Hello all, new and old alike to our very special collaboration! *fireworks* Epicocity speaking here, kicking off our brand new project in style. As most of you know, myself and potat lasaro have collaborated on this newest fic which we hope to be very entertaining. We certainly enjoyed coming up with it. For now, I won't say much, but I will say this first chapter was written by myself. After this, however, don't expect any freebies as to who wrote a chapter. And yes, this is also published on fanfiction.net. Well, without further ado…
Authors: Epicocity, potat lasaro
Pairings: Amourshipping (could you imagine any other?)
DISCLAIMER: Unless I make so much money I can buy up all their stock, we don't own Pokémon at all.
Ships, Schemes and Other Sweet Sights
An Amourshipping Pokémon Story
A Voyage of Discovery
Ash groaned to the sound of the intrusive alarm clock. He was certain he had broken that thing years ago, yet here it was, making an all too incessant racket in his room. Groaning as he turned over in his bed, his hand went to smack against the wall, only to slam into the dozing Pokémon at his side. That quickly proved to be a mistake.
"Chuuuuuuuu!" Ash bolted upright at his partner's cry, convulsing with the electricity that Pikachu was giving off. As he did so, he heard the sound of his infernal alarm clock tumbling off its perch and onto the ground. Not recognizing where he was a moment, Ash jumped out of bed quickly and raised his fists, reaching for his non-existent belt all too suddenly.
"Hawlucha, I choo…" Ash blinked as his surroundings very quickly came into focus. Blinking again, he turned back to the bed he had been sleeping on. Bed. Not a sleeping bag. Rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment, Ash finally remembered that he was no longer on the road, sleeping under the stars and in tents. He was no longer awakening to the smell of Clemont's cooking (or perhaps the smell of smoke from his newest invention gone bad). No longer hearing Bonnie chasing Dedenne and Pikachu around a meadow.
No longer seeing Serena smile at him the second he finished waking up for the day.
"Huh…?" Ash suddenly blurted out, like he didn't know why his thoughts had gone there. Over on his bed, Pikachu tilted his head in either confusion or curiosity (or both).
"Pikapi?" he asked, causing Ash to wrench his attention away from the decorations of his room and onto his best friend.
"Nothing, Pikachu," he told him, suppressing a yawn behind his hand. Pikachu decided to take that for granted and leapt off the bed before scurrying under it. Ash folded his arms, having a more than vague idea of just what his partner was doing. As he did so, Ash decided to get dressed for the day, scooping up his once more broken alarm clock and placing it on the desk in the room. As he looked up, he noticed all off the pictures on the dresser next to his achievements. Pictures of him and Brock, another of him and Misty alongside the former Gym Leader, one with May and Max, and, of course, he couldn't forget Dawn. Then there was one of all of his Pokémon. Oddly enough, there was nothing with Cilan and Iris, but he shrugged it off in favor of the picture with him, Clemont, Serena, Bonnie, and Korrina from the Shalour Gym, taken in Geosenge Town. It was a nice picture, illuminated by the morning rays.
Ash couldn't help but smile upon looking at it when he noticed something upon it. Or rather, in it. Serena was close. Incredibly close. Closer than he certainly remembered; almost like she was trying to take hold of him. He wondered why he never noticed that before when a very different memory entered his brain. One less visual and more…tactile. Something soft, fleeting, would have been air if not for Pikachu and the others' reactions behind him. It was still a positive memory, but something he'd never experienced before, and he wasn't sure what it all meant. It was also something he'd refused to share with his mother, or anyone else, really.
After all, Serena had kissed him.
"What was that all about…?" Ash muttered to himself, finally tearing his eyes away from the picture and sweeping them along to his closet. As he did so, he caught sight of his Poliwag pencil sharpener, and couldn't help but remember the now fond memory of the Poliwag that had first brought him and Serena together. His smile blossomed, though at the same time, the confusion over Serena's last action was still there.
Like always, however, Ash decided to ignore it and quickly got dressed in the clothes he wore through Kalos. Making sure everything was on properly, Ash took a step to leave his room. Pikachu darted out from under the bed, licking his paws before leaping onto his shoulder as they exited.
