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Thread: When Those Sapphire Eyes Shone (SatoSere, PG)

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    Default When Those Sapphire Eyes Shone (SatoSere, PG)



    When Those Sapphire Eyes Shone
    -------------------
    Prologue
    -------------------

    Summary: Ash's journeys to different regions were always filled with people always trying to bring him down. That was the case until a man with a MegaBlaziken mask comes and sends the boy on a roller-coaster of emotions. The fear of falling in love again haunts him deeply as the only thing Serena can do is watch on from the side lines.


    The rustle in the leaves could be heard nearby as the sounds of rushed footsteps crushed the twigs underneath his feet. Pokemon nearby scattered back into the deep woods as he rushed by. The evening sun shone down on him as the shadows under his feet looked like they had twisted into dark demons and were ready to captures his soul. This only made him run faster. He reached his hand out and pushed branches aside before feeling one hit back, sending him down on his feet. Mud and dried up leaves were in his mouth as he spat the taste away.

    His eyes shook when the haunting image came closer and the sense of fear raised him to his feet, recklessly running down narrow paths between the huge forest trees. He patted down around his waist and cursed under his breath.

    Of all times to leave his pokemon it had to be today.

    Holding onto the straps of his backpack tighter he came to a stop and noticed a steep fall was going to greet him if he continued. Taking a quick glance back he saw the haunting image wasn't going to stop. Swallowing hard he hid behind a huge trunk of a tree nearby and prayed under his lucky stars. Closing his eyes he heard the roar before hearing it scream as it recklessly ran pass the trainer wondering why he came to a halt before finding out why.

    The provoked Ursaring fell down the steep hill, hitting its head on some bushes on the way down. The trainer looked from above glad to be alive and stopped when he did as minutes later he watched the pokemon walk away, no longer having the ambition to chase after him. Still not moving from his spot, his feet started to sink into the ground before discovering that was not the case.

    The ground was not stable due to a sudden landslide in the area.

    Before the young boy could scream for help he felt his legs being tugged into the ground as he fell down for the ride. It kept on going and what felt hours in reality were only seconds. He kept his eyes closed even when the nightmare was over but he couldn't help but wonder if what had happen been real. So his eyelids slowly rose and his auburn eyes shone. Mud, fallen trees and leaves greeted him no matter where he looked. He was glad he wasn't sucked into the depths of the mud like he had felt.

    With little energy in him he pulled his backpack from his shoulders and pulled the zipper to showcase what was inside. The berries were bruised but nothing was squashed. The trainer gave off a sigh of relief- at least something went right.

    Sudden vibrations cut through the air at high speeds filled the sky above him. It was a sound he was too far familiar with.

    "Beedrill." He cussed underneath his breath.

    The sunlight rays bounced off their needles sending glare into his eyes, casting his hand over his eyes as the pack of Beedrill came in closer. Opening his eyes for a brief moment the trainer was able to shut his bag tight before pushing himself up to his knees before feeling the mud shake. Looking to his right he noticed small holes appeared from the ground due to the Beedrills using Poison Sting but missed horribly.

    "I was never good with Beedrills." He rushed up to his feet and threw his bag over one shoulder.

    The sound of the air being cut due to the Pokémon chasing him was something Ash knew he was never going to get used to. But after being chased by another Pokémon beforehand and falling down with a landslide his legs suddenly had enough and toppled on him. Sending him down onto the ground. Mud greeted his face once again.

    Opening his eyes and turning to face the sky he noticed the Pokémon where ready to send thousands of small poisonous needles at him. Ash didn't waste any time and tried to push himself up but his body refused. He tried again and again but to no avail. He looked back up and their needles shone even more into shades of neon purple. He simply closed his eyes and waited for it to be over and done with.

    After some time later, and nothing happened, Ash opened his eyes; the young trainer saw a huge beam of fire crossing his body, just missing him as it went straight into the pack of Beedrill. The flames wrapped themselves around the Beedrills as it broke into fire separate beams of their own, taking shape of a star.

    The Pokémon screamed its own name in pain and flew off into the distance. Ash rested his head down and looked behind him. First he could see nothing but black boots as the sun fell deeper and deeper into slumber behind the tall trees in the forest. Ash rolled over onto his stomach as he pushed himself up to his knees. In the distance was a coated person wearing what seemed to be a mask of a Mega Blaziken.

    "You."

    The man didn't reply to Ash as he took steps closer and closer to the weak trainer. He didn't seem to stop until footsteps were heard in the distance, making their way over to them, as they got louder as the seconds went by. They suddenly came to a halt as Ash glanced over his shoulder.

    "...Serena."

    Her teal eyes that were always filled with such excitement and joy were suddenly replaced with dread and fear after seeing in the state Ash was in. Mud and dirt stained his clothes and cuts and bruises, though they were not that severe still sent chills up the girl's back. The light brunette's footsteps were heard through the forest with the setting sun behind it before a flash of fire was seen heading towards her where the mask man stood. The move was uncalled for and unpredictable. Things the man was known for doing.

    Although all he took was a quick glance Ash knew where it was heading and with the little energy he had left, rose to his feet and fell down on Serena, both dodging the Fire Blast attack that was aimed originally at her.

    He heard her scream as they both fell down on the wild grass with Ash's arm over her waist, like he was acting like a barricade for her. The steps of the man went closer, only by a step or two as the setting sun casted more shadows through the forest. Pulling himself from his close friend Ash's eyes made their way to the masked man as his long coat swayed with the wind.

    Due to all what had happened Ash was too tired to speak or even move as his sight on the man was weakening. Serena on the other hand rose to her knees and kept him balance on his own as she was too busy looking at him than the man that her tried to kill them again. Keeping him upright while keeping control of her emotions were proving difficult for the young racer.

    His hand was seen near its mask as his fingers wrapped around the mask lightly and sudden, a face was revealed. He couldn't see clearly except the sapphire eyes shining as bright as the setting sun behind them. His eyes thicken, as tears were seen running down his face before his eyes found a way to close on him. The panic screams from his close friend didn't stop as she held him close to her chest.

    When Serena gazed at the masked men the mask had returned. With a sudden blink he had faded as the young trainer looked back at her fainted friend. Somehow his tears didn't stop as they kept on rolling for a few seconds later before they came to a stop.

    Ash didn't want to stop looking as the cold sapphire eyes that stung him deeply. A minute longer, that was all he wanted. Maybe if he were stronger he would have and then maybe, maybe ask questions why. He didn't have to see their face to know, it was those eyes that told him everything.

    And maybe, when they would meet again, he'll ask for forgiveness, something he didn't want from her until now, when those sapphire eyes shone.

    -------------------

    Hours had come to past and with the help of his friends Ash discovered he was back at camp with voices overheard, causing him to slowly wake up after fainting in the forest, recklessly saving Serena from what of could of been a horrible, horrible accident. He pushed his body up to a sitting position and held his sore head. His fingertips came across bandages wrapped tightly around his head before his eyes came to contact that so did his wrists.

    Everything felt sore, everything felt painful and it only felt worse when the image of the unmasked person came into his mind. Ash held his head tightly as he tired to shake his head, but even that proved to be painful. Looking around his could see not even his Pokémon were around in the tent he was in. He gave up thinking the reason why as the voices from outside made their way to him.

    "It was just meant to be a simple trip to gather berries. How can it get so bad?"

    "I have no idea, after I heard the landslide I just had to check things out. I'm so glad I did."

    That was Serena's voice. Ash was sure. The other took time but he soon recognized it to be Clemont, another new travelling companion of his.

    "But Ash is okay, right? Nothing bad happened to him?"

    The other voice was filled with panic; a voice that was normally filled with cheer was suddenly distressed. It was no other but Bonnie.

    "Yeah, I've tended to his wounds. Lucky they weren't as bad as I first thought. He should be fine by the morning, after that we can continue to travel into the next town for Ash's next gym battle."

    "He would be excited to hear that!" Serena's voice was filled with cheer.

    Next thing that filled Ash's ears was the sudden jump that Serena had made from what he imagined to be from the table and chairs. Next were her footsteps before the sound of the tent door opening wide and by the entrance was the woman herself. Her smile was wiped away when she saw the condition he was in.

    "I heard everything."

    Serena pondered as she tilted her head to one side, "Then why don't you sound excited then?"

    "I nearly got you killed, what is to be excited about that?" He avoided eye contact with her as he lay on his back and rolled to one side. "And just because I couldn't get some decent berries."

    Serena's eyes didn't leave him as she crawled deeper into the tent and placed her hat by the entrance. Gently she sat by his side, her arms wrapped around her knees. Ash rolled to his other side with his back facing his dear friend. He closed his eyes in hope he would return to slumber but his body stood awake. He readjusted the pillow his sore head was lying on before both sitting in silence. Even with their background - knowing each other since they were children they still had their moments where they wouldn't speak a word to one another.

    Ash had saved her once again, like in that moment in the forest when they were children. He had come to her aid. All she got that day was a sore and bruised knee. He on the other hand got more than a simple bruise.

    "You couldn't predict that was going to happen Ash." the brunette began.

    "You talk like that isn't the first time that has happened." His voice was low. "Sometimes I wonder why he suddenly saves us and then tries to hurt us the next minute."

    "Don't worry about it." Serena fanned her hand. "I promise I'll be careful."

    Ash's eyes gazed at the blank canvas of the tent wall. "What if there is no next time?"

    The young trainer had no words to say and gave off a sigh. Their conversation was leading nowhere. Reaching over for her hat she placed it on tightly before taking one more look at her old friend. He didn't move, not even to look back at her like he would always do. He didn't greet her goodnight with a smile or a wave. He just lay there, on one side with his face facing the tent wall. Staring into oblivion.

    The empty silence told Ash that Serena was no more and he finally rolled onto his back; nothing but the ceiling of the tent in his view. His eyes half lit as he gazed at his wrist, wrapped in bandages of their own. Blood was starting to stain the outside layers of the material but Ash decided to ignore it as he closed his eyes.

    The image of the huge blast of fire that had saved him played in his mind before the traumatizing attack suddenly turned on Serena. With his weak and whimpering body he was able to save her just in time. Damaging his body even more from the fall. The pain was still fresh throughout his body.

    He save another, yet another still remained lost.

    "I don't want this feeling." Ash heard himself speak, which surprised him. He thought he had convinced himself he had spoken those words only in his head.

    It had been years since the heart in his chest beat so. The stuttering, the overprotecting, the mentoring. He had done that all before and his feelings then were no different to now. He clenched onto his blanket tighter as the memories poured through. Sometimes, when she smiled he would see her pouring through. He didn't like it for many reasons. One, he would sometimes remember her smile for somebody else and second, after tonight he hated it more.

    "Just go away." He begged. "I don't need this."

    A sudden shadow was painted on the blank canvas of his tent outside. The campfire still stayed alive, bright enough for the shape to take place. Ash acted like he didn't know what the image was by the way he kept staring at it with his empty eyes. His emotions were everywhere and his mind was at a lost.

    But he couldn't keep him waiting.

    With a gentle push, his blanket found their way off of him as he pushed himself up to his knees. Lifting up one legs proved tricky as the other followed, only taking note now that his right leg was also covered in bandages; it was the same foot that got sucked into the landslide hours earlier. So each step he took with that foot stung for a few seconds before he would repeat it again. Ash was surprised he made his way outside with little to guide him. Looking around he saw Pikachu making his way to the tent before seeing the surprise in his eyes to see his trainer outside.

    His cheeks suddenly had sparks flying when he greeted Ash's mysterious companion. But a hand was held out telling him to stop and even relax. The sparks may have ended by the little mouse kept his guard up and stood in front of his trainer.

    "I'm surprised you even went out."

    Ash had no response and looked at the man with a blank reaction. The man examined Ash's posture and noticed he was holding on his left arm tightly and was leaning to one side. A bloodstain could be seen coming through his bandages that were on his wrist. His eyes avoiding his.

    "Aren't you going to say anything?"

    Still avoiding the man's gaze. "Where do I even start?"

    The man chuckled, "You could ask if I'm alright."

    Finally finding the courage to look the masked man in the eyes, "That's a dumb question; I obviously know that isn't true."

    "You haven't even asked."

    "I don't need too." The trainer explained. "When you took off your mask, I looked into your eyes and I knew everything wasn't."

    The masked man took a step back in shock. He didn't remember Ash to be so observant. If he did he would never remember it for long. To take in something so deep and keep it was rare since all Ash ever wanted was to battle and reach his dreams. His friends just helped him along and he helped them with their own ambitions.

    His hands reached deep into his coat and pulled out a small bottle. The bottle was transparent and the liquid could be seen inside, swaying along to any movement the owner would make. A small step was taken and Pikachu's cheeks lit up again, sparks ready to escape his cheeks.

    "It's alright buddy, relax."

    The mouse's ears perked up, "Cha!?"

    "Trust me." He even managed to give off a small smile.

    Following the orders of his trainer the mouse took a step back and watched his trainer and the mysterious trainer meet up. Their hands meeting as the bottle was giving to the injured trainer. Pikachu watched as Ash completely avoided looking at the man even with the mask on. Every time they would meet their reactions would be different, one day he would save them, the next he would try to hurt them. Was he just toying with their lives?

    When the medication was placed into the hands of Ash, the trainer made his way to his own mask as it slipped off with ease. The hair soon followed as it fell down his shoulder with ease. Opening his eyes shone the same eyes from before. A smile was seen but it wasn't how they both remembered it to be. It was painful for them all.

    "Take care." The hand of the trainer softly patted the cheek of Ash and soon the mask made its way back on the trainer's face.

    His lips trembled as he bit his bottom lips to stop, but he couldn't. He closed his eyes and hung his head so nobody would notice the tears flooding his face. He always hid his tears from everyone - even Pikachu.

    "You really care for me, don't you?"

    His head perked up at the sudden soft words he heard. Holding his arm tighter, Ash gave off a small cocky smile. "You have no idea." But the smile didn't last long and noticed the man that wore the Mega Blaziken mask had now gained some distance from them both before fading into the distance.

    Faded into the darkness - it now had become his home.

    As Ash turned back to the direction to the tent he woke in, soft lips graced his right ear.

    "That makes me very happy to hear that, Ash."

    And like the wind the presence of the mysterious trainer faded, back to the darkness he had now called home. A sudden breeze passed them both as Ash stood still in the early hours of the summer night.

    They were not the words he wanted to speak - to hear yet, he spoke them anyway.

    He wanted to yell, to scream but he couldn't. He wanted to ask him so many questions one after the other or even send Pikachu to battle. Cuss on how he could involve Serena into their problems. But he just trembled at even thinking of his name. His short name all of a sudden became hard to pronounce.

    "I don't want any of this." He held up the bottle of medication to his eyesight before looking away. "Always leaving with a gift. How typical."

    At least he cared. At least she still cared.

    -------------------

    A/N: Please don't see me as some crazy SatoSere fan who has already written fanfiction on characters that haven't even met yet. I'm a writer and I couldn't help but write these two since their backstory is too interesting to pass by. People have been saying to share it here since the SatoSere community is bigger here so I did. I promised myself I wouldn't post this until a name was made but I couldn't help myself. Ah, I'm so sorry.

    I've cut out the filipino quotes since I'm sharing this with a much bigger community. I'll keep those filipino words on my ff.net account instead. (Don't worry, I always translate the words into English)

    I will only be basing the early chapters from the anime before I use my imagination to write the others. If you have read my other stories I tend to do this a lot.

    Please don't see me as crazy, nice people have said to share this here and I have. Enjoy this proloudge as I will upload chapter one (which has already been written and upload on ff.net) in a few days or tomorrow. Okay bye.

    -midnight

    -------------------

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    Last edited by Midnightmoon6o2; 30th March 2014 at 12:39 AM.

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    JEEZIS you work fast. Will review properly soon.
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    *Skims through text*

    ADD ME TO THE PM LIST.

    THAT'S IT.

    I have only skimmed over it, but I will give a detailed reply later. But........

        Spoiler:- 1:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dracoflare View Post
    *Skims through text*

    ADD ME TO THE PM LIST.

    THAT'S IT.

    I have only skimmed over it, but I will give a detailed reply later. But........

        Spoiler:- 1:
    I'm not saying anythingggg.

    Quote Originally Posted by lunarshadow View Post
    JEEZIS you work fast. Will review properly soon.
    Well yeah, I'm not going to update this often because of the series is very new. I'll be working on my other stories in the meantime.

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    ...So much win. Ash saves her again!! I'm loving this protectiveness he has over Serena, super super shippy And the connection to the masked man??? I'm so excited for the next chappie! By the way, your writing skills are incredible. I really enjoyed reading this, I'm looking forward to seeing the connection between the Masked Man and Ash, as well as his past with Serena. I'm already hooked on this fic, but I understand the updates may not be often It really still is fresh after all, but this is really good. Btw, really great title; so pretty!
    "Boy oh boy...the price of freedom is steep." - Zack Fair
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azurelight View Post
    ...So much win. Ash saves her again!! I'm loving this protectiveness he has over Serena, super super shippy And the connection to the masked man??? I'm so excited for the next chappie! By the way, your writing skills are incredible. I really enjoyed reading this, I'm looking forward to seeing the connection between the Masked Man and Ash, as well as his past with Serena. I'm already hooked on this fic, but I understand the updates may not be often It really still is fresh after all, but this is really good. Btw, really great title; so pretty!
    Everyone wants to know this masked man and see their relationship grow with Ash. I actually want to write more but until I watch scenes of how Ash and Serena interact with one another I won't be able to start chapter two as much as I want to. Chapter one is already upload on my ff.net account and you can read it there. I'll post it here in a few days and then I'll work on my Advanceshipping and Fire Emblem story to drag the time.

    Thanks for your kind words. I'm really trying to write better and go into much detail as possible.

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    Ignite

    -------------------

    Serena's mind was left in wonder. Only a month had passed since their horrible accident and here he was, jumping in joy, screaming his excitement high into the afternoon sky. Waving his gym badge high in the air with his pokemon jumping in joy by his side. She judged each and every one of them and smiled. They just seem to be the perfect fit for Ash.

    A light breeze touched her face and her hair lifted up before dying down again. The clouds gathered up as tightly as the bubbles that surrounded Ash's Froakie. The lightness of the sky turned harsh and darker with minutes. The dread came over her. Darkness fell over them, so dark their shadows had run off to hide.

    "Ash, don't you think you've had enough to celebrate now?" Clemont's voice woke the young girl from her trance. Clemont tried to ask politely but there was also clear irritation in his voice as well. "It's been an hour now and we are kinda travelling here. You might drop that badge of yours and you would have to go through that gym battle again."

    "Right, sorry about that. I guess I got carried away." The boy quickly returned his badge back into his case. "Just a few more buddy and we'll enter a league and maybe we could win one for once."

    "Cha!" Glee was evident in the mouse's voice.

    Lightning flashed across the dark sky, dancing on the grey pallet as the sound echoed in their ears. The flash lit up their path as their shadows overcast each other before running away back into the darkness. The wind roared past their faces as the young trainer held onto her pink felt hat tightly. Her eyes closed and she let another huge gust blow her by.

    It amazed how quickly the weather could turn so, so sour.

    Serena had lost count at when or how the horrible started and when they started to run. Run and run until their legs could break off. No house, no tree or not some gloomy cave was nearby. The four of them stuck on some empty dirt country road with the weather ready to take them away to God knows where. And that scared her so.

    "Brother!" Bonnie's voice that was normally filled with glee was coated in fear. She embraced her brother's waist tightly. She watched and envy that she could hold on somebody for support. Serena wished quickly that she could have that kind of support once more. All they could use for shelter was a tree with an unusual huge trunk. Size or looks weren't important as they leaned against the object and hoped everything would be smooth sailing by now.

    "The weather man never said there would be a storm today!" Clemont quickly fell into panic.

    "Comes to show science isn't always right all the time!" Bonnie yelled.

    The winds screamed passed them more and more that it was getting harder to stay put. Were they entering themselves into some sudden tornado or did it just feel that way to her? The wind blew into the cold and felt like it was snowing itself as Serena felt her own legs shaking. Her arms sore from holding her hat but her body was screaming for warmth as they pushed on forward. The wind died down before blowing into their faces a minute later and Serena hated that. It only brought her uncertainty.

    Just how uncertain she was to tell Ash that they had met once before. She wanted to show him that handkerchief again, but he would only greet her with those two brown confused eyes. Looking at her so blankly those they longer she gazed at them, the longer she would think about them, the more the pain was dug into her chest.

    Eventually there just came a time where she gave up.

    And that is what her body felt where her arms let go of holding her pink hat, her eyes closing on her. It was just too cold, too strong and they had been walking down that same path for the last hour till now. Serena wished she didn't skip her last meal her friends had made for her.

    "Serena!"

    Ash's voice was filled with that same concern, that same fear he had when that Fire Blast attack was heading her way only a month ago. It was the type of concern she wished he showed her more of. But, thinking to gather the person Ash was, he probably did care. It just wasn't the way she wanted it to be.

    His warm hand reached out to her cold fingertips and held onto her wrist tightly. His determination to save them all from the sudden horrible weather lit her up and her eyes opened. He had caught her in the nick of time, Serena smiled. Ash was always good at doing that.

    "Stay strong."

    His voice was as warm as his body. They all had been outside in the horrible storm just as long as she did yet Ash's body felt so warm. As if he had been by the side of a fireplace for hours. His warmth felt like his hope of able to get them all out safely. It was Ash's idea to move to the next town and camp under the stars. If only she had stopped him. If only she placed away her ambition to agree with everything he said just to get closer, then maybe she wouldn't be shivering so badly.

    "Ash," Clemont's voice broke the ice.

    "Yeah?"

    "There is a forest up ahead, we should be alright there and it looks like the storm is dying down, well the wind is anyway." Clemont cleaned his glasses and looked up to the dark lit sky before seeing drops of rain come into his sight. "And then comes the rain..."

    As the young inventor wiped his lens Serena felt fear run through the veins of the arms of the man she was in. Her strength gathering as her vision began to clear. Those usual clear auburn eyes that had so much energy froze. Her body suddenly feeling compressed as Ash held her tightly. She looked into his eyes once more, it wasn't because he was scared to lose her or anything, it was as if that horrible incident from last month played in his mind again.

    Serena had never seen Ash so lost before. And there were no words to say how concerned she was about this.

    "Alright, let's go." the young girl pulled herself out of Ash's arms. Holding her head, "Anything is better than staying out here."

    Ash's voice wasn't heard between them as no time to be wasted and as the rain poured over their shoulders .They had soon walked themselves into a forest, a forest covered with trees as high as the skyscrapers in Lumiose city. The size of the leaves did not provide much shelter from the rain but it blocked the harsh wind as it slowly died as the minutes went by. Relief poured over Serena, at least they had some cover, and though it wasn't the best it was alright. Serena was tired of complaining for the day.

    Firewood was collected and flames were soon alight. The sounds of the firewood cracking seem to be the only sound that could be heard between them. Serena remembered sitting by Ash's side as his irises painted such a confusing painting. She could see the fear, the sadness but she didn't understand why he was feeling this way. She understood well that the memory of nearly dying a month ago in a forest was a memory that would take months to forget but Ash's eyes looked like he was mourning for somebody that had passed.

    But she had never heard any news of Ash's good friend or family passing. Was it somebody he knew that not even his own mother was aware of?

    "Hey." Her voice returned some life in his empty eyes. "You've been quite all day."

    "Oh, I have? Sorry about that." He gave off a nervous smile in return.

    "Are you still thinking of that incident a month ago?" Serena asked out of the blue.

    "Well that and the fact that Clemont didn't want me to help him get some firewood. He said something like I might break my leg or something this time."

    Serena's voice broke into laughter as a smile was brought onto both of their faces. Their laughter brought some life in the group before Ash took notice of the two siblings sleeping peacefully in their sleeping bags, placed close to each other and by the fire. There were times were he wished he had a older sibling to count on where he was troubled. His eyes focused up to the full moon that provided light down to them.

    The moon was bright as it was now as it was back then.

    "Well, we better get some rest as well." Serena removed her felt hat with ease and placed it by the edge of her sleeping bag. "I'm sure the quicker we get to the next town the more time I could go and see the new clothes." A childish grin came to Serena's lips.

    "...do you hear that?"

    The suddenly alertness in Ash's voice made the young trainer curious. Taking in the silence, a scream was heard, not of a person but a Pokémon's.

    "Yeah, it's faint but it's there." She looked at the determination on Ash's face. "Wait, where are you going?"

    "I'm going to help it!" Serena watched Ash run from her sights.

    "Hey!" The fear of being too distant from Ash forced her feet to chase after him. "It's bad to go alone!"

    Her words of concern didn't reach Ash in time as by the time the young girl had caught up to her dear friend they had ran far from camp and the full moon's glow didn't reach far of the depths of the forest they were both in. The scream of a certain pokemon was now clearer and the tone it screamed was painful. Like it carried the same loneliness Ash's eyes would portray from time to time.

    "Why I am not surprised." She sighed. "If you were that willing to climb Prism tower to save Sycamore's Garchomp then what's next?"

    "Sorry to make you worry Serena but I just can't go to sleep knowing there is a pokemon in pain out there." His eyes were focused on the path ahead of them both. "There." He pointed. "It's coming from there."

    Without time to ponder hers thoughts or come with some witty response Ash reached for Serena's hand and within minutes their hands locked. It didn't bother Ash so much compared to his flustered companion as Serena watched in awe and let her body be dragged around a forest. She didn't mind in fact, she wished they would find the injured pokemon a little late. She wanted to hold onto his hand longer, enjoy the warmth and accept how protective he would go in order to protect her. It was as if, that memory of their time in that forest as children played in her mind once more.

    He held onto her hand just the way he did now, and she knew he would never understand the happiness it brought to her.

    "Over there."

    Looking on ahead were flames, another tree could be covered in leaves as another was burnt and was left nothing but an empty frames. Beams of fires aimed another and then another and before they both knew it, they were entering into a path of fire. The scream of the pokemon was clear as Ash rushed on forward, releasing his grip on Serena's hand. Panic filled over her and she chased him down like they were playing a game of Meowth and Pikachu.

    Catching breathe Serena looked on and saw a pokemon releasing attack after attack. It didn't move as its eyes were lit bloodshot and marks were seen on its body. She held onto Ash's arms tightly as he too, watched on. Its scream was painful to hear as Ash reached into his pocket, only to discover he had left them all behind in camp.

    Just like that moment a month ago.

    Suddenly heat was coming towards him and looking on ahead a beam of fire was heading at Serena's direction once more. Wasting no time he pulled the young girl into his arms and held her tightly. A second had passed before Serena and Ash accepted that their old reoccurring nightmare was happening once more.

    What kept the forest was a distressed Blaziken that was jumping in and out of its mega evolution. Like it had failed to mega evolve and was now suffering the burden of ever having one. Like it had done something wrong and now couldn't get out of the loop. Glitching like it was some bug of a video game.

    "I thought mega evolution could only happen in battle." Serena asked. Her voice filled with panic.

    "And I thought it could only work if you had the stone and the pokemon had a strong bond with its trainer..." Ash muttered.

    They quickly closed their eyes and embraced each other tighter when another flamethrower was seen heading their way. They took a sigh of relief knowing they didn't get hit by the attack. Ash watched on as his heart pounded. He couldn't let this go on. Slipping from Serena's grasp the young man took brave steps towards the stressed fire type.

    "Blaziken!" Ash boldly pronounced the Pokémon's name. "Stop this, I know it hurts but you have to fight. you have to fight your way through this!"

    "Blaze!" Fire was seen escaping his mouth as the attack fell short from its target. This only made Blaziken more upset as it did it again and again but to no avail.

    "How does he do it?" Serena was only left to wonder. "His strength, his bravery and his never ending hope. How can one exist to have it for so long?"

    "Blaziken!" Ash screamed. "Please, fight for your trainer at least! Think about the pain they must be to see you like this!"

    But his words just didn't seem to reach the enraged beast as it kept on releasing fire attacks all over the place and yelling its name high into the midnight sky. Swallowing his fears the trainer took steps closer until there were no more steps to be taken.

    "A-Amazing" The female companion spoke no words and watched on.

