Hi all!
So so so so sorry for my delayed chapter!
I've been busy, but fear not, I haven't give up on this fic!
Sorry, if this chapter doesn't come up to standard >.<
Enjoy!!!!
Review!

Chapter 14: Back on Track

Present day…

‘You could’ve picked a better place to meet you know; it’s a little out in the open don’t you think?’ Misty grumbled, as she and Shelly paced slowly around the stadium.

‘Afraid Misty?’ Shelly smirked

‘I’m not afraid!’ Misty bellowed as she stomped her foot on the ground, ‘anyways, what’s going on?’

Shelly paused and folded her arms across her chest defiantly, ‘you mean to say you haven’t read through the files we’ve sent to you?’

‘Yes, but it doesn’t explain everything.’

‘Very well,’ Shelly replied, ‘it’s official; Team Rocket are back.’

Misty eyes widened in shock, ‘why wasn’t it mentioned in the files?’

‘Because it’s confidential, we can’t be too sure of how safe our information is when we send it off to you. You should’ve come to more of our meetings.’

‘I did the best I could,’ Misty hissed, ‘and I gave you a lot of inside information; where’s the gratitude for that?’

Shelly shrugged nonchalantly.

‘Whatever. Anyways, through the use of your information, and Team Aqua’s sophisticated integrity,’ Shelly added smugly, ‘we were able to determine that it was Team Rocket who were stealing from various companies throughout the region, as well as secretly transporting suspicious cargo to one of the uninhabited islands in the Orange Archipelago.’

‘Why the Orange Archipelago?’

‘It’s quiet for starters; Team Rocket have been here for years, and we, Team Aqua, have been here nearly one year, and the community, let alone the authorities, haven’t had the slightest clue of our presence.’

‘Clever. So what are they up to?’ Misty beckoned.

‘We’re still working on that,’ Shelly began, as she started to walk again, ‘we do know however that it has something to do with the irregular migratory patterns-’

‘-of flying and water type Pokémon from all around the regions.’ Misty finished.

‘Yes, they know something is wrong here in the Orange Archipelago, and so do all the Pokémon in the area. I suppose they want to help, but there’s nothing they can do.’ Shelly sighed, closing her eyes.

Misty looked at her worriedly, ‘is everything okay Shelly?’

‘Uh-um- I’m fine.’ Shelly stammered as she fixed up her vest and straightened her back.

‘Are trainer’s Pokémon affected?’ Misty asked.

‘No, whatever Team Rocket is doing, it isn’t strong enough to affect trained Pokémon, not yet anyway.’

‘There’s something else,’ Misty added, ‘I’m here with two friends on a research project.’

‘So?’

‘We’re here to research exactly what you’ve just told me. One of the two is Gary Oak.’

‘Gary Oak, Professor Samuel Oak’s grandson? Wow, this interesting.’ Shelly smiled.

‘It gets better,’ Misty huffed, ‘remember, a few years back, when Groudon and Kyogre were awoken by -’

‘Of course.’ Shelly interrupted.

‘And do you remember that boy and his group of friends that pretty much saved the day?’

Misty glanced at Shelly, who tilted her head in confusion, ‘what about him?’

‘Chances are that he’s coming here to compete in the All-Stars Orange League Championship. And knowing him, once he figures out that there’s something fishy going on, he’ll want to save the day; he usually does too.’ Misty whispered solemnly.

Shelly eyes narrowed, ‘Ash Ketchum always saves the day huh Misty?’

‘You know Ash Ketchum?’ Shelly exclaimed with sarcasm, ‘is he your boyfriend or something?’

‘NO!’ Misty cried angrily.

‘Be quiet, you’ll dry attention.’ Shelly hissed as she gripped Misty’s arm tightly.

‘He’s not my boyfriend.’ Misty snapped as she yanked her arm away from Shelly. Shelly noticed a worried and embarrassed look in Misty’s eyes before she glanced towards her arm, which was now slightly red.

‘We’ll see about that, won’t we now Misty.’ Shelly thought slyly.

‘Well, we’ll have to find a way to deal with Ash and your other two friends.’ Shelly commented.