"Oh, good, you're up!" he heard his mother's voice call. Ash stopped when he finally caught sight of his mother. "I was about to wake you up. What was that banging I heard up there?"
"Oh, just the clock," Ash chuckled out, back to rubbing the back of his head. Delia shook her head with her own chuckle. "And Pikachu. Sorry for waking you up, buddy."
"Pika!" Pikachu said, touching his face to reassure him it was okay.
"Anyway," Delia interrupted, drawing Ash's attention back onto her with a smile. "Made you some breakfast on the stove. I'm off to Professor Oak's."
"Huh?" Ash said, now tilting his head alongside Pikachu. This all seemed rather sudden. Since when was his mother heading off to the professor's first thing in the morning? Had he completely missed something? Sure, he'd been in somewhat of a daze since returning home from Kalos, doing little more than visiting his Pokémon and training with all of them. But going to the professor's was his thing, not his mother's. "Why are you heading there?"
"Samuel said he had something he wanted to give us. Called just this morning," Delia insisted, pointing at the phone. Over in the kitchen (where the phone was), Ash saw Mimey humming a tune while he swept up some of the floor. "Make sure you join us later, okay? I know you don't have your next journey all lined up, but you can't sit at home all day."
"I don't do that!" Ash protested, but he still nodded to ensure his mother that he'd be along sooner or later. Patting him on the shoulder, Delia quickly grabbed her bag. At the same time, the clatter of a broom against a wall indicated that Mimey was dashing right after her. Ash watched the duo go with a little bit of amusement, and then a shrug that he shared with Pikachu. "Let's get some breakfast!"
"Pipikachu!" Pikachu agreed, the two quickly dashing over to the kitchen where a griddle sat, pancakes resting upon it. Ash quickly swiped them onto a plate, dashed to the table and ladled syrup over them. Pikachu, meanwhile, ran to the fridge and opened it, pulling out yet more ketchup. Ash hardly paid him any mind; the thought of his mother's cooking always enticed him. He was so quick to shovel the pancakes down that he didn't take note of the remote on the table, knocking it off just like he had his clock. Instead of breaking, it happened to turn on the TV in the living room, blaring some news program loudly.
"…Corporation is very happy to help with the excavation of this project," a spokesman for some company said clearly. Ash stopped with his fork sticking out of his mouth to lean back and look at the television. An older, familiar man with the title "President, Devon Corporation" was the one speaking. "After my son informed me of the events in Kalos, we feel it's important for us all to be vigilant for any possible relics of the past, be they Pokémon, human or otherwise. We plan to make sure it gets to a safe facility on a secluded island for study, sending our best possible recruits with it. Any questions?"
"Mr. President," called a reporter, but Ash was already uninterested. Looking to Pikachu, who couldn't really care less (since he did have his ketchup and all), Ash finished chewing his pancakes before reaching down and flicking the TV off before more questions could be asked.
"All right, buddy, let's head to the professor's!" Ash said, bouncing out of his seat. He was about to leave the kitchen when he remembered the plate sitting there and a little voice, Serena's voice, quickly spoke in his head. Ash, always remember to clean your plate before you train. It's easier for the rest of us, too. Nodding a little, as though she were there to see it, he nabbed his plate and rinsed it off in the sink before running out of the house, Pikachu clinging tightly to him.
It felt weird, being alone again these last couple weeks. After being on the road with Serena, Clemont and Bonnie for so long, being a part of that little family, he could admit that being with just Pikachu took some getting used to again. At the very least, however, he had all of his Pokémon by his side. Dashing along the road, Ash saw Professor Oak's lab approaching quickly. As it did, he began to think of the good professor's grandson, and wondered what Gary was up to these days. Had he been busy with his work in Sinnoh? Had he seen what had gone down in Kalos? There were a lot of questions he could have asked, but as the Pokémon researcher wasn't there, Ash opted for making the final sprint into the laboratory.
"Hey, I'm here!" Ash called out, Pikachu's voice resounding beside him. Professor Oak's voice was not the first to greet him.