    She watched as Ash placed his hand on the Pokémon's chest and closed his eyes. "Calm down buddy." He spoke as if they had met once before. Serena knew Ash would only speak those words if he had met a pokemon more than once. "Everything will be alright. I'll return you to your trainer. I promise."

    His calm words, his words finally made sense to the starter pokemon as the flames soon died down and it had stopped glitching from its mega evolution. Silence echoed in the forest once more as Blaziken fell down to its knees. The bloodshot eyes it once had faded back into its gold tinge. Ash gave the tall fire type a huge embrace as a smile was seem all over his face.

    "His ability to create such a bond with a pokemon so quickly will always amaze me."

    "Told you, everything was going to be alright," Ash shared a grin with the rare Hoenn starter.

    "Do you know this Blaziken?" Serena had finally felt comfortable to make her way closer to the fire type.

    "Sure do." Ash spoke proudly. "This is the very same Blaziken that saved me from Prism Tower. I can just tell." He turned to face Serena. "Sorry for making you go through all that.

    "Oh right, I guess that explains why you seem so close to it." She smiled. "And don't worry. None of us expected this to happen."

    Blaziken spoke no words as it opened its palm as it tugged on Ash's shirt. Turning around and in the palm of the Pokémon's hands stood out, a polished rainbow coloured stone. It was rounded perfectly and it shined brightly under the full moon's glow. No cuts or marks could be seen as the damage seemed to be kept at a minimal. It was stunning to look at and was smaller than he had thought, it seem just bigger than a common golf ball as Ash placed it into his hands.

    "Wow, is this a...mega stone?" Ash blinked as she stared at the object longer. A symbol of a DNA structure was painted on the stone.

    "Sure is!" Serena cheered and popped behind Ash's shoulders. "I remember Professor Sycamore talking about them. They say they can make pokemon that they thought couldn't evolve no more - evolve."

    "But it only happens in battle and if the trainer and pokemon has a close bond with each other." Ash gazed at it longer before looking back at the pokemon. "But why me?"

    Blaziken stared at Ash as if he could understand his thoughts and every word the pokemon was saying. It spoke no more before it looked around and took in the damage it did in its rage. Ash soon followed and now the chaos was over he and Serena were able to take in the damage around them and notice how close to death they were. Ash felt the mega stone in his hands and looked back.

    He knew nothing about mega evolution or how it even worked or why Blaziken could evolve and not another starter like Sceptile or Swampert. Answers laid in Sycamore but Blaziken trusted him with the object, he didn't want to break that trust.

    "So where is your trainer Blaziken?" Ash decided to worry about mega evolution later. "And what happened?"

    "Blaze," The pokemon repeated his name, "Blaziken."

    "You got any of that?"

    "Nope," He shrugged his shoulders. "But no matter, I'm sure Nurse Joy in the next town could help us in our search for his trainer!" He cheered.

    The young man gave a huge grin to the fire type and put his fist together, ready for a fist pump to the new pokemon. Blaziken paused in wonder before understanding what the young man wanted to do and both did a small fist pump together. Ash broke into laughter as Blaziken laughed. Serena smiled and watched on.

    "He can be so stubborn sometimes but others, he can be really amazing."

    -------------------

    "When the flames burn bright they can produce the most amazing light, but what do you do when the flame flickers away? What happens when the life slips from one's grasp just like that?"

    -------------------

    "WHAT?!" Clemont's backpack fell straight to the ground. "That story makes no scientific sense!" He readjusted his glasses.

    "But it's true. I got Blaziken here with me and this." Digging into his pockets the young trainer soon pulled out the rare stone to share. "It's a mega stone. This one causes Blaziken to mega evolve." The two turned and stared as Blaziken introduced him and played with the other pokemon, but mainly with Ash's Pikachu. Bonnie was having such a ball with the new pokemon.

    "But don't you have to have a close bond with Blaziken to pull off Mega evolution. How could you possible cause such a strong bond in such a short amount of time?" The blond scratched his chin. "This isn't adding up." The young inventor picked up the stone into his own hands to examine. "It's amazing such a stone can hold such power."

    "I know right." The stone was placed back into Ash's pockets after being returned. "I was thinking of asking help from Nurse Joy in the next town to find its trainer."

    "Well this morning shows better weather and no signs of crazy weather. We should there in at least half an hour if things go smoothly." He turned to his invented watch. "Yeah, sounds about right."

    "Just promise me your inventions won't go blowing on us brother!" Bonnie made her way to her older brother, "And you better hope the time is right." She pointed.

    Ash watched on as the two siblings bicker as usual before quietly slipping out of their conversation and made towards his pokemon playing with the other of his friends. He looked at the bickering siblings and for a moment he felt like they were his old companions; it amazed him how similar his friends came when it came to sibling rivalry.

    Looking on further, deep in the depths of the forest and far from the clearing they all stood a shadow haunted him. Like a ghost of death had come and was ready to take his life. Standing strong and trying to hide the fear he felt within him he walked closer, walking pass the fighting siblings. The suddenly pace Ash was making back into the forest caused them to stop and only wonder.

    "Ash!" His remaining companions shouted as they watched Ash break into a run. They all reached their pokeballs and returned their pokemon in haste as Blaziken rushed on ahead. "What's got into him suddenly?"

    His sneakers skidded against the dirt and the tiny pebbles of the roughly mapped out dirt path, the shadow still haunting him ahead. His body came to a halt as he leaned on the trunk of one of the trees around him and stared at the shadow. Doubt clouded his mind before giving chase once more.

    He didn't understand why he was chasing the figure but something came over, like he just had to.

    Coming into view was a shadow that overcastted his path and within seconds Blaziken was in front of him, he had landed perfectly in his path, only a foot away from him. It was clear it was upset as it had its arms crossed.

    "Blaziken?" Ash questioned.

    Sounds of twigs breaking and leaves begin ruffled caused both to look on ahead and there was a mask man, standing less than a meter from them both. Only the rustle of the leaves could be heard between them. The image of the man caused Ash to come closer to the mysterious man like it was his own aura pulling him towards him. But Blaziken outstretched his arm and kept him at bay.

    The mask was removed and once again, Ash returned back into that state of lost and confusion. It was amazing what a bond – a simple relationship could cause him to act. Memories of his time with the masked man haunted him as his fists clenched and his anger pouring over him.

    "Damn you!" He cussed. "After everything we have been through, this is what happens?!"

    The man behind the mask stayed silent.

    "Damn it, say something!" It was clear Ash was now begging. "I need to know, tell me that everything we worked so hard on isn't gone to waste. Tell me-"

    "Don't you dare speak that name in front of me."

    Ash paused. "You can hide your face but you can't hide your name of who you really are."

    "You were always so…optimistic Ash." The man teased. "Such a wonderful quality you have there." The man reached deep into his pockets under the cover of his huge coat. The outfit remained the same from the first time he saved the boy's life back in Lumiose City. "Here, another gift from me."

    A pokeball was thrown into the air before stumbling their way into the hands of Ash. He held it close to his chest before looking on ahead.

    "That is Blaziken's pokeball. Look after him."

    His face carried a blank and confused expression. "But why?"

    "I want to keep Blaziken safe – I want to keep you safe."

    "By nearly setting me and Serena up in flames?" He yelled. "That's keeping me safe alright." Ash held the pokeball tightly. "I don't remember you like this."

    "That's the whole point."

    Blaziken stepped in front of his new trainer and stared at the unmasked man. He remained calm and cool compared to the upset boy behind him. After the anger had passed, silence filled him as his eyes had stopped looking at the man, tired of looking at such a hopeless case. He leaned his back on his new pokemon and held its pokeball tightly.

    "I can't bring you back, is that what you're trying to say?" His cap tipped over his eyes to hide his emotions.

    "But you won't stop, will you?"

    Soft fragile fingers carelessly graced his wet cheeks as his eyes met his. And yet again, those eyes hidden by a mask shone so brightly. Unlike his, they had dulled down. Ash didn't wonder how he had gone in front of him so fast. "Stay safe. Look after Blaziken for me."

    "…sure." His voice was dropping. "It's not like I have a choice."

    He hung his head as his tears hid behind his cap as a sudden gust passed him by. He didn't need to look up as he could feel the presence of the man was gone. Without his permission his body started to slide down the back of Blaziken before feeling the thud of the ground hit him, his emotions still hidden by his red cap, hands shaking from all the shock coming back at him all at once.

    The sounds of rushing footsteps echoed around him followed by his name. The call of his friends would always shake him back to normal but each time his path crossed with the masked man it sent him into a state he thought he was over with. And when that mask was removed and a face was printed in his mind, things just went so bad.

    The sound of passing footsteps came to pass when Serena's eyes portrayed hope and relief but the reaction wasn't mutual. There on his knees with a pokeball in his hands was Ash, lost like he was a month ago. Blaziken stood by his new trainer's side and stood there, not moving an inch with arms crossed.

    "…Ash." Her voice was soft and weak and quickly jumped from her spot and down to her knees where her stressed friend laid. "…what happened this time?"

    Ash refused to speak as his eyes were fixated on the object in his hands. He wasn't crying, he wasn't screaming. He just sat there. And that annoyed her.

    He started to wonder if everything they had been through was his fault. If he just held back, spoke his mind. Hold him back.

    Would things be any different now?

    "…Blaziken's trainer…they gave Blaziken to me."

    Her warm hands found their way onto his as she lifted his cap high enough for her to see his eyes. Her smile comforted him enough to give a half lit smile back to her.

    "Thank you for always being there Serena."

    Serena blinked her eyes in wonder, "Um, no worries." She spoke awkwardly.

    "Just promise you won't turn into something you'll regret, alright?"

    "Ash…" The young trainer started to worry about the words Ash was suddenly speaking to her.

    "Promise me!" He demanded suddenly. It felt more like he was begging rather than asking for a request.

    "Sure." She fell silent and watched Ash keeping his thoughts to himself and the feelings he held back. His thumbs rubbing on the smooth material of the pokeball as the scratches could be seen on the top half of the machine.

    Serena watched on as her eyes focused on his lips, they were muttering words, no, sentences, a name perhaps? There were times were he would speak loudly than others and words came into her ears. But they felt incomplete as each one never made any sense.

    Feelings, love, hurt, not again, don't want any of this, having enough of 'this'.

    None made any sense to her. They were words that just didn't fit with Ash's bright and happy personality. No, this was not her Ash. Serena knew. Her hands went back to Ash's and held onto them a little more tightly this time. "Hey, you'll get through this, whatever it may be."

    He had no words to say but a simple 'thank you' as the sounds of the others gathered around them. They filled the air with questions but Ash's own loud thoughts overheard them. Without greeting his friends with a simple 'hello', Ash suddenly rose to his feet and walked down the path he chased the mysterious man down earlier. Blaziken mimicked his new trainer's actions and walked off.

    "Woah, what happened?" Bonnie's voice filled the silent air. "Serena?"

    The older woman looked down and patted Bonnie's head slightly before giving off a confident smile. "I don't know but I'm going to find out." She followed by a wink. "I'll be the one to save Ash this time." She focused her eyes down on the distressed trainer. "Yeah, that's it."

    -------------------

    "When that light fades away, the one left standing is left alone to suffer the burdens of the bonds you worked so hard to treasure and make in the first place. You suddenly become their pain, their burden - their suffering."

    -------------------

    A/N: Some quick notes, Chapter one was written when episode 1&2 were out and was also written at the same time I wrote the prologue. I didn't want to write a chapter out so soon but the prologue was just too long so I made the rest into a full chapter.

    I have another story to catch up right now so maybe the next chapter might be out in a few weeks. That's if I can help myself. ahah.

    Oh the drawing is done by me, I wanted to try something different. lol. It looks rough for a reason. That's kinda my...style? idk.

    PM list will be made up soon.

    ~midnight
    Last edited by Midnightmoon6o2; 5th November 2013 at 4:20 AM.

  8. #8
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    Sorry it took a long time for a review! Been busy x_x But let's get down to it!

    Again, I'm really loving your writing style; Your descriptive language is great, the way you depict the main characters really does justice to their original personas, and the story is just very suspenseful, especially for the beginning! I love the shippiness between Serena and Ash; I'm a sucker for hug scenes and I was gushing when he held her in that storm!

    The fact that Ash has a Blaziken to care for now is pretty awesome, I like how you give him this tougher edge, especially in regards to Serena. I think for someone who we haven't seen much of, you're really characterizing Serena perfectly. She's just how I pictured she'd be.

    And then there's the Masked Man. I have a feeling I know who he is, but I'm not going to jump to conclusions. I just love how his presence always causes Ash to become super protective over Serena. I'm really looking forward to seeing his true relationship with Ash and how SatoSere's going to blossom here

    Keep up the great work, you've really written this well! I'm looking forward to the next chapter
    "Boy oh boy...the price of freedom is steep." - Zack Fair
    Proud Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and Pokemon fan! Advanceshipping FTW
    Current Fic: The Pokemon Ranch
    Crappy Banner Art By Me

  9. #9
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    Chapter Two:

    Words

    -------------------

    Serena's turquoise eyes bounced from one end of the battle to the other. She admired how quickly Ash's Froakie jumped from one end of the battle to the other and how cleaver Clemont came to putting moves together that at first seemed impossible. She sat quietly as the battle went and there came a time where the two boys simply had enough and returned their Pokémon back for deserved rest.

    She kept watching as the boys exchanged a few words to one another. There was no doubt that in Serena's mind they were talking on how great their Pokémon were or how awesome their moves were. It became a common topic between the four of them. Although Bonnie never lasted long in their conversations for long as she would rather play chase with her Dedenne her older brother caught just for her.

    But there was something that kept her mine uneasy. It was the Blaziken the mysterious man had gave to Ash three days ago.

    She had recently travelled with Ash and the others and knew very little of Ash's personality when it came to his Pokémon. She knew he was a very caring person and would do everything he can so save them. But the thought of Ash not even training Blaziken not once since it became his was fishy.

    "Wow, I never thought those outfits would look so good on me."

    "Huh?" Serena blinked. Turning to her side was no other but the youngest girl in the group, Bonnie. "Oh yeah, you actually are quite the model Bonnie." The brunette chuckled.

    "Really?" Bonnie's eyes sparkled. "I always wanted to be a model."

    The rest of her conversation with Clemont's sister became a blur as she focused on the Blaziken Ash had not payed any attention since it became his. No training, no words of advice or even talking to it to become close. Serena couldn't even remember if he even shown the mega stone to him after that night they both saved it.

    It sat on the side lines with Pikachu on his shoulders. The little mouse continued to nibble on the Pokémon pellets as Blaziken had a share of his own. Blaziken watched on as Ash returned to his side of the field and released Fletching into the battle and Clemont released a one of his onto the field.

    "Hey Bonnie," Serena elbowed into Bonnie's shoulder lightly. "Why do you think Ash hasn't battled using Blaziken yet?"

    With Dedenne in her lap, Bonnie was left confused as well. "Maybe he thinks it's too strong at the moment and wants to save him up for later? I mean he looks a little overpowered to use in the early gyms don't you think?" Bonnie patted Dedenne long thin tail. She held her head with one hand, "Ah, I don't know. I don't remember Ash being so complicated."

    Reaching into her bag, Serena pulled out her fire type, Fennekin and gazed at it. "Maybe I can make Ash battle with him." A determined grin crossed her lips.

    Pushing herself off the bench Serena rushed her way over towards the battle field. Luck was on her side and noticed Ash and Clemont had already finished their battle.

    "Ash, can we have a battle?!" Ash and Clemont jumped in their spots after hearing Serena's sudden request.

    "Um, but I have no more Pokémon to use." Ash blinked. He was at more of a complete lost when Serena shook her head in response.

    "No you don't. You have Blaziken!" She pointed at Ash's newest Pokémon. "Why don't you battle me with him?"

    "But Serena don't you think it's a-"

    "No excuses!" Serena spoke in her natural sassy tone. She placed a hand on her waist. "I really want to see what Blaziken has to offer."

    "What harm can it do Ash?" Clemont supported Serena's request. "But I'm wondering why you haven't trained with Blaziken yet. You act like you don't want Blaziken with you."

    Ash avoided the gaze his friends were making and crossed with Blaziken's. He turned to face the fire type and made his way over. Serena watched on silently as Ash stared as his new Pokémon, sitting on the sidelines of the battle field with Pikachu still on his shoulder. The look Ash had been serious, perhaps lost even. Confusion was evident.

    Reaching his hands over, he grabbed Pikachu off Blaziken's shoulder and held Pikachu in his arms. They exchanged another look before walking out. Pikachu crawled out of his trainer's arms and perched onto his trainer's shoulders, his attention focused on Serena and the others before looking back at Blaziken. His ears soon dropped before returning back into Ash's arms. Soon the young trainer vanished from their sights.

    "What was that all about?" Clemont raised his glasses to the bridge of his nose. "It's like his completely ignoring Blaziken and Blaziken doesn't seem to care that must either."

    "But when Ash saved Blaziken he seemed so concern for him." Serena rushed her way to Blaziken who was seen standing up and about to chase down his new trainer. Blaziken looked down on the new trainer. "Blaziken," Serena spoke up. "Back and Prism tower – was that the first time you really met Ash?"

    The fire type looked into Serena's eyes before walking off without a single response. Blaziken copied Ash's actions so well. The young trainer watched on from a distance as Clemont and Bonnie joined up to her.

    "Should we be worried about Ash brother?" Bonnie asked her older brother for advice. She tugged on his outfit.

    Giving comfort to his younger sister, "I'm sure he is, maybe his going through something difficult."

    "I'm going after him." Serena spoke confidently as she suddenly changed into a running pace, leaving Clemont and Bonnie behind.

    But as soon her feet reached the first flight of stairs she came to an instant halt as a shadow overcastted her. Looking above was Ash with Pikachu perched on his shoulder with Blaziken not far behind. His shadow could be seen in the distance.

    With a sigh he Ash readjusted his cap before a smile covered his face. "Alright Serena, lets battle."

    Serena stared at Ash with confusion. She just couldn't understand what could cause Ash to change his mind so so quickly.

    And this worried her so.

    -------------------

    Why wouldn't he attack? Was he mocking her? Or was this some strategy she had to break through to win the battle?

    "Fennekin use ember!"

    The little fox jumped into the air and released multiple balls of fire right into the Pokémon's face. Not satisfied Fennekin repeated the attack but Blaziken didn't even flitch. It stood there with arms crossed, looking bored.

    Ten minutes – ten minutes and Ash had not released a single command.

    "Scratch!" Serena yelled desperately.

    With speed Fennekin jumped mid air as sharp nails could be seen growing out of Fennekin's paws. She released attack after attack as the sharp claws made little cuts on Blaziken arms, causing the Pokémon to break out of his pose.

    "And again!"

    "No, that's enough."

    Serena nearly lost her balance after the sudden call. She couldn't believe what she just heard. She stood dumbfounded as Ash ran in front of his new Pokémon with arms out stretched, protecting Blaziken.

    "I don't want to continue to battle anymore."

    "But why?" Serena started to make her way to her own Pokémon.

    "I have my reasons." Ash dropped his arms down and sighed. He readjusted his cap and looked at Blaziken and observed the little cuts and burn marks Fennekin had given to him. "Sorry about that buddy." He reached over for Blaziken's arms and looked at his injuries closer.

    It was soft but Serena was close enough to catch it.

    "So then it's true then."

    "Hm?" Ash focused his attention back at his dear friend. "What is?"

    Gathering all her courage and holding Fennekin in her arms, Serena spoke. "That time where Blaziken saved you from your fall at Prism tower. You told me back in the forest that was the first time you met but I know you're lying. Your bond is too strong too quickly. I mean you could command Blaziken to remove from his mega evolution too quickly." Serena gazed with a worried look. "Why are you lying to me, to your friends?"

    Silence that was what Serena got in response for the first minute. Ash blinked a few times before turning back to his new Pokémon and observing his injuries without giving a decent answer to the over curious Serena. His fingers lightly danced over Blaziken cuts before releasing his grasp on him.

    "You're acting really strange Ash. I mean one day you are so over protective with Blaziken and the next you completely ignoring him. What makes it even weird is that Blaziken absolutely doesn't mind it."

    "We all have our secrets Serena." Ash glanced at Clemont for a brief moment before turning back at his Pokémon. He patted Blaziken lightly before making his way out of the battle field. Blaziken didn't take long to follow.

    And there he went, walking out on her and his friends again and it irritated Serena so so much. .

    "Ash!"

    His eyes lit up all of a sudden and quickly turned back to the curious trainer. The way his name was called sent a strange feeling through him. He didn't understand if it was the way she screamed his name or perhaps the tone reminded him or somebody else he would rather forget. He looked up at Blaziken and sighed. As long Blaziken was with him that person wasn't going to leave him any time soon.

    And he hated that.

    "She's has everything that only reminds me of-" He shook his head to remove his thought. Somehow the way Serena looked at him and the way she called his name so desperately made him open up.

    "Alright," Ash held his hands into the air, "I'm sorry but yeah, I have met Blaziken before Prism Tower."

    Too many questions were running through Serena's mind to come up with a decent question. Clemont instead stood up in her place.

    "Then where did you two meet?"

    Ash looked back at his Pokémon as if he was asking his permission to keep on talking, looking back at his friends. "Hoenn,"

    But before any of his friends could continue to ask why Ash and his Pokémon walked away from the scene, fading from their sights rather quickly.

    They were just asking too much from him, just a little damn too much.

    -------------------

    "Too much too soon can provide deadly. And if you want to help you have to keep asking. But if you don't speak a word will that make the situation any better?"


    -------------------

    Night had fallen over them as the three of them sat in wonder. The table felt empty as they all turned their attention to the empty seat of the dinner table. Ash never was late for dinner. Sometimes it was Ash that would remind them it was time to eat. They didn't deny that were times were they would have an argument but that gave no reason for anyone of them to doubt that Ash would miss dinner.

    It felt so odd for Ash to not only miss dinner but not to show up to any of them after his short battle with Serena. They all tried to start up a conversation but it always fell short. Their connection – Ash – was lost.

    "It's sure getting dark out there." It was now Bonnie's turn to start up a conversation between the three of them. "You think Ash is alright?"

    Clemont gazed down at his younger sister and patted her short blond hair. "Yeah, this is Ash we are talking about."

    Bonnie looked up at her brother and only looked away once she seemed content with her brother's answer and returned to her meal.

    Serena thought was not.

    "I'm going out."

    "Serena!" Clemont's voice was begging. "It's really dark out there now."

    Turning around briefly, "I'll be fine. I got my Pokémon with me." She convinced Clemont she was fine by giving off a wink and a friendly wave.

    Before the young inventor could reply Serena had already made her out of the pokecentre. He readjusted his glasses and slipped back into his chair. He just stared through the darken window where Serena's pink felt hat could just be seen in the distance, fading away.

    -------------------

    Holding onto her hat tightly Serena kept walking down the bright brick footpath with the light posts above her lighting up her path. Looking around Serena was lost at where her dear friend could be. Once an open book he had now become closed tightly. She couldn't read him anymore. He had become a new person and Serena felt so scared.

    Scared she was going to lose him to that man.

    Turning back with the fear she had walked too far from the safety of the pokecentre Serena heard a voice coming from a nearby fountain. Not straying too far from the path the young trainer hid behind a tree and a few shrubs. Taking in from the voices and the silhouettes projected by the lights she knew it was Ash and his Blaziken.

    "Sorry about that buddy. I didn't really want to do that battle with Serena today."

    "Blaze," the fire type yawned and stretched his arms into the air. "Blaziken,"

    Playing with his hands Ash tried his best to avoid the look of his Pokémon. Pikachu sat by the right of his master as Blaziken took the left. The little mouse kept himself entertained by making different faces in the water's reflection.

    "I'm just not ready to battle with you. Don't ever think I hate you or anything." A mega stone was soon spotted in the middle of his palm. "Everything is happening so fast. One moment I'm convinced everything is fine and then this happens." He returned the stone back in the string shoe bag then into his pocket.

    "Hey there,"

    Looking on ahead a familiar face appeared. There was no mask, no fancy cloaked outfit that resembled a Mega Blaziken. Everything was left simple, just the way he remembered it to be.

    "You know, you don't look so terrifying without your fancy outfit and mask on." Ash teased.

    Blaziken sat still as their old trainer greeted their old Pokémon with a smile. The fire type smiled as his trainer patted him where he always loved to be patted.

    "That isn't what I saw the first time I showed you my face." The man turned to face Ash. "I have never seen you so scared in your life." He took his place beside Ash and Blaziken. "I don't think I'll be ever use to that."

    Silence poured over them afterwards as Serena watched on from the distance. The black figure looked foreign to her. Her heart spoke it was the man that gave their Blaziken to Ash but the figure looked slimmer, smaller and their age. At times this wasn't the case as the figure stood up it was defiantly taller and carried the illusion of an older man.

    She was convinced her eyes were just playing with her. But she wondered maybe that was what the man wanted to appear to others besides Ash; just too damn confusing.

    "Sorry if I react like that. I only care for you."

    The man's laughter could be heard before slamming him on the back in a playful gesture. Before the man noticed Ash had lost his balance and fell into the fountain behind him. The man laughed more. The young trainer sat in the ankle deep water as Pikachu came over and licked his cheeks, helping him to dry up. He soon broke into laughter as well.

    Putting himself together the adult rose to his feet and offered his hand to the soaked trainer. Taking the offer Ash's face quickly showed a cheeky grin and pulled the man with in him. Now just as soaked as he was. Together they broke into laughter.

    Serena watched as she heard Ash laugh in a way she never heard before. It was filled with such glee, such joy that seemed real. She didn't doubt that her friendship with him was fake, but somehow this man was able to make him show a side she was jealous of. Who needed their past if she couldn't make him smile – him laugh the way this man could do so easily and quickly.

    "I really miss moments like these." The man spoke. "You always had a way to make such heavy problems fade away so easily."

    "So do I," Ash flicked his hat in the air, waving air into it to dry it. "I really wish you could come back."

    "You know I can't do that."

    His voice dropped as his eyes walked away from his view of the man and towards the small trees and fauna that was scattered around the Pokecentre Park. In a moment's glimpse Serena was caught into his view. But his vision on her faded as quickly as he found her.

    "That's Serena huh?" The man's voice brought him back to his current situation. "She looks nice."

    Ash remained silent as he dunk his head back into the water, letting his whole body dip into the water. The man on the other had sat up but let his lower half in the water, letting the cool liquid wrap around his waist.

    "So what's the status?"

    Covering his face with his cap, "There is none."

    "Ash, I know these things. I'm an expert after all. I can just tell you have something towards her."

    "But their nothing compared to..." He broke the chain of his sentence. "Oh, forget it. I hate the feeling anyway."

    From the darkness his cap provided it suddenly vanished as a face was replaced instead. Locks of hair fell down towards him as those mesmerizing sapphire eyes stared back down on him silently. The hat from the man's hand slipped as it floated on the water's surface.

    "Oi, wake up." The man slapped Ash's cheeks lightly. "If you sleep here you'll get a cold. Now we can't afford that now can we?" Ash still didn't move. The man pondered. "Why do you keep staring at me like that?"

    "Like what?" Ash questioned.

    Pulling apart he sighed. "It's like your studying my face or something. It's really creepy you know."

    Reaching for his cap Ash returned to drying it. "I do that because I might never know how long I have to wait until I can see the real you, the one that isn't trying to kill me or my friends or the one saving us for fun."

    "My job is far from fun!" He slammed his hands into the water. "You have no idea what I go through!"

    "Then let me understand!" Ash yelled back. He too slammed his fists into the water. "I'm tired of playing these games. I'm tired of waking up in fear that you're gone – and this time I mean for real!"

    And then he returned into that state of uncertainly as Ash wrapped his arms around himself to keep himself warm. He was tired and now very hungry. As much he enjoyed being in the presences of the man his friend's faces came into his mind. There was no doubt they would go looking for him – especially Serena.

    "I need to get back to the others." Rising up to his feet Ash still kept his arms around himself. The man did the same as Ash took a few steps away from the fountain. He shook his whole body in a way a Pokémon would do to get dry. "I know they would be looking for me. I didn't show myself to them since this afternoon."

