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Thread: Sink or Swim (A Collection of Pokeshipping Oneshots)

  1. #1
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    Default Sink or Swim (A Collection of Pokeshipping Oneshots)

    Title: Sink or Swim
    Fandom: Pokemon
    Pairing: Pokeshipping (Ash/Misty)
    Status: On-going
    Rated: G-PG-13 (May be subject to change)

    Author's Note: Here are my responses for the Pokeshiping 50 Themes Challenge (feel free to participate!) Most of these will be romance/humor, but the genres might vary depending on the theme. This is also posted up on my Fanfiction.net and DeviantArt accounts.

        Spoiler:- themes index:


    Let's start off with theme #2. This also contains a HandymanShipping reference.





    Sink or Swim
    Swimming Lessons. Rated PG.

    The greasy rainbows of BubbleBeam reflected Ash Ketchum, back in his home region and in his prime. He knew it too. With his hat tilted backwards and a dream team of Pokemon he’d collected over several regions he knew that there was no place like home; and nothing like winning.

    The reflections shattered violently as they broke against the cinnamon fur of a Vulpix. It fell backwards onto a lily pad with a cry. “Uh! Vulpix, are you okay?” his younger opponent called out. Ash smiled. He’d been just that age when he’d started off and had had just as much fire in his belly. But insisting on fighting with a fire type on a watery field like this had been an arrogant mistake on the part of the newbie trainer.

    “Crawdaunt, you’re looking great out there!” Ash called out encouragingly to his newly evolved Pokemon.

    “Craw!” Crawdaunt agreed happily, having lost none of the spirit it had possessed as a Corphish.

    “Vulpix, let’s turn things around with Flamethrower!” the challenger ordered, once Vulpix had regained its footing.

    “Crawdaunt, dodge it!” Ash countered.

    Crawdaunt hopped nimbly to another lily pad, but wasn’t able to completely escape the plume of fire that shot over the lake’s surface and made steam rise all around them.

    “Daunt!” Crawdaunt cried, clutching at its burnt left claw.

    “Yeah!” the young Vulpix trainer cheered. “Hit it with Flamethrower again!”

    “Not this time,” Ash said with a smile. “Crawdaunt, go under water!”

    “Crawdaunt!” Crawdaunt sounded its assent and dived into the murky lake water, under the radiating flames.

    Ash’s opponent gritted his teeth in frustration and looked from his Vulpix to the water, trying to see where Crawdaunt would reappear.

    “You should’ve thought twice before you decided to battle me here,” Ash taunted. “Me and Crawdaunt know how to use a water type field to our advantage. Crawdaunt, hit it with Bubble from under water!”

    “You won’t get the chance!” the trainer insisted, fists clenched. “Vulpix, dive under water after Crawdaunt!”

    “Huh?” Ash said, completely taken aback as the fire type Pokemon splashed into the drink.

    “You can do it, Vulpix! Quick Attack it from under water and send it into the air!”

    “No way… Vulpix can’t…” Ash began, but was interrupted by a crashing noise. The waters parted, sparkling in the sunlight, as Crawdaunt was shot into the air with Vulpix jumping up from behind it.

    “Now, use Flamethrower at full power while it can’t dodge!” the trainer commanded, completely in the moment.

    “Vul-PIIIIX!” Vulpix cried, sending a column of super-heated air straight at the falling Crawdaunt.

    “Daaaaaunnnntt!” Crawdaunt shrieked as the attack hit it. It fell back into the water. Vulpix landed neatly on another lily pad.

    “Crawdaunt!” Ash shouted worriedly.

    Crawdaunt floated to the surface, it had fainted, but it was okay.

    Ash’s face fell. He took out his Poke ball and called Crawdaunt back in a stream of red light. “You did really well. Thanks,” he said to the ball before he put it away. He looked up at his opponent. “That was a great battle,” he said appreciatively. “I never expected Vulpix would know how to swim.”

    “It can only do it for a short time,” the trainer said sheepishly, approaching Ash. His Vulpix followed along, shaking out its wet fur. “But it really comes in handy in a pinch.”

    “Well, you did a really good job teaching it,” Ash said sincerely. He’d once used Cyndaquil in an underwater battle and knew how much technical control and trust it took to handle a fire type in the water.

    “Oh, it wasn’t me that taught Vulpix,” the trainer confessed. “This really nice lady was doing swimming lessons for all Pokemon—not just water types. I gotta admit, I didn’t think Vulpix could learn how to swim. It wouldn’t even go near the water when we started out. But after working with her, it does a great job.” He smiled down at his Pokemon. “Right, Vulpix?”

    “Vul!” Vulpix agreed with a smile.

    “Pokemon swimming lessons, huh?” Ash said, scratching his chin. “That sounds like a really great idea! Knowin’ how to handle a water type field with a fire or ground or rock Pokemon’s gotta do a lot to diminish the water type’s natural advantage. It’d probably catch most trainers off guard too—I know it did for me.”

    “You can check it out if you want,” the trainer said with a grin. “I think she’s still doing them.” He pointed down the road. “Just keep heading south until you get to the Cerulean City Gym. That’s where the lessons are.”

    “The Cerulean City Gym,” Ash repeated dumbly, exchanging a look with Pikachu who was leaning forward excitedly. “Misty?”

    “Yeah, she’s the gym leader there,” the trainer beamed. “She’s really smart and really nice. She’d probably help you train if you asked.”

    But Ash was in another world, as he looked beyond the trainer and down the pier road.

    Misty?” he said again.

    *****

    Ash shuffled into the expansive stadium room as the light from outside was just beginning to fade and was greeted by the strange, but somehow pleasant scent of chlorine, and the significantly less pleasant scent of fish. “Pika pi…” Pikachu said, looking around the large room from his shoulder.

    They’d certainly done a lot of hiring since he’d last been there. He remembered that it had been a struggle just to keep the pool clean and the Pokemon fed with only Misty, Daisy, Violet and Lily. Especially since Misty was forced to do most of the work with her sisters passing along excuses like “I have to catch a flight to Goldenrod this afternoon for a modeling gig!”, “I have to memorize this script for Highspeed Hannah 2: Saffron Drift. It has, like, so many lines!”, and “Flawless skin and chlorine don’t mix, not that you’d understand.” Occasionally Tracey would help out, generally if Daisy was the one that asked, but other than that maintenance had been almost entirely left to Misty.

    But now it looked like things had drastically improved. The pool was ranged with men in tall chairs, wearing swim caps and expressions like they meant business; a few people were busy feeding the Pokemon swimming contentedly in their aquarium homes; some kids who looked like they were about six were lined up against the edge of the pool, kicking their feet as they practiced swimming, a few with neon orange water-wings; and all around the pool were women that Brock would’ve probably called ‘bathing beauties.’ In fact, if Brock had been with him he would’ve already had an elongated earlobe and a red slap mark across his face.

    “Ash Ketchum!” a voice shouted angrily.

    “Huh?” Ash turned to be greeted by a vicious slap across the face.

    As the shock of pain faded and his hand reached up to touch his sore face, he saw Misty shaking out her surprisingly-strong-for-a-girl-her-size backhand. She’d definitely grown a couple inches since he last saw her and… well, grown in other places better not to dwell on. That fact was highlighted by the sporty blue bikini she was wearing. She had a towel around her neck and a wrathful expression on her face.

    “What was that for?” he demanded, rubbing at the red slap mark she’d left. What the hell?! How’d he end up being the one slapped by a girl? When that happened to Brock he got what he deserved for ogling a girl, but Ash wasn’t even doing that… much.

    At all! More like at all!

    That’s for never answering my e-mails,” Misty said haughtily.

    “What?” Ash said, having expected something more damning. “I do so answer your e-mails!”

    “Yeah, like a month later,” Misty retorted, crossing her arms.

    “Well… uh…” Ash started as Pikachu put its paw up to its forehead in a nervous gesture. “Come on, that’s a little harsh. I get to them… eventually.”

    “Hmph!” Misty looked deliberately away from him. “I’m glad I’m worth getting around to talking to ‘eventually’!”

    “You really are,” Ash said in a voice implying that he thought he was being placatory. “I wish we got to hang out more, but there always seems to be something getting in the way.

    She opened one eye and gave him a hesitant look. “Is… is that what you came here for now? Just to hang out?” she asked in a much softer, somewhat tentative voice.

    “Well, sort of,” Ash said nervously. “I guess I came here because I heard about your swimming lessons and wanted to check them out. I battled this trainer who really knew how to handle his Vulpix in the water, and when he told me you were the one that taught it, I just had to come and see—”

    “Hey!” a voice barked from behind him. Ash turned to see one of the lifeguards getting down from his chair. “Lessons are done for the day, pal. It’s Misty’s break so why don’t you leave her alone?”

    Ash was taken aback. “Hey, I was just—”

    “Murray,” Misty said in an even, but somewhat dangerous tone. “This is Ash Ketchum, the one who inspired the entire Pokemon Swimming Lessons program. So how about a little respect?”

    At those few words from Misty, the lifeguard known as Murray recoiled. “So sorry,” he said, giving a half-bow to each of them. “I had no idea,” he added before he slunk away with as much speed as possible.

    Misty watched him flee determinedly and then turned back to Ash with an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry about that,” she said. “The program’s been very popular so a lot of people have been pushing and shoving to get in. My staff is just being protective.”

