUGH!!!”
Croagunk jabbed his trainer and effectively paralyzed him, for the second time in one day. After Croagunk dragged Brock’s sorry carcass away chuckling to himself, Flint finally managed to knuckle pound Lucian and accost Cynthia.
“Dude, you guys kept us waiting! What took you two so long? I didn’t think teleporting would take any longer than a blink of an eye!” Flint said slightly agitated, though nonetheless pleased to see the two of them.
“Cynthia had some family business to take care of before we left. We’re going to have to speed things along a little, I’m afraid,” Lucian responded calmly, to which Flint nodded in discreet recognition. Ash and the others on the other hand didn’t catch the gesture.
“I see you’ve gotten everyone here Flint! I’m impressed!” Cynthia taunted Flint. He knew it was just a cover for his loss in battle earlier that day, but Flint just smirked back.
“Hey Cynthia, thanks for coming and everything, but I don’t get it why you want to see my last gym battle so badly!” Ash questioned.
“Well, I really do want to see your gym battle and get to know my future opponent first hand,” Cynthia smiled as though she was hiding something but trying desperately to describe it. “However, there is something else that I’m here for.”
Ash pumped his fist up just as Pikachu climbed up to his shoulders in response to Cynthia’s praise.
Dawn jumped at that idea and asked eagerly, “What is it Cynthia? Does it involve us at all?”
“You know that we’d like to help with whatever you need to do,” Brock added, who miraculously recovered from his Croagunk’s Poison Jab in record time.
“I know, I know, very much so, but later, please,” Cynthia replied patiently. “We’ve first got to let Volkner know that we’re all here to see a gym battle!”
“AHEM!” A scratchy voice suddenly sounded from behind the whole group. “You twerps ain’t goin’ nowhere! We’re here to steal all youse Pokémon!”
Ash’s gut wrenched at that voice. Twisted between emotions of dread and sheer exasperation, he turned around in synchronism with everyone else. Cynthia, Lucian, and Flint all glanced up at some sort of vacuum in the sky, suspended by a hot air Meowth balloon and looked as puzzled and curious as toddlers. Ash, Brock, and Dawn were anything but puzzled and anything but curious. They knew that things were going to get sticky real soon.
“Team Rocket!” the three teens yelled in unison.
[21:23 P.M.] Cianwood City (Pokémon Center), Johto Region
“May,” Caroline began, “So far I don’t see why you’re so upset! That boat ride sounded so beautiful, relaxing, and even romantic!”
“I know mom…” May sighed, remembering that day’s events. “That’s exactly how I felt. It’s what happened afterward where everything fell through. Back then, I thought things were going so well… I had just gotten off of the boat, and I wanted to find a good place to train, so I looked around and decided to go to the Olivine Lighthouse.”
[15:47 P.M.] Olivine City (Lighthouse), Johto Region — Two Months Ago
May and Blaziken stared at the elevator’s flashing buttons which now indicated that they were close to the top. May noticed a poster plastered to the elevator walls and read, ‘Calling out all Pokémon Contest Coordinators, young and old, expert and beginner! Come to the Olivine City amphitheater for the Pokémon Contest event of a lifetime!’ Blaziken also noticed the poster and attempted to read on as May was reading it aloud.
“The contest is in a month!” May turned around to face Blaziken and said, “We better work hard if we’re going to win this one Blaziken! You with me?”
Blaziken gazed out into her master’s eyes and flared up her fists in response. She looked in top condition, and May couldn’t be prouder. As the elevator doors opened up, the two of them walked together, somehow on autopilot towards the lighthouse’s ledge, overlooking the ocean.
A few moments of silence passed between the two of them as they both absorbed the relaxing breeze. Blaziken breathed deeply in and out gazing directly into the sunlight. Habitually, Blaziken looked at the sun in order to regain heat energy.
But as May likewise attempted to relax and breathe in the ocean air, she couldn’t help but regret this newfound bliss. Save Blaziken, May was truly alone all over again. No one back in Sinnoh could ever take off of their journey there, and she knew this. Nevertheless, that feeling of regret seemed to crawl inside of her like a vine quickly growing around a pole, constricting her.
Blaziken on her right side tore her eyes away from the sun and looked at her trainer. May reached into her pocket and pulled out a battered, but fully functional ribbon case which held every ribbon she had ever won. Blaziken could sense that May was troubled. Truth be told, Blaziken felt the same way.
“Blaze? Blaziken?” she asked softly but strongly.