    "Wait."

    Glancing over his shoulder he watched the man take a few steps closer to the young trainer. A smile crossed his lips as he dragged Ash into his arms. There Ash stood dumbfounded and decided to let the moment pass.

    "You better head back now. You'll get a cold."

    Pulling back, "Don't worry about me. If I were you I would be more worry about yourself." He teased.

    "For you, I promise nothing bad will ever happen."

    Rubbing his eyes, Ash smiled. "Thank you."

    Giving off a small wave the man made a brief goodbye with his Blaziken and Pikachu he walked off the bright lit footpath and into the darkness of the night. Taking in a few minutes to himself Ash sighed.

    "And then there is none."

    Those words were spoken loud enough for the young brunette, hidden away in a few bushes not so far behind to hear. As she stood up the sudden sound of a twig snapping underneath her pressure made Ash cautious and turn directly at her. Serena completely froze.

    "Please don't tell me you heard all of that."

    Serena watched on with blank stares before eventually lying towards him, shaking her head. "No. I just got here."

    Disappointment greeted Ash as sighed and placed his cap on his head. "Liar," Ash made his way closer to Serena. "Just what do you want from me?" The tone Ash brought to her scared Serena slightly. "You first want to know where I first met Blaziken and know you're spying me? Serena, I never thought that-"

    "I'm just worried about you!" She blurted. "Ever since that strange man made contact with us, you've been keeping everything to yourself. What annoys me the most is that you trust that shady character more than me or your friends who have stuck by your side since day one!"

    "And how do you know I don't share something special with that person too?!" Serena was never use to hearing Ash raising his voice towards her. "Since you're in the mood to know everything about me then I'll spill it. I share more of a past with that person there then I have with you! That person there taught me things only they can give me. What we have is nothing short of a fateful encounter! A childhood past! Something everybody shares with a good friend." Pausing for a moment Ash looked away, "...And I thought that person was you."

    Readjusting his cap the irritated trainer started to make his way away from her. Gathering the last of her courage, Serena spoke once more.

    "Then what kind a person is he? Your dad or brother maybe, maybe his not a man at all as is a woman, maybe a girlfriend or sister?"

    "Serena." His voice was low. "I understand you care for me but right now, I can't trust you with anything. I'm sorry." Ash was never use to saying such words, but they left his lips without giving him a choice to say no.

    He broke into haste before he could look back. Something within him just kept telling him to go on. The fear of seeing Serena so broken because of a secret he couldn't trust any of his friends to keep hurt him so much. The guilt was overpowering as he his feet collapsed on him, sending him off the path and into the dirt. With Blaziken and Pikachu finally able to catch up they made their way over, trying to find the right moment to help Ash back on his feet.

    Struggling on his own Ash simply gave up and laid there. "I'm such a horrible friend."

    "No you're not."

    Taking a glance upwards Ash noticed it was the masked man, his friend in his full costume offering his hand to him. "Now do you understand why I chose not to show my face to you? I can't bear to see you like this."

    Taking his offer Ash was aided back up on his feet. "Then why did you show yourself to me?"

    "Because I couldn't take all the hate you had against me." Releasing his grip on his hand the man made his way. Ash watched on for a few moments before making his way towards him, walking side by side by his friend. The man took a glance towards the destroyed trainer and sighed.

    "Alright, you can stay with me for awhile, after this no more, alright?"

    With a soft smile, Ash agreed.

    -------------------

    Tossing and turning Clemont finally admitted sleep wasn't going to come over him any time soon. Ideas flooded his mind of new inventions he could make or improvements on others. Sitting up and placing his glasses he glanced to the wall clock placed above the door.

    It was two in the morning.

    Cleaning the lens of his glasses clean the tired inventor made his way up, tossing his blankets off on his way out. As he reached for the door he couldn't help but to glance at the empty double bunk bed opposite to him. Above Clemont was convinced his sister was sleeping well but as he gazed as where Serena and Ash slept, two different stories were told to him.

    Above and on the rails were sheets of blankets tossed, a pillow on the edge, reading to fall to the ground at any minute. The bed below was completely different story as the blanket and pillow remained untouched.

    "His still out there huh?" Clemont shrugged his shoulders. "I hope everything is fine." He sighed.

    Clemont wrapped his fingers tightly on the doorknob and twisted it lightly, pushing it towards him lightly. The lights that lit up the halls of the pokecentre flooded into the room. Letting himself out the gym leader rubbed his eyes as his pupils got themselves to the new lighting.

    As the excitement of writing down and creating more inventions poured over him a sudden unexpected sight came into his view, right by the doorstep of his room.

    Serena.

    On the ground, her hands wrapped around her knees, her head hiding behind and her long light brunette hair just casually hanging in a ponytail.

    She had just recently joined him and the others and they nearly had nothing in common. He was a gym leader with a hobby of creating inventions. She on the other hand was into beauty and anything fashion. Clemont didn't understand how they were friends. If they didn't share that one bond – Ash there was a very slim chance they would even know each other's names for long.

    "Hey."

    The blond waited until Serena looked up to him and was just as surprised as he was to find him outside. She quietly stared at him before looking away, hiding her emotions behind her knees. Scratching the back of his head the young inventor sighed and took his place beside Serena with some distance between them.

    "Can't sleep?" Clemont tried to start a new conversation with the shattered girl. He stared and waited for her response. Then an idea came, "Is this about Ash?"

    Her response was nearly instant after hearing Ash's name. Her turquoise eyes told him all. Her eyes bloodshot and her cheeks stained from her tears. He wanted to reach out to her, hold her of even say something confident like Ash would always do. That was his charm. But he was a complete wreak at times. His words sometimes caused harm rather than any good.

    Avoiding eye contact, Serena spoke. Her voice dropping, "Yeah."

    "Are you upset about the battle this afternoon. You know, about him not properly battling you and stuff."

    Serena shook her head, "No, it's not that. It's something else he told me."

    "And can I ask what that is?"

    The young trainer silently stared at Clemont as she recalled Ash's words to her over and over again. "He said he doesn't trust me."

    "What?!" Clemont fell onto his back. Quickly getting back up, "No way, that's impossible. Ash could never say that."

    "Well he just did, okay?" Looking away, Serena continued. "I saw him talking to that shady man by the fountain. They seem to be having such a great time together. Ash didn't seem so scared or terrified this time. I know by just looking at him this person is really important to him." She paused. "And then when he found out I spied on him and even lied about he…just snapped." She crawled towards Clemont. The young man froze.

    "I was so scared. I've know Ash for so long but I have never seen him so…scary. As if I was touching his prize trophy and broke it." Her hands were shaking in fear. "What kind of friend am I? How could I let all of this happen to him?"

    Swallowing hard the nervous man reached for Serena's wrists as he tried to control his own shaking. He couldn't help but let his face fluster. "…Um, hey. Don't worry about it. Ash isn't the type to hold grudges or hate you for a really long time. I'm sure when the morning comes he'll be fine. Maybe we should just stop entering ourselves into his past. I mean, I think we should wait until he tells us himself when the times comes. Don't you think makes more sense?"

    Serena was lost for words as she slipped away from her friend's grasp. Rubbing her wrists, "I guess, that does make more sense."

    "And since you know Ash the longest you know that when Ash has a problem he keeps it to himself. Like sometimes after a really harsh battle he lost to, he could just be sitting out watching the stars for hours trying to understand what went wrong or the pain his pokemon went in."

    A small chuckle was heard down Serena's end as Clemont wondered in confusion. "Did I say something wrong?" He saw he shake her head.

    "No, in fact you're right. For once I actually understand what your saying." She brushed a few strands of her hair behind her ear as she rose up to her feet. "Thank you Clemont."

    With a friendly wave the young gym leader watched his companion back to their room. He stayed in the same spot as he rest the back of his head gently on the wall. Closing his eyes a smile appeared across his lips.

    "That's the first time you've called me by my name, Serena."

    -------------------

    "But if you find the rights words, for the right moment and speak them with meaning, then those moments won't leave the person's heart or mind. Your lasting impressions are the words you speak and not by the way you look."

    -------------------

    A/N: I've posted this a few days ago on FF.net so I thought it was only right to post it here too. XD

    Well I was thinking of maybe a AshxSerenaxClemont love triangle but that seems very unpopular in the reviews over there, I'm not so sure over here. Well that's alright. I guess I look for an...alternative? Sorry I'm a fan of complicated love stories. lol.

    Anyway enjoy this chapter, tell me if you want to be on the PM list or anything.

    @Azurelight Thank you for your kind words once again. I'm a big fan of suspense and it makes this ship so much fun to write since XY is very early in the anime department. I just love making up head canons and writing about them. It makes it super fun!

    Anyway until next time.
    Last edited by Midnightmoon6o2; 26th March 2014 at 11:24 PM.

  10. #10
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    JUST FINISHED READING THIS DDDDDD Sorry for the delay in response, I've been so busy with outside activities, I haven't even had time for my own fic -_- But anyways, I loved this chapter

    I'm really liking Ash's secretive nature, I know it's a bit strange of me, but I think it makes him cool and sort of a badass that he wants to protect Serena so badly; Although I do feel really bad for her, thinking Ash doesn't trust her. She must've been so crushed ( But alas, it only adds to the shipping!

    I also really like the love triangle going on here! You made Clemont so nice, I was getting all gushy over them! But I'm really rooting for Ash on this one. I think it's really sweet how protective he's been over Serena so far, he's got to be trying to protect her even now.

    The masked man is tripping me up! I want to know who he is sooo badly, but take your time with this fic because it is fantastic so far! I'm really hooked on it and your writing is as impeccable as ever. Keep up the great work I'm really looking forward to future chapters.
    "Boy oh boy...the price of freedom is steep." - Zack Fair
    Proud Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and Pokemon fan! Advanceshipping FTW
    Current Fic: The Pokemon Ranch
    Crappy Banner Art By Me

  11. #11
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    Chapter Three:

    Agreement

    Morning arise as the soft rays peeked through the thin curtains. Serena's eyes lit up and gazed her surroundings. The double bunk bed ahead opposite to her was tampered with as the blankets were in a mess. Underneath there was a same story just with less blankets everywhere. A new day came in Lumiose City and she loved it. It had not been the first time she arrived in the city of lights and with the stories Clemont told her, 'being the centre of many travelling destinations' she wouldn't be surprised if she ended up here again in a couple of months.

    After their crazy first month everything was running smoothly, of course that all ended when Ash suddenly snapped at her. All of a sudden defending a strange man that nearly killed them. She wanted to know more and save him from that man but she was tired seeing Ash so emotional after parting with the man. Perhaps it was better to just watch on the sidelines and let everything happen happen.

    Still in her double bunk she would always take the higher one. She felt like she got more time to herself up there. As her fingers reached for the base of the wooden ladder, Ash suddenly came into her mind. She didn't remember seeing him sleeping when she returned and she faintly remember hearing Clemont scrambling back into bed. She swore she heard him mutter strange names in his sleep to confirm it was him. No doubt they were names to go with his crazy inventions.

    Rolling into a ball Serena wrapped her arms around her knees and hid her face behind them. Doubt entered her mind.

    "He still doesn't hate me does he?" She rolled around in her bed. "No, it isn't like Ash to carry a burden like that." Reaching for the base of the ladder she pulled her body closer to it and gazed down.

    Ash's red sneakers stood by the base of his bed with his socks nearby. His hat had fallen off the bed head that sometimes acted like a placed to hang clothes or bags. His bag was not too far either. This confirmed it, Ash had indeed returned while she was sleeping.

    Swallowing hard the young brunette placed her foot on the first step and then another and as she took each step down she got a clearer view of the boy. She first noticed Pikachu was nowhere to be found, Serena quickly came up that maybe Bonnie had given him breakfast with the aid of her older brother. She soon noticed his back was facing her and the blankets were covering his whole body, even his face. As her bare feet touched the ground she removed the blanket so his face could be seen.

    He was sleeping peacefully.

    With a graceful smile she traced the back of her fingers down his cheeks. But something was off.

    He had a horrible fever.

    Her hands patted his cheeks multiple times before seen running out of the room in haste.

    Luminous City was a huge city and had more than one pokecentre. She couldn't recall if the one Clemont and Bonnie had guided Ash and herself to the northern half or southern. All the young trainer could recall properly were the stores that revolved around fashion; she didn't really recall where her friends would go.

    People passed her by and sometimes bumped into her like she didn't matter. Somehow whenever she felt Ash so helpless, so weak, it affected her as well. Ash was her pillar of support and strength and to watch it fall made her feel so helpless. She needed to be strong, she needed to find her own pillar of strength to lean on with her troubles.

    "Serena!"

    A voice called and no doubt it was Bonnie with her brother tagging along. The young blond raised Serena to her feet. She didn't notice she had fallen on her knees due to her troubles. With the aid of Bonnie she was back on her feet as Clemont had finally caught up to them both.

    "Are you alright Serena? You're panicking."

    Taking a breath, Serena was able to get her words out. "It's Ash. He has a horrible fever and I don't know what to do about it!"

    "We'll call Nurse Joy to the room. You go back and help Ash in any way. It could take some time for Nurse Joy to help us since Luminous City Pokecentre is so busy."

    "No that's fine." Serena nodded. "I'm just glad I have friends like you to count on troubles like these."

    Bonnie held Serena's wrist. "Don't feel so shy around us Serena! As long we are together we'll always help each other through trouble!"

    And afterwards both siblings rushed over as Serena's sight on them faded within the crowds of trainers scattered everywhere in the centre. Finding herself in the confusion the young trainer rushed through the crowd and down the halls and as soon their room's door flashed into her vision she reached for the doorknob and twisted in violently and rushed herself in.

    She never understood why she acted so crazy, so wild whenever Ash was involved with her. Her heart would race when he would smile at her or compliment her at her baking. He was important to her and she wasn't going to lie about that.

    But did she need to act like she was his crazy girlfriend? Taking every little moment to heart and panic whenever his face heated up?

    As the door closed behind her that strange figure was seen right beside the sick boy, fully masked and in costume. Sitting by his bedside and looking at the sick boy intensely.

    "You,"

    Serena's tone was cold.

    The masked man laughed before turning around to the young trainer. "You know, that is what Ash greeted me the first time we met. You really are his friend." He rose to his feet. "Serena correct?"

    Serena covered her mouth at the shock that the man knew her name. The shock kept her silent.

    "You shouldn't act so surprised Serena. After all, you saw us talking by the fountain the other night."

    "So I'm guessing you noticed me." Serena's guilt on spying on her best friend started to haunt over her.

    "For a brief moment but it was mainly Ash that introduced you to me, I heard your quiet the baker." He ended with a smirk.

    "So who are you really? Why are you so close to Ash? He even fought for you that led us having an argument." Serena tried to avoid eye contact with that man's face as she changed the topic. When she took a quick glance she noticed the man had fallen silent and was gazing at the sick boy.

    "...he fought for me? After all I have done?" His words were weak but they could be heard. "That is so typical of him."

    "Please Sir." It was clear Serena was begging. "Tell me who you are, I want to understand what Ash is going through but until you remove your mask I'll never will."

    He stared at her for a few seconds, no words were exchanged. "Just who are you to ask such a thing?" Fear was starting to sink into Serena's veins. "We are neither friends nor enemies, just strangers with a common friend."

    Gathering her courage, Serena disagreed. "To me, you seem more than a common friend to Ash. The way he speaks about you, the way he breaks down after just seeing you and the things his willing to go to protect you. They are things I know Ash won't do for a common friend...like me."

    The man wanted to rub his temples and his whole face but due to his mask he could not. Turning his back he returned to his former seat. "You know, you're pathetic." Looking over his shoulder, "You say you are his friend yet here you, panicking instead of trying to do something. Screaming for help at people you're still confused to even call your friends. I can see you lose your train of thought when he smiles at you. I won't be surprised if admit to yourself you only went on your journey to stalk Ash."

    Anger shock or the truth? Serena didn't understand her conflicted emotions as she raced over to the masked man ready to at least hurt him. Maybe just yell words like 'you're wrong' or 'liar' but as the man turned around to face her, she instantly froze.

    "Why won't you hurt me?" He sighed when Serena's face was still covered in fear. "Then that only confirms it. Right now you are doing everything to please Ash, especially after your little bickering and you know that if you hit me Ash will hate you more. Do yourself a favor and decide things for yourself and not for other people."

    Rising to his feet he flicked his cape and made his way closer to the open window that he came in. The breeze could be felt by his feet as he stood by the window's edge. Digging deep into his pockets a plastic bottle was seen in his grasp. With a quick flick it was seen heading towards Serena but only falling short. Glancing over he noticed she was down on her knees.

    "Do yourself a favor and help Ash by giving him this. He should be fine in a few hours."

    The bottle rolled over and lightly tapped her finger tips, the liquid seen swishing around before coming to a stop. Wrapping her fingers around her held it tightly with both hands and holding it close to her chest. Tears quickly found their way down her face as the sound of the wind rushing past told her the man had left her.

    A door behind her flashed with open as her friends and Nurse Joy came to her aid seconds later. As the young nurse helped up to her feet her trembling hands rushed over and placed them to Clemont's that was side by side of the nurse. With no words Serena rushed out, not giving a damn where her conflicted emotions would lead her to.

    -------------------

    "My dear friend, I tried shouting your name into the sky with a big voice today. But when I didn't hear your voice back I was scared. Only did I realize in that moment that I was lost. I had suddenly forgotten why we were friends in the first place."


    -------------------

    By the halls of the pokecentre Serena sat. Nearly copying the same pose and actions she did the other night. Her hands wrapped around her knees and her face buried behind. Tears stained her skin.

    The words of the mysterious man echoed in her mind - a tape record always stuck on repeat. She wanted to scream and yell and admit all they said was wrong. She wasn't some girl that would fluster after Ash's every smile or panic every time something didn't want her way. But her heart ached whenever she denied those claims.

    "Just how much did he talk about me?"

    The door opened and from looking at the ground white flats entered into her view before sneakers followed. Voices followed that belonged to her friends as Nurse Joy's voice faded from the halls. Looking up towards the two left she just stared at them. Somehow her eyes instantly stuck on Clemont, a boy she recently called her friend. Bonnie raced down onto her knees and broke her chain as she gazed at the young child.

    "Serena, are you okay?" Her Dedenne appeared from her yellow shoulder bag.

    She responded but it was too weak to hear.

    "Serena, Serena!" She shook the trainer a little. "Have you been crying?!"

    Rubbing her eyes Serena nodded. It was after this admission Clemont decided to go down on his knees to see Serena a little better. He had seen the same scene before and seeing again didn't get any easier.

    "You know, it's not as bad as you think. The medicine you gave made Ash's fever drop very quickly. He'll be alright in a few hours." He gave off a small smile but it didn't affect Serena's mood.

    "It's not that." She shook her head. "It was something that masked man said." Gathering her courage, she spoke. "He said I'm nothing but this disillusion girl following Ash without a dream of my own to chase. I panic over small things and I'm confused to who are my friends."

    "That isn't true!" Bonnie spoke up for her, rejecting any claims the man said to Serena.

    Clemont sighed. "You know better than all of us that isn't true. You're a strong woman and you do have a dream." This caused the brunette to look up towards him. "Your dream is to find a dream - a goal. And once you find it you'll be fine." He grinned. He rose to his feet as Bonnie helped Serena to hers. "There's nothing wrong with taking your time on that."

    Serena smiled as she brushed her long hair behind her ear, "You know you're starting to sound a lot like Ash at times." She broke into a laugh.

    "Well it's true." He flustered for a moment. "Anyway let's go get something to eat. I'm sure once Ash wakes up the first thing he'll ask is if we ate yet." Clemont suddenly pulled out a small notepad. "And plus I need time to finish off my ideas for my next greatest invention!"

    "Oh 'goodie'" Bonnie rolled her eyes. "I wonder if you'll remember to make an off switch this time." She pulled Dedenne out of her bag and held the little mouse in her arms.

    With embarrassment, "That only happened once Bonnie!"

    The young inventor turned around to face Serena. He was puzzled at why she seemed so focus on the door that led them to Ash. She was holding her hands so tightly as a hint of sadness were evident in her turquoise eyes. He watched her for a moment before placing his hand on her shoulder briefly before pulling it away.

    "Serena?" He asked. "Come-on, Bonnie is waiting for us down the hall."

    "Oh, right." Serena nodded.

    Giving one more looked Clemont guided her to Bonnie. She couldn't help but feel a little welcomed with her new friends. Her eyes wanted to drift back at the room and watch Ash from afar and quickly ask for his forgiveness over and over again. Normally it wouldn't bother her so until recently since Ash's kindness would forgive any of them quickly. But seeing the young man suddenly snap in front of her showed her a new light. He still had his kindness but of course he grew up - she grew up.

    He wasn't that kind little boy she met before and it hurt her so that she needed to accept this. She hated she had to find that out in such a horrible manner.

    -------------------

    Silence, Ash was never use to it. So as soon he felt the strength to sit up he did. Looking around he still saw the things of his friends scattered on their own bed and the place was still a mess, not that he really minded it. The bright rays of the sun told him it was just into the early hours of the afternoon. His stomach rumbled afterwards and his stomach never lied. As much he wanted to eat he couldn't gather the courage to speak to Serena.

    He yelled at her. Something he thought he would ever do to her, her of all people.

    Shaking his head he sighed. Still, something was feeling amiss. He patted her chest and all the way down to his feet. He wasn't wearing his usual PJ's. In fact, he was wearing clothes he didn't remember even being his. As the sudden wind blew into the room he turned right towards the window's direction and by the window sill was the masked man himself.

    "I forgot to drop these."

    Walking over to the sick boy it was no other but his clothes his mother made for him to wear in Kalos. He looked at his current outfit. All he was wearing was a simple white shirt and black shorts. His mind backtracked to what happened last night and he quickly embraced himself, all flustered.

    "Ahh, what happened?!" He panicked.

    The man threw the clothes into Ash's face, causing him to fall onto his back. "You chased after me after your little fight with Serena. You were all soaking wet which caused your fever. I just helped you change out of your wet clothes."

    "But but - how?"

    Rolling his eyes, "Must I break it into detail for you?" Ash shook his head. "Oh don't worry. Your secret is with me. I'll won't tell anyone the colour of your boxers."

    Gathering his clothes the man's face was still red with embarrassment. "You're making it sound so wrong." He shoved his clothes into his backpack as he looked back up at his friend. He could only recall his conversation from last night with the man very vaguely. "I thought after last night you wouldn't show up. We had a deal."

    "Yeah but after dropping you here last night I forgot to give your clothes back...that's unless you like walking around showing everyone your lovely pokemon printed boxers." The man couldn't control his laugher. "Oh, that's classic."

    Ash wanted to leave the room but he felt his whole body heavy as she sat back on his bed, covering his whole body with the bed sheets. Both of them stayed silent. Ash's mind returned to the scared face Serena made when he suddenly raised his voice to her. "I shouldn't have talked to her like that." He ignored for the moment his mysterious friend was in the same room as he was.

    "So is it true?"

    His voice reminded him he was still around. He turned towards the window. He was sitting on the window sill with arms crossed, his face facing the sky.

    "Serena told me you fought for me, protected me from all she was accusing me of." He removed his mask for a moment. "Why?"

    "You know that answer well." Ash loosed his grip on the blankets around him. "You're my friend. I know you better than anyone. You couldn't do those things and if you did it was only to protect me."

    "She so desperate to understand everything about you Ash, it's like a life or death moment for her." His mask lied loosely in his hands.

    "She's just a little overprotective and worries a lot, there's nothing wrong with that." Ash smiled. "That's just who she is. If you only got a chance to know her more I'm sure you'll have heaps in common." His face carried a hint of sadness for a moment. "But that can't happen, right?"

    The man played with the mask in his hands for a few moments before replying with a faint 'yes.'

    "Well then," Ash was trying to return the glee in his voice. "Thank you."

    The sudden sincerity caused the man to look at his dear friend. He stayed silent as he turned away from the window sill and stood up. He watched as Ash removed the blanket over him and came running at him at a rushing pace, his embrace was tight and sincere. He too felt like breaking up the spot.

    But he had thrown away that weak side of himself a long time ago.

    "I'm glad I was able to see you again and talk to you like none of this ever happened." He pulled away. "I promise I'll look after Blaziken for you. I know how important he is to you."

    Ash's emotions were so contagious.

    The mask fell from his grip as tears followed. The mask rolled around their feet before coming to a complete stop as he fell down to his knees, burying his face into his palms in hope the tears would fade away. And when he felt they did he look back up at his friend. He couldn't stop showing off that smile to him.

    "...you're welcome." He tried to give a smile of his own but he couldn't.

    Ash's hands reached down to the fallen mask and observed it. It really did look like a Mega Blaziken as every detail was marked on the object. He stared at it deeply before back at his friend. He sat there as he felt the mask begin placed on him. As the mask was placed on, Ash still sat there on his knees.

    "You can hide under many identities, change your mask and pokemon but underneath your still my friend. That friend I'll always cherish no matter what happens to us both."

    The mysterious man was losing it. He couldn't take in Ash's words - he didn't deserve it.

    Wasting no more time he rushed to his feet, running towards the open window. He stopped for a moment and held onto the window sill tightly before making his way out. Ash sat there and watched on before admitting his friend was gone.

    Like everything they had been through was acted out before the door behind him opened wide and by the entrance was his friends their hands occupied with bags of food and other travelling equipment. They all stood confused why Ash was doing in the middle of the room on his knees. Pikachu was the first to hope down Clemont's shoulders and greet his trainer.

    "Pika!" Ash's pokemon cooed.

    "Hey there buddy." Ash replied with glee.

    "Wow, who knew that science stuff actually worked." Bonnie replied. She walked over to Ash and patted his cheeks. "Yep, he looks fine." Ash quickly got annoyed by Bonnie pinching his cheeks.

    "Bonnie, please." Clemont sighed as she placed the bags on the floor. "Science is the way to the future my little sister!" Clemont boasted.

    As the sibling's voices echoed in the background Ash's eyes searched for Serena's. When they locked the young female trainer stuttered and froze in her place. With Pikachu in his arms he made his way forward to her, passing the siblings which caused them to stop their conversation.

    "Hey." The young trainer scratched his right cheek. "Sorry about what happened last night. I wasn't myself."

    "I figured." Serena showed off a nervous smile.

    "I-I promise I won't yell at you like that ever or any of you guys. You guys don't deserve it." He spoke to Clemont and Bonnie also before turning back to Serena. "And what I said that I don't trust you, please forget it. It's far from true."

    Serena's eyes crossed Clemont's as his words echoed in her minds before giving off that smile that caused her cheeks to flush as she looked back at Ash. "I know."

    Giving off a response by nodding he turned to face his other companions. "Alright, let's celebrate!" He cheered and raised his arms in the air causing Pikachu to unexpectedly climb up onto his shoulder. "Let's go eat outside."

    "Where? There are like a million cafes here in Luminous City." Bonnie replied. "And plus what about this stuff we got for you?

    "Does it really matter? As long they have good food I'm all in." Ash looked at his Pikachu and grinned. "And we can always use the food you guys bought for our journey."

    "If that's the case I know a few great places. I'm sure Clemont can bring us there." The young racer opened up her electronic map and the two screens lit up the many cafes Luminous City had to offer. "What about Sushi High Roller or maybe Restaurant le Wow?"

    "Those two are so out of budget." Clemont showed his empty pockets and sighed. "Can we pick somewhere else?"

    "Well if we go now we'll be able to decide!" Ash brought his friends together via group hug. "I'm so glad I have you guys." All of them smiled at Ash's words.

    With a soft smile and her eyes stuck on a certain raven hair boy, she nodded. "Yeah, so am I."

    -------------------

    In an apartment items were scattered like seeds. Blocking any pathway to the end of the room where a desk stood with a chair nearby. An empty page that was left untouched in a journal, the pen was in the man's hands, being played with, jumping from hand to hand to pass the time. Not far from the empty paged book was a photo frame as the photo inside remained unharmed, though its age it still was in good quality.

    "He knew. He knew I would act like this." Out of his costume the man sat on his chair as he chewed the end of the pen. "Then why did he say it?"