    But Ash was still looking dumbly at the lifeguard’s back. “Was what you said really true?”

    “About what?”

    “About me being the one that inspired the program.”

    “Oh, yes,” Misty said with an eager nod. “Ever since I became gym leader I’ve fought with a lot of different trainers here. Because the Cerulean Gym focuses on water types and therefore battles on a water type arena, I get to see a lot of trainers fighting in an environment that they’re not used to.” She shook her head. “Some of them are very strong—stronger than me, I can tell. But they end up losing because they can’t handle the field. Their Pokemon can’t swim and—especially if they have a strategy that relies on speed—they can’t dodge quick enough with only a few platforms to walk on. And they’re at a loss for what to do when my Pokemon hide under water and snipe away at them.”

    “But then I remembered you,” Misty said. “How you always managed to use the field to your advantage in a way that your opponents never expected. Pikachu, Snorlax, and even Cyndaquil have managed to swim in a pinch, because you knew how to handle them. So I resolved to host swimming lessons for all types of Pokemon, to help them and their trainers understand the wonders of water.”

    “Wow,” Ash said, looking at her in awe. “I had no idea I inspired something like this.”

    Misty smiled and cast her eyes down, as though Ash had no idea what he inspired period.

    “See you later, Misty!” a few attractive girls in swimsuits called as the filed out of the stadium.

    Misty turned back to Ash. “Say, we’re closing for the day now, but would you like to stick around and learn some of our swimming techniques?” She reached out a hand and touched Pikachu’s nose causing it to make a cute little squeak. “What do you say, Pikachu? Want to do some swimming?”

    “Pikachu can swim just fine,” Ash said proudly. “It’s even gone scuba diving. It doesn’t need to learn how to swim.”

    “Oh really?” Misty said archly. “Then how about a race with my Gyarados?”

    Ash shrank back as Pikachu put out two paws in protest. “Maybe it’s not quite that good.”

    “I’m sure we can really sharpen up Pikachu’s swimming technique if we get in some practice,” Misty said. “An electric Pokemon that can swim well is a force to be reckoned with.”

    “Well, I guess—”

    “Ooh!” Misty said excitedly. “And we can teach all your other Pokemon to swim. That’ll give you a real edge in gym and league battles. I’m sure Professor Oak would be happy to transfer them here.”

    “What, all of them?” Ash said in disbelief. With the amount of Pokemon he had, training all of them to swim as well as water Pokemon… he’d be there for months!

    “And we should probably work on your own swimming technique,” Misty added, as the last of her staff and students clocked out. “After all, the Pokemon learn best from their trainer.”

    “But Misty,” he tried, “I really wasn’t—”

    “You really weren’t what?” Misty asked, stopping in her tracks.

    Ash looked at Misty, her ‘trying not to look hurt’ expression evident even to him. Well… he hadn’t intended on staying in Cerulean City so long, but… well, there’d be a lot of benefit, right? Getting his Pokemon swimming lessons from the water-mistress herself would definitely boost their maneuverability. And… could he really think of anything he’d rather do then hang out and train with Misty? Could he?

    He transferred his gaze from her to the pool and then back to her again.

    “Last one in’s a rotten egg?” he tried.

  2. #2
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    Here's theme #9. Also contains HandymanShipping.

    In-Law Blues. Rated PG-13 (for Dialogue).

    Ash gripped his Ocean Spray cranberry juice and tried to imagine that he was somewhere else. It didn’t work. He was still sitting awkwardly in a deckchair on a patio in one of Cerulean City’s cafes, watching people strolling along the sidewalk with their Growlithe in tow, waiting for Misty to finish her day’s work at the gym.

    “Geez, relax, would you?” Violet said from the deckchair next to him. “You act like having to spend time with your beautiful sister-in-laws is some kind of unholy punishment or something. God!

    Before he’d married Misty, he really hadn’t minded Daisy, Violet, and Lily… in small doses. Sure, they seemed a bit airheaded and worried too much about how their hair looked when they should’ve been focusing on Pokemon battles; and sure, Misty had frequently complained about them treating her like a second-class sister, but he’d never personally had much reason to dislike them. Only now that he and Misty were married, they were his family too. And you can’t just have family in small doses.

    The fact was, they giggled consistently, asked him a lot of awkward questions, and had taken to using the word ‘orgasmic’ as a replacement for ‘awesome’. As far as Ash was concerned, using ‘orgasmic’ even once in regular conversation was one time too many.

    “Leave him alone,” Daisy said, looking at him over her sunglasses with a smile. “I’m sure he just like, can’t wait for Misty to come back so that they can like, head over to that cabin on the beach for the weekend.”

    That wasn’t the case, and Ash knew better than to admit it. This weekend certainly hadn’t been his idea and he wasn’t looking forward to it. It’s not that he didn’t want to carve out time to spend with Misty, but as he’d said to her himself: ‘Why would we want to spend all our time at some beach when we have much more fun battling Pokemon?’ And Misty had replied that, no, he had much more fun battling Pokemon. For once they were going to do something that she wanted to do. And damn it, she wanted a romantic getaway.

    She’d also pointed out, rightly, he was forced to admit, that he’d never tried very hard at any romantic gestures. ‘Would it kill you,’ she’d asked, ‘to be romantic every once and awhile?’ It probably wouldn’t have killed him, but it just didn’t come naturally to him.

    She’d also brought up the fact that he had some catching up to do since he would probably go down in history as having made the most unromantic proposal ever. She’d been unloading her worries about their relationship and the future while he was trying to enjoy lunch, so he’d responded, with his mouth full of hamburger, by saying ‘then maybe we should get married?’ And, yes, he had to admit that was probably not the best proposal ever, but it couldn’t be the worst because she’d said yes.

    So while he didn’t fully understand why they had to drop everything, leave their Pokemon (even Pikachu! …Who honestly seemed to be looking forward to hanging out with all his friends at the Oak Ranch, so he supposed that was okay, but still…), and just… quit their lives to focus entirely on each other for the weekend, he certainly saw how important this was to Misty. So he didn’t fight it.

    “Oh, I’m sure he is,” Lily said from next to Violet. She arched her exquisitely maintained eyebrows. “You know how it is with like, newlyweds.”

    Ash took of drink of his cranberry juice and tried to ignore this comment and its inevitable implications.

    “I certainly hope I know how it is,” Violet said, sitting up and giving Ash her full attention. “How about it, Ash?” she asked with a wink. “Got any plans for any baby Pokemon masters?”

    Ash did not spit out his cranberry juice in surprise. He did, however, accidentally inhale some of it and devolve into a coughing fit.

    Violet, you’re embarrassing him,” Daisy chided mildly, adjusting her reflector to catch more of the sun’s rays.

    “Well, he’s like, our only hope, and all,” Violet countered with a pout.

    “We want to be aunts,” Lily explained.

    “We’d be like the coolest aunts ever, and you know that,” Violet went on. “And it’s not like we can count on you in the baby making department,” she shot accusingly at her older sister.

    Daisy frowned. “Well, you know, it’s just like—what with Tracey working around the clock on his research and me like, doing all these photo shoots and movie roles all over the world—it’s like so not feasible for us to be thinking about having a baby at this point.”

    ‘Feasible’ was definitely not a Daisy-word. If Ash was going to make a guess, he’d say that she’d gotten that straight from Tracey himself. Getting Tracey as a brother-in-law was probably the only in-law bonus that he’d gotten from his new extended family. He certainly wouldn’t have expected Tracey to end up with someone like Daisy, but stranger things had happened.

    And anyway, she seemed quite devoted to him. Violet and Lily hadn’t settled down, seemingly content with the revolving door of rich and/or handsome men in their lives. Only about a half an hour ago when they’d set out onto the patio to wait for Misty to meet them, the two of them had called out to any attractive, male passerby asking them to rub suntan lotion on their bikinied bodies. The two must have been very concerned about skin cancer, because this had happened several times. A lot of guys offered to give Daisy a hand with her lotion, but she’d always shook her head and said ‘spoken for’.

    ‘By who?’ Ash had asked, worrying in some vague, but horrified way that he’d be expected to help her out in the suntan lotion rubbing department.

    She’d rolled her eyes at him. ‘Tracey. Duh.’

    Ash had scrunched up his face in confusion. ‘…But he’s all the way back in Pallet Town. He’s not going to visit just to rub suntan lotion on you.’

    She’d sighed and gone back to her sun bathing. ‘You just don’t get it.’

    “Besides,” Daisy went on, snapping Ash back to the present, “do you even know what having a baby does to your figure? Yuck!”

    “You’re right,” Lily admitted, twirling a finger around a strand of her pink hair. “Better to just let Misty do it. It’s not like she’s got that remarkable of a figure to ruin anyway.”

    “Now, now,” Daisy said with a smile that highlighted her beauty mark. “She’s always managed to have a trail of guys swarming after her, so maybe she has some sensational—sensation—” her brow furrowed, “sensationalism,” she decided, “after all, even if she is just the runt.”

    The ice in Ash’s drink settled with a clank. “Guys swarming after her?” he repeated.

    “I suppose that true,” Lily was forced to admit. “Our little Misty has grown up.”

    “Can we get back to the part about guys swarming around her?” Ash asked anxiously.

    “Yeah, but that was like, all before you got your act together with her,” Violet said with a wave of her hand. “But no matter how many cute guys asked her out she’d always say no, just like a stick in the mud.”

