Remember when I said that I planned on revealing a new OC in this chapter or something like that? Unfortunately, plans have a habit of being ruined, and this one is no exception. Please don't hate me *shot*.
Glad that shot didn't hit me. Now let's continue on with the story. I think you'll really enjoy this chapter, but before we begin, I have something to say.
I have to give thanks to both Jerda Foks and jstinftw! for helping write and proofreading this story. It wouldn't have been possible to make this chapter so good without them. I have to give a bit of thanks to Moonlight Absol as well, but she hasn't been around at all lately. Anyway. On with the chapter.
Succumbing to the desires of both Iris and her mother, after a long day of training, traveling, and socializing, the group had taken rest within their home for the night. Up until the middle of the night, while everyone else was asleep in their own separate rooms, Ash continued to lie awake in his own bed, sorting out his own thoughts as Pikachu slept, curled up into a ball at his side while Oshawott rested at his feet, his body sprawled across the sheets.
“What is wrong with Oshawott all of a sudden? Everyone is making a big deal about him possibly having a crush on Emolga, but isn’t that the same as wanting to be best friends with someone? Even then, Oshawott and Emolga are already friends with each other, so what more could he possibly want? Was my mom wrong this whole time? Is there something beyond friendship or even best-friendship?” As these thoughts and ideas continued to torment him, he soon rose from the bed in his blue pajamas. As he rose to his feet and began to walk to the door, both Pikachu and Oshawott began to rise from their sleep, giving huge yawns in the process. Standing by the still unopened door, Ash turned around to see both of his Pokémon awake and still rubbing sleep from their eyes.
“Don’t worry, I’m just going downstairs to get some water,” Ash said to keep them from getting upset. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
“Wait!” Oshawott quickly signaled before his trainer could turn the knob on the door. As Ash stood feeling somewhat puzzled by his Pokémon’s sudden warning, Oshawott walked towards the foot of the bed and grabbed a small, clear glass that stood on the drawer nearby.
“Oh! I forgot about that glass. Thank you, Osha…wott?” Ash said as he began to walk towards Oshawott, but quickly stopped in his tracks, his face showing more signs of nausea as he witnessed Oshawott slowly fill the glass with his Water Gun attack. Even Pikachu couldn’t help but feel a bit grossed out after witnessing this moment.
“Umm, that’s nice, Oshawott, but I think I’ll just get a glass while I’m downstairs.” Ash said, trying to sound as sincere as possible before finally opening the door and leaving the room. As Pikachu went back to sleep into his curled position, Oshawott still stood awake, looking at the partially filled glass of water in his hand.
“What’s his problem? This is perfectly good drinking water,” Oshawott convinced himself before drinking a bit of the water himself. At first, he did not think the water would be bad at all, but after taking a bit of water into his mouth, he quickly spat it all out in disgust, dropping the empty glass on the bed in the process. As Oshawott ran frantically after Ash through the already open door, Pikachu could only laugh softly to himself as he watched Oshawott’s ordeal with one eye open before finally falling asleep. As Oshawott continued to run down the hall towards the stairs, still feeling traumatized, he was eventually stopped in his tracks when he ran into Ash’s leg and fell.
“What was that?” Ash asked himself before turning around and looking down to see Oshawott brushing his tongue with his hands. “What happened to you, Oshawott?! Are you okay?” Ash asked with a look of concern before bending down to get a closer look at the unfortunate sea otter.
“Do not drink the Pokémon water!” Oshawott shouted to Ash, who only became even more confused by his inaudible chirping.
“Calm down, Oshawott!” Ash said, desperate to keep Oshawott from making more noise, but his prayers were soon answered when the door behind him began to open. As the door opened wider and a figure appeared from behind it, Oshawott’s attention began to shift away from the bad taste in his mouth and his voice became quieter and quieter until he finally fell silent. Ash was both puzzled and relieved by Oshawott’s sudden silence for a short moment until he heard a voice come from the dark figure.
“Ash, what are you doing up here so late at night?”