    The pen was seen flying across the room next.

    His eyes crossed the framed photo. There he was with his friend. Ash was right beside him as the photo was taken when Pikachu had just landed on his head, catching his trainer unguarded.

    And there he was.

    By his side with their other friends laughing or sharing a shocked face in the moment. Reaching over the man tried to recall who took the photo and if Ash had received a copy himself. He placed it right down and faced the image down on the desk.

    "Why do I still keep that image? Why did he talk to me like that? Is he trying to recall those days?" He lifted his feet onto the desk. "Persistence was something I always liked about him. You can't just come across people like him all the time."

    With arms crossed the day was still bright and he knew once that sun sank he would be required outside and doing his job. He hated it so but it kept like people Ash safe he didn't mind. Just seeing a person like Ash roam around safe was rewarding enough.

    "So you're here, finally I found you…annoying little thing you are."

    The man that spoke by the entrance was a well rounded man. He wasn't surprised if he found a way into the abandon apartment as when he found it the door was well broken. He wasn't surprised that he hadn't had anything stolen yet.

    "So why aren't you in costume?"

    Rolling his eyes, "It's too hot." He lied.

    The man kicked a few objects out of his way so he could make his way to his friend. "Out of all the subjects I have tested you would have to be the very few to ignore my commands."

    "Am I supposed to be flattered?" The man remarked. "You ruined my life." He seemed tired of yelling or having the same conversation. "Just…what do you want?"

    The man laughed. "I want you to return back with me. I need to know why you're so ignorant."

    Standing up from his chair, "Please, don't tell me you're going to blame my age into this."

    The rounded man readjusted his glasses and cleaned them with his suit. As he placed them on he noticed the framed photo facing down. He reached for it and picked up before his companion could take it back. He smiled, "And who are these wonderful people, friends of yours?"

    "We had a deal that you would leave them out of this." He slammed his hands on the desk.

    "Yes but your giving me no choice. I have to break that little deal we had as I'll make a new one." He grinned. "What about giving up your identity for them?"

    He pointed behind him and by the entrance of his apartment stood four women, all with unique designs of their own. They didn't look any less creepy though. With the click of the fingers they followed and surrounded the man.

    "Take him. Remind him why he signed up with us to being with."

    The ladies spoke no words and obeyed as if they were robots. Cuffs found their way around the man as an electric collar was formed around his neck. One of the women approached their captured victim and placed strange glasses onto his face, similar to theirs. A painful scream was heard and his whole body shook. The scream only lasted a few seconds but to the victim it was more.

    And then a loud thud was heard against the cold tiles. The pain had knocked him out cold.

    Dragged out of the apartment the only male in the group gazed back at the photo that contained their victim and Ash. The man smiled.

    "Now what was his name…ah yes, Ash." He gazed at the young trainer. "I got a wonderful surprise for you. I wonder what the results of your reunion will bring."

    Without a care in the world the man flicked the frame photo on the ground; the glass shattering on contact. The flawless image was now exposed as the glass was scattered everywhere.

    -------------------

    "But when I finally heard your voice again, I smiled. I was suddenly reminded why we were friends in the first place. I don't have a defined answer right now but I hope one day I'll be able to tell you in person."
    Last edited by Midnightmoon6o2; 26th March 2014 at 11:24 PM.

  12. #12
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    Serena is confused she dosent know her starange feeling is love
    [IMG]file:///C:/Users/nathan/Downloads/dedenne.png[/IMG] iris : such a egg badges : Hana Badge.
    I keep my friend in my heart as close as gold when my soul truns silver and my memories are alway black and white i love everone xtraspecial my road was platuim and sappirie and voloconos were fire red grass leafgreen

  13. #13
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    Nov 2008
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    Chapter Four:

    Reward

    "Isn't the place wonderful?" Serena out stretched her arms as soon the four of them entered into another of Luminous City's cafes.

    "Honestly Serena it looks like just the same from the one down the road." Ash sighed. "Can we just eat here instead of going to the next one?"

    Serena gazed through the glass stand of a range of baked goods, from her favourites, macaroons to croissants and éclairs. Bonnie pressed her hands and faced onto the glass as her lips watered. The boys noticed Serena had not taken in Ash's words from before.

    "Let's just go find a seat and they can order for us, alright?"

    Ash nodded at Clemont's suggestion. When it came to admiring things Serena could take forever until she would move on. Bonnie? She just liked pastries and sweets in general.

    They chose the table that had the corner seats where one could sit in the corner and feel like the world was very far and distant. That was what Ash thought of it now. "Our last encounter huh?" Ash pondered for a moment. "It's still hard to believe that-" Ash discontinued his train of thought. "It's better if I don't remember them like that."

    "Hey." Ash felt Clemont's hand placed on his shoulder. He shook him a little. "What's with the deep thinking?" He joked,

    "Oh, nothing really," Ash gave off a nervous smile. He sighed soon after; Ash wasn't the type to hide things from his friends very well. "Well maybe I could tell you a few things." "I can't risk their identity. I could never..."

    But the opportunity was missed when the girls had arrived with a number of sweets on a tray. Bonnie had already got her hand on an éclair as they were making their way to them. Ash and Pikachu's eyes sparkled with glee and Clemont sweat dropped.

    "To believe you were really serious a moment ago..." He soon tucked himself into the baked goods his sister and Serena had picked for all of them.

    "So what were you guys about to talk about? You looked serious for a moment." Serena teased.

    Ash blinked at his female companion as he swallowed his meal. "Nothing more you should be worried about." He smiled as he tucked in for another.

    Serena took her seat and sighed. She didn't want another conversation and watch Ash suddenly snap once again. To see that anger and pain once more was terrifying. She smiled as she watched Ash clearly enjoying the sweets.

    "I'll save you from your pain Ash."

    "Hey Serena," The young woman was taken out of her thoughts. It was Ash waving a croissant in front of her face. "Are you going to have any?"

    "Of course!" Serena gave off a determined grin. "After all, I picked these treats because I know they're the best in the city."

    "Um, Serena," Clemont felt disheartened. "The cafe across the road has the exact menu and..."

    "No worries. We'll taste every cafe here until you feel better." She winked at the young gym leader.

    Clemont's face flustered and tried to hide his red face by eating the sweets he had got for the whole group. He spoke no more about travelling to another cafe because he didn't go so well with exercise. He wished there was a day where he could just go along building inventions but of course, that wasn't the reason he went on his journey with Ash. It was to learn how to build such a powerful emotional connection with his Pokémon that Ash could do so well.

    He suddenly got a thought, was that the reason Serena travelled with Ash? To learn from him? He shook the idea away. It wasn't his business to wonder about the other reasons Serena is travelling with them all.

    "Clemont, Bonnie!" A loud voice entered into the cafe. "My dear children!" Meyer reached over for his children from their seats and pulled them closer.

    "Ack!" Clemont had forgotten the strength his father had when it came to embraces. "D-Dad!?"

    "Daddy?" Bonnie asked as well. Their father broke his embrace with his children. "What are you doing here?"

    "I was going to get some lunch but then I found you two here. Imagine, out of all the cafes we meet here."

    His oldest child rolled his eyes. "Well anyway. You better get lunch and head back to the shop. Some customers could be waiting for you."

    "Says the same to you, gym leader Clemont," Bonnie teased. "Your little friend can't run the gym forever."

    "Ha...ha." The blond nervously laughed.

    As Clemont and Bonnie shared their moment between their father Ash and Serena were left with a tray of pastry sweets left. Serena's left hers untouched for most of the time as she watched Ash rip a few pieces of his meal to give to his dearest Pikachu. She always enjoyed watching the two at whatever they did, from either battles to simple cute moments she would always enjoy them.

    She reached to her hat before noticing it was not on her. She patted her head a few times and looked around the seats. She sunk into her chair and sighed. After having her moment she quickly sat up before standing up onto her two feet. Before Ash could have asked where his friend was heading Serena had beaten him to it.

    "I'll be right back guys; I'm heading back to the Pokémon centre to get my hat."

    "Um, okay?" Ash was unsure at why she needed to go back to get her hat. But yet again, Ash couldn't remember the last time he went outside without his.

    -------------------

    In the busy streets of Luminous City the strange Mega Blaziken man stood, letting many people bump into him and then blaming him for their mistakes. He didn't mind it as he stood and watching the Prism Tower in all its beauty. He had seen it before under the lights it showed the night he had saved Ash from his death with his once Blaziken.

    Now, with a new companion by his side he kept on watch as a mask was seen in his grasp. It remained to symbolise the mega evolution of a Blaziken.

    "He'll take care of him, I know. At least Blaziken is safe from this horrible world we're in." He looked at his old friend. "Isn't that right Venasaur?"

    The grass and poison type looked at their trainer and smiled somewhat. He watched as his trainer went down on his knees keeping his emotions contained.

    "Once I put this mask on it will be another day of utter horror. If I do anything bad or tell you things you don't want to do. Please, please forgive me."

    The grass type released his vines and patted his trainer on his back as a way to comfort him. That was able to make his trainer smile a little before fear came over him. Turning around the trainer saw no other but that same scientist heading towards him with his no less stranger female companions.

    "Are you ready test subject 05?"

    The man looked away before glancing back. "I have a name you know."

    The rounded man burst into laughter. "Oh, but you threw that away to protect that silly friend of yours. Just who is he to you? Family member perhaps?"

    "It is none of your concern who he is to me. Just let us do the job without involving him or my family into this Xerosic."

    "Oh but experimentation isn't fun without trials now is it?"

    The man spoke no more words and placed the mask over him. Crying the last of his tears he could hear the helmet lock into place as strange numbers and shapes crossed his screen from the inside of his mask. Many text boxes and numbers crossed his path before he felt his vision fading from him, like he was going blind.

    "Forgive me, Ash."

    As his conscience faded from his control, Xerosic smiled as a remote control was seen in his hands. He threw it up in the air before catching it again. The ladies around him either crossed their arms or sighed. They all did roll their eyes though.

    A few numbers where pressed as their test subject mask lit up for a moment before fading away. This confirmed what they had planned in their papers. The man looked around to test his new toy and stared at the Prism Tower for a moment.

    "No, we've had that happen before."

    Then his eyes shined when they came across a young girl, rushing back with a light pink felt hat placed nicely on her head.

    And with a sudden gust a wind that hat quickly fell onto the footpath. Sitting gently on the footpath, as others quickly ran over it in utter fear.

    -------------------

    "Fear can be a wall that isn't easily taken down. It is human instinct to keep yourself alive instead of the other. It's understandable if one walks away from that wall to keep themselves alive. What is hard to understand is the few that choose to risk it all for a certain person."


    -------------------

    "How long does it take to get her hat?" Ash grumbled. He sunk into his seat with arms crossed. "I want to get some training in before the day is over."

    "Maybe Serena got lost on the way here. Luminous City does have a lot of cafes." Bonnie fed the left over sweets to her Dedenne. The little mouse cooed after receiving a scratch behind his ears from Bonnie.

    "I guess that makes sense." Ash looked to his left and noticed Clemont was back at his notepad writing down words and strange sums. Ash didn't need to understand to know they were for his inventions again.

    He glanced across the room and passed the window and saw an unusual sight. He had been to Luminous City a few times now and knew the streets were busy but chaotic? It just didn't seem to fit in Luminous City's peace and serene pace lifestyle. He watched on and looked at the people inside the cafe. They were muttering a few things as the owners and workers of the shop came to the counter and discussed a few things. He was too far to really get anything.

    "Hey Clemont," Ash nudged his friend on the shoulder. "Is that normal?"

    Finally looking away from his work he looked at Ash before outside where he saw a number of people running past in fear. "No. The last time something like that happened was when Garchomp ran through the city because of Team Rocket." The three of them looked at each other afterwards.

    "Then that means whatever is happening outside it not a good thing."

    Without any more time wasted Ash had pulled himself out of his chair and out of the cafe with his friends and Pikachu tagging behind. It didn't take long to see the destruction because as soon they took a few steps out of the cafe the road, buildings and trees were in a mess. People were scattered as the rushed to anywhere that could provide good shelter. There were trainers and their Pokémon around helping until the police could arrive.

    "Clemont," Bonnie held her brother's hand tightly. "Do you think Serena is alright?"

    The young gym leader couldn't give a precise answer as much as he wanted to as he was at a complete lost. What was happening in front of them would explain why their female friend hadn't returned as soon as she promised but the idea haunted them all.

    "Serena is fine." Ash replied instead. "She's a smart person. She's proved to us that before."

    Digging into Ash's confidence in his friend Bonnie nodded and some relief came over her. As soon Pikachu hopped onto his trainer's shoulder the three of them rushed towards the disaster. They ignored any warnings that came from the people escaping the terror, they liked the concern but Ash couldn't sit and wait till everything was over.

    That was never his style.

    "...Serena." He muttered softly. "Please be safe."

    Taking the twists and turns and local shortcuts known to Clemont and Bonnie they had quickly reached their destination. By the base of Prism Tower was a strange group of men and woman dressed in the most outrageous and brightest outfits he had ever seen. As he scaled up the huge building he saw a shocking sight.

    There was Serena hanging off the building with vines wrapped around her waist.

    "Serena!" He yelled as he quickly rushed closer to the building but was held back by Clemont.

    "Ash no!"

    "But Serena! I can't just leave her hanging like that." He pointed at the young trainer that was hanging by the well known building.

    "I know that but look what's ahead of us, some creepy people that no doubt in charge of kidnapping Serena."

    "I see the target." One of the ladies spoke. Their voice sounded nearly robotic to how dull and empty their tone was. "Time to let the test subject 05 do its obligated task."

    Ash, Clemont and Bonnie looked on ahead as the strange people stood where they were, as if provoking them to come closer. Clenching his fists he looked up at Serena. She was awake and was staring at each one of them with eyes begging them to save her. The vines around her waist were too tight to move her arms and let her Pokémon save her. She needed their help, not only Ash but Clemont and Bonnie as well.

    "Pikachu use thunderbolt!" Ash wasn't the type to just attack strangers but it was clear they had kidnapped Serena and they needed to be punished.

    The little mouse hopped off his shoulder and with his red cheeks ready to release the attack, long green vines quickly slapped Pikachu off the ground. The strange scientists smiled at the attack, as if they had predicted that move.

    And from behind the group of Team Flare members, a man in a Mega Blaziken mask appeared before them. Only meters away from Ash and the others. He remained silent as Ash tried to keep his composure together. Holding one arm Ash looked away for one moment before looking back. Clemont simple stared at the mask man as if he was searching for something.

    "Did you do this?!" He suddenly snapped.

    The man remained silent. Clemont and Bonnie were unsure how to deal with Ash's sudden anger.

    "Tell me!" He demanded.

    "I see the victim is suffering from emotional stress. Such a pity thing to have," A woman with blue hair spoke. The only male in the group got out his remote and locked in a few numbers. The test subject quickly followed.

    "Venasaur," The man softly spoke. "Vine whip once more,"

    The seed Pokémon showed no complaints and followed his master's orders and sent a wave of whipping vines towards them all. Clemont rushed down and shielded his sister from the attacks.

    "Use quick attack to avoid the attack Pikachu!" Ash demanded. He looked up towards Prism Tower and saw Serena was still awake and looking at them all.

    She couldn't withstand the pain for too long.

    "Pika!" The mouse cheered his own name and with great speed was able to cross the field of whipping vines before colliding into the face of Venasaur. Pikachu's tail lit up and slammed a powerful Iron Tail without the command of Ash. Pikachu knew how much and how quickly they needed to save Serena that continued to hand from Prism Tower.

    "Perhaps it is now the correct time to use the object?" A green hair woman spoke up next. "I believe this experiment will not last longer if no correct procedures are done."

    "Agreed," Xerosic punched in a few more keys and their toy followed.

    Digging deep into his pockets of the test subject a small stone was seen in his grasp. It was just the same size as the one Ash had but it was in a different shade of colour. The stone shined in absolute beauty and minutes later a newly evolved Venasaur stood in front of them.

    "I'm convinced that isn't dad anymore." Clemont took a few steps closer to Ash.

    "What makes you so sure brother?"

    "I...just know." Were the only words Clemont could speak at the moment.

    "That is correct, young gym leader Clemont." The last of the ladies spoke. "Your father's little gimmick has becomes ours. Such a shame he had to stop."

    Turning back to face his friends, "What are they on about?"

    "My dad, he used to have this little gimmick he did when we were kids. He would go out at the dead of night protecting the city. He soon stopped because the people were raising suspicions. This can't be dad because he would never mess himself with such dirty criminals!"

    "How dare you little children call us dirty criminals!" One of the ladies spoke out. "One day you will thank us for all we are doing now."

    "I really doubt that!" Another voiced called. It was no other but Meyer. "Ampharos use thunderbolt!"

    Thunder was seen escaping Ampharos's body and towards Mega Venasaur. It cried in pain. Their father called them right after the attack as Bonnie quickly rushed into the arms of her father. Clemont glanced back at Ash who was now facing back at the criminals. "But you always knew that, didn't you?"

    Without exchanging a single word back as his friend Ash reached for a pokeball and a strange stone that followed. Swallowing hard he looked up at his masked friend. He stood and watched on without a single word. His hands in his pockets as his mega evolution stood and waited for the next attack.

    "Pikachu, come back!" He was finding it hard to speak for a moment. "We can't win this battle without..." He paused as he looked at the red and white machine in his hands. "Without the help of Blaziken,"

    "What?!" Ash could hear the one scientist speak in shock. "The background information given to me did not state this."

    A smirk crossed Ash's lips. "Well then, sorry to disappoint." He threw the pokeball into the air and blue light was seen escaping. After taking shape it was no other but Blaziken. The stone in his hand started to shine intensely. In Ash's eyes, normally evolution excited him so much but this time, it only brought so much uncertainly. As Clemont and his family watched on, the stone and Blaziken started to glow bright and the process of mega evolution began. In a matter of seconds Blaziken was in his new form.

    "Blaziken forgive me but I was left with no choice." He walked up right beside his newest Pokémon. "They've stolen our friend from us and I refuse them to leave with them."

    "So...the boy masters mega evolution hm?" Xerosic interest in the boy grew even more.

    One of the ladies with short green hair readjusted her strange glasses. "What an unexpected turn of events."

    "Alright, battle mode on. Let's win this test subject 05 and take the boy home with us afterwards."

    Like a robot the masked man followed. "Razor leaf!"

    "Flamethrower!" Ash screamed.

    Flames were seen escaping Blaziken's mouth and blade sharp were seen from Venasaur. The leaves burnt up like a crisp but the fire type attack didn't do as much damage as he expected. Ash didn't wonder on the issue for too long.

    "Vine whip, let's go!"

    A wave of hard hitting, slamming vines whipped right at the fighting type, making it impossible to give the chance for Ash to land the next move. "Pull back Blaziken!" Ash called.

    "Ash, remember that when Pokémon mega evolve their abilities change as well." Meyer spoke. "There is a chance that Blaziken's ability is no longer Blaze."

    "Then what is it?" Ash called back as he tried to keep his attention on the battle.

    "Speed boost." Meyer explained.

    "Of course," Clemont added. "You had a Blaziken that could mega evolve back then right?"

    "Yes." Meyer nodded towards his son. "Use that to your advantage Ash!"

    Giving off a nod he noticed Blaziken's footwork was improving the longer the battle went and gave no doubt what Meyer spoke was true. Then an idea came to him. "Keep dodging Blaziken until we get enough speed."

    "This could be troubling." Xerosic quickly changed the plans by entering a different code into his remote. "Time to go defensive,"

    The test subject was quickly changed onto a different route and send out a different attack. "Leech seed."

    Withdrawing the vines the huge pink flower on the back of Venasaur quickly scattered seeds all over the field, giving less and less space for the speedy Blaziken to dodge and gain speed. With one misplace foot; vines were soon crawling up the legs of the Pokémon, draining his energy away.

    "Blaziken burn them off with Flamethrower!"

    The fire type followed but as soon he removed the vines on him others were soon crawling to replace them.

    "This match is ours." Xerosic smiled. "The boy will soon be ending up with us."

    "No..." Ash's voice was dropping. "I won't ever join you guys. I will save my friend and there will be nothing you can do about it." Gathering courage, "...save all your energy to use Overheat Blaziken!"

    "Do the same with our Solarbeam Venasaur!"

    The two starters started to gather energy but as time move on the weaker Blaziken had become due to leech seed. On one knee the Pokémon stayed persistent. When intense light was seen escaping Venasaur's huge flower that was when Ash called out the attack. White light stung their eyes as a huge amount of fire heated their whole area. The area was coated in a blanket of white light and when the light had faded both Pokémon had fainted right in front of them.

    Ash rushed over to Blaziken and ripped the vines that had tangled around his feet and caught the Pokémon into his arms. It quickly reverted from its mega evolution as the stone was return into his hands. He looked over and saw the same had happened to Venasaur and his trainer and fainted down to the ground. As Clemont, Bonnie and their father rushed over he handed his Pokémon to them for a moment as Ash rushed over to his masked friend before being blocked.

    Xerosic, the only male scientist in the group held the fainted man in his arm, one hand around their waist to provide support and another on the mask.

    "Ash correct?" The creepy man began. "Well done on the battle. I never knew there were other people as strong as your friend here that could master mega evolution so well and so quickly."

    "Let my friend go!" Ash demanded.

    "Which one?" Xerosic teased. He smirked as Ash looked up the tower and saw the four other female scientists on the tower where Serena had been hanging for the last hour or so. Ash really didn't keep time on how long their battle had lasted for. "You see, I can't let you save both of them. You have to pick."

    "No...Please...don't." Ash was losing control of his emotions and words. "Please."

    "Begging will get you nowhere in life, take in your friend here for example." He pointed at the fainted man in his arms. "If you save your girlfriend on the ropes there, I'll be taking your masked companion back home with me. But if you pick this friend here with me now, my friends up there will cut the rope and your girl will fall to the depths of her death."

    "Why you-" Bonnie tried to rush over to give the old fat man a big smack but her brother held in place as their father continued to support the weak Blaziken over his shoulder.

    "Either way, they both...die." A remote was seen in his hands. On the complicated machine was one button that would change everything. "There is one button on this wonderful machine of mine. If you do save your friend by the tower I won't be taking this trash with me back. Instead I'll be taking her out with the trash for good."

    Now unable to comprehend the choices he had the young trainer fell onto his knees, wrapping his arms around his body for a sense of security. The pupils in his eyes had gone so small his eyes looked so empty that not even his brown irises could be seen. He was shaking so so badly.

    "I-I" He was suddenly finding it hard to speak. "I..."

    "Pick boy!" Xerosic spoke more pressure. "I have no more time to spare. Don't pick and I'll get rid of them both!"

    "Ash!" Bonnie screamed. "Please save Serena!" In the short time they had been together Bonnie saw Serena as her very own sister. Losing her would be traumatic on her the most alongside Ash.

    "I care for them both so much." Ash continued to shake. He looked up at Serena who looked like she was going to faint any minute now. He then gazed at the masked friend in the arms of Xerosic who at any minute, would blow the head of his friend.

    Rising up to his feet and his cap hiding the emotions in his eyes, he took a deep breath and held the mega evolution stone tightly in his hand. "I...pick my friend."

    "WHAT?!" The family behind him spoke in utter shock. "No Ash, please, don't do this!" Bonnie was in tears as she tried to escape out of the arms of her brother. Clemont was finding it hard to keep himself strong after hearing the news from Ash as well.

    The rounded scientist gave off a smirk as he pushed that fainted masked men into the arms of Ash and signalled the girls to cut off the vines that was holding Serena from her death. As soon the vines where heard to snap the stone in Ash's hand glowed brightly and Blaziken was seen in his mega evolution state.

    "Blaziken please hurry!" Ash begged as Xerosic stood there stunned. He was in tears and was finding it hard to speak.

    He looked at his masked friend and quickly removed the mask that had kept his identity hidden to everyone except him for nearly two months. As soon the mask was removed their outfit changed. Short locks of brown hair were seen escaping as soon the mask was removed. The outfit the man wore were no long resemble the colours of a Blaziken but returned the way Ash remembered him in.

    "What?!" Xerosic got his composure together. "Why you little brat... tricking me like that." He rushed over to Ash who was now on his knees and holding his friend so tightly. "Give her back."

    But before the man could pull Ash away from his dear friend bolts of thunder blocked his path. Looking on ahead he was reminded that Ash was not alone in his ordeal.

    "Leave him alone!" Meyer demanded. "He did his deal, now leave!"

    "Yeah, you better or else the police will catch you and your girls on your little act." Clemont joined in his father's boastful act.

    Xerosic readjusted his glasses and sighed. "Well you did pick her over the other. No matter, I got what I came for. Results and my boy, you and your friend gave me enough to work on for weeks. Thank you." He teased right at the end.

    And with that Ash didn't recall how the man and the other female scientists left. All he cared about was the friend in his arms and if Blaziken had saved Serena in time. The idea of Serena dead and gone forever haunted Ash so much that he held his friend closer to his chest as he continued to cry.

    "Please don't be dead, Serena." He muttered over and over again, like he was saying a chant. "Please, please please."

    "Ash," Clemont had joined up with his friend. He noticed Ash didn't say back and instead looked at the friend in his arms.

    It wasn't some man like they had all thought. In fact, it was a girl not far from their age, it was possible she was the same age as his dear friend Ash.

    Muttering could be heard coming from the girl in Ash's arms. Pulling her away from his chest they all saw she was regaining conscience, her eyes flicking for a moment to clear her vision. With one hand she held her head due to the pain the mask gave her and the commands Xerosic was giving to her to do. Her body felt so weak as bruises and cuts were seen on her skin.

    She first saw were a group of people she didn't recognised. A blond inventor with glasses, by his left was a young girl that looked like his sister and by his right was a much older man that was old enough to be their father. But as she looked right above her, she noticed who it was quickly.

    "Ash," He quickly became emotional. "Oh Ash," She buried her face into his chest. "I'm so sorry, so so sorry."

    The young boy stayed silent as he held the crying girl in his arms as his thoughts were on the Prism Tower and if Blaziken had saved Serena in time. The longer it took for Blaziken to return the more worried they all became.

    He rested his head onto hers as the silence was the only way to keep him controlled. Clemont and the others stayed silent and were also wondering why it took so long for Blaziken to return. Ash closed his eyes as the girl in his arms continued to whimper.

    She spoke again, "Ash, forgive me. Team Flare got me and-"

    "Shhh," Ash spoke ever so comfortably. "You can tell me everything later." The woman pulled away from his chest and stared at him. Ash smiled. "Everything will be fine, alright...May?"

    -------------------

    "And so when that wall is broken you've conquered your fear. But it doesn't take long till another one blocks your way. But if one is persistent enough and the reward at the other side of the wall is good enough, the pain, fear and uncertainly will all be worth it."


    -------------------

    A/N:

    Now before you all go yelling and me how the mask men ended up begin May, please calm your jets. I'll obviously end up explaining that. I don't want hurtful reviews because I decided to add May into the story. There is a reason why and trust me it will work out in Amourshipping's favour in the end.

    Now I know some Amourshippers don't like Advance and I totally understand that but if you don't know me well I love adding love triangles into my stories. I will tone down the advanceshippiness to a reasonable level because the fact there are mutlishippers that don't ship advance.

    Now, I hope you don't mind the short chapter or how quickly I reveal the masked man to be. Please forgive me but I have my reasons why I did this. Enjoy.

    Also I got a lot of...interesting reviews when I posted this chapter on ff.net. I've never had so much mixed reviews in my life but whatever, I'm going to continue with the plan and trust me, I know not everyone ships advance and not everyone likes a complicated love story so I'll tone it down for you guys. Now can you guys stop the hate? Thanks.

    ~midnight
    Last edited by Midnightmoon6o2; 22nd May 2014 at 4:30 PM.

  14. #14
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    Chapter Five:

    Glance

    Three days have passed and Serena was still missing. Ash hardly showed up at the hospital and the new girl, May, hardly spoke. The trauma was still a fresh wound. They were only children yet their feelings, their minds were much mature then it needed it to be for their age.