“Oh, uh… it’s nothing Blaziken,” May seemed caught off guard and faltered slightly saying, “I was just thinking about all the times we shared together. All of them seem to lie right here, in this case.”
Blaziken nodded in agreement with May and beckoned her to go on. She brought the bottom-most section of ribbons to the forefront. The little medals seemed to have lost some luster and the fabric looked tattered.
“Remember these? They were our first ribbons, all the way from Fallarbor to Pacifilog Town.”
May turned her head and looked at Blaziken affectionately. “That’s where I first met you. And the time when I met Ash; when we traveled and got through to the Grand Festival! I don’t know how I would’ve done it if I hadn’t met him at Professor Birch’s lab.”
She looked back to the ribbon case and brought forth the next set of ribbons. All of these looked well cared for, mostly because she learned to polish them more.
“And all of these,” May said, reminiscing, “Are from Kanto, when we traveled with Ash through the Battle Frontier. I can’t remember how many times he had helped us win these… He was so caring, so helpful, but—we had to split up. He told me to follow my dream, and to never give up. But I wonder if that was the right thing to do…”
As she brought up the next set of ribbons, the three that lay on that level didn’t seem to inspire any words of reminisce for May to say. Those were the ribbons she had to fight for on her own. Somehow their perfection of sheen and fabric quality didn’t mean anything to May. The thought struck May hard.
Hesitant at this thought, she asked Blaziken, “Blaziken, did you actually enjoy any of those battles we had to get these ribbons? I can’t remember!”
Blaziken looked toward some point off of May’s shoulder.
Come to think of it, Blaziken thought. May seemed to partake in those contests like they were some sort of job, not having much fun with them… And so did I…
“Blaze, blaze,” Blaziken nodded solemnly. As Blaziken nodded, May felt something break inside of her.
“It’s just… ever since we’ve left Ash everything has just been so much harder!” May spoke in a frustrated voice. “I don’t have him by my side anymore, and he can’t encourage me or help me when I need it the most! No one’s around anymore.”
Suddenly, a small object caught her eye. On the very last layer of the ribbon case lay a single ribbon, cut in half, with the would-be circle cut into a hemisphere, and only one section of fabric attached to the metal. It was half of the ribbon that Ash and May jointly won at the Terracotta Contest before going their separate ways.
Both May and Blaziken looked at the ribbon vigorously. Both were thinking about that very battle that bore the little symbol in May’s hand. Ash sent out his Sceptile, a very powerful, but valiant Pokémon who put out all of his power in an effort to claim the full prize. To Sceptile and his trainer’s disappointment, they never met that goal. Blaziken and May held their own, even overpowering Ash in terms of contest style, but they were only able to scrape a close tie with Ash in the end. Terracotta had only one medal to offer, so Ash ordered Sceptile to sever the ribbon into two halves. Ash held the right half, May held the left half.
Blaziken gazed at the ribbon, recalling the battle that day, and recalling the gallant warrior who never said ‘no’ to a fight. Blaziken suddenly realized how much that emerald vanguard meant to her.
May carefully took her proof of victory very carefully and gently tried to smooth out the fabric less out of reflex, but purposely, caring for it because of its inherent worth. She looked at it deeply, longingly. This ribbon was a symbol to her; a symbol of courage, strength, and overcoming impossible odds. It was also an embodiment of willpower, encouragement, and profound care.
But why am I so attached to this ribbon? May asked herself. I know it’s just a symbol of a battle with Ash, maybe even the most enjoyable battle I have ever had with anyone, but why?
May continued to stare at the feeble prize, noticing the colorful seams of the fabric, the dull sheen reflecting off of the metal, and even the individual blemishes and scratches that dotted its surface. She felt her chest expand and contract as she also remembered the face of the boy who owned the other half.
Maybe I… Maybe I need him…?
“No!” She shouted. May scolded herself as she balled the ribbon into her fist. “What am I doing? I’m starting to lose it!”
She stuffed the ribbon unceremoniously back into the ribbon case, trying to push her thoughts away with it.
“It’s not going to be any use to rely on Ash for help anymore!” May forcefully told herself.
Blaziken was shocked. She looked incredulously at May, unable to react to her new behavior. She had never seen her trainer try to push something out of her mind like this. Not to mention, this was Ash she was trying to push away! Usually she would talk it out, resolve it with someone—but then again, Blaziken realized, no human was here to hear her out anyway, to help her through this troubled time.
“We’ve got work to do Blaziken,” May turned away from the sea and stared resolutely towards the city amphitheater and stated plainly. “Relying on someone else for help is not going to benefit us, especially when that someone is who-knows-where by now in Sinnoh.”