“Huh? That voice.” Ash thought to himself after hearing the familiar voice before he turned back around to see Iris rubbing her eyes in an attempt to stay awake.
“I-Iris!” Ash stammered as he scrambled back to Iris’s height. “Umm, sorry we woke you up, Iris.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Iris said “I was having a bad dream anyway, so it’s okay.”
“Bad dream?” Ash quickly responded, suddenly looking worried.
“Don’t worry about it too much; it was just a random dream,” Iris lied, feeling somewhat worried that Ash would catch on to her. “So, what are you doing up?” For a short moment, Ash felt somewhat skeptical of Iris, but decided to put his suspicions aside for the moment to answer her question.
“Well, I just got a bit thirsty, so I got up to get some water.”
“Oh!” Iris responded, feeling somewhat sad as she looked from Ash and towards her right arm as she rubbed it in an attempt to comfort herself. For a moment, there was an awkward silence between Ash and Iris as Oshawott continued to look at them from the background, curious about what would happen next. Incapable of taking the silence for any longer, Ash began to speak once again.
“Well, I guess I’ll just go now.” Ash said before walking past Iris and towards the stairs. As Ash walked farther and farther away, Iris could not help but become progressively sadder as Oshawott stood by her, feeling worried as well.
“Wait.” Iris called, unable to tolerate her own sadness anymore.
“Yes.” Ash responded as he turned around to face Iris again.
“Umm,” Iris trailed off, trying to gather as much courage as she can as Ash stood waiting near the stairs. “After you get your water, would it be alright if you could spend the rest of the night in my room?”
“W-W-W-What?!” Ash stammered, completely dumbfounded by Iris’s sudden request as his face began to turn a bright red. Oshawott only stood at the side looking surprised as well as Ash struggled to manage his current thoughts.
“Y-You don’t have to freak out so much, Ash,” Iris quickly corrected as a flush of red came across her face as well. “I just thought it would be a good idea to help Emolga and Oshawott bond with each other.”
“I don’t know about this,” Ash responded as he began to scratch his head.
“I knew you wouldn’t be up to this,” Iris said as a smirk began to form on her face. “Even when it’s something that’s going to help your Pokémon, you’re still too scared to enter a girl’s room. You’re such a kid.”
“What? There’s no way that I’m a kid; in fact, I bet I’m way more mature than you are.” Ash said as he began to spread his arms apart in an effort to show the maturity difference between him and Iris.
“Then prove it by spending the night in my room.” Iris said with a tone of confidence.
“Alright! It’s on!” Ash responded, feeling more eager than he ever did whenever he challenged Iris.
After coming back from his quick trip for water, Ash was finally in Iris’s room. To be honest, there was little difference between her room and the room that Ash was resting in only minutes ago, but even so, he couldn’t help but feel nervous as he lay awake in his green sleeping bag while Iris, Emolga, and Oshawott lay awake in the bed next to him as well; after all, it was the first time that he had ever slept in a room by himself, alone with a girl that was around his age. For a minute, the room was silent with the exception of the trees outside that rustled as the wind blew, but unable to take the silence anymore, Iris began to speak.
“It’s been a while since we’ve actually slept alone together like this, hasn’t it.” Iris said with a shaky voice that signified that she was nervous as well.
“Y-Yeah,” Ash responded. “Now that I think about it, the last time we ever hung out like this was when we first started traveling with each other.”
“Again, I wasn’t traveling with you at that time,” Iris quickly lied, her voice sounding almost playful this time. “I just happened to be traveling in the same direction as you, and then you started following me as if you were a lost, little kid.”
“Gah! Even now, you still can’t resist teasing me, can you,” Ash complained with an annoyed look as he put his hands behind his head. “I wonder if you had any friends from the Dragon Village that you teased like that.” As soon as she heard this, Iris’s demeanor began to worsen and show signs of sadness as she raised her upper body away from the bed. As both Oshawott and Emolga raised their bodies from the bed, Iris looked towards Ash and began to speak.
“Ash…When I was growing up in the Dragon Village, I never made any friends.” Ash immediately felt guilty about what he had just said. Even by his own standards, Ash could not deny that what he had said was thoughtless. Oshawott and Emolga could only look at Iris in both surprise and pity after hearing this news.
“Iris,” Ash said, trying to sound as sincere as possible as he raised his upper body from the floor and turned towards Iris. “I’m sorry; I didn’t know tha-,”
“You don’t need to apologize, Ash,” Iris interrupted. “There’s no way that you could’ve known earlier, so it’s okay.”
“But it’s not okay,” Ash insisted. “I said something careless and ended up hurting your feelings because of that. I really am a kid if I’m doing stuff like that.” Not once has Iris ever seen Ash care so much about how his actions affect other people. She was even more shocked to hear Ash admitting right in front of her that he was a kid, even though it was just something that she liked to call him to spark a reaction and get a small laugh.
“I’m serious, Ash. It’s okay,” Iris said, feeling a bit guilty as well, but as she continued, a warm smile began to form on her face. “It’s okay because I made so many great friends during my travels after meeting you, and you were the best one that I ever made.”
“T-That was very nice of you to say,” Ash said as a blush came across his face. All previous worries and nervousness forgotten, a serene silence filled the room. For once in this night, both Ash and Iris were alone with each other, and they were at peace along with their Pokémon, who took special care not to interrupt this special moment.
“We should probably go to bed now. It’s getting late.” Iris yawned, putting an end to the long silence.
“Yeah, we should.” Ash agreed as he gave a big yawn before lying down in his sleeping bag once again.
“Hey, Ash? Before you fall asleep, I want to ask you something.” Iris said.
“Sure. What did you want to ask?” Ash responded.
“Tomorrow, there’s someplace special that I want to show you, but I want you to come by yourself. You can still bring your Pokémon, but I don’t want anyone else to see this place. Is that okay?” Iris asked, feeling somewhat nervous about the possibility of rejection.
“…Sure, I’ll come along,” Ash agreed as he gave a huge yawn of his own. “Cilan and Georgia might feel a little sad about being left out, but this is something that you want, so I guess it’s okay.” He said with another yawn before finally falling asleep.
“Goodnight, Ash.” Iris said before lying down and falling asleep as well, the Pokémon quickly following suit.
Hours after the intimate conversation between Ash and Iris, dawn began to break over the Dragon Village, and the eventful night came to an end. As the sun rose higher up from the mountains in the distance, light began to fill the room and Ash began to wake from his long rest with a huge yawn. As Ash rose to his feet and began to stretch, he turned his head to see Oshawott and Emolga still asleep at the foot of the bed.
“Hmm, they’re still asleep. I better not make too much noise.” Ash murmured to himself. After seeing the Pokémon sleeping peacefully, Ash began to wonder if Iris slept in as well. At first, Ash doubted this at first, but after turning his head to the right, to his surprise, he saw Iris sprawled across the bed with the sheets ruffled and pulled away, revealing more of Iris’s body. Even with the curtains that covered the window next to her, a faint ray of light could be seen shining on her as small flecks of dust traveled through the air.
“She’s still asleep,” Ash thought to himself with a warm smile. “We must’ve been up pretty late last night,” For a moment, Ash continued to stare at Iris as she slept peacefully in the bed, but then, an awkward thought began to enter his mind as his attention shifted. “Her hair looks so soft. I wonder what it feels like,” Ash thought as his hand move closer to Iris’s face, but out of fear and embarrassment, he quickly pulled his hand back. “What am I doing?! I just can’t do that to a friend.” Ash debated with himself as he thought about what he had almost done. As these thoughts went through his mind, he tried to turn around and get as far away from the room as possible, but before he could even take a step, he heard a faint voice come from Iris.
“Ash. Don’t leave. Don’t…Nrgh.” Iris mumbled as she stirred in her bed. Ash was shocked at first by Iris’s sudden command, but he quickly regained his composure when he turned around to see Iris again, still asleep in her bed.
“Oh, she’s dreaming…about me?” Ash thought with a puzzled look as he returned to Iris’s side, only to see her wearing a more worried expression. “She must be having a nightmare.” Seeing Iris’s expression gradually worsen, Ash became more concerned about what he could do to comfort her. He only had one idea on how to do that, and the idea itself flustered him, but with no better solutions in his mind at the moment, Ash quickly got over his nervousness and began to move his hand towards Iris once again and began to run his fingers through a piece of her long, purple hair. “It feels so soft. Almost like grass, but more smooth and fluffy.” Ash thought to himself as he continued to caress the long hair that flowed down her body, still feeling a bit nervous. As he continued to do this, Iris began to feel at peace once again. He even saw a warm smile begin to form on her face.
“She looks so peaceful and cute,” Ash thought with a smile as well, wincing for a second at the fact that had called her friend “cute”. Ash could not help but feel confused about his current feelings, but eventually, these thoughts no longer mattered to him, and he abandoned all reasoning as he slowly moved his face closer to Iris’s. As their faces drew closer and closer, his heart began to race faster and faster at the thought that he was about to kiss Iris. Their lips only one or two inches apart, Ash began to close his eyes and prepare for the kiss, but as they began to close, Iris’s eyes began to open. At first, she was clueless about what was going on, but as she began to notice Ash’s lips so close to hers all of a sudden, she quickly backed away with a short, but loud yelp that instantly woke up all the Pokémon in the room and made Ash back away in fear and embarrassment as well.
“Ash! Were you about to…” Iris thought to herself as she put her hand towards her own lips, but before her mind could rationalize what was about to happen, the wall opposite of the window next to Iris’s bed was quickly blown apart, spreading wooden splinters across the entire room. Everyone in the room, even the Pokémon, remained dumbfounded as a floating, three-headed hydra began to enter the room. Its body looked similar to Deino’s in design, but had a pudgier, legless body with two vertical, magenta stripes that ran down it and a long tail that seemed to simply hang below it. Still unable to register the current situation, Ash, Iris, and their Pokémon, including Axew, who quickly jumped out of Iris’s hair and onto the bed, readied themselves for battle against the fierce-looking Pokémon, but their worries quickly vanished when they heard a familiar voice from behind the floating dragon.
“Iris! Are you okay?!”
“Mom, is that you?! And what was that all about?!” Iris angrily replied, recognizing both her voice and the Pokémon in front of her.
“Well,” Iris’s mother continued as she came from behind the surprisingly undamaged door on the wall and into the view of the two children and their Pokémon. “I came up here to let you and your friend know that breakfast was ready, but I didn’t see Ash in his room, and then I heard a cry come from here.”
“But did you really need to have Hydreigon destroy the wall in the process?” Iris fumed.
“I didn’t want to take any risks with a potential pervert in the house,” Iris’s mom said as she glared at Ash, who felt both guilty and unnerved. “Besides, it’s more effective and awesome to bust through the wall than just slowly enter through the door.” Iris could only blush in embarrassment along with Ash before responding.
“Ash isn’t a pervert and he wasn’t going to do anything bad to me.” Iris’s mom was somewhat puzzled that her daughter was defending Ash, but once she took a second look at him, she began to see the expression of guilt on his face as well.
“Reckless love,” Iris’s mom sighed under her breath, making sure not to be heard. “Well, anyway, breakfast is ready, so get dressed up and come downstairs.
“Yes, Mom.” Iris answered.
“And Ash.” Iris’s mom continued.
“Yes.” Ash quickly replied.
“Don’t put your hands anywhere on my daughter where they shouldn’t be.” And with those last few words, Iris’s mom left from their view and went downstairs, soon followed by Hydreigon, who gave a short cry as if to welcome Iris before finally leaving the room. The Pokémon could only stand with dumbfounded looks on their faces as both Ash and Iris exited through the newly created hole in the wall.
I promise you all that the next chapter will be dedicated to the actual tournament, and THAT'S when we'll see the OC and former "guest of the episode" character. I really promise to do this in Chapter 8.