    Clemont with his little sister sat in the room of the silent girl, Clemont with his notepad writing new ideas down as Bonnie sat with her Dedenne, brushing his fur to the best it can be. Running the back of her fingers down his back the little mouse cooed and Bonnie smiled. May’s sapphire eyes strayed away from them both for many reasons. One was mainly it reminded her and her dear brother. Turning to her side she sighed as her back faced the door.

    Her mind was at a lost, she didn’t understand anything anymore. Lying in bed and closing her eyes gave her peace but when her eyes opened and showed her what had become of her reality – her dreams, she would cry.
    The door of the hospital room opened wide and by the entrance was the trainer himself with his dear Pikachu perched on his shoulder. Cuts and grazes were seen on his bare skin and dirt and leaves scattered on his clothes, his hair in a mess.

    Clemont looked up to the sound of the opening door, “Did you find Serena yet?” Bonnie begged. The smile on her face from grooming Dedenne was quickly washed away.

    Finding it hard to look at the youngest member of the group, Ash shook his head. Ever since Serena had gone missing he was finding it hard to speak.

    Their friend, the figure of hope and faith had suddenly vanished. Everyone was at a lost, but he the most.

    Ash turned to the brunette lying on her side, her back facing him and his friends. Bandages were seen wrapped on her arms but most were around her head. Her long brunette hair covered the bandages though. By the side of her bed was an empty chair and that is where Ash sat, closing his eyes for a brief moment.

    “Hey Ash, we’ll wait for you outside.” Clemont felt the boy and his friend needed the space. Standing up he reached for his sister’s hand and walked out.

    With his cap covering his face the two best friends stayed silent.

    “I’m sorry.”

    Removing his cap from his face Ash was surprised May spoke to him at all. He stared at his friend whose back was still facing him. He looked away afterwards.

    “There is nothing to say sorry for. Things just didn’t go to plan.”
    Sitting up and holding her arm, May shook her head, still refusing to face her friend.

    “There is.” She insisted. “If you didn’t save me, Serena wouldn’t be missing right now.”

    “If I didn’t save you, you would be dead and without a head.”
    Glancing over her shoulder for a brief moment, “If things would end up like this I rather be.”

    Something in Ash caused him to reach for his friend’s arm and turn her to face him. “I already lost one friend; I can’t afford to lose you to.” He snapped.

    May had never seen him so serious – so scared before in her life.

    “Look, Blaziken did catch Serena from her fall but he blacked out afterwards. I don’t know what from but I saw Serena’s hat in his hands when I came to look for him.” He released his grip on May. “Serena isn’t dead, I know and I won’t stop until I find her.” Standing up, Ash placed his cap back on his head. “And to keep you safe I’m sending you back home. I’ll call Norman and-”

    “Don’t!” She reached over for Ash’s arm. “I chose this life to protect them; if I go back I’ll only harm them and you too. After I recover I’ll leave you at peace.”

    “You honestly think letting you go on your own will give me peace?” He slipped from May’s grasp. “If you believe going home will only harm your family then stay with me. Here we can protect each other.” He gave off a half lit smile, but it didn’t last long as it was proving hard for him to do at the moment. “Now I have to go, Clemont promised me we’ll go search for Serena today. Talk to you soon.”

    Reaching for the door the young trainer left the room alone. But seconds later Bonnie entered into the room, looking for the brush she used to groom her Pokémon. May watched the little girl look for her dear object before Bonnie noticing her staring. She froze.

    “I-Is there anything wrong?” The little girl stuttered.

    Shaking her head, “No,” Her eyes soon focused on the helmet on the table in her room. “Your name is Bonnie right?” Bonnie nodded. “Could you do me a favor, and give me that helmet?”

    Following May’s request Bonnie handed over the helmet to the young brunette. Placing it on, her figure changed completely. She had changed into a new costume – a new illusion. This stunned the young girl.

    “What are you doing?” Her voice was weak and scared.

    Looking back at Bonnie, “I’m going to save your friend.”

    ------------------

    Back at the grounds of the Prism Tower both boys searched hard for any leads that would bring them to their friend. The police presence had loosened in the past three days but the area where Serena was seen falling was still out of bounds. Holding Serena’s pink felt hat in his hands, Ash played that day in his mind over and over again.

    “She isn’t dead. You save her, right Blaziken?”

    Ash’s newest Pokémon, now in his mega evolution form nodded. He stared at the tower himself; feeling the guilt of not bringing Serena back to his master like he ordered, but the guilt didn’t leave him no matter how many times Ash said it wasn’t his fault.

    The fire type’s ears perked up as Blaziken turned his attention to the sound. There was a voice, weak but fading. It was being overlap by the sound of rubber crashing against wet and sticky mud. Ash noticed the strange behaviour in his Pokémon.

    “Blaziken, are you picking up on something?”

    With a quick nod the fire type picked up his master in one arm and Clemont in the other unexpectedly. The Pokémon quickly gained speed. Both held onto the speedy Pokémon tightly, Clemont more than Ash as Blaziken jumped from building to building with ease. Looking down Clemont noticed they were entering into a new route and that the path was covered in mud and the area smelled foul.

    The longer Blaziken was in his mega evolution the faster he went. It only took them minutes after entering the swampy route that a delivery truck was seen just ahead. The back was only covered by jail-like bars with a lock, holding the gate closed. In a white dress, hair down and her ankles and wrists cuffed were the girl herself, Serena. But due to how far she was she didn’t notice the two boys coming to her aid.

    Turning her back from the seen the girl closed her eyes and sighed.
    “Is that Serena?” Ash blurted in shock. “I knew it she was alive!” He cheered.

    “Yeah but look, I think she’s been captured.” Clemont made sure his glasses weren’t going to fly away due to the high speeds they were going at.

    Ash looked at the path they were on and noticed up ahead the path got muddier and a swamp could be seen up ahead. Not only did fire types hate water but there was no way they could cross it even at high speeds.
    “Hurry Blaziken!” Ash begged.

    Closing the gap behind them fast footsteps echoed on the path Serena was in. Turning back to face down the road were her two best friends. But her smile grew when she saw Ash was coming to save her. She rushed to the end of the room before hearing her chains shackle, reminding her that was impossible.

    “Ash!” Serena screamed. “He came, just like they said they would…”
    The drivers up front heard the girl’s scream as they forced the truck to go faster. But at high speeds Blaziken was able to reach the back of the truck with ease.

    “Hey, missed us?” Ash teased.

    “This isn’t the time for jokes Ash.” Serena grumbled. “Be careful and don’t touch the rails because-”

    Too late,

    Electricity guarded the rails to ever be touched, sending shock through all their bodies, making them come to a complete stop. Trying to get near the rails Serena screamed. “Ash, Clemont!”

    “Foolish boy and his friend,” A female voice was heard through the small window that connected the driver’s area to the back. “To think we would handle you over just like that. Fool.”

    The female’s voice was no other but Mable.

    “And like the boss said, everything is going to plan. We’ll end up having you and your dear boyfriend in one swoop.”

    “I should have said that first before the railings…”

    Seconds later after her friends had been electrified by the railings a loud thud was heard over the top of her. Crawling into a ball Serena shuddered. She could see through the small window Mable curious what the strange sound it was, either being Ash and his friend again with his Blaziken or a new threat.

    Another sound was heard that sounded that the thing above them had left the truck. Now only the sound of the wheels rolling on the dirt was heard once again.

    “Perhaps an Aipom landed on the truck by accident…”Mable began to ponder. But her pondering stopped when a masked man appeared in front of them. Crawling her way up to her feet and looking through the small window Serena noticed who it was instantly.

    It was the mask Mega Blaziken man.

    Or now know as May, Ash’s best friend.

    “I thought we got rid of you as soon we dumped her to her friend!” The bluenette landed her fists on the dashboard. “Run over her, she is no threat.”

    The light brunette closed her eyes knowing they were going to kill the young girl but just as soon they were going to make contact the mask ‘man’ jumped and landed on top of the moving vehicle. Crawling her way on the roof May made her way on the rear, holding on only by the roof.
    “Don’t touch them, you’ll only hurt yourself.” Serena begged.

    The mask man stared at Serena with silence before a new form was taken. A much more slender form was taken. The helmet she wore was black but the face area was covered in orange. Her outfit was made out of leather, making slipping into small areas a breeze and black to fade into the darkness.

    “I’ll be fine Serena.” A woman’s voice echoed through. Looking at the railing May looked at the lock that kept Serena locked up at the back. Letting the suit to all the work, in a few seconds the lock was removed and the electricity that kept Serena at bay was also removed. The gates flew open as May raced over for the cuffs that kept Serena locked up at the back.

    With the strength in her suit the chains broke as soon she pulled them apart. She pulled Serena into her arms and down the muddy path behind them was her Blaziken with Ash on his shoulders and Clemont scared for his life. Waiting for the right moment both girls jumped and landed into the Pokémon’s arms, both easily caught by Blaziken.

    The Hoenn starter came to a stop as soon the girls were in his arms. He placed them gently on the ground as Ash slipped off the back of Blaziken. Clemont slipped and fell to the ground, falling onto his back. May removed her helmet as her brown locks of her fell gracefully over her shoulders. Serena stared at May as it was the first time she had seen the girl without her uniform on.

    The truck that kept Serena hostage did the same as Mable at the grunt appeared meters from them, Mable not pleased at the results.
    “I refuse to get defeated by such children!” Throwing a pokeball into the air Houndoom was seen on the path. “Sludge Bomb!”

    “Run!” Clemont panicked. Ash followed as he reached out for both of the girl’s hands and ran as fast as they could go.

    Poisonous goo landed by their heels at times as they ran down the swampy path, trying to avoid pot holes of thick mud knowing that if anyone of them got stuck Mable’s Houndoom would take them in, no questions asked.

    Serena looked at May as she kept on running even with her injuries. A bandage over her right knee and both her arms were wrapped in bandages but her head seem to have the most. Running bare foot slime easily covered Serena’s feet as she quickly tripped, losing grasp of Ash’s hand. Stopping for her Ash tried to pull her out but the slime was too thick for only one man to pull her out.

    “Serena, hold on!” Ash screamed as he tried to pull Serena out of the goo.
    “We are here for you!” Clemont helped Ash by grabbing Serena’s other free hand and were able to pull out the girl from the goo. May on the other hand had commanded to light the poison goo from Houndoom’s on fire with Blaziken, leaving a trail of fire behind them.

    Having no time to rub the slime off her white dress Ash reached for her hand and then May’s as they ran through the swamp in hope they would reach Luminous City soon. But fatigue was getting to them all as they all slipped behind thick trees in hope Mable, her Houndoom and the grunt would give up their search. Ash wrapped his arms around Serena to protect her as he kept his eyes on Mable and the others. He didn’t take any notice at how red Serena’s cheeks had become.

    “We should be fine here.” He muttered. Holding Serena tighter, “I’m just glad you’re fine and alive.” He smiled at her. “I could never forgive myself if I never found you again.”

    “A-Ash I-I” With cheeks flustered Serena was finding it hard to speak properly.

    May glanced at her friend smiling knowing he was back to his cheery self before something wet from above. Touching her bandage on her head lightly May noticing she was bleeding. May tried to hide this from Ash but he had already noticed she was bleeding.

    “May?” He asked. Before May could reply with her answer she was losing her balance as she held her head tightly. “May!” The three of them crowed around the brunette.

    “I think her wound in her head opened up again due to saving Serena.”

    “So that fence did hurt you after all…” Serena spoke as the young girl looked up to her. “You know, you’re pretty and tough.” She complimented.

    “I only learn from the best.” She grinned as she looked at Ash. Ash chuckled.

    “I only taught you the basics, the rest was all you.” Ash noticed the blood was passing through her bandage on her head.

    “We really have to get back.” Serena reminded them.

    “But what about her?” Clemont pointed at Mable who was still around the area, guarding it well.

    “She might call her friends if we don’t hurry soon.” Serena held onto Ash’s arm tightly. “Then we’ll all be in big trouble.”

    In one hand May held onto her helmet tightly as she glanced at the fragile girl holding on Ash for dear life. “Serena.” May called. “Wear this.”

    Serena’s eyes widen in fear. “W-What?! But I can’t!”

    “I would go out there myself but I’m bleeding badly. Put it on and pretend to be one of her friends and convince Mable to call off the call the search.”
    Reaching over May placed the helmet into Serena’s hands. “If you are a friend of Ash then you’re my friend too.” She smiled.

    Serena looked at all of them and saw the belief they all had in her. Using their confidence to fill her own, the helmet slipped around Serena’s head perfectly. The orange mask lit briefly to signal it was on and working fine, a leather suit wrapped around Serena’s body replacing her white dress temporarily as she started to think deeply. In a matter of seconds Serena took on the splitting image of Aliana.

    “Go.” Ash encouraged her.

    With a nod Serena made her way out of the forest, confronting Mable and her powerful Houndoom. With arms crossed she started at her unpleased.
    “What took you so long? Why didn’t you answer any of my calls?”

    “I-I’m sorry.” Serena stuttered. Nerves were getting the better of her.
    “What is the matter Aliana? It isn’t you to say sorry.”

    Serena glanced at her friends hiding behinds thick trees and shrubs. She knew they couldn’t hide forever. In the arms of Ash she could see May and how red and soaked her bandage around her head was becoming. “This time I’ll be the one saving all of you.”

    “Just a little shaken from the trip and the sudden call, you know the rest of it.” The young trainer braved to put on a brave face for her friends. “I’ve looked around the swamp and they girl and her bunch of friends are gone. As usual you’ve failed. It seems to be your hobby to let little children beat you.”

    “How dare you Aliana! Don’t speak in that tone with me!” Mable was coming closer to the fake Aliana. “That child had pure talent. He had more talent than the dumb grunts Team Flare hires.”

    “Until you put your game up, we’ll never catch that boy or that little girl. I don’t understand why such children have more talent than we but I am not in the right place to judge that. We all were defeated by a child. Let’s go, we’ll get nowhere discussing our failures here.”

    “I would love to discuss the facts but I agree. We’ll continue this back at the lab.” Returning her Houndoom back into his ball and recalling the grunt that was driving the truck. “I have to inform the boss the events that had happened today and return the truck. This isn’t over Aliana.”

    ‘Aliana’ stood and nodded and watched the furious Mable rushed into the passenger side of the truck, screaming for the grunt to hurry and drive her off. As the grunt got in and drove into the distance with an upset and irritated Mable to deal with, Serena removed the helmet and she returned wearing a long white dressed covered with slime and her hair down.

    She smiled at her friends as they all made their way to her. Ash rushed over and gave the young trainer a huge hug as May was resting in the arms of Blaziken. She was half awake though and gave a smile.

    “I knew you could pull it off.”

    Nodding Serena held onto the helmet tightly. “Thank you for believing in me, even if we just properly met now.”

    “Ash always had a good taste in friends. They never let him down when in trouble.”

    Pulling apart from Serena Ash raced to hold her hand. “You saved us Serena. We were able to escape without losing anyone.”

    “T-Thanks Ash,” She turned to face Clemont and smiled at him as well. “I’m sure you’re glad as well Clemont?”

    “Huh?! Clermont’s face went red. “Well, yes, of course!” He spoke with glee. “I’m just not excited for the run back, that’s all.”

    The four of them shared a laugh before Ash turned to May who was resting in the arms of her Pokémon. Her bandage around her head was now quickly turning red and the bandage around her knees was falling loose, exposing a deep cut. Her eyes were half lit open as she turned to Ash who she noticed was staring at her.

    “What’s wrong?” She teased.

    “You know what’s wrong.” He walked up to her. “Your wounds are opening up. We really have to get you back.”

    “I’m fine. I’ve had worse.”

    Ash sighed as he crossed his arms. “Just what has happened to you since we last met in Sinnoh?”

    May gave off another smile to convince she was just fine towards her friend. “Nothing much,”

    But before May could give off another friendly banter she closed her eyes and fell out of conciseness as blood from her bandage trickled down her forehead. They all rushed over to the girl in Blaziken’s arms, “May!” Ash panicked. He shook her shoulders lightly. “May!”

    His other female companion watched both the fainted girl in Blaziken’s arm and the Ash panicking over his friend. They all started to run as soon more blood was seen escaping her wounds. She noticed Ash’s eyes weren’t leaving May for a second. She was worried for the brunette as well and owned her for giving the helmet to save them all. But she didn’t want the young girl to die for doing something good.

    But his eyes, her eyes; for a brief moment shared the same tint before May fainting. As Serena pondered about what Ash and May really shared she didn’t noticed they had made it back to Luminous City. Back in the hospital was their first objective. The chaos of seeing a bleeding child that they thought was recovering well in her room, the group of four was quickly pulled apart.

    Nurses and a doctor rushed to May and dragged Ash and Blaziken along with her and Clemont held Serena’s hand and dragged her to a ward that was less covered in fear, panic and confusion. In the waiting room she and her friend sat. News didn’t take long as Bonnie wrapped her arms around her waist and hugging her so tightly.

    “Serena!” Bonnie cheered. Her Dedenne embraced the young trainer with his little arms as well. “Are you alright? You’re not hurt?”

    “I just have a few bruises where I’ve been cuffed but I’m fine. Though May is badly hurt as her wounds opened up as we were escaping. In fact she was the one that saved me with this.” Serena showed Bonnie the helmet.

    “T-That’s the mask Miss May asked me to give her.” Bonnie jumped. “So that is what she meant by saving you. I hope she doesn’t die because I gave her that thing.” Bonnie rushed into her brother’s arms.

    “Hey, calm down Bonnie.” Clemont spoke ever so softly. “If you didn’t give us that helmet we would have never been able to save Serena or even escape. In fact, you’re the hero between all of us.”

    Bonnie’s tears were replaced with shock. She couldn’t believe giving the helmet to May would be the one thing that would bring Serena back and save them all. She smiled and Dedenne copied her actions.

    “Your very welcome brother!” She placed her hands on her waist and put on a ‘hero-like’ pose.

    Both Serena and Clemont chuckled at Bonnie’s actions as Bonnie took a seat beside Serena. She listened in the stories her friend talked about in the three days she had been held captured but her mind was somewhere else. Before she noticed Bonnie had fallen asleep and was leaning on her lightly, not enough to cause her more pain.

    “Is something wrong Serena?” The young trainer turned to the gym leader. “You haven’t said a word when Bonnie was talking to you. I’m sorry if she bored you with her stories.” He nervously apologized.

    “No it’s fine. In fact I missed the things Bonnie would talk to me about. She’s like a little sister to me now.” She ran her fingers though Bonnie’s blond hair. “But it’s rather Ash I’m thinking about.”

    “He really worries for May a lot, doesn’t he? I can’t blame him though, after seeing your best friend forced to work for evil to protect him and her family. It’s like he feels like it’s his turn to protect her, or maybe guilt for not able to pick up on her earlier or save her.”

    Serena turned to Clemont and titled her head, “Do you really think that’s all to it?”

    Confused, “Well yeah, what else are you trying to say?”

    Looking away, “You seem just as dense as he is.” Serena grumbled. She turned back to Clemont. “I think they have something more.”

    “Well from what I heard from Ash they travelled Hoenn and Kanto together and a spent time together in Sinnoh before losing contact. If I was Ash right now I wouldn’t leave May for a minute, not after what they have been together.” The gym leader reached for the bottled water.

    Shaking her head and patting the sleeping Bonnie that was now sleeping on her lap. “I think…he might actually like her.” Serena pondered.

    Those words finally sunk in. Still, they were hard to accept or imagine. Clemont spat out the water he was about to drink.

    “That would explain all the things I saw before May revealed to us who she really was. That time by the fountain and when Ash breaks down every time he saw the masked man.” Serena added.

    “I know they have history but that’s just a wild guess Serena. Maybe you should go and get to know May as well as you do with Ash and then try to convince yourself that.”

    Looking and gazing at Bonnie sleeping peacefully in her lap. “Maybe I should.”

    She closed her eyes briefly for a moment before whispering. “But you don’t understand the way he looks at her. They have something special. Something even my past with Ash doesn’t have.”

    ------------------

    “The simple exchanges of glances, the small seconds that one has with them. No words explain the feeling when one can look at another and have that bond no words can explain.”

    -----------------

    “Serena!” Ash’s voice was filled with glee as he knocked on the Pokecenter door. Pikachu was by his feet holding two tubs of ice creams in his paws. “You in?”

    Night had fallen over the bright lit city and due to Serena’s bruises and cuts doctors had suggested it was best for her to sleep by herself on one bed rather sharing one with Bonnie as usual. In her bed Serena rested. The sound of Ash’s repetitive knocking woke her up. She didn’t mind the rude awakening. Anything was better than waking up to one of her mother’s Fletching’s peck attack.

    Glancing at the mirror to fix her bow she pulled the door open and there was Ash with ice cream being held by Pikachu by the door. Smiling at Pikachu’s attempt to stay upright Serena kneeled down to help the little mouse before Ash taking it away from her.

    “Remember what the doctor said, you can’t carry anything heavy because your wrists are really bruised badly for being cuffed for three days straight.” Ash walked himself into Serena’s room.

    “That reminds me, why wasn’t Pikachu with you this afternoon? We could have really used his help.” Closing the door behind her Ash noticed he was sitting on his bed, flicking through channels on the television.

    “Before I left to look for you Bonnie wanted to groom him. I wasn’t myself so I let her have Pikachu, which was alright because Blaziken was good enough. Without his speed I would have never caught up with that truck.” Ash dug his spoon into one of the tubs of ice cream.

    Serena sat beside her friend before asking again, “So…how is May?”

    “She’s better now. The doctors said they closed all her wounds and should be able to come home tomorrow. Of course she can’t do anything extreme like today.”

    The young female trainer fell onto her back, repaying today’s events in her mind. “That was really…something else. Even with her injuries she still came out and saved me.” She saw Pikachu jump onto the bed and onto her stomach. She smiled and sat upright with Pikachu in her lap. “We hardly know each other yet she came. I really owe her a lot.”

    “It’s because she knows how important you are to me.” Ash kept his eyes glued on the television. Serena’s face blushed red once again, but as usual Ash didn’t notice that.

    Those words, suddenly gave her security between him and her. It was like; she got confirmation that she wasn’t just some friend travelling with him. She was important to him.

    “So how did you and May meet? Was she just as courageous back then?” Serena held her knees and started to rock in one spot.

    “Actually no, she was really clumsy and hated Pokémon. Her dad forced her to become a trainer so she could be a gym leader like him one day. We met as soon Pikachu fried her bike which…I still haven’t paid back.” Ash suddenly felt disheartened.

    “Really? I never imagined her like that. She seems so independent and courageous, nothing like me.” She sighed.

    “Hey.” Ash turned to face his friend. “You’re courageous too. If you didn’t pretend to be one of those girl’s friend I bet we would of still be running from her back at the swamp.”

    “You’re too kind Ash.” Serena reached down for the other tub of ice cream Ash had brought over. “So why the ice cream?”

    Ash grinned, “Being sick is like the best excuse to eat ice cream Serena.”
    “What if you had a cold? Ice cream then isn’t the best option.”

    Ash rolled his eyes, “Besides colds.” He turned to watch the television again. “And plus, you’ve been gone for three days. I need to make up time and spend some time with you.”

    The young girl stayed silent as she let Ash go on. “Those three days felt like forever, I didn’t sleep and I even missed dinner. It was like I wouldn’t be myself until I found you alive or…not.”

    A soft smile crossed Serena’s lips after hearing Ash speak and how desperate he was to find her. Taking in a scoop of ice cream she joined Ash watching the television. Nothing interesting was on as it was just another Pokémon late night talk show, inviting trainers, coordinators and all sorts of different and well known trainers. It was just one of the few shows that weren’t based in Kalos and overseas like Kanto.

    “So…about you and May.”

    “What about us?” Ash took in another scoop of ice cream before giving one to his Pikachu who was now sitting to the right of him.

    “Is…there-um, anything between you two?”

    Ash’s face was plain as day. She knew he had no idea where their new conversation was heading to.

    “I don’t get it.”

    “Of course you don’t.” Serena gave off a dishearten look. “What I mean why do you look at her like so special? The way you look at her it’s nearly…romantic like. Those intense stares, the shaking of the iris, it shining in the light and-”

    He wasn’t listening. The TV proved that. Serena sighed, but she continued on knowing he wasn’t listening anyway. She decided to let all her feelings known, even if it was only Pikachu that looked somewhat interested in her words.

    “The way you acted when you defended her when I saw you two at the fountain, the way you would just break down and feel this unbearable guilt over your shoulders, the way you treat Blaziken from time to time and so on. I mean some stuff I understand because you don’t know how your best friend went down the wrong path but there were times when you say things that I think go beyond the friendship level.”

    No response from Ash, just what she expected. But she was glad she let her thoughts known to at least one person in the group. She lay down on her back, eating ice cream lazily and not caring if she made a mess. It felt nice to let her thoughts out.

    “…Your not trying to suggest that May and I…are a couple are you?”
    Serena perked up and sat up. She blinked. He did understand what she was saying after all.

    “Well…no, yes, I don’t know, I mean.” Stuttering, Serena was losing her words.

    “The answer is no.” Ash’s voice was serious but he attention didn’t leave the television set. He sighed. “She’s got somebody else back home.”

    “Really?” Serena blinked. There was a sense of slight joy in her voice but she didn’t want to make it sound obvious.

    “Yeah, I mean my friends told me about them about to get together but I didn’t pay any attention to it much.” Ash took another bite of his ice cream. “I got to admit, the roses were getting annoying but she’s my friend. I’ll support her, even if the guy acts like a jerk sometimes.” He joked.

    “You are such a kind person Ash.” Serena praised. “May’s lucky to have somebody like you around.”

    “Isn’t that what friends do?” Ash turned to face Serena with a sense of gladness. “Support and not tell?” he sighed. “Supporting her, that’s what I’ll be doing.”

    “You have no idea how much people would love to have somebody like you around.” Serena embraced Ash’s arm tightly before letting go a few minutes later. Turning to his left he noticed Serena had fallen asleep on him.

    Giving off a light chuckle he removed the ice cream and spoon on her lap. With the help of Pikachu who was turning off the television, he picked up his friend. With the unexpected weight Ash fell forward while putting her down. Opening his eyes the young boy noticed he was very close to bumping heads with Serena.

    He didn’t move away at first. He kept staring down at her in the silence. He felt Serena’s breath crashing onto his face before pulling away quickly, his cheeks having a slight stain of faint pink.

    He looked down at Serena who was now sleeping ever so peacefully.

    Ash really hated himself that he lied to his best friend just now.

    -----------------

    “They say a picture can paint a thousand words, but in their case the only words they could all paint was how much they all meant to one another.”

    -----------------
    Last edited by Midnightmoon6o2; 26th March 2014 at 11:23 PM.

  15. #15
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    Since today I'm on a mad reviewing spree I have the pleasure of doing yours,

    I've started reading this one, and I say so far so good. I have only read the prologue and chapter one, so from there I'm enjoying it.
    I enjoy the mystery going on in it, not being omniscient. That also slightly makes it confusing, but I like your writing style.

    You know as I've said on the ADV thread even though I don't support the pairing, a good fic is a good fic. I think you know where I stand. (Speaking of that, it needs a little more activity so feel free to post.)

    I enjoy the descriptiveness, and pace.

    This, like many other fics and stories, has just a few spelling and grammar mistakes. Doing a quick read-through should point some out, and hopefully clear a few things up.
    Time for a new signature.

    I'm an advanceshipper, you should read my fic that I am working on.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...shipping-PG-13
    You should also tell me how I did.

    Bask in my humble glory. ~sethern~

  16. #16
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    This is so good! But I can't tell if it's the end or not.
    "That's too much bacon." said no one, EVER.



    My current X team :
    Greninja


    My shines:

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pokemasterz View Post
    This is so good! But I can't tell if it's the end or not.
    Oh it isn't ending, nowhere near where I want to plan it. But thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoy reading this.

  18. #18
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    Chapter Six:

    Judge


    ------------------

    Moving along from the rollercoaster of yesterday's events the journey lingered on as they made through their way through the swamp at a much calmer pace. There were no grunts or Team Flare members to hunt down and none of their friends needed saving. Nobody could remember the last time where they could travel in peace. It was something they took for granted early on and they were so grateful to have that sensation back with them.