    “She was just waiting for you to get it, but it took you so long,” Daisy complained.

    “I was ten,” Ash said in his own defense.

    “No excuse,” Lily said.

    “You have no idea like, how big a crush she had on you back then,” Daisy said with a giggle. “She was like, so in love. Whenever anyone would mention your name she’d go red, pitch a fit, and kick something.”

    “That doesn’t sound like love,” Ash said warily.

    Daisy shrugged. “That’s how it works out in all the rom-coms I’ve been in.”

    “But those are movies, not real life,” Ash pointed out.

    Daisy lounged back in her chair. “Same diff.”

    Ash frowned. When he’d found out that Misty, well… that she liked him, it hadn’t really come as the surprise he felt like it should’ve. It was almost as if they’d been… liking each other forever. It felt natural. …Perhaps because she’d had a crush on him for that long. Finding out that was a surprise… just how long she’d known while he’d been oblivious to everything going on. He’d prefer to make excuses for himself and say that if she’d felt that way then she should’ve just said something or that girls focus too much on romance anyway, and he certainly thought that was reasonable, but… it bothered him that Misty’d felt that way for that long and he hadn’t known—that he’d acted so insensitively because he hadn’t known. He was working on that, but reading Misty was like decrypting an ancient and treacherous language. Still, he tried. She knew he was trying too—and he could decrypt just enough to know that that meant the world to her.

    “She is our little sis,” Violet said thoughtfully. “I like, suppose maybe we should look out for her more.”

    “Yeah, Ash,” Lily said merrily, “we’ll make sure you’re like, treating Misty right. Girls are delicate, you know.”

    Ash gulped. He was silently thankful that he’d never had to battle his three sisters-in-law.

    “You gotta pay attention to girls,” Violet added hintingly. “Be attentive.”

    “To her needs,” Lily supplied.

    “In bed,” Violet finished.

    This time, Ash dropped his cranberry juice altogether. The glass smashed against the pavement, splashing small, magenta stains on the cuff of his jeans. It was embarrassing enough talking about that kind of thing with Misty, let alone her sisters!

    “Ga-awd! Be more careful, Ash,” Daisy chided. She motioned for the waiter to come over.

    “Anyway, Ash, I could tell you about a trick I learned filming a love scene with Zacky Burns,” Lily said impishly, name-dropping like nobody’s business. “It might help you out in the sack.”

    Ash was desperately trying to think of a way to escape when the waiter showed up with a dustpan and began cleaning up the glass.

    “I’ll have this out of the way in just a minute, sir,” the waiter said. Then he turned to the other three. “And would you ladies like another round of Mai Tais?”

    Violet clapped her hands excitedly. “Orgasmic!”

    I gotta get out of here… Ash was thinking.

    “Hey guys, I’m done for the day,” Misty called, racing across the crosswalk with her duffle bag in hand. Ash looked at her like she was some kind of angel sent to save him from the darkest depths of hell.

    “Misty, you’re like, just in time!” Daisy said. “Want a Mai Tai?”

    “Well…” Misty said, setting down her bag. “Maybe one before we go.”

    “Then I can tell you both about the trick I learned when filming Battle of the Sexy,” Lily said joyfully. “It’ll come in handy on your weekend for sure!”

    “No!” Ash said, getting up abruptly. He picked up Misty’s bag and grabbed her hand. “We ought to get going.”

    Misty gave him an odd look. “It’s not like we’re in any rush or anything,” she said. “We’re driving down.”

    “Yeah, but…” Ash said with a certain coyote-about-to-gnaw-his-arm-off-to-escape-a-trap quality about his voice. “I really want to get going now.”

    “What’s gotten into you?” Misty asked, looking at him curiously. “I thought you weren’t looking forward to the weekend, to be honest.”

    “I just… really think we should be alone now. Away from here. Far away,” he said loudly over a comment Violet was making about him wanting ‘to get down to business’.

    “Um… okay,” Misty said, and that faint, pleased smile on her face made this not only an escape from Daisy, Lily, and Violet for Ash, but something that made him feeling surprising, and warm and right in himself. It was a rare feeling for him when not attached in any way to a Pokemon battle.

    As he led Misty over to his car, listening to the pleasant sound of her happy chattering about the trip, he made the mistake of looking over his shoulder. With their Mai Tais in hand, the three ex-Cerulean gym leaders were winking at him and giving him thumbs up gestures. He turned around abruptly, and got into the car to drive away from everything, if only for a weekend—away from everything except Misty.

    Certainly away from the three sensational sisters-in-law.

  3. #3
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    Here's theme #16.

    With Me Always. Rated G.

    An early morning wake-up call, a tedious hour of packing his bag with his mother reminding him to pack underwear every five seconds, a traffic jam bad enough to be counted as evidence for the existence of the devil, Professor Oak’s insistence on playing the license plate game while they waited, and a long line at baggage check-in combined had done absolutely nothing to tire Ash out or dampen his exuberant spirit. A new region with new friends, new Pokemon, and new adventures awaited him. He was the very picture of joyful excitement.

    “I wonder if we’ll see any new Dragon types there,” Ash wondered aloud. It wasn’t really anything particularly special about Dragon types that brought him to that question. He’d already wondered about Electric, Fire, Rock, Ghost, Water, Grass, Flying, Steel, Dark, Ice, Psychic, Bug, Poison, Ground, Fighting, and Normal types so it was about time.

    “Pika pi!” Pikachu cheered from his shoulder.

    “Oh, I’m sure you’ll be pleased,” Professor Oak commented good-naturedly, adjusting his embarrassingly touristy visor. “You might even see some from the plane as we land.”

    “Really? Awesome!” Ash enthused.

    “Oh dear,” Ash’s mother said, looking somewhat crestfallen as they reached the first security checkpoint. “Is this all really necessary?” she asked, as the many lines of weary travelers being scanned by Jennies wielding radar wands came into view.

    “I’m afraid so,” Professor Oak said with a serious nod. “With so many criminal organizations on the loose, it’s imperative that they’re tracked down before they can flee to another region. It would be a sorry state of affairs if Kanto let someone like Team Rocket ply their odious trade in Unova.”

    “I suppose,” Delia responded, still slightly intimidated by the mass numbers of people and the sophisticated scanning equipment.

    “Don’t let it trouble you,” Professor Oak said fondly, putting a hand on her shoulder. “We’ve nothing to fear from these people. And they’re running quite a few stations, so if we get in separate lines, we should be through in no time.”

    “Are you sure?” Delia asked, brow creasing slightly. “I think we should all stay together…”

    “Mom, don’t worry!” Ash exclaimed, knowing that her nervousness was directed more at him than at herself or the Professor. “I can take care of myself. I’ll meet you guys in the food court after we get done.”

    “Sounds like a plan!” Professor Oak responded with a smile.

    “Well… if you’re sure,” Delia said uncertainly, looking over her shoulder as Professor Oak led her away.

    Ash stretched his arms out eagerly and got into line behind a sleepy-looking business man. He wasn’t at all worried about the security routine. He knew they were profiling, but they were profiling young adults wearing ridiculous outfits that were part of ‘Teams,’ so he knew he had nothing to worry about. The Electabuzz Team Manager a few lines over was trying to explain to the officer searching him and his fellows that this rule should not apply to baseball teams. Their mascot wasn’t helping matters.

    He had to feel sorry for the jokers in the line next to him though. There were three of them, two tall, one almost comically short. They were wearing long black coats, matching hats, and big, black sunglasses in a look that practically screamed, ‘This is inconspicuous, right? Right? I totally blend in. Yeah. Nothing says not-suspicious like long black coats and dark, identity-hiding glasses. We’re on easy street, baby.’ If Ash was any judge, they’d be selected for additional screening in a heartbeat.

    As the line moved up, he turned his attention to the conveyor belt that sent carry-on items through the scanner. Following the lead of those around him, he took off his backpack and stuck it into one of the light brown plastic containers provided for that purpose, and added his hat to the pile. He then knelt down to unlace his shoes, wondering vaguely if he’d worn matching socks that day or not. He was pleased to find that he had—for once. There was a hole in the big toe, but… well, that didn’t really matter, right? He set his shoes down in the container and was about to set it on the conveyer belt when a shout made him turn.

    “WAIT!”

    Ash looked around for the source of the sound, and suddenly saw a red-headed figure weaving her way through the crowd.

    “Misty?” he said, as she came into view. “What are you doing here?”

    She was clutching a stitch in her side and breathing heavily, but she still had enough energy to snap at him. “What do you mean what am I doing here? Were you even planning on telling me you were leaving?!”

    “Sure,” Ash said, completely unmoved by her outburst. “Professor Oak paid extra for wifi on the plane, so I was gonna video call you from the air. Isn’t that cool? Fifty-thousand feet up and you can still make a video call!”

    Misty was less-than-impressed with this technological feat. “So you weren’t going to tell me until you’d already left?! You didn’t even want to say good-bye?!”

    Ash shifted uncomfortably in his socks. “Oh well… you know… no one likes good-byes.”

    “If you don’t like good-byes so much then why are you always leaving?” Misty glared. She sprung back and sighed. “You just got back from Sinnoh a few weeks ago and I thought we were going to… you know… spend some time together. Make a day of it. Maybe go down to the pier and watch the sunset, take in an independent film at that cute little theatre they have there, and cap it off with dinner at a nice restaurant.”

    Ash blinked at her. “Why would you think that?” he asked simply.