She turned around to Blaziken, who in turn tried to look in agreement, but somehow couldn’t muster it. Something was not right with her master.
“We’re going to go into that contest hall next week, and we’re going to win that ribbon over by storm!” May continued on, her words cascading into a reusing monologue. “Whatever it takes, let’s put the Goldenrod and everything in the past behind us and win! What do you say, Blaziken?”
“Blaze!” Blaziken sounded off in agreement, but she also noticed a sixteen year old green haired boy with a black t-shirt underneath a vermilion jacket, with matching pants, and black shoes approaching May from behind. A cold shiver involuntarily went down Blaziken’s spine.
“Truer words have never been said, May. I’ve been waiting for you to say that for a long, long time.”
May turned around and saw Drew Blackthorne of LaRousse City, her old contest rival giving her a slow clap applause, lasting for only a few seconds before he spoke. May raised her eyebrows completely surprised.
“Drew! What the heck are you doing here—? Oh no… you’re not doing this contest too, are you?”
“No,” Drew said as he brought his hand up to his green hair. He flicked it the same way he had been since he first started Pokémon Coordinating in his trademark nonchalant flurry. “I was thinking about doing it just for fun, but I’ve already got my five ribbons. Check it out. All five, in the flesh. I have no need to partake in this contest, May Maple.”
Drew took a shiny ribbon case from his pocket that had obviously been well attended to. It gleamed golden orange in the setting sunlight. May stood dumbfounded.
It was always like this! May thought. He’s always so far ahead of me!
“What are you saying, Drew Blackthorn?” she finally asked, rather annoyed at her archrival’s progress. “You’ve got your ribbons, so what?”
“For once this is neither about me, nor my ribbons. I’m congratulating you!” Drew clicked his case closed and placed it back in his pocket. He looked at May surprised, expecting that his intent was blatantly obvious. “You’re telling yourself that you’ve finally broken free of Ash’s old style and you decided to wipe out the competition instead of make friends with it. Now you can finally improve, but I must say it took you far too long to realize it.”
“Hey!” May retorted, having her pride stung. “Ash helped me out a lot back in Kanto and Hoenn, you know that! Without him, I’d probably never had made it to both the Grand Festivals I went to, and probably not even half of the contests I went to!”
“Alright, fine. So he did. But where has that gotten you now? Hmm?” Drew smirked to himself. “Face it, May. You’ve grown soft. Look at you! You’ve only got three ribbons, the Grand Festival is in a few months, and there are only two contests left; one here and one on Cianwood Island!”
May was at a total loss for words. She knew that Drew was her rival and that he was probably just getting on her nerves on purpose, but she couldn’t help but think that maybe she never created a style for her own, that maybe she did develop Ash’s style unintentionally. She considered that maybe it was a good explanation for why she was so far behind.
“How about this, May? I’ll help you,” Drew casually flicked his hair again and took the initiative. “You can win that contest in a heartbeat with just a few pointers from me! Look at where my strategies got me! Five ribbons! All five with a month to spare! What do you say?”
Drew held out his hand for May to take.
May considered the offer for a good few moments, narrowing her eyes and weighing the consequences in her head, but considering her predicament, very few alternatives remained. Eventually she consented and shook his hand. May wanted to let go, but Drew suddenly pulled her into a dance position for a duet finale.
“But first, why don’t we strategize over some dinner?” Drew asked in a sugary voice. His grip was firm and his ballroom form was flawless.
“Dinner? With me? I—” May sputtered out, totally flustered and partly upside down. May was stuck holding Drew’s hand, while almost falling into his arms as well. “Really? Just you and me?”
“Just you and me,” Drew smiled, pulled May to her feet and started walking towards the elevator door with her still in his arms.
Blaziken off to the side watched the entire scene unfold so rapidly that she had forgotten that her jaw fell open in a mixture of confusion and revulsion. Unfortunately for the fire fowl, Drew didn’t even seem to notice Blaziken’s presence.
Several steps before the elevator, May suddenly remembered that Blaziken was still standing on the lighthouse top, and tore herself out of Drew’s arms. Rather quickly she withdrew Blaziken’s Poké Ball and shot the retracting beam out of the red and white orb. Blaziken shrugged her shoulders in surrender as she moved into the beam’s light. However, as she was retracted into her portable home and saw May and Drew walk into the elevator together, she couldn’t help but think that accepting Drew’s help was a terrible, terrible idea.
Midterms fell upon me during the re-edit phases and obviously consumed me. For the harrowing study hours, I bought 1 case of Top Ramen (48 pack), 2 cases of KRAFT Macaroni and Cheese (15 pack), 2 cases of Progressive Light Chicken Noodle and Beef Pot Roast Canned Soup (8 pack), 1 case of Mountain Dew 8 oz Cans (36 pack), and finally 1 case of Monster Energy 12 oz Cans (24 pack). So pumped.
Originally I had the sun setting in the western horizon like our world, but then it had to be the eastern horizon because Sunyshore is on the east side of the region so the sun should end there for there to be a sunset.
I also had to calculate the basic dimensions of the different Pokémon regions. When I was in Portugal on the Camino de Santiago, I walked basically 15 km per day for a total of 150 km from Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Espańa. Considering that these kids are just walking leisurely, I assumed they would be working on about 5 km per day. If it could be said that twice the distance of Cerulean City to Lavender Town counts as the length of the Kanto region, and Ash took 10 episodes to make it to Lavender Town, that makes Kanto about 150 km long and wide, +/- 25 km for error. Also, since Sinnoh is based off of the real world Island of Hokkaido, its square area is 72572 km^2. Finally I made an arbitrary distance between Sinnoh and Kanto/Johto being 1000 km. Seems pretty reasonable.
When I originally wrote this chapter, I really had to characterize Drew correctly. I didn’t want him to be an arrogant prick, just arrogant. I didn’t want him to be a player, just playful. I also didn’t want to make him a dream, just dreamy. I also didn’t want him to be sexual, just sexy. It’s these little moderation distinctions that make characters more believable. Making Ash over-powered or May a crybaby will only detract from their characters, not add to them. I realized that I’ve made May extremely emotional, but that is merely an author’s privilege to create a foil to Ash, the emotionless male bimbo.
As always, keep reading, and keep reviewing.
0 years after – Drew Blackthorne is born in LaRousse City
| interim plot finally decided/drew as plot device/springboard for team rocket |
-beginning of wild ideas and senior year, writing slow
RE: edit. 09/04/11
RE: edit. 03/16/12
original title, “May”
RE: edit. 11/14/12
Spoiler:- 24th July 2009:
Last edited by lunarshadow; 21st October 2013 at 7:26 AM. Reason: Draft II
The story is going well, but I won't like it if you turn it into a CS fic *shivers*
Keep it up!
Yes!!Updated the story!!
Its been a long time but i dont mind.
This was a good chapter.May going on a date with Drew!!(dont like this part*shivering along with Sp1derp1g*)
There are some hints of Contestshipping that i can see.
Hahaha! Ash getting knocked over by a beach!!
I like Flint a lot in this story.
Anywayz story' comin good so dont lose hope and keep writing!!
Wow, this is impressive.
I just finished reading your entire story and I really like where you're going with this.
From the beginning, you showed that Ash is not the same moron he was before, as well as making the whole ordeal (untill this chapter) light and humorous. Love the conversation between Brock and Flint, as well as the excuse they make up when Dawn overhears them.
I can see the plot thicken already with the interaction between May and the unmentionable Spoiler:- click:
Really looking forward to how you develop this story as well as (hopefully) making Ash into a Guardian of the Aura.
My turn to review I had an idea about where you was taking this fic after chapter 6, but now I can't remember what it was :S
Seriously guys why do you think lunarshadow are going to do this into a Contestshipping fic?? I can't see any reason and/or hints that he is going to do that. Yes sure it's some CS hints in this new chapter, but it's one-sided CS. Throughout chapter 7 you can clearly see that May care about Ash very much and that she has very strong feelings for him
Great chapter lunarshadow Keep up the good work
Without soccer and girls life is wasted!!
Liverpool, Rosenborg and Rangers is my heart and soul
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Credit to Misty-Fan-Forever for making the banner | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | May/Haruka<3
Hmm, the guys here dont like to see a CS moment. xD comeon. it wont be that bad right?
Anyway love how this is turning out. so i get to find out that May didn't get into the Johto Grand festival. That was my idea for my Advanceshipping oneshot. T_T
Anyway like i said before. this is gettting more and mroe interesting per chapter. i hope you update soon. ^^
- runs around the room in panic -
- tears hair out -
WOW! you are a VERY wonderful writer!
I just couldn't take my eye's off the screen! I must say you did a realy great job creating, and writting this fic.
I am happy to say I am adicted to your fic. and I can't wait for the next chappie!
(Image by PD+)Click below to see my fic!! ( Advance with a hint off Pokeshipping!!! )