    Though the smell of the swamp around them was hard to miss, the thrill of watching Ash and Clemont battle with their Pokémon took their attention away from the foul smell. And by a fallen log May sat with that strange helmet in her arms. Bonnie was by their bags grooming a number of their Pokémon including Pikachu.

    Serena watched on from the distance of Ash's battle with Clemont behind May, leaning on a tree of her own with her Pokémon in her arms as well. Her attention was not on the intense battle Ash and Clemont were sharing but the newest girl that had joined their group.

    Finding the courage within her, Serena made her way to May, sitting right beside her.

    May wasn't too fixated that Serena had taken a seat beside her. She was amazed at how well Ash and Blaziken were getting along and how strong their bond had become in just a week's time.

    "Ash and Blaziken are really something else aren't they?"

    May looked to her left and noticed it was Serena that has spoken to her. Looking back at the battle, "Yeah, it's pretty amazing. I'm glad that giving Blaziken away to Ash was the right move."

    "But isn't he the first Pokémon you ever had? Isn't it hard to see your very first Pokémon with somebody else now?"

    May shook her head as she turned to face Serena. "No, it isn't hard because I know Ash will make Blaziken better than before and he loves looking after Pokémon." May smiled. "Though the last time I gave my Pokémon to him he nearly gave me the wrong one back." May started to laugh.

    Serena showed off a small smile. "You two are really close, aren't you?"

    "Of course, we travelled together for awhile. You and your other friends are close to Ash as well right?"

    Nervously smiling, "Yeah, you could say that."

    The girls' conversation went dry as they both watched the battle.

    "I know they have history but that's just a wild guess Serena. Maybe you should go and get to know May as well as you do with Ash and try to convince yourself that."


    Clemont's words echoed in her mind as Serena stared at the helmet in May's grasp. Wondering, she couldn't help but ask. "May, why are you holding onto that helmet nearly all the time? Why don't you leave it with our bags over there or get rid of it for good?"

    The brunette stayed silent for a moment before gathering her words together.

    "Because I don't want anyone else to suffer through the same pain as I did while under the control of this helmet and Xerosic and the others."

    Leaning back slightly, "I guess that makes sense." Serena paused. "Anyway I didn't mention this earlier but we've met before – you in the suit I mean."

    "…I see." The tone in May's voice started to drop. "Then whatever I said to you back then, I'm sorry."

    Still not looking towards her Serena was left puzzled. May continued.

    "You see whenever I put this helmet on I receive memory blanks of what I'm doing. Like when I was saving you. I remember landing on the truck and opening the gates but I can't remember how we escaped. It's the same whenever I say something while wearing the suit. I only remember a few parts of a conversation. You see Serena," May held up the helmet to her line of sight, "This helmet is part of the expansion suit. When I was with Team Flare there was another part of the suit. If I wore that I wouldn't have memory blanks while wearing the suit as I would be completely asleep wearing it. Anyone wearing the whole set will be so powerful I couldn't imagine the terror it could bring."

    "So when you were escaping Team Flare you only brought the helmet, but why?"

    "The helmet provides the illusion of the suit while the other half brings power, speed and stealth. I thought if I took either one Team Flare couldn't get another person to wear the suit and cause terror to others."

    Serena felt it was getting too much for the brunette and stopped her questions. Instead she watched the final moments of Ash's battle with Clemont. But her eyes would sometimes gaze off the battle field and onto a certain trainer which she couldn't help but deny felt something towards but lack the confidence to tell Ash at least.

    She wanted the courage that May showed when she came to save her, she wanted the trust May gave to her when she placed their lives in her hands. Maybe if she felt a little more courageous, more trusting and more understanding then maybe it wouldn't be so impossible for Ash to give back a simple glance, like the ones he would sometimes give off to May whenever she wasn't paying attention.

    "You really like him don't you?"

    It was no denying that. Serena's flustered cheeks just proved that to the coordinator.

    "How do you know?" She knew there was no point denying the fact. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad talking to another girl her age about crushes and love. As much she loved Bonnie like her own sister the topic of liking someone was something she would always avoid with her due to how young she was.

    "I'm quiet the expert on things like that. I can detect it miles away." May joked.

    "So you would really help me?" Serena couldn't contain her joy.

    "Well it would be a challenge but we won't know if we don't try right?"

    Serena clapped her hands together, still with flustered cheeks. "Thank you so much." Opening her turquoise eyes a question popped into her mind. "But how do we know if the plan is working?"

    Giving off a wink, the coordinator smiled. "It not may be evident but Ash shows off hints a little differently to us girls. They won't happen often but when they do, you know you're on the right track."

    Questions kept coming into Serena's mind. "And how do you know all of this?"

    May paused as she tried to pull out a great answer. But only the truth provided her good answer.

    "Because I've seen it before,"

    ------------------

    "Why didn't you contact me? Why? You know I would do everything I could to help you."

    "But that's the point. If I had asked for your help you would have gotten hurt. And plus I don't want to interrupt your journey."

    Opening up her eyes May finally noticed the skies above her showing a wonderful light show of stars. Leaning on Ash's back she watched in awe. Earlier she watched on in the distance at how quickly Ash had snapped in front of his new friend, Serena, for questioning him on things he would rather forget.

    "I really miss this."

    "What do you miss?"

    "Just looking up at the stars in peace, it makes me forget the world I'm in now. I forget what I am now just looking up at them."

    Suddenly May felt her whole body falling onto the ground. Opening her eyes she noticed Ash was looking straight down at her.

    "Well do you miss looking at this?" Ash pointed at his own face and pulled a funny face. May soon fell into laughter.

    Turning onto her side she finally calmed down. From the cliff's edge May kept on stargazing as she felt Ash's presence by her right. Sitting down and admiring the stars for himself. Pulling herself up she sat up with her hands in her lap.

    "It's so hard to believe we've gone so far in our dreams now haven't we?"

    Looking back at her friend, May was puzzled.

    "I just hope you haven't thrown yours away because of what you've become."

    "I haven't. I just got a new one along the way." May reached her hand out to the sky, as if she could pull the stars down from the heavens.

    "And what is that?"

    "To protect my family and my best friend."

    Looking at her best friend May noticed how red Ash's face had become. This came to her as a surprise as she never seen Ash blush at anything even travelling through two regions together. Giving off a chuckle May lowered her arm but kept her eyes glued to the skies.

    "So how are you really with that Serena girl?"

    "Not again." Ash rolled his eyes and leaned back down on the grass.

    "Come on, it's clear she likes you. I don't think even Misty showed this kind of obvious liking." With a teasing stare, "So do you return the same feelings back?"

    "No. I have a feeling that you're getting really annoying fast." Ash gave of an annoyed glare as he turned his back on her.

    "But if you give me a serious answer I'll stop."

    Lying on his back May heard Ash was silent. She could remember Ash would be dense at moments and give off answer that would kill the mood when it came to love and that was the type of answer she was expecting. But nothing of the sorts was happening.

    "I know when it comes to things like this I'm not the smartest and I really try to avoid things like this but since you're so persistent as usual I might as well answer. Who knows when we'll see each other again anyway?"

    His auburn eyes turned their attention to the heavens above as May waited for Ash to gather up his words properly. Still with his attention stolen by the stars above, "You always said you had an eye for these types of things…" Ash turned to face his best friend. He quietly stared at her with those wonderful eyes of his that only now she really took notice of.

    "Can you tell who I really like?"

    May quickly discovered the answer fast.

    And it wasn't the type of answer she ever expected from him at all.


    ------------------

    "May?" Serena's voice broke her out from her thoughts. "Are you okay?"

    "Hm?" May turned to face her new friend. "Ah yes. I'm fine. I was just thinking of a few things." She suddenly stood up and noticed Ash's battle with Clemont had finished. "Why don't I speak a few words with Ash and see how he really thinks of you?"

    Serena stood up and reached over for May's arm and held it tightly. "You're not going to say to him that I like him r-right?" She stuttered.

    "Of course not," May gave the girl some confidence. "While I do the talking you can impress him with your baking skills. I heard you do quite the macaroon pretty well."

    "Thanks May."

    With a brief embrace the young trainer made her way to Bonnie who was the youngest out of them all. She watched their interactions and reminded her of her relationship with her brother back at home. She had not seen him for so long that his face was starting to become a blur to her. Even with her parents as well.

    The footsteps of the two boys came louder and louder as she turned away from the two girls and noticed they were making their way to her.

    "You really raised Blaziken well May. I had trouble beating it." Clemont praised the young girl.

    With flustered cheeks, "Thanks Clemont, but if you only saw me how I started you wouldn't believe I rose Blaziken to the way he is now."

    "And you wouldn't believe how many times Torchic would crash into something as soon he was released out of his pokeball." Ash laughed at the memories.

    After sharing a laugh between the three of them May reached for Ash's arm. Whispering into his ear, "I need to speak to you."

    Confused, "What for?"

    May dragged Ash closer to her by tugging his arm. "It's about Serena."

    Ash stared at Clemont and the gym leader nodded and took his leave. Looking back at his friend, "Is she feeling well? She isn't hurt is she?"

    As May explained Clemont watched on from a distance. It didn't take long until she saw May dragging Ash to a place where they could talk alone. Still alone Clemont wondered if everything Serena shared with him could be true.

    Before making way to his sister and Serena he watched at how well they bond together. He stared at Serena for a moment before looking away. He simply made his way to his sister as Dedenne ran up to him to give him a nuzzle on his cheeks. It took only seconds for him to become fully paralyzed as only part of his body he could move was his eyes.

    As he could hear Bonnie laughing in the background he didn't hear Serena joining in which was usually always the case. Moving his eyes he noticed Serena was focused at the path May had taken Ash down to talk. Rolling his eyes Clemont sighed.

    "Oh Serena…"

    ------------------

    "If you stop painting yourself as the perfect woman for him, if you stop painting him as the perfect man you want him to be and let destiny do its work, you'll see the results will be better then you have ever imagined if you had done it all on your own."


    ------------------

    "Is really dragging me here really necessary?" Ash held his nose from the foul smell of the swamp.

    "Yes and Ash, it doesn't smell that bad." May lectured. "Anyway I want to speak about Serena. How long are you going to keep her hopes up?"

    "Hopes up for what?" Ash questioned.

    May was at the point where she wanted to pull her own hair out. "She likes you! She genuinely likes you and I'm not talking about the friendship type of liking."

    "You mean that type of liking that ends up two people as a couple?"

    Taking a sigh of relief, "Yes, that type of like."

    Ash fell silent. Sure, there were a few times where he would come across a girl that would hang around him so close it made him feel uncomfortable but Serena never did any of the sorts. She would only come close if she wanted to talk or would ask some advice about Pokémon.

    "Wow, I didn't know…"

    "Of course you don't. I'm even surprised you know the word couple to be honest."

    "So…how do you tell that you like somebody, more than the friendship type?" Ash was really lost. He needed the advice May was going to give him.

    With a smile, May was glad to offer her services to her best friend, "You can tell when you can't keep them off your mind and when they are in trouble you would do everything you can and you don't care if you hurt yourself in the process. You'll feel guilty when you have a huge fight and you feel sad whenever they lose a battle. You always want them with you and you always enjoy whenever they are with you."

    "Ah…right."

    May gave off a blank stare. "Please tell me you got all of that."

    "…I think…I did."

    May suddenly felt disheartened, "You are such a hopeless case."

    "No…I think I actually understand it now." Ash pondered for a moment.

    The coordinator felt the joy and excitement ready to burst out of her. "So what's the verdict? Do you like her because if you don't you have to tell her because I don't like seeing one of mah gurls hoping for nothing," May placed a slight accent towards the end of her sentence.

    "Look I feel really confused right now May and I can't understand what I'm feeling." Ash held his head. "I don't know what to feel or say right now."

    "And that is why I'm here." The brunette spoke proudly. "But what do you mean you don't understand what you're feeling?"

    Ash gave off a nervous and a slight confused smile. "Well you see May…I think I might have something towards Serena but I'm not sure and-"

    "-Then we should celebrate!" May interrupted as she raced over and held Ash's hands tightly.

    "B-but that isn't all!" Ash added. His face was all red and he was so lost that he was stuttering for words. May stopped and stared at Ash blankly.

    "What's wrong?"

    "-and I think I feel the same for you too."

    ------------------

    The bright lit sky started to fade into deep orange by the time Clemont decided it was time to start eating. With Serena's mind at a lost she was stuttering all over the meal she was cooking and both siblings in the group noticed. With Bonnie peeling any vegetables needed for the soup and Clemont chopping the job was easier on Serena but she was still making basic mistakes she would normally never do.

    The inventor of the group spoke nothing and instead took the wooden spoon or a bottle and pour in the right amount for her before returning chopping the vegetables and other ingredients. The young trainer would stare at Clemont wondering how to say thanks but before she could she noticed she made another mistake.

    "Serena." Clemont finally spoke up. "If you can't handle it I and Bonnie will finish up. You go and take some rest."

    "No, I'm fine." She persisted.

    "But Serena, your making more mistakes then you would normally would." Bonnie added. "I'm worried."

    "Guys I'm alright, I'm seriously fine."

    "Serena." Clemont spoke.

    "What?"

    The blond pointed at the pot of soup that was now pouring over the table and over the gas cook stove. Panicking Serena turned down the heat and lifted the soup up for a few seconds before putting it back on.

    "Normally you would never reach it to the point where the soup boils over." Clemont added as he kept on chopping the last of the carrots.

    "I'll go and get the plates ready brother." Bonnie spoke before leaving the two friends to talk.

    "Are you counting on how many mistakes I make?" Serena questioned.

    "I don't but today I couldn't help. They're really hard to miss. The over pouring of salt, filling the pot with too much water, you forgetting to add the pepper." Clemont poured the last of the carrots into the pot. "I don't have to travel with you for a long time to know you're bothered with Ash and May alone in the forest."

    Serena sighed. It wasn't the first time today where somebody could read her like a book.

    "Alright, I admit. I'm a little bothered."

    Clemont snickered. "But what for? What do you honestly think they'll do?" Clemont couldn't help but laugh but he soon got himself under control. "May probably wants to talk to Ash about her ordeals with Team Flare that maybe she doesn't want us to hear."

    Speaking nervously, "Ah…yeah, maybe."

    Clemont readjusted his glasses but spoke nothing in response. Picking up the chopping board and scraps left by Bonnie from peeling vegetables a few words escaped his lips, "I worry for you Serena."

    Sighing, "I'm sorry."

    "Don't be." Clemont gave off a reassuring smile. "I'm your friend. Bonnie and I are so it comes naturally."

    Words couldn't describe the joy Serena felt after hearing those words. Her joy was uncontrolled as she leapt into Clemont's arms and embraced him tightly. She was hugging him tightly that it was proving hard to breathe.

    "S-Serena!" Clemont choked. "A little bit of air would be really nice right now."

    "Oh." Serena jumped and took a few steps away from Clemont. "S-Sorry." She watched the young gym leader fall off his feet and onto the ground. Blinking, "I'll be right back. I-I'll just get Bonnie to help."

    With stars rotating around his head, "Sure, I'll be right here."

    ------------------

    Stunned May still held onto Ash's hands for support as she could feel her whole body about to crash into tiny million pieces. Still shaken Ash stood dumbfounded as the brunette found it hard to find words to her response.

    "May are you alrig-"

    "YOU WHAT." Her sudden outburst came along with a harsh push to the ground. "Ash, you said you don't understand what you're feeling so maybe your confused an-and."

    "Well what you said I thought about it and…" Ash sighed. "Maybe your right, maybe I'm making no sense at all." Ash gave off a nervous smile.

    Finding her composure again, "Joking about people's feelings isn't funny Ash." She held out her hand to him. "Come-on lets head back to the others."

    "Right,"

    Accepting the help Ash was soon on his feet. But as soon he was, May escaped his grasp like her hands was made out of soap. Giving a small nod May went on ahead. Putting his hands into his pockets Ash tagged along behind. He noticed May was acting strange around him and he needed to know why.

    "Did I say something wrong?"

    There was no response at first.

    "May please give me an answer,"

    Still nothing.

    "May,"

    It was when they were only a few meters away from camp where Ash got his response.

    "Of course there is something wrong!" She snapped. "Do you think I like being involved in this? In this love issue you and Serena are having?" Taking a step closer to Ash, "Ash, do yourself a favor and get your feelings in check!" She dug her finger into his chest; pointing towards his heart. "Because if you don't get it pretty soon you might lose one of us, then you'll regret everything."

    Left speechless Ash watched the upset girl stomping back to camp. Serena, Clemont and even Bonnie were left as speechless as Ash. None of them could ever imagine May had the guts to speak to Ash so straight to the point. She left nothing to the imagination.

    Ash returned the looks of his friends with a sign of help. But Bonnie and Clemont gave off shrug shoulders as Serena was too lost to give her own and simply left the scene. May was seen in the distance calming down with her remaining Pokémon and Ash knew if he showed he was looking at her, she would hurt him.

    Bonnie rushed over with Clemont tagging behind. "What did you do to Miss May and Serena?!" Bonnie placed her hands on her waist.

    "Please, not you too Bonnie." Ash sighed.

    "What really happened in there Ash?" Clemont asked as he held his younger sister in place.

    Pausing for a moment, "I just had a harsh scoop of reality just now."

    ------------------

    "Do you think I like being involved in this? In this love issue you and Serena are having?"


    Left only to wonder in her own wild theories Serena was just walking, walking in the foul smelling swamp. She didn't care about the slime that was getting into her hair or the ones already on and staining her dress.

    "Ash, do yourself a favor and get your feelings in check!"


    In fact she didn't care at all. She didn't care where she was heading, what she was doing. She just wished she could stop caring for Ash as well.

    But that was impossible.

    "Because if you don't get it pretty soon you might lose one of us, then you'll regret everything."


    Knowing she was heading too far Serena knew it wouldn't take long until the others would start looking for her and she didn't want to burden anybody else. She seemed to already unintentionally unburden May with helping Ash see the light.

    But the result was far from simply okay.

    "Ah, I see you're here."

    A voice, Serena knew.

    "You seem troubled, you alright there?"

    The voice was far from concerning. In fact, it was nearly teasing her of her pain.

    "I know you." Serena spoke.

    "Well I'm glad I was able to leave a good last impression on you." A figure came out of the shadows. The first thing Serena noticed was the strange glasses she wore. "Serena correct?"

    "C-celosia." Serena spoke very softly.

    The purple hair scientist placed her hands behind her back and made her distance with Serena closer. "I was told not to show myself to you since you're not too far from your friends but I think after the drama I saw I don't think they'll be looking for you straight away."

    "What do you want?" The young girl was trying to gather some confidence.

    The scientist circled around the confused child with a smirk on her face that terrified Serena. "Oh I'm just genuinely concerned about you and your love story with little Ashy boy." With a teasing smile, "You want to know why May took Ash so far from you guys, it's because she confessed to Ash that she liked him as well." She whispered into her ear. "And Ash returned her feelings but once he confessed he likes you as well, she snapped."

    "No, you're lying." Serena backtracked. "May isn't like that and plus Ash told me May has somebody special waiting for back in Johto."

    "From what I heard May's little lover boy has moved into another region to compete in contests and hasn't had contact with him since May left for that Wallace Cup thing back in Sinnoh. If I was the boy I would have moved on from May ages ago."

    "Stop it, stop it!" Serena screamed and held her hands over her ears. "You're lying."

    "And how can you prove that I am? Between Ash and that girl of his I was the only one to witness their conversation."

    "But why should I trust somebody like you from a criminal group?"

    "Because I'm your only choice, do you think Ash and May will tell the whole story after that incident?"

    Her emotions were starting to show as tears started to build in her eyes. Crying, Serena looked down before feeling her head begin lifted up to Celosia's line of sight. "And plus out of the two of us May has tried to kill you and Ash more than once. I and the others haven't even landed a finger on you."

    "But that was all the suit's working. May doesn't have full control over the suit."

    "True but she remembers half of them. Maybe she came after you both in Luminous City to kill. She thinks that she can kill you both without remembering half of it without feeling guilty. Sounds good right?"

    "…maybe."

    Serena was tired of listening. She just wanted to get back to the others and find Ash and ask him so many questions. She didn't care if he would snap like he did last time after discovering she spied on him and May by the fountain. She just wanted to clear the cloud of confusion in her head.

    "Little girl I can help with your problems." Celosia spoke ever so tempting. "If you want to save Ash from his criminal girlfriend then listen to me."

    Shedding her last tear Serena didn't know how to react. Instead she simply let the woman speak.

    And somehow her words cleared all the confusion she knew Ash would only clear half of.

    And in the distance Ash watched on in horror as he saw Serena do nothing but listen to the woman's lies. He could only listen to a few words before feeling his stomach turn. But he wanted to watch on and hope Serena would fight and just leave the woman's presence.

    But she didn't.

    She just watched on and listened and let the woman fill her head with lies.

    And there was a point where Ash couldn't take on and just left. No words could express how he felt, except the one May yelled at him earlier.

    And she was right.

    He had lost them both before, and he was going to lose them again.

    ------------------

    "But just because you let destiny paint the picture for you doesn't mean the results are the ones you wanted from the start."

    ------------------

    A/N: I really feel sorry for Ash right now. My heart goes out to him.

    Now lets clear things up right now, May hasn't returned Ash's feelings at all. Ash is just making no sense because he doesn't know what his feeling is move than friendship and Serena doesn't deny that she likes Ash.

    I really want to add Geekchicshipping but, there is hardly any foundation in the anime to base their interactions at all. Sigh. Why did I start this story so early. :/

    I do hope you guys are not upset at how slow building Amour is compared to Advance. It's because Advance has more of a foundation compared to Amour right now so that is what I'm using in this story. I'm using that mentality.


    ~midnight

  19. #19
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    I'm getting tired of writing real brief similar reviews. So if there's something specific you want reviewed, feel free to PM me.

    Other than that nice chapter.
    Time for a new signature.

    I'm an advanceshipper, you should read my fic that I am working on.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...shipping-PG-13
    You should also tell me how I did.

    Bask in my humble glory. ~sethern~

  20. #20
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    Adding Geekchicshipping shouldn't be a option. I'm sorry but i am like 100% against that shipping by all means.

  21. #21
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    Well I've had a few people saying that is a bad idea and I never said I would. I just I want to but I can't because of how little they react in the anime. So don't go hating because the only Geekchic moments that will be happening are just simple friendship moments. Nothing romantic.

    Anyway thank you guys for the reviews. I'll try to write the next chapter as soon as I can.

  22. #22
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    Chapter Seven:

    ------------------

    Love

    ------------------

    It wouldn't leave him, that scene in the forest. He thought if he saved May from the hands of Team Flare then he'll save his others friends as well at the same time. Maybe show to them people like Team Flare can't be trusted and only wreaks the friendship between him and his friends. So when he just stood and watched Serena speak to one of the Team Flare members and do nothing about he didn't know how to react.

    Should he go in and save the day and send them blasting into the air? Should he should of kept on watching and maybe get more of an idea of what really happened? Maybe Serena did stand up for herself and left right after him. But something in him didn't tell him that, he could just see it. Why didn't he see that sass she would give off once she was ticked off? Where was that confidence she would always portray when somebody was in trouble?

    Why didn't he see any of that, that day?

    A scream filled his ears and his eyes painted a new scene. He was standing at one end of the battle field and by his feet was his dear Pikachu all injured. Looking on ahead was May with her own Pokémon on the field all surprised, her sapphire eyes blinking repeatedly to make sure what she was seeing was real. The referee was no other but Clemont.

    Ash realized this was no dream, it was reality. He had been sinking in his own thoughts about Serena he had forgotten about his battle with May.

    "I'm sorry." He picked up the little mouse into his arms. "Sorry May."

    The brunette titled her head and sighed. She knew the moment Clemont asked Ash for a battle and lost, and Ash asking her to battle with him wasn't a good idea. She knew after confronting him about Serena's feelings to him was risky, but she never knew it would bring him so down. He was dense as a rock, but she knew inside of him he knew what love was and what was required to show it off.

    "Don't be." May walked up to her former mentor. "You're just not yourself today."

    She lied. Her friend wasn't the same since the confrontation, which was about four days ago.
    They had reached the new town where Ash's gym battle was at but ever since they got here he didn't even think about challenging the gym leader or even go looking for the gym. He didn't even speak about when or how he'll beat the gym leader. It was if he was stuck in the loop of that day where he confronted his mix emotions for Serena and surprisingly, her too.

    Ash crossed his view to Serena who was sitting on the sidelines with her dear fire type on her lap. Their eyes locked for a moment before Ash pulled away as Serena kept looking at him. May noticed this; in fact she felt the bond they had. It was special and now it was broken. A part in her felt that maybe it was all her fault.

    "I'll be going for a walk now." Ash's voice was low. Ash handed Pikachu to Clemont as he approached the two. "Could you take him to the Pokémon centre while I'm out?"

    Something was up. Ash would never let anybody else take Pikachu to the centre if he was hurt.

    "S-Sure, I guess." Clemont had no words and just accepted the injured mouse. "What time will you be back to pick him up?"

    Turning his back Ash just simply waved his hand into the air, giving the sign that he would whenever he could or maybe he wanted him to pick up Pikachu later. Ash continued to make his distance from them both as the coordinator glanced at Serena, hoping she would go and get her message. But it felt instinct for Serena to chase after her old friend as she quickly left the sidelines to chase after him.

    "You have to admit, they have something special don't they?" May spoke to the gym leader beside her.

    "We all do." Clemont added as he patted Pikachu's cheeks. "Something is bothering Ash. I mean your Glaceon didn't even do that much damage on him."

    Crossing her arms, May kept her eyes focused on the path Ash walked on. "That's why we need to fix him up."

    ------------------

    Behind the Pokémon center there was this small alleyway, a place covered in old empty cardboard boxes. Somehow Ash just found himself there, leaning the back of his head against the wall with his eyes half lit. It was still early hours of the afternoon but Ash just wanted it to be over and hope when he woke up, all the doubt he had vanished.

    He wanted the feelings to go away. He didn't like what he felt. He hated it because he had felt it once before.

    He didn't understand that what he said to May at that confrontation was either an act to keep everything alright, or if they were real. He didn't purposing meant to be as dense as his friends always reminded him; somehow, he just happened to be.

    Footsteps headed his way as he opened his eyes and saw that black sneakers and the red skirt and black tank top. He didn't need to even speak to know who that was. The figure knelt down to his height and now Ash's vision of her increased. He watched her light brown locks of hair fall nicely over her shoulders and her pink felt hat sit still wonderful on top of her head. And her turquoise eyes; that nearly shined sapphire for a moment, stared deeply into his auburn ones.

    "Ash?" Serena asked.

    He took his focus away from her. He just looked behind her and noticed they were in a small alleyway.

    "Ash," Serena repeated.

    Her calling his name attracted his attention. "Tell me Serena." He brought in a new topic, "Why were you in that forest the other day?"

    Serena blinked in confusion. Still on her knees, "I went into the forest to feed Fennekin some twigs."

    His heart sank. "You're lying." Ash spoke ever so bitterly.

    He normally was not the one for arguments or telling how his friends should do something but whenever they did, he could either speak little or speak a lot. It was rare when he just lost it.
    "I saw you in the forest, talking to a lady from Team Flare." He looked away from her.

    Serena knew she could reply with words to tell Ash was lying. But Ash was never the one to make up stories, especially if it was one where one of his friends was hanging with the wrong crowd.

    "Didn't you see what happened with May and how those people wreaked her life?!" He sat up and reached for her shoulders. "I haven't moved on from losing her and now you want to join in?!" He screamed, but it was filled with more panic rather than anger. He pulled Serena into his arms in a sense of panic. "I can't lose you, do you understand?" Ash's voice was calm, but his hands were shaking horribly.

    The girl was lost for words. His words were light to him. Why did she just stood there and let Celosia speak to her like that? Why didn't she fight back?

    "I'm sorry." Her body was still frozen in shock due to how Ash suddenly brought her into his arms. "But, she told me something and it made sense to me." She pulled apart from Ash. "She told me that you like May."