‘You mean I’ll find a way to deal with it,’ Misty interjected, stepping forward defiantly, ‘they’re my friends, therefore they are my responsibility.’

‘Whatever, but you do realise they’re going to find out your secret; that you’ve been an active member in Team Aqua for nearly four years now.’ Shelly claimed smugly.

‘Yes, I realise that, but it’s going to be on my own terms.’ Misty asserted, as she turned to the side and stared out into the ocean. In the distance she could see faint lights coming from the boats on docks, and in the sky, the light coming from the moon trickled through the dark grey cloud, which loomed over the harbour.

‘Then it’s settled,’ Shelly exclaimed, ‘I’ll go back to our hideout and tell Archie everything you just told me. We’ll be in contact over the next few days.’

‘Okay, when-‘Misty began, only to find that Shelly was gone.

‘Where’d she go?’ Misty asked herself, turning from side to side hoping to see where Shelly had run off to, but there was no sign of her.

‘Guess I better get back to the Pokémon Centre, Gary and Tracey will freak if they notice I’m not there.’

Once again, Misty headed back to the Pokémon Centre, but she decided to walk along the dirt pathway along the tiny forest. It was a lovely night; in the distance she could hear people socialising, the faint harmony of guitars and bongo drums coming from towards the docks, and the soft, subtle whisper of the warm breeze.
However, as hard as Misty tried to focus, she couldn’t hear any chirps, squeaks or grunts from any Pokémon in the trees, bushes or shrubs next to her.

‘What’s Team Rocket up to?’

Misty stopped and peered into the forest, hoping somehow the answer would come to her.

‘Don’t be stupid.’
Misty cursed to herself, as she continued to walk to the Pokémon Centre.


Six minutes later Misty had arrived at the Pokémon Centre, and to her surprise the automatic doors once again opened for her. Creeping quietly, Misty walked past reception, into the corridor, and back to her room, happy to find that Gary and Tracey were sound asleep.

Slipping off her shoes quickly, Misty hopped into bed and fell asleep almost immediately.

However, she hadn’t gone unnoticed.

From the top of the opposite bunk bed, Gary was lying on his side; his eyes slightly open. He had witnessed Misty leave and return from her suspicious little outing.

Gary narrowed his eyes as he rolled onto his back.

‘I wonder what she’s up to.’

***

As Gary laid there pondering Misty’s mysterious rendezvous, Ash, Brock and Pikachu were now in their room at the Pokémon Centre, a few doors down from Misty, Gary and Tracey.

Brock sat crossed legged on the floor, reading the All-Stars Orange League Championship trainer’s guide, humming and hawing to himself, Pikachu was already asleep on the top bunk bed, and Ash was sprawled out on the bed below Pikachu; his eyes burning into the bottom of the mattress above him.

‘Worried about tomorrow Ash?’ Brock asked as he closed the book, and popped it onto a nearby oval-shaped table that was tucked away in the corner.

‘Yeah, I suppose, it seems different to all the other tournaments I’ve competed in.’

‘You should be fine; you have me here to help you! And I’m sure the lovely Nurse Joy can help you too!’ Brock gushed as he sat down on the opposite bunk bed.

Brock couldn’t help but notice that Ash’s face still exhibited a concerned look.
‘What’s bothering him? It surely can’t be-ohhhh.’

‘It’s not just that is it? You’re worried about Misty.’ Brock blurted out matter-of-factly.

‘What! I’m not worried about Misty!’ Ash spluttered as he jolted upright, nearly banging his head.

‘Sure didn’t seem that way when we were in Cerulean City! And you’ve been quiet all day!’

‘I’m nervous about the Championship!’ Ash retaliated, clenching his fist.

‘Oh okay then, so you don’t care at all that Misty is travelling around with Gary and-‘

‘I just didn’t know they were friends! I mean WHY WOULD SHE WANT TO TRAVEL WITH HIM FOR?!’

‘Sounds like someone is jealous to me!’ Brock laughed.

‘I’m not jealous!’ Ash cried as he swivelled around so he was now sitting on the edge of his bed.

‘Whatever Ash,’ Brock chuckled as he kicked off his shoes and got under the covers, ‘could you get the light, I’m tired, and tomorrow is going to be a big day.’