    Misty scowled at him, crossing her arms and entirely locking up her posture. “I thought you missed me as much as I missed you.”

    “Of course I did,” Ash said in a placating voice. “But… I’ve got this opportunity to see a brand new place now and… well, don’t you see it’s okay this way?”

    “Okay how?” Misty asked. She was calming down by margins and slightly annoyed by that fact. She wanted to be angry at that moment, not comforted.

    “Well, you know,” Ash said with a shrug. “People like you and me who have been through so much together and know each other so well… it’s okay for us to be apart sometimes, because no matter how far away we are…” he struggled here. “It’s like a part of us hasn’t left, so we’ve never really parted at all.” He made a determined fist. “That way you’re with me always.”

    Misty took a step back. He just… what gave him the right to always think he could justify… and it just made her so mad that he’d always… well it was so…

    Sweet.

    Misty was forced to admit it. It was corny in the way Ash could be corny without realizing it. For someone with no concept of romance at all, he really did manage to be sweet. It was probably because whenever he cared about something, he cared about it 110%. And now…

    Well, Misty’d raced to the airport to give him a piece of her mind about jetting off so quickly after being gone all that time, to try to get him to change his mind, and—if she was desperate enough—to run off with his shoes to keep him from leaving the region. But now she just… couldn’t. She knew Ash couldn’t resist the call of the new and adventurous and she knew it wasn’t because she didn’t matter to him. And for now… she was willing to let him satisfy his wanderlust. Though in a few years she’d start to worry if that was still the only kind of lust he had.

    “Hey, why don’t you come along?” Ash asked, bringing her out of her reverie.

    If the ‘with me always’ bit hadn’t caught her enough off guard, that question did it. “Umm…” she tried.

    “I’m sure Professor Oak won’t mind,” Ash said, probably not having much concept of plane ticket price. “And then we can travel around together. It’ll be just like the old days.” He held out a hand to her. “Well… what do you say?”

    Misty stared at the hand. It was tempting. Ridiculously tempting. She wanted to go with him more than anything, but…

    “I… I can’t,” she said, hiding her own hand behind her back lest it get ideas about joining Ash all on its own. “I can’t leave the gym without a leader and my sisters are all too busy with their modeling to handle it. And anyway,” she added, sticking out her jaw slightly, “I like it there.”

    Ash withdrew his hand and, much to Misty’s secret delight, looked a bit disappointed. “Well,” he said, scratching at his unkempt hat-hair. “I guess there’s no getting around it.”

    “I guess not,” Misty said, with as much regret as determination.

    They both stood there for awhile just staring, impeding the flow of lines and irritating several travelers who were already on edge about delays. After awhile, Misty let out a defeated sigh.

    “At least call me when you get there,” she said.

    Ash smiled. “You got it!”

    Misty put on a smile that didn’t quite match his, but made the effort. “Well… good luck, I guess. I… really ought to be getting back to the gym. I ran off as soon as Tracey told me you were going and I didn’t leave anyone in charge.”

    “Alright,” Ash said brightly. “I’ll talk to you once we land.”

    “Right,” Misty said with a satisfied nod, as she turned to leave.

    Ash went to set his carry-ons on the conveyer belt again when he was interrupted once more by her voice.

    “Oh and Ash?” she said, causing him to turn to her. She gave him a soft, but this time genuine smile. “You’re with me always too.”

  4. #4
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    Sooooo... it has been quite awhile. I'm sorry for the major lapse in updates, but I got kinda caught up with Kingdom of Illusions and was focusing my attention there and, well, by the time that was done I was pretty burnt out on PokeShipping and wanted a break from writing for it. Well, I've had that break and I felt like writing another oneshot. Hopefully I'll get some of that good, old inspiration and keep writing these.

    So, it's safe to say I'm back! Which I'm sure would be fantastic news for my readers IF I HAD READERS. But yet I wrote another one. If a writer writes a oneshot and no one reads it... does anyone care?

    ...I'm sorry. It's 2 in the morning here and that seems funny right now, but it probably won't when I've had some sleep. So I'll just shut up and get to the oneshot. It's based on theme #32.

    Renovation. G.

    Ash had never quite mastered the concept of R and R. Part of this was just a matter of his inclinations. Whenever he’d go to new places it wasn’t the thought of relaxation that excited him, it was the thought of getting to see new Pokemon and finding new trainers to battle. The idea of finding out new strategies and getting to try out his Pokemon in unfamiliar fields was infinitely more interesting to him than laying on the beach and working on his tan. He already had a tan; tans didn’t take work. Now, becoming a Pokemon master, that took work. And it was work he was all too glad to do.

    But there was another reason that Ash never managed to relax for too long, and he could only put it down to… fate. He’d plan time off (or, more accurately, his friends or his mother would plan time off for him), but by the time he got wherever he was going, some sort of calamity had already started and fixing it was much more important than sipping coconut juice or having a pajama day. For example, his home town of Pallet was calm verging on boring nearly every day of the year except whenever he got anywhere near it. Then, inexplicably, Team Rocket would attack, or someone would go missing or need help, or a hurricane would hit, or the dead would rise from their graves to attack the living (it happened). It would’ve been an awful lot in life for Ash to have disaster constantly at his heels were it not for the fact that he had an almost super human ability to put together the scraps of things and turn ruin into… resolution. No matter how bad things looked, there would always be a happily-ever-after sunset before he left. And all that made strife less of discouragement, less of a thing to be feared and more of… an adventure.

    And this was why it came as absolutely no surprise to him when he walked up to the doorway of the Cerulean Gym on his way to meet Misty that before he could even say a hello, she dragged him into the building, shoved a dirty dishrag into his hands and frantically informed him: “We need to work fast!

    And with that she dashed back into the main building before Ash could register much more of her than a panicked ginger blur. He exchanged a look with Pikachu whose shiny black eyes radiated rodent concern. With the air of someone unsure if he was walking into a trap or not, Ash stepped forward into the main part of the gym.

    It certainly didn’t look the way he remembered it. The Cerulean Gym was usually all… shiny surfaces—lapping water and the reflections it cast against the walls, bright lights that picked up every gleam of the moist tile. Now it was dry and stripped. The tiles had been pried loose from the floor and sat in a dusty pile in the corner, the wallpaper had been scraped from the walls leaving only concrete with paper residue, and, mostly noticeably, the main pool that was site to both battles and ballet was now completely empty of water.

    Also, the place smelled of fish. …Or perhaps worse than fish.

    “Misty, what’s—” he began, casting his eyes around for her.

    Misty was descending down the ladder on the side of the dry pool. “I’ll explain in a minute, just please hurry,” she urged him. “I haven’t got any time to waste!”

    He took her at her word and tucked the dishrag she’d passed him in his back pocket, following her down the ladder to the surprisingly deep bottom of the pool. One look at the grimy floor told him that what he’d smelled before wasn’t exactly fish, but was a natural… shall we say, end product of fish.

    He also got a better look at Misty herself. She was still a few inches taller than him, which was somewhat of a disappointment because he’d secretly hoped that his puberty growth spurt (the only good part of the process) might have given him a few inches on her. She wasn’t dressed like she usually did, but he put it down to whatever desperate situation she’d landed herself in as opposed to a change in her style in the time they’d been apart. She wore old, paint-flecked jeans that looked like they were only in use when there was a dirty job to be done, a similarly worn t-shirt with the word ‘LIFEGUARD’ cheaply emblazoned on it, and yellow kitchen gloves that went past her elbows. She leaned down on the dirty floor and dipped a towel in a sudsy pail before vigorously scrubbing the mucky surface. Around her, Politoed, Psyduck, and Corsola were busily following suit with toothbrushes that hopefully were no longer going to be used on actual teeth. Well, Politoed and Corsola were; Psyduck was just staring at his toothbrush with a look of profound incomprehension.

    “I’m sorry about this,” Misty said briskly, eyes focused on the filthy pool floor. “Those idiots!” she said angrily to herself. “I give them one task—just one! Hire a remodeling company to revamp the gym—and Lily said she did it. So I organized everything and arranged to close the gym for a week—gave everyone the week off and got the place ready for the renovation—drained the pool, primed the walls, and so on. And what happens? No one shows up! I tried to call the company but they said they never got a call back from Lily about it, and of course they’re too booked up now to send any guys over and my sisters are all off in Saffron City—which is typical. And since they’re gone there’s no one left to fix the place up and it’s just me and I’ll never get everything done by myself in a week!”

    Misty breathed in deep, which was probably unwise considering the perfume of the room was largely made up of fish leavings, but she didn’t have much choice since she’d delivered that entire diatribe in one frantic breath. Ash might’ve broken in at this point, but he knew Misty, and he knew that she wasn’t done. Rants about her sisters never ended that quickly.

    “And Daisy had the nerve,” Misty continued sharply, “the nerve to tell me it was no big deal! That we could hold gym battles in some pond or something and just keep the gym building closed for a month or so until it’s ready. First of all, no, no we can’t! A pond is not a gym. My sisters nearly got the Cerulean Gym decertified with that kind of attitude before and I’m not going to let that happen again. Secondly, even if that were true, how are we exactly supposed to finance closing the building for the more than a month it would take to get this place up to code without a contractor? How much of my income do you think is actually from being a gym leader?”

    Ash was, by this point, on his knees and scrubbing the fishy floor as well (it seemed like the ‘in’ thing to do), and after a few seconds realized that the last question was not just Misty talking to herself and therefore required an answer. “Ummm… like… sixty-five percent?” he guessed.

    Misty gave a scornful laugh. “Try five percent,” she answered. “The Pokemon League pays peanuts and you should remember that if you’re ever tempted to take a job with them. No,” she went on, “I’m able to pay the bills to keep this place running through the admission we charge the public for the pool and aquarium parts of the gym, with a little extra from shows we do. That’s why I have to keep at it and fix this place up so it’s fit to reopen or we could really go under… even if I have to do it alone.”
    She threw her rag down and glared furiously over her shoulder. “They knew. My sisters knew how much I was looking forward to having this week off during the remodeling—They knew that you were coming and how much I wanted to spend the day with you and show you around the city before you have to go back to Pallet Town. And now I’m just…”

    She paused, as if her head had suddenly cleared of all the rage that had been swirling around it, and suddenly she was looking at Ash as though she had just seen him as more than an excuse to vent her frustration. “Oh Ash,” she said in a very different voice. “I’m so sorry!”

    “Why are you sorry?” he asked. “Sounds like your sisters were the ones that messed up.”

    “No, it’s just…” Misty began wretchedly, “I was going to take you down to the harbor and this nice seafood restaurant I know, and it… it was going to be a really fun day for the two of us to catch up with one another and now I’m just dragging you into my gym improvement nightmare. I… maybe you should just go ahead without me.”

    “Are you kidding?” Ash said skeptically, “you can’t do all of this yourself. Anyway,” he said, dunking his dish towel into the sudsy bucket before applying it once more to the floor, “we can catch up while we do this. It’ll make the work go by faster.”

    “Pika pi!” Pikachu agreed, scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush he’d taken from Psyduck (who wasn’t using it properly anyway).

    Misty closed her eyes, relief flooding her features. “Thank you both so much. I don’t know what I do without the two of you when you’re not here.”

    “Well, from what I hear you give challengers a hard time,” Ash said with a grin. “Every time I meet a trainer with a Cascade badge they always tell me how crazy strong the gym leader here is and how hard she is to beat.”

    Misty dunked her towel in the soapy water too, and settled down to clean next to him with a smile. “And what do you say?” she asked as their shoulders brushed lightly against each other, “That can’t be, because back when I knew her she wasn’t that strong?”

    “Not a chance. I believed every word of it,” Ash said, nodding solemnly.

    “Well,” Misty said, unable to totally hide her pleased expression, “I have picked up a few tricks since I became a full-time gym leader.”

    “I bet,” Ash said. “Hey,” he added brightly as an idea struck him, “how about once this is all done you can thank me for helping out by battling me?”

    Misty rolled her eyes. “Typical Ash.”

    “Is that a ‘yes’?” he nudged.

    Yes,” she said in a warm, would-be weary voice.

    “So…” Ash said, screwing up his nose so as to avoid smelling the heady mixture of shed scales and ocean-dweller excrement, “we gotta clean up the pool… and then what else?”

    “Well, after the pool, we’ve got to clean the tanks,” Misty said, her tone somewhat apologetic in the face of yet another dirty job, “and then we’ve got to fill them—it’s important to get that done soon because the Pokemon don’t have any place to swim right now. Then we’ve got to take care of laying down the new tile, getting rid of the moldy old carpet upstairs, and painting the walls… then there’s the plumbing…” She winced. The Cerulean Gym plumbing was treacherous and labyrinthine. Even after all the time she’d spent desperately trying to fix the system, while her sisters complained that the rising water was ruining their eight-hundred dollar designer shoes, she still didn’t have it all entirely figured out. “…And the lighting has to be rewired with the new set-up…”

    She bit her lip and looked nervously at Ash. “…I don’t suppose you know anything about electrical wiring, do you?”

    “Not really,” Ash was forced to admit.

    “Then would you like to give it a try, or would you like to be the one on standby to dial 9-1-1 while I do it?” Misty asked in a half-joking voice.

    Ash gave it some thought. “I’ll do it,” he said, because, despite his ineptitude in matters of romance, he had a gallant streak, although it might have just been that he was truly kind. “How hard can it be?”

    Misty gave him a concerned look because she knew the reaction a cruel universe usually had to a taunt of ‘how hard can it be?’ “No, I’ll do it,” she cut in. “It’s my gym and my responsibility, so if anyone’s going to the emergency room today, It’ll be me. Besides,” she said, elbowing him in the side, “since you’re on my property then I’m probably liable for anything that happens to you and I’d have to pay for your medical bills.”

    “You’d have to pay for your own medical bills too,” Ash pointed out. “And if I was the one to get zapped then at least you’d be up and around to pay for them. Besides, I’m used to getting shocked.”

    Pikachu had the decency to look mildly sheepish at this comment.

    “Hmmm,” Misty hummed thoughtfully. “In that case… then why don’t we do it together? Pikachu can call 9-1-1 if we get fried.”

    Ash grinned. “Sounds like a plan!”

    “Pikachu pi,” Pikachu warned, in what might have been translated as: ‘I don’t think the dispatcher will understand me.’ But the humans took no notice of this.

    They scrubbed on in relative silence for a few moments. Ash stared up at the ceiling of the gym, because even in its stripped-down state it was much more attractive than the fish poo-encrusted pool floor. “Y’know,” he said thoughtfully after a moment, “it’s kinda weird being back here like this. I mean, the gym has changed a lot since I came here the first time.”

    “Back then my sisters got rid of most of the battling equipment to make room for their water shows,” Misty sniffed, still a little sore of the subject of her sisters and their questionable actions. “When I got back I brought back more of the battle arena elements… but left a lot of the water show stuff since it really is a draw. We added a new wing to the aquarium last year, and built a shallower pool to teach the younger kids how to swim. It always seems to be changing.”

    “It’s weird,” Ash repeated, “y’know… to be in a place that you recognize, but to see that everything’s so different. It’s like… it’s familiar, but it’s not.”

    “It’s like you,” Misty observed shrewdly.

    Ash pointed to himself. “Me?” he asked, caught off-guard by the comment.

    “Yes,” Misty said. “You’re still the same old Ash I used to travel with… but you’ve gone out and done so much and I swear you’re taller every time I see you and… well, you’re not the same old Ash at the same time.” She paused for a moment to savor a thought. “You’ve renovated,” she jibed.

    Ash shook his head. “Maybe a fresh coat of paint every so often,” he replied, taking off his hat with yet another insignia from yet another league and using it to rub his forehead before he put it back on his head, “but other than that I guess I’m pretty much the same—otherwise I’d have won at the league.”

    “Oh, don’t say that,” Misty said, frowning. “Just because you haven’t accomplished everything you want to doesn’t mean you haven’t made progress. You’ve learned. I know you have. After all,” she continued, “you’re not the same Ash who’d try to use thundershock on a Geodude.”

    Ash looked thoughtfully at Misty for a moment—her body consumed in the busy task of cleaning and her mind focused on him. That was the thing about Misty that was special. It was a sort of comfortable awkwardness that they had. After all, she’d been with him from the start. She knew all about his rookie mistakes, his stubborn ignorance, and his embarrassing moments—the kind of things he’d done in the past that made him groan at the memory. She was well acquainted with his faults and yet she could still use that… fond tone of voice when she talked about them.

    “I actually did that just last week,” he grudgingly admitted.

    She threw a soapy sponge at him. “You did not,” she challenged.

    “Yeah,” he said with a giant grin as he flicked the soap suds off of his jacket, “but this time I didn’t do it because I thought it would have any effect; electricity just charges me up for battle!”

    “Pika!” Pikachu cheered. He felt much the same way.

    Misty laughingly shook her head. “Let’s hope you feel the same way when we start playing around with the electrical wires.”

    “I’m sure I will.”

    They lapsed laughingly once again into a silence as they each stretched their arms forward in synchronized scrubbing movements and Misty thought of all she had left to do—but it seemed less weighty in her present company. Perhaps the renovation could be completed in time after all.

    And yes… the gym and Ash… that sense of change that paradoxically equaled a sense of familiarity. Maybe it was because there are some things that never change; maybe it was because everything grows from a single point. Foundations—that’s what it was. A building may grow, a person may learn, but the foundation is where it starts, and the foundation is what lasts.

    “No matter how much you learn and grow and change in your travels,” Misty thought out loud, “it’s okay if you keep some part of you the same Ash who’d fight a bird with a worm.”

    “Misty?” Ash tried curiously. “What do you—?”

    “Because it’s about foundations,” Misty said, closing her eyes. “And yours… is strong. I wouldn’t change it. Not for anything.”

  5. #5
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    Loved the Renovation one. I really never thought you would come back to this. Keep it up!
    I don't use "uber" Pokemon (because they're banned), I don't calculate stat values (the simulator does it for me), I don't use cheating devices (because I hardly ever play the actual game), I don't breed my way to perfection (because I use a simulator), and I do care about natures. I battle the most efficient way, so I can use my strategic skills to the fullest. I don't look down on others because of the way they play Pokemon, which non-competitive people seem to actually do more often. If you use this philosophy, copy & paste this into your signature. (Started by DittoDude.)

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    Thanks. I'm glad you liked it!

    ...I actually didn't think I'd come back to this either. I was burned out on the whole thing, like I said. But I felt like writing another one. Hopefully I can continue, but I've got other projects clamoring for my attention too.

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    THESE ARE FREAKING AMAZING. OMFG.

    Sorry. That's my inner hopeless romantic speaking. But seriously, these are very good. I've always been a Pokeshipper, and I just really like these. Keep it up!
    Want to watch some funny videos?
    Check out MandJTV, a channel where Raccoon Man, a hero nobler than any other, serves justice and does a few other ridiculous (and funny) things.
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    Thank you very much!

    I hope to write another one soon, but I'm kinda null for ideas. If anyone who looks at the lists has a favorite theme they'd like me to tackle they can PM me it and I'll take it into account. Otherwise, I guess I'll have to wade through my other fics before I come back to this one. ...It would be nice to get another one written before the year is out though...

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    You have readers! We just don't feel like commenting, sorry. LOL JK. I was busy so I couldn't comment... Awesome stories by the way! I like the second one I can picture it now. The In-Laws will all pester Ash for his denseness while Misty gets embarrassed and such! Nice idea! ^_^
    ~Kat

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    Thank you so much for commenting! In-Law Blues is probably my favorite one so far.

    X_x I just can't help but think when no one comments that no one's reading these things. Can ya blame me?

    Ugh, I really need to do another one of these sometime soon. So much to do and so little time...

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    Thank you so much for commenting! In-Law Blues is probably my favorite one so far.

    X_x I just can't help but think when no one comments that no one's reading these things. Can ya blame me?

    Ugh, I really need to do another one of these sometime soon. So much to do and so little time...
    Don't worry. I know how you feel. I currently know that I only have one reader for my stories because they PMed me. I have no comments whatsoever on my threads! ^_^ It's okay. I feel that 24/7.
    ~Kat

    Check out my Tumblr post for different accounts: http://katspearl.tumblr.com/post/320643625...ro-2-meeeeeeeee

    I'm an optional author for the Fic Request Shop. I'm working on http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpos...&postcount=198 and http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpos...&postcount=293

    CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Over the Edge and The Reality Show
    (Sorry, I don't know how to make a banner)

    Also, to cure my writer's block, here's a two-shot: It's Better to Have Loved



    ~SNIIIIVYYY!!

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    I would have got to this sooner, but stuff got in the way.

    Sink or Swim, I liked how Ash was overconfident at the beginning only to be undone by his own strategy. XD The way the boy kept describing Misty as a nice lady made me lol. The interaction between them was nice, and the way she roped him into staying with her was amusing. Though I kept waiting for the punch line about Ash's own poor swimming when it comes to drowning for some reason.

    In-Law Blues, I loved this one. It was hilarious, no ever taps into the potential of Ash and the sisters. This made my day.

    With Me Always, I've got to be honest. I didn't really like this one that much.
    well, don’t you see it’s okay this way?”
    No, it's not okay. I can't help but feel Ash is feeding her a line of bunk to get off his case, and she brought it with ease. It's like hey, I can keep on ditching you, so long as you let me. I know Misty likes Ash, but I think she should at least be pissed that he can't even spend any time with her unless it is on his terms. I know what you were trying to do here. But it didn't come out right, sorry.

    Renovation, now this is the classic Ash and Misty interaction I love. It's just them being themselves, and that's something I adore. It's great to see them have a meaningful conversation, but with their own personality quirks tied in.
    Last edited by Yoshi-kun; 9th February 2012 at 7:02 PM.
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    Thanks so much for your comments!

    Heh, I think someone else who wrote for the Sink or Swim prompt mentioned Ash's propensity for drowning XD

    In-Law Blues is my favorite. I'm looking for an excuse to write as the sensational sisters again :3

    With Me Always is probably my least favorite and the most outside my genre. I will agree with you that Ash is wrong and that what he's doing is completely not okay and discovering that should be an important part of his journey (not like that's ever going to canonically happen...) however, I don't think he's feeding her a line. I think he genuinely believes that. And yeah, Misty's pissed, but she also loves Ash and can be a real sucker where he's concerned. It's sad and maybe she shouldn't, but in my mind she's decided to wait for him... at least for now. He keeps ditching her and he can't expect any amount of sweet talk to save him. But yes, this one was the oneshot that was the most of a stretch for me.

    I've had too strong a propensity for stories that a just conversations lately XD but I'm glad this one was enjoyable.

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    Here's theme #1: Spinning Wheels.

    Spinning Wheels. G.

    Misty stood up, her weight supported on the small platform of her bike’s pedals. She pumped her legs furiously as she climbed the slope in front of her. There was a moment of stillness as she reached the top of the hill. Then the bike slid forward, wheels rushing down the slant of the hill in effortless forward motion. As she hit level ground she began pedaling. The hard part of her journey was over and the path that lay before her was very familiar… the path to Pallet Town.

    A constant clickety-clack sound accompanied the roll of tire on dirt. In the front wheel, between the spokes, she’d slipped a recipe that Mrs. Ketchum had asked to see the next time she came to visit; between the spokes of the back wheel she’d placed an envelope containing photographs of Pokemon from back at the Cerulean City Gym that Tracey had wanted to use for reference. Her mind was bursting with anecdotes to share with Professor Oak about the marine life within her aquarium back at the gym. Her backpack space had already been taken up by an adorable blue blob that was playing passenger for the time being—and hopefully was not getting bike-sick.

    “You okay back there, Azurill?” Misty asked as she coasted down the road.

    “Rill!” it responded gleefully, enjoying the scenery that flowed around it as it peaked out of the bag on Misty’s back.

    “Good,” Misty said, and turned back to the road in front of her.

    The wheels spun beneath her, revolving to meet the ground in that same steady rhythm as her tires ate up the road. She’d been intent on her destination, intent of making good time, but suddenly she slowed. She dragged her feet along the ground, kicking up dirt with her sneakers until her bike came to a halt. She stared at the grassy incline that spilled into the river, smelled the reedy waters as they trickled toward the sea, and heard the flow slip and slide over the current-smoothed rocks.

    “It was here,” she said softly.

    Yes… it was at that very place that she’d stopped to cast her line into the water and caught a boy instead of a fish. And that had been… the start of something. A merry little adventure across the continent and parts beyond to say the least and… the first time that she’d ever felt… then it was something new, something she mistook for anger when it made her feel weak and when it confused her, but something she’d grown to recognize for what it really was. Even amidst all the adventures and all the new experiences she’d had when she walked that path… that feeling was what she remembered most.

    She gripped the handlebars of her bike—cleaned up and repaired since its initial frying. She owed that bike quite a lot, now that she came to think of it. It had been her invitation and excuse.

    It was at times like that when the road felt like an old friend or the memories crept out from behind photographs that a girl could really start to feel… nostalgic… to pine for that time. She had to wonder if the same bike that started it all could bring her back… if the wheels could spin her back to the start of it all… of that life… of that boy… of her days traveling alongside Ash. There was a warmth and safety to those times, always nestled in the back of her mind. Could they ever be reclaimed?

    The river lapping against the shore shook her out of reminiscences and reminded her that she could never cross it twice—the waters were different… and so was she.

    No… the rosy tint of nostalgia was comforting and all, but it didn’t tell the whole truth. She wasn’t the same Misty she was when she was ten—she couldn’t be. In fact, the very idea of returning to such a state made her wince.

    “I hate to admit it,” she said, rubbing her fingers against her temples, “but I could be a real brat back then.”

    “Azurill?” Azurill asked, wondering why its trainer had stopped so long at this place.

    “An adorable, vivacious brat, sure,” she added with a smile. “But still a brat.” She giggled.

    Yes… time had changed and she had followed suit… and she couldn’t be the only one. Even Ash who was so afflicted with Peter Pan Syndrome that he had to be an honorary lost boy, if not a frequent fairy-dust flier… even he couldn’t jog in place for an eternity. Apart from each other they’d both been a party to that mystical and painful process… that finding out who you really are when you’ve lost your illusions… that thing that they call growing up.

    She couldn’t expect to cycle backwards to that memory of him—she’d never get anywhere. The only thing for both of them was to keep moving forward. There could be no reclamation by doubling back, by trying to become the children they’d been together. This wasn’t about a wheel that would spin back to its point of origin… no… better to say it was about a road… one that stretched out into the cavernous tomorrow and tomorrow and beyond… a road with many choices… many branches that led to many places. They’d taken different paths and they were too far gone to turn back now.

    Of course, that wasn’t to say that their paths would never meet again. For all she knew he was running along a path that was parallel to hers and the two would merge somewhere down the line. Who could say? All she could do was walk her path with authenticity—the path that was made up of all the choices that made up the person who she was today… her own path, and see where it would lead her.

    She grinned and leaned low over the handlebars of her bike, twisting her hand against the handlebar as though revving an imaginary engine. “Ash Ketchum…” she said, articulating his name with a certain fond familiarity, “…I’ll race you to the future.”

  15. #15
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    Heya, this a review for In-Law Blues from the review game.

    I liked the one shot. I thought it was really well written because it had a real natural flow with a mixture of showing and telling. I've read a lot of pokeshipping fics with a flowery tone to the writing so your pokeshipping stories that mixes the show and don't tell technique with concise details makes your pokeshipping works stand out a bit more.

    The opening sentence alone lets me know that Ash dosen't want to be where he is right now. The Ocean Spray stood out for me as well because I love cranberry juice. I thought it was really interesting how Ash's views on Misty's sisters seemed to have changed since spending more time with them after he married Misty. I think it means that he'll begin to see how the gym is with Misty's eyes. This one shot reminded me of the episode where Misty remininses on her sister getting lots of dolls whilst she dosen't get as much. I think it was the one where she tries to win that doll collection.

    Reading the fic, I imagined that Misty and Ash are in their twenties and are newly weds so at first I thought that Violet asking them if they had any baby plans was a bit too soon because I don't think Ash would have put much thought to it, but maybe Misty might have. I like how the sisters enjoy the concepts of being glam aunties because I think that really suits their characters well.

    “You’re right,” Lily admitted, twirling a finger around a strand of her pink hair. “Better to just let Misty do it. It’s not like she’s got that remarkable of a figure to ruin anyway.”

    “Now, now,” Daisy said with a smile that highlighted her beauty mark. “She’s always managed to have a trail of guys swarming after her, so maybe she has some sensational—sensation—” her brow furrowed, “sensationalism,” she decided, “after all, even if she is just the runt.”
    I think this part was my favourite part of the story. Lily is a ***** for saying that, but that's what makes it so funny. It's something I can imagine her saying and it builds up to the sisters telling Ash that he made Misty wait too long. Overall I really enjoyed the story. I thought that everybody was in character because it reminded me of certain things that happened in the show. I also felt it was very realistic and felt that the characters would act that way should they be in that situation.

    I think the ending of the fic gave the one shot a good closure whilst giving me, the reader ideas of what they would do next. I like how it's not completly resolved but it's very much like a slice of life fic. I haven't read many fics focusing on how Misty's sisters respond to Misty and Ash's relationship so I think the plot is quite niche. I also thought it was well executed because of relaxed pace.


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    Thank you very much! In-Law Blues is my favorite oneshot from this collection, because I really found Misty's sisters fun characters to work with. More fun, as a matter of fact, than Ash and Misty themselves.

  17. #17
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    Well here goes nothing! This is a review of Renovation by Skiyomi! Overall, the story was outstanding. It was incredibly polished and I could only find one or two errors overall. Really this review is going to amount to me just reflecting on aspects of the story because for the most part, the technical aspects were flawless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    But there was another reason that Ash never managed to relax for too long, and he could only put it down to… fate.
    This will probably seem nitpicky but "putting it down" sounded weird to me for some reason. I'd probably say something like "chalk it up to fate". I'm probably just splitting hairs though.

    He’d plan time off (or, more accurately, his friends or his mother would plan time off for him), but by the time he got wherever he was going, some sort of calamity had already started and fixing it was much more important than sipping coconut juice or having a pajama day. For example, his home town of Pallet was calm verging on boring nearly every day of the year except whenever he got anywhere near it. Then, inexplicably, Team Rocket would attack, or someone would go missing or need help, or a hurricane would hit, or the dead would rise from their graves to attack the living (it happened).
    I love that you threw this in there because it is abundantly true that Ash always seems to be in EXACTLY the right place at EXACTLY the right time. It's interesting that you have Ash reflecting on that very fact here.

    And this was why it came as absolutely no surprise to him when he walked up to the doorway of the Cerulean Gym on his way to meet Misty and spend a leisurely day with her in Cerulean City before heading back home to visit his mom, that before he could even say a hello, she dragged him into the building, shoved a dirty dishrag into his hands and frantically informed him: “We need to work fast!
    This sentence seemed really awkward and I think it's mainly because of the sheer amount of length. I'd probably change it to: "This is why it should of came as absolutely no surprise to him when he walked to the doorway of the Cerulean Gym and was nearly knocked out by Misty bursting through the door. He was set to have a leisurely day with her before heading back to Pallet but it appeared she had other plans. Before he could even say a hello, she dragged him into the building, shoved a dirty dishrag into his hands and frantically informed him: "We need to work fast!" All I did was break the sentence down into smaller sentences and it seems to flow more cleanly to me.

    And with that she dashed back into the main building before Ash could register much more of her than a panicked ginger blur. He exchanged a look with Pikachu whose shiny black eyes radiated rodent concern. With the air of someone unsure if he was walking into a trap or not, Ash stepped forward into the main part of the gym.
    This passage struck me as incredibly humorous for some reason.

    It certainly didn’t look the way he remembered it. The Cerulean Gym was usually all… shiny surfaces—lapping water and the reflections it cast against the walls, bright lights that picked up every gleam of the moist tile. Now it was dry and stripped. The tiles had been pried loose from the floor and sat in a dusty pile in the corner, the wallpaper had been scraped from the walls leaving only concrete with paper residue, and, mostly noticeably, the main pool that was site to both battles and ballet was now completely empty of water.
    Brilliant imagery here. Typically I hate lengthy, paragraph long descriptions because they're A.) too wordy and B.) break up the narrative. Yours, on the other hand, was wonderfully executed and I could see the dilapidated gym in full.

    One look at the grimy floor told him that what he’d smelled before wasn’t exactly fish, but was a natural… shall we say, end product of fish.
    Perhaps I was wrong in assuming that this was the pool used for battling. If I wasn't wrong, however, it seems odd that it would be full of PokePoop (I trademark that). If it's a pool where the Pokemon are living (sort of like an aquarium), I understand that. But it seems odd if the Pokemon are only in the pool for a few minutes that it could get filled with... excrement.

    Around her, Politoed, Psyduck, and Corsola were busily following suit with toothbrushes that hopefully were no longer going to be used on actual teeth. Well, Politoed and Corsola were; Psyduck was just staring at his toothbrush with a look of profound incomprehension.
    Two things. Firstly, it seems weird that Corsola could hold a toothbrush. For the most part, it has rather stubby legs and those seem incapable of actually holding a brush. Secondly, Psyduck cracked me up. The world needs more Psyducks.

    Hire a remolding company to revamp the gym
    I think you meant remodeling here.

    How much of my income do you think is actually from being a gym leader?”
    That's a good question actually...I guess I never really thought about the concept of gym leaders being paid...huh...there's food for thought.

    Ash was, by this point, on his knees and scrubbing the fishy floor as well (it seemed like the ‘in’ thing to do), and after a few seconds realized that the last question was not just Misty talking to herself and therefore required an answer. “Ummm… like… sixty-five percent?” he guessed.

    Misty gave a scornful laugh. “Try five percent,” she answered.
    Things are a little unclear right here. Are you referring to a percentage of the winnings they get from trainers? I'm not really sure as to a percentage of what you are referring to here.

    “Well, from what I hear you give challengers a hard time,” Ash said with a grin. “Every time I meet a trainer with a Cascade badge they always tell me how crazy strong the gym leader here is and how hard she is to beat.”
    Especially since two of her three Pokemon are from Johto (Corsola and Politoed). Misty is throwing Pokemon at them they've never seen before. Poor trainers.

    Misty dunked her towel in the soapy water too, and settled down to clean next to him with a smile. “And what do you say?” she asked as their shoulders brushed lightly against each other, “That can’t be, because back when I knew her she wasn’t that strong?”
    Ash needed a technicality to win that badge...so probably not.

    “I have picked up a few tricks since I became a full-time gym leader.”
    Just had a mind blowing revelation. Misty has clearly became the full-time gym leader here, just like she was in RBY. What if the show is taking place WELL before the games did...*MIND BLOWN*

    “I bet,” Ash said. “Hey,” he added brightly as an idea struck him, “how about once this is all done you can thank me for helping out by battling me?”
    Really thankful that we didn't have to actually witness the battle here. I was a little concerned because a battle would have seemed really out of place in context to the rest of the story. Thank you for sparing me of that.

    “…And the lighting has to be rewired with the new set-up…”

    She bit her lip and looked nervously at Ash. “…I don’t suppose you know anything about electrical wiring, do you?”

    “Not really,” Ash was forced to admit.

    “Then would you like to give it a try, or would you like to be the one on standby to dial 9-1-1 while I do it?” Misty asked in a half-joking voice.
    Well this might be Misty's WORST idea ever. No one should ever try to guess their way through wiring. Incredibly dangerous...even for a universe that got its kicks out of repeatedly making Team Rocket explode.

    Pikachu can call 9-1-1 if we get fried.”
    Misty quickly outdoes herself by coming up with a worse plan.

    “Pikachu pi,” Pikachu warned, in what might have been translated as: ‘I don’t think the dispatcher will understand me.’
    Well at least Pikachu shares my sentiments.

    “Because it’s about foundations,” Misty said, closing her eyes. “And yours… is strong. I wouldn’t change it. Not for anything.”
    D'AWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! But all kidding aside, this is a really well-done polished ship-fic. It's not your typical "Den Ash kiszed Misty. They gots murried. Liek dis if u cry evrytym" stuff that makes me loathe shipping. As I said above, your grammar, syntax,a nd punctuation is impeccable. As much as I enjoy your oneshots, I would like to see a full-fledged fic from you (and if one exists, please send me a link).
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  18. #18
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    Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed it, especially since it's sounds like you're not a big fan of shipping.

    This will probably seem nitpicky but "putting it down" sounded weird to me for some reason. I'd probably say something like "chalk it up to fate". I'm probably just splitting hairs though.
    Huh. I've heard "putting it down to" in pretty much the same context I've used here before. This might be a matter of different phrases used in different places? I'm not sure.


    I love that you threw this in there because it is abundantly true that Ash always seems to be in EXACTLY the right place at EXACTLY the right time. It's interesting that you have Ash reflecting on that very fact here.
    He can't help it. He's the main character :P

    This sentence seemed really awkward and I think it's mainly because of the sheer amount of length. I'd probably change it to: "This is why it should of came as absolutely no surprise to him when he walked to the doorway of the Cerulean Gym and was nearly knocked out by Misty bursting through the door. He was set to have a leisurely day with her before heading back to Pallet but it appeared she had other plans. Before he could even say a hello, she dragged him into the building, shoved a dirty dishrag into his hands and frantically informed him: "We need to work fast!" All I did was break the sentence down into smaller sentences and it seems to flow more cleanly to me.
    Hmm. Yeah, I agree with you. That sentence does get a bit out of control. I'll go forward and try to refine it after I post this.

    Brilliant imagery here. Typically I hate lengthy, paragraph long descriptions because they're A.) too wordy and B.) break up the narrative. Yours, on the other hand, was wonderfully executed and I could see the dilapidated gym in full.
    I'm definitely with you on the subject of extraneous description, to the point where "scant on description" is a critique I've gotten for some of my writing in the past. I'm glad this one worked well.

    Perhaps I was wrong in assuming that this was the pool used for battling. If I wasn't wrong, however, it seems odd that it would be full of PokePoop (I trademark that). If it's a pool where the Pokemon are living (sort of like an aquarium), I understand that. But it seems odd if the Pokemon are only in the pool for a few minutes that it could get filled with... excrement.
    I certainly figure they'd clear it out for battles, but it seems like the kind of large space that'd be perfect, particularly for larger Pokemon like Gyarados. It seems like kind of a waste to me to leave it empty even when no battles are going on.

    Two things. Firstly, it seems weird that Corsola could hold a toothbrush. For the most part, it has rather stubby legs and those seem incapable of actually holding a brush. Secondly, Psyduck cracked me up. The world needs more Psyducks.
    I'm trying to recall a scene in the anime where Corsola showed a little more dexterity than you'd think it would, because I feel like such a scene exists, but I can't remember anything in particular.

    I think you meant remodeling here.
    *slaps forehead* And I actually made this mistake twice too. I'll go fix it.

    Things are a little unclear right here. Are you referring to a percentage of the winnings they get from trainers? I'm not really sure as to a percentage of what you are referring to here.
    5% would be the amount that the League pays her to be a gym leader whereas 95% would be the money she receives from the aquarium/pool/show events that she puts on--the total being her income. Since this is set in anime-verse, I'm assuming the money-making aspect of the games where the winner gets money from the loser doesn't exist. I don't think I've ever seen them actually do that in the anime though I'm not really sure where they get their living expenses if it comes to that.

    Really thankful that we didn't have to actually witness the battle here. I was a little concerned because a battle would have seemed really out of place in context to the rest of the story. Thank you for sparing me of that.
    Battles are waaaaaay too much of a pain for me to write to put in unless I have a real point to make, so no worries. I'm not going to just stick something like that into a piece like this.

    D'AWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! But all kidding aside, this is a really well-done polished ship-fic. It's not your typical "Den Ash kiszed Misty. They gots murried. Liek dis if u cry evrytym" stuff that makes me loathe shipping. As I said above, your grammar, syntax,a nd punctuation is impeccable. As much as I enjoy your oneshots, I would like to see a full-fledged fic from you (and if one exists, please send me a link).
    Despite the fact that I am a big fan of shipping, the kind of thing you're describing makes me cringe (severely) too. I'm certainly glad my story didn't fall into that kind of category.

    Most of my full-fledged fics are actually from the Slayers fandom, with me being much more oneshot-oriented in Pokemon. I do have a few chaptered Pokemon fics, though:

    The Kingdom of Illusions - 12 chapter PokeShipping fanfic (complete).

    Out of My League - A bit premature of me to list since only the prologue is up at the moment, but it will be multi-chaptered.

    Possession - Currently six chapters, but in progress. It's about how Morty got mixed up with the occult.

    ...And that's pretty much it except for The Tower which is technically multi-chaptered, but then again it's not that much longer than some of my longer oneshots.

    Once again, thanks so much for your interest and your comments!

  19. #19
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    I've never read anything by you, dear Skiyomi. I'm glad I saw you on the review game thread. I'm reviewing Spinning Wheels for the review game thread. In general, it was a fun read, and I had a hard time finding things to correct. Let's get started.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    Spinning Wheels. G.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    Then the bike slid forward, wheels rushing down the slant of the hill in an effortless forward motion.
    It worked the way it was before, but I find it easier to read with this "an".
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    As she hit level ground she began pedaling.
    I think it should be replaced with "resumed" or something similar, because just a moment ago she was "pumping her legs furiously".
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    The hard part of her journey was over and the path that lay before her was very familiar… the path to Pallet Town.
    I think it should be "hardest". I think you need a comma after "over", but I'm not sure (I suck at grammar).
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    A constant clickety-clack sound accompanied the roll of tire on dirt.
    I like this audible description, makes me realize how little sounds I have in my own fic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    Her mind was bursting with anecdotes to share with Professor Oak about the marine life within her aquarium back at the gym. Her backpack space had already been taken up by an adorable blue blob that was playing passenger for the time being—and hopefully was not getting bike-sick.
    It's less wordy to say "gym's aquarium." I see you use "her" two times in a row, and later "she" was used a couple times together. It doesn't look that bad here, but it's something to look out for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    And that had been… the start of something. A merry little adventure across the continent and parts beyond to say the least and… the first time that she’d ever felt… then it was something new, something she mistook for anger when it made her feel weak and when it confused her, but something she’d grown to recognize for what it really was. Even amidst all the adventures and all the new experiences she’d had when she walked that path… that feeling was what she remembered most.
    Aww, I love this. It's very well worded, plus without actually saying "love" or "affection".
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    It was at times like that when the road felt like an old friend or the memories crept out from behind photographs that a girl could really start to feel… nostalgic… to pine for that time.
    I understand this sentence, but I cant help but feel like it's a little awkward.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    “I hate to admit it,” she said, rubbing her fingers against her temples, “but I could be a real brat back then.”
    "Could be" might sound better as "was".
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    “Ash Ketchum…” she said, articulating his name with a certain fond familiarity, “…I’ll race you to the future.”
    I like this ending quote, it's final yet brings hope.

    Reading this one-shot made me feel warm, and, unexpectedly, made me reflect on the way I've changed as well. It's like a love letter to the fans, we've grown up along with Misty and might never feel or experience the excitement of being young the same way again. This fic made me feel feelings, thus qualifying it as art. Bravo.
    Last edited by Drippy Miltank; 9th October 2012 at 5:04 PM. Reason: Grammar mistakes on my part.
    Embrace

    A breeder joyously hatches a riolu for a client. To the dismay of the hatchling, the client never returns to claim him. Faced with an abandoned pokémon, the breeder vows to find the riolu's trainer and family.
    (Better banner coming soon.)
    Current - Chapter 1: The Client.

    Coming up - Re-writing Chapter 2

        Spoiler:- 4th Gen Eggmove (Any Nature/Gender):

  20. #20
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    Thanks so much for your review! I'll have to do some rereadings of this piece before I do corrections, since it's actually be awhile since I looked at this. There are definitely some things that you pointed out that I want to address when I revise, but there are some things I think I want to keep for various reasons. I probably won't know what final decisions I'm going to make until I'm knee-deep in the text XD

    I'm glad you got that kind of feeling from this story. It's a short little piece, but I hope it makes its point. It is sort of a love letter to the fans, because it's full of a sense of nostalgia, but I think there's also a bit of admonition here to the idea that if Misty came back everything would be wonderful and just like it used to be--and I think this fic demonstrates that things shouldn't stay the same. They need to keep moving forward.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    but I think there's also a bit of admonition here to the idea that if Misty came back everything would be wonderful and just like it used to be--and I think this fic demonstrates that things shouldn't stay the same. They need to keep moving forward.
    I can't believe I missed that! Though I did like Misty, I'd have to agree with you. Even if she returned as part of the main cast it wouldn't be the same.
    Embrace

    A breeder joyously hatches a riolu for a client. To the dismay of the hatchling, the client never returns to claim him. Faced with an abandoned pokémon, the breeder vows to find the riolu's trainer and family.
    (Better banner coming soon.)
    Current - Chapter 1: The Client.

    Coming up - Re-writing Chapter 2

        Spoiler:- 4th Gen Eggmove (Any Nature/Gender):

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    Review to "With me Always"

    Theme: A very good execution of the term "eternal friendship." I mean, its true that not all of us wanted to have a destined partner. Right? Just an everlasting platonic friendship. The part where misty asks him to hang out is admired so well.

    Emotion: Simple yet detailed in many ways -- especially the part about our old yet nostalgic young hero being "oblivious to romance". So catchy.

    Characters: normally, if you were to ask me which is my favorite type of pokemon character for me to write, it would be the pokemon themselves (A reason why i prefered pokemon centered themes and Pokemon Mystery dungeon stories Eighty percent of the time). Not a fan or enthusiast of human characters in pokemon but only very few get to impress me. Your characters of choice, while too common in the fanfics, manage to evoke simple friendship done in detailed manners.

    Implementation: Wow. What a unique way to introduce unova departures. I mean, that place must be extremely distant. Mentioning Team Plasma (the mirrored, yet better, team rocket) adds the spice to new generation arrival.
    Final Chapter: 38: Mountain's Edge(Click the Banner above)

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