    She was expecting words from Ash like 'why of course I like her because she is my friend' or 'who wouldn't? She's a nice person' But nothing came.

    Ash's voice was lost for a moment but in the moment of desperation he found it again, "…and you believe her?"

    Silent, Serena soon replied. "After all the stories both you and May told me, I find it hard not to believe."

    Ash slump his back against the wall with his eyes away from the girl. "I can't believe it; you believe some stranger rather than me." He closed his eyes, as if he was tired of the endlessly bickering of who he liked more and who he should like. "There was maybe a time I did, but that was such a long time ago."

    "But what about now?" Ash drifted his eyes back to Serena's.

    "What about now?" He rose his voice up. "I can't even battle properly because of it. I hate this feeling. I hate that I care for you like this. I hate this feeling because I know it gets me nowhere."
    Rising up to her feet Serena dusted her red skirt. The mood was negative that she wondered if the Ash she was speaking to was the same one she first met in the forest that was filled with such confidence and belief and hope.

    "So you're scared to love again? Is that it?"

    The trainer didn't even bother to look Serena back in the eye, he just laid there. But Serena didn't wait for an answer and simply left. She couldn't take it – accept it that, Ash was not the boy she thought he was. As she was walking out her friends met her and the end of the entrance, Clemont, Bonnie and even May. But with her emotions pouring over she bumped shoulders into May as she left.

    Looking back May and the others imagined the worse as they rushed down the small alleyway Serena was just down in. It only took a minute or less to see Ash just lying there. He wasn't dead but his mind seemed to be. None of them had the knowledge or experiences to deal with Ash like that. He was so down and so lost that it scared them all. Normally he was filled with such joy, hope and faith that it nearly seemed impossible for him to have a side so depressed.

    The young brunette rushed down to Ash's side and removed his cap. This caused him to look over towards her as Clemont and Bonnie took sat at the other side, looking over in a worried manner.

    "Ash?" Bonnie asked. "Are you alright?"

    Her naivety somehow made it easier to Ash to answer her and became honest and shook his head. "No. I'm really not alright." His body slid down to his left where May was sitting at, his head landing on her shoulder. He closed his eyes. "Serena told me something and I knew it was a lie but I didn't say anything in back. I didn't stand up for you May." Confused, May let Ash go on. "I'm sorry."
    The coordinator said nothing and let Ash keep resting on her shoulder. Clemont didn't know which side to go on.

    "Serena isn't a liar!" Bonnie screamed as she ran off, in search for Serena.

    "Bonnie!" Clemont yelled after her. He looked back at Ash and down back down to Bonnie who was vanishing from his sights.

    He didn't like where he was right now. All his friends were broken apart because of the confusion their emotions portrayed. There was Serena, a normally strong willed girl that could be mistaken as a weak and sweet girl who knew nothing but to chase after a boy she had a crush on. There was Ash, a boy obsessed with his dream that he kept missing the person beside him all this time. Then there was him and Bonnie that he felt just filled the empty space between them both.

    Then out of the blue, May came along in the most unexpected way and it paid heavily on their relationships. Serena clear insecurities made Ash react in only confusion. May only replied where she sees fit but seemed lost herself. Him? He feels like the person they all need to express themselves towards.

    A signal from May convinced him to chase after his sister knowing that she had a sibling of her own nearly the same age as Bonnie. She knew how he felt and Ash understood that to as it wasn't the first time he had travelled with siblings. Rushing off for Bonnie it was only Ash and his close friend May to comfort him.

    "So why did you let her believe a lie?" May asked, after a minute or two since Clemont left them both.

    Still leaning on her shoulder, "Because she doesn't believe me," Guilt started to sink in him. "I know, but somehow, we've lost faith in each other. I don't understand why she would lie to me."

    "Then go and ask until you understand." Pulling away from her, Ash looked confused at his friend. "If you really care for her, you go to keep asking until you understand why Serena did lie to you. Then maybe you can tell her why you lied back to her."

    Ash chuckled lightly, "You know, you nearly sound like me for a moment."

    A soft smile crept across her face. "Well you did teach me everything you know."

    Feeling more confident Ash pulled himself to his feet with a small grin on his face. "I did too." He turned back and offered his hand to the coordinator. "Come on, I'm sure if your with me I can feel a little more confident to face Serena."

    Reaching for his hand, "You know I can't be by your side forever Ash." She let Ash pull her up to her feet. A serious look crept across her face. "You taught me that."

    He held onto May's hand tightly by accident, as if her words were going to mean something in the end. As if he really didn't want to hear those words from her or he didn't want to feel that feeling of separation again. Releasing his grip on her he muttered softly.

    "I know, I know."

    ------------------

    "That hope, that hope of not receiving the love back can stain fear into anybody's heart. No matter how bright they are, no matter how hopefully they can be. If that hope has been broken before, how can you be sure a new love can bring it back together if the heart refuses to feel those feelings again – to have that hope again?"
    ------------------

    In her room, only her tears could understand the pain she felt. What a fool she was, believe that maybe he would see it was her he needed. A hopeless romantic she was, and Serena hated it.
    "I should have known from the moment he didn't remember our past that something wasn't right."

    Removing her pink felt hat, Serena placed it on her bed. "Why is Ash's hope so addictive?"

    She looked back at Fennekin that gave off a shrug; even she didn't know what response she could back to her master. Standing by the window she saw Bonnie running off with Clemont chasing behind – no doubt Bonnie was looking for her. But she was upset and irritated as Clemont was panicking and running out of air from running, as usual.

    They didn't seem to notice her looking down at them as they ran off into the distance again. In the small town the trees leaves changed colour from the bright green into the fall colours of yellow, orange and red. She watched some fall down to the ground below her except for one that kept on dancing with the breeze and slowing making it up to the window's height and making it way inside, to her.

    It landed into her palms perfectly and Serena noticed how red the leaf was.

    "So did he say anything that could have changed your mind?"

    A woman with purple hair and glasses to match stood from behind. Most likely she was standing at the door's entrance.

    "He didn't deny anything or cleared anything up." Serena twirled the leaf by its stem.

    "It wasn't like you had any choice in this. Ever since May decided to go against our orders we had to improvise." The woman teased. "And you don't need to doubt no longer, ever since he choose to save her over you back in Luminous city its clear she is the one he loves. It was clear from the start."

    Serena stayed silent as she played her mind back to the night she and Ash were attacked by the mind-controlled trainer. She could remember every time Ash would break down after that attack and how defensive he would go every time she would mention that mysterious person. And after they discovered who that person was, it got worse. They shared stories only they would both know.

    And when she felt the Team Flare ladies cut the rope she was tied to up so dearly because he chose to save May over her scared her deeply. Even when Ash sent Blaziken after her and caught her nicely she felt anger and hate for Ash she never thought was possible. She just wanted to go back and slap him endlessly until Team Flare got to her first, knocking Mega Blaziken out cold and taking her with them.

    She was surprised why she didn't fight back, maybe hanging on a string meters into the air got the better of her and tired her out completely. Being held with Team Flare for a few days, in nothing but a white gown no words how much they toyed with her. Even now, their words sank into her like quick sand.

    They wanted Ash and May back into their control because of their amazing ability to control mega evolutions. At a young age they were surprised how they could pull it off and they wanted to toy with them even more until they could do it themselves. She was bait.

    So they placed her in the back of a truck with the doors made out of jail-like rails and only showed it when they knew Ash was by the Prism Tower in search for her. He chased after her like fish going after the bait and it worked. She was freed at a price – they got more data off Ash ability to pull off a mega evolution.

    "You know she is only using him because she knows he will protect her. What if he protects her and he ends up dying because of it? If I was you I could never live myself with that."

    With the leaf still in her hands, "So what are you trying to say?"

    Why was she listening to them? She knew they were bad people because of how wreaked and how fragile May had become because of them. She lost her dreams and had to become their puppet to protect herself, her family and Ash and their friends in between. Serena looked at the leaf in her hands.

    Was she ready to throw all of that away just to save Ash from May? Was she ready to destroy everything she had in order for him?

    A smile came across Celosia's face. "We have to keep Ash safe of course by getting rid of May from him. While May stays with him for protection he'll always be danger." The scientist came closer to Serena and whispered into her ears. Serena's eyes widen in fear with her response.

    "We are going to get May away from Ash for good."

    ------------------

    He was different then, he just felt it. Compared to when he first started with his first batch of buddies he felt a new wave of maturity. Heck, he managed to make a girl who hated Pokémon into a promising new coordinator. He liked that they had more in common than what not and bicker on it. Maybe if he was more mature then, he wouldn't bicker so much. But Misty was Misty, which was who she was.

    So why the gentle side and mentoring? Why did he worry so much about her when she failed? Why did he get so, so upset when Drew and her other rivals put her down. Why did he challenge Drew that day with Tailow for May's sake? Why that every time she would finish hanging out with her most challenging rival that he felt he had to make up lost time with her?

    So when she left to Johto, after their years of travelling together why did he stop her? Why was it when they met again in Sinnoh he couldn't control himself?

    So with the pause of no communication that feeling never came back again. He was empty but he never admitted to it.

    Then came Serena.

    Besides the fact they both had nearly the same shade of hair and their eye colour weren't so apart her joy, glee not only brought that side of him he thought he lost, but a feeling he dug away, arise.

    They both had no set goal, their starters both happen to be fire types and both have a rival that brings the bitter side of them at times. They showed signs that they would give everything a go and just handled children younger than them so well.

    Why did Serena bring that feeling he hated, he feared of, back? Who was she to bring those days of Hoenn and Kanto back to him like a giant wave?

    Give him some time, that was all Ash wanted. Give him so time to grow up and fix this. But no, destiny never really gave him a chance to. So many times he was put up in the spot with a life or death situation and in all of those times he would go for his heart, which in return was his life.
    Now, here he went again. That same feeling rushing all over him,

    "Serena?!" Ash screamed. "Serena!"

    The room the five of them were staying was empty. Clemont and Bonnie were nowhere to be seen and not even Nurse Joy noted that they had returned. Pikachu was never picked up until he and May returned, a favor which he asked Clemont to do in his troubled state earlier.

    There was no sign of panic, everyone entered and go as they pleased. It was so strange, why did he have the strange urge of panic and rethink his past?

    "Maybe she's with Clemont?" May suggested, Pikachu was perched on her shoulder nicely.

    Looking over his shoulder, "No, Something's up."

    Confused, "What makes you say so?"

    Still in the room where they all shared the young trainer walked over to the bed were Serena would sleep with Bonnie by her side. On her bed lied a pink felt hat.

    Picking it up, "She would never leave her hat behind." He waved the hat in front of his old friend.

    Screams filled the first floor of the poke center and like instinct both of them rushed out of the room down to the main area of the center. By the entrance they stood, the front doors of the centre were gone; it was now just a huge hole in the wall. Smoke filled the centre as Nurse Joy and her Pokémon guided the frightened trainers to safety. Ignoring Joy's calls to get them back they rushed on forward and only stopped when images of people headed their way.

    The smoke subsided as two strange images of people were thrown do to their feet. Backtracking they noticed it was their dear friends Clemont and Bonnie with their hands tied up. Dedenne was sealed shut in Bonnie's bag. Rushing over they untied them without asking a word until more dark figures blocked their way.

    "So you're the little boy that has been causing trouble to the team I see." The voice belonged to a woman, a voice they have not heard from yet.

    Out from the darkness was another Team Flare member, she had short lime green hair with wearing creepy glasses like her other comrades that stood beside her. They all stood proudly with their grunts behind them, ready to pounce on them like they were their prey.

    Finishing untying Bonnie and unlocking her bag to free Dedenne the young child reached into May's arms and held her tightly as Ash and Clemont stuck together close, somehow as every second went by their instinct came in and soon the four of them were huddling together for safety.

    "What do you want?!" Ash screamed. He was tired or seeing his friends being messed up by the group.

    "Oh, it's not what we want." Mable teased. She looked over her shoulder and another person entered into the group.

    "It's what she wants." Celosia finished up. "It's what Serena wants."

    Ash's heart sank. His body froze as he prayed that what he was hearing and seeing was nothing but a horrible dream. His body was shaking that he couldn't find it in him to send a Pokémon of his to battle. By the side of Celosia stood Serena all nervous and lost; playing with her hands to cut down on her nerves. He suddenly felt somebody beside him stand up, looking up it was May.

    "I've had enough of you messing with our lives." Reaching into her green fanny pack May quickly released the first pokeball she could get her hands on. As the ball opened up blue light escaped and formed a Pokémon of hers, Blastoise. She then reached into her pockets and pulled out a mega stone fitting for her Pokémon.

    "You evolved him?" Ash asked.

    Looking down briefly to her friend, she nodded. "With Team Flare you really don't have a say who and who shouldn't evolve."

    Borrowing some of May's confidence, Ash rose up to his feet, he looked down to Clemont and his sister. "You two get out of here."

    "But Serena is our friend!" Bonnie debated.

    "But you guys don't have any Mega Evolutions. I want to save Serena and get out of here as fast as I can."

    "Still, we can fight!" Clemont was on the side of his sister. Trying hard to convince Ash for them to stay.

    Still trying to convince his friends, "If May and I don't make it, at least you guys will."

    Clemont paused. He feared that Ash wasn't so confident that he would pull it out through like he always would. As if, his confidence had been drained away to what he was feeling in the past few days. With Pikachu on his shoulder again Ash held the little mouse in his arms and placed into Clemont's. This only convinced the gym leader that Ash really wasn't sure how things were going to turn out. He even was giving Pikachu to him.

    "Take care of Pikachu alright?"

    "Pika pi?!" Pikachu was shocked with Ash's decision of not using him to help him fight.

    "It's only for awhile buddy." He patted Pikachu's head softly. "Now go!" Ash begged.

    Now knowing that debating with Ash any longer was a no longer a good move, Clemont reached for Bonnie's hand as he heard Bonnie's screams to Serena; begging and asking why. He knew she was crying. He kept on running even though his legs were burning up with pain. He kept on running with the fear Team Flare was after him and his sister. It didn't take long until his legs gave up on him, sending him into the cold hard ground below him.

    "Brother!" Bonnie screamed. She was already in tears.

    Pushing himself up again he reached for Bonnie's hand without responding to her and started to run again. He looked back and in the distance he could see Ash had pulled out his strongest Pokémon he had with him. The battle had begun. Looking away was harder than he thought as he kept on rushing for safety.

    "Ash, You better get out of there alive."

    ------------------

    "How very brave of you, sending your friend and his sister away like that, I either think you're foolish to send help away like that or your completely confident as your skills as a trainer." Bryony spoke.

    Ash really didn't care about her but why was Serena was there and not with him. "Serena! What is this?!"

    Still nervous, Serena shook her head and took a step back. Ash wanted to chase after her until May stretched her arm out, holding him back.

    "They've convinced her that I'm the bad guy in this situation."

    With a shocked response, "WHAT?!"

    Tightening her green bandana, May sighed. "And this is why I hate third parties." Putting back on a determine look to win. "Ash, lets win this and save Serena."

    Nodding Ash looked to his side and into his palm where a mega stone for Blaziken was. Closing their eyes streaks of light was seen escaping the stone and the Pokémon. As the light got brighter and brighter it soon covered the whole destroyed Pokémon center before dying down again with two new evolved Pokémon by their side.

    "Amazing," Aliana muttered. "At such a young age and able to master Mega Evolution with such ease…"

    "We can play with them later after we catch them both." Bryony yelled.

    "B-Both?!" Serena spoke, it was evident she didn't expect those words to come from Bryony.

    Celosia kneeled down to Serena's height and whispered into her ears. "We didn't offer our services to you for free child." She ran her fingers through Serena's long hair. "Think about your boyfriend as a way of…payment." A devil grin crossed her lips. "In return of taking away May from him for good."

    "NO!" Serena screamed as she tried to rush away from the woman's grasp but she pulled her back with her long hair.

    "When you sign a contact with the devil there is no returns."

    Ash gritted his teeth and clutched his fists together after seeing Serena in so much pain. "Serena…"

    "Ash," May's voice brought him back. "Let's do this."

    Nodding, Ash agreed. "Flamethrower Blaziken!"

    "Hydro Pump Blastoise!"

    Obeying their trainers both starters released powerful fire and water type attacks aimed at the feet of the women. With quick thinking the women released their own Pokémon to the battle. "Mightyena use Sucker Punch!" Aliana yelled.

    "And you use Quick Attack Manectric!" Celosia commanded while she pushed Serena into the clutches of the grunts behind her for safe keeping. "While we still have the girl it will be their motivation to fight us."

    Serena felt like crying. She was bait not only for Team Flare but to Ash and May as well.

    Both canines' attacks went first, pushing both Mega Blastoise and Mega Blaziken back, making their attacks miss and sent up into the roof, creating a huge hole. Both dogs returned to their master's feet.

    Keeping himself together, "Stone Edge Blaziken!"

    "Aura Sphere!" May called back.

    Both Celosia and Aliana called back attacks in response as Bryony and Mable watched on. Manectric summoned all this strength into a powerful thunder bolt attack at Blastoise as Mightyena prepared himself to land the perfect Sucker Punch. Sucker Punch landed first onto Blaziken before stones were sent right into the dark type in an upper cut manner. Bolts of electricity were flying around in the room before it made perfect aim on May's Blastoise but in return had to suffer a powerful aura sphere from the water type.

    "Alright, that's enough of playing games, Weavile use Night Slash on the boy!"

    Before the two trainers could even find the new Pokémon that had entered into the field, the Pokémon claws clashed against Ash's blue vest, cutting the fabric and sending deep pain into his chest. Ash fell to the ground in deep pain as light blood stains were seen on his ripped shirt.

    "Ash!" May screamed as she rushed to the aid of her Pokémon, leaving Blastoise and Blaziken open for another attack.

    It also left her available to take an attack. A call that sounded like it belonged to a Liepard echoed the destroyed building and with quick speed it lunged out its long nails and made a deep cut into her back, cutting the belt of her fanny pack in half. Both held each other for support even with their injuries.

    "We have to win this." Ash said in between hissing in pain.

    The four Pokémon stood in front of the girls as Serena tried so badly to escape from the grunts but the man's arms were too strong for her to slip away. Now the ladies smiled as their Pokémon stood in front of them with stares that could kill if they could.

    "Slash Liepard!"

    "Ice Shard Weavile!"

    "Crunch Mightyena!"

    "And finish this with Thunderbolt Manectric!"

    Both the woman called their attacks one after the other as if they had practiced this day for a very long time. The Pokémon prepared their attacks with as much force. As Ash and May held each other for support they knew escape was no longer an option, as it was never was one to begin with.

    "Blast Burn Blaziken with everything you got!"

    "Hydro Cannon Blastoise and give it all you got!"

    With their injuries stinging and now bleeding it was now hard to continue standing as they fell onto their knees, hoping that hissing their pain away would work but it only felt it made things much worse. Closing her eyes May embraced herself as Ash placed his hands on the cut in his chest to stop the increased bleeding.

    With eyes half lit he watched the huge explosion of attacks crash into one another, sending himself and May into the air due to the area of effect the attack was. They felt their bodies bounce off the tiles like they were toys before coming to a complete stop. Their whole body was screaming in pain as now they were coughing and struggling to even move.

    May opened her eyes and saw the stone she use to mega evolve Blastoise was now rolling back to her as her Pokémon had fainted when she looked back at the battle field. Reaching out for it she held it tightly and saw Ash had done the same with his. She watched him pull himself up but with the deep cut in his chest it only made the cut bleed more.

    She wanted to speak but couldn't as the grunts pulled her onto her feet, causing her to yell in pain as they griped onto her arms that were now showing light bruises. They did pick up Ash in more care due to how heavily he was bleeding but he showed more signs of a struggle than May did.

    Serena watched as the two injured trainers were brought up to her feet. May was tossed down to her feet, touching her shoes.

    "Happy now?" Serena heard Mable ask.

    Shaking her head, Serena couldn't find the words to speak. All she did was cover her mouth and shake her head with eyes closed. Tears quickly flood down her face.

    "Serena…why." Opening her eyes she could see Ash, looking back at her with disappointment. "Why didn't you just wait until I explained everything to you? Why go this far?"

    She tried to speak but her fear stopped her as she placed her hand on her neck. Surprised to see she couldn't even speak back a word. Serena kept shaking her head in a response that she didn't know why. Was it jealously? Was it anger? Was it insecurity?

    "I'm sorry." She muttered so softly. "I-I"

    "Don't talk to me." Ash spoke; if he felt better she could hear more of his anger poured into his words. "After all we've been through; if you only got rid of your doubt and listened to me none of this would have happened."

    Serena wanted to yell sorry over and over again but when she looked into Ash's eyes she could see he didn't even want to be near her. Serena stood as she watched the grunts push May and Ash forward to the cars and trucks behind them, parked right in front of the center. As their shoulders touched for a quick moment she heard his last words for her that night.

    "I really hate that I like you right now Serena." Their eyes locked for a second.

    No words could explain the disappointment Ash felt for her. He looked away and closed his eyes as he let the men just push himself and May into the cars waiting for them. It didn't take long until the doors were heard shutting when the young trainer turned to see Ash was really leaving in the arms of Team Flare. Putting her fears aside she chased over, knocking on endlessly on the window where she could see Ash in. May was sitting by the window with Ash by the other side with a doctor aiding their wounds in the middle. May watched as Serena kept on knocking, begging May to open the window.

    May felt her pain, she knew how hard it would be for her and to Clemont and Bonnie seeing they couldn't do anything to save them both. After all, she saw all of them her good friends now. She turned to Ash and saw he wasn't looking at Serena, not even a glance.

    "Ash..." May reminded.

    "…I don't want to talk about it." He bitterly spoke.

    He did take a glance after awhile but when he did he noticed Serena was long gone. A wave of disappointment greeted him as he closed his eyes and sighed.

    He hated falling in love.

    ------------------

    "And that fear digs into them deeper, making any signs of hope gone forever. But if the love is still there then there is always hope, no matter how impossible it seems to be, love will break through."

    ------------------

    A/N: I have posted this on FF.net a few days so I've already got a few responses about this chapter. I just want to say that there will be no romantic geekchicshipping hints, only friendly. They are friends after all and they need to react to one another, I can't just write them there and not talk.

    Also I'm a multishipper and most of my stories do involve another ship getting invovle, a classic love-triangle in other words. If you can't handle Advanceshipping or you can't handle even Clemont and Serena talking then I will not change for your needs. The ending ship will be Amour so you guys shouldn't really panic that I'll end this into geekchic because that isn't happening. If it was, I would of said so in the earlier chapters.

    I'll post this response in the next chapter on ff.net but for now, I'll like to leave a heads up here first. Anyway thank you for reading this chapter and the next chapter should be up by next week if things look good and I don't get carried away with my 21st.
    Last edited by Midnightmoon6o2; 26th March 2014 at 11:37 PM.

  23. #23
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    Great chapter! I really can't wait to see how this story ends!

  24. #24
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    Chapter Eight:

    Courage

    ------------------

    May's sapphire eyes kept watching as Ash kept going at their cell wall, lifting his foot up only to slam it into the brick walls again and again. Their hands cuffed and their bags and Pokémon taken away from them, they were useless like wet paper. In the corner the brunette watched her friend repeat his actions again and again. He had been kicking the wall for over ten minutes and it was never like him to simply give up and retreat to kicking a wall. If they were ever captured his words of hope that everything would be alright would lighten up their mood, but that was nowhere to be seen.

    To see him lose all that hope because of emotions he couldn't control and understand, it was painful to watch. If May kept on watching her friend continue to suffer, she would cry.

    Slumped in the corner May closed her eyes as that sound of Ash kicking endlessly in the wall to her left made her think of how it ever got this far. If she was any stronger and never let Team Flare captured her and use her in their expansion suit, would she ever prevent this outcome?

    Little did she notice, she was already crying.

    First they were silent and tears with run down her cheeks but as minutes came by, muffles and whimpers echoed in their cell. They were loud enough to make Ash stop kicking his frustration into the wall. Looking at his hands that were also cuffed he looked at his best friend silently.

    "I'm sorry."

    Opening her eyes May felt the presence of her mentor to her left, on his knees looking at her in a concerned manner. "Did I make you upset?"

    Shaking her head, "I'm fine."

    "Nobody who is fine cries May." Ash corrected her. May nodded, she knew he was right. But his presence didn't stop her tears. She soon returned to the whimpers and muffles she kept on making as each tear ran down her face. Her sadness was contagious as Ash fell into a slump of depression. "Sorry, I'm not being very strong for the both of us."

    Drying her tears away, May shook her head. "No, don't be. We all have our moments. You can't be strong for everything you face. It's moments like this that make us stronger."

    Sitting down and leaning on the wall behind him, Ash turned his head to face his best friend. "May, you never told me how Team Flare caught you in the first place."

    "It's because I don't really remember it myself."

    The railings of their cell opened like a sliding door as bright light poured into the small room. A silhouette appeared before the darkness melted off it and showed them a person. That person was Serena.

    She wasn't cuffed and showed no signs of injuries and it didn't seem she was going to join them in the cell. Her eyes were bloodshot though which gave them an indication that she had been suffering too, but nothing on their level. Serena's turquoise eyes were dragged to her friend's injuries. First to Ash's chest, that was bandaged up as his blue vest was placed on top of his shoulders. May's back was still sore and was wearing a white singlet over the layer of bandages wrapped around her whole upper body.

    Ash's mood went foul quickly as he hid any intention to look at his friend with his red cap. May looked over at Ash's reaction and sighed quietly before looking up at Serena.

    "Hey there," The ex-coordinator tried to greet Serena in the most causal way possible.

    "Hey." Serena spoke softly. The awkwardness was evident in the air. "I'm sorry."

    "Are you even meant to be here?" May asked calmly. She tried to hide away the burning sensation rising within her towards Serena as each second that pasted with her around.

    Shaking her head, "No, I just came here to give you this."

    Holding the object up May noticed it was the other half of the expansion suit she had talked about to Serena a few days ago. Only in that moment did May remembered she had left the helmet back in their room in the Pokecenter. Serena quickly rushed into the cell and placed the fabric into her hands.

    "Hide this. Doctors will be coming to see you in a few minutes before the Team Flare scientists will test your skills on mega evolution." Serena was holding May's hand so tightly. She couldn't help but cry. "I want to get you guys away from here."

    May was speechless. The courage Serena was showing also showed doubt and that scared her. If you are courageous and had doubt, then you're not courageous at all. Your just trying to make yourself believe that you are by doing what you think is right. They were the words floating in the brunette's mind as she looked at Serena's eyes.

    "Serena, take this back." May pushed the suit back into her hands. "If you want to save us you need to have no ounce of fear and doubt in you. You can't pull of a rescue mission if you doubt your ability to."

    The trainer was shocked. May was tossing aside their only way to be free because she felt Serena wasn't up to the task to save them all. She was also shocked that the woman still had that trust in her that she would always get from Ash. Taking a glance at the boy she cared for so much her heart sank when she didn't hear a word or got a confident smile from him.

    She couldn't do what May wanted her to do. Her confidence lied in Ash. He was the reason why she went out on a journey and everything after that she followed his lead. Her choices were there, but she didn't really reach for them because she was always so confused on who or what she wanted to become.

    "I-I," Serena was stuttering.

    "Please." May was holding onto Serena's hand tightly that it started to hurt. "I can't take much of this any longer."

    Pulling back, Serena nodded as she stood by the door entrance and hide the suit under her pink hat as the doctors were seen to head down their way. Serena held onto her hat tightly as she kept her eyes glued onto Ash and somehow she felt Ash knew it too. Standing up, Ash made his way to her as his eyes were empty. The light brunette took a few steps back which pushed away from the entrance of the cell. With his hands still cuffed Ash reached for the handle and his eyes just seen under his red cap, looking at her.

    "Your better save us soon." He said, with a tiny ounce of hope.

    And after that the door was slammed in front of her, blocking her only contact with Ash once again. Reaching her hand onto the cold door she placed it and hoped that she would live up to her friends expectations. As the doctors came she closed her hands into a fist before leaving the scene.

    "I'll do it. I'll save them, even if it means the death of me."