Ash grumbled as he gotta up and stormed over to the light switch.

‘Gary and I are friends, but we’ll always have that rivalry between us. I don’t mean that we’re competing for Misty or anything like that!’ Ash replied awkwardly as he flicked the light switch, ‘but it seems like he’s always one step ahead.’

Brock watched Ash as he walked back to his bunk bed and slipped under the covers, and put his hands behind his head, ‘It’s just-I-I haven’t seen her in so long, and I thought she’d be there you know? Not off with Gary.’

Brock nodded his head in understanding.

‘I miss her...’ Ash uttered to himself, as he closed his eyes.

Brock stared at Ash in amazement for a little longer, then turned to his side; facing the wall.

‘Well when you see her Ash, please tell her; she’s missed you, more than you know.’ Brock thought to himself, as he drifted off to sleep.

***

‘Rise and shine! It’s time to go!’ a cheery voice beamed.

‘Huh-what-what time is it?’ Misty yawned.

‘Quarter to five in the morning,’ Tracey laughed nervously ‘Gary wants to get to Professor Ivy right away. He’s gone to get breakfast, and he said he’d met us downstairs.’

‘Normally getting up so early wouldn’t bother me so much,’ Misty moaned as she slid out of bed, ‘I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.’

‘That’s too bad,’ Tracey replied as he walked towards the door, ‘I’ll let you pack and get ready. Gary and I have already packed; we’re going to head off as soon as we finish breakfast. I’ll get your Pokémon for you too.’

‘Thanks Tracey, I won’t be long.’

As soon as Tracey closed the door, Misty got up and pulled up her bed sheets. She then walked over to her backpack; which was sitting on the oval-shaped table in corner, and got out her yellow, sleeveless vest and put it on. Misty than pulled a brush out of her bag and quickly combed her hair, had a quick glance around the room to make sure she didn’t leave anything behind, than left.

Further down the corridor was a bathroom; where she splashed her face with warm water, made sure she looked half decent, and then went out into the lounge room at the front of the Pokémon Centre; where Gary, Tracey and Azurill were now sitting, quietly eating their breakfast.

‘Good morning.’ Misty said as she sat down next to Azurill who was busily eating Pokéblocks.

‘Azu!’ Azurill mumbled as it continued to eat.

‘Morning,’ Gary replied as he slid a plate of toast and jams towards Misty, ‘hope this is alright, I figured I owed you after your amazing hospitality at the Cerulean Gym the other week.’

‘It looks great.’ Misty exclaimed as she hurriedly picked it up and began to eat.

‘Here’s your Pokémon Misty,’ Tracey smiled as he placed a tray full of Pokéballs on the table, ‘any chance you’ve changed your mind on using Gyarados today?’

‘No way!’ Misty smirked as she spread some strawberry jam on her toast.

‘I thought you might say that.’ Tracey sighed as he hung his head.

‘It’ll be fine Trace!’ Gary chuckled as he pat his shoulder, ‘unless you’d rather swim!’

‘Erh.’

Misty laughed as she finished off her last piece of toast.

‘Professor Ivy called me this morning; she said she’s ready to see us as soon as we get there.’ Gary proclaimed as he collected everyone’s plates and headed towards the kitchen.

‘Wow, she’s up earlier than us.’ Misty sighed as she put her Pokéball in her bag, except Gyarados’, than put the bag over her shoulders, picked up Azurill, and stood up.

‘Yeah.’ Tracey agreed as he put his backpack on as well and grabbed Gary’s.

‘Thanks Nurse Joy.’ Tracey and Misty called out as he and Misty started to walk out of the Pokémon Centre.

‘Oh! Goodbye Tracey and Misty!’ Nurse Joy beamed from behind the desk.

‘Thanks Nurse Joy.’ Gary added as he re-emerged.

‘No problem Gary, good luck with your project.’

Gary nodded his head and followed Misty and Tracey out of the Pokémon Centre.

‘This is it guys,’ Tracey exclaimed as he gave Gary his backpack, ‘our first clue to find out what’s happening with the Pokémon here; how exciting!’

Misty and Gary smiled in agreement, as the trio walked towards the docks.