"Hey, Ash, the professor and your mother are out in the back," Tracey's voice called to him from a nearby tank where he was sketching a Seaking. Ash waved his hand in thanks and proceeded to the back garden, practically waiting for the inevitable stampede of Tauros to come his way. They had become less rambunctious since he'd visited every day, but they still liked to greet him in ever the same fashion. Sure enough, Ash had just enough time to catch sight of his mother and the professor before the Tauros came barreling through the area and ran over him.
"Pikapi…" Pikachu commented, shaking his head.
"I'm all right, Hawlucha," Ash assured his Pokémon, who had come over to greet him with a series of manly poses. A sudden roar also joined in the well wishes as wind flapped around him, all of his birds zipping off through the sky at fast speeds. Talonflame was no doubt winning, though it might have been cheating by using Flame Charge while Noivern tried to keep up with the speeding birds.
Rawr! Charizard roared out, suddenly next to him as he let off a jubilant flame that nearly singed Ash's face. He laughed it off and patted Charizard on the chest. As his Flame Pokémon helped him to stand, he now saw his mother and Oak approaching their little group.
"It looks like all your Pokémon are as exuberant as ever. Especially Hawlucha. He, Charizard and Buizel have surprisingly been sparring all morning. I think he has some excess energy to work off," Oak said with a waved hand.
"Yeah, he does!" Ash commented, putting a fist out towards Hawlucha, which the Pokémon returned by bumping it. Looking back at the human duo, Ash noticed his mother clasping something to her chest. "So…uh…what's going on?"
"Well, Delia was mentioning that you haven't been doing much, and as you haven't left for another journey yet, I thought I found the perfect solution." Ash felt entirely lost, but decided to nod his head to let the professor continue on his way. "You see, all the Pokémon Professors were invited to a conference of sort…well, not quite a conference but more of a little gathering."
"Okay…" Ash commented, trying to see where the professor was going with this. To the side of him, Hawlucha had donned his costume from his semifinal battle against Sawyer and was running at Charizard. He had no idea where the wrestler had gotten it from after their battle.
"But I'm incredibly busy right now!" Oak seemed to finish, as though the result were obvious. "In fact, I'm not the only one. Professor Rowan has said he's short staffed and Professor Birch is collating data with me, but it just seems such a waste that none of us are able to go."
"And you want me to stand in for you?" Ash asked, thinking he could see where this was going. The professor took a sudden step back.
"My goodness, no! No, I…no…" Professor Oak proclaimed with a light, nervous chuckle. Ash narrowed his eyes but said nothing. "No, simply, where it's held seemed like it could be a fun experience for you all. I have it on good authority that where the conference was being held was meant to only be a small part of the experience."
"What are you saying, professor?" Ash asked, Pikachu having once more regained his place on his shoulder. Suddenly, his mother stepped forward and thrust something in his face. Ash leaned back and saw that something sparkling in the sunlight.
"Samuel gave us tickets to a cruise!"
"Pika? !" Pikachu asked in surprise alongside him.
"Yes!" Delia exclaimed enthusiastically. Mimey instantly jumped in air and scurried away from the lab. Ash watched him go in a cloud of dust and he could only blink. "It seems like a wonderful opportunity aboard the S.S. Ambrosia, coming from Kalos in less than a week! It's been awhile since we had a family vacation, too."
"A cruise, huh?" Ash said, pursing his lips a bit as he looked at Pikachu who smiled. "What do you think, buddy?"
"Chaaa!" Pikachu chirped happily. Ash continued smiling, looking and thinking about the shiny tickets in his mother's hand. It had been so sudden; something he never expected. Then again, a lot of things in his life were unexpected, and he always took them in stride. Besides, a cruise seemed like a fun time: an adventure without all the walking that could hurt people's feet (though certainly not his own…nope). And his mother would be there, which was a fun plus.
Ash's smile grew as he looked over his Pokémon gamboling around the area, including Hawlucha, his costume gone, wrestling with Buizel on the ground. He hadn't even noticed the Sea Weasel Pokémon approaching, especially with his attention now on the discarded fabric, the one made by Serena. The memory once more assailed him. Serena's parting kiss had been on his mind more often than he thought it should be, barely granting him a moment of rest from…whatever it meant. Maybe this cruise will help me forget about it. After all, some peace and relaxation for the team might be just what we need.
"All right! Sounds like fun!" Ash proclaimed, fist pumping. Delia seemed absolutely over the moon at this.
"Excellent!" she trilled happily. "Thank you very much, Samuel! Now let's get packed! We'll have plenty of shopping to do, and I'm sure Mimey's waiting for us!"
"Have fun, you guys! Let me know how the professor's conference goes, Delia…assuming it isn't canceled!" Oak called out with a laugh before seemingly yelling at Rotom. Ash was unsure as he was dragged off by his mother. At the same time, he didn't mind, already grinning alongside Pikachu at the thought of another adventure.
Ash was genuinely surprised at how much preparation there was to do for a simple cruise trip. Whenever he went on an adventure, he would usually just take whatever was in his backpack and things would work themselves out. Of course, he also realized that he usually had friends who picked up the slack for him along the way, but that was rather unimportant. Still, he never thought there could be so much planning for a simple cruise trip.
"Mom, don't we already have enough swimwear?" Ash asked as his mother continued searching for her own sundresses alongside swim trunks for him.
"Oh, Ash, you can never be too prepared," Delia sang out, handing a floppy straw hat over to Mimey. "You should be more like Mimey and just help out!"
"Mime! Mr. Mime!" Mimey responded with a smile. Ash just shook his head and continued to smile, shifting the rest of his mother's vacation materials in his arms while Pikachu licked at an ice cream cone. As they finally checked out that day, Ash noticed that his mother had kept the straw hat, and when they left, his eyes subconsciously wandered over to those woods from years ago. His thoughts, meanwhile, tracked over to Serena, wondering if she was doing well in Hoenn.
"Pika?" Pikachu suddenly questioned, having obviously noticed how distracted Ash was becoming. Ash just smiled and scratched him behind the ears.
"I know it's a lot of work, but this is exciting, right?" Ash beamed out at his companion. Pikachu clearly agreed, patting at his cheeks while they sparked with enthusiastic electricity.
Unfortunately for Ash, choosing just what clothes to take on vacation and whether any baubles or whatnot could come along was the least of his problems. Everything else paled in comparison to deciding what Pokémon he should bring along on the cruise with him. Of course, he had an idea, but that became all the harder once he was actually picking them out from his rambunctious group of Pokémon.
Rawr! Charizard said, smiling with flames curling from his nostrils. He looked like he really wanted to go on vacation, and even Krookodile was nearby, attempting to act cool; Ash could tell that he was itching for a chance to go, though. In the far back were Sceptile and Infernape, neither looking like they cared much. Out of all of them, however, Bayleef seemed to want to go the most, nuzzling up against his side.
"I know you all want to go!" Ash laughed out. "I wish I could take you all, but there's only so much room on a ship, so…I've decided to take the guys who just finished traveling with me!"
Rawr? ! Charizard snorted, almost like he was miffed that he wasn't chosen and he turned away like a child pouting. Pikachu ran over to him and patted him (as best as he could) on his backside consolingly. Even Bayleef didn't look too happy, her head drooping. Ash felt a little bad that he had denied so many of his Pokémon the chance to join him on the trip, despite the two open slots, but he had really given it some thought. After two departures and the intense rigors they had been put through in their last month in Kalos, Ash felt they needed the chance to rest most of all.
He should have known it wouldn't always go over well with the others. Some, like Buizel, most of his birds and Snivy, were very amicable about it, with Buizel even fistbumping Hawlucha to part ways. Others, like Snorlax, couldn't care less. Then there were those who took some work, like Bayleef and a despondent Charizard (who he made some promises to in order to make him feel better) and especially Oshawott, who kept trying to sneak his pokeball into Ash's bag (before getting caught with a seemingly innocent "Osha!"). When he had finally settled all of them, Ash was able to take Hawlucha, Noivern and Talonflame away from the lab.
"Thanks, Professor! See you when we get back!"
"No problem, As-aagh!"
"MUUUUUUUK!" Muk called out from atop Professor Oak to say his goodbyes to Ash. Ash just laughed and waved, returning home for what turned into a restless night. He was far too excited about this trip to sleep, and when his mother's early alarm clock went off, he was straight out of bed and dressed before she'd even made breakfast.
Everything at the point quickly felt like it was stuck on fast forward. Their entire family was rushed into overdrive between making breakfast, ensuring that everything was as packed as it could (and all into three suitcases, no less), eating breakfast and then ultimately renting a car to drive them all the way to Vermillion City by noon. Ash instantly started looking around the port when they arrived, but caught no sight of the ship.
"Here, Ash," Delia said, handing over some pamphlets and brochures to her son. "It's information about all the events on the cruise. Looks like we're not the only ones who will be departing from Vermillion."
"Sure," Ash said, taking the pamphlets and flicking through them idly, mostly disinterested. His mother sat down on a nearby bench, some Pidgey flying away after being startled by her action. Ash decided to glance around the port once more, noticing some dressed for the vacation on the cruise ship while others appeared to just be looking at those who would be going on it. Part of it reminded Ash of his trip on the S.S. Anne and the absolute disaster that had turned into. He once more shrugged it off with a smile, deciding to not worry about it; there was no way this trip would turn out the same, not with all his dependable Pokémon by his side.
"Pikapi! Chu chu pika!" Pikachu said, pointing furiously at one of the random brochures in his hands. Ash diverted his attention back onto them, noticing Pikachu pointing at a particular brochure with a sign of two clashing pokeballs on the cover and big words emblazoned upon it in rather bold letters that could catch anyone's attention:
CRUISIN' TAG BATTLE!"A battle? !" Ash shouted excitedly, drawing some looks from those around him. "Great catch, Pikachu! Man, this trip just got even better! How about you, mom?"
"Certainly looks like some fun activities," Delia commented. Mimey agreed, tucking a brochure for what looked like a nice pool on the ship into the pocket of his floral-patterned shirt. "Though I don't think Professor Oak's conference will be garnering very many people. Guess they should have checked who would be attending before sending the tickets out."
"Oh…what'll you do, then?" Ash asked, hitching his backpack a little up, his eyes flicking over to the sea for a moment. His mother tilted her head a bit, touching a finger to her lips.
"Oh, probably just some relaxation. Looks like there's a massage parlor and a nice pool on the deck. You'll obviously be battling anyone you run into."
"I'm not like that," Ash said, flinching inside because she'd mostly been on the mark. "I'm sure there're lots of other activities, like…like…" Ash's hands fumbled through the brochures in his hands when a loud horn suddenly sounded and they tumbled to the ground in a complete mess. Pikachu leapt down to gather them up, Ash catching a brief sight of some tourist locations on a pamphlet and one with a girl and her fancy Altaria. He was less focused on that, however, to the sight of the great white ship pulling into the port.
"Pika…chu…" Pikachu gasped out at the sight of the ship. Ash was right there with him, dazzled by the absolutely mammoth ship rolling in before him.
It looked like it was made of alabaster, it gleamed so perfectly in the sunlight. Stretching almost the entire length of the port, it looked to be bigger than even the S.S. Anne or the ships he had taken through the Decolore Islands. Smokestacks were evenly spaced along the top of the ship, puffing out steam and what looked like a captain's bridge was visible through near-reflective windows, a Pokémon seeming to be inside. In the back was a large pool with some people playing inside it, while on the front there looked to be a battlefield as a Scizor dueled with a Carbink. Ash's eyes lit up at that and over all of these things wafted the smell of what seemed to be delicious food. Painted on the side of the ship, in golden letters, were the words, S.S. Ambrosia.
"This is awesome!" Ash shouted happily, bending down to take his suitcase while Mimey did the same for his mother's and the family started forward. There was a slight rustling from a bush behind him and Pikachu turned back, but when nothing came of it, his best buddy bounded forward onto him as they ran to where they would board the ship. As they skidded to a stop, the ramp that led upwards lowered to allow the passengers to board.
All at once, that surge of passengers pushed forward and the Ketchum family struggled to find a place in the line, being shoved aside by a trio of individuals who looked to be dressed as janitors. While it miffed him a little, his mother's hand on his shoulder helped Ash to not yell at those who had pushed them aside as they moved closer to the boarding. Ash's own thoughts were proven correct as the trio from earlier were given work IDs to work as janitors aboard the ship and tossed a look back at him and Pikachu before being shooed off. Before long, they reached the man checking tickets.
"All right, you're cleared to go. Please enjoy your stay upon the S.S. Ambrosia," the man said, but Ash was already moving off. "We'll be making a couple stopovers before getting underway, but please enjoy the ride until then."
"Thank you," Delia said as Ash began wandering to the battlefield. "Ash, remember to put your stuff in our room when you're done!"
"Okay!" Ash called out, Pikachu yelling beside him as they dragged their suitcase away as quickly as possible. "All right, Pikachu, let's find someone to battle with right away!"
"Pipikachu!" Pikachu agreed wholeheartedly. Skirting around the corridor that stretched between the front and back of the ship, Ash noticed the doors that led to the interior of the ship, passing by sleeping quarters and then looking into what appeared to be a dining hall with the heavenly smell radiating out. Grinning to himself, Ash ran forward and dropped his suitcase in a visible place, ready to break onto the battlefield and challenge the first person he saw.
"Wha-?" Ash barely had the time to choke out before he was hit with a wave of smoke from something on one of the battlefields. It completely dazed him and Pikachu as they waited for the smoke to clear so they could see their way forward.
"Clemont, what was that?" screeched a voice, and for a moment, Ash thought his ears had deceived him.
"I was only monitoring the potential power of a Pokémon…I have no idea why it would do this…" whined another voice, filled with absolute disappointment.
"That's the third one in as many days," chimed in another, rather tired, female voice. "Honestly, it's nice to be around friends, but not when they're going to kill me."
"See, even Miette knows how dangerous your failed inventions are, brother!"
"But failure is the mother of success…" Clemont argued back, sounding like he had tears in his eyes at what was no doubt his latest invention failure. Ash's smile grew even bigger as the smoke began to clear, and sure enough he caught sight of three rather familiar faces. One was the blond-haired, bespectacled form of one of his best friends, kneeling in overexaggerated tears over the charred remains of what looked like another mini-Clembot. Next to him was Bonnie, hands on her hips with puffed cheeks. Next to them, and most surprising of all, was the blue-haired Miette, hands folded across her chest as she surveyed the whole scene with a toss-up between amusement and annoyance. None of them had yet to see Ash.
"Man, science is really amazing!" Ash decided to say as he approached them. His one line turned heads in an instant. Bonnie was the first to react.
"Ash! Ash!" she cheered loudly, jumping up and down quickly. "Wake up, Dedenne, it's Ash!"
"Ne…?" Dedenne said drowsily but hardly woke up as his caretaker ran forward to suddenly embrace Ash around his midsection.
"Hey, Bonnie! How've you guys been?" Ash asked suddenly. Clemont blinked disbelievingly and made to clean his glasses with a cloth Miette had begrudgingly handed him. "Clemont, I thought you were helping Clembot at the Lumiose Gym?"
"Oh…" Clemont commented, almost like he still thought he was hallucinating. He seemed to decide against that when Bonnie pulled back, gleaming up at Ash. "Well, there haven't been many challengers lately after…well, after what happened in Lumiose. So, we've been kind of bored lately and then Professor Sycamore offered us these tickets to take this cruise. He's been too busy to come thanks to Alain and Mairin finding all sorts of data for him. So-"
"So, we decided to come...though daddy couldn't come with us," Bonnie pouted. "It's been a lot of fun! Right, Dedenne?" Dedenne didn't answer, preferring to sleep. "Well, he's had fun, too. But anyway, daddy didn't want to come because of his whole 'keeping the streets of Lumiose safe' thing after Team Flare."
"Makes sense," Ash chuckled out, rubbing at his nose. Clemont had finally stood and walked over to clasp Ash's hand in a handshake. Ash nodded. He really didn't think he'd ever see the two of them again so soon, but now that they were here, it was like they never left. "Glad to see you guys are both doing well. It'll be great to have you on the trip, too!"
"Ah, so you are taking the cruise, then," Clemont noted. He turned back to clean up the debris from one of his inventions when Ash felt a sudden pressure on his shoulder.
"Don't forget about me," said a voice right in his ear. It honestly made him a little uncomfortable to feel Miette's hot breath on his ear, but he ignored it. "You're looking well, Ash."
"Yeah, you look great, too, Miette," Ash noted, drawing away from the Performer with a smile. She simply righted herself like she hadn't been affected by his movement one way or the other. "But, if Clemont, Bonnie, and I got the cruise tickets from the professors then…?"
"Happened to win them at a baking contest," Miette passed off with a wave. "Didn't expect it, but it looks like it'll be fun. Especially with the Contest Spectacular."
"Contest…Spectacular?" Ash asked. He was a little confused on that one. Sure, he'd heard about Contests, having traveled with more than his fair share of coordinators, and even participating in them, but a "Spectacular" was something else entirely. He didn't get his answer, though.
"Just something for fun. Which, speaking of…" Miette said, a small smirk stretching across her face. "I'm surprised I haven't seen Serena here. She's usually attached at your hip."
"Well, last I remember, Serena was heading to Hoenn," Ash answered without even thinking. Miette's face dropped a little, but before long the sly smirk was back on it.
"Oh, guess you two broke up, then…And here I wanted to ask how you two were doing," she commented with the smirk never leaving her face. Ash tilted his head to the side once more, not understanding quite what Miette was getting at with a rather audible "huh?".
"Yeah, Ash, how are you and Serena doing ever since that ki-" Bonnie started to say, sidling over to his side and elbowing him.
"Ash, let's have a battle!" Clemont's cry was a rather welcome interruption in the grand scheme of things. Ash nodded his head, hoping to shake the thoughts that Bonnie was now putting in them; thoughts of honey blonde hair blowing out, crystal blue eyes so close, and the touch of-
"Sure thing! Pikachu, you ready?" Ash asked of his partner. His answer caused Bonnie to frown and glare in her brother's direction while Miette stifled a giggle. Clemont looked a little flushed, himself, but quickly made his way to the other end of the battlefield as a sudden voice called out alongside a horn that boarding was closing.
"Chespin, let's go!" Clemont called, tossing his pokeball into the air. From it emerged the green spined Pokémon that was Clemont's rather gluttonous partner. He quickly saw Pikachu and greeted him happily, though Pikachu was on all fours, prepared to battle. "Pin Missile!"
"Use Quick Attack and dodge it!" Ash ordered. Chespin reared back, the spines on his head glowing bright white before shooting forth green projectiles, streaking white lights behind them. Pikachu bounded forward, dodging each of the attacks as they slammed into the battlefield. He then slammed into Chespin and sent him sprawling backwards. "Now, Electro Ball!"
"Pika! Pika pika pika pika pika pika chu pi!" Pikachu cried, leaping into the air and firing the crackling ball of pulsing electricity towards Chespin. The Spiny Nut Pokémon instantly answered by whipping his vines outward to hold the Electro Ball in place and cause it to explode. The collision of attacks seemed to catch the attention of the other passengers in the area, who ambled over to watch the battle. Even the Scizor and Carbink stopped battling.
"Oh, well, guess I'll ask later," Bonnie sighed out, pricking Ash's hearing.
"Ask about what exactly?" Miette asked, leaning in conspiratorially. Ash shook his head as Pikachu was pushed backwards by a Tackle. Shaking it a little more vigorously, he put his attentions back on the battle. Just like always, it turned into just what he wanted: a chance to clear his head and think about nothing but the moment. No Serena. No Bonnie and Miette. No kiss that lingered on his brain when he had nothing else to think about. And with the cruise that started as the ship pulled out of port, he was certain it would be just what he needed to clear his head of all those excess things.
After all, nothing cleared his head more than another adventure.
Author's Note: And there's the first chapter! I know! Shorter than usual from both of us! But, of course, it was an introductory chapter so not a lot really happened (and it's not like it's in the middle of a trilogy…) But we've gotten things underway, just as the ship has, and I hope you're all having fun with it, because I know I, personally, had a blast with it.
potat lasaro: Well, things have started out rather nice for Ash. Hopefully he enjoys this little cruise with his mom and friends since he really deserves some sort of vacation. Blue skies, crystal clear ocean, good friends, what else could make this cruise even better?
So, naturally, we'll both ask you to leave us your thoughts and Review, and, well, as I always do, Dare to Be Silly.