    ------------------

    Rushing down the halls Serena had made it just in time. Opening the door ahead of her she noticed the four scientists looking at her. She didn't like where she was but had no other choice. Ever since she let Celosia speak her way into her head and let her lose the trust her friends had. But after seeing Ash again after them being captured Serena smiled softly.

    Ash still had some trust in her. In fact, so did May too. She couldn't let them down now. She would never forgive herself.

    "Serena." Mable interrupted her thoughts. "Why are you late?"

    "I-I went to see the others but I discovered they weren't in their cells anymore." Stuttering, Serena covered her blushing face with her pink hat.

    "I do hope you're not planning to escape." Aliana added. "You know what would happen to that boy of yours."

    The torment and the pain of seeing Ash in more pain than he already was scared Serena so much. Just seeing Ash take so many risks in order to save Pokémon or his friends, just like that incident at Prism Tower would already send her heart racing at a million kilometers an hour.

    "O-Of course."

    "Xerosic," Bryony asked the only male in the room. "When will the boss come over and look at our findings?"

    Scratching his chin for a moment, "Hopefully soon. In his last message he did seem very interested in our findings with these children."

    Looking past the window was a Pokémon battle field. The ground was made of dirt and the walls made of what seemed to be powerful indestructible steel and on each opposite side two trainers stood. Serena watched on quietly as she knew who they were. The last few days she had been listening and overhearing conversations of the things they planned to do with her friends. To accept that it she was the main reason why they were here still made it hard for Serena to sleep at night.

    Powerful exchanges of attacks were seen. Mega Blaziken sent powerful Flamethrowers all across the room as Mega Venasaur sent giant tree roots that soon formed themselves into trees. It was like being in that burning forest with Ash all those months ago and where their adventure really began. That was the day their paths crossed with May and where she fell apart from Ash.

    The ground shook as flames were diverted to the window. Though it didn't break through Serena flinched. The young trainer sighed.

    "I'm so hopeless with him, aren't I?" Whispering her thoughts to herself, "If only Clemont were here I could really use some of his wise words right now..."

    The sound of powerful moves exploding made the room shake again, causing the young ten year old to lose her balance and crash to the ground as the scientists in the room held onto something tightly for the duration of the explosion. They all readjusted their glasses as each one individually smiled at the power they had just felt. Serena was the only one in the room getting more frightened as each time vibrations would be felt across into their tiny watching room.

    Pulling herself up and peeking through the window she had noticed the walls were dented but not broken. Ashes from the tree roots were burnt, walls were burnt black and the ground had holes everywhere. Their Pokémon were nearly up to the point of fainting and Ash and May were reaching their limit as well. Holding their own wounds they were desperately begging for a break. They were reacting as if they were doing the fighting.

    "Who told you to stop, keep going!" Xerosic yelled.

    "Isn't that enough for today!?" Serena begged. "Ash and May can barely even stand on their own two feet!"

    Exchanging a glare, "Don't involve yourself into this child."

    Ash's voice could be heard. "Aren't you already satisfied?!" He snapped. "I already given more than I can give!" May was silent during the whole ordeal. It was if she was in Ash's place once before.

    "I don't give a damn if you have boy! Do what I say!"

    And for a moment Serena noticed how tightly Ash had clenched his fists into. And it was that moment where the girl's heart sank. Leaving the room she didn't think twice as she felt the vibrations of the attack even outside of the watching bay. Looking around desperately she soon found a door, and rushed herself in once she knew what was inside.

    ------------------

    "How do you measure courage? Do you have to save someone to become courageous? Do you have to die to be acknowledged of it? Or do you have to wait to hear it from somebody to discover that you are?"


    ------------------

    Pressing onto his wounds the blood was breaking through his bandages even having them just replaced an hour ago. It was staring to stain his blue vest that his mother spent hours making for him and thinking about his mother started to make him feel unwell. He didn't even called her recently to let her know he was fine. Now stuck in this hellhole if could be months before he would even see sunshine again or his mother.

    Or if he would see her at all again.

    The stinging sensation started to emerge as he fell to one knee. Xerosic's harsh and horrible voice echoed in the room as it made Ash's blood boil. He didn't like feeling this upset and angry. It was a rare emotion for him to feel and it took really horrible people to bring it out of him.

    Pushing through the pain he rose to his feet again and look across to May who was already on her knees and tears bursting through. Blood stains were seen on the back of her white singlet.

    "Damn it." He muttered. "How did I bring her back into this? I even promised we would protect each other until this was over and now-" Regret poured over his shoulders. "I've involved Serena too."

    His eyes locked with May's as she tried to show him a smile to let her know everything was going to be alright. That was always something he knew she got from him. But he didn't want her to smile because it wasn't real. She was doing it to hide her pain and suffering.

    "Blaziken, flamethrower." Ash commanded with the tiny ounce of strength he had within him.

    "Frenzy plant Venasaur!" May cried.

    Ash's vision started to play on him as his bleeding got worse. His pokemon was trying its best to stay strong but it was reaching its own limit very soon. Maybe it already had but showed no signs of it. Fire danced across the air before hitting the ground with such a powerful force and leaves and petals twirled in the air as powerful winds cut the flames as they grew bigger in return.

    "Ash!"

    Serena's voice, but why.

    Ash's reaction was strange as he smirked as soon he heard her voice. Maybe it was because where they were reminded him of that forest where he was getting berries for the group when May attacked. He was so tired from running and surviving a mini mud slide that when he saved Serena from the Fire Blast attack he fainted as soon May revealed her face to him.

    He was living that moment again.

    Flame whipped onto the walls and snapped in return. Wild winds from Frenzy plant whooshed around the room, making wearing things like hats impossible and long hair right up into the sky. The heat in the room was burning them alive as he could see Serena barely as she dodged and ran from the fire and leaves that were heading into her path.

    "Ash!" She screamed.

    "Get out." He wanted to scream back but he was so weak he couldn't even move. On his knees, "You can't save us while in here, get out!" Holding onto his wound tightly, "You don't have to prove to me you're brave, I know you are you just need to convince yourself that you are!"

    Ash knew the moment Serena stopped that she heard him. He was upset with her but he couldn't find it in him to hate her for so long. The disappointment he had for Serena still lingered with him but he was glad he didn't hate her so much. But if she died her then he knew that anger would arise from him again. If she died Ash was going to hate her again and he didn't want to feel that sensation again.

    "I care for you, what don't you understand from that!?"

    Serena kept on watching in awe. She didn't know what to do, she had never prepared herself for a confession like that.

    "But what if you die here?!" Serena's voice was breaking.

    "You really think Team Flare would let their prize possessions to die just like that?" Ash smirked slightly. "Just leave us."

    Knowing Ash's life was in danger the more she stayed so the trainer quickly fled as thick smoke started to arise. The thickness made it hard for Ash to hear the horrible voice of Xerosic as communication was getting difficult. With his vision still blurry he could see May's bright green bandage on the ground, no doubt his female friend had fainted due to her pain.

    "Blaziken, Venasaur, stop the attacks."

    Within seconds the Pokémon had stopped fighting as smoke and fire started to thicken. The whole room was looking like a burning apartment as details of it showing as Pokémon battle field disintegrate as the minutes went by. With the aid of Blaziken Ash was able to get up onto his feet and walked to close the gap between him and May. The smoke started to become a wall between them as his mind wondered to Serena for a moment and hoped she made it alright.

    He couldn't lose her. No, not now. Not until everything between them was alright again. Not until he told her the truth.

    Soon May's green bandanna was in his sights as he quickly fell down onto his knees. Ash felt May's smooth brown hair as soon he reached to grab the green material. Her face was placed straight on the ground as her back was leaking more of her blood out. Ash hated that his pain was affecting his vision as he wanted to see her face and to know if she was alright.

    "May," He shook her weak and fragile body. "Wake up, come-on!" He begged.

    There was no response. Ash couldn't help but fear the worse now. His fears came over him as tears were seen in his eyes.

    "Please, don't die now!" He turned his friend onto her back and wiped the dirt from her face. "You can't!" He paused for a moment, "We promised each other we would look out for each other until we got out of this problem! What about Max or your parents? Are you going to leave them without even knowing where you are or what happened? May, damn it," He cussed. "Don't you dare give up on us now!"

    Ash stopped. He froze. Us? What on earth did he mean by that. No, it was just a slip of the tongue, nothing more.

    Soon something cut the flames at last. It was the in built sprinklers that sprayed water from the roof. The winds soon fell dead and the flames soon danced no longer as Ash felt his whole body soaked from the water pouring above him. He couldn't take it no more. He couldn't wait for May to wake up as his own pain soon sent him to sleep. His body leaning on Blaziken as Venasaur sheltered them both from the water. May lied silently on her back as the blood on her back started to surround her body.

    Doctors soon rushed in and the sprinkles soon stopped. They picked up the bodies of the trainers so easily and lifted them out. Their Pokémon simply stayed where they were as Serena, watched from the sidelines, like she always did.

    ------------------

    The endless red painted on the walls stung Serena's eyes but it was nothing to be compared with what she had just witnessed. Curling up tighter in a ball she rocked back and forward. Fire, smoke, and blood; blood that kept finding its way through to her mind.

    Ash was going to die and when she came to help, he helped her instead. He spoke to her in a way he hadn't in awhile. He still trusted her and believed her after what she had done. He told her to leave but she stayed and watched his determination to save the fainted May that was across the room.

    A smile crept across her face, "So he cares for me after all." Closing her eyes, "Now it's really more worth it to save him and May both."

    Opening her eyes the bright red walls in the Lysandre Cafe stung her eyes. She couldn't understand how much red Team Flare really needed. Customers and waiters served the people around her as the waiters would exchange her a glare to remind her that if she ever left for a long amount of time and came back; Ash wouldn't be around no more.

    "Brother!" A sweet voice of a eight year old echoed outside the cafe. "Since when was this cafe here?"

    Serena knew well who that voiced belonged to and slipped under the covers of the table and only peeked from under the covers from time to time.

    "I don't know. It must have opened up while we were gone."

    No doubt that voice belonged to Clemont.

    Sitting still and still hiding under the covers the light brunette kept listening into the sibling's conversation. She never expected Clemont and Bonnie would return to Luminous City so quickly.

    "So what do we do now? Ash and May have been kidnapped and Serena is nowhere to be found." Serena heard Bonnie sigh.

    "I don't know Bonnie." Serena heard Clemont's voice dropped. The confidence he had gathered while they were together just slipped away the day she let Team Flare kidnap both her friends. "I went to travel with Ash to gain confidence in myself and my Pokémon and now that his gone and we have no leads, I might as well return full time as the gym leader."

    Serena felt Bonnie slam on the table hard, "So you going to give up just like that?!" She snapped. "If we were in their shoes I'm sure they wouldn't give up just like that!"

    "Bonnie," Clemont tried to calm his sister down. "Look, go wash your hands in the bathroom and I will get something for us to eat, alright?"

    Pouting, "Alright, but if you dare give up on Ash and the others I'll tell Dad!" Seconds later Bonnie fled into the bathroom. A sigh came from Clemont as he slumped into his chair. As he stretched his legs a voice called from under his table.

    Lifting the table cover he noticed it was nobody.

    Looking up the young inventor was puzzled where the voice could come from. This train of thought was interrupted when his little sister had returned from the bathroom. It was clear she was still upset with him. With the few last seconds he had to himself Serena heard words from him.

    "Serena..." He paused. "Was I a bad friend to you to doubt yourself like that?"

    Peeking from under the covers Serena watched in the distance as Bonnie rejoined her older brother. She smiled at Bonnie's reaction when she saw her older brother still didn't order anything for her. Clemont's face went all red in embarrassment before picking his sibling with his Aipom Arm he made, one of his most successful inventions. But he seem to use it to leave the place and used Bonnie's tantrum as an excuse to.

    When her friends were out of her sight did Serena come out from under the table and stared slightly at the entrance of the red cafe.

    If she wanted to save Ash she needed their help.

    She needed Clemont.

    ------------------

    "Courage only happens when you believe that you are. You don't need to hear it, to become it."


    ------------------

  25. #25
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    Chapter Nine:

    Fear


    And again Serena sat in the corner of the usually empty bright red café as her turquoise eyes kept looking from one wall to another; observing everyone that came in and out. No wonder Team Flare were safe as nobody would enter the place as it was tucked away nicely in tight alleyways or its insanely bright red walls were enough to repel most people away. And whoever had the guts to enter were only the few courageous ones or VIP customers that spent their every lunch there. Or maybe the casual citizens of Luminous City were nothing but Team Flare grunts in disguise.

    Serena locked her eyes at the door’s entrance as it was the only part of the whole building that didn’t stain her eyes with bright red paint. Sitting alone in the further corner she could now became a hobby as she refused to see Ash or May back in the basement fighting until they no longer could breathe for a few scientists amusement. Not even Professor Sycamore would go this far and use children to test about an unknown evolution so few ever could master.

    A week, one whole long week she had been spending her afternoons in the café until she fell asleep and would only wake up when the ‘waiters’ had finished for the day and were closing the shop. She was losing faith that she would ever gain that confidence she needed to save her friends.

    “…F-Finally, I found this café again.”

    A sound of a boy desperately puffing for air filled Serena’s ears. At first she thought nothing until his bright blond hair and light blue outfit covered the entrance door. Her instincts came over her quickly as she slipped under the table covers.

    If she gave off the single indication that she had help from the outside there was no doubt in her head Ash or May would pray the price. Knowing that everyone knew how much Ash meant to her, they would play with him more than May until she kept quiet.

    “I might have lived here my whole life but that doesn’t mean I know all the crooks and alleyways this huge city has.” Taking a breath, “I think I better get some cake for Bonnie and Dad since Bonnie still isn’t over the last time I was here.”

    A light chuckle came over to where Serena was hiding. Hearing that Bonnie was still her usual arrogant self brought a smile to Serena’s lips as she saw the little girl like her own sister and in their whole group it was her that she spent most of her time with.

    Clemont knew that laughter well as it was a laughter he hadn’t heard since his two best friends vanished without a trace. And it was their disappearance that would interfere as his job as Luminous City’s gym leader. Clemont hated returning back to either his home or gym and see Ash’s Pikachu run up to him with that look of hope that his trainer was found, but to no avail. He sometimes tried to make the little rodent forget his problems by asking to use him in one of his gym battles but afterwards Pikachu would return into that slump of depression.

    Ordering a few sweet treats first Clemont made his way to where he heard Serena at. He knew that the table he was sitting at was where she was as her black sneakers would just be seen poking out of the table covers.

    “I know you’re here Serena.” Clemont began, speaking softly. “But I don’t understand why. Why haven’t you shown yourself to me or Bonnie yet?”

    Shivering in fear and knowing she would be heard, Serena stayed quiet.

    “You must be pretty scared if you haven’t said a single word or shown yourself to me yet.” Clemont laughed slightly. “So where is Ash and May?”

    With trembling hands, Serena just pointed to the bookshelf for a few seconds before withdrawing her hand back under the covers. Clemont noticed and gazed at the bookshelf.

    “Are they alright?” The young inventor asked. Fear fell into him knowing that his friends weren’t with Serena.

    Soft muffles and whimpers were heard from under the table and lucky for them both waiters had vanished suddenly but that still didn’t give any confidence for Serena to show herself to her dear friend. No words could describe how much Clemont wanted to comfort his friend but he knew that if Serena was too scared to show herself then he knew she had landed them all into huge trouble.

    Trying to keep her whimpers and muffles as quiet as she could Serena opened her eyes for a moment and saw a handkerchief been offered to her. Taking it she held onto it tightly.

    “I know it’s nothing compared to the one Ash gave you as kids but I hope it helps for now; long enough for me and Bonnie to save you from this mess.” Clemont saw Serena’s hand offering the handkerchief back. “Don’t worry, soon enough we’ll be all back on our journey and we’ll watch Ash compete in the Kalos league and find out your goal along the way.”

    A smile crossed Serena’s lips. No words could describe how much Serena wanted to go on a journey right now without the fear of seeing any of her friends getting hurt.

    “I’ll get help but for now you do your best here to save the others alright.” Clemont paused as the night where Ash and May fought off Team Flare to save him and Bonnie and Pikachu played in his mind. A fragile and confused Serena watched in fear as she tried to understand what her actions had led too.

    “I trust you Serena.” Clemont spoke. “I really mean that. I can’t let one mistake ruin our friendship. After all; we all make mistakes.” Clemont paused for a moment. “I’ll get some help, hold on alright?”

    The young gym leader rose to his feet as soon he saw a waitress return with his ordered sweets. As soon he rose his feet to take his first step away from Serena, he felt a slight tug. He looked down for a quick moment.

    “T-Thank you…Clemont.” She muttered softly.

    He smiled for a moment before looking away, “Your welcome Serena.” And soon he felt Serena release her grip of his leg as he came to what he originally came for.

    It felt like to Serena she had let her only hope to be free, go, but deep inside her knew that she really hadn’t. Because the next time she would hold onto hope like that it would be the last because she was never going to succumb to her own selfish desires ever again.

    ---------------------------

    Cold; so very cold, Ash could barely feel his legs. How long was his last battle? Two hours? Three? Ash had reached to the point where he no longer cared. How were they even still alive after such intense battles with their own respected mega-evolutions? Mega evolution was such a new concept that he knew deep inside him that it wasn’t going to be solved overnight. Maybe it would take his whole lifetime for them to just get more of the basics.

    In the distance, a few steps from where he was lying were his best friend that got caught up into his mess. On her knees it looked like she was praying but she was indeed just trying to find a comfortable way to relax without hurting herself more.

    “I wish I never got caught by Team Flare. I wish I wasn’t so easily used for the Expansion Suit to take control of me. I wish I was stronger.”

    “Does it hurt…to not remember how this all happened to you May?” Ash spoke.

    Looking back, “Of course it does. I only remember parts but after my lost to Dawn at the Wallace Cup I felt so depressed, even if I didn’t get to show you guys. When I got onto that boat hours later I heard a sudden loud boom from my cabin door and that was it. Next thing I knew I was working for these grunts in a powerful suit filled with memories blanks.”
    Ash wanted to move and comfort his only friend but his body was screaming in pain he simply fell to one side and didn’t even bother to get back up. May heard the light thud and slowly made her way to her old friend and pulled him back upright.

    “I’m starting…to lose hope, May.” Ash spoke unconfidently. “It’s been a week, maybe more and nothing’s change but the pain.”

    With her hands softly on top of his shoulders, “Hey, if there is one person that we should not lose hope is Serena. After all she is our ticket out of here.”

    Ash smiled for a moment but that smile quickly faded. “But she doesn’t believe that she can pull off such a thing. She always doubts herself and its takes a lot to convince herself that she is a strong person.”

    May pulled back and gave off a warm smile. “…She really has left an impression on you, hasn’t she?”

    “She’s really grown into a great person; I just hope she can convince herself that she is.”

    The railings of their cell door slid open and there stood a huge large man wearing a suit that gave off an aura that he held huge power over the two of them. His red hair stood out like flames as May’s eyes trembled in fear. Ash had no idea why May was shaking badly but he knew this man was not good news.

    “Lysandre.” May barely blurted. “Y-You monster!” She spat.

    He grinned at the young brunette before giving off a glance to Ash. In his hands were objects neither trainer knew but were scarily familiar. He grinned as he rushed to grab the brunette’s arm and dragged her up to her feet.

    “So you finally decide to show yourself huh?” The man’s voice was filled with such horror that it was causing May’s leg to shake with fear. “Well then, if you’re working for me again I better make sure you won’t escape this time around.”

    May was screaming to be let go but Lysandre’s grip on her was tight. Ash rushed up to his feet but was pushed back by the Team Flare leader easily before he reached for his shirt and pulled him to his feet.

    “And you brought along a friend.” Ash was desperately trying to pull from Lysandre’s grasp. “Lucky I brought a few spares.”

    Grunts soon filled the cell and took the objects in their leader’s hands and soon pulled the trainers from his grasp and held them more sturdily. Both Ash and May struggled as much as they could but their hours of battling non-stop made them too weak to even stand on their own.

    “What on earth is happening?!” Ash screamed; begging for answers.
    “Not now boy. Don’t waste your energy on pointless questions. After all, you barely have enough to stand on your own two feet.”

    Ash tried hard to move his head as much as he could to make whatever Lysandre’s grunts were putting on him an impossible task. But the older man quickly wrapped his hand around his small neck causing him to choke. Ash felt enough pressure from his grip that he was starting to choke even harder.

    “Oh trust me, it won’t hurt.” Lysandre teased. “It will just make you see much better.”

    With the fear building in him Ash closed his eyes and waited for the pain to seep into him and for his screams to fill the room, but that was the problem. As soon he closed his eyes he felt nothing in return.

    May’s sapphire eyes shook in fear as she watched Ash fall without a conscience as he didn’t bother to rise up to his feet. He lied on the ground as if he had just been killed. Evil laughter was heard from Lysandre as he turned to face her. She shook and was now more desperate to be released from the grunts’ grasp on her but to no avail.

    “If you could escape from the expansion suit I promise you this one won’t.” May’s heart raced as speeds she couldn’t control as something solid was pressed against her face.

    And then suddenly darkness came and the fear was wiped away from her like a clean slate.

    ---------------------------

    “Fear is always seen as a bad thing, but if you think about it closely it’s not so bad. It’s a sensation that reminds us that we are human and fear reminds us people that we treasure the most. With fear brings love.”


    ---------------------------

    Her eyes flickering Serena’s eyes soon reminded the reality she escaped during her sleep. Sleeping in the corner of a normally empty store with no one to speak a single word too was getting to her. She needed to speak to somebody – scream help but the result was too much to bear alone as she knew what would happen if she even dared to open her mouth.

    The small hidden red café’s doors closed before her, reminding of the prison she had let herself and her friends into as the ‘waiters’ and ‘waitress’ of the red café gave them glares that if she ever left, she would have no more friends to return too.

    She wasn’t going to leave, no, not without Ash and May.

    Lying to one side still, she pushed herself upright. Her eyes stuck at staring at the bookshelf she knew it was that time again to hide behinds those walls for another day until the help Clemont promised to get for them all would come.

    Embracing her tightly, “I hope we all don’t die because of this.”

    Walking over to the bookshelf Serena stared for a moment or two before taking out a book and soon the bookshelf slid to the left like it would always do. In front of her was a long staircase leading her to a long hallway with rooms to the left and right of her. It was too quiet and the hairs on her arms would rise up in fear. Taking the steps down each one just got harder by the minute. She wished today was the last day she would ever walk down these stairs, but she knew that wasn’t going to happen just yet.

    By walking pass the cell where her friends laid seem to comfort and remind her of the goal of saving them. It gave her a strange motivation to not give up, like Ash was telling her personally. But looking at the door she noticed something was no right,

    It was unlocked.

    Rushing over her slide the door open and noticed her friends were gone. Had they escaped? Were they dragged into another battle or worse? Fear ran her mind as she started to picture horrible things Team Flare could already be doing to her dear friends.

    “Serena correct?” A voice called her as footsteps were heard behind her. Turning around she discovered it was a person she did not recognize. “Such a beautiful name… but wasted.” He complimented.

    “Where is Ash and May?!” Serena blurted.

    “Your friends? Their fine; they are just getting ready for the final stage of the new world.” Lysandre didn’t waste any time of breaking the news to Serena gently. “And I have to thank you for that my little lady.”

    “…it was a mistake to trust your creepy scientists!” Serena yelled, trying to defend her actions.

    “Oh don’t make yourself believe that. You did the right thing. Because of you we can get rid of this world of the walking evil and let the pure remain.” Lysandre’s started to scare Serena. Serena noticed the five scientists started to walk up to their boss. There was no doubt to Serena that this was the boss she heard Mable and the others mention days ago.

    “The plans are ready. We need your word to when the cleansing will begin.” Celosia bowed in front of Lysandre.

    Putting the words together a loud gasp came from Serena’s lips as she fell to the ground in fear. Her whole body shaking as she played Team Flare’s idea in her mind over and over again, her head shaking, her hands covering her mouth and her sapphire eyes trembling in fear.

    “Y-You’re going to do mass murder. Here in Luminous City?!” She snapped.

    “This world’s beauty is being held back by the ugliness of the people all around us. Only Team Flare shall live the destruction that will happen hours from now.” Lysandre explained. “And I’m sorry little girl but I can’t let you interfere.”

    His arm sudden moved and quickly took hold of hers and with such strength Serena felt her body fly into the cell that Ash and May once were in. Her weak fragile body crashed onto the cold floor as Serena quickly rushed back to the door which Lysandre quickly closed in front of her face. Slamming her hands on the jammed door Serena screamed.

    “I won’t let you use them! Whatever you’re doing I’ll stop you even if I die for it!”

    Slamming her hands again and again Serena kept yelling and screaming until she no longer could hear the voices from the other side. But soon their voices came back like a reoccurring nightmare. But this voice sounded different.

    “I’m sorry.” The voice was weak. “I was weak – too weak to save you.”

    Silence came over and before Serena could muster her own words in return the voice vanished. No footsteps or whispering gossiping – nothing.
    Tears building, Serena slid down to the ground slamming the door over and over again; each getting weaker by the minute. Pressing her forehead on the cold steel door all Serena’s head could do was gather words of regret and foolishness.

    “I’m a pathetic friend.” She cried. “Plain pathetic,” She repeated.

    ---------------------------

    “Boss I may need to ask but you didn’t leave a good impression on that girl like you would always do on other strangers. Is there a problem?” Xerosic asked his leader.

    With empty eyes, “If she isn’t an asset then I have no use for ugly trash.” He glared at the other male in the room. “Why didn’t you just toss her out like with the others?” He snapped.

    Shaking, “B-Because Boss we worry that she might tell the police about us.”

    “And who would honestly believe a ten year old girl who looks like she couldn’t ever stand up on her own two feet?!” He complained. “I didn’t hire you to make mistakes Xerosic!”

    Bowing down with his notes in his hands fluttering everywhere out of his grasp, “Yes Boss Lysandre!” Xerosic stretched over his notes. “Here are the notes you asked for again boss.”

    Taking the piles of notes Lysandre quickly read over them like he did the first moment he had arrived back in Luminous City. In every detail stated Ash and May’s dreams, goals and what they had already done in their short career span. Also where they had been and what Pokémon they had caught, trained and released. Lysandre kept on flipping page by page until he was done.

    “Sir Lysandre!” Mable walked into the room. She gave off a salute to her leader. She didn’t speak until Lysandre nodded and gave her permission too. “The subjects are in the hospital wing recovering as you commanded sir. But if I may speak but why the sudden rush?” When the bluenette noticed her boss did not understand her she explained further. “Normally it takes a lot for you sir to take action yet after you received the reports early this week you made no hesitation to arrive here in Luminous City. Why is that?”

    “It is simple Mable. It was because they can mega evolve. You cannot waste their talents by testing such beautiful subjects for hours and let them rot in a cell. You must show the world their power for them to fear as a new world shall be reborn in the process. The quicker we get rid of humans rotting his world, the better.”

    Gazing through a window was no other but the test subjects that quickly got high priority in his field of work. On IV drops and masks over their mouths they lied silently. Machines connected to them showed green neon lights spiking up before dying down seconds later. Soon the process is repeated over and over again. Their bandages fresh and their wounds finally stopped bleeding.

    “They are surprisingly stable after the shock they received after putting the equipment on them sir.” Mable informed her leader once more. “We are ready to lead a full out assault on your command.”

    “And the others? Aliana, Bryony and Celosia?”

    “Their getting their teams ready as we speak. I came over to make sure the test subjects are safe and are stable for war.”

    A smile crossed Lysandre’s lips. “Wonderful. Soon we shall get rid of the world of the rotten and ugliness people possess. We shall start this world anew.”

    “Sir there will be challengers ahead. I doubt the champion would let us slip under the radar.” Xerosic spoke.

    Throwing his notes to the only male scientists in the room, “And that’s why we should be glad she is such a public figure.” Walking down the hall he glanced over his shoulder, “Get the subjects ready, for I and Ash will be paying Diantha a quick visit.”

    ---------------------------

    “Fear gives us moments to really love, to really care and to really treasure what we have. It is what makes us human; it is what makes us unique.”


    ---------